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Responding to Dak Prescott's proclamation at the ESPYS that the Cowboys are gonna win the NFC East, Collins emphasized his confidence that the Giants will end the year on top, according to ESPN's Jordan Raanan.
"I commented right underneath his picture. I said, 'I highly doubt that.' They do not control the (NFC) East. It's over with. We're going to have a run for it. I mean, they're not going to win, I can tell you that much. We're definitely going to take over."
Collins and the Giants are likely buoyed by the fact that, despite Dallas winning the division, New York was victorious in the two head-to-head matchups.
"Coming from the program I came from, the team that I came from, the kind of player that I am, I'm not afraid to say any of those words," Collins said. "My team, my guys and our organization backs it up every time."
The NFC East's history backs Collins' assertion. No team has won back-to-back division titles since the Philadelphia Eagles in 2004, and the Cowboys haven't achieved the feat since 1995-96.
"I'm ready to get back. It has been too long," Collins said. "I'm ready to put some shoulder pads in some people. Knock some heads off."
Collins won't have to wait long to get his shot at Dallas. The Giants and the Cowboys face off in Week 1 on Sept. 10.
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Mitchell Trubisky: No. 2 overall pick, franchise savior, and ... delivery man?
The Chicago Bears paid a king's ransom to jump up and select Trubisky, and it appears they're getting their money's worth, sending the quarterback and his fellow rookies to deliver season tickets to some lucky - and surprised - Bears fans.
Copyright © 2017 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.
The Dallas Cowboys will be without David Irving for the first four games of the season due to a performance-enhancing drugs violation, and the defensive lineman appears to have further worsened his standing with his team thanks to an unexplained absence.
Irving was a no-show for the start of the Cowboys' training camp, sources told ESPN's Todd Archer, missing the conditioning run and physicals that happen the day before players take the field.
Players who miss the reporting date are subject to a $40,000 fine, according to the NFL's collective bargaining agreement.
The Cowboys will fly to California on Saturday, and it remains to be seen whether Irving will join them.
Copyright © 2017 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.
Bryant told NFL Network's Jane Slater that he'd been fighting a sinus infection and headaches, and apologized to the Cowboys coaching staff and "took full responsibility" for his tardiness.
The pass-catcher admitted to Slater he was wrong not to inform the Dallas staff earlier and said he's prepared for the consequences, though it's unknown if the Cowboys will take any disciplinary action.
The 28-year-old has a long history of off-field issues such as this, with the Cowboys famously hiring handlers to curb Bryant's unreliability.
Lewis said Foreman volunteered to take a urinalysis test at a Houston lab in order to prove he didn't smoke any marijuana. The results came back Friday.
"The lab has returned D'Onta's results," Lewis said. "He is crystal clean, everything negative for any illicit drugs, marijuana, absolutely nothing."
The rookie was arrested in Austin last week on charges of marijuana and unlawful gun possession, but denied any wrongdoing, saying he owned the weapon legally and that the drugs were in the possession of a passenger.
"It illustrates what D'Onta has said since his arrest that he was not smoking marijuana. He did not possess marijuana." Lewis said. "It makes it clear that he was telling the truth. He was not using marijuana."
Lewis expressed his confidence that Foreman's charges will be dropped after the results of the test.
It's been nine seasons since the Jacksonville Jaguars last experienced playoff football, and they're one of 13 teams who've never raised the Lombardi Trophy.
Jaguars star defensive tackle Malik Jackson believes both unenviable streaks will end very soon.
Jackson told "The Simms and Lefkoe Podcast" that he's confident of adding another ring to his collection this campaign after winning the Super Bowl in 2015 with the Denver Broncos.
"That's what I believe and, until we lose, that's when I'll believe different," Jackson said, according to NFL.com's Marc Sessler.
"The Panthers did it. If the Panthers can do it after the season they had (going 7-8-1 in 2014) ... But we're going to win the Super Bowl. If they can do it, why can't we?"
Jackson believes the Jaguars' positive changes will stem from improved leadership.
"I'm very confident. It truly feels different ... I think it's a lot of guys coming in here and coming to Jacksonville saying, 'I'm gonna change this. I'm gonna do this. I'm gonna do that,'" Jackson said. "We have leaders. We have a lot of great players. We just need to be consistent, and that's on all three sides of the ball: offense, defense, and special teams."
