Cowboys Huddle-Up: Romo, Dez, Cards, London

IRVING - To a man in the Cowboys locker room on Sunday night, they wish to put the loss to Arizona behind them. An eventful time - for Romo, Dez, Randle, everybody -- continues as the London trip means they get a chance to put troubles 7,500 km behind them.



THE BIG LEAD

Tony Romo will be on the flight. So will Joseph Randle. So will Josh Brent.

Jerry Jones jokes that he may ask wife Gene to be bumped to make room ... but the Cowboys circus is moving on, to Piccadilly Circus and thereabouts.

Let's begin with Romo.

He is not only planning to be on the Cowboys flight to London on Monday night -- he and the team are planning to have him play in next Sunday's game against the Jaguars at Wembley Stadium as well.

"We certainly wouldn't put him on that plane and take him to London and fly over and fly back if we weren't planning on him playing,'' Jerry said Sunday after Dallas lost 28-17 to Arizona with Brandon Weeden subbing for Romo, who has two transverse process fractures in his back. "He's definitely has a seat on that plane.''

Romo was inactive for Sunday's game but was in attendance, on his feet, and was helping the team from the sideline.

The first-class seats on Virgin Airlines literally can lie down like an easy chair, and Romo will get one of those seats for the 10-hour flight. (CowboysHQ will be on the flight, too, though we'll take any seat we can get!)

"We're optimistic," coach Jason Garrett said of Romo's chance of playing against the Jaguars. "People with similar injuries have been on a similar timetable where they missed the first game and they were getting close to being able to play in that second game. So we'll see how he feels. Again, it's the same standard with the pain tolerance and how that relates to how he can function."

CARDS 28, COWBOYS 17

The Arizona game itself? It got off to a great start when rookie cornerback Tyler Patmon picked off Carson Palmer for the ex-USC passer's second interception of the season. Patmon's 58-yard score put Dallas up 7-0. After Arizona punted the ball away on their next possession, the Cowboys offense, led by sub Brandon Weeden, marched 49 yards in 10 plays to setup an automatic Dan Bailey 52-yard field goal. Like that, Dallas was leading 10-0 against the team that had the NFC's best record.

The Cardinals then went on a long, 13-play drive that gobbled up 6:24 of clock and extended into the early parts of the second quarter. Palmer found tight end John Carlson for a seven-yard touchdown to cut Dallas' lead to 10-7.

Midway through the second quarter, the Cardinals scored again when Palmer found receiver Jaron Brown for an 11-yard score. Arizona took the lead 14-10.

The Cowboys did a good job moving the football from their own 20 and put Dan Bailey in good position to nail a chip shot 35-yard field goal to go trim Arizona's lead to 14-13. However, cornerback Justin Bethel blocked Bailey's field goal and sent Dallas into the locker room empty-handed.

In the fourth quarter, when the Cowboys were desperate for momentum down 14-10, Garrett opted to go for it on fourth-and-1 rather than send on Bailey for a field goal. Behind the best offensive line in the game - but one playing without starters Leary and Free -- Murray was unable to gain that necessary yard, and Dallas turned the ball over on downs.

Arizona marched 65 yards in nine plays with running back Andre Ellington delivering the one-yard touchdown to put Arizona up 21-10 with 6:05 left to play.

After Weeden threw his second interception on the ensuing drive, it only took the Cardinals five plays from the Dallas 28 for Marion Grice to score a one-yard touchdown to make it an insurmountable 28-10.

Weeden did get his lone touchdown pass of the game, a three-yard toss to Dez Bryant, but the game was already out of reach at 28-17 by that point. Needing two more scores to win, the Cowboys tried a failed onside kick, and then awaited 6-3 as the Cardinals took to victory formation.

With the Eagles dispatching the Texans 31-21 in Houston, despite losing Nick Foles, the Cowboys are now in second place in the NFC East. Next week, the road to the playoffs becomes a little more challenging as the Cowboys trek time zones.

DEZ: COWBOY FOR LIFE

CowboysHQ on Sunday morning reported that while Dez Bryant has switched agents to Jay-Z, his contract representation will actually be handled by CAA. Dez confirmed that when we asked him about it after the game, and also answered in the affirmative about our question about wanting to be “Cowboy for Life’’? That,’’ Bryant told us, “makes sense. I love Cowboy Nation and they love me. I’m going to try to make it right and bring that Super Bowl here.”

Previous agent Eugene Parker wasn't “hands-on,’’ worked with a lot of "handlers,'' and seemingly was involved in Dez' decision to shut down extension talks once the season began. representation. Now? Bryant is a grown-up. He is handling his business, his football and his family and needs "advisers'' (as we all do), not "handlers.''

As we reported on Sunday morning on 105.3 The Fan, CAA (Condon and Dogra and company) will do some of that (like it does for teammates Tony Romo and Jason Witten). Jay-Z’s Roc Nation sports management team has a different role.

“I come from dirt, point-blank period,” Bryant said. “Every day I’m writing my story and it’s getting better. I feel like that was the best choice for me. They can help me get to where I want to be.”

Bryant, who is in the final year of his rookie contract, said he’d be “highly disappointed” if the Cowboys placed the franchise tag on him and that he is open to negotiations immediately “if it’s right.’’

One more nugget here: The Joneses have worked with CAA for years. And Jerry and Jay-Z have known each other since at least 2008. There's no negative relationship there.

ONSIDE KICKS

Hear "Fish on The Fan'' with live updates throughout the day (7:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 3:45 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., DFW times) from inside the team -- and in London! -- on The Cowboys Station, 105.3 The Fan.
* Josh Brent isn't eligible to play until Noc. 23, but he is eligible to practice and is scheduled to travel to London.
* Just like Weeden's last start in Cleveland, the ex-Oklahoma State QB tossed two interceptions Sunday.
* Dan Bailey had the second blocked kick of his career. The first time it happened was on 12/11/11 to try to send a Sunday night game against the Giants into overtime.
* This makes the second straight week Dez Bryant has been held to 30 yards or fewer, which also makes it the first time in his career.
* DeMarco Murray's 100-yard game streak comes to an end. However, Arizona's streak of not allowing a 100-yard rusher extended to 18, as the NFL's top back totaled 79 yards on 19 carries.
* The Cowboys are concerned about Rolando McClain (knee) and Tyrone Crawford (knee). Crawford tells CowboysHQ that he's undergoing an MRI this morning and is optimistic about the outcome.
* Tyler Patmon's 58-yard interception return for a touchdown makes it two consecutive years the Dallas Cowboys have had an undrafted free agent defensive back score a return touchdown.
* Want to be a Cowboys Insider with Premium coverage? Click here to take our free 7-day trial and then for 10 cents a day, you are among the most informed Cowboys followers on the planet! ...
* Joseph Randle had one carry for two yards, the lowest totals of his career. He's still with the club, by the way, and you can ignore the nonsensical idea that the locker room took a 53-man or 63-man vote on this. This was Garrett's call, with assistance from deeply involved lieutenants like Witten and Dez Bryant. "He's my lil' buddy,'' said Dez, who recognizes that Randle's dangerously goofy behavior is not unlike his own, early in his career.

* Jason Garrett has now lost back-to-back home games, the first time in his career.

Smile

THE FINAL WORD

"The old London lights will not be appealing to this bunch after these two losses ... We'll have our mind on business." -- Jerry Jones.


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