The Arizona Cardinals will take on the New Orleans Saints on Sunday without starting defensive tackle Dan Williams, who is dealing with a terrible personal tragedy.
Team spokesman Mark Dalton told The Associated Press that Williams was excused from the game due to the death of his father, who was killed in a car accident. Williams’ sister and mother also were in the car, but Dalton said they were expected to recover from their injuries.
Dalton told The AP that Thomas Williams was en route from the family’s home in Memphis, Tenn., to New Orleans to watch his son play. The accident occurred near Jackson, Miss.
It’s a heartbreaking story. Our condolences go out to Williams and his family.
PHOTO: A.J. Green jokes around with the other Bengals receivers prior to their preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys – The Enquirer – Jeff Swinger
ARLINGTON, TEXAS — Since returning to practice on Aug. 14, A.J. Green has looked like he barely missed a step after missing two weeks due to a bruised knee.
In his first preseason action on Saturday, Green got some game action in and finished with 3 receptions for 42 yards.
“I felt good out there. It was good to get back and get my wind back,” Green said. “I was a little tired out there at the beginning. Once the second half came, I got my second wind and I felt good out there again.”
Green got involved early. He caught the first pass on a little slant for a 9-yard completion on the second offensive play. His best play was a 26-yard reception off play action during the third quarter to move the Bengals into the red zone.
Later in the drive, Green appeared as if he got a touchdown after outmuscling Cowboys corner Micah Pellerin in the right corner of the end zone, but the official ruled that Green had one foot out of bounds. On replays it appeared as if Lewis could have challenged the call (see notes below). That later resulted in a Quinn Sharp 28-yard field goal to bring the Bengals within 14-10.
Said Green of the play: “I thought I did but it was toe-heel. It all can’t be in one motion. I need to work on just getting the toe down and just falling out of bounds.”
Dalton was happy to have Green back but also noted of his performance that it is what he expects. The first offense is likely only to get a series or two of work in Thursday’s preseason finale against Indianapolis.
TACKLES ANGST: Right tackle Andre Smith injured his left knee during the second quarter, which caused some nervous moments for those who were starting to envision what life might be like without both starting tackles for the Sept. 8 opener at Chicago.
Smith though appeared to be fine in the locker room after the game as he was walking normally and smiling (see notes below).
“He should be ready to go for Chicago,” coach Marvin Lewis said.
Left tackle Andrew Whitworth did not make the trip to Dallas as he is still coming back from offseason knee surgery He has been limited throughout camp and there are some increasing concerns on if he will be ready for the opener. Whitworth comes into the season with the longest starting streak on the team at 67 games, including the postseason.
Anthony Collins got the start in place of Whitworth while Dennis Roland saw increased snaps at right tackle after Smith left.
BAD NIGHT FOR KIRKPATRICK: Cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick led the Bengals in tackles with eight but that’s the only good thing you can say about his game.
Kirkpatrick had his problems going up against Dez Bryant during the first half and gave up the Cowboys first touchdown, which was a 5-yard completion to Bryant early in the second quarter. Kirkpatrick was also called for pass interference twice in the first half.
To say it was a learning experience for Kirkpatrick would be kind.
“That’s what he needed to have,” Lewis said. “They got to put in battle still – Brandon Thompson, Margus Hunt, Devon Still, that group of backup players needs to be pushed into the action like that. That was good.”
Kirkpatrick was unavailable for comment after the game as he was being treated for concussion symptoms.
WELCOME BACK: Defensive end Margus Hunt, who played at Southern Methodist, got his first NFL sack in the third quarter when he took down Alex Tanney for a 7-yard loss.
“The first half was difficult because of the way the tackle played. He was really physical and I wasn’t able to compete with that. It took me awhile to get into the groove,” said Hunt, who had 3 tackles, including the sack. “Eventually in the second half I was able to take what we have practiced all week and put it into the game. I was able to put pressure and punch away.”
Running back Rex Burkhead, who is from Plano, had 2 carries for 8 yards and 2 receptions for 14 yards.
SACK MASTER: Defensive end Dontay Moch got his second sack of the preseason and has 5.5 in the past seven preseason games. It might not be enough though to make the 53-man roster in what is a pretty deep defensive line group.
Moch though does have a chance to come back via the practice squad if he can clear waivers.
“You know, honestly, it’s not really up to me. It’s just how the coaches feel about my performance and where I can contribute as a player to this team. As of right now, I just feel like I’m making those steps to show that I can be a factor.”
INACTIVES: Defensive end Carlos Dunlap returned to practice this past week after missing the last two weeks due to a concussion. Dunlap though is still working his way back and was held out of Saturday’s game.
