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Cowboys News & Notes: The Postseason Is Officially Underway; Looking At How Dallas Got Here

The Detroit Lions are next up for the Cowboys.

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

It's the biggest Victory Monday for the Dallas Cowboys since at least last week when they locked up the NFC East.

The Dallas Cowboys 'fixed December' -

Sometimes you get rid of a meme. And sometimes you slam it to the ground, jump up and down on it until it comes apart, and relieve yourself on the pitiful remains.

Oh, and here is a nice stat to head into the playoffs with.

Dallas collected two interceptions and two fumbles from Washington and defensive end Anthony Spencer returned one of those fumbles 5 yards for a touchdown. Dallas leads all playoff teams in turnovers forced with 31 (18 interceptions, 13 fumble recoveries).

Dallas Cowboys close punch-out month strong - ESPN

Then you scrape the pieces into a hole and bury it very, very deep.

"It's punch-out month," defensive tackle Tyrone Crawford said. "We've been doing well with the turnovers and just really been highlighting it. The coaches harp on it every day. It's been working." 

Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli came up with the punch-out theme. December might be the punch-out month in the NFL with teams making or missing the playoffs, but Crawford isn't sure if Marinelli intended the double meaning. 

"I think it means get the damn ball out," Crawford said.

Redskins-Cowboys best and worst - The Washington Post

This is a rather amusing (for a Cowboys fan, anyway) look at the game from the point of view of the losing side.

Worst record-setting: DeMarco Murray achieved the Cowboys' single-season franchise rushing record, against the Redskins, in Washington. And then, moments later, Dez Bryant achieved the Cowboys' single-season franchise touchdown receptions record, against the Redskins, in Washington.

Dallas Cowboys' latest version of 'The Triplets' gives team chance to do damage in playoffs - ESPN Dallas

The parallels are unavoidable now. And Tony Romo, DeMarco Murray and Dez Bryant are just the start of the offensive weapons - which has to include the offensive line.

"We're versatile," left guard  Ron Leary said. "You try to stop one aspect of our offense and we'll get the other one going. It's real balanced, and we have a lot of great players on offense. We're rolling now, and it's only going to get better."

Who's going to doubt them?

These Cowboys scored 467 points, the second-highest total in franchise history. Only the 1983 Cowboys (479 points) scored more. Dallas scored more than 30 points 10 times, including each of their last seven road games.

The Cowboys' diversity makes them the best offense in the playoffs. When teams use their safety near the line of scrimmage to stop Murray, Romo attacks deep with passes to Bryant or Terrance Williams,  as the QB did Sunday.

Jason Garrett's gamble makes statement for and to Dallas Cowboys - Dallas Cowboys Blog - ESPN Dallas

The head coach had a one word theme for this season: Fight. That message was taken to heart by all concerned.

The Cowboys can look back at several defining moments during this 12-4 season: winning at Seattle in October, Romo's toughness playing through two transverse process fractures in London, blowing a 21-point lead at Philadelphia only to recover and win on the road in December, Murray playing six days after hand surgery last week ... Sunday's onside kick.

Sturm’s Morning After: Cowboys are one of the meanest bullies of the NFL | Dallas Morning News

Like I was just saying . . .

Overnight, the Cowboys went from a team that was always the 2nd most physical team on the field each week to one [of] the meanest bullies of the NFL, and for those of us who covered this team closely during the entire process, it would have been easier to follow if they had a more linear progression. But, sometimes, it just clicks and "presto!" you have a team full of bullies. And, evidently, bullies don't sit games out because you are worried about whether or not it is a good idea to risk injury. At least that is what popped in my head yesterday as Romo and Murray were playing in the 4th quarter for no reason and how badly this whole run would suffer if either of them were to get nicked up. Jason Garrett and his team believe that as a football team with a "team tough" attitude, they can't play conservatively anymore. They can't play with the worst case scenarios always making their decisions.

If you haven't noticed, I love this stuff.

What does Cowboys QB Tony Romo have to say to fans who wonder why he played in second half? | Dallas Morning News

You gotta love this, too.

"I just do what my coach says and if I have an opportunity to play, I love to play,'' Romo said while flashing a mischievous grin.

"Obviously, you'd have to kick me off the field to get me to go off.''

It goes a long way to explaining this next one.

Romo Edges Rogers For Top Passer Rating; Proud Owner Claims QB Is "My MVP" | Dallas Cowboys

If Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has anything to say about it, Romo would win the NFL MVP award, which will be voted on by the media this week.

"He's my MVP. He should be every Cowboys fans' MVP - and by the way, that's a lot of votes," Jones said following Sunday's 44-17 win over the Redskins to improve to 12-4. "If we could vote it in, he might win it on that ballot alone. But seriously, you're talking about a guy that's used his skills, whether they have been honed an acquired or whether they were God given, he's used it about as efficiently, this year, at that position, as you'll ever see."

By one point, Romo held off Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers to finish the season as the NFL leader in QB rating at 113.2.

Jeremy Mincey on his confident Cowboys: We can go ‘as far as we want’ | Dallas Morning News

While no one else believed, this team did.

"I said it this offseason, I looked in this locker room, there was a lot of talent. I know what I've seen. I've been around it for a while, there was a lot of talent. Just had to make them believe. The guys around me, they all believe. We all play together. We're all close.

"I've been speaking on it the whole year, we got to grow and mature. It's clear that these seeds are turning into flowers. I'm happy. Coaches are going to continue to give it sunshine and we'll be alright."


A few personnel notes.

Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones dismisses reports, says 'nobody knows what I'm worried about' regarding WR Dez Bryant - ESPN Dallas

There were rumors about "people in the organization" being worried about Bryant's living arrangements (he has several people who live or stay in his house with him). The owner was blunt about how much attention you can pay to those rumors.

"Nobody in the world knows those issues but me and maybe [executive vice president Stephen Jones], relative to the Cowboys," Jones said after the Cowboys' 44-17 win over the Washington Redskins. "I noticed a lot of talk about 'people within the organization,' that type of thing. Nobody breathing or living, [not] any coach, anybody knows anything that would concern me or Stephen about signing him to a contract within the Cowboys organization. So anytime anybody says, quote, Cowboys sources, they don't know what they're talking about."

Cowboys draft guru Will McClay could be next Jets GM | Dallas Morning News

Will McClay certainly deserves consideration. And the Jets are advised to go take a flying leap, because we don't want to lose him.

This past draft McClay took a more active role in the Cowboys' draft room. He became the primary point person for the Cowboys' draft and personnel decisions.

The results have been tremendous, with first-round pick Zack Martin making the Pro Bowl this season and the Cowboys finishing 12-4.

Kyle Orton, who quit on Cowboys, retires from the NFL | Dallas Morning News

Oh, poor Cap'n Neckbeard. The jerk.

"I just have been going at it for 10 years and it's just a family decision and I've decided to get home and be a dad and call it a day," said Orton.

He also said there is no NFL scenario that will change his mind to retire at this time.

"No, as I said it's not a decision based on anything football-wise, just a family decision and one I'm going to stick to," Orton said.

And of course we know how credible he is. Just sayin'.

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