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Dallas Cowboys News & Notes: Prep For Buccaneers Begins Resembling A M*A*S*H Unit

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The Dallas Cowboys prepare for their last game sans Tony Romo but they were missing a slew of players as practices began.

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys 2015 Halfway Point: Looking At The Positives - Danny Phantom- Blogging The Boys
Taking a look at some positive things through the first half of the Cowboys season. There are definitely some things that went right.

With the first half of the season in the books, what are the things about this team that have impressed you the most? Here are some things that the Cowboys have going for them.

SportsDay Podcast: Has Byron Jones Found Home At Safety for Cowboys? | Dallas Morning News
Cowboys beat writer David Moore joins Barry Horn and Kevin Sherrington on this week's Upon Further Review podcast to discuss Dallas vs. Tampa Bay, Greg Hardy, Sean Lee, Byron Jones, Randy Gregory and more.

Kevin Sherrington: Do you get the idea that Cowboys think that this guy (Byron Jones) is gonna be a star?

David Moore: The key is a not a star at the moment; a star in the making ... they do believe that. Rod Marinelli has been in this league a long time; he said that Byron Jones is as good of a rookie in the secondary as he has ever coached. This was a guy that was so versatile, they weren't really sure when he came in whether he was a corner or safety. They felt he had the skill-set for both. He really hadn't had that much experience at safety. The question with him was would he be physical enough. They knew he was athletic, and he has the skill-set and all that. But would he be physical enough at the safety position at the NFL level. Would he hit the way you need to hit at that position in order to stick and excel there. As training camp went along and as this season has gone along, they've become very comfortable that 'Yes, he can.' I think the feeling on him was always he can be a very good corner in this league, maybe an above-average corner. But if he has the skill-set and is physical enough to play safety, that is his optimum position. That is where his ceiling is the highest. I think they've seen enough that they feel very comfortable putting him at safety moving forward.

How Much Of The Cowboys Dismal Season Was Caused By The Tony Romo Injury (Part II)? - Jim Scott- Blogging The Boys
What is the team actually missing without Romo that could've made the difference in these close games?

Can Tony Romo's return restore the whole team's mojo? Maybe, but as much as there's no doubt it needs restoring, there's also very little to be restored, in truth. That final drive, Philly was up against it over and over again. 1st and 15. 2nd and 14. 2nd and 12. 4th and 1. Dallas let them off the hook each time. But let's look at the game losing play and how close it was on so many levels.

McFadden Proving He Can Carry The Dallas Cowboys’ Running Game Alone -Drew Davison- The Star-Telegram
The Dallas Cowboys entered this season with the mindset that they would use a running back committee to replace the production void left by DeMarco Murray, that plan failed. It took a while to find their man, but McFadden has done a nice job.

"Just the attitude of the guys walking around here," McFadden said. "Everybody has a very positive attitude. We know what we’re capable of doing out there on the field, so we just have to go out there and put it all out there. We just have to finish it."

Matt Cassel's Time On Task Helps Cole Beasley Re-Emerge- Todd Archer- ESPN Dallas
After disappearing for two games, Cole Beasley posted career highs in receptions (nine) and yardage (112) and tied his career high for TDs (two).

"(Offensive coordinator Scott Linehan) did a great job of giving me opportunities to get open," Beasley said. "I had a few good looks with single coverage, and Cassel did a great job of finding me. He really just dropped it into my lap every time. He really just made it easy on me."

Jameis Winston Explains Why Sunday's Game vs. Cowboys Will Be 'Greatest' To Him - Jon Machota- Dallas Morning News
Jameis Winston grew up a Philadelphia Eagles fan. Several of his family members are Dallas Cowboys fans but is that why he wants to beat us down?

"Every game, to me, is the greatest game," said Winston, the first overall pick in this year's draft. "The next game is always the biggest game. ... So, it's going to be big game no matter what."

"It's Not How You Start, It's How You Finish," Said The Kool Aid Drinker - One. Cool. Customer- Blogging The Boys
As we look at the entire 2015 season, it's not how you start, it's how you finish that matters for the Cowboys. But can the Cowboys finish well?

So the question is, can the Cowboys engineer what would be an historic turnaround and finish the season with a winning record? If their current six-win losing streak is anything to go by, certainly not, but the Cowboys may be more than just the sum of the last six games, and with Tony Romo coming back, perhaps the old old truism holds that "it's not how you start but how you finish."

