Tag:Jerry Jones
Posted on: January 2, 2012 7:34 pm
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Garrett: Rob Ryan is 'worthy' of being head coach

Rob Ryan's stock took a hit with Dallas' recent performance. (Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

After the way the Cowboys (and the Cowboys defense, in particular) played Sunday night against the Giants, it would be fair to say that defensive coordinator Rob Ryan didn't do much to boost his stock as head-coaching material in 2012.

When the Jaguars fired Jack Del Rio in November, Ryan made our early list of possible replacements. But in the five weeks since, the Cowboys have gone 1-4, including three NFC East losses as well as the debacle in the valley of the sun. The losses weren't entirely his fault, but it's not like the defense played lights-out, either.

According to Football Outsiders' metrics, Dallas' defense ranked 16th overall (19th against the pass, 8th against the run). It's the definition of mediocrity, but given Ryan's pedigree -- not to mention his loquaciousness -- it's wholly underwhelming. And it's why we'd expect teams in need of a head coach to look elsewhere. In fact, we wouldn't be surprised if Ryan was relieved of his duties in Dallas, although that doesn't look like it'll happen (he signed a multi-year deal last season).

On Monday, Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett (his job's safe too, says owner Jerry Jones) was asked about the possibility of Ryan landing a head-coaching gig.

"Well, if Rob has an opportunity to go be a head coach somewhere, I think that’s a great thing for Rob, and we certainly would encourage that," Garrett said via ESPNDallas.com.

You almost get the impression that Garrett would welcome the opportunity to fill Ryan's job.

"I think he’s worthy of being a head coach in this league," he continued. "I think he does an outstanding job as a coordinator, he’s an excellent leader, he’s an excellent coach, and we would encourage that for him. I think it’s a great opportunity for him. I think that’s part of the process. You allow for that to happen if that opportunity does exist, and then we would have to obviously replace him and make some decisions of our own. But, we certainly love having him as our coordinator, and we’re excited about our opportunity to grow in that area for next year."

ESPNDallas.com's Calvin Watkins adds that if Ryan somehow manages to land a job as an NFL head coach, "linebackers coach Matt Eberflus, whom Ryan called his right-hand man, could get elevated to coordinator. Eberflus could also leave to become Ryan's defensive coordinator/assistant head coach should he get a head coaching position."

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Posted on: January 1, 2012 11:39 pm
Edited on: January 2, 2012 8:53 pm
 

Sorting the Sunday Pile, Week 17: Brees for MVP?

Posted by Will Brinson


Sorting the Sunday Pile takes all of Sunday's NFL action, figures out the winners and losers and asks the big questions. Send your complaints, questions and comments to Will Brinson on Twitter. Listen to the Pick-Six Podcast Week 17 recap below and don't forget to
subscribe via iTunes
.

Drew Brees for MVP?

Over the next month, until the MVP is announced before the Super Bowl, there's going to be an intense debate about whether or not Drew Brees' incredible hot streak to close out the season vaulted him past Aaron Rodgers for the MVP award.

Four weeks ago, this wasn't a debate. Even with Brees having a monster year, the Packers were undefeated and Rodgers was eviscerating defenses on a weekly basis.

Their numbers were close enough to tell anyone suggesting a debate to kindly close their piehole.

Now? Well it's a lot closer than it was. The numbers (below) make that much obvious even though the actual premises behind the argument are just frustrating from the sense of measuring a season by its full extent.

Player
Comp % Pass Yards
Pass TDs INT
W-L
Aaron Rodgers
68.3 4,643 45 6 14-1
Drew Brees
71.2 5,476 46 14 13-3

The bigger problem for Rodgers may be a confluence of events around 4:00pm ET Sunday afternoon: as Brees was throwing his fifth touchdown pass (hey, just one more than Rodgers!), Packers backup Matt Flynn was going absolutely bananas against the Lions, slicing up Detroit's secondary for six touchdowns and 480 yards, a Packers franchise record.

Take a look at the list of the guys who've thrown for six teeters in a game since the merger. Spoiler alert: it's short, and full of awesome quarterbacks.

