Cowboys Play It Safe

The Dallas Cowboys and Safety Gerald Sensabaugh come to agreements and extend his contract. Sensabaugh signed a 5 year extension worth a reported 22.5 million. Gerald has been a great asset to this team and has come up big when we needed him too. Please do not let the title of the blog miss-lead you. I don’t mean playing it safe as in they needed to make a different move. I think it was a great move to sign him to this extension.

Sensabaugh was originally drafted into the league by the Jacksonville Jaguars where he played for the first 4 years of his career.  During the start of his career with Jacksonville he had 6 interceptions, 118 tackles and 0 sacks in 4 years. Once he was traded to the Cowboys in 2009, his career took off. He has had 8 interceptions with an average of over 11 yards returned. He has had more tackles in the 3 years with the Cowboys (156)  than in the whole 4 years with Jacksonville (118).He has forced 2 fumbles and had 2 sacks in the 3 years with the Cowboys and had none in the first 4 years of his career.

Gerald Sensabaugh has been an outstanding Cowboy and I look forward to watching him make plays for us on the field for the next 5 years.

GO COWBOYS!!!!!!!

 

Can negative stats work in the Cowboys favor against the Giants?

Have you ever been watching a game and a stat comes up on the screen saying something like a particular quarterback has not thrown an interception in 200+ pass attempts or a defense has not allowed any points in the last two minutes of a game in the last 30+ games? Then of course that quarterback throws an interception at the worst possible time or the defense gives up the touchdown to lose the game with five seconds left. It happens time and time again. I hate when those types of things are announced, especially when it comes to the Cowboys. Anytime a positive stat is announced something bad seems to happen. Since I’m a little on the superstitious side I’m thinking that those types of stats can also work in reverse and bring some good luck. Maybe if some negative stats are announced then only positive things will happen. So here is hoping the football gods will read this and bring good luck to the Cowboys this Sunday as they take on the Giants in a game that just might decide the division title.  

*The Cowboys are only 6-9 against the Giants in the last 15 games dating back to the 2004 season.  

*The Cowboys are only 5-5 against the Giants in the last ten games, which goes back to the first time Tony Romo started against the Giants during the 2006 season.

*The Cowboys are only 2-3 at home in those ten games. One of those losses came in the playoffs.

*Since Cowboys Stadium opened in 2009 the Giants are 2-0 there. 

*Tony Romo has not beaten the Giants at home since December 14, 2008.

*Tony Romo is only 2-3 starting against the Giants at home since becoming the starter for the Cowboys during the 2006 season.

*Eli Manning is 8-6 as a starter against the Cowboys dating back to the 2004 season.

Now that I’ve announced the negative stats everything should be set for the Cowboys to take hold of the NFC East this Sunday against the Giants. 

 

Visiting the Cardinals has become the Field of Terror for the Cowboys

October 12, 2008. The Cowboys lost to the Cardinals 30-24 in OT when Matt McBriar’s punt was blocked and returned for the winning touchdown. The game also saw serious injuries to Tony Romo, Felix Jones, Matt McBriar (on the blocked punt) and Anthony Spencer.

December 25, 2010. The Cowboys lost to the Cardinals 27-26 as Miles Austin scored with less then two minutes to play, but David Buehler missed the extra point which made the score only 26-24. The Cardinals then drove down the field and kicked the winning field goal with five seconds left.

December 4, 2011. I keep trying to find something positive from the loss to the 4-7 Cardinals on Sunday. But the more I think about the game the more angrier I get. Let’s start with head coach Jason Garrett who continues to have suspect game plans and his playing calling leaves a lot to be desired. The Cowboys threw the ball 42 times and ran it only 20 times against the Cardinals. How does one justify only giving DeMarco Murray 12 carries when he has been arguably the best running back in the league the last month? Garrett baffles my mind each and every game. Maybe being a head coach is too much for him.  Maybe he has no trust in Tony Romo or his offensive line. Or maybe he just knows that Jerry Jones is always over his shoulder watching his every move and is coaching scared. Of course as a fan these are just my opinions, but the way Garrett manages games sometimes has to make one wonder what is happening.

In the first quarter the Cowboys faced a 4th and 1 from the Cardinals 36 yard line. They looked like they were going to go for it and then Garrett called a timeout. After the timeout Garrett changed his mind and sent Dan Bailey out to attempt a 53 yard field goal, which he missed. Why would Garrett decide to do this? Why not go for it? Why not punt and try to pin the Cardinals against their goal line? I understand that Bailey had connected on 26 straight field goals, but at the same time you have to think about field position in those situations. With the miss the Cardinals took over at the 43 yard line. They then took advantage of the good field position and drove down and take a 3-0 lead.

After the Cardinals converted the missed field goal into a field goal of their own something happened that baffled me and goes along the same argument as far as thinking about field position in certain situations. On the kickoff Felix Jones returned the kick 69 yards to the Cardinals 35 yard line. On first down Romo was sacked for a seven yard loss. Then on 2nd and 6 Murray ran for six yards to set up a 3rd and 11 from the 36 yard line. Garrett then calls for a short pass to Bryant that only gains one yard. It seems to me that Garrett doesn’t like to be aggressive with his play calling. If they need 11 yards for a first down pass the ball down the field. Even if they don’t get the first, maybe they can pick up six or seven yards to make things easier for Dan Bailey. So that makes it 4th and 10 from the 35 yard line and now Garrett decides to punt which he maybe should have done on the prior possession when the Cowboys were on the 36 yard line. McBriar punted and the Cardinals had to start the drive from their own ten yard line. Football is a game of field possession and it has to be taken into consideration.

