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Dallas Cowboys News & Notes: Can Cowboys Make It Two In A Row?

Latest Cowboys headlines: O-line performance "not a fluke;" There's no stopping DeMarco Murray; Tony Romo is one of the best NFL quarterbacks in crunch time.

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Prediction: Dallas Cowboys make it two in a row - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
Archer predicts the Cowboys will win road games on back-to-back weeks for the first time since 2009, but expects a high-scoring game. Cowboys 31, Rams 27.

Troy Aikman: Why I expect Cowboys-Rams to be a pretty good game | Dallas Morning News
In an interview with KTCK-AM 1310, Aikman offered this take on Sunday's game:

We all would like to think we know who's good and not good right now, but we really don't. St. Louis ... it's a shame with Sam Bradford. I don't know that he's ever going to be able to get back on the field and do the things that they hoped he would. But defensively, they've been good. It's not a particularly easy place to play with the defense, the way that they fly around the football. I expect it to be a pretty good game. I just don't know that St. Louis has enough offensively to hang in there.


Final Thoughts: The Gameplan If McClain Can’t Go - Bryan Broaddus,
Bryan Broaddus compiles his list of final thoughts for the game. And while he addresses the headline topics like the cornerback shuffle and the plan if Rolando McClain sits, he also offers this insight into the Cowboys' talent acquisition:

Here is something to think about as you view the game on Sunday – this is the second week in a row where the Cowboys are playing an opponent where their first-round selection at offensive tackle is not in the starting lineup. Last week it was Taylor Lewan, who was the 11th overall selection in the 2014 NFL Draft for the Titans. This week the No. 2 overall selection, Greg Robinson, finds himself waiting for an opportunity to play behind Jake Long and Joe Barksdale.

When you look at those situations, you have to be impressed how this Cowboys front office and coaching staff has been able to identify linemen like Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick and now Zack Martin, who they just plug in and go right to work from Day 1. You always worry about the learning curve for offensive linemen, and where others have struggled, Smith, Frederick, Martin and even Ronald Leary have adjusted quickly and that has made a significant difference in this offense.

Danny White: OL's performance vs. Titans 'not a fluke; that's how good those guys are' | Dallas Morning News
Like Aikman, Danny White also spoke with KTCK-AM 1310 and shared his excitement for the O-line:

We've seen the offensive line continue to get better each year. As a result, we saw what they did Sunday to the Titans. I don't think that's a fluke at all. I think that's how good those guys really are up front. Nobody could be happier than DeMarco Murray. Tony does not have to win every game for the Cowboys.


There's no stopping DeMarco Murray |
Sheil Kapadia likes what Murray is doing in Dallas.

285 - Rushing yards for DeMarco Murray through the first two games. That leads the league. There are only three active players who have run the ball at least 500 times and averaged at least 5.0 yards per carry: Kansas City's Jamaal Charles, Buffalo's C.J. Spiller and Murray.

This week, the Cowboys face the St. Louis Rams and a defense that has allowed 5.5 yards per carry (30th in the NFL).

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray will be mostly right-handed now - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
Both of Murray's fumbles came while he was holding the ball in his left hand.

"I worked on it throughout the offseason," Murray said of using both hands as a ball carrier. "It was something that (running backs coach Gary Brown) and I talked about throughout the course of the year, throughout the offseason. We wanted to get it done and I tried it. Not saying I won’t do it again but I’m just more comfortable and stronger, I think, in my right (hand)."

DeMarco Murray: Past performances against St. Louis Rams mean 'nothing - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
Murray gets his third chance against the Rams on Sunday. How much will the previous games factor into this one?

"Um, nothing," Murray said.

"I think you’ve got to be really careful of going back and saying, ‘Boy, he plays great against these guys,’" coach Jason Garrett added. "Well, these guys aren’t necessarily the same guys he’s played against in the past. But, he’s certainly playing well right now. We’ve run the ball well the first couple weeks, and he’s been a big part of it."


The Two-Minute Men: The best NFL quarterbacks in crunch time | The MMQB
Tony Romo ranks as one of the top QBs since 2000 in the two-minute drill. Behind Drew Brees, but ahead of Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, and Aaron Rodgers.

Want more positive stat-based news? Here's where some of the more advanced team efficiency measures have the Cowboys ranked after two weeks:

Massey-Peabody Analytics: 6th
Aikman Efficiency Ratings: 7th
FiveThirtyEight's ELO Ratings: 12th


Cowboys @ Rams: Final Injury Report, Rolando McClain Officially Doubtful - Blogging The Boys
The Cowboys will likely be without Rolando McClain on Sunday, but are mostly healthy for the matchup with the Rams.

Dallas Cowboys LB Justin Durant won’t play Sunday at St. Louis, but getting closer to returning | Brandon George, DMN
Durant won't play tomorrow, but he’s progressed quickly and will have a chance to be back on the field next week.

"He’s had a good week," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said Friday. "He’s going to do some work over the weekend, as well, so hopefully he has a chance to be back sooner rather than later."

Cowboys Gameday Week 3: Dallas at St. Louis Rams - Dallas Morning News
Mobile users take note: The DMN offers a comprehensive preview of the game optimized for mobile viewing. You'll like this.


Looks like linebacker Keith Smith has been called up from the practice squad, at least according to his tweet below. That would make Smith the fourth UDFA to make the roster (already on the 53: Davon Coleman, Dustin Vaughan, Tyler Patmon). No word yet on who will be released from the 53 to make room.


How the Ray Rice scandal unfolded between the Baltimore Ravens, Roger Goodell and the NFL - ESPN
The Ravens front office is in deep trouble if the pattern of misinformation and misdirection attributed to them in the Ray Rice case by this ESPN report holds up. Deep, deep trouble.

Ravens: ESPN story contains "numerous errors, inaccuracies" | ProFootballTalk
A reminder that there are always at least two sides to every story.

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