Injury Updates: Terrell Owens Is The Latest Casualty

Last night’s 20-13 victory over the Carolina Panthers was bittersweet for the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys went into the game with numerous injuries already, including those to Pro Bowl center Andre Gurode, free safety Pat Watkins, and running back Tyson Thompson.

Additionally the team had Tony Romo, Chris Canty and Sal Fasano who were each recovering from injuries sustained in the loss against the Eagles the week prior.

In yesterday’s contest, All Pro wide receiver Terrell Owens suffered a high ankle sprain that could force him to miss considerable time. The recovery time for these types of injuries is usually 3-4 weeks which could put T.O. at risk for missing the first playoff game.

The team isn’t saying much right now, but they are clearly concerned and have Owens scheduled for an MRI later today. X-rays that were taken last night were negative which means that there is no breaks or fractures. Keep checking back as Lone Star Struck will monitor the situation closely and update his status as we receive more information.

On another note…

Roy Williams was informed that his next horse collar tackle WILL result in a multi-game suspension lasting 2-3 games or possibly longer. Unless Roy Williams is willing to change his tactics, relying on him as a key player may prove to be a bad decision by the organization. Some already feel that Williams may never be able to adapt and that he is already hurting the team with his numerous penalties.

 

 

GAME PREVIEW: COWBOYS @ PANTHERS

Cowboys (12-2) vs. Panthers (6-8)  Saturday, December 22, 7:15 PM CT on NFL Network (Locally on My27 in the Dallas Area)

Week 16 Preview:

The Dallas Cowboys look to get back to their winning ways as they travel to Carolina to take on the Panthers at Bank of America Stadium.

After the Cowboys’ 10-6 loss to the Eagles last Sunday, the Cowboys found themselves with the same record as the Green Bay Packers in the race for home-field advantage in the playoffs.  The Cowboys can still clinch home-field advantage with a win and a Green Bay loss on Sunday this week.  Don’t count on Green Bay losing though, so the best thing that we can do is to win out now.  This game may seem easy, but don’t forget that the Panthers upset the Seahawks last week.

The Cowboys may need to rely more on the running game this week, especially with the injury to Romo’s right thumb. 

Look for Cory Procter to get the start under center for this game with Andre Gurode out due to a knee sprain.

Dallas’ main challenge on defense will be containing Steve Smith.  Terence Newman will have his hands full in this game.

Safety Roy Williams is suspended for this game for the horse-collar tackle that he made on McNabb last week, his backup Pat Watkins is out with an ankle injury, but I don’t see that affecting us that much in this game.  Carolina has very little offense.

Terrell Owens has been quiet in his last two games, recording 21 yards and 37 yards.  Somehow the Cowboys need to find a way to get him more involved.

For the first time in 17 games, Romo failed to throw a touchdown pass, setting a Cowboys record. 

The Cowboys got bit hard by the injury bug last week.  Starting center Andre Gurode (knee), backup safety Pat Watkins (ankle), and wide receiver Terry Glenn (knee) are out.  Chris Canty (knee), Marc Colombo (ankle), Anthony Fasano (head), and Tony Romo (thumb) all practiced all week and are listed as probable.

Old School Loyalty

When I started watching football you knew who the coaches were. What coach belonged with what team. It was easy because they didn’t change. When you said Tom Landry or Don Shula you thought of the Cowboys and the Dolphins.  The same way with the players! Granted there were players that were traded, but it was nothing compared to how players switch teams now with free agency. There was loyalty to the team. It seemed like the coaches and  players had that loyalty that we the fans still have.
 
When Roy Williams was drafted by the Cowboys I was so happy. I had watched all of his Oklahoma games so I knew what a gifted player he was.  After his first few games I thought to myself that he would be a career Cowboy, even though I realized that the league was changing.  It had become more of a "What can the team do for me" attitude. The players now have no expectation of finishing their careers with the team that originally signed them. 
 
