Tag Archives: NBC’s Sunday Night Football

TV NETWORK GOLD: America’s Team still rules the television airwaves

Dallas Cowboys vs Washington Redskins - TV - The Boys Are Back blog

Final viewership numbers for the Dallas Cowboys season ending loss to the Washington Redskins arrived Thursday morning. The Sunday night game on NBC was the most watched of the NFL season. It drew 30.3 million viewers.

America's Team - Dallas Cowboys helmet 2012 - The Boys Are Back blog

In fact, it was the most-watched regular-season game on television in 16 years. The Green Bay Packers-Cowboys game on ABC was watched by 31.5 million viewers on Nov. 18, 1996.

The Cowboys may have finished their season 8-8 and out of the playoffs, but they hit a ratings grand slam. The Dallas Cowboys played in the most-watched game on all four of the NFL’s network partners.

Here’s the rundown:

ESPN Bears vs. Cowboys Oct. 1 16.6 million
FOX Redskins vs. Cowboys Nov. 22 28.7 million
CBS Steelers vs. Cowboys Dec. 16 26.9 million
NBC Cowboys vs.Redskins Dec. 30 30.3 million

NFC EAST CHAMPIONSHIP FLEXED TO SNF: Dallas Cowboys and Redskins to end NFL 2012-2013 regular season in dramatic fashion

The Rivalry - Washington Redskins vs Dallas Cowboys Rivalry - The Boys Are Back blog

ARLINGTON, Texas — It had to come down to a final game. Had to. Just like it’s come down to the final drive over and over again. The white-knuckled way the Dallas Cowboys‘ season had gone, it would never end with coach Jason Garrett and his players watching the final day play out with their feet up, coasting into the playoffs. It wouldn’t fit. It had to be like this.

Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Redskins on Sunday night. Prime time. A playoff spot and NFC East crown for the winner. Just like last year, when it was Giants-Cowboys. Like it should be.

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STOP THE MADNESS: Not another Sunday night game! Cowboys-Saints could be flexed by NFL

The NFL is thinking about flexing the Dallas Cowboys INTO another Sunday Night Football game.

The Cowboys currently have one more NBC Sunday night game on the schedule,, Dec. 2 when the Philadelphia Eagles visit. That would be their fourth prime time game this season. The NFL allows six.

The fifth could come Sunday Dec. 23 when the New Orleans Saints come to Cowboys Stadium. Currently penciled in for NBC that night is the disappointing San Diego Chargers at the horrible New York Jets. The NFL and NBC would like to get out of that mess.

I know the Cowboys and Saints are both 4-5 but they have upsides. The Cowboys have a four winnable games coming and the Saints have Drew Brees who can carry a team. Not saying it’s a lock but it’s a definite maybe.

NFL GAMEDAY RESOURCES: Dallas Cowboys vs. Atlanta Falcons

Dallas Cowboys vs. Atlanta Falcons - 2012 - The Boys Are Back blog

HEAD2HEAD: A look at how the Dallas Cowboys and Atlanta Falcons match up

Dallas Cowboys vs. Atlanta Falcons - NBC Sunday Night Football in America - The Boys Are Back blog

The Dallas Cowboys are expected to face their most challenging test to date when they travel to the Deep South to face Atlanta. The Falcons are the only remaining undefeated team in the NFL and there is a reason why their record is unblemished. They avoid mistakes. Atlanta is the least-penalized team in the league and has a plus-10 turnover differential. The Cowboys, meanwhile have been their own worst enemy. They have been flagged 54 times and committed 19 turnovers — the second-highest total in the NFL. For the Cowboys to march into the Georgia Dome and defeat Atlanta, they first have to make sure they don’t beat themselves. Here’s a look at how both teams match up:

When the Cowboys run

There are three teams in the NFL that are allowing more than five yards per carry. Atlanta is one of them. The Falcons’ defense has shown vulnerability when teams have elected to keep the ball on the ground. But whether the Cowboys have the ability to take advantage of their weakness is uncertain. Starting tailback DeMarco Murray  won’t play as he continues to recover from a sprained left foot. And backups Felix Jones and Phillip Tanner gained only 19 rushing yards on 15 carries in the Cowboys’ 29-24 loss to the Giants.

