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  • 18 Mar
    导出博客文章ARLINGTON, Texas -- Midway through the second quarter Sunday, down 7-0 following
    two straight penalties by his talk-of-the-NFL offensive line, Dallas Cowboys
    quarterback Dak Prescott faced a first-and-30 at his own 28 and thought he was
    in pretty good shape.It might actually be easier at that point, the unflappable
    rookie said a couple hours later. You know, your mentality is just to get a
    little bit at a time, check it down and let your guys do what they do. When you
    can just focus on the next play, the next throw, trust the guys around you to
    make the blocks ... thats when it gets fun.A 12-yard Prescott scramble, a
    12-yarder to Dez Bryant on the skinny post, a 41-yard bomb to Brice Butler on
    the sideline, and the first-and-30 was a memory. The Cowboys first touchdown of
    the game was moments away. Their ninth straight win was in motion. No ones
    having more fun right now than Prescott & Co.The game Sunday against the
    Baltimore Ravens and their top-ranked defense was a potential pothole on the
    Cowboys improbable road to the postseason. Baltimore had a plan for the Cowboys
    dazzling rookies. They were going to plug up the middle with Brandon Williams
    and the big guys on their defensive line, cutting things off for Ezekiel
    Elliott. They were going to blitz off the edges and rattle Prescott. The Cowboys
    knew it was coming, and they knew it was going to be rough.I wouldnt say we were
    specifically looking forward to it, Elliott said.Whats amazing about Sunday, as
    the latest chapter in a season not even the most starry-eyed Cowboys fan saw
    coming, is that Baltimore did what it set out to do. It?limited Elliott to 26
    yards on six carries in the first half. It rattled Prescott, who was admittedly
    off with several throws early in the game. The Ravens wanted to be tough and
    physical and mean with the Cowboys, and they did just that. They had the Cowboys
    kryptonite, and they were using it effectively.The Cowboys beat them anyway.I
    knew we were going to wear them down because we have a physical team too, and we
    believe in our physicality, Prescott said. Theyre physical. I give them credit
    for that. They came out and shut our run game down early on. But we believe in
    our physicality.The Cowboys self-belief is something to behold. They didnt care
    that the Ravens were smothering them early. They didnt care that Elliott couldnt
    get it going. They absolutely knew they were going to dominate the second half,
    and dominate it they did, possessing the ball for a ludicrous 20:09 of 30
    second-half minutes and choking off any hope the Ravens had of ending the
    leagues longest win streak.Baltimore is the kind of team that should give the
    Cowboys trouble. The Cowboys took their best shot and shrugged it off.They
    definitely didnt become unstoppable, Ravens linebacker C.J. Mosley said. We
    played top-down defense in the passing game. And they do checkdowns, like 10
    yards per pop. Its kind of hard. You dont want to give up the big play, and they
    check it down.Relentlessly. Over and over again. As if they dont care what kind
    of kryptonite you brought.The most incredible thing about what Dallas is doing
    is that its leaning so hard on the rookies. Defenses are supposed to be able to
    rattle rookies and get them off their game. But Elliott and Prescott dont
    rattle. They believe.I never get antsy, said Elliott, who rushed 25 times for 97
    yards and was held under 4.0 yards per carry for the first time since his Week 1
    NFL debut. Because I know were going to get into the fourth quarter and run the
    ball, no matter what. They were keying on the run early on, and you saw we were
    struggling a little bit, but its a four-quarter game.Perspective from rookies.
    Confidence from rookies. Total faith from rookies -- in their linemen, their
    coaches and the entire group around them. Thats the way you win when you build
    around rookies. You convince them theyre in control. You make it clear to the
    rookie quarterback that its his team, even now that Tony Romo is in uniform on
    the sideline for the first time all season. You get the rookies to buy into the
    idea that sticking to the plan will work, no matter how it feels throughout the
    first quarter and deep into the second. Then you pile up wins as proof, and
    theres basically no stopping you.Logic says someone will beat these Cowboys
    again. The Dallas defense doesnt scare anyone, which is why keeping it off the
    field for two-thirds of the second half is such a brilliant plan. The offense
    doesnt generate a lot of big plays (perhaps simply because it doesnt need to).
    Rookies always get tired as the season goes along, and there are six games left
    in this Cowboys season, the first of which is four days away. Logic says theres
    a hiccup looming somewhere.But logic said the Cowboys would have a hard time
    with the Ravens on Sunday. And they kind of did. And they won?kind of?easily
    anyway.The Ravens wanted to beat this team, giddy owner Jerry Jones said. We
    hadnt beaten them since theyve been the Ravens. It was all there for them to
    come here and set us back. That makes it all the more impressive to get the win.
