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By John McMullen, NFL Editor - Archive - Email
Retelling 'Sybil' with Jerry Jones
Jerry Jones Jerry Jones already wears more hats than your average schizophrenic.
Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Retelling is all the rage in Hollywood, and if the folks in Tinseltown want to take another crack at "Sybil" from a man's perspective, "Jerry" would have to be the working title.

Instead of a shy, unassuming substitute grade-school teacher, the 2014 take on multiple personality disorder would be about the ego-driven definition of vanity that is Jerry Jones.

The Dallas Cowboys' owner/general manager/media spokesman and now doctor/sideline news disseminator already wears more hats than your average schizophrenic.

During the Cowboys' 20-17 overtime loss to NFC East rival Washington on Monday night, Jones quickly shifted from his Josh Earnest hat as the 'Boys spokesman during an in-game interview on ESPN to his medical one, overseeing injured quarterback Tony Romo's care in the locker room.

Next up it was taking on the role as dictator as Jones hurried out to the sidelines to personally pull the strings of his puppet-like head coach Jason Garrett.

The only thing missing was Jones relieving himself on the sideline to mark his territory.

"I was here during the tail end of the examination and knew he planned to come back out and play if he were needed," Jones said, seemingly blissfully unaware that what he did was way out of line. "Of course (Romo) was needed. I felt good that he could come back out. When he saw the opportunity, he did. I told Jason that he would be back in."

Romo, who underwent back surgery to repair a herniated disk last December, was taken off in significant pain after taking a knee to his back.

"We knew there were no structural issues when they gave him the X-rays," Jones said, presumably is his "Marcus Welby, M.D." voice. "I was very concerned the fact that he laid there as long as he laid there. After we looked at the play and saw that was a knee kind of to the side of the back, then we felt better about it.

"We got him in here and looked at it real carefully (and) everybody felt better about it. But he was certainly limited when he first got in here, but he loosened it up real good and went back out."

Obviously, Romo is very important to Dallas' long-term success, but on Monday night, the decision to put him back on the field proved to be disastrous.

Backup Brandon Weeden performed admirably in his absence, completing 4-of-6 passes for 69 yards and a 25-yard touchdown pass to Jason Witten in two series of work. When Romo returned, he was obviously not himself and the Redskins went on to win the game.

Rest assured that in his quiet moments Garrett wishes he took the Baltimore Ravens' coaching job back in January 2008.

Loyalty to the organization he spent most of his playing career with, along with a bump in salary to $3 million -- the highest stipend for an assistant coach in the NFL -- and the promise of being the heir apparent to the top spot kept the then-highly regarded Garrett in North Texas.

No one is going to feel sorry for a man who has one of the 32 head-coaching positions in the NFL, never mind the mentor of America's Team, but Garrett remains the coach of the Cowboys for one reason -- he doesn't have the testicular fortitude to stand up to a tyrannical owner who left the reservation way back in the mid-1990s when his whiskey-fueled braggadocio caused a split with Jimmy Johnson.

Since then, Jones, with the notable exception of Bill Parcells for four seasons, has surrounded himself with fawning "yes" man, head coaches who felt the title and the checks were payola for Jones' shenanigans.

Of course, Barry Switzer, Chan Gailey, Dave Campo and Wade Phillips were Norma Rae compared to Garrett, a coach so impotent that the folks marketing Viagra and Cialis should be fighting over him,

Jones had stripped Garrett of virtually all his power long before he raced down from the owner's box on Monday to usurp his own team doctor and implicitly "alert" Garrett that Romo was indeed medically cleared to return.

Remember Garrett is the only offensive-minded head coach in the NFL who was told by his owner that he would be relinquishing offensive play-calling duties.

Think about that for a minute. The head coach of the Dallas Cowboys is not allowed to take the play-calling duties away from his perceived underling -- in this case, Scott Linehan -- no matter the situation or the environment. Unless, of course, Garrett is given the OK by the man upstairs -- no, not God (although it's only a matter of time before Jones bestows that title on himself).

These days, Garrett's business card should read caretaker or perhaps figurehead, but head coach?

There are 32 teams in the NFL, there are only 31 head coaches.

So, having sufficiently emasculated his current mentor yet again, Jones unveiled a new Pharaoh-like personality to take aim on his ailing quarterback on Tuesday, informing the Cowboys fan base that Romo's ability to play with what has now been described as a bruised back will hinge solely on the veteran's ability to tolerate pain.

"(Romo) can play," Jones said on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas/Fort Worth. "... Technically relative to the medical aspect, he can play. He can play without further damage."

So it shall be written. So it shall be done.

WEEK 9 (All Times Eastern)

New Orleans (3-4) (-2 1/2) at Carolina (3-4-1), Thursday, 8:30 p.m. -
Reaching .500 is usually not the recipe for first place in any sport, but that's exactly where the Saints and Panthers find themselves as the two NFC South rivals get ready to meet on "Thursday Night Football." NOLA is 0-4 on the road. Despite that lack of road success, though, the Saints have been very close to getting over the hump, leading into the fourth quarter in three of their four road setbacks this season and losing those games by a total of just six points.

Saints 23, Panthers 20

Arizona (6-1) at Dallas (6-2) (NL), Sunday, 1 p.m. - So much depends on whether Tony Romo will be able to play, and despite the positive medical update from Dr. Jerry Jones, that remains up in the air. The NFC-leading Cardinals are off to their best start since 1974 when they began 7-0. Whether it's an ailing Romo or Brandon Weeden under center, the Cowboys figure to lean on DeMarco Murray, who leads the league with 1,054 rushing yards and is the only player in history with 100-or-more rushing yards in each of the first eight games to start a season.

