Posts

Injury Update: Ware, Hamlin News

After a huge scare last weekend, we could likely see DeMarcus Ware back on the field this Saturday night in New Orleans.

Coach Phillips reported that if the game had been Wednesday, Ware would not have played but it would have been close. He hasn’t lost any strength or motion, it seems to be more of a soreness issue. If by chance Ware does not play, Victor Butler will be his replacement.

Safety Ken Hamlin has missed the last four games with an ankle injury but is now fully recovered and ready to roll. Hamlin is pumped up about the Saints game this weekend and cannot wait to get back into the action.

“I’m a competitor. I want to be out on the field.

“It’s going to be an exciting game. I’m ready to get back and start playing.”

Tight end Martellus Bennett will be out again this week after suffering a concussion two weeks ago. He hasn’t practiced since the injury occurred. Rookie John Phillips will replace Bennett in the lineup.

Safety Pat Watkins is also out with a sprained left PCL. Alan Ball will fill Watkins shoes as backup safety and on special teams. Ball has started the four games that Ken Hamlin has missed.

***

Personally I’m praying for Ware’s recovery, you definitely need your best defensive player in the game when you are going up against one of the best, if not the best, offenses in the league. The Cowboys need this win desperately after losing their division lead and any hopes of a playoff run could be determined this weekend.

A Folk’d Up Kicking Situation

After missing five field goals in the last four games, the Cowboys are starting to worry about their kicking situation. Nick Folk was automatic his rookie year making the pro bowl in 2007 and continued to shine in 2008. He had hip surgery in the offseason and didn’t resume kicking until training camp. This season Folk has missed 8 of 24 attempts.

It’s possible he’s just having an off year and after missing his normal offseason training and routine because of surgery it certainly explains why he’s struggling.

But its also possible that the misses aren’t completely Folk’s fault. As stated by the coaches, it could be a combination of things. Folk automatically gets the blame because he’s the kicker but there is also the long snapper and the holder in the mix.

“The hold, the snap, the kick, the coach,” special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis said, including himself in the equation. “We’ve got to get it squared away.”

“I’m worried that it’s a combination of confidence more than anything,” Wade Phillips said. “They work all the time on it. Those guys spend a lot of practice time snapping and holding, snapping and holding. That’s what they do and kicking. I would feel like we would have more confidence than we’ve had. Whether it’s working into the kicker or the holder or whoever, we’ve got to determine what we need to do there and go forward.”

“I’m not losing any faith in Nick at all,” DeCamillis said. “I’ve been around this thing for 22 years, and I’ve seen them miss ‘em and I’ve seen them make ‘em. They go through stretches just like any other player. Unfortunately for him, it’s right out in the open for everybody to see.”

Both Wade Phillips and Joe DeCamillis are confident in Nick Folk’s ability so it doesn’t seem like any big changes are coming, but they will be working on some of the details and smaller aspects of the field goal unit.

Rookie kicker David Buehler is excellent on kickoffs but not as accurate or consistent when it comes to field goals.

Don’t expect to see any noticeable changes any time soon. It’s likely they will just practice more and try to correct the problem.

Hopefully the crowd can get back to cheering “FOLK YEAH!” very soon.

Cowboys Add Return Specialist

The Cowboys and Allen Rossum have agreed on a 1-year deal to bring the return specialist to Dallas.

From the Cowboys website:

Rossum is expected to sign a one-year, veteran-minimum contract with the Cowboys on Wednesday morning. A Dallas native who played at Skyline High School, Rossum left for Notre Dame before joining the Philadelphia Eagles as a third-round cornerback in 1998.

Philadelphia quickly learned that Rossum’s greatest talents were as a kickoff and punt returner, a role he’s filled for five franchises over the last 11 seasons. After two years with the Eagles he was traded to Green Bay, where he spent two seasons. He signed an unrestricted free-agent contract with Atlanta in 2002 and went on to play five years there before being traded to Pittsburgh for the 2007 season.

After a year in the Steel City he joined the 49ers, playing in San Francisco for all of last season and the first four games of 2009 before he was waived Monday to make room for first-round pick Michael Crabtree, who ended his holdout last week.

In 156 career games Rossum has 307 punt returns, averaging 10 yards per return with three touchdowns. He has returned 513 kickoffs at an average of 23.3 yards, with five scores.

Rossum would replace Patrick Crayton as the Cowboys’ primary punt returner. Felix Jones, Miles Austin and Kevin Ogletree have served as kickoff returners so far this season. Crayton has averaged 8.0 yards on 10 punt returns this season, but mishandled one kick Sunday, leading to a Kansas City touchdown, and then appeared hesitant to field a couple of more punts later in the game.

Rossum, who has 10 career starts at cornerback as well, will replace Cletis Gordon, who was released Tuesday after signing on in an emergency cornerback role last week.

