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Quotes: Coach and Players Reflect on Week 4

Wade Phillips: “Our team is going to stay together. Our team is going to keep fighting, keep working harder, keep trying to do the things it takes to get better, and we’re going to do that getting ready for this next ball game.

“This team has worked a long time and very hard to stop believing in what we’re doing, stop trusting each other. We’re going to work at it and get better and do something about it.”

Mike Jenkins: “After a loss like that it really hurts. It’s going to happen no matter what, the finger-pointing. Just don’t let it come out, and if you do, do it in a manly fashion. Go up to the person you think had a bad game or you think could have done better, and let them know it. Don’t do it by telling everybody and putting their business out there. At the end of the day you hug each other and still be brothers, and come back as a team.”

“I hope it doesn’t turn out like last year. The situation last year, just finger-pointing, everybody. Just come in, watch the film, everybody correct each other and don’t take it personally. That’s the main thing we need to do is not take it personally and just stick together.”

Jason Witten: “I think this team has done a great job of understanding and learning from that [last season]. Just stay at the grind. We still have a lot of football left and everybody’s playing hard.”

Patrick Crayton: “It’s time for us to really check ourselves now and say, `Hey, look here, regardless of what it’s going to take, we have to come out and we have to start winning these games ugly at the end and be consistent. We’ve got too good of an offense to even put our defense in a situations to where they’ve got to carry us.”

Patrick Crayton (as usual had a lot to say): “We’ve got five freaks of nature up front that are calling for us to run the ball, you would think you’d listen to those guys. We’re trying to grind it out and get an ugly victory. We’re on the road against a 3-0 football team with the No. 1 defense and we blew them out of the water to start the game off, don’t deviate away from that.”

Tony Romo: “When the game is in that situation at that time, we knew that our defense was playing great football and any kind of points would have helped out tremendously. It’s very frustrating not to be able to do that.”

Tony Romo: “It’s a long season. There’s going to be a lot of ups and downs along the way. You obviously want to have one of those streaks where you can run off six, eight wins in a row. Hopefully we can get that started this week.”

Ken Hamlin: “Who says we’re mediocre? Being 2-2 doesn’t mean you’re mediocre. I can go back in the past and go through teams who were 1-2 or 2-2 or whatever at this time and still went to the Super Bowl.”

Bradie James: “We still have a lot of ball to play. But next month, we won’t have a lot of ball to play. So we need to right some wrongs right now and find a way.”

And lastly, my personal favorite…

Keith Brooking: “We didn’t play good enough to win. It doesn’t matter what the offense did. We went into the half and it was our game to win. We were up 10-7 and if they don’t score anymore then we win. They had one long drive on us and one long play. I don’t care how good we played for 64-of-65 plays if there are 65 plays in the game you have to play well for 65 plays. I don’t want to hear the offense getting blamed. We win as a team and we lose as a team.”

“We’re done with the first quarter of the season. The ball game’s tied up. We’ve got to win the next three quarters. It’s the only way I know to look at it.

“We win the next three quarters and we’re going to be where we want to be.”

***NOTE: These quotes were taken from dallascowboys.com, dallasnews.com, Yahoo! Sports, and ESPN.com

Weekly Game Balls: Preseason Week 3

Introducing a new feature at Lone Star Struck – Weekly Games Balls. Every week we will choose an offensive and defensive star of the game.

This week’s offensive game ball goes to Felix Jones.

Felix JonesOne of the most exciting things to come out of Dallas in recent years is the young and talented Mr. Felix Jones. Every time Jones takes the field it’s like a whole new ball game and what’s intriguing is he’s not even the starting running back. Some have dubbed Felix “The Cat” because of his speed. Once he breaks into the open field he revs it up, leaving the competition in the dust. While he’s still new and fresh, he gives the Cowboys faithful something to believe in and hopes that it will last for years to come.

In last week’s preseason game against the 49ers Felix Jones was the only Cowboy to reach the endzone. Jones appeared in only two quarters of the game had five carries for a total of 23 yards averaging 4.6 yards per carry. While those are low numbers keep in mind it’s preseason. Jones’ longest gain was a 13 yard run that in turn lead to the lone touchdown of the night eight minutes later.

We expect great things from Felix Jones this season after being cheated out of his ‘rookie of the year’ title last season due to injury.

Star50

This week’s defensive game ball goes to Jay Ratliff.

