NFL Nation: Cowboys

Video: Sunday Breakdown

October, 17, 2010
Eric Allen and Jim Basquil recap the biggest stories from Week 6 in the NFL.

Tragedy in Dallas

May, 3, 2009
  AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez

A Dallas scouting assistant was paralyzed from the waist down after he was injured during the collapse of the team's practice facility Saturday.  The Dallas Morning News has additional photos on the collapse.

Sad news in Dallas

May, 3, 2009

Posted by Matt Mosley

Cowboys scouting assistant Rich Behm suffered permanent paralysis from the waist down in the collapse of the team's practice facility Saturday.

The team released this statement:

"To the Behm family we extend our love, comfort, and the full support of every person and resource within the organization," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said. "Rich is a courageous member of our family and someone for whom we care deeply. We ask for all friends and fans of the Dallas Cowboys to join us in embracing him and his family with their thoughts and prayers at this very difficult time."

I've known Rich and his brother, Chris, since I started covering the Cowboys in 2003. Rich, 33, was a vital part of the team's videography department before recently becoming a scouting assistant. He put his video skills to work in splicing film of college players across the nation and played a valuable role in preparing for the '09 draft. He and Chris, who works in the club's TV department, are constantly at Valley Ranch. They might as well be on the rosters because players such as Terence Newman and Romo hung out with them all the time. In fact, Romo was one of the first players to show up at the hospital Sunday.

This is obviously a huge shock to the Behm family, but I've been told that Rich is already showing a remarkable amount of optimism in his Dallas hospital room. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and head coach Wade Phillips were seen in the waiting room late Saturday night and Jones returned Sunday morning.

Behm is father of two boys (8 and 6) and a baby girl. It's unfathomable that he could've arrived at work Saturday morning just like so many other days and had his life altered forever. Every time I pass him in the halls of Valley Ranch, he always has a quip ready about something ridiculous I've written or said on the radio. I know it will be a long haul, but I'm looking forward to seeing him back on the job.

Posted by's Matt Mosley

Huge win for the Eagles at home. You had the feeling running back Brian Westbrook would put up big numbers and he didn't disappoint. He used the bye week to recover from ankle and rib injuries, and he ran like a man possessed Sunday. He ran 22 times for 167 yards and two touchdowns.

Quarterback Donovan McNabb wasn't all that efficient, but he made plays when he had to. He showed some speed on a 12-yard run and then he raced in for a 3-yard touchdown. It appears that Andy Reid isn't trying to protect him as much anymore -- and that's a good thing for Eagles fans.

Matt Ryan put up decent numbers with 277 yards and two touchdowns, but his two interceptions were big. Lito Sheppard and Asante Samuel each had an interception as the Eagles improved to 4-3 on the season. The Eagles now travel to Seattle, which blew out the 49ers on Sunday. If the Eagles beat Seattle, they have a great chance of overtaking the Cowboys in the standings next week.

It's hard to get a feel for this Eagles team, but they're definitely right in the thick of things in the playoff race.

Posted by's Matt Mosley

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell can't go anywhere without being asked about the life and times of Adam "Pacman" Jones. Goodell has crossed the pond to prepare for Sunday's Saints-Chargers game in London, but he's still fielding questions about Jones, who recently checked into an alcohol treatment center.

Goodell has left the door cracked for a possible comeback for the troubled player, but he's been in no mood to talk about redemption in the aftermath of Pacman's latest incident.

"I've been consistent on this one. He has to recognize his responsibility to play in the NFL," Goodell said from London. "He has not made good decisions. I think after this latest incident it was clear to me there was something else going on that we need to evaluate and we need to address directly."

The message is pretty clear: The commissioner is tired of one player grabbing so many headlines for all the wrong reasons. Goodell's first inclination may have been to impose a lifetime ban, but he decided to allow Pacman time to seek help.

Talking to Mike & Mike in the Morning, Goodell added, "If [Pacman] can deal with whatever issues he may have, handle his responsibilities, make good decisions, then he may have an opportunity to play again in the league. I'm frankly tired of talking about it right now."

And I think that pretty much sums up how most of us feel.

Posted by's Matt Mosley


The Cowboys spent part of last week hinting that Tony Romo might start against the Rams despite the fact the team's medical staff had projected him to miss three games. Owner Jerry Jones fueled a lot of the speculation with optimistic comments on his weekly radio show Friday.

Now, it seems like Romo is facing the reality that he may miss two more games. Speaking on Terrell Owens' radio show Tuesday evening, Romo all but ruled himself out for Sunday's game against Tampa Bay.

"I'll say it will be Brad [Johnson]" Romo said. "Brad is going to go this week, unless something different happens that we don't foresee. It will be very difficult to change."

I think it was important for Romo to send a message to his teammates last week that he was willing to sacrifice his health in order to help them win. But the "will he or won't he" story line leading up to the game only served as another distraction for the Cowboys. By declaring himself out for Sunday's game early in the week, Romo is giving the team a chance to truly focus on winning with Brad Johnson.

