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EMNE: Kerwynn Williams has defied the odds

Kerwynn Williams has defied the odds 1 uge 3 dage siden #105500

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TEMPE , Ariz. (AP) over and over. Consistently told he was too small, Williams kept working, from practice squad, to being released, to practice squad again and to the active roster. ”That’s pretty much what I’ve relied on my whole life,” Williams said after the Arizona Cardinals practiced Wednesday. ”I feel like everybody’s seen the same thing. Everybody’s looked at me seeing I’m not tall. I’m not the biggest guy out there so I relied on my work ethic to get me through.” Nobody is doubting his toughness. The last two games, he played despite having cracked ribs. Against the Los Angeles Rams, he gained 97 yards in 16 carries. In last week’s win over Tennessee, Williams rushed for 73 yards in 20 attempts. How many ribs are cracked? ”Enough,” he said. After coaching Williams for four seasons, coach Bruce Arians said he is not surprised. ”This is what we expected,” Arians said. ”That’s why he’s here. He couldn’t catch punts two years ago to save his life, but he catches them really good now. That’s just Kerwynn. Whatever it takes for him to make the team, he’s going to do it, but then when he makes it and you put him out there, you’re getting his best.” Williams is listed as 5-foot-8 and 195 pounds. That lack of size was undoubtedly a reason he wasn’t drafted until the seventh round by Indianapolis out of Utah State in 2013. He played in one game for the Colts and spent most of the season on the San Diego practice squad. In his first 21 months in the NFL, Williams was subject to 15 roster moves. He was signed, released and promoted from the practice squad seven times in 2014, including four roster moves in a span of 21 days with the Cardinals. He never wavered in his effort. ”Your work ethic is really the only thing you can control,” Williams said. ”You can’t control the decisions other people make. I just believed the only thing I was focusing on is outworking everybody, outworking the doubt really, outworking everybody’s doubt in me.” Arians attributes Williams’ perseverance to ”his grit.” ”He got cut a number of times Gary Jennings Jr. Jersey ,” Arians said. ”He kept getting a little bit bigger, a little bit stronger, really worked on his hands. That was a problem early on in his career. Really worked on his hands, found his niche in kick returns. `The more you can do.’ He bought in to `the more you can do.”’ Quarterback Blaine Gabbert said Williams has become a complete back. ”We all know he can run the football, but seeing blitzes, picking up protections, catching the ball out of the backfield, just being kind of that total running back that you want to see,” Gabbert said. ”But, just the way he has been running the football lately, getting through that initial line of defenders, getting in the linebacking corps, making some moves, getting into the secondary and really just keeping our offense ahead of the chains.” There is no sign that Adrian Peterson’s return from a neck injury is imminent. Expect Williams to be the featured back again when the Cardinals play at Washington on Sunday. He by no means feels he has it made. ”I feel like when you get to the point where you’ve done all you could do, that you’ve proven everything, that’s when I feel like you rest and you start to relax,” Williams said. ”I never feel that way. I never feel like I’m safe. I always feel like I need to keep working and that’s the mindset I’m always going to have.” There is, though, a sense of satisfaction of making it in this rough game the hard way. ”When you have to work for things in life I think it does make you appreciate things a lot more,” he said. ”You realize that all you put in to get to that point, you don’t want to lose it. So you work that much harder to keep yourself in that position. I feel that’s what hard work does, and the cream rises to the top.” Williams has rushed for 784 yards in 162 carries in four seasons with Arizona, an average of 4.8 yards per carry. Notes: After losing starting left tackle Jared Veldheer to a season-ending ankle injury , the Cardinals signed veteran tackle Khalif Barnes. The 11-year NFL veteran has played in 151 games, 116 starts, with Jacksonville and Oakland. He was with New Orleans last season but did not play in any games. Rookie Will Holden will start at left tackle Sunday. — ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Amari Cooper’s impact on Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott has been dramatic.The new No. 1 receiver for the Cowboys shook up the NFC East race, too.Prescott threw his third touchdown pass to Cooper on the first possession of overtime, and the Cowboys took a big step toward the division title with a 29-23 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.Article continues below ...On third down, Rasul Douglas tipped the pass into the air by getting inside the slant route, and Cooper grabbed it and had a clear path to the end zone from the Philadelphia 7 for the 15-yard score. The Cowboys used almost all of the 10-minute overtime, scoring with 1:55 remaining.