Daily Archives: October 3rd, 2012

REDSKIN HASBEEN: Joe Theismann takes a shot at Tony Romo

Joe Theismann has a history of running his mouth - The Boys Are Back blog

IRVING, Texas — Joe Theismann is among the most hated opponents for Dallas Cowboys fans for his years as the quarterback of the Washington Redskins. A new generation of fansmight add Theismann to the most-hated list after his comments about Tony Romo to a radio show Tuesday.

“Sooner or later we have to come to the realization Tony isn’t a very good quarterback,” Theismann said on the Brady & Lang show (Canada) on Sportsnet 590 The Fan (link below).

Romo tied his career high with five interceptions in Monday’s loss to Chicago.

Theismann had four four-interceptions games in his career and his only five-pick game came in the 1985 season opener during a 44-14 loss to the Cowboys.

“What hit me (Monday night) is, Tony isn’t really that good,” Theismann said. “Just because he wears a star on his helmet, we all think that people who are Dallas Cowboys, ‘Ooh they’re wonderful,’ and ‘Ooh they’re terrific, ooh they’re the next Roger Staubach’ or whatever the heck they want to say. They’re full of bologna. Tony makes bad decisions with the football. And I’ll tell you something else; he missed two wide open touchdowns last night that nobody’s talking about. Forget about the five interceptions. He misses Miles Austin and Dez Bryant with easy touchdown throws, and he airmails the ball over their heads.

“You can say, ‘Well, everybody has a bad game.’ Tony has too many bad games. Tony Romo is not a very good quarterback. Somebody has to say it so I just did. He should be a lot better or the reputation he’s carried should have him play a  lot better.”

Romo has the fourth-best passer rating in NFL history at 95.9 behind Aaron Rodgers, Steve Young and Tom Brady. He entered the season at No. 2 but he has fallen with his poor start to this season.

Romo’s 78.5 passer rating this season is higher than Theismann’s for a career (77.4). Different eras of the game with different rules are a big reason why but Theismann had 160 touchdowns and 138 interceptions in his career to go with 25,206 yards.

Romo has 154 touchdowns and 80 picks with 21,982 yards passing.

The Cowboys quarterback wasn’t Theismann’s only target. He took on owner and general manager Jerry Jones, too.

“It took him five years too long to change the offensive line, which isn’t very good,” Theismann said. “It took him three years too long to change his secondary. He’ll do the same thing again. This is what happens when you’re not a football guy. You have to ask yourself, ‘Is the owner holding back this football team with football decisions?’ And I think yes.

“I think you have a couple issues in Dallas. No. 1, I think you have a team, they think they’re pretty good. They’re not. No. 2, their quarterback thinks he’s pretty good. He’s really not. No. 3, their owner is their general manager and he doesn’t make good decisions from a personnel standpoint.”

Theismann later apologized to Jones for his criticism of the Cowboys owner in an interview on ESPN (clip below) but just slightly upgraded his opinion of Romo, calling him an average quarterback.

“I guess my expectation of Tony is really high,” Theismann told ESPN, “and right now he’s average.”

Joe Theismann takes on Tony Romo, Jerry Jones - The Boys Are Back blog

Click HERE to listen to EPSN’s lame follow-up interview with Joe Theismann.

DIRECT VIDEO LINK: http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=espn:8456779 (Updated 10/04/12)

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SOURCE: Brady and Lang in the Morning – 8am
A’s clinch playoff berth, Jays’ voice Buck Martinez, and NFL Network analyst Joe Theismann.
Listen now | Right-click to download

ENCOURAGING NEWS: Dallas Cowboys NT Jay Ratliff, C Phil Costa seen in uniform at practice today

Dallas Cowboys Valley Ranch helmets - The Boys Are Back blog

IRVING — Multiple Cowboys players who had been sidelined with injuries were seen in uniform at practice today at Valley Ranch.

Nose tackle Jay Ratliff, who had been out since suffering a left high-ankle sprain Aug. 25, was  stretching along with center Phil Costa, who hasn’t played since hurting his back on the first offensive series of the Cowboys’ victory over the New York Giants on Sept. 5. Also back was rookie safety Matt Johnson (hamstring/back), linebacker Alex Albright (neck) and Kenyon Coleman, who missed the previous two games with a right knee injury.

It’s uncertain how much activity all four players will be involved in Wednesday because an official practice report won’t be released by the club.

Among the players who were not present or weren’t in uniform were linebacker Anthony Spencer (strained pectoral muscle), center Ryan Cook (strained left hamstring), punter Chris Jones (left knee) and tight end John Phillips.

