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Tag:Alex Barron
Posted on: September 16, 2010 5:14 pm
 

For the gambler in you: more prop bets

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

If you’re like me, you love the prop bets put out by Vegas during Super Bowl week. Well, we’ve got the Week 2 release from bodog.com, and they’ve got some pretty solid prop bets as well.

For your satisfaction, here are a few (with – what the hell? – some of my analysis).

How many times will Archie Manning be shown on the Live Broadcast of the Sunday Night Football game between the Giants & Colts?

Over/Under: 1.5

I think this is low. If I was setting the O/U, I’d make it something like 4.5.

Michael Vick – Total Rushing Yards Week 2 vs. Detroit (must start)

Over/Under: 34.5

If he’s under 34 yards, I’d be shocked.

Will Mark Sanchez be the starter for every game that he is active for in the 2010 NFL Regular Season?

Yes -200

No +150

What, you’d rather have Mark Brunell out there?

Arian Foster – Total Rushing Yards Week 2 vs. Washington?

Over/Under: 85.5

Dallas’ Marion Barber rushed for 39 yards on eight carries last Sunday, and Felix Jones had eight and 38. For what it’s worth.

Alex Barron – Total Penalties Week 2 vs. Chicago?


Over/Under: 1

I guess it’s so low because of how little he might play. Notice it says “Total Penalties” and not “Holding Penalties.”

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Posted on: September 13, 2010 2:21 pm
 

Alex Barron isn't the only one who holds

Posted by Andy Benoit

Apparently, it’s Dump-On-Alex-Barron Day today. So we’ll tell you that, with three holding calls in the final 31 minutes against the Redskins Sunday Night (including the game-loser), the former Ram and now current Cowboy offensive tackles ranks second amongst all NFL players in holding penalties over the last five years. C. Rabach (US Presswire)

Mike Sando of ESPN.com was kind enough to publish the top five (numbers through last season):

1. Casey Rabach, 23

2. Mike Gandy, 20 (now out of the league)

3. Alex Barron, 19 (again, prior to last night)

4. Jammal Browns, 19

5t. Robert Gallery, 16 (impressive considering he’s missed some games)

5t. Richie Incognito, 16 (imagine if we were counting personal fouls, huh?)

5t. Jeff Backus, 16

5t. Ben Hamilton, 16


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Posted on: September 13, 2010 2:35 am
Edited on: September 13, 2010 2:38 am
 

10 Sunday stories that deserve your attention

Posted by Andy Benoit

1. The Bears are who we thought they were

For months we’ve been saying that Mike Martz’s system won’t work in Chicago. You can’t ask those mediocre receivers to run slow-developing routes – they just won’t get open consistently, we said. You can’t expect that putrid offensive line to sustain blocks in pass protection long enough for Cutler to take regular seven-stop drops, we said. And Cutler – oh jeez – you can’t ask Cutler to read the entire the field and take chances without making costly mistakes, it’s just not in his DNA (we said). J. Cutler (US Presswire)

Well, after one game, it appears that we were…exactly right.

Sure, Chicago beat Detroit. But teams have beaten Detroit 30 times in just the past two years alone. And had Matthew Stafford not been knocked out prior to halftime, the outcome probably would have been different (the Lions, led by Shaun Hill, scored zero points in the second half). And let’s not forget the controversial Calvin Johnson call at the end.

But all that’s actually beside the point. When the Bears watch the film on Monday, they’ll see an offensive line that gave up four sacks and put Cutler under continuous duress. (Heck, Lions journeyman defensive end Turk McBride – Turk McBride, for crying out loud! – looked like an All-Pro going up against Frank Omiyale in this game.) That same offensive line also failed to help its running backs punch in a go-ahead score late in the fourth quarter on four consecutive goal-to-go situations from the one-yard line.

