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Old 09-18-2013, 10:46 PM    (permalink
E-Man
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Just a random thought I had talking with my brother today. Have you guys ever noticed that every time the defense plays well the offense suffers and vice versa. When is the last time both sides were playing well on both ends without having to pick up the slack on the other end? It's one of the reasons why they have been 8-8 the past two years, and I think it's something that has to change to go far this season. I still have faith in my pick though. It's way too early to go jumping off the ledge.
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Old 09-19-2013, 08:12 AM    (permalink
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The Dallas Cowboys’ problems running the ball begin with poor blocking.

That was the case last season, when the Cowboys ranked second to last in the league in rushing offense, setting a franchise record for futility. That was the case again last weekend in Kansas City, when DeMarco Murray gained only 25 yards on 12 carries.

“They weren’t really moving anybody off the ball,” former Eagles and Redskins pro personnel director Louis Riddick said during a Wednesday appearance on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM’s Fitzsimmons and Durrett.
THIS is exactly why I was complaining all off season. Murray is getting his share of the blame too but when you have the 31st ranked rushing attack and your GM ignores the problems on the line, other than Center, what do you expect? I realize its early and Waters hasnt played much yet but how much can you expect from him? He hasnt played in over a year. The good news is, Free has played great so far. I think I read that PFF has him rated as the #3 Tackle up to now.
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Old 09-19-2013, 11:07 AM    (permalink
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I hate blaming the offensive line. Hate it. There are so many teams in the NFL with poor lines and are still able to successfully move the ball. Our offensive game plan and execution is just inferior to most teams in the league.
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Old 09-19-2013, 01:46 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by crisco0710 View Post
I hate blaming the offensive line. Hate it. There are so many teams in the NFL with poor lines and are still able to successfully move the ball. Our offensive game plan and execution is just inferior to most teams in the league.
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Old 09-19-2013, 02:25 PM    (permalink
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I did finally get a chance to watch the entire game. I thought the OL pass protection was excellent, especially in the 2nd half. Tony did a good job of getting rid of the ball when they blitzed too. To my shocking surprise the OL did not commit another penalty after the Leary false start in the 2nd qtr. I kept thinking it was going to come at any time, but the only other false start was on Dwayne Harris. The OL did not commit any holding penalties all game either. ...unless it just slipped my mind.

On the other hand, the run blocking was just not there. Although, you really do have to credit KC. Can't just blame us for not executing. They really are a strong front 7 and even their secondary did well coming up to stuff the run. The more I think about it the more I wonder if that might be the toughest defense we face this year. Certainly it looks like it could be one of them.

Frederick gave up 2 sacks to Poe. On one he just got beat by an excellent swim move. On the other, it appeared like he just missed his assignment. Poe was left unblocked while TF and Leary double teamed whoever it was to TF's left side. Murry could've come up to block Poe, but it didn't look like he knew that was going to be his assignment. Just another case of missed execution and communication. Not for lack of talent. Cause Frederick did a good job on keeping Poe at bay the rest of the game.

Overall, if we continue to get that kind of protection for Romo and continue to keep the penalties down I like our chances from here forward. 1 false start... I'll take that every day of the week. Even though Leary's was pretty costly. I thought Waters did very well for his first game back. Nice to not have a game where we thought Bernadeau cost us a lot of breakdowns.
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Old 09-19-2013, 02:38 PM    (permalink
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More thoughts...

George Selvie is a freaking stud! That guy who was a beast in college is finally showing up. I gotta credit Kiffin on this one. Seems like Selvie is finally in a system that allows him to showcase his skills.

I'm already scratching off DE from my list of early draft consideration. I also think Fat Spencer is gonna be let go. Spencer used to be that guy who didn't always rack up the sacks but he did excel in stuffing the run and last Sunday, he lost containment on his side to Alex Smith and Jamaal Charles. First game back jitters can't be a continuing excuse for him, so I hope he starts to get his act together.

Sean Lee and Bruce Carter are special. Yeah, Carter missed a tackle on one memorable play, but I just love his instincts to blitz and get to the QB! His sack was sickness.

Jason Hatcher is playing out of his mind! This system fits him so much better! I hope he can keep up this pace and not get hurt. *knock on wood* Been happy with Hayden too.

Barry Church had an up and down game but I was satisfied with his play for the most part. Alex Smith has never been a downfield thrower so Chuch didn't get exposed this time, but I still have those concerns in the back of my mind. Run support was A-OK though! Will Allen is a JAG. A big position of upgrade imo.