Preseason injuries have hampered Dunlap throughout his career. He missed two games in 2010 due to a concussion and knee strain. In 2011, a knee strain forced him out of the entire preseason and last year he only saw a couple series in the preseason opener before suffering a knee injury. Out of 16 preseason games, Dunlap has played in only four.
Wallace Gilberry got the start in place of Dunlap.
The other listed pregame inactives were QB Zac Robinson (PUP/elbow), WR Andrew Hawkins (ankle), CB Brandon Ghee (concussion), RB Bernard Scott (PUP/knee), FB Chris Pressley (PUP/knee), S George Iloka (wrist), LB Brandon Joiner (knee), LB Sean Porter (shoulder) and OG Otis Hudson (foot).
LB James Harrison, DE Robert Geathers and CB Adam Jones, who did not practice for much of the week, also got the night off.
RARE PRESEASON TRIP: The trip to Dallas marks the furthest trip out west for a preseason game for the Bengals since they faced Arizona in 1996.
Courtesy: Joe Reedy | Bengals beat-writer | Cincinnati Enquirer
The Boys Are Back editor comments: A.J. Greens foot was clearly out of bounds. It was not by a heel … more than half of his foot was on the white chalk. Green didn’t outmuscle Cowboys corner Micah Pellerin (who injured his hand on the play by nudging Green out of bounds). A Lewis challenge would have resulted in a Bengals lost timeout.
Bengals right tackle Andre Smith (along with their backup Dennis Roland) had his hands full with DeMarcus Ware, followed by emerging Cowboys DE Ben Bass.
When your leading tackler is a cornerback (Dre Kirkpatrick), that’s what you call “a bad day at the office”! That’s not a good thing. That honor (in a winning effort) usually goes to a linebacker. Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant owned Kirkpatrick during this game. Kirkpatrick has a ton of upside, but this was not his day.
Young Cincinnati DE Margus Hunt had a hard time with Dallas’ recently activated right tackle Jermey Parnell paired with (last years starting right tackle) Doug Free at right guard. His sack came against the Dallas Cowboys third-string unit lead by QB Alex Tanney.
To me, it’s amusing to refer to practice squad hopeful DE Dontay Moch as your sack master!
The Bengals lost to the (at the time, another NFC East team) Arizona Cardinals 13-10 on Saturday 08/10/1996. Something happens when they cross the mighty Mississippi River!
Defensive back Micah Pellerin said he was fined $15,750 by the NFL for a hit against Cardinals punt returner Charles Hawkins that drew an unnecessary roughness penalty last week, but he declined to talk about whether he would appeal it.
He smiled and was ready to say something, then thought better of it.
“No comment,” he said.
But earlier in the week, he said it was a bang-bang play.
“It’s just one of those plays that, being such a bang-bang play that without seeing a replay, you kind of just anticipate a flag,” Pellerin said. “He’s a shorter guy. He ducked. I’m taller, so you know. I didn’t mean to.”
Pellerin, a first-year player from Hampton, caught the Cowboys’ eye with physical play in training camp, and he is gaining confidence.
“I feel like I’m doing well,” he said. “Just been moving up defense, and special teams I’ve been moving up this week. I’m just excited moving up.”
Black Monday has arrived, and it has brought a lot of change and bad news for many coaches and general managers around the NFL.
We’ll have all the big moves covered, and this post will be a one-stop shop for all the latest news.
Here’s what we right know:
Buffalo Bills: Coach Chan Gailey was let go after three seasons that went nowhere in Buffalo. The defense and quarterback play never improved. It’s unclear if general manager Buddy Nix will remain.
Chicago Bears: In the first mild surprise of the day, coach Lovie Smith was fired after three playoff appearances in nine years. General manager Phil Emery took the job last year and will hire his own man.
Cleveland Browns: The team announced Monday morning that coach Pat Shurmur and GM Tom Heckert are both out. They never had much of a chance once new owner Jimmy Haslam bought the team.
Kansas City Chiefs: Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt announced the team has parted ways with coach Romeo Crennel. The team said it has not made a final decision about GM Scott Pioli’s status.
Philadelphia Eagles: Owner Jeffrey Lurie confirmed Monday morning that coach Andy Reid is out after 14 seasons in Philadelphia. The Eagles won’t waste any time starting a coaching search.
San Diego Chargers: The Chargers announced both coach Norv Turner and general manager A.J. Smith have been let go. Ron Wolf has been brought in as a consultant to help search for the next leadership group.
