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You all know I love NFL Quarterback statistics. You might not know that I keep a “QB Meter” spreadsheet which I update every week. It started after Peyton Manning made the jump to Denver and the Indianapolis Star website stopped carrying their “Manning Meter” which tracked everything Manning, ranked him on the all-time stats lists and projected when he would break records in major categories. As a Colts fan, I decided I needed a Manning meter of my own. Then I branched out and made a meter that compared Manning and Andrew Luck at the same point in their careers. I also made a meter of Colts QBs. Finally, I made a big, sortable list of QBs which contained active starters of 20+ games and top 10 historic QBs in most major passing categories. I update it after every week (with my thanks as always to pro-football-reference) and take a look to see if there is anything notable.

Hence, Notes from the QB Meter.

Having jinxed Aaron Rodgers by featuring him last week maybe I can do the same for Ben Roethlisberger and get some measure of revenge for him deciding to have the best game of his career against my Colts. It was seriously painful to watch how little pressure the Colts put on Roethlisberger, allowing him to stand there forever and throw from flat feet, as if he were “having a catch” with Kevin Costner. He went 40/49 (81.6%) for 522 yards and 6 TDs. And he did it all while wearing what might be the ugliest throwback uniform in the NFL. Sounds like a career day, but was it?

Roethlisberger has never completed more passes in a game. He’s attempted more twice, but has never passed 80% with more than 25 attempts. Actually, with this game, he’s the only QB in history to complete more than 80% of his passes on 49 or more attempts. Only 3 other QBs since 1960 have completed more than 75% of passes with 49 or more attempts. Also, only five QBs have completed 40+ passes without throwing an INT.

Roethlisberger has never had more TDs in a game, notching 5 twice before, but never hitting 6. Now, he’s not the only QB to hit 6 TDs (seven men have thrown 7), but he’s one of 23 men to do it, which is still pretty elite company. He’s also one of six to do it without throwing an INT.

Roethlisberger has never had more yards in a game, but he’s now the only QB in NFL history to throw for over 500 yards twice (he threw for 503 against the Packers in 2009). That seems strange, not that he’s the one to do it, but that it hasn’t been done before. Only 14 other men have hit 500 before, and only one of them is named Manning (and it’s not the Manning you think). Only Warren Moon and and Y.A. Tittle threw for over 500 without tossing an INT. Ben has done it twice.

Taken individually, these stats are pretty impressive on their own, but the fact that Roethlisberger hit them all in the same game makes this so much more notable. Sure, it remains to be seen whether this pulls the Steelers back from the brink and steers them into the playoffs (go Browns!), but heck, if I cared about postseason accomplishments, I wouldn’t be a Peyton Manning fan.

And as a Colts fan, Andrew Luck was no slouch, offering 400 yards of his own. It’s not quite the 1000 combined passing yards for the Lions and Packers (a 6-TD winning effort for Matt Flynn and a 5-TD losing effort for Stafford in 2012), but 922 is up there.

*****

Other Notes from the QB Meter

Tom Brady had a pretty great day as well, going 30/35 for 354 yards, 5 TDs and no INT. Only Brees, Gannon and Peyton have higher cmp% with 35+ attempts, but only Brees threw for 5 TDs (though he had had fewer yards).

*****

Take a look at the game totals for the two QBs who started the NYJ/BUF game:

QB cmp att cmp% yards TD INT A Y/A rate
Orton 10 17 58.82% 238 4 0 18.71 142.8
G. Smith 2 8 25.00% 5 0 3 -16.25 0.0

That’s the highest passer rating of Kyle Orton’s career, the highest adjusted yards/attempt (by more than 6) and only the second time he’s thrown for 4 TDs. He’s no Ben Roethlisberger, but you could call this a career game for Orton…if it wasn’t against the lowly Jets.

Now, Geno Smith didn’t stay in the game, and Michael Vick improved the passing numbers a little bit, but let’s have some fun with Smith’s performance. Smith was 3/8 for 39 yards to the other team. 15 other men have thrown 3 INTs on 8 or fewer attempts (with two never completing a pass to their own team and one of them only attempting 4 passes–oh, and two managing to get TDs). Smith was pulled after his 3rd INT, only 10:20 into the game. Unfortunately, there is no play-by-play data available to see if anyone lasted a shorter amount of time, that’s because nobody has done so poorly in such limited play since 1997.

*****

With the Broncos’ win over San Diego Peyton brought his career win% to 70.04%. Again, I know it’s a team sport and crediting QBs with wins is questionable.

Tom Brady, Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick are the only other active long-term starters above 70%.

*****

The Detroit Lions are on pace to have their best season since Matthew Stafford arrived in town. Stafford himself is on pace to have his lowest full-season totals in pretty much everything. Is there a correlation? I doubt it. After all, Detroit started the 2011 season 6-2 and finished 10-6. They started the 2013 season 5-3 and finished 7-9. Just for fun (and to make another table!) lets look at the new Matthew Stafford.

Stafford cmp att cmp% yards TD INT
2011-2013 avg. 409 675 60.59% 4885 30 17
2014 (proj.) 366 598 61.20 4432 22 14

This tells us absolutely nothing. Still, it might mean that Stafford is slowing down and could lose the lead in attempts per game (40.52) and yards per game (285.12).

*****

A little bit late on this, but after his week 7 game vs. Green Bay, Drew Brees passed Chad Pennington for highest career completion percentage (minimum 1500 attempts). He’s currently at 66.08% to Pennington’s 66.05%. Rodgers is close behind at 65.96%. Peyton is next at 66.56%. He’s at 68.54% as a Bronco, but needs 6 more attempts to hit 1500. Brees is at 67.40% as a Saint.

For the record, 2 time Comeback Player of the Year Pennington peaked (post-1500) at 66.06% and would’ve stayed there had he not come back for one final start in 2010 where he went 1/2 before leaving with an injury. Oh, and Pennington hit that peak in 88 games. It took Brees 194. I like Chad Pennington.

Filed under: Sports Tagged: ben roethlisberger, Chad Pennington, Geno Smith, Kyle Orton, Matthew Stafford, NFL, Notes from the QB Meter, QB Meter, Steelers

Read More Jeff at Slazinger1

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2014 GAME 9 PRIMER - Arizona vs. Dallas - ‘Round the Roster update–Linebacker lumps; Leary bumped - Meet your new Cowboy - DeMarcus Lawrence debut - Melton on the Mend

IRVING, Texas –  The Dallas Cowboys are already without their most productive linebacker for the rest of the season and today, received another scare when Bruce Carter left practice with a finger injury.

After getting X-rays, Carter has a broken ring finger but said he still expects to play against the Cardinals on Sunday.

“I’ll be fine. They’re just going to use kind of like this splint I have now,” Carter said Thursday in the locker room. “Wrap it up and I should be fine. I don’t want no big club. I have to be able to get the interceptions. I always try to stay away from those.”

Carter said his finger got caught while trying to cover running back Lance Dunbar in practice.

“I guess my finger got caught in his pads,” Carter said. “I ran off and I was kind of just settling and then I don’t know and I had this pinch in my finger and I opened it up and my finger was broke I guess.”

Carter returned Monday night against the Redskins after missing three games with a quad injury. With Justin Durant now out for the season with torn biceps injury, the Dallas Cowboys are expected to start Rolando McClain, Bruce Carter and likely Kyle Wilber (although Anthony Hitchens will get some reps as well).


IRVING, Texas – Rolando McClain returned to practice, though Tony Romo was once again absent with his back contusion.

McClain showed up on the injury report with a shoulder problem Wednesday after missing the first practice of the week. Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said he believed it was an injury sustained during the Monday night loss to Washington.

“He started feeling it over the last 48 hours or so,” Garrett said. “We anticipate him doing something today, the extent of which we don’t know yet.”

The Cowboys were not fully-padded for Thursday’s session, but they did wear helmets and shoulder pads as they continue their prep for Arizona. Garrett said the more physical nature of Thursday, as opposed to Wednesday’s walkthrough, would help determine McClain’s readiness for Sunday.

As for Romo, the quarterback missed his second-consecutive day of practice after taking a knee to his back on Monday night. Garrett classified the problem as a bone contusion today, and he said Romo’s status for the Cardinals game continues to be “day-by-day.”

“Don’t anticipate him doing much, but we hope that he’s going to be out there and be able to do something. We’ll see as the day goes on,” Garrett said.

Romo was not present for the media portion of practice, which encompasses the first 20 minutes of the session. Garrett also reiterated Romo’s point from Wednesday, that this injury is unrelated to prior ones and doesn’t pose a threat to become a long-term problem.

“We don’t think that’s the nature of this injury. As much as anything else, it’s being able to handle the pain to the point where he can function and do his job,” Garrett said. “And that’s where we are and we’ll see how he does over the next few days to answer that question.”

