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October 17, 2012

Just CHILL: Special teams and Coaching get an "F" in the Grades vs. the Ravens

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Clarence Hill

Grades vs. the Ravens: Coaching and Special teams failed the team

 Run offense: A—  The Cowboys dominated the Ravens on the ground, rushing for 227 yards. It was the most ever against the supposedly vaunted Ravens defense. The offense line was downright dominant in their best performance of the season after being labled the weak link through the first fours. DeMarco Murray was en route to a big game, rushing for 93 yards on 14 carries before leaving with a sprained foot. Felix Jones filled in admirably and had his best game of the season with 18 carries for 92 yards. Third stringer Phillip Tanner and fourth stringer Lance Dunber added 42 yards.

Pass offense:  C— The numbers looked good quarterback Tony Romo completed 25 of 36 passes for 261 with two touchdowns to Dez Bryant. But Romo had an interception for the sixth straight games. Bryant had a career-high 13 receptions for 95 yards but his effort was marred by a dropped two-point conversion pass that would have tied the game. Kevin Ogletree and Miles Austin failed to hustle back to the huddle on the final drive when the Cowboys need to clock the ball. Ogletree also had a drop and two illegal shift penalties.

Run defense: B— The Ravens rushed for 86 yards on 22 carries as the Cowboys were solid overall against the run. Running back Ray Rice was held to just 63 yards on 16 carries. Nose tackle Jay Ratliff and defensive end Kenyon Coleman had solid games in their returns from injury with three and four tackles, respectively. Linebacker Sean Lee and Bruce Carter had a team high eight and seven tackles each.

 Pass defense: C— Joe Flacco was an efficient 17of 26 passing with 234 yards with a touchdown. The Cowboys didn’t not record an interception for the four straight game. They have only one interception this season. Cornerback Brandon Carr struggled for the second straight game. Anquan Boldin had 98 yards on five catches, including a big 31-yarder against Carr to set up a touchdown. DeMarcus Ware recorded his team high sixth sack. Sean Lee had six quarterback pressures.

Special Teams: F— What can be said about a special teams unit that gave up a NFL-record 108-yard kickoff return for a touchdown when receiver Jacoby Jones literally ran untouched from end zone to end zone? That was unforgiveable and was the turning point in the game.  Dan Bailey missed a potential game winning 51-yard field goal.

Coaching: F—  The buck stops with Cowboys coach Jason Garrett. He has to take some responsibility and accountability for the stupid penalties. The Cowboys had 13 penalties for the third time this season, including a host of pre-snap penalties. Even more damning was the time management issues on the final series. It didn’t look like the Cowboys had a good plan. They certainly were hesitant and undecisive. And Garrett acknowledges he made a bad play call at the end. It is also on Garrett that his players had no sense of urgency on the final drive.

 

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