Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Second Half Domination

As the Cowboys shuffled off the field at halftime I had one thought in my mind. I was thinking that if this team is really a playoff team then they will come out in the second half with a new attitude. Two quarters later I felt a giant sense of relief as the defense completely shut down Carolina during the second half. The offense was a little off all night whether it be penalties, sacks, or just bad play calling. But they scored enough points to give the team the lead and the defense sealed the deal with a touchdown late in the 4th quarter. The Cowboys did not play a great game but they did show that they fight through a slow start. I came away from the game satisfied with the win but there are a lot of problems that need to be corrected with this team.

Reasons to Celebrate: The defense finally showed up this season. Three sacks, three turnovers and a timely return for a touchdown to close out the game. Four straight three and outs to start the second half. It was very impressive to see what the defense can do when they play aggressive football. Say what you want about Terence Newman but the guy knows how to handle Steve Smith. He has done it in the past and he had Steve Smith frustrated again. On offense, the running game continues to dominate. Tony Romo did a good job protecting the ball. The special teams kept the Panthers pinned on their own end of the field all night long.

Reasons to Worry: Felix Jones is starting to earn the name Mr. Glass in my book. I hate that he seems to get up limping after every carry and his injuries always come on plays that don't even involve big hits. Jason Garrett is still making bad play calls at critical times. The opposing defense might be begging you to run the fade route from the one yard line, but sometimes you need to just line up and pound the ball into the end zone. The field goal instead of a touchdown in the fourth quarter could have cost the team the game. Run the ball! And I know a lot of people love Martellus Bennett, but I don't trust that guy with the game on the line. He cut off the route when Romo expected him to run to the corner of the end zone. Martellus needs to worry less about Marty B TV and more about his playbook during the week. And the penalties at the worst possible times have got to stop.

More Reasons to Worry: The secondary has to be the worst tackling secondary in the NFL. Running up and throwing a shoulder into a player may seem like a great way to deliver a big hit, but when you don't hit the guy square then he breaks free for more yards. I don't know if it is Dave Campo teaching that tackling technique or what, but those guys have got to wrap up. And I mean every single guy in the secondary...Hamlin, Newman, Scandrick, Jenkins, and Sensabaugh.

Play of the Game: Terence Newman jumped the slant route for an interception that he returned for a touchdown at a critical moment in the 4th quarter. It was nice to finally see a defensive back up on a receiver at the line and then actually jump a route. I hope it will be a sign of things to come. I know we are all sick of seeing the cornerbacks 8-10 yards off the ball at the snap and then watching the receiver catch the ball underneath.

Two winnable games are ahead on the schedule. Denver might be undefeated, but, on paper, the Cowboys are clearly the better team. Kansas City has nothing to make you worry. So the Cowboys need to take care of business so they can head into the bye week at 4-1. I'm not looking past the Broncos, but I know if the Cowboys play good football they will dominate Denver.


  1. That play by Newman was in the top 5 for me in the last 10 years. It reminded me so much of the Roy Williams play against the Eagles a few years ago.

    Looks like Victor Butler is hungry. He just mind be the gem of the Cowboys draft.

    When I think of the future, I think of Tashard Choice. Marion Barber might not last with his style of running, and Felix Jones wouldn't mind just running out of bounds every play. Choice can use this year and maybe next year to become an elite player. He gets a little unbalanced sometimes, but what a great kid.

    These next 2 games need to be in the W column. Let's see if this team can avoid the mistakes and penalties.

  2. He just *might be the gem of the Cowboys draft.

  3. I also agree that the corners need to be up on the receivers and not give them such a cushion...I hope Felix is healthy, he is soooo explosive!

  4. So everyone is off the injury list this week right?

    This game is going to be really tough for the Cowboys.

    It just all depends if Jenkins learns how to tackle or not. Maybe when he visits the high school's for PR he can pick up some tips :).

    Not to hate on the Cowboys just frustrated with this tackle confusion going on lately. How many yards did we let Panthers have because of just no wrapping up. the defence as a whole is strong. The defensive line are monsters.

    On offense .. well.. 2 words. Wit TEN. Since he will score 10 touchdowns this week.

  5. The shoulder "hits" instead of wrapping up frustrated me to no end. Its just sickening how weak we are at tackling.

    I'm still waiting to see when Martellus will be more than just a decoy.

    You know who's got me excited...Brooking. That guy has fire. He plays with a lot of passion. I'm not seeing what Carpenter is bringing that is better than Brooking... at this point I'd rather see Brooking in there more.