Or maybe he's simply running a misdirection play like his owner. If Romo sits out the next two games, there's a good chance the Cowboys are 4-5 when he returns.

By the way, it also sounds like the splint on his right hand may need to be tweaked. After praising the athletic trainers, Romo said they would go "back to the drawing board."

Posted by's Kevin Seifert

Wednesday is normally one of the busiest days of the NFL week. It's when recovery time from the previous game officially ends and earnest preparation begins for the next game.

This Wednesday, however, will be pretty quiet with three of the NFC North's four teams entering their bye week. Only the Lions have a game scheduled (for Sunday against Washington), and so things will be a little slower here at the NFC North blog as well.

Chicago is scheduled to practice Wednesday and Thursday and then have a long weekend off, while Minnesota and Green Bay players won't practice again until Monday. Here on the black and blue blog, we'll keep up as much of our weekly schedule as we can, including a "Have at it" topic later today.

In the meantime, a quick jaunt around the division:

  • Chicago offensive coordinator Ron Turner admits he has toyed with the "Wildcat" offense, writes Mike Mulligan of the Chicago Sun-Times. The obvious candidate for quarterback in that scheme is kick returner/receiver Devin Hester. Garrett Wolfe and Kevin Jones are other candidates.
  • Rick Morrissey of the Chicago Tribune thinks people are getting carried away with quarterback Kyle Orton's performance -- but understands why: "This is what happens when a franchise's history at quarterback reads like a Shakespearean tragicomedy. If you have been forced to watch Craig Krenzel, Jonathan Quinn and Chad Hutchinson, then Orton indeed looks like the second coming of Montana, though with a better arm and a better tan."
  • Green Bay cornerback Al Harris said he will be "ready to go" when the Packers return from the bye, writes Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
  • Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers plans to be in the stands for his brother Jordan's first start at quarterback for Butte College in Oroville, Calif., on Saturday. Jason Wilde of the Wisconsin State Journal has details.
  • Minnesota coach Brad Childress is continuing to preach patience with tailback Adrian Peterson, noting several running plays in which Peterson lost yardage Sunday at Soldier Field because he took the run away from the hole. Judd Zulgad and Chip Scoggins of the Star Tribune lay out the situation.
  • Sean Jensen of the St. Paul Pioneer Press offers five suggestions for improving the Vikings. Among them: "[Players] need to take responsibility for their own mental errors."
  • Looking for a bright spot in Detroit? Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press points out that kicker Jason Hanson has made all 17 of his kicks this season, including eight field goals.
  • Lions quarterback Dan Orlovsky thinks he needs to become more vocal, writes Terry Foster of the Detroit News. "I am not much of a loud or energy guy. And maybe I need to switch that up a little bit, come in ticked off and change the energy level. Maybe that is something I will look into and maybe be the spark plug if I have to. As the quarterback, it is on my shoulders to lead this team and lead this offense, and when we start slowly that points right to me."
Posted by's Matt Mosley

LANDOVER, Md. -- Redskins running back Clinton Portis had just completed one of his best days as a pro Sunday, but none of that mattered as the Browns lined up for a 54-yard field-goal attempt to send the game into overtime.

 Drew Hallowell/Getty Images
 Clinton Portis rushed for 175 yards and a TD, his fourth straight 100-yard rushing game.

Even though he'd punished the Browns for four quarters with 175 yards on 27 carries, Portis stood to be the goat if the Browns pulled off the comeback.

After a dramatic goal-line stand by the defense, the Redskins took over at their 3-yard line. As he had all night, Portis spotted a seam and bounced outside for what he thought was going to be a 97-yard touchdown run. But as he raced down the right sideline, Browns cornerback Eric Wright jabbed the ball out from behind.

"I gotta know better," said Portis, wearing the type of gold eyewear that can't be found at Sunglass Hut. "I was running wild and trying to dig. The guy just made a great play."

Asked how he felt when Phil Dawson's 54-yard attempt sailed wide right, Portis told a reporter to think of the "best relief you've had in your life."

Portis' turnover led to a Browns touchdown, and opened the door for Dawson's attempt. The Redskins held on for a 14-11 victory that helped ease some of the sting from last week's 19-17 home loss to the surging Rams.

Earlier in the week, Portis said he didn't know if a hip injury would allow him to play against the Browns. With backup Ladell Betts already out, Jim Zorn had to dial up former Seahawk Shaun Alexander, whose best days are well behind him.

Portis didn't practice all week, but he said a couple of massages helped enable him to play. And given the circumstances and the Redskins' lack of rhythm in the passing game Sunday, Zorn had to ride his best player.

"I think Clinton Portis is an absolute workhorse," Zorn said. "And our offensive line takes pride in that. I think teams are coming to stop our run, but we're staying with it."

(Read full post)

Posted by's Matt Mosley


  • Mac Engel has a nice feature story on Cowboys running back Felix Jones. Some solid quotes from the great David Lee in there.
  • Roger Staubach sounds off on this year's Cowboys team.