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Despite 6-1 Record Plenty for Cowboys to Work on During the Bye

The 6 and 1 Dallas Cowboys might be the highest scoring offense in the NFC and the second highest in the NFL. Tony Romo might be behind only Tom Brady in touchdown passes thrown, and might be closing in on a few club records this season. The Cowboys might have their best record after 7 games since 1995, but there is still plenty for the Cowboys to work on during the bye week.

There is no reason at all to undermine the Cowboys start this season. Six wins is six wins, and no matter how the season turns out those wins are etched in stone, they can’t be taken away. However, there have been several instances this year where progress has been halted due to a mistake, times where the Cowboys defense hurt themselves in coverage, and times a missed tackle on special teams lead to the other team scoring. I’ll say it again, there is plenty the Cowboys can do to improve themselves before they play the Eagles in two weeks.

Against the Vikings I notice two plays that, had the player taken what the other team gave them, would have turned out to either excellent field position or a first down. For you, the fan jury, I submit evidence A: Terrance Newman’s punt return, and Evidence B: Marion Barber’s would be first down that turned out to be a 2 yard loss.

Had Terrence Newman just ran the ball forward and gained maybe four yards the Cowboys would have been set up for a drive starting between the 40 or the 30 yard line. Instead he ran backwards and tried to make something happened. Well something did, he was tackled behind the place where he caught ball and Kieth Davis was charged with a penalty, illegal block in the back. End result for the play: Dallas starts the drive at the 10 yard line 20 to thirty yards away from where they should have been able to start.

Marion Barber was able to avoid a safety last week, through some miraculous foot work that allowed him to get the toughest four yards of his career against the Patriots. The question is did he need to though? The Cowboys were lucky he didn’t get tackled behind the line but it wouldn’t have been impossible of making it back to the line of scrimmage and saved everyone the fear of the safety in the first place. It was luck, not skill, that avoided the safety. Move on to the Vikings game on Sunday, third and about three. Marion Barber gets the ball, he is over the first down line, didn’t like what he saw bounced off a defender back behind the first down marker made one other defender miss but ultimately got hit for about a two yard loss.

It goes along with the old adage coaches use and that’s take what the defense gives you. Had either of these guys done that, the Cowboys would have had better position on the field (Newman) or a first down (Barber). This is basic fundamental football. You want to make the big play, but you can’t sacrifice efficiency for something that might hurt your team more than help it.

The Cowboys Quarterback, Tony Romo, has had a very impressive season so far. There are still things he needs to work with. Like it or not, what makes Romo great and what makes Romo bad are the same thing. He is a gambler. He’ll take a shot down the center with a side arm pass, an ill- advised throw. That’s fine, just like Green Bay has, the Cowboys will have to accept the good with the bad in those situations. What Romo needs to work on, and can be worked on without taking away his big play ability, is how he holds the ball in the pocket. Too many times he is seen holding the ball with just one hand, the defense knows he does it, the Cowboys knows he does it, and I am willing to bet Romo knows he does it. The problem here is it’s too easy to strip the ball from Romo when he does it. Twice against the Vikings, you saw Romo fumble the ball. If he doesn’t start wrapping it up when he is reached by the defender there will be a lot more to follow.

These are some of the things the Cowboys should work on during the bye week. That’s not to say all of the things. God knows the coverage skills for the safeties need help and the team continually shoots themselves in the foot with penalties. That has been addressed and readdressed all season long. This is merely a couple of things that might be a bit more obscure than penalties and secondary coverage. Aside from working on deficiencies the Cowboys can use this time to allow the players recoup before grinding out another 9 games.

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2 Responses to “Despite 6-1 Record Plenty for Cowboys to Work on During the Bye”

  1. Loquacist says:

    I’d mainly say, use the time to get health (Anthony Henry,) get more practice reps for Tank Johnson, and spend extra time studying up film for the Eagles and Giants.

  2. Sam says:

    Another issue I see with Barber is the way he seems to punch defenders than just defending himself with an outstretched arm when running. This could lead to penalties in the future. It is good that he is an aggressive running back, but he may need to be careful about this.

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