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Dallas Cowboys News & Notes: Cowboys Must Fix Third Down Issues

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Latest Cowboys headlines: Cowboys woes begin and end on third down; Dallas Cowboys' offensive line must rebound; Has the Cowboys offense become unbalanced?

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Cowboys woes begin and end on third down | Clarence Hill, Star-Telegram
Hill gets a lengthy soundbite from Garrett on the Cowboys' third down performance that has seen the Cowboys move from 6-1 to 8-4.

"I think you look at it and you evaluate it," Coach Jason Garrett said. "You go on and on with every one of them. That’s what we do. Then you say, ‘OK, are there any trends here or do we just have to address this specific thing?’ We’ve been a good third down team for most of the year. A lot of that has been because we’ve been in somewhat manageable third downs. We’ve executed. We’ve spread the ball around, we protect it, we make good decisions, we make good plays on the other end of it. We just have to go back to doing that. You heard me say this the other day, we were four out of 12. If you convert one, two or three more of those, all of a sudden you’re back to where you’ve been most of the year. That’s the nature of this game. We got to find a way to make those plays."

"I think it always comes back to execution," Garrett said. "We were so good on third downs. We haven’t been as good lately. There were some protection issues and then inefficient throwing the football or catching the football… Earlier on in the year, on third downs, we were making those plays. We haven’t made them lately. We have to get back to doing that. It’s critical to moving the football, obviously."

Has The Cowboys Offense Become Unbalanced? - Blogging The Boys
The Cowboys have a pass/run ratio of exactly 50% so far this year, which suggests a very balanced team. But a look at some playcalling details suggests the Cowboys may not be as balanced as that number would have you believe.

Dallas Cowboys' offensive line must rebound - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
For the first time this season the offensive line was bloodied against Eagles, Archer writes, but Garrett is sure "they'll respond the right way."

"I think they’re a heck of a group," Garrett said. "I think they’re really good football players, and they’re the right kind of guys. I think they’re tough physically and mentally, and I think they’ll respond well. They have a tremendous amount of pride in being a good unit. I think they’ll watch the tape and they’ll try to rectify things."

Practice Update: Romo Sits Out; LT Also Misses | Nick Eatman, DC.com
With the Cowboys playing on Thursday against the Bears, the team did on Sunday what the usually do on a Wednesday: practice for the upcoming game. And as usual on a Wednesday, Tony Romo sat out the practice. Also absent was Tyron Smith, who has a stomach virus and was held out of practice and team meetings, though he's expected back today.

Other players missing include safety Jeff Heath (thumb surgery), cornerback Tyler Patmon (knee) and linebacker Dekoda Watson (hamstring). Patmon and Watson were on the side field with a conditioning coach.

Normal practice week begins on Sunday this week - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
Even though it's Sunday, the Cowboys were on a Wednesday practice schedule, but try as they might to pretend it's Wednesday, sometimes the inconsistencies bleed through the Matrix:

"What was strange was driving home last night and usually I’m driving home on a Tuesday night and there’s nothing happening on the road," Garrett said. "There were lot of people out, enjoying Saturday night so that was a little strange for me. The drive in this morning was really as clean as can be so you actually get yourself oriented to the rest of the world. But inside this building it’s all about Wednesday right now."

Cowboys make practice squad moves - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
The Cowboys re-signed seventh-round pick Will Smith and brought back wide receiver Chris Boyd. Boyd was with the Cowboys during training camp and preseason, and his 6-4 size might help the Cowboys' scout team simulate the Bears' tall wide receivers.

Bears’ Dynamic Duo Of Jeffrey and Forte Poses A Steep Challenge | Bryan Broaddus, DC.com
The Broad One takes a look at three potential game-changers for the Bears in WR Alshon Jeffrey, RB Matt Forte, and CB Kyle Fuller.

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Report: Redskins to part with Robert Griffin III after season - Chicago Tribune
According to a report by CBSSports, Robert Griffin will not return to the Redskins next season.

After losing his starting job to Colt McCoy, several in the organization believe that the team will part with Griffin after the season. There has reportedly been a growing rift between Griffin and the team that is beyond repair.

Griffin has one year left on his contract and will make $3.3 million next year. He has a fifth-year option for 2016 for more than $16 million.

NFL execs: Redskins unlikely to get more than a 3rd-round pick for RG3 - CBSSports.com
Jason La Confora contacted five NFL executives to help him tax Griffin's value.

Of the five evaluators contacted about Griffin, one believed Washington might be able to get a conditional third-round pick for him, two believed a fourth-rounder was fair value, one said a fifth-round pick and one suggested a sixth-round pick that moves as high as a fourth-rounder based on how much and how well Griffin plays with his new team.

Those are humiliatingly low offers offers for a prospect the Redskins gave up three first-round picks for, so La Confora opines that the Redskins could "opt to keep Griffin rather than face the ignominy of dealing so cheaply."

Saints plan to draft a quarterback high in 2015 - NFL.com
This article is based on a report by Ian Rapoport, who has developed a habit of generating a lot of hot air on Sunday mornings.

Who has the better cheerleaders: Jets or Eagles? | NJ.com
In the land of the blind ...