Flynn's on the list now and as a result, he's blatantly going to cost Rodgers a ton of "Well if the backup can do that" votes, while Brees staying in much longer than needed against the Panthers netted him a significant boost in the eyes of "What have you done for me lately?" voters.

But let's get one thing out of the way first: Aaron Rodgers is not a "system quarterback." Yeah, there's actually a debate raging as to whether he is or not. And if you believe that Rodgers is only successful because of the Packers "system" then you're as foolish as anyone who thought Tom Brady was a system quarterback when Matt Cassel had a big year filling in for the Patriots.

Every team has a "system" on offense and some -- the Packers and Patriots stand out -- are better than others. But Flynn's a good quarterback who's succeeded before (he nearly beat the Patriots in prime time last year), has a great pedigree (BCS title anyone?) and has spent multiple years working behind Rodgers. That's not going to make him worse. There's a reason the Packers, winners of 21 of 22 games since LAST Christmas, have him on the roster. And it's not because he makes a mean gumbo.

Look, less than two weeks ago, Rodgers carved up a very (very) good Bears defense on Christmas night. All season long he commanded the Packers offense like a conductor, made ridiculous throws that no one else in the NFL can make and generally let the world pencil his name in for MVP. 

His season's been so magnificent that it's somehow getting railroaded by the Packers losing to the Chiefs late (but don't forget, the Saints lost to the Rams and, uh, the Packers), sitting out Week 17 (a smart move with homefield clinched) and Sean Payton and Brees running up the score in order to break records (which is fine, but let's call it what it is).

There's no question that Drew Brees is a viable MVP candidate. He's had an all-time season in 2011. But judging the MVP race based on a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately attitude is shortsighted, and it diminishes the incredible season Rodgers had in Green Bay.

Winners

Tom Coughlin: Coughlin won the NFC East, despite sitting on the hot seat most of the season, and the Giants suddenly have a look of a team that could absolutely be a playoff sleeper. They can rush the passer mercilessly when they get hot, Victor Cruz is turning into a salsa-dancing monster and Eli Manning's smoking hot right now. Given the success wild-card teams have had in recent years -- hello, 2007 Giants! -- it would be foolish to count them out.

Maurice Jones-Drew:
"Mojo" ripped off a season-high 169 rushing yards on Sunday against Indy. That not only gave him the NFL rushing title for 2011, but also gave him the Jaguars single-season record for rushing yards, as he broke Fred Taylor's previous high of 1,572 in 2003. In a very dismal season for Jacksonville's offense, MJD's been an absolute workhorse. He's up there with Tony Boselli, Fred Taylor and Jimmy Smith in terms of all-time greats for the Jaguars.

Jason Taylor
: The only way Taylor's exit -- as a Dolphin, on the shoulders of his teammates after taking down the Jets -- could have been better is if the fumble he returned for a touchdown wasn't overturned. Taylor's a classy dude, a gamer, a hell of a dancer and at sixth all-time on the sack-leader list (not to mention a media favorite!), he'll find his way into Canton. Awesome career.

Matt Flynn: As noted above, Flynn had a decent day on Sunday. That's going to translate well when he becomes an unrestricted free agent and potentially becomes the most desirable quarterback on the market. There are lots of teams that need a quarterback and Flynn will be on everyone's radar just as much as Robert Griffin III and Andrew Luck. If someone falls in love with him, he might get Kevin Kolb money.

Cincinnati Bengals: Nothing like losing and still ending up in the winner's column, huh? The Bengals played the Ravens well on Sunday but Ray Rice was too much for them. Fortunately, KC beat Denver (or, if you prefer, San Diego beat Oakland) and the Bengals backed their way into a playoff matchup against a Texans team that will either start T.J. Yates or Jake Delhomme.

