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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.”

Will The Real Number One Receiver Please Stand Up

Last Sunday’s record-setting day by wide receiver Miles Austin against the Kansas City Chiefs has earned him more playing time, deservingly so. Some would even say that Austin even earned himself a starting job, but Wade Phillips isn’t officially making him one. At least not yet.

Filling in for an injured Roy Williams, Austin broke Hall of Famer Bob Hayes’ team record when he hauled in 10 catches for a new club-record of 250 yards. It was a record that had lasted 43 years.

Two of those ten catches went for touchdowns including a game-winning 60-yard catch-and-run to the end zone in overtime that beat the Chiefs 26-20.

While we debate whether Miles Austin should be a starter, I did some research and it seems to me that since the 2008 season, Austin has been out producing Roy Williams whenever he gets his hands on the ball.

austin-williams

It’s important to note that to get those 47 catches, Williams had been targeted twice as many times as Austin, but imagine if it were the other way around?

Austin could have easily topped 1,200 yards and who knows how many more touchdowns that would have translated to.

All I’m saying is that nobody should be surprised if Austin eventually becomes the starter and also becomes Romo’s favorite wide receiver. Austin has proven that he can hang with the best of them, and now he has the team record that proves it.

Miles Austin

Austin is no longer a secret weapon… he has made himself one of several other primary weapons on this team. Even Wade Phillips acknowledged that on Monday when he said,

“He’s too big of a threat, and he’s proven now, and I think we have confidence in him. I’m talking ‘we’ — the offense, the quarterback, so forth,” Phillips said. “He can make a play that we think he can make, so we have to get him the ball more.”
You may remember that after the the Cowboys released Terrell Owens, Jerry Jones said something that many fans including myself, found insane.

He said that one of the reasons he let T.O. go, was because of the emergence of Miles Austin who had that same big play, game-breaking ability.

Maybe J.J. wasn’t so crazy afterall.

A Win Is A Win…Right?

Dallas Cowboys 26 – Kansas City Chiefs 20, in OVERTIME. Yes I did say overtime, a place Dallas really should of never been in this game. I will give credit to the Chiefs for their hard fought part of the game, they came to play. But the lack-luster performance of the Cowboys still has me very concerned for any legitimate run at the Super Bowl. This turned out to be a classic example of how the Dallas Cowboys now play their games, ugly. By the end I had handfuls of hair on the floor to pickup, and heard inappropriate words coming out of my mouth I didnt even know I knew (sorry kids). But they did get the win which in the big picture is the most important thing and we will take it.

However it does bring up the fact that they still have a lot of work to do, and there are changes that need to be made. If you look at just the stats of this game, 498 total yards (348 passing, 150 yards rushing) you would think this team was a model of efficiency. But 119 of those passing yards came on two receptions to Miles Austin, one being a 60 yard touchdown and the other being a 59 yard touchdown and both mainly because of the yards after the catch Austin was able to get after breaking tackles. Miles did a great job filling in for the ailing Roy Williams who didnt even make the trip to Kansas City. Tashard Choice taking the extra carries that would of gone to Felix Jones (knee) also did a nice job when called upon. Choice had 92 yards and a touchdown on only 8 carries.

One statistic that really gets under my skin, and seems to be a staple in every Cowboys game and season is the amount of penalties they have. 13 penalties for 90 yards, 13 for 90?! How can you expect to win with that many penalties and that many yards? If this game was against a team even slightly better than the Chiefs the Cowboys would of lost this game, that is unacceptable and shows a huge lack of discipline. As I continue to watch Dallas games I am starting to see a few things that add to my concern for this team.

Wade Phillips is one of the concerns. I have no ill will towards Wade Phillips, seems like a nice guy, probably easy to get a long with, but he may be too nice. He doesn’t seem like the Head Coach type. Obviously I dont know him, I am not at team meetings or practices but I get the feeling he doesn’t know how to yell, or especially motivate. It seems that his personality actually carries over to the team which could be hurting them. Eventually owner Jerry Jones will make a change at Head Coach for his team, not sure when but it will happen, it has to. Another observation I really noticed in this game was lack of composure in Tony Romo. He seems to over throw, or throw behind players at even the slightest feeling of pressure. He is a quarterback and needs to be able to throw accurately while under pressure and then take a hit.

Like I said earlier, the Dallas Cowboys have a lot of work still to do. The good thing is the season is still young, and there is plenty of time to make the changes necessary to become a dominate team. But it seems to me that these issues are the same issues we have been talking about for the past few seasons with no better results. Stop the penalties, Romo stand and deliver, Wade Phillips grow a back bone and motivate or move on, and I think the rest will fall into place. We have a bye week next week so lets get healthy, then we come back and take it to the Atlanta Falcons in Dallas. This will be a good test for the Boys to see how far they have come, lets get another win, and this time make it an unquestionable one.

No Frequent Flyer Miles For Jones and Williams

When the plane took off for Kansas City this afternoon, the Cowboys left running back Felix Jones and wide receiver Roy Williams behind in Dallas.

That means that the Cowboys will be shorthanded for its game at Kansas City on Sunday. The information was leaked by Kansas City Chiefs’ PR man Josh Looney.

Williams’ loss won’t help a receiving game that has sputtered and been ineffective at times this season.

This should mean more playing time for Miles Austin who will replace Williams in the Dallas starting lineup.

