They don’t know him like I know him - Gary Stallard, The Lufkin News
Recommended reading: Dez Bryant's former high school English tutor reflects on his experiences with a young Bryant, and is confused - and sometimes infuriated - as to all the negativity that streams Bryant's way.
What I see now is a young man who, with very little personal guidance outside his coaches and teachers, is trying hard to become a better human being; sometimes he’s successful, and sometimes he isn’t. But from him, I can actually draw inspiration. So could the other writers, if they’d bother to look past their preconceived notions. They want so hard to see a thug, they’re determined to see one regardless of the truth.
Bryant tops midseason awards - Tom Orsborn, Express-News
Orsborn hands out his midseason awards, including one for Dez Bryant as the most under-utilized skill player, and argues that the Cowboys should get the ball to Bryant more than they've done, no matter what coverage he faces. Garrett agrees in his non-committal way.
"Yeah, I don't want to reflect back and second-guess decisions," Garrett said. "But, certainly, just as a general idea, when he's getting doubled, you have to find ways to get the ball (to him)."
Sean Lee, Dallas Cowboys MLB, highlights NFL Week 9 Preview - Peter King
Peter King writes that Sean Lee beats quarterbacks through an uncanny anticipation that comes from film work and smart pre-snap reads.
"I don’t know if you saw the play, but I did, and it was mesmerizing. Just before halftime of Dallas-Detroit on Sunday, Cowboys middle linebacker Sean Lee waited, waited, waited and suddenly, as though he’d been forewarned about the play call, stepped in front of wideout Jeremy Ross running a short slant, picked off the pass and ran 74 yards with it."
Spotlight on Dallas Cowboys LB Sean Lee - Rainer Sabin, DMN
Fresh from being named the NFC Defensive Player of the Month, Sean Lee now faces the unenviable task of containing the league's best running back in Adrian Peterson.
"Well, it’s an extremely tough challenge," Lee said. "You have to be extremely disciplined with staying in your gaps because he can hit any gap, he can take the edge and if you let him loose he can take it all the way to the end zone every single play. You have to stay on top of him. We’re completely concerned with this offense and with Adrian Peterson and trying to stop him."
Travis Frederick doesn't see rookie wall - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
Jason Garrett says that Frederick is playing "like a veteran player". The Cowboys "could not be more pleased" with their first-round draft pick, writes Archer. Frederick himself still sees a long way to go:
"I think that I've come a long way," Frederick said. "It's interesting to sit back and look at where I was eight weeks ago and where I was 12 weeks ago going into the preseason. I've come such a long way, but I still have such a long way to go."
"There's no end in sight to where you end and where you're going to stop getting better. There's so many things I've got to improve on, but I've certainly come a long way."
Jakar Hamilton looks to rebound - Calvin Watkins, ESPN Dallas
Hamilton was burned on two long pass plays against the Lions, and is now putting in the extra time to make sure that doesn't happen against the Vikings. Note where that "extra time" took place according to Watkins:
This week, Hamilton visited Church's house to watch game tape and get a feel for playing the position with the Minnesota Vikings coming to AT&T Stadium on Sunday.
Pondering the 46: Rest for DeMarcus Ware - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
Archer argues that it might make more sense to let Ware heal up completely and be ready for the New Orleans Saints next week, instead of rushing him into action against the Vikings.
Under Pressure: Sack Breakdowns - Football Outsiders
Between 2.6 and 3.1 seconds is the average time for a sack in the NFL. If a quarterback is sacked after 3.2 seconds, it's considered a "long sack", according to research by JJ Cooper of Football Outsiders, who broke down all the sacks in the NFL by time, and conveniently split them by sacks that happened within 2.6 seconds of the snap ('short sacks'), medium sacks (2.6 - 3.1 seconds) and long sacks.
2014 NFL Draft: NFL announces dates, locations of 16 Regional Combines - CBSSports.com
The league began the regional workouts a year ago in an effort to supplement the National Scouting Combine held annually in Indianapolis. The regional workouts led to 50 players being signed by NFL teams a year ago, including 30 signed to active rosters.
2014 NFL Draft: Underclassmen deadline set for January 15 - CBSSports.com
Draft-eligible underclassmen will have until January 15 to decide whether or not to declare early for the 2014 NFL Draft
Trouble on the Homefront? - Hogs Haven
There is trouble brewing in Washington, and that trouble pits Robert Griffin and Dan Snyder (+ Bruce Allen) against Mike and Kyle Shanahan. This is going to be a lot of fun to watch unfold. The article features a collection of increasingly alarmist tweets summarizing the situation in Washington. Read it and I promise you'll come back smiling.
Why did the Eagles' offense stop working? - Philadelphia Inquirer
Bob Ford points out that the Eagles offense has scored just three points in 25 possessions over the last two games. That's not what the Philly fans were expecting from Chip "Offensive Genius" Kelly, who deftly points the finger at Matt Barkley, who was in on 11 of those 25 possessions:
"The last two, if I look at the last two and just analyze what the situation is, in both games we got to our third quarterback. I think that's a difficult proposition."
Not much good, plenty of bad and ugly for Giants - New York Post
This headline perfectly sums up the Giants season, and leads with the obligatory Eli Sadface Manning picture.