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Tag:Chris Cooley
Posted on: February 11, 2012 10:34 pm
 

Ahmad Bradshaw takes shot at Tony Romo

Romo

BradshawBy Josh Katzowitz

Just because Tony Romo is coming off another solid season and shrugged off so many of the previous expectations/assumptions about his toughness and ability to play in the clutch, that doesn’t mean we can’t continue to find his fellow colleagues to rip him whenever they get the chance.

I mean, the guy played with a punctured lung (and won!)and then, at the end of the season, he played with a bad hand, but hell, that apparently didn’t really satisfy anybody.

In fact, Romo started every game this season despite a number of ailments and obstacles. Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw was not so impressed.

Bradshaw, coming off his game-winning Super Bowl XLVI touchdown, was asked on the NFL Network if the Cowboys could ever win a Super Bowl with Romo as the starting quarterback. Bradshaw, predictably, doesn’t believe in Romo.

Dallas' quarterbacks
“You know what, man, I don’t see it happening,” Bradshaw said. “I don’t think they believe it, and they’re America’s team.

“It all comes in together. If the fans don’t believe it, the team doesn’t. They’re kinda doubtful with Romo.”

While I'm not sure Bradshaw's reasoning makes sense (since when do players care what fans think about their teammates?), this also isn’t the first time this year a Giants running back has criticized Romo. You might recall Brandon Jacobs saying this in October: “[Eli Manning] is definitely a 100 percent better quarterback than Tony Romo. No question.”

Also criticizing Romo this year? Redskins tight end Chris Cooley and NFL Network analyst Deion Sanders (though Romo also had a pretty big backer (literally and figuratively) in Dirk Nowitzki).

Surprisingly, not everybody, especially those in the Cowboys organization, agrees with Bradshaw (and Jacobs).

“I thought Romo was competing at a level that would’ve given us that opportunity but the rest of us need to play better and get better before we can really gel the way the Giants are,” Jones said at the Senior Bowl last month.

And when CBSSports.com’s Will Brinson caught up with Dallas running back DeMarco Murray during Super Bowl week, Murray defended Romo.

"One week he's a hero, the next week he's not,” Murray said. That's just the way it is with the Dallas Cowboys. We're used to it, we love it and we wouldn't want any one else leading our team."

Obviously, Romo is used to hearing people bash him for a variety of reasons. He tries to turn the other cheek. But he also understands why his vast array of critics say what they do.

"It's just an easy thing to say until you win the Super Bowl," Romo said in November. "Until then any time you lose a game it's a big game. But if you win, then it really wasn't that big of a game. That just goes with the territory."

But from a guy who just won the Super Bowl, Bradshaw’s words can’t feel so good to Romo.

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Posted on: October 13, 2011 8:14 pm
Edited on: October 14, 2011 6:39 am
 

Report: NFL clears Dez Bryant on failed drug test

Bryant's in the clear, Witten confused by Cooley's comments on Romo. (US PRESSWIRE)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant had a busy offseason, what with the saggy pants saga, the unpaid debts and the public renouncements from one-time mentors.  Finally, some good news: Bryant, who apparently failed a drug test during training camp, reportedly has been cleared by the NFL "due to the technicality of not having proper identification," a source tells the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Clarence Hill.

More details:
Rookie running back DeMarco Murray is the process of clearing his name after getting caught in the same snafu during camp. “One has been cleared, and one is pending,” a source said. “You have to have your driver's license with you or some type of government ID. They didn’t have their IDs. Dez has been cleared. That is my understanding, and the other [Murray] is in the process of being cleared.”
It gets better: Bryant practiced throughout the Cowboys' bye week and should be ready to go when the team faces New England on Sunday. Also ready to go: quarterback Tony Romo, who will take a pain-killing shot and wear a Kevlar vest to protect a broken rib.


This Sunday, The Dallas Cowboys look will travel to Gillette Stadium to square off against the New England Patriots. Join Jason Horowitz and NFL.com's Pat Kirwan as they go inside the numbers to break down this matchup.

"I'm feeling better," Romo said, according to the Dallas Morning News. "Every week that goes by gets better and better. Hopefully in about a couple of weeks it'll be back to normal. Until then we have to do some little things to get over it."

Despite the progress, Romo continues to have doubters, even when he's not playing. And this comes a week after Redskins tight end Chris Cooley took great pleasure in Romo's choke job against the Lions in Week 4 (if it somehow wasn't obvious, Cooley was joking).

