TORONTO - What the devil is going on with the Dallas Cowboys these days?
Going into the 2010 season, the Cowboys were the consensus pick by Sports Illustrated to be the top team in the NFC East. In fact, nine of 10 “experts” picked them to win the division.
With a 1-7 record, it’s obvious the on-field performance has been horrific but the odour has diffused into the offices and suites at the new Cowboys Stadium.
Picture a Cowboys fan sitting down to dinner and hearing Wade Phillips got the axe, even after getting reassurances from owner Jerry Jones his job was safe.
After a quick celebration, fans head to the Cowboys official website to get the lowdown and guess what happened?
The club forgot to renew its registration for dallascowboys.com and the site was pulled Sunday night, replaced with a stock image of two kids playing soccer.
The team quickly renewed its registration but it takes up to 48 hours for all Internet servers to recognize the change.
The domain registrant is listed as Dallas Cowboys Football Club Ltd., but the specific contact in the organization is Jerry Jones Jr., son of owner Jerry Jones and executive vice-president and chief of sales and marketing officer for the club.
Oops, I wonder if Jones Jr. got reassurances from Daddy his job was safe?
Sparano benches Henne
Times are a’ changing in Miami.
Head coach Tony Sparano dropped a bomb during his Wednesday morning news conference when he announced Chad Henne would on the bench for the foreseeable future and Chad Pennington would slide into the starters role.
“After making a long evaluation of the details involved...Chad Pennington is going to be the quarterback,” Sparano said. “This is not an indictment on Chad Henne at all
“But at this particular time it’s something that I feel like I need to do for our football team.”
The saying that a player should never lose his job to an injury probably doesn’t apply to football but that’s exactly what happened to Pennington.
In 2008, he finished runner up to Payton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts for the NFL MVP, throwing for 3,652 yards, 19 touchdowns and seven interceptions.
Last year, he suffered a shoulder injury in Week 3 and was placed on injured reserve. In the off-season, he re-signed with the Dolphins as Henne’s backup and mentor.
Sparano has no qualms about putting him back in the fire.
“At this particular time my decision is that Pennington’s strength’s might be suited a little bit more for where we need to be right now.”
Vikes can’t get a break
Wednesday was a chance bag of results for the Minnesota Vikings as they prepare for a crucial NFC North game against the Chicago Bears on Sunday.
Wide out Sidney Rice was cleared for practice for the first time since under going surgery on Aug. 19 for a hip problem.
Head coach Brad Childress was quick to be the fun sponge on the good news, saying Rice would be evaluated on a day-to-day basis.
“It’s always a matter of how he comes back tomorrow, how he comes back the next day,” Childress told the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
But Childress seems to be leaving the decision up to Rice.
“He’s been cleared for all activities right now, so the minute he feels like he can play, he can play.”
Wide receiver Percy Harvin was missing from practice on Wednesday after suffering another migraine.
He has been battling migraines since the Vikings drafted him in 2009. It was the second practice he’s missed this season because of the condition.
In August, he collapsed at the Vikings’ Winter Park practice facility because of a bad reaction to the medication he was taking to treat his migraines.
Clausen in, Moore out
Carolina Panthers head coach John Fox announced on Wednesday that Jimmy Clausen will get the call on Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Starter Matt Moore was placed on injured reserve on Monday with a torn labrum in his right shoulder.
For Clausen this a chance for him to put up any kind of offensive numbers.
It shouldn’t be too difficult considering he is averaging less than five yards a completion.
And I thought Trent Edwards was the only “Captain Checkdown.”
Patriots PK Stephen Gostkowski is gone for the season with a thigh injury ... The Pittsburgh Steelers put LT Max Starks on IR with a neck injury ... Colts wide out Austin Collie has been ruled out of Sunday’s game against Cincy with a concussion.