NFL notes: Wasn't Romo's fault

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo looks at his injured right hand in the second quarter of their...

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo looks at his injured right hand in the second quarter of their NFL football game against the New York Giants in East Rutherford, New Jersey Jan. 1, 2012. (REUTERS/Gary Hershorn)

KEN FIDLIN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:46 PM ET

It grates on Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, no doubt, that the New York Giants are in the Super Bowl and he is hanging out at the Senior Bowl, but at least he’s not blaming his quarterback for the Dallas failures this year.

“I thought (Tony) Romo was competing at a level that would’ve given us that opportunity, but the rest of us need to play better and get better before we can really gel the way the Giants are,” Jones told CBS Sports.

“We had good quarterback play, but I’d say as a team, they just got better and better near the end. Their depth, that’s how I view us. I had counted — we had counted — on getting better and we didn’t. We went the other way.”

Sounds like Jones should have a heart-to-heart with his general manager on that count but, then, that would mean talking to himself and that’s never a good sign.

Jones, the talent evaluator, expects the Cowboys to “get younger” and put some “new faces” in the defensive secondary next year.

“We just want to make sure we don’t compromise things because I’m more into not squandering the prime years of Romo,” he said. “So we want to make sure we’re giving him every opportunity in protection and we’ll work hard on that in the off-season.”

KELLY WALKS AWAY FROM BUCS' OFFER

Maybe Chip Kelly took a gander at some Tampa Bay game video and realized his Oregon Ducks are actually closer to the Super Bowl than the Bucs.

Whatever spooked him, Kelly has backed out of an apparent agreement to replace Raheem Morris as the coach in Tampa Bay, leaving the Bucs to re-think some of the other usual suspects who interviewed for the job.

Chief among those candidates is Mike Sherman, former coach of the Packers. He went through his second interview with Tampa Bay on Wednesday and is said to be the frontrunner over Panthers offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski.

It would have been quite an interesting development to have Kelly in the NFL. He has turned college football on its ear with his warp-speed option offence that averaged 46 points per game this past season.

How he might adapt his innovative schemes to the NFL is hard to know, especially given Tampa’s offensive disarray this past season. The Bucs were 4-12 but finished the season on a 10-game losing streak.

VIKINGS' OWNER DOES ABOUT FACE

Faced with a take-it-over-leave-it ultimatum from state law-makers, Minnesota Vikings owner Zygi Wolf is warming up to the prospect of a new stadium on the current site of the MetroDome.

Wolf’s about-face would indicate that even arrogant, entitled NFL owners have to show a little humility when being gifted of public funding in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Wolf and the state legislators have been fighting over three proposed sites for a proposed new stadium. The least favourite for the Vikings is the one they will probably have to accept if they want public money.

After a three-hour meeting with the governor of Minnesota on Wednesday in which the state basically told Wolf the new facility would be built at the site of the old one, or not at all, the Vikes owner said he was “optimistic” a deal would get done.

COLTS GRAB PAGANO FROM RAVENS

Once the Baltimore Ravens bit the dust in the Super Bowl hunt, it didn’t take long for the Indianapolis Colts to swoop in and scoop up Chuck Pagano as their next head coach.

Pagano, who was promoted from linebackers coach to take over as Ravens’ defensive coordinator this past season, in only his third year in the NFL, will be introduced as Jim Caldwell’s successor on Thursday.

The Ravens were a superior defensive outfit before Pagano got there and will be again, no doubt, now that he’s gone but he made a big impression this year.

“When guys here found out, they were devastated,” wrote CBS Sports.com columnist Clark Judge on Wednesday, citing a source in the Ravens organization.

Pagano could be in for a total rebuilding project in Indianapolis, once Peyton Manning’s fate is decided by owner Jim Irsay. If Manning moves on, then the Colts will probably take Stanford’s Andrew Luck first overall in the draft, eliminating the need to “win now.”


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