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Cowboys' miscues boost Ravens


Cowboys' miscues boost Ravens

Ravens, how did the Cowboys help thee? Let us count the ways.

Dallas had several miscues and questionable moves during Sunday’s game that aided the Ravens’ cause. One – or you could count two – of the biggest came at the end of the game.

Having recovered the onside kick that bounced through Brendon Ayanbadejo’s legs, the Cowboys took over at their 46 with 30 seconds left, needing to get into field-goal range for the winning points. Beneficiaries of pass interference called on Ravens cornerback Chykie Brown, the Cowboys had the ball at the Ravens’ 34 with 26 seconds left. With a timeout still in its pocket, Dallas ran a pass play that gained 1 yard, even though the Cowboys had been chewing up yards on the ground all game. A few extra yards could have made a big difference in what ended up being a 51-yard field-goal miss. And with a greater sense of urgency, the Cowboys could have run another play and then used their timeout.

Again, if that 51-yard try turned into a 48-yarder, who knows what would have happened?

But that wasn’t the only mistake. Here are some others:

*Dez Bryant’s last of three dropped passes was his worst – a throw from Tony Romo that went right through his hands in the end zone, denying the Cowboys the chance to tie the game on a two-point conversion.

*On the Cowboys’ second possession of the game, they drove from their 20, mostly powered by the running of DeMarco Murray. But having reached the Baltimore 12 on a second-and-four, they did the Ravens the favor of trying a pass, which was incomplete. That was followed by an illegal-shift penalty on Dallas and then a pass to Bryant that lost yards, and the Cowboys had to settle for a field goal.

*In the second period, the Cowboys had stopped the Ravens on third-and-goal from the 2, but instead drew an illegal-use-of-hands penalty on Kenyon Coleman that gave the Ravens a first down. Ray Rice scored on the next play.

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Ravens cancel Saturday's open practice at M&T Bank Stadium

USA Today Sports

Ravens cancel Saturday's open practice at M&T Bank Stadium

The Baltimore Ravens cancelled Saturday night's free open practice at M&T Bank Stadium due to a forecast that calls for heavy rain and inclement weather.

There is no official word from the team on whether this practice will be resheduled, but it seems like Sunday may be an option, even though there's rain in the forecast then too.

Ravens fans who were looking to see first-round draft pick and potential future starting quarterback Lamar Jackson will have to wait for another day. His presence at training camp, an inevitable competition with the incumbent, Joe Flacco, and potential two-quarterback packages involving both of them are set to be some of the biggest storylines of Ravens camp this summer.

As a Heisman Trophy winner, Jackson was one of the most dynamic players in college football during his time at Louisville. If he can replicate that kind of performance in the NFL, he will be at plenty more training camp sessions for Ravens fans to watch.


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After breakout 2017 season, Ravens running back Alex Collins isn't getting too comfortable

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After breakout 2017 season, Ravens running back Alex Collins isn't getting too comfortable

This time last year, running back Alex Collins wasn't a part of the Baltimore Ravens.

After being released by the Seattle Seahawks at the end of the 2017 preseason, the Ravens placed the 23-year-old on their practice squad, and by Week 2, Collins was already making plays.

As the season progressed, Collins found himself as the Ravens' top running back. He finished 2017 as the team's leading rusher with 973 yards while Javorius "Buck" Allen followed behind him with 591 yards.

If the 2018 NFL season began today, Collins would likely be the Ravens' starter, which is quite ironic considering the fate of his 2017 preseason.

"I always go back to where I started and where I am now, and I use that as my motivation," Collins said after Thursday's training camp practice.

"No matter the day, no matter how tired I am, I think to myself, at this time last year, I didn’t know my position, where I was, where I’d end up. So just having that security behind it is definitely my motivation to keep it this way and keep pushing forward and keep trying to get better instead of being complacent.”

Over the course of 15 games, Collins proved he had the strength and speed to make an impact on the team after Danny Woodhead suffered a hamstring injury on the first drive of the Ravens' Week 1 game and Kenneth Dixon sat out the entire season with a torn meniscus. 

While job security is something we all strive for, Collins isn't getting too comfortable with the hierarchy. 

“I don’t want to say necessarily ‘comfortable,’ because when I use that word, it makes me feel like I’m too relaxed and lackadaisical," Collins said.

"I’m more focused. I don’t want to get comfortable. I don’t want the team or our group to get comfortable, because we just want to get better every day. So, in the position I am, it’s a great feeling, but I’m always pushing myself to be better.”

While Collins has set personal goals for himself – like a 1,000-yard season – he is equally as focused on making the Ravens backfield one of the best groups in the National Football League. 

“I expect that," Collins said on being the Ravens' starter.

"I would hope that all the other running backs expect [to be the starter] as well, and that’s what kind of drives our group – when we all know that we have that capability to be the No. 1 guy, and we’re out competing and push each other and try to be the best. No matter who’s out there during the game, you’ll see a productive play out of that person. So, I have that mindset. I want to be the guy. I have that fire in me, and I hope [that is] as well as the other running backs, as I encouraged them as well.”

Collins noted that he's coming into training camp a bit heavier. He added five pounds to his 200-pound frame "just to see how that feels," but is still maintaining the stamina and strength he's always had. 

Collins – who was one of several veterans released from practice early as the team begins to adjust their way into the extended preseason – finished his media availability with a friendly warning to fantasy football owners: "Draft me now before it’s too late, guys."