Tag Archives: Dallas Cowboys schedule 2013 2014

EAGLES @ COWBOYS GAMEDAY GUT CHECK: Dallas Cowboys vs. Philadelphia Eagles | 2013-2014 NFL Game 16 regular season finale

Dallas Cowboys vs. Philadelphia Eagles - Dallas Cowboys schedule 2013 2014 - helmet2helmet

IRVING, Texas – The Cowboys and Eagles … winner takes it all.

That’s where we are once again. The Dallas Cowboys are no strangers to this game, having faced the Giants and Redskins the last two years in Week 17 finales with the NFC East title on the line. We know how the Cowboys fared in those games but even without Tony Romo and Sean Lee, can the Cowboys turn the tide this year?

Here are the gut feelings for insiders Nick Eatman, David Helman and Rowan Kavner.

Helman: The one thing I’ve learned about the Dallas Cowboys this season is to expect the unexpected. I’ve seen too many crazy things to write this game off just because Tony Romo is missing. In fact, I think the Dallas offense is going to be just fine with Kyle Orton in charge. Orton’s going to throw three touchdowns and an interception, and if the Cowboys are smart they’ll lean on DeMarco Murray – who certainly has another 90-yard game in him. Unfortunately, it’s going to be the defense that sinks the upset bid. The Cowboys might slow down LeSean McCoy, or they might make life difficult for Nick Foles, but I don’t think they can do both without Sean Lee. Philadelphia is going to have 500 yards before it’s over, and they’ll clinch the division in a 42-28 win.

Kavner: There’s never been more question marks about this team, and it just so happens that it’s in Week 17 of a third straight win-or-go-home season finale to decide the NFC East. For that reason, it’s difficult to pick the Dallas Cowboys in this one with any confidence. It’s a shame Tony Romo doesn’t even have the chance to reverse his legacy after getting the Cowboys in with a game-winning drive, but this will be Kyle Orton’s ship to sail the rest of the way. There are worse options around the league that a team would have to turn to. The loss of Sean Lee, who was instrumental in the teams’ first matchup, can’t be stressed enough. I don’t believe anyone saying the Cowboys just have no shot, but they’ll need to find a pass rush if they’re to survive. I think Orton looks to Jason Witten a ton, DeMarco Murray goes over the 100-yard mark for the third time in four games and a Dallas safety gets a pick, but the Cowboys fall by a touchdown late.

Eatman: Glad the Romo news came out when it did, because my gut would’ve said something about Romo finding a way to play. All week I had a hunch he would at least try to play. So right there, I’ve already admitted my gut is a little off. Or, maybe I’m due to even it out. So Romo is out, Sean Lee is out. Those are your offensive and defensive quarterbacks. Ware didn’t practice, Dez has a back issue, too. Kyle Orton hasn’t started in two years and the Eagles just scored over 50 points on a team that whipped the Cowboys two weeks ago. So … give me Dallas in a wild, crazy game that makes no sense. I don’t have great logic here. But personally, come Monday morning, I don’t think the season will be over. I think there is still stuff for this team to do. I think the defense gets turnovers and finds a way to slow down the train. Jason Witten will be Kyle Orton’s best friend and catch 10 passes and DeMarco Murray, who didn’t play the first game with the Eagles, has another big-time performance.  The Cowboys will win this game 38-34 and will face … San Francisco in the playoffs next week.

NEVER-SAY-NEVER SEASON FINALE: Jason Garrett’s 2013 Dallas Cowboys will play their hearts out

NEVER-SAY-NEVER SEASON FINALE - Jason Garrett’s 2013 Dallas Cowboys will play their hearts out - Dallas Cowboys schedule 2013 2014

IRVING. Texas – The sun was shining brightly late morning on Friday, Dec. 27, out here at The Ranch.

But that menacing cloud seemingly hanging over the Dallas Cowboys’ heads since the start of training camp this 2013 season, similar to that ubiquitous dirt cloud over the head of Peanuts character Pig-Pen, still was there during this final regular-season workout.

No Tony Romo, done for sure following what seemingly was becoming inevitable back surgery all week long, performed sooner on Friday morning rather than later, like after the game if he could possibly play.

No Sean Lee, a sprained neck ligament doing him in, knowing he cannot take any chances until fully healed.

The two most important players for their respective units definitely out for what becomes the most important game of the season, Cowboys-Eagles, 7:30 p.m. Sunday at AT&T Stadium, the winner claiming the NFC East and the automatic playoff berth that comes along with it. The loser left to contemplate one too many losses over the course of the 16-game season – the Cowboys, in particular, having lost three of four one-point decisions, not to mention the three-pointer to Denver after scoring a 33-year-high 48 points way back in October, the most points ever scored in a loss.

Not only that, no DeMarcus Ware, having suffered a hyperextension on Thursday to the same elbow he hyper-extended last year, though he vows to play just the same after having an MRI.

And, even defensive line coach Rod Marinelli was hobbling around practice with the use of a crutch.

You’d have thought the Dallas Cowboys were preparing to cross the Delaware on Sunday instead of bumping into the Eagles (9-6), backs to the wall and staring down the common sense barrel of fate from the wrong end.

MESSAGE SENT AND RECEIVED - Jason Garrett impressed with DeMarco Murray response to benching - The Boys Are Back blog 2013

So there they were on Friday, the 8-7 Cowboys, quietly going through their pre-practice passing drills, the only voice heard over there on the field with the offense being that of head coach Jason Garrett during the skeleton passing drills, imploring them to keep the ball off the ground.

And in front of him, throwing the passes for the drill just three days before the next biggest game in a season seemingly loaded with big games were …

Kyle Orton, who has not started a game in the NFL since 2011 and has thrown only 15 passes this year, all during mop-up time, and …

Jon Kitna, who has not played a game of NFL football since that 2011 season himself, last throwing to his high school scout team back in Tacoma, Wash., this football season.

What a sight to see.

Now, you go win me a football game.

Talk about dabbling in next-man-up extreme.

Of course, the easy, most logical thing for the Dallas Cowboys to do going up against the Philadelphia Eagles, who have won six of their past seven games, is to feel sorry for themselves, just throw in the towel like most everyone else. Yet such logic has no room in a competitor’s mind.

There did not seem to be any towels strewn on the practice field Friday, nor wet ones dampening enthusiasm in the locker room afterward. The only inordinate sight was those blue T-shirts hanging in everyone’s locker after practice, inscribed with white lettering “Deep In The” and then, under the symbolic state of Texas white outline which included a Cowboys Star right in the middle, “Of Texas.”