He added: "I think having that and being who we all are, it should be a great year. After the Super Bowl, we're going 16-0, we're going all the way."
The offseason lull before training camp is a time for optimism, with many players expressing their confidence that they'll enjoy a successful 2017 season.
So while Jackson shouldn't be ridiculed for the prediction in a time when all players are feeling hopeful, the Jaguars need to prove there's substance to go along with the hype.
Last offseason, after an impressive year for the offense and with the addition of Jackson, many expected the Jaguars to finally make good on their potential. Instead, the Jaguars finished 3-13.
Another impressive draft and free agency have caused some to jump back on the bandwagon, but with questions about Blake Bortles' ability to be an effective NFL starter and how the defensive talent will gel, the Jaguars should probably learn how to walk before they take a run at a championship.
The NFC West used to be one of the most hotly contested divisions in football, but the Seattle Seahawks have pulled away from the rest of the pack in recent years.
Seattle cruised to the NFC West title with a 10-5-1 record despite sporting arguably the NFL's worst offensive line and a rotating carousel at running back, while the rest of the division faltered miserably.
For the first time during the Pete Carroll Era, the Seahawks caught a glimpse of their own mortality, with injuries to Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas revealing that the team's Super Bowl window may be closing quicker than anyone once imagined.
The Seahawks still boast an impressive array of talent, but time is running out for the core of the club to capture their second Super Bowl ring. Can the rest of the NFC West knock the Seahawks off their perch?
The Cardinals entered last season as a trendy Super Bowl pick after losing to the Panthers in the 2015 NFC Championship Game but struggled through a miserable 2016 campaign. Everything that could've gone awry last year did, but now the Cardinals' talented roster is seeking redemption.
Arizona still boasts plenty of offensive firepower, finishing sixth in scoring offense last season with 26.1 points per game. David Johnson was a revelation, scoring 20 touchdowns en route to Pro Bowl and first-team All-Pro honors, while Larry Fitzgerald led the NFL with 107 receptions. John Brown and J.J. Nelson round out a group that ought to overwhelm opponents with their speed. If the Cardinals' offense is firing on all cylinders, they'll be tough to beat.
Tyrann Mathieu returns after suffering a season-ending shoulder injury and when he plays unreservedly, there isn't a single safety in the league who can do what he can. Mathieu will rejoin a secondary that boasts six-time Pro Bowler Patrick Peterson, promising second-round pick Budda Baker, and an overall opportunistic and talented group that should keep the Seahawks and other contenders on their toes.
The Cardinals' defense - and to a larger extent, their entire philosophy - relies on calculated aggression and blazing speed. If the they can punish teams with their ability to shrink the field, they could make a deep playoff run.
Los Angeles Rams
No more parties in L.A.
That should be the Rams' motto entering the team's second year in Los Angeles after a disastrous return under the bright lights last season. This campaign may come down to how Jared Goff progresses after struggling immensely during his rookie campaign. The Rams made marginal upgrades at wide receiver, but if Goff can't become a reasonable facsimile of a starting quarterback this fall, the Rams are doomed.
The duality of Todd Gurley is another question that needs to be answered. Gurley starred during his rookie season but submitted a dreadful sophomore campaign. Which Gurley are the Rams going to get in 2017: the one who looked like the future face of the NFL, or the back that looked completely lost?
Los Angeles sports a top-heavy defense led by Aaron Donald, who is the NFL's best defensive tackle by an increasingly wide margin. Donald alone cannot save the Rams from mediocrity though, and Robert Quinn, Alec Ogletree, and newly signed outside linebacker Connor Barwin will be counted on to steady the team's pass rush.
Ultimately, the Rams have some star power but not enough depth to seriously challenge the Seahawks.
San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco will start the 2016 season under a new regime, with Kyle Shanahan taking over as head coach and John Lynch installed at general manager, while Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley will vie for the team's starting quarterback role. The 49ers could be the worst team in the NFL this year and it's not necessarily a bad thing.
The 49ers are going through a drastic rebuild and their offense is downright woeful. Joe Staley is the last staple from the 49ers teams of yesteryear and will be expected to mentor a young offensive line, while rookie Joe Williams could usurp Carlos Hyde at running back. It would be a shock if this offense stays above water.
