Things We Learned about the Dallas Cowboys From a Meaningless Game

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Reasons for concern:

- The secondary continues to struggle. They gave up way too many receptions of over 20 yards. The defense surrendered around 270 yards in the first half, most of it through the the air.

- Sammy Morris did not look near as good as he did against the Bucs. He had 13 rushes for 29 yards; his longest was 9. The good news is that he continues to run hard and show serious determination when he has the ball; I think his attitude and drive is a positive thing for the offense. Nonetheless, the Cowboys will need Felix Jones to stay healthy if they have any hope of maintaining a strong running attack.

- The pass-rush continues to get pressure on QB’s, but it seems like no one other than Ware can actually make a sack. If you remember the last game against the Giants, the Cowboys put pressure on Eli all day, they just couldn’t get the knock-downs and sacks. Before the first Giants game, I was under the impression that the secondary was playing reasonably well, but the pass-rush was giving the QB too much time to wait on an open receiver. Since the Giants game, it seems to me that it has been the other way around: the pass-rush is almost getting there, but the secondary can’t cover for long enough.

- The Eagles were able to get way way way way too much pressure on McGee when they were only rushing 4, and occasionally 5, defenders. This is probably the biggest problem the offense is faced with. If your OL can not stop a 4 man rush, you are in serious trouble. Think about it: a 4 man pass-rush allows the defense to drop 7 players into coverage. It doesn’t matter how good your QB and receivers are, it is difficult to find openings in the defense when you send out 3 or 4 players on pass-routes and the defense has 7 players to cover them. Part of the problem against the Eagles was that the Boys were playing from behind and therefore they abandoned the running game, but still, your OL has to be able to stop a 4 man rush or you will not win many football games.

- With about 7:25 left in the 4th quarter, the broadcasters posted a stunning set of stats. McGee had dropped back 27 times; he had been sacked 3 times, knocked down 9 times, and hit 14 times. That means that only once out of 27 drop backs was he not under serious pressure. There is no way to sugarcoat that, it is horrendous.

- To make matters worse, Montrae Holland tore his bicep and was subsequently put on the Injured Reserve. Make all the candy bar jokes you want; the running game improved significantly once Holland re-joined the team.  He will be missed.

- For the first time this season, Tony Fiammetta seemed invisible. I am hoping that this was because they abandoned the run early in the game.  They will need Fiammetta’s help in the running game if they are going to beat the G-Men.

My Preview of the game against the New York Giants will be posted Friday morning.

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