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Dallas Cowboys News & Notes: Matt Cassel Starts Practicing, 'Boys Plan To Win Despite Absence Of Romo And Dez

The Cowboys welcomed Matt Cassel to the practice field yesterday and Jerry Jones expects wins despite the loss of key players.

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Sabin: Can QB Weeden Write His Own Redemption Song, Carry Cowboys Forward? -Rainer Sabin- Dallas Morning News
His record may not be that promising but Brandon Weeden will get his chance to show his growth starting with the Falcons on Sunday.

"In this business, unfortunate things happen," Weeden said. "It sucks but I'm the next man up. It's my job to go out and execute and take advantage of this opportunity. The mindset is just different. [Romo] is not coming back next week."

Week 3 NFL Picks: Can The Cowboys Advance To 3-0? - Blogging The Boys
A look at the playoffs odds for teams after Week 3, and the BTB writers weigh in with their picks for the Week 3 games.

All of which shouldn't really be a huge surprise. If you start the season 3-0, odds are you are a good team, and good teams make the playoffs more often than not. If you start 0-3, odds are your team just plain sucks.

Jason Witten Expects To Play And Play Well Sunday- Charean Williams- The Star-Telegram
The tight end has two sprained ankles and a sprained knee but that doesn't seem to be on his mind at this point. He's playing Sunday.

"Look, I love playing, and I would expect my teammates to do the same thing. Get out there. It’s a great opportunity in front of us, where we are right now. These are games we need to win. That’s the approach we need to have; that’s the approach I have, and I think everyone else has."

Peter King: Good Defense Will Help Cowboys Overcome Injuries, Win NFC East | Dallas Morning News
It's up to the defense now to keep these Cowboys in games and keep the pressure off whoever lines up behind Travis Frederick.

While King felt that that Washington might be in the best position to win the NFC East at this point, he wrote that that he thought the Cowboys would overcome the injuries and end up taking the division "because of their good defense and because Tony Romo and Dez Bryant should return for the final five or six weeks.

Eagles Unsure If DeMarco Murray Will Play vs. Jets - Marc Sessler -NFL.com
Chip Kelly has stated that although deemed 'not too serious', it's still remains up in the air if DeMarco Murray will play on Sunday.

Last year's Offensive Player of the Year logged just nine yards in the opener before amassing a ridiculous two yards off 13 attempts in Sunday's 20-10 loss to the Cowboys.

Dez Bryant Tells Jerry Jones 'Pain Is Going Away By The Day' - Todd Archer - ESPN
Dez Bryant is only 10 days removed from surgery, but was seen inside the locker room without a protective boot and without a limp.

"We want him keeping in shape and keeping all the ligaments around it in shape," Jones said. "He can. I just had a great visit with him. The pain is going away by the day and that's important. His procedure gives me a lot of confidence that he will be able to have a positive recovery."

BTB Dallas Cowboys Podcast: Joey Ickes On Eagles Game; Falcons Preview With Jeanna Thomas! - Blogging The Boys
Rabbs and McCool chat with Xs and Os master Joey Ickes about the Cowboys' big win in Philadelphia and welcome The Falcoholic's Jeanna Thomas into the studio to discuss the state of the Dirty Birds and to preview the upcoming clash of 2-0 clubs.

Josh Brent Returns To Cowboys In New Role -Clarence Hill- The Star-Telegram
In a bit of an interesting twist, Josh Brent is working in the Dallas Cowboys’ scouting department now.

"Josh is doing things for us in the scouting department," Jones said Thursday. "It’s good to have him out here. We want him out here."

Jerry Jones Of Dallas Cowboys Not Surrendering On Season After Tony Romo's Injury- Todd Archer - ESPN
Despite Tony Romo's broken left collarbone, owner and GM Jerry Jones says he believes the Cowboys can do more than just stay afloat with their quarterback out for at least the next seven games.

"If we improve within because they're not here and then we have them come back, which will make us better when they do return, then I think we've got a chance to be a better team," Jones said. "That's certainly the way I look at it. But from the standpoint of them not being here and falling off the map, I don't see that at all. The game is not designed that way. There's too many people that have to get on the field and play the game."

