Random musings and misgivings from the BTB writers as we try to pass the time until kickoff tomorrow.
Rabblerousr: The last time the Cowboys lost in week 3 was 2002, when they fell to the Eagles in a 44-13 squeaker. That's eleven consecutive years that they have emerged from week 3 with a "W" (including 2010, when they started 1-7, with their lone win a week three victory over the Texans).
While this may be the result of the fact that Dallas has all too frequently been 1-1 going into week three (in nine of the seasons since 2002, they sat at .500 going into week three), and thus desperate not to drop below the .500 mark, it might have more to do with the luck of the schedule. None of the teams they faced in week three from 2003-13 ended up with a winning record (two finished 8-8), and the cumulative record of all 11 opponents is 70-106.
With the Rams unlikely to break that streak, its equally unlikely that the Cowboys will break theirs...
OCC: DeMarco Murray ranks #1 in the NFL with 285 total rushing yards. That's pretty impressive. He also ranks #1 with 153 yards after contact (the cumulative yards gained after first contact with a defender). That's even more impressive. But most impressive to me is that Murray ranks #4 overall with 3.0 yards after contact per rush attempt.
With that many yards after contact, you've got to wonder how much of the O-line's much lauded runblocking success is actually due to Murray.
In any case, the Cowboys have rushed for 349 yards in two games weeks, a total they reached in their fourth game in 2013 and their fifth game in 2012.
Dave: I'm not sure exactly what kind of QB Tony Romo will be over the next few years, but he almost certainly won't be the swashbuckling Romodini who did amazing (and occasionally stupid) things while running around in the pocket slipping the tackles of numerous defenders.
From the looks of the first two games this season, that Romo is gone. He's still smart in the pocket and can sense danger, but his ability to spin-move on a charging defensive end and make him dive for air seems like a long-ago dream. He'll need to rely on decent protection and accuracy in the future, and he'll need playmakers with the ball in their hands to compensate for a shorter passing game.
Dawn: With Orlando Scandrick set to return after his mini-suspension it is obvious that someone else will be losing plenty of their snaps. The problem is this: After the way the corners played last week, how do you decide which guy has to give up playing time?
That is one helluva good problem to have.
Neithan20000: Our linebackers are playing well, but seem vulnerable to misdirection plays and play fakes. Pretty soon coaches are going to see that on film and build a gameplan around play action, screens and counters, and I wonder if our linebackers will be able to handle it.
Tom: I have the same wonder for two different things, the running game and the defense: Are we seeing a legitimate trend for them, or just flashes that won't be sustained? This week may not give us much in the way of answers, because we really don't know if the Rams are a bad team or not. Anything less than what we saw against Tennessee would be troubling, however. I want to see if Garrett and his staff can actually stack one good game on top of another.
Gary: I wonder if Garrett will be predictable and do what everyone expects us to do and that is to run the ball 30+ times again. Or will he decide that if the Rams are 8 and 9 in the box because they are expecting us to challenge their run defense, and challenge it early and often, to pass more than throw in the early going just to make them think? And if he does that will it be effective?