In 2002 we didn’t have  much of a team point blank! Roy Williams was the only marketable asset Jerry Jones had.  Before you knew it everywhere you looked were #31 jersey’s. With every hard hit and tackle, Roy’s popularity grew.
 
When the NFL banned the horse collar tackle, I knew it would be hard for him to learn not to grab at the jersey.  I mean it is a habit, something he has always used.  I agree with the NFL that it  is too dangerous and should be banned, but I have seen Roy start to go for it and then take his hands down so many times.  I can see how hard it is for him.
 
Then I hear that they want him to watch the hard hits. Come on!!!!  I agree with the horse collar but not the hard hits nonsense!  Look at Bill Bates.  #40 was one of the most hard hitting’s Cowboys I can remember and  I am sure there are plenty more.
 
Now that the rules have changed on him and he is having trouble adjusting to the new rules and system. Some fans even want him out,  They say " Maybe he shouldn’t be a cowboy anymore"  "Maybe he needs to find a new system" Ouch! That breaks my heart! LOYALTY! This is all I know, that is what my Dad taught me about football and I will stand by Roy and any other Cowboys in the future. Maybe I am old school, maybe I need to change my outlook on football, but then that would mean giving up what I love about football and the one thing my Dad taught me "Stand by the team you love" and Roy is a part of that team.

Contributed by Raina Middleton

ESPN Doing it’s Best to Rain on Dallas’ 12-2 Parade

With the Christmas season upon us, I feel it’s only fitting for me to give a special holiday shoutout to my favorite sports network, ESPN.   

Now, most of you know that I’m a huge supporter of ESPN.  Let’s be real.  These people don’t care that Dallas has run away with their division.  They don’t care that Dallas has clinched a first round bye for the first time since 1995. 

No, they would rather antagonize to see what kind of reaction they can get out of players and fans alike. 

They’d rather scrutinize Terence Newman for his sarcastic comments leading up to their game against Detroit. 

Mike Ditka would rather predict when he thinks T.O. will stab his team in the back than acknowledge that he’s had a career best year. 

And now, they would rather call T.O. a distraction for poking a little fun at Jessica Simpson than talk about the upcoming game against Carolina.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from being a diehard Dallas Cowboys fan for 18 years (that’s right, I’ve been a fan since birth), it’s that everything the Dallas Cowboys do will always be under a constant microscope and criticism, regardless of the circumstance. 

So from me and my fellow Cowboys fans, Merry Christmas ESPN, and thank you for yet another year of biased reporting.  We will see you in Tempe. 

Roy Williams Loses His Appeal And T.O. Had Plenty To Say About It

Roy Williams is getting a lot of ink these days, but most of it is not due in great part to his performance. In fact, quite the contrary.

Where do I begin… well as most of you know by now Roy Williams had been suspended one game and fined for his horse collar tackle on Donovan McNabb last Sunday in the loss against the Eagles. Williams immediately appealed the decision and today the NFL released this statement while denying his appeal…

"Commissioner (Roger) Goodell has denied the appeal of the one-game suspension of Roy Williams," the NFL said in a statement. "The horse-collar tackling technique is prohibited because the Competition Committee and the clubs have determined that it presents an unacceptable risk to player safety. Rules that protect and advance player safety must be enforced in a way that will deter violations and prevent injuries from occurring."

In an article by Kevin Sherrington of the Dallas Morning News, he wrote…
How bad has this week been for No. 31? On Sunday, he’s flagged for his collar of Donovan McNabb. Monday, he’s fined $35,000 and benched. And Tuesday, he learns that 11 Cowboys have been selected as Pro Bowl starters or reserves, and he’s not one of them. The omission lends some credibility to his reputation as a safety that can’t cover anymore, and now the NFL isn’t so crazy about the way he tackles, either.

His coaches and teammates ought to be fed up, too. The NFL fined him twice this season and warned him in writing after the last one, and still he acted recklessly.

