<![CDATA[NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth - Blue Star]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcdfw.com/blogs/blue-star http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC+5-KXAS+Logo+for+Google+News.png NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth http://www.nbcdfw.com en-us Sun, 23 Nov 2014 07:54:28 -0600 Sun, 23 Nov 2014 07:54:28 -0600 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Jerry Not Thinking About Garrett's Contract]]> Fri, 21 Nov 2014 14:16:30 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/garrett-jones-camp-day0-02.jpg

Apparently, Jerry Jones is content to wait until after the season to revisit Jason Garrett’s contract status.

In fact, in an interview with 105.3-FM The Fan this week, Jones said that he hasn’t even been thinking about Garrett’s contract status. Garrett’s four-year deal runs out at year’s end.

“It’s really a non event for me, whether there is concern [from the outside] about it or not,” Jones said, via the Dallas Morning News. “I don’t mean to sound that way, but it hasn’t been a concern of mine and we haven’t made it a concern for the club this year. This talk about these contracts, no matter who it is that has a pending contract or one that’s coming up, that’s all for [media and fans] to talk about. That really has no impact on my day.”

Garrett has finished 8-8 in each of his three full seasons as a head coach to this point, and has come up just short of the playoffs in each of those. With a 7-3 record this season, Jones has been full of praise for Garrett, saying he is still improving as a head coach.

We’ll have to wait and see if this praise will translate to a new deal for Garrett.

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<![CDATA[Cowboys' Physicality Could Be Key Down Homestretch]]> Fri, 21 Nov 2014 14:04:33 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/457968560.jpg

Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett is hoping his team’s newfound emphasis on physicality will help them out as they head down the homestretch of the 2014 season.

“You do want to have a team that can handle any conditions--playing on the road, dealing with weather, all the different things that come with being away from your home,” Garrett told the team’s website. “Those are adverse circumstances and you want to be able to embrace those as a team.”

The Cowboys certainly seem to be constructed for just those conditions, as they feature the NFL’s leading rusher in DeMarco Murray, who is working behind a young and very strong offensive line.

“If your team is set up the right way, you might be able to do that,” Garrett said. “Being a physical team, being a team that can run the football, certainly makes you more weather-proof or away-proof than you would be otherwise.”

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<![CDATA[DeMarco Murray Not Looking Ahead]]> Fri, 21 Nov 2014 13:22:45 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/457517236.jpg

As Richie Whitt wrote earlier, the Dallas Cowboys have to do all they can to focus on the Giants and only the Giants this week, and not pay any mind to the quick turnaround between that matchup and the Thanksgiving Day game against the Eagles, just five days after.

Running back DeMarco Murray doesn’t believe this will be a problem for the team.

It all goes to being mentally strong,” Murray said, per the Dallas Morning News. “We got to focus on the task at hand. The task is obviously the Giants. We’re not looking past those guys.”

According to Murray, this mental strength comes from the top, from head coach Jason Garrett.

“He expects people to handle themselves as professionals,” Murray said. “He expects us to work hard and know what we’re doing on and off the field. I definitely think that he’s pretty demanding.”

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<![CDATA[Dez: We Didn't Work Hard Enough in Recent Years]]> Fri, 21 Nov 2014 13:08:52 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/457515492.jpg

In each of the past three seasons, the Dallas Cowboys have finished 8-8 and out of the playoffs.

In those years, wide receiver Dez Bryant believes, the team didn’t work as hard as they needed to in order to get over the hump.

"I'm going to give you my honest opinion. The years that we did go 8-8, I think – me, because this is just how I am--I don't think we worked hard enough," Bryant said, per ESPN Dallas. "I'm not saying we didn't work, like, I mean the offseason, during the OTAs--not the coaches. That's on us. The first thing that I did right after the game, we lost to Philadelphia (2013), my brother will tell you--I was working out the next day. Just because I felt like 'Damn, we didn't do enough.'

“Obviously we didn't do enough, they was the better team. It feels different, it's a lot different--it's a lot different from last year. We're more together, we want it more, we've got the same vision, and that's kind of hard when you've got a team like that."

On Sunday, the Cowboys will face the New York Giants, who--back in 2011--were the first to eliminate an 8-7 Cowboys team in a Week 17 win-and-in game. The Redskins accomplished the feat in 2012 and the Eagles did it last year.

"It's a big game, they are better than what their record shows and we can't go in under estimating our opponent," Bryant said of the Giants. “They are a great football team and we got to come out and stick to our plan and execute these plays the best way we possibly can to get that victory."

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<![CDATA[Jerry: Randle Could Average Around 100 YPG]]> Fri, 21 Nov 2014 12:54:45 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/458702456.jpg

It’s safe to say Jerry Jones is very confident in his young offensive line.

This week, the Cowboys owner and general manager went so far as to say that--behind that offensive line, and provided that he got enough carries--reserve running back Joseph Randle could average around 100 yards a game.

“We’ve got one that if he carried that ball 20 times a game, I think he would have outstanding numbers in the 100-yard up area. That is Joseph Randle,” Jones told 105.3-FM The Fan, via the Dallas Morning News. “We’re really proud of his progress, what he’s doing. When he’s gotten the ball, he’s been impressive. He’s been impressive away from the ball. Then, of course, we can’t seem to get for anybody’s satisfaction, mainly [Scott] Linehan or Jason [Garrett] or anybody involved, we can’t seem to get the ball in Dunbar’s hands enough.

“When you look at that, and then we’ve got a back on our practice squad, [Ryan] Williams that just absolutely is ready to go if called upon. So we’re in pretty good shape at running back.”

Here in his second season, Randle has 201 yards and a touchdown on 29 carries.

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<![CDATA[3 Reasons the Cowboys Will Beat the Giants]]> Fri, 21 Nov 2014 16:15:43 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/458697470.jpg

The New York Giants have shown flashes of being a good team this season, but not consistently enough that Cowboys fans should worry about Sunday night's game in New Jersey.

As long as the Cowboys stick to what they've done well this season, they should notch win No. 8 and move even closer to a playoff berth for three reasons.

1. League's Best Run-Blocking Offensive Line

Anyone who has watched the Cowboys this season can see that the offensive line has performed exceptionally blocking the run, but they actually rank as the best in the league according to one statistic. Dallas ranks first in Football Outsiders’ Adjusted Line Yards stat, which measures blockers’ impact on running plays.

Guess which NFL team has surrendered the most rushing yards this season. That’s right, the Giants. New York’s defense gives up an average of 145 yards rushing per game and 4.9 yards per carry.

So the formula for Sunday is simple: Hand off, gain five yards, repeat.

2. New York's Offensive Line

Conversely, the Giants mediocre offensive line was just offensive after right tackle Justin Pugh left last Sunday’s game with a quad injury. Pugh left after eight snaps and the San Francisco 49ers abused what was left, especially on the right side.

Look for defensive tackle Henry Melton and whoever else is playing over guard John Jerry and whoever the Giants plug in at right tackle, as Pugh is on track to miss Sunday’s game.

The Cowboys defensive line hasn’t notched many sacks this season, but that’s not as bad as many people think. The goal of defenders, especially along the line is simply disrupting the offense’s play. As Rotoworld and NBC Sports writer Josh Norris often says, “Disruption is production.” He’s right, especially because of…

3. The Other Manning

Eli Manning has had his moments, but he just isn’t as good as his brother Peyton. Not even close.

Eli has more Super Bowl rings than Peyton, but that’s about the only edge he holds over his big brother. Eli’s decision-making and anticipation is subpar, but the area where he really lags behind is pocket presence.

Eli senses pressure well, but he responds to it poorly. He doesn’t move well enough in the pocket and he tends to force poor throws, resulting in a lot of interceptions. In fact, he has led the NFL in interceptions three times and is only three off the league lead this season.

