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Friday’s Cowboy Notes

Here it is Friday, a couple days before game time. This is usually the time where Cowboys fans, or football fans in general begin to get that itch, to get that feeling as the excitement starts to build for the upcoming battles of the weekend. Statistics are showing that interest in the sport are the highest they have been in twenty years or so, and you can feel it and see it everywhere you look. Right now Cowboys fans still have this feeling, but I think it is a bit more subdued as we are unsure of which way our team is going to go. We seem to be on the apex of our season right now and we are only four games in, teetering on the point where if it gets worse we will slide back down to another disappointing season. But if they are able to turn it around and take care of business the point at which they sit can become just a step as they climb back up to the top where we know they can and should be. It NEEDS to start this weekend against the the Kansas City Chiefs. A loss against this team can and probably will force the Cowboys down to another dreadful season.

Injuries are obviously a part of the game, and Dallas has had their share early on. Wide Receiver Roy Williams and Strong Safety Gerald Sensabaugh will not practice Friday and their status for the game this weekend is doubtful.

“We’ll wait and see [up until] the last minute on all those guys,” Phillips said before Friday’s practice. “They haven’t gotten a lot better, so you want to be well enough to play. You don’t want to play with injured players … and they haven’t gotten to the point, right now, where it looks like they will be ready.”

Miles Austin will take Roy Williams starting spot in the likely event he will not play, and as Kelly mentioned earlier in the week Safety Patrick Watkins would replace Sensabaugh in the secondary. Running Back Felix Jones also will not practice and has been ruled out for this weekends game, while Center Andre Gurode has improved and will most likely play. Tackle Flozell Adams and Running Back Marion Barber were full participants in practice, and the Barbarian should have a big day against the suspect Chiefs defense.

With Barber coming back we really need Tony Romo to step it up. We all know his play the last couple games (I hate to say it) has been horrible. We need him to be confident in his ability and in his team and try to stretch the field against the Chiefs. Tony is only 1-7 for 80 yards, a touchdown and an interception on pass attempts of 21 yards or more on the season. That is not good and it has to change and if he is able to do this it should open up the running game for Marion Barber and Tashard Choice.

You wouldn’t know it but the Cowboys are tied for fourth in total offense (3rd rush, 13 pass) and 26th in total defense (18th rush, 29th Pass). I think the lack of defense is what jumps out to me, that too has to change. So fans dont give up yet. The Cowboys are 8 1/2 point favorites as of right now and have a very winnable game this weekend. So before you jump off lets wait and see if the Boys can do what they are supposed to do to the Chiefs, and if for some reason they dont, I will be the first to clear the way down.

Cowboys Extra Points: Injuries Are Contagious

Gerald Sensabaugh is out indefinitely after having surgery to repair his broken thumb. Sensabaugh will likely miss 2-4 weeks. Pat Watkins will be called upon to fill in at safety.

Center Andre Gurode underwent an MRI Monday after spraining his right knee during the game last Sunday. According several sources the sprain isn’t anything to be concerned about, however the Cowboys could rest Gurode this Sunday with a bye to follow.

Roy Williams could miss Sunday’s game after a rib injury that sidelined him for the final drive of the game.

“Never in my life have I been hit like that, from Pop Warner through my six years in the league. I’m 5,200 feet above sea level with asthma so I was obviously hurting.”

Coach Phillips said during a press conference that Williams suffered three bruised ribs and cartilage damage. If Williams sits out, the Cowboys could activate rookie Kevin Ogletree, who turned heads in his very impressive preseason performance.

The Cowboys cut running back Chauncey Washington on Monday. While it hasn’t been formally announced most sources believe Felix Jones will not play in Week 5. Marion Barber should be okay to play after experiencing tightness in his previously injured quad.

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I don’t think I have to remind you how deadly injuries are to a team, especially one that needs to toughen up and fix mistakes all over the board. Let’s hope these key players can heal fast, and get back in action ASAP. Luckily the Cowboys have a bye week following this next game against the Kansas City Chiefs to rest, heal and get their minds straight and get focused.

