Jerry Jones: 'Watch us beat the Giants' ass'

Defensive coordinator Rob Ryan has vowed to watch what comes out of his mouth this season.

That doesn’t mean Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has to check himself. Not one bit.

Jones fired from the lip on Tuesday, giving the New York Giants plenty to rally around in advance of the Sept. 5 season opener between the teams at the Meadowlands. Yes, Jones fired a real shot at the defending Super Bowl champions.

Y'all should come to that (Cowboys) stadium and watch us beat the Giants' ass,” Jones told fans as the team kicked off training camp, according to ESPN Dallas.

So, what does coach Jason Garrett make of this? You guessed it, who is he to argue with his boss?

“Jerry Jones owns this football team,” Garrett said. “He has owned it for 23 years, so he can do anything he wants.”

Surely it didn’t make Garrett real comfortable, though, knowing the big man had given the Giants the ultimate in bulletin board material.

“We don't make any guarantees around here,” Garrett said. “We're going to work hard every day to put a great football team together. We're in the process of doing that.”

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

John Carlson suffers sprained MCL

The Minnesota Vikings mad a move to upgrade their roster at tight end this offseason with a splash signing of John Carlson.

Now, they’ll have to hope he isn’t out long as the veteran suffered a sprained MCL during practice today, according to Jeremy Fowler of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Carlson was on the ground for a while before limping away to the training room.

There is good news.

You don't have to have any surgery. It heals by itself,” Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said. “It's a little bit more of a pain-tolerance thing and how he feels.”

So, plan on Carlson being back before the season begins. Meanwhile, it creates an opportunity for more work for Kyle Rudolph.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

Clemson beats out South Carolina for four-star receiver

Mike Williams, one of the best wide receivers in South Carolina, gave his verbal pledge to Clemson on Tuesday.

The Lake Marion High School (Santee, SC) star, who will get to further learn the receiver position from Tigers offensive stud Sammy Watkins, chose Clemson over in-state rival South Carolina.

Last season, the 6-4, 195-pounder had 64 receptions for 1,131 yards and 10 touchdowns. In three prep campaigns, Williams has 111 catches for 2,137 yards and 26 touchdowns.

Williams is the 17th commitment in the Tigers' 2013 class and the team's third receiver. He is also the program's fourth commitment from the Palmetto State, and the pledge continues the momentum Tigers head coach Dabo Swinney has generated on the recruiting trail.

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Notre Dame suspends Rees and Calabrese for opener

We now officially know that Tommy Rees will not be lining up under center for Notre Dame's 2012 season opener.

Fighting Irish head coach Brian Kelly announced Tuesday afternoon that the team has suspended the junior quarterback as well as senior linebacker Carlos Calabrese for the opening contest against Navy in Dublin on September 1. Neither player will travel with the team overseas either.

Tommy ReesTommy Rees has been suspended for Notre Dame's opener against Navy.

Junior Andrew Hendrix, sophomore Everett Golson or freshman Gunner Kiel will make his first career start at quarterback against the Midshipmen.

Rees and Calabrese were arrested May 3 after a party near campus. Rees was originally charged with two counts of resisting arrest and one each of battery and minor consumption of alcohol. In July, he pleaded guilty to one count of resisting arrest and the minor consumption charge, and the other two charges were dropped. Calabrese was charged with misdemeanor intimidation, and he has a court date scheduled for Aug. 10. Meanwhile, Rees is scheduled for an Aug. 20 hearing where he is to discuss possibly paying restitution.

“Our players understand that it’s a privilege to be associated with the University of Notre Dame and its football program, but with that comes great responsibility,” Kelly said. “Carlo and Tommy put themselves in a situation that when given a choice between two distinct paths, they responded with a set of poor decisions.

“This conduct was inconsistent with my expectations for our football program — especially our veteran, team leaders. Carlo and Tommy will not travel with the team to Ireland and can attempt to climb the depth chart following the conclusion of their respective suspensions.”

Of course, star receiver Michael Floyd did not miss any time for the Irish last season despite being arrested on a DUI charge. It would seem that star receivers get treated differently, which isn't surprising in major college football.

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Giants safety suspended four games

New York Giants safety Tyler Sash has been suspended for four games by the NFL for a violation of the league's performance enhancing drug policy.

Sash, a 2011 draft choice, will continue to participate in training camp and preseason and will be eligible to return to the active roster on Oct. 1. He tested positive in March for a banned substance that he indicated was prescribed by a physician.

“I took a prescription drug (Adderall) legally under a doctor's care for an anxiety condition during the offseason in March of this year. The purpose was to help me with public speaking appearances. I had no idea that this prescription drug was banned by NFL policy. Although I take full responsibility for this situation, I also want to state that I have never cheated or taken performance-enhancing drugs, and I frown on those who do,” Sash said in a statement via the Associated Press.

