Fourth And One

The Dallas Cowboys have become so bad on the field the national media has stopped making fun. Kicking a dog when he's down is sport to some but when the dog has mange, fleas, and you can count his ribs from twenty paces, even the circling sharks take pity.

Joe Theisman, normally a Cowboy critic was unusually calm with his diagnosis of the Cowboys. He spent more time praising the Eagles defense than taking the easy shot at a pitiful Dallas team.

Perhaps his old quarterback days caused him to feel some kinship with Anthony Wright and therefore save his comments for another time.
Dave Campo braved the slings and arrows of the local journalists and held his Tuesday press conference. Many issues of note came from his discussion on last week's game and the one coming up against the Raiders.

"Oakland is obviously a very good football team," Campo started. "With the players they have the offense lends itself to moving the ball around."

He spoke of the 97% passer rating of Gannon and the fact that both (Jerry) Rice and (Tim) Brown have 17 catches each. The passing game will challenge the Dallas secondary that hasn't performed above any of the other units on the team.

But the Raiders also have Charlie Garner in the backfield. A player that gutted last years Cowboys for over 200 yards while with the 49ers. Yet with Oakland, Garner has 14 catches already this season. Where he is on the field will be as critical as the two pro-bowl receivers for the Raiders.

"Of the teams we've played, they (Oakland) are the least blitzing team," Campo spoke of the Raiders defense. "But if I were them, I'd turn it up a notch this week."

Campo expressed a desire to utilize the quarterbacks to slow down the blitz. "I would like to use the skills of both Quincy and Anthony to get outside. They're not as much of a perimeter blitzing team."

Both Tampa Bay and Philadelphia caused the Cowboys to play out of their strength of busting the ball between the tackles. The stir around the campfire is why did the Cowboys try to run Emmitt outside when that has never been his strong suit.

"They are an inside blitzing team. We wanted to get to the perimeter to slow down their blitz." Yet when judging the effectiveness against the Eagles Campo added, "It didn't work like we hoped it would this week."

Expect the Cowboys to run Emmitt between Page and Adams where he has prospered over the last dozen years and Carter or Wright to roll out and challenge the Raider defense on the edges. Considering the success of the Eagles, it may be wise to suspect a Raider game plan fashioned after the debacle in Philly.
Kelvin Garmon has been starting at right guard on offense. Corey Simon took Garmon to school Sunday night by dominating the second year player from Baylor.

"Kelvin had a rough week this week," Campo said. "His play is one we need to continue to evaluate this week."

Garmon's play has caught the eye of the head coach. And in this case that is not a good thing.

But if the Cowboys have to back up and replace a faltering Garmon, their options are limited.

"Al Jackson is a guy that has not been active. (On the active roster) He is a young guy. Right now we are going with Kelvin and he has to play better."

Not many options on a club with little talent at the back-up spots and no money.

Can a defense that has been so anemic in the pass rush department hope to improve when Ebenezer Ekuban returns? His loss seems to have taken the bite out of an almost toothless defensive line and made them into statues. Philly was using a calendar to clock the length of time Donovan McNabb had to throw.

With the quarterbacks in Denver and San Francisco on the schedule along with Rich Gannon this week, Dallas better figure out this dilemma quickly. Or expect to set passing records for yardage given up by a defense this season.
Darrin Chiaverini, the 6'2", 210 pound wide receiver from Colorado that was acquired in a trade, had a clause in the swap that would cost the Cowboys a 7th round pick if he made over 35 catches.

During Sunday's scalping, he was on the field but caught no balls.

The Update wonders if this is a shrewd plan on the part of the team to hold down his catches and obtain him for nothing. At the rate the passing game is going, without eclipsing the century mark in any game except the Chargers, perhaps Jones and company need to rethink this idea.
Dat Nguyen had a pin inserted in his dislocated finger this week after the Eagles game. He will be playing in a cast if he gets on the field. Since he leads the linebackers in tackles and Charlie Garner is the featured running back this week with Tyrone Wheatley as his caddie, it's hoped Dat can return to the line-up. If not the rookie linebacker Jamal Brooks.

CowboysHQ Top Stories