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Cowboys Late Breakfast Links: Bet You Can't Eat Just One

Plenty to discuss as we wind down talk of Denver and start to set our sights on the next opponent. Did somone say Redskins Week?

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It's been a while since I was able to cook some breakfast for you fine ladies and gentlemen. Grab your silverware, because it's time to dig in on some tasty morsels of Cowboys goodness.


News And Notes

Jay Ratliff Is Rehabbing In Two Places | ESPN

The elephant in the room is that Jay Ratliff hasn't been heard from as his date of eligibility to return from the PUP list fast approaches: Oct 14th. I wondered aloud on Twitter yesterday how a front office which can't keep their mouths shut about anything has remained mum on Rat's return. I figure that's not a good sign. Now this.

Ratliff is rehabbing from a sports hernia surgery at two different places, Valley Ranch with the team trainers and an undisclosed location. Coach Jason Garrett said Ratliff received permission to do this.

Considering the issues Ratliff had with the Cowboys' strength and conditioning staff, it's unclear if he'll be activated next week.

Dallas will have three weeks starting next Monday to decide whether to activate Ratliff or not.

Cowboys RB Lance Dunbar Has A Strained Right Hamstring | SportsDay

We've (well at least I have) been wondering why Dallas hasn't unleashed Lance Dunbar as an X-Factor for opposing teams to worry about. Despite his fumbling problems, he hasn't earned a place in the doghouse just yet. However, he's hurt again, this time with a hamstring injury suffered on kickoff coverage. He's likely to be out against Washington on Sunday. Unlike Miles Austin, the club hasn't yet rolled out their "we can afford to be cautious" meme even before the team hits their first practice after the injury.

Dez Bryant Believes Cowboys Can Take Explosive Mentality From Loss | Star-Telegram

Dez Bryant seems to be on the same track as every fan... why can't Sunday's offense be every Sunday's offense?

"I think what we take from it is how explosive we played, the mindset that we had – to go out there and try to score on every possession," he said. "I think we did a great job of that. It ain’t like we played some mediocre team. We just have to build on the success and learn from those mistakes that we made."

Read more here:
Dallas Cowboys Rally Behind Tony Romo | Dallas Morning News

We talked at length yesterday in Joey's wonderful markup of the still shots from "The Pick", about where fault lay on the deciding play. Joey supposed that the throw to Gavin Escobar was the right play, progression-wise.

Despite everyone on the team lauding Romo, head coach Jason Garrett does think that Romo should have taken the dump off pass to Murray.

Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said the team’s confidence of Romo hasn’t wavered.

"I don’t think there’s any question anybody who watched that football game believes that this guy is an outstanding player," Garrett said. "You just have to keep throwing fastballs and keep going, and Tony will certainly do that and our team will certainly do that."

Garrett did say, however, that after evaluating the Romo interception, his quarterback "probably should have" thrown the ball to running back DeMarco Murray on the second-and-16 play.

Lee Still Believes Strongly In Defensive System And Personnel | Dallas Cowboys

Well one thing is for certain, Sean Lee has owned up to his and the defenses shortcoming for the entire season. Despite being a tackling machine over the last few weeks, the defense he now leads is not doing enough to give Dallas' offense a chance at victory.

In their last six quarters of football, the Cowboys’ defense has allowed 774 total net yards without a single sack. That has a great deal to do with facing Philip Rivers and Peyton Manning, but those numbers make it difficult for any team hoping to pull out a victory.

Lee doesn’t blame anything on the coaches or the system the last couple weeks. He said it comes down to fundamentals and the players on the field.

Cowboys Owner Determined To Get HGH Out Of Football | CBS News

Yeah, good luck with that Jerry.

DeAngelo Hall Gears Up For Another Showdown With Dez Bryant | Washington Times

Revisionist History. Last time I checked, a 18 ypc average against and that receiver being on pace for 100 yards before leaving the game with an injury doesn't really define shutting someone down. But I guess when you're DeAngelo Hall, you redefine the parameters.