Up in the air
Carolina Panthers: Ron Rivera has struggled to win close games during his tenure and isn’t a natural in game management. A four-game winning streak to end the season could save his job. The Panthers will hire a new GM.
Chances of a change: Strong. The next GM will decide Rivera’s fate.
Detroit Lions: Jim Schwartz and GM Martin Mayhew pulled off one of the best rebuilding efforts of all time after taking over the 0-16 Lions. And then the bottom fell out for a talented roster this year.
Chances of a change: Growing. Multiple outlets said earlier in the week that Schwartz was safe, but Lions ownership is disturbed with the team’s culture, it could make a change. Schwartz is signed through 2015.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Mike Mularkey was hired just last year, but his boss, GM Gene Smith, was fired Monday morning. Mularkey wasn’t able to develop young quarterback Blaine Gabbert.
Chances of a change: Good. Mularkey told players in a team meeting that he’s still the head coach after talking with the owner Thursday and Monday. Mularkey’s fate ultimately will be decided by the next GM. Mularkey will have to wait and see.
Dallas Cowboys: Cowboys owner Jerry Jones intimated throughout the process that he hasn’t even thought about changing head coaches. NFL Network contributor Jay Glazer first reported that coach Jason Garrett was safe two weeks ago. Garrett could be asked to hire an offensive coordinator that calls plays.
New York Jets: The Jets announced that GM Mike Tannenbaum was let go Monday morning. But they also announced Rex Ryan will stay on as coach. It’s an awkward arrangement for whomever the Jets hire to run the personnel department.
Tennessee Titans: The Tennessean reported Monday that coach Mike Munchak will keep his job despite a 6-10 record. Personnel executive Mike Reinfeldt is out, though.
BALTIMORE — Safety Gerald Sensabaugh sat in his locker putting on his socks and said to himself, "Man, we are so close."
That is what the Dallas Cowboys do so very well — close.
They do so in the most stupefying, maddening fashion that can be authored.
Not too far from the same neighborhood where one of the world’s most celebrated authors of fiction — Mr. Edgar Allen Poe — once penned his brilliance, the Cowboys once again created their own version of real-time hell.
The author of the Ravens’ 31-29 win against the Cowboys? Start with Cowboys coach Jason Garrett.
The Dallas Cowboys amassed 481 total yards and did not win the game. That is odd.
The Cowboys ran for 227 yards and did not win the game. That is hard.
The Cowboys had the ball at their own 46-yard line with 32 seconds remaining, one timeout, and ran but two offensive plays before settling for a 51-yard field goal attempt. That is inexcusable.
The Ravens defeated the Cowboys when they were clearly not the better team but managed to win because they simply were not the dumber team.
To show how the Cowboys played on Sunday, their smartest player was Dez Bryant. (In fairness to Dez, other than having to miss one drive because he was receiving an IV for dehydration, he played arguably the best game of his career.)
"What do you want? I believe in my guys," Cowboys defensive back Orlando Scandrick said. "It’s not an exact science. It’s football. It’s not mathematics."
Exactly. No one expects the Dallas Cowboys to be NASA.
The Cowboys are coached by a Princeton grad, but his team plays sometimes as if it barely finished the seventh grade. As much as his Ivy League education should be a reflection of his own intellect, the way his team plays says something about Jason Garrett. Which is why it does not add up.
The Cowboys had 13 penalties for 82 yards on Sunday, one turnover, allowed a special teams touchdown, and made a series of self-inflicted wounds in the red zone that killed or hurt scoring chances.
"Three of the five games we’ve had a lot of penalties," Garrett said. "The officials were certainly involved in this game and you have to overcome that stuff."
And the clock management after the Cowboys recovered the onside kick with 32 seconds to play suggests nothing was learned from the nightmare in Arizona last season.
Garrett did the same thing at San Francisco last year — played for a long field goal — and got away with it when Dan Bailey nailed a long kick to send into overtime a game the Cowboys eventually won.
But he got burned on it in Arizona last season, and a little bit against the Giants in Arlington last December.
You cannot bank on making a 51-yard field goal. You always get closer.
"I felt like I could knock it through from there," Bailey said of his potential game-winning kick that sailed wide left with two seconds remaining.
In the Cowboys’ locker room after the game, at least two players were overheard talking about that 2011 loss in Arizona.
Coach Process looks smart. He acts smart. He is organized. His rhetoric sounds sharp, and yet his team plays the opposite.
The Cowboys under Garrett sometimes play not too much different than they did under Uncle Wade Phillips.
I asked Garrett if he thought he has a smart team. His response was some long-winded verbiage about pre-snap penalties, etc.