Sounds like a good deal. Lord knows we didn’t want Patrick Crayton resuming duties after the bye week.

Thanks to Nate for giving me the heads up.

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.

Bucs Sign Leftwich To Compete For Starting Job

The Bucs are hoping Byron Leftwich is the answer for QB after they released Garcia. They signed him to a two year deal as reported by nfl.com.

Leftwich, heading into his seventh NFL season, was a backup for Ben Roethlisberger with the Steelers last year and threw for two touchdowns and a 104.3 rating in a limited role. He’ll get $7.5 million over two years for the Bucs, who also re-signed one of their reserve quarterbacks, Luke McCown, to a three-year deal earlier this year.

Leftwich spent four seasons as the starter in Jacksonville, which selected him in the first round (seventh overall) in the 2003 draft out of Marshall. He was the second quarterback drafted in 2003 behind Carson Palmer by Cincinnati.

He became Jacksonville’s starter, replacing Mark Brunell, after four games when Brunell hurt his elbow. Leftwich threw for 2,819 yards, 14 touchdowns and 16 interceptions and the team went 5-11.

But the Jaguars improved to 9-7 the next year and 12-4 in 2005, making the playoffs for the first time in six years. Leftwich missed the final five games that season with a broken ankle.

He was cut by the Jaguars in favor of David Garrard in 2007 and joined the Falcons, but was not re-signed by Atlanta after making two starts, and headed to the Steelers last August after backup quarterback Charlie Batch was lost for the season.

Tampa Bay did not re-sign last year’s starter, Jeff Garcia, who now is with Oakland, but has veteran Brian Griese, second-year QB Josh Johnson, plus McCown and now Leftwich on its roster.

A Loss For Words

The last four games has gotten my thought process out of whack.  I usually try to find the positives in all aspects of any Cowboy football game, but this past month has really taken a toll on my mind. 

I’m reaching and reaching for something good to take out of this past month, but there’s nothing there.

Sure the signing of Roy Williams was a plus, but after last Sundays game I felt horrible for the guy. After listening to all his interviews and how glad he was to be home, It sickened me to see how this team played to welcome him.

There… I got that out!

I am not going to vent or rant!  I’m sure everyone (including myself) has heard enough. 

 It has been sunny and clear here in Big D, but the dark cloud is hovering over EVERY Cowboy fan.  The look on a fan’s face tells it all.  It’s that ‘someone please say something wrong to me’ look.

I’ve tried to do the pep talk, saying things are gonna get better. I’ve tried the pat on the back, the sunshine and daffodils approach, but nothing. 

Literally A LOSS FOR WORDS from most everyone I have spoken to.

I myself have a few words:

Stunned, Embarrassed, Puzzled, Angry, and last but not least Ashamed.

Ashamed for the most part! Like Fred and Kelly both stated, the lack of leadership.

Soooo.. I went digging threw some vids and found some tape for the Boys to watch before they study Tampa Bay tapes! 

And also for all us loyal LoneStarStruck readers.

This video is is the creme de la creme of all things leadership should be!

The end segment of this video is the missing ingredient the Cowboys need for this team.

Bleed Blue and Silver Fans!

 We CAN turn this around!

LETS GO COWBOYS!!

 

Cowboys-Rams: A Fan’s Agony To Receive One Gift and Have Another Taken Away!

Good Morning Cowboy fans:

As the Cowboys enter week 7 of the NFL season, I am somewhat of a “train wreck” over everything we as fans have had to endure this week. I have been on vacation the last two weeks so I have definitely had some time to reflect and “arm chair quarterback” some ideas in my mind if Jerry decides to call.

As my week began on Monday, I was still smarting from the fact we had just literally gave a game away in Arizona to drop to 4-2, when the news began to trickle in.

Our beloved Cowboys were beginning to crumble at our feet. First it was the news that our field general Tony Romo had broken a finger on his throwing hand and would be out up to four weeks. Shortly thereafter, it was learned that Felix Jones would miss two weeks with hamstring issues and finally the news began to trickle out that “Pacman” Jones would be suspended by the Commissioner of the NFL for four games due to his after hour activities which was deemed detrimental to his probation placed on him by the NFL Commissioner when he was reinstated a little over 6 weeks ago.

Adam Jones has or had a very good opportunity to be one of the premier defensive backs in the league and a real gift to the Cowboys. I really felt that when Terence Newman returned to the lineup the Cowboys had two Pro bowl caliber “shutdown” corners. Now that gift has been taken away from the team and us as fans all because of his foolish decisions.

So, with all that said it has not been a good week for Cowboy fans!

I do feel confident in Brad Johnson to lead the team while Romo is out. With the injuries to Terence Newman and Felix Jones, and the verdict still out on Adam Jones, the younger players like Michael Jenkins and Tashard Choice will have to step up and play key roles in the Cowboy’s defensive and offensive game plans.

