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Are You Ready for the “Kam-Akwasi” Cowboy?

We find ourselves meandering through the practice notes and news each day as we lead up to the Hall of Fame game today between the Dallas Cowboys and the Cincinnati Bengals. Lots of questions from the past season are on every fans mind as we get to have a look see at some of the young players the Cowboys are prepping to make the final roster to head into our 50th season and hopefully our 6th Lombardi Trophy and NFL Championship. Since I already focused on the main position that most people are focusing on this year, left tackle, I thought I would delve into the other main question that has been dogging us since Woody left with us a big hole in the secondary when he walked off into his final sunset as a player.

Free Safety is the one main position that we over look every year. Mainly because we have a couple of guys who tend to just kind of get by and barely get the job done. We were spoiled for a long time because we had Darren Woodson back there to hold down the fort and once he left we got to see just how special he really was. This year though going into the off season Jerry decided he has had enough and gave Ken Hamlin his walking papers and went out and drafted someone that everyone thought we were looking at as a cornerback but some scouts believe that he could turn into a very good free safety. I bring you Akwasi Owusu-Ansah from a small little division II school out of western Pennsylvania.  He has a lot of the same attributes that Domonique Rodgers-Cromartie had when he came out of a Division II school, DRC has a bit more speed then him but Akwasi may be a more versatile player and be able to impact the game in a couple other ways then playing in the secondary.

Akwasi was a running back n high school and was switched to cornerback when he got to college. You can see this high school background when he is returning the ball, whether it is on an interception return, a kickoff or punt return. He has those knees just pumping away and doesn’t stop those legs churning until he is brought down.  Usually not on the first attempt at tackling him either. I have watched a couple of the highlight reels of him returning kicks and seen a couple where it took five to six attempts to finally knock him on his keester..    and some he didn’t find his knee on the ground until he was striking paydirt. With his 6 foot, 200 lb frame he is that tweener between a corner and safety when it comes to size but his 4.4 range 40 yd dash time will make you forget about that quickly especially because that speed translates on the field as well.

Now I know everyone will be questioning his ability to transition from division II to the NFL in the secondary but, that is not a worry because of his talents in the return game. Returning a football on kicks in college no matter the level the same talents are needed in the NFL. Awareness and the ability to turn on a dime and also make people miss. That is something he excelled at in college. He will have time to work on his secondary skills while returning punts and he has already gotten some praise form Brett Maxie because of his ability to learn the defensive sets while recovering from shoulder surgery in the off season. He will obviously have to learn run support to play safety as he was a cornerback in college but he has long arms and great closing speed to stop plays dead, whether its wrapping the ball carrier to tackle him or using those arms to deflect balls. His closing speed though allows him to jump routes on receivers.

All in all I think that his ability to help create turnovers, which the Cowboys need a huge shot in the arm in and also his return ability coudl help us have one of the best return games in the NFL. How would you luck to be the coach or kicker trying to decide which person to kickoff to…  Akwasi or Felix. Talk about trying to pick the lesser of two evils!

And So Another December Starts… Badly!!

So the Cowboys stood at 8-3. A two game lead over the NY Giants with an opportunity to send the Giants to a 6-6 record and pretty much end their season. We all know the December history with this team over the last three seasons and we have all heard the talk this past week. The Cowboys then open a 10-0 lead on the Giants late in the second quarter and well…that’s where it kind of ended.

The Cowboys took a 10-0 lead on the Giants with a nice Romo to Williams touchdown pass. They had the Giants just were they wanted them. The once mighty 5-0 Giants now at 6-5 and little or no confidence in the way they were playing. So what does the Dallas defense do when they have the Giants down? Well, you would think they would step on their throats and end it for them. But no, they allow the Giants to drive down the field and score to tighten the game to 10-7 and give the Giants some life.

Next possession for the Cowboys with a little over a minute left in the first half. The Cowboys try to answer the Giants touchdown, but then Marion Barber fumbles. The Giants take full advantage of the turnover and score the go ahead touchdown right before halftime. Dallas had the Giants on their knees begging for mercy, but just like in past seasons the Cowboys let a team off the hook and gave them life.

Third quarter…Romo leads the offense to the go ahead score on another touchdown to Williams, 17-14. You think the Dallas defense would try to respond once again. But….it took the Giants only one play to take the lead back. A short pass to Jacobs resulted in a 74 yard go ahead for good touchdown. Here is my question. How does the defense let something like this happen? I honestly thought the Dallas defense was still on the sideline after the kickoff. But then I saw Anthony Spencer, Bradie James and Gerald Sensabaugh. But Spencer might have well been on the sideline as Jacobs ran away from him like he was standing still.

Onto the fourth quarter as the Cowboys held the Giants to an all important field goal to keep the Giants lead to only seven points, 24-17. Although I must say that it really had nothing to do with the Dallas defense on the third down play as Steve Smith clearly beat Scandrick (That’s a surprise!!!), but dropped the pass.

Ok, you would think the Cowboys are in good shape as they are only down by seven points with a lot of time left in the game. So they get the ball back and what happens? Yes, three and out as Barber gains three yards on first down, Romo get an intentional grounding penalty which results in a lost down. And on third and 17 they can only manage a short gain to Witten.

Punt formation!!!! Ok, punt the ball and let’s get the ball back with plenty of time left. Nope!!!! Not going to happen. Hixon gets the ball and after three missed tackles (well, I kind of stopped counting at that point and proceeded to destroy my living room), Hixon scores on a 79 punt return to put the Giants up 31-17.

Once again the Cowboys get the ball back and start driving. They get to the Giants 36 yard line where Williams is beyond wide open down the right sideline and what does Romo do? He misses him on what would have been a touchdown. And two plays later they fail on a fourth down attempt.

Yes, Romo once again drove the Cowboys down the field for a score at the end of game that was already over, but it was just too late at that point. The Cowboys once again just gave up too many big plays and were not able to respond when they needed too. So, December of 2009 is underway and the Cowboys are now 0-1. They have fallen to 8-4 and are tied with the Eagles for first place with the Giants now only one game back.

What is ahead for the Cowboys. Oh, not much. Just four teams playing at the top of their game. Yes, even the Redskins who lost today, but still played one hell of a game against the Saints. Here is the rest of the schedule for the Cowboys….

San Diego, 8-3

at New Orleans, 12-0

at Washington, 3-9 (record will not matter)

Philadelphia, 8-4

At this point I honestly do not know what will happen the rest of the season. The way I am feeling right now (frustrated), I can take a guess, but I would rather not because it just makes me sick to my stomach. I would say I’m speechless, but I just read my own post and I guess I’m anything but speechless.