The Dallas Cowboys three new signings, linebacker Tim Dobbins (more on him below) and practice squad players Will Smith and Jeff Baca, were also at practice. Dobbins, who was signed to replace Justin Durant, will wear No. 48. Smith, a seventh-round draft pick by the team back in May, will wear No. 40. Baca, a guard who was signed Wednesday evening, will wear No. 62.


MEET YOUR NEW DALLAS COWBOY: Scouting Report – LB Tim Dobbins

College: Iowa State | NFL Seasons: 9 | Drafted: San Diego Chargers, 5th round 2006

NFL Stops: San Diego, Miami, Houston, Atlanta

Games Scouted: Atlanta, Preseason 2014: Miami, Houston, Tennessee, Jacksonville

  • Played as an inside linebacker. Has some explosive pop to his game. In scouting terms we would say he is more of a “thumper.”
  • Shows some strike and balance. Plays on his feet. He’s able to hold his ground at the point of attack. Will step up and take on blockers. Would like to see him be better with his hands when taking on those blocks. There were some snaps where he got tied up. Needs to shed quicker.
  • Sees the ball, but I didn’t feel like he had a burst to it. There were snaps where he was making effort to get to the ball but was a step late. Not much start-stop quickness. Effort and hustle was good.
  • Had one missed tackle in the hole when he came off the ball carrier in the Miami game, but from that point on did a solid job in the other games as that wrap up tackler. Showed the ability to work down the line searching the ball and finish the play.
  • Showed awareness to play in coverage. Was able to take the tight end in the flat. Struggled a little in coverage not in giving up plays but with his technique. Was fine when the ball was underneath but when he had to carry a man down the field he was clutching and grabbing the whole way due to his lack of foot quickness but worked hard to stay in position. Would not call this a strength of his.
  • Only had a couple of shots as a blitz guy and nothing really jumped out there. Would rush but didn’t show the counter moves or quickness to make much happen.
  • Has special teams experience as the R4 on the kick off team, ROG on the kickoff return, left tackle on the punt team, blocker on the punt return.
  • Had a chance to visit with some front office guys that had been with him say he has an outgoing, energetic personality. Can be physical but does have average speed which limits him at times. His playing experience will be an asset especially this time of the year.

BROADDUS BREAKDOWN: DeMarcus Lawrence debut; Beasley could neutralize pressure

He’s not even officially on the roster yet, but it’s being tabbed as a big debut opportunity for DeMarcus Lawrence. The Dallas Cowboys need to generate a pass rush, and there’s no time like the present for the rookie to help out.

On top of that, the Cowboys need to utilize a quick passing game if they’re going to neutralize this Arizona pressure scheme. A big component of that is going to be the often-overlooked Cole Beasley.

Let’s get into the breakdown of this week’s two biggest matchups:

Rookie DE DeMarcus Lawrence against Cardinals OT Jared Veldheer

This will be the first professional action for Lawrence and his availability couldn’t have come at a better time for this defense. When training camp opened, I believed Lawrence was going to play his way into this starting lineup, but with him breaking those bones in his foot — it was a disappointing set back to say the least.

If there is a silver lining to Lawrence being out, these first eight games of the season it has allowed him to physically remake his body in the weight room. In his rehab time away from the game, it has allowed him to put on ten good pounds of muscle, which most scouts were concerned he sure could have used.

With the added strength and lack of seasonal wear and tear on his body, he will be ready to provide a much needed pass rush to a defense that has been good in providing pressure but doesn’t have the sack numbers to show for it. Jermey Mincey will continue to be the starter at the right defensive end, but instead of Anthony Spencer or Laver Edwards as the backup it will be Lawrence off that edge.

Another benefit with Lawrence returning is that it will also allow Mincey to play down inside in the nickel, where he has shown the ability to get that pressure when he lined up over the guard. Putting two pressure players on that right side should generate some really nice opportunities against Jared Veldheer and guard Ted Larsen.

WR Cole Beasley against Cardinals CB Jerraud Powers

Last week against the Eagles, Jerraud Powers was forced into the starting lineup when Patrick Peterson went out of the game with a concussion. Powers will normally line up as the nickel cornerback when the Cardinals go to that package.

With the way that the Cardinals like to play their corners in man-to-man coverage, there is a tremendous amount of confidence in both Antonio Cromartie and Patrick Peterson — but on tape you see the confidence these coaches have in Powers and his ability to make plays. For the Cowboys, whether it’s Tony Romo or Brandon Weeden at quarterback, the ball is going to need to get out quickly.

Offensively, when you deal with a defense that likes to bring pressure, receivers must win on the outside. Of the Cowboys receivers that can win off the snap, Cole Beasley can make that happen with his routes. There were several snaps against the Redskins last Monday night where the Cowboys were faced with pressure and Beasley was open, but the ball did not come in his direction.

I do not see this offense making the same mistakes in their protections or failing to get the ball in Beasley’s hands. The Broncos did a really nice job of taking advantage of some of the matchups that they were able to create inside against the Cardinals.  I expect we will see the exact same thing scheme-wise from Scott Linehan against this Arizona defense.  


Henry Melton wants to put opposing QBs in their place … on the ground

Henry Melton only got half of his two major goals last Monday night.

Sacking a fellow Texas Longhorn was on the list, and he did that twice. But winning the game the biggest goal on his mind and obviously the Cowboys came up short.

“I had a good celebration planned out and I didn’t get to do it.” said Henry Melton Wednesday afternoon at Valley Ranch. 

But overall, Melton said he’s happy about the progress he made individually moving forward.

“It’s a week to week thing,” Melton said. “I’m just going to go out and practice and really just trying to still get my feet under me and work on my craft.”

Dallas took a flyer on Melton this season, just months after tearing his ACL while playing with the Chicago Bears and it could be starting to pay off. His most productive years, 2011 and 2012, were spent in the “Windy City” where he tallied 13 sacks and he believes a return to form is near.

“There’s no doubt in my mind. Anybody will tell you around here that’s what I’ve been doing,” Melton said. “Just preparing myself to be the guy that this defense needs.”

And this defense is desperate to turn pressure into sacks. Through eight weeks, Dallas has registered a measly nine sacks as a team. Only four teams are worse in that category so you can imagine how pleased Jason Garrett was to see Melton pull Colt McCoy to the ground twice.

“He showed up maybe as much as he has all year long,” Garrett said of Melton’s Monday night performance. “He’s playing more and more and he seems active and he looked quick and fast and explosive to me, making some plays that made a difference in the game.”

But that doesn’t mean the former fourth round draft pick is resting on his laurels.

“I still have things to work on,” Melton said. “We’re halfway there (in the season). Hopefully were just going to gain momentum.”

Next up, the Arizona Cardinals who have weapons galore on the outside in Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd or John Brown. Even Ted Ginn has the capability of making the game changing play.  If Melton can make Carson Palmer’s life uncomfortable, the Cowboys could not only get back in the win column, but beat the Cardinals for the first time since 2006.

“We gotta get to him. He likes to be in the pocket,” Melton said. “Doesn’t matter where I line up I need to be the one pressing the pocket.”

One of his sacks against the Redskins came at the defensive end position. Something rarely done in his six-year career. 

“Anytime I’m in position to help the team then it feels good.” 

And feeling good is Jason Garrett watching Henry Melton do Henry Melton type things up front. 

“He seemed very comfortable out there. He’s a very athletic guy,” said Garrett. “I think as much as anything, the health thing with him is a big factor, him getting back to being himself.”

So whether that’s throwing up the “Hook ‘Em Horns” sign or unveiling the “other” celebration he’s got planned out. If Melton’s celebrating, that means he’s put another opposing quarterback where he belongs: on the ground.


In their own words … plus, local analysis shows …

Jason Garrett: Optimistic about Romo; Prepping for Arizona | Listen/Download | 12: 29

Weeden confident he can “Keep the train on the track” | Listen/Download | 4:41

Cowboys Lunch Break: Winning with Weeden | Listen/Download | 47:51

Rod Marinelli: It’s about winning, not about stats | Listen/Download | 4:56

Talkin’ Cowboys: Previewing the Cardinals defense | Listen/Download | 58:45

Filed under: Bryan Broaddus, Chase Williams, Dallas Cowboys, Dallas Cowboys News, DALLAS COWBOYS NFL SCOUTING REPORT, David Helman, Edited: Robert D Knight, NFL, NFL Audio, NFL Dallas Cowboys Injury Update, NFL Dallas Cowboys Practice update, NFL Dallas Cowboys Schedule, Nick Eatman Tagged: Dallas Cowboys schedule 2014 2015, Dallas Cowboys vs. Arizona Cardinals

Read more great Cowboys news at The Boys are Back

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2014 GAME 9 INJURY UPDATE - Arizona vs. Dallas - OLB Justin Durant season ends; MLB McClain sits - LB Tim Dobbins signed

IRVING, Texas – The Dallas Cowboys have signed linebacker Tim Dobbins to the active roster and moved Justin Durant to season-ending injured reserve.

