Tag Archives: Monday Night Football

NFL MNF GAMEDAY RESOURCES: 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys vs. Chicago Bears | Monday Night Football

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CHICAGO – A share of the NFC East lead left the grasp of the Dallas Cowboys a day ago as the Eagles took care of business and went to 8-5 as snow poured down Sunday against the Lions.

The 7-5 Cowboys have a chance to get back atop the division in the frigid conditions of Chicago with a Monday Night Football matchup against the 6-6 Bears, who are also fighting to get atop their division.

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

Eatman: I think it’s normal to look at another team like the Bears and get caught up in what they do well. Guys like Brandon Marshall and Matt Forte and then factor in the cold and the playing conditions and it sometimes seems unfathomable for this Cowboys to win this game in this stadium in this month. But the Bears are 6-6 too and if you remember back earlier this year, they had a couple of wins in the final seconds or they should be a lot worse than 6-6. Obviously they did enough to win them but my point is, this team can get beat no matter the team or the conditions. I think the Cowboys are better and they grind out a win. I see Jason Witten playing well and the return of Sean Lee will lead to more third-and-long situations. I see Selvie with two sacks. It’ll be close but I like Dallas, 23-19.

Kavner: If the Giants game a few weeks ago seemed sloppy, this one should take that to another level. With temperatures nearing the single digits and wind being a factor as well Monday in Chicago, it’s not going to be the prettiest offensive football game. That’s despite three of the best receivers in football taking the field in Dez Bryant, Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery. I expect a lot of running when the wind’s against each team and a lot of quick passes with a few back shoulder fades mixed in when it’s behind them, which Bryant will score on. I predict Jeffery ends up the game’s leading receiver, Marshall finds the end zone, but DeMarco Murray gets going and J.J. Wilcox secures a game-sealing pick as the Cowboys keep pace in the NFC East and leave chilly Chicago with a 21-17 win.

Helman: It’s encouraging to think the Cowboys are just two weeks removed from snagging a road win in harsh conditions. But this trip to Chicago feels like a different animal, as far as I’m concerned. The Bears are much more balanced than the Giants or Raiders, with a top-notch running back and two hard-to-handle wide receivers. They don’t defend the run well, and I think the Cowboys will take advantage of that. I’m calling for DeMarco Murray and Joseph Randle to both find the end zone. I think Chicago’s weapons on offense are too much, though. Sean Lee’s return should help keep Forte in check, but I look for Brandon Marshall to have a big day in a close Bears win.

GAMEDAY RESOURCES: Trackers and Scoreboards

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View NFL | Dallas Cowboys game stats and scores online while you watch or listen to the game.

Click HERE to choose from a list of popular online game trackers.

GAMEDAY RESOURCES: Sounds of the game

Listen to the “Voice of the Dallas Cowboys” Brad Sham on KRLD in Dallas.

The Dallas Cowboys Radio Network - 105_3 The Fan KRLD

Click HERE. Don’t live in the Dallas area? Click HERE.

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or listen via the Dallas Cowboys Android App on your phone or tablet


To watch on network TV, tune to:


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Out of market? Click HERE to watch online (NFL Sunday Ticket)

When: Monday, December 9th, 2013 at 7:30 p.m. (Dallas time)

Where: Soldier Field | Chicago

Watch on TV: ESPN | DirecTV


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GAMEDAY RESOURCES: Dallas Cowboys pregame/postgame shows


Dallas Cowboys Pre-game/Postgame Show

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Note: The pregame show starts about two hours before kickoff. The postgame show starts approximately 30 minutes after the game is over.


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NFC EAST SHOWDOWN: Listen Live NOW–New York Giants at Washington Redskins on Monday Night Football

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Listen to Monday Night Football live RIGHT NOW on NFL Audio Pass on NFL.com, NFL Mobile on Verizon (not Sprint), SiriusXM Satellite Radio (Sirius 88 / XM 88) or on a Dial Global affiliate radio station near you.

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Catch it on NFL Game Rewind afterwards

ROSTER UPDATE: LeQuan Lewis waived; expect a signing to be announced soon

IRVING, TexasThe bye week typically is a time for a few tweaks and changes, especially after a tough loss like the Cowboys had Monday night against the Bears, falling to 2-2.

Expect a few roster alterations to either the 53-man roster and/or the practice squad before the Oct. 14 game in Baltimore.

The Cowboys made on Tuesday, waiving cornerback LeQuan Lewis from the roster, dropping the roster down to 52 players. Obviously, the move was made to add another player although the Cowboys didn’t officially announce a roster addition. The Cowboys might use it to bring back safety Mana Silva, who was released a week ago.

Lewis, who was added from the Jets’ practice squad two weeks ago, played in the last two games, mostly on special teams. He was forced into action near the end of the Tampa Bay game on Sept. 23, playing cornerback in nickel situations as the Bucs were throwing into the end zone to try and claw back into the game.

The speedster was the gunner on the punt team and one of the middle players on the kickoff coverage units as well. Brought in three weeks ago as they were getting ready to face Seattle’s return ace, Leon Washington. Monday night, they got past Chicago’s Devin Hester.

Lewis had one tackle and one pass defensed in the regular defense.