One shudders to think what the Cowboys front seven will do to this group next week…

2. Safety first (if you’re a fan of moronic decisions)

How much disdain must Chan Gailey have for his passing offense to make the ridiculous decision that he made late against the Miami Dolphins? Trailing by three and facing fourth-and-10 on their own one-yard line with under 2:00 to play and two timeouts, the Bills opted not to try to pick up the first down, but instead, to take a safety.

On the surface, taking a safety always seems smart. The reason for this is because it’s such an unconventional move that there’s no way it could ever be as dumb as it sounds (if you explained the concept of taking a safety to someone who never watches football, at some point you’d hear yourself say “and now we’re going to give the other team two points.” Give them two points? What? Why?) In this case, the move was as dumb as it sounds.

The Bills gained nothing in field position by taking the safety because, instead of playing for a field goal (which would mean reaching the 30-yard-line or so), they now had to play for a touchdown (which, Bills fans might not remember these days, would mean reaching the goal-line). Buffalo gave up all their timeouts just to get the ball back with 36 seconds to go at their own 20-yard-line (and had the Dolphins gotten a better punt on the play, the Bills could very well have ended up right back on their goal-line again).

By taking the safety, the Bills were essentially hoping for – nay, planning for – a miracle. Evidently Gailey thought it would take an even bigger miracle for Trent Edwards and those no-name receivers (no-names save for Lee Evans, that is) to gain 10 yards. If you have that little faith in your passing game, you’re officially screwed.

3. Patriots D looks sharp

This was one of those games where the boxscore lies. The boxscore says that Chad Ochocinco caught 12 passes for 159 yards. It says Terrell Owens caught seven passes for 53 yards. (Batman and Robin? More like ROBIN and batman.) The stars may have put up good numbers, but the truth is, the Patriots secondary outplayed the Bengals’ receivers – especially early on, when Cincy wasn’t throwing out of desperation and the Patriots weren’t protecting a huge lead.

New starting defensive backs Devin McCourty and Patrick Chung were both outstanding. McCourty, the first-round rookie corner whom some are saying is already the best defensive back on the roster, stifled Owens on several deep balls in the first half. Chung led the team with 16 tackles, many of them vicious hits.

Phil Simms made an excellent point about this young Patriots defense: it’s faster. A lot faster. The Patriots have prioritized speed in recent drafts (except for the selection of linebacker Brandon Spikes, who had to have a sex tape leaked in order to make people forget about something even more embarrassing: his 40-time). On Sunday, that speed translated into more big plays.

Note: In a follow-up to that last parenthetical jab at Spikes, it’s only fair to mention that the second-round rookie was very solid in his starting debut at inside linebacker.

4. Devin Hester no longer a star return artist

Back in 2006 and 2007 when we said Devin Hester had already had a legendary career’s worth of touchdown returns, we didn’t mean Hester should call it a career for touchdown returns. But do you realize Hester has not returned a punt for a score in three years?

Sunday was a sobering example of how far Hester has fallen (by the way, his fall ironically coincides with his promotion to a starting receiver role). Six times, the Lions punted from backed up in their own end zone. On the day, Hester had five punt return opportunities – most of them on line-drive balls he caught in the middle of the field. His total return yards? 17. Three years ago, in a game like this, he would have had 17 touchdowns (don’t worry about the math – he would have found a way; Hester was supernatural back then.)

There’s no reason Hester can’t recapture his magic – he’s only 27. But seriously, what’s going on here?

5. Running backs relevant…sorta

It’s a passing league these days. Bu, like all you misguided fantasy players who don’t realize that your fantasy football scoring system is flawed, we’re going to give the running backs some love.
A. Foster (US Presswire)
For the youngsters, it will have to be tough love. The two electrifyingly speedy first-round rookie runners who were supposed to transform their respective offenses failed to get the wheels turning Sunday. C.J. Spiller ran the ball seven times for six yards against the Dolphins. The only part of Spiller that looked truly fast was his mind, which seemed to be spinning out of control at times. He was unusually hesitant on contact.

