Answering some key questions about the New York Giants-Dallas Cowboys game…

We’re just a day away from the New York Giants-Dallas Cowboys game at Cowboys Stadium, as Dallas hopes to earn its first win over the G-Men at their new home stadium. Oh, and all that other stuff that’s at stake in the NFC East. “I don’t have any magical secrets,” Giants defensive lineman Justin Tuck said about his team’s streak in Cowboys Stadium. “But I hope it continues.” Lots of questions abound about this one. Want a quick, day-before-game run-through? Let’s get to some stuff we didn’t hit on during the week… Q: How do the Giants view Cowboys WRs, especially Dez Bryant? Answer from CB Corey Webster: “I mean, I’m not sure who’s going to show up. But, we don’t […]

Lots of rush to judgment about the Cowboys… just not in this building

It’s always interesting how a team will react to a lose. A close loss will often draw out the emotional response. An ugly, beat-down like they suffered in Seattle? Well, who knows? The Cowboys were even-keeled today, several days after licking their wounds. There wasn’t shock or anger or panic. Just a business-like sense of trying to figure out what went wrong. That comes from coach Jason Garrett, and the players are buying in. As with any Cowboys team — one that deals with so much media coverage either way — that’s key. Not listening to all the hoopla wanting to anoint them in Week 1 and crush them in Week 2. As DL Marcus Spears told me, they knew […]

Cowboys QB Tony Romo and others are very optimistic about TE Jason Witten playing Wednesday…

The status of Cowboys TE Jason Witten is in doubt leading up to Wednesday’s game against the Giants. Reports have gone back and forth about whether he’ll play, mostly because it’s so tough to tell when it comes to internal organs like a (lacerated) spleen. Yet Witten has practiced over the last two days, which is more than a good sign. If he is medical cleared, you better believe he’ll be out there. And now, the optimism is building to where it looks like he’ll go. Don’t believe me? Ask QB Tony Romo. “I’ve played with Jason for a long time, so I don’t think you’re really going to be able to replace him,” Romo said a few minutes ago. […]

The official word on the Dez Bryant Rules and what else is up with the Cowboys…

Hello from Valley Ranch, where the Dallas Cowboys have finished up practice for the day. They play the Miami Dolphins in their final preseason game on Wednesday, but that’s really for the lower-rung guys. For the good guys, it’s all about the New York Giants. That’s the season opener, and the nation will be watching. The biggest points of discussion today are the Dez Bryant rules, which ESPN Dallas discussed on Saturday night, and which we can confirm. Want some reaction to that and other highlights? — Cowboys coach Jason Garrett was ready for the question about it, and his company line was a strong one. Yes, Dallas wants to offer Bryant support, surrounding him with a security force, banning […]

Reactions and reflections from a Cowboys perspective on the preseason win over the Rams…

Things have wrapped up here at Cowboys Stadium, as the Cowboys took a 20-19 win over the Rams in the third preseason game for both teams. Special thanks to St. Louis coach Jeff Fisher for going for a PAT after his team had pulled within two in the final minutes. Major props there. We’ll hit this from a Rams perspective tomorrow … but want some Cowboys notes? — First, some not good news. Nose tackle Jay Ratliff left the locker room on crutches, and owner Jerry Jones said he had suffered an ankle sprain. Jones wouldn’t speculate on the severity, with more tests scheduled tomorrow, but he could miss some time. Not good. Of course, Ratliff sat out the first […]

Kind and gentle Giants DE Justin Tuck wishes a speedy recovery for Jason Witten (after the opener)

Justin Tuck prematurely apologized if his words sounded slurred. The Giants DE had just set a Guinness World Record in New York City by leading a group of 250 people in simultaneously making Subway club sandwiches to celebrate avocado season. Those were then donated to City Harvest, a food rescue charity. Now, doing this interview with me over the phone, Tuck was eating another Subway sandwich. “There was a lot of energy, a lot of fun, and a great opportunity to donate 250 sandwiches to City Harvest,” Tuck said. “They took all of those, but now I’m eating another one right now. If you hear my mumble a little bit, that’s what it is.” Good to know. Man, is he polite. […]

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones says he finally had a “great visit” with WR Dez Bryant

For the past couple days, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones had avoided talking to Dez Bryant. The WR had been arrested, and Jones told a radio station that he was “too pissed” to do so. All that stems, of course, from Bryant’s arrest for allegedly hitting his mother. Well, that has changed. Perhaps this situation is quieting down for Dallas. Jones acknowledged that his “disappointment” with Bryant was why he hadn’t talked with him. “That’s one of the main reasons,” Jones said. “You know as a daddy sometimes, you’re not supposed to spank when you’re mad. I wanted to get the information, like I said the other day, but I also wanted to get my mind right so we could really […]

