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Cowboys Fall to the Giants 31-24

Wade PhillipsDallas went to New York with high hopes and fell short, a touchdown short to be exact. Giants (7-5) walk away with the win and are only one “W” out of  first place. The Cowboys (8-4) now share the division lead with the Eagles. Never a dull moment in the NFC East.

Early on the Cowboys seemed to be controlling the game with a score of 10-0 up until the two minute warning. Then all of a sudden the Giants scored two touchdowns in less than two minutes right before halftime.

Tony Romo put up good numbers, but that just proves that stats don’t win games. Romo went 41/55, 392 yards, three touchdowns and ZERO interceptions. Romo’s 41 receptions set a new franchise record.

Roy Williams collected two touchdowns and had six receptions for 60 yards. Jason Witten came away with a career high 156 yards on 14 carries. While, Miles Austin had 10 receptions, 104 yards and one touchdown.

Romo and the receiving corps played great but those numbers mean nothing though when you lose to a division rival. And, it certainly didn’t help that the ground game never showed up. Between the three backs, Dallas only had 45 yards on the ground. All three lacked explosiveness and ran tentatively.

Nick Folk missed two field goals, and to be honest may not be a Cowboy for much longer. The Cowboys need a winner and Folk is definitely struggling lately. Many games come down to field goals and when you are in a run for the playoffs you need to be sure your kicker can make those shots.

On the defensive side of things, highlights include Jay Ratliff’s forced fumble and recover, Mike Jenkins’ interception and DeMarcus Ware had one sack. Other than that, mistakes, penalties and missed tackles were abundant.

This one is on the defense and special teams.

Jason Witten, who should have been celebrating a career best day and his 500th career catch said it best…

“We’ve got to challenge ourselves and find a way to play. We have to get back to it and forget all this December stuff. I’m not trying to avoid it or say it’s not true. We’ve got to put it away. You let another one slip and you’re really in trouble.”

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Things we kept waiting for but never happened:

1. Massive Sack Attack from DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer

2. Deep Passes to Miles Austin

3. The Three-Headed Monster to Wake Up

4. Urgency From the Cowboys

Fans prepare yourself, because its going to be a long week of hearing about the Cowboys record in December. The schedule doesn’t get any easier either. Coming up: Chargers, Saints, Redskins, Eagles.

I’m not saying that our season is over, I’m not saying we can’t still win the division. All I’m saying is it won’t be easy.

This loss pissed me off more than any of the others this season. Usually I get sad, but not necessarily mad. It’s passion-driven anger. It’s uncontrollable and I shouldn’t let it get the best of me. I apologize to anyone who I offended or attacked during or after this game.

Don’t worry, I will pull myself together. I’ll get over it and look forward to the next game. The team should do the same thing. I hope they take this loss personally and take it out on the next team in line.

Miles Makes It All Good

Miles AustinOn Thanksgiving day the Cowboys showed us that they can be a team to be reckoned with and that WR Miles Austin can very well be the playmaker the team has been searching for over the last season and a half.

Against the Raiders last Thursday, Austin caught seven passes for 145 yards and hauled in another touchdown after being denied one minutes earlier in the game.

Austin had a field day against the Raiders’ tight man to man coverage, and ironically he could have had a few more catches had he simply held on to them.

All in all he, Austin showed us that he is back on track after experiencing some down time in the two games prior. Most importantly, he delivered a big game against a Raider secondary that ranks in the upper half of the league, and features two of the league’s best man to man coverage cornerbacks. Take a bow Miles!

Additionally, even Roy Williams hauled in a touchdown of his own, while Jason Witten made a couple of long grabs en route to yet another 100+ yard day for the Pro Bowl tightend.

It was a great game to watch as the Cowboys seemingly had everything working for them, and not just in the air but on the ground as well.

Felix Jones finally showed the explosiveness that had been lacking since his knee injury, and dazzled the crowd with an electrifying run for touchdown, and Tashard Choice made a nifty run of his own out of the Razorback formation.

Next week we go to New York for a rematch against the Giants. It’s a game that we need to win so that we can finally take control of the division, and put the NFC East race to bed.

GO COWBOYS!

Edited by Joe D.

