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Just one week after defending Tony Romo following the Dallas Cowboys’ fourth quarter collapse against the New York Jets, Jerry Jones was validated by Romo in his team’s Week 2 overtime win over the San Francisco 49ers. Romo has cracked ribs and a punctured lung, and it’s not clear if he’ll be able to play in Dallas’ Week 3 tilt with the rival Washington Redskins. But as Jones noted on Tuesday, all that matters was that Dallas get an early-season road win and avoid an 0-2 start.
Jones talked to 105.3 The Fan in Dallas about the comeback win, the toughness displayed by Romo, and how his team will overcome the rash of injuries it’s sustained early on in the still-young 2011 season.
How important the win was against the 49ers:
“Well we needed to win that game, win a game period. We needed to win that game. We had been dealt the cards of two road games to start the season. Somebody has to do it and we did it. Two road games are tough back to back especially after the disappointment we had the week of the Jets. To come back and do it in that fashion I think is a character builder. I’m not only proud of the players, but I’m proud of Jason, the players and they just would not take no for an answer. They didn’t. I think it is something you can build. I remember my second or third year I was involved with the Cowboys, we had a big hallmark win in Washington that really made the difference and set the tone for several years to come. Wins or instances can do that and this may have been one of them. We had guys play from the beginning of the game, but we had guys play hurt. This Felix Jones injury is another one that should be noted. That’s the injury that Emmitt Smith had in the great game he played against the Giants that put us in the playoffs. Felix kept giving all his effort and that is to be noted as well.”
Whether or not Romo is going to be able to play this weekend:
“I don’t know. 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 his ability to handle pain. We know he’s got a bunch of it so we’ll see how it goes and he’ll be monitored obviously extremely closely regarding it and we’ll see how it goes. I wouldn’t dare speculate on that.”
If Miles Austin’s injury is worse than Romo’s:
“I’m probably pretty negative on Miles getting to play. It seems like we’ve been dealing with a lot of those soft tissue injuries this year and he was almost a game time decision although he knew the night before that he was going to play but we were letting him again make that decision. He had done a really good job of managing his hamstring and so when he said he could go we were glad to have him obviously. Bottom line is it doesn’t look good this week.”
There's no question about it, the Cowboys are going to be walking into their Week 3 matchup against the Washington Redskins with a collective limp. In an attempt to give their litany of injured players a chance to rejuvinate themselves, head coach Jason Garrett has given the team two consecutive days of rest, today and tomorrow, in anticipation of the Monday night tilt.
Tony Romo's rib and punctured/collapsed lung is the most obvious of the injuries, but he is far from the only one. The list of walking wounded reads like a game-opening line-up review by television broadcasters. Romo is questionable with a lung and cracked rib. His BFF suffered sympathy pains, but Jason Witten will play despite his bruised ribs. Felix Jones is expected to tough it out with a dislocated shoulder. Center Phil Costa is suffering with an aggravated PCL injury and is up in the air. Left guard Bill Nagy missed the game with a neck injury, although it appeared that Derrick Dockery was going to start anyway (the team could not have been impressed with Dockery's complete disregard for run blocking technique however).
Receiver #1A Dez Bryant missed the game with a deep thigh bruise, and admitted he'll need to have rehab work before rejoining the team. WR1 Miles Austin aggravated his hamstring pull from the preseason and after going ballistic against the Niners secondary appears doubtful for Monday nights game.Third wide receiver Kevin Ogletree appeared to tweak his ankle.
And that's just the offense. Oh boy.
On defense, Orlando Scandrick appears to still be at least one game away, and is probably out until after the Week Five bye. The one bit of good news is Terence Newman's tweet that he will definitely play against the resurgent Redskins. Newly incorporated CB Frank Walker acquitted himself rather well on Sunday, and there is now hope that Cowboys opponents won't be able to just target Alan Ball on third down, as SF did at least four or five times.
With all these injuries, the Cowboys are simply trying to tread water until they have their full compliment of troops. Two of the leagues bigger surprises, Washington and Detroit are coming to town over the next two weeks, and neither figures to give Dallas a break, other than a player's limb here or there.
