Special teams coach Joe DeCamillis has done an outstanding job for the Cowboys since joining the team during the offseason. Through five games, his coverage units have held opponents to 7.8 yards on punt returns and 20.8 on kickoffs. On the flip side of that, the Cowboys average only 7.3 yards on their own punt returns and turn in a decent, but not spectacular, 23.7 yard average on kick returns.
Enter Allen Rossum. The veteran return specialist will sign today with the Cowboys and should help Coach Joe D bring more balance to his units.
Rossum is the latest in a chain of "DeCamillis Guys" to come to Dallas since the special teams czar was brought in this off-season and the Cowboys made a new commitment to improving their kicking game.
The coach was heavily involved in the war room on draft day, and his Jacksonville experience encouraged the Cowboys to bring inand .
More VRR after the jump.
By all the roster churning this season, Calvin Watkins thinks that the Dallas coaches are sending a message to the players.
Under Bill Parcells, the Cowboys constantly churned the bottom of the roster and worked out players. That practice slowed when Wade Phillips took over as coach. Phillips believed once the roster was set, he didn't want to change it. But after last season's 9-7 finish, Phillips has changed things.
The Cowboys have made nine roster moves since the start of the season -- two more than this time last year. That will rise to 10 when Rossum signs.
Patrick Crayton could be back to being a backup on both offense and special teams.
Wade Phillips wouldn’t say it on Monday but it sounded likewould be starting at one of the receiver spots. Phillips said he expects Austin to be playing as much as he did last week, when he made his first start for an injured Roy Williams. While Phillips didn't say how it would all shake out, one can only assume it means Crayton might be going back to the No. 3 receiver.
And now with the Cowboys expected to sign veteran return specialist Allen Rossum, it would appear Crayton could be losing his punt return duties as well.
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Austin has already been named the NFC's offensive player of the week.
Prior to Sunday's game at Arrowhead, Tony Romo was the inconsistent part of the passing game. While he looked to have recovered much of his accuracy, the receivers sort of fell apart.
Dropped passes were a huge problem against the. Austin had two passes he should have come up with in the end zone. Crayton had a drop and a near fumble. had a drop in the end zone. And let quarterback Tony Romo down by not coming up with a deep pass in the second half. It would have been a tough catch. But it was one a Pro Bowler like Witten should come up with.
Even if Marion Barber and Felix Jones return from the bye week healthy, the Cowboys plan to incorporate Tashard Choice more into the offense.
Barber is expected to get plenty of rest this week in the hopes of getting over his lingering thigh problem. The Cowboys (3-2) are also hopeful Felix Jones (knee) will emerge from the bye week healthy. But even if Barber and Jones are at 100 percent heading into the Oct. 25 home game against Atlanta, Dallas is determined to keep Choice in the mix.
"We've got to give him some touches," Cowboys coach Wade Phillips said. "We can't eliminate him. He makes plays."
When asked about getting more opportunities, Choice chose his words carefully. But he did suggest he would like to be more involved in the early going. "I feel I'm at my best when I do run it a lot," he said. "It helps you when you go into the fourth quarter and have already run the ball 15 times."
Throughout all the penalties, turnovers, and just downright sloppy play, the Cowboys are nine points away from a chance at a perfect record.
"I’d like to be 5-0, certainly," Phillips said. "But that’s not where we are. We played almost well enough to do that, and I told them one more play in two games, and we would be. But we’re not, so that’s reality. We’re 3-2, which is where we are, and we’ve got to do something about that. We’ve got to get better."
This offseason, the Cowboys made three key free agent acquisitions - one for each level of defense. Todd Archer says Keith Brooking, Igor Olshansky, and Gerald Sensabaugh are all fitting in well.
Brooking is second on the team in tackles towith 55. He has a sack, two tackles for loss, three pressures and three pass deflections. He's also become this team's heart beat in many ways.
Olshansky might not be as heralded because 3-4 defensive ends don't put up great numbers but his 24 stops are second-most among linemen next to. He also has a sack and four pressures.
Sensabaugh has 26 tackles and a pass deflection so far. I think his better days are ahead and you're not seeing tight ends do as much damage vs. the Cowboys than they had in the past.
The NFL trade deadline is October 20th. Jason La Confora discusses some of the names that may be available.
The Cowboys will practice today and tomorrow, and then the players will have a three-day weekend.