Edge: Cowboys

When the Cowboys pass

Tony Romo’s never attempted more passes or thrown for more yards than he did last Sunday against the Giants. But Romo also tossed four costly interceptions. His performance encapsulated the inconsistency of the Cowboys’ air attack, which has been reliably unreliable this season. Now Romo and Co. face the Falcons, the tenth-stingiest pass defense in the NFL. Atlanta is allowing an average of 216.9 yards through the air per game and has made 10 interceptions. Safety Thomas DeCoud has four of those picks.

Edge: Falcons

When the Falcons run

Neither Michael Turner nor Jacquizz Rodgers stands taller than 5 feet, 10 inches. Just as small as their stature have been their gains on the ground.  The two Atlanta tailbacks are averaging 3.76 yards per carry this season for a team ranked 24th in rushing that has accumulated more than four yards on only 36.9 percent of its attempts. The Cowboys, meanwhile, have been solid against the run – holding teams to 104.7 yards per game on the ground. Without inside linebacker Sean Lee for the first time, the Cowboys fared well against the Giants, never allowing a carry longer than 14 yards.

Edge: Cowboys

When the Falcons pass

Spearheaded by quarterback Matt Ryan, the Falcons’ air attack is potent. Ryan has completed more than 68 percent of his throws, accumulating 17 touchdown passes and only six interceptions. Ryan’s success, in part, can be attributed to the weapons at his disposal. Receivers Roddy White and Julio Jones, two players who can stretch the field, are each made averaging more than 14 yards per reception. Tight end Tony Gonzalez, meanwhile, leads the team with 46 catches. The Falcons will test the Cowboys, who have surrendered fewer passing yards per game than all but two teams.

Edge: Falcons

Special teams

After Sunday, the Cowboys can add another special teams mistake to their ledger. After Dez Bryant fumbled against the New York Giants, the Cowboys’ return units have turned the ball over twice this season. Dallas has also allowed a blocked punt and surrendered a 108-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Atlanta’s special teams aren’t much better. The Falcons have also conceded a blocked punt. But Atlanta’s mistakes haven’t been as frequent and their kicker Matt Bryant has performed just as well as the Cowboys’ Dan Bailey. Bryant is making 94.1 percent of his field-goal attempts. Bailey is converting 92.9 percent.

Edge: Falcons


Since head coach Mike Smith was hired before the 2008 season, the Falcons have made the Georgia Dome a house of horrors for opponents. Atlanta has had a 29-6 regular-season record there during Smith’s tenure, posting a home winning percentage so high that it has only been eclipsed by the New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens the last five seasons. The Cowboys, meanwhile, have fared terribly in Sunday night games, losing the last seven they’ve played since September 2010.

Edge: Falcons

GAMEDAY RESOURCES: Trackers and Scoreboards

GAMETRAX - Dallas Cowboys vs. Atlanta Falcons - The Boys Are Back blog

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


Watch on TV, tune to your local NBC station. Click HERE to watch online (NFL Sunday Ticket)

GAMEDAY RESOURCES: Bookmark The Boys Are Back blog

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Check back here for box scores, videos, pictures, highlights, resources, recaps, interesting articles, and Dallas Cowboys information all season long. Signup for email alerts, RSS feeds, or add The Boys Are Back to your favorites.

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Enjoy the game!

GAMEDAY RESOURCES: Dallas Cowboys vs. Atlanta Falcons postgame coverage


Dallas Cowboys Postgame Show

on the

Dallas Cowboys Radio Network

Note: The show starts approximately 30 minutes after the game is over.

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PREGAME PREPARATION: Ten Atlanta Falcons that Dallas Cowboys fans need to know (Special Feature)

Dallas Cowboys scheduled to face the undefeated 2012 Atlanta Falcons - The Boys Are Back blog

The Dallas Cowboys are coming of their most emotional loss of the season and get rewarded by facing the league’s only undefeated team. But you never know what can happen in the NFL especially on Sunday night. So before the Dallas Cowboys head off to Atlanta this weekend, here’s a look at 10 Atlanta Falcons you ought to know before kickoff.

