Bucs Walk The Plank As Cowboys Sail To 34-21 Win

Cowboys Buccaneers FootballQuarterback Tony Romo threw three touchdown passes to lead the Dallas Cowboys to a 34-21 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday to open the season with a convincing win.

The offense was clicking on all cylinders as Romo did a fantastic job of spreading the ball around and taking advantage of some huge blown coverages by the Buc’s secondary. And for those of you who were worried about the loss of Terrell Owens, you can all breathe easy as Roy Williams, Patrick Crayton and Austin Miles each hauled in a touchdown in the game.

Romo completed 16-of-27 passes for 353 yards, a career high, and tossed three touchdown passes. It was the most yards he has ever thrown in his career. His first strike was to Miles Austin, a 42-yard touchdown catch in the final minute of the first half to put Dallas up 13-7 at halftime. It was a picture perfect catch and run for Miles. 

Romo threw his second touchdown pass, a 66-yard strike to Roy Williams, to give the Cowboys a 20-7 in the third quarter, and then found wide receiver Patrick Crayton with an 80-yard strike. Crayton had a huge day ringing up four catches for 135 yards. Tight end Jason Witten also had a fine day with five catches for 71 yards vs. the Bucs.

The Cowboys also were solid on the ground and racked up 118 yards led by Marion Barber who had 79 yards and a six-yard touchdown run.

Nick Folk had a busy day and got us on the board with two field goals in the first quarter, giving the Cowboys a 6-0 lead to get things started. Folk nailed a booming 51-yard field goal, and then followed it up with a 22-yard chip shot.

Defensively, they played cohesively and got the job done in the last three quarters after allowing the Bucs’ Cadillac Williams to run wild in the first quarter. There were a couple injury scares when both DeMarcus Ware and Gerald Sensabaugh got the worst of two tackles, but Ware came back in the game in the next series and Sensabaugh said he’s fine and suffered a sore rib. Sensabaugh had a key moment in the game when he blocked a Buccaneers field goal.

Matt McBriar was looking good, and the Cowboys had no turnovers in the game. They even held the penalties to just 4 for 41 yards.

All in all, it was a great victory so let’s enjoy it!

Go Cowboys!

Wish Upon The Cowboy’s Star

Star light, star bright, the Cowboy’s Star I see tonight, wish I may, wish I might, have this wish I wish tonight. On the eve of another NFL season, I sit and stare at the most beautiful star known to man. This star however is not shining brightly in the sky above, but rather on the sleeve of a #16 Vinny Testaverde (quit laughing) practice jersey I have as part of my Cowboys memorabilia collection. As I send the wish off on it’s way, (I can’t tell you exactly what it was or it wont come true, but every Dallas Cowboys fan probably has a similar one as the new season approaches) I can feel the excitement continue to build, not just for the Cowboys but for football in general.

I need something fresh, something new to help cleanse the memory and sting of last season, especially how it ended so painfully to one of our most hated rivals, the Eagles. This year I am trying to keep my expectations to a minimum, unlike last year where I pretty much handed Dallas the Superbowl trophy before the season even started.

This season already has a different feeling to it, I think most of you know what I am talking about. Not sure what it is yet, but it is different, and I think for the better. T.O. is gone, Roy Williams the receiver is the number one man now in his place, while Roy Williams the safety is now a Bengal. Its not the lineup differences that fuel the feelings of change necessarily, but there is certainly something I feel I cant quite put my finger on.

Maybe its the quiet urgency that surrounds the Dallas Cowboys, still “Americas Team” for sure, but with such disappointments the last few years I think everyone is a bit stymied on their feelings. So I sit and reminisce about the glory days, hurt about the ones that got away and look forward to the ones still to come.

Now for all you Die Hard fans of the Dallas Cowboys, take this quick moment to Wish Upon the Cowboys Star. Make it a good one, and lets hope it brings success to our boys, and a trophy back to where it belongs.

On Pins and Needles

The NFL is a magical thing. The hype of each season is more intense every year. For our boys it’s all or nothing. I’m not saying we need to go to the Super Bowl and win. I’m saying it’s time for us to do what we do best and stomp a mudhole into the chest of the NFC East.

