Daily Archives: December 13th, 2013

COWBOYS RIVAL HEADLINE: Aaron Rodgers listed as out for Sunday’s game vs. Dallas Cowboys | Green Bay Journal Sentinel

COWBOYS RIVAL HEADLINE - Aaron Rodgers listed as out for Sunday's game vs. Dallas Cowboys - Green Bay Journal Sentinel

Green Bay – Highlights from Mike McCarthy‘s Friday news conference …

  • (On Rodgers) Frankly it’s been a difficult morning going through conversation with Dr. McKenzie and Aaron. He feels ready to play. …He’s very disappointed. He’s frustrated. Speaking with Dr. McKenzie, this is the right decision. He was not scanned this morning — whens, ifs, buts will continue to go on . The hurdle Aaron wanted to get over, he felt he achieved it. Listening to all the facts, it’s in our best interest as a team for him not to play.
  • (On Flynn’s week) Thought Matt had his best practice today. Matt Flynn was very sharp today and he obviously took the reps.
  • (On Lacy) Ready. Looks good. All of those guys look good.
  • (On maybe letting this play out for strategy) I’m not very good at that. …Minnesota last year with Christian Ponder not playing was about as well-kept as I’ve ever seen. Had researched Joe Webb earlier.
  • (On if he was OK with decision) I’m definitely OK with it. …Aaron feels he’s ready to play. With what he did Wednesday and Thursday, he feels ready to go. It’s not easy to tell your franchise quarterback he can’t play. But this is in the best interest of Aaron Rodgers.
  • (On Starks maybe seeing reps) I have no problem giving the ball to James 20 times if that’s the way it worked out. Like our running back situation.

Courtesy: Tyler Dunne | Journal Sentinel

RELATED: Green Bay Packers official website announcement

GREEN BAY - Aaron Rodgers will not play in Dallas on Sunday - Dallas Cowboys schedule 2013 2014 - Dallas Cowboys vs. Green Bay Packers

GREEN BAY–Aaron Rodgers will not play in Dallas on Sunday.

“Aaron Rodgers is declared out for Sunday’s game. It’s been a difficult morning going through the conversation with Aaron and Dr. McKenzie. He’s very disappointed. He’s frustrated. He was not scanned this morning. He felt like he was ready to play. It’s in our best interests as a football team for Aaron not to play,” Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy said on Friday.

“I’m definitely OK with it. (Aaron) feels he’s ready to play,” McCarthy said.

More from McCarthy:

“(Rodgers) feels based on what he’s accomplished physically, what he was able to do at practice on Wednesday and Thursday, he’s ready to go. Hey, it’s not the easiest thing to sit there and tell your franchise quarterback he can’t play in the game when he wants to play in the game. This is clearly a decision that’s made in the best interests of Aaron Rodgers.”

Matt Flynn, obviously, will start his third straight game on Sunday.

“I thought Matt had his best practice today of the two weeks of preparation,” McCarthy said. “I thought Matt was very sharp today, and he obviously took all the reps.”

Other than Rodgers and DE C.J. Wilson (knee), who is also out, everyone else on the Packers’ injury report is probable. That includes RB Eddie Lacy (ankle) and inside LBs Brad Jones (ankle) and Jamari Lattimore (knee), who practiced for the first time this week on Friday.

“I felt like we got healthy as the week went on,” McCarthy said. As for the inside LB situation, which looked tenuous all week, McCarthy said, “We have different packages. We feel we’re prepared to do what we need to do.”

Based on Lacy’s limited practice work, it’s possible RB James Starks will play a larger role in the offense on Sunday, though McCarthy remains confident Lacy will be ready to go.

“I have no problem giving the ball to James 20 times if that’s the way it shakes out. I like our running back situation right now.”

Courtesy: Green Bay Packers website

PACKERS VS. COWBOYS PRIMER: Jason Garrett press conference | Dallas Cowboys vs. Green Bay Packers | 2013-2014 NFL Game 14 of 16 | Friday Practice

PACKERS VS. COWBOYS PRIMER - Jason Garrett press conference - Dallas Cowboys vs. Green Bay Packers - 2013 2014 NFL Game 14 of 16 - Friday Practice

Jason Garrett: Dallas Cowboys vs. Green Bay Packers | Friday Practice (7:43)

Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett speaks to the media as his team closes preparation for Sunday’s game with the 2013-2014 Green Bay Packers (Watch Video | Play Audio)

Garrett discussed:

