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Tony Romo – And Then Came Injury

Bryson Treece

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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
Before 1,689 281.5 64.2 14 5 6 11 7 103.7
After 1,759 251.3 60.1 12 9 7   16 13 82.9

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.



Nothing gives me greater joy than the experience of being a Dallas Cowboys fan come time to check another victory on the schedule every Sunday. I live Inside the Star everyday and blog on it occasionally, as well. Follow us on Twitter - @InsideTheStarDC

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Joe C

    February 8, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    Good stuff, I keep telling everyone that keeps sayin Romo is garbage, that he hurt is f’n pinky on his throwing hand, and the pinky is a very important finger for a qb. But yet everyone is saying “REAL QB’S PLAY THROUGH PAIN” and I just have to laugh at them cuz they have no clue. Only one I can think of that plays through pain the best is Favre, or was. I was at the Boy’s vs Skin’s game in MD, and I could tell he wasn’t 100%, and all the games after that aswell. Felix didn’t play after the Cardinals game because he got hurt on that one punt return, don’t remember what it was, but I am sure it was something they didn’t want to risk injuring more with him still being a rookie, but I dunno. Romo has some learning still to do but it was only his 2nd year as a starter, so of course he does. I don’t have “high” hopes for the 2009 season, but I think they might just shock us all.

  2. Bryson Treece

    February 8, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    Yeah, Felix had a common injury and they played it safe for that game because it was a hamstring injury, which is an easy injury to worsen without rest. His IR placement was from a toe injury during the rehab of that hammy injury.

    That’s something that hasn’t gotten enough play this off-season, and I’m going to have to see if I can find some stats on it. We had two players this year suffer injuries, only to suffer more severe injuries of a different location during the rehab. I’ve never heard of this before, not even with just one player on a team in a single year.

    It’s one thing to to re-injure the injury that put you in rehab to begin with, but to suffer a completely separate injury during the rehab, that’s just ridiculous and MUST be addressed this year. The treatment crew on this team was heavily involved in the near-complete destruction of a very potent and high powered running game. I can’t even imagine how different this year would’ve been if not for the injuries suffered in rehab by Felix Jones and Marion Barber.

    And what about Newman? It was said, I believe by Jerry Jones, mid-season that Newman said he was ready to go after the first injury, and him playing too soon is what is attributed with his second, and highly more substantial injury. The injury (first one) was a strained groin, which a is common injury in the NFL. Seems like if our medical staff was as good as they are supposed to be, they would’ve done a better job.

  3. Bryson Treece

    February 8, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    Not sure I follow Joe … Felix first injured his hamstring, a light sprain. That’s why Phillips kept saying every week that he would come back, because that injury works that way. He injured his toe, ripped a ligament in his big toe on the right foot I believe, during rehab a few weeks later, that’s what put him on IR.

    Now Barber, he injured his foot when it was stepped on, and then developed a sore calf that plagued for the remaining few games of the season. Hence his 2 run, 0 yard production against Baltimore.

    This medical staff is said to be the best in all of football, and ever in the sport, but even if they were simply average I would have a problem with the injuries this year. Look at Kosier, how in the hell was that a season long, season ending injury?

  4. Bryson Treece

    February 8, 2009 at 5:16 pm

    Furthermore, it kind of makes me wonder what role they had in Terry Glenn’s injury. What about Stanback and the forever injured shoulder of his? How about Hurd and Austin both? I mean, the injuries this year are seriously concerning, and I mean more than just the fact of numbers. Yeah, there were a lot of injuries this year, but so many of them don’t usually faze teams as much as they did the Cowboys in 2008. Something is wrong with that …

  5. Joe C

    February 8, 2009 at 5:02 pm

    Yeah I thought when Felix first got hurt with the toe injury, the reports came back as he was out for the remainder of the season? Or was I just seeing things? If that’s the case why was he even back in anyway? And i agree we should prolly hire some new medical staff beause they were obviously not doing there jobs proper.

  6. Bryson Treece

    February 8, 2009 at 6:21 pm

    Well, they did say that for Jones, but Adam, not Felix. I think it was just a neck stinger or a ruptured disk, something like that, and they kept saying that he’d likely be out for the year, and he came back a couple of weeks later.

    Maybe that’s what you’re thinking.

