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News: Article: FWST - Cowboys' demise greatly exaggerated

Discussion in 'News Zone' started by MichaelWinicki, Sep 15, 2004.

  1. MichaelWinicki

    MichaelWinicki "You want some?" Staff Member

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    Cowboys' demise greatly exaggerated

    By Gil LeBreton

    Star-Telegram Staff Writer


    I was there on the day that my hometown NFL team lost its season opener -- at home, no less -- by the compelling score of 62-7.

    I was also there, in another NFL port, when the All-Pro quarterback, having rehabbed from a shoulder injury for 11 months, reinjured the shoulder in the first half of the season's first game.

    So don't tell me about season-opener disasters. Vikings and Daunte Culpepper 35, Cowboys 17, doesn't come close to qualifying as one.

    Yet a dark pall persists over Cowboys Nation. You have Season Opener Syndrome.

    High blood pressure. A bruised toe, from when you kicked the TV.

    But you'll get over it. Just drink plenty of fluids and stay away from watching any more Randy Moss.

    The big question mark going into last weekend's opener was what was going to happen to that old geezer, Vinny Testaverde. At age 40, against all published odds, Testaverde's first sack did not turn into another of those "I've fallen and I can't get up" commercials. On the contrary, his 355 passing yards says something.

    What, we don't know yet. And that's my point.

    "Listen, fellas, it's only one game," Cowboys coach Bill Parcells urged Monday.

    "Leave the funeral hearse in the garage for awhile."

    If last season's sudden turnaround taught you anything, it should be that on most NFL weekends, Parcells and his staff will win the battle of coaching wits.

    Coordinator Mike Zimmer managed to turn last season's bunch into one of the league's top defenses. The armchair jury needs to give him more time ... at least until Sunday.

    The Minnesota domed stadium, where the volume is always cranked up to 11, has never been a welcoming place for visiting NFL teams. Factor in the NFL First Sunday hype.

    Maybe some bad blood still left over from the Drew Pearson/Nate Wright play. And then add in Culpepper and Moss.

    A Cowboys victory would have been one of the opening weekend's more remarkable achievements.

    Nobody stops Moss. If Parcells and Zimmer were to be grilled about anything, it was: Why did they craft the defensive game plan around neutralizing him?

    Be careful what you game-plan for. The Cowboys held Moss to only four catches, but the man knows how to find the end zone.

    If you're going to play press coverage on Moss, as Cowboys cornerback Pete Hunter was assigned to do, you need long, strong, serpentine arms -- two or more -- to engage him at the line of scrimmage.

    Fearing that Hunter would need help, Zimmer also had safety Roy Williams assigned to provide it over the top.

    Somebody counted three blitzes by the Cowboys on Sunday. Three?

    A wise old coach once said that if you can't get to the quarterback by rushing four defenders, you'd better send five. And if you can't get to him with five, you'd better send six.

    Buddy Ryan said that. Or maybe it was Parcells?

    Culpepper not only seldom felt the Cowboys' pass rush Sunday; there was never a defender spying on him over the middle. When the quarterback needed or wanted to run, he ran.

    In recent seasons -- mostly since Charles Haley retired -- it's become fashionable to complain about the Cowboys not getting enough of a pass rush from their front four. The complaints now border on trite.

    Until the next Haley or Randy White comes along, the Cowboys' defense will need the blitz to pressure opposing quarterbacks. Any game plans that restrict that constitute the greater of two evils.

    Yes, they dearly miss veteran Darren Woodson, and likely will for the next month. Against the Vikings, they even missed Mario Edwards, who signed with Tampa Bay.

    But it was Randy Moss they were trying to cover. And Culpepper had all Sunday to find him, the tight end or any back coming out of the backfield.

    If you're glum, be reminded that the season-opener score wasn't 62-7. And Testaverde also survived his first test without leaving the stadium in traction.

    Like the coach said, call off the hearses.

    For at least, oh, another week.
  2. Sarge

    Sarge Happy Holidays Staff Member

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    Oh, I see. It's ok our secondary got torched because it was Randy Moss.

    Last I knew, if we ever wanted to be serious about any playoff run, Minnesota will more than likely included in that run.

    You can't just ignore the problems in our secondary like we have.

    Thanks for the article Winks and good morning.
  3. MichaelWinicki

    MichaelWinicki "You want some?" Staff Member

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    But you know Sarge I'm not doing any flips over our offense either. 17 points on the Vikes is about like scoring 8 on everyone else. Lest I say I'm not overly impressed--yet. Inflated passing yardage without scores is meaningless.
  4. Sarge

    Sarge Happy Holidays Staff Member

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    Agreed. But the mere fact that QC is gone leaves me with hope. Not a jab at QC, (well, I guess it is) but he was not the answer.

    The whole team, offense and defense is a ways off, but for me, there is slight light at the end of the tunnel just by that one subtraction.
  5. Cbz40

    Cbz40 The Grand Poobah

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    Both of you are nothing but a bunch of knee jerkers........ :p


    Good morning Michael

    Good morning Sarge
  6. MichaelWinicki

    MichaelWinicki "You want some?" Staff Member

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    Morning Pops...

    BTW it's my knee and I'll jerk it whenever I want too! :D
  7. phdefense

    phdefense New Member

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    Is it inconceivable that our secondary might improve through play as the season goes on? I think one game is not sufficient enough to determine if Wiley and the DL can generate a pass rush either. You think the Patriots are in panic mode about their defense?(400 yards,200 rushing) And you need to watch the game again. We was getting a push early and they went max protect.
  8. crazylegs

    crazylegs Benched

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    The writer must of created that post with the bedsheets over his head.

    [IMG]
  9. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    "Listen, fellas, it's only one game," Cowboys coach Bill Parcells urged Monday.

    "Leave the funeral hearse in the garage for awhile."

    Bill sad to say we already have some idiots throwing dirt on the grave.
  10. slick325

    slick325 Well-Known Member

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    There is no way to better exploit a weak secondary but by going max protect, or using rollouts or quick drops. These moves nullify a pass rush and force CB's to play up and if BOTH corners can't press then it's school yard football, I pitch you catch. If the weak one presses and gets beat then you go over his head for six. The genius Bill Walsh and his West Coast offense is the reason you must over pay for DB's now. West Coast offenses use short drops, rollouts, max protect, screens and draws to make a DL think and force corners up on the line. By the way, Cleveland runs one of these offenses. We need to press cover anyway and force Garcia to go up top on us a few times instead of letting him throw short routes for 6yd gains all game. T.O. said Garcia doesn't have a strong arm so lets see what he's got.

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