Total Package's Blog

Special Teams

The Cowboys' special teams finally showed up for a game and they played a major role in turning the momentum in favor of the Cowboys.  The momentum shifted when T.O. scored the 1st touchdown, but the special teams took over the next 2 opportunities.  On the ensuing kickoff #52-Carlos Polk streaked down his lane and made an awesome hit at the 15 and he followed it up when the Rams went to punt by blocking it for a safety.  Notice that I mentioned that Polk streaked down his lane-this was textbook, disciplined kickoff coverage.  Every special team's player stayed in their lanes as they ran down the field.  The special teams followed it up by pinning the 49ers on the 1-yard line and the following kickoff Keith Davis tackled the return man at the 18.  These were 2 kickoff returns that did not reach the 20 and this is very good considering Nick Folk deepest kicks barely reached the 5-yard line.  Folk is a great field goal kicker.  He made 4-40 yard+ field goals and his longest is a 53-yarder that won the game against Buffalo.  However, the Cowboys are going to have to waste a roster spot for a kickoff specialist, but for now the kickoff coverage has to assume that the 5-yard line is the deepest Folk is going to kick and they must have lights-out coverage on every kickoff.


Except fot the first and last 2 49ers offensive series, the Cowboys played great defense.  Once again the Cowboys recorded 4 sacks and 11 knockdowns.  The 49ers earned their 2 field goals on the 1st 2 offensive sets of the game because the Cowboys did bring some heat to Shaun Hill.  However, the defense played soft in the 4th quarter and allowed the 49ers to score 2 touchdowns.  The defense also had an interception and a fumble recovery that should have been a touchdown if it wasn't for the infamous, inadvertent whistle.  Two ints. over the last two games and that is the result of pressuring the quarterback.  They must continue to get to the quarterback before he gets to the Cowboys secondary.  Jay Ratliff is becoming a beast at nose tackle, and Zach Thomas and James Brady are becoming a great pair of middle linebackers.  The 49ers only ran the ball for a total net of 26 yards.  Fans can say that these are the 49ers, but Frank Gore is not chopped liver either.  The secondary did allow for Hill to throw for 303 yards, but the 49ers netted 278 because of the 4 sacks that also rattled him into making some bad throws.


The 49ers defense was determined to stop Barber and they were very effective, but Romo and T.O. went crazy.  The 1 thing that bothered me about the offense was the lack of consistency.  The big play was what allowed the Cowboys to score touchdowns and that is what teams want to do and prevent other teams from doing.  In fact, making and preventing big plays is on every teams defensive and offensive goals chart in the dressing rooms.  Garrett's play-calling has improved tremendously over the last two games.  Redskins wanted to stop Romo, so Garrett gave them a heavy dose of Barber.  The 49ers wanted to stop Barber and Garret went to the passing game for big plays.  Defensively, teams are going to have to choose their poison, now that Garrett is calling plays like Zampese and Turner.  The only blemishs that Romo committed were his fumble/interception and the floater he threw to Witten, but by this time the game was out of reach for the 49ers.  Overall, Romo did a great job of taking care of the ball and just as important the pinkie held-up when he fell on it.  On a lighter side Romo must have caught Jessica flirting with Witten or Witten must have said her name in his sleep, since both are roommates on the road.  Maybe this the reason Romo floated the pass to Witten when he got drilled by the safety.  If not, then Romo needs to take Witten to the best steak dinner he has ever eaten.


Phillips showed his emotions by fist pumping when the Cowboys made big plays, but he needs to keep the foot on the gas pedal even when the Cowboys get a large lead.  This was evident when the 49ers scored the 2 touchdowns duirng the 4th quarter.  Any coach knows that their teams will take on their personalities, character, and principles. 


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