Posts

Weekly Game Balls: Week 8

The Cowboys are on a nice three game winning streak, everyone is healthy and all is well this week in the Big D. Sunday the Cowboys face one of their toughest divisional rivals when they travel to Philadelphia to take on the Eagles.

For now let’s focus on the positive that we can take out of last Sunday’s matchup against the battered and bruised Seahawks.

This week’s offensive game ball goes to Tony Romo.

Tony Romo finished the day 21 for 36 with 256 yards and three touchdowns. He hit three different receivers – Williams, Hurd and Austin.

Romo has gone three straight games without an interception, a career best. He is also learning to spread the ball around to whoever is open. He threw the ball to ten different receivers in the Seattle game.

The schedule is about to get tougher through November and December. If Romo can build from these past three games and stay on track, there’s no reason to doubt that he has what it takes to go up against top teams in the league.

Romo is also up for the NFL’s FedEx Player of the Week for the third time this year.

Great work this week Romo!

Star50

This week’s defensive/special teams game ball goes to Patrick Crayton.

I know what you’re thinking, Patrick Crayton is a wide receiver. However, he is also our punt returner, and damn good one too.

Patrick Crayton has had a punt return for a touchdown in each of the last two games.

Cowboys had signed return specialist Allen Rossum, however he injured himself in his debut with the team, so Crayton went back to his punt return role.

The amazing thing is Crayton was demoted from his WR starting position with the promotion of Miles Austin and since then has excelled on special teams with his two TDs.

Crayton also has the chance to make NFL history if he gets the chance to return a punt for a TD in Philly this weekend. No NFL player has ever returned for touchdowns in three consecutive games. It won’t be an easy task, and surely the Eagles are aware of the chance for a Cowboy to make history at their home.

Good luck Crayton, we will be cheering you on!

Star50

Congratulations to Romo and Crayton for their great contribution to the victory.

Honorable Mention: Keith Brooking continues to impress, he had 8 tackles, 3 assists and a sack.

And So It Begins

Dallas totally took apart Seattle just like they did Atlanta last week, complete with sacks, Tony Romo with no turnovers and a punt return TD by Patrick Crayton. Now if these last 2 weeks have not been the definition of complete, I want to know what the heck is. Sitting at 5-2, first place in the division and a date with rival Philly next Sunday night the Cowboys have to have a short memory not only about their recent success but also about that 44-6 drumming they took last year in week 17.

The Cowboys are riding high right now and all the fans are coming out of hiding. In the coming weeks I am positive this team will face adversity because the schedule is only going to get tougher.

(In no particular order)
@ Philadelphia Eagles
@ & vs. Washington Redskins
@ New York Giants
@ New Orleans Saints
vs. San Diego Chargers
@ Green Bay Packers

Dallas will face hard times traveling to these cities late in the season. So we as fans need to prepare ourselves for this and stick by Dallas. All is good right now because the team is playing like we all envisioned they could play, but when they start struggling we need to be there too.

First place is on the line, just like last year when the final playoff spot was up for grabs. Dallas needs to win this game as they head into a very tough spot in their schedule. They will need to win this game to keep ahead of the Eagles. It’s also crucial to stay confident going into Green Bay, and later facing the Redskins (who almost always give us a run for our money no matter what the record is).

Let’s take care of business this week and win in Philly!

*****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!!!!!!!

Romo Spreads the Love As the Cowboys Win 38-17

Tony Romo and the Cowboys had an excellent outing at home against the Seahawks winning 38-17.

The defense and special teams looked outstanding and the offense used all of their weapons.

Touchdowns: Sam Hurd, Marion Barber, Roy Williams, Miles Austin, Patrick Crayton

Sacks: Keith Brooking, DeMarcus Ware, Bobby Carpenter

Patrick Crayton returned a punt for a touchdown for the second week in a row.

Outstanding play all around! How bout them Cowboys!

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.

***

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.

***

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!

***

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.”

***

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.


Finally It All Comes Together

For the first time all season everything came together for the Dallas Cowboys. On Sunday playing against the Atlanta Falcons the Cowboys played a complete game.

Yes, a complete game. The offense was clicking. Romo threw for over 300 yards and went 21 of 29. Miles Austin showed up again with over 100 yards and two touchdowns. The defense came through with four sacks and two turnovers, and the special teams was outstanding. Patrick Crayton ran back a punt for 77 yards and a touchdown and he caught a touchdown as well.

We still had eight penalties in the game, but other than that all phases of the game were clicking. Although we did not have a 100 yard rusher, all backs combined for over a 100 yards.

The Cowboys finally showed us what they are capable of and boy was it nice. I was so happy to see them play so well against a good team. I guess the bye week was good to us and the Cowboys.

With the Giants losing on Sunday, winning this game was huge. Not only did we gain some ground on the Giants, but we beat a team that we may be fighting with down the road to get into the playoffs. This one was really nice! Now bring on the Seahawks we are ready to win another one! GO COWBOYS!

