Dallas Cowboys News & Notes: "The 2013 Cowboys should win the NFC East."

Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

Latest Dallas Cowboys headlines: Why the Cowboys should win the NFC East; prepping for the Bengals; defending the deep ball.

Time for Cowboys to cash in - Dan Graziano, ESPN NFC East Blog
The three teams that have the most players in ESPNs ranking of the 100 top players on each side of the ball are the 49ers (15 players), the Seahawks (13) and the Cowboys (10). Based on these numbers, Graziano concludes:

"The 2013 Cowboys should win the NFC East and end the Dallas playoff drought, and if they don't, the world will have ample license to label them underachievers."

"It's time now to stop the underachieving. The NFC East is eminently winnable. [...] The Cowboys and all of their #NFLRank-ed players should look at this division, which they were one game from winning in each of the past two seasons, as theirs to claim. It's time to move past the problems that have held them back and find a way to win that deciding game for a change. If they don't do it -- and I mean this year -- they're going to look back someday and shake their heads at all of the talent they squandered in its prime."

Jerry Jones names top five offensive linemen, hints Livings has serious knee issue - Jon Machota, DMN
Smith - Leary - Frederick - Bernadeau - Free. Those are Jones's top five. No mention anywhere of Nate Livings. Livings has had two procedures on his right knee already this year, and Jones talks about the possibility of a degenerative condition:

"You’d ask yourself, ‘Is there a degeneration in the knee, as opposed to a fix of an injury that comes back as good as new?’ I think he’s having some of that, a degeneration," Jones said. "But that’s not uncommon at all at this point in his career, so a combination of those things puts a little guess work into as when he might be back."

New Cowboys D needs to handle deep ball - ESPN Stats & Info Blog
For the last two years, the Cowboys defense has ranked 29th in the league in completion percentage on passes of more than 20 yards down the field. An improved Cowboys defense will need to do a better job defending the deep ball.

Ready To See Free At Guard; Vet Safety Impressive - Bryan Broaddus, DallasCowboys.com
After setting the stage with a pearl of wisdom about Parnell ("I don't if the knee is still bother him but he is just not bending well enough that area."), Broaddus gives a very positive assessment of safety Will Allen:

"With Allen you are getting a steady, calm player that understands where he needs to position himself on the field whether it is as a single high player or a two deep man off the hash, he is finding ways to be in the right spot. Where this organization has struggled through the years, is finding a safety that not only showed range in coverage but was able to make plays on the ball. With Will Allen, they have appeared to taken [sic] a step in the right direction."

Current Line Situation Shows Value Of Undrafted Player - Rowan Kavner, DallasCowboys.com
The Cowboys have a lot of faith in Ronald Leary. So much so that all of the reshuffling currently going on with the O-line is a direct response to Leary's absence, writes Kavner.

John Madden: NFL defenses will attack read-option QBs - NFL.com
Defensive coaches have spent the offseason studying the college game for clues on the read option. According to Hall of Fame coach John Madden, they're now convinced they must go after the QB.

"Every guy I've talked to is going to go after the quarterback," Madden said, via Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times. "That's going to be their answer. If you watch what they did last year, a lot of guys played the quarterback. If he pitches, get off him. If he keeps it, tackle him. Now, they're just going to go after him whether he pitches or not."

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Prepping for the Bengals

Bengals at Cowboys: Questions with Blogging the Boys - Cincy Jungle
As the Bengals head to Dallas to play preseason game number three, BTB's Dave Halprin answered a couple of Cowboys questions for the Bengals' SB Nation blog.

Cowboys ready for everything from Bengals - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
Yeah, we'll see about that tonight.

Word of Muth: Previewing the Bengals - Football Outsiders
"The Bengals offensive line has been a favorite of the intellectual, hipster, online football community for the past several years," writes Ben Muth, and picks them as a potential top 5 unit. Good test for the Cowboys D-Line tonight.

Keep An Eye On Free-Atkins Matchup Inside - Bryan Broaddus, DallasCowboys.com
Broaddus writes that the Bengals front seven will be a huge challenge for the Cowboys offensive line, which has provided solid protection for Romo and Orton through the first three preseason games.

Bengals vs. Cowboys: Five things to watch - Carlos Mendez, Star-Telegram
Mendez runs down a list of five things to watch for, chief among them: avoiding turnovers.

Bengals riding high entering dress rehearsal - Zanesville Times Recorder
Most of the Bengals offense is intact from a year ago, and Andy Dalton sees that as a positive:

"There hasn’t been a whole lot of new learning going on so far," Dalton said. "Everybody basically knows what we’re doing. That’s going to make us better going into the season."

NFL roundup: Dallas Cowboys' starters can't rustle up points - delawareonline.com
Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys' first-team offense still are looking for their first touchdown this preseason and it would be nice to get in the end zone against the Bengals.

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Across the East

Steelers trade with Eagles for RB Felix Jones - Behind the Steel Curtain
The Steelers traded OLB Robinson for the Eagles RB Felix Jones yesterday. Steelers fans are now wondering what they got in the trade. They surmise that they've traded for a running back with good blocking skills to address the woes of the offensive line (which, like the Bengals' line, has been a " favorite of the intellectual, hipster, online football community for the past several years") and the lack of a strong blocking TE to start the season.

Philadelphia Eagles linebackers not quite in a position to succeed - delawareonline.com
The Eagles have traditionally been suspect at linebacker, and the switch to a 3-4 scheme may have made the situation even worse, if the trade for OLB Adrian Robinson is anything to go by.

Mike Shanahan: "Anything short of a Super Bowl is a failure." - National Football Post
Mike Shanahan has been taking summer classes at the Rex Ryan School Of Hot Air.

NY Giants have plenty of questions surrounding offensive line and middle linebacker - NY Daily News
Just last week, the Giants’ O-line was veteran-filled and deep, but with center David Baas and RT David Diehl out with injury, the less-than-mobile Eli Manning may be in for a rough couple of games. At linebacker, recent Cowboys cast-off Dan Connor has secured the starting MLB spot, so as long as the opponents stick to running the ball, the Giants should be in good shape.

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