Then there was the series of events at the end of the game that everyone is talking about. With 26 seconds left in the game and the Cowboys sitting at the Cardinals 32 yard line with two timeouts why doesn’t Garrett call for the timeout? How can he justify letting the clock run down to seven seconds and then call a timeout? I can’t understand that way of thinking. If the Cowboys call a timeout with 26 seconds left they have their entire playbook to work with. They can get closer for Dan Bailey and still have a timeout in their pocket. Run the ball, pass the ball and be aggressive. I know one thing that if it was Tom Brady or Peyton Manning in that situation they would have run a play to get their team closer. And yesterday it was Aaron Rodgers who did run a play to get his team closer. I just don’t understand the thinking when it comes to Garrett and a lot of his decisions. It was poor clock management and there is no excuse or reasoning that will change this fans mind. This was how Garrett explained his decision.

“We very well could’ve taken a timeout there,” Garrett said. “We just felt like we were in field goal range. We had yardlines that we use as guidelines before the game, and we felt like we were in range at that point. Tony had them on the line of scrimmage quickly, so we just went ahead and clocked it, and used that as a timeout.”

Let’s not forget the fact that Jason Garrett called timeout as Dan Bailey kicked the winning field goal. Isn’t it the opposing team that normally tries to ice the kicker? Not the kickers own head coach! Don’t teams practice game situations where the field goal team runs out onto the field with only seconds left to kick the game winner? Everything was sitting right there for Garrett at the end of the game. Call a timeout with 26 seconds left and then run a play to try and get your kicker closer. And no matter what would have happened on that play the Cowboys could have then called their last timeout to setup the game winning kick. I understand some people might argue that if the Cowboys turn the ball over then Bailey would have never had the chance to win the game. But the thought of a turnover has to be the furthest thing from your mind in that situation because that just means they are coaching and playing scared. They need to be aggressive and coach and play to win the game.

“We just felt like we wanted to have a clean operation,” Garrett said when asked about the timeout on the first (unofficial) kick.

Now don’t get me wrong. Although the loss to the Cardinals had a lot to do with Garrett, it wasn’t his entire fault. Maybe if the defense tackled better, then the Cowboys wouldn’t have been in the position they were in. This was most evident in overtime on the winning 52 yard pass and run as LaRod Stephens-Howling ran through the entire Cowboys defense.

The contract extension that was given to Orlando Scandrick continues to make me scratch my head. Not only is he constantly getting beat by opposing receivers, but he is also not much of a tackler in my opinion. In the Cardinals game it was his special team’s play that stood out and not in a good way. In the second quarter the Cardinals punted to Dez Bryant. As Bryant caught the punt at the Cowboys 48 yard line he fumbled due to Scandrick being in the way as he was blocking someone in the back. The Cowboys recovered the fumble, but due to Scandrick’s penalty the drive started at the 38 instead of the 48.

Then with just over two minutes to play in the game the Cowboys defense forced the Cardinals to punt from their nine yard line. Dez Bryant returned the punt past midfield and into Cardinals territory to put the Cowboys in great position to win the game. But on the return once again it was Scandrick who was called for the block in the back and the Cowboys start the drive at their own 32 instead of deep in Cardinals territory.

So instead of the Cowboys being 8-4 with a two game lead in the NFC East with the Giants losing to the Packers. They find themselves only one game ahead with an all-important match-up with the Giants Sunday night at Cowboys Stadium. In a game that just might decide the division title the Cowboys better play much better and make better decisions then they did against the Cardinals. And those decisions start with Jason Garrett.

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Cowboys Secondary Is My Big Concern For Cardinals Game

Future Hall of Fame safety and all around great guy, John Lynch, will be in the broadcast booth when the Cowboys take on the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday. The nine-time Pro Bowler knows a thing or two about what constitutes a difference-maker on a team. Regarding the recent good fortunes of the Cowboys in the last month, Lynch had this to say:

They have evolved in a very positive way. Before I worked the Rams game, I studied the Cowboys game from the week before up in New England. I am hesitant to give one guy credit for turning the team around, but DeMarco Murray has certainly helped. The team became a better team when he started against the Rams. He has helped Tony Romo. He has helped the offensive coordinator. He helped the passing game. He has helped the defense by having them on the field less time.

I loved Lynch as a player and he was one of the greatest safeties I’ve ever saw play. Who better to ask about the Cowboys’ secondary than him? Here’s what he had to say:

With all due respect, it is the weakness of the defense. The front seven is a strength. The safeties are playing well. The corners have been exposed in Mike Jenkins’ absence.

Personally, I think he was being too kind –  this Cowboys team has TWO HUGE GLARING WEAKNESSES…

Without a doubt the secondary and the other is the return game on special teams.

