View Full Version : Cowboys game thoughts

Texans Longhorns
08-15-2004, 10:10 AM

First unit offense and defense were great.

I think Carr had only one incomplete pass. He had good protection. I forgot to look at the # of the jersey but the left tackle at the start of the game held his own. Hopefully that was Seth Wand.

Through two years Gaffney has put up good #'s for receptions but not enough TD's. Nice to see him get one.

Hollings had a great rushing performance. However 4 fumbles is inexcusable. I am worried about this.

I kept my eye on Dunta Robinson. I was impressed. He had some great coverage on Keyshawn.

I didn't watch Babin as much but others have said he looked great.

Vontez Duff didn't do anything to make me think they cut JJ.

Jamal Lord had a nice tackle on special teams.

I am a homer for Sloan Thomas. I think he had one catch. I was disapointed that he didn't get more PT.


Looked horrible :headbang:

Did anybody else get nervous on Carr's scramble when Roy Williams was the man to make the tackle?

Julius Jones was their bright spot but it was against our last team defense.

Texans Longhorns
08-15-2004, 10:15 AM
Bruener is going to be a huge acquisition. How could I forget him?

08-15-2004, 10:30 AM
Vontez Duff didn't do anything to make me think they cut JJ.Duff looked good IMO. He did nothing flashes but was very strong a broke some tackles and got yardage.

The defense has a chance to be a top 15 unit and the offense a top 10. The offense went through the best defense of a year ago like it was the worst defense of a year ago. Carr was poised, accurate, and saw the field extremly well. Tony Hollings looked great, minus the fumbles (which is 2, offical stats say 2, so its 2). D-Rob and Babin were excellent for there first games. We got pressure when we needed to and there was excellent coverage down field, and D-Rob can tackle for a little guy.

Cant wait for the regular season to start....

08-15-2004, 10:34 AM
I knew going in our starters wouldn't be in long, so my focus was seeing how our second and third stringers held out against a much deeper Dallas team. The key to this season is going to be our depth. Injuries will occur and having a guy on the bench to fill that position will determine our overall record. We've arrived in my opinion. Though late in the game the third string seemed a bit disoriented, they quickly adjusted with the additional playing time. We matched up well with a team that on paper should be far superior in overall talent. My optimism grows! Go Texans!


08-15-2004, 10:43 AM
Babin made a good play when he stripped the QB of the ball, otherwise (and
I watched him closely when our D was on the field), it seemed he was moving backward most of the time. Much of the time he was tentative. In all fairness,
his transition from small time down lineman (Western Michiigan and its conference is not bigtime by any stretch of the imagination), to LB in the NFL
is huge and will take time.
But Robinson was really impressive. He was quick, fast, in control for the most part, and very aggresive. You gotta worry 'bout his size, but he's probably very
wiry or wouldn't got this far. They can beef him up int weight room. But I thought he really looked good - definite first rounder and top ten - atleast the initial impression.

08-15-2004, 10:56 AM
I thought Babin was excellent. Watch how he pursues on the backside. That is what people refer to as a "high motor". He did very well and I saw much to be excited about. I don't understand the chronic Babin bashing. He was very impressive and I don't just back guys to back them. I always look up my old posts and I have a pretty good track record. He didn't "prove" anything last night but he sure flashed the skill that it takes to play at a high level in this league.

Robinson is everything the coaches and scouts said he was. He is quick and sudden. He is going to be a good one. He brings a physical presence to the corner despite his size.

Duff is going to make this team. JJ is in trouble. He looks like a football player and he has a nice heavy running style for a returner. He isn't going to be arm tackled easily.

Sears played more physical last night. He looks like a different guy. Giving him less snaps and him being in better shape will give us the lineman we wanted behind Deloach. I was impressed with him.

Can't say enough about Carr. He looked fantastic. Gaffney is going to prove that he cannot catch a ball unless you throw it to him and shut his critics up around here I think.

Hollings looked and ran just like Tiki Barber. That is exactly how Tiki gets his yards. Explosive burst and is dangerous on screens and in the open field. Unfortunately he also has Barbers hands it looks like. He blew up Starling on that one sweep and showed how strong he is. Perhaps Starling will learn to get out of the way of an NFL back. They aren't fun to get run over by.