JASON GARRETT PRESS CONFERENCE: Break down on Romo’s 5 turnovers from Monday Night

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Jason Garrett Press Conference – Tuesday 10/2/12 – Duration 34:01 – Click HERE to watch

Jason Garrett answers questions from the Dallas media about Monday night’s loss to the Chicago Bears, and the upcoming bye week.

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    IRVING, Texas – One of the more common phrases any coach or player will say after a ballgame when asked about a specific play is “I’ll have to go watch the tape.” Sometimes what we think we saw at first glimpse is different after the coaches and players review the game film the next day or later that night.

    On Monday, after Tony Romo threw five interceptions and had two returned for touchdowns, coach Jason Garrett said he wanted to get a better look before commenting on any of the plays.

    On Tuesday, he went through the five turnovers with his best explanation.

    “I think we saw the same things on tape that we all saw last night,” Garrett said in his Tuesday afternoon press conference. Here is Garrett’s specific breakdown of the turnovers.

    • “The first interception was a miscommunication with our quarterback and our receiver not seeing the leverage in the coverage of the corner the same way. Tony thought Dez was going to run a hitch, Dez saw it as press coverage and he adjusted and went deep around the corner, and Tony had to cut the ball loose. There was pressure by them, and they just didn’t see it the same way and that resulted in that interception.”

    • “The second interception was to Ogletree. We were down in the red zone, moved the ball down in there. What they do on defense is they, you have to be really efficient throwing the football underneath them over and over again, and they are going to contest some plays. And it was a contested throw to Kevin and the ball got in on him and the ball bounced up off of him. Hard to tell if the defender got his hand in or not, but that was a scoring opportunity for us that they created a turnover on.”

    • “The third one, Tony climbed the pocket against some pressure and was really just trying to get up in the pocket versus some edge rush and he climbed up in there and as he was pushing the ball up, the ball got knocked out and Briggs intercepted and ran it back for a touchdown. So if you look at those three plays, two of them directly resulted in touchdowns for 14 points. The other was in the red zone, which we assumed was going to be at least three points, possibly seven points. Those three plays, it was a 21-point swing for us, against us for them.

    • At the end of the ball game we were down three scores and Tony was aggressive throwing the football down the field trying to make a play, and I think that was the cause for the last three interceptions.

    FIRST IMPRESSION: Something has to be done about running game

    Dallas Cowboys offensive line vs Chicago Bears - Line of scrimmage - The Boys Are Back blog


    The more you studied the Bears on defense, the more you realized that it was going to be difficult to move the ball on them. For the Cowboys on Monday night, moving the ball wasn’t the problem. Instead, it was missed opportunities when the offensive line was able to protect and Romo had time to find an open receiver. Poor execution led to a turnover, or a drop or even an overthrow. This Chicago defense wasn’t dominant like I had seen on film, but it simply took advantage of the Cowboys inability to finish drives and make plays.

    While we focus on those missed opportunities, we also need to take note that for the second straight week, this team lacked a running game. Sure, people will blame this solely on the offensive line, but it’s more than that. It was a collective effort. There is really a struggle to get any type of push at the point of attack, but this is a tight end and fullback problem as well. Give the Bears credit for their run defense tonight but going forward, something has to be done.


    Not going to make any excuses for this defense tonight, but it was clear that they needed to find a way to make more plays than they did. So far this team has gotten by without Jay Ratliff at nose tackle, but tonight they played without Anthony Spencer and it was the first game without safety Barry Church as well. While Josh Brent has done a nice job at nose, they still need Ratliff. Victor Butler does a much better job of rushing the passer than he does playing the run, although even when he had a chance to get a sack and get the defense off the field, he was unable to make a play.

    Tonight we saw Brandon Carr struggle and the Bears go after Morris Claiborne a bit. Danny McCray was in on several plays but had a chance to make an interception late in the game, instead allowing tight end Kellen Davis to take the ball away from him.

    For a team that shut Vincent Jackson down last week, Brandon Marshall was unstoppable. There were too many plays where he had space. I was surprised that DeMarcus Ware didn’t have a bigger night against J’Marcus Webb, who had been struggling against everyone at left tackle. Ware did have a sack and three tackles, but again, I expected more. Defensive coordinator Rob Ryan did his best to match the Bears, but Jay Cutler was more than up to the challenge and the Cowboys were able to only generate one turnover from him.

    Special Teams:

    Cowboys punter Brian Moorman was effective in this three punts with two inside the 20. Bears return man Devin Hester wasn’t the factor that he could have been. Hester did manage to have one kickoff return for 29 yards, but the kickoff coverage team was up to the task when given the opportunity. In the three chances the Cowboys did have to punt, it appeared from the press box that the protection was better than the last two weeks.

    STRONG WILL, UNBEARABLE PAIN: Anthony Spencer tried to go but couldn’t

    ARLINGTON, Texas – Dallas Cowboys outside linebacker Anthony Spencer missed Monday night’s game against Chicago with a right pectoral muscle injury.

    Spencer said he tried to work out Sunday afternoon, but it just made the injury worse.

    "Did some stuff (Sunday) and it wasn’t strong enough," Spencer said. "It just got a little more sore."

    This was the first game Spencer has missed this season, but with a bye this week and most likely some limited practice time the week after that, Spencer could be ready for the Baltimore Ravens contest Oct. 14.

