Flozell Gets A Kick Out of the NFL

FlozellFlozell Adams has been fined by the NFL for the third week in a row. The latest fine for kicking Julius Peppers during the Monday Night Football game against the Panthers.

Game 1 – $5,000 Unnecessary Roughness

Game 2 – $12,500 Kicking (2 separate incidents)

Game 3 – $7,500 Kicking

Head coach Wade Phillips had this to say about his veteran left tackle:

“He’s a very good football player. He’s aggressive … He just wants to protect the quarterback.”

Well, at this point would the Cowboys be better off if he went back to the habitual false starts? I’m sure Tony Romo appreciates the support.

Flashback: Dallas vs Denver – 1992

It was a cold, but not too cold Sunday afternoon on December 6, 1992 at Mile High Stadium in Denver. Dallas came into the game with an 11-2 record looking to clinch a spot in the NFC playoffs for the second straight season. They were well rested after having their usual time off after the Thanksgiving Day game where they beat the NY Giants 30-3. The Denver Broncos came into the game with a 7-6 record and playing without injured John Elway.

The Cowboys would jump out to a quick 14-0 lead on the Broncos after quarterback Tommy Maddox thew interceptions on his first two passes of the game. Troy Aikman would take advantage of the two turnovers by connecting with Michael Irvin on touchdown passes of 6 and 4 yards.

The Broncos would strike back with a touchdown pass from Tommy Maddox to Vance Johnson to cut the Dallas lead to 14-7 in the first quarter. With Maddox looking to tie the game in the second quarter he would throw his second touchdown pass, this one to Mark Jackson, but the extra point failed. Making the score 14-13. Dallas would close out the first half with a Lin Elliott FG and a 17-13 lead.

The interesting thing about this game would be how Denver head coach Dan Reeves would handle his quarterback position. With John Elway not playing, Reeves decided to alternate Tommy Maddox and Shawn Moore all afternoon. They would be some what effective during the game as both would combine for 208 yards passing and four touchdowns, but it would be Maddox who threw 4 interceptions during the game.

Dallas would hold the lead after three quarters 24-20. They took a 24-13 lead when Aikman tossed his third touchdown pass of the game to Jay Novacek. Denver answered with Maddox’s third touchdown pass of his own. This time to Reggie Rivers to get within four points of Dallas going into the fourth quarter.

With 9:05 to play in the game, Dan Reeves reached into his trick plays and came up with a play that would give Denver their first lead of the game. Looking at a third and 11 from their own 19 yard line, Maddox took the snap and lofted a swing pass to free agent rookie receiver Arthur Marshall who was lined up in the backfield. Marshall quickly fired a 50 yard strike to Cedric Tillman who than ran untouched for the go ahead touchdown on an 81 yard touchdown pass. Denver took the lead 27-24.

Dan Reeves had a feeling that the Dallas defense would bit on the play and come up to stop the run. Which was the case when cornerback Kevin Smith broke towards Marshall as he caught the swing pass.

“Arthur was a quarterback in high school,” said Reeves.

“We saw from our pre-season game (at Dallas) that that pass might be possible, based on how fast they come up for the run.”

Now it would be up to the Dallas offense to get them back in the game. They were down by three, in a hostile stadium, trying to recover from a trick play and a playoff berth at stake.

Troy Aikman led the Cowboys offense on an 11 play, 77 yard drive. During the drive Aikman would connect with Jay Novacek on three straight plays that covered 50 yards which brought them to the Denver 21. With a 1st and 10 from the Denver 21, Aikman was sacked by Denver defensive lineman Simon Fletcher and fumbled the ball. Both Aikman and Fletcher’s teammate Greg Kragen had a shot to recover the fumble, but it was Aikman who was able to pull the ball into his chest. A loss fumble at that point would have most likely lost the game for the Cowboys.

“It was real close,” admitted Aikman. “He probably had as good an opportunity at it as I did.”

Two plays later Aikman completed a huge third down pass to Michael Irvin to set up Emmitt Smith. With only 2:47 left to play Emmitt Smith took the handoff from Aikman and scored to take a 31-27 lead.

Cornerback Kenny Gant (aka, The Shark), ended the game with the Cowboys fourth interception at midfield on 4th and 10.

“To be able to drive the length of the field, to score and put us back ahead, that’s a tremendous job by Troy Aikman and our offense,” said coach Jimmy Johnson, who was more excited to have escaped with a win than to have officially enrolled in the post-season.

“We expected to be in the playoffs prior to the season and during the season, so that expectation never changed,” he said.

“We were fortunate old No. 7 wasn’t playing today,” said Aikman, referring to Denver’s injured quarterback John Elway.

