The reigning Super Bowl champions will kick off the NFL season in Thursday night's primetime slot on September 8, as the Los Angeles Rams host this season's Super Bowl favourites, the Buffalo Bills.

There will be plenty of the Rams in this season's marquee timeslots as the full 2022-23 schedule was released on Thursday, including a Monday night fixture against the Green Bay Packers in week 15, and a Christmas Day game against Russell Wilson's Denver Broncos six days later.

The Broncos will not have to wait long for their first eyebrow-raising matchup, travelling to take on Wilson's former team, the Seattle Seahawks, in the first Monday night fixture of the season.

Week one's third primetime game sees Tom Brady's Tampa Bay Buccaneers heading to 'Jerry World' to take on the Dallas Cowboys.

Patrick Mahomes – the man with the richest contract in the sport – will get his first primetime appearance of the season in week two's Thursday night showdown, as his Kansas City Chiefs host arguably Mahomes' only competition for best young quarterback, taking on Justin Herbert and the Los Angeles Chargers.

Four-time MVP Aaron Rodgers gets the Sunday night fixture in week two against the Packers' long-time rivals as the Chicago Bears come to town, and his week three matchup against Brady's Bucs will be must-see TV.

The Rams have the toughest strength-of-schedule based on their opponents' 2021-22 records (164-125, .567 winning percentage), while the Cowboys and the Washington Commanders are tied for the easiest schedule (133-155-1, .462 winning percentage).

Meanwhile, the Detroit Lions will be the only team in NFL this season to not have a primetime game.

The complete week one schedule features:

Buffalo Bills at Los Angeles Rams (Thursday night)

New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons (Sunday afternoon)

New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins

Baltimore Ravens at New York Jets

Cleveland Browns at Carolina Panthers

Philadelphia Eagles at Detroit Lions 

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals 

Jacksonville Jaguars at Washington Commanders

San Francisco 49ers at Chicago Bears

Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans 

New York Giants at Tennessee Titans (Sunday late-afternoon)

Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings

Las Vegas Raiders at Los Angeles Chargers 

Kansas City Chiefs at Arizona Cardinals 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Dallas Cowboys (Sunday night)

Denver Broncos at Seattle Seahawks (Monday night)

Dallas Cowboys cornerback Kelvin Joseph was an "unarmed" passenger in the vehicle from which the fatal gunshot that killed a 20-year-old man was fired, according to his attorney.

Cameron Ray died on March 18 after being shot outside a Dallas area nightclub following an apparent altercation between two groups.

ESPN reported on Thursday that local police wanted to speak to Joseph, 22, in connection with the incident.

In a statement to the Dallas Morning News on Friday, Joseph's attorney Barry Sorrels said the Cowboys player was present but not involved in the violence.

"Kelvin Joseph did not shoot Cameron Ray," Sorrels said. "Mr. Ray's death is a tragedy, and Kelvin extends his deepest condolences for the family's loss. 

"On the night of March 17, Kelvin was unarmed and was not looking for violence. He found himself in a situation that escalated without his knowledge or consent. 

"Along with condolences to the Ray family, Kelvin apologises to the Dallas community for being anywhere near this type of incident. The investigation is ongoing, and we intend to respect the process."

The Cowboys also released a statement confirming their knowledge of the situation.

"The Dallas Cowboys are aware of the tragic incident that occurred in Dallas on March 18," it read.

"First and foremost, our hearts go out to Mr. Ray's family and loved ones. 

"The organisation is aware of Kelvin Joseph's possible connection to this incident. We are in contact with Dallas law enforcement and have alerted the NFL office."

Police want to speak with Dallas Cowboys cornerback Kelvin Joseph regarding a shooting murder that took place in the Dallas area in March, according to reports.

Joseph, a 2020 second-round pick by the Cowboys, allegedly appeared to be part of a group that was involved in an altercation with another group containing 20-year-old victim Cameron Ray.

Footage shows gunshots being fired out of an SUV at Ray and his friends as they walked back to their car after the initial scuffle.

One of the people seen in the video was allegedly wearing a chain with the initials YKDV. Joseph goes by the name YKDV Bossman Fat in his aspiring rap career.

The Cowboys did not have an official comment, however ESPN is reporting that the team have spoken with Joseph and are encouraging him to cooperate with police and disclose what he knows about the case.

Detective Tonya McDaniel told KDFW that Ray's group was not responsible for the initial incident, which led to the shooting.

Jerry Jones has explained Amari Cooper's trade to the Cleveland Browns, claiming the Dallas Cowboys' salary cap could be "better spent" elsewhere.