Here’s my one concern about Sunday’s game… Mike Jenkins and Terence Newman vs. Cardinals wide-receiver Larry Fitzgerald.

As ESPN correctly pointed out, Fitzgerald is so dangerous because of his ability to not only run routes and gain separation but also catch the ball no matter how poorly it is thrown.  Fitzgerald is one of the top five playmakers in the National Football League.

Control Fitzgerald, and the Cowboys should be able to come away on Sunday with a win. We need a HUGE effort from T-New this weekend.

A Very Special Cowboys Christmas

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

Yeah, you know it’s football season, it’s Christmas time and our team is in first place. It hardly gets any better than this! As we get into the Christmas spirit here at LSS we want to include our tremendous Cowboys family this year.

Submit your Cowboys Christmas/Holiday photos to lonestarstruck @ aol.com and we will share them on our facebook!

I know I’m very proud of my Cowboys Christmas tree and I’m sure many of you have Cowboy themed ornaments and/or decorations as well. We want to put your blue and silver decor on display and have a nice Cowboys holiday collection for all of Cowboys nation to admire.

So join us and get in the holiday spirit! Email us your Cowboys holiday pictures!

Merry Christmas to all and How ‘Bout Them Cowboys!

 

A Thanksgiving Thank You

First off I want to say I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and hope you had a chance to tell everyone how thankful you are for them and what they do for you.  I personally want to thank all of the Dallas fans out there that have stuck with our team thru the hard times we have gone through for so many years. It feels like it has been FOREVER since the Cowboys have won a super bowl. Ok So maybe it has been forever, but if the boys had been playing better ball in the past 15 years I don’t think that it would feel so long. Wow…15 years??? say it like that and it feels like its been even longer than forever LOL.

However, I am proud to say, “THE WAIT IS OVER!” Our team has begun to show all the critics out there that the Cowboys are a team with a goal. The fight they give week to week out there on the field is as strong as it has ever been. We have the players and coaches in place to make the pivotal run for the ultimate goal, a Super Bowl victory!  I am still not sold 100% on our owner, but that is another story for another time. We have our stage, the biggest stadium ever built. But most of all, WE HAVE OUR FANS!!!!!!!

Of course with every winning team there is going to be what they call “bandwagon fans”. Don’t get me wrong I appreciate all those fans that do that as well. But, I want to thank all of the “TRUE” fans out there that have stuck with our Boys from day 1. The fans that get that sick feeling in your stomach when we lose. The fans that want to reach into the TV and smack Romo across the face when he throws that STUPID pass that gets picked off. The fans that scream at the top of their lungs, lose their voice, jump up and down and make everyone else around look like less of a fan of their team because they are just sitting there watching the Cowboys win another pivotal game.

Thank you to everyone that sticks with me day in and day out for our team

 

GO COWBOYS!!!!!!

It’s a Wonderful Life Dan Bailey

For those of you who are familiar with my articles know that I kind of go in different directions many times. I’m not one to always do a game recap. Now that Thanksgiving has passed and we are now into Christmas season I would like to share a story with everyone. It’s a story that will make you laugh and make you cry. For those who have seen the Christmas classic “It’s a Wonderful Life” will understand the story that is about to be told.

It was September 18, 2011 and the Dallas Cowboys were visiting the San Francisco 49ers. After a bad loss to the NY Jets in the season opener the Cowboys were looking to even their record at 1-1. The Cowboys did not want to go 0-2 simply because it might have been too deep of a hole to dig out of. 

The Cowboys took the opening kickoff and drove down to the 49ers four yard line. Rookie kicker Dan Bailey came out to attempt a 21 yard field goal. The kick sailed wide right and Bailey walked to the sideline devastated because of the miss. He sat down on the bench thinking that this was not the place for him. He knew he could never be a successful kicker in the NFL and just wanted to walk off the field and never come back. Bailey wished that he had never been a kicker. He wanted out of football and felt dead inside. He wished he could be anywhere except for where he was. As he sat on the Cowboys bench feeling lost and alone he looked up to the sky and wished someone, anyone would show him the way.

At that moment he found himself in the stands of Candlestick Park. Confused as to how he got there he began looking around. He noticed an older gentleman sitting next to him staring at him. It was as if no one else could see Bailey except the gentleman who called himself Clarence. The crowd around both of them cheered as the game continued on. Clarence explained to Bailey that he was his guardian angel sent down from the football gods to show Dan Bailey the way. Bailey, only half listening to Clarence because he was so confused got up to head back down to the field. Clarence explained to Bailey that he couldn’t go because he was not on the Cowboys and never was. As Clarence reminded Bailey about his wish that he had never been a kicker he handed Bailey a game program. As Bailey looked at the Cowboys team roster he noticed that he was not listed as the team kicker. Looking confused Bailey got up and decided to make his way to the tunnel where the Cowboys were running towards for halftime. He yelled and screamed for his teammates to help him. But it was if Bailey wasn’t even standing there as the Cowboys ran past him never acknowledging him in any way. At that point Bailey felt the only thing he could do was just head on home so he could sort out what was happening to him. Bailey made his way out of the stadium with Clarence following. 

