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Phil Costa told the media after the Cowboys’ 18-16 win over the Redskins Monday night that his numerous mistimed snaps were caused by Redskins defenders shouting out snap counts, simulating Tony Romo’s calls. Romo just wants to fix the problem, one way or another.
We’ve got to get the snap thing worked out. Costas said the D line kept calling the snap count. We’ll tell the league. You’re not supposed to be able to do that.
The practice is techinically illegal, but Washington was not penalized. Costa snapped the ball four times before Romo was prepared, all resulting in fumbles and lost yards.
The fourth almost cost Dallas the game. Romo recovered that fumbled snap for an 11 yard loss, setting up a 3rd-21 that Romo and Dez Bryant miraculously converted and set up a game winning field goal, all in one play.
The lack of calls on simulated snaps were just one set of several thatmade for a controversial night for Ed Hochuli’s crew.
Tony Romo had to feel like some supernatural force wanted him to lose to the Redskins Monday night. He entered the game nursing a freshly broken rib and a punctured lung that the Cowboys claimed had healed four days earlier (and four days after the puncture), so he needed a big effort from his teammates. His supporting cast wasn't able to produce many such efforts.
His center Phil Costa missed four snap counts, leading to four fumbles and big losses. His receivers, led by Kevin Ogletree, missed several line calls and made bad reads. He did get a big game from Felix Jones, who totaled 155 yards on 17 touches, but Jones had to leave late with his own recurring shoulder injury. His replacement, Tashard Choice, ran out of bounds on the team's last offensive play, giving the Redskins an extra timeout for their final drive.
Romo's defense did limit the Redskins to 16 points, his rookie kicker hit all six field goals, and his Cowboys - led by their injured QB - gutted out another tight win. That win moves the Cowboys into a three-way tie with the Giants and Redskins atop the NFC East and leaves the Eagles a game behind in last. As is sometimes the case against those Redskins, though, nothing was easy.
Six first half field goals left nothing settled at the half, as both teams failed to take advantage of great field position via turnovers - one of those another interception by Sean Lee. Romo was picked by Kevin Barnes in the Cowboys' first drive of the third quarter, and the Redskins responded with what was easily their best drive of the game, a nine-play, 74-yard drive that ended with Tim Hightower catching the game's only TD from one yard out. Dallas would kick their fourth field goal on their next drive, leaving the margin at four.
Rob Ryan's defense finished strong for the second straight week, forcing three straight punts and holding Washington to no more than two series in a drive. On their second drive of the fourth quarter, the Cowboys looked to be on their way to grabbing the lead. First downs at the Washington ten and two yard lines weren't fruitful, though, as the Skins stuffed the Cowboys' red zone run game, and Romo could not get on the same page with his receivers.
Dallas would get the ball back at their 14 for one final chance, trailing by one with 3:44 remaining. Romo hit Jason Witten and Ogletree to move the ball to the Dallas 41, but Costa's fourth mistimed snap chased Romo back 11 yards. An incomplete pass on second down brought up a seemingly insurmountable 3rd-21 from the 30. The Redskins showed a heavy blitz and came up the middle. Romo managed to reach the perimeter, buying time for Dez Bryant to change his route and race up field. Romo hit him in stride for 30 yards, and a face mask by DeAngelo Hall tacked on 15 more.
Now at the Washington 25, Dallas went conservative, handing to Choice three times to run clock. On third down, with 1:41 and two Skins timeouts remaining, Choice made his potentially fateful decision to run out of bounds, even though he had no yardage to gain. Dan Bailey hit his sixth field goal of the night and third from 40 yards or more, but with all of that time remaining, the Dallas defense would have to stand tall.
They did just that, once again. A false start pushed Washington back to their 15 to start the drive. Three Rex Grossman passes moved them to their 43, but he threw incomplete on first down with 43 seconds remaining. On second down, Grossman was flushed to his left, and Anthony Spencer chased him down and swatted the ball loose as he sacked the QB. The ball squirted forward right to Lee, who hung on for his second turnover of the game.
There was more relief than jubilation around Cowboys Stadium, but Romo and the Cowboys gutted out a second ugly - and mandatory - win, keeping pace in their division and buying more time to heal their growing corps of injured players.
