Monday, September 11, 2006

Week 1: Jaguars 24, Cowboys 17 (0-1)

Mondays during the Cowboys’ season this space on the web will be a ton of Cowboys discussion and analysis, but fewer links than the normal day. So, let’s get started:

Random Observations from Jacksonville 24, Dallas 17:

- Be Honest: 99% of us had never heard of Paul Spicer before this week. Last year he had 8 sacks for the Jaguars, and has been in Jacksonville since 2000. I did not know the guy from Adam. Well, guess what. Flozell Adams now knows his name. The utter domination by the Jaguars DL was impressive, but in my opinion Spicer’s beating of Adams leads us to assume 2 things: 1) Spicer is good. 2) Adams is struggling still.

- The Cowboys problems can be traced back to their turnovers. And the turnovers must be traced back to the QB, Drew Bledsoe. Bledsoe was under duress all afternoon, but he still has to make composed decisions. He was terrible. At the worst time yesterday, he locked on to Terry Glenn for way too long, and former Giants LB Nick Greisen stepped right in the path for an easy interception. Bledsoe is a player that makes interceptions when he tries to do too much. (Actually, almost every interception thrown in the NFL is the result of a QB trying to do too much). They must take care of the ball, and 3 giveaways on the road against an opponent of that caliber is death.

- Nothing gives ammunition to disgruntled fans like play-calling issues. Why did the Cowboys have 10 points in the first quarter; nothing for the next 48 minutes – and then march right down the field when it was too late for a consolation touchdown? Was it play calling? Was it being conservative for the expressed purpose of keeping the QB out of situations where he wants to do too much? I tend to think it was to keep Bledsoe from getting killed by the pass rush, but regardless – 10 points doesn’t win at any level of football.

- I am one of the people that thought the Cowboys defense could be dominant this season. That is lofty praise, right? I thought they could get stops and win games on their own. It is only one game, but when you get to the 4th Quarter at 10-10, I really don’t think a dominant defense allows Jacksonville to drive 74 yards in 11 plays and then 60 yards in 5 plays for two touchdowns when the game is on the line. Suddenly, Anthony Henry and Terrence Newman are repeatedly beaten; one time Newman was turned all the way around by Reggie Williams. When it was time to get stops, this Cowboys defense was hardly dominant.

- I said this all week: the worst time to play Jacksonville is Week 1. Their fragile QB and fragile RB will both be healthy and raring to go. It looked like Fred Taylor was 25 again.

- Why can’t Jacksonville sell out its stadium?

- Nothing can replace the adrenaline rush in my life of a great battle in the NFL. I missed it so much. Welcome back sweet NFL. Of course, I much prefer winning.

- Terrell Owens is amazing. He does not appear to be in shape, and he doesn’t appear to be in concert with his QB yet. And still, he had a huge impact on the game. I think the coaching staff would be wise to figure out how to use him early and often, because nobody can defend him man to man.

- It is only the first weekend of the season, but I am already tired of the coach who half-heartedly throws his little red challenge flag right before the ball is snapped and then blames the refs for not watching his fat rear rather than that play that is happening right in front of their eyes. Look, Bill, if you want a challenge, hit a ref in the side of the head and you will get their attention.

- Roy Williams: Plenty of good, plenty of bad.

- Byron Leftwich’s 2nd half had to impress you. His ability to throw fast balls on the money and leave the Cowboys DBs frustrated is not something I thought could happen. He got better as the game went on, and was surely the better QB on the field by virtue of minimizing his mistakes as the game went on. Of course, it should be noted that besides DeMarcus Ware, the Cowboys pass rush was extremely rare.

- The game turned on a Bledsoe pass in the first half, but it wasn’t an interception. It actually happened early in the game when on the same drive, Bledsoe and Owens missed twice on a chance to score touchdowns. The first pass was so underthrown that Owens actually drew a pass interference call on Rashean Mathis. The 2nd was poorly overthrown at the 10 yard line. You certainly would love to wonder if Owens and Bledsoe had worked together in the preseason more if they would have their timing down better. But, as it stands, Bledsoe missed him terribly twice. And that changed the game, because the offense went into hibernation for the next 3 quarters.

- Rashean Mathis is quality. In the pregame show, Larry Brown was trying to sell me on Mathis being a top corner in the league. I am now a believer. Not sure where exactly he rates, but a top 10 CB in the league rating seems reasonable.

- Julius Jones looked pretty solid. I need to see plenty more from him, but he ran better than I thought in week 1.

- Admit it. When Shaun Suisham hit the upright completely flush, you knew it wasn’t going to end well.

- Overall, let’s simmer down on our knee-jerks. 1 game is just 1 game. Surely, we must let them play 3 or 4 games before we jump to conclusions. Spank Washington this week, and it is all good. Losing to a 12-4 team on the road is not something that should shipwreck your season.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Maybe we just ain't that good.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget 93 yards of penalties didn't help things either.

Anonymous said...

Is Roy Williams the most overrated player in the league? He makes decisions that are dumber than Bledsoe's.

ChozSun said...

I think I am the biggest Cowboys homer but I couldn't wrap my mind around what the local and national media were saying: that the Cowboys were going to be good.

Of course, yesterday's game could come down to a injury. We will have to wait and see.