A Mile High Dissapointment

With absolutely no playmakers stepping up, our team losses once again. This time at the hands of the Denver Broncos. Felix Jones, probably our biggest threat to make a big play, was sidelined. Our team could not generate any consistent offense at all in Denver last Sunday afternoon.

I am a huge Tony Romo supporter just for the simple fact that I remember the years in between him and Aikman, not to mention the Brad Johnson and Brooks Bollinger games from last season. But seriously, what the heck is going on here? Our offense is horrible. Outside of the running game, its pathetic. We could not get anything downfield against the very good Denver secondary.

For those who blame Romo for the loss, he did what he did best after the Brandon Marshall catch, he led Dallas down the field on a few very good plays.

One question I do have is, if we have the best tight end in the league in Jason Witten, why did we not at least attempt to get him the ball on the goal line, since we could not run it?

Also, why in the heck would you try and get it to Sam Hurd instead of Patrick Crayton? Especially when Hurd is being covered by arguably the best man-to-man cover corner in the game.

This game made absolutely no sense to me and today I was truly mad at the Dallas Cowboys.

Yes we will probably go to Kansas City next week and win in Arrowhead Stadium, but honestly this is not a Super Bowl team. I am highly frustrated with the Cowboys. I am really thinking they might just need to blow the entire coaching staff up, and get new schemes.

Our offense is predictable and simple. We have a lack of playmakers at the reciever spot. None of them can get open in man-to-man coverage, ironically the exact situation that Romo is best in.

Our O-line which is supposed to be very good is doing great on run blocking, but Romo needs more time. Romo must read and react to the blitzes faster.

The remaining schedule, not in any particular order, includes vs. Atlanta, vs. San Diego, @ New Orleans, @ NY Giants, Philly and Washington (twice still). If we do not buckle down and get with it, we will miss the playoffs again and it will be with a worse record than 9-7. I can guarantee that.

Sigh Of Relief

Monday night, September 27, 2009 at 7:25pm.  As the stadium seats fill up, anticipation is in the air. Coming off of a disappointing loss to the New York Giants, the Dallas Cowboys were looking to win their first game in their new stadium. As the captains of each team leave the middle of the field, Tony Romo waits on the sideline to redeem himself from the 3 interceptions he threw last week.

First play from scrimmage, Tony Romo completes a pass in the flat to Felix Jones for a 20 yard gain. As the game progresses on, Romo continues to complete his passes with precision.  Each completed pass, builds the atmosphere in the air.  In the back of everyone’s mind, thoughts of last week’s flaws run through our heads.

11:06 to go in the 2nd quarter, Romo completes a pass to Jason Witten for a 9 yard gain. Even though the pass did not give Dallas the first down they needed to continue the drive, and Dallas has to punt the ball away, cheers were heard from the crowd.   At the end of the first half, Romo had thrown for 132 yards going 13 for 21 with 0 interceptions. With everyone watching the play of Tony Romo, The defense was playing just as good if not better.  As the game continued in the 2nd half, Dallas defense stole the show when Terrance Newman intercepted a pass from Jake Delhomme at the 5:15 point of the 2nd half, and “took it to the house” for a pick 6.

The Dallas defense had finally showed up and solidified, not only the first win in the new stadium, but convincing all the critics out there that this year, they mean business.  As Tony Romo kneels down with only :46 seconds to go until the game was over, there was a sound heard round the NFL world.  Tony Romo had thrown for 255 yards with 0 interceptions. The sound you heard, was a “SIGH OF RELIEF”, coming from Dallas stadium, everyone knowing, with a performance like that from the whole team, only good things were to come.

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.

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.

Adams Fined, Barber Fine

For the second week in a row a Cowboy has been fined by the league for a penalty. Turns out that Cowboy is Flozell Adams. Surely you remember the tripping penalty, well Adams was fined $12,500 for sticking his foot out and tripping Justin Tuck in the second quarter, and also Osi Umenyiora in the fourth quarter. Tuck criticized Adams for the move that placed him on the sidelines.

