<![CDATA[NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth - Blue Star]]> Copyright 2015 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, 29 Nov 2015 09:56:53 -0600 Sun, 29 Nov 2015 09:56:53 -0600 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Newy, Pat on Cowboys' Loss to Carolina]]> Fri, 27 Nov 2015 07:57:10 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/scruggs-doney-cowboys-panthers_1200x675_575116355503.jpg NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs and NBC 5 Anchor Pat Doney weigh in on the Cowboys' Thanksgiving loss to the Carolina Panthers and Tony Romo's injury.]]> <![CDATA[5 Things to Know About Cowboys Loss to Panthers]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 22:45:11 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/doney_5_things_1200x675_574986819700.jpg NBC 5 Sports Anchor Pat Doney explains the five things you need to know about the Cowboys loss to the Panthers on Thanksgiving Day.]]> <![CDATA[Panthers 33, Cowboys 14: My Top 10 Whitty Comments]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 19:04:27 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/214*120/getty-cowboys.jpg

10. Let’s put to rest once and for all this notion of the Cowboys having “the best offensive line in the NFL.” That group was bludgeoned by the Panthers on every snap. Tony Romo was under duress from the start, and Darren McFadden finished with 11 yards on 10 carries.

9. I know he picked off Romo twice, but I still maintain that Luke Kuechly > Luke Bryan. I’m born and raised in Texas and like my share of legit country music, but it’s embarrassing that the rest of America actually thinks that’s “our” music. Because it’s horrible music.

8. The Cowboys’ season has been disastrous on every level, including their head coach. Why did Jason Garrett kick a field goal on Dallas’ first drive of the second half with his team trailing, 23-3? And, worse, why did he waste a timeout on a preposterous challenge of an obvious Panthers’ completion? For the year Garrett is 2-5 on his challenges. For what it’s worth, with nothing to lose and desperate for a spark, why not attempt an onside kick to start the 2nd half?

7. In their all-blue uniforms the Panthers may have looked like the Smurfs, but the Cowboys in their all-whites played like it was a training camp practice.

6. Cam Newton is having a nice season. But truly great quarterbacks don’t over-celebrate touchdowns with choreographed dances. And they sure the heck don’t give exaggerated, demonstrative first-down signals with a 33-14 lead and 3 minutes remaining. Just smacks of an immature guy who isn’t accustomed to success.

5. Sometimes you think the NFL is a brutal war between rugged gladiators. And then you're reminded that "leaping" is a penalty.

4. In the 6+ quarters of his return, Romo threw 49 passes and was intercepted five times. Ouch.

3. Romo’s re-broken collarbone was ugly. Made us all cringe. But the most hideous sight of the game was Dallas’ 3rd-and-3 call of a bubble screen to … Gavin Escobar. What the what?!

2. Crappy Thanksgiving! On the last two turkey days the combined score is Cowboys 24, EaglesPanthers 66.

1. Most troubling play of the entire game was the first Pick 6. While the Panthers’ Kurt Coleman returned an interception for a score, 40 yards downfield Dez Bryant decided it was a good idea to talk trash to Carolina cornerback Josh Norman. Instead of hustling to make a points-saving tackle, Bryant – who is a captain and supposedly a team leader – up I over team. He also produced only 2 catches for 26 yards. I’m not saying Dez has quit. But I am saying it’s impossible to defend him against critics who claim he’s gone totally downhill since getting his big contract.

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 lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.

Photo Credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Sean Lee Nominated for Rooney Sportsmanship Award]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 10:53:02 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/sean-lee-neck-injury.jpg

Dallas Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee is among the 32 players nominated for the Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award.

Each team nominates one player for the award, which recognizes NFL players who exemplify outstanding sportsmanship on the field -- including fair play, respect for the game and opponents and integrity in competition.

Former NFL players will whittle the list to eight, four representatives from each conference. From there, current players will vote on the winner.

The award was created during the 2014 season to honor the late founding owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and Pro Football Hall of Famer, Art Rooney Sr.

The first winner was Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald.

The winner of the award will be announced at NFL Honors before Super Bowl 50. In addition to the award, $25,000 will be donated from the NFL Foundation to the charity of his choice.

The full list of nominees is below:

Arizona Cardinals -- DT Calais Campbell
Atlanta Falcons -- CB Desmond Trufant
Baltimore Ravens -- RB Justin Forsett
Buffalo Bills -- QB Tyrod Taylor
Carolina Panthers -- LB Luke Kuechly
Chicago Bears -- RB Matt Forté
Cincinnati Bengals -- LB Vinny Rey
Cleveland Browns -- QB Josh McCown
Dallas Cowboys -- LB Sean Lee
Denver Broncos -- WR Demaryius Thomas
Detroit Lions -- WR Calvin Johnson
Green Bay Packers -- LB Julius Peppers
Houston Texans -- T Duane Brown
Indianapolis Colts -- QB Matt Hasselbeck
Jacksonville Jaguars -- DT Sen'Derrick Marks
Kansas City Chiefs -- LB Derrick Johnson
Miami Dolphins -- DT Earl Mitchell
Minnesota Vikings -- LB Chad Greenway
New England Patriots -- T Nate Solder
New Orleans Saints -- TE Benjamin Watson
New York Giants -- RB Rashad Jennings
New York Jets -- LB David Harris
Oakland Raiders -- S Charles Woodson
Philadelphia Eagles -- LB DeMeco Ryans
Pittsburgh Steelers -- CB William Gay
San Diego Chargers -- QB Philip Rivers
San Francisco 49ers -- T Joe Staley
Seattle Seahawks -- WR Jermaine Kearse
St. Louis Rams -- DT Aaron Donald
Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- DT Gerald McCoy
Tennessee Titans -- CB Jason McCourty
Washington Redskins -- RB Alfred Morris

<![CDATA[Fantasy Land: Studs and Duds, Week 12]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 09:47:07 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/461026154.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
Matthew Stafford, QB, DET — Stafford is traditionally very good on Turkey Day, and he's also very good at home. Those two things obviously coincide as the Lions are annual hosts on Thanksgiving Day. The most appealing part about this week for Stafford? The fact he's playing an Eagles team with a leaky secondary that has allowed some big performances for opposing quarterbacks. Need evidence? Look no further than last week when rookie Jameis Winston tossed five touchdown passes against them.

Honorable mention: Brian Hoyer, HOU (vs. NO): Javorius Allen, BAL (at CLE); James Jones, GB (vs. CHI); Amari Cooper, OAK (at TEN).

Dud of the Week
Brock Osweiler, QB, DEN — The Broncos have long wondered what they had in Osweiler, who's rookie deal expires after this season, and now they're finally getting a chance to decide what the future holds for him in their organization. Last week, in his starting debut, Osweiler had a really nice showing. This week, though, could be different. He faces a good Patriots defense on Sunday night.

Honorable mention: Tony Romo, DAL (vs. CAR); James White, NE (at DEN); Jeremy Maclin, KC (vs. BUF); Tavon Austin, STL (at CIN).

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[AT&T Stadium Gets Ready for Thanksgiving]]> Wed, 25 Nov 2015 19:33:15 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/att+stadium+thanksgiving+dinner.jpg

When you regularly cook for 90,000-plus people, there's no such thing as too many cooks in the kitchen. That's especially the case the day before Thanksgiving at AT&T Stadium.

