One of the things that make America such a great country is our proud history of working together to overcome difficult times. It started with the founding of our nation 236 years ago, and it continues to this day. As individuals, we may not always see eye to eye — the current political season provides a clear example of how reasonable people can disagree — but when the time comes to pull together, no other nation does it better than the citizens of the United States of America.
In 2009, Congress designated September 11th as a National Day of Service and Remembrance.
PHOTOS: National September 11 Memorial
IRVING, Texas – Owner Jerry Jones recently sat in a suite in Seattle almost directly on top of where quarterback Tony Romo fumbled the field goal snap that sent the Dallas Cowboys packing in the first round of the 2006 playoffs.
Jones said he still remembers that bird’s eye view well, but the resurgent Romo who took over as the Cowboys starter that season is a much different player than the one returning to Seattle this weekend for the first time since the Wild Card defeat.
“You have seen, in his case, a person and a player that is continually striving for ways to get better,” Jones said. “It’s one of his best qualities. He never sits still or thinks in the now. He’s always trying to think ahead, getting better in different circumstances, how he can be a better player for the Dallas Cowboys.
“Just the time that has passed and the nature of Romo says probably all you need to say. As far as learning lessons from experiences, again, he’s excellent at that and incorporating the negatives in his game as well.”
Jones said he felt like Romo was coming into his own as a quarterback when the playoffs began that year. Romo made his first Pro Bowl despite starting just 10 regular season games, after taking over for Drew Bledsoe at halftime in Week 7 against the Giants.
Romo became the first starting quarterback in Dallas to throw for more than 220 yards in his first eight career starts that year. He finished second in the NFL with a 65.28 completion percentage.
“That was an early preview of what you have in Romo, relative not necessarily to the dropped ball, but just what Romo can bring to the table,” Jones said.
But the season will forever be marred by the fumbled field goal snap, which resulted in a shoestring tackle stopping him two yards short of the end zone and one yard short of a first down late in the fourth quarter.
Head coach Bill Parcells, who came to Dallas in 2003, retired after the 2006 season. Jones said the loss to the Seahawks wasn’t the cause.
“I had always had a good understanding and good feel for where Bill was relative to his motivation and relative to his clock,” Jones said. “His decision to not coach anymore wasn’t just a shock to me. I wanted him to continue if he wanted to continue, but I knew kind of a timeframe he was looking to when he took the job.”
The Seahawks lost in overtime a week later to the Bears, 27-24. Jones said he thought if the Cowboys could have found a way to beat Seattle, they’d have a good chance to make a playoff run.
“It was very disappointing,” Jones said. “But not nearly as disappointing as last year.”
IRVING — Cornerback Mike Jenkins will likely play this week, but he’s not sure how he will react to his first action since last season or how the Cowboys plan to use him.
"Won’t know until I talk to somebody," he said. "When I get a full practice in with full equipment, then we’ll know."
He hinted that he is eager to play.
"If you saw the game, you would know how anxious I was," he told reporters Monday at Valley Ranch, meaning the Giants game last week. He could be seen gesturing excitedly on the sideline in replays of DeMarco Murray’s 48-yard run.
"It ain’t about me right now," he said. "It ain’t about me."
Coach Jason Garrett said the Cowboys first want Jenkins confident with what he has been doing, playing on the outside versus playing in the slot.
"He has been mostly an outside corner for us, so we want to get him back comfortable doing what he does," Garrett said. "At the same time, he does have some experience in this defense and experience playing on the football team."
Rookie cornerback Morris Claiborne put up an electronic billboard ad in Baton Rouge. It pictured him in his LSU uniform and read: "Thank you Tiger fans. Mo."
"I was just trying to find a way that I could give back to the fans," Claiborne said Monday. "The fans at LSU are great. So I sat down with my agent and tried to think of something, and we just started throwing out certain things. That was one of the things that stuck out for me."
Claiborne said the billboard was a hit.
"Everybody loved it," he said. "They were pumped up about it. … I just know those guys help us when we’re in Tiger Stadium. It doesn’t matter what’s happening — they’re always there cheering us on and pumping us up."
Claiborne said he does not know how much the billboard cost. He told his agent, Bus Cook, to pay whatever it cost.
Jay Ratliff practiced Monday, but owner Jerry Jones said the nose tackle’s availability for Sunday is still a question.
"I watched him out there today. It’s possible," Jones said. "But I can’t tell you that one way or the other. He’s being very aggressive on it. He’s making really good progress."
Ratliff is recovering from a high ankle sprain suffered in the third preseason game.
Safety Gerald Sensabaugh said he was held out of practice Monday because of concussion symptoms suffered against the Giants.
He said he will be fine and seemed optimistic about playing against the Seahawks. He will likely have to pass a concussion test before returning.
If Sensabaugh can’t go, Danny McCray could replace him. McCray missed the Giants game with a neck injury but he practiced Monday.
The Cowboys don’t have plans right now to get more work at center for Mackenzy Bernadeau.