Last week Adams was fined $5,000 for a hands to the face penalty. He plans to appeal the fine.

Hey, we wanted him to stop the false start penalties but not if it means he is going to get even bigger infractions.

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Marion BarberMarion Barber practiced on Wednesday after an apparent injury to his quad during last Sunday’s game. Several media outlets believed Barber could miss the game Monday night but according to Barber,

“I’m good . . . I’m good today. If I’m good today, I’ll be good tomorrow and I’ll be good for Monday.”

“Just like a bad cramp. I’ve felt it before. It’s happened to me before. It’s sore. It felt real similar. But I’m treating it like I should. I’m feeling good.”

The Cowboys have an extra day since they are playing Monday and are not required to put out an injury update today. Luckily the Cowboys are deep at the running back position and Barber can share the load with Felix Jones and Tashard Choice.

The Cowboys posted this on their website,

RB Marion Barber – quad (9/20) – After his 35-yard run in the fourth quarter, Barber came up holding his left quad. He never returned to action Sunday night, and MRI results on Monday revealed a strained quad. Barber was dressed out Wednesday and took part in light individual drills during the brief media portion of practice. But because they don’t play until Monday, the Cowboys aren’t required to release an official injury report until Thursday, and head coach Wade Phillips was tight-lipped about Barber’s status. The starting back said he plans to play against Carolina, however. If not, or if he’s limited, Felix Jones and Tashard Choice will fill in.

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Weekly Game Balls: Week 2

With the nickname of Earth, Wind, and Fire comes 2 players on this week’s game balls.

This week’s offensive game ball goes to Marion Barber.

With the nickname of Earth, Wind, and Fire comes 2 players on this weeks game balls. The weeks offensive game ball goes out to Marion Barber. He is the “Earth” in the three headed monster of running backs by committee. MB3 ran for 124 yards on 18 carries with 1 touchdown. He definitely earned his name as Barbarian. Marion showed quickness and toughness in him we haven’t seen in a while. He would of had another score if it wasn’t for his quad tightening up. He looked just as good as any running back that played on Sunday. Barber also had 31 yards on 2 catches when Tony was not at his best
This weeks defensive/special teams game ball goes to Felix Jones.The wind of the group. Even though Felix had a fumble that the Giants capitalized on. He had 134 yards on 6 run backs. His longest run was of 38 yards. Felix showed the speed the cowboys need out of the backfield, and also had 96 yards on 7 carries. If it wasn’t for 4 yards, the Cowboys could have 2 running backs with 100 yards each.Despite the fumble Felix helped the Cowboys almost pull off the win. He scored the go ahead touchdown to put the Cowboys up 31 to30.

He is the “Earth” in the three-headed monster of running backs by committee. MB3 ran for 124 yards on 18 carries with 1 touchdown. He definitely earned his nickname as Barbarian.

Marion showed quickness and toughness in him we haven’t seen in a while. He would of had another score if it wasn’t for his quad tightening up.

He looked just as good as any running back that played on Sunday. Barber also had 31 yards on 2 catches.

Star50

This week’s defensive/special teams game ball goes to Felix Jones.

Felix is the “Wind” of the group. Even though Felix had a fumble that the Giants capitalized on, he also had 134 yards on 6 kick returns for a 22 yard average. His longest return being 38 yards.

Felix showed the speed the Cowboys need out of the backfield.

In addition, on offense Jones had and impressive 96 yards on just 7 carries. Wow!

The Cowboys nearly had 2 running backs with 100 yards each. Despite the fumble, Felix helped the Cowboys almost pull off the win. He scored the go ahead touchdown to put the Cowboys up 31 to 30.

Star50

Congratulations to Marion and Felix for their outstanding play.

Runners-up: Jay Ratliff, Jason Witten

Cowboys Extra Points: Tackles and Trash Talk

Gerald Sensabaugh has been fined by the NFL for a horse collar tackle during last Sunday’s game.

