Daily Archives: November 24th, 2011

DALLAS COWBOYS FAMILY FOCUS: Girlfriend’s recovery leaves Dallas Cowboys kicker David Buehler thankful

David Buehler and Brittany Pigrenet are thankful for family and friends and for their son, Bryson.

RIchard W. Rodriguez/ Star-Telegram

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IRVING — Their eyes were locked. Blues fixated on blues, as David Buehler recalled the day his girlfriend was diagnosed with a brain aneurysm.

Buehler’s life, once solely consumed by football, had to make room for a possibility that young couples rarely prepare for or ever consider. Brittany Pigrenet, 25, went in for life-saving surgery on the morning of Oct. 22, holding the couple’s 6-week-old son, Bryson, for as long as the hospital staff let her.

“It puts life and everything in perspective,” David said, instinctively turning his gaze and focus on Brittany. “Before I was playing for myself, my family name, my teammates, the organization but now that I’m supporting Brittany and our son, Bryson, it puts everything in perspective.

“You work just that much harder. You put your heart and soul into knowing that I get to come home to the two people I love most.”

Buehler’s professional life with the Dallas Cowboys hasn’t always gone as planned. Drafted as a kickoff specialist in 2009, Buehler became the full-time place-kicker last season and made 24 of 32 field goals. Rookie Dan Bailey took over field-goal duties this season, with Buehler going back to kickoffs.

RIVAL HEADLINE: Dallas Cowboys field goal at :00 snaps Miami Dolphins’ win streak

Dan Bailey kicked a 28-yard field goal as time expired as the Dallas Cowboys snapped the Miami Dolphins' three-game win streak in a see-saw game in Arlington, Texas

Photo courtesy: Richard W. Rodriguez/Star-Telegram

Dan Bailey kicked a 28-yard field goal as time expired as the Dallas Cowboys snapped the Miami Dolphins’ three-game win streak in a see-saw game in Arlington, Texas.

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ARLINGTON, Texas — Forget that improbable dream of winning out after an 0-7 start.

Forget that nutty notion of a nine-win season or, almost assuredly, a miraculous late push for a playoff berth.

A late Dallas Cowboys drive, ending with Dan Bailey’s 28-yard field goal as time expired, dealt the Dolphins a heartbreaking 20-19 Thanksgiving Day loss, ensured Miami can finish no better than .500 even if it wins its final five games, and likely foiled any chance of the Dolphins scripting a magical, memorable end to this angst-filled season.

“Helplessness” is how Brandon Marshall described his emotions as he watched the Cowboys drain the clock late, with Miami out of timeouts. “This really hurts. There are a few plays, at the end, that we should have made and we didn’t.”

The Dolphins (3-8) played brilliantly at times, and valiantly throughout, but were again snakebitten by troubling early-season deficiencies, including a penchant for squandering late leads. This marked the fourth time Miami lost a game that it led with less than 6:50 left.

Ahead 19-17 and with a chance to run out the clock with 4:47 to go, the Dolphins went three-and-out, using up only 1:33.

“There wasn’t a doubt in our mind that we were going to win the game,” Davone Bess said. “In that four-minute situation, we’ve been pretty efficient buying some time and running the ball. But we didn’t.”

Dez Bryant’s 20-yard punt return gave the Cowboys possession at their 36 with 2:59 left. Jason Witten, held without a catch in the first half, caught passes of 23 and 6 yards from Tony Romo to move the ball to the Dolphins 35.

Five successive runs by DeMarco Murray – of 6, 9, 3, 4 and 5 yards – pushed the ball to the Miami 8, setting up Bailey’s winning kick, which extended his field goal streak to 26 in a row.

“Extremely frustrating,” said Reggie Bush, who ran 16 times for 61 yards. “We have nobody to blame but ourselves.”

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Instant Analysis: Once again, Tony Romo at his best when it was winning time

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) looks to pass to DeMarco Murray as they warm up before the game against the Miami Dolphins.

RIchard W. Rodriguez/ Star-Telegram

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) looks to pass to DeMarco Murray as they warm up before the game against the Miami Dolphins.

