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Tuesday, November 15, 2011
5 Wonders: crazy games, WR numbers, Ware sacks

By Todd Archer

IRVING, Texas -- We’re back for another installment of Five Wonders as the Cowboys head to Washington on Sunday.

**Strange things tend to happen when the Cowboys head to FedEx Field, at least since I’ve been covering this team. I wonder what will happen Sunday that can be head-scratching. Last year there was the Alex Barron holding penalty to wipe out the winning touchdown and the end-of-half fumble by Tashard Choice. In 2008, the Cowboys won 14-10 in Tony Romo’s return from a broken pinky and I remember the quarterback carrying his iPod while listening to a song from Rocky IV. In 2006 there was the blocked Mike Vanderjagt field goal try that turned into Washington’s game-winning field goal after a facemask penalty aided a Sean Taylor return. In 2003 and ’09 the Cowboys had shutouts at Washington. And in that ’03 game Troy Hambrick ran for 189 yards. Let me say that again: Troy Hambrick.

** I wonder if the Redskins will have a return yard on Sunday. Seriously. The Cowboys have not allowed a punt return yard in their last two games. Two weeks ago Chris Jones had a 43-yard gross and net-yard average against Seattle. On Sunday against Buffalo Mat McBriar’s only punt traveled 52 yards and went out of bounds. Brandon Banks is averaging 9 yards per return on the season and averaged 8 yards on two returns when these teams met at Cowboys Stadium in September.

**For the sixth time this season Tony Romo completed passes to at least seven different players with Dez Bryant, DeMarco Murray, Jason Witten, Laurent Robinson, Jesse Holley, Kevin Ogletree and Martellus Bennett comprising Romo’s 23 completions on the day. I wonder how that makes a defensive coordinator feel. Jason Garrett often talks about being able to attack teams in multiple ways with the pass and the run. This is an example of that and it came without Miles Austin. In the New England loss Romo completed passes to 10 different pass catchers. As much as Witten is his security blanket, Romo will spread the ball around to the open guy.

**I wonder if Rex Grossman wants to start against the Cowboys. Washington will go with Grossman Sunday against the Cowboys, which puts him in the cross-hairs of DeMarcus Ware. This will be Grossman’s fourth start against the Cowboys in his career and he has been sacked 11 times. Only the Giants have sacked him more. But back to Ware, who is on pace for an NFL record 23 sacks, for a second He has sacked Grossman five times. The only quarterbacks to face Ware’s wrath more are Eli Manning and Donovan McNabb.

** I wonder if the Cowboys would be interested in signing Laurent Robinson to a contract extension. The deadline to sign players and have all of the bonus money go against this year’s cap has expired, but that doesn’t mean they can’t do a deal. He has 27 catches for 441 yards and four touchdowns. He has shown to be a quick study and would give the Cowboys a nice top-three with Miles Austin and Dez Bryant for the foreseeable future. I also wonder if Robinson would want to do a deal now. This would be his first time to truly cash in. Would it be better for him to be patient and see if a team comes with a big offer in the offseason? He’s been cut a few times, so it might be more prudent for him to sign now. In 2007 the Cowboys signed Patrick Crayton to a four-year, $14 million deal with $6 million guaranteed. Does something like that sound right?