Daily Archives: December 10th, 2012

IN THE CLUTCH: Dallas Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey’s 6th game-winner will always be memorable

IN THE CLUTCH - Dallas Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey - The Boys Are Back blog

IRVING, Texas – He had four as a rookie last year. Now, he’s added two this season.

One might think Dan Bailey is getting used to kicking game-winning field goals. But even after his sixth career game-winner on Sunday, a 40-yarder that gave the Cowboys an emotional 20-19 win over the Bengals, Bailey said the feeling never gets old.

“Game-winners are always fun,” Bailey said. “You take them every time. I don’t know if you can say one is better than the other, but this game obviously was so special. I will never forget this game and what it took to win it.”

Knowing the emotions that were surrounding the team, Bailey said it’s not easy to block out the distractions, but said it was a must before that last-second kick.

“You have to treat it like every other kick,” Bailey said. “And even though you know it’s not, you have to be like that. You trust yourself, trust your leg and trust the other 10 guys out there to do their job. It’s just football at that point. Everything else we’ve been dealing with is life. It’s pretty simple really – you just go out and kick it. As far as football goes, it’s pretty easy to do that compared to everything else going on.”

Bailey said he credits his teammates more than himself for that last play.

“The offense did a great job to drive us down there at the end and get us in position. The defense stepped up at the end to get the ball back. I had the easy part. I had to go do my job and make the kick. But the other guys really deserve the credit for making it happen.”

Bailey didn’t deny this game-winner will rank up there pretty high, mainly because of the emotions the Cowboys were fighting, surrounding teammate Jerry Brown’s tragic death and the arrest of nose tackle Josh Brent.

“It’s been a hard week. Difficult week,” Bailey said. “It was really quiet around the hotel and plane. Rightfully so. We all did a good job of handling the situation. I think we tried the best we could to handle it and we did a good job. It’s not going to make it any easier moving forward.”

Bailey kicked a 38-yard game-winning field goal to beat the Browns in overtime on Nov. 18. He also made a 32-yarder at the end of regulation to force overtime.

Last year, Bailey made game-winners to beat San Francisco, Miami and the Redskins twice. Two of those four game-winning kicks occurred in overtime, including the one against the 49ers in which he made a clutch field goal to force the extra session.

MILESTONES: Historical achievements during the Dallas Cowboys vs. Cincinnati Bengals game

 

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Here are the historical notes compiled after Sunday’s game with the Cincinnati Bengals:

