Cowboys’ Rico Gathers: I’m going to be next best TE

Dallas Cowboys tight end Rico Gathers hasn’t played a regular-season game in two professional seasons, yet he’s confident Year 3 will mark his breakout.

The 24-year-old posted a message on Instagram over the weekend stating his goals for 2018 and beyond.

“Facts is facts,” Gathers wrote. “It’s only the beginning. Truth is I’m Ready for more. Been ready for more. The dilemma of me not being ready is over. I got a piece of it last year and it felt so good doing it, y’all will never understand that feeling. It was like the most epic scene of movie before the power goes out in ya house for a few hours and you forget all about what you was watching. I watched those two games the other day and I told myself “Ima be the next best tight end in this league” and I believe that with all my heart. lol y’all continue to hate while I continue to shine I love y’all, y’all make me better. God Knows my heart and that’s all that counts to me. #Blessed #HumbleandHungry #LemmeEat #IWantTheWholePieThisTime #NewSZNSameRZN #killeverything”

Those two games Gathers referred to were last year’s preseason tilts in which he compiled seven catches for 106 yards and two touchdowns, looking every bit the athletic freak that got him drafted despite not playing football in college. However, Gathers suffered a concussion on a helmet-to-helmet hit during training camp and was eventually placed on injured reserve, ending his season.

The tight end spent his rookie season on the Cowboys’ practice squad after being drafted in the sixth round.

The younger Jones continued to express hesitation in bringing Bryant back at a $12.5 million base salary Thursday night when the attended the inaugural Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year Award ceremony.

“No one wants to compete and get after it more than Dez,” Jones said, via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “At the same time, we all know this is a business where everybody has to be accountable. Certainly everybody knows that. That’s a tough one. Certainly we’re going to be grinding it out and trying to determine what is in the best interest of our business.

“Dez understands this is a business. No one thinks more of Dez Bryant than starting at the top, Jerry, and certainly me, his teammates, coach [Jason] Garrett, Will McClay. We all have a tremendous amount of respect for Dez. That’s one of the things that we’re going to have to work through as we move into our future.”

The Cowboys would have an easy time swallowing Bryant’s $16.5 million salary-cap hit if he’d played like a dominant No. 1 receiver in recent years. He hasn’t.

The 29-year-old wide receiver hasn’t reached the 900-yard barrier (let alone 1,000) since 2014. Since signing his new contract in 2015, Bryant is averaging 53.55 yards per game played (2,035 total yards in 38 games). For comparison, the NFL’s top wideout, Antonio Brown, has almost double that average over the same span: 103.35 yards per tilt (4,651 yards in 45 games). Even a 34-year-old Larry Fitzgerald has made Dez look old. Fitzy averaged 70.70 yards per game since 2015. (3,394 yards in 48 games). Bryant is closer (but still not better) than the production of Golden Tate, who has compiled 60.27 yards per game since 2015 (2,893 yards in 48 games) but makes way less money than the Cowboys’ star (Tate: $7 million in 2018; Bryant: $12.5 million).

Since his knee injury in 2016, Bryant hasn’t displayed the same type of explosiveness that could beat defenders one-on-one. As NFL Network’s Bucky Brooks wrote in September, Bryant’s lack of ability to separate from defensive backs in recent seasons, coupled with a limited route tree, has lowered his production significantly.

Players can sign the tender at any point after they are given the designation. Until the tender is signed, the team can rescind the franchise or transition tag — as we saw with Josh Norman two years ago. Once the sheet is signed, the player’s salary is guaranteed for that season. If a player does not sign the tender, they remain without a contract, and therefore are not subject to fine schedules for skipping offseason workouts (as we saw with Bell last summer).

Each team can only use one tag in a given year — they can’t designate both a franchise and transition player. A rescinded tender counts as a tag, meaning a team can’t designate one player, rescind it, and use a new tag on another player in the same year. A player can be tagged up to three times by his team, with a bump in pay each time.

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported in December during the NFL’s league meeting that teams were given a 2018 salary cap projection of $174.2-178.1 million, according to a source. The franchise and transition tag numbers will be determined when the final salary cap number is officially set. The salary cap was $167 million in 2017.

Jones: Tony Romo one of best Cowboys players ever

The Dallas Cowboys officially parted ways with quarterback Tony Romo on Tuesday.

Romo will join CBS as the station’s lead analyst.

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Upon Romo’s retirement, owner Jerry Jones called the quarterback, who had been with the Cowboys for 14 seasons, one of the best players in the franchise’s illustrious history.