Starting to get worried about playing Mo through his injury. Maybe he should sit out until it gets better. Worried we might ruin him. Carr is a complete stud. Best outside signing we've made in a long time.
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Old 09-19-2013, 02:44 PM    (permalink
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The thing we need to fix is our play design (both run and pass) and we need to start going more vertical. The pass protection is FINALLY there. We have all the pieces to do what the Patriots do in airing it out, but we're running plays that the Nebraska Cornhuskers run. It's just not looking like a good fit.

BTW, it was nice to see Escobar and Williams get some catches. Austin should've been more involved though. Romo targeted Witten too many times, imo. Also, is it just me or does every pass that comes T-Will's way force him to dive for it at his ankles? I wanna see the guy catch it on the run.

Demarco's not a guy who will juke defenders out. But he is a guy who has slippery feet to get by guys IF he takes the right cut. He's tailor made for a ZBS, but I honestly don't think I'm seeing that much of it so far. He's not a guy who will twist his hips and change direction on a dime or find a cut back lane when the hole is collapsed. If we want a back to do that, he's not that guy. But he only needs a sliver of space and he will slip right through. Sometimes it amazes me that he gets 5 or 6 yards when he finds that space. He's also good in space. He's a guy I would be perfectly fine with sending on a wheel route. I would love to see him take some screens too.

The 1 time we see a screen it's at the goalline... Facepalm. Where are they when the blitz is coming?

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Old 09-19-2013, 03:09 PM    (permalink
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Smith Leary Frederick Bernadeau Waters Free

LT LG C RG RG RT
Total
+1.0 -1.1 -2.7 -0.3 -0.9 +3.5

Run Blocking
-0.4 +0.5 0.3 -0.4 -1.5 +1.1

Pass Protect
+0.9 +0.5 -2.2 -0.1 +0.5 +2.4
The grades for the Oline vs KC.

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Dallas, of course, has very stout linebackers and there is no problem there.

Except that Sean Lee and Bruce Carter both had fairly poor performances in Arrowhead. Primarily driven by issues they had in pass coverage, Lee posted a -2.0 overall, and Carter was a fairly dismal -3.6.
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The concerns about the play of Morris Claiborne, with a dismal -4.6, and how much effect his shoulder injury is having, overshadows the fact that most of the rest of the secondary is off to a very good start this year. Barry Church is showing why his loss last season was a real blow to the team, with a cumulative PFF score of +3.9, which is the second best score for a safety in the NFL, and only one tenth of a point behind Ryan Mundy of the New York Giants. Meanwhile, Brandon Carr is at +2.6 and Orlando Scandrick is +1.9 - and most of Scandrick's total is from the Chiefs game where he took over the starting job while Claiborne was banged up. Only Will Allen is lagging, with a -1.4, and he did improve from the first week.

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Nobody is laughing at those comments now. Led by DT Jason Hatcher (+3.6 against KC and +8.3 overall, for the second best grade among all DT/NT in the league) and the Cowboys' find of the offseason George Selvie (+1.7 and +5.0), they are the main reason Dallas has the fifth best defensive score overall in the league. (Top score, by the way, goes to the Chiefs.) DeMarcus Ware actually had a bit of an off game, despite the two sacks, but the defensive front is still having the biggest impact on that side of the ball.

Hatcher was asked about what has changed for him over the past few seasons, when he went from a mediocre player to the emerging star of the defense. He credits two men: Rob Ryan and Rod Marinelli.
http://www.bloggingtheboys.com/2013/...-and-strengths
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Old 09-19-2013, 03:38 PM    (permalink
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Good post pocket!

Yeah, I can definitely see where Lee and Carter got knocks for their coverage. KC had some timely successes in the passing game. But some of that was just defensive play calling. Kiffin dropped them back in zone and KC hit the soft spots.

Run stuffing and blitzing they were on point. Carter had a missed tackle that I saw.
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Old 09-19-2013, 03:42 PM    (permalink
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KC defense is pretty nasty. Elite teams will shread them through the air though...it's why they aren't true contenders.
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Old 09-19-2013, 03:56 PM    (permalink
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couple of quick thoughts...might be crazy

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What is not a strength is the run blocking. For the first two weeks, the Cowboys are a cumulative -10.7, which also includes backs and ends in the score. That puts them at 26th in the league. This is some convincing evidence that the problem is not all, or even mainly, DeMarco Murray, and shows that Bill Callahan and Tony Romo may be shying away from running plays because they don't expect them to work.
Expect us to go offensive line with one of our top 2 picks in the draft next year.

