Daily Archives: September 29th, 2012

PINK PALACE: The secret is out … Jerry Jones tickled pink

Cowboys Stadium opening a Victoria's Secret store - The Boys Are Back blog

It might make the Dallas Cowboys the butt of jokes, but Jerry Jones will go pink for profit in his $1.2 billion football palace.

A Victoria’s Secret PINK store will open Monday at Cowboys Stadium, a first at a professional sports stadium or venue.

"We think it’s cute as a bug and very in place to show it and sell it out there," Jones said Friday on KRLD-FM.

Cowboys Stadium has pretty much everything Jerry Jones could imagine packing into a single building, but if there’s one thing it lacks, it’s a certain feminine touch. No longer.

The Cowboys sent out a news release promoting a ceremonial ribbon-cutting event that will take place a few hours before the Cowboys kick off against the Chicago Bears. Victoria’s Secret models Elsa Hosk and Jessica Hart will be among the dignitaries there along with Charlotte Anderson, Jones’ daughter and the Cowboys’ executive vice president for brand management.

According to the release, Victoria’s Secret PINK is a "fully articulated lifestyle collection for young women that include bras, panties, loungewear and sleepwear."

Dallas Cowboys lace trim thong panty by Victoria's Secret - The Boys Are Back blog

The Cowboys Stadium store, which will be located on the main concourse club area above Entry A, will sell Victoria’s Secret PINK merchandise that features the Cowboys’ name and star logo.

No need to wait ’til Monday Night to have your emblazon your crotch with the Cowboys Star. May I suggest the Jerry-approved lace trim thong panties? You can order them online right now.

 

RELATED: The Jerry Jones Show

The Jerry Jones Show - The Fan - The Boys Are Back blog

The Jerry Jones Show 105.3 The Fan, September 28, 2012

ALTERNATE LINK: Click HERE to listen to the show (listed on the right column)

EDITORS COMMENT: You really SHOULD listen to this show. Always a few gems!

WORK IN PROGRESS: Rob Ryan says it’ll be a bigger deal if Cowboys are No. 1 on defense after 16 weeks

Video - Rob Ryan press conference - Week 3 2012 Season - The Boys Are Back blog

Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan promised he’d bring a No. 1-rated defense to the Cowboys, and he’s done it.

Three weeks into the season, the Cowboys lead the NFL in fewest yards allowed, the league’s traditional measure for defensive ranking.

Big deal, coach?

“It’s going to be big if we can get it after 16 weeks,” Ryan said Saturday at Valley Ranch in his usual ‘Friday’ meeting with reporters. “It’ll be good. We’re happy with where we are. Guys have been working hard. We’re not ashamed of being No. 1, that’s where we want to be. We’re excited about that. We want to keep getting better.”

The Cowboys have gotten to No. 1 on defense despite injuries that have knocked out three starters – nose tackle Jay Ratliff (who hasn’t played yet), defensive end Kenyon Coleman (one game), safety Gerald Sensabaugh (one game) and safety Barry Church (season-ending Achilles last week).

Now, linebacker Anthony Spencer is slowed. He’s missed practice all week with a shoulder injury.

“We’ve had a lot of guys play for us, which a lot of people do – you go through injuries, that’s part of the game,” Ryan said. “It’s exciting. Our guys have really worked hard for that, and we’re not making apologizes for being No. 1.”

Ryan was asked if he simply has better players to work with this year as opposed to his first year with the Cowboys.

“Well, I definitely think we have excellent players,” he said. “We’ve got excellent coaches. With our team the way we play all three phases, yeah, we can definitely be successful. I think we could have been successful last year. We weren’t as successful obviously. But those guys worked hard, and we had some good veteran players on that group as well. But the guys are really functioning together as a group. And I think no one wants to let the others down, that’s for sure.”

Video - Watch Now - The Boys Are Back blog - Press play

Rob Ryan: Not ashamed To be #1

Rob Ryan talks about his Dallas Cowboys new triple-flex defense through the first three weeks, and what they need to do for the remainder of the season.

TALE OF TWO QUARTERBACKS: Dallas Cowboys’ Tony Romo, Chicago Bears’ Jay Cutler share similarities

Dallas Cowboys Tony Romo vs Chicago Bears Jay Cutler - The Boys Are Back blog

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Jay Cutler and Tony Romo have been starting in the NFL since 2006.

There are other distinct similarities as well between the quarterbacks, from the number of games started — Cutler has 81 starts, and Romo 80 — to the number of playoff victories at one each. Both lead teams that are 2-1 this season despite their own somewhat underwhelming individual performances, though they might not be solely to blame for those.

Cutler has been sacked 11 times already. Things got so bad for the Chicago Bears in their second game, when he was sacked seven times and threw four interceptions, that Cutler visibly berated and bumped his left tackle on the sideline.