Falcons Cowboys

A Giant Weekend for the Cowboys

I have a few things to say about this weekend, so I will start off by saying that the Dallas Cowboys looked absolutely amazing against Atlanta.

Our defense, with the exception of the first drive, was amazing, shutting down a very good offense for the majority of the game. The Romo to Austin connection is working better than any of us could have imagined. Austin now has 16 catches, 4 touchdowns and 421 yards in the last two games. That is simply amazing. When Owens was let go, Austin was crowned the man that would fill the big play shoes along with Roy, but for whatever reason that did not happen right away. Austin is now the number one receiver in my eyes. He is great and I will be buying a Austin #19 jersey as soon as I get paid.

Patrick CraytonI am also very proud of Mr. Patrick Crayton. He was said to be moaning and complaining all week long about his jobs being taken away and what did he do? Crayton, even though he didn’t have nearly the day Austin did, pulled in a receiving and punt return TD. Now, I am not saying Crayton saved his position on this team by any stretch, but I am saying this is what every NFL player should do when he is moved down on the depth chart. He should come out and perform. Crayton showed a lot of heart this week that we have never seen from him. I am very impressed in how he handled his situation this week.

How about Ratliff and Ware? These guys are amazing. They put pressure on Atlanta’s offense almost from the very beginning of the game. Pressure after pressure, Ryan was never comfortable in the pocket and that is what helped our secondary. The secondary also played great with the exception of a few bad plays here and there, but nonetheless they held there own against a very good passing attack. The physical nature of the defense, I think, set a tone. Even our corners Newman and Jenkins were smacking people around yesterday. That is what I like to see from our defense, make the Falcons remember the day they played the Dallas Cowboys.

Our team looked very good as a whole yesterday in all three aspects of the game. If they play like this, with intensity and heart, then this team will be in the Super Bowl in February. The sky is the limit.

The Giants did us a very big favor again for the 2nd time in as many weeks by losing again, which pulls us within a half game of the division lead. With a date with the Seahawks coming next week, we could easily be first place in the division this time next week. The Eagles can also help us out with a loss at Washington tonight. We would have sole possession of 2nd place. I do not think the Skins will beat the Eagles. Then again, they do not have to because we travel to Philly next week to face the Eagles. We can do the job ourselves!

*****GO COWBOYS*****

Week 7: Cowboys 37 – Falcons 21

Cowboys take win #4 against the Atlanta Falcons.

Tony Romo went 21 of 29 for 311 yards and three touchdowns.

Miles Austin had another career game recording 171 yards on 6 catches and two touchdowns.

Patrick Crayton had one touchdown on offense and one on special teams after returning a punt for 73 yards.

Mike Jenkins and Orlando Scandrick both had interceptions and Demarcus Ware had two sacks.

Full recap to follow.

Crayton Is Moaning And Williams Is Groaning

When Wade Phillips correctly made the move to promote wide receiver Miles Austin to the starting offense, replacing Patrick Crayton, I bet he never expected to get so much blow-back.

To begin, on Wednesday, Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Patrick Crayton called out his coaches for the way they handled his demotion to third on the depth chart behind Miles Austin.

Crayton said he learned about the demotion when Austin lined up opposite Roy Williams in the two-wide receiver set Monday. Crayton cried foul and said he deserved an explanation about the change from  head coach Wade Phillips.

“I would have loved it,” Crayton said. “It would have been real stand-up. That’s not what happened. … Nothing was explained to me.”

Wade Phillips disagreed and responded by saying,

“We discussed it with him,” Phillips said. “I have no doubt about that.”

It’s been a bad week for Crayton who also lost his job returning punts to newly signed return specialist Allen Rossum.

What did Crayton expect Wade Phillips to do?

Starting in place of injured Roy Williams, Austin was absolutely spectacular and set a club record with 250 receiving yards against the Chiefs.

In six years, Crayton has been given plenty of time to impress, but has mostly looked mediocre at best. And speaking of looking mediocre, the same can be said of Roy Williams who was signed to a huge deal after the Cowboys gave up two draft picks for him including their first round pick. We have yet to see any return on that end of the spectrum.

After sitting out last week with an injury, Williams has declared himself 100 percent healthy for tomorrows game against the Falcons. According to Williams, he’s good to go.

The Dallas Morning News reminds us that this week marked Williams’ one-year anniversary with the team since he came from Detroit at last year’s trade deadline. He’s played in 14 games for Dallas and has only 30 catches for 412 yards and two touchdowns. Ouch!

“It’s OK. I mean very average, if not below average,” he said. “You hope that you don’t have to do it, but sometimes you got to dial 911, and I’m waiting on 911 to be dialed up. Hopefully 911 refers to [quarterback Tony] Romo [uniform No. 9] and myself [ No. 11], not an emergency situation.”

If Williams doesn’t start producing soon, it will be the Cowboys and owner Jerry Jones that will be dialing 911. Williams says that it is taking time for him and Tony Romo to adjust to each other, but I find it odd that Miles Austin had no such problem… neither did Terrell Owens.

