Found October 18, 2012 on
Fox Sports Southwest:
IRVING, Texas Felix Jones knew exactly what everyone was saying about him. He opened training camp by failing a conditioning test and then he became the public face of the Dallas Cowboys' embarrassing special teams unit.
But last Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens, Jones ran for 92 yards while filling in for an injured DeMarco Murray. He appeared to have a burst that's been missing since he had shoulder surgery this past offseason, especially when he raced 20 yards down the sideline for a touchdown in the first half.
Some players claim they never pay attention to what's being said about them in the media, but Jones told FoxSportsSouthwest.com on Wednesday that he's heard everything. Most of the jabs centered on him appearing overweight, and at least one local radio host claimed to see Skittles falling out of Jones' pants during kick returns. So did the jokes serve as motivation?
"Absolutely. Absolutely!" he said. "I listened to all that stuff, but I tried not to let it get me down. And my teammates were extremely supportive. They kept encouraging me even when things weren't looking good."
And right on cue, Cowboys nose tackle Jay Ratliff walked over to Jones, put his arm around him and said, "Felix is the man." Even against a Ravens defense that had been vulnerable against the run, it was stunning to see the Cowboys put up 227 yards. One of the most enduring storylines this season had been the poor play of the offensive line. The running game hadn't been an option after the Week 1 win over the Giants because backs were being hit at or behind the line of scrimmage. The return of center Phil Costa to the starting lineup certainly played a role in the improved play, but other linemen finally appeared competent.
Former Panthers guard Mackenzy Bernardeau revealed Wednesday that he'd been called out by offensive line coach Bill Callahan last week. There were rumblings that Bernardeau, signed as free agent over the offseason, could lose his right guard spot to the immortal Derrick Dockery. But as Cowboys coach Jason Garrett noted, Bernardeau responded with his best game of the season.
"He knows when it's time to be blunt," Bernardeau said of Callahan. "He said he had higher expectations for me than what I was showing. He's a master of technique and that's really helped."
For fans that have yearned for players to be held accountable at Valley Ranch, this has to be good news. I had hoped that Callahan's history as a head coach and playcaller would be a great resource for Garrett. But it's still unclear how much input Callahan has during games. With 26 seconds left in the game last Sunday and one timeout remaining, Garrett should've given Romo and the offense two plays. Based on conversations I had with players Wednesday, it sounds like the short pass to Dez Bryant was the only play that was called. If that's true, it's something that needs to be addressed. Callahan needs to step in and help Garrett in that situation. It's unfathomable the Cowboys could have another game management debacle on the heels of what happened in Arizona last season.
But for now, Callahan will try to build on his offensive line's best performance of the season. And it helps that Carolina is ranked 23rd in the league against the run. The Panthers have given up 127.4 yards per game and have allowed three running backs to surpass 100 yards.
Starting left guard Nate Livings didn't want to show any disrespect toward center Ryan Cook, but he admitted that Costa had a major impact against the Ravens.
"Phil's been here for a minute," Livings said. "And he knows exactly what we're trying to accomplish."
Costa returned to practice Thursday after missing Wednesday's session with a knee issue. Cook (hamstring) wasn't able to practice Thursday. But for one week, no one's talking about how bad this offensive line is. And the Felix Jones jokes have also been shelved. Of course, he knows he's only one bad game away from hearing the criticism.
"Hey it's part of playing in this league," he said. "You take the bad with the good."
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
(Eds: APNewsNow. With AP Photos.) By STEPHEN HAWKINS AP Sports Writer Felix Jones finally gets a chance to be the first option again for the Dallas Cowboys.
The fifth-year running back and former first-round pick certainly had to be patient. He had only three carries in the first four games this season.
With DeMarco Murray out because of a sprained left foot, Jones is set to start...
Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett feels like wide receiver Dez Bryant has been getting better each week.“We’ll learn from that particular play, but he has a tremendous competitive spirit,” coach Jason Garrett said, via ESPNDallas.com. “Anybody who watches football and knows anything about it – or even if you don’t know anything about it – and you watch that guy...
They don’t come any tougher than Jason Wiiten of the Dallas Cowboys. He goes across them middle fearlessly, he’s a fullback lead blocker, and he’s the portrait of a Dallas Cowboy. Witten injured his spleen in preseason and while it has ended many of a career, there was Witten on opening day. So when Witten speaks, Cowboys’ fans listen. Witten isn’t happy about the Cowboys...
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant missed practice on Friday and has been listed as questionable foe Sunday’s game against the Pamthers.If Bryant can’t play, Kevin Ogletree will start in his place.
IRVING, Texas The evidence keeps rolling in: The gap between the intellect of "teacher" Jason Garrett and the education of his "students" is massive especially when the pop quizzes that need to be passed are represented by Dallas Cowboys opportunities in opponents' territory.
Jimmy Johnson, a Garrett mentor, used to say, "You don't need to be nervous...
According to Ed Werder of ESPN, Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray has been moving around with a scooter. He told Werder that he’s doing it because he can, not because he has to.I honestly don’t believe Murray. I’m sure anyone with a torn ligament in their foot wouldn’t want to walk. Murray is clearly try to play down his injury.
IRVING, Texas Jerry Jones said Tuesday during his weekly radio interview that the Cowboys are evolving into a championship contender. That statement came only two days after a 31-29 loss in Baltimore that dropped Dallas to 2-3.
Jones continues to reference the New York Giants' run to a Super Bowl last season after starting 6-6 and winning the NFC East with a 9-7 record.
Because it is Jerry Jones everyone will roll their eyes, but what he is saying is correct. Here is the quote courtesy of Pro Football Talk. “We’ve got to have some wins to make sure we’re in the hunt, but I keep pointing out we’re fresh off a world champion [Giants] that won nine of 16 ballgames last year,” Jones said. “We know you want your team as healthy and as in...
When we look at splash plays every week, we are looking for 2 in particular that are extra special. We are not here to thumb our noses at pressures or run stuffs, but it sure seems that the name of the game is really sacks and takeaways. We especially love DeMarcus Ware's strip-sack the best, as it accomplishes both.
But with a 2-3 record and another game with no takeaways,...
Dez Bryant: Bryant (groin) did not practice Friday and is questionable for Sunday’s game against Carolina, DallasCowboys.com reports.
Visit RotoWire.com for more analysis on this update.
Tony Romo isn't the type of quarterback to call out his teammates, even if he thought they did something incorrectly.
Following what was the final offensive play the Cowboys ran Sunday in Baltimore, wide receivers Kevin Ogletree and Miles Austin jogged back to the line of scrimmage despite a running clock, likely costing their team an extra play that could've improved the...
Podcaster Adam Dobrowolski pours an intoxicating six-pack of CHFFs: Dallas proved it’s America’s dumbest team; Matt Ryan has plenty to prove; time for Andy Reid to go; Patriots need to reassess offensive strategy; Chargers epic choke job and much more.
G.J. McCarthy / Staff Photographer
Follow @Dan Vasta and like Gridiron Grit on Facebook
No matter what the odds are, Dallas for some reason can never finish a game to save their lives. Eventually they have to come through or soon there will be major changes with their coaching staff and perhaps the starting quarterback as well.
There have already been rumors about the Cowboys...