Broaddus: Breaking Down These Cowboys With Position Update

Here's an updated look at each position as the Cowboys prepare for Atlanta this Sunday night.  

Quarterback: Throughout his career Tony Romo has put up some staggering numbers against the Giants and last Sunday was no different with the ball going in the air a club record 62 times. The problem you are going to have is when you have to throw the ball that many times you are going to have turnovers. Jason Garrett has come out and said that turnovers are a team problem and in this case with Romo there is some truth to that comment. The quarterback handles the ball more than any other position on the field, whether its routes, lack of concentration or just poor decisions with the ball something is going to have to change before this season gets away. There is just too much on the line.

Wide Receivers: Cole Beasley dressed for the first time since the Cowboys faced the Giants to open the season. Kevin Ogletree had no receptions for the second time in three weeks. Will be interesting to see if the offense would be better if Austin plays on the outside and Beasley is moved to the slot. This team is getting production from Austin and Bryant but nothing out of the third receiver. Keep an eye on practice this week to see if the coaches think that Beasley, Harris or Holmes might be better options at this point.

 Tight Ends: This week against the Falcons we will get treated to two of the best tight ends to ever play this game in Jason Witten and Tony Gonzalez. The Giants had no answer for Witten and how the Falcons decide to play him could dictate how much production we see from the Cowboys receivers. It was good to see John Phillips and James Hanna get some opportunities in the red zone as well. Hanna's route was a thing of beauty and Romo missed a great chance to get him his first NFL touchdown. 

Running Back / Fullback: All eyes will be on DeMarco Murray to see if he will be available against the Falcons this week. Felix Jones and Phillip Tanner didn't get many opportunities to carry the ball because of the direction that the game went for them against the Giants. Jones and Tanner held up well for the most part as pass protectors when called on but there were some times where Romo's skill and mobility made up for a lack of technique. I had a chance to visit with Tanner after the game and he knew that he has to play better in that third down role because those situations are really the moment of truth plays in the game.

 Offensive Line: Doug Free backed up his game against the Panthers with another fine one versus the Giants. I am starting to see a more technique sound, confident player in Free much like we saw two seasons ago. When Free gets in trouble his hands and feet do not work well together. Free has also did a much better job of keeping his pad level down not allowing rushers to take him back into Romo. It will be another good challenge against the Falcons with their rushers this week. 

Defensive Line: Veterans Jay Ratliff and Kenyon Coleman were outstanding against the Giants and that will continue throughout the remainder of the season. The thing that worries me about Coleman is that he tends to play for eight games well than you lose him for the rest of the season. Josh Brent reverted back to some of his old habits of not getting off blocks because when he does, we all know he can make plays. I am liking what the coaches are doing with Tyrone Crawford. He has not let Rob Ryan and this staff down one bit with his play. He has played with power where I really thought he would struggle there. 

Linebackers: The loss of Sean Lee is huge so I am not going to sugar coat that at all but I will tell you that Bruce Carter, Ernie Sims, Orie Lemon and Dan Connor more than held their own against this Giants offensive line and fullback. With Sims getting his legs back underneath him last week, don't be surprised if he starts with Lemon coming off the bench because Connor will be out with the stinger. If Ware, Spencer, Carter continue to play well, you can work around the loss of Lee and Sims active play and help in coverage will give you a chance to continue running your scheme. 

Defensive Backs: The growth of Morris Claiborne continues and Brandon Carr puts together back to back nice games against big time receivers. I have to admit that I have been surprised the way that Danny McCray has played. McCray has been instinctive and rarely has he been out of position. Orlando Scandrick has also picked up his play from last season where I thought he was too cautious and unsure. He is a much more confident player these last seven games. With the trade deadline in the next two days, I really don't believe that the Cowboys will make a move with Jenkins which shouldn't surprise anyone. Jerry Jones has said all along that he will need Jenkins throughout the season and he has. 

Special Teams: Its Brian Moorman's job for the remainder of the season at punter and he was once again steady. Eric Frampton and Lance Dunbar have given the cover units a spark and the kickoff return unit could have had more than one nice return if they were able to block a play clean but I believe it will get better.  

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