Dallas Cowboys News & Notes: Cowboys Defense 2.0?

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Latest Dallas Cowboys headlines: The Cowboys will likely play more man coverage going forward, Jason Hatcher gets more accolades, and the salary cap discussion starts off early this year.

Welcome to Cowboys defense 2.0, now with more man coverage - David Moore, DMN
Moore makes an argument that the defensive failures against the Chargers and Broncos forced the Cowboys to make a defensive course correction, and Brandon Carr agrees:

"We played against two of the best quarterbacks in this league, and they’re having incredible seasons right now," cornerback Brandon Carr said. "They kind of exposed us, in a good way. It allowed us to see where we were strong, where we were weak, where we need more improvement and where we need tighter coverage."

"At the end of the day, they showed us something about ourselves. The coaches did a great job of self-scouting and getting those things corrected."

Moore further writes that the Cowboys have worked on finding the right balance between man and zone coverage in the games to date, and observes that the scales have tipped toward more man coverage the last two games.

Dallas Cowboys DT Jason Hatcher meeting Rod Marinelli's high standards - Tim MacMahon, ESPN Dallas
One cannot have enough positive articles about Jason Hatcher. Here's another one in which DL coach Rod Marinelli is full of praise for Hatcher.

"I just think he has gone 100 miles an hour every day," Marinelli said of Hatcher after Sunday’s 17-3 win against the Philadelphia Eagles. "Got talent and the system really fits him well, that under-tackle position. And he has embraced it. There’s a lot of pressure in that position. Our standards are really high, and he’s playing at a high level."

Hatcher’s bonding dinner preceded defensive line effort in Philly - Tom Orsborn, Express-News
Jason Hatcher organized a dinner on Thursday for his fellow rushmen "for bonding purposes." With the ragtag D-line that's seeing a new face every week, coupled with the stress of preparing for the next opponent, a time out to get to know each other a little better seemed like a good idea to Hatcher, and this one time at least, it seems to have paid off.

"We just played our heart out for each other," Hatcher said. "I’m proud of each and every one of them, man. It was a special feeling when you can bring guys together and make them play as one."

Swirling wind gives Cowboys QB Tony Romo trouble - David Moore, DMN
Tony Romo acknowledged that the swirling winds in Philadelphia were part of the reason he had a lower completion percentage.

"It was a tough day out there,’’ Romo said. "The wind played enough of a factor where just to complete balls down the field was going to be a little more difficult. Even when we did well it was swirling."

"In the middle of the field you can feel the right to left wind as it gets down there. I threw one to Dez (Bryant) on the sideline where it came off my hand nice and everything and at the end it drifts right. When you get down to the end zone it switches completely and goes the other way."

Bob's Blog: The Morning After - Cowboys 17, Eagles 3 - Bob Sturm
Sturm reviews the game and concludes that it's not easy winning on the road in the NFL.

This was not easy, nor pretty. But, it is the type of game that makes you feel that the Cowboys have a grit and resilience that will serve them well as the season develops. They can deal with adversity and still stay on task. They can outlast some opponents and fight to the very end each week. These are characteristics that are vital in the NFL when there are too many wise men on the other sideline to allow for easy conquests.

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Cowboys' salary cap hell in 2014? There's really no such thing - Mike Fisher, FSSouthwest
Some claim the Cowboys will be in 'salary cap hell' in 2014; luckily there is really no such thing, writes Fisher, who needs five minutes with a calculator (and some help from the capologists at BTB) to create $43 million in cap savings.

Cowboys' cap jail not life sentence - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
Archer, also with the help of a calculator, comes to a similar conclusion as Fisher: the Cowboys can shave nearly $37 million off the salary cap with six restructures and just two roster moves.

Stephen Jones: Dallas Cowboys not panicking over 2014 salary cap; ‘I see some light at the end of the tunnel’ - Jon Machota, DMN
Stephen Jones said Monday that the Cowboys are not panicking about the 2014 salary cap, regardless of which figures are quoted.

"The good news is we have a lot of good young players who are stepping up. That certainly eases the difficulty when you have good young guys stepping up and playing that we’re certainly going to be counting on next year. We’re certainly a little hand-cuffed as we move forward. That’s the nature of the business. We certainly know what’s coming at us and there’s no panic here. We’ll just work through it."

Dallas Cowboys: Navigating The Salary Cap - OverTheCap.com
As detailed a breakdown of the Cowboys' 2014 and 2015 cap situation as you'll find anywhere.

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Cowboys sign defensive tackle Marvin Austin - Keith Whitmire, FSSouthwest
The Cowboys are hoping they can tap into the potential that made Austin the 52nd overall draft pick for the Giants in 2011. And while Austin comes with some question marks, given the status of the Cowboys' defensive line, beggars can't be choosers.

Acknowledging the NFL's best unsung heroes - SportsonEarth.com
Mike Tanier looks at role-players, super subs and unsung heroes - and crowns Cole Beasley the best fourth wide receiver in the league.

I know, I know: we are not supposed to compare all skinny white receivers to Wes Welker. But Beasley, a 5-foot-8, 178-pound sophomore, is just asking for it. He hides in the slot, catches little flips in the flat, and turns upfield in a distinctly Welker-like manner. Beasley has caught 18 of the 20 passes thrown to him by Tony Romo this year, and every single one of them travelled 10 yards or less through the air. But those tiny passes have yielded significant production, including 10 first downs. So the stats and the role are Welker-ish. Beasley is a Texan who went to SMU. Welker is an Oklahoman who went to Texas Tech. That's close enough for an East Coast type. Can I please make the comparison? After all, Beasley is the one living up to it.

Cowboys being careful with WR Austin's hamstring injury - Keith Whitmire, FSSouthwest
The Cowboys are being extra careful with receiver Miles Austin's hamstring injury. Reading between the lines, Jason Garrett seems to suggest the Cowboys may sit Austin for a while.

"He really had a good start to the season and had some explosiveness and quickness to him, was very productive for us, and then he tweaked that hamstring a couple of weeks ago and hasn't really been the same," Garrett said. "So we've got to make sure and get him healthy and hopefully we can do that and have some other guys play for him until he's ready to really roll."

Cowboys Call RB Trade Rumor ‘BS’ - Mike Fisher, CBS DFW
Fisher wonders why NFL.com would release a report on Sunday morning that defies logic and is denied by the principals, and points out that Sunday morning is when the networks air their juiciest content, making a Cowboys mention almost mandatory.

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