Dallas Cowboys vs Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan - Dubbed as Matty Ice for being cool under pressure - The Boys Are Back blog

QB Matt Ryan – Dubbed as ‘Matty Ice’ for being cool under pressure, Ryan is quickly climbing the ladder to become on of the NFL’s elite quarterbacks. In 2010, he set career highs in touchdowns (28), completion percentage (62.5) and yards (3,705) and earned a trip to Hawaii as a Pro Bowler. He followed that up by passing for over 4,000 yards and 29 touchdowns last season. Ryan is now on pace to have his best season yet and is the main reason why the Falcons are the only undefeated team in the NFL.



Dallas Cowboys vs Atlanta Falcons DE John Abraham - The Boys Are Back blog

DE John Abraham – The Dallas Cowboys offensive line will have a tough time handling Abraham, who is the Atlanta Falcons career leader in sacks with 64.5. Abraham has racked up six sacks in his past five games and is absolutely dominating opposing offensive tackles. The four-time Pro Bowler has also forced three fumbles and batted three balls down at the line of scrimmage this season.

Dallas Cowboys vs Atlanta Falcons WR Roddy White - The Boys Are Back blog

WR Roddy White – While Julio Jones may be the new kid on the block, White still gets his share of targets and currently leads the Falcons with 40 receptions for 591 yards and four touchdowns. White has posted five straight 1,000-yard receiving seasons and is showing no signs of slowing down. He might not be as big and physical as Jones, but he creates separation and will nab anything in his vicinity.




Dallas Cowboys vs Atlanta Falcons LB Sean Weatherspoon - The Boys Are Back blog

LB Sean Weatherspoon – Luckily for the Dallas Cowboys, Weatherspoon suffered an ankle injury on Sunday is listed as questionable. If he does play, Weatherspoon will certainly make his presence felt. He has been a tackling machine this season and leads the Falcons with 52 tackles and three sacks. If Weatherspoon is unable to go, it will be a huge loss for Atlanta not only as linebacker but as the leader of this defense.

Dallas Cowboys vs Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones - The Boys Are Back blog

WR Julio Jones – After being drafted sixth overall in the 2011 draft, Jones has blossomed into one of the NFL’s most dangerous wide receivers. Last season, he led all rookie wide outs in touchdown receptions with eight. This year, he has seen role grow as the Falcons continue to become a pass happy offense. So far, Jones has recorded 35 receptions for 499 yards and five touchdowns.

Dallas Cowboys vs Atlanta Falcons S Thomas DeCoud - The Boys Are Back blog

S Thomas DeCoud – In a secondary that features talented corners Asante Samuel and Dunta Robinson, it is DeCoud, who leads the Falcons in interceptions with four and pass deflections with six. Tony Romo is coming off a four interception game so if he continues this trend, DeCoud will more than likely be the man catching his errant passes.

Dallas Cowboys vs Atlanta Falcons RB Michael Turner - The Boys Are Back blog

RB Michael Turner – The burner is on the downfall but is still the primary option in Atlanta. Turner leads the Falcons with 415 yards and three touchdowns but has only rushed for over 100 yards once this season. Despite the decline in production, expect Turner to carry a heavy load and maybe even break a couple of big runs.

Dallas Cowboys vs Atlanta Falcons TE Tony Gonzalez - The Boys Are Back blog

TE Tony Gonzalez -Simply put, Gonzalez is Mr. Reliable. The 36-year old has been to the Pro Bowl 12 times and continues to be one of the most dominant tight ends in the game. His 59 targets is tied with Roddy White for the team lead, which means Ryan still trusts his savvy veteran pass catcher. Gonzalez actually leads the Falcons in receptions with 46 and is tied for second on the team with four touchdown catches.

Dallas Cowboys vs Atlanta Falcons CB Asante Samuel - The Boys Are Back blog

CB Asante Samuel – Low risk. High reward. All the Falcons had to give up to obtain the four-time Pro Bowler was a seventh round pick, which is pretty low price considering Samuel’s 38 interceptions since 2006 lead the NFL. Samuel has rewarded Atlanta by holding down his side of the field this season in place of Brent Grimes, who was lost for the year with a torn ACL. Samuel has deflected four passes and returned an interception for a touchdown against Oakland. Cowboys should already be familiar with Samuel, who is the second on the Eagles all-time interception list.

