It seems that everybody is just giddy in Cowboy Nation this morning. Nothing like two efficient, butt-kickings in a row to help the old confidence meter. The Cowboys starting units have outscored their opponents 30-9 so far, and even that number is deceptively low for the Cowboys. In the first game they traded seven points in for three on two separate occasions, stalling in the redzone after two beautifully constructed drives. They had other missed opportunities in both games, but still managed to crank out 30 points in roughly three quarters of play. And as I keep mentioning, we haven’t even employed our top three receivers in any meaningful way. T.O. and Jason Witten have largely been inactive, and Terry Glenn has been inactive. So what’s not to like?
Well Susie Sunshine, try this one. It’s the preseason, where many paper tigers have roared, only to become sweet, loveable kitty-kats once the season starts. So while I admit to some exuberance, to a burgeoning belief that these Cowboys just might have something this year, I must remain somewhat skeptical. It’s only two preseason games; I’ve seen teams do this before.
While I’m cautious, there is one fact that can’t be denied, you’d rather have your team play like the Cowboys are playing right now instead of the alternative. We could all be sitting around bemoaning the fact that the Cowboys came out of the gate looking awful, but we’re not. We’re celebrating early successes that we hope portend greater things.
Mickey Spags loves the running attack and the run defense. Even-keeled Todd Archer betrays a hint of optimism, but also reminds us it’s the preseason. Giddy Gil LeBreton pays tribute to the capo of the offensive line, Tony Sparano. And Clarence Hill declares Camp Cupcake has been devoured by Camp Perfect. Now that’s some giddiness.
Can’t get enough of the Martin Gramatica vs Nick Folk smackdown in D-town? Thinking of using your dartboard as a kicker picker? DC.com has more info for your intake.
Isaiah Stanback finally hit the field on Saturday night. I never got see him practice in San Antonio so I was especially interested in what he could do in his debut. Well, the 4th-round converted QB has just added his own little measure of giddiness to the masses.
"He has the speed," said starting receiver Terrell Owens, who should know talent when he sees it. "He just has to get familiar with the offense and get his timing down. Other than that he has the tools."
Stanback also was used to return kickoffs, but never got out of the endzone.
"I didn't want to take a knee," Stanback said of the play. "I was ready as a returner, but that's what the other returner [Jerheme Urban] is there for. If he says you're supposed to stay in, you've got to stay in, so I had to respect that."
Anybody else think Urban told him to stay in because he knows Stanback is about to bump him off the roster? I kid. But seriously, Stanback made a very nice catch for the TD.
With every silver lining there must come a storm cloud. But even the storm clouds have silver linings. Confused yet? I’m talking about injuries.
Team trainers said second-year tight end Anthony Fasano re-aggravated the same A.C. joint in his shoulder Saturday night that he sprained in the off-season, though the injury isn't considered serious and Fasano could return to practice Tuesday.
Rookie running back Jackie Battle suffered a high ankle sprain and was seen walking around in a protective boot after the game. He said he won't know the timetable for his return until he talks to the trainers on Sunday.
Tough break for Jackie Battle, but the important part is that Anthony Fasasno thinks he’ll be able to return to practice early this week. Storm cloud hopefully averted.
Having a baby this week made Jason Ferguson a happy man, his play on Saturday made me a happy man.
Only a couple of days after welcoming his new baby boy, starting nose tackle Jason Ferguson was all over the field, registering three tackles, a sack, a knockdown, and a pass deflection.
Also, I didn’t mention this last night, but Anthony Spencer was pretty close to making some big plays.
First-round pick Anthony Spencer came within inches of making two dynamic plays on the same defensive series in the second quarter - one in coverage and one via pass rush.
"I think I played better than I played in the first game. I think I was in a lot better position in a lot of plays. There's still some stuff I need to work on, but of all the stuff that went through the game I think I played pretty well."
He tipped a ball that normally would’ve have gone incomplete or been intercepted, but the ball feel right back into the hands of the TE for a completion. You have to credit Spencer with making a nice recovery in pass coverage to get his hand on the ball. He also forced Cutler out of the pocket and into a bad throw, but he should have made the sack. At least he’s getting in position to make plays, now he just needs to finish the job.
Don’t forget the game is being replayed on the NFL Network at 5 PM EST. I’ll start an open thread for the broadcast and we can do it all over again. I’ll also be able to do a film review, which will allow me to update my roster evaluation chart.