Cooper signed a five-year, $100million contract extension with the Cowboys in 2020, coming off four Pro Bowl appearances in his first five seasons in the NFL.

But the wide receiver struggled to live up to that salary, which made him the highest-paid player at his position in 2021.

Cooper's $22m accounted for 10.5 per cent of the Cowboys' cap, with only defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence taking up more.

Despite that, Cooper ranked just 30th among receivers for catches (68) and receiving yards (865) and tied 12th for receiving touchdowns (eight).

Heading into 2022, Jones and the Cowboys pondered the merits of committing league-leading money to a player they were targeting with just 104 passes last year – tied for 32nd at his position.

"To be fair, we let Cooper go down the road," Jones explained. "That was our decision.

"That wasn't made to depreciate the team. At the end of the day, it is a financial allocation toward the talent, and you've got to consider availability, and that sometimes departs from the best route runner.

"We had to look hard at the 10 or 11 players who are getting two-thirds of the money. We have to make sure every one those players are pulling as much weight as you can, because of the economic emphasis. That is a big part of what's on the field.

"How much were they there, how many snaps they get, how much production did you get. That is always going to be under scrutiny. It should be."

Ultimately, Jones said, the Cowboys "made a decision that that allocation should be better spent".

Cowboys fans might still have hoped to get more in return for a player for whom they parted with a first-round draft pick – which became safety Johnathan Abram – in a 2018 trade with the then Oakland Raiders.

The Browns sent a fifth-round 2022 selection to Dallas, along with a pick swap in the sixth round.

"We made every effort to do as well as we can do with the trade," Jones said.

Randy Gregory agreed terms with the Denver Broncos on Tuesday – just minutes after the Dallas Cowboys announced he would be returning.

The 29-year-old edge rusher, who missed almost three full seasons due to violations of the NFL's substance abuse policy, had finally established himself as a starter in Dallas in 2021.

Gregory started 11 games, playing in 12, and his six sacks and 17 quarterback hits – two career highs – trailed only Micah Parsons on the Cowboys.

Having also contributed 15 tackles – including four for loss – plus four assists, three fumbles forced, one recovered and one interception, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was keen to keep Gregory.

But the five-year deal the team announced for Gregory on Tuesday remained unsigned, as he reportedly instead accepted the same terms – $70million with $28m in guarantees – in Denver.

The Broncos posted a "surprise" GIF shortly after the Cowboys' swiftly deleted Twitter announcement.

It was reported the Cowboys tried to change Gregory's contract after their agreement, sending him instead to Denver to line up opposite Bradley Chubb.

The Broncos had already struck one of the biggest deals of the offseason in trading for superstar Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson.

The Dallas Cowboys have agreed to trade Amari Cooper to the Cleveland Browns.

According to multiple reports, the Browns will send a fifth and sixth-round pick to the Cowboys in exchange for Cooper and a sixth-round pick.

Reports also suggest wide receiver Jarvis Landry will be permitted to seek a trade as a result of Cooper's arrival.

Dallas had been expected to release Cooper to save money against the salary cap but will now at least get something in return for the wide receiver.

The deal sees the Browns land a wideout who has recorded 1,000 yards receiving in three of his last four seasons.

Receiver had been a huge area of need for the Browns, who released Odell Beckham Jr. in November. Beckham went on to win the Super Bowl with the Los Angeles Rams.

Cooper has scored 46 receiving touchdowns since entering the league as a first-round pick of the then-Oakland Raiders in 2015, only seven wideouts have scored more in that time.

He finished the 2021 season with 865 yards receiving and eight touchdowns, helping the Cowboys win the NFC East before their season was ended by a Wild Card round defeat to the San Francisco 49ers.

News of the deal comes on the same day it was reported the Cowboys have granted right tackle La'El Collins permission to seek a trade.

Dak Prescott has had his contract with the Dallas Cowboys restructured.

After seeing his 2020 season cut short by injury, Prescott played 16 times in 2021, as the Cowboys clinched the NFC East with a 12-5 record.

The quarterback led a prolific offense that finished the season with a league-high 530 points, yet the Cowboys fell short in the playoffs, losing to the San Francisco 49ers in the Wild Card round.

Prescott's tally of 4,449 passing yards ranked seventh in the NFL, while his completion percentage of 68.8 was fourth and only three quarterbacks threw for more touchdowns than his 37.

In 2021, the 28-year-old restructured his franchise-record $160million deal to create space for the salary cap and it is a similar story this time around.

