IRVING — After fielding a worse pass defense in 2010 and 2011 than in any other two-year span in team history, the Dallas Cowboys finally had enough and made a number of moves to revamp the secondary in the off-season.
The two biggest players in the overhaul were cornerbacks Brandon Carr and Terence Newman.
Carr, 26, regarded as the best player in free agency by defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, was signed to a whopping five-year, $50.1 million contract to come from the Kansas City Chiefs and become the shutdown cornerback the team has coveted since the departure of Deion Sanders.
Newman, 34, who never fully lived up to expectations as a former 2003 first-round pick of the Cowboys and became the primary scapegoat for the team’s secondary woes, was unceremoniously dumped because of his salary, declining play, age and injury history.
When the Cowboys (6-6) face the Cincinnati Bengals (7-5) Sunday, Newman and Carr will be on the same field together for the first time since the off-season moves.
The statistics say the Bengals, who signed Newman to a reduced one-year, $825,000 contract shortly after being released by the Cowboys, got the better end of the salary cap deal so far.
Revitalized and motivated to prove the Dallas Cowboys wrong, the nine-year year veteran has more tackles than Carr as well as more pass deflections and more interceptions.
And according to Stats Inc., Newman has also given up fewer touchdowns and fewer completions, despite the same amount of targets.
Still, the Cowboys are pleased with the moves.
"Terence was a really, really good player for this team for a long time," coach Jason Garrett said. "We just felt as an organization that it was the right time for us to make a move there and to move on and go in a different direction. I told him when I talked to him, ‘You’re going to be playing for a long time and just keep doing what you’re doing.’ He’s playing very well right now."
From the Cowboys’ point of view, the individual statistics only tell part of the story. The pass defense is statistically better than it was last season at this point despite a plethora of injuries.
Carr was just one of two important off-season moves made by the Cowboys, who also drafted Morris Claiborne with the sixth overall pick.
Carr also went from being given the task of covering the opponent’s top receiver all over the field at the beginning of the season to being used at safety and in the slot because of injuries.
"Brandon Carr, he’s been a really good player for us," Garrett said. “At different times, we’ve had him in different spots, assuming different roles. He’s played some safety for us. I think he’s playing well.”
Carr said his play has been "up and down" because he has been moved around, because so many different guys have been in and out of the lineup with injuries and because everyone is still getting used to each other.
He also knows that his "up and down" play has already drawn criticism because of the $50.1 million contract that had people expecting Deion Sanders-like production.
"They can say what they want to say, I can handle the scrutiny," Carr said. “I have been dealing with that since I came into the NFL. It hasn’t deterred me from anything. Everybody is entitled to an opinion. I’m in a position where I’m fair game to everybody. I can handle whatever they have to say. I know it’s out there. All I can do is come every day, keep getting better and keep working.”
For Newman, the scrutiny, criticism and subsequent release resulted in some bitterness.
He was once considered a foundation building block for the future of the Cowboys along with quarterback Tony Romo, tight end Jason Witten and linebacker DeMarcus Ware.
Newman was admittedly disappointed he didn’t get a goodbye from owner Jerry Jones when he was informed of his release in March.
He said he knew the decision was coming and worked out at the Cowboys facility every day in the off-season so they could tell him face to face when the moment arrived.
Garrett handled the goodbye with Newman, who hopes to see Jones and exchange pleasantries before the game.
“I mean a person can be bitter all they want, but it’s not going to change anything,” Newman said. "I’m happy, playing pretty well, winning football games, so that’s my No. 1 focus. There’s no reason for me to be bitter. It’s months and months after the fact. It is what it is."
Newman, who played with injured ribs in 2010 and then through toe, neck and hamstring injuries that affected his play last year, said the change in scenery and fresh start has been good for him.
He chose the Bengals because of defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, who held the same position in Dallas when he was drafted in 2003.
“This definitely was a place that I wanted to come because obviously I had a relationship with him,” Newman said. "I knew what to expect and I knew it would be the best opportunity for me to jump-start and get back to playing the football that I had been playing in previous years."
Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said Newman has been a big part of a defense that has the Bengals in the thick of the wild-card playoff chase.
Unlike the inconsistent Cowboys, the Bengals are riding a four-game winning streak behind a defense that’s allowed just one offensive touchdown in the past three games combined.
“His ability to know what’s important. I think getting back with Mike has been great for him, because day in and day out he knows he’s going to get coached from sunup to sundown as all of our guys do when they walk in this building,” Lewis said. “I think that was something he felt comfortable with.”
