Daily Archives: November 8th, 2011

RECORD BOOKS: Dallas Cowboys TE Jason Witten closing on Ozzie Newsome

Dallas Cowboys' Jason Witten scores a touchdown around Seattle Seahawks' Kam Chancellor during second half action Sunday Nov. 6, 2011 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, TX. The Cowboys won 23-13. Photo: Express-News, EDWARD A. ORNELAS / © SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS (NFS)

Dallas Cowboys’ Jason Witten scores a touchdown around Seattle Seahawks’ Kam Chancellor during second half action Sunday Nov. 6, 2011 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, TX. The Cowboys won 23-13. Photo: Express-News, EDWARD A. ORNELAS
IRVING, Texas — With two catches Sunday against Buffalo, Jason Witten will pass Ozzie Newsome for third place among tight ends for receptions all-time.

Newsome had 662 receptions in his Hall of Fame career. Witten has 661 after his four-catch, 71-yard outing against Seattle on Sunday. Only Tony Gonzalez, a sure Hall of Famer once he decides to retire, and Shannon Sharpe, who was inducted this summer into the Hall of Fame, would be ahead of Witten.

Gonzalez has 1,108 catches and Sharpe has 815.

“I said a while back it’s kind of surreal to think about passing a guy like that,” Witten said. “Until Tony came along he was the greatest tight end. He and John Mackey were the staples of what this position is all about. It will be special to be able to do that, but at the same time, you’re so intent on winning games that you don’t have time to look back at it. But it will be surreal for me. When I came into this league, I never thought about something like that. I just thought about getting better and better and better, so that’s been my mentality. You spend time in the film room to find five or six things I can work on to get better. If you keep that approach, good things will happen.”

Witten turns 30 next March and signed a contract extension through 2017 before the season started. He is on pace for 88 catches and 1,096 yards this season.

Does he have a chance to catch Gonzalez or is he putting the record so far out of reach?


ROSTER MOVEMENT: Defensive tackle Robert Calloway re-signed, kicker Kai Forbath can practice

IRVING, Texas — The Cowboys re-signed defensive tackle Robert Calloway to their practice squad Tuesday, filling the spot created when punter Chris Jones was called up to the active roster.

The Cowboys also cleared kicker Kai Forbath for practice after he opened training camp on the non-football injury list with a quadriceps injury. Forbath was signed Aug. 2 but has not kicked with the team. The Cowboys will have three weeks to activate him to the 53-man roster, release him or put him on injured reserve.

With two kickers on the roster already in Dan Bailey and David Buehler, it is difficult to see him added to the active roster.


REMINDER: Thursday Night Football starts this week

Thursday-Night-Football on the NFL Network
Thursday-Night-Football on the NFL Network


The five-day wait between NFL games is now over. Thursday Night Football begins its schedule this week, and it will carry us all the way through Week 16. There will be an NFL game every Thursday, as well as a bonus game on a Saturday in December.

NFL Network Schedule

Week Date Matchup
Week 10 Thursday, Nov. 10 Oakland Raiders at San Diego Chargers
Week 11 Thursday, Nov. 17 New York Jets at Denver Broncos
Week 12 Thursday, Nov. 24 San Francisco 49ers at Baltimore Ravens
Week 13 Thursday, Dec. 1 Philadelphia Eagles at Seattle Seahawks
Week 14 Thursday, Dec. 8 Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers
Week 15 Thursday, Dec. 15 Jacksonville Jaguars at Atlanta Falcons
Week 15* Saturday, Dec. 17 Dallas Cowboys at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Week 16 Thursday, Dec. 22 Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts


Remember, in our Pro Football Pick ‘Em games that your pick has to be in :05 before the kickoff of the first game of the week. If you forget, and miss the deadline, you won’t get any points for that weeks games.

Did you know?: You have instant access to our Pro Football Pick ‘Em game from right here, inside The Boys Are Back blog. Either click on the “Gameday” tab at the top of every page, or scroll down and click on the logo located on the right side of every blog page.


