- Selfies at Funerals blog creator retires after Obama flub: ‘Our work here is done’
- New Obama adviser Podesta is against Keystone but will steer clear of pipeline deliberations
- 40 Australian adults, children found in ‘one of the worst accounts of incest ever made public’
- Venezuela’s Maduro calls on student ‘price vigilantes’ to hit the streets, report businesses
- Atheists smug as Hindus join Satanists to demand display at Oklahoma Statehouse
- Bow before Valkyrie, NASA’s ‘superhero robot’ entry in DARPA challenge
- 10-year-old Pennsylvania boy suspended for pretend bow-and-arrow shooting
- Tea partiers turn on Capitol Hill budget deal
- Budget deal to get quick vote in the House
- Comma on!: Twitter erupts over Obama-Castro ‘marriage’
Cowboys go extreme on ‘next man up’ with defense
IRVING, Texas — The next man up for the depleted Dallas defense is Batman. That’s the way newcomer Brady Poppinga is looking at it, anyway.
Poppinga joined the Cowboys on Monday as the roster replacement for linebacker Bruce Carter, who will miss the rest of the season with a dislocated left elbow. Carter is the fourth starting Dallas defender to be placed on injured reserve.
A seven-year veteran caught up in a mess of defensive injuries when Green Bay won the Super Bowl two years ago, Poppinga last played in the 2011 season finale for St. Louis on New Year's Day. He’s been working out and waiting for another chance ever since.
“I was in what you call Batman shape, meaning when I get the call, boom, I put the mask on, I’m gone,” Poppinga said. “I got the mask on, so here I am.”
Problem is, the Cowboys may need Superman and a few of his friends to help a defense missing a third of its starting lineup and two key reserves. It comes off a demoralizing second quarter that put Dallas in a 28-3 hole on the way to a 38-31 Thanksgiving loss to Washington.
Dan Connor, an offseason free agent pickup from Carolina, will be the third defensive play caller at the start of a game Sunday against Philadelphia. The player next to him will likely be Ernie Sims, signed off the street a month ago after Lee was injured. Poppinga could be the primary backup.
Several Dallas defenders apparently weren’t ready when the second quarter started Thursday against Washington. Robert III Griffin, the Heisman Trophy winner from Baylor, was 8 of 8 for 178 yards with three touchdowns in Washington’s first four-touchdown quarter in 13 years. Another rookie, Alfred Morris, averaged 7 yards per carry and had the other touchdown. The Redskins only faced two third downs, and converted both.
“They hit some big plays and we weren’t playing very well,” Dallas defensive coordinator Rob Ryan said. “That’s just the truth.”
The defense helped the Cowboys get back in the game, even getting just the fourth interception of Griffin this season to set up a touchdown that made it a seven-point game with plenty of time left. But then Ryan’s bunch let down again, allowing the Redskins to run nearly 5½ minutes on a field goal drive that killed any realistic hopes of completing the rally.
Dallas had a similar letdown five days earlier when a great defensive stand was followed on the next Cleveland possession by a communication problem., That gave the Browns a go-ahead touchdown in the final minutes before the Cowboys came back and won in overtime.
“That’s something we really focused on last year coming into this year is just not giving up those big plays and communication and all that stuff,” said linebacker Anthony Spencer, who has a career-high 6 1-2 sacks after taking down Griffin twice. “We just had a few of those things happen in this game that we definitely can’t have happen.”
Carter wasn’t the only Dallas defender who didn’t finish the Washington game. Defensive end Jason Hatcher, a key replacement with Kenyon Coleman gone for good with a torn triceps, had to leave with a concussion. Orlando Scandrick, the extra cornerback in pass coverage in a secondary already missing safety Barry Church (torn Achilles tendon) for the season, injured his left hand and is out indefinitely after surgery.
“Those are three … good guys to add to the list of about a hundred, but that’s the way it is,” Ryan said. “We’ll get back.”
By Donald Lambro
Growth spikes are little more than trend-free anomalies
- Tea partiers turn on Capitol Hill budget deal
- Rand Paul: Budget deal 'shameful,' 'huge mistake'
- Leon Panetta named as source of 'Zero Dark Thirty' scriptwriters information
- Teen thugs in DC run wild -- even while wearing GPS ankle bracelets
- CARSON: Why did the founders give us the Second Amendment?
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- VEGAS RULES: Harry Reid pushed feds to change ruling for casino's big-money foreigners
- American bourbon now better than Scottish whiskey: U.K.-born expert
- Obama's antics at Nelson Mandela tribute: Jovial conversation, handshake with Raul Castro
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Uncensored exploration of issues concerning current events, civil liberties, American political advocacy, and the political and social issues facing military veterans.
An objective, analysis-based perspective of D.C. sports as seen through the eyes of lifelong D.C. sports enthusiast, John Heibel.
All of the world’s problems, solved on your back porch
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow