Tag:Dallas Cowboys
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.


For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, Like Us on Facebook, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're add it, add our RSS Feed.
Posted on: December 30, 2011 2:56 pm
 

Pick-Six Podcast: Week 17 preview, coach carousel

By Will Brinson & Ryan Wilson

Our last weekly preview of the season is also the last one of 2011 (is the "see you next year!" joke ever funny?). We hope you enjoyed it this year and if you've got anything you'd like to see improved/changed/worked on whatever, let us know.

In the meantime, we break down the all the big games from Week 17 and wonder if the Bengals can beat the Ravens, who this game means the most for, how much Anquan Boldin's loss hurts Baltimore and who's to blame for the Jets debacle, the chances of the Raiders and Broncos making the playoffs and whether or not Tim Tebow should be the Broncos starter going forward.

Then we take a look at what coaches are on the hot seat, who's likely to be fired on Monday, plus much, much more.

Did we mention that you should subscribe to the podcast via iTunes?

If you can't listen to the podcast below, download it here. And if you'd like to keep working while listening in your browser, pop that puppy out in a new tab here.



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: December 30, 2011 11:00 am
 

NFC East gets Taiwanese animation video treatment

Taiwan really respects the owners of the NFC East. (YouTube.com)
By Will Brinson

On Sunday night, the Giants and Cowboys will square off in the "NFC East championship game" -- the winner gets a trip to the playoffs, and the loser's got some serious questions to answer about how 2011 went down.

As with anything that draws attention in American, the folks at Next Media Animation decided to break down the matchup, Taiwanese animation style.

The video below, as you can tell from the photo above, should make the owners of the NFC East teams very happy. There's Dan Snyder as a baby, Jerry Jones breathing fire and getting insulted -- "they won't win anything until he dies" -- before collapsing on the field, Eli Manning digging his own grave and just for fun, Michael Vick riding an eagle while teams shoot shotguns at him.

And yes, the Cowboys are apparently considered chokers in any language.



For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, Like Us on Facebook, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're add it, add our RSS Feed.
Posted on: December 30, 2011 9:31 am
 

Pick-Six Podcast: Herzlich + Week 17 film room

By Will Brinson & Ryan Wilson

The holiday season's had us off our game when it comes to podcasting (you try talking into a microphone when you've got 14 family members screaming in the background), but we've got a long one to get you through your Friday right now.

Andy Benoit joins Will to break down the NFC East "championship game" on Sunday night and compare/contrast Eli Manning and Tony Romo.

Ryan then chats up Giants linebacker Mark Herzlich about his first year in the NFL, being in the thick of a playoff hunt and how his work with Gatorade prepared him for the NFL.

Then Will and Andy break down all the remaining big games and discuss whether the Bengals can upset the Ravens, if the Jets are actually worthy of the playoffs, if the Broncos deserve to get beat by Kyle Orton, if Cam Newton's first year is the best rookie season ever, and much more.

Finally, Wilson talks to Michael David Smith of PFT about the Lions finally making it back to the playoffs and the week that was in the NFL. It's a jam-packed, holiday bonus show.

Did we mention that you should subscribe to the podcast via iTunes?

If you can't listen to the podcast below, download it here. And if you'd like to keep working while listening in your browser, pop that puppy out in a new tab here.



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: December 29, 2011 2:51 pm
 

Tony Romo practices with wrap, likely to start

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

The primary concern for Sunday night's NFC East "championship game" is the hand of Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo. Last we left Romo, he was reportedly "fine" and looked like he would start on Sunday against the Giants.

Our Cowboys Rapid Reporter Nick Eatman lends further credence to the belief that Romo will play, reporting that Romo practiced on Thursday with a "light wrap" on his hand and is now "likely" to start.

The issue for the Cowboys and Romo is the amount of swelling in the quarterback's hand. If he's unable to properly grip and throw the ball, then Dallas could struggle.

And if the injury makes him tentative in the pocket, then the Giants pass rush could certainly ramp up the pressure on Dallas offense.

But the news that Romo's at least able to practice and test out the strength he's got with a banged-up hand is huge. Though Stephen McGee didn't look like the worst quarterback in the world last Saturday afternoon, Dallas offense simply isn't the same when Romo's not on the field.

Knocking him out of the game would all but ensure that the Giants took home the division title this season.



