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CharlesinChicago

  • joined Jun 23, 2012
  • last login May 31, 2014
  • posts 87
  • comments 2968

Cowboys fan living in Chicago.

A Fan Of...

  • NFL Dallas Cowboys
  • NCAAF Texas Longhorns
  • MLB Texas Rangers
  • NBA Dallas Mavericks
  • MMA Fedor Emelianenko
  • Boxing Klitschko bros.
User Blog

Can the Redskins overcome a schedule that includes every NFC playoff contender?

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Of course, if RG3 stayed healthy and their D came on strong with all the new talent in their secondary, the Skins could go 11-5 too. But the problem is twofold -- as I mentioned in my FanPost predicting the Boys can take the NFC East at 10-6. http://www.bloggingtheboys.com/2013/5/23/4361448/predicting-nfc-east-records-time-for-a-shot-of-blue-koolaid Besides defenses figuring out the zone read and hitting RG3 more when he takes off, there's also the schedule: http://www.fbschedules.com/nfl-13/2013-washington-redskins-football-schedule.php The Skins will play every 2012 NFC division winner: Falcons, 49ers, and the Packers, plus the Denver Broncos and Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears on top of their NFC East rivals.

Dec 2012 interview with Darrion Weems -- future Cowboys starting OG/RT?

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Not sure if this has already been posted but with the possible shake up of the Cowboys interior OL this training camp and the rise of Edwan Coughman, I've been wondering if Weems has enough versatility to play inside. That would give the Cowboys two college tackles shifted inside in the pros with plenty of quickness combined with power. Something worth thinking about in 2014 -- Smith, Leary, Frederick, Weems, Parnell as our starters with Coughman the swing tackle and Kowalski as the G/C with Arkin as the backup OG.

Can Alex Carder heat up the competition for the 3rd QB spot?

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Since I live in Chicago I've had my eye on the Western Michigan QB Alex Carder since late last year. I was hoping Dallas would bring him in as a UDFA during the initial signing period but they opted to go with Akron's Dalton Williams. I think Carder is better and is more mobile with a live arm. Let's hope the front office cuts another camp body and brings in Carder to compete for the '3rd/developmental QB' job on the practice squad. Especially since I don't think Dallas will get local product G.J. Kinne from the Eagles when they have their final cut down. Where I first wrote about Carder in Dec. 2012: http://www.bloggingtheboys.com/2012/12/22/3786676/a-few-good-udfas-part-ii-building-depth-on-offense Dolphins scouting report comparing Carder to ex-Cowboy Matt Moore: http://www.miamidolphinsdraft.com/2012/08/2013-nfl-draft-scouting-report-alex-carder-qb-western-michigan/ Look at it this way -- Carder can't be worse than our other camp arms.

FanPost
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The Playoff Picture and the Cowboys (Part II- NFC North)

In my previous posts, I predicted that the Cowboys would win the NFC East with a 10-6 record, with the Giants and Redskins as co-runners up at 9-7, while the Eagles finish last at 7-9. I also...

FanPost
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The Playoff Picture and the Cowboys (Part I - NFC West)

Last summer when I made my koolaid drinking season predictions for Dallas and said the Boys could 11-5 there were many challenges I didn't anticipate -- primarily the tougher than expected games...

FanPost
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Predicting NFC East Records -- Time for a Shot of Koolaid!

Here is a fairly plausible path for the Cowboys into the playoffs with a 10-6 record as the NFC East champs. While this may seem ridiculously premature in light of potential training camp and...

FanPost
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Why 2014 promises to be a Monte Kiffin draft...

I'm reposting this is a FanPost because the formatting didn't work as a FanShot and a commenter suggested I do so. Here's something to fill the time until Cowboys veteran minicamps start Tuesday...

FanPost
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The Final 53 + 8 - Defense & Special Teams

In my previous FanPost I looked at the Cowboys offense and came up with this depth chart) of 25 players (with the option of cutting Beasley to make it 24 and carrying 26 players on defense):2 QB...