  • Dan Bailey connected on a 40-yard field goal as time expired to give Dallas the win. It was his second game-winning field goal of the season (vs. Cleveland, 11/18, 38-yarder in overtime) and the sixth of his career. Bailey’s six game-winning kicks are second in franchise history behind Rafael Septien’s seven.
  • Dez Bryant caught four passes for 50 yards and a touchdown. He upped his career receptions total to 183 to pass Walt Garrison (182) and tie Lance Rentzel for 22nd in franchise history.
  • Bryant raised his season receiving yards total to 1,028 with his 50 yards. This season is his first career 1,000-yard season, the first by a Cowboy since Miles Austin and Jason Witten did it in 2009, the 28th time in franchise history a player reached 1,000 yards, and Bryant became the 12th different Cowboy to do it.
  • Bryant’s 50 yards also increased his career yardage total to 2,517 and allowed him to pass Alvin Harper (2,486) for 20th in club record books.
  • Bryant also became the 20th Dallas Cowboy to reach 2,500 career receiving yards.
  • Bryant’s touchdown catch was his fifth consecutive game with a touchdown reception, the longest streak in his career, tied for the seventh-longest streak and tied for the third-highest streak figure in franchise history.
  • Bryant’s 24th career scoring grab also broke a tie with Patrick Crayton for sole possession of 12th in team history.
  • Tony Romo finished the game completing 25-of-43 passes (58.1%) for 268 yards, one touchdown, and an interception. He upped his season passing attempts total to 526 – the fourth time in his career and the seventh time in team history a quarterback reached 500 attempts. Romo’s 526 pass attempts this season ranks third in a season in franchise history.
  • With his 25 completions, Romo now has 2,021 for his career to become the second Dallas Cowboy (Aikman) to reach 2,000 career completions.
  • Romo’s 25 completions raised his season completions total to 349 and establish a single-season club record.
  • Romo opened the game completing his first five passes. Along with his 12 straight completed from last week (last two of the second quarter and all 10 in the second half), Romo established the club record for consecutive completions (17). The previous record was 14 straight, held by Steve Pelluer (vs. Seattle, 11/27/86) and Randall Cunningham (1, vs. Philadelphia, 9/3/00, 13, at Arizona, 9/10/00).
  • With 268 passing yards, Romo passed Bart Starr (24,718) for 65th on the NFL’s all-time passing yards chart with 24,762 for his career.
  • Romo’s touchdown pass gave him 20 scoring throws this season – the fifth time in his career and the 16th time in team history a quarterback reached 20 touchdowns. His five career 20-touchdown seasons are the most in franchise history. Danny White is second with four, then Don Meredith and Roger Staubach are next with three each.
  • In guiding Dallas to its second consecutive game with a come-from-behind win, Romo now has four fourth quarter comeback wins for the season and 17 for his career, bettering his franchise-high.
  • Ernie Sims had his first sack as a Dallas Cowboy in the second quarter.
  • Anthony Spencer had 2 sacks to give him 8.5 sacks this season and improve his single-season career-best. He posted his third multi-sack game of the season and the seventh of his career.
  • DeMarcus Ware’s sack gave him 110.5 career sacks, and moved him past Greg Townsend for 18th all-time in NFL history.
  • Jason Witten had four catches to give him 92 for the season, and give him his fourth career season with 90-plus catches. Witten already had the most 90-catch seasons in team history with three, and his four are now tied for sixth-all time in NFL history. Jerry Rice, Marvin Harrison and Torry Holt share the league-high with six 90-catch seasons.
  • Witten’s fourth 90-catch season was the sixth time a Dallas Cowboy reached 90 catches in a season (Witten in 2007, 2009-10, 2012 and Michael Irvin in 1993 and 1995), the 14th time an NFL tight end reached 90 catches and tied with Tony Gonzalez for the most among league tight ends.
  • For the season, Witten has 92 catches – the fourth-most in a season in his career, fifth-most in a season by a Dallas Cowboy and the second-most in a season by an NFL tight end.
  • Witten’s 62 receiving yards upped his career total to 8,789 and allowed him to pass Joe Horn (8,744) and Mark Carrier (8,763) for 59th on the NFL’s all-time receiving yards chart.
  • 2012-2013 Dallas Cowboys receiving and rushing statistics below
RECEIVING STATISTICS
Player Rec Yds Yds/Rec Long TD
Jason Witten 92 880 9.6 36 1
Dez Bryant 75 1028 13.7 85 9
Miles Austin 55 819 14.9 49 5
Kevin Ogletree 28 390 13.9 65 3
Felix Jones 25 262 10.5 39 2
DeMarco Murray 25 159 6.4 20 0
Cole Beasley 13 114 8.8 20 0
Dwayne Harris 11 135 12.3 36 0
Lawrence Vickers 11 78 7.1 17 0
John Phillips 8 55 6.9 19 1
Lance Dunbar 6 33 5.5 14 0
Phillip Tanner 4 41 10.3 15 0
James Hanna 2 13 6.5 10 0
Andre Holmes 2 11 5.5 7 0
RUSHING STATISTICS
Player Att Yds Yds/Att Long TD
DeMarco Murray 119 466 3.9 48 3
Felix Jones 103 368 3.6 22 3
Tony Romo 26 53 2.0 15 1
Phillip Tanner 25 61 2.4 9 0
Lance Dunbar 21 75 3.6 18 0
Lawrence Vickers 3 11 3.7 13 0
Kevin Ogletree 2 9 4.5 5 0

DECEMBER HEAT: Stephen Jones declines comment on Jerry Jones and Jay Ratliff confrontation

Jerry Jones, Jr., left, Jerry Jones and Stephen Jones talk on the field before the Dallas Cowboys play the Cincinnati Bengals - The Boys Are Back blog

Stephen Jones didn’t confirm, or deny, that his father got into a heated exchange with nose tackle Jay Ratliff after a 38-33 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on December 2.