The move isn’t a big surprise, as Durant tore his bicep during Monday night’s loss to the Washington Redskins. It does come contrary to Cowboys coach Jason Garrett’s indication that the team is still weighing its options regarding Durant’s injury.

“We’re still involved in that process and gathering the information about where he is, how severe the injury is, what the timetable is for the injury,” Garrett said Wednesday morning.

It didn’t seem likely Durant’s prognosis would be less than the eight weeks remaining in the regular season, which prompted the roster move.

Dobbins was a fifth-round pick out of Iowa State in the 2006 NFL Draft. He’s played eight seasons with three different teams – San Diego, Miami and Houston – and amassed 253 total tackles in that time span.

His last stint was with the Atlanta Falcons, but he was released following training camp before the start of the 2013 season. Dobbins’ best season came in 2010 with the Miami Dolphins, when he notched six starts and made 47 tackles in 16 total appearances on the year.

Rolando McClain was another Dallas linebacker to miss Wednesday’s practice, which comes as more of a surprise. Garrett didn’t include McClain in his rundown of injuries from the loss to Washington.

Elsewhere at practice, the vast majority of the Cowboys’ absences were to be expected. Tony Romo missed, as he usually does on Wednesdays, after Garrett said he was “day-by-day” at his daily press conference.More on this, below.

Doug Free was also absent, though Garrett said he was hopeful the tackle could do something this week. Ronald Leary attended practice, but he sat out of the proceedings with his groin injury. Garrett said he was hopeful Leary would be able to work his way back later this week.

Suspended defensive tackle Josh Brent attended practice, and he wore jersey No. 56 – though he did not participate. Brent is ineligible to play until after the team’s bye week, but the Cowboys expect him to work on the side of practice in the coming weeks.


RELATED: Jason Garrett lists Tony Romo as “Day-by-Day”

IRVING, Texas — Tony Romo has been labeled “day-by-day” with his back contusion, according to Cowboys coach Jason Garrett.

Garrett spoke to the media Wednesday after the team received Romo’s CT scans on the injury he suffered Monday night against the Redskins. The injury will be enough to keep the quarterback out of practice Wednesday, but his availability the rest of the week remains to be seen.

“It’s a day-by-day thing with Tony, we’ll see how he handles the pain and we’ll see how functional he is as the week goes on,” Garrett said. “We’ll see what his availability is for this ball game.”

It isn’t exactly unusual for Romo to miss a Wednesday practice – that was his schedule for the duration of the Cowboys’ six-game winning streak, as part of his rehab from his back surgery in December. With the short week to prepare for Arizona, though, this won’t work as a typical Wednesday.

The Cowboys have a less-intensive practice today, which Romo will miss. Garrett was optimistic the quarterback would be able to improve his workload going forward.

“We don’t anticipate him doing a whole lot, but as the week goes on hopefully he progresses and can handle the pain and can function,” he said.

That goes along with what Cowboys owner/general manager said on 105.3 The Fan on Wednesday morning. Jones said there was no medical issue with the injury that would hold Romo out this weekend – but rather it’s a matter of Romo’s ability to handle the pain.

“There’s nothing to his injury that technically won’t function. This is a function of pain tolerance,” Jones said. “But it’s a serious issue that you could look at people that have had a similar type injury and they haven’t played the next week, so that would cause you some concern about him playing.”

Garrett repeated that the injury is not related to Romo’s herniated disc or his cyst removal from last season, but rather a byproduct of playing football – “he got hit.”

While Romo recuperates, the Cowboys will lean on backup Brandon Weeden to handle the lion’s share of practice reps – again not uncommon, given Romo’s usual absences at Wednesday practices.

“We anticipate Weeden getting work, we anticipate Dustin Vaughan getting work, we don’t anticipate Romo doing much,” Garrett said. “We’ll see how he feels with his rehab today and how he feels tomorrow and make those decisions as we go.”


FILM BREAKDOWN: Grading the pass protection breakdowns

IRVING, Texas — It’s a short week before Arizona comes to town, so there isn’t a lot of time to review the tape of the loss to Washington. That said, let’s look back and reveal how the Redskins managed to generate so much pressure on Tony Romo and the Dallas offense, among a number of other things.

Here’s the notes from the Washington film:

  • In reviewing the sacks that the Dallas Cowboys gave up against the Redskins, it was surprising that they were able to get rushers home, because these were blitzes that Tony Romo and this offense had seen before – there was nothing exotic or special in the way they were run.

    It was rushers off the weak side (Parnell), a twist stunt from a defensive end, a safety from depth and an inside linebacker firing through the “A” gap — all part of the packages that Jim Haslett uses in his 3-4 scheme. Give Haslett credit for how he was able to dial up those blitzes at the right opportunity, while other times he would show blitz and drop into coverage. His use and mix kept this Cowboys offense off balance all night.

    What Haslett was banking on was that he was going to get a rusher home before Romo was going to get rid of the ball. The Cowboys did adjust by going with a max protection, with both Jason Witten and James Hanna staying in to block three different times in the game, then several other times with just Witten or Hanna staying in to help the offensive line. I do not feel like it was a lack of game planning or adjustments but more in the line of lack of execution and that starts with Romo, going through Murray, this offensive line and the receivers.

    Romo has made a living of dealing with defensive coordinators that blitz him. Murray is as reliable as they come when it comes to knowing where to fit and being physical to pick up the blitz. For some reason as a group when they needed to make a play to get things going offensive against the blitz and run Haslett out of it – they just couldn’t get it done and it cost them an opportunity to win this game, offensively.

    • If there is a position on the field where you notice if a player is playing well or poorly, it is the quarterback. Romo has been nothing short of brilliant since the struggles that he had opening day against the 49ers. I thought this game against the Redskins was similar to that 49ers game in the sense that I felt like that Romo was not his normal self when it came to his execution of the game plan from a physical side.

      There were several snaps even before the hit that he took in the back where he missed throws that we normally don’t see him miss. He just wasn’t as sharp with his touch and accuracy when it came to get the ball to his play makers. He missed two open passes to Witten in the first quarter that he never struggles with. The second of the two — Witten came back across the field on a drag and all Romo had to do is give him a little touch pass and Witten is out the gate — but instead the ball is too high and hard, leaving Witten no shot.

      He missed a throw on an out pattern to Dwayne Harris where Harris came right back down the stem and instead of leading him to the sideline, he threw it much too wide, making Harris have to make a circus catch to even try to get close.

      Even the catch that Dez Bryant made on his incredible touchdown was very low and to the left. If Bryant doesn’t grab that ball with one hand it’s skipping to the sideline. The early hits and sacks probably did nothing to help Romo early in this game, but for a quarterback that normally doesn’t leave plays on the field he had a few too many and he would most likely tell you the same thing.  

    • It was nice to see Henry Melton have the type of game that we have expected from him since he arrived in the offseason.

      We have seen Melton play mainly as the under-tackle or three-technique in this scheme. In some nickel packages he has lined up in a two-point stance and played almost like a linebacker in the middle of the defense.

      He hasn’t been as effective rushing that way, but against the Redskins they used him as a defensive end off the left side while moving Anthony Spencer to the right side in an attempt to generate a little more pressure. Melton looked good coming off the edge, but where he played his best was at that under-tackle — and not only against the run, where he was able to knife into the backfield and make a stop.

      Where Melton really jumped off the screen was in his ability to rush Colt McCoy. He finally appears to have that explosive burst and quickness after several games this season where he appeared very ordinary. The hope is that he will continue to improve even more over these next several games as he gains confidence in that knee.   


    LOOKING BACK, MOVING ON: Jason Garrett bothered most by missed tackles

    IRVING, Texas – Other than losing the game, and seeing his starting quarterback on the turf for several minutes, head coach Jason Garrett was rather annoyed by another aspect from Monday’s game:

    Poor tackling.

    “That’s the biggest thing that jumped out at me from watching the tape is the tackling,” Garrett said on Tuesday. “And unfortunately for us, a few of those plays were possibly tackles for loss. We have him trapped in the backfield and they wiggle free and they make a 10-12 yard run, an 18-yard run, those plays hurt you. And some of our best tacklers, didn’t tackle well.”

    Specifically, guys like Barry Church and Rolando McClain both missed their share of open-field tackles. Church called it the worst game of his career and described his own play as “terrible.”

