I thought I would put up a Q&A post for you guys prior to the game. I'll see if I can answer your questions, and if I don't, I'm pretty sure someone else from the BTB front page or one of our very knowledgeable fans will be able to give you some insight.
A few things to fill you in on what's been going on with the Dallas Cowboys this season.
Tony Romo got off to a bit of a rocky start with some inopportune interceptions and the infamous broken rib/punctured lung, but he has been playing really well during the Cowboys' four game win streak. He has been especially good at the fourth quarter comeback, and until the Miami Dolphins game had cut his interceptions down to nothing during the streak. Even with the two early picks he threw on Thanksgiving, he maintained his poise and led the team back to a win.
Our receiving corps has had injury issues most of the season, and the team is still not sure if Miles Austin is going to be back this week, or if he will wait for the first New York Giants game. But the team has managed with the real number one receiver, TE Jason Witten, second year man Dez Bryant, and free agent discovery Laurent Robinson. While Miles has been out, Dez has been getting the tightest coverage, since he is physically the most dangerous receiver on the team, but that has opened up opportunities for Robinson, who is becoming the go to guy when the team gets down to the red zone.
DeMarco Murray has become the running attack, and he ain't too shabby catching the ball, either. His emergence has given the team a much more balanced attack. He has been a little less dangerous with the absense of fullback Tony Fiammetta, who is suffering from some sort of mysterious illness. Fiammetta is unlikely for this week, but Murray has still been effective, particularly in the last drive against Miami, when they knew he was getting the ball, and he still drove the ball down their throats to put the team in easy field goal range.
Speaking of field goals, kicker Dan Bailey has only kicked the winning FG in four of Dallas' seven wins this year. He is setting team records for accuracy and his streak of consecutive goals made.
The O line is (mostly) young and still has issues, but with a little help from Romo's Houdini impressions, they are managing to be effective.
Defensively, the front seven is good, DeMarcus Ware and Sean Lee are the stars at linebacker, and Anthony Spencer had one of the best games of his career last week. The linemen have been generally pretty good, although they have been gashed in the run at times, so the matchup against the Cardinals' O line and Beanie Wells should be interesting, and possibly may be a key to the game.
We also have had some recent breakdowns in kick coverage. I have to think the special teams are going to be working long and hard to try and find an answer for Patrick Peterson - don't be surprised if he sees a lot of punts going out of bounds. Our own return game has been anemic, but it looks like the team is going to be putting Felix Jones in the kickoff return game more, and Dez Bryant may see more action returning punts.
In the intangibles, Dallas has become a much tougher, more focused team the last few games. Jason Garrett has been pretty successful in changing the culture. One thing we do not expect is for this team to overlook your Cardinals. He preaches and lives taking it one game at a time and building things day by day.
Dallas comes into the game in sole possession of first place in the NFC East. They will not want to relinquish that position, so expect the Cowboys to be playing hard.