Curran's Dallas diary: Monday in Big D


Curran's Dallas diary: Monday in Big D

By Tom E. Curran
DALLAS - I just beat the snot out of a story about the massive impact Twitter has and will continue to have on the NFL. Now, as promised, a few thoughts on how my second day in Big D went. There was no access to either team until 1:30 p.m. Central (still haven't had a time change mishap, yay me!), so I hit the media center at 9 a.m. and got to working on that Twitter story and banged out a "5 Things" column.

List columns kick the ass off of the Internet. They're easy to navigate for the reader and - ideally - they let the reader know they'll be in and out quick. That's the way they're supposed to work. Mine didn't. I prattled on too long with the first two points and ran out of time because I wandered around doing reporting for the other story, had committed to doing Jim Rome at noon and needed to get to the Steelers hotel in Fort Worth. So the 5 became 3. One thing I like to do at the Super Bowl is work a day ahead. Collect the stuff you're writing about on Tuesday on Monday. There was little collecting I could do Sunday, so I was left scrambling Monday. Meh. You'll get your 5 Tuesday. Thank God my editor rolls with my inefficiency. I was set to leave at 12:30 but needed to put out a fire on the homefront via telephone so my departure didn't come until closer to 1 p.m. No crisis. I still was able to get LaMarr Woodley on his LOLing at the Packers team picture dustup. Not without some serious effort though. The media sessions at the team hotels are an hour long. In trying to get Woodley, I moved to the side of his staging area. There's no rhyme or reason to getting your question asked and answered. You just have to start asking it and hope the player turns your way to signify he's taking yours. Off to the side, I was having no success. Meanwhile, Ian Rapoport from the Boston Herald had a solid spot up front and asked Woodley a handful ofgood questions about the 3-4 scheme. At the end of each Woodley answered, I'd start with the first few words of my question, but he'd look elsewhere. Rap and I exchanged "what can you do" looks. He knew what I was trying to do. Then Rap launched in with a couple more questions, cutting me off to get his in. And I got the feeling Woodley was icing me because I was saying "twitter." I was pissed at Rap for not yielding to me and Woodley for not hooking me up. Eventually, I squeezed in up front and got the question in. Then I went to find Rap and told him that's why he drives me batcrap sometimes. You gotta work together out here sometimes, even if your local competitors. At least that's the way I operate with people I know. Whatever. I got a blog entry out of one of Rap's questions and got over to Ben Roethlisberger as he was finishing up his session. Pre-2010 his reputation for dealing with the media was poor. He didn't engage, was the rap. But he's made an effort to change since his suspension and PR beatdown after last offseason. Having gotten there late, I didn't get my question in so I figured I'd take a crack at his newfound personability and caught him as he walked from the podium to the door leading out of the ballroom. It was a walk-and-talk, but he answered my question about his place among elite quarterbacks and wasn't pleasant enough about it. After finishing with the Steelers, I had to go to Arlington to get ready for a SportsNet Central hit we were taping. Carolyn Manno and I talked some Big Ben and Steelers experience. Then I adjourned to the Sheraton next to the Arlington Conference Center where we taped the hit (with the Jerry Jones Taj Mahal in the background) and did some more work on the Twitter story. At 5:30 Central, I pulled up stakes there and went back to the Dallas Sheraton where the media center is and where I'm staying. (Remember, 1,840 rooms? Read Sunday's missive.) I'm a big-time napper. Legendary. And I knew I was a bag of crap at that point and needed a 30-minute snorefest. So I got that in, woke up, called home, got the day's report from my three boys and my wife then went downstairs to finish up the Twitter story. So now it's almost 11 out here and I haven't eaten any dinner. That needs addressing. Tomorrow, we have media day at the stadium. It's a clusterfudge but you know that going in, so you roll with it. Then I have TV again out in Arlington so I'll probably post up in that Sheraton lobby again and get my work done. Tomorrow night we got the annual media party at the Hard Rock here in Dallas. It's supposed to be a BBQ fest. A friend of mine from down here told me all about it. If I remember, I'll tell you an absolutely hysterical story about this guy (no names) that will make you shake your head off your neck. But now . . . we eat. Check in tomorrow. BEFORE the media thingy. Check out Sunday's entry here.
Tom E. Curran canbe reached at Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

Rookie Dak Prescott solid again, Cowboys beat Bears, 31-17


Rookie Dak Prescott solid again, Cowboys beat Bears, 31-17

ARLINGTON, Texas - Maybe the Cowboys will be OK without quarterback Tony Romo this time. The future of the Dallas running game with Ezekiel Elliott looks pretty good, too.