"The next 24 hours are going to be no sleep, a lot of coffee and a lot of hard work," said Tony Sinese, senior executive sous chef for Legends, which provides all food services at AT&T Stadium.

The kitchens at AT&T Stadium were alive all day Wednesday, as workers prepped salads, sliced green beans, mixed gravy and intricately decorated pies and cookies ahead of Thursday's Cowboys game.

"We plan months and months out from where we are right now," said Sinese.

Sinese has been part of the Thanksgiving Day madness for several years now and says the culinary team has it down to a science.

"We have multiple, multiple kitchens and some very highly talented chefs that will be able to make sure that everything goes out on time, just like we're preparing it for our families at home," said Sinese.

That kind of precision is the only way they can pull it off.

When all is said and done, they'll have served more than 20,000 pounds of food, including 9,200 pounds of turkey, 1,800 pounds of mashed potatoes and 420 gallons of gravy.

"You know, [the food] is just about as important as the game," said Sinese.

Thanksgiving Day food will be available in all areas of the stadium Thursday.

Arlington police are making game day preps of their own. At the request of the NFL, they're stepping up security around the stadium with additional officers, more cameras and extra bomb and vapor sniffing dogs.

Officials say no specific threats have been made against the stadium, but they want to ensure everyone stays safe during the holiday.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[AT&T Stadium Prepares for Thanksgiving Meals]]> Wed, 25 Nov 2015 19:34:15 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/att+stadium+thanksgiving+dinner.jpg Culinary teams at AT&T Stadium in Arlington are preparing for a busy Thanksgiving Day as the Cowboys take on the Panthers.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Power Rankings: NFC East]]> Wed, 25 Nov 2015 17:15:19 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/beckham8.jpg

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

1. New York Giants (5-5) — The Giants were on bye, giving a week to guys like Odell Beckham to recover from nagging injuries and hopefully getting them recharged for the stretch run. This team is still in the driver's seat, but they have a really tough remaining schedule. Next up: Sunday, noon, at Washington Redskins.

2. Dallas Cowboys (3-7) — The worst record in the East? Check. But, they also have their quarterback back, and when he's playing, the Cowboys are 3-0 this year. This week is a big test against a 10-0 Panthers team, but after that, they could make a run. Next up: Thursday, 3:30 p.m., vs. Carolina Panthers.

3. Washington Redskins (4-6) — It just seems like the two bottom teams in my rankings are kind of cooked. The Redskins are just a boring football team, but they have managed to win more games, to date, than the Cowboys, so... Next up: Sunday, noon, vs. New York Giants.

4. Philadelphia Eagles (4-6) — The chaos has begun in Philly, as the Eagles have dropped two straight and now there is reportedly a big riff between Chip Kelly and the Eagles' front office. Sam Bradford is out, and who knows? That could actually make them better. We'll soon find out. Next up: Thursday, 11:30 a.m., at Detroit Lions.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys' Top 10 Thanksgiving Games]]> Wed, 25 Nov 2015 12:46:38 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/219*120/Dallas-Cowboys-Cheerleaders1.jpg

Pass the turkey. And, while we’re at it, can we skip last year’s Cowboys game on Thanksgiving, too?

A year we expected an NFC East showdown between 8-3 Dallas and Philadelphia, but were basically served a big helping of coagulated, canned cranberry sauce.

Eagles 33, Cowboys 10 was adorned by Pitbull, and – a long time ago – forgotten by everyone.

Here’s hoping tomorrow is – like most Cowboys’ Turkey Day games – more memorable.

While former running back Joseph Randle sits in a Kansas jail, Greg Hardy will attempt to devour his former team and the Cowboys – as they did against the Peyton Manning’s Colts in 2006 and Drew Brees’ New Orleans Saints in 2009 – will try to ruin another undefeated season against Cam Newton’s 10-0 Panthers.

Oh, and some newfangled country star named Luke Bryan will bring the Thanksgiving soundtrack down a notch. Or two.

So get ready for the turkey. The dressing. The belt-loosened nap. The relatives and the heartburn, both of which will be slow to depart. And, somewhere in between, football drama.

The Cowboys are 29-17-1 on Thanksgiving, and I’ve already picked them to upset Carolina. Here’s hoping it’s a game that a year from now cracks this list.

The Top 10 All-Time Most Memorable Cowboys’ Thanksgiving Games:

10. 11.25.2010: Saints 30, Cowboys 27 – After trailing 20-6 at halftime the Cowboys rally for a 27-23 lead and were on their way to icing the upset before Roy Williams fumbles after a 47-yard catch inside New Orleans’ 10 with three minutes remaining.

9. 11.26.87: Vikings 44, Cowboys 38 (OT) – Darrin Nelson's game-ending run overcomes Danny White's five touchdowns and drops 5-6 Dallas out of the playoffs.

8. 11.24.05: Broncos 24, Cowboys 21 (OT) – After Billy Cundiff misses a 34-yard field goal late in regulation, Denver's Ron Dayne sets up the heartbreak loss with a 55-yard rumble.

7. 11.23.06: Cowboys 38, Buccaneers 10 – Tony Romo's ascension from free agent to superstar gains traction as his franchise-record tying five touchdowns lead Dallas into first place in the NFC East.

6. 11.26.98: Vikings 46, Cowboys 36 – Rookie receiver Randy Moss haunts the team that passed over him in the draft with three touchdowns and 163 yards receiving.

5. 11.22.01: Broncos 26, Cowboys 24 – Dallas' rally from a 26-3 deficit is thwarted when coach Dave Campo inexplicably shuns a two-point conversion attempt after a Reggie Swinton touchdown in the fourth quarter.

4. 11.23.89: Eagles 27, Cowboys 0 – Philly's Buddy Ryan adds to the "Bounty Bowl" humiliation with a $200 reward for one of his players taking out Cowboys' kicker Luis Zendejas.

3. 11.24.94: Cowboys 42, Packers 31 – With Troy Aikman and Rodney Peete sidelined with injuries and his team trailing 17-3, a Cowboys’ backup quarterback named Jason Garrett steps in and throws for 311 yards and leads Dallas to a record 36 second-half points.

2. 11.25.93: Dolphins 16, Cowboys 14 – Ice storm. Leon Lett. Grumble mumble ... Don’t look now, but it’s been 21 years already.

1. 11.28.74: Cowboys 24, Redskins 23 – Replacing an injured Roger Staubach, Abilene Christian rookie Clint Longley - making his first NFL appearance - orchestrates a dramatic and improbable rally, climaxed by a 50-yard touchdown pass to Drew Pearson with 28 seconds remaining.

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 lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.

Photo Credit: KXAS/Jane Geelan]]>
<![CDATA[Rob Ryan Explains How Romo Makes Life Hard for Opposing Defenses]]> Wed, 25 Nov 2015 12:37:51 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/cowboys-dolphins-romo11.22.jpg

With some free time on his hands after being fired by the New Orleans Saints a little over a week ago, former Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan joined NFL Network last week to help preview the Week 11 slate of games. While he was there, he offered some insight into what Tony Romo does to make life difficult for opposing defenses.

"I think Tony Romo is one of the best quarterbacks in the league," Ryan said, via the Dallas Morning News. "I think if he knows what you're in, you're dead. So you've got to lie to Tony Romo, you've got to disguise your coverages and you do got to hit him. But it's easier said than done because you're playing with fire with Dez Bryant out there one on one. He tilts the field as well. You got two of the ultimate playmakers right there. You always have (Jason) Witten inside, so this is a very tough offense."