The Cowboys have confirmed earlier reports that Tony Romo has a small puncture in his lungs related to his rib fracture.
Additional testing on the fractured rib of Tony Romo today revealed that he also has evidence of a pneumothorax—a condition that is not unusual for an injury such as the one Romo sustained in the game in San Francisco.
Varying degrees of a pneumothorax can heal in differing time frames. The Cowboys medical team will continue to monitor the situation and conduct additional tests as the week progresses.
Romo was injured early in the Cowboys’ 27-24 OT win over the 49ers Sunday and left the game for most of the third quarter. He returned late to lead the team back from a ten-point deficit and won it on Dallas’ first drive of the extra period.
Jason Garrett said in his Monday press conference that the Cowboys are hopeful that Romo will be able to start Monday night’s home opener versus the Redskins.
The Cowboys rode Miles Austin to a win in San Francisco Sunday, but they may have to ride on without him for the next two games. Jason Garrett would not address Austin’s hamstring re-injury during his Monday press conference, but speculation is that Austin will not be ready to play again at least until after the club’s bye week.
Dallas hosts Washington and Detroit the next two weeks before their bye. They travel to New England to take on the Patriots on October 16 after their week off.
Austin caught nine balls for 143 yards and 3 touchdowns as Dallas juggled Tony Romo and Jon Kitna and dealt with their offensive mash unit. He caught two passes on the game-tying drive, but his pitch play on the final offensive play in regulation was among the most catastrophic of the day.
For the second time in the game Austin lined up in the backfield. This time he received a pitch and decided to cut his run inside to gain yardage for a possible field goal attempt. He was hit, and he fumbled, almost costing Dallas the chance to tie the game. Dallas recovered and went on to win in overtime, but Austin also tweaked his hamstring on the play and did not participate in the overtime drive.
The Cowboys said Monday that Tony Romo's x-rays showed one broken rib, while sources told Todd Archer that Romo has a punctured lung. Jason Garrett didn’t address the lung, but in response to Acher’s question at his daily press conference, Garrett sounded confident about Romo’s chances of playing in one week.
I would not think there’s any reason to think that he won’t play Monday. We’re certainly hopeful.
Romo suffered the injury on the first drive of Sunday’s game in San Francisco on a hit by Ahmad Brooks. He continue to play in the first half but did not move the team well. After Jon Kitna played for most of the third quarter, ending three drives in a touchdown and two interceptions, Romo returned and led Dallas to a comeback win in overtime.
Near the end of the game Romo was without five offensive starters, including starting receivers Miles Austin and Dez Bryant, running back Felix Jones and center Phil Costa, but Romo turned to Jesse Holley for three catches on the last two drives, including the 77-yard pass-and-run that set up Dan Bailey's chip shot to end the game.
The staff at SB Nation Dallas makes their fearless Week 2 picks.
Week 2 provides a much more favorable matchup for the Dallas Cowboys offense, as well as fantasy owners who own Dallas' skill players. Instead of facing one of the top defenses in the league, Tony Romo and the Cowboys offense will face off against an average defense against the San Francisco 49ers.
Note: All projections are based off of standard Yahoo! league scoring.
As always, numberFire has weekly projections up. While the matchup is certainly better for Romo, the projections for him aren't too kind. Romo is only projected to be the 18th best fantasy quarterback this week, meaning he should be benched. Romo is projected to account for a meager 13.99 fantasy points this week, with QBs such as Chad Henne, Cam Newton, Eli Manning and Joe Flacco projected to have better days.
Still, it's tough for me to advocate benching Romo. He still has excellent upside, and certainly is more likely to explode for a monster game than the aforementioned quarterbacks.
Alex Smith, Romo's counterpart in Sunday's game, is certainly not worth starting or even owning. Smith is ranked as the No. 28 quarterback this week.
