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St. Louis at Dallas, Garrett Protecting Romo?

Posted By David Willow On Oct 21 2011 @ 2:27 pm In Dallas Cowboys | No Comments

The St. Louis Rams will visit Arlington this Sunday, a rare occasion where the NFL may be okaying second fiddle to MLB, as the Texas Rangers and the St. Louis Cardinals will be in town. However, the game on paper would probably be a bit devoid of the pizazz most Cowboys home games would have as they face the winless Rams.

That’s not to underestimate a professional NFL team, but the injury to Sam Bradford making him a game-time decision makes this game seem very much like a gimme.

There are some very interesting aspects to the game however. The Cowboys will be getting a good look at their 3rd round pick DeMarco Murray, who is set to draw the start this week. Murray is a very dynamic player, who has Felix-speed, is a great pass receiver (71 rec his senior year at OU), and has shown to be a solid blocker for a rookie, something Tashard Choice lacks. He also has a good match up going against the Rams last ranked run defense, which should be perfect for exposing Murray to his first increased workload.

The Ram’s secondary is also a mess, and with a healthy wide receiving core in tact, Romo should be able to step up and find his targets.

Dez Bryant was kept quite for most of the second half of that Patriots game, Bill Belichick predictably focused on taking Bryant out of the game with double teams. The Rams lack the personnel to truly be successful against Bryant like that in this game. The return of Miles Austin went well (7 rec 74 yds), though he had 3 drops in the game, which could maybe be chalked up as a little rust after being out for 3 weeks. Both should be able to move the ball on the Rams along with Witten, and an emerging Laurent Robinson.

Though most will already be doing so, I think a lot of attention should be paid to Tony Romo in this one. Last week, Jason Garrett did something most, including myself, didn’t pick up on right away. He protected Tony Romo. With 3 minutes left Garrett ran the ball 3 times and gave the ball back to Tom Brady and the Patriots, who drove the ball for the lead and eventual win. He also, called very conservative pass plays that didn’t get Dallas anywhere near the win. What’s important about that is that Garrett, not Romo, took the brunt of the blame and was paramount after a high profile game like that.

Romo has suffered a slue of media attention, and another week of negative innuendos and blame could have been more than could be handled. That’s not to say it’s not his responsibility, but you try living for weeks having people talk bad about you day in and day out on the TV, radio, and internet, and still feel like you can make a mistake. Garrett did Romo a favor by not letting him be the deciding factor in the outcome of last weeks game.

This week, Romo has a chance to regain some confidence and the Cowboys get to see if Murray is the back to roll with before a pivotal game against the Eagles. Obvious edge to the Cowboys this week.

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