Mistakes, Penalties Hurt Dallas Against New York

10 Penalties and a fumble by Felix Jones were some of the reasons why the Cowboys lost on Sunday! (Photo Credit: Star-Telegram)

By Matt Noonan 

Against the New York Giants, Dallas quarterback Tony Romo tossed four touchdowns, and completed 21-of-34 passes for 321 yards. Yet, his team didn’t win, but instead, lost their second contest in a row.

The Cowboys are clearly in a funk, and something has to change immediately.

They may have exhibited one of the worst collapses on Sunday Night Football, but now they need to follow orders from head coach Jason Garrett, who often preaches to the media, “let’s put this behind us.”

Can Dallas recover? Can they overcome their dramatic two losses? I don’t know.

“I thought it was a hard fought game, and I think everybody on our football team put it out there, put it out there for four quarters,” said Garrett via his team’s website.

The head coach continued to dissect the loss by saying, “We gave ourselves a chance to win at the end. There were a lot of things that were disappointing within the game. I don’t think effort, intensity was an issue at all, [but] there were some execution issues down the stretch, and we got to get those cleaned up.”

One of the biggest factors in this particular game that clearly hurt the Cowboys chances were penalties. Dallas was flagged 10 times, both on offense and defense, which allowed them to lose all sorts of momentum, and practically hand the game to the Giants, literally.

Dallas’ defense also yielded 510 yards, as quarterback Eli Manning finished the game with 400 passing yards, while running back Brandon Jacobs tallied 101 yards on the ground.

“The nature of our team has been we’ve played a lot of close games and we’ve won probably half of them, and we lost some other ones,” said Garret. “And just because you’ve figured out how to do it once, doesn’t mean you’re going to do it all the time. I think that’s just the nature of the [NFL and] we’ve just got to keep finding ways to do much more often than we have [thus far].”

The Cowboys will have a short week before traveling to Tampa Bay on Saturday, so certainly, Garrett and his team will want to figure out their mistakes sooner than later, otherwise, they’ll be sitting at home in mid-January.

Daily Noontime – December 5, 2011

Tom Brady tossed three touchdowns on Sunday, as the Patriots defeated the Colts, 31-24! (Photo Credit: UPI .com)

Happy Monday to all and welcome into another edition of the Daily Noontime! Here’s some great headlines and news to kick-start your day, so of course, enjoy! 

Headlines: 

* The Indianapolis Colts rallied to score 14 points in the fourth quarter, but couldn’t complete the comeback, as the New England Patriots handed their opponent their 12th loss.

* On Sunday, the San Francisco 49ers accomplished two things. First, they wrapped up the NFC West division for the first time since ’02, and secondly, running back Frank Gore became the all-time leading rusher for the 49ers.

* Against the Arizona Cardinals, Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett made one the “dumbest” mistakes of his career, as he called a timeout to ice his own kicker, which resulted in his team losing their fifth game of the season.

* Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow once again rallied his team to win another game, as the squad from Colorado defeated the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, 35-32.

* On Sunday it was announced that No. 1 LSU will face No. 2 Alabama in the Bowl Championship Series championship game.

* According to MLB.com — the Florida Marlins have officially inked Jose Reyes‘s name to a six-year contract.

Games to Watch: 

* Toronto at New York Rangers (NHL) – 7:00pm eastern 

* Boston at Pittsburgh (NHL) – 7:00pm eastern 

* San Diego at Jacksonville (NFL) – 8:30pm eastern 

Video of the Day: 

Here’s a clip from HBO’s Hard Knocks — Jason Garret talks about “our job.”

NFL Week 13 – Afternoon/Evening Scoreboard

By Brian Willwerth 

A recap of Week 13 in the NFL – three of Sunday’s games was decided on the final play of regulation, or overtime. We’ll start with those.

