THOUGHTS ON COWBOYS FIRST GAME
By mark rogers
August 15, 2009
It drives me crazy when people look at a final score of a pre-season game without even watching the game and say, "oh man, we're terrible." Makes no sense.
The Cowboys starters were in the game as a complete unit for basically two series.
The first one started inside the 10 and was just terrible. Blame it on first game jitters.
However, the second series was a thing of beauty. We looked unstoppable. And I love Marion Barber with all my heart, but Felix Jones is the key to my predicted 12-4 season.
When he's in the game, we're a force to be reckoned with. He opens up the passing game and gives the offense a speed threat out of the backfield we haven't had since Tony Dorsett.
Let Barber start. Let him score TDs. But unless Jones touches the ball 15-20 times per game, we will not reach our potential...period.
Tony Romo looked sharp on the TD pass to Jason Witten. He scrambled, dodged and weaved until he found a nearly impossible window and threw it to the only place Witten could have grabbed it. No sweat. That's what he does.
Martellus Bennett (or Marty B as he calls himself) is going to be a force as well. Oakland defenders were bounding off him like he was made of one of those big inflatable castle things. He should have a huge year.
And when Witten and Bennett line up on the same side right off the offensive tackle? That's a tough assignment for any defense. A plethora of offensive possibilities.
Our goal line offense looked pretty strong as well. Barbers TD was called back due to a meaningless holding call, but Leonard Davis and Marco Columbo pushing forward with Deon Anderson leading the way for Barber? Good luck stopping that freight train of mean-man-muscle. I could score behind that wall of man-monster.
On the defensive side, there was really one thing that stood out to me: Jay Ratliff.
I know he made the Pro Bowl last year, but this kid is unbelievable. And he'll never get the credit he deserves because no one keys in on just the nose tackle on every play. If you want to see how to play defensive line, that's exactly what you should do...just watch Ratliff.
One-on-one, he is unblockable. He made a few plays that you may have noticed, but if you go back and watch him on the plays that he doesn't make? No one on the Oakland line could stop him by himself. He was double and triple teamed the whole time he was in there, which is what every team we play will have to do. And that will open up lanes for our ends and inside linebackers to step up and make plays.
Ratliff is the key to our defense. If he gets hurt...it's all over.
Of course I noticed DeMarcus Ware in all his ridiculously awesome glory...but that's to be expected. He should have another big year.
I was impressed with Anthony Spencer in pass coverage and Victor Butler showed signs of being a solid linebacker one of these days.
Jaison Williams just looked totally lost most of the time. Poor guy. To be expected though. he's learning a new position.
Nothing else really surprised me or stood out.
I expected Romo and Roy Williams to click, which they did on a couple of plays. I expected Marion Barber to run hard. I expected penalties on special teams. I expected a few dropped passes.
That all just comes with being the first pre-season game.
I'm sticking to my guns and still saying we're going 12-4 and will make it to at least the NFC Championship game.
But there are two keys to our team: Felix Jones and Jay Ratliff.
If those two guys stay healthy and produce. 9th Super Bowl appearance...here we come.
I feel sorry for Houston Texan fans...they think there are two NFL teams in Texas. Poor things.
« COWBOYS CLIFFS NOTES