Dak Prescott led scoring drives on all four Dallas possessions in the first half before throwing his first career touchdown pass in fellow rookie Elliott's first 100-yard game, and the Cowboys beat the Chicago Bears 31-17 on Sunday night to snap an eight-game home losing streak.

With his second straight win, Prescott doubled the number of victories the Cowboys (2-1) had in 14 games without the injured Romo over three seasons before the fourth-round pick showed up.

Prescott's first TD pass was a 17-yarder to Dez Bryant for a 31-10 lead in the fourth quarter, and he's up to 99 throws without an interception to start his career. Philadelphia's Carson Wentz has 102, and those are the two highest career-opening totals for a rookie in NFL history.

"Dak's handled every opportunity he's had right from the start really, really well," coach Jason Garrett said. "No different tonight."

Brian Hoyer had trouble moving the Chicago offense early with Jay Cutler sidelined by a sprained right thumb as the Bears fell behind 24-3 at halftime and dropped to 0-3 for the second time in two seasons under coach John Fox.

Making his 27th career start for his fourth different team, Hoyer was 30 of 49 for 317 yards - a good portion of that with the game out of each late in the fourth quarter - and threw for two scores to Zach Miller.

"We haven't played a complete game," Fox said. "This week was the reverse of what we've had. We played very poorly in the first half."

Elliott finished with 140 yards on 30 carries, including a 14-yard run when he hurdled safety Chris Prosinski. The Cowboys kept giving him the ball while trying to work the clock with a two-touchdown lead in the fourth quarter a week after he was benched because of two fumbles in a win over Washington.

"Made a lot of good runs tonight, a lot tough runs, a lot of NFL runs," Garrett said. "He's physically tough. He's mentally tough."

It didn't even bother Prescott that Pro Bowl left tackle Tyron Smith missed just the second game of his six-year career after his back tightened up during the week.

Prescott was 19 of 24 for 248 yards in Dallas' first home win since last year's opener, which was a week before the first of two broken left collarbones that kept Romo out of 12 games last season.

Romo is expected to miss about another month after breaking a bone in his back in the preseason.

Prescott had one of three rushing touchdowns for the Cowboys, who have seven this season after getting eight all of last year, when they finished 4-12.

Because the Bears fell behind again, they couldn't do much with the running game. They had just 15 carries for 73 yards and lost leading rusher Jeremy Langford to an ankle injury in the second half.

Jets lose, Patriots guaranteed 1st place in AFC East when Brady returns


Jets lose, Patriots guaranteed 1st place in AFC East when Brady returns

When Tom Brady returns to the Patriots following his four-game suspension, his team will be in sole possession of first place in the AFC East.

That became the reality as soon as the Jets fell to the Chiefs in Kansas City on Sunday, 24-3. The Jets committed eight turnovers in the loss to fall to 1-2. 

The Bills and Dolphins each won their first games of the season on Sunday, taking down the Cardinals and Browns, respectively. 

With the Patriots record at 3-0 following their win over the Texans on Thursday night, and with all three of their AFC East rivals sitting on just one win thus far, even if Bill Belichick's club was to fall to Rex Ryan and the Bills in Week 4, it would still be alone atop the division.


Surely the Patriots would like to have a zero in the loss column when Brady returns. Regardless, to be in first place when Brady's Deflategate punishment is finished -- and having achieved that mark with two different starting quarterbacks -- has to be a point of pride for the organization . . . and a source of agita for those who doled out the punishment.