Dallas Defeats The Packers and Remains Undefeated

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While everyone has given the Dallas Cowboys credit for their win Sunday night against the Green Bay Packers, they may be overlooking just how impressive of a win, Sunday’s game actually was.  The Dallas Cowboy played on the road, on a Sunday night after playing in an extremely exhausting game the previous Monday.  Oh and they have never won a game in Green Bay in franchise history.  And all the Cowboys did under those circumstances was walk out of Lambeau with an 11 point victory against the undefeated Packers, not bad for a days work. 

 

More importantly Sunday’s wins showed just how far the Dallas Cowboys have come and matured as a team.  When looking at the stats, the Cowboys struggled in many facets of the game that had come easily to them in the previous two games.  The Dallas passing attack was absent for most of the night.  Tony Romo had a rating of 82.6 and his starting two receivers combined for a total of 17 yards.  The only big plays came from newcomer Miles Austin.  Yet despite losing their top weapon, the Cowboys were able to move the ball when needed and put up points.

 

The Cowboys discovered their running game on Sunday night.  They had struggled throughout the preseason to come up with a formula that would work, and they may have found it on Sunday.  Running to the right side of the line, Marion Barber III was able to pick up 7 to 8 yards a carry seemingly at will.  Once he was done pounding away and punishing the Packers, rookie Felix Jones made light work of a tired defensive line when he broke to the outside on a 68 yard touchdown run.  Sunday night the Cowboys proved they can play a slow grind game, and use their running game to absolutely pound a defense into submission. 

 

Another positive to be taken away from Sunday’s game was the downfield blocking, mainly the efforts of Terrell Owens.  Everyone knows the T.O. story by now, he showed tremendous maturity against the Packers.  Owens was kept in check thanks to double and triple teams by Charles Woodson and what seemed like everyone else in the Packers secondary.  Yet, even without getting his typical touches, T.O. remained focused and kept to the task at hand.  He did what a good receiver should do on a team that is running the ball well.  He went out found work, and began to block downfield.  His downfield blocks on Woodson and company allowed for larger rushing lanes for Felix and Marion to rush through. 

 

On defense, the Cowboys played stout, keeping the Packers passing attack in check.  Even when they scored their final TD it came nearly in garbage time. 

 

“Look, we’re not a bad defense,” said Cowboys nose tackle Tank Johnson. “We stayed tough and we got a tough team.”

 

There is no doubt that they Cowboys are taking on a bend don’t break philosophy.  This can be seen in their efforts to keep teams out of the endzone, and forcing them to settle for field goals when they make it into the redzone.  One factor people must remember is the Cowboys secondary is still gelling together.  Terrence Newman is not 100%.  He missed the majority of training camp with his groin injury and it will take him time to settle in and get used to game time patterns and speed.  The same can be said for Adam Jones.  He missed all of last season due to his suspension, and because of injuries he is playing much heavier minutes than the Cowboys anticipated on him playing this early in his comeback.  It will take him time to become accustomed to the new schemes and the speed of the game. 

 

The Cowboys showed great maturity on Sunday night.  They were able to avoid the distractions of the media and the largest crowd in Lambeau history.  They were able to ignore the fact that they were playing on a short week against back to back NFC contenders and undefeated teams.  These are all trends and behavioral habits of a team that is on a mission, and they understand what it takes to reach their end goal. 


Updating the Injury Report Before the Green Bay Game

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Seeing that it is midweek and all the players are now back at Valley Ranch to get their workouts and practice in before the Cowboys head to Green Bay on Saturday, it is a good time to update the injury report for the Boys.  There seems to have been some confusion earlier in the week about the status of some of the Cowboys key players.  However, after further assessment, it looks that like the Cowboys injury situation is actually improving as the season progresses.

Everyone knows that safety Roy Williams will be out for at least four weeks with his fractured forearm.  Williams had surgery to place a plate in the arm earlier this week and will look to rejoin the team on the field in time to make a solid mid season push.

Elsewhere, there was some concern over the health of tight end Jason Witten.  Jason left Monday’s game for a while after injuring his shoulder.  At first there were reports that he had dislocated his shoulder and had it popped back into place on the sidelines.  After speaking with the Dallas training staff, it appears that Witten’s injury is not nearly as serious as previously thought.  Witten was banged up, but he returned to action during the game on Monday and made one of the key catches that set up the Cowboys game winning touchdown.  He will be a go for Sunday’s game.

Monday’s game also saw several Cowboys return to action for the first time this season. And the good news is, none of these players appeared to have any setbacks with their injuries.  They just showed some field rust, which was to be expected.  Terence Newman (groin), linebacker Anthony Spencer (knee) and wide receiver Miles Austin (knee) – none suffered any setbacks, although Phillips said Newman and Spencer showed a little rust.

Anthony Spencer and Terence Newman were solid additions to the defense.  Newman will definitely be called on now with Williams being out.  Anthony Spencer is credited with being able to provide rest for Gregg Ellis which allowed him to be fresh in the fourth quarter.  Going forward the goal is to have Spencer providing backup for  Ellis as well as DeMarcus Ware. Mike Austin also returned to action and hauled in 2 catches and provided some much needed depth to the Cowboys depleted wide outs.


Pro-Bowler Roy Williams Out

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Pro Bowl Safety Roy Williams was hurt during Monday nights match up against the Philadelphia Eagles.  Williams fractured his arm during the third quarter of the game and it looks like he will miss at least 2 weeks and perhaps as many as 4 before he can return to action.

Team doctors said Williams would undergo surgery Tuesday morning to implant a plate and screws in the forearm to stabilize the fracture. The procedure is similar to one performed on former Cowboys safety turned cornerback Pete Hunter in 2002. Hunter missed about a month, but could have probably played three weeks after surgery, doctors said.

Oddly enough, the injury may not prove to be a major blow to the Cowboys.  Williams has only played on first and second downs, having been removed from the Nickel and Dime packages because of his inability to cover.  The addition of Adam Jones allowed the Cowboys to shuffle their secondary and give Williams a break.

It is assumed that Ken Hamlin will be called on to replace Williams while he heals his broken forearm.


Notes on the Eagles Cowboys Game

Okay, so this is typically where I would do a complete recap of the the Cowboys game on Monday Night Football, and I would talk stats and strategy and all of that.  However, I think I am going to change it up just a little bit for this week.  Last nights game was one of the best games I have ever seen.  And typically while I am watching a game I am going to write about I jot down notes on my laptop so that I can remember them when I go to write later that day or the next day.  Well since Monday night’s game was so exciting, I thought I would give a little bit of an insight to everyone and share the notes I took while watching the game.

Brian Westbrook may be the best underrated player in the NFL today.

McNabb looks good. He must be about 15-20 pounds lighter.

The Cowboys are getting no pass rush.  Why dont they blitz more?  You can’t possibly respect the Eagles wide outs that much.

Torched… it looks like T.O. and Romo are as in sync as ever.

When did T.O. rack up 130 td’s

Where’s the defense at?

Has Bobby Carpenter played at all this year?  I thought he was finally had it all put together.

Zach Thomas looks like he could play another 2 or 3 seasons

Why are Romo’s hands so bad?  It’s like every game he mishandles a seemingly basic play

Good to see Terrence Newman getting some work in.

Why is it so hard to bring down Donovan McNabb?

Felix Jones may be the best draft pick the Cowboys have made since Emmit Smith

Glad to see Wade Phillips woke up the boys in the second half.  The front seven are getting a good rush on McNabb.

Too many penalties again.  That will bite the Cowboys in the ass this year.

Ware is an absolute beast. You have to love the way this guy plays. I wish more of him would rub off on Chris Canty.

Looks like McNabb caught Romo’s case of fumbleitus

Jim Johnson dialed up the right defense on third and short, got to give him credit for that.


T.O. Stirring the Pot Ahead of the Philly Game

Dallas will face their first major test of the season on Monday night when they take on a resurgent Philadelphia Eagles team. Many people are considering this the game of the weekend to watch and that includes the OSU vs. USC game on Saturday night. And of course the it would not be a Cowboys games under the lights without T.O. putting his two cents in. As we all know there is no love lost between Owens and the Eagles organization.

