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Dallas Cowboys News & Notes : It's Falcons Time, Jason Witten Is America's Footballer

The Dallas Cowboys have started their preparation for their Noon kickoff against the Atlanta Falcons. Jason Garrett is no stranger to igniting his team. Oh by the way, did we mention that Jason Witten is beastly?

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Moore: How Many Wins Cowboys Need In Next 8 Games To Claim NFC East And How They Can Get 'Em -David Moore- Dallas Morning News
Despite some injuries, Dallas could still keep things on track. Jason Garrett has shown his ability to keep this team focused. Now his job becomes harder but not impossible.

As the Cowboys embark on life without Tony Romo and Dez Bryant for the foreseeable future, let's try to pin down what qualifies as a reasonable expectation and take a closer look at how the team survives this stretch.

Don’t Panic, But Maybe Panic: Advice For The Seahawks, Cowboys, Colts, And More -Grantland
Andrew Sharp discusses how various NFL teams fanbases should be feeling at this point in time. Is there "cautious optimism" in Dallas?

What’s great and ridiculous about the current sports media landscape is that every team or player’s misstep becomes magnified. Every bit of bad news is potentially cause for grave concern. After a while, you see how this works and realize that we are constantly losing our minds. Nowhere is this more true than the NFL. It’s been only two weeks and half the teams in the league are already on high alert.

Trading For Matt Cassel More Proof Cowboys Are All In For 2015; Will He Eventually Beat Out Weeden? -Kevin Sherrington- Dallas Morning News
Once Matt Cassel gets the playbook under him, he'll fit right in with the Cowboys' idea of a quarterback. By signing the former USC Trojan and New England Patriot, the Cowboys show they plan on winning in Romo's absence.

What this tells you is the Cowboys are all in for this season, despite an injury to Romo that will knock him out at least until the Miami game on Nov. 22. Cassel, who will supplant Kellen Moore once he's comfortable calling plays, will provide insurance for Weeden. Might even eventually beat him out.

Top 10 Backup Quarterbacks In Dallas Cowboys History- Thomas Neumann -ESPN
The Cowboys have acquired Matt Cassel from the Bills, which provides a golden opportunity to rank the top 10 backup quarterbacks in Dallas history.

America's Team now must turn to Brandon Weeden under center in hopes of remaining atop the NFC East, with former Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore temporarily filling the backup role. Needing insurance, the Cowboys acquired veteran Matt Cassel in a trade with the Buffalo Bills on Tuesday.

Dan Quinn: No Doubt Former Colleague Jason Garrett Would Be ‘A Coaching Star’ -Drew Davison- The Star-Telegram
Dan Quinn and Jason Garrett were on the same staff in Miami. Now Quinn is admittedly proud of his former colleague and he's not surprised Garrett is having success.

"A couple things come to mind," Quinn said. "Probably the first one was just his cool demeanor. We had discussions whether it was regarding two-minute or offense … and he had a real clean view on things, had a real philosophy about it already."

Sean Lee Named NFC Defensive Player Of The Week - Dave Halprin -Blogging The Boys

The Cowboys star linebacker received some recognition for his excellent performance against the Eagles.

One of the big reasons the Cowboys were able to shut down the running game of the Eagles, including DeMarco Murray? The return to the playing field of Sean Lee. He was sorely missed in the 2014 season, but now that he's back the Cowboys defense is playing stout. For his efforts against the Eagles, Lee was named the Defensive Player of the Week in the NFC.

Scouting Report: Game Tape Shows Cassel As Smart, Consistent QB -Bryan Broaddus- Dallas Cowboys
The Broad One goes behind the projector for a look at the Cowboys new backup quarterback while Brandon Weeden takes the helm.

One of his strengths is that he moves the team within the system -- doesn’t attempt to do things would cost him during a drive. Finds ways to play within himself and take what he can from the play. Knows where to go with ball pre-snap by reading the coverage. He will stand in the pocket and hold the ball that extra tick to allow a receiver to clear in a route.

Don’t Bet Against A Banged-Up Jason Witten Keeping Consecutive-Game Streak Alive -Clarence Hill- The Star-Telegram
The starting tight end, who has two sprained ankles and a sprained knee? Yeah, well he just showed up in practice in full pads.

He has played in 189 conseutive games with 133 starts in a row since missing a game against the Eagles as rookie in 2003 with a fractured jaw.

So the notion that Witten won’t go on Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons because of injuries to both ankles and a knee is folly to his Cowboys teammates and those close to the 13-year veteran.

DeMarco Murray Has Struggled In His First Two Games With The Eagles - Stats & Info - ESPN

DeMarco Murray, the 2014 rushing champion, has 11 rushing yards in two games with his new team. Struggling is an understatement.

DeMarco Murray has struggled in his first two games with the Philadelphia Eagles. After a 9-yard effort in Week 1 against the Atlanta Falcons, he totaled 2 rushing yards against his former team, the Dallas Cowboys, in Week 2. A study of Murray's usage with the Cowboys in contrast to his usage with the Eagles examines why he isn't performing like the 2014 rushing champion.