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The Final 53 + 8 - Offense

I decided to make my mock roster a little bit more interesting by splitting it up into offense and defense, including the practice squad candidates. (Click here to read the defense roster & special...

2013 Cowboys headed for 9-7 finish and wild card spot

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1 SEP 8 7:30PMCST ' GIANTS L 31 - 27 2 SEP 15 12:00PMCST ) AT CHIEFS W 20 - 16 3 SEP 22 12:00PMCST ) RAMS W 23 - 16 4 SEP 29 3:25PMCST ) AT CHARGERS W 30 - 24 5 OCT 6 3:25PMCST * BRONCOS L 30 - 27 6 OCT 13 7:30PMCST ' REDSKINS W 27 - 17 7 OCT 20 12:00PMCST ) AT EAGLES L 31 - 24 8 OCT 27 12:00PMCST ) AT LIONS W 38 - 34 9 NOV 3 12:00PMCST ) VIKINGS L 20 - 13 10 NOV 10 7:30PMCST ' AT SAINTS L 31 – 30 11 BYE 12 NOV 24 3:25PMCST ) AT GIANTS W 27 - 20 13 NOV 28 3:30PMCST * RAIDERS W 30 - 20 14 DEC 9 7:40PMCST + AT BEARS W 26 - 23 15 DEC 15 3:25PMCST ) PACKERS L 34 - 31 16 DEC 22 12:00PMCST ) AT REDSKINS L 33 - 31 17 DEC 29 12:00PMCST ) EAGLES W 34 - 24 Week 1 Giants still own Dallas at Cowboys Stadium, inexplicably Weeks 2 – 4 the only ‘soft’ part of the Boys schedule and I think the Rams give them the toughest time before losing due to Dez abusing their undersized corners. Still at least the NFL gives us a break here by giving us September to get our Defensive wrinkles ironed out in the new 4-3 and hopefully establish some consistency on the offensive line that we didn't have a chance of from training camp last year. Week 5 Broncos should be a high scoring game with their issues in secondary. I don't think the Broncos will intimidate us Week 6 First Skins game no RG3, Kirk Cousins instead – Dallas finally forces some turnovers, sacks Cousins who's not a statue by any means but can't run the zone read like RG3 Week 7 Eagles up tempo offense stuns Dallas, and Romo’s comeback falls short at Philly. Vick gets a win but gets hurt as Eagles o-line weaknesses exposed Week 8 Cowboys can overcome themselves and an awful Lions D in a shootout. Dez gets better stats than Megatron Week 9 Vikings pass rush will make Romo miserable, Christian Ponder gets just enough for the win despite new weapons Week 10 Cowboys lose shootout with Rob Ryan’s Saints on a missed field goal. I see a high amount of emotion for this game Week 11 BYE to rest up badly dinged up team Week 12 Boys beat Giants in Meadowlands coming off their bye week, I can't see JG allowing three losses in a row Week 13 Boys should beat the Raiders on Thanksgiving in their last 'easy' game of the season Week 14 Bears seem to have Dallas’ number dating back to 2010, but Dallas finally beats Chicago thanks to knowledge of Tampa 2/Marinelli, and forcing some Cutler turnovers. Maybe Brandon Marshall comes in dinged up and Bears other weapons fail to make plays. Week 15 Cowboys blow lead against Packers, lose to ignite bad December collapse memories Week 16 RG3 returns to torment Cowboys in December, but Boys finish Dec 2-2 Week 17 Dallas pounds Philly in Arlington, Eagles drop to 8-8, Cowboys take a wild card spot behind NYG who win NFC East with a 10-6 record. Egals finish 8-8, Redskins go 8-8 after RG3 gets hurt again

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A Few Good UDFAs Part III -- Completing the 2013 Draft

Top UDFAs to target (i.e. 'picks' 8-14) 8th Michael Williams TE/Deluxe OT Alabama 6"6 270 The '8th pick' -- I start this list off with Alabama's lumbering blocker Michael Williams. Should Dallas...

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My Final 2013 Cowboys Mock Draft

This is the last mock draft I'll post before the draft so I'll make it count but also keep it brief. My next FanPost will be Mocking the Draft for our NFC East rivals. But just to keep that post...

