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Jerry Jones questioning lack of success after 3rd consecutive loss



CHICAGO — Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones did not make any proclamations about changes to Jason Garrett’s job status after Thursday’s 31-24 loss to the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field, but he did question why the roster is not producing results.

“These guys are mentally OK for me and all these guys are talented enough for me, so that’s good,” Jones said. “I’m questioning how to put together a coordinated one that complements each other, how to put together a team that can win a football game. … We’re not collectively getting together as a team and doing the things it takes to win ballgames.”

Instead, at 6-7, the Cowboys are mired in their second three-game losing streak of the season, despite a mostly healthy roster.

“It’s leveled out here. It’s losing, losing, losing. I’m not trying to be funny here but the point is we’ve got to win a football game,” Jones said. “I don’t care what the standings are, what the numbers are. We had thought that we could come up here and play a good team, play a fine football game and get our act to where we’re starting to look like a team that could — if we by the slim chance get in the playoffs — where we could win. We can’t do that until we play and start winning the football games and we’ve got three more to play. When we do that, we can go.”

Thursday’s loss was a disillusionment. After driving 75 yards on 17 play on their first drive for a touchdown, the offense stalled until the fourth quarter when the game was out of hand. The defense forced a takeaway for the first time in four games on the opening possession, but gave up scores on the next four possessions in the first half.

The Cowboys scored 17 points in the fourth quarter to close the gap but that did not impress Jones.

“We know that the score didn’t indicate how bad they beat us tonight,” Jones said.

Garrett’s job security has been an issue since the opening of training camp since he does not have a contract past 2019 and will continue to be a bigger topic in the final three weeks.

Garrett said he believes the players are still buying in.

“I just see how they come to work every day,” Garrett said. “I see how they practice and unfortunately we didn’t carry the practice work to the game.”

Nor did Garrett see any players quit.

“I don’t believe that,” the coach said.

The Cowboys will remain in first place in the NFC East even if Philadelphia beats the New York Giants on Monday based off their October win against their division rival, but this was a season that was supposed to be about more than making the playoffs.

Now Jones does not care if the Cowboys finish 7-9 or 8-8 and make the postseason.

“Are you asking me if I would take the division and go to the playoffs, if we got in on any basis? The answer is yes. Absolutely yes,” Jones said. “Acceptable? I don’t know. Not if we’re not playing good but if we’re playing a lot better than we played tonight, I’ll take getting in. (Are) you talking about getting in the playoffs? Well, yes, I would on any basis. I realize if we don’t play better in the last (three games) than we looked tonight than that’s tough to thinking about having success in the playoffs, but your goal, the first goal is to get to the playoffs.”

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Raiders’ Jon Gruden, Saints’ Sean Payton fined $100K for violating mask protocols



Las Vegas Raiders coach Jon Gruden and New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton have both been fined $100,000 by the NFL for not wearing masks on the sideline during Monday night’s game, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

The Raiders and Saints also have each been fined $250,000, the source said.

The fines are the same that the NFL levied Monday against the Denver Broncos and Vic Fangio, the Seattle Seahawks and Pete Carroll and the San Francisco 49ers and Kyle Shanahan for similar violations this past Sunday of the league’s COVID-19 game-day protocols.

“I had a coach who was reminding me about it throughout the game, [running backs coach] Chad Morton was on my ass the whole night. He was reminding me the whole time,” Carroll told the Seahawks’ website on Tuesday. “I even changed masks at halftime to find one that worked better. Sometimes you’ve got to get coached up. Sometimes you have to admit that that you screwed up and have got to do better.”

“We wear masks all day at practice, we wear them around the building,” Carroll said. “I know it’s extremely important to wear masks. Sometimes you’ve just got to be reminded.”

Gruden, who revealed after Monday night’s victory over the Saints that he had previously contracted COVID-19, said Tuesday that he did not want to get into specifics about how he dealt with the virus.

“It wasn’t pleasant,” he said, “and it was reported that I made up that I had the virus and it really ticked me off because I would never do something like that.

“But it’s a very serious matter and, you know, obviously, I’m sensitive about it. But yeah, it was a tough ordeal, that’s for sure. Just like everybody else that had it.”

Payton also battled COVID-19 over the summer.

Gruden was asked after Monday night’s game about being mask-less on the sideline.