Ryan did have some criticism for the Cowboys, specifically what they did in the seven weeks Romo was out. Ryan led the Saints defense that beat those Romo-less Cowboys in an overtime game on October 4.

“The only thing I've been disappointed with, when Romo is gone, the running game wasn't the same," Ryan said. "You lose Bill Callahan, who is a great coach, and I think their running game is not the same as last year. And I think Tony Romo is ready to lead this team.”

<![CDATA[Cam Newton Says Hardy Was a "Great Teammate"]]> Wed, 25 Nov 2015 12:19:45 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/cam-newton-460148244-getty.jpg

Set to face his former teammate Greg Hardy for the first time on Thursday, this week, Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton remembered the controversial defensive end as a fine teammate.

"Greg is a great teammate, contrary to popular belief," Newton said, per the Dallas Morning News. "He is a person that came in and worked hard, gave everybody everything that he had and a person that you love to watch on Sundays. Any time you've got a person like that, it's always great to watch. I'm wishing him the best."

Now, whether what Newton said is really contrary to popular belief in NFL circles is debatable. Outside the NFL, yes, Hardy is almost universally disliked. But Newton’s statement goes right in line with what other Panthers said about Hardy, and is highly similar to what the quarterback of Hardy’s current team, Tony Romo had to say about the former Pro Bowler this week.

"He's done a real good job in our locker room of presenting himself as a good teammate," Romo said. "He comes in with a good attitude and a good work ethic here in the building. So the teammates obviously root for him."

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Brandon Carr Looking to End Long Interception Drought]]> Wed, 25 Nov 2015 11:57:08 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/brandon-carr-2015-preseason.jpg

Saturday will mark two years since the last time Brandon Carr intercepted a pass, against the Oakland Raiders to seal a win on Thanksgiving Day 2013.

Carr acknowledged this week that the long drought has been on his mind.

"Thinking about it all the time," Carr said, per the Dallas Morning News. "I want to get the ball in my hands more. That would be icing on the cake. I'm hard on myself with interceptions. So that's where I kind of base my season, my progress each year. We're still working on it. We've still got some more games to go and get the ball."

Carr has 14 career interceptions, but that last one came when his son, Austin, was just three months old. Now, in addition to his own desire to get his hands on the ball, he wants to show his boy what he can do now that he’s old enough to grasp what’s going on to some degree.

“I'm just trying to get one for my little man right now, so he can see dad get an interception finally, now that he understands what's going on out there,” Carr said. "Give him something to get excited about.”

<![CDATA[Staubach Likes Cowboys' Chances with Romo Back at the Helm]]> Wed, 25 Nov 2015 11:41:09 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Roger_Staubach_Speaks_5p_012315_1200x675_388469827530.jpg

Ever the Tony Romo fan, Roger Staubach likes the Dallas Cowboys’ chances now that their franchise quarterback is back, even if they’re sitting at 3-7 and in last place in the NFC East, with almost no room for error down the stretch.

"I'm excited about the game on Thursday,” Staubach told 103.3-FM ESPN Radio’s Cowlishaw and Mosley Show, via the Dallas Morning News. “They're 3-7 and I don't think if someone told me that I'd be really excited about the Cowboys playing Carolina. But they're still in it and at 3-7 their division is helping them stay in it. They're a better team now (with) the health of Dez (Bryant) and Tony. So I think we can beat anybody that we play, it's just can we win six more games in a row?"

Staubach has been a Romo supporter for as far back as we can remember, but we would not surprised if the Hall of Famer’s fandom is at an all-time high--after watching the Cowboys flail around in seven consecutive losses in the absence of Romo, we’d imagine that’s the case for a lot of folks in North Texas.

"I haven't just jumped on the Tony Romo bandwagon,” Staubach said. “I remember the Thanksgiving day game, I think it was against the Packers, when he first got his chance. You could just see he had these abilities to make plays and he had a good arm, he could move. He had that 13-3 season, too. I've been a Tony fan for a long time. I think he's just a fantastic football player and he's proven also that it's not your physical part on the field, it's the mental part of getting your teammates confident. Just him playing last week, I think the offensive team played better and the defensive team played better. I've always liked Tony as a football player so I'm not surprised at all the great things he's doing last year and this year."

<![CDATA[Cowboys Could Return to London Next Year]]> Wed, 25 Nov 2015 11:24:57 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/458696574.jpg

The Dallas Cowboys could be headed back to London in 2016.

Last year, the Cowboys defeated the Jaguars 31-17 at Wembley, the site of all the NFL games in London to this point. Dallas got to stay on this side of the Atlantic this year, but are one of three teams who could face the Rams in London in 2016--along with NFC East mates, Washington, Philadelphia and New York.

If the Redskins win that draw, which will be determined by how the division shakes out this year, they will become the first team to play two consecutive games in London, with the Rams matchup coming on October 23 and a matchup with the Bengals the week after.

"Washington may play in consecutive weeks in London in 2016, depending on the final standings," the NFL said, per the Dallas Morning News. "At minimum, they will face the Bengals in Week 8."

Next year, the NFL’s London operation expands to include games at Twickenham, the south London venue that serves as home of the national rugby team, and beginning in 2018, they’ll hold two games a year at Tottenham’s stadium, in addition to the games at Wembley and Twickenham.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Former Cowboys RB Randle Arrested After Casino Incident]]> Wed, 25 Nov 2015 14:56:29 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/randle-mugshot-inset-casino.jpg

Former Dallas Cowboys running back Joseph Randle has once again found himself behind bars.

The Sumner County Sheriff's Office in Kansas confirmed to The Dallas Morning News that Randle was arrested following an altercation at the Kansas Star Casino in Mulvane Tuesday night.

TMZ Sports first reported Randle's arrest, saying casino sources said Randle was intoxicated and asked to leave, "but on the way out, spit on the floor and assaulted a security officer."

The report adds that Randle initially left when asked, but returned and tried to fight an officer with the Kansas Gaming and Racing Commission.

Commission spokesman Fred Waller told The Dallas Morning News that it's not clear what got Randle slapped with the felony count, though "he likely said something to one of the agents" during the scuffle and that several agents had to restrain him.

He was booked on suspicion of criminal threat, assault of a law enforcement officer, battery, disorderly conduct, criminal trespass, disorderly conduct and interference with a law enforcement officer.

No formal charges have been filed yet, said Stephanie McGinnis, legal secretary at the Sumner County attorney's office. His bail has been set at $25,000.

Randle was cut from the Cowboys Nov. 3 while dealing with an "unspecified personal issue" and, a week later, was suspended four games by the NFL under the league's personal conduct policy.

Previously the league investigated Randle's February 2015 arrest in his hometown of Wichita related to a domestic disturbance complaint that included allegations he pointed a gun at his girlfriend. Police eventually declined to pursue charges in the case.

In October 2014, Randle was arrested after police said he left Dillard's at Stonebriar Centre Mall without paying for a 2-pack of underwear and a tester bottle of Gucci Guilty Black cologne that had been stuffed into his shopping bag. Randle later said he didn't have time to stop and pay for the items, valued at $123, and that if he'd known he was going to be arrested he would never have stopped for the store's loss prevention team.

