Fish's Cowboys Practice Report
Fish On C.J. Spillman: As soon as the Cowboys learned of an allegation of an incident, the team got involved and conducted their own investigation. They don't believe Spillman is guilty of any wrongdoing. That's why he's played in games and is still practicing. That doesn't mean there weren't any shenanigans, just that Spillman didn't cross into the other side of the law.
Fish On How to Defeat Houston: Travis Frederick, a teammate of J.J. Watt's at Wisconsin, said yesterday that Dallas isn't playing the "Houston J.J. Watts," but the Houston Texans. The Texans don't stop the run; they are the eighth-worst team in the NFL. Being a month into the season, teams are what they are. It's really clear, and Garrett is picking a great week to voice a commitment to the run.
Fish On Romo's Prognosis: "Romo Wednesdays" are followed up by "Romo Thursdays," which are regular work days. The 34-year-old quarterback looks fine and is large and in charge.
Fish On How Dallas Can Block Watt: The problem with sending Witten out to chip Watt is it's a question of where Watt lines up. Watt will move where you can't get help. It's hard to strategize where you're going to double team when you don't know where Watt lines up. If Houston's smart -- and they are -- they won't line up Watt against Tyron Smith. That might be a draw. What Romeo Crennel will do is go find your weakest spot, like possibly J.J. Watt against Ron Leary or Doug Free. He doesn't have to speed rush Free, because Watt has good bull rushing skills. It's a good thing Witten has proven to be an effective blocker so far, because Dallas will need that come Sunday.
Fish on Who Wears the Defensive Headset? It's more than likely Justin Durant, who has done it before. The staff would like to let Rolando McClain, even though he's in the middle and would prefer to absolve him of any additional burdens. Look for Durant to be that guy.
Fish on How much Will Bruce Carter Be Missed? The Cowboys will probably get lucky, because they have developed in rookie Anthony Hitchens someone they feel comfortable with. Dallas is comfortable enough with Hitchens that he will probably play ahead of Kyle Wilber, who the staff considers a very capable strong side linebacker. Having said that, losing Carter means losing a terrific playmaker who played a great game against New Orleans. There's no pretending that's not a big loss to the Cowboys defense.
Fish on Who Threatens the Cowboys Defense? The Texans have issues themselves. As of yesterday, they had six starters on their 12-man injury report. Arian Foster is already not healthy, but his offensive line isn't doing a good job. Andre Johnson comes up limp with great frequency, and he's currently banged up. Ryan Fitzpatrick is a game manager at best. Between the two teams that are 3-1, though astounding but true, the team that employs the most smoke and mirrors are the Texans.
Fish On the Cowboys Injury Report The only guy not participating today is Bruce Carter. Terrell McClain and Henry Melton are practicing. Rolando McClain is flying around. McClain reports being very hungry after being out of the league for so long, and there are guys on the team that are equally hungry. It's a perfect fit for him -- Rolando's words.
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