It’s December and the Dallas Cowboys are sitting atop the NFC East. Isn’t Thanksgiving is always better when the Cowboys are victorious? Yeah, Grandma. Talk trash about the Cowboys now!
The Cowboys are riding a two game win streak into December. Tony Romo has the best quarterback rating of any NFL quarterback in December over the last four years. (Article Link) The Cowboys running game made a dominant appearance against the Oakland Raiders with three rushing touchdowns by DeMarco Murray. Defensive coordinators were pacing at 2 am, repeatedly mumbling – “The Cowboys are running the football now.”
The running game will improve with the addition of fullback Tyler Clutts to the roster. Linebacker, Kyle Bosworth has played well the role of fullback, but it’s not his natural position.
I will give credit where it’s due and I hope this isn’t a jinx. Mackenzy Bernadeau, has been playing lights out. I have often written that the Cowboys could replace Bernadeau with a mannequin and nobody would notice. I popped bottles (of soda) and made it rain (pennies) when he was benched for Brian Waters. After Waters’ injury, Bernadeau returned to the starting lineup. The benching may have been motivating. I use NFL Game Rewind to watch the coaches film and Bernadeau has excelled in run blocking, pass protection and blitz pickup. I give him a round of applause.
For the bad: The Cowboys did look horrific in pass coverage against Oakland. Two Oakland receivers Rod Streater (6′ 3”) and Andre Holmes (6′ 4”) averaged more than 19 yards per catch. Back shoulder throws are hard to defend but many of the completions were jump balls along the sideline. Hopefully it was a defensive tune-up for defending the Chicago Bears receivers. Chicago’s receivers – Brandon Marshall (6′ 4”) and Alshon Jeffery (6′ 3”) pose a similar challenge for the Cowboys cornerbacks.
At one point, I was concerned about the Cowboys rushing defense. Oakland’s Rashad Jennings looked unstoppable on the ground. The stats indicated, at that moment, he only had 9 carries for 19 yards and finished with 17 carries for 35 yards. His longest carry was for 9 yards. Move along, no worries, there’s nothing to see here. Good job Cowboys run defense!
It’ll be hard to find a Cowboys fan that doesn’t think Terrance Williams knee was down on the opening play of the Raiders game. It’s also a mind twister when Dez Bryant’s catch wasn’t reviewed and ruled a completion. I’m ready to remove the referee’s ability to decide games. I hope some time was spent in practice just securing the ball after a catch and not having it pop out upon hitting the ground. Which means we won’t need to anxiously await the referees to have a booth review to overturn bad calls. I won’t mention the referees again. I don’t want to be confused with those whiny fans in Washington.