It wasn't a Cowboys-Redskins Monday Night Football classic, but it was a suspenseful September game and could well be one that determines a race in December. Cowboys 18, Redskins 16, on to the trainers tables and then the Detroit Lions.
The Dallas Cowboys are back on the national stage, as they play host to the Washington Redskins on Monday night. Surprisingly, the Redskins lead the NFC East with a 2-0 record currently, but that didn't help them with the odds makers. Despite the better record, the Redskins are underdogs.
Many gambling sites didn't have a line listed until recently for the Dallas/Washington game, with the uncertainty surrounding Tony Romo and his status for the game. Romo, though, declared himself good to go, and will suit up to start at quarterback in Dallas' home opener.
Dallas, as aforementioned, are the favorites tonight, with 5Dimes and BetOnline listing Dallas as three point favorites, while bodog and topbet list the Cowboys as three and a half point favorites.
The over/under fluctuates slightly, with 5Dimes and BetOnline listing it at 44.5, bodog listing it at 45 and topbet listing it at 45.5. As the trends on OddsShark point out, Dallas has gone over on 14 of their last 15 contests, making the over bet look pretty appealing, especially at 44.5.
The game, just like any other Monday Night Football game, can be found on ESPN, with kickoff scheduled for 7:30 p.m. CDT. Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden and Ron Jaworski will, for better or for worse, call the game.
The wins may not be their for Monday Night's two competitors over the years, but the rivalry is still huge.
Tony Romo visited with ESPN’s pregame Sunday NFL Countdown and assured that he would be ready to play Monday night when the Cowboys host the Redskins.
I’m getting better as the week goes on. I’ll deal with it over the course of the next month, but I’ll be good to go this week.
“It” is the cracked rib that will take several more weeks to heal, but the Cowboys said that his small lung puncture had healed just four days after the injury, according to another CT Scan.
Jason Garrett has seemed confident that Romo would play this week, despite the injuries and Romo’s official status as ‘questionable’ for the game. Romo did not practice on Thursday or Friday, but he did participate on Saturday.
The Redskins typically play Romo well, holding him to 210 yards passing per game and averaging right at an interception. They’ve only sacked him seven times in eight games, though, and they will want to hit him to make him uncomfortable. Romo is averaging 344 yards per game this season, despite missing a quarter against the 49ers.
Week 3 is highlighted by an AFC East showdown, an NFC Championship rematch and Dallas' home opener on Monday Night Football against the Redskins.
As soon as practice kicked off today, the twitter world was abuzz with reports of who suited up and who didn't. It appears the Cowboys will in fact have a number one receiver, as Dez Bryant is going through drills and looks to be a go for Monday night.
Paging DeAngelo Hall... Mr. Hall... reality on Line 88.
Running back Felix Jones, he of a dislocated shoulder, also returned to the grid iron for some football goodness. For what it's worth, the Cowboys will have their full complement of running backs to challenge the Redskins. Washington's run defense is ranked dead last in Run Defense DVOA (31.0%) according to Football Outsiders metric. (Dallas run D is ranked 3rd overall in case you were wondering.) The Cowboys run blocking has been horrendous so far this year, though against some of the league's best run stopping units.
Center Phil Costa also made his return, meaning that the struggling Cowboys offensive line will at least have their preferred solution at four of the five spots. Derrick Dockery replaced left guard Bill Nagy on merit before Nagy's midweek injury. Dockery is not hurt, and Nagy is returning to starter status.
What about the quarterback, you ask? Tony Romo did not practice today, however his participation Monday night is now officially a 'pain management' issue. Reports say that a CT scan performed Thursday showed that
Wolverine's Romo's lung puncture has healed.
The weekly edition of Showtime's 'Inside The NFL' aired on Wednesday night for the first time, and the expert panel was treated to a Tony Romo surprise interview. Romo was live via satellite and was able to respond to several things, including the criticism he received from analyst Warren Sapp throughout the offseason and following the collapse against the Jets in Week 1.