The subliminal message being “Heart.”

Brother, the Cowboys will need all they have of this organ of fortitude.

“This is why we do it, starting a long time ago, to be in this opportunity,” says Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett, never one to let down his guard, and especially not now with everything on the line.

The Eagles, well, see they’re doing some talking, right, running back LeSean McCoy runnin’ his NFL leading-rusher mouth, saying to the Philly fans on WIP, “Sunday night just relax. Turn on the channel, watch your Birds manhandle the Dallas Cowgirls. Let’s go. Merry Christmas,” another indication the Eagles are feeling full of themselves after putting that 54-11 beating on the Chicago Bears this past Sunday. Sort of like the Giants before them when facing a Cowboys team that had beaten them, too, the first time around.

The Cowboys, well, there is nothing wrong coming in with a little quiet humility, flying under the radar, with everyone else giving up on them now that Romo and Lee are definitely out of this game, combined with sporting the league’s 32nd-ranked defense and 31st-ranked pass defense.

But to me, out at practice Friday there seemed to be this quiet focus, understanding something big was about to take place; understanding they were without their general; understanding each and every one of them had to be at their best, no matter if it’s rookie DeVonte Holloman about to start only his second game at middle linebacker or Dwayne Harris returning after missing the past three games or Orton starting his first game for the Cowboys in the two years he’s been here or Morris Claiborne finally getting back on the field after a month’s injury absence or Kyle Wilber starting just his fifth NFL game at strong-side linebacker.

Hey, if Romo can play nearly a full half of football with a back in need of surgery five days later to win GMAC’s Never Say Never Moment of The Week Award, no excuses.

“Everyone just needs to do their jobs as well as they can do it,” Garrett says.

Jason Garrett

Now, of course, all of this is fine and dandy, but you have to be good enough to win, something the Cowboys were not the past two years they were in this same exact win-and-you’re-in predicament, losing in order to the Giants in 2011 to finish 8-8 and to the Redskins in 2012 to finish 8-8.

Although, this time there is something extremely different: The Cowboys are playing an NFC East opponent in the final game of the season that they have already beaten once this year – heck, they’ve won all five of their NFC East games this season – at home, at The AT&T.

With a friendly roof over their heads and what’s expected to be 90-some-thousand towel-waving, screaming fans surrounding them, likely popping some goose-flesh and maybe some Eagle eardrums – can you hear me now? – since those folks will have all day to get ready for the game, if you know what I mean.

dallas cowboys jason witten scores td vs philly eagles

A difference? Hmmm, got any other logical reason why the Eagles, winners of five straight, went under the dome in Minneapolis two weeks ago and got spanked, 48-30, by the now 4-10-1 Vikings who were playing with basically their third-string quarterback and third-string running back?

“We know how difficult it is to play on the road when the crowd is into it, and it’s loud,” Garrett pointed out, likely remembering the playoff loss at Minnesota following the 2009 season or being told of the playoff loss following the 1991 season to the Lions at the Silverdome just before he got here as a player.

Hey, it’s the NFL, right? The Nothing Furshur League, and this is a playoff game, no? This is it.

Now common sense suggests the Dallas Cowboys have no chance in this game, and that is OK for you or even me to believe. But for this team, these players who somehow have muddled through this season of heartbreak, injury and resurgence, showing uncommon resiliency all season long, to stand 8-7 with a shot at the division title, they must keep the faith, gotta believe as former Cowboys safety Charlie Waters once told Cowboys long-time radio voice Brad Sham during the broadcast – Charlie was out with a broken leg – when the Cowboys trailed the Redskins 34-21 in the final minutes of the final game of the season, the Cowboys needing to win – they did in the final seconds – to claim the East title over Washington.

There is this line from the movie Miracle On 34th Street. You know, the one about the guy who believed with all his might he was Santa Claus: Faith is believing when common sense tells you not to.

Well, who is to say a national TV audience won’t be witness to The Miracle on Randol Mill?

NEW ERA - THE 12th COWPOKE - Rowdy Dallas Cowboys fans create home field advantage at AT&T Stadium - 2013-2013 Dallas Cowboys - Big screen view of DeMarco Murray

COWBOYS AT&T STADIUM GAMEDAY EXPERIENCE: Dallas Cowboys hope to capture division title vs. Philadelphia Eagles in final home game of 2013-2014 season

NEW ERA - THE 12th COWPOKE - Rowdy Dallas Cowboys fans create home field advantage at AT&T Stadium - 2013-2013 Dallas Cowboys - Dallas Cowboys fans

    WHAT: Philadelphia Eagles (9-6) at Dallas Cowboys (8-7)

    WHEN: Sunday, 7:30 p.m. (CST)

    WHERE: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas

    TELEVISION: NBC (Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya)

If you’re planning to attend Sunday’s game, here are some other things to look for before, during and after the game.

    Did You Know:

    The roof and the doors are expected to be closed for this game.  Please note that this can change up to 90 minutes prior to kickoff.

    The key times for Sunday’s game include:

      • Parking Lots open at 1 p.m.

      • Plazas open at 4:30 p.m.

      • Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

      • Kickoff is 7:30 p.m.

      To create an intimidating atmosphere for the game, rally towels will be placed on every seat in the stadium.

      Pregame ceremonies will be held to commemorate the following awards: High School Coach of the Year, Community Quarterback Award and Bob Lilly Award.

      There will also be a commemoration of the United Way’s 40th anniversary in Dallas-Fort Worth.

          On the Plazas

        Other forms of entertainment will abound at AT&T Stadium on Sunday.

          Dallas-area rapper Dorrough will perform on the East Plaza from 6:35 p.m. until 6:55 p.m.

          East Texas country band Westbound 21 will perform on the West Plaza from 6:30 p.m. until 7 p.m.

          Starting at 4 p.m., Randy Lann, the Official Grill Master of the Dallas Cowboys, and Joe Cahn, the Commissioner of Tailgating, will be heading out into the parking lots with the Tailgate Nation crew. Find out where they’re at by following @CowboysTGN on Twitter or liking them on Facebook at Dallas Cowboys Tailgate Nation for updates.

          Rhythm & Blues Dance Team, Rhythm & Blues Drum Line and Rhythm & Blues Break Boys will each perform on both East & West plaza before the game.

          There will also be a free Kids Zone, complete with mechanical bull, rock climbing wall and zip line. There will also be NFL Play 60 games, face painting and balloon animals.