Sitting home that night Bailey wanted to watch the highlights of the Cowboys game against the 49ers. He was disappointed to find out that the 49ers had beaten the Cowboys 24-21 and dropped the Cowboys to 0-2. Feeling upset Bailey kept telling Clarence that he could have helped his teammates win. Clarence kept reminding him he could not have helped because he was not a kicker and the Cowboys had no idea who he was. Over and over again Clarence tried to explain the situation, but Bailey was obviously still having a hard time believing it. 

As the season continued on Dan Bailey sat and watched the Cowboys play each game. Every time Bailey thought about being a kicker and helping the Cowboys there was Clarence telling him that it was just not possible because Bailey had received his wish to never be a kicker. Bailey pleaded with Clarence to bring him back, but Clarence would just put his head down and tell Bailey that it couldn’t be done. 

With the Cowboys record at 0-2 things just got worse as they lost their next three games to Washington 16-15, Detroit 34-30 and New England 20-16. Bailey just couldn’t believe it. He wanted to help the Cowboys, but he just didn’t know how he could get back to them. With the Cowboys record at 0-5 they finally got a win over the Rams 34-7, but then followed that up with a horrible loss to the Eagles 34-7. Things seemed to be getting better after the loss to the Eagles as the Cowboys beat the Seahawks 23-13 and the Bills 44-7. With each passing game Bailey regretted leaving Candlestick Park with Clarence that day. He wanted to be a kicker again. He wanted to help the Cowboys win games. After two wins in a row and the Cowboys record at 3-6, there seemed to be some hope that the Cowboys could save their season. Then before Bailey’s eyes the Cowboys lost their rematch against the Redskins in overtime 27-24 and then lost again four days later on Thanksgiving to the Dolphins 19-17. The Cowboys were now 3-8 and their season was all but over. Bailey could only think to himself that the Cowboys horrible season was his fault.

Dan Bailey argued with Clarence that he should have been there to help the Cowboys and that it was his fault they were 3-8. Clarence reminded Bailey about the things he said after missing the kick in San Francisco. About thinking he could never be a successful kicker and not wanting to be a kicker anymore. Clarence also reminded Bailey that he said he wanted out of football. They argued for a long time until Bailey had enough and ran out of his house. He wanted to get as far away from Clarence as he could. Bailey had regretted everything he had said that day and wished he could take it all back. He ran until he was exhausted and couldn’t run anymore. He sat down on a park bench to rest and think things through. He put his head in his hands and sat there wondering how he ended up there and how things got so bad. He wanted so much to help the Cowboys and he missed being around all his teammates. With his head still resting in his hands he said out loud…Clarence! Clarence! Help me, Clarence! Get me back! Get me back; I want to be a kicker again. I want to help the Cowboys win. Get me back to my teammates! Help me Clarence, please! Please! I wanna live again. I wanna live again. Please, God, let me live again.

At that moment he heard his name being yelled by many different people. He looked up and found himself sitting on the Cowboys bench in Candlestick Park. He was back in uniform and players and coaches were yelling at him to get ready. He couldn’t believe it. Clarence had sent him back to where he wanted to be. To the place where he now knew he belonged as the kicker for the Dallas Cowboys. Bailey looked up at the scoreboard and saw that the Cowboys were behind 24-21 to the 49ers with only seconds remaining. Feeling an overwhelming sense of relief and happiness that he was once again back where he belonged, Bailey grabbed his helmet and ran onto the field. He kicked the game tying field goal from 48 yards to send the game into overtime and was congratulated by all his teammates. Then in overtime Bailey was called on again to help his team. This time Bailey kicked the game winner from 19 yards to help the Cowboys even their record at 1-1. Bailey had just won the same game for the Cowboys that he had seen highlights of at home of the Cowboys losing, 24-21 to the 49ers. Bailey had never felt better kicking a football and could not have been happier to be part of the Cowboys and to help them win. He was thankful that Clarence had shown him what was important in life and made him realize that just because something goes wrong he should never wish it all away. But most importantly Bailey was thankful that Clarence was able to return him to where he belonged.

The following week with Bailey still feeling good and knowing there was no other place he wanted to be, he was called on again to win the game for the Cowboys. The Cowboys were losing to the Redskins 16-15 at Cowboys Stadium with only 1:47 left in the game.  Bailey kicked what ended up being the game winning field goal as the Cowboys beat the Redskins 18-16 and improved to 2-1.

Dan Bailey now understood that missing field goals were part of the game and that they would happen from time to time. But as a kicker he couldn’t dwell on the misses. He just needs to continue to improve each and every week. With the right kind preparation and conditioning he knew that when called on he would always be ready to help his team. 

As the season continued Dan Bailey started to convert every field goal he attempted. It was almost as though every kick was being guided by someone as it was in the air. With every kick Bailey thought about Clarence and remembered how Clarence showed him how unhappy he was when he wasn’t the kicker for the Cowboys. He never wanted to feel that way again. He knew he was a professional kicker and even more important was that he was the kicker for the Dallas Cowboys. Bailey thought about Clarence every day and wondered what ever happened to him. He had not seen Clarence since that day he ran out of the house.

