Right now things are ugly. The Dallas Cowboys were annihilated at the hands of the Chicago Bears. Tony Romo threw 5 picks: 2 weren’t his fault, and one could have been a fumble, but 5 turnovers (and two defensive touchdowns) simply can’t happen if you expect to win football games. Unbelievably obvious statements aside, other parts of the offense still lagged behind what I’d call an “NFL Norm.” In other words, at least 240 yards passing, 3.8 yards per rush and at least 17 points. Obviously, these are all low, but on a normal Sunday those strike me as bare minimums for a winning formula. The Cowboys scored 18 points and Tony Romo eclipsed 300 yards, but with Demarco Murray struggling with under 2.2 yards per carry and two defensive touchdowns, it didn’t mean much. This week the Cowboys had a bye, and next Sunday they play the Ravens. That doesn’t bode well for their chance of breaking .500. Actually, in this episode, the Cowboys get shelled. Cowboys fans looking for a positive spin on next weeks game should go to Bleacher Report.
News and Notes:
- Tyron Smith leads the league in false starts this year. “Part of me says this is understandable. Ryan Cook is (was) new, and maybe Tyron simply hasn’t been able to sync up with him yet.” That was my train of thought three games ago when he played against the Giants and committed three. Since then, he has committed two more in three weeks. For context, last years leader had 8 false starts all season. Honestly, this has to stop. Hopefully, with decent refs in, this fixes itself.
- Anthony Spencer might be back by the Ravens game. Victor Butler struggled with setting the edge (not allowing the runner to break outside so he has to run back into the defensive line) all game against Chicago. He put solid pressure on Jay Cutler, but so was Spencer, so the two differences cancel out. Against Ray Rice, if he’s not back, the game could end up unwatchable unless Victor Butler magically discovers a skill in the next week that has eluded him for the entirety of his professional career.
- Sam Hurd pleads not-guilty to a new charge. This has absolutely nothing to do with the Ravens game, but it is interesting. Apparently, Hurd “try[ed] to obtain cocaine and marijuana while he was out on bond awaiting trial on charges of trying to start a drug ring in the Chicago area.” The article later states that he still keeps his athleticism in mind while hoping for an NFL tryout, but for some reason that doesn’t strike me as likely.
- The Cowboys released LeQuan Lewis. In the grand scheme of things this likely means nothing, but now the Cowboys can add another offensive lineman for extra depth.
- Demarco Murray runs for under 60 yards. The Ravens hold runners to a 3.5 yards per carry clip, and since I think the Cowboys will be down for the majority of the game, the trend will continue. The Ravens have only allowed 8 touchdowns all season and only give up 18 points per game. If the Cowboys blink first and give up a touchdown on the opening drive and the next one, Murray may only rush 15 times all game, which doesn’t give him much room to crack 60.
- Ray Rice rushes for over 110 yards. Ray Rice rushes for 5.2 yards per carry, the Cowboys might be without Anthony Spencer, and Joe Flacco has actually been a competent QB this season, all of which portends a great afternoon for Ray. Not to sound like a fatalist, but I truly feel like Ray Rice could have a 30 point fantasy outburst this weekend. I live in central Virginia, which means this game will probably be on CBS, but I have no intention on watching it. The Cowboys will only be on TV 2-3 more times this season, so that should be indicative of my confidence level in the Cowboys stopping anything this weekend.
- The Baltimore Ravens defeat the Dallas Cowboys, win 34-14. Tony Romo is coming off a 5 pick performance, and he still plays behind a horrid offensive line, the Cowboys might miss their third most valuable defensive player (behind DeMarcus Ware and Brandon Carr) while going against one of the league’s most productive backs, and on top of that play a team that is 4-1 on the season. My confidence level isn’t high, and has no real reason to be. Did I also mention the Baltimore Ravens are at home?