Reportedly, Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones approached Ratliff, who has missed seven games this season because of numerous injuries, in the Cowboys Stadium locker room and said that the team needed him on the field. Ratliff became angered and the two men exchanged words jaw-to-jaw before others stepped in to intervene, according to a report by CBSDFW.com’s Mike Fisher.

But Stephen Jones, the team’s executive vice president, declined to give any details when asked about the alleged confrontation today (Monday).

“That’s in our locker room right after a game, certainly the press wasn’t in there. We’d like to keep those things internally,” Stephen Jones said on 105.3 The Fan [KRLD-FM]. “Certainly there’s always going to be reports of things. Those are just things that I wouldn’t want to comment on.”

Mike Fisher wrote that Jones, 70, did not back down as the 6-4, 303-pound defensive lineman “rose to physically challenge him and then made derisive mention of Jones’ age.”

Ratliff, who signed a five-year, $40 million contract extension with the Cowboys last year, has battled ankle and groin injuries during his eighth NFL season.

Editors comment: Jason Garrett also addressed the issue at today’s afternoon press conference. Garrett limited comments to the fact that both people are passionate about the Dallas Cowboys, that Ratliff will be on the field when he’s physically able, and that no disciplinary measures have been taken.

EVOLVING INJURY UPDATE: Dez Bryant see’s hand specialist on finger; could need surgery (REVISED)

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) celebrates with fans after scoring a touchdown vs Cincinnati Bengals 2012 - The Boys Are Back blog

IRVING, Texas – The Dallas Cowboys have already lost one game this year due to a Dez Bryant finger. They are now holding their breaths they won’t lose the rest of the season due to a finger injury.

The Cowboys’ leading receiver, who has arguably been the team’s best player in the last five games, went to see a hand specialist in Dallas this afternoon (Monday).

Despite published reports that Bryant will indeed need surgery and will be placed on IR, Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett said Monday the club is hopeful Bryant doesn’t have torn ligaments and won’t be out for the rest of the season, but it does remain a possibility.

Back on Oct. 28, the Cowboys nearly pulled off their greatest comeback in team history when they rallied from a 23-0 deficit and appeared to win the game on a Bryant touchdown in the back of the end zone. However replay officials reversed the call, stating Bryant’s fingers came down out of bounds for an incomplete pass in what resulted in a 29-24 loss to the Giants at Cowboys Stadium.

But in the last five games, Bryant has been nearly unstoppable, scoring seven touchdowns, including a 27-yard scoring catch Sunday against the Bengals. He just went over the 1,000-yard mark this week for the first time in his career and leads the Cowboys with 1,028 yards on 75 catches and a team-high nine touchdowns, which have all occurred in the second half of games this year.

RELATED: Cowboys fear WR Dez Bryant will miss remainder of regular season

The Cowboys emerged from an emotional weekend to learn that they may be without their best receiver for the remainder of the season.

Dez Bryant injured his left index finger in Sunday’s victory over Cincinnati. The receiver is scheduled to visit a hand specialist, but club officials fear that he will miss the final three games.

Bryant had the finger in a splint after the Bengals game.

“I sprained it,’’ Bryant said. “Taped it up, wrapped it up a little bit and just got back out there.’’

Bryant injured the finger while running a slant pattern with 9:47 left in the final period. He sat our briefly and returned later in the drive to catch a 27-yard touchdown pass to pull the team within two points.

He finished with four catches for 50 yards in the 20-19 victory.

Bryant has enjoyed a breakthrough season. He leads the team in receiving yards and in touchdowns. He is second only to Jason Witten in receptions with 75.

IN THE TRENCHES: Doug Free, Jermey Parnell respond well to rotation at right tackle

Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Carlos Dunlap (96) gets called for a facemask as he sacks Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo - The Boys Are Back blog

Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said Doug Free (68) and Jermey Parnell (78) responded well to a rotation at right tackle. They alternated series Sunday in the win against the Bengals.

After Free played the first series, Parnell came in at right tackle for the second series. It became clear when Free was not receiving treatment for an injury and came back in for the third series that the Cowboys were trying to work in Parnell.

