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New DCFanatic Radio Show plus other stuff

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You guys might've noticed that here hasn't been a DCFanatic Radio Show over the last couple of weeks. That's because DCFanatic himself has been on the injury list and was unable to do the show. But he's back from injury - we didn't have to put him on IR - and there's a new show up about the Falcons game. Click here to listen.

The Cowboys know they need to stop Mike Vick from running tonight. They also need to re-establish the tone on defense after getting pummeled last week.

And how they play against the Falcons, especially defensively, could determine the legitimacy of their postseason hopes. After the debacle against the Saints, it's personal.

"That's how I look at it," linebacker Akin Ayodele said. "We let ourselves down, and we let the team down. We have no chance if we play like we did last week. We have no chance to be good in the playoffs."

I've seen Cowboys fans debate the subject of our conservative defensive scheme this year. Every time I write about how we don't blitz or stunt, how we just line up on defense and say "beat us if you can", debates break out as to why we do it and who's to blame. JJT says the players are having that same debate in the clubhouse.

That's because several defensive players are sick and tired of the conservative approach the coaching staff has used much of this season. Their frustration heightened this week after one of the worst defensive performances in franchise history in a 42-17 loss to New Orleans.

The Cowboys don't blitz much. They stunt even less. For the most part, they line up in their base defense and dare you to beat them. With Greg Ellis, their best pass-rusher, still in the lineup they could play that way, but a ruptured Achilles' tendon has ended his season.

So it's time for the coaching staff to adjust its approach. This week. Right now. Is that enough urgency for you?

The 3-4, which requires each player to win his one-on-one battle, is a scheme based on winning physical confrontations. Do that and the defense performs at a high level. Fail and you get a butt-kicking like the one New Orleans delivered last week.

Some blame Mike Zimmer, the defensive coordinator. Others blame Bill Parcells for forcing Zimmer into a conservative approach. One player blamed both.