Tag:Tony Romo
Posted on: September 25, 2011 2:36 pm

Tony Romo wearing protective pad Monday night

Posted by Will Brinson

Last week, Tony Romo ended up needing to play through a pair of broken ribs and a punctured lung -- don't worry, it's healed! -- in order to give the Cowboys a victory of the 49ers.
Victory will be more difficult to come by this week, if you listen to DeAngelo Hall anyway, because Romo's lung will be targeted by the Washington defense.

In a counter to the Redskins willingness to talk dirty and play tough, Dallas is suiting up Romo in some protective padding Monday, Charley Casserly of CBS Sports reported Sunday afternoon.

Casserly went one further than just handing out the information though -- he brought a piece of the padding to The NFL Today set, and obviously, the only way we could test this technology was by letting Dan Marino hit Boomer Esiason with a baseball bat. (This actually happens. Click play below.)

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: September 24, 2011 4:26 pm
Edited on: September 24, 2011 6:36 pm

Romo, Bryant questionable, should play vs. 'Skins

Romo, Bryant and Jones are all questionable ... and all should play Monday night. (US PRESSWIRE)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, who was limited in practice Saturday, has been listed as questionable on the injury report two days before Dallas hosts Washington on Monday night. In general, "questionable" means there's a 50 percent chance a player participates in the game, although it appears like Romo's chances of taking the field against the Redskins are much higher than that.

Whatever the exact probabilities, it's welcome news given that he suffered a punctured lung six days ago against the 49ers. That has since healed, although Romo still has a broken rib which will necessitate him wearing a protective vest against the Redskins.

Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant, who suffered a quadriceps injury in the Week 1 loss to the Jets and missed last week's 49ers game, is listed as questionable, too. Bryant was limited in practice Saturday but, like Romo, it looks like he'll play Monday, even if he's not completely healthy.

Romo's other go-to wide receiver, Miles Austin, has been ruled out after suffering a hamstring injury during overtime of the San Francisco game. (Other Cowboys ruled out: guard Derrick Dockery, cornerback Orlando Scandrick.)

Running back Felix Jones (separated shoulder) is also questionable, but like Romo and Bryant, also expected to play.

In other injury-related news: cornerback Terence Newman (groin) is listed as probable and should see his first action of the 2011 season. Other Cowboys with a 75 percent chance to play: cornerback Mike Jenkins (shoulder), linebacker Anthony Spencer (shoulder), center Phil Costa (knee) and guard Bill Nagy (neck).

For completeness, the Redskins injury report:

Questionable: S LaRon Landry, FB Mike Sellers, S DeJon Gomes and FB Darrel Young. All were limited in practice.

Probable: CB Josh Wlson, KR/PR Brandon Banks, TE Chris Cooley, LB Keyaron Fox, CB DeAngelo Hall, CB Josh Wilson and TE Logan Paulsen. All participated in the full practice.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're add it, add our RSS Feed.
Posted on: September 23, 2011 8:08 pm

Romo welcomes a blitzing DeAngelo Hall

T. Romo takes a hit from J. Smith (US Presswire).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Tony Romo doesn’t know if he’s going to play Monday night vs. the Redskins, but he knows that he wants to play and will do whatever he can to play. Which includes wearing a flak jacket made of Kevlar to protect the ribs he fractured and the lung he punctured* last week.

*Luckily for him and the Cowboys, as my CBSSports.com colleague Ryan Wilson points out, his lung has healed. Which, you know, is a good thing.

The jacket is made of the same material protecting U.S. soldiers, and if it can stand up to stopping bullets, it should be OK to hinder linebackers from making a dent in Romo’s chest.

“It’s a pretty neat little product when they show you,” Romo said Friday evening on NBC Sports Talk on Versus. “These things take bullets and they put people in them that have a lot more at risk than I do. We’re going to use it and I think it will be able to absorb quite a bit of contact coming in. It’s thinner than you think, which I thought was a real positive putting it on.”

Not only does it stop bullets, but the material stops a hammer to the head as well (for that bit of knowledge, you can thank SI.com’s Will Carroll, who posted video of himself testing out the flak jacket. By banging a hammer off his dome).