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My Mock Draft 4.0 - OG and Safety First

This is my next to last mock prior to draft day on April 25. As Dallas isn't expected to do a whole lot in free agency, I doubt the main needs for this team (OL, S, RB, LB) will change between now...

Is Carlton Mitchell the Next Laurent Robinson?

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The Dallas Cowboys signed wide receiver Carlton Mitchell after he was waived by the Jacksonville Jaguars in November 2012. Art 6"3 215 he's very similar in height, weight and speed (a 4.49 combine time) to former Cowboy Laurent Robinson. He also has some of the biggest hands of all Dallas receivers besides Dez Bryant (10 5/8ths inches). Mitchell was a player ESPN Dallas reported the front office scouted prior to the 2010 draft in which the raw underclassman from South Florida went in the sixth round to the Cleveland Browns. Mitchell played five games for Cleveland as a rookie, primarily on special teams, catching three passes for just over thirty yards during his second year (Miles Austin didn't have much better production in 2007). Mitchell had an excellent chance to 'break out' as the third receiver in Cleveland entering his third season, but a leg injury in training camp led to his release. The Jaguars picked him up but again Mitchell was unlucky with both the talent level of the quarterbacks throwing to him (the terrible Blaine Gabbert got benched) and was buried on the depth chart -- thanks to the unexpected rise of Cecil Shorts III. If Mitchell can be developed by our newly hired wide receivers coach from WR U Tennessee, Derek Dooley, he would be another great find for the scouting department. It would also spare us having to use even our 6th round draft pick on a big bodied receiver that might be more badly needed elsewhere (say for a blocking TE like Alabama's Michael Williams or a reserve cornerback). More than likely Mitchell would compete with another big bodied receiver brought in to create competition in training camp -- perhaps a UDFA like Eastern Kentucky's Tyrone Goard. Mitchell turns 25 this April, so there's still time to develop him into a competent third option who could step in as the big target on the outside should either Miles or Dez go down, with Harris or Coale manning the slot. Should Dez and Miles stay healthy, Mitchell could also come in as an outside receiver to allow Miles to work the slot so Harris can focus on his punt and kick return duties. At any rate, as Dallas continues to stockpile defensive tackles and guards in hopes of avoiding using a high draft pick on those positions, it's comforting to know the front office hasn't forgotten about the receiver position in light of Dez Bryant and Miles Austin's injury histories.

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After Bears Became 'Cowboys North', is Dallas Now Becoming 'Chicago South'?

The Dallas Cowboys hired former Bears defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli this past week to coach the defensive line and, it's assumed, serve as a potential successor to 'Tampa 2' defense creator...

My Trade Down Dream Draft for the 2013 Dallas Cowboys

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  1. 30th overall (from ATL) D.J. Fluker RT/OG Alabama
  2. 2A 49th overall selection Sylvester Williams NT UNC
  3. 2B 61st overall selection (from ATL) Larry Warford OG Kentucky
  4. 3 82nd overall Christine Michael RB Texas A&M
  5. 4 114th overall David Bass DE Missouri Western

Re-signing Spencer and a free agent guard -- pre-draft 'pivots'