Dallas Cowboys vs Atlanta Falcons RB Jacquizz Rodgers - The Boys Are Back blog

RB Jacquizz Rodgers – With Turner struggling, expect Rodgers to steal a few more carries. The Oregon State product is used often on third downs and is an excellent pass catcher out of the backfield. Being a scat back makes him a perfect compliment to a bigger back like Turner. This season Rodgers has rushed for 137 yards, caught 20 passes for 137 yards and scored two total touchdowns (see below).

Editors Clarification: Jacquizz Rodgers has scored a total of 2 touchdowns, including his TD in the 27-3 win @SD in Week #3 of the 2011 season.

Special Thanks: A shout out to Tandy at Falcons Life Forums in Atlanta.

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BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE: Jerry Jones, Dallas Cowboys introducing ‘Jerry Wipes’, a multi-purpose novelty

Jerry Jones and his CEC - Certified Eyeglass Cleaner - The Boys Are Back blog

PHOTO: Jerry Wipes, inspired by a viral video of Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones getting his glasses cleaned, will be sold in the Dallas Cowboys online store. Jerry Wipes aren’t the first instance of the polarizing NFL owner poking fun at himself – or making money.

The Dallas Cowboys won their season opener against the New York Giants last week, but the breakout star of the game wasn’t anyone on the field. It was Jerry Jones’ glasses.

Jones, the highly visible and polarizing Cowboys owner, stole the thunder from his team’s road victory over the Super Bowl champion Giants when video footage taken of Jones watching the game showed him casually handing off his glasses to be cleaned by an unidentified man sitting behind him in the owner’s box.

The video went viral, and the questions (and jokes) flew. Who was the man cleaning Jerry’s glasses? Some sort of manservant from a bygone era of kings? Is the billionaire Jones really so rich that he can’t be bothered wipe a smudge off his own glasses?

Not quite. The glasses-cleaner turned out to be Jones’s son in law, Shy Anderson, who offered an explanation of the spectacle (sorry) to Alan Peppard of the Dallas Morning News:

"Jerry never talks to anybody during the game. He is so focused. But he started asking, ‘Where’s  [Cowboys tight end Jason] Witten?’ I was looking over his shoulder and I could see his glasses were completely smudged. I said, ‘Seriously, Jerry? Let me see your glasses.’ I actually had an eyeglass cloth in my pocket."

So it was just family members watching out for each other, more than an extravagance of the uber-rich. But that isn’t stopping Anderson and Jones from cashing in on their brief Internet fame.

One week after he was caught by NBC cameras wiping the eyeglasses of Jerry Jones during the NFL game, the son-in-law of the Dallas Cowboys owner said he’s hoping to capitalize on all the attention by selling a product inspired by the infamous moment.

Jerry Jones said on his weekly radio show that Anderson has taken good-natured ribbing for wiping the glasses. Anderson, who is married to Jones’ daughter Charlotte, has run the Dallas Desperados, an Arena Football League team, as well as other business interests.

Anderson has designed a line of eyeglass wipes printed with the words “Jerry Wipes” on them, to be sold in the Dallas Cowboys’ online store. No word yet on the price, or for how long the wipes will be sold. “It started out as a joke, but let’s see how far we can take it.” Anderson said.

It’s all par for the course for Jones, who is no stranger to hamming it up, laughing at himself, or making money. During his 24-year tenure as owner and general manager, he has turned the Dallas Cowboys into the most valuable pro sports franchise in the NFL and the United States, worth $2 billion. He’s also starred in a series of ads for pizza chain Papa Johns, in which he both break dances and raps. So Jerry Wipes aren’t the first or last time Jerry Jones will cash in on an opportunity.

COMPROMISING POSITION: Jerry Jones laughs about glasses cleaned, says he wouldn’t sit by him at a game


Jerry Jones is laughing about it now, and he’s glad he can – the moment the NBC cameras caught his son-in-law, Shy Anderson, cleaning his glasses for him.

“Had you told me last week that we’re going to be able to laugh and smile about this and it be something fun and notable to talk about, I would have taken that in a minute,” Jones said happily on his Friday morning radio show. “I was about to die up there. About to swallow my tongue.”

Jones said his glasses were just dirty, and that Anderson – the husband of Jones’ daughter, Charlotte Jones Anderson – offered to clean them.