    "It’s what I do, it’s my life," Spencer said. "By not playing, it’s like saying I can’t live."

    Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said he expects nose tackle Jay Ratliff to return to action after the bye week. Ratliff hasn’t played this season with a high ankle sprain.

    During Monday’s loss, Cowboys inside linebacker Bruce Carter said he suffered a hip pointer. He left the game briefly and took a pain-killing injection before returning.

    Safety Gerald Sensabaugh played with a sore calf but it didn’t cause him any problems.

    MONDAY NIGHT MELTDOWN: Dallas Cowboys loss falls squarely on Tony Romo’s shoulders

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    ARLINGTON — It was Tony Romo’s Monday night nightmare, low-lighted by an ongoing display of quarterbacking malfunctions that sunk him, sunk the Cowboys and considering what’s immediately ahead on the schedule, probably also Titanic-ed the season.

    Welcome to October.

    December is where the Cowboys usually go to die, but this sucker may be over by Halloween. Jerry Jones, who as of this week is now selling women’s panties at the Big Yard, at least learned the answer to this question:

    What exactly is Victoria’s Secret?

    Easy answer. Victoria knew. Knew all along the Cowboys belonged in the Lingerie League.

    The Chicago Bears enjoyed an MNF road breeze, winning by 34-18, in what will rank as Romo’s most despicable home-field performance ever in this venue, and makes it an early fire-at-will open season for the army of local Romo haters.

    Sure, Tony had his helpers in this debacle.

    Dez Bryant, come on down. Way down.

    Also throw in a Cowboys defense that helped Bears quarterback Jay Cutler restore his tattered reputation by a lack of pressure, despite a Chicago offensive line every bit as much maligned as the Cowboys’ offensive line.

    But the bottom line is still a greasy smudge on Romo’s permanent record, and the bottom line showed two Bears defensive touchdowns off a Romo pick and a Romo fumble (ruled an interception), two missed receivers running open for touchdowns, and, overall, being tagged with five interceptions.

    Chicago’s defense is respected, of course, but this, this was a start-to-finish evening of what could go wrong for the quarterback did go wrong for the quarterback.

    In what actually started as a defensive struggle both ways, the Cowboys trailed 3-0 late in the second quarter when Romo attempted a short out route pass to Bryant. Somebody blew it, and afterward, coach Jason Garrett wouldn’t place blame.

    But since Romo does know the plays, and who knows what Dez knows, let us guess, yes, Bryant screwed it up. The pass was picked off by Charles Tillman for an easy TD, and a 10-0 lead. Dez had run upfield. Romo threw short.

    Romo, however, came back with a good TD drive before halftime, and it was anybody’s ballgame with a 10-7 intermission score.

    The second half, however, was pathetic for the home team, with a Bears opening drive that featured Cutler operating in a rocking chair in whipping his offense to a quick touchdown. No blitz by Rob Ryan meant no chance for pressure.

    Down 17-7, the meltdown began. Romo threw a pick that was in the hands of receiver Kevin Ogletree but appeared to be dislodged by a defender, resulting in a pop-up interception near the Bears’ goal line. That was a huge missed chance.

    When the Cowboys’ defense got the ball right back on a Cutler fumble, Romo was grabbed by the Bears’ Henry Melton, free because guard Mackenzy Bernadeau blew a block, and a pop-up fumble/interception resulted.

    Lance Briggs picked it out of mid-air and rambled 74 yards for a touchdown. A Cowboys scoring threat became a one-eighty disaster and the Bears were on their blowout way, leading 24-7.

    Most disturbing, among many disturbing moments for Romo, was him missing a wide-open Bryant in the first half in what could have been a touchdown in a still scoreless game. And again in the second half, Romo missed a wide-open Miles Austin with what could have been a touchdown pass, cutting the lead to 24-14 with still 17 minutes to play.

    This just in:

    The woulda, shoulda, couldas don’t count.

    What does count is the Cowboys crashed to a 2-2 record, and now have a long, long wait through the bye week before attempting to regroup. That regrouping will coincide with the season’s toughest stretch of schedule.

    Four of the next five games are on the road, including at the Ravens, at Carolina, then the Giants here a few days before Halloween, followed by at Atlanta and at Philly.

    A show of hands please from those local fools who attempted to "style-point" the home debut win last week over Tampa Bay.

    The Cowboys aren’t good enough to downgrade any kind of win.

    Due to the shaky state of the Bears’ offense, Monday night was as good a chance for a victory as the Cowboys will have between now and almost Thanksgiving.

    And then Romo crashed and burned.

    And then the flames started building around the entire season.

    Oh, well.

    Jerry still has women’s panties to sell.

    Bring on the lingerie.

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    Randy Galloway can be heard 3-6 p.m. weekdays on Galloway & Co. on ESPN/103.3 FM.

