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COWBOYS AT PACKERS +3

9/21/08

Both of these teams had offensive explosions last weekend.


Marion Barber got just 63 yards in 19 carries. One came in a big chunk for 19 yards. Otherwise the Cowboys couldn't get much going against the Eagles defense. Keep in mind he had 12 yards on seven carries in the first half, the rest of the numbers came in the second half when the Cowboys were at least serviceable on the ground. Tony Romo was spectacular when he wasn't helping the Eagles' cause with an interception and fumble that led to touchdowns. He completed 21 of 30 passes for 312 yards and three touchdowns. Terrell Owens and Jason Witten were the primary targets. Owens had three catches for 89 yards and two touchdowns against his former team, including a 72-yard bomb. Witten had seven catches for 110 yards.


The Cowboys held Brian Westbrook to 58 yards on 18 carries. So they stoned the traditional run well. Quarterback Donovan McNabb slithered away with 20 yards on five scrambles. Donovan McNabb gave the Cowboys fits for most of the night with his ability to make plays with his arm and feet. They seemingly could not get him on the ground. Most damning was DeSean Jackson repeatedly running free in the Cowboys' secondary against Adam Pacman Jones. The defense did corral McNabb and the Eagles' passing game when it mattered most, notching two sacks on the final drive to preserve the victory.


Felix Jones was an All-American kickoff returner in college and he showed on Monday night his ability translates to the pro level. He had 247 yards in returns, including a 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Kicker Nick Folk quietly scored some momentum changing points with a 51 yard field at the end of the half to give the Cowboys momentum going into the locker room.

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The Cowboys did a good job of taking what the defense gave them. Early on they beat the Eagles with Terrell Owens over the top. Then they took Owens away, opening up things for tight end Jason Witten over the middle and running back Marion Barber and the running game. For reasons that still aren't clear, defensive coordinator Jim Johnson kept the blitzing to a minimum against Tony Romo. His front four weren't able to get pressure without it and Romo threw for three TDs and 312 yards.


The Preview:

Tony Romo now has consecutive 300-yard games to open the season and four touchdown passes. He also has two interceptions, but he did throw 19 last season, so it is definitely not a new trend. Big things are expected from the Cowboys in 2008 and Romo could end up being one of the top Quarterback producers. Marion Barber now has four touchdowns through two games and is doing exactly what Dallas expected -- put points on the board. He no longer has to share carries with Julius Jones and 2008 could be Barber's finest season. The only other offensive player that contributed significantly was star wide out Terrell Owens.

The Eagles-Cowboys game lived up to the hype offensively, unfortunately, the defenses paid the price. Dallas is a team that doesn't blitz a lot out of the 3-4 formation, but they usually get pressure on the QB. However, the Green Bay’s Offensive Line should be stout enough to keep the Cowboys’ front seven at bay in crucial situations.

it's hard to find a lot of things that Packers QB Aaron Rodgers has done wrong following his performance against Detroit when he was 24-of-38 passing for 328 yards and three touchdowns. Going into Monday night he ranks sixth in the NFL in passer rating (117.8), tied for third in touchdowns (four), tied for sixth in fewest sacks taken (two) and has attempted more passes (60) without an interception than all but one other starting quarterback. For the season, he has completed 42-of-60 passes (70 percent) for 506 yards and four touchdowns. At this rate, he'll throw for 4,048 yards and 32 touchdowns this season. Rodgers has a lot more targets to distribute the ball to than Tony Romo. What has Rogers done so far in Green Bay’s 2-0 SU and ATS start? He hasn’t screwed it up, which is more than half the battle for an NFL quarterback.

Last week the Packers defense scored two defensive touchdowns when Charles Woodson and Nick Collins returned interceptions for scores at Detroit. The Packers had three interceptions total with five sacks. Pick: Green Bay +3


 

 

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