The Cowboys, for once, can look at the final Friday injury report and be relieved. Of course that report doesn't reflect the slew of players already missing for the year, but this week there is only one player questionable that is of importance, and that's Ernie Sims (concussion). The good news is that Sims is likely to play, according to Rob Ryan in typical Ryan-style:
"We’ll see how he does," Ryan said. "I think last week he started hearing other voices in his head, so we took him out of the game. That was the problem. And he started to listening to them too. That was really bad when he started listening to the other guy."
Morris Claiborne will return at corner, and Charlie Peprah will come back to play safety. Kevin Ogletree is questionable, but Dwayne Harris and Cole Beasley are better options anyway.
On to some news and tidbits:
-- I was going to write something about this, but ESPN Dallas had the key stat and description already posted, so let's start there.
Play-action passes have been successful for the Cowboys with running back DeMarco Murray on the field this season. Quarterback Tony Romo has gone 15 of 21 with four touchdowns on play-action passes since Murray returned from injury in Week 13. Overall, when Murray has been active this season, Romo is averaging 10.5 per play-action pass attempt and has not thrown an interception on such passes. When Murray has been inactive, Romo has only thrown one play-action touchdown and has averaged 3.9 yards per attempt. The Saints have allowed the highest yards per pass attempt (10.9) on play-action passes this season.
Romo is simply one of the best in the biz at selling a play-action fake, and when you combine that with a running game that people have to respect, it's an offensive explosion.
-- We noted above that Charlie Peprah will be available this week, and that could big. We've all seen it, Danny McCray is a player you love... on special teams and in a situational role. But as a starting strong safety? Not so much. With Jimmy Graham on the way with the Saints, that could be a killer for the Cowboys defense. I don't know how well Peprah will play, but I'd bet on him in coverage over McCray. We'll see how Rob Ryan handles that situation.
-- We do know Gerald Sensabaugh will be back there, and he's quietly becoming a leader on the team, his toughness and versatility are an example for the team to follow. Ryan loves the guy. He's also helping to quaterback the defense, and this week he'll be the backup signal-caller to Anthony Spencer for the Cowboys. Sensabaugh never leaves the field on defense, and Sims is coming back from a concussion, and that's if he plays. Sensabaugh makes the most sense.
-- Another team tried to snag Ronald Leary from the practice squad but the Cowboys were having none of it. They elevated the rookie guard to the 53-man roster. They'll have to make a roster move shortly.
The Cowboys will call up rookie guard Ronald Leary from the practice squad after another team attempted to sign him to its 53-man roster. Leary signed with the Cowboys as an undrafted free agent and was guaranteed $214,000, the most money across the league for a non-drafted player. He became a favorite of owner and general manager Jerry Jones and was working with the first-team line during training camp in part because of injury.
-- There's a long Jerry Jones interview here if you're interested. Jerry is as candid, and as given to hyperbole, as ever. Just a snippet:
On Tony Romo's recent play and his performance against the Steelers:
"Romo, in my mind, played the best game that he's ever played. And that's saying a lot because he's played some good games around here. But he had his best game. And he had a real good game against Cincinnati as well. So it is something to be optimistic about if he can continue that against the Saints. Our offensive line is playing better. We're going to need to play better, but we're playing better. And that's given Romo more time. Things were more slow out there for Romo - that's a positive. You call it slowing down, and he was really able to really put that ball in there on the right receivers."
-- This site thinks the Cowboys have one of the best five logos in the NFL. They should list them as number one!
The Cowboys’ southern pride comes out first and foremost in the team’s logo. Everyone knows the blue and white star, but what you might not consider is how much that small symbol has come to mean to Texas residents. What was once just a common shape and style has, over time, become closely associated with this one organization and brand. Designers should take note of how well the Cowboys have pulled this off.
Enjoy your Saturday.