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Dallas Cowboys News & Notes: "Cowboys Rebuild Tough D in Big D."

Latest Cowboys headlines: The Cowboys are a ratings juggernaut once again; Introducing the 'Cinderella Man'; "extremely aggressive system under Marinelli" key reason for resurgent Cowboys defense.

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Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys rebuild tough D in Big D | New York Post
It’s not an accident that Dallas has forced 10 turnovers in its past five games, Bart Hubbuch writes, and credits the move away from Monte Kiffin’s conservative Cover 2 scheme to an extremely aggressive system under Marinelli for the resurgent Cowboys defense.

It’s a turnaround that defies both logic and decades of NFL conventional wisdom. You aren’t supposed to be able to rebuild one of the worst defenses in league history overnight, especially when you lose three of the few productive pieces in the offseason.

But that’s exactly what the Cowboys have done through their first six games this season, proving their many skeptics wrong — at least so far — while serving as one of the main reasons for Dallas’ surprising 5-1 start going into its NFC East showdown Sunday with the Giants at AT&T Stadium.

Re-born Rolando McClain brings 'intimidation factor' to Cowboys D
Rolando McClain is setting a punishing tone for a better-than-expected Dallas Cowboys defense, writes Jim Corbett, who describes McClain as a "human taser who jolts ball carriers to the ground."

"Rolando is all over the field, knocking people backwards," safety Barry Church told USA TODAY Sports. "It's an intimidation factor."

"He brings that aggressive, physical tone we needed."

Building blockers: How the Cowboys drafted — and lucked — their way into one of NFL's best offensive lines | Barry Horn, DMN
Absolutely required reading on this Sunday morning: Horn traces the resurrection of the Cowboys O-line to a "plan hatched before the 2011 draft was complete," and then goes on to detail each of the four linemen acquired by the team since then and how each player came to join the Cowboys.

Travis Frederick explains the cohesion of the offensive line | DMN
The Dallas Morning News has a transcript of an interview Travis Frederick gave to KRLD-FM on Thursday. Here's an excerpt:

On the cohesion on the offensive line:

"I think it’s a tribute to what we do together off the field. We spend a lot of time together outside of work even, outside of the film room and hanging out in the locker room. We always go to dinner on Thursdays. We’re always milling around. Especially in the offseason we’re always hanging out. I think that’s where a lot of it comes. We really are friends and work together as friends. So when you go onto the field you know the person better than perhaps somebody that just came in knows. You can make those adjustments and know what they are going to be doing."

Marinelli strikes again: Why Cowboys DT Tyrone Crawford is 'Cinderella Man' | Brandon George, DMN
Tyrone Crawford himself gives us the lowdown.

"You know, Cinderella, she started off mopping floors," Crawford said, laughing, "and then she got her opportunity to become a beautiful princess."

So does Crawford see himself as a "beautiful princess" yet?

"I’m still mopping floors until I get that first sack," he said.

DeMarcus Lawrence is looking "real good" in practice - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
Archer answers a question about Lawrence in his Twitter mailbag.

He returned to practice this week and looked really good from what a few people told me. If he didn't get hurt in training camp I truly believe he was on his way to being the starting right defensive end. He was playing well.

While rehabbing his broken foot, Stephen Jones said the athletic training staff told him Lawrence was able to change his body and get stronger. We'll see how this goes when he gets back Nov. 2 against the Arizona Cardinals. The Cowboys believe he will have an impact, almost like trading for a player. He will have fresh legs. He showed a knack for getting to the quarterback over the summer. He is more of a power player than a speed player, but having a shortened role as a designated pass rusher might help him just focus on getting to the quarterback.

Winning Cowboys team is a ratings dream for NFL's network TV partners | Barry Horn, DMN
Barry Horn acts a little surprised to see that the Cowboys are a ratings bonanza - especially when they are winning.

Last Sunday’s "America’s Game," a thrashing of the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks was the primary attraction in the 3:25 p.m. time slot that attracted 30 million viewers. It was the most watched NFL regular-season time slot on Fox since 1995. You know who played in that game on Nov. 12, 1995? The Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers. The Cowboys lost by 18 points but went on to win their last Super Bowl.

Dallas Cowboys are hoping for more support at home games | The Seattle Times
Even the Seattle Times noticed that during the Cowboys’ first three home games, fans of the 49ers, Saints and Texans attended in impressive numbers, taking over large sections of AT&T Stadium. The Cowboys hope Giants fans don't travel as well as the previous three fanbases did.

"I will tell you, there’s a huge demand for these tickets," Jerry Jones said Friday in a radio interview. "But I don’t know that they’re necessarily from the New York Giant fan base. I think we’re going to have probably as excited a fan attendance there for the Cowboys as we might have had since we opened the stadium. I would be real surprised if we don’t have all the home-field noise that we need to get an advantage."

Keith Smith Again Promoted From Practice Squad; Bishop Waived | Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys have once again promoted linebacker Keith Smith from their practice squad. To make room, they waived DT Ken Bishop. Bishop was inactive the last two games and played in three games before that.

Pitbull to perform at Cowboys' stadium for Thanksgiving halftime show | DMN
You may remember Pitbull from the 2011 halftime show in which he performed with Enrique Iglesias. He'll be back again this year to do another Thanksgiving, except this time he'll (probably) perform solo.


Giants ready for game that could define their season | New York Post
"Define" could easily mean "end."

At 3-3 with a loss to NFC East-leading Philadelphia, the Giants are already two games behind the Eagles and the co-division-leading Cowboys. A loss in Dallas would drop them three games behind — and the head-to-head tiebreaker — just before the halfway mark of the season.

Giants ditch the noise for week of poise before facing Cowboys | New York Post
The only thing we've been hearing out of New York this week? Crickets. Here's why:

There’s nothing that stops trash talk faster than eating crow, which is why you didn’t hear much beyond the basic Xs and Os from the Giants this week. Exchanging barbs with the Eagles before Sunday night’s 27-0 blowout loss in Philadelphia didn’t exactly work, so a change of tactics was in order in preparation for Sunday’s game at Dallas.

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