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NY JETS News Articles- 11/23

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Friday, November 23, 2007

Smiles for Miles

The second-most famous wide receiver from Garfield enjoyed his Thanksgiving very much.

Miles Austin, a second-year kick returner for the Cowboys, got some offensive snaps because of the absence of the injured Patrick Crayton. And Austin responded with the first two receptions of his NFL career in Dallas' 34-3 win over the Jets.

"He knew at some point," Terrell Owens said, "we [might] call upon him to make some plays for us and he did that on the opening drive."

On Dallas' eight-play, 63-yard touchdown drive on its opening possession, Austin notched his first NFL reception, a 17-yarder on third-and-9 from the Dallas 38. The former Monmouth University standout also had a 13-yard catch in the third quarter.

"It felt good," Austin said of his first pro reception. "Once you get the first one going, it gets you into a little bit of a rhythm. So once I got that one early in the game I knew everything would be all right."

Although he's played against the Giants, Austin admitted this was different.

"With the Jets," he said, "I have that [Garfield] connection with [former Jets wideout] Wayne Chrebet. ... I knew a whole bunch of people from home were watching and I'm just happy we came away with this win."

Coles is missed

Wide receiver Laveranues Coles was sidelined for the second time in three games, this time because of a high ankle sprain suffered against Pittsburgh on Sunday. Brad Smith started in his place and had two catches for 12 yards. Meanwhile, Jerricho Cotchery was limited to two receptions for 43 yards as the Cowboys' secondary focused mainly on him.

"I'm seeing the stuff that Laveranues does each and every Sunday," Cotchery admitted. "That's just part of the game."


Dallas running back Julius Jones again won bragging rights over older brother Thomas, thanks to the Cowboys' 31-point victory. Sharing time with Marion Barber, Julius rushed for 64 yards on 14 carries. Thomas had little room to run and wound up with 40 yards on 17 carries. Julius had four receptions for 26 yards while Thomas had two catches for 17 yards. Julius ran for 150 yards and two touchdowns in 2004 when the Cowboys defeated the Bears and Thomas Jones. ... The Jets again rotated left guards, with starter Adrien Clarke and Will Montgomery alternating two consecutive series at a time.

-- J.P. Pelzman

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IRVING, Texas -- Well, at least the Jets won't live on in Thanksgiving Day infamy.

But it's not because they played well. Far from it, actually.

It's more because a nation of viewers will want to purge Thursday's snoozer at Texas Stadium from their memory banks ASAP.

The Jets lost for the seventh time in eight games as NFC-East leading Dallas dominated New York from start to finish in a methodical 34-3 Thanksgiving roasting. But this marked the first time the Jets had been blown out since a 38-14 loss to New England on opening day.

The Jets had hoped to show a national TV audience that they were better than their 2-8 record entering the game. Instead, the sheer dullness created by the combination of their lackluster performance and Dallas' dominance probably forced millions of people to actually have conversations with their relatives.

"We didn't say anything today," tight end Chris Baker said when asked about how the Jets had hoped to make a statement. "We scored three points on offense and had an interception for a touchdown. We didn't make much of a statement at all."

If they did, it was a cry for help for an anemic offense that produced only 180 net yards and went 2-for-14 on third down.. Fittingly, a fourth-quarter drive that seemed destined to produce a consolation touchdown ended about 2 feet short of the goal line when Baker was tackled by Patrick Watkins after catching a pass near the goal line on fourth-and-goal from the 5.

Kellen Clemens had his worst game since being named the starting quarterback, going 12-for-27 for 142 yards with one interception, which was returned 50 yards for a second-quarter touchdown by Terence Newman.

"For only having two days [to prepare], they prepared very well schematically," Clemens said of the Cowboys. "They brought some pressure but they also played good behind it. They were flat-out very good on defense."

And, yes, the Jets were pretty bad on offense, as Clemens failed to get them into the end zone for the first time in his four starts. It didn't help that the Jets were without Laveranues Coles (sprained left ankle).

"It's tough whenever you lose a guy like Laveranues," coach Eric Mangini said. "He's so productive and does create a lot of attention."

So instead, Dallas focused on Jerricho Cotchery as Newman did when he made his pick in the left flat. Clemens never looked at anyone but Cotchery and Newman jumped the route. It was the first interception returned for a score against Clemens, and the third the Jets' offense has allowed this year. Chad Pennington threw two picks that came back the distance.

"I knew I had a one-on-one matchup with Jerricho and Newman," Clemens said. "I think the ball might have been a little behind Jerricho and I know for a fact that Newman got a great jump on it."

So it was hello, Newman, and goodbye, game, as the touchdown gave Dallas (10-1) a 21-0 lead with 6:18 left in the first half. Many of the postgame questions asked of the Cowboys were about next week's matchup against the also 10-1 Packers, as opposed to this game.

Dallas' second touchdown also wasn't a highlight-film moment for the Jets, as a seven-play, 56-yard scoring drive was capped by a great read by Tony Romo, who saw linebacker Matt Chatham in single coverage on tight end Jason Witten.

Advantage, Cowboys. Romo lofted the ball over the head of Chatham, who turned the wrong way while trying to catch up to Witten, who easily won the mismatch for a 25-yard touchdown. Mangini indicated that Chatham was supposed to have deep help.