    The Redskins ran for 123 yards on 31 carries for a 4.0 yard average. Alfred Morris led the way with 73 yards on 18 attempts. There was a big play in the third quarter when Washington trailed 7-3 and had first-and-25 but Roy Helu ran for 18 yards to get the Redskins back in position to score. On the play, Helu broke at least three tackles down the left sideline for a big chunk of yards.  Two plays later, they took the lead.

    McClain ranks second on the team with 57 tackles, while Church is third with 52. The leading tackler is Justin Durant with 61, but he’s out for the season, with a torn bicep injury. 

    “The best defensive teams tackle well and we’ve did that a lot this year,” Garrett said. “Those games should be four or five yards are four or five yards because we have a lot of guys to the ball and a lot of hats around the ball and we make tackles. We didn’t’ do that as much as we need to (Monday) night.”


    In their own words … plus, local analysis shows …

    Jason Garrett: Romo’s Health; Importance Of Practice Rep | Listen/Download | 11:37

    Cowboys This Morning: Should Injuries Concern Cowboys? | Listen/Download | 1:56

    Talkin’ Cowboys: Looking Ahead To Arizona | Listen/Download | 57:19

    Cowboys Lunch Break: Mid-Season Review | Listen/Download | 1:01:15

    Filed under: Bryan Broaddus, Dallas Cowboys, Dallas Cowboys Game Recap/Statistics, Dallas Cowboys News, David Helman, NFL, NFL Audio, NFL Dallas Cowboys Injury Update, NFL Dallas Cowboys Practice update, NFL Dallas Cowboys Schedule, NFL Photographs, Nick Eatman Tagged: Dallas Cowboys Injury and Practice update, Dallas Cowboys schedule 2014 2015, Justin Durant

    Read more great Cowboys news at The Boys are Back

    49

    You all know I love NFL Quarterback statistics. You might not know that I keep a “QB Meter” spreadsheet which I update every week. It started after Peyton Manning made the jump to Denver and the Indianapolis Star website stopped carrying their “Manning Meter” which tracked everything Manning, ranked him on the all-time stats lists and projected when he would break records in major categories. As a Colts fan, I decided I needed a Manning meter of my own. Then I branched out and made a meter that compared Manning and Andrew Luck at the same point in their careers. I also made a meter of Colts QBs. Finally, I made a big, sortable list of QBs which contained active starters of 20+ games and top 10 historic QBs in most major passing categories. I update it after every week (with my thanks as always to pro-football-reference) and take a look to see if there is anything notable.

    Hence, Notes from the QB Meter.

    In the inaugural, official edition of this hopefully-ongoing series I want to take a look at Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers. There is no doubt that he is one of the best in the league right now, but seriously, how great is he? Let’s take a look.

    Aaron Rodgers vs. The Cohort

    The “QB Cohort” is an idea I’ve been tossing around which lumps together QBs who have started a similar number of games. It’s potentially a good measure to see who might be the best of a generation, or a certain draft range. It also offers a very reductive (but generally useful) ranking of QBs, particularly when looking at guys who have started for more than 4-5 years.

    For the purposes of this post, Rodgers’ cohort is: Jay Cutler, Joe Flacco, Matt Ryan, Alex Smith and Rodgers himself. (Cutler is sort of an outlier as he’s closer to Romo than any of these other guys, but Romo has played in over 30 more games–not starts–than Cutler, so I’m keeping Cutler with this lot).

    Take a look at the career stat comparisons for this group:

    QB Starts Win % Cmp % Yards Y/gm TD TD/gm* INT A/YA rate
    Rodgers 94 67.02% 65.89% 25871 256.15 206 2.04 53 8.72 105.75
    Ryan 101 61.39% 63.38% 25550 252.97 166 1.64 84 7.04 90.71
    Flacco 103 65.05% 60.48% 23399 227.17 135 1.31 83 6.68 84.72
    Cutler 111 53.15% 61.49% 25803 232.46 169 1.52 119 6.67 85.30
    Smith 96 54.69% 59.80% 18863 186.76 113 1.12 74 6.20 81.68

    [*includes all games played, not just starts]

    Now, even without this chart, you’d probably pick Rodgers as the best QB out of this group. I’ve placed him at the top because he leads in all of these categories. While he’s close on a couple, like yards and completion percentage, the main point of this is to highlight the separation in the other categories. 37 TDs ahead. 21 INTs ahead. 15 ahead in passer rating. Also, he’s started fewer games than all of these other guys. That’s nuts!

    Of course, there are more things to consider, like the other 52 guys on each team and the coaching or OC situation. Even so, Rodgers is something pretty special.

    Another thing: look how favorably Ryan compares to “The Elite Mister” Flacco. However, the win percentage isn’t quite there, the playoff success sure isn’t there (Flacco’s 9-4 to Ryan’s 1-4) and of course the ring isn’t there.

    Aaron Rodgers vs. Bizarro Aaron Rodgers (AKA Ryan Fitzpatrick)

    Now, do these guys really have that much in common? They were both drafted in 2005, they both sat on the bench for their first three years and they have both been (fairly) regular starting QBs since year 4. Rodgers has always been with the Packers, while Fitzpatrick is on his 5th team though, and their quality of play is, well, quite different, as you’ll see.

    QB Starts Win % Cmp % Yards Y/gm TD TD/gm INT A/YA rate
    Rodgers 94 67.02% 65.89% 25871 256.15 206 2.04 53 8.72 105.75
    Fitzpatrick 84 36.31% 60.19% 18320 199.13 114 1.24 100 5.77 78.28

    Can we actually glean much from this? Despite the beard and the Harvard degree, Fitzpatrick spent the bulk of his career in Buffalo, which explains some things. I guess this is the difference between a first rounder and a seventh rounder. Of course, Jason Campbell, Charlie Frye, Andrew Walter, Kyle Orton, Dan Orlovsky*, Derek Anderson and Matt Cassel were all drafted between Rodgers and Fitzpatrick. Sure, three of those guys started games in 2014, but Fitzpatrick has played more than any of them.

    [*winningest QB in 2011 Colts history (suck it, Curtis Painter...and also Kerry Collins...what were they thinking?)!]

    Aaron Rodgers vs. the Cream

    So we know Rodgers is better than his cohort, but how does he stack up against the likes of Manning, Brady, Brees and Favre? Also, how to compare them? Rodgers didn’t start his first three seasons, so he had that time to learn and grow. That’s not the case for the other guys. Let’s look at it a couple of ways.

    First, the 5 QBs over their first 94 starts (stats from starts only):

    QB Win % Cmp % Yards Y/gm TD TD/gm INT A/YA rate
    Rodgers 67.02% 66.01% 25542 271.72 205 2.18 52 8.79 106.37
    Manning 56.38% 62.91% 24519 260.84 166 1.77 109 6.90 88.25
    Brady 74.47% 61.95% 21512 228.85 147 1.56 78 6.86 88.49
    Brees 52.13% 64.19% 22311 237.35 141 1.50 86 6.78 88.78
    Favre 68.09% 61.79% 22506 239.43 182 1.94 92 6.92 90.09

    Rodgers is still the leader in almost everything, except win %. Tom Brady won 3 Super Bowls during this stretch. Favre won one and lost another.

    Second, let’s try to match up the careers for these guys and look at their first 94 starts after they had already been in the league 3 years:

    QB Win % Cmp % Yards Y/gm TD TD/gm INT A/YA rate
    Rodgers 67.02% 66.01% 25542 271.72 205 2.18 52 8.79 106.37
    Manning 69.15% 65.90% 24812 263.96 185 1.97 81 7.90 98.73
    Brady 79.79% 63.44% 23663 251.73 174 1.85 71 7.66 95.58
    Brees 61.70% 66.27% 25033 266.31 173 1.84 79 7.66 96.95
    Favre 68.62% 60.91% 23819 253.39 195 2.07 99 7.11 90.43

    As expected, everyone looks better when you start from year 4. Rodgers’ team may not win as much as some others (seriously Tom Brady, winning 80% of your games?), but he’s still on top in every other category.

    I’m sure if you pick and choose seasons or games from another QB’s career to get to 94, you might come closer to Rodgers, but that’s not the same as sustained, consistent, high-quality play.

    Here’s one last comparison to take a look at, because it’s the best recent example I could think of for someone playing consistently well. This is Aaron Rodgers’ 94 starts vs. Peyton Manning’s most recent 94 starts (as a Colt and Bronco).

    QB Win % Cmp % Yards Y/gm TD TD/gm INT A/YA rate
    Rodgers 67.02% 66.01% 25542 271.72 205 2.18 52 8.79 106.37
    Manning 78.72% 67.82% 27126 288.57 222 2.36 73 8.09 103.36

    Even here Rodgers holds his own in INT, Passer Rating and Adjusted Yards/Attempt. This stretch includes 2 Super Bowl appearances for Manning, as well as his record-breaking 2013 season. If Manning is playing so well this late in his career, who’s to say that Rodgers can’t do the same? And if he does keep it up, I can’t imagine how high his passer rating will go!

