Who Should Back Up Tony Romo?

Backup QB Brandon Weeden.

Backup QB Brandon Weeden.

Brandon Weeden was so bad last November when he replaced Tony Romo against Washington that Weeden made my list of worst performance by a backup in team history.

He started against San Diego last night in the first preseason game of 2015. Although he completed 4 of 5 passes for 42 yards, he also lost the handle on a snap, and the fumble cost the Cowboys 35 yards (!) on 4th down (!).

Third-stringer Dustin Vaughan

Third-stringer Dustin Vaughan

Some grumblings on Facebook this morning suggest that Dustin Vaughan might be a better backup. Vaughan completed 12 of 18 passes for 106 yards last night and showed some ability to avoid the rush.

Not sure I have strong feelings about this. Here’s a poll for anyone else who does:

Who should be Tony Romo's backup?

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Preseason, Week 1: Dallas Cowboys vs. San Diego Chargers

The Dallas Cowboys face the San Diego Chargers in the first preseason game of the year for both squads. Dallas is without Tony Romo, Dez Bryant, and Jason Witten.

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Dallas Cowboys Stories for August 9, 2015

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Dallas Cowboys: Potential Career Milestones

As training camp for the Dallas Cowboys begins, here are a few potential career milestones. (And yes, we are stretching a few of these.)

Wins as a Starter: Tony Romo

By leading the Cowboys to at least 11 wins in 2015, Tony Romo will surpass Roger Staubach in regular-season wins as a starter. Romo’s record is now 75-48, while Staubach’s was 85-29.

Staubach also led Dallas to 11 playoff wins and 2 Super Bowl titles. Romo’s playoff record is 2-4.

Career Touchdown Receptions: Jason Witten and Dez Bryant

Jason Witten has 57 career touchdowns, just eight shy of Michael Irvin’s mark of 65. It’s more likely that Dez Bryant will catch Irvin, though, as Bryant enters this season with 56 career TDs.

Bob Hayes holds the franchise record with 71 TDs.

Career Rushing Marks (Pitiful)

We all know that the Cowboys lost DeMarco Murray and his 4,526 career rushing yards. He left ranked sixth in team history in career rushing yards.

That leaves Tony Romo as the current franchise leader in rushing yards with 607. Romo ranks 30th in team history, just 31 yards behind Charley Young.

Among quarterbacks, Romo probably won’t catch Roger Staubach in career rushing yards. Staubach rushed for 2,264 yards, best in team history among quarterbacks and 12th among all players.

Joseph Randle is exactly 100 yards behind Romo with 507 career rushing yards.

Meanwhile, Darren McFadden had 4,247 career rushing yards with Oakland. He surpassed 1,000 yards only once (in 2010).

Field Goals: Dan Bailey

Dan Bailey has the highest career field-goal percentage with 89.8%. Chris Boniol connected on 87.1% in three seasons with Dallas.

At his current pace, Bailey will eventually surpass Rafael Septien in career field goals made, but not in 2015. Septien had 162, while Bailey has 114.

 

Punting: Chris Jones

Chris Jones’s average punt traveled 45.4 yards in 2014, and his career average is 45.0. Mat McBriar holds the franchise mark for best career average, with 45.3 yards per punt.

Tackles: Orlando Scandrick 

Orlando Scandrick has 282 career tackles and ranks 17th on the franchise’s all-time list. Players just ahead of him on that list include Robert Jones (283), Jack Del Rio (292), and Kevin Smith (334).  Scandrick has averaged just over 40 tackles per year since 2008.

Animated Trivia: Dez Bryant

We all know that Dez Bryant displays his emotions. Now that he has signed a five-year, $70 million contract, we also know he is not just doing anything for a payday.

So in honor of Dez’s new contract, here is an animated GIF featuring Dez and his emotions.

The trivia questions:

(1) During which season did this take place?

(2) Against which team was Dallas playing when this happened?

(3) Who won that game?