Romo found himself sandwiched between defenders on several occasions - The Boys Are Back blog

Romo found himself sandwiched between defenders on several occasions in the Dallas Cowboys’ last game, when he was sacked four times and had three turnovers — two of those fumbles after crushing hits.

"I’m not going to sugarcoat this. … We are not playing well right now," said Bill Callahan, the Cowboys’ new offensive line coach who also has the title of offensive coordinator. "We’ve got some things to fix. Believe me. We are not ducking that."

Like Romo, Cutler was bailed out in a victory last week by his own team’s suffocating defense.

Now they go head-to-head Monday night at Cowboys Stadium, and against those powerhouse defenses.

The Cowboys and Bears are both among the top six in the NFL total defense, and both allowed under 170 total yards a week ago.

If the Cowboys don’t get some things fixed, Romo might have to duck a lot against the Bears, who have an NFL-high 14 sacks. Three Chicago linemen already have multiple sacks.

"Obviously, he’s our starting quarterback, and we’d like to keep him in that position for the remainder of the year," said center Ryan Cook, who didn’t join the Cowboys until after the preseason.

Cutler has to worry about perennial Pro Bowl linebacker DeMarcus Ware (four sacks, seven quarterback pressures).

"Make sure we’re taking care of 94 (Ware) because he can be a problem," Cutler said. "If you leave him alone too many times one on one, he’s going to make a play. So you’ve got to keep him guessing, throw a lot of stuff at him, and hopefully at the end of the day keep him off you."

Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler against DeMarcus Ware and the Dallas Cowboys defense - The Boys Are Back blog

Cutler, now in fourth season in Chicago, got everything he wanted this offseason from the Bears.

They haven’t gotten a lot in return so far for reuniting the quarterback with Pro Bowl receiver Brandon Marshall and quarterback coach Jeremy Bates, who were part of his three seasons in Denver.

Miami rookie Ryan Tannehill has the only quarterback rating lower than Cutler, who is tied for the league interceptions lead with six. The Bears have managed 25 points a game while only gaining 290 yards per game, though they anticipate a boost with the expected return of Pro Bowl running back Matt Forte, who missed last week’s 23-6 win over St. Louis because of a sprained right ankle.

"It’s the first year in the offense. It’s going to take time," Cutler said. "Very few offenses go out there first year offensively with a new offensive coordinator, new system, and put up 30-40 points a game. It’s a whole season. You’ve got build on each and every game and get better."

Cutler has re-connected with Marshall, the Bears’ top receiver with 16 catches for 214 yards.

"I’m excited, but now the honeymoon’s over. Now we’re focused on being Chicago Bears and leaving a legacy here," Marshall said. "We’re off to a good start and we need to get better definitely. We’re not even close to where we want to be."

As for Cutler handling continued criticism, Marshall can’t think of anyone who could handle the situation better than his quarterback.

"And I’m talking about outwardly, I’m talking about inwardly. When you get criticized nationally for the world to watch, it’s really tough for some people to bounce back," the receiver said. "To be criticized the way he does, it’s really amazing to see him handle adversity and bounce back and really continue to lead us."

Sep 23, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) in the huddle with receiver Miles Austin (19) Dez Bryant (88) DeMarco Murray (29) in the second half against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

Since an impressive 433 total yards in the season-opening victory at the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants, the Cowboys haven’t achieved any real balance on offense. They have been held to less than 50 yards rushing in consecutive games.

Along with the pressure Romo is getting from defenders, the Cowboys’ offense has already been flagged for 15 pre-snap penalties, including 12 false starts.

Romo has an interception in each game, including the fourth play last week that led to Tampa Bay’s only touchdown in the Cowboys’ 16-10 victory.

"He’s had to handle some different situations. We talked a lot about the bad down and distance situations we’ve been in the last couple of weeks," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. "He has to manage his way through that and make sure we don’t get in those situations as well."

NFL OFFICIALS VOTE: Veteran officials approve deal, ready to ref

NFL head linesman Tom Stabile, left, and referee Ed Hochuli arrive at an Irving, Texas hotel Friday, Sept. 28, 2012 - The Boys Are Back blog

IRVING, Texas (AP) — NFL referees are ready to go unnoticed again, just as they prefer.

The refs approved a new eight-year contract with the league by a 112-5 vote Saturday, officially ending a lockout that led to three weeks of increasingly chaotic games run by replacement officials.

After a few hours of final preparations with league officials, the next stop for the referees will be the airport. Most will be heading straight to their Sunday game sites.

"It was pretty much ‘Come on in and vote,’" said Scott Green, president of the referees’ association. "We’re going to talk football now. We’re going to stop talking about CBAs and lockouts and now we’re going to talk about rules and video and getting ourselves ready to work football games."

