Did the NFL change or make a new rule that doesn't allow for kickoff teams to run down the field to break the receiving teams wedge? I could swear by the way the Cowboys cover kickoffs that there has been a rule change. Not one single player is willing to break the wedge. In fact, I've seen players choose a side around the wedge and then try to come from the side to make a tackle, and anyone that knows anything about football knows that they just took themselves out of the play.
Nick Folk can kick field goals, but he is expected to kick it deep to the goalline and if the game plan is to kick it short than there has to be better hang time to allow coverage to get there. Both facets of the kickoff team are not executing what ever plan the Cowboys have. I'm sure that somewhere in their living rooms that Bill Bates and Joe Avezzano are sick to the their stomachs with how the Cowboys play special teams. Note to Coach Phillips: the cupcake and/or cake and ice cream approach doesn't work with special teams because none of these guys are willing to get dirty and nasty. The special teamers are suffering from the pretty boy syndrome.
There were a lot of players that made an impact for the Cowboys durng last night's victory over the Redskins. First, Tony Romo made an impact by raising the Cowboys' energy. His numbers were fair even with the 2 interceptions. The first interception was from a double pump and I think I understand why he threw it behind T.O. I think that if he throws it front of him then T.O. would have been knocked out of the game because there was a safety in the middle. The second interception came when the football was knocked out T.O.'s hands. Otherwise the Cowboys would have won by at least 10. Second, defensively, Terrence Newman blanketed Moss for minimal yardage and he intercepted a pass when the Redskins had a drive that could have led to a score. Third, the acquisition of Roy Williams finally made an impact. He did not have 8 catches for over a hundred yards, but each of his catches were for 1st downs which kept the sticks moving. This guy grabs anything that is thrown his way and will become a force to be reckoned with for the Cowboys. Fourth, the front seven of the Cowboys finally created havoc for an opposing quarterback. Finally, Garrett made an impact through his play calling. It wasn't fancy, but it was smart and sound football. He didn't take the game away from Barber and tried to win with the passing game. Garrett seems to understand and recognize that sometimes the offense will go through Romo and sometimes it will go through Barber.
There are a couple of players that need to step up in order for the Cowboys to be able to run the gauntlet. Flozell Adams is a 10 year veteran that plays like a rookie with all of the false starts and other penalties that he commits. Given it is not easy to play left tackle especially on the road where the opposing fans get so loud that he can't hear the snap count. But I will again empahsize that he is not a rookie in the NFL. Maybe Adams should return all those millions that he signed during the off-season. Bobby Carpenter is starting to look like a 1st round bust and probably the only one that Parcells has ever had in the draft. He hasn't become a starter and that is not to bad, but he doesn't even make an impact on special teams which obviously is worse. Is he suffering from pretty boy syndrome? The same goes for Marcus Spears. 2nd note to Coach Phillips: the cupcake or cake and ice cream approach is not going to work.
Coach Phillips finds solutions for some of these problems and the Cowboys will run the gauntlet. The Cowboys will have to play with the same urgency they played with last night because each game is like a playoff game. For us Cowboy fans, we must not lose faith and continue to believe in America's team.