Actually, Williams isn’t that bad as a receiver, he did haul in that amazing $45 million dollar spiral from Jerry Jones last season. And he reminded a disgruntled fan about it according to the same report in the Dallas Morning News.

“An OU fan said, ‘You suck. You get paid $40 million. You suck,’ ” Williams said. “I said, ‘Actually I got $45 million.’

Great answer Roy… Nice job… Real classy…

So let me wrap this up…

Basically, it’s time for Patrick Crayton to stop moaning and support his teammate Miles Austin who EARNED the starting job, and it’s also time for Roy Williams to stop groaning and get on the field and EARN that fat contract extension that so far looks like a Texas-sized bust.

Now I don’t mean to pick on poor rich Roy Williams. After all he is a Dallas Cowboy. However when he makes the kind of statements he does from week to week and seems to blame everything but kitchen sink for his lack of production, he makes it too easy to take a shot at him.

Honestly, I want nothing more than for him to succeed, but he’s shown more moves off the field than he has on the field. At some point you have to stop making excuses and start making plays. Put up or shut up.

Getting Healthy for Atlanta and a Trade Offer?

The Cowboys have made it past their bye week and now they are getting ready for the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday. It’s a very important conference game and the Cowboys need to come out ready to play. First order of business is getting the injured players back on the field. Felix Jones, Roy Williams and Gerald Sensabugh all practiced Wednesday and should be ready for the Falcons as reported by DallasNews.com.

Gerald Sensabaugh will wear a cast on his thumb on Sunday, but believes it will not affect him.

“I can play like this,” Sensabaugh said. “It felt good today. I did all the drills. They padded it up a little bit so I wouldn’t hurt anybody, which is what they have to do for the game … I was able to catch some balls. I dropped some too.”

Felix Jones said he is still feeling some pain, which is a concern. But should also be ready come Sunday.

“It’s still there (pain in knee) a little bit, but if feels a lot better,” Jones said after Wednesday’s practice. “One day at a time is all I can do.”

“I’m getting there,” Jones said. “That’s all I can go by right now.”

Roy Williams seems to be ready to go also. I guess you can tell by what seems to be sarcastic comments to reporters.

On how does it feel to be back – “It’s all the same. Nothings changed.”

On his bruised ribs – “It’s all the same. Ain’t nothing changed.”

On if he’s excited to be back – “I’m excited. There’s only 1,696 of us that get to play this game so every week is a good week.”

Other Injuries

In other injury news DallasNews.com is reporting that both Marion Barber and DeMarcus Ware are suffering from fractures that will not keep them from playing Sunday. Barber suffered a fractured left thumb during the Kansas City game and Ware has a stress fracture in his foot. It was not reported when Ware suffered the injury.

Crayton Upset

Now that Miles Austin has been promoted to the starting lineup against the Atlanta Falcons as reported by DallasNews.com. That means someone has been bumped from the starting lineup. As we all know, that player is Patrick Crayton. I find it amazing when reading the articles about this story that no one seems to be on the same page. Crayton says he wished someone has approached him to tell him the news and Phillips said they did speak to Crayton about it. Does anyone really know? Who do you believe?

“Miles Austin will be starting,” Phillips said. “It’s obvious, the guy had 250 yards receiving in one game. It’s hard to say you’re not going to play the guy.”

“I would have loved it,” Crayton said of being informed. “It would have been real stand-up. That’s not what happened. … Nothing was explained to me. I had the dropped pass and I had the muffed punt. Maybe that was it. … This thing is not about fair. That’s what you come to realize. Life is not fair. You’ve just got to roll with the punches.”

Said Phillips, “We discussed it with him, I have no doubt about that. I think Patrick will take it the right way and do his best. I expect nothing less from him. He’s a big part of this team.”

Also reported by DallasNews.com, that Crayton will get the start opposite Miles Austin only if it’s decided that Roy Williams is not ready.

Trade Turned Down

Jerry Jones spoke about a major trade that was presented to the Cowboys before the trading deadline on Tuesday. No player names were mentioned, but it was said to be someone who would have made a major impact right away.

“I feel as good about what we can do this year as I did last year when I traded for Roy Williams,” Jones said as reported from DallasNews.com

“We had a significant offer for a key player that we turned down, and turned down in getting in more extended dialogue for,” Jones said. “So we did have that kind of activity … but I shouldn’t name the player or the team. It was a very firm, significant offer for one of our young players that we had a chance for a lot of consideration if we had wanted to take it, and we didn’t.” Reported by Star-Telegram.com

Also reported by Star-Telegram.com that when Jerry Jones was asked if Tashard Choice was part of the trade offer Jones said no. But said the Cowboys were offered a first day draft pick in 2010. Jones declined the trade offer because of how important the Dallas player is for the team this season.

“We could have probably made a “now” impact and just bolstered a position and significantly, and obviously we would have had a takeaway since it’s a young player for the future,” Jones said. “By the same token, and I’m talking about the type of consideration, first- or second-round type consideration, but the bottom line is this, had I not thought that we needed that player right now as opposed to pushing forward in consideration for picks in the future, then I would have taken the pick option on it rather than the player.”

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.