Report: Former Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray Leaves Eagles Practice With Hamstring Issue - Dallas Morning News

As if DeMarco Murray's start with the Eagles couldn't get any worse, the former Dallas Cowboys running back may have an injury issue.

According to's Les Bowen, the Eagles said Murray left practice Wednesday with a hamstring issue. He was expected to meet with the media but was unavailable.

Five Things The Cowboys Can Do To Soften The Blow - Michael Sisemore - Blogging The Boys

The Cowboys are 2-0 but it came with a heavy price tag as both the starting quarterback and best wide receiver are out for the near future. With both guys on the mend, it's next man up. What can Dallas do in the interim?

With Tony Romo being placed on short-term injured reserve and Dez Bryant healing his broken foot until at least after the bye week. TheCowboys have the cards stacked against them over possiblly the most difficult part of their schedule. The good news is that the NFC East is looking like a division that can be won with a late surge. Also, the fact that both Romo and Bryant will be back in the lineup with time for a stretch run is a good thing, too.  All of this poses the question, what can the Cowboys do in order to soften the blow and keep the ship upright?

Cowboys Promote Kellen Moore To Active Roster, Sign Efe Obada To Practice Squad -Dave Helman- Dallas Cowboys
British 'Boys fans all over the world rejoice as the Cowboys bring back Efe Obada to learn more of this Rod Marinelli defense.

The team will fill it by bringing back defensive end Efe Obada – the developmental defender they found in London during the offseason. Obada was a fringe player on the Cowboys’ training camp roster, and he showed progress during the summer and preseason.

Starting LG Ron Leary Has No Plans To Split Snaps - Charean Williams -The Star-Telegram

Ronald Leary hopes to be back this week for the game with the Atlanta Falcons, but says if he's playing, he's taking all the snaps. Sorry La'el Collins.

"For me? Nah. Nah. I’m not coming out for no series," Leary said Tuesday.

Jones praised Leary’s work in the opener when Leary played 52 of 71 snaps before leaving with an injured groin that kept him out against the Eagles.

Cowboys Film Review: Brandon Weeden's Passing, Play By Play - Jim Scott - Blogging The Boys
Taking a look at Brandon Weeden's latest passing performance in the hopes of learning what he might do going forward.

Brandon Weeden has always had the physical tools. The question has always been his ability to make the right read and the right throw. A review of the film shows this as still a work in progress, but there is, indeed, progress. If Weeden can beat the blitz a few times like he did with Terrence Williams last Sunday, Dallas has a good chance of winning a few while Romo is away.

Cowboys Extra: Scouting the Atlanta Falcons -Drew Davison- The Star-Telegram
With former Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn in charge, Atlanta (2-0) has rallied to win both games after 10-22 the past two years. The Dallas Cowboys will have their work cut out for them once again.

"The thing I’m excited about is that we’re finding ways to get it done. That’s what good teams do. You’ve got to find a way to continue to get better and keep moving forward." -Matt Ryan

Jason Garrett: Matt Cassel With Dallas Cowboys As Insurance - Dallas Cowboys Blog - Todd Archer -ESPN

Jason Garrett wants to be sure that his quarterback depth chart is stable. By trading for Cassel, Garrett remains clear that Weeden is the starter.

Cassel, who is 33-38 as a starter in his career with 96 touchdowns and 70 interceptions, has experience in a similar system as the Cowboys, having played for Norv Turner last year with the Minnesota Vikings. Garrett spoke with Turner about Cassel before the Cowboys finished the deal on Tuesday.

Garrett doesn’t want Weeden looking over his shoulder.

10 Things You Might Not Know About New Cowboys Quarterback Matt Cassel | Dallas Morning News
Here are 10 things you might not know about new Cowboys quarterback Matt Cassel.

3. Long time comin': Cassel, who went to USC and backed up Heisman Trophy winning quarterbacks Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart,  became the Patriots' starting quarterback after Week 1 of the 2008 season when Tom Brady suffered a season-ending knee injury. He is believed to be the only quarterback in NFL history to start an NFL game without ever starting as quarterback in college. The Patriots finished 11-5 under Cassel but did not make the playoffs. The Pats went 10-6 the following season with Brady. Cassell went almost a full nine seasons between quarterback starts.

Dallas Cowboys Restructure Tight End Jason Witten's Contract -Todd Archer -ESPN

The Cowboys restructured Jason Witten's deal to alleviate a possible salary-cap crunch following the trade for backup quarterback Matt Cassel.

After completing the trade, the Cowboys were barely under the cap because the figures included the $5.78 million due to Greg Hardy for 10 game roster bonuses once his suspension ends. Cassel will count $1.76 million against the cap this year, but has $2.15 million in not-likely-to-be-earned incentives based on playing time and playoffs.


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