“Listen, those things were fogged over, dirty, they had all kinds of prints on them,” Jones said, still chuckling. “He just reached down there and said, ‘Hand me those. You need some help.’ ”

But then, anything done near the Cowboys owner during a game is likely to wind up on TV, also.

Jones said with a laugh, “One of the things that I would do if I were another human on this planet is not sit near me at a ballgame because you could get compromised by what really is happening.

“And, of course, that was Shy Anderson, my son-in-law, he’s a vital part of our organization. trying to just help his father-in-law where he could see the ballgame. He reached down and said those things need cleaning. He’s paying the price on it.”

Jones laughed again, heartily.

“We’ll figure it out,” he said. “I heard that somebody might need to be shining my shoes up there. Somebody else serving me hors d’oeuvres in between the huddle.”

Jones said Anderson is enjoying the attention.

“We’re having fun with it, too,” he said. “And one of the great things about him, he does have a big-time sense of humor. We’re having more fun about how ridiculous it is. But it’s fun. Let’s keep it going.”

Jerry Jones and his CEC - Certified Eyeglass Cleaner - The Boys Are Back blog

RELATED: AUDIO – Listen to The Jerry Jones Show

AUDIO - The Jerry Jones Show - Elf & Slater - 1053 The Fan KRLD

105.3 The Fan, CBS Radio Dallas  September 7, 2012

Editor’s Comment: This portion of The Jerry Jones Show comes in the last few minutes. Enjoy!

COWBOYS-GIANTS VIDEO RECAP: Cherish the Dallas Cowboys win on The Boys Are Back blog

As a courtesy, The Boys Are Back blog wants to share the video highlights and special interviews associated with last nights Dallas Cowboys victory over the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants. When you click on each link, the video should open in a separate window. Enjoy!

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Dallas Cowboys vs. New York Giants Highlights (Courtesy: NBC)

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo found WR Kevin Ogletree for 114 yards and 2 TD’s as the Cowboys took down the Giants in the first game of the 2012 season, 24-17.



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Dallas Cowboys Today Postgame Report (Courtesy DC.com)

The Dallas Cowboys crew recaps the season opener win against the New York Giants.




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Dallas Cowboys Postgame Press Conference

Coach Jason Garrett and Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo speak after the New York Giants game.




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Jason Garrett’s Postgame Locker room Speech with Players

Join Mickey Spagnola as he listens in to Jason Garrett’s postgame speech after Wednesday nights victory over the NY Giants




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VW Quick Snap – Cowboys vs. Giants (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!)

Presented by Volkswagen. Experience the sights and sounds of the Cowboys victory over the Giants in their season opener. If you only watch one video, watch this one! Brad Sham, the Voice of the Dallas Cowboys, captures moments unlike anyone in sports. Check it out!


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Talkin’ Cowboys: Game Recap (Duration 57:43 – Surf and Listen)

Join Derek, Nick, Josh, and Blair as they breakdown last nights thrilling victory against the Giants.




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Tony Romo Postgame (In-depth; duration 9:01)

Tony Romo addresses the media after the Dallas Cowboys beat the New York Giants in NFL season opener.




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Cowboys Break: A Sign Of Things To Come? (Duration 58:40)

It’s Glory Hole Thursday! haha The Break takes a look at the Dallas Cowboys victory over the New York Giants and if the result could possibly carry over to the rest of the season.



BONUS VIDEOS: Know The Enemy – Jason Pierre-Paul and Victor Cruz

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Know The Enemy – New York Giants Jason Pierre-Paul

In the second portion of this weeks "Know The Enemy", Bryan Broaddus takes a look at the Giants most powerful weapon on defense

Posted: Sep 5, 2012 (posted before the game)



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Know The Enemy: Victor Cruz

In the first portion of this weeks "Know The Enemy", Bryan Broaddus takes a look at one of the Giants most powerful weapons on offense

Posted Sep 4, 2012 (posted day before the game)



2012 GAMEDAY RESOURCES: The Boys Are Back blog makes it easy to be a Dallas Cowboys fan

NFL Kickoff 2012 - The Boys Are Back blog

Quick Take: Rivalry kicks off NFL’s 93rd season

Why this game is intriguing: No one played a more consequential regular-season game last year, with the Giants abruptly ending the Dallas Cowboys’ season in Week 17 before moonwalking to another Super Bowl title. The distinct paths of these two rivals were stunning. Now they meet again in a nationally televised divisional game, with both teams dying to make a smashing first impression. And hey, it means football is back!