“This is a hell of a wakeup call for us at this point in the season,” said defensive end Charles Haley, who doubled his season total with two sacks. “One thing we learned today is that having a two-touchdown lead early doesn’t mean the game is over. You can’t believe you’re going to take the offense out of the game that quickly.”

With the victory over the Denver Broncos the Cowboys earned a spot in the NFC playoffs in 1992. The following week would be a chance to lock down the NFC East division title against the defending champion Redskins in RFK Stadium. But the Redskins would not allow that in their building as they beat the Cowboys 20-17.

You can see the box score for the game here…

http://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/199212060den.htm

Emmitt

Weekly Game Balls: Week 3

This week’s offensive game ball goes to Tashard Choice.

The quickness and toughness he showed against the Panthers defense made him an easy “Choice”. On any other team Choice would easily be an every down back. The Cowboy’s depth in the backfield was on full display Monday night.

It’s really fun to watch his signature “T.C.” every time he scores a touchdown.

Choice had 82 yards on 18 carries with one touchdown, he also had a 2 point conversion. He also hauled in a remarkable 8 catches for another 36 yards.

Although the injuries to Marion and Felix sadden me, we don’t miss a beat when Tashard Choice is on the field, and that truly shows the remarkable depth we have at running back.

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This week’s defensive/special teams game ball goes to Terence Newman.

T-New sealed the game for us with his interception returned 27 yards for a touchdown. Terence finished the night with only 3 tackles but he did cause a fumble. This one was close with Victor Butler who also forced a fumble and recorded two sacks.

Despite missing several tackles in a shaky first half, Newman bounced back and kept the Panthers’ top receiver Steve Smith in check.

“Before the game we talked about how our defensive line and linebackers did their job last week and how we didn’t do our job,” Newman said. “So I told them ‘Hey it’s on us. We’ve got to shut these guys down.’ We let this team down last week and we have to make up for it this week.”

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Congratulations to Tashard and Terence for their outstanding play.

Runners-up: Victor Butler, Patrick Crayton

A Tale of Two Defenses Against Carolina

What Dallas defense would we rather have on the field? The defense from the first half of the Carolina game or the defense from the second half? It’s an easy choice if you watched the 21-7 victory over the Panthers on Monday night. It’s an even easier choice if you look at the numbers. The answer would be the Dallas defense from the second half.

The Cowboys held the Panthers scoreless for most of the first half except for a 90 yard touchdown drive in 8 plays for the Panthers that put them ahead 7-0 shortly before halftime. The defense did come up with their first interception of the season when Mike Jenkins out jumped Muhsin Muhammad. The secondary did a good job on Pro Bowl receiver Steve Smith limiting him to just 3 receptions for 23 yards with Terence Newman covering him and safety help most of the game. The Dallas defense did allow 160 yards of offense to the Panthers. Most of that coming on the touchdown drive. There were also many missed tackles during the first half which reminded me of what happened during the loss to the Giants.

The second half would be a completely different story for the Dallas defense. What ever was said in the locker room and what ever adjustments were made need to continue as Dallas moves onto week 4 against the Denver Broncos. The second half saw the defense force the Panthers into five 3 and out drives and not allow any points. None of those five drives going over two minutes. The defense did not give up a first down to the Panthers until 4:23 was left in the game. They also collected their first sack of the season when Jay Ratliff took down Jack Delhomme in the 3rd quarter. They would add two more by rookie Victor Butler in the 4th quarter. Up until the final drive for Carolina the Dallas defense only gave up 33 yards to them. Also holding Steve Smith to only 1 reception for 15 yards. The defense would only surrender 81 yards to Carolina in the second half. The game would be sealed by Terence Newman who intercepted Delhomme late in the 4th quarter and returned it 27 yards for a touchdown.

I’m hoping we see more of the same from the Dallas defense that we all saw in the second half against the Panthers. They tasted their first interceptions of the season as well as their first sacks. I believe it’s time for Wade Phillips to announce that Mike Jenkins is the full time starter at cornerback with Orlando Scandrick continuing his play as the nickel corner. With Carolina needing to pass late in the game Victor Butler came up with two sacks. Could be because he had fresh legs and took advantage of the tired offensive linemen. Hopefully he will get more opportunities as the season goes on. The tackling was much better by everyone in the second half. They also were able to knock down some balls from the receivers. I’m really hoping last nights victory will be a turning point for the season and will start their assault on opposing defenses.

Injury Update: Felix Jones To Have MRI

Several reports coming in this morning about Felix Jones’ knee.

Adam Schefter posted this on twitter:

Jones told Werder the RB was unable to loosen his left knee after suffering a knee strain and the feeling now is that he might need an MRI.