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Bleacher Report says the Cowboys are headed for 'salary cap hell' in 2013. While this might be a slight exaggeration to get clicks from annoyed Cowboy fans, it's certainly true if Dallas keeps restructuring contracts like those of Brandon Carr, Demarcus Ware, Miles Austin and other current stars forward. In that case, this team could find itself almost as crippled in adding talent (minus trading away two first rounders for Joey Galloway) as Dave Campo's doomed 2000-2002 teams. With that said, my position should be clear: re-signing Anthony Spencer would be a mistake when looking at the long term prospects of this team. So would, IMO, keeping Doug Free. It's time to see whether Jeremy Parnell can hack it as a starter in this league or is best kept for a reasonable salary as a swing tackle and nothing more. Bringing in a big money free agent to play right guard or tackle makes little sense to me, unless this team plans to let a big time free agent like Tyron Smith, Dez Bryant, Sean Lee or Mo Claiborne walk when their rookie deals expire. Keeping all of our top draft picks of recent years for this team's Super Bowl run in 2014 or 2015 (when Romo might want to go out on top like Elway, or the Boys find a more mobile passer in the RG3/Kaepernick mold as a successor) requires not getting stuck on the urgent needs of 2013. And BTB seems to have a clear consensus on what the top positions of need are, aside from maybe the guard positions: right tackle, pass rusher, running back and safety. Clearly by putting safety last I'm counting on Matt Johnson or former New England Patriot Sterling Moore to step up and claim if not one of the starting positions than the critical 3rd safety job in 4-2 packages. Since this is such a deep safety class I think a guy like Clemson's Rashard Hall (whose physical stats resemble a Sensabaugh clone) or even Kansas' Bradley McDougald in the 6th round could come in and be a solid addition to our rotation, with Eric Frampton beating out Danny McCray for the final special teams gunner safety spot. Is there any way to clear enough room to resign Spencer? If we could, or Spencer takes a very team friendly deal in order to remain the bookend with Ware, this team will be much more competitive in 2013, because we'll be able to address tackle, nose tackle, running back and safety (not necessarily in that order) even with just 6 picks on draft day. (Personally I think Brian Price and Rob Callaway are going to surprise people, giving us a lot more 'beef' up front to run the 4-3 than folks think we have in house). We would also be able to draft a guy like Quanterus Smith (or another small school project) in the 6th, have Alex Albright hold down the fort as our third 4-3DE/backup SAM LB, and hope Quanterus will be ready to see some quality snaps by the end of the 2013 season after coming back from ACL surgery. With that all said, I think it's crucial for the Cowboys to address guard and center -- not necessarily with high draft picks, but through free agency both before and after the draft (I have my eye on Louisville center Mario Benavides, who could go undrafted due to reported knee problems like our own Ronald Leary, and Cornell tackle/likely center conversion project J.C. Tretter). Given that the Cowboys have already demonstrated they'll pick up players from the CFL's Hamilton Tiger Cats, I only think it's fair that they aggressively move to sign TigerCats OG Peter Dyakowski. The former LSU star has competed on 'Canada's Smartest Person' show and will be 29 this spring. Dyakowski could replace Cook in the game day C/G role while freeing Kevin Kowalski to focus only on replacing Costa at center, with David Arkin as the third string center (I don't see Bernie being moved to center unless he has a whole offseason to practice the position). But where I'm confused is over how much cap room the Cowboys can clear out even prior to the CFL signing period in early February, right after the Super Bowl. What do you think BTBers? Can we cut Doug Free and designate him a June 1st cut and restructure enough contracts this month to make it happen? http://www.bloggingtheboys.com/2012/12/12/3760426/players-for-cowboys-to-look-at-north-of-the-border

Why the Cowboys Must Draft Margus Hunt for the "I-35 Package"

