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.

Commish Addresses Rules Regarding Video Board

The new rules regarding the video board have been issued and posted on

They are as follows:

  • If a ball in play strikes a video board, guide wire, sky cam or any other object, the ball will be dead immediately, and the down will be replayed at the previous spot.
  • If there is not an on-field ruling that the ball struck an object, the Replay Assistant is empowered to initiate a booth review, including if the event occurs prior to the two-minute warning. If, prior to the two-minute warning, no booth review is initiated by the Replay Assistant, a coach’s challenge is permitted under the customary procedures for such a challenge.
  • In the event the down is replayed:(a) The game clock will be reset to the time remaining when the snap occurred.
    (b) All penalties will be disregarded, except for personal fouls, which will be administered prior to replaying the down.
  • Rule 3, Section 1 of the Official NFL Playing Rules provides for an official ruling to be implemented “in the interim between the annual rules meeting” that is “official only during the current season.” This Official Ruling expires at the conclusion of the 2009 postseason.

Commissioner Roger Goodell added,

“We will continue to address the particular circumstances in Dallas, giving full consideration to the competitive, safety and fan experience issues involved. The Cowboys have been fully cooperative as we have addressed this subject, and we will continue to work closely with the club on a longer term resolution.”

So basically, the board will not be raised and punts that hit the board will be replayed. However, if it becomes a continuous problem they will address the matter further.

Only In Dallas Does A Video Board Get So Much Attention

Almost every Cowboys fan knew when it happened that it would become the hot topic of the week. As soon as the ball thumped the very bottom of the video board I told my friend, “oh no, here we go! The media is going to go crazy over this.” That’s fine. It’s better than previous topics, I suppose.

The team is now working with the league trying to establish the height of the video board and I’m sure they will get it all worked out before the season officially begins.

Here’s an interesting take on the topic though, the Cowboys’ very own Pro Bowl punter Mat McBriar had this to say:

“Our game plan is to kick to the sidelines. So for myself it’s not in my mind. I know it’s there, obviously. But it’s not something that catches my eye as much as guys who are kicking straight down the field.”

McBriar said there is no reason to make any changes or raise the video boards because one punt in one game hit them.

McBriar, a 2006 Pro Bowler, said he could boot punts into the video boards “probably 50 percent of the time” if that was what he was trying to do.

I don’t know guys, I think if anyone would know it would be Mat.

Some reporters and analysts are blaming Jerry Jones’ pride on not raising the boards (that includes my boss who called me Monday morning about the issue). I didn’t think that was the case until I read on the team’s official site that they plan to disconnect and raise the board temporarily for the U2 concert in September.

While Jerry Jones’ and Stephen Jones’ are declining to comment on the situation, I’m sure if the league orders them to raise the video boards they will do it without question. But why should they do it voluntarily? What if that rookie was aiming to hit the board intentionally?

Does it even matter, since the league’s regulation is 85 feet and the board actually hangs 90 feet above the field?

Of course opposing teams are going to complain and disagree. So you make it a rule to redo the kick in the rare occasions that the punt hits the board. It may put a damper on the situation if there’s a nice punt return but a rule is a rule.

I just have one more thing to say….


Cowboys Stadium-Punting Flaw?

The Titans think they have revealed a flaw in the new Cowboys Stadium and it looks like maybe they have.

Punting is a normal part of a football game and always will be. In the new $1.2 billion Cowboys Stadium the video board that was installed is sitting at 100 feet above the field and cost $40 million, it extends from 20 yard to 20 yard line. It is a great thing for the fans in the stadium because it allows you to see the action no matter where you are in the stadium, however it may very well be in the way of some punts.


Punters are going have to find a way not to punt the ball to high, because if they do the ball could hit as it did in the Cowboys’ second pre-season game against the Titans. Titans’ punter A.J. Trapasso actually hit the bottom of the video board and due to the dead ball ruling was allowed to re-punt.

Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones believes that this not an issue and that the rule is clear – if it hits it, just re-punt.

Yes, when the stadium was built this possiblity should have been thought of and maybe it was and could have been deemed as not an issue, since both teams have to deal with it. Yet it is still a weird thing because it may cause punters to punt the ball a little differently in the Cowboys’ stadium. I guess maybe they should do what the arena league did with the nets at the end of the field and just play the ball off of the video board… hee hee.

Three Phrases of the Game

To be a champion caliber team you must be consistent in all phrases of the game. We all know about Dallas’s offense, Tony Romo with all his weapons, Barber and Jones’s running attack behind our fantastic offensive line. The defense is getting more respect and recognition as they improve every week (not counting the Lions game.) Phrase three is Special teams. I don’t feel like our kick return team gets the credit they deserve.

Miles Austin in his second year makes you sit on the edge of your seat every time he gets the ball. His long return is sixty yards. I just know he is going to break one all the way. Austin is averaging twenty-six yards on eighteen returns.

Tyson Thompson shows he is a talent with his return ability also. Tyson’s average is a little lower than Austin’s at twenty-three.six, but his long return is seventy-two yards.

I look forward to seeing rookie Isaiah Stanback come back from his injury. I have to agree with the Cowboy staff that Stanback is exciting to watch. His long kick return is thirty-five yards but he has only had three returns with a average of twenty-six yards.

Between these three and more recently Miles Austin, the Cowboys have had good field position on most possessions. Of course, it would be a dream come true if we only had punt returns meaning our defense didn’t allow a score! WOW!

With Patrick Crayton and Terence  Newman returning punts, we haven’t had stunning returns but, they average twelve yards per return that equals our opponents. Even though we haven’t returned a punt or kick return for a score with all the talent we have on special teams it will come. They are saving it for the playoffs!

Although special teams need to improve in some areas they show improvement each week just as the offense and defense.

What I respect about the 2007 Cowboys is the way coach Phillips has blended all three phases to work together as a team. The media and fans shine the light on certain players but, they know that it takes every player in the locker room to win and that is why we are the NFC East Champs!

 Contributed by Raina Middleton