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#pounditSaturday, January 28, 2023

Stories by Larry Brown:

Joe Buck sent great tweet ahead of 49ers-Cowboys game

Jan 14, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; FOX analyst Joe Buck before the NFC Divisional Playoff football game between the Minnesota Vikings and the New Orleans Saints at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Buck sent a great tweet on Sunday ahead of the NFC Divisional Round playoff game between the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers.

The ESPN announcer said he was in line at a Starbucks in St. Louis and was asked by a fan if he was calling the Cowboys-49ers playoff game later that day. The fan probably associated Buck with NFC playoff games and forgot that a) Buck is now with ESPN and b) the game was being played in Santa Clara, Calif.

Buck apparently played along with the question.

“A guy in line at Starbucks this am (in Stl) asked me if I was doing the Cowboys game today in SF. Obviously I said “yes, oh sh!!!”, and ran to my car. Won’t he be surprised?!!” Buck tweeted.

That’s pretty great.

Buck and Troy Aikman partnered to call some of the biggest NFL playoff games over the last two decades. The 49ers-Cowboys game would have been the exact kind of game they would have called as FOX’s No. 1 announcing team. But the two moved from FOX to ESPN last year to become the “Monday Night Football” announcers, which means their season ended after the Wild Card round of the playoffs.

It’s unfortunate for fans not to have the Aikman-Buck duo calling major playoff games, but at least we get them on “Monday Night Football.” And at least Buck has a sense of humor about matters.

Bronny James has interest in Oregon, but is there 1 obstacle?

Dec 11, 2021; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Sierra Canyon High School guard Bronny James looks on against Perry High School at Footprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Bronny James has interest in playing college basketball for Oregon, but there could be one obstacle.

An article published in the Los Angeles Times last week said that Oregon, Ohio State and USC are James’ top three schools.

The Oregonian’s Bill Oram spoke with Bronny’s father LeBron about the Sierra Canyon star’s preferred colleges. LeBron said that those three schools are part of Bronny’s “top five or six.”

But here’s the thing about Oregon: they have not actually offered James a scholarship.

LeBron says the lack of a scholarship offer is not an issue and that the interest between the two sides is mutual. LeBron is basing that on a conversation he had with Ducks coach Dana Altman, and the confidence the Lakers star has in his son’s ability.

247 Sports lists Bronny as a 4-star player for the class of 2023. They list nine schools under James’ profile and indicate he has scholarship offers from three of the nine schools.

Only Memphis, USC and Ohio State have officially offered Bronny a scholarship. Both USC and Ohio State are in James’ top five/six schools.

The other schools listed in Bronny’s 247 Sports list include: Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan and North Carolina.

Bronny is expected to make a decision after his high school basketball season is completed. He is set to graduate this spring.

Details of Tony Pollard’s injury and recovery timetable revealed

Jul 27, 2022; Oxnard, CA, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Pollard (20) during training camp at the River Ridge Fields. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Tony Pollard was knocked out of Sunday’s NFC Divisional Round playoff game between his Dallas Cowboys and the San Francisco 49ers with an injury, and now we have more details about the injury.

The Cowboys running back suffered a fractured left fibula and high ankle sprain while being brought down on a tackle late in the second quarter. Pollard was carted off the field and ruled out for the game. He was seen on crutches after the game.

Cowboys reporter David Moore of the Dallas Morning News says Pollard is likely to undergo surgery on Tuesday.

ESPN’s Todd Archer says that Pollard is likely looking at a 3-month recovery period.

Both reports suggest that Pollard will be ready for the start of training camp.

Pollard emerged as a major threat in the Cowboys’ offense this season. He rushed for 1,007 yards and 9 touchdowns with an average of 5.2 yards per carry. He also caught 39 passes for 371 yards and 3 touchdowns. The 25-year-old made his first Pro Bowl.

Dak Prescott makes bold prediction after Cowboys’ loss

Aug 26, 2017; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) smiles while on the field before the game against the Oakland Raiders at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Dak Prescott did not play well in his Dallas Cowboys’ 19-12 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in the Divisional Round of the NFC playoffs on Sunday night, but that’s not hurting his confidence.

Prescott threw two interceptions to cost his team during a close game. Both of his interceptions led to 49ers field goals, and one of the turnovers robbed the Cowboys of a scoring opportunity.

Prescott promised after the game that he will work on his turnovers and not make those mistakes next season. He also made a bold prediction.

“There’s no doubt that we’ll be back. No doubt at all,” Prescott said, via Jon Machota.

Prescott has a lot to prove. Dallas went 12-5 in the regular season, and the 29-year-old quarterback played great against Tampa Bay in the Wild Card round. But San Francisco gave him trouble.

The Cowboys still have not advanced past the divisional round of the playoffs since winning the Super Bowl in 1995. Maybe one of these years Prescott and the Cowboys will finally break through and get past that point. Until then, they will have their share of doubters.

Micah Parsons responds to Deebo Samuel over Instagram

Nov 7, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons (11) before the game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Denver Broncos at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Micah Parsons responded to Deebo Samuel after the 49ers receiver threw some shade at the Dallas Cowboys linebacker following Sunday’s game.

Samuel’s Niners beat Parsons’ Cowboys 19-12 in their NFC Divisional Round playoff game to advance to the NFC Championship Game. In comments leading up to the game, Parsons said that he wanted the Niners because he knew Dallas would have to beat the best teams to reach the Super Bowl.

After the game, Samuel made Parsons the focus of an Instagram post. Deebo posted a series of photos, and used the caption “Don’t Poke The Bear.” One of the slides was of Parsons’ comments saying he wanted to face San Francisco.