Sanchez is no lock for the Big Apple in 2012. (AP)

Losers

Mark Sanchez: The Jets never even got a shot at backdooring their way into the playoffs, as Sanchez picked apart his own offense and gave the Dolphins nine points off of three interceptions, two of which were to defensive lineman Randy Starks. It wouldn't ultimately matter, because the Titans won and eliminated Rex Ryan's crew, but anyone who justified Sanchez' performance with the old "He just wins!" argument has packed up their shanty and moved to Denver to make that argument. He didn't play like a $14 million quarterback this year -- even though he got paid like one -- and it would almost be surprising if the Jets didn't make a swap at the position.

Detroit Lions: They haven't won at Lambeau since 1991 now, dropping a mind-blowing 20 consecutive games at the Packers homefield. Of course, that's not why they're on this list, although it doesn't help. They're on this list because they just gave up 480 passing yards to the Packers backup and losing in Green Bay (coupled with Atlanta rumbling over the Bucs) means Detroit's next game will be in New Orleans. Against Drew Brees. You should go ahead and put your mortgage on the over.

Raheem Morris: I'm hesitant to include Morris because I'm pretty sure he'll have already been fired by time I hit publish. I mean, if there was ever a time not to let your opponent get out to a 42-0 lead it's definitely the final game of the season when you're riding a nine-game losing streak and barely clinging to your job.

Rob Ryan: Dallas looked absolutely flat early on Sunday night and somehow managed to storm back on the Giants, only to have the secondary shredded by Eli Manning when they cut the lead to seven points. Ryan's defense hasn't backed up his mouth all season long and even though you want your coach to make better late-game decisions and you don't want your quarterback turning the ball over late, there

John Elway: Kyle Orton didn't do anything crazy like throw for 500 yards to beat the Broncos on Sunday, but they win that game against Tyler Palko. Not that it mattered, because the Broncos made the playoffs anyway when the Chargers topped the Raiders. But Elway put himself in the position to miss the postseason by releasing Orton and even if it helped the team's chemistry they're barely hanging on right now and look like a lock for a first-round exit.

The Big Questions

 
The Broncos didn't exactly storm into the playoffs. (AP)

1. Is the Tim Tebow magic finally gone?
It just might be. The Broncos still made the playoffs, of course, and anything can happen once you get to the postseason. But Denver limped their way there, backing into a title at 8-8 on a three-game skid. Teams seem to have figured out that playing press-man coverage against Tebow severely limits what he can do on offense (he's much better at picking apart zones and makes fewer mistakes) and Denver proved that if they can't generate turnovers, they're in trouble. It's hard to imagine them beating the Steelers, even at home.

2. Who's the AFC favorite going forward?
The Ravens are my pick. They get homefield up to the AFC Championship and only lose it then if they have to play the Patriots. They've beaten the Bengals twice and they've beaten the Steelers twice. They've beaten New England in New England in the playoffs before, and the Pats have no defense. And the Ravens are nightmare matchups in Baltimore for Houston and Denver, neither of whom can keep pace if the Ravens start scoring.

3. How about the NFC?
Say what you want about how hot the Saints are -- and they are white hot -- but the Packers are still the favorites. They've got homefield throughout, they have two weeks to rest their starters and they can score on anyone. One bad week against the Chiefs does not a 15-1 team unseat. Their defense isn't great, but few teams do have a good defense and if they matchup against New Orleans in the NFC Championship Game, it's going down at Lambeau Field.

4. Who're the most dangerous non-playoff teams in 2012?
Eagles, Panthers and Chargers for me. The Snooze Buttons finished 8-8 and if they'd had a full offseason, they might have won the NFC East. Their dominant defense down the stretch is reason for optimism if you're an Eagles fan. Carolina needs defense, but they suffered an insane amount of injury-related attrition in 2011 and if they draft all defense and get healthy, they can contend in the NFC South. Plus: Cam Newton. And the Bolts showed this year they could be as good as playoff teams but just made stupid mistakes. A new coach could clear those problems up.

5. Any chance Jerry Jones changes his mind on Jason Garrett?
Jones has been incredibly supportive of Garrett so probably not. But someone's taking the fall for the Cowboys not making the playoffs and the best guess here is that it's Rob Ryan. He runs his mouth constantly and his defense doesn't back up all the talk -- their secondary got absolutely shredded by Eli Manning right after they got back into the game Sunday night.