Today, Terrell Owens had a press conference and spent a great deal of it being very critical not only of the particular play, but also of his teammate Roy Williams.

"Roy Williams is a quality player, but he has to understand that he is not helping his team with those types of penalties. He has to start playing by the rules. Our team is heading into the playoffs and we need Roy to get it together."

You can listen to the complete press conference here.

Donovan McNabb had this to say on the illegal tackle by Roy Williams…

"It is dangerous and I’ve kind of seen it first hand happen to (Terrell Owens)," McNabb said. "I remember when it happened and I actually thought it was worse than what it was — a broken ankle. It’s a play where you’re kind of defenseless because you think you’ve passed a guy and then all of a sudden he kind of yanks you back. Your feet are up under you. You get bent back in an awkward position. Anything can break. In that situation, you just kind of watch the film and feel truly blessed that he didn’t grab my ankle. With him pulling me back and grabbing my ankle, you never know what could have happened. I was able to get my feet from up under me and put myself in a position where I could fall safely."

Like T.O. said, it’s time for everyone on the team to focus 24/7. We already had a heartbreaking end to a season last year, we dont need another. He said everyone needs to set their sites on Arizona. (That’s where the Super Bowl is this season)

Williams leads the team with 65 solo tackles and is second in total tackles with 83, so his absence will be a stiff blow to the Cowboys, especially because of the timing.

Take A Deep Breath

Cowboys Still In Great Shape

 12 and 2, NFC Division Champs, First round bye in the Playoffs and a Great Chance for home field throughout the playoffs still in the mix. I find myself taking a deep breath despite the loss to the Eagles, (which was a very tough pill to swallow.) The only thing worrying me coming out of a 10 to 6 loss to the Eagles was the injuries to a number of key players for the Cowboys. 

Tony Romo

Romo suffered a right thumb contusion, and left Sundays game with his right hand heavily bandaged, but said he would be "fine" for Saturdays game against the Panthers. If his bruised thumb still affects him It would be wise to concentrate more on running the ball.

Andre Gurode

The Pro Bowl Center Gurode left the game Sunday with a sprained left knee. Gurode had and MRI done on his knee Monday and was waiting for results to come in later Monday evening. Nothing has came in as of yet on the status of Gurode at this time.  We just need to hope that Gurode will return to the Field for the Panthers game on Saturday. If we are having to rely mostly on the run, then Gurode will defiantly be needed going up against the Panthers defensive tackle Kris Jenkins who is one the best at his position.

Chris Canty

Phillips said Canty had just a sprained knee and could be ready to play this week.

Anthony Fasano

Fasano suffered a mild concussion Sunday afternoon, but Phillips stated that it isn’t anything serious and would be ready to play on Saturday. 

Patrick Watkins

Watkins might not be ready to play this week, Phillips termed his injury just a "regular ankle sprain" that doesn’t appear to be a long-term setback.

The Cowboys still have plenty of things to be optimistic about regardless of their bad day Sunday. Terry Glenn is Hopeful to return to the lineup on Saturday. And Everyone including myself have been eagerly anticipating his return. With his presence on the field he is going to open up this offense to a whole other level. 

Things are still on the UP and UP for the Boyz. We as Fans just need to brush off this past game and be hopeful for everyone to be healthy and ready to go on game day. I don’t feel like this is the December slide that most have been worrying about. I feel like this is going to be a December To Remember  for the rest of our Die Hard Cowboys Lives.  So lets all take a deep breath and get pumped up for Saturday.  Go Cowboys!!!!

Eleven Cowboys Headed to the Pro Bowl

What a magical year for the Dallas Cowboys. America’s Team will be sending 11 of its top players to Hawaii to be honored at the Pro Bowl. This will tie the franchise record which was set back during the 90s dynasty years.

