The Pittsburgh Steelers were hit with a bevy of injuries during Sunday’s 17-10 loss to the Houston Texans.
The biggest concern is quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said had X-rays following the game on a left foot injury. Roethlisberger, who was wearing a walking boot when he left the stadium, said he didn’t know the results of the tests. He also told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette he did not know whether the foot was broken, and said if there was a break, he would try to play through it like he did last season when he played through a broken bone in his right foot.
According to Steelers Digest, Roethlisberger was on crutches as he boarded the team charter for the flight back to Pittsburgh.
Roethlisberger said he was injured on the second-to-last series of the game when he was tackled from behind. He remained in the game but had trouble walking afterward in the locker room. He was sacked five times Sunday, hit several other times and hurried throughout the day behind an injury-plagued offensive line.
Tomlin said linebacker James Harrison, who left the game during the second quarter with a right eye injury, experienced double vision but did return to the game. He will undergo further testing, according to Tomlin. Defensive end Aaron Smith (mid-foot sprain) and linebacker Jason Worilds (left quadriceps) were also injured.
TBAB UPDATE: Steelers’ Roethlisberger dealing with sprain, bruising in left foot
Ben Roethlisberger seems to have spent more time on the turf than upright for the Steelers this season, and it appears to be catching up to the quarterback.
Roethlisberger suffered a sprain and bruising in his mid-foot area in Sunday’s loss to the Texans, NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora reported on Monday, citing sources with knowledge of the situation.
The Steelers quarterback remains under evaluation and could miss practice time this week, but has not been ruled out for Sunday.
If Roethlisberger cannot go in Week 5 against the Titans, Charlie Batch would get the start.
Here are notes compiled after the Dallas Cowboys game with the Detroit Lions:
The 434 yards of total offense by Dallas was the second 400-yard game and the second-most total yards for the Cowboys thus far this season. The other was 472 – at San Francisco, 9/18.
Dallas earned 19 first downs through the air today. It was the mostsince converting 19 against Tennessee, 10/10/10.
Dez Bryant had a pair of touchdown catches today – his second career multiple receiving touchdown game.
Sean Lissemore returned a short kickoff 38 yards today, it was the longest kickoff return of the season for Dallas.
Laurent Robinson earned his first start as a Cowboy in place of Miles Austin (hamstring) today and finished the game with seven catches for a team-best 116 yards. It was his second career100-yard outing and the most receiving yards in his career. His seven catches today tied a career-high – 7 rec. for 114 yards at Arizona, 12/23/07.
Mat McBriar had a season-long punt of 68 yards today.
Tony Romo threw three touchdowns today to give him his 20th career game with three-or-more touchdowns. Romo is now tied with Danny White for the most games with three-or-more touchdown passes in team history.
Romo attempted 47 passes today to tie the fourth-most attempts in his career:
Att Opponent (Date)
55……….. at N.Y. Giants (12/6/09)
51……….. vs. Chicago (9/19/10)
50……….. at Buffalo (10/8/07)
47……….. vs. Washington (9/28/08)
47……….. at Washington (9/12/10)
47……….. vs. Detroit (10/2/11)
Romo’s 34 completions tied the third-most in his career:
Comp Opponent (Date)
41……….. at N.Y. Giants (12/6/09)
35……….. at Detroit (12/9/08)
34……….. vs. Chicago (9/19/10)
34……….. vs. Detroit (10/2/11)
Romo’s 331 yards was his third 300-yard game of the season and improved his club record of career 300-yard games to 29. The 331yards also tied the 11th-most yards in a game in his career.
Gerald Sensabaugh picked off his 13th career pass tonight. It was his seventh interception as a Dallas Cowboy.
DeMarcus Ware played in his 100th career regular season game today. Although he did not record a sack, his 85.0 sacks thus far are the second-most sacks through a player’s first 100 career games in NFL history.
Player 100 Games
Reggie White…….. 105.0
DeMarcus Ware….. 85.0
Bruce Smith……….. 84.5
Derrick Thomas……. 81.5
Leslie O’Neal………. 80.5
Jason Witten led the team witheight catches for 94 yards – second on the team. His 94 yards brought his career total to 7,333 to pass Bob Hayes (7,295) for fourth all-time in teamhistory.