Dallas Morning News’ Todd Archer is reporting that Felix Jones will have an MRI:

After suffering a strained knee on his 40-yard run in the third quarter, Felix Jones will undergo an MRI today at Valley Ranch.

It is standard fare for something like this and it’s the benefit of having an MRI facility on campus, so to speak.

Jones was fitted for a brace during the game and missed the next three plays of what turned out to be a field-goal drive. He returned for the next two plays of the following series – a pass to Roy Williams and a 10-yard run by Tashard Choice out of the Razorback formation – but did not get another carry.

Rob Phillips at dallascowboys.com:

Jones (eight carries, 94 yards) limped off the field following a 40-yard run that led to a Cowboys field goal. He put on a new knee brace and returned for two plays on the next series, then spent the rest of the game walking the sidelines.

Cowboys head coach Wade Phillips said Jones would be re-evaluated on Tuesday.

Pray for good news, but it’s not looking good. Hopefully Marion Barber will be 100% this week.

Cowboys Bounce Back, Beat Panthers 21-7

The Cowboys rebounded from a tough loss against the Giants and beat the Carolina Panthers 21-7 on Monday night in front of another packed house in their new stadium.

Tony Romo rebounded from a lackluster performance last week when he threw three interceptions, and completed 22 of 33 passes for 255 yards, but most importantly he had no turnovers.

With Marion Barber out with an injury, Felix Jones started and finished with 94 yards on just eight carries. However, Jones would later come out of the game when he suffered a left knee strain on a 40-yard run in the third quarter. The Cowboys turned to Tashard Choice, who stepped in and pounded the ball on the ground finishing with 82 yards on 18 carries and a touchdown in the third quarter that put the Cowboys ahead 10-7. Choice also scored on a two-point conversion run.

Give plenty of credit to the defense who finally flexed their muscle and sacked Jake Delhomme three times, two of those coming from rookie Victor Butler who showed off his pass rushing skills, and the other came from nose tackle Jay Ratliff who delivered another spectacular performance.

Dallas held Carolina to just 271 yards and held down the fort until the offense finally took the lead and held it. They only allowed 73 rushing yards. It was great to see them bounce back after they coughed up 430 yards to the Giants last week.

The highlight for the defense was when Terence Newman returned an interception 27 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter to ice the game and seal the victory.

Special teams have really stepped up their performance of late, and they continue to show some occasional flashes of brilliance.

I’m not going to get too crazy over this win…

Let’s face it – this was the Carolina Panthers who are now 0-3. We all know that Romo and company can beat bad teams like this. The problem for Tony Romo is overcoming the stigma that he is not a big game quarterback. He had a chance to debunk that growing concern last week, but instead he only strengthened his critic’s argument. Romo must somehow figure out how to keep from cracking under the pressure of a big game, especially against a division rival like the Giants or Eagles. Until we can beat those teams consistently, it’s going to be just another up and down season that could keep us out of the playoffs again.

Nevertheless, the Cowboys needed to deliver a win for the new stadium, and that’s exactly what they did. With the 21-7 victory, the Cowboys have now beaten the Panthers for the eighth consecutive time and haven’t lost to them since 1997. I applaud them for their strong effort and look forward to an even stronger effort next week against the very tough Denver Broncos who are undefeated at 3-0.

Let’s Go Cowboys!

Run Baby Run

Tashard ChoiceThe Cowboys offense did something last night that has not been done since 1979, they ran for at least 200 yards in two consecutive games.

Last night they rushed for 214 yards and that was without Marion Barber. Felix Jones was also hurt in the third quarter, but Tashard Choice kept the ball running and RUN he did.

The Cowboys’ offense was still lacking in the receiving area. Jason Witten caught the majority of passes.

I believe the Cowboys have found the running game and some say they should have kept running last week and maybe they would have beaten the Giants.

They did great despite not being able to convert twice inside the 2 yard line. The defense came up big in this game, recording 3 sacks, 2 interceptions and a fumble recovery. Terence Newman took one back for six in the middle of the 4th quarter.

Now the Cowboys are 2-1 and maybe they have found their mojo.

Give Credit Where Credit Is Due

Yes ESPN, we fans realize the Cowboys just won against the struggling (now 0-3) Panthers. Carolina played a lot better than anyone expected, mostly in the first half.

Several guys stepped up in this game, so I’d like to give credit where credit is due.

I’m talking specifically about Patrick Crayton and Tashard Choice on offense. Crayton made several very crucial plays, and kept his head in the game, playing smart football all night long.