STARTERS

Flozell Adams, offensive tackle

Leonard Davis, guard

Andre Gurode, center

Jason Witten, tight end

Terrell Owens, wide receiver

DeMarcus Ware, linebacker

Nick Folk, kicker 

BACKUPS

Tony Romo, quarterback

Marion Barber, running back

Ken Hamlin, safety

Terence Newman, cornerback

 

Roy Williams Suspended For Horse Collar On McNabb

The NFL took swift action on Cowboys safety Roy Williams and suspended him for one game without pay today, for his horse collar penalty on Sunday.

Roy Williams committed the penalty while taking down Donvan McNabb during the Cowboy’s loss to the Eagles. It is his third horse collar penalty of the year, and this time it is going to cost him $37,000.

This couldn’t have come at a worse time for the Cowboys who will probably be without the services of Pat Watkins on Saturday against the Carolina Panthers. Watkins sustained a mild concussion and isn’t expected to play.

Wade Phillips had this to say about it…

“To me, if you tackle a guy from behind like that and you’re not falling on his legs, you’re not hurting anybody,” Cowboys coach Wade Phillips said. “So what’s wrong with it? Now, if you’re falling on his legs, like he did before, then that’s one thing. But that’s the rule and we need to abide by it. He is just going to have to learn to do it different. He passed it up a couple times in that game.”

“He’s real strong, especially with his hands. You go to your strength, so he’s going to grab somebody with his hands. And the way it is now, they tape those jerseys in the back, so you can’t grab them, you can’t hold on to them. The only thing you can grab is something behind him. And he’s coming from behind, he has to learn to lay out. But what he’s used to doing is grabbing them, because he’s so strong with his hands. He hasn’t been able to break that habit obviously.”

Williams can, and probably will appeal it which may allow him to play on Saturday, but no decision has been made yet.

GAME RECAP: EAGLES 10 – COWBOYS 6

Eagles Down Cowboys 10-6, but Cowboys Still Clinch Bye

The Dallas Cowboys offense was stagnant the whole game, and although the defense kept them in the game, Romo couldn’t get the ball into the end zone, and Dallas lost 10-6.  Before this game, Tony Romo passed for a touchdown in a team record 17 straight games.  With the Seattle loss, the Cowboys still clinch a bye, but are now tied with the Packers for the best record in the NFC, making these final two games of the regular season extremely crucial to win.

The Cowboys took a 3-0 lead off of an Eagles fumble after Tony Romo threw an interception in the end zone.  It was a 33-yard field goal from Nick Folk.

Before the half, Donovan McNabb found a wide open Reggie Brown in the end zone for a 1-yard touchdown catch to give the Eagles a 7-3 lead heading into halftime. 

The Dallas offense didn’t get any better as the game went along.  Romo drove down the field but had to settle for a 23-yard Nick Folk field goal to cut the Philly lead to 7-6, but an injured right thumb on Romo’s throwing hand may have prevented him from throwing the ball accurately all day, as Romo was only 13/36 for 214 yards with 0 TD’s and 3 INT’s.  The Eagles went on to win the game 10-6.

Injuries were a big part of the day for the Cowboys.  In addition to Romo’s thumb, which he will have on MRI for on Monday, Chris Canty, Andre Gurode, and Pat Watkins all went down with injuries.  Jason Witten and Anthony Fasano were playing with injuries too.  Until today the Cowboys were completely healthy with the exception of Terry Glenn, who might come back next week, so this really hurts.

The Cowboys’ running attack never got going.  Marion Barber III and Julius Jones each carried the ball 7 times, for 32 and 5 yards respectively. 

Jason Witten had another big game, catching 8 passes for 113 yards.  Terrell Owens was again shutdown, catching 2 balls for 37 yards.  Patrick Crayton made 2 receptions for 54 yards.

Nick Folk connected on both of his field goal attempts, making a 33 and 23-yarder.

The Dallas defense kept us in the game all day long, coming up with huge stops throughout the game.  Bradie James, DeMarcus Ware, Jay Ratliff, and Anthony Spencer each had a sack.  Spencer also forced a fumble that was recovered by Marion Barber III.