PACKERS 38, GIANTS 35 — Our “Game of the Day” will no doubt get some votes for “Game of the YEAR” when all is said and done. Green Bay and New York combined for nearly 900 yards of total offense. Let’s jump right to crunch time.  Trailing by eight in the final minute, Eli Manning threw a two-yard touchdown pass to Hakeem Nicks. The Giants made the two-point conversion to tie the game, but then Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers got the ball at his own 20 with 0:58 left on the clock. It only took two big plays for him to lead his team into field goal range. Mason Crosby kicked the game-winning, 30-yard field goal, as time expired, and yes, the Packers improved to [12-0]. Rodgers threw four touchdown passes, while Manning tossed three.

CARDINALS 19, COWBOYS 13 (OT)  – What a wild ending in Glendale, Arizona, and one that will be talked about a lot in Dallas for the next few days. With 0:07 remaining, Dan Bailey was lining up for a game-winning field goal attempt. A timeout was called to ice the kicker. But, the stoppage was called by Dallas head coach Jason Garrett. Bailey’s kick, which went through the uprights, did not count. He had to try it again, and came up short. Arizona got the ball to start overtime, and Kevin Kolb hit Larod Stephens-Howling, who danced through the Cowboys’ defense and into the end zone for a 52-yard, game-winning score. And it’s all because Jason Garrett iced his own kicker, wow!

BRONCOS 35, VIKINGS 32 – Don’t look now, but Denver is now tied for first place in the AFC West. And once again, Tim Tebow led his team from behind. He threw for 202 yards and two touchdowns. Then after the Broncos picked off Christian Ponder with less than two minutes remaining, they marched down the field and Matt Prater kicked a 23-yard field goal as time expired. Tebow is now [6-1] as the Broncos’ starting quarterback.

TITANS 23, BILLS 17Chris Johnson is finding his groove. He ran for 153 yards and two touchdowns in Tennessee’s victory at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Johnson has rushed for over 100 yards in three of his last four games.

CHIEFS 10, BEARS 3 – While this was hardly the best game of the day, it may have featured the play of the day or maybe it was just Kevin Harlan’s voice that made it special. The only touchdown of the contest came on the final play of the first half, when Tyler Palko’s “Hail Mary” pass landed in the arms of Dexter McCluster.  Chicago suffered a significant blow when Matt Forte left the game with a right knee injury.

DOLPHINS 34, RAIDERS 14 – Here’s the upset of the day. In Miami, the Dolphins made it look easy against the first-place Raiders. Reggie Bush ran for 100 yards and a touchdown. Miami scored two touchdowns within 20 seconds of each other in the third quarter.

PATRIOTS 31, COLTS 24 – They love Rob Gronkowski in Foxboro, Massachusetts, as the tight end scored three more touchdowns, giving him 13th touchdown receptions on the season. His other score was a rushing TD on a lateral. The Pats built a big lead, and then hung on as the Colts scored 21 points in the fourth quarter. Indianapolis is now [0-12], while New England is [9-3].

STEELERS 35, BENGALS 7 – This was a statement game for Pittsburgh. At Heinz Field, Ben Roethlisberger threw two touchdown passes, as the Steelers swept the season series from Cincinnati, who is now [0-3] against the two teams ahead of them in the AFC North, (PIT and BAL.)

PANTHERS 38, BUCCANEERS 19 – This was all about Cam Newton. Carolina’s rookie quarterback rushed for three touchdowns and threw for another at Raymond James Stadium. Josh Johnson started at quarterback for Tampa Bay in place of the injured Josh Freeman. The Bucs, who at one time were [4-2], and in first place, have lost six in a row.

JETS 34, REDSKINS 19 – At FedEx Field, the Jets kept their playoff hopes alive by rallying for 21 points in the fourth quarter. Mark Sanchez found Santonio Holmes for the game-winning touchdown with 4:49 to play. Washington has lost seven of its last eight.

TEXANS 17, FALCONS 10 – It doesn’t matter who’s playing quarterback for Houston; the Texans keep on winning. Rookie quarterback T.J. Yates played mistake-free football, and Arian Foster rushed for 111 yards and a touchdown.  Atlanta QB Matt Ryan’s last-second pass in the end zone fell incomplete.