          There will also be giveaways like official game-used merchandise, CD’s, and much more  on each stage in the plazas for games like Karaoke Contest, Ladder Golf, Bag Toss and Dance Contest

          There will also be Plaza food and beverage discounts:  $2 12oz. soda & bottled water; $5 12oz. Miller beer, as well as discounted hot dogs, burgers and sausages.

              In-Game Entertainment

              Trumpeter Freddie Jones will once again perform the national anthem Sunday, as he is scheduled to do for every home game this fall. Jones’ instrumental anthem was wildly popular at the Cowboys’ season opener.

              The night’s halftime entertainment will be a show by the Kilgore Rangerettes.

              The Cowboys will honor their 2014 Pro Bowl selections with a video during the game.

                  Looking For 20

                All season long, Cowboys fans attending home games will be hoping for at least 20 points. This year, Papa John’s has partnered with the Cowboys for the ultimate fan promotion. Any game in which the Cowboys get at least 20 points, all fans in attendance will get 50 percent off their entire order the following day at papajohns.com with promo code COWBOYS20. Offer valid for regular-priced menu items and only at participating stores.

                  New Bag Policy

                Fans are reminded to remember the NFL’s new bag policy which will be in effect Sunday night and at every Cowboys home game.

                Only hand-held purses will be allowed into the stadium, along with clear plastic tote bags that do not exceed 12”x6”x12” inches.

                Items such as backpacks, coolers, large purses, camera bags, diaper bags, fanny packs and seat cushions are not allowed into the stadium under the new NFL safety rules.

                  Traffic and Parking

                  Fans are recommended to use the Dallas Cowboys interactive parking site for all travels to AT&T Stadium.  This website provides the best route from point of origin to the pre-purchased or selected cash parking lot.

                  The I-30 HOV lane is being converted to a managed toll lane.  As a result, HOV lanes from west of downtown Dallas to the Tarrant County line will not be available.  However, you can access the HOV lane that serves the left exit to Legends/AT&T Way, as it will continue to be open for in-bound and out-bound needs.

                  Lamar Avenue in Arlington is under construction and has been reduced to one lane from Collins to Ballpark Way.

                      Tailgating

                      Tailgating is permitted in designated tailgating spaces located along the perimeter of each of the AT&T Stadium and Rangers parking lots.  The spaces are available on a first come, first served basis.

                      There will be no early admittance into parking lots.

                      Parking privileges can be revoked at any time for failure to follow parking guidelines.

                      FRANCHISE QB PLACED ON INJURED RESERVE: Tony Romo out for rest of 2013-2014 season after back surgery

                      COAST-TO-COAST CRITICISM - Don’t minimize the real issue with the 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys - Tony Romo Jason Garrett

                      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.”

                      DALLAS COWBOYS SCHEDULE UPDATE: NFL flexes Philadelphia Eagles vs. Dallas Cowboys to SNF for NFC East title game

                      dallas cowboys vs. philadelphia eagles 2012-2013 - the boys are back blog

                      The Dallas Cowboys are headed back to “Sunday Night Football” for another win-and-in Week 17 showdown.

                      NFC East - Dallas Cowboys New York Giants Washington Redskins Philadelphia Eagles

                      The NFL announced Sunday night that the game between Dallas and the Philadelphia Eagles to decide the NFC East title was flexed into prime time. This is the third consecutive season that the Cowboys have played in the Sunday night regular-season finale, and this will be their third different divisional opponent. The host Cowboys are looking for their first division title since 2009.

                      The Eagles and Cowboys played in a similar do-or-die game to make the playoffs in 2008, with Philadelphia coming out on top.

                      Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant vs Philadelphia Eagles - The Boys Are Back blog

                      The league also announced that both the Buffalo Bills-New England Patriots matchup and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers-New Orleans Saints game were moved to 4:25 p.m. ET. The NFL tries to ensure there are no competitive advantages based on time of game in Week 17, and thus, attempts to create a situation where every team has something at stake.

                      The Patriots game’s change means that the Denver Broncos can’t clinch home-field advantage in the AFC until they face the Oakland Raiders in the late afternoon. The final NFC playoff wild-card spot also will not be decided until the 4:25 p.m. ET games end.

                      As a result of the Bears’ loss to the Eagles on Sunday, Chicago’s Week 17 game against the Green Bay Packers will also move to 4:25 p.m. ET. The Bears-Packers clash will decide the NFC North.

                      No division titles have been clinched in the NFC.

                      DALLAS COWBOYS SCHEDULE UPDATE - NFL flexes Philadelphia Eagles vs. Dallas Cowboys to SNF for NFC East title game - Revised NFL Dallas Cowboys schedule

                      DALLAS COWBOYS SCHEDULE UPDATE – NFL flexes Philadelphia Eagles vs. Dallas Cowboys to SNF for NFC East title game – Revised NFL Dallas Cowboys schedule

                      GAME 15 GAMEPLAN – COWBOYS VS REDSKINS: It’s time to “let your star be the star” | Cowboys injury shuffle continues in Dallas

                      GAME 15 SHOWDOWN - COWBOYS @ REDSKINS - NFC East rivals Dallas Cowboys Redskins - 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys schedule - Dez Bryant

                      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.

                      Never Easy

                      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.

                      NFL GAMEDAY SOUND FX: Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant Mic’d Up

                      NFL Sound FX - Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant Mic’d Up - Dallas Cowboys vs. Green Bay Packers 2013 2014 schedule

                      NFL Sound FX: Dez Bryant Mic’d Up vs. Green Bay Packers | 5:11

                      Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant during the Dallas Cowboys 37-26 loss to the Green Bay Packers. Witness, through Bryant’s mic, some of the events that led to the last minute defeat. (Watch this Video)

                      COWBOYS VS. REDSKINS PRIMER: Jason Garrett press conference | 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys game 15 of 16 | Wednesday

                      COWBOYS VS. REDSKINS PRIMER - Jason Garrett press conference - Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Redskins - 2013 2014 NFL Game 15 of 16 - Wednesday Practice

                      Jason Garrett Press Conference: Cowboys vs. Redskins | Wednesday Practice (13:35)

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

                      Garrett discussed:

                      • Addressing the “available” linebacker’s roles in practices and upcoming game
                      • If ever been in similar position of ‘not knowing’ what players will be available on gameday
                      • How do you help the defense with even more injuries on offense than last week
                      • Any scheme changes planned to help boost the offensive output
                      • Is it easier to gameplan with replacement players when QB is a traditional type player
                      • How do you combat against the types of beatdowns the Cowboys have faced recently
                      • How do you keep faith in Tony Romo when you start seeing late in game mistakes
                      • Does Romo need to be convinced how good the running game can be right now
                      • If JG is surprised by recent improvement in the running game
                      • OLs adaption and recent success with the zone blocking scheme
                      • Addressing Dwayne Harris’ injury situation regarding gameday
                      • What’s wrong with Terrance Williams this week
                      • The recent impact of losing the Special Teams field position with Harris being out
                      • The signing of new (big) defensive lineman Frank Kearse  
                      • With LB Orie Lemon back, where does he best fit in this defense (W/M/S)
                      • Miles Austin’s return (from injury) has been incrementally better; grade on last game
                      • What is it about Jim Haslett defense that holds Cowboys offense back (scoring)
                      • Latest on Sean Lee and Ernie Sims injuries
                      • Sean Lee’s tests and results from them
                      • How did Holloman do (film room) with filling in for Sean Lee in last game
                      • Dealing with headset issue for the middle linebacker (went out in Green Bay game)
                      • Anticipate using a ‘dime package’ this week vs. Washington Redskins
                      • Was Jason Hatcher hurt or did he just have a bad game vs. Packers
                      • How effective can the Cowboys be with personnel packages due to lack of depth
                      • Has Brandon Carr lost his confidence
                      • Why is he not playing as well as he has earlier in the season
                      • Are teams targeting Carr more in the past couple of weeks

                      Don’t be afraid to tackle those SHARE and LIKE buttons below!


                      COAST-TO-COAST CRITICISM: Don’t minimize the real issue with the 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys

                      COAST-TO-COAST CRITICISM - Don’t minimize the real issue with the 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys - Tony Romo Jason Garrett

                      IRVING, Texas – Games like this last one against the Packers just feed the monster. It’s out there and it loves to jump on Tony Romo and Jason Garrett and of course, Jerry Jones.

                      Anytime the Cowboys blow a second-half lead or Romo throws a pick or two late, it ignites a wave of criticism from coast to coast. As Jason Garrett says, “it comes with the dinner.”

                      I just did a segment on NFL AM on the NFL Network for about five minutes and answered questions about Tony Romo’s decision-making, Dez Bryant leaving the field early and Jason Garrett’s job security.

                      But no one is asking about the real issue of this team. The issue that led to Dez walking off the field or Tony having to make those decisions or the fact Garrett hasn’t won enough games this year and why his job is in question.

                      Let’s be honest, the real issue about the 2013 Dallas Cowboys is the defense. This defense is one of the worst in NFL history.

                      They rank dead-last in the NFL, yielding 427.3 yards per game. They are the worst against the pass at 297.4 yards per game.

                      And that’s really the root of this whole mess.

                      I had one Cowboys assistant coach tell me Monday that “if Aaron Rodgers would’ve played, he would’ve thrown for 500 yards.” The same coach also said Kirk Cousins of the Redskins is better than Matt Flynn, who lit them up in the second half.

                      This team scored 36 points on Sunday. And it wasn’t enough. Sure, the offense had chances to get more touchdowns and settled on five Dan Bailey field goals. Yeah, if they get one more touchdowns instead of a field goal, they probably win.

                      I get that. Still, 36 points should win you a game in the NFL.

                      The Cowboys rank fourth in the NFL in scoring at 28.1 points per game. That trails only Denver (38.2), Chicago (29.0) and Kansas City (28.5). All three of those teams are either leading their division or clinched a playoff spot. And all three teams have beaten the Cowboys, too.

                      But 28 points per game is good enough to be atop the NFL leaders in scoring.

                      Yet, when the Cowboys actually score 28 points this year, their record is only 4-4. That’s ridiculous that a team can lose four games when they score 28 points or more. Two of those losses occurred with more than 35 points, including the one Sunday.

                      Yeah, Romo threw a pick he shouldn’t have when he checked out of run. I’m not absolving him from that. It was a bad decision and one that makes no sense. But why did he feel the need to do so? He knew he couldn’t give the ball back to the Packers, because they would score and win the game.

                      He gave the ball back to Detroit and the Lions marched the field and won. He knew he couldn’t do the same with Green Bay.

                      Again, I don’t agree with Romo’s decision to throw it. I would’ve been OK punting the ball back to Green Bay with no timeouts and under the 2-minute warning and needing about 85-90 yards to the end zone. I say you take your chances.

                      But most teams and quarterbacks in the NFL would’ve done that. Then again, they probably have more faith in their defense.

                      That’s just how bad things have gotten here in Dallas. This defense is shredded because of injuries. And the players who are on the field aren’t always performing to the level we have grown accustomed to.

                      So take your shots at Garrett, Romo and Dez and whoever else. But the real issue is this defense is as bad as we’ve ever seen.

                      Courtesy: Nick Eatman | DC staff writer

                      TWO-GAME TURNING POINT: Some believe Jason Garrett’s job at risk if Dallas Cowboys miss playoffs

                      TWO-GAME TURNING POINT: Some believe Jason Garrett's job at risk if Dallas Cowboys miss playoffs

                      Owner Jerry Jones does not want to discuss the future of coach Jason Garrett while the Dallas Cowboys remain in the playoff hunt. That much is abundantly clear.

                      If the Cowboys fail on national television with a chance to win the division for the third consecutive season finale, though, all bets are off.

                      NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport and NFL Media columnist Michael Silver reported on Monday’s edition of NFL Network’s “NFL Total Access” that jobs are indeed on the line in Dallas.

                      Executive vice president Stephen Jones told Silver that everybody in the organization is under pressure to perform for their jobs over the next two weeks. That includes “players, coaches, executives — everybody.”

                      Although ownership has given Garrett a vote of confidence regardless of the season’s outcome, that sentiment appears to have changed after the younger Jones referred to Sunday’s loss as one of the top-five most “brutal moments” in the 25 years he and his father have run the Cowboys.

                      Several people inside the Cowboys’ building have told Rapoport that nobody believes Jerry’s pledge to keep Garrett on board. In fact, the consensus is that it’s now “playoffs or bust” for Garrett’s livelihood in Dallas.

                      The front office changed defensive coordinators and play callers after the last two 8-8 seasons. If there’s a third, Garrett is expected to be the “next domino to fall,” per Silver.

                      There is an understanding at Valley Ranch that the talent level isn’t up to par, especially on defense. There’s also frustration among teammates that Romo has continued to audible from the run to the pass.