Tashard Choice and Marion Barber will continue to share the load at running back.

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.

Weekly Game Balls: Week 4

Sometimes its hard to find anything positive from such a heartbreaking loss, however several players did play well and for that they deserve to be recognized.

This week’s offensive game ball goes to Sam Hurd.

Sam Hurd, who has been nearly invisible offensively this year, zig-zagged his way down the field on 4th and 3 to set up a chance for the Cowboys to win last Sunday.

Hurd finished the game with 62 yards on 3 catches. He made up most of those yards his 3rd catch, a 53-yard gain.

Sam was also thrown to twice in the final seconds but could not secure the ball. He was covered by the Pro Bowler Champ Bailey.

We are likely to see more of Sam Hurd with Roy Williams injured this week.

Star50

This week’s defensive/special teams game ball goes to Bradie James.

Bradie James was a beast out there. He helped give the Cowboys a chance in the game.

With the offense sputtering, the defense was needed to step up and Bradie led the way. With the exception of the Brandon Marshall touchdown (in which they couldn’t tackle), the defense gave Denver quarterback Kyle Orton all kinds of pressure.

James finished the game with 6 tackles with 2 assists. He also had 1 sack and a fumble recovery.

Star50

Congratulations to Sam and Bradie for their outstanding play.

That was a game the Dallas Cowboys should of won. Kansas City is next, hopefully the Cowboys will give us an overwhelming win and that should make it more satisfying to give out game balls next week.

Runners-up: The Entire Defense

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.

Why Can’t They Get Open?

Patrick CraytonIt is hard to believe that we have four wide receivers on most plays, on some we have three, plus two good tight ends, yet none of them can get open. We have seen this in every game so far with the exception of Week 1 at Tampa Bay.

This game was one of the worst that we’ve seen for the Dallas offense. Every time Romo dropped back to pass, it seemed like there were no receivers going down field. When Romo did throw the ball it was either overthrown, underthrown or picked off.

What exactly is the problem this year? Even the Detroit Lions can throw to an open wide receiver, and they have only won one game out of their last 21.

I’m not sure if it is the play calling or the play execution. Whatever it is, the Cowboys need to get it corrected. We will not even make it to a .500 record if we cannot throw the ball.

We cannot depend solely on the run, as we seen against the Broncos. Sure, Denver has the number one defense in the league, but could we at least complete something when we need to? Romo completed 25 passes, but they were passes that only netted a couple of yards (with the exception of one to Sam Hurd in the final minutes).

Oh yeah, then there was the slant pattern two times in a row to Hurd in the last 30 seconds. I know we have better plays than that.

This week we may be without Roy Williams. Kevin Ogletree needs to come in and do something, along with the other receivers. Some how they need to get open.

Like most other Cowboys fans I love them and always will, but this is getting so frustrating. It does not seem to be getting any better.

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.

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.

Weekly Game Balls: Week 1

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

With the weight of world on his shoulders, Tony Romo lead his team to a seasoner opener victory Sunday afternoon as the Cowboys dominated the Buccaneers 34-21. Completing 16 of 27 passes, Romo threw a career high 353 yards and ended the day with 3 touchdowns and no interceptions.

Using his various weapons, Tony Romo looked absolutely stunning hitting Patrick Crayton on an 80 yard completion for a TD, another career high. His other two touchdowns were also long, airing out to Miles Austin for 42 yards and Roy Williams for 66 yards.

“You’re not judged off of yards or anything like that,” Tony Romo said. “You’re judged off of winning and losing at this position. I think our team understands that it’s about winning and losing. And that’s what we’re out here to try and do.”

After last year’s dismal season, it was apparent that Tony Romo needed to step up and step up big. The Cowboys still have a long season ahead, but Romo’s performance this week surely removed any doubt that he was ready to lead this team all the way.

Star50

This week’s defensive/special teams game ball goes to David Buehler.

In his NFL debut, rookie specialist David Buehler shined and helped Special Teams look fantastic something we haven’t seen since… hmm can’t remember the last time actually.

Buehler, a kickoff specialist, had three touchbacks out of seven kickoffs Sunday. Now, its extremely important to note that the Cowboys had zero touchbacks in 2008, and only four total in 2007. The last time the Cowboys had multiple touchbacks in one game was more than a decade ago, in 1998.

Field position can mean everything in a game. Buehler held the Tampa Bay Bucs to an average drive start of 23 yards.

“Everybody got their minds right and came out ready to play. It was good to have a couple of touchbacks in the first game of my NFL career. I felt like I had a pretty good game and did my job,” David Buehler said.

Owner Jerry Jones also bragged about Buehler after the game.

“The guy I feel as good about as anybody on this team is Buehler,” Jones said. “You can see what Buehler can mean with the field position he gave us on kickoffs. It’s great for him because that was our focus. For the first kick he ever makes and drives in the back of the end zone for a touchback, that’s big.”

Now does everyone understand why the Cowboys have three kickers on their roster?

Star50

Congratulations to Tony and David for their outstanding play.

Runners-up: Patrick Crayton who racked up 135 yards and a TD on 4 passes, Crayton was also wide open on several plays and could have easily had more yards and/or touchdowns. Nick Folk was perfect accounting for 10 points, including a 51-yard field goal to jump start the Cowboys win in the first half.