Sep 22, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford (8) is hit by Dallas Cowboys defensive end Anthony Spencer (93) during the game at AT

The Dallas Cowboys Week 3: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

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Sep 22, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; St. Louis Rams running back Isaiah Pead (24) is tackled by Dallas Cowboys outside linebacker Bruce Carter (54) in the third quarter of the game at AT

This is easy. The Cowboys were Good and the Rams were a bucket-load of Bad with a whole lotta Ugly. That much is obvious after a 31-7 blowout. But let’s focus on the Cowboy’s performance and see if we can find some Good, Bad, and Ugly from just them.

The Good

Everything About the Running Game

The credit doesn’t just go to DeMarco Murray but everyone that makes a Mega-Rushing-Day possible. The offensive line opened some nice holes and provided some excellent cutback lanes. Bill Callahan’s Zone Blocking Scheme is finally starting to click.

Sep 22, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray (29) runs the ball against the St. Louis Rams in the third quarter at AT

Speaking of Callahan – He set a tone at the start of the game and saw it through to the end. After giving up on the run so easily in KC, Callahan needed to make a statement. And a statement he made. The only question now is if he will stick to the run when it’s not working so well. Any idiot can call a running play when you’re averaging 8 YPC. But will he stay committed when he’s only getting 3 YPC?

The receivers had an excellent day of down the field blocking. Dez is developing into one of the better WR blockers in the league and the rest of the team is well above average. Even Dwyane Harris had a key block at the start of the game sealing off the edge from DL pursuit.

 The Bad

Miles Austin

I’ll never understand this guy. One moment he’s fantastic. The next minute he’s horrible. One game his hands are Velcro. The next game they’re covered in Crisco. One good play he’s smiling. The next bad play…he’s still smiling.

Sep 22, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys receiver Miles Austin (19) is tackled by St. Louis Rams cornerback Janoris Jenkins (21) after a catch in the second quarter at AT

The smiling really doesn’t bug me. I know he’s not actually laughing at his error. The smile is just his nervous reaction to deal with uncomfortable situations. I know he’s upset.

I’m mad at his wild inconsistency.

In week one the Giants doubled Dez Bryant and dared the Cowboys to beat them with Austin. Austin stepped up and had a great game. The next week in KC Austin just disappeared.

Week 3 against the Rams he reappeared long enough to drop the ball here or there.

I hate to bring up money but when you’re being paid as much as he is, you cannot disappear – or worse – drop passes on 3rd down. I really do like Austin, but I think this will be his last season in Dallas.

Special Teams

Mr Reliable himself, Dan Bailey missed a close range field goal at home. This only happens…never. Ok, once. It’s happened once. So no big deal right? Probably not but kickers are streaky fellows. They’re always really good – until they’re not. That’s one of the reasons you see them bounce around switching teams so often.

Sep 8, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; New York Giants cornerback Jayron Hosley (28) and Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dwayne Harris (17) fight for a muffed punt during the third quarter of the game at AT

Bailey has been so good for so long that he really shouldn’t cause anyone to lose any sleep. But it’s just concerning enough that when he lines up for a routine field goal next week, you might think twice about going to fridge to grab another beer. You may stick around this time to make sure it goes through before the all-important “beer trip”.

It’s not just Bailey. Dwayne Harris made a critical fumble on the opening punt of the game. The plays at the beginning of the game are very critical in setting a tone. If the Rams could have capitalized on this play the game might have gone much differently.

Luckily it happened against the Rams and not in a couple weeks against the Broncos. I don’t think the Broncos would let us off the hook so easily.

The Ugly

Jason Hatcher’s Personal Foul

It’s tough to find the ugly in the Cowboys amidst a blowout win but Jason Hatcher came the closest. I am referring of course to when Hatcher hit Rams QB Sam Bradford across the face. It wasn’t malicious or anything but it was clearly against the rules and extremely obvious. To make matters worse the play ended with an interception for JJ Wilcox. The resulting interception was wiped out by Hatchers penalty and the Rams maintained possession of the ball.

Much like the Dwayne Harris fumble – Thanks goodness this happened against the Rams and not the Bronco’s. Aggressiveness is good but control is needed. Hatcher is not a dirty a player so I don’t anticipate this being an issue, but the Cowboys need to keep themselves under control.

An interception signals a significant shift in both momentum and in total number of scoring chances. Hopefully this was a learning opportunity for the entire team and not just Hatcher

 

There you have it. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly from the Dallas Cowboys in week 3.

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

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Tags: Dallas Cowboys Dan Bailey DeMarco Murray Dez Bryant Dwyane Harris Miles Austin

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