    Other Notes from the QB Meter

    Peyton Manning’s career total for TDs is now at 513 (counting last night’s game). Considering current rates, and the fact that Manning isn’t slowing down, it looks doubtful that any current QB will catch him. If Manning retired right now (in the middle of his 17th season*), here is who might have the best chance to catch him:

    • Drew Brees – 72 games = 4.46 more seasons (his 18th season)
    • Tom Brady – 76 games = 4.74 more seasons (his 19th season)
    • Aaron Rodgers – 151 games = 9.41 more seasons (his 19th season)
    • Andrew Luck – 269 games = 16.77 more seasons (his 20th season)
    • Russell Wilson – 277 games = 17.29 more seasons (his 20th season)
    • Philip Rivers – 160 games = 10 more seasons (his 21st season)

    [*remember, Manning didn't play in 2011, so he's done all of this in 16 active playing seasons. Favre actively played for 19 seasons (although in the league for 20, he only attempted 4 passes his rookie year). Also, Brady threw just 14 passes in 2000 and 2008 combined, so he'd catch Manning in his 17th active playing season. Rodgers would catch him in his 16th active playing season.]

    Remember Ryan Fitzpatrick above? His career win percentage is 36.31%. Yes, it’s a team sport and I suppose QBs shouldn’t be credited with wins, but regardless, Fitzpatrick has the lowest win percentage of any current starting QB with 20+ starts. Four others join him as active, long-term starters with win percentages lower than 50%:

    • Carson Palmer (47.86%) – and he’s got 140 starts!
    • Ryan Tannehill (47.37%) – 38 starts
    • Matthew Stafford (42.65%) – 68 starts
    • Geno Smith (39.13%) – 23 starts

    Chad Henne, Josh McCown, Jake Locker, Robert Griffin III, Shaun Hill and Matt Cassel (who all began 2014 as starters) also have career win percentages lower than 50%. My man Kyle Orton is barely staying afloat with a 37-36 career record.

    Filed under: Sports Tagged: aaron rodgers, Brett Favre, drew brees, NFL, Notes from the QB Meter, peyton manning, Quarterback, Ryan Fitzpatrick, tom brady

    Read More Jeff at Slazinger1

    95

    Joseph Randle statement after returning to team - The Boys Are Back blog 2014

    IRVING, Texas – Dallas Cowboys running Joseph Randle will be fined “significantly” for his arrest Monday evening, but is still expected to play Sunday against the New York Giants.

    Head coach Jason Garrett addressed the media Wednesday (Watch | Listen) for the first time since Randle was arrested for shoplifting at nearby mall in Frisco.

    “We addressed with him immediately. The actions that we’re going to take is to fine him significantly and move forward,” Garrett said in his press conference. “Joseph addressed it this morning with the team in the team meeting. He addressed it with me in length yesterday.”

    Garrett didn’t get into specifics about his conversation with Randle, but said the backup running owned up to the situation.

    “He took full responsibility for it,” Garrett said. “There’s a lot of circumstances that were surrounding the situation, but there are no excuses, no explanations for this. He made a really poor decision. He recognizes that – as poor a decision as he’s ever made in his life. Again, there’s consequences to that decision. There are public consequences and certainly consequences on this football team. He’s going to feel those and we’ll move forward.”

    Garrett didn’t say whether suspending Randle was heavily discussed, he stood by the decision to fine him.

    “We felt like this was the appropriate thing to do, given this situation,” Garrett said.

    According to the police report, Randle was arrested Monday evening for attempting to steal underwear and cologne from the Dillard’s in Stonebriar Mall in Frisco. The charge is a Class B Misdemeanor Theft because the theft value was between $50 and $500.

    Randle had one of his best games of his career Sunday against the Seahawks, rushing for a season-high 52 yards on just five carries. His 38-yard run in the first quarter helped turn the tide of an early 10-0 deficit and led to the Cowboys’ first touchdown. Randle also had a key tackle on special teams in the fourth quarter.


    RELATED VIDEO – RANDLE ADDRESSES LOCAL MEDIA:

    “I made a huge mistake; we’re trying to move forward” – Joseph Randle talks about his arrest on theft charges earlier in the week. (Watch | Listen)


    Filed under: Dallas Cowboys, Dallas Cowboys News, Jason Garrett Press Conference, NFL, NFL Audio, NFL Dallas Cowboys Schedule, NFL Photographs, NFL Video, Nick Eatman Tagged: Dallas Cowboys news, Dallas Cowboys schedule 2014 2015, Joseph Randle

    Read more great Cowboys news at The Boys are Back

    93

    Joseph Randle statement after returning to team - The Boys Are Back blog 2014

    IRVING, Texas – Dallas Cowboys running Joseph Randle will be fined “significantly” for his arrest Monday evening, but is still expected to play Sunday against the New York Giants.

    Head coach Jason Garrett addressed the media Wednesday (Watch | Listen) for the first time since Randle was arrested for shoplifting at nearby mall in Frisco.

    “We addressed with him immediately. The actions that we’re going to take is to fine him significantly and move forward,” Garrett said in his press conference. “Joseph addressed it this morning with the team in the team meeting. He addressed it with me in length yesterday.”

    Garrett didn’t get into specifics about his conversation with Randle, but said the backup running owned up to the situation.

    “He took full responsibility for it,” Garrett said. “There’s a lot of circumstances that were surrounding the situation, but there are no excuses, no explanations for this. He made a really poor decision. He recognizes that – as poor a decision as he’s ever made in his life. Again, there’s consequences to that decision. There are public consequences and certainly consequences on this football team. He’s going to feel those and we’ll move forward.”

    Garrett didn’t say whether suspending Randle was heavily discussed, he stood by the decision to fine him.

    “We felt like this was the appropriate thing to do, given this situation,” Garrett said.

    According to the police report, Randle was arrested Monday evening for attempting to steal underwear and cologne from the Dillard’s in Stonebriar Mall in Frisco. The charge is a Class B Misdemeanor Theft because the theft value was between $50 and $500.

    Randle had one of his best games of his career Sunday against the Seahawks, rushing for a season-high 52 yards on just five carries. His 38-yard run in the first quarter helped turn the tide of an early 10-0 deficit and led to the Cowboys’ first touchdown. Randle also had a key tackle on special teams in the fourth quarter.


    RELATED VIDEO – RANDLE ADDRESSES LOCAL MEDIA:

    “I made a huge mistake; we’re trying to move forward” – Joseph Randle talks about his arrest on theft charges earlier in the week. (Watch | Listen)


    Filed under: Dallas Cowboys, Dallas Cowboys News, Jason Garrett Press Conference, NFL, NFL Audio, NFL Dallas Cowboys Schedule, NFL Photographs, NFL Video, Nick Eatman Tagged: Dallas Cowboys news, Dallas Cowboys schedule 2014 2015, Joseph Randle

    Read more great Cowboys news at The Boys are Back

    109

    FIFTH ROUNDER FRISKED IN FRISCO - Dallas Cowboys RB Joseph Randle arrested for shoplifting - NFL disciplinary action expected - The Boys Are Back 2014

    Dallas Cowboys backup running back Joseph Randle was arrested last night (Monday) after Frisco police say he shoplifted a bottle of cologne and a pack of underwear from the Dillard’s at Stonebriar Mall.

    Randle, 22, was booked into the Frisco City Jail on a Class B misdemeanor charge of theft. He was released early this morning after posting $350 bail, police said.

    Officers were called to the Dillard’s department store at 8:17 p.m. after the store’s loss prevention employees detained Randle at the mall, Frisco police spokesman Chad LaPrelle said.

    Police said Randle attempted to steal a two-pack of Polo underwear worth $39.50 and a tester bottle of Gucci Guilty Black cologne valued at $84.

    “All right, y’all got me,” was his first thought after he was confronted, he told Frisco police, according to his arrest report. Randle said he didn’t pay because he didn’t want to take the time to do it and told police he “should have just kept walking to his car if he knew he would be arrested,” the report states.

    The Dallas Cowboys have not publicly commented on the incident. Monday is the only day during the week that the team doesn’t practice.

    According to the police report, the theft was captured on surveillance video. It shows Randle walking to the underwear section and dropping a packet of underwear into a Dillard’s bag from a previous purchase, police say.

    A security officer — whom Randle referred to as “the old guy” — stopped Randle in the parking lot, and a store manager escorted him back to the store and recovered the items, which were valued at $123.50 before taxes.

    Randle has a base salary of $495,000 for this season. He was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys out of Oklahoma State in the fifth round of the 2013 NFL Draft.