Josh Ellis reports,

Safety Gerald Sensabaugh received notice Wednesday of a $5,000 fine for a horse collar tackle in the second quarter of Sunday’s win over Tampa Bay.

Though no flag was thrown, the league’s official review concluded the first-year Cowboy had illegally pulled down Bucs running back Cadillac Williams from behind. Sensabaugh said he thought it was a legal tackle because he had grabbed Williams’ jersey, not the inside of his pads.

I clearly remember the play, and I even questioned if it was a horse collar during our live game chat. Seems a little harsh to fine someone $5,000 when no penalty was called, and no one was hurt.

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Tony Romo has been nominated for the NFL’s FedEx Air & Ground Player of the Week Award. You can vote up until Friday at 11 a.m. CST. Place your votes – http://www.nfl.com/partner?partnerType=players-air-and-ground. Romo is up against Drew Brees and Joe Flacco.

Oddly enough former Cowboy Julius Jones is up for the ‘Ground’ award, along with Thomas Jones and Adrian Peterson.

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Linebacker Stephen Hodge had microfracture surgery on his left knee while linebacker Brandon Williams is expected to have his reconstructive knee surgery within the next couple of weeks.

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Felix oh Felix! Please stay healthy!

Felix Jones was limited in play during last Sunday’s game due to a bruised thigh, and will possibly be limited this week as well. Here is what has been posted on the Cowboys official website.

RB Felix Jones – quad (9/13) – Although he continued to play, Jones was limited after suffering a quad injury during a big tackle in the first quarter. The Cowboys held him out of some third-down plays and replaced him in the second half with Miles Austin on one kickoff return.

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Have you heard what Brandon Jacobs said yet?

“No question,” he replied. “I hate the Cowboys with a bloody passion.”

I asked him what the difference between a “regular passion” and a “bloody passion” was.

“You want to go into the game as being assassins,” he said, referring to the feelings of bloody passion, “instead of tough football players in a game like that.”

He most likely heard what DeMarcus Ware said, “I hate those New York Giants!”

Nothing like some good old fashioned division rivalry trash talk! Bring on those Giants!

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One Game Down, 15 To Go

The Dallas Cowboys went into week one with many questions, but the biggest probably being could they replace the big plays lost with the release of Owens? Well with a 66-yard TD to Roy Williams, a 42-yard pass to Miles Ausitin, and an 80-yard td to Patrick Crayton, I would say it was replaced this game.

Our 3-headed running attack looked really good also. Tashard Choice and Felix Jones were a very good change of pace to Marion Barber who racked up 79 yards.

I do have a couple problems with our defense. If we have safeties back helping deep what sense does it make to have our corners play almost 10 yards off the line of scrimmage every down? We are being killed in the flat and on short out and slant routes. This is partly because they are so far away that when the reciever catches the ball they have to fly up and usually miss the tackle. In my opinion this should be changed. It has been the same thing the last few years and it kills us.

But overall it was very impressive to see our team go down to Tampa and drop 34 points on the road. As the game went on, the defense did tackle alot better than in the first quarter.

It looks like we can definitely challenge for this division title.

Around the NFL

Mathew Stafford played his first NFL game yesterday and threw it alot. Unfortunately he threw it to the Saints defense three separate times and finished with zero touchdowns and only 205 yards. I think Stafford is realizing now that the NFL is a totally different beast than college. Calvin Johnson did have a pretty good day even though he was kept out of the endzone.

Mark Sanchez went down to Houston and systematically took apart the Texans defense. Even though he threw a pick, he also threw a TD and finished with 272 yards in his NFL debut.

Michael Vick might actually become the starting quarterback for Philly, a lot sooner than anybody expected. On a TD run in Carolina, Donovan McNabb slid into the endzone and got hit in his back. McNabb immediately started rolling in extreme pain. Broken ribs is the official word out of Philly and that just isn’t good news for a team who has Super Bowl aspirations.