From a bitter departure to a comfortable reunion — at least until kickoff.
After weeks of flirtation, the Cincinnati Bengals on Wednesday finally agreed to the terms of a deal with former Dallas Cowboys cornerback Terence Newman.
Newman, 33, joins his former Cowboys defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, who currently holds the same position in Cincinnati. A year after Zimmer took the Bengals DC job, Cincinnati added another former first-round defensive back of the Cowboys, safety Roy Williams.
Cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones, a Cowboy during the 2008 season, has been with Cincinnati since 2010.
The first selection of the Bill Parcells era, Newman was selected with the fifth overall pick in the 2003 NFL Draft. He started 131 games in nine season with the team, making two Pro Bowls, but has battled injuries in recent years, and struggled down the stretch in 2011.
He was released by the Cowboys on March 13, saving the team roughly $6 million in salary cap space.
Adam Schefter reports the Bengals are also negotiating a trade that would send former first-round linebacker Keith Rivers to the New York Giants.
Dave Campo is the first casualty of the Cowboys struggling secondary.
He won’t be the last.
The Cowboys have informed their long-time assistant that the club will allow his contract to expire and he won’t return next season. Campo, who first joined the club during the 1989 season as part of Jimmy Johnson’s staff and was the team’s head coach from 2000-02, has declined to comment.
Head coach Jason Garrett considered making a change last season when he put together his staff. But Campo survived when Pittsburgh’s Ray Horton, who interviewed with the Cowboys, wound up taking a job in Arizona.
The secondary was an Achilles Heel for the Cowboys defense this past season. The group ranked No. 23 in the league, allowing an average of 244.1 yards a game. Opponents completed 61.7 percent of their passes against the secondary with 24 touchdown passes. Three of those came in the final game of the regular season when the Cowboys missed a chance to make the playoffs by losing to the New York Giants.
Brett Maxie worked with Campo in overseeing the secondary. His contract also expired but he is expected to be retained. The same will not be said of personnel.
Starting safety Abe Elam and backup cornerbacks Alan Ball and Frank Walker are unrestricted free agents. The club’s decision to sign Gerald Sensabaugh, the team’s other starting safety, to an extension shows where Elam ranks on the priority list.
The club will also discuss whether it’s time to part ways with Terence Newman. The cornerback is scheduled to count just over $8 million on the salary cap in 2012, but the club can cut that financial obligation in half if it releases the 33-year-old veteran.
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.”
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.
As many ups and downs as the Dallas Cowboys have had this season, the goal of an NFC East championship — and a playoff berth — remains in reach. That means the possibility of reaching the Super Bowl is still in play, and that’s all you can ask for.
Recent playoff history has proven that if you’re in, then you have a shot to win it all. Are the Cowboys good enough to make a serious run? With the way that Tony Romo is currently playing, there is that possibility.
But first there’s a little thing about beating the New York Giants –a team that has similar and — at some positions — better talent than the Cowboys.
Expect a healthy dose of JPP, Tuck from Giants
When I break down these games, I always try to look at the areas where the Cowboys can get an edge but also where they might run into trouble. To me, both teams are going to have matchup problems.
The area that could give the Cowboys the biggest problem is Doug Free against Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul. If Free was playing at a level like he was in 2010, I’d say this matchup had a great chance of being a wash. Pierre-Paul has gone from a raw rookie pass rusher to a dominant force on the outside and off the edge.
LAST HURRAH: Do or die for some Dallas Cowboys, possibly Spencer, Martellus Bennett, Bradie James and Terence Newman
Sunday’s winner take all match up against the Giants has been billed as a do or die game for Cowboys.
A win puts them in the playoffs. A loss ends their season.
What’s also true is that the game could possibly be the last one in a Cowboys uniform for a number of players.
That includes 20 Cowboys who are in the final year of their contracts, including linebacker Bradie James, safety Abe Elam and tight end Martellus Bennett.
The case could be the same for a few others like Terence Newman, who is signed through 2014 but could be salary cap casualty because age, injury and declining production.
Bradie James has seen the writing on the wall since the beginning of the season when his role was diminished because of the emergence of Sean Lee. James ranks eighth in tackles with 51, ending a club record streak of leading the team in tackles the last six years.
The nine-year veteran would like to continue his career with the Cowboys but he knows nothing is guaranteed. He acknowledges that a loss on Sunday could possibly usher in wholesale changes to more than just the players who are no under contract for next season.
"It could all just change around," James said. "That is just the reality of it."
