Sorry for the delay in posting this. I know it's Thursday night but I still had to write this and reward the team for their play. It's been a busy week for me, but the hangover of this win is intoxicating. This is the team that we have wanted to see for the longest time. Basically the entire team deserves a game ball and the coaching staff. This was the blowout win that we needed, no the Rams win wasn't really a blowout, this was. The Cowboys came out and flat out dominated a pretty good Bills team for the entire 60 minutes and never let up, not once.
As for the weekly opinion checkup, none have changed. Keep checking in weekly for my opinion updates, it is vital that my opinion chart stays in this post. You know since I get roasted for my opinion changing, I decided that I can also get credit for my opinion.
From my post draft breakdown
Many will bash DeMarco Murray early on in his career. I am going to embrace this kid immediately because he was a special player at Oklahoma. He will be a match up nightmare for defensive coordinators around the NFL. He is very Reggie Bush like with his ability to pretty much anything on the field. I also like the way he runs the football. He has good balance and can juke you out of your socks. I think he reminds me a lot of Darren McFadden and I am sure Jerry Jones saw the same thing. There is nothing wrong with grabbing a McFadden type running back in the third round. None of the running backs on this team have taken the job and ran with it. Don't be surprised if Murray comes in here and is electrifying. DeMarco Murray is a name you will be hearing called a lot on Sundays. When Garrett got on the phone you could tell this was a player Garrett loved because of his athletic ability and his character. There is nothing wrong with drafting exciting players, but Garrett is making sure they are coachable players. Character is definitely a big piece of the puzzle now.
From my FPOTW winning fan post DeMarco Murray: Why he will end the Cowboys 3rd round failures
As soon as this pick was announced, I started to a little Chia dance across my friends living room into his kitchen. My friend asked me "Who did you get"? I said "We got DeMarco Murray", he replied "Damn he is pretty good". I was surrounded by a room full of Giants fans and one Dolphins fan. I was pretty excited with this pick because whenever I did watch the Sam Bradford led Sooners or the Landry Jones led Sooners, this kid stood out. DeMarco Murray is an exciting football player to watch. He can do everything a running back and a wide receiver can do, wrapped up into one player. I believe this is the end of the Cowboys third round curse.
I wouldn't say I am one to drink the kool aid. I try to keep it real and there are times where I over hype things. But I feel very strongly about this kid at running back. I have seen him play too many times in college and he is just amazing to watch. He has been timed at 4.3, but his time was a 4.4. Regardless Murray can run in the 4.3 range and that is serious speed. He has amazing hops too. He has this burst that I love watching through the hole and his vision is really good. If not for some of the injuries in college, DeMarco would easily have been a high 2nd round pick, maybe earlier. I am going to make a bold prediction here, but I think DeMarco is going to be a exciting player this season and make a big impact on the offense.
You know sometimes it's just fun to go back and look at what was said long ago. Heck people pull my card all the time so this time I pulled my own card.
First let's take a look at the highlights from the NFL Network.
Sunday was one of the best wins the Cowboys have had in recent memory. It was an enjoying game to watch and will rank on my list of most satisfying wins in the Romo era. So without further delay, let's hand out some balls! Game Balls that is!
Drew Bledsoe Rowdy can hang loose and enjoy a perfect day from Tony Romo. Often I say that when Romo is on that he is deadly and this is exactly what happened last Sunday. Romo was perfect against the Bills defense and could not be stopped no matter what the Bills threw at him. The newly found running game is helping Romo out big time and taking some of the pressure off his shoulders.
Since Romo took over this football team as the starting quarterback in 2006, Romo has had to carry this team on his shoulders. When you really sit down and think about that, it's not fair to Tony Romo. Far too often Romo has to play perfect football for this team to go anywhere and you will see Romo trying to do too much. That is when Romo makes mistakes and pressing the issue gets the team nowhere in the standings.
This team is really starting to remind me of the 2009 Dallas Cowboys. In my opinion, that was Romo's best year in his career and if not for Drew Brees would have been my league MVP. This team is starting to emulate that 2009 team in the way they are starting to click. It seems like everything is starting to come together. With this schedule and talent, the Cowboys may be in for another magical ride.
When your 23-26 and complete 88.5 percent of your passes, you are just simply on fire. Romo threw for only 270 yards but had 3 touchdowns. The play that set the tone was Dez Bryant's 34 yard touchdown. After that play this team was not going to be stopped. Romo was pinpoint accurate all day and really this guy is playing the type of football I love from him. If you give him a run game and the offensive line is blocking, Romo is one of the best in the business.