"As a general policy," said Chatham, who obviously didn't want to throw anyone under the proverbial bus, "I like to look at the tape before I comment on a play. Put it this way -- there were plays in which I could've done better. ... There were a lot of things we didn't do well."

"We're a 2-9 team," said strong safety Kerry Rhodes, who had his second interception in as many games. "We couldn't handle the big stage, I guess. ... It's embarrassing to lose 34-3 anytime. It makes it even worse that everybody was watching."

Well, that's one consolation as the Jets move on. Their next game, against the winless Dolphins on Dec. 2, certainly will be broadcast to only a select few unfortunates.

"These guys are going to stick together," running back Leon Washington said of himself and his teammates. "I can promise you that."

E-mail: pelzman@northjersey.com

* * *

Bottom line

The Jets couldn't find any magic against a member of the NFL's elite as they lost for the seventh time in eight games.

Best move

Dallas QB Tony Romo spotted the fact that LB Matt Chatham was trying to cover Dallas TE Jason Witten one-on-one. Chatham turned the wrong way trying to keep up and Witten had an easy 25-yard TD catch.

What was he thinking?

QB Kellen Clemens telegraphed a quick out to the sideline by never looking at anyone other than Jerricho Cotchery. Dallas CB Terence Newman read it perfectly and had a 50-yard interception for a TD.

Bright spot

The defense bent, but didn't break for the most part, limiting the Cowboys' offense to 230 yards in the first three quarters.

Look ahead

The Jets visit Miami, a team they beat in September. Unless the Dolphins can pull off a road upset over Pittsburgh on Monday night, Miami will be winless.

-- J.P. Pelzman

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IRVING, Tex. - Terrell Owens, meet Darrelle Revis.

The Cowboys' star receiver, who dissed the Jets' rookie earlier in the week by claiming he never heard of him, formally met Revis after last night's game at Texas Stadium. Revis made sure to introduce himself.

By then, Owens probably knew all about him, as Revis gave T.O. a 54-minute presentation on his potential as a cornerback. He held Owens in check for most of the Jets' 34-3 loss, until Owens finally broke free for a 22-yard touchdown reception with 6:12 remaining in the game.

Until then, Owens had only five catches for 43 yards, with Revis covering him on most of the plays.

Revis said "it was a little bit disrespectful" for Owens to play dumb during a teleconference on Tuesday with the New York media. Asked about Revis, Owens replied, "Who's he?"

The Jets' first-round pick made his point on the field.

"Maybe ask T.O. if he knows who I am now," said Revis, not in a boastful way. "He probably doesn't. I'm a rookie. I tried to cover him the best I could and, overall, I think I did a good job."

Revis didn't want to brag, but he clearly was satisfied with his performance. Eric Mangini singled out the rookie, saying, "I thought Darrelle actually did a good job. He was with Terrell most of the day and I thought he did a good job with what we were asking him to do."

Revis dropped a potential interception in the first quarter, deep in Dallas territory. That could've sparked the Jets' offense, which needed plenty of help. But that was one of the few hiccups for Revis.

"He's a Pro Bowl player, and it was good to have the competition in front of me, on center stage," Revis said of Owens, who entered the game with 12 touchdowns and 1,028 yards. "The coaches just said, 'Cover him, step up to the challenge,' and I did. I just tried to stop him. I didn't want him to have one of those big days, one of those plus-100 yards and three-touchdown days."

Revis said there was no trash-talking between them during the game. But after the game, "we had a real good conversation."

Afterward, Owens was asked his impression of Revis.

"Who?" he replied.

The player who covered you, he was told.

"Oh," Owens said, "he's a great corner."

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Friday, November 23rd 2007, 4:00 AM


Leon Washington gives the Cowboys a gift on Thanksgiving - fumbling in the first quarter of the Jets' 34-3 loss to Dallas on Thursday.


Terrence Newman (41) celebrates his interception return for a touchdown to put the Cowboys up 21-0 in the second quarter.

IRVING, Tex. - Well, say this for the Jets: They succeeded in making a definitive statement Thursday before a nation of overstuffed TV viewers.

"If a person hadn't seen us play this year and they watched this game, they're probably saying, 'The Jets suck,'" said wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery, aptly describing their dreadful 34-3 loss to the Cowboys at Texas Stadium.

In their first Thanksgiving game since 1985, when Kellen Clemens was a 2-year-old cowboy wannabe (small 'c') on his parents' cattle ranch in Oregon, the Jets gave the powers-that-be enough evidence to keep them out of the holiday showcase for another 22 years.

The Jets (2-9) were bad in so many ways, but Clemens' performance, easily the worst of his three starts since replacing Chad Pennington, should send up a red flag. He's their Great Quarterback Hope, but he still hasn't established himself as the sure-fire answer. And he has only five more games to state his case.

Struggling with his accuracy and seemingly overwhelmed at times by the Cowboys' third-down packages, Clemens posted season lows in passing yardage (142) and passer rating (45.6). He also gift-wrapped a touchdown for the Cowboys - as if they needed the extra help - badly telegraphing a pass that was intercepted by Terence Newman and returned 50 yards for a score.

"It was a very difficult game to get into any sort of rhythm," said Clemens, who completed his first two throws and finished 12-for-27, misfiring on 10 straight in one stretch.

Not surprisingly, Eric Mangini avoided any direct criticism of Clemens, who was handcuffed somewhat without wide receiver Laveranues Coles (high-ankle sprain), but the coach had to be concerned by his young quarterback's regression. If Clemens doesn't improve down the stretch, the season will be a complete waste.

