The biggest news of the day came late, and it was not very good (although the move was probably overdue).
BREAKING NEWS: ESPN reports that Orlando Scandrick has been picked to start in Claiborne's place.
"Cornerback Morris Claiborne skipped the Dallas Cowboys' walk-through practice and angrily left the club's Valley Ranch training facility Tuesday after being informed that Orlando Scandrick was replacing him in the starting lineup, multiple sources said."
This leaves the team with a big problem that it now has to address. And Claiborne has to decide if he thinks he is bigger than the team or not. (Hint, Mo. You most definitely are not.)
One failure the Cowboys have had under Jason Garrett is the inability to consistently string more than two wins together. They have to find a way to change that if they are to have any real success.
The Cowboys have been prepared under Garrett. They have fought. They have been resilient. But they have put together winning streaks of more than two games only twice in his 59 games.
Garrett's response fits his personality. He will tell you what the Cowboys did last year and the year before has nothing to do with what will happen this season. He said Sunday's game is important because it's the next one, nothing more.
"We're going to play 16 of them,'' he pointed out.
While Dallas is reshaping itself as a running team, it is still going to have to have Tony Romo move the ball through the air to get very far in the NFL. It was really good to see some old style Romodini show up against the Rams.
"It was as encouraging, if not the most encouraging part of the game, part of the win," Jones said Tuesday on 105.3 The Fan [KRLD-FM]. "He had really recognized here a couple of weeks ago, with the help of some of our trainers out there that he really needed to go to that proverbial core, base of strength that you have."
Romo reported to the coaches Wednesday morning that his back felt stiff, so the decision was made for him to spend practice in the weight room doing core strength exercises. Romo said he'd discuss the matter with Garrett and offensive playcaller Scott Linehan, but he's open to the idea that practicing only two times per week could be best for him considering the circumstances.
Based on the results last Sunday, I would certainly consider giving him a day off. Whatever gets you to the W.
A nice look at the win and the dynamics of the game.
Speaking of drama, cue the first game-winning drive opportunity of Dallas' 2014 season. From Romo's perspective, this was a beauty. A blocking penalty on Jason Witten put the ball 91 yards away from the end zone, but Romo feasted on third downs. He scrambled for 16 yards to convert a third-and-13, then hit Terrance Williams for 20 yards on third-and-14. Jenkins, part of an eventful day, was flagged 33 yards for pass interference on Bryant. Romo finished the march with another third-down conversion, getting an easy 12-yard touchdown on the slant to Williams.
Love that feasting. Hope to see a bunch more of that.
With his gutty performance filling in for the injured Rolando McClain, Anthony Hitchens is one of four players nominated for the Rookie of the Week Award. Follow the link if you'd like to give him your vote (you should, you know).
Fans can vote for one of the five players at http://on.nfl.com/1wJEXkp through Friday at 2 p.m. CT. The winner will be announced Friday on NFL Total Access on NFL Network and on NFL.com.
Oh, and you can vote for the game itself.
Fans can vote on www.nfl.com/gmc for three teams each week. The Cowboys are against the Sehawks and Eagles this week. Seattle held off a late Denver rally to win in overtime while the Eagles overcame another 10-point deficit to beat the Redskins.
Come on. We can't let the Eagles win!
Durant will practice Wednesday, but playing is, as the headline says, the goal now, not a certainty.
To sum it up: Cowboys waive linebacker Kevin Smith, in hopes Durant will be back, and will try to get him back on the practice squad. Lavar Edwards, who was released to make room for Smith, will be re-signed.
Such is the life of a marginal NFL player.
One of Broaddus' best skills is breaking down things on video, so his thoughts about DeMarco Murray's fumbles is worth considering.
We all have seen with our own eyes that Murray is not the most explosive player when he is running the football. He does not have a great burst or what we would call home run speed. Watch Murray run and play close attention to his arms and how for him to really get going he has to swing them hard to generate speed. By swinging his arms this way the ball becomes discounted from his body. If you ever notice his jersey after a game there are usually red marks from the ball smeared across the front. He is trying to hold the ball tightly, but he is moving it to get going by using his arms to get up to speed. Just a thought.
This takes a look at why the Cowboys may be a much better team this season. The best thing is that it has video clips that you can look at frame by frame by moving your cursor over the picture. Awesome way to see what happened on the multiple plays they cover here, including how what the article calls the best offensive line in the NFL works.
There are a lot of talented fronts in the NFL, but the Cowboys have assembled a young, athletic offensive line that absolutely dominates opponents at the point of attack. Part of their success has been fueled by the addition of three first-round selections (Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick and Zack Martin) over the past four drafts. Dallas has faced some criticism for constantly spending high picks on O-linemen, particularly with the Frederick selection, but the infusion of talent turned the unit into the team's biggest offensive strength. Thus, it is sensible for Garrett to transform the offense into a blue-collar outfit built around a run-centric approach.
Bob Sturm has been rather pessimistic about the Cowboys this season, but this episode of his look at the offensive play-calling is almost all positive. Check the last sentence in this quote, which is something the team needs.
Certainly not trying to jinx anything here, but once again the Cowboys had full use of all of their offensive toys in Game 3. The OL has once again had perfect attendance and Linehan could deploy whoever he wanted at his leisure. That meant Witten, Dez, Williams, and Murray playing 80% or more. With supporting cast snaps at the following: Beasley 24, Escobar 18, Hanna 16, Clutts 10, Dunbar 6, Harris 4, and then 3 more players with 2 snaps each - Parnell, Street, and Randle. People like me like to discuss these low snap numbers for important pieces like Dunbar and Escobar, but the good news is that the team does seem to have some level of cover for the injuries that eventually arrive.
This is a refreshing article, in that it talks about Dallas doing something progressive and cutting edge, and then brings up some unrest in the realm of football savior Chip Kelly.
However, NFL.com reported that the Philadelphia cornerback Cary Williams said coach Chip Kelly, who ushered in much of the practice technology, is overworking the Eagles players.
"It's hard to go out there and fight for 60 minutes when you're fighting throughout the week to make it through one practice," Williams said, via ESPN.com. "I'm not the only one. I'm just the only one that's man enough to stand up here and talk to y'all. It's obviously, in my opinion, an issue in our starts."
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.
If the link above doesn't work for whatever reason, use the following alternative, which does not autopopulate your BTB user name into the entry form.
Through the wee hours of the morning, we've logged about 140 entries, of which 61% have picked the Cowboys for the win over the Saints on Sunday. You can review the full Week 3 standings and the season leaderboard of our Pick 256 challenge in this fanpost by BTB-member Hookerhome.