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Dallas Cowboys News & Notes: Cowboys Hustle Harder

Latest Cowboys headlines: "Everybody's hustling" on Cowboys defense; Cowboys pass rush preparing for Redskins; Can Redskins stop Cowboys' third-down machine?

Dilip Vishwanat

Run game helps, but here's why Cowboys' improvement on D is real | Brandon George, DMN
George writes that the defensive success has next to nothing to do with lengthy drives on offense that have kept the defense off the field. Instead, it's about better situational defense, and a team that hustles.

"When we’re in our meeting room, if you’re not hustling your butt off, [Marinelli's] going to get on you. He brings it to a man’s attention, like he always says," Church said. "And he’s not just going to make it between you and him. He’s going to make it so the whole team can [see it]. Nobody wants to be that guy who gets put on the big screen like, ‘Look, this guy’s loafing! He doesn’t care!’ Nobody wants to be that guy. So everybody’s hustling."

Calling out players in front of their teammates for poor effort has created a competitive spark. Linebacker Justin Durant — also a co-captain for the defense — said players want to be first to the football and first to make the tackle. Everyone wants to be the player who creates the key takeaway in a game.

"Why not? What else you got to do?" Marinelli said. "If he’s got something else to do, might not get there. And so, after awhile it becomes competitiveness within the group, and these guys are competitors."

"Everybody is dialed in from meetings to walk-throughs to practices," Durant said. "You just see a different vibe with everybody."

Final Thoughts: Look for different rush combinations | Bryan Broaddus, DC.comys
Broaddus provides his usual final thoughts on tonight's game, and wonders if the Cowboys will get to the QB better than they did last week.

After what happened in the Giants game last week, with the lack of defensive pressure, I expect Rod Marinelli and this staff to come up with some different rush combinations with their defensive personnel in order to attack this Redskins blocking scheme. As a group the defense was technique-poor with their stunts and second level blitzes, which gave Eli Manning time to throw the ball. With all of the bodies available there are several different ways they can line up by mixing and matching their front to get that pressure.

Romo a big part of Cowboys’ great start - The Buffalo News
Vic Carucci writes that more than a few media critics are predicting the Cowboys will unravel because Tony Romo won't be able to continue to play as well as he has. Ummm, no.

Cowboys trying to find a sack or two | Charean Williams, Bradenton Herald
With just seven sacks in seven games, the Cowboys are on pace for 16 sacks for the entire season, which would be a franchise low. Rod Marinelli thinks it's just a question of time before the sacks come.

"We're working at it, believe me, and we're coming up short," Marinelli said. "Moving guys around, trying to get maybe the proper matchups, but then, it's just coming back to work and just keep going after it. They'll come. We've just got to keep fighting."

Redskins-Cowboys: Five story lines to follow Monday night - The Washington Post
Of the five storylines offered, the most interesting one is about third-down execution.

The Cowboys lead the NFL with a 57.4-percent success rate on third downs. The Redskins, meanwhile, rank 31st, converting on just 31.7 percent. The effectiveness on third downs is a big reason why Dallas has shined this season. The offense extends drives, dominates time of possession, and keeps a shaky defense off the field for extended stretches. Tony Romo has played some of his best football during this seven-game stretch. He ranks first in the league with a completion percentage of 69.2 and fourth in the NFL with a passer rating of 104.7. Washington’s defenders must get to the quarterback and disrupt his rhythm, otherwise, it could be a long day.

Meanwhile, on offense, Washington must do better on first and second downs so McCoy doesn’t find himself trying to operate out of third-and-long situations all night. Gruden must effectively use top possession targets Pierre Garcon and Jordan Reed to ease pressure on McCoy and move the chains.

Jerry Jones seems content to wait to pay Dez, DeMarco, and Garrett | ProFootballTalk
Mike Florio doesn't provide any source for his article, and given that original research is not his site's strong suite, you may want to wait for somebody else to verify this before taking it at face value:

Jones had been trying to negotiate directly with receiver Dez Bryant, who eventually resisted what some league insiders believed would be an effort to persuade Bryant to agree to a team-friendly, ultra-long-term, Tyron Smith-style deal. As to Murray, no serious talks have occurred.

Barring serious injury or something unforeseen, look for Jones to work something out with Bryant, to pay whatever it takes to keep Garrett, and to apply the franchise tag to Murray.

Tony Romo vs. Colt McCoy brings intrigue to Cowboys-Redskins on Monday Night Football |
Aparently, a guy who was the third string QB in Washington until fairly recently brings some intrigue to today's game. I read the article twice and still can't figure out what that intrigue is supposed to be.

Cowboys-Redskins preview: 14 things to know about Week 8's MNF game -
When one of those 14 things to know is "Which city is cooler" and which has the hotter celebrity, it's probably best to move on.

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