VALLEY RANCH VINDICATION VIBE: Dallas Cowboys have a chance at redemption against the Washington Redskins
IRVING, Texas – Last week’s emotionally jarring defeat is made more manageable when there’s a chance at redemption against the Redskins and moving to 2-0 in the division.
Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten admitted the days following the loss to the Denver Broncos were tough. But now five days removed, having a division rival on the slate that swept the regular season series last year makes shifting the focus easier to handle.
Witten said he continued to rewind missed opportunities from last Sunday’s game back in his head the first few days of this week, especially because it felt offensively like they’d score every time. But he knows he’s the last person that can afford to reminisce.
“There were so many big plays in the game on both ends, so it took a while (to get over),” Witten said. “But you don’t have a choice. I think as leaders on this team, people are looking around to see how you handle yourself, so you’ve obviously got to come in and move on. Really, to get to a division game, you don’t have a choice.”
The focus is now entirely on a Redskins team that confused the Cowboys with blitzes and ran down the throat of the Dallas defense, winning the first matchup last season, 38-33, and the season finale, 28-18. Tony Romo threw for 441 yards in the first loss, but he compiled just 218 passing yards in the second game and threw a combined five interceptions between the two games.
DeMarco Murray could do nothing but watch the first defeat as he nursed a foot injury. He was able to play in the finale and average 4.5 yards per carry.
“We know how important these division games are,” Murray said. “We really don’t look at records and those things, but each division game is important, and we’ve got to make most of them count.”
Witten said frustration can set in when he looks back at those losses, the latter of which forced the Cowboys out of playoff contention. Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett sent various blitzes that brought Romo down twice in the finale and forced him to throw three picks.
“They outplayed us,” Witten said. “They brought a lot of pressure against us and got there different ways. It felt like we were on our heels the entire game. We turned the ball over, did all the things you hope not to in those big games like that. It’s a tough tape to go back and watch and learn, and I’m sure we’re going to expect Jim Haslett to do the same kind of stuff. Hopefully, we’ll have some better answers this year.”
Owner/general manager Jerry Jones admitted after Sunday’s loss to the Broncos that the defeat would be tough to swallow for a few days for the Dallas Cowboys, who have a 24-hour rule to put everything behind them. Head coach Jason Garrett said earlier this week that rule can be a tough challenge, but the Cowboys need to shake off whatever success or adversity they had from the previous week.
That challenge can be even tougher for a quarterback who threw for five touchdowns and more than 500 yards, yet still lost after throwing his first interception with two minutes left. Witten has no doubt Tony Romo will bounce back this week.
He commends Romo for how he handles himself after those situations, and Witten said the offense goes as Romo goes.
“I think that’s one of the greatest traits he has as a player – he’s as composed as anybody I’ve ever been around,” Witten said. “He just has great mental toughness and composure to move forward. A lot of times as professional athletes, you think some of the most mentally tough people you know, I think he exemplifies it every time he goes out there every day.”
The Cowboys will need a resilient Romo this week against a Redskins team that’s had their number in the last two matchups with Robert Griffin III at the helm. Witten said these games are what teams play for, and the Cowboys need to find a way to get to stay undefeated in the division.
Cornerback Brandon Carr knows the defense will have to put the team in better shape to make that happen after allowing 51 points last week.
“Another high-powered offense that can get the ball down the field,” Carr said. “We have our hands full, but we better get the job done. When the ball’s in the air, you’ve got to take it away.”
As the Dallas Cowboys players and coaches prepare in Southern California for the upcoming season, club officials are in the final stages of negotiations to move their practice facility to Frisco.
Work remains before the team severs ties with its home of 28 years to travel north. It’s doubtful an announcement will be made in the next few days or weeks.
But those who privately acknowledge the discussions speak in terms of when, not if, the club departs Valley Ranch.
It appears the new facility could be part of the Frisco Station project, located on the Northwest corner of Warren and the Dallas North Tollway. Houston-based Hines recently unveiled plans to develop office, shopping and residential space on the 317-acre site.
Preliminary indications are the Cowboys would make the move before the start of the 2016 season.
Frisco officials had no comment.
The Dallas Cowboys stance has been to explore all options. But the deal Frisco officials have put in place and their persistence to get something done have left competitors Irving and Arlington in their wake.
Irving mayor Beth Van Duyne said Monday that city negotiators have suggested several locations for a new facility, including the land where Texas Stadium once stood. When she last spoke to club officials two weeks ago, she said the organization was seriously eyeing the Frisco deal.