For the record, Mangini said he never considered pulling Clemens from the game. After all, this is all about on-the-job training, Right now, he's still on training wheels, having led the offense to only two touchdowns in his last three starts.

Playing as if their bellies were filled with turkey, the Jets were simply overwhelmed by the powerful Cowboys, who improved to a franchise-best 10-1. Unable to recapture the mojo from Sunday's stunning win over the Steelers, the Jets looked slow and tired after only three days' rest. Maybe they're like Mike Mussina; they need at least four days.

"We couldn't handle the big stage, I guess," said safety Kerry Rhodes, whose first-quarter interception in the end zone was one of the few bright spots. "It's embarrassing when you lose, 34-3, at any time. It makes it even worse that everybody (in the country) was watching."

Basically, the Jets were cooked by the time Kelly Clarkson took the stage for the halftime show. They produced season lows in total yards (180), first downs (nine) and time of possession (22:08), and they converted only two of 14 on third down. You know things are bad when you have almost as many punts (eight) as first downs.

"Kellen was running for his life," said guard Brandon Moore, referring to the leaky pass protection that allowed three sacks and several pressures.

Said Cowboys linebacker Bradie James: "We wanted to go out and not let those guys breathe, and we were able to get that done."

Until yesterday, the Jets had gone nine straight games in which they were within seven points in the fourth quarter. In this sorry season, that was one of the few things they had to feel good about. Not anymore.

"It was a tale of two teams," said Mangini, repeating what he told his players.

If this had been a "Turkey Bowl" game in the local schoolyard, the two teams would've stopped at halftime and gone home to eat. It was the Jets' most lopsided defeat in 23 games, dating to last year's 41-0 blowout in Jacksonville.

Positives? At least the Jets didn't get embarrassed by the Tony Romo-to-Terrell Owens combination. Romo (21-for-28, 195 yards) threw touchdown passes to Jason Witten (25 yards) and Owens (22), the latter coming in garbage time. Overall, T.O. had a quiet day, with six catches for 65 yards.

The Jets actually felt good about their defensive performance, although they did allow 174 yards on the ground. Marion Barber blew through a hole in the first quarter, scoring on a 7-yard run. Basically, the game was over at 7-0.

After a quick exchange of turnovers (Leon Washington's fumble on a kickoff return and Rhodes' interception), the Jets settled into the all-too-familiar game of punt-and-retreat.

"They were just flat-out very good on defense," said Clemens, who has gone 7-1/2 quarters (counting last week's overtime) without reaching the end zone.

Even when Clemens did get time in the pocket, he overthrew open receivers. His lack of accuracy (49% completion mark for the season) is becoming an issue.

"It's absolutely frustrating," he said, "but you don't let that affect the way you're playing."

It sure looked like he did yesterday.

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IRVING, Tex. - Until three weeks ago, Laveranues Coles had played in 107 consecutive games, dating to his rookie year, 2000. Now he has missed two of the last three.

As expected, Coles (high-ankle sprain) didn't suit up for the Jets Thursday at Texas Stadium, where they lost to the Cowboys, 34-3. Coles' absence made life more difficult for WR Jerricho Cotchery, who was held to two catches for 43 yards.

"I've been getting a little more attention than usual," Cotchery said. "I'm seeing stuff that Laveranues does every Sunday."

Clearly, the offense wasn't the same without Coles. He was replaced in the starting lineup by Brad Smith, who managed only two catches for 12 yards. Wallace Wright, usually the fifth wideout, also played a prominent role.

Only six of Kellen Clemens' 12 completions went to wideouts.

HANGING WITH THE JONESES: It was a happy Thanksgiving for the Jones family, which turned out to watch brothers Thomas and Julius face each other for the second time in their pro careers. Once again, Julius got the better of his older brother, outrushing him, 64-40.

The previous meeting occurred on Thanksgiving, 2004, when Julius rushed for 150yards and two touchdowns in a win over Thomas' old team, the Bears.

Yesterday, their parents, Thomas and Betty, watched from end-zone seats, wearing specially designed jerseys - half Jets, half Cowboys.

Remarkably, Thomas still hasn't scored a rushing touchdown as a Jet - 207 carries and counting. He has 763 rushing yards. The mark for most yards in a season without a touchdown is 956, set in 1978 by the Colts' Joe Washington.

WIDE AWAKE: To a man, the Jets insisted fatigue wasn't a factor after playing only five days ago. ... For the second straight game, the Jets showed a formidable pass rush. They sacked Tony Romo three times - one apiece by Dewayne Robertson, Eric Barton and C.J. Mosley. That makes 10 sacks in the last two games. ... Once again, LG Will Montgomery was rotated with starter Adrien Clarke. ... The Jets' inactives were FB Darian Barnes, OT Jacob Bender, TE Sean Ryan and DE Eric Hicks. - Rich Cimini

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BY TOM ROCK | tom.rock@newsday.com

November 23, 2007

IRVING, Texas - The Jets said during their short week that they were relishing this chance to perform on a national stage. They said they are a "good team with a bad record," and they wanted to prove that their eight previous losses were due more to circumstance than incompetence. They wanted to continue to ride the momentum of their upset of the Steelers four days earlier.