“We wish Tony and his family nothing but the best,” Jones said in a statement. “As an organization, we did what he asked us to do in terms of his release, and we wanted to do what was ultimately in his best interest and in cheap mlb jerseys the best interest of his family.

“Tony has been a wonderful representative of the Cowboys organization for 14 years, and he left everything he had on the field. He will leave us with many great memories and a legacy of being, truly, one of the greatest players in Cowboys history. We are thrilled for him and his family that he will be able to continue working as a professional in the game he so dearly loves.

“He is a young man who is just getting started on a long journey in life. All the best my friend.”

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Despite questions about his future, and the Cowboys’ delay in releasing Romo, it’s clear that his relationship with the organization never deteriorated.

“Tony Romo has a unique combination of athletic ability, arm talent, vision, and instincts for the game,” coach Jason Garrett added. “What separates Tony from many other players, however, is a rare competitive spirit. Tony loves to play. Tony loves to compete. The best ones always do. In practice. During games. On the field. Off the field. Tony competes to the end in wholesale jerseys  everything that he does.

The first is that early November game against the Kansas City Chiefs at home. The other? Also in Dallas against the Los Angeles Chargers on Thanksgiving Day.

Of course, the cynic in me is fully prepared for Romo to be in a Cowboys uniform by Thanksgiving this year but assuming all goes according to plan, this will be a palatable breakdown of Romo-Cowboy games. After usurping Phil Simms’ No. 1 slot at the network, all eyes will be on the rookie analyst and he’ll need some seasoning before handling something as public as a Cowboys reunion.

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Nike Cowboys #21 Ezekiel Elliott Navy Blue Thanksgiving Men's Stitched NFL Limited Gold JerseyRomo’s ability to analyze a game already will be under scrutiny without going into his responsibility to be fair to an organization that deified him for the better part of a decade. Given the circumstances that led to his meteoric rise in the broadcasting industry, an 11-game head and jerseys for cheap start might be necessary, not just a fortunate break.

It’s also important not to overthink this. Whether or not Romo is ready, CBS will want him in the chair for Cowboys games. This is what they paid for. Thursday night on the Rich Eisen Show, Romo’s broadcast booth partner, Jim Nantz, seemed to have no doubt that he and Romo will be in the chair for both Dallas/CBS crossover games.

“Looks like Romo will be making the turkey and the stuffing and we’ll have a little feast and football with the Chargers and the Cowboys and you’re right, (the Kansas City game) would be Tony’s first game to do with the Cowboys,” Nantz said. “I believe that’s Week 9, yeah, I’m sure for Tony that will be a special thing to look at the Cowboys from that magnificent broadcast booth that they have at Cowboys Stadium.”

Save 50 percent on MLB.TV this weekend

In honor and appreciation of U.S. military and their families, Major League Baseball Advanced Media announced a special MLB.TV and Cheap MLB Jerseys Memorial Day Weekend sale to offer 50 percent off the yearly and single-team subscription price between now and Monday night.

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Marlins center fielder Christian Yelich can attest to the value of MLB.TV to displaced military families. His brother Cameron has been able to follow games that way.

“It just allows my family to watch the games, whether they’re at work or traveling,” said Yelich, who also played in last year’s historic Fort Bragg Game, the first official MLB game on a military base. “My mom works late, so she’s not always home for the games. My brother is in the Marine Corps, and he’s all over the place. It just expands the game of baseball jersey. It allows more people to view it. I think that was their ultimate goal, and they’re succeeding.”

Joe Coluzzi, a White Sox fan from the Chicago suburbs and a lance corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps currently stationed at Camp Pendleton, Calif., is among those who can appreciate what a difference MLB.TV means to those who serve their country while stationed away from their favorite team. He signed up in the first month of this season when he found out about the normal 35-percent discount for military and students.

“This is my first time using MLB.TV, because it is my first year being away from home and not being able to watch games on my own TV,” Coluzzi said in an email to MLB.com. “I use my laptop to stream the games, whenever I’m free and able to watch them. I am very pleased with the service, because it allows me to watch the games on my laptop, just as if I were watching them with wholesale MLB jerseys at home. I love listening to Hawk [Harrelson] announce games, and I will without a doubt continue using MLB.TV to watch White Sox games for as long as I am away from home.”

