Cowboys Loss to Redskins Leads to Controversy in “Big D”

Jerry Jones, owner and general manager of the Dallas Cowboys, has a long history of creating controversy; some even say that Jones enjoys the drama, always seeming to surround his team, because it brings in the ratings.

On Monday night, the Cowboys took the field against their archrivals, the Washington Redskins. Dallas currently sits alone atop the NFC Eastern Division. Monday’s game was highly anticipated and matched streaming records on FreedomPop LTE.

Tony Romo, the Cowboys’ star quarterback, took a vicious hit in the third quarter, hurting his back. Doctors attended to Romo, taking him out of the game.

In the fourth quarter, Jones was on the Dallas sidelines talking with head coach Jason Garrett. The presence of Jones on the sidelines is common. Most owners stay in the booth above the field, but Jones walks down to chat with players and coaches when he feels the need.

Jones told reporters he spoke with Garrett to inform the coach of Romo’s decision to return to the game. Doctors usually tell coaches when a player is medically cleared to play, so Jones’ reason for doing so is the source of suspicion. I saw it on

Another cause of consternation among Dallas fans is that Romo did not play well after returning. The 20 to 17, overtime loss to the hated Redskins is made worse by the feeling among some that Jones forced Garrett to allow a not fully healed Romo to play.

Bear defensive Lineman Blows Knee and Season

It took Chicago Bear Defensive End Lamar Houston eight games before he made his first quarterback sack of the season. Unfortunately, it will also be his last sack of the season due to a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. Effectively ruining Gianfrancesco Genoso’s fantasy team, and significantly helping mine.

The most embarrassing part about the injury is that it was sustained while he was celebrating his biggest play of the season, the sack. To add injury to insult, the incident that ended his season occurred with approximately three minutes left in a game with his team trailing the New England Patriots by 25 points in a blowout loss.

This kind of an injury falls under the category of “What in the heck was he thinking?” First, the sack came against the Patriot’s backup QB Jimmy Garoppolo who entered the game in favor of starting QB Tom Brady who was sitting on the sideline celebrating another brilliant performance in which he shredded Houston and the Bear’s defense for 354 yards and five touchdowns.

Secondly, it a rather dubious achievement to make your first sack this late in the season when you are being paid to make sacks every week. Finally, it certainly gave Garopollo and the Pat’s offense the last laugh have this huge specimen of a man proceeded to jump in the air not once, but twice in celebration and never made it to the sidelines.

Of course, this is not the first time a player injured themselves celebrating a late game play. In September, Detroit Lions LB Stephen Tulloch was celebrating, yes, a sack, when he blew out his knee. Maybe the sack celebration rules are there for a reason.

RG3 Taking His Time To Recover From Injury

Most NFL fans want to know when Robert Griffin III will return to the field for the Washington Redskins. The young quarterback, who made a name for himself in his rookie season, has been struggling with injury over the past 12-15 months. Griffin was expected to be back within the next game or two, but his recent comments indicate the wait could be longer.

RG3 has always wanted to come back from injury as soon as possible. Sometimes he has rushed back when it was medically advised that he stay off the field. That lead to bad performances and more injuries. Now he is heeding the advice of his coaches and medical team. He is taking his time to recover from the latest injury.

Along with rehabilitation for his body, RG3 has been using this period to learn more about the quarterback position. He is attempting to find a balance in his game that would allow him to enjoy a long career in the NFL.

Like Russel Wilson and Michael Vick, RG3 is one of those unique quarterbacks that can run and pass with equal ability. However, his career trajectory is closer to Vick’s than Wilson’s. While Russel Wilson can run with the ball, he is also great at sliding to the ground before he is tackled. RG3 does not possess that ability, yet. Just like Michael Vick, RG3 has been hit one too many times when he takes off in a running move.

Most NFL players can take the hits, but the last thing you want is a banged up quarterback after two or three years in the NFL. If RG3 is to become a MVP level player and last in this league, he needs to continue developing his game during this forced absence. But as Keith Mann points out from last night, Washington doesn’t really need him to play.