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If any of you have followed the Chicago Bears or New York Giants defenses in recent seasons you've probably heard of something called the 'NASCAR' or 'Dan Ryan' packages. Both refer to efforts by the respective 4-3 defenses to put their most effective pass rushers on the field together on third downs and sacrifice some bulk for speed. In the Giants case, the NASCAR package at its height during their 2011-2012 Super Bowl run featured Jason Pierre Paul at strongside end, former Cowboys 3-4DE Chris Canty at NT, and defensive end Justin Tuck at the other DT spot flanked by weakside rusher Osi Umenoyiora. Note that the Giants pass rush was very successful when Canty was healthy despite any concerns about his shift from a 3-4 system in Dallas to a 4-3 one in New York (I've confirmed this with a Giants fan who's eyeballed far more non-Cowboy Giants games than I have bothered to watch). Also note that when Canty went down (along with injuries that Justin Tuck suffered that he blamed on getting tripped by ex-Cowboys left tackle Flozell Adams) -- the NASCAR package sputtered. The Chicago Bears 'Dan Ryan' package, named for one of the biggest expressways in the Windy City (and the one that goes through the rough South Side, no less), is similar to the Giants scheme. The difference though is that the Bears use an undersized but quick DT in Henry Melton (seriously, as a Texas fan I recall Melton unsuccessfully trying to hurdle a defensive back into the end zone while playing fullback rather than running him over -- Melton was at least athletic enough in college at 6"3 265 to play fullback) in their set. And Melton, at least at his peak in 2011 (probably weighing closer to 280 which Crawford played at a heavier weight last season), finished the that year with over eight sacks. If Hatcher or Crawford (who's similar in size to Melton) hit that number we'd all say that we were successfully using them in Monte Kiffin's new 4-3 in Dallas. Of course, Melton got a lot of those sacks because offenses were expecting the Dan Ryan with the 6"6 290 pound Julius Peppers lined up at the strongside DT slot next to Melton. In Kiffin's D with Ezekiel Ansah setting the strong side edge like the Bears big DE Corey Wooten Margus Hunt would perform the Peppers role springing Crawford or Lissemore to the quarterback. Finally Demarcus Ware would perform the Osi/Shea McClellin role of weakside pass rusher (notwithstanding McCllelin's injury issues, he is a prototypical 3-4 outside backer playing will side rush end on passing downs but may end up like our every own Alex Albright or Kyle Wilber being moved to SAM linebacker next season if the Bears find another pass rusher like ex-Cowboy Aston Whiteside). So...what do you think Cowboy Nation? Have I made the case for grabbing the Big albeit inexperienced Estonian in as high as possible in April?

FanPost
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Not quite as ridiculously premature 2013 NFL Draft Projections: Part IIB - The 4-3 Edition!

In the first half of my Dallas Cowboys Mock Draft 2.0, I looked at some of the top priority positions this team needs to address: PASS RUSHER...with LSU bookends Barkevious Mingo and Sam Montgomery...

FanPost
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Not quite as ridiculously premature 2013 NFL Draft Projections: Who Do the Cowboys Get? (Part IIA)

Whew! After watching the Washington Redskins lose to the dark horse Super Bowl contending Seattle Seahawks tonight, and looking over the players Dallas has signed to futures contracts in hope of...

The Pistol and how to stop it -- more tweeners?

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In reading this EXCELLENT SBN article on the development of the 'Pistol' offense run by Bob Griffin and the Redskins as well as Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers I recalled my thoughts expressed earlier this season when defenses were ripping plodding offensive lines a new one -- including our very own Cowboys o-line. Since then Dez Bryant has emerged, Jason Witten has recovered from a busted spleen and Romo has emerged from the high interception and running for his life doldrums. Nonetheless, I recall even at that time postulating that not only would Dallas look for more tackles to convert to play inside at guard or center (while putting increasingly athletic former basketball players like Jeremy Parnell on the outside to block). I also thought we would see Dallas pick up or draft more players like Barry Church -- who are fast enough to not be liabilities in coverage but also big enough to come up and put a lick on RG3 or Kaepernick when they take off for a first down -- and to cover tight ends. In other words, when Jason Garrett and company sit down to analyze this season and what went wrong (aside from the injuries to very fast linebackers Sean Lee, Bruce Carter and even Ernie Sims) they might take a hard look at reevaluating the type of players to bring in. Clearly after a very good defensive start to the season Dallas needs more pass rush from players not named Demarcus Ware or even Anthony Spencer in the future. Finding guys who can help take down or at least contain and/or pick off the RG3s, Lucks, Kaepernicks and Wilsons of the future will be critical to this team's chances of winning a Super Bowl this decade. Unfortunately the Cowboys can't clone Darren Woodson and put several of his clones out on obvious passing downs to both cover the slot and corral Bob G3. But they can start looking in broader terms at where the league is headed (thus far they've done well with drafting Tyronosaurus and developing Parnell to start in 2013, and if Killer K and Arkin can ever play up to their combine numbers they too could handle athletic rushers inside). And then act accordingly not only this and subsequent drafts but in undrafted free agency as well.

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A Few Good UDFAs - Part II - Building Depth on Offense

After looking at some of some of the top defensive players likely to slip into the UDFA ranks either because they played at small schools or have had subpar senior seasons, it's time to look at...

FanPost
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A Few Good UDFAs -- Part I - Depth for the D

In my previous post I diagnosed how the Cowboys, who are up against the salary cap and with only six picks in the 2013 draft, could turn to some of the Canadian Football League's top stars to...

FanPost
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Players for Cowboys to Look at North of the Border

Last weekend's stunning loss of former Hamilton Tiger Cats pass rusher Jerry Brown in a suspected drunken driving crash and the signing of another Tiger Cat, DT/DE Robert Rose to the active roster...

FanPost
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Ridiculously premature 2013 NFL Draft Projections: Who Do the Cowboys Get? (Part I)

This is my first attempt to produce a reasonable (as in, not homer-we-get-studs-at-all-positions) NFL Draft forecast. It's free, unlike Mel Kiper's, so you get what you pay for...however the aim...

FanPost
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Do you need all top 100 picks to build a successful o-line? (Part III) A Look at the Dirty Birds

Nearly half the NFL regular season is in the books. After a start which saw some scary offensive line play from the Dallas Cowboys (and some very rough patches for other NFC teams like the Green...

Business Insider discusses 10 trends changing NFL...agree or disagree?

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One of my favorite websites Business Insider published a story on how the NFL is changing and supposedly moving towards the up-tempo, no-huddle college offense model. While this looks like an astute piece of analysis at first glance, it should be noted some of the college coaches like Jim Harbaugh and Pete Carroll the BI article praises have had their ups and downs of late. And whoever says no-huddle has taken over the NFL must've missed the sack-fest and sloppy o-line play that characterized September and early October early this season, before o-lines like the Cowboys started to settle down and play better. If you're going to run the college no-huddle up-tempo at the NFL level, you're going to need more than two tight ends like Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez (or Jason Witten and James Hanna) to pull it off. You're going to need some very very very good dancing bears up front. In any case, whoever wrote this article for BI is clearly not a Cowboys fan who's watched defensive lines overwhelm our o-line in two of our five games so far.

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There is no Herschel Walker trade option for this franchise!

Ok it's time to get a bit controversial -- even get in a few folks faces -- metaphorically, of course. There is no Herschel Walker trade that's going to take this franchise from being the...

Iggles patch Left Tackle hole successfully vs. JPP...for one game

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As I mentioned in my FanPost on this topic this week, the most maddening thing about the Cowboys is not just the sudden plethora of butter fingered wide receiver play. It's the fact that other teams in the NFC with o-line problems seem to be able to patch their holes while the Boys' front office can't seem to do it (though it seems Jeff Fisher's staff took advantage of the Cardinals MASH unit at running back and finally blew up the Arizona birds' suspect o-line for 9 sacks of Kevin Kolb Thursday night). Granted we now have 52 roster spots leaving at least one open for Kevin "Killer" Kowalski to return and man the center spot by Week 7 at the Carolina Panthers. But it doesn't look this bye weekend like this team has any intention of signing Montrae "Lumpy" Holland or Brian Waters before a potential Week beat down in Baltimore. In this link, NFC East blogger Dan Graziano looks at how the Philadelphia Eagles used a previous 'JAG' to keep Jason Pierre Paul off Michael Vick last weekend. If Dallas can play Costa at center and Kowalski at guard with Ryan Cook instead of Jeremy Parnell manning the right tackle slot, is there hope for getting more push on the right side of the line and reviving our comatose running game? More on this topic here -- and be sure to check out the comment about Jason Garrett's increasing preference for slightly lighter, quicker linemen: http://www.bloggingtheboys.com/2012/10/3/3447700/thoughts-on-patching-the-ol-and-beating-back-the-nfc-defensive

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Thoughts on patching the OL and beating back the pass rusher blitzkrieg

I know it sounds defeatist, not a true blue fan etc to 'write this year off'. But mentally I've already started to prepare myself for another 8-8...or maybe a 9-7 and playoff-missing finish. This...

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