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Dallas Cowboys News: Cowboys 1st Quarter Grades, Aikman & White Weigh In On Romo, More

Dallas Cowboys First-Quarter Grades - Cold Hard Football Facts
With four weeks in the books, Adam Dobrowolski grades the Dallas Cowboys, looking everywhere from Tony Romo's two second-half collapses and DeMarcus Ware's dominance (as usual). Good, balanced read, with an interesting take on the Cowboys' secondary:

Still, the secondary is performing well also. For a team that currently ranks eighth in both Defensive Real Passing Yards per Attempt and Defensive Real Quarterback Rating, it's amazing to think how bad the pass defense was last year. As expected, this unit bounced back, but the bounce back is going better than expected. However, one problem here (along with Romo's mistakes) is that the Cowboys rank dead last in Bendability. Allowing seven passing touchdowns in four games isn't going to help the team's Bendability, and it certainly isn't good enough to earn the secondary a top grade.

Aikman likes Romo, admits QB needs wins to win over fans -
Everyone has an opinion about the Tony Romo roller-coaster ride, but some opinions matter more than others. Troy Aikman is one of the few men who knows firsthand the fishbowl Romo is living in right now -- and the former Cowboys quarterback believes the current one has the tools to succeed.

"I think Tony's a terrific talent, wonderful person, great character, and I still believe he's going to go on and do really great things," Aikman told KTCK-AM on Thursday, via The Dallas Morning News. "I understand some of the skepticism, and until he does it, there's always going to be the questions out there."

Cowboys Scouts are on the road again - Chris Steuber
Wondering which college games to watch today? Cowboys scouts are attending Arizona State @ Utah and Kentucky @ South Carolina. This might be a simple coincidence, but this is the second time in the short season so far that Cowboys scouts are attending Arizona State and South Carolina games. Who might they be looking at? The Gamecocks have an interesting pair of defensive ends, the Sun Devils have an inside linebacker who's getting national attention, and both teams have cornerbacks that might be worth a look.

Danny White Can Relate To Romo's Scrutiny -
Similar to the unwavering support Staubach and Aikman have offered No. 9 over the years, there's no question in White's mind about Tony Romo.

"I can relate to what Tony's going through," White said, "and if I could get inside his head and tell him one thing, it's he's one of the great quarterbacks in the history of the Dallas Cowboys. "People keep saying, 'You've got to win the big one.' Well, he doesn't have to win the big one. There are 10 other guys out there on the field and 52 on the field as a team. And everybody plays a big part in that. "It's a cliche. The quarterback gets more credit and blame than he ever deserves."

New CBA Presents New Rules For Bye Week -
Thanks to the new CBA, the Cowboys players are enjoying an historically unprecedented four consecutive days off during their bye week.

"It's huge to have those days," says Cowboys ninth-year linebacker Bradie James. "You just got to get away and recoup. Some guys would have you practice one day, be off the next, practice the next day, off the next. But like this, now we know."

"This allows us to totally get away, and come back refreshed," says Cowboys tight end Jason Witten, also the team's player-rep. "Just to get a consistent four days off. We wanted that clear with the language (in the CBA). That was a focal point of it." The Cowboys report back to work on Monday.

Cowboys 10 things to chew on with bye week -
No groundbreaking insights here that you haven't already read somewhere else, but the story does contain a link to a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders photo gallery, so it might be worth checking out after all.

Peter King on Patriots: ‘It’s only a matter of time before the defense ruins their season’ -
King touches on what has been a hugely overlooked subject - the atrocious Patriots defense.

"It’s only a matter of time before the defense ruins their season. I wrote that the other day, and after watching them now for 75 percent of their games, their plays so far, I just think that first of all, I was very surprised to hear Pepper Johnson, who I respect a lot, say the other day that he’s happy with the pressure that they’re getting on up front. How can you be happy with the pressure you’re getting up front when Chad Henne torches you? I don’t think its the scheme. I think Belichick knows what he’s doing in that way. I just think the players playing it, particularly in the front end, are just not getting the pressure they need to bother quarterbacks enough to beat them."

Rob Ryan held Patriots in check last year - ESPN Dallas
Staying on the topic of the Patriots, Todd Archer notes that Rob Ryan coordinated Cleveland’s defense last year that limited Tom Brady to 224 yards on 19-of-36 passing, confusing the Patriots with a variety of looks. Like the Cowboys this year, Ryan and the Browns had the bye the week before playing New England.

What's Going On With Passing In 2011? - Advanced NFL Stats
While this is not strictly about the Cowboys, it is an interesting read. Brian Burke observes that passing yards are up, yards per completion are up, yards per reception are up, sacks are down and interceptions are down. He concludes that teams are responding to the increased effectiveness of the pass by passing more often. This compounds the effect, resulting in the record setting torrent of total passing yards we've witnessed.

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