DALLAS COWBOYS GAMEDAY PRIMER: The 2015 Bone Bowl–Broken Bryant and DeMarco’s Meat | Week #2 Practice & Injury Update | Dallas Cowboys vs. Philadelphia Eagles
With the Dallas Cowboys All-Pro wide receiver Dez Bryant sidelined by foot surgery, there was no crowd around his empty locker. Instead, scattered groups were talking to his fellow receivers – the ones who will be asked to fill his shoes in Philadelphia. Continue reading →
THE BATTLING BACK ‘BOYS: The Journey from Injured Reserve to Redemption | Comeback Cowboys Sean Lee & Morris Claiborne fighting back
For some Cowboys, there has been no offseason.
For the few players that ended the 2014 campaign on the injured reserve list, the offseason consisted of about one week before returning to the Valley Ranch facility to continue their rehabilitation process. Continue reading →
2014-2015 GAME 9 PRIMER: Cardinals vs. Cowboys | Romo rest, Weeden test | Rushman DeMarcus Lawrence activated | Josh Brent signs extension | Keeping Hope Alive | Injury and Practice Report
IRVING, Texas – It’s looking more and more likely that Brandon Weeden will start Sunday against Arizona, but the Cowboys aren’t willing to rule Tony Romo out just yet. Continue reading →
2014 GAME 9 PRIMER: Arizona vs. Dallas | ‘Round the Roster update–Linebacker lumps; Leary bumped | Meet your new Cowboy | DeMarcus Lawrence debut | Melton on the Mend
IRVING, Texas – The Dallas Cowboys are already without their most productive linebacker for the rest of the season and today, received another scare when Bruce Carter left practice with a finger injury. Continue reading →
2014 GAME 9 INJURY UPDATE: Arizona vs. Dallas | OLB Justin Durant season ends; MLB McClain sits | LB Tim Dobbins signed | Breaking down the breakdown | Emphasis placed on solid tackling | Cowboys-Cardinals Injury and Practice Report
IRVING, Texas – The Dallas Cowboys have signed linebacker Tim Dobbins to the active roster and moved Justin Durant to season-ending injured reserve. Continue reading →
2014 GAME 8 INJURY UPDATE: Washington vs. Dallas | OLB Bruce Carter returns | Only two Cowboys miss this week | Cowboys-Redskins Injury and Practice Report
IRVING, Texas – It appears the Dallas Cowboys linebacker corps is at full health once more – or as close as it can get to full health this season. Continue reading →
OVER BEFORE IT BEGAN: Dallas Cowboys LB DeVonte Holloman’s suffers career-ending neck injury | Former coach, players react | LBs continue position shifts in aftermath
Reaction to Holloman Retirement | 3:33 | Jason Garrett and Dallas Cowboys players react to the news of DeVonte Holloman’s career-ending neck injury. (Video | Audio)
Jason Garrett – Holloman’s future; Starters playing time | 15:22 | Coach Garrett speaks with the media prior to leaving for this weekend’s preseason game at Miami. (Video | Audio)
IRVING, Texas – With just one season under his belt, DeVonte Holloman’s career seems to be over. Continue reading →
2014 COWBOYS CAMP COVERAGE: Rookie DeMarcus Lawrence out with broken foot | DE back to Dallas for surgery | Garrett, Marinelli discuss options without Lawrence | Analysis
DeMarcus Lawrence Goes Down | :27 | Dallas Cowboys rookie defensive end and second round draft pick DeMarcus Lawrence went down with a foot injury during Tuesday’s practice. Reports have him expected to miss 8-12 weeks (Watch Video)
Jason Garrett: DeMarcus Lawrence injury; Tyron Smith extension | 13:59 | Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett addresses the media from Oxnard. (Watch | Listen)
LOOKING FOR NEXT MAN UP: Dallas Cowboys exploring options to replace injured MLB Sean Lee | Watch Jason Garrett video
ARLINGTON, Texas – A community event held during the second day of Organized Team Activities (OTA’s) isn’t the typical setting to address seismic changes in the Dallas Cowboys upcoming season.
COWBOY STAR SEASON SIDELINED: Sean Lee suffers 2014 season-ending ACL tear in left knee | Dallas Cowboys locker room reaction | Watch Videos
IRVING, Texas – And we thought it couldn’t get more frustrating for Sean Lee.
QUARTERBACK BACK ON TRACK: Tony Romo feels like he’ll make it through another five years | Dallas Cowboys Injury Update 2014
IRVING, Texas – Tony Romo might not be completely recovered from the back surgery that ended his 2013 season, but he spoke like a man ready to take the field.
DALLAS COWBOYS ROSTER UPDATE: Standout CB Tyler Patmon replaces injured S Marvin Robinson | Dallas Cowboys Injury Update 2014
IRVING, Texas – The Dallas Cowboys signed their first player from the rookie mini-camp workouts last weekend in cornerback Tyler Patmon, an undrafted rookie from Oklahoma State.
Patmon, whom defensive coach Monte Kiffin said reminded him on a “younger Ronde Barber,” turned more than a few heads last weekend at Valley Ranch.
