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The VRR: Cowboys Must Move Forward by Throwing Back with the Chiefs

The Dallas Cowboys and the Dallas Texans Kansas City Chiefs have much more in common than their, so far, disappointing '09 seasons. They have a long lost history together. It all began when Lamar Hunt became one of the founders of the American Football League.

[B]y 1963, it was clear Dallas couldn’t support two football franchises and Hunt moved his pro team to Kansas City. In 1966, during a series of clandestine meetings between Cowboys president Tex Schramm and Hunt at Love Field, the AFL-NFL merger was born.

The Chiefs will wear their Dallas Texans uniforms in honor of Hunt’s unsuccessful attempt to have the Cowboys and Texans play during their Dallas co-existence. It will mark the first time since the 1962 AFL Championship Game against Houston in 1962 that the Chiefs have worn their Texans uniforms. The Cowboys will wear vintage gear from their inaugural season to celebrate the rivalry.

More VRR after the jump.

Historically, the Chiefs have been one of the better home teams in the league.

Arrowhead Stadium is tough for opponents. Kansas City owns the NFL’s fourth-best home record with a 105-49 (.682) mark since 1990. Only Denver, Pittsburgh and Green Bay have been better at home over that span. The Cowboys are 11-7 (.611) on the road under Wade Phillips. But Dallas is only 2-6 in their past eight road contests.

Tim MacMahon studied Tony Romo's throw distribution, which shows that the Dallas quarterback is heavily favoring the right side of the field this season.

If you go just by the numbers from this season, the evidence seems to support that theory. According to Stats Inc., Romo has thrown 70 passes to the right side of the field, 61 to the middle and left side. Of course, four games is a small sample size. Expand the study to include all Romo's throws since 2006, the season he became a starter, and the right-left balance is almost even: 640 throws to the right, 620 to the left, 178 in the middle of the field.

Here is something to be optimistic about regarding the Cowboys' wide receivers.

The Beast also has three players ranked among the top five in terms of yards after catch (YAC):

1. DeSean Jackson, PHI: 12.83

2. Patrick Crayton, DAL: 9.45

3. Percy Harvin, MIN: 7.79

4. Devery Henderson, NO: 7.29

5. Roy Williams, DAL: 7.09

Obviously Jackson, Crayton and Williams have all had long touchdown receptions that have skewed these numbers, but it's still pretty impressive. Crayton's certainly never been known for his YAC numbers, but he's doing a much better job of staying on his feet after catches this season.

Ogletree! Ogletree! The speedy WR made the team with a great showing through training camp and preseason. Still, the Cowboys have yet to activate him. As Nick Eatman says:

Well, maybe it’s time to change that. With Roy Williams banged up with a bruised ribs, there’s a chance he may not play Sunday in Kansas City. If so, expect the Cowboys to activate Ogletree, who might be able to provide a little speed and quickness that has been lacking with this receiving corps.

Obviously, we will be keeping up to date with the Cowboys' injuries as the week progresses.

[UPDATE] Roy Williams, Felix Jones, and Andre Gurode are not practicing today. [END UPDATE]

  • So far, we know that Gerald Sensabaugh will be out this week with a broken thumb. Patrick Watkins is expected to take his place.
  • Roy Williams is a maaaybe with some cartilage damage to his ribs. Word is, is that he hopes to play Sunday.
  • Felix Jones could again be resting his sprained PCL. With a bye coming up next week, the team hopes to give him time to fully recover.
  • Andre Gurode's sprained knee is not considered serious; so, the Cowboys expect him to be good to go Sunday. [UPDATE] From Todd Archer, "If Gurode can't play then the Cowboys would look to Cory Procter or Duke Preston as the starter against Kansas City. [END UPDATE]
  • Flozell Adams (shoulder), DeMarcus Ware (neck strain), and Marion Barber (quad) should also be fine for the K.C. game.

Alex Marvez ranks Flozell Adams atop his list of "Five stars who may be finished". And yes, T.O. is number two.

The Cowboys could overlook Adams' penchant for costly penalties when he was a shutdown tackle. Those days have passed. At age 34, Adams has become a liability on an inconsistent offense.

Clarence E. Hill Jr. points out some things for us to keep an eye on, including the amount of playing time for NT Jay Ratliff and the recent play of CB Mike Jenkins.

* Keep an eye on Jay Ratliff's snaps. He thrived last season partly because Tank Johnson was capable of enough to give him rest. Ratliff is playing more this year with Johnson gone. He has been a beast so far this season. But it could take its toll later in the season. Remember Ratliff is an undersized nose tackle. So there might be some wear and tear.

* Don't look now. But cornerback Mike Jenkins is looking more and more like the guy the Cowboys picked in the first round last season. He is making plays and he starting to develop a swagger about his game.

Mike Florio, on PFTV, mentions DeMarcus Ware as one player who isn't earning his next contract.

In case you missed it, the Cowboys signed CB Cletis Gordon yesterday.

Gordon played three seasons with the San Diego Chargers (2006-08) and in 30 games with one start he recorded 17 total tackles, two pass breakups and 12 special teams tackles.

The team was also able to re-sign RB Chauncey Washington back to the practice squad.

As expected, MNF's contest between the Packers and Vikings topped that of '08's Philly @ Dallas matchup for drawing the largest cable TV audience.

His Minnesota Vikings' 30-23 win over the Green Bay Packers on ESPN's "Monday Night Football" was watched by more than 21.8 million people. The previous record was more than 18.6 million viewers for last year's Monday night game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys.

Joe Buck and Troy Aikman will be calling the Cowboys @ Chiefs game for FOX.