Anthony Spencer, who is set to be an unrestricted free agent, is of the same mindset after what has been a disappointing season for him. The Cowboys have not engaged in talks of a contracts with the former 2006 first round pick.
"It could be that," said Spencer was asked if this could be his last game with the Cowboys. "Whatever is going to happen is going to happen. So I’m not worried about it. I’m just trying to get through the season."
Spencer and the Cowboys had huge expectations come into the season that he would thrive under new coordinator Rob Ryan and provide legitimate pass rushing threat opposite Pro Bowler DeMarcus Ware. But after getting three sacks in the first thee games, he has just three over the last 12. His six sacks on the season are a huge disappointment for him and certainly weren’t enough to prompt the Cowboys into signing him to a long-term contract extension.
"I started fast," Spencer said. " I had high hopes for more sacks. It didn’t end up that way. (Playing more coverage) had something to do with it. You can’t get sacks when you are not rushing. I want to be here. I like it here. But I got to do what’s best for my family."
Other Cowboys whose contracts expire at the end of the season are cornerback Alan Ball, guard Derrick Dockery, fullback Tony Fiammetta, defensive end Clifton Geathers, guard Montrae Holland, receivers Jesse Holley, Laurent Robinson and Kevin Ogletree, quarterback Jon Kitna, guard Daniel Loper, punter Mat McBriar, running back Sammy Morris, tackle Jeremy Parnell, cornerback Frank Walker and running back Chauncey Washington.
In explaining why backup cornerback Alan Ball replaced starter Terence Newman early in the first quarter in 37-34 loss to the Giants last Sunday, defensive coordinator Rob Ryan intimated that Newman is nursing an injury
"We have guys, corners who have been delicate cause of injuries," Ryan said. "They are not delicate. They are playing their ass off. We’ve got guys with hamstrings. We’ve got guys with shoulders. Most guys won’t come out there. That is why there is so much substitution. It looks like hockey. Got guys coming in and out over the bench."
Cornerback Mike Jenkins is on the injury report with a shoulder injury.
So Ryan was asked specifically if Newman had an injured hamstring?
"I don’t know," Ryan said. "He is playing as best he can. Most people with the injuries he is having to nurse through and work through…. You have to commend a guy that is giving that kind of effort."
So what is Newman nursing, Ryan was asked again: "I don’t know. I don’t know. Hell, I have no idea."
The Cowboys put it on their defense with five minutes to go. But the defense could not hold a two-touchdown lead.
“Five minutes to go, all we have to do is get a stop here, get a stop there,” cornerback Terence Newman said. “We didn’t get a stop.”
The Giants drove 80 and 58 yards for the two touchdowns that won a 37-34 decision Sunday night. Eli Manning threw for 400 yards, and the Giants put 510 yards on the Cowboys.
“We didn’t make enough plays at the end, and the end result is a loss,” linebacker Bradie James said.
Newman, who had three tackles and a pass breakup that could have been a pick-six, said the Cowboys will stick together.
“We’re a team, and we stick together from top to bottom,” he said. “Nobody’s perfect, but we’re all going into it together.”
Watch the highlights of the Cowboys 37-34 loss to the Giants.
Practice kick helps Pierre-Paul to block real one
Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul was trying his best to block Dan Bailey’s 47-yard, game-tying field-goal attempt. But he couldn’t get there.
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.|
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.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and his son Stephen before the game.
Talk will abound about the Cowboys decision to not take a time out and then take a time out, essentially icing their own kicker, resulting in a missed field goal at the end of regulation of a 19-13 overtime loss to the Cardinals.
But there is plenty of blame to go around for the loss.
The offense gained only 75 yards on the ground and failed to score on five possessions inside Cardinals territory.
The Cowboys allowed just 49 yards in the first half and then 276 after intermission including a 52-yard touchdown catch by LaRod Stephens-Howling went untouched through the defense.
That is not including the block in the back penalty on cornerback Orlando Scandrick negating a 35-yard punt return by Dez Bryant that would have given the Cowboys a first down at the 25 yard line on their final drive.
The Cowboys possibly could have scored a game-winning touchdown of their own on the drive or set up a shorter field goal at the end.
And then there was cornerback Terence Newman’s interference penalty, bailing the Cardinals out of a second-and-19 situation on their game-winning touchdown drive in overtime.
This was not the stuff of a team looking to not only make a run to the playoffs but make some noise in the post season once it got there.