    He’s behind DeMarco Murray on the depth chart and played a key role in the Cowboys’ win at Seattle on Sunday, rushing for 52 yards against the league’s top rushing defense.

    Theft is listed as “conduct detrimental” under the NFL’s 2014 personal conduct policy, Randle is now subject to discipline. He could be fined and/or suspended. Also, according to the league’s personal conduct policy, anyone arrested and/or charged “generally will be required to undergo a formal clinical evaluation.”

    Based on the results of the evaluation, Randle “may be encouraged or required to participate in an education program, counseling or other treatment deemed appropriate by health professionals,” the policy states.

    Filed under: Dallas Cowboys, Dallas Cowboys News, Dallas Cowboys players, Naheed Rajwani, NFL Dallas Cowboys Schedule, NFL Photographs Tagged: Dallas Cowboys, Dallas Cowboys schedule 2014 2015, Joseph Randle, NFL

    Read more great Cowboys news at The Boys are Back

    The Steelers offense didn’t have a great game in fact it was awful in a 31-10 loss to the Cleveland Browns.   Ben Roethlisberger was sacked one and threw an interception, plus his receivers were dropping too many passes.   Le’Veon Bell ran the ball for 82 yards, but since the team was behind they had to rely on the passing game.   LeGarrette Blount had 27  yards rushing and they need more carries from him to keep Bell fresh.    The defense gave too many pass plays and allowed 158 yard rushing by the Browns.   Brad Wing dropped a snap on a field goal attempt and that changed the momentum of the game.    The Steelers are 3 and 3 going into next Monday night’s game against the Houston Texans at Heinz Field with kickoff at 8:30 P.M.   These next three games at home could define the Steelers season.

    The Steelers played great defense this afternoon against the Jacksonville Jaguars in a 17 to 9 win.  They had one sack and two interceptions including Brice McClain’s 22 interception return for the touchdown that clinched the win.    Ben Roethlisberger had a good game throwing for 273 yards and a touchdown pass to Michael Palmer.   Le’Veon Bell ran the ball for 82 yards and the offensive line had a good game this afternoon.   However they gave up 4 sacks and the Steelers had 7 penalties for 50 yards    One of the dumb penalties was a Lance Moore catch for a 1st down, but he spiked the ball getting called for a delay of game penalty.   Roethlisberger fumbled the ball early the 4th quarter when the Steelers were deep in Jacksonville territory.    The Steelers have to clean up the penalties, and cut back on the turnovers in the red zone.    They have a big road game against the Cleveland Browns next Sunday at  First Energy     Stadium with kickoff at 1:oo P.M

    The Pittsburgh Steelers played well enough to win today’s game, but 12 penalties for 125 yards cost them in a 27 to 24 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.   Ben Roethlisberger had a tremendous game throwing for  314 yards and 2 touchdowns.  However, the offensive line gave up 5 sacks, and the running game was ineffective.   Antonio Brown has a great game 7 catches for 131 yards and 2 touchdowns.    The defense had 1 sack and 1 interception, but did not make the plays late in the game to win it.   Special Teams were mediocre due to Brad Wing’s punting and it was awful.   The penalties Steelers were called for either pre snap, face mask, or unsportsmanlike conduct for taunting.   They have to clean up the penalties, offensive line has to protect Ben, and the running game has to be a big part of the game plan.  You have to give credit to the Tampa defense for shutting down the running game.    The 2-2 Steelers have to get things right and that starts next week against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field with kickoff at 1:00 P.M.

    James Harrison came out of retirement to return to the Steelers with injuries to Ryan Shazier and Jarvis Jones.   How effective with he  be this Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.   I see him playing in pass rushing situation and as he gets up to speed as far as conditioning goes he will play at a lot more during the season.    This move had to be done because of the injuries and with the schedule softening up with Tampa Bay, Jacksonville, Cleveland and Houston this team could go 5 and 1 before taking on the  Indianapolis Colts on October 26th. Could this move pay off for the Steelers in terms making the playoffs this Sunday  afternoon will answer that question.

    134

    Here are my NFL Week 4 Picks.   Arizona, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Denver, Seattle, and St. Louis have byes.

    NY Giants beat Washington

    Chicago beat Green Bay

    Indianapolis beat Tennessee

    Baltimore beat Carolina

    Detroit beat NY Jets

    Pittsburgh beat Tampa Bay

    Miami beat Oakland

    Houston beat Buffalo

    San Diego beat Jacksonville

    Philadelphia beat San Francisco

    Atlanta beat Minnesota

    New Orleans beat Dallas

    New England beat Kansas City

     

    The Steelers had a great game running the ball going for 264 total yards.  Le’Veon Bell had 147 yards and Legarrette Blount had 118 yards and a touchdown.  Ben Roethlisberger had an efficient day throwing the ball going 22 for 30 for 196 yards and two touchdowns passes to Antonio Brown.  The offensive line had a great game opening the holes for the running game and allowed one sack.   The defense stopped the Carolina Panthers running game holding them to 42 yards and sacking Cam Newton 3 times.   Special Teams had a great game with Shaun Suisham made three field goals, Brad Wing had some good punts, and Sharmarko Thomas forced a fumble and was recovered by Robert Golden for a touchdown.   The only problems were too many penalties and Ike Taylor, Brian Shazier, and Jarvis Jones left the game with injuries.  Taylor suffered a broken right forearm and could be lost for the season.   The Steelers won 37 to 19 and now are 2 and 1.    They are back at Heinz Field next Sunday afternoon against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with kickoff at 1:00 P.M

    127

    Roger Goodell had a press conference on Friday afternoon and vowed to clean up the NFL image.  He is dealing with the worst ten days in the NFL history, and was a long on promises but short on details.       Fans are wanting changes including Goodell resigning as commissioner, but it goes deeper than that.    ESPN’s Outside the Lines reported that the Baltimore Ravens tried to cover up for the Ray Rice incident, and Head Coach John Harbaugh wanted to cut Rice after the charges went public in February.   Harbaugh was overruled by GM Ozzie Newsome, Owner Steve Bisciotti, and team president Dick Cass.   The Ravens are denying the report, but if the report is true the organization should be punished for covering up the incident.     Roger Goodell has admitting making mistakes with Ray Rice and should be criticized for the 2 game suspension.    However, if the Ravens covered the incident up they should be fined and draft picks taken away.

    198

    2014-2015 GAME 2 RECAP - Dallas vs. Tennessee - Tony Romo hands ball to DeMarco Murray

    FIRST TAKE VIDEO – Murray & McClain show up big | 2:45 | First impressions of the Dallas Cowboys week 2 victory at Tennessee. (Watch | Listen)


    GAME RECAP – DeMarco Murray leads Dallas Cowboys to a 26-10 win

    The Dallas Cowboys went old school in their impressive 26-10 victory over Tennessee, using a grinding rushing attack, solid specials teams and another good performance from the defense to come away with their first win of the season.

    With an emphasis on running the rock early, Dallas saw DeMarco Murray post 167 rushing yards in the game on just 29 carries, an average of 5.76 yards per attempt. Overall, Dallas ran for 220 yards total, compared to just 148 passing.

    Murray topped the century mark in the second quarter when the Cowboys ran the ball on 12 of their 21 plays, which led to 13 unanswered points. And, he led the charge on the team’s first touchdown of the game. Already up 3-0 and set up on the Titans’ 40-yard line after a Barry Church interception, he was handed the ball on four straight snaps. In response, he ripped off runs of 18, 6 and 13 yards before lunging the ball forward across the goal line from 3 yards out to put Dallas up 10-0.

    The Cowboys then tacked on two more field goals before halftime as Bailey was good from 44 and 51 yards to stay perfect on the year, the second coming with only nine seconds left in the half after Dwayne Harris returned a punt 15 yards to give Dallas field position at the Tennessee 48-yard line.

    Likewise, the Dallas defense was equally impressive through the first 30 minutes of the game, as the unit shut out the Titans while limiting them to just two first downs and 68 yards of total offense. They even produced their first turnover of the season with the pick by Church, who made a diving interception of an overthrown Jake Locker pass.

    Things got interesting after the half, though, when Tennessee came out and promptly scored on their first two possessions of the third quarter with a 47-yard field goal by Ryan Succop and a big 61-yard touchdown from Locker to tight end Delanie Walker that narrowed the gap to a one possession game, 16-10.

    But Dallas responded with another touchdown, this time doing their damage through the air, as Tony Romo guided the team on a 12-play 80-yard drive, he and Dez Bryant connecting five times during the series. The last was a dart to the right side of the end zone after Bryant created separation (some would say pushed off) to then haul in the pass for the score and an again-comfortable 23-10 lead.

    Despite Murray getting most of the accolades, Bryant was equally as dangerous, as he finished with 103 yards receiving on 10 catches. And while Romo still didn’t always look sharp, he was definitely better than last week, managing to throw for 176 yards on 19-of-29 passing with one touchdown, and perhaps more importantly, not throwing any interceptions.

