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Cowboys D Exposed In Preseason “Dress Rehearsal”
Posted By David Willow On Aug 28 2011 @ 7:01 pm In Dallas Cowboys | No Comments
For all the rah rah fans out there, Saturday’s 23-17 win over the Vikings was great for the team. Though I agree that a win is great for team and fan moral, I see a lot to be concerned with coming out of the game.
I avidly agree with ESPN’s Mark Schlereth’s views that preseason doesn’t count, but it does matter. The win doesn’t count and the poor defensive game the team played does matter. It’s easy to brush the game off as a dress rehearsal, but the repeated gashing of Dallas’ run defense is a definite cause for concern. Sure it was Adrian Peterson, arguably the league’s best running back bursting through the line, but even Viking’s back up running back Lorenzo Booker blasted through the line for an 11 yard run where the Minnesota O-line lit up Dallas’ defensive front in the first quarter.
The pass defense did seem to have some familiar holes as well, and though they should have had 2 interceptions on Donovan McNabb instead of just one the secondary remains suspect. The team got an interception on a tipped ball as well as special teams scoring on a blocked field goal, both plays made by Gerald Sensabaugh. Though the turnovers overshadowed the poor run stopping and the botched interception by Abram Elam that resulted in a 64 yard touchdown, they didn’t absolve the team of it’s less than stellar D. Joe Webb also did his Michael Vick impression, running for 46 yards and a touchdown. The Cowboys face the real thing twice this season, so they will need to take note and make adjustments if they are going to be competitive against their division rivals. Rob Ryan will have some work to do if the new 3-4 scheme he has implemented is going to work.
The offense seemed to be coming together well, Felix Jones continued to run well going for 20 yards on 5 carried with a touchdown. Also, DeMarco Murray made his preseason debut, running for 32 yards on 7 carries and looked good during his first runs in silver and blue. Murray looks like he will be able to slide into the back up role sometime this season if he is able to stay healthy, and second year wide out Dez Bryant looks well on his way to a strong season.
Some other tidbits: Orlando Scnadrick played fairly well, though arguably not up to the new contract of 27 million dollars he recently signed that has left many scratching their heads. The Cowboys also held out Andre Gurode, who the team has asked to take a cut in pay due to salary cap issues. The team is asking Gurode to take a cut in pay or be let go, and sources are saying that he will likely hit free agency, putting the Cowboys in a tough situation with rookie Kevin Kowalski as their starting center, as Phil Costa will be out 4-6 weeks with a knee injury.
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