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Tag:Felix Jones
Posted on: September 16, 2010 5:14 pm
 

For the gambler in you: more prop bets

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

If you’re like me, you love the prop bets put out by Vegas during Super Bowl week. Well, we’ve got the Week 2 release from bodog.com, and they’ve got some pretty solid prop bets as well.

For your satisfaction, here are a few (with – what the hell? – some of my analysis).

How many times will Archie Manning be shown on the Live Broadcast of the Sunday Night Football game between the Giants & Colts?

Over/Under: 1.5

I think this is low. If I was setting the O/U, I’d make it something like 4.5.

Michael Vick – Total Rushing Yards Week 2 vs. Detroit (must start)

Over/Under: 34.5

If he’s under 34 yards, I’d be shocked.

Will Mark Sanchez be the starter for every game that he is active for in the 2010 NFL Regular Season?

Yes -200

No +150

What, you’d rather have Mark Brunell out there?

Arian Foster – Total Rushing Yards Week 2 vs. Washington?

Over/Under: 85.5

Dallas’ Marion Barber rushed for 39 yards on eight carries last Sunday, and Felix Jones had eight and 38. For what it’s worth.

Alex Barron – Total Penalties Week 2 vs. Chicago?


Over/Under: 1

I guess it’s so low because of how little he might play. Notice it says “Total Penalties” and not “Holding Penalties.”

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Posted on: August 9, 2010 12:11 am
Edited on: August 9, 2010 12:16 am
 

Winners and losers from the Hall of Fame Game

Posted by Will Brinson

Football is underway. That means two things: 1) we can all breathe a collective sigh of relief and 2) it's time for immediate snap judgments!

Sure, firing out winners and losers for one little football game that featured only two teams may seem a bit extreme, but, look, this is all the NFL action we've got right now, okay? So we're gonna break it down.

Winners
Doug Free -- He's was the most talked about player on the Cowboys this offseason (somehow). And he showed exactly why the Cowboys had faith enough in him to let Flozell Adams go. Granted, it was just one serious, but he looked strong, agile and acc-ur-ate, if I may quote Ben Wallace. Given Alex Barron's struggles and the injury he suffered on Sunday night, there's no reason to think Free's job is in trouble.

Jordan Shipley -- The rookie out of Texas managed to make two catches for 17 yards, which is pretty impressive when J.T. O'Sullivan and Jordan Palmer are throwing the ball. But he made his biggest impression when he made a sick 63-yard punt return to setup Cincy for their only touchdown of the game. Consider that not only is Carson Palmer being very vocal for Shipley but that Antonio Bryant is injured, and it's entirely possible we see Shipley getting a lot of action in the slot early in the season. He would do quite well there.

Tashard Choice -- Choice's "job" (read: third-string running back) is necessarily in jeopardy. But the better he performs, the more action he'll get during the regular season. And that's not even counting when the oft-injured Felix Jones eventually goes down, which he will. Choice piled up 41 yards on just seven attempts and looked vastly better than any other running back on the field outside of this guy ...

Marion Barber -- He didn't do anything -- two runs, one for five yards and one for two yards -- really special. But it's what he didn't do (fumble in the red zone) that separates him from Jones. And considering that many people felt like Felix could take over the starting role this year, well, that's a good thing.

Terrell Owens -- There's nothing special about two catches for 18 yards, but the good news for the prima donna is that it looks like the Bengals are willing to cater to him. Either that or it was just all fun and games spending the offense's first quarter targeting him at every opportunity. For Owens' part, he really did nothing wrong outside of he and Chad Ochocinco's eye-rolling Batman/Robin interview before the game. Also, he signed autographs for fans during the entire second half.

Losers
Felix Jones -- See above. If you're trying to steal carries during a season in which you bulked up to make yourself a better "between-the-tackles" back, do NOT fumble the ball on your first red zone carry of the season. There are only so many opps that Jones will get in the preseason to prove he carry the ball there before Wade Phillips just hands Barber the rock every time.

Alex Barron -- He got injured and blew any shot he had of getting the upgrade to left tackle.

Brian Leonard -- He's not exactly a fantasy monster or anything, but Leonard became a fan favorite (I think anyway -- I was rooting for him) after beating out "better" players for a roster spot during last season's Hard Knocks . Now the report is that his ankle injury "doesn't look good," which, obviously, is not good. I'll make the frowny face if Leonard is down for an extended period of time.

