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Cowboys' Kiffin says don't blame Romo

IRVING, Texas — Cowboys defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin said it is unfair to blame quarterback Tony Romo for Sunday's 51-48 loss to the Broncos.

Romo's late interception led to the winning field goal. But Kiffin's defense allowed 517 yards of offense, including 414 and four touchdown passes to Peyton Manning.

"People will say, 'Tony Romo throws the interception, and we can't win the big one,' " Kiffin, the Bucs' former defensive coordinator, said Wednesday. "He went toe to toe with one of the best ever in the game of football. But don't put that (loss) on him; you put that one on me. We've got to play better."

The Cowboys have allowed three quarterbacks — Manning, Eli Manning and Philip Rivers — to throw for 400 yards. Over the past two games, they have allowed 1,028 total yards. Their defense is 28th overall, fourth against the run and 31st against the pass.

Dallas forced five turnovers in a season-opening victory against the Giants. But it didn't force a punt against Denver. Linebacker Ernie Sims said the defense has to get back to the basics of the Tampa 2.

"Everybody is hurt emotionally, mentally and, obviously, physically," the former Florida State star said. "But a lot of these guys have been doing it a long time. So we've just got to get back to the basics and keep fighting."

Falcons' top receiver done

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — A second opinion confirmed Falcons star receiver Julio Jones' foot injury will keep him out for the rest of the season.

Coach Mike Smith said Jones will have surgery Monday. But the team did not disclose details of the injury, which occurred Monday against the Jets. Jones, first in the league with 41 catches and second with 580 yards, went to Charlotte, N.C., to be examined by the specialist who repaired his broken right foot in 2011.

More Falcons: Receiver Roddy White, already slowed by a sprained ankle, missed practice with a sore hamstring. The team said he also will sit today. His status for Sunday hasn't been determined.

49ers linebacker charged

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith was charged with three felony counts of possession of an assault weapon stemming from a party at his home in June 2012.

Smith, on a leave of absence for substance abuse after a DUI arrest Sept. 20, will turn himself in later this month, the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office said.

Last month, Smith and former teammate Delanie Walker (now with the Titans) were sued by a man who alleged he was shot at the party. He alleges the two were intoxicated when they fired gunshots in the air while trying to end the party.

The 49ers declined comment. And coach Jim Harbaugh did not say when Smith might return to the team.

More 49ers: Quarterback John Skelton, signed last week, was released. That leaves Colin Kaepernick and Colt McCoy as the only quarterbacks on the roster.

Vick limited: For the second day in a row, Eagles quarterback Michael Vick was limited at practice by a hamstring injury sustained Sunday. Coach Chip Kelly gave no update on if Vick will play against the Bucs.

Bears: Defensive tackle Nate Collins, who had a sack over five games (two starts), went on season-ending injured reserve with a knee injury.

Bills: Receiver Stevie Johnson is uncertain for Sunday with a sore back that caused him to miss the second half last week against the Browns.

Broncos: All-Pro cornerback Champ Bailey was a full participant at practice for the first time since spraining his left foot during a preseason game Aug. 17 and hopes to play Sunday. But three starters hurt last week against Dallas — linebacker Wesley Woodyard (neck), defensive end Robert Ayers (left shoulder) and cornerback Chris Harris (concussion) — didn't practice and are uncertain for Sunday.

Chiefs: Linebacker Justin Houston, second in the league with 8½ sacks, passed concussion tests after taking a blow to his head and neck Sunday against the Titans. His status for this week hasn't been determined.

Jets: Backup linebacker Antwan Barnes, who had two sacks, went on season-ending injured reserve with a knee injury sustained Monday.

Lions: Center Dominic Raiola said Sunday's remarks to the University of Wisconsin band didn't include a homophobic slur as reported by the Detroit Free Press. But he declined to disclose what he said. He apologized Tuesday and said he will make a "significant donation" to the band. Also, receiver Calvin Johnson missed practice with the knee injury that kept him out against the Packers. Coach Jim Schwartz said Johnson could be a game-time decision.

Packers: All-Pro linebacker Clay Matthews will miss "multiple weeks" with a broken right thumb. The team said it could not give a specific timetable. He was hurt while getting a sack Sunday against the Lions. Also, starting linebacker Brad Jones will sit out Sunday with a hamstring injury.

Raiders: Running backs Rashad Jennings and Darren McFadden, who hurt hamstrings in Weeks 5 and 4, respectively, returned to practice. Their status for Sunday hasn't been determined.

Seahawks: Two starters, linebacker Bobby Wagner (high ankle sprain) and tight end Zach Miller (hamstring) likely will be game-time decisions.

Texans: NFL security has contacted the team and Houston police about fans going to quarterback Matt Schaub's home. Schaub, who has struggled throughout this season, said he called security after he saw people driving by his home and taking photos. But he denied a report of a fan going to his door and shouting obscenities. Also, tight end Owen Daniels will miss eight weeks, double the initial report, with a broken fibula.

Vikings: Defensive end Brian Robison, who has 31 sacks over seven seasons, signed a four-year, $28 million extension ($12 million guaranteed). He could have become a free agent after this season.

Cowboys' Kiffin says don't blame Romo 10/09/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 9, 2013 10:41pm]

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