NFL Week 12 Thanksgiving Edition II: Leon Lett Bowl

Murray breaks a 95 yarder a few weeks back.

Now how many of you saw the Miami Dolphins vs the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving and had flashbacks to the famous Thanksgiving game in 1993?? It hit me immediately and I know NFL.com had a vote to redeem Leon on their site with a snickers campaign. While that is a fun look at a past encounter between these two teams, it was nowhere near as surprising as to wake up Monday morning with Dallas first in the NFC East. Are you kidding me?? Cowboy fans were ready to hang Tony Romo in effigy and still are dissatisfied with his performance.  The Eagles shocked the Giants in the New Meadowlands on Sunday night to quiet Cowboy detractors.

However when you look at this team something is missing. You want to call this an elite team yet you can’t because they don’t pass the eyeball test. Yes even though they are 6-4 and have won 4 of their last 5 games. First you have the 4th quarter interceptions that have caused every Cowboy fan concern. Deion Sanders, and Thomas “Hollywood” Henderson to name a few, have been critical of throws that were not only poor in judgment but should have been thrown away. It cost the Cowboys games against the Jets and the Lions directly yet his numbers aren’t all that bad. For the year Romo has completed 64.5% of his passes for exactly 2800 yards, 19TDs and only 7 interceptions. Its just when the interceptions come in the fourth quarter or rather being thrown right at Darelle Revis, huh Hollywood. Alright we’ll leave it alone but he is well on his way to throwing for nearly 5,000 yards as we explained he would do in our PreSeason spectacular. https://taylorblitztimes.wordpress.com/2011/06/08/2011-dallas-cowboys-preview/ Passing records will fall in Dallas as they are more of a pure pas.sing team than a pure running team.

Of course there has been a few strides in the running game with DeMarco Murray for the last 4 games he’s started. Get this?? Of the 747 yards he’s rushed for he’s only made it into the endzone twice. As a team the Cowboys have only rushed for 4 touchdowns in ten games which isn’t acceptable. Sure Murray has run with a little thunder as of late but he really is a 3rd down back in the Steve Sewell mode for the 80’s Broncos. He along with Felix Jones should be breaking touchdowns yet can’t finish off big plays. These are the reasons Cowboy fans don’t trust their team, even with a surprise vault into 1st place in the NFC East.  How will they fare tomorrow??

After 7 straight losses and looking as though there was no life left in them, the Miami Dolphins have awakened. It’s not that they have won a few games, they have played with a reckless abandon as though the game means something to them. Do you realize the Dolphins in this 3-0 rebound has held each team to under 10 points and two of those three to under 247 yards total for the game?? This is the same team that gave up 517 passing yards to Tom Brady in week 1?? Well last week they shut down Buffalo’s Ryan Fitzpatrick to the tune of 2 sacks while intercepting him twice. However it is also due to committing to the run. In the last two games they have averaged 32 rushes to rest their defense and the game against Kansas City had 24.

Reggie Bush

The other factor for this resurgence is Matt Moore. He’s outperformed Chad Henne and not turned the ball over as much. Do you realize that in the four games Moore has played he’s thrown 5 ints to Henne’s 4 although he’s thrown 75 more passes?? This has translated to his throwing 7 TDs to Henne’s 4 and the impetus for the 3 game winning streak. Look they’re not beating themselves like when Henne was in there. In their first 7 games, this Dolphins team was -8 in the turnover department as compared to being +2 in the last 3 games. This team would play well, fall behind from a careless turnover and press to get back into the game and turn it over some more.  Now the punt is they’re friend and playing a ball control game. In fact Reggie Bush has a chance quietly to rush for 1,000 yards this season.

Much like the Oakland Raiders once they lost JaMarcus Russell, they aren’t demoralizing themselves and have found a new spirit. One of the true reasons for the turnaround is they have vaulted from #31 in defense after two weeks to a respectable #16. Although they are still only 25th against the pass they are 7th against the run and 5th in rushing average allowed at just 3.4 yards per carry. Watch for #91 Cameron Wake to come off the corner and harass Tony Romo. Can they hold the Cowboys pass offense down enough to force Dallas to run the football on draws and bubble screens?

One thing that’s missing in this four game winning streak is the Cowboys defense has slid a little statistically. Going into week 8, this defense was #6 overall and #1 against the run and then came the 34-7 loss to the rival Philadelphia Eagles. Now they are ranked #11 overall and are 10th against the run. Right now they are being aided by a more stout running game as of late. They have forced 8 turnovers in the last three games and that opportunism was showcased in the 44-7 rout of Buffalo. Yet who is this team?? The one who clobbered Buffalo or was sodomized in Philadelphia??

Well this game will answer several questions and has two teams coming in on 3 game winning streaks. We don’t think the Dolphins DBs will be able to handle Jason Witten, Miles Austin and especially Dez Bryant. The Dolphins have some fire power but it’s going to be hard to slow DeMarcus Ware who has been terrorizing with 14 sacks so far. He should star in this game and sack Moore 3 times. Our crystal ball tells us Dallas wins a close game and Snickers will have a Leon Lett redemption commercial. He was just hungry and thought the football was a Snickers!! Honestly!!

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