Tony Romo was talking about the Cowboys' confidence level and how he's never surprised at what Jason Witten can do. Here are some quotes:
On Witten's performance: "You can’t talk about Jason enough in my opinion. As good a teammate as I’ve been around and we’re lucky to have him. The fact he’s as competitive as he is makes him twice the challenge (for opposing defenses). Being the quarterback in this league, I’m lucky to have him."
On entering December, and what the Cowboys need to do: "It still comes down to trying to improve each time we get out here. We improved from last game. but it’s about each time out there. It gives you confidence when you can have some big plays and move the ball and feel you can score.
"I know that’s something people want to talk about (December). But (any month), it’s all the same to us. It’s all about improving each time you’re out there. And if you do, December will take care of itself."
That's what the head coach was calling this one, and I see what he means. The Cowboys needed it, for sure, after the loss to the Packers and the so-so (generous) victory against the Redskins. Everyone was involved, and that's what he liked.
Here's more of what he said:
"I think we feel good about ourselves. Obviously the passing game we were worried about offensively and it really came through. I don’t know how many big plays we had over 20 yards. It just gives us that confidence. We played like we did on our winning streak. We played well on offense, defense and special teams. It takes the whole team. I think we played how we ought to play."
On Witten's game: "He was (feeling) a lot better yesterday. Today in pregame he said he didn’t feel it, that he was ready. I think it wasn’t quite as bad as we first thought. He didn’t even grimace when he pushed on another guy, cut and those things in pregame. It was good to see him make those plays. He and Tony (Romo) are a heck of a combination."
On that nasty little stretch of games coming in December:
"We probably have as tough a schedule of anybody (these last few games). We have a rough schedule, but we've had a rough schedule all the way through. But if we play well, we can do well. They're a close-knit group. Our guys are not selfish, they're very focused, I could tell this week how focused they were. I think they'll continue that."
OK, folks, you knew it was inevitable that we reached this point of the discussion.
The Cowboys got some of their mojo back on offense today against the Raiders. This is the game where you needed to experiment, do a few things, get your game back because the Raiders put up very little of a fight (if you can call it that).
But now... we are nearing that mystifying time of year for the Cowboys: December. And their schedule in December is so brutal it's brooooootal.
So, are you OK with how the Cowboys look entering this tough stretch?
Cowboys tight end Jason Witten will be a game-time decision Thursday because of a sprained foot. He suffered the injury in the second quarter Sunday against Washington, but was able to finish out the game.
Witten did not practice Monday and was limited Tuesday for the team's no-pads workout.
"Jason did go through some of the walk-through as he did yesterday," Phillips said. "We're a little bit worried about him being able to play."
The Cowboys have committed to using a two tight-end formation with Witten and Martellus Bennett. Rookie tight end John Phillips has also seen considerable action as a blocker. Phillips said if Witten can't play, it shouldn't affect their ability to utilize the formation.
Of course, John Phillips isn't Witten, who leads the team with 54 receptions. He's also quarterback Tony Romo's security blanket. The Cowboys just want to make sure they're cautious. Witten played with a broken rib last season and hasn't missed a game since 2003.
"It's a situation where if it's not well enough he could hurt it more," Phillips said. "That's a concern."
Thanksgiving Eve is one of the most celebrated out-on-the-town times of the year and former Cowboys tight end Jay Novacek wants to make sure everyone makes it home for Thanksgiving turkey safe and sound.
As part of the Crown Royal “Safe Rides Home” designated-drive program, Novacek will get behind the wheel of a Crown Royal-branded car to provide adults with a ride home tonight from area party spots.
Catch a ride from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m., with rides departing from the northeast corner of McKinney Ave., and Boll
St. Sign up throughout the evening at special Crown Royal taxi stands.
Jimmy Johnson is also a spokesperson for the Crown Royal program. He stopped by Cowboys practice today, had a chat with Jerry Jones, plus visiting former Cowboys Russell Maryland.
Cornerback Terence Newman probably knew there was no way to defend his shove and verbal spat with secondary coach Dave Campo during the first quarter of Sunday’s game, so he tried to lighten things up Tuesday when asked about the incident.
“We’ve got Don King promoting. We’re going to be the undercard for the Pacquaio-Mayweather fight in Vegas,” Newman said. “They’re still putting it all together.”
Newman continued the theme:
“Actually, Jerry Jones is taking over. We’re going to have Jerry. I’m kicking Don out. We’ll have Jerry promoting. We might have to move this whole thing to Cowboys Stadium. It’ll be Pacquaio-Mayweather and Campo-Newman. We’re going to make it happen.”
Newman became upset at Campo when Campo tried to stop Newman to talk to him about a previous play. Newman shoved Campo with both hands, they bumped chests and exchanged words.
“We’re all in a fight if you look at it,” Newman said. “It really doesn’t matter. It’s in the same spirit. We’re fighting to get to the playoffs.”
Roy Williams had another tough day Sunday against the Redskins, going catch-less and twice having to go up high to try and snare sailing Tony Romo passes. On a deep ball, he stretched out, but couldn't corral it in off his fingertips.
Williams, as always, vowed to keep plugging away, although he did say he was frustrated with the location of Romo's passes. Williams added that Romo's back injury early on didn't help matters and likely contributed to Romo sailing his passes. Although that doesn't explain why Romo has consistently thrown high to Williams.
"I was a little upset with the way they was coming to me a little bit," Williams said. "I did my best to stretch out, lean and fall and do all kinds of things to catch a ball, but you’re going to have those types of games. I’ve never had a zero-reception game where I’ve played the whole game, but we came out with the win, and that’s what I told my teammates. That’s why we have a good football team, we really do."
Williams said he does not think about the rib injury he sustained at Denver going for a high ball. Williams endured cracked cartilage around three ribs and missed one game.