Garrett is not going to pull a Bill Callahan, who is on his staff now, and go on some long-winded diatribe about being the "dumbest team in America".
If effort is not the problem, and the coaches and front office people insist this is not a talent issue, then IQ is having its say, too.
The environment, as well as the Ravens, had a role in why the Cowboys did what they did. Perhaps the players are taking the cue from their leader and are trying to do too much.
Unlike the Cowboys’ losses against the Seahawks and Bears, which were blowouts, they were competitive throughout in Baltimore. They gave themselves a chance.
On the road that’s all you can ask.
"It wasn’t a perfect game, but we showed fight," tight end Jason Witten said. "You don’t walk away from this saying, ‘Hey, we played a good team close.’ We have to look at the tape and be better."
Because we have not heard that before.
The Cowboys should have won this game, and they know it.
"We should have had this," Bryant said.
Instead, the Cowboys do what they do so well — they get close.
Courtesy: Mac Engel | Ft Worth Star-Telegram
BALTIMORE — Whatever you do, don’t do that. Whatever the plan, it couldn’t have been that, could it?
Excuse both the rant, and the confusion, but 20 seconds, 20 precious seconds, were wasted by the Dallas Cowboys at the end of Sunday’s game, leading to, if nothing else, a flashback to the horror show of clock mismanagement in Arizona last season.
That one was Jason Garrett’s worst 2011 head coaching moment, and the lack of accountability in the aftermath still hangs over him.
Maybe not so much, which still doesn’t excuse what appeared to be a blunder. In this one, however, at least quarterback Tony Romo and Garrett had the same story, the same explanation on why those 20 precious seconds were left blowing in the Maryland wind.
And no, it wasn’t the "plan," both said.
As in Arizona, however, the Cowboys ended up losing a winnable game, falling 31-29 to the Ravens, and the lament of "oh-so-close" is becoming more hollow the more the Cowboys blow these kind of heartaches.
Always dependable Dan Bailey was a tad wide left on a 51-yard field goal in the final seconds, allowing the Ravens to escape.
But with a little less distance to cover with his foot, or with a better placement of the ball — as in between the hash marks — would the outcome have been different for Bailey?
Count that as one of a hundred coulda, shoulda, woulda questions the Cowboys had to answer in the aftermath.
First of all, they finally got a call, maybe a gift call, in the final minutes from an officiating crew that made the replacement boys look more acceptable with every yellow hanky that fell.
After a pass interference flag, the Cowboys had the ball at the Ravens’ 34-yard line with 26 seconds left and one timeout.
That has to be two-play territory, right? Heck yes, it’s right.
The Cowboys ran one play. Then came the failed kick.
What happened after a quick Romo inside throw to Dez Bryant netted only a yard? At that point the clock was running with 20 seconds left when Dez was taken down.
"What we were trying to do there is what we talked about before the play," Garrett said. "Tony was trying to get them on the ball as quickly as possible [after the Dez catch] knowing we had one [timeout] in our pocket.
"It just took too long for everyone to get unpiled, so it got down into single digits, so we said take it down to four seconds and bang the timeout."
Obviously, it’s up to the Cowboys to get "unpiled." The unpiling was not quick enough. But was there also clock panic? It sure looked like it.
Romo: "With the time left, we didn’t think it was in our best interest to run another play. We had guys who needed to get off the pile and receivers who needed to come to the huddle. There just wasn’t enough time."
But was there enough to time to get a snap off, with Romo diving forward to the middle of the hash marks, then get the timeout? It appeared to be the case, but Bailey wanted no such excuse after the game.
"Being on the hash mark makes no difference," he said. "My job is to make the kick. If the hold is on the hash, I’ve got to still make the kick. If you’re always hoping for the middle of the field, you aren’t going to be kicking very long."
But while Bailey blew off the advantage of kicking from the middle of the field, his long attempt was extremely tricky due to the windy conditions. The wind was swirling inside the bowl, and although not necessarily against him, there was a crosswind involved. He had plenty of foot on the kick, just not between the uprights.
Garrett’s boss, Jerry Jones, backed the decision to let 20 seconds escape at the end of the game. "I wanted the kick right there rather than take the risk of attempting to get more yards," said the owner-GM.
But even as Jerry admitted, it was a "sickening" kind of loss.
The Cowboys’ offensive line totally manhandled a once proud Ravens’ defense, paving the way for 227 yards rushing, the most ever allowed by this defense. And much of the pounding was done by, yes, Felix Jones (he lives, he lives), because of a foot injury to DeMarco Murray that took him out for the second half.
