Dallas Cowboys News: Tony Romo Debate Continues, Dez Bryant Will Play And More

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 11: Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys throws a pass against the New York Jets during their NFL Season Opening Game at MetLife Stadium on September 11, 2011 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Troy Aikman: If it weren't for Romo, 'there would be no expectations' - SportsDayDFW
Troy Aikman weighs in on the Tony Romo debate.

"Here’s the problem I have with the way people react to Tony: Tony’s the reason why the expectations are what they are. And if it weren’t for him, there would be no expectations. Yet when he plays great through three and a half quarters, the reason they’re in the game or leading the game is because Tony’s playing really great. And then you have a bad play that hurts your team, and they act like he’s the reason they lost. They don’t remember, "No, he’s the reason we were beating the team that we really had no expectations of beating." But that’s life as a quarterback in the NFL."

Tony Romo: Choke Artist or Not? - Cold, Hard Football Facts.com
Scott Kacsmar leaves no stone unturned, digging through the hyperbole for just the facts about whether or not Tony Romo is a choke artist that can't stop Plaxico-ing himself in the foot in close games. Conclusion: If you think Tony Romo is a choke artist that can’t get out of his own way in close games, then you’re going to have to expand that gallery to include some other quarterbacks, such as Rodgers and Rivers.

49ers tidbits, injury report, game capsules and much more after the break.

Jets coach Rex Ryan: "Tony Romo looked like Roger Staubach, then not so much" in season opening loss - Clarence Hill - Star-Telegram
Rex Ryan seems to have something to say about everything, and yesterday added this perspective on the Cowboys game.

"We didn’t play our best, but how about giving credit to Dallas? That’s a good football team. They’re going to win a ton of games this year. The way their defense played, the way (Tony) Romo played up until the end there, Jerry Jones, I understand, said he played great, he looked like Roger Staubach back there, and then not so much late in the game. So, it was fine with me. We won."

Jets coordinator Mike Pettine said defense got a wake-up call against Cowboys - NJ.com
Watching the game tape after surrendering 390 yards to the Dallas Cowboys was a revealing experience for Mike Pettine and his defense. "The sky wasn’t falling for us after, but it was kind of like ‘Hey, we’re not as good as we think we are,’" the Jets defensive coordinator said.

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Dez Bryant will play - Star-Telegram
Dez Bryant did't practice on Thursday due to a bruised thigh he suffered in the Jets game, but Jerry Jones indicated Bryant will play on Sunday anyway, despite a general rule that a player must practice to play.

"He's capable of making game-winning plays for us without those repetitions," Jones said. "While we want him to evolve and do the things you do with experience, if he's healthy he's valuable to us."

Cowboys Corner: Nagy misses start of practice; veteran guard Dockery might start this week, Jerry Jones says
Jerry Jones said Derrick Dockery might start in place of Bill Nagy against the 49ers, depending on how he practices. Dockery shared first-team reps at left guard with Bill Nagy in practice on Wednesday. Nagy, limited in practice Wednesday because a neck injury, was not at practice Thursday during the portion open to reporters.

Jerry Jones wants Newman 100 percent before he returns - San Antonio Express-News

"Terence has to have it just right and so it isn't just right," Jones told reporters in Irving. "Hopefully, it will be there next week." "We're being ultra-conservative because he had something similar (in 2008) and we thought we got him back out there too quick," Jones said. "If this were the Super Bowl, he'd be playing ... With the full season (ahead), we're giving him extra time."

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Jason Garrett adds the captain 'C' this year - Calvin Watkins - ESPN Dallas
The players voted on who their team captains were going to be last week. Tony Romo, Jason Witten, Bradie James, DeMarcus Ware and Mat McBriar now have a "C" on their jersey, denoting them as team captains.

"It is special," said Witten, who has been a captain the last few seasons. "The first time doing that, it means a lot coming from Jason. I think that reminds you when you’re on the field what you represent not only with your play but how you lead. Obviously it’s a good symbol."

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Cowboys' new starting ILB Lee can do it all - Foxsportssouthwest
Sean Lee was everywhere in the Dallas Cowboys' opener. Garrett thinks Lee is a RKG:

"He has tremendous intensity in everything he does," Garrett said. "You watch him in a meeting, you watch him in a walkthrough, you watch him on the practice field, you watch him playing the game -- there is one way to go about it. The best players I have been around have that attitude and have that way about them, so we have seen that right from the start."