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ARLINGTON — Say hello to a four-game winning streak. Although they never looked in control, the Cowboys grabbed win No. 7 on Thursday, defeating the Dolphins 20-19.

Here are five thoughts on Thursday’s win over a Miami team that had won their previous three.

1.) After throwing two interceptions on his first five passes, Tony Romo bounced back to toss two touchdowns and lead a solid game-winning drive with Dallas down 19-17. He was at his best when the Cowboys needed to answer a Miami score and that’s what’s important. When it was winning time, Romo delivered, completing 7-of-10 passes for 73 yards and a touchdown in the fourth quarter.

“Boy, I’ll tell you what, he sure made big plays,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said of Romo. “That was an important win.”

2.) Laurent Robinson continues to play at a Pro Bowl level. It’s somewhat difficult to believe that a free agent receiver can come in and have the impact that he has over the last five games. During that time, Robinson has been the Cowboys’ top receiving threat and most reliable red zone target. Thursday’s two-touchdown performance gives the 26-year-old seven touchdown catches over the last five games. Is Jerry Jones already working on a long-term contract?

“We’re working hard in the red zone,” Robinson said. “I’m finding a way to get open and Tony is finding me. … I feel like I’m always flying somewhere, running fast, waving my hands in the air and he sees me and hits me.”

3.) This secondary can make it difficult to digest a Thanksgiving dinner. Whether it was poor coverage during a few key situations or some costly penalties, the Cowboys safeties and corners gave the Dolphins life on several occasions. Miami’s lone touchdown drive came courtesy of a poor defensive play by Alan Ball on third down and Terence Newman’s inability to prevent a touchdown despite committing one of the most aggressive pass interference penalties of this NFL season. Larry Fitzgerald could be in for a career-day in Week 13.

“We did some things that helped them out,” Jones said, “but at the end I think our team showed a lot of will and the players were resolved and that made the difference.”

4.) On this day, Cowboys fans should be thankful for DeMarco Murray’s ability to hang on to the football. While Murray was a dependable workhorse, again, his ball security is what helped the Cowboys get in position for the game-winning field goal. The rookie runner, who finished with 87 yards on 22 rushes, carried on five of Dallas’ final seven plays, the other two were a Romo kneel down and Dan Bailey’s field goal. There’s no way that the Cowboys are 7-4 without him.

“We like the way he’s playing,” Robinson said of Murray. “We feel comfortable with him out there and he is doing a great job.”

5.) Oh, just another game-winning field goal from the rookie. Bailey certainly made it look easy Thursday, kicking his third game-winner this season and second in as many games. It sure makes it easy on Jason Garrett, knowing he has a steady kicker, who has converted 26 in a row, at his disposal. Garrett’s coaching style equates to a lot of close games, so expect a few more clutch opportunities from Bailey before the year is done.

“The guy has saved our butts two weeks in a row,” Terence Newman said of Bailey. “The poise that he has is unbelievable. You can see his confidence as he walks around practice. Hats off to him for helping us out.”

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BOX SCORE AND MORE: How did your favorite Dallas Cowboy do vs. Miami Dolphins?

BOX SCORE - Dallas Cowboys vs. Miami Dolphins
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Scoring Summary
First Quarter Mia Dal
FG 2:42 Shayne Graham 26 yd FG 2:42
Drive: 5 Plays, 18 Yards, 2:04
3 0
Second Quarter Mia Dal
FG 4:38 Dan Bailey 32 yd FG 4:38
Drive: 10 Plays, 48 Yards, 5:02
3 3
TD 0:55 Laurent Robinson 5 yd pass from Tony Romo (Dan Bailey kick) 0:55
Drive: 1 Plays, 5 Yards, 0:06
3 10
FG 0:00 Shayne Graham 28 yd FG 0:00
Drive: 7 Plays, 46 Yards, 0:55
6 10
Third Quarter Mia Dal
FG 8:02 Shayne Graham 27 yd FG 8:02
Drive: 11 Plays, 71 Yards, 6:58
9 10
TD 3:54 Brandon Marshall 35 yd pass from Matt Moore (Shayne Graham kick) 3:54
Drive: 5 Plays, 74 Yards, 2:20
16 10
Fourth Quarter Mia Dal
TD 14:31 Laurent Robinson 18 yd pass from Tony Romo (Dan Bailey kick) 14:31
Drive: 9 Plays, 77 Yards, 4:23
16 17
FG 7:14 Shayne Graham 23 yd FG 7:14
Drive: 14 Plays, 76 Yards, 7:17
19 17
FG 0:00 Dan Bailey 28 yd FG 0:00
Drive: 10 Plays, 54 Yards, 2:59
19 20
 
