There is no better way for a young left tackle to learn his trade than by squaring off on a daily basis against one of the best pass rushers to ever play the game, and that is how Tyron Smith got his early NFL education. Facing DeMarcus Ware, and getting his butt kicked frequently may have caused concern in the fanbase, but it was exactly what the young lineman needed to get him to a Pro Bowl level. Now the former Cowboys DE/OLB is speaking the praises of the guy he used to manhandle in practice.
"He's not the same guy. Actually, he is the same dude, but just smarter. Just more experienced. He does everything more consistently. He does everything the right way and does it all consistently. Some guys will overcompensate things in their stance. But he makes the pass sets look like run. He makes the run sets look like pass. You don't know what they're doing." - DeMarcus Ware
Mr. Archer takes a look at the one position group that has me most concerned. There are no easy answers facing the front office on this one.
Carr is slated to count $12.7 million against the cap in 2015. The Cowboys will ask him to take a pay cut or be cut. While it appears an easy decision, Claiborne's health complicates the matter a little bit. The Cowboys simply can't just get rid of corners when they don't have enough corners. If he plays the way he did in the final month-plus of the season, the Cowboys would be happy.
Broaddus gives us a rundown of some players who caught his eye last weekend in Mobile, and as if on queue, he starts out by mentioning a cornerback, Steven Nelson of Oregon State.
His key and diagnose were outstanding, whether he was lined up tight or off. There just wasn't much room for the receiver to work. He showed catchup speed and positioning on the deep routes, and when the ball was thrown in front of him, you would see him plant and explode forward.
We might have a bit of fun with Bryan over his grammar, but he does have an eye for talent. I'm going to take a closer look at Mr. Nelson in the next few days.
Rod Marinelli has worked wonders with the talent he has been given, nobody in football would ever question that. He took over a defense that lost both of its top pass rushers and then its captain, but the defensive coordinator says that he had no doubts that his charges would be much better than the experts predicted.
"I could see the character through these guys all the way back from camp. Nobody else could see it, but I could. We as a staff really believed in them. They're good guys. These guys really work. Every single week we got better and we worked." - Rod Marinelli
This would not be a Dawn Macelli piece if I didn't throw out a couple significant historical tidbits for your perusal.
I would love to have an original copy of this framed and hanging in my office.
Nineteen years, it seems like half a lifetime ago, the Dallas Cowboys exacted a measure of revenge on the team from the Steel City as the triplets became the first team in NFL history to win three Super Bowls in four seasons. The mothership takes us down Memory Lane with a look back at the last time the Cowboys danced with Mr. Lombardi's trophy.
Cornerback Larry Brown had two key interceptions that led to points, igniting the Cowboys to the 27-17 win. Brown was named Super Bowl MVP, becoming the fourth player in franchise history to win the game's MVP honors, along with Chuck Howley in Super Bowl V and co-MVPs Randy White and Harvey Martin in Super Bowl XII.
I think Nick meant to say the fourth defensive player. Roger Staubach, Troy Aikman, and Emmitt Smith have also won the award.
Finally, there is a vicious rumor circulating that there is still more football to be played, something about a "big game".
Back in week six the Cowboys went into Seattle and pushed the Seahawks around. Pete Prisco believes that the Patriots will be taking a hard look at that game and using a similar approach in the Super Bowl.
You run it right at them, or block down and pull guys around to the outside to move the football. You can also use zone runs to use their speed and flow against them.
The Cowboys did both against them. - Pete Prisco
"I party like a 20-year-old. I hit all the nightclubs and bars." - Super Bowl super-fan Tom Henschel
Henschel is a Pittsburgh Steelers fan, so he has had more reasons to party than most. At least he doesn't follow the Eagles; that would be a heck of a thing to suffer through for 49 years.He also stated that he hopes that the NFL will consider allowing him to be a part of the coin toss during the fiftieth Super Bowl game, along with the two other men who have made it to each event. If your reading this Mr. Goddell, you need to make this happen. They've earned the right to be there.