What a demoralizing game this was to watch.  The good news is that we hold the tiebreaker over the Packers and that we still control our own destiny.  The defense looked a lot better in this game but the offense sputtered.  The final two games of the season are virtual must-wins now if the Cowboys are to have home-field throughout the playoffs, and it looks like we will have some injuries to deal with.  Our final two games are both on tyhe road at carolina and then at Washington.  Hopefully we can bounce back from this and treat it as a learning experience, entering the playoffs on a roll.

GAME PREVIEW: EAGLES @ COWBOYS

Eagles (5-8) vs. Cowboys (12-1)  Sunday, December 16, 3:15 PM CT on FOX

Week 15 Preview:

The Dallas Cowboys will play their final home game of the regular season when they take on the Philadelphia Eagles at Texas Stadium on Sunday.  With a win, the Cowboys can clinch a 1st-round bye in the playoffs, and coupled with a Green Bay loss can seal home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.  The Eagles seek revenge after the Cowboys demolished them 38-17 in the first game their year.  An Eagles loss eliminates them from playoff contention.

After a sub-par effort on defense last week against the Lions, the Cowboys look to bounce back agtainst an Eagles offense that has really shown no consistency all year.

Tony Romo’s first full season as a starter has been nothing short of spectacular.  He has shown time and time again that he can lead his team down the field in crucial situations of the game.  Last week against the Lions, he led the Cowboys down the field to 2 touchdowns to end the half, the second one being the game-winner to Jason Witten. 

After catching only 3 passes for 21 yards against Detroit, look for Terrell Owens to become a more active player in this game, especially against his former team. 

Wide receiverTerry Glenn is still out, but ran routes in practice this week.  He could return next Saturday against the Panthers.  Cornerback Terence Newman is questionable with a knee and toe injury, but Wade Phillips seems confident that he will be able to play.  Wide receiver Patrick Crayton and right tackle Marc Colombo are both probable with ankle injuries. 

What’s wrong with Roy “The Hitman” Williams? I know! I know!

I vividly remember the day, Saturday April 20, 2002. The day Roy Williams became a Dallas Cowboy. Now, myself not really being a big college fan at the time, I had heard through NFL Draft Analysts how Dallas was targeting either Roy Williams that day or Ed Reed. Most analysts stated that Roy Williams was the bigger and better suited safety, noting nothing about his coverage skills at that point. I even remember one analyst stating that Roy Williams was a shoe in Hall of Famer whether Dallas got him or not. He has Ronnie Lott’s box presence and ferrosciousness and could cover out of the slot, so said one NFL scout. So then came Dallas pick #6 in which Dallas traded down 2 places with Kansas City and then selected DB Oklahoma Roy Williams with the 8th overall pick in the 2002 NFL Draft. I was elated and ecstatic! We already had Woody back there and adding Roy Williams? Damn, I immediately had visions of having the best 2 safety tandem in the NFL by far.

Fast forward to 2005. Roy Williams has been everything I expected. A big stout safety who is considered a spark plug on a good defense. Roy excelled his first 4 years in the league. Even starting for the # 1 defense in the league in 2003 and making his first pro bowl. He had at least one bone crunching hit in every game and led the league in interceptions as a rookie in 2002. You can safely say and argue the fact that from 2002-2005, Roy was the Cowboy’s best and most marketable player. His #31 jersey sold like hotcake’s and could be easily seen in Texas Stadium every Sunday afternoon. I myself was even guilty of this feat. I saved up $300.00 in 2003 to get my authentic Roy Williams throwback from the Cowboys pro-shop. It was my most prized possession for quite awhile.

The decline. I really didn’t want to believe that Roy’s skills were suspect. The big warning came in 2004 when Woody went down a had to retire. Roy was exposed! He couldn’t cover the deep receiver. Although Roy had great 2004 and 2005 campaigns, Roy gave opposing defenses an attack plan. Even though Roy was exposed, he was still that bone crunching hitter. He still instilled fear in opposing wide receivers that came over the middle. That just hasn’t been the case lately.

