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Hi Folks,

Good Wednesday to you. We've got the news and notes you need as we head down the stretch. Let's get to it.


DAL - DeMarco Murray to be placed on IR - The Dallas Morning News - Brandon George

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray (ankle) will be placed on Injured Reserve Tuesday, Dec. 13.

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Footballguys' view: A crushing blow for the Cowboys here. Murray looked phenomenal this season, but now Dallas will have to use Felix Jones as their starting RB.

DAL - RB Sammy Morris to be third-down back? - ESPNDallas.com - Todd Archer

Dallas Cowboys RB Sammy Morris could become the team's third-down back to help spell RB Felix Jones.

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Footballguys' view: Morris is a versatile back who has a no-nonsense running style. He could be the team's goalline back as well because of his leg drive and nose for the end zone.

DAL - RB Felix Jones plans to be tougher - DallasCowboys.com - Nick Eatman

Dallas Cowboys RB Felix Jones said he learned a few things from watching RB DeMarco Murray as the team's lead back over the past month. 'When I stepped into this league, I wanted to prove myself as a running back,' said Jones. 'He gets downhill and gaining yards in every step. He's a tough runner. That's what I liked to see. It showed me maybe I need to run a little tougher. I learned a lot from that guy.' Jones showed some of the patience that Murray displayed in Week 14 against the New York Giants.

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Footballguys' view: Jones looked as sudden and elusive as he has in his entire career vs. the Giants, so while he might have learned toughness from Murray, his natural talent is still his best bet for success.

OAK - QB Carson Palmer needs to be patient - ANG Newspapers - Jerry McDonald

Oakland Raiders QB Carson Palmer admitted that he needs to be more patient and take what opposing defenses give him. 'I just need to be more patient, take what they give me and try not to score 14 points on one drive,' Palmer said after Week 14. 'Take it one play at a time, take the shot if it's there, and if not, live for the next down, and I didn't do that.'

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Footballguys' view: Palmer will soon be getting WRs Jacoby Ford and Denarius Moore back in the lineup. Hopefully that will help him play better in the coming weeks.

SF - RB Frank Gore not 100 percent - Sacramento Bee - Matt Barrows

San Francisco 49ers RB Frank Gore (undisclosed) had just 10 rushing attempts in Week 14. Head coach Jim Harbaugh said Monday, Dec. 12, that Gore is not playing at full strength right now. 'He's got some things,' Harbaugh said. 'He's not 100 percent. We have other backs that got carries in the second half.' Harbaugh did not divulge what is bothering Gore.

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Footballguys' view: The 49ers may limit Gore if they can get quality touches from rookie RB Kendall Hunter. They're set to make a deep playoff run but need Gore to stay healthy.

MIA - Owner wants big-name coach - The Miami Herald - Barry Jackson

Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross would prefer to hire a big-name head coach and proven winner, with former head coach Bill Cowher very high on the list, according to sources. However, Cowher has said he plans to remain in television.

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Footballguys' view: The Dolphins are looking to make a splash and will court guys like Cowher, Jon Gruden, and Jeff Fisher.

STL - Steve Jackson talks about OL shuffling - The Associated Press

St. Louis Rams RB Steven Jackson said following Week 14 that the constant lineup shuffling along the offensive line is a main reason for the offense's struggles. 'It's hard to win in this league when you're constantly shuffling the offensive line. You don't have any chemistry there,' Jackson said. 'When you're shuffling a lineup, trying to get guys to do things and when you have to go back to Week 1 stuff, coaching that up, it stalls you from trying to move forward.'

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Footballguys' view: The Rams have lost three starting offensive linemen for the season and it has contributed to the team's poor play. However, their opponent last night (Seattle) has lost the same amount and are still running the ball with authority.

OAK - RB Michael Bush slowing down - ANG Newspapers - Steve Corkran

Oakland Raiders RB Michael Bush averaged 115.3 yards per game in his first four games as the primary back after RB Darren McFadden's (foot) injury. Bush's production has dipped dramatically the past three games, however. He averaged 55 yards in those games, with an average of five fewer carries than the previous four contests. Head coach Hue Jackson dismissed the prospect of Bush wearing down, even though Bush already has 38 more rushes than he did in any of his first four seasons. 'When people know that's who you're lining up back there, you design ways to make sure you get him slowed down,' Jackson said.

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Footballguys' view: The team could really use Darren McFadden at this point, but his foot injury is preventing him from getting back on the field.

