I really made an attempt to not overreact to the loss last week. I will not be so patient this week. The Cowboys have to win this game if they think this season is going anywhere. Last week the Cowboys were completely manhandled by the Seahawks. Their pride should be bruised. I expect to see a much better effort this week.
Does that mean I think the Cowboys are going to come out and destroy the Tampa Bay Buccaneers? No. But I do expect to see a team that looks more aggressive and confident than the one that took the field last week. Jason Witten has something to prove. The offensive line has something to prove. Felix Jones has something to prove. Nearly every player on the team was embarrassed in one way or another last week.
If this team is going to be a playoff team this season I want to see them play with more urgency this week. I felt like the opening kickoff last week stunned the team and then the blocked punt was essentially a knockout blow. In the first quarter. That shouldn't happen. Jason Garrett always preaches about not getting too high or too low. Move on to the next play. The Cowboy didn't do a good job of that last week.
I want to see a more aggressive game plan out of Rob Ryan last week. I still don't understand the three man rush against Russell Wilson. There was some bad coaching going on last week on the defensive side of the ball. Last year the Cowboys got after Josh Freeman. I expect to see the same thing this season. And with Gerald Sensabaugh likely out the secondary needs some protection. That means there needs to be pressure on the quarterback. That won't happen if we see a three man rush on a regular basis.
The offense just needs to find its groove. The biggest problem right now is the offensive line. They aren't consistently opening running lanes for DeMarco Murray and Tony Romo is never comfortable in the pocket. There has to be improvement on the line if the offense is going to improve. I'm not forgetting about all of the dropped balls last week. I will be shocked to see a repeat performances of the dropsies this week.
The easiest problem to correct should be the special teams. There are some mixed signals coming out about who the kick returner will be. I hope there is a change. Felix Jones seems to just run into the back of his blockers. I know there is a blocking scheme but it doesn't seem like he has any vision or explosiveness on his returns. The punt block was just a badly missed block by Dan Connor. A terrible mistake but very correctable. If we see another problem with the punt team this week I am going to start seriously wondering if Joe DeCamillis is the man for the job as the special teams coordinator.
It is hard to know what to expect out of the Cowboys in their home opener. I think they will play better but what exactly does that mean? They were so bad last week that predicting them to play better isn't saying much at all. Let's just say I think they will play good football all around and win the game. I'm predicting the Cowboys to win 24-16 in a score that sounds closer than the game actually is.