The Red-White-and-Blue 1976 Dallas Cowboys

The 1976 Dallas Cowboys provided images that we can always use on July 4. That is, we can always admire the red-white-and-blue stripes on the 1976 helmets.

pg2_g_staubach_400

Anyway, those 1976 Dallas Cowboys and their patriotic helmets are kind of a forgotten team. The Cowboys rebounded from their loss in Super Bowl X to record an 11-3 record and reclaim the NFC East title. Dallas struggled in the playoffs, however, losing to L.A. Rams.

Below is a quiz with five questions about those 1976 Cowboys.

Your Score:  

Your Ranking:  

* * *

Video highlights from the 1976 season are available on YouTube, but only the second part is online.

Puzzle Trivia: 1975 NFC Championship Game

When you solve the puzzle above, you will see two Cowboys players attempting to block a field goal by Tom Dempsey during the 1975 NFC Championship Game. The Cowboys won the game, of course, 37-7 to earn a spot in Super Bowl X.

Here are the trivia questions related to this picture:

(1) Who are the Dallas players in the picture, and what did each of them accomplish in the game? (Hint: one played on offense and the other on defense.)

(2) Neither player blocked this kick, but another Dallas player blocked a field-goal attempt in the second half. Who was this player?

(3) Dempsey is best known for what?

BONUS QUESTION:

Who is the holder?

Animated Trivia: Randy White

Below is an animated GIF showing Randy White sacking Ron Jaworski. Questions about this play are below the image.

Questions:

(1) During which season did this play take place?

(2) Did Dallas win this game?

(3) White forced Jaworski to fumble. Who recovered the fumble to score a touchdown?

Their Final Plays: Michael Irvin and Troy Aikman

This is a series that focuses on the last games and/or (when possible) the last plays of various members of the Cowboys. The final plays for a few of these players, such as Roger Staubach, Troy Aikman, and Michael Irvin, are well known. Others may be more difficult to research, but I will do my best.

Anyone old enough to remember the Cowboys of the late 1990s and early 2000s will remember the last plays of Michael Irvin and Troy Aikman. For that reason, I present them together in this post.

Irvin

Michael Irvin’s skills had eroded by the late 1990s. He was far less effective in 1997 and 1998. In fact, his poor performance against the Arizona Cardinals in the 1998 playoffs (four receptions, 32 yards) caused some to wonder if the Cowboys should release the future hall-of-famer, even though he was still a 1,000-yard receiver.

But then Irvin caught two touchdown receptions in a season-opening thriller against Washington, and it appeared that he might be back. He followed that performance with two sub-par games, but Dallas was 3-0 early in the 1999 season, so most did not focus heavily on Irvin’s importance.

And then…

Michael Irvin never played football again after this play.

Michael Irvin never played football again after this play.

Irvin went across the middle against the Eagles on a slant pattern, and Troy Aikman hit Irvin in stride. As he was being tackled, Irvin was hit on the back of the head by an Eagle defender. Irvin did not get up from the play and was carted off the field (as Eagle fans cheered the injury).

The result…

Dallas went 5-8 for the rest of the 1999 season. The team only won 15 games over the three seasons after that. No, it was not all because of Irvin’s injury, but the team lost a key leader, and the Cowboys were not the same team once he was gone.

Aikman

Troy Aikman led Dallas to three Super Bowl titles and was only 34 years old in 2000. He played, however, more like he was 44. He threw only 7 touchdown passes compared with 14 interceptions, and fans routinely booed him and the Cowboys during a terrible season.

He started the week 14 game against Washington.

And then…

 

LaVar Arrington’s hit near the sideline gave Aikman yet another concussion, and Aikman never played another down of football in the NFL again.

Dallas had already declined when Aikman suffered his injury. However, his retirement led to the team’s carousel of quarterbacks. Dallas could not find a franchise quarterback until the emergence of Tony Romo six years after Aikman suffered his injury.