GAMEDAY GUT-CHECK: Dallas Cowboys state-0f-the-star | Can America’s Team bounce back after the bye-week?
The Dallas Cowboys and Jersey Giants meet again for the second time in seven weeks. Dallas won’t have Tony Romo to lead them on another game-winning drive in the final seconds as he did in the opener. It’s Matt Cassel’s show today. The 11-year veteran making his first start at quarterback for America’s team with Romo (fractured collarbone) still out a few more games.
Here are the gut feelings from a few local insiders/writers:
Phillips: For two weeks everyone has debated the differences between Brandon Weeden and Matt Cassel. Will Cassel take chances downfield where Weeden checked down? There needs to be a balance between conservative and plain risky, and Cassel has to find it Sunday. With Dez Bryant out against the Giants, Cassel is likely to see the Giants crowd the line the way opponents did against Weeden. He’ll need to hit open receivers when they’re there, but a bunch of turnovers on forced throws won’t help the Cowboys’ cause. I think Cassel will indeed be efficient and effective enough to win this game, and he’ll get help from the Cowboys’ defense ending its three-game takeaway drought. Dallas outlasts the Giants, 23-21, despite a 250-yard effort from Eli Manning.
Broaddus: Gut feeling this week is that Rod Marinelli goes back to his 3-2-6 defensive scheme to attack this Giants offense. There are two things that he gets out of it that can help this defense. First he gets the one-on-one matchups across the board to attack Manning, which puts pressure on the offensive line, but more importantly Marinelli gets extra defensive backs on the field. To win this game I believe the Giants are going to have to win the battles on the outside. If Dallas can hold up in the secondary, then it’s going to be a long day for the Giants. Look for Marinelli to mix and match his fronts and coverage’s but the 3-2-6 look being a go-to one in this game. Cowboys win, 19-17.
Helman: There’s just enough different about this team to make me feel optimistic. No, I don’t think Matt Cassel is going to make anyone forget Tony Romo, but I do think he’s capable of sparking a more explosive passing game. No, I don’t think Christine Michael is going to have a 100-yard day, but I do think he can contribute enough to get the ground game out of its funk. On the other side of the matchup, the Cowboys have an absurdly favorable look against a leaky Giants offensive line. I don’t know if they’ll get five sacks, but Greg Hardy, Tyrone Crawford and Randy Gregory should be able to make life difficult for Eli Manning. And if Manning is struggling to find time, that should make it hard for Odell Beckham to hurt the secondary. It’s not going to be easy – it never is at MetLife Stadium. But I think the Cowboys have changed enough to make a push, even as Dez Bryant doesn’t play. I really think they can pick up their game and get out of New York with a win – something like 24-20.
Eatman: While it’s easy to say the Cowboys have the Giants’ number up in New York – winning the last three games in the Meadowlands – you could also say that perhaps it’s Tony Romo that has it, and not the Cowboys. We know this team is not the same without him and Dez Bryant in the lineup, so I think you have to throw out the history here, even if it’s recent history. The Cowboys certainly don’t beat the Giants in Week 1 without Romo. But, that being said, I still think the Cowboys can and will win this game. I don’t know if Matt Cassel lights the world on fire but I think he plays well. They’ve got to figure out how to get Jason Witten going and I can see him getting at least seven catches. Brice Butler will make some plays down the field and I think the Cowboys get their first 100-yard rusher, and don’t be surprised if it’s Joseph Randle. This guy might not get all of the snaps but he’ll run well with the ones he gets and might even break off a long one. The Cowboys are healthier than the Giants, they’re more desperate than the Giants and I still think they’re a better team. Like all of these games, it’ll be closer but give me Dallas, 21-20.
FOUR HORSES IN THE CORRAL: Meet your new Dallas Cowboys RB Rod Smith | RB Christine Michael brings power punch | RB Position Analysis | Boys Bye-Week Breakdown 2015
The running back position stands to look drastically different than it did just a month ago. Continue reading →
DALLAS COWBOYS GAMEDAY PRIMER: The 2015 Bone Bowl–Broken Bryant and DeMarco’s Meat | Week #2 Practice & Injury Update | Dallas Cowboys vs. Philadelphia Eagles
With the Dallas Cowboys All-Pro wide receiver Dez Bryant sidelined by foot surgery, there was no crowd around his empty locker. Instead, scattered groups were talking to his fellow receivers – the ones who will be asked to fill his shoes in Philadelphia. Continue reading →
THE BOYS ARE BACK ON TRACK: Both Dallas Cowboys player suspensions resolved | Greg Hardy and Rolando McClain to return in week 5 | 2015 Dallas Cowboys
After weeks of inactivity at Valley Ranch due to offseason vacation breaks … there is news to report today.
