Posted: Sunday, September 9, 2018 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
Dak Prescott’s best test yet as the new face of the Cowboys came two days after owner Jerry Jones once again declared that all Dallas players will stand for the national anthem and even said they wouldn’t be afforded the alternative of staying in the locker room.

The star quarterback didn’t pause or stammer. He didn’t stop himself to consider what his peers might think. He made it clear he will stand Michael Johnson Jersey , and doesn’t think it’s right to do otherwise.

”Whether I was wearing the star or not, whether I was playing for Jerry Jones, Stephen Jones or any other owner, I believe in what I believe in and that’s that,” Prescott said Friday in his first session with reporters at training camp.

Jerry Jones held his usual camp-opening news conference Wednesday, and said his usual things about the anthem, and then some. Son Stephen Jones, executive vice president of personnel, suggested a day later that the Cowboys would cut any player who stayed in the locker room.

The option of staying off the field was part of a policy owners approved in May, but was put on hold not long after The Associated Press revealed that the Miami Dolphins would consider suspending players up to four games for kneeling or otherwise protesting during the anthem.

Just as he did when he showed up two years ago as the overshadowed third quarterback on Tony Romo’s team, Prescott offered his opinion plainly and simply, and in so many words. There are countless more people listening now.

”He knows how important that is to be one of the faces of the team and he always does exactly what you’d expect Matt Paradis Jersey , to a script,” offensive coordinator Scott Linehan said. ”It’s not forced. It’s just part of him.”

Prescott replaced an injured Romo in 2016 and had one of the best rookie seasons for a quarterback in NFL history while leading Dallas to an NFC-best 13 wins and ultimately sending Romo into retirement.

Now 15-year tight end Jason Witten and franchise touchdown catch leader Dez Bryant are gone. The former Mississippi State standout is the leading voice, and not hesitating to use it.

”I’d never protest during the anthem, and I don’t think that’s the time or the venue to do so,” Prescott said while adding that he respected the right of others to protest. ”We know about social injustice. I’m up for taking a next step, whatever that step may be for action and not just kneeling.”

Prescott didn’t have any immediate specifics for that community action, but it’ll be a few months before he can concentrate on it fully. Right now he’s trying to get the Cowboys back to the playoffs after his encore fell flat.

Dallas missed the postseason at 9-7 last season, clouded by the fight over the six-game suspension that Prescott’s fellow rookie sensation, running back Ezekiel Elliott, finally had to serve halfway through the year.

”It was just a lot of mental mistakes, a lot of things that I feel like I don’t normally do,” said Prescott Giovani Bernard Jersey , who had 13 interceptions a year after throwing just four while setting an NFL rookie record for passer rating. ”I feel like I thought a lot about different things last year within the games and that’s something I’m going to try to eliminate.”

The Cowboys are unproven at tight end and receiver after Witten retired and the Cowboys decided to release Bryant in a cost-cutting move. Cole Beasley has the longest Dallas tenure among the receivers, and Terrance Williams is the only other pass-catcher who was on the roster for Prescott’s rookie season.

”Really last year was a struggle. He had some breakdowns at other spots that made it tough on him,” Beasley said. ”Good or bad or ugly, he’s the same person through and through. That’s what you want from your quarterback. Because that’s how it is in games.”

Elliott doesn’t have a possible suspension looming this season, and at the moment an offensive line that was an issue a year ago is healthy with a new piece in second-round pick Connor Williams. The former Texas player is working as the starting left guard in camp.

Not long before coming to California, Prescott spent time with some of his untested receiving corps in Florida. Now he goes about figuring out life without Witten and Bryant.

”We’re past that,” he said. ”We had the whole (offseason practices) and minicamps to kind of get over that stage. Those are guys I’ve said before you can’t replace. But when you get out here, you just see the youthfulness that we have, how young this team is and the energy.”

With a new leading voice.

Jrue Holiday had a career playoff-high 33 points and the New Orleans Pelicans took a 2-0 lead in their first-round playoff series against the Portland Trail Blazers with a 111-102 victory on Tuesday night.

Rajon Rondo had 16 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists for the Pelicans, who host the Blazers on Thursday as the series shifts to New Orleans. Anthony Davis added 22 points and 13 rebounds.

CJ McCollum, who struggled with backcourt teammate Damian Lillard in the opener Malik Jackson Jersey , rebounded with 22 points to lead the Blazers.

Portland trailed by as many as 11 points in the third quarter but Lillard hit a 3-pointer and added a free throw to tie the game at 93 with 7:31 left. Holiday’s pull-up jumper and Rondo’s driving layup kept the Blazers from pulling ahead.

Maurice Harkless dunked and Al-Farouq Aminu had a layup to re-tie the game at 97. After Holiday’s hook shot, Harkless made a 3-pointer to give Portland a 100-99 lead, but it was short-lived.

CELTICS 120, BUCKS 106

BOSTON (AP) – Jaylen Brown had a playoff career-high 30 points and the Celtics pulled away into second half to earn a win over the Bucks.

Terry Rozier added 23 points for Boston, which took a 2-0 series lead in the first-round matchup. Game 3 is set for Friday in Milwaukee.

The Celtics led by as many as 20 in the fourth quarter.

Milwaukee got as close as 107-97 with 4:13 to play. But the Celtics responded with an 11-2 run, capped by a banked in 3-pointer by Brown to push their lead back up to 118-99.

Giannis Antetokounmpo finished with 30 points, nine rebounds and eight assists. Khris Middleton added 25 points.

Turnovers were an issue for the second straight game for Milwaukee. The Bucks finished with 15, leading to 21 Boston points. They also shot just 41 percent from the free-throw line (7 of 17).

RAPTORS 130, WIZARDS 119

TORONTO (AP) – DeMar DeRozan matched his career playoff-high with 37 points, Jonas Valanciunas had 19 points and 14 rebounds and the Raptors beat the Wizards, taking a 2-0 lead in a playoff series for the first time in franchise history.

Kyle Lowry had 13 points and a career playoff-high 12 assists as Toronto set team playoff records for points in a quarter, a half Royce Freeman Jersey , and a game.

C.J. Miles scored 18 points, Delon Wright had 11 and Serge Ibaka 10 for the Raptors, who snapped an NBA-worst 10-game losing streak in Game 1s with a 114-106 win on Saturday.

Toronto, which made a team playoff record 16 3-pointers Saturday, connected on 12 of 32 from long range in Game 2, making only one in the second half.

John Wall scored 29 points, Mike Scott had 20 and Ty Lawson 14 for the Wizards, who host Game 3 on Friday night.

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