“Well, we just wanted to give Jermey a chance,” Garrett said. “He has done a good job. He played a few weeks ago when Tyron was out and showed that he can play in this league. We tried to give him some snaps in practice. He responded well to that. Doug responded well to it.”

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) passes to Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant vs Cincinnati Bengals 2012 - The Boys Are Back blog

The NFL report said Free played 58 snaps and Parnell played 15, plus four on special teams.

Parnell played without a penalty, as he did in the Thanksgiving Day start against Washington at left tackle in place of Tyron Smith. Free had one holding penalty in the Bengals game.

“So we just felt like in that situation, it was justified,” Garrett said. “We started Doug. Then we put Jermey in there, and we kept that rotation going throughout the ballgame.”

DECEMBER TO REMEMBER: Emotional Dallas Cowboys win to be replayed by NFL Network tomorrow (Tuesday)

A jersey for Jerry Brown Jr. who died in an automobile accident lays on the Dallas Cowboys bench during play against the Cincinnati Bengals - The Boys Are Back blog

IRVING, Texas – The NFL Network’s NFL Replay will televise Sunday’s triumphant, come-from-behind 20-19 victory Tuesday at 8:30 p.m.

Following the tragic loss of practice squad linebacker Jerry Brown, the Dallas Cowboys rallied to outscore the Bengals by 10 points in the fourth quarter and win in Cincinnati on a 40-yard field goal by kicker Dan Bailey as time expired.

A 27-yard touchdown pass to Dez Bryant brought the deficit to two points, and the Cowboys defense forced the Bengals to punt on each of their last three possessions, allowing Bailey to seal the win. 

NFL Replay provides viewers an exclusive look at the game in a 90-minute format with bonus footage from NFL films and the NFL Network, along with new camera angles, coaches’ commentary and wired sound.

NFL Game Rewind allows for re-viewing games on your schedule! Check it out!

NFL Game Rewind - The Boys Are Back blog - Tablet

EXTENDING THE DRIVE: Garrett talks about decision to run Murray before Bailey kick

Dallas Cowboys DeMarco Murray picks up a first down on the final drive vs Cincinnati Bengals 2012 - The Boys Are Back blog

As the Cowboys were moving into position for the game-winning field goal, they leaned on DeMarco Murray.

Playing in his second game since coming back from a six-week layoff because of a sprained foot, Murray delivered two first-down runs that let the Cowboys get closer and gave them a chance to run down the clock to make the kick the final play of the game.

First, Murray converted a third-and-2 from the Cincinnati 38-yard line for a first down at the 35 with a run to left end. Then, he made six yards on a run to right end on third-and-5 to the 30-yard line with a minute to go.

If that conversion hadn’t been made, the Cowboys would have about half a minute for the Bengals following the kickoff.

Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said the third-and-5 call was tricky.

“That was a difficult decision to us as to what kind of mode to be in,” he said. “Do you want to be in the big tight end mode – we call it ‘23’ personnel or ‘22’ personnel and got two backs, or do you want to try to spread them out? We opted to go with the bigger guys on the earlier third and short and did a good making that first down. And then we came back later and ran it. We felt we were going got be in field goal range. We just wanted to get closer.”

Murray cut in behind a block and stretched for the first down.

“He did a really good job,” Garrett said. “They did a good job committing to the run on that last play. But he is a damn good runner. He can find the holes and find the creases, and he finishes so strong. That was big for us.”

On the third-and-2, Garrett said a shot down the field was an option.

"The issue there is they are committing so many people to the line of scrimmage, you can take a shot," Garrett said. "But ideally you want to make a first down and keep it moving."

Dallas Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey (5) and Dallas Cowboys punter Brian Moorman (2) celebrate kicking the game winning field goal at the end of the fourth quarter - The Boys Are Back blog

Murray finished with 21 carries for 53 yards and four catches for 22 yards.

“He is just a heck of a football player,” Garrett said. “And he is so physical at the end of runs. He sees things. He bounces when he needs to. He goes north and south when he needs to. And he’s always strong at the end of the run.”

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