They may get ovations similar to the one bestowed on the crew that worked Thursday’s Cleveland-Baltimore game with the tentative deal in place. Before long, they expect to go back to being mostly anonymous and sometimes hated. They’re OK with both.

"The last Super Bowl that I worked, when we got in the locker room, I said, ‘You know, the best thing about this game, nobody will remember who refereed this game,’" Green said. "That’s how we like to work."

The referees met for about an hour and a half Friday night to go over the contract, then gathered for another 30 minutes Saturday morning before approving the contract.

"We are obviously pleased to hear it," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said in an email to The Associated Press on Saturday.

Because they were aware of the financial parameters, most of the discussion by the referees involved non-economic issues such as year-round work and developmental squads, said Tim Millis, the association’s executive director.

The deal came quickly this week after an increasing chorus of complaints became impossible to ignore when a disputed touchdown call on the final play gave the Seattle Seahawks a victory over the Green Bay Packers on national television Monday night. Many thought the ruling of a Seattle touchdown instead of a Green Bay interception was botched, and the labor dispute drew public comments.

By late Wednesday, the sides had a contract calling for refs’ salaries to increase from an average of $149,000 a year in 2011 to $173,000 in 2013, rising to $205,000 by 2019. The current defined benefit pension plan will remain in place for current officials through the 2016 season or until the official earns 20 years’ service.

The defined benefit plan will then be frozen. Retirement benefits will be provided for new hires, and for all officials beginning in 2017, through a defined contribution.

Beginning with the 2013 season, the NFL will have the option to hire a number of officials to work year-round. The NFL also can retain additional officials for training and development and assign those officials to work games. The number of additional officials will be determined by the league.

The officials that worked Thursday’s Ravens-Browns game were cheered from the moment they walked onto the field. The difference between the regular crew and replacements was clear. The officials kept the game in control, curtailing the chippy play and choppy pace that had marred the first three weeks of the regular season.

"I think the thing we’re most proud of is the lesson that we all learned," Green said. "If you’re going to be in a professional league, you’ve got top-notch coaches, you need professional officials as well."

Courtesy: Associated Press

THE ROAD TO DALLAS: Kyle Orton happy to be in Big D

Dallas Cowboys QB Kyle Orton ready to step in at any moment - The Boys Are Back blog

Dallas Cowboys backup quarterback Kyle Orton was drafted by the Chicago Bears and spent the first four years of his career in Chicago. He was 21-12 as a starter there, but the Bears traded him to Denver for Jay Cutler in 2009.

Dallas Cowboys QB Kyle Orton former Chicago Bear - The Boys Are Back blog

“Kyle Orton was super for us when he was here," Bears coach Lovie Smith said Thursday in a conference call with Cowboys reporters. "One of the best guys you’ll ever be around. Confident, smart, a natural born leader. He was good at everything we asked him to do while he was here. The Cowboys really did well getting him to come backup Tony.”

The Bears offense has changed since Orton was there, but the defensive scheme and many of the faces on that side of the ball are the same. So Orton has been able to help the Cowboys with some insights into the Bears’ D.

"I know the defense pretty well," Orton said. "This is a team that hasn’t changed too much [on defense]. A lot of guys around here have seen them for a while as well. You’ve just got to beat a good football team. They’re not too complicated. They’re just really good at what they do and have a lot of good players."

Dallas Cowboys QB Kyle Orton former Denver Bronco - The Boys Are Back blog

Even though he won’t play unless Tony Romo is injured, Orton is looking forward to seeing some old friends Monday night.

"I had four good years there," Orton said. "They’ve got a great locker room over there, a lot of great guys. Brian Urlacher is a great leader of the organization, and I really respect him and all the time I spent there."

Orton, though, was not eager to talk about the trade that sent him from Chicago to Denver. The Broncos cut him during the 2011 season, and the Chiefs claimed him off waivers. Chicago, which had lost Cutler to injury, had was interested in re-acquiring his services. The Cowboys and Bears both put in waiver claims on him, but the Chiefs had the worst record among the three teams.

Dallas Cowboys QB Kyle Orton former Kansas City Chief - The Boys Are Back blog

Orton signed with the Dallas Cowboys as a free agent in the off-season.

"Long time ago. Different point in my career," Orton said. "I’m just happy to be where I am."

ROMO ON THE RUN: Tony Romo showing patients during offensive slump

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) makes a call at the line of scrimmage - The Boys Are Back blog

IRVING — Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo has spent the past two games being used as a piñata by opposing defensive linemen and watching his favorite receiver, tight end Jason Witten, let a season’s worth of passes slip through his fingers.