    2012 GAMEDAY RESOURCES: Dallas Cowboys vs. Chicago Bears

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    HEAD2HEAD: A look at how the ‘boys and ‘bears match up

    The Cowboys and Chicago Bears have a lot in common besides their 2-1 records. They both feature stingy defenses and offensive lines that struggle to protect their quarterbacks. Now, the two teams face each other Monday night at 7:30 p.m. Here is a look at how both teams match up:

    When the Cowboys run

    Last season, DeMarco Murray was tackled behind the line of scrimmage on 14 carries. In the Cowboys’ 16-10 victory over Tampa Bay on Sept. 23, Murray was stopped in the backfield seven times and the Cowboys’ ground attack, ranked 29th after three weeks, sputtered for the second consecutive game. Now, Murray will face a Chicago front that is yielding an average of 3.8 yards per carry, the 11th-lowest average in the NFL.

    Edge: Bears

    When the Cowboys pass

    Against Tampa Bay, the Cowboys’ receivers came to life. Miles Austin accumulated more than 100 receiving yards for the first time this season and Dez Bryant nearly doubled his catch total. But tight end Jason Witten is still struggling and pass protection remains a problem. Quarterback Tony Romo will face a Chicago pass defense that has improved significantly since last season when it was ranked 28th in the NFL. Right now the Bears are surrendering an average of only 203 yards through the air. They also led the league with 14 sacks after Week 3.

    Edge: Bears

    When the Bears run

    Matt Forte didn’t play in the Bears’ Week 3 victory over St. Louis because of an injured ankle. And he is questionable this week. If he can’t play, Chicago’s rushing attack should still function. Michael Bush, the primary ball carrier in Forte’s absence, gained 55 yards and scored the Bears’ only offensive touchdown against the Rams. It will be interesting to see how he or Forte, if available, fares against the Cowboys, a team that failed to corral Seattle’s Marshawn Lynch but limited Tampa Bay’s Doug Martin to 53 yards on 19 carries.

    Edge: Cowboys

    When the Bears pass

    Receiver Brandon Marshall has added a new dimension to Chicago’s passing offense. But Chicago still has an offensive line that struggles to protect Jay Cutler. Cutler has already been sacked 11 times in 2012 and the pressure he has faced seems to have impacted his performance. He has completed only 52.7 percent of his pass attempts and has thrown twice as many interceptions as touchdown passes. A Cowboys defense that had yielded fewer passing yards than all but one team should be able to create more problems for Cutler and the Bears.

    Edge: Cowboys

    Special teams

    Led by the inimitable Devin Hester, Chicago was in top ten in both punt and kick return average after three weeks. It’s expected the Cowboys will try to keep the ball away from Hester, who scored three touchdowns on special teams last season. But it won’t be easy now that Dallas punter Chris Jones is doubtful with a sprained knee. Jones allowed only 4.4 yards per return – the second-lowest average in the NFL after three weeks. His replacement, Brian Moorman, signed last week, yielded 21.5 yards per return – the fourth-worst average in the NFL at the time he was cut by Buffalo on Tuesday.

    Edge: Bears


    Chicago won’t be in awe of Cowboys Stadium when they arrive. They’ve been here before. Two years ago, the Bears defeated Dallas 27-20 and helped set the stage for the eventual mid-season firing of head coach Wade Phillips. That game took place on Sunday. This one is happening on Monday night, when the Cowboys have thrived recently. Since 2007, they have won four of the last five times when they’ve played the final game on the NFL’s weekend football schedule.

    Edge: Cowboys

    GAMEDAY RESOURCES: Trackers and Scoreboards

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    View game stats and scores online while you watch or listen to the game. Click HERE

    GAMEDAY RESOURCES: Sounds of the game

    The Dallas Cowboys Radio Network - 105_3 The Fan KRLD

    Listen to the “Voice of the Dallas Cowboys” Brad Sham on KRLD in Dallas. Click HERE. Don’t live in the Dallas area? Click HERE.

    GAMEDAY RESOURCES: Watch the game on TV or online

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    Watch on TV, tune to ESPN. Click HERE to watch online (NFL Sunday Ticket)

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    THE DOLLARS COWBOYS: Dallas Cowboys earn payoffs, even without playoffs

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    The Dallas Cowboys went 8-8 last year and missed the playoffs for the sixth time in the last decade. Yet the team set new highs in revenue and operating profit, and this month, it was the first NFL franchise to be valued at more than $2 billion. According to Forbes magazine, the Cowboys are worth roughly twice as much as teams in the middle of the pack.

    Is winning overrated?

    Jerry Jones would blanch at the suggestion, because he’s as much a football fan as owner and general manager. The Cowboys also won a string of earlier titles, both before Jones and with him, that helped establish the brand around the globe.

    Win or lose, the Cowboys remain a glamour team and TV favorite, and this week, the national spotlight returns to Arlington for Monday Night Football. Fans always focus on what happens on the field, but there’s a business game within the game, and that’s where the Cowboys are world beaters.

    Jones paid $140 million for the team in 1989, and it’s valued at $2.1 billion today. Every franchise in the National Football League has become richer in the past generation, thanks to a string of record-setting broadcast contracts. Still, the Cowboys stand apart, and in the last year alone, the team’s value rose 14 percent.

    Cowboys Stadium is difference maker No. 1, so it’s fitting that it usually gets a lot of airtime during broadcasts. Last year, the Cowboys led the league in attendance and averaged about 6,000 standing room tickets per game. According to Stats LLC, attendance exceeded stadium capacity by 7 percent, second highest in the league by that measure of popularity.

