IRVING, Texas – A handful of leftover notes from my study of the Cowboys-Rams game from Sunday. Most of these are about the defense, and some positives and negatives I saw from the secondary. There are also some attaboys below for several rookies, on both the Cowboys' offensive and defensive lines.
But I want to start with something that is surely on the minds of a lot of Cowboys' fans this week – DeMarco Murray and his ball security this season.
- Since everyone has a theory on Murray and why he is having these fumbling issues, I might as well give you mine. We all have seen with our own eyes that Murray is not the most explosive player when he is running the football. He does not have a great burst or what we would call home run speed. Watch Murray run and play close attention to his arms and how for him to really get going he has to swing
them hard to generate speed. By swinging his arms this way the ball becomes discounted from his body. If you ever notice his jersey after a game there are usually red marks from the ball smeared across the front. He is trying to hold the ball tightly, but he is moving it to get going by using his arms to get up to speed. Just a thought.
- Thought it was a great learning experience for Zack Martin in this game when it came to dealing with defensive tackles that not only play with power but quickness, as well. By his own admission Martin would tell you that it wasn't his best game when it came to playing with proper technique. Against Rams defensive tackles Michael Brockers and Kendal Langford he had several snaps where he struggled with his balance and finish. His initial pop was good, but the longer he had to maintain the block, the more he was put on edge. What impressed me is that Martin, despite not being at his best, fought through the matchups and was no worse for wear which once again proves how talented he really is.
- There is no bigger fan than me when it comes to J.J. Wilcox and what his potential could be as a safety in this league. I believed that his work to slim down in the offseason was going to help him play better in coverage. I respect what he has done to get his body ready to play, but what concerns me now is not how physical Wilcox can play -- but what is he really seeing while he is playing in these games? Former Cowboys safety Darren Woodson always told me that great safeties play more with their eyes than their pads. Woodson would go on and say that your eyes take you to the ball and once you arrive – you finish the job. I stand there every day and watch Jerome Henderson and Joe Baker work with these defensive backs to prepare them for these games. They are not only teaching about physical technique but also using their eyes to reaction to what is happening to them. I understand that Wilcox doesn't have a great deal of experience as a safety, but this learning on the job has at times put this defense in some bad spots. [embedded_ad]
- These defensive coaches have to be happy with the effort and production they are getting from their two rookie defensive tackles Davon Coleman and Ken Bishop. When each has been given the opportunity to play, they have come with solid effort but more importantly they both play with really good technique -- which is a sign that they are picking up what Rod Marinelli, Leon Lett and Ben Bloom have been teaching during the week. I thought that Bishop along with Nick Hayden were the two best defensive linemen on the field for the Cowboys last Sunday.
- Orlando Scandrick has an unbelievable feel for how to time his blitz out of the slot to be disruptive. His rush late in the game on Austin Davis was the main reason the young quarterback tried to force the ball to Zac Stacy, which resulted in the Bruce Carter interception. If you haven't had a chance to check out the play on DallasCowboys.com we broke it down for you in our video section.