“I am highly disappointed by the league's decision in this matter, but I will continue to do my best on and off the field. From this point on, I will be more conscientious about every single thing I put in my body. Once again, I want to reiterate that I have never been and will never be associated in any way with performance-enhancing drugs. The timing of this positive test was March 2012, a time during which there is no physical performance required of me.

“I hope this explanation reinforces my innocence and shows that my intentions were pure.”

Agent Jack Bechta, who represents Sash issued a statement.

“I am extremely disappointed with the league's ruling pertaining to Tyler Sash's suspension for testing positive for Adderall. As the policy stands right now there is little or no latitude for the league to interpret special circumstances as there was in this case and apply common sense for the obvious pure intentions of Tyler's need for medical care.

“It is obvious from the timing of the positive test that Tyler's intent was not to gain any advantage of performance enhancement as there are zero physical or competitive requirements of him for anything during the month of March.

"Unfortunately, like many NFL players have experienced, the appeal process is usually an exercise in futility. After a passionate explanation during the appeal of the circumstances involved, the NFL ultimately denied the appeal.”

“This is a young man who has done everything right, and who had never failed a test for any illegal substance or performance enhancing substance in his career, including college. He has been a good citizen, a good teammate, and has never troubled anyone.”

“For players who came into the league in a lockout year and were rushed through the process of being prepared to play, in my eyes were at a distinct disadvantage to the educational process offered to rookies about the protocol for obtaining exemptions for specific prescriptions.”

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Terry McCormick covers the Titans for

Former five-star recruit granted 2012 eligibility at Northwestern

The NCAA has granted former five-star wide receiver Kyle Prater a waiver to be eligible to play this season for Northwestern.

The ex-USC wideout, who announced he was transferring from the Trojans program on January 8, was injured for most of his two years at 'SC. He had one reception for six yards in 2011.

The 6-5, 215-pounder was one of the brightest offensive stars in the Class of 2010 after playing for Proviso West High School in Hillside, Ill. He had 64 receptions for 1,151 yards and 13 touchdowns his senior year.

Prater will join a deep NU receiver corps that also includes Demetrius Fields, Christian Jones, Tony Jones and Rashad Lawrence, so quarterback Kain Colter will have plenty of weapons as he takes the reins from Dan Persa in Evanston.

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Market watch: NFL season win totals

I spent just over two hours this morning driving around to some of the local Las Vegas sportsbooks for the purpose of tracking down the latest NFL season win totals. My goal was to write an article today discussing some of the key movements that have taken place since the market opened at the beginning of the summer.

And as luck would have it, I find out five minutes after completing this article that some of the shops here in town are set to adjust their numbers yet again. A day late and a dollar short. The story of my life.

Anyway, I’ll get to work on a follow-up to this piece so that we can examine the latest movements, but for now, here are the biggest shifts that have taken place over the last few weeks at three of Sin City’s most notable shops: Cantor, LVH and the MGM.

Note: The full breakdown is listed in a chart at the end of this article.


Buffalo Bills: Between the three books, no team has undergone more movement since the opening numbers were posted than Chan Gailey’s Buffalo Bills. Both Cantor and the MGM have adjusted north from 7 wins to 8 while also increasing the juice (Cantor’s Over: -135, MGM’s Over: -130). LVH has held tight at 7.5, but shifted the over from +110 to a staggering -190. This was one of the teams we told you to bookmark back when the 2012 win totals first hit the board, and it now looks like we weren’t the only ones who had the Buffalo over circled.


Jay CutlerICONJay Cutler and the Chicago over have been a poplar bet here in Vegas.

Chicago Bears: Another team the betting public has fallen in love with this summer, the Bears have moved a half game north at all three sportsbooks. Cantor came up from 8.5 to 9 with an increase in juice as well, while both LVH and the MGM moved from 9 to 9.5. In addition to the Bills, this was another team we told you to keep an eye on when the opening numbers first came out. Successfully navigating through the NFC North this season will be no easy task, but the Bears have enough talent on both sides of the ball to reach ten wins…if they can stay healthy.

Cleveland Browns: Cantor hasn’t moved off of 5.5 wins, but LVH adjusted from 4.5 to 5 while the MGM dropped from 6 to 5.5. With a rookie quarterback and a relatively unknown receiving unit, it’s conceivable the Browns will go 0-6 within the AFC North this season. I’ve got no feel for this one, so we’re probably best off passing and looking for a better option.

St. Louis Rams: LVH went from 5.5 to 6, the MGM went from 6.5 to 6 and Cantor opened and has held tight at 6. With all three books offering the same number, we’ll have to look at the juice to determine which shop has the best price. Over bettors should head for the MGM (Over: even), while under bettors are best served checking out LVH (Under: -110). I’ve talked to more than one professional bettor here in Vegas that likes the over in this spot.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Here’s another situation where the MGM is coming down (6.5 to 6) while LVH is going up (5 to 5.5). Tampa Bay has a new head coach and should benefit from a positive adjustment in the turnover differential department, but can we really trust quarterback Josh Freeman and this young Buccaneers roster to post six wins in 2012? Week 1 will be a terrific test, as the Bucs are currently listed as 3-point home dogs to division rival Carolina.