VETERAN COWBOY ON A MISSION: Dallas Cowboys DE Anthony Spencer dedicated to rehabilitation and recovery
Dallas Cowboys DE Anthony Spencer: | 6:11 | Anthony Spencer gives an injury update, and talks about what it has been like trying to recover from microfracture surgery. (Watch | Listen)
IRVING, Texas – While yesterday’s (Friday) focus was mainly on the near-50 players at the Dallas Cowboys rookie minicamp, defensive end Anthony Spencer was one of the veterans at the facility after his rehab workout.
Although he said he was on schedule and optimistic about his recovery from microfracture surgery, he didn’t give a specific timetable when he might return this season.
But later in the day, Dallas Cowboys executive VP Stephen Jones was a little more detailed.
OFFSEASON HOOPS AND HOOPLA: Jason Garrett and Tony Romo spotted in Durham this weekend | Romo’s back rehab is on schedule (video)
Ah, yes! Lifestyles of the rich and famous.
Most college basketball fans would kill to see a Duke-North Carolina game.
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo and head coach Jason Garrett took in the classic college basketball rivalry last night. Here’s betting Romo and Garrett had pretty choice seats, too. And while most would be thrilled to be somewhere up in the nose-bleed seats.
So which team will a former Eastern Illinois quarterback (Romo) and a former Princeton quarterback (Garrett) root for in the Tobacco Road classic? Take a hint from the duo sporting Blue Devils gear in the photo above.
Romo and Garrett were actually on the court at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Friday, playing PIG with current Blue Devil Quinn Cook, former Devils great Jason Williams, and basketball operations assistant coach Casey Stevenson. Check out the short video HERE from Instagram.
Garrett, you may remember visited with Coach K a few years ago and tried to pick up some pointers.
Romo and Garrett were in Durham, N.C. to also work with Duke football coach David Cutcliffe.
Cutcliffe was instrumental in helping Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning rehab after his 2011 neck surgery. Cutcliffe, who worked with Manning on rebuilding his mechanics, is doing the same with Romo.
IRVING, Texas — Updates about Tony Romo’s recovery from surgery have been few and far between this offseason, but those few have been positive.
Romo and Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett attended Duke’s 93-81 win against rival North Carolina on Saturday night in Durham, N.C. Following the game, Romo spoke on the set of ESPN Gameday about his rehab.
“It’s going good. We’re getting close now. Usually it takes three months, it’s just normal kind of roundabout date that they give you and we’re right on schedule — really, ahead in a lot of ways,” Romo said. “Just going to be ready to go here in about a month and rehab is going good, no setbacks of any kind. Mine was just a normal small version of it, so I should be good to go here shortly.”
That falls more or less in line with what Garrett and owner/general manager Jerry Jones have said at other points since the season ended. Both Garrett and Jones have expressed optimism that Romo would be ready to go for the Dallas Cowboys offseason program.
Romo underwent the surgery Dec. 27, two days before the Cowboys’ season-ending loss to Philadelphia. The week prior, against Washington, he came up limping after dodging a Redskins’ pass rusher. He was able to finish out the Cowboys’ 24-23 win, though that game was his last of the season.
With roughly two and a half months having passed since the operation, Davis asked Romo when he’d start to throw and “go full speed.”
“I mean you do little things. You progress, everything is a progression. You kinda, whatever it is, whether it’s running or lifting, everything just starts small and you progress up,” Romo said. “So we’ve already started a lot of that stuff going. Now it’s just going to the next step every week or two and just attacking. For me, it’s like anything else, just another thing to attack and improve and I’m always up for that.”
2014 NFL COMBINE REPORT: Dallas Cowboys VP Stephen Jones discusses team draft needs, salary cap, and contracts
INDIANAPOLIS – Dallas Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones doesn’t want to focus on just one spot in the 2014 NFL Draft.
He didn’t deny the Cowboys’ obvious wants and needs on the defensive line, but he said Wednesday that teams get in a lot of trouble by narrowing their scope to just one position when it comes time to draft.
“You start targeting something and drafting for need, we all know that’ll get you in trouble,” Jones said. “It’ll be nice to come out of the draft at some point with a defensive front guy, defensive lineman or two. But no, I don’t think we can just say, ‘Hey, we’re going to take the first two picks and it’s got to be defensive linemen.’ I think you get in trouble that way.”
Jones said he wants players to be graded based on what they deserve, and he’s talked to the scouts about not grading players a certain way based entirely off team needs. He said the team has to fight that natural urge of grading by need.
He also isn’t worried about getting under the cap, and he doesn’t believe the cap situation makes it impossible to sign Tyron Smith and Dez Bryant to longer deals.
“In some cases, it can help to do deals,” Jones said. “I’d read where someone didn’t understand it, because they said, ‘How did they do (Dan) Bailey? That hurts them this year.’ Well, it didn’t hurt us, it helped us.”
Jones talked at length Wednesday about a variety of other offseason topics as well, from possible restructures to extensions to injuries and scouting. Here’s some notes from those comments.
