Daily Archives: October 14th, 2011

EXCLUSIVE: The Great Robbini’s BOLD predictions for Week #6

Here are the BOLD predictions from Robert A Knight … A self-proclaimed prediction guru. The new crystal ball (was on sale at Target) is beaming with energy!  Last week, less than 50% of The GREAT Robbini predictions came true. He was kind enough to make NFL predictions, because the Dallas Cowboys were off for their bye. This week … he’s fired up … Jerry Jones’n for some REAL football … and loaded with week #6 predictions!

Since The Boys Are Back from the bye week … The GREAT Robbini is geared up for a big win in New England. I’m sure you’ll agree … these are very BOLD. OK, here we go …

The GREAT Robbini – Week #6 predictions:

I have a VERY strong vibe about the Cowboys offense going to work on this Patriot defense … Dallas goes 3-2 this Sunday with a solid win coming from sharp efficient JG scripted play drives, and Tony Romo grabs the headlines.

  • No INTs for Tony Romo
  • 2 TD for Diamond Dez
  • 100 yds or 60 yds/+TD for Miles Austin
  • Dallas Cowboys score on 1st drive
  • 1 rushing TD
  • Dallas Cowboys defense has 3 takeaways
  • 3 sacks minimum on Brady
  • NE Pats have 7 punts
  • Dallas Cowboys win by 6-9 pts.

Robert A. Knight aka The GREAT Robbini

Remember, you read it here! The Great Robbini predictions for week #6.

The Boys Are Back POSTGAME SUMMARY:

Check back here after the game for The Boys Are Back summary.

MLB: Matchups are set to determine the 2011 World Series UPDATED

2011 MLB Postseason Schedule**

AL Championship Series
Game Matchup Day Date Time ET TV
Gm 1 DET @ TEX Sat Oct. 8 TEX WON FOX
Gm 2 DET @ TEX Sun Oct. 10 TEX WON FOX
Gm 3 TEX @ DET Tue Oct. 11 DET WON FOX
Gm 4 TEX @ DET Wed Oct. 12 TEX WON FOX
Gm 5 TEX @ DET Thu Oct. 13 DET WON FOX
Gm 6 DET @ TEX Sat Oct. 15 TEX WON FOX
NL Championship Series
Game Matchup Day Date Time ET TV
Gm 1 STL @ MIL Sun Oct. 9 MIL WON TBS
Gm 2 STL @ MIL Mon Oct. 10 STL WON TBS
Gm 3 MIL @ STL Wed Oct. 12 STL WON TBS
Gm 4 MIL @ STL Thu Oct. 13 MIL WON TBS
Gm 5 MIL @ STL Fri Oct. 14 STL WON TBS
Gm 6 STL @ MIL Sun Oct. 16 STL WON TBS
World Series
Series Date Match-Up Network Air Time (ET)
Game One Wednesday, October 19 AL Champion at NL Champion FOX TBA
Game Two Thursday, October 20 AL Champion at NL Champion FOX TBA
Game Three Saturday, October 22 NL Champion at AL Champion FOX TBA
Game Four Sunday, October 23 NL Champion at AL Champion FOX TBA
Game Five* Monday, October 24 NL Champion at AL Champion FOX TBA
Game Six* Wednesday, October 26 AL Champion at NL Champion FOX TBA
Game Seven* Thursday, October 27 AL Champion at NL Champion FOX TBA
** subject to change
.
My two favorite baseball teams have a chance to go to this years World Series …
.TEXAS WINS NLCS!! 4-2 over the Detroit Tigers!
.
ST LOUIS WINS ALCS!! 4-2 over the Milwaukee Brewers!
My two favorite baseball teams ARE in this years World Series!
.

TIDBITS: Romo Lynch’d | Babe’s down | Buck switches box of Fox

Here are a few tidbits for the TRUE BLUE in us … leave a comment, if the mood strikes you.

  • Fox analyst John Lynch, a former All-Pro safety and a comer as a broadcaster, on Tony Romo: “A friend of mine who used to play with Romo said, ‘With Tony, it’s like playing a par 5 in golf. Instead of going for the safe par, he’s going to go for the eagle every time.'”

 

  • Cowboys radio analyst Babe Laufenberg will be broadcasting in pain Sunday in Foxboro, Mass. He’s coming off bye-week back surgery. It’s the former quarterback’s second discectomy to go along with surgeries on both knees.

