Looking Ahead: Baltimore Ravens vs. Dallas Cowboys


The Dallas Cowboys play the Baltimore Ravens on the 16th, but Orlando Scandrick‘s suspension is far more important. He tested positive for Molly and will miss the first four games of the regular season. For those who don’t know what Molly is, here is a blurb on the substance from the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids (via The Dallas Morning News).

"AT A GLANCE What is Molly?-Molly is the powder or crystal form of MDMA, the chemical used in Ecstasy. It is a popular drug at music festivals.-Molly, short for molecule, is considered to be pure MDMA, unlike Ecstasy, which generally is laced with other ingredients, such as caffeine or methamphetamine.-According to Pax Prentiss, co-founder and CEO of Passages rehabilitation centers in Southern California, molly users tend to be ages 16 to 24.-The Drug Enforcement Administration considers MDMA to be a Schedule I controlled substance, which means it has a high potential for abuse, and no accepted use in medical treatment.-The DEA notes that MDMA can cause confusion, anxiety, depression, paranoia, sleep problems, and drug craving. The drug also can cause muscle tension, tremors, involuntary teeth clenching, muscle cramps, nausea, faintness, chills, sweating, and blurred vision.-The national Drug Abuse Warning Network found that from 2004 to 2009 there was a 123 percent increase in the number of emergency room visits involving MDMA taken alone or in combination with pharmaceuticals, alcohol or both.Source: Partnership for Drug-Free Kids"

Dec 29, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Philadelphia Eagles running back Bryce Brown (34) scores a touchdown as Dallas Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick (32) defends in the fourth quarter at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

This is a huge concern for an already suspect defense. Scandrick, to his credit, owned up to his error, but whether or not we accept his apology isn’t really material. What matters more is if the team can handle him gone. Whether or not Morris Claiborne or someone can fill in remains to be seen, but the Cowboys, for their part, seem fairly confident one of them will–considering the team knew Scandrick was probably out (he was originally tested months ago), them making no major moves must be a strong indicator of confidence. Or maybe it just indicates that they cap room. Either way, they’re stuck with what they got.

Also, unfortunately, I didn’t get to watch the Cowboys-Chargers game, so I can’t evaluate the replacements with any detail. Luckily, I believe I will get the Ravens game, so I’ll definitely have talk about that.

Unfortunately, there isn’t much to say about this week’s game. I can’t  really say much about any of the Raven’s starters. Joe Flacco threw five times and completed four, while Ray Rice ran three times for 17 yards. Rice, like Scandrick, will not play the opener because of a suspension. The former received two weeks, or half what the latter received for drug use, for beating his fiance and dragging her unconscious body out of an elevator.

The Dallas Cowboys get their starting quarterback, Tony Romo, back for this game after he underwent back surgery. No one knows exactly how long he will play, but Jerry Jones thinks “a couple series” or so. Basically, it seems the Cowboys play him as if the team was in its first preseason game, not its second. I can’t really predict how he will do, and preseason games don’t matter anyway. If Romo somehow gets injured, at least I have marginally more confidence in Brandon Weeden than I did earlier. I couldn’t watch the game but I could watch the highlights, and Weeden looked decent. He still retains his mark as the second worst quarterback in the league until he does something in the regular season, but I now have a unbelievably slim hope that he can be a viable backup instead of none at all.

In the future, these posts will be longer and better. More like last week’s, I would say. There is just nothing whatsoever to glean from the preseason so I’m stuck basically recapping the news. Usually I would make predictions and everything, but what does five passes or three rushes tell me about anything? Nothing. I’ll have a little clearer picture next week when I can take a closer look at Scandrick’s potential replacements along with anything else I see.