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Dan Horton is a 14-year Army veteran currently based at Fort Meade (Md.) as an E6/Staff Sergeant. He is a longtime Braves fan from Manhattan, Kan., and he also has adopted the Orioles since being stationed in their backyard. Horton is subscribing to MLB.TV for the fourth year in a row, and he said the Memorial Day Weekend discount makes life easier in the service.
“Unfortunately, many of us in the military don’t make much, and with bills, families and other priorities, this discount was an unbelievable welcome sight, and made the decision to renew that much easier,” Horton said. “Military families who love baseball and have an out-of-market team they follow should definitely take advantage of the discount offered to us. MLB.TV is a fantastic service that is as close to real time as you can get.”

MLB and the military have gone hand-in-hand as institutions for more than a century. Many stars such as Bob Feller jersey, Willie Mays, Ted Williams and Joe DiMaggio sacrificed portions of their careers to serve during wartime, and MLB was there as important relief in those times. At last year’s Fort Bragg Game between Miami and Atlanta, Commissioner Rob Manfred spoke of “Major League Baseball’s boundless gratitude to the military.”

This is a fact of life year-round for MLB and its 30 clubs, and this weekend’s games will be further celebration of military families, with players wearing special tribute uniforms as part of the festivities. The MLB.TV Memorial Day Weekend sale is a further nod to military, and everyone can enjoy a promotion that makes it more affordable to get the No. 1 sports streaming service that turns 15 on Aug. 26.

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The new array of 2017 MLB.TV Premium features includes a “team view” in which fans can designate a favorite team and enjoy a custom team-centric experience on supported platforms. Redesigned apps will launch on connected platforms Android TV, FireTV, Xbox and Roku. “Alexa, open MLB” will be a familiar verbal command, as MLB.TV Premium subscribers can listen to live games without blackout restrictions using the new MLB skill on the Amazon Echo platform.

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All-access features also include home and away feeds, allowing you to watch either TV broadcast feed live, including Spanish-language audio overlay on supported devices. Portability remains a hallmark, because with a single subscription, you can watch live out-of-market games on all supported connected devices, smartphones and tablets.

Revolutionary 60fps live streaming video will be available to MLB.TV Premium subscribers. This HD technology also is available on supported iPhones, iPads and Apple TVs as well as Chromecast, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Roku, Xbox One and Xbox 360.
Horton said he watches MLB.TV “on all my devices, from a Roku player to my Xbox One, my laptop all the way to my iPhone with the At Bat app. Whenever, wherever I can watch, I’m watching my Bravos and others.” He is working online toward a degree in mass communications and media studies at Arizona State, “with the hopes of becoming a sports journalist after I retire from the military,” and he said MLB.TV access has been key about discount jerseys MLB.

“The service itself has only gotten better each and every year,” Horton said. “I can promise you, if this is going to be the norm, MLB.TV has a customer for life.”

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Francona: ‘We’re the team that got him going’

Thanks to the designated hitter being available, the Cubs were able to put slugger Kyle Schwarber back in their lineup for Game 6 of the World Series on Tuesday night. Seeing Schwarber in Cleveland is nothing new for the Indians.

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Over the past two years, Chicago’s lineup has featured Schwarber in all six of its games in Cleveland, dating back to his debut in June 2015 and including this World Series. Indians manager Terry Francona quipped Tuesday that it was the Tribe that got Schwarber’s bat hot in the first place.

“I think we’re the team that got him going,” Francona said with a laugh. “They called him up, and they were going to send him back [to the Minors]. He did so well with cheap MLB jerseys here that they couldn’t. So I feel semi-responsible. If he goes to arbitration, he can take me with him.”

During the June 16-18 Interleague series in the 2015 season, Schwarber came up from the Minors and went 6-for-10, with a homer, a triple and four RBIs in three games at Progressive Field. In Games 1-2 of this Fall Classic, which marked Schwarber’s first game action after a long comeback from a left knee injury, he combined to go 3-for-7, with a double, two walks and two RBIs.

Schwarber hit fifth in the first two games of the World Series, but he was moved up to the No. 2 spot for Tuesday’s game, with Indians righty Josh Tomlin jersey on the mound.

“It just gives them, kind of like we talk about, some more balance and another guy that can do some damage,” Francona said. “Whether they hit him two or five, he’s still a very dangerous hitter. You can be willing to bet that if [leadoff man Dexter] Fowler gets on, they’re not going to bunt him over. I hope they do, though.”

“The energy in this town is at an all-time high,” said Bob DiBiasio, the Indians’ longtime senior vice president of public affairs. “Only in Cleveland would it happen that we didn’t win in 50-something years and then we win two of them within six months of each other.”

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The time is now, and you could sense the pent-up emotions in the fans who walked out of the ballpark following a disappointing 9-3 loss to the Cubs in Game 6 on Tuesday. The Indians had a 3-1 series lead after taking Games 3 and 4 at Wrigley Field, but this one is going the distance. If you asked the departing fans, they would tell you that the pitching advantage is with the Tribe.

