Saturday, February 24, 2024

Are the Cowboys already in panic mode? Plus, kickers caused craziness on first NFL Sunday

Happy Monday morning, everyone! Wow, what a weekend. Pretty much everything and anything that could happen on a football field did. We’re going to start every Monday during the NFL season with The Football Five– five things you might have missed but need to know. Here goes:

The Football Five 🏈

Good morning to everyone but especially to…

Kansas City Chiefs v Arizona Cardinals

Getty Images


One of the most anticipated games of the NFL slate turned into a laugher in a hurry. But that’s nothing new to Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. Kansas City scored a touchdown on each of its first three drives, and Mahomes finished with five touchdown passes — a franchise record for a season opener — in a 44-21 blowout of the Cardinals.

The Chiefs earned an ‘A’ in our Week 1 grades, and in his “Overreactions and Reality Checks” column, NFL expert Jeff Kerr says Kelce will make the Chiefs forget all about losing Tyreek Hill this offseason.

  • Kerr: “Travis Kelce is still the best tight end in football, displaying how he can still get open without Tyreek Hill on the outside or in the slot to complement him. … The Chiefs are deeper without Hill, a byproduct of allocating that extra money they would have paid one of the best players in franchise history.”

Honorable mentions

And not such a good morning for…


It went from bad to ugly to nearly worst-case scenario in a hurry for the Cowboys in Sunday night’s 19-3 loss to the Buccaneers.

Dak Prescott will undergo hand surgery and miss multiple games according to team owner Jerry Jones, a devastating blow for a team whose underwhelming offseason left its flaws on full display.

  • Prescott injured his throwing hand in the fourth quarter when he hit Buccaneers edge rusher Shaquil Barrett on the follow-through of a throw. In his defense, the QB was under pressure nearly all night (four sacks, eight hits, pressured on 45 percent of dropbacks) behind a reshuffled offensive line.
  • Prescott finished 14 for 29 for 134 yards and an interception. His 47.2 passer rating was the third-worst of any game of his career. The team’s only outside threat, CeeDee Lamb, caught an abysmal two of 11 targets (though it wasn’t really his fault).
  • Since Prescott was drafted in 2016, the Cowboys are 53-33 when he starts and 5-7 when anyone else starts. Cooper Rush will be the starter going forward — though they could explore other options.

This, of course, is the same Cowboys team that traded away Amari Cooper and let Cedrick Wilson leave in free agency and, with Michael Gallup still recovering from a torn ACL, failed to adequately address the wide receiver position this offseason. They also lost guard Connor Williams and tackle La’el Collins in free agency and Tyron Smith to injury.

The Dallas offense — one of the league’s best last year — was, frankly, anemic. And now with Prescott sidelined, it could remain that way for a while.

Scott Frost fired from Nebraska after another bad loss 😦

Georgia Southern v Nebraska

  Getty Images

Twenty-five years ago, Scott Frost, the Nebraska quarterback, led the Cornhuskers to a national title. On Sunday, Scott Frost, the Nebraska head coach, was fired after yet another brutal loss.

The decision came after Nebraska lost to Georgia Southern, 45-42 to fall to 1-2 this season. It was the first time ever Nebraska lost at home when scoring at least 35 points.

  • Frost finishes his tenure as Nebraska head coach 16-31 (10-26 Big Ten) in four-plus seasons. He never won more than five games in a season and never made a bowl game.
  • The Cornhuskers must pay Frost a $15-million buyout. It would have been half of that if they waited until Oct. 1.
  • Associate head coach Mickey Joseph will be interim coach.

Nebraska now faces “existential questions,” writes college football expert Shehan Jeyarajah. As for who can solve that crisis, our college football insider Dennis Dodd has his list of candidates for the opening.

Alabama survives upset-filled weekend, Georgia tops latest AP Poll 🏈

NCAA Football: Alabama at Texas


If you thought Sunday was a wild day of football, well, first, you’re right, but second, it might not have even been as wild as Saturday. Because on Saturday, college football delivered the very best it has to offer.

Starting at the top, No. 1 Alabama survived by the skin of its teeth, topping Texas 20-19 thanks to the heroics of Bryce Young and the leg of Will Reichard. The reigning Heisman Trophy winner led a nine-play, 61-yard drive that culminated in Reichard’s 33-yard field goal with just 10 seconds left. With pandemonium all around him, Young’s calm nature saved Crimson Tide once again, Dennis says.

  • Dodd: “Young completed 15 of his final 19 passes for 136 yards and a touchdown in the game’s final 13 minutes. More importantly, he put the mostly sputtering offense in position for Reichard’s kick. … Young must now be mentioned as perhaps the best quarterback in Bama history.

As for the quarterback on the other side, Quinn Ewers was terrific before suffering a sprained SC joint and not returning. He will be out several weeks.

While Alabama narrowly avoided an upset, several other top teams failed to do so:

Given all of those results, the new AP Top 25 Poll must have been nearly impossible for voters to fill out, but it has arrived, and the most notable change is at the top: Georgia is the new No. 1 and Alabama is No. 2. You can see the entire poll here and see our Jerry Palm’s updated bowl projections here.

Carlos Alcaraz wins men’s US Open title, Iga Swiatek wins on women’s side 🎾

Tennis: US OPEN


Carlos Alcaraz is only getting started, and that should scare the rest of the men’s tennis world. The 19-year-old Spaniard beat Casper Ruud 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (7-1), 6-2 for his first career Grand Slam title.

  • At 19 years and 129 days old, Alcaraz is the second-youngest men’s US Open winner ever behind only Pete Sampras.
  • With the win, Alcaraz is now the youngest man ever to become ATP No. 1.

In the women’s draw, Iga Swiatek claimed her third career Grand Slam, her second Slam of the year and her first US Open with a 6-2, 7-6 (7-5) win over Ons Jabeur. It caps a remarkable season for the 21-year-old Polish star, who is the No. 1 woman in the world.

  • Swiatek also won the Australian Open back in January. She is the first woman to win multiple Grand Slams in a year since Angelique Kerber in 2016.
  • She at one point won 37 straight matches, the longest in the WTA this century, and she won all seven finals she reached.
  • She finished with the most WTA rankings points in a season since Serena Williams in 2013.

What we’re watching Monday 📺

🏈 Broncos at Seahawks, 8:15 p.m. on ESPN/ABC

Related articles

Share article

Latest articles


Subscribe to stay updated.