    Whatever thoughts the Titans had about coming back were quashed on Tennessee’s next possession. Though the home team was driving, Henry Melton tipped a pass at the line of scrimmage, which was then followed by linebacker Rolando McClain making an acrobatic catch that was originally ruled incomplete. But after head coach Jason Garrett threw the red flag, the play was overturned upon review and Dallas had the ball.

    McClain’s effort led to Bailey’s fourth field goal, the Cowboys wrapping up their scoring for the day.

    Through two games so far, McClain has proven a steal for the Cowboys as he led the team in tackles against the Titans and had a sack in addition to the pick. Behind his effort, Dallas limited its opponent to 314 total yards for the afternoon, punctuating the defensive effort by keeping Tennessee out of the end zone on fourth-and goal from the Dallas 6-yard line with just more than six minutes remaining.

    With that, the Titans never saw the ball again, as Dallas pounded their way down the field, eating up the remainder of the clock to secure the victory and improve their record to 1-1 on the season. They’ll next travel to St. Louis to take on the Rams before returning home to face the Saints on Sept. 28.


    RELATED: Murray carries Dallas Cowboys to dominant win

    NASHVILLE – If his own mistake wasn’t motivation enough, Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett had some inspiring words for DeMarco Murray on Sunday.

    Murray had just lost a fumble to the Titans on his fourth carry of the afternoon – his second lost fumble of the young season. As he returned to the sideline, Garrett quickly told his Pro Bowl running back what the gameplan would be going forward.

    “I said ‘That was about the third carry of about 30 you’re going to get today. Hold onto the damn ball,’” Garrett said.

    He did that, and more. In a surprisingly dominant 26-10 win, the Cowboys force fed the Titans with an unstoppable ground game that saw them finish with 223 total rushing yards on the day.

    Murray accounted for a whopping 167 of those, as he carried the ball an unprecedented 29 times and scored a touchdown in the process of amending for that fumble.

    “D-Mo’s a guy that always keeps his head forward,” said Travis Frederick. “It happened. You could tell he was upset when it happened, but he flipped a switch and it was on to the next play. You knew after that he wasn’t going to give it up again.”

    Amid the crush of reporters that comes with that type of performance, however, Murray was careful not to speak too boldly. He heaped praise on the play of the offensive line and the wide receiver, and he complimented Scott Linehan’s play calling.

    “We had a good day running the ball, but we definitely left some yards out there,” Murray said. “We’ve got to get better on a few things, we’ll watch film and review it. It was a good victory for us, but we’ve got to clean it up a little bit.”

    It says a lot that against a front that limited Jammal Charles to 19 yards just last week, Murray didn’t go backward one time. Three of his carries went for no gain, but Murray wasn’t tackled behind the line of scrimmage.

    It’s not that Tennessee’s front seven isn’t talented. Led by All-Pro defensive end Jurrell Casey, the Titans sacked Tony Romo four times in a losing effort, but they simply had no answer for Murray’s physicality. His runs weren’t even of the game breaking variety, as he had just two runs of 15 yards or more. He simply battered the Titans into submission, instead.

    “This is how you want to play, obviously,” Garrett said. “You have to control the line of scrimmage in order to run the ball throughout the game. Hopefully, if you’re able to do that, you can do that at the end of the game.”

    The Cowboys were so effective that by the end of the 16-point win, it was Lance Dunbar winding down the clock. Murray rested on the sideline, his fumbling woes long forgotten – by everyone else, at least.

    “I can’t let that happen. I’ve just got to revert what I’m used to doing and holding it with the hand I’m comfortable in,” Murray said. “I can’t let that happen, and I’ll get to work on that.”

    The fumble set the Titans up near midfield, putting the Dallas defense in a bad spot to open the game. Murray’s proficiency with the football more than made up for that during the rest of the game. With the rushing attack clicking, the Cowboys limited the Titans to 19 minutes of possession, allowing their defense to flourish for the 49 snaps they were on the field.

    “When you can do that, drive the football again and again and again and control the football and control the game, it gives you a great chance to win,” Garrett said.

    When the Titans did manage to rally, the Cowboys picked up the slack to put things away. Tennessee cut their deficit to six points thanks largely to a 61-yard touchdown by Delanie Walker in the third quarter. With the lead in the balance,

    Tony Romo led Dallas on a 12-play, 80-yard touchdown drive. His three-yard touchdown connection with Dez Bryant set the Cowboys up to do what had been working in the fourth quarter – run the ball.

    The Cowboys ran 22 plays in the fourth quarter – 17 of them runs. Murray’s big day is likely to make him the NFL’s leading rusher through two weeks. Downplaying again, he reiterated his focus on the stat he cares most about.

    “Like I said before, I’m not worried about those stats, I’m just worried about wins and losses,” he said.


    RELATED POSTGAME VIDEOS …

    Jason Garrett Postgame Press Conference | (Watch Video)

    Tony Romo Postgame Press Conference | (Watch | Listen)

    Jerry Jones Postgame Comments | (Watch | Listen)

    DeMarco Murray Highlights vs. Titans | (Watch Video)

    FOX HIGHLIGHTS: Dallas Cowboys vs. Tennessee Titans | (Watch Video)

    Filed under: Dallas Cowboys, Dallas Cowboys News, Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo press conference, David Helman, Jason Garrett Press Conference, Jerry Jones Postgame, Kurt Daniels, NFL, NFL Audio, NFL Dallas Cowboys Schedule, NFL Photographs, NFL Regular Season, NFL Video Tagged: Dallas Cowboys 2014-2015 NFL Schedule, Dallas Cowboys vs. Tennessee Titans

    Read more great Cowboys news at The Boys are Back

    215

    2014-2015 GAME 2 RECAP - Dallas vs. Tennessee - Tony Romo hands ball to DeMarco Murray

    FIRST TAKE VIDEO – Murray & McClain show up big | 2:45 | First impressions of the Dallas Cowboys week 2 victory at Tennessee. (Watch | Listen)


    GAME RECAP – DeMarco Murray leads Dallas Cowboys to a 26-10 win

    The Dallas Cowboys went old school in their impressive 26-10 victory over Tennessee, using a grinding rushing attack, solid specials teams and another good performance from the defense to come away with their first win of the season.

    With an emphasis on running the rock early, Dallas saw DeMarco Murray post 167 rushing yards in the game on just 29 carries, an average of 5.76 yards per attempt. Overall, Dallas ran for 220 yards total, compared to just 148 passing.

    Murray topped the century mark in the second quarter when the Cowboys ran the ball on 12 of their 21 plays, which led to 13 unanswered points. And, he led the charge on the team’s first touchdown of the game. Already up 3-0 and set up on the Titans’ 40-yard line after a Barry Church interception, he was handed the ball on four straight snaps. In response, he ripped off runs of 18, 6 and 13 yards before lunging the ball forward across the goal line from 3 yards out to put Dallas up 10-0.

    The Cowboys then tacked on two more field goals before halftime as Bailey was good from 44 and 51 yards to stay perfect on the year, the second coming with only nine seconds left in the half after Dwayne Harris returned a punt 15 yards to give Dallas field position at the Tennessee 48-yard line.

    Likewise, the Dallas defense was equally impressive through the first 30 minutes of the game, as the unit shut out the Titans while limiting them to just two first downs and 68 yards of total offense. They even produced their first turnover of the season with the pick by Church, who made a diving interception of an overthrown Jake Locker pass.

    Things got interesting after the half, though, when Tennessee came out and promptly scored on their first two possessions of the third quarter with a 47-yard field goal by Ryan Succop and a big 61-yard touchdown from Locker to tight end Delanie Walker that narrowed the gap to a one possession game, 16-10.

    But Dallas responded with another touchdown, this time doing their damage through the air, as Tony Romo guided the team on a 12-play 80-yard drive, he and Dez Bryant connecting five times during the series. The last was a dart to the right side of the end zone after Bryant created separation (some would say pushed off) to then haul in the pass for the score and an again-comfortable 23-10 lead.

    Despite Murray getting most of the accolades, Bryant was equally as dangerous, as he finished with 103 yards receiving on 10 catches. And while Romo still didn’t always look sharp, he was definitely better than last week, managing to throw for 176 yards on 19-of-29 passing with one touchdown, and perhaps more importantly, not throwing any interceptions.

    Whatever thoughts the Titans had about coming back were quashed on Tennessee’s next possession. Though the home team was driving, Henry Melton tipped a pass at the line of scrimmage, which was then followed by linebacker Rolando McClain making an acrobatic catch that was originally ruled incomplete. But after head coach Jason Garrett threw the red flag, the play was overturned upon review and Dallas had the ball.