Photo courtesy: Richard W. Rodriguez/Star-Telegram
Dan Bailey kicked a 28-yard field goal as time expired as the Dallas Cowboys snapped the Miami Dolphins’ three-game win streak in a see-saw game in Arlington, Texas.
ARLINGTON, Texas — Forget that improbable dream of winning out after an 0-7 start.
Forget that nutty notion of a nine-win season or, almost assuredly, a miraculous late push for a playoff berth.
A late Dallas Cowboys drive, ending with Dan Bailey’s 28-yard field goal as time expired, dealt the Dolphins a heartbreaking 20-19 Thanksgiving Day loss, ensured Miami can finish no better than .500 even if it wins its final five games, and likely foiled any chance of the Dolphins scripting a magical, memorable end to this angst-filled season.
“Helplessness” is how Brandon Marshall described his emotions as he watched the Cowboys drain the clock late, with Miami out of timeouts. “This really hurts. There are a few plays, at the end, that we should have made and we didn’t.”
The Dolphins (3-8) played brilliantly at times, and valiantly throughout, but were again snakebitten by troubling early-season deficiencies, including a penchant for squandering late leads. This marked the fourth time Miami lost a game that it led with less than 6:50 left.
Ahead 19-17 and with a chance to run out the clock with 4:47 to go, the Dolphins went three-and-out, using up only 1:33.
“There wasn’t a doubt in our mind that we were going to win the game,” Davone Bess said. “In that four-minute situation, we’ve been pretty efficient buying some time and running the ball. But we didn’t.”
Dez Bryant’s 20-yard punt return gave the Cowboys possession at their 36 with 2:59 left. Jason Witten, held without a catch in the first half, caught passes of 23 and 6 yards from Tony Romo to move the ball to the Dolphins 35.
Five successive runs by DeMarco Murray – of 6, 9, 3, 4 and 5 yards – pushed the ball to the Miami 8, setting up Bailey’s winning kick, which extended his field goal streak to 26 in a row.
“Extremely frustrating,” said Reggie Bush, who ran 16 times for 61 yards. “We have nobody to blame but ourselves.”
RIchard W. Rodriguez/ Star-Telegram
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) looks to pass to DeMarco Murray as they warm up before the game against the Miami Dolphins.
ARLINGTON — Say hello to a four-game winning streak. Although they never looked in control, the Cowboys grabbed win No. 7 on Thursday, defeating the Dolphins 20-19.
Here are five thoughts on Thursday’s win over a Miami team that had won their previous three.
1.) After throwing two interceptions on his first five passes, Tony Romo bounced back to toss two touchdowns and lead a solid game-winning drive with Dallas down 19-17. He was at his best when the Cowboys needed to answer a Miami score and that’s what’s important. When it was winning time, Romo delivered, completing 7-of-10 passes for 73 yards and a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
“Boy, I’ll tell you what, he sure made big plays,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said of Romo. “That was an important win.”
2.) Laurent Robinson continues to play at a Pro Bowl level. It’s somewhat difficult to believe that a free agent receiver can come in and have the impact that he has over the last five games. During that time, Robinson has been the Cowboys’ top receiving threat and most reliable red zone target. Thursday’s two-touchdown performance gives the 26-year-old seven touchdown catches over the last five games. Is Jerry Jones already working on a long-term contract?
“We’re working hard in the red zone,” Robinson said. “I’m finding a way to get open and Tony is finding me. … I feel like I’m always flying somewhere, running fast, waving my hands in the air and he sees me and hits me.”
3.) This secondary can make it difficult to digest a Thanksgiving dinner. Whether it was poor coverage during a few key situations or some costly penalties, the Cowboys safeties and corners gave the Dolphins life on several occasions. Miami’s lone touchdown drive came courtesy of a poor defensive play by Alan Ball on third down and Terence Newman’s inability to prevent a touchdown despite committing one of the most aggressive pass interference penalties of this NFL season. Larry Fitzgerald could be in for a career-day in Week 13.
“We did some things that helped them out,” Jones said, “but at the end I think our team showed a lot of will and the players were resolved and that made the difference.”
4.) On this day, Cowboys fans should be thankful for DeMarco Murray’s ability to hang on to the football. While Murray was a dependable workhorse, again, his ball security is what helped the Cowboys get in position for the game-winning field goal. The rookie runner, who finished with 87 yards on 22 rushes, carried on five of Dallas’ final seven plays, the other two were a Romo kneel down and Dan Bailey’s field goal. There’s no way that the Cowboys are 7-4 without him.
“We like the way he’s playing,” Robinson said of Murray. “We feel comfortable with him out there and he is doing a great job.”