                      Those two factors aren’t enough to give Garrett a pass considering the ongoing struggles with game planning, play calling and time management in close games. The Week 17 showdown versus the Eagles might very well decide this coaching staff’s fate for the 2014 season.

                      COWBOYS PACKERS POSTGAME GUTCHECK: Dallas Cowboys surrender to Green Bay Packers

                      ARLINGTON, Texas –  Three Dallas Cowboys writers share their initial feelings of the Cowboys’ 37-36 loss to the Packers at AT&T Stadium.

                      Helman: I thought perhaps Denver or Detroit would wind up being the most brutal loss of the 2013 season. But this one might take the cake, when you consider it was a home game against a backup quarterback and a dinged-up defense. I’m not a football coach, but the fact that the Cowboys handed the ball to DeMarco Murray just three times in the fourth quarter, while holding a lead for most of those 15 minutes, is almost unfathomable. The Cowboys got away from what worked, and it hurt them in the end. That goes for the defense, as well, as a solid performance in the first half was wiped away in the nightmarish second. The good news for the Cowboys is that Philadelphia’s loss to Minnesota keeps them in control of their postseason prospects. But it’s hard to feel great about that after what just happened in AT&T Stadium.

                      Kavner: The Cowboys lost to a team that was 1-4-1 previously without their starting quarterback, and the Packers looked like that type of team the first half of the game. Then it all imploded in a way that gave national pundits all the talking points they could possibly want to talk about, from late Tony Romo interceptions to questionable play-calling to a defense that couldn’t stop anything late. I said in my gut feeling the Cowboys shouldn’t lose this game, and they shouldn’t have. But they did, even with Dez Bryant going for 153 yards and DeMarco Murray going for 134 yards. It was as big as a collapse as a game can be when squandering a 23-point lead, emphasizing all of the many flaws this team has experienced in recent years. It’ll take a massive answer to get over the loss this week and the next for the Cowboys, who, despite the enormity of this loss, still have their playoff hopes alive after the Eagles lost to the Vikings.

                      Eatman:  Until about 5:00 (CDT) it was looking pretty good. The Eagles lost, the offense was rolling and the defense was playing lights out with one pick already. Then, the Cowboys woke up and realized what they are – incredibly average. I mean, there’s no way they could be 8-6 right? They have to get back to the 7-7 level. Well, they did. And I don’t really care what Matt Flynn did or how he is. To me, the backups were a complete wash. What the Cowboys were rolling out there on defense is something you’d see in the fourth quarter of the fourth preseason game. So yeah, Flynn should be able to carve them up. But the Cowboys have no excuse for what happened on offense. They lost this game with about three minutes to go when they didn’t run the ball to the 2-minute warning. Instead, they tried to get greedy and it cost them. Tony Romo apparently checked out of the pass for the first interception. If that’s the case, then that’s inexcusable.  He’s got to be smarter than that. Getting the Packers to use their timeouts and run out some clock is the top priority at that point. You don’t check from a run to a pass and throw a side-arm pick over the middle. But he did. He deserves blame for that and not getting the job done earlier to put this thing away. 

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                      NFL GAMEDAY RESOURCES: 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys vs. Green Bay Packers | The Cowboys Packers rivalry continues

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                      The 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys fate hangs in the balance in the final three games after a deflating 45-28 defeat to Chicago last Monday. Now they face the wounded Green Bay Packers, who will be without injured starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers for the sixth consecutive game. The Cowboys, who are known for their December swoons, know they need to bounce back Sunday if they have designs on earning their first playoff berth since 2009. Here is a look at how both the Cowboys and Packers match up:

                      When the Cowboys run

                      If the Cowboys choose to hold onto any tape from their 45-28 defeat to Chicago last Monday it will be the cutups of their running plays. The ground offense looked as good as it has all season, producing 198 yards and one touchdown. It was the third consecutive game the Cowboys rushed for more than 100 yards, as an area of weakness has suddenly become a strength. Green Bay, which has the eighth-worst run defense in the league, shouldn’t get in the way of a Dallas running game gaining steam.

                      Edge: Cowboys

                      When the Cowboys pass

                      The last time the viewing public saw Tony Romo and Dez Bryant, the Cowboys’ franchise quarterback threw for 104 yards and the team’s top receiver caught only two passes. That happened Monday night, when the Cowboys lost 45-28 to Chicago. Dallas’ passing offense, which lacked bite, needs to return to form Sunday. The Cowboys depend on Romo and to a lesser extent Bryant. They should feast on a Packers defense yielding 246.8 passing yards per game, the 12th-highest average in the NFL.

                      Edge: Cowboys

                      When the Packers run

                      In the last three seasons, the Packers’ rushing offense was ranked in the bottom half of the league. In 2013, Green Bay’s ground game is producing 128.8 yards per game, the 10th-best in the NFL. The difference has been Eddie Lacy. The rookie tailback has amassed 887 rushing yards – the tenth-highest total in the NFL. But he hurt his ankle last Sunday and is listed as probable. If he aggravates the injury, backup James Starks, who is averaging 5.3 yards per carry, can still damage Dallas’ weak front.

                      Edge: Packers

                      When the Packers pass

                      Aaron Rodgers will miss his sixth consecutive game since breaking his left collarbone. The Packers starting quarterback has been ruled out, meaning Matt Flynn, who has been with three teams in 2013, will be behind center again. And while he is not the threat Rodgers is, the Cowboys’ woeful pass defense – ranked dead last in the NFL – appears capable of collapsing. The 141.9 rating produced by Chicago’s Josh McCown last Monday was the latest indictment on this sad unit.

                      Edge: Packers

                      Special teams

                      As the Bears were piling up the points against the Cowboys last Monday, Dallas was dealt a big blow when return specialist Dwayne Harris aggravated his pulled hamstring. Now he will be out for the second time in three games. Just like Harris, the Packers’ Micah Hyde provides a jolt on special teams. This season, he took a punt back 93 yards for a touchdown. But the Packers haven’t fared well on kickoffs, producing the worst return average in the NFL.

                      Edge: Cowboys

                      Intangibles

                      The Cowboys are still smarting from a deflating defeat to Chicago in which receiver Dez Bryant said Dallas was “outplayed.” But the Cowboys have shown resilience throughout the season. They suffered a bitter 51-48 loss to Denver in October and came back to beat Washington the following week. They were annihilated by New Orleans before the bye in November and responded by beating the New York Giants in their next game. Expect the Cowboys to circle the wagons again and come out focused.