Weekly Game Balls: Week 12

Some say we shouldn’t celebrate the Cowboys winning ways just yet. Some people think its too soon to start playing playoff parties. Personally, I don’t really care. I am proud of the Cowboys and despite their past December history, I believe we are headed to the playoffs. Their destiny lies in their own hands, and here are a couple of guys who helped earn the victory this past week.

This week’s offensive game ball goes to Miles Austin.

Austin is currently leading the team in touchdowns and receiving yards. His 824 receiving yards puts him 13th in the league. He is well on his way to a 1000+ yard season.

On Thanksgiving, Miles totaled 145 yards on 7 receptions and one touchdown.

Lets hope he can keep it up through the rough month of December!

Go “Smiles”!

Star50

This week’s defensive/special teams game ball goes to Anthony Spencer.

Spencer has come very close to getting a game ball several times already this season, but his outstanding performance on Thanksgiving day left him standing tall above the rest.

Spencer had 6 tackles, 2 assists and 2 sacks. The Raiders game plan had them double-teaming DeMarcus Ware leaving Spencer room to roam and attack.

Keep on sackin’ Spencer!

Star50

Way to go to Austin and Spencer!

Honorable Mention: Jason Witten (5 receptions, 107 yards), Felix Jones (7 carries, 68 yards, 1 TD), Keith Brooking (6 tackles, 3 assists)

Attention! Attention! Roy Williams Is Not a Bust!

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I repeat: Roy Williams is not a bust!

Anyone who watched the Dallas Cowboys game on Sunday would see that Roy Williams is far from a bust, but rather an outstanding quality receiver.

He has not had a great year. He has 19 receptions for 324 yards and two touchdowns. He is the guy you don’t want on your fantasy team, but he is the guy I want on our Cowboys roster.

Passing is all about timing. If you don’t have it, you work on it and it takes time to get it right.

The Romo to Williams passing combination has not been as explosive as the Romo to Owens combination that just lit up the NFL for three years with 34 touchdowns.

However, it has just been a working progress that showed results to me last night.

Miles Austin was covered all night, and when that happened, Roy Williams had to step up and make plays to help win this critical ball game, and he did!

He had five catches for 75 yards and almost had a touchdown if he had not been interfered with by Asante Samuel, a penalty that was not called.

You hear how Roy Williams is all hype, no result, but that is far from the truth.

I know some of you who are reading this have had to have played wide receiver at some point in your life.

Those who have should know how hard it is to run the route just right and get in the position to where the quarterback can throw the ball at a angle, and your route intersects that angle at the exact point where you put your hands up to catch the ball and secure it before you get smashed into the turf by a tackler.

I played receiver at a lunchtime game during school, and only one quarterback that I really played with had a mutual sense of timing. From the day I walked onto the field and he (Sean) saw me open, he threw the ball exactly right and I made some amazing catches with him during those games.

We had such a trust that if I could find a soft spot in the coverage (which I did a lot) that he could zip that ball to me and I would catch it.

The other QBs did not either trust me because my hands were iffy at times, or they had a better rhythm with another guy.

I remember one of the other guys (Mario) said to me up front that he was not going throw it to me because I never had the reaction force to go up and fight for the ball in a tough spot.

He was a reckless passer, and I needed a quarterback who would place it where only my hands could get it.

Please view the rest here at: http://www.nfltouchdown.com/attention-attention-roy-williams-is-not-a-bust/

No I in Team

Keith BrookingTeam effort and leadership, it’s been a while since we seen the Cowboys give off this aura winning. Many people who are not fans of Romo can tell he’s different this year. Keith Brooking has brought fire to this defense. Miles Austin has opened up the offense. Did I mention Romo is different this year? The Cowboys are playing like as a unit this year.

The trouble the Cowboys faced earlier this year, for the most part, has disappeared. Crayton getting demoted, he was ticked off. What does he do? Punt returned for a touchdown, two weeks in a row. Roy Williams going down to a rib injury, we have no number one receiver. Miles Austin comes out of nowhere and becomes the new Dallas deep threat. Roy Williams made us all fear that the ghost of T.O. was still in the locker room. He made a big to do about not getting the ball. Then he comes out the next game fired up and shook up the Eagles secondary, and opened up the offense.

There must be something in the Gatorade that the Cowboys are getting, because this team is gelling very well. They’re acting like a team. Hmm, for some reason that felt funny when I wrote it. But what is causing all of this? I would have to say the leadership.

