Random notes from the Cowboys-Chargers preseason game

Apologies for the lateness of this. Focused on the first half only. Let’s just get right to it:

• Nice start for DeMarco Murray.

  • Made a defender miss on a little swing pass, got 8.
  • Then he spun out of a tackle on a 2nd and 2 run for a 1st down.
  • Sprint draw right in which Murray immediately had a defender in his face, made a quick cut, bounced it to the left and picked up a nice gain.
  • Another swing pass and more hard running after the catch.
  • First down on 2nd and 1.

And then DeMarco was done for the night.

• The OL play was up and down.  It started off very shaky, but got much better as the game progressed, and then some.  I’ll show the bad first, then the good.  On the DeMarco Murray sprint draw mentioned above, Mackenzy Bernadeau initially had good position…

But the Chargers’ DE was able to easily disengage, shoving Bernadeau aside.  Murray made him miss anyway, but this could have been a 3 yard loss…

• Corey Liuget beat Derrick Dockery badly on a pass attempt, and Dockery had to reach out and grab a handful of Liuget’s jersey.  Obvious hold, but they missed it.

• Here’s Tyron Smith getting beaten badly.  He’s one on one with a Chargers OLB, who is beginning his inside spin move:

Tyron gets overextended and the Charger defender has a free lane to Romo:

Romo does his little Houdini thing and side steps the pass rusher:

He sets to throw as Tyron recovers:

However, that little sidestep has taken Romo’s focus off the receivers down the field, and he makes a bad decision, throwing to a receiver that is clearly well covered.  The Charger DB should have made the pick, but can’t bring it in:

• Here’s a major pet peeve of mine.  Holding on a running play either on 2nd and short, or near the goal line.  If it’s 2nd and short, DON’T HOLD!  If your RB gets stuffed, no worries.  You’ll still have a manageable 3rd and short, but if you get caught, it’s now 2nd and long.  Here’s David Arkin holding on a 2nd and 2:

• As noted above though, I promised some good OL play.  Look at some of the clean pockets Romo had to operate with.  On all of the below examples, the Chargers only rushed 4, but a good job of protection nevertheless.  Vastly improved from the first preseason game against Oakland.  Night and day, really:

• Victor Butler had a sack.  He tried an inside move but was sealed off, kept plugging, tried the outside and was able to use his quickness to get around the edge for a sack.  Played on both sides.  Thought he did a good job getting pressure on Rivers all night.

• I wrote about Felix Jones a couple days ago, wondering what happened to him as a playmaker.  He used to be scary as hell in the open field.  Not anymore.  Here’s the play I was talking about in that post.  He caught a swing pass in the open field on 3rd and 4 with some room to make a move.  It not a ton of room, as you can see the DB hustling over as well, but a couple years ago, this would have been a scary play for the linebacker, #56, Donald Butler.

Felix doesn’t even attempt a move and Butler stones Jones 2 yards shy of the first down:

Felix also had a bad drop.  When he ran straight ahead, he was mildly effective, but that’s not his game. Or maybe it is.

• Nice 4th down conversion on quick slant from Romo to Dez Bryant. Looked easy. Also, Dez Bryant made an absolutely sick catch. It didn’t count, but… Wow:

• This Oliwale kid looked good.  Ran hard near the goal line.  Also had a nice cut on a LB right after a catch in the flat, and picked up an extra 15 or so yards.

• Barry Church had a nice stick in the hole on Ronnie Brown.

• Sean Lee timed out a blitz really nicely, and Nick Hardwich had to hold him.

• Nice pick by Brandon Carr on a deep ball by Phillip Rivers.  Rivers underthrew it, and Robert Meachem didn’t give any effort at all to go up and make a play on the ball.  Still, Carr went up and got it at its highest point and made the play. That was one of two picks on the night for him.

• Kevin Ogletree had a good night.  He had 4 catches for 60 yards, but that’s not what impressed me.  It was the two catches in traffic he made when he new he was going to get hit.  Kyle Orton threw a lollypop on a deep ball to Ogletree, leaving him exposed for a big hit.  Ogletree took the hit in between two defenders, and hung on.  Well done.  Then later, he made a nice catch in traffic.  That still shot is a little grainy, but you get the idea:

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  1. Good post coming from a hater,Jimmy you alright deep down inside,DEEEEEP down inside!

  2. Coty Saxman says:

    While you’re moderating my comments, can you fix my website link to go to BTB? Hit enter a bit too soon…

    1. It auto-holds any links (to cut down on spam). I have to approve those, which I did. Link is working, no?

      1. Coty Saxman says:

        Never commented here before, so I was filling out the form, and I messed up the BTB link in the “website” field. If you hover over the first comment I made, it goes to a non-existent site. No big deal, though.

    2. Ha, just checked yours out. We both highlighted the two holds (one called, one not). You knew it was Dockery though. Somehow I thought Livings played for some reason.

      1. Coty Saxman says:

        Got one up on Beasley, too.

        Defensive front coming shortly (pics done, still have to write).

  3. Coty Saxman says:

    And if you want to see many of the same plays, reviewed two days earlier, you can check out this article…


  4. poolboy87 says:

    I’m fairly excited to see Nate Livings in Derrick Dockery’s place this weekend. That’ll FINALLY be 4/5 projected starting linemen actually playing together.

    But…Doug Free is really starting to worry me. He played MOSTLY solid. But he still had a couple of really bad plays that you didn’t mention. One in which he was on his ass quick, without ever touching his guy, and the defender had a free rush.