6. What is Stevie Johnson thinking with his celebrations?

He's not thinking, actually. Johnson's scheduled to be a free agent in what's a really, really deep wide receiver class in 2012 and reportedly wants $7.5 million. The only problem is he's now developed a stigma for dropping really important catches and oftentimes costing his teams 15 yards with penalties like he did on Sunday. Wishing everyone "Happy New Years!" is a cool thing to do ... when it's not bad for your job and you're looking for a raise. Johnson's one of the most fun and interesting guys in the NFL but he has to be smarter than that.

7. How smart do the Steelers look for that Santonio Holmes trade now?
You don't even know the half of it. Not only did the dump a guy who's clearly a locker room distraction (Holmes) and not LaDainian Tomlinson-approved as a captain, but Pittsburgh allowed Mike Wallace to emerge as one of the best wideouts in the game and let someone else (the Jets) pick up the tab for Holmes' long-term deal. Oh, and in case you didn't know, they used the pick they got from the Jets to draft 2011 breakout wide receiver Antonio Brown

8. Should my team draft a running back early this year?
Negative, ghostrider, the pattern is full. Full of guys who weren't drafted in the first round leading the league in rushing anyway.

Player
2011 Rush Yards
2011 Rush YPG
2011 Rush TDs
2011 YPC
Year/Round/Pick
Maurice Jones-Drew
1,606 100.4 8 4.7 2006/2/60th
LeSean McCoy
1,309 87.3 17 4.8 2009/2/53rd
Arian Foster
1,224 94.2 10 4.4 2009/None/UFA
Frank Gore
1,211 75.7 8 4.3 2008/2/55
Ray Rice
1,173 78.2 10 4.4 2005/3/65

This doesn't mean teams should avoid drafting someone who's a special talent in college (see: Adrian Peterson) but there's a real sweet spot developing in the draft for undersized, pass-catching running backs (go ahead and add in Jamaal Charles too) who turn out to be a lot better than where they were drafted.

9. How's that Carson Palmer trade working out now?
Not so good. The Raiders could have arguably won the trade if they made the playoffs. All they had to do was beat a downtrodden Chargers team at home and they couldn't, so they miss the postseason and give up a first-round pick and a second-round pick to the Bengals (who made the playoffs, naturally). With Palmer, the Raiders were 6-4 and he threw 13 touchdowns and 16 picks. Whoops. Add in the fact that Hue Jackson just coached the most-penalized team in NFL history and he has some explaining to do.

10. Is Romeo Crennel the Chiefs next head coach?
Hard to imagine he's not. KC finished 6-9 on the season and two of those wins were with Crennel in charge; they also nearly beat Oakland in Week 16 too. Surely Scott Pioli thinks that with Crennel in charge this season and better injury luck the Chiefs would've won the division. He might be right, actually, and that's why Crennel will get the gig.

11. How many records did the Saints break on Sunday?
Eleventy billion or thereabouts. Brees and Sean Payton were basically rubber-stamping their signatures all over the NFL's offensive record books. They set the record for points scored in a season, most points scored at home in a season, most passing yards in a season (Brees' own record), best completion percentage in a season (again, Brees'), most completions in a season, most all-purpose yards in a single season (Darren Sproles owns it) and most receiving yards by a tight end in a season (only Rob Gronkowski broke that one a little while later). I can't confirm it, but I'm pretty sure the Saints broke the record for most broken records as well.

GIF O' THE WEEK

Bryan Braman is going to get fined for a helmet-to-helmet hit that he made ... without a helmet.

Worth 1,000 Words


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Posted on: January 1, 2012 12:26 pm
Edited on: January 1, 2012 1:01 pm
 

Casserly: Coughlin will return as Giants coach

Coughlin

By Josh Katzowitz

No matter which head coach loses tonight’s Giants-Cowboys game, neither Tom Coughlin nor Jason Garrett will have to worry about looking for a new job.

