***Phone Callers/Chat Room Questions***
TE: Oh, yeah. It certainly was. It was nice to see them pick up a guy that was serviceable and not a Peerless Price job. All right, well the callers await, Couchscout, so let’s go ahead and talk to Cowboys&LakersFan —
CS: Bring ‘em on.
TE: *laughs* …here on The Imperial Report. How’s it doing tonight?
Cowboys&LakersFan: I’m doing all right. How are you guys doing?
CLF: I can’t wait for the game, obviously. I like the what I saw last week. And I like the way our guys played. I saw like — it seems like it’s a different team this year. Guys seem like they have a different look in their eyes than last year.
*technical difficulties/Couchscout chuckling*
CLF: Yeah, as I was saying, I was very impressed with the Cowboys’ performance last week. It just looks like a different team. It doesn’t look like there is one guy who didn’t play well. Tony had that first interception, but after that, he played a very good game. Murray was a beast. There weren’t a lot of running lanes in the first half, but that’s why they keep running it and staying with it. Eventually, teams will get tired and running lanes will open up. And the receivers were terrific. Kevin Ogletree: it’s about time. It’s about time. He showed the potential he has. Defensively, finally, we were able to put some pressure on Eli Manning. You know, he didn’t have a lot of success through the air. So I was very pleased with that. It was very good to see. We didn’t have that last year. We couldn’t stop them at all. That’s why we lost. It looks to be different this year.
CS: Yeah, I agree with that. I agree with everything you said. I just want to throw out there that you talk about that look in that eye and how everybody seems to have a different mentality, that’s your Jason Garrett influence right there. That’s got his name written all over it.
CLF: You know, people had doubts about him, but he’s a young football coach. There’s no coach in the history that never made mistakes. Even the great ones have all made mistakes. That’s part of maturing as a football coach and it’s great to see him grow and become a good football coach. I’m very happy with Garrett.
TE: The one issue that I had with Garrett. It was all in 2011. And that — it seemed like he regressed. You know, because you didn’t see some of those strange decisions in 2010 when he was vying for the job as the interim head coach. It just seemed like he regressed, but I’m pleased to have him. Because when I hear a guy get up there at the Cowboys Kickoff Luncheon and say, “It is my job to ensure that these players win a championship because they’re worthy of it and that drives me every day.” When I hear quotes like that, I know that we have the best guy out of any one of 500 coaches you could name.
CS: Damn right. Damn right.
TE: So, tell us, what are your predictions going into the Cowboys-Seahawks game, Cowboys&LakersFan?
CLF: I think it’s going to be a tough game, obviously. It’s going to be the first time we’ve gone to Seattle since the whole — you know, that playoff loss that we had. So it will be interesting. I expect us to win, because I think, like I said, we’re just a different team. In the past, we may have taken a weaker opponent for granted. This year, it’s different. And I think — I really believe — I expect us to win by two touchdowns at least and quite honestly, I would be disappointed if that didn’t happen. Because there’s no reason for it to be any different. We’ve got a much better football team. That’s not to say that they’re not capable or not a good team, but the Cowboys are just a much better team and they should win. So I would say — I would go 28-14. And that’s what I expect to happen on Sunday.
TE: That seems consistent with what Michael Huff predicted earlier this evening. Yeah, that sounds pretty good. We have a question from the chat room. It’s from starfrombirth, and here’s his question. Basically, it’s about Demarco Murray. They feel like he left yards on the field. So do you think he’ll try to be a little more elusive against the Seahawks and not more of a basher?