Garrett went an unheard-of four deep at running back, with third stringer Phillip Tanner heavily involved, and even rookie Lance Dunbar, signed off the street last week, getting a carry that went for 11 yards.
The Cowboys game-planned the run after the Ravens had been plowed under by the Kansas City ground attack a week ago. It worked incredibly well, but not for a win.
And here we go again. Garrett has one dumb football team. The penalties were immense (13 for the Cowboys) and some were very questionable, but heavily penalized, dumb teams normally end up on the short end of the officiating.
Once again, a special teams coverage breakdown also factored into this loss, with Baltimore’s Jacoby Jones returning a kickoff untouched for 108 yards and a touchdown, tying an NFL record for the longest runback.
And even with Bryant repeatedly making tough, productive catches, he still muffed the biggest throw of the game. In the final minutes, after Romo made a gutty 120-yard drive (including 40 yards in penalties), the Cowboys had to go for two points and a tie game after the touchdown catch by Dez.
The 2-point throw was right there for Bryant. He flat missed it. The Cowboys, however, recovered the onside kick that led to the missed field goal. The Dez drop, however, low-lighted a frustrating end to a frustrating afternoon and a frustrating loss.
Also frustrating were the 20 seconds the Cowboys will never get back.
After last season, when the Seahawks had Tarvaris Jackson starting at quarterback, they needed a leader who could make a last-chance push to the end zone.
So, during the offseason, the Seahawks picked up quarterback Matt Flynn in free agency and Russell Wilson in the NFL Draft.
One of them, the team brass hoped, could lead a big comeback of the kind seen so often in the NFL.
Well, the Seahawks on Sunday needed such a comeback in Arizona, and they had their chance — a few chances. Wilson, the rookie selected over Flynn to start the season under center, led Seattle downfield in the final two minutes of Seattle’s season opener, getting the Seahawks to the 31-yard line with four downs to use and under two minutes to play. Down 20-16 in enemy territory, the Seahawks needed a touchdown — a three-point field goal wouldn’t cut it.
TBAB EDITORS NOTE: Want to size up the Cowboys next opponent? Watch the Seattle vs. Cardinals game on NFL Game Rewind.
DENVER (AP) — The days of lugging around 500-page playbooks and stacks of DVDs are over for half of the players in the NFL.
Their teams have gone digital, replacing the old-fashioned thick paper playbooks with iPads that put everything from X’s and O’s to notifications, scouting reports and video cut-ups at their fingertips.
"Technology is taking over the world and we’re just trying to keep up with it," Green Bay Packers backup quarterback Graham Harrell said.
The number of teams using iPads for playbooks and game film has increased this season from two to 14. In the NFC, the Bears, Cardinals, Cowboys, Lions, Packers, Panthers, Redskins and Seahawks are using the tablets as are the Bengals, Broncos, Chargers, Colts, Dolphins and Ravens in the AFC.
Other teams, such as the Chiefs, Titans and Saints, are using iPads for some things but haven’t completely abandoned three-ring binders, and the Bills are considering switching over next year, when the NFL makes game film available in high definition, coach Chan Gailey said.
The Ravens and Buccaneers were the first teams to go digital last year, although Tampa Bay returned to the traditional playbooks this season under a new coaching staff.
The top model iPads that feature 64 gigabytes of data and retail for $829 each are loaded with about $700 worth of programming, and most teams issue them to roughly 120 players, coaches, scouts and other personnel. That works out to roughly $180,000 per team.
Broncos video director Steve Boxer figures it will take about a year to begin realizing a cost savings from ditching the paper playbooks that consumed trees, money and manpower and kept copy machine repairmen on speed-dial.
Daily itinerary updates, diagrams and video are automatically pushed to each iPad so a player can have the video clips of a practice or game downloaded by the time he gets out of the shower. Because the video isn’t streaming, he can watch it on the airplane or at his apartment, whether or not he has a Wi-Fi connection.
Apps developed by PlayerLync in suburban Denver or Global Aptitude out of Baltimore allow players and coaches to highlight sections in yellow on the tablet’s touchscreen and to write notes with a stylus just as they would with a pencil on paper playbooks. Those notes are saved on servers and can be downloaded again at any time for future reference.
"I don’t think there’s any minuses unless you lose it and have to pay that fine," Dallas defensive end Marcus Spears said.
DeMarcus Ware recorded a sack and made three tackles, despite aggravating his neck stinger on the second play of the game. The veteran outside linebacker played through it.
“When you think about it, sometimes you have to get out there and do what you need to do,” he said.
Ware came in with only three sacks in his previous six games, and he had been playing with the neck stinger since the fourth quarter of the Arizona game. But with his sack and the game well in hand, the Cowboys have him a breather for much of the second half.
