Daily Archives: October 31st, 2011

THINK PINK: Dallas Cowboys’ Laurent Robinson spiked football against Eagles for boy battling cancer

Dallas Cowboys Laurent Robinson - Spike for cancer victim - The Boys Are Back blog

Dallas Cowboys Laurent Robinson - Spike for cancer victim, Tyler - The Boys Are Back blog

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At first glance, many wondered Sunday night why in the world Cowboys wide receiver Laurent Robinson was so animated in spiking the football after his touchdown cut Philadelphia’s lead to 34-7.

Laurent Robinson beat the Eagles’ coverage and worked his way behind the secondary, catching a pass down the right sideline from Tony Romo. Laurent Robinson raced 70 yards for his first touchdown as a Cowboys player that broke the shutout with 12:53 to play in the fourth quarter.

After the score, Robinson jumped in the air and emphatically spiked the football into the end zone with his right hand.

The celebration seemed over the top considering the score, but there’s a back story that explains Robinson’s spike.

During the Cowboys’ bye in early October, Laurent Robinson met a young boy from Dallas named Tyler who was fighting brain cancer. One of Tyler’s wishes was to meet a player from his favorite team, and Laurent Robinson obliged.

During the visit, Tyler told Laurent Robinson that during one of his youth football games he scored a touchdown and spiked the football, receiving a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

Robinson promised Tyler that when he scored his first touchdown as a Cowboys player that he would spike the football in honor of him.

Laurent Robinson, who led Dallas with five catches for 103 yards against Philadelphia, held true to his word. Cancer battles are close to Robinson’s heart. His mother, Linda Brown, is a 12-year survivor of breast cancer.

After spiking the ball, Eagles fans booed him and threw a few items in his direction near the back of the end zone. Robinson quickly retrieved the bounding ball and carried it to the sideline.

He won’t keep the ball that represents his first touchdown as a Cowboys player. Instead, he plans to give it to Tyler.

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NFL Cancer Awareness - Dallas Cowboys

HOPE

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About a Crucial Catch

The NFL, its teams, players and the NFL Players Association are proud to support the fight against breast cancer. Our campaign, “A Crucial Catch”, in partnership with the American Cancer Society. Throughout October, NFL games will feature players, coaches and referees wearing pink game apparel, on-field pink ribbon stencils, special game balls and pink coins – all to help raise awareness for this important campaign. All apparel worn at games by players and coaches, along with special game balls and pink coins will be auctioned off at NFL Auction (www.NFL.com/auction), with proceeds benefitting the American Cancer Society and team charities. This is an issue that has directly touched the lives of so many in the NFL family, and we are committed to helping make a difference in breast cancer prevention.

To learn more, click HERE

RIVAL: Philadelphia paper uses Tony Romo to have some Halloween fun

Tony Romo vs Eagle Cole Halloween cartoon

Philadelphia Inquirer Halloween cartoon - Tony Romo

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Philadelphia Inquirer cartoonist Rob Tornoe, who draws a weekly cartoon for the paper’s sports section, came up with this sketch, which obviously referred to the success the Philadelphia Eagles defensive line had against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night.

I’m not sure what will make Dallas Cowboys fans more upset, the fact that Romo is running scared from a rival or that he is wearing his hat backwards.

RIVAL CHOICE: Dallas Cowboys rival Washington Redskins claim Tashard Choice off waivers

IRVING, Texas — The Washington Redskins claimed former Dallas Cowboys running back Tashard Choice off waivers on Monday, according to a source close to the team, possibly setting up an interesting reunion on Nov. 20 at FedEx Field.

The Cowboys cut Choice on Saturday to make room for rookie linebacker Bruce Carter. Had Choice not been claimed by Washington, he would have reverted to the Cowboys’ injured reserve list because of a hamstring injury.

The Dallas Cowboys would have reached an injury settlement with Choice if he ended up on IR.

The Redskins had a need after losing leading rusher Tim Hightower to a torn anterior cruciate ligament against Carolina. He had 321 yards on 84 carries. The Redskins also have Ryan Torain and Roy Helu as their tailbacks.

