Dallas Cowboys News and Notes: Top-Ranked Running Game?

Happy Holidays, y'all! - Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Latest Dallas Cowboys headlines: O-line shines; Defense stinks; roster moves abound; Redskins setting the dysfunction bar high.

A bit of news this morning from the Cowboys past, present and future.

Packers-Cowboys Aftermath

Looking back on changed playcall, Romo says Cowboys should have run the ball - Charean WIlliams, Star-Telegram

As they say, hindsight is 20-20

Scout's Eye: Selvie, O-line among silver linings versus Packers - Bryan Broaddus, The Mothership

In-house superscout Broaddus praises the work of Selvie and the offensive line against Green Bay, reserving special mention for Tyron Smith:

Smith is playing at an elite level, and it is getting him noticed around the league. When I have a chance to visit with scouts from around the league, it’s Smith they want to talk about. In this game against the Packers, he had the job of dealing with Clay Matthews, who was the [Packers'] best pass rusher...Smith was so good against Matthews, Dom Capers moved him away from Smith just to give him a shot to try and get some pressure on Romo. No matter how hard Matthews tried to rush, he could not unlock Smith, who has become a much more complete tackle against both the run and pass.

Just another day in Dallas - Bill Barnwell, Grantland. n a must-read, Barnwell looks at all the possible scapegoats for the Cowboys epic collapse. His conclusion? The scrubs trying to stop Matt Flynn. To wit:

Ask yourself this: When was the last time Romo's defense bailed him out? I can think of a whole bunch of times when Romo bailed out his defense. Like the two-minute drill against the Vikings a few weeks ago after his defense blew a fourth-quarter lead. Or last year, when Romo led two touchdown drives in the final four minutes to tie up the game against the Saints. Or the 10-point, fourth-quarter comeback against the Bengals two weeks earlier. Where are the games when Dallas's defense comes up with a big play late to seal — let alone create — a victory. You're not wrong to pin some of the blame on Romo. But, again, if we're going to talk about what's going wrong with the Dallas Cowboys, it seems wrong to blame the side that scored 36 points far more than the one that allowed 37.

Don't Let Romo, Garrett & Co. Minimize the real issue - Nick Eatman, The Mothership

In a similar vein, Eatman cautions Cowboys fans not to eat the national media's cheese, and thus put blame on the usual suspects. No, he says, the blame must be placed squarely on a defense that he says is "one of the worst in NFL history." And there's more:

I had one Cowboys assistant coach tell me Monday that "if Aaron Rodgers would’ve played, he would’ve thrown for 500 yards." The same coach also said Kirk Cousins of the Redskins is better than Matt Flynn, who lit them up in the second half.

Yikes. And it doesn't look like it will get better soon:

Jerry Jones "concerned" without Sean Lee in the lineup -Charean Williams, Star-Telegram

Well, yeah.

Current Doings

Jerry Jones not concerned about fan apathy - Calvin Watkins, ESPN Dallas

What he's apparently NOT concerned about is fans losing interest in his team. Why? Because games like Sunday's debacle offer fans "a show." According to Jerruh, "There’s no orchestrating that the other day."While I can;' say that's he's wrong in his assessment, there's at least one long-time fan in my household who's losing interest...

Cowboys make a passel of roster moves - Nick Eatman, The Mothership

Among them: LB Justin Durant goes to IR; DT Drake Nevis and LB Kyle Bosworth are cut; LB Orie Lemon is resigned. With all the injuries to linebackers, I guess the team couldn't afford to carry one - Bosworth - who only plays special teams.

Cowboys add return specialist - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas

They also added former Charger Michael Spurlock, who played with special teams coach Rich Bisaccia in San Diego.

Bernardeau says the Cowboys O-linemen have figured out the Zone-blocking scheme Carlos Mendez, Star-Telegram

Big Mac confirms what the ol' eyeball test has determined of late: the Cowboys run blocking is significantly improved. Indeed, after only one 100-yard rushing effort in the first ten games, the team has strung together four straight century-busters. Interesting what a little continuity will get you, eh?

Decoding Callahan - Week 15 - Green Bay - The #1 Ranked Running Game - Bob Sturm, Live From Lewisville

In his weekly intensive study of the Cowboys offense, The Sturminator notes that, since November 1, the Cowboys have the top-ranked rushing offense in the league (in average per carry). Plus a lot of other really great tidbits. As per usual. Because Sturm.

Looking to the Weekend

Mo Claiborne says he will miss the Redskins game - ESPN Dallas

Dallas' injury-plagued starting corner will miss at least one more game with the hamstring injury that has kept him out since he re-aggravated it against the Giants in week 11 after initially getting hurt against the Lions in week eight. If he cannot return in 2013, Claiborne will have participated in only nine of the Cowboys 16 games, and only three of those as a starter. That, as they say, is less than ideal.

Cowboys need more from Ware and Hatcher - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas

Despite several early-season injuries, the bottom fell out of the Cowboys pass rush when these two old warriors got dinged up mid-season. If the defense is to rally in any perceptible way, these two guys must lead the charge.

Shanahan says Redskins offense didn't change for Cousins - Rich Tandler, Real Redskins

The Washington head coach offers this and other tidbits in a summary of recent doings in 'Skinsville.

Jordan Reed still suffering concussion symptoms - John Keim, ESPN.com

The Redskins promising young tight end has been sidelined for four weeks with a concussion, and is likely to be shelved for the remainder of the season. Hmmm...anything about this story sound familiar, Cowboys fans?

Kyle Shanahan, staff inexperience at core of Redskins dysfunction - Jason LaCanfora, CBSSports.com

Feeling that a dose of Schadenfreude might help alleviate those bad post-Packers blues? Then read this gem, and laugh through the tears...

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