The Dallas Cowboys missed the playoffs, but that doesn’t mean we have to stop watching NFL games.
Can home-field advantage can be established this year?
In the NFC, the 49ers and Saints are considered better teams than their home opponents, but both teams travel into tough weather conditions. In the AFC, the Colts were 6-2 at home in the regular season, but they’ve shown signs of being vulnerable.
And then there’s Green Bay. Since 2002, the Packers are 3-4 at Lambeau Field in the playoffs. That mark was 13-0 before ’02.
|KANSAS CITY CHIEFS||INDIANAPOLIS COLTS|
|NEW ORLEANS SAINTS||PHILADELPHIA EAGLES|
|SAN DIEGO CHARGERS||CINCINNATI BENGALS|
|SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS||GREEN BAY PACKERS|
So how wild will this weekend’s wild-card playoff games be?
A high-scoring game is expected Saturday night when the New Orleans Saints visit the Philadelphia Eagles. An Ice Bowl-like game is expected when the San Francisco 49ers visit the Green Bay Packers on Sunday. Can the Indianapolis Colts repeat their 16-point win from Week 16 over Kansas City on Saturday in Lucas Oil Stadium? Anything can happen in the San Diego-Cincinnati game Sunday.
Which teams will survive the first hurdle in the race toward Super Bowl XLVIII?
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.
WORLDWIDE EXCLUSIVE: The Great Robbini’s predictions for Game #14 | 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys vs. Green Bay Packers
Regular readers know that The Boys Are Back website features the ALMOST WORLD FAMOUS predictions from The GREAT Robbini. Our “exalted one” predicts the fate of America’s Team with unprecedented precision and accuracy from week-to-week. Kinda!
Last week, there was a slight hiccup and malfunction issue with his crystal ball. Apparently, frozen (crystal) balls can lead to some very misleading signals. For safekeeping, he had put his powerful (and awe inspiring) crystal ball in his freezer to prevent his family cat (Katnip Kiffin) from playing with it in the middle of the night. Needless to say, he caused league-wide issues with frozen tundra last weekend! We feel it’s important to inform you that The GREAT Robbini feels personally responsible for the Chilled Cowboys embarrassing loss to the Chicago Bears.
This week, The GREAT Robbini has appropriately thawed his balls and envisions a complete contrast in Dallas Cowboys production leading into the matchup with those traveling Packers from Green Bay.
This afternoon, The GREAT ONE was able to sit down and put a seriously powerful rub on his magic ball. I’m told it was so vigorous, that his balls emitted images of a very determined (warm) Dallas Cowboys team and supportive home crowd sportin’ some Christmas magic. Obviously, he’s psyched about the Dallas Cowboys – Green Bay Packers vibe … and ready to share his prognostications that we all count on from week-to-week. Without further delay, it’s time for The GREAT Robbini’s predictions …
The GREAT Robbini’s – 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys game #14 predictions:
Not even I could see last weeks beating coming. Did you? I didn’t think so.
This game should go SLIGHTLY different. we ‘ll still see the 4 Cowboy touchdowns, and a field goal for good measure. This time its enough for a win. Without Sean Lee, the ‘Boys give up points, but the (pissed off) Rodger-less Pack can’t supply an upset. The Cowboys continue an impressive streak at home vs. Green bay.
Predictions for the Texas 2 Defense …
- 2 takeaways
- 4 sacks on QB
- 2 sacks Hatcher
- 1 sack Ware
- Fumble recovery Church
- Carr Interception
- T2D gives up 310 in the air
- T2D gives up 80 on the ground
Predictions for the offense …
- Romo 300 yds.
- Bryant Touchdown
- Witten Touchdown
- Murray Touchdown
- Austin Touchdown
- Murray/Randall 155 all purpose yards
- Austin 60 yards
- Dez 120 yards
- Williams 60 yards
- Witten 55 yards
- Cowboys receive second half kick
The GREAT Robbini
Remember, you read it here! The Great Robbini predictions for game #14. Feel free to leave your final score or predictions in the comment section.