“I’m doing my best,” he said at the time. “I’ve had the virus. I’m doing my best. I’m very sensitive about it. … I’m calling plays. I just want to communicate in these situations and if I get fined, I’ll have to pay the fine. But I’m very sensitive about that and I apologize.”

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Seahawks placing receiver Phillip Dorsett (foot) on injured reserve



The Seattle Seahawks are placing wide receiver Phillip Dorsett on injured reserve, a source confirms to ESPN.

Dorsett has missed the Seahawks’ first two games with a sore foot that he had been dealing with long before signing a one-year, minimum-salary deal with Seattle in March. Coach Pete Carroll said Monday that Dorsett would not play this week against the Dallas Cowboys.

In each of the first two weeks of the season, Dorsett was a limited participant on Wednesday and Thursday then didn’t practice Friday.

“We’re looking to figure out how to work this out,” he said. “We need to give him a break to make sure that his foot is healed and back. He tried to get back [last] week to play in this past game and couldn’t do it, so we have to give him more time than that …”

A new rule in 2020 means Dorsett only has to spend a minimum of three weeks on injured reserve. The Seahawks have a bye in Week 6 after their games against Dallas, the Miami Dolphins and Minnesota Vikings. That makes Dorsett eligible to return in Week 7, a Thursday night game against the Arizona Cardinals.

The NFL Network first reported that Dorsett was heading to IR.

The 27-year-old Dorsett was a first-round pick by the Indianapolis Colts in 2015. He was competing with David Moore to be Seattle’s No. 3 wide receiver behind Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf but was in and out of practice due to his sore foot.

The Seahawks are filling one of their three open roster spots by promoting defensive back Linden Stephens from their practice squad, a source confirms to ESPN. Stephens, who can play nickelback, was on the Seahawks’ initial 53-man roster after a strong training camp but was waived the next day.

Seattle’s three open roster spots come from Dorsett, linebacker Bruce Irvin and nickelback Marquise Blair on IR. Offensive lineman Kyle Fuller is a candidate to fill another spot now that he’s served his two-game suspension.

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Facial hair faceoff: Gardner Minshew’s mustache vs. Ryan Fitzpatrick’s beard – Jacksonville Jaguars Blog



JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Thursday night’s game between the Miami Dolphins and Jacksonville Jaguars can certainly be called the “mane” event.

When it comes to the quarterbacks, anyway, because Ryan Fitzpatrick and the NFL’s best beard will face off against Gardner Minshew and the league’s most recognizable mustache at TIAA Bank Field (8:20 p.m. ET, NFL Network) .

If you have no allegiance to either team, it might be tough for you to pick your side (burns): full beard or mustache?

Are you Team Grizzly Adams or Team Burt Reynolds?

Chuck Norris or Sam Elliott?

Santa Claus or Teddy Roosevelt?

OK, we’ll stop now.

Blame Fitzpatrick for starting the beard versus mustache debate. He was asked on Tuesday about the game, and Fitzpatrick joked about it being a contest between the two.

“The mustaches versus the beard. … I think the beard is cooler,” Fitzpatrick said, via Josh Tolentino of The Athletic. “Guys that grow mustaches have patchy sides.”

Minshew said he didn’t feel the need to defend his mustache, which is technically a horseshoe since it drops below his mouth on either side, but did add that he has had a full beard before — the implication being that he looked damn good with it, too.

“I’ll let [his mustache] speak for itself,” Minshew said. “I think I’ve shown I can grow a beard with no patchy sides.

“But, you know, I’m going to have respect for my elders, especially when they’re much, much elder. Be respectful.”

Minshew, by the way, turned 24 in May. Fitzpatrick is 37 and turns 38 in November.

Jaguars defensive end Josh Allen naturally is going to support his teammate, but he did admit that he likes Fitzpatrick’s beard and the way it spills out over the chinstrap of his helmet.

“I was just thinking about that yesterday. I was looking at it, and this dude does have a really good beard,” Allen said. “But you can’t beat a ‘stache, though. You know what I mean? Gardner doesn’t just have a little [mustache] — he rocks his. You’ve got a lot of guys that try to do the little thing Gardner does, and it just doesn’t look right. So I feel like everybody can rock a nice beard. I’ve got me a little beard. It’s not like his [Fitzpatrick’s], but I rock mine.

“A lot of people can’t do what Gardner does, so I’m going to have to rock with my dog and keep that mustache game going.”

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