Witten also scored his first touchdown of the season on a one-yard Romo pass in the third quarter.
In today’s loss, the Dallas Cowboys held a 24-point lead with 12:27 remaining in the third quarter. The Lions’ 24-point come-from-behind win marked the most points overcome to win a game by a Dallas opponent in Cowboys franchise history. The previous high was 21 points, at Washington (11/28/65).
IRVING — Sunday afternoon’s meltdown against the Detroit Lions might be hard to overcome for the Cowboys, but it doesn’t look quite as bad considering the schedule ahead.
Keep this in mind today when considering whether or not to burn your Tony Romo jersey:
The last 12 teams the Cowboys will play this season has a combined record right now of 21-26. So, the Cowboys’ easier schedule this season should help them down the road.
Five future Cowboys’ opponents are either 1-3 or 0-4 right now. Of course, one of those teams (that the Cowboys still have to play twice) is 1-3 Philadelphia, which many expected to win the NFC East.
Had the Cowboys gone on to complete what was, at one point early in the third quarter Sunday, looking like the feel-good win of the season, maybe this bye week schedule would be different.
If they believe their team has earned it, some coaches over the years have decided to grant an entire week off, or at least gone without practices. But if things aren’t going as well as planned, a coach’s instinct is to have the players on the field, working out the kinks.
Even as banged-up as the Cowboys are through four weeks, Jason Garrett clearly sees the need for more work, and after a day off on Monday, he will have the team back at Valley Ranch for practice on Tuesday and Wednesday, though anyone with an injury will likely get plenty of rest.
“One of the things we have to do with our team is get healed up a little bit,” Garrett said. “It’s a good time for a bye for our team. We’ve been banged up for the last three weeks with different guys, so hopefully it will give guys a chance to take a breath and heal up a little bit this week. It will give some other guys a chance to get some reps.
“At the same time we’ll look at some things that we want to look at, both offensively and defensively as we go forward to see if it fits, and then also just sharpen up the things that we have been working on.”
Rules of the new CBA mandate at least four consecutive days off for the players during the bye, which must include Saturday and Sunday, so Garrett is giving them Thursday-Sunday.
The team will get an extra day of work on the back end of the bye, though, with a full practice scheduled for Monday.
Players will have their usual day off next Tuesday, then resume preparations for New England on Wednesday-Friday.
“We’re not going to get into a heavy New England preparation right now, over the next couple days,” Garrett said. “We’ll do that as coaches, but we’ll wait on that until early next week.”
The Cowboys are .500 after blowing a franchise-worst 24-point lead to the Detroit Lions on Sunday afternoon at Cowboys Stadium. Things are not good at Valley Ranch.
We review the Cowboys’ 34-30 loss in our weekly Stock Report:
Laurent Robinson: Yes, he messed up on the second interception by allowing Chris Houston to get inside of him for the pick, but overall Robinson had a solid performance. He had seven catches for 116 yards, including a 44-yard reception. With Dez Bryant taken out of the game, Robinson was able to make the plays necessary in the passing game.
Dan Bailey: The Cowboys’ kicker made field goals of 41, 35 and 23 yards. He’s made 11 consecutive field goals since missing that 21-yarder in Week 2. More importantly for Bailey is kickoffs. He landed five of his six kickoffs in the end zone, with three going for touchbacks. He’s putting pressure on David Buehler to return from the groin injury. If Bailey can remain consistent with kickoffs, Buehler might be in trouble.
Gerald Sensabaugh: Before leaving the game with a concussion, Sensabaugh allowed just one catch with Calvin Johnson on the field. Sensabaugh finished with four tackles, one interception and a pass breakup. Defensive coordinator Rob Ryan said communication was lacking with Sensabaugh in the locker room. Sensabaugh is playing better as the season progresses.
Tony Romo: He threw three second-half interceptions, all leading to scores. That’s not good. In fact, it’s embarrassing. Of his five interceptions on the season, all have come in the second half. Coach Jason Garrett talks about ball protection. It seems Romo needs to take that course again.
