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Cowboys News & Notes: First Real Distraction Of Season; Accolades For DeMarco Murray And Terrance Williams

Joseph Randle creates an international stir with petty shoplifting, but don't look for it to affect the focus in Dallas.

Are you tired of seeing this catch yet? Didn't think so.
Are you tired of seeing this catch yet? Didn't think so.
Otto Greule Jr

We can't ignore it. A totally boneheaded move by backup running back Joseph Randle has literally created headlines around the world.

Joseph Randle arrested for shoplifting after starring in Dallas Cowboys win over Seattle  | Daily Mail Online

A police spokesman told the Dallas Morning News that Randle tried to take a pack of two black Polo underwear valued at $39.50 (£25) and a small bottle of Gucci Guilty Black cologne priced at $84 (£53).

Dave Halprin already covered the salient elements of this story, but it is going to get a lot of play in the media because, Dallas Cowboys. For now, though, the impact on the team seems minimal. This is a minor infraction that will probably be handled at the team level, and fining Randle seems much more likely than any suspension. A little quality time in the locker room with Dez Bryant, Rolando McClain, Jason Witten, and the offensive line leading the discussion might also be in order. (The first three for leadership, and the big uglies to lean over him and look, um, upset with his actions. While cracking their knuckles.)

How do Cowboys handle Joseph Randle? - Dallas Cowboys Blog - ESPN

While it seems unlikely the team will let this distract them from preparing to face the New York Giants this week, there is going to be scrutiny of what is done about Randle. There are reports that the team is leaning towards the fine (in the $10,000 to $30,000 range) and no suspension route mentioned above, but if that is what is done, it is likely that there will be some criticism of the decision.

Garrett was clear with his players that off-field issues are not acceptable. Given the black eye surrounding the NFL from how it handled several high-profile domestic violence cases, should the severity of the crime matter?

The logical answer to that is: Of course the severity of the crime matters. But don't expect logic to be the first consideration in covering this.

Dallas Cowboys continue to confound pre-season expectations | Metro News

On the subject of international news, this article was interesting. There is something about seeing the NFL covered in proper Queen's English that just looks kinda funny.

All very sensible, and all very unlike Jerry Jones and the Cowboys, typically a partnership who crave the limelight and headlines in equal measure. What it did do though is expose the Cowboys defense, specifically how light they were. The smart money heading into the season was that this would likely be the worst unit in the league and barely a quarter into the season it was certainly looking this way as the Cowboys defense imploded (with a little help from a mis-firing Romo to be fair) at the hands of the 49ers to see themselves 21-0 down mere minutes into the game.


The Cowboys now sit at 5-1, level with the Eagles at the top of the NFC East, surprising everyone in the process given they were barely thrown into the playoff mix heading into the season. But there they are, standing tall alongside the likes of the Packers, Seahawks, 49ers and Eagles - all sides talked about to be the ones to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.

Anybody else suddenly feel like a spot of tea?

Dallas Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey reveals passion for Aston Villa - Sports Mole

But wait, there's more.

Dallas Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey has revealed that he is a lifelong Aston Villa supporter.

The 26-year-old became the most accurate kicker in NFL history by converting all three of his field goals in Sunday's 30-23 win over the Seattle Seahawks.

For those who have no idea what an Aston Villa is, it is one of the clubs in the English Premier League (that's European football, or soccer, as us Yanks call it). Given the popularity of that sport in England, and the truly fanatic behavior of the supporters of the various clubs, or sides, Bailey may wind up one of the more popular interviews when Dallas visits London to play the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Poll: Broncos top Cowboys as America's favorite team -

Just like the buzzards returning to Hinckley, there are always going to be polls and articles purporting to prove that the Cowboys are no longer America's Team. They are always wrong, as the ratings continue to bear out (the SNF Saints-Cowboys game was the highest rated of the year to date). But still they try.

A little hint: Wait and see what happens to the Cowboys bandwagon if the team continues the roll they are on. - FedEx Players Air and Ground

DeMarco Murray has won the Ground award three times already, including the past two weeks. Go vote and make it three in a row. After all, he was running against the best rushing defense in the league, in the stadium with the biggest home-field advantage, and all that. - GMC Never Say Never

Along with Murray, Terrance Williams has been nominated for his toe-tapping, 23-yard, drive saving reception. It is already being talked about as possibly the play of the year. It is certainly the biggest catch since, well, the Dez Bryant catch in overtime against the Houston Texans. Hmm.