The NFL announced that Greg Hardy‘s suspension was reduced from 10 games to four games this afternoon. Continue reading →
THE BATTLING BACK ‘BOYS: The Journey from Injured Reserve to Redemption | Comeback Cowboys Sean Lee & Morris Claiborne fighting back
For some Cowboys, there has been no offseason.
For the few players that ended the 2014 campaign on the injured reserve list, the offseason consisted of about one week before returning to the Valley Ranch facility to continue their rehabilitation process. Continue reading →
DALLAS COWBOYS OTA UPDATE: ‘Boys Big Balls | Meat on the Bone | Diggin Dallas’ Drones in Philly | No fear, Scandrick secure
Dallas Cowboys run drills using their big yellow ball, as seen here during OTA’s, at the team’s Valley Ranch practice facility in Irving, Texas. More on this later. Continue reading →
DALLAS COWBOYS OTA UPDATE: McClain in Pain, Hitchens Hobbled | Press-Packed Presser | Green in the green | Cowboy Buzz–Live sideline OTA reactions & comments | Purple Proposition
There was a packed house for Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett’s OTA’s opening press conference. Listen (or download) the full MP3 from the new Dallas Cowboys Audio Archives page featured here on your The Boys Are Back website. Continue reading →
APPEALS, DEALS & POTENTIAL STEALS: Kraken Packin–Upcoming Greg Hardy appeal | Dallas Cowboys sign another former first-rounder | Scandrick smiling again | Pro Scouting Report–A. J. Jenkins | Silver and Blue linings
IRVING, Texas – Greg Hardy is on hand for the start of the Dallas Cowboys OTAs, but he’ll be absent Thursday when he heads to Washington D.C. for the appeal of his 10-game suspension. Continue reading →
HOW ‘BOUT THEM WOWBOYS?: Dallas Cowboys make sure La’el Collins has his moment in the sun; Rookie’s inspirational message sends shockwaves around Cowboys Nation | The trade-bait debate | A true-blue must-see video
What else can you really say about what has happened here this week, particularly on Thursday afternoon at Valley Ranch. Continue reading →
REINFORCING ROMO’S WALL: Dallas Cowboys officially sign top OT prospect La’el Collins | Trenches formed with four first-round pounders | NFL Draft Prospect Profile | Pro Scouting Reports
LSU offensive lineman La’el Collins has officially signed with the Dallas Cowboys after going undrafted in last weekend’s NFL draft. Continue reading →
MEET YOUR NEW DALLAS COWBOY: Secondary Secured–CB/S Byron Jones snagged 27th overall | Pro Scouting Report | Bonus Audio–Secret Call and more | NFL Draft 2015
IRVING, Texas – Having patiently waited throughout the opening night of the 2015 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys selected one of the best athletes in this draft class, snagging Byron Jones with the 27th overall pick. Continue reading →
MARINELLI’S MAULERS & BALLERS: The Great “Chicken or Egg” Debate | Fast & Furious Front-Four Freak Formula | Building the Dallas Cowboys Texas-2 Defense | Promising Players & Prospects | 2015 NFL Draft primer
Editor: What came first … the chicken or the egg? When debating how to build a dominate defense in today’s NFL, this question comes to mind. What’s Rod Marinelli’s first priority … what must come first … the rushmen or the defensive backs? History shows us that a defense can succeed either way. But, the hearts and minds of True Blue fans of the Dallas Cowboys straddle both sides of this fence … with equal conviction. Continue reading →
GREG HARDY WILL BE LATE TO THE PARTY: Controversy entrenched bad ‘boy benched | NFL Commissioner sacks Dallas Cowboys DE for 10 games
IRVING, Texas – The NFL announced its disciplinary action for Greg Hardy this afternoon, suspending the newly-signed Dallas Cowboys defensive end for the first 10 games of the 2015 season. Continue reading →
