Yellow Fever

The Cowboys have been flagged for 49 penalties this year.

playing Tennessee. So the Titans are a minus-2 to the good. 

But the Cowboys, with their 49 penalties, their disparity between their own and the opposition is plus 28, and yes, that is a league high. How high? Well, in second place would be Oakland, at plus 17. Philadelphia, with its 48 penalties, is next but still with a plus 16. Tops is Baltimore, checking in at a minus-23 to the good. 

Again, I'm just sayin' ... 

You know how everyone harps on the Cowboys' inability to create takeaways, wondering if they work in practice on forcing, then recovering fumbles and intercepting passes. Well, wonder if there is any way a team can work on getting more penalties called on the other team? Trash talk more? That seems to be a definite problem, too. 

Also, this penalty problem is nothing new. Same thing paralyzed the Cowboys last year. Well, sorta. The Cowboys committed 115 penalties in 2009. Their opponents were called for 93, so a much more manageable differential of plus 22 - for the season. That comes to 1.4 more penalties a game over the course of the season. Right now, the Cowboys are on a pace of 5.6 more a game. 

One last item, and will let this go. Counted up the opponent penalties called when playing the Cowboys and then their penalties called in all other games. As stated, those five teams have averaged 4.2 penalties against the Cowboys. Against their other opponents so far this season, totaling 24 games, they are averaging seven penalties a game, just less than double. Or would that be almost double

Take Tennessee. The Titans have been flagged for at least eight penalties in their other five games they've played this season, with a high of 11 against Pittsburgh and 10 against Denver. But against the Cowboys, the Titans turned into choir boys, called for just four, and to think they gave up 511 total yards. Maybe that's why they gave up so many yards - just kept their hands to themselves. Who knows? 

And you know the five called this past Sunday on the Vikings? That was the fewest they suffered all season, checking in with a high of 12 against Detroit, of all teams. And I'll guarantee you Jesse Holley was held twice by the same guy on Percy Harvin's 95-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, once going down on coverage, wrapped in a bear hug, and then once again when he turned to chase. Also, what was Adrian Peterson doing going to his knees in the end zone to celebrate his touchdown, raising his arms high in the air? Funny way to say a prayer. 

Again, I'm just sayin'. 

Growing reputation you think? 

Or just coincidence? 

Again, this is not me, this is coming from other guys, but you remember that PI on Miles Austin against the Vikings that wiped out the 68-yard touchdown pass? Here is what Jim Mora Jr., a defensive-oriented coach, told sidekick Brian Billick on NFL Network following the game while looking at the play: "It was just a little push off Brian, and you would have been upset as an offensive coordinator if it was called on you." 

Then there was Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, the closest anyone within the organization has mentioned anything about penalties, saying this on the team's postgame TV show following the 24-21 loss at Minnesota: "When one of the officials on Miles' call actually said as we were leaving the field at halftime, 'I've got to get my head in the game,' then that is a part of it. That sounds like an excuse, but they're not unnecessarily above mistakes, either." 

You get what he's sayin', right? 

And speaking of mistakes, how about the backpedaling on the excessive celebration call in the Minnesota game, initially made on Austin, presumably for leapfrogging Roy Williams following his touchdown? Says right here in my official play-by-play after announced on the field by referee Gene Steratore: Penalty on Dal-M.Austin, Unsportsmanlike Conduct, 15 yards, enforced between downs. 

OK, you know I wouldn't have argued too hard on that. But by Monday, when the Cowboys call the league office for clarification, they are told by Carl Johnson, NFL vice president of officiating, oh no, the call really was on Sam Hurd for joining in on Roy's traditional touchdown-scoring Hook 'Em Horns salute, that UT forefinger and little

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