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5 Questions With Blogging The Boys

I wrote 5 answers for Grizz for the Cowboys site Blogging The Boys and below are his answers to my questions.

QB Tony Romo seems a lot more consistent this season than in 2006 while playing with essentially the same players around him. What is the biggest improvement he has made this season?

I'd say the biggest improvement this year is that he's gotten used to playing on a regular basis and handles all aspects of the game better - there's just no substitute for game experience for a QB. He's very comfortable in the pocket or throwing on the run, he's done a great job of recognizing formations and blitzes and making the proper audible. We've scored more than few TD's on communication at the line between Romo and his receivers that take advantage of blitzes. He's taking better care of the ball in the pocket and not fumbling nearly as much and has learned to take what a defense gives him instead of forcing passes. He always had the skill and talent to do it, but with some game experience he has managed to achieve a consistency in his play. Oh yeah, the fact that he has five 300-pound monsters in front of him who have been excellent in pass protection also helps, credit the addition of Leonard Davis for a lot of that.
WR Patrick Crayton missed last week, but apparently he will be starting on Thursday. Did the team miss him at all or do they only need him when they play St. Louis?
Patrick Crayton is a pretty good receiver and he can hurt a team that spends a lot of resources on stopping Terrell Owens and Jason Witten. Crayton keeps teams honest in coverage and is a very good blocker in the run game, a nice bonus. But his backup, Sam Hurd, is a good receiver in his own right that no one has really heard about. So they didn't miss Cratyon that much last week, but the Jets just had no chance in the game anyway, so it was hard to judge. Crayton has close to 500 yards and 5 TD's and on this team he is definitely the #3 option in the passing game behind T.O. and Witten.
Although Dallas' pass defense has been solid this season they haven't exactly played against many of the elite pass offenses. The only great pass offense they did play was New England and that game didn't go very well. Are they for real or will QB Brett Favre have a big game?
I think they're for real and I think Favre will probably have a pretty big game. I don't think the Packers can rely on the run in this game, the Dallas defense is great against the run, so I think they'll be slinging the rock around the stadium. I don't think we'll shutdown Favre, he will put numbers on the board. The Cowboys have had injuries at cornerback all year and they are still dealing with them. Terence Newman, our best corner, was out to start the year and then has been working his way back from foot and knee problems. He's just gotten back to form over the last couple of weeks. Anthony Henry had a high ankle sprain and he's still hobbled although he's been playing in the last few games in the nickel package. He didn't even play against New England. Meanwhile, since our two starters haven't actually started a game together this year, pre-season nickel corner Jacques Reeves has started every game this year. Before this year, he had started exactly one game at cornerback. So we are working our way into shape back there, but it's still a work in progress.
Statistically RB Marion Barber is an elite running back, while RB Julius Jones is average. However, Jones continues to hold onto the starting job and share the load with Barber. Why?
This debate has been going on in Cowboys World for the last year. It's hard to say exactly what's going on because both coaches, Parcells and now Phillips, pretty much refuse to address the question directly, there are clues, but no real answers. There are a couple of main schools of thought. One, Julius Jones has the kind of personality that might take a demotion hard, and could be an issue. Admittedly, that's just speculation but it's out there. Another is that the Cowboys like to keep MB3 fresh for goal line carries and grinding out the clock late in games. There's some validity to that argument. But for me, it comes down to the "if it ain't broke don't fix it" argument. I think the Cowboys take all the other arguments into account, and then decide if the offense is producing, and we keep winning, don't mess with a good thing.
What do you think about the Romo v. Favre comparisons? I'm not the best judge because I haven't watched Romo too often, and my memory of Favre back during his 2nd season as a starter (1993) is a bit hazy. Looking back at Favre's career stats, it's amazing to believe he ran for over 200 yards in his 2nd season when that's about the same number of total yards he has ran for over the last several seasons combined. Once he turned 30 he became a different quarterback who had to take more of what the defense was giving him instead of improvising to try and make something happen.
I think the comparisons are valid. Just in watching them play the game, the enthusiasm they show on the field, the pure joy of playing the game that both have are pretty much carbon-copies. When you add in the ad-libbed plays that they seem to make and the way that they make them, they seem to be cut from the same mold. They also have quick releases and can throw from different angles. Both are risk-takers and both usually make the risks pay off. Favre has a bigger cannon but the way they play the game is eerily similar.