Jerry Jones trusts Ezekiel Elliott as much as he trusts himself

After making headlines much of his first two seasons after the Cowboys made him a first-round pick, Ezekiel Elliott mostly has laid low since his six-game suspension.

He did show up in photos on TMZ, along with quarterback Dak Prescott, during a fishing trip to the Keys when the two purchased, um, provocative water guns that Elliott wore to a nightclub. But that was Zeke being Zeke, having a little, innocent fun.

A jovial radio conversation with Sean Diddy Combs and his son quickly turned serious when the hip-hop icon was asked about the NFL’s new national anthem policy.

It’s a topic that’s close to home after Diddy was in the running for assuming ownership of the Panthers, which ultimately went to winning bidder and hedge fund manager David Tepper for roughly $2.2 billion. Diddy, though an NFL fan, said he has no plans to repeat the process with another team after the league announced a rule change in which players would be fined if they did not stand for the national anthem this season. They also have the option of staying in the locker room during the song.

Smelter played both baseball and football at Georgia Tech, totaling 1,060 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns on 56 receptions.

The Jaguars have 90 players on their roster.

Less than a year after Rapone’s images drew a firestorm of vitriol and even death threats, the second lieutenant who became known as the commie cadet is officially out of the US Army with an other-than-honorable discharge.

Top brass at Fort Drum’s 10th Mountain Division accepted Rapone’s resignation Monday after an earlier reprimand for conduct unbecoming of an officer. Rapone said an investigation found he went online to advocate for a socialist revolution and disparage high-ranking officers and US officials. Officially, the Army said in a statement only that it conducted a full investigation and appropriate action was taken.

An unrepentant Rapone summed up the fallout in yet another tweet Monday that showed him extending a middle finger at a sign at the entrance to Fort Drum, accompanied by the words, One final salute.

Which Devils prospects will impact NHL in 2018-19?

As checkered playoff histories go, the Washington Capitals haven’t been around nearly as long as some NHL teams. The track is still long and sad.

There was Pat Lafontaine of the Islanders beating them in the four-overtime Easter Epic back in 1987. Esa Tikkanen missing a wide-open net in the Stanley Cup Final loss to Detroit in 1998. Heck, losing nine of 11 postseason meetings against the Pittsburgh Penguins alone is filled to the brim with gut-wrenching letdowns.

My husband and I had developed a habit of when we lost, we would go to eat frozen custard to help us deal with the loss, Irene Pollin recalled.

There were a lot of chances for custard: Teams leading 3-1 in a best-of-seven series have won 91 percent of the time (276-28). Of those 28, the Capitals have blown such a lead five times — the most of any team.

While we’ve seen quarterbacks overcompensate to injuries by changing their arm mechanics, Wentz having familiar heat on his throws suggests a solid leg base from which he’s tossing.

The arm is alive, Ertz said, I’ll tell you that much.

By all accounts from organized team activities, Wentz is on a positive track to possibly return for Week 1. NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported Wednesday that Wentz is running at just over 90 percent at this stage.

Tennessee Titans safety Kevin Byard earned first-team All-Pro honors by leading the NFL with eight interceptions during a breakout sophomore season. PFF graded him as the 46th-best player in the league, while PFR determined that he was the most valuable player on Tennessee’s roster.

So yeah, the 24-year-old had a nice year. And that nice year cost the team only $842,831. 

The best part if you’re a Titans fan? The team owes Byard just $2.1 million over the course of the next two seasons. 

Over the course of the last three years, Jamison Crowder of the Washington Redskins has become one of the top slot receivers in the NFL. The 24-year-old has caught at least 64 percent of the passes thrown his way for 600-plus yards every year while also playing a big role as a return man.

Tebow started the last three games of his rookie season but was used often in the Broncos’ wildcat package.

Of course the highest-paid rookie in NFL history started immediately. His beating out A.J. Feeley for the starting job wasn’t much of a surprise.

Bradford was on track for success after being handed the keys to one of the worst teams in franchise history (1-15 in 2009) and holding his own. During one stretch, he set a record for most passes without an interception for a rookie. The Rams, though, never improved as a franchise, and Bradford was plagued by injuries.

The Titans were patient with Locker in Year 1, letting the rookie sit and learn behind Matt Hasselbeck. Locker was then given the chance to compete and took the job from Hasselbeck in Year 2.

The Eagles intended to let Wentz sit behind incumbent QB Sam Bradford… until Philadelphia traded Bradford to Minnesota less than two weeks before Week 1. Wentz was officially named starter a couple days after the Bradford deal.

Wentz regressed to the mean after such a hot start as a rookie — he didn’t throw a pick until Week 4 — but the Eagles felt confident they had found their next franchise passer, and they were right. Wentz in 2017 bloomed into a league MVP candidate before a knee injury cut his season short. Philly of course went on to win the Super Bowl without him in the lineup.

Paxton Lynch (sat):

Lynch has started just four games for the Broncos in the two years since he was drafted in the first round in 2016. That said, he technically hasn’t played enough for adequate judgment on this list. But considering the fact that the Broncos brought in Keenum to start in 2018, it’s safe to place a failure stamp on Lynch.

Chris Long’s hockey jokes get the goat of hockey fans

Chris Long is many things. Troll is now one of them.

The Eagles defensive lineman recently had some fun on Twitter, with a stream of messages pretending to criticize and demean hockey. In multiple tweets, he acknowledged that plenty of hockey fans may not get the joke.

Which means that maybe Long should have simply relegated his jokes to a burner account.

Damarious Randall has the most retweeted tweet of any NFL Cheap Baseball Jerseys player, ever

“He works out like he’s a first-year, second-year guy,” Drake said. “Comes in with that same attitude. I feel like if I could have just half the success that he’s had, that would be a win in my book. Because he’s definitely the epitome of longevity in this league.”

Gore needs just 76 yards this season to pass Curtis Martin for fourth on the league’s all-time rushing list. And while the 35-year-old has shown he can still be productive, he’ll also have a role helping Drake develop.

It seemed that Drake was on the right path last year. Over the last five weeks of the season, no back in the league had more rushing yards (444) than Drake, though even he noted that players such as Todd Gurley and Kareem Hunt took their foot off the gas late in the year. But it was still an encouraging finish, and helped validate the Dolphins’ decision to trade Jay Ajayi.

“I’ve learned that you definitely can’t take any week for granted,” Drake said. “It’s a one-game season every week. On any given Sunday. You have to be where your feet are. From waking up one morning and you realize you just traded your starting running back [Jay Ajayi] and now you’re going to get a lot more carries. To the next person in front of you [Damien Williams] is injured for the rest of the season. And so now you definitely have to have a lot more of the bulk.