Scout's Eye: Buccaneers' Core Of Young Talent Is Maturing Rapidly -Bryan Broaddus- Dallas Cowboys
The Broad One is back to give us all a glimpse of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers ahead of this Sunday's showdown.

It’s only been three years since these two teams squared off – a 16-10 Dallas win. Considering how different the rosters look, though, that might as well have been a decade ago. Josh Freeman was the Bucs’ quarterback in that game, and DeMarco Murray scored the Cowboys’ only touchdown.

Mark Nzeocha to add depth to Cowboys’ depleted linebacker corps- Drew Davison-The Star-Telegram
Mark Nzeocha is set to make his professional debut Sunday at Tampa Bay, giving the Dallas Cowboys additional linebacker depth. This one will certainly appease O.C.C.

Nzeocha is older than most prospects (25), and didn’t start playing football until he was 14. Over his college career at Wyoming, he had 207 tackles and three sacks, including 101 tackles his junior season in 2013.

Jeremy Mincey: Tony Romo Isn't Jesus, We Got To Win Now - Todd Archer- ESPN Dallas
Tony Romo's return is but a week away but this 'desperate' team understands they have to win now. One of the defensive leaders, Jeremy Mincey says they can't wait for next week.

"Of course we waiting on him," Mincey said. "That's without a doubt. He's a great leader. He's a great player. I mean amazing quarterback. I mean shoot I been around a lot of them and he's amazing and he's a good person and he's a good leader and he's a good friend. It'll be great to have that kind of presence on the field and that type of leadership to get the ball rolling. We got to get this one though this week. We got to find a way to win this one and make something happen."

With Final Start Sunday, Matt Cassel Hopes To Be Cowboy In Future- Todd Archer-ESPN Dallas
Tony Romo will return from a broken collarbone Nov. 22 against the Miami Dolphins, which will put Cassel back to a reserve role.

"I don't think about that at all, to be honest with you," Cassel said. "At this point in the season my main focus is all about this week. We'll cross that bridge when it comes here. If you're asking me would I like to be a Dallas Cowboy for a long period of time? Absolutely."

Jason Garrett: Cowboys Have Dealt With Greg Hardy's Discrimination Post -David Moore- Dallas Morning News
The fact Greg Hardy used Twitter to declare his innocence and suggest he's the victim of discrimination won't set well with a lot of people.

Hardy's bio had been changed before the Cowboys took the field to practice Wednesday morning. "We addressed that this morning,'' Garrett said.

Is that why Hardy has a different bio up on his account? "We just addressed it this morning,'' Garrett said.

Five Reasons The Dallas Cowboys Will Beat The Tampa Bay Buccaneers -Thomas Duck- Cover32
The Duck is back with his five reasons the Cowboys should win this week, let's hope this time it actually comes to fruition.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I simply can’t take much more of this. It is extremely frustrating to think that this Dallas Cowboys football team has been unable to win even one game in the absence of starting quarterback Tony Romo. I have always been a huge Romo supporter, and I truly believe the Cowboys signal caller is more valuable than nearly any other player in the NFL. But not finding a way to eke out even one win the last six games borders on the unbelievable, and I’m here to give you my five reasons why this miserable losing streak ends now.

Cowboys @ Buccaneers: Early Injury Report Not Good, Includes Sean Lee, Dez Bryant & More - Blogging The Boys
The Cowboys have injury issues at linebacker and Dez Brant also sat out practice today among others that missed as well.

The linebacker position may be a bit more problematic. Sean Lee is doubtful to play this week because of his second concussion on the season. Jerry Jones doesn't expect Lee to go. His potential replacement, Anthony Hitchens, is battling an ankle injury and he also missed out on practice today. The Cowboys were also missing Nick Hayden and Barry Church, both dealing with ankle injuries. Church has been able to play through his for the past couple of weeks, Hayden's injury is new.

Cassel Focused On Bucs, Despite Anticipation For Romo’s Nearing Return -David Helman- Dallas Cowboys
After having a solid performance against the Eagles, Matt Cassel is focused on only one task, snapping the Cowboys' losing streak.

"Obviously, Tony is coming back next week, and when he’s gets back, he’s back," Cassel said. "But at the same time, I would love to finish on a winning note and obviously teams, we’d all like to win, so again all of our focus has gone into this week."

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