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Cowboys News: If Dak Prescott Continues To Shine, How Safe Is Tony Romo's Starting Job?

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Latest Cowboys headlines: Talking heads discuss Romo's future; Ezekiel Elliott's big day; no Romo, no Dez, no problem?

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Through the air and on the ground...

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Terry Bradshaw says Cowboys need to permanently bench Tony Romo - John Breech, CBSSports.com
So far, the plan in Dallas is to bench Dak Prescott once Tony Romo is ready to play. Terry Bradshaw, who's never been a threat to make the 21st century's greatest thinker list, thinks that's a horrible plan.

During an interview with Colin Cowherd this week, the four-time Super Bowl champion said that he'd hand the starting job to Prescott and keep Romo on the bench.

"I would not put Dak Prescott on the bench," Bradshaw said. "I would leave him as the starter and I wouldn't have a problem with that at all. Now, Tony will have a problem with that and I don't blame him, but the way this kid's playing, I wouldn't bench him."

Boomer Esiason: "We all believe Romo is a truly great player." - Staff, SportsDay
Esiason joined 105.3 The Fan recently, and unlike Terry Bradshaw, he has no doubt Romo will get his job back.

Q: Is there any chance if/when he's healthy, Tony Romo does not get his job back this year?

Boomer: I don't think so. I can't imagine, I'm not the coach, I'm not the owner, there's a lot of dynamics that go on down there in Dallas that may not be a part of any other organization. Say what you want about Tony, and him being hurt and everything else, I think all of us who cover the league, cover him want him back on the field. We all believe he is really truly a great player. It's really sad what has happened to him the last two [years]. And I'm sure that they are limiting their offense with Dak.

Cris Collinsworth: Why Prescott could continue to start over Romo - Staff, SportsDay
On the Rich Eisen Show Collinsworth answered a question about how safe Romo's job is.

Q: Is it definitely Tony Romo's starting job whenever he returns?

Collinsworth: I think it depends. I really do. Are they 2-5 or are they 6-1? You're not going to shake up the ship for a guy that hasn't played for a couple months when you know darn well every week that you give him to recover is going to be the best chance that Tony Romo is going to come back as healthy as possible, not just this year, but in future years...

...I really don't think it's as cut and dry as that. Everybody keeps telling us that, and that's what they all told us, too ... I just don't think you do anything crazy and make that move because of the health issue, and you know that Tony would be getting healthier if he waited another week, and then another week, and whatever happens.

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49ers-Cowboys announcers: Yep, it’s your two FOX favorites - Dave Fucillo, Niners Nation
With the FOX broadcast, the announcers will be Joe Buck and Troy Aikman. On the plus side, Erin Andrews will be handling reporting duties from the sideline.

FOX gets the double-header this week, and with Rams-Cardinals and Saints-Chargers as the other two options, it is not surprising that 49ers-Cowboys will air in all but a handful of TV markets.

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Year ago, Cowboys 2-1 without Romo, Dez, but now it’s so different - Drew Davison, The Star-Telegram
No Romo, no Dez, no problem?

This year, though, there is a different feel around the locker room in how the team can handle injuries. Instead of winning just two of their final 13 regular-season games as they did a year ago, the Cowboys fully expect to stay in playoff contention.

"There’s a different sense or a different feeling in the locker room," center Travis Frederick said. "And confidence might be it. It might be camaraderie. It might be team chemistry. I don’t know exactly what it is.

"You can tell there is a little bit different feeling, and we try to do a good job of keeping that in check and making sure that’s not overly confident and not willing and ready to prepare, because I think the guys have done a good job of going out throughout the week and preparing and a good job in meetings and in practices. That’s really what we’re focusing on."

Can Cowboys Overcome No Tony Romo & Dez Bryant This Time? - Michael Sisemore, Blogging The Boys
Sisemore argues that players are stepping up this year where they may have waited for Romo to 'save' them last year.

You see, this offense isn't all about Dak Prescott carrying the team like it has been with Romo in the past. The reason the Cowboys are getting better with each week is because their players are making plays. Dez Bryant has 11 receptions, 150 yards, and one touchdown. Other guys have been stepping up and making plays with Beasley having 20 receptions and 213 yards, Jason Witten has 142 yards, and Terrance Williams has 122 yards. This is the type of continuity they are building here and they need for their receivers to continue to help Dak Prescott. Dak is not just developing his receivers, they are helping him. Yes, he's talented but he's a rookie sensation because he's being put in the right position by his coaches and fellow players.

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This is how the Cowboys offense has worked so far - Matt Weston, Battle Red Blog
In a power rankings summary, of all places, Weston spills the beans on the Cowboys' offensive success this season, complete with a detailed film breakdown.

This has been how the Cowboys' offense has worked so far. They give the ball to Elliot on first down. He takes what the line gives him and tacks on a bit more. On first down he has 41 carries (3) for 183 yards (3), which comes out to 4.16 Y/C (13), and he leads the league in first downs with 6. Additionally, his success rate is 59% which is best in the league. How they performed on first down has created easier first downs and a nice life for rookie quarterback Dak Prescott.

