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10/20/2005

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When the Price is right....
By H. Cox

Here we go, the event everyone has been waiting for since the Cowboys signed Peerless Price. Parcells stated in an interview this week that he wasn’t sure if Price would replace Crayton or not. Come on Bill, blow smoke up someone else’s hind end and give us fans a break. Price will be on the field Sunday when Dallas plays Seattle. The big question is how will he fit into the system.

Price signed with the Cowboys because he knew Bledsoe and has played with him before. That had to add to his decision to take less money and a one-year deal in an attempt to redeem his career after not looking so great with Atlanta. He couldn’t have seen a second year player upstaging him and not even being active for most of the early season games. I give him credit for keeping it too himself in the era of ego busting media crybabies that the NFL is full of. All I have seen reported is that he wasn’t happy and just wanted to play. He even stated that he understood with signing on so late in preseason that he didn’t have time to prove himself to become one of the top 3 receivers on the team. He has waited patiently and now he will get his chance.

The question again is, “Just how will he fit into the present system?”

Crayton played behind Glenn and Johnson to compliment them very well. He mopped up underneath and across the middle when defenses covered those two and Witten. Crayton played the part excellently and made the offense that much better. Now in steps Price and everyone immediately puts him on a pedestal, already giving him the benefit of the doubt he will just jump in and produce big numbers. Hold up on that thought and don’t start quoting his stats from few seasons ago when he played with Bledsoe in Buffalo. Yes they connected very well and racked up some good numbers. Then Price was opposite Eric Moulds and an intricate part of the offense. Now he will come in and have to fill his way around into the offense employed in Dallas. He is speed downfield where Crayton was physical size for the middle. That doesn’t seem like a perfect match everyone is painting to me. There has been talk about moving Price outside and putting Keyshawn into the slot. To which Keyshawn has stated he would like that so he can get some real chances to catch the ball and not always be on the sidelines. I don’t see any ME-shawn attitude there.
Now simmer down and back off the gun rack look. I am not saying Price cannot play nor implying he won’t help the team. I am just saying you are going to have to wait for a couple of games for two things to happen. One – the coaching staff is going to have to work plays in for him to become useful within the system that is being run by Dallas. Two – Price is going to have to play within the system to make the best out of what he is given. Those two things happen and the offense will continue to click right along, albeit a little different look than what Dallas started the season with. So be patient and don’t start calling for “heads to roll” if Price doesn’t show up with 8 receptions, 100+ yards and a couple TDs in Seattle. Parcells isn’t stupid and he is going to give Price the chance to help the offense, but it takes time to get into the rhythm for game situations.

10/14/2005

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Dallas Cowboys Game Review for Week 5

Opponent: Philadelphia Eagles
Final Score: 33-10
Overall Record: 3-2
Fantasy Stud w/ stats: Drew Bledsoe 24 of 35 for 289yrds 3TD 0INT
Fantasy Dud w/ stats: Patrick Crayton 2 catches for 30yrds

Overall Recap: We’ve been saying it since week 2 – the Cowboys needed to come out firing ablaze, and that’s just what the Cowboys did. The Cowboys lit up 17 unanswered points against the highly touted Eagles defense. Overall the game was near perfect in all aspects, with the exceptions of a few offensive line holding calls. The Cowboys came out and punched the Eagles in the mouth.

QB play: Drew Bledsoe had another Pro Bowl outing. Bledsoe was very accurate and his passes to Terry Glenn were extremely damaging to the Eagles defense. The Bledsoe to Glenn connection is on track to break the yardage the two compiled in their season’s best when they were both in New England.

RB play: Julius Jones was on track to having his breakout game, instead he had to leave the game with an ankle injury. His backups held there own. Tyson Thompson is the local favorite and ran with authority for 75yrds.