- Anthony Spencer’s free agency leaves questions about his future with the Dallas Cowboys, but there’s also questions about his health going into 2014 coming off microfracture knee surgery. Jones said it still remains to be seen how healthy Spencer will be at the start of the year as he works the injury and goes through rehab, but he knows Spencer wants to play.
- Jones said the biggest misconception about the draft room is that owner/general manager Jerry Jones just “sits up there and out of the clear blue just grabs a guy and says we’re going to take him.” He said that’s not how it works, and generally there’s a consensus about a player.
“We spend millions of dollars in our scouting department and we spend a lot of money on our coaches and everybody has tremendous input,” Stephen Jones said. “I think it’s a good system.”
- The Dallas Cowboys got a boost earlier in the day by winning the No. 16 pick in a coin flip with the Baltimore Ravens, which Jones said can be valuable when trading back based off of trade charts.
- Jones wouldn’t go into details about specific players’ restructures this offseason, but he said every player must be looked at to see the resources being allocated. He said there are still several scenarios, but he’s comfortable with where the team’s at and knows he still has time to get everything settled.
- The fifth-year option on Tyron Smith’s contract has to be made by the spring, but Jones said that won’t take any urgency away from potentially getting a longer deal done with the left tackle.
- Jones said he thought Sharrif Floyd was graded right (2013 NFL Draft) based on his talent, but it’s debatable if he was graded the right way based on the team’s system. The Dallas Cowboys ended up trading back and grabbing Travis Frederick in the first round rather than taking Floyd, who had a first-round grade. Jones said it can be tricky when a team changes a system, and the Floyd circumstances won’t happen again. He knows the team got criticized by some for the move, but he believes they ended up making the right decision based on their defensive system.
- The Dallas Cowboys are looking at their hamstring problems and how to deal with the situation. He said no one’s happy with what occurred, and the team is looking internally to see how to improve the Dallas Cowboys injury problems. They’re also looking at how past teams have stayed healthy and are considering the age of players, their work habits and the shape they’re in.
COWBOYS OFFSEASON INJURY UPDATE: Top Injuries to Watch coming into the Dallas Cowboys 2014-2015 NFL season
IRVING, Texas – It’d almost be easier to list the players who stayed healthy than the ones who got hurt during the Dallas Cowboys 2013-2014 season.
The whole laundry list of injuries from last year is too great for only a top 10 list, so let’s narrow it down to the Top-10 Injuries to Watch list.
Players who didn’t make the list but should be noted are Matt Johnson (ankle), Morris Claiborne (shoulder/hamstring), George Selvie (shoulder), and Ben Bass (shoulder).
The entire register of players dealing with injuries is expansive, but these ten top the list.
10. Doug Free (ankle) – The Dallas Cowboys right tackle had a cleanup surgery on his ankle, a procedure expected to be rather routine.
While Free should be ready for the start of training camp, if not sooner, the Cowboys need him to be as good or even better in 2014. This is the final year of his contract so it’s likely he will be determined to improve as well. But the Cowboys certainly don’t want a relapse of the 2012-version of Free.
9. Dwayne Harris (shoulder) – A cleanup surgery isn’t expected to linger for Harris, who was banged up down the stretch last year. Easily the Dallas Cowboys most versatile player, Harris is a rare triple-threat. There aren’t many players in the league, or even in NFL history who excels like Harris as a punt returner, kick returner and coverage specialist.
Harris’ surgery in January shouldn’t limit him this offseason but considering his importance to special teams, the Cowboys can’t afford any more setbacks. Harris also dealt with injuries to his hip, hamstring and abdomen last year.
8. Brian Waters (biceps) – This is an injury to watch simply because it could affect the Dallas Cowboys guard position in 2014. Waters contract expires on March 11th and he might not ever suit up for the team again. Waters is mulling retirement, a stance he has kept since the biceps injury in mid-season last year. Even late in the season, Waters said he hadn’t decided if he was going to retire officially and/or have the biceps surgery. The guard said having the surgery didn’t automatically mean he would play again either.
The improved play of Mackenzy Bernadeau and Ronald Leary down the stretch can allow the Cowboys not to get desperate in signing Waters again. Of course, he’s an improvement over the two, but don’t be so sure he would come back and take Leary’s position. Bernadeau was good enough to keep his job, but that doesn’t mean the Cowboys would turn away Waters and his decorated experience.
7. Lance Dunbar (knee) – Just when he finally saw what Lance Dunbar can do with a few extra carries, it was gone in an instant. The second-year running back suffered a posterior lateral corner and underwent surgery following the Thanksgiving Day win over the Oakland Raiders.
Dunbar’s career-high 82 yards rushing helped the Dallas Cowboys rally for the win. But his speed and elusiveness could be a nice complement to DeMarco Murray’s style. Even despite Murray’s improved play down the stretch which led to a Pro Bowl spot, the Cowboys are counting on Dunbar’s change-of-pace in 2014.
6. Dez Bryant (back) – Unlike some of the others on this list, Bryant didn’t have a procedure on his back and likely wouldn’t even call this an injury. But chronic back issues have plagued him at times the last two years. He couldn’t finish the 2012 season finale in Washington and his back locked up on him at least twice this past year.