Anderson did not show me much running the football. So much for training camp gloss. Live contact at full speed separates the talent in this league.

Overall I was very impressed with our physical play and the way we looked like the more coordinated, better conditioned team. Just one game, but it sure made me happy.

08-15-2004, 11:02 AM
i'll start with babin: kid looked great on his sack and forced fumble...but other times he was just running in there and letting the o-line of dallas get to his body...i think it was just some first game jitters on his part...but overall very good performance

robinson: proved why he was the 10th overall selection in my mind...nuff said

carr: looked more poised in the pocket and looked more like a leader on the field

hollings: ran great but needs to work on holding on to the football

gaffney and bruener: looked great...better than i expected

overall: offense was very clean...looking for us to be ranked somewhere in the middle of the pack if this performance keeps up...thinking 12th overall

deffense...i think if we move wong inside and peek outside or just have a heavy rotation we're going to be ranked somewhere around 13th overall

all in all a very impressing outing by our guys...can't wait for the steelers

08-15-2004, 11:09 AM
I think that it was a great game. My father-in-law is a die-hard
Cowboy fan, he was very disappointed. I got to gloat on him, that was great. Carr was very good, I wonder where is barber is? I was really impressed with the offensive line, they protected Carr very well. I think we can make the playoffs this year, what do you all think?

08-15-2004, 11:54 AM
I diden't see that meanness in Babin that everyone has been talkin about, he looked average, got clogged up in the lineman most of the time. The sack came off a double block where he kinda bounced off, made a descent move, he'll be solid his first year though, just like Peek, hes gonna take a year to get adjusted probably.

08-15-2004, 12:18 PM
I agree. Babin is going to be very good. It takes time to adjust and become good in the NFL. We Texans fans are very happy with this preseason W because we looked improved on defense and on offense.

08-15-2004, 12:48 PM
I agree with what a couple of you said about Vontez Duff. He is a strong runner and can break tackles in a group much easier than JJ. I think he beats him out.

08-15-2004, 01:01 PM
The Chronicle says that Babin looked lost on some plays, but the way he beat the double team for the sack is a sign of things to come.

On the official site, Babin pretty much says he has to learn to find his bearings in-game when he won't be able to hear all the defensive calls, partially explaining why he looke lost out there... cause he really was--he was losing his assignment.

Texans head coach Dom Capers said he liked what he saw out of Babin and Robinson.

I felt a lot more comfortable out there, Babin said. Now I know what I need to work on a little more. Now Im ready to really hone it in and realize that Im not going to hear the calls. I have to look for hand singles. I have to make decisions on my own. I just have to study more and fine-tune some skills Ive been working on.

Anyway, I don't think we have much to worry about when it comes to Babin.

08-15-2004, 01:02 PM
I for one being a fan since 1st preseason and sick of Jermaine Lewis doing fair catches 1st season, think Duff is REAL deal on returns I didn't see him ever act like he was going to fair catch..also didn't know this but Dallas Dodos on local TV (unfortunately live near Dallas) said Duff had 3TDs..1 a Punt Return, 1 a kickoff return and 1 an interception returned for a TD..only player in Notre Dame History( which is considerable) to do this.

He looked like he is going to make special teams better, so if D steps up like it did last night during season and Palmer puts away his "VANILLA" bottle. We could have a top ranked team and some of those lapses that in last 2 years cost us close games will go our way.

Example Dallas 2002 5-11 they won close games last (2003)and went 10-6 and made playoffs, so if we can stop mistakes and D remains healthy and plays up to potential we could win a lot more games this year

BTW Vegas has underestimated us, a friend who goes there regularly said they have us at 6 wins. Guess they think with easier schedule then had last year we will only be able to squeeze out 1 more win, who's for proving Lost Wages Books wrong this season.