Pass rush: The Lions used max protection for quarterback Matthew Stafford. That’s to be expected, but the Cowboys need to sack him, especially late in the game. There were six quarterback hurries, but zero sacks. You have to get sacks on third down and passing situations. It’s that simple.
Jason Garrett: In training camp, he had the team practice late game situations, but there was Felix Jones running out of bounds in the closing moments on fourth down, short of the first-down. Last week, it was Tashard Choice failing to stay in bounds to run down the clock. The Lions defense shut Bryant down in the second half, when Garrett needs to get him the ball. Garrett’s offense didn’t score in the fourth quarter. With the Lions rallying, the Cowboys needed something.
Detroit Lions’ Jim Schwartz curses at Dez Bryant, points out that he didn’t have catch in second half
After a dominant opening act Sunday against the Detroit Lions, Dez Bryant was almost a non-factor in the final 41 minutes, something that Lions coach Jim Schwartz pointed out on Monday.
The Cowboys second-year receiver caught three passes for 37 yards and two touchdowns in the first half, helping his team build a 14-0 lead. But he would not make another grab the rest of the way, and the Lions rallied for a 34-30 victory.
Bryant appeared to make a catch late in the third quarter near the visiting sidelines and began jawing with Lions players. However, the play was reviewed and overturned because he did not possess the ball with both feet in bounds.
After the ruling was determined FOX cameras caught Schwartz mouthing a curse word at Bryant while signaling incomplete pass.
Schwartz’s actions caused former Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman, who was a television analyst for the game, to say, “What the heck is going on out there?”
Lions safety Louis Delmas, who also exchanged some trash talk with Bryant after the play, was asked about his coach being so fired up after the call was overturned.
“Thing about our coaches … they think they’re still players,” Delmas told Detroit Free Press writer Dave Birkett. “When the ref ruled it outta bounds, he felt like he was the one defending Bryant.”
Birkett also tweeted Schwartz’s comment from his Monday press conference, regarding the emotion he showed after the Bryant challenge.
“I don’t think Dez Bryant had a catch after about midway through the first quarter,” Schwartz said.
ARLINGTON, Texas — It’ll be a long two weeks for the entire Cowboys roster, but mostly for Tony Romo.
Only the head coach and the quarterback have records attached to their resume, and Romo’s three interceptions in the second half against the Lions on Sunday contributed largely to the largest lost lead by a home team in regular-season NFL history (24 points).
Romo again will have to answer questions about his decision-making late in games. Same deal the week after he committed two fourth-quarter turnovers in the Cowboys’ season-opening loss to the Jets.
Once again, though, Romo’s teammates – including several on defense – publicly supported their quarterback. Here are two who were involved in Lions touchdowns following Romo turnovers:
“We’ve got Tony’s back,” linebacker Sean Lee said. “I’m sure there are plays out there that he’d like to have back, just like we’d like to have plays back. Obviously when you’re around the ball and Calvin Johnson caught that (23-yard) touchdown, I would love to try to make a better play on that.
“We work together. We have each other’s back. We know Tony’s great. We’re gonna go as far as he takes us.”
Said cornerback Terence Newman: “If you ask me, I’ll ride with Romo any day of the week because I know he’ll have my back. I’ve got his back.”
Unfortunately, Romo and the rest of the team can’t do anything about Sunday’s breakdown for two full weeks.
This one was marked as a win.
It’s the bleeping Lions, for gawd sakes.
Sure, it was a marked win.
You did it, because we all do it, starting in May when the NFL schedule is announced, and then continuing right through the first week of September.
The schedule is analyzed; each game is marked with a W or L; and even before the first kickoff, you think you’ve got the Cowboys’ season pretty well figured out, good, bad or blah.
It rarely, if ever, works out the way you marked it.
So much tends to change, and change in every possible way. Most of the time that’s because of the Cowboys’ uncertain ways. Over the last two decades, it’s a team that has occasionally surprised with a positive display, but more often than not ended up as an empty can of Alpo.
