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Jooser
12-06-2008, 01:53 PM
http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/notebook? ... ountdown08 (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/notebook?page=sundaycountdown08)

Countdown Confidentialby Bob Holtzman, Ed Werder and Sal Paolantonio

Phillips taking huge risk in preparing for Steelers: In preparing for what might be the Cowboys' toughest challenge of the season, a cold-weather game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Dallas coach Wade Phillips told 30-something starters Terrell Owens, offensive tackles Marc Colombo and Flozell Adams, linebacker Zach Thomas and outside linebacker Greg Ellis to go home and rest. Meanwhile, their teammates practiced for an opponent they have not played since 2004.

That means three of the players most responsible for protecting quarterback Tony Romo from the fiercest pass rush in the league were not on the practice field -- running back Marion Barber and both offensive tackles. Barber is recovering from a dislocated toe and will be heavily responsible for blitz pickups in Sunday's game.

Wade Phillips rested five starters this week in preparation for the Steelers.
"If you stay within the system and do things the right way, you have a chance," Romo said. "You're just going to have to sometimes rely on your instincts a little bit because they're going to do stuff that's going to confuse you as a quarterback."

Romo's point is that Pittsburgh uses excellent defensive personnel, a unique scheme and unpredictable tendencies to create confusion and breakdowns that allow James Harrison and Troy Polamalu the chance to win games for the Steelers on defense. It seems logical the Cowboys would want their key blocking personnel to have all the repetitions they could provide those players.

Adding to the oddity of the decision is the fact the Cowboys had four of the previous five days off. Factor in the team's history of December failure and that Phillips has never led a team to an NFL playoff victory as a head coach, and the risk becomes more apparent.

Phillips certainly has opened himself up to criticism if his team plays badly, much as he did when he gave the Cowboys enough time off before last season's playoff loss to the New York Giants that Romo and Jason Witten vacationed in Cabo San Lucas while several defensive starters went to New Orleans for the college championship game.

Clearly, Phillips has made the game's first risky play before even putting on his headset.
-- Ed Werder

Well, at first sight, I though we were getting dissed. However, I think that Phillips is expecting a very tough, physical game and needs his players rested. I agree with Ed Werder, this is a little risky not practicing his main guys for such a trying opponent as the Steelers. Thoughts? :idea:

Lebsteel
12-06-2008, 03:27 PM
The Cowflops actually have a tougher schedule the last four games than we do, so maybe Phillips is just trying to get as much rest as he can for the older guys, knowing full well that they are going to be beat up and bruised this Sunday. :tt1 :tt1

RuthlessBurgher
12-06-2008, 05:59 PM