  • Jason Witten’s role and respect garnered in the Cowboys locker room
  • Sean Lee’s progress this week in Dallas Cowboys practices
  • Who plays weak side linebacker (WLB) vs. Green Bay Packers
  • With Dwayne Harris likely out, who will be returner in Sunday’s game
  • Which Dallas lineman will face Green Bay’s Clay Matthews
  • Challenges facing CB Morris Claiborne with fathers death and his injury recovery
  • Impression of Matt Flynn in games he’s played for the Packers; pre-draft
  • Deflating concerns if Aaron Rodgers ends up playing instead of Matt Flynn
  • Surprised/Impressed by Green Bay Packers RB Eddie Lacy this season
  • How do you test a player to see if they are, in fact, ready to play with an injury
  • This season’s perception of a Home Field Advantage in AT&T Stadium
  • If Sean Lee’s injury similar to Jason Hatchers injury in any way
  • Recovering from a muscle strain vs. nerve issue in a players neck (Sean Lee)
  • Tiger Balm

PACKERS VS. COWBOYS PRIMER - Dallas Cowboys vs. Green Bay Packers - 2013 2014 NFL Game 14 of 16 - Monte Kiffin interview

Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin – Defensive Struggles; Changes

Monte Kiffin spoke with the media about his units struggles in recent weeks, and what needs to be done to get things fixed. (Watch Video | Listen Audio)

MAXIMIZING MARINELLI’S MISFITS: Dallas Cowboys defense looking for pass-rush spark | DeMarcus Ware and Sean Lee locker room interviews

MAXIMIZING MARINELLI’S MISFITS - Dallas Cowboys defense looking for pass-rush spark - George Selvie - 2013 2014 Dallas Cowboys schedule 2013 2014

IRVING, Texas– After the first four games of this season, the Dallas Cowboys had already garnered 14 sacks.

After the next four, or the second quarter of the season, the Cowboys had just seven more.

The third quarter of the season – games played in November – the Cowboys’ defense mustered only five quarterback sacks.

And one game into this December run, the Cowboys have just one sack.

That’s not exactly the kind of trend this team is looking for as it now must win at least two games, perhaps all three of the final three to make the playoffs.

So where’s the rush?

“We’ve got to get back to that,” said DeMarcus Ware, who has been banged up for parts of this season and has just six sacks this year. “It’s on us. We’ve got to get more pressure on the quarterback. This is the time of year when the lights come on. So we have to be better.”

And maybe, Green Bay will be the opponent that allows that.  At least statistically, that could happen if backup Matt Flynn plays for Aaron Rodgers, who has tried to come back from a broken collarbone.

The Packers have allowed 37 sacks this year, which ranks 23rd in the NFL. Of those 37 sacks allowed, 12 have come in the last two weeks with Flynn under center.

But while the Packers have endured their share of injuries, the Cowboys aren’t feeling sorry for them, especially when it comes to their defensive line. Since the first day of training camp when expected contributor Tyrone Crawford suffered a torn Achilles, it’s been one injury after another. The Cowboys have played nearly 20 different defensive linemen since the start of the season, although the starters haven’t changed much.

One of the players signed in training camp was George Selvie, who is tied with Ware for second on the team in sacks with six. But he hasn’t recorded one since the Vikings game, going four straight weeks without dropping the quarterback.

“I just have to keep working at it,” Selvie said. “You can’t get down on yourself. You have to keep fighting out there. That’s what we all have to do as a team. (Sacks) will come. You just have to keep getting the pressure.”

Coach Jason Garrett was asked if players such as Selvie has hit the proverbial wall.

“I think he’s a good consistent football player and has been all year long for us,” Garrett said of Selvie, who was flagged for two illegal hits on the quarterback against the Bears. “He was around the quarterback a little bit the other night in the ballgame. He comes to work every day. He’s not a dynamic, dynamic, dynamic pass rusher, but to me every game he shows up and somehow positively impacts the game.”

Selvie, of course, is starting for Anthony Spencer, who signed a $10.63 million franchise tag this year, only to play in one game because of a knee injury that eventually needed microfracture surgery.

The Cowboys have been blessed to have Selvie, who has started all 13 games at defensive end. They can’t say the same for Ware, who has started 10 games, missing the only three games of his career back in late October because of a quad strain that he says has healed 100 percent.

After Ware and Selvie, the Dallas Cowboys will likely have a new face this week in Edgar Jones, who has been on IR/Designated for Return since Week 2. Jones has been out with a groin injury that needed sports hernia surgery. He has practiced this week and Garrett said the Cowboys are expecting him to play.

At this point, after signing guys like Everette Brown, Jarius Wynn and Martez Wilson, not to mention numerous other ends who have already been signed and released, the Dallas Cowboys are hoping for some kind of spark.

RELATED: DeMarcus Ware “Knows For A Fact” that he’ll be a disruptive force

Watch Video - DeMarcus Ware “Knows For A Fact” that he’ll be a disruptive force - 2013 2014 Dallas Cowboys schedule 2013 2014

DeMarcus Ware & Sean Lee (3:14) | (Watch this Video)

DeMarcus Ware and Sean Lee discuss the state of the Dallas Cowboys defense and give updates on their injury status’.