To check out the rest of the Box Score … click HERE.
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Courtesy: Dallas Morning News, Stats, Inc., and The National Football League.
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Dallas Cowboys top Miami Dolphins in final second; stay atop NFC East standings

Dallas Cowboys WR Laurent Robinson (80) celebrates his second-quarter TD pass reception with teammates Martellus Bennett (80) and John Phillips (89) during the Miami Dolphins vs. the Dallas Cowboys NFL football game at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington on Thursday, November 24, 2011
Photo courtesy: Louis DeLuca / DMN Staff Photographer
 
Dallas Cowboys WR Laurent Robinson (80) celebrates his second-quarter TD pass reception with teammates Martellus Bennett (80) and John Phillips (89) during the Miami Dolphins vs. the Dallas Cowboys NFL football game at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington on Thursday, November 24, 2011.
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ARLINGTON — Tony Romo doesn’t care about winning in style. He’s leading the Dallas Cowboys to victories, and that’s all that matters.

Romo overcame a pair of early interceptions by throwing two touchdown passes to Laurent Robinson and rookie Dan Bailey made a 28-yard field goal as time expired, giving the Dallas Cowboys a 20-19 victory over the Miami Dolphins on Thursday.

The Cowboys (7-4) were never able to grab control, but also never trailed by more than six points. The defense gave up scores on four straight series, but limited the damage because three of those were field goals. They finally got a stop with Dallas trailing 19-17.

Romo took over on his 36-yard line with 2:59 left. He completed a few passes, then rookie DeMarco Murray kept grinding out yards and winding down the clock to set up Bailey’s winner.

“We did enough to give ourselves a chance to win the game,” Dallas coach Jason Garrett said.

This was the second straight game that Bailey ended with a field goal, and the fourth time he’s done it this season. The kick was his 26th straight made field goal, matching the second-best in club history.

It also was a measure of redemption for Cowboys fans, coming 18 years after the Dolphins won a Thanksgiving game on a last-second field goal following Leon Lett’s memorable gaffe on a snowy afternoon. This time, conditions were so balmy that the glass end-zone doors at Cowboys Stadium were opened for the first time all season.

Dallas won its fourth straight, continuing its best streak since a division championship season in 2009. The Cowboys also grabbed sole possession of first place in the NFC East, moving a half-game ahead of the Giants. New York plays at New Orleans on Monday night.

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LISTEN LIVE: Dallas Cowboy’s postgame show on the Dallas Cowboy Radio Network

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GAMEDAY … The Boys Are Back at home … Cowboys vs Dolphins

Dallas Cowboys vs Miami Dolphins - Thanksgiving Day 2011
Dallas Cowboys vs Miami Dolphins – Thanksgiving Day 2011.

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Dallas Cowboys vs. Miami Dolphins

 
The Boys Are Back Bonus Videos
 
02:15 – A preview of the Week 12 matchup between the Dolphins and the Cowboys.
 
04:19 – Cowboys little-known backup QB Clint Longley shocks the Washington Redskins on Thanksgiving Day. See where it ranks on the all-time Thanksgiving moments.
 
03:34 – Find out where Leon Lett’s infamous mistake vs. the Miami Dolphins ranks on the top 10 Thanksgiving moments of all time.
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Can’t catch The ‘Boys on TV? Don’t worry … we’ve got your back!
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FOX GAMETRAX - Dallas Cowboys vs. Miami Dolphins

FOX GAMETRAX - Dallas Cowboys vs. Miami Dolphins

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Watch the game on TV and listen to the Voice of the Dallas Cowboys over the airwaves.

Check The Dallas Cowboy Radio Network to find a local station.

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Afterwards, listen online to the Postgame show and interviews (Click HERE)!

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