ROOKIE SENSATION: Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray continues to impress

Dallas Cowboys' DeMarco Murray looks for running room around  Seattle Seahawks' Kam Chancellor during first half action Sunday Nov. 6, 2011 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, TX. Photo: Express-News, EDWARD A. ORNELAS

Dallas Cowboys’ DeMarco Murray looks for running room around Seattle Seahawks’ Kam Chancellor during first half action Sunday Nov. 6, 2011 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, TX. Photo: Express-News, EDWARD A. ORNELAS
DeMarco Murray ranks 13th in the league with 539 yards on 80 carries. He is on his way to becoming only the Cowboys’ second 1,000-yard rusher since Emmitt Smith left, and the former OU star has done it despite missing training camp with a hamstring injury.

“His quick development is not a surprise, but it’s certainly something that is very impressive,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said Monday. “We thought he was a very complete back coming out of the school. His track record shows that. He started early there. He has all the rushing records and receiving records, scoring records there at such a great school with so many great players who have come through there. So we felt really good about him as a player.

“Again, with him missing so much of training camp and not having an off-season, his development to get to that form as quickly as he has has been very impressive.”

Murray also has impressed the Cowboys with his work ethic and his demeanor.

“He had the big game a couple of weeks ago against St. Louis [when he rushed for a team-record 253 yards], and then Wednesday, he’s out there playing scout team,” Cowboys tight end Jason Witten said Monday. “It’s like, ‘I don’t think you need to be the scout-team back any more, DeMarco. I love the mentality that you have but get some rest. We need you over here.’

“But I think that mentality pays off for him. He’s been great. He’s been a dynamic player for us. Our offense, and really our team, has been better and had success because of the way he plays.”


NEXT MAN UP: Miles Austin out | Laurent Robinson in

Dallas Cowboys' Laurent Robinson slides through the end zone after missing a pass during second half action against the Seattle Seahawks Sunday Nov. 6, 2011 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, TX. The Cowboys won 23-13. Photo: Express-News, EDWARD A. ORNELAS


With receiver Miles Austin out two to four weeks with hamstring strain, the Cowboys will consider adding another receiver to the roster.

But with two kickers and two punters already on the team, a roster move won’t be an easy proposition because of all the moving parts.

The Cowboys however are comforted by the presence and emergence of Laurent Robinson who will start opposite Dez Bryant.

Robinson joined the team for the second game of the season after being cut in camp by the Chargers yet he is the only Cowboys receiver with two 100-yard receiving games this season. He has picked up the offense quickly and earned the trust of quarterback Tony Romo, allowing him to supplant Kevin Ogletree as the third receiver.

“He’s done a very good job for us,” coach Jason Garrett said. “He came in without training camp and really has kind of stepped in and really provided a spark for us, the consistency for us. The quarterbacks like to throw to him. He understands what we’re asking him to do and he consistently makes plays. He gets open. He made contested catches. He’s made some big plays for us but he’s also made some little plays for us that have kind of made the difference. His role will continue to get bigger and bigger in Miles’ absence and hopefully some of the other receivers will emerge as well.”


Detroit Lions sign Kevin Smith, ex-Dallas Cowboys OG Leonard Davis

The Detroit Lions put their stamp on two one-year contracts Monday, re-signing running back Kevin Smith and adding former Dallas Cowboys guard Leonard Davis.

The team announced the deals Monday when they released running back Eldra Buckley and cornerback Anthony Madison.

Smith has not played this season and has a history of injury. He appeared in six games for the Lions last season, rushing for 133 yards. In his rookie season of 2008, Smith rushed for 976 yards and eight touchdowns.

The Lions needed to add depth in their backfield as running back Jahvid Best has been sidelined recently with concussion problems and Jerome Harrison is out for the season after being diagnosed with a brain tumor.

Meanwhile, it is unclear where Davis fits on the Lions’ offensive line or what corresponding roster move the Lions will make to add Davis to the team.

Detroit is coming off an open date and will play Chicago next week. The Lions are 6-2, but they’ve had occasional problems protecting quarterback Matthew Stafford.

The Cowboys cut the 33-year-old Davis before training camp. The move saved the Cowboys $6 million against the salary cap in 2011. Davis was scheduled to earn $6 million in base salary and count $9.416 million against the cap this season.

Davis, who signed a seven-year deal worth $49 million in 2007 as a free agent from Arizona, started every game he played for the Cowboys and was named to the Pro Bowl in each of his first three seasons.


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