Dez Bryant -- His status isn't exactly getting crushed, but it's really important to note that the Cowboys have plenty of weapons on their squad. Roy Williams showed some life, Miles Austin is clearly the No. 1, Jason Witten is there, etc., etc. All I'm saying is that anyone expecting a 2,000 yard season out of Bryant already might want to slow their role.

David Buehler -- Three-for-four ain't a bad percentage, when you're talking about field goals. But he nearly missed his second one, and 2/4 would have people talking in hushed tones on Monday. He needs to crush it all preseason to keep his job on lockdown.

John Phillips -- He's at the bottom only because he was balling so hard that he suffered an injury later in the game. Phillips ended up being the early star of the show, catching four balls for 60 yards (and the first two were on horrible Jon Kitna passes, no less) and laying down some pretty sick blocks. He probably won't be seeing a ton of playing time because of Jason Witten and Martellus Bennett, but let's just hope the injury isn't too serious. (Edit: Moved him to the "losers" section since it appears he tore his ACL . Ugh.)

Jordan Palmer/J.T. O'Sullivan -- If Carson Palmer doesn't stay healthy this year, things will not go well for the Bengals.

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Posted on: August 8, 2010 9:04 pm
 

2010 NFL Hall of Fame Game: 1st quarter notes

Posted by Will Brinson

As we noted earlier, this IS preseason football, so there's only so much we can hope for.  That being said, the first couple of series were still pretty revealing for Bengals and Cowboys fans in the first quarter of kind-of-real-but-still-fake football action, which ended with the Cowboys leading 3-0.

Oh, and if you want to hang out and talk football during the game, follow us on Twitter. We're quite chatty .

Doug Free, whose blocking skills the Cowboys plan to hang much of their offensive success on this season, looked both sharp and strong, keeping Tony Romo free in the pocket and opening up holes for Marion Barber and Felix Jones.

Of course, Jones fumbled on the one-yard line on the Cowboys' first possession, which is indicative of a few things. One, the Cowboys aren't totally against letting the beefed-up Jones carry the ball in the red zone. But, more importantly: two, Jones might not be cut out for it. Obviously making a snap judgment on one preseason series isn't entirely safe, but if the Cowboys are going to give him run during the preseason as a red zone back, he can't be putting the ball on the ground, or else he won't get shots at it in the regular season.

Antwan Odom was briefly on the ground, terrifying Cincy fans everywhere. Fortunately, it was just a "poked eye."

Terrell Owens was targeted by Carson Palmer. A LOT. But Palmer only went 2/5 for 18 yards (both completions to Owens) while getting sacked once by Stephen Bowen, and pressured a few other times. There's no real need to look at the Bengals' first-teamers and think they're suddenly going to be a pass-first offense, though.

On the next-to-last play of the first quarter, Jon Kitna fumbled -- although Dallas recovered -- on a sack by Jonathan Fanene. The bigger problem is the fumble was caused because Alex Barron did a poor job of blocking (well, the bigger problem for Dallas anyway) on the play. Free's looking pretty good to hold down his line spot.

Tony Romo went 5/10 for 59 yards on the 'Boys first drive, and the numbers might have looked a little cleaner were it not for some "meh" playcalling in the red zone following Jones' fumble.

What were your thoughts?

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Posted on: August 8, 2010 6:23 pm
Edited on: August 8, 2010 6:52 pm
 

2010 Hall of Fame Game Preview: 10 to watch

Posted by Will Brinson


All due respect to Christmas, this is the most wonderful time of the year. Why? Because, well, football's here people. Hope springs eternal right now for nearly every team in the league, and for everyone who loves Sundays the way they should be enjoyed.

And though tonight's game between Cincinnati and Dallas isn't a regular season game, it's still the metaphorical starter waving his proverbial flag for us to get pumped for football. As such, let's run through 10 things to watch for tonight.

First things first, though: make sure to follow us on Twitter , so you can discuss all things NFL as the football season kicks off.

1. Terrell Owens' interaction with the Bengals
Obviously, Bengals fans are going to be interested to see how he fits in with the team. Certainly, timing between Carson Palmer and Owens will be of tantamount importance, but there's no reason to discount watching the defense as well; the Cowboys have a good idea of the damage that TO can do, and seeing the initial schemes that they throw at Chad Ochocinco -- based on Owens' presence on the other side -- will probably give a reasonable indication as to what he should see all season long (provided Owens doesn't prove to be a total non-factor throughout the year).