Now some will say the run game isn't a factor in Romo's performance the past few weeks and some will say Tony isn't making better decisions. In my opinion, yes the run game is helping him and yes he is making better decisions. This is the 2009 quarterback that made me feel like a little kid again and this Romo is the exact same player that will give me that feeling again. If Romo continues to play like this throughout the season and stays consistent, he will be in that elite class we discuss so much on here. Romo's play is vital to this team's success and this is the type of play that wins Super Bowls.
Tony, you know I am a tough critic of your play. The reason I am so hard on you is because of how good you can truly be. The win against the Bills is my textbook example of how gosh darn good you can be. Keep it up and enjoy the ride.
Wow, what a performance by DeMarco Murray folks. When we drafted this kid I felt we had something special but he is truly starting to blow me away every single time he gets the football. We all knew the type of speed and burst he had, but he just has another gear and you can see it. The play that really made me go wow was the Barry Sanders like run just before halftime. He starts off to the right and nothing is there. Then Murray makes a cut and starts back to the other side. That is when he shifts into his see ya gear and takes it 25 yards. That is a special play folks and not everyone can do that in the NFL. Felix Jones is an amazing athlete, but I don't know if he could even do that.
DeMarco had his 3rd 100 yard game and shredded Buffalo for 135 yards on the ground and a 6.8 yard average. He also chipped in 6 catches for 36 yards on 7 targets. The receiving aspect of his game is just starting to come into play and that is scary folks. I know it's early and it's only a few games, but this guy looks like a premier running back in the NFL. When you look at some of the top names, Ray Rice, Jamaal Charles, Arian Foster, LeSean McCoy, Fred Jackson, Ahmad Bradshaw and Matt Forte, some of the best running backs in the league weren't first round picks. It may plausible that Murray is next in line to be a mid round pick that turns into a top 5-10 running back.
The nickname search is on for DeMarco Murray. My personal favorite is RDD, Real Deal DeMarco. Just another game ball for RDD, please keep them coming.
Dez Bryant and Laurent Robinson
Miles Austin is a big part of this team and is one of the best in the business. Losing him to another hamstring injury is concerning. What is truly impressive about this team is the way players are stepping up when the guy in front of them goes down. We have seen Jesse Holley (who made a fabulous catch on a perfect Romo throw by the way) step up when needed. DeMarco Murray has stepped up to the plate. Frank Walker and somewhat Alan Ball have stepped up when needed as well. Basically when someone goes down, it's time to man up and these players are doing exactly that.
Laurent Robinson is the next guy to step up to the plate and seize his opportunity. At first this was a great signing but then we released him because of an injury. I thought we totally screwed up releasing Bryan McCann for Robinson and well I was totally wrong. Robinson reminds me a lot of Miles Austin in the way they play the game. Both are crisp route runners and have great acceleration. Robinson is the perfect model the Cowboys look for in wide receivers. Tall, fast and lean, that is exactly what the Cowboys look for in wide receivers.
Robinson has contributed more to this team than Bryan McCann ever would, lets face it McCann was never going to be a #2 or #3 cornerback here. Robinson has the skills to become the #3 wide receiver the Cowboys have been searching for since Patrick Crayton was exiled to San Diego. Robinson had 3 catches for 76 yards and 2 touchdowns last Sunday. His season total is now 27 receptions, 441 yards and 4 touchdowns. I don't know what he is on pace for but it has to be pretty good.
Robinson is only signed to a one year deal for the league minimum. Expect Robinson to receive a huge increase in salary this offseason in free agency. People are saying that it's not a priority to begin negotiating with him and he will be a Cowboy next year. I totally disagree with that. Robinson was a 3rd round pick that had all the talent in the world, what he lacked was consistency and ongoing injuries. Teams are always looking for the next big thing and Robinson is it. He could easily be a #2 wide receiver on half the teams in the NFL. Robinson will be a hot commodity in free agency next year.
Jerry Jones has rewarded players during the season with contract extensions and new deals. For once in his life, go out and actually spend the money on this guy, don't be cheap Jerry. If Jerry came to Robinson with a nice deal, say a 25 percent increase from the league average for #3 wide receivers, Robinson would sign in a heartbeat. In my opinion Robinson loves it here in Dallas, he loves being a Dallas Cowboy. His chemistry with the starting quarterback is great. He is close to Dez Bryant and Tony Romo on and off the field. This was the team that finally gave him the opportunity to showcase his talent and this was the team that really gave him a chance at real playing time.
If we lose Robinson I think it would be a huge loss. It's clear we won't draft a speedster for the slot in the draft and it's clear we won't spend money in free agency on a #3 wide receiver. When you find a piece that compliments your offense, you keep that piece. Now I am not saying Robinson is Jerry Rice or anything, but the guy is a great third option on an offense with tremendous talent. Lock him up Jerry, please. Listen to Robinson talk in the post game interview. Robinson is a very intelligent and respectful young man, exactly the RKG Garrett is always preaching about.
