Bringing The Heat

Before I get into my thoughts on the game and what it means for us, I want to make one small point.  FIRE NICK FOLK!!!!!!!!!!!. I am so sick and tired of them making excuses for him. He has lost his edge. They showed footage of pre game warm-ups by Nick Folk. If I am correct I believe they showed 7 attempts WITHOUT a holder. How many of those attempts did he make? NONE!!!!!!! How can you sit back and watch your “struggling” kicker  miss several warm-ups before game and then when the game is on the line, put him in??  That makes absolutely no sense to me. I am also totally against Romo holding kicks. What other team in the NFL, NCAA, High school or any other league you want to bring up has their starting QB holding kicks? None!!! When Kris Brown of the Texans missed those critical field goals for the Texans this year, did Kubiak think, hey I have an idea; let’s put Matt Schaub back there to hold the kicks so that Kris Brown can make them, no he did not. Again, FIRE NICK FOLK!!!!!

As for what this game means for us this season, we are one step closer to the playoffs. We need help from SF this weekend by taking down the Eagles. Also, being the die hard Cowboys fan that I am, it makes me sick to my stomach to even think about saying this, but we really need the Redskins to beat the Giants. Wow admitting that I want the skins to win is even hard to type but it has to be said.

Now for the game. YEAH BABY!! WOOOHOOOO!!! WAY TO GO BOYS!!!! Ok got that out of the way. We finally got to see the FULL potential that the cowboys have on the field each and every week. Romo and the offense looked flawless. The defense was brutal. The game was AMAZING. On the field Romo was the better of the 2 quarterbacks going 22/34 for a total of 333 yards and 1 touchdown with ZERO interceptions or fumbles and his ability to avoid the rush was able to get him 4 rushes for 21 yards. Our #1 receiver Miles Austin once again showed us why letting T.O. go was the best option for the team with 7 receptions for 139 yards and a touchdown. Jason Whitten had a good game with clutch catches when it mattered most, as he usually does, going for 44 yards on just 5 catches. Romo also distributed the ball well to several other options, giving the rest of our receivers and our running backs a total of 10 catches for 129 yards. Once again proving that the Dallas passing game is a force to be recon with.

Rushing rushing rushing. There is not much more to say about our ground game than, MARION BARBER!!!!!!! That man is a beast and was not going to be denied. Although he only had 17 rushing attempts he went for a hard fought 62 yards and 2 touchdowns. Felix Jones made his presence known not only on his 14 carries for 58 yards but also in the return game averaging 30 yards with one return of 41 yards. Let just say this is one ground game that was not going to be denied.

Ok, say it with me, DEFENSE!!! DEFENSE!!! DEFENSE!!! Wow what a performance our defense put up. Anthony Spencer is coming into his own and making all teams account for him. Our secondary is making other teams passing games quiver. Our linebackers are making running backs think maybe we should pass the ball more often. And then there is the man. The best defensive player in the league. The man that gets thru double teams to force QB’s to make errant throws, picks and run for their lives. Of course, you know I am talking about Demarcus Ware. After last week when all of our hearts stopped and the city of Dallas came to a complete stop and everyone was holding their breath, while Ware was being carted off the field, no one knew if he would play this week. Well, as we all know he did play and once again he dominated. He had a total of 2 sacks with 2 forced fumbles, and of course the key forced fumble at the end of the game with ten seconds left in the game to seal the victory for the Cowboys.

The Cowboys as a whole during the game Dominated every aspect of the game We had more first downs, 24 to 23, more total net yards, 436 to 336.  Rushing yards were to our advantage 145 to 65. Our defense held the high powered offense of the Saints to only 3 points in the first half and 17 points in the game with Drew Brees passing for under 300 yards and only touchdown. A very big key to the game was third down efficiency.  While Dallas went for 8 of 15 attempts on third down with a 53% efficiency rate the Saints only converted 1 third down during the game with an efficiency rate of only 14%. Once again proving that our defense is one of the best defenses in the league. Let’s take this win and this momentum that we know have, and bring it to the next game when we go to Washington and show them that the December curse is now OVER and we are making our run to the SUPERBOWL!!!

Inefficiency – Offense and Defense

wadepAs I watched the Cowboys squeak by the winless Kansas City Chiefs, I could see that my prediction was coming true. I told all of my coworkers that this game would probably turn out like this. It seems that for the last couple of years every time the Cowboys play against a team they should beat, that team looks like world beaters and that they could win the Super Bowl. I am not sure what it is, but it should not be this way. We should be able to beat teams like this, everyone else does so why not us?

This year it can be explained by inefficiency on both the offense and defense. I am not sure what is wrong with the offense, some of it is untimely penalties, you know the ones that come in the redzone or after we make a big play. Penalties are really killing us. It seems that the coaches do not make the players accountable.

After Flozell Adams’ third or fourth false start or holding call, I don’t see Coach Phillips get mad or anything. Matter of fact, what coach is yelling at him? No one that I can see. Flozell is a good player, but he has been the most penalized player in the last two years and probably will be again this year. It makes no sense to me at all and if it is not a penalty he is getting beat. I think he should be benched, but the coaching staff obviously does not feel the same way.

