Three thoughts on the Cowboys' 34-31 win

Three thoughts on the Cowboys’ 34-31 win over St. Louis:

1) I think Scott Linehan has done a fantastic job, thus far, of getting the ball into the hands of his best offensive players. Of the Cowboys 191 offensive plays this season, DeMarco Murray and Dez Bryant have touched the ball 103 times, which is 54 percent.

If you add the incomplete passes directed toward the duo, then Linehan has directed 59 percent of the team’s plays toward those two players. And he likes to get each of them involved early.

DeMarco Murray, above, and Dez Bryant have touched the ball on 54 percent of the Cowboys offensive plays.
Murray has touched the ball within the first two plays of each game, and Bryant has caught a pass within the first four plays of each game.

2) I think Orlando Scandrick is the best blitzer on the team. He has a knack for timing his rush just right out of the slot, and making the most of his opportunities.

Against St. Louis, he forced an incompletion with heavy pressure in the second quarter. And in the fourth quarter, he drilled quarterback Austin Davis contributing to Bruce Carter's interception and subsequent 25-yard interception return for a touchdown.

The Cowboys have two sacks through three games, which is why Rod Marinelli is probably going to be sending Scandrick after the quarterback more regularly.

3) I think it’ll be interesting to see how Murray’s body withstands the rigors of the season, if his current workload continues.

He rushed 24 times for 100 yards against St. Louis and currently leads the NFL in carries (75) and yards (385). In his first three seasons, he had 11 games with 20 carries or more, but he hadn’t done it in consecutive games since his rookie year.

The only real question about Murray has been his durability, since he’s missed 11 games in three years. At this rate, all of those questions will be answered this season.


Dez Bryant has caught a team-high 20 catches, but 12 have gone for fewer than 10 yards. At some point this season, Linehan will have to stretch the field and give Bryant more opportunities to make plays downfield.

Against the Rams, Bryant caught a 68-yard pass for a touchdown. His other five receptions went for 9,1,5,3 and 3 yards.

PLAYER TO WATCH: Anthony Hitchens

It was good to see a draft pick not taken in the first or second round make a real contribution to a Cowboys’ win as a rookie.

Anthony Hitchens, a fourth-round pick, made his first career start at middle linebacker with Rolando McClain out with a strained groin.

He finished with a team-high 13 tackles. Yes, several of them were more than 5 yards downfield, but he made a huge stop on fourth down in the third quarter and he made a nifty pass deflection in the red zone.

More important, he played as though he belonged. Now, he can ease some of the burden on Rolando McClain and help keep him fresh since he’s already banged up.
Three thoughts on the Cowboys' 34-31 win Three thoughts on the Cowboys' 34-31 win Reviewed by Mr. DCStands4 on 12:31:00 PM Rating: 5

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