IRVING, Texas – A few things I'm wondering about as the Cowboys settle into their bye week.
What are your expectations for DeMarcus Lawrence these next six games?
I am surprised that fans are as critical as they have been in these first two games for Lawrence. In the words of Aaron Rodgers, everyone just needs to relax. This kid is really a good football player and his time will come. His technique has been good and his effort has been even been better. As long as he continues to play this way the production will come.
I trust Rod Marinelli and these defensive coaches to find ways to free him up for some more rushes. He normally lines up on that right side, but the fact that I saw pressure from that left side in the Arizona game, I will always be encouraged. Look for him to work more with Henry Melton on the same side where it will be difficult for these offensive blocking schemes to double them. I honestly believe that he will be a serious weapon down the stretch here for the Cowboys.
Where do you see Josh Brent fitting in now that he is on the 53-man roster?
Brent has worked the last several weeks on the scout team giving the offense a daily picture of the upcoming opponent's defense. In listening to Jason Garrett talk about Brent, there is a concern about how much he weights and his conditioning -- but that is very understandable. What is realistic for Brent weight-wise? Only Garrett knows.
My history with defensive linemen is that if you get them to lose too much weight, they don't play as well. There have been guys in this league that are big-bodied, like Vince Wilfolk, that play extremely heavy but are able to handle it.
Say Brent is somewhere between 330- 340 pounds, it is unrealistic to have him try and drop 20 to 30 pounds. My best guess is that as long as Brent is showing up well in practice at this current weight and is functioning at it, there will not be a problem. On one final note, this defensive scheme was built for a guy like Josh Brent and if not for the accident, he would have been the starter at that nose tackle.
Are you worried that we haven't seen much from Terrance Williams the last couple of games?
I wouldn't use the word "worried," but it has been somewhat surprising. What I have noticed about Williams is that he continues to work hard in his routes to try and make himself available for the quarterbacks to find.
The two balls that went in his direction the other night against the Jaguars, he was not in good position route-wise to grab either one. I will say that when Romo was brought down in the fourth quarter on that sack, he was trying to get the ball to Williams, who had beaten his man clean and was flying up the sideline.
If Romo had just a split second longer it would have been a long touchdown and folks might not have been worried so much about his lack of production. I believe that you will see him getting back on track down the stretch this season, much like he did last year.