08-15-2004, 02:26 PM
I was watching Seth Wand mostly on offense, and on defense I rotated between D-Rob and Babin. I think Wand did a solid job, nothing spectacular but solid. Robinson was impressive, he didn't really look like a rookie out there. Dallas' 1st team seemed to have no problem keeping Babin at bay, but he did a god job on the forced fumble. JMHO.

08-15-2004, 02:40 PM
One of the things we need to keep in mind when we kind of compare where Dunta Robinson is in his game Vs. Jason Babin is that Babin is leaning a position he hasn't played hardly at all and will look a bit lost until he has it down. If your not sure what you need to be doing, that produces a tentative response. I would be willing to bet that on the sack, he knew exactly what he was supposed to do. Because he is soooo new to the position, he probably won't meet our true expectations until next season, but I am willing to bet that he puts in a year that shows all the promis we are looking for.

08-15-2004, 03:51 PM
I agree that the rooks had a very good showing, and Robinson was very impressive and seemed to outshine Babin. But that was to be expected with Babin learning a new position on a huge stage. I've said on other threads that he looked a little lost out there, and seemed to be overthinking things instead of reacting. However, the quote from Babin seems to explain a lot of what I was seeing. He seemed to react better as the game wore on, and perhaps it was the 2nd team offense coming in or just him recognizing his responsibilities, either way he seems to be a very good player. I do like his motor, and he seems to be around the ball nearly every time. Robinson looked good nearly every time I saw him. He displayed an excellent tackling ability, along with good speed, and reacted quickly to the ball. He didn't appear to be rattled at all by Keyshawns mouth, and seemed at home on the field. I think Wand was very impressive especially for being a project last year. Dallas' Defense is more quick than big/strong, and the line faired well against them. Having seen a bit of Gallery's performance made it all the more impressive for Wand. Granted Gallery is a rookie, and Wand is a second year player, but still I feel much better about Wand at LT than I did before this game. I echo the comments on Vontez Duff. He looked very comfortable back there, and he was able to make some guys miss. JJ is definately up for a battle for the return duties. All in all I was very pleased with the performance of the team, and I can't wait till I get to see them all in action again.

08-15-2004, 05:16 PM
One of the things we need to keep in mind when we kind of compare where Dunta Robinson is in his game Vs. Jason Babin is that Babin is leaning a position he hasn't played hardly at all and will look a bit lost until he has it down. If your not sure what you need to be doing, that produces a tentative response. I would be willing to bet that on the sack, he knew exactly what he was supposed to do. Because he is soooo new to the position, he probably won't meet our true expectations until next season, but I am willing to bet that he puts in a year that shows all the promis we are looking for.

On Babin:

Two things to look for is pass rushers.
1- Explosive quickness and speed (that is peek's game). Babin seemed to be thinking and did not show that.

2- Multiple pass rush moves and desire. . this is Babin's game. On the Vinny sack and fumble, Babin tried the outside and then spun inside to the QB. while I did not see many backside tackles, he continue the chase from the backside. BTW, Wong did this pretty well last night.

He needs to work on play recognition (seemed to think on the field) and i think we will see a better first step.

08-15-2004, 06:00 PM

David Carr looked completely in control, but once again they are relying heavily on dumping the pass off the backs. No shot by Carr deep, taking what they are giving him. This may be bad if we they are giving us 10 when we need 13. Just like the play to Johnson underneath in the 4 wideout spread. We are not scoring points like we need to.
Weary is not good at all. I'd rather have M. Brown in there than Weary,he just looks completely too slow and sluggish. Add to that a false start at a crucial moment.
Hollings solidified himself as the #2 back, but not the #1. Had troubles with the rock last year, has trouble with the rock 1st game this year. No excuses. He ran great, but will cost you all those great yards by one simple fumble.
The strong set with a single RB is going to be fantastic for us this year, especially when you have Bruener on the left and Miller on the right. This allows us to do a lot of play-action-pass and bootlegs. Either TE can take off for the pass. Bruener was probably the best acquisition of us this year.
Wand held his own for a large part of his session. Pitts however, WAS A FREAKIN MONSTER! He moved his man off the line and opened some holes. He was found his home on the LG spot and make no mistake, he is a LG and NOT a LT.


