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View Full Version : Matchup Preview of Dallas vs. Houston tomorrow


dalemurphy
08-27-2010, 10:24 AM
I remember how encouraged I was after the 2004 season. The Texans had won 7 games and been competitive in most losses. It is humorous now to think back to my lofty expectations of that team for the following season, when I go through that roster: David Carr, Seth Wand, Robaire Smtih, Todd Wade, Jay Foreman, Petey Faggins, CC Brown, Antuan Peek, one-legged Kailee Wong, Billy Miller, Phillip Buchanan… Regardless, though, I entered the 2005 preseason hoping and even expecting to see a team that could challenge for a playoff spot. Then the preseason happened. I think the offense only scored 10 points in the first half of the first three games. Our final preseason effort was against Tampa Bay and the coaches pointed to the game as the time to straighten out the offense. The first team offense was scheduled to play at least a quarter and as much as a half. Well, David Carr was 1-5 with two interceptions and the Texans were trailing 24-0 at halftime. I remember watching the game and feeling my expectations for the season plummet and become replaced with dread and frustration.

Now I look back at that and I am grateful, because that was the watershed mark for the Texans and the beginning of the transition to the current organizational structure led by Gary Kubiak and Rick Smith. Tomorrow, however, is another such point of time for the Texans and this coaching staff. Now, regardless of what happens, this team isn’t going 2-14. They are far too talented for that level of putridity. But, the coaches have placed special emphasis on this game in response to last week’s poor performance in New Orleans. Therefore, if they come out flat, it is a sign that these players under this staff can not be properly motivated throughout the season. If they come out of the tunnel motivated and intense but are ineffectual, it is a sign that this team will be unable to handle the more talented teams in the NFL. Unfortunately, that is who they play this season… lots of good NFL teams. However, if they come out of the tunnel motivated, focused, and are able to execute the gameplan and win many of the individual battles throught the first half, then this is a team that is ready for the season and positioned to do some great things. I’ll be there, nervous but hopeful. Here are some specific matchups to keep your eye on:

1. Interior O-line versus Jay Ratliff and A-gap blitzers, particularly Bradie James (8.5 sacks in 2008). Ratliff is a monster! He may be 30 lbs lighter than most NT but he had 7 sacks and 33 QB pressures, not to mention causing havoc against the run. The Cowboys don’t run a traditional 3-4 defense. The front three does a lot more stunting and slanting, rather than simply eating up blockers. I have been impressed with Myers and Caldwell this preseason but this will be a difficult test for them. They are unlikely to receive much help from backs since they will have their eyes on the OLBs (Ware and Spencer).

Read the rest here: Texans Bull Blog (http://www.texansbullblog.com/preview-dallas/news/)

barrett
08-28-2010, 04:13 AM
I watched a bit of the NO game tonight. That is a pretty good football team. If we played up to our capabilities or even half that, we may still have come up short but I don't see that same kind of precision coming out of cow town.

Does that mean we win the game? Who cares. I know, I know, some of you do. I don't. I expect us to look dominant for 2 and a half quarters. I'll be suprised if we don't.

CloakNNNdagger
08-28-2010, 07:57 AM
Therefore, if they come out flat, it is a sign that these players under this staff can not be properly motivated throughout the season. If they come out of the tunnel motivated and intense but are ineffectual, it is a sign that this team will be unable to handle the more talented teams in the NFL. Unfortunately, that is who they play this season… lots of good NFL teams. However, if they come out of the tunnel motivated, focused, and are able to execute the gameplan and win many of the individual battles throught the first half, then this is a team that is ready for the season and positioned to do some great things. I’ll be there, nervous but hopeful.

I don't know that this will translate to great things in the regular season.......BUT, it may serve to lessen my need for more Pepcid in the interim. Before we get too excited, LET'S KEEP IN MIND that this is our 3rd preseason game........characteristically, the MOST IMPORTANT of the preseason games........while this is the Girls' 4th game, characteristically the MOST IMPORTANT for the 2nd, 3rd and 4th teamers.

I believe what happens in the trenches (on both sides of the fence) will be the main thing I watch this game. I strongly believe that where our lines go..........BOTH 1st AND 2nd team, there goes our season.

Dwade
08-28-2010, 10:07 AM
I don't know that this will translate to great things in the regular season.......BUT, it may serve to lessen my need for more Pepcid in the interim. Before we get too excited, LET'S KEEP IN MIND that this is our 3rd preseason game........characteristically, the MOST IMPORTANT of the preseason games........while this is the Girls' 4th game, characteristically the MOST IMPORTANT for the 2nd, 3rd and 4th teamers.

I believe what happens in the trenches (on both sides of the fence) will be the main thing I watch this game. I strongly believe that where our lines go..........BOTH 1st AND 2nd team, there goes our season.