According to CBS Sports' Charley Casserly, Coughlin WILL be back next year as head coach entering the last year of his contract, though a decision has not been made on an extension.

It's a good bet that the Giants 29-14 win last week was one reason Giants ownership was convinced that Coughlin needs to be retained. And considering soon-to-be-former Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver said his biggest regret was firing Coughlin about a decade ago, that’s probably a good move by the Mara family.

Already this week, Dallas owner Jerry Jones said Garrett’s job is secure no matter what the score of today’s game is.

"We're just getting started with Jason," Jones said. "It's just not the case at all. Nobody is worried about the coach's job here. We'll answer this thing as many ways as you want to answer it with as many circumstances, his job has no bearing and is not a part of this ballgame.”


Follow all the Week 17 action live: Inactives | Scoreboard

1 p.m. ET games:
DET-GB | TEN-HOU | IND-JAC | NYJ-MIA | CHI-MIN | BUF-NE | CAR-NO | WAS-PHI | SF-STL

4 p.m. ET games:
TB-ATL | BAL-CIN | PIT-CLE | SEA-ARI | KC-DEN | SD-OAK




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Posted on: December 31, 2011 6:27 pm
 

Jones: Dez Bryant HAS paid off his debts

BryantBy Josh Katzowitz

A couple days ago, we told you about how Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant supposedly owed a micro-finance company $50,000 out of an original $100,000 loan.

Endurance Capital Fund, which helps athletes and entertainers buy large luxury items, went so far as to release a statement to the Boston Herald that said, “"We have reached out to everybody from Mr. Bryant’s agent to his mortgage broker to try to get this debt repaid.  Everyone acknowledges the debt, but nobody will come forward to repay it. This is a unique and disappointing experience. We have never had a client refuse to repay their debt before.”

But Cowboys owner Jerry Jones says that isn’t true. And he says Bryant is up to date on his debt payments.

"I've got some familiarity with the details, quite a bit familiarity with the details of this business that he had this week off the field,” Jones said on his weekly radio show (via the Dallas Morning News). "I would say that that is the reason you have disagreements. I know firsthand that the bill was paid and accepted, so I can't say and wouldn't say any more about that."

While Bryant has had numerous problems off the field (he’s been sued by jewelers and cited for wearing his pants too low in a mall, and he’s weirdly ranted and raved on the sidelines of games), Jones says he’s proud of Bryant.

"His maturation over the last two years has been outstanding,” Jones said. “Relative to his habits with meetings, on time, timeliness, preparation and the kinds of things we were concerned about when we drafted him he's made tremendous progress."

And if he’s actually paying off his debts without having to go to court, that’s another step in the right direction.

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Posted on: December 30, 2011 4:32 pm
Edited on: December 30, 2011 8:18 pm
 

Jones: Romo 'full strength,' Garrett's job secure

Jerry Jones says Jason Garrett's not going anywhere. (Getty Images)
By Eye on Football staff

Much has been made about the possibility that Jerry Jones could bail on first-year Cowboys coach Jason Garrett if Dallas misses the playoffs, primarily because of the notable and numerous fourth-quarter collapses the Cowboys suffered this year.

However, our own Mike Freeman wrote Friday that there's a "zero percent" chance Garrett's fired, and he's not alone: Jones called the notion that he'd fire Garrett "ridiculous" regardless of the outcome of Sunday's NFC East championship game.

And since Jones is looking into his crystal ball, he's also ready to tell Cowboys fans this: not only will Tony Romo play Sunday, but he'll be 100 percent when he takes the field.

"He's going to be playing at full strength," Jones said on KRLD-FM Friday morning (via ESPN Dallas). "It's just a very big-time feel-good to know that we're going to be going in with this kind of quarterbacking. He's had an outstanding year. He's a top, top quarterback and he's got a good team around him. In my belief, a very good team around him, so the stage is set for us to play well in a big game."

Though Romo, who's listed as probable on this week's injury report, wore a wrap on his injured hand during practice Friday, ESPN Dallas reports that he likel won't wear any protection on his throwing hand Sunday, because the swelling has decreased.