Sullivan: Even Without Romo, These Cowboys Can Still Make Playoffs- Jeff Sullivan-Dallas Cowboys
Unlike 2010, these Cowboys are about as focused as ever even with the absences of Tony Romo and Dez Bryant. This team wants to win at any cost.

'In last week’s Dallas Cowboys Star Magazine, in the first page of my column, which is written during the week, before the game, I wrote the following the sentence: "Now, if Romo breaks a collarbone, this team isn’t making the playoffs."

"First off, I was wrong. Alas, not about the collarbone. This team can absolutely, positively make the playoffs, for several reasons of which I, like most, were not entirely aware before the kickoff in Philadelphia. The defense isn’t just improved; it’s drastically improved. Like flirting with top-five in the league even before Greg Hardy and Randy Gregory return."

Can The Cowboys' Secondary Shut Down The Falcons' Receivers? -Tom Ryle- Blogging The Boys
What are the chances for Dallas to handle the potent passing attack of Atlanta? They may be pretty good.

Despite the steady stream of bad news, Dallas has managed to get to 2-0, and both wins are in their own division. A very large share of the credit for the wins this season goes to the defense. OCC documented how they are a top five unit by one analytical measure, but one problem at this point in the season is that the sample size is so small. And since the Giants and the Eagles are both struggling at 0-2, there is an obvious question of whether Dallas is really that good, or the opponents were that inept.

Matt Cassel Knows What Brandon Weeden Is About To Go Through - Todd Archer-ESPN
Matt Cassel knows exactly what the Cowboys' newest starting QB, Brandon Weeden, is feeling as he gets ready to take over for an injured Tony Romo.

"Obviously Brandon is a very talented quarterback and you’ve seen him play last week and he did a great job and he throws a tremendous ball and now for him it’s just going out and playing. We’ve got all the tools around him. We’ve got a great offensive line, obviously the skill players and everything else. If you can just maintain your focus and focus on the task at hand instead of listening to everything else going on in the outside, I think he’ll play great."

Bob Sturm's Xs and Os: How Brandon Weeden's TD Pass In Philly Was 'Taking Candy From A Baby' -Bob Sturm- Dallas Morning News
Sturm goes back to the Philly game one last time to shed some light on how the Cowboys and Brandon Weeden in particular performed.

The key to the Cowboys season might be the ability for Brandon Weeden to take this offense and make it move.  Not to Romo's level, but at least to the level of a replacement-level QB in the NFL. Can he do it?  He certainly has the arm.  But, at the moment of truth can he pull the trigger, find the right guy, and then make the defense pay for risking the house on a blitz?

Cassel Fulfills "Childhood Dream" As A Cowboy; Learning The Offense - Rob Phillips- Dallas Cowboys
Matt Cassel was out there ready for practice and talked about how much he's thankful for the opportunity to 'don the star'.

"It was explained to me that Brandon is the starter. I’m going to support him in any way I can and help the team in any capacity they want me to, and at the same time I’m going to try to learn the playbook and see how far I can move along and how quickly I can move along in order to, if an opportunity does come up, then I’m ready to play."

Outside Perspective: What The Football Outsider Stats Say About The 2-0 Cowboys - One.Cool.Customer - Blogging The Boys
The Cowboys are off to a better start than they were last year, but they aren't yet playing at last year's level, or are they? We look to Football Outsiders to see what their stats say about that.

After a mere two weeks, it's hard to figure out exactly where the Cowboys stand in 2015. A strong offensive showing in the Week 1 game against the Giants was marred by three turnovers that kept the Giants in the game quite literally until the last seconds. In Week 2, the defense suffocated the Eagles but the offense never really found its rhythm. Add Tony Romo's injury to the mix and it's almost impossible to arrive at an accurate assessment of the 2015 team.

Scout's Eye: Cowboys Have Opportunity vs. Atlanta OL; Tough Test For Terrance -Bryan Broaddus- Dallas Cowboys
The Broad One is back, this time with a look at where the Cowboys could exploit the Falcons.

One of today’s two matchups is a direct result of that fact, but the other is fairly straightforward. Regardless of who’s missing on offense, I think this Cowboys pass rush is going to have a great opportunity to take advantage of the Falcons’ offensive line.

Conversely, if Brandon Weeden is going to have success – and if the Dallas rushing attack is going to have room to work – I think it falls on how well the Cowboys can make plays through the air.