With a $208.2m cap announced on Monday, teams have until March 16 to create financial wiggle room and the new structure of Prescott's deal will result in roughly $15m being saved before the start of free agency.

Five-time All Pro Zack Martin has also had his deal restructured, which will give the team an additional $7m in cap space.

The restructuring of the deals sees a portion of the players' salaries for 2022 being converted into signing bonuses.

Dallas needed the space after placing a $10.9m franchise tag on tight end Dalton Schultz.

Only four tight ends scored more than Schultz's eight receiving touchdowns last season, as he racked up a career-high 808 receiving yards.

However, Dallas will still need to make more changes to get under the cap.

According to reports, defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence has declined a pay cut, while Blake Jarwin has also been approached by Dallas to take a hit on his salary.

ESPN, meanwhile, reported that Amari Cooper is likely to be released, which would free up $20m in cap space.

The Dallas Cowboys will not let Dalton Schultz test free agency this offseason, electing to place the franchise tag on the tight end.

Schultz enjoyed a breakout year for the Cowboys in 2021, racking up a career-high 808 receiving yards at an average of 10.4 yards per reception.

Only four tight ends scored more than his eight receiving touchdowns last season, Mark Andrews, Hunter Henry, Travis Kelce and Dawson Knox all hauling in nine.

He was set to hit unrestricted free agency and potentially receive a substantial payday from a rival team, however, the Cowboys have moved to prevent that from happening.

Instead, they will now have sole negotiating rights with Schultz and have until July 15 to come to terms on a long-term deal and avoid having him play on the one-year franchise tender.

The move comes after ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that wide receiver Amari Cooper is likely to be released by Dallas.

A four-time Pro Bowler, Cooper finished last season with 865 receiving yards and eight touchdowns, but the Cowboys have decided to focus their resources on paying Schultz and wideout Michael Gallup, who is expected to re-sign with the team.

Releasing Cooper will free $20million in cap space for the Cowboys.

 

Ja'Marr Chase will head into Super Bowl with the title of Offensive Rookie of the Year, while Micah Parsons won Defensive Player of the Year for his astonishing 2021.

Chase, who will hope to help the Bengals to their first Super Bowl title in franchise history on Sunday, was named as the top rookie on the defnsive side at the NFL Honours ceremony in Los Angeles.

It follows a spectacular regular-season campaign in which Chase broke the rookie record for receiving yards set by his former LSU team-mate Justin Jefferson.

Chase finished the season with 1,455 receiving yards and 13 receiving touchdowns, the third-highest tally in the NFL, justifying the Bengals' decision to reunite him with Joe Burrow, with whom he and Jefferson won the National Championship in 2019, instead of taking an offensive lineman in the first round.

Parsons never reached such heights at Penn State but has quickly established himself as one of the most dominant defensive players in the NFL.

Drafted by the Dallas Cowboys as an inside linebacker, Parsons thrived instead in his role as a designated pass rusher.

Parsons finished the season with 13 sacks, the sixth-most in the NFL, while he also racked up 20 tackles for loss and three forced fumbles.

His pressure rate of 32.2 per cent on 211 pass rush snaps was even superior to that of even Aaron Donald (27.9 per cent). His run disruption rate of 13.7% was fourth among all linebackers.

That extraordinary level of performance did not translate to playoff success for Dallas. Yet Parsons can console himself with some individual success while the Cowboys can rest safe in the knowledge that they have a young stud who can derail opposing offenses, and there are few assets in the NFL more valuable than that.

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott has taken to social media to apologise for comments he made about the officials following their last-gasp 23-17 playoffs defeat to the San Francisco 49ers.

Prescott felt he had spiked the ball in time to get one more shot at a game-winning touchdown in a bizarre ending to their Wild Card round loss.

The officials ruled that Prescott had not spiked the ball in time, as NFL rules state the ball must be spotted by an official which umpire Ramon George attempted to do, colliding with Prescott and Tyler Biadasz causing a delay that prevented the QB from getting a Hail Mary away.

Prescott was asked after the game about fans throwing objects at the officials, to which he replied: "Credit to them, credit to them."

However, the Cowboys quarterback apologized for those comments on Tuesday via a Twitter post.

"I deeply regret the comments I made regarding the officials after the game on Sunday. I was caught up in the emotion of a disappointing loss and my words were uncalled for and unfair," Prescott said.

"I hold the NFL Officials in the highest regard and have always respected their professionalism and the difficulty of their jobs. The safety of everyone who attends a game or participates on the field of a sporting event is a very serious matter.