After pleading guilty to misdemeanor theft, a judge in McKinney sentenced Randle to 180 days of deferred adjudication probation. He also paid $706 in court-related costs. Last week, Frisco police released surveillance video showing Randle apparently shoplifting at the store.

In 2015, Randle had racked up 315 yards on 76 attempts in six games. Through his three year NFL career, Randle has totaled only 822 yards on 181 carries in 35 games. Randle, a product of Oklahoma State University, was drafted 18th in the fifth round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys. Since being cut by the Cowboys, Randle has cleared waivers but has not been picked up by any NFL team.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[On Deck: Carolina Panthers]]> Tue, 24 Nov 2015 14:59:58 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/180*120/498314628.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 2015 season.

The Opponent: The Panthers are the cream of the NFC crop and they might just be the best team in football. Not only are they 10-0, they're physicaly beating teams with a strong, physical defense, a pounding running game and the best dual-threat quarterback in the game in Cam Newton.

Past Meetings: The Cowboys are 9-3 all-time against the Panthers, including five straight wins dating back to their last loss in a 2004 postseason game.

Who's Hot: When Cam Newton is feelin' it and is hot, it's hard to even think about slowing down and containing the Panthers. If last week's game is any indication, the Cowboys are in trouble. Newton tossed five touchdown passes last week in a 44-16 throttling of Washington. He passed for 246 yards. The Panthers' defense allowed just nine first downs in the game and under 200 yards of offense.

Darren McFadden was a man among boys on Sunday, running downhill and out-muscling the Dolphins en route to 129 yards on 29 carries in a real workmanlike effort. The return of Tony Romo instantly rejuvenated the Cowboys' outside receivers, as both Dez Bryant and Terrance Williams each caught touchdown passes. The Cowboys defense allowed just 210 yards, nine first downs and got a defensive touchdown from Rolando McClain.

Who's Not: Not really anything to say here about either team. Romo is back, Newton is awesome, and both defenses are coming off dominant efforts last week.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[You Betcha Week 12: Romo Upsets Cam]]> Tue, 24 Nov 2015 14:02:27 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-490323452.jpg

I long ago burned out on Fantasy Football. I can’t wrap my little brain around the FanDuelDraftKings craze. And I’ve wasted lots of time and a little money on not finishing first in those Eliminator Pools. But, alas, like of fans, I do like to have a little extra interest in Cowboys games. So let’s do this: I just robbed an imaginary bank and pocketed a virtual $1,000. What better way to spend it than on some mythical wagering.

I’ll start with my $1k bankroll and each week – usually on Thursday or Friday – I’ll analyze the upcoming Cowboys game and make a wager. With any luck, by Christmas it’ll be iPhone upgrades for everyone.

Do I think we’ll win? You betcha!

Nailed Tony Romo’s return and the Cowboys beat the Dolphins last week. So now what do I do in the midst of my first winning streak of the season and a profit of $210?

Get a little crazy, that’s what.

Can’t remember if I’ve ever wagered on a 3-7 team to beat a 10-0 team, but that’s what I’m doing on Thanksgiving.

I realize the Panthers are undefeated and are led by a stingy defense and MVP candidate Cam Newton at quarterback, but I just don’t fear Carolina. Irrational? Maybe, yeah. But when in doubt I tend to side with the more desperate team.

Who will be more hungry for a win on Thursday? A Panthers team that has a four-game lead in its division and has already all but wrapped up home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs? Or a Cowboys team that trails the Giants by two games in the NFC East?

Romo should be even better in his second game back. Each week Dez Bryant should get a little more healthy. In Miami the Cowboys rediscovered their winning formula from 2014. And, oh by the way, you don’t think Greg Hardy will make an impact against the team that cut him?

Pass the turkey, and the insanity.

Cowboys 27, Panthers 24.

LAST WEEK: 1-0, +$300
THIS WEEK: Cowboys plus+1 over Panthers, for $200

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 lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Jerry Suggests Mo Claiborne Probably Out for Thanksgiving]]> Tue, 24 Nov 2015 12:31:00 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/mo-claiborne10.2.15.jpg

Byron Jones got his first career start at cornerback on Sunday, in place of Morris Claiborne, who is dealing with a hamstring injury suffered in the loss to the Bucs--and it looks like he’ll be back at it on Thursday, when the undefeated Panthers come to town for a Thanksgiving Day matchup.

Jerry Jones told 105.3-FM The Fan’s Shan and RJ this week that Claiborne will probably miss that game.

"Obviously it's a negative for him not to be there but those hamstrings are just a kind of a evaluate as you go," Jones said, via the Dallas Morning News. "That's why you don't just say he's out. On the other hand, you got to probably be conservative with a hamstring. We got a lot of football left to play, we hope."

Jerry Jones was full of praise for the work done by Byron Jones, who was at safety--and playing very well there--until Claiborne went down.

"He has exceeded expectations," Jerry Jones said. "He really does give us a chance because he just understands everything so well. He's just very intuitive. Apart from being book smart, he's very intuitive, football intuitive, which can be different, too. Of course, he's got the athletic ability to go with it."

<![CDATA[Anonymous Eagles Player Questions DeMarco Murray's Effort]]> Tue, 24 Nov 2015 12:21:59 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/demarco-murray-barry-church.jpg

DeMarco Murray took some criticism from a former teammate early last offseason when the now-departed Joseph Randle suggested he left some “meat on the bone” in 2014, and that was in reference to the single greatest statistical rushing season in the 50-plus-year history of the Dallas Cowboys.

So maybe the fact that some criticism would crop up this year in Philadelphia, when things aren’t exactly going all that swimmingly, shouldn’t come as much surprise. What does come as a bit of a surprise is that someone on the Eagles roster went so far as to take the anonymous route to question the former Cowboy’s effort in the press.

Specifically, the player was rankled by a 3rd-and-1 play against the Dolphins two weeks ago, on which Murray took a carry outside and attempted to slide past the first down marker and out of bounds, not unlike a quarterback.

(You can see video of the play in question here.)

And man was he rankled.

"Well, when you see DeMarco sliding before getting hit, you tell me. Was that giving full effort?" the unnamed Eagle told Jeff McClane of Philly.com. "You see that [stuff], and it makes you wonder."

<![CDATA[Byron Jones Making No Excuses After Rough Day at Corner]]> Tue, 24 Nov 2015 13:09:26 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-488136180.jpg

Last week, Cowboys rookie Byron Jones drew some praise for his work at cornerback after he replaced Morris Claiborne. It was the first time since training camp that the Cowboys’ first round pick had lined up outside, and he played it well after moving in from his safety spot.

Sunday against the Dolphins, Jones got the start there and had a bit of a rough day, surrendering a 29-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Tannehill to Kenny Stills, and a 47-yard pass to Jarvis Landry.

Jones is playing out of position, which might be a valid excuse, but the rookie isn’t offering any excuses at all.

"I gave up two big plays," Jones said, per the Dallas Morning News. "That's something as a DB you can't do. I was reminded of how small the margin of error out there at cornerback is. Two bad plays can really change the whole game."

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA["No Issues" For Romo After Miami: Garrett]]> Tue, 24 Nov 2015 11:35:55 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/498321574.jpg

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo participated in a walkthrough on Monday, a day removed from his first game action in two months, and head coach Jason Garrett was encouraged by how the All-Pro responded.

It seemed like he handled the game really well,” Garrett said, per Todd Archer of ESPN Dallas. “I don’t see any issues after the game. I don’t see any issues today.”

Romo went 18-of-28 in his return against the Dolphins, for 227 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions, but he got better as the game wore on--which wasn’t really surprising, given that he was coming off a two-month layoff.

“Just seeing the game, having the game slow down, trusting your reactions, trusting your instincts,” Garrett said. “The more you play, the more natural it is for you. When you haven’t played in a little bit, sometimes you have to get yourself acclimated back into the game. And sometimes the looks are really clean, you see it, boom, the ball comes out of your hand. And other times, you have to kind of work your way through things.

“I thought he did a good job in a couple of instances, when he didn’t see it great, or might have been late to a throw, he kind of burned the ball in a real positive way for us and kind of lived for another day. I thought as the game wore on, he looked more and more like himself.”

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Rivera: "Disrespectful" That Panthers are Listed as Underdogs Against Dallas]]> Tue, 24 Nov 2015 11:25:22 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/214*120/460874526.jpg

The Carolina Panthers are 10-0 after dismantling the Washington Redskins at home on Sunday, 44-16. The Cowboys are 3-7, after the return of Tony Romo lifted the team to their first win in two months against the Dolphins.

But the Cowboys are actually one-point favorites going into the Thanksgiving Day matchup with Cam Newton and co. Panthers head coach Ron Rivera opined this week, per Steve Reed of the Associated Press, that the line was "a little disrespectful."

Of course, no one in Las Vegas was looking to take a shot at the Panthers by making the Cowboys favorites--everything is considered when setting the odds--but we also know that NFL coaches are generally very adept at using any perceived disrespect to motivate their team, and we’ve seen them work with less.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Turbin Impresses in Cowboys Debut]]> Mon, 23 Nov 2015 12:45:36 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/robert-turbin-cowboydebut.jpg

Newest Dallas Cowboys running back Robert Turbin went for 35 yards on seven carries in Sunday’s 24-14 victory over the Miami Dolphins. That’s not a box score you cut out and put on your wall, but considering Turbin was signed just four days prior, it was pretty dang impressive.

The fact that Turbin even knew the plays is impressive," Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo said, per Tim Cowlishaw of the Dallas Morning News. “I reiterated where to go every play, but he already had it. He didn't even need it.”

For his part, Turbin did mention that he appreciated Romo’s help.

"It definitely helps to have Tony there,” Turbin said, “orchestrating everything for me, making sure I knew what I was doing every single play.”

A Utah State product, Turbin was drafted in the fourth round of the 2012 draft by the Seahawks, and backed up Marshawn Lynch there for three years. He spent two months with the Browns this season before being waived and landing with the Cowboys last Wednesday.

<![CDATA[McFadden Shows to be Every Bit the Closer]]> Mon, 23 Nov 2015 12:45:15 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/217*120/GettyImages-498292896.jpg

Darren McFadden has taken all kinds of heat this year, especially during the Cowboys' seven-game losing skid that coincided with Tony Romo's broken clavicle.

Of course, Romo returned on Sunday, and of course, the Cowboys' losing streak came to an end.

But a lot of the reason the Cowboys are now 3-7 instead of 2-8 is the play of McFadden on Sunday, as he put together perhaps one of his best games as a pro and definitely his best game as a Cowboys running back in a year when he's been pretty dang good the whole time.

McFadden was huge on blitz pickup on Sunday, but that's not what grabs the headlines and what people remember — McFadden ran the ball like a boss, like DeMarco Murray did in 2014 so many times.

In all, he finished the game with 129 yards on 29 carries — a workmanlike, boss effort from the veteran who's battled injury problems his whole career but has stayed relatively healthy this year and has been a workhorse. He ran downhill and used his great offensive line just like Murray did.

McFadden's play on the last drive of the game was huge as the Cowboys killed the clock and any chance the Dolphins would have at a comeback. It was a thing of beauty, and while the line deserves a ton of credit, McFadden does, too.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Were Corey White, Christine Michael Cut For Not Wearing Suits?]]> Mon, 23 Nov 2015 15:03:50 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-485931710.jpg

As the Dallas Cowboys beat the Miami Dolphins 24-14 on Sunday, a strange tidbit emerged concerning the release Tuesday of running back Christine Michael and cornerback Corey White.

Namely, that they didn’t wear suits on last week’s road trip to Tampa, which is required by Jason Garrett, and that that might have played a role in their release.

Obviously, the biggest issue wasn’t the pair’s clothes, but their uninspired performance on the field through the first half of the season. But according to Brandon George of the Dallas Morning News, the clothes were an issue.

"Sometimes you just have to drop the hammer," an unnamed Cowboys player said.

Interestingly enough, White confirmed to TMZ that the dress code had something to do with his release, saying that he wore a button-down and slacks that he thought would be acceptable under the rules. But they weren’t, apparently, and White said he isn’t mad about it.

I'm not angry,” White said. “It’s the rules.”

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[McClain Shows Up After Rough Season]]> Mon, 23 Nov 2015 12:18:59 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-498314510.jpg

Rolando McClain hadn't done much right since his return from a four-game suspension for substance abuse. After being one of the key cogs for a surprisingly good defense a year ago, his return didn't help matter in the midst of a seven-game losing skid that ended on Sunday in Miami.

Coincidentally, the skid ended in Miami on Sunday because, in part, of McClain, who had a big day at the office for the Cowboys' defense that dominated the Dolphins.

McClain and his teammates allowed just more than 200 total yards and only nine first downs on the day — about as dominant as you can get.

But it was McClain's second-quarter play that set the tone for the day when he intercepted Ryan Tannehill and 12 yards to paydirt on the first play of the second quarter to put Dallas up 7-0 after a scoreless first quarter.

If McClain can begin playing more like he did in 2014 and less like he did in the last month, it's going to be a big boost to the Cowboys' outside shot of getting into the postseason after digging themselves a 2-7 hole.

<![CDATA[Goodell Says NFL Might Need to Re-Revisit Catch Rule]]> Mon, 23 Nov 2015 12:06:36 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/461347692.jpg

Spurred on by the uproar surrounding Dez Bryant’s catch that wasn’t against the Packers in the divisional round of the playoffs last year, the NFL’s Competition Committee got together in the offseason to further clarify the rules that determine what is and what isn’t a catch.

11 week into the 2015 season, it seems clear they failed toward that end, essentially making a lateral move by just changing the language up a bit--gone is the stuff about a football move, here is the stuff about “becoming a runner” before going to the ground. All things considered, the Competition Committee might have actually done the opposite of clarification.

Very simply, that part of the game been legislated to the point where no one knows what a catch is in today’s NFL.

That’s a problem, obviously, and one that Roger Goodell says needs some addressing--again.

We debated that in the office the last couple weeks,” Goodell said, per USA Today. “And I think what we’re really going to do is get some people who are really focused on evaluating every one of these, and try to see, because it’s a balance between what you think is a catch, what the officials can officiate on a consistent basis and what’s going to have what we call the unintended consequences.

“If it’s too short a time … you’re going to get more fumbles on the field and (the question is) what kind of impact that has. So there are a lot of issues that need to be balanced in there. It’s not that simple a question. A lot of people believe the right way to do it is the second foot down and control, that’s a catch. That’s something we’ll have to look at. Again.”

