The bye week is a good time to make an announcement about the new headquarters and training facility for the Dallas Cowboys in Frisco. It will be called The Star in Frisco, and even if naming rights are sold (as planned), Star will remain a part of the name. Actually, this is a lot more than just a Cowboys facility, and takes the Jerryworld concept to a whole new level.
The development will include additional office buildings, lifestyle, retail and restaurant space, hotel and residential components.
The team plans to vacate Valley Ranch and go to the Star in 2016.
Our own Dave Halprin summed up the move to get Josh Brent to the 53 man roster. It is hard to guess what his impact will be or when it will happen.
Jason Garrett wouldn't commit to Brent playing then, noting he still needed to get his weight down and he needed to get in better football shape, but it looks like the big defensive tackle will take the field soon.
The Cowboys got through the game in London without any further damage to the most scrutinized back in the NFL. Tony Romo certainly delivered what the team needed against the Jacksonville Jaguars, and the head coach, for one, was not at all surprised.
"No, I wasn't," Garrett said. "I thought he would play well. He practiced well on Thursday and Friday. It seemed like it was kind of a normal week for him. The flight over there was definitely a potential issue. How guys handle that, certainly if you have back issues, but he seemed to get off that plane and feel pretty good.
Romo and Murray did not have the best individual performances of the week, but together they were pretty effective. But we are strictly looking for the homer vote here, anyway.
Most of this post is a look at the two absolutely brilliant touchdown receptions by Dez Bryant. His look at how Romo read the defense to make the play on the 68 yard score just before half is a lesson in how to play the position well in the NFL.
The 2nd TD was even more fun from a breakdown standpoint. Sometimes, the TV copy gives us a clue that we don't see on the All-22. This one, which I have watched several times, is pretty amusing. Romo is watching the safety 26-Evans from the second he breaks the huddle. Romo is trying not to stare, but he keeps glancing over. Evans is the key, here, and Romo will simply follow his lead. If he is really in Cover 2, then Romo hits Witten across the middle on a DIG. But, if the safety is dropping down in the zone and they are really in a Cover 1, then this will open things up for Dez.
A good part of Bryant's success may have been due to the fresh ways he is being used.
It appeared that in this game Dez Bryant was used much more out of the slot than any other games this season. I believe you will see much more of this in these final six games of the season. What Scott Linehan is trying to do is allow Bryant the ability not to be doubled in coverage, but more importantly, it allows Bryant the ability to run more routes where he has space to operate.
On his first touchdown reception of the game, Bryant was lined up inside the numbers two yards to the outside of James Hanna. By lining up this tight to the formation, it allowed him to come inside hard instead of being wide and having to deal with a corner and safety who would try to force him into the sidelines. Also, with this positioning of Bryant, it also allows Tony Romo to get him the ball more quickly and on the move - which, as we all saw, is a nightmare for defensive backs to have to deal with.
This is the new meme about the Cowboys, that they leave Romo on the field too long. It is interesting that Cowlishaw lists two other quarterbacks as contrasts, but leaves out the scores of the games at the time they were pulled.
Denver's Peyton Manning did not set foot on the field in Oakland in the fourth quarter. Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers turned the reins over to Matt Flynn against Chicago with seven minutes left in the third quarter.
To add that neglected information, Manning sat when it was 41-10, and Rodgers was replaced by Flynn when the score was 45-7. It was 31-10 when Romo sat. Just sayin'.
I'll just leave the opening of this article here, because I am almost too stunned for words.
Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys legend.
There, I said it.
This is not jet lag. This is not about drinking some funny tea in London.
This is about accepting the truth about the best quarterback in Cowboys history not named Troy Aikman or Roger Staubach.
This is an audio link from an interview with Michael Irvin on 105.3 The Fan, but basically, he says that if Tom Brady or Peyton Manning had played with the kinds of injuries Romo did, they would be getting wall to wall adulation on all the sports channels.
Just to add another voice on the Romo matter, which is kind of getting to be the national consensus.
Tony Romo should have played Sunday. It's not complicated. Players who are cleared to play by team doctors play. If you want to dispute whether the team doctors are acting in the players' best interests in Dallas, that's fine. But the fact is you don't know anything about that and neither do I-at least not enough to question their care for Romo. Now, having said that, I can be critical of the Cowboys for two things: Keeping Romo and DeMarco Murray in the game for any part of Sunday's fourth quarter with a 24-point lead was unnecessarily risky, and I think Romo shouldn't have gone back in the Monday night game two weeks ago.
More love for Anthony Hitchens, the fourth round rookie who continues to exceed expectations. Think about this: His play is largely how the team was able to weather the lack of Sean Lee, Justin Durant and Rolando McClain in this game. Those some big dang shoes being filled.
In the two games Rolando McClain has missed this year, Hitchens has recorded 22 tackles combined, which included an impressive fourth-down tackle in a Week 3 win against St. Louis that helped change the game. That performance earned him NFL Pepsi Rookie of the Week honors, an award that usually goes to an offensive player.
Then this past game, after McClain didn't practice all week, Hitchens got the start in the middle once again and showed a couple of nations that he can be a difference-maker on the field. Against the Jags, he was all over the field.
Henry Melton is starting to play like the Cowboys hoped he could when he was signed. And another issue that was creating some angst a few weeks ago might be solved now.
If you were worried about the number of touches running back DeMarco Murray was getting, don't be. Yes, the NFL's leading rusher started the season with 20 or more carries in seven consecutive games with four games where he ran the ball 25 times each. In the past three weeks, Murray hasn't run more than 19 times in a game and he's picked up 141, 79 and 100 yards in those games.
And yes, he is able to have a reduced workload primarily because of the job Joseph Randle is doing.
That's really all that matters, that the team is aware it has issues on special teams and is working to fix them.
The normally noncommittal head coach finally came out and said that the team is in a good place going into the bye.
"Absolutely,'' he said. "There are some things up to this point that have been real positive for us and things that we have been disappointed by.
"But for the most part, over the course of the first 10 weeks, we feel good about the position we're in.''
And finally, just because:
Cole Beasley (@Bease11) November 11, 2014
Pick 256 is a season-long contest in which BTB members and readers get to pick the straight-up winners for all games each week. If you haven't yet submitted your picks, now would be a good time. Here's the link to the entry form.
If the link above doesn't work for whatever reason, use the following alternative, which does not autofill your BTB user name into the entry form.
By the end of the day on 11/11, we had 111 votes logged. That's a pretty nifty total, but still leaves room for lots of additional participants. The early patterns emerging are Redskins over Bucs (87%), 49ers over Giants (87%) and Packers over Eagles (96%). Let it be so.