For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, Like Us on Facebook, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're add it, add our RSS Feed.
Posted on: December 29, 2011 11:06 am
 

Film Room: Giants vs. Cowboys preview


Posted by Eye on Football Analyst Andy Benoit


An NFC East championship game in primetime – no further introduction needed. Here’s the breakdown.

1. Reviewing Week 14
These teams gave us a classic Sunday night showdown just a few weeks ago. That contest was defined by mistakes more than anything. Tony Romo posted good numbers but missed a few throws that would have changed the outcome. His only completion to Dez Bryant was a 50-yard touchdown against a blown coverage.

The Cowboys defense blew several coverages of its own, leading to a 400-yard night for Eli Manning and prompting Rob Ryan later to scale back the complexity of his scheme in 2:00 type situations. Big-time throws against poor pass defense was why a game that was 34-22 Cowboys with under 6:00 to play wound up being 37-34 Giants.

2. The star quarterbacks in big games
The common perception is that Eli Manning is a big game riser and Tony Romo is a big game faller. The Week 14 battle only reaffirmed this; Manning was absolutely magnificent on the final two touchdown drives, fitting balls into tight windows and, as he’d been doing all night, quickly diagnosing and dissecting the Cowboys’ Byzantine blitzes. Romo, on the other hand, missed a third-and-five throw to Miles Austin with 2:25 remaining that would have sealed the win.

That throw came against an all-out, Cover 0 blitz. In the past, Romo’s inability to recognize blitzes before and after the snap often led to his blunders. Those issues, however, have been largely corrected this season. And yet, because of what happened against the Jets in Week 1, and because of the interception-riddled second half meltdown against the Lions in Week 4, Romo’s reputation remains that of a choker.

That’s mostly an unfair and overly simplistic characterization of a quality veteran. If not for the botched field goal hold at Seattle in the ’06 wild card loss – a play that had nothing to do with quarterbacking skills – Romo almost certainly wouldn’t be thought of as a late-game anything.
 
That said, Romo has indeed made some mistakes in critical moments. Most of those have been due to defenses confounding him with false looks. The broadcast viewers might tie this to Romo feeling stressed in crunch time; the film viewers tie it back to Romo’s mediocrity at reading defenses before the snap. When you’re a sandlot player, you’re reactionary. A reactionary player is much easier to trick – especially late in games after he’s gotten comfortable reacting to certain looks the same way.

This same concept applies in the other direction with Manning. He’s a splendid field general, audibling at the line of scrimmage, running the no-huddle offense and trusting his eyes and underrated arm strength in the face of pressure. While reactive quarterbacking is prone to defensive manipulation late in games, proactive quarterbacking is apt for defensive manipulation. You change your defensive looks and play aggressively to bait a reactionary quarterback into a mistake. Against a proactive quarterback, you change your looks and play aggressively so that he doesn’t bait you into a mistake.

The relevance of this sexy “big moment quarterbacking” storyline is debatable. As stated before, Romo has improved his mental approach to the game. And just because Manning has been great in crunch time doesn’t mean he’s unstoppable (especially given how up-and-down his receivers have been).

Dez needs to work on his disappearing act. (Getty Images)

3. Pass games
It’s been far too easy for defenses to take away Dez Bryant this season. The Giants had no trouble doing this with Corey Webster a few weeks ago. They also took away Jason Witten by smacking him with a defensive end or linebacker as he came off the line. Don’t be surprised if the Cowboys split Witten to the slot to prevent this from happening again.

Also, don’t be surprised if the Cowboys line up in three receiver sets to force the Giants into their nickel D. That nickel D has been poor in coverage the past few weeks, mainly because of Prince Amukamara. The first-round rookie has since been benched, with safety Antrel Rolle moving back to slot corner. The Cowboys should eagerly test Rolle with either Miles Austin or Laurent Robinson, both excellent route runners.

4. Run games
The Cowboys lost DeMarco Murray for the season in their last meeting with the Giants. Felix Jones showed his uncanny burst and acceleration in the lone game of consequence since then (Week 15 at Tampa Bay), but that was against the worst run defense in football.

It remains to be seen whether the Cowboys can sustain on the ground against a quality opponent. Expect them to try to establish the run, especially if the Giants play their three-safety nickel defense against base offensive personnel (something they did a bit against the Jets). Jones’ might also run out of three-receiver sets against that nickel D, as that’s a good way to take advantage of his proficiency on draws.