Stats and predictions to be confirmed by:
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)
- 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
Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin – Defensive Struggles; Changes
COWBOYS GAME 14 PRIMER: Jason Garrett press conference | 2013 Dallas Cowboys vs. Green Bay Packers | Thursday Practice
Jason Garrett: Dallas Cowboys vs. Green Bay Packers | Thursday Practice (7:11)
- 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
Jason Garrett: Preparing For Both Quarterbacks (6:20)
Mike McCarthy: Packers Prepared To Play With Flynn (5:50)
|(Audio | Video)||(Audio | Video)|
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This is going to sound a lot like whining, but it’s really just an interesting observation.
A couple of days removed from his injury on Monday Night Football, we’re now aware Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers has a broken clavicle. The Packers’ signal-caller is slated to miss at least three or so weeks, but he is expected back before the end of the season.
By a twist of fate, that simple fact is likely going to affect the NFC East championship race in a very direct manner. The NFC North drew the NFC East on the schedule this season, which pits the Packers against all four East squads.
Rodgers and Co. have only played one team from the division to this point, however. The Packers crushed the Redskins, 38-20, in Week 2 of the season. But the other three matchups against the NFC East are slated for later in the season.
And now it brings us to this point. The Packers’ next two games, with Rodgers sidelined, are a home date against Philadelphia this weekend and a road trip to play the Giants on Nov. 17.
Obviously, anything can happen in any NFL matchup – that’s what makes this league so much fun. But you’ve got to admit the prospects of defeating Green Bay with Seneca Wallace running the offense look a lot brighter than if it was one-time NFL MVP and Super Bowl MVP Aaron Rodgers.
The Packers round into view on the Dallas Cowboys’ schedule on Dec. 15, by which point it’s a good bet Rodgers will be coming back to full health, if not back on the field already.
In the same vein, the Bears look likely to have Jay Cutler back for the home stretch – which includes the Cowboys – after Cutler said he planned to play this weekend against Detroit. Cutler went down with a groin injury early in the Bears’ game against the Redskins – a game they lost. But he will be back in the mix for games against the Eagles and Cowboys.
It’s the NFL. So counting games ahead of the schedule is an exercise in futility. Green Bay is still probably a good enough team to beat Philadelphia and New York without Rodgers. And with four games on the schedule before the Packers come to town, it’s not worth fretting over matters outside the Cowboys’ next opponent.
But it’s certainly not a twist that looks likely to benefit the Cowboys.
A few thoughts from film study of defensive end Jarius Wynn, who the Dallas Cowboys added to their roster. Wynn played five games for San Diego this season before making his way to Dallas.
Jarius Wynn DT / DE 6-3 285 Georgia 5th Season
Games studied: San Diego vs. Dallas, Oakland, Philadelphia, Tennessee
- Wynn played both tackle and end in the Chargers’ 3-4 scheme, and he will see action at both spots for the Dallas Cowboys.
- He has a long, rangy build and plays with more strength than quickness, and he can hold the point of attack.
- Gets some push from the inside, had a nice sack by using power against Todd Herremans of the Eagles, who could not handle his movement down inside. He was able to finish the play on Michael Vick.
- Can work down the line and hold up blockers, but he needs to do a better job getting rid of those blockers quicker. Tends to get stuck.
- There were times where he tried to use counter moves as a pass rusher, and he had some success. But it needs to work more often.
- Wynn has used a quick swim move to free himself against Raiders and later against the Titans, along with a swat move as well that helped him in his rush.
- When he does free himself, he has a burst to chase the ball. His effort is good when trying to finish the play. Not a lazy player.
- Plays with power but, but I don’t like when he rushes down the middle. Brian Waters stoned him a couple of times on his rush in the San Diego game, and he was very unproductive.
- He will work to extend his arms to attempt to control his blocker, but he needs to use his hands quicker to get rid of that man.
- I was surprised he was able to hang in there taking on blocks, because he plays with a narrow base.
