The Dallas-area scribes were hard at work yesterday and turned out a plethora of articles this morning. I’m just now getting to read them all and here’s a recap.
One big story from the Bears game was the return of DeMarcus Ware. We’d been watching him in the first two games get close to the QB, but just not making it in time. Wade Phillips had been letting him off the hook and focusing on the pressures he was getting, and there’s some validity in that, but only a turnover demoralizes an offense more than a sack. Sacks say I am dominant; I just whipped your line. Ware knows that.
"Before the game I said, 'Spencer, we're zero and zero,'" Ware recalled. "'We've got to do something. They brought us in to get pressure. We've got to do that this game.'"
Zero and zero, no sacks. But no more. Ware got his two and Spencer got his one. Time to keep the momentum going.
I’ve been writing about the improving defense, here are some stats.
The Cowboys will enter Sunday's game against St. Louis (0-3) ranked 21st in total defense with 337.0 yards allowed per game, but a 286.5-yard average against Miami and Chicago - a number which would have them ranked fifth in the NFL and second in the NFC if over three games.
Part of that is just better play and part of it is the turnovers we’re getting which are killing drives by the opposing offense. And no one has been bigger in that area than Anthony Henry.
The NFC Defensive Player of the Week has four interceptions the last two weeks - two each against Green and Grossman.
"The last two games I think we've got something going on because I keep telling him he's the most underrated corner in the league," Newman said. "I tell him, 'Go get your respect.'
It’s either Newman giving him the pep talk or that Henry loves to play against QB’s with last names beginning with ‘G’.
The Cowboys have officially released kicker Martin Gramatica from the Reserve/Injured list on Tuesday. The veteran kicker, who suffered a hamstring injury in the third preseason game, was released without an injury settlement and can sign with any other NFL team.
I’ll remember him for two plays; the game-winning kick at New York and the whiffed block on Babineaux.
One of my favorite stats this week has been the Cowboys points scored in the second half - 86 – and how they’re closing games. Todd Archer breaks down the numbers even further to drop this incredible stat.
The fourth quarter is even more impressive. The Cowboys have scored 48 points in the final 15 minutes that's more points than Buffalo (24), Jacksonville (46), Kansas City (26), Chicago (33), New Orleans (38), Atlanta (30) and – Sunday's opponent – St. Louis (32) have scored in three games.
There is no snark I can add to that. Just flat-out impressive. In the fourth quarter, we’re burying teams with the run.
Against Miami, the Cowboys had 96 rushing yards on 14 carries in the fourth quarter. Against Chicago, the Cowboys had 92 yards on 13 carries in the fourth quarter, not including a 22-yard pickup by Julius Jones that was wiped out by a holding penalty the Cowboys thought was bogus.
Yeah, we’re finishing strong. So why do we start comparatively slow? Romo offers up an explanation.
"Once you gain an understanding and know the tempo of those things, guys settle down and are calmer a little bit," quarterback Tony Romo said. "Sometimes you never know what you're going to get from defenses going into games, and you just want to avoid mistakes early on."
Sounds about right. Romo and company have a tendency to look a little disjointed early, but soon calm down.
Romo isn't completing his passes at the same rate as last year. Some of that has to do with the vertical offense.
Through three games this season, Romo is completing 58 percent of his passes. There have been a few drops and some throwaways, but the change in offensive philosophy has played a part in the dip.
Offensive coordinator Jason Garrett is calling for more vertical throws that don't lend themselves to a high percentage. Although 60 percent is considered the standard, Romo does not have a magic number.
Just keep winning and you’ve got nothing to worry about.
A year ago today, Owens was rushed to Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas after what was later termed an accidental overdose of pain medication.
That comes from a long article on the new T.O. by Calvin Watkins. JJT also has some love for T.O., but neither Watkins or JJT give any credence to my pod-person theory.
Mickey Spags has kool-aid for sale and I’m buying. Check out his extra-long advertisement for blue-colored kool-aid.