National sports spotlight

Posted 8/20/19

Things are getting interesting in Jerry World with just a few short weeks until the regular season opener against the New York Giants.

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National sports spotlight

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Things are getting interesting in Jerry World with just a few short weeks until the regular season opener against the New York Giants.

The prolific owner of the Dallas Cowboys cracked a joke at the expense of his team’s best player, Ezekiel Elliot, after a 14-10 preseason win over the Rams in Hawaii on Saturday. Fourth round draft pick and running back Tony Pollard made the best of his five carries in the win, causing Jerry Jones to ask “Zeke who?” when asked a question about Elliot, who is currently holding out of camp over his contract.

Elliot has been spending a significant amount of time in Cabo San Lucas, but he certainly heard Jerry’s dis and was not amused. Elliot’s agent released a statement on the comment, calling it “disrespectful” of Jones.

Jerry Jones is one of the few owners to constantly voice his opinions in the media and probably has a lot more say in football matters than he should. While Elliot will likely make it back soon, this blatant lack of confidence from Jones will only continue to upset the star back.

First of all, Jerry, your Cowboys are nothing without Ezekiel Elliot. He has led the league in rushing yards per game in each of his first three seasons and won the rushing title twice. He has scored a total of 28 touchdowns and made Dak Prescott’s life significantly easier. That’s who he is, in case you forgot.

Prescott, meanwhile, decided to turn down $30 million a year and ask for the highest contract in NFL history. Had he accepted, he would have just been on the cusp of the top five highest-paid quarterbacks.

Prescott is certainly a good player and, assuming Zeke is in the picture and the offensive line stays healthy, could be just what the Cowboys need from the position. But he is certainly not a top five quarterback in the NFL.

Still, the quarterback position is a different breed. They are always going to make the most money and they are typically overvalued simply because of their position. Dak will be no exception when he finally does ink his new deal with Dallas.

But Elliot cannot be too pleased to see Jones supporting Prescott’s big deal while seemingly receiving little support from the owner. After all, Elliot and the offensive line are the main reasons the Cowboys have such a strong record over the last three seasons and have qualified for the postseason twice.

If Dallas hopes to outlast a strong Eagles team for the NFC East title in 2019, they will need a present and healthy Zeke and another strong defensive season. Prescott will naturally compliment the roster if the proper pieces are in place.

In Houston, Jadeveon Clowney has still not signed his franchise tenure to rejoin the Texans for the new season. Multiple fans and experts have been speculating whether or not the Texans might trade Clowney before the start of year.

The Texans, however, would likely be hard pressed to find a suitable trading partner for the 26-year-old pass rusher at this point in the offseason. The only trade that would net a significant return would come in the form of draft picks, but Houston is coming off of a division championship with a win-now mentality.

With or without Clowney, Houston will have a lot of trouble winning their division for the second straight season. Despite edging out the Colts for the AFC South crown in 2018, Indianapolis eliminated the Texans in the first round and are poised for another strong season if Andrew Luck can stay healthy again.

The deadly duo of Clowney and J.J. Watt gives Houston a unique edge on the defensive side of the ball and could separate them from the pack if Deshaun Watson is true to form.

The Texans will open the regular season with a tough Monday night matchup against the Saints on Sept. 9 in New Orleans.

On a sad note, former University of Texas Longhorns running back Cedric Benson, 36, lost his life on Saturday as a result of a motorcycle accident. Benson and his passenger, 27-year-old Aamna Najam, were both killed after the motorcycle they were riding collided with a van in Austin.

Benson rushed for 5,540 yards and 64 touchdowns at Texas and is considered the school’s most successful running back not named Ricky Williams.

He was drafted with the fourth overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears. However, it never completely came together for Benson in Chicago and he was eventually released by the Bears after three seasons.

Benson began to realize his professional potential when he joined the Cincinnati Bengals, where he would spend four seasons and rush for more than a thousand yards on three occasions. He played his final season with the Green Bay Packers in 2012.

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