Instead, they had their pluckiness plucked - exposed like a holiday bird - and provided little more than an indigestion-free Thanksgiving meal for the Cowboys. All that was left for the Jets was some humble pie.

"If a person hadn't seen us play this year and they watched the game today," the usually measured and soft-spoken receiver Jerricho Cotchery said, "they're probably saying, 'The Jets suck.' "

The 34-3 loss ensured that the Jets (2-9) will have a losing record in 2007, which has seemed inevitable since the end of September. The Jets may be used to losing, but usually they are at least competitive. This time they came to Big D and were D-stroyed.

The Jets kept themselves out of any highlight reels for most of the game, bottling up Tony Romo, Terrell Owens and the other high-flying Cowboys in a rather nondescript game. But they couldn't avoid it altogether - Romo hit Owens for a 22-yard score over the outstretched hands of Darrelle Revis late in the fourth quarter - and became the 10th notch on Dallas' playoff-bound bandolero.

The Jets' offense was awful, putting up one of its worst performances in recent memory, gaining only 180 yards (68 in the meaningless fourth quarter). They couldn't reach Cowboys territory until just over 26 minutes had elapsed, and the drive provided their only points, on a 40-yard field goal by Mike Nugent. Kellen Clemens hit Cotchery on a 12-yard slant on fourth-and-3, but the drive stalled. Most of them did.

The Jets had 13 possessions, all but two for four plays or fewer. They were 3-for-16 on third and fourth downs and nearly had more punts (eight) than first downs (nine). They would have tied in that regard had Leon Washington not run for 11 yards on the final play, which was their longest run of the game.

The closest they got to the end zone was a fourth-and-goal from the 5 with four minutes left. Clemens hit tight end Chris Baker on a pass, but he was tackled between the 1 and the goal line, just short and yet so far.

"There were certain things we had to achieve in all three phases," coach Eric Mangini said, "and we didn't come close to any phase."

Said Clemens, who completed 12 of 27 for 142 yards: "It's frustrating, very frustrating. You can't fall short as many times as we did today, especially on third downs, and not feel disappointed."

Thomas Jones, coming off a 117-yard game against the Steelers, managed only 40 yards on 17 carries. Cotchery, who had a streak of 15 games with at least four receptions snapped Sunday, was limited to two grabs. He struggled to find room with injured Laveranues Coles on the sideline and not drawing double coverage on the opposite side of the field.

The Cowboys (10-1), off to their best start ever, set the tone by driving 63 yards for a touchdown on the opening possession. Though clearly outplayed, the Jets managed to keep Dallas' head start to 7-0 through the first quarter (thanks to an end-zone interception by Kerry Rhodes of a pass intended for Owens). But early in the second Romo beat a blitz and a Jets miscommunication and hit tight end Jason Witten on a 25-yard TD over the coverage of Matt Chatham to make it 14-0. Terence Newman returned a Clemens interception 50 yards for a 21-0 lead with 6:18 left in the half. Nugent's field goal with 39 seconds to go put the Jets on the board.

Although the Jets' defense wasn't all terrible, it allowed the Cowboys to drive for two field goals to open the second half, including one that capped a 15-play, 8:23 drive and put a seal on the win as tight as the Tupperware that holds so many leftovers this morning.

"We pretty much laid an egg," Rhodes said. "We reverted back to the mistakes that we had before the bye week."

And, as a consequence, the disheartening results.


The Jets (2-9) just finished playing two games in a span of five days. Now what? Well, after a 10-day hiatus, their best shot at Win No. 3 will be at the Dolphins on Dec. 2. And two weeks after that, it's a rematch of Videogate with the Patriots.


Dec. 2 at Miami (0-10)

Dec. 9 vs. Cleveland (6-4)

Dec. 16 at New England (10-0)

Dec. 23 at Tennessee (6-4)

Dec. 30 vs. Kansas City (4-6)

Dec. 2

Jets at Miami

1 p.m.

TV: Ch. 2

Radio: WEPN (1050), WABC (770), WRCN (103.9)

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IRVING, Texas - Little bro' stole the drumstick again.

For the second time in their two Thanksgiving meetings, Julius Jones put up numbers while Thomas Jones could do little more than watch. A day after gathering the entire family for a pre-holiday meal at Julius' house, the Cowboys' running back proved to be the host with the most.

Julius, who had been sharing carries with Marion Barber for most of the year, became Dallas' feature back for most of this family affair, taking 14 carries for 64 yards and catching four passes for another 26.

Thomas was stuffed for 40 yards on 17 carries. His longest run went for 11 yards, so take that one away and he averaged 1.8 yards on 16 carries. Thomas had said he sometimes gets butterflies when he watches his little brother play. When he watches his own performance on tape, he'll likely have a different queasiness.

When the Joneses met on Thanksgiving in 2004, Julius ran for 150 yards and Thomas had 46 for the Bears, setting a record for combined rushing yards by brothers. They didn't come close to breaking it yesterday.

Once Julius had slashed and tenderized the Jets, Barber came in to finish them off. He wound up with the best stats of any running back, posting 103 yards on 18 carries, with 54 on 10 carries in the fourth quarter. He joined a long list of backs who have run for at least 100 yards against the Jets. It was Barber's second 100-yard game of the season.

The publicity-shy Jones brothers were thrust into the public eye this week, offering newspapers and television networks a close glimpse of their family life. Their parents, Thomas Sr. and Betty, have raised seven children, all of whom have escaped the coal mining life in Big Stone Gap, Va., to graduate or currently attend college. It was a story that warmed the ****les of many hearts.