Anonymous said...

Disclaimer: I am in no way blaming the Cowboys loss on the officiating. I'm always of the opinion you should look inwards for reasons why you lose as opposed to outward.

That having been said...

"It is only the first weekend of the season, but I am already tired of the coach who half-heartedly throws his little red challenge flag right before the ball is snapped and then blames the refs for not watching his fat rear rather than that play that is happening right in front of their eyes. Look, Bill, if you want a challenge, hit a ref in the side of the head and you will get their attention."

Point well taken, Bob. On the flip side, would it kill the NFL to hire an official either on the field or up in the booth whose lone duty is to watch for the challenge flags and alert the refs?

Point being, the refs shouldn't be in a position where they're keeping one eye on the action at the snap of the next play and one eye on the coaches to see if they're going to challenge the play. And I don't blame the refs in the Pittsburgh-Miami game or in yesterday's Jacksonville-Dallas game for what happened. They were simply doing their jobs.

The replays Thursday night and yesterday show that both coaches got the challenge flags before the snap of the next play. And hasn't the NFL established that's all they need to do to challenge a play?

Anonymous said...

It may not be as bad as it could be, but Bob, you are a blooming idiot if you aren't really worried about this team.

You go on the road and play like crap against a team from a Tier 2 conference? Are you kidding me!! We got an even tougher game next week!!

Oh sorry, I was talking about Tech beating UTEP in OT...our kicker actually MAKES field goals.

Vanderwhatever is going to be a thorn in Bill's side all year. Not only does he not deliver, he's a Prima Donna.....a bad combo for staying Dwayne's good side.

One more thing...please dear God cancel the Drew Bledsoe show. BaD Radio is cursed I tell you...CURSED!!!

Andy Douthitt said...

Some observations from yesterday.

Don't forget that we played a very good AFC team.

Roy Williams does not play like a seasoned veteran. He plays reckless and stupid. Charlie Waters was a far better safety than Roy Williams.

T.O. is an absolute stud. I'm glad that he wears a Cowboy uniform now.

Bledsoe played his worst game as a Cowboy yesterday. Wow. No more of that crap from him.

Let's beat Washington next week and move this thing forward.

Anonymous said...

The real story is that our supposed top 5 defense gave up 24 points to freaking Jacksonville. That should be the biggest story.

Anonymous said...

You can't hit people helmet to helmet and you can't hit people hemlet to shoulder pads. So how exactly how are you supposed to hit people anymore.

Anonymous said...

Roy Williams is a hitter, and thats it. He cant tackle, and he can't cover. He is a missle that locks onto target way too soon and can't change his course. Look at the late hit on the Jags QB or his miss on the run blitz in the 4th. Its about fundamentals, and he doesn't have them. Big hit yes. Fundamentals, no.

Anonymous said...

Bledsoe is hurt. He has to be. Did you see his mechanics on some of those 2nd half throws? He was completely twisting the right side of his body forward to be able to get any zip on the ball. His right foot was in front of the left as he released the ball.

He was spotted "stretching out his back" on the sideline and even taking practice throws. If that's the case, the coaches knew he was hurt and left him in. Why? To avoid the dreaded QB Controversy? That's effin' smart.....

There's gonna be alot of sore knees in the D/FW this week.


Fake Sturm said...

Roys stat line:
3 Tackles
2 Passes deflected
1 Interception

I will take that every week. His one mistake was nailing Leftwich with the crown of his helmet. His pass coverage was very good yesterday, you people are just bitching about Roy because its the popular thing to do here in Dallas. There were plenty of worse things yesterday than the play of Roy Williams.

Anonymous said...

Why are crickets chirping whorns???

Anonymous said...

There are days to complain about Roy Williams, like after last year's Giants game. Today isn't one of those days.

The only 2 people that can stop T.O. is Bledsoe and Parcells.
They don't have to go to him every play, but at least more than they did in the 3rd quarter.

And if your going to run, why run in between the tackles?
Rivera, Gurode, Kosier vs. Henderson, Stoud, Peterson

Anonymous said...

This was a summary of last year...
Kicking sucks
Drew can look like good, and then kill you with stupid plays
Julius Jones is all sound and fury, but disappears down the stretch (tell the truth, weren't you a little surprised that he didn't tweak his back/ankle/spleen on that TD run?)
This vaulted defense (the new doomsday?!?) can't stop anyone when it really counts
Roy really wanted to make the week one highlight reel
and now you've got T.O.--the best wide receiver in the game (really!), how many more Jason Whitten bumps and Drew Bledsoe screw-ups is it going to take for him to turn on his "team"?

Anyway, now that the kool-aid has been vomited back up, can we tap the brakes on this "playoff calibur" team? 8-8 maybe.


Anonymous said...

The only thing I will concede after yesterday is that we will now be going 15-1.

Unknown said...

julius can't make anyone miss. but the line isn't absolved of blame. how is it a team can pass block pretty well, but suck at run blocking?

i think T New is just fine. it seemed like the jaguars schemed more and more as the game went on and found holes.

i don't want any QB controversy yet. but if bledsoe stays hurt or just isn't any good for another 5 weeks, i'd support a Tony Romo Show on wednesdays.

Anonymous said...

mcbriar was the only bright spot yesterday. man he was great.