I read somewhere that the Cowboy's starters are playing 3 quarters...I forgot where but I think it's true.

thunderkyss
08-28-2010, 10:35 AM
In 2007, we played:

Chicago 20-19 Loss
Arizona 20-33 Win
Dallas 16-28 Win
Tampa Bay 31-24 Loss

We opened that year against Kansas City 3-20 Win & Carolina 21-34 Win.

I believe we got a little over confident that year, we ended up going 8-8.

The Cowboys who lost that "all-important" 3rd Preseason game, and looking pretty pathetic doing so, wound up going 13-3.

I honestly don't believe winning or losing will have much affect on how we do this year. I don't believe "looking" good, or bad will have much affect on how we do this year.

What I believe is most important, is that our players do the things the coaches tell them to do, and they are able to use the resulting film to illustrate and teach our offense & our defense to do their jobs better.

If that means we are in two deep zone when the Cowboys go to their big package on 3rd and 1, so be it.

To me, the most important thing is that our guys are focused on getting better, not on winning games.

When the season starts, their focus should be on winning games.

alphajoker
08-28-2010, 10:39 AM
In 2007, we played:

Chicago 20-19 Loss
Arizona 20-33 Win
Dallas 16-28 Win
Tampa Bay 31-24 Loss

We opened that year against Kansas City 3-20 Win & Carolina 21-34 Win.

I believe we got a little over confident that year, we ended up going 8-8.

The Cowboys who lost that "all-important" 3rd Preseason game, and looking pretty pathetic doing so, wound up going 13-3.

I honestly don't believe winning or losing will have much affect on how we do this year. I don't believe "looking" good, or bad will have much affect on how we do this year.

What I believe is most important, is that our players do the things the coaches tell them to do, and they are able to use the resulting film to illustrate and teach our offense & our defense to do their jobs better.

If that means we are in two deep zone when the Cowboys go to their big package on 3rd and 1, so be it.

To me, the most important thing is that our guys are focused on getting better, not on winning games.

When the season starts, their focus should be on winning games.

It wasn't overconfidence, it was losing AJ for 7 games or so due to his sprained MCL.

b0ng
08-28-2010, 10:46 AM
It wasn't overconfidence, it was losing AJ for 7 games or so due to his sprained MCL.

And Schaub with his whatever it was that sidelined him for a decent portion of the year. Also, DR sustaining that ridiculously horrible injury as well, because he was pretty solid that year.

b0ng
08-28-2010, 11:01 AM
Let's see. 3rd preseason game against a team we will see in about a month. I know we won't see much in terms of schemes so I guess I'll be looking at whom we match up against the dallas skill players. Maybe which specific player will be on Witten (Pollard? Maybe even Diles or Cushing? None of that makes me feel any better), how KJ does as a whole. Then I'll be watching Nolan when he's in the game as well as McCain/Molden.

Offense I'll be watching the guards and who causes turnovers (fumbles mostly). I really don't want to see AJ or Schaub play for as long as Kubiak indicated about the starters but whatever.

NO INJURIES.

CloakNNNdagger
08-28-2010, 11:59 AM
I read somewhere that the Cowboy's starters are playing 3 quarters...I forgot where but I think it's true.



Phillips really doesn't tell us much as to the specifics.

As the end of training camp approached, the Cowboys' pace picked up as they left practice.

It wasn't as though they sprinted off the field, but anyone who was in their way could have had the firsthand experience of a pancake block.

At one point, Bradie James was courteous enough to engage in a brief conversation, but he did it without breaking stride.

"We've had a lot of practice; we've been around each other and now it's just time to put it together," James said, walking briskly. "We got a chance to get some good work in, so I'm looking forward to seeing the finished product."

The Cowboys had a mid-morning walk-through Friday, then left for Houston, where they will play their fourth preseason game at 7 tonight against the Texans in Reliant Stadium.

Cowboys coach Wade Phillips said starters and primary backups will receive more playing time, depending on how they have been playing.
Phillips said someone such as tight end Jason Witten, who's had a good preseason and has been outstanding in practices, may not need as much playing time because he's already sharp.

Backup Martellus Bennett, however, should play a lot. Bennett is expected to play a significant role in the offense this season and Phillips wants Bennett to play extensively.

Phillips also wants to look at backups because the first round of cuts will be next week.

thunderkyss
08-28-2010, 01:14 PM
1314hrs... still no gameday thread, or any thread discussing this game on the Cowboys forum.

thunderkyss
08-28-2010, 01:18 PM
Sorry, my previous post is incorrect. There is one thread where this ESPN preview (http://espn.go.com/blog/dallascowboys/post/_/id/4671354/scouts-eye-cowboys-texans-preseason-preview) is posted, but no replies as of yet.