Fast forward to this season. Up until this year, I had been the biggest Roy Williams supporter. This season he has not only been suspect in coverage but he has suffered when playing in the box against the run. The last two weeks I have seen Roy take two bad angles on huge TD runs by the Packers and Lions. I even remember seeing Roy stiffed arm badly by an opposing RB earlier in the year. I don’t want to think that his skills as a football player are on the decline because he is only 27 years old and at times this season he has looked like he is 37 back there. So what’s wrong with Roy Williams you say? I have the answer or answers………..read on.

Answer # 1. Confidence. Most people who have ever played the game of American football will tell you that confidence in one’s own abilities is a big factor on how the athlete plays. Lately I believe that Roy has began to question his own abilities. His ability to not only cover but to hit as well. I believe he has began to hear and believe all the naysayers and boo-birds in the media and at games and it has begun to cast doubt. Once that doubt sets in, the player becomes vulnerable and susceptible to mistakes and that’s exactly what’s been happening lately to Roy.

Answer # 2. Fame and money. The say that Fame and Money changes a person for the worse. Roy just signed a 4 year extension in 2006 making him the highest paid safety in the league. Players become totally entrenched in things on the outside and forget the things that made them rich and famous in the first  place like playing football. I believe this answer is common for many athletes in the NFL today. I honestly believe that more than half of all NFL players are in it more for the money than for the love of the game. They start to forget how hard and grueling the road to the NFL was. It’s not an easy task people. Roy is a humanitarian. He spends alot of time helping charities and foundations he has set-up. Hey you all have seen those United Way commercials. I believe this answer does not apply to Roy for that fact, but hey I could always be wrong.

Answer # 3. He just doesn’t want to be a Cowboy. I know this is a little far fetched and out there but anything’s possible. The only reason I bring this answer up is because I have tried to keep an eye on Roy this year seeing what he does on every play. There are times in the game when the defense comes up with a big play and Roy has no reaction. Like he doesn’t care. I have seen this reaction a few times. Roy, at least to my knowledge, has always been an emotional player. Every time he made a big hit or big play in the past, he has always shown alot of emotion. Same when someone else on defense had a big play. You would always see Roy be one of the first players to show some congrats. Haven’t seen that lately as well.

So there you have it. Some of you might agree with what I have to say and some of you may not. I honestly believe that if Roy was playing the way we are used to seeing Roy Williams play in previous years, this defense would be special. I have always been a great Roy Williams supporter but lately, like this whole season, its been hard to defend the guy. I would love nothing more than to have Roy turn around and start hitting some people like he used to. During the Green Bay game a few weeks ago I saw a flash of the old Roy when he came up on a running play and decleated Ryan Grant at the line after he was stood up by Canty. That was the old Roy I came to love watch play. The only time this season I saw Roy knock someone silly. Anyone out there know where that Roy is?          

Contributed by Fred the Fredooch

 

Jay Ratliff Signs A New 5-Year Extension

The Dallas Morning News is reporting that nose tackle Jay Ratliff has signed a five-year contract extension worth $20.5 million. The Dallas Cowboys acted quickly on Ratliff, who was scheduled to be a restricted free agent at the end of the season.

Ratliff is in the midst of a fine season since he took over for the injured Jason Ferguson at nose tackle. He currently has 25 tackles and leads the team with 13 quarterback pressures. Despite being smaller than most nose tackles, Ratliff makes up for his lack of size with his quick bursts and hard-hitting style. He has becomes one of the leaders on defense.

Ratliff joins Tony Romo as the latest players to sign extensions this season. Jerry Jones is quietly going about his business of ensuring that he retains his top players. Rumor has it that Patrick Crayton is next in line for an extension.

Things continue to look up for the Silver and Blue!