"I'm a playmaker," Owens said. "I know Michael Irvin has adopted that title, but that's what I do and have done throughout my career is make plays. The coaches know what I'm capable of once the ball is in my hands. They're going to get all of Terrell on the field."

Andy also makes an excellent point about Owens -- how will his demeanor be towards Tony Romo and the rest of the Cowboys throughout the game? More on this in just a second.

2. Who's carrying the Cowboys' weight?

As we detailed previously, Jones bulked up in the offseason, while Marion Barber lost a few pounds. There's a certain school of thought, expressed quite nicely by Will Carroll at SI.com , that adding pounds to certain body frames can actually be a bad thing.

"Health is a skill, one that linebackers try to take away with every hit. Jones' problem hasn't really been those kind of hits, but in holding together his own body. Bulk often is accompanied by a reduction in flexibility and any additional tightness is going to be even more risky for the tightly-wound Jones. It also isn't going to keep him on the field for his pass blocking either. (It's still bad.)"

Personally, I'm still high on Jones, but concern over someone who traditionally hasn't been able to stay healthy changing his body style (potentially for the worse in terms of health) is certainly understandable. Also understandable: wanting Tashard Choice to look good on Sunday night. He's definitely the third option for the Cowboys, but because of, well, Jones' health he's seen plenty of playing time in the past few years.

3. Cincy's other new weapons
Lost -- somewhat -- in the hype that is Batman and Robin are the signings of Antonio Bryant and Jermaine Gresham since the Bengals last took the field for meaningful football. Bryant won't likely be playing for the Bengals, but Gresham should. And considering that he's supposed to provide the high-end receiving option from the tight end position, well, Bengals fans should be curious to see how he performs, especially with a recent report that he "looked lost" not offering immediate enthusiasm.

Also of interest is the possibility of seeing double tight end sets out of Cincy -- 2009 third-rounder Chase Coffman (who won the John Mackey Award for the best tight end in college his senior year) will likely get some action tonight -- which, given the receiving talent at the position, could provide for some very interesting formations during the season.

4. Trickeration time?
It's fairly obvious that Owens and Ochocinco like attention. So do the Dallas Cowboys, duh. And since this is the first game of the 2010 season, it seems like a reasonably awesome moment to bust out some first quarter fanciness. If I had to put money on one thing, it would involve Ochocinco throwing a pass to Owens on some sort of end-around. If you've got better ideas, leave them in the comments.

5. Terrell Owens' interaction with the Cowboys
Yeah, I know. Giving the VH1 star TWO of 10 bullet points is kind of feeding the monster. So we'll add Pacman Jones and Tank Johnson too. Since, you know, all three are former Cowboys. That's not to say that we should expect TO to try and extract revenge on his former team. Or do we ?

"Do I think I probably should still be there?" Owens said about his time in Dallas. "Yeah. But that's not the case. You deal with that situation as it comes. I think a lot of people know there are some unfortunate things that happened there ... Again, I still stand by the things I said and what was done and I know it wasn't my fault.''

You may recall that Owens shamed the entire state of Texas by mocking the glory of the Cowboys' star. They temporarily forgave him when he joined the 'Boys for his run there, but considering how many Cowboys fans were in attendance to see Emmitt Smith's spectacular speech last night, would it be surprising to hear some boos for Owens? Of course not.

The only thing less surprising would be Owens abstaining from some action designed to rib Dallas' fans and players a little bit.

6. What do you know about pressure ?
Kickers are considered an afterthought for many people (and "idiots" by folks like Peyton Manning), but the reality of the NFL is that they matter. A lot.

Mike Nugent and Dave Rayner are battling it out in Cincinnati, while the unproven -- but quite brash -- David Buehler should be the guy to take the Cowboys through the season. However, kicking in practice and kicking in an actual game situation are two completely different things. And while preseason games might not matter much for first-stringers or guaranteed starters, for someone looking to lock down a job with an NFL team for pushing an oblong ball between two poles, performing well before the regular season starts is an absolute  must. (Quick update: Looks like THE NUGE isn't bringing his leg to the field today, so it's up to Rayner to try and not look stupid in kicking action for the Bengals tonight.)

