Romo Is "Part of the Solution and Not the Problem": Staubach Talks to Huffington Post

Categories: Dallas Cowboys
Tony Romo - 49ers.jpg
Yesterday over on Unfair Park, a few folks asked if maybe we could go ahead and re-open the Sportatorium, if only to give y'all a place to chit and chat in an open thread. To which I said: Sure, let's do that.

Moments ago Huffington Post a Q&A with one Captain America, who addresses myriad topics -- chief among 'em, the late-game play of one Tony Romo, named by 111 NFL players as the second-most overrated player in the game at the mid-season mark. Roger Staubach doesn't agree; matter of fact, he thinks the Cowboys are looking more and more like a playoff team, if not a Super Bowl conten ... well, let's not get carried away.
Why do you think Tony Romo has so often struggled late in games?

Tony is a great athlete, and he's made a lot of big plays. [He's made] more than some he hasn't made. I think getting Jason Garret as the head coach, he's really working with Tony as far as the whole team concept. They've stumbled a little bit this year. They believe a whole lot in Tony. If we had this conversation at the end of the year -- I'm going to predict that this team is going to end up as a playoff team. Right now, they've had maybe everything go wrong, and the second half it will go right. But I'm a Romo fan. I think Tony is part of the solution and not the problem.
Read the whole thing here. You know what to do after.

Without Dez Bryant and Miles Austin, Cowboys' Receiving Corps is ... Yuck.

Categories: Dallas Cowboys

Jesse Holley - Niners.jpg

​The question isn't if Cowboys' quarterback Tony Romo is going to play against the Washington Redskins Monday night. (He will.)

It's who the heck is he gonna throw to? (Who knows?)

With Miles Austin out (hamstring) and Dez Bryant iffy (thigh), the Cowboys are in danger of being left ridiculously thin at receiver. As in, without those two starters I think the Cowboys' quartet of receivers will be its worst set of targets in a game since way back in the days of 1-15 in 1989.

Yep, I'm talking forgettable players 22 years ago like James Dixon, Derrick Shepard and Cornell Burbage. The Cowboys have usually had a Michael Irvin or Rocket Ismail or Joey Galloway or Terry Glenn or Keyshawn Johnson or Terrell Owens or Miles Austin or Dez Bryant in their arsenal.

But on Monday night Romo could be throwing to top three receivers with a combined 17 catches and exactly 0 touchdowns.

And the pedigree?

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Yeah, But What if Tramaine Brock Had Seen Miles Austin's Fumble?

Categories: Dallas Cowboys

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​Tony Romo was gutsy last Sunday in San Francisco, but because the Cowboys lost he wasn't heroic.

Jason Garrett should be fired for his insane 3rd-and-2 play call in the final minute that led to the loss to the 49ers.

Dan Bailey might be a former NFL kicker.

Jesse Holley is just a guy who made a couple of innocuous NFL catches.

Miles Austin is not only hurt, but the target of this week's avalanche of criticism for fumbling at crunch time.

And your Cowboys are 0-2, headed nowhere fast.

That's what we were staring at if things had gone only slightly different in Candlestick Park. Instead, a fumbled football apparently turned invisible long enough for the Cowboys to escape and the inverse to occur.

Romo is a gritty hero that rallied to his team from 10 points down in the 4th quarter. Bailey has a job thanks to two clutch field goals. Holley is a rising star who caught the 77-yard game-winning-setter-upper. And the Cowboys are 1-1 entering their home opener.

Hope floats.

Austin (hamstring) is no-go for Monday. Romo (punctured lung and all) is expected to play. Terence Newman Tweeted that "I'm back." And we'll have to see about Dez Bryant, but I'd expect to see him in Cowboys Stadium against the Redskins.

Now, about the head coach and that play call ...

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Tony Romo's Top 5 Performances

Categories: Dallas Cowboys

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Jerry Jones said he was "outstanding" despite last week's loss to the Jets. Sunday afternoon in San Francisco the owner almost shed a tear in talking about the quarterback's gutsy performance in a 27-24 overtime victory over the 49ers.

It's already been a controversial, mesmerizing, fluctuating season for Cowboys' quarterback Tony Romo. And we're only in Week 2.

A look at where Sunday's performance ranks on Romo's hit list:

5. 10-8-07 -- After committing a gaudy six turnovers (five interceptions and a fumble), he leads Dallas to an 80-yard scoring drive in the final minute and then hits completions to Terrell Owens and Patrick Crayton after an onside-kick recovery to set up Nick Folk's 53-yard game-winning field goal in a wild Monday Night Football win over the Bills in Buffalo.

4. 12-9-07 -- Capping a 302-yard passing game and clinching home-field advantage throughout the NFC Playoffs, he hits Jason Witten with a perfect 16-yard touchdown pass with 18 seconds left to rally the Cowboys past lowly Detroit.

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Cowboys 27, 49ers 24 (OT): My Top 10 Observer-ations

Categories: Dallas Cowboys

Tony Romo - 49ers.jpg
10. Like me, were you scared to death that Jesse Holley was going to fumble while holding the ball up in premature exclamation at the end of his 77-yard overtime catch?

9. Rob Ryan may be a defensive genius, but it doesn't show when he has Anthony Spencer trying to cover tight ends 30 yards down field.

8. Who's worse? Jon Kitna throwing the ball or Alan Ball covering a receiver? I know Kitna had a touchdown and Ball an interception, but neither are plus players.

7. Was one of the refs actually using a pager to get info from the booth confirming Kyle Williams' second-quarter touchdown catch?

6. One of the biggest forgotten plays of the day was the offside penalty on San Francisco linebacker Ahmad Brooks. Without it, the Cowboys are down 14-0 and punting from their own 42 with only three minutes left until halftime. Instead, after a stay of execution it was Romo to Miles Austin for 53 yards and his first of three receiving touchdowns. From there, game on.