Romo, Brooking, Ware and Witten; these four guys have this team fired up. Even in the two loses; Brooking and Romo still wanted 100% out of everyone playing.

Romo mention a couple of weeks ago that the team hasn’t found its identity yet. And he was right, the team didn’t have one. After loses to the Giants and Broncos many in the media, NFL fans and even all of us were thinking the same thing. This is the same underachieving team we’re used to. No leadership and a bunch of guys who just want to be in the NFL’s biggest spotlight. After the bye week the Cowboys changed that.

There is no I in this team. We have three halfbacks, five wideouts, two tight ends; all of them weapons. The defense that fell asleep the first four games woke up. Stopping 3rd downs, rushing the quarterback, and destroying the run. Did I mention they’re getting turnovers too?

Tony Romo

Right now, the team leader is maturing in front of our eyes. He has us all thinking playoffs and beyond at this point. The funny thing is, he’s not thinking about it. He’s thinking about how can we keep this thing rolling? Did we learn our lesson on these plays we got beat on? Are we a better team now then we were last week? He’s thinking like a leader.

Of course, the media will not let us forget that Romo is bad late in the season. We get it, three bad endings Tony can’t take back. But the way he’s team is playing right now, how much are you willing to bet it might change this year?

LET’S GO COWBOYS!!!

Wide Receivers Get To Work

Miles AustinThe Dallas Cowboys once again played a game where all phases came together, this time against against the Seahawks. It was really nice to see all of the wide receivers get into the action.

Miles Austin scored another touchdown, Roy Williams scored a touchdown on a nice slant route, Patrick Crayton scored on another punt return, Sam Hurd scored a touchdown on nice pass, and although Kevin Ogletree did not score, he did make a nice catch and run for a first down.

I will admit it I have had my doubts about our wide receiver corps, but it seems that they might be coming along and they are doing some good things. It has been nice to see Miles Austin doing so well, he has catches totaling 482 yards. That is the best that a wide receiver has ever done in their first three games.

Romo and Williams have some work to do and even they admit that they have not been on the same page a lot this year.

I am sure Jason Witten is happy we are winning, but not so happy that he is not getting his normal amount of catches.

Its nice to see that the receivers have finally found a way to get open and make some nice catches and runs.

Patrick Crayton has stepped it up in the return game, scoring a touchdown in each of the last two games.

We have the Eagles this weekend and we are tied with them for first place in the division, we need to step it up again and beat them.

GO COWBOYS!

Balancing It Out

Yes there was only 1 football on the field at a time, but from the way Dallas looked this week and the way Tony Romo spread the ball around it sure didn’t look like it. Dallas had Seattle confused from the very beginning on what their game plan was and that was to dominate.

Tony Romo went 21/36 for 256 yards and 3 touchdowns with NO interceptions. Miles Austin had 5 receptions for 61 yards rushed for 11 yards and had a touchdown. Sam Hurd had just one reception but it went for 35 yards and a touchdown. Roy Williams finally had his first touchdown as a Dallas Cowboy with 2 receptions for 19 yards. Patrick Crayton had 39 yards receiving and returned a punt for a touchdown for the second week in a row. Jason Witten, Felix Jones, Kevin Ogletree and Martellus Bennett all had receptions for over 100 total yards.

Marion “The Beast” Barber had only 14 rushing attempts but went for 53 yards and a touchdown. Felix Jones had 8 attempts and pounded out 39 yards. Tashard Choice got in on the action with 4 rushes for 11 yards. The offense went for a total of 26 first downs in the game, with 17 of those coming in the first half alone. 15 of those first downs by passing and 7 of them by rushing. Our third down efficiency was at 53% with a total of 362 net yards. Time of possession was an astounding 34:45

th_newman-1Keith Brooking continued to make his statement towards defensive player of the year with 8 tackles and forcing 1 sack. Demarcus Ware once again had a strong game with 2 tackles and a sack and Bobby Carpenter refused to be overlooked and got in with 3 tackles and a sack. Terence Newman and Bradie James both had good games each forcing a fumble that was recovered by Dallas. With a total of 3 sacks, 2 forced fumbles and only allowing 79 rushing yards by previous Dallas Cowboys RB Julius Jones, holding the Seattle offensive possession time to 25:15 and only 17 points, the defense made a statement once again.