San Francisco finished dead last in most defensive categories last year but the unit enters the season on a positive trajectory. DeForest Buckner showed glimpses of stardom last season, while the 49ers selected defensive end Solomon Thomas with the No. 3 pick in this spring's draft to shore up the line. NaVorro Bowman and Ahmad Brooks remain as solid veteran presences and first-rounder Reuben Foster could sneak under the radar as a Defensive Rookie of the Year candidate.
Gone are the days where the 49ers-Seahawks rivalry was among the NFL's best. The 49ers are rebuilding and still have a long way to go to catch their nemesis.
Also from this series
- Can anyone unseat the Cowboys in the NFC East?
- Can anyone unseat the Packers in the NFC North?
- Can anyone unseat the Falcons in the NFC South?
There was a change on the White House roster Friday, as press secretary Sean Spicer resigned after new communications director Anthony Scaramucci was brought aboard.
Scaramucci's first order of business was to extol President Donald Trump's ability as a quarterback.
"Here's what I tell you about the President, he's the most competitive person I've ever met. I've seen this guy throw a dead spiral through a tire," Scaramucci said, among other things.
"The President's a winner, and what we're gonna do is we're gonna do a lot of winning."
Somebody sign him up.
Electronic Arts released a video Friday teasing some of the new features in the upcoming Madden NFL 18.
Included in the clip are looks at what EA touts as improved target passing and blocking controls, as well as more control over coaching tactics.
The video also promises three different game modes: arcade, simulation, and competitive.
As NFL players object to contracts that they perceive don't value them appropriately, the NFLPA released a video Friday with the Twitter caption "Save now. Fight later."
In the video, New York Jets tackle and NFLPA financial committee member Kelvin Beachum, NFLPA president Eric Winston, and others discuss financial literacy.
"We have such a long CBA (and) I knew my role was probably going to be to get the guys ready for the next fight," Winston said.
The "next fight" would presumably take place in 2021 after the current collective bargaining agreement expires.
Boldin remains unsigned after spending the 2016 season with the Detroit Lions. The 36-year-old caught 67 passes for 584 yards and eight touchdowns.
Buffalo lacks true depth at wide receiver outside of Sammy Watkins and second-round pick Zay Jones, so Boldin could be the piece the team has been searching for this summer.
The NFL is wrapping up its investigation into the off-field conduct of Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott and the players' union recently filed what it hopes is a final response to any lingering questions, sources told NFL.com's Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero.
The year-long investigation into allegations of domestic violence committed by Elliott, and perhaps incidents in which Elliott exposed a woman's breast at a parade and visited a Seattle marijuana dispensary, could result in NFL discipline for 2016's rushing leader.
A report sent to the NFLPA by the league made no recommendation one way or the other about whether Elliott is likely to be suspended, according to Rapoport and Pelissero.
Elliott has not been arrested or charged with any crimes related to domestic violence.
The suspension stems from Jones' arrest on Jan. 3.
Jones was accused of assaulting a man at a Cincinnati hotel, and refusing to obey police.
He also faced felony charges of harassment with a bodily substance, after allegedly spitting on a nurse, but that charge was dismissed. Misdemeanor charges of assault and disorderly conduct were dropped in exchange for pleading guilty to one misdemeanor charge of obstructing police.
Jones has three days to appeal the league's decision, according to Paul Dehner Jr. of the Cincinnati Enquirer.
The NFL provided rationale for the suspension in a letter to Jones, obtained by Dehner:
Extensive video documentation of the tone, tenor and nature of your interactions with law enforcement at the site of your arrest, during transportation to the jail, and during the booking process. As you acknowledged, your post-arrest words and actions reflected poorly on you and your family, the Cincinnati Bengals football club, and the NFL. While it is our understanding that appropriate apologies have been publicly extended, they do not completely negate your behavior and admission of culpability for the underlying conduct.
Jones' agent, Peter Schaffer, released the following statement on behalf of his client:
The letter just came down. We are still in the process of reviewing the letter and the contents. We are exploring all options. We are keeping in mind what is best for Adam and the Bengals.
Jones recorded 66 tackles and one interception last season.
As he prepares to enter his second season in the NFL, Elliott is reported to be in the league's crosshairs regarding a domestic violence accusation. It's believed he was also present for an altercation at a Dallas bar last weekend, and he's appealing a speeding conviction.
Bryant thinks the 21-year-old running back will ultimately get past the distractions.
"It's just a steppingstone that he's gonna get over. Zeke's a young guy. I'm not blaming it on that. (But) freshman college to playing for America's team, it's kinda hard to deal with," Bryant told reporters Thursday at a barbecue in his hometown of Lufkin, Texas, according to ESPN.
