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Cowboys article roundup

A little nugget from FOX Sports concerning the Cowboys running game.

Talking to his former linebacker Carl Banks last Friday morning on Sirius NFL Radio, Cowboys coach Bill Parcells had an interesting take on what he wanted out of Julius Jones.

Parcells said, "I want him to be on the field for every play. I want him to be like Tiki Barber."

A month ago, Jones told us, when pressed about his relationship with Parcells, "I have to be better in practice. At first I didn't know what a Parcells-guy was. Now I do. I have a good relationship with Coach and I am ready for a big season."

We'll clip and save both quotes. With Marion Barber III coming off of a big rookie season, it will be fascinating to watch the running back battle in Dallas this summer.

I'm ready to see the Jones/Barber 1-2 punch all season long.

Mickey Spags answers his mail including some questions about the 2-TE set.

James Jovanovic, Windsor, Ontario: In his first two seasons, Julius has been at his best when the defense is spread and he carries the ball on draws or delays. In formations with two tight ends, it is usually more congested.

Mickey: I think there is this misconception that the Cowboys are going to line up both tight ends on the tackle, and go with like one receiver. Not the case. The idea is to use one tight end as an H-back, or move fullback, so defenses don't know if the tight end is blocking or going to motion out into the pass pattern of motion to the line of scrimmage and form a power set to run the ball. You are right, Jones did run better in a spread offense, and the idea here because the two tight ends are very versatile, is to spread the defense with tight ends who can block still instead of wide receivers who can't. You present the threat of running while creating mismatches with your tight ends on linebackers. And if a team decides it needs to use the safety to help with the tight end, then who is helping on Glenn and Terrell Owens?

Fabio Moro, Houston: Just wondering if that spanking the Redskins put on the Cowboys last year had any influence on the Cowboys' decision to, in a sense, mimic them? I know Chris Cooley plays more of an H-back type of role, but the concept seems very similar. And it did seem like the Cowboys were lost in that game.

Mickey: Don't know if that was the total influence, but I'm sure it opened their eyes to possibilities when you don't have three Pro Bowl receivers. Plus, have you been checking around? Seems as though every time I read something, it's about a team wanting to use more two-tight offense. San Francisco is saying that. St. Louis, of all teams, is saying that. And a few others. Just creates bad matchups if you have tight ends who can outrun linebackers yet still block in the running game enough to counter a team going to their nickel to cover the tight end.

This article says we'll be a soap opera this year. Just as long as it's called "All My Super Bowls" I'll be OK.

America's team: Love 'em or hate 'em, this year, we're going to be watching them. Of all the mysteries awaiting us in NFL season 2006, some of the most compelling story lines are sure to unfold in Dallas.

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