"That was a mistake on my behalf, and I am sorry."

In his pool report after the game, referee Alex Kemp insisted umpire George had done everything correctly in spotting the ball.

The referees association posted on Tuesday via their official Twitter account: "The NBRA condemns the comments by Dak Prescott condoning violence against game officials.

"As an NFL leader, he should know better. We encourage the NFL to take action to discourage this deplorable behavior in the future."

Confusion reigned at the end of the San Francisco 49ers' dramatic Wild Card victory over the Dallas Cowboys, but Kyle Shanahan only had a brief doubt his team would have to face a Hail Mary in a bizarre finish.

The Niners controlled the game and held a Dallas offense that had averaged over 400 yards per game in the regular season to just 307 in their 23-17 success.

Yet San Francisco gave the Cowboys a chance to complete a remarkable comeback with 32 seconds left after their failure to execute a quarterback sneak on fourth and inches turned possession back to Dallas.

The Cowboys promptly drove to San Francisco's 41-yard line in just three plays, before a bemusing play call from Dallas to run the ball with quarterback Dak Prescott despite having no timeouts sealed the game for the Niners.

Prescott and the Dallas offense frantically tried to get set up to spike the ball to stop the clock and prevent time from expiring. However, Prescott handed the ball to center Tyler Biadasz to spot the ball.

NFL rules state the ball must be spotted by an official and umpire Ramon George ran in to do just that, colliding with Prescott and Biadasz in the process and leading to a delay that prevented Prescott from spiking it before the clock hit triple zeros, meaning the 49ers never had to face a Hail Mary from the 24-yard line that could have settled a thrilling contest in the Cowboys' favour.

Shanahan and the Niners strode onto the field in celebration after time ran out, with the Niners head coach admitting to brief concern time would be put back on the clock.

"I thought it was over because I saw it live," Shanahan said. "I was very confident it was done. I was just nervous.

"Sometimes when you're real confident you think you see it right. Sometimes it changes. So you're never fully sure until they let you know."

Explaining the false start from tackle Trent Williams that kept the game alive and negated a successful quarterback sneak from Jimmy Garoppolo, Shanahan added: "We just shifted to an unbalanced [line].

"It was on the silent count and it was quarterback sneak all the way, but Jimmy got really excited because of the look. Didn't let Trent get set. He's got to let him get set.

"It ended up not being a problem, though it would have been a struggle to answer that one if it was."

The Niners will next face the top-seeded Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on Saturday in a rematch of a Week 3 encounter in which the Packers prevailed on a last-second field goal after some late Aaron Rodgers heroics.

"I'm sure I'll be thinking a lot about it here on the plane," Shanahan said. "But they've had a hell of a year. I'm glad we get an opportunity to go up against them again.

"They've been unbelievable. So, we'll rest up here. We'll enjoy this plane ride, and we'll get back to work right when we land."

Dak Prescott felt he had spiked the ball in time to get one more shot at a game-winning touchdown in a bizarre ending to their Wild Card round defeat to the San Francisco 49ers.

Prescott and a Cowboys offense that led the NFL in yards per game was frustrated by an excellent performance from San Francisco's defense as Dallas suffered a 23-17 upset loss.

In a rollercoaster finish, the 49ers appeared to have clinched the game with a fourth-down quarterback sneak from Jimmy Garoppolo, however, a false start penalty negated that play and allowed the Cowboys to gain possession with 32 seconds left. 

They efficiently moved down to San Francisco's 41-yard line in three plays but the Cowboys then inexplicably called a quarterback run play with Prescott despite having no timeouts.

That set up a mad dash to spike the ball and prevent time from expiring, however, Prescott handed the ball to center Tyler Biadasz to spot the ball. NFL rules state the ball must be spotted by an official and umpire Ramon George ran in to do just that, colliding with Prescott and Biadasz in the process and leading to a delay that prevented Prescott from spiking it before the clock hit triple zeros, meaning a potential game-winning Hail Mary never came to fruition.

"I thought I did [spike the ball in time],” Prescott said. "I didn't hear what the ref said, what their announcement was. I just saw them running off the field and the Niners running on the field and celebrating, so understood what had happened.

"We were going to get some yards and get down and clock it. It's something we've practiced over and over again. Ran. Went and got some yards. Went down. As I was getting behind Tyler, saw four seconds left. I thought there was obviously time to make sure everybody was set, and then honestly, just got hit from behind. Still, when I got up [under center], I saw two seconds. I thought I could get the snap and get it down before time expired. I'm not sure what happened other than that."

