Report card after five games

A closer look at America's Team five games into the 2009 season.

PASSING OFFENSE: C -- Tony Romo has been an average quarterback at best, showing at times while he's thought of as the most explosive quarterback in the league and other times showing he still has some growing up to do. He has thrown just six touchdown passes with four interceptions and has a passer rating of 86.5. The pass blocking has been suspect and the receivers have not stepped up, which was a concern in the wake of Terrell Owens' release in the offseason.

RUSHING OFFENSE: B+ -- The Cowboys have the league's fourth-best rushing attack and have done it despite injuries to Felix Jones and Marion Barber. Third team back Tashard Choice has been a savior and has clearly shown he can be the starter when needed. The shame is that he probably should be starting and most believe he definitely should get more carries.

PASS DEFENSE: D -- The Cowboys rank 27th in the league against the pass. They have had trouble getting to the quarterback as the team's sack totals are down considerably from a year ago and they have made mistakes in coverage. Linebacker DeMarcus Ware has two sacks in five games and has seemingly been absent during long stretches of the early part of the season.

RUSH DEFENSE: C -- The Cowboys have been average against the run so far in 2009, allowing 106.4 yards per game. Nose tackle Jay Ratliff has been a freak but the Cowboys are getting average play from ends Marcus Spears and Igor Olshansky. Linebackers Bradie James and Keith Brooking are in on a lot of tackles down field.

SPECIAL TEAMS: B -- David Buehler has been an impact player on kickoffs. He already made a difference in kick coverage with more touchbacks than the Cowboys had all last season. Kicker Nick Folk has made eight of 10 field goals and punter Mat McBriar has been a weapon. The returns should be better in the second half of the season with the addition of Allen Rossum.

COACHING: C -- Make no mistake about it, head coach Wade Phillips is on the hot seat. The Cowboys have yet to play a clean, mistake-free game and have struggled at times in their wins, especially in their last game over the lowly Kansas City Chiefs. Their record is 3-2 but they could easily be or 5-0 if not for mental breakdowns and gaffes in losses to the Giants and Broncos that came down to the last series of the game.

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