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Romo, Bryant Pass Aikman, Irvin for Franchise TD Pass Record]]> Mon, 23 Nov 2015 11:52:10 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/460755002.jpg

In the third quarter of Sunday’s 24-14 win over the Dolphins, Tony Romo found Dez Bryant in the end zone for a 16-yard touchdown pass. It was the pair’s 50th touchdown connection, one more than the 49 posted by Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin over the years, and the most in franchise history.

But after the win, Bryant let it be known that he was far more motivated by the thought of equaling the playoff success shared by Aikman and Irvin than their touchdown total.

“That is pretty cool--but you know what they’ve got. They’ve got three of them,” Bryant said, referring to the three Super Bowl rings Aikman and Irvin won over a span of four years in the 1990s, per the team’s official website. “That’s the goal, man. I’m not trying to think too far ahead, but that’s the goal. You’ve just got to take it game-by-game and stay focused the way that we are and hope for the best.”

Bryant did add that he views the milestone as something to celebrate--just not yet.

“I will celebrate that after the season. I’m all in on where the season can go from here,” Bryant said. “I’m locked in, and I’m trying my best to stay that way and I’m trying my best to keep my team focused and also for them to stay that way. It’s not over for us.”

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Jerry Jones Says He's Spoken with Hardy About Behavior]]> Mon, 23 Nov 2015 12:14:30 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GregHardyDallasGettyImages-4922951061.jpg

As reports of Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy taking a less than punctual approach to team functions and being a general distraction float about, owner and general manager Jerry Jones told reporters in the wake of the team’s 24-14 win over the Dolphins on Sunday that he had addressed the issue with Hardy one-on-one.

Not surprisingly, Jones did not address what specifically was discussed.

"He is aware that everything he does--his personality, his style, his enthusiasm--it's all going to be interpreted negatively," Jones said, per Jean-Jacques Taylor of ESPN Dallas. "If he's not aware of that, then he's hurting a lot of people. I think he really gets that. We certainly feel that way. He understands it, and he has agreed to really work on it."

Hardy finished with two tackles on Sunday, and half a sack. He now has 4.5 sacks in six games for the Cowboys.

Photo Credit: File--Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Romo's Return Helped Us Remember the 2014 Cowboys]]> Mon, 23 Nov 2015 10:57:58 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/498321574.jpg

Thanksgiving in Arlington provides the NFL with an entertaining matchup of undefeated teams: The 10-0 Panthers and the 3-0 Cowboys.

With their starting quarterback, that is.

After a long, losing two months without Tony Romo, it took him one game to remind us that he is – critics be damned – one of the elite quarterbacks. Best example? He made the Cowboys a better all-around team in Sunday’s win in Miami.

Not sure exactly how Romo’s return woke up linebacker Rolando McClain or how it seemed to send Tyron Smith into his worst game of the season, but Romo’s positive impact was wide-spread:

Receivers – He completed passes to eight different receivers, including touchdowns to outside weapons Dez Bryant and Terrance Williams. The latter virtually disappeared in Romo’s absence while backups Brandon Weeden and Matt Cassel failed to get the ball downfield. When defenses can’t key on one target, it obviously makes the Cowboys more difficult to defend.

Darren McFadden – Since the Dolphins actually feared Romo throwing deep, they couldn’t afford to send an extra defender near the line of scrimmage to stop the run. It’s a strategy, more than anything else, that stagnated Dallas’ offense without Romo. But Sunday, with a little breathing room, the offensive line began to resemble its dominating form of 2014. McFadden and new backup Robert Turbin ran hard and found holes, amassing a combined 164 yards on 36 carries.

Jason Garrett – With the luxury of a quarterback who can put points on the board and overcome a tad of adversity, the head coach was a little more confident and a lot more aggressive. Going for 4th-and-1 near midfield in the 1st quarter was something he wouldn’t have dared to try without No. 9 in the game.

Scott Linehan – The offensive coordinator was able to dust off all the pages of the playbook. Even better, he was armed with the confidence that Romo – with his array of animated audibles up against a dwindling play clock – would run the right play against the right defense.

Defense – Other than the hiccup against the Eagles, Rod Marinelli’s unit played winning football without Romo. The Cowboys allowed only one offensive touchdown in three of the seven losses. But against Miami, they also enjoyed a soothing dose of Romo. Mostly, as was the case last year, they weren’t on the field as much. Part of that was the inept play of Dolphins’ quarterback Ryan Tannehill, and part was due to the improved Cowboys’ offense that ran the ball, converted first downs and dominated time of possession. With Romo guiding Dallas’ offense, the Dolphins had the ball for only 21:10 on Sunday, and ran only 41 offensive plays compared to 38:50 and 68 for Dallas. More times than not, that’s a recipe for a win.

Romo still has his detrimental habit of trying to make too much out of too little. Both of his interceptions were bad throws, born out of worse decisions under severe duress. But there’s no doubt that he gives the Cowboys a legitimate chance to win every game against any opponent.

The Cowboys haven’t lost this season when No. 9 starts. And, of course, the Panthers are undefeated with Cam Newton under center.

One of those streaks will be broken Thursday. And, suddenly, it’s not too outlandish to think it will be Dallas’ streak that continues.

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 lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Three Phases: Cowboys-Dolphins]]> Mon, 23 Nov 2015 10:45:17 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/164*120/GettyImages-498288968.jpg

Every week, we'll grade the Cowboys on the three phases of the weekend's game.

Offense: B+

Tony Romo was rusty, and his two interceptions were indicative of that as they were vintage Romo picks (meaning like 5 years ago Romo, so not pretty). But, he got the job done and made a couple of spectacular good vintage Romo plays, as well. Darren McFadden was a monster in the running game and was a true closer in the fourth quarter in the mold of 2014 DeMarco Murray.

Defense: A+

Wow. Rolando McClain showed up with a pick-six, and the Cowboys held Miami to 210 total yards and nine first downs in the game. That's about as dominant as you can be. It helped that the Dolphins held the ball for just 21 minutes, 10 seconds, which allowed the the defense to stay fresh.

Special teams: A

Dan Bailey was perfect, including a field goal, and punter Chris Jones was great again, like he has been most of the year.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Newy Scruggs Discusses The Cowboys Win In Miami]]> Sun, 22 Nov 2015 18:40:23 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Newy_Miami_Web_1200x675_572245059824.jpg November 22, 2015: NBC 5 sports director Newy Scruggs discusses the Cowboys 24-14 win over the Dolphins, snapping a seven game losing streak.]]> <![CDATA[From The Sidelines: Cowboys vs Dolphins]]> Sun, 22 Nov 2015 16:48:41 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/165*120/GettyImages-4982928821.jpg Images from the sideline: Dallas Cowboys vs Miami Dolphins. The Cowboys won 24-14 Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys 24, Dolphins 14: My Top 10 Whitty Comments]]> Sun, 22 Nov 2015 16:32:00 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-498314510.jpg

10. Only undefeated teams in the NFL. Panthers (10-0). Patriots (9-0). And the Dallas Cowboys with Tony Romo at quarterback (3-0).

9. The defense again played well enough to win. Rolando McClain awoke from his season-long slumber and – other than two long passes given up by Byron Jones – effectively shut down an admittedly pathetic Dolphins’ offense. The defense produced a pick six and after Romo’s two interceptions forced Miami punts.