Owens told the media yesterday that he felt he was “too big for McNabb” and that is what led to the split between the two. A split that would cost T.O. the majority of the 2005 season, and would end with him moving to the Cowboys.

“The fans and just the excitement of me coming there and being there, it became too overwhelming for Donovan,” Owens said in his Thursday meeting with the press. He continued on to say; “I think at one point in time, I will say that we had a good relationship. I think I got too big for Philly, too big for him. I just feel like in a sense that he felt like I was just probably getting too much attention.”

The Philly Dallas Rivalry has always been a big one in the NFC, but in the wake of the T.O. deal the rivalry has reached a new level. And it seems that each year, the rivalry just continues to grow. This year, the Eagles and the Cowboys are the cream of the crop in the NFC East, and Monday night’s game will go a long way in giving one team a leg up on winning the division, and coveting that all important bye week in the opening round of the playoffs.

This should be a good one, get your popcorn ready.


Big D Feels the Brady Affect and Signs a QB

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Tom Brady gets taken out during the early game on Sunday, and the affect could be felt around the league.  Sure, teams across the AFC are rejoicing now they have a chance to take down the big bad Patriots.  However, the Brady injury had another lingering affect, one that made it was to Dallas and the Cowboys.

On Monday evening, the Dallas Cowboys signed veteran QB Brooks Bollinger to a one year deal worth just over $600,000.  Bollinger had started for the Jets and the Vikings at different points of his career.  This will be the first time the Cowboys have carried three QB’s on their roster since 2005.

“I think seven or eight teams only had two quarterbacks, and we were one of those teams,” head coach Wade Phillips said. “We had the same case last year, but we feel better about having a third quarterback and a guy that can come in and also learn our system. We think he’s talented and does a lot of good things.”

“It’s for this year and for the future,” Wade Phillips said. “If you have a young one you think is going be there you want to keep him, I think. In his case, we’ve got a fairly young guy who’s got some experience.”

It does not require a lof of effort to read between those lines.  While the Cowboys have full faith and applauded the play of Brad Johnson, they know he is nearing the end of his career.  Bollinger is a five year vet, who at one time led Wisconsin to a Rose Bowl victory.  Bringing him in now, gives the Cowboys insurence in case the unthinkable happens to Romo.  It also give them the opportunity to begin grooming their next backup.  Who knows, with any luck he may mature into the next Jason Garrett, that worked out well last time.


Dallas Cowboys Win Their Season Opener

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The Dallas Cowboys traveled to Cleveland with one goal in mind, start their Super Bowl campaign off with a victory and put their stamp on the 2008 season.  And that is exactly what the Boys did with an impressive 28-10 victory over the Cleveland Browns Sunday afternoon. 

 

Tony Romo and company looked to be in midseason form with they way they assaulted the Browns defense.  While Romo’s 300 yards passing was impressive, it was the play of the Cowboys massive offensive line that was the highlight of the evening.  Romo had all the time he wanted in the pocket to make his reads and find the open receiver.  Even when the Browns did blitz and get to him he managed to snap off a pass for a 30 yard game.  The O-Line also created massive holes for both Marion Barber and Felix Jones to run through as each had 86 and 64 yards respectively.  The Cowboys would score three of their touchdowns on the ground. 

 

Another highlight to the game was the Cowboys also flew home relatively healthy with the exception of Barber, the team’s Pro Bowl back who sat out the final quarter-and-a-half with bruised ribs after rushing 16 times for 80 yards and two touchdowns. X-rays were negative and team trainers seemed optimistic that a follow-up MRI wouldn’t be necessary, though there’s a chance he has some cartilage damage. Felix Jones proved he was ready to step in Barber’s place and filled the void nicely.  In addition Romo required 13 stitches to close a wound on his chin that was busted open when he received a helmet to helmet hit from a Browns D-End.

 

On the defensive side of the ball the Cowboys got off to a slow start allowing the Browns to march down field and score on their opening drive.  However, that drive was sustained thanks to two major penalties on third down that allowed it to stay alive.  The defense was able to bottle up an offense that ranked 8th in the league last season.  Sadly penalties would be the theme of the day for Dallas. The committed 11 in total, and that would have to be considered the low point of the day.  They will not be able to commit that many penalties next week against Philadelphia and expect to be able to cruise to a win. 