Some teammates, including backup quarterback Jon Kitna, expect Romo to play. And you know who is a big fan of that notion? Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall -- who, as you’ll recall, said this earlier this week:

"I want to get a chance to put my helmet on whatever's hurt," Hall said. "Romo's ribs -- I'm going to be asking for some corner blitzes. If I know Felix Jones' shoulder's hurt, I'm not going to cut him. I'm definitely going to try to hit him up high, so that's just part of it. If you know something's wrong with an opponent, you're going to try to target in on that.”

Peter King asked Romo about that on Versus, and here was his response.

"If DeAngelo wants to blitz, that will be a little bit less in their pass overage,” he said while smiling. “By all means, he’s welcome to blitz. That’s part of the game. Anybody who plays this game knows that. I wouldn’t put myself out there if I didn’t think I could take a hit to the ribs and keep going.”

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: September 23, 2011 12:00 pm
Edited on: September 23, 2011 1:37 pm

Report: Romo's punctured lung has healed

It looks like Tony Romo will play. Will DeAngelo Hall be ready? (Getty Images/US PRESSWIRE)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

The punctured lung Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo suffered during an overtime win over the 49ers last Sunday has healed, sources tell ESPNDallas.com's Calvin Watkins. This is the latest confirmation of what most people suspected anyway: Romo will be on the field Monday night when the Cowboys host the Redskins in Jerry Dome's season opener.

Romo still has a fractured rib and as recently as Thursday, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was noncommittal about his quarterback's chances to play this week.

"Tony certainly had his examination [Thursday] and everything is on go as we would hoped it would be and expected it to be relative to his lung status," Jones said on ESPN's NFL 32. "That still doesn't necessarily mean he's going to play Monday night, but still that's on go. …

"He threw around a few balls today but that was it. He really didn't practice," Jones continued. "So we'll ease up on him here this week. He'll have the game plan and a feel for what we want to do out there and we'll see how it is when we get to game day."

The Associated Press reports that Romo wasn't on the field at the start of Cowboys' practice Friday, giving backup quarterback Jon Kitna another day of work with the starters. Romo hasn't practiced since leading Dallas to a comeback win over the 49ers on Sunday.

Coach Jason Garrett hasn't said whether Romo must practice before playing against Washington; the Cowboys have another practice Saturday and a walkthrough Sunday.

Still, barring a setback, there's no reason to believe that Romo won't be under center. "I fully expect him to play," Kitna said.

Week 3 NFL Preview

This must make DeAngelo Hall very happy. The Redskins cornerback said earlier this week that he plans to target Romo's ribs.

"Absolutely. I want to get a chance to put my helmet on whatever's hurt," Hall said. "Romo's ribs -- I'm going to be asking for some corner blitzes. If I know Felix Jones' shoulder's hurt, I'm not going to cut him. I'm definitely going to try to hit him up high, so that's just part of it. If you know something's wrong with an opponent, you're going to try to target in on that. We're going to try to definitely get as many hats on that team as possible."

This prompted CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman to point out that Hall is an idiot. And ESPN analyst Mark Schlereth, no doubt stifling uncontrollable laughter as the words left his mouth, offered this: “That’s the first time you’re ever going to hit anybody. Good for you. That’s great. That’s awesome."

Schlereth continued: “You know, it’s funny, the further you get away from the football, the more talking goes on, right? Receivers and cornerbacks always seem to be getting into these verbal battles, and they’re the only guys that never actually hit anybody. So good for you. You know what, we’re all looking forward to you going out there and dispensing justice. I can’t wait to watch it.”

Perhaps Hall can take some lessons in humility from Cowboys wide receiver Jesse Holley, who hooked up with Romo for the 77-yard pass play in San Francisco that set up the winning field goal. Holley appeared on ESPN Radio Dallas earlier this week to talk about the catch and his his NFL journey (via SportsRadioInterviews.com).

"Just three years ago I was working security from 11 at night until 7 in the morning and selling cell phones in the day time. To be on stage at Candlestick Park, Cowboys and 49ers, making a key play to help your team get a victory, that’s … you can’t write that up. … It really shows if you continue to be faithful and obedient and work hard that good things will happen to you."