“I’ve been waiting 44 years for this — my whole life,” said Jason Todd of Lima, Ohio. He was at the game with his wife, Robin. “I hoped it wouldn’t get to this, but it is very fitting that these teams would play seven with wholesale jerseys. I hope we didn’t put all our eggs in one basket with Corey Kluber, but he’s definitely been our man.”
Kluber will make his third start of the Series. He is 2-0 with only one run allowed over 12 innings, and 15 strikeouts against only one walk. He would be a strong World Series Most Valuable Player candidate if he can get the ball to Andrew Miller and Cody Allen in a similar fashion.

“It was a crazy environment, wish we could have won it, but we have Kluber and Miller tomorrow. And Allen. Our three best pitchers tomorrow,” said Chris Kelley of Columbus, Ohio.

Kelley was sitting in Section 165 on the third-base side for Game 6, and he brought along his father, who had not been to an Indians home game since 1997, another season that saw the club reach the World Series. For Game 7, they will move to the bleacher seats. They just have to be somewhere in the park for a shot at history.

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“Can’t miss this,” Kelley said. “Game 7 is going to be crazy.”

While Kelley was sitting alone at the top of the field box section a good 15 to 20 minutes after the Cubs’ victory, his father was somewhere behind the visitors’ dugout. Why?

Indians #10 Edwin Encarnacion Cream Flexbase Authentic Collection Stitched MLB Jersey“He’s down there putting voodoo down on the Cubs by the dugout,” Chris said. “He’s waving his red towel at them. I’ve been waiting 15 minutes for him.”

John Guzzi and Mindy Brown bought tickets online and traveled from Phoenix for Game 6. They will stay around to watch Game 7 in the area.

The Cubs stranded runners in scoring position in three of the first five innings. They were robbed of another on a breathtaking defensive play by Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor in the ninth.

There were four errors. There were 36 players used, including eight relievers. The Cubs finally took the lead for good in the top of the 10th, when World Series Most Valuable Player Award winner Ben Zobrist drove in a run with a double down the left-field line. Miguel Montero’s cheap MLB jerseys from China followed with another run-scoring hit.

“This one about made me pass out,” Zobrist said. “It was just an epic battle. We’ve been listening to Rocky’s soundtrack the last three games. We’ve got our own Italian Stallion, Anthony Rizzo, that’s been putting that on. It was like a heavyweight fight, man. Just blow for blow, everybody playing their heart out.”

The Indians punched back in the bottom of the 10th to score a run and leave a runner on base when Maddon’s fourth reliever, Mike Montgomery, got Michael Martinez jersey to ground out to third to end it.

“It could not have been a more entertaining, difficult series to win,” Maddon said. “I believe this is good for our game moving forward, that we’re attempting to seize young fans and not just to play the game, but to be fans of the game. You cannot be more entertained than you were over these last seven games.”

Walker looks to earn No. 2 spot; no start yet for Greinke

It is shaping up to be a low-stress spring for Masahiro Tanaka, who made his Grapefruit League debut Tuesday without any of the lingering concerns that trailed him last year. The right-hander says he is “on the right path,” as each start simply moves him closer to Opening Day.

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Though Tanaka sent his first pitch sailing over Ian Kinsler’s head, he settled in to stifle the Tigers, hurling two scoreless, hitless innings in the Yankees’ 9-5 victory at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Tanaka induced four ground balls and struck out two on diving splitters, throwing 16 of 25 pitches for strikes.

“I liked everything except cheap jerseys and the very first pitch,” Tanaka said through an interpreter, laughing. “I’m not really sure [what happened]. … I think right now I’m on the right path as far as my body goes. It’s in good shape. So far, it’s been good, I think.”

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Last spring, Tanaka’s progress was stalled as he recovered from arthroscopic surgery to remove a bone spur from his pitching elbow, but there are no such restrictions as he looks to improve upon a season in which he set career highs in wins (14), innings (199 2/3), starts (31), strikeouts (165) and quality starts (19).

Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild said that Tanaka now has the freedom to prepare for jerseys wholesale as he sees fit.

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“If we need to hold him back, we can do that, but he can work on the things he needs to work on and not worry about all the speculation of where his stuff is and [if there] is something wrong,” Rothschild said. “He can have a peaceful spring and in his mind, get ready.”

