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View Full Version : Cowboys hoping to snap out of their offensive slump


Bob Dole
12-11-2005, 05:11 AM
Tom Orsborn
Express-News Staff Writer

IRVING The blame game has started in Dallas.

And unless the offense breaks out of its slump soon, the biggest losers will be the offensive linemen.

"We have one of the highest-paid lines in the NFL, and with that kind of commitment, it can cause frustration at times," said Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who joined coach Bill Parcells last week in singling out the line for the team's offensive woes.

"It's pretty simple," Parcells said. "We've got to block 'em better."

Parcells would like to see that start today, when Dallas (7-5) plays the Kansas City Chiefs (8-4) and their 27th-ranked defense in a game the Cowboys must win to keep a solid grip on the second wild-card spot in the NFC.

Dallas, according to Parcells, needs to win its final four games to have a shot at winning the NFC East title. The Cowboys trail the New York Giants (8-4) by one game after losing 17-10 last week at Giants Stadium.

But history says the Cowboys likely will enter the playoffs as a wild card if they can win three of their next four. Since 1978, only seven 10-victory teams in the NFC failed to qualify for the postseason. Dallas has never missed the playoffs when it reaches double digits in victories.

"We've got a shot," Jones said. "We don't have terminal problems. We are getting healthy. And we are better in some areas than we have been in several years."

Offense isn't one of them. The Cowboys have scored no more than 21 points in each of the past four games and have produced only eight offensive touchdowns, with one coming one play after cornerback Aaron Glenn returned an interception to the Giants' 7-yard line.

During that same span, Drew Bledsoe has passed for at least 200 yards only once and has thrown five interceptions. A month ago, the Cowboys owned the league's sixth-ranked offense (357.8 yards per game), and Bledsoe was the NFC's top-rated passer with a career-high 97.4 quarterback rating.

Now, Bledsoe ranks fifth with an 86.1 rating. The offense, meanwhile, has dropped to 17th, averaging 323 yards per contest.

"It's been more of a struggle, no question," Bledsoe said. "Part of that is we've played some very good defenses. But we also feel like our execution has not been the same as it was early in the season."

Parcells says it all starts with the play of the line, a stance shared by guard Marco Rivera, who Jones added in the offseason for $9 million.

"We have to address our problems up front," Rivera said. "That's the way I feel, and so do the other guys. To do that, everyone has to do their job. If everyone gets his job done, then we can move the ball."

The Cowboys arrived in training camp hoping the offensive line would be one of their strengths. But a season-ending knee injury to left tackle Flozell Adam and inconsistent play from Rivera, center Al Johnson, backup center Andre Gurode and rookie right tackle Rob Petitti has meant no room for Julius Jones to run and no time for Bledsoe to pass.

"I've got to get a better pre-snap read and accelerate my movements in the pocket, so I can get rid of the ball," said Bledsoe, who threw two interceptions and was sacked four times against the Giants.

But Rivera said the solution has nothing to do with Bledsoe getting rid of the ball faster.

"We're not running the ball, and that's the No. 1 thing we have got to do to have success," Rivera said. "If we can run the ball, it makes it easier to pass and protect the quarterback and that makes the offense better."

Source (http://www.mysanantonio.com/global-includes/printstory.jsp?path=/sports/stories/MYSA121105.16C.FBNcowboys.adv.33e3b0e.html)

Mile High Mania
12-11-2005, 05:32 AM
Dallas has to find a way to get Witten more involved... Witten has been a non-factor and Bledose needs that safety valve outlet. Keyshawn and Glenn are healthy - Crayton is back I believe and then you have Witten, Barber and J Jones. The weapons are there, but that Oline sucks without Adams...

Their only saving grace is a stout defense.

Bob Dole
12-11-2005, 05:42 AM
Dallas has to find a way to get Witten more involved... Witten has been a non-factor and Bledose needs that safety valve outlet. Keyshawn and Glenn are healthy - Crayton is back I believe and then you have Witten, Barber and J Jones. The weapons are there, but that Oline sucks without Adams...

Their only saving grace is a stout defense.

Parcell's isn't interested in no "pretty boy" tight end. He wants his tight ends to block.

Mile High Mania
12-11-2005, 05:43 AM
Parcell's isn't interested in no "pretty boy" tight end. He wants his tight ends to block.

Well, if they wanna win, they need Witten to rock.

chiefsfaninNC
12-11-2005, 08:12 AM
Here's to alot of finger pointing next week.

Andoverer
12-11-2005, 09:50 AM
Here's to alot of finger pointing next week.

By DALLAS!
Just wanted some clarification

Saul Good
12-11-2005, 10:51 AM
There's not a single player on Dallas's offense that seriously worries me. There are several on their defense that do, though.