Posted: 5:00 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013
Tony Romo wins FedEx Air Player of the week award - Nick Eatman, DallasCowboys.com
Fans this week voted for Romo ahead of Manning and Drew Brees for the FedEx Air & Ground Players of the Week award. Kansas City’s Jamaal Charles won the "Ground" award.
Containing Tony Romo can be tricky, as Redskins have learned - John Keim, ESPN Washington
The Redskins are worried about Romo's ability to move around inside (and outside) the pocket to keep plays alive.
"He's probably as good as I've seen, a guy that can stay alive in the pocket," Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said, "scramble, move side to side, left to right, both sides, and step up and have the ability to still clear the field, look downfield and complete passes. He's probably as good as I've ever seen do that."
As they should be.
Mike Shanahan: "Romo's Got A Good Feel" - Redskins.com
At his Friday press conference, Mike Shanahan talked about Tony Romo's ability to move inside the pocket and extend plays.
[Romo’s] got a good feel for when to bail out. A lot of quarterbacks will take off too quick. He’s got a good feel for when to throw the ball down the field, reading different coverages, and when it does get a little tight and he can’t step up, he has a good feel for when to slide or when to bail out. A lot of guys just bail out all the time. Some guys will step up like he does quite a bit and attack the line of scrimmage – and still throw the ball down the field. With his experience and his expertise, he’s been able to do both, which really causes defenses problems.
A lot of guys take off and run and they don’t look down the field. What Tony is able to do is buy some time and throw the football right before he hits the line of scrimmage.
Ranking the 2013 Cowboys Offensive Line - Pro Football Focus
In a ranking of all offensive lines through Week 5, PFF ranks the Cowboys O-line No. 3 overall with a cumulative grade of +23.9.
Summary: They made a bold move in bringing in Brian Waters and it appears to be paying off. Of course that wasn’t the only bold move they made, with first-round pick Travis Frederick justifying the faith in him.
Stephen Jones: Monte Kiffin’s defensive scheme is going to work; ‘It’s going to improve’ - Jon Machota, DMN
Stephen Jones still has confidence in the new defensive scheme despite the early struggles.
"I do believe this scheme is going to work. I think it’s going to create turnovers. I think the guys are playing hard for Monte and Rod Marinelli and the rest of the defensive staff. I think it’s going to improve. I don’t think it’s about not having the dogs. Certainly not going to make any excuses when it comes to injuries, but we really do have some really skilled players on our defense that I think are only going to improve."
"I think when you look at the full body of work, we’re still going to be very pleased with the transition from the 3-4 to the 4-3."
Cowboys need to handle Redskins blitz - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
Jason Witten remembers Redskins DC Jim Haslett's propensity for blitzing all too well:
"You go back a couple of years ago, when the game was on the line, I think it was a third-and-23 and he still brought the house," tight end Jason Witten said. "That’s the mentality of the way that defense plays. They bring pressure, they have success bringing pressure and they bring pressure with a lot of different guys. It’s not just all (Brian) Orakpo and (Ryan) Kerrigan. They bring it with secondary players and corners. Just stay on top of it and be alert so that you can have answers when they do bring it."
Key Matchup to watch: Dallas LB Sean Lee vs. Washington RB Alfred Morris - Rainer Sabin, DMN
Lee, who leads the Cowboys with 65 tackles, will have to "hunt down" Morris for the Cowboys to control the Redskins tonight.
Travis Frederick is top run-blocking center - Pro Football Focus
PFF's premium content grading says that after five weeks, Cowboys first round pick Travis Frederick is by far the best run-blocking center in the league, grading out a cumulative +7.3. The next best run-blocker is Chris Myers with +5.0. Frederick has a negative pass-blocking grade which pulls him down to rank #6 overall among centers. (Hat tip scottmaui)
Larry Allen to receive his Hall of Fame ring during halftime ceremony Sunday - Star-Telegram
It may be worth sticking around at halftime on Sunday.
Pondering the 46: All 5 WRs active - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
Archer thinks that the Cowboys will activate all five wide receivers for only the second time this season, and believes the they'll opt for nine defensive linemen over eight offensive linemen.
Mike Shanahan: 'Dallas Cowboys keep teams off balance' - Sports Mole
Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan says that the Dallas Cowboys can keep their opponents off balance.
"They do so many things," the Redskins head coach told reporters. "They go slot. They go base. They'll go different personnel groups. Like most NFL teams, they'll try to keep you off balance. They'll try to get matchups or mismatches working up your personnel."
Redskin' defensive priority is still to stop the run - CSN Washington
Jim Haslett believes that the chances of the defense benefitting from mistakes by the other team increase when they have to throw the ball.
"If somebody is running the ball and you don't have an answer for it, it's a long day. And you're doing both? It's a long day," said Haslett. "So at least in the passing game we get turnovers, you get a chance to get sacks, fumbles."
Frisco to vote on architectural firm for Dallas Cowboys training facility - Valerie Wigglesworth, DMN
Meanwhile, over in Frisco, things are moving along crisply on the Cowboys’ new indoor practice facility, which is expected to be completed July 31, 2016. The Frisco City Council is expected to approve the hiring of M. Arthur Gensler Jr. & Associates Inc. as the architects for the new facility. Gensler’s sports-related architectural projects, include the Detroit Lions headquarters and training facility (view neat 3D pictures of the facility here) and other projects listed on the company's website.
Cool visualization of how NFL team salaries are allocated by position - theguardian.com
The Guardian visualizes where teams choose to spend their money money: The Eagles for example have the most expensive offense, while the 0-6 Giants spend the fifth most on their offense. On defense, the Bengals and the 0-4 Steelers lead the list. The Cowboys rank 17th on defense and 21st on offense. (Hat tip FITAT via ANS)
Eye marks: Coaches grade Packers on weekly performance
Interesting read on how the Green Bay Packers have developed and enhanced a grading system that they’ve been using for years that takes all of the guesswork out of individual performances and puts them on a chart.
Research shows that the more NFL fans tweet, the more likely their team loses - CBSSports.com
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University found that 'if fans are tweeting a lot more about their team leading up to the game, they're probably going to lose.' In related news, the Giants and Steelers, a combined 0-10 on the season, are well-represented on Twitter.