Go read the entire thing, it'll be worth your time, even if it's not all rainbows and unicorns about Elliott.

Dez Bryant makes the trip to San Francisco - Michael Smith, ProFootballTalk
Bryant hasn't officially been ruled out yet, and he made the trip to San Francisco, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported.

It still seems extremely unlikely that Bryant will play after suffering a hairline fracture near his knee last week against the Bears. Reports have indicated Bryant will probably have to miss at least a couple games.

But the Cowboys aren’t ready to make that official just yet. He’ll at least be in the stadium, and we’ll have to wait until 90 minutes before kickoff to see whether the Cowboys make him active.

Get Lance Dunbar the Dang Ball! - Reid Hanson, SportsDFW
Hanson wants the Cowboys to get creative with Lance Dunbar, and Bryant's absence may make that wish come true.

Lance Dunbar isn’t always a major threat in the running game. His four attempts for seven yards and a touchdown are pedestrian at best. It’s the passing game where Dunbar is at his most dangerous. Last season, Dunbar played the better part of four games. In those games he racked up 21 receptions on 23 targets for 215 yards.

This season Dunbar has only been targeted four times. His 14 yards per reception average are strong but with only three receptions, his contributions have been nearly inconsequential. Scott Linehan needs to change that.

Cowboys new top WR? - Mike Vaccaro, New York Post
A lot of the discussion about who will replace Dez Bryant has centered on Terrance Williams and Brice Butler, but Vaccaro has a different idea.

There isn’t a more improbable success story in the NFL at the moment than the Cowboys’ diminutive Cole Beasley.

The 5-foot-8, 174-pound slot receiver leads Dallas through three games with 20 catches for 213 yards — a figure that puts Beasley on pace to catch 107 passes for the year. The undrafted free agent from SMU never has had more than 52 receptions in a single season in the first four years of his career. Though tight end Jason Witten always was Tony Romo’s security blanket, Beasley appears to have assumed that designation with Dak Prescott. Not only does Beasley lead the Cowboys in catches, but his 25 targets also top the Dallas receiving charts.

With Dez Bryant now sidelined indefinitely by a knee injury and the Cowboys already thin at receiver, Beasley figures to play an even bigger role starting with Sunday’s visit to the 49ers. The only thing he is missing so far is a touchdown.

What we’ll be talking about Monday: Ezekiel Elliott's big day - Sheil Kapadia, ESPN
The 49ers gave up 176 and 127 yards in their last two games. Kapadia thinks that will continue.

The Dallas Cowboys running back is coming off his best game, a 30-carry, 140-yard performance against the Chicago Bears. Dez Bryant is not expected to play, and the 49ers looked vulnerable against the run last week. Expect big production from Elliott.

Any trades on horizon for Cowboys? - Todd Archer, ESPN
In response to a reader questions, Archer mulls the Cowboys' position regarding potential mid-season trades.

If you're thinking of anything major, I would be surprised. It doesn't happen enough. The last time the Cowboys made a major trade in-season was 2008 when they picked up Roy Williams from the Detroit Lions. I know the Cowboys will look around and see what's available, but I don't think this team is in position to give away draft picks for what is probably a short-term solution. But I wonder if the Cowboys could look to deal Darren McFadden if his elbow is 100 percent. He is on the non-football injury list and will miss at least two more games. He can't be dealt until he is off NFI. He could be a desirable target since he is coming off a 1,000-yard season last year. James Hanna can also return after three more games from his knee injury. Could that open up the possibility of a Gavin Escobar trade? He won't be back next season, so perhaps the Cowboys could get a pick for him. But I would imagine the trade deadline will be quiet.

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NFL defensive pass interference penalties out of control - Greg Bedard, SI.com
The NFL’s defensive pass interference penalty has gotten out of control, Bedard explains. DPIs are at an all-time high through three weeks. The Packers alone have enough yards gained from pass interference penalties to consider it one of their leading receivers. Bedard runs down a few ways to change this, the most significant of which is getting rid of DPI as a spot foul, in addition to reinforcing the idea of "uncatchable" passes, making DPI reviewable, and emphasizing the word "significantly" in the phrase "significantly hinders."

Get rid of the spot foul on DPI and put in some sort of stock yardage penalty, whether it be 15, 20 or 25 yards. The NFL has looked into this, as recently at last year, but the fear of defensive backs tackling receivers after getting beaten has won out. That thinking needs to stop. If an offensive lineman can keep a sack on third down from happening by tackling a rusher and only incurring a 10-yard penalty, or if a defender can keep a runner from scoring by tackling a player by his facemask (which Denver’s Aqib Talib did in the Super Bowl) and only gets 15 yards (or half the distance to the goal line, in that case), then there needs to be a reckoning with the rule book.