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The most controversial pick for the Cowboys during the 2013 draft was probably TE Gavin Escobar. Considering that the team has a future Hall of Fame member in Jason Witten, most people could not see the value here, given Escobar's reputation for not being a great blocker. And yet, the early season has shown some surprising numbers here. Namely, that right now Escobar may be doing the best job of all the tight ends with his assignments. It's not a great difference, but it shows that the rookie may be more valuable than many thought.
I know a lot of people don't like this pick. But I just can't help but think Witten isn't going to play out his contract for the cowboys. He is owed $24m over the next 4 years. At $6m a year getting older and older I just wonder if we are going to see a change in a way the organization handles veteran players on this team. I'm not saying Witten is going anywhere this year or even in 2014...but by 2015....his spot on the team might not be as safe as you think it is when we are thinking about it today. Maybe he won't be elite...but if we get a Gronk type player after getting to learn from a savy vet for 2 years...maybe this pick won't look so stupid. Still hard to justify...but he looks to have something to him.
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Old 09-19-2013, 04:22 PM    (permalink
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I love the Escobar pick...I actually love both the Escobar and Williams picks if they pan out. It shows forward thinking....which the front office has failed to do in the last...ehhh decade.
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Old 09-19-2013, 04:23 PM    (permalink
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couple of quick thoughts...might be crazy



Expect us to go offensive line with one of our top 2 picks in the draft next year.



I know a lot of people don't like this pick. But I just can't help but think Witten isn't going to play out his contract for the cowboys. He is owed $24m over the next 4 years. At $6m a year getting older and older I just wonder if we are going to see a change in a way the organization handles veteran players on this team. I'm not saying Witten is going anywhere this year or even in 2014...but by 2015....his spot on the team might not be as safe as you think it is when we are thinking about it today. Maybe he won't be elite...but if we get a Gronk type player after getting to learn from a savy vet for 2 years...maybe this pick won't look so stupid. Still hard to justify...but he looks to have something to him.
I think that is true. Just listening to Romo talk about it.

“It just makes everyone’s job easier if you can run the ball effectively,” Romo said.

“It’s about production,” Romo said. “So we’re trying to figure out different ways and I think we’ll do some things in the future to continue to get better and better at it.”

Sounds to me like Romo will only choose to run if the run is working. Too bad he doesn't use the same logic when his 3 yard out throws aren't working on 3rd and long.


At least Callahan knows what's up and recognizes he's part of the problem.

“We like our line,” Callahan said. “Our line is physical, but we’ve got to do a better job calling it. I’ve got to do a better job personally and that’s my responsibility and one that I own up to and one that we all want to get better at. But we’re working hard. Our guys still believe. It’s still early on in the season to build our running game and get to where we want to go. But as we all know talk is cheap. We’ve got to put it to action.”
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Old 09-19-2013, 04:25 PM    (permalink
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I love the Escobar pick...I actually love both the Escobar and Williams picks if they pan out. It shows forward thinking....which the front office has failed to do in the last...ehhh decade.
Yeah. Same. I defended the pick.

My problem now is the Cowboys not running the schemes to fit him in ala the Patriots and their Gronk/Hernandez connection.

Patience is the key though. I don't expect Escobar to light it up all the time in Year 1.
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Old 09-19-2013, 07:53 PM    (permalink
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Sounds like JJ Wilcoxis running with the 1s this week. Might start ahead of Allen.
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Old 09-19-2013, 07:59 PM    (permalink
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Sounds like JJ Wilcoxis running with the 1s this week. Might start ahead of Allen.
As much as I sometimes hate JG's decisions on game day....his drafting and personnel management has been pretty flawless....He's not afraid to start a young player. Cut a popular player. Or draft a player nobody thought should've.


Romo or JG are gone if the Boys go 8-8.....I hope/wish it's Romo...I see greatness in JG.
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Old 09-19-2013, 08:29 PM    (permalink
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I hope that it's Wilcox playing awesome in practice rather than them trying something just for the hell of it. It's way too early for that, and I want them to ease Wilcox in until he's ready. I like his game, but he needs time. Hopefully if he starts it's because he's ready instead of them rushing it.
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Old 09-19-2013, 08:48 PM    (permalink
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Frederick, Williams, Wilcox, and Holloman will all be future starters for us I believe. Wilcox has all the talent but I just hope he knows the plays, if he knows his coverages he's going to give us more athletically then Allen. This scheme makes it easy for a Safety to make plays so that could be something we didn't have.