Your dog ate the marked-up homework of the summer.
Which brings us back to the 3-0 Lions. They invade the Big Yard in Arlington this afternoon.
Forget the previous “mark,” this is obviously the best team the Cowboys have faced, better than the overhyped Jets in the Meadowlands. The Lions’ quarterback is still standing, and his health issues of the past have given way to talent raves for home boy Matthew Stafford.
Plus, Stafford’s wide receiver is the best in the business. The tight end is considered headed for Witten-like elite status, and the defense, well…
The Lions’ defense — Mr. Suh and them — will not have to mimic Romo snap counts to cause a disruption, or crack some ribs. Plus, Romo’s options may be seriously limited since there was heavy doubt Saturday that gimpy Dez Bryant would suit up for this game.
When in doubt, I always go to The Man Who Watches Film, and in this case I asked him for a ranking of the defensive front sevens the Cowboys have faced thus far, and then including the Lions, since there’s been a lot of film work on Detroit this week.
No. 4, the Jets. No. 3, the Redskins. No. 2, the 49ers, and No. 1, by far, the Lions.
That’s interesting, because the Jets had the most PR push with their defense, but The Man Who Watches Film doesn’t put them in the same class as, say, the 49ers, which Valley Ranch voices also described as maybe the most underrated defensive front in the league.
So, here we go again with the Cowboys’ rebuilt and young offensive line. The “biggest test to date” seems to come every week.
But the flip-side is the Lions’ offensive line will also be under close scrutiny today, particularly after five sacks and many hits on Matthew Stafford last week against the Vikings.
First, let’s look at the Cowboys up front, mainly because Mr. Suh is the hottest new defensive name in the NFL.
The quick evaluation of three games goes like this:
Left tackle Doug Free, with the huge new contract, is a disappointment. That’s the low side. On the high side, the work of rookie right tackle Tyron Smith continues to draw praise.
Another negative, although not yet major, is veteran guard Kyle Kosier hasn’t been his usual solid anchor, and it was not a youngster, but Kosier who turned loose the linebacker who busted up Romo’s rib in the 49ers game. He will see plenty of Suh this afternoon.
Center Phil Costa, who snapped on the snap counts against the Redskins, actually graded out decent in other areas of that win. For a second-year former rookie free agent, Costa continues to improve, but his snap issues red-flagged him last week.
The injury to veteran Derrick Dockery put rookie Bill Nagy back at left guard, and that’s a downgrade, but Nagy has not been considered a major negative.
Against some tough defensive fronts, the offensive line has held up OK, despite fandom grousing about the lack of a consistent running game. With the Lions’ defense next, a much higher challenge awaits.
Yet, if it’s any consolation today for the Cowboys, the strong performance so far of Rob Ryan’s defense causes heavy concern for Detroit, which maybe has more offensive line worries than the Cowboys.
The right tackle was benched in the first half last week against the Vikings, and his status is uncertain today. The left tackle took a late-game beating from Vikings defensive end Jared Allen, or rather it was Stafford who ended up with the beating.
Stafford gets the ball out quickly with an offensive system built to accommodate his fast reads, but Minnesota still drilled him repeatedly.
One contrast is the Lions’ OL kept Stafford clean in the first two wins (a big one on the road at Tampa, and then a blowout of Kansas City), but then came the miserable performance against the Vikings.
Thus far, Big Rob has been able to get his belly and his hair around the offensive schemes of the Jets, the 49ers and the Redskins, causing havoc.
But this is a much different offensive animal today, with a quarterback breaking into stardom, and receiver Calvin Johnson causing matchup hell for the Cowboys’ grab-bag secondary.
“Mark” this game as the most intriguing of the young season for the Cowboys, a matchup that Vegas rates as a virtual toss-up, frankly flattering the Cowboys with that wagering opinion.
Buckle up, and expect big fun at the Big Yard.
Randy Galloway can be heard from 3-6 p.m. weekdays on Galloway & Co. on ESPN/103.3 FM
Four games into the season and coordinator Rob Ryan is seeming like a genius on the defensive side of the ball. The unit has held up its end of the bargain in all four contests.