    Thats a top NFL franchise that we beat today. Im impressed.Watching the Cowboys
    every week, its hard to not be. Since the Giants won by a point in Week 1, no
    team has shown that the Cowboys can be beaten. Baltimore had a plan and executed
    it and lost anyway.If theres any kryptonite out there for these Cowboys, its
    going to have to be different stuff than what the Ravens brought Sunday. That
    didnt work. New Balance Clearance
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    . -- The proud fathers huddled near the Dallas Stars dressing room, smiling,
    laughing and telling stories while wearing replica green sweaters of their sons
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    . 10 Texas Rangers jersey for one last time. Young formally announced
    his retirement Friday after returning to Rangers Ballpark, his baseball home for
    all but the last of his 13 major league seasons.
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    Booth picked up 65 caps after making her national team debut in 2002 at the age
    of 17. She most recently played for Sky Blue FC of the National Womens Soccer
    League. "It just felt like it was my time to move on," she said in a phone
    interview from her hometown of Burlington, Ont. England batsman Alex Hales hopes
    that a return to white-ball cricket will have a rejuvenating effect on his game,
    as it did following a tough Test debut in South Africa at the start of the
    year.Hales is one of a number of England players cleared to play in NatWest T20
    Blast Finals Day, with his county, Nottinghamshire, contesting the first
    semi-final against Northamptonshire. Hales said it would be nice to free the
    arms again after four Tests against Pakistan in which he averaged 18.12 with one
    fifty.Those numbers are remarkably similar to his first experience of Test
    cricket, when he averaged 17.00 with a high score of 60 over four appearances
    against South Africa. He followed that up by scoring 383 runs in five ODI
    innings - his breakthrough 50-over series for England - and is keen to mount a
    similar comeback, initially in T20 for Notts and then in the Pakistan ODIs. Its
    going to be nice come back to what is a big day for the club and be able to free
    the arms, he told ESPNcricinfo ahead of Finals Day at Edgbaston. The last couple
    of training sessions have been nice to hit a white ball and put the
    disappointment of the Test series behind me.Its a big day for the club but its
    also nice, when you have a tough time, to step out of the international arena
    and come back to a county you love.Its a similar situation to South Africa, I
    had a really poor Test series and then bounced back pretty well in the 50-over
    stuff. So its a situation Im pretty familiar with, I know Ive been in it before
    and dealt with it well, so hopefully I can find some form in whats going to be
    an exciting ODI series.Hales made strides in his second Test engagement, with
    scores of 86, 83 and 94 in five innings against Sri Lanka, but was then given a
    working over by Pakistans seam attack. His place in the Test side for tours of
    Bangladesh and India will therefore be up for debate but could be bolstered by
    heavy one-day scoring.Stuart Broad has also been made available for Notts on
    Finals Day, while Yorkshire have Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow and Gary Ballance back
    from England duty and Durham include Ben Stokes aand Mark Wood in their ranks,
    but Hales was refusing to take Northamptonshire - the only side to have
    previously won the tournament - lightly.ddddddddddddAll four teams are strong on
    paper… If you look down through Northants batting line-up, its incredibly
    dangerous, he said. I guess thats the beauty of Finals Day, whichever team turns
    up has a chance of winning it.Lining up against Nottinghamshire will be one of
    the most in-form limited-overs batsmen in the county game. Last month, Ben
    Duckett scored 448 runs at an average of 224.00 during England Lions tri-series
    with Pakistan A and Sri Lanka A and he also led the T20 scoring for
    Northamptonshire as the 2013 champions qualified for a third Finals Day in four
    years.Duckett has been tipped for a place in Englands white-ball teams and,
    although he missed out on selection for the Pakistan series, he has been
    encouraged to keep pushing for a place after speaking to the national selector,
    James Whitaker. He also said he believes he can fulfil his ambitions of playing
    for England while at Northamptonshire.The reason I got picked for the Lions was
    the form Ive had for Northants, he told ESPNcricinfo. People look at us as a
    small side but we do it every year… as a one-day side, were very strong. The way
    you get seen for England is playing on the big stage like this, moving to
    another club they might not get to Finals Days and weve had three in four years.
    So for me personally, in one-day cricket, Im at a great county.Ive spoken to
    selectors, before and during the Lions, just trying to score runs. The one-day
    side at the moment is unbelievable for England, and they have been for the last
    12 months, which is why its going to be so difficult to get into that side. But
    I saw James Whitaker yesterday and he said, keep doing what youre doing, try and
    score runs and there might be a chance in the winter.If you get a match-winning
    score on a big stage like this, its going to be noticed and that can only be
    good. ' ' '