- I thought he was better when he was able to rush off the edge and try to get to the outside shoulder of the offensive tackle. He played with more quickness on the edge, whereas inside, it was more about power.
- Did not see much quick redirection in his game, but his effort is really good when it comes to chasing the ball.
The bottom line is that Wynn will give the defense some flexibility at two spots, but I would like to see if Rod Marinelli can get him to play with more quickness off the ball. The Cowboys’ 4-3 scheme could allow him to be better in that regard.
Before capping the 1996 season by leading the Green Bay Packers to a Super Bowl victory, Brett Favre was 4-3 in playoff games. Not bad for a 26-year-old who at the time probably didn’t know he’d play another 15 NFL seasons.
The four wins came against the Atlanta Falcons, San Francisco 49ers and twice against the division rival Detroit Lions. The losses? Well, they all came at the hands of the Dallas Cowboys. And all were played at Texas Stadium.
The Cowboys, who were favored by at least nine in each of those games, according to Pro-Football-Reference.com, won 27-17 in 1994, 35-9 in 1995 and 38-27 in 1996.
“I remember what the biggest issue was, we couldn’t get past Dallas,” Favre said Friday before a SMU Athletic Forum luncheon at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas. “Now, they were good. They were good. Each year we felt like we were gaining. But I always felt like, if we don’t get them at our place, we’re always going to be second fiddle.”
Favre completed 56 percent of his passes in those games, averaging 283 passing yards per contest and totaling five touchdowns and five interceptions.
The following season when Favre and the Packers went on to defeat the New England Patriots, 35-21, in Super Bowl XXXI, the Cowboys lost to the Carolina Panthers, 26-17, in the divisional round of the playoffs.
Although some of his teammates wanted their Super Bowl run to go through Dallas, Favre admitted that he was rooting for the Panthers to knock off the defending Super Bowl champs.
“I was thinking, ‘Please, please, beat them.’ I just had enough,” Favre said. “Other guys were saying, ‘I want them again.’ I’d had them enough. That was the biggest issue, we just couldn’t get past Dallas.
“It’s just hard to stay on top. It’s hard to get to the top. What they did was really amazing.”
Following his 10 minutes with the media and some time to eat lunch, Favre sat down with the voice of the Cowboys, Brad Sham, to entertain the guests with stories of his career. While sitting center stage, Favre said although growing up in Kiln, Mississippi made him want to see the New Orleans Saints do well, their lack of success turned him into a Cowboys supporter.
“I grew up a Dallas Cowboys fan. I loved Roger Staubach,” he said. “That was back when teams kept the same players on the roster for a long time. Drew Pearson, Randy White, Charlie Waters, Danny White, Robert Newhouse, Tony Dorsett, Billy Joe DuPree, I could go just on and on. I always dreamed of playing for the Cowboys, playing in the Super Bowl.”
Favre is one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, no doubt about it. But it’s unlikely that the Cowboys would’ve had more success in the 1990s with Favre than they did with Troy Aikman.
Now, how Favre could’ve helped the Cowboys from 2001 and beyond is a different story.
LOOKING INTO THE FUTURE: 2013 Dallas Cowboys schedule includes Denver, New Orleans, Chicago, Detroit, Minnesota, St. Louis, and Green Bay
The Cowboys’ loss put them in third place in the NFC East, leaving them to play play third-place teams St. Louis (at home) and New Orleans (on the road) next season.
The rest of the Cowboys’ home schedule next season includes the Giants, Redskins and Eagles from the NFC East, plus Green Bay, Minnesota, Denver and Oakland.
The remaining road games for the Cowboys next year are at the Giants, Redskins, Eagles, plus Chicago, Detroit, Kansas City and San Diego.
After 17 grueling weeks, the playoffs are finally here. The seeds are set and the field is stacked.
A quick look at the 12 teams that survived to play another game. Here’s a case for and against each squad in the race to Super Bowl XLVII:
1) Atlanta Falcons (13-3)
How do they make a deep run? The Falcons continue to be an excellent home team. The running game provides just enough balance to complement a potent passing attack, and the defense routinely baffles elite quarterbacks, producing several turnovers.