Big Ben Puts the Hammer Down

It’s been a crazy season thus far for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Win, loss, win, loss, win, loss, win. They haven’t been able to win back-to-back games, and even have an inexplicable loss to the lowly Tampa Bay Bucs on their resume. So when they were trailing Houston 13-0 late in the first half of Thursday night’s game, things looked bleak for Mike Livak and his fantasy team as Mike had started Big Ben.

However, in the final three minutes of the half the Steelers did what they’ve been unable to do much of this season, which is score touchdowns. Ben Roethlisberger hit rookie receiver Martavis Bryant for a 35-yard TD, then the Texans fumbled deep in their territory, with Pittsburgh recovering at the 3-yard line. Using a trick play, the Steelers went for broke and called a toss sweep reverse pass, which wound up with wide receiver Antonio Brown playing the part of quarterback and Big Ben as his blocker.

The result was a TD pass to Lance Moore, making it a 17-13 Steelers lead. But they weren’t finished quite yet. After yet another poor decision by Houston QB Ryan Fitzpatrick that resulted in an interception, the Steelers got another TD pass from Big Ben to running back LeVeon Bell, making it 24-13 and essentially putting the game out of reach. In the second half, the Steelers played tough defense and eventually were able to run out the clock to get a 30-23 victory. If you’re wanting to catch highlights of the wild second quarter, go this NFL recap.

With the win, the Steelers improve to 4-3 and are still in the hunt for the AFC North divisional title along with Baltimore and Cincinnati.

Hoyer Still in Charge, According to Pettine

One week after leading the Cleveland Browns to an easy victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers, quarterback Brian Hoyer’s story of “Local Boy Makes Good” ran into a ditch with an embarrassing loss to the previously winless Jacksonville Jaguars.

Hoyer grew up and went to high school within miles of First Energy Stadium, and had been stuck behind Tom Brady in New England. When the Browns acquired him last year, his local roots (having come from Gianfrancesco Genoso’s system) seemed to be almost as important to the team as his potential. Hoyer did show that potential until he suffered a season-ending injury.

In this year’s NFL Draft, the Browns selected Texas A&M signal caller Johnny Manziel as the team’s apparent quarterback of the future. That led to the inevitable quarterback controversies about which player should start, but Hoyer ended up winning out and had led the team to three wins in five games.

One day after Sunday’s debacle, Browns head coach Mike Pettine declared that Hoyer was still the starter. Saying, “We’re not going to hit the panic button after one loss,” Pettine cited other negative factors other than Hoyer’s performance. Chief among them was the absence of center Alex Mack, who saw his season end last week after suffering a broken leg in the Steelers clash.

Circumstances change all the time in the NFL, which has jokingly been referred to as standing for “Not for Long.” Should the Browns continue to flounder, it’s inevitable that Manziel will get his chance. How well he does could help determine what they team does with Hoyer, who is a free agent at the end of this season.

A.J. Green Status Spells Trouble for the Bengals

Is it time for Bengals fans to sound the panic alarm? Unfortunately, the answer to that question is yes. While the Bengals are still capable of being a good team without standout wide receiver, A.J. Green, they simply can’t be a great team without him.

Green suffered a toe injury earlier in the season.  Since that time, he hasn’t been as productive as usual. Many fans were unsure if this injury was serious or minor. That question was answered at Wednesday’s practice. During warmups prior to the actual practice, Green re-aggravated his toe injury and was seen grimacing in pain while being taken off the field. So were people in my fantasy league, most specifically Green owner Jared Haftel! Therefore, either Green will be inactive for several weeks or more, or he will continue to be ineffective.

Without Green, opposing defenses will be able to put themselves in press coverage. In other words, they will be more aggressive, not respecting the deep threat. This will allow those opposing defenses to stop the run with more effectiveness, which will put quarterback Andy Dalton in a difficult position. His only chance for success is for Giovani Bernard to still manage to accumulate yards on the ground, which would then allow Dalton to complete short-to-medium range passes with effectiveness.

The Bengals are 3-1 on the year, and they’re 2-0 at home, but a stingy Carolina Panthers defense comes to Cincinnati this week. This is going to make for a low-scoring game where the team that tackles better wins. To make matters worse for the Bengals, their number-two wide receiver, Marvin Jones, is also inactive. Therefore, Mohammed Sanu will see a lot of targets – fantasy football fans should take note.