Category Archives: Jimmy Robinson – Asst. Head Coach

FEED THE FEVER: Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett spends nearly an hour with press

Editors comment: As you know, as Dallas Cowboys fans, we are in the offseason ‘dead zone’ period between the Super Bowl and the NFL Combine (and subsequent NFL Draft). This time of year is always a letdown for those of us with NFL (and particularly Dallas Cowboys) fever. Like you, I’m constantly in search of relevant news and information about America’s Team from leading sports authorities and trusted insiders. Today, Jason Garrett spent nearly an hour discussing a myriad of subjects regarding the evolution of the team going into the 2013-2014 season. I strongly advise you to listen to the video below. Over 50 articles (and speculation) have been published based on this press conference. As you would expect (and appreciate), there are a wide range of topics covered, including:

  • Offseason coaching changes and insight
  • Offensive delegation and evolution since 2010
  • Advantages of returning to the 4-3 defense
  • Monte Kiffin, Rod Marinelli defensive philosophy
  • Upcoming play-calling changes and mechanics
  • Anticipated turnovers and the game impact
  • Fitting Dallas’ top-tier CBs into the new 4-3 scheme
  • Jay Ratliff and Josh Brent legal issues
  • Bill Callahan and Jimmy Robinson’s influence and role
  • Ongoing collaborative relationship with Jerry Jones, Stephen Jones

Take the time to listen to the actual press conference and you’ll learn what changes are in store and what went into the decision-making process. Feed the fever!

FEED THE FEVER - Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett spends nearly an hour with press - The Boys Are Back blog 2013

Jason Garrett Press Conference 2-13 (Click HERE to watch video) Duration – 53:47

Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett speaks to the media after a flurry of offseason coaching moves.

Editors note: The new coaches will have a press conference with the Dallas media on Thursday, February 14th at 11:00 am. The Boys Are Back blog will provide a post and link to that event when it becomes available.  

If you enjoyed this special feature, please use the ‘like’ and share buttons below. Thanks for spreading the word about The Boys Are Back blog!

Advertisements

COACHES ROSTER: Despite reports, WR coach among positions still not filled by Dallas Cowboys

Derek Dooley - Tennessee Head Coach - The Boys Are Back blog

IRVING, Texas – The Dallas Cowboys still have some spots on the coaching staff to fill and despite published reports Saturday night, it appears wide receiver coach is still one of them.

The team has indeed interviewed several candidates, including former Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley, who had reportedly agreed to take the job. But as of this (Sunday) morning, the Cowboys are still exploring all options.

Dooley did interview with Jason Garrett last week at the Senior Bowl. The head coach for the Vols the past three years,

He spent three previous three years at Louisiana Tech as head coach but his ties to the Cowboys stem from Jason Garrett. The two worked on Nick Saban’s staff with the Dolphins in 2005-06 when Garrett was quarterbacks coach and Dooley coached the tight ends.

Considering the Cowboys have interviewed candidates for the position, it likely means the end for Jimmy Robinson, at least as receivers coach. He also held the assistant head coach title but according to team sources, Robinson could be moved to a consultant position and remain with the organization.

The Cowboys have yet to officially hire a running backs coach to replace Skip Peete or tight ends coach to replace John Garrett. Peete is now coaching the backs in Chicago while Garrett is the wide receiver coach in Tampa Bay.

Among the names being linked to those positions include Sam Gash, a former player in the NFL for 12 years who coached the Lions running backs for the last five years. Also, current Cowboys assistant offensive line coach Wes Phillips, who has held multiple roles as an offensive assistant the past six years, could be a leading candidate to take over as tight ends coach.

The Cowboys have not officially hired special teams coach Rich Bisaccia but he has been released from his contract at Auburn and is expected to replace Joe DeCamillis. Bisaccia worked with Monte Kiffin and Rod Marinelli in Tampa Bay for nine years.

Editors Comment: Last night it appeared that Derek Dooley was going to join the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff. There is still a lot going on with regard to the offensive side of the ball. With three offensive position coaches yet to be announced, and the status of Jimmy Robinson up in the air, I think we can expect a major shakeup. It’s possible that the Dallas Cowboys intend to hire an offensive coordinator in the coming weeks. If they have targeted someone on the Baltimore Ravens or San Francisco 49ers staff, we’ll have an announcement after the Super Bowl. Hiring an offensive coordinator could explain the delay in filling these position roles because the new coordinator would want to bring in his own people. Either way, we should know what’s going on offensively in the next two weeks.