"Thanksgiving was a special holiday for us because my family is very thankful for the things that we have and each other," Thomas said earlier in the week, recalling Thanksgivings of his youth when he and Julius would watch games on television and then head out to the yard to imitate the running backs they had just watched.

After the game, when the teams filed through their respective tunnels, Thomas, 29, and Julius, 26, found each other on the field. They embraced and walked, arms over each others' shoulders, toward the stands behind the end zone where the Jones family had commandeered nearly an entire section of Texas Stadium. There the family members were wearing custom-made jerseys that had Thomas' name and number on one half and Julius' on the other.

The brothers may have been represented evenly in the embroidery, but not on the field.

The Joneses crossed the goal line - something Thomas has yet to do as a Jet and has never accomplished in eight games against the Cowboys - and the older Jones patted the younger affectionately on the top of his head.

He might as well have raised his arm up, because Julius again got the better of Thomas.

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November 23, 2007 -- IRVING, Texas - This was why the Jets waited so long to bench Chad Pennington.

All of the pitfalls of starting an inexperienced quarterback in the NFL - the slow reads, the costly sacks, the back-breaking turnovers - were on display yesterday with Kellen Clemens under center.

Making just his fourth career start, Clemens had a deer-in-the-headlights look for most of the afternoon while being manhandled by Dallas' relentless defense in a 34-3 Jets loss that was never in doubt.

So much for the optimism Clemens generated just four days earlier by orchestrating an overtime upset of the Steelers. Along with a porous pass defense, this was a Thanksgiving Day disaster that could be pinned largely on the second-year passer from Oregon.

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November 23, 2007 -- IRVING, Texas - The Jets, like all of the unfortunate turkeys who provided dinner for millions yesterday, could not hide on this Thanksgiving Day.

On the short side of a 34-3 rout, the Jets were badly exposed on national television at Texas Stadium by the Cowboys, who put so many more impact playmakers on the field compared to the Jets it makes the Jets look like a second-division team.

MORE: 'Boys Hand Jets Big 'L' In Big D

MORE: Clemens Struggles Under Pressure

MORE: Jets Blog

That damning declaration starts at the quarterback position, where Tony Romo, the Cowboys' smiling assassin, has risen from obscurity to become a legitimate star - one who seemingly has the Dallas quarterback position solidified for a long time.

The Jets, whose most significant task remaining in this lost season is to find out about Kellen Clemens, are staring at a very incomplete painting right now, and it has to be very unsettling.

Clemens has, quite simply, been underwhelming since he was handed Chad Pennington's keys to the offense. Yesterday, he was at his worst since taking over as the starter, completing 12-of-27 passes for 142 yards and an interception.

Clemens, 1-3 in his four NFL starts, is completing fewer than 50 percent of his passes. He's thrown three touchdown passes and has six interceptions in the four starts. More importantly, he's led the offense to only two touchdowns in the last three games.

To borrow from one of Bill Parcells' many truisms, a quarterback is judged by how often he gets his team into the end zone.

As much as Pennington struggled before being benched, Clemens, quite frankly, has looked worse. This is not meant as a gratuitous shot at Clemens, who's learning under fire on the fly. He hasn't gotten a lot of help around him and needs more chances to prove himself. But he hasn't exactly elevated those around him, something good quarterbacks do.

This, too, is not a criticism of Eric Mangini's decision to insert Clemens into the starting lineup when he did, because at 1-7 there was nothing left to accomplish this season but to find out if Clemens is NFL starting quarterback timber.

The problem, though the three games Clemens has started since taking over for Pennington, it hasn't looked very good, and the early signs are ominous. What we have found out about Clemens is he's a mature, poised, level-headed, tough player. And that's all great. But we don't know if he'll ever be Romo or even merely a winning starting quarterback in this league.

And if Mangini and GM Mike Tannenbaum don't see more evidence in the next five weeks that Clemens is their quarterback of now and the future, they might have to go draft someone in April with the high draft pick they'll have.

That, of course, would be a damning admission of failure considering that Clemens was a second-round pick a year ago.

Ben Graham's punt with 10:47 remaining in the game was his eighth of the game, two more punts than the Jets had first downs at that moment. Supplanting the

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November 23, 2007 -- IRVING, Texas - Terrell Owens knows who Darrelle Revis is now.

The Cowboys' diva receiver earlier this week on a conference call with New York reporters dismissed the Jets' No. 1 draft pick, saying he didn't even know who he is. But yesterday, Revis handled Owens very well, save for a garbage-time touchdown.

Revis, with some help, shut the Cowboys' leading receiver down, shadowing him for most of the game and giving him all he could handle at the line of scrimmage.

"We wanted to make sure he didn't have one of those 100-yard games and three touchdowns," Revis said of Owens, who finished with six catches for 65 yards and the TD.

Of Owens' dismissal of him earlier in the week Revis said, "I thought it was a little disrespectful. Though I'm a rookie still, it's just competition. We talked after the game. I introduced myself."


As expected, WR Laveranues Coles was not active for yesterday's game against the Cowboys because of his high left ankle sprain.

For Coles, who suffered the injury in Sunday's win over the Steelers and didn't practice all week, it was the second game he's missed in the last three weeks.