Well Jerry Jones has never one to be out-done on any deal. After all the bad news we could endure so far, Jones came out of the NFL meetings with a gift to replace the one that had been taken away. The Cowboys announced on Tuesday that they had reached a lucrative deal with former Detroit Lions wide receiver Roy Williams. I for one am ecstatic that Williams is coming to Dallas. Jerry Jones’ pursuit of Williams was almost as ardent as that of Adam Jones’. The Cowboys owner had attempted to trade for Williams over the last two years but could not get the Lions to agree.

So, with just a few hours before the 3 p.m. trade deadline Jones began earnest negotiations with the Lions to bring Williams to Dallas. With at least nine selections in next year’s draft, the Cowboys felt comfortable in giving up their first-, third- and sixth-round picks in return for Williams and Detroit’s seventh round pick. The Cowboys immediately worked out a contract extension to keep the Odessa, Texas native and University of Texas star in Dallas through 2013. The deal said to be in the 45 million dollar range will more than likely give Williams’ a chance to finish his career as a Cowboy.

Williams came in to the league in 2003 as the Lion’s first pick and went to the Pro Bowl in 2006. Since that time his numbers have fell off considerably due in part, to many quarterback and coaching changes that also resulted in many different offensive schemes as well.

When Williams was drafted by the Lions, all they could talk about was his great character and the talent he possesses. Now he joins Terrell Owens to form a dynamic duo at receiver that will feature not only good size but game breaking speed. That combination should play havoc on any opposing secondary.

Thanks Jerry, I am feeling better already!

Brad Johnson is on the spot this week. So are T.O. and MB3 on offense and DeMarcus Ware and Greg Ellis on defense. Pro Bowl players must perform at a Pro Bowl level to help the Cowboys overcome the loss of Romo and the others when the Cowboys travel to St. Louis on Sunday to play the Rams. I think the two players that will have the biggest impact on this weeks game is Miles Austin and Patrick Crayton. Both play wide receiver, but they will be filling different roles against the Rams. With Adam Jones gone, Crayton will be handling the punt return duties and without Felix Jones on kickoff returns that will be the responsibility of Miles Austin. The Cowboys have to maintain good field position. Johnson is not Romo. He has neither his arm nor his mobility. So sacks figure to increase and big plays decrease with a 40-year-old quarterback at the controls. The Cowboys will need more plays to cover more yards to fuel scoring drives.

Field position will be critical Sunday against the Rams. The longer the kickoff and punt returns by the Cowboys, the shorter the field for the offense. With Felix Jones out, Austin figures to return kickoffs and with Adam Jones out, Crayton figures to return punts.
The Rams are strong in the kicking game and we will need long kickoff and punt returns to shorten the field for Johnson and the offense. I think the game will be slowed down considerably compared to what we normally see with Romo. Johnson will be a lot more deliberate with his decisions on the field, I am sure a very good run oriented offense has been put into place this week. That will allow Johnson and the offense to control the clock and have very few mistakes.

In the end the Cowboys will do just fine and get out of St. Louis with a win. My prediction is Cowboys 28-17.

Get Off the Ledge Cowboys Fans

What can we learn from a week 4 loss?

A tough loss? YES! Losing at home to a division rival? NOT GOOD!  Is this the beginning of the end for the 2008 season?  C’MON….NO!

If there were one team that any true Cowboy fan would least like to lose to it would have to be the Washington Redskins.  While falling to 3-1 and out of first place is not what many would have thought going into this weekend hope for a Super Bowl is not lost.  In fact, if you would have asked me before the season where we would have been after four games I probably would have said 3-1 and take it. 

With a home game against winless Cincinnati this week things may look different after next week.  What Sunday’s loss did to me was start to cast some doubts as far as the Cowboys ability to win at home.  As we mentioned last week Dallas is 0-5 in their last 5 December home games.  Three of the four losses last year were at home as well.  If we do not start dominating at home this may turn out to be a very difficult year.  Let’s face it: four of the best, let’s say six, teams are in the NFC East.  I feel confident that we will be able to get this game back and win a division game on the road this year.  But it does say something that I am more confident winning in New York than at home.  If we don’t get back to winning at home the road to Tampa may start and finish on the road.