Dunta did very well against a really good reciever. What impressed me was the most was him talking smack. That is something this defense needs more of. He's just a hair off from making plays however.
Babin is just getting started and it shows. I watched him the most in this game. Most people are looking at his pass rushing, but I tend to look more at his ability to fill Wongs shoes and do the intagibles: run stopping, zone and man coverage. Babin didi a good job at run stuffing but he needs work on his pass coverage and zones. This may be due to his learning the position.
Wong is looking great on his side of the ball, was in on most of the plays that were of no yards or little yards. I expect good things from him this year
R. Smith, did anyone keep an eye on him going against 2 pro-bowlers? Cowboys barely got the 1 yard need for the 1st down on one play.
Foreman actually looked pretty good this game, coveraging and stuffing. maybe he got a fire lit under him
Coleman looks fantastic working with Wong and Robinson.

08-15-2004, 06:51 PM
I got what I wanted to see out of our starters. Offense and defense both looked good to me last night. I'm keeping in mind that we're talking about a couple of series in the first preseason game of the year. Taking that into account I thought we looked pretty good.

Robinson and Babin both did well IMO. Robinson was everything he's been billed as and Babin was about what I expected him to be. It's all there but he's learning on the job. I expected him to look a little lost at times and I expected him to be a little hesitant. I think it was perfectly understandable. The signs of better things to come were there.

Wells ran harder than I've seen him run since that 2002 New Orleans preseason game. All the camp press he's been getting seems justified. If he'll do what he's supposed to do he can be a nice big back in this leage which is a pleasant surprise since I'd just about given up on him. Keep it up Jonathan.

I liked watching Renteria get that sack. I wonder if he's got a chance to make the team or if he'll be on the practice squad? I like this guy and think in a year or two he could be the kind of quality depth we've been needing there. Let the Texans trainers get him on the weights and see what happens.

Ragone I'm very happy with. The only thing missing was the catch and I can't fault him because the guys he was throwing to dropped the ball. Much better than last year. He seemed far less lost than I've ever seen him. Ragone IMO looked sharper than Banks who I was dissappointed in. I've yet to see a reciever catch the ball with their feet (Though I'm sure that's going to be an ESPN Sportscenter highlight when it happens) and that's where Banks seemed intent on throwing the ball. I wonder if his time here is just about up and he feels it?

On the Cowboys side I have to admit that Henson looked really good consider he's been out of football for so long. He's got some catching up to do but I think he's going to be starting for them by the end of the year. They'll have to take their "young QB" knocks while he gets up to speed but I think he's going to be a good one.

I was impressed with Julius Jones too. By the end of the year it's going to be out with Vinny Testeverde and Eddie George and in with Drew Henson and Julius Jones. Signing Eddie George makes me wonder why the Cowboys let Emmitt go. If they wanted an old HOF running back with nothing left in the tank on the roster why didn't they just keep the one they had?

08-15-2004, 07:15 PM
Did Peek play?

08-15-2004, 07:45 PM
Did Peek play?yeah, he recovered Babin's forced fumble...

08-15-2004, 07:45 PM
Peek recovered the Testaverde fumble caused by Babin, applied some pressure on the QB, and had a couple of special teams tackles. He looked pretty good.

08-15-2004, 09:15 PM
Here are my impressions -

The good:

David Carr looked like an honest to goodness pro QB. He was in full control, and seemed to make the right decisions for the most part. The mental part may finally be coming. He has had the physical part down, but the mental part of the game has been where he has struggled. That pass to gaffney would have never happened last year or 2002. GREAT JOB CARR!! I will be interested to see if that continues. If so, I may need to raise my 7-9 win predication by a game or two.

Mark Bruener showed good hands, and I loved how he dragged guys down the field. Reminded me of a certain NY Giant. Could he be our Joppru? Sure looks like it.

Pitts looked good, especially in run blocking.

Seth Wand looked like he belonged out there. A bit tentative at times, and needs to be a little more physical when run blocking, but overall, he looked good. His pass blocking was very impressive to me considering his experience. I am feeling better about Carr's blindside already!