With the Cowboys record at 5-4 they found themselves in another fight with the Redskins in their rematch. Only this time the game had gone into overtime and Bailey was called on again to win the game. Bailey for the third time this season had won a game for the Cowboys as his 39 yard field goal was good. The win also helped the Cowboys into a first place tie with the Giants with a 6-4 record. The Cowboys once again congratulated Bailey on another game winning kick and Bailey being beyond happy could not remove the smile from his face.

Four days after beating the Redskins was the Cowboys annual Thanksgiving Day game. This season they were scheduled to play the Miami Dolphins. With so many people being thankful for so many things, it was Dan Bailey who felt even more thankful. He had gone through so much as he learned from Clarence what life would be like if he wasn’t the kicker for the Cowboys, He felt the pain of not being able to help them and he saw the pain his teammates were going through as the losses piled up.

It was a hard fought game against the Dolphins and the Cowboys found themselves losing 19-17 with only three seconds left in the game. The offense had moved into field goal range for Bailey. Once gain Bailey grabbed his helmet and ran out onto the field to help his team. Bailey’s 28 yard field goal was good as he won another game for the Cowboys and improved them to 7-4. The Cowboys attacked Bailey and congratulated each other on a tough victory. Bailey could tell just how much his teammates appreciated him and were glad that he was their kicker.

Always remembering what Clarence showed him after his field goal miss against the 49ers; Bailey knew just how lucky he was to be a kicker and was beyond thankful for everything. From the time Bailey found himself back on the 49ers bench in week 2 as he won the game, through the winning kick against the Dolphins, Bailey had converted 26 straight field goals for the Cowboys. Bailey is also responsible for winning four out of the Cowboys seven games that they have won so far this season.

As Dan Bailey walked to his car after the Dolphins victory he heard the cheers of the fans that had waited for him. It made him smile because he felt so appreciated by the Cowboys fans. He loved being able to kick for the Cowboys and especially win games for the Cowboys. As Bailey got to his car he felt a cool breeze behind him. As he turned around he saw Clarence standing there smiling at him. For a moment they both looked at each other and said nothing. They knew what the other one was thinking. Finally Clarence reached out to Bailey and told him how proud of him he was. Clarence continued saying…

You’ve been given a great gift, Dan: A chance to see what football would be like without you. You’ve really had a wonderful life. You have seen what a mistake it would have been to just throw it away. Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he? Always remember, Dan, no man is a failure who has teammates.

With that being said Bailey thanked Clarence and turned to get into his car. As he shut the door he looked over towards Clarence and he was gone. Bailey looked all around, but Clarence was nowhere to be seen. Bailey shouted once again “THANK YOU CLARENCE”. He smiled, started his car and started to drive home. Bailey knew that thanks to Clarence, what he was meant to do with his life and that was being the kicker for the Dallas Cowboys. As Bailey drove home that night smiling he knew he wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

The Answer!!!

First of all, I am back and it feels GREAT! For those of you who do not know me, my name is Josh Edwards and I currently live in San Antonio TX. Last season I started out writing for LSS and it was a great time. Had some things happen in my life that caused me to take a break from blogging, but happy to say I am back!!! What I am more happy to say is that OUR COWBOYS ARE BACK!!! Wow what a game today. I was on the edge of my seat all day. We had a great moments and our not so great moments, but in the end we came out on top.

As for my first Article this year, I figured I would throw my opinion out there to the question that has been asked about Tony Romo ever since he fumbled the ball against the Seahawks in the playoffs and ended our run that year. What question am I talking about? Well I am glad you asked me that.

“Can Tony Romo win the BIG GAME?”  In my opinion the answer comes in the form of 2 words 1 name. Demaro Murray!!!!!! Ever since Felix Jones went out with an injury, Romo has made more great decisions and less mistakes that any other time in his career. In the last 5 games Romo has gone 97/153 for  1,210 yards 11 TD and only 1 interception. Can any of you remember the last time Romo only thru one pick in 5 games????? I sure can’t. matter of fact I even looked it up and can’t find one time that he has ever had fewer mistakes in his career in a span of 5 games. There can only be one reason for this. “The Answer”.

Demarco Murray is an absolute STUD when it comes to running the ball. He has broken records with the cowboys held by the greatest cowboy running back to ever put on the uniform, Emmit Smith. He has only had 100 carries with us as a starter and has gone for 674 yards 2 TD and one of those TD’s was a VERY impressive 91 yard run. That is averaging over 6 yards PER CARRY. Ever since Murray has been starting behind Romo, Romo has not had to average 33 passes per game. Romo has not had to throw for 350 yards every game and 3 or 4 TD every game. He has been able to manage the game and KNOW that on 3rd and 2 or 2nd and 7 he had a back behind him that would get him 8, 9, 10 or even more yards. There is not as much pressure on Romo anymore.

Can Tony Romo win the “Big Game”? YES YES AND YES!!!!!! Oh wait only 2 words one answer.

As I am going to start calling him “The Answer” Demaro Murray

Another Cowboys-Redskins battle comes down to the end

Did anyone really expect anything other than a close game against the division rival Redskins? In eight out of the last 11 meetings between the Cowboys and Redskins the winning margin has been no more than six points, with the Cowboys winning five and the Redskins winning three.

