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NFL Football Musings: Troubles in Dallas

The words Dallas Cowboys and calm should never be used in the same sentence.

Following a week off from competition, the team many of us picked to be a Super Bowl contender at the beginning of the season is still dealing with issues related to team play and the quarterback position.

This time, it’s not about Tony Romo – who is making progress in his eventual return to the lineup – but with the two replacements who have been asked to come in and supplant the Pro Bowl player while he is on the mend.

The Cowboys stand at 2-3 in the NFC East, hoping and praying they can hold on and remain competitive until Romo’s return.

Granted, many of the team’s issues could be linked to the injuries to both Romo and wide receiver Dez Bryant, there is more to it than that. The shoddy play behind center since Romo broke his collarbone has led to controversy – yes a quarterback controversy amid journeymen in the NFL.

Brandon Weeden and Matt Cassel don’t exactly strike fear in the hearts of opposing defenses, but when he learned he would be demoted after Dallas comes back from its bye week, Weeden wasn’t shy in letting his feelings be known.

Over the last few weeks, Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said he has called and texted Dallas Cowboys quarterback Brandon Weeden to offer his former player support after losses. The story can be read at

Weeden, who learned early last week he was being replaced by Matt Cassel, went 0-3 as the Cowboys’ starter while replacing the injured Romo. Weeden said last Wednesday he was “pissed” when he learned he was being demoted back to the backup.

Gundy said he was able to watch Weeden play in losses to Atlanta and New Orleans but didn’t catch much of the game against New England.

Will Cassel do much better? The Dallas coaching staff is hoping so, as is team owner Jerry Jones.

Cassel could not hold off Teddy Bridgewater in Minnesota and lost his job. Weeden was in Cleveland before he made the move to Dallas. I’m not even going to comment on that, just leave it here on the board.

If the change at quarterback isn’t enough for this team to deal with, the Cowboys face the New York Giants on Sunday the 25th, a team that appears to have solved some issues on offense, but still lost to Philadelphia on Monday night.

Yes, the NFC East is a mess, where any team can take control and run away with a playoff berth.

Romo’s progress is refreshing, if not a bright spot in team news of late.

From, “He’s not at the point where he is throwing very much. I still think it’s a healing process,” Garrett said. “When you throw a football, you don’t only use your arm. You use your whole body. So he’s not there yet.

“But he’s doing conditioning. He’s keeping himself in shape.”

Romo agrees, according to USA Today, which reports that the quarterback told Tom Brady following Sunday’s defeat, “See you in February.”

We shall see if his statement proves to be prophetic.

Dallas is one of those teams that if they can get Romo back in time to remain competitive in the NFC East, it can make some noise. The running game is still a mess, but a solid passing game can mask the issues behind quarterback. Wasn’t that the solution in Miami with Dan Marino?

Cassel gives the team enough experience, from his time in Kansas City and then in Minnesota to keep the ship afloat. But what this team does not need is a quarterback controversy when neither signal caller is in Dallas for the long haul.

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