NO WALKTHROUGH: Dallas Cowboys adopt "training camp mode" for today’s workout before players take break

Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett calls plays from the sideline - The Boys Are Back blog

Instead of a walkthrough, Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said today’s workout at Valley Ranch will involve “more of a training camp mode” in the wake of Monday’s 34-18 loss to the Chicago Bears. It will be the Cowboys’ only workout of the week before players take a four-day break and return to work Monday to begin preparations for the team’s next game, Oct. 14 at Baltimore.

Garrett said he reviewed videotapes with players this morning and the team will work today “in helmets and shells … Cowboys vs. Cowboys in the practice, more of a training camp mode” before taking time off for their bye week. Garrett said he stressed the importance of responsible, off-field behavior to players during their break.

“That’s always something you try to address with them whenever they have time off and they’re going to be away for a little bit. Just remind them of what we’re trying to get accomplished here and who they are and how they want to represent themselves, their families and our teams,” Garrett said.

 

VIDEO - Jason Garrett Press Conference - Dallas vs Chicago - The Boys Are Back blog

Jason Garrett Press Conference 10/3

Jason Garrett speaks to the Dallas media as his team prepares to take the field for their final practice before the bye week.

Click HERE to watch video – duration 10:28

BREAKING THROUGH THE WALL: Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray is being tested by top run defenses

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

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray had been expected to join the ranks of elite running backs this season. But after opening the season with 131 yards on 20 carries. Since then, he has 106 yards on 41 carries, a 2.6 yards per carry average.

The Cowboys now rank 30th in rushing with a 67.8 yards per game average.

Murray has had little room to run. Far too often, he e is being met in the backfield by defenders.

Murray is tied for first for the most times being “stuffed” with 13. Murray had only 14 runs that resulted in negative yardage last season when he carried the ball 164 times.

"I think he’s done a good job just being persistent throughout the ball game and trying to continue to be true to the runs and trying to find the hole that’s there," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said Wednesday. "Teams have done a good job moving around up front and sometimes the run isn’t always as clean as you want it to be. But he’s been a running back for a long, long time, and he understands that. His patience, his persistence, his toughness have all been good. He just needs to understand that we’re going to keep trying to give him some opportunities. He needs to keep doing what he’s supposed to do, trust the other guys can do what they’re supposed to do and we’ll get this running game going."

The Cowboys’ last three opponents, the Seahawks (2nd vs. the run), the Bucs (4th vs. the run) and the Bears (3rd vs. the run), all rank among the best teams in the league against the run. The Ravens, the Cowboys’ next opponent, rank 13th.

COWBOY REWIND: Game film shows improvement in McCray, Crawford

    Some thoughts from the film room at Valley Ranch, particularly from the defensive side of the ball.

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

    • There are days where teams just come up with great game plans how to handle DeMarcus Ware. Give the Bears a lot of credit because on the Monday night, Lovie Smith and his offensive staff were not going to allow Ware to hurt them in this game. Ware did have three tackles and one sack but for the Bears that was a win, they knew that tackle J’Marcus Webb would have little chance or no chance one on one with Ware the entire night so they put tight ends to his side, they chipped backs out of the backfield on him, and they worked the guards his direction any chance they could.

     

    • Rob Ryan did the best he could moving Ware around but you could see that protection was geared to manage him. Victor Butler was able to get some rushes and even had a chance for a sack one on one on a third down play but he was unable to get Cutler to the ground which kept a drive going which resulted in a field goal for the Bears. I went into this game believing that Ware could have one of those monster nights but there was no chance of that in the way the Bears played him. It was fresh in their minds what happened to them the last time they played on Monday night this season against the Packers Clay Matthews and they did everything in their power not to allow it to happen again. 

     

    • Wasn’t surprised how well Danny McCray played in his first opportunity to start at safety for Barry Church. The one thing I will say about McCray’s game is that he is steady. There is not a lot of flash or flair but what you have is a football player that knows his assignments and plays his techniques. I was really impressed with how he manages to work himself around the field. I didn’t feel like there were many plays where McCray wasn’t where he needed to be. Had the one chance where he was in great shape on the tight end Kellen Davis for an interception and just needed to come up with the ball when it hit his hands. There are things about him in coverage that you are probably not going to like but if Rob Ryan can keep matching him up on tight ends, he will continue to have opportunities to make plays. Where McCray also helps you is his ability to make a sure tackle. It was a trait that we all had seen before during his work on special teams but he has managed to carry that side of his game into the regular defense. Danny McCray reinvented himself this summer as a player and you can tell by the way he played against the Bears, he had a good idea what he needed to do to help this team on defense.