Rockies #28 Nolan Arenado Purple New Cool Base Stitched MLB JerseyTanaka said that he had some concerns prior to Tuesday’s start because his splitter seemed “awfully bad” in the bullpen, but he regained his feel once there was a batter in the box. Tanaka said that he wanted to throw as many different types of pitches as possible in the outing, and departed feeling like he accomplished that goal.

Greinke, who signed a six-year, $206.5 million free-agent contract with the D-backs after the 2015 season, threw his second batting practice session of the spring Monday on the back fields behind the Salt River Fields training complex. That led to speculation the right-hander would be slotted into a Cactus League game soon.

Not yet, Lovullo said before the game, although there’s a slot open against the Dodgers Friday at Salt River Fields.

“Not at this point in time,” said Lovullo, who noted that Greinke might toss another BP session first. “We’ll piece together what the plan is from this point forward. He was going to have a work day [Tuesday] and give us some more information about mlb jerseys cheap, and we’ll have an update what the plan is moving forward with his wholesale jerseys.

“But all systems are go. He’s looking very healthy, strong, and for me, he’s exactly where he should be.”
Asked after the game about Greinke for that Friday start, Lovullo broke into a big smile and said, “Maybe.”

Dwayne Harris: Giants working on deep passing game

The New York Giants have found a new kicker to fill-in for Josh Brown when he serves his one-game suspension.

After holding a tryout with multiple kickers Monday, the Giants signed former New York Jets jerseys and Houston Texans kicker Randy Bullock, the team announced. Bullock’s deal is for one year, a source with knowledge of the deal told NFL Media’s Mike Garafolo.

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Bullock appeared in three games with the Texans last season and his last full season came with Houston in 2014 when he hit 30 of 35 field-goal attempts (longest 55 yards).

The move comes a few days after training camp leg Tom Obarski jersey missed his only field-goal attempt against the Buffalo Bills jerseys. Former Saints, Browns and Steelers kicker Garrett Hartley was among those who participated in Monday’s tryouts, according to NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport.

The news can’t be welcome for Obarski, who missed a 27-yard attempt in Orchard Park. With the team largely withholding comment on Brown, who violated the league’s personal conduct policy after a domestic violence incident, it would seem the Giants were not content for just settling upon the best kicker in the building.

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Brinkley joins a club that includes fellow one-year wonders Uani ‘Unga (2015), Jon Beason (2014), Mark Herzlich (2013), Chase Blackburn jersey(2012), Greg Jones (2011) and Jon Goff (2010). Of the six previous opening day starters, five are no longer in the NFL, according to Newsday.

We still don’t know if or how well Victor Cruz will perform with wholesale jerseys after missing more than a year. Receiver Sterling Shepard has drawn rave reviews, but is an unknown as a rookie. The Giants didn’t upgrade the offensive line. The running game enters this year with an uninspiring collection atop the depth chart.

Clearly, New York has plenty to work on when training camp opens later this month. Receiver Dwayne Harris jersey pointed out two points of emphasis and cheap jerseys this offseason:

“I think we’re getting better just throwing the ball down the field more,” Harris told the team’s official website. “We’re definitely trying to work on throwing the ball down the field, throwing more deep passes. And (we need to get) the run game going. That’s one of the key elements in our offense. We got it going later on in the season. We’ve just got to continue that momentum and keep carrying it in the beginning of this season.”

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Nike Cowboys #4 Dak Prescott Navy Blue Team Color Men's Stitched NFL Limited Gold JerseyImproving the running game is obvious. New York averaged a middling 100.6 yards per game in 2015.

Adding a deep-ball attack is a more interesting examination.

The Giants led the NFL in completions between 6-10 yards last season, with 150, per the team. However, on passes 11-20 yards, Manning completed just 85, good for 25th in the NFL.

Outside of Beckham, the Giants didn’t possess a deep threat last season. And with OBJ consistently double covered, most of his big plays came on runs after the catch, not long bombs. Harris could be a solution in 2016, but his route running has been suspect throughout his career, and making a leap in Year 6 is difficult to fathom.

Personnel aside, coach Ben McAdoo’s offense just doesn’t function in bombs-away mode. Unlike previous play caller, Kevin Gilbride, McAdoo’s offense relies on a quick passing attack to get the ball out of Manning’s hands swiftly. McAdoo favors high-percentage timing routes over deep gambles — this attack adds the benefit of aiding a weak offensive line by getting the ball out quick. Engineering a more efficient Manning was a reason McAdoo was hired three seasons ago — and part of the reason he was promoted to head coach this year.

While the Giants could certainly use a boost in their deep passing game, don’t expect huge strides in that area in 2016.