“I knew I had the slant route there, but I knew he would sit on it,” Cooper said. “I tried to sell the fade. It didn’t really work, but I just stayed with the ball and there you have it.”By winning the third overtime game in the past four seasons at A&T Stadium between these division rivals, the Cowboys (8-5) won their fifth straight game and took a two-game lead over the defending Super Bowl champion Eagles (6-7) and Washington with three games left.Carson Wentz threw for three touchdowns, including a pair of tying scores in the fourth quarter. But he never got a chance in overtime because Prescott engineered a 13-play, 75-yard drive.Prescott overcame two interceptions and a lost fumble to set career highs in completions (42), attempts (54) and yards passing (455).“Helpless feeling,” Wentz said. “I’ve got a lot of lot of confidence in the defense. They were making plays today. We just didn’t do enough early offensively and that cost us.”The Cowboys dominated almost from the start, but let the Eagles stay close to set up a wild fourth quarter. Dallas, which can clinch the NFC East title with a win at Indianapolis next Sunday, finished with 576 yards, the most since gaining 578 against the St. Louis Cardinals in 1973.Cooper finished with a career-high 217 yards receiving on 10 catches in his second game in the past three with at least 180 yards and two scores. All three of Cooper’s touchdowns — the others from 75 and 28 yards — were in the fourth quarter and overtime.Acquired from Oakland for a 2019 first-round draft pick seven games into the season, Cooper leads the NFL with 642 yards receiving since Week 9, his first game with the Cowboys. He had nine catches for 190 yards after halftime.The Cowboys went for it on fourth-and-1 from the Eagles 19 in overtime and got it with a 1-yard plunge from Ezekiel Elliott Ugo Amadi Jersey , who had 192 yards from scrimmage on 40 touches — 28 carries for 113 yards and 12 catches for 79.Cooper converted a pair of third downs on the winning drive. The first one was big, too — a 12-yarder on third-and-9 from the Philadelphia 40.“I was almost I guess I would say astonished that we were able to get that trade,” said Prescott, whose has seen a significant jump in completion percentage, yards per game and passer rating in six games with Cooper.“So I guess if you say that, when we’re getting a trade, well, what’s wrong? And then to get him and see everything turning out and playing out the way it is, we’re very, very fortunate.”Brett Maher set a Dallas franchise record with a 62-yard field goal on the final play of the first half and had three field goals.The game went from a defensive struggle with missed Dallas opportunities that kept the Eagles close to a wild fourth-quarter shootout.Wentz thought he had answered the 75-yard touchdown to Cooper with 3:01 remaining with a matching 75-yarder to tight end Dallas Goedert.But Goedert was called for pass interference, apparently for pushing off against Jeff Heath before bouncing off a helmet-to-helmet hit from Xavier Woods that wasn’t called and running to the end zone from midfield.Philadelphia scored anyway, with Wentz leading a more methodical march to his third touchdown pass, a 6-yarder to Darren Sproles for a 23-23 tie with 1:39 to go in regulation.Douglas had the first interception of Prescott in the first half, but couldn’t get a second hand on the ball for the depleted Philadelphia secondary against Cooper with the game on the line.“I played it perfectly,” he said. “I couldn’t get the other hand in there to get the pick. I tried to bat it down.”DEJA VUTwo years ago, the Cowboys won by the same score with a touchdown on the first possession of overtime. Prescott was on his way to NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year honors, and Elliott went on to win the league rushing title as a rookie. The 12-play, 75-yard drive took 7:12 and was capped by Prescott’s 5-yard TD to now-retired tight end Jason Witten.LOPSIDED STATS, CLOSE GAMEThe Cowboys outgained the Eagles 576-256 and had twice as many first downs (32-16). Dallas ran 93 plays to 48 for Philadelphia and had the ball for 45:33 compared to 22:32 for the Eagles.“Give them credit for fighting and scratching and clawing and doing the things necessary to stay in the ballgame,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said.INJURIESCowboys RG Zack Martin left in the second half with a knee injury. The four-time Pro Bowler has been battling a knee issue all season. … Philadelphia RB Corey Clement injured his right knee when he was stopped for a 4-yard loss late in the first quarter and didn’t return. … Eagles defensive end Josh Sweat left in the first half with an ankle injury and didn’t return.UP NEXTEagles: At LA Rams next Sunday.Cowboys: At Indianapolis next Sunday.
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