What to watch: The Dallas Cowboys debut a new secondary featuring two of the top corners available this offseason: rookie Morris Claiborne and free agent Brandon Carr. They weren’t added with the sole purpose of stopping the Giants’ receivers, but they are exactly what Dallas needs to cover Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks and Co. As for the New York Giants, check out how much pressure they apply on quarterback Tony Romo. Of course, the G-Men always attack the passer, but will the added responsibility of having to stop the run-happy Cowboys slow them down?

GAMEDAY RESOURCES: Trackers and Scoreboards

NFL Game Center - Dallas Cowboys vs New York Giants - The Boys Are Back blog

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

NBC NFL Season Opener - Dallas Cowboys vs NY Giants - The Boys Are Back blog

Watch the game on TV, Tune in to your local NBC affiliate. Click HERE to watch online.

GAMEDAY RESOURCES: Bookmark The Boys Are Back blog

The Boys Are Back blog - True Blue fans of the Dallas Cowboys - Read Watch Listen Comment

The Boys Are Back blog | Read | Listen | Watch | Comment

Check back here for box scores, videos, pictures, highlights, resources, recaps, interesting articles, and Dallas Cowboys information all season long. Signup for email alerts, RSS feeds, or add The Boys Are Back to your favorites. Don’t forget to click on ‘LIKE US’ and to SHARE The Boys Are Back blog with the buttons below!

Enjoy the game!

2011 REFLECTION: Another lost chance for Dallas Cowboys veterans

2011 New York Giants - Win the NFC East vs Dallas Cowboys - The Boys Are Back blog

IRVING (AP) – Owner Jerry Jones has repeatedly said the Dallas Cowboys are just getting started with Jason Garrett as their head coach.

For a core group of veteran players such as Tony Romo, Jason Witten and DeMarcus Ware, losing yet another season finale with a playoff spot on the line is another chance lost.

An 8-8 season that raises questions about the future of some of the other players who have been around, and where the still-average Cowboys go next after Garrett’s first full season.

“We have to take advantage of their talent and experience, players like Romo and Witten, a lot of those players, because they’re not going to be around forever,” Jones said. “We have to accept this and move forward.”

That means accepting that Dallas lost four of its last five games, including 31-14 against the New York Giants in the finale Sunday night that determined the NFC East champion and sent the Cowboys home for another long offseason.

“Now we’re watching the (playoff) games this week. I encouraged them to remember the feeling that we had after the game,” Garrett said Monday after wrapping up individual meetings with each player. “You have to keep that feeling, you have to make that palpable as you go forward and use it as a motivation to get better, individually and collectively as a team.”

2011 New York Giants - NFC East Champions - The Boys Are Back blog

This has been a very average team since winning three Super Bowls in a four-year period in the first half of the 1990s. The Cowboys are 120-120 in the regular season since the start of 1997, a 15-season span with one playoff victory in seven postseason appearances.

Continue reading →

THURSDAY PRACTICE UPDATE: Romo wrapped and delivering | Sean Lee | McCray | Ware | Brent


For the second straight day, quarterback Tony Romo practiced with the team and all signs are pointing towards him being ready to play for Sunday night’s crucial game with the Giants.

Romo, who said Wednesday that is right hand remains somewhat swollen but is improving, practiced Thursday with a light bandage wrapped around his right wrist and hand, but had his fingers free and able to throw the ball.

During the early part of practice, Romo appeared to throw the ball with the same velocity and zip as usual, despite the wrap.

Romo began practice wearing a black glove but took it off to start the workout. He also said in a conference call with the New York media that he doesn’t anticipate wearing a glove for the game, but fully expects to play.

