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Dallas Cowboys News: Backup Tackles, Playoff Chances, Work Ethic and more

A lot of headlines this morning begin with some version of "football's back." Well, not for me and not for the Cowboys. I have the Packers Saints game DVR'd and will watch it once I get home this afternoon, and the Cowboys know that the Jets are going to be at the Meadowlands at 8:20 on Sunday evening. The Cowboys also know they have got to get ready for them.

In this morning's headlines round up, we look at what the Cowboys are doing at the tackle position, listen in as Garrett talks about Romo, Witten talks about Tyron Smith, Bryant talks about Revis Island, talks about the Cowboys' playoff chances and much more.

Cowboys work on tackle contingencies - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas

With Tyron Smith possible out for Sunday's game against the Jets, the Cowboys are weighing their options at right tackle. As it stands, Jermey Parnell - whom the Cowboys decided to keep on the roster ahead of Sam Young - would start in Smith's slot. Backing him up could be rookie David Arkin who played left tackle in college or perhaps even newly signed guard Derrick Dockery:

"I did a little bit of it my rookie year in training camp and then I was moved over at guard, so it’s been since college," Dockery said, adding that the coaches, "told me to be ready for whatever. I’m going into my ninth year so I played with some great players. If need be, it’s going to be different, but I’m going to fly around and play hard."

Jenkins, Smith and Even Newman Could Play - Nick Eatman,

As it stands, the Cowboys will likely take Newman, Jenkins and Smith up to New York this weekend and let them test their injuries Sunday before kickoff for a final evaluation.

"They really are all day to day," Garrett said. "That's the best way to describe them. They're trying to work and get back, and how much they're going to be able to practice this week is something that we'll evaluate individually. But they're all pointing toward trying to be ready for the ball game on Sunday night."

Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!

Per Jason Garrett, Tony Romo has grown but he hasn't lost what makes him uniquely Tony Romo and thus a special quarterback - Clarence Hill, Star-Telegram

"I think he’s grown technically as a player," Garrett said. "Fundamentally he’s gotten better. Just look at his footwork and the quickness he has getting away from the center, the quickness he has on the back end. I think his accuracy has gotten better because his footwork has gotten better. I think all the while he’s done this without losing Tony Romo. We like Tony Romo and what he brings to the table. But he needed to be refined. He’s going about it the right way and we’re excited about his progress."

Jason Witten likes Tyron Smith's blue-collar work ethic - Tom Orsborn, Houston Chronicle

"I work beside (Smith)," Pro Bowl tight end Jason Witten said Thursday, "and I've been beside some tough guys - look at the guy whose spot he's taking: (Colombo) was one of the toughest. I think Tyron has that mentality, like most good linemen do."

"He doesn't complain," Witten said. "It's a grind in camp for all of us, especially for a rookie. But after practice, he's working with DeMarcus (Ware), fighting through things."

Grantland's Mega NFL Preview Part IV - Bill Barnwell,

Bill Barnwell includes Dallas as one of eight teams with a shot at the Lombardi Trophy:

In the end, it comes down to Romo. While quarterback wins are the worst stat in professional football, the Cowboys are 39-22 since Romo took over as the starter when he actually suits up. That's the record of a 10-plus-win team. They're 3-7 when he's been injured. That's not. If Romo's healthy and the Cowboys can muster up even a little bit of luck, they should be a playoff team.

The NFL in 2011: All About Continuity - Bill Simmons,

More love for the Cowboys from Grantland, this time from Bill Simmons, who likes the Cowboys over the Jets in his review of the week 1 betting lines.

Everything that could have went wrong with last year's Cowboys season did; even the first JerryWorld Super Bowl turned into a full-fledged disaster. They finished 6-10. You're telling me they can't jump four or five wins with a healthy Romo, a healthy Dez Bryant and an awake head coach? Relatively Bold Prediction No. 13: Everyone who bet Dallas to win the NFC East at +300 cashes in.

Darrelle Revis has a score to settle with Cowboys - Art Stapleton,

This is a timely reminder that the last time the Cowboys and Jets met, the Jets were handed a 34-3 humiliation on national television. Darrelle Revis has not forgotten.

Because on that day, Tony Romo threw two touchdown passes, and one of those went to Terrell Owens, who not only disrespected Revis before the game by saying he had no idea who he was, but afterward by celebrating in the end zone at his expense following his score.

"I remember we got crushed," Revis recalled Thursday. "It was a horrible game for us, and yeah, I remember that game. T.O. doing all of that crap – he had a great game and Tony did as well."

Cowboys' Bryant looks forward to visiting Revis Island - Jamie Aaron ,

Bryant whips out the double negatives to explain why there isn't nobody who can cover him.

"I’m not going to change up my game for no corner," Bryant said. "I’m not the type of guy to single anybody out - no DB, no nothing like that."

"I know what I’m doing when I’m out on the field," Bryant said. "There’s no better feeling than that. I’m fired up, just ready to go out and show what I’ve learned. ... I know a lot more than I knew last year, and it’s just going to get better each and every day."

"I’m going to try my best. With the group of guys I’ve got around me, helping me, I can do some pretty good things."

Go get 'em, champ.

Anthony Spencer: I can't mail days in - Dan Graziano, ESPN

This right here is a lesson in how headlines take on a life of their own these days. In an interview with Dan Graziano, Spencer mentioned how, upon reviewing film from last year, he noticed some mistakes he was not aware of at the time and that that type of play was unacceptable. "You can't mail days in this league," Spencer began his observations, which Graziano summarizes as follows:

Spencer told me he was reviewing game tapes from last season and spotting mistakes he'd made that didn't make any sense to him. In the pass rush, he'd take the wrong angle or attack the line at the wrong spot -- little detail things he knows not to do but was doing anyway. So he decided to investigate further, and he dug up some practice tapes. What he saw there was a guy wearing his uniform but not always working very hard on those little detail things in practice.

But it was the "mailing in days" soundbite that caught the media attention, and resulted in borderline trollish headlines suggesting that Spencer was deliberately taking plays off last year.

Cowboys vs. Redskins Cheerleader Challenge - Foxsportssouthwest

I have no clue what prompted Foxsportssouthwest to run a cheerleader challenge between the Cowboys and Redskins in the week we're playing the Jets - not that I care the least bit. I don't even care that this is an obvious ploy to get traffic and clicks by showing lots of scantily clad ladies in suggestive poses. They got my 39 clicks. Twice.

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