Cowboys VP Stephen Jones: We are ‘zeroed in’ for Sunday
The past two times the Cowboys made the playoffs, they hosted playoff games against the Giants in 2007 and Eagles in 2009. In 2007, quarterback Tony Romo, tight end Jason Witten and linebacker Bobby Carpenter headed to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico during the bye week. In 2009, Dallas had a playoff bout six days after the regular season ended — no time for pre-playoff getaways.
What’s the mood for the 2014 Cowboys heading into their wild-card game with the Detroit Lions?
"I think the guys are focused and zeroed in on the task at hand," Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones said on 105.3 The Fan [KRLD-FM] Friday. "And, you know, I think we’re kind of gaining confidence as the season goes here. I think our defense is playing some of the best football they’re playing all year. And certainly our offense continues to play well when Tony is healthy and in there playing well."
Dallas went 12-4 in the regular season en route to securing the NFC East title. Every one of the Cowboys’ four losses featured Romo playing with below-average health (San Francisco, Washington, Philadelphia) or missing the game entirely (Arizona). When Romo played with no pain, Dallas reeled off 12 wins, including a 4-0 mark in December, an historically dreary month for Dallas football.
"We feel about as good as we can feel going into a game," Jones said. "It’s great that we’re going to be at AT&T Stadium. I think we’re going to have a great crowd. It should be predominantly Cowboy crowd. I don’t think we could ask for the table to be set any better."
According to Jones, right tackle Doug Free and rookie linebacker Anthony Hitchens are "iffy" heading into Sunday’s game at 4:40 p.m. ET. Free is listed as doubtful, and Hitchens is listed as questionable. However, the uncertainty surrounding Free and Hitchens’ health is countered with the good play of backup swing tackle Jeremy Parnell and the return of linebacker Rolando McClain. Out of Free and Hitchens, Jones believes Hitchens would be the most likely to play.
"He’ll give it all he’s got," said Jones. "He’s certainly playing anything but a rookie. He’s had a heck of a year. It’d be great to have him out there."
Safety C.J. Spillman also did not participate with a groin injury on Wednesday and Thursday, but did so on Friday. Defensive tackle Nick Hayden had limited participation on Friday after two days of no participation with a shoulder injury. Both are listed as probable.
Defensive tackle Tyrone Crawford did not practice at all this week due to a throat infection, but is listed as questionable for Sunday.