 

  • With Joe Buck entrenched in baseball, Thom Brennaman joins Troy Aikman in the Fox television booth for the Cowboys-Patriots game.

FYI, you can watch the Dallas Cowboys on TV … and listen to them on the radio. The Dallas Cowboys Radio Network is the best in the country! Click HERE or click on the tab above (Radio Network) for more information. If you’ve never listened to Brad Sham and Babe Laufenberg … you’ve really missed out! Brad Sham is the “Voice of the Dallas Cowboys” … has been for 30 years!

CLUELESS WRITER: Cowboys would be good fit for Carson Palmer and Reggie Bush

This is why you should rely on The Boys Are Back for your Dallas Cowboy news! Some of the BS and clueless writers out there should not be allowed within 100′ of a keyboard! Some of these folks have “no business” being in the business! Please read the article, and let me know what you think. Comments are ALWAYS welcome on The Boys Are Back!

NFL writer: Cowboys would be good fit for Carson Palmer and Reggie Bush

By Jon Machota / Special Contributor
jonmachota32@yahoo.com | Bio

12:10 PM on Fri., Oct. 14, 2011

With Tuesday’s NFL trade deadline quickly approaching, Yahoo! Sports NFL writer Jason Cole listed 14 players who could be traded.

The group did not include any current Cowboys, which either means Jason Garrett and company have done a good job of trimming the fat or there aren’t many players on the roster that would fetch a decent return. The former would seem like the case.

Either way, the Cowboys were a good fit for three interesting names, and two were at the quarterback position. Cincinnati’s Carson Palmer and Carolina backup Jimmy Clausen were the two names.

Palmer would rather be retired than be a member of the Bengals and Clausen will only play for the Panthers if Cam Newton gets injured. Cole speculated that acquiring Palmer, a two-time Pro Bowler, would cost a third round pick. Cole called Clausen, a second round pick in 2010, a “marginal prospect.”

“The other (Carolina) players can’t stand him and he probably needs to go somewhere else,” Cole added. “If he fetches a fifth-round pick (a conditional seventh might be all) at this point, that’s a bonus.”

The other name and probably most intriguing is Miami running back Reggie Bush. The Dolphins traded for Bush in the off-season but have already discovered that he is not the answer to their running game. Bush has 40 carries for 119 yards this season.

“They really can’t maximize his value as a weapon in open-field situations,” Cole wrote about Miami’s relationship with Bush. “Throw in the fact that the Dolphins should be playing in the Suck For (Andrew) Luck sweepstakes and there is no reason to keep Bush. Send him to a contender.”

SPOTLIGHT: Mike Woicik – Dallas Cowboys’ strength and conditioning coach

Mike Woicik - Mr_Six_Superbowl_Rings - Dallas Cowboys S-C coach

Mike Woicik - Mr_Six_Superbowl_Rings - Dallas Cowboys S-C coach

IRVING, Texas – A contemporary Dallas-New England matchup always evokes discussion of the 1990s Cowboys and 2000s Patriots, the only teams ever to win three Super Bowls in a four-year span.

Mike Woicik happens to own all six championship rings.

Woicik is back for his second term as the Cowboys’ strength and conditioning coach. From 1990-96, he was an integral part of all three Super Bowl teams. Same with the Patriots from 2000-10.

No player or head coach in NFL history can match Woicik’s six rings. Charles Haley, who’s entering the Cowboys Ring of Honor next month, comes close with five.

“Mike’s got a wealth of experience and he’s got a tremendous background with all of the things that you want your strength and conditioning coach to have in the National Football League,” Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said via conference call this week. “He’s got a lot of experience with track and running and his speed training as well as power lifting and becoming stronger and more explosive as well as rehabbing injuries and working guys back from being less than 100 percent all the way back to being full speed.

“And that’s what that position is. You’re dealing with fast, skill players. You’re dealing with big players that are trying to create power and explosion. There’s obviously conditioning levels with all of them and then you have players that you’re constantly trying to bring back from less than 100 percent to a 100 percent or a high enough level that they can participate in the game and train with everybody else.”

This season Woicik replaces Joe Juraszek, who originally succeeded him as Cowboys strength coach from 1997-2010. Running back Tashard Choice said Juraszek did an outstanding job working with the current players, and Woicik has filled in well despite losing an entire offseason due to the NFL lockout.