In the first meeting between these two teams back in September it came down to a last second field goal by rookie Dan Bailey to win the game 18-16. Today’s game was no different except that it came down to overtime for the Cowboys to pull out the hard fought victory, 27-24. The win was their third in a row and improved their record to 6-4 as they prepare for the Thanksgiving Day game against the Dolphins in four days.

The Cowboys started their scoring in the first quarter after Gerald Sensabaugh recovered a fumble on the Redskins 24 yard line. Tony Romo connected with Dez Bryant from 22 yards as he found his way into the corner from the end zone. The Cowboys took a 7-0 lead.

The Cowboys defense was dominate in the first quarter with the one turnover from Sensabaugh and forcing the Redskins to punt on their two other possessions. 

Early in the second quarter the Cowboys defense forced another Redskins punt. The Cowboys offense took over on their own 48 yard line. The Redskins defense seemed to be focusing on stopping the running of DeMarco Murray in the first half. Romo drove the Cowboys down to the Redskins 20 yard line. From there rookie Dan Bailey continued his field goal streak with his 23rd straight as he connected from 37 yards and gave the Cowboys a 10-0 lead.

After the Cowboys defense forced another Redskins punt, Romo and the offense found themselves pinned on the five yard line. They could only manage to gain four yards and were forced to punt back to the Redskins. Matt McBriar helped the Redskins with a 23 yard punt and the Redskins took over on the Cowboys 32 yard line.

The Cowboys defense could have forced a Redskins field goal attempt from the 29 yard line, but Orlando Scandrick was beaten on 3rd and 7 to keep the Redskins drive going. Rex Grossman drove the Redskins down to the four yard line and on 3rd and goal he ran a quarterback sneak and scored to tighten the score to 10-7 Cowboys.

Momentum seemed to swing in favor of the Redskins after the 23 yard McBriar punt. After getting the kickoff the Cowboys could not generate any offense. Facing a 3rd and 17 from their own 23 yard line they ran a draw play that only gained one yard and were forced to punt with less than two minutes to go in the first half.

Rex Grossman once again drove the Redskins into Cowboys territory as the Cowboys defense seemed confused at times. From the Cowboys 16 yard line on 3rd down Grossman tossed a touchdown pass to Jabar Gaffney and the Redskins took a 14-10 halftime lead.

Things didn’t seem to be getting better as the third quarter started. The Redskins seemed to be having no problems driving the ball on the Cowboys defense. Their opening drive of the third quarter resulted in a field goal and a 17-10 lead.

Still not getting and offensive production the Cowboys once again were forced to punt. The Cowboys punt coverage unit was also struggling as the Redskins returned the McBriar punt 55 yards to the Cowboys 34 yard line. The Cowboys defense only allowed three yards to the Redskins and they lined up for another field goal attempt. The kick went wide right and missed. The Redskins remained in front 17-10.

With six minutes left in the third quarter Tony Romo and the Cowboys offense started to move the ball on the Redskins. They found themselves with a 4th and 1 from the Redskins 40 yard line. Head Coach Jason Garrett decided to go for it and gave the ball to rookie DeMarco Murray who gained seven yards and a big first down. Then from the Redskins 14 yard line and facing a 3rd and 6, Romo connected with Murray for seven yards for a first and goal from the seven yard line as the third quarter ended. Three plays later the Cowboys tied the game at 17-17 as Romo tossed his second touchdown pass of the game, this time to Laurent Robinson from seven yards out.

The Cowboys defense forced the Redskins to punt on their next possession as DeMarcus Ware collected his 14th sack of the season. Romo took over at the Cowboys twelve yard line after the Redskins punt. He drove them up to the 41 yard line and on 3rd and 8 Romo was pressured by the Redskins. He spun and rolled out to his left where he saw Jason Witten break open. Romo connected with Witten who then scored from 59 yards to give the lead back to the Cowboys 24-17. It was Witten’s longest touchdown reception of his career.

The Redskins got the ball back with 8:48 left in the game. Rex Grossman on first down was pressured by Bradie James and was forced to throw the ball early. The result was an interception by Orlando Scandrick at the Cowboys 41 yard line. After four straights runs by Murray he got the Cowboys down to the Redskins 41 yard line as time was running off the clock. But the Cowboys drive stalled and they punted the ball back to the Redskins with 5:35 left in the game.

The Redskins started the drive from the eleven yard line. They began driving on the arm of Rex Grossman. The Cowboys looked to force the Redskins into a fourth down from the Cowboys 21 yard line, but on 3rd and 2 Scandrick was called for defensive holding. That gave Redskins a first down at the Cowboys 16 yard line. From there Grossman tossed the game tying touchdown pass with only 14 seconds left in the game. With the score tied 24-24 the teams prepared for overtime.

 The Redskins won the coin toss in overtime and proceeded to drive on the Cowboys defense again. Facing a 3rd and 7 from the Cowboys 34 yard line it was Victor Butler who sacked Grossman. The Redskins attempted a 52 yard field which once again sailed wide right and gave the ball to the Cowboys at the 42 yard line.