In related news, Cowboys tight end Jason Witten was asked recently about Cooley's comments on his teammate, his quarterback.

“My granddad taught me when I was younger if you don’t have anything good to say don’t say anything at all," Witten said during an appearance on KTCK in Dallas (via SportsRadioInterviews.com). "I probably shouldn’t say anything. I don’t get that one. I really don’t. Chris has been a good player for a long time. To get to that point I don’t see why that came up. Hey look you can’t worry about that. Trust me. I know Tony doesn’t. That doesn’t affect him at all. It’s disappointing to see in some ways, but hey look it is part of the game and Chris has been a great player in this league for a long time. It’s disappointing to see him say that. That’s part of it.”

If Witten didn't get that, we wonder if he's seen this from a few years ago:


Witten does say "We’ve hung out a few times and been to the Pro Bowl a couple of times together. He’s a nice guy and has a funny personality." But clearly, they have different ideas of what constitutes funny.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're at it, add our RSS Feed.
Posted on: October 5, 2011 7:30 pm
Edited on: October 5, 2011 11:39 pm
 

Cooley: 'There's no personal thing with Romo'

Apparently, there will be no Romo-Cooley cage match. (AP/US PRESSWIRE)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Somehow it wasn't entirely clear that Redskins tight end Chris Cooley was kidding when he said of Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, "It's amazing -- amazing -- to watch him choke like that." Cooley was referring to Dallas' "Hey, let's get up 24 points on the Lions and see if we can lose" game plan, which worked to perfection.

Not helping matters: Cooley was just getting warmed up -- he also said that he wanted to square off against Romo in a cage fight. "For me to beat Tony? I’m gonna be honest, I don’t know what kind of cagefighting skills he has," Cooley said, according to the Washington Post's Dan Steinberg. "I would probably try to incorporate my wrestling ability, like when I was in high school. Obviously it’s been a while, but I didn’t like to beat people fast. I like to embarrass 'em a little bit. Like, take a 24-point lead, and then just play with it a little bit."

In a shocking development, Cooley's comedy shtick went over in Dallas about as well as a Romo pick-six … followed immediately by another one.

Cooley, to his credit, is taking the criticism in stride. Appearing on a podcast with SI.com's Jimmy Traina, he explained how his life has changed in the last 24 hours.

“It’s been actually pretty funny today,” Cooley told Traina, when asked if this thing is actual personal. “I’m getting murdered, MURDERED, by Cowboys fans, which is perfectly fine with me.

“No, there’s no personal thing with Tony Romo. I do a radio show with Chad Dukes and LaVar Arrington every Monday and we joke around and we have some fun, and they kind of ask me questions. People really are surprised when I just talk like a regular person, I guess. I mean, I’m a fan of the game and I’m a guy that cheers for the Redskins. Now, if you wanted me to go on a radio show and say everything politically correct and be boring, I mean, I have no problem doing that. I obviously have the ability to do that. But we just went on and had a little bit of fun.

“They said did I like watching him choke, and yeah, of course I liked watching him choke. An the biggest [criticism] was they beat us last week. Well, obviously. But I still enjoyed that the Cowboys lost [to the Lions]. I play for the Washington Redskins. I don’t see why anyone would think that I wouldn’t enjoy that.”

So there you have it. And you don't have to be a fan of the Redskins or Cooley to appreciate his sense of humor. Seriously, this is hysterical.


And, hey, it wasn't the most ridiculous thing to come out Washington this week. Tim Hightower predicted that the Redskins will be in the Super Bowl. This season.

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Posted on: October 5, 2011 11:40 am
 

Cooley mocks Romo, wants to cagefight him

Posted by Will Brinson

The rivalry between the Cowboys and Redskins is always entertaining, especially when you have characters like Chris Cooley involved. (For those that don't remember Cooley and then-teammate Colt Brennan did a mock video of Jason Witten and Tony Romo doing a "Fantasy Files" video. It's amazing.)

But Cooley might have taken things to a new level this time, mocking the Cowboys choke against Detroit last week and Romo's meltdown. Also, challenging Romo to fight.

"It’s SO good," Cooley said of Romo's play in Week 4, via Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post. "I was watching the scoreboard in St. Louis, and I didn’t see that they’d lost really until they end, I thought they blew them out so I kind of stopped paying attention. It’s amazing, AMAZINGto watch him choke like that.

