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Dallas Cowboys News & Notes: Could DeMarco Come Back? Cowboys Return To Scene Of 2014's Crime

The Dallas Cowboys make their preparation for the Packers as more offseason rumors get discussed and thrown onto the table. Plus, it's still a catch and Dez Bryant wants to be on the committee to make it known.

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys Victory More Important Than Draft Position - Jim Scott, Blogging The Boys
The Dallas Cowboys victory over the Washington Redskins was worth more to a team in search of itself than a few spaces of draft position. Amen, Jim.

The Cowboys stumbled and bumbled offensively and barely managed to beat a weak opponent. Anyone expecting a repeat against theGreen Bay Packers next week probably needs their head examined (Disclaimer: I have actually picked Dallas to win, so feel free to let fly with accusations of hypocrisy). Nonetheless, for a moment, it's ok to put aside this team's exact place in history (or draft) and revel in a Cowboys victory over the most hated and longstanding of rivals, the Washington Redskins.

Dallas Cowboys: Darren Woodson: Cowboys Don't Have Any Fear; The Packers Don't Scare Anyone - SportsDay Staff

The now Ring Of Honor former safety of the Cowboys dishes on a game where he believes the Packers are vulnerable.

The Cowboys don't have any fear. There's no fear. There's nothing to lose going into Green Bay to play this game. I'm talking trick plays. We just saw them play the Washington Redskins last week and they blitzed continuously. The entire game. First time all year. They don't have anything to lose. This team has no fear. And that's why Rod Marinelli is blitzing everybody. They don't care right now. They're at a point right now where their backs are against the wall and that's the worst team to play against. They're a game out.

Cowboys' Rod Marinelli Dials Up Successful Blitzes Against Redskins - Jean-Jacques Taylor, ESPN Dallas
Cowboys defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli changed his tactics against the Redskins to enhance the pass rush, and it worked.

Understand, Marinelli doesn’t like to blitz. Abhors it. He wants to use a four-man rush to harass the quarterback and drop seven into coverage because he believes that’s the best way to play pass defense. The problem, of course, is the Cowboys’ pass rush has been useless much of the season.

Converting Touchdown Chances Critical For Cassel, Offense vs. Green Bay - Rob Phillips, Dallas Cowboys
As much as we love Dan Bailey kicking game-winners, the Cowboys cannot afford to be inept in scoring against the Pack.

"That’s one of the things that we talked about today is we’ve got to continue to work hard about converting these field goals into touchdowns," Cassel said, "and being better in the red zone, being better at situational football, especially on third down. Those are things that every week come up and I think if you can be good in situational football, you’re going to give your team a chance to win each and every week."

Cowboys Visit Green Bay For First Time Since Controversial 'No Catch' - FOX Sports
There's not much talk this week about how the Green Bay Packers eliminated the Dallas Cowboys from the playoffs last season thanks in part to a controversial call involving Dez Bryant.

"I don't know that guys bring a lot of stuff with them from past games," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. "I do think it's important to focus on what we need to do for today to get ready for Sunday."

Scenario In Which Three NFC East Teams Make Postseason - Zach Kruse,
ESPN’s Playoff Machine is a tool of pure chaos. The highly addictive interface allows users to plug in winners and losers of every single remaining game of the NFL season. Mr. Kruse shows you how the NFC Least could finish strong.

In fact, with just the right wins and losses over the final four weeks, the Giants, Eagles and Cowboys can all make the six-team postseason field in the NFC. (Sorry, Redskins fans.)

ESPN: Could There Be A Cowboys-DeMarco Murray Reunion In 2016? - OCC, Blogging The Boys
The odds of a Cowboys-Murray reunion may be slim, but the potential benefits are many. Could this really be a reality?

Depending on what kind of offset language Murray's contract in Philly contains, the Cowboys might essentially be getting Murray for free in 2016, as the Eagles will be on the hook for his $7 million salary. The Cowboys got a similar "deal" on Brandon Weeden, though in that specific case they overpaid, regardless of how much money they saved. The Cowboys paid Weeden the NFL minimum salary for two years and the Browns continued to pay the difference between the minimum salary and the guaranteed part of his original contract. Imagine that: Murray plays for the Cowboys for $7 million in 2016 and the Eagles will pay about $6 million of that. Sweetness.