BRING BACK R-BACK ATTACK: Debating DeMarco Devoid–Missing Murray | Brewing Backfield Battles | Promising Players & Prospects | 2015 NFL Draft primer
Editor: The general consensus is that the Dallas Cowboys needs going into the 2015 NFL Draft are defensive, based on last year’s overall performance and outcome. The offseason loss of DeMarco Murray further complicates the matter by throwing an offensive void into the mix. Factoring in the age of storied veterans Tony Romo and Jason Witten brings more into the equation. Today’s feature is about filling the vacuum of losing last seasons leading rusher and NFL Offensive Player of the Year. Big hole. Big shoes. Big questions. Continue reading →
BOYS LACK D-BACK ATTACK: Seeking Seriously Solid Secondary–Brewing Backend Bubble Trouble | Promising Players & Prospects | 2015 NFL Draft primer
IRVING, Texas – For quite a while now, it’s been a yearly source of consternation for the Cowboys and their fans: the lack of a top-notch, dependable safety in the Dallas secondary. Continue reading →
ROOKIE RUSTLER’S ROAMING RANCH: ‘Pokes Previewing Pre-Draft Prospects | Early focus on running backs and defenders | Dallas Day this Friday
IRVING, Texas – The activity level around Valley Ranch has picked up considerably, as the Dallas Cowboys pre-draft visits began cycling through the facility today. Continue reading →
DALLAS DOLLARS & SENSE: Cowboys create cap cushion–Romo restructured | $12.8 million mad-money move | Top-10 QB salaries for next two seasons
IRVING, Texas – The Dallas Cowboys opted to restructure Tony Romo’s contract, freeing up several million dollars in salary cap space in the process.
The possibility of restructuring Romo’s deal has been tossed around throughout this offseason. Valued at $108 million overall, is easily the largest contract on the Cowboys’ books. It’s common practice for teams looking to free up spending space, as the Cowboys restructured both Romo and Sean Lee in 2014.
Earlier this offseason, the Cowboys restructured Tyron Smith’s deal, freeing up $10 million in space.
It’s worth pointing out that the move is simply a rearrangement of Romo’s existing deal, not a pay cut. That said, it effectively functions to lower the quarterback’s astronomical cap hit of $27 million and give the Cowboys extra money to work with in 2015. Continue reading →
MORE ON MARINELLI’S MAULERS: Contract cap-cushion & credits–Eventually, Greg Hardy will affect the Dallas Cowboys salary cap | Hungry Hayden Hanging ‘round | Elite pass rushers are as rare as franchise quarterbacks | BONUS Audio & Video
2015-2016 DALLAS COWBOYS: ROSTER ROUNDUP N REVIEW | Free-Agency Finally Fueled | Backfield Bullies Jed Collins & Ray Agnew III | LBs Jasper Brinkley & Andrew Gachkar | Cover Corner Corey White
2015-2016 DALLAS COWBOYS: ROSTER ROUNDUP N REVIEW | First-Week Free Agency Frenzy | NFL Salary Cap reset | Diamond Dez Bryant & Cole Beasley | Keith Rivers | Doug Free & Jeremy Parnell | Dwayne Harris | Justin Durant & Bruce Carter | Jed Collins | Henry Melton
2015 DALLAS COWBOYS: Tagged, not bagged–Diamond Dez deal delayed in Big D | Top-50 NFL Draft Board–Post-Combine revision 2.0
2015 DALLAS COWBOYS: Trust in Dustin–QB Plans | All aboard the McClain train | Think OT-Reinforcing Romo’s wall | Free-Agency solutions | Offseason LB decisions | Combine notes
COWBOYS DOLLARS AND SENSE: Dez, from Tags to Riches | DeMarco Deal of Fortune | The Timeframe Temptation with Tony Romo’s contract | Jerry Jones extensive interview | Bonus MP3 audio download
2015 NFL COMBINE: Diamond Dez deal deadlock | The pickin’ late debate | Goin Deep-WR draft depth | Wrap Up-OL and TE groups | Bonus MP3 audio downloads
INDIANAPOLIS – Whatever contract negotiations are to come between Dez Bryant and the Dallas Cowboys, they aren’t happening right now, according to team owner/general manager Jerry Jones. Continue reading →