FOOTBALL OUTSIDERS: Any Given Sunday: Cowboys Over Seahawks

A statistically based look at just how the Cowboys managed to win that game, and what the Seahawks didn't get done. The description of that pass to Williams is something those of us who have defended Tony Romo can savor.

With 4:55 left in the fourth quarter, the Cowboys faced third-and-20 on their own 31, trailing 23-20. Brian Burke's Win Probability Calculator gives the Cowboys a 16 percent chance of winning from that spot. But the calculator is a cold, mathematical device that doesn't account for the improvisational genius of Tony Romo.

There were other obstacles, too. Since 2010, Seattle has given up first down conversions on third-and-15 or longer 6.2 percent of the time. Opposing teams have gotten four first downs in 65 tries, substantially lower than the 10.6 percent league-wide average.

And from the snap, this play seemed headed for catastrophe. DeMarco Murray blocked Tyron Smith more than he blocked Bruce Irvin, before slipping out of the backfield. Romo was spinning away from Irvin within two seconds of the snap. But that's when the magic started.

The rest of the account involves some nicely diagrammed and captioned pictures. It is well worth your time.

Bob Sturm’s Decoding Linehan for Week 6 in Seattle: How the Cowboys mauled the Seahawks | Dallas Morning News

The main theme for Sturm's weekly look at how the offense was planned and executed is how Dallas has done something you are not supposed to be able to do: Change the identity of the team in midseason from a passing focus to a running oriented attack without tearing the team down and rebuilding it. He maintains the change did not happen in the offseason - it took place in week 11 of the 2013 season.

Since then, the Cowboys have played 12 games which is 75% of a full season and the confirmation that the Cowboys transitioned from the worst rushing team in the NFL to the best - almost overnight - is flat out stunning.

Over those 12 games, they have run for 1,696 yards (1st in the NFL) at 5.03 yards per carry (1st) and 141.3 yards per game (2nd) for 91 1st Downs (1st) and 49 10-yard runs (3rd).

What makes those numbers absurd is the fact that the 26 games previous to that from Week 1 of 2012 through Week 10 2013, Dallas ran for 2,035 yards (31st), at 3.67 yards per carry (29th), 78.3 yards per game (31st), for 115 1st Downs (29th), and 45 10-yard runs (31st).  That is right, if it wasn't for Jacksonville being worse, the Cowboys flipped a switch and went from worst to nearly first in pretty much every category.

This wasn't Linehan, since he basically got here after it was largely done. So just who might have been the red-haired genius behind such a radical and nearly impossible move?

Sullivan: Garrett’s 3-Year Plan Among Random Thoughts

Well, see, it was a process.

This didn't happen overnight. It's being portrayed that way, like the Cowboys have been just plugging along, status quo these last three years, and wow, how did this happen? Talk of the NFL at 5-1. When Jason Garrett was named head coach following his 5-3 interim stint in 2010, he devised a plan for how the oldest team in the league could become one of the youngest, and how they could also compete while that transition took place.

Garrett estimated the plan would take three years, which is exactly the timetable that has played out. And while there were many layers to the plan, first and foremost was the transformation of the offensive line.

Cowboys LB Bruce Carter says he won’t play against NY Giants but should return in Week 8 against Washington | Dallas Morning News

Not good news (and the headline has everything you really need to know).

Anthony Spencer turning a corner for Dallas Cowboys - ESPN

Better news. Based on his performance against Seattle, Anthony Spencer may be returning to his old form, which many thought could not happen.

The coaches credited him with three tackles and three pressures. He was a pain in Russell Wilson's side for most of the game. And the fact that he played more snaps speaks to how well his left knee is feeling after playing just one game in 2013 and needing microfracture surgery.

How rare was Sunday’s win?: Dallas Cowboys accomplished something for only second time in franchise history | Dallas Morning News

A last note on just how significant that win in Seattle was before we turn our focus completely to those Giants.

For only the second time in franchise history Sunday, according to STATS, the Cowboys won a road game despite having more turnovers than the home team and allowing a special teams touchdown.


Stephen A. Smith honors his bet. And looks better than ever doing s.



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