Along with the Cowboys’ athletic training staff, Choice credited Woicik for helping him return from a training camp calf injury.

“He was making sure I stayed on top of my legs, doing different things,” Choice said. “He has a whole regimen of how he wants to make you stronger, and he made me stronger.”

Dallas Cowboys – New England Patriots preview

Dallas Cowboys vs New England Patriots - The Boys are Back

The Boys are Back - Dallas Cowboys vs New England Patriots

If you believe in fate and are a fan of the Dallas Cowboys, here is something that maybe you can hang your hat on. The last time defensive coordinator Rob Ryan had a week off to prepare for Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, his Cleveland Browns walked away with an impressive 34-14 victory in 2010.

Cowboys defense vs. Patriots offense

Ryan’s defense has played outstanding through the first four weeks of the season, but the task ahead is different from any of those that you generally face during an NFL season. When you play an elite quarterback such as Tom Brady, the amount of pressure he puts on you is greater than when you face Mark Sanchez, Alex Smith or even Matthew Stafford.

Mistakes in assignments are magnified when you play against Brady because of his ability to read defensive schemes and take advantage of the situation by adjusting his protection and moving his personnel to attack the void. In the NFL, it’s all about the matchups, how you create them and then take advantage of the ones in your favor.

The Patriots take advantage of match-ups better than any other team in the league. When you study the Patriots, it’s about “scheme fits.” It’s not only about a player like Wes Welker. You also have to be wary of tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, and running backs BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead as well.

The Patriots create match-up problems for a defense because there is so much flexibility where their skill players can line up in the formation. Rarely do you see the Patriots use the same formation early in the game, because this exposes your game plan defensively. Once Brady has an idea of how you are going to defend the offense, then he goes to work.

Patriots WR Wes Welker vs. Cowboys secondary

It’s interesting to watch the Patriots on offense because they no longer have a straight vertical threat like Randy Moss. Instead they use Welker, Gronkowski and Hernandez all over the field. Welker is a crafty route-runner, but maybe his greatest strength is his ability to read coverages and react to what the defense is doing to him. When Welker’s on the move, you can see his eyes looking at the secondary and plotting where he will take his route.

Brady has a tremendous understanding of where Welker is going to be in his route to deal with the coverage. With the Patriots, you will see several routes down the field that are crossing routes. The Patriots like to take routes through zone coverage, running to open spaces — which is effective against teams that like to play Cover 2.

Last week, the Jets were able to match Darrelle Revis against Welker, who really struggled to generate any type of separation or space. Revis was physical off the line but, more importantly, he was able to carry Welker all over the field. The Cowboys will get an important piece of their secondary back this week when cornerback Orlando Scandrick returns from a high ankle sprain.

I have always viewed Scandrick as one of the Cowboys’ best cover men. To play slot corner, you have to play with a great deal of quickness but, more importantly, you have to have the understanding of what types of routes that the man you are covering might run. Scandrick will have to be prepared to play a ton of snaps, so his conditioning will be tested. In what we have been allowed to see during practices, he looked explosive and confident that the ankle sprain is behind him.

Patriots tight ends are more like WRs

Earlier I mentioned that you have to be wary of Patriots tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, and there was a reason for this. Neither one of these guys plays like a true tight end. Rather, they’re more like 255-pound wide receivers that can get down the field. Both Gronkowski and Hernandez are vertical players that run well, but their most impressive trait is their ability to catch the ball.

The Cowboys have done a nice job against some outstanding tight ends this season, but Gronkowski and Hernandez present a different challenge because you see them down the field in combination routes with the receivers. Brady might look to Welker first, but I’ve seen him throw to Gronkowski and Hernandez in coverage and still they managed to come up with the ball.

Achilles’ heel of Patriots offense: RT Nate Solder

If you are looking for a weakness on the Patriots offense, it is rookie right tackle Nate Solder, who has had to start because Sebastian Vollmar has been dealing with a back injury. Solder looks very similar to what I had seen on college tape before the draft. He’s not very strong and, for someone that is a good foot athlete, he struggles with rushers off the edge.

Two weeks ago, the Cowboys didn’t take advantage of the Detroit Lions’ poor pass blockers. The Patriots’ O-line is much better on both run and pass, but it will struggle at times when teams run games on them with movement in the passing game. If Rob Ryan is going to get pressure on Brady, this will most likely be the route that he tries to go.

