Ezekiel Elliott issued an apology following the Dallas Cowboys' heavy loss to the Arizona Cardinals, admitting after two costly fumbles: "I need to be better".

The Cardinals improved to 4-2 as they thrashed the Cowboys 38-10 in Texas, running all over their opponents as they amassed 261 total rushing yards in the one-sided contest on Monday.

Dallas were without starting quarterback Dak Prescott, who suffered a season-ending ankle injury during the Week 5 win over the New York Giants. The defeat drops them to 2-4 for the season, though they still remain top of the NFC East.

Running back Elliott insisted the result was not down to Prescott's absence, instead pointing to his pair of fumbles in the first half as key moments. Having lost possession on back-to-back drives, he accepted responsibility for the result.

"I don't think we can use that [Dak's absence] as an excuse," Elliott told the media.

"I'm just going to keep saying it over and over - I started the game out with two fumbles, gave the ball away and gave them all the momentum they need to go take off.

"I want to say I'm sorry and this one is on me. I need to be better."

Both turnovers led to touchdowns for Arizona and, after Kenyan Drake put the Cardinals 14-0 up, Tony Pollard - not Elliott - was on duty at running back for the Cowboys.

Dallas head coach Mike McCarthy made clear that despite the change during the game, Elliott remains the team's lead back.

"Every player who plays in this league, and it's no different on our football team, if you don't take care of the football it obviously affects your opportunities," McCarthy said in his post-game media conference.

"Tony got an opportunity, I thought he did some really good things. At the end of the day, Zeke is our bell cow and we need to get it right. He's part of the plan and he's going to be part of our success.

"We need to get it right and take care of the football, that's for everyone who touches the football on our team."

Elliott finished the game with 49 rushing yards on 12 attempts, while Pollard had 31 yards on 10 carries.

The Cowboys are on the road in Week 7, taking on divisional rivals Washington.

The Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers will renew their fiery rivalry in Week 6 of the 2020 NFL season. 

Although neither team were in playoff contention last year, things got ugly between the AFC North rivals in their first meeting of 2019 when a fight broke out and Myles Garrett hit Mason Rudolph with his own helmet. 

The mood in both camps will be upbeat heading into Sunday's game at Heinz Field, though, as they have been victorious in each of their past four outings. 

A meeting of Cleveland's top-ranked rushing attack and the Pittsburgh's second-ranked run defense promises to serve up quite the contest. 

The Steelers have limited two of their first four opponents to fewer than 30 yards on the ground and allow 64.0 yards per game, while the Browns' average in rushing yards per game is almost three times that figure. 

The New England Patriots and Tennessee Titans are back in action after seeing games postponed by positive COVID-19 tests, while veteran quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady will go toe to toe in Tampa. 

We use Stats Perform data to look ahead to another mouthwatering schedule.


FEATURE GAME

Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers - Sunday, 1pm (all times Eastern)

- The Browns have scored 30 points in each of their past four games and their total of 150 in Weeks 2-5 were the most in the NFL. They lead the NFL in rushing (188.4 yards per game) and are fourth in stopping the run (87.0 yards per game).

- Pittsburgh are 4-0 for the first time since 1979 – the last Super Bowl-winning season of the Chuck Noll/Terry Bradshaw/Steel Curtain era. The season before that Pittsburgh started 7-0, also en route to the Lombardi Trophy.

- Ben Roethlisberger is 22-2-1 in 25 career starts versus the Browns, including 11-0 at Heinz Field. In addition, he came off the bench to pass for 379 yards in a home victory over Cleveland in 2015. He last faced the Browns in 2018, throwing four interceptions in two games.

OTHER KEY GAMES

Chicago Bears at Carolina Panthers – Sunday, 1pm

- Teddy Bridgewater's 73.0 completion percentage ranks second in the NFL behind Derek Carr (73.1 percent). The all-time single-season high for a Carolina quarterback is 68.0 percent by Cam Newton in 2018 (minimum 10 attempts).

Baltimore Ravens at Philadelphia Eagles – Sunday, 1pm

- Baltimore improved to 4-1 with a 27-3 win over the Cincinnati Bengals last week. The Ravens' +73-point differential leads the NFL and ranks second in franchise history through five games, behind only 2011 (+77).