  7. Joe C

    February 8, 2009 at 6:19 pm

    Maybe it was the hammy, I couldn’t remember. But I thought I saw that they were saying it was a season ending injury, maybe that was for someone else but coulda swore it was for Jones.

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Report: Free Agent DL David Irving Not in Dallas Cowboys’ 2019 Plans

Jess Haynie

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David Irving

The Dallas Cowboys and troubled Defensive Lineman David Irving appear to be at an impasse. According to a report from David Moore of the Dallas Morning News, the team has "no intention" of trying to re-sign Irving and will allow him to become an unrestricted free agent.

Irving started the 2018 season with a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy. He only appeared in two games after that, registering one sack and four tackles.

David Moore on Twitter

Source: Cowboys have no intention of keeping DT David Irving at this time https://t.co/vqMNZty6Aq via @sportsdaydfw

Despite reports of David's ongoing issues with an ankle injury, Dallas never placed him on injured reserve. Then came the reports that Irving was missing practices and team meetings while dealing with personal issues related to the custody of his daughter.

The team stayed pretty mum on the subject of Irving's status throughout the year, falling back on the ankle injury when pushed. But after months, it became clear that either David, the team, or both parties were disinterested in his return to football.

The Cowboys had high hopes after 2017, when Irving posted seven sacks in just eight games. They placed a second-round tender on him last offseason as a restricted free agent and were surely ready to give him a long-term deal if he'd built on that success.

But David's issues, physical or otherwise, have clearly done the opposite.

Dallas is known for working with troubled players, as we've recently seen with Randy Gregory. That they're closing the book on Irving suggests there's an issue with his desire towards football.

It's a sad loss for both. David's potential is enormous, as evidenced by his productivity when he actually does play. But he appears more likely to hit the Commissioner's exempt list in 2019 than the football field, given the reports of multiple failed drug tests over the last year.

Hopefully David Irving can turn things around one day and capitalize on his talent. But if it ever happens, it appears that it won't be with the Dallas Cowboys.



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BREAKING: WR Terrance Williams Gets Dropped by Dallas Cowboys

Jess Haynie

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Takeaway Tuesday: What We Learned From Cowboys Loss To Packers
AP Photo/Ron Jenkins

The Dallas Cowboys have ended their six-year relationship with Wide Receiver Terrance Williams. According to multiple sources, they have declined a team option on Williams' contract and he will now be an unrestricted free agent in 2019.

The move will reportedly save the Cowboys $2.25 million in salary space this year.

Williams was the team's third-round pick in 2013 and started 68 of the 83 games he played in. He developed into a solid number-two receiver by the end of his rookie deal in 2016 and was given a new four-year contract that offseason.

David Moore on Twitter

Terrance Williams career w/ the Cowboys is done. Sources say the club has declined the WR's option for 2019, making him a free agent. The move is no surprise. He caught just 2 passes for 18 yards last season. His departure frees up $2.25 million on the cap.

After another decent year in 2017, things took a bad turn for Terrance last season. It started with an offseason arrest for public intoxication that eventually led to a three-game suspension, although Williams served that while on injured reserve.

The Cowboys already appeared to be giving Williams' spot away when they made several offseason acquisitions at WR; Allen Hurns, Michael Gallup, and Tavon Austin all were brought in even before Terrance's arrest.

While Williams did start in two of Dallas' first three games in 2018, he only had three passes his thrown his way. The team finally put him on IR due to ongoing complications with a surgically-repaired foot.

While it didn't end well, Terrance Williams' time in Dallas was ultimately a solid return for a third-round pick. He made a few big plays and was a proficient run-blocker, good enough to start in almost 75% of the team's games since he was drafted.

The Cowboys now hope that another third-round pick, Michael Gallup in 2018, will do bigger and better things.



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A Lot Had to Happen for Amari Cooper to Join the Cowboys

John Williams

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Amari Cooper

Amari Cooper was a game changing player from the moment he showed up at The Star in Frisco, Texas. In the first game against the Tennessee Titans, you could just tell that this was a different kind of player. The Cowboys hadn't had a wide receiver with his mixture of size and skill.

Cooper to me showed off the brilliant route running of Cole Beasley, in a body similar to Dez Bryant. Oh, and with 4.4 speed.

Electric.

But Amari Cooper's presence with the Dallas Cowboys may not have happened in 2018 if any one of a number of dominoes didn't fall during the 2018 offseason and regular season.

