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Notes: Another Quick Turnaround, Harris' Hard Hit, Witten's Emotion; More

ARLINGTON, Texas – Usually, teams that play Thursday games get a sort of mini-bye week. After playing a game early in the week, there's a free weekend followed by a full week to prepare for the next opponent.

Not so for the 2014 Cowboys. Fresh off this 33-10 at the hands of the Eagles, the Cowboys coaching staff begins work immediately for next week's game against Chicago – already less than a week away.

"We're right back to work tomorrow and then Saturday with our players getting into a normal week to get prepared for that ballgame," said Cowboys coach Jason Garrett.

That could work as either a positive or a negative, depending on your viewpoint. On one hand, the Cowboys don't have any extra time to rest for a critical road trip. On the other hand, there's not much time to dwell on their latest setback.

Given the choice between the two, Brandon Carr had an emphatic answer.

"Let's go. Where I'm at in my life and how I feel, let's just keep this thing rolling – let's just keep going, man," he said.

Injury Update

As viewers on TV might have noticed, Rolando McClain appeared to be favoring his right knee at times during the loss to the Eagles.

Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones said it doesn't appear to be anything too serious, however, as the middle linebacker finished the game with seven tackles on the night.

"He was able to finish, and that's a good thing. But it did look like he was favoring his knee a little bit out there," Jones said.

Jones added that the Cowboys got out of the game without any significant injuries on the afternoon.

Unnecessary Roughness?

Garrett heard something completely new from the officiating crew Thursday night, after Dwayne Harris drew an unnecessary roughness flag on a fourth quarter punt return.

Harris laid into a Philadelphia's Nolan Carroll, who was trying to down the ball inside the 10 and drew the flag – for hitting the defender too hard.

"I don't think I've ever heard that one before," Garrett said.
Harris didn't call for a fair catch on the play, which Garrett said left him open to make a hit on Carroll. Garrett said the officials told him that Harris made the hit "too hard unnecessarily."

"My understanding of the rules is that if you don't have a fair catch signal, you can hit the guy," Garrett said. "My understanding of the rules is if you hit him in the chest, which it appears like he did, it's a legal hit."

The Cowboys intend to get an explanation from the league on the flag. The hit created a bit of a scrum between Cowboys and Eagles in the end zone, and some sage special teams advice from Brandon Carr.

"I thought it was a clean hit," he said. "It's one of those times -- as a gunner, you're always taught when you're down there inside the 10, downing the ball, keep your head on a swivel because it's not a fair catch. You can get cleaned up pretty good."

Emotions Run High

You might have mistaken Jason Witten for Dez Bryant, given his fiery outbursts on the sideline Thursday night. Television cameras caught Witten having heated exchanges after stalled drives, with teammates as well as tight ends coach Mike Pope.

Much like Bryant, Witten chalked the fire up to his competitive nature, adding that they weren't born out of any kind of dispute or disagreement – with Pope or otherwise.

"It wasn't anything other than I get excited out there and talking about it," Witten said. "There's never any argument or rift between us, it's just a lot of excitement and emotion and we're talking through it. Nothing more than that."

Quick Hits:

  • Dez Bryant's 73 yards allowed him to reach 5,056 career receiving yards and become the seventh player in team history to reach 5,000 career receiving yards. He became the third-fastest player in team history to get to 5,000 career yards by reaching that mark in his 71st career game. Only Bob Hayes (65 games) and Michael Irvin (70) were faster.
  • Tyrone Crawford collected his first career sack in the second quarter with a takedown of Mark Sanchez.
  • Harris returned four kickoffs for a career-high tying 121 yards to give him 1,870 for his career to pass Darryl Clack (1,802) and Butch Johnson (1,832) for eighth on the club's all-time kickoff return yards list.
  • DeMarco Murray's 1,427 yards through the first 12 games of the season are the most in team history, surpassing the 1,403 Emmitt Smith had through the first 12 games of 1995.
  • Romo failed to throw a touchdown, ending his streak of consecutive games with a touchdown at 38 games – the longest streak in franchise history and the fifth-longest in NFL history. The streak began against Chicago (10/1/12). The last time Romo had a game without a touchdown pass was against Tampa Bay (9/23/2012).


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