September 1, 2006 ---
No, I Don't Want To Cut Mike Vanderjagt
He is not on my favorite player list right now, but cutting him is the wrong decision. First let me preface my next set of comments by telling you I am not making excuses for him in any manner here, the guy shanked two kicks very badly! But I want to point out these things and see how they sound to everyone. His first kick was dead on and he looked fine when he kicked the ball. Then he kicks off and on that play he had to run up the sideline to push the kick returner out of bounds. At that point maybe the groin isn't feeling that great. Then he kicks the extra point and gets undercut by one of the Vikes rushers. So at that point maybe the groin really isn't feeling too good. So he comes out for the first chip shot and tries to aim it and blows the kick. He has to be feeling like a schmuck now. The reason he was brought to Dallas was to win games and he can't kick a simple chip shot field goal. Then he gets another shot to win the game and mentally he is all out of sorts and at the same time his groin may be tweaked just a little bit. These are all ingredients for the disaster which is now the lead story on Sportscenter. All of this doesn't change the fact that he 'dropped the ball' when the team needed him the most, but I still say give him more time and see what happens.
Sam Hurd and Jamaica Rector Are Locks To Be On This Team
Hurd and Rector probably felt pretty good about their chances of making the team before this game began. When it was over I think they were immediately assigned permanent lockers. There are always preseason wonders for every team, but the Cowboys never expected these two young guys to play this well. Hurd comes in as an undrafted rookie and literally snatches a roster spot. Rector has been hanging around the team for a few seasons and after working his tail off is finally getting some notice from the coaching staff. All of us Cowboy fans should be excited and proud that these two guys are going to be Dallas Cowboys this season.
We Have Two Very Solid Quarterbacks
Drew Bledsoe is going to provide this team the opportunity to win each and every game this season. He looks a lot more comfortable in getting rid of the ball earlier this time around. Last year he seemed to be looking for the big play too often which led to some sacks. I don't think we are going to see that from him this season. Tony Romo has come out in this training camp and put his name on the map. He looks like he has been playing for a few seasons in this league even though he has yet to throw a regular season pass in his brief career. Signing him to an extension was a good move by the Cowboys. If he can eliminate some of the 'mad bomber' passes like the one he threw in overtime he can be the future in Dallas.
Offensive Line Started Slow In the Running Game
Julius Jones will not be buying any of the offensive lineman dinner this week. There were no holes opened up for him when he got his chances to run the football. The Vikes do have a solid defensive front and sometimes you have to give the other team a little credit. With that said I would hope the offensive line sees the film on this and can learn from it somehow. Julius Jones will need a few holes to run through against the Jaguars on September 10th.
Jason Witten and Anthony Fasano look like twins on the field, Andre Gurode did not have his best game but he will be the starting Center, Terrance Copper had a few nice grabs, T.O. is a very big receiver, Petitti looks better as a Left Tackle than he does as a Right Tackle, I would choose Lousaka Polite over Tony Curtis if it came down to it, Patrick Crayton looks ready to go and I have no idea who stays and who goes on the offensive line.
Pat Watkins was at fault on that TD pass not Terence Newman, Abram Elam is a player, Greg Ellis is good at rushing the passer but so so in covering a running back, Bradie James better not be injured too badly, Demarcus Ware is ready to hit the big time, Anthony Henry had good coverage on that long pass play but the throw was just perfectly placed, Bobby Carpenter is still adjusting to the NFL and that's not a bad thing, good to hear Chris Canty's name called by the announcers and this unit needs to work on their 3rd down defense.
Special Teams Thoughts...
Skyler Green wouldn't make the team if it was up to me, Shaun Suisham will be on the roster on September 10th, Keith Davis is still a great special teams player, Oliver Hoyte is a good special teams player but that might not be enough to earn him a job, Tyson Thompson may break one this season and Vandy won't be cut.