Ravens

Cowboys need win at Philly in battle of 3-5 teams

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Cowboys need win at Philly in battle of 3-5 teams

IRVING, Texas (AP) Dallas coach Jason Garrett insists the Cowboys aren't desperate. Evidence suggests otherwise.

The Cowboys (3-5) have lost four of their past five games heading into Sunday's matchup at Philadelphia. The Eagles have the same record, so logic suggests the loser won't have realistic playoff hopes the rest of the season.

``A desperate football team? I wouldn't say that at all,'' Garrett said Wednesday. ``You've heard me use the word urgent a lot around here. We believe in urgency 365 days out of the year. That's where we are right now. We have to be urgent in our preparation ... getting ready for the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.''

Defensive end Jason Hatcher agreed it's a game the Cowboys have to win, but like his coach dismissed the term desperate.

``We've dug ourselves a hole and we just got to keep fighting,'' Hatcher said. ``We've got the right guys to do it, we just have to go out there and believe and do it, stop talking about it and be the team that we're supposed to be.''

After the Eagles, the Cowboys play five of their next six games at home. And only one of their remaining eight games, Pittsburgh, is against a team with a winning record.

Dallas is still dealing with some serious injury issues.

Running back DeMarco Murray missed practice again Wednesday because of his sprained foot and could miss his fourth consecutive game. Felix Jones has been hurting, too, bothered by a bruised knee and a shoulder ailment, though he was listed on the team's practice report as a full participant.

Linebacker Dan Connor, who initially took over for Sean Lee after the leading tackler's season-ending big toe injury, missed the last game with a neck issue. He was limited in practice Wednesday.

After Connor got hurt, the Cowboys signed free agent Ernie Sims, and he wound up starting Sunday night's 19-13 loss at undefeated Atlanta.

With Connor's status still uncertain, the Cowboys signed linebacker Gary Guyton after placing linebacker Orie Lemon on injured reserve with a hamstring injury. Guyton plays four seasons in New England, but hadn't played this season after being released by Miami at the end of training camp.

``We're hoping that Dan Connor will be back,'' Garrett said. ``We're a little thin there with the injuries so we just got to make sure we have another guy who can go in and play defense for us. We're hopeful at some point that (Guyton) can help us on special teams as well.''

Undrafted rookie running back Lance Dunbar shared the carries with Jones in Atlanta. Dunbar was cut at the end of camp, added to the practice squad then signed to the roster a month ago.

``He has a little something to him as a runner,'' Garrett said. ``Some quickness, some burst to him, a good feel, had good vision, so we just wanted to give him a chance in the game the other night, and I thought he did reasonably well.''

Dunbar denied he was feeling any extra pressure to step up.

``You got to be comfortable, relax, have confidence in yourself and just do your job,'' he said. ``You do best when you don't put pressure on yourself.''

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Ravens pile up team-record 11 sacks against former defensive coordinator

Ravens pile up team-record 11 sacks against former defensive coordinator

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Baltimore Ravens swarmed around their new defensive coordinator, Don "Wink" Martindale, celebrating after a game that will go down in the record books.

Getting 11 sacks along with a shutout against the man Martindale replaced makes this mark even sweeter.

Za'Darius Smith had a career-high three sacks as the Ravens piled up the franchise-record Sunday in routing the Tennessee Titans 21-0 in the rain, just missing the NFL record shared by five teams by one.

Baltimore coach John Harbaugh called it an "historic defensive performance."

The Ravens (4-2) smothered Tennessee, allowing just 106 yards of offense while they turned Marcus Mariota's day into the worst of his NFL career. Eight different Ravens sacked Mariota, and four got their first sack this season at his expense. The Titans never got closer to the end zone than the Ravens 37, each time pushed back with yet another sack.

"We want to be something special out there," Ravens linebacker Matthew Judon said. "For Wink, it's great to go against his predecessor, and he stepped up and we came through and pitched a shutout. You don't ever talk about unicorns while you're doing it, but we got it done. We got it done for him, and we celebrated after."

Martindale was promoted to defensive coordinator when Dean Pees retired after last season. His retirement lasted less than a month with first-year coach Mike Vrabel luring Pees to join him as the Titans' defensive coordinator.

Asked about Pees, Smith only said that the coordinator told him at his pro day at Kentucky that the linebacker would be a Raven.

"Love him to death, but hey, we won tonight, so we're going to leave it at that," Smith said with a smile.

The Titans (3-3) had not been shut out at home since the franchise relocated to Tennessee.

"That's the headline: The `Tennessee Titans didn't do nearly enough on all levels to win the football game,'" Vrabel said. "Or even make it competitive."

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Need to Know: Redskins stock up-stock down vs. Panthers

Need to Know: Redskins stock up-stock down vs. Panthers

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, October 15, six days before the Washington Redskins host the Dallas Cowboys.

Talking points

Here are the players who saw their stock go up against the Panthers on Sunday and others who saw their stocks drop. 

Stock up—A few days ago, CB Josh Norman was a penny stock. He had mixed up assignments in the blowout loss to the Saints and take a ton of criticism after the game, much of it warranted. During the Panthers game, he was a blue chip. Norman got his first interception in 20 games and he forced a fumble. There is still a lot of season to be played but for now, at least it’s good to be Josh Norman.

Stock down—They won the game and that’s the quarterback’s main job. But for the second straight game, Alex Smith did not play up to his $18.4 million cap number. He passed for 163 yards. At times you really wondered where he was throwing the ball and/or to whom he was throwing it. They were able to win thanks to Adrian Peterson’s rushing and three takeaways. To Smith’s credit, he protected the ball well and it should be noted he was without favorite targets, Chris Thompson and Jamison Crowder. Regardless, it was not a sharp performance by Smith. 

Stock upPeterson came into the game with an injured ankle, knee, and shoulder. Not only did he fight through the pain, he thrived. Six days after he rushed for just six yards against the Saints and sat out most of the second half, he picked up 97 yards on 17 carries, an average of 5.7 yards per carry. Peterson did rip off a 19-yard run but mostly it was three yards here, six yards there. It was what the Redskins were expecting when the signed him. 

Stock down—With Thompson out, Kapri Bibbs had his big chance to show what he can do. He didn’t do much. Bibbs, who was promoted from the practice squad earlier this season, picked up 11 yards rushing on two carries and he caught one pass for six yards. There were some high hopes for Bibbs among Redskins fans. For today, he didn’t live up to them. 

Stock up—I know that Daron Payne didn’t make a ton of plays and his streak of games with at least one sack ended at two. But he was part of a defensive front that held Christian McCaffrey, who came into the game averaging 82.3 rushing yards per game (fourth in the NFL) and 5.2 yards per attempt, to 20 yards on eight attempts, a 2.5 per carry average. And he made a remarkable play, which is becoming routine for him, when he made the tackle on a tight end who had taken a screen pass well outside of the numbers. He’s a special talent and his stock will continue to rise. 

The agenda

Today: Open locker room 11:30; Jay Gruden press conference 3:00 

Upcoming: Cowboys @ Redskins 6; Redskins @ Giants 13; Redskins @ Eagles 49

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