Posted October 11, 2012 on AP on Fox
Nfl_divisional_playoffs_5286
(Eds: Updates throughout. With AP Photos.) By STEPHEN HAWKINS AP Sports Writer Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys have done a lot of giving this season. That is good in charity, not when you're a team trying to win in the NFL. With his five interceptions in the last game, Romo has already been picked off eight times this season. That's seven more interceptions than opposing quarterbacks have thrown against the Cowboys (2-2), and it accounts for the team's minus-7 turnover margin. While it would be easy to blame Romo for that, especially since he also has two lost fumbles, the Cowboys' defense isn't really forcing turnovers. ''You think about it consciously as a defender, trying to strip the ball out, getting your hands up trying to get interceptions and that helps you win, so that's something that we're thinking about,'' defensive tackle Marcus Spears said. ''Now, doing it and thinking about it is a different thing. So we've got to make plays like that to allow our offense to have a short field and give ourselves a chance to win the game on defense.'' Linebacker Sean Lee has the Cowboys' only interception, a pick at Tampa Bay's 23 that set up their only touchdown drive in a 16-10 victory. Dallas has recovered three fumbles, but one of those was Orie Lemon falling on a muffed punt against the Buccaneers. After their bye week, the Cowboys play four of their next five games on the road. They play Sunday at Baltimore (4-1), and know they need to start creating turnovers. ''It's a personal challenge that each one of us has to accept,'' said new cornerback Brandon Carr, who had two interceptions in a preseason game. ''You have to challenge yourself to put it upon yourself within the scheme of our defense to go out there and you be the one to make that play, you be the one to make the difference for the defense.'' At the same time, Carr said defenders have to be careful not to be too aggressive, to anxious or too eager to make a play. ''That's when bad things happen, and the big play comes on top of you,'' Carr said. The only team with a worst turnover margin is Kansas City at minus-15. The Chiefs had four turnovers last week in a 9-6 loss to Baltimore, which fumbled once and threw an interception of its own. The Cowboys were in the middle of the pack with 25 takeaways last season, when they finished plus-4 in turnover margin. Coach Jason Garrett said there are a lot of different drills the team works on during the week in an effort to create turnovers. He considers ball security a ''team thing,'' on both sides of the ball. ''It starts with the guys up front, the guys protecting, the guys blocking, certainly the guys who have the ball in their hands,'' Garrett said. ''And similarly on defense, if you create havoc for the quarterback, and he has to do things quicker than he wants to do, typically those result in interceptions.'' Romo has completed two-thirds of his passes and is on pace to throw for more than 4,500 yards, which would be a career high. But his eight interceptions so far are only two fewer than all of last season. And both of his lost fumbles came after being crushed between Tampa Bay defenders. Asked Thursday what he could do to get better, and make sure he's not making mistakes while trying to do too much, Romo refused to go into detail about ''the things that I think are going to help us in this football game and going forward.'' Notes: Rookie CB Morris Claiborne missed practice Thursday because of illness. ... Veteran punter Brian Moorman has a groin injury and may not be available this week. He punted in the last game after being signed following Chris Jones' sprained knee caused by a charging defender. There is a chance Jones could return this week. Kicker Dan Bailey could handle the punting duties if needed, but said Thursday he hadn't punted yet in practice this week. ... If neither Moorman or Jones are available, Romo might have to hold for Bailey's kicks. Romo said Thursday that he has taken some snaps this week on special teams.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

The Cowboys window is truly closing. Romo needs to win now. Week 6 preview.

Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys are underachieving this season. Dallas sits 2-2 coming out of their early bye week and need to get things together on offense. Romo is a solid NFL QB but he is not elite. I've watched all of the Cowboys games this season (Romo and Austin are on my fantasy team) and I have been very disappointed. The Cowboys have a feature RB, very good to...

Big Game For The Cowboys Against Ravens In Week 6

Things are not looking good for the Tony Romo led Dallas Cowboys this year.  Many believed that they would be the team to beat in the NFC East this year, but that does not look to be the case as they are already 2-2.  They have a really tough game this week in Baltimore against the Ravens and look like they will need everything they have to get the win. One of the biggest reasons...