Tony Romo started the Cowboys drive by connecting with Martellus Bennett for 14 yards to get to the Redskins 44 yard line. After no gain by Murray on first down, an incomplete pass to Dez Bryant on second down and then a false start by Doug Free on third down. The Cowboys faced a 3rd and 15 from the Redskins 49 yard line. Romo found Bryant for 26 yards and a first down at the 23 yard line.  From there the Cowboys ran two plays with Murray and sent out Dan Bailey for the win. Bailey connected from 39 yards out and gave the Cowboys a hard fought division win over the Redskins, 27-24. It was Bailey’s 24th straight field goal.

Although the Cowboys seemed to struggle at times we have to remind ourselves that these were the Redskins and records need to be thrown out when they meet. The Cowboys are now 6-4 and have a 2-1 division record. They are still currently behind the division leading Giants who play the Eagles on Sunday Night Football.

Tony Romo threw three touchdown passes and had 292 yards passing. DeMarco Murray had 73 yards rushing and Jason Witten led the way with 85 yards receiving. The defense forced two turnovers (fumble and interception) and collected three sacks.

The Cowboys have only four days before their Thanksgiving Day game against the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins find themselves on a three game winning streak after starting the season 0-7. In those three wins the Dolphins defense has only given up 20 points.

Cowboys at Redskins – Y’all Ready For This!

Big day today Cowboys fans!

The ‘Boys in Silver and Blue head east to Landover, Md, to face the their longtime rivals, the Washington Redskins. There’s no such thing as an easy game when these two teams meet, but I love our chances even though we’re playing on their turf.

Both teams are moving in completely opposite directions as the Cowboys have seen their fortunes rise while the ‘Skins, losers of five straight games, have fallen on hard times. Depending on what the Giants do today against the Eagles, the Cowboys could find themselves in first place in the NFC East with a win this afternoon. And even if the Giants pull out a win, we will still take a huge step toward securing a Wild Card spot.

Here are some note to get you all caught up before today’s action.

  • Cowboys backup quarterback Jon Kitna didn’t travel with the team to Washington on Saturday and will be inactive Sunday against the Redskins. Kitna didn’t practice Thursday or Friday because of a back injury. The Cowboys officially downgraded him from doubtful to out. That leaves third-string quarterback Stephen McGee as the backup to Tony Romo. McGee has been active for only three of the Cowboys’ nine games and has yet to play this season.
  • Felix Jones, who was the team’s lead ball carrier at the outset of the season, is expected to return to action after missing the last four games while recovering from a left-ankle sprain. While Jones was sidelined, Murray burst on the scene and revitalized the Cowboys’ inconsistent ground attack. Now that he’s back, the scope of Jones’ role is expected to be reduced.
  • The Cowboys have suddenly gotten on the right side of turnover margin. They’re plus-6 in the past two games, including six interceptions. Tony Romo has thrown only one interception in the past four games. The Redskins are minus-8 in turnover margin. They have not won the turnover battle in any game this season.
  • The Cowboys will be without a fullback as the ailing Tony Fiammetta will not suit up and the team decided not to bring up Shaun Chapas up from the practice squad to fill his spot. This could affect DeMarco Murray because the majority of his franchise-record 601 yards in the last four games has occurred with Fiammetta on the field.
  • Dez Bryant is very confident in the offense and says this is a different team than the one that squeaked out an 18-16 against the Redskins in week three.

Joe D’s Prediction: I expect the Cowboys to blow through Washington like a category five hurricane today and sweep the season series, leaving the devastated Redskins to lick their wounds.

LET’S GO COWBOYS!

* On a sad note, our condolences go out to Oklahoma State University who were rocked with grave news on Friday when it was learned that women’s basketball coach Kurt Budke and assistant Miranda Serna were killed in a plane crash. Our thoughts and prayers are with the friends and families of all the victims of this terrible tragedy.

The Cowboys are running in the right direction

First it was Julius Jones and Marion Barber.

Then it was Marion Barber and Felix Jones.

Then it was Felix Jones, Marion Barber with a little bit of Tashard Choice.

Then it was Felix Jones and Tashard Choice and some rookie DeMarco Murray

Then Felix Jones gets injured and it becomes Tashard Choice…for 4 plays, then Demarco Murray.

Then Tashard Choice is released and it becomes DeMarco Murray and Phillip Tanner

Now Felix Jones is coming back from his injury and its DeMarco Murray and Felix Jones or is it Felix Jones and DeMarco Murray?

And what happens to Phillip Tanner?

The Cowboys running game which was almost nonexistent the first five games of the season has come to life in the last four games. Since rookie DeMarco Murray became the focal point of the running game he has rushed for 601 yards. For the season Murray has 674 yards rushing and is averaging 6.7 yards a carry. He got off to an amazing start as he rushed for a team record 253 yards in a win against the Rams, which included a 91 yard touchdown run. He followed that up with 74 yards against the Eagles and one would have to believe that he would have had well over 100 yards if the Eagles didn’t get a big lead early on the Cowboys. In the last two games, both wins against the Seahawks and Bills Murray has continued to shine as he rushed for over 100 yards in each game. As a team the Cowboys rushed for 424 yards in the first five games. In the last four games the Cowboys as a team have rushed for 705 yards.  The Cowboys also went 2-3 with Felix Jones as the primary back in those first five games and since Murray has taken over the Cowboys are 3-1. 