Bottom Line

The Cowboys defensive line doesn’t have to sack Eli Manning to be effective. They just need to get in his face, which they shouldn’t have trouble doing against the Giants’ patchwork offensive line.

Even if they can’t impact the game defensively, it shouldn’t matter. Dallas’ rushing attack should move through the Giants’ defense like a hot knife through butter on the way to winning by at least a touchdown.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Place Your Bets: Week 12]]> Fri, 21 Nov 2014 12:39:34 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/458295658.jpg

If you live in Nevada, Oregon, Montana or Delaware, you're in luck. Otherwise, go to Canada or Europe and get your bet on for the NFL weekend! All games are Sunday unless otherwise noted.

1. Tennessee at Philadelphia (-11) — Big spread, yes, but we're talking about taking the home team here and it's an Eagles team that is going to be out for blood after an embarrassing defeat at Green Bay last week. The Titans simply aren't very good, and you can bet Chip Kelly will have his offense in high gear in this one.

2. Cincinnati (+1.5) at Houston — The Texans seem to have found their quarterback in Ryan Mallet, who had a solid game in his starting debut last week, but he's still a young quarterback who will make mistakes. The Bengals rebounded nicely last week with a big win over the Saints and should continue its solid play in Houston.

3. Arizona at Seattle (-6.5) — This is going to be a slugfest between two fierce defenses in a key divisional game. But here's the thing, the Seahawks are fighting for their playoff lives trying to avoid becoming the most recent Super Bowl champ to miss the playoffs the following year. And it's at home, so you've got to like their chances.

4. Washington at San Francisco (-9) — The Redskins are an absolute mess, and especially so since Robert Griffin III returned only to be in the center of a drama fire storm. The 49ers are getting healthy on defense and should shut the Redskins down on Sunday.

5. Dallas at New York Giants (+3.5) — I like the Cowboys to win this game, but only be a field goal, making the 3.5-point spread an easy one to pick. The Giants somehow hung with the 49ers last week despite five Eli Manning picks, so that has to say something about the way they played in other areas.

Last week: 3-2. 2014 season: 21-29.

 (Yes, it's been an awful season!)



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Not Good Enough To Look Past Pitiful Giants]]> Fri, 21 Nov 2014 12:35:59 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/457511904.jpg

Dez Bryant’s contract. Josh Brent’s comeback. Adrian Peterson’s potential arrival. Christmas lights. Thanksgiving plans. The Eagles’ showdown on the horizon.

And, oh yeah, the Giants are 3-7.

Add it all up and, sure enough, Sunday’s game in MetLife Stadium is the perfectly dangerous “trap” game. As in, the Cowboys – and their fans – are doing a lot of talking this week. But not much of it centers on the goal of beating the Giants.

The Cowboys can get to eight victories Sunday, eliminate the Giants from playoff contention and potentially run Tom Coughlin out of a job. But in order to do that, they have to be focused on the singular, detailed hand at task and not the overall rosy picture.

The Giants aren’t hideous. They played the Cowboys even through three quarters in Arlington a month ago. They played the Seahawks into the fourth quarter. They have offensive weapons and they still have a smidge of pride. The Cowboys have bigger, better things in their future, but an upset loss to the Giants can prematurely poop on the entire party.

You’ll know if the Cowboys are overlooking the Giants immediately. Not in physical mistakes, per se. But more so mental errors like pre-snap penalties, or a general lack of emotion. Jason Garrett has his work cut out for him, because I sense the Cowboys being in a bad spot Sunday.

The Cowboys are good. But they haven’t risen to the point where there are good enough to win without their best. Let their guard down – for whatever reason – and they can lose to any team, any time.

Right, Redskins?
 

A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Tomlinson: How Adrian Peterson Could End Up in Dallas]]> Thu, 20 Nov 2014 14:01:33 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/186722617.jpg

The Dallas Cowboys have repeatedly declared their desire to hold onto both Dez Bryant and DeMarco Murray beyond this season. But if they end up only being able to pay Bryant, former Chargers and Jets running back LaDainian Tomlinson believes the team could bring in the currently suspended Adrian Peterson--if the price is right, that is.

Peterson hasn’t played since Week 1, and won’t play again this season if the suspension handed down by the league this week--for the charges of child abuse to which Peterson pleaded no contest--holds up on appeal.

“Here’s the thing: at this time, I really think it all depends on the money,” Tomlinson said, per the Dallas Morning News. “That’s what it’s all about. How much is Adrian Peterson going to demand if he comes to Dallas? Now remember, you still have to pay Dez Bryant. Tony Romo has already gotten paid. Tyron Smith has already gotten paid, the left tackle. So how much money is available for Adrian Peterson if he’s able to come here?

“Now if Adrian is willing to take a pay cut to come here and you know you can’t afford DeMarco Murray, then I think having Adrian Peterson here is a no-brainer because you’re going to be able to get him at a cheaper price that what you’re going to be able to get DeMarco Murray at.”

Stay on top of the latest Dallas Cowboys news with NBCDFW.com. Follow NBC DFW on Facebook or have breaking Cowboys news sent directly to your phone with Blue Star SMS alerts. Text "bluestar" to 622339 (NBCDFW) to subscribe, text HELP for more info, and text STOP to end the subscription. Message and data rates may apply.Read more about it here.



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<![CDATA[Lawrence Champing at the Bit for First Sack]]> Fri, 21 Nov 2014 05:11:32 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/458296770.jpg

Prior to the season, Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence declared that his goal was to record double-digit sacks in his rookie season. Then, a fractured foot suffered during a drill in training camp threw a wrench into his plans, as he was forced to sit out the first eight games of the season.

Lawrence has now played in two games but he’s still yet to record a sack, and he’s chomping at the bit to get that first one under his belt.

"It feels like it's right there," Lawrence said, per ESPN Dallas. "It's just that tenth of a second, just making your move a little quicker, getting to the level of the quarterback fast. It's just working on those little small details and getting off the ball."

Lawrence has four tackles on the year thus far, but he still  doesn’t feel 100 percent back from the long layoff.

"It's only been a couple of games, but I'm just trying to work, develop my character and get my instincts back to normal," he said.

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<![CDATA[Rolando McClain Practicing, Feeling Better]]> Thu, 20 Nov 2014 13:11:24 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/4571341601.jpg

Cowboys linebacker Rolando McClain was back on the practice field on Wednesday and came away from the session saying he feels good.

McClain was forced to miss the 31-17 victory over the Jaguars in London after suffering a sprained medial collateral ligament in the loss to the Cardinals the week before.

“I feel rested,” McClain said, per the Dallas Morning News. “I don’t think you ever get close to 100 percent in the football season, but the rest is well-needed for everybody and I think more guys had their legs today in practice so it felt better.”

To this point, McClain might be the surprise of the season for the Cowboys. After retiring prior to the 2013 season and sitting out all year, Dallas acquired McClain from the Baltimore Ravens after Sean Lee tore his ACL in training camp. He has 44 tackles, a sack and two interceptions on the year.

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<![CDATA[Cowboys Turn the Tables on Giants' Dominance]]> Thu, 20 Nov 2014 11:50:49 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/giants+lose+to+cowboys.jpg

Remember way back when Eli Manning just never lost in Arlington? Don’t look now, but the Cowboys are suddenly successful on the Giants’ home turf.

Dallas has won its last two trips to MetLife Stadium and Sunday will attempt to win three straight on the road against the Giants for the first time since Roger Staubach called the shots.

These days the Cowboys are the NFL’s only unbeaten road team at 4-0. They’re favored to make it 5-0, in a place where in the last two seasons unlikely heroes named Kevin Ogletree and Jeff Heath have led the victories.

In the 2012 upset of the defending champs, Ogletree amassed eight catches for 114 yards and two touchdowns in a 24-17 win. And a year ago, Nov. 24, it was Heath who scooped and scored on a 50-yard fumble return to give Dallas an early lead it sealed with a Dan Bailey field goal in the final minute for a 24-21 victory.