    Star power

    With more fans staying home and watching the NFL on big, high-definition televisions, Cowboys games remain the place to be. The stadium’s luxuries are impressive, from the field boxes to the art collection to the giant video board. And it keeps making news, announcing that a Victoria’s Secret shop will open Monday, with the help of lingerie models.

    The big turnout and TV attention keep corporate sponsors happy. AT&T, Bank of America, Dr Pepper, Ford, Miller Beer and Pepsi help generate $80 million a year in sponsor revenue, Forbes reports. And those dollars aren’t shared the way that broadcast rights and gate receipts are split among the league’s 32 teams.

    Jones sometimes primes the pump by serving as the ultimate pitchman, and he has surprising crossover appeal. He’s been making national TV commercials since the 1990s. (Remember the Pizza Hut ad with Deion Sanders after he signed the player to a huge contract? Jones asks if he wants $15 million or $20 million, and Sanders says, “Both” — and Jones just shrugs.)

    Ads for Papa John’s pizza have Jones doing rap songs and hip-hop dances, and serve as another example of how the Cowboys combine national and local campaigns — and boost their brand and their partners’ at the same time. Jones even has an ownership stake in the pizza chain, and he’s replicated the same model with Dunkin’ Donuts.

    “It’s extraordinary how the Cowboys convert publicity into revenue,” said Marc Ganis, president of Sportscorp Ltd., a consulting firm in Chicago.

    He compares Jones to the late George Steinbrenner, the New York Yankees owner who was as famous as his players and appeared in TV commercials, too. Celebrity CEOs don’t get any more high profile, and Jones and the Cowboys have an additional advantage: The NFL’s salary cap keeps the biggest expense — player payroll — under control.

    When the Cowboys leverage their brand (or Jones) with advertisers, revenue gains quickly hit the bottom line. Last season, the Cowboys’ operating income was $227 million, up from $9 million the year before they moved into the new stadium. Revenue increased almost 80 percent during the same time.

    The Cowboys and most NFL teams are private businesses that don’t report financial results. Forbes has long estimated the numbers for pro sports teams, and the reports are widely respected.

    Building the brand

    When Jones bought the team, the Cowboys were laggards, but the franchise was a great name in a big, growing market. And the NFL’s popularity was about to explode, boosted by new broadcast deals. Jones was one of the ringleaders who pushed for more competitive bidding, which brought Fox into the fold and eventually led to more NFL games on more networks.

    While that grew the pie for everyone, Jones was also growing a separate revenue stream. He sold sponsorships at the old Texas Stadium that often conflicted with the official league-wide sponsors. He signed contracts with Nike when the league had a separate apparel deal. Today the Cowboys have their own merchandising outfit and a concessions company with the Yankees. Its Legends Premium Sales unit is handling suite and ticket sales for the San Francisco 49ers’ new stadium.

    Jones doubled his building budget on Cowboys Stadium to $1.2 billion, and he paid the extra, not Arlington taxpayers. He wanted an attraction that wouldn’t be eclipsed a few years later.

    MetLife Stadium, which opened in 2010 in New Jersey and had a higher price tag, isn’t nearly as compelling — or valuable.

    “The Cowboys had the better vision and execution,” Ganis said. “Management counts.”

    The New York Giants play in MetLife, and they won the Super Bowl last year. They’re No. 4 on the Forbes list of NFL teams — and still trail the Cowboys’ value by $632 million. That’s a lead that looks safe.

    Coming Tomorrow: Most NFL franchises have sold the naming rights to their stadiums. Not the Cowboys. Why America’s Team is leaving money on the table.

    WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Dallas Cowboys vs. Chicago Bears

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    ARLINGTON, Texas — The Dallas Cowboys enter their home contest against the Chicago Bears with an opportunity to remain in first place in the NFC East on "Monday Night Football."

    We preview.

    The series: The Cowboys lead the all-time series 13-9 and have won two of the last three meetings. This will be just the fourth meeting between the teams in the last 14 seasons. At one point, the Cowboys had defeated the Bears in six consecutive games from 1973-84.

    It’s Monday night: The Cowboys are making their 74th appearance on "Monday Night Football," second most in league history. Miami has made the most appearance with 78. The Cowboys lead the NFL with 43 MNF victories. The Bears and Cowboys have met only once on "Monday Night Football" with the Bears winning 22-6 on Sept. 2, 1996. With Lovie Smith as the coach, the Bears are 7-2 on Monday nights, including winning five of the last six contests.

    Spencer and Forte status: Cowboys outside linebacker Anthony Spencer is listed as questionable with a pectoral muscle injury. He is a game-time decision. If he plays, Spencer will wear a harness. Spencer is second on the team with two sacks and leads with nine quarterback pressures. Matt Forte, the Bears’ starting running back, is questionable with an ankle injury. Forte was limited all week in practice. Forte has rushed for just 111 yards on 23 carries this season. Expect both players to participate on Monday night.

    Cowboys offense struggling: After scoring 24 points in the season-opening victory against the New York Giants, the Cowboys have totaled just 23 points the last two weeks. You can point to any number of reasons for the struggles, from lack of a running game to an inconsistent offensive line to the playmakers — Dez Bryant and Miles Austin mainly — not getting enough touches.