49ERS 26, RAMS 0 – We have our first division winner. San Francisco wrapped up in the NFC East with an easy victory at home over St. Louis. Alex Smith threw two touchdown passes, while Frank Gore ran for 73 yards, and became the franchise’s career rushing leader.

RAVENS 24, BROWNS 10 – Neither a driving rainstorm nor Cleveland’s defense could slow down Ray Rice. The Baltimore running back broke loose for a career-high 204 yards, as the Ravens remained in first place in the AFC North. They own the tiebreaker over the Steelers.

The Cowboys Grind Out An Important Victory Against The Fish On Thanksgiving

The Cowboys extended their winning streak to four games on Thursday against the Dolphins!

By Matt Noonan 

How would one describe the Dallas-Miami game on Thanksgiving Day?

Is there even a word other than “Wow” or “Amazing” that could be used to describe the ugly and epic outcome?

OK, we might need to rearrange the word to be something like, “thankful” or “lucky,” but if you’re a Dallas Cowboys supporter, I’m sure you’re breathing a little easier than a few hours ago, right?

The Cowboys are like the Boston Red Sox. They’re a good team on paper and should smoke their opponents, but instead, they like to lie down to underachieving squads like the Miami Dolphins and Washington Redskins.

On Thursday, the Cowboys had no reason to lose to the Fish, and even though they won, it certainly seems like they lost.

“It’s hard to win in the NFL. Miami has been playing very well recently and had some big wins and they came in here and we knew it was going to be a 60-minute battle against those guys,” said Dallas head coach Jason Garrett via the team’s website.

“Well we’ve obviously been in that situation a few times this year and we’ve been successful a number of times now and we kind of know some of the things we like to do and depending upon what the defense is doing obviously, and when you need a field goal, it’s kind of be aggressive, be aggressive, and once you get in position, it’s time to throttle back a little bit and obviously give the o-line and DeMarco [Murray] a chance to just set it up, and they did a great job of that [on Thursday],” said quarterback Tony Romo via the team’s website.

Dallas did a great job of grinding out their seventh win, but a victory against Miami shouldn’t be a sign of greatness or something to boast about, right?

The Cowboys allowed the Dolphins to rally and take a lead, while Romo and the offense practically spent the entire third quarter on the bench watching Miami’s gunslinger, Matt Moore and running back Reggie Bush look like perennial all-stars against Roby Ryan’s defense. However, when the fourth quarter rolled around, the Cowboys miraculously mustered 10 critical points to secure the win, and Romo’s fifth victory on Thanksgiving.

“I thought a lot of guys just kind of hung in there, and as a quarterback, I thought Tony did a really good job just playing through this game. A couple turnovers early on in the game, a little bit of out of rhythm and he just kind of kept hanging in there,” said Garrett.

Perhaps this particular game was Romo’s coming out party or maybe it’s a sign that Dallas needs to be taken seriously for the remainder of the season? Hey, this is the Dallas Cowboys, “America’s Team,” and if we’ve learned something over the past two weeks, it’s that the Boys will battle for 60-minutes and grind out wins.

“[Thursday’s game], it’s a “W,” it counts in the win column, and at the end of the year, those things will add up, and that’s what will be talked about when the season’s over, these “w’s,” what your record was, what you did in the playoffs, what you did at the end of the year,” said Romo. “It’s about winning, [and] that’s what we’re in this job for is to go out here, play, [and] we’re lucky enough to do it and we’re blessed to be in this position, but what makes it really enjoyable is winning when you’re doing it and it’s fun right now when you’re winning a couple in a row.”

The Cowboys will certainly enjoy 10-days of rest before heading to the desert to face Arizona, another underachieving squad. If the Cowboys are who we think they are, then it’s expected to watch Dallas win against a bad team that’ll challenge their defense and force Romo to make mistakes. Yet, when the final whistle blows, expect Dallas to walk off the field with either a one, two or three point victory.