In Detroit (and can you believe we’ve now fit three Lions-Bears bits in this entire piece?) Jahvid Best got 14 carries but amassed only 20 yards. At least Best found the end zone two times.

No need to worry about either young runner at this point – it’s only one week, after all. They’ll get better.

On to the love…

There’s especially no need to worry about the runners in the AFC South. Maurice Jones-Drew gained a hearty 98 yards on 23 carries against the Broncos. Facing a speedy but diminutive Colts run defense that has decided it will be porous again this year, Arian Foster, I think, became the NFL’s first 1,000-yard rusher in 2010. (By the way, Colts fans, no need to worry about your team’s run D– last time the Colts were this bad was 2006, when their SUPER BOWL CHAMPION defense ranked 32nd against the run.) Finally, in Tennessee, Chris Johnson posted 142 yards on 27 carries, which, unfortunately, means he’s behind pace for his ridiculous goal of 2,500 yards rushing on the season.

Most important of all, the teams of these three  running backs all won, creating a huge log-jam atop the AFC South.

6. A star is born

There is a new star in the broadcasting world, and his name is Jim Mora Jr. Thank God Jim Mora Sr.’s son never lead the Seahawks to the PLAYOFFS?! Now we get to listen to Mora call games with Dick Stockton and Charles Davis on Fox each week.

Mora made his television debut in the Falcons-Steelers game. He was extremely intelligent and, for a man ostensibly looking to get back into coaching, he was shockingly blunt. Mora’s best line came during a rant about his friend Bruce Arians calling a pass late in the fourth quarter on second-and-five before the two minute warning. “That play-call was a tragedy”, More said. If you get a chance, tune into a Mora game. You’ll be enlightened and entertained.

7. Redskins don’t win…Cowboys lose

The nice thing about fumbling away seven points on a meaningless play to end the first half is that it is such a huge mistake that no other mistake you make can possibly feel that bad. No matter what, as mistakes go, you simply can’t top that one. Though credit the Cowboys for trying. Specifically, credit Alex Barron. The former first-round pick showed everyone why he landed in Dallas in the first place. Barron wracked up multiple penalties in the second half, including the game-loser on the final play. After the clock struck 0:00, Cris Colinsworth cleverly shared a “get well soon” wish for Marc Colombo.
T. Romo (US Presswire)
It’s too bad we’re highlighting Barron’s mistakes because the man was not utterly awful the entire game. Of course, the Cowboys clearly didn’t trust their makeshift front five to begin with. Virtually every pass Tony Romo threw came off a three-step drop. There was a litany of one-step drop throws (until the final two minutes, some people probably wondered if Dez Bryant actually knew how to run routes, as the Cowboys kept throwing smoke screens to the first-round wideout).

Dallas’ offensive line issues will get fixed once Kyle Kosier and Marc Colombo are healthy. By the way, all this relates well to our next topic (a bonus topic!)…

7.BONUS. Does preseason matters after all?

Probably not. But it’s worth noting that there were three offenses that looked awful in the preseason: Dallas, Carolina and Chicago. Well, the games count now, but these units still stink. The Dallas offense scored seven points in Week 1. The Carolina offense had five turnovers. The Chicago offense had four turnovers and scored only 19 points against a rebuilding Detroit defense. This isn’t enough evidence to overturn the beloved “preseason doesn’t mean a darn thing” axiom, but the continued struggles of these teams are worth pointing out (which we’re doing here).

8. Lightning strikes, so don’t play football?

The Jaguars-Broncos game was delayed 30 minutes during the third quarter because of lightning. This prompted me to send the following email Greg Aiello, head of the NFL’s public relations department:

Hi Greg, we're going to pose this question in our NFL Facts and Rumors Blog, but thought we'd pose it to you guys first: Why does the NFL stop games because of lightning? All we ever hear is that the odds of getting struck by lightning are about the same as the odds of winning the lottery. So why pause a game because of it? Most of the 70,000 fans in attendance can't leave a stadium and get to safe cover that quickly anyway. Is it really worth the major inconvenience? 