    Carr vs. Marshall: In the last two games against the Cowboys, Brandon Marshall has nine catches for 194 yards and two touchdowns. But Brandon Carr wasn’t defending him. Carr is a big cornerback who can use his power to redirect receivers off their routes. It should be a good one-on-one matchup between the two players. Jay Cutler was questioned about targeting Marshall too much this season. Is it too much?

    Bears pass rush is deadly: The Bears lead the NFL with 14 sacks, with 10.5 of the sacks coming from the front four. The Bears don’t blitz a lot, instead asking the front four of Israel Idonije, Henry Melton, Stephen Paea and Julius Peppers to bring the pressure. The Cowboys’ offensive line has allowed seven sacks this season, including four last week in the victory over Tampa Bay. The Cowboys’ front has struggled, with tackles Doug Free and Tyron Smith combining for 12 penalties.

    Where is Witten? Jason Witten, who leads the NFL with five drops, says he’s healthy and doesn’t make any excuses for his slow start. Tony Romo’s favorite target is going through a tough stretch right now. Is this the start of a decline for Witten or just a bad stretch?

    Where is Urlacher? Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher has no tackles for loss and, based on the coaches’ stats, is tied for the team lead with 21 total tackles. Some believe Urlacher is on the decline, but this is a game where he needs to establish himself as a force.

    PINK RIBBON KICKOFF: Tonight game marks the beginning of the NFL’s Breast Cancer Awareness month

    Tonight's game marks beginning of Breast Cancer Awareness Month - The Boys Are Back blog

    IRVING, Texas – In addition to being the Dallas Cowboys’ first Monday Night Football game of the season and the first football contest of October, Monday’s matchup will also support a greater cause.

    NFL - Dallas Cowboys kickoff Breast Cancer Awareness month on Monday Night Football - The Boys Are Back blogThe game against the Bears will be dedicated to breast cancer awareness, and will include a halftime show with 250 survivors and 250 Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders alumni and dancers.

    Before the game, Cirque Du Soleil will be performing three mini-acts from its critically acclaimed “Kooza” show on the East Plaza stage at 6:45 p.m. for 15 minutes at Cowboys Stadium. Other entertainment in the East Plaza will include the piano playing of Jason Dee Williams and his band from 7:10-7:40 p.m.

    A free zip line and mechanical bull ride are among the new additions provided in the expanded Kids Zone in the West Plaza this year. Also included are more inflatable games, face painting, balloon animals and the Play 60 kids’ workout area.

    The Texas Boys Choir, comprised of 50 youth members from Fort Worth, will sing the national anthem.

    In sticking with the theme of breast cancer awareness and breast cancer awareness month, players, coaches, cheerleaders and officials will wear pink on their uniforms during the game.

    Every home game will have its own theme, with Halloween coming next for the Oct. 28 matchup against the Giants.


    PINK PROMISE PARTNERSHIP: Dallas Cowboys employee Roxanne Martinez surprised by Komen founder Monday Night

    The Dallas Cowboys and Detroit Lions promote Breast Cancer Awareness Month in the NFL

    THINK PINK: Dallas Cowboys’ Laurent Robinson spiked football against Eagles for boy battling cancer

    EDITORS COMMENT: Nearly everyone knows someone that has faced cancer or survived it. Who do you know?


    Angela Lynn Knight (1964-2000) … sister, daughter, and mother of three daughters

    PINK PALACE: The secret is out … Jerry Jones tickled pink

    Cowboys Stadium opening a Victoria's Secret store - The Boys Are Back blog

    It might make the Dallas Cowboys the butt of jokes, but Jerry Jones will go pink for profit in his $1.2 billion football palace.

    A Victoria’s Secret PINK store will open Monday at Cowboys Stadium, a first at a professional sports stadium or venue.

    "We think it’s cute as a bug and very in place to show it and sell it out there," Jones said Friday on KRLD-FM.

    Cowboys Stadium has pretty much everything Jerry Jones could imagine packing into a single building, but if there’s one thing it lacks, it’s a certain feminine touch. No longer.

    The Cowboys sent out a news release promoting a ceremonial ribbon-cutting event that will take place a few hours before the Cowboys kick off against the Chicago Bears. Victoria’s Secret models Elsa Hosk and Jessica Hart will be among the dignitaries there along with Charlotte Anderson, Jones’ daughter and the Cowboys’ executive vice president for brand management.

    According to the release, Victoria’s Secret PINK is a "fully articulated lifestyle collection for young women that include bras, panties, loungewear and sleepwear."

    Dallas Cowboys lace trim thong panty by Victoria's Secret - The Boys Are Back blog

    The Cowboys Stadium store, which will be located on the main concourse club area above Entry A, will sell Victoria’s Secret PINK merchandise that features the Cowboys’ name and star logo.

    No need to wait ’til Monday Night to have your emblazon your crotch with the Cowboys Star. May I suggest the Jerry-approved lace trim thong panties? You can order them online right now.


    RELATED: The Jerry Jones Show

    The Jerry Jones Show - The Fan - The Boys Are Back blog

    The Jerry Jones Show 105.3 The Fan, September 28, 2012

    ALTERNATE LINK: Click HERE to listen to the show (listed on the right column)

    EDITORS COMMENT: You really SHOULD listen to this show. Always a few gems!