     

    In two years, Danny McCray has become the Dallas Cowboys’ special teams ace - The Boys Are Back blog

     

    • I have always believed that you draft players to play them. I never understood the teams that had all their draft picks on the weekly inactive list. You always need to find ways to get your rookies on the field. In the case for the Cowboys on Monday night, Garrett had Morris Claiborne, Tyrone Crawford and Kyle Wilber on the field taking meaningful snaps with the first team defense. We all know that Claiborne has been a day one starter and you can clearly see the talent that he plays with but also how much he has to learn about his craft and the tricks of the trade. There are going to be days where Claiborne is not going to be in great position on routes and it happened to him on a crossing route against fellow rookie Alshon Jeffery where he was trying to carry him across the field and there was too much separation which made him have to scramble to get in position to try and make the play.

     

    • Claiborne also didn’t play with good inside leverage on the Devin Hester touchdown where he allowed Hester to run the out and up on him and was never able to recover. Claiborne did do a good job of coming forward one time on a third down pass to Hester and cutting him down before he had a chance to get going. There is no doubt in my mind that Morris Claiborne will be tested more these next five weeks. I am honestly surprised that teams have not thrown at him more. Opponents are going to find out if he can handle the ball going at him down after down and he will need to be up to the challenge.

     

    • Dallas Cowboys defensive end Tyrone Crawford (70) applies pressure to Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman - The Boys Are Back blog Tyrone Crawford caught my eye last week when he went toe to toe with the Buccaneers Carl Nicks. This week it was much of the same for Crawford who plays with surprising power and strength to go along with his quickness. The area I have been impressed with Crawford has been with his ability to play with his hands. He is really a technique sound guy and you can see every week that the defensive coaches are giving Crawford more and more of an opportunity to be a part of the defensive line rotation but this is not a gift, he is actually earning his right to see the field more and more each week. With the bye week ahead, there is a chance to we can also see safety Matt Johnson and from what I had seen in college, he has a chance to help. 

    Editors comment: The Boys Are Back blog is loaded with Monday Morning Quarterbacks and ‘coaches’. Go deep coach! Rewatch the games, analyze, and see for yourself, with NFL GAME REWIND. Afterwards, leave your words of wisdom here on The Boys Are Back blog! Who knows, Jerry Jones might discover you! Check it out:

    NFL Game Rewind - The Boys Are Back blog

    TURNING ONE EIGHTIES: Jerry Jones says Romo turned it around last year, Giants did, too

    Dallas Cowboys Jerry Jones - Black Shirt

    Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said he is disappointed in his team’s 2-2 start, but he is not ready to give up hope because he still has Tony Romo and because the Cowboys have the example of the New York Giants from last year.

    “I’m tempered by the fact that it’s early in the season,” said Jones in the hallway outside his offices at the team’s Valley Ranch headquarters. “I’m tempered by the fact the world champions last year won nine in the regular season, lost their first two and at one point were behind by two games.

    “I’m tempered by the fact that we are 2-2 along with the rest of the league. I like Bill Callahan what he is doing with the offensive line. We played as well with offensive line as we did the last three games. But I’m not trying to say I’m happy at all. I’m disappointed.”

    Jones said he thinks Romo is going to bounce back like he did last year after a bad start.

    “I like where we are with Romo at quarterback,” Jones said. “No one learns more from his experiences than Tony. This time last year with Detroit in the fourth game. He came back, never played better. I think the Detroit game had something to do with that. If we can get the same kind of response he had last year when he had a downer, if he can come back and do that we will be fine.”

    Coach Jason Garrett agreed in his press conference.

    “Tony did a great job last year coming out of some games early on in the season just saying, ‘I’m not going to make those plays anymore,’ ” Garrett said. “I think he went a stretch of 11 or 12 games where he threw one or two interceptions. So that’s the way you have to play quarterback in this league, and he understands that, he understands that better than anybody. He’s done it, and he has to do it again for us.”

    Last year after four games, Romo had five interceptions and three fumbles. He threw five interceptions and had three fumbles the rest of the season.

    Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones press conference - Dallas vs Chicago - The Boys Are Back blog

    Jerry Jones: This Is Very Disappointing

    Jerry Jones talks to the Dallas press about the loss that set the Dallas Cowboys back to 2-2 before heading into their bye week.

    Click HERE to watch video – Duration 3:08

    DETERMINED TO GET THROUGH SLUMP: Dallas Cowboys Dez Bryant says there’s ‘no excuse’ for drops

    DETERMINED TO GET THROUGH SLUMP - Dallas Cowboys Dez Bryant says there’s ‘no excuse’ for drops - The Boys Are Back blog

    ARLINGTON – One of the key plays in the Cowboys’ 34-18 loss to the Chicago Bears was a 25-yard Charles Tillman interception return for a touchdown.