By Bryan Broaddus

After five weeks of practice and preseason games, the Cowboys roster will be trimmed down to 75 players on Tuesday, but not before a meeting with another AFC foe in the Houston Texans. The Texans are a talented football team and on the verge of becoming one of those teams that you hear the football experts talk about in the mix for a playoff spot in 2010.

With players like Andre Johnson, Mario Williams, DeMeco Ryans and Brian Cushing on the roster, it’s easy to see why they have a shot to realize that opportunity.

Andre Johnson will be an outstanding test for cornerbacks Mike Jenkins and Terence Newman on Saturday night. Johnson is an explosive, down the field player that shows the ability to adjust to the ball well. He can catch the ball in traffic and he is not afraid to take his route anywhere on the field to make a reception. Johnson had 101 receptions in 2009 with nine touchdowns and a 15.5-yard average per catch.

Offensive tackle Doug Free, making the transition to the left side, will draw defensive end Mario Williams, who led the Texans with nine sacks in 2009. Williams has outstanding length and a surge up the field. He was very productive in 2009 with 20 quarterback hits, which led the Texans. Free will need to be quick out of his stance, show patience in his punch and not allow Williams to get the edge on him.

This will be a nice matchup of two athletic players. Watch and see who gets the upper hand here because it could send a message for the rematch in Week 3.

Linebackers Brian Cushing and DeMeco Ryans were 1–2 in tackles last season for the Texans. Cushing, the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2009, is playing through the preseason but will miss the first four games of the regular season for having a high amount of the hormone hCg in his system, a banned performance enhancing substance by the NFL. With that suspension, Cushing will miss the regular season meeting with the Cowboys.

As a player, he is all over the field. Cushing is a sideline to sideline player. Cushing is also effective as a blitzer. He has a nice feel for how to beat blocks and get in on the quarterback.

DeMeco Ryans at middle linebacker will be a strong test for the inside three of Montrae Holland, Andre Gurode and Leonard Davis. Ryans has a real nose for the football and is relentless in his effort to get there. In visiting with offensive line coach Hudson Houck, he spoke of the importance of secondary level blocking and the ability of the line to work together to not only secure the down linemen but to get hats on the linebackers. Ryans is a player that will need to be secured one way or another or the Cowboys will see him make the majority of the tackles.

For the Cowboys to have any success on Saturday night with their first offense, watch how effective they are in dealing with Williams, Cushing and Ryans.

*What will you see from the Cowboys on offense and defense on Saturday night? Not as much as you would like scheme wise.

These two teams will meet again in Week 3 again in Houston, so I believe that will limit what you will see on both sides of the ball.

In visiting with some staff members before practice on Friday, they have that Week 3 matchup in mind. Starters will get some extensive work in the game, but it will once again be with a vanilla package on both sides of the ball.

Chance_C
08-28-2010, 01:19 PM
Sorry, my previous post is incorrect. There is one thread where this ESPN preview is posted, but no replies as of yet.

Look up at the very first thread on this page..........

edited to add that reading is fundamental....I just noticed where you said on the Cowboys board..my bad

The Pencil Neck
08-28-2010, 01:29 PM
Personally, I want us to come out totally vanilla. I'd prefer that we play our 1's only for a quarter.

This is one game where I'd prefer that Kubiak TOTALLY work off his script and script the entire game so that there's nothing that the Cowboys can look at and use against us in the regular season.

I don't even care if the Defense plays Ole all day and doesn't tackle a single person.

I don't think that's what's going to happen but if I was the coach, I'd definitely be playing this game close to the vest.

I do want to see KJ get picked on, however. I want to see how he performs.

CloakNNNdagger
08-28-2010, 01:52 PM
Personally, I want us to come out totally vanilla. I'd prefer that we play our 1's only for a quarter.

This is one game where I'd prefer that Kubiak TOTALLY work off his script and script the entire game so that there's nothing that the Cowboys can look at and use against us in the regular season.

I don't even care if the Defense plays Ole all day and doesn't tackle a single person.

I don't think that's what's going to happen but if I was the coach, I'd definitely be playing this game close to the vest.

I do want to see KJ get picked on, however. I want to see how he performs.


We already saw enough of that last week. I would like to see plain vanilla with our personel holding their own head for head with the Girls. Another show like last week will not justify the risk of the regulars being in there for any time, and will not lead to any worthwhile evaluation of backup or fringe players.

thunderkyss
08-28-2010, 02:00 PM
Another show like last week will not justify the risk of the regulars being in there for any time, and will not lead to any worthwhile evaluation of backup or fringe players.

For you, or me, or the talking heads on TV.

Do you remember last season's preseason games against Minnesota, & the Vikings?

How do you think we got from that, to one of the best defenses in the league against the run?

