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Dallas Cowboys News & Notes: Will Tony Romo Play Today?

Latest Cowboys headlines: Tony Romo's status for today's game is still unclear; The Cowboys need to improve their pass protection; DeMarcus Lawrence activated.

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys Tony Romo Has Fractures In Back; Not Ruled Out Yet For Sunday - Blogging The Boys
Tony Romo's status for the next few weeks is up in the air after it was revealed that he suffered two "transverse process fractures." The transverse process is a wing-shaped part of one of the bones in the spine, which extends out on either side of the vertebral body.

The injury did not show up on X-rays taken in the locker room during the game, and Romo subsequently returned and played in the game. But a later CT scan showed the injury, which has kept Romo out of practice all week.

Two fractures in Romo's back; Will he play? David Moore, DMN
Moore writes that Romo hasn't been officially ruled out for today, even though he did not practice all week.

Romo has said whether he plays against the Cardinals won’t come down to how much pain he can tolerate. It will come down to his ability to function. If Romo and coach Jason Garrett determine Sunday morning that Romo is moving around good enough to be productive, he will play and won’t miss any time. That’s the best-case scenario.

The worst-case scenario, a source acknowledged, is that the quarterback will miss the Cardinals game and also will be held out of next week’s game against Jacksonville in London.

Did Redskins discover blueprint to beat Cowboys? | Rainer Sabin, DMN

Cowboys having best offensive line in NFL isn't enough in protecting Tony Romo | Rick Gosselin, DMN
Gosselin points out that the Redskins aren't the first blitzing team the Cowboys have faced, and makes a point that you can't block six or seven pass rushers with just five blockers.

When the Cowboys upset the Saints, offensive coordinator Scott Linehan kept one of Romo’s favorite targets, tight end Jason Witten, in to block. Witten blocked on 42 of the team’s 65 plays, including all three of Romo’s touchdown passes. The Cowboys committed to protecting Romo that game and did. Witten blocked linebackers, safeties and even ends. Six on six is more of a fair fight. The Saints sacked Romo just once that day.

The Cardinals are going to send linebackers, safeties and maybe even a corner or two after the Cowboys’ quarterback Sunday, whether it’s Romo or Brandon Weeden. The best offensive line in the NFL is going to need some help. It’s up to Linehan, Witten, Murray and Dunbar to provide it.

Scouting the opponent: Arizona 6-1 despite being forced to use 3 QBs | Bob Sturm, DMN
Sturm points out that the Cardinals have used three different QBs so far this season, and that their 6-1 record includes impressive wins over San Diego, San Francisco, and Philadelphia (all at home).

Straight-talking Marinelli turning Dallas defense - Washington Times
This AP report looks at how Cowboys are benefiting from Marinelli's non-nonsense approach that has fueled a surprising turnaround for the defense, and in turn a fast start for the team.

"When I say it’s good enough, then it has meaning to it," Marinelli said. "When there’s meaning to it - ‘I did something well, he acknowledged that’ - that’s good. And then I correct. Correct, correct, correct. And some guys get sensitive. I don’t care. Just correct."

In the offseason, reporters asked Marinelli about linebacker Bruce Carter admitting he lost confidence during the difficult 2013 season.

"I don’t do confidence stuff," Marinelli shot back, going on to say "It’s a man’s game, man."

Cowboys Activate DeMarcus Lawrence, Sign Josh Brent To 1-Year Extension - Blogging The Boys
The Cowboys added DeMarcus Lawrence to their 53-man roster making him eligible for the game on Sunday. To make room, DE LaVar Edwards was released. The Cowboys also signed Josh Brent to an extension at the vet minimum. Brent isn’t eligible to play until the Giants game in Week 12.

What can we expect from DeMarcus Lawrence? - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
In his Twitter mailbag, Archer answers a question about what to expect from DeMarcus Lawrence.

It's always better to go in with low expectations so you can be surprised, but clearly the Cowboys believe DeMarcus Lawrence will make an impact. He has had three weeks of practice and his teammates have come away impressed. He looks bigger than he did in training camp, but not in a bad way. His upper body has filled out more and he said he still has his speed. In camp he looked more of a power player than speed rusher. With 10 sacks in eight games, the Cowboys will take any kind of pass-rusher. They need Lawrence in a big way and it seems like a lot to ask a rookie. If he can put up 4-5 sacks, then they would be ecstatic, but I wouldn't judge Lawrence's future based off what he does in the final eight games. I think everybody needs to be reminded that this kid was raw when he was coming out and was going to need time before he got hurt.

Stephen Jones on DeMarcus Lawrence: ‘I think he can really make a difference’ | Jon Machota, DMN
Stephen Jones suggests that the extra time Lawrence spent with the training staff in the wake of his injury might have helped him become a better player than he was during camp.

"We’re excited for him," Jones said on 105.3 The Fan [KRLD-FM]. "I think he can really make a difference. He’s one of our more athletic defensive linemen and really think he’s got a chance to come in here and make a difference."

And Jerry Jones agrees.

"I think you’re going to see a stronger, a more savvy first snap guy into the National Football League than we would have had he come right out of training camp," Jerry Jones said Friday on 105.3 The Fan [KRLD-FM]. "It’s remarkable how his strength has improved. Frankly, in doing so has really improved his ability to compete in the NFL.

"He’s gotten the strength and the weight where it counts, and I think for his role, which initially will be to give us some pressure in there, he’s really made as much strides as he could positively without having been on the football field, so I gave him an A there. That’s what you want. If you’re not going to have him out there, if he’s not going to be learning by the repetitions in practice or actually experiencing a game, then what else can you do to move your arrow up and move forward? He’s done it."

Ron Leary hoping to play, though Cowboys list him as questionable | Charean Williams, Star-Telegram
The left guard hasn't practiced all week, making it more likely Mackenzy Bernadeau starts for the first time this season.

Cowboys hold 'tense' meeting - Ed Werder, ESPN Dallas
The Joseph Randle situation is far from resolved. Ed Werder has the lowdown:

Concerned about team chemistry after a loud verbal disagreement between Dez Bryant and Joseph Randle carried over onto the practice field Friday, Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett met individually with those two players and an equally incensed Josh Brent later that day and then discussed the subject with the entire team on Saturday, according to league sources.

The meeting was described as tense, and Garrett seriously considered whether Randle's continued presence on the team might be an impediment to harmony in the locker room.

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