Cowboys 21, Cardinals 17

Jacksonville (1-7) at Cincinnati (4-2-1) (-11), Sunday, 1 p.m. - The Bengals are fresh off a signature divisional win over Baltimore and are 12-0-1 in their last 13 regular-season home games. The 1-7 Jags have been riding behind emerging running back Denard Robinson, who has rushed for over 100 yards in consecutive games.

Bengals 33, Jaguars 14

Tampa Bay (1-6) at Cleveland (4-3) (-6 1/2), Sunday, 1 p.m. - An overtime setback to Minnesota at home had the Bucs turning into sellers at the trade deadline. Tampa Bay gave up on a former top-10 pick, safety Mark Barron, who was traded to St. Louis, and linebacker Jonathan Casillas, who was shipped to New England. Cleveland remains in the hunt in the very tough AFC North thanks to QB Brian Hoyer, who is now 7-3 as a starter with the Browns.

Browns 23, Buccaneers 16

Philadelphia (5-2) (-2) at Houston (4-4), Sunday, 1 p.m. - The Eagles have never lost to the Texans (3-0 all-time), something star defensive end J.J. Watt hopes to change. The amazing Watt had two sacks last weekend and now has an NFL-high 38 since 2012. The All-Pro is also one of just two NFL players (Adalius Thomas) with seven or more sacks and three or more TDs in season since 1982. Philly QB Nick Foles has won his past three starts against AFC foes and amassed a franchise-record 36 completions in a loss to Arizona in Week 8.

Texans 23, Eagles 21

New York Jets (1-7) at Kansas City (1-2) (-9 1/2), Sunday, 1 p.m. - The Jets will finally turn to Michael Vick at the QB position after the veteran threw for 153 yards and led his team with 69 rushing yards after replacing the ineffective Geno Smith during a loss to Buffalo last weekend. The Chiefs have won four of their last five games behind the stead Alex Smith, who has completed 98-of-137 passes for 1,039 yards and eight TDs over that span.

Chiefs 27, Jets 16

San Diego (5-3) at Miami (4-3) (-2), Sunday, 1 p.m. - San Diego will try to stop the bleeding after consecutive divisional losses to Kansas City and Denver. Despite the recent hiccups, Chargers QB Philip Rivers is still having a year for the ages and will be aiming for his eighth straight game with two or more TD passes. The Dolphins continue to rely on a very stingy defense led by Cameron Wake, who has 3 1/2 sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery in his last three games.

Dolphins 21, Chargers 17

Washington (3-5) at Minnesota (3-5) (NL), Sunday, 1 p.m. - Marvin Lewis' former coordinators in Cincinnati will meet as head coaches in Minneapolis. Both Mike Zimmer's Vikings and Jay Gruden's Redskins are coming off overtime wins. Minnesota rookie linebacker Anthony Barr won NFC Defensive Player of the Week honors after forcing a fumble from Tampa's Austin Sefarian-Jenkins, scooping it up and racing 27 yards for a TD, becoming only the fourth player in NFL history to end an OT game with a FR for a TD. Washington's once third- string QB Colt McCoy has led his team to back-to-back comeback wins, but the injured Robert Griffin III is very close to returning from a dislocated ankle.

Vikings 20, Redskins 16

St. Louis (2-5) at San Francisco (4-3) (-10), Sunday, 4:05 p.m. - The 49ers shoot for the season sweep of the Rams after beating St. Louis, 31-17, back on Oct. 13 when Colin Kaepernick threw for 343 yards and three TDs, including an 80-yarder to wide receiver Brandon Lloyd. Kaepernick has won his past three starts against the Rams, amassing a 117.6 passer rating in those games.

49ers 34, Rams 17

Oakland (0-7) at Seattle (4-3) (-15 1/2), Sunday, 4:25 p.m. - Football's only winless team takes on a Seattle club that has won 19 of its past 21 at home. Seahawks QB Russell Wilson is 5-0 as a starter in the Pacific Northwest against AFC foes.

Seahawks 31, Raiders 17

Denver (6-1) (-3) at New England (6-2), Sunday, 4:25 p.m. - The top two teams in the AFC will tangle in Manning/Brady XVI. Both Payton Manning and Tom Brady remain at the top of their games, as Brady (129.1) and Manning (127.4) are ranked Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, in passer rating in the month of October, as each signal caller led their teams to identical 4-0 records for the month.

Brady has had the edge in the personal rivalry historically, going 10-5 against Manning's Colts and now Broncos. Things have tightened up in the head-to-head battle over recent years, though, and Manning has posted a 5-4 mark in his last nine matchups with Brady, including a win in last year's AFC Championship Game.

Broncos 28, Patriots 24

Baltimore (5-3) at Pittsburgh (5-3) (pick 'em), Sunday 8:30 p.m. - Football's hardest-hitting rivalry resumes for the second prime time meeting this season. The Ravens beat the Steelers, 26-6, on "Thursday Night Football" in Week 2 and Baltimore's defense, which ranks first in the AFC with just 16.4 points per game allowed, will try to slow down Ben Roethlisberger. "Big Ben" is coming off a career performance in the Steelers' 51-34 win against Indianapolis, setting franchise passing records for yards (522) and touchdowns (six).

Steelers 26, Ravens 21

Indianapolis (5-3) (-3) at New York Giants (3-4), Monday, 8:30 p.m. - Week 9 wraps up with an interconference matchup on "Monday Night Football" as the first-place Colts travel to North Jersey to face the Giants. Indianapolis has averaged 31.3 points per game, which ranks second only to Denver, during a 5-3 start and QB Andrew Luck has an active streak of six 300-yard passing games. The Giants come off their bye week hoping to rebound from consecutive divisional losses to Philadelphia and Dallas.

Colts 31, Giants 21


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