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Free, astute observations from the Dallas Cowboys season-saving win in Charlotte

8wTwb.AuSt.138CHARLOTTE, North Carolina – Even in victory Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett put himself into a position to be second-guessed.

After the Cowboys’ 19-14 win against the Panthers on Sunday, Coach Process said that his curious decision to run a draw on 3rd-and-9 deep in Carolina territory was because he thought the play could hit.

Then he said he also wanted to leave open the possibility to kick a field goal.

Yeeeaaahhh … those two statements are not exactly Bert and Ernie. Or Justin and Selena for the younger crowd.

Translation – Maybe we get lucky and run for a first down, but would you trust this offense not to screw it up?

These and other astute observations from the Cowboys’ win: 

1. Tony The Boring > Tony The Daring. Not sure the head coach completely trusts his quarterback but at the very least against the Panthers Tony Romo did not beat himself, or make a single play that cost his team anything. He was not sacked and threw no interceptions. He did that three times last season.

Against the Panthers, Romo made the plays that were there, was not always helped by his receivers, but generally kept the team out of harm’s way.

Alas, the Cowboys are not going to be able to win big if Romo is not allowed to, or does not, make plays.

12hxS3.St.582. DeMarco Murray, needle it up. The normal starting running back was out with a bum foot against the Panthers and in his place was Felix Jones, who started for the first time in forever.

Felix was not privy to the world’s best blocking, but the gap between he and Murray is canyon-ish. Jones carried the ball 15 times for 44 yards against the Panthers. Backup Phillip Tanner rushed 13 times for 30 yards. Yaaaaaaaaaaaawn.

Not that Murray was on pace for a 2,000 yard season before his injury, but he is simply that much better. He can create yards when there should be zero, which this offensive line needs. 

3. Kevin Ogletree may be out of lives. This season is an “It” year for the No. 3 receiver, and right now it looks like he may be about done.

The more pressing issue is that the Cowboys really only have two wide receivers.

After providing so much hope with his 100-yard, two-TD catch performance against the Giants in Week 1, he has officially returned to where he was last season. Against the Panthers, Ogletree caught four passes for 27 yards. In the fourth quarter he was benched in certain situations.

Ogletree will likely receive a few more chances in the coming weeks because the alternatives are limited, but it is hard to envision him being with the team next year. 

4. Cowboys 2013 offseason to do list: Safety. The corner combination of Brandon Carr, Morris Claiborne, Mike Jenkins and Orlando Scandrick is solid enough but the Cowboys have not received quality and meaningful plays from their safety position in years.
Neither Gerald Sensabaugh nor Danny McCray is awful, but they are just guys. Neither makes plays, has shown anything near the line of scrimmage or much in the way of ball skills. 

1pMqbz.St.585. The special teams did their job. One week after stinking up Baltimore, Joe DeCamillis’ crew was very good from kick coverage to punting to field goals.
Dan Bailey was 4-for-4 on field goals, punter Brian Moorman averaged 49.3 yards per punt, the coverage teams were solid.
About the only thing that went wrong was Dez Bryant picked up a stupid penalty after his first punt return; on a late punt return he caught the ball too deep in his own end and then held the ball so far away from his body, one-handed, it was begging to be knocked out.
But nothing happened so due credit where credit is due – the special teams played well.


Facebook Mac Engel


Dallas fan in Midland

I'm not a believer yet, but I'm having fun.

I think we are going to look back at our loss to the Ravens and kick ourselves. That was a winnable game and quite possibly a game that could have sent us to the playoffs.

Next up!

Jake Stephenson

Your point "#4" is exactly correct and a story that has not recieved enough attention. We have decent covers guys, maybe even great cover guys. Without better play at the safety position we are exposed in our pass protection. Upgrade the safety spot and our entire defense could be transformed. Our pass protection, in a pass first league, could be ultimately how we make the playoffs. Good article. I hope some of your friends in the media start to give this some attention so MAYBE it will get the atttention of JJ.

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