"I’m just saying, I’m up 24 points in the third quarter, if I’m the head coach, I feel like I could probably just take a knee for the rest of the game, punt it away and there’s no way that Detroit’s gonna drive on you that many times," Cooley said. "The only way you’re gonna give up that many points is turnovers, right? It’s hilarious to watch him throw pick sixes, too, back-to-back. I loved it. But it wouldn’t be as good as my cage fight."

Cooley makes a pretty good point, and the same one I've been screaming about all week -- the Cowboys were up 24 points and weren't running the damn ball. Just because it's a passing league doesn't mean you have to pass. Run the ball. Melt the clock. Win the game. It's a pretty simple formula if you're up 24 points.

Whatever, the point being that Cooley also said he thinks he can take Romo in a cagefighting match. Arrington, per Steinberg, asked Cooley how long it would take to finish Romo off in the classic steel-cage format. The result is, predictably, awesome.

"For me to beat Tony? I’m gonna be honest, I don’t know what kind of cagefighting skills he has," Cooley said. "I would probably try to incorporate my wrestling ability, like when I was in high school. Obviously it’s been a while, but I didn’t like to beat people fast. I like to embarrass 'em a little bit. Like, take a 24-point lead, and then just play with it a little bit."

Well then -- the Redskins/Cowboys rivalry is just taking on a whole new turn of nastiness isn't it? Cooley seems to have already forgetten what happened in Week 3, when the Cowboys won on Monday night. But that's OK, it only makes the fight that much spicier.

With that in mind, let's break down the measurables. Or, at least, the stuff we like to compare between the two guys. To the tape!



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Posted on: September 21, 2011 2:56 pm
Edited on: September 22, 2011 3:31 pm
 

Film Room: Cowboys vs. Redskins preview

Posted by Eye on Football Analyst Andy Benoit



One of the most storied rivalries in pro football is renewed Monday night when the Cowboys welcome the Redskins to Big D for their home opener. Mike Shanahan’s team is a surprising 2-0. The Cowboys, after two close games, are 1-1, ensuring their performance on Monday’s national stage will spark an overreaction from Football America (at 2-1, people will ask if the Cowboys are legit Super Bowl contenders; at 1-2 they’ll ask if Jason Garrett is right for the job).

1. Perpetually Maligned Quarterbacks
Are any other two quarterbacks, fair or unfair, viewed as blunder-prone as Tony Romo and Rex Grossman? If Grossman were a star, he’d be Romo. If Romo were a bum, he’d be Grossman. Their performances this season have been overanalyzed in contrasting extremes.

Everyone took part in National Dump on Romo Week (Sept. 12-18) and pilloried the sixth-year starter for being a “choke artist”. While Romo has made his share of mistakes in crunch time, in reality, prior to the interception he gifted Darrelle Revis in Week 1, the only late-game mistake that 90 percent of fans could instantly identify with Romo was his botched field goal hold in the January ’07 playoff loss at Seattle (a play that had nothing to do with his quarterbacking ability).

Reputations rarely form by accident, though. The truth is, Romo is mistake prone.

He’s mistake prone because he has trouble deciphering defenses before the snap, and he tends to take aggressive action on faulty hunches. This is problematic, especially if Dallas has Super Bowl aspirations. That said, at the end of the day, Romo still has respectable playmaking talent. Hence his 345-yard performance with a fractured rib and punctured lung at San Francisco.

Grossman is on the other end of the spectrum. He’s not a naturally talented playmaker. But he can be functional when properly used. His two performances this season have received mostly positive reviews. He threw for 305 yards against the Giants and 291 against the Cardinals. But he was somewhat inaccurate in Week 1 and benefited from several terrific catches by Redskins receivers.

He also struggled in the face of pocket pressure (fortunately he had just one turnover from it, which didn’t prove to be costly). Grossman came back to earth a bit against Arizona and, given his track record and limited role in Washington’s offense (his reads are defined, his audible powers are minimal), he’ll likely level off over the coming months.


2. Washington’s ground game
The Redskins have shown a commitment to running the ball these first two weeks. After posting lackluster numbers against New York, Tim Hightower was sharp versus Arizona, registering 96 yards on 20 attempts. Hightower is a much better fit for Shanahan’s zone-blocking scheme than he was in Ken Whisenhunt’s pounding approach.

Reason being, Hightower does not have great burst when coming from a standstill, but he has proven to be an effective momentum runner.

A zone-blocking scheme allows for a one-cut downhill run, but as the illustration below shows, the nature of the sliding blocks allows a runner to take a few extra steps in the backfield, which a runner like Hightower needs in order to build momentum before breaking through the line of scrimmage.



