After the game on Sunday, Tony Romo was quick to respond to Pam Oliver, "We still have a lot of improvements to make."
Most Cowboy fans shook that off, because they were basking in the glory of a 24-0 victory, but I am quite glad that statement came from Romo himself. When I look at the numbers and recollect some of the plays of the game, there are things to get better at. Let us review:
1.) Right before one of the Eagles "almost" big plays, Dallas was confused. Carpenter ran from the right side of the defence to the left, and another player was pushing a defender towards the slot receiver. In any event there was mass confusion.
SOLUTION: Call a time out. Its playoff time and teams are going to give new looks and new sets. If the defense is puzzled, a coach or player needs to call a time out.
2.) On offense it was a dropped pass by Bennett and a seemingly out of position Roy Williams that stalled Dallas drives. Bennett couldn't reel in the slant that was thrown a bit high. While Williams forced the Cowboys to settle for a FG, after not being able to release on man on man coverage.
SOLUTION: Less of Williams and Bennett might be in the cards. Romo targeted rookie free agent, Kevin Ogletree, twice. Tony missed Ogletree on a post pattern, where he was open for a probable TD. Ogletree also caught an out for 15 yards. Williams had one target, one incompletion, as did Bennett. John Phillips, another TE/FB, was targeted twice, with two receptions and 14 yards. Romo's stat line read 24-34, but I counted three balls that went incomplete where Romo threw it away or checked it down to a covered Barber. You take away the 2 targets to Williams and Bennett and the 3 passes that will call "good" incompletions, and Romo was 24-29 with 2 TDs and 1 INT for 311 yards.
3.) Suisham's missed field goal.
SOLUTION: I really don't have an answer. I will say this, in the misses I have seen of him this season, both Dallas and the Skins left him out on the hashes. If we are going for a big FG, I would really recomend getting in the middle of the field. Suisham has a solid leg, but his directional kicking seems poor.
4.) The defense has been tremendous, so can't complain about much. Wade has mixed it up and Dallas has been successful against some big play offenses, still we have seen some plays were the Boys allow for a short cross to go for big gains. Teams have done an exceptional job at clearing the middle of the field by running at our LBs, and crossing a receiver underneath.
SOLUTION: Again there really is no answer because Wade has mixed it up to the point of great success. But I expect the Eagles to "go to the well" with crossing patterns. So to temper them and give another look, I'd expect a zone blitz with the slot CB rushing in. Phillips has used this before against teams that are pass heavy and use crossing patterns frequently (see Green Bay and New Orleans).
Well these are my thoughts, what about yours?