CS: No, not at all. Not even a little bit. That’s his style. That’s what it’s going to be. I love this kid. I wish he could play for the next 20 years for the Cowboys. I have a feeling he’s going to play about 5. He’ll play 1 more at a really high level, 1 more at a really decent level, and then he’ll start tapering off because that’s his style. He’s going to be like Marion Barber and Earl Campbell and Christian Okoye and all these bruiser backs — DeShaun Foster and, I mean, you just can’t last in the NFL like that, especially if you’re going to be a feature back like Murray is. So, no, I don’t expect them to change that. And Garrett even talked about it in his press conference about how one of the philosophies that they as a coaching staff have is that they don’t tell their runners how to run. Because running the football, being runningback should be a natural thing. It should be something you do naturally. So we just tell you the design of the play and you go do what you. So I bet you the Cowboys coaching staff didn’t even tell him, “Hey, you should have ran straight here and scored a touchdown instead of going to the other end of the field.” I don’t think the way he runs will change one bit.
TE: Oh, so, in other words, he’s not a “compu-back” like Parcells did in training camp of ’06?
CS: Yeah, yeah, no, Jason Garrett is not going to Julius Jones Demarco Murray.
CLF: The way I look at it is there was a struggle in the first half because he couldn’t really get any yards. It wasn’t his fault. It was the offensive line and the Giants just playing good defense. In the second half, the running lanes opened up. And as far as him leaving yards on the field, I don’t really see it that way. I think he quite honestly could have been tired. Because I remember a play like that last year where he looked like he was going to score and he just kind of ran out of gas. So I think that could have been the case there and it probably was. I mean, playing two quarters and playing so many snaps is obviously going to tire you out. So I think that’s what happened. He played a great overall game. And he really made the Cowboys offense much better because he takes a lot of pressure off Tony Romo and he doesn’t have to — so many quarterbacks have to sit back and throw 40 to 50 passes, and Tony doesn’t have to do that because they can hand it off 20 to 25 times to Demarco Murry and they know he’s going to get the job done. So, I think it’s all so important. Felix Jones has to step up his game. We don’t want to put too much pressure on Murray and have another scenario last year where he gets injured. We don’t want that at all. So we need to have someone, whether it’s Felix or someone else, another runningback is going to have to come in and step up his game. So that’s pretty much it.
TE: We have a question here from CASmith07 in the back of the classroom and it’s directed at Couchscout. He says, “You’re a wide receiver guru. What do you expect to see from the Seahawks this week or will there be any problems at all?”
CS: Is he asking what I’m expecting to see from the Seattle receivers going against our secondary?
CS: Oh, I don’t expect much. I’m pretty far off on the predictions that were made by your other two guys. I’m thinking something more along the lines of 38-10 and the only touchdown they score is in garbage time. When I watch what this defense did and how just unbelievably impressive Carr and Claiborne were and thinking that we’re getting Jenkins back, Scandrick looked better than he ever was last season, and that group of receivers that Seattle has just isn’t very good. The quarterback is not ready yet. I can’t. I don’t think they’ll do anything. I think it’s going to be an ugly game for Seahawks fans.
TE: Yeah, I was analyzing the statistics, the play-by-play, the Seahawks had 12 drives the whole game. And aside from the opening and the final drives, they could not score unless their drive resulted from a big return or a turnover. Furthermore, their average yards per play were 3.4 out of all the plays they ran.
CS: DeMarcus Ware is going to have a feast.
TE: I don’t know about the 38 part. But 10 to 13 points — that’s what I see out of the Seahawks.
CS: Yeah, I think the Cowboys are going to have so many possessions because the Seahawks are going to have so many 3-and-outs that they’re going to completely dominate the time of possession and you’re going to get a big play or two from the combination of Murray/Bryant/Austin/Ogletree, so I see big points in our future on Sunday.
TE: Right, but, still, let’s clarify that you regard the Seahawks as a challenge. You’re not doing a “It’s the Rams, dude.” You never proceed from that assumption.
CS: Of course it’s a challenge if the Cowboys don’t show up mentally prepared and all that sort of thing. They could easily get beaten on any Sunday, but I think that if this team, this Cowboys team, with this coach and this quarterback — this team shows up the way that they’re supposed to prepare, it shouldn’t really even be that difficult. They should win on talent alone.