He managed to play through it, which is a positive sign. But a 25-year-old with some back issues, especially considering he is emerging as the team’s best overall player, is reason enough for concern.
5. Anthony Spencer (knee microfracture surgery) – Like Waters, Spencer might have played his last snap with the Dallas Cowboys. He’s a free agent in March and hasn’t suited up since Week 2 against the Kansas City Chiefs – his only game played this past year. Spencer’s knee injury eventually needed microfracture surgery, an extensive procedure that is considered one of the toughest to recover from.
The Cowboys could certainly use some depth at defensive end and if they could get Spencer at a reasonable price, because of the injury, it’s something to heavily consider. His rehab this offseason will be closely monitored not only by the Dallas Cowboys, but other teams that might want to add a talented player, despite the injury risk.
4. Tyrone Crawford (Achilles) – We still don’t know exactly where Crawford fits in the new 4-3 defense, but the prevailing logic is he should be able to compete for a starting job someone along the defensive line. He was the first of a plethora of injuries at training camp, and his Achilles’ tear started the domino effect.
Crawford has the frame to potentially work as an inside pass rusher, though they were working him in on the outside when offseason workouts began last year. The roster may dictate that he bump back inside, but wherever he ends up, he figures to be an important piece on defense in 2014.
3. DeMarcus Ware (elbow) – The veteran pass rusher is scheduled to have surgery on his left elbow next Tuesday (February 18th). This latest procedure doesn’t seem to be too serious. But it’s not the fact Ware is having elbow surgery, it’s more about the volume of the injuries now. They are definitely piling up. He only has two elbows of course, and both of them have been injured.
Ware missed the first three games of his career last season with a quad tear, an injury he says is now fully healed.
2. Sean Lee (neck) – It’s always concerning when the team’s starting middle linebacker, who just earned a significant contract extension, has a neck issue.
Lee’s injury history caught up to him again toward the end of the 2013 season, as he was unable to play in the final three regular season games and still seems to be dealing with the neck pain.
The Dallas Cowboys needed Lee late on a defense that struggled throughout the majority of the season, and they can’t afford for that injury to linger into 2014. That’s an injury that’ll need to be monitored, as Lee, who didn’t get surgery on his neck after the season, continues to rehab.
1. Tony Romo (back) – Nothing really comes close. Not only are we talking about the starting quarterback of the team, but also a recurring back injury to a now 34-year-old. How Romo responds from this injury is undoubtedly a major factor in the Dallas Cowboys success for 2014.
Sure, Kyle Orton proved in Week 17 he can be competitive for a game. He had the Cowboys in position to win but threw his team out of contention. Of course, that isn’t something Romo hasn’t done either, so it’s hard to put all of the blame on Orton, who actually played well up to that point in the game.
Still, the Dallas Cowboys need their franchise quarterback healthy. Tony Romo gives this team a chance to win at all times. There aren’t many quarterbacks who could play with the worst defense in franchise history, a below-average running game and still get his team to an 8-8 record.
Tony Romo has been carrying this team on his back for a while. And it finally gave out.
DALLAS COWBOYS INJURY UPDATE: Defensive end George Selvie is fourth player who underwent offseason surgery
Add George Selvie to the list of 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys players who underwent offseason surgery.
Selvie, who popped up on the injury report toward the middle of the season with a shoulder issue, went ahead and got surgery on the shoulder after fighting through the injury to play in all 16 games last season. He also battled back problems late in the year.
The defensive end still started every game for the injured Anthony Spencer and wound up with seven sacks, finishing second on the team in the category, after arriving with the team in training camp.
Selvie’s previous high in sacks was 1.5 his rookie year in 2010. This was by far the most productive season of his stint in the NFL. He also forced the first fumble of his career.
He’s among a handful of Dallas Cowboys to undergo offseason surgeries in an attempt to be ready as quickly as possible when the team reconvenes for offseason workouts.
In addition to Selvie, Dwayne Harris, and Caesar Rayford both also repaired their shoulders in the offseason, while tackle Doug Free cleaned up his ankle.
Other players are expected to get minor surgeries before the start of next season, including DeMarcus Ware. He hasn’t undergone a scope on his elbow, as he indicated was a likelihood after the season, but that plan could still change.
DALLAS COWBOYS INJURIES: 2013 2014 Key injury recap | How ‘bout them hamstrings
With the Dallas Cowboys 2013 2014 season over, injuries to several key players took shape this season. The Cowboys lost 77 gameday starts to player injuries this season, including 23 to hamstring problems.
Veteran and well-respected strength and conditioning coordinator Mike Woicik said his staff worked hard to solve the number of hamstring injuries. Extra stretching and monitoring the amount of work players did during practices were some of the things Woicik’s staff did to combat the problem.
The Cowboys lost seven players to hamstring injuries this season including five games each to wide receiver Miles Austin and linebacker Justin Durant. Austin just wasn’t the same player in the latter half of the season because of his tender hamstrings.