Choice had 75 yards on 28 carries this season and also caught 11 passes for 71 yards. In his career with the Cowboys, he finished with 1,139 yards on 250 carries and eight touchdowns. He is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent following the season.

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DALLAS COWBOYS HISTORY: DeMarcus Ware’s big day overshadowed by tough loss in Philly

Dallas Cowboy DeMarcus Ware - The Boys Are Back blog

Dallas Cowboy DeMarcus Ware - The Boys Are Back blog

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In the minutes after his four-sack performance against Michael Vick and the Eagles, DeMarcus Ware gave the impression of a man who felt his career game had been wasted.

The Cowboys outside linebacker took down Philadelphia’s scrambling dynamo for a two-yard loss on the first play from scrimmage, and from there things quickly spiraled out of control for the Cowboys. The Eagles would score touchdowns on their first three possessions to take a 21-0 lead, and added field goals on their next two, the outcome of the tame barely in doubt for five minutes at the beginning.

DeMarcus Ware would eventually post a sack in each quarter, dropping Vick and the Eagles for a total loss of 23 yards. It wasn’t enough to matter, though, as they compiled 495 yards of total offense.

“I think it really doesn’t even matter, to think about that,” DeMarcus Ware said of his big game. “We were able to get some pressure on him, but we’ve just got to go back this week and watch the film, and correct the things we need to correct and get better for the next game. You can’t sort of harp on how things went this week. You’ve got to get better and, you know, it’s just one game.”

Through just seven games, DeMarcus Ware already has 12.0 sacks on the year, only a half-sack behind league-leader Jared Allen of Minnesota, who has played one more game.

DeMarcus Ware surpassed his previous career high of three sacks in a game, which he has had seven times, and tied Ed “Too Tall” Jones and Charles Haley for second in the team record books for most sacks in a game, behind Bob Lilly and Jim Jeffcoat, who each had five.

The big night allowed DeMarcus Ware to reach double-digit sacks for a sixth consecutive season, however, getting the Cowboys back on the winning track is a more primary focus for him now.

“It has to be,” Ware said. “Because we have a long season and we’re just getting started.”

So long, the season is, that Ware is on pace for more than 27.0 sacks, which would smash the league record.

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POSTGAME INJURY UPDATE: Sean Lee MRI | Jenkins | McBriar | Ratliff OK | Bruce Carter may start

Dallas Cowboys Sean Lee
Dallas Cowboys Sean Lee

PHILADELPHIA — Dallas Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee will have an MRI on Monday morning to determine the extent of an injury to his left wrist.

Owner and general manager Jerry Jones said the initial diagnosis was a dislocation. Lee, the Cowboys’ leading tackler, suffered the injury on the final play of the first quarter of Sunday night’s loss 34-7 loss in Philadelphia when his wrist was bent backward while attempting to tackle Eagles quarterback Michael Vick.

Lee went to the locker room for further evaluation and did not return to the sideline. He was replaced by Keith Brooking and Bradie James.

“I’m hoping I could play next week,” said Lee, who had his wrist in a brace after the game. “I couldn’t return tonight. The doctors would not let me out there. Hopefully I can get it re-evaluated and it’ll be all right.”

Any absence from Lee would hurt the defense. Entering Sunday’s game the coaches had credited Lee with 72 tackles, 41 more than any other defender. He also has a team-leading three interceptions and recovered two fumbles.

Before his injury, the Cowboys’ defense struggled but it got worse in Lee’s absence. Brooking and James struggled in containing Eagles running back LeSean McCoy and were beat in coverage too.

Depth would be an issue, too. Rookie second-round pick Bruce Carter made his season debut against the Eagles, but the plan was to ease him into the lineup on special teams. Without Lee, Carter could be called on more quickly than anticipated to help in pass coverage.

The Cowboys lost another defensive starter for the night after cornerback Mike Jenkins suffered a hamstring injury in the third quarter. Jenkins had been bothered earlier in the year with a stinger injury suffered in training camp and a shoulder injury suffered in the season opener, but he had not missed a game. He was replaced by Orlando Scandrick.