5.) Oh, just another game-winning field goal from the rookie. Bailey certainly made it look easy Thursday, kicking his third game-winner this season and second in as many games. It sure makes it easy on Jason Garrett, knowing he has a steady kicker, who has converted 26 in a row, at his disposal. Garrett’s coaching style equates to a lot of close games, so expect a few more clutch opportunities from Bailey before the year is done.
“The guy has saved our butts two weeks in a row,” Terence Newman said of Bailey. “The poise that he has is unbelievable. You can see his confidence as he walks around practice. Hats off to him for helping us out.”
ARLINGTON — Tony Romo doesn’t care about winning in style. He’s leading the Dallas Cowboys to victories, and that’s all that matters.
Romo overcame a pair of early interceptions by throwing two touchdown passes to Laurent Robinson and rookie Dan Bailey made a 28-yard field goal as time expired, giving the Dallas Cowboys a 20-19 victory over the Miami Dolphins on Thursday.
The Cowboys (7-4) were never able to grab control, but also never trailed by more than six points. The defense gave up scores on four straight series, but limited the damage because three of those were field goals. They finally got a stop with Dallas trailing 19-17.
Romo took over on his 36-yard line with 2:59 left. He completed a few passes, then rookie DeMarco Murray kept grinding out yards and winding down the clock to set up Bailey’s winner.
“We did enough to give ourselves a chance to win the game,” Dallas coach Jason Garrett said.
This was the second straight game that Bailey ended with a field goal, and the fourth time he’s done it this season. The kick was his 26th straight made field goal, matching the second-best in club history.
It also was a measure of redemption for Cowboys fans, coming 18 years after the Dolphins won a Thanksgiving game on a last-second field goal following Leon Lett’s memorable gaffe on a snowy afternoon. This time, conditions were so balmy that the glass end-zone doors at Cowboys Stadium were opened for the first time all season.
Dallas won its fourth straight, continuing its best streak since a division championship season in 2009. The Cowboys also grabbed sole possession of first place in the NFC East, moving a half-game ahead of the Giants. New York plays at New Orleans on Monday night.
Experience the Dallas Cowboys trip to D.C. from start to finish, as the team goes on the road and comes home with a crucial victory over the Washington Redskins.
Photo courtesy: STAR-TELEGRAM/RODGER MALLISON
Terence Newman (41), Orlando Scandrick (32) and Gerald Sensabaugh celebrate after Scandrick intercepts a pass from Washington Redskins quarterback Rex Grossman.
Dallas Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick had his first interception of the season on Sunday.
But he wasn’t in the celebrating mood after the Cowboys 27-24 victory against the Washington Redskins because the secondary gave up too many plays to quarterback Rex Grossman who completed 25 of 28 passes for 289 yards and three touchdowns.
Scandrick said he played a horrible game for giving up too many completions, being flagged twice for defensive holding, including once on the game-tying touchdown drive in the fourth quarter.
“I didn’t play my best game,” Scandrick said. “Quite frankly, I think I played bad. Made a big play, but a couple penalties, a couple missed assignments, a couple misalignments and they’re right back in the game.”
Photo courtesy: Star-Telegram/Max Faulkner
Dallas Cowboys cornerback Terence Newman (41) returns a Buffalo Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) interception for a touchdown.
Terence Newman leads the Cowboys in interceptions and pass breakups, but he’s not calling this an “I-told-you-so” year after the Dallas Cowboys tried to sign the top free agent at his position in training camp.
Or maybe he is.
“A lot of people have doubted me, and I think when, you know, you’ve got people that doubt you, you go out and you try to prove people wrong,” the veteran cornerback said Thursday at Valley Ranch. “That’s what anybody would do.”
Newman hasn’t talked to reporters much this year because he’s not interested in talking about his health, or lack of it, or revitalized career. The nine-year veteran just wants to let his play speak for him.
“I just go out and play football,” he said. “That’s why I don’t really want to talk about it, because I don’t really care about injuries. I just want to go out and play football and have fun.”
Newman has four interceptions, seven pass breakups, 34 tackles and a fumble recovery. Last week against Buffalo, he had two interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown.
How does he feel about his year?
“It’s not over,” he said. “That’s the way I feel. When it’s over, that’s when I’ll evaluate it. But there’s no halfway evaluation for me. Or this team.”
Dallas Cowboys cornerback Terence Newman has four interceptions, one shy of his career high, and he has a good chance for more this week, judging by his history against the Washington Redskins.
