As you’ve already heard I’m sure, Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo will not be playing in this weekend’s match-up:
"Brad is going to go this week unless something happens that I don't foresee," Romo said. "It will be very difficult to change. I [haven’t been] physically able to get my fingers on the ball in position to throw it," Romo said. "I need time to get the ball in my hand. I couldn't figure out a way to make it happen [this week]." - Dallas Morning News.
I was surprised by the news to be honest. Last week Cowboys Head Coach Wade Phillips talked as if Romo would relieve QB Brad Johnson in the event that he struggled, well that didn’t happen, but I figured Romo would at least return this week considering he was itching to get out there last week. That wasn’t to be however.
Here’s Jon Gruden on facing former Buccaneers QB and World Champion Brad Johnson:
I love that guy. I’ve texted him and talked to him a few times periodically. We’ve stayed in touch over the years. He’s special to me and he always will be, very special. He’s a world champion and I wish him the best. He’s a stud. Any time you change quarterbacks, we’ve proven that over the years, nothing stays the same. It’s not easy on a team, but fortunately they have a guy that generally takes care of the ball, he’s a disciplined guy, he’s a great competitor, and just write the names down – they’ve got a heck of a supporting cast. They’re loaded, and they’re talented. They’re coming off a tough stretch in their season and we’re counting on their best football" - Tampa Tribune.
I was shocked to see that Brad Johnson had three interceptions this past weekend. Not that he never threw interceptions, as he threw his fair share over the course of his career with the Buccaneers; it’s that he never threw them in bunches. One of the reasons I couldn’t stand Brad was the fact that he seemed to take very few chances with the ball. At the first sign of pressure he would chuck the ball out of bounds. So to see him throw three picks and contribute mightily to the Cowboys loss was strange. I guess six years time will do that to you. Obviously I don’t want him to prosper this weekend, but I’d also hate to see him play as poorly as he did last week for the Cowboys…
Here’s a couple players thoughts on facing Brad Johnson and the Cowboys:
Chris Hovan on Brad Johnson:
"Brad’s still out there, and he’s still playing great ball right now. The team is on his shoulders right now until Tony (Romo) gets back, and I’m sure the onus is going to be put on the offensive line and (Dallas RB) Marion Barber to run the ball, manage the ball, manage the game. And get it to (Dallas WR Terrell Owens) when they have a certain opportunity to. We’re going to have to be aware of everything that they’re trying to do to attack us, and just go out there and play Buc defense against these guys." - Tampa Tribune.
Chris Hovan on handing Dallas a loss:
"It’s huge to be a team that can win on the road. You take that advantage away from the home team. If you have a strong team that’s coming in that can enforce their will on you at their home place, then you’re a contender, then we’re starting to talk about down the line." - Tampa Tribune.
Cato June on Dallas’ Offense:
"You always have to be ready when you [face] a high powered team like that. Just because they didn’t play well for a couple of weeks doesn’t mean that they aren’t going to come out ready to play. They do a very good job of running the football as well as in the passing game, getting the ball down field, making big plays. A lot of guys can create the big plays for the offense so that will be a challenge for us to go out there and make sure that we are stopping them from being able to be two-dimensional and being able to control the football game." - Tampa Tribune.
Cato made a great point that can’t be emphasized enough when he said despite the Cowboys poor play they are still going to come out ready to play and that’s the truth. Cowboys fans from Blogging the Boys, our Dallas Cowboys Blog, were asking how bad I thought the Buccaneers would win this weekend. I don’t know the answer to that question, I’m a Bucs Fan number one, we typically don’t go into ball games thinking we are going to trounce an opponent. Number two, this is the NFL and anything can happen. Going into the Denver game I thought we had a great chance of beating them considering they had just lost to the winless Kansas City Chiefs, that win didn’t happen for this team. So going into this weekend against a Dallas Cowboys squad that’s lost a string of games, doesn’t have their starting Quarterback, and has their back up against the wall; you would think I would be confident, but to be honest I’m not. I know my team will show up however, as that’s been their onus all season. The Bucs play hard until the final whistle so I know for a fact my team won’t come in with their eye on next week’s opponent, but that doesn’t convince me that a ‘W’ is a given for Sunday.