You hear all this talk about what division is the toughest in the league. If you look at the numbers it is an easy decision to make. the NFC east is the only division in the league to have 3 teams with at least 5 wins on the season. With 5 out of the next 4 games being on the road you could make the argument that Dallas has the toughest schedule to finish out the season but with the way they are coming together on both offense and defense, bring on the competition.

Sunday night is going to be a true test for Dallas when we play Philly for first place in our division. After we win that game and silence all the critics we make our way north to Lambeau field for a battle against the Green Bay Packers before we come back home against our long time rivals (I cringe every time I even say their name) the STRUGGLING Washington Redskins.

Although we are looking very strong at home, we need to prove to not only ourselves but all the critics out there that we can win on the road. Once we win Sunday night and take over first place, then come home after winning in Green Bay with a 3 game winning streak, maybe, JUST MAYBE, everyone will see that this year DALLAS IS ON A MISSION!!!!!

LET’S GO BOYS!!!!!!!

Cowboys Extra Points: Rockstars and Superstars

The Cowboys announced that Daughtry will be performing during the halftime show at the Thanksgiving Day game. The game will be Thursday, Nov. 26 against the Oakland Raiders. Daughtry is a rock band from North Carolina lead by frontman Chris Daughtry.

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Felix Jones will return to kickoff returns this weekend as Allen Rossum has been sidelined for two to four weeks with a hamstring injury. Rossum injured his leg last week in his Cowboys debut.

Patrick Crayton will take on punt return duties once again.

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Former Cowboy Julius Jones is excited to return to Dallas to face his old teammates.

“It’s always good for me to see some of the guys that I played with down there. Bradie James, (Terence) Newman, Jason Witten, it’ll be good to see them before the game. And then beat them up during the game and then talk to them afterwards.”

Yeah, good luck with that Julius!

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DeMarcus Ware is being compared to hall of famer Lawrenece Taylor by none other than Bill Belichick.

I can’t imagine DeMarcus Ware hindering any team’s defense,” Belichick said during his daily press conference with New England reporters. “The guy’s one of the best players in the league. It’s like when we had Lawrence Taylor with the Giants. That guy was a force on every play. The offense had to account for him on every play. I think he helped our team defense probably as much as any player I ever coached.”

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Patrick Crayton has commented about his demotion as starting wide receiver. He had this to say yesterday (Thursday):

“I’ve still got (the chip),” Crayton said Thursday, glancing at his left shoulder. “It just got a little bigger last week. It’s going to stay there. It’s a permanent fixture there.”

Crayton referring to his punt return for a touchdown last Sunday:

“However they come my way, I’ve got to maximize them. I’ve got to squeeze 100 percent of the juice out of it.”

Before last week’s game, after learning of his demotion:

“I had a dropped pass and a muffed punt,” he said. “And the other guy had 250 yards.”

About the notion that he should start ahead of Roy Williams:

“When you give up a first, a third and a sixth and pay a guy that much, he has to play.”

Well, what do you expect him to say? He got demoted, the younger, faster guy got the job. As long as he gives 100% on the field, I don’t really care what he says to the media.


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

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.

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.

Cowboy Tidbits

Fullback Deon Anderson could find himself jobless. Currently he is on the injured list after having arthroscopic knee surgery but is expected to be back in uniform by opening day. However his backup Julius Crosslin has been doing a good job filling in for Anderson. The Cowboys are not expected to keep more than one fullback on the roster because they plan on using more two tight end formations. If Crosslin continues to impress, Anderson could be the one looking for a new team, after it was expected Crosslin was the one to be cut.

Sporting News Today is reporting that Crosslin has been solid at the point of attack, playing with good pad level and leverage that opens running lanes. The coaches are also impressed by his hands and say he is doing a good job catching the ball. This was evident on a converted third and 1 play in Friday’s preseason game against Tennessee. Still a bit early to tell how this position battle will end but Crosslin has made the most of his opportunity with Anderson on the sidelines.

We all know and love Jason Witten, one of Tony Romo’s favorite targets. Sporting News is giving fans the opportunity to ask him a question with a chance to have it and Jason’s answer published in an upcoming issue of the magazine. For those interested send your question along with your hometown to yourturn@sportingnews.com.