                      Edge: Cowboys

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                      When: Sunday, December 15th, 2013 at 3:25 p.m. (Dallas time)

                      Where: AT&T Stadium | Arlington, TX

                      Watch on TV: FOX | DirecTV

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                      COWBOYS PACKERS GAMEDAY GUT CHECK: Dallas Cowboys vs. Green Bay Packers | 2013-2014 NFL Game 14 of 16

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                      IRVING, Texas – Despite falling to 7-6 and losing a share of the division lead, the Dallas Cowboys can still guarantee a spot in the playoffs by winning out, beginning with todays home matchup against the Green Bay Packers.

                      Once again, the Cowboys will face a team without their starting quarterback. But the Cowboys will also be without linebacker Sean Lee, among others.

                      Here are the gut feelings for writers Eatman, Kavner, and Helman.

                      Nick: I think the Cowboys beat the Packers. I didn’t need to wait on Aaron Rodgers’ status (although it does help my confidence with this pick). This is the kind of season on which the Cowboys have played close to the .500 mark all year so it’d be easy to say they lose, but at home, and with an average team coming in, give me the Cowboys. I think the defense bounces back in a big way – maybe not in terms of shutting down the Packers offense but in turnovers – I predict at least three for the defense. Miles Austin has always had good games against the Packers so I see him with a long catch and I think the Cowboys get a much-needed win that ties them for first place again. Cowboys 31-16.

                      Rowan: The Packers are 1-4-1 since Aaron Rodgers went out. If he were playing, my answer would probably change. But he’s not, and for that reason the Dallas Cowboys shouldn’t lose this game. They should beat a Packers team whose only win since their star quarterback went out was a one-point victory against the three-win Falcons. Much like the Cowboys, the Packers’ defense has also been struggling, though Green Bay still has offensive firepower in Jordy Nelson and Eddie Lacy, if he plays. I think both teams stick to an effective running attack early on in a relatively low-scoring first half before the points start pouring on and the teams start airing it out in the second half. Both teams reach the 30s in points, Dez Bryant goes for 100 yards for the first time in seven games, both team’s running backs reach the end zone and the Cowboys get three sacks in a four-point win.

                      David: Having had a few days to mull over the loss to Chicago, I feel better about the Cowboys’ chances of a win against Green Bay. You can’t overstate Aaron Rodgers’ absence, which improves the chances of a Dallas win about tenfold, even if Eddie Lacy plays. The Cowboys have also played incredibly well at AT&T Stadium this year. They’re 5-1 on the season, and the one loss was a heartbreaker to one of the best teams in the league. My guess is Jordy Nelson will be the latest receiver to give the Dallas secondary fits, as he goes for 120 or so and a touchdown. But the secondary matches up much better as a whole against this depleted Green Bay receiving corps, and I think the Cowboys will finally generate enough of a pass rush to cause some turnovers. Cowboys win by six.


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                      PICK THE WINNER POLL: Green Bay Packers at Dallas Cowboys

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                      COWBOYS AT&T STADIUM GAMEDAY EXPERIENCE: Dallas Cowboys hope to corral Green Bay Packers in 2013-2014 home game 7 of 8

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                        WHAT: Green Bay Packers (6-6-1) at Dallas Cowboys (7-6)

                        WHEN: Sunday, 3:25 (CST)

                        WHERE: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas

                        TELEVISION: Fox (Joe Buck, Troy Aikman & Pam Oliver)

                        If you’re one of the fortunate fans to attend tomorrow’s game, here are some things to look for before, during and after the game.

                        Did You Know:

                        • The roof and the doors are expected to be closed for this game.  Please note that this can change up to 90 minutes prior to kickoff.

                          • The key times for Sunday’s game include:

                            Parking Lots open at 10 a.m.

                            Plazas open at Noon

                            Doors open at 1 p.m.

                            Kickoff is 3:25 p.m.

                          • Ford is the title sponsor for this game and will provide 60,000 Dallas Cowboys Car Flags to fans as they exit AT&T Stadium after the game.

                          • Dallas Cowboys Alumni will be signing autographs in the club areas one hour prior to kickoff.

                            • Main Club Home : Jay Novacek

                            • Main Club Visitors : Rayfield Wright

                            • Silver Club Home : John Gesek

                            • Silver Club Visitors : Mel Renfro

                                  *Alumni are subject to change/cancellations. One item/autograph per person. Autographs are not guaranteed. Prohibited items are not permitted inside AT&T Stadium.

                                  On the Plazas

                                  Other forms of entertainment will abound at AT&T Stadium.

                                • FOX Sports’ Robot, Cleatus, will be taking photos by the Miller Lite East Plaza stage from 12:00-3:00pm.

                                • Santa Claus and Reindeer will be taking photos in ‘Santa’s Village’ on the AT&T West Plaza from 12:00-3:00pm – Free for all kids

                                • The Dallas Cowboys Center for Dance’s Youth Dancers will be performing on the AT&T West Plaza during pregame.

                                • Jana Kramer Band will perform on the AT&T West Plaza at 12:45 and 2:15 pm.

                                • Rhythm & Blues Dance Team, Rhythm & Blues Drum Line and Rhythm & Blues Break Boys will each perform on both East & West plaza before the game.

                                • There will also be a free Kids Zone, complete with mechanical bull, rock climbing wall and zip line. There will also be NFL Play 60 games, face painting and balloon animals.

                                • There will also be giveaways like official game-used merchandise, CD’s, and much more  on each stage in the plazas for games like Karaoke Contest, Ladder Golf, Bag Toss and Dance Contest

                                • There will also be Plaza food and beverage discounts:  $2 for 12oz. soda & bottled water; $5 12oz. Miller beer, as well as discounted hot dogs, burgers and sausages.

                                        In-Game Entertainment

                                      • Trumpeter Freddie Jones will once again perform the national anthem Sunday, as he is scheduled to do for every home game this fall. Jones’ instrumental anthem was wildly popular at the Cowboys’ season opener.

                                      • The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders will perform the Christmas Spectacular dance show during halftime.

                                      • Time Machine will perform during the Post-Game Party on the Main Concourse East Platform.

                                              Looking For 20

                                              All season long, Cowboys fans attending home games will be hoping for at least 20 points. This year, Papa John’s has partnered with the Cowboys for the ultimate fan promotion. Any game in which the Cowboys get at least 20 points, all fans in attendance will get 50 percent off their entire order the following day at papajohns.com with promo code COWBOYS20. Offer valid for regular-priced menu items and only at participating stores.