In his pool report after the game, referee Alex Kemp insisted umpire George had done everything correctly in spotting the ball.

Prescott added: "We've practiced it. You hand it to the center. The umpire, all he has to do is usually come in and tap the ball. Yeah, I mean, don't necessarily know exactly why the hit happened, I guess. I knew he was going to come in and touch the ball. You can say, yeah, he needs to be closer to the ball or whatever. In hindsight, just tough. Yeah, tough to accept.”

"I'd like to get a play off, knowing everything that happened, thinking that I spiked the ball in time,” Prescott said. "I mean with the official getting in the way of the play as well. Tough. Tough. Just tough."

The San Francisco 49ers survived a fourth-quarter comeback from the Dallas Cowboys to claim a dramatic 23-17 upset win in the Wild Card round.

Despite losing Nick Bosa to a concussion and linebacker Fred Warner to an ankle injury, the 49ers' defense held a Cowboys offense that led the NFL in yards per game with 407 to just 17 points, and it was the resistance of that group that ultimately proved decisive.

Yet such a summation does a disservice to a wild finish in which the Niners looked to have won the game several times, only to give the Cowboys hope as this historic rivalry delivered another classic in the first playoff meeting between the two teams since the 1994 season.

Dallas got the ball back with 32 seconds left and needing a touchdown to win and moved to San Francisco's 41-yard line in three plays, but an inexplicable decision to run the ball with quarterback Dak Prescott saw time expire on the game and the Cowboys' season as the 49ers progressed to a Divisional Round meeting with the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field.

The 49ers set their stall out with a dominant seven-play, 75-yard drive to start the game that ended with a four-yard touchdown scamper by rookie running back Elijah Mitchell.

San Francisco tacked on two field goals to make it 13-0 before Prescott hit back with a superb 20-yard touchdown pass to Amari Cooper.

Another three-pointer gave San Francisco a 16-7 half-time lead and their defense continued to hold Prescott in check after the break even with star edge rusher Bosa ruled out. 

Prescott was sacked five times and when he was intercepted by K'Waun Williams and versatile wide receiver Deebo Samuel pounced on that turnover with a 26-yard rushing touchdown a blowout appeared on the cards.

Dallas, though, pulled back within 13 points with a Greg Zuerlein field goal and an overthrown interception by Jimmy Garoppolo teed up Prescott to fray the nerves with a five-yard rushing score.

San Francisco's job looked to be done when a deep fourth-down throw from Prescott fell incomplete and the Niners should have been celebrating victory when Garoppolo executed a quarterback sneak on fourth and inches, only for that play to be called back for a false start.

However, the Cowboys could not capitalise on that reprieve despite their initial progress down the field, Prescott and center Tyler Biadasz forgetting that an official needed to spot the ball after his run in the final seconds, with a collision between a referee and Biadasz before he spotted the ball meaning the clock hit triple zeros before the quarterback could spike it to set up a Hail Mary attempt.

After the Patriots saw their playoff campaign emphatically come to an end on Saturday, the man who left New England to further his legacy begins his quest for an eighth ring on Sunday.

Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be expected to win in routine fashion in their Wild Card round matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles, while the team they beat in last season's Super Bowl, the Kansas City Chiefs, are anticipated to end Ben Roethlisberger's career with a routine victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Sandwiched between those two potential blowouts is the game of the weekend as two storied rivals, the San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys, contest a long overdue renewal of acquaintances in the postseason.

As Stats Perform's look at Sunday's action explains, both the Niners and the Cowboys possess the offense firepower to ensure the matchup lives up to its lofty expectations.

Philadelphia Eagles @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The defending champion Bucs are unsurprisingly the heavy favourites against an Eagles team that claimed nine wins in the regular season, none of which came against an opponent that made the postseason.

Not much stock will be put in the history of this encounter, even if it does make pleasant reading for any Eagles fans looking for reason for hope.

The Eagles and Buccaneers have split their 20 all-time meetings, with each team winning eight regular-season games and two in postseason play. Their only postseason matchup in Tampa was a 24-17 win by the Bucs in 1979, their first-ever playoff win.

All eyes at Raymond James Stadium will be on Bucs quarterback Tom Brady, who is set for another piece of history in his seemingly endless career.

Brady will be playing in his 19th postseason and in his 46th career playoff start, the most by any player in NFL history. At age 44, Brady will break his own record for the oldest quarterback to start a playoff game. Brady has more playoff wins since turning 36 years old (17) than any other QB has in his entire career.

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