COACHES ROSTER: Derek Dooley expected to become new Dallas Cowboys wide receivers coach

tennessee head coach derek dooley - The Boys Are Back blog

IRVING, Texas – Former University of Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley is set to join the Cowboys’ staff as the new receivers coach, according to multiple sources.

Dooley, who was a position coach alongside Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett for two years with the Dolphins, will reportedly get the job after interviewing with Garrett. Dooley was the tight ends coach and Garrett was the quarterbacks coach in Miami for the 2005 and 2006 seasons. 

While the majority of Cowboys staff watched the Senior Bowl practices at Ladd-Peebles Stadium, most of Garrett’s time in Mobile, Ala., was spent interviewing potential position coaches, including Dooley. The Cowboys still need to fill positions for running backs coach and tight ends coach, and the leading candidates for those positions appear to be Sam Gash and Wes Phillips, respectively.

Dooley’s hiring would mark the first new position coach with a direct coaching history with Garrett. The Cowboys brought on defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin, defensive line coach Rod Marinelli and special teams coach Rich Bisaccia this offseason, all of whom worked together previously with the Buccaneers.

dallas-cowboys-receivers-coach-jimmy-robinson-talks-with-dallas-cowboys-wide-receiver-dez-bryant - The Boys Are Back blog

The move means former wide receivers coach Jimmy Robinson will either hold a new role or leave the staff. He’s been the receivers coach the past two seasons.

Dooley’s only professional coaching experience occurred in those two years alongside Garrett with the Dolphins. Prior to that, Dooley spent three seasons as SMU’s wide receivers coach and five seasons in different roles with LSU. He was on the Tigers’ staff while Marcus Spears and Nate Livings played at the school.

After his time in Miami, Dooley then spent three seasons apiece as head coach at Louisiana Tech and, most recently, with the Volunteers, where he replaced Kiffin’s son, Lane. Dooley compiled a 32-41 total head coaching record between the two schools.

The Cowboys staff will now include three members in Kiffin, Marinelli and offensive coordinator Bill Callahan who’ve served as head coaches at the collegiate or professional level.

dallas cowboys asst head coach jimmy robinson - the boys are back blog

Editors Comment: Jimmy Robinson is the coach you see on the sidelines with Dez Bryant during both good and bad situations. He has a calming influence and is seen teaching and coaching during all phases of the game. He’s the coach that works most closely with Dez and is responsible for some of the progress we’ve seen from Dez recently. I hope the Dallas Cowboys find a way to keep Robinson on the staff. He’s one of those people behind the scenes that can help this team in the long term.

COACHES ROSTER: Meet the 2013-14 Dallas Cowboys coaching staff

There have been a number of changes in the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff over the offseason. Here’s an updated list of the assistant coaches and links for more detailed information on each of them. This page will be updated if any other changes are made.

DALLAS COWBOYS HEAD COACH

Jason Garrett

Jason Garrett was named the eighth head coach in Dallas Cowboys history on January 5, 2011. Garrett, who played for or worked alongside four of his predecessors, became the first former Dallas Cowboys player to become the team’s head coach.

DALLAS COWBOYS COACHING STAFF

Offensive Coaches Defensive Coaches Specialty Coaches
Jimmy Robinson
Asst. Head Coach/Wide Receivers
Monte Kiffin
Defensive Coordinator
Mike Woicik
Strength and Conditioning
To Be Determined
Tight Ends/Passing Game Coord.
Jerome Henderson
Secondary
Chris Boniol
Assistant Special Teams/ Kickers
Wade Wilson
Quarterbacks
Matt Eberflus
Linebackers
Brett Bech
Assistant Strength and Conditioning
Bill Callahan
Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line
Rod Marinelli
Defensive Line
Rich Bisaccia

Special Teams

Wes Phillips
Assistant Offensive Line
Ben Bloom
Quality Control/Linebackers
Keith O’Quinn
Off. Quality Control/Wide Receivers
Joe Baker
Assistant Secondary

FOCUSED ON FOOTBALL: After his best game, Diamond Dez Bryant may be key to season

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) catches a pass in front of Cleveland Browns cornerback Buster Skrine - The Boys Are Back blog

“Being Dez.”