And yet the Cowboys are allowing an average of 25.3 points per game, just 23rd in the league.
Now, Sunday’s two interception return touchdowns by the Lions account for 14 points, and there was the blocked punt by the Jets in Week 1. The defense itself has been responsible for 20 points per game.
But even that is more of the blame than the unit probably deserves, because circumstances continue to put Ryan’s unit with its back against the wall, namely the Cowboys’ turnover differential (-4).
So far this year, 10 of the 16 scoring drives by Cowboys opponents have been of less than 50 yards, three of those 10 being touchdowns in which the other team took over in Cowboys territory. Four times the other offense took over in Cowboys territory and settled for field goals.
On Sunday the Lions’ offense had four scoring drives, with 10 points coming on drives that began on the Dallas side of the 50-yard line, not to mention the two interception returns.
It’s plain as day to see. By protecting the ball better and winning field position battles in the kicking game, the Cowboys can rely on their defense to win games.
“Whatever situation or whatever the score is, we have to keep the pedal on,” Sean Lee said. “We have to keep it going. That’s the thing we have to get better at. No matter what the situation is, we have to play like they’re ahead of us.”
While no one is getting the blame here in Dallas like Tony Romo, but, it doesn’t mean there aren’t a few other head-scratching performances that took place in Sunday’s epic collapse.
For the second straight week, a running back has a major mental lapse late in the game and goes out of bounds for some odd reason.
Sunday, it was Felix Jones who apparently had no clue what the down-and-distance was and/or failed to realize the time on the clock. On a fourth-and-20 with just 11 seconds remaining, Jones just had a mental gaffe when he took a short pass from Jones and decided to hurry out of bounds after just seven yards.
Umm . . . what? Clearly he didn’t realize what the situation was, but that’s not really an excuse either. Going back and watching it again, it seems obvious that Jones thought it was third down. And so did the Fox TV analysts, both Troy Aikman and Joe Buck were thinking the Cowboys had another down.
Still, it’s not that hard to count to four and a few people weren’t doing it. So either Jones just went out on his own, or didn’t know what down it was, either way it’s inexcusable to be that unaware.
Last week, Tashard Choice ran out of bounds on third down just before a game-winning field goal by Dan Bailey, which allowed the Redskins to keep another timeout. Obviously, it didn’t come back to bite this team, but it was still a bone-head play that shows mental lapses in situational football.
I thought the running backs were taught to have a good vision and awareness. The last two weeks, the Cowboys have been plagued by these poor decisions at the running back spot.
Obviously, it should’ve never gotten to that point. And we all know by now why it did. But in the middle of Romo-bash-week, let’s not forget there were some other mistakes as well.
Following the Dallas Cowboys’ narrow victory over the visiting Washington Redskins on ESPN’S Monday Night Football, there were only two unanimous points being made by ESPN commentators.
First, rookie kicker Dan Bailey had a heck of a game for the home team, nailing six field goals in six attempts.
Second, Dallas quarterback Tony Romo played through significant pain during the game.
Did Romo play well? Is Chris Cooley a fullback? Were the defenses or offenses most responsible for the lack of scoring? Did Redskins coaches dial up the wrong play in a key moment?
There were varying perspectives on all of these issues. But, Romo’s fortitude was considered as straightforward and pure as Bailey’s game-winning boot from 40 yards. One can safely assume that Romo ranks among the leaders in whatever metric columnists uses to measure toughness. Conversely, his smile rating is at a career low.
ESPN columnist Rick Reilly believed that Romo shouldn’t have been so reckless considering the nature of his injuries. Having suffered a broken rib and punctured lung during the Cowboys’ Week 2 win over the San Francisco 49ers, there were doubts that Romo would play against Washington. The lung reportedly had healed, but Romo needed two pain-killing injections before the start of the game for the pain from the rib injury
“We never think long-term in this league, in this day and age. We just think day to day,” Romo told Reilly after the game. “Unless I end up in a morgue I’m gonna play,”
Reilly appeared concerned by Romo’s old school attitude. He also thought that the quarterback was largely ineffective and that he risked his availability down the line. On the other hand, Reilly’s colleague Trent Dilfer, a former NFL quarterback, was thoroughly impressed by Romo’s oratory about morgues and day-to-day living, especially as those sentiments related to another high-profile QB.
