Things are getting, well, a little strange in news about the Dallas Cowboys.
First off, there were articles out, almost simultaneously, where Jason Garrett said pretty much exactly the opposite of what was being reported by the media. Once would be interesting, but seeing it twice in the span of a couple of hours does get your attention.
The article gives Tyron Smith a pass on the first sack of Tony Romo, putting that blame on the quarterback, but does list the legitimate mistakes that he made.
A false start before the first snap of the season, a legitimate sack allowed and a personal foul for leg whipping still represent a disappointing performance for an elite left tackle, although head coach Jason Garrett gushed about Smith anyway.
Here is the gushing from the head coach.
"But for the most part he did a really good job in this game. Obviously all those plays count and you've got to make sure you come back with a demeanor to correct those things. But he's a good football player and for a lot of this game he played very well."
On this, Jason Garrett makes a good point.
Common sense also dictates that Tony Romo shouldn't throw Bryant the ball when he has two or three defenders all over him.
That happened twice Sunday. Romo was picked off both times.
"I think it's pretty clear -- you don't force the ball to people," head coach Jason Garrett said.
And the counterpoint.
"I think if Tony Romo would look at him a little more, instead of Jason Witten," Moss suggested during the FOX pregame show when asked about how Bryant's numbers can get even better.
Neither topic represents any major controversy - but the conflicting views did jump out today.
Some great graphics in the original article. Plus this trenchant observation.
If his performance on Sunday was any indication, it may take a while before he returns to form. Romo, to put it mildly, underwhelmed -- especially when throwing downfield. The 12-year veteran fired only five passes that traveled 20 or more yards in the air. Two fell incomplete. Another was intercepted. And one of the two throws that reached their intended targets - a 56-yard bomb to Dwayne Harris - was slow to arrive and nearly plucked out of the air by San Francisco cornerback Perrish Cox.
I strongly recommend you go read this article. Bob Sturm dumps lots of knowledge. And his point about the control the Cowboys have given Romo to change plays is spot on.
QB power in the offense is a very wonderful tool, as long as the QB sees everything properly. If he sees it wrong, games are lost. In this case, I am sure he would agree that this is not the type of mental busts that the team should have to overcome.
We better hope the Cowboys can turn it around, because if they don't, this kind of second guessing will go on all season.
Here's an idea: What if Romo is fine physically, but the limited practice time in training camp and the 48 snaps he took in the preseason weren't enough to prepare him to play at game speed? Did his physical well-being to start the season take precedence over the repetition it took to be sharp?
"When players come back off of an injury, you have to have a plan for them to get themselves healthy,'' Garrett said. "We thought it was important to do the things we did to give him an opportunity to play yesterday.
Good questions here, including this one.
Curious about how long the Cowboys will carry a fullback: Jason Garrett wanted a fullback on the roster this season after not carrying one a year ago because the Cowboys want to be a physical team that can run the football. So the Cowboys have Tyler Clutts on the roster. But for how long? They used him for only one offensive snap Sunday. He does contribute on special teams, however. He was on the kickoff return team to start the game.
You notice a theme here amongst the highly paid pro writers? If you check the two articles, you will find the number five is not the only thing they have in common.
Just had to throw that one in, as well. Told you this was just a strange day in Cowboys news.
Now, for a bit of good news. Henry Melton was all right in his Dallas debut, and should get better as he pays more. And Rolando McClain just looked good.
In the game, I liked the way that he played with range and a closing burst. He was active, whether the play was right at him or if he had to move down the line to meet the ball carrier. He played with upper body strength and with some shock. When he hit the blocker with his hands, you could see them stop in their tracks. I really like the way that he played on his feet. There had been some times in training camp where he was late and out of balance when he made contact. That was not the case at all against the 49ers.
More good news about Melton and Terrell McClain.
Look for Melton to return to the starting lineup at the three-technique next to starter
Nick Hayden, while McClain rotates into the mix. The Cowboys had both rookies Davon Colemanand Ken Bishopactive for the game. In fact, Coleman was just the fourth defensive tackle in Cowboys history to start a season opener. But it's likely the Cowboys will deactivate either Coleman or Bishop if McClain is indeed active.
Just doing a little churn. The Cowboys added Reggie Dunn, wide receiver, to the PS and cut FB Nikita Whitlock (which may or may not have something to do with the lack of plays involving Tyler Clutts). Dunn does bring some skill with him.
He holds the NCAA record with five kickoff returns for a touchdown with four coming in 2012 for Utah. He caught 31 passes for 355 yards and a touchdown.
There is a good collection of Jerry Jones articles, as usual. But at least one topic is not something we even want to see mentioned.
It is a surprisingly somber statement from the normally optimistic owner.
Let's not just make this about those turnovers, because there was more here to look at where we did some good things about and then there was some there where we didn't do good things about. I don't have it as a given that the turnovers were the difference in the game. I'm not being negative. I think we would've been right there, but San Francisco plays that game different in the second half if they don't have that big lead."
Is this criticism of his staff? If so, it is rather muted. More likely, it is just more Jerryspeak.
"Tony's biggest asset is that he sees the field. He sees it as well or better than anybody. And he didn't see the field good the other day. Consequently, he made some of those decisions with the ball that he made because a lack of that. Had he got those practices in, could he have had a little more time? Would he have set his feet better? All of those things we don't know. But I do know this, if anybody can move past a bad time, he can."
The irony here is just amazing, considering what was to break a little later in the day.
"We've said this so often about Tony, to get the good, you got to go with some of the foibles that come with the good," Jerry Jones said. "I hope that you could say that about me, and other things that I do. We know we've all got them. Sometimes they're the part that makes us do well, too."
Yeah, I guess you could say you have to take the foibles with Jerry.
Not like there aren't enough things going on for the Cowboys already.
Of course, Jerry was not slow to voice his opinion about that other thing going on in the NFL.
The league is united in the message about the Ray Rice situation. But Jerry comes up with a unique way of expressing things.
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Tuesday morning that the league made the right call by changing Rice's punishment to an indefinite suspension.
"In blocking terminology we have recovery," Jones said on 105.3 The Fan [KRLD-FM]. "That's when an offensive linemen obviously gets beat on the first move but he has the athletic ability to recover and try to get it right on the second move. I know that we're doing that, trying to get it as good as we can get it on the second time around. I think that's happening.
Sad notes about a couple of former Cowboys.
The incident happened some time ago, but this is the first time I have seen an account of what he actually did.
Barber had brought a loaded 9mm handgun into a church and "removed his jacket showing the congregates his firearm," according to TMZ.
However, he won't be doing any actual prison time - because he is getting credit for prison time served in Montana.
Here's what he got in trouble for:
Leaf violated his Texas probation when he ran afoul with the law in Montana for breaking into a home to steal prescription drugs. He pleaded guilty for felony burglary and criminal possession of a dangerous drug in 2012.
Just a couple of somewhat positive notes to close things out with.
The Cowboys are 14th in total offense and 11th in total defense after Week 1.— Charean Williams (@NFLCharean) September 9, 2014
Out of all 53 ILB's who played in Week 1 in NFL, Rolando McClain graded 2nd. Only behind Luke Kuelchy, according to PFF— Dan Turner (@DTSTurner) September 9, 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.
As of 4:00 am this morning, 220 entries have been submitted. 88% of the entries like the Cowboys over the Titans in Week 2.