Although there has been no public grumbling from Romo, teammates understand the frustration that is building within their offensive leader as the Cowboys (2-1) prepare to face Chicago (2-1), the team that leads the NFL in sacks (14), in Monday’s game at Cowboys Stadium.

“We’ve been around Tony long enough that we can tell, based on his facial expressions, how he’s feeling. He shows his emotions to us,” said offensive guard Nate Livings. “So he doesn’t have to say anything. We see what he’s going through.”

That included four sacks and multiple knockdowns, triggering two lost fumbles in pass-rush situations, in last week’s 16-10 victory over Tampa Bay. It has included an NFL-high five dropped passes this season by Witten, a seven-time Pro Bowler whose season average for drops had been three per year over the past four seasons (2008-2011), based on data collected by STATS, Inc.

“I’m sure he’s wondering what’s wrong,” Witten said of his uncharacteristic drops of Romo passes. “At the end of the day, those are big plays for him, big plays for our offense. You don’t just get built in to get those throws … next time because of what number is on the back of the jersey. It’s a show-me game.”

And Romo, for now, is showing remarkable patience while maintaining a positive outlook about a Dallas offense that is tied for last among NFL teams in scoring average (15.6 per game). The Cowboys’ 47 points marks the fewest in a three-game stretch by a Romo-led offense since 2009.

Despite Romo’s 89.3 passer rating and 64.8 completion rate, the offense regularly plays from behind the chains because of 12 false-start penalties in three games. But Romo said Friday that his confidence level working behind the team’s rebuilt offensive line remains high — he gave it a “10” on a 1-10 scale — and that frustration, from his perspective, has yet to surface.

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) warms up - The Boys Are Back blog

“No,” Romo said. “It’s about winning and losing. You want to execute to the highest level each week. But at the same time, [winning and losing] is what it comes down to. All the other stuff is just about getting better.”

From an offensive standpoint, Romo acknowledged the Cowboys “need to do the little things better” if they are to build on their 2-1 start. Toward that end, he has addressed the offense’s shortcomings, particularly the pre-snap penalties, in discussions with teammates.

“You’re always letting the team know what you need to do to be successful,” Romo said. “And me being in a leadership role, that obviously needs to be addressed.

“We need to do the little things better. That will help us a lot because we’re already doing enough good things. We just need to minimize the stuff that you can control. The stuff that should be stuff that we’re good at.”

At the top of the list, Romo cited penalties and negative-yardage runs. So did offensive line coach Bill Callahan, who said shortcomings in those areas against Tampa Bay put the offense in too many obvious passing situations that led to too many “hellacious hits” on Romo, who is 32.

“We have to do a better job keeping Tony clean,” Callahan said.

Romo, who was sacked a career-high 36 times last season, downplayed any concerns about residual hits taking a toll on his abilities or his escapability in the pocket. In fact, he cited making creative plays as part of his job description.

“If somebody gets beat, my job is to help them out once in a while and [make a play],” Romo said. “You don’t want to make a living at that. But, at the same time, part of my job is to do that. And they are going to make me look better on other plays.”

But those “other plays” have been few and far between the past two weeks, when Dallas managed just one offensive touchdown against Tampa Bay and during a 27-7 loss to Seattle. Romo figures to do his fair share of freelancing, once again, against the Bears’ stellar pass rush.

In those scramble situations, Romo said he’s “always judging and balancing” his next move based on the circumstances at hand: score, down-and-distance, time remaining.

“You just learn over time what you can do with certain things,” Romo said.

And when things go awry, as they have the past two weeks, Romo has learned to be patient and avoid letting frustrations become public. Even if teammates sense he is masking his emotions.

“It’s not always going to go perfect back there,” Romo said. “But … just keep grinding away and you can do some things. We’re going to continue to get better. I feel very confident.”

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) hands the ball of to Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray - The Boys Are Back blog

TWIN ENVY: Dallas Cowboys defense tops NFL, “stings a little bit” in New York

Having the NFL’s top-rated defense has been downplayed this week by Dallas Cowboys’ players. Defensive tackle Jason Hatcher made that clear when asked about the significance of leading the league in total defense, which is based on fewest yards allowed (250 yards per game), after three games.

“We don’t care where we are on the stats sheet as a defense. Not at all,” Hatcher said. “We’ve just got to keep improving and doing the right things.”

But there is a little twin envy going on in New York, where Jets’ coach Rex Ryan – a former defensive coordinator — has a unit ranked only 21st among NFL teams while his twin bother, Rob, has the Cowboys (2-1) perched atop the NFL statistical heap.

“When my twin brother is No. 1 in the league in defense and we’re 21st, that stings a little bit, there’s no question,” Rex Ryan said during a news conference in New York.

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