Green Bay Packers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Sunday, 4.25pm

- Rodgers and Brady have split their head-to-head matchups 1-1, with the latter taking the most recent one in Foxborough back in 2018 (31-17). However, Rodgers is in strong form this year – he is just the fourth quarterback in the past 70 years to throw for at least 13 touchdowns without an interception through the first four games of a season (2018 Patrick Mahomes, 2013 Peyton Manning, 1966 Don Meredith).

Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco 49ers – Sunday, 8.20pm

- The Rams have nine rushing touchdowns this season, more than any other team in the NFL. Five different Rams players have run for a touchdown this season, with Darrell Henderson (3), Malcolm Brown (2) and Jared Goff (2) all doing so multiple times.

Kansas City Chiefs at Buffalo Bills – Monday, 5pm

- Mahomes suffered just his eighth defeat in 36 regular-season games as a starting quarter back in Week 5. He’s bounced back well after the first seven defeats, going 5-2 and throwing 18 touchdowns to just four interceptions following losses.

ELSEWHERE…

Denver Broncos at New England Patriots – Sunday, 1pm

- The Pats are 2-2 and in danger of falling below .500 in October or later for the first time since 2002. Their streak of 225 consecutive games in October or later without being below .500 (either before or after the game) is the longest streak in NFL history.

Arizona Cardinals at Dallas Cowboys – Monday, 8.15pm

- DeAndre Hopkins had six receptions for 131 yards in a 30-10 rout of the New York Jets in Week 5 and leads the NFL with 45 catches and 528 yards. Hopkins surpassed 9,000 career receiving yards in the win, becoming the fourth-youngest player in NFL history to do so at 28 years and 127 days old. Only Randy Moss (27 years, 310 days), Calvin Johnson (28-56) and Hopkins' team-mate Larry Fitzgerald (28 years, 81 days) got there at a younger age.

Dak Prescott is determined to come back "stronger and better" from a serious ankle injury as he thanked all those who have sent him messages of support. 

The Dallas Cowboys quarterback suffered a compound fracture and dislocation of his right ankle in the third quarter of the Cowboys' 37-34 win over the New York Giants on Sunday.

Prescott has left hospital after undergoing surgery and while set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines, is already focused on making a successful return to action.

In an Instagram story, the 27-year-old referenced the hashtag "4Dak" used on social media, writing: "Forever thankful for the love and support I've received. I'll be back stronger and better. Thank you all." 

Prescott went into greater detail in a video posted by the Cowboys on social media, filmed as he headed to see the doctor and view his ankle for the first time since the operation. 

“What's up everyone, just want you to know that I'm doing well," he said.

"I can't thank you enough for all your love and support, your prayers. They have been more than overwhelming, from team-mates, to family, to friends, to fans I don't know, to former and current players around the league and all sports, I just wanted to say thank you. 

"They are appreciated and received well. Just knowing I have that much support out there makes a huge difference. 

"I'm just ready to start this road to come back. I know this adversity is just going to be another chapter in the book - I'm excited to move forward and write it. 

"I'm in great spirits and am going to stay that way. Looking forward to this football season, seeing the game in a different perspective and supporting my team-mates. "

Jerry Jones says the Dallas Cowboys must "make it work" in contract negotiations with Dak Prescott as he pointed to a silver lining in the quarterback's injury diagnosis.

Prescott suffered a gruesome compound fracture and dislocation of his right ankle when he went down after a tackle from Logan Ryan in the third quarter of the Cowboys' 34-31 win over the New York Giants.

A tearful Prescott was carted off the field on Sunday with his team-mates clearly distressed and Dallas have since confirmed he has undergone successful surgery and been discharged from hospital.

The timing was awful, as the 27-year-old had made a fantastic start to the 2020 season, throwing for 1,690 yards (422.5 per game) through the first four weeks.

And, after two years of failed contract negotiations, Prescott was playing this season under the franchise tag worth $31.4million, without the security of a long-term deal.

Despite the injury's severity, Cowboys owner Jones has taken solace in the QB's expected recovery inside six months and insisted retaining him on a new contract was a must for the franchise.

"This is one that you can mend, come back and be as good as gold," Jones said about the injury on 105.3 The Fan. "I was just so sorry for the circumstances.

"Physically, I'm told by the doctors and in our experience, there should be no problem with him being back out there in early May or April - he should be ready to go for our spring work and the latter part of the spring work." 

Asked how much the injury changed his plans for Prescott, Jones added: "None.