Dallas might be onto something and Romo may have officially found his mojo too.

Thanksgiving Football Prediction: Dallas-Miami

Can Tony Romo keep his "November to Remember" streak going against the Dolphins on Thursday?

By Matt Noonan 

On paper this seems like a dangerous matchup, but in reality the Cowboys should certainly win this game and extend their current winning streak to four games.

“What we’ve done the last three weeks really doesn’t mean anything in terms of this game [on Thursday] against the Dolphins. We’ve got to prepare the right way and then go play our best football,” said Dallas head coach Jason Garrett via the team’s website.

Quarterback Tony Romo hasn’t lost a Thanksgiving tilt since being named the starter mid-way through the ’06 season, and also hasn’t tossed an interception since his team fell to Philadelphia three weeks ago.

The emergence of rookie running back DeMarco Murray and wide receiver Laurent Robinson has helped the Cowboys offense dramatically, while second-year linebacker Sean Lee leads the team with 65 tackles, (43 tackles, 22 assists). Expect all three players to assist the team against the Dolphins, as well as play vital parts in a must-win contest.

As for the Dolphins, they enter Thursday’s game with a three-game winning streak. Quarterback Matt Moore recorded three touchdowns against Buffalo and Kansas City, while running back Reggie Bush recorded four rushing scores in the past three weeks. Miami’s defense ranks sixth in points against, and seventh against the run.

FUN FACT – The last time both teams met on Thanksgiving was in ’03, and yes, the Dolphins beat the Cowboys, 40-21. Jay Fiedler tossed three touchdowns to Chris Chambers, while Ricky Williams recorded 104 yards on 31 carries.    

PREDICTION – The Cowboys are the better team, and need to focus on protecting the football and Romo, as well as forcing Dolphins quarterback Matt Moore into making multiple mistakes. Dallas 31 – Miami 10  

Daily Noontime – October 21, 2011

The Rangers rallied in Game 2 of the World Series to even the series against the St. Louis Cardinals, 1-1!

Good day to everyone and welcome to another Friday edition of the Daily Noontime! It’s the weekend, which means it’s time to kick-back, relax and have fun! 

Headlines: 

* The Texas Rangers evened the series on Thursday, as they rallied to beat the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 2 of the World Series, 2-1.

* According to reports, the Buffalo Bills and quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick are close to a new contract, which should make fans quite content, right?

* Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo apparently has recently defended his head coach Jason Garrett for his fourth quarter decision to run the ball against the New England Patriots.

* The NBA Labor talks broke off Thursday evening and according to the New York Times, as well as other reports, the league could be headed toward erasing all November games this season.

* Good news San Diego Charger fans –  New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan apologized for his comments about the squad from sunny California.

* Accord to reports on Thursday, Detroit Lions running back Jerome Harrison has a brain tumor, which isn’t good news.

Games to Watch: 

* San Jose at New Jersey (NHL) – 7:00pm eastern

* # 11 West Virginia at Syracuse (NCAA Football) – 8:00pm eastern 

* Dallas at Anaheim (NHL) – 10:00pm eastern 

Video of the Day: 

Here’s both the St. Louis Cardinals and Texas Rangers talking about who would star as them in a movie, enjoy! 

NFL Week Six – Hot Topics

Jason Garrett should be blamed for the Cowboy's most recent loss, especially for his conservative play calling!

By Matt Noonan 

Sunday was a busy day across the NFL, but also one that featured a great deal of surprises.

Here are a few thoughts on some key issues that have been discussed by fans, talk-show hosts and bloggers across America on Monday.

Patriots-Cowboys: This was indeed an epic contest that featured two teams going in completely different directions.

With roughly four-minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, and Dallas leading New England by a whooping three-points, head coach Jason Garrett elected to run the ball three times, as well as punt on fourth-down, which set up the heroic Tom Brady, who led the Patriots to a game-winning touchdown.