"If that was the case I’d have alligator arms going across the middle twice," Williams said. "But ,I’m not like that. I’m a guy that goes across the middle and catches the ball if I can, you know, and the one that they’re giving me a drop on because it hit both my hands, it hit my fingertips, but I’m barely hanging onto the ball, that would have been a tough catch if I would have caught it."
Cowboys receiver Roy Williams had little time for Redskins free safety LaRon Landry on Tuesday. Williams briefly discussed the shot fired from Landry's mouth after Dallas beat the Redskins, 7-6, Sunday. Landry said Williams was "scared" to go over the middle and run certain routes:
"Yeah, I know he was, y’all can quote it, too,” Landry said. “Y’all can tell him right now, tell him I’m saying it. I can say it right now, yeah, he was scared, I think. I told him he was scared.”
Williams delivered his response with a sense of humility and humor.
"You know, God Bless the individual, God Bless the young man. Love him," Williams said. "There's nothing you can say. You know he was coming off a tough loss against the Dallas Cowboys so I guess that's all he had to say. I'm just going to continue to play my game, move on. I got the win under my belt and I'm smiling."
Williams said he is not afraid to run routes over the middle of the field or take a hit, and that fact, he said, should be apparent in the game.
"I'm running across the middle, stretching out, trying my best to catch the ball," he said. "So, if that's scared, let me know."
The Cowboys play at Washington on Dec. 27, but Williams said he won't look ahead to that game with any more motivation than any other game. He said Landry, whose Redskins are 3-7, had every right to make the comments.
"When you've won two or three games that's what happens," Williams said. "You get frustrated with yourself and your team and the way things are going and you envy others who are on winning ballclubs and are doing things they're supposed to do. So, I'm just going to continue to do my job. God Bless the young man, him and his family and his football team."
Roy Williams can't win these days. Of course, he seemingly can't catch either. But that's for later.
Not only does Williams have to hear criticism in Dallas about his disappointing play but he is now getting criticized by opposing players on losing teams. Now that's just going too far.
Redskins safety LaRon Landry generated headlines on Monday with post game comments about Williams being "scared" to go over the middle. At least that was his explanaion for Williams coming up with zero catches in the Cowboys 7-6 victory.
"Scared," Landry said to Redskins.com. "Yeah. I know he was. Y'all can quote it, too. Y'all can tell him right now, tell him I'm sayin' it. I can say it right now: yeah, he was scared, I think I told him he was scared."
Landry said Williams had no response to his "scared" taunts during the game. He also said he wasn't worried about any retaliation or payback from Williams when the Cowboys play the Redskins again in a few weeks.
"I don't care," he said. "What's that gonna do?"
This story is getting a lot of play in Dallas because Williams is the object of everybody's discontent right now. But shouldn't the reporter at Redskins.com have been asking Landry about where he was on the final Cowboys drive when quarterback Tony Romo completed seven of eight passes, including the 10-yard game winner to Patrick Crayton.
Talking trash about Williams being scared rings a little hollow when you had chances to make plays to help your team win the game and didn't. Was the goal to scare Williams or beat the Cowboys?
The Redskins are 3-7 while Williams and the Cowboys are 7-3. It would seem that Landry would have enough on his plate to say grace over rather than trying to belittle Williams.
But as they say, it is what it is.
I considered calling Williams at home for a comment about this but decided against it. He will get a chance to answer questions on Tuesday in the lockerroom. But really what can he say?
At this point there is nothing he can say to win over public sentiment. A paltry 24 catches for 429 yards and three touchdowns says it all.
Scared or not, the bottom line is Williams' production has been a huge disappointment. Sunday was the third time in his career Williams has been shut out, including twice since coming Dallas in a bye week trade with Detroit last season.
Even the most ardent Williams critics didn't expect this. It's one thing to say he's not a No. 1 receiver in the mold of a Larry Fitzgerald or Terrell Owens, it's another to be the fourth leading receiver on the team and one the quarterback has no confidence in when it matters most.
On the final drive against the Redskins, Romo did not look once in Williams direction. An incomplete pass to Crayton started the drive. Then Romo went to Felix Jones, Jason Witten, Miles Austin, Witten, then Austin twice before finding Crayton for the game winner.
The frustrating thing for the Cowboys is that they knew he wasn't the type of game-breaking receiver who took short passes to house or simply ran by defenders. But they expected a big sure handed receiver who made tough catches in traffic. Think Keyshawn Johnson with better speed. That's why they felt justified in trading three draft picks to Detroit to get him last season and why they had no problem giving him a $45 million contract extension.
Williams, however, has not been close to the player the Cowboys expected. He is not making the tough catches and he's having trouble with the easy ones.
The drop against the Packers that he blamed on the glare on his shield was inexcusable.
It's makes you wonder if Williams has lost confidence or if he's succumbing to the enormous expectations placed on him after coming to the high profile Cowboys following five years in Detroit.
Cowboys coach Wade Phillips said he didn't think Williams was pressing. He bristled when asked if there was a chance the Cowboys would consider benching the expensive Williams in favor of Crayton.
Phillips said he remains confident in Williams because of what he sees every day practice where the former Longhorn routinely makes tough catches. But Phillips doesn't deny that Williams has become an enigma.
"Jerry's paying him," said Phillips in reference to Cowboys owner Jerry Jones when asked if Williams was giving the team a return on its investment. "We saw some good things [against Green Bay, when he had five catches for 105 yards, a touchdown, a fumble and dropped pass in a loss]. This game [against the Redskins], we didn't get the ball to him, and whether he had opportunities or didn't have opportunities, we just didn't get the ball to him. We still think Roy's a good receiver, and Tony [Romo] is a good quarterback, so I think they'll work things out."