7. Will Doug B. Free?
To not worry about his job stability, that is. Doug Free takes over for Flozell Adams on the left side of the line in Dallas, and the reason Adams is gone is that Wade Phillips (and presumably Jerry Jones as well) was confident enough in Free's ability as a blind-side protector to make the move.

Whether Free wants it or not, that's an ample amount of pressure on him. And while Alex Barron wasn't signed in the offseason to compete with Free, he's still there, which only adds to the pressure. Free's been very good in camp thus far (his first two snaps excepted), but that performance would be worthless if Tony Romo got decapitated on the first play from scrimmage.

8. The Big Backup D
Wade Phillips has already said that Jason Hatcher "needs to play anyway" while calling Marcus Spears' 4-6 week injury a "good opportunity" for Hatcher. That's true, and with 8.5 of the Cowboys' 42 sacks from 2009 on the mend, it'll be interesting to see how Hatcher can step in and play. Optimistically, the Cowboys won't need him immediately, but optimism isn't always warranted.

Additionally, Sean Lee won't see time tonight, which means that Jason Williams and Victor Butler should get plenty of backup-LB action behind DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer. Again, you don't WANT to use them, but finding out that your team is deep at an already strong position isn't exactly a bad thing. If they actually are.

9. Sack lunch
The Bengals defense was superb last year, with one exception: putting the quarterback on the ground before he throws the ball. They ranked 16th in the NFL with 34 sacks, but this year should be different. As Pete Prisco noted in his love/hate for the Bengals camp tour , the line has a lot of depth heading into 2010. The return of Antwan Odom, who was leading the NFL in sacks before he tore his Achilles' last season, is particularly beneficial. If they can generate more pressure on the quarterback than they did last year, it won't be hard to duplicate it. We just need to see that the depth is there.

10. Emmitt Smith's Interview
Another excellent suggestion from Andy -- who tweeted about it earlier -- because, if you recall Emmitt's speech from last night, he was wonderful. Shockingly wonderful, in fact, having memorized the entire lengthy speech, which he delivered without any of his trademark bumbling.

If you're Norby Williamson or George Bodenheimer, are you wondering "Where was that guy when he worked for us?" Because you should be. Smith's time as a commentator was a bit rough and he was an absolute gem as a speaker last night ... with a little preparation. It's worth seeing how he does when he steps back into the booth.

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Posted on: July 25, 2010 6:09 pm
 

Felix Jones now outweighs Marion Barber

For as long as Felix Jones has been in the NFL, he's been the "lightning" to Marion Barber's "thunder." Or some cheesy running back stereotype along those lines anyway -- Jones is the home run-hitting speedster, Barber is the every down back. That's just how it is.

Maybe not anymore, though. Rumors that Barber was slimming down (and that Jones was bulking up) were confirmed this weekend as Jones outweighed Barber during the team's weigh-in .

Barber weighed 214 while Jones clocked in at 218.

"It's hard to believe,'' coach Wade Phillips said. "You might have won a bet on that.''

Phillips also added that "Both of them looked really good." Jones added about five pounds in the offseason, while Barber dropped about eight.

This shift in the players' respective weights confirms the running theory that Jones will see more first- and second-down carries, while Barber will be the red zone specialist.

-- Will Brinson

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Posted on: June 24, 2010 1:26 pm
 

A look at the Cowboy running backs


Former scout Bryan Broaddus has an interesting article for ESPN in which he breaks down the Dallas Cowboy running backs.

Broaddus says that Tashard Choice is the Cowboys’ most complete back. As a runner, the little-known third-stringer has rare lateral agility and acceleration. He’s a poor man’s LaDainian Tomlinson (LT in his prime, that is). Broaddus likes Choice’s blocking and receiving.

Broaddus also reminds us that Marion Barber has lost 10 pounds this offseason. Barber is getting sleeker by design. His ferocious style of play will always make him a power back, but the sixth-year pro is looking to recapture the quickness that allows him to turn the corner. Expect Barber to succeed; he’s healthy after playing with a torn quad last year.

All that said, many expect electrifying speedster Felix Jones to get the biggest share of the carries this season. Jones is potentially Chris Johnson of the NFC, though he’s missed 12 games in his first two years with various injuries. If Jones gets 20 touches a game, expect gaudy numbers; his career yards per carry average is currently 6.5.

--Andy Benoit

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com