Now Felix Jones is ready to return after his ankle injury. The question is will the Cowboys go back to Jones as the starter? Will they stick with Murray as the starter? Does it matter if they are both getting their carries?

In my opinion this is a no brainer. They need to keep feeding DeMarco Murray the ball. With everything he has done in the last four games as the primary runner as well as the offensive line playing better it makes more sense for Murray to be the starter and the primary back. Not only has Murray sparked the running the game, but it has also allowed Tony Romo to be more effective in the passing game. In the first five games while Felix Jones was the starter Romo threw eight touchdown passes and six interceptions. Since DeMarco Murray took over the running game Romo has thrown the same amount of touchdown passes, but has only one interception. That one interception came in the Eagles game when Martellus Bennett tipped a pass into an Eagles defender.

The running game and the passing game go hand in hand. When both are doing well, then they feed off each other and become so much more effective that it’s harder for defenses to prepare. But the Cowboys also have an added component now that Felix Jones is healthy. Jones is not some practice squad running back. He has the ability to be a game changer when healthy and he has shown that a few times since being drafted by the Cowboys in 2008. In the first meeting with the Redskins this season Jones rushed for 115 yards, which included a 40 yard run. Having Jones come off the bench in the correct situations can make the running game better than it has been. Also, Felix Jones is a threat as a kickoff returner which the Cowboys are in desperate need of. Add in Phillip Tanner who seems to be that pounding straight ahead runner that the Cowboys have been looking for. This could be a very nice three headed monster for the Cowboys. It’s up to Coach Jason Garrett to put Jones in the right situations during games. It shouldn’t be a concern that both Murray and Jones get an equal amount of carries. Murray needs to be the guy when it comes to the Cowboys running game. He’s fast, quick, strong and is a good blocker as we as a good receiver coming out of the backfield. Having a healthy Felix Jones coming off the bench just makes the running game better.

Cowboy’s fans should see it as a positive that Felix Jones is coming back. But it’s also understandable that they are concerned that the Cowboys will try to play around with a good thing. It’s kind of like the saying, if it’s not broke don’t try to fix it. DeMarco Murray has become a fan favorite in a short amount of time. He has sparked the Cowboys running game, the Cowboys passing game and of course being 3-1 doesn’t hurt either. Numbers don’t lie and looking at what DeMarco Murray has done for himself and more importantly for the team shows that he needs to stay the primary running back for the Cowboys as they inch closer to first place in the NFC East.

 

 Pictures provided by NFL.Com

Cowboys Are Large And In Charge!

I’m shocked at how the excitement level hasn’t ramped up all that much among Cowboys fans after back-to-back invigorating wins for the team. I look here and on other Cowboys sites and it’s about as exciting as watching paint dry. How come? Where’s all the “True To The Silver And Blue” fans and bloggers that used to come out in full support for America’s Team?

I just don’t get the lack of enthusiasm especially when the Cowboys, the team I love, is only one game away from taking over first place in the NFC East. I guess I expected more enthusiasm from Cowboys fans. It’s too quiet around here.

For those of you still reading, here’s the latest news from the Cowboys beat:

  • When the Cowboys signed wide receiver Laurent Robinson before the start of the season, I can honestly say that I didn’t know much about his game or what he could have brought to the team. Robinson has been more than just a reliable third receiver. He functions well as the No. 2 guy.  Robinson has come in, learned the playbook and been super productive. Robinson runs nice routes and adjusts well to the ball on the move. More importantly, he has become a target that the quarterback feels very comfortable throwing the ball to in any situation.  ~ ESPN Dallas
  • Lets hear it for Tony Romo! The Cowboys quarterback posted the highest Total QBR of any NFL quarterback so far in Week 10. Romo’s mark of 99.3 is also the highest recorded by any quarterback so far this year and the third highest by any quarterback since 2008. Only Cincinnati’s Carson Palmer (Oct. 25, 2009) and Philadelphia’s Michael Vick (Nov. 15, 2010) have had higher single-game QBRs during that time period.
  • Remember that other running back I used to call Mr. Glass? You all know him better as Felix Jones. Well Cowboys coach Jason Garrett is hopeful that Jones will return from his ankle injury and start to practice this week, maybe on Wednesday. As for who is the official starter, Garrett refuses to address the purple gorilla in the corner. “We just want to get him back into action,” Garrett said. “He’s been a really good football player for us the past few years. A dynamic player both in the run game and the pass games. We just want to get him some touches.”  When asked to elaborate, Garrett said, “Don’t have a specific plan for him.” Good coaches make tough decisions, weak coaches dance around the tough ones. Come on Garrett, man up and tell it like it is. DeMarco Murray IS the everyday back and WILL NOT give way to Felix Jones when he returns. So let it be Witten, so let is be done! (Sorry Rob, I had to steal that line from you!)

As for the rest of you, lets get pumped up and show some of that COWBOYS PRIDE! It feels like a damned morgue in here lately.

We’re playing the Redskins this weekend… I hope we scalp them!