I don’t have to tell you all the preseason predictions, who thinks who is better. At this point I don’t think anyone on the Dallas team could give a crap.

Ever since last season ended; whether it’s ESPN, NFL Network or anyone else, the team has been under a microscope. Tony and Jessica; Roy taking TO’s place; Ware and the contract; even the dog-gone scoreboard has been analyzed and even mocked. Amazingly nothing (or at least in high volume) has been said about the team.

The preseason showed us we have an unstoppable offense and defense. The team has gelled well and for the most part our backups…ok their an C- but its ok.

Being off the radar has done wonders for the team with Vick and Favre coming back we’re not the number one news anymore. This team may be ready to take over being the sleeper in the NFC.

The only thing stopping the Cowboys is the Cowboys themselves. Nothing can stop this team once it’s motor is running on full speed. I would love to see what happens, if and when Romo gets over that hump; Roy silents the critics about his ability; I can go on and on. The one thing I can say, its football season and the Cowboys are playing. Are you ready?

Let’s Go Cowboys!

And one more thing, Ogletree has a fan club. That’s awesome.

Falling Miles Behind?

Miles AustinConflicting reports across the Cowboys media outlets have me concerned about Miles Austin. The wide receiver who was expected to step up this season hasn’t really given anyone reason to believe he can do his share for this team.

During the offseason Austin visited the New York Jets and fans were concerned about him possibly leaving the team. Turns out in hindsight that might not have been such a bad idea.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a Miles Austin ‘hater’, I really like the guy and we’ve seen his potential and his smile lights up the stadium when he’s hauling in touchdowns. However, can he stay healthy?

Well, now they say Austin should be back to practice on Wednesday after being sidelined and missing numerous practices due to a sore hamstring. He was out last season, and this isn’t what you would call a nice start to a fresh new season.

The same thing can be said of Sam Hurd. Even our new number one Roy Williams has already been injured. These guys are way too young to be hurt so much, so early.

I should mention that Hurd and Williams did practice fully on Monday. I’m pretty sure Roy will be A-OK. Oh, and as for our youngest and newest receiver – Kevin Ogletree’s eye contusion seems to be all better as well.

Thank God we have a killer running back squad and arguably the best tight ends in the league, or I might be a little bit worried about our offense. Crazy thing is, there are people that have been arguing this point since the release of ‘you know who’ and I’ve ignored it and stood up for the WRs.

But you know what, maybe finally letting go of Isaiah Stanback is a sign that the ‘Boys have no more patience for lingering injuries…

Honestly, I hope they all recover and have a great year. That may be too optimistic but hey that’s what fans do!

P.S. Stay safe and healthy Patrick Crayton!

Six Receivers?

Ogletree Touchdown

Well it looks as if there is a slim possibility that the Cowboys could keep six, yes six, wide receivers on the roster. Right now with injuries to the Roy Williams, Sam Hurd, and Isaiah Stanback, it looks as though Kevin Ogletree will make the roster.

With Patrick Crayton as the number two receiver that would make six on the roster.

However, it will be tough to keep six, so that means Stanback may be cut soon. Stanback has been injured for most of the time that he has been with the Cowboys, so it would make sense to go ahead and cut bait.

I said this in my first blog this year and I stand by it, he should have been released two years ago. Why the Cowboys have tried to hang on I do not know.

Anyway, if Ogletree makes the team, that would be great since he has shown a lot of great things in the pre-season.

We shall see what happens, but it looks like Ogletree has beat out all others trying to get a spot.


Williams in. Procter out?

With the last preseason game fast approaching now is the time to get all the nagging injuries healed. Roy Williams was back at practice today which is good news. From it was reported that Williams was seen joking around during warmups. He was throwing some pretty good passes from 20 yards out that were hitting the crossbar. Williams was also able to lift his left arm above his head to catch a pass which is also good news. Williams continues to prove that he reads everything written about him and is said about him.

“I can get it out there!” he hollered, loud enough for the media standing about 60 yards away to hear. “I’m coachable!”

As far Sam Hurd who is suffering from a sore quad, he once again did not practice today. But he is scheduled to do some running and return to practice by the end of the week. Chances are like most of the other starters Hurd will not play against Minnesota on Friday.