"We’re going to try to put the best matchups across the board for everybody to win so we can ultimately win the game as a team," Hall said. "But any time you’ve got a guy like [Bryant], who I feel like is a hell of a football player, one of the best in the game, you definitely want to bring it."

Will Washington's Alfred Morris Play Against Dallas? | Yahoo

Y'all know I live in the DC area. The answer is yes.


Advanced Stats

Week 5 Quick Reads | Football Outsiders

FO takes a deeper look into the meaning behind the Cowboys' fearless leader's record-setting performance. The article contains a nice table that details each of the 15, 500-yard performances and shows that Romo's day fares remarkably well when compared to the other all-time yardage efforts. Using their DYAR model (how many more yards he earned above a replacement-level QB, adjusted for the opponent), Romo's day was brought down by the final two plays, a sack and an interception, or else he could have had the best day, ever. As it stands, his DVOA (percent better performance than the average QB, adjusted for opponent) is the third best of all the QB's to pass for over 500 yards since 2000, and his QBR the best of 500+ guys since that stat has been collected.

It probably won't surprise anyone to hear that the 500-yard game is becoming more common. Romo's 500-yard game was the fifth in the last two-and-one-third seasons.

In that light, Romo's 500-yard performance seems a little less special. A closer look at the numbers, though, suggests that this wasn't your typical run-of-the-mill 500-yard game.

Romo, though, was in a tight game throughout, and had a relatively tiny amount of plays. His 25 completions and 36 attempts were both all-time lows among 500-yard passers. (Romo was the sixth player since 1960 to average at least 14 yards per attempt on at least 30 passes.) And because he managed such great production in so few opportunities, his efficiency numbers are very high.

Romo’s 140.0 is second in this group only to Y.A. Tittle’s 151.4 set against Washington in 1962. Passer rating, though, does not account for quality of opponent. Tittle’s big day came against a Washington team that finished last in the 14-team NFL in opponents’ completion percentage, touchdowns, yards per pass, and passer rating.

Also of note in the Quick Reads, rookie WR Terrance WIlliams was the third most valuable receiver over the weekend.

Week 5: Denver At Dallas Win Probability Graph | Advanced NFL Stats

My description won't do this justice. The graph is an interactive experience that details how likely each team was to win based on every individual play of the game. Remember, Dallas raced out to a 14 point lead, saw Denver go on a 28-3 run, regained their composure and the lead, and then finally succumbed to 10 consecutive Broncos points in the final minutes. The graph is a must-see

When Should Dallas Have Allowed Denver The TD? | Advanced NFL Stats

I think it's a moot point, because Peyton Manning obviously plays Madden too. But it is an interesting discussion about whether or not Dallas should have let the Broncos mosey into the end zone in order to get the ball back. Now remember, this is a completely statistical view of the scenarios at hand.

DEN appeared to be completely cognizant that they had DAL in the field goal choke hold, but only after the timeout while Manning and Fox had time to think. I'm not sure Demaryius Thomas would have been so alert in the midst of play...

The right thing for the DAL defense to do is to instruct their players prior to the snap on 1st down and 10 from the DAL 24 with 1:57 to play: If DEN gains a 1st down, miss the tackle.

ReFocused: DEN @ DAL, Week 5 | Pro Football Focus

Tom has already graced us with his defensive game grades post, but PFF does so much more than just their grades.

...[F]orgotten will be [Romo's] command of the short area (11 of 13, 140 yards), his accuracy on the intermediate passes (9 of 14, 152 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT) and the big plays he hit on the deep ball (3 of 6, 199 yards, 1 TD). All that will remain from Romo’s stunning performance will be that one throw, which, even considering the pressure around him, ended up costing the Cowboys this titanic back-and-forth battle.

Don't forget about this tasty nugget for all those that have raised concerns about Tony Romo and the offense being gun shy. Hey, why are you looking at me like that?

On average, Tony Romo’s depth of target was 4 yards deeper than Peyton Manning’s. Romo’s aDOT was 11.3 yards across the line of scrimmage, compared to Manning’s 7.2 yards.

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