NFC East: Mike Carey

Cowboys lean on all three RBs early

September, 20, 2009
9/20/09
9:02
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley


ARLINGTON, Texas -- On the Cowboys' first scoring drive of the evening, all three running backs played a major role. Actually, Felix Jones got things started with his 38-yard kickoff return. Marion Barber did most of the damage, including the short touchdown run. But it was Tashard Choice who had a powerful run on third-and-3 when the ball was close to midfield.

I talked to running backs coach Skip Peete about how he was going to use the three players during training camp. He wasn't too concerned because he was coaching with the Raiders when they had three pretty solid backs in Tyrone Wheatley, Charlie Garner (and I believe Napoleon Kaufman, but that's off the top of my head).

On the touchdown run, right guard Leonard Davis and Marc Colombo put a combo block on Fred Robbins to drive him off the ball. Cowboys dominated the line of scrimmage during that drive. And the Giants did not get any pressure on Tony Romo. Dallas has to feel really good about how this game's going right now.

DeMarcus Ware is giving Giants right tackle Kareem McKenzie a lot of trouble off the edge. My favorite moment in the new stadium so far: Referee Mike Carey forgot to turn off his mic after the coin toss and you could hear him for the next five minutes trying to find the coin. Really got the evening off to a nice start.

Should Hochuli have been suspended?

September, 19, 2008
9/19/08
9:47
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

Like many of you, I've been fascinated and somewhat troubled with the fallout from referee Ed Hochuli's egregious mistake at the end of Sunday's Broncos-Chargers game. With a rare Sunday at home, I happened to be watching the final 10 minutes of the game.

I've watched Hochuli officiate dozens of games over the years, and I've always thought he did an excellent job. You have to love how he and Mike Carey are so precise in explaining calls. The Hochuli first-down signal and his short-sleeved shirts in 30-degree weather make him the most recognizable official in the game.

On Sunday, though, one of the best officials in the game made a mistake that decided a football game. The immediate response from some of my friends in the business was that Hochuli should be suspended for at least a game. This would show "transparency" on the league's part.

Oh really? With so many close games, is it wise to sit down one of the league's most respected (and best) officials? I don't think so. I don't recall the league suspending a certain coach who was caught cheating last fall. But some people think Hochuli should be suspended for making a human error. Transparency? Give me a break.

I'm thinking a week off would only make Hochuli feel more miserable about what happened. And it would be window dressing from the league. In the moments after the botched call, Hochuli didn't hide from his mistake. He stood in front of 80,000 jubilant fans and one irate coach and basically said, "I screwed up royally."

Don't you know that Hochuli had to be praying that Mike Shanahan's questionable decision to go for two at the end of the game backfired. Well, it didn't, and Hochuli is forced to live with the consequences of making an awful mistake.

In my mind, that's enough punishment to last him a lifetime. Now, I'm anxious to hear what you think.

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