    The play stands out because it gave the Bears a 10-0 lead and showcased some apparent miscommunication between Tony Romo and Dez Bryant.

    Bryant ran deep and Romo threw short. Tillman didn’t stay with Bryant, he waited and was in perfect position to make the grab near the visiting sideline and jog in for the game’s first touchdown.

    “You just have to give credit to the defensive back,” Bryant said. “We thought that he was going and he stopped and he played it. He just made a good play on it.”

    Bryant, who said there was no excuse for his three dropped passes, was one of the last players to exit the locker room, still sitting in his game pants after the majority of the team had already showered and departed. He remained available to reporters until all of their questions were answered.

    “I know what kind of team we are,” Bryant said. “We’re a great team. We’re a family and we play good football. Tonight, it was just unfortunate for us. They were the better team. They came out and played and came out with the W.”

    Bryant added: “I feel like we’re mentally tough and we’re going to get through it. We’re going to get ready for Baltimore.”

    Bryant finished with eight receptions for 105 yards, his second 100-yard receiving game of his professional career.

    ROSTER UPDATE: LeQuan Lewis waived; expect a signing to be announced soon

    IRVING, TexasThe bye week typically is a time for a few tweaks and changes, especially after a tough loss like the Cowboys had Monday night against the Bears, falling to 2-2.

    Expect a few roster alterations to either the 53-man roster and/or the practice squad before the Oct. 14 game in Baltimore.

    The Cowboys made on Tuesday, waiving cornerback LeQuan Lewis from the roster, dropping the roster down to 52 players. Obviously, the move was made to add another player although the Cowboys didn’t officially announce a roster addition. The Cowboys might use it to bring back safety Mana Silva, who was released a week ago.

    Lewis, who was added from the Jets’ practice squad two weeks ago, played in the last two games, mostly on special teams. He was forced into action near the end of the Tampa Bay game on Sept. 23, playing cornerback in nickel situations as the Bucs were throwing into the end zone to try and claw back into the game.

    The speedster was the gunner on the punt team and one of the middle players on the kickoff coverage units as well. Brought in three weeks ago as they were getting ready to face Seattle’s return ace, Leon Washington. Monday night, they got past Chicago’s Devin Hester.

    Lewis had one tackle and one pass defensed in the regular defense.

    JASON GARRETT PRESS CONFERENCE: Break down on Romo’s 5 turnovers from Monday Night

    VIDEO - Jason Garrett Press Conference - Dallas vs Chicago - The Boys Are Back blog

    Jason Garrett Press Conference – Tuesday 10/2/12 – Duration 34:01 – Click HERE to watch

    Jason Garrett answers questions from the Dallas media about Monday night’s loss to the Chicago Bears, and the upcoming bye week.

    Dallas Cowboys offensive line vs Chicago Bears - The Boys Are Back blog

      IRVING, Texas – One of the more common phrases any coach or player will say after a ballgame when asked about a specific play is “I’ll have to go watch the tape.” Sometimes what we think we saw at first glimpse is different after the coaches and players review the game film the next day or later that night.

      On Monday, after Tony Romo threw five interceptions and had two returned for touchdowns, coach Jason Garrett said he wanted to get a better look before commenting on any of the plays.

      On Tuesday, he went through the five turnovers with his best explanation.

      “I think we saw the same things on tape that we all saw last night,” Garrett said in his Tuesday afternoon press conference. Here is Garrett’s specific breakdown of the turnovers.

      • “The first interception was a miscommunication with our quarterback and our receiver not seeing the leverage in the coverage of the corner the same way. Tony thought Dez was going to run a hitch, Dez saw it as press coverage and he adjusted and went deep around the corner, and Tony had to cut the ball loose. There was pressure by them, and they just didn’t see it the same way and that resulted in that interception.”

      • “The second interception was to Ogletree. We were down in the red zone, moved the ball down in there. What they do on defense is they, you have to be really efficient throwing the football underneath them over and over again, and they are going to contest some plays. And it was a contested throw to Kevin and the ball got in on him and the ball bounced up off of him. Hard to tell if the defender got his hand in or not, but that was a scoring opportunity for us that they created a turnover on.”

      • “The third one, Tony climbed the pocket against some pressure and was really just trying to get up in the pocket versus some edge rush and he climbed up in there and as he was pushing the ball up, the ball got knocked out and Briggs intercepted and ran it back for a touchdown. So if you look at those three plays, two of them directly resulted in touchdowns for 14 points. The other was in the red zone, which we assumed was going to be at least three points, possibly seven points. Those three plays, it was a 21-point swing for us, against us for them.

      • At the end of the ball game we were down three scores and Tony was aggressive throwing the football down the field trying to make a play, and I think that was the cause for the last three interceptions.

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