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Cowboys concerned about unleashed Boldin

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Cowboys concerned about unleashed Boldin

Given the still recent memory of a certain NFL quarterback with dogs, Cowboys cornerback Brandon Carr might have chosen another animal to describe one of his assignments Sunday when Dallas faces the Ravens.

Still, you understand how he’s giving respect to Baltimore wide receiver Anquan Boldin and citing what a load Boldin is for opposing secondaries.

“I mean that guy, he's pretty strong,” Carr said, as reported by CBSSports.com. “You see it on film just his demeanor. He's a nasty receiver, doesn't mind mixing it up with the DB, beginning of the route, top of the route, once he gets the ball, he's a physical
run-after-the-catch receiver. Whoever is on him will just have buckle down and be prepared to fight a real dogfight with a real dog, D-A-W-G.

"I respect the guy but it's going to be a battle. That's what we want to see, a good competition. So just studying him on film, you have to buckle down for the whole 60 minutes. You can never go to sleep on a guy like him.”

Boldin’s more physical style provides a contrast to the speedy stylings of Torrey Smith and Jacoby Jones. If Carr and the Cowboys aren’t able to buckle down on him, Boldin could have a big day, as he did against the Browns two weeks ago. (OK, yeah, it was actually a big night.) Without Boldin’s nine catches for 131 yards against Cleveland,
Ravens fans could have been bemoaning an ugly loss instead of an ugly win.

Isn’t there some saying about letting the big dog eat?

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Lamar Jackson, Ravens rookies report to training camp

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USA TODAY Sports

Lamar Jackson, Ravens rookies report to training camp

Football is back in session for the Ravens.

Their rookies are set to report to the Ravens' training facility in Owings Mills, Md Wednesday. Veterans report next Wednesday, the 18th.

The team is reporting to training camp a bit earlier than most NFL teams. Due to Ray Lewis being enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Aug. 4 in Canton, Oh, the Ravens will face the Chicago Bears in the annual Hall of Fame Game on Aug. 2. Teams participating are eligible to begin training camp earlier.

This rookie class is already generating national attention. While the Ravens stand by Joe Flacco as their QB1, first-round pick Lamar Jackson could cause a shakeup at some point during the season. And when it comes to much-needed offensive help, tight ends Hayden Hurst and Mark Andrews could begin to provide relief. 

Third-round pick Orlando Brown Jr. begins his journey with the Ravens in a more sentimental fashion. His father, Orlando "Zeus" Brown, also played tackle for the Ravens from 1996-98 and then again from 2003-05. Brown passed away in 2011. 

Stay with NBC Sports Washington throughout the next several weeks as we keep a close eye on the Ravens' preseason. 

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Early 2018 NFL playoff odds have Ravens in similar situation

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Early 2018 NFL playoff odds have Ravens in similar situation

There's only six months until the NFL playoffs and we've got no time to waste.

OK, maybe we're getting a little ahead of ourselves but online betting site, Oddshark, released their early 2018 NFL playoff odds and the Ravens are in a similar situation as previous years.

The Ravens are sitting at +135 — tied for 13th with the San Francisco 49ers — for the best odds to play January football. This would place them in the seventh seed among AFC teams and just outside contention.

The Patriots (-1500), Steelers (-550), Chargers (-145), Jaguars (-140), Texans (-135), and Chiefs (+120) are seeded above them respectively. 

During the 2017 season, the Ravens were constantly in the hunt for the fifth or sixth seed in the AFC playoff picture. Several weeks ahead of training camp, Vegas is predicting that to be the case in 2018.

Playoff odds in July mean nothing, but considering their offseason changes, the Ravens' 2018 season should bring positive change.

They added weapons for Joe Flacco in free agents Michael Crabtree, Willie Snead and John Brown, and drafted tight ends Hayden Hurst and Mark Andrews.

Then there was the late first-round draft pick of QB Lamar Jackson. Flacco remains the starter for now, but it will be interesting to see if that changes midway through the season or if they get them both on the field at the same time.

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