Durant was placed on injured reserve Dec. 17 because he couldn’t recover in enough time to get ready to play.
Here’s the list of Dallas Cowboys players who were injured and how many games were lost:
DeMarco Murray, two games
Lance Dunbar, seven games
Dwayne Harris, three games
Miles Austin, five games
Tony Romo, one game
DeMarcus Ware, three games
Sean Lee, five games
Bruce Carter, one game
Morris Claiborne, five games
Jason Hatcher, one game
Justin Durant, six games
DeVonte Holloman, seven games
Edgar Jones, nine games
Ernie Sims, four games
Anthony Spencer, 15 games
J.J. Wilcox, three games
DON’T FORGET THE X-FACTOR: Dez Bryant ready to "Get The W" for Tony Romo
IRVING, Texas – Dez Bryant’s going to play tomorrow night.
That was his message as the receiver, who was limited two days in practice this week and missed another day with a back injury, stood in front of his locker room and discussed how the team has to play for injured quarterback Tony Romo.
“Look how I’m standing,” Bryant said, as he stood straight up at his locker. “That should tell you enough. I’m ready to go. I’m good. I’m ready.”
For the first time this season, Bryant will be hauling in passes from a quarterback not named Romo. Bryant said everyone else has to step their game up more with Romo out.
“This is for everything,” Bryant said. “We’ve got to go out there and fight. We’re going to go out, lay it all out on the line and get this ‘W’ for Tony.”
Bryant said coach Jason Garrett’s rule is the next man up has to step up, and he’s confident the Dallas Cowboys will rally around Kyle Orton and do their best to get a victory and get into the playoffs, but he added that he feels for Romo, who’s his guy right now and will always be his guy.
“I want him to hurry up and get well, hope he has a speedy recovery, which I know he is,” Bryant said. “I’m going to try to get this W for him.”
Orton and the players around him have all expressed their confidence in his ability to get the job done. Bryant said he’s comfortable with Orton at quarterback and it shouldn’t be a huge issue.
With Bryant’s back, Sean Lee’s neck, Ernie Sims’ groin, DeMarcus Ware’s various injuries and a number of hamstring problems throughout the team, the Cowboys once again find themselves in a tough spot health-wise for their season finale.
Bryant said of course he’d like to be going into this one full strength, but this situation’s a reality the group has to accept and move on from.
“It’s something we have to deal with,” he said. “Just get in that treatment room and get better and come back on Sunday and get ready to play.”
EAGLES @ COWBOYS PRIMER: Jason Garrett press conference | Tony Romo back surgery | 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys game 16
Jason Garrett Press Conference: Cowboys vs. Eagles | Friday Practice (7:55)
Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett speaks to the media as his team continues preparation for Sunday’s game with the 2013-2014 Philadelphia Eagles (Watch Video | Play Audio)
- Tony Romo IR and back surgery announcement
- Specifics of Romo’s back surgery; asked if it was related to herniated disc
- Estimation of when Romo will be able to return to team activities next season
- How the Romo injury has influenced Orton’s reps in practices all week
- Difficulty of Romo coming to grips on the necessity to have season ending surgery
- Two back surgeries in eight months a concern for the team going forward
- Did the back injury occur in last weeks game vs. Washington Redskins or earlier
- Teams plans to fill Romo’s roster spot for remaining games.
- How Romo responded to treatment attempts this week
- When was the final determination made to move forward with the surgery
- How do you prepare Romo’s teammates with the news of Romo being out indefinitely
- Was there any lingering issues from Romo’s surgical procedure earlier in the year
- How has Orton’s practices gone this week and in prior practices this season
- If Jon Kitna (Kit’s) up to speed with offense and new twists added in his absence
- What is the most difficult part of backup QBs adaption to gameday action
- Dez Bryant progress with his back injury; prognosis for upcoming game vs. Eagles
RELATED: Dallas Cowboys Kyle Orton steps in with confidence
Kyle Orton locker room interview | December 25, 2013 | Watch Video | Listen Audio)
IRVING, Texas – The preparation may not change much, but the circumstances certainly have for Kyle Orton as he prepares to make his first start for the Dallas Cowboys for the injured Tony Romo.
Orton’s taking practice reps with the first team offense for the first time this year as the Dallas Cowboys get ready for their most important game of the season in a win or go home matchup at AT&T Stadium against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 17.
“Just excited, you know, just to be able to get some practice reps,” Orton said. “It felt good today, just kind of see how it plays out throughout the week, but it really doesn’t change my preparation at all. Just get the added benefit of getting some reps during the week, which was good.”
Orton, who’s been the backup in Dallas the last two years, is their go-to guy. They also added Jon Kitna for further depth.
Orton’s thrown a pass in just two games the last two years, going 3-for-5 for 40 yards against the Bears this year and going 9-for-10 with a touchdown against the Bears last year.
Prior to joining the Cowboys, he made 69 career starts in stops with the Bears, Broncos and Chiefs. He said the feeling is excitement, not pressure, getting to throw to Dez Bryant and Jason Witten and hand the ball off to DeMarco Murray in this situation.
