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 Next up: Dallas Cowboys 
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Post Next up: Dallas Cowboys
Please use this thread to discuss this weekend's game and all things related...

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October 22nd, 2013, 12:00 pm
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Post Re: Next up: Dallas Cowboys
ESPN wrote:
Dez Bryant: 'Nothing I can't do'
Updated: October 22, 2013, 11:03 AM ET
By Tim MacMahon | ESPNDallas.com

IRVING, Texas -- While he has immense respect for Calvin Johnson, Dez Bryant isn't willing to say that "Megatron" will be the best receiver at Ford Field when the Dallas Cowboys and Detroit Lions meet Sunday.

"Truth be told, I don't compare myself to nobody," Bryant said Monday during an appearance on 103.3 FM ESPN in Dallas. "I think Calvin's the best at what he [does]. I think I'm the best at what I do."

Bryant said Johnson's run-after-catch ability and the way he attacks the ball in the air are especially impressive. However, asked what Johnson could do that he couldn't, Bryant paused for several seconds before answering.

"I believe I can do whatever he can do," Bryant said. "I think it's just a pride thing. When it comes to football, just being on the field, it's a mindset and having a mentality. I honestly believe when I'm there, I'll be feeling like there's nothing I can't do. Whatever the coaches ask me to do, I'm going to do it.

"I always feel like there's more. I think that's just a mindset you're supposed to have."

In a radio interview Tuesday, Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones gave the nod to Johnson as the NFL's best receiver.

"I think that Johnson at Detroit has got to be the best receiver or best end target, if you want to put it like that, the best guy to go to right now in the league," Jones said on KRLD-FM. "Dez can aspire to be that and has a chance to be that."

Since Week 10 of last season, when Bryant began to emerge as an elite receiver, his 1,448 receiving yards rank behind only those of Johnson (1,689) and the Houston Texans' Andre Johnson (1,620) in the NFL. Bryant's 16 touchdown catches are the most in the league during that span, six ahead of Calvin Johnson, who is tied for fourth.

Johnson set an NFL record with 1,964 yards for the Lions last season. Bryant said during the offseason that he believes he's capable of becoming the first 2,000-yard receiver in NFL history, although his primary goal is to help the Cowboys make the playoffs.

http://espn.go.com/dallas/nfl/story/_/i ... t-lions-do
Welp, the way the CBs have been looking lately, Dez will prolly put up some HUGE numbers on Sunday

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October 22nd, 2013, 12:03 pm
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Post Re: Next up: Dallas Cowboys
As quiet as he is, CJ seems to step up his game a notch when facing other WR talent.


October 22nd, 2013, 12:22 pm
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Post Re: Next up: Dallas Cowboys
PFT wrote:
Nate Burleson scoffs when Dez Bryant compares himself to Megatron
Posted by Michael David Smith on October 23, 2013, 5:52 AM EDT

With Dallas set to face Detroit on Sunday, Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant is comparing himself to Lions receiver Calvin Johnson. And one of Johnson’s teammates is scoffing at that.

Asked about Johnson, Bryant said, “I believe I can do whatever he can do.” Lions receiver Nate Burleson heard that comment and chuckled.

“Listen, I like Dez. I think he’s one of the best receivers in the game right now,” Burleson said. “Very talented. Fast, big, strong. He possesses all the tools to possibly be as good as Calvin. But he’s not Calvin Johnson. No way, no how. Sorry, Dez. Keep it real.”

After Burleson said that, Bryant wrote on Twitter, “I see I have to be extra careful about what I say.”

Bryant can say whatever he wants, but Burleson is right: He’s not as good as Megatron.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/20 ... -megatron/


As a side note, I saw that Nate said he should be back after the bye...will be nice to have him back.

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October 23rd, 2013, 10:33 am
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Post Re: Next up: Dallas Cowboys
Dez obviously can't be as quiet and humble as CJ. i think he's missing a Johnson.


October 23rd, 2013, 10:38 am
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Post Re: Next up: Dallas Cowboys
Maybe the cowboys should just keep their mouths shut about calvin, remember when rex ryan said he'd be 3rd on the depth chart there? This is what they brought upon themselves.



Last edited by TheRealWags on October 24th, 2013, 9:45 am, edited 2 times in total.

fixed YouTube video



October 23rd, 2013, 8:15 pm
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Post Re: Next up: Dallas Cowboys
Well, to his point Dez Bryant does lead the NFL in bitch slaps to his own mama.