I've been thinking the same about Selvie, D. He just keeps impressing me and I keep waiting for him to drop down to earth but he just looks like a good player. At first I thought he was just looking good at RE rushing the passer but I noticed him at LE on running plays holding his own, and he gets after the passer at any position. I love when he's in the game.
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Old 09-19-2013, 09:02 PM    (permalink
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As much as I sometimes hate JG's decisions on game day....his drafting and personnel management has been pretty flawless....He's not afraid to start a young player. Cut a popular player. Or draft a player nobody thought should've.


Romo or JG are gone if the Boys go 8-8.....I hope/wish it's Romo...I see greatness in JG.
I feel exactly the same way. His player personnel management skills are his one saving grace. He's got a discipline for taking the right kind of player. Certainly not mistake free as we've seen many, but the hits have been wonderful.

I can't see the scapegoat being Romo. Honestly don't think Jerry would get rid of Garrett either. I think what would happen is that Callahan would get the boot. With him being the new OC and playcaller, Garrett can stay the HC for a long time so long as he has the OC pulling the strings. Right now, Callahan's background and scheme do not seem to fit what our personnel is built for.

The season is long ahead, but we would do better with a guy like Mike Martz' air it out style than Callahan's drudging dink and dunk, run into walls preference. With our weapons we should be America's Greatest Show on Turf!!!
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Old 09-19-2013, 09:08 PM    (permalink
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Frederick, Williams, Wilcox, and Holloman will all be future starters for us I believe. Wilcox has all the talent but I just hope he knows the plays, if he knows his coverages he's going to give us more athletically then Allen. This scheme makes it easy for a Safety to make plays so that could be something we didn't have.


I've been thinking the same about Selvie, D. He just keeps impressing me and I keep waiting for him to drop down to earth but he just looks like a good player. At first I thought he was just looking good at RE rushing the passer but I noticed him at LE on running plays holding his own, and he gets after the passer at any position. I love when he's in the game.
I always considered Wilcox the eventual upgrade over Church. With Church doing well so far, I think at this point the Cowboys might be trying to simply see if they can get their best 2 Safeties on the field at the same time.

Neither are Free Safety types so that's still a big need on my wish list. I badly want to be able to say the Cowboys can shutdown the deep ball. Alex Smith did not test us there AT ALL. Then again, that's why the Niners let him go. He never went deep.



Oh yeah and Selvie is sexing it up! Did you see him run that stunt go to straight down the middle of the line to sack Smith?! Sick ****!!! NEVER seen Spencer do that ever!
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Old 09-19-2013, 09:22 PM    (permalink
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FWIW, I loved Selvie coming out of college and stated I though Jason Hatcher was as much a talent as Mario Wiliams. Hope you guys are right about the young talent.

All about the QB if you ask me. I would trade whatever we can now from the Vet side and get what we can in the next two drafts.
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Old 09-19-2013, 11:07 PM    (permalink
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If we don't win the East this year we may never again. We are the only team without a losing record in the Division lol.
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Old 09-20-2013, 02:18 AM    (permalink
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Kinda eases the pain after seeing the Eagles lose to KC.
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Old 09-20-2013, 05:33 AM    (permalink
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I don't feel that bad about the KC loss, that defense is legit. Hali and Houston are both prime pass rushers, the secondary lead by Berry is pretty legit and Poe has really come on strong this year. I'm not sure if anyone caught the the game last night but after getting beat by a nasty jump cut by Shady, Poe was able to keep within a half of a step of McCoy finally cathing him after a 9 yard gain. It wasn't his greatest moment but man that is insane that a 350lb guy can turn and run with a speedy RB in space.

We should have won the game, we should have ridden the Dez gravy train a little harder imo and Romo had dismal 4th QT accuarcy but all in all the team was solid. I'm not going to hang my head to low.

This week we are in for a different type of challenge with the Rams. They are going to try and attack the D with the spread. It is going to be difficult to defend guys in space with Mo banged up and without a safety who is good in man coverage. The pass rush is going to be important for sure, we need Selvie, Ware and Hatcher to get home early and often.
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Old 09-20-2013, 07:44 AM    (permalink
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I hate trying to pump sunshine about a player cause we've all seen examples of flashes of brilliance followed by disappointment...but I really hope Dunbar can get over his fumble issues...I think he can be a real key in opening up this offense. Putting him in screens and in space would add a dimension we haven't seen since Felix was a rookie.

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