“I fall back on my experience,” Orton said. “I’ve played a lot of games in this league and I’ve had some success. Just excited. The group of guys I’ve got around me, I don’t really feel like I’ve got to go out there and do too much – get the ball to the playmakers and give it to 29 and 82 and 88 and let those guys go to work.”
Orton emphasized the importance of not trying to do too much. His plan is to get the ball out as quickly as possible to the open receiver, and he believes the Cowboys have multiple options who know how to get free and make plays.
Though Orton hasn’t worked with the first team during the regular season, he did get to work with the team’s top offensive players while Romo was out in the offseason, particularly during Organized Team Activities.
“Any time you’re a backup, all the reps you can get with the guys are important,” Orton said. I was kind of fortunate to get a lot of the reps during OTAs. That’s a long time ago, but I’ve practiced hard throughout the whole year and really feel like my game’s in a great spot right now and I’m really confident heading into the week.”
It’s beneficial for Orton that he’s had two years now to learn the playbook.
Even if his first start comes 16 games into the season, he’s confident he can step in, and the offensive linemen in front of him share that feeling. Orton complimented what the line’s been able to do, and the success of the line in recent weeks gives Orton even more confidence he can step in quickly.
“I think the whole offensive line’s played great,” Orton said. “Obviously in the run game to have a 1,000-yard rusher going into Week 17 is a great deal and what they’ve done pass pro-wise has been really good.”
Both center Travis Frederick and guard Mackenzy Bernadeau said not much will change for them and how they block, regardless of which quarterback’s behind them.
“Kyle knows the offense,” Bernadeau said. “He’s been with this system for a while. Just calling the plays in the huddle, his demeanor knowing the offense, calling the protections, making the mike points, the sight adjustments and hot adjustments that he reads, I’m very confident. I know that he knows the offense. So when we communicate and talk up front, we’re thinking what he’s thinking. It meshes real well. I have all the confidence in his ability.”
Orton said when Romo got injured late against the Redskins, he saw the situation as everyone else did.
Romo didn’t say much about the injury to his teammates as he battled out to the end of the game. Orton didn’t realize at the time what was to come based on Romo’s reaction. He complimented the starter’s ability to finish the game the way he did.
“I think Tony played a great game in Washington,” Orton said. “Obviously, dealing with what he dealt with toward the end of the game there was great stuff. I know if he can be out there playing, he’ll be out there.”
If Romo can go, Orton knows he’ll probably be relegated back to the bench. But with Romo’s playing status in serious doubt, Orton’s ready for the opportunity in front of him.
“No doubt I’m excited,” Orton said. “We’ll see how Tony heals up. He’s a great quarterback, he’s had a great year and I know he wants to finish this thing out. But as a backup, that’s your job to be ready to go whenever it is. I think the guys have got a lot of confidence in me, I know I’ve got a lot of confidence in myself, and I’m excited to play.”
FRANCHISE QB PLACED ON INJURED RESERVE: Tony Romo out for rest of 2013-2014 season after back surgery
IRVING, Texas – The Dallas Cowboys will officially be without starting quarterback Tony Romo the rest of the season.
Head coach Jason Garrett said Romo underwent back surgery this morning that will place him on injured reserve the rest of the year, leaving Kyle Orton as the team’s starting quarterback going forward this season.
“The surgery was done as a result of the injury that happened in the game against Washington, and Tony will be on IR,” Garrett said. “Kyle Orton will be our starter in the ballgame. We spent the week exhausting all options in regards to Tony’s situation – treatment, rehab, all the different things, consulted a lot of different people on this. We just felt like as we discussed it, as yesterday wore on, that this was the best decision for him and for our organization moving forward.”
Garrett said the ultimate decision was to have the surgery taken care of sooner rather than later. The Dallas Cowboys wouldn’t rule Romo out early in the week after initial reports Romo would be done for the year.
“We felt like the surgery went well, and Tony should be able to come home hopefully later today and start to begin his rehabilitation for the 2014 season.”
Garrett didn’t have a specific timetable at this point for Romo’s recovery, nor did he get into the specifics of the back surgery. He added that Romo, who was in the midst of one his best seasons with 31 touchdowns and just 10 interceptions, was thoroughly disappointed about the result.
“He’s devastated,” Garrett said. “He puts a lot into this.”
THE OLE BOY IS BACK: Dallas Cowboys sign veteran Jon Kitna as emergency quarterback | Kitna donating game check to school
IRVING, Texas — In a move reminiscent of their 2010 season, the Dallas Cowboys signed veteran quarterback Jon Kitna to help offset an injury to Tony Romo.
The team made the move official Wednesday morning. Kitna rejoins the Dallas Cowboys as an emergency quarterback behind Kyle Orton.
Veteran return man Michael Spurlock, who had a 62-yard punt return in the win against the Redskins, was cut to make room for Kitna.
The Dallas Cowboys called the 41-year-old Kitna sight-unseen from his retirement as a math teacher and football coach at Lincoln High School in Tacoma, Wash., after working out several other quarterbacks on Tuesday — David Carr, Tyler Thigpen, John Skelton, and Richard Bartel.