Newman has nine interceptions in 16 games against the Redskins. He had three in one game as a rookie against them in 2003. For his career, he’s made 67 tackles and broken up 15 passes against the NFC East rivals.
“I don’t know what it is,” he said. “I guess I’m just lucky. They say it’s better to be lucky than good. I guess I’m kind of lucky against them. I don’t know.”
Newman said he expects a tough game Sunday against the Washington Redskins, despite the Redskins’ five-game losing streak and offensive struggles.
“Hopefully we can put some things together and come out with another win,” he said. “They’ve always played us tough. I don’t think I remember a game where we’ve blown them out, but we’ve been blown out by them. So we can always expect their best.”
Here are the notes compiled by the Cowboys’ after the game:
The Dallas Cowboys 37-point win (44-7) tied the 10th-largest margin of victory in team history. It was the club’s biggest win since defeating Arizona (10/22/00) by 41 points (48-7).
Dallas’ 44 points scored today were the most for the club since racking up 45 against the N.Y. Giants (9/9/07).
The Cowboys scored a touchdown on each of their first four drives today. It was the first time the club scored a touchdown on its first three drives since doing so against Seattle (11/27/08). We are looking into the last time the club managed a touchdown on each of the first four drives, and that will not be completed tonight.
Dallas’ 28 points scored in the first half today was the most for the club in the first half since scoring 28 against Detroit (10/19/03).
Dallas also converted eight-of-12 third down opportunities. The club’s 66.7 third down conversion percentage was the third-most in team history as far back that can be researched today. The top-two spots were a 72.7 percentage(eight-of-11) at Atlanta (10/29/95) and at Cleveland (9/7/08).
For the second consecutive week, the Cowboys had three interceptions in a game. It was the 13th time in franchise history Dallas had back-to-back three-interception games. The others were in 1967, 70, 73, 77, 80, 81 (twice), 82, 83, 84, 94 and 2007.
With 433 yards of offense today, the Cowboys have five games with 400-or-more yards this season. It ties the third-highest figure in team history. The highest was eight (2009), followed by six (1979, 81, 83, 2007 and 2010) and five (1966, 68, 71, 76, 78, 86 and 88).
Photo courtesy: Khampha Bouaphanh
Dallas Cowboys cornerback Terence Newman (41) returns an interception in the fourth quarter against Buffalo in NFL football at Cowboys Stadium.
Terence Newman’s two interceptions gave him six for the season, continuing an outstanding comeback season for the veteran Cowboys cornerback.
He missed the first two games with a groin injury, and in training camp, the Cowboys were trying to sign the premier free agent cornerback, Nnamdi Asomuguha.
“He’s certainly playing well,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. “He made a number of plays on the ball. It seems like he’s very comfortable playing in the defense, and it seems like when he has the opportunity to make plays, he’s making them.”
It was the second consecutive game with an interception for Newman. He’s done that three times in his career. His fourth-quarter interception return for a touchdown was h is third career “pick-six.” And the multi-interception game was his fourth career.
His 32 interceptions tie him with Lee Roy Jordan for seventh in team history.
Frank Walker also had an interception for the Cowboys, making it back-to-back three-pick games for the team. That’s the 13th time the Cowboys have done that.
Our apologies … this video was removed from the host site.
ARLINGTON, Texas – Jerry Jones has repeatedly expressed his concerns about Dez Bryant’s injury risk on punt returns.
Those concerns are amplified by Miles Austin’s strained right hamstring, although the Cowboys won’t know the severity of that injury until getting MRI results today.
Bryant hasn’t made much of a case that the reward is worth the risk in limited opportunities on punt returns this season. He has averaged only 6.8 yards on four returns and has made two major mental errors – failing to field a punt against the Rams that bounced about 15 yards inside the Dallas 10 and fielding a punt at the 6 and losing yardage against the Seahawks.
“He’s had a couple of misjudgments in fielding the ball this year and that’s inexperience,” Jones said. “He’s of course done that in college and does have a good feel for where the ball is on the field. So I don’t know that that’s something that concerns me.
“I’m still concerned when we had him back there about his injury, especially that now that Miles may be or may not be out a couple of games.”
Bryant was spectacular as a punt returner during his rookie season, averaging 14.3 yards and scoring on two of 15 attempts. That dynamic ability is the reason coach Jason Garrett has opted to use Bryant, when healthy, as the Cowboys’ primary punt returner.
Cornerback Terence Newman also takes practice reps as a punt returner, but it makes little sense to use an injury-prone veteran starter in that role, especially with Mike Jenkins (hamstring) out at least another two games.