“It’s hundreds of millions of dollars in brand new infrastructure, brand new product, that the Cowboys are basically going to fit into,” Van Duyne said.
There have been discussions of building an indoor facility the Cowboys would share with the Frisco Independent School District. The Cowboys have been without one at their current site since their practice bubble collapsed during a storm more than four years ago.
The Dallas Cowboys have called Valley Ranch home for 28 years.
That’s about to change.
The club is looking to move from what has become one of the NFL’s more outdated practice facilities. Those same sources say that Frisco is one of the cities ready to welcome the Cowboys with open arms. But they aren’t the sole suitor as club officials actively discuss a move.
Arlington officials met with the Cowboys earlier this year about building a practice facility near Cowboys Stadium. And Irving officials have made it known they don’t want to lose a franchise that has been part of the city’s fabric since Texas Stadium opened its doors and roof in 1971.
It’s difficult to pinpoint a timeframe at this stage of discussions. There are too many moving parts to project when the club will leave, although it’s clear the team will continue to practice at its current location for the 2013 season.
Still, there is no doubt about the Dallas Cowboys intention to build another practice facility.
Ground was broken on the team’s Valley Ranch practice site in November of ’83. Cowboys players and coaches reported to the practice facility in August of ’85.
Nearly three-quarters of the league’s teams have opened practice facilities since that date.
The current complex sits on 30 acres and is roughly 110,000 square feet. Renovations and additions, such as an MRI facility, have taken place periodically.
But the Cowboys do not have an indoor facility to use in inclement or freezing weather, choosing not to erect one after their practice bubble collapsed during a storm four years ago. The club also does not have the space or infrastructure for a full service dining hall, a luxury the majority of teams in the league possess.
SOMEWHAT RELATED: Nip and tuck – Cowboys Stadium to get new field
Cowboys Stadium is ready for her first nip and tuck as she approaches her fourth birthday.
A new artificial field will be in place before the Dallas Cowboys play their first home pre-season game in August. The installation will unfold in stages after the Taylor Swift concert at the stadium on May 25.
Club officials said a final decision has not been made on what to do with the existing field.
MEET THE STUDS: Dallas Cowboys’ top three 2013 Draft picks arrive at Valley Ranch for a tour and press conference (Special Feature)
Dallas Cowboys’ top three 2013 Draft picks arrive at Valley Ranch for a tour and press conference
Dallas Cowboys’ top three 2013 Draft picks inside Valley Ranch for a tour and press conference
Dallas Cowboys’ 2013 Draft pick WR Terrance Williams is greeted by Jerry Jones at the Dallas Cowboys Valley Ranch NFL Draft war room
MANY more photographs below …
IRVING, Texas – The Dallas Cowboys’ scouts will take a break from putting their draft board together today (Wednesday) to take part in the annual scouting combine known as Dallas Day.
The scouts and coaches will put local college players through a Combine style workout at Cowboys Stadium. The workout will allow Jerry and Stephen Jones and Jason Garrett to interact with those college players that might not have received an opportunity to play in an All Star game or attend the Combine.
College Scouting Coordinator Chris Hall historically has done an outstanding job of putting together a group of players that have Dallas as their hometown, along with players from SMU and TCU who are close to the complex at Valley Ranch, and this year is no different.
Each year, Dallas Day has produced better talent because of the job that programs like SMU and TCU have done with their overall program, and also because of the types of kids that are leaving the area and attending schools across the country.
From the Pro Days I was able to attend at SMU and TCU, players like
- defensive end Margus Hunt,
- running back Zach Line,
- receiver Josh Boyce and
- running back Matthew Tucker
will get their opportunity to visit with the club. Players with hometown ties to Dallas include
- quarterback Kyle Padron from Eastern Washington,
- Baylor wide receivers Lanear Sampson and
- Terrance Williams and
- Texas A&M receiver Uzoma Nwachukwu.
- Defensive ends RJ Washington of Oklahoma and
- DeMontre Moore of Texas A&M will be in as well.
When I worked in the scouting department here, Dallas Day was one of my favorite events because it gave you an opportunity not only to meet some of the top players in the area, but to see some players that might be sixth or seventh round considerations on the board. They could also be players that could become desired priority free agents after the draft. With the success that this team has had with those types of players after the draft, this day has always held great importance.
Courtesy: Bryan Broaddus | Football Analyst/Scout
RELATED: Dallas Cowboys work out local players at annual Dallas Day event
The Dallas Cowboys will host players with local ties today (Wednesday) at their annual Dallas Day at Cowboys Stadium for workouts and meetings.
Here’s a list of some players scheduled to attend the event: