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The Cowboys Nation - A Dallas Cowboys Blog | Page 8

Written by Darren | 17 December 2010

Week 1 was a long time ago. The Cowboys were entering the season under Wade Philips with huge hopes of being the first to hosting team to win a Super Bowl. The 'Skins had a new coach, new QB and a new look offense. At the end of the game, the Cowboys drove the field as Romo found Williams in the endzone for the winning TD. Only one problem, a holding call on Alex Barron who was subbing for an injured Marc Colombo which cancelled out the TD and the . The 2010 season was on its way into a downward spiral. This way the season has played out, losing that week 1 game to Washington has made us ask what if Barron wasn't a complete idiot over and over.

Going into week 15, the Cowboys are the better of the two teams, having gone 3-2 in the last 5 games while the Redskins have gone 1-4 in that span. However, the Cowboys are still at the bottom of the division looking up at Washington.

If Dallas is looking for revenge on McNabb for beating them in Week 1, that might have to wait. According to a slew of reports, starting with Jay Glazer of Fox on Sunday, and now ESPN's Chris Mortensen and Mike Florio of profootballtalk.com, Rex Grossman could be the starting quarterback when Washington crawls into town on Sunday.

This game doesn't mean much outside of the Dallas and Washington rivalry. Both teams are headed back to the drawing board when the season wraps up in a few weeks. The Cowboys have looked much better under Garrett so I am hopeful that the Cowboys find a way to win this game.

So who wins? I'll take Dallas 24-17

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Written by Darren | 10 December 2010

This is a game we all circled when the schedule came out before the season as it was a matchup that could have had huge possibilities.  The Dallas Cowboys had the Philadelphia Eagles' number in 2009, winning all three meetings between the longtime NFC East rivals that included a convincing playoff victory.

But that was last season.

The Eagles remain a top contender for the division crown entering Sunday's showdown at Cowboys Stadium, and defending NFC East champion Dallas has been reduced to the role of spoiler something Cowboys fans would love to see for this matchup.

Under Garrett, Dallas has bore more of a resemblance to the team that ended Philadelphia's 2009 campaign with a 34-14 pasting in January's NFC Wild Card Playoffs, one week after the Cowboys dominated the Eagles by a 20-0 count to capture the division title.

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Written by Darren | 06 December 2010

One of the greatest in our history.... RIP Don!!

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Written by Darren | 03 December 2010

For the second week in a row, the Cowboys get to play a team that played in Super Bowl XLIV. This weeks matchup could probably be billed as a matchup between two teams that are having seasons no one expected. On one side you have the Cowboys who will have to take a long look at why things played out the way they did and come up with answers for 2011. On the other side you have the Colts, that have been playing the entire season trying to survive injuries at key positions with backup players and to their credit have had those players step up and become productive players but we are used to talk of resting Peyton Manning in the upcoming weeks at this point in the season so this season has been a little disappointing for Colts fans.

Despite all the injuries, the Colts still have two of the most dynamic players in the NFL in Manning and Dwight Freeney.

The Cowboys are coming off a heartbreaking loss at home against the defending champion New Orleans Saints. The Colts are coming off a loss where they were absolutely manhandled by the San Diego Chargers, one week after losing a tough battle on the road to the Patriots on a Peyton Manning interception after a late rally.

So what are we looking at for the Cowboys this week? Last week Jay Ratliff, Keith Brooking and Bradie James did a solid job against the Saints so look for the Cowboys to attack the middle of the pocket against the Colts. Manning does have mobility but he has had problems with a rush that is in his face this season.  If the Cowboys can squeeze the pocket from the outside, inside pressure could create inaccurate passes from Manning and will be up to the other guys on the field to create oppurtunities from those mistakes.

On the other side of the ball, the Colts Colts have two outstanding pressure players in Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis so the O-line is going to have their hands full giving Kitna time that he needs. Cowboys offensive tackle Doug Free will draw the difficult assignment of stopping Freeney so that is certainly a matchup to watch all afternoon. Look for Jason Witten, Martellus Bennett, or one of the backs to help Marc Colombo on the right side who gets the job of stopping Mathis.

Barber is questionable for this game and Tashard Choice would fill in nicely. I think Choice has better vision of the field and oppurtunities than Felix Jones and runs with the power that Barber ususally has. Garrett has to do all he can this week to help his defense not have to play a large number of minutes against Manning otherwise this team could get in trouble quickly.

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Written by Darren | 01 December 2010

jonesHaving played on Thanksgiving, Jason Garrett got a little more time to prepare for week 13 but his tough road as interim head coach of the Dallas Cowboys continues as the Cowboys head to Indianapolis to take on Peyton Manning and the Colts.

Dallas, who is 2-1 under Jason Garrett is coming off a 30-27 Thanksgiving day loss against the New Orleans Saints, a game that was well within their grasps. Dallas trailed by 17 points on two occasions and somehow found themselves in a position to win the game but a Roy Williams fumble proved costly as Drew Brees marched his Saints down the field for the winning TD.

The Colts are coming off back-to-back losses to the Patriots and Chargers and are fighting for a playoff spot, which is not a place the Colts usually find themselves come week 13 of the NFL season. The Jaguars  and Colts share the same record, both 6-5 but Jags the currently lead the AFC South by virtue of a tiebreaker, as they beat the Colts earlier in the season. Tennessee and Houston remain in the mix as well, both with a 5-6.

Peyton Manning hasn't looked like Peyton Manning. He has thrown nine interceptions in his last four games, lost 3 games and has only thrown seven touchdowns in that span. Still, the Colts can control their own destiny as they have three divisional games out to play.

It is sounding like Dallas will be short one Marion Barber as he is dealing with a calf injury. As a result, Tashard Choice looks to climb the depth chart and fill in for Barber. It will be a good chance to show Jerry and Jason what exactly the Cowboys have with Choice as the team figures out who will or won't be around next season.

The Colts and Cowboys last played in 2006 when Dallas won, 21-14 and this is the first trip to Indy for Dallas since 2002.

Our preview and predictions on this game will be up on Friday.

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Written by Darren | 30 November 2010

Cowboys wide receiver Roy Williams is fifth on the team in catches (32), fourth in yards (469)
and tied for second in touchdowns (five). Yes, one could say Williams is having a decent year, far better than 2009 when he had 38 receptions for 596 yards and seven touchdowns in 15 games but on Monday, Williams said he's been the Cowboys' most consistent receiver in 2010.

I'm sorry, in what was one of the biggest plays of the season, Williams found himself yards from the endzone, where a TD would have meant burying the Saints on Thanksgiving Day but he let Malcolm Jenkins not only catch him but strip the ball from him as well.

That is NOT my definition of consistent.

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Written by Darren | 29 November 2010

The Cowboys are coming off their first loss of the Jason Garrett era to the Saints, 30-27. After that loss and a nice holiday weekend, I had some thoughts on this Monday morning.

1. It might be time to start Felix Jones or Tashard Choice Sunday in Indy. Marion Barber has a strained calf and his status is uncertain. Barber is one of the toughest guys on the team, he will play in pain, through injury to help his team. He's said in the past it's not about who starts, it's about helping the team. With Barber nicked up to the point where he could miss the Colts, game, Choice or Jones could start.

2. The offensive line has played much better the last few weeks, but the future of it is uncertain. It starts with offensive line coach Hudson Houck and whether or not he will come back next year. The Cowboys could clean house among their coaching staff, so a new way of teaching things to the line could be instituted. Left guard Kyle Kosier is an unrestricted free agent. While he's not a high-profile name such as Leonard Davis and Andre Gurode or even Doug Free for that matter, Kosier is a solid player. But the Cowboys might go younger at this position for next year. Same goes with right tackle Marc Colombo, who is not a free agent, but you wonder if Sam Young is ready to play right tackle?

3. Dez Bryant went off on the sidelines on Thanksgiving Day. The problem with this is nobody knows what was said. Bryant hasn't spoken to the media in weeks and nobody asked Garrett or receivers coach Ray Sherman about Bryant's rant. It's easy to say Bryant is mad for not getting any catches vs. the Saints, but what's wrong with that? Playmakers want the ball. Simple. Now there is a way of going about things. Bryant could take a lesson from Miles Austin and Roy E. Williams of how to do it on the sidelines and in meetings rooms. You have to be professional. Bryant is still learning.

4. Has Garrett done enough to get the job fulltime? His 2-1 mark makes him the favorite, but Jerry Jones will do his homework and interview the right candidates and see if somebody else is better. Whoever the coach is will have to shakeup the roster and coaching staff. The roster is the hard problem with both safeties becoming free agents, a left guard who is a free agent, the possibility of moving Bryant into the starting lineup, and whether or not Sean Lee is ready to start at inside linebacker are some of the questions. The offseason not only will be hard for Jones in terms of finding the right coach, but Jones the GM has some hard choices to make with the new coach, whether it's Garrett or not, about the roster.

5. With any outside hope of sneaking into the playoffs buried by the loss to New Orleans, the talk about Romo returning this season should shut down. Garrett doesn't need him to prove to Jerry Jones that he can handle the job as head coach, so Romo shouldn't return to the field this season, not in my eyes anyway.

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Written by Darren | 24 November 2010

When people think of Thanksgiving, traditions are always front and center. What is more traditional than the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day?  The matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and New Orleans Saints should be the best game of the three scheduled for Thursday.  That fact is somewhat surprising given the Cowboys’ now infamous struggles this season but the team has shown renewed competitive fire under interim coach Jason Garrett.  The Saints are rounding into form after a sluggish start and are now looking like a team that could potentially defend their Superbowl championship.

The Cowboys are looking to put together three impressive wins in a row but the Saints won't make that easy. The fact is, the Cowboys aren't going to be playing any football once week 17 is in the books but they have the opportunity to try and salvage a monumentally disappointing season. If the Cowboys were to finish 8-8 or even 9-7 this season, I think most Cowboys fans would take it. Sure, its not a Super Bowl or a playoff appearence but where this season was headed just a few short weeks ago, those records would be somewhat impressive.