If the Cowboys opt to play it safe with Bryant, reserve receiver Kevin Ogletree probably becomes the primary punt returner. He’s inexperienced in that role, averaging 17.5 yards on two returns this season.
Today the Cowboys will induct Larry Allen, Charles Haley and Drew Pearson into the Ring of Honor. It’s the first time the Cowboys have conducted such an event since the Triplets in 2005.
With that we look at ten players who might be next for the Jerry Jones committee of one to consider.
Harvey Martin.No name resonates more with former Cowboys players than this man. He led the Cowboys in sacks seven times, is the unofficial franchise leader with 114 and holds the single-season mark of 23 sacks in the 1977 season. Before there was Charles Haley and DeMarcus Ware, Martin along with Randy White and Bob Lilly set the standard for pass rushers in franchise history.
Bill Bates.A special teams ace and despite making just one Pro Bowl, 1984, he was a beloved figure in Cowboys lore. When you think of outstanding special teams players in Cowboys history, Bates’ name comes up first. Nobody was better on a unit the causal fan knew nothing about.
Darren Woodson. A three-time All Pro, a five-time Pro Bowler won three Super Bowl titles. He was a talented safety who not only covered tight ends but wide receivers. His presence is still felt at Valley Ranch, because the Cowboys have not replaced him and his signature is inside a locker of former safety Roy Williams, that’s now the home of cornerback Terence Newman.
Everson Walls. He led the Cowboys in interceptions five times, is second all-time in franchise history with 44 and still holds the single-season record with 11 picks in 1981. The 11 picks is also the franchise record for a rookie. It would be nice if Walls gets in with Martin, another Dallas native.
Jimmy Johnson. The second coach in Cowboys history rebuilt the franchise and won two Super Bowl titles and the third one, XXX in 1995 was with Barry Switzer, but it was Johnson’s team. The ending was bad, but there’s no denying what Johnson meant to the franchise.
Charlie Waters. A three-time Pro Bowler at strong safety, Waters started 22 of 25 playoff games. He was a fierce hitter who gets lost because we talk so much about Cliff Harris. Waters is considered one of the top safeties in Cowboys history.
Deion Sanders.He made his mark with Atlanta, yet, Sanders was a four-time Pro Bowler, three-time All Pro and of course won one title with the Cowboys. Sanders holds the career mark for punt return average at 13.3. He was the first big money free agency signed by the Cowboys and he was a playmaker on defense and special teams.
Daryl Johnston. When Emmitt Smith broke the all-time rushing mark, he hugged this man. Johnston didn’t miss a game from 1992-to-1995. Johnston is one of the best fullbacks in franchise history, and his blocks paved the way for Smith to get a bulk of his yardage.
Danny White. The third-round pick from Arizona State, made only one Pro Bowl, and he had just one losing season in the years he started, 1987 where he compiled a 3-6 mark at age 35. He took the Cowboys to three NFC title games, never advancing to the Super Bowl. White is second in completions in franchise history at 1,761.
Mark Stepnoski.A five-time Pro Bowler who won three titles. But here’s a little known fact: He was named to the second-team of the 1990s All-Decade team. Stepnoski was a solid player during his era, not only with the Cowboys but in the NFL as well.
Cornerback Mike Jenkins said he will probably be out at least three games with a hamstring injury that sidelined him against the Eagles. It’s the continuation of injury-plagued year for Jenkins, who suffered a stinger and hyperextended knee before the season before injuring a shoulder in the season opener against the Jets. He had not been forced to miss any games until now.
Nickel cornerback Orlando Scandrick will start in his place opposite Terence Newman. Scandrick started for Newman in the season opener.
Lee dislocated his left wrist against the Eagles but will try to play with it after consulting with Dr. Bo Frederick, a hand and wrist specialist, in Dallas on Monday. A final determination on his status for Sunday’s game against the Seahawks has yet to be determined. But if he plays, he will play with cast on his wrist.
“Yeah,” responded Lee when asked if he will try to play with the cast. “We’ll see. I don’t know for sure what the plan is this week, but I’m definitely going to try to see and work with the doctors and just see how it heals and go from there.”
Lee said the there certain issues they trying to figure out with the injury and will see how it heals over the next week or so. There is a chance it could require surgery, which would end his season.
“Right now that’s a good deal,” Lee said of not having surgery. “Hopefully it will stay that way.”
