Alternate link below:
ESPN pulled Hank Williams Jr.’s classic intro song from its broadcast of Monday night’s NFL game after the country singer famous for the line ”Are you ready for some football?” used an analogy to Adolf Hitler in discussing President Barack Obama.
In pulling Hank Williams from MNF, ESPN again proves this is its best policy when it comes to controversy.
In an interview Monday morning on Fox News’ ”Fox & Friends,” Williams, unprompted, said of Obama’s outing on the links with House Speaker John Boehner: ”It’d be like Hitler playing golf with (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu.”
Asked to clarify, Williams said, ”They’re the enemy,” adding that by ”they” he meant Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.
Anchor Gretchen Carlson later said to him, ”You used the name of one of the most hated people in all of the world to describe, I think, the president.” Williams replied, ”Well, that is true. But I’m telling you like it is.”
”While Hank Williams Jr. is not an ESPN employee, we recognize that he is closely linked to our company through the open to ‘Monday Night Football,”’ the network said in a statement. ”We are extremely disappointed with his comments, and as a result we have decided to pull the open from tonight’s telecast.”
Williams released a statement through his publicist, saying: ”Some of us have strong opinions and are often misunderstood. My analogy was extreme — but it was to make a point. I was simply trying to explain how stupid it seemed to me — how ludicrous that pairing was. They’re polar opposites and it made no sense. They don’t see eye-to-eye and never will. I have always respected the office of the president.”
ESPN did not say whether the intro, synonymous with ”Monday Night Football” since 1989, would be used again after this week’s Colts- Buccaneers game.
ESPN covered the story during ”SportsCenter” and the pregame show but did not mention the song’s absence at the start of the game telecast when fans would normally be hearing ”Are you ready for some football?” Instead of a music video, viewers just saw clips of both teams and heard a voice-over about the matchup.
The song ”All My Rowdy Friends Are Here on Monday Night” is a remixed version of his 1984 hit ”All My Rowdy Friends are Coming Over Tonight.” The version won Williams four Emmy Awards in the early 1990s as the opening theme to ”Monday Night Football,” then on ABC.
CONGRATULATIONS to Robbie for winning week #4 with a 2011 YTD record 115 points in our Pro Pick’Em game; Real Men of Genius. For more bragging, just see his comment posted. I was going to brag for him, but he did a good job of that on his own! haha
It’s been four weeks … and we’ve had four different winners. This week, it’s Reggie’s turn! haha
As you know, Dallas has a bye week this week. They’re healing and preparing for the New England Patriots. Week #5 only has 13 games, because six teams are on their bye week breaks.
Good luck everyone!
Cowboys beat writer Brandon George answered your questions in a chat Tuesday. Here are some highlights.
Comment From Manny … Does it look like Dez Bryant is taking plays off? Is he blowing off routes? How can the offense not find him?
Brandon George (Twitter: @dmn_george): I don’t believe Dez Bryant is taking plays off. I do think there is something to what Jason Garrett said Monday, that he’s worried about Bryant’s conditioning given he hasn’t gone through a full practice since early September. He’s still hurt, dealing with that deep thigh bruise, but certainly the Cowboys need to target him more late in games. It’s evident that he’s not been much of a factor after halftime.
Comment From Trent … How many quarterbacks out there are truly better than Romo?
Brandon George (Twitter: @dmn_george): Not very many. I still think Tony Romo is a top-10 NFL quarterback. I say that, too, believing that he’ll only be a good regular-season quarterback for the Cowboys and will likely never get them to the Super Bowl. Like I wrote a few weeks ago, Romo has likely peaked in his career and you’ve gotten a lot out of player who wasn’t even drafted and played college football for Eastern Illinois.
Comment From chadd … What will JJ do now that he sees that Antonio Ramiro Romo really isn’t the answer for the Cowboys? And please don’t say he is because 1 playoff game isn’t worth talking about and keep his rating because it want win ballgames!!!!!
Brandon George (Twitter: @dmn_george): Jerry Jones still believes that Tony Romo is the answer. I’m not sure he’ll ever be more than a good regular-season quarterback. The last two seasons he’s played every game, the Cowboys have won the NFC East title. But can he push this team to a Super Bowl? I would say the answer is no.
Comment From Gus … Should the Cowboys tank to try to get Andrew Luck?
