Cowboys @ Browns: What They're Saying

Another edition of What They're Saying.

Marion Barber has the injured ribs. The good news, according to a source, is there are no fractures. The bad news is possible cartilage damage and much pain. MB3’s status is up in the air for the Philly game. 

"I have no idea what his status is," Jerry Jones said, adding that Barber sustained some cartilage damage. "I'm assuming that everything is going to be fine."

In typical MB3 style, here’s what he had to say:

Barber said "I’m good" and could have returned if necessary.

"It’s all right," Barber said. "Nothing to worry about."

Let’s all hope that’s the case

The Cleveland Browns are a high-powered offense although they were playing with some injury issues and had no time in the preseason for their main weapons to play together. Still, you have to give credit to a Cowboys defense that held them to 10 points and some really low stats. All of that without Terence Newman being active, Adam Jones playing in his first game in almost two calendar years and two rookie CB’s playing significant minutes. Bradie James thinks they are now getting comfortable in the Phillips 34.

A year ago, we were just trying to figure out where to line up," linebacker Bradie James said. "Now we're anticipating what the offense is going to do."

 

That’s true, but let’s face it; the real difference was the jettisoning of Jacques Reeves and Nate Jones in favor of AJ and the rookies.

"You know we brought in some talent this off-season," James said. "A year ago without Terence, it was like panic time. Now we just plugged in another great player."

No more “panic time” we hope.

AJ played for this first time in over 600 days. He thinks he did OK.

"I've been waiting for this for 600 days," said Jones, who actually went 616 between his final game with the Titans and his debut with the Cowboys. "I give myself about a C-plus. I let [Edwards] get inside me on the pass interference, but other than that, I don't think I gave up any plays."

So what was the Cowboys plan to stop Kellen Winslow? To rough him up and they used Greg Ellis to do it.

"I think we banged him around a lot at the line of scrimmage," secondary coach Dave Campo said. "That makes a difference with the really good tight ends, because they can find the holes in the defense if you let them get off the line clean."

Bradie James also credits Ellis:

"We had Greg Ellis, the sack master, out there covering this week," inside linebacker Bradie James said. "If he wouldn't have done such a great job, we probably wouldn't have been around here smiling today with a win."

Winslow didn’t hurt us like I feared he might. The defense did a good job keeping everyone in check on the Browns offense. AJ thinks this is a trend that will continue. 

"It's going to be real hard to beat us. Period. Point blank. We've got a lot of talent," [Adam Jones] said. "This is the most talented team I've ever been on."

True, but let’s not forget one aspect of the game that really helped us early on. The Browns kept dropping passes - especially Braylon Edwards who muffed a TD. They also made various other mistakes and you can’t do that and compete with the way the Cowboys played on Sunday.

"We faced a good football team and made them better," Browns coach Romeo Crennel said. "We dropped balls, missed tackles, missed an interception and let them throw a [touchdown] over our heads. You can't do that and expect to win. A lot of things went wrong."

The Cowboys also did a little self-inflicted damage in the game, amassing 11 penalties for 82 yards. A few of them extended the Browns TD drive. Once again, like last year, this is an area of concern. Will Wade make them sign a pledge again?

Our boy Tony Romo basically had all day in the pocket except for a stretch early in the second half when the Browns started to apply a little pressure. Curiously, the Browns tended to rush fewer guys most of the game and try to make plays in coverage. 

"They rushed three guys a lot," Romo said of the Browns' attack, or lack of one. "That's one of the things you work on, to find the right guy. If you can get yourself to understand what to do when they rush three guys, you're going to have more time."

And he did have time as the offensive line came up huge in the game. But one of the few times they got to Romo it left him briefly on the turf in pain. No problem though, Romo shook it off and went right back to slicing up the Browns. He’ll need a few stitches.

"Tony is just tough as nails," [Jason] Witten said. "I could never see him coming out unless something is really wrong. That's him. He's going to stand in there and play his game. Just to see him have that kind of confidence is really reassuring to the rest of us."

When Romo gets time, he certainly can read the defense and find the receivers.

"That's what he does, he spreads it around to everyone," Crayton said of Romo. "That's what makes him that good. He's not just looking at one guy. He understands that if he goes through his reads, that we're all going to get involved and that makes us better as an offense. But that's what we're used to. He's the same way in practice and the games."

We’ll give coach the last word.

"I thought we managed the game really well," Cowboys head coach Wade Phillips said. "Offensively we moved the ball really well, defensively we played well and special teams played well. I thought we were ready to play."

 

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