"Romo is where we had dreamed that he would be and hoped he would be relative to after his injury last week," Jones said. "So I feel good there. It should be even better by Sunday night and he's getting good work in."

He feels the same way about his head coach. As in, Garrett is getting in good work and that he's not going anywhere.

"That's just ridiculous. We're just getting started with Jason," Jerry Jones said on 105.3 FM, per Brandon George of the Dallas Morning News. "It's just not the case at all. Nobody is worried about the coach's job here. We'll answer this thing as many ways as you want to answer it with as many circumstances, his job has no bearing and is not a part of this ballgame.

"Yes, he's going to be our coach next year period no matter what the score is."


This isn't the first time Jones has gotten Garrett's back; two weeks ago, Jones said Garrett wasn't on the hot seat.

But Jerry's also said that not making the playoffs would be a "real serious career disappointment" given the way Romo's played in 2011. And Jerry also pulled a much-criticized move when he rolled down to the sidelines against Philly on Christmas Eve to inform Garrett that the game underway had been rendered meaningless.

(For my money, if you own an NFL team and preside as GM and the guy you're paying a lot of money to play quarterback gets hurt and the outcome of the game is rendered irrelevant, you can communicate with your coach in any manner you want. Call, write, send a carrier pigeon, record a message on the Cowboys Stadium Jumbotron. Whatever. It's your cash.)

Some folks believe Jones would consider taking a different route if Jeff Fisher is readily available and willing to come to Dallas, but does that really accomplish what Jerry wants (read: stability and success) in 2012? Because it might not.

Garrett's made some serious gaffes this year, as I've noted, but he's also coached great games at times, and he's arguably just a few fourth-quarter miscues from having the Cowboys well over 10 wins.

If Jones believes he's the long-term answer as a head coach -- and he clearly does -- then he can't bail on Garrett after just one year. Which is precisely why he won't.


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Posted on: December 26, 2011 9:40 pm
Edited on: December 26, 2011 9:40 pm
 

Jerry Jones draws criticism for sideline presence

Jones is 'amazed' anyone cares that he's patrolling the sidelines during games. (Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

Meddlesome is a word often used to describe owner Jerry Jones because of his hands-on approach to running the Cowboys. This approach includes Jones standing on the sidelines during games, and if he thinks it's warranted, talking to the head coach. This is exactly what happened Saturday.

Jones has since taken criticism for -- wait for it -- meddling, instead of letting his coach, you know, coach. (To be fair, Jones has reason for concern; Jason Garrett iced his own kicker in a loss to the Cardinals and Jones questioned Garrett's conservative play-calling against the Patriots earlier this season.)

After Romo hit his right hand on the helmet of an Eagles defender in the first quarter Saturday, Jones spoke face to face with Garrett on the sidelines about the Cowboys quarterback.

"You communicate a lot of different ways," Jones said during a radio interview with The Ticket (KTCK-AM 1310) via The Dallas Morning News. "It isn’t just words. It’s body language, it’s everything. So it’s important to me, when I’m down there, to be evaluating what’s going on on the sideline, and it’s important to me to be communicating with anything I’m about on the sideline.

"In this particular case, I did want nothing to drop between the lines communication-wise. We had talked about clearly what would happen if the Giants won, what we would be doing with Felix [Jones] during this ballgame and the need to have him healthy if we could do anything about it next week. But what we didn’t talk about was what if something happened and there was a question mark about [Tony] Romo, how that would be handled. That’s Jason’s decision, but he doesn’t need to be making that one by himself.

"So I wanted to, very briefly, step down there with just a few minutes gone in the first quarter, sit there and say, 'Here’s the lay of the land. Romo’s got a hand injury, but it looks like we’re going to have him for New York. Felix is there. You make the decision, but our emphasis should be on New York.'"

Jones went on to say that "I’ve talked to every head coach during a ballgame, on the sideline, that we’ve ever had with the Dallas Cowboys," which makes it even more amazing that Bill Parcells lasted four seasons in Dallas.