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said, WHAT? Some context…

Just a quick thought before we head out to practice… Yesterday, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones raised more than a few eyebrows for some comments he made during the pep rally before the team’s first practice. (Yes, there was a pep rally, complete with cheerleaders.) It was loud, the band was playing, the fans were cheering, and Jones was amped. Jones told the screaming masses to “come to Cowboys Stadium and watch us beat the Giants’ ass.” Crowd went nuts, reporters (like this one) reached for Twitter. Cue pandemonium. It led to some reaction today, specifically from the Cowboys peeps and Giants fans, who are going nuts. Coach Jason Garrett wisely sidestepped the remarks, saying, “Jerry Jones owns this football team and […]

Cowboys QB Tony Romo takes pride in saying the player he was in 2009 was ‘laughable’

This is a little bit of a TiVo delay here, as the Dallas Cowboys just finished their walk-through this morning in Oxnard, Calif. And there were people who spoke after practice today, including CB Brandon Carr and RB DeMarco Murray, who are noteworthy. But I wanted to bring it back to last night for a minute. About 8 p.m. central time (late), QB Tony Romo talked to reporters, and I know his comments got missed by some. So, before we go forward, let’s review. And what I was struck by was Romo’s assessment of his past play. He became the starter in 2006, leading the team to a 6-4 record. And of course, by 2009, he was a star, going […]

Live from Tahoe: Cowboys TE Jason Witten is saddened about, but supportive of, Dez Bryant

The biggest news for the Dallas Cowboys heading into training camp was WR Dez Bryant’s arrest last week. And many have weighed in about what it means. Out here in South Lake Tahoe, legendary RB Emmitt Smith offered some thoughts, and so did WR Miles Austin. Late yesterday, another key figure on this year’s team spoke on the subject. TE Jason Witten, one of the team leaders, sounded as conflicted as could be expected when I asked him about Bryant’s arrest. Yes, he’s a teammate. But Witten also expressed disappointment. What did he tell me? “I don’t know enough about the situation to really comment too much on it until I get further information, but I support him as a […]

Live from Tahoe: Cowboys legend Emmitt Smith won’t “pile on” Dez Bryant, does offer advice

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant made news earlier this week when he was arrested on a charge of domestic violence. Not what the team wanted right before camp (or ever). While Bryant hasn’t spoken, his lawyer has. So has his advisor and a few Cowboys greats. While putting here in South Lake Tahoe for the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship, former star RB Emmitt Smith didn’t want to talk about it. He wondered what good would come of it. Then, he added, “There’s enough people commenting on it, anyway, anything I do is going to be piling on.” Well, maybe. But Smith did offer some insight on the situation surrounding Bryant. He did explain his view on how to handle […]

Live from Tahoe: Cowboys WR Miles Austin enjoys his down time, avoids Dez Bryant talk

The final foursomes are out on the course here in South Lake Tahoe, which means we’re about to wrap up for the day. Don’t worry, we’ll be back at it again tomorrow. But first, let’s hear from a familiar face — Cowboys WR Miles Austin. He finished hitting balls on the range — in between signing an endless string of autographs — and stopped to talk. Austin was in good spirits, talking up the Cowboys’ devotion to physical fitness … but not wanting to discuss what’s up with recently arrested WR Dez Bryant. “It’s important to all of us (to stay in shape), and I feel like everyone’s been doing a good job staying in shape, especially after we broke […]

On Father’s Day, Cowboys TE Jason Witten reflects on his upbringing and what today means

Last week, I caught up with Cowboys TE Jason Witten before minicamp to offer a preview and talk about a few things. He was at a charity event for children, and it was billed as a pre-Father’s Day event. For Witten, I thought that was interesting. Witten has been open in the past about his difficult upbringing, which included some troubling circumstances with his parents. His father was not around. Witten finally found stability living with his grandfather, but he has taken steps through his community work to help children who deal with domestic violence. It’s fantastic that he’s open about his past and the tough time he had with his own father. (They now sound like they are working to […]

My story: What we learned from the Cowboys as they head into the offseason

The Cowboys finished up minicamp today, and it got a little chippy at the end. That’s cool. It was intense. Coach Jason Garrett and his guys ended on a positive note, and there was a lot to like. I may be in Philadelphia now, but I’ve spent a ton of time during this offseason in Dallas. I live there now, so I’ll be spending even more time. Anyway, as the ‘Boys wrap up their offseason it’s starting to take shape what they’ll look like in 2012. The thing that jumps out to me the most is that not only is QB Tony Romo saying all the right things, but he’s also in a serious position to succeed with the talent […]

One man’s view on why so few top 10 rookie contracts are done…

The summer is almost upon us, with most teams finishing up their minicamps this week. For those who aren’t, they’ll wrap up next week. Given the new rookie wage scale, the common thought was that most rookie deals would be done before the summer. And yeah, most are. But not in the Top 8. As our friends at Pro Football Talk have explained, the battle over offset language has taken shape. Players and their agents, if players are cut before the end of their four-year deal, want to be able to “double-dip” and receive what’s left of their salary from the old team and a new salary with a new team. Teams don’t want that. They don’t understand why players should […]

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