***HELP ON THE WAY
The injury bug has been well documented from the start of the season. But at 2-2 with how both sides of the ball have been playing its a testament to the reserve players and coaching.
I count 6 starters missing action since the season began. With 4 of them missing the last week+. Returning after the bye will be Scandrick, Hatcher, Austin, and possibly Dockery. Significant injuries if you ask me.
The defense has managed to keep the club in games and win games with out ever playing its top 3 CBs all year. The offense has managed to stay in the top 5 with out playing a consistent starting O line and only playing 1 quarter with healthy starting WRs. 1 quarter!
Quarter Mark key reserves: Robinson, Phillips, Ball, Holley, Lessimore
While the #s say the defense is giving up over 20 points a game those #s are bent. The offense gift wrap'd 14 points last week and the special teams gift wrap'd 7 week 1. That's not it.
There have been 16 scoring drives by opponents this season and 10 of them have been less than 50 yards. Of the 10 only 3 have been TDs. So far the defense has only given up 4 TDs drives of 50 yards or more (1 w/o the top 3 CBs in the drive).
This tells me don't turn the ball over and win field position the defense has a very high % of stopping the team from scoring or forcing a turnover. Credit Rob Ryan for the entire attitude change. The trend continued this past Sunday with Detroits TD drives coming on less than 50 yards.
Quarter Mark key defenders: Lee, Ware, Sensabaugh, Jenkins, Spencer
***THE KICKING GAME
Beuhler? Beuhler? How about Bailey. So far so good. Dan Bailey has been a pleasant surprise. I'd like to think the kicking problem has found its solution and keeping 2 kickers has run its course. Bailey has connected on 90% of his kicks so far and has shown the ability with Beuhler out to kick the ball deep on kickoffs. Bailey should be the only kicker coming out of the bye opening a roster spot for either the secondary or WR depth. He by far is the special teams quarter mark MVP.
***THE RUNNING GAME
This in my opinion lays all in Garrets hands. This team has the ability to be a effective rushing team. A primary running team? No effective yes.
The first two games saw the boys go up against 2 stout run defenses in the Jets and 49ers. Ask Shady Mccoy how tough they are, the 2nd leading rusher heading into week 4 rushed for 18 yards on the niners. I tried calling Shady to ask how tough they were but haven't got a hold of him yet. Growing up with Shady and Lions CB Aaron Berry I often contact them to get a better view point of things. But that's besides the point.
What we saw in week 3 and 4 is the boys rush for 100+ yards back to back weeks. Trending up. In Garrets 8 games last year at the helm the team rushed for 100+ yards in each game.
This is why I say it lies in his hands. The team may not rush the opponents to death but it can be effective to keep defenses honest and win games in the 4th quarter. With Fiametta showing promise at FB running should become a priority again. If Garret gets back his closer mentality with the running backs he will protect Romo and the team from Romos bonehead plays with a lead.
Quarter mark key players in the running game: Felix Jones, Tony Fiametta
At 2-2 there's no time to panic but there is room for improvement. This team has the ability to catch fire with a consistent defense and an offense that can score with anyone. I'm interested in seeing how Garret adjust after the bye. It won't be easy in NE but it could trigger a huge run ala 09 beating the Saints on the road.