ROSALIND: How say you now? Is it not past two o'clock? And here much Orlando!
-William Shakespeare, As You Like It, Act IV, scene iii
Cowboys Orlando Scandrick, Broncos Wes Welker and other suspended players reinstated - Tom Ryle, BTB
Our own Tom Ryle gets the prize for the day's most succinct yet comprehensive account of the Scandrick saga, a somewhat anti-climactic story of the day, given that we have followed and anticipated it for some time now. Read his first, and then supplement it with the others that follow...
Orlando Scandrick back at Valley Ranch - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
As Archer points out, Scandrick's return brings with it questions that the coaching staff must answer:
Given the way Sterling Moore has played in Scandrick’s absence, the Cowboys could have a decision to make as to which cornerback plays where. Morris Claiborne started the first two games opposite Brandon Carr with Moore working in the slot. It’s possible the Cowboys continue to give Moore playing time inside or outside as Scandrick works his way into form after a two-week absence or over Claiborne.
An under-reported part of the story is that, to make room for Scandrick on the 53-man roster, the Cowboys placed offensive tackle Darrion Weems on injured reserve.
Orlando Scandrick "excited, relieved" - Tim MacMahon, ESPN Dallas
From O's mouth to your ears:
"That was tough, sitting back and not being able to play," Scandrick said. "I was pretty much handcuffed. It was like my career was dangling in front of me. It wasn't over, but I couldn't have it. I mean I couldn't go out and get another job. Adversity builds character. I feel like I'm coming back, I'm mentally stronger and I'm just ready to play and help this team win.
"I've got a whole lot to prove. I missed two games and I want to pick up where I left off. All of my goals, my season goals are right ahead of me. That was the biggest thing."
Orlando Scandrick more focused than ever; "I've got a whole lot to prove." - Rainer Sabin, DMN
When asked about the fact that he is now in the NFL's system for a positive drug test, Scandrick answered in no uncertain terms:
"There is no next time around from me," Scandrick said. "That’s behind me. I’ll leave you with: It will never happen again. I’m ready. I’m focused. I’m more focused than ever. I’ve changed the way I do things."
Rams expecting WR Stedman Bailey to be ready to face Cowboys - Associated Press
Like Scandrick, Bailey served half of a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy. Unlike Scandrick, he was at home in Miami when he learned about the agreement on a new policy and took the first plane out Wednesday, arriving in time for practice.
Revised NFL drug policies didn't work out so well for Dallas Cowboys S Jakar Hamilton, who tested positive for marijuana last year - Brandon George, DMN
Who writes the headlines over at the Dallas Morning News?
Practice Report: Scandrick and Spencer return; Romo sits out - Nick Eatman, The Mothership
In a piece that is equal parts "Yippee!" and "Oh, no!" Eatman recounts the good news-bad news day at Valley Ranch. Actually, the news might be more bad than good, since the two guys who are arguably the Cowboys' best offensive and defensive players - Dez Bryant and Rolando McClain - were also limited.
Dallas Cowboys DE Anthony Spencer practices for first time since 2013 knee surgery - Rainer Sabin, DMN
Rolando McClain sits out Wednesday with groin injury - David Helman, The Mothership
Cowboys' Romo: "Good to go tomorrow." - Mike Fisher, Cowboys HQ
Fish the first: apparently, the tightness in Romo's back isn't enough to dissuade the Cowboys veteran QB from confidently predicting a full participation Thursday. For Number Nine, it's all part of the process:
"It’s going to happen," Romo said. "It’s going to pop up. I’m sure it’ll happen throughout the rest of the season. You’ll see a day here or there. ... You play this game. It’s a very violent, physical game, and you throw the ball a lot and you do all these things. Sometimes it’s just that tightness stuff comes up."
And, if Romo needed a rest, this was the day to do it: Wednesday’s practice focuses mostly on the running game with the players in full pads the only time during the week. Thursday focuses on third down and two-minute drills and Friday is short-yardage and goal line work.
Fish on Cowboys: Romo + his spoiled fans - Mike Fisher, Cowboys HQ
Fish the second: This one provides a fat helping of Fisher's house dish: cut-to-the-chase perspective:
...for years, Dallas has asked Romo to be the franchise's Elway/Staubach/Young/Aikman/Houdini ... and the franchise has asked too much. So the personnel department has handed the coaching staff a possibly more reliable way for this offense to come out ahead on the scoreboard.
What's the downside here?
As Jason Witten says, "It's a compliment to your football team when your star quarterback can be a secondary option.''
Post-game checkdowns: Romo gets the help he needs and sometimes refuses - Rob Phillips, The Checkdown
Phillips is in general agreement with Fish on this one:
I’ve defended Romo for years and years, calling for more help from his line or the run game or the defense. He got it all this week. And here’s the best part: he used it.