Manning and the Giants may have won their first four trips into the Cowboys’ $1.2 billion stadium, but the Cowboys are poised to win three in-a-row in New York/Jersey for the first time since 1977-79.

And, if you dare to remember Dez Bryant’s left pinkie landing out of bounds in the back of the end zone in 2012, the Cowboys are inches away from winning five straight against their once-feared NFC East rivals.

A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Romo Not Thinking About Quick Turnaround]]> Thu, 20 Nov 2014 12:44:32 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/457517418.jpg

It’s that time of year again.

The Dallas Cowboys will play two games in five days--first, they’ll face the Giants on Sunday night in New York, then next Thursday, they’ll host the Philadelphia Eagles in the annual Thanksgiving Day game--but quarterback Tony Romo hasn’t altered his practice routine in anticipation of the short turnaround.

I don’t think I’m going to do anything,” Romo said, per the Dallas Morning News. “It’s really about this week and getting ready for the Giants. Once that game is over, I’ll set up a different plan and talk to trainers and coaches and we’ll go from there. But this week it’s not about thinking about next week at all. You’ve got to get yourself ready to play in this one game and against the Giants. This is a very important game, a big game for us.”

Romo suffered two transverse process fractures in the loss to the Redskins three weeks ago, but came back from that injury in the win over the Jaguars in London. As of now, he’s not looking beyond the Giants game, and he won’t speculate on what his preparation will be like.

“I think we’ll address that next week,” Romo said. “Right now, I have a full week plus the bye from last week to be able to get myself ready and that was big. I think after the game against New York, we’ll reassess everything, but that’s not on my mind right now.”

Stay on top of the latest Dallas Cowboys news with NBCDFW.com. Follow NBC DFW on Facebook or have breaking Cowboys news sent directly to your phone with Blue Star SMS alerts. Text "bluestar" to 622339 (NBCDFW) to subscribe, text HELP for more info, and text STOP to end the subscription. Message and data rates may apply.Read more about it here.



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<![CDATA[3 Reasons the Giants Will Beat the Cowboys]]> Fri, 21 Nov 2014 12:54:21 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/459081514.jpg

Over the course of this season, the 3-7 New York Giants have struggled to move the ball offensively and prevent opponents from moving the ball.

The Giants have shown flashes of competitiveness at times recently, though, and this Sunday’s game in New Jersey feels like a potential trap game for the Cowboys.

1. An Emerging WR

Cowboys fans should remember Beckham from his two touchdown receptions the last time these teams played. That was only Beckham’s third NFL game (he missed the team’s first four games with a hamstring injury), and his play has improved considerably since.

Beckham’s play is reminiscent of Greg Jennings and Steve Smith (the one now on the Baltimore Ravens) in their prime. His great feet help him to be one of the savviest rookie route runners in recent memory, plus he’s lightning quick out of his breaks to create separation. Despite being only listed at 5-foot-11, he high-points the ball as well as anyone.

Since the Giants have started targeting Beckham more, their passing game has improved. They’re not great through the air, but they’re capable of having a big day if the Dallas secondary isn’t up to task.

2. A DE Reaching His Potential

Jason Pierre-Paul is the name most fans recognize, but Robert Ayers is the defensive end causing the most disruption for New York this season. Before last Sunday’s game, Ayers ranked second in Pro Football Focus’ Pass Rushing Productivity — percentage of pass rush snaps with pressure — with 34 pressures in 174 pass rushing snaps, just ahead of Houston’s J.J. Watt.

Ayers, who signed with the Giants before this season, is finally starting to produce like the player the Denver Broncos selected with the 18th overall pick in 2009. He’ll mostly line up over the right tackle, but defensive coordinator Perry Fewell twists and stunts him and he effectively blitzes just about every gap on one side.

Right tackle Doug Free has struggled against speed rushes in pass protection this season, so expect the Giants to try to exploit that with Ayers Sunday. And with Pierre-Paul playing so well against the run this season, including getting the best of left tackle Tyron Smith in Week 7, this might be the toughest test of the season for the Cowboys' tackles.

3. A TE Carving A Role

Unless you’re a fan of the Giants or fantasy football fiend, you might not have heard of Giants tight end Larry Donnell, who’s quickly making a name for himself.

After being targeted only once during his first two seasons, the 26-year-old former college quarterback has become Eli Manning’s safety net. Manning has targeted Donnell 61 times this season and Donnell has yet to drop a catchable pass.

Listed at 6-foot-5 and 270 pounds, Donnell will likely be a tough matchup for the Cowboys linebackers in coverage.

Bottom Line

The Giants' offense has played very well at times and the defense has played well enough to win a few times. The problem is that those things haven't happened simultaneously yet.

If the Cowboys aren't careful, the Giants play a complete game on both sides of the ball and deal the road favorites a tough loss.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Fantasy Land: Studs and Duds, Week 12]]> Thu, 20 Nov 2014 12:15:20 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/AP502088910883_3.jpg

A two-time champion in a hardcore keeper league, including some know-it-all media "experts," Adam Boedeker gives his fantasy expertise on a weekly basis.

Stud of the Week

Josh Gordon, WR, CLE — You can bet your bottom dollar that Gordon is champing at the bit to get on the field this weekend after missing the first 10 games due to a suspension for violating the league's drug policy. Gordon had a fantastic season in 2013 and should immediately make a big impact against a less-than-stellar Atlanta secondary in his first game back.

Honorable mention: Tony Romo, DAL (at NYG); Odell Beckham, NYG (vs. DAL); Denard Robinson, JAC (at IND); Josh McCown, TB (at CHI).

Dud of the Week

Philip Rivers, QB, SD — Rivers has struggled in his last two games and now he's dealing with a rib injury and was knocked all around the field in Sunday's narrow win over Oakland. Antonio Gates has slid in his performance, and second-year wideout Keenan Allen has had a rough go in his second season. Rivers started the season on fire, and could eventually get it back, but it won't be this week against a solid St. Louis defense.

Honorable mention: Robert Griffin III, WAS (at SF); Matt Stafford, DET (at NE); Alfred Morris, WAS (at SF); Larry Fitzgerald, ARI (at SEA).



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Will Josh Brent Play Against Giants?]]> Thu, 20 Nov 2014 12:55:29 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/158440597.jpg

Cowboys defensive tackle Josh Brent will finally be eligible to return to action on Sunday night against the Giants, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he will.

"He's certainly part of the defensive line rotation that we are evaluating and we will just see how he practices," said head coach Jason Garrett, per Todd Archer of ESPN Dallas. "He has made a lot of strides each day that he has practiced. You can really see it as a coach, tangibly. Hopefully that will continue."

Brent hasn’t played in an NFL game since December of 2012. We’d imagine that if he’s close enough to football shape by the time Sunday rolls around, the team will have to seriously consider placing him in the defensive line rotation.

"One thing about Josh is that he is very athletic," Garrett said. "He is athletic with his feet. He is athletic with his hands. He can get off of blocks. Those are the traits you are looking for. He is a competitive guy. He is a tough guy. He is in the stage of trying to get his body right and his feet underneath him."

Stay on top of the latest Dallas Cowboys news with NBCDFW.com. Follow NBC DFW on Facebook or have breaking Cowboys news sent directly to your phone with Blue Star SMS alerts. Text "bluestar" to 622339 (NBCDFW) to subscribe, text HELP for more info, and text STOP to end the subscription. Message and data rates may apply.Read more about it here.



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<![CDATA[Murray, Cowboys Feeling Fresh After Bye]]> Wed, 19 Nov 2014 16:32:18 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/demarco-murray-tc-2014.jpg

Coming off the bye week, the Dallas Cowboys are about as healthy as they’ve been all season.