Hightower – as well as his backup, fourth-round rookie Roy Helu, who runs with good tempo and changes direction fairly well – benefitted from stellar offensive line play last week. Left guard Kory Lichtensteiger and left tackle Trent Williams were particularly impressive landing blocks on the move and taking angles that created natural running lanes.

3. Tight ends significant
Washington’s offense makes great use of the tight end, in large part because a tight end crossing pattern is a natural outlet off the rollouts and bootlegs that Shanahan’s scheme uses frequently.

While Chris Cooley has had a modicum impact coming off a knee injury, fourth-year pro Fred Davis has emerged as a fluid target in an elevated role. Davis makes good adjustments to the ball and has the athleticism to be effective in space.
 
For the Cowboys, Jason Witten becomes all the more significant with Miles Austin (hamstring) out and Dez Bryant’s (quad) status in question. Witten is the ultimate safety valve. Generally the beneficiary of mismatches created by others outside, he should be able to create a few of his own mismatches inside, as Redskins linebacker London Fletcher tends to struggle covering elite tight ends.
Week 3 NFL Preview

4. The outside ‘backers
DeMarcus Ware has registered more sacks than anyone in pro football over the past five years, and he appears to be even more potent in Rob Ryan’s scheme (Ryan, like Wade Phillips, has aligned Ware primarily on the weak side of the formation, where one-on-one matchups are easier to come by). Opposite Ware, Anthony Spencer (in a contract year) is a stout playside run defender.

But the Cowboys may soon have the second best outside linebacking corps in the NFC East. Brian Orakpo has made two Pro Bowls his first two seasons and has superb strength to compliment his edge speed.

Opposite him, first-round rookie Ryan Kerrigan has flashed monstrous potential through two games. Kerrigan, a high-motored Big Ten player who drew predictable comparisons to Aaron Kampman coming out, has the swiftness to chase plays as a backside run defender and the body control to outmaneuver blockers in the phone booth. He’s a much, much better athlete than many had guessed.

5. Something to keep an eye on ...
The Redskins are a fairly blitz-heavy team, but those blitzes have usually involved safeties. They caught the Cardinals off-guard last week by blitzing their inside linebackers aggressively. Fletcher in particular blitzed with great timing and downhill speed.

His blitzes were done not necessarily in an effort to get sacks, but to make Kevin Kolb move before throwing. Romo is better throwing off movement than Kolb, so perhaps Jim Haslett won’t use this tactic as much in Week 3.

But with the Cowboys having a young offensive line and depleted receiving corps, the reward could be greater than the risk.

So who will win? Check our expert picks for all Week 1 games


Follow @Andy_Benoit on Twitter or contact him at Andy.Benoit-at-NFLTouchdown.com.
Posted on: September 11, 2011 9:51 pm
Edited on: September 11, 2011 9:53 pm
 

Grossman makes us remember his past

R. Grossman led Washington to victory against the NYG (AP).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

When Rex Grossman said the Redskins were going to win the NFC East, I think most of us kind of laughed and shook our heads. Boy, that Rex is a funny one, we might have thought, considering Grossman wasn’t even going to beat out John Beck for the starting quarterback spot.

But then coach Mike Shanahan proclaimed Grossman the starter, and in the Redskins surprising 28-14 win against the Giants on Sunday, perhaps we can begin to understand why Shanahan went with Grossman instead of Beck.

Yes, Beck has more mobility* than Grossman, but he doesn’t have the experience and he hasn’t shown the poise Grossman did today. In holding off the Giants -- who, to be fair, were missing all kinds of defensive starters due to a vicious preseason attack of injuries -- Grossman went 21 of 34 for 305 yards and two touchdowns.

*This is what CBSSports.com wrote after a particularly good preseason performance by Beck, who “showed his athleticism in the first half, a stark contrast to Rex Grossman. Grossman gets rid of the ball faster, Beck holds onto it, knowing he can elude pressure and make plays with his legs.”

Said tight end Chris Cooley after Sunday’s win: "I know it means so much to Rex. He wants to be an outstanding quarterback. ... He deserved to play so well today. I'm so happy for him."

Though Shanahan said, when he named Grossman the starter, that the quarterback position was going to be continuously monitored and reassessed throughout the year, Grossman gave himself a pretty good head start on Beck with his performance Sunday. He wasn’t perfect -- he missed his first four passes, and he threw a couple that could have been intercepted -- but he was good enough to have flashbacks to the good old days.

