In a game with very few bright spots there is relatively good news to report on the injury front. No major injuries to report. Anthony Spencer is still not 100% but is slowly being reinserted into this defense and could be a fulltime player within the next week. Mo Claiborne could be dealing with his shoulder issue for some time but thankfully his situation did not get worse on Sunday. He’s still going to have to find a way to play more physical in this defense if he hopes to be a playmaker in this league.
Dez Bryant sure doesn’t look injured. Tony Romo is clearly affected by his sore ribs and was having some mechanical issues during the game but the hits he took didn’t seem to make matters any worse. He should improve week to week as long as Travis Frederick decides to block from time to time.
From an injury standpoint this week has been a victory.
Sadly that doesn’t count in the win column but it does keep the team intact and competitive moving forward. The Cowboys have very winnable games against the Rams and Chargers next. If they can improve their play and remain healthy they may have a chance to make an early claim to the division.
Week 2 Observations from Kansas City
Dez Bryant is amazing but needs to be more consistent. He can’t make a All-World catch one minute and then drop a potential game-winner the next. Either way, Romo needs to feed him the ball downfield.
- The Cowboys are still not prepared for the Read Option Offense. Alex Smith ran all over the Cowboys making them look foolish and disorganized – again. You would have thought the butt-kicking the Seahawks and Redskins gave Dallas last year would have instilled a little urgency in combating the Read-Option. Guess not.
- As predicted here (Ware’s the Pass Rush?), Demarcus Ware rushed occasionally from a 2 point stance. In addition, the Cowboys finally unveiled the Bear/Double Eagle defensive formation which rushes 5 linemen (2 of them from a 2-point stance). Basically it’s just an aggressive 3-4 defensive alignment. Read about it here (The Defense’s Secret Weapon: The Leo Pass Rush) if you missed me discuss this before the season. It sums up the defense from a “Rushmen” standpoint.
- Our LBs will get beat in man coverage every time without more pressure on the passer. Alex Smith played a nice game of catch to his TEs while Lee and Carter trailed their respective assignments.
- After blasting Terrance Williams after Week 1 in this article, Is Terrance Williams Helping or Hurting? Williams shut me up by playing a solid game. He ran smart and precise routes and even appropriately ran a hot-route when the blitz showed. Romo trusted him and he executed. This is a big step in his development.
- Speaking of Hot-Routes (which are basically route adjustments made to open a receiver immediately to counter and on-coming blitz) the Cowboys missed too many on Sunday. Multiple times the blitz came and no adjustment was made to open a receiver on a short route. All too often all receivers were still running down the field by the time Romo was hit/hurried/sacked by a very obvious blitz.
- Travis Frederick seemed to mentally miss two big blocks in his pass blocking assignments allowing Poe to sack Romo x2. He could have blocked him but for reasons unknown he thought the rush was not coming and chose to double-team someone else. It’s a curious situation that I plan to look into this week. The good news is he didn’t get steamrolled like previous middle linemen for the Cowboys. The bad news is the smartest player on the team isn’t playing like it.
- The pass interference call on Morris Claiborne was a bad call. It also blew any shot the Cowboys may have had at staging a comeback. The game should have been wrapped up by then – but still – it’s hard not to think about that BS call.
Do you have questions or comments regarding Dallas area sports? Email Reid at [email protected]. You may be included in the next weekly mailbag. Follow Reid on twitter @ReidDHanson