That term does not exactly have a universally accepted meaning. Last Wednesday, when Dez Bryant talked to the media after practice and said, “I think I’m back to being Dez,” it was obvious that he meant it in a positive context.

But due to a controversial young career as a Cowboy, “being Dez” simply means being immature to some people. To just as many, it means being a supremely gifted receiver who can control the outcome of an NFL game.

When Bryant stepped out of bounds rather than fight for the first down on a second-and-16 pass in the second quarter with the Cowboys struggling and down 13 points, it caused a collective eye roll/groan from Cowboy fans everywhere. A “here we go again” sort of feeling.

But Bryant’s mental lapse did not fit either of the common definitions for “being Dez.” Call him what you want, but Bryant is a fighter. Avoiding contact is not one his most common character traits. Asking Bryant to get up for a battle is usually not the hard part. Getting him to calm down afterward is often a little bit tougher.

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) goes up for a pass - The Boys Are Back blog

And Bryant showed the fight in him from that point on in the game. He was basically unstoppable for most of the day, particularly in the second half. All in all, Bryant had his best game of the season. He tallied 145 yards off of 12 catches and a touchdown.

Bryant has let Tony Romo down on his route running in the past, but Romo trusted him against the Browns and it paid off. Bryant was targeted a season-high 15 times. This is tied only by his performance in Baltimore. But the difference between Sunday’s game and the Ravens matchup was that Romo trusted Bryant with the deep ball as well as the short pass.

At a certain point, it became clear that Bryant’s defender (typically Buster Skrine) simply could not guard him. He was too athletic, too skilled and too fast to be contained. When Romo looked to go deep with Bryant, sometimes the only option for the Browns was defensive holding. Bryant caused a number of defensive pass interference calls that kept the Cowboys’ offense on the field.

Which does beg the question of whether or not the Cowboys should throw deep to Bryant more often. With such a talented receiver and the quick enforcement of pass interference penalties in today’s game, the feeling is that Bryant will either come down with the ball or earn a first down through penalty while trying.

With a quarterback who threw a lot of early season interceptions it might not seem ideal to seemingly ask him to just throw the ball up for Bryant to go get. But a few of Romo’s interceptions this season came from Bryant messing up short or intermediate routes so there is risk of an interception, no matter what the route.

As pathetic as it may seem, down by 13 at halftime, it felt like a game in which the Cowboys had no business beating the Browns. They had 68 total yards at the half. They only managed 63 yards rushing for the entire game. The defense was solid except for a few miscommunications, two of which happened to result in Cleveland touchdowns.

And worst of all, the offensive line was banged up and ineffective. Linemen were playing out of position, backups were playing the entire game and a franchise tackle left with an ankle injury. As a result, Romo was sacked seven times for 56 yards. It seemed hard to believe that he would ever get enough time in the pocket to lead the Cowboys to a comeback victory.

But as you know, the Cowboys did come back and win. And they did so by relying heavily on Bryant. He became the go-to guy and it was no secret. The offensive line should receive some credit for playing better in the second half, but Romo was able to get the ball out quicker because he often knew exactly who he was throwing it to: Bryant.

Dallas Cowboys receivers coach Jimmy Robinson talks with Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant - The Boys Are Back blog

The chemistry that Romo and Bryant developed in the second half was the kind of thing usually reserved for Romo and Witten. But with Bryant, the feeling was that he could explode for a touchdown or huge gain on any given play.

You could say that Bryant has been a knucklehead at times. Maybe accuse him of being unfocused or call him a distraction. But yesterday against the Browns was an example of why the Cowboys are so patient with him. Bryant played like a franchise receiver.

Bryant passed the amateur-viewer test. If someone who knows extremely little about football were to have sat down to watch the Cowboys or Browns, they would have left with the impression that Bryant was one of the most talented and gifted players on the field. They would understand, without the help of the commentators, the impact he had on the game.

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) celebrates a catch vs Cleveland Browns 2012 - The Boys Are Back blog

The Cowboys still have a lot of things to work on if they expect to make a push for the playoffs, but the production that they got from Bryant puts them on another level as a team in my opinion. If they can fight through the injuries of their offensive line and get more out of their running game (something that might be improved by the return of DeMarco Murray), and still get similar production from Bryant, then the Cowboys might have found the key to their season.

And that’s just letting Dez “be Dez.”