(This email was sent after midnight eastern time, so if the league does have a response, it will come after this is published. We’ll throw it up if they send a response.)

9. Problem in Indy?

This is the perfect game for us media folk to blow way out of proportion. The Colts always beat the Texans…until now. The Colts can’t lose when Peyton Manning is on fire…until now. The Texans fit the description of a team on the rise. Etc.

We must be careful not to get carried away about this outcome. But we also must ask the appropriate alarmist question: is Indy’s offensive line a problem? Left tackle Charlie Johnson wound up playing in this game (he’d been out for about a month with a foot injury), but it didn’t matter. Mario Williams dominated far more than his stats (four tackles, one sack) suggest.

And how about this: did you ever in a million years think Peyton Manning would post 40 completions for 433 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions in a LOSING effort? What the heck do we make of that?

10. Derek Anderson-Larry Fitzgerald woes

So I decided on Sunday around 6:30 ET to write about how Derek Anderson and Larry Fitzgerald were not on the same page – or not even in the same book, for that matter. Obviously, Fitzgerald’s game-winning 21-yard touchdown reception put a dent in that angle. But not a big enough dent to obliterate it.

I still say the Cardinals have a problem with their passing game. Fitzgerald doesn’t trust Anderson right now – nor should he. Anderson’s accuracy issues were evident several times Sunday. Twelve of the 15 passes thrown Fitzgerald’s way fell incomplete. Fitzgerald’s body language reeked of frustration. And all this was against a hapless Rams secondary.

It’s no surprise the Cardinals begged Kurt Warner to come out of retirement a few days ago.

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Posted on: September 12, 2010 11:47 pm
Edited on: September 13, 2010 9:17 am
 

Cowboys close out each half with total disaster

Posted by Will Brinson

The two ugliest plays of the night for the Dallas Cowboys against the Washington Redskins came on the final play of the first half and the final play of the game. Jason Garrett (much to the chagrine of Wade Phillips, apparently) called a half-option scramble to end the first half that resulted in Tony Romo pitching the ball to Tashard Choice, who promptly put the ball on the turf (for the first time in his career, no less) for DeAngelo Hall to scoop it up and take it to the house.

Given that the Cowboys had three seconds remaining in the game, down six, with a shot to win, that play probably stings a little. But not as much as the final play of the game -- Romo, under duress, managed to scramble away from rushing defenders and hit Roy Williams in the end zone for a game-winning touchdown ... which was quickly nullified because of an Alex Barron hold.

Barron, the NFL's most penalized offensive lineman over the past five years, practically bear-hugged Brian Orakpo en route to nullifying the touchdown and a Dallas victory.

In other words, maybe the Rams somehow ended up getting the better end of the deal when they traded Barron to Dallas for Bobby Carpenter, even if they eventually cut him.

Bonus, watch the holding call you see above/right by clicking play below.



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Posted on: September 8, 2010 11:54 pm
 

O-line health a huge factor in NFC East in Week 1

Posted by Andy Benoit

The NFC East may be decided in the trenches early on. Several NFC East offensive linemen are dealing with injury issues heading into Week 1.

For the Cowboys, right tackle Marc Colombo and left guard Kyle Kosier will both likely miss Week 1. Colombo is still recovering from August 16 knee surgery. Kosier is still dealing with a sprained right knee. The Dallas Morning News notes that neither player has practiced this week.

Former Ram Alex Barron will start in place of Colombo. Barron is a liability at times (his technique is perpetually raw and he’s prone to penalties) but he’s a good athlete who has started his entire NFL career. Montrae Holland, who was once upon a time a starter in New Orleans before going to Denver and losing control of his weight, will start at left guard. Holland cannot offer the Cowboys’ front five the kind of run-blocking mobility that Kosier could.