Cornerback Tyler Patmon’s sprained MCL stands out as the only significant injury on the roster, not counting the two small fractures in Tony Romo’s back, which he will play through. Patmon and Romo were the only two Cowboys to miss practice on Wednesday, but of course, that’s standard operating procedure for Romo at this point.

To be sure the bye was a much needed break not only for Romo, but for DeMarco Murray, the NFL’s leader in carries.

“It’s awesome to get your players back and get your body feeling great and fresh,” Murray said, per ESPN Dallas. “Ready to go back to work for sure.”

Stay on top of the latest Dallas Cowboys news with NBCDFW.com. Follow NBC DFW on Facebook or have breaking Cowboys news sent directly to your phone with Blue Star SMS alerts. Text "bluestar" to 622339 (NBCDFW) to subscribe, text HELP for more info, and text STOP to end the subscription. Message and data rates may apply.Read more about it here.



Photo Credit: Jose Sanchez, NBC 5 Photojournalist]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Usually Gobble Up T-Day Two-Step ]]> Wed, 19 Nov 2014 16:37:15 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/184372303.jpg

We all know the Cowboys have a distinct advantage playing Thanksgiving. On a short week they get to play at home and the proof is in the results: 29-16-1.

That advantage, obviously, is maximized when the Cowboys get to play at home on the Sunday before and rest while their Turkey Day opponents travel. Or is it?

Strangely enough, history indicates that the Cowboys play better on Thanksgiving after a road game rather than a home game. As in, on Thanksgiving Day after a road game they are 15-6-1, compared to only 14-10 after a home game.

While that could mean a positive result for next Thursday against the Eagles in Arlington, history doesn’t bode well for this Sunday against the Giants. In road games before Thanksgiving, the Cowboys are only 11-11, compared to 19-5 at home on the game before Turkey Day.

And whatever happens Sunday in New York, history says there’s a good chance of it repeating four days later. Of the Cowboys’ 46 two-game Thanksgiving scenarios, a whopping 33 times (72 percent) they’ve either won both (24) or lost both (9).

Bottom line: While playing at home on Thanksgiving is definitely an advantage, and their combined record in the game before/on Turkey Day is 59-32-1. But playing on the road four days prior is merely a 50/50 proposition.

COWBOYS THANKSGIVING TWO-STEP

On road before Thanksgiving: 11-11

At home before Thanksgiving: 19-5

On Thanksgiving after road game: 15-6-1

On Thanksgiving after home game: 14-10

A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Carter Focused on Giants, Not His Contract]]> Wed, 19 Nov 2014 16:35:02 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/455882040.jpg

With all the talk surrounding DeMarco Murray and Dez Bryant, it’s easy to forget that linebacker Bruce Carter is a free agent-to-be as well.

Carter, who is in the final year of his rookie deal, has struggled to find consistency in his first three and a half NFL seasons. The team has been high on Carter’s athleticism since he was drafted out of North Carolina in the second round in 2011, but that has never really translated to the field for any prolonged period.

For now, Carter’s focus is on the New York Giants, not his future with the team beyond 2014.

“I don’t think we really talk about it, but I think it’s one of those things where it’s already understood,” Carter said, per Todd Archer of ESPN Dallas. “Me, Dwayne [Harris] and DeMarco, and you can even throw Dez in there, there’s a bunch of us who are in our last year--in a contract year--but for all of us, we’ve just got to go out there and play football. We really don’t want to think about any individual things like that right now. We just want to focus on the Giants.”

In seven games this season, Carter has 35 tackles, a sack and two interceptions, including a pick-six.

Stay on top of the latest Dallas Cowboys news with NBCDFW.com. Follow NBC DFW on Facebook or have breaking Cowboys news sent directly to your phone with Blue Star SMS alerts. Text "bluestar" to 622339 (NBCDFW) to subscribe, text HELP for more info, and text STOP to end the subscription. Message and data rates may apply.Read more about it here.



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<![CDATA[Patmon's Knee "Progressing at a Good Pace"]]> Wed, 19 Nov 2014 16:36:08 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/tyler-patmon-big-night.jpg

Dallas Cowboys cornerback Tyler Patmon’s rehab from a sprained medial collateral ligament is coming along nicely, but Patmon says there’s still not a concrete date for his return.

Patmon suffered the injury to his left knee in the 31-17 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars and, coming off the bye week, owner and general manager Jerry Jones said publicly that Patmon’s injury is currently the most concerning for the team.

It was thought at the time of the injury that Patmon would miss 2-4 weeks.

“Man, coming back from London I wasn’t even able to walk, so it’s progressing at a good pace,” Patmon said, per the Dallas Morning News. “In the next couple of weeks here I’ll see how it feels and hopefully I’m ready to go. It’s frustrating, but it’s part of the game. I have to take it as what it is.”

On Wednesday, Patmon and quarterback Tony Romo were the only Cowboys to be held out of practice.

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<![CDATA[Another Wednesday, Another Day Off for Romo]]> Wed, 19 Nov 2014 12:56:34 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/458297156.jpg

The Dallas Cowboys are sticking to their approach where Tony Romo’s practice schedule is concerned.

Romo hasn’t practiced on a Wednesday since Week 1, and the team believes the extra day of rest has helped Romo (and his back) in preparing for games. He didn’t do much practicing during the bye week last week, also part of the team’s plan to keep their franchise quarterback fresh.

"It's just really been about the rhythm of the week for him and getting the work in this morning with the walkthrough and getting his rehab in this afternoon and not throwing three days in a row," said head coach Garrett, per ESPN Dallas. "It's worked out well for him, so he comes back tomorrow and then gets two good days in and then Saturday is off and you play Sunday.

“It's been a good thing for him. We've managed players through the years a lot of different ways in how you try to get them to Sunday and give them the best chance to be successful. This has been pretty good for us so far so we want to continue it this week."

Stay on top of the latest Dallas Cowboys news with NBCDFW.com. Follow NBC DFW on Facebook or have breaking Cowboys news sent directly to your phone with Blue Star SMS alerts. Text "bluestar" to 622339 (NBCDFW) to subscribe, text HELP for more info, and text STOP to end the subscription. Message and data rates may apply.Read more about it here.



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<![CDATA[Peterson Decision Opens Door to Dallas]]> Wed, 19 Nov 2014 16:34:37 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/adrian+peterson2.JPG

Adrian Peterson has dominated the news cycle for a few days now after it was ruled he'd be suspended without pay for the rest of the season and then his appeal was denied.

Numerous media reports have also indicated the Minnesota Vikings are ready to part ways with the dynamic running back and was under scrutiny for disciplining his kid with a switch and has spent the entire season on the commissioner's exempt list, meaning he was suspended with pay up until Monday's ruling.

That means Peterson will likely be cut this summer, whcih opens the door for a huge Cowboys signing this coming offseason.

Jerry Jones has already expressed interest in attaining the Texas native and former Oklahoma Sooners standout, and Peterson would almost certainly be up for playing for America's Team and the Vikings don't want to deal with him anymore.

In other words, nothing will be official for a while, but don't be shocked if the Cowboys decide to let DeMarco Murray go in free agency and make a huge splash by bringing in Peterson this summer. It almost seems like it'd be Jerry's destiny.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Zack Martin Leads All Guards in Pro Bowl Voting]]> Wed, 19 Nov 2014 16:34:01 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/456305802.jpg

Typically, offensive linemen are the unsung heroes of a football team, but apparently plenty of fans have taken notice of the impressive rookie campaign being put together by Dallas Cowboys right guard Zack Martin.

Martin currently leads all right guards in Pro Bowl voting.

The 16th overall pick back in May, Martin isn’t interested in discussing anything beyond the team’s matchup with the rival New York Giants  on Sunday Night Football.

“Not really,” Martin said, per the Dallas Morning News. “We’re focusing on New York, and if it really doesn’t have anything to do with that then we’re not worried about it.