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) catches a touchdown pass vs Cleveland Browns 2012 - The Boys Are Back blog

HAPPY TRAILS COWBOY: Jason Garrett describes difficulties of player cuts

Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett describes difficulties of player cuts - The Boys Are Back blog

Months of practices and four preseason games all culminate in one final cut day, which 22 Cowboys players won’t survive.

That time is 8:00 p.m. Aug. 31, and it’s a day that head coach Jason Garrett called one of the worst for a player or a coach in the NFL.

“I think what makes it difficult is the work that they put in,” Garrett said. “Most of our coaches and administrators are former players. They understand the commitment these guys have made. Anybody who’s been around our football team for the last month or so has seen the commitment these guys have made.”

Garrett, the offensive or defensive coordinator and a position coach all talk to the released player and try to explain why the decision was made, provide them constructive coaching and thank them for their effort. Afterward, their time as a Cowboy is finished.

Dallas has been plagued with injuries throughout the preseason, which could force them to go deep at some positions and light at others. Garrett said it’s not always the 53 best players, but the 53 players who give the Cowboys the best chance to win. No official announcement on the final roster will be made until Friday.

Garrett said the draft picks will get every opportunity possible to show the reason they were selected, but there are other players worthy of a chance. The Cowboys have a history of turning undrafted free agents into top talents, including Eastern Illinois’ Tony Romo and Monmouth’s Miles Austin.

“If you have an attitude that it doesn’t matter where players come from, it matters what they do when they get here, I think you’re more able to find some of those guys,” Garrett said. “That’s been our approach. We preached that to our players from Day 1.”

Garrett said it warms his heart to think about the commitment the Cowboys players made in the offseason to fulfill their dreams.

“We have a lot of discussions about who we should keep, what we should do with different players, what role he might have and might not have, so those are difficult discussions,” Garrett said. “What makes it hard is, in a lot of ways, many of these guys’ dreams have come to an end or have changed.”

REST PRESCRIBED: Dez Bryant’s MRI reveals Patellar Tendinitis, no major damage

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) jumps to catch a pass at practice - The Boys Are Back blog

An MRI on Dez Bryant‘s injured knee revealed patellar tendinitis, according to a source, which should only require rest before the star receiver can return to practice.

Bryant hurt his knee Monday practicing against the Chargers when he slipped coming out of a break. The MRI revealed no major structural damage and provides a much less severe diagnosis than originally feared when Bryant limped off the field. It’s unknown at this time how long Bryant will be out.

Patellar tendinitis is also known as "jumper’s knee," and occurs most frequently in athletes who jump routinely, as Bryant did when he soared into the air to snag a ball in the back of the end zone Saturday.

The Cowboys are short in receiving threats, with Miles Austin and Jason Witten both sidelined. A spleen injury to Witten and a lingering hamstring issue for Austin raised the dependence on Bryant in the passing game. Bryant was one of the few starters not dealing with an injury in training camp, besides missing the end of a practice in Oxnard, Calif., with a sore hamstring.

The receivers finished Saturday’s preseason game healthy against the Chargers, but they couldn’t stay on the field in Monday’s practice against San Diego, as Bryant, Andre Holmes and Donavon Kemp joined the injury list.

Kemp also suffered a knee injury and Holmes left with a sore back. Wide receivers coach Jimmy Robinson said he knew Holmes’ tight back flared up on him, but he didn’t see what happened to Bryant, who slipped coming out of a break and limped off the field. 

“Hopefully it’s not anything too serious,” Robinson said.

Bryant’s been on point with Tony Romo throughout the preseason, making athletic catches routinely, including a one-handed grab in the back of the end zone against the Chargers that was called back for a penalty and ruled out of bounds. Bryant didn’t play much against the Chargers, catching two passes for 15 yards on three targets.

San Diego Chargers defensive back Atari Bigby breaks up a pass in the endzone intended for Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Kevin Ogletree - The Boys Are Back blog

Kevin Ogletree took a majority of the first-team snaps in practice after Bryant’s departure. He said Bryant “became a man” this offseason and preseason with his consistent play.

Ogletree also didn’t see the play that forced Bryant to the sidelines.

“We all know his talents and how hard he works and his determination and drive and competitiveness,” Ogletree said. “You can give a bunch of words to describe his role on the team and how important he is to us. He’s a leader, one of our best players and I’m praying for him. I’m sure he’ll be fine. He’s a strong kid.”

