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Sticking to the script

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Teams that script their first 15 plays on offense have always been a curiosity to me. Sometimes I imagine an offensive coordinator holding the script in his hand and play #6 comes up which is a deep "go" route designed to get the best WR on the team deep behind the coverage for a big play, or at least to let the defense know that the deep ball is an option during the game. But what happens if by play #6 your offense is at the opponent’s 5-yard line? OK, that’s an extreme example meant to prove a point.

Todd Archer, in today’s DMN, examines Jason Garrett’s use of the script for the Cowboys. Thankfully for my piece of mind, Garrett uses the script as a guide but does take down and distance into consideration while calling plays on those first drives of the games.

"Some people really stick to the script, adhere to the script regardless of the situation," Garrett said. "We allow situations to take us where we want to go. If we get in certain third-down or red-zone situations, we're not going to blindly run plays. We're going to let the situations take over."

The article is a good read and I recommend you check it out. The basic idea is that Garrett is doing what we’ve been saying all year and that is getting a feel for certain formations and packages on offense and how they might work throughout the game. It’s also setting up plays for later by showing one thing out of a certain formation then doing another later in the game.

I posted my minor rant about Lions’ WR Mike Furrey in the previous post and how I want the Cowboys to make him pay for his antics at Texas Stadium last year. I was then going to move on to Jon Kitna and his post-game interview that slagged the Cowboys defense. Not that is wasn’t deserved after the way the Cowboys defense played in that game, but still, saying certain things in the way he did is definitely going to be bulletin-board material in the future. I should have known that you guys would beat me to the punch and you did, BTB-regular gaz0425 posted one of the offending comments.

"That No. 56 looked like he didn't know where he was about half the time," said Detroit quarterback Jon Kitna, the week after the Lions lit up the Cowboys' defense in the regular-season finale.

Bradie James is the #56 in question and he knows about the quote and has answered about it in a few interviews. On Sunday, he’ll get the chance for some retribution. Look, it’s true that James wasn’t the best in coverage last year due to his increased bulk and the Cowboys insistence on keeping him on the field for passing situations. This year, James is a different player and only plays in some of the pass coverage schemes. But he does get to blitz more often and this week he’ll probably be lobbying for a few extra blitzes in an effort to show that #56 can take care of business on the defensive side of the ball.

But I didn’t remember another comment Kitna made concerning Terence Newman. The DMN blog recalls:

"We definitely felt like Terence Newman was the best corner that they had, so we knew we needed to be careful with him. But even with him, I mean, he's not Marcus Trufant in my opinion. He doesn't have that kind of ability. It wasn't like you were scared to throw at him, I guess."

T-New now has a streak of three straight games with an INT. Care to make it four?

The DFW S-T takes a look at the good and bad with Cowboys secondary.

Over at SI.com, Peter King gives out some Romo-love.

Tony Romo, QB, Dallas. In the six Cowboys games since the loss to New England, Romo has six 100-plus rating games, has completed 73 percent of his throws and has 18 touchdowns and five interceptions.

[snip]

I think the only quarterbacks, long-term, I'd take over Romo right now are Brady and Peyton Manning. Romo doesn't have the deep arm of Carson Palmer or Roethlisberger, but he has the improvisational ability equal to, or better than, anyone beyond the top two.