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Bring on the Cowboys


Bring on the Cowboys

Ravens vs. Cowboys
at M&T Bank Stadium, 1 p.m. ET, Sunday

The line: Ravens -4

Last week: Ravens (4-1) won at the Kansas City Chiefs 9-6; Cowboys (2-2) had a bye.

Series: Ravens lead 3-0.

Last meeting: Ravens won 33-24 on Dec 20. 2008 in the last game to be held at Texans Stadium.

Burning question: Can the receivers get open? In a loss to the Eagles and near loss to the Chiefs, they couldn't get separation as the QB Joe Flacco and the hurry-up offense shut down.

Keys to victory on offense: Flacco has been sacked eight times in the last two games, which has led coach John Harbaugh to shuffling his starting lineup by inserting veteran Bobbie Williams at left guard in place of Ramon Harewood. Williams was projected to be the starter before the season but was slowed by surgery to his broken ankle. RB Ray Rice had 102 yards on 17 carries last week and appears to want the ball more, though he has said all the right things publicly. If the WRs continue to have trouble getting separation in bump-and-run coverage, Rice has to get more chances.

Keys to victory on defense: Make QB Tony Romo a pocket passer and force him into mistakes, much like the Ravens did during the first half vs. Michael Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles. This isn't a great pass-rushing team with just their down linemen, but Dallas' offensive line has been suspect in pass protection. If the Ravens fail to create consistent pressure and allow RB DeMarco Murray to get into a groove, it's gong to be a long day.

Injury report: RAVENS --  Probable: T Jah Reid (calf); DT Haloti Ngata (shoulder). COWBOYS -- Out: P Brian Moorman (groin); Questionable: C/G Ryan Cook (hamstrong), P Chris Jones (knee), LB Anthony Spencer (shoulder); Probable: LB Alex Albright (back), WR Miles Austin (hamstring), CB Morris Claiborne (illness), DT Kenyon Coleman (knee), C Phil Costa (back), S Matt Johnson (hamstring), NT Jay Ratliff (ankle), DT Marcus Spears (knee).

Prediction: Ravens 21-17.

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Ravens agree to terms with first-round pick Hayden Hurst


Ravens agree to terms with first-round pick Hayden Hurst

The Ravens have their entire 2018 draft class locked up.

The team agreed to terms with first-round pick Hayden Hurst, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

Hurst's rookie contract - like all first-round picks - is a four-year deal with a team option of a fifth year. According to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the 25th overall pick is due $11.1 million. 

The 24-year old, who was a walk on at South Carolina at 21-years old after being drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2012, finished his three-year career with 100 receptions, 1,281 yards and three touchdowns.

Standing at 6-foot-3, Hurst will be a nice addition to the TE corps with Nick Boyle and third-round draft pick Mark Andrews. 

Fellow first-round pick Lamar Jackson signed his rookie contract on June 5th.

Training camp kicks off for the Ravens July 19th. 


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Ravens experimenting with getting Joe Flacco and Lamar Jackson on field at same time

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Ravens experimenting with getting Joe Flacco and Lamar Jackson on field at same time

Since drafting Lamar Jackson, the Ravens have made it clear that Joe Flacco is their starter. That doesn't mean they're not experimenting with having them both on the field at the same time, however. 

During this week's minicamp, the team has been lining Jackson up at multiple positions. 

"Gosh, I sure like him out there helping us," coach John Harbaugh said of Jackson during Tuesday's minicamp, via ESPN.com.

"If you put two quarterbacks on the field at once, what options does it create for our offense? That's what we're trying to figure out."

While at Louisville, Jackson rushed for 4,132 yards and 50 touchdowns in three seasons. That's more rushing yards than No. 2 overall pick Saquon Barkley. That unique skill set could be the creative options the Ravens are looking for. 

While at the NFL Combine, however, Jackson refused to workout at any other position than QB. 

"I have a lot of fun seeing what they come up with and what they're going to come up with next," Jackson said. "We'll see where it goes. You have to use your good players."

The Ravens are already viewing Jackson as one of those 'good players.' 

"Once he gets out of the pocket, it's like watching a young Michael Vick," LB C.J. Mosley said after minicamp practice. "It's amazing to watch. When you're defending him, you just have to act like you're tagging off -- you don't want to be on the highlight reel."

Harbaugh has alluded to the fact that the rookie will be active on game days, just exactly how they get the most out of him is what's in play.

"There's a lot of considerations that go into that," Harbaugh said of using two QBs at the once. "Everybody has an opinion. I've read a few. You want to find a way to get the most out of all your guys."

While Flacco isn't the fasted QB in the league, he has shown glimpses of running ability in the past. Figuring out how to utilize Flacco when Jackson is under center is where things will get interesting.

Interesting - as long as it works - is what Ravens fans have been searching for over the last several seasons. 

"Joe has to be able to do other things if [Jackson is] throwing the ball," Harbaugh said. "It gets the creative juices flowing for our offensive coaches, and they've worked hard on that."