In Philadelphia, it was expected that Nick Cole would be filling in at center while Jamaal Jackson continues to rebound from the ACL injury he suffered late last December. But Jackson’s rebound has already concluded, and he’s expected to take the field against Green Bay this Sunday.

The Giants are also getting their center back. Shaun O’Hara had been out with Achilles tendinosis. Paul Schwartz of the New York Post notes that the two-time Pro Bowler is practicing this week but must be leery of overworking the injury.

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Posted on: August 15, 2010 9:53 pm
Edited on: August 15, 2010 9:58 pm
 

Marc Colombo needs surgery, out 2-4 weeks

Posted by Will Brinson

Right tackle Marc Colombo was carted off the field at Cowboys practice on Sunday evening, according to our Cowboys' Rapid Reporter Nick Eatman , and there was some concern that the injury could be serious. (Carts are generally indicative of "serious" when it comes to injuries.)

Now it appears, according to Calvin Watkins on Twitter , that Colombo will require surgery and miss 2-4 weeks.

Colombo, after starting all 16 games for the Cowboys from 2005-2008, missed the last seven games of the 2009 season with a pair of leg and ankle injuries.

The Cowboys are still waiting on the official MRI results, but the injury will definitely require surgery and, given the struggles and injuries backup right tackle Alex Barron's been dealing with, could have serious long-term repercussions if Colombo can't stay healthy.

Although for now, 2-4 weeks could certainly be classified as "not awful" news, considering the initial worries surrounding the injury. Expect rook Sam Young to get a quick case of trial by fire.

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Posted on: August 9, 2010 12:11 am
Edited on: August 9, 2010 12:16 am
 

Winners and losers from the Hall of Fame Game

Posted by Will Brinson

Football is underway. That means two things: 1) we can all breathe a collective sigh of relief and 2) it's time for immediate snap judgments!

Sure, firing out winners and losers for one little football game that featured only two teams may seem a bit extreme, but, look, this is all the NFL action we've got right now, okay? So we're gonna break it down.

Winners
Doug Free -- He's was the most talked about player on the Cowboys this offseason (somehow). And he showed exactly why the Cowboys had faith enough in him to let Flozell Adams go. Granted, it was just one serious, but he looked strong, agile and acc-ur-ate, if I may quote Ben Wallace. Given Alex Barron's struggles and the injury he suffered on Sunday night, there's no reason to think Free's job is in trouble.

Jordan Shipley -- The rookie out of Texas managed to make two catches for 17 yards, which is pretty impressive when J.T. O'Sullivan and Jordan Palmer are throwing the ball. But he made his biggest impression when he made a sick 63-yard punt return to setup Cincy for their only touchdown of the game. Consider that not only is Carson Palmer being very vocal for Shipley but that Antonio Bryant is injured, and it's entirely possible we see Shipley getting a lot of action in the slot early in the season. He would do quite well there.

Tashard Choice -- Choice's "job" (read: third-string running back) is necessarily in jeopardy. But the better he performs, the more action he'll get during the regular season. And that's not even counting when the oft-injured Felix Jones eventually goes down, which he will. Choice piled up 41 yards on just seven attempts and looked vastly better than any other running back on the field outside of this guy ...

Marion Barber -- He didn't do anything -- two runs, one for five yards and one for two yards -- really special. But it's what he didn't do (fumble in the red zone) that separates him from Jones. And considering that many people felt like Felix could take over the starting role this year, well, that's a good thing.

Terrell Owens -- There's nothing special about two catches for 18 yards, but the good news for the prima donna is that it looks like the Bengals are willing to cater to him. Either that or it was just all fun and games spending the offense's first quarter targeting him at every opportunity. For Owens' part, he really did nothing wrong outside of he and Chad Ochocinco's eye-rolling Batman/Robin interview before the game. Also, he signed autographs for fans during the entire second half.