At running back, Felix Jones and Frank Gore are projected to have nearly identical games. Jones is ranked as the the No. 19 running back this week while Gore is the No. 20 back, with Jones projected to score 9.62 points and Gore projected to score 9.60. Both running backs are must-starts.
Not surprisingly, Miles Austin is a must start as well. Austin is projected to score 9.95 points this week, which is the tenth-best projection among wide receivers. If Dez Bryant is healthy and playing, he too is a must start. Bryant is projected as the No. 26 wide receiver this week, making him a pretty good play.
Against Dallas' secondary, Braylon Edwards is projected to have a pretty solid game. Edwards is projected by numberFire to be the 23rd best wideout this week, good for 7.67 points.
At tight end, both Jason Witten and Vernon Davis must be started. Witten is projected to score 8.75 points this week, second best among tight ends. Davis is ranked as the fourth best tight end this week by numberFire, and is projected to score 7.49 points.
Dallas' kicker, Dan Bailey, is also somebody to start this week as numberFire has him being the seventh best kicking option. Still, Bailey is relatively unproven and is a risky play despite the projections.
The Cowboys' defense isn't projected for a great fantasy game, despite facing a relatively anemic offense. Rob Ryan's unit is only projected to score 7.13 fantasy points, good for 19th among defenses. San Francisco, though, is the 12th best projected defense.
Jerry Jones revealed today that he doesn't have the same amount of confidence in second year wideout Dez Bryant being able to suit up against San Francisco on Sunday afternoon. Bryant, who suffered a thigh/knee injury on a punt return against the Jets, was listed as questionable on today's injury report. Cornerbacks Terence Newman and Orlando Scandrick are now officially out against the 49ers.
Earlier in the week we suggested that Jason Garrett might be taking a page out of Bill Belicheck's gamesmanship playbook by making sure everybody that could be, is listed on the injury report. This serves the purpose of the opposing team not knowing who is seriously hurt and who doesn't run much risk of missing the game. Maybe this is the case with Dez, although owner Jerry Jones has never really seemed to be that good of a poker player to mask things within his statements.
The Cowboys added two players to the injury list today, WR Miles Austin (knee) and LB Sean Lee (back). Both are listed as probable. Paving the way for Derrick Dockery to possibly make his first start in a Cowboys uniform, rookie LG Bill Nagy is listed as doubtful with a neck. Don't you hate when announcers say something like 'He's out with a knee'? Really? They're dating now? Don't ever say a guy is out with a groin, please.
Here's the rest of the injury report.
Probable: TE Martellus Bennett (ankle), C Phil Costa (knee), CB Mike Jenkins (shoulder), LB Anthony Spencer (shoulder) RTTyron Smith (knee).(all full participants in Friday’s practice) WR Miles Austin (knee), LB Sean Lee (back)
Questionable: WR Dez Bryant (leg)
Doubtful: LG Bill Nagy (neck)
Out: CB Terence Newman (groin), CB Orlando Scandrick (ankle)
The opening line for the Cowboys/49ers game had Dallas favored by three points. That spread remains true on bodog, BetOnline and topbet. 5Dimes has reduced the Cowboys to 2.5 point favorites.
The over/under opened at 41.5, but has since changed. All four major betting sites have moved the over/under to 42.5. As Odds Shark points out, the 49ers and Cowboys have met five times since 2000, and in each of the five games the two teams have combined to go over.
Both teams this season are 1-0 against the spread, as the Cowboys ranged between five and a half and six point underdogs against the Jets, and managed to only lose by three points.
Odds Shark has a few notable trends for this game as well, noting that the total has gone over for 13 of Dallas’ last 14 games, and five of San Francisco’s past six games.
Throughout the week following a game, the news that surfaces on the injury front needs to be taken with a grain of salt. Players put themselves through unimaginable physical stress and often times it takes longer than 24-48 hours to judge whether an injury is going to linger to the point of preventing them from playing the next contest. Around Thursday, we start to get a clearer picture for whom is going to suit up come Sunday. Normally.
