Friday, December 31, 2021

The Cowboys defense now faces the difficult Kyler Murray test: Pregame riffing

 We have been waiting on this one for quite a while. This was billed as potentially a game of the year for the Cowboys where they might need to get it to secure a spot in the playoffs or a chance to win the NFC East.

Thursday, December 30, 2021

The Cowboys dial up more pressure as the sacks and turnovers continue to stack up: Dan Quinn report

 The Cowboys defense is currently in uncharted waters. We don’t know how to process this.

As we head into Week 17 with a mighty challenge lurking — and obviously many bigger ones on the horizon — Dallas welcomes the new year with the unthinkable No. 1 ranking in the NFL in takeaways.

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

The Cowboys get right on offense by strong strategic mauling of Washington: Decoding Kellen Moore

 Since the start of November, the journey for this Cowboys offense has been a bit of a struggle. We have evaluated a number of elements that range from the health of a calf muscle, the relative blocking prowess of a tight end who doesn’t really ever block, a debate whether a marginal roster player is actually better than a $50 million right tackle, thoughts that the TCU job might be distracting the offensive coordinator and about a thousand other half-baked premises.

Monday, December 27, 2021

Cowboys get their full groove back in easy rout of old rival: Sturm’s Morning After

 There used to be times around here when the local football team would ruin the holidays with incredible consistency. It was obviously unintentional, but usually from Thanksgiving until New Year’s Day, the optimism train would derail and run into the side of a tunnel at such speeds that there would be no recovery. A season that built promise would then crush it in what most would claim was “the hap-happiest season of all.”

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

DeMarcus Lawrence is back and as dangerous as ever. Dan Quinn’s defense has leveled up

 “Y’all know me, still the same O.G. but I been low-key” — Dr. Dre

To steal a lyric that plays in my head just about every time I see DeMarcus Lawrence doing what he does since his return, I suspect some of you have forgotten about Tank.

Lawrence is back and he is wrecking things. There was a play early in this game in New Jersey on Sunday that demonstrates what this all means. You see, Lawrence is one of the most productive defensive edges in the NFL in the past five years even though his own fan base often questions his quality. This, of course, is all the more remarkable when you consider that he has never really had much help with him.

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Cowboys’ win in New York is nice, but the offense needs to be much better: Decoding Kellen Moore

 The object of this Tuesday series which we have been doing for more than a decade is to break down the offense in such a way where we can define what the Cowboys are trying to accomplish and evaluate how well they are doing that. Basically to establish what the offense alone is doing to help or hurt the team.

Often, we can go in different directions each week and break things down from a 30,000-foot view of it all.

Monday, December 20, 2021

The Cowboys get the job done, while a few teams above them did not: The Morning After

 At the risk of being a broken record, allow me to take you down an important road that is required after Week 15 in the NFL’s Sunday slate came to a close.

For many years, I have also covered the National Hockey League. In fact, there is a pretty good chance that I covered the NHL for a longer amount of time than the NFL — even though I am old enough that both span a few decades now.

Friday, December 17, 2021

How close is Micah Parsons to Defensive Player of the Year? Cowboys pregame riffing

 Thanks to COVID-19 and any additional variants that have complicated the football weekend, hopefully you can understand my reluctance to get too carried away about specifics regarding the game. In digging through the Giants news, it seems incredibly difficult to suggest who will be playing and who will not.

We will do our best, but both the texts and visual aids of this Friday tradition, you might see some things that are affected with late-breaking availability news. Please offer us a fair amount of latitude to offer our educated guesses.

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Sometimes, you have special players making plays that defy X’s and O’s. The Cowboys did: Dan Quinn Report

 We love revisionist history when it means good things have happened. When the pregame chatter of what Washington’s offense can do to you turns out to be a false alarm and by halftime you are wondering how the WFT ever strung together four straight wins — including a win over the Super Bowl champions — you will take it every time.

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

What on earth happened to the Cowboys offense and Dak Prescott? Decoding Kellen Moore

 Family meeting time. We need to have a dialogue about Dak Prescott.

This isn’t about fueling the haters and the folks who love nothing more than Dallas in a funk. It is about acknowledging an issue and then trying to trace back to the source of it so we can gain an understanding.

Monday, December 13, 2021

Winning ugly in Washington and the full power of the Cowboys roster shows: The Morning After

 Lost in the emotion of a fourth quarter that was much more stressful than it needed to be was the fact that some thought this team might not be able to get in and out of Washington with the win.

Friday, December 10, 2021

Walking into Washington with confidence. It’s prove-it time: Cowboys pregame riffing

 This is a big one. Very big.

With a two-game advantage on Washington, Dallas has a nice lead — but certainly not one that is secured. Lose this game Sunday and suddenly the Cowboys’ lead is just one and they would also not hold the tiebreaker, by virtue of the head-to-head loss.

Wednesday, December 08, 2021

Defense sparked by the return of Tank and another great Micah Parsons moment: Dan Quinn Report

 Make no mistake, last Thursday will not win awards for the finest defensive performance of 2021. You can’t give up 400-plus yards to a team of understudies and feel too good about yourself. Not when you give up nine yards a carry to a QB who is having a hard time completing a pass. Not when you cannot really find a running back or wide receiver who should stress your defense at all. At some point, you needed someone to step up and make a play.

Friday, December 03, 2021

Cowboys get the result they needed, but style points missing: The Morning After

 We learned a long time ago that this league does not award style points and its a good thing, because the Cowboys would have had a hard time collecting them for most of their Week 13 win in New Orleans.

That said, the mission was to go into New Orleans and leave with a highly desired win to steady a ship that has been anything but. While the prettiness can and will be debated on this day, that is the important objective. The Cowboys had to have their eighth win of the season and as we check the standings, they got it.

Thursday, December 02, 2021

The Cowboys visit New Orleans in desperate need of a win: Thursday pregame riffing

 There was a time — not so long ago — when Sean Payton was that year’s version of Kellen Moore. The young hotshot assistant and offensive mastermind who was going to take over the coaching world as his own boss soon and what if he didn’t do it here?

Wednesday, December 01, 2021

Dan Quinn was stubborn with his coverage calls for the Cowboys and that made the Raiders thankful

 This week, the NFL will surpass 17,000 games in the history of the most popular league in our society. The league seems to have popularity that knows no bounds and where the outcomes are always full of drama.

But on Thanksgiving, we nearly saw something that had never been seen in any of those 17,000 previous games played.