Bob Sturm, SportsDayDFW.com contributor and co-host of BaD Radio weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. on SportsRadio 1310-AM and 96.7-FM The Ticket, gives his reactions to the Cowboys' win over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday:
How much better should Cowboys fans feel after thoroughly handling a winless team?
You don't get to make your own schedule, and road games against bad teams trip up many an opponent in the NFL, so there will be no apologies issued for squashing the 49ers like an ant. They may not have sorted everything out -- time will tell -- but they looked like the 2016 version that did this to several opponents. Everything this year has taken so much effort, and to see the run set up the pass and the yardage soar and even a few takeaways was very nice. But, the 49ers are so bad right now. I will be curious to see if they win a game this year, because they look ready to fall off a cliff -- which is saying something for a team that sits at 0-7. Very poor talent level pretty much everywhere but the defensive front -- which the Cowboys carved up with ease.
What do you think of Jeff Heath and Dan Bailey's injury?
Well, it at least provided a small amount of entertainment for a game that lacked any intrigue. I would hate to lose Dan Bailey for any period of time and I am a bit surprised they don't have a better fallback plan that would likely include punter Chris Jones moving from holder, but it seems an unlikely sequence of events where Kellen Moore is not active and Dan Bailey gets hurt. We can laugh at it now, but if this game was a three-point loss, it would, of course, be a real story. They averted a disaster here, but this will cause them to have a fallback to their fallback plans.
We know San Francisco isn't the Denver or Giants defense but what specifically did the Cowboys switch up to get Zeke rolling so effectively? Is the O-Line finally figuring things out?
Without looking at the tape (for Tuesday's piece), we can only guess, but it sure looked like the Cowboys continue to counter loaded boxes with 22 and 13 personnel groupings, and the tight ends are helping the offensive line get some wins on these plays. I also think there is a little more misdirection (using Ryan Switzer and Cole Beasley in motion so much) and more man blocking mixed in with the zone plays. In other words, variety and keeping the defense off balance.
What'd you think of Cooper Rush's being active and making his rookie debut?
I thought it was a matter of time, and I think we circled this week -- after the bye -- as when they might be looking to make the switch. It is quite a development, of course, but they clearly think Cooper Rush is a better QB than Moore and just wanted another six weeks to be sure that he grasped everything in the scheme and was comfortable. This might be a big deal around the next corner, but it is nice to see this organization bet on youth. Xavier Woods, Rod Smith and a few others would like that to continue.
Were any worries/questions you had about the team quashed after today?
A loss today would have been disastrous to the direction of the season. It was vital they got to 3-3 and back on track. I am also pleased that there was no challenge about the anthem with Jerry Jones and the players.
What questions do you have that still remain about this team?
Beating teams with actual offenses will continue to be a concern for the next four weeks. Washington, Kansas City, Atlanta and Philadelphia will really challenge a defense that wasn't challenged at all today. Beyond that, it was good to see the best players continue on as their best players. Losing Zeke could kill everyone's buzz, but with Prescott and Elliott behind this line, I still think this team has a chance to roll right through any NFC playoff foes if they can get there.