Romo again admitted to being at fault for the turnovers, and graciously accepted Sapp's opinions to be those of someone with 'skins of the wall'. Speaking of Skins on the wall... it's Redskins Week and I'm sure DeMarcus Ware and the Ryan Boys are thinking the exact same thing, but we digress. Host James Brown intimated that there was plenty of fault for the the last interception by Darrell Revis to be placed at the feet of others, per an off-camera discussion with analyst and former QB Phil Simms.
As for the injury, Romo had the following to say.
(On his mindset before returning to Sunday's game after suffering the injury)
ROMO: "The biggest thing going through my brain was just, ‘You just don't want to go 0-2 in the NFL.' That, really, is just such a hole to be in. It's so hard to come out of. That was really the thing that kept going through my brain...If I can do anything here. I just don't want to be sitting here on Monday or Tuesday thinking that we're 0-2."
(On his lung/rib injury and his ability to play on Monday night)
ROMO: "On the rib side, just breathing, sometimes, is harder than I want it to be. I know that... If it's a pain related thing, it sucks but you can usually play. Either you can go out and move around or you can't. If it's an in-between thing, usually you end up playing. It's football season and usually football players play football during football season."
I'm not a doctor, but I have stayed in a Holiday Inn before. During the interview, Romo appeared extremely limited in his body movement. He even referenced to the panel that they shouldn't try to make him laugh.
Inside The NFL was rather sneaky, and the gem of the appearance occured slightly later in the show. They showed video of Romo getting up from his interview chair, and to say that he looked extremely hampered would be an understatement. Romo rose from the seat as gingerly as an old lady, and the impression was that it will be very difficult for him to absorb a game's worth of NFL hits. There were five full days before Monday night's kickoff however, and a kevlar vest (made by a company that endorses Michael Vick) and a serious pain numbing cocktail will still probably allow him to give it a go against Washington.
The team returns to practice today after two days off, so we will begin to learn more about his availability over the next few days.
At least one member of the Washington Redskins is going to be coming after Tony Romo's ribs. Washington cornerback DeAngelo Hall said on Wednesday that he wants "a chance to put his helmet on whatever's hurt."
Per ESPN Dallas:
"Absolutely. I want to get a chance to put my helmet on whatever's hurt," Hall said. "Romo's ribs -- I'm going to be asking for some corner blitzes. If I know Felix Jones' shoulder's hurt, I'm not going to cut him. I'm definitely going to try to hit him up high, so that's just part of it.
"If you know something's wrong with an opponent, you're going to try to target in on that. We're going to try to definitely get as many hits on that team as possible."
That Hall of all people is targeting Romo isn't terribly surprising. It is surprising, though, how brazen Hall is about looking specifically target Romo's ribs.
On the first of two-days off for the Dallas Cowboys, owner and general manager Jerry Jones is starting to provide a bit of cover for severely injured quarterback Tony Romo. Romo, who has a fractured rib, a punctured/collapsed lung and chance to be the NFL QB of the week, is one of several banged-up Cowboys heading into the Monday night slugest against the Washington Redskins.
"I don't know," Jones said. "I really don't. I understand the nature of the injury as much as you can without being in medicine. We'll just have to see how it goes. It has everything to do with just his ability to handle the pain, and we know he has a bunch of it."
The Cowboys’ revolving door at the bottom of their roster continues to churn this week, as Laurent Robinson has been brought back as cover at the receiver spot and Bryan McCann has been released to open a roster spot. Robinson had been signed before the first week of the season, but he was cut so that the club could bring back Tony Fiammetta … who had also been cut days before.
Dallas needs depth among their receiving corps after Dez Bryant missed Week 2 with a groin injury and Miles Austin re-injured his hamstring in Week 3. That could leave them with Kevin Ogletree and Jesse Holley starting against Washington Monday night, with rookie Dwayne Harris and Robinson as their backups.
McCann slipped quickly, struggling badly against the Jets, then not playing on defense against the 49ers despite numerous injuries at corner. He had been a cult hero of sorts after his big defensive and special teams returns for touchdowns helped Jason Garrett turn the season around in the season’s second half.
Dallas' 2011 home opener comes in Week 3 as they play host to the NFC East leading Washington Redskins.