“It was part of the plan,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said. “We hoped we could give them some relief. … We had them ready if they needed to play. They handled themselves well. We tried to manage the situation the best we could.”
The sack for Ware was his 16th of the season and 96th of his seven-year career, moving him into fifth place on the Cowboys’ all-time list. He is one behind George Andrie for fourth, and 18 behind leader Harvey Martin.
DeMarcus Ware talks about the decision behind sitting during the second half of Saturday’s game.
RELATED: Ware and Ratliff nursing injuries, able to rest against Bucs
The Cowboys will continue to think about how many practice reps to give linebacker DeMarcus Ware and nose tackle Jay Ratliff.
Ware has a neck stinger and missed one practice last week and was limited in two others. Ratliff was not on the injury report, but he played in discomfort because of a rib injury two weeks ago in the Giants game.
Both players got most of the second half off Saturday against Tampa Bay.
“They were both fairly productive in the snaps they did get,” Garrett said. “But they’re dealing with some injury. They fought through practice last week. They wanted to give it a go in the game. They did a pretty good job with their opportunities. We’ve got to get them healthy and get going, because we need them.”
Sunday’s game at Arizona, Dec. 4, will be just shy of one month since Miles Austin injured his hamstring against Seattle, Nov. 6, and the hope is it will have been enough down time to get himself right.
Already this season Austin got a similar length rest – hurting his other hammy in San Francisco on Sept. 18, then returning at New England on Oct. 16. That same leg had been injured in training camp.
Austin did not work out on Monday, but cornerback Mike Jenkins, who was hurt against Seattle as well, was back on the field at Valley Ranch. With the stretch run approaching, the Cowboys are hoping Austin, plus any and all of their other injured players, will be ready to return as soon as possible, perhaps even this week.
"We have to see how those guys progress as the week goes on," Jason Garrett said. "We will have a full practice on Wednesday and see what their role is in that based on the work they do tomorrow. And again, we are hopeful they will be active participants and be ready to go on Sunday. We don’t know that yet."
Already this season one of the Cowboys’ opening day starters has been Wally Pipp’d by a newcomer, DeMarco Murray taking Felix Jones’ job. At receiver, Laurent Robinson has used Austin’s absence as an opportunity to show he deserves a role of some kind.
Given the impressive roll Robinson is on of late, plus the Cowboys’ win streak and Austin’s trouble staying healthy this year, the team will have to consider the wide receiver rotation whenever Austin returns. But they aren’t crossing that bridge just yet.
"The biggest thing with Miles is evaluating his health and what he is able to do in practice leading up to the game," Garrett said. "He is one of the best players we have, and has been for the last few years, so we want to get him back going as quickly as we can. But we have to monitor how he is doing, how he is feeling and how he is practicing to be ready for a role in the game."
The Dallas Cowboys’ punt-coverage unit will face its severest test of the season in Sunday’s game at Arizona.
Cardinals rookie Patrick Peterson on Sunday became the first player in NFL history to have four punt returns of 80-plus yards for touchdowns in a single season. Two of the scoring returns came against dreadful St. Louis, which for unknown reasons punted down the center of the field rather than attempting to pin Peterson against a sideline or kick the ball out of bounds. Peterson told reporters after the win that he was “actually, very surprised” that the Rams kicked to him.
To put Peterson’s accomplishment into perspective, he has had 31 returns overall this season. Chicago’s Devin Hester, considered the top returner of at least the last generation, has five punt returns of 80-plus yards for scores in 197 career returns.
The Cowboys rank 21st in the league for punt-returns against, with an average of 11.3 yards. The figure was inflated when Washington had 87 yards on two returns against the Cowboys on Nov. 20.
Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten (82) arrives in the Redskins end zone on a 59 yd run
The Cowboys 27-24 overtime victory against the Redskins on Sunday may have not come as easy as expected considering Washington is in the midst of a six-game losing streak.
But the only thing that mattered was that the Cowboys (6-4) got the victory. It was their third straight and fourth in the last five games.
That fact was never more important than late Sunday night when former Longhorns quarterback Vince Young led the Eagles to a victory over the Giants.
The Cowboys are now tied for first place atop the NFC East with the Giants.
“It’s easy to say you want to stack wins together,” tight end Jason Witten said. “But it’s hard to do that. We knew it was going to be a tough game. But to stay in the hunt that’s what you got to do. No way are we a championship team right now but those type teams have won those games where you look back and say we willed that. Just find a way to win. For us that was a will type of win.”