Brandon George (Twitter: @dmn_george): The Cowboys won’t tank. At least not intentionally. Jerry Jones still has to sell tickets and fill up that new stadium. This franchise has too much pride to tank. But the Cowboys need to start thinking about drafting another QB. With Jon Kitna possibly retiring after this season and Stephen McGee’s contract up, and of course Romo’s struggles, drafting a QB has to be a priority for the Cowboys this season.
TBAB comment: I wondered when the “draft another QB” proponents and the “Andrew Luck” flag-wavers would come out after the Detroit loss. It took 48 hours. FYI, don’t need to “tank” to get Andrew Luck. If JJ and/or JG wants him, they’ll make a move in the draft.
IRVING, Texas — Missing three games is enough for cornerback Orlando Scandrick.
“I’m ready to play,” said Scandrick, who added if the Cowboys had a game this week he would be back in action after suffering an ankle injury in the season opener.
Scandrick is not sure when he will practice next week but he said it would not be Monday when the team returns to full practice following Sunday’s bye. He has said there is no pain and he has been able to run freely.
The Cowboys used Alan Ball in the slot during Scandrick’s absence. His return would mark the first time the defense’s top three cornerbacks will be on the field together since the first week of training camp.
“I feel good,” Scandrick said. “I’m excited. I just feel like it’s been a long time and it really hasn’t. I’m excited about the challenge to come back and play against Wes Welker. It’s a challenge that I look forward to.”
The first time rookie linebacker Bruce Carter can return to practice will be Wednesday Oct. 19. And the second-round pick from North Carolina said he fully expects to be doing just that.
Carter took a positive step in that direction on Tuesday when he spent most of his rehab session with his shoulder pads and helmet in attempt to simulate live action as soon as possible. Carter is not eligible to come off the non-football injury list until after the sixth week of the season. The Cowboys put him on the list to rehab his torn ACL injury he suffered in the last month of his senior season at North Carolina.
“It was the first time since November,” Carter said of being in pads, which he added was the biggest difference to his rehab. “Just wearing these shoulder pads more than anything. My shoulder kind of got tired. But (wearing) the helmet was good.”
When asked about his anxiousness to finally get back to practice again and play, Carter didn’t even wait for the question to get completely asked.
“Very. Very anxious,” said Carter, who is targeting the Oct. 23 game vs. St. Louis as his pro debut. “It’s going to be very exciting for me and family.”
Now if there was a game this week and he was eligible to play, Carter said he could be out there, at least on special teams and possibly a defensive sub-package. Carter said he has attended special teams meeting since training camp.
“I know definitely special teams I can play that,” Carter said. “But I’ll probably get in some kind of package and not jump into the whole thing right off the gun to work my way in.”
Carter said he doesn’t expect to wear any kind of knee brace when he returnes to practice or the games. To add Cater to the 53-man roster, the Cowboys will have to release a player from the current roster.
Tyron Smith has had a good season, and he had a good day against the Lions. But he was upset by the sack he allowed to Lions defensive end Willie Young, who got Smith off balance and then got to Tony Romo with 35 seconds remaining after Smith fell onto his back.
“It was just bad technique,” Smith said.
It was the first full sack Smith has allowed this season. He has been called for two false starts and given up 1.5 sacks, according to STATS, Inc.
“He wants to be perfect in what he does,” Houck said. “He never shies away from work. He’s a really good practice player. He’s a heck of a guy who listens. We’re really pleased with him. And he’s playing well. He gave up a sack last week that he’s very upset about it. But you learn. Larry Allen had some sacks early in his career as well.”
Smith made all 24 of his starts at USC at right tackle, but Houck said Smith has the ability to play left tackle against the league’s pass rushers. Smith and Doug Free could one day switch sides since Free has the ability to play either side as well.
“He can play any position. He could play any position,” Houck said of Smith. “In the future, we might do that. In the future. Right now we’re pretty set on what we’re doing.”
The Cowboys suffered their biggest collapse in franchise history on Sunday, blowing a 27-3 third-quarter lead which allowed the Detroit Lions to steal a 34-30 victory.
The Week 4 loss was certainly a tough pill to swallow for Cowboys fans, but team owner and general manager Jerry Jones found a way to but some positive spin on the Cowboys’ second loss of the season.
“I look at it like you have got to have been doing something pretty well to have a historic loss, blowing a lead like that,” Jones said Tuesday during his weekly radio appearance on KRLD-FM 105.3 in Dallas. “Somebody had to be doing something good to get the lead. We were doing things outstanding to get the lead. We had it because (Tony) Romo was playing probably as well as he can play, and as you’ve ever seen him play. Commentators were talking about the selection of plays and how Jason (Garrett) was mixing it up, how Romo was executing.