Losers
Felix Jones -- See above. If you're trying to steal carries during a season in which you bulked up to make yourself a better "between-the-tackles" back, do NOT fumble the ball on your first red zone carry of the season. There are only so many opps that Jones will get in the preseason to prove he carry the ball there before Wade Phillips just hands Barber the rock every time.

Alex Barron -- He got injured and blew any shot he had of getting the upgrade to left tackle.

Brian Leonard -- He's not exactly a fantasy monster or anything, but Leonard became a fan favorite (I think anyway -- I was rooting for him) after beating out "better" players for a roster spot during last season's Hard Knocks . Now the report is that his ankle injury "doesn't look good," which, obviously, is not good. I'll make the frowny face if Leonard is down for an extended period of time.

Dez Bryant -- His status isn't exactly getting crushed, but it's really important to note that the Cowboys have plenty of weapons on their squad. Roy Williams showed some life, Miles Austin is clearly the No. 1, Jason Witten is there, etc., etc. All I'm saying is that anyone expecting a 2,000 yard season out of Bryant already might want to slow their role.

David Buehler -- Three-for-four ain't a bad percentage, when you're talking about field goals. But he nearly missed his second one, and 2/4 would have people talking in hushed tones on Monday. He needs to crush it all preseason to keep his job on lockdown.

John Phillips -- He's at the bottom only because he was balling so hard that he suffered an injury later in the game. Phillips ended up being the early star of the show, catching four balls for 60 yards (and the first two were on horrible Jon Kitna passes, no less) and laying down some pretty sick blocks. He probably won't be seeing a ton of playing time because of Jason Witten and Martellus Bennett, but let's just hope the injury isn't too serious. (Edit: Moved him to the "losers" section since it appears he tore his ACL . Ugh.)

Jordan Palmer/J.T. O'Sullivan -- If Carson Palmer doesn't stay healthy this year, things will not go well for the Bengals.

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Posted on: August 8, 2010 9:04 pm
 

2010 NFL Hall of Fame Game: 1st quarter notes

Posted by Will Brinson

As we noted earlier, this IS preseason football, so there's only so much we can hope for.  That being said, the first couple of series were still pretty revealing for Bengals and Cowboys fans in the first quarter of kind-of-real-but-still-fake football action, which ended with the Cowboys leading 3-0.

Oh, and if you want to hang out and talk football during the game, follow us on Twitter. We're quite chatty .

Doug Free, whose blocking skills the Cowboys plan to hang much of their offensive success on this season, looked both sharp and strong, keeping Tony Romo free in the pocket and opening up holes for Marion Barber and Felix Jones.

Of course, Jones fumbled on the one-yard line on the Cowboys' first possession, which is indicative of a few things. One, the Cowboys aren't totally against letting the beefed-up Jones carry the ball in the red zone. But, more importantly: two, Jones might not be cut out for it. Obviously making a snap judgment on one preseason series isn't entirely safe, but if the Cowboys are going to give him run during the preseason as a red zone back, he can't be putting the ball on the ground, or else he won't get shots at it in the regular season.

Antwan Odom was briefly on the ground, terrifying Cincy fans everywhere. Fortunately, it was just a "poked eye."

Terrell Owens was targeted by Carson Palmer. A LOT. But Palmer only went 2/5 for 18 yards (both completions to Owens) while getting sacked once by Stephen Bowen, and pressured a few other times. There's no real need to look at the Bengals' first-teamers and think they're suddenly going to be a pass-first offense, though.

On the next-to-last play of the first quarter, Jon Kitna fumbled -- although Dallas recovered -- on a sack by Jonathan Fanene. The bigger problem is the fumble was caused because Alex Barron did a poor job of blocking (well, the bigger problem for Dallas anyway) on the play. Free's looking pretty good to hold down his line spot.

Tony Romo went 5/10 for 59 yards on the 'Boys first drive, and the numbers might have looked a little cleaner were it not for some "meh" playcalling in the red zone following Jones' fumble.

What were your thoughts?

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com