Coming off the bye week, the Cowboys return to practice on Monday with their focus on the Baltimore Ravens. Football analyst Bryan Broaddus discusses the bye week, along with the Ravens both from their most prominent defensive figure in franchise history to the offensive side of the ball.
When you watch Ray Lewis, does he look like he's lost a step or is he still a menacing sideline-to-sideline player?
Broaddus:The heart and desire are still there but you now see more times where Lewis gets caught up on blocks where you didn't see that before. Offenses are finding ways to get blockers up on him. There are also times now where Lewis misses plays in the hole and in years gone by, he was as sure of a tackler as there was in the NFL.
Do you think the bye week came at the right time for this team? In your experience, is it better to take a break after a bad loss like Chicago and refocus, or do you want to hurry about and get back on the field?
*Broaddus: *If the team could have managed to get the victory against the Bears it would have been a positive thing, but they didn't. What this week off did allow is for the guys like Ratliff, Coleman, Costa and Matt Johnson to work back into practice and you are going to need those guys going forward. I really do believe that the next five weeks is going to tell you a lot about this football team. If they could have got the bye in the middle of that stretch, it probably would have been the best situation but they will take the rest when they can get it because what lies ahead will not be easy. * *
When you initially talk about Baltimore, we always think defense first. But with Ray Rice and Joe Flacco seemingly improving as a passer, are they getting to be more of a balanced team?
Broaddus:This is not the Baltimore Ravens of years past where all offensive coordinator Cam Cameron did was try to protect Joe Flacco from making mistakes in the game and winning with defense. There are weapons on this Ravens squad not only at receiver but now at tight end. This will be the best offensive line that the Cowboys have played so far this season. They get outstanding push up front and Ray Rice does a great job of taking the ball into the line and making something happen. You really have to defend the whole field with the Ravens and just not stacking the line of scrimmage to play the run. This has a lot do with the development of Joe Flacco and the confidence the coaches have in his ability to now make plays which he has done.