SAN FRANCISCO, CA - SEPTEMBER 18: Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys throws against the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park on September 18, 2011 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Tony Romo could be sporting some Kevlar in Monday night's game against the Redskins. Ed Werder writes on ESPNDallas that the Cowboys equipment staff brought in Unequal Technologies, the company that designed the protective gear which Michael Vick wore for most of last season to protect his battered ribs. Werder quotes an unnamed source, saying that both Romo and Witten spent part of yesterday being fitted to protect their ribs with extra protective equipment.
As to whether Romo will actually play on Monday, nobody knows for sure at this stage. When asked, Coach Garrett remained his usual non-committal self:
"I think he's doing fine," Garrett said. "He got knocked around a little bit on Sunday but he's getting his rehab and hopefully he'll be ready to play for this ballgame. We'll take it day-to-day for the next few days."
As maddening as Garrett's style can sometimes be, I couldn't help but chuckle at how the Washington Post summarized what Garrett said about the Cowboys' injuries: "Garrett gave no specific updates on the other notable Cowboys injuries."
While the Cowboys had a day off yesterday, Tony Romo did take part in a conference call with the Washington media. Romo himself was a little bit more forthcoming than his coach and said he intends to play.
Targeting an injured opponent is part of playing the game. In a conference call with the Dallas Media, Redskins Coach Shanahan joked that his team will blitz Romo "every down if he's playing."
There's no doubt the Redskins will try to go after Romo on Monday night. But there's a right way to talk about it and then there's a wrong way to talk about it.
Here's Brian Orakpo with a statement that makes me wish he was on our team:
"If somebody gets injured, you want to go after that injury. But we’re just going to play our game. We’re going to try to get Romo down when we can. We’re not just going to target the ribs and forget about not trying to get the ball out or forget about not trying to get him down. Nah, we’re just going to try to the best we can of getting him down and getting off the field."
"I want to get a chance to put my helmet on whatever's hurt," Hall told the Washington Post. "Romo's ribs -- I'm going to be asking for some corner blitzes. If I know Felix Jones' shoulder's hurt, I'm not going to cut him. I'm definitely going to try to hit him up high, so that's just part of it. "If you know something's wrong with an opponent, you're going to try to target in on that. We're going to try to definitely get as many hats on that team as possible."
The Cowboys pass rushers are off to a good start in the first two games, leading the league with 10 sacks. But pass rushing is more than just sacks, and the Pro Football Focus stats show the Cowboys have recorded 10 QB hits and 23 QB pressures in addition to their sacks. In what is making the news surprisingly late, it turns out that 49ers QB Alex Smith apparently suffered a concussion in Sunday's game against the Cowboys. The Sacramento Bee points out that Smith was sacked six times on Sunday, but the biggest hit he absorbed may have come when he was tackled by a Cowboys defender as he threw a completion.
Keith Brooking explains why the Cowboys pass rush is working at a high level right now.
"We talked early in the season about the multiplicity of our defense," Brooking said. "That's what it's doing, is creating one-on-ones for a lot of guys, and they're showing, 'Hey, we can beat one-on-ones.' We're not getting a lot of doubles, and guys like Hatcher, Jay Ratliff, me, Anthony Spencer, we're able to get guys and get pressure on them."
As the injuries keep mounting, the Cowboys have little choice but to adopt a next man up approach:
"Coach Garrett says it's the next starter is up," said running back Tashard Choice, who could get more work if Jones cannot play. "He don't call it a backup. That's how he sees it. He understands the NFL and how people are hurt all the time. Next man up. No matter that you didn't get reps or if you didn't practice. You better know what you've got to do."
In the article from a little earlier in the week, Todd Archer points out that Garrett has already made more personnel moves in the first two weeks than Wade Phillips made in the first eight games of last season. Obviously, injuries forced his hand on that, so I don't think that is necessarily an indictment of Wade Phillips, but it does show that the Cowboys have had to battle more injuries than in previous years.
I guess he tries to keep that in house, but he’s really passionate and fiery. He’s a really fiery coach. He gives great motivational speeches – he’ll give you a motivational speech that’ll have you ready to run into a brick wall for the team. He's a great guy to play for.
Yesterday, Tom Ryle already posted the pre-broadcast release of Showtime's Inside the NFL, which aired last night at 9pm ET/PT, and which featured a Tony Romo interview. It also features what Chris Collinsworth aptly calls "Sapp's suck-ups" for Sapp's previous ridiculous statements on the Steelers and Tony Romo. A true pleasure to watch.
Money quotes from Collinsworth: "Suck up a little more" and "Darrelle Revis can't backpedal that fast [as Sapp does when Romo appears as a surprise guest]"