If you’d like to vote, you can do that at NFL.com up until December 15. The 2015 Pro Bowl is set to be played at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, AZ on January 25.

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<![CDATA[Former Cowboys Make Hall Cut]]> Wed, 19 Nov 2014 16:32:48 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/darren-woodson1.25.12.jpg

Three former Dallas Cowboys got one step closer to Canton on Tuesday when they were named semifinalists for the NFL Hall of Fame with the inductees set to be named on Jan. 31, the day before the Super Bowl.

Former defensive end Charles Haley, a five-time finalist, made the cut again along with former head coach Jimmy Johnson, who orchestrated the three world titles in the 1990s (unless you believe Jerry was the mastermind). He was also joined by former teammate Darren Woodson, the safety of those 1990s defenses who was a three-time All Pro.

The odds seem to be against all of them, given the fact that only five pure safeties are in the Hall of Fame, Johnson only coached the Cowboys for a handful of seasons and had an unsuccessful stint in Miami, and Haley has missed the final cut several times before despite having won more Super Bowls than any player in NFL history with the Cowboys and 49ers.

The finalist list will be announced on Jan. 8. You can bet pretty safely that Haley will be on that list again, but the other two would be a surprise.

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<![CDATA[Power Rankings: NFC East]]> Wed, 19 Nov 2014 16:35:37 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/457964944.jpg

In a weekly post, we'll talk about where teams in the NFC East sit after each weekend of play.

1. Dallas Cowboys (7-3) — The Cowboys are coming off an easy win and a bye that has allowed them to get some valuable, much-needed rest for guys like Tony Romo and DeMarco Murray, as well as to get some guys like Rolando McLain and Tyron Crawford healthy.

2. Philadelphia Eagles (7-3) — While the Cowboys were home on their couches, the Eagles were getting wiped off the field at Lambeau by Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. Now, Green Bay might be the hottest team in football this side of New England, but it was also a poor showing for the Eagles as Mark Sanchez was exposed for what he is.

3. New York Giants (3-7) — The Giants lost by six points to the 49ers on a day when Eli Manning threw five interceptions. That's awful for Manning, but it actually speaks pretty favorably to the rest of the Giants for being able to keep the game that close despite the turnovers.

4. Washington Redskins (3-7) — The Redskins were flat out embarrassed on Sunday by Tampa Bay, and Robert Griffin III embarrassed himself with his postgame comments. It's becoming more and more clear that RG3's days in Washington are numbered, and for a Cowboys fan, that's just funny to watch from afar.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Tyrone Crawford Expects to Return Wednesday]]> Tue, 18 Nov 2014 13:48:58 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/tyrone-crawford-2014.jpg

Cowboys defensive tackle Tyrone Crawford is on track in his recovery from a sprained MCL and expects to return to practice on Wednesday and play in the Sunday Night matchup with the New York Giants.

I definitely got to get out there,” Crawford said, per Rainer Sabin of the Dallas Morning News. “I definitely got to be with my teammates this month and and this next game.”

The bye week came at an ideal time for Crawford, who suffered the injury in the loss to the Arizona Cardinals and was held out of the victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars in London.

“It was definitely more than my knee that I had to get healed up and everything,” he said. “Not everything is completely healed but it’s good enough where I can go out there and not put a horrible display out there.”

On the season, Crawford has 20 tackles, including three for a loss, and a pass defensed.

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<![CDATA[Cowboys Not Taking Giants Offense Lightly]]> Tue, 18 Nov 2014 13:45:28 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/111614dejected.jpg

On Sunday, the Dallas Cowboys will face a New York Giants offense that gave up five turnovers--all interceptions by quarterback Eli Manning--in a 16-10 loss to the San Francisco 49ers last week. But that doesn’t mean the Cowboys’ defense is taking their rivals lightly.

"That's their last game," said defensive end George Selvie, per FOXSports.com. "They're going to try to fix that. We always try to fix our mistakes when it comes to football. Five turnovers is a lot of turnovers. So, whoever they play, they played them tough."

Of course the Cowboys, perhaps more than any team, know what Tom Coughlin’s Giants are made of--and as Dez Bryant so presciently said prior to the loss to the Redskins, records don’t mean much in rivalry games.

"That was one game for them," linebacker Kyle Wilber said of New York’s loss to San Francisco. "That doesn't mean they're going to turnover the ball five times each game. It just means they had a bad game.”

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<![CDATA[DeMarco Murray Geared Up for the Homestretch]]> Tue, 18 Nov 2014 13:05:17 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/458697470.jpg

After a weekend of rest and relaxation, DeMarco Murray believes he’s ready for the homestretch.

Murray leads the NFL in carries with 244 and has already surpassed his career high, which was 217 going into this season. He also leads the NFL in rushing with 1,233 yards and has gone for 100-plus yards in nine of 10 games. Riding Murray, the Cowboys come out of the bye with a 7-3 record, tied with the Philadelphia Eagles for first place in the NFC East.

“I’m ready,” Murray said, per Todd Archer of ESPN Dallas. “Like I’ve said before, whatever they ask me to do I’m going to do it times 10. It’s going to be an exciting next couple of weeks for us.”

With a dynamic young offensive line leading the way for Murray’s hitherto monster season, Dallas is set up much better than they’ve been in years past for a playoff run, when they’d more or less pin all their hopes on Tony Romo’s right arm.

“Obviously we’re running the ball well, and I think we’re throwing it well, too,” Murray said. “So in this part of the year, it’s cold, the weather, so I think running is going to be a little bit more of a factor for us, which is good. We’ve got a strong offensive line. We’ve got some backs who can run and also got a lot of guys on the edge that can go up and get the ball. So it’s going to be huge for us.”

Stay on top of the latest Dallas Cowboys news with NBCDFW.com. Follow NBC DFW on Facebook or have breaking Cowboys news sent directly to your phone with Blue Star SMS alerts. Text "bluestar" to 622339 (NBCDFW) to subscribe, text HELP for more info, and text STOP to end the subscription. Message and data rates may apply.Read more about it here.



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<![CDATA[On Deck: New York Giants]]> Tue, 18 Nov 2014 16:40:12 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/cowboys-giants-2014.jpg

On Deck will be here all season to provide you with everything you need to know (and a few things you don't) about every Cowboys game during the 2014 season.

The Opponent: Eli Manning threw a career-high five interceptions and the Giants lost to San Francisco by just six points. I'm not sure what that says about the 49ers, but it might point to the fact that the Giants did a lot of things well.

Past Meetings: The Cowboys lead the all-time series 60-43-2, including their 31-21 win over the Giants earlier this season.

Key Matchup: DAL CB Orlando Scandrick vs. NYG WR Odell Beckham — Beckham has been really solid ever since making his season debut after missing the first few with an injury. He's immediately becoming Eli Manning's favorite target and has shown an insane amount of ability with his speed, hands and ability to go get any ball thrown his way. Scandrick is the Cowboys' physical presence on the outside and will likely spend a lot of time the Giants rookie.

Who's Hot: Dez Bryant is coming off one of the best quarters of football in NFL history, as he grabbed six catches for 158 yards and two touchdowns — all in the second quarter of the Cowboys' win over Jacksonville in London two weeks ago. Tony Romo was also great, throwing for 246 yards and three scores while completing 20 of his 27 pass attempts.

While Manning was tossing picks, his receivers have been playing well. We already mentioned Beckham, who had 93 receiving yards on Sunday, and the Giants other star receiver, Rueben Randle, had 112 yards on seven catches.

Who's Not: Really not much to say here. Dan Bailey missed a field goal, so there's that.

Manning had one of the worst games of his career, throwing five interceptions to go with just one touchdown, while Rashad Jennings returned from injury to rush for just 59 yards on 18 carries against a stout 49ers defense.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Tyron Smith: "Be Your Own Harshest Critic"]]> Tue, 18 Nov 2014 12:50:47 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/458702416.jpg

The Dallas Cowboys already have one of the best young offensive lines in the NFL but, according to Pro Bowl left tackle Tyron Smith, there’s still plenty of room for improvement--and that’s where the unit is putting their focus as they move into the home stretch.