Good news, however: Jones says these impromptu get-togethers aren't about play-calling or offensive philosophy, which is too bad because Garrett could then blame the owner for the what happened in Arizona and New England.

"It has amazed me to be criticized for really walking down on the floor of the company or walking into the business that we’re doing, not just the Dallas Cowboys, and not pick up the trash or be interested in how that guy’s treating customers,” Jones explained. “The more involved your top management, the more involved ownership can be, I’ve always thought made the best way for it to work. ...

"You didn’t see that kind of criticism very early on, but we were winning Super Bowls. And it was the same exact way that we handled our decision-making and the exact same way that we handled our ultimate information gathering system. We’ve been doing it ever since I owned the team. The exact same way."

But that's the point: you can do what you want when you're winning. When you're struggling, everything's open to scrutiny.

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Posted on: December 26, 2011 2:04 pm
Edited on: December 26, 2011 2:17 pm
 

Report: Tony Romo 'fine,' no new QB for Cowboys

Romo reportedly is 'fine' for Week 17's game. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

Tony Romo's hand had a nasty run-in with Jason Babin's helmet on Saturday during Dallas' 20-7 loss to Philly, and the result was similar to getting hit in the mouth with your grandmother's green bean casserole: swelling of awkward proportions.

As such, there are plenty of Cowboys fans concerned about Romo's status for Week 17's division-deciding matchup against the Giants. But reports indicate that Romo will be "fine" and that the Cowboys won't pursue any free agent quarterbacks.

Week 16 Recap

That's according to Ed Werder of ESPN, who reports that Dallas isn't seeking to ink a veteran quarterback, which means they likely believe Romo's capable of starting -- and beating -- the Giants on Sunday.

"He will be fine," a source told Werder.

Romo said on Saturday that he could've returned to the game if the Cowboys needed a win to clinch the division and/or the outcome of the Cowboys game affected the playoff race at all.

"I would've tried very hard," Romo said. "No question. I did a little bit but the coaching staff decided against that."

Good for the coaching staff -- letting Romo play in a meaningless game with a busted hand would've been irresponsible. It stinks for people who bet on the Cowboys, it stinks for fantasy owners, it stinks for Romo's competitive nature and it stinks for him trying to post the best numbers of his career.

But it was a smart decision by Jason Garrett to keep Romo on the sidelines, and if it pays off with his quarterback being healthy and beating the Giants to win the NFC East, it'll look ever smarter.


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Posted on: December 20, 2011 10:11 pm
Edited on: December 21, 2011 9:03 am
 

Jerry Jones is 'scared' of Eagles right now

Jerry Jones is 'scared' of Philly this weekend.(US Presswire)
By Will Brinson

The NFC East's been a wild, wild roller-coaster ride this season with every team but the Eagles (the prohibitive preseason favorite) holding sole possession of first place at one point in time.

To wit: Two weeks ago, the Cowboys had their dreams shattered by the Giants on Sunday night ... only to have the Giants pick up the pieces and put it all back together when they folded at home against the Redskins in Week 15. Like I said, crazy. So it's no surprise that Jerry Jones is "scared" of the Eagles when they come into Dallas on Christmas Eve.

"After the butt-kicking they gave us up in Philadelphia, I'm scared," Jones said on KRLD-FM Tuesday, via Marc Sessler of NFL.com. "It's that kind of feeling. The respect turns into being afraid of what they can do to you if you have some breakdowns out there -- so you can put that 'scared' there if you want to.

"I think sometimes I know I do my best when I'm scared."

Unfortunately for Jones, he won't be playing, so however he does may not matter. (Unless in light of recent clock management issues he's decided to wire his owner's box with a line to Jason Garrett's headset.)


It will matter how his players do, though, and they also have every right to be scared. One, the Eagles crushed the Cowboys the last time they played. Two, the Eagles are pretty warm right now and still -- somehow -- in contention to win the division.

And three, a loss would give the Giants a chance to steal first place in the division back and set up a win-or-go-home matchup in New York in Week 17. If they lose that game, the biggest fear for plenty of people will be losing their jobs. And that's reason enough to be scared right now.

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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