The injury to Austin already bumped Ogletree to the starter opposite Bryant. His practice reps increased more when Bryant left Monday.

He said the practices at the end of training camp are essential with the Sept. 5 opener against the Giants looming in a couple weeks.

“It was a great opportunity for myself and some of the other young guys to get some extra practice reps with some unfamiliar corners and secondary’s and defenses,” Ogletree said. “It’s something I think we took advantage of as a group today.”

Rowan Kavner

GOING LONG: Jerry Jones using Ben Franklin procedure for the Dallas Cowboy decisions

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones talks to the media - The Boys Are Back blog

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones compared his decisions as general manager in deciding what he is going to do at third receiver to being a modern day Ben Franklin.

He is going to the let the preseason play out and then pick a guy or go after another guy on free agency based on his evaluation of what’s best for the team,  which is why doesn’t feel pressure to make a decision on a veteran free agent like Plaxico Burress right now.

“It’s the Ben Franklin procedure,” Jones said. “He would take a sheet of paper and put why and why not. He would look at the plusses and minuses and he would fill in on each side and decide which ever shape he was in. That’s the long way of saying why or why not!

Courtesy: Clarence Hill | FWST

Photos Courtesy: Dallas Morning News

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Kevin Ogletree (85) is chased by linebacker Sean Lee (50) - The Boys Are Back blog

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Kevin Ogletree (85) is chased by linebacker Sean Lee (50)

.

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dwayne Harris (17) catches a pass - The Boys Are Back blog

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dwayne Harris

.Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Cole Beasley (14) catches a pass - The Boys Are Back blog

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Cole Beasley (14)

.Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) runs after a catch - The Boys Are Back blog

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) runs after catch

.

Dallas Cowboys tight end James Hanna (84) catches a pass - The Boys Are Back blog

Dallas Cowboys tight end James Hanna (84)

.

Dallas Cowboys tight end James Hanna, a rookie from Oklahoma, wears No. 84. But his knowledge of predecessors who also donned that digit is limited. Asked by a reporter if he knew of any other notable No. 84 in franchise history, he identified Jay Novacek, a standout tight end from the 1990s. Asked about Pettis Norman, a star tight end in the 1970s, Hanna said: “I don’t know about that. Not familiar with him.”

He is familiar with outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware, who has helped him with his technique during training camp. Asked to cite the moment he realized the NFL would be significantly different from college, Hanna said:  “The first time I blocked DeMarcus Ware. Or tried to. It didn’t go well.”

Dallas Cowboys special teams coach Joe DeCamillis congratulates wide receiver Andre Holmes - The Boys Are Back blog

Dallas Cowboys special teams coach Joe DeCamillis congratulates wide receiver Andre Holmes

.

Cowboys receiver Andre Holmes had a couple of notable catches on fades in the red zone, including one against cornerback C.J. Wilson. Holmes (6-foot-4, 223 pounds) is the team’s tallest receiver and his production in those situations figure to play a prominent role in whether he makes the 53-man roster.

“I’ve been working on that. I felt like it kind of paid off today,” said Holmes, who has strung together a series of solid practices after falling behind others when he failed his pre-camp conditioning test. “I’m trying to show something to the coaches. It’s what I’ve got to do.”

Holmes showed significant emotion after one fade route and indicated he planned to keep the emotional edge front and center.

“It’s not a relief. I know I’m going to make those plays all the time,” Holmes said. “I was just a little more fired up today. That’s what I’m going to be doing every day.”

COACHES ROSTER: Meet the 2013-14 Dallas Cowboys coaching staff

There have been a number of changes in the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff over the past few years. Here’s an updated list of the assistant coaches and links for more detailed information on each of them.

DALLAS COWBOYS HEAD COACH

Jason Garrett

Jason Garrett was named the eighth head coach in Dallas Cowboys history on January 5, 2011. Garrett, who played for or worked alongside four of his predecessors, became the first former Dallas Cowboys player to become the team’s head coach.