How do they get eliminated? The Falcons struggle to rush the passer, and they become too one-dimensional on offense. In their three losses this season, they produced just two sacks and were out-rushed, 487-146. A team like the Seattle Seahawks or San Francisco 49ers could pose a huge problem.
2) San Francisco 49ers (11-4-1)
How do they make a deep run? The defense dominates the line of scrimmage and Colin Kaepernick produces three or four big plays per game. Receiver Michael Crabtree continues to emerge as a top-shelf talent, and the running game benefits from the fresh legs of rookie LaMichael James.
How do they get eliminated? The49ers’ defense can be attacked; the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks provided a blueprint for doing so in Weeks 15 and 16. The 49ers’ offense, meanwhile, is capable of stalling for long stretches of time. The poor play of kicker David Akers could also end up costing San Francisco a game.
3) Green Bay Packers (11-5)
How do they make a deep run? Led by Aaron Rodgers, the Packers’ passing attack gets hot and puts up huge numbers, outscoring every opponent. A different receiver steps up every week and a healthy Clay Matthews closes out games with pressures and sacks.
How do they get eliminated? The offensive line can’t protect Rodgers and the running game fails to provide the necessary balance. The Minnesota Vikings match up very well against the Packers; they’re fully capable of quickly ending Green Bay’s postseason.
4) Washington Redskins (10-6)
How do they make a deep run? The Redskins’ unique offense controls the clock, shortens games and piles up just enough points. The defense covers up some soft spots by sending lots of pressure and creating key turnovers. Relishing their postseason opportunity, steady veterans DeAngelo Hall and London Fletcher produce game-changing plays.
How do they get eliminated? Robert Griffin III’s knee injury makes the offense more predictable, and a talented defensive opponent manages to take away Alfred Morris. The Redskins’ defense struggles to create a pass rush, and the safety play is exposed by a top-notch quarterback.
5) Seattle Seahawks (11-5)
How do they make a deep run? They carry their momentum right through the postseason. Russell Wilson continues to play clutch, mistake-free football, while Marshawn Lynch grinds out tough yards. The defense continues to create high numbers of turnovers and finds the end zone a few times, as well.
How do they get eliminated? An opponent stacks the box to take away Lynch, and the athletic Wilson is contained. The lack of a true No. 1 receiver ends up being an issue, and the offensive production takes a nosedive.
6) Minnesota Vikings (10-6)
How do they make a deep run? Adrian Peterson continues to carry the entire offense, and Christian Ponder protects the football. Jared Allen gets hot; his pressures create sacks and turnovers. Kicker Blair Walsh hits a long, game-winning field goal along the way.
How do they get eliminated? An opponent sells out to slow down Peterson, and Ponder is unable to make them pay for it. Peterson puts the ball on the ground, and Ponder struggles to play from behind. The defense allows a mobile quarterback to create plays with his legs.
1) Denver Broncos (13-3)
How do they make a deep run? Peyton Manning will have two weeks to prepare for his first opponent. The Broncos are the NFL’s most complete team, ranking in the top five in virtually every important statistic. This balance will make Denver very difficult to eliminate. The pass rush can take over a game, giving Manning’s offense a short field and allowing the Broncos to pile up points quickly.
How do they get eliminated? If the weather is horrible in Denver and the Broncos’ rushing attack is unable to get on track, they could struggle offensively. A matchup against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in the snow would pose a very formidable challenge.
2) New England Patriots (12-4)
How do they make a deep run? Recently returned tight end Rob Gronkowski sparks an offensive explosion. Brady benefits from a solid ground attack, utilizing his tight ends to produce chunk plays down the field. The young secondary allows some big gains, but comes up with a few key turnovers.
How do they get eliminated? A physical Baltimore Ravens team pushes around New England’s offensive line, or the Pats simply run into a red-hot Denver team on the road and lose a shootout. I don’t see any of the other AFC teams giving New England much of a problem.
