It's Dallas week, and unfortunately they are coming in with a 6-1 record that surprised everyone except for...Dallas Cowboys fans. The Redskins are on the other end of the spectrum, going into Dallas with a disappointing 2-5 record. Are the Cowboys one of the best teams in the league, or just overrated and lucky? I spoke with Dave Halprin from BloggingTheBoys and asked him 5 questions about the current state of the Cowboys. His answers to my questions will be up today. Thanks to Dave, and let's try to keep it civil...
1. Tony Romo has been having a very good season, and he says the back is fine. How concerned is Cowboys Nation about his health, and will the Cowboys draft a QB to groom next year?
Dave: At the beginning of the year we were very concerned about Romo's back. He looked very stiff and immobile in the first game or two, leading to even more concern. But he has started looking like his old self recently and is having a great season. Based on his contract, the Cowboys are counting on him for the next few years so I doubt they spend a high draft pick next year, maybe following that they begin the grooming process.
2. DeMarco Murray is leading the NFL in rushing yards, with almost 300 yards more than anyone else, but he also has 61 more carries. Do the Cowboys plan on running him 400+ times this year, or will they try to lower his carries soon?
Dave: They keep talking about reducing his carries, but he is so good this year that it's hard to sit him down. They have gradually been trying to work in the other backs, we will see how much they do it. But right now they are going to ride Murray.
3. The Cowboys lost a lot of big name players on defense, but they are still winning. Is the offense masking some of the issues on defense, or are the 12 takeaways keeping them in games?
Dave: There are a few things happening. The ball control offense is grinding the clock keeping the defense fresh. They are getting turnovers but the big thing has been making Rod Marinelli defensive coordinator. He has upgraded the scheme, done a great coaching job and is putting players in a position to succeed.
4. If the Redskins somehow pull out a win on Monday, will the narrative be it was a division game, nothing to see here. Or will the stories that the Cowboys are overrated become louder?
Dave: I don't think one loss will lead to overrated stories. In the NFL winning seven games in a row is very difficult, the Cowboys are going to stumble at some point.
5. How will Doug Free's likely absence affect the run and pass game? Is Jermey Parnell going to be a weak spot that can be exploited by Ryan Kerrigan?
Dave: Parnell had a rough start to the game last week but he managed to get things going and ended up playing well. He is the weak link on an otherwise strong line, but I imagine the Cowboys will give him some help with tight ends and running backs.
Thanks again to Dave, for his questions and answers. Beat Dallas!