    INTENTIONAL GROUNDING: Significant and serious gaps divide NFL, veteran officials


    NEW YORK (AP) — The NFL and its locked-out officials met the last two days, but a person familiar with the negotiations said Friday the sides remain far apart and no further talks are scheduled.

    The source said that there are "significant and serious economic gaps."

    Michael Arnold, counsel and lead negotiator for NFL Referees Association, acknowledged the discussions, saying his group reached out to the league last week and the NFL agreed to meet. He said there may be additional talks, but it is "not appropriate" to comment on specific issues.

    Replacements continue to run NFL games as talks between NFL and regulars refs stall - The Boys Are Back blog

    The NFL locked out the regular officials in June and has been using replacements as the season enters its third full weekend. Many players, coaches and fans have been upset with what they say is poor officiating. The NFL has warned teams that it won’t tolerate confrontational behavior toward the new officials.

    The NFL locked out the regular officials after their contract expired. Negotiations with the NFLRA broke down several times during the summer, including just before the season. This is the first time the league is using replacements since 2001.

    Broncos coach John Fox talks to referee during loss to Atlanta - The Boys Are Back blogThe collection of small college officials working the games has drawn tough criticism from those on the field. Monday night’s game between Atlanta and Denver underlined the matter, with Broncos coach John Fox and defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio engaging in heated arguments with officials.

    In response, the league, according to NFL.com, said Thursday night that senior NFL officials called owners, general managers and coaches from all 32 teams to tell them that respect for the game demands better conduct.

    NFL executive vice president Ray Anderson noted "unacceptable behavior" and added "we’re not going to tolerate it." He said flags, fines and suspensions are possible for coaches or players who cross the line.

    "There’s no doubt the integrity of the game has been compromised not having the regular officials out there," Giants linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka has said. "We’ve got to get that taken care of."

    What the fans seem most annoyed with is the lack of pace to games, notably Monday night’s win by the Falcons that dragged on past midnight. The NFL has said that it is trying to upgrade the officiating through training tapes, conference calls and meetings.

    The NFL reportedly also threatens fines and suspensions for coaches or players for non-professional conduct with replacement officials - The Boys Are Back blog

    The league and the NFLRA, which covers more than 120 on-field officials, are at odds over salary, retirement benefits and operational issues. The NFL has said its offer includes annual pay increases that could earn an experienced official more than $200,000 annually by 2018. The union has disputed the value of the proposal, insisting it would ultimately reduce their compensation.

    "We just all hope, and I’m speaking on behalf of all 31 other head coaches, we hope they get something done," Rams coach Jeff Fisher has said. "We’re trusting that they will."

    HOMERS POINT OF VIEW: Game Notes – Oakland Raiders vs. Dallas Cowboys

    MNF - Dallas Cowboys vs. Oakland Raiders - Preseason 2012 2013 - The Boys Are Back blog

    The Oakland Raiders host the Dallas Cowboys on ESPN’s Monday Night Football

    A NEW ERA OF EXCELLENCE: The Raiders enter the 2012 season under new leadership for the first time in nearly five decades. Owner Mark Davis named Reggie McKenzie the team’s General Manager on Jan. 10, making McKenzie the first person to hold the GM title since Al Davis was named Head Coach and General Manager in 1963. McKenzie named Denver defensive coordinator Dennis Allen head coach on Jan. 30.

    TRAINING CAMP 2012: The Raiders checked into training camp at the Napa Valley Marriott on July 29. This marks the organization’s 17th year of training in the Napa Valley. The team will conduct all of its day-to-day football operations in Napa until the team returns to its permanent Alameda facility after the third preseason game.

    FAMILIAR FOE: Oakland Raiders and Dallas Cowboys have squared off only 10 times in the regular season, but the two teams have played 27 times in the preseason, with the Silver and Black holding an 18-9 all-time advantage in a series that dates back to 1972. This week’s matchup marks the third time in four seasons that the two teams have met in the preseason and the first time in Oakland since a 31-10 Raider victory in the 2009 preseason opener. The Raiders lead the all-time regular season series, 6-4, with the teams last squaring off on Thanksgiving Day 2009 in Dallas, a 24-7 Cowboys victory.

    EXTENDING THE SERIES: The Raiders and Cowboys have squared off 27 times in the preseason, making Dallas the second-most common preseason opponent for Oakland. The Silver and Black’s most familiar opponent is the San Francisco 49ers, with the two teams having played 39 times in the preseason. The Raiders and Cowboys played a preseason contest in Oakland in 2009, ending a five-year hiatus, and most recently faced off in Dallas in 2010.

    OXNARD TIES: The Cowboys are no stranger to California during the summer months, as Dallas hosted training camp in Thousand Oaks from 1963-89. The Cowboys returned to Southern California in 2001, training in Oxnard, Calif. The Raiders’ training camp site was also in Oxnard from 1985-95 after moving from the El Rancho Tropicana Hotel in Santa Rosa,
    Calif. The Raiders moved training camp to Napa, Calif., in 1996, a year after the franchise returned to Oakland.

