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Cowboys running game stuck in neutral since opener

Cowboys running game stuck in neutral since opener

IRVING, Texas (AP) DeMarco Murray and the Dallas Cowboys' running game have been stuck in neutral since an impressive start.

The unit that ran for 143 yards in a season-opening victory is now 29th in the NFL, averaging just 68 yards per game. And the only reason the Cowboys (2-2) are even that high is because of what they did against the New York Giants in that first game.

Coach Jason Garrett said Wednesday there are a lot of different reasons for the struggles, and that the Cowboys have to get better to be more balanced offensively.

``We've talked about some of the pre-snap penalties that got us in some bad situations in a couple of games. We had some minus runs and there are different reasons for that as well,'' Garrett said. ``Guys getting physically beaten up front or on the edges or wherever they need to be. We've played against some good run-defending teams, where there has been a lot of movement up front.''

Murray missed the final three games of his impressive rookie season with a broken right ankle, but came back healthy this year. There were also the additions of two veteran guards (Mackenzy Bernadeau and Nate Livings) providing more bulk up front and veteran fullback Lawrence Vickers.

Murray had 131 yards on 20 carries in the opener, the first time the restructured offensive line played together. Since then, he has just 106 yards on 41 carries. That includes two 11-yard carries, one for his only touchdown.

``Frankly, we haven't blocked as well as we need to and we haven't run as well as we need to,'' Garrett said.

Murray averaged 5.5 yards on his 164 carries last season, but is down to 3.9 yards per carry this year. Take out a 48-yard run against the Giants and his two 11-yard gains since, and he is averaging only 2.9 yards his other 58 rushing attempts.

Outside of Murray, the Cowboys have 18 rushing attempts for 34 yards.

``I do think we can be a good running team,'' tight end Jason Witten said. ``We became one-dimensional. It's not an excuse for it, you can't allow it to get away from you, you've got to be better early on.''

Not including end-of-game or end-of-half situations the last two games, Dallas had negative yards on eight first-down rushing carries and no gain on two other such attempts. There was one stretch against Tampa Bay when the Cowboys lost yards on five consecutive first-down runs.

`` We put ourselves in bad positions to where we couldn't be able to run the ball,'' Vickers said. ``We've got to eliminate the self-inflicted wounds so we can do the things we want to do with our offense.''

Garrett said penalties and negatives plays put the offense in the position of ``trying to survive the drive instead of thriving, attacking.''

Witten said the team has worked on the rushing game and that it was a ``big part'' of evaluations during the bye week.

Dallas plays Sunday at Baltimore, the first of four road games the next five weeks. The Ravens are coming off a 9-6 win at Kansas City, which ran 50 times for 214 yards against them. But these still are the defensive-dominant Ravens, who have won 13 consecutive home games.

``They play with a demeanor and a relentlessness that we're all familiar with,'' Garrett said. ``Kansas City did run the ball fairly well against them. They ran the ball a lot against them. Baltimore did a great job making the key plays when they needed to. Keeping that score down. ... They play great defense, they've always played great defense. We have our work cut out for us.''

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Ravens lower concession prices at M&T Bank Stadium ahead of 2018 season

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USA TODAY Sports

Ravens lower concession prices at M&T Bank Stadium ahead of 2018 season

Enjoying a game at M&T Bank Stadium just became a little more affordable.

On Thursday, the Ravens introduced their new "Flock Friendly Fare," reducing the price of 21 of their most popular food and beverage items.  

The change comes as the organization focuses on revamping the fan experience in 2018. Fans will see an average of 33 percent in total savings and up to 53 percent savings on a single item.  

"As a lot of you probably know, after every game we survey fans to see how we're doing; what have we done well and what have we not done well. Over the years, one of the biggest criticisms we received was for the gameday concessions prices," Ravens President Dick Cass said on the team's website

Alcoholic beverages were all reduced by $1 with the addition of domestic 12 ounce beer for $5.

Chicken tenders with fries went from $11 to $7, while a slice of pizza went from $8.50 to $6. No single item will cost above $9.

On average, you will now be able to feed a family of four for $44 compared to $66.75 in years past. To see all of the reductions, click the arrow in the post below. 

In 2017, the Atlanta Falcons reduced their concession prices upon opening their brand new Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The Ravens, however, are expecting to lose $1.5 million in concession revenue due to the change. 

Introducing our new Flock Friendly Fare!

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Vegas odds against Lamar Jackson starting for Ravens in 2018

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Vegas odds against Lamar Jackson starting for Ravens in 2018

Vegas has spoken and they are not optimistic about rookie Lamar Jackson starting under center for the Ravens in 2018.

Bovado, an online gambling site, has set the odds on how the top 2018 rookies will perform and they have Jackson getting 0.5 starts this season.

That number will come as a surprise considering the popular narrative that Lamar Jackson will be the Ravens' starter in no time. The team made it clear they are planning for life after Flacco when they traded back into the first-round of the 2018 draft to select the quarterback out of Louisville at No. 32

Flacco - who is entering his 11th season with the organization - is experiencing a decline in his performance of late, one that can not be put entirely on his shoulders as the team has failed in finding him valuable weapons to throw to. Nonetheless, Flacco's projected 2018 season is very much up in the air and it appears Vegas is betting on the one-time Super Bowl MVP to bounce back. 

However, the Ravens have failed to make the playoffs four of the last five seasons, and if that trend continues into 2018, the rookie could get his shot at flipping the script.

If you're a betting man, it could payoff to bet the over on Jackson. Low risk, seemingly high reward. 

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