As for other injury news …

  • Linebacker Sean Lee missed his second straight practice. Lee was held out Wednesday because of an illness. He’s also listed on the injury report with the wrist injury he’s played with for the last two months and Lee also sat out the second half of last week’s game with a strained hamstring.
  • Safety Danny McCray, the team’s best special teams player who missed last week’s game with a high-ankle sprain, missed his second straight practice.
  • Linebacker DeMarcus Ware (stinger) and defensive tackle Jay Ratliff (ribs), who both missed practice on Wednesday for precautionary reasons, were back to practice Thursday.
  • Defensive tackle Josh Brent hasn’t played since Thanksgiving but was back on the field for a second straight practice. Brent was limited on Wednesday with the sprained knee injury.

IF THE PLAYOFFS STARTED TODAY: New York Giants move into Dallas’ No. 4 spot

2011 NFL Playoff Picture

It’s simple. If Dallas wins on NBC’s Sunday Night Football, they’re in! No chance for a wild-card spot with an 8-8 record.

Seed Team Division Record
1 clip_image002(yz) Green Bay North 13-1-0
2 clip_image004(y) San Francisco West 12-3-0
3 clip_image006(x) New Orleans South 11-3-0
4 clip_image008N.Y. Giants East 8-7-0
5 clip_image012(x) Detroit North 10-5-0
6 clip_image014Atlanta South 9-5-0
Still Alive
7 clip_image016Dallas East 8-7-0
8 clip_image018Chicago North 7-7-0

For a more complete picture of the NFL playoffs, check out the PLAYOFFS page right here inside The Boys Are Back blog … or click HERE.

AMERICA’S WATCHING: NFL flexes Dallas Cowboys vs. New York Giants into primetime

AMERICA’S WATCHING: NBC flexes Dallas Cowboys vs New York Giants into primetimeThe only game with a win-and-you’re-in scenario for both teams in the final week is the Giants-Cowboys. Because of that, the game has been flexed to NBC’s Sunday Night Football with kickoff scheduled for 7:20 p.m.

The NFL made the decision, which means FOX got neither one of the Giants-Cowboys games. The Broncos-Chiefs game could have implications on the AFC West winner, but Denver could win it before the game is even played if the Raiders lose.

Another game of interest could have been the Ravens at Bengals, with the Bengals chasing a wild-card berth and the Ravens hoping to clinch the AFC North. But the Giants-Cowboys game was the no-brainer pick.

The Cowboys are the top ratings draw. NBC’s top six games are Cowboys games, and four of those are against the Giants.


Garrett & Romo: Postgame

Jason Garrett and Tony Romo speak after relinquishing the NFC East lead to the Giants.


Linebacker DeMarcus Ware acknowledged on the NBC pregame show that coach Jason Garrett apologized to the team during the week for his bad game management decisions at the end of the 20-19 overtime loss to the Cardinals.

Garrett refused to acknowledge second-guessing himself to the media for much of the week.

But apparently, he allowed himself to be vulnerable in front of his team _ although doing it publicly as well as privately would go a longer way in terms of credibility.

"I think when we talked about that as a team what we try to do with our team is we try to process what happened in the previous game," Garrett said after Sunday’s loss in revisiting the situation. "We as coaches stand up and say, ‘player we should have done this. Player, we should have done that. This was good. That wasn’t good. This how we’ve got to get better.’ Something we as coaches try to say is ‘Hey we’re a part of this, we make decision, we put game plans together. We call plays. We handle situations. We’re accountable to that as well.’ That’s always been a point of emphasis for us."


Tony Romo admitted Sunday night what many were already thinking after the Cowboys blew a 12-point fourth-quarter lead with less than six minutes remaining — a 37-34 loss to the New York Giants brought something a little extra. It brought a different kind of hurt and sting.

"It will be tough for the next few hours, this is a tough loss," the Cowboys franchise quarterback said.

A 50-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Dez Bryant gave Dallas a double-digit lead with 5:41 left in the game. It seemed like a great time to celebrate for the home folks. However, the drama was just about to begin.

Eli Manning led the Giants on consecutive touchdown drives in the final five minutes and Dan Bailey’s shot at tying the game was blocked in the final seconds.

"We didn’t get the win today and it was an important game," Romo said.

So, with three games remaining and a playoff berth still alive, where do the Cowboys go from here?

"You have to put your head down and keep playing games," Romo said. "For us it is about us coming back and figuring out some detail things that we can use from this game to improve and using that. Getting better as a team and playing our best game next week."