Two games ago, Coles, one of the toughest, most durable receivers in the NFL, missed the Redskins game with a concussion. That snapped a streak of 107 consecutive games he'd played dating back to his rookie season in 2000.


The family and friends of Jets RB Thomas Jones and his brother Julius sat together in one corner of the end zone and cheered the brothers on while wearing specially made jerseys with both players' names and numbers on them.

Neither player was much of a factor in the game, with Julius making a few plays (14 carries, 64 yards) and Thomas (17 for 40) stuffed by the Dallas defense.


The Jets got three more sacks yesterday. DT CJ Mosley, who forced a fumble that was recovered by Dallas, had one, as did LB Eric Barton and NT Dewayne Robertson. That gives the Jets 10 sacks in the last two games after they'd recorded only nine in the first nine games of the season.

Mike Nugent, who kicked four field goals including the game-winner in overtime vs. the Steelers on Sunday, made a 40-yarder yesterday to give him 13 makes in his last 14 attempts . . . Funny comment by Jets DE Shaun Ellis on his way into Texas Stadium: "We're getting booed . . . and we're not even at home."

The Jets, one of the least-penalized teams in the league, were guilty of a couple bad ones in the game. The worst was an illegal block in the back by rookie LB David Harris that nullified a Leon Washington KO return to the Dallas 48. The penalty brought the ball back to the Jets 22, costing them 30 yards in field position.

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Cowboys hammer Jets 34-3



(Original publication: November 23, 2007)

IRVING, Texas - Of all the great players and great teams the Dallas Cowboys have had, Tony Romo, Terrell Owens and the 2007 club are the first to start 10-1.

And if 10-1 Green Bay wasn't up next, the Cowboys might be able to savor such an accomplishment.

"We're grateful for it and we made history, but it doesn't end there," Owens said. "We know there's more football left this season."

Dallas kept the stakes up for the next big matchup next Thursday night with a 34-3 victory over the Jets yesterday that was as lopsided as it seems.

Romo led the Cowboys to a touchdown on the game-opening drive, then threw for another touchdown soon after. Once Terence Newman returned an interception 50 yards for another score midway through the second quarter, the only question left was whether Romo would throw another touchdown to tie the club single-season record.

With 6:12 left in the game, Romo did, hitting T.O. on a 22-yarder, adding another milestone to the Thanksgiving Day victory in which Dallas locked up its best record through 11 games in its 48-year, five-championship history.

"It's hard to believe that we've never done this before," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said. "It just feels great, feels good to be a part of."

Anyone watching this game probably spent much of the second half chatting about the upcoming battle for NFC supremacy.

If the Indianapolis-New England game earlier this month was hyped as Super Bowl 41 1/2 , the Cowboys-Packers clash might as well get billed as Super Bowl 41 3/4 . It has all the elements: Famous franchises and marquee quarterbacks, with the chance to force or avoid a late-January trip to Lambeau Field possibly on the line. There's also the juicy subplot of Romo having grown up in Wisconsin, back when Favre was winning MVPs and leading the Packers to Super Bowls.

"I still root them on, although slowly I'm starting to root against them," Romo said, adding that he caught a little of Favre's season-high 381 yards and three touchdowns in a 37-26 victory over Detroit on television before this game kicked off.

"He was good - a little bit too good," Romo said, laughing. "Hopefully he had his best game of the year today."

This game certainly lacked the drama next week's game holds.

The Jets (2-9) were coming off a victory over AFC power Pittsburgh, but quickly reverted to the form of a team that had lost its previous six games.

Kellen Clemens was sacked on each of his first two series and the Jets didn't cross midfield until their final drive of the second quarter. Things were so bad that at the two-minute warning, Jets coach Eric Mangini challenged the spot of a third-down play, hoping to trim a yard or two off fourth-and-three. He didn't get an inch.

And all that came in the Jets' good half. After intermission, the Jets didn't get a first down until there was 5:19 left in the game, part of a drive that ended at the 1-yard line.

"There were things that we had to do in all three phases to have a chance, and we didn't even come close to doing those," Mangini said.

The 31-point margin was a season high for both teams. Dallas also did not allow a touchdown for the first time this season.

"I thought it was a solid, solid game," said Cowboys coach Wade Phillips, whose club has won five straight since their only loss, to the Patriots. "We played well throughout. That's the way we need to play at home."

Clemens was 12 for 27 for 142 yards. One of the incompletions for the right-handed quarterback was thrown left-handed while trying to avoid a sack.

"We couldn't handle the big stage," safety Kerry Rhodes said of the holiday outing on national television. "We didn't play good enough to win. It's indicative of our season."

Romo was nowhere near as crisp as last Thanksgiving, when he threw five touchdowns. But he was good enough.

A secondary determined not to get beat deep and a pinkie injury on his throwing hand left him throwing many of his passes underneath. He also underthrew potential touchdowns to Owens and Jason Witten, but made up for it by hitting them both on other scores.

Witten had an early 25-yarder and finished with four catches for 54 yards. Owens had six catches for 65 yards, the last being his 22-yard touchdown. That stretched his touchdown streak to five straight and give him 13 this season, matching his NFL-leading total from last season and the second most in team history. He failed to extend a four-game run of 100-yard games, but didn't care.

"Man, the most important thing is that we won," Owens said. "I think we're headed in the right direction."