DALLAS COWBOYS COACHING STAFF

Offensive Coaches Defensive Coaches Specialty Coaches
Jimmy Robinson
Asst. Head Coach/Wide Receivers
Monte Kiffin
Defensive Coordinator
Mike Woicik
Strength and Conditioning
To Be Determined
Tight Ends/Passing Game Coord.
Jerome Henderson
Secondary
Chris Boniol
Assistant Special Teams/ Kickers
Wade Wilson
Quarterbacks
Matt Eberflus
Linebackers
Brett Bech
Assistant Strength and Conditioning
Bill Callahan
Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line
Rod Marinelli
Defensive Line
Wes Phillips
Assistant Offensive Line
Ben Bloom
Quality Control/Linebackers
Keith O’Quinn
Off. Quality Control/Wide Receivers
Joe Baker
Assistant Secondary

This post has been revised. Please click HERE.

VIDEO: Meet the Dallas Cowboys Assistant Head Coach–Jimmy Robinson

Video - Dallas Cowboys Asst Head Coach Jimmy Robinson - The Boys Are Back blog

Robinson: Player Created Plays

Dallas Cowboys Assistant Head Coach/Wide Receivers coach Jimmy Robinson talks about how some of the "play created plays" that impacted the previous game against the Giants.

Beat Writers Recap: Dallas Cowboys vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Jimmy Robinson, Asst. Head Coach/Wide Receivers, with Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant (88), wide receiver Miles Austin (19) and wide receiver Laurent Robinson (81) on the bench in the second quarter.

Star-Telegram/Paul Moseley

Jimmy Robinson, Asst. Head Coach/Wide Receivers, with Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant (88), wide receiver Miles Austin (19) and wide receiver Laurent Robinson (81) on the bench in the second quarter.


The Cowboys finished their 15th game of the season with a 20-7 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles at Cowboys Stadium on Saturday afternoon. We review the game in our weekly Beat Writers Recap.

  • If the Cowboys-Eagles game told us anything it’s that Stephen McGee is not ready to become a full-time No. 2 quarterback behind Tony Romo. McGee’s line on Saturday: 24-of-38 for 182 yards with one touchdown, no interceptions and three sacks. McGee dumped off too many passes and just didn’t seem relaxed in the pocket. The Eagles’ pass rush had something to do with that of course, but there was this drive starting with 9:33 to play in the game that McGee could have used to prove something to the coaching staff. It started at the Cowboys’ 23 and ended when McGee tried to throw to Martellus Bennett in the end zone while missing an open Miles Austin. During the drive, McGee’s longest completed pass was a 15-yarder to third-string running back Chauncey Washington.
  • It was interesting that coach Jason Garrett didn’t sit some regular offensive starters, other than Felix Jones, in the late stages of the game. Yes, Garrett is trying to win and didn’t want to present a front that he didn’t care. Yet, there would have been nothing wrong with sitting Kyle Koiser (foot) and Laurent Robinson (shoulder) and maybe giving a few snaps to Jeremy Parnell at tackle with the game out of reach. One of the problems we have with Garrett’s decision making last year was his refusal to play young tackle Sam Young. At some point you need to find out if young players can play.
  • The more we watch defensive end Sean Lissemore, the more we like him. He finished with four tackles and has performed well with extended snaps with Josh Brent (knee) out. What the Cowboys do next year at end is an interesting debate. We believe Jason Hatcher will return, but we’re not sure about Kenyon Coleman and Marcus Spears coming back. In the Cowboys’ 3-4 scheme, it’s hard to judge the defensive ends on stats, because Coleman and Spears are asked to play the run. Spears has been more active than Coleman the last few weeks, though Coleman did have a tackle for loss on Saturday, his first since Thanksgiving.
  • Punter Mat McBriar had a nice day versus Philadelphia. Of his nine punts, he landed a season-high five inside the 20. He’s been bothered by nerve damage in his left (non-kicking) foot, which cost him one game this year. McBriar is still one of the best punters in the NFL, as evident by his effort at Arizona on Dec. 4 where he held the dangerous Patrick Peterson to just 1 return yard, but his health has bothered him at times in 2011.
  • Romo didn’t complete a pass Saturday, marking the first time in his career that’s ever happened. The main concern going forward with Romo regarding his bruised hand is the ability to grip the ball. If he struggles in that area, he will have difficulty passing and handing off. … With Kevin Ogletree (knee) being inactive for the Eagles game, you have to wonder about his own future. The Cowboys expected so much out of him, but Robinson surpassed him on the depth chart. … Good to see Dwayne Harris with a 51-yard kickoff return. He is running with confidence and might break one in the regular-season finale at the New York Giants.