Some Game Note To Get You Started

COWBOYS:  The Cowboys are 27-14-1 on Thanksgiving, including 4 consecutive wins. Jon Kitna is 2-0 in career vs. the Saints and aims for 3rd in row with 3+ TDs & 120+ rating. Felix Jones has 9 career TDs (7 rush, 1 rec., 1 KR) & averages 49.8 yards per TD (448 yards) and Marion Barber rushed for 2 TDs in last meeting…WMiles Austin had 7 catches for 139 yards & TD in last game vs. NO.  Jason Witten aims for his 3rd Thanksgiving in row with 100+ yards. Bryan McCann had 97-yard PR-TD last week & is 1st rookie ever with 97+ yard TD in consecutive games (101-yard INT-TD in Wk 10).  Terence Newman usually shows up on Thanksgiving as he has 4 INTs in past 6 Thanksgiving games.

SAINTS:  In only start at Dallas QB DREW BREES completed 26 of 38 (68.4 pct.) for 384 yards with 5 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 140.8 rating.  When Brees has 120+ rating, his teams are 24-1. Reggie Bush had 162 yards in last game at Dallas including 6 catches for 125 yards & TD.  Julius Jones spent 1st 4 seasons with Dallas & rushed for 150 yards & 2 TDs on Thanksgiving in 2004. Jeremy Shockey had career-high 12 catches & 129 yards with TD in last game in. Dallas (11/11/07 with NYG) and as we know, HATES Dallas.J Jonathan Vilma had 14 tackles & sack in last meeting…

Knocking off the reigning Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints for his third straight win since taking over the Dallas Cowboys would be one heck of a Thanksgiving feat for Jason Garrett. Of couse we will always remember the Nov. 24, 1994 against the Packers as the ultimate Thanksgiving win for Jason Garrett.


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Written by Darren | 23 November 2010

We haven't heard much out of the mouth of Wade Philips since he was shown the door two weeks ago but he did a radio interview with Hall of Famer and former Buffalo Bills and Washington Redskins defensive end Bruce Smith on Monday night. Of course the subject of coaching in the NFL came up and like all coaches, Wade wants to coach but he certainly had an interesting prespective on his time in Dallas.

"You know, we went 34-22, which is pretty good," Phillips said on the Bruce Smith show. "I went out as the same winning percentage of Tom Landry, so I don’t feel bad about my head-coaching career."

Wait...WHAT?? You didn't just compare yourself to the legendary Tom Landry did you? Oh yea, you did!! Lets take it from the top. Tom Landry had a career winning percentage of .607 and Wade Philips Phillips was .579 for his career but he was .621 with the Cowboys, so techinically his winning percentage is better although his tenure was much shorter and there is so much more to it than simple math.

Tom Landry won 14 division championships, 5 conference championships and 2 Super Bowls, Wade Philips was 1-2 in playoff games and won 2 division championships. Tom Landry had 20 consecutive winning seasons while Wade Philips wasn't even able to string together 4 winning seasons. Sure, you can make the argument that the league is different than during the Landry era and Jerry Jones is way more of a meddling ass than Murchison or "Bum" Bright ever was which makes the head coaches job that much harder.

While Wade Philips might not be as bad a coach as the 2010 season led us to believe, to bring your name up with a great like Tom Landry is just plain crazy. If you want to say you were better than Barry Switzer, ok, we might give you that one but then again, he did win us a Super Bowl!!

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Written by Darren | 22 November 2010

Yes, the Cowboys are 2-0 under Jason Garrett but lets be real before we get too carried away. Those wins came against the Giants, who I feel aren't really a good football team and the Detroit Lions, who haven't won in the road since Kitna and Roy Williams played for them. However, I will give the Cowboys some credit for yesterdays win and the did do some things correctly.

Kitna turned in a remarkably efficient performance in Sunday's 35-19 win over the Detroit Lions, finishing off his former team with his feet. He's accounted for seven touchdowns -- six passing, one rushing -- and only one turnover during the 3-7 Cowboys' back-to-back wins.

In the first two months of the season, the Cowboys didn't get any breaks or make enough plays but now you start to wonder if things might be changing for the Cowboys. Last week McCann took an interception 101 yards to the house and yesterday he snatched a batted ball near the end zone and return the punt 97 yards for a touchdown. Marion Barber reminded us of what the us that he used to close games for us. In the fourth quarter, he rushed 10 times for 36 yards with one run going for 24 yards.

There is the defense as a whole, not blitzing as much and playing more zone coverage and not worrying about the offense. Against the Lions, the Cowboys had three sacks, forced one fumble, picked off one pass and compiled eight quarterback hurries and five pass breakups.

The reality is that the Cowboys are still a 3-7 team and not headed to the postseason. However, the next six weeks of the season will determine a lot. There is that Thanksgiving Day game against the New Orleans Saints, whom Garrett noted are still the defending champions. The next road game is at Indianapolis, and did you forget the Eagles play the Cowboys twice in the next six weeks? The Cowboys have bought into Garrett's message for the first two weeks, and how he handles things during the last six weeks will determine his long-term status.

It was a good win yesterday, good to get some momentum but its a short week this week and the mighty mighty Saints roll into town on Thursday.

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