 

All in all, Wade Phillips has to be proud of the way his team played in a season opener on the road in a hostile environment.  Sunday’s game very easily could have been a trap game for the Cowboys with Philadelphia looming in the background and all of the Super Bowl or bust talk swirling around the franchise.  Dallas did a good job to remain focused on the job at hand, beating the Cleveland Browns.

 

Next week the competition will step up a level, with all due respect to the Browns, but the Eagles looked amazing on Sunday coasting to a 38-3 win over the Rams.  There is no question the Eagles are back and they are ready to soar.  Bringing a healthy Newman back onto the field will be very important to the Cowboys success next week.  In addition, have Marion Barber at their service would also be helpful.  We will continue to follow and update you on his condition as the week progresses.


Dallas Cowboys Ready to Open the Season

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The Dallas Cowboys are standing on the brink of what could prove to be one of the most important seasons in team history.  Less than 24 hours before their season opener against the Cleveland Browns, and one has to think that everyone associated with the Cowboys has to be anxious and ready to take the field Sunday afternoon to embark on what will feel like the longest season in team history. 

 

Last season the Cowboys went 13-3 won the division but they lost in the first round of the playoffs to the New York Giants. Patrick Crayton is still trying to forget his dropped pass. Roy Williams changed his jersey number in hopes of forgetting his less than stellar performance in coverage. The season was considered a failure, and Romo was ridiculed by any and everyone.

 

The good thing about football is even when you have a disaster season there is always another one coming around the corner.  And for the Dallas Cowboys that new season is here, and the pressure is mounting.  The Cowboys added Adam Jones to their lineup to sure up what had been a shaky secondary.  Tank Johnson is back in game shape and looks to be a beast in the middle of their aggressive 3-4 scheme.  Texas native Zach Thomas is now a Cowboy and adds veteran leadership to the defense.  On offense it is Marion Barber’s time to shine.  He is the starting back and is expected to punish opposing teams.  The lightning to his thunder will be rookie Felix Jones, whose biggest problem this season may be how the Cowboys can get him more touches.  Mr. Romo and T.O. are also back and have in Owens case he is not getting any younger.

 

All the stars are aligned in Big D.  The talent is there without a question.  Last season the Cowboys had 13 Pro-Bowlers, and they could eclipse that number this season.  Everyone believes this team can go to the Super Bowl.  As a result the regular season is almost an after thought.  However, before they can even think Super Bowl, the Dallas Cowboys must take the first step on Sunday against the Cleveland Browns.

 

There is no doubt that as the Cowboys begin their march through the regular season, there theme should be focus.  Focus on the job at hand that means the team they are playing on Sunday.  They cannot allow themselves to look ahead.  Focus on the job that is at hand and once they make the playoffs they can change their theme to completion.


The Cowboys Elect Their Captains

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The Dallas Cowboys gathered and elected their captains for the 2008 season. The captains were elected by the players on the team.  Three groups of captains were voted in to represent the offense, defense and special teams squad.

Captains on Offense: Tony Romo, Jason Witten, Terrell Owens, Marion Barber III

Captains on Defense: Greg Ellis, Ken Hamlin, Bradie James

Special Team Captain: Keith Davis

The captain’s will rotate who will go out to represent the team at coin toss.  In addition the captains are responsible for providing leadership in the locker room and on the field.  


Making the Practice Squad

Last weekend the Dallas Cowboys had cut day and trimmed their roster down to the league mandated 53 men.  And while the Cowboys cut 21 players, they have the opportunity to bring 8 players back as members of the practice squad.  As a member of the practice squad these new players will be paid and have the chance to continue practicing with the Cowboys organization.  More importantly if a player on the 53 man roster goes down with a season ending injury, (which probably will happend judging by training camp)the practice squad is the first place the team will look to add new players.

Here is the list of the 8 men who worked hard and earn themselves a job in the league. 

Danny Amendola
Alonzo Coleman
Tearrius George
Rodney Hannah
Mike Jefferson
Marcus Dixon
Julius Crosslin