As for what Holley told Romo on the sidelines before The Play, it's pretty simple:

“The whole time he is talking I am over talking him saying ‘I’m ready. I’m ready. I’m ready.’ He’s going ‘I know. I know, but on the…’ I said ‘I am ready. I am ready.’ I kept telling him and I said in my head ‘I am ready.’ …

"When we got on the plane I asked him [Tony Romo] about that particular play because he called a play in the huddle that wasn’t the play call that coach Garrett called in the headset. I asked him ‘What made you change the play?’ He said well you told me that you were ready? I felt like you had one in you, so I changed it.”

In other Cowboys injury-related news, the AP reports that receiver Dez Bryant returned Friday for the first time since injuring a thigh in the opener. Running back Felix Jones (shoulder) and center Phil Costa (knee) also returned after missing practice Thursday. Receiver Miles Austin (hamstring) remains out.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're add it, add our RSS Feed.
Posted on: September 21, 2011 4:25 pm
Edited on: September 22, 2011 11:27 pm

Podcast: Cowboys-Redskins, Bills-Pats, fakers

Posted by Will Brinson & Ryan Wilson

Our latest Film Room posts with analyst Andy Benoit are out (you can read Dallas/Washington here and read New England/Buffalo here) so Andy and I jump on the old podcast machine to break down the matchups.

We discuss whether Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Bills are "for real," what the Patriots will do in order to mitigate the loss of Aaron Hernandez, whether Tom Brady can be slowed, how Tony Romo's injury will affect him, whether he is a "choker" or "tough," and if Rex Grossman and the Redskins are a contender or pretender.

We also talk about Peyton Manning's status, the Jaguars going with Blaine Gabbert, and who's the worst team in the NFL.

Hit the play button below to listen (and 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 add it, add our RSS Feed.

Posted on: September 21, 2011 3:37 pm
Edited on: September 21, 2011 4:01 pm

CB Hall to target Romo's ribs, Felix's shoulder

Posted by Will Brinson

The Cowboys -- who were featured on our Film Room breakdown earlier Wednesday -- have some serious injuries on the offensive side of things as they head into their Monday matchup against the Redskins. Tony Romo's punctured lung and broken ribs stand out, as do Felix Jones' separated shoulder.

Washington cornerback DeAngelo Hall is quite aware of these injuries, and said on Wednesday that he hopes Romo and Jones play. Mainly so he can put his helmet on their busted-up body parts.

"Absolutely. I want to get a chance to put my helmet on whatever's hurt," Hall said. "Romo's ribs — I'm going to be asking for some corner blitzes. If I know Felix Jones' shoulder's hurt, I'm not going to cut him. I'm definitely going to try to hit him up high, so that's just part of it."

"If you know something's wrong with an opponent, you're going to try to target in on that. We're going to try to definitely get as many hats on that team as possible."
Week 3 NFL Preview

There's nothing wrong with this, per se, from a standpoint of legal football-playing and whatnot. (There may be something off about the whole thing depending on how you feel about the violent nature of football. Or if you're a Cowboys fan.)

And besides, it sounds like, from what Jason Garrett's saying, that the Cowboys fully plan on putting Romo on the field, so the onus is really on them for putting Romo at risk.

"I think he's doing fine," Garrett said. "He got knocked around a little bit on Sunday, but he's getting his rehab and hopefully he'll be ready to play for this ballgame. We'll take it day to day, the next few days."

Success in the NFL is based on exploiting weaknesses on the other side. Sometimes those weaknesses involve injuries for the other team.

And sometimes those weaknesses involve a cornerback who gets burnt on deep plays and isn't a great tackler. Monday night's outcome could drastically hinge on who's better at targeting those respective deficiencies.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
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 21, 2011 11:45 am
Edited on: September 21, 2011 1:37 pm

Eye on Football NFL experts chat: LIVE!

Posted by Will Brinson

It's Wednesday, which means we're in the, ahem, neutral zone when it comes to the NFL week. We're far enough removed from Monday night and too far away from Sunday to really feel comfortable without our football, so we're firing up a live chat at 1 p.m. ET Wednesday with experts Pete Prisco, Clark Judge, Mike Freeman, Will Brinson and Ryan Wilson.

Want to know if Michael Vick will play? Can Tony Romo get on the field with a punctured lung? Why are the Giants such fakers? What's the deal with the Chiefs? Are the Bills for real?

All those questions, plus whatever else you want to ask, answered live below, starting at 1.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter and subscribe to 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