    McClain’s effort led to Bailey’s fourth field goal, the Cowboys wrapping up their scoring for the day.

    Through two games so far, McClain has proven a steal for the Cowboys as he led the team in tackles against the Titans and had a sack in addition to the pick. Behind his effort, Dallas limited its opponent to 314 total yards for the afternoon, punctuating the defensive effort by keeping Tennessee out of the end zone on fourth-and goal from the Dallas 6-yard line with just more than six minutes remaining.

    With that, the Titans never saw the ball again, as Dallas pounded their way down the field, eating up the remainder of the clock to secure the victory and improve their record to 1-1 on the season. They’ll next travel to St. Louis to take on the Rams before returning home to face the Saints on Sept. 28.


    RELATED: Murray carries Dallas Cowboys to dominant win

    NASHVILLE – If his own mistake wasn’t motivation enough, Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett had some inspiring words for DeMarco Murray on Sunday.

    Murray had just lost a fumble to the Titans on his fourth carry of the afternoon – his second lost fumble of the young season. As he returned to the sideline, Garrett quickly told his Pro Bowl running back what the gameplan would be going forward.

    “I said ‘That was about the third carry of about 30 you’re going to get today. Hold onto the damn ball,’” Garrett said.

    He did that, and more. In a surprisingly dominant 26-10 win, the Cowboys force fed the Titans with an unstoppable ground game that saw them finish with 223 total rushing yards on the day.

    Murray accounted for a whopping 167 of those, as he carried the ball an unprecedented 29 times and scored a touchdown in the process of amending for that fumble.

    “D-Mo’s a guy that always keeps his head forward,” said Travis Frederick. “It happened. You could tell he was upset when it happened, but he flipped a switch and it was on to the next play. You knew after that he wasn’t going to give it up again.”

    Amid the crush of reporters that comes with that type of performance, however, Murray was careful not to speak too boldly. He heaped praise on the play of the offensive line and the wide receiver, and he complimented Scott Linehan’s play calling.

    “We had a good day running the ball, but we definitely left some yards out there,” Murray said. “We’ve got to get better on a few things, we’ll watch film and review it. It was a good victory for us, but we’ve got to clean it up a little bit.”

    It says a lot that against a front that limited Jammal Charles to 19 yards just last week, Murray didn’t go backward one time. Three of his carries went for no gain, but Murray wasn’t tackled behind the line of scrimmage.

    It’s not that Tennessee’s front seven isn’t talented. Led by All-Pro defensive end Jurrell Casey, the Titans sacked Tony Romo four times in a losing effort, but they simply had no answer for Murray’s physicality. His runs weren’t even of the game breaking variety, as he had just two runs of 15 yards or more. He simply battered the Titans into submission, instead.

    “This is how you want to play, obviously,” Garrett said. “You have to control the line of scrimmage in order to run the ball throughout the game. Hopefully, if you’re able to do that, you can do that at the end of the game.”

    The Cowboys were so effective that by the end of the 16-point win, it was Lance Dunbar winding down the clock. Murray rested on the sideline, his fumbling woes long forgotten – by everyone else, at least.

    “I can’t let that happen. I’ve just got to revert what I’m used to doing and holding it with the hand I’m comfortable in,” Murray said. “I can’t let that happen, and I’ll get to work on that.”

    The fumble set the Titans up near midfield, putting the Dallas defense in a bad spot to open the game. Murray’s proficiency with the football more than made up for that during the rest of the game. With the rushing attack clicking, the Cowboys limited the Titans to 19 minutes of possession, allowing their defense to flourish for the 49 snaps they were on the field.

    “When you can do that, drive the football again and again and again and control the football and control the game, it gives you a great chance to win,” Garrett said.

    When the Titans did manage to rally, the Cowboys picked up the slack to put things away. Tennessee cut their deficit to six points thanks largely to a 61-yard touchdown by Delanie Walker in the third quarter. With the lead in the balance,

    Tony Romo led Dallas on a 12-play, 80-yard touchdown drive. His three-yard touchdown connection with Dez Bryant set the Cowboys up to do what had been working in the fourth quarter – run the ball.

    The Cowboys ran 22 plays in the fourth quarter – 17 of them runs. Murray’s big day is likely to make him the NFL’s leading rusher through two weeks. Downplaying again, he reiterated his focus on the stat he cares most about.

    “Like I said before, I’m not worried about those stats, I’m just worried about wins and losses,” he said.


    RELATED POSTGAME VIDEOS …

    Jason Garrett Postgame Press Conference | (Watch Video)

    Tony Romo Postgame Press Conference | (Watch | Listen)

    Jerry Jones Postgame Comments | (Watch | Listen)

    DeMarco Murray Highlights vs. Titans | (Watch Video)

    FOX HIGHLIGHTS: Dallas Cowboys vs. Tennessee Titans | (Watch Video)

    Filed under: Dallas Cowboys, Dallas Cowboys News, Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo press conference, David Helman, Jason Garrett Press Conference, Jerry Jones Postgame, Kurt Daniels, NFL, NFL Audio, NFL Dallas Cowboys Schedule, NFL Photographs, NFL Regular Season, NFL Video Tagged: Dallas Cowboys 2014-2015 NFL Schedule, Dallas Cowboys vs. Tennessee Titans

    Read more great Cowboys news at The Boys are Back

    110

    On Sunday night, I had the chance to watch Cris Carter’s passionate speech about the Minnesota Vikings siting down Adrian Peterson.   Peterson will be playing next Sunday against the New Orleans Saints.    Peterson who was inducted for negligent injury to a child and the trial will be set for October.  Last Monday, Mike Hill of Fox Sports 1 challenged to do more and devote a month to domestic violence and do more for this problem.   Before Thursday night Steelers vs. Ravens game,  CBS James Brown made a plead to men about devaluing women, and prevent violence against them.  During Sunday’s ESPN Sportscenter,  Hannah Storm made some powerful comments on how she had to explain to her daughter about the Ray Rice video, and what does zero tolerance mean to the NFL, plus what does the league stand for with everything that is going on.  Sports Illustrated.com and CBS Sports Radio host Maggie Gray talked about where she wants to cover the league with all of these issues going on.  In my case I have one question to ask why has the NFL not addressed this issues, and have a policy to deal with domestic violence, DUI, child abuse and other important issues.   Commissioner Roger Goodell’s inaction has tarnished his legacy and a lot of people has called for his resignation.   The question I am asking now is how does one love the NFL, but hate all of the off field issues that is plaguing the league.   Rice, Peterson, Ray McDonald of the San Francisco 49ers and Greg Hardy of the Carolina Panthers legal issues are hurting the fanbase of the NFL especially the females.   Women make up 45% of the NFL fanbase, but will they give up watching the game if the league doesn’t address the issues of domestic and child abuse.    The NFL owes to their female fans that domestic and child abuse is not going to be tolerated.

    84

    Here are my Week 3 NFL Picks

    Atlanta beat Tampa Bay

    San Diego beat Buffalo

    ST. Louis beat Dallas

    Philadelphia beat Washington

    NY Giants beat Houston

    New Orleans beat Minnesota

    Baltimore  beat Cleveland

    Green Bay beat Detroit

    Indianapolis beat Jacksonville

    New England beat Oakland

    San Francisco beat Arizona

    Seattle beat Denver

    Kansas City beat Miami

    Pittsburgh beat Carolina

    Chicago beat NY Jets

    The Steelers played a lackluster game in a 26-6 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.   The defense was ineffective against the run giving up 157 total yards and not getting any sacks or turnovers.  Those two things were lacking in the defense last season in 0-4 start, and too many penalties, but a couple on the Ravens touchdown drive in the 3rd quarter were questionable.   The offense did not score a touchdown and had 3 turnovers.  The Steelers didn’t play a clean game and they have address some problems.   Such as cut back on turnovers and penalties on offense, and force turnovers on defense.   They are 1-1 and have a 10 day break before taking on the Carolina Panthers on Sunday night at the Bank of America with kickoff  at 8:30 P.M.

    74

    There is a lot of blame to go around with the Ray Rice situation.   Rice’s behavior is the main factor, but not the only one that people are talking about.  Roger Goodell is taking a lot of heat for it, and during an interview with CBS Noriah O’Donnell he didn’t see the video before it was shown on TMZ Sports. He said that the NFL could not get hold of the video, and lot of people don’t really believe that.   Blame should also been given to the New Jersey State Police,  Atlantic City Police, and the District Attorney for not pursuing the case.   The Ravens organization should have punished Rice in the first place, and Owner Steve Bisciotti wrote a letter of apology to shareholders for not taking action ahead of time.   There is a lot of blame to go around and they have been calls for Goodell to resign or fired by the owners.    Everyone should be blame for not punishing Rice in February for what he did.

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