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Cowboys Cruise Past New Orleans

Cowboys Cruise Past New Orleans

Tom Pennington/Getty Images(ARLINGTON, Texas) — Tony Romo threw for three touchdown passes while DeMarco Murray rushed for two more as the Dallas Cowboys dominated New Orleans, winning 38-17 on Sunday night. The Cowboys (3-1) led 24-0 at halftime and maintained their double-digit lead throughout.

“That was very important for us to see what kind of team we were going to be,” said Romo who ended his day with 262 passing yards as well. “We kind of knew but it’s nice to go against a team…that is still a really good football team.”

Dallas began the scoring when Romo found Terrance Williams from six yards out in the first quarter. The two later connected with 19 seconds left in the half, upping the advantage to 24-0. While Romo was lighting it up in the air, Murray led a dominant rushing attack on the ground. The running back totalled 149 yards, his fourth 100-yard game of the year, as the Cowboys racked up 445 yards of total offense.

Meanwhile, the Saints (1-3) offense was held in check all night. Quarterback Drew Brees threw for 340 yards but was unable to lead a scoring drive until the third quarter when New Orleans settled for a Shayne Graham field goal. They would close the gap to 31-17, scoring two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, but Dallas’ defense held strong and prevented any thought of a comeback.

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ESPN: RB Ingram Out at Least a Month with Broken Hand

ESPN: RB Ingram Out at Least a Month with Broken Hand

Stacy Revere/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram is expected to miss at least a month after breaking his hand during Sunday’s game against the Cleveland Browns, according to ESPN.

ESPN reports Ingram suffered the injury in the first half. Despite the injury, Ingram stayed in the game.

Ingram, 24, had been very productive to start the season. In two games he rushed for 143 yards on 24 carries, scoring three touchdowns.

The Saints (0-2) have a deep backfield that includes Pierre Thomas and Khiry Robinson, who have both started games in the NFL.

The Saints take on the Minnesota Vikings (1-1) Sunday in New Orleans.

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Saints Prepare for Browns

Saints Prepare for Browns

Chris Graythen/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The New Orleans Saints will travel to Cleveland to take on the Browns on Sunday.

New Orleans is looking to avoid their first 0-2 start since the 2007 season and the Browns come into the losing their last eight in a row.

Saints quarterback Drew Brees went 29 for 42 with 333 yard with a touchdown and an interception in the 37-34 loss to Atlanta last week.

“We don’t feel like it’s doomsday, but there is a sense of urgency to get better,” Brees said this week.

“Biggest thing on the road is communication,” Brees continued.  “I feel like we’ve got a pretty good system when it comes to that, but it’s always a challenge.”

Cleveland last won their home opener in 2004 and quarterback Brian Hoyer knows the Saints defense will be tough to beat.

“For me, I try to get rid of the ball relatively quick,” Hoyer said of the Saints defense.  “I think it has to do with your preparation and knowing what the defense is trying to do. Against a team that is coached by Rob Ryan, sometimes that’s hard because he can try to confuse you, so you really have to be on top of your game preparation and see as many looks as you can and then try to take that to the field.”

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Saints Cut Bailey and Meachem

Saints Cut Bailey and Meachem

Stacy Revere/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The New Orleans Saints made their final roster cuts on Saturday in preparation for Week One of the 2014 NFL Season. Among those left off the final 53 were veteran wide receiver Robert Meachem and cornerback Champ Bailey.

Bailey, who was also released by the Denver Broncos this year, was sidelined for three weeks during training camp with a foot injury. The 36-year old played 10 season with the Broncos before his release.

“Even though I’ve played 15 years, it doesn’t matter. Man, this is a production business,” Bailey said last week. “I think every guy going into training camp has to show what he can do. And, you know, I feel good. If they like what I do, then I’ll play a lot on Sundays. Plain and simple.”

A 29-year-old receiver, Meachem’s release is less shocking to most. The Saints have a plethora of young wide outs including Nick Toon and Joe Morgan, who sit at the bottom of the depth chart. Meachem caught 157 passes for 2,593 yards and 25 touchdowns during his six seasons in New Orleans.

The Saints also released both kickers they had brought to camp in Shayne Graham and Derek Dimke.

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Saints’ Graham Fined $30K for Dunks

Saints’ Graham Fined $30K for Dunks

Chris Graythen/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham was fined $30,000 on Friday by the NFL for dunking on the goalpost twice during a preseason game against Tennessee last week. 

The new rule, instituted this season, re-defines unsportsmanlike conduct to include any act using the ball as a prop. Many have referred to the new interpretation as the “Jimmy Graham rule” directed at the veteran tight end’s signature touchdown celebration.

Graham twice dunked the football after scoring touchdowns against the Titans, resulting in a pair of 15-yard penalties. The acts also drew some frustration from head coach Sean Payton as the Saints committed a total of 28 called penalties. 

