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December 09, 2007

Your Turn: Grade the Cowboys

How do you think the Cowboys did in the 28-27 win over the Detroit Lions on Sunday?

Leave a comment below with your grade for the following positions:

Quarterback

Running Back

Wide Receiver

Offensive Line

Defensive Line

Linebackers

Secondary

Special Teams

Coaches

Overall

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Comments

The Cowboys have no doubt been performing at a stellar level all year, and even when they've come out flat, i.e. Buffalo and Detroit, they have come away with the victory. The hater of Romo is just that, and I'm guessing probably an Eagles fan... And hey, I understand, a few years back it took a big lump to swallow for me to admit how good McNabb was and how much I feared playing him... But that schmoe won't admit that, and that's fine. All I know is that Tony Romo is the single most entertaining athlete I have ever had the pleasure to cheer for. That being said, there were some other grades that didn't hold water, like the O-Line getting A's and B's for allowing the running game to open and preventing Romo from being sacked. Um, Romo got sacked at least twice, maybe more. And the running room was'nt there. Now, if you want to back up and grade for the whole season, well yeah, I'm right there with you, because that crew has been outstanding, especially in the second half. And the secondary did get burned, but with No discernable pass rush, that will happen. But whatever, here's the soapbox back. GO COWBOYS!

I can't remember a year when we've had this many exciting comebacks to win games, even when the game seemed lost. The Romo factor-It's all due to the team believing in their quarterback. Now the sky's the limit and the super bowl is not only in view, it's around the corner. A dream made possible by having a a nearly flawless season. What better storyline than to beat the only team that beat us, to win it all.

Quarterback: B+ - Tony must have tiny, tiny hands he drops balls on the ground so many times when he isn't even hit. The thing people are missing here is Tony has an excellent front line. Maybe the best in the NFL. What would any NFL QB do with that front line? Really well. But Tony is far from perfect. On the rare occasions Tony does get pressured, he doesn't throw it away. It's like he's worried about his completion percentage. Throw it away, Tony. Don't lose the yards. Tony also isn't the most accurate. His receivers often have to wait for the ball or get it behind them on crossing routes. I remember a recent completion to T.O. in the middle about 20 yards down the field - T.O. had to slow down for it and immediately was tackled. Our receivers would have a lot more yardage after catch if Tony would be more accurate.

Running Back: A/C+ - the A is for Barber, the C+ is for Jones. Julius doesn't have vision. Marion does. It's that simple. Julius goes into the hole he's told to, even if there's nothing there. He will run right into the back of his blocker no matter what. Marion has very good vision. Julius doesn't have blazing speed. He gets caught from behind by linebackers. The only reason you use a smaller guy who will be tackled more easily is for the breakaway speed. If we don't have that in Julius, what's the point of running him? The fact is The Cowboys throw away several downs on Julius Jones every game. Don't throw those downs away. Give them to Marion.

Wide Receiver: A/B/B - T.O. gets the A. Crayton isn't fast enough to be very effective. Hurd has better speed. If Terry Glenn comes back, Tony will have a better receiving core. Tom Brady has three guys with blazing speed. Tony has one.

Offensive Line: A- - great pass protection, good rushing. Rushing could be better. Can't complain, though. Great, great protection this year.

Defensive Line: B - the defensive line is disappointing, especially after getting Tank.

Linebackers - B - Kitna was right, Bradie doesn't know what he's doing half the time. I wish we had at least one smart linebacker.

Secondary - C - Roy Williams is the most overrated NFL player in the league, for two years now at least. He used to be good against the run. Now he isn't even that. Thank God JJ went out and got Hamlin! Bench Williams and start Watkins. Newman is average. Henry is obviously still injured and probably shouldn't even be on the field. This secondary makes too many mistakes. The Dallas defense, in general, needs intelligent leadership on the field.

Special Teams - B - started lousy with the punt and kickoff return coverage. Better now.

Coaches - B - 4th down and 2 and you go for it and you run...Julius Jones? Dumb. I haven't seen a sharp coach on that sideline since Johnson. Even Parcels was in over his head on that sideline during the game.

In general, I'd say the Cowboys need to do a better job adjusting to what the other team is doing, sooner. I think Wade is like Switzer going into San Francisco for the '94 NFC Championship and our players aren't prepared to play and give up 21 points within the first 6 minutes. Talent is a part of success. Having that talent prepared is another.