                                              New Bag Policy

                                              Fans are reminded to remember the NFL’s new bag policy, which will be in effect Sunday night and at every Dallas Cowboys home game this season.

                                              Only hand-held purses will be allowed into the stadium, along with clear plastic tote bags that do not exceed 12”x6”x12” inches.

                                              Items such as backpacks, coolers, large purses, camera bags, diaper bags, fanny packs and seat cushions are not allowed into the stadium under the new NFL safety rules.

                                              Traffic and Parking

                                            • It’s recommended to use the Dallas Cowboys interactive parking site for all travels to AT&T Stadium.  This website provides the best route from point of origin to the pre-purchased or selected cash parking lot.

                                            • The I-30 HOV lane is being converted to a managed toll lane.  As a result, HOV lanes from west of downtown Dallas to the Tarrant County line will not be available.  However, you can access the HOV lane that serves the left exit to Legends/AT&T Way, as it will continue to be open for in-bound and out-bound needs.

                                            • Lamar Avenue in Arlington is under construction and has been reduced to one lane from Collins to Ballpark Way.

                                                    Tailgating

                                                  • Tailgating is permitted in designated tailgating spaces located along the perimeter of each of the AT&T Stadium and Rangers parking lots.  The spaces are available on a first come, first served basis.

                                                  • There will be no early admittance into parking lots.

                                                  • Parking privileges can be revoked at any time for failure to follow parking guidelines.

                                                  PACKERS VS. COWBOYS GAME PLAN: Dallas defense must defend run with linebacker shuffle | Dallas Cowboys 2013-2014 NFL Game 14 of 16

                                                  PACKERS VS. COWBOYS GAME PLAN - Dallas defense must defend run with linebacker shuffle - Dallas Cowboys schedule 2013-2014 NFL Game 14 of 16

                                                  IRVING, Texas — Some final gameplan thoughts from scout Bryan Broaddus:

                                                  Linebacker Shuffle

                                                  When the news came down that Sean Lee missed practice due to the MRI results of a sprained neck ligament, the wheels were in motion of how the Dallas Cowboys on defense would adjust to his loss for the game against the Packers.

                                                  In knowing what I know about these linebackers and how these coaches like to play them, look for to start at the Mike, at the Sam or strong side and at the Will or weak side.

                                                  The Cowboys will also be without the services of , who normally lines up at the Will, but he too will miss the game with a hamstring injury. should be active this week after missing the last several games with a neck issue of his own.

                                                  The backups for the game will be Holloman, and . is currently on the roster as well but could be a roster spot casualty when defensive end is activated off the injured reserve list.

                                                  In watching the game Monday, it was clear that when Lee went out of the game, that Bears decided it was the right time to hammer the ball at Sims and the middle of this Cowboys defense, and they did it with great success. I expect the Packers to do the exact same thing with Eddie Lacy in order to try and protect Matt Flynn at quarterback.

                                                  Going Deep

                                                  You have heard me say this a lot about watching the Packers — they play with an aggressive set of cornerbacks.

                                                  Tramon Williams is the best one, in my opinion, over Sam Shields. Both run well, but Williams is the better cover man, and I would expect Dom Capers to try and match him up with . What I have learned over the years in the NFL is if you play against aggressive corners, take some shots on them down the field.

                                                  The Packers like to play man coverage with their corners and when you do that, double moves and pick routes are great beaters of coverage. This Cowboys offense has played this season with the attitude of taking what the defense gives them, and these corners and the way they play, makes you want to go down the field because there is a chance here for some big plays.

                                                  I believe you will see these Cowboys receivers in some longer routes if the protection is able to hold up.

                                                  Running On The Edge

                                                  Since the Minnesota contest, this Cowboys offense has been an efficient unit when it comes to running the football. The questions of and his inability to find the hole because of his vision issues is now an afterthought.

                                                  This offensive line and group of tight ends have done a much better job at the point of attack, and Murray has rewarded them for their effort. Against this Packers front, I believe you can run the ball as well, but it is going to have to come more in the form of it going off the tackle than up inside.

                                                  It’s a 3-4 front that has tremendous size at all three spots along the front. BJ Raji, Ryan Pickett and Johnny Jolly are strong, massive, powerful defenders that can hold the point of attack, but having them have to move laterally is an issue for them. It’s very difficult to get push on them, so shielding them or staying between them and the ball carrier is the right way to block them.

                                                  In this type of front, you are going to see some traps, angle blocks and quick hitting plays. There are all points along this offensive line where the ball could hit with Murray, but the most productive will continue to be on that left side with and, where the club has run to the ball in that direction 131 times for an average of 5.1 per carry. 

                                                  Important Role For Scandrick

                                                  It was a business decision for both and the Dallas Cowboys on a two year extension that gives him guaranteed money and frees up $4.5 million for the next three years.

                                                  Scandrick, to his credit, has been playing well and it does add years to a player that is still a young man and should continue to grow as a player. Putting all this behind him, Scandrick will be called on to play a very important role in how this game against the Packers will shake out.

                                                  The Packers even with Matt Flynn at quarterback will still play a great deal of “11” personnel, which means the Cowboys nickel package will be on the field during that time. Scandrick will have the job of dealing with Jordy Nelson, who is the best Packers receiver, where he does some of his best work.

                                                  Nelson is one of those guys who doesn’t look like he is moving fast initially, then you see him covering a great deal of ground. He is the best route runner on the Packers and will catch the ball no matter where it is thrown. Nelson is very similar to what we saw with Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery in his ability to snatch the ball on the move and out of the air.

                                                  He has outstanding sideline awareness and is a big time threat in the red zone.Scandrick has the quickness to hang with Nelson, but where he can’t give up on him is how he uses his body to physically push off for separation. No matter who is the quarterback for the Packers, Jordy Nelson is the direction in which they look to make a play.

                                                  Orlando Scandrick needs to make sure he is there so that doesn’t happen.

                                                  DALLAS COWBOYS INJURY UPDATE: Sean Lee won’t play Sunday | Dallas Cowboys vs. Green Bay Packers | 2013-2014 NFL Game 14 of 16

                                                  Bruce Carter #54 and Sean Lee #50 of the 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys walk down the tunnel to play San Diego Chargers

                                                  IRVING, Texas – Green Bay’s starting quarterback will be out again, but so too will the Dallas Cowboys defensive quarterback and leader. 

                                                  Sean 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 on Friday and will not play in Sunday’s game. The news was discovered not long after the Packers ruled out Aaron Rodgers.

