The Cowboys received a bit of a surprise contribution on Sunday, as ILB Bradie James forced a strip of TE Aaron Hernandez. James’ snaps have steadily decreased this season, amassing only 107 snaps through five games. James had been a top six defensive player in terms of snaps last year, and top five the two years prior. Well, James might be losing even more of those reps.
The Cowboys will begin the time frame for linebacker Bruce Carter to join the 53-man roster on Wednesday by having the second-round pick practice for the first time.
Carter is on the non-football injury list recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament he suffered at North Carolina last season. The Cowboys will have two weeks to practice him before having to promote him to the active roster or placing him on injured reserve.
“It’s exciting because we haven’t seen him,” coach Jason Garrett said. “He’s been working hard on his own on the side. We’re pleased with where his conditioning is and where he is physically but he has to integrate himself as a football player. So we’ll get that chance to do that and we’ll see him in practice. We’ll see how he’s going and how confident he is on the knee and hopefully slowly we can get him integrated into the defensive system and the kicking game and he can make a contribution.”
Felix Jones‘ high ankle sprain had him in a walking boot on Monday. The oft-injured running back can’t do anything to shake the label of frail, although his toughness can’t be questioned as he continued to play despite a dislocated shoulder suffered in Week Two against the 49ers.
The Cowboys will be bringing in three linemen on Tuesday to try and replace rookie Bill Nagy, who is expected to be out for the season. Derrick Dockery hopes that he’ll be the man to replace Nagy in the starting lineup, but isn’t sure whether or not he will get the medical clearance to suit up against the Rams.
“With the fracture on the outside, it’s about getting rolled up again and blowing your knee out,” Dockery said. “So now it’s letting the fracture heal. It’s had pretty good time to heal now, so I think I’m ready.”
If Nagy is placed on the season-ending Injured Reserve, the Cowboys will be left with only eight offensive linemen on the 53-man roster. The team will bring in three linemen for a workout on Tuesday, though the preference would be to have Dockery healthy.
It looks like the Cowboys might catch a bit of a break, as their opponent this coming Sunday has their own injury problems. The Rams have already lost a ton of man games to the bug, and now face the possibility of coming into Dallas without their signal caller.
Bradford has a high left ankle sprain and is in a walking boot, leaving his status for this week’s game at Dallas in question.
“I think you are always concerned when you see your quarterback in a boot,” Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo said. “In my experience with the high ankle sprains, you just never know.”
If Bradford misses any time, journeyman AJ Feeley will get the start in his place.
Willing participants in the Denver “Suck For Luck” master scheme, the Rams today traded for sure-handed wideout Brandon Lloyd. The subsequent move was away from their off-season free agency acquisition Mike Sims-Walker, who was released.
The grand Mike Sims-Walker experiment in St. Louis ended today when the Rams traded a conditional sixth-round pick to the Broncos in exchange for Brandon Lloyd.
That’s from the St. Louis Post Dispatch, which reports that the Rams cut Sims-Walker after the Lloyd trade was completed.
“I think what they do is make you earn every yard,” Brady said after the game, per ESPN Dallas. “It’s not like there are a bunch of gimme throws out there or gimme routes or gimme calls from the sideline.
“There are a lot of different things and they have a lot of good players that can execute it. Some good linebackers, a line that really rushes no matter how many guys – three guys, five guys – and some guys even cover. It’s a good defense and they really made us earn it.”
“When you get in a situation like that, you’ve got to go for the kill,” Jones told Y! Sports shortly before leaving the Cowboys’ locker room. “I felt like we could’ve been more aggressive. Our defense had been good all day, but you knew Brady had a length-of-the-field drive in him – so it didn’t surprise me at all when he took them down at the end.”
Good writeup from Garrett’s presser today. To watch the entire thing, go here.
“I don’t think so. I think we were pretty aggressive throughout the ball game and I think Tony did a nice job handling it,” Garrett said. “He had the interception early where he got a little pressure in his face and the ball came out of his hand a little funny. But after that he really settled in and again we got into some nice long drives.
“One of the things we needed to do in this ballgame is you try to keep Brady and (Wes) Welker and those guys on the sidelines and we did get some turnovers on defense, but also as we drove the football on offense. To have close to 33 minutes on time of possession you limit their opportunities.”
“One of the things we preach to Tony is, ‘Hey, make a decision and cut loose and let’s get going,’” Garrett said. “He understands that situation, those plays, those opportunities and he had to move in the pocket a little bit. He had to find some space. He had to get the ball out of his hand. Each of those things came up in those tight red-zone situations.
“So we certainly understand the importance and the value of Dez and also, (Jason) Witten – there are a lot weapons we’d like to get the ball to down there. Sometimes you’re able to do that. Sometimes you’re not. You just got to move on and find the best option to execute the play and give yourself a chance to score points.”
…The Pats game also represented Ware’s third multi-sack game of the season and the 20th of his career–a new franchise record for the Dallas Cowboys.
Ware passed Greg Ellis and Jim Jeffcoat with his second sack of Brady on the day, a play that helped kill a Patriots drive early on in the second half.
The Steelers have signed 27-year old cornerback Kevin Dockery. Dockery played in 10 games for the Rams last year and he had 22 tackles, 1 tackle for a loss, 1 interception and 1 tackle for a loss. He has now played in 61 games in his first five years in the NFL and he has 171 tackles, 5 tackles for a loss, 2 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries, 29 passes defensed and 4 interceptions (1 returned for a TD). This was a good signing for the Steelers who needed to add some depth to the defensive backfield for 2011.