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Dallas Cowboys News & Notes: Gearing Up For The Lions

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Where has Cowboys' offense gone? - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
Archer argues that if the Cowboys found their offensive identity in the 522-yard game against the Broncos, they must have misplaced it since.

Why the Dallas Cowboys’ new defensive scheme has helped team overcome injuries - Rainer Sabin, DMN
Sabin argues that it's easier to find players for a 4-3 scheme than for last year's 3-4 scheme, a fact that played a key role in the Cowboys' decision to switch schemes. And the Cowboys seem to be reaping the benefits of that decision with the play of their no-name defensive line:

The anecdotal evidence supports that belief as Dallas has plugged in guys like Nick Hayden, George Selvie, and Caesar Rayford without experiencing much of a drop-off in production. The quick-fix element of the 4-3 is one of the residual benefits gained by moving to that system.

Execution of Cowboys’ offense centers on trust - and in passing game, it’s paying off - David Moore, DMN
Moore writes that a key element of the Cowboys isn't showing up in the final stats sheets: the trust that has developed in the passing game and that has been lacking in recent seasons.

"You have to do your job, and you have to trust that the guy next to you is going to do his job," Garrett said. "When you play quarterback in the NFL, you have to cut the ball loose. You have to throw the ball before the guy comes out of his break, and that requires a lot of trust. That’s just something that comes from a lot of practice, a lot of time on task and a lot of experience. Guys have to work very hard to develop that.

"And the trust he’s developed with those guys is a clear part of that. It allows us to have more trust in him. When he feels those guys are doing what he needs them to do, he can trust them and do what he needs to do to execute."

Coaches have learned players' strengths - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
My inner Snarkster badly wanted to write "It's about time," but Archer makes a good point that it's not only the players that have to get used to the new scheme, the new coaches also have to get used to their players. And it seems like the defensive staff now better understand what Carr, Scandrick and Claiborne do best.

"We all have convictions about what wins in football, what systems we want to use, but you also have to recognize who is on your football team," coach Jason Garrett said. "You have got to constantly remind yourself to put these players in the position where they can be successful individually and then you can be successful as a unit. When you have new players, there is a challenge to do that and a challenge to do that well, because you don’t know the player that much. But you try to teach and teach fast and teach simply, so the guy can go out there and execute."

Cowboys gear for Lions' four-man front - Calvin Watkins, ESPN Dallas
The Cowboys' last two victories came over three-man fronts, the last four-man front they faced was against the Broncos. Which front are the Cowboys more comfortable with?

"When you play a three-man line, you saw a three-man line every day, and you supposedly have a comfort level with that and vice versa," coach Jason Garrett said. "What you try to do is, you expose them to different looks throughout training camp, at different times based on upcoming opponents. And you certainly do that within the week when you’re going to play an opponent, so hopefully there’s a comfort level there that develops by the time you kick the ball off."

Cowboys Fans, Meet Your Newest Rushman: Marvin Austin - Blogging The Boys
On Monday the Dallas Cowboys added 2011 New York Giants defensive lineman Marvin Austin to the fold. Austin had recently been released by the Dolphins who picked him up after he failed to make the Giants 53-man roster for this season.

Cowboys add former Baylor receiver Lanear Sampson to the practice squad - Clarence Hill, Star-Telegram
The Cowboys filled up the last spot on their practice squad with Lanear Sampson, who was Terrance Williams' teammate at Baylor. Sampson raised eyebrows during Baylor's pro day when he ran the 40-yard dash in just 4.33 seconds. The Cowboys had invited him for a workout during Dallas Days in April, but Sampson signed with the Indianapolis Colts as an UDFA and was released during final cuts in August.

Over the last month, Dallas Cowboys TE Jason Witten hasn’t been a go-to target in the middle of games - Brandon George, DMN
George points out an odd stat: Over the last four games, Witten has only one catch in the third quarter and none in the second. What - if anything - this means is up for you to decide.

Proof that the Dallas Cowboys consider the strength of their offensive line to be the left side - Brandon George, DMN
"Proof" is a big word. George observes that 15 of Randle's 19 runs were to the left. He subsequently hypothesizes that the Cowboys consider the strength of their offensive line to be the left side.

Cowboys Injury Report Week 8: DeMarco Murray Running, More Caution For DeMarcus Ware - Blogging The Boys
The Cowboys are hoping they get a key offensive weapon back in DeMarco Murray but Jerry Jones sounds like DeMarcus Ware might need more time.


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