Center Andre Gurode (sprained knee) returned to practice Thursday and expects to play Sunday against the Chiefs.
Gurode said there was never any doubt he would play Sunday. He said he sat out Wednesday's practice for precautionary reasons but had planned to play all along.
Receiver Roy Williams missed his second straight day of practice with bruised ribs but his intention is also to play against the Chiefs. Williams said it will likely be a game time decision and it will based on how much pain he can withstand.
The Cowboys still are America's Team despite having not won a playoff game since 1996. For the third consecutive year, the Cowboys were No. 1 in a Harris Poll that asked respondents to name their favorite team.
Pittsburgh was second, followed by the Bears, Colts and Patriots respectively.
Somebody (a TV reporter who shall remain nameless) actually asked Marcus Spears about overlooking the 0-4 Chiefs. Spears had the exact right answer:
"Well, we’re 2-2, so we’re not the prettiest bride in the church right now either," Spears said. "We’ve just got to go play. We’ve got to play hard and in this league, anybody can beat you. We found that out last year in St. Louis. You can’t have any mental letdowns, and I think the guys on this team are ready to play. I know we’re ready to play and get back on the field and kind of get that bad taste out of our mouths."
* If you think it's too early to say the Cowboys are a critical point of the season then you would be wrong. Being 2-2 after four games is a huge disappointment. They should be 3-1 headed to 4-1 with the hapless Chiefs up next. But the Cowboys are 2-2 and looking like the middling team they are.
The season is far from over and they have time to get it right. But looking at the tough late season schedule and the competition in the NFC for playoff spots, the light must come on now.
The Bears, Vikings, Packers, Falcons, Saints, Eagles, Giants, 49ers and Cardinals will all be factors in the NFC playoff chase. It's unlikely a 9-7 team makes the playoffs. To get to 10-6, the Cowboys must go 8-4 the rest of the way. Remember they have still have home games against the Falcons,Eagles, Redskins and Chargers. More importantly they still have road games at Philadelphia, New Orleans, New York, Green Bay and Washington
.Considering the way, the Cowboys looked Sunday it's not a given that they beat the teams they are supposed to beat like the Saints, Raiders and Seahawks.
What about the Cowboys so far gives anyone hope they will lose just four games the rest of the way?
So yeah, this is a critical time. The Cowboys need to do something to build hope inside and outside the organization.
* Tony Romo is not comfortable with this new game manager, bus driver role. He has not found middle ground between being a gunslinger and playing smart, mistake free football. They Cowboys don't want him to be reckless but they also dont want him to be scared to make plays. He doesn't look downfield anymore because he's scared of making mistakes.
* You want to know why Romo targeted Champ Bailey so much on Sunday? It's simple, Romo is a right handed quarterback and throwing to that side of the field is the easiest throw to make. Go back and think of all the plays the Cowboys have made this season. Most have come on the right side of the field. It wasn't about thinking they could beat Bailey, it was the easiest throw and simplest read for Romo. That is a problem. He must use the whole field.
* Roy Williams may or may not be a No. 1 receiver. But he is better than what he's shown so far this year. Romo still doesn't trust him. Williams is a guy you through to when he is covered. A suddenly gun shy Romo is now only throwing to guys who are open. If there is no separation, Romo is not throwing the ball. That is not reality in the NFL. You have to have trust and throw to guys who are covered or throw them open. Its high schoolish to think you only throw when a guy is open. Also that Williams often plays on the weakside is hinderance between I stated earlier, Romo is favoring the right side of the field. There is no way Patrick Crayton should be getting as many passes as Williams. That is the only explanation.
* What's going on with Marty B? He is not the beast he was in the preseason. But before you try to blame it on some Martian karma or misplaced moon rock, this aint on Marty B. This is not about him not doing what it takes or not being focused because of his outside interests. He is doing a good job in the run game _ save for the critical holding call against the Broncos. Romo is just not targeting him in the passing game.And the Cowboys are not designing plays to get him the ball. Simply put, we were sold a bill of goods in the preseason.
* Linebacker Keith Brooking is a player and a leader. He is passionate and he cares. He is who I thought Zach Thomas would be. Thomas didn't become a leader last season because it was his first year and he deferred to the tenured Cowboys. Brooking has come in in his first year and has already established himself as a leader. If the Cowboys turn it around it will be because of some of the work that Brooking is doing on the field and in the locker room. * Keep an eye on Jay Ratliff's snaps. He thrived last season partly because Tank Johnson was capable of enough to give him rest. Ratliff is playing more this year with Johnson gone. He has been a beast so far this season. But it could take its toll later in the season. Remember Ratliff is an undersized nose tackle. So there might be some wear and tear.
* Don't look now. But cornerback Mike Jenkins is looking more and more like the guy the Cowboys picked in the first round last season. He is making plays and he starting to develop a swagger about his game.
Here is the official Cowboys explanation for quarterback Tony Romo putting three fingers up after the final fourth down play against the Broncos. Apparently Romo knew it was fourth down but he was hoping the officials made a mistake and the Cowboys could get an extra down.That's the story Romo told Cowboys public relations director Rich Dalrymple.
Here's a statement from Dalrymple to the media:
"As Tony was walking off the field after the fourth down play, he saw that the down marker on the Dallas sideline read “3.” As it turned out, the marker was in the process of being changed, sequentially, from the number “4” to the number “1” for the Broncos ensuing possession. The marker on the Cowboys side read “3” temporarily. When he saw the “3,” he thought there might have been the possibility of an error on the down count. After asking the officials (holding up three fingers), he then saw the down marker move through the progression from 3 to 2 to 1. He told the offense it was fourth down in the huddle prior to the last play. "
One of the great names in the NFL will join the Cowboys today as long as he passes a physical.
Fourth-year cornerback Cletis Gordon is expected to fill the team's open roster spot. The Cowboys wanted to re-sign safety Marvin White, but the Lions snatched the former TCU player off waivers on Monday. The Cowboys cut White on Saturday to make room for running back Chauncey Washington to come up from the practice squad.
Washington has since been cut and Gordon, who played for Wade Phillips with the Chargers, is needed to bolster the secondary now that strong safety Gerald Sensabaugh will miss at least one game with a thumb injury. Pat Watkins will start in the defensive backfield with Ken Hamlin. Cornerback Alan Ball will likely slide over to back up at free safety. Ball split time at safety and cornerback during training camp and the preseason.
In this week’s Sports Illustrated Poll, 239 NFL players were asked “Who is the Most Overrated Player in the NFL?” Most players picked the Minnesota Vikings’ QB Brett Favre (13%), followed by the Dallas Cowboys’ QB Tony Romo (10%), the Buffalo Bills’ WR Terrell Owens (8%), the New York Giants’ QB Eli Manning (7%) and the Pittsburgh Steelers’ QB Ben Roethlisberger (5%).