There’s never a shortage of drama when it comes to the Dallas Cowboys.
One minute, an animated Dez Bryant is yelling on the sidelines about having to settle for field goals in the fourth quarter of a win that was closer than it should have been. The next, Tony Romo is revealing that he has played with a rib injury for at least two months.
But that’s become the norm for the Cowboys and it’s likely not changing anytime soon. And, as long as the Cowboys are winning, nobody seems to mind.
Bryant’s tirade on the sidelines late in the game is viewed in a positive light, an emotional player who is focused solely on winning. Romo, meanwhile, simply adds to his tough guy image of playing through yet another injury.
More important, though, is the Cowboys being 9-4 after their 41-28 victory over the Bears on Thursday night, breaking the dreaded 8-8 cycle and guaranteeing their first winning season under Jason Garrett.
“It’s wonderful,” owner Jerry Jones said on his KRLD-FM radio show Friday. “Nine sounds fine.”
But Jones added that he has shifted his focus to the playoff race and where the Cowboys stack up. Depending on how Sunday’s games go, the Cowboys could still find themselves on the outside of the playoff mix.
If they end up in a three-way tie with Detroit and Seattle for the two wild cards, for instance, they would be the odd team out. Jones, however, isn’t worried about the wild-card picture right now. He hasn’t given up hope for the Cowboys to come back and win the NFC East.
That’s why he said he wants the Seahawks to beat the Eagles this Sunday, something that would help the Cowboys’ division dreams but hurt their wild-card chances.
“We want the division guy to be beat every time,” Jones said. “Seattle can put it on them. They’ve got chances to get it right for us.”
If the Eagles lose, the Cowboys would then be in position to reclaim the division lead from them in the rematch game Dec. 14.
Romo is already looking ahead to the game, saying he planned to spend some time on it during the flight home Thursday night. That should help, but not as much as the extra rest he will receive.
The Cowboys have 10 days between games, and Romo certainly could use it.
In a postgame interview on the NFL Network,
A source said Romo actually has torn rib cartilage, commonly considered a fracture, which stems from the rib injury he suffered in the San Francisco game in 2011. He aggravated it in the Seattle game on a hit by Bobby Wagner, according to a source.
Although the NFL is investigating why Romo’s rib injury did not appear on any of the Cowboys’ injury reports, the injury has not bothered him for a while.
He has not taken shots for it, and he never missed a practice or a play because of it.
Romo has been on the injury report all season, because of his back.
“It will be nice when it’s just about the back improving, instead of all the other little junk,” said Romo, who will continue to receive pain-reducing injections before games, something he regretted not doing on short rest before the first meeting with Philly on Thanksgiving.
Outside of Romo’s ribs, the other story line to emerge from the night came courtesy of Bryant. He continued his rant from the sidelines and into the locker room after the game, preaching what he said to his teammates to reporters.
“We’re not going to relax because we’ve got an opportunity,” Bryant said. “That’s the only thing I think about — an opportunity to do something.”
Bryant went on to dismiss the thought of another December collapse for the Cowboys, saying that’s why the cameras were focusing on him late in the game.
“The only thing they’re waiting for us to do is take an L and they can talk a bunch of [expletive] about us,” Bryant said. “Oh, the same ol’ Cowboys in December.
“C’mon, man. Ain’t none of that. We’re going to take advantage of what we need to take advantage of.”
Jones has no issues with Bryant’s postgame rant, calling his star receiver “ a teddy bear. He’s the neatest guy to be around.
“But I’m going to tell you one thing — he’s got a passion button, and there’s no stopping him. … It’s a positive for us; it’s not a negative thing.”
Everything, after all, is positive when you’re winning.
Drew Davison, 817-390-7760