                                                  In an interview with 105.3 The Fan on Friday, Lee said he was feeling better earlier in the week. He also said there’s still a chance he could play against Washington on Dec. 22.

                                                  “The plan is to rest and hopefully reevaluate early next week,” Lee said. “Early in the week I was getting better and feeling healthier and healthier, so that’s why I was gung-ho on being ready to play this week. Hopefully that’s a good sign, meaning that I’m going to continue to improve this week and continue to improve next week and get reevaluated. Hopefully we’ll know pretty soon when I’ll be back. Obviously, it’s extremely frustrating.”

                                                  Lee said after Thursday’s no-pads practice he would try to fight through the injury. But after checking with doctors between Thursday’s practice and Friday morning’s practice, he was deemed incapable of going back on the field this week.

                                                  “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.”

                                                  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. He said he’d see how Lee felt Friday, but evidently the news wasn’t positive.

                                                  Lee described the injury as more muscle related than nerve related and said there wasn’t necessarily a specific protocol he had to pass in order to play this weekend. But he also said he’d continue to get tested throughout the week and go through scans.

                                                  Clearly, the doctors saw something they weren’t comfortable with. The injury to the neck comes immediately after Lee missed two games with a hamstring injury.

                                                  Bruce Carter, Dwayne Harris and Morris Claiborne were also off the field at Friday’s practice.

                                                  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.

                                                  COWBOYS GAME 14 PRIMER: Jason Garrett press conference | 2013 Dallas Cowboys vs. Green Bay Packers | Thursday Practice

                                                  JASON GARRETT PRESS CONFERENCE - Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett - watch video - button Cowboys Packers - 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys vs. Green Bay Packers

                                                  Jason Garrett: Dallas Cowboys vs. Green Bay Packers | Thursday Practice (7:11)

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

                                                  Garrett discussed:

                                                  • How do you build confidence after coming of a big loss
                                                  • Focusing on upcoming opponent ‘mentality’
                                                  • Miles Austin productivity (4 catches in 3 games) since returning from injury
                                                  • Are key players, such as Miles Austin, 100% healthy
                                                  • (inaudible question) Related to Miles Austin injury and decline in his stats
                                                  • Sean Lee’s practice yesterday and hopes for him playing vs. Green Bay Packers
                                                  • If team relies on players like Austin and Ware based on prior year production
                                                  • Tony Romo and Sean Lee’s role and involvement in game planning
                                                  • If at a point where team feels it can win a game with the running game
                                                  • If confidence was gained in the running game vs. Chicago Bears
                                                  • What’s on the top of a list of things JG can “count on” going into the final three games
                                                  • Evaluating issues with four different defensive coordinators since 2010
                                                  • Durant and Holloman inactive status vs. Bears; thoughts that went into that decision

                                                  Audio - Jason Garrett press conference with Green Bay Packers media - 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys schedule

                                                  Jason Garrett: Preparing For Both Quarterbacks (6:20)

                                                  Jason Garrett talks to the Green Bay media about the challenges with having to prepare for both quarterbacks. (Listen to Audio | Video version)

                                                  Audio - Mike McCarthy press conference with Dallas Cowboys media - 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys schedule - button

                                                  Mike McCarthy: Packers Prepared To Play With Flynn (5:50)

                                                  Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy talks about this weekend’s matchup with the Dallas Cowboys media  (Listen to Audio | Video version)


                                                  Audio - Tony Romo press conference with Green Bay Packers media - 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys schedule Audio - Johnny Jolly press conference with Dallas Cowboys media - 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys schedule - button
                                                  (Audio | Video) (Audio | Video)



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                                                  COWBOYS VS. BEARS GAME TAPE: Jason Garrett press conference | Gameday film study

                                                  JASON GARRETT PRESS CONFERENCE -2013 Dallas Cowboys vs. Chicago Bears | Dallas Cowboys schedule 2013-2014

                                                  Jason Garrett press conference: Game breakdown after game film review (16:39)

                                                  Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett speaks to the media after having a chance to review the tape of Dallas Cowboys vs. Chicago Bears game (Watch Video | Play Audio)

                                                  Garrett discussed:

                                                  • Coming back from loss on a short week
                                                  • Evaluation of players focusing on ‘task at hand” vs. Bears on Monday Night Football
                                                  • Whether he’s confident that Monte Kiffin is the right man for the job
                                                  • (inaudible question) Related to LBs playing in nickel and dime
                                                  • Fixing issues or managing recurring issues with this defense
                                                  • Jeff Heath and Wilcox rotation at safety
                                                  • Analyzing George Selvie’s QB penalty
                                                  • Weather blitzing is a part of Kiffin’s strategy.
                                                  • Are Hatcher and Ware healthy enough to influence pass rush
                                                  • Ware’s self critical statement and how JG see’s his impact
                                                  • Is outscoring DAL D (points yielded) a part of the game plans going into each week
                                                  • How the offensive run game graded vs. Bears; aspects to build on
                                                  • How the offensive passing game graded vs. Bears
                                                  • Can you win by running the ball against teams that are having success throwing
                                                  • Evaluation of FB Tyler Clutts and his role in the run game success vs. Bears
                                                  • Mental aspects of scoring right before the half, regarding either team
                                                  • Necessary to “win out” in order to get into playoffs
                                                  • Reputation for JG teams to continually fight, regardless of score. That done on MNF?
                                                  • Are the issues with this years defense the scheme or the personnel?
                                                  • When defensive scheme was changed to 4-3, how long was adjustment expected to take
                                                  • Acclimating new players coming in from the streets
                                                  • What makes JG feel confident in Kiffin’s ability to get defense competitive
                                                  • How many times can a DC be given a chance to bounce back from bad performances
                                                  • Morris Claiborne status and if Sterling Moore will be nickel CB
                                                  • Harris/Carter status after re-tweaking hamstring vs. Chicago: Sean Lee’s neck injury
                                                  • Addressing hamstring issues; conditioning staff and what can be done
                                                  • Team and player responsibility for staying warmed up and stretched.
                                                  • Injury analysis on team vs. other teams in NFL

                                                  COWBOYS VS. BEARS GAME TAPE - Jason Garrett press conference - Gameday film study - Game Rewind

                                                  GAME FILM BREAKDOWN | Week 14 | Dallas Cowboys vs. Chicago Bears (4:03)

                                                  Three key plays from Monday night’s game against the Chicago Bears (Watch this Video)

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