Dallas Cowboys: The Four Quarters (Week 15 Edition)

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Dec 9, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray (29) runs the ball during the fourth quarter against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

FIRST QUARTER
Big wheels keep on turnin’… 

Proud Murray keep on burnin’… Ever since the ridiculous game plan in the Vikings game where DeMarco Murray only had four carries and the entire team ran the ball just nine times, Murray has been a force.  Murray, who is second in the league in yards per carry at 5.3, has accumulated 384 over his last four games on 65 carries, scoring four times over that span.  He also has added 11 catches for 94 yards during this time proving his worth as a dual threat.  The only issue has been that he has only had 20 carries in a game once so far, which is something of a benchmark for the Dallas offense.  The Cowboys are 10-0 in games that Murray gets twenty totes.  One way to keep their own inept defense off the field is to pound the rock on offense.  Since he’s rolling well of late, I think it’s safe to say that getting Murray involved early and often would be an excellent strategy to greatly improve the chances of winning.

SECOND QUARTER
One man gang…

While it is somewhat immeasurable to say that this person is more vital to a team than another person, Aaron Rodgers and his loss to the Packers is certainly obvious and up for that discussion.  The numbers are overtly glaring.  With Rodgers on the field, Green Bay was 5-2, scoring 30.3 points per game and covering up for their lackluster defense which was doing decent, giving up only 22.6 per contest.  Since Rodgers has been injured, the Packers are 1-4-1.  The one win was by one point, at home, to a team who is 3-10.  Their offense is responsible for 17.3 points per game without him and that defense, now under more stress, gives up 28 points per contest.  The quarterback rating provides equal evidence to this as Rodgers had a rating of 108.0.  The duo of Seneca Wallace and Scott Tolzien produced a rating of 69.7 before Green Bay turned the keys over to Matt Flynn who has a rating of 81.4.  From all indications, Rodgers will miss this game which means the Cowboys must make vast improvements on their pass defense in order to keep their playoff hopes alive and kicking.

THIRD QUARTER
Loosey Goosey…

One gets the feeling that the philosophy of this team needs to change.  The players on the defensive side of the ball as well as the head coach and the owner have all come out and publicly supported defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin.  They continue to say the “scheme” isn’t the problem and that the players are not performing.  That very well could be as multiple variations of the 3-4 defense didn’t seem to work out and the switch to the “Cover-2 4-3″ has been a failure as well.  My solution is simple.  It’s time to play fast and loose.  Blitz more.  Blitz from everywhere.  Send corners.  Overload one side and zone the other.  Rush five linemen.  Zone blitz and play jam and press coverages.  Do anything besides what you have done.  This goes for the offense as well.  Tony Romo has done an immaculate job of controlling the game and limiting turnovers but this has also resulted in less big plays.  This offensive line has held up and is much better than last year.  It’s getting to be that time where you must turn over every stone.  Open it up a bit more.  Attack down field.  Hell, I’d even be fine with a surprise onside kick.  I feel like this team needs a jolt.  Something out of the ordinary because frankly, the ordinary may end up being just that, another 8-8 season, if this does not change.

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