At this point, another former quarterback — one who was far more mobile and successful than Dilfer — chimed in to defend Vick. But as Steve Young began to temper Dilfer’s sarcasm, Reilly confirmed the obvious by responding, “You’re talking about Michael Vick? That didn’t happen, no.”
Dilfer wasn’t the only member of the media with a caustic take on Vick’s postgame plea for protection in line with his colleagues. FOX NFL rules analyst Mike Pereira also expressed a visceral reaction to Vick’s statements. On Tuesday, Pereira appeared on Sirius XM with Evan Cohen and Steve Phillips and cast doubts on Vick’s claims, even painting them as part of an institutionalized culture of complaint in Philadelphia.
Formerly the head of NFL officiating, Pereira admitted that hearing Vick discuss his belief that he is the victim of uncalled late hits did bring him back to his days at the league offices on Park Avenue. That connection perhaps makes his reaction a bit more understandable than Dilfer’s
Of course, both men lagged behind the New York Post when it came to kicking Vick while he was talking about being down. The tabloid splashed the headline “Whine And Cheesesteak” across it’s back page on Monday, accompanied by photoshopped image of Vick’s head on top of a baby’s body.
TBAB Comment: Just for fun … rewatch the embedded video with Trent Dilfer and Steve Young (first video) and look at their body language. These guys don’t like each other! hahahaha
IRVING, Texas — October is once again Breast Cancer Awareness Month in the NFL, and beginning Sunday Cowboys linebacker Bradie James — a leader in breast cancer awareness who lost his mother to the disease — and many of his teammates will wear pink accessories with their Cowboys uniforms as a show of support.
The Dallas Cowboys and Susan G. Komen for the Cure® are also asking fans and supporters to join the promise that launched the breast cancer movement and take action towards a brighter future. As part of the Cowboys’ and Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s “I Promise” partnership, Ambassador Nancy G. Brinker — founder & CEO of Susan G. Komen for the Cure — will serve as the game’s Honorary Captain. Brinker will join players and referees at mid-field for the coin toss.
Presented by Bank of America, the game will also feature a special halftime show including 300 breast cancer survivors, co-survivors and volunteers from Bank of America and Susan G. Komen for the Cure. These individuals, who have been personally touched by breast cancer, will form a human “pink” awareness ribbon on-field during a performance from the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders and other local dancers.
Videos and signage displayed on the Stadium’s 60-yard-long video board will featured Cowboys players and team owner Jerry Jones sharing their promises and encouraging mammogram screening. During pre-game, fans will have the opportunity to share their promises and take action by filling out a “promise” card at the pink tents located in the plazas.
ARLINGTON, Texas — So long the scourge of Cowboys fans during his four-year run as a first-round pick who failed to deliver, Bobby Carpenter gained a little bit of revenge Sunday.
Carpenter’s 34-yard interception return for a touchdown in the third quarter started Detroit’s comeback victory at Cowboys Stadium, but he would not gloat.
“Once I left Dallas I left everything here as far as my playing,” Carpenter said. “I’ve got a lot of great friends here. A lot of great friends in the organization, former teammates. I was excited to come back here and play. Anytime you get to play against friends, it’s always a blessing.”
Carpenter, who was a groomsman in Tony Romo’s May wedding and was only starting because of a concussion suffered by Justin Durant, was able to undercut a throw for wide receiver Dez Bryant to the wide side of the field.
“The linebacker made a good play on the ball,” Romo said. He got under it. I thought I threw it high enough t get over him, but he got up and got it. He did a good job on it.”
Carpenter’s zig-zag return was even better and he managed to cross the goal line before a hit by Doug Free popped the ball loose.
“It was definitely a big game for the Lions,” said Carpenter, who was credited with six tackles. “We needed to win this. We’re 4-0. We’ve got a big Monday night game against Chicago. It definitely feels better than maybe a normal game.”