Bryant faced similar scrutiny early in his career, but, by all accounts, has matured over the years.
"You gotta give Zeke credit because he do deserve it, he do deserve to have fun. Because he put that work in to have fun. But, as the years pass, as he gets older, he's gonna mature and things are gonna get a lot smoother," Bryant said.
Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett said earlier in the week he would speak with Elliott on Friday before the start of training camp.
Canadian fans without cable who want to watch NFL broadcasts this season can pay a monthly fee to stream games on a service that is being called the "Netflix of sports."
The NFL has sold its streaming rights in Canada for the next five years to a London-based service called DAZN (pronounced "Da Zone," for some reason) and cable and satellite providers north of the border will no longer carry Sunday Ticket nor the NFL RedZone channel.
Games will still be aired on cable TV in Canada, but fans can also stream games (supposedly without blackouts) via DAZN for $20 per month or $150 annually. The streaming package will also reportedly include the beloved RedZone channel.
It's not hard to see the NFL's partnership with DAZN as the league testing the streaming waters before deciding on a strategy in the U.S.
Currently, there is no legal way to stream most live NFL games in the U.S. The NFL-owned GamePass service is available, but games can only be streamed after they have completed.
As millions of sports fans cut the cable cord every year, it appears the inevitable future of live sports is online streaming.
Whether the NFL prefers to partner with a third-party streaming company like DAZN or launch its own "Neflix of football" remains to be seen, but the league will surely keep a very close eye on how its Canadian experiment goes.
Bryant took part in the kickball game, took pictures with fans, and signed autographs at Thursday's event.
He even shut down a local barbecue joint in order to provide free food for guests.
Bryant wasn't shy to show off the bill, which cost him more than $16,000.
For an added touch, he wore socks representing his local Lufkin High School Panthers.
It's prediction season and Jason Pierre-Paul isn't about to miss out on the festivities.
As NFL teams prepare for upcoming training camps, every team has a spotless record and reason for optimism. Yet, after the moves the New York Giants made over the offseason, Pierre-Paul believes his club has what it takes to be special.
"I feel like no spot is weak. I feel like with the players that we have, as long as we all work together, we'll be undefeated," Pierre-Paul said to Brian Heyman of Newsday. "Nobody can defeat you when you all are working together."
The Giants went 11-5 last season and knocked off the division-champion Dallas Cowboys twice during the regular season. New York has since added receiver Brandon Marshall and tight end Evan Engram to its offense and brings back much of the defense that ranked 10th in the league.
"I think with the people that we added, I think a lot of people are like, 'Wow, they should be a team that goes to the Super Bowl.' But it's all about the hard work," Pierre-Paul said.
"I think we got a team that can be a lot better than last year. We can be as good as we want to be."
The veteran defensive end re-signed during free agency for four years and $62 million to remain a part of what the Giants are building. Regardless of his belief in his club, however, he knows it's purely talk until the players take the field.
"You can't call it a Super Bowl team. Every team that goes into training camp thinks they're a Super Bowl contender," Pierre-Paul said.
Jerry Jones, on his way to induction in the Pro Football Hall of Fame next month, is best known as the owner of the Dallas Cowboys.
It’s not that it’s easy to forget that Jones also is the Cowboys’ general manager, but that self-appointment does obscure one thing: Jones is the NFL’s longest-tenured GM, with a 243-205 record, 10 NFC East titles, and three Super Bowls.
That Jones is his own GM is a sign of what the former University of Arkansas offensive lineman thinks of himself, surely, but also connects to his philosophy about running a football team, which is an interesting one.
"The Cowboys have only had two general managers," Jones said Thursday on a conference call for the Hall of Fame festivities. "One was Tex Schramm, and he was president and general manager for 29 years. Then, when I bought the team, I became that.
"I saw that combination of the proximity between the president and GM, and the head coach, and the fewer people between those guys and, in my case, also the owner, the better I could see it functioning. … It’s about the communication, it’s about influence."
When Jones took over, he made his old college teammate Jimmy Johnson the Cowboys’ head coach; Dallas made a swift progression from 1-15 the first year to 7-9, then 11-5, then 13-3 and the first of back-to-back Super Bowl triumphs. There is no questioning Johnson’s acumen as a coach, but it’s also doubtless that Jones’ tight structure, laced with familiarity, helped speed up the process.