“I feel great,” Hurd said. “I feel better than good.”

Procter Out?

Reported by that every day before practice the quarterbacks and centers work on their exchanges. Every day Cory Procter was part of those drills, that is until Tuesday’s practice. The four centers today were Andre Gurode, Ryan Gibbons, Travis Bright and Duke Preston. Is that a sign that Procter is on his way out? It is known that Procter and John Kitna have had their share of problems with exchanges during training camp and the preseason games.

Aikman and Irvin

Hall of Famers Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin have different opinions when it comes to the Dallas offense.

Irvin: “I never ever believe you will get better getting rid of the kind of talent T.O. has.”

Aikman: (The Cowboys) weapons are there. The quarterback is there. This should be a helluva offense football team.”

I can not wait to get this season started. Partly because of the unknown. The Cowboys are a young team, but have enough veterans to lead them like Romo, Witten, Williams, Brooking, Newman and Ware. What will the offense really be like? I’ve read many articles about the Jason Garrett playing very basic offensive packages during the preseason. Will the offense go to a new level with all their weapons? Was Wade Phillips really holding back in the preseason? Is he waiting to unleash one of the best defenses in the league this season with the non-stop attacking that we have all read about?

I can not wait to see some of the younger and newer players.

Mike Jenkins, Yes, this is his second season, but I believe he will be given the starting cornerback job and do very well. But can he please go back to #31.

Gerald Sensabaugh, He will greatly improve our secondary this season and allow Phillips to do more which he could not do last season with Roy Williams and Keith Davis at safety.

Anthony Spencer, He has been having a good preseason so far and I think he can have a breakout season now that Greg Ellis is gone and learning from DeMarcus Ware will only help. Not to mention all the attention going to Ware will free up Spencer for big plays.

Keith Brooking, A veteran and true professional. He knows how Wade Phillips defense works and will work well with Bradie James on the inside.

Martellus Bennett, A full season behind him. He seems very focused on football and still having a good time. Bennett and Jason Witten both in the game will only cause problems for the defense.

David Beuhler, Will help a lot with getting the kickoffs into the end zones. Not to mention he loves to play on special teams and hit people.

Felix Jones, Is there anyone who is not excited about having Jones for a full season? He looks like he can explode every time he touches the ball

Kevin Ogletree, I’ve already put my call into Wade Phillips to keep this guy on the roster and to make sure he gets some snaps during the games. There is just something about Ogletree that I can not explain.

Let’s get this thing going and release the beast that is the 2009 Dallas Cowboys. A new season, a new hope and the chance to make everything right in the world with a 6th World Championship.

Cowboys Fall To Niners 20-13; Mike Hamlin Breaks Wrist

0830tromoThanks to a second half surge by San Francisco and some bad decisions and penalties by the Cowboys, the Niners walked away from Cowboys Stadium with a convincing 20-13 win last night.

The Cowboys had this game in their hands, but the defense couldn’t hold back the hard charging second stringers who pushed through the Dallas defensive line as if they weren’t there. The Cowboys were up 10-3 at halftime, but were outscored 17-3 in the second half.

Tony Romo and the rest of the first team offense had no trouble moving the ball, but seemed to stall inside the red zone. They did manage to score one touchdown, thanks to some nifty 3-yard run by running back Felix Jones that highlighted a 94 yard drive that featured strong runs by Marion Barber and some clutch passes to receivers Patrick Crayton and Miles Austin, and tight end Jason Witten.  By the way, I thought it was interesting that they went with Felix on that three-yarder instead of their closer Marion Barber. That could mean more touchdowns for Felix and less for Barber down the road.

There were some missed opportunities by the first team…

Tony Romo threw an interception at the 4-yard line that ended one scoring opportunity, and a penalty erased a Nick Folk 49 yard field goal that ended another scoring opportunity. Still, there were others. Incidentally, Folk did make two other field goals of 24 and 25 yards.

One key play for the Cowboys was a 4th and 1 in which Wade Phillips opted to go for the field goal. As the home team, I thought they should have went for it and continue the drive to the end zone. It was a conservative play and I expected more from a Cowboys team who boasts so many offensive weapons.

