|Cowboys not only 3-0, also showing few flaws|
|Written by Admin|
|Monday, 22 September 2008 13:13|
Being 3-0 puts them among the league's few unbeaten teams.
The lack of weaknesses they've shown so far might keep them around the top for quite awhile.
``We're slowly starting to jell and that's huge as we get farther along in the season,'' defensive tackle Tank Johnson said Monday. ``That's what the regular season is for, jelling for the postseason.''
Sure, it's only September, but January is never far from the minds of anyone in the Cowboys' organization, especially these days, with a playoff victory drought that dates to 1996. That's tough for any club, even more so for a club with five Lombardi Trophies on display in the foyer.
st-ever win at Lambeau Field.
Other promising signs for the Cowboys:
-Their offense has gained the most yards in the NFL and scored the second-most points, much of it coming against tough foes Philadelphia and Green Bay.
Dallas also did well Sunday night despite a shaky performance by Tony Romo, who might've been trying too hard in his first start in his home state, and with Terrell Owens gaining only 17 yards, his fewest since 2003 (two teams ago).
Instead, offensive coordinator Jason Garrett turned to the running game and got a career-best 142 yards and a touchdown from Marion Barber and 76 yards from rookie Felix Jones, most of it on a 60-yard touchdown.
``It's nice that you can take whatever they give you,'' coach Wade Phillips said.
Even while underperforming against Green Bay, Romo threw a 52-yard touchdown pass on a third-and-20 and Owens did more than just soak up double coverage. On an interception in the end zone, T.O. chased the defender, got blocked to the ground around the 10, then got back up and made the tackle across midfield. Later, he ran interference on Jones' touchdown.
``I've been around a lot of (star receivers) and not all of them do that,'' Phillips said. ``I thought it was special.''
and Green Bay from the end zone until the closing minutes, when the outcome was already decided.
Rodgers had been sacked once the first two weeks, but Dallas got him five times. Two were by cornerback Anthony Henry, who never had a sack in his eight-year career, nor in college or even in high school.
``I'm going to have to talk to him about that because I'm sure sacks would help me out more than they'd help him out,'' said linebacker Bradie James, laughing.
Over the first two games, Dallas was vulnerable inside the 20-yard line. Foes got there seven times and went away with four touchdowns and three field goals. After talking all week about tightening up, Green Bay made it five times, but had only one touchdown, two field goals and two turnovers.
``To be the defense we want to be, it's not about `bend but don't break,' it's about not bending at all,'' safety Ken Hamlin said.
The unit also came into this season with a goal of improving on third downs. They have, lowering the conversion rate against them from 39.4 percent to 34.3.
-The special teams boast the Cowboys' two most exciting newcomers, cornerback Adam ``Pacman'' Jones on punt returns and Felix Jones on kickoffs.
Pacman hasn't gotten free yet, but Felix is averaging 35.1 yards per return, third best in the NFL. The Cowboys haven't had anyone at or above 28 since the early 1970s.
ick Folk is 4-for-4 on field goals, including a 51-yarder. Punter Mat McBriar atoned for a shank early in the Green Bay game by booming a 65-yarder late in the third quarter, when the Packers could've had a short field to cut into a 20-9 deficit.
``Everyone did their part,'' special teams captain Keith Davis said. ``It was really a complete victory.''
And, so far, a pretty complete season.