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Dallas Cowboys News & Notes: Cowboys Starters Will Play Versus Redskins

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Latest Cowboys headlines: Cowboys won’t rest starters this week; Cowboys playoff scenarios;

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys won’t rest starters this week | ProFootballTalk
There's still a chance, albeit a remote one, for the Cowboys to earn a first-round bye. But first they have to beat the Redskins.

On Monday, coach Jason Garrett said that the Cowboys will do their best to take care of what they control. With all three other games with bearing on their possible slot in the playoffs kicking off later in the day, the Cowboys won’t have the option of altering their lineup based on scoreboard watching and Garrett said, via Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News, that the Cowboys would play their starters their usual amount in Week 17.

Cowboys Playoff Scenarios - NFL Communications
The NFL walks us through those remote scenarios:

Dallas clinches home-field advantage throughout NFC playoffs with:

1) DAL win + ARI loss or tie + DET/GB tie

Dallas clinches a first-round bye with:

1) DAL win + SEA loss or tie + ARI loss or tie OR

2) DAL win + DET/GB tie OR

3) SEA loss + ARI loss OR

4) DAL tie + SEA tie + ARI loss or tie + DET/GB does not end in a tie

Tony Romo: Cowboys' Jason Garrett best coach no one talks about - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
Romo gives his head coach a strong endorsement.

"Jason is the best head coach in the league that no one talks about," Romo said. "I mean, he’s really gifted at his ability to communicate to his players. He’s got a great mind for the game of football … One of the best things Jerry has done was just stand by him and let his system, his mantra, his philosophy play itself out. I think that you’re seeing the dividends. You’re reaping the rewards of having him stay in place. Jason is going to figure it out. He’s as good of a coach as I’ve ever been around. He’s special."

Cowboys find home crowd to their liking - Tod Archer, ESPN Dallas
Tony was in a giving mood yesterday, and gave another strong endorsement, this time for the Dallas home crowd:

"I feel very comfortable with our team playing at home and I would rather play at home, believe me," quarterback Tony Romo said. "There are just a lot of advantages go it. With the crowd the way it is, it is special."

"If they bring that same energy to the playoff game; and I think it is going to be rocking," Romo said, "we can provide a challenge for whoever comes in here."

Just in time for the playoffs, eh?

Honi soit qui mal y pense.

Tony Romo’s Been Great, But He’s Not The MVP | FiveThirtyEight
Neil Paine attempts a stat-based rebuttal of claims that Tony Romo should be the MVP - but then falls into the beginner's trap of treating PFF grades like stats. Go wash your mouth with soap, Neil.

Cowboys’ Garrett should be NFL Coach of the Year | Mac Engel, The Star Telegram
These days you generate more clicks when you write positive things about the Cowboys, so Engel offers up Garrett as Coach of the Year.

Jason Garrett is winning with a quarterback who has a broken back. Jason Garrett is winning with a defense projected to be the worst in the NFL. Jason Garrett is winning despite being secure in the knowledge if he lost this season he was gone. And...Jason Garrett is winning with Jerry Jones as his general manager.

Few people thought this team was good enough to be 8-8 again, and now the Cowboys are going to host a playoff game, are NFC East champions and Jason Garrett should be the NFL’s Coach of the Year.

Being a Dallas Cowboy has rookie Zack Martin feeling like he ‘hit the lottery’ | Jon Machota, DMN
Expectations for the Cowboys were almost at an all-time low when the Cowboys drafted Martin back in April. So how does it feel to be headed to the playoffs in his rookie season?

"I couldn’t ask for better teammates, better coaches," Martin said. "I really feel like I hit the lottery coming down here and being a part of this."

Tyrone Crawford getting better every day; Jason Garrett: His best football is ahead of him | Jon Machota, DMN
Garrett is almost effusive in his praise of Crawford, who didn't know which position he'd play until the season began, and was only moved to DT for the fourth game of the season.

"One of the best things we’ve done as a staff is getting him to that defensive tackle position, playing the three-technique," Garrett said. "Sometimes when you’re a versatile guy, that can be really good and sometimes it can be a detriment, because you can play defensive end, you can play defensive tackle. Hey, he can even play nose.

"… He demonstrated that he could do a lot of different things, but when he settled in at that three-technique, that under tackle spot, I really think his development, he really blossomed and that’s been a really good thing for our team. He’s a really good run defender, he’s getting better and better as a pass rush guy and I just think he’s growing before our eyes. He plays the right way, he is a relentless football player.

"He’s got kind of a non-stop motor. He literally, literally never stops in practice, never stops in the game and keeps coming. And he has grown technically, you start to see the fruits of all of that."

Scout's Eye: Spencer's Progress; Sterling Moore Shines On Colts Tape | Bryan Broaddus, DC.com
Broaddus has a lot of praise for Dez Bryant, Anthony Spencer, and Zack Martin, but is especially generous with his praise for Sterling Moore.

If you ask me who on this roster would be the most underappreciated player, I would have to say without a doubt it is Sterling Moore. It has not mattered where he has had to line up or cover, he has shown the ability to do the job. There were multiple snaps in the game on Sunday where he had to carry veterans Reggie Wayne and Hakeem Nicks in routes, and his positioning was exactly where he needed to be. It didn’t matter whether he was playing in man cover or zone at the time, he was right there. We in the media like to brag on the football intelligence of Orlando Scandrick -- which is impressive -- but I would put Moore in that very same category.

[...] As a matter of fact, the flag that he drew for hands to the face was a terrible call. He hit Hakeem Nicks in the chest with such force that it snapped Nicks’ head back and the official thought he hit him in the face, but he didn’t. As much as this defense has had to face offenses that have played with multiple wide receiver sets, I could not begin to imagine where they would have been without him on the field – he has been that good of a player.

Jason Garrett: DeMarco Murray's showing Sunday was season's best - ESPN Dallas
Jason Garrett had high praise for DeMarco Murray and the fact he played through a broken hand on Sunday to lift the Dallas Cowboys.

"He’s had other games where the numbers are a little bit gaudier, more impressive, but just his mindset and his demeanor all week long and what that meant to our football team was really, really significant," Garrett said. "I think it reflected in how we played as a football team. And he was amazing. He ran the ball in this game. He ran it tough. He ran it hard. He blocked in this game. They’re bringing safeties, he’s turning around and picking them up. I just thought he was fantastic, and I can’t tell you how meaningful that was to everybody else for him to have the mindset that he had."

Gosselin: Why I never saw it coming ... a Cowboys club built to beat any foe, anywhere | Dallas Morning News
Here's the synopsis: Gosselin knew all along ("But I knew there was one way for the Cowboys to save face and avoid disaster this season — and that was to run the football.") how the Cowboys could find back to their winning ways.

Yeah, right.

This GIF Of Tony Romo Winking Could Make You Into A Cowboys Fan And/Or Pregnant | SportsGrid
Don't bother with what passes here for an "article", but the gif is nice.

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This Was the Saddest Chip Kelly Press Conference Ever | Crossing Broad
The Eagles are trolling themselves now. Gotta like Chip Kelly's new nickname: Nasty McNastierson

Delicious.