Meanwhile, punter Mat McBriar left the game with a left foot injury. Mat McBriar has some nerve issues in his left foot (non-kicking) which prevents him from planting. Dan Bailey replaced him and Chris Jones was signed to the practice roster on Friday as a precaution.

Jay Ratliff left the game late in the fourth quarter but is Ok. He went to the sidelines and was looked at by the trainers. He played numerous snaps on Sunday night with the Cowboys keeping Josh Brent inactive and with Sean Lissemore being used in his place it meant a heavy load for Ratliff.

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POSTGAME: Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan says, “Andy Reid kicked my ass … it’s all on me.”

Rob Ryan postgame - Andy Reid kicked my ass - It's all on me

Rob Ryan postgame - Andy Reid kicked my ass - It's all on me

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PHILADELPHIA — Defensive coordinator Rob Ryan takes all the blame for the Dallas Cowboys‘ failure to back up his big mouth.

Ryan mockingly referred to the Philadelphia Eagles as the “all-hype team” during training camp and vowed that the Cowboys would “kick their ass” when the NFC East rivals met. The opposite happened Sunday night at Lincoln Financial Field, when the Eagles scored on their first six possessions while rolling to a 34-7 rout.

“The whole thing is I got outcoached by [Andy] Reid and their staff,” Ryan said. “I mean, it’s ridiculous. I never gave our guys a chance. The whole [expletive] thing was on me. If I gave them any extra motivation, hell, I certainly never backed it up. I gave our guys a lousy plan. We had no chance, and it’s all on me.”

A Dallas defense that entered the night as the NFL’s fifth-ranked total defense was absolutely dominated by the star-studded Eagles.

Philadelphia finished with 495 total yards, 324 of which came while racing to a 24-0 halftime lead. The Eagles rushed for 239 yards, more than three times the league-low average allowed by the Cowboys in the first six games of the season.

Eagles running back LeSean McCoy carried 30 times for 185 yards and two touchdowns, racking up the most yardage the Dallas defense has allowed in 11 seasons.

Quarterback Michael Vick completed 21 of 28 passes for 279 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for another 50 yards on seven carries.

The Eagles’ first three possessions were touchdown drives of 79, 90 and 67 yards. The first score of the game was a glaring example of Reid winning the X’s and O’s battle. A quick screen to Jeremy Maclin, which resulted in an easy 12-yard touchdown, was a perfect counter to a safety blitz that Ryan called for the third time that series.

“Andy Reid was reading my mail,” Ryan said. “He kicked my ass. I’ve just got to go back and work harder. I’ve got to be smarter than this. That’s all it comes down to.”

However, Ryan said this humiliating loss wouldn’t make him watch his mouth in the future. That’s simply not the style of the son of brash ex-Eagles coach Buddy Ryan and twin brother of Super Bowl-guaranteeing New York Jets coach Rex Ryan.

“Hell, if I don’t say anything, then I don’t really believe,” Ryan said. “Hopefully, it will be the last time it ever happens. But whatever happened, it was all my fault.”

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STANDINGS: Dallas Cowboys fall into tie for second place in NFC East

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo sacked by Philadelphia Eagles defensive end's Jason Babin and Trent Cole

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo sacked by Philadelphia Eagles defensive end's Jason Babin and Trent Cole

Michael Ainsworth/Staff Photographer
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PHILADELPHIA — The “All-Hype” team finally played up to their super expectations.

Michael Vick threw two touchdown passes, LeSean McCoy had a career-best 185 yards rushing and two scores and the Philadelphia Eagles routed the Dallas Cowboys 34-7 Sunday night.

Dallas defensive coordinator Rob Ryan fired up the Eagles with some trash-talking during the summer after they added several big-name players.

Ryan, the son of beloved former Philadelphia coach Buddy Ryan, called the Eagles the “all-hype” team and predicted the Cowboys would “beat their (butt).”

He was way off.

The Eagles (3-4) dominated right from the start, improved to 13-0 after a bye under coach Andy Reid and snapped a five-game losing streak at Lincoln Financial Field that dated to last season.

