Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins Games Notes and Observations

Dec 22, 2013; Landover, MD, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) talks with Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett (R) during a timeout against the Washington Redskins in the fourth quarter at FedEx Field. The Cowboys won 24-23. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

It’s hard to focus on the little things after learning Tony Romo has been lost for the season. But the Dallas Cowboys won on Sunday and kept their playoffs hopes alive. Their stellar division record allows them to control their own destiny. For the Cowboys the Playoffs begin next week. Here are this week’s game notes and observations:

  • 1st and Goal on the 3 yard line. Dallas throws the ball. Incomplete. The odds are stacked so far in the running game’s favor why not run the ball? Regardless of defensive formation, chances are running the ball 3 consecutive times from the 3, will result in a TD. On second down the Cowboys ran the ball. Touchdown. Should have run it the first time.
  • Fast-forward to the end of the game. 3 consecutive runs and the Cowboys move backwards.  I stand corrected. These Cowboys are really something special. Thick dripping sarcasm intended.
  • Demarcus Ware is still showing burst off the line but his motor is MIA. He seems to go 50% on half of his defensive snaps. I still believe he has the ability to be the Demarcus Ware of old, just probably not this season.
  • DeVonte Holloman looked really good on Sunday. He allowed some receptions but played tight coverage and had great zone awareness. He was also a willing and aggressive tackler. Holloman and fellow LB, Kyle Wilber, both have been pleasent surprises the second half of this season.
  • Stop me if you’ve heard it before: 3rd and long, the Cowboys have the ball with 11 personnel. The opposing team shows blitz. The Cowboys…do nothing. Romo gets sacked. When the opposing team shows an obvious blitz in a blitzing situation, the Cowboys need to at least call a “hot route”. In other words, they know Romo will be rushed and need to alter one of the routes to break free early. The Cowboys consistantly run long routes that take too much time to develop. I realize on 3rd down it’s perferrable to complete a pass PAST the first down line, but when faced with a blitz, Romo needs an option of dumping it off early. Besides, when they blitz the defense is usually in man coverage, meaning there is  good chance the receiver can run to the first down. Instead we get sacked and punt.
  • New return man, Michael Spurlock isn’t the answer. He had a great return to start the day but credit blocking more than anything. Spurlock runs hesitantly and waits to see the hole before he hits the hole. This isn’t a luxury return men have. He needs to run hard behind his blockers and only alter his speed after he’s burst through the first line of defense. I still want to see Tanner or Randle return kicks if Dwyane Harris can not.
  • Terrance Williams continued to show excellent run-blocking ability on Sunday. He got up field and blocked until the play was over. He is the answer at WR2 for the Dallas Cowboys.
  • Tony Romo forgoes numerous running opportunities for himself. Even when yardage is guaranteed, he looks to pass the ball downfield. I would like see him get the easy yardage a little more often but it’s hard to argue with his success throwing in these situations.
  • Previous weeks I questioned Brandon Carr‘s abilities, knowledge, and preparation. I now question his effort. He’s a big part of the Cowboys future so we need to find a way to hit the reset button and get the old Carr back.
  • Jason Garrett to the passing game, “I can’t quit you”.
  • It was strange that after Romo appeared to have injured himself, the Cowboys repeatedly call stretch run plays. These forced Romo to hand the ball off  on the run, which he had a difficult time doing because he could barely walk. This would have been a good time to call a couple dive plays or maybe a pitch.
  • The Cowboys made an in-game adjustment. You didn’t hear me. THE COWBOYS MADE AN IN-GAME ADJUSTMENT! When the Cowboys first saw the Redskins lineup in the quad receiver formation, they were confused. When the Redskins tried it again the Cowboys sent Kyle Wilber charging in to cut off any potential quick pass/screen play. He had his eyes on Cousins the entire time as he charged into the backfield. Well done Cowboys!
  • Orlando Scandrick made a big play to save the Cowboy’s season. If he caught the ball it could have been even bigger. I bet Orlando Scandrick is superb at horseshoes and hand grenades because he’s always so close.
  • Kyle Orton. meh.

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

Topics: Dallas Cowboys, Tony Romo

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