We're just a few hours from game time, and the bitter annoyance of not being able to watch the game live is beginning to become more than I can bare. I will have an open-thread up a little later for all of you to talk about it and I will be listening via Sirius Satellite. For those of you in the same boat as me, the NFL Network will be re-broadcasting the game tomorrow.
To help get you ready, we asked Grizz over at Blogging The Boys to answer a few of our questions about the 'Boys. He was nice enough to accept. Here is what he had to say --
1. How long should we expect to see the starters play on Saturday Night. Anyone not going to play?
BTB -- Wade Phillips said that the starters would play the first half, but he added some qualifications. Certain guys may go longer or be pulled earlier, and he may keep one side of the ball on the field longer than the other. In other words, who knows? But I'd guess somewhere in the 2nd quarter he'll start pulling players. The most notable guy who will not play is WR Terry Glenn, who is recovering from knee surgery. OLB Greg Ellis will also miss the game, along with backup T Doug Free and backup DE Jason Hatcher, both of who look to be promising young players.
2. What are you looking for from the Cowboys this season? What areas are you confident about, what areas worry you?
BTB -- The Cowboys have plenty of skill-position players, with Romo, T.O., Terry Glenn, Julius Jones, Marion Barber and Jason Witten. So we have the potential to build on an offense that was a top 5 offense in many categories last year. But the offensive line was inconsistent last year, and LT Flozell Adams is coming off knee surgery. We replaced Marco Rivera with Leonard Davis, and he's had a great camp at RG. The o-line is the offensive question mark. On defense, we're changing to an attacking 3-4 scheme instead of the two-gap 3-4 scheme under Parcells in hopes of getting more pressure on the QB, something only DeMarcus Ware did consistently last year. We also brought in FS Ken Hamlin to help plug a leaky safety position.
3. Did Bill Parcells wear out his welcome in Dallas? What was the feeling after last season?
BTB -- With some players and fans he did wear out his welcome. Certain players just couldn't deal with his style of coaching, and it might have affected their play. When Parcells is winning big, players love him just like any coach, but when expectations aren't being met, four years of his tough-love coaching style is tough to take. In some ways, Parcells gets a bad rap for last year, because we were one bobbled snap of a FG away from winning a playoff game on the road. Anything could have happened after that. But the Cowboys probably needed a fresh start; when you listen to some of the comments made by some of the players about Parcells after he left, it led me to believe that it was time for a change. Not because I necessarily thought they were right, but if players feel that way, the coach may have lost them. Parcells seemed burnt-out anyway.
4. Is Tony Romo the guy to lead to Cowboys back to playoff glory?
BTB -- We'll see, he certainly has all the tools in my eyes. He has a quick release which is so important; he can make all the throws, can read a defense, has good pocket awareness, and can throw on the run. Plus he's got the intangibles of being a leader, the players on offense have embraced him as "the guy", and that kind of confidence can pay off. On the negative side, he gambles sometimes and is always trying to make a play instead of taking the safe way out, which can lead to trouble. He is also a little to loose with handling the ball which leads to fumbles. He needs to tighten up on ball security. But I have high hopes for his future, and for the first time since Aikman, I see a relatively-young QB who can lead the team for a long time.
5. When it's all said and done, how far will the Cowboys go?
BTB -- In the NFC, they can go all the way because the conference really doesn't have any dominant teams, so the field is wide-open. The Cowboys really do have a lot of talent on the roster, good enough to compete with anybody. They are hoping that Wade Phillips' 3-4 defense will create more pressure and negative plays, which is something that didn't happen often enough last year. With Tony Romo back and some experience under his belt, most fans think we could make the Super Bowl. But realistic expectations are winning the NFC East and finally winning a playoff game again. After that, I'll take whatever comes.]
Thanks again to Grizz and if you'd like to see how I answered some of his questions, head on over to Blogging The Boys and find out!!!