On a cold, often wet afternoon perfectly suited for running, the matchup between the running back Jones brothers never got too interesting. Dallas' Julius had 64 yards on 18 carries and another 26 yards on four receptions, while older brother Thomas of the Jets had 40 yards on 17 carries.

Marion Barber ran for 103 yards and had the Cowboys' first touchdown, a 7-yarder.

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Keys to the game: Jets vs. Cowboys

Friday, November 23, 2007


The Cowboys consistently pressured Jets quarterback Kellen Clemens, who was raised on and still works on a ranch in eastern Oregon. In the second half, Clemens misfired on 10 passes in a row at one point. Other than a fourth-down conversion and 19-yard toss to Justin McCareins on the Jets' lone scoring drive, not much to like.



Punter Ben Graham trotted onto the field and booted the ball eight times -- or as many times as the Jets' offense was able to move the chains. And a week after giving the Jets four field goals, including the game-winner in OT, Mike Nugent accounted for the only points against the Cowboys.


Given the role he's been on, Terrell Owens seemed a lock to make Darrelle Revis look like the rookie he is. Revis did fairly well for himself -- until the 22-yard TD in the fourth quarter. But Owens (6 catches, 65 yards, 1 TD) was a complementary presence for the majority of the game.


Will Thomas Jones ever score as a Jet? The franchise running back hasn't found the end zone this season, and not since the NFC Championship Game in January. ... When you go down 34-3 and then try to run the option -- Brad Smith to Leon Washington -- on the ensuing kickoff return, you are a desperate team. ... Chris Baker's 22-yard catch in the first quarter, where he tipped the ball to himself and came down with the ball, was perhaps the Jets' best reception of the season. Not surprisingly, Clemens looked for Baker often yesterday. ...

What happened to Jerricho Cotchery? The first time Clemens looked for him, and it didn't happen often, Terence Newman jumped the route and returned it for a touchdown. ... With Patrick Crayton (ankle) out, former Monmouth University standout Miles Austin was thrust into action as the Cowboys' third receiver. He had two catches for 30 yards.



Time of possession for the Jets in the third quarter, as compared to 11:54 for the Cowboys. Tough to come back from a 21-3 halftime deficit under those circumstances.

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Jets go back to reality

Overmatched Jets return to losing ways as Cowboys ride them into the ground

Friday, November 23, 2007


Star-Ledger Staff

DALLAS -- Terrell Owens schooled Jets rookie cornerback Darrelle Revis after earlier in the week saying he didn't know who he was and it wouldn't make a difference if he did. Cowboys running back Julius Jones again got the best of his big brother, Thomas. And quarterback Kellen Clemens isn't exactly looking like the answer to the Jets' woes.

Just four days removed from a stunning upset of the Steelers, the Jets displayed their many warts as they were given a 34-3 beatdown by the Dallas Cowboys yesterday at Texas Stadium in a Thanksgiving Day mismatch.

The Cowboys rolled up 344 yards of total offense, including 174 yards rushing. They held the ball for 37 minutes, 52 seconds, while the Jets had it just 22 minutes, eight seconds.

"If a person hasn't seen us play this year, they're probably saying the Jets (stink)," wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery said.

Said safety Kerry Rhodes: "We couldn't handle the big stage, I guess. ... It's embarrassing to lose 34-3 anytime. It makes it even worse with everybody watching."

Clemens, making his fourth NFL start, had no fourth-quarter magic this time, after throwing a costly second-quarter interception that was returned 50 yards for a touchdown, and he look rattled. The Jets offensive line was manhandled by the Cowboys front seven. With wide receiver Laveranues Coles (ankle) out, the Jets had no threat in the passing game, and Thomas Jones had nowhere to go, finishing with just 40 yards on 17 carries. Julius Jones had 64 yards on 14 carries and beat his brother in a head-to-head matchup for the second time in their careers. Three seasons ago, Julius Jones rushed for 150 yards and two TDs on Thanksgiving Day to beat the Bears and Thomas Jones' 46 yards.

Even likely Pro Bowl-bound kick returner Leon Washington was off his game yesterday, fumbling the first kickoff he fielded.

The Jets defense showed a lot of fight, but with a no-show performance by the offense, they simply couldn't keep the game close. Rhodes made a leaping interception early on a deep ball to Owens (six catches, 65 yards, one TD), and the Jets had three sacks, but the defense wasn't able to get another big turnover to turn the momentum.

At least the Jets (2-9) have 10 days to lick their wounds before traveling to Miami (0-10) on Dec. 2. Dallas (10-1), which plays the Packers (10-1) next, is off to the best start in its 48-year franchise history.

"To beat a team like that, you have to play your best football, and we didn't play our best football," Jets coach Eric Mangini said.

Clemens, who has led the Jets to just three touchdowns in his four NFL starts, completed 12 of 27 passes for 142 yards and an interception. He was under pressure all game as the Cowboys had three sacks and repeatedly hit him. When Clemens did have time, he couldn't keep still in the pocket and missed several open receivers.

The Jets managed just 180 yards total offense, including only 60 yards rushing, and were 2-for-14 in third-down situations. They had just nine first downs compared to 21 by the Cowboys.

"For only having two days, they prepared well, schematically," Clemens said. "They brought some pressure, but they also played very good behind it. They were flat-out very good on defense."

Mangini said he never thought of benching Clemens. Though he said he's going to evaluate the quarterback situation, Clemens is expected to remain the starter.