And veteran ILB Keith Brooking concurs.

"I've said all along the sky's the limit for Sean," Brooking said this week. "He's very instinctive. I think just the more reps he gets, the more familiar with the defense he gets, you're just going to see him continue to progress. He's extremely intelligent, he works his tail off. So, yeah. He's going to be a heck of a football player."

Lee crashes Cowboys' lineup, takes over starting position - Tulsa World

"We talk about the passion, emotion and enthusiasm of our team," coach Jason Garrett said. "... He embodied and represented that well for 60 minutes, on defense and in the kicking game."

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49ers looking for ways to stop Cowboys' sack machine DeMarcus Ware - ContraCostaTimes.com
Yeah, good luck with that.

49ers Need To Open Up Offense Vs. Dallas - The Bay Area Sports Journal
No kidding.

Can the 49ers handle a tough Rob Ryan-led Cowboys defense on Sunday? - San Francisco San Francisco 49ers | Examiner.com
Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan is on the minds of the San Francisco 49ers. And for Roman, he's got to find a way to stop the rush of Dallas' strong front seven.

"Their defense presents a lot of challenges," Niners offensive coordinator Greg Roman said Thursday as he tried to figure out a way to stop the rush of Dallas' strong front seven. "If you really look at their defense from a personnel standpoint, they're pretty darn good. Rob Ryan has got a very diverse history."

Edwards: I know this offense can handle a shootout - Sacramento Bee
The Cowboys last week gobbled up 390 yards. Despite gaining only 209 yards on offense, and being ranked 31st in the league, 49ers WR Braylon Edwards and QB Alex Smith are optimistic their own offense can keep up.

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Injury Report

DID NOT PARTICIPATE IN PRACTICE

  • Wednesday: WR Dez Bryant (thigh), CB Terence Newman (groin), CB Orlando Scandrick (ankle)
  • Thursday WR Dez Bryant (thigh), G Bill Nagy (neck), CB Terence Newman (groin), CB Orlando Scandrick (ankle)

LIMITED PARTICIPATION IN PRACTICE

  • Wednesday CB Mike Jenkins (shoulder), G Bill Nagy (neck), LB Anthony Spencer (shoulder)
  • Thursday CB Mike Jenkins (shoulder), LB Anthony Spencer (shoulder)

FULL PARTICIPATION IN PRACTICE

  • Wednesday WR Miles Austin (knee), TE Martellus Bennett (ankle), C Phil Costa (knee), T Tyron Smith (knee)
  • Thursday WR Miles Austin (knee), TE Martellus Bennett (ankle), C Phil Costa (knee), T Tyron Smith (knee)

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NFL Preview Capsule

OPENING LINE - Cowboys by 3

RECORD VS. SPREAD - Dallas 1-0; San Francisco 1-0

SERIES RECORD - 49ers lead 16-15-1

LAST MEETING - Cowboys beat 49ers 35-22, Nov. 23, 2008

COWBOYS OFFENSE - OVERALL (10), RUSH (26T), PASS (6)

COWBOYS DEFENSE - OVERALL (17), RUSH (3), PASS (26)

49ERS OFFENSE - OVERALL (31), RUSH (18), PASS (29)

49ERS DEFENSE - OVERALL (4), RUSH (5T), PASS (5T)

STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES - Dallas has won last two matchups. Dallas has faced San Francisco in six of its 14 NFC title games, its most against any opponent. Cowboys are 4-2 in those games. ... They come to Candlestick Park after blowing 14-point fourth-quarter lead in 27-24 loss to Jets last week. ... Dallas is 246-1-1 when leading by 14 points in fourth quarter, according to STATS LLC. ... Cowboys trying to avoid 0-2 start in consecutive seasons for first time since 2000-01. ... Dallas QB Tony Romo went 23 of 36 for 342 yards and two TDs but lost fumble that aided New York's comeback. ... San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh became sixth 49ers coach to win season opener in first year - and fourth to do so at home. ... 49ers K David Akers, who booted four field goals in 33-17 season-opening win over Seattle, has scored 184 points against Dallas in his career - most by any player against Cowboys since 1950. ... Cowboys committed seven penalties in loss to Jets. ... Harbaugh wouldn't say why running game didn't work in Week 1, but will try to get RB Frank Gore more involved. Gore's 78 yards from scrimmage last week moved him into third place in club history with 8,775 yards. He trails WR Jerry Rice (19,572) and RB Roger Craig (11,506).

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