The Cowboys will be looking for their first four-game winning streak since they ripped off seven straight in 2007 when they take on the Dolphins (3-7) on Thanksgiving Day.
Considering that the Cowboys take on the lowly Cardinals after the Dolphins, that streak could move to five games if things go right. Add in a tough schedule by the Giants, who play the Saints and Packers the next two weeks, the Cowboys could distance themselves a bit before the Dec. 11 showdown with the Giants at Cowboys Stadium.
Owner Jerry Jones is just happy for the win against the Redskins and plans to take nothing for granted against a Dolphins team that has won three straight, including a blowout of the Bills on Sunday, after losing seven straight to open the season.
“I saw what Miami did against the Bills and I saw how competitive and tough this was right here,” Jones said. “I really am not going anywhere with this. We’ve got some tough games ahead, starting here in about three days, four days, I guess.”
THE BOYS ARE BACK: With upcoming schedule, the Dallas Cowboys have chance to get healthy and get on a roll
The most important thing for the Cowboys (4-4) on Sunday was that they got a win to get back to .500 at the halfway point and get that bad taste from last week’s 34-7 embarrassment in Philadelphia out of their mouths.
And considering the upcoming schedule the Cowboys hope this was the beginning of something they can build on to make a second half run.
They host the Bills (5-3), who lost 27-11 to the Jets on Sunday, next week before facing the declining Redskins (3-5), losers of three straight, the Dolphins (1-7) and the Cardinals (2-6).
The possibilities certainly have owner Jerry Jones excited, as do the possible returns of linebacker Sean Lee (wrist) and running back Felix Jones (ankle).
“I know before this ball game, I had several of (Seattle’s) staff really compliment our personnel and just really talk about how they liked our players and if we could get some things going, we could really make some headway,” Jones said. “I don’t want to and not going to look at a schedule as much as I’m going to look at how we’re playing. Hopefully this gave us a hard game. I know we had a hard game, but it gave us something that we can go out here and build off of and maybe get a couple of guys back. I’m looking at we might be able to do that next week.”
Said linebacker Bradie James: We had to win this one. There is no dobut. Now its time to start putting them together and build on it.”
The Jerry Jones Show: Nov. 1
Jerry Jones joins The Fan to discuss Sunday’s game against the Eagles, as well as a few other subjects.
RELATED: Jerry Jones gets testy defending Cowboys, reiterates he is not worried
It will take more than a 34-7 blowout to the Eagles to shake owner Jerry Jones’ confidence in the Dallas Cowboys.
He said wasn’t worried after the game and reiterated that point Tuesday on his radio show on KRLD-FM, even getting a little testy in doing so when asked repeatedly why he wasn’t concerned.
Jones snapped that he just spent 10 minutes explaining his position then offered, “I think we’ll go right back. We just have to do that. In my life, I’ve stuck my head in the sand and not recognized and dwelled on the situation, because if you do, you’ll become the situation. I just want us to move on past this one.”
Jerry Jones is likely positive because of the Cowboys upcoming schedule that features four games against the Seahawks (2-5), Redskins (3-4), Dolphins (0-7) and Cardinals (1-6), in addition to next week’s game against the Bills (5-2).
He said he is also confident because of the presence of quarterback Tony Romo.
“In my perspective, when we have a quarterback that’s healthy — Romo — that can play at the level that I believe he can play at, then I don’t think you ought to lower your expectations,” Jones said when asked if fans should have championship expectations this season or understand that the Cowboys are in a rebuilding process. “I think you’ve got an opportunity to have a good team. Consequently, when I look at the makeup of our team, that’s why I don’t want to – and fans shouldn’t either – dwell on this game.
“Philadelphia is a good team. They are a good team right now. It was maybe an aberration that they started off like they did. But good teams don’t always win the Super Bowl. That gives everyone else a chance, too. We caught them right. They played well. We didn’t play well at all. Let’s look and see what’s down the road for us.”
The Dallas Cowboys entered Sunday’s game ranked seventh in total defense, including first against the run. They left it ranked ninth in total defense, including fourth against the run, not including results from the Monday night game.
The Philadelphia Eagles have given the Cowboys’ future opponents some ideas on how to move the ball against Ryan’s defense. The only problem is: The Seahawks, Bills, Redskins, Dolphins, Cardinals, Giants and Bucs don’t have Michael Vick as their quarterback.
Vick threw for 279 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another 50 yards.