On his interception, Clemens looked a lot like Chad Pennington. He stared down Cotchery on a quick out pattern and Cowboys cornerback Terence Newman jumped the route and took it 50 yards for a touchdown to give the Cowboys a 21-0 lead with 6:18 left in the second quarter.

Game. Set. Match. Enjoy your turkey.

In the pre-snap read, "I knew I had a one-on-one matchup with Jerricho and Newman," Clemens said. "I think the ball may have been a little bit behind Jerricho. I know for a fact Newman got a great jump on it. Whether he gambled or not, I don't know."

Owens got his touchdown late in the game, beating Revis on a 22-yard touchdown. Quarterback Tony Romo (21 of 28 for 195 yards, two touchdowns and one interception) had another stellar effort before being relieved by veteran Brad Johnson. Tight end Jason Witten (four catches, 54 yards, one touchdown) was effective.

Despite a good effort by the Jets defense, the Cowboys led 21-3 at the half. Running back Marion Barber (18 carries, 103 yards) scored on a 7-yard run, Romo hit Witten for a score and Newman returned the interception for a touchdown. The Cowboys' front seven dominated the Jets offensive line, with kicker Mike Nugent's 40-yard field goal with 39 seconds left in the first half the Jets' only points.

"We controlled them a little bit," Rhodes said. "We were able to get off the field. But it seemed like they had the ball a lot, and when you give a good offense like that opportunities, they're going to make something happen eventually."

Said Cotchery: "I thought the defense played well. We just can't leave them out there that long."

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Cowboys Step on Jets, Then Look Past Them


Published: November 23, 2007

IRVING, Tex., Nov. 22 — Maybe the Dallas Cowboys have set the bar too close to perfection. Maybe they were simply peeking ahead to next week’s showdown with the Green Bay Packers.

Or perhaps playing the plucky-but-overmatched Jets on Thursday allowed the Cowboys to look anything but dominant, unless the final score is considered.

No matter, the Jets were an afterthought even before the final seconds ticked away on Dallas’s 34-3 rout, a victory that began the official countdown to facing the Packers in a clash of 10-1 teams considered second only to the undefeated New England Patriots next Thursday at Texas Stadium.

Green Bay upheld its end of the deal earlier Thursday with a 37-26 victory against the Detroit Lions. But the Cowboys were not given much time to savor the best start in the franchise’s 48-year history. They immediately faced questions about the Packers.

“If we win next week, does it help us reach our goal? Yes,” quarterback Tony Romo said. “But if we lose, does it completely derail it? No.”

Romo added: “It doesn’t end your season. It doesn’t put you in the Super Bowl.”

The Cowboys defense picked a timely moment to allow the fewest points by an opponent this season, a performance Jerry Jones called the best since he became the owner of the team in 1989. The Cowboys were giving up an average of 311 total yards, but they held the Jets to 180.

“I thought we left some points out there offensively, but we still got 34 points,” Cowboys Coach Wade Phillips said. “The team has to play well enough to win, and that’s what we have done and continue to do. Part of that was the defense and special teams.”

Romo and wide receiver Terrell Owens did not post the gaudy numbers of previous games, a testament to Dallas’s overall ability to win convincingly without great performances from its stars.

Romo completed 21 of 28 passes for 195 yards and 2 touchdowns. Owens caught 6 passes for 65 yards, scoring once on a 22-yard pass. Both continued their assaults on season and career records.

Romo tied the Cowboys’ season record for touchdown passes with 29, set by Danny White in 1983. Owens further polished his Hall of Fame résumé, moving to 9th in career receptions with 865 and 10th in receiving yards with 12,808.

“We want to get that Super Bowl championship,” Owens said. “So just being 10-1, we’re grateful for it and we made history, but it doesn’t stop there.”

With Green Bay looming next Thursday, some thought the Cowboys were standing on a trapdoor against the lowly Jets, who had stunned the Pittsburgh Steelers in overtime last Sunday.

“It’s been the next game every game,” Phillips said, trying to deflect at least some talk of facing Green Bay.

“I try to give them reasons to play and all that, but it’s up to them to focus on the next play and next game.”

Dallas appeared to dispel that notion on its first possession, marching 63 yards for a 7-0 lead on Marion Barber III’s 7-yard run. The tone for that drive was set on third-and-9, which Romo converted with a 17-yard completion to the third-string receiver Miles Austin.

The Cowboys built a 21-3 halftime lead with two touchdowns in the second quarter en route to winning by double digits for the eighth time this season.

A 50-yard interception return by cornerback Terence Newman boosted the confidence of a pass defense that entered the game ranked 24th in yards allowed this season. Romo’s 25-yard pass to tight end Jason Witten made it 14 games in a row in which Romo has thrown a touchdown pass, two behind Troy Aikman’s team record.

Still, the Cowboys looked sluggish at times.

After recovering Leon Washington’s fumble on a kickoff at the Jets’ 35, Dallas misfired while trying to display the big-play arrogance that only the Patriots seem to have mastered this season.

The Cowboys immediately looked toward the end zone, with Romo trying to fire a bullet between two defenders converging on Owens at the goal line. The pass was thrown late and short, allowing Kerry Rhodes to make an easy interception.

Romo nearly had two other passes picked off while throwing into tight coverages, before settling down and finishing the first half 7 for 11 for 70 yards. His longest completion was the 25-yard scoring pass to Witten.

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