PREVIEW: New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys

VIDEO - CBS Sports - Press Play


While the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys both lost last weekend, the damage by those defeats can easily be mitigated thanks to what’s at stake this weekend.

The Giants will try to end a four-game losing streak Sunday night on the road against the Cowboys as these rivals play for the NFC East lead.

Dallas (7-5) leads New York (6-6) by one game. The Giants led the race by two before their slide.

The Cowboys had their four-game win streak snapped thanks to mistakes that included poor clock management in last Sunday’s 19-13 overtime loss at Arizona – a defeat that cost them a chance to clinch the division this weekend.

"Most importantly, we have to put this one to bed and go to the next one," coach Jason Garrett said.

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Dallas Cowboys vs New York Giants - NFC East rivals - The Boys Are Back blog


The Cowboys host the New York Giants on Sunday night — the first of two matchups that will decide the NFC East champion. The Giants have lost four straight, while the Cowboys are coming off a game that they let slip away in overtime against Arizona. If the Giants win this game, they’ll be tied for the division lead and have the tiebreaker. If the Cowboys win, they’ll have a firm grasp on the division title with a two-game lead with three to play.

The Cowboys faced one of the better NFL receivers last week in Larry Fitzgerald, who was covered by Mike Jenkins for the majority of the game. Jenkins, making his first start since being sidelined several weeks with a hamstring injury, was outstanding. Where the Cowboys had the biggest problems was allowing down-the-line receivers big days catching the ball.

Five weeks ago, Terence Newman was playing at a high level. In the last three games, however, he’s really struggled in his off coverage. Newman was one of those players that were driving on the ball and make plays. Orlando Scandrick, starting in place of Jenkins, didn’t struggle as much as Newman, but we didn’t see the plays that we had when he was in the nickel role.

ESPN NFL analyst Chris Mortensen hops on to preview this weekend’s Cowboys-Giants matchup.

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Giants’ Bradshaw will find hole, punish tacklers

There are two areas of the Giants’ offense that can hurt you — running the ball with Ahmad Bradshaw, and Eli Manning throwing the ball to an outstanding group of receivers.

When you watch the Giants, Bradshaw is a real difference-maker for this team. He’s a physical back that is difficult to get on the ground. He doesn’t have the elusive moves of a Reggie Bush, but instead tries to punish tacklers. Bradshaw has a low center of gravity, and he doesn’t give defenders much to hit. If you don’t hit him hard, he will run over you. He’s like DeMarco Murray in that he likes to cut back when he sees a hole.

The Giants’ offensive line doesn’t blow defenders off the ball. They’re more likely to grab and run with you. This fits Bradshaw’s style as he doesn’t need much of a hole because of his ability to burst through tacklers with power.

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PRIMETIME PRESSURE: Sunday nights not kind to Dallas Cowboys

NBC’s Sunday Night Football

IRVING,Texas — The networks love to show the Cowboys in primetime. It just doesn’t seem the Cowboys love primetime back that much, especially Sunday nights.

The Cowboys have lost five straight games on NBC’s Sunday Night Football over the last two seasons and six of their last eight overall. That came after a stretch from 2006-08 in which they won eight of nine Sunday night tilts.

This year, the Cowboys have lost to the New York Jets (27-24) and Philadelphia (34-7) on Sunday nights. After Sunday night’s game against the Giants, the Cowboys travel to Tampa Bay for a Dec. 17 showing on NFL Network at 7:20 p.m.

Jason Garrett believes Sunday night streak is more coincidental than anything else.

“That’s another trend that some people might want to point to,” Garrett said. “Our job is to prepare as well as we can if we’re playing at home, on the road, in the division, out of the division, if we’re playing in a parking lot. We just want to be our best with this football team right now.”

Most coaches don’t like Sunday or Monday night games because it throws off the schedule for the following week.

Sunday night games can become a problem because of the long wait to kickoff. The Cowboys alter their schedule from noon or 3:15 p.m. kickoffs. Garrett will host his normal team meeting Saturday night, but the offensive and defensive meetings to go over the game plan one final time will happen Sunday morning.

“I think with experience you learn you just don’t need to be sitting in your room horizontally watching football on TV all day,” linebacker Keith Brooking said. “Get up, walk around and get the blood flowing. That’s important.”


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