Saturday, August 27, 2011

Observations from the Vikings Game

It is going to be very interesting to find out what exactly is going on with Andre Gurode. Jerry Jones said that he was sitting out because they need to make a business decision. I'm guessing there is a trade in the works but we will see.

With Gurode out of the game the Cowboys had three rookies starting on the offensive line. While they did a decent job in pass protection you could tell that Romo was a little jittery in the pocket. He didn't step into he throws a few times and looked a little hurried on a few plays when there was no pressure on him. If Gurode really is gone then Romo is going to have to learn to trust the young guys very quickly.

The run defense still looks soft. They just seem to be getting manhandled at the point of attack. I know Marcus Spears is out but I'm tired of seeing the opposing running back get 5 yards down the field before being touched. Sean Lee looked like one of the primary culprits on a couple of the big runs.

Abe Elam made a nice tackle on a run early but he did a terrible job allowing a long touchdown pass. He should have intercepted the ball that Bernard Berrian caught for a touchdown but the ball just went right through his hands.

I am starting to get concerned about whether the defense is ready for the start of the regular season. I know they are learning a new system and they will get better as the season goes on, but they are not very good right now. The offense might have to score a lot of points early in the season if the Cowboys want to win any games. The starting defense didn't come back on the field after half time. I would have liked to see them get more work.

Brian McCann is was way too hesitant on his kick returns. He needs to either take the touchback or run up the field with a purpose. You can't half speed it up the field and expect to get many yards on a kick return.

Kevin Ogletree got his shot to win the #3 receiver job outright. He had a chance for a touchdown on a beautiful throw by Romo down the sidelines but he failed to get his second foot in bounds. He did a nice job finding a hole in the coverage on a square in route. He also made an easy catch on a quick slant early in the second half.

Dez Bryant looks primed for a huge season provided he can stay healthy. He caught a ball on a crossing route for a big gain. I love the way he always looks determined to score when he has the ball in his hands.

The kicking battle still isn't settled. Dan Bailey made a 36 yarder look routine on his first field goal of the preseason and then hit a 41 yarder easily in the 4th quarter. Shayne Graham had a very short kickoff that allowed a big return, but he did hit his field goal and extra point attempt. Every one of Graham's kickoffs were short so you are certainly giving up the automatic touchback if you go with Graham over Buehler. Maybe Bailey wins the job because he has the accuracy and enough leg to get the ball in the end zone on kickoffs.

Gerald Sensabaugh blocked a field goal after the special teams spent a lot of time working on field goal blocks in practice this week. Alan Ball picked it up and took it in for an easy touchdown. It sure would be nice if special teams could make a big impact in the regular season this year. Unfortunately Ball hurt himself on the return.

Jesse Holley probably made the final roster with three nice first down catches tonight. He has always been a special teams ace but he needed to show something as a receiver to make the team this year.

Felix Jones again looked like a guy ready to have a break out season. He didn't get many running attempts but he looked good on a few swing routes out of the backfield and had a nice 5 yard touchdown run.

DeMarco Murray finally got on the field in the game. He had a couple of nice runs and really had a burst when he carried the ball. I'm glad he got some real work before the start of the regular season. I hope he gets more work in the last preseason game on Thursday.

Martellus Bennett might be out for a while after getting his leg rolled up on at the end of a running play. He had to be carted to the locker room. Hopefully it isn't too serious because he is a big asset in the running game. It sounds like it is a high ankle sprain so it could be a while before he gets back on the field.

Josh Thomas had a rough night but he looks like a guy who will develop into a long term player on defense.

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