In today's headline round-up we find that the Cowboys owner, the head coach and the offensive coordinator all want to make Felix Jones a bigger part of the offense - so why isn't it happening?
The team is as healthy as it's ever been, and for the first time all 61 one players suited up for practice.
We also look at what Jeff Fisher thinks about Dez Bryant, what he thinks about his team being called 'dirty' and what he has to say about the Jerrytron - one year after his kicker hit it with a ball in the third quarter of a preseason game. Enjoy.
Everybody wants to get Felix Jones more involved in the offense. The Cowboys have taken him out of the kick returner rotation specifically because they anticipated more touches for the cat on offense.
Charean Williams from the Star-Telegram reports that both Coach Wade Phillips and Jerry Jones want to see more carries from Felix.
"We can hand him the ball a little bit more, so we're going to try to do that," Cowboys coach Wade Phillips said. "...As long as we're effective, we want to see him carry the ball quite a bit."
Owner Jerry Jones said on his radio show Tuesday that Felix Jones needs more carries. "He's just too much of a threat, and that was our intention in preseason coming out, no matter whether he's getting a chance to be in the running game, but certainly in the passing game as well," Jerry Jones said on KRLD/105.3 FM. "I really look for you to see a lot more of Felix Jones."
And Jason Garrett is also toeing the company line on this one.
"Just give him different opportunities, he’ll make some big runs," offensive coordinator Jason Garrett said. "We got into some nickel-type situations last week where he made some good runs for us. He’s a guy that’s proven over the course of the last few years that he can run inside and make big plays and also run outside and make big plays."
Keith Brooking thinks the Cowboys are spoiled for choice at RB and should just 'go with the guy that's hot'
I just think it's a good position to be in and you don't need to complicate things too much. I said it would be great to give all of them the same amount of carries, but at the same time I don't think you can look at it that way. You've got to go with the guy that's hot.
Towards the end of last season, Felix was running at an outstanding pace. In the last six games Felix had 569 yards on 77 carries. That's 13 touches a game with an astonishing 7.4 yards per carry. So why hasn't he been getting the rock more often so far this season? Coach Wade Phillips provides part of the answer:
"Everybody played a lot of eight-man fronts, especially on first down," Phillips said. "We started making them pay throwing the ball. They're going to have to stop doing that and come off the ball. I think teams have tried to stop the run, that's why we've been able to throw the ball like we have."
Nick Eatman from the Mothership writes that the Cowboys are healthier than ever, and that for the first time all season, the Cowboys had 61 players on the practice field Wednesday at Valley Ranch.
A full roster of 53 players and eight more on the practice squad made up a complete days work in preparation for the Titans this Sunday. The Cowboys were able to do so because of a relatively healthy team that has returned from last week's bye.
Wade Phillips is pleased the Cowboys are back at full strength and believes every player will be available on Sunday.
"We had full participation in practice today. Everybody practiced," Cowboys coach Wade Phillips said. "Looks like everybody is going to be ready [and] available for this ball game so that’s good for us."
Stop the run and you stop the Titans. That seems to be the popular consensus. BTB's own rabblerousr came to this conclusion in his Cowboys Vs. Titans Preview, the Titans fans on this blog (Ask MCM) acknowledge it, as do others.
Kevin Sherrington from the Dallas Morning News thinks the Titans can't throw:
Tennessee can't throw, which makes it pretty one-dimensional. The Cowboys simply have to load up to stop Chris Johnson.
Rick Gosselin concurs and thinks the Cowboys will put 8 or 9 in the box and dare Vince Young to throw
I guarantee the Cowboys are going to put eight or nine up in the box to tackle Chris Johnson and defy Vince Young to throw it. Heck I may go with another linebacker. I may go with a 3-5 alignment and let Newman and Jenkins cover their wideouts one-on-one and keep the safety home for the tight end. I don't think those wide receivers can beat the Cowboys' corners one on one.
TC Fleming writes on Bob Sturm' blog that he is still confused about Vince Young.
Vince Young confuses me. Several years into his career, it's still quite unclear to me whether or not he is a starting-caliber quarterback. Since returning to the starting lineup last year, his stats are pretty acceptable.
But I'm still confused. In part because I saw those picks in the Pittsburgh game this year where he entirely misread the coverage. In part because wen I watch him I get the feeling the wheels are begging to come off. But mostly because it seems like Jeff Fisher doesn't think Young is any good. Of the quarterbacks who have started all four games this year, Young has the fewest attempts.
Tennessee leads the NFL in penalty yards with 344 yards and is tied for the league lead with 37 penalties. The Titans also have the most personal fouls (9) of any team, all on defense. Jeff Fisher was a little surprised at the comments directed at him by Josh McDaniels out of left field, but maintains that the Titans aren't a dirty team, they're aggressive.
"You don't hear comments out of teams that are familiar with us along those lines ... from the Texans or anybody else in the division," Fisher said. "It's just kind of one of those things that happened and we're done with it. We're going to play hard and if someone doesn't like the way we play, then so be it."
Wade Phillips agrees:
"I disagree with whatever Denver said from watching the film. I coached with Jeff Fisher, and I know how he coaches and what kind of guy he is. I know what he is telling his players. I see a really hard working team that gets after you on defense, but that is what defense is all about. I don't see any of that," Phillips said.
In case you haven't been keeping count: The number of punts, kickoffs, passes or any other foreign objects to hit the Jerrytron in 10 Cowboys home games? Zero, zip, nada, zilch. Remember which team started all the fuss about the height of the screen in the first place? Riiight. They're back in town. Color the Titans coach surprised the Jerrytron hasn't been problem.
"I guess I’d have to say I am surprised it hasn’t happened again. I’m just pleased by the response by the league to arrive at a quick solution if it does." That solution, for those who have forgotten: It’s a good, ol’-fashioned do-over.
And to take some of the edge off, Jeff Fisher has found it in his heart to be complimentary about the Cowboys, particularly about Dez Bryant and his goal line catch against Houston.
"He's a tremendous athlete,'' Fisher said. "He's very explosive, very very dangerous after the catch. In addition to that, he can make the tough catch. That catch he made that was called incomplete out of bounds on the goal line is one of the best catches I've seen in a number of years.
In case you've already forgotten, here's the video of that catch.