“As a group, we’re always hard on ourselves because we always want to be the best for our team,” Smith said, per the Dallas Morning News. “We just try to do the best we can. ... Just kind of be your harshest critic.”

Smith believes a good deal of the group’s success so far has been a product of how close-knit they are, and they’re only getting closer.

“Just the way that we all get along with each other, as far as we go on our own and do dinners together, things like that,” Smith said. “We’re getting tighter and tighter as a group.”

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<![CDATA[Jerry: Romo Helped Greatly by the Bye]]> Tue, 18 Nov 2014 12:39:42 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/457964328.jpg

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo was helped greatly by the bye week last week, owner and general manager Jerry Jones told 105.3-FM The Fan this week.

I think it’s really beneficial, and he knows how to use it,” Jones said, via the Dallas Morning News. “I think by the time we kickoff Sunday he will have maximized this break for himself and for us. I was really pleased he had the outing he had in London. It certainly showed that with a couple more weeks of just simple letting it rest, if no other thing, then he’ll be in better shape in that particular area of his back.”

After being held out of the loss to the Cardinals with a pair of small fractures in his back, Romo returned against the Jaguars in London and went 20 for 28 passing for 246 yards and three touchdowns.

Some felt that Romo shouldn’t have made the trip, but Jones said this week that the travel was non-issue, adding that the franchise quarterback enjoyed first class accommodations there and back.

“Oh yeah," Jones said. “He had it going and coming. I think you would’ve had several on that plane ready to give him their seat."

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<![CDATA[Cowboys' Biggest NFC East Rival Is ... All Of 'Em?]]> Tue, 18 Nov 2014 11:50:14 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/tlmd_jerry_jones2.jpg

In the last three years, the Cowboys’ season has ended with a loss in the NFC East Championship Game to the Giants, Redskins and Eagles. So, Jerry Jones, these days which team is your biggest rival?

“Oh my goodness,” the owner said on his weekly radio show on KRLD-FM. “I resent to this day the Giants coming in here a few years back and beating us with home-field advantage and then winning the Super Bowl. I admire it, but I resent it. I will always remember it. So it doesn’t take me much to get riled up over going to New York. Then of course, Philadelphia seems like the last few years has been a real nemesis for us, and certainly after last year. So all of these guys. The other thing I’d like to say is I love to have these rivalries. They’re big. They’re big city rivalries. They create not only a win, my town against your town, but I also know it’s a big deal for the NFL.”

At 7-3 and tied for first place in the division, the Cowboys will see plenty of their rivals down the stretch. It begins Sunday in New York, then the Eagles in Arlington four days later on Thanksgiving. In all, the Cowboys play four of their final six against the NFC East, climaxed by road games in Philadelphia Dec. 14 and Washington Dec. 28.

I’d say the honest answer is the Cowboys’ most bitter rival these days resides on a rotating basis. While not long ago it was Eli Manning and then Robert Griffin III, this year – and last – it’s undoubtedly the Eagles.

A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Serve Up Thanksgiving Dinner]]> Mon, 17 Nov 2014 17:08:48 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/cowboys+thxgiving.jpg Dallas Cowboys players served up Thanksgiving dinner to hundreds of people at the Salvation Army shelter Monday.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[NFC East Watch: 'Skins Fans Chant for McCoy]]> Mon, 17 Nov 2014 17:21:49 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/457969884.jpg

The last time Colt McCoy started for the Washington Redskins was Week 6, when he led the team to a 20-17 upset victory over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football, a game that saw McCoy go 25 for 30 passing for 299 yards. That also marked the last time the Redskins won a game.

The week after McCoy’s overtime heroics, Robert Griffin III returned to the lineup for the first time since Week 2, when he suffered a dislocated ankle. In the two weeks since, Griffin has struggled. He went 18 for 28 for 251 yards, a touchdown and an interception in the Week 7 loss to the Vikings.

On Sunday, coming off a bye week, Griffin and the Redskins were drubbed by the lowly Buccaneers, 27-7, at home. In the loss, Griffin went 23 of 32 passing for 207 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. He was sacked six times.

Things in Washington have gotten to the point that, during the loss, the FedEx Field faithful began a chant of “We want Colt.

No word as of yet if the Redskins intend on granting this wish next week when they head to San Francisco to take on the Redskins.

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<![CDATA[Witten: Jerry Jones Not a Distraction]]> Mon, 17 Nov 2014 17:23:07 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/458286946.jpg

What with his penchant for being in the spotlight, and never being shy about discussing his team, many Dallas Cowboys fans are of the opinion that owner and general manager Jerry Jones can be a distraction for the team--at least to some degree.

The players see it differently.

In an appearance on the Talk of Fame Show last Friday, Cowboys veteran tight end Jason Witten told the hosts that he and his teammates are just fine with Jones’s visibility, and that his approach to ownership doesn’t serve as any kind of distraction.

“It really doesn’t. I know it’s a little bit of a cliché when players say that, but he’s extremely loyal,” Witten said of Jones, via the Dallas Morning News. “The passion that he brings every day. I think it’s good for players to see that. I think oftentimes in organizations you don’t see that. You don’t see that figurehead, the owner and that’s fine, there’s structure and management, but I think for us, it’s great leadership to see that and to know the expectations that this organization has."

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<![CDATA[Sunday Funday: Cowboys Gain Ground Without Playing]]> Tue, 18 Nov 2014 10:12:48 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/458297156.jpg

Sometimes being a couch potato can be good for you.

Just ask the Cowboys.
Without playing a game or lifting a finger yesterday their prospects were greatly improved. As in, while they enjoyed their bye weekend every other team in the NFC East lost. Meaning the Cowboys are now 7-3 and tied with the Eagles for the division lead.
In fact, almost everything went right for the Cowboys over the weekend. Of the seven NFC games that had even a smidge of relativity to the Cowboys, six of them went the right way. The only negative result? A victory by the Bears that keeps their sad season alive and could make Dallas’ visit to Chicago on Dec. 4 a little more daunting.
Otherwise?  Seahawks lost. Saints lost. Lions lost. Redskins lost. Giants lost. And, of course, Philadelphia got housed in Green Bay to drop it into a tie with the Cowboys with two matchups looming in the next month. Granted, for Wild Card purposes it would have been better for Dallas had the 6-4 49ers lost in New York, but burying the Giants into a 3-7 grave is never a bad thing.
It was a good Sunday both in the Wild Card and NFC East.
See, sometimes you can get something for nothing.

A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Hoping Dez, Murray Will "Compromise" to Win]]> Mon, 17 Nov 2014 13:19:10 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/457961258.jpg

Will Dez Bryant and/or DeMarco Murray take less money to be a part of a winner?

Executive vice president Stephen Jones and the Dallas Cowboys are hoping so.

In an appearance on 105.3-FM The Fan last Friday, Jones expressed the hope that Bryant and Murray (among others) will accept deals that are structured in a way that will allow them to keep the band together, so to speak, even if that ultimately means sacrificing some money. Both Bryant and Murray are set to become free agents after this season.

“If we’re digging in, what we’re really trying to do is maybe not give everybody what they should deserve, whether it’s Tony Romo, whether it’s Doug Free, whether it’s Dez Bryant, whether it’s DeMarco Murray, because if we want to have the type of team we want to have, everybody has to compromise,” Jones said, via the Dallas Morning News. “It’s our job to try to get people to understand that it can be better for them to maybe take a little bit less and win, and that can pay off for them in the long haul.

“It’s certainly not easy, but it’s certainly something we’re accustomed to, and we’ll get through this.”