Jay RatliffJay Ratliff has to be one of the most underrated defensive players in the game. The Cowboys’ nose tackle had a career high 7.5 sacks last season earning himself his first Pro Bowl appearance. Ratliff became the starter in 2007 when Jason Ferguson went down with injury. Ferguson was later traded, Ratliff permanently took over and the Cowboys never looked back.

Jay “The Rat” Ratliff is coming off his best season to date and there is no doubt that he is looking to return with the same aggresive attitude. At only 28 years old and a contract through 2012, expect to celebrate many more tackles and incredible sacks by The Rat, as he slams his fist to the ground and howls at the moon.

In his appearance in last week’s game Ratliff completed two tackles, both solo, and a sack, only a taste of what is to come this season.

Star50

Congratulations to The Cat and The Rat for their great play. There is no doubt we will have these two superstars featured again this season.

Fitzgerald’s Late Heroics Just Not Enough

This Sunday I watched what I believe to be the most heart-breaking game I have seen. There was so many jaw-dropping plays but the one that caught my attention and told me it would be game deciding was a 100 yard int-td return by James Harrison for the Steelers.

At least I thought it was game deciding until i saw Fitzgerald catch fire in the 4th quater of the game on his last td I thought ok this is done due to the fact the defense had stopped the Steelers the whole 4th quater, boy was I wrong Santonio Holmes ate the Cardinals defense alive on the game winning drive.

Here is a little peice of an article I grabbed from the NFL website telling Fitzgeralds stats and what he had to say after the game.

Fitzgerald caught six passes for 115 yards — in the fourth quarter — after having just one reception for 12 yards in the first three. He finished with 30 catches for 546 yards in four postseason games, shattering Jerry Rice’s NFL playoff record of 409 receiving yards in 1988. However, the numbers didn’t mean much to Fitzgerald.

“I just feel empty, to be honest with you,” Fitzgerald said, “kind of like all for nothing. You’ve just got to try to pick up the pieces and come back strong next season.”

His 64-yard scoring pass from Warner gave Arizona its only lead of the game.

Now as I end this post I want to bring up two issues that really made me tick last night. First off where was the booth review on the Warner, because to me that looked like his arm was obviously going foward on that play but no booth review happened ruining any shot the Cardinals had at Fitzgerald in the endzone which is in my opinion at 60% chance of a touchdown.

The second thing that ticked me off was when the NFL Defensive Player of The Year James Harrison who I would personally expect to show class and play a straight up ball game with maybe a minor argument, but no he showed his thug side when he held a Cardinals player down on the ground and started beating him with his fist. I must ask why he was not ejected from this game because we all know had this been a Cowboy player to do this he would have been ejected from the game,fined and got ragged by the media saying that it showed the cowboys have no discipline on their team. So I say this injustice towards the Cowboys in the NFL needs to stop NOW!

Roger Goodell I pray to you to do what is right and fine James Harrison for this uncalled for act of brutatilty on our sacred grounds in the NFL.

Feel free to comment and let me know what you thing about these issues I brought up or anything you would like me to write about in the near future.

Cowboys News: Tank In, Anderson Out

Tank Johnson is finally off suspension and has been activated by the Cowboys. Tank will be ready to play his first game as a Cowboy Sunday against the Giants. He will probably not start but is expected to give Jay Ratliff some relief, especially in run situations. 

The Cowboys didn’t have to cut anyone to make room for Tank because of an injury that occurred Sunday night. Fullback rookie Deon Anderson suffered a torn rotator cuff injury and has been placed on Injured Reserve. Because of the injured Oliver Hoyte, Anderson received alot of additional playing time. Hoyte has been cleared to play but Coach Phillips doesn’t want to activate him until he is 100%. The Cowboys could make a move for another fullback.

Isaiah Stanback and Pat Watkins were also injured during the game against the Eagles. Stanback injured his shoulder and Watkins sprained his ankle. Both injuries are minor and they had an extra day to rest. We will know more when they return to practice on Wednesday.

You may have noticed that Tyson Thompson was absent Sunday. Isaiah Stanback was activated in place of Thompson. Coach Phillips decided to try something different on kick returns.

"We were trying to get a spark there," Phillips said of the change. "We had been doing OK with it; it was just for a change of pace. We wanted to see what he could do there. (Stanback) has a lot of ability and he’s been showing up in practice as a receiver and we wanted to try to get him to the game and see what he could do in the ball game."