IRVING, Texas – There’s no doubt in DeMarcus Ware’s mind that he can still be and will be a disruptive force going forward.

It’s been a tough stretch for Ware, who has just two sacks in his last seven games and is in danger of finishing a season with single-digit sacks for the first time since his rookie year, but he believes he’ll get back to his previous form.

“Every week, you’ve got to be your worst critic, and that’s me,” Ware said. “For me, I know I haven’t been playing the way I need to be playing. So you go back to the drawing board and say, ‘Hey, what am I doing wrong or what do I need to change to be more effective?’ It’s just the small things. It goes back down to fundamentals, doing the bags, doing tackling drills, doing those types of things.”

It’s not an issue of health, according to Ware, who dealt with a thigh injury as his sack totals dipped in the middle of the season. He said he came out of the Raiders game healthy and has felt fine physically since.

He also said there are no excuses as long as he’s feeling healthy and himself, which he apparently is.

Ware asked a reporter what his name was, to which the reporter replied, ‘DeMarcus Ware.’

“All right, ain’t nothing changed,” Ware said. “I don’t feel like nothing’s changed. December, it’s always a time where the lights turn on and you’ve got to separate yourself apart from everybody. That’s what we have to do these last three games, and we’re going to do that.”

The Cowboys’ defense needs Ware to become the player he was in training camp and at the beginning of the season if its to turn things around and start reaching the quarterback. Ware said the most significant issue the defense has faced in recent weeks is giving up the big play. He also said defenders haven’t been consistent in their fundamentals, and that includes himself.

He said it’s more on the players than the coaching staff to turn things around. 

“The coaching, the scheme is really good,” Ware said. “It always goes back down to fundamentals, doing the right things at the right time. And it’s all about timing. Our defense is all about hustle, hustling to the ball, getting strip sacks, making the big plays. We haven’t been consistent doing that these last games.”

But Ware said he knows for a fact he’ll get back to the level he’s accustomed to playing, and neither Ware nor head coach Jason Garrett believe his switch from 3-4 outside linebacker to 4-3 defensive end has been the reason for his statistical decline. At times, Ware will still play 4-3 end while standing up, as he was accustomed to doing most of his career.

Though Ware said he’s healthy, Garrett referenced the injury Ware’s fought through as a possible reason for limited productivity.

“He has been dealing with the injury for a lot of the year,” Garrett said. “Get him healthy and get him ready to go, and really focus on this challenge right here. Don’t worry about how we got to this point. Just get going. Put your hand on the ground and go affect the ball game.”

Garrett’s still got confidence in his top outside rusher and believes he’ll return to form this week.

“He can do what he needs to do,” Garrett said “There’s no question about that. Again, he’s dealing with an injury and he’s coming off the injury and hopefully he heals up more and more as it goes.”

COWBOYS GAME 14 PRIMER: Injury and Practice update | 2013 Dallas Cowboys vs. Green Bay Packers | Sean Lee limited

COWBOYS GAME 14 PRIMER - Injury and Practice update - 2013 Dallas Cowboys vs. Green Bay Packers - Sean Lee practicing, but limited

IRVING, Texas – Sean Lee was not on the field for the beginning portion of today’s practice.

Lee had been a limited practice participant all week since straining his neck against the Bears on Monday night, but he was off the field entirely for the first time this week today.

“He worked through yesterday’s practice on a fairly limited basis,” head coach Jason Garrett said before Friday’s practice. “He was in there a lot, but some of the other guys were getting some action as well. That happened the other night in the ballgame where it was a neck type issue. He’s as tough a guy as there is. We talked about (Jason) Witten, and Sean Lee’s cut from the same cloth. We’ll see how he is today.”

Garrett said Lee’s injury is similar to anyone’s in that they’ll try to predict how he can handle it with physical exams and scans and based off what the player’s saying and how he’s reacting.

Lee said after Wednesday’s practice that this weekend he’d try to play through the injury, which is more muscle related than nerve related, and suit up for the game against the Packers. Lee said there wasn’t necessarily a specific protocol he had to pass in order to play this weekend but that he’d continue to get tested throughout the week.

Garrett didn’t say Lee would be out for this practice, and it could be a precautionary measure. Garrett said it can be tough sometimes to balance resting a player and making sure he’s physically ready by the weekend.

“You have those challenges with all injuries,” Garrett said. “Whenever you’re talking about a head and a neck, you’re particularly careful. There’s no question about that, particularly with a guy who has as much contact as he does.”

Before returning for last Monday’s game in Chicago, Lee missed two games with a hamstring injury.

In addition to Lee being out, Bruce Carter, Dwayne Harris and Morris Claiborne all were off the field as well. The trio had missed practice all week with hamstring injuries.

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