3) Houston Texans (12-4)
How do they make a deep run? They forget recent struggles and recapture their early-season form. Arian Foster shoulders the load on offense, and the defensive line creates numerous sacks and turnovers. The secondary avoids giving up the big play.
How do they get eliminated? Matt Schaub fails to make enough plays to outscore either the Patriots or the Broncos. Facing constant double-teams, J.J. Watt is unable to dominate the game.
4) Baltimore Ravens (10-6)
How do they make a deep run? A well-rested Ray Rice carries the ball more than he has during the regular season, and the Ravens physically pound their opponents. Tight end Dennis Pitta and receiver Torrey Smith produce big plays in the passing game. The defense is sparked by the return of Ray Lewis. Paul Kruger plays the role of unsung hero, making several impact plays.
How do they get eliminated? The offense features too much Joe Flacco and not enough Rice. Baltimore allows too many sacks; opponents manage to strip the ball from Flacco in the pocket, creating turnovers. The defense struggles to contain the run.
5) Indianapolis Colts (11-5)
How do they make a deep run? Andrew Luck continues to excel on third down, and the veteran pass-rushing duo of Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis steps up to make several impact plays. Cornerback Vontae Davis keeps playing at an elite level, picking off a few balls.
How do they get eliminated? The offensive line is overwhelmed and Luck doesn’t get any time to throw the football. The defensive front is pushed around, giving up too many rushing yards to a back like the Ravens’ Rice or the Patriots’ Stevan Ridley.
6) Cincinnati Bengals (10-6)
How do they make a deep run? Receiver A.J. Green gets hot, producing several big plays through the air, and the pass rush dominates on the other side of the ball. Geno Atkins finally gets credit for his outstanding play after collecting several sacks and tackles for a loss.
How do they get eliminated? The running game is unable to provide balance, and Andy Dalton turns the ball over too much. The defense is on the field too often, and the unit runs out of gas late.
IRVING, Texas – If one team beat another team 19 out of 21 teams, you wouldn’t call it a coincidence.
If a guy made 19 of 21 free throws, he’d be a good free-throw shooter.
So if Tony Romo has won 19 of his 21 games in the month of November, there’s got to be something there, right? Maybe?
Well, the Cowboys at least hope so, especially with this team sitting at 3-4 and needing some kind of spark to make a run at the playoffs.
In the past, that spark has occurred in November, especially with Romo as the quarterback. Since he took over as the starter back in 2006, Romo is a remarkable 19-2 record in the month of November with losses occurring against Washington in 2006 and then in Green Bay in 2009.
Last year, the Cowboys went 4-0 in November, beating Seattle, Buffalo, Miami and Washington. So the schedule can often play a factor, considering all four of those teams missed the playoffs in 2011.
And it’s not just Romo as the Cowboys have been somewhat successful without him in November. In 2010, with Romo out with broken collarbone, Jon Kitna led the team to a 2-2 record during a 6-10 season.
The Cowboys’ PR staff keeps all kinds of stats regarding Romo’s record as a starter when different things occur. For instance, they’ve got his record at home, on the road, indoors, outdoors, when plays on turf or grass, when he throws no picks, one pick, when he’s sacked once or more, or not at all, when the offense has more than 300 yards …. and so on.
None of the stats have a higher winning percentage than Romo playing his ‘A’ games in November (90 percent). The next would be when Romo has a QB rating of over 100.0 … the Cowboys are 33-9 (78.5).
Whether it’s the fact the Cowboys usually get more home games in November with the Thanksgiving game, coupled with being at home the week before, or it’s the time of year the Cowboys just start clicking … or a simple coincidence that keeps trending every year – the Cowboys need it to continue more than ever this year.
IRVING, Texas — Growing up in Plano, Texas, Charlie Peprah was a Dallas Cowboys fan. Emmitt Smith is the reason he’s playing football now.
So when Peprah walked into the Cowboys locker room this week after signing a contract, the safety was living the dream.