"Dak is deserving of anything that you want to put on a piece of paper, relatively speaking. He's deserving of that.

"If you evaluate what he can do to help us win championships, you can see that it's there. Plus, he's a leader at the premier leader spot. We've got to make it work.

"We've got to be reminded that to have a team, we've got to really manage how we dole out our resources. So what am I saying? I'm saying exactly the same thing I said the last time I was asked about this before the season started. This is part of the game, the business and the contract part.

"We have known for a long time that you can have a great player at this spot, but then not have him at periods of time during his career.

"We had it with [Troy] Aikman. We had it with [Tony] Romo. You don't always have them. So, you have got to rely on other parts of your team

"That is why we do not go into a contract negotiation with the idea that it stands alone.

"It has to be a part of your tools which you have, which is your salary cap to put a team on the field and try to figure out the best way to win. And really that is the underlying issue here."

Despite his shortened game against the Giants, Prescott still leads the NFL with his 1,856 passing yards. The closest player to him, the Seattle Seahawks' Russell Wilson, is 354 adrift. 

After coming in to replace Prescott and seal the win over NFC East rivals the Giants, Andy Dalton will take over at QB for the rest of the season.

Dak Prescott is still a key part of the Dallas Cowboys' plans despite the quarterback having suffered a serious ankle injury.

Prescott will likely be out for the remainder of the season after sustaining a fractured and dislocated ankle in the Cowboys' win over the New York Giants on Sunday.

The 27-year-old will become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2020 campaign unless the Cowboys opt to again place the franchise tag on him.

However, with Prescott having undergone successful surgery on Monday, Dallas executive vice-president Stephen Jones has insisted he remains in the team's plans.

When asked if Prescott's injury had changed the team's approach to his contractual situation, Jones told 105.3 The Fan in Dallas: "Absolutely not.

"He's our future. He's special. If anyone can overcome anything, it would be Dak. This is something that our doctors feel good that he'll overcome and come back better than ever.

"He's our heartbeat. Just to lose him, really just kills you in terms of deep down."

Despite the severity of the injury, Jones has no concerns over Prescott's ability to recover.

"For him, you hurt for everything that he stands for and I think we're still in shock. But certainly, Dak is such a warrior. He's been through a lot. He's always overcome it, and this is going to be no exception.

"He's going to get in there and do what he needs to do, I'm sure. Obviously, everybody's prayers are with him.

"He should be able to do everything you need to do to rehab and come back ready to go. It's just a very difficult setback for him and for us. It's something that we feel great about him totally overcoming and being ready to go next year."

The Cowboys are 2-3 from their opening five games of the regular season.

Another dramatic NFL Sunday saw Dak Prescott go down with a gruesome injury for the Dallas Cowboys as the Kansas City Chiefs suffered a shock loss.

Cowboys quarterback Prescott has made a fantastic start to the 2020 season but had to undergo surgery for an ankle fracture and dislocation after going down in the second half against the New York Giants.

Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs fell to AFC West rivals the Las Vegas Raiders, meaning there are only five undefeated teams left across the NFL, with one of those being the surging Pittsburgh Steelers.

Here we reflect on an entertaining Week 5 with a look at some of the best statistics from the 11 games played on Sunday prior to the Monday doubleheader and another game on Tuesday.
 

Mahomes in elite company despite loss

Super Bowl champions the Chiefs went down to an upset as the Raiders won 40-32 at Arrowhead Stadium, Derek Carr's team ending a seven-game losing streak against their divisional rivals.

It was the Chiefs' first loss for 14 games and the largest margin of defeat in Mahomes' young career.

While he only completed 22 of his 43 passes, Mahomes did rack up 340 yards through the air with two touchdowns and one interception.

He became only the fourth quarterback in NFL history to reach at least 20 games with 300 or more passing yards inside his first four seasons.

The only others to achieve the feat are Kurt Warner (26 games), Dan Marino (22) and Andrew Luck (21).

Mahomes' accomplishment is even more significant when you consider he started just one game in his rookie season, while this year – his fourth as a pro - is yet to even reach the halfway stage.

His teammate Tyreek Hill rushed for a touchdown against the Raiders and now has five career TDs on the ground to go with 36 receiving scores.

Aside from Hill, only the legendary Jerry Rice (197 receiving TDs and 10 rushing TDs) has got past both 35 and five respectively since 1970.