Miles Austin did a fine job filling in for the injured Roy Williams, and Kevin Ogletree had another impressive game and could be locking down a spot on the final roster as the Cowboys’ fifth receiver. He caught two passes for 36 yards in the first half.

The first string defense was superb and showed some toughness when they stuffed the Niners after a 57-yard interception return from Romo. They held the Niners to just 3 points in the first half, and it was the second string that allowed San Francisco to come back and win the game. Bradie James and Jay Ratliff, who recorded a sack, looked impressive and ready for prime time.


This weeks quote of the game comes from the ultra conservative Wade Phillips who went ballistic after witnessing one of his players maul a 49ers receiver.

“The first part of the game, I thought we did some good things. Our second group didn’t play as well. We had penalties and turnovers that really hurt us at the end of the game. The kind of things that get you beat.”

On a sad note, safety Mike Hamlin, a fifth-round pick, suffered a broken right wrist covering a kickoff in the third quarter and he is expected to be out about six to eight weeks. Also, safety Alan Ball sprained his neck and rookie Jason Williams suffered an ankle sprain. 

During the game, the Cowboys paid homage to former Cowboy safety Roy Williams. Number 31 for the Cowboys got flagged for a horse collar penalty… it was DeAngelo Smith.

Anyway, lets get one thing straight… The bottom line is that their reserves beat our reserves. Unfortunately, that has been the case for most of the pre season thus far. Guys like Bobby Carpenter, Cory Proctor, Isaiah Stanback, Courtney Brown, and others have had their chances to impress, but have not. In the end, the only thing this loss shows is how poor our depth is behind our talented first teamers who have been solid, especially on defense.

My advice to the Cowboys is simply this… Stay Healthy!

Tomorrow is yet another cut day as the Cowboys do some more roster trimming. I’m willing to bet that at least two of the players that will be cut, have been named in this recap. Can you guess who?

Roy Williams Listed As Day-To-Day

Several sources are reporting that Roy Williams is listed as day-to-day and should return soon. The reports say Williams has a contusion (bruise) on his left shoulder.

Dallas News has this quote from Jerry Jones during his radio appearance this morning:

“I’m not implying that we have a long-winded thing here,” said Jerry, who stated that the Cowboys will not consider signing a veteran receiver. “Based on our review here, we’re talking about a very short timespan. I don’t know that he’ll go Saturday … but he’ll be out there real quick.”

Star-Telegram reports,

The Cowboys confirmed Roy Williams’ negative x-ray in an email this morning. There was no fracture to his shoulder. They will continue to evaluate him on a day to day basis with a shoulder contusion, which is a fancy word for a bruise.

However it is still unlikely that Williams will play against the 49ers on Saturday for precautionary reasons. If he does sit then look for him miss the preseason final against the Vikings on Thursday and return for the regular season opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Hopefully we lucked out and Roy will return for the season opener and be fine. Isn’t this just our luck?

UPDATE – Conflicting Reports on Roy Williams Shoulder Injury

It is being reported by that Roy Williams broke his collarbone during practice tonight. The injury occurred when Williams and Orlando Scandrick collided with each other without shoulder pads.

Usually a broken collarbone requires six to eight weeks to heal.

This is only speculation as other reports are saying that x-rays were negative on Roy Williams’ shoulder.

Will keep watching for updates. Let’s hope it’s not true.

UPDATE – is now saying that the x-rays were unexpectedly negative. Not sure what that means exactly. But for now they are calling it a sprained shoulder. Williams has been sent home for the night to ice down the shoulder. Tomorrow he will go for an MRI.

Follow Up On Jason Williams; And Romo’s Hot Seat?

-Last week I did a piece “Know Your Cowboy” on Jason Williams, the rookie Linebacker from Western Illinois. It was something just to help the casual fan learn a bit on one of our up and coming players. Like most rookies the transition from college to pro takes time so Jason struggled in training camp and in the first preseason game against the Raiders.

Coach Wade Phillips attributes the slow start to “because he was thinking instead of playing”. However in his second preseason game against the Titans he started playing more instinctively, which forced an intentional grounding penalty in the end zone and resulted in a safety.

The Cowboys are not trying to overload the young player by putting too much on his plate. They like his physical style and his ability to run, so for the time being they want him to concentrate on special teams and become a “Good special teams player”, and take the time to learn the defensive side of the game a bit slower. Once they see his confidence building then they will incorporate him a bit more into the regular defense.