Said Grossman: “Feeling like I was in Florida again.”

You know, the days when he was a successful starting quarterback. And when his team won a championship.

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Posted on: September 10, 2011 1:25 pm
 

Chris Cooley still questionable to play Sunday

CooleyPosted by Josh Katzowitz

All week long, Redskins TE Chris Cooley has been listed as questionable on the team’s injury report, and because of his balky left knee, he’s been limited in practice (after not playing in any of Washington’s preseason games). So, what’s the deal? The newest starting quarterback (that would be Rex Grossman) -- and the rest of us -- would like to know his status.

“I’m getting better every day,” Cooley said Friday, via the Washington Times.

Of course, that doesn’t tell us anything, which is just the way Redskins coach Mike Shanahan would prefer it.

But there is good news regarding Cooley and his knee injury. He’s lost about 20 pounds and is down to 234, and he could only do so because the injury allowed him to focus on eating right and exercising without having to worry about maintaining his energy for practice.

“It’s a huge benefit to me,” he said. “The responsibilities that the tight end has in the run blocking scheme are a little bit different because of the zone blocking. It’s more about quickness and being able to get your hands on guys and be able to stay with guys.

“I think I’ll be completely fine in the run game. I think I’ll feel better when I’m running routes. I’m assuming I’ll have more endurance taking 20 pounds of weight off.”

If Cooley doesn’t play, look for No. 2 tight end Fred Davis to take over those snaps vs. the Giants. After losing about 15 pounds this offseason, Davis had an impressive training camp, so the Redskins should feel good that the drop-off at the tight end spot shouldn’t be too drastic (of course, they would be going from a Pro Bowler in Cooley to more of an afterthought in Davis).

But since even Cooley admits the Eagles are the team to beat in the NFC East, the Redskins had better hope he’s on the field Sunday -- or shortly thereafter.

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Posted on: September 6, 2011 1:57 pm
 

Cooley: Eagles are 'team to beat' in NFC East

Skins TE Chris Cooley calls Eagles "the team to beat" in the NFC East. (Getty Images)
Posted by Ryan Wilson

Chris Cooley is a lot of things -- a Pro Bowler, an artist and perhaps, above all else, brutally honest.

The Redskins tight end joined 106.7 The Fan in DC to talk about the upcoming season, which is now just two days away (!). And when he was asked about the NFC East, Cooley didn't rattle off the usual "Everybody's 0-0, we're going to give 110 percent but only while taking it one day at a time" cliches. Instead he told the truth and, well, it was a refreshing change of pace.

“I think Philly’s the team to beat, looking at what they’ve done right now," Cooley said, via SportsRadioInterviews.com. "But when you look at the NFL and you look at the East, everyone can be very good. I wouldn’t be surprised, any way, to see New York and Dallas both being excellent football teams. It’s a tough division and it always will be, but when you look at what Philly did and when you look at the players they have and coming off the year they had last year, I think they’re a very good football team. Obviously we’re not the team to beat based on the way we played last year and what we’ve done over the past couple years.”

Couldn't agree more. But for some reason, it's taboo to say such things publicly, even if everybody's thinking it.

While no one disputes that the Eagles are the preseason front runners, they're not without issues. Michael Vick might insist that you can't design a defense to stop him, but we don't think he was taking his suspect offensive line into account when he made those comments.

We wrote last week that Philly drafted Danny Watkins in the first round and immediately installed him at right guard. Watkins, 26, was considered the most NFL-ready o-lineman in the 2011 draft, which is exactly why the Eagles selected him with the 23rd overall pick. But like most rookies, the transition hasn't been easy. "It's definitely overwhelming. That's for sure. Compared to what I was doing before this, I was just a regular working guy," said Watkins, a former firefighter in West Kelowana, British Columbia. "Now, I've got microphones stuffed in my face and everything. It's an adjustment, that's for sure, in every aspect."

Watkins was playing next to right tackle King Dunlap early in the preseason but that didn't last; left guard Todd Herremans replaced Dunlap at right tackle last week and Evan Mathis took over for Herremans at left guard. Oh, and Philly's starting a rookie center in Jason Kelce.

And that, along with new and improved* Rex Grossman now quarterbacking the Redskins, has Cooley thinking that, even if the Eagles are the team to beat, the NFC East is wide open.

“Yeah I have no question -- any team could win the division now. You could say any team would win it and I wouldn’t be surprised.”

* mileage may vary

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com