Choice, who I believe should have started the game, came away with 82 yards on 18 carries and one touchdown plus a 2-point conversion. If not for a bone-headed move by the rookie 3rd tight end, John Phillips, Choice probably would have had another TD. In addition, after the game he had a very impressive interview on the field with the ESPN analysts.

Defensively, Keith Brooking, Jay Ratliff and Terence Newman really excelled tonight. In the beginning Newman didn’t look so hot, missing tackles and looking foolish and aged. However, his interception for a 27-yard touchdown in the 4th quarter reminded us why we love him.

I must admit I am falling head over heels for Mr. Ratliff. Who would expect our nose tackle to get the first sack of the year? Why not when its the beast who is known as JRAT.

As for Brooking, what a wonderful acquisition for the Cowboys. Brooking, a strong, solid veteran linebacker, led the team in tackles tonight with five. It seemed like every time the defense came in, I found myself cheering his name.

Special teams also deserves some props. It’s been way too long since we could say that. Well done Coach Joe DeCamillis, well done sir.

I just wanted to rant about ESPN for a minute, and say that despite the opponent – I am proud of this team and what they did tonight. I believe it was a well-deserved win and they worked hard to earn that “W”.

Then again, I am just an optimistic, biased Cowboys fan. 😉

Where’s The Love?

As I am sitting here doing my research for my next column, I notice something that concerns me. Everyone is talking about what problem needs to be fixed, what issue needs to be addressed.

Don’t get me wrong, I know that everyone of us that write about our Dallas Cowboys has a true love for them. I just think we need to express how much we believe in them. How much we know they have the right weapons that it takes. We need to TRUST in the staff that Jerry Jones has brought in to teach our players the right things they need to do to win week in and week out.

When Wade Phillips was in San Diego, their defense was astounding, led the league in almost every category.  Do you think that it was his very first year he was there, that they took to his game plan right away?  No, it took some time, and until this year, for the most part of the last 2 seasons, Wade was not in charge of the defense. This year he is going to be giving his expert advice on what needs to be done to bring the defense “up to par”.

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We need to support the coaching staff and let them do their jobs. Let them read these columns, blogs and etc, and see that there are fans out there that KNOW they have the right pieces in place to make that coveted run for the SUPER BOWL.

I know we all believe deep down in our hearts that they are going to pull out the victory week to week.  If we can just pull together, as true fans, support out team, BELIEVE in our team, they will thrive off of our energy.

Yes, I know there are a lot of Cowboy “haters” out there.  Those that say, “It’s not that I don’t like the Cowboys, I just hate their fans”. I know we have all heard this one time or another.  Well, I say to that, hate me all you want but when it is all said and done; you will see America’s team, OUR TEAM, the Dallas Cowboys, playing in the super bowl this year.

IT IS OUR TIME!!!!!!

Barber Decision: All or Nothing

Despite the recent build-up that Marion Barber may sit out this week after injuring his quad, the team still has not made a decision if he will play or not. However, Wade Phillips announced if Barber is active he will take his full workload. The decision will come 90 minutes before kickoff tomorrow. He is listed officially as questionable.

“His game is power,” Phillips said. “If he’s not as powerful, that could be a factor. It’s so subjective.”

The Cowboys starting running back pulled up lame while speeding toward the goal line in last week’s loss to the Giants. Barber returned to practice Wednesday and told reporters,

“If I’m good today, I’m going to be good tomorrow and then I’m going to be good up until Monday.”

The Cowboys would not want Barber to injure himself further, therefore they are prepared to give the load to Tashard Choice and Felix Jones if they decide to rest MB3.

By The Numbers

41 Starts as a NFL quarterback, 59 touchdown with 46 interceptions. Does this sound like the type of numbers you would want from the starting quarterback of your favorite NFL team? That was the question that everyone had back in 1994 when Brett Favre began his illustrious career in Green Bay.  Now he is known as one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game.

41 Starts as a NFL quarterback, 85 touchdowns with 49 interceptions.  Is it just me or do these stats look so much better? Does THIS sound like the stats you want from the starting quarterback of your favorite NFL team?  That is what all of us are asking ourselves right now about our Dallas Cowboys.  Those are the stats for Tony Romo in his first 41 games as a starter. I am convinced, are you?

With these type of numbers, in such a short time as a starting quarterback in the NFL, to me, it is obvious the quarterback position is NOT the problem with the Dallas Cowboys. Giving up over 300 yards of offense in both of their first 2 games of the season is a very SERIOUS issue.  The defense needs to wake up and smell the playoffs.

Video: Expecting a Big Bounce Back on MNF

After a tough loss at home, the Cowboys look to redeem themselves this Monday night on national television.

Carolina at Dallas MNF Pre Game Video

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