New York’s run game remains unimpressive, though there were a few signs of life last week. Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw both ran with power after averaging barely one yard per carry after contact against the Redskins in Week 15. David Baas is back at center after missing several weeks with migraines. Baas has been below average overall this season but at least offers a tad more short-area mobility than backup Kevin Boothe.

5. Up tempo?
The Meadowlands crowd will be in full throat – especially early. The Cowboys may want to go no-huddle to quell the crowd and dictate the flow.

A quick tempo can also be a good way to calm a pass-rush, which is critical when facing Justin Tuck, Jason Pierre-Paul and, perhaps, Osi Umenyiora. And the less time the Giants defense has between snaps, the harder it will be for them to change their coverages, which coordinator Perry Fewell likes to do.

So who will win? Check our NFL expert picks for all Week 17 games

Follow @Andy_Benoit on Twitter or contact him at Andy.Benoit-at-NFLTouchdown.com.
Posted on: December 28, 2011 5:18 pm
 

Report: Dez Bryant owes finance company $50K

BryantBy Josh Katzowitz

You might recall that Dez Bryant has had some legal trouble in the past year. He’s apparently worn his baggy pants too low at the mall and hadn’t paid off a $600,000 debt to a jeweler. It was enough to cause the Cowboys to express concern about off-the-field habits, while others, like my CBSSports.com colleague Mike Freeman. wondered about his on-field behavior.

Although Bryant said at the time of the jewelry story incident that he had a handle on his money problems, that might not be the case after all.

That’s because, according to the Boston Herald, Bryant refuses to pay off a $100,000 loan to Endurance Capital Fund, a micro-finance company based out of New York. The Herald writes that the debt is a year past due and that Bryant still owes more than $50,000.

The micro-finance company helps athletes and entertainers obtain large luxury items, and apparently, it’s unsuccessfully attempted to serve Bryant with a lawsuit in Dallas.

This from the ECF statement to Ian Rapoport of the Herald: “This was a simple transaction with a loan agreement and promissory note reviewed by Mr. Bryant’s advisors and signed by Mr. Bryant. We held up our side of the bargain, now we are simply asking that Mr. Bryant follow through with what he promised to do.

"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.”

With so many claims to Bryant’s money, you have to wonder what exactly happened to the five-year, $11.8 million contract ($8.5 million in guarantees) he signed before his rookie year.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, Like Us on Facebook, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're add it, add our RSS Feed.
Posted on: December 27, 2011 1:25 pm
 

Justin Tuck still hates the Cowboys

Tuck on Dallas: 'I’ve been quoted many times saying I hate [them] and that’s still true. (Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

It comes down to this, the Week 17 matchup between the Cowboys and the Giants with the winner heading to the playoffs as the NFC East champs and the loser getting a headstart on vacation.

The Giants beat the Jets Saturday in a matchup that was prefaced by a week's worth of gum-flapping, and despite head coach Tom Coughlin's proclamation that "talk is cheap," it hasn't let up ahead of the Cowboys game, either. Defensive end Justin Tuck got the ball rolling Monday, when he was asked why he hates Dallas so much.

“Just because I want to," Tuck said according to the New York Daily News' Gary Myers. "For me personally, I’ve been quoted many times saying I hate the Cowboys and that’s still true.”

We're guessing it has something to do with the division rivalry, not to mention Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware saying that Tuck is just jealous because he wants to play in Dallas. (Ware's remarks were in response to Tuck calling Cowboys Stadium a dump.)

"First of all, I don't know when I called Dallas Cowboys Stadium a dump," Tuck said earlier this month. "Obviously, they have a pretty nice stadium. And me wanting to be a Cowboy ... hmm. I don't wear Wranglers, Cowboy hats or boots or those buckle belts. I don't wear none of that. And I don't need a star on my helmet to tell me I'm pretty good at what I do."

But through his blinding hatred Tuck grudgingly respects the Cowboys.

“They seem to do it as close to the right way as we do with their owner and their past championships and past players,” he said. “The two teams are probably more similar than we like to give each other credit. That’s one of the reasons these games are so embraced. We have a lot of mutual respect.”

And on Sunday, both teams will meet in what amounts to a play-in game. Hopefully, Brandon Jacobs and Jason Garrett get along better than Jacobs and Rex Ryan did on Christmas Eve.

“I know our crowd is going to be fired up for this game,” Tuck said. “Playoff atmosphere, Sunday night, winner take all. I know."

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, Like Us on Facebook, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're at it, add our RSS Feed.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com