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Postby elaine95 » Fri Sep 14, 2018 2:45 am

FRISCO Max Unger Jersey , Texas (AP) — Dak Prescott barks at his teammates a little more now that he’s a couple of years removed from a sensational rookie year with the Dallas Cowboys.

At least that’s the way tight end Geoff Swaim put it, and he didn’t mean it in a negative way. The star quarterback sure hopes so.

“I may be a little bit more vocal,” Prescott said. “But when you say ‘barking,’ it’s almost like at a negative tone. Like, you’re going out at them hard. I’d say if anything, I’m trying to be more encouraging and bring more out of them.

“When you have a young team and different personalities, it’s hard just to be negative and be critical the whole time. For me, it’s a lot about coaching the guys up. And then the guys that I know I can be critical on, yeah, sure I am.”

The 2016 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, who opens the season Sunday at Carolina trying to get the Cowboys back to the playoffs after they missed during his less-than-stellar encore , just illustrated offensive coordinator Scott Linehan’s take on leadership from Prescott.

Sure, this 25-year-old with a master’s degree in workforce education leadership from Mississippi State is the unquestioned commander of the offense — and that includes over running back Ezekiel Elliott, his fellow first-year standout from 2016.

But it’s not necessarily because of the retirement of Tony Romo, the quarterback he replaced with one of the best debuts for a quarterback in NFL history.

Or because 15-year tight end Jason Witten joined Romo in the broadcast booth this year. Or because the Cowboys dumped boisterous receiver Dez Bryant Jerry Rice Jersey , the franchise leader in touchdown catches, in a cost-cutting move.

Since Prescott showed up as the forgotten third-teamer on Romo’s team two years ago, he has shown the leadership qualities that suddenly became more pronounced. He was a natural to become the face of the franchise , and would be by himself if not for linebacker Sean Lee.

“He’s always been a guy that, even as a rookie, he was not afraid to speak up and give his two cents on the field and encourage guys,” Linehan said. “He’s a natural when it comes to that.”

Prescott led the Cowboys to 11 straight wins after Romo injured his back in the preseason in 2016, when Dallas had an NFC-best 13 victories before losing to Green Bay in a divisional playoff.

Elliott’s six-game suspension marred their second season together, and Prescott felt the burden of the absence.

The poor decisions he avoided as a rookie were more frequent, including an ill-advised throw that was intercepted and returned for a touchdown in a late-season loss to Seattle that finished off Dallas’ playoff hopes in Elliott’s first game back.

The theme last season was whether Prescott could avoid a sophomore slump, a term he brushed off. Now it’s whether he can have a bounce-back season, if there is such a thing for a young quarterback.

“You can call it whatever you call it,” he said. “I’m excited for what we’re going to have and the year we’re going to have and I feel very, very confident in the players we have and the team we have and what we’re going to do this season.”

There are questions, starting with a revamped receiving corps that lacks the star power brought by Witten and Bryant.

The Cowboys say they’ll attack the passing game with versatility Logan Thomas Jersey , hoping to take advantage of one-on-one matchups with opponents focusing first on stopping Elliott, the league rushing leader when Prescott was voted the top offensive rookie.

There are two new starters on Dallas’ vaunted offensive line. Joe Looney is replacing Travis Frederick at center while the four-time Pro Bowler recovers from Guillain-Barre syndrome, an auto-immune disease that attacks nerves. He doesn’t know when he will return. Rookie second-round pick Connor Williams is at left guard.

Despite the questions, Prescott is determined not to try to do too much again.

“I know I’ll be better,” he said. “I just learned so much from last year, just moving forward, mature within the game, just learned a lot more that I didn’t know last year that I wasn’t as comfortable with. Just reads, my game on footwork, accuracy and consistency, everything.”

Learning isn’t stopping him from coaching, as he put it.

“I think as a rookie it was more encouraging and that kind of thing,” Swaim said. “This year, the barking, it’s not like he’s screaming and yelling. That’s not his thing. It’s more just Darian Thompson Jersey , ‘Hey, this is what you need to do here.’ And it’s good because it keeps everyone focused and in their role and doing their job.”