"I love the Cowboys," Peprah said. "Once I was employed by the Packers, they became the enemy and I could care less about them, other than that, that was my squad. That’s the reason why I started playing football was Emmitt Smith. That’s why I wore 22 in high school. To be here is cool to become full circle. I would love to finish my career here, it would be great. Just something you thought wouldn’t actually happen, but I’m glad it did."
After graduating from Plano East High School, Peprah went to Alabama and played in 50 games. In 2005, he was a second-team All SEC selection at defensive back. He was a fifth-round pick of the New York Giants but didn’t make the roster and signed with the Green Bay Packers. He played with the Packers from 2006 to 2008 and then spent one season, 2009, with the Atlanta Falcons. But in 2010 and 2011 he returned to the Packers and earned a Super Bowl ring.
In the offseason, Peprah underwent arthroscopic knee surgery and his recovery took a while. He turned down opportunities to sign with several teams, including the New York Giants, and he took physicals for the Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears.
But nearly two weeks ago, a healthy Peprah worked out with 14 other players at Valley Ranch. The Cowboys said of the defensive backs that worked out, he was the best.
This week, the Cowboys made the move official.
"I mean that’s the business and once (the surgery) happened, my main focus was to get healthy before I throw myself out there," he said. "That was the hardest thing for me is to not bite on some of the opportunities that were out there coming my way."
Peprah will see limited work on special teams and certain defensive packages to give Danny McCray a break.
"I’m trying to learn the defense and contribute in any way I can," he said. "The goal for me is obviously be a starter, but who knows what plans they have for me."
IRVING, Texas – In addition to punters Daniel Sepulveda, T.J. Conley and Chas Henry, the Dallas Cowboys will work out 12 players today at Valley Ranch.
Former Baylor guard Robert Torrez Griffin (let’s call him RG-T), a sixth-round pick of the New York Jets, will be in attendance, as will nine defensive backs, a quarterback, a wide receiver and tight end.
Charlie Peprah, who was not among the Cowboys’ tryouts two weeks ago when they signed Eric Frampton, is the most accomplished safety on hand after spending two stints with Green Bay. The other defensive backs include: Morgan Trent, Kevin Thomas, Reggie Jones, Rod Issac, Vincent Agnew, Larry Asante, Gerald Alexander and Mikail Baker.
Quarterback Nick Stephens, who played high school at Flower Mound before attending Tennessee and Tarleton State, will work out as well. He went to camp this summer with the Tennessee Titans. Tight end Fendi Onubun and wide receiver John Haggerty round out the group.
EDITORS NOTE: Robert T. Griffin, aka, "RG2,” "Deuce,” or "Big Griff,” was the "other Robert Griffin” at Baylor, the senior guard and two-year starter on the offensive line who helped protect and clear the way for RG3.
I’ll respectfully disagree with the take from NBC’s Cris Collinsworth that Tony Romo played the best game of his career Wednesday night.
In fact, it arguably wasn’t the best game Romo has played against the Giants in the last 10 months.
Here’s one man’s opinion of the five most impressive performances of Romo’s career:
1. Cowboys 27, 49ers 24 (Sept. 18, 2011): It’s impressive any time a quarterback leads a late rally from a double-digit deficit to defeat one of the league’s top defensive teams. It’s especially amazing when that quarterback does so after breaking a couple of ribs and puncturing his lungs early in that game. That was the case at Candlestick Park with Romo, who completed 12 of 15 passes for 201 yards and a touchdown in the fourth quarter and overtime, essentially sealing the win by hitting reality show-winning receiver Jesse Holley for a 77-yard gain. Romo, who had been ripped all week after committing two late turnovers in a season-opening loss to the New York Jets, finished the game with 345 yards and two touchdowns on 20-of-33 passing.
Rewatch this game on NFL Game Rewind:
2. Cowboys 37, Packers 27 (Nov. 29, 2007): Want high stakes? The NFC’s top seed was on the line, and Brett Favre was on the opposing sideline. Romo responded with 309 yards and four touchdowns on 19-of-30 passing. His lone interception could have been another score, but Terrell Owens bobbled the ball in the end zone to allow Green Bay’s Al Harris to get his hands on it. Romo also put the ball on the money twice to Miles Austin on deep balls, drawing 42- and 40-yard pass interference penalties. This was a masterful performance in a game with major playoff implications.