    On the other hand, while he’s struggled more, David Arkin is starting to impress me. I think he might have some major upside at center, considering he’d never played there about 3 weeks ago.

  5. DerfDiggy says:

    Why are cowboys fans so angry? lol.

    Nice breakdown Jimmy. I think the Oline issues are going to be an “issue” for a week or three..but they’ll settle in and be middle of the road this year. I think folks are undervaluing the Mac/Livings pickups, and just how bad Kosier and the interior in general was last year. Costa wasn’t the greatest, had issues snapping, but got progressively better as the season went on. As long as he’s attached to two guards on both sides that do their jobs, I think the Boys end up with a much better performance than last year.

    Miles scares the hell out of me…I used to think(just weeks ago), that the Oline issues was the most glaring issue, not anymore…Austin misses anytime and the season will depend on Dez(who I beleive can shoulder the load), and Witten….and then some very very sketchy youngsters.

  6. ameero2 says:

    Hey Jimmy on Carr’s first pick I couldn’t tell if he was beaten badly, or if he had slowed down because he saw the ball was under thrown.
    Could you please clarify.

    1. The ball was underthrown but Carr wasn’t beaten. The WR might have had a half step on him, but even if the ball were on target, Carr would have had a chance to make a play on the ball.

      1. ameero2 says:

        Thnx Jimmy

  7. yehti says:

    good stuff Jimmy. I do believe this Oline will be much better then last year…its gonna take till week 3-4 to get there though.

  8. “The OL play was up and down. It started off very shaky, but got much better as the game progressed, and then some”

    Uh, bullsh*t, the o-line was very good out side of Dockery and arguably Free. Dockery probably won’t even make the team.

    “Corey Liuget beat Nate Livings badly on a pass attempt, and Livings had to reach out and grab a handful of Liuget’s jersey. Obvious hold, but they missed it”

    Livings didn’t play, that was Dockery you’ve got there, you know, the guy that probably won’t make the team.

    I watched the first 30 or so snaps of Arkin, he played well. You’ve got Berdaneu for one bad play.

    Wow, if you’re going to spew out media cliches at least spew out the ones that are true. The cowboys o-line dominated all game. End of.

    1. My mistake on Livings. Fixed. That aside…

      – The Cowboys OL most certainly did not “dominate all game.” Watching the Cowboys’ atrocious OL play over the last 3 years, I can see where that game might appear to be dominant in comparison to their typical performances, but they did not “dominate.” I only have visual proof of that above, but whatever. And I gave them credit for playing much better. Not sure what the problem here is.

      – Arkin had 3 penalties on one drive.

      – What “media cliches” are you talking about? Unpack that one a little, please.

      1. maximdim says:

        LOL owned him Jimmy!

      2. slandog says:

        Haha he tried hard to show you didn’t know what you were talking about. But you supported everything with pictures even. How does this moron even make it through a day?

        1. Bob says:

          He’s got pictures of 8 plays! He must be right!

          OK, he is right, but still.

          The only thing I wonder about is that throw where Ogletree and Bryant end up in the same place. That isn’t generally supposed to happen, and given Ogletree’s history it seems highly possible Ogletree ran the wrong route. Throwing a jump ball to Dez makes a lot more sense than trying to throw it to K.O.

      3. Ben says:

        Ok I may have exaggerated slightly with the Cowboys line dominating all day comment haha. But I’m just so sick of hearing that the Cowboys o-line is so terrible from everyone. They were decent last year and you’d think they were awful. Depending on how the two FA G’s play this year they should be good this year.

        “Arkin had 3 penalties on one drive” – I can’t speak for the second half but I watched the first half of the game and I can remember two penalties on Arkin, one marginal holding, the sort of thing that happens on every play, surprised it was even called and an illegal man down field. Meh, somewhat unlucky penalty. But it’s not like he’s just continuously false starting or blatantly holding all the time.

        “What “media cliches” are you talking about? Unpack that one a little, please” – just the fact that everyone has unanimously decided that the Cowboys o-line is terrible when it’s mostly been Dockery and Arkin (in the Raiders game) making the mistakes.

        I came on a little strong and even as a Cowboys fan I respect your work but when I wrote that last comment I was reaching boiling point over the Cowboys o-line hate so yeah.

        “LOL owned him Jimmy!” – haha Jimmy will inform you when he wants his next bj.

        1. Bye Dawk says:

          Ha owned him Ben!

        2. slandog says:

          Sounds like someone is just a little sore about having a pissy OL!!

          Media cliches’, come on man. Jimmy has given proof over and over again in the past about how bad the OL is for the Cowboys. Look back, you will find them yourself I’m sure, I have faith in you. The two OL pickup you guys made this past offseason are marginal…..at best.

          I’m happy you’re excited about those pickups!!! Cowboys have very good skill players, but have kept the trenches and afterthought year after year in the draft, except for the Smith pick. Great pick, but he can only do so much playing along average at best linemates.

  9. Todd B. says:

    “This video has been removed by the user.”

    Do you have another link?

    1. Yeah, I just replaced it. Not as good a look, but you’ll get the idea.

      1. Todd B. says:

        Thanks. Athletic play. Actually looked in to me.

        1. Yeah, he was in. You could see it more clearly on the other video. Cowboys had a penalty on the play, so that’s why it didn’t get reviewed.

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