WR play: Terry Glenn is the man in the WR corps. Glenn is our deep threat and continues to torch DBs every game. Glenn had 7 catches for 118yrds and 2TDs. Keyshawn had 6 catches for 47yrds

TE play: Witten continues his Pro Bowl season with 7 more catches for 80yrds.

K play: Jose Cortez made 3XPTs and 3FGs for 100%

DST play: The Defense improved and sacked McNabb 4 times, and held the Eagles to just 10pts.



Dallas
Cowboys Game Preview for Week 6

Record: 3-2
Opponent and Opponent's Record: NY Giants 3-1
Projected Score: Cowboys 30 Giants 26
Prediction Record: 3-2
Projected Fantasy Stud w/ stats: Drew Bledsoe 265yrds 3TDS 1INT
Projected Fantasy Dud w/ stats: Keyshawn Johnson 4 catches for 70yrds 0TDS

Overall Preview: In another divisional showdown, the Cowboys host the NY Giants and their rejuvenated offense, led by Eli Manning. The Cowboys will not wait for the Giants to strike, instead the Cowboys will come out shooting and move the ball against the Giants defense. The Giants have had some key injuries in their secondary and the Cowboys passing game will exploit it. On defense, the Cowboys will get in Eli’s face and rattle him around. We could see more of the nickel defense in this game as well. Plaxico Burress is their deep threat and Shockey is their physical TE. The Cowboys will have their hands full with Barber and Jacobs. Like last week the Cowboys must be sharp and limit costly penalties, sack Eli, cause turnovers, and gain momentum.

QB preview: Bledsoe should have another Pro Bowl day against the decimated secondary of the Giants. The Giants pass defense is a horrible #31 in the league. Bledsoe has already faced some top tier defenses and he will be ready to dominate against the Giants.

RB preview: Julius Jones is questionable for this game, even if he dresses he won’t get the load. We’ll probably see a heavy dose of the speedy Tyson Thompson and A-Train. Thompson is quite effective, but he cannot put the ball on the turf. If the Giants defense doesn’t respect Thompson he WILL burn them for bigtime yardage.

WR preview: The Giants are ranked #31 in pass defense, so this could be a total feasting for our talented WRs, Glenn is going to punish them hard, Key and Crayton will have equal opportunities to hurt them.

TE preview: Witten is physical and looks for contact after the catch, I feel sorry for the Giants secondary, it could be a very long day. Witten should have a 6+ catch game.

PK preview: The Cowboys DO NOT want the game to come down to a game winning field goal, so the Cowboys will try to convert all their redzone attempts into TDs. Cortez is not reliable

DST preview: Ranked #16 Overall, the Cowboys defense will be looking to get turnovers on defense. The Cowboys are #4 in sacks, we’ll see similar defensive packages for the Giants. Eli likes to roll out and don’t be surprised if he gets lit up by Demarcus Ware. Cowboys DST should be a good start for your fantasy league.

10/12/2005

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Parcells' Mixture
By Howard Cox

The Dallas Cowboys have a great mix of old and new talent on the roster this season. They were hyped up by local media and around the country as a possible playoff contender. Early on they seemed to have made that observation seem like a solid pick when they outlasted San Diego to win their season opener on the road. Then the old doubt crept in when Washington proved to win a game you have to play 60 minutes. That has been the early 2005 version of the Dallas Cowboys leaving many fans and reporters alike scratching their heads and asking, “What kind of team are the Cowboys?”. All of that might have ended with their recent domination of the Philadelphia Eagles. Let’s take a look at the mixture Coach Parcells has assembled for this season to maybe answer some questions.

First he talked Jerry Jones into hitting the free agent market hard and often. This brought in oldies Drew Bledsoe, Jason Ferguson and Marco Rivera. All having at least 9 years experience in the NFL. They also brought in Anthony Henry, with only 5 years experience, being the “baby” of the bunch. Aaron Glenn followed (9 years experience) adding years to the already aging group. Building a team is supposed to bring in young talent for the future but none in this group, with the exception of Henry, could fit that description. Many so called experts started writing off the team when Bledsoe was named the starting Quarter Back immediately after being signed. All he has done is rack up 1351 yards (4th in the NFL) and a 61% completion rating. He has also recorded 102.0 QB Rating (3rd in the NFL and 1st in the NFC). Showing something else noone expected, he has been able to scramble when he had to, giving more time for routes to open up and even scoring a TD. Guess the experts are not as correct as they thought. Ferguson has given the defense a boost on the line, although he is backing up Glover due to a preseason injury. Having solid depth at the NT position just keeps everyone fresh and improves the overall defense. Rivera was also injured during preseason but has come back to provide solid blocking and also help for a rookie starter at RT. Other than the last 4 minutes of the Washington game Glenn has provided much needed coverage in the secondary. Coupled with the addition of Henry they allow Roy Williams to move closer to the line of scrimmage and wreak havoc on opposing running backs. All very good additions to the team.

Then the team took on the future situation by racking up a solid draft and also some very good undrafted free agents. DeMarcus Ware and Marcus Spears, both taken in the 1st round are shoring up a front seven that didn’t get much pressure on the QB for some time. Ware already has 3 sacks and leads the team in the category. Spears is still making up for lost time due to injury in preseason yet coming on strong with each week. Also on the DL 4th round pick Chris Canty and undrafted FA Jay Ratliff are making noise as their playing time increases because the coaching staff trusts them more and more to not make “rookie” mistakes. With Julius Jones at RB you would figure the team wouldn’t look in that direction but Parcells pulled a local homegrown talent from out of his magic hat in Tyson Thompson. He has missed assignments on blocking but continues to show ability running the ball that allows him to be the primary backup to Jones. With Jones being injured against Philadelphia all Thompson did was play the entire 2nd half and run for 75 yards on 20 carries. He is also in the tops of the league averaging over 20 yards per kick return, one going for 40 yards to set up the first scoring drive against the Eagles.

Mix all that together with talent that was already on the roster and Parcells’ soup is getting better with age. Larry Allen and Flozell Adams make up a solid left side of the OL, second year starter Al Johnson at C and rookie starter Pettiti make up what has become a pretty solid front five for the Dallas offense. The WR were supposedly too old as well. Terry Glenn is presently ranked 4th overall with 518 yards and averaging a league second best 22.5 yds/rec. Both him and Keyshawn Johnson have 3 TD receptions and give one of the best down field – possession receiving tandems in the league. Patrick Crayton, another 2nd year player, has shown sparks and is the team’s #3 receiver. The only major portion of the team not untracked yet is Sophomore RB Julius Jones. He is running pretty good but still has not broken the 100 yd barrier in a game yet.
Parcells and company still have some grooming to do with young players learning as they go and veterans playing new schemes. With the domination last week against the favored to win the NFC Philadelphia Eagles the team showed what they are capable of. Look for that to continue as the season progresses and more wins come their way.

10/07/2005

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Dallas Cowboys Game Review for Week 4

Opponent: Oakland Raiders
Final Score: 13-19
Overall Record: 2-2
Fantasy Stud w/ stats: Drew Bledsoe 11 of 26 for 212yrds 1TD 1INT
Fantasy Dud w/ stats: Keyshawn Johnson 1 catch for 16yrds

Overall Recap: In another slow start, the Cowboys failed to get any sort of tempo going, another sloppy game on defense and on offense. The play calling is becoming closely scrutinized in each game and rightfully so. The Cowboys have been able to move the ball with authority through the air, but seem to wait until the second half to unleash it. This simply will not get it done, and this latest comeback attempt was a result of what happens with poor team play and horrible play calling. The Cowboys got beat by a good team plain and simple.

QB play: Drew Bledsoe had a mediocre, he threw a critical INT, but made up for it with several drives in the 2nd half, along with a TD pass to Patrick Crayton. This was Bledsoe’s worse game to date.

