Cowboys romp past Giants to open season
Inspired by Jason Witten's surprise appearance and sparked by Kevin Ogletree's unexpected star turn, the Dallas Cowboys kept the spotlight...
AP Sports Writer
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Inspired by Jason Witten's surprise appearance and sparked by Kevin Ogletree's unexpected star turn, the Dallas Cowboys kept the spotlight on football, not officiating.
The Cowboys waited all year for another shot at the New York Giants. When they got it in the 2012 season opener, they were ready, winning 24-17 on Wednesday night in a game that wasn't really that close.
Also ready were the replacement officials, who barely were a story with Dallas dominating the Super Bowl champions for much of the night.
It won't make up for the New Year's Day loss that cost the Cowboys the NFC East title and sent the Giants on their way to the NFL championship. It sure could provide impetus for this season, though.
"We're judged by winning and losing," said quarterback Tony Romo, who threw three touchdown passes, "so the best thing was going on the road and getting a win. Not only a win, but it was against a division rival and obviously against the world champs. I don't know how many times teams go in and beat them in that first game of the year. It's a tough atmosphere, a tough game. Our team grinded it out and did good."
Romo threw for 307 yards, DeMarco Murray rushed for 129 yards and Ogletree had two touchdowns. Yet most of their praise was for Witten, who had only two receptions for 10 yards.
Witten missed most of the exhibition season with a lacerated spleen and was considered a longshot to suit up for the opener. Yet there he was, uplifting his teammates with his mere presence.
"Sometimes you don't care about yourself, you go out and play for the guys," Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware said. "It was emotional. We were all behind him when he said he would play."
BALTIMORE — Former Baltimore Ravens owner Art Modell, 87, has been hospitalized in Baltimore.
Cleveland television station WKYC reported Modell's vital organs are failing.
Modell purchased the Cleveland Browns for $4 million in 1961 and moved the franchise to Baltimore in 1996. The move made him a hero in Baltimore but a pariah in Cleveland.
• St. Louis Rams defensive end Michael Brockers, a first-round draft pick, reportedly has a high-ankle sprain that could sideline him the first few games.
• Washington Redskins strong safety Brandon Meriweather (knee) will miss the season opener against the New Orleans Saints.
• The Dallas Cowboys are the first American sports franchise worth more than $2 billion, according to Forbes magazine. Only Manchester United of the English Premier League, at $2.24 billion, is more valuable than the Cowboys ($2.1 billion).