Lee is an important part of the Cowboys defense, and he would be missed if he was sidelined for any significant amount of team. He leads the team in tackles, interceptions, fumble recoveries and pass deflections.
Jay Ratliff left the game late in the fourth quarter but is Ok. He went to the sidelines and was looked at by the trainers. He played numerous snaps on Sunday night with the Cowboys keeping Josh Brent inactive and with Sean Lissemore being used in his place it meant a heavy load for Ratliff.
Mat McBriar has some nerve issues in his left foot (non-kicking) which prevents him from planting. Dan Bailey replaced him and Chris Jones was signed to the practice roster on Friday as a precaution.
Here is our weekly look at the Daily News staff predictions for the Eagles game against the Cowboys, plus the key matchups:
Everybody knows about Andy Reid and the 12-0 record the week after the bye. Across the league, teams coming out of the bye haven’t fared very well this year, maybe because the new CBA put limits on the amount of work teams can do during the week off. But Reid never has his team do anything during the bye week, so I don’t see any effect there.
I do, however, try to keep in mind one basic fact about streaks: the longer they go on, the closer they are to being over. Nothing lasts forever. There was a time when Reid was absolutely unbeaten with an extra week to prepare, in any situation. Then came Super Bowl XXXIX.
I think the Eagles have to win this game to remain viable for the playoffs. Not technically, of course, but at a feel-it-in-your-gut level. Lose this, you’re 2-5, and you need to go 7-2 the rest of the way just to get to 9-7, 8-1 to get to 10-6. That probably doesn’t add up.
The Cowboys have improved their defense a bunch. The way some pundits talk, though, you’d think they suddenly became this dominant team by beating up on the Rams last week. I don’t get that. They’re 3-3. Their foldup against the Lions was worse than any of the Eagles’ second-half pratfalls this season.
I’m taking the Eagles here, by the skin of their teeth. I think Andy will have some new wrinkles for Jason Garrett, given the extra week to work. That might make the difference in a closely matched contest.
Prediction: Eagles 17, Cowboys 16
Here’s what Rob Ryan, brother of Rex and defensive coordinator down in the Big D offered up when asked about the Birds: “I don’t know if we win the all-hype team,” Ryan said in August. “I think that might have gone to somebody else, but we’re going to beat their ass when we play them.” There’s your motivation.
Now, here’s your history, Part 1: The Eagles have a magnificent 12-0 record coming off the bye week during the Andy Reid reign.
History, Part 2: Tony Romo has had seven regular-season starts against the Birds and has thrown 10 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
And it looks as if the Eagles’ walking wounded are starting to heal with DE Trent Cole and OT Jason Peters listed as probable. Great news for the Eagles as they look to climb back into contention in the muddled NFC East.
Prediction: Eagles: 28-21
Paul Domowitch: Eagles, 31-27
Ed Barkowitz: Cowboys, 24-17
Bill Conlin: Eagles, 17-16
Marcus Hayes: Eagles, 21-20
John Smallwood: Eagles, 27-24
DOMO’S KEY MATCHUPS
1. Eagles LT Jason Peters vs. Cowboys LB DeMarcus Ware: Both are perennial Pro Bowlers. Peters is coming off a hamstring injury. Ware will line up in different spots, but Peters will be matched up vs. him the most. Advantage: Even
2. Eagles WRs Jeremy Maclin, DeSean Jackson and Jason Avant vs. Cowboys CBs Terence Newman, Mike Jenkins and Orlando Scandrick: Maclin and Jackson both are on 1,200-yard receiving paces. Scandrick shut down Wes Welker 2 weeks ago. Advantage: Eagles
3. Eagles LB Moise Fokou and CB Nnamdi Asomugha vs. Cowboys TE Jason Witten. Witten’s unique combination of size, strength and athleticism makes him tough to stop. He has been targeted 20 times in last three games and has caught 17 of those passes. Advantage: Cowboys
JERRY JONES ON THE BIRDS
Some interesting comments from Jerry Jones as reported in today’s Forth Worth Star-Telegram about tonight’s matchup with the Eagles and how big it is:
“As I watched them add to their roster [in the off-season], knowing what they had at the skill positions, I circled this game as arguably the toughest road game we might have. This is the kind of game you can start a foundation, with a win that you can build significantly off of. We’ve had that happen in some of the great seasons that we’ve had.
“This is, again, that kind of game, even though their record doesn’t reflect it. They’re that kind of challenge. They’re that kind of threat. And certainly playing them at home was one that you knew was going to be hard to win. I still feel that way.”
Courtesy: Philadelphia Daily News staff