Prescott just wants you to know it’s not negative.

The rival Koreas will sit down for their first formal talks in more than two years next week to find ways to cooperate on the Winter Olympics in the South and to improve their abysmal ties, Seoul officials said Friday. While a positive sign after last year’s threats of nuclear war, the Koreas have a long history of failing to move past their deep animosity.

The announcement came hours after the United States said it will delay annual military exercises with South Korea until after the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, next month. The exercises infuriate North Korea, which claims they are an invasion rehearsal, although South Korea and the United States have repeatedly said they are defensive in nature.

On Friday morning, North Korea sent a message saying it would accept South Korea’s offer to meet at the border village of Panmunjom next Tuesday to discuss Olympic cooperation and how to improve overall ties, according to South Korea’s Unification Ministry, which handles North Korean matters. Panmunjom is where a North Korean soldier dashed across the border into the South in November. He is recovering after being shot five times by his former comrades.

WINTER WEATHER

The NHL game in Boston between the Bruins and Florida Panthers was among the sports events disrupted by the winter storm that hit the East Coast.

The Panthers-Bruins matchup was postponed. The NHL hasn’t yet announced a makeup date.

Rugged weather also delayed the New York Giants’ search for a new coach. They were set to interview Eric Studesville, the recently fired Broncos’ running backs coach, but that meeting will now take place next week.

Boston College pushed back the women’s basketball game it was scheduled to host against North Carolina by a day until Friday. Also, Rutgers said its gymnastics team was unable to travel to Arizona for its season-opening meet Saturday.

Horse racing at Aqueduct Racetrack was called off through the weekend because of the snow, cold and wind. Live racing will resume on Jan. 11.

TENNIS

Serena Williams’ decision not to defend her Australian Open title four months after giving birth to her first child had nothing to do with merely being able to play at Melbourne Park.

The seven-time Australian Open champion confirmed she wouldn’t attempt to defend the title she won here last year Trent Brown Jersey , saying she wasn’t convinced she could win it.

Williams played in an exhibition tournament last weekend in Abu Dhabi to test her match condition, and indicated after her loss to French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko that she might not travel to Melbourne.

Williams was pregnant when she won at Melbourne Park last year, her Open-era record 23rd Grand Slam singles title. She gave birth to her daughter, Alexis Olympia, in September.

Williams didn’t drop a set while winning last year’s title, and her victory helped her regain the world No.1 ranking.

The 36-year-old Williams needs only one more major title to equal the all-time record held by Margaret Court, who won 13 of her 24 Grand Slam titles before the Open era began in 1968.

PRO FOOTBALL

PITTSBURGH (AP) – The father of Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier says his son has made significant progress since suffering a spinal injury in Cincinnati last month.

Vernon Shazier told WPXI-TV in Pittsburgh that his is ”a long ways from where he was on that Monday night when he was lying on the field.” Ryan Shazier left the first quarter of Pittsburgh’s victory over the Bengals on Dec. 4 with a spinal injury. He underwent spinal stabilization surgery on Dec. 6. The extent of his injury has not been disclosed, though Vernon Shazier said Ryan has some feeling in his legs.

Vernon Shazier said the family has decided to keep the details of Ryan’s injury private until he is ready to discuss it. Ryan has made two appearances at Heinz Field in recent weeks for the playoff-bound Steelers.

When asked if he believes his son will play football game, Vernon Shazier said yes.

HOCKEY

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) – International Ice Hockey Federation President Rene’ Fasel placed the emphasis on NHL players to persuade the league to compete at the 2022 Beijing Winter Games.

NHL Players’ Association chief Don Fehr responded by saying it’s a little more complicated than that.

Though Fehr believes it’s in the league’s best interest to compete at the 2022 Olympics, he told The Associated Press he’s not ready to commit to re-opening bargaining talks next year in a bid to have that happen.

Fehr also put the onus back on Fasel by noting the IIHF will have to budge on its position of refusing to pay for transportation and players’ insurance costs for 2022.

Fehr was responding to comments Fasel made following a news conference at the world junior hockey championship in Buffalo, New York, on Thursday. Fehr spoke while attending the 10-nation tournament later in the day,.

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