Claypool gives Steelers best start in 41 years

Chase Claypool produced an astonishing performance as the Steelers defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 38-29, moving to 4-0 for the first time since 1979.

The second-round rookie out of Notre Dame exploded for four total touchdowns, three of which came through the air (seven catches for 110 yards).

He is the first rookie receiver since 1979 to score four TDs in a single game and only the third all-time after Jerry Butler (1979) and Harlon Hill (1954).

While Ben Roethlisberger has struck up an impressive connection with Claypool, the Steelers defense has been equally impressive.

Through four games they have registered at least three sacks and an interception in every outing (five sacks and two INTs against the Eagles). 

They are only the third franchise since 2000 to do that, after the Chicago Bears (2018) and Denver Broncos (who achieved the feat twice, doing so in the 2009 and 2016 seasons).

Career day for Kyler

The Arizona Cardinals bounced back from two straight losses with a comfortable 30-10 win at the struggling New York Jets.

It was a historic day for QB Kyler Murray, whose 380 yards passing represented a career high. He had one passing TD, one interception and an impressive passer rating of 103.4.

He also added a rushing TD to move on to five for the season. Only four QBs have ever scored at least five TDs on the ground through their team's first five games in a season, with Cam Newton (2011) the only other to do so since 1997.

Beckham already among the greats

Odell Beckham Jr. had five catches for 58 yards as the Cleveland Browns moved to 4-1 with a 32-23 home win over the Indianapolis Colts.

The former New York Giants wide receiver has now played in 80 NFL games and is setting a magnificent pace.

His 6,805 receiving yards rank third of any player in history through 80 games (behind only Lance Alworth and Julio Jones), while his 485 receptions put him third in that category too (Anquan Boldin and Jones).

Gurley still finding the endzone

Todd Gurley may not be playing at the level he was as Offensive Player of the Year with the Rams, but his 122 yards and a touchdown against the Carolina Panthers brought up a pretty impressive stat.

His TD for the Atlanta Falcons, who fired their head coach and general manager after a 23-16 defeat moved them to 0-5, was his 75th career score in 78 games.

Only three players have ever reached 75 TDs more quickly, and it is a group of Hall of Famers – Jim Brown (72 games), LaDainian Tomlinson (72) and Emmitt Smith (77).

The Philadelphia Eagles completed a dramatic comeback to upstage the San Francisco 49ers for their first win of the season on Sunday.

Philadelphia used a big fourth quarter to stun last season's Super Bowl finalists the 49ers at Levi's Stadium in Week 4.

Things got physical between Jalen Ramsey and Golden Tate as the Los Angeles Rams beat the New York Giants 17-9.

There were also wins for the in-form Buffalo Bills and Indianapolis Colts.

 

EAGLES SHOCK NINERS

After two losses and a draw to open 2020, and with a growing injury list, Philadelphia faced an uphill battle away to the 49ers.

The Eagles (1-2-1) also trailed in the fourth quarter before back-to-back touchdowns lifted Philadelphia past San Francisco.

Carson Wentz threw a 42-yard TD pass to Travis Fulgham with less than six minutes remaining as the Eagles moved ahead 18-14.

With starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo sidelined, Nick Mullens then threw an interception that Alex Singleton returned for a TD as the 49ers (2-2) lost at home again.

Mullens, who committed three turnovers, was 18 for 26 for 200 yards and a touchdown before he was replaced by 49ers team-mate C.J. Beathard.

Eagles QB Wentz finished 18-of-28 for 193 yards, a touchdown and interception, while he rushed for 37 yards and a TD as the Eagles moved top of the NFC East.

NO LOVE LOST IN INGLEWOOD

There was not much drama between the Rams and Giants, that was until the game ended.

The Rams (3-1) claimed a hard-fought victory over the winless Giants (0-4) after Jared Goff and Cooper Kupp combined for a 55-yard TD with just under seven minutes left to play at SoFi Stadium.

After grinding out victory, things really heated up as Rams star Ramsey and Giants wide receiver Tate traded punches.

Ramsey, who has two young children with Tate's sister, and the latter were pulled apart by team-mates in chaotic scenes.

"We don't want to have happen at the end of the game what happened," Giants coach Joe Judge said afterwards. "That's not the way we want to be as a team."

 

BILLS STAY PERFECT

The Bills remain undefeated after seeing off the Las Vegas Raiders 30-23.

Josh Allen led the way, throwing two touchdowns and rushing for another as the Bills improved to 4-0 for the season.