Dallas should have won this game, especially since they forced the Patriots to turn the ball over four times, (two interceptions, two fumbles), but instead, they imploded and handed their opponent another easy “w.”

New England’s offense gassed Rob Ryan’s defense, while Garrett took the ball out of his quarterback’s hands during the team’s final few drives, and put the weight of the contest on rookie running back DeMarco Murray’s back, which probably wasn’t the right decision.

Overall, it wasn’t a pretty game for either team, but an important victory for the Patriots and another heartbreaking loss for the Cowboys.

Sean Payton’s Injured Leg: This was indeed an accident, but again, something you don’t see every day, right?

Saints tight end Jimmy Graham caught a pass from quarterback Drew Brees and then collided with head coach Sean Payton, who tumbled to the ground on the team’s sideline. Payton was then assisted to the team’s bench and doctor’s identified his injury – a torn meniscus and fractured bone in his left leg, which was repaired on Monday.

Although, while reports have stated, Payton won’t be able to put pressure on his left leg for roughly eight weeks, one might wonder if this particular accident will propel the Saints downward?

My answer… No!

Brees discussed his coach’s injury with reporters on Sunday, but didn’t seem concerned. The Saints are too good of a football team to let a minor issue, such as a Payton’s injury get in their way, especially against the winless Indianapolis Colts.

Harbaugh-Schwartz handshake: This was bizarre and strange at the same time.

I can’t recall the last time two coaches sparred with one another after a game concluded, but I am convinced that San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh wanted to rub his nose in Jim Schwartz’s face after his team’s fifth win of the season.

I expect the league and commissioner Roger Goodell to fine both coaches for acting inappropriately.

Noonan: Romo’s Performance Was Epic

Would you classify Sunday's game against the 49ers a career changer for Romo?

By Matt Noonan 

Consider Sunday’s win against the San Francisco 49ers not a blessing in disguise, but more a gutsy effort. Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo silenced numerous media members and counterparts, as he rallied the Boys to win an important week two contest in overtime.

Yet, what did we learn from this particular matchup? Perhaps Romo isn’t the player we all think he is on a day-to-day basis, right?

Say what you’d like about the Dallas gunslinger, but believe it or not, he showed his true colors against the 49ers and certainly silenced some doubters.

During ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown, former Cowboys head coach Bill Parcells stated the following about Romo:

“I really like this player. I think this guy has the capability to take his team to the highest level – in fact, I know he does [because] I’ve seen his attributes in play. I know how personal he takes these things. He’s done some amazing things in football. He lengthens plays, he extends them, he improvises, he makes good plays [and] every once in a while like everyone else there’ll be some bad things… but I can assure you, this young man has enough talent with a good cast that can take his team to the championship. No doubt in my mind.”    

Even head coach Jason Garrett was quite impress with Romo’s performance, as he stated the following to the media after the game:

“Tony’s a football player, he’s a great competitor, one of the best competitors I have ever been around and he just loves to play. I just knew that at some point, I was going to get a tap on my shoulder saying on the sidelines and here comes number nine and that’s what he did. That’s what he did today and he deserves a lot of credit for doing that.”

All in all, consider this a wake-up call to all those doubters because yesterday’s game was certainly a turning point for Romo, as well as the Dallas Cowboys.

Noonan: Romo Needs to Stop Careless Mistakes

Does Jason Garrett believe Tony Romo will bounce back on Sunday against the 49ers?

By Matt Noonan 

It’s been roughly two days since Sunday’s collapse in the Meadowlands, but according to various sources, Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett told the media, as well as his team that it’s time to move on from their week one loss to the New York Jets.

Of course, many are still scratching their heads over quarterback Tony Romo’s blunders, a fumble and interception, which coast him, and the Cowboys their first win of the season.

Being a lifelong Dallas Cowboys fan, I’ve learned to roll with the punches, which isn’t exactly the easiest thing to do, especially after losses like Sunday’s. Yet, when watching Romo, I do enjoy the excitement, energy and love he brings to the game, but when it comes to fourth quarters or overtimes, he’s likeLeBron Jameshe can’t finish it.