    NOTABLE CONNECTIONS: RB Darren McFadden and Cowboys RB Felix Jones occupied the same backfield at the University of Arkansas … CB Bryan McCann played for the Cowboys from 2010-11 before signing with the Raiders … S Michael Huff is from Irving, Texas … Cowboys’ recently-signed OL Dan Loper played for the Raiders in 2010 … RB Lonyae Miller played four games for the Cowboys in 2010 … LS Jon Condo played for Dallas in 2005 … Special teams coordinator Steve Hoff man spent 16 seasons (1989-04) as kicking coach with Dallas … Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan served as defensive coordinator for the Raiders from 2004-08 … Cowboys’ offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Bill Callahan was an assistant coach for the Silver and Black from 1998-01 and served as head coach from 2002-03 … Cowboys running backs coach Skip Peete was an assistant coach for the Raiders from 1998-06 … Former Raiders QB Wade Wilson is the Cowboys’ quarterbacks coach … Tight ends coach Mark Hutson was a Cowboys’ third-round draft pick in 1988.


    • at Oak. 19, Dal. 13 (Oct. 2, 2005): The Raiders posted the organization’s third straight win in the regular season series against the Cowboys in front of 62,400 fans in Oakland. K Sebastian Janikowski kicked four field goals, including two from 40-plus yards, and RB LaMont Jordan rushed for 126 yards and one touchdown to lead the Raiders.

    • Oak. 13, at Dal. 12 (Sept. 27, 1998): QB Jeff George and WR James Jett connected on a 75-yard touchdown strike and the Raiders held off a late charge to edge the Cowboys by one point. A fourth-quarter Cowboy touchdown brought Dallas within three points, and Oakland P Leo Araguz ran out of the back of the end zone to give Dallas a safety but preserve a one-point lead that would ultimately hold up.

    • at Oak. 27, Dal. 23 (Dec. 14, 1974): QBs Ken Stabler and George Blanda combined to throw three touchdown passes and the Raiders posted a 27-23 victory in the first meeting between the two teams. The win capped a 12-2 regular season for the Raiders that culminated in an AFC Championship-game appearance.

    WINNING WAYS: The Raiders and Cowboys are among the elite teams in the NFL, with both ranking among the top-four since 1963 in winning percentage. The Dallas Cowboys top the chart with a .591 regular season winning percentage, while the Raiders rank fourth with a .567 percentage since Al Davis was named head coach and general manager in 1963.

    HEYWARD-BEY REPLAY: WR Darrius Heyward-Bey recorded his first career TD reception the last time the Raiders faced the Cowboys in a regular-season tilt. On Thanksgiving Day 2009 at Cowboys Stadium, the rookie hauled in a 4-yard pass from Bruce Gradkowski, the Raiders’ only score.

    PLAYOFF PEDIGREE: The Raiders’ 2012 training camp rosters includes 15 players that have earned postseason experience during their respective careers. Seven players have combined to be a part of 10 Super Bowl squads and have claimed seven championships.

    Greatest 25: Short-handed, Dorsett Goes 99 Yards To History

    Dallas Cowboys Star Magazine decided to count down the best of the best, the top 25 plays in franchise history. Here is No. 4 and a snippet from the Dallas Cowboys Star Magazine story:

    Dallas Cowboys Tony Dorsett 99 yard run - The Boys Are Back blog

    With only 10 players on the field, Tony Dorsett raced into history.


    When ranking the greatest plays in the history of America’s Team, this one is the most difficult. For in all its brilliance and majestic elegance, for the singular moment that it was – one that almost stopped time in the sense that everyone watching, a national audience, remembers exactly where they were some 29 years later –

    In terms of spectacular, record-smashing, don’t-believe-we-just-saw-that moments, Tony Dorsett’s 99-yard touchdown against the Vikings on Jan. 3, 1983 was arguably the greatest individual play in franchise history. It’s an unbreakable record, one that has never even been matched, before or since. And it’s all the more impressive that the Cowboys had just 10 players on the field, fullback Ron Springs mistakenly on the sidelines. Heck, Dorsett didn’t even have a lead block on the play. Throw in that the game was on Monday Night Football and it’s one of those iconic moments in sports history.

    The Cowboys were trailing, 24-13, in the fourth, about halfway between the goal line and the 1-yard line, a safety definitely possible. Quarterback Danny White took the snap under center and turned almost immediately, Dorsett taking the ball, sprinting through the gap between the offensive tackle and guard, and as quickly as the 5-yard line, there wasn’t a defender within eight feet. He then avoided the safety at the 15-yard line with a simple plant and change of direction to his right, announcer Frank Gifford telling his MNF audience at that point, “Watch out, he has great speed.”

    And by the time those words had been spoken, Dorsett was racing across the 30, as in the exact painted numbers “3” and “0” on the right sidelines. Teammate Drew Pearson was running in front of him, trying to throw a block on one of the remaining two defenders, one of which reached out with an attempted wrap around the 18-yard line, but Dorsett ran through the arm effort with ease, slapping the would-be tackler away with his left hand, almost like a nuisance, a swarming bug in his path to immorality.

    He then ran into the end zone and spiked the ball before turning to embrace Pearson’s hug. The score, the outcome, none of this has really mattered since that night. This shall forever be the Tony Dorsett Game.

    Courtesy: Jeff Sullivan | Dallas Cowboys Star Magazine

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