OAK - Hue Jackson critical of QB Carson Palmer - ANG Newspapers - Steve Corkran

Oakland Raiders head coach Hue Jackson said he wants QB Carson Palmer to make better decisions with the football following his four-interception performance in Week 14. 'What I always tell him is, 'Just get me to the next down with you. I'll give you a better call the next play,' Jackson said. 'Regardless of what happens, just get me to the next down and then we'll make something good happen.' And last night that point was driven home because he could see that he didn't give us an opportunity to attain our goals.'

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Footballguys' view: Palmer has been a turnover machine. We'll see if getting WRs Jacoby Ford and Denarius Moore back will help him play better.

DAL - Jason Garrett's job safe - The Dallas Morning News

Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett will not be fired, even if the team does not make the playoffs. Owner and general manager Jerry Jones likes the job Garrett has done during his tenure.

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Footballguys' view: It's safe for now, but we'll see how the Cowboys perform down the stretch.

STL - QB Sam Bradford regressing? - ESPN.com

After throwing 17 touchdown passes and 10 interceptions in his first 12 career starts in the NFL, St. Louis Rams QB Sam Bradford has thrown seven touchdown passes and 11 interceptions since. Bradford completed 60.6 percent of his passes in his first 12 starts, but since then he has completed just 54.9 percent of his pass attempts.

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Footballguys' view: Bradford doesn't look as good this year as he did during his rookie season last year. Part of it is the injuries to the offensive line and WR corps. The other part of it is the lack of creativity coming from OC Josh McDaniels.

DET - WR Calvin Johnson a forgotten man in Week 14? - CBSSports.com

Detroit Lions WR Calvin Johnson was just targeted four times in Week 14, catching three passes. Head coach Jim Schwartz defended Johnson's limited involvement in the offense. 'As much as we want to get the ball to Calvin, sometimes it's not going to make sense,' Schwartz said.

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Footballguys' view: Forget the Randy Ratio, there needs to be a Calvin Coefficient every week for the Lions. We know Johnson's fantasy owners would agree with us.

HOU - Would like WR Andre Johnson to play in Week 15 - HoustonTexans.com - Nick Scurfield

Houston Texans head coach Gary Kubiak said Monday, Dec. 12, that even though the team has clinched the AFC South Division title, he would like to use WR Andre Johnson (hamstring) in Week 15. 'We've got to push. If I could, I'd have Andre back this next week,' Kubiak said. 'I think he needs to play. I think he needs to get back in the flow of things before we do get to January, but we've got to be smart here.'

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Footballguys' view: The Texans are still vying for a first-round bye and home field advantage, although they need the Patriots or Ravens to lose a game for that to be possible. Johnson will be worth playing as long as he's active.

CIN - Andy Dalton has TD pass in 10 straight games - Bengals.com - Geoff Hobson

Cincinnati Bengals QB Andy Dalton has recorded at least one touchdown pass in 10 consecutive games after his Week 14 effort against the Houston Texans. Nine of Dalton's 18 TD strikes have come on third down. Only New York Giants QB Eli Manning (11), New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees (10) and Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo (10) have more.

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Footballguys' view: Dalton's rookie campaign has been overshadowed by Cam Newton, but he is also doing remarkable things for a player with no experience and a shortened offseason.

BUF - Stevie Johnson is in rare company - The Buffalo News - Rodney McKissic

Buffalo Bills WR Stevie Johnson (hand) became the fourth played in franchise history to record 60 receptions in consecutive seasons, and the first since former WR Eric Moulds.

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Footballguys' view: Johnson could ascend to WR1 status with consistent QB play.

PIT - OLB James Harrison suspended - ESPN - Adam Schefter

The NFL has suspended Pittsburgh Steelers LB James Harrison one game for his helmet-to-helmet hit on Cleveland Browns QB Colt McCoy.

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Footballguys' view: Harrison is expected to appeal this suspension. His argument is that McCoy had left the pocket and thus a helmet to helmet hit is legal. However, a new clause in the CBA states that when a QB is in a throwing motion (even outside of the pocket) a helmet to helmet hit is illegal.

TEN - ILB Barrett Ruud to IR - The Associated Press

The Tennessee Titans placed LB Barrett Ruud (groin) on the Injured Reserve Tuesday, Dec. 13, ending his season.

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Footballguys' view: Ruud was only signed to a one-year deal, and we're not sure he'll find a starting job next year after rookie Colin McCarthy outplayed him this year.

That'll do it for today, Folks. Thanks for reading and we'll see you tomorrow with the update.