Personally, I did not key in on Weary, but I do remember him delivering a pancake block to spring Hollings on the dump off pass that went for 30 something yards. I think he is fine as a backup and spot starter. In general, I was impressed with the offensive line.

Hollings looked like a new RB. THIS is why he was drafted in the second round. Gee, do some of you naysayers understand now why you have to enter your thoughts on a MB, while the Pro's get paid to evaulate talent?

I echo Herv's comments on Wells. While there was a clear dropoff in speed, moves, and the suddenness of Hollings, I thought he was much less hesitant, and really showed good deciveness into the hole. If he keeps it up, I think he will make a dandy big back/short yardage/spot duty back, and he is already a key ST guy.

Ragone looked the best I have seen him, and to my eye, cleary outplayed Banks. I seriouely doubt that he beats out Banks for #2, but if the trend continues, this will be Banks last year IMO.

Starling looked really good to me in limited duty. He may push for the final spot if he keeps it up. All the WR's looked good to me with the exception of Jermaine Lewis who couldn't catch a cold, and a couple of other guys with virtually no chance. I see potential with Sloan Thomas as well. I see both him and Starling on the team, either on the active roster, or the practice squad.

Duff looked good to me. He was sure handed, ran north-south, made good desicions, etc. He doesn't have the top end speed or suddeness of the top guys, but he looks to be a guy that will get you positive yardage almost every time. I see him making the roster.

For a guy with almost no chance to make the 53 man roster, Jamaal Lord made a real case for himself as a ST man. He seemed to be around the ball carrier on every return. With the number of safety's in camp, I don't how they can keep him though. He is a sure practice squad player if he doesn't make the final 53 imo.

On Defense, Robinson was everything I was hoping for, and then some. Great speed, tackling ability, suddeness, change of direction, make up speed, etc. He will be a great CB in this league for many years imo.

Babin looked great on that one play, putting a great spin move on a double team, and causing the fumble. Some of the other times I keyed on him, he looked a bit lost, but it's clear to me he has the physical talent. He just needs time.

Every time I see Faggins play, I come away impressed. Last night was no different. Secondary play in general was excellent, and our depth looks 100% better than the first two years.

On the dline, Sears stood out, along with DJ Renteria. He could make a case for the practice squad. The line play in general was very good.

The Bad:

Tony Banks looked like he worked at a Bank and not in the NFL. Jason Anderson didn't look that impressive to me, then he got injured making that a moot point anyway. Some of the bottom of roster WR's didn't impress, as stated earlier. The third team dline was getting blown off the line something awful. Red Zone offense was bad. Five trips inside the 20, and only 16 points? At this stage, I will say that is nitpicky, but it is something that needs to improve. That's about all the bad, which says just how good this game was!

The Ugly:

Tony Hollings better eat, sleep with, and make love to a football between now and the opening game. The first fumble I will give some credit to the Crackboy who made a terrific play, but Tony should have protected it better, or better yet, switch arms. The last two were really what I saw as lack of concentration, combined with looking for the hole before recieving the ball. Job #1 is to get the rock and hold on for dear life. In Tony's case, I really think this is coachable, but I also think there is a decent chance he always is a higher than average fumbler. Time will tell on that one.

Final Grades -
Offense A-
Defense - A+
Special Teams - A-

:thumbup :thumbup :thumbup

08-18-2004, 09:18 AM
One last visual to take from the Cowboy game before we move on ...
from Dean - BullPen photographer.


08-18-2004, 04:14 PM
Dang thats awesome man

08-18-2004, 05:43 PM
Sassy - those your pics? If so, I think you oughta give SI a call. :thumbup

08-18-2004, 07:27 PM
Well although your pictures are terrific Sassy. I think I got you beat on this one. Exclusive practice photos.



Is it just me? Or do these guys look a little stiff?

08-18-2004, 09:34 PM
Look at that play again and notice how far down the field Pitts has driven his man. Can't wait to see Pitts up against some of the better DT's in the league like Stroud & Henderson.

08-18-2004, 10:48 PM

I love how Carr directed traffic as he was rolling out...shows great confidence.