No one’s comparing the talent on this team to the ‘90s. I’m certainly not. But the same strategy helped Aikman win a lot of football games. If the Cowboys can control the line of scrimmage, not only will they keep their undermanned defense off the field, they’ll make their defense better because they’ll be fresher.
Cowboys trust McClain to fulfill potential - Tim MacMahon, ESPN Dallas
Timmy Mac spreads the positivity regarding Number 55's life (and football) turnaround:
McClain, the father of two young boys, refocused his life around faith and family. He weeded out the negative influences, giving him a chance to take advantage of his football gifts, which he's done to the tune of a team-high 22 tackles (per the coaches' film), a sack and a spectacular interception in two games...
Let's not get too far ahead of ourselves projecting Rolando McClain's future with the Cowboys - Kevin Sherrington, DMN
The sunshine fades and the daffodils wilt as Sherrington takes out his Great Sword of Gloom:
At some point I'm sure Jerry will try to do something about that, and I imagine he'd be interested in playing here. Or at least that's what he's intimated. But let's not get ahead of ourselves. He's quit before. Twice, in fact. Let's see if he remains committed. If he does, he's a tremendous addition who didn't cost them much of anything.
Oh wait, it was just the click-generating headline that was gloom and doom? Fancy that...
Marinelli Report: Week 2 - At Tennessee - Bob Sturm, Live from Lewisville
In his weekly analysis of the Cowboys defense, The Sturminator offers the staples - splash plays, pressure report, explosives allowed, blitz success - and, in addition, discusses Sterling Moore and looks at two key categories, takeaways and third down stops:
Takeaways: Since 2011, the Cowboys have had multiple takeaways in 20 games. They are 15-5. The 5 losses in question include Denver 2013, Debacle in Detroit 2013, The Dez fingertip game against the Giants in 2012, the gutting loss in New England in 2011, and the Revis INT game in New York in 2011. So, to put it rather simply, if the Cowboys get 2 takeaways in a game, they either win or have historic regret for gutting losses that stick in your memory.
3rd Downs: Also since 2011, the Cowboys are 10-1 on the 11 occasions that they have limited their opponent to 25% or less on 3rd Downs. On Sunday, the Titans went 2-10. The one time they lost with this number? Also, the Dez fingertip game of 2012 against the Giants.
Those are the ways you get an offense off the field, boys.
While we're still basking in the glow of Sunday's win, Bryan Broaddus is already hard at work viewing film of next weeks opponent. Here are the fruits of his labor:
Scout's Eye: Pass protection must account for Quinn - Bryan Broaddus, The Mothership
Robert Quinn, that is. In his weekly "weapon/ nemesis/ under the radar" opponent preview, Broaddus selects Rams tight end Jared Cook, DE Robert Quinn and QB Austin Davis as his three candidates. Here he is on the titular Ram:
Quinn has faced the Cowboys twice in his career and has totaled four tackles. In both of those games he battled
Tyron Smith, who has played very well against him considering what a threat that Quinn has become rushing the passer. For Smith to hold Quinn without a sack in two matchups is a feat in itself and a credit to Smith.
Film Room: In-depth look at rookie Aaron Donald - Bryan Broaddus, The Mothership
The Broad One goes to the tape on Rams Defensive Tackle Donald, who was much beloved by Cowboys fans heading into the draft. We had our collective hearts broken then, and will again when watching him play with tremendous power and quickness against the Buccaneers and Vikings.
And a couple of tidbits from Todd Archer, who spent Wednesday typing furiously while all the other Dallas-area scribes had a finger football tournament.
DeMarcus Lawrence's recovery on track - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
The Cowboys received some good news on Monday about their rookie DE. Apparently, Lawrence had his surgically-repaired right foot examined by doctors and was told "everything's on track with my recovery." Well good on ya, son.
Running DeMarco Murray's numbers - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
Did you know that the last time a Cowboys running back led the NFL in rushing at the end of a game week was 1999, when Emmitt Smith had 748 yards entering Week 10? Archer does, and he shares a handful of other tasty statistical nuggets:
This is the sixth time a Dallas runner has opened the season with back-to-back 100-yard games. Tony Dorsett did it twice (1978, 1981) and Smith did it three times (1991, 1995, 1999). Too soon to point out the Cowboys made the playoffs in those years?
Too early, Todd. Waaaay too early.
Don't forget to submit your picks for the BTB Pick 256 Challenge
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, we've logged about 250 entries for Week three, make sure you log your entry today if you want to join the fun. You can review the full Week 2 standings and the season leaderboard of our Pick 256 challenge in this fanpost by BTB-member Hookerhome.