2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Cowboys have penalty problem, with winning twist

    2012-11-13 14:11

(Eds: Updates.)
By SCHUYLER DIXON
AP Sports Writer

IRVING, Texas (AP) - Somewhere in the middle of six defensive penalties that gave Philadelphia first downs, Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett turned to backup quarterback Kyle Orton to talk a little game simulation.

``I want to hear 800 hard counts in practice this week,'' Garrett recalled himself saying while watching jumpy Dallas defenders pile up the offsides calls Sunday.

The game was the fourth in which Dallas has committed 13 penalties this season, but here's the funny part. The Cowboys are 3-1 in those games after beating the Eagles 38-23, and they're 0-2 with their season low in yellow flags - two.

``Oh, I think there's a few different ways you can spin that,'' Garrett said. ``You know, for years the Oakland Raiders were the most penalized team and they won a lot of football games. And they used to spin it like it was an aggressive nature that they had and that's the kind of team that they wanted to be. I don't buy that completely, though. You don't want to hurt yourself as a football team.''

The penalties ultimately didn't hurt Dallas (4-5) against the Eagles because that same defense scored two touchdowns on an interception return by Brandon Carr and a fumble recovery by Jason Hatcher.

Hatcher had the first two offsides penalties, both resulting in first downs on third-down plays on the Eagles' first drive. Philadelphia was the only team in the league without points on its opening drive before getting a touchdown Sunday.

The Hatcher penalties were at least explainable because he's a defensive lineman, prone to jump when a quarterback puts some emphasis on a signal without taking the snap - the so-called hard count. It doesn't make sense when a cornerback does it away from the ball, and rookie Morris Claiborne jumped twice.

``As a defensive football team you are always teaching aggressiveness, getting off the ball, attacking and all of that,'' Garrett said. ``But at the same time you have to be disciplined.''

Maybe Claiborne was just having a bad day, perhaps his worst as a pro. He got beat for the game-opening touchdown by Riley Cooper, who had just two catches for the season before the leaping one-handed grab in the end zone. Claiborne also was called for defensive holding twice and interference once.

``It was a struggle, sort of like that third baseman when they bunt it to him early on, in the first inning, he picks it up and throws it 15 rows over the first baseman's head,'' Garrett said. ``The bunts keep coming, right? So they kept going after him, and that's an experience a lot of rookie corners have to experience in this league.''

The Cowboys, tied for second in the league with 74 penalties going into Sunday's home game against Cleveland (2-7), had 13 in three of the first five games, and most of the talk then was about an offensive line committing too many false starts and holding penalties.

Against Philadelphia, the focus of the problem shifted to the defensive line, but this was the same group that pressured Michael Vick early and sidelined him with a concussion. The Cowboys sacked rookie backup Nick Foles twice, including one that resulted in Hatcher's touchdown.

``You don't want to take the aggressiveness away from those guys,'' Garrett said. ``The best defensive lines are the ones that get off the football, and we do a pretty good job of getting off the football. For the most part we've been pretty good in this area. We just have to correct it.''

---

Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

---

Follow Schuyler Dixon on Twitter at https://twitter.com/lschuylerd

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Frank GoreDec 17 03:13p

San Francisco 49ers RB Frank Gore (concussion) visited with a doctor at the team's facility Tuesday, Dec. 16, as part of the NFL's concussion protocol. Gore did not participate [ More ]

Ryan MathewsDec 17 02:33p

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (ankle) is not participating in practice Wednesday, Dec. 17.

C.J. SpillerDec 17 02:13p

Buffalo Bills RB C.J. Spiller (shoulder) was limited during practice Wednesday, Dec. 17.

Blake BortlesDec 17 01:53p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles (foot) was limited during practice Wednesday, Dec. 17, and is listed as questionable for Week 16.

Julio JonesDec 17 01:43p

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (hip) is not participating in the portion of practice open to the media Wednesday, Dec. 17.

DeMarco MurrayDec 17 01:33p

Updating a previous report, Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray (hand) wasn't expected to do a lot at practice Wednesday, Dec. 17, but he took first-team snaps at running back [ More ]

Cam NewtonDec 17 01:23p

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (back) returned to practice Wednesday, Dec. 17, and he worked with the second-team offense in the portion of practice open to the media. QB [ More ]

DeMarco MurrayDec 17 12:43p

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray (hand) is participating in individual drills during practice Wednesday, Dec. 17.