Stay on top of the latest Dallas Cowboys news with NBCDFW.com. Follow NBC DFW on Facebook or have breaking Cowboys news sent directly to your phone with Blue Star SMS alerts. Text "bluestar" to 622339 (NBCDFW) to subscribe, text HELP for more info, and text STOP to end the subscription. Message and data rates may apply.Read more about it here.



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<![CDATA[Henry Melton Not Thinking About Contract]]> Mon, 17 Nov 2014 13:20:02 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/458290508.jpg

At season’s end, the Dallas Cowboys will have a decision to make regarding defensive tackle Henry Melton.

Melton signed a one-year deal with the Cowboys this offseason with a team option for three more years, this after missing all but three games in 2013 with a torn ACL. If the team picks up the option, he will get $9 million guaranteed in 2015.

Ah, man, I don’t think about that,” Melton said, per ESPN Dallas. “We’re trying to win games.”

Coming off the knee injury and the long layoff, Melton has been getting more and more comfortable as the season has gone on. He has five sacks on the season, including 3.5 in the past three weeks.

“It’s just a process,” Melton said. “I feel I get a little bit more confident in it every week. I’m still not 100 percent, but we’re grinding it out every week, in the weight room to get it where it needs to be.”

Stay on top of the latest Dallas Cowboys news with NBCDFW.com. Follow NBC DFW on Facebook or have breaking Cowboys news sent directly to your phone with Blue Star SMS alerts. Text "bluestar" to 622339 (NBCDFW) to subscribe, text HELP for more info, and text STOP to end the subscription. Message and data rates may apply.Read more about it here.



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<![CDATA[Jakar Hamilton Could See Jump in Playing Time]]> Mon, 17 Nov 2014 13:23:26 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/175609119.jpg

With Tyler Patmon out for the next 3-4 weeks with a sprained MCL in his left knee, second-year defensive back Jakar Hamilton could see a significant jump in playing time. So far this season, Hamilton has two tackles in just three appearances. He was suspended for the first four games of the season for violating the league’s drug policy.

Granted, the South Carolina State product Hamilton is more adept at safety than at cornerback, but according to head coach Jason Garrett, he’s shown that he can line up at corner as well.

"One of the things that Jakar showed us in training camp is that he can play a nickel spot," Garrett said, per ESPN Dallas. "So he did a lot of that when we had some injuries in camp and did a nice job with it. I don't want to say this in a negative way, but surprisingly so.

“We kind of viewed him as a safety and then day after day in camp he was playing down around the line of scrimmage in that nickel spot and seemed to handle it fairly well. That's certainly part of the equation as we figure out what our options are.”

At the moment, the Cowboys have three healthy cornerbacks on the active roster, in Brandon Carr, Orlando Scandrick and Sterling Moore.

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<![CDATA['Boys Should Franchise Murray, Extend Dez]]> Mon, 17 Nov 2014 13:24:52 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/456299652.jpg

While Dez Bryant's contract situation has stolen the headlines over the past couple of weeks in Dallas Cowboys land, DeMarco Murray has seen his record-pace workload diminished fairly significantly over the past couple of games heading into the Cowboys' bye week this past week.

Both of those guys will be free agents following this season, and with quarterback Tony Romo locked up for the rest of his career, the Cowboys have some decisions to make on the other two-thirds of the new version of The Triplets.

The assumption is that the Cowboys will defy Bryant's wishes and, in reality, empty threats by placing the franchise tag on the star receiver, something they can do for the 2015 and 2016 seasons with Bryant having no real say in the matter. It was also assumed the Cowboys would simply ride Murray into the ground this year, let him set the NFL single-season rushing record with 400 carries and then let him walk in free agency with the thought he'd never again be the same.

However, the Cowboys have reined in Murray's workload in recent weeks, so how's this for a suggestion: Put the franchise tag on a less dramatic Murray and give Bryant the contract he wants, or at least a reasonable deal for someone of his talent and starpower, and make no mistake, he's right up there with Calvin Johnson in the discussion for the greatest wide receiver in the game right now.

That way you get Murray on a one-year deal for 2015 and can see how his body responds to the workload this year, and you have your No. 1 receiver locked up for four or five years. Think about it, Jerry.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[George Teague's Life After Cowboys Football]]> Mon, 17 Nov 2014 11:16:26 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/George+Teague+Shelton.jpg Former Dallas Cowboys free safety George Teague, known for defending the star, has found a post-NFL career working with high school students at the Shelton School in Dallas.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys vs. Eagles: Remaining Schedules]]> Mon, 17 Nov 2014 13:26:14 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/458697470.jpg

With six games left in the NFL regular season, the NFC East is officially a two-horse race between the Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles, and there's a pretty good chance the loser of that race will miss out on the playoffs altogether.

So let's take a look at the remaining schedules for each team and try to project each team's close to the season and who will come out on top in the division and clinch a playoff berth and a home playoff game.

Cowboys: at New York Giants (3-7); vs. Philadelphia (7-3); at Chicago (4-6); at Philadelphia (7-3); vs. Indianapolis (6-4); at Washington (3-7).

Eagles: vs. Tennessee (2-7); at Dallas (7-3); vs. Seattle (6-4); vs. Dallas (7-3); at Washington (3-7); at New York (3-7).

Each team has four division games remaining, including two in three weeks against each other in a bit of a scheduling oddity. The games against the Redskins and Giants have to be wins for either team to stay alive in the hunt, and the Cowboys' game in the Meadowlands next week against the Giants would be a bit scarier if the Cowboys weren't coming off a bye.

The real wild card here is the Cowboys' Thursday night game at Chicago in a couple of weeks to close out a three games in 12 days stretch. If the Cowboys see the Bears team of most of the season, they'll be fine. If they see the Bears from Sunday and from early in the season, it'll be tough. Assuming Dallas and Philly split their two games, I'm going to project the Cowboys beat the Colts at home and go 5-1 down the stretch, while the eagles will lose to Dallas and Seattle to finish 4-2.

If that happens, of course, the Cowboys were finish the season 12-4, which would be pretty amazing. They'd win the NFC East, likely get a first-round bye depending on tiebreakers with Green Bay, and either way would host a playoff game.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Jerry No Longer Dismissing Super Bowl]]> Fri, 14 Nov 2014 21:41:40 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/457124394.jpg

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones admitted that before the season he didn't have Super Bowl aspirations. That was evident when he was sandbagging like crazy in preseason talks with season ticket holders and in his state of the team addresses.

It's funny what a 6-1 start and a 7-3 mark heading into a Week 11 bye will do those low expectations, though.

“We didn’t really think that possibly this year might be the year, but you sure can’t dismiss it at this particular point,” Jones told 105.3 FM. “It is great to be 7-3. We would’ve loved to have been 8-2 or better, but we’re not. But we have [Romo] healthy, we have a pretty healthy team on the field.

“Having said that, I think we’re going to have some fun here these next six ballgames.”

Jones referenced the 2007 season in the interview, which saw the Cowboys go 13-3 to earn a first-round bye before losing to the wild card Giants in their first postseason game before the Giants went on to win the Super Bowl.

Now, Jones thinks it might be his team's chance. It'd be nice if he'd keep it to himself.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dez's Contract No Distraction for Jerry]]> Fri, 14 Nov 2014 13:56:10 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/dez-bryant-punt-returns.jpg

With the Dallas Cowboys on a bye week, Dez Bryant’s contract situation has become the hot topic du jour in North Texas.

Of course, the Cowboys haven’t done much to make the story go away. First, a report surfaced saying Dallas would be hesitant to sign Bryant to a long-term deal due to concerns about off-the-field issues. Owner and general manager Jerry Jones refuted that report in short order and said he wanted Bryant to be a Cowboy for life. For his part, Bryant publicly told the Cowboys this week, “Don’t test my loyalty.”

But, for all the public posturing going on, Jones says the talks are not a distraction.