Hit me up on Twitter: @JoeFortenbaugh

Note: Teams listed in blue reflect movements of 1 or .5 games in either direction.

odds chart

Top running back decommits from OU, eyes the SEC

When it comes to finding another star running back for the Class of 2013, Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops and his staff are back to the drawing board.

The Sooners lost a pledge from top tailback Greg Bryant when he decided that he wanted to take his talent to a campus in the SEC and not Norman. The American Heritage-Boca-Delray High School (Delray Beach, Fla.) product, who is a top five national running back, decommitted from OU.

The 5-11, 197-pounder told Chris Nee of that he is looking at SEC schools Auburn, South Carolina and Georgia.

So where does Oklahoma turn as the program looks to land another star tailback?

Keep in mind that another top national RB, Keith Ford, remains committed to OU. And he may be an even stronger commit now that Bryant has rescinded his verbal. If Stoops and Co. do not wait until 2014 to add even more backfield depth, getting a pledge from Virginia native Derrick Green remains a possibility. The decommitment of Bryant may actually help the cause.

The 5-11, 235-pound Green recorded 20 touchdowns on the ground during his junior season, and the bruiser has made trips to Wisconsin, Michigan, Clemson, North Carolina, North Carolina State as well as Oklahoma. Despite his size, he has very good speed and explosiveness.

So while the news of Bryant's decommitment is a blow, OU still has a strong pledge from Ford while Green also remains in the mix.

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Bengals extend Marvin Lewis' deal

The Cincinnati Bengals announced on Tuesday they have extended the contract of head coach Marvin Lewis for two more years.

Lewis' deal now runs through 2014, as he is the Bengals all-time leader in wins and the franchise's longest tenured head coach with 10 seasons at the helm in Cincinnati.

“Coming off a playoff finish last year, with a solid coaching staff and good young players, continuity at the top gives us our best chance to do well,” said Bengals president Mike Brown. “We are excited about the team’s prospects and happy to have completed this process with Marvin before the 2012 preseason schedule begins.”

Lewis is third in terms of seniority with the same franchise in the NFL behind Bill Belichick of New England and Andy Reid of Philadelphia.

“The team we have for this year is as exciting and intriguing as any one I’ve had,” Lewis said. “Our goal is to win the Super Bowl, nothing less, and it’s great to have this extension in place. We have a lot of work to do in order to maximize the potential we have, and it’s exciting to me to come work at it every day. (Wife) Peggy and I love living in Cincinnati, and we love the support our fans give us. Thanks to everyone who has helped make all this happen.”

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Terry McCormick covers the Titans for

NFP 2012 preseason All-America first team

The last of the major Media Days concludes today with the Big East, which means that we are getting close to the start of the 2012 college football season.

With that in mind, let's take a look at the National Football Post's 2012 preseason All-America first team.


Sr. QB Matt Barkley, USC, 6-2, 230

Sr. RB Montee Ball, Wisconsin, 5-11, 210

Joseph RandleICONRB Joseph Randle edged out Marcus Lattimore for first-team honors.

Jr. RB Joseph Randle, Oklahoma State, 6-1, 191

So. WR Marqise Lee, USC, 6-0, 195

Jr. WR Robert Woods, USC, 6-1, 190

So. WR Sammy Watkins, Clemson, 6-1, 180

Sr. TE Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame, 6-6, 251

Jr. T Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M, 6-6, 310

Jr. T D.J. Fluker, Alabama, 6-6, 335

Sr. G Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina, 6-3, 310

Jr. G Travis Frederick, Wisconsin, 6-4, 330

Sr. C Barrett Jones, Alabama, 6-5, 311


Jr. DE William Gholston, Michigan State, 6-7, 275

Jr. DE Sam Montgomery, LSU, 6-4, 245

Sr. DT Star Lotulelei, Utah, 6-4, 320

Sr. DT John Jenkins, Georgia, 6-3, 351

Jr. LB Jarvis Jones, Georgia, 6-3, 241

Sr. LB Manti Te'o, Notre Dame, 6-2, 255

Sr. LB Arthur Brown, Kansas State, 6-1, 223

Jr. CB David Amerson, N.C. State, 6-3, 194

Sr. CB Johnthan Banks, Mississippi State, 6-2, 185

Sr. S T.J. McDonald, USC, 6-3, 205

Jr. S Eric Reid, LSU, 6-2, 208

Special Teams

Sr. K Caleb Sturgis, Florida, 5-11, 187

So. P Brad Wing, LSU, 6-3, 184

So. KR De'Anthony Thomas, Oregon, 5-9, 173

Jr. PR Tyrann Mathieu, LSU, 5-9, 175

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