Kitna arrived in Dallas on Tuesday night in order to undergo a physical on Christmas Morning. The Cowboys are scheduled to practice Wednesday afternoon in a schedule somewhat altered to let the players and coaches spend the morning with their families.
This will be Kitna’s second stint in Dallas. He backed up Romo from 2009-11 and started nine games in 2010 when Romo went out with a broken clavicle. He retired after the 2011 season, which paved the way for the Cowboys to sign Orton in March of 2012.
Unlike that 2010 season, Kitna would not be the starter against the Eagles, but an insurance policy for Orton. The Cowboys have only carried two quarterbacks on their roster since Alex Tanney was signed off their practice squad by Cleveland on Nov. 26.
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said adding another quarterback helps the team in practices.
Kitna played 15 NFL seasons prior to his retirement. He played for Seattle from 1996-2000, Cincinnati from 2001-05, and Detroit from 2006-08 prior to joining the Cowboys.
Jerry Jones said the Dallas Cowboys gave Orton a three-year, $10 million contract in 2012 for this exact situation.
“We’re in as good of shape under these circumstances as you possibly could be in,” Jones said. “I have every reason to think Kyle Orton could step out there and do a really good job for us. We’ve planned on that very event.”
RELATED: Dallas QB Jon Kitna to donate his game check to Lincoln High School
IRVING, Texas – Lincoln High School’s student-athletes in Tacoma, Wash., may benefit more than the Dallas Cowboys with Jon Kitna rejoining the team.
Kitna, who teaches and coaches at the school, said he’ll be donating his game check to the school’s booster program, which his wife runs.
He said he didn’t have a second thought than to give the money to the program to help out and get protein for the students. Kitna said 85 percent of the student population is below the poverty line, and his family’s dedicated itself to helping out.
“My wife runs our booster program and spends roughly $25,000 a year feeding this young men and things like that in a lot of different avenues. One of the things we committed to this year for our booster program was our first $25,000 that we raised we were going to use on protein for the young men,” Kitna said.
Kitna and his family started a foundation specifically for what he’s doing now, giving young men the opportunity to grow in school and on the field.
“Unfortunately with the market dropping, all that stuff, when things when under, the foundation did too,” Kitna said. “But it’s what my wife does. She started a booster program along with my sister. They spend about $25,000 a year just feeding the young men.
“Then for us, we feel like we have some Division-I talented young men in our program that are doing great, but they need some supplement to their diet. One of the things we’re going to do is use money that we raised, and we’ve had a lot of donations and things like that, to get protein for these young men so that their body gets what they need.”
Kitna said whether it’s his teacher’s salary – he was an algebra teacher for two years at the school – or this player’s salary, he’s dedicated to helping out the school. He previously gave his teacher’s salary to chip in before adding this money on top.
“That’s what we do,” Kitna said. “I’ve lived a great life.”
GAME 15 GAMEPLAN – COWBOYS VS REDSKINS: It’s time to “let your star be the star” | Cowboys injury shuffle continues in Dallas
IRVING, Texas – Twenty-four hours from now, the Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Redskins game will be in the history books. Here are some final thoughts prior to the game …
Let Your Star Be The Star
Where Jason Garrett and Bill Callahan have done a much better job in the 2nd half of this season is finding ways to move Dez Bryant around in order to find him space in the defense. By using Bryant on the outside but also in the slot has prevented teams from getting a read on where he is going to operate from. Also give Bryant credit for embracing all the moving around and doing a solid job with his assignments and routes. Against this Redskins secondary, there will be opportunities for some productive plays that are simple throws. Keep an eye on Bryant out of the slot this week if the Redskins decide not to bring DeAngelo Hall with him inside. Usually Josh Wilson will play the slot and there is no way that if Bryant continues to run those routes across the field and underneath, that he can match him. Expect Garrett and Callahan to become even more creative in where they move Dez Bryant around in this game.
In his press conference on Friday morning, Jason Garrett was asked about how hard it was to practice and prepare for the Redskins this week with all the players that were missing at one time or another for various medical reasons. His answer was that it wasn’t easy but you find ways to adjust. The biggest problem for this club is trying to field enough players for your scout teams to give your first and second groups the plays they need to work against to get ready for the ball game. If you just take the defensive group for example, with Jason Hatcher, DeMarcus Ware, and George Selvie missing time, that meant guys like Everette Brown, Jarius Wynn, and Martez Wilson had to take double reps working with both the defense, then turning around and playing on the scout team for the offense. DeVonte Holloman will be getting his first start at Mike (middle linebacker) because of injuries to Sean Lee, Justin Durant and Ernie Sims, but there he was getting work on the scout team, just trying to help out. Kyle Wilber is another guy that does this as well. Brandon Carr missed the last two days of practice dealing with a virus, so Sterling Moore who now starts in the nickel on the outside was working as a scout team corner with B.W. Webb. Garrett even spoke of offensive players such as receivers working as corners, just so they could field 11 players to work against. If things had gotten any worse, I am sure, that defensive back coach, Jerome Henderson, who was a former NFL cornerback could have took a rep or two. The last thing a coaching staff wants to deal with is problems during their weekly preparation but it sounds like they were able to work around the issues they had.