"We’ll probably proceed as we’ve proceeded on the offensive line," Jason Garrett said. "Again, we like how those guards are playing, so we anticipate playing them in those spots."
The Cowboys considered developing Bernadeau at center in the off-season to push starter Phil Costa, who is expected to miss the Seattle game while he recovers from a back injury.
"But he does have position flex, so we’ve got to make sure we have a guy who can snap the football if Ryan can’t snap the football," Garrett said.
Tyron Smith penalty
Offensive tackle Tyron Smith smiled when someone mentioned the horse-collar tackle that saved the Cowboys a touchdown against the Giants.
Coach Jason Garrett called it one of the most important plays of the game.
"Yeah, but I’m going to get fined for it," Smith said Monday.
Any fine probably won’t come until mid-week. The league office said any fines from the Wednesday game would come along the regular schedule.
Sure, it’s only one game, but then again, there ARE only 16 of them. Uncharacteristically, Randy Galloway and Mac Engel have decided to just enjoy the Dallas Cowboys’ victory over the NY Giants. But if they slip up in Seattle … (Sept. 11, 2012) Video by Kathy Vetter/Star-Telegram
If we’re done with the focus being on the Giants game last Wednesday, then it should be on the Seahawks, right?
Yeah, I get it. We try to focus on one thing at a time. But that’s more of a coach rule than anything.
With the ‘boys off, it was nice to watch a little football on Sunday. Then again, I bet there were plenty of Dallas Cowboys fans who weren’t too thrilled with what they saw in New Orleans.
Cowboys fans know what they’re going to have to face for about 10 to 12 years. It’s scary – not only to figure out to stop him, but to wonder how good this kid can really be.
But as a true fan of the game, how can you not like what Robert Griffin III did in his NFL debut? Every bit of the excitement he had at Baylor, he played with Sunday in his first game out against the Saints. He throws, he runs, he throws on the run … he just manages his team like he’s been doing it for five years.
You want balance? How about scoring 10 points in each quarter to put up a big 40-spot on the Saints in the Superdome.
Yes the game has changed in 23 years, but think back to 1989 when Troy Aikman made his debut against the Saints in the very same Superdome. RG3’s 40 points were about … 40 points more than Troy could lead his team to that day.
Griffin was purely amazing, becoming the only player in NFL history to pass for at least 300 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions in his NFL debut. And his 88-yard touchdown strike to Pierre Garcon was the second-longest touchdown pass in a player’s NFL debut, only one yard behind Neil O’Donnell in 1991.
I remember looking at the schedule when it came out in April and when I noticed the Cowboys didn’t get the Redskins until Thanksgiving, my first thought was: any rookie QB jitters he might have will be long gone by then.
Umm… what rookie jitters? He looked nothing like a rookie in that first game.
Ok, so the Saints aren’t what they used to be on defense. But it’s obvious Griffin will face much better defenses than what he saw in New Orleans. It’s safe to say his six NFC East games will be much tougher than that.
Still, you have to think Griffin will be better too, not only in the next few weeks, but can you imagine about the next few years and then some.
Hey, I’m not saying the Cowboys should be scared. Just saying, RG3 looks to be everything he’s been made out to be – and then some. And with that, he’ll likely be a pain in the Cowboys’ side for the next decade.
Nick Eatman | Dallas Cowboys website
TBAB EDITORS NOTE: Seeing is believing! Watch the Washington Redskins RGIII’s NFL debut vs. New Orleans Saints on NFL Game Rewind.
IRVING – In the first 26 years of their existence, the Seattle Seahawks qualified for the playoffs only five times. They were a listless team that played in a drab domed stadium before temporarily relocating to a college facility.
Eventually, they settled into brand new digs, setting up shop at airy CenturyLink Field in 2002. Since then, the Seahawks’ fortunes have changed. They have made the playoffs six times in the previous 10 seasons.
That Seattle’s recent run began around the same time its 67,000-seat home opened may be coincidental. Then again, it may not be. Since 2002, only six NFL teams – the New England Patriots, Baltimore Ravens, Indianapolis Colts, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Diego Chargers and Green Bay Packers — have posted a better winning percentage at home than the Seahawks have.
For those who have been to CenturyLink Field, it’s easy to see why Seattle’s opponents have struggled to win there.
“This is a very difficult place to play,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. “It’s loud. It’s almost a college-type atmosphere.”
This week Garrett plans to pump up the volume at practice with simulated noise so that his team will be prepared to block out the din of the crowd. Dallas had seven pre-snap penalties in a 24-17 victory over the New York Giants and the Cowboys are looking to avoid similar mistakes in an environment that is hostile for the opposition.
“There are a lot of stadiums in the NFL that are loud,” Cowboys center Ryan Cook said. “Seattle happens to be one of them.”
But no place perhaps helps the team it houses quite like CenturyLink Field. It gives the Seahawks a true home-field advantage.