Ben and Skin host a Cowboys roundtable with ESPNDallas.com’s Tim MacMahon and Calvin Watkins.
Did Tony Romo just say “Super Bowl” when talking about these Cowboys?
Alternate link: Click HERE to listen to the show.
Photo courtesy: Star-Telegram/Max Faulkner
Dallas Cowboys WR Laurent Robinson dishes on how quickly he’s developed a connection with QB Tony Romo, DeMarco Murray’s success, how to correctly pronounce his name and more.
On the uncertainty of his future entering the season:
I had no idea. Didn’t really have too much going on before the start of training camp, and then my agent worked hard and he got me in with San Diego and I thought I was going to be there for a while. But, you know, the nature of this business is it’s a numbers game and I was let go … They worked hard again and I was able to come to Dallas and try to make it home.
On how he’s developed chemistry with Tony Romo:
He went to Eastern, I went to Illinois State, I just call it a little one Double-A connection that’s all I can call it. We’re working hard together.
Alternate link: Click HERE to play the audio from ESPN’s Galloway & Company show.
Podcast link: Click HERE to visit the 103.3 FM ESPN Podcasts page
WRITERS ROUNDTABLE: Will the Cowboys continue to average 177 yards rushing per game since DeMarco Murray became the starter?
Question: Will the Dallas Cowboys hit their average of 177.0 yards rushing per game since DeMarco Murray became the starter?
The last four weeks have been wonderful for Murray. He’s rushed for 601 yards, the most over a four-game span in franchise history. His strong running style is helped by fullback Tony Fiammetta and an offensive line starting to develop into something good.
When the Cowboys take on the Washington Redskins on Sunday afternoon, expect the run game to continue to have success. Murray is reason No. 1, but the return of running back Felix Jones will add to it. Jones averaged four yards a carry before a left high ankle sprain forced him out the next four games.
Jones is a solid runner; he’s just not as good as Murray is right now.
And that’s OK, because good running teams have multiple running backs helping in the cause. Jones helps Murray and the passing game, which is also performing well thanks to Laurent Robinson, opens the door for the run.
Sure the Redskins will have eight in the box, much like Buffalo did last Sunday. But the Redskins rank 18th against the run, allowing 120.4 yards per game. Washington has some physical players up front, but the Cowboys are doing a great job of attacking defenses.
Murray and Jones will have a solid game Sunday and keep the averages up.
But it has more to do with the Redskins’ raggedy offense than the Cowboys’ running game.
“Now Larry Allen had a lot of talent, so we’re talking about some pretty high standards here,” said Houck, a 29-year NFL coaching veteran. “He has a tremendous amount of talent and I think what is mostly important with him, he really wants to be good. After every practice, it’s, ‘Coach, will you help me on this?’ He wants extra work after every, single, practice.
“This guy is going to be eventually a very good football player.”
Eventually? Houck might actually be underselling the first-round pick’s performance to this point.
According to ProFootballFocus.com’s grading system, the 20-year-old Smith has been the fourth-best tackle in the NFL this season. Tennessee’s Michael Roos, Philadelphia’s Jason Peters and Green Bay’s Bryan Bulaga are the only tackles the website, which analyzes every snap, has graded higher.
Houck, however, sees a kid who has hardly scratched the surface of his potential. In his eyes, Smith is good now. Houck can’t wait to see Smith after he adds 10 to 12 pounds in Mike Woicik’s offseason program and continues to learn the nuances of playing tackle in the NFL.
The immediate concern is making sure that Smith doesn’t hit a rookie wall. Houck isn’t worried about the physical toll, but he’s curious to see how Smith handles the challenge of the mental grind.
“Consistency is the important thing,” Houck said. “It’s a long season. We’ll see how it goes at the end of the season. This is tough on these young kids, now. Right now, he’d be getting ready for finals or whatever.”
At the very least, Smith aced his first NFL mid-term.
John Madden has selected the Dallas Cowboys offensive line as the Madden Protectors of the Week.
Each week, the Hall of Famer recognizes one NFL offensive line as the week’s top performing unit.
He will announce the NFL’s best offensive line for the 2011 season at a Super Bowl XLVI press conference. This is the third year of the Madden Protectors Award.
The Dallas Cowboys had 433 total yards, including 163 rushing yards, and allowed no sacks in the 44-7 victory over the Buffalo Bills last week.
The Cowboys had only three changes to their injury report from Wednesday: Right guard Kyle Kosier (foot) returned to practice Thursday and was limited; fullback Tony Fiammetta (illness) was limited Wednesday but missed all of practice Thursday; and backup quarterback Jon Kitna (back) missed practice Thursday.
Left guard Montrae Holland (illness) was off the injury report. He said Thursday he was feeling fine.
Receiver Miles Austin (hamstring) and cornerback Mike Jenkins (hamstring) haven’t practiced this week and are not expected to play again this week.
RELATED: Thursday Practice Report
The Dallas Cowboys had a few changes at Thursday’s practice at Valley Ranch as they prepare for Sunday’s game in Washington.
·After missing practice on Wednesday, both starting guards were back on the field Thursday. Left guard Montrae Holland (flu) and right guard Kyle Kosier (foot) were practicing in full participation.
·QB Jon Kitna was not at practice and the official Thursday injury report has yet to be announced. Kitna hasn’t been on the injury report all season. He did miss some time in training camp with a back injury.
·FB Tony Fiammetta missed his second practice with flu-like symptoms as well.
·WR Miles Austin and CB Mike Jenkins didn’t practice again with hamstring injuries. It’s unlikely they will play or even make the trip this weekend in Washington.
·LB Sean Lee wore his bulky club-wrap around his left hand/wrist again. He tried an open cast on Wednesday but went back to the heavy wrap and will likely play that way in Sunday’s game.
Photo courtesy: Ron T. Ennis/Star-Telegram
DeMarco Murray has handled the load while Felix Jones has been out the past four games with a high left ankle sprain. The rookie rushed for 601 yards and averaged 21.5 touches in the four games Jones missed. But Jones is back now, and Murray said he is happy to have the help.
“I’m very excited,” Murray said Thursday. “I have always had to share. It’s not new to me. Last year was my only year at Oklahoma where I was the full-time guy. So I’m very excited to get Felix back and very happy he is back.”
Murray is 11th in the NFL with 674 yards on 100 carries. He has two touchdowns. Jones is 46th, with 253 yards on 63 carries. The Cowboys rank ninth in rushing.
The Cowboys are excited about the possibilities of having both Jones and Murray.
“It doesn’t shock me any more when a guy comes in and plays well when he’s given an opportunity,” Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo said. “Obviously, he’s done that. He’s continued to get better each week, and now that we get the combination of him and Felix, I think it’ll help us become even more explosive.”