Then there is the defense. I have seen in the last couple of years, every time we go down and score the defense just lets the other team come right back down the field and score themselves. I just knew when we scored on Sunday that the Chiefs would be able to march back and tie the game, I just knew it.

The defense is preventing us from winning. The defense has been inconsistent just as much as the offense has. Yes, Miles Austin was able to get 10 catches for 250 yards, but we did not do much for the first three quarters of the game. It seemed fumbles and punts were all that we were good at.

The Cowboys have a lot of work to do and someone needs take this seriously, especially the penalties. Hold players accountable for mistakes.

Protect That Ball!

One thing the Cowboys and Tony Romo are concentrating on in training camp this season is cutting down on his turnovers, especially his fumbles. Romo’s case of Slippery Pigskin syndrome last year made any fan cringe at the sight of him carelessly running around the pocket with the ball unprotected in one hand trying to make a play. Don’t get me wrong we love the heart and effort, but he has to recognize when to eat the ball or throw it away.

So now if he can take what he is working on in camp into games he should be able to cut down on the 21 total turnovers he had last season, 14 being interceptions, 7 LOST fumbles and another 6 that were recovered by Cowboys.

It really hurt Dallas last year in the last game of the season against the Eagles with the winner heading to the playoffs. Romo fumbled twice in that very important painful game, and one of them was returned for a 73 yard touchdown.

Of course he did have a broken Pinkie finger part of last season that may have attributed to some of the fumbles but prior to that he had already lost 3 in the six games before his injury. The seven lost fumbles last season was more than he had as a starter in his first season and a half so I am willing to put most of the blame on that little broken digit.

The Associated Press reported on Sporting News that “early in off season workouts, Romo started talking about cutting down on risky throws and being quicker to take a sack or throw the ball away. He also said he was serious about getting a better grip on the ball while scrambling”.

This became evident on one play in practice when “surrounded in the pocket on one play, he pulled the ball in tight until just before throwing a completion. Romo did the same thing while rolling out to his right near the goal line a few snaps later, instead of holding the ball away from his body with one hand while running like he so often has done in the past”.

Head coach Wade Phillips is pleased on how his quarterback is progressing with this, as well as how he is maturing as a player.

“He’s a natural. He sees so many things and he has such a quick release, and he’s so accurate,” Phillips said. “He just makes fantastic plays. We see it every day on tape. … He makes a throw that you say, `Wow, what a play.’ That’s what the great ones do.”

Its a long season, but lets see how he does this Friday night against Tennessee in the Cowboys new stadium. We should see him play a few more series than he did in the Raider game, which will help him get ready for the games that count.

Two Plays Away From 2-3?!

A win is a win in the NFL.  There are no style points.  No polls.  We all know the old adage “on any given Sunday.”  Hey, I will take the Cowboys 31-22 win anytime.  That being said something is not right with this team right now.  The fact of the matter is we are two fumbles away, in Dallas teritory, from facing a 2-3 start.   Now, those fumbles did happen and we are 4-1.  But to think that Dallas is one of the elite teams in the NFL is just not true.  They are not the best team in the NFL.  They are not the best team in the NFC.  Heck, they are the 3rd best team in the division right now!!   There is a sense of accomplishment that this team has that is quite simply not warrented.  WE DID NOT WIN THE SUPER BOWL LAST YEAR!  We could not beat the Giants at home, a team that we beat twice already, to get the the NFC Championship.  Do I think they could beat anyteam, anywhere right now…..yes!  But there are a few things that MUST be figured out before this team takes that next step:

  • Tony…I love ya…”your my quarterback”….but what is going on?  INT’s in 8 straight games?  Another lost fumble?  It’s becoming more clear that is may be feast or famine with our QB. I wouldn’t trade him for anyone but HE HAS TO PLAY BETTER. 
  • T.O?  Snap out of it..your getting the ball & making plays. What more do you want?
  • Patrick Crayton has to step up and stop with the key drops.  I know he found the ball in the end zone yesterday but he has to be more consistant.
  • I know I knock Anthony Henry but Terence Newman has got to stay healthy.  With him and A Jones, by the end of the season could really be dominating.  The only place I want to see A. Henry is in nickle or dime coverage.
  • It’s kind of ironic to me how MB3‘s playing time is almost coming full circle.  He was the 3rd down back for J Jones, getting a few carries a game.  I can see this happening to F Jones.  I AM NOT KNOCKING MB3 but F Jones is a better pure runner.  Would 20 carries for MB3 & 12 for F Jones be a bad thing?
  • What is going on at home?  I truly think that this team is far too overconfident at home and has a us vs the world mentality on the road that works better for this team.

All that being said we are still 4-1 and if we can win at Arizona and follow that up with a win at St Louis all of a sudden 6-1 looks pretty good.  Pretty good would be ok for most teams in most years…just not what the expectations are for this year.