QB Derek Carr was 32 for 44 for 311 yards and a pair of TDs after the Raiders (2-2) lost their second straight game and first at the new Allegiant Stadium.

Meanwhile, the Philip Rivers and the Colts (3-1) took down the Chicago Bears (3-1) 19-11.

Rivers was 16 of 29 for 190 yards and a touchdown as he moved within four completions of joining Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Brett Favre and Peyton Manning with 5,000.

 

Week 4 scores:

Seattle Seahawks 31-23 Miami Dolphins
Cincinnati Bengals 33-25 Jacksonville Jaguars
Minnesota Vikings 31-23 Houston Texans
Cleveland Browns 49-38 Dallas Cowboys
Baltimore Ravens 31-17 Washington Football Team
New Orleans Saints 35-29 Detroit Lions
Carolina Panthers 31-21 Arizona Cardinals
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 38-31 Los Angeles Chargers
Los Angeles Rams 17-9 New York Giants
Buffalo Bills 30-23 Las Vegas Raiders
Indianapolis Colts 19-11 Chicago Bears
Philadelphia Eagles 25-20 San Francisco 49ers

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. dashed the Dallas Cowboys' comeback hopes in Week 4, while the Seattle Seahawks improved to 4-0. 

Rookie quarterback Joe Burrow claimed his first win as the Cincinnati Bengals overcame the Jacksonville Jaguars 33-25, while the Carolina Panthers caused an upset, beating the Arizona Cardinals 31-21. 

Both the New Orleans Saints and Baltimore Ravens rebounded from Week 3 reverses, but Los Angeles Chargers passer Justin Herbert came up short as he became the latest rookie QB to lose to a team led by Tom Brady. 

Elsewhere, in a battle between two previously winless teams, it was the Minnesota Vikings who triumphed, dropping the Houston Texans to 0-4.

 

BECKHAM OUTSHINES DAK WITH BIG DAY

Dallas knew all about Beckham's brilliance - it was against the Cowboys when he performed his astonishing one-handed touchdown grab as a rookie with the New York Giants - yet they failed to stop Cleveland's receiver grabbing two first-half touchdowns - one thrown by fellow wideout Jarvis Landry. 

The Browns were 41-14 up by the end of the third quarter but the Cowboys, who rallied from 29-10 down to beat the Atlanta Falcons in Week 2, came roaring back thanks to Dak Prescott, who had 502 passing yards and four touchdown throws. 

However, Beckham scored on a 50-yard end-around run to seal Cleveland's 49-38 win, with Dallas' nemesis going off for 154 yards from scrimmage and three scores.

SEAHAWKS SURVIVE MIAMI TEST

Seven teams began Week 4 with a perfect 3-0 record and Seattle became the first to go 4-0, securing a 31-23 win over the Miami Dolphins. 

Russell Wilson threw for 360 yards and two touchdowns - giving him 16 already for the season - while running back Chris Carson also found the end zone twice and the Seahawks defense picked off a couple of Ryan Fitzpatrick passes. 

Fellow preseason Super Bowl favourites New Orleans and Baltimore got back on track, the Saints triumphing 35-29 over the Lions while the Ravens defeated the Washington Football Team 31-17, during which Lamar Jackson becoming the quickest in NFL history to reach 5,000 career passing yards and 2,000 yards rushing.

BURROW GETS FIRST W, HERBERT COMES CLOSE TO UPSTAGING BRADY

First overall pick Burrow led the Bengals to their first victory of the 2020 campaign, though it was Joe Mixon's 181 yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns that really made the difference against the Jaguars. 

Herbert, another opening-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, looked on course for his maiden NFL win too, the Chargers racing into a 24-7 lead thanks in part to a Brady pick-six. 

However, Brady, whose teams had won their previous 10 straight games against rookie QBs, would end the high-scoring contest with five touchdown passes, Tampa Bay triumphing 38-31. 

Week 4 scores:

Seattle Seahawks 31-23 Miami Dolphins
Cincinnati Bengals 33-25 Jacksonville Jaguars
Minnesota Vikings 31-23 Houston Texans
Cleveland Browns 49-38 Dallas Cowboys
Baltimore Ravens 31-17 Washington Football Team
New Orleans Saints 35-29 Detroit Lions
Carolina Panthers 31-21 Arizona Cardinals
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 38-31 Los Angeles Chargers

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