“I think it is a copycat league, so I think teams are always looking at what’s been successful against a particular team,” Garrett said. “But I do think Philly’s talent is unique. The quarterback is a unique player. I think he’s someone who has really demonstrated that he can throw from the pocket, and he obviously can make a ton of plays by moving around and making plays with his feet, not only extending plays but also running and making plays. So he’s someone who always kind of gets your attention. I think because he has a lot of the defense’s attention, it opens up a lot of opportunities for other people – runners and receivers.
“Having said that, certainly people are going to watch this tape and try to do some of the things they did.”
Safety Abe Elam said he expects teams to try to attack the Dallas Cowboys the same way the Philadelphia Eagles did Sunday.
“This is a copy-cat league,” Elam said. “They will try to do the same thing. That’s why we make corrections and improve.”
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones labeled Sunday’s game against the Eagles as a potential foundation builder, one in which his team can use as a stepping stone for a possible second half run.
He looked at the Cowboys upcoming schedule and saw a few patsies.
There are games against Seahawks (2-5), Redskins (3-4), Dolphins (0-7) and Cardinals (1-6) up over the next five weeks along with a matchup against the Bills (5-2).
It’s was certainly an opportunity for a Cowboys team hopefully riding off to a victory against the Eagles to fatten up.
But that was before the Cowboys stepped into a 34-7 butt whipping Sunday night against the Eagles _ sending them back under .500 at 3-4 and looking like the same mediocre team they have been for more than a decade.
Yet a disappointed Jones was not ready to panic
“I am disappointed,” Jones said. “There’s no alarm. I want to be real clear: There is absolutely no alarm in me. We had a lot to gain. If we could come up here and win this ball game, we had a lot to gain. We understand that. They played outstanding. We did not play good at all. But they played outstanding. I give them their credit. They did what they had to do to be what we had in mind [that they were capable of]. But we’re going to step right back out. I’m going to say one more time: Not a cause for concern.”
Rob Ryan (born December 13, 1962 in Ardmore, Oklahoma) is the defensive coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League. He is the son of former defensive coordinator and head coach Buddy Ryan and the twin brother of current head coach of the New York Jets, Rex Ryan.
When his parents, Doris and Buddy Ryan, divorced in 1966, Rob and his twin brother Rex, moved with Doris to Toronto. In 1974, they moved back to the United States to live with their father. He attended Stevenson High School in Linconshire, Illinois.
Ryan was a graduate assistant at Western Kentucky in 1987 and at Ohio State in 1988. Ryan then spent 5 seasons at Tennessee State, where he coached running backs (1989–91), wide receivers(1992) and the defensive line (1993). He served as defensive coordinator at Hutchinson Community College in 1996, where they led the nation in total defense (228 yards per game) and in sacks (56). His defense also set a national record by forcing 49 turnovers. Ryan originally entered the NFL coaching ranks in 1994 as defensive backs coach on his father’s staff at Arizona Cardinals. He also coached Cardinals cornerbacks and safeties in 1995. With Ryan as his position coach, cornerback Aeneas Williams earned two trips to the Pro Bowl in 1994 and 1995. In 1995, the Cardinals led the NFL with 32 interceptions and 42 total takeaways. The 1994 Cardinals ranked second in the NFL total defense, second in run defense and third in pass defense. From 1997–99, Ryan was the defensive coordinator at Oklahoma State, where the Cowboys defense continually ranked among the best in the nation, also he was named Coordinator of the Year by The Sporting News in 1997.
HOUSTON — NFL owners have awarded the 2015 Super Bowl to the Phoenix area.
It will be the third time the area has hosted the game, which will be played in Glendale, Ariz. The Super Bowl also was held at University of Phoenix Stadium in 2008, when the Giants beat the Patriots 17-14. Tempe, Ariz., hosted the game in 1996, with Dallas defeating Pittsburgh 27-17.
The Arizona committee screamed in delight when the announcement was made Tuesday.
Phoenix beat the Tampa area in the bidding on the second ballot. Tampa has hosted the game in 1984, 1991, 2001 and 2009.
Next year’s game is in Indianapolis, followed by New Orleans in 2013 and the New York/New Jersey area in 2014.
The 2015 game is the 49th Super Bowl.
The Arizona Cardinals’ offensive hopes took a big hit when rookie running back Ryan Williams was carted off the field with a right knee injury early in the third quarter during a preseason loss to the Green Bay Packers Friday night.
Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt said the team was “pretty certain” Williams ruptured his patella tendon.
“If it is what we suspect, then, yes, it’s a season-ender,” Whisenhunt said.
A Packers player appeared to land awkwardly on the right leg of Williams, a second-round pick out of Virginia Tech.
“It’s disappointing because we had such high hopes for him this season,” Whisenhunt said. “But that’s what happens in this game, and we have got to move forward.”