Not A Simple Replacement
It will be another week without Dwayne Harris in the lineup due to his hamstring injury. Harris is like that Swiss Army Knife in your pocket. He is the blade, spoon and scissors all in one. Of all the injuries down the stretch, the one to Sean Lee was huge. You could make a case that the injury to Harris has been the one that is the most difficult to replace. There are so many roles that he has on the team, that you just can’t bring one player on board and feel like that is taken care of. In an attempt to find Harris’ replacement, the front office turned to the coaching staff in hope that their experience with certain players over the years, that there might be someone on the street that could maybe fill that void. In this case, Rich Bisaccia had been with Michael Spurlock during two different stops with the Buccaneers and Chargers. What you get from Spurlock is a punt and kickoff return man, an outside flyer on the punt team and a player you can use on the kickoff team as the L3 or R3 as a cover man. I am not going to tell you that Spurlock will be as productive as Dwayne Harris but it is important that his coach believes that he can more than handle the job and with so much on the line you need that type of confidence in the player.
Important Practice Squad Addition
It’s not normal to get too up (or down) about practice squad addition. It was important for various reasons to consistently add and subtract players. In order to not only give the coaches the best group of players to function every day for practice, but also trying to develop (one or two) players that might be able to use as future starters. Much like the Dallas Cowboys did with Ronald Leary in 2012. There are also other reasons you use your practice squad and that is to bring a player or two on that might have been with a future opponent and pick their brain about ways that they might operate. The Cowboys made a very interesting practice squad move on a player that was with the Redskins through their game in Atlanta just last week. Lance Lewis (see below) is a receiver that was on the active roster for the Redskins for the last month of the season and active in games against the 49ers, Giants, and Falcons. He takes the place of Jamar Newsome who was on the practice squad, but was injured this week. Usually teams will not add players this late in the week unless they are rolling guys on and off to have a nine or ten man roster. Lewis got to suit up with the Cowboys and practice on Friday and will do so again today before the team leaves this afternoon. As a staff, you look for any advantage that you might get in a matchup and in this case, the Dallas Cowboys might have found a good one.
RELATED: Dallas Cowboys sign wide receiver Lance Lewis from Redskins squad
The Dallas Cowboys placed practice squad wide receiver Jamar Newsome on practice-squad IR on Friday. Newsome, who has been on the squad most of the year, suffered a calf strain.
The club has replaced him with wide receiver Lance Lewis, who has been with the Washington Redskins organization the last two years, mostly on the practice squad.
Adding Lewis gives the Cowboys three receivers on the practice squad, along with Tim Benford and Lanear Sampson.
There was some speculation that one of the practice-squad receivers could get a call-up this week, depending on Terrance Williams’ hamstring injury. After missing practice Wednesday and Thursday, Williams returned to practice Friday and is listed as questionable to play against the Redskins on Sunday.
COWBOYS @ REDSKINS PRIMER: Jason Garrett press conference | 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys game 15 | Thursday
Jason Garrett Press Conference: Cowboys vs. Redskins | Thursday Practice (15:52)
Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett speaks to the media as his team continues preparation for Sunday’s game with the 2013-2014 Washington Redskins (Watch Video | Play Audio)
- Coach Jason Garrett’s gift from Dallas media
- What challenges Washington QB Kirk Cousins presents for the Dallas Cowboys
- Without much tape (game film), what goes into game planning against Cousins
- What can be done to get DeMarcus Ware going again; injury status
- Pass rush and quarterback pressure with defensive line
- Assessment on Heath and Wilcox the past few weeks
- Lack of experience at safety in some games this season
- Effects of two back-to-back losses; seeing results of team mentality win/lose
- Signs that Tony Romo will bounce back from Green Bay loss
- Teams Cross-Training philosophy that begins every preseason
- Comparing the challenges of injuries this season compared to last year
- Recent messages from team leaders up and in front of teammates
- DeVonte Holloman’s adaption to MLB and difference in responsibilities
- Why Jason Hatcher popped back up on todays injury report
- Importance and recent success of scoring on the opening drive
- Progress of OL since DeMarco Murray went out 6-8 weeks ago and returned
- Recent incorporation of Gavin Escobar into offense, his progress to date
- How having Escobar might help the Cowboys offense with Williams dinged up
- Murray wanting opportunities to ‘finish’ games
- Positive/Negative reinforcement style with recent tough losses
- How much pressure is on the offense to put up points with latest defense issues
- What it means to the team with Tyron Smith playing so well at left tackle
- Travis Frederick progress and grade on film
- How does this OL compare to the other lines Jason Garrett has had during his tenure
- If worried about Travis Frederick hitting a wall with his development
2013-2014 MEDIA DAY: Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Redskins | 5:18
Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett speaks to the Washington media. (Video | Audio)
2013-2014 MEDIA DAY: Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Redskins | 5:22
Dallas Cowboys DE DeMarcus Ware speaks to the Washington media. (Video | Audio)