See, my theory is that Tony Romo being injured caused more problems for the Cowboys than in just the three games he missed. Sure, suffering through the play of Brad Johnson and Brooks Bollinger was bad, but nobody seemed to catch on to just how limited Romo was after he came back.
Most people can tell you about the splint he wore on his hand, and how that affected his game, but overall, the splint couldn't have been the cause for his troubles after his return. Just look at the numbers from the season and you can see that before Romo's injury, he played a lot better than he did after. Just for the record, the before represents the 6 games he played before, including the loss to Arizona where he was injured. The After represents the 7 games he played starting with the second Washington game.
|Tony Romo||Yds.||YPG||Comp. %||TD||INT||Fumb||Turnovers||Sacked||Rating|
The only real confusing statistic there is that he had more yards after his injury, but remember he only played 6 games before, and 7 games after. His average yards per game tells the story better, but looking at his average yards per completion is the most telling.
Before his injury, he averaged 13.2 yards per completion, and never had an average below 10.7 or above 15.3. After his injury, his average per completion was only 11.7 yards, with his low and high being 8.7 and 15, respectively.
Now those numbers show that Romo was obviously different after returning from his broken pinkie finger, but it wasn't just his injury that caused problems. Another injury that compounded the affects of his injury was that to Pro Bowl Punter Matt McBriar, who was also injured in week 6 against the Cardinals.
He was averaging 49 yards per punt, and his replacement, Sam Paulesque only averaged 41.8. Sam did punt the ball twice as many times as McBriar did, but looking to McBriar's numbers from last year shows that he punted 10 more times than Paulesque did and still averaged 47.1 yards. In a game where field position means so much, this is a huge statistic.
During the same time frames of before and after Romo's injury, the running game played a part as well. Never mind that Felix Jones didn't take another snap after that Arizona game. The Cowboys ran the ball an average of 23.5 times per game before, and 20.8 times per game after Romo's injury. As we all know, the primary job of a defense is to make a team one dimensional, and these numbers clearly show that once Romo came back, this team was forced to rely on its passing game more.
That also lends to the increased number of times that Romo was sacked after his injury than over the first 6 games of the season.
So when someone says that every team sustains injuries in a season, I have to agree, every team does; just look at New England. But unlike the Patriots, who only lost one key player for the season, the Cowboys lost several. It doesn't take long to figure out that the game against the Cardinals affected every game we played after.
It's also not hard to understand that Romo, as a quarterback, had less to do with this team's failures in 2008 than people want to believe. It's still something he has to work on, but every quarterback spends all year working on less turnovers and more completions. That's his job.
Report: Amari Cooper Likely out for the Rest of the Preseason
Dallas Cowboys Wide Receiver Amari Cooper is likely out for the remainder of the preseason according to ESPN's Todd Archer. He is currently dealing with a form of plantar fasciitis that has kept him out of practice since August 6th.
The three-time pro bowler changed life in Dallas last season as the team went 7-2 in it's final nine games after he was acquired to win the NFC East. Cooper isn't worried about any long term effects, though, as this is something he's familiar with.
"I'm not worried about it at all, because I know if it does linger, it doesn't matter," Cooper said. "I had 1,000 yards when I played on plantar fasciitis before."
The Cowboys host the Houston Texans this Saturday in what is known as the "dress rehearsal" game before the regular season. Starters normally play about a half of football to get the juices flowing for when games really count in September. Ideally, the plan would be for Cooper and Dak Prescott to get a rhythm of sorts before the season starts but that will have to wait until the team prepares to take on the New York Giants on September 8th.
However, the good thing here is this issue doesn't seem to be serious and Cooper will be ready for the start of the 2019 season.
Report: Cowboys Agree To Contract Extension With LB Jaylon Smith
The Cowboys are neck-deep in contract negotiations with some of their team's most important players, but it appears they have gotten one key guy signed this afternoon.
ESPN's Todd Archer is reporting that the Cowboys have agreed to a contract extension with middle linebacker Jaylon Smith, though the exact terms of the contract have yet to be announced.
The Cowboys have agreed to a contract extension with linebacker Jaylon Smith, according to sources. Smith was set to be a restricted free agent after this season but the Cowboys and his representatives started talks in the spring and they ramped up once camp began. Smith, a...
Of course, the Cowboys drafted Jaylon Smith early in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft despite the horrific leg injury he suffered in Notre Dame's college bowl game. Some didn't think Smith would ever recover to be the same player he once was, but in 2018 Smith emerged as an excellent middle linebacker once again. Smith finished the 2018 season with 121 combined tackles and 4 sacks, and has looked just as imposing thus far in the preseason.
Smith regained his athleticism and sideline to sideline speed, while retaining his impressive hit power and sound tackling to become one of the league's best. Combining Smith with Leighton Vander Esch, the Cowboys have put together arguably the best linebacker group in the NFL.
And now, there's no end in sight for the dynamic duo.
Report: 2 Dallas Cowboys to be Activated off of P.U.P. List
Per a report from ESPN's Todd Archer, the Dallas Cowboys will soon activate Tyrone Crawford and DeMarcus Lawrence off of the Physically Unable to Perform (P.U.P.) List.
"The Cowboys are planning to activate defensive linemen DeMarcus Lawrence and Tyrone Crawford from the physically unable to perform list on Tuesday, according to a source. They will work through individual drills in their first steps on the field before going through full practices. Lawrence had shoulder surgery not long after signing a five-year, $101 million contract in April. Crawford has been working his way through a hip issue that kept him out of the offseason program. Safety Byron Jones (hip) and receiver Noah Brown (knee) remain on PUP."
Todd Archer - ESPN.com
This report comes after DeMarcus Lawrence had offseason shoulder surgery in April and signed his five-year deal making him the highest-paid player in the history of the Dallas Cowboys, at least for now. It looks as if Lawrence will be ready for a week one return.
It's long been believed that Lawrence would be available for week one of the regular season and hasn't suffered any setbacks to this point that should lead you to believe otherwise. With Robert Quinn suspended for the first two games of the regular season and Randy Gregory's status still up in the air (he still hasn't applied for reinstatement), getting Lawrence and Crawford back for the first two weeks of the season becomes instrumental.
The Dallas Cowboys defensive line has looked really good through the first two games of the preseason, but as good as they've been, they'll need Lawrence and Crawford once the regular season starts. Lawrence will slot back in as the left defensive end and Tyrone Crawford will split snaps at right defensive end with Dorance Armstrong and 3-technique defensive tackle with Maliek Collins, Trysten Hill, and Kerry Hyder.
While the additions of DeMarcus Lawrence and Tyrone Crawford will help the defense tremendously, there still isn't a timeline on the return of Pro Bowl Cornerback Byron Jones. Jones has been out since having hip surgery this offseason.
With as good as the Dallas Cowboys defense has looked this offseason, there's reason to believe that they can be even better once each of these guys are back in the lineup full-time. For a defense that was one of the 10 best defenses in the NFL in 2019, they'll need Lawrence, Crawford, and Jones to make the jump into the elite stratosphere of NFL defenses.
With the Dallas Cowboys' eyes set on capturing that sixth Lombardi Trophy, getting Lawrence and Crawford back in time to be ready for the regular season is vital to starting the 2019 season off right.
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