Play The Ball, Win The Game

Nov 28, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys cornerback Brandon Carr (39) intercepts a pass intended for Oakland Raiders receiver Jacoby Ford (12) in the fourth quarter during a NFL football game on Thanksgiving

Thank you Brandon Carr. While watching the game I was talking to Tim Fitzgerald (Raiders Radio Host) and I kept saying the Cowboys DBs just didn’t play the ball. The first half was painful to watch.  As I watched the game unfold I was getting more and more worried about the secondary. The drive at half, made me smile, but I wasn’t sold just yet.

The second half showed just what this team could do when it clicks. It was apparent we missed Sean Lee and the pass rush was non-existent, but this team finally did what many have been screaming about for weeks. Play the ball instead of the defender. Brandon Carr’s interception pretty much sealed the game, and allowed me to take a breath.

I will say my anxiety started before the defense even took the field. The fumble by Terrance Williams made me call for a burning of the blue uniforms. But that was eventually put to rest.

Before I get into the good and bad, a few weeks ago I asked this team to get the ball into Lance Dunbar and DeMarco Murray‘s hands. Watching what these two did made me smile. So let us all hope this was a sign of things to come.

Here is a list of things this team did really well:

1. Ran the ball. Like I said Dunbar and Murray were really solid. I am impressed with Dunbar’s vision and ability to make a cut and go.

2. Played the ball. Yup, finally in the second half the DBs looked like they were making plays on the ball and not the WR. Although Andre Holmes killed us over the middle.

3. Stayed the course. I am not sure who is really calling the plays after the bye. But it looked like they never got away from the game plan and didn’t panic. It was refreshing to watch.

4. Spread the ball. Tony Romo didn’t always look for Dez Bryant or Jason Witten. He let the game come to him and used his other weapons.

5. Stopped the run. They focused on not giving up a ton of yards to Rashad Jennings, it worked.

So here are a few things that still need tweaking:

1. Get healthy. I know this isn’t something you can really control, but not having Sean Lee and Dwayne Harris really shows.

2. Find a pass rush. It is really annoying watching QBs have all day to pass.

3. Cover the middle better. Holmes just ate this team up over the middle. Maybe getting Lee back will help, but it is just depressing to watch.

4. Protect the ball. Again fumbles and dropped passes were a plague. Get the Jugs machine out there and work on hands.

5. Play the ball more. I know they started to do it in the second half, now show us you can do it all game.

It was a tale of two halves. It was fun to watch when this offense started to click. One thing I am worried about it Jeff Heath, I know he is a rookie from a small school, but he is a liability. So for the song of this game I will go a little deep in the stacks. Isley Brothers – Work To Do because these Cowboys did work to win and have work to do to win the NFC East.

Topics: Brandon Carr, Dallas Cowboys, Lance Dunbar

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