Shunned by Sammy

Early in the free agency period, it was reported that the Dallas Cowboys had brought in Sammy Watkins and made him a lucrative offer that would have paid him around $16 million per year, but as Patrik Walker from 247 Sports discussed, he ultimately signed with the Kansas City Chiefs for more guaranteed money.

I recall first the feeling of dread when I heard about the pursuit of Sammy Watkins, immediately followed by relief when I saw that he signed with the Chiefs. I was in the midst of a government mandated internet blackout.

Don't get me wrong, Sammy Watkins is a fine player, but he isn't a $16 million per year player. Aside from his athleticism and size he doesn't really bring much to the table. He was pretty much a younger, and similarly injury prone -- at their respective points in their careers -- as Dez Bryant.

In 2018, Watkins only played in 10 games for the Chiefs and barely passed the 500 yard mark while catching only three touchdowns. Now, he's not the top priority in the Chiefs passing game, but he's not a player that can be relied upon to lead an offense.

Had the Cowboys signed Watkins last offseason, it's highly unlikely that they would have traded a 2019 first round draft pick to add another wide receiver in Amari Cooper.

Dez Bryant Goes Bye-Bye

The next thing that happened that may not have, was the release of long-time Dallas Cowboys Wide Receiver Dez Bryant. Dez Bryant had been with the team since 2010, when the team made him their first round pick that season. After post really good numbers from 2012-2014, Dez had a drop off in production, mostly due to injuries in the 2015-2017 seasons.

Dez Bryant, a fan favorite, was a player that relied upon his superior athletic ability, physicality, toughness, and ability to get passes in the air that made him special. Injuries to his legs and feet started to rob him of his athletic ability. Combine that with the fact that he and Cowboys Quarterback Dak Prescott could never really get on the same page when it came to fade routes, traditional or of the back shoulder variety.

Had the Cowboys not made the decision to move on from Bryant, the Cowboys offense would have probably been better the first seven games of the season. They may not have necessitated allocating a first round pick to acquire Cooper and it's possible he gets traded somewhere else or stays in Oakland altogether.

Poor Starts to the Season

The Oakland Raiders went into the 2018 season having made a lot of noise by signing Jon Gruden out of the broadcast booth and trading Khalil Mack to the Chicago Bears. After a 1-5 start to their season, the fire sale continued as they put Amari Cooper on the trade block.

The Dallas Cowboys started the season 3-4, but looked much worse on offense than what we could have anticipated. We knew they would take a bit of a step back in the passing game as they were trying to work in new faces, but it was bad for the first seven, and really eight weeks of the season.

The Cowboys went into the season with a plan to use their wide receiver group as a committee to try and fill their needs with several players of varying skill sets. Sounds good in theory, but in practice it was a debacle. Receivers not named Cole Beasley, struggled to get open and the offense was listless through the first two months of the season.

Had either team been better than they were to start the season, the chance of a trade taking place would have been small. Teams like to think they can get by with what they have. Had the Cowboys been 4-3 instead of 3-4, they may have thought they could get by with Allen Hurns, Cole Beasley, and Michael Gallup as their lead receivers.

Trade Compensation

It was rumored that prior to the Dallas Cowboys sending their 2019 first round pick to the Oakland Raiders that the Philadelphia Eagles offered a second. The Raiders, who were looking to stock pile picks to rebuild, held out for the first they desired for their former 2x Pro Bowler.

Had the Raiders took the Eagles offer as the best offer on the table at the time, the Cowboys would have missed out on Cooper and likely missed out on the division and the playoffs in 2018. On the flip side, we know how much the Cowboys value their draft picks. We've seen them pass on game changing player who would have cost much less because they value their draft picks and believe in their ability to find difference makers in any round.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

The Dallas Cowboys were really fortunate to end up with Amari Cooper. If any of the above things goes differently, it's extremely unlikely that he's wearing a Cowboys uniform in 2018 at all. Now, coming off a 1,000 yard season -- in only 15 games -- and a Pro Bowl appearance, Cooper is set to get paid some big money by the Dallas Cowboys front office. As they get ready to pay Cooper upwards of $16 million a year or more, they should have only one thought on their mind for the good fortune that brought Cooper to Dallas;

Thankfulness. 



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