When the news of Mike Jenkins and Tyron Smith's injuries surfaced Wednesday of last week, misinformation flowed freely and rapidly. There were reports that the injuries weren't serious, and those were answered with projections of 2-4 weeks on the shelf. A day later Jenkins was on the field, but Smith was not. In fact, Smith didn't return until pre-game warmups. But both played, and were two of the best Cowboys on the field.
At the time, I opined that Jason Garrett was taking a page out of Bill Beliceck's Handbook of Mystery (video taping chapters have been redacted by the NFL as if they didn't exist). The Patriots head hauncho is world famous for listing everyone with a boo boo on the New England injury report as questionable, regardless of their chance to play or not.
I love this tactic because, honestly, as a coach wouldn't you rather fool the opponent than give the Vegas insiders the neceessary information?
Wednesday's practice session saw full participation from WR Miles Austin (knee), C Phil Costa(knee) and RT Tyron Smith(knee). They are good to go. It also saw the return of TE Martellus Bennet(ankle)t, a limited participant. LG Bill Nagy(neck), and OLB Anthony Spencer(shoulder) were also limited in practice. Today, reports are surfacing that the team is looking to possibly start G Derrick Dockery in Nagy's place. This might be a good thing, as Nagy was abused by the dominant Jets defensive line.
Dez Bryant, Terence Newman and Orlando Scandrick all missed practice on Thursday. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones stated that Dez will be a go on Sunday, but Newman will not.
“He would go if we asked him to go. We’re using experience we’ve had with him. In this particular case, if we hadn’t had this similar injury before, we’d probably have him out there for the San Francisco game.”
The Cowboys are being overly cautious with Newman's groin, as the last time he had an injured man region, rushing back led to a sports hernia. Newman is what's referred to as a 'track' athlete, in that his body is more susceptible to these sorts of injuries and their lingering.
Cowboys K Kai Forbath, on the PUP list, began kicking yesterday. The team is hoping he is the answer to their placekicker problem that currently requires a field goal kicker and a kickoff specialist. He'll be eligible to play after Week 6.
In other roster news, as expected, the Cowboys signed TE Martin Rucker to the practice squad. He was released from the 53 man roster to make room for newly signed CB Frank Walker.
In his press conference on Monday, Jason Garrett said he was "optimistic, but we also have to have contingency plans in place, we've had a lot of different discussions as to what to do," when asked about replacing Orlando Scandrick. To that point, the team had yet to hear medical results for after Scandrick's ankle injury. Today, the Cowboys made a move to address the depleted secondary.
Veteran cornerback Frank Walker, last seen with the Tennessee Titans, impressed the coaching staff enough in a workout Tuesday to be signed to the 53 man roster. Walker is an eight year veteran, who was released by Tennessee during the final round of cuts. To make room for the new corner, the team released TE Martin Rucker. Rucker was the fourth tight end who received a chance to play when Martellus Bennett suffered a high ankle sprain against Minnesota in the preseason.
In another roster move, Dallas released FB and converted linebacker Isaiah Greenhouse from their practice squad. The move could have been to make room for Rucker to return to the PS, where he spent most of 2010.
Following these moves, the Cowboys continued to adjust the roster by bringing back fullback Tony Fiammetta. Fiammetta was signed briefly after final cuts, but released prior to the Jets game. "Saavy" Stephen Jones won't be on the hook for Fiammetta or Walker should they be released down the line, as contracts are guaranteed for the year only if a player is on the week one roster.
The player that the Cowboys released to make room for the fullback, WR Laurent Robinson, will get paid a year's worth of salary. The outcast from the Rams must not have dazzled in his short time at Valley Ranch. Or maybe the Cowboys watched all the receivers who beat him out in The Lou drop pass after pass on Sunday. That's right, Laurent Robinson is going to be paid almost three-quarter's of a million dollars for attending two practice sessions.
The team is hopeful that CB Terence Newman can return from his groin injury this week, as they target his and Bennett's return to practice on Wednesday.
Tony Romo and the Cowboys head to San Francisco as they look to forget about their painful Week 1 loss against the Jets.
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