Dallas Cowboys clock operator screwup leads to delay of game penalty

The Dallas Cowboys were screwed over by their clock operator during Sunday night’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles, and the mistake resulted in a penalty.

Tight end Jason Witten caught a pass on 1st-and-10 in the fourth quarter and took it down to the Philly 33 for a gain of 34 yards. Witten was brought down with around 5:25 left in the game. The clock error occurred when the operator reset the play clock to 25 instead of 40 after the play. When the Cowboys were setting up their next play, the officials blew the whistle and flagged them for delay of game around the 4:52 mark, around 30 seconds later.

The penalty put the Cowboys in a 1st-and-15 situation at the Philly 38. Luckily they scored a 32-yard touchdown on 4th-and-9 when Dez Bryant took a slant pass to the house, but the delay of game cost them the yards and possibly altered the playcalling. It was a really bad and unlucky break for them, and certainly the kind of thing you don’t expect to see happen to a home team.

Dallas Cowboys clock error

Dallas Cowboys-Philadelphia Eagles betting line moved 9 points in one day


Can you remember the last time you saw a betting line for an NFL game change by nine points in one day? I don’t, but that’s what happened with the Dallas Cowboys-Philadelphia Eagles line on Monday.

The Cowboys opened on Sunday night as -2.5 point favorites at home against Philly. It’s a huge game between the teams as the winner takes the NFC East, and the initial line had the Cowboys favored at home.

By the time most other sportsbooks set their lines for the game on Monday around noon, the Eagles were favored by 2.5 or 3 points (full line movement here). Hours after the news that Tony Romo would be out the rest of the season with a herniated disc broke, the betting line was readjusted with the Eagles listed as 7-point favorites.

To recap:

- Cowboys favored by 2.5 points Sunday night
- Eagles favored by 2.5-3 points Monday afternoon
- Eagles changed to 7 point favorites Monday evening after Romo news

That’s some major line movement, and it leaves some questions. Here’s my biggest question: did the line move from Dallas by 2.5 to Philly by 2.5 (a 5-point swing is huge) because the wiseguys thought Philly was the better team, or because they knew about Romo’s status? How deep in the know are they? I wouldn’t doubt it if they had the news before the rest of us.

All I know is that if you got the Eagles +2.5, you’re looking pretty good right now. We’ll see how the $10-million backup Kyle Orton does in place of Romo.

Tip via Geno

Tony Romo throws two interceptions in final three minutes of historic loss

Tony Romo

Tony Romo added another chapter to his legacy as a choker by throwing two interceptions in the final three minutes of the Dallas Cowboys’ 37-36 loss to the Green Bay Packers.

Yes, Dallas blew a 26-3 halftime lead and 36-24 lead with under eight minutes to go in the game … and they blew it to a team that has Matt Flynn at quarterback. In fact, the Cowboys allowed Flynn to throw for 299 yards and 4 touchdowns!

The Packers completed the comeback with a lot of help from Romo, who was picked off in Dallas’ final two possessions of the game.

For his first interception, Romo threw behind Miles Austin, who was wide open, and Sam Shields intercepted his pass around midfield with 2:48 left in the game.

Green Bay took the ball and drove for the go-ahead touchdown.

Despite the touchdown, Dallas appeared to have a good chance to come back and win the game. They had the ball with 1:31 left and only needed a field goal to regain the lead. But Romo was intercepted on the second play of the drive.

Romo threw a pass for Cole Beasley, who broke off his route to sit down in the middle of a zone. Romo expected him to keep going and the ball went into the hands of Tramon Williams, who made a great catch.

Here’s a look at the play:

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Ray Lewis, Emmitt Smith trash Cowboys defense

Cowboys defenseThe Dallas Cowboys were blown out on Monday night 45-28 by the Chicago Bears in what turned out to be their latest poor performance on defense.

The Cowboys allowed 498 yards and 32 first downs in the loss. They made backup quarterback Josh McCown look like an MVP candidate, allowing him to throw for 348 yards and four touchdowns. There was nothing positive to say about their defense.

On ESPN’s postgame show, Ray Lewis stated the obvious about Dallas’ defense, saying they might have one of the worst defenses in the NFL.

“Taking no credit away from [McCown], but when you think about who he played against, that may be one of the worst defenses in the NFL today,” Lewis said. “You see how they were just out of position. Nobody communicating. The balls that they had an opportunity to make interceptions … they could have made three interceptions.

“When you think about the Dallas Cowboys, when you look at them as a total team, there is no balance there. I think Tony Romo had a pretty good night, but everything else was just bad.”

Despite calling them one of the worst defenses in the league, Lewis’ thoughts on the Cowboys seemed tame compared to Emmitt Smith.