“We’ve had our best times of play in our two losses. Going forward, we got a lot of help on the way. We got some injured players that are going to be available for us. We know how to play the defense better than we did a month ago. We know how to hopefully learn from these experiences that we’ve had over these last four games. I welcome this bye and I welcome what we’ve got ahead of us for the rest of the season.”
So, what was different in the two losses to the Jets and Lions?
“They’re not doing the things that they did in the second part of the two games we won,” Jones said. “We had outstanding play in the last part of the two games we’ve won.”
Jones added: “You can use a lot of hindsight, but you wouldn’t have thought that the perfect storm that happened to us against Detroit could happen to you. Scores on turnovers don’t happen very often. When they do, they don’t eat up any clock. We needed to use clock. With that kind of a lead we didn’t get it done.
“We get these (injured) players on the field and get to be a better team. We’re going to need to be obviously a better team to get to where we want to go, but we’ve got the potential to be that.”
Diamond Dez Bryant has not had a full practice the past three weeks, because of a deep thigh bruise. Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said that has hurt Bryant’s conditioning.
“He hasn’t been able to practice, and he really hasn’t been able to run,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. “Our training staff has done a great job trying to get as much work with him as possible without taking any backward steps on the thigh bruise, but that’s definitely a factor. Receivers need to be able to run throughout the ball game, and when you don’t practice, and you don’t run throughout the week, it’s hard for you to maintain the pace that you need to maintain throughout a 60-minute game.”
Bryant was injured in the first quarter of the Cowboys’ season opener against the Jets, taking a helmet to the thigh. In the team’s nine practices since, Bryant has not fully participated in any, has been limited in two and has sat out seven.
He caught three passes for 37 yards and two touchdowns Sunday, but his last catch came with 10:58 remaining in the second quarter. Diamond Dez Bryant was targeted only twice in the second half. One was intercepted and returned for a touchdown by Bobby Carpenter, and the other was overturned after replay showed Bryant had only one foot inbounds after juggling the ball.
“Dez did a really good job the last couple weeks of playing through his injury,” Garrett said. “It’s been hard, because he hasn’t been able to practice very much. But he’s gotten himself to the point where he’s been able to loosen that thing up and get through ball games. I said last week in the Washington game when he made the big play at the end of the game, the thing that we’re really emphasizing with him is the importance of him being able to play throughout the game. He played 66 plays in this game [against the Lions], and that’s a lot of plays for a guy who’s been banged up and hasn’t been practicing. So he did a really good job in that sense, and he’s like a lot of the great receivers in the league where just when they break the huddle they have an impact on the game. I think that certainly opened up some opportunities for some other guys. [Laurent] Robinson played really well opposite him, as did [Jason] Witten. We were also able to run the football, and I think Dez just being out there contributes to that.”
Bryant missed the game against the 49ers. He played 57 of 69 plays against the Redskins and 66 of 79 against the Lions.
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett broke down the Tony Romo interceptions from Sunday’s game against the Detroit Lions.
He said the first one was a bad decision and a bad throw.
The second one was a combination that included a good play by the defender.
The third one was a good decision but a bad throw.
Here is how Garrett described it during Monday’s press conference:
“You have to look at the plays individually, and then you have to look at the plays in the context of the game. I think when you do that, you are not really pleased with the decision on the first one, and you are not really pleased with the throw on first one.
“The second one was a third-and-2 situation where it was a one-on-one slant route by a receiver, and you have to see the matchup that you have and you have to throw the ball in there. That’s a combination of a quarterback and a receiver and also a DB making a good play.
“On the last one, it was the right decision when you look at pattern versus coverage. He had what he wanted. We felt like we had a good feel for what they were going to play there, and Witt was open down the field. Witt got jostled early in the route, Tony had to move in the pocket. When you factor all of that together and when you factor the situation in the game, ultimately it was the wrong decision because he wasn’t able to get his feet up underneath him to throw the ball he wanted to throw. If you have another place to go with the ball or you have a place to get rid of the ball, that’s the best decision there.”
Illustration courtesy: Jack Knizenknabe
The Cowboys practiced Tuesday without 10 players, but most weren’t surprises.
Receiver Miles Austin, kicker David Buehler, fullback Tony Fiammetta, cornerback Orlando Scandrick, guard Derrick Dockery and defensive end Jason Hatcher were all out with injuries they’ve had for a week or more.
