By Will Martin
Thursday – August 7 – 9:00 p.m.
Qualcomm Stadium – San Diego
Indeed football is back and what better way-if you reside in North Texas-to get ready and riled up to follow the game or get a little 5 on 5 flag football started somewhere than to enjoy the rarest of summer occurrences in the Lone Star state?
Namely, a cold front! One of two that we have been able to enjoy. Nothing screams football louder than the smell of morning dew and that nip in the air at dawn.
In this case a mercury read of 66 to round out July?
Looking out towards Oxnard this might be an omen of what’s to come.
With the Rangers claiming a Nolan Ryan curse this injury riddled season what are fans of the Silver and Blue to think about the news that their 34th pick (as in Ryan’s number) DeMarcus Lawrence (defensive end) went down with a broken foot earlier this day and is expected to miss upwards of 2-3 months?
Lawrence was to be a big cog in the defensive schemes Rod Marinelli had in mind. The mishap commenced at the hands of Tyron Smith during a drill. Adding to a list of other banged up players such as Terrell McClain, Matt Johnson, and Ben Gardner it would appear that things on the offensive side of the ball are more in the Cowboys favor than the defense.
Look for Tyrone Crawford and Jeremy Mincey to see more action at the end position.
Among the nicked, injured, or semi banged up were the likes of Anthony Spencer with a knee tweak, Will Smith nursing a groin, Brandon Carr attending the health of his Mom (battling cancer), Ronald Leary with a bad hammy, and Amobi Okoye under the weather.
Is it August 7 yet? How much if at all will Tony Romo play?
Romo talked to the media on July 24 to address the status of his back.
“Today, without going against the defense, I felt like, ‘Let’s be smart,’” Romo said. “Talking with the trainers and coaches and coming up with a plan, there was a certain number we were going to throw and I was able to hit that before I got through it. I was like, ‘I could keep going but we have this process going in and we’re going to stick with it.’”
What does Tony anticipate/expect for himself in 2014?
“I feel personally like I’ve just started to come into the player that I wanted to be six, seven years ago,” he said. “I think and I’ve said it before but I think over the course of the next four or five years, you’ll see the best version of me that I’ve had throughout my career.”
31 touchdowns and only ten picks in 2013 before the back injury wasn’t too shabby. That is going to be tough to top. Based on all that is being reported and talked about within Cowboys circles it is being said that Zack Martin will pay the same dividends that Travis Frederick did in 2013.
If that’s the case then Tony Romo can take a deeper breath before having to enter the pocket and pass. One thought that is being bandied about: Okay, so Tony’s back is okay? What happens the first time he gets sacked hard?
Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! There is the million dollar question for which no one has an answer.
September 7 is a home opener against the 49ers, a team with Super Bowl aspirations and loaded defensively. Already a heated rivalry any fears about affording your quarterback adequate protection?
September 28 will be a prime time event with the “Who Dats” of New Orleans. A team that has owned the Cowboys, winning all but one meeting in games played since 1999. In between with tough road trips to Tennessee and St. Louis.
October only gets rougher for Team Garrett.
August 7 the exhibition run will begin in San Diego. Scene of an 11 point lead being lost in the second half last year 9-29-13. There was that Terrence Williams’ fumble near the end zone trying to get more yardage in that loss.
But I digress…
Will the Dallas Cowboys brain trust empty more of a running game and take the pressure off of Tony Romo? Will DeMarco Murray and Lance Dunbar be a tandem enough to make Tony Romo’s job easier?
I have been on record to say that whatever leaks the offensive line has had have been more than solidified based on the acquisitions of Frederick and Martin. I also like the idea that the Cowboys now lean more on youth than carrying veteran baggage.
Yes, Brandon Weeden is a viable backup to Tony Romo. Oh by the way, if anything were to happen to Tony Romo do you think Dez Bryant gets excited over having a backup Cowboy battery mate from his college days reuniting with him?
Ah, yes. Dez Bryant and that looming contract discussion. If the term ‘franchised’ starts to gain some momentum then no surprise here. Out in the cooler confines of Oxnard we wonder if and unsigned or under appreciated Dez Bryant becomes a distraction to the team.
July 23rd Robert Newhouse passed away at the age of 64. 40 years ago this human bowling ball of a fullback played an essential role in opening gaping holes for men like Calvin Hill and Tony Dorsett. Most fans remember the option pass touchdown he threw to Golden Richards in Super Bowl XII against the Denver Broncos.
How about a prediction of which position battle to be the most heated? My money is on Ronald Leary to beat out Mackenzy Brenadeau.
Much like the haze and chill in the Texas air during the final week in July perhaps it’s much ado about nothing. August 7 the circus of scenarios shall rear its ugly head. Rest assured it shall all be broken down in due course.