Ever since Troy Aikman left Dallas’s locker room, the Cowboys have struggled to find his replacement. Players like Quincy Carter and Vinny Testaverde didn’t succeed, while Clint Stoerner, Brad Johnson and Drew Henson failed. Of course, there were others, but overall, no one has lived up to Aikman’s success on the gridiron.

It’s been said; being the Cowboys quarterback comes with a lot of pressure, but Aikman and Roger Staubach didn’t let anything get in their way, as both quarterbacks led their teams to various title games, as well as left lasting legacies that will live on forever.

Yet, one might wonder, will there ever be a quarterback that’ll leapfrog the Cowboys legends? Who knows, but currently, it would be hard to state that Romo would be that guy, right?

Romo has experienced success and by far, his best season with the Boys was in ’07, as he led Dallas to a [13-3] record, and the top seed in the NFC Conference. Although, Romo’s “magic” ran out against the New York Giants, who beat them in the second round. Romo returned to the playoffs two years later and finally earned his first official postseason victory against Donovan McNabb and the Philadelphia Eagles, but then went onto lose to Brett Favre’s Minnesota Vikings.

In ’10, Romo struggled and eventually found himself on the sidelines for a majority of the season, as the quarterback suffered a serious collarbone injury, which forced Jon Kitna into the starting role. The Cowboys somehow managed to remain competitive, as they won five of their final eight games without their sole leader, Mr. Romo.

So now, I wonder football fans, what do the Cowboys do, especially if they lose this weekend in San Francisco? Should Garrett bench Romo? Should they trade for a battle-tested quarterback? Perhaps, Kitna should replace Romo? Or maybe, it’s time to let the Stephen McGee era begin?

Again, there are a lot of questions that remain, but now, it’s time for Romo to take all this angst, aggression and criticism and turn it into a great season. The Cowboys are a young squad that didn’t look entirely awful against the Jets on Sunday, but again, it all comes down to the play of their quarterback. If he can stay out of trouble and make the right reads, he’ll succeed, but if constantly takes chances, they’ll lose.

All in all, Sunday’s game against the 49ers is a “must-win” for Romo, so he can save his job, as well as show America that he really is “Mr. Resilient.”

Romo, Cowboys Suffer Another Heartbreaking Opening Day Loss

Once again, Romo struggles, and the Cowboys lose!

By Matt Noonan 

Entering Sunday’s game against the New York Jets, quarterback Tony Romo did the unthinkable in the fourth quarter, as he misfired a pass that was intended for Dez Bryant and instead found cornerback Darrelle Revis.

Ouch!

Well, once again, Romo proved that he’s not exactly Mr. Clutch. He’s certainly not Tom Brady or Peyton Manning, but once again, the Cowboys begin another season losing under the “Sunday Night Lights.”

The Boys won the first three quarters, but slipped during the final 15 minutes, which allowed quarterback Mark Sanchez and kicker Nick Folk enough time to muster enough points for an exciting opening day win.

So, while the Jets and head coach Rex Ryan catch their breath, one has to wonder, what do the Cowboys do now?

Well, head coach Jason Garrett needs to do something, especially since his team cannot afford to begin their season [0-2] again, (ahem, last year). So, hopefully this particular game will inspire America’s Team to stop slouching in the final quarter. Perhaps this particular game will force the Boys to learn how to play the final quarter with a passion or swagger, but then again, they’re like the Boston Red Sox, who tug at their fans hearts, (zing).

Don’t get too discouraged Cowboys fans, especially since it’s only one game, yet, it’s OK to wonder if Tony Romo is the right man to lead this team? Seriously, the squad looks pretty banged up and definitely they’re some questions that’ll need to be addressed, but in the end, it’s just a game, so hopefully they can regroup and register their first win against the San Francisco 49ers.

If not, they’ll once again be in Jerry Jones’s “dog house.”