3. Giants 37, Cowboys 34 (Dec. 11, 2011): The Cowboys didn’t win, but you’d have to have a football IQ lower than Romo’s jersey number to blame this loss on him. In fact, his 141.3 passer rating in this game was the highest in NFL history by any quarterback who threw for at least 300 yards in a loss. Romo completed 21 of 31 passes for 321 yards and four touchdowns. His stats would have been even more impressive — and the Cowboys would have won the game — if Austin didn’t lose a deep ball in the lights on what should have been a dagger touchdown.
Rewatch this game on NFL Game Rewind:
4. Cowboys 37, Falcons 21 (Oct. 25, 2009): Austin hogged the headlines, following up his franchise-record 250-yard performance in his first start the previous week by torching Atlanta for 171 yards and two scores on six catches. Of course, Romo had a lot to do with that. No. 9 was simply sensational after a slow start. He didn’t have a completion in the first quarter, scrambling for the Cowboys’ lone first down in the opening 15 minutes, but Romo finished with 311 yards and three TDs on 21-of-29 passing. His 5-yard touchdown pass to Patrick Crayton on the final snap of the first half was Romo at his finest. He avoided a sack by spinning away from three Falcons before firing a strike to a wide-open Crayton in the end zone, giving the Cowboys a double-digit lead
Rewatch this game on NFL Game Rewind:
5. Cowboys 24, Giants 17 (Sept. 5, 2012): Romo had to overcome an awful performance by the offensive line to beat the defending Super Bowl champions on the road. He threw for 307 yards and three touchdowns on 22-of-29 passing despite being pressured by Jason Pierre-Paul and Co. all night. Most quarterbacks wouldn’t have been able to get rid of the ball on his two touchdowns to Kevin Ogletree. Romo used his mobility to make the biggest plays in what could be a statement game at the site where Dallas’ 2011 season died.
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Tim MacMahon | ESPN Dallas
PHOTO: Line judge Shannon Eastin, left, takes the field prior to an NFL preseason football game between the San Diego Chargers and the Green Bay Packers, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012, in San Diego. Eastin is a replacement line judge who will make her NFL debut in the exhibition game. The regular officials are locked out by the league after their contract expired. Photo: Denis Poroy / AP
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Shannon Eastin has become the first woman to officiate an NFL game.
Eastin broke the NFL’s on-field gender barrier Thursday night, serving as the line judge for a seven-man crew working a preseason game between the Green Bay Packers and San Diego Chargers.
The 42-year-old from Tempe, Ariz., was dwarfed by the players as she lined up in front of San Diego’s sideline and had a camera following nearly every move just before kickoff. She seemed at ease in the spotlight and had at least two players shake her hand.
She is among a group of replacement officials working NFL games while the regular refs are locked out.
Eastin is a referee in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, college football’s second-highest level, and a 16-year veteran of officiating.
The cap she is wearing will be sent to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Courtesy: JOHN MARSHALL | AP Sports Writer
NFL official Shannon Eastin works during the Seahawks’ NFL football training camp in Renton, Wash. The Associated Press examines six of the top questions that will be answered in the preseason starting on Thursday, Aug. 9, including how replacement referees will perform while traditional officiating crews are locked out due to labor negotiations. Photo: Seattle Seahawks, Rod Mar / AP
IRVING — The Dallas Cowboys signed eight free agents during a whirlwind first week of free agency.
The second week has started and the Cowboys are back at work trying to add to the list, showing interest in a pair of Green Bay Packers: cornerback Jarrett Bush and linebacker Erik Walden.
First, they needed to take care of unfinished housekeeping of a week ago by officially releasing veteran guard Kyle Kosier.
It was a decision made Friday after signing the second of two guards during the first week of free agency.