The former Cowboys legend tweeted his disgust for the defense all night. This is how his thoughts unfolded as the game progressed:

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Jerry Jones, Cowboys accuse Giants of faking injuries to slow their offense

Jerry-Jones-Concussions-PresidentThe New York Giants struggled tremendously to slow the Dallas Cowboys down on Sunday night. Six turnovers from Eli Manning and company didn’t help, but there were times when Dallas had the G-Men on their heels even with a banged-up Tony Romo. According to Jerry Jones, it could have been worse if the Giants weren’t faking injuries.

“I thought us experts on football were the only ones who could see that,” Jones said when asked if he thought New York was putting on an act, per The Star-Telegram. “I didn’t know everybody could. It was so obvious it was funny. It wasn’t humorous because we really wanted the advantage and knew we could get it if we could get the ball snapped.”

The question stemmed from Jason Witten’s reaction to Giants defensive lineman Cullen Jenkins dropping to the turf with an injury in the second quarter. Witten had just picked up a first down and was rushing back to the line of scrimmage with the rest of his teammates when Jenkins began shaking his arm and went down. Cameras then captured Witten clearly yelling, “He’s faking!” at an official.

We can expect to see a lot more of this if the 2013 season progresses the way it began this past week. More and more teams are turning to no-huddle offenses in an attempt to tire out opponents and put up points in a hurry. New York did the same thing on Sunday night, and if not for fumbles and interceptions they may have been able to pull out a win with their up-tempo offense.

[Video: Georgia linebacker fakes injury after getting signal from coach]

Last week, Brian Urlacher revealed that the Chicago Bears used to receive a signal from the sidelines when their coaching staff wanted to them fake an injury. It’s by no means a new concept, but it will become a more popular debate topic if fast-paced attacks continue to be the theme.

Texans CB AJ Bouye angers Cowboys by celebrating on logo after interception

AJ-Bouye-TexansHouston Texans rookie cornerback AJ Bouye recorded an interception during his team’s final preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday night, and he decided to go bold with his celebration. The undrafted free agent channeled his inner Terrell Owens, standing on the star in the middle of the Cowboys’ field and raising his arms in the air. This did not please the home team.

“That’s just stupid,” Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee said, via The Dallas Morning News. “I understand having fun, but you know me, I don’t like to celebrate too much. I like to worry about winning football games and moving on to the next play. I guess there is fun in having fun out there, but at some point I think that’s doing a bit much.”

A photo of the celebration can be seen here. Bouye had every right to be excited as a player who was hoping to showcase his skills and make the 53-man roster, but he was given a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for the stunt. That’s not going to impress the Texans’ coaching staff, and it certainly didn’t impress Dez Bryant.

“He’s got to understand that this is nothing to get excited about,” Bryant said, per ESPNDallas.com. “It didn’t count. It’s preseason. This is preseason. I’m not trying to bust his bubble, but it’s the truth. It’s just preseason.”

Bouye must have gotten an earful for showboating, because he expressed regret over his decision after the game.

“I wasn’t thinking, I was being stupid,” he said. “It was disrespectful for me to do it, for the team and the other team. I wasn’t thinking. … They don’t’ teach us to do that. For me to even do that was disrespectful.”

Coaches would always rather see a player let his game do the talking, and that is especially true for an undrafted free agent who is just trying to make the team. Not a wise decision.

Jason Garrett is teaching Dallas Cowboys receivers geometry

Jason GarrettJason Garrett has long been lauded as a cerebral coach. The former Dallas Cowboys quarterback and current head coach was an Ivy League quarterback who attended both Princeton and Columbia. It’s safe to say he’s pretty well educated. And it sounds like he’s trying to pass some of his education along to his players.

According to Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News, Garrett saw wide receiver Miles Austin running a route during practice in Oxnard, Calif., on Wednesday morning and began quizzing him about the Pythagorean theorem. Why? Because based on the way Austin ran his route, Garrett felt the theorem could help explain to Austin how he could have done it better.

“It’s an important thing to understand,” Garrett said of the theorem. “If you’re running this route from here to get to that spot, it’s going to take a little bit longer [if you're at the wrong depth]. … So we talked about Pythagoras.”

Garrett apparently does quiz his players on things, but Google defeats any real research they would be forced to do.

Though geometry and NFL players doesn’t seem to mix, Garrett’s lesson does make plenty of sense. The only challenge is making sure he’s not talking over his players so that they will be able to understand his point. When Garrett eventually gets canned, I bet this will be one of the things people point to as an explanation for why he didn’t succeed as a coach. Think about it: the guy knows geometry, but he can’t figure out that icing a kicker is a bad idea.