Parsons saw the post and responded with a comment.

“Lol what did you do today fam (sic) lol ?! But congrats on the win ! But don’t put me in this weak a– slide,” Parsons wrote (censored for profanity).

Samuel had four rushes for 11 yards and 4 catches for 45 yards.

Dallas’ defense played well and wasn’t the reason they lost. Six of San Francisco’s 19 points came after Dak Prescott interceptions, including one in Cowboys territory. The other turnover prevented the Cowboys from scoring points.

But you win as a team and you lose as a team, and Parsons’ team lost. That’s why Samuel is able to say the things he did.

Dalton Schultz gave pathetic effort on Cowboys’ final drive

Dalton Schultz had a good season for the Dallas Cowboys, but his pathetic effort on the team’s final possession of the season will be hard to forget.

The Cowboys were down 19-12 to the San Francisco 49ers in Sunday’s Divisional Round playoff game and got the ball back at their 6 with 45 seconds left.

Dallas completed a 3rd-and-1 pass to Schultz near the sideline, but the tight end stopped fighting as he was heading out of bounds. He ended up being pushed backwards, which resulted in the clock continuing to run rather than stop.

Schultz cost his team about six seconds, which means he cost his team a play with his lack of effort after the catch.

Two plays later, Dak Prescott threw to Schultz near the sideline again. Nobody was near Schultz, who made zero effort ensure he got both feet in bounds.

Though the play was ruled a catch on the field, it was overturned after a review because Schultz only had one foot in.

The Cowboys’ chances of being able to score a touchdown on the possession were low anyway, but Schultz absolutely did them no favors. He cost his team a play with the six seconds lost, and he cost them a 15-yard catch with his poor effort.

It’s amazing a player could have gone into the final possession of the season already having given up, but that’s how it felt things were for Schultz.

Josh Allen took Bills’ playoff loss extremely hard

Sep 27, 2020; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) jogs off the field following the game against the Los Angeles Rams at Bills Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Josh Allen played poorly in his Buffalo Bills’ season-ending loss on Sunday, and he took the defeat hard.

Allen went 25/42 for 265 yards and an interception, though he added a rushing touchdown. His Bills were beaten soundly 27-10 by the Cincinnati Bengals in their AFC Divisional Round playoff game.

Allen hardly got anything going and missed many passes while playing in the snow. His top target, Stefon Diggs, seemed to have issues with the QB.

After the Bills went 13-3 in the regular season and looked like a Super Bowl team, losing in the divisional round is a disappointment. Allen recognized that.

According to ESPN’s Dianna Russini, Allen sat at his locker for a long time after the game before going to shower. The Bills QB reportedly was shocked.

“Josh Allen sat in his locker, still in his uniform, for a long time just looking at his phone and looking almost shocked.

“He finally just hit the shower,” Russini reported.

It’s hard for a team with such high expectations to go out like that. It’s one thing to get eliminated in the divisional round by losing a coin toss. It’s another to go out while laying an egg. Allen knows that.

George Kittle gave touchdown ball to 49ers legend

George Kittle hooked up a 49ers legend with a touchdown ball on Sunday.

Christian McCaffrey rushed for a 2-yard touchdown on a 2nd-and-goal play to start the fourth quarter of the San Francisco 49ers’ NFC Divisional Round playoff game against the Dallas Cowboys. McCaffrey spiked the ball after his touchdown, and Kittle caught the ball after it bounced off the ground.

Not only did Kittle joke around by pretending to call for a fair catch, but he also flipped the touchdown ball to Jerry Rice, who was behind the end zone.

Rice was among several former 49ers players who attended the big playoff game, which brought back memories of the rivalry playoff games between the Cowboys and Niners in the early ’90s (as well as the early ’70s and 1981).

In addition to getting the touchdown ball, Rice also drew attention for the great pendant he had hanging from the chain around his neck.

Report: Brian Flores lands head coach interview

Dec 19, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores runs off the field after winning the game against the New York Jets at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Brian Flores will be getting another look for a head coach job.

The Arizona Cardinals plan to interview Flores for their head coach vacancy, CBS Sports’ Jonathan Jones reported on Sunday.

Flores was the head coach of the Miami Dolphins from 2019-2021. He went 24-25 over the three seasons and was fired after 2021 despite having consecutive winning seasons.

Flores made headlines when he sued the Dolphins for alleged racial discrimination. His lawsuit led the league to make widespread changes to the hiring processes for teams to create more opportunities for minority candidates.

The 41-year-old spent this season on the Pittsburgh Steelers’ staff as a senior defensive assistant and linebackers coach.

The Cardinals are looking for a new head coach after firing Kliff Kingsbury following a disappointing 4-13 season.

Brett Maher shanks extra point attempt against 49ers

Brett Maher’s kicking problems continue to haunt the Dallas Cowboys.

Maher missed his first four extra point attempts in the Cowboys’ 31-14 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Wild Card round of the NFC playoffs on Monday. He made his fifth attempt, which may have given the Cowboys false hope.

Dallas kept Maher active as their kicker for Sunday’s NFC Divisional Round playoff game against the San Francisco 49ers. The Cowboys scored on a touchdown pass from Dak Prescott to Dalton Schultz in the second quarter, and the team sent out Maher for the extra point attempt.

Much like his performance against the Bucs, Maher showed problems on his kick. Maher’s kick was low and to the left, which resulted in it being blocked.

The kick being blocked spared Maher some embarrassment, because he appeared to hook the ball pretty badly.

Dallas gambled on Maher for their playoff game against the Niners, and they may have lost.