Safety Gerald Sensabaugh, who left Sunday’s game against the Lions with a concussion, was also out. Safety Barry Church, who suffered a dislocated shoulder on Sunday, was also out.
Safety Danny McCray and guard Kyle Kosier also missed practice. Neither was on the injury report last week.
RELATED: Dallas Cowboys hope to get healed during the bye week
The Cowboys have 13 days to relive their loss to the Lions, but they also have 13 days to get healthy. Dallas will practice Tuesday and Wednesday before calling it a week.
They arrived this morning to watch film of the loss to Detroit before a light practice.
According to the new collective bargaining agreement, the Cowboys have to give their players four consecutive days off during the bye week. The four days must include Saturday and Sunday. So the players will get the rest of the week off after Wednesday.
“It’s a good time for a bye for our team,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. “We’ve been banged up for the last three weeks with different guys. Hopefully, we’ll give guys a chance to take a breath and heal up a little bit this week. We’ll give some other guys a chance to get some reps, but at the same time we’ll look at some things we want to look at both offensively and defensively as we go forward to see if it fits, and also sharpen up the things we have been working on.”
The Cowboys will not begin working on the Patriots, their opponent when they return from the bye, as a team. But the coaches will get a jump on New England.
“We’re not going to get into a heavy New England preparation right now or the next couple of days,” Garrett said. “We’ll do that as coaches. We’ll wait on that [with the team] until early next week.”
Most of the Cowboys’ injured players should return for the Patriots, including receiver Miles Austin (hamstring), kicker David Buehler (groin) and safety Gerald Sensabaugh (concussion). Defensive end Jason Hatcher missed Sunday’s game with a calf injury. Fullback Tony Fiammetta was out with a hamstring injury. Nickel back Orlando Scandrick has been out since the season opener with a high-ankle sprain.
“A lot of guys will be able to come back,” Garrett said. “We’ve got a lot of guys aiming toward this bye week to start getting this work again. Hopefully practice for the New England game. I don’t think that’s a 100 percenter, but we’re getting closer and closer to having most of our troops back.”
The Redskins lost to Tony Romo and the Cowboys 18-16, but that didn’t stop Washington tight end Chris Cooley from taking great joy in the Cowboys blowing a 24-point lead to the Lions on Sunday.
“It’s so good,” Cooley said in an interview on the LaVar and Dukes show, according to the Washington Post. “I was watching the scoreboard in St. Louis, and I didn’t see that they’d lost really until the end. I thought they blew them out so I kind of stopped paying attention. It’s amazing, amazing to watch him choke like that. I’m just saying: I’m up 24 points in the third quarter, if I’m the head coach, I feel like I could probably just take a knee for the rest of the game, punt it away and there’s no way that Detroit’s going to drive on you that many times. The only way you’re going to give up that many points is turnovers, right? It’s hilarious to watch him throw pick-sixes, too, back-to-back. I loved it.”
Cooley said he would love to fight Romo in the UFC.
“But it wouldn’t be as good as my cage fight,” Cooley said. “For me to beat Tony? I’m going to be honest. I don’t know what kind of cage fighting skills he has. I would probably try to incorporate my wrestling ability, like when I was in high school. Obviously it’s been a while, but I didn’t like to beat people fast. I like to embarrass them a little bit. Like, take a 24-point lead, and then just play with it a little bit.”
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones had an awkward exchange with quarterback Tony Romo on the sideline at the end of Sunday’s 34-30 loss to the Lions. A video circulating the Internet shows Jones grabbing Romo by the shoulder before Romo animatedly pulls away and continues to walk down the sideline.
Though it has led to a lot of Internet speculation about whether Romo was dissing the owner, Jones said Tuesday that it is nothing of the sort.
“No, that’s ridiculous. Not at all,” Jones said during his Tuesday appearance on KRLD-FM. “All I was doing on the sideline was hollering at the offense, ‘We’re going to get it back and when we get it back, let’s win the game.’ Nothing like that.”
Jones said he will continue to pace the sidelines during games, because he is the team’s general manager as well as its owner.
“I was going down there when we won three world championships, so I know it works,” Jones said. “Now, let’s smile about it a little bit, OK. Do we really think it impacts the outcome on the football field? I don’t know that.
“Now I’ve been down there for almost entire games before. I do feel like I need to be down there on occasion. I want to get a sense for where the karma is, I get to get a sense for the attitude of the players on the sideline, just the body language, just the passion that’s involved, who’s in the game, who’s gummed up, just the basic situation on the sideline. You need to know that if you’re making the personnel decisions.”