CloakNNNdagger
08-28-2010, 02:22 PM
Some Cowboys fans posts: (http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/spt/columnists/dmoore/nfl/stories/082810dnspomoore.1e1c377.html)

gina128
1:34 PM on August 28, 2010

The thing that I am amazed about is how little attention has been paid to Tony Romo's poor performance during the preseason. It's easy to say, 'Well, that's what it is, preseason', but as FBCX commented below, other contenders have looked much more impressive. Just as an example, I watched the Packers game a couple of nights ago, and Aaron Rogers looked SHARP. It was very easy to see why the Packers released Brett 'It's All About Me' Farve, and kept him. Supposedly, we were going to see the 'new' Tony Romo, but he hasn't shown up yet. About the only thing 'new' about him is his new blond girlfriend. We're all talking about the Cowboys being the first team in history to appear in a Super Bowl held in their own stadium, but I haven't seen anything YET that makes me think that's going to happen. In fact, I'm going to be very interested to see what the point spread is going to be for their season opener against the Redskins IN Washington. Wade had better not lose that one!

fbcx
11:43 AM on August 28, 2010

This is a bunch of hooey! If you've watched the Saints, Chargers, or Packers their ones look like they are ready for the playoffs NOW. I don't give a flip what all these guys say, those teams are supposedly not game-planning either and they are scoring at their leisure, and playing serious, successful football. These are just excuses for not being a very good team that simply doesn't know what it is doing. I've seen High School teams more together and efficient than these guys. Bull is bull, whether you trip over it in the pasture or in the stall. This is one I lay on the coaches. These guys are not ready for primetime. Heck, they aren't even ready for preseason. This garbage hurts to watch. And don't tell me it's because new guys are playing. New guys are playing on other teams too and they are doing a better job of it that these over-hyped loafers.


MayneCowboyFan
6:36 AM on August 28, 2010

The offense has not looked good in preseason at all. These are pros, and I understand the nuances of not giving too many looks, but execution has to be a concern, as well as the preseason schedule. I don't like to criticize the Cowboys as an organization, but five games? That may have been a back-breaker of a price for revenue or whatever Jerry was looking for out of this. Again, it's football and it's one very dangerous sport. However, fatigue and injuries should be more of a concern than marketing a good team fo talent. It would seem that Wade is making the adjustments for a somewhat tougher team as the season wears-on. God Bless them.

CloakNNNdagger
08-28-2010, 02:33 PM
For you, or me, or the talking heads on TV.

Do you remember last season's preseason games against Minnesota, & the Vikings?

How do you think we got from that, to one of the best defenses in the league against the run?


I certainly don't see how our losing ways in the preseason contributed to that. But it certainly seemed consistent with our poor show in the first 3 regular season games.

thunderkyss
08-28-2010, 04:23 PM
I certainly don't see how our losing ways in the preseason contributed to that. But it certainly seemed consistent with our poor show in the first 3 regular season games.

And we can go over those first three games again if you want. We played just as well in those games with the exception of a handful of plays.

My point, is that those preseason games were not good indicators of how our team would perform in the regular season.

They are practice..

CloakNNNdagger
08-28-2010, 04:35 PM
And we can go over those first three games again if you want. We played just as well in those games with the exception of a handful of plays.

My point, is that those preseason games were not good indicators of how our team would perform in the regular season.

They are practice..

Our D in those 1st 3 games were an extension of the preseason experience. We gave up mucho yards in each game. It didn't predict the ultimate regular season results, but it seemed to have predicted the slow start which dulled the season's end.

Texanmike02
08-28-2010, 04:40 PM
I put the least stock of any of the games in this one. Why? We are going to see them in a few weeks. I think we'll see vanilla from both teams and whatever happens won't really represent what we will see in the regular season.

I think we'll get all kinds of posts about how we were telegraphing our blitzes etc and I honestly hope we do. I'd almost rather NOT put our starters in the game and instead put them in the last game. It just doesn't make sense, we know we're not going to show anything we don't have to so let the scrubs play and see which ones of them are able to stand up to first teamers.

Mike

Texanmike02
08-28-2010, 04:42 PM
Our D in those 1st 3 games were an extension of the preseason experience. We gave up mucho yards in each game. It didn't predict the ultimate regular season results, but it seemed to have predicted the slow start which dulled the season's end.

I think the preseason AND the first three games highlighted a need for a safety to be in the hole. I remember the Jets and Titans games specifically when a hole was there and there was no help past the first level.

Mike

thunderkyss
08-28-2010, 06:17 PM
Our D in those 1st 3 games were an extension of the preseason experience. We gave up mucho yards in each game. It didn't predict the ultimate regular season results, but it seemed to have predicted the slow start which dulled the season's end.

I don't think so. From a high level, and looking at final results, I can understand why you would think so. But watching those games, I felt as we were getting the better of the other team, on the majority of plays.

Like Texansmike said, with a real safety, those 6 bad plays from the first 3 games disappeared.

http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a159/Thunderkyss/vsrushing2009.jpg
This is truly a fearsome D, and had been week 1.