-Tony Romo on the hot seat? According to Dan Fouts of CBS Sports Tony is one of a few Quarterbacks this year on the hot seat.

“The pressure is really going to fall on Romo now, but that’s the way it should be. When you’re the Dallas Cowboys’ quarterback, with that tradition and history, it adds pressure. Deal with it.”

As Cowboy fans know, Tony Will be able to handle this pressure Fouts speaks of. He will just have to play and make everyone else shut their mouths. Seems like Romo and Roy Williams have got a lot of people to put in their places this season, and I cant wait to see them do it!

Cowboys Extra Points: Starters, Backups and Poison Ivy?

extrapts2Duke Preston is on his way to Dallas, and pending a physical could be the team’s new backup center behind Andre Gurode as reported by Nick Eatman on the Cowboys’ official site.

Preston was released by Green Bay on Tuesday after being with the team since March. The veteran could provide depth to the O-line as he can play center, tackle and guard. Preston spent the last four years with Buffalo.

Possibly one of the biggest battles this preseason has been (as expected) between Mike Jenkins and Orlando Scandrick at cornerback. Wade Phillips said both are doing so well and it’s a tough decision, one that he probably won’t make until the season opener. Scandrick is expected to start this Saturday and Jenkins in the final preseason game.

Now here’s a doozy… Bobby Carpenter did not participate in practice today. According to Tim MacMahon at DMN Carpenter got poison ivy in his eye and it was swelled shut.

Roy Williams continues to receive criticism from the media, including former Cowboy greats, but he isn’t letting it get to him.

“It doesn’t fuel me. Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin, Deion Sanders, Darren Woodson — I love it, I appreciate it.

“I appreciate it because if you sit around and have to hear how good you are all the dang time, you have to have that Jerry Rice mind-set of, ‘I’m not good enough.

“When I have guys, especially NFL greats and the greatest that played here in Dallas, saying that I can’t get the job done, and I’m not a No. 1, it makes me feel good.

“It makes me want to go out there and prove to them and everybody else across the world who listens to those guys because, obviously, everybody thinks they know it all, that I can do my job.”

Know Your Cowboy

With training camp coming to an end and the Boys departing San Antonio for the comfy confines of their new palace, I thought this would be a good time to write the first of what could be many brief bios of current Cowboy players. Just a little something to help the fans get to know your Cowboys a little better.

As I sit here and try to pick one of the many Cowboys to start with, I am watching Fridays preseason game versus the Titans. I just watched a beautiful nine minute eleven second, 90 yard drive end in a Marion Barber 1 yard plunge into the end zone for the first score of the game. This was a thing of beauty, a long drive mixing in a bit of Romo to Roy Williams and some pounding by the Barbarian, a sign of things to come for the season no doubt.

So it would seem the obvious player to start with would be Marion Barber after taking his stroll into the end zone. But … yes I did say but, I am also reading up on some of the players on the roster and I realize I do not know much about this years first draft pick, albeit a third round draft pick, but still our first draft pick.

With their first overall selection of the 2009 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys chose Jason Williams in the third round (69th overall). This 6 foot 1 inch 238 pound Linebacker out of Western Illinois is expected to be a starter (and a good one) on Special Teams and compete for the Nickle and Dime Linebacker positions, as well as be in the mix for substitutions in the regular defense.

In his college career he was a disruptive player tallying 14 forced fumbles, 289 tackles and 15 sacks. In 2008 he set a school record with 6 forced fumbles in one season and was voted an All-America first-team selection by The NFL Draft Report, The Sporting News, Associated Press, the Sports Network, College Sporting News and the American Football Coaches Association.

In his senior year last year he recorded 67 of his tackles (39 solo) and 4 sacks, showing that as he got older he got better. Hopefully as he transitions into the NFL he will continue to improve his game play and his numbers. This kid has strength and speed and in a few years you probably will see him replace Brookings or someone else as a starter in the defense. The Cowboys may have gotten themselves a steal with this stud.

Oh and by the way, another rushing touchdown, this one by Felix the Great, has the Cowboys up 14-10 at half time.