Film review: Offense, Cowboys @ Browns

Wow, watching that game again for the film review was certainly a pleasure. Just about everywhere you turned guys we getting their jobs done and making big plays. Not much to criticize this week.

Here’s the review for the offense, since they were just dominant.

QB Tony Romo told us in the offseason that he was working on staying settled in the pocket, standing tall and delivering with a quick release. He wasn't just blowing smoke, you could see it in action during the game. Just masterful. His touch and accuracy were excellent and he did a great job of reading the defense and distributing the ball to his prime receivers. He read a blitz coming and flipped it to Witten for a big play, he still showed his mobility keeping a couple of plays alive and hitting Witten and Crayton, and he wasn’t afraid to stand in the pocket and take a hit. His only real bad plays were in the redzone, once he threw a dangerous pass that was tipped and then the ridiculous INT he threw. We’ll live with those mistakes to get the kind of performance he turned in. Total command of the game.

RBMarion Barber didn’t disappoint as the new feature back. Some of his runs were pretty easy because of the blocking he was getting but he maximized the yards on each one. He also caught a dump-off pass and made a great run afterward to convert a third down. Throw in a couple of great blitz pickups and the guy was just a force on the field. And when you get him close to the goal line, there’s no way he won’t deliver the TD. Too bad he got those ribs nicked up. Felix Jones takes his first NFL handoff and promptly delivers a run with speed and power in to endzone. He shows just enough patience behind the line to find a hole and then accelerates through it going 0 to 60 in the blink of the eye. He almost busted one to the house. The one issue is pass protection; twice he delivered nice blocks against the blitz, but another couple of times he was beat badly. One led to Romo’s INT when he was much too high to get any leverage against a much bigger player. Still for a rookie, great debut. Tashard Choice showed some hard running at the end of the game and also contributed a couple of good tackles on special teams.

WRTerrell Owens had a great day that should have been even better but he got robbed on a couple of calls. Besides beating the Browns for a long TD, he made a few tough catches; one on a pass behind him on a crossing route and another high pass on a comeback route. He caught a slant at the goal line to convert a third down and should have been credited with the TD. He also had a long pass called back on a ticky-tack hand-fighting pass interference call. Patrick Crayton turned in a huge game. Three times he got hit immediately after the catch but held the ball firm. He had a couple of third down conversions and he assisted on another by throwing a downfield block that sprung MB3. A flawless game from Crayton. Isaiah Stanback finally saw some action and caught a couple of passes. On one he did a nice job of running off the CB in press coverage and catching a comeback route; that’s not easy to do.

TEJason Witten was money again over the middle in the passing game. Over and over, he made big plays down the middle. But what you don’t always see is the job he does in the running game. I got him for three excellent run blocks, a couple of times sealing the edge. He did have a couple of poor run blocks including a wham block in the redzone, and he did drop a wide open pass, but he was so good the rest of the way you hardly notice. Tony Curtis only caught one pass but was a key cog in the run game. I got him on two excellent seal blocks including one on a TD. He did get caught for an illegal formation penalty. I didn’t see much of Martellus Bennett at all. We see how good Witten is in the passing game, but the job he and Curtis do in the run game should not be overlooked.

FBDeon Anderson had a typical day for him. Some good blocks coupled with a few bad blocks, but it’s mostly good. And he contributed on special teams with a tackle.

OL – Let me just start by saying the whole line played great. Except for some trouble with pass protection in the third quarter, they dominated the line of scrimmage. Flozell Adams had a false start penalty and one sketchy pass protection block but other wise had no problems. He got called for a holding penalty late on a screen, but the Browns actually grabbed Felix to mess up the timing, causing Flozell to reach back and hold a guy. Cory Procter, as I said yesterday, had the most mistakes but played well enough to mitigate those mistakes. He wasn’t perfect, I got him four times for bad blocks in pass protection and three bad blocks in the run game. The rest of the time he was solid and you can add on two excellent blocks on TD runs, another couple of great pull blocks and an excellent blitz pickup on T.O.’s TD. He was effective.

Andre Gurode is just a great center. He’s playing at a high level. I only saw him once get beat badly in pass protection and he was moving out the middle for our run game. Outstanding game. Leonard Davis, along with Gurode and Colombo, allow the Cowboys to run to the right most effectively. The play where he and Colombo run the loop blocks to the outside while the TE’s crash down the line is one of the Cowboys best run plays along with the delay/draw. He did have trouble in pass protection once and got a holding call when he was tired in the fourth quarter and leaned too much with his body to get out of position, but otherwise he’s a killer. Marc Colombo also had a great game. The loop blocks with he and Davis are devastating. He also had one play of poor protection and got an false start penalty, but they hardly dented what was an all-round great day. That basically goes for the whole line. When you can only pick out a few plays where they failed for an entire game, you’re getting the job done.

The review of the defense will be up later tonight. But for the moment, bask in the greatness that was our offense against Cleveland.

 

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