After Johnson, the Cowboys won another Super Bowl with Barry Switzer as coach, then shuffled through lean years with Chan Gailey, Dave Campo, and Hall of Famer Bill Parcells. Wade Phillips won two division titles in three seasons, but was replaced by Jason Garrett after a 1-7 start in 2010.
(Photo courtesy: Getty Images)
When Jones and the Cowboys endured three straight 8-8 campaigns under Garrett, it was fair to wonder what the next spin of the coaching wheel would bring. Instead, Jones stuck with the man who was the Cowboys’ backup quarterback from 1992-99 and on the coaching staff since 2007.
Garrett, who had been the NFL's highest-paid assistant coach, won his first division title as a head coach in 2014, then got a five-year, $30-million extension, as an investment that paid off was followed by further investment.
"I knew that ultimately, as owner, this is pro football, and every decision is about financials," Jones said. "You don’t make one that’s not financial. So, I knew that with the commitment I made - which at the time which was the largest that had ever been expended for any sports entity - I knew, with that commitment, I had to understand and manage everything.
"It was just a question of eliminating, but also following the lead of a very successful management structure that Tex Schramm and Tom Landry had under the previous owner."
The other side of that very successful management structure is off the field - and that’s where Jones has been even more successful than the Cowboys have been on the gridiron. That comes from an understanding of the product honed long ago.
"When I first was buying the Dallas Cowboys, I asked for an appointment with a man named Dan Burke, and he was the chairman of Cap Cities, and they had just bought ESPN, and they owned ABC,” Jones said. “I got an appointment with him … and I was asking him about the future of television and the future of the NFL as it related to television.
"He said the huddles, the intermittent breaks in the continuity of the game, between the plays, the huddles give every opportunity to give the product on television exposure. He said that you could basically hire every producer there is in Hollywood, and they couldn’t come up with all the soap operas that go on, on and off the field, that you have with pro football. It’s the greatest television you could even dream of."
Jones has taken that theory and run with it, with his bombastic approach keeping the Cowboys relevant all year round. The league, with plenty of help from its media partners, has followed suit, and the result has been the ballooning of the league’s commercial success that is as big a reason for Jones’ enshrinement as the performance of the team he owns.
The Cleveland Browns acquired linebacker Jamie Collins in a midseason trade last year, and after seeing what he could do in eight games, the team is excited about a full season with the former Pro Bowler.
"There's lots of things about his versatility that it's gonna be fun and challenging to find spots to cut him loose," new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams said to Patrick Maks of ClevelandBrowns.com.
After consummating the trade with the New England Patriots, the Browns signed Collins to a four-year deal reportedly worth $50 million. He's expected to guide and influence a young defense that now features the No. 1 overall pick in defensive end Myles Garrett and another first-round pick, safety Jabrill Peppers.
In fact, Williams believes Collins is such a good athlete, he could fill in at both positions.
"He's begging me to play safety. And I'm not saying he couldn't be the best one out there right now," Williams said. "If he wanted to play defensive end, he could play defensive end."
Collins had 68 total tackles, two sacks, and a forced fumble with the Browns last season.
With fantasy draft season underway, theScore has the award-winning rankings and expert advice you need to dominate your league.
2017 Fantasy Rankings
A quick refresher on every notable player's fantasy outlook.
Breakouts, Busts, Sleepers
- Breakout players to target
- Busts to avoid
- Sleepers to steal
- Super-deep sleepers
- Risky picks to gamble on
- Bounce-back candidates
A glimpse at what your drafts might look like, with insight on each round.
Values are based on 12-team leagues with a $200 salary cap in a standard scoring format.
Making a Case
- 8 players who will lead you to a title
- Draft this guy, not that guy
- 5 players who'll determine the fate of your draft
- Which RBs are in danger of losing their starting jobs?
- 5 safe players to target in the early rounds
- Are suspended RBs Martin, Dixon worth waiting for?
- 5 free-agency storylines you shouldn't believe
Players going undrafted in many leagues who have a chance to be this year's waiver-wire hero.
A look at stars coming back from serious injuries and how they should be approached in fantasy.
- Offensive line rankings
- Passing attacks you want a piece of in 2017
- Early ADP analysis
- Early-season schedules to exploit and avoid
- Who will finish as the No. 1 RB in 2017?
- 12-team PPR mock draft