Dez Bryant is my favorite player and once again he was in beast mode. Dez caught all 6 of his targets, 6 catches for 74 yards and the touchdown that set the tone. Of course we can talk about his one catch in the second half, but that was the only time he was targeted. The game was really out of hand by that point anyway so the Dez fading in the half theory was irrelevant this week.
The chemistry between Romo and Dez is starting to grow and they are working out the kinks. We have to start getting him the ball more, that is just my opinion. But look at the 34 yard touchdown on the opening drive. Murray makes a great block and Romo steps up and launches it down the field to Dez who has a mismatch on Leodis McKelvin who is only 5'10 186. The ball is a tad bit under thrown and Dez adjusts to the ball perfectly. There is nobody better than Dez when the ball is in the air and we need to start giving him that opportunity more. He is either going to make the catch or it will be incomplete. That is how good he has become with the ball in the air.
The one play where he starting to run backwards was Dez trying to do too much. He won't do that again because Garrett or Jimmy Robinson let him know to keep going forward. Had that pass been a little better, Dez might have taken it to the house.
Great game by our receivers as a unit by the way. Jesse Holley made a great catch and he truly steps up every single time his name is called.
The Entire Defense
With this performance we should just reward the entire defense. The secondary really has been so impressive this year and many including myself thought that would be the weak link on this team. The linebackers this week were also impressive and that was an area that deeply concerned me heading into this game. The defensive line wasn't all that impressive, but they did their job this week.
Ray Lewis really had a great point the other night when I was watching an interview he did with Jon Gruden. He was saying how if you have a dominant player at each level, defensive line, linebacker and secondary, what it will do for your defense. We still need another disruptive defensive end and a ball hawk in the secondary, but those are truly the only two pieces we need to be contender in the playoffs defensively.
It was disappointing we only managed one sack. Regardless of the lack of sacks, the pressure was there and Ryan Fitzpatrick looked like he was at Harvard again. Fred Jackson had 114 yards but never took over the game and was held in check. The area this defense truly achieved success at was limiting Jackson in the passing game. He had 4 catches for 1 yard. Entering this game that was the one area the Cowboys concerned me in on defense but Rob Ryan and the players did a great job there.
The one player I want to really point out is Terence Newman. He was going to be replaced by Nnamdi Asomugha, it was a done deal. Then Nnamdi pulled a sleazy move and high tailed it to the Dream Team. Newman will always be an injury waiting to happen. Groin injuries are truly a tough injury to overcome when you play a position like cornerback that involves stopping and cutting all the time. Honestly I think Mike Jenkins had a groin injury last year, that is my theory for his down season anyway. Ever since Newman returned to the lineup he has been a good player for the Cowboys. The Lions game may have been his worst game of the year, but going up against Megatron in your first game is tough for anyone.
If we could go back in time, would we still go after Nnamdi? In the long term you would have to say adding a player of his caliber would benefit the defense. Short term no, Newman has been better than Nnamdi. I don't know how PFF see's the issue, but from what I have seen this year Newman has easily been the better player. When Newman is healthy, he is a really good cornerback. For whatever reason, he actually looks FASTER he ever has. Maybe my eyes are playing tricks on me, let me know in the comment section please.
Frank Walker has been a good addition to this football team. I remember him from his days as a Giant and he was a real good player for them out of Tuskegee. The signing looked like a good one to me and is really paying off. What really sets Walker apart from the other depth cornerbacks we have had on this team in recent years is his versatility and technique. Walker can play some safety and also be sent on blitz packages. He is a physical and aggressive cornerback but won't take chances leading to big plays. He looks like he would wash my windows and ask for some good will, but the dude can play football at an extremely high level.
Sean Lee is a complete warrior and you really have to admit he is the truth if you were against that pick when we made it. Personally I think Lee is the best inside linebacker in the NFL besides Patrick Willis and Lawrence Timmons. The crazy part is, he is only going to get better and better. Lee is a physical freak, people think he isn't but he truly is one amazing athlete. That is only one part of his game though. Lee is also a smart player that uses his intelligence and knowledge from the film room to succeed. When you pair physical ability and intelligence, you get a dominating football player. Once Dez Bryant learns running crisp routes and studying in the film room he will be as dominate as Sean Lee has been. Lee is also one of the hardest workers on this team and is a natural leader.
I don't know what more you could ask for in a linebacker, heck of a football player and one amazing young man. Your looking at one of the captains on this football team next year. If there ever was a Captain America on this team, it would be Sean Lee. Just listen to the guy talk. Very intelligent young man and very respectful.