No big changes as Cowboys hope bye week helps right ship
11/12/2013 8:01 PM
11/12/2014 3:04 PM
Jason Garrett remains the head coach. Bill Callahan remains the play-caller. Monte Kiffin remains the defensive coordinator.
The roster won’t change dramatically, either, between now and the Giants game on Nov. 24. Though veteran safety Michael Huff was among 16 players who worked out at Valley Ranch on Tuesday, the Dallas Cowboys’ only change to the 53-player roster was the signing of defensive tackle Corvey Irvin after waiving defensive end Caesar Rayford.
Owner Jerry Jones and Garrett confirmed Tuesday that the coaching staff will remain intact during the bye week, and Callahan will continue as play-caller.
The Cowboys are hoping the more things remain the same, the more the results change.
“We’re 5-5,” Jones said on his radio show on KRLD/105.3 FM. “We’re tied for the lead in our division. We’ve got players coming back. We’ve got one of the best quarterbacks in the National Football League. We’re off a rough loss. That doesn’t call for major changes out here at all.”
The Cowboys, who will have a short practice Wednesday before calling it a week, view their 32-point loss to the Saints as an aberration. They are choosing to look ahead at the possibilities, confident they can contend with the coaches, roster and schemes they have in place.
“One [blowout] loss of the five losses we’ve had is not going to change our goal,” left guard Ron Leary said. “You’re going to lose some games. You want to win them all, but that’s part of how it goes. We’re going to get it right.
“…We haven’t lost faith on anything.”
Help is on the way, and the Cowboys’ optimism starts with the players returning from injury after the bye. They played Sunday’s game without starters Miles Austin (hamstring), Morris Claiborne (hamstring), J.J. Wilcox (knee) and Jason Hatcher (neck), all of whom are expected back for the team’s next game. Defensive end DeMarcus Ware, who tweaked his quadriceps Sunday in his first game back, also should be healthier.
They will have to make do without leading tackler Sean Lee (hamstring) and starting strongside linebacker Justin Durant (hamstring) for 3-4 weeks.
“The best way to fix it is get your guys back,” Ware said. “Sometimes you have guys in there who sort of don’t know what they’re doing, because it’s probably their first time playing in a long time. When you have a team [like the Saints] that doesn’t make mistakes and sort of exposes you that way, with those guys that are in the game, that’s what they did. So you’ve got to get the guys back who know what’s going on and use that bye week to make a big push.”
Jones said the two changes the Cowboys will make is playing more man-to-man coverages on defense and getting the ball to Dez Bryant more on offense. Bryant was targeted only two times Sunday and had one catch for 44 yards.
“I think we had a real, almost to be trite about it, I think we had a real underachieving game Sunday,” Jones said on his radio show. “To that end, we can look for improvement, and should look for improvement. Seriously … if you look at our entire year there, you see we have the potential. When I look ahead at our team, our opponents, I think we have the potential to be a really productive offensive team. It’s in the can. In other words, we’ve for years been working in this system. We did several things in the off-season, regarding our blocking scheme that should make us a better offensive team. And all of that is very, in my mind, likely that we’ll have a great two-week period off here.
“We’ll use our bye right and come out and be sharper offensively. As we go forward, that and the addition of the players that we can play with on defense that we haven’t been playing with, I think that looks for better days ahead. I do.”