Nate Livings signed a $19 million contract, including $6.2 million guaranteed, following an $11 million deal with Mackenzy Bernadeau, making the Cowboys younger up front and making Kosier expendable.
The Cowboys will save roughly $1.5 million against the cap by releasing Kosier, the final move in what has been a complete makeover of the offensive line since last summer when they released tackle Marc Colombo, guard Leonard Davis and center Andre Gurode.
Kosier, who joined the Cowboys in 2006, played in every game in 2011. However, he suffered a torn medial collateral ligament in his knee in the season finale.
The injury didn’t require surgery, but it was another thing the aging guard would have to deal with after missing 13 games in 2009 and 2010 combined.
The team’s interest in Bush and Walden are more about improving the depth on the roster as both would likely be backup players with the Cowboys.
Bush led the Packers in special teams tackles last season.
Walden was a sixth-round pick of the Cowboys in 2008, but didn’t make the opening day roster. He was with the Kansas City Chiefs and Miami Dolphins before playing with the Packers the past two years when he had six sacks.
No visits have been set up, but the Cowboys are in the process of trying to make that happen
ARLINGTON, Texas — The only way the Cowboys reach the postseason is to beat the New York Giants on New Year’s Day at Met Life Stadium. If the Cowboys tie the Giants, they don’t make the postseason.
Whoever wins Cowboys-Giants is the No. 4 seed in the NFC and will host the fifth seed in the wild card round.
Now the No. 4 seed could face either Atlanta or Detroit.
If Atlanta defeats New Orleans Monday night here’s where things get interesting.
In the regular season finale, if Atlanta beats Tampa Bay and Green Bay defeats Detroit, the Falcons become the No. 5 seed.
In another scenario, if Detroit beats Green Bay and Tampa Bay beats Atlanta, the Lions are the No. 5 seed.
Should Detroit and Atlanta win their final regular season games and each finish 11-5, the Falcons win the tie-breaker because Atlanta beat Detroit earlier in the season.
Check out the PLAYOFFS page, right here, on The Boys Are Back blog
The Eagles fans I’ve met personally don’t so much hate the Cowboys as it’s more of strong dislike or distaste, often simply out of peer influence. Now I’ve never been to Philly, only known out-of-state Eagles fans in New York and Virginia, so maybe I’m out of touch on this. But it’s just my experience.
The Giants are even more distant, and many seem to hate the Eagles more, especially after a 6-game losing streak to them. New York fans, in my experience, tend to be more about priding themselves about how the Cowboys supposedly “suck” than about real hatred, especially since their 2007 Super Bowl run.
Redskins fans, however, have a genuine, real hatred of the Cowboys that’s longstanding. This is helped by the fact that Washington has been 7-20 against Dallas since 1998.
Packers and Steelers fans obviously have more pressing rival teams on their minds, such as the Bears and Ravens, than the Cowboys. I threw that in there just for the sake of it.
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A week after being criticized for his fourth quarter mistakes against the New York Jets, Tony Romo is receiving praise for persevering through rib and lung injuries and rallying the Cowboys to a 27-24 overtime victory in San Francisco.
One of the latest to compliment Romo’s Week 2 performance was reigning Super Bowl MVP Aaron Rodgers.
“I was surprised he could play so effectively under that much pain,” The Green Bay Packers quarterback said on “The Rich Eisen Podcast” this week. “I actually didn’t have the same injury, but I got cracked in the ribs a couple of years ago against Detroit and the guys were kind of making fun of me in the huddle because I was having a hard time spitting out the plays.
“But a punctured lung and cracked rib? That’s a lot of pain. I sent him a text after the game because I saw the highlights and saw they came back. That’s an impressive performance.”
By just glancing at the box score from the Cowboys’ loss to the Jets, Rodgers noted that he thought Romo played a pretty good game. However, he was aware that the Cowboys QB took quite a bit of criticism for his mistakes during the final nine minutes.
“I think it was pretty good for him to bounce back like that and come back in the game and play so well,” Rodgers said.