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Dallas Cowboys News & Notes: Can Cowboys Return To Their Smash-Mouth Ways?

Gameday links for your reading pleasure.

Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders in front of Wembley Stadium.
Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders in front of Wembley Stadium.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys Should Return To Form Sunday Against Jags | Bryan Broaddus,
With Tony Romo back and the starting offensive line healthy, Bryan Broaddus expects the Cowboys to rediscover their smash-mouth style on Sunday.

Jason Witten gave us a little insight this on week what we should see game plan-wise with his comments of returning to what they are. Look for a steady diet of not only DeMarco Murray but Lance Dunbar and Joseph Randle, as well. With this being the last game before the bye and several potential cold weather road games on the horizon, getting back to that physical style of running the ball is going to be necessary pushing forward.

Brady, Murray front and center for midseason awards - Charean Williams, Star-Telegram
Per Williams, Tom Brady is the mideason MVP; DeMarco Murray is the top offensive player; Zack Martin is the Offensive Rookie of the year:

DeMarco Murray, RB, Cowboys: He set the NFL record with eight consecutive 100-yard games to start the season. With an NFL-leading 1,133 rushing yards, Murray is on pace for 2,014. Only seven rushers have ever topped 2,000 yards, led by Eric Dickerson’s 2,105 in 1984.

Offensive Rookie: Zack Martin, G, Cowboys: Buffalo receiver Sammy Watkins likely remains the best bet to win the award. An offensive lineman has never won the award, but Martin has had as big an impact as any rookie skill-position player. He has allowed one sack with no holding penalties, and he has been a big reason the Cowboys lead the league in rushing.

Bob Sturm: Scouting the opponent - Jaguars possess one of best groups of young talent, but record doesn’t show it | DMN
Sturm notes that the Jaguars may start up to 14 players who are either in their first or second year in the NFL. For the Cowboys, that number will likely be a lot lower. Last week, Zack Martin, Travis Frederick, and Terrance Williams were the only first- or second year players to start on offense, while J.J. Wilcox and Anthony Hitchens started on defense. There is more talent waiting in the wings - Lawrence, Escobar, Coleman and The Mighty Ben Gardner - but for now, that's it.

Draft talk has to start with the defensive line - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
Instead of partying into the wee hours in London or being a late-night nuisance on Twitter, Archer is actually producing some Cowboys-related content during his stay in London: It's probably still too early to talk about the draft, but Archer gets a draft question in his weekly Twitter mailbag and provides this OCC-endorsed reply to what the Cowboys' biggest needs are in the draft:

I'm starting on the defensive line. The Cowboys need to rebuild it the way they rebuilt the offensive line. They need to make substantial commitments there. Taking DeMarcus Lawrence in the second round, via a trade, was a good start. Remember, Henry Melton, Anthony Spencer, George Selvie and Nick Hayden could all be free agents after the year. They'll need to replenish that group. But I can't ignore linebacker (Carter, Durant, McClain are free agents) or cornerback (Brandon Carr carries a big cap figure. Morris Claiborne coming off injury). They can go a ton of ways next spring to help the defense.

Why The Dallas Cowboys May Be Worth $5 Billion - Business Insider
Via the Dallas Morning News comes this article on the value of the Cowboys, which extrapolates team values on the Buffalo Bills recent sales price of an NFL record $1.4 billion.

If we raise each team's value by the same multiple as the Bills' sale price, which is 1.497 times bigger, the Dallas Cowboys are now worth $4.8 billion instead of their value of $3.2 billion.

We recently looked at what NBA franchise values might be based on the sale of the Los Angeles Clippers sale which was 3.48 times bigger than the valuation.

Based on that number we wondered if maybe the Cowboys were worth as much as $8 billion. That felt a little high.


We're not just America's team, say Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders as they take London by storm | Daily Mail Online
We are a very cheerleader-friendly site here on BTB. As such, we gladly link to this article by the London-based Daily Mail, which takes a look at what our DCCs have been doing in London since Tuesday. But perhaps more interesting than what our girls have been up to is how the Brits evaluate the DCC:

As American as apple pie, bourbon, Marilyn Monroe and Elvis, the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders have been an institution for decades and they are just as recognisable, if not more so, than their NFL team’s distinctive star logo.

NFL at Wembley: 9 things you need to know about Dallas Cowboys vs Jacksonville Jaguars - Mirror Online
The Mirror, also a UK publication, takes a look at today's game. Try to read this in a British accent, it is much more fun that way:

London fans aren't exactly getting two of the NFL's in-form teams this weekend. The Jags have only been able to muster a single victory this season, a 24-6 win over the Browns three weeks ago. Since then they've been seen off by the Bengals and Dolphins.

A fortnight ago Dallas boasted the league's best record after winning six on the bounce after an opening day loss to San Francisco, but the knee to Romo's back put the skids on their winning streak and the 'Boys head to Wembley trying to avoid a three-game losing streak after losing to the Redskins and Cardinals.

From Over the Pond: Importance of the Poppy; Recognizing Remembrance Day | Dan Turner,
Dan, whom Rabble and I met briefly last night, explains the meaning of the red poppies which Cowboys and Jaguars players will have on their jerseys and helmets today:

The Cowboys play the Jaguars on Sunday 9 November 2014. This is on what is called in the UK and Commonwealth, ‘Remembrance Sunday’. 2014 is the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War, so holds extra significance. Remembrance Day is about commemorating all the fallen soldiers who have fallen from the British Commonwealth.

The poppy is the symbol of that remembrance.


Greg Cosell's Look Ahead: Bortle's progress | Yahoo Sports
There are many observers that like Bortle's chances in the NFL. For now though, Cosell says the rookie is going through the normal rookie struggles:

As we continue to track the rookie quarterbacks, it’s easy to see that Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles is very much a pre-determined thrower right now, meaning he'll often go to his primary read. That’s very common for a rookie quarterback behind a poor offensive line.

Bortles is playing very fast right now. It probably looks to him like there are 15 defenders on the field. He does not have a great feel for coverages yet. He does not recognize quickly and intuitively understand where defenders are in zone coverage.

Right now you have to give Bortles basic combination route concepts, like flat/curl, slant/flat, play action with either/or reads and check downs. Let him make defined throws with minimal reading involved.

Desperation time for several NFC clubs -- John Clayton, ESPN
While we're on the topic of quarterbacks, Clayton offers this observation about Mark Sanchez:

Another QB change to keep an eye on in Week 10 and beyond is Mark Sanchez grabbing the helm in Philly. According to ESPN Stats & Information, in Sanchez's final three seasons with the Jets, his responses to pressure got so bad he had an awful 15.1 QBR against the blitz. The other thing to watch for is his downfield passing (20 or more yards). In New York, Sanchez tallied 20 interceptions against 16 touchdowns on such throws.

Giants vow to keep throwing deep, despite struggles | ProFootballTalk
Going all Rex Grossman on the Seahawks doesn't intuitively feel like a sound strategy for the Giants today. Especially since Eli Manning is ranked 33rd out of 34 QBs in deep passing accuracy: On 35 passing attempts targeted 20 yards or more downfield, Manning has only five completions for a 19.4% completion rate. That's barely ahead of 34th-ranked Geno Smith (17.4%), and he was pulled by the Jets weeks ago.

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