The long-haired Ryan paced the sideline and desperately tried to figure out how to stop Vick and Co. It didn’t happen until the fourth quarter when the game was out of reach.

The Eagles racked up 495 total yards and held the ball for 42:09. They thoroughly outplayed a defense that came in ranked seventh in the NFL.

DeMarcus Ware was one of the few players who played well for Dallas (3-4). He had four sacks, and has 12 this season.

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REALITY CHECK: Dallas Cowboys not competitive for first time under head coach Jason Garrett

Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett

Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett

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Jason Garrett has lost seven games since taking over as the Cowboys head coach in the middle of last season. None of those losses were by more than four points.

Until this one.

“We’ve been playing so well and doing the things we needed to get done,” linebacker Anthony Spencer said. “For us to come out and play like this, to have the things that happened to us in this game, I mean, it’s pretty much unacceptable.”

A team that was outscored by a total of 18 points in its first six losses under Garrett lost this one by 27 points. The Cowboys were hopelessly behind with 10 minutes left in the second quarter.

The Cowboys are now 3-4 to fall under .500 for the third time this season.

“You never think something like this is going to happen,” cornerback Mike Jenkins said. “This is one of those games that just got out of hand and you felt like you couldn’t do anything about it. “We got beat. We flat out got beat.”

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HISTORY: Dallas Cowboy notes

Here are the notes compiled by the Dallas Cowboys‘ after  the game:

Bruce Carter made his NFL debut tonight playing on special  teams.

Last week DeMarco Murray established a club  record with 253 rushing yards. He became the ninth Dallas Cowboy to pass the 175  rushing yard mark. His 74 yards tonight represent the sixth-most following a  175-plus yard performance in club history:

                                        175-plus                                Next Week

         Player                         Yds       Opp      Date                Yds       Opp      Date

Tony  Dorsett                183        @NYG  11/9/80          122         STL      11/16/80

Emmitt  Smith              237        @Phi    10/31/93        117         NYG      11/7/93

Tony  Dorsett                175        @Bal    12/6/81          101          PHI      12/13/81

Tony  Dorsett                206        PHI       12/4/77            92         @SF     12/12/77

Julius  Jones                198        @Sea   12/6/04            88          NO       12/12/04

DeMarco  Murray        253        STL       10/23/11          74         @Phi     10/30/11

Emmitt  Smith              182        @Pho   9/22/91            67         NYG      9/29/91

Troy  Hambrick             189        @Was   12/14/03          36         NYG      12/21/03

Julius  Jones                194        @Car    12/24/05          35         STL      1/1/06

Laurent Robinson led all Cowboys with 103 receiving yards.  It was his second 100-yard effort of the season and the third of his career. He  also had his first touchdown as a Dallas Cowboy on a 70-yard reception. It was  the second-longest catch of his career behind a74-yard touchdown catch while  with Atlanta (at Arizona, 12/23/07).

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VIDEOS: Postgame press conferences with Jason Garrett | Tony Romo | Jerry Jones | Rob Ryan

Video - Dallas Cowboys Postgame Press Conference - Jason Garrett

Dallas Cowboys Postgame Press Conference - Jason Garrett - Press Play

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Garrett and Romo: Postgame

Jason Garrett and Tony Romo speak following the teams loss to the Eagles.

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Video - Jerry Jones - Postgame interview

Video - Jerry Jones - Postgame interview

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Jerry Jones: Not A Cause For Concern

Jerry Jones speaks to the media following the Cowboys loss to the Eagles.

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Video - Rob Ryan postgame interview - Press Play

Video - Rob Ryan postgame interview - Press Play

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Rob Ryan: I Never Gave Our Guys A Chance

Defensive Coordinator, Rob Ryan, takes the blame for the Cowboys loss to the Eagles.

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Instant Analysis: Philadelphia Eagles embarrass Dallas Cowboys, make Rob Ryan eat his words

The top run defense in the NFL was dominated by Philadelphia running back LeSean McCoy, who ran for 185 yards and two touchdowns Sunday night.