8. The offense wasn’t perfect by any stretch, but it did produce 17 points. With just that measly total they Cowboys would’ve beat the Seahawks and the Buccaneers.

7. In my continuing amazement at the ridiculousness of TV commercials, let me get this one straight: A Texans’ fan is excited about his team’s win, so he goes outside – into his car – to scream in joy as to avoid waking up his sleeping baby. Sure, makes sense. But then he repeatedly honks the horn … and wakes up the baby anyway?

6. What I missed about Romo: His instinctive spin escapes, positive ad-libs and gorgeous spirals for touchdowns. What I didn’t miss: Him trying to do too much, resulting in two floating, futile interceptions.

5. In a day deserving of very few criticisms, I found it peculiar that Jason Garrett was wearing sunglasses during the early-game rain and then took them off when the sun popped out.

4. Romo and Dez Bryant hooked up for their 50th touchdown, one more than Troy Aikman-Michael Irvin. In a very related story, Romo-Bryant have exactly 11 fewer playoff wins than Aikman-Irvin.

3. What did Romo do? He made Dallas the second-dumbest team on the field for a change. The Dolphins failed to catch a kickoff, forcing them to start at their own 4. Their punter was called for a roughing penalty. And picking off Romo, the offense committed consecutive penalties that prompted a 1st-and-35.

2. No way to minimize this: In Romo’s last 21 starts the Cowboys are 17-4. In their last 21 games without him they are 5-16.

1. Romo’s back. Cowboys win. Redskins lose. Eagles lose. Giants don’t win. In other words, Happy (Early) Thanksgiving!

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 lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.

<![CDATA[Cowboys Top Dolphins in Romo's Return, 24-14]]> Sun, 22 Nov 2015 15:16:01 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/cowboys-dolphins-romo11.22.jpg

The Dallas Cowboys have snapped their seven-game skid, defeating the Dolphins 24-14 in Miami on Sunday afternoon, in Tony Romo’s return from a fractured collarbone.

The Cowboys got on the board in the second quarter when Rolando McClain intercepted Ryan Tannehill and returned it 12 yards for the touchdown. They’d extend that lead with about a minute remaining in the half with a 31 yard touchdown pass from Tony Romo to Terrance Williams. It was the team’s first offensive touchdown in seven quarters, and it extended the lead to 14-0.

In his return, Romo went 18-of-28 for 227 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions, including one that looked like the result of some miscommunication between the quarterback and Dez Bryant.

It looked like the Cowboys would take a 14-0 lead into half but an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty called on Bryant and Terrance Williams after the touchdown and a short kick set the Dolphins up at their own 46 and they quickly marched down the field, scoring on a 12 yard pass from Tannehill to tight end Jordan Cameron. The drive took three plays, and just 52 seconds.

The Dolphins made up the other touchdown on the other side of halftime, when Kenny Stills caught a 29-yard touchdown pass from Tannehill, but unlike in recent weeks, the Cowboys didn’t fold at this point.

Instead, Romo opened up the fourth quarter with a 16-yard touchdown pass to Bryant. Bailey would add a field goal to extend the lead to 10, at 24-14, before the Cowboys essentially ran out the clock with Darren McFadden, giving the Dolphins just about a minute to work with, down 10 and with no timeouts, on their final drive.

McFadden finished with 129 yards on 29 carries, and new running back Robert Turbin added 35 on seven tries. The game ended on a DeMarcus Lawrence sack of Tannehill.

At 3-7, the Cowboys will face the undefeated Panthers on Thanksgiving Day.

<![CDATA[Cowboys Lead Dolphins at Half, 14-7]]> Sun, 22 Nov 2015 13:39:52 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/cowboys-dolphins11.22.15.jpg

After 30 minutes in Miami, the Dallas Cowboys are leading the Dolphins, 14-7.

The Cowboys got on the board in the second quarter when Rolando McClain intercepted Ryan Tannehill and returned it 12 yards for the touchdown. They’d extend that lead with about a minute remaining in the half with a 31 yard touchdown pass from Tony Romo to Terrance Williams. It was the team’s first offensive touchdown in seven quarters

In his return, Romo is 9-of-16 for 132 yards, a touchdown and an interception, which looked like the result of some miscommunication between the quarterback and Dez Bryant.

It looked like the Cowboys would take a 14-0 lead into half but an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty called on Bryant and Terrance Williams after the touchdown and a short kick set the Dolphins up at their own 46 and they quickly marched down the field, scoring on a 12 yard pass from Tannehill to tight end Jordan Cameron. The drive took three plays, and just 52 seconds.

At half, it’s Cowboys 14, Dolphins 7.

<![CDATA[If Romo's Never Hurt, Aikman Sees Cowboys Sitting at 6-3 ]]> Fri, 20 Nov 2015 14:04:47 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/490375790.jpg

There’s little doubting the Dallas Cowboys’ season would look different at this point had Tony Romo not broken his collarbone in Week 2, sending the Cowboys (it turns out) to an 0-7 slide in his absence. But how different?

Hall of Fame quarterback turned FOX analyst Troy Aikman discussed that “what-if” scenario in discussing Romo’s return to action with the Musers on 1310-AM The Ticket this week, opining that if Romo had never been hurt, the Cowboys would have scored a touchdown more per game over these last seven weeks. If they had scored a touchdown more per game, they’re 4-3 in that span, and sitting atop the NFC East at 6-3.

The bad news is this is pure speculation, and worth exactly nothing to the Cowboys’ season. The good news is that Romo is finally back, set to return to non-hypothetical football on Sunday.

I expect them to play a lot better,” Aikman said, per the Dallas Morning News. “I think that it's safe to say that if Tony had been playing the last seven weeks, I think he's worth at least seven points in a game for the offense. And if you believe that, then there's at least four wins there. So, it'll look different. He's obviously more comfortable with the offense; the players are more comfortable with him. Some of the sacks don't occur. With him in the pocket, he's able to prolong some of the possessions and avoid the rush.”

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Christine Michael Lands on Redskins Practice Squad]]> Fri, 20 Nov 2015 12:52:51 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/christine-michael-debut.jpg

Christine Michael will be staying in the NFC East.

On Thursday, just two days after being released by the Cowboys, Michael was signed to the Washington Redskins’ practice squad, according to the Washington Post. The move reunites Michael with Washington general manager Scot McCloughan, who was working in the Seahawks’ front office when they drafted him.

A Texas A&M product, Michael was acquired by the Cowboys in a trade with the Seahawks the week before the season opener, with the thought that he’d step in as a third down/power back option. That never really worked out, though.

Michael toted it a total of 15 times in his brief time with the Cowboys, for 51 yards. He also caught a single pass out of the backfield for two yards.

<![CDATA[Dez Bryant: Minor Injuries "Nothing I Can't Handle"]]> Fri, 20 Nov 2015 12:28:01 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/194*120/496337222.jpg

Cowboys All-Pro receiver Dez Bryant was limited in practice on Thursday but is expected to play against the Dolphins on Sunday in Miami, and says the combination of two minor injuries and the lingering effects of a more major injury he’s dealing with now is “nothing I can’t handle,” per the Dallas Morning News.

Bryant suffered a fractured foot in the season opener against the Giants back on September 13, and didn’t return until the matchup with the Seahawks three weeks ago.

