Dallas Cowboys News & Notes: "We'll Be In A Good Situation In Late December"

Tom Pennington

Latest Dallas Cowboys headlines: Jason Hatcher believes Cowboys will be in a "good situation in late December", how the Cowboys hope to fix their pass rush, and a look at what happened to the '12 personnel' package.

Jason Hatcher believes Cowboys will be in a "good situation in late December" - Charean Williams, Star-Telegram
Hatcher is optimistic about the defense’s and the team’s prospects for the rest of the season.

"I don’t like to look back on last year, if we would’ve lost a game like that, we would’ve packed it in," Hatcher said Thursday. "We don’t have guys like that on this defense or entire team. That’s what makes me have the faith -- just the guys we have. They want to win for each other. We’re a brotherhood, and we’re going to continue to play to the end. And I think we’ll be in a good situation in late December."

Why Rod Marinelli may be Cowboys' best chance to rush back into Super Bowl contention - Rick Gosselin, DMN
In an interesting read that you'll find worth your time, Gosselin writes that the Cowboys must get younger, healthier and better on the defensive line, and that the process has already started with the signings of DT Drake Nevis, DT Marvin Austin and DE Everette Brown. The key will be for Rod Marinelli to get production from these so far underachieving but talented players:

I went back to my draft research to review those players. I rated Austin No. 26 on my Top 100 draft board of 2011, Brown No. 53 in 2009 and Nevis No. 78 in 2011. Austin became a second-round draft pick of the New York Giants, Brown a second-rounder of the Carolina Panthers and Nevis a third-rounder of the Indianapolis Colts.

Marinelli has a history of turning underachievers into achievers. His scheme allows undersized players to thrive and athletic players to shine. There is one starting point for a Marinelli player: He must have pass-rush ability.

So what happened to the Dallas Cowboys' '12 personnel' package? - Rainer Sabin, DMN
Sabin takes a stab at answering a question that's been resting uneasily in the minds of many Cowboys fans. He argues that with the wealth of receiving options available to the Cowboys, the 11 personnel (1 RB, 1 TE, 3 WR) offers better mismatches and forces defenses into revealing their strategy.

"It forces them to play a lot of man," Beasley said. "It really forces them to show exactly what they’re doing. That’s the big thing. Whatever receiver we put out there we feel like that’s too much space for anyone to really cover us. We feel like we can get open. They can try to double guys, but we feel like no one can cover any of us one on one. That’s why we went to it a lot more and we’ve been successful with it."

Jim Schwartz: We doubled Dez all day and he still scored two TDs - ProFootballTalk
Detroit coach Jim Schwartz said the Lions focused their defense on stopping Bryant, and that they had Bryant in double coverage on both of his TDs. Schwartz also said that by doubling Bryant, the Lions were hoping Tony Romo would be forced to go to other receivers.

"We were doubling Dez Bryant just about the entire game and he still made two touchdown catches," Schwartz said. "Both of them, he was doubled. One of them was an over-under zone, and the other was a true double man. And he kept on making a play on us."

Audio, Romo back Bryant's claim - San Antonio Express-News
The NFL audio taken from the sidelines of Sunday's game against the Lions backs up Dez Bryant's claim that he was saying only positive things at Tony Romo, and Romo confirms that.

"Does he need to sometimes maybe look a little different for what's going to be written and talked about? Sure," Romo said Thursday in the Cowboys' locker room. "Does it really matter in here? No. He's a positive guy who loves his teammates. What else do you want? He's passionate and he comes to work every day with a great attitude."

Hot Clicks Q&A: Jason Witten - SI.com
The Senator gives one of his rare public interviews and discusses fantasy football, his favorite player growing up (Junior Seau) and what Tony Romo is like behind the scenes:

"He’s a pretty good guy. He’s pretty nice to everyone and makes everyone feel good – no matter who they are. It’s always good to see behind the scenes when a guy treats the people who can’t do anything for him just as good as his teammates. It’s pretty good to see that he’s that good a guy."

Normal soreness for Tony Romo at halfway mark - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
After some lackluster performances of late, questions were raised about Romo's health status. Romo said yesterday that playing two successive games on the road may have played a part in his performance, but not his health:

"Just bruises throughout the season, there are no back issues or anything like that," Romo said. "You end up getting to the midpoint of the season, your shoulders are tight, all the legs, all that stuff, you’ve got to keep grinding away, keep getting better, and keep staying in the weight room and doing all that good stuff."

Dan Bailey has improved his kickoffs, which will help this week vs. Cordarrelle Patterson - Charean Williams, Star-Telegram
Williams digs up some nice stats on Dan Bailey, who has improved his kickoffs to such a degree that he's already kicked for more touchbacks after eight games than he did after 16 in the two previous years:

He had 24 touchbacks on 67 kickoffs in 2011 and 30 on 79 in 2012. This season, he is tied for second in the NFL with 34 on 48 kickoffs -- 66.5 percent.

Dwayne Harris playing with torn muscles in lower ab - Rowan Kavner, DallasCowboys.com
Harris has been playing through a painful lower ab injury since Week 3, and while he's been listed as limited in practice since, he hasn't missed time on Sunday's.

DeMarcus Ware on his injury: ‘I’m starting to feel really good;’ - Brandon George, DMN
Ware said he’s getting closer to returning to the field and that he’ll be a game-time decision again on Sunday.

"The way that everything is going, it’s progressing really well," Ware said. "I did a lot of the drills today and I’m starting to feel really good. I’m trying to get ready for this week. If not this week, I’m trying to get ready for next week. It’s a day to day thing."

Garrett’s upbeat attitude key to rebounding, Carr says - Tom Orsborn, Evening-News
"He’s always got a positive outlook, always upbeat, encouraging," Carr told reporters Monday in Irving.

"He’s a pretty smart guy and he always finds a way to reach us, to motive us, to challenge us, to get guys to respond.

Agent's Take: Which big names are likely to be cap casualties - CBSSports.com
Big salary cap numbers and poor performance? That's a recipe for becoming a cap casuality, and former NFL agent Joel Corry has a dozen names who fit that bill, including Julius Peppers, Chris Johnson, Mark Sanchez - and Miles Austin.

Midseason Report: Top 5 rankings for each position - NFL.com
Chris Wesseling highlights the top five players at each position at the halfway point of the season. Notable Cowboys on the list: WR Dez Bryant (No. 3 among wide receivers), DT Jason Hatcher (1), ILB Sean Lee (3), KR Dwayne Harris (4), K Dan Bailey (5).

Midseason All-Pro Team - NFL.com
Elliot Harrison reveals his Midseason All-Pro Team, which includes two Cowboys: Jason Hatcher and Sean Lee.

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