League rules state that players can be fined at least $11,025 for a their first unsportsmanlike penalty, and $22,050 for a second offense if the league deems necessary. Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel was fined $12,000 for making an obscene gesture towards the Washington Redskins bench on Monday night.

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Saints’ Jimmy Graham: No More Dunking

Saints’ Jimmy Graham: No More Dunking

Stacy Revere/Getty Images(METAIRIE, La.) — New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham won’t be dunking the football after a touchdown this season to avoid any penalties during the game that could cost his team.

Following both of his touchdown receptions in Friday’s 31-24 preseason win over Tennessee, Graham proceeded to dunk the football through the goalposts and was penalized 15 yards for it, which led to head coach Sean Payton screaming at him on the sideline.

“You know, for four years and however many touchdowns, I’ve always dunked it. And I just gotta stop doing that now,” Graham said.

Graham didn’t believe any player dunking a ball through a goal post was hurting anyone, but promised to stop.

“The rule [is] unfortunate because I just love the game. I have a lot of passion for the game. And when I go out there on Sunday, it’s fun for me,” Graham said. “And I feel like a little kid out there. And sometimes I act like it.”

Graham said on Sunday that he would listen to Payton’s request for him to stop dunking the ball through the goal posts.

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Graham Penalized, Scolded for Touchdown Dunks

Graham Penalized, Scolded for Touchdown Dunks

Chris Graythen/Getty Images(NEW ORLEANS) — It didn’t take long for Jimmy Graham to violate the rule many feel was put in place because of him. Following both of his touchdown receptions in Friday’s 31-24 preseason win over Tennessee, Graham proceeded to dunk the football through the goalposts and was penalized 15 yards for it.

The second celebration drew the ire of head coach Sean Payton, who tracked his tight end down on the sideline to scold him. In total, the Saints committed 22 penalties throughout the game. Graham declined interviews as he left the locker room while Payton would not directly comment on the incidents.

The celebration of “dunking” a ball through the goalposts was lumped in with other taunting penalties where the ball is used as a “prop”. Many have referred to the rule chance as the “Jimmy Graham rule”.

“I understand Jimmy’s frustration with that rule change. I understand what he’s doing,” said offensive tackle and team captain Zach Strief.  “And yet it’s something, look, if this is a regular-season game, Jimmy’s not dunking over the goalpost. Coach Payton was completely, I think, correct to jump on him. Any of us, I think would expect it.

New Orleans was once again without quarterback Drew Brees who sat with an oblique strain. He is expected to be 100% healthy come the regular season. Wide receiver Marques Colston was also not dressed for action, but for an undisclosed reason.

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Scoreboard Roundup – 8/8/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 8/8/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — MLB: Tampa Bay Rays 4 (56-59) – Chicago Cubs 3 (49-64) 10 Innings

Baltimore Orioles 12 (66-49) – St. Louis Cardinals 2 (61-53)

New York Mets 5 (55-61) – Philadelphia Phillies 4 (52-64)

Pittsburgh Pirates 2 (62-53) – San Diego Padres 1 (52-62)

Miami Marlins 2 (56-59) – Cincinnati Reds 1 (59-57)

Detroit Tigers 5 (63-50) – Toronto Blue Jays 4 (61-56)

New York Yankees 10 (61-54) – Cleveland Indians 6 (57-59) 

Kansas City Royals 4 (61-53) – San Francisco Giants 2 (62-54)

Milwaukee Brewers 9 (64-52) – Los Angeles Dodgers 3 (66-51)

Atlanta Braves 7 (59-56) – Washington Nationals 6 (62-52)

Houston Astros 4 (48-68) – Texas Rangers 3 (45-70)

Arizona Diamondbacks 5 (50-66) – Colorado Rockies 3 (45-70)

Oakland Athletics 6 (71-44) – Minnesota Twins 5 (51-63)

Seattle Mariners 4 (61-54) – Chicago White Sox 1 (55-62)

Boston Red Sox 4 (51-64) – Los Angeles Angels 2 (67-48)

NFL Preseason: Atlanta Falcons 16 (1-0) – Miami Dolphins 10 (0-1)

Jacksonville Jaguars 16 (1-0) – Tampa Bay Buccaneers 10 (0-1)

Buffalo Bills 20 (1-0) – Carolina Panthers 18 (0-1)

Minnesota Vikings 10 (1-0) – Oakland Raiders 6 (0-1)

New Orleans Saints 26 (1-0) – St. Louis Rams 24 (0-1) 

Chicago Bears 34 (1-0) – Philadelphia Eagles 28 (0-1)

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Guard Carl Nicks Parts Ways with Bucs

Guard Carl Nicks Parts Ways with Bucs

Scott Boehm/Getty Images(TAMPA, Fla.) –Offensive guard Carl Nicks and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers mutually agreed to part ways Friday.

The two-time Pro Bowler signed a five-year, $47.5 million deal in 2012 with the team but has been dealing with ailments that have allowed him to play in only nine games the last two seasons.

