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Dallas Cowboys News & Notes: Will Brandon Weeden Air It Out Tonight?

Latest Cowboys headlines: Stephen Jones expects Brandon Weeden to go deep; RB Christine Michael may get his first snaps; football starts early today.

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Stephen Jones: Weeden should throw downfield more -
Brandon Weeden has thrown just two passes more than 15 yards in the air this season. Stephen Jones said Weeden will need to push the ball vertically more to keep defenses honest and stop corners from sitting on short routes.

"I think Brandon is going to have to step up and show them that he'll go downfield with it and go to the outside receivers," Jones said during an interview on the Cowboys' Special Edition show on the team's official website. "I think there were some opportunities there for him in the second half (vs. Atlanta) that he conservatively decided to pass on that we're probably going to need to start going to as we move forward or we're going to continue to see it get tighter (inside the box).

"He's got the skill set to do it. Brandon's got a really live arm. He's definitely got the skills to do it."

Cowlishaw: Ease up on Brandon Weeden; he's not the issue with Cowboys' downfield passing game | SportsDay
Tim Cowlishaw answered questions in a chat Thursday, and one of them dealt with how Brandon Weeden has become a bit of a whipping boy for last Sunday's loss.

Question: I don't get why everyone is so down on Weeden. First off he's a backup, not Romo. He isn't supposed to be elite. The one INT was a dreadful choice but he did a decent job. The D lost this game.

Tim Cowlishaw: Agree. Agree. Agree. Weeden was OK. The man has completed 88 percent of his passes since coming off the bench. Everyone's making fun of the short throws. Ever seen Tom Brady play? QBs today make short throws most of the time. Now he does have to show he can get it down the field but I don't think that's really the issue. The issue is the receivers. The Cowboys had no depth at WR and are paying for it with the Dez injury.

Tony Dungy on how good Cowboys can be when everyone's back | Jon Machota, Dallas Morning News
Jon Machota writes that while the focus in Dallas has largely been on Tony Romo and Dez Bryant when talking about unavailable players, the defense has its share as well.

Tony Dungy was quick to point that out Friday afternoon on 105.3 The Fan's Ben and Skin show [KRLD-FM].

"I think that even more-so than Dez coming back and Romo, which will be huge, they get Greg Hardy back, they get [Randy] Gregory back, [Rolando] McClain, they get those guys who can salt the game away when they do have the lead, that's when I think they can really be tough," Dungy said. "If they get their full complement of people back, nobody is going to want to play them in December."


Bob Sturm: Christine Michael has upside | SportsDay
Very few fan bases in the NFL think their fourth running back can be the solution to all that ails them in the ground game, but things are different in Dallas, where Christine Michael is being touted as some sort of miracle cure. Even Sturm has high hopes for Michael.

I think Michael does play and he could instantly get most of the carries. Pure speculation, but the Cowboys look to be serious about turning over every rock to try to find the right combination to get the offense going. I think Randle has a lot of upside, but Michael does too. It will be interesting. The Cowboys do have a package with Randle and Dunbar out of shotgun, but they ran it only once on Sunday. I am not sure how the snaps will be divided, but it might be quite a bit for Christine if it works early.

Michael could be close to joining Cowboys backfield - San Antonio Express-News
Shuyler Dixon explains why the Cowboys could go with four running backs today.

It’s unusual for teams to carry four running backs on game day, but the Cowboys have a quirk in that No. 3 back Lance Dunbar has been used much more as a receiver so far. He has just two carries, and is the NFL leader among running backs with 21 catches for 215 yards receiving.

With receiver Dez Bryant sidelined with a broken right foot, Dunbar leads the team in yardage. And his presence could allow the Cowboys to carry one fewer receiver against the Saints.


Pain not main issue with Brees' shoulder -
Drew Brees told ESPN on Friday that his shoulder injury is more of a functionality issue and less of a pain issue.

"Basically what the doctor told me was the cuff muscles at times will just shut down if they're inflamed," Brees said. "They're basically telling the body, 'I'm injured. I need time to heal, I'm not going to work until the inflammation goes away.' It wasn't a pain thing. I mean, it hurt, but that wasn't the issue. It was just functionality. I did strength exercises all last week. The tough part was with the balance between resting it, getting the inflammation out of it and, at the same time, strengthening it."

Sunday Night Football betting preview: Cowboys at Saints -
This betting preview provides a little insight on how the betting market is moving, courtesy of John Lester from

"We are pretty even as far as spread action but the moneyline bettors have been taking Dallas at a 3 to 1 clip. I think this stays right on the key number until kickoff. The total has escalated some and it will probably continue to rise."

Dallas Cowboys vs. New Orleans Saints: What's the Game Plan for Dallas? | Bleacher Report
Joey Ickes offers his take on how tonight's game could play out.

If the Cowboys can generate some pressure on Brees, especially up the middle, he has been known to throw an interception (an average of almost 17 a season over the last five years). If the Cowboys defense can generate a turnover or two, and the offensive line can win the line of scrimmage, the Cowboys will win the game. Prediction: Cowboys 24, Saints 22


Priest alleged to have pulled gun on boy because he was a Dallas Cowboys fan | The Guardian
In this very odd story, a priest is alleged to have pointed a musket at an eight-year-old because the boy was a fan of the Dallas Cowboys. The priest apparently was a New York Giants fan and was unhappy the boy was supporting their divisional rivals.

NFL Owner Lives Just Like Your Weird Uncle | ThePostGame
You thought Al Davis was weird? Meet his son, current Raiders owner Mark Davis

Miami Dolphins, New York Jets' early wake-up call Sunday | FOX Sports
Just a friendly reminder that football will start early today. The Miami Dolphins and New York Jets will play in London today, and kickoff is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. EST.

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