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Game Recaps

Dallas Cowboys Game Recaps

Written by Darren | 12 December 2011

I hope the Cowboys at least wrapped their gift that they gave to the Giants last night. I’m sorry, call me a homer but you can’t tell me how great Eli Manning is because the truth is, on their final drive the Cowboys GAVE the Giants another chance by lining up in the neutral zone which negated a bad snap for the Giants and then handed them another first down on a holding call.

The defense in this game was just terrible and Eli did what I feared he would do, which was just kill our secondary.  And Mike Jenkins, come on dude, I’ve seen Pop Warner kids tougher than you. This guy makes the training staff earn their money.

The truth is this: Rob Ryan’s defense GAVE them that game, Eli didn’t earn it. I’ll admit that Eli has done some amazing things this season but last night was not one of them. Our secondary is pure crap and Eli, like a lot of teams this season showed us that time and time again.  True, it wasn’t all bad last night. Romo had a decent night and I don’t put the loss on him at all. He floated that ball out there for Austin who should have come up with the catch. You could tell that sitting on the bench behind Murray didn’t sit well with Felix Jones because he got the opportunity to show us what he had and he brought it, all night. It does feel a little like de ja vu as our kicking game is what ultimately failed in the end. Bailey is a decent kicker but he’s had 2 very bad endings in consecutive weeks.

While I don’t believe that this is actually the nail in the coffin for the Cowboys, I do believe that it really doesn’t matter of that much because I don’t think either team has the defense to stop either New Orleans or Green Bay in the playoffs.

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Written by Darren | 05 December 2011

I’ve been asked all morning about my thoughts on the loss to the Arizona Cardinals. Truthfully, it’s the kind of loss that some teams never recover from. The type that you can look back at the end of the season and say that was the turning point, RIGHT THERE.

There is lots of blame to go around but let’s start with the guy that shouldn’t be making mistakes when it counts. Clock management shouldn’t be something a head coach screws up but Garrett did. I guess they didn’t teach Time Management 101 in Princeton. We all know Garrett should've called a timeout after Bryant's catch and run at least one more play to gain a few more yards instead of wasting 17 critical seconds. Then if the Cowboys have to settle for a 49-yard field goal, fine, but no coach in his his right mind chooses to win a game with a kick that long.

To add insult to injury, Garrett noticed the clock running down and called a timeout as Bailey approached the ball. Bailey made the kick or at least he thought he did but it didn't count because Garrett iced his own kicker.

Like I said, he’s not the only one to blame.

The running game was pure crap yesterday. Obviously Murray misses Fiammetta. In the past two games, with Fiammetta out, Murray has averaged 2.9 and 4.0 yards-per-attempt respectively.  Dallas certainly needs to fix this part of the offense quickly because it’s what made them successful against Seattle and Buffalo.

The running game could be a result of the o-line as well. Maybe they aren’t opening holes? They sure didn’t do a good job protecting Romo yesterday as they let the Cardinals sack Romo 5 times, which is a season high (or in my opinion season worst!!).

Orlando Scandrick had two costly special team penalties. He was called for an illegal block in the back twice, the last time, negating a Bryant punt return ending deep in Arizona's territory.

The thing is, the Cowboys had a chance and they blew it. That’s the way this team seems to play this season, always giving the other team a chance to win. This was their third OT game of the season and this time, didn’t come away with the win. The Cowboys play too many close games in my opinion.

Now, Dallas much get ready for a Giants team that almost knocked off the Packers. If they Giants finish out playing like they did yesterday, THEY will be the NFC East champ, NOT Dallas. There is a lot of work to do this week.

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Written by Darren | 21 November 2011

Thank you Dan Bailey!! or should we thank Graham Gano for missing a 52 yarder in OT. There was one play during the game I had to laugh at. Tashard Choice busted out an 8 yard run and looked over at are sideline all pumped like yeah yeah but then the rest of the day, I watched Choice get stuffed, stuffed and stuffed again. Yup, that's why we cut you pal!!

Yesterday was frustrating to watch because after killing the Bills, they come up with a game like that. They should have had an easier time with the Skins but that's the rivalry and I'm convinced that one team could be 15-0 and the other 0-15 and you still wouldn't know what to expect from these two teams meeting. ALWAYS exciting, nailbiting football...

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Written by Darren | 14 November 2011

Where has THAT team been all season? The Cowboys played an amazing game from the start to the finish. Romo was on fire, Witten was on fire, Bryant made some spectacular catches and the Defense put in their best effort of the season. If the Cowboys had played like that all year, we could be talking about not only winning the Division but challenging the Packers for the NFC.

And that my friends is what was extremely frustrating about yesterday’s game. We know this team is talented on both sides of the ball but it rarely shows. Now before you get all on me about never being happy, trust me, I was extremely excited about yesterday’s performance.

I’ll admit I was completely wrong about what the Cowboys/Bills game would be. The Cowboys destroyed them and by doing so, have taken my hopes to new heights. The Cowboys trail the Giants by one game and have a pretty easy schedule where the Giants have a brutal schedule.

So what will we talk about this week? I’m sure this week will be about how great Tony Romo is, how he’s just the guy we want as our QB. See, I said it recently, he gets too much blame and too much credit, well prepare for a week of too much credit.  Felix Jones might be back and the way Murray has been playing, Jones might as well go return kicks or something. This job belongs to Murray.

There is going to be  a lot of talk this week, especially with the Skins coming up so for now, I am going to go enjoy how I feel about the Cowboys!!

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Written by Darren | 07 November 2011

Yes, the Cowboys won the game and yes, they did so without the game coming down to the final possession. However, there were things I witnessed during the game yesterday that bothered me. I’m grateful for the win, although it was a game that the Cowboys were supposed to win but I worry that in a close game, these things could come back and bite us.

• The return game is awful. I was all for Dez taking over the punt return duties despite the injury risks but the first punt he returned, he fielded at the 5 and ended up at the 2. I'm certainly NOT in favor of those kind of mistakes. Then, after Seattle tied the game at 3, Olgetree took the kickoff out from deep in the endzone, or should I say stumbled out of the endzone, made a small cut and then stumbled some more. I’m wondering if Joe DeCamillis is telling his players he wants returns at all costs because you don’t field a punt at the 5 and you don’t run out a deep kickoff if you’re barely going to make it to the 10 yard line.

• I know the term “powerhouse” isn’t a term you would associate with the Dallas Cowboys but the coaching staff proved to us that they don’t believe this team is that either. How do you end up 1st and goal in the 18 inch line and not once call up a running play? Even if you move the ball 6 inches each time you run it, you still end up in the endzone in 3 plays. Instead, they call 3 passing plays and ended up with 4th and goal from the 2. WTF???!!!

• When the subject of Dez Bryant comes up, one particular movie quote comes to mind.  (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUcHUSDB53M) Seriously, what is this guy’s deal? You screw up the punt return and then he had a nice catch and run but ended up fumbling the ball on the 2. He had four catches for 76 yards but for the fourth time this season had zero catches in the second half. I’m tired of the comparisons to Michael Irvin because if Irvin had stretches where he didn’t catch a single ball in the second half, the Cowboys wouldn’t have been as successful as they were. There is a reason he was nicknamed "The Playmaker."

• While the Defense created 3 turnovers and blocked a field goal, they still got burned by Lynch for 135 yards running the same kind of plays that McCoy ran last week. It won’t take a genius of a coordinator to pop in tapes from the last 2 weeks and find the recipe for a successful ground game against our defense.

The bottom line is the Seattle is not a great team and the Cowboys should have been able to put in a performance like they did against the Rams. They didn’t and the game was up in the air going into the fourth quarter. Thankfully they did find a way to win and while I highlighted the bad things above, they did do some good things as well.

• Demarco Murray has had 3 straight games where he has looked pretty good. It makes you wonder where this team would be had Felix Jones not gotten hurt. Wait, isn’t that they way that Miles Austin found his place on the team? When Jones gets healthy, I certainly hope they’ll leave DeMarco where he is and let Felix Jones go back to being that guy comes in for a handful of carries and pass attempts and turns those few carries into big plays. Let DeMarco take the load because it looks like he can handle it.

• Tony Romo – 19 of 31, 2 touchdowns and wasn’t sacked so a good performance from him. He had trouble in the red zone but a lot of that came down to play calling from Jason Garrett. I don’t wish anyone to get fired but should the Chargers continue their disappointing season and should Norv Turner find himself out of a job, I would love to see Norv back in Dallas as the Offensive Coordinator next season. I do have to laugh at the Cowboys fans a bit though. At one point Romo was near the endzone, took off running and saw 4 defenders in front of him and opted to slide instead of putting the shoulder down. That decision was meant with a bunch of boo birds, the same birds that criticized him for putting the shoulder down against the Jets and coughing up points. No matter what he does, he can’t please anyone. Thank you Tony for being smart and not costing us 3 points!! I do think Tony is feeling better and hopefully we will see more performances like this in the second half of the season.

Dallas has some things to fix and the task at hand next week is a tough one. The Buffalo Bills are a decent football team but coming off a loss to the Jets. I’m sure Chan Gailey would want nothing more than to bring his Bills into Cowboys Stadium and hand his former team a big fat L.

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Written by Darren | 01 November 2011

My apologies..This post was delayed due to the foot of snow and massive power outages my neighborhood received over the weekend.

Remember when I was talking about how the Cowboys need to win their division in order to make the playoffs? Forget that, this team doesn’t deserve to make the playoffs after that performance last night. They’ve proved two things over the last two weeks. 1) They can beat up on a weak team at home and 2) they have no business playing the elite teams of the NFL. This Eagles team we played isn’t the same Eagles team that began the season, so yes, they are an Elite team.

I don’t think there is anything good that came from last night. Tony Romo and his inability to control his offense has me, the guy that has defended him while the rest of the world was beating down on him wondering if maybe I was wrong. Maybe Tony could be a great QB in a place like Cleveland but maybe he’s in over his head as the Dallas Cowboys QB.I don’t want to think that but I was really disgusted to see what we saw from him last night. The offense just had no momentum all night long.

Please tell me the defense didn’t make the flight from Dallas/Ft.Worth to Philadelphia. Or please tell me they got the same snow storm in Philly that I got and the defense stayed in a different hotel and didn’t get to the stadium. Something, anything because there was nothing to like about what they put on the field last night either.

Here are a few quick thoughts:

• Martellus Bennett didn't help his cause with fans and the media with his bobbling of a Tony Romo pass leading to an interception. Why this guy is still on the team is beyond me.

• Paging Anthony Spencer…Anthony Spencer please pick up the white courtesy phone. It’s the Dallas Defense wondering where the hell you’ve been the last few weeks.

• Dez Bryany is a talented receiver, no one is going to argue that. But his sideline antics are becoming a problem. I get that you are frustrated but don’t go the T.O. route and start being an a-hole to the guys around you and the media.

• Sean Lee has a dislocated left wrist and said he's not sure if he'll play Sunday vs. the Seattle Seahawks. Lee hurt the wrist trying to tackle Michael Vick in the first half on Sunday. That leaves Brooking and James to take over for Lee, and I didn’t like what I saw from either of them on Sunday night.

• Tashard Choice said “It’s a blessing” to have gotten cut by the Cowboys on Monday. You’re right Tashard, THANK GOD they ran your ass out of town!!

Here is the good news I will give you. If the Cowboys can fix whatever went wrong in practice this week, their schedule gets a little easier over the next 5 weeks.
Realistically, they could go 4-1 and improve their record to 7-5. Wins over Seattle, Washington, Miami and Arizona are very possible. The way Buffalo is playing makes me doubt that game.

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Written by Darren | 24 October 2011

When a winless team, who is without their starting QB, comes into your building, you are SUPPOSED to crush them. That is EXACTLY what happened yesterday and it was a much needed game for this team as the Cowboys had 11 consecutive “barn burners” going into yesterday.

Let’s start with the running game because that was probably the biggest difference in the game yesterday.  I’ll admit that I didn’t have a lot of confidence in DeMarco Murray. I mean up until yesterday he really hadn’t show us much but what a day he had. Let me step away for that for one second and also congratulate Philip Tanner. Tanner carried the ball six times for 34 yards and a touchdown in the fourth quarter.  It’s not close to what Murray did but its reason enough to believe in a Murray/Tanner 1-2 punch going forward. Tashard Choice should have returned to the locker room after the game to find his stuff moved out to the parking lot. He’s a waste, a complete waste and maybe via trade, Choice could be something positive in the end for the Cowboys.

What a performance that was by DeMarco Murray! He rushed for a franchise and rookie record 253 yards. It was the 10th best rushing day in league history. Murray's 91-yard score was probably one of the more explosive plays of the season and certainly set the tone for the game. His name is now up there in Cowboy history with guys like Emmitt Smith and if he can continue to keep his name up there with Emmitt Smith, the future looks promising.

A few other notes:

• Tony Romo had a quiet day was 14 for 24 with 166 yards and 2 TD’s

• Dez Bryant had only one catch at halftime but then had 4 catches in the 2nd half, including a 4th quarter TD.

• Abram Elam led  the Cowboys with eight tackles and supported the run with three tackles for loss

• DeMarcus Ware picked up his eighth sack of the season and forced an A.J. Feeley fumble on the play as well. Ware tied Tony Tolbert for the most sacks by a Cowboy through the first six games of a season since sacks became an official stat in 1982.

The Cowboys now get ready for an important NFC East matchup because no one has really stood up in that division and taken command yet, so with the Giants on a bye this week, the Cowboys are now right on their heels (although they take on a pathetic Miami Dolphins team next week).

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Written by Darren | 17 October 2011

Brady HAS to be saying "Tony, Dude, HOW did you not win this one? You really do suck don't you!!"

I can’t really defend this team anymore. I understand that they did a great job shutting down the Patriots offense for much of the afternoon but to sit here and say I’m happy with this team despite the loss would be an out and out lie.

Once again it comes down to the Cowboys performance in the 4th quarter that hurts them. This team can’t for the life of them seem to play a complete 60 minutes. I really believe the Cowboys could be, should be 5-0 at this point.

There were 3 drives made by the Cowboys during the 4th quarter yesterday where the game was lost. Had they been successful on just one of those drives, I believe we’d be sitting at 3-2. The first drive was the one that ended up tying the game at 13. The problem wasn’t that they got points but that they had a 1st and goal and couldn’t come away with 6. The second drive that was a problem was a mirror image of the first drive. Again, 1st and goal and again they come away with only 3 points to give them a 16-13 lead. They left the chance to be up 24 -13. That drive really angered me because Romo decided to try a quick shovel pass on 3rd down instead of throwing it to Bryant, who had single man coverage in the end zone. The defense did a great job holding the Patriots to a 3 and out but it was the final Cowboys drive that takes the blame for the loss. How do you go 3 and out when you know that a first down will run a lot more time off the clock and make it really difficult for the Patriots? I’m losing
confidence in the Cowboys’ offense because when you need it most, it disappears.

The running game is absolutely crap. Felix Jones doesn’t appear to be the kind of guy that can take the abuse of being the #1 RB for 16 games. DeMarco Murray, while looking decent at times, didn’t do anything to help the passing game. As for Choice, there is a rumor of teams inquiring about obtaining him via trade and I would certainly be open for it.

The Cowboys play a really bad St. Louis Rams next week and that is a must win. There is no excuse to come away with anything but a win next week.

So am I being too hard on this team? Are you happy that the Cowboys are in these game and think that with a little tweaking, things could change?

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Written by Darren | 03 October 2011

At the end of every season you can usually look back on your season schedule and pick out a game that has changed the course of the entire season. For me, 2010 was the Monday Night game against the Giants mainly because that is where we lost Romo. While it is too early to start  doing that for 2011, the game against the Lions could be that game.

The problem with the Cowboys is that they’ve won 2 games in my opinion that they had no business winning and they lost 2 games that they should have won. Personally, I am getting tired of the dramatic games and while it makes for entertaining football, I certainly wouldn’t mind a game where the Cowboys come out and dominate every aspect of the game from minute 1 to minute 60.

I’ve defended Tony Romo in the past but when you have a performance like Tony had yesterday, even I start to wonder about Tony. I’m forever hopeful that something in his brain will kick in and say “hey, you’re on your back foot, don’t float one downfield” but it is starting to get old.
Let’s look at some of the other things from yesterday.

Laurent Robinson – I didn’t think he had a good game against Washington but he had 116 yards on 7 receptions. While he didn’t have and Touchdowns, I do think he proved he is a capable receiver and should push Olgetree off the depth chart once Miles Austin returns.

Dez Bryant – For 20 mins, he looked like he was going to be a beast in this game. Bryant had three receptions for 37 yards, including a couple of leaping touchdown receptions, with 10:58 remaining in the second quarter. He didn’t have a reception the rest of the game and only saw 2 balls thrown his way in the final 40 minutes.

Dallas D – I tweeted yesterday that while I wasn’t happy about losing the game, the fact that the defense gave up 34 points was the point of the game that was really bothering me. Our defense is better than this. In their last four drives the Lions had at least 15 empty-set formations with wide receivers, tight ends or running backs flanked wide and that proved to be too much for our defense to handle.

Calvin Johnson – I knew he’d kill us and he did. He’s arguably the best player in the league right now.

The season isn’t over and we aren’t out of anything at this point. The 2009 and 2006 Cowboys also started the season 2-2 and both ended up going to the playoffs. The 2005 Cowboys also came out of the gates 2-2 but missed the playoffs. Dallas has a week off to fix certain issues and get healthy. The problem is, the New England Patriots are the next team we get to play and that certainly not an easy way to come back off a bye.

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Written by Darren | 27 September 2011

The Cowboys walked away from Monday night with a win but let’s be honest, they were lucky to walk away from that game with a win. I give Tony Romo credit because even though he didn’t lead his team to any touchdowns, he had to battle. He battled the pain of his broken ribs, a horrible performance by his line and receivers that looked like they just joined the team this weekend.
The problem with playing Monday night is that the Cowboys now face a short week and they have a lot to fix before they play the Detroit Lions who (and I never thought I’d say this) look like a damn good football team.

So I had a few thoughts from last night:

Phil Costa: What a horrible performance from this man last night. I’d almost feel better about it if he had come up with some other excuse like the noise level was too much to hear Romo, or that he had an inner ear infection, a few drinks before the game, etc. ANYTHING is better than the real reason he snapped the ball early 4 #@$ times. Costa was so confused by the Redskins D barking fake snap counts at him that he snapped the ball while Romo was busy calling out audibles or coverage instructions and he did 4 times.

Kevin Olgetree: When running with the ball, make sure you cover and protect. When lining up for a snap, make sure you line up on the correct side of the formation. AND FOR GODS SAKE DON’T STOP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROUTE!! He’s our best option for a #3 receiver??

Martellus Bennett: What exactly is your purpose on this team? You don’t run block very well and you can’t catch a ball to save your life.

DeMarcus Ware: I thought the Redskins were holding him all night and in fact he was even tackled by the ankles at one point during a pass rush and no flags were thrown. He eventually got his sack but I thought it was a frustrating night for him because of the lack of calls.

Running Game: Like most of the season, the running game was absent for most of the game. The good news is that Felix Jones eventually busted out some good runs in the second half but the bad news is that Jones missed the final drive of the game after hurting his shoulder again. Tashard Choice sucks…PERIOD. I don’t know why he’s continues to waste a roster spot. He hasn’t shown me anything in the years he’s been here and for me, he’s completely unreliable. DeMarco Murray is a rookie so I’ll pass on criticizing him because its only week 3 but that won’t last long.

The Refs: Stunk in this game. Like I mentioned earlier, I thought the Redskins held Ware all night but my fandom could be getting in the way there. I don’t understand how you call Ball for hitting a defenseless receiver on the play they did but didn’t think about throwing the flag on LaRon Landry when he hit a defenseless Laurent Robinson in the first half. I actually thought they missed a few Cowboys jumping offsides during the course of the game as well.

Sean Lee:  You are awesome and one of the few players to actually feel good about. It certainly seemed like you were making a lot of plays when the Cowboys really needed them.

Can you tell that I am not happy with this team at the moment? Bottom line is that a win is a win but don’t think for one minute that I walk away from last night enjoying this win. When you play like garbage, it will eventually catch up to you. I can’t imagine how Redskins feel this morning, losing to a team that made mistakes all night. The Cowboys have A LOT to fix by Sunday when the (again, never thought I’d say this) red hot Lions come marching into town.

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