T Y HiltonDec 17 12:23p

Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (hamstring) is not participating during the media-access portion of practice Wednesday, Dec. 17.

Rashad JenningsDec 17 11:23a

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (ankle) will not participate in practice Wednesday, Dec. 17.

Keenan AllenDec 17 11:03a

San Diego Chargers WR Keenan Allen (collarbone, ankle) said he is taking his injuries 'week to week.'

Denard RobinsonDec 17 10:13a

Jacksonville Jaguars RB Denard Robinson (foot) has a partially torn ligament in his foot, according to head coach Gus Bradley. Recovery time is six to eight weeks, but he [ More ]

Marc TrestmanDec 16 09:33p

The Chicago Bears are expected to fire head coach Marc Trestman, according to a source. The team's ownership met Tuesday, Dec. 16, after the team's Week 15 loss against [ More ]

Julio JonesDec 16 09:33p

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (hip) is expected to be ready to play in Week 16 against the New Orleans Saints. However, offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter indicated the possibility [ More ]

Zach MettenbergerDec 16 06:43p

Tennessee Titans QB Zach Mettenberger (shoulder) missed practice for the second straight day Tuesday, Dec. 16.

DeMarco MurrayDec 16 05:53p

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray (hand) will likely be a game-time decision against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 16, according to owner Jerry Jones. Jones said the team is [ More ]

Julius ThomasDec 16 05:33p

Denver Broncos TE Virgil Green continued to lead the team's tight ends in snaps with 50 in Week 15 against the San Diego Chargers, even with TE Julius Thomas [ More ]

Aaron RodgersDec 16 05:23p

Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers is 0-2 with a 35.6 total quarterback rating at Tampa Bay in his career. He threw three interceptions in each of those games.

Blake BortlesDec 16 04:23p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles (foot) was jogging, throwing and moving around well while being limited at practice Thursday, Dec. 16. He showed no signs of being limited by [ More ]

Colt McCoyDec 16 04:23p

Updating a previous report, Washington Redskins QB Colt McCoy (neck) was told by doctors that he only needs two to three weeks for the aggravated nerve in his neck [ More ]

Keenan AllenDec 16 04:13p

Updating a previous report, San Diego Chargers WR Keenan Allen (collarbone) could be placed on Reserve/Injured if the team is eliminated from playoff contention. Allen will not play this [ More ]

Ryan MathewsDec 16 02:43p

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (ankle) did not practice Tuesday, Dec. 16.

Colt McCoyDec 16 02:33p

Washington Redskins QB Colt McCoy (neck) was placed on season-ending Reserve/Injured Tuesday, Dec. 16, according to head coach Jay Gruden.

Keenan AllenDec 16 02:33p

San Diego Chargers WR Keenan Allen (collarbone) suffered a broken collarbone in Week 15 and is not expected to play this week. Surgery is not planned at this point [ More ]

Blake BortlesDec 16 01:53p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles (foot) said his foot felt fine during a team walkthrough Tuesday, Dec. 16, and he is confident he will be ready to play this week.

Blake BortlesDec 16 01:53p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles (foot) is expected to play in Week 16 against the Tennessee Titans Thursday, Dec. 18, according to offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch. Even though Bortles [ More ]

DeMarco MurrayDec 16 01:23p

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray (hand) has a good chance to play in Week 16 against the Indianapolis Colts despite having surgery on a broken left hand, according to [ More ]

DeMarco MurrayDec 16 09:23a

Updating an earlier report, Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray (hand) isn't risking further injury by playing in Week 16. The team believes he can play.

DeMarco MurrayDec 16 08:53a

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray (hand) could play in Week 16, in the opinion of beat writer Bryan Broaddus. At least, that is the team's early thinking.

Jay GrudenDec 16 05:53a

Although the Washington Redskins haven't confirmed the news, sources have said coach Jay Gruden will be retained as coach for the 2015 season.

Andre JohnsonDec 16 05:23a

The Houston Texans are expected to ask WR Andre Johnson to take a pay cut for future seasons, with an outright release a possibility if he refuses. Johnson will [ More ]

Corey WhiteDec 15 07:13p

The New Orleans Saints have declared CB Corey White, DL Lawrence Virgil, LB Moise Fokou, OT Nick Becton, DL Ronald Powell, WR Seantavius Jones, CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste inactive for Week 15.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group