 

From where I’m sitting:

  • Barber 8 carries, F Jones 0….we’re not going to win many games like that.  And if you didn’t think so before MB3 is the key to the offense (remember 2nd half vs Giants).  The offense will only be as good as the running game is. 
  • I have seen enough of Anthony Henry.  Not that he played that badly or did anything in particular on Sunday.  It’s time for M Jenkins or A Jones to take over at corner
  • Nitpicking here but can Andre Gurode please do a better job with the shotgun snaps..kills the timing of every shotgun play
  • Boy is Santana Moss a pain in the neck
  • 12 men on field??   After a timeout??  CMON!!!
  • I love Tony Romo.  After years of Q Carter, D Bledsoe, V Testaverde, R Leaf & D Henson it is nice to have a QB that can play.  That being said HE HAS TO STOP WITH THE TURNOVERS!  Sunday makes 7 straight games with an INT.  The 3rd qtr INT changed the entire game.  If he doesn’t start practicing ball security any playoff run will be a short one.

Even Troy Agrees That Romo Is Among The Elite

The Cowboys will be in D-Town to face the Lions on their home turf, Ford Field. Last year the Cowboys almost beat the Lions on December 31, 2006, but the Lions won 39-31 at Texas Stadium. This was the last game of the season, and after once being 8-4 and riding a four-game winning streak, the Cowboys limped to the regular-season finish line, winning one of the last four games and finishing with a 9-7 record for the second straight year. But unlike last season, at least the Cowboys aren’t completely finished….

They’ve had an awesome season thus far with the help of Wade Phillips. The chemistry has been phenomenal and just like last year the Cowboys are heading into the playoffs once again. Only this time they have finally gained the respect they deserve. They’ve proven to everyone that they are and will always be America’s team!

With an incredible record of 11-1 this season, and the only loss they had was to the spy cheating Patriots. Nothing would satisfy me more than watching my Boys take on the Patriots one more time for a head to head match up. Oh, wouldn’t that be sweet!

Have you heard what Troy Aikman recently said about Tony Romo?

When it comes to analyzing great quarterbacks, there aren’t many who do it better than Troy Aikman. After all, he was one for more than a decade. So when Aikman is ready to put another quarterback into the category of "great," it carries more weight than the average guy. And on the subject of Tony Romo, Aikman has simply seen enough.

The Cowboys Hall of Fame and Ring of Honor legend was at Valley Ranch on Thursday and will call Sunday’s game between the Cowboys and Lions (noon, CST) for Fox. Aikman spoke on several NFL topics, but the conversation kept going back to Romo.

Not only is Aikman ready to place the greatness tag on Romo, but he doesn’t understand why Romo’s name isn’t mentioned more with Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. Here is what he said…

"Over the last several weeks, there’s always the debate – who do you take, Brady or Manning?" Aikman said. "Somewhere in there is Tony Romo… why is anyone reluctant to put Romo up there with those guys?"

"He’s playing at as good a level as anyone in the league. Granted, you have to do it over a period of time. I get that part. But he’s a terrific player."

Romo is having an even better season. In fact, he’s on pace to have the best season in Cowboys history, as far as statistics. One might argue that a season should only be judged on the outcome at the end, but even Aikman said it’s hard to argue with what Romo is doing this season. He has already shattered Danny White’s single-season touchdown record of 29, by piling up 33 touchdowns with four games still left to play.

Most important, Aikman said he doesn’t expect the Cowboys to lose another game in the regular season, which would give them an unprecedented 15-1 record. The Cowboys have never finished better than their 13-3 record in 1992, Aikman’s first of three Super Bowl seasons in a four-year span.

All the signs point to Tony Romo having the best season of any Cowboys quarterback, and Troy Aikman certainly agrees.

I will be at the game on Sunday and I am counting on all of you my friends to cheer our Cowboys on and make some noise…and ya better get ya popcorn ready!!

Go Cowboys!!!

Submitted by Mayra Amaro

 

Getting Credit, Where Credit Is Due

Cowboys’ Phillips voted Motorola NFL Coach of the Week

Cowboys coach Wade Phillips has been selected the Motorola NFL Coach of the Week for Week 13. Phillips led the Cowboys to a 37-27 win over the Packers, as Dallas improved to 11-1. Phillips was selected as Motorola NFL Coach of the Week from among three finalist by voters on NFL.com. The other finalists were Panthers coach John Fox and Chargers coach Norv Turner.

In January, voting will be held on NFL.com to determine the Motorola NFL Coach of the Year. I’m sure Phillips will be on there as well, so everyone get ready to vote and get him in there.

The Cowboys have been dominating the league in awards this week.

T.O. got NFC offensive player of the Month, Romo with two awards, one for NFC offensive player of the week, and second came from Fed Exs air award winner for week 13.

Now Wade’s getting in on the action! Congrats to him!  He has most certainly earned it!

Four games left in the season and now the Cowboys are starting to get the respect they fully deserve!  The league is finally Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due!  It is most definitely Christmas Season! Which one of you fanatics out there asked for that one this Christmas?  (Chuck raises hand)!

Have a Great Weekend everyone! I want to be able to hear you guys on Sunday!  loud And Proud!  Let the Whole World hear us!!  Go Cowboys!!