Cowboys offense vs. Patriots defense

When you study the Patriots on defense, the one area that jumps out at you is how much space their secondary gives up in routes. I didn’t see the tightness in the coverage that I have seen with other defenses that the Cowboys have faced so far this season.

Earlier in the season, the Patriots played a great deal of man coverage but with little success. Now you see them playing much more zone. Another area where the Patriots have struggled is their inability to rush the passer. New England doesn’t have that dynamic pressure player coming off the edge. Defensive ends Andre Carter and Shaun Ellis are veterans, but they don’t rush the passer like a Brian Orakpo or Kyle Vanden Bosch.

Patriots’ defensive force: Vince Wilfork

The strength of this Patriots defense is up the middle with defensive tackle Vince Wilfork, who is one of the more dominate players in this league. For a man his size, Wilfork moves very well. He is not one of those tackles that sits in a spot and just anchors down. He is very active — not only in his pass rush, but also his ability to play the run right at him or working down the line. Kyle Kosier, Phil Costa and Bill Nagy had to deal with the inside power and the push that the Lions’ Ndamukong Suh and Corey Williams were able to get. To the credit of the Cowboys’ inside three, however, they were able to hold up the majority of the time. Wilfork has power, but he has pass rush technique.

Breaking down the Patriots’ defense

On the other side, Albert Haynesworth will see action. But also be aware of second-year player Kyle Love, who is a much lighter and more mobile player. When the Patriots’ defensive line tries to get pressure, it’s usually by using twist stunts. They will also use blitzes from the secondary — twice using a slot blitz vs. the Jets and a straight corner blitz against the Raiders.

Linebackers Jarod Mayo and Brandon Spikes are very active. Both really try to play downhill and attack the ball. They like to give you a tight look with one of the linebackers at the line, drop him, then fire the one from the other side. Where this group had some trouble was when the Jets went with an empty formation and it caused some confusion.

Also watch passing plays on the outside against this defense. The Buffalo Bills were able to work their screen packages but were also able to make plays in the flat with their running backs catching the ball against these linebackers.

Another potential target spot: Patriots safety

Another potential weakness for the Patriots is at safety. Starter Josh Barrett has been banged up, as has Patrick Chung. The Patriots have been trying to make do with Sergio Brown, who tends to misplay the ball in flight and is a poor tackler. James Ihedigbo is a better player when he can react to the ball in front of him. It will be interesting to see if the Cowboys can take advantage of this defense.

TRADE DEADLINE: NFC East trade speculation

The Cowboys could look to trade either running back Tashard Choice or tight end Martellus Bennett in advance of Tuesday’s trade deadline. Both are high-talent guys who haven’t panned out and now seem extraneous in Dallas, so it makes some sense to see about getting a good draft pick for one of them. Calvin Watkins talked to Choice, who said he’d like to stay in Dallas but whatever, and he seems to think they have reason to keep Bennett around. Choice has shown a flash or two here and there, so a running back-needy team could take a chance, you never know.

Of course, the two biggest names being thrown around on the trade market today are those of Denver Broncos receiver Brandon Lloyd and Indianapolis Colts receiver Reggie Wayne. And those are big enough names to catch anyone’s attention. It’s hard to imagine the Giants, Eagles or Cowboys making a trade to get a big-time receiver, since all three of those teams seem fine with what they have at receiver right now and the price for guys like Lloyd and Wayne is likely to be high. I guess Wayne would be the second-best receiver on the Giants if they got him, but that doesn’t feel like a move the Giants would make.

People will connect these names to the Redskins, since Washington’s wide receiver corps has plenty of numbers but no real big names. A field-stretching guy would be a nice complement to the precision, route-running possession guys the Redskins have, but prior negative experience with Lloyd (with the Redskins and with Redskins coach Mike Shanahan while both were in Denver) almost certainly makes Lloyd a no-go. And since the Redskins’ plan all offseason seemed to be to conserve resources to continue their rebuilding project next spring and summer, I’d be surprised to see them make a big move for a guy like Wayne. Sure, if they win this week and get to 4-1 the temptation will be to “go for it.” And they should. But the Redskins are more likely to “go for it” by sticking with the plan that got them to where they are this season — good defense and an uncomplicated offense designed to minimize the chance for mistakes. I don’t think asking Rex Grossman to throw downfield more, no matter who they bring in for him to throw to, is in the plan.