“I’d like to thank the Buccaneers organization for working with me as I have attempted to get myself back on the football field,” Nicks said in a statement. “However, after careful consideration, I have made the decision to step away from the game. This was by no means an easy decision, but I believe that it is what is best for me and my family, as well as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
The 29-year-old Nicks has played in six NFL seasons, including four with New Orleans where he won a Super Bowl.                                         
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Saints Safety Jairus Byrd to Undergo Back Surgery

Saints Safety Jairus Byrd to Undergo Back Surgery

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images(METAIRIE, La.) — One of highest-profile free agents this off-season is set to undergo back surgery as New Orleans Saints safety Jairus Byrd is set to go under the knife.

Saints head coach Sean Payton said that Byrd will probably miss all of OTA’s as well as minicamps over the next month.

“This is something after the doctors looked at it, and the specialists out in [Los Angeles] looked at it, [they] felt this was one scenario that would kind of take care of it rather than try to [keep managing it],” Payton said of Byrd’s surgery. “If it was during the season, you wouldn’t go through the procedure. You would treat it symptomatically then.”

Byrd is a three-time Pro Bowl player, and is one of the best at his position. Earlier in the off-season, the Saints signed Byrd to a six-year deal worth $54 million, with $20.03 million of that guaranteed.

The 27-year-old Byrd spent all five seasons of his NFL career with the Buffalo Bills before signing with the Saints.

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Bailey Agrees to Two-Year Deal with Saints

Bailey Agrees to Two-Year Deal with Saints

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The New Orleans Saints announced Friday that they agreed to a two-year deal with 12-time Pro Bowl cornerback Champ Bailey.
According to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter, the deal can be worth a maximum of $7 million…

Jairus Byrd to Sign with Saints

Jairus Byrd to Sign with Saints

Doug PensingerGetty Images(NEW ORLEANS) — The Saints didn’t waste any time at the start of free agency, agreeing to a six-year contract with free agent safety Jairus Byrd.
Byrd, who spent his first five NFL seasons with the Buffalo Bills, will receive…

ESPN: Saints to Cut Running Back Darren Sproles

ESPN: Saints to Cut Running Back Darren Sproles

Stacy Revere/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The NFL can be a harsh business sometimes, and the New Orleans Saints are finding out first hand. According to ESPN, the team plans to cut running back Darren Sproles if they’re unable to trade him.
The 30-year-ol…

Saints Place Franchise Tag on Graham

Saints Place Franchise Tag on Graham

Chris Graythen/Getty Images(NEW ORLEANS) — Jimmy Graham has been given the franchise tag…but for what position?
The New Orleans Saints placed the designation on Graham expecting to pay him like a tight end, but Graham may argue that he should be pay…

Saints Cut Four Defensive Players

Saints Cut Four Defensive Players

Stacy Revere/Getty Images(METAIRE, La.) — With the team hampered by salary cap restraints, the New Orleans Saints have decided to cut four core members of their defense in linebacker Jonathan Vilma, cornerback Jabari Greer, defensive end Will Smith, a…

Saints Tight End Jimmy Graham Hoping to Avoid the Franchise Tag

Saints Tight End Jimmy Graham Hoping to Avoid the Franchise Tag

Chris Graythen/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — After dominating his position in recent years, New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham is set to cash in for his recent production, but is hoping for a long-term deal rather than settle for the franchise tag.

Seahawks Fly Into NFC Championship Game

Seahawks Fly Into NFC Championship Game

Christian Petersen/Getty Images(SEATTLE) — In a windy and rainy contest, the Seattle Seahawks did what they do best; win at home. The NFC’s top seed withstood both the elements and a late rally by New Orleans to advance into the NFC Championship Game …

Scoreboard Roundup – 1/11/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 1/11/14

Getty Images/Hemera(NEW YORK) — NFL Playoffs – NFC Divisional Game: Seattle Seahawks 23 (13-3) – New Orleans Saints 15 (11-5)
AFC Divisional Game: New England Patriots 43 (12-4) – Indianapolis Colts 22 (11-5)
College Basketball: (2) Syracuse 57 (…

Harvin to Play Against Saints

Harvin to Play Against Saints

NFL via Getty Images(SEATTLE) — When the Seattle Seahawks host the New Orleans Saints in their NFC Divisional playoff matchup, they will have an added weapon in wide receiver Percy Harvin. The five-year veteran said after Thursday’s practice that he w…

Graham Leads Saints Over Eagles, 26-24 in NFC wild-card game

Graham Leads Saints Over Eagles, 26-24 in NFC wild-card game

Stacy Revere/Getty Images(PHILADELPHIA) — Saints kicker Shayne Graham nailed a 32-yard field goal with no time remaining to give New Orleans (12-5) a 26-24 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles (10-7) on Saturday night in the NFC wild card game.
Graha…

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