Dallas Cowboys: Rocky Bernard

Cole Beasley is active for Cowboys

October, 28, 2012
ARLINGTON, Texas -- There were no real surprises regarding the Cowboys' inactives with the exception of wide receiver Cole Beasley, who is dressing for the first time in two weeks.

Beasley was active for the regular-season opener at the New York Giants but wasn't the next two weeks. He was active for the Chicago game and had two catches for 14 yards.

Injuries and depth changes on special teams made him inactive the next two weeks.

With Beasley back on the game-day roster and No. 3 receiver Kevin Ogletree playing inconsistently, it will be interesting to see who gets more playing time.

The other Cowboys' inactives: Safety Charlie Peprah, safety Matt Johnson, linebacker Kyle Wilber, center Phil Costa and defensive end Sean Lissemore. The health of Johnson (hamstring), Costa (ankle) and Lissemore (ankle) are the main reasons they're out.

The Giants' inactives: Wide receiver Jerrel Jernigan, safety Kenny Phillips, linebacker Jacquian Williams, defensive end Adewale Ojomo, tackle James Brewer, tight end Adrien Robinson, defensive tackle Rocky Bernard.

All-NFC East Team: Week 1 Update

September, 12, 2012

One of the in-season features I really liked last year was our weekly, running All-Division Team, where we'd pick the best player at each starting position in the division and continue to update it as the weeks went along. Over the course of the year, some things changed from week to week (I could never seem to figure out cornerback, mainly because very few NFC East cornerbacks were having good years) and some players solidified their positions with consistent excellence (LeSean McCoy jumps to mind).

Anyway, it's back. We'll do this every Wednesday. And while it is meant to be an All-Star team based on cumulative season performance to date, each team has so far played only one game. So for this week only, yes, this All-Division Team is based only on the performances of the past week. This week's team includes nine Eagles (they did play very well on defense), seven Redskins, five Cowboys, five Giants, one DeMarco, one DeMarcus, one DeMeco and a Dominique.

I'll give you the team and then offer some comments at the end. Enjoy.

Quarterback: Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins

Running back: DeMarco Murray, Dallas Cowboys

Wide receiver: Kevin Ogletree, Cowboys; Jeremy Maclin, Philadelphia Eagles

Tight end: Martellus Bennett, New York Giants

Fullback: Darrel Young, Redskins

Left tackle: Trent Williams, Redskins

Left guard: Evan Mathis, Eagles

Center: Jason Kelce, Eagles

Right guard: Chris Snee, Giants

Right tackle: Todd Herremans, Eagles

Defensive end: Jason Pierre-Paul, Giants; Jason Hatcher, Cowboys

Defensive tackle: Rocky Bernard, Giants; Fletcher Cox, Eagles

Outside linebacker: Ryan Kerrigan, Redskins; DeMarcus Ware, Cowboys

Inside linebacker: Sean Lee, Cowboys; DeMeco Ryans, Eagles

Cornerback: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Eagles; Josh Wilson, Redskins

Safety: Kurt Coleman, Eagles; Antrel Rolle, Giants

Kicker: Billy Cundiff, Redskins

Punter: Chas Henry, Eagles

Kick returner: Brandon Banks, Redskins

Punt returner: Brandon Banks, Redskins
  • Quarterback was obviously very close between Griffin and the Cowboys' Tony Romo, who both had excellent games in big road victories. Griffin edged out Romo because of his rushing yards and a little bit of added degree of difficulty for the venue in which he won. Both quarterbacks excelled at keeping plays alive and finding success downfield in difficult circumstances. Each handled the rush well. Could have flipped a coin.
  • Maclin was a close call over Washington's Pierre Garcon for that receiver spot, but Maclin played more and caught more passes, so he got the nod.
  • Bennett might or might not continue to catch passes for the Giants, but regardless of whether he does, he's going to merit a look here each week. That guy can seriously block.
  • Williams' and Kelce's were the only performances among the offensive linemen that I thought were particularly strong. The other three offensive linemen were kind of best-of-a-bad-bunch selections on a week in which none of the lines played very well. The Eagles' linemen do stand out at bit when you watch the games back, though. I wonder how much of that is the difference between Howard Mudd's blocking schemes, which require linemen to push upfield and establish new blocking points, and a more standard scheme. Washington's line played okay, and I thought about Will Montgomery at center over Kelce.
  • Defensive end was tricky. Pierre-Paul didn't get a sack, but he was clearly the most disruptive player among the 4-3 ends this week and required an overload of attention from the Cowboys. Hatcher gets the other spot over Jason Babin, which I admit is rare -- a 3-4 end beating out a 4-3 end on a team like this. But that word "disruptive" again is the best to describe Hatcher's night against the Giants.
  • Ditto Kerrigan at outside linebacker. What a game he had.
  • Rolle played the run very well, which is something the Dallas safeties didn't do in the same game. Now, maybe they weren't asked to. I understand that's possible. But Rolle's individual performance deserves the recognition.
  • Fine debut for Cundiff, who showed on kickoffs why they got him. Six of his nine kickoffs were touchbacks.

So that's the first one of these. I welcome your thoughts.

Tony Romo was Tony Romo vs. Giants

September, 7, 2012
IRVING, Texas – Tony Romo was sacked only twice in Wednesday’s season-opening win against the New York Giants, but it wasn’t like he was playing in a bubble.

Romo was forced to make plays with his feet and he excelled.

He spun away from an unblocked blitzing Keith Rivers on one play. He was able to skirt away from Jason Pierre-Paul on Kevin Ogletree's first touchdown catch and Osi Umenyiora on Ogletree’s second TD grab. He scrambled for a 9-yard gain on a drive that ended in a Dan Bailey field goal. On the game-clinching drive that ended in Miles Austin's touchdown, he eluded Rocky Bernard and hit Austin for a 10-yard pick up.

In other words, Wednesday was a lot of Romo being Romo.

“Yeah, he’s done that for a long, long time,” coach Jason Garrett said. “One of the challenges we have as a coach is to not take the Romo out of Romo as we’re refining him. I think Wade Wilson does a great job with that – understanding the balance of those two things.

"I think if you look at Tony technically and the improvement he’s made over the last five years, his drops are better, his care of the ball is better, all of those things. I think he’s a different player fundamentally from the technique standpoint that way. Having said that, we haven’t hopefully taken the Romo out of him, to let him use his instincts, his feel, his vision of the game. I think a lot of that was on display.”