Tag Archives: kickoff

And that’s why they play the game

Corey Graham accepts charity from Peyton Manning

Almost everyone (including me) thought that the Baltimore Ravens didn’t have a chance against the Denver Broncos. Denver was on a roll. Baltimore just didn’t look good. I don’t think that even fans in Baltimore are totally sold on Joe Flacco. Ray Rice didn’t seem to be as dominant as he had been in the past… but that’s why they play the game.

I’m not sure that anyone would have guessed that the Ravens would give up a punt return for a touchdown and a kickoff for a touchdown. Advantage Broncos. Continue reading And that’s why they play the game

Don’t let the Philadelphia Eagle game fool you, the Dallas Cowboys still have plenty of issues

The Dallas Cowboys traveled to Philadelphia yesterday. Both the Philadelphia Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys are licking their wounds. Neither team was playing well. Both teams had huge problems on their offensive lines. Both Tony Romo and Michael Vick have been turning the ball over so frequently you have to wonder if there are bonus incentives in the contract to do just that. In my mind, the question wasn’t who was going to win this game. The question was who wasn’t going to lose.

Going into this game, I was highly critical of the Dallas Cowboys special teams. They’ve been especially awful. On Sunday, they turned in a mixed performance. DeWayne Harris ran back a punt. The special teams made a positive play, a welcome surprise. Brad Sham, long-time voice of the Cowboys, said that the Cowboys were first in the league at covering punts. Okay. That’s probably exactly right. Sham is rarely wrong, but we continually have kick returners fumbling the ball. On Sunday, it was no exception. Right after the defense gave up a cheap touchdown to Jeremy Macklin, Dunbar fumbled the subsequent kickoff. The Cowboys were lucky and were able to recover it. We simply can’t have that. Our punter shanked not one, but two punts. That’s not winning football.

Our number one draft choice, Morris Claiborne, was singed last week by Roddy White and Julio Jones. One would figure that he would try to make up for last week’s performance by playing a solid game this week. You would be wrong. Claiborne committed six penalties! Offsides and defensive holding were his specialties. Offsides? Seriously? I don’t get it. Continue reading Don’t let the Philadelphia Eagle game fool you, the Dallas Cowboys still have plenty of issues

More on the Cowboys' loss

(Part 1 of this summary) If you look at the box score, the Cowboys seem to have played a halfway decent game against the Arizona Cardinals. But if you look more closely at the game, you know, just as I know, that the Cowboys looked terrible. This is not to take anything away from the Arizona Cardinals and Kurt Warner.

Our offensive line has not looked this bad in four or five years. The Arizona Cardinals look like the blitzing defense of the Philadelphia Eagles. There were men coming up the middle. There were men collapsing the pockets from the sides. At no point during the game did it appear that we had a handle on their blitz packages. We did not run the ball very well. We did not throw the ball very well.

This was the worst outing of our special teams in maybe a decade. A kickoff returned for a touchdown. A missed 39-yard field goal. A blocked punt recovered for a touchdown. I’m not sure that the special teams could have had a worse day.

Our defense played fairly well for the first half of the game. They contained the run. They forced the Arizona Cardinals into second and third downs with five or more to go. This all evaporated in the third quarter. The Cardinals had two drives — 11 plays, 60 yards in four minutes and 50 seconds; eight plays, 89 yards in just under five minutes. Larry Fitzgerald’s third-quarter touchdown was an embarrassment. This was the exact same play that was run against us last week. It was a scissor play or a pic play run by the two outside receivers. The coaching staff anticipated the play and double covered Larry Fitzgerald.  Yet we didn’t execute. Touchdown! Not really forgivable.

The cost of losing this game seems to be getting higher by the hour. Tony Romo has broken a finger on his throwing hand and will be out for at least four weeks. Matt McBriar broke a bone in his foot and probably will not be available to punt for 6-8 weeks. Felix Jones, our good-looking rookie, is out for at least two weeks with a deep thigh bruise.

Maybe this was the best thing that could have happened to the Dallas Cowboys. Maybe they can start playing with some emotion and some focus. Brad Johnson is a very capable quarterback but he is immobile. The offensive line has got to do better. Everyone has got to step up and begin to play together as a team or the Dallas Cowboys can forget going deep into the playoffs. Right now the Dallas Cowboys are in trouble. They need everyone to step up.  The coaches and the players need to do everything better.