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October 23rd, 2013, 8:21 pm
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Post Re: Next up: Dallas Cowboys
Interesting article on the Lions offense this year, and how it will match up vs the Cowboys. http://mmqb.si.com/2013/10/23/detroit-l ... deep-dive/

Worth clicking the link for the pics.

Quote:
The Lions offense in recent years had mastered the art of posting big but empty numbers. Last year, the Lions ranked third in yards per game but just 17th in points, finishing with a 4-12 record. In 2011, they were fifth in yards and fourth in points, but the offense was not quite strong enough down the stretch to carry a collapsing defense. After a 5-0 start, the 2011 Lions lost seven of their last 12 (including a first-round playoff game at New Orleans).

The Lions 2013 preview here on The MMQB emphasized the offense’s need to sophisticate its high-powered attack. So far this season, head coach Jim Schwartz and, more specifically, coordinator Scott Linehan have done that. A disappointing last-second home loss to the Bengals recently dropped the Lions to 4-3, but that still leaves them near the top of the injury-ravaged NFC North.

Let’s examine why the Lions’ updated offense is one of the most intriguing (and still prolific) in football. It starts with the most important free agent signing of this past offseason.

Part I: The Bush Factor
Reggie Bush made a great point in a production meeting with CBS’s Marv Albert and Rich Gannon prior to the Bengals game last week. The eighth-year veteran said that, as a Saint, he was used just a tad too much in the passing game and not quite enough in the running game. As a Dolphin, he was used a bit too much in the running game and not quite enough in the passing game. Bush feels that his role as a Lion is perfectly balanced (98 carries so far, 32 receiving targets).

Since his arrival, the Lions have finally committed to a foundational ground game, running the ball on 53 percent of their first-down snaps this season (third most attempts in the NFL). Last year, they ran on just 45 percent of their first downs. The year before, 43.5 percent.

A bulk of these first down runs have featured Bush between the tackles. Overall, the results have been hit or miss. The Lions have moved the chains a league-leading 15 times on such carries, as Bush has a sense for hitting the downhill throttle when he’s afforded clear initial spacing. However, Bush also has a proclivity to dance in the backfield when his rushing lanes look murky.

But even when those lanes are continuously murky—like they’ve been the last two weeks with Detroit’s offensive line unable to generate much push against the stauncher defensive fronts of Cleveland and Cincinnati—Linehan has remained committed to balance on the ground. That has compelled defenses to stay honest, which has empowered the Lions’ play-action game and kept them in more manageable third downs.

Of course, Bush’s main value is in the passing game, where he’s not just a lethal threat out of the backfield (screens, swing passes, even handoffs from spread sets) but a movable chess piece that Linehan can use to dictate matchups from the slot or split out wide.

This increased flexibility is not the only change Bush has brought forth. Some of his best work as a decoy has come off presnap motion. The Lions, who normally prefer static formations, have made a point to use these new wrinkles early in games.

graphic1

graphic-a

Part II: The Megatron Factor
Bush never played with a receiver in Miami who regularly commanded safety help over the top. In fact, he never really played with this sort of receiver in New Orleans, either. Now, playing with Calvin Johnson, Bush has the luxury of consistently facing just seven, and sometimes even six, defenders in the box, as described in the graphics above. Lateral agility and willingness (or eagerness) to redirect and change field makes him the perfect type of runner for exploiting a soft box. We saw this fully illustrated against the Bears a few weeks ago.

graphic-b

Johnson this year has not aligned only in wide splits like you see above. The Lions last season started moving the 6-5 dynamo to the slot more (28 percent of the time, according to Pro Football Focus), where he is more difficult to double team. They have continued that this season, with Johnson kicking inside 26 percent of the time, occasionally even off an uncommon presnap motion (like on his 27-yard touchdown last Sunday).

More than the newfound formation versatility, the Lions have diversified their passing game with an influx of quick-timing routes. Johnson’s two touchdowns last week were his first two 20-plus-yard catches this season. He is much more of an underneath threat—which the numbers attest to. According to PFF, 61 percent of Johnson’s catches have been within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage. Last season, it was 51 percent.

Obviously, Johnson still runs plenty of deep routes—there isn’t a better coverage-lifting decoy in the NFL—but he’s very much a part of a Lions’ passing game that, as a whole, has contracted in order to help Stafford get the ball out quicker. Stafford, in response, is having a career year.

Part III: Matthew Stafford
A quicker passing game would not work without Stafford’s improvements in the presnap phase. He has been sharper at identifying defensive fronts and coverages, plus he’s had better discipline to take what’s available early in the down. The cannon-armed 25-year-old will always have a gun-slinging style of play. Consequently, he’ll always have big-time playmaking ability but also inherent bouts of inconsistency. But no longer are Stafford’s bouts of inconsistency compromising the flow of Detroit’s offense. They’re less frequent and shorter-lived. In fact, his trademark gambles—most notably his throws from weird arm angles when under duress—have been positives more often than not.

The quicker, sharper passing game has also allowed Detroit’s somewhat modest front five to survive soundly in pass protection. And it has helped accelerate Stafford’s chemistry-building process with receivers Kris Durham, Ryan Broyles and Joseph Fauria, all of whom have bigger-than-expected roles thanks to injuries at their position.

Facing Dallas
The Cowboys front four has been rocked by injuries, but high-effort backups like George Selvie, Drake Nevis and Nick Hayden have overachieved in elevated roles. More importantly, the Cowboys secondary has been outstanding in press coverage on the outside (which they play the vast majority of the time, as Monte Kiffin has substituted his “Tampa 2” for a Seahawks-style hybrid press scheme). The Cowboys linebacking unit—or, really, Sean Lee—has played with speed and discipline in all phases.

Style-wise, this could be Detroit’s most challenging foe yet. Lee matches up well to Bush, while cornerback Brandon Carr has the size and flexibility to spar with Johnson. The Lions will have to lean on their ancillary weapons. Fortunately, they’ve designed their system around Bush and Johnson in ways that make that easy to do.


October 24th, 2013, 4:29 am
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Post Re: Next up: Dallas Cowboys
Rod "0-16" Marinelli brings his banged up D-Line to the real D. Look for a lot of stunts up front, out tackles need to be healthy. He sucked as a head coach, but is a solid DL positional guy. I'd like to see Bush on some of the Dallas LBs, they have struggled in pass coverage at times badly.

On offense, Romo started the season strong but has faded the last couple of weeks. The cure could be the Lions horrid secondary.

I'm expecting a shootout, so it will probably be a defensive battle.

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October 24th, 2013, 8:59 am
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Post Re: Next up: Dallas Cowboys
PFT wrote:
Lions getting healthier with Megatron, Reiff at practice
Posted by Michael David Smith on October 24, 2013, 12:45 PM EDT

The Lions are getting healthier as they prepare for Sunday’s game against the Cowboys.

Detroit left tackle Riley Reiff, who suffered a hamstring injury during Sunday’s loss to the Bengals, was back on the practice field today. Reiff was limited, but being on the practice field at all is a positive step for Reiff, who was out of practice on Wednesday.

Also practicing was receiver Calvin Johnson, who sat out Wednesday to rest his sore knee. Johnson, who had an outstanding game against the Bengals, seems to be fine.

Also on the practice field for the Lions were defensive tackle Andre Fluellen (concussion) and safety Louis Delmas (knee). Both missed practice on Wednesday.

The only Lion not practicing at all today is right tackle Corey Hilliard, who has a knee injury. The Lions’ decision to sign offensive tackle Barry Richardson this week suggests that they think Hilliard may miss some game time.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/20 ... -practice/

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October 24th, 2013, 1:34 pm
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Post Re: Next up: Dallas Cowboys
PFT wrote:
Brandon Carr excited to cover “best receiver in the league,” Megatron
Posted by Michael David Smith on October 23, 2013, 6:32 PM EDT

Dez Bryant may think he can do everything Calvin Johnson does, but Cowboys cornerback Brandon Carr says that if he’s going to get a chance to cover the best receiver in the NFL, that chance will come not at practice but on Sunday in Detroit.

Carr told Charean Williams of the Star-Telegram that after facing Denver receiver Demaryius Thomas, Washington receiver Pierre Garcon and Philadelphia receiver DeSean Jackson the past three weeks, taking on Johnson will be a unique challenge.

“This one is more special,” Carr said. “He is the best receiver in the league. For my coaches to have confidence to allow me to go out there and challenge him for 60 minutes, it gives me confidence. Now, it’s time to go play and time to have fun.”

Cowboys defensive tackle Jason Hatcher said he thinks it’s Johnson who should be concerned about getting ready to face Carr.