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Leon Lett Finally Apologizes for His Cowboys Blunders. Sorta. With a Snickers.

Categories: Dallas Cowboys

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Got this letter the other day, from "The Desk of Leon Lett":

Even though I have three Super Bowl rings, made two Pro Bowl appearances and recorded 22 sacks during my 10-year NFL career, I'm only remembered for two mistakes. Including one monumental mistake I committed on an icy Thanksgiving Day in Dallas.

You know the blunder I'm talking about ... I don't need to remind you.

But I'm telling you that it wasn't my fault. I was only doing what my coach asked.

Ears perked. Curiosity piqued. Go onnnnn ...

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TV Ratings: Rangers + Mavericks + Stars < Cowboys

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​I run a buffet here. Not every customer will like everything I put out, but hopefully most will find a little something to keep them coming back.

I get this complaint frequently: "Why don't you write more about the Rangers? They're winning!" (Beat the Indians last night. AL West lead still at 3. Magic number down to 12. You happy now?)

My menu philosophy goes like this: The Cowboys -- win or lose -- are a daily staple. The Rangers and Mavericks are seasonal delicacies. When I'm in Arizona for spring training my offerings are decidedly baseball and when the Rangers begin the playoffs I'll have Top 10 Observer-ations immediately after each game, road or home.

But when in doubt, Cowboys.

Why? Because that's what the bulk of my customers demand.

Proof ...

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Injury Concerns Aside, Dez Bryant Needs to Return Kicks for the Cowboys

Categories: Dallas Cowboys

Dez Bryant - Punt return.jpg
Let's face it: If the Cowboys are going to be anything but mediocre in 2011, Dez Bryant has to be effective. And to be effective, he's first got to be healthy.

Bryant caught three passes for 71 yards early against the Jets, then disappeared in the game's final 52 minutes. Cramps on a 70-degree night. Then a bruised leg suffered on a punt return. By the fourth quarter he couldn't run, couldn't jump. NBC's Cris Collinsworth tagged him a "liability".

Ouch.

But he's right. Nothing against Miles Austin, but if Dez is a decoy, the Cowboys are doomed.

He's now been injured in his last two NFL games: Breaking his ankle last December against the Colts and bruising his quad last Sunday night in New York. Both came on kick returns.

Nonetheless, the Cowboys are fools if they don't have the dangerous Dez returning kicks this week in San Francisco ... and beyond.

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Fine, You Wanna "Trade Tony Romo"! Um, For Whom, Exactly?

Categories: Dallas Cowboys

Romo SI.jpg
In the wake of his infuriating, game-losing Texas two-stub Sunday night in New York, Cowboys' quarterback Tony Romo is in the middle of a familiar tug-o'-war.

In this corner: Supporters who claim he's an elite player who simply, spectacularly goofed up trying to aggressively make plays to seal the upset win for his team. And over here: Trade the effin' bum!

Owner Jerry Jones weighed in this morning on his weekly radio show on 105.3 The Fan with a ringing endorsement:

"I thought Tony played one of his best games ever Sunday night. ... He's a winner. We're gonna rise and fall with Tony Romo over the next couple of years. ... Don't drop Romo. He's our ticket."

I read some comments on this blog and took lotsa calls on the radio Monday concerning Romo after his crucial fumble/interception gaffe in the 27-24 loss to the Jets for which he has taken full responsibility. After watching the Patriots throw for half-a-thousand last night we're reminded that Romo is no Tom Brady. He also, however, is no Tarvaris Jackson.

While I'm not promising Romo will ever mature into even Danny White, I'm also suggesting those who scream "the Cowboys will never win a Super Bowl with him at quarterback" remember a time when they yelled something similar about a team called the Mavericks and a player named Dirk Nowitzki.

Since Troy Aikman's retirement in 2000 most of us Cowboys fans have endured the likes of Randall Cunningham, Quincy Carter, Anthony Wright, Ryan Leaf, Clint Stoerner, Chad Hutchinson, Vinny Testaverde, Drew Henson, Drew Bledsoe, Brad Johnson, Brooks Bollinger, Jon Kitna and Stephen McGee. See, Romo ain't that bad.

He also, of couse, ain't this good:

"I'll take that guy over anybody in the league," linebacker Keith Brooking lied Monday at Valley Ranch. "Y'all might think I'm crazy, but he's going to have an all-time year. He's going to shatter every record."

At 31 and with five years starting, 4,000-yard seasons, a playoff win and multiple Pro Bowls on his résumé, Romo should be at the peak of his career.

Truth: Romo's somewhere in between the polar opposites of stud and shit. But where exactly?

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There is Good News Football Fans: Jason Witten Will Retire as a Cowboy

Categories: Dallas Cowboys

Jason Witten - Jets.jpg
One day Jason Witten will go into the Cowboys' Ring of Honor. And likely the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

But all we needed from him Sunday night in New York was a decent stiff-arm.

Without one as a touchdown-generating exclamation point, the Cowboys collapsed in a kick-to-the-crotch, 27-24 loss to the Jets.

Witten is already the best tight end in Cowboys' history -- sorry, Jay Novacek -- and last night he almost sealed an upset opener. With Dallas leading 24-17 Witten beat safety Eric Smith on a seam route and hauled in a beautiful Tony Romo pass perfectly in stride and headed for what would have likely been the deal-sealing touchdown.

But as safety Jim Leonhard caught him inside the 10, Witten attempted to fend him off and get into the end zone. No such luck. The play -- with 10:25 remianing -- set up Dallas at the 3 and had owner Jerry Jones jumping in his suite, but the Cowboys found multiple ways to screw it up after that.More »

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