The Dallas Cowboys are 3-0 for the 3rd consecutive season. They just got their first victory at Lambeau Field. They have a wide receiver that is climbing his way up the record books in Terrell Owens. They are being called the strongest and most talented team in the NFL.
And when it comes to the Super Bowl, the media takes a Charles Barkley-like stance: “Anything less would be uncivilized.” All that said, is it just me or does it feel like there is still MUCH more to come? The Cowboys have shown a lot of firepower thus far, but there is still a lot to come, including a secret weapon.
Everyone knows what Terrell Owens and the other starting receivers are capable of, but what about Miles Austin and Isaiah Stanback? Due to an injury to Patrick Crayton, Austin had a mini coming out party hosted by the Green Bay Packers where he caught a couple of passes for 115 yards and a touchdown. But that’s still not all that he is capable of.
Last year he was perfectly utilized as a speedy return man that averaged 25.5 yards per return. Adam Jones was a premier return man on the Tennessee Titans, but so far he hasn’t been as successful with a star on his helmet. Maybe Austin will see some touches as a punt returner as the season goes on.
Speaking of Mr. Jones, his numbers have continued to rise with every game. With only one tackle against the Browns and four coming in week two, Jones came up with 8 tackles and a forced fumble/fumble recovery in Mr. Rodgers’s Neighborhood. The cornerback formerly known as Pacman looks more and more comfortable every time he steps inside the white lines. He will only get better, which will make the Cowboys defense stronger as the season progresses.
While we’re in the secondary, how about Mike Jenkins? The rookie did not get any burn in game one, but he, much like the other first year Cowboy, had one tackle in his first outing along with one touchdown saving pass deflection. Against the Pack he had three solo tackles and was a big part of the secondary giving up zero passing touchdowns. Jenkins is doing a great job so far, and still has a lot of learning to do. As MJ gets more sure of himself he will move around the field with much greater precision and become a very big part of Dave Campo’s squad.
The immaturity of Martellus Bennett that was chronicled on Hard Knocks was on display on Sunday night when he got into a scuffle that had all the excitement of a Tim Kawakami skirmish. However, with the funny business aside, his blocking looks great.
In the preseason Bennett would, notably, by the reason a defender got to the quarterback or stopped a run in the backfield. Last game, however, the second-string tight end was seen blocking to the whistle, which was the cause of his mid-field quarrel. He only has two catches in three games, but the Cowboys have been looking very comfortable in the double-tight formation, which keeps linebackers on their heels. Look for Martellus Bennett’s role to increase as the weeks go on.
Let’s not forget the Cowboy’s secret weapon… Felix Jones. “Felix Jones is not a secret at all” you say? I beg to differ. F.Jones has done a tremendous job at returning kicks and spelling the Marion Barber, but I feel like the coaches are keeping a lot of excitement until later in the year. In camp, Felix lined up alongside of the MB3 Player in multiple varieties.
Very few of these looks have been seen thus far. In fact, these two dynamic backs were only on the field at the same time twice last game. Those following training camp were also expecting to see a lot of Jones in the slot and catching passes out of the backfield. Number 28 only has one catch for 3 yards in the three games. As Miles Austin and Martellus Bennett establish themselves while the already notable T.O and Jason Witten continue to make waves, defenses will be spread thin, opening up many pass attempts for the former Razorback.
This has been a fun year already. It has had ups and downs in every game. Injuries have shown just how deep the talent runs in Dallas. But there is so much more to see in the final season of Texas Stadium. The next four weeks the Boys will be facing a Jason Taylor-less Washington squad, a troubled Bengals team, a decent Cardinal team and the St. Louis Rams who have been outscored by 87 points in only three games. That is a stretch of games that will serve as a good tune-up for the many aspects of the Cowboys arsenal. Make sure you stay tuned for the fireworks.