“It should be the other way around in my book: How difficult Megatron’s job is going to be,” Hatcher said. “That’s what I think, because Brandon is playing lights out. It’s going to be a battle, and I’m looking forward to it. I really appreciate what those guys do, but I’m pretty sure Megatron’s on tape right now thinking about Brandon Carr, because he is playing unbelievable. There’s not a corner playing like him right now.”

And there’s no bigger challenge for a cornerback than Calvin Johnson.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/20 ... -megatron/

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October 24th, 2013, 2:10 pm
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Post Re: Next up: Dallas Cowboys
TheRealWags wrote:
ESPN wrote:
Dez Bryant: 'Nothing I can't do'
Updated: October 22, 2013, 11:03 AM ET
By Tim MacMahon | ESPNDallas.com

IRVING, Texas -- While he has immense respect for Calvin Johnson, Dez Bryant isn't willing to say that "Megatron" will be the best receiver at Ford Field when the Dallas Cowboys and Detroit Lions meet Sunday.

"Truth be told, I don't compare myself to nobody," Bryant said Monday during an appearance on 103.3 FM ESPN in Dallas. "I think Calvin's the best at what he [does]. I think I'm the best at what I do."

Bryant said Johnson's run-after-catch ability and the way he attacks the ball in the air are especially impressive. However, asked what Johnson could do that he couldn't, Bryant paused for several seconds before answering.

"I believe I can do whatever he can do," Bryant said. "I think it's just a pride thing. When it comes to football, just being on the field, it's a mindset and having a mentality. I honestly believe when I'm there, I'll be feeling like there's nothing I can't do. Whatever the coaches ask me to do, I'm going to do it.

"I always feel like there's more. I think that's just a mindset you're supposed to have."

In a radio interview Tuesday, Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones gave the nod to Johnson as the NFL's best receiver.

"I think that Johnson at Detroit has got to be the best receiver or best end target, if you want to put it like that, the best guy to go to right now in the league," Jones said on KRLD-FM. "Dez can aspire to be that and has a chance to be that."

Since Week 10 of last season, when Bryant began to emerge as an elite receiver, his 1,448 receiving yards rank behind only those of Johnson (1,689) and the Houston Texans' Andre Johnson (1,620) in the NFL. Bryant's 16 touchdown catches are the most in the league during that span, six ahead of Calvin Johnson, who is tied for fourth.

Johnson set an NFL record with 1,964 yards for the Lions last season. Bryant said during the offseason that he believes he's capable of becoming the first 2,000-yard receiver in NFL history, although his primary goal is to help the Cowboys make the playoffs.

http://espn.go.com/dallas/nfl/story/_/i ... t-lions-do
Welp, the way the CBs have been looking lately, Dez will prolly put up some HUGE numbers on Sunday


there should be no more of Houston covering the other teams No 1 WR one on one. they should stop it with the right corner, left corner nonsense and let Houston follow Terrence Williams or Austin. Slay should be on Bryant with either LB help underneath or S help up top. if that opens up the flat or something for witten in the middle than so be it


October 24th, 2013, 3:04 pm
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Post Re: Next up: Dallas Cowboys
The Legend wrote:
there should be no more of Houston covering the other teams No 1 WR one on one. they should stop it with the right corner, left corner nonsense and let Houston follow Terrence Williams or Austin. Slay should be on Bryant with either LB help underneath or S help up top. if that opens up the flat or something for witten in the middle than so be it


I think you are over-reacting to Houston having had a bad game against an elite receiver. I don't like what happened with Houston covering Green either, but throwing Slay to the wolves won't be the answer either.

I do agree that the Lions need to make sure Bryant gets double coverage when it makes sense. The DBs and LBs need to do a better job disguising their coverage so that Romo doesn't know if Bryant will get extra attention or not. I don't know if Houston is injured or what the case may be. What the Lions simply need to do is position their guys to give them the best chance to win, If that means Slay on Bryant the whole game, then so be it. If it means constant doubling of Bryant, OK. First and foremost, if they want to take Dez Bryant out of the picture, then they need to throw off Tony Romo. Once you get him rattled, he's completely useless. Dial up some safety blitzes and corner blitzes. Change things up and confuse the passer, then hit him a few times. That will bring the Cowboys offense to a screaching halt.

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October 25th, 2013, 8:32 am
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Post Re: Next up: Dallas Cowboys
IMHO,

Dez Bryant is going to get his normal production. 10 catches, 125 yards, 2 TD's.
We simply need to make sure we match or exceed those numbers with Calvin's production.