Overall - B - yeah, a B. This is a poorer reflection on the play in general in the NFL today with parity than the Cowboys. This is what the Cowboys need to do:

Offense:
1. Make Julius Jones a backup running back and give Marion the ball like he's Emmit Smith.
2. Pray Terry Glenn gets healthy to add another WR with speed that needs double coverage
3. Remember to use T.O. in crossing routes from the slot. What happened to that?
4. Gimmick plays are even used by The Patriots (Brady to Moss to Brady...). Use them! Flee flicker?
5. Use Hurd in the slot too!

Defense: these guys just aren't coached well enough. They get confused by Detroit! They need more film, bigger brains, something.
1. Bench Roy Williams and start Patrick Watkins and Hamlin.
2. Pray Henry gets healthy and draft a corner next year

I thank the Cowboys are performing at a high level this year. I congratulate them.

I just read the comment on Tony Romo from the idiot that say's he is a fraud and during the playoff's he will show that he is. Obviously this guy don't understang the game of football, this game for his information is a team effort and he is only as good as his offensive lineman allow's him the time to be. Let's not forget this really his second season as starting quarterback. I think he has done a great job so far. The defense on the other hand really need's to step it up a notch in order for the Cowboy's to make a good run in the playoff's. From what I have seen this season is that the Cowboy's does have what it take's to be in the super bowl this year. For all you people that just want to gripe and not see the good they have done being 12-1, it take's a pretty good team to have that record in the NFL. Get on the wagon and ride through the good and the bad or stay off and not say anything bad. Just sit back and watch how this unfold's and back the guy's and be proud of what they have accomplished. I will be a Cowboy fan through the good time's as well as the bad time's. Go Cowboy's

Quarterback: A+: You cannot ask for a better season for this position. Tony Romo displays so much innovation and leadership. Finally, a franchise quarterback!

Running Back: Barber: A, Jones: B+: The double threat seems to be working well, but Barber is gradually replacing Jones at this position.

Wide Receiver: A: Receivers are running great routes and finding ways to get open. There haven't been too many drops.

Offensive Line: A+: Romo definitely has enough protection. This is the bread and butter of this team.

Defensive Line: B+: There have been some "rocky" times this year, but the D-Line has done an extremely good job in pressuring the quarterback.

Linebackers: B+: Linebackers are not missing too many tackles and are doing a decent job of covering when needed.

Secondary: B-: Secondary has been clumsy at times and does not do a very good job of tackling. However, they have also shown a lot of improvement over the season and have been able to make big plays when needed. (It probably helps that the D-Line is applying so much pressure).

Special Teams: B: Nothing real exciting going on with Special Teams. They are not giving up big plays but aren't really making big plays either (other than the on-side kick in Buffalo). Miles Austin seems to be improving every week though, we could possibly see a kick-off returned all the way before the season is out.

Coaches: A: Coaches are doing a phenomenal job this year. They are being extremely supportive and are calling the right plays. They all seem to be on the same page.

Overall: A (When a team is 12-1, what other grade could you give them?)

Odd, but watching the game during the last 2 minutes, I just knew the Cowboys offense was going to find a way to win with Romo or somebody getting a score. I was not suprised when it happened. I was delighted. The defense will learn something from this game, and the defensive coaches will too.

quarterback- A Tony is like another Roger S.

running back-C The only bright thing was Barber.

wide reciever-B Jason Whitten is great. To a no show but he had double coverage

Offensive lines- B Kept Romo from being sack.

Defensive line-F--- - With a depleted offensive line yall should have recorded atleast 6 sacks.


Secondary-F- - Where were yall they caught the balls anywhere?

Special Teams C+ Wasnt for Austin miles yall should have been a F. He saved yall butt.

Coaches B- -They should have been up with the game. Jason Garrett The next head coach for somewhere, Hey Jerry sign him up for the long term PLEASE.

Overall- B ITS A WIN AND A NFC EASTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPS, ON THE WAY TO THE SUPER BOWL.

All of you cowboy homers,please stop.Romo is no John Elway,Brett Favre,Roger Staubach or Joe Montana.All of these Greats have one thing in common a SuperBowl Ring or Rings.We all know all bets are off in the playoffs.He will be exposed for the fraud he truely is.I dont want to hear how you guys feel violated cause you paid 67 million dollars for a pretender

Quarterback A - Tony's play is consistent and I love that he never seems to get rattled.

Running Back B - Barber is great for both running and passing. I like Julius' speed, but as soon as he hits someone, he falls down. He has some weeks that he actually runs through someone, but this wasn't one of those weeks.

Wide Receiver B - They made plays when we had to have them, but it appeared that the Lions secondary took them out of the game for most of it. Good receivers find a way to get open. I think we have good receivers, so the coaches need to work on this one.