Cowboys simplifying Romo's responsibilities

IRVING, Texas Bill Callahan said Thursday that the Cowboys coaching staff has talked recently about lightening the load on Tony Romo. The Cowboys offensive coordinator and offensive line coach said the staff is trying to simplify Romo's duties at the line of scrimmage before each snap. "Simplifying not only the play-call but what we're doing within the realm of the...

Terrell Owens on the Jets, Tebow, Sanchez and Romo

It’s on the record that Players View feels that Terrell Owens can still play. There is also the feeling that he creates these weird stumbling blocks for himself that for instance kept him from making the grade in Seattle. In looking at the film that he generated as a Seahawk he had no problem getting open which is why he was targeted so much. He just dropped crucial catches.When...

Romo proud of Bryant's growing maturity

Following Dez Bryant's arrest in July for allegedly assaulting his mother, Tony Romo was one of the first Cowboys to speak publicly about the young wide receiver. The Cowboys quarterback showed support for Bryant by saying he prays for him and lets Bryant know that he has his back. On Wednesday, Romo was asked during a conference call with Baltimore media members if he offers...

Romo may be called to hold kicks in Baltimore

IRVING The Dallas Cowboys were without a punter during Thursday's practice at Valley Ranch. Chris Jones is dealing with a knee injury and Brian Moorman a groin injury. Both players have held on Dan Bailey's kicks this season, but if neither is available, Tony Romo could be the Cowboys' holder in Baltimore. "There's a possibility that Tony's going to hold...

Dallas Cowboys (2-2) at Baltimore Ravens (4-1) NFL Week 6 Preview

Wesley Hitt/Getty Images   Follow @Dan Vasta and like Gridiron Grit on Facebook  Tony Romo and the ‘Boys are coming off a bye week, but their third rated offense has been abysmal this season in terms of points per game. The Cowboys ranks the third to worst in football (30th) averaging just 16.2 PPG, and Romo has taken all of the blame (deservedly so). To throw for 5 TD and...

Ravens Host the Cowboys: Week 6 Preview

Ravens vs CowboysSunday – 10/14/121:00 PM Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium at 1:00pm kicks off an AFC vs NFC battle between the Baltimore Ravens and the visiting Dallas Cowboys. Baltimore has faced off against the Cowboys in only two occasions in the past and both have resulted in wins for the Ravens. The team’s last meeting between the two came 4 years ago in 2008 when the Ravens...

Vulnerable Cowboys team to be tested against Ravens this week

The Dallas Cowboys will head into Baltimore to face a tough, veteran defense and a balanced offense bolstered by Ray Rice on the ground and the Joe Flacco-to-Torrey Smith connection through the air. Meanwhile, Tony Romo and the Cowboys are looking to show critics they can play ball with the big boys, all the while hoping their defense can keep the Ravens at bay. Like so many weeks...

Cowboys quarter-term report card: Grading the offense

With the Cowboys still coming back from the bye week, we take a quick look at grading the first four games we've seen in this season of 16. We will try our best to not continue to let the bad taste left by the Chicago Bears impact our decisions. The goal is to evaluate evenly both victories and both losses. Let us know how you think we did and what you'd change in the comments...

Behind enemy lines: Cowboys Q&As

Cowboys coach Jason Garrett and quarterback Tony Romo offered their thoughts on traveling to Baltimore to take on the Ravens this Sunday.

Vick, Romo looking for redemption

Football fans and fantasy owners were treated to some good quarterback play in the Week 6 opener between the Steelers and the Titans. Ben Roethlisberger's touchdown pass to Mike Wallace covered 82 yards and caused fist-pump ripples across fantasyland. Matt Hasselbeck posted a fantastic game that would have been even better had his receivers' hands not betrayed him time and...

Dallas has to go through Baltimore to get back on track...

It's a tough matchup because both teams are coming off games which left them questioning just how good is the sum of their parts...Questions of faith abound for both the 'Boys and the Ravens...not of a spiritual nature, of course, but of a tactical and personnel nature.The last time the Dallas Cowboys took the field, quarterback Tony Romo threw five interceptions and they...

Cowboys-Ravens Preview

The Dallas Cowboys have been off since an embarrassing prime-time performance that prompted talk they could miss the playoffs for a third straight season. In reality, they're just slightly off the pace in the NFC East, but the next month-long stretch could determine if they are, in fact, a contender. The Cowboys open a difficult portion of the schedule Sunday against a Baltimore...
All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.