Here are my five thoughts on the Cowboys’ embarrassing 34-7 loss to the Eagles.

1.) What a debacle. That’s one of those high school games that you hope your parents and friends forgot to attend. However, for the Cowboys, that game was not only on television but prime time national television. The Cowboys were absolutely embarrassed against their hated-rival and every NFL fan near a TV got to view it. Philadelphia dominated almost the entire way and in every facet of the game, handing the Cowboys their worst loss of the Jason Garrett head-coaching era. No one outside of the Philadelphia locker room was expecting a beat down like this. I mean, it was so bad that the Cowboys didn’t force a punt until the fourth quarter.

2.) Are Dez Bryant, Miles Austin and Tony Romo on the same page or was the all-world Philly secondary simply too good? Romo didn’t complete one pass to Bryant or Austin the first half. Sure, there wasn’t much time for Romo to throw and the Cowboys only had four first-half possessions, but you would think he could get a couple of short tosses to his top two receivers. Bryant’s first catch didn’t come until there was 6:42 left in the game, and that was after the Oklahoma State product was showed complaining on the sidelines. The Cowboys’ top receiver was Laurent Robinson on Sunday. Does Romo feel most comfortable with a receiver that didn’t make his Cowboys debut until Week 3? It sure looked that way.

3.) For anyone who wasn’t sure who the best quarterback in the division was, you received your answer Sunday night. Michael Vick did whatever he wanted against a group that was supposed to be one of the best units in the league. His offensive line allowed him plenty of time to operate, which gave him the opportunity to be nearly flawless in his decision-making. Vick rushed only when he needed to, finishing with 50 yards on seven carries, and completed 21-of-28 passes for 279 yards and two touchdowns. If Philly gets that type of production from Vick every week, the Eagles will be playing the Packers for the NFC championship.

4.) It’s not going to happen, but Rob Ryan should probably chill out on the bulletin board material. Ryan’s “we’re going to beat their [expletive] when we play them” sure made the Cowboys defensive coordinator look silly. I love his enthusiasm but like Bradie James said on Wednesday, coach, can you save those comments for when the Cowboys play the Rams? Ryan wanted to make a bold statement and he did. But the Eagles certainly made him eat his words.

5.) Positive spin: DeMarcus Ware, DeMarco Murray and Robinson all played well despite the Cowboys’ horrible showing. Those three all kept fighting to the end and it showed in their stats. Ware finished with four sacks and 11 tackles, Murray rushed for 74 yards in the first half and Robinson caught five passes for 103 yards and a touchdown. Also, despite a horrible blowout loss, the Cowboys have a favorable schedule over the next five weeks. If Jerry Jones’ group can do their best impression of Nolan Ryan’s bunch, and quickly put this one behind them, a month from now this game could be looked at as something that brought the team together.

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JERRY JONES: Disappointed but says its not a cause for concern

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones labeled Sunday’s game against the Eagles as a potential foundation builder, one in which his team can use as a stepping stone for a possible second half run.

He looked at the Cowboys upcoming schedule and saw a few patsies.

There are games against Seahawks (2-5), Redskins (3-4), Dolphins (0-7) and Cardinals (1-6) up over the next five weeks along with a matchup against the Bills (5-2).

It’s was certainly an opportunity for a Cowboys team hopefully riding off to a victory against the Eagles to fatten up.

But that was before the Cowboys stepped into a 34-7 butt whipping Sunday night against the Eagles _ sending them back under .500 at 3-4 and looking like  the same mediocre team they have been for more than a decade.

Yet a disappointed Jones was not ready to panic

“I am disappointed,” Jones said. “There’s no alarm. I want to be real clear:  There is absolutely no alarm in me. We had a lot to gain. If we could come up here and win this ball game, we had a lot to gain. We understand that. They played outstanding. We did not play good at all. But they played outstanding. I give them their credit. They did what they had to do to be what we had in mind [that they were capable of]. But we’re going to step right back out. I’m going to say one more time: Not a cause for concern.”

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