Five Reasons The Dallas Cowboys Will Beat The Green Bay Packers -Thomas Duck, Cover32
Despite all the losing, despite all the injuries, despite all the negative headlines, here we sit with the Dallas Cowboys only one game out of playoff position.

2. Defense, Defense, Defense - Many times this season I have used the Cowboys defense as a reason why they would beat their upcoming opponent. Of course, two-thirds of the time the results haven’t been favorable, but it isn’t because the defense hasn’t held up their end of the bargain. In fact, defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli has this Cowboys defense playing very well indeed. You may be surprised to find out that Dallas has the number five defense in the NFL. That’s right, The Cowboys are fifth in the entire league in total defense. They have been particularly good against the pass, allowing just 225.1 yards through the air per contest. This is not merely a case of teams taking the path of least resistance either as Dallas has held the opposing offense to an average of 104.1 yards on the ground. The Packers are not a particularly stout running team, and if the Cowboys secondary can continue to play as well as they have so far, this could be a long day for Rodgers and company.

Cowboys Linebacker Sean Lee Was ‘At His Best’ Against The Redskins - Drew Davison, The Star-Telegram
Sean Lee seemed to be around the ball on every play Monday night and finished ahead of everybody in defensive stats too.

One particular play that Lee made garnered extra praise from Garrett. Early in the fourth quarter, the Redskins had a third-and-five play in which quarterback Kirk Cousins faked a handoff and threw a quick screen to Jamison Crowder. Lee read it perfectly and made the tackle, forcing the Redskins to kick a field goal on a play that very well could have ended up as a touchdown.

Dallas Cowboys: Gosselin: How Can The 4-Win Cowboys Make The Playoffs? Norv Turner Explains How To Salvage A Lost Cause - Rick Gosselin, SportsDay
As long as they are mathematically still alive, the Cowboys will fight to win their division. Something that another former Cowboys' coach knows all too well about.

"What we needed to do was win our games and get some luck," Turner said. "Denver was the team we had to beat and we knew we had them in the last game. So that was the carrot in front of us -- we had them in the last game at home."

With Short Week, Jason Garrett Alters Practice Plan - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
Two consecutive short weeks are altering how Jason Garrett is approaching practice, but it's still the same message.

The players will not be in pads this week. With a short week, next week against the New York Jets coming to AT&T Stadium on Saturday, Dec. 19, the Cowboys won’t be in pads then, either. The Cowboys could be in pads for their Wednesday practices to close the final two weeks of the regular season.

Cowboys Dan Bailey Wins NFC Special Teams Player Of The Week - Dave Halprin, Blogging The Boys
The Dallas kicker is one thing fans can depend on and he came through for them in a big way on Monday night. Now he gets the recognition he deserves.

He won the NFC Special Teams Player of the Week award for basically just being Dan Bailey in the Washington game. Make every kick? Check. Boot the game-winning field goal  with 9 seconds remaining on the clock from 54-yards away? Got it.

Nearly A Year Later, Debate Still Rages About Dez Controversy In Green Bay - Dave Helman, Dallas Cowboys
A year later, Dez Bryant is willing to jump on board and help the NFL figure out how to judge what is a catch and what is not.

"I want to be measured in my response here," Garrett said. "I think we have to continue to make an effort as a league to clarify what a catch is, and how we write the rules and how we interpret the rules and how we explain the rules based on what happens week in and week out in the NFL. It’s not an easy thing, I know the league is working hard on getting this right."


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If you haven't yet submitted your picks, now would be a good time. Here's the link to the entry form.

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We have 140 participants who've already submitted their picks for Week 14, and they predict another tough weekend for the NFC East:

86% like the Bills over the Eagles

83% like the Bears over the Redskins

74% like the Dolphins over the Giants

54% like the Cowboys over the Packers

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