RB play: Julius Jones is having a “Troy Hambrick” kind of year with a average of around 3.5yrds per carry, whether it’s the offensive line or the dreaded “sophomore slump” Julius has not had an explosive game yet, and people are talking; but, its more about the Oline and the plays being called. Julius was stuffed and limited in yardage against the Raiders D.

WR play: Once again the WRs didn’t get big plays until the 2nd half, Glenn had a deep pass, and Crayton powered himself to a 63yrd TD. Keyshawn needed another big game, and the Raider D, shut him down. Overall performance was average at best

TE play: Witten racked up more receptions in this game; he had 5 catches for 49yrds.

K play: Jose Cortez made 1XPT and 2FGs for 100%

DST play: The Defense remains at #21 Overall, and gives up 22pts per game, not very good, but the D is causing turnovers, INTS, and sacks. A good sufficient starter for fantasy football.


Dallas Cowboys Game Preview for Week 5

Record: 2-2
Opponent and Opponent's Record: Philadelphia Eagles 3-1
Projected Score: Cowboys 24 Eagles 21
Prediction Record: 2-2
Projected Fantasy Stud w/ stats: Julius Jones 25 carries 135yrds 2TDS
Projected Fantasy Dud w/ stats: Keyshawn Johnson 3 catches for 60yrds 0TDS

Overall Preview: This game against the Eagles is critical. The gameplan needs to be good, and the Cowboys need to come out firing – lead the tempo and create momentum for the offense and defense. Last week we worried about Randy Moss and the Cowboys slowed him down, but got tore up by Lamont Jordon, this week will be the same, but more dangerous with the likes of Brian Westbrook and T.O.

QB preview: If Bledsoe keeps doing what he’s been doing he will do fine, the pocket protection will be improved, last week the line broke down. Parcells will have the line better prepared. Bledsoe could have a 300yrd game if they get the ball moving in the air early.

RB preview: Julius has an opportunity to have a breakout game against the Eagles, the Eagles run defense is average, and is letting up105yrds rushing per game, prime setting for Julius Jones. If the Cowboys fall behind early as in previous games expect another average game from Julius.

WR preview: The Eagles are ranked #10 in pass defense, so the challenge will be on our offensive coordinator and the receiving corps. Keyshawn matches up well against the Eagles DBs, but if he’s shutdown, Glenn and Crayton will need to step it up and get open. Glenn’s speed could be a key in this game.

TE preview: Witten had a record 11receptions against the Eagles last year, and tore up the Eagles secondary. Witten knows were to run and how to get open against this secondary. Witten is posed to have another good performance at home.

PK preview: The Cowboys DO NOT want the game to come down to a game winning field goal, so the Cowboys will try to convert all their redzone attempts into TDs. Cortez is not reliable

DST preview: Ranked #21 Overall, the Cowboys defense will be looking to get turnovers on defense. The Cowboys are #5 in sacks, and look for Demarcus Ware to have a good game, he wants to make up for his mental mistakes from last week. This is the type of game where the Cowboys will win in a close match or the Eagles will torch the defense. It’s going to be a hit or miss week for the defense in your fantasy team.

10/02/2005

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Payton's Play Calling Must End NOW

So, the Cowboys lose today, in a game that was certainly winnable. Cowboys drop a heart breaker 13-19, at the "Blackhole" hopefully the Blackhole sucked out the rest of our coordinators crap play calling with it.

I'm going to say that we are lucky to be at 2-2. We have had way too many close games, we've had no tempo, started ALL our games slow and flat. Four nailbitter games is not the way to win games. So what's the issue, we're only at .500? Well, that may true, but we're lucky to be .500 with the play calling that is being made.

Player perservance has gotten us through it all. We have the hunger, and we have the personnel to win games; however, should we continue with the predictable bullxxxx play calling, then we're in for a very long year. Let's attack, let's get that killer instinct mentality on offense.