But I could be wrong, and we’ll surely talk plenty more about this stuff between now and Tuesday.

Dallas’ Ex-Browns know they’ll get Pats’ best shot

As former Browns defensive lineman Kenyon Coleman said earlier in the week, Cleveland’s upset of New England last year wasn’t just surprising to NFL fans around the country.

 

The Patriots didn’t see it coming, either. Using a number of crazy looks on defense, the Browns surprise-attacked New England.

 

“The bottom line is when we played them last year, it wasn’t like we were rolling,” Coleman said Wednesday. “However they perceived us in Cleveland, I don’t know, but we’ve just got to realize that we’re going to get their A effort this year.”

 

Rob Ryan, the Browns’ defensive coordinator who now holds the same position for the Cowboys, doesn’t think Cleveland snuck up on the Pats, and knows good and well the Cowboys won’t be able to do so.

 

“There’s no chance of that,” Ryan said. “I don’t know what it was. I don’t think Bill Belichick has many bad weeks of preparation. I’m sure they prepared hard. I think our guys played hard, and we were fortunate enough to get the ball bouncing our way in that game, and we won the game, so that’s what’s great. But this week, it’s going to be even better.”

 

This week’s gameplan, characterized as “the kitchen sink” and “a head-scratcher” by Ryan’s own players on the Cowboys defense, is a credit to two defensive assistants, Ben Bloom and Dave Borgonzi, doing extensive research on the Pats.

 

“Both of them coached at Harvard,” Ryan said. “So they’re going home. They’ve prepared and they’re ready to go, so we’re going to be at our best.”

New-Look Pats 4-3 front, but ‘Boys won’t copy

This is a copycat league, as they say, and for the last decade there has been no better team to emulate than New England. Going against them for the first time in four years this week, the Cowboys will see a considerable change in the Patriots from their last meeting in 2007.

For the first time in the Bill Belichick era, and the first time since Bill Parcells was head coach years before him, the Pats are operating a 4-3 defense more often than not.

“It certainly is different,” Jason Garrett said. “They’ve been a 3-4, ‘okie’ team for a long, long time, and that goes back to (Belichick’s) days with the Giants a long time ago, and certainly since he’s been in New England that has been the base defense that they’ve played. They’ve always done a very good job mixing different fronts in during the game.”

The Cowboys, of course, became a 3-4 team for the first time in their history back in 2005, when Parcells installed the scheme. His theory then, and a prevailing one in the league now, is that whichever scheme is run by the minority of teams is favorable.

Not only do offenses have less experience against the less-used front, but there will be fewer teams going after the premium players who fit that particular scheme.

Things are beginning to swing back toward 3-4 teams being in the majority in the league, but don’t expect the Cowboys to switch to a 4-3 anytime soon.

“”There certainly seems to be a trend in recent years for teams to go play some more 3-4 defense,” Garrett said. “I think the biggest thing you have to do when you’re evaluating what style of defense you want to play is you have to look at the personnel on your team.

“Now, if you’re starting from scratch you have a real clean look at it, and you say I want to be a 3-4 guy or I want to be a 4-3 guy. But when you’re coming into a new situation, you say, what do these guys have, who are the really good players? Do they fit this scheme better or that scheme better? I have not talked to Coach Belichick about it, but I’ve got to believe that one of the reasons they’re playing some more even defense, 4-3 defense, is because of those two defensive tackles that they have.”

New England added Albert Haynesworth this offseason, pairing him with Vince Wilfork in the middle of their line. It’s hard to take either of those guys off the field. The Cowboys only have one great defensive tackle at this point, Jay Ratliff.

And with DeMarcus Ware a proven star in the 3-4, the Cowboys are obliged to stay in that scheme for years to come.

Butch Davis’ father dies at 82

SPRINGDALE, Ark. — Paul Davis, father of former North Carolina football coach Butch Davis, has died. He was 82.

Paul Davis, a native of Springdale, Ark., was a standout high school football athlete before later playing football at Northeastern State College in Tahlequah, Okla. He later coached football and track in Oklahoma and was also a school administrator — earning membership in the Oklahoma Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2004.

