Thursday, September 6, 2012
Breakfast links: Cowboys start on top
By Dan Graziano
Hey, remember last year, when we did the links in order of the division standings? Well, we can do that again. Sort of. Two of our teams haven't played yet, so we'll alternate their order today and tomorrow to be fair. Otherwise, have at your links.
Dallas Cowboys (1-0)
Been a while since we'd heard Dez Bryant's voice, as the Cowboys wouldn't let him do any training camp or preseason interviews while his court case is pending. But he spoke after Wednesday's win (about football only) and said he's feeling good about his knowledge of and place in the offense. Money quote is the one about "If I'm out there with Tony Romo, Jason Witten and Miles Austin, I've got to know what the hell I'm doing." Looks to me like he does.
Wondering how the Cowboys got it done? ESPN Stats & Information breaks down the game. Seems Romo was very effective throwing the ball downfield and while out of the pocket. No surprise there. If you watched the game, you saw that Romo had to move his feet a lot to elude pressure and keep plays alive. It's one of many things at which he's better than his reputation might lead you to believe.
Philadelphia Eagles (0-0)
First-round draft pick Fletcher Cox is downplaying the idea of pressure on him in his rookie season, and to a certain extent I see where he's coming from. Cox will be part of a rotation at defensive tackle and likely given the chance to learn and hone his craft at the NFL level without having to be relied on as an every-play starter type. Kind of a perfect scenario, with all the depth the Eagles have on the defensive line.
The Eagles believe that last year's first-round pick, guard Danny Watkins, has come a long way since this time last year, when he was unable to start the season opener. Sheil Kapadia writes that it's time for Watkins to make good on that talk.
Washington Redskins (0-0)
Robert Griffin III says his NFL debut will be even more special because it will be in his parents' hometown of New Orleans -- a place that means a lot to him and his family.
Rich Campbell writes on the Redskins' loss of strong safety Brandon Meriweather to a knee injury for the next two to four weeks. Rich says the effect of this injury on the Redskins' defense will depend on the ability of Meriweather's replacement -- be that DeJon Gomes or Reed Doughty -- to play deep coverage. I think Rich could be right, but I know there are a lot of things the Redskins have been looking forward to doing with Meriweather in blitz packages and different types of coverage schemes that might have to be put off or curtailed while he's out.
New York Giants (0-1)
Victor Cruz said he can't afford to be dropping balls, and the Giants did some complaining about the replacement officials. It was a bit of a bitter locker room on the Giants' side. They're obviously not worried about their season-opening loss having a long-term effect, since they know all about overcoming things. I think they're just mad they lost to the Cowboys.
One of the big questions coming out of Wednesday night's game for the Giants was, as Steve Politi asks, "Where was the pass rush?" Obviously, there was some sense in the Giants' locker room that the Cowboys were getting away with too much holding, but every defensive line thinks that after every game, especially losses. The Giants live and die by their pass rush, and Wednesday it did not win them the game.