Category Archives: Rob Phillips

GAMEDAY GUT-CHECK: Dallas Cowboys state-0f-the-star | Can America’s Team bounce back after the bye-week?

America's Team - The Boys Are Back website 2012

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

FOUR HORSES IN THE CORRAL - Meet your new Dallas Cowboys RB Rod Smith - RB Christine Michael brings a 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

DALLAS COWBOYS GAMEDAY PRIMER - The 2015 Bone Bowl–Broken Bryant and DeMarco’s Meat - Week #2 Practice & Injury Update

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 →

DALLAS COWBOYS OTA UPDATE: ‘Boys Big Balls | Meat on the Bone | Diggin Dallas’ Drones in Philly | No fear, Scandrick secure

DALLAS COWBOYS OTA UPDATE - The ‘Boys Big Balls - Meat on the Bone - Diggin Dallas’ Drones in Philly - The Boys Are Back website 2015

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

Jason Garrett press conference - 2015 Dallas Cowboys OTAs - Media packed - The Boys Are Back 2015

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

APPEALS, DEALS & STEALS - Kraken Packin - Upcoming Greg Hardy appeal - Dallas Cowboys sign another former first-rounder - Scandrick smiling again - Pro Scouting Report A. J. Jenkins

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 →

THE BOYS ARE BACK: America’s Team kicks off OTAs | OTA Preview Dallas Cowboys offense & defense | 2015 Dallas Cowboys spring roster

THE BOYS ARE BACK - America’s Team kicks off OTAs - OTA Preview Dallas Cowboys offense & defense - 2015 Dallas Cowboys spring roster

IRVING, Texas – The pads won’t come on until training camp in a little over two months, but the Dallas Cowboys veterans and rookies inched closer with voluntary organized team activities (OTAs) getting underway today (Tuesday).  Continue reading →

EXPECT EXTRA-LONG EXTRA POINT: NFL owners approve PAT rule changes for 2015 season | Kickers moved back 15 yards | Defensive scoring opportunity created

EXPECT EXTRA-LONG EXTRA POINT - NFL owners approve PAT rule changes for 2015 season - Kickers moved back 15 yards - Defensive scoring opportunity created

The NFL has been tinkering with the PAT in hopes of making it a more difficult and therefore entertaining play for spectators.  Continue reading →

MEET YOUR NEWEST DALLAS COWBOYS: Depth Secured–Five prospects roped and branded in Day-3 Finale | Pro Scouting Reports | Bonus Audio–Secret Calls and more | NFL Draft 2015

Dallas Cowboys lasso - Five prospects roped - The Boys Are Back website


The Boys Are Back to Defense | LB Damien Wilson becomes a Dallas Cowboy in 4th


The Dallas Cowboys continued addressing defense at the start of Day 3, selecting Minnesota linebacker Damien Wilson with their fourth-round pick at No. 127.  Continue reading →

MEET YOUR NEW DALLAS COWBOY: Sacker Secured–DE Randy Gregory slips to sixty | Pass rusher too good to pass, twice | Pro Scouting Report | Bonus Audio–Secret Call and more | NFL Draft 2015

MEET YOUR NEW DALLAS COWBOY - Sacker Secured–DE Randy Gregory slips to sixty - Too good to pass on the pass rusher - Pro Scouting Report - Bonus Audio–Secret Call and more - NFL Draft 2015

The Dallas Cowboys took another step toward fortifying their defense in the second round, selecting Nebraska defensive end Randy Gregory with the 60th overall pick of the 2015 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

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

MARINELLI’S MAULERS & BALLERS - The Great Chicken or Egg Debate - Fast & Furious Front-Four 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 →

THE BOYS ARE BACK: Ninety-ninth day from the Green Bay replay | Dallas Cowboys 2015 offseason conditioning campaign kickoff at Valley Ranch | Dallas Cowboys Calendar of Events

THE BOYS ARE BACK - Ninety-ninth day from the Green Bay replay - Dallas Cowboys 2015 offseason conditioning campaign kickoff at Valley Ranch - Dallas Cowboys Calendar of Events 2015 - Dez Bryant

IRVING, Texas – Ninety-nine days removed from the playoff heartbreaker at Lambeau Field, Dallas Cowboys players are back together for the start of the team’s voluntary offseason workout program – the first official organized sessions of the 2015 NFL season.   Continue reading →

BOYS LACK D-BACK ATTACK: Seeking Seriously Solid Secondary–Brewing Backend Bubble Trouble | Promising Players & Prospects | 2015 NFL Draft primer

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 →

TRENCHES–REINFORCING ROMO’S WALL: Dallas’ Depth Debate | Building on the Cowboys Offensive Line-han plan | Promising Players & Prospects | 2015 NFL Draft

TRENCHES–REINFORCING ROMO’S WALL - Dallas’ Depth Debate - Building on the Cowboys Offensive Line-han plan - Promising Players & Prospects - 2015 NFL Draft

IRVING, Texas – The Dallas Cowboys had plenty of question marks surrounding the offensive tackle spot entering free agency, and all of them haven’t been answered just yet.  Continue reading →

SO LONG, COWBOY: Sun sets on Spencer’s career in Big D | Dallas defender to go marching on in The Big Easy | Anthony Spencer reunited with Rob Ryan

Sunset Cowboy - The Boys Are Back website - Dallas Cowboys

IRVING, Texas – When word got out that defensive lineman Ben Gardner had obtained Anthony Spencer’s jersey number for the upcoming offseason workouts, most assumed Spencer’s eight-year tenure with the Dallas Cowboys was over.  Continue reading →

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