Davis, who had retired with his wife, Irene, in Arkansas was selected to Springdale’s athletic Hall of Fame in 2006. His grandson, John Eccles, confirmed Friday’s death.

Butch Davis, who played high school football in Springdale, was fired by North Carolina in July after compiling a 28-23 record in four seasons with the Tar Heels.

FYI, more about Butch Davis:

Butch began a successful 15-year association with Jimmy Johnson, first as a receivers and tight ends coach at Oklahoma State University for the Cowboys, then later as defensive line coach at the University of Miami. During that time, the Miami Hurricanes won a national championship in 1987.

Butch followed Jimmy Johnson to Dallas where, as defensive coordinator and coach of the defensive line, he helped Johnson and new owner Jerry Jones create a back-to-back Super Bowl champion out of a Dallas Cowboys team that went 1–15 in 1989, Johnson’s first year as head coach. Davis was promoted to defensive coordinator in 1993 after the departure of Dave Wannstedt. After Johnson left, Davis continued at Dallas for one more year as assistant coach under Barry Switzer.

On the lighter side, Butch also coached the Cleveland Browns.

Dallas Cowboys Bye Week: Came at a good time after all, mentally and physically

IRVING, Texas – For a bunch of guys who have been banging heads since the end of July, it would stand to reason that there would be no such thing as a bad time for four consecutive days off. However, there was a point last week when that was very much a worthwhile question.

A week later, it would seem the Cowboys have lucked out after all. As I heard a local radio personality describe it astutely on Tuesday, this was Control+Alt+Delete week for the Cowboys, the exact thing they needed after that embarrassing loss to the Lions.

Not only did the Cowboys get rest of their weary, like Miles Austin, Dez Bryant, Orlando Scandrick, Mike Jenkins and Gerald Sensabaugh, but the rest of the division came back to them, with New York losing to an inferior Seattle team, and Philadelphia now trying to stave off a total implosion after starting 1-4.

Maybe it was the time to put their feet up, or the chance to watch their competition looking very suspect, or just the extra time gone by since Week 4, but the loss to the Lions seemed forgotten when the players got back to Valley Ranch on Monday, as much an afterthought as Week 1 was following a win in Week 2 – ancient history.

And maybe it’s also fortuitous to be playing New England out of the bye, not only because the Cowboys needed the extra time to get their ducks in a row before one of the toughest games of the year, but because the challenge is so great that the team truly has no room to look back.

The 24-hour rule, so often referenced by Jason Garrett, is in place for wins or losses. Ideally, you could waive it on the backs of a huge win and going into the bye week. But maybe it was also a good thing that the Cowboys had to stew on their loss to the Lions for a couple of days, without being punished on Sunday for the fact it stayed on their minds for a little too long.

Against New England, the Cowboys could lose. However, considering what happened in Week 4, I’m liking their chances more than I would have if not for the extra week the players have had to clear their head.

INJURY UPDATE: Friday, October 14, 2011 – Four Cowboys ruled out against NE

The Cowboys have ruled out four players for Sunday’s game with the Patriots, including defensive end Jason Hatcher, who will miss his second straight game with a calf injury. In fact, Hatcher suffered the injury in the first half against Washington on Sept. 26 and has now missed three weeks, including the bye week.

At least Marcus Spears (79 career starts) is an established vet who will start, alongside Kenyon Coleman. Backup Sean Lissemore will play more this week as well and has done well in an expanded role.

Other players out include fullback Tony Fiammetta, whose nagging hamstring injury will keep him out for a third straight game. Look for John Phillips to handle more fullback and H-back duties.

David Buehler will miss his third straight game with a groin injury, meaning place-kicker Dan Bailey will take care of the kickoff duties again. This will be Bailey’s first game to kick off outdoors, after two straight games at Cowboys Stadium.

And veteran lineman Derrick Dockery is still out with a sprained knee/broken tibia in his right leg. Rookie Bill Nagy will start again at left guard.

Sunday’s game will be a return of injured players such as wide receiver Miles Austin and cornerback Orlando Scandrick, who have missed two and three games, respectively.

Dallas Cowboys DC Rob Ryan more careful with his comparisons

Dallas Cowboy Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan
Dallas Cowboy DC Rob Ryan

It’s only been four games into the regular season, but what we’re getting everything we expected from defensive coordinator Rob Ryan.