It’s not a distraction at all,” Jones said, per the Dallas Morning News. “It obviously didn’t distract Dez [when he caught six passes for 158 yards and two touchdowns Sunday in London], and it doesn’t distract us. It’s a meaningful contract to the degree that it does and will impact our financial management of our salary cap, which is a big part of what helps get a good team on the field. So it deserves the kind of attention that we’re giving it. ...”

Bryant declared prior to the season that he intended to shelf contract talks once the season began, but apparently that idea has gone out the window, as negotiations between the two sides have apparently been going on for some time.

“He’s a loyal guy and we’re loyal guys,” Jones said. “Of all the players that I’ve been associated with over the years, I’ve had a chance to probably have more personal interaction with Dez. Probably as much as with Michael Irvin back in the early ‘90s, but certainly a lot of personal interaction, inordinately so.

“We have both had a chance to show that we really work well together, we’re very loyal, you can count on us. And I say us, him to, you can count on us if the hair gets short, you get a little problem, we can count on each other to work it out. And that’s the way it’s been for the first five years that we’ve been together.”

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<![CDATA[Cowboys Looking for Cornerback Help]]> Fri, 14 Nov 2014 13:10:17 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/tyler-patmon-big-night.jpg

As expected following an injury to Tyler Patmon, the Dallas Cowboys are looking for some cornerback help.

The rookie corner suffered a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee in the first half of last week’s 31-17 victory over the Jaguars in London. The sprained MCL could keep Patmon out for up to a month, prompting Dallas to bring in three cornerbacks--Robert Steeples, Lou Young and Jonte Green--this week for an audition, ESPN Dallas reports.

Steeples came into the league in 2013 as an undrafted free agent out of Memphis, and has spent time with the Rams, Vikings and Chiefs. Young entered the league this year, undrafted out of Georgia Tech, and had a stint with the Ravens practice squad. Green was drafted by the Lions out of New Mexico State in the sixth round back in 2012 and appeared in 24 games with the team, starting seven. For his career, Green has 29 tackles, seven passes defensed and an interception.

Before the MCL injury, the rookie Patmon had seven tackles, a pass defensed and an interception that went for a 58-yard touchdown.

Stay on top of the latest Dallas Cowboys news with NBCDFW.com. Follow NBC DFW on Facebook or have breaking Cowboys news sent directly to your phone with Blue Star SMS alerts. Text "bluestar" to 622339 (NBCDFW) to subscribe, text HELP for more info, and text STOP to end the subscription. Message and data rates may apply.Read more about it here.

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<![CDATA[Dez Gives O-Linemen Jordans]]> Fri, 14 Nov 2014 12:59:37 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/160*120/bin-23-air-jordan-13-retro-premio-2-500x4501.jpg

DeMarco Murray gave all of the Cowboys' offensive linemen new iMac computers recently as a big, hearty "thank you" for opening up gigantic running lanes for him as he attempts to break Eric Dickerson's single-season rushing record.

Tony Romo also got in on the gift-giving, as he bought the big guys new Louis Vuitton luggage at a steep price, which is OK because Romo makes more money than just about anyone.

Then this week, star receiver Dez Bryant got in on the fun when he gave the five starting offensive linemen retro Air Jordan shoes, valued at around $850 for the five pairs. Chances are, Bryant didn't have to pay for them as he has an endorsement deal with the Air Jordan brand.

Can you see Travis Frederick sporting some ol' retro Air Jordans? I sure can't, but it'd be a funny sight to behold. Oh well, it's the thought that counts, right?



Photo Credit: House of Hoops]]>
<![CDATA[Kiper Calls Zack Martin NFL's Best Rookie]]> Fri, 14 Nov 2014 12:47:14 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/456305802.jpg

Halfway through the season it looks like the Dallas Cowboys made the right decision back in May when, after much discussion and hand-wringing over the still available Johnny Manziel, they selected Notre Dame offensive tackle Zack Martin with the 16th overall pick.

The Cowboys moved Martin to right guard, where he’s flourished in his rookie season, so much so that ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper recently ranked Martin as the best rookie in the NFL.

"The story of the season for Dallas has been the effectiveness of the offensive line. And what's remarkable about that unit is if you go through every game (and that's my Monday this year), you realize that Martin has been the most consistent player,” Kiper writes, via Todd Archer of ESPN Dallas. “He's been outstanding, probably a top-10 player at the position league-wide. And remember, this is a guy who could flip outside to tackle."

With the addition of Martin, the Dallas offensive line has been among the best in the league, as evidenced by the production of DeMarco Murray, currently the NFL's leading rusher.

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<![CDATA[Cowboys Keep Amobi Okoye on Reserve List]]> Fri, 14 Nov 2014 12:34:56 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/amobi-okoye-master-splinter.jpg

Amobi Okoye’s return to football will have to wait.

According to reports, the Dallas Cowboys have opted against activating Okoye from the non-football injury list, meaning he will not be eligible to play this year. Thursday, 21 days after he began practicing with the team, marked the deadline for them to make the call--add Okoye to the 53-man roster, cut him or keep him on the aforementioned reserve list.

Okoye missed all of 2013 with anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis, a rare and very serious brain condition.

I am definitely ready to go and play, but it’s all left to what they think upstairs,” Okoye said, per the Dallas Morning News.

Okoye, who was signed back in May, still has another year on his two-year deal with Dallas.

“For someone who has gone through what I’ve gone through, you just soak in every minute and moment that you have,” Okoye said. “I feel like when I get a chance to do what I do, I do it to my best.”

Stay on top of the latest Dallas Cowboys news with NBCDFW.com. Follow NBC DFW on Facebook or have breaking Cowboys news sent directly to your phone with Blue Star SMS alerts. Text "bluestar" to 622339 (NBCDFW) to subscribe, text HELP for more info, and text STOP to end the subscription. Message and data rates may apply.Read more about it here.

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<![CDATA[Place Your Bets: Week 11]]> Fri, 14 Nov 2014 12:26:33 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/458299040.jpg

If you live in Nevada, Oregon, Montana or Delaware, you're in luck. Otherwise, go to Canada or Europe and get your bet on for the NFL weekend! All games are Sunday unless otherwise noted.

1. Houston (+3.0) at Cleveland — The Browns are playing well, and could go a long way in bettering their playoff hopes with a win over Houston, and the Browns are a good team at home. The Texans have had a bye week to help prepare Ryan Mallet for his first NFL start and should have Arian Foster back in the fold after an injury two weeks ago. This should be a close game either way, but call it a hunch, Houston will win, not just cover.

2. Seattle (+2.0) at Kansas City — Again, call it a hunch. The Seahawks aren't the same team that cruised to a Super Bowl win seven months ago, namely because their pass defense isn't quite what it used to be. Guess what, the Chiefs don't throw it around a ton. The Seahawks area really fighting for their playoff lives, and I'm not going to doubt the heart of a champion.

3. Atlanta at Carolina (PK) — Easy. Pick the winner, and you win. No spread here. The Panthers have been awful, and seem to be getting worse every week. Granted, the Falcons aren't world-beaters, but they're starting to play better and had a big win over Tampa Bay last week.

4. New England (+3.0) at Indianapolis — I'm not a betting expert by any means, but I know this: Bill Belichick and Tom Brady are money in the bag when they're underdogs. This is going to be a vastly entertaining game featuring maybe the best QB of all time against a guy that might have that title by the time he's done. But in the end, give me Brady and the Patriots.

5. Pittsburgh (-5.5) at Tennessee — Finally, a favorite we actually feel good about. The Titans are playing a bunch of kids, namely their starting quarterback. The Steelers are going to be coming out mad after an embarrassing loss to the Jets last week as Ben Roethlisberger's brilliant two-game stretch went up in flames. Look for the Steelers to roll.

Last week: 2-3. 2014 season: 18-27.

 (Yes, it's been an awful season!)



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>