Dallas Cowboys Gameday News & Notes

Tom Pennington

Latest Dallas Cowboys headlines as the Cowboys get ready to play the Packers this afternoon.

Cowboys hit 4th quarter with guns blazing - Packersnews.com
Leave it to the writers for the opposing team to find the positives in the Cowboys' game.

The Cowboys are the only team to have a fourth-quarter passer rating in triple digits in each of the past three seasons. Since 2011, Romo (104.4) is the third-best passer (minimum 100 attempts) in that key quarter behind only Rodgers (112.5) and Manning (106.8).

But neither Rodgers nor Manning, nor anyone else, has thrown as many touchdown passes. Romo has 30, two more than Eli Manning of the Giants and Matthew Stafford of the Lions. That suggests the Cowboys can and do reach the end zone late in games. Over the past three seasons, Dallas has scored 383 fourth-quarter points, more than all but New England (432), Denver (413) and Detroit (388).

Callahan says it's always in the plan to get playmakers the ball early, but sometimes it doesn't work out - Carlos Mendez, Star-Telegram
Bill Callahan explains that it’s always in the plan to get the ball to the "Playmakers," and that the Cowboys are aware when a player like Dez Bryant isn't getting as involved as he should be. And while there is no schedule that dictates who should get the ball how often, the Cowboys do try to get everybody the ball, but that plan doesn't always hold up as the Cowboys may break their script for third downs, red-zone plays or even when the running game is working well.

Dez Bryant agrees that he's playing better - Calvin Watkins, ESPN Dallas
Watkins writes that Bryant is a better route-runner, makes better adjustments and has a bigger impact on the game, even without the ball, than he had last year - and Bryant agrees.

"I feel the exactly same way," Bryant said. "I'm a much more better receiver than last year. My approach of the game, the understanding, reading coverages," he said. "I can go on and on about how much better I am than last year."

Wilcox says new wrinkles for Cowboys defense helped spice up 'dead' practice week early on - Carlos Mendez, Star-Telegram
The Cowboys spiced up their practice with some new wrinkles on defense, safety J.J. Wilcox said.

“We did a lot of stuff. We changed up, made it a little more creative, fun,” he said. “Just bringing the life back. It was dead the first couple of days. Coach Garrett does a great job with this team, and do does the staff, with pepping us up, getting us prepared, getting us back the winning edge again.”

Escobar hopes seam catch Monday reminded Cowboys what he can do, even as he works on his blocking - Carlos Mendez, Star-Telegram
Escobar is not yet a strong enough blocker to stay on the field full time, which is part of the reason why he's had only a few catches this year. But his catch on a seam route against the Bears reminded the Cowboys of what he is capable of - as a receiver.

“The seam pass? Oh, yeah. Caught a lot of those in college,” he said. “I’m definitely capable of that. I can do that whenever my number’s called. I’m confident in that. I’m confident I can do that game in and game out.”

“I understand,” he said. “It’s the NFL. Being a rookie, you’re still a rookie, no matter where you’re drafted; it’s going to be a transition. I probably was expecting more, in the offense, but I’m just trying to get better at blocking. I think that’s something that kept me off the field early. So I’m just trying to improve on that. The next off-season is going to be big for me.”

Aikman to call Cowboys-Packers; Dallas 3-0 in 2013 with Troy in booth - Barry Horn, DMN
What he said.

The Cowboys Are 32nd in Yards Differential – What Does That Mean? - Football Perspective
Dallas has been out-gained by 1,280 yards this season, the worst margin in the NFL. But with a 7-6 record, the Cowboys are hardly considered a bad team. Chase Stuart wonders whether the Cowboys are a bad team with a good record, or a good team with a bad yardage differential. He concludes that the defense is "legitimately terrible, while the offense is good but not great."

Roster Moves: Cowboys Release Lemon, Add Jones To Active Roster - David Helman, DallasCowboys.com
The Cowboys activated DE Edgar Jones on Saturday and made room for him by releasing LB Orie Lemon. Jones was acquired in a trade with the Chiefs in August, but had surgery for a sports hernia after the San Diego game. Orie Lemon played in two games after being signed off Arizona’s practice squad.

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