The defense hasn’t just been better on the field, but he’s lived up to the personality we thought as well. And he’s not afraid to offer up some bulletin-board material, like he did in training camp, calling the Eagles the “dream team” or before the Lions game two weeks ago when he said Detroit receiver Calvin Johnson was really good but nearly as good as Dez Bryant and Miles Austin.

This week, Ryan was more careful in how he answered the question about Patriots receiver Wes Welker.

“I’m afraid to comment on wideouts. Apparently I don’t know anything,” Ryan joked. “All I know is that this guy is great. He catches every pass. He’s leading the league in yardage, catches, he’s great in the red zone. He’s a great competitor. I know he’s damn good and gets a million throws from Brady.”

After Ryan’s comments about Johnson, Lions head coach Jim Schwartz opened his post-game press conference with a sarcastic jab towards Ryan, telling the media he’s happy the Cowboys’ third-best receiver (Calvin Johnson) was with the Lions.

“I’m not going to compare anybody any more, even though Dez Bryant did catch two TD passes,” Ryan said. “So did the other guy. I’ve given that up. Hell, I’ve taken a beating for that.”

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Welcome to The Boys Are Back blog. Want to know more about Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan? If so, just click HERE or visit the “SPOTLIGHT” section tab at the top of this blog. Enjoy! Thanks for visiting The Boys Are Back!

Tony Romo confident Dallas Cowboys will win a Super Bowl during his watch

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) signals after completing a 77-yard pass to wide receiver Jesse Holley against the San Francisco 49ers in the overtime period of an NFL football game in San Francisco, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2011. The Cowboys won 27-24 in overtime. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) Photo: Associated Press / SA

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) signals after completing a 77-yard pass to wide receiver Jesse Holley against the San Francisco 49ers in the overtime period of an NFL football game in San Francisco, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2011. The Cowboys won 27-24 in overtime. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Tony Romo stepped out of character Thursday and said the Dallas Cowboys would win a Super Bowl while he’s their quarterback. Cowboys QB’s prediction comes as doubters talk.

In some of the sharpest criticism leveled at Romo after the Cowboys’ historic collapse against the Detroit  Lions, Deion Sanders said on the NFL  Network that the 31-year-old passer wasn’t good enough to win a Super Bowl.

Speaking to reporters in Irving, Romo answered Sanders with some bold comments that raised eyebrows because he usually doesn’t mix it up with his critics or issue provocative quotes.

But he did this time — and just four days before the Cowboys (2-2) square off with three-time Super Bowl champion Tom  Brady and the New England Patriots (4-1).

“Every once in a while you hear things that come out, but that’s not something you search out,” Romo said. “I mean honestly, Deion is welcome to his opinion about stuff. Deion is Deion. He is what he is.

“We’re going to go out here and we’re going to play good football. This team’s going to win a Super Bowl at some point. It’s going to be exciting when that time comes.

“And when we look back, we’ll know who was on what side of the fence during the toughest moments.”

The Lions intercepted Romo three times in the second half, returning two of the picks for touchdowns and turning the third into a 40-yard drive that produced the winning TD in a 34-30 victory that saw them overcome a 24-point  third-quarter deficit.

The biggest collapse in Cowboys history triggered a new debate about whether Romo can win a title.

In the season opener, Romo committed two turnovers that allowed the New York Jets to overcome a 14-point fourth-quarter deficit for a 27-24 win. The  next two weeks Romo earned praise for ignoring a fractured rib and a punctured lung while leading Dallas to come-from-behind wins over San Francisco  and Washington.

“I don’t understand this guy,” Sanders said after the Cowboys coughed up the big lead against the Lions. “Just when you want to believe in him — heroic  effort, comeback against San Francisco, they said punctured lung and everything. And we praised him. We said, ‘Yeah, he’s that leader, he’s their guy.’ And then you come and do this. What are you thinking?

“Sooner or later, we’ve just got to quit guessing and assuming that this guy’s the guy to get you over the hump and say, ‘You know what? This guy is  always going to be great statistically, but he’s not that guy that can take you where you want to go.’ And that’s the Super Bowl.”

In the more mundane portion of his weekly media session, Romo said he will take another pre-game pain-killing shot before Sunday’s game at New England.

Romo, who will continue to wear a vest to protect his ribs, has been a full participant in practice.

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