Whitten is going to get his numbers. 7-8 catches, 70 yards, 1 TD.
Between Fauria and Pett, we need to exceed those numbers.

I think our defense needs to be of the mindset that Murray, Williams, and Austin are not going to be allowed to beat us. We keep them under control, we win because I think we can exceed Bryant and Whitten's production with our own offense.

Dallas's O-line is nothing special. Our D-line should be able to be in Romo's face all day.

Is there even 1 normal starter left on Dallas's D-line. Every 1 of them are the backup or the backup backup, right? Their D-line is a walking MASH unit.

Cowboys injury report: http://www.dallascowboys.com/team/injury-report.html

And searching the Cowboys website, I found this. http://www.dallascowboys.com/news/article-NickEatman/Sprained-Knee-Could%E2%80%99ve-Been-Worse-But-Wilcox-Likely-To-Sit-/1d6a6902-eda5-46b9-86df-30c928c447a1

Sprained Knee Could’ve Been Worse, But Wilcox Likely To Sit

IRVING, Texas – Rookie safety J.J. Wilcox is arguably coming off the best game of his young career last week in Philadelphia. But it’s unlikely he’ll be able to follow head coach Jason Garrett’s motto and “stack good games together” when the team travels to Detroit.

Wilcox will likely have to miss Sunday’s matchup against the Lions after suffering a sprained right knee, which required an MRI Thursday afternoon. Wilcox said he had a sprained MCL, an injury he suffered on his left knee in college at Georgia Southern.

“It feel better this time than that injury,” Wilcox said. “I’m disappointed, but that’s football. That’s the way it goes.”

Wilcox suffered the injury late in Thursday’s practice during red-zone drills when he came down awkwardly after competing for a pass with tight end Gavin Escobar.

Wilcox agreed he likely wouldn’t be able to play this week against the Lions and said it’s too early to tell if the Nov. 2 game with Minnesota is a possibility. But the rookie definitely perked up when asked about a possible return for the Saints game on Nov. 10.

“I don’t know just yet, but I don’t think it’ll be that bad,” Wilcox said. “I just have to work hard to get back soon.”

A third-round pick in the 2013 draft, Wilcox has been improving each week, and made a key play in last Sunday’s game against the Eagles when he deflected away what appeared to be a touchdown pass to Philly wide receiver DeSean Jackson. Wilcox also had an interception that was called back when replay officials said the ball first hit the ground, ruling an incomplete pass.

“I really felt like I was coming on,” Wilcox said. “I’ve always had a lot [of confidence] but I know I’ve gotten better and felt like I was starting to really help the team. So hopefully this won’t be a big setback.”

If Wilcox doesn’t play, the Cowboys will likely start rookie Jeff Heath, who is battling an injury of his own. Heath sustained a right forearm injury last week, but said the issue won’t keep him out of practice or the game.

“I might wear something on it but it won’t be anything major,” Heath said of possible brace. “It’ll be more like a tight wrap.”

The Cowboys also have Danny McCray, who is one of the team’s better special teams contributors, but if Wilcox can’t go, it’s likely the club would need to add a fourth safety – possibly rookie Jakar Hamilton, who is currently on the practice squad. To sign Hamilton, the Cowboys would have to release another player.

Wilcox is currently seventh on the team with 28 tackles. He took over as a starter in Week 3 against the Rams and started five straight games, making a career-high nine tackles against Denver.

He won the starting job outright from Will Allen, who was eventually waived. Wilcox had a stellar training camp and preseason despite having to miss nearly a week in the middle of camp to be with his ailing mother, who passed away in August.

Wilcox still returned to play in the last two preseason games and got a few snaps in the first two regular-season games before the coaching staff made him a starter. Wilcox has had two interceptions nullified this year – one by penalty against the Rams and the other by the replay booth last week.

Wilcox could be yet another defensive starter that doesn’t play because of injury. DeMarcus Ware missed last week’s game and could miss another with a quad strain that the Cowboys are worried could develop into a tear if he’s rushed back on the field. Defensive end Anthony Spencer is already lost for the season with a knee injury that required microfracture surgery.


October 25th, 2013, 9:47 am
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Post Re: Next up: Dallas Cowboys
This is pretty awesome:

Dave Birkett wrote:
I did get a few questions on Jeff Backus on twitter. Guys in the locker room laughed that one off. Backus has traveled to Greece and gone bear hunting with Casey FitzSimmons.

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October 25th, 2013, 10:13 am
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