Calvin Watkins | ESPN Dallas

SPECIAL FEATURE: Dallas Cowboys looking to plug exposed middle of offensive line by utilizing all of their offensive tools

IRVING — It happened in an instant. During the second quarter of the New York Giants’ 41-35 victory over Dallas in October 2010, linebacker Michael Boley flashed through a gap and slammed Tony Romo to the turf, fracturing the Cowboys quarterback’s left collarbone.

The impact of Boley’s devastating hit reverberated the rest of the season because Romo would never take another snap after being injured.

More than a year later, Cowboys coach Jason Garrett was asked to reflect on the collision that rocked the Cowboys’ universe in 2010.

"That’s a long time ago," Garrett said Friday. "That’s really not part of our concern right now."

Boley’s hit may no longer be on the Cowboys’ minds but what caused it to happen – poor pass protection – is.

"That’s one of the things we have to work on," said Cowboys offensive line coach Hudson Houck.

Last week, in Dallas’ 19-13 overtime loss to Arizona, the Cardinals were able to create sustained pressure by attacking the interior of the Cowboys’ line – just like Boley did when he blitzed up the middle a season ago.

Against Arizona, the Cowboys conceded five sacks – two of which were surrendered by center Phil Costa and right guard Kyle Kosier. The Cowboys are under the assumption the Giants, who have recorded 33 sacks, will copy the Cardinals’ plan.

"Whatever they throw at us, we’ve got to deal with it," left guard Montrae Holland said. "But we’re trying to solidify the middle."

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo working with a young, but improving, offensive line in 2011.

Star-Telegram/Max Faulkner

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo working with a young, but improving, offensive line in 2011.

.

The Fiammetta Factor:

The numbers don’t lie.

Running back DeMarco Murray rushed for a team record 601 yards in four games with fullback Tony Fiammetta leading the way.

With Fiammetta out the past three games with an illness, Murray has tallied 198 yards.

It goes without saying that Murray is excited to have Fiammetta back in the lineup for Sunday’s game against the Giants.

“He’s a hard working guy,” Murray said. “He does all the dirty work for me. I am very excited to have him back. I definitely I knew I wasn’t going to go for a 150 every game. I understand that. You are going to have ups and downs. You got to continue to get better, it’s all about the next game. But I’m feeling good about this week.”

Beginning this weekend, we’ll see how the Fiammetta Factor effects both DeMarco Murray and running back Felix Jones.

Continue reading →

COACH ROBINSON: No balls for Dez in the second half? That’s life in the NFL

Receivers coach Jimmy Robinson said if Dez Bryant isn’t getting much action in the second half, it’s not surprising in the NFL.

“I don’t think there’s any conspiracy going on, first of all, that we haven’t gotten him the ball as much as we’d like to or he’d like for us to,” Robinson said Thursday. “But this is the way it is in the National Football League, quite honestly. Some weeks you
get it a lot. Some weeks not as much. Sometimes it comes early. Sometimes it comes late. It doesn’t always come steady throughout the whole game. Sometimes it doesn’t come at all. And if you’re a receiver in the National Football League, you realize sometimes it rains, and sometimes it pours, and sometimes there’s a drought. It’s just the way it goes.”

Bryant caught four passes in the first half last week against New England but none in the second half. It was the third time in the four games Bryant has played this year that he hasn’t caught a pass in the second half.

Robinson said the Patriots didn’t try to double-team Bryant.

“I think teams do what they do most of the time,” he said. “If it happens that their coverage doubles him sometimes, then I don’t really honestly see an awful lot where they’re trying to do something to Dez and not to someone else. I think we have too many
weapons for them to try to do that. Some teams will try to double two guys. They can’t double everybody.”

The Boys Are Back comment: I think this article opens up a can of worms. When you have a hot hand, you stick with it until the other team stops it. I’m all for mixing it up and love it when we have completions to multiple receivers … but, if something’s working … stay with it. Dez and Austin are our “stretchers” … we need a reasonably steady dose of them downfield … going for the long ball (or the defensive pass interference). If Dez is hot … teams WILL double-team him. That’s one of the things we want … both Austin and Dez double-coverered! That opens up a tremendous opportunity for the other elements of the offense. If either are NOT double-teamed … we sure as hell ought to be throwing to them!!!

%d bloggers like this: