Fish's Thursday Cowboys Practice Report
Injury Report: "Rolando McClain walked out of the locker room and I went towards the practice field and he went towards the weight room. So, no practice today for the Cowboys middle linebacker today. Now, he's got a big, white wrap on his right leg. And before practice, he'd already worked up a sweat. Clearly, he's working as hard as he can without actually going on the field to be a part of things. The cornerback Tyler Patmon not practicing today. The linebacker Cameron Lawrence not practicing today and no Bruce Carter. Tony Romo is practicing today. So, except for Rolando McClain, a pretty healthy bunch as we go through Thursday today.''
(Later, Fish would add with a wink that McClain moved "with grace and speed'' while trotting away from reporters in the Valley Ranch locker room.)
Fish on Murray's Ball Security: "One thing that Dez Bryant has done all season is during stretching, he carries a ball around with him. It's another reinforcement of ball protection. A couple weeks ago, DeMarco Murray started doing the same thing. So, he's sitting on the ground stretching cradling a football. Now, today, a whole bunch of offensive players are doing the same thing. It makes a great deal of sense. You're not doing anything with your hands anyway. You might as well just reinforce, whether it's physical or subliminal, might as well reinforce it one more way.''
Fish on Keeping Murray Fresh: "I agree on trying to find ways -- if it were possible -- to get him through a Seattle game so you can get him to a Giants game. But I don't disagree with the part about 2015. I don't care. First of all, I don't think he's going to be here in 2015. I think there's a team out there that will decide that they want to "over-spend" for a runningback that just broke the rushing record. And the Cowboys have their policy -- and I'm not saying it's etched into concrete, but it's certainly written in pen: $500,000 running backs, you do that every four years. I feel like they burned themselves on Marion Barber and don't want to go back there. So, is there a way to get DeMarco Murray to get stretched through 16 games? Maybe. Do you concern yourself with trying to stretch him through 32 games? I don't think they do.''
Fish on Clutch Road Romo: "I think that the effort to convince America that Tony Romo doesn't suck is a valiant battle. But it's an uphill one because there's just so much crap flowing down the hill. Tony Romo in the 4th quarter and overtime since 2007 has the best QB rating in all of football at 106.7. For all of those years combined from 2007-now, it's the best so-called quarterback rating in the clutch on the road. It doesn't mean they beat Seattle, and it certainly doesn't add hardware in the trophy case. But the suggestion that Romo makes more clutch mistakes than other guys -- the statistics simply don't bear that out. And I think that's a fantastic number: 106.7.''
Fish on How Dallas Wins in Seattle: "Romo said yesterday, in visiting with us, that maybe this is one of those games where maybe you have 15 pass attempts and throw for 150 yards. It's kind of a hint that the way for this team to win, regardless of what that team does, is to run the football and yet that team is the #1 defense against the run. I think against Montee Ball, who had 13 carries for 38 yards, I believe this year that's the most carries for an opposing running back against Seattle and the most yards for an opposing running back against Seattle. Let's do give Romo this: to get to 4-1, he's been really bad against San Francisco. Then he's been a bus driver. Then he's been comeback. Then he's dominant. So, Tony Romo himself has been a part of finding four different ways to win four games.''
Our friend, Chris Arnold, points out that Montee Ball fumbled on his very first carry against Seattle and that the Broncos abandoned the run.
Fish Continues: "Go back to that last Seattle game that I was at and the Cowboys fumble the opening kickoff away with Felix Jones. Now, if you want to get that terrific crowd fired up against you, yeah, go ahead and do something stupid like that. Fumble away the opening kickoff. If you want to ruin your running game, fumble away the opening kickoff. If you want to have your confidence start to dissolve, fumble the opening kickoff. I don't think that happens this time. I think this is a fascinating matchup between one team that's clearly legitimate and one team that, if it wins -- maybe even if it plays well -- gets to call itself legitimate.''
The entire report can be heard here. Be sure to follow Fish on Twitter, along with the rest of the CowboysHQ staff: KD Drummond, Mark Lane, and Jordan Ross. And stay tuned to 105.3 The Fan, THE Cowboys station.
*Want to get smarter about Cowboys cap issues and solutions? Read Part 1 of KD's "Cowboys Cap 2015 Report. It's brilliant ... as good as it gets.
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