In his second game back, against the Eagles, he suffered a minor knee injury and a minor ankle injury while going up in traffic to grab a Matt Cassel Hail Mary for a touchdown.

That brings us to where we are currently, with Bryant working through the sore knee and ankle, as well as any lingering soreness in the surgically repaired foot.

"Dez is one of the toughest guys I've ever been around," said Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett. "He comes to work every day. Certainly comes to work on Sundays. He's a great competitor, so he's going to do what he needs to do to get himself ready to play."

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Ndamukong Suh Looking to Keep Tabs on Romo]]> Fri, 20 Nov 2015 12:10:34 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/461029406.jpg

Sunday will mark the fifth time in Ndamukong Suh’s career that he will spend the day across the line from Tony Romo, the Dallas Cowboys All-Pro quarterback who is expected to make his return to action in Miami on Sunday after a seven-week absence with a broken collarbone.

Tony Romo is a great quarterback,” Suh said, per James Walker of ESPN.com. “I’ve been fortunate enough to go against him at least five out of my six years in the league.

“He’s an excellent quarterback. Has great vision, has a deep arm, can throw the ball down the field as well as can use athletically his feet. We just gotta be able to understand where he’s at all particular times.”

The last of these meetings came 10 months ago, as Suh’s Lions faced Romo’s Cowboys. The Cowboys won in controversial fashion, but Suh had a pair of sacks of Romo in what would be his last game as a Lion.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Place Your Bets: Week 11]]> Fri, 20 Nov 2015 12:51:15 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/163*120/tony-romo-cowboys-ap.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. Green Bay at Minnesota (-1.0) — How the times have changed. The Packers are struggling and the Vikings have been one of the most under-the-radar teams in the NFL with the league's leading rusher and an improving young quarterback who's found a new stud receiver in Stefon Diggs. Meanwhile, Aaron Rodgers is in the worst stretch of his career, and the Packers have lost three straight games.

2. Cincinnati at Arizona (-5.0) — The Cardinals have a great homefield advantage, specifically when it comes to their defense, which thrives in front of the home crowd. The Bengals are coming off a surprising loss to Houston — their first of the season — and will have redemption on their mind, but it's going to be tough sledding in the desert.

3. Buffalo at New England (-7.5), Monday night — The NFL revenge tour continues at Foxboro on Monday night against the rival Bills, except one thing, the Bills never actually beat the Patriots. That trend will continue in primetime, and at home, expect a big Pats win, even without Julian Edelman.

4. St. Louis (+2.5) at Baltimore — The Ravens are actually favored against an NFL team for some reason. The Rams have been up and down this year, and they'll be starting Case Keenum for the first time under center after they benched Nick Foles, but expect a win here behind defense and Todd Gurley.

5. Dallas (-1.0) at Miami — The Cowboys are road favorites after losing seven straight games? What??!? Well, a lot of that has to do with the fact they got back their heart and soul, Tony Romo, this week and he'll be making his first start since Week 2. That's enough for a Cowboys win.

Last week: 3-2. 2015 season: 26-23-1.

<![CDATA[McFadden Dealing with a Groin Injury]]> Fri, 20 Nov 2015 11:55:44 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/194*120/496338826.jpg

After struggling with injuries for much of his first seven seasons in the NFL, Darren McFadden has managed stayed healthy for the most part here in 2015, his first season with the Dallas Cowboys.

But on Thursday, McFadden was limited with a strained groin, and listed on the injury report as such. He had participated fully in practice the day before, and Cowboys’ executive vice president Stephen Jones said, via the Dallas Morning News, they “still feel good” about the veteran’s chances of playing against the Dolphins.

McFadden came to Dallas as a free agent back in March, and won the starting job on the back of a 29-carry, 152-yard performance against the Giants back on October 25.

That game started a streak of three consecutive games with 20 or more carries for McFadden, the first such streak of his career.

The streak was snapped last week against the Bucs, as McFadden managed just 32 yards on 17 carries.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys 'Color Rush' Uniform Unveiled]]> Fri, 20 Nov 2015 09:40:26 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/dal-color-rush.jpg

Nike unveiled the Cowboys' Color Rush uniforms Thursday, which they'll wear in their Week 12 game against the Carolina Panthers on Thanksgiving Day.

This season, eight NFL teams were scheduled to wear Nike Color Rush uniforms, which are saturated head-to-toe by one of each team’s current or historic primary colors and are worn exclusively during Thursday Night Football games.

Social media was abuzz during the first two games featuring Color Rush uniforms — the Jets-Bills game Nov. 12 and Thursday night's Jaguars-Titans game — and some Cowboys fans were concerned about their team's look.

The fourth Color Rush game features the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and St. Louis Rams in their Week 15 matchup Dec. 17. Their uniforms will be unveiled Dec. 10.

All teams will wear a Color Rush uniform in 2016.

Photo Credit: Nike
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<![CDATA[McFadden Confident Romo's Return Will Help Run Game]]> Thu, 19 Nov 2015 12:23:47 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/darren-mcfadden-49ers.jpg

Cowboys running back Darren McFadden is confident Tony Romo’s return will help the run game bounce back against the Dolphins on Sunday, a week after he could muster a total of just 32 rushing yards on 17 carries in a 10-6 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers--the team’s seventh straight loss.

Matt Cassel started that game. Romo will start this one. That can make a big difference.

"A guy like Romo back there behind the center, you can't load the box up because he's the type of guy who's going to get out of the play and get you into the right one anytime you try to load the box up on him," McFadden said, per the Dallas Morning News. "It's crazy, just being out there and seeing the way he works and gets you in different plays and different situations, it's a great thing.

"He's a great veteran quarterback, he goes about his business the right way and does a great job at it."

Behind McFadden, who had gone over 100 yards in two of the last three games before last week, the Cowboys will be featuring a backfield completely different than the one with which they started out the season. Gone are Lance Dunbar, who’s injured, Joseph Randle and Christine Michael. Here are Robert Turbin, Rod Smith and Trey Williams.

"I just know it's part of football," McFadden said. "Guys come and go sometimes. For me, I'm just continuing to prepare the same like I've been doing, just going out there grinding, working hard every day."

<![CDATA[All Randy Gregory Wants For His Birthday is a Cowboys Win]]> Thu, 19 Nov 2015 12:01:39 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/randy-gregory-cowboys.jpg

Cowboys rookie defensive end Randy Gregory still isn’t completely over the high ankle sprain that sidelined him for five weeks earlier this season, but with the ankle improving every day, Gregory is confident he’ll make an impact for the team down the stretch.

“It's gets better day by day,” Gregory told Ben & Skin on 105.3-FM The Fan, via the Dallas Morning News. “I think I'd be exaggerating a little bit if I said that it was 100 percent. But I've always said that I'm fighting that mental battle right now that everyone kind of goes through with an injury kind of like mine.

“One of the main things, I'm practicing real well. It's only a matter of time before I can put that back out on the field the way I was early in the year. I fully expect myself to. I just gotta get going.”

Gregory, who will turn 23 on Monday, was asked later in the interview what he’d like for his birthday.

“Oh man. You know what would be nice ... to end this (expletive) losing streak,” he said. “Get a win on Sunday, have a birthday on Monday and then just glide into the rest of the week. Tony Romo, you better give me my birthday gift. I'm expecting it from you. No pressure.”