Offensive Line A - The big guys not only give Romo a great pocket, but have ball awareness. That tells me that everyone is doing more than just "doing their job." Good to see that kind of hustle.

Defensive Line D - I only give a D because they got to him when it counted, on the last two Lions drives, but mostly they just didn't get there. I think this was an aberrant game for them and they'll be back next week against Philly.

Linebackers C - DeMarcus Ware didn't get a sack. Are you kidding me? I liked seeing Ellis over on the sidelines firing his team up. The rest of them including James were flat. Too much talk during the week, not enough passion in the game.

Secondary D - What happened to pass coverage and flying to the ball? How did the Lions receivers consistently get THAT open on long 3rd downs? A LOT of work here.

Special Teams B - Austin continues to be great. It's just a matter of time before he goes all...the...way. Kickoff and punt coverage were poor early, but improved down the stretch. These guys came out flat too.

Coaches C - The coaches have to do a better job of getting guys up for these games. The passion is just too inconsistent and this could have easily been a loss.

Overall B - A 'W' is a 'W.' I'm glad they got it done. It was exciting at the end, but the lowly Lions should not have had a chance.

Quarterback- A- Tony is A-ok, and made some real progress with check downs and not forcing anything... but the non-factor fumble is negated by his inexplicable mojo once again.

Running Back- B Didn't get much room, but Barber made some great plays recieving in the flats, and Jones started out with some good gains...

Wide Receiver- B Not a great game statisticly, but the numbers don't explain the double and triple coverage, unless you look at Witten's. Great to see Owens' unselfish smile in the post game.

Offensive Line- C- Not many running lanes, and Romo was seen scrambling for his life many times. Columbo's ankle was not 100%, but this unit should bounce back...

Defensive Line- D- Only the victory saved these guys an F grade, with the wholly moly holes up the middle...

Linebackers- D They did get out with some good coverage outside, but got torched in the middle by the running game...

Secondary- C- The Lions are a great passing team, and its hard to defend passes delivered before the cut in a route. But where was the safety help in the running game?

Special Teams- B Return game was good, even forcing the Lions to pooch away from the fearsome Miles Austin. (?) Good coverage also, and how about Pat Watkins getting his nose in on Special Teams play with Davis now being doubled...

Coaches- C Where was the defensive adjustment to the Lions altered run attack. The middle was gashed ALL day...

Overall B When you win the ones you shouldn't, you know you got something special... a win is a win is a win...

Quarterback A- Romo was fortunate to have his fumble recovered by a teammate, didn't seem to notice some blitzers until it was too late, BUT as usual, he did it when it mattered most.

Running Back A+ Marion Barber shows us once again why he should be the starter with more than 80% of the carries and catches out of the backfield

Wide Receiver B Without all the attention T.O. was receiving Witten could not have had this kind of game.

Offensive Line C Rarely had a nice hole for the RBs and allowed way to much pressure on Romo

Defensive Line D See score from lowly Lions

Linebackers D See above

Secondary F Still looking for the improvement thats been promised

Special Teams C Not too many chances for Folk but kick return D was ok

Coaches D- Did not seem to game-plan for any kind of run defense, saving grace is Garrett

Overall C At least we still have only one loss

Quarterback- A: Last minute heroics+consistent accuracy. Romo continues to impress

Running Back- C: Not much room to run but nothing manufactured either.

Wide Receiver- C: Only effective a couple of times. Where was T.O.? Thank goodness for Witten.

Offensive Line- D: No open holes+QB sacks= bad day at the office

Defensive Line- C+: Too much offensive productivity by a mediocre team

Linebackers- C+: Ditto above

Secondary- D: Third down conversions. Lions must have had 20!!!

Special Teams- B+: Rare bad McBriar punt marred an otherwise good day

Coaches- B-: Cowboys win again

Overall- B-: Let's take the "W"

Quarterback: A. Tony Romo is the man. The Cowboys may be down, but with him behind center, you never feel that they're out.

Running Back: B+. Would be nice to see what they would have done all game. Too bad the Pokes got behind early and had to abandon the run.

Wide Receiver: B. Not too many drops. Terrell Owens as a decoy seemed to work well.

Offensive Line: B. Did pretty good in pass protection, better in aiding the run game.

Defensive Line: D. Major suckage.

Linebackers: D. See "defensive line". No pressure on Kitna at all. Dude is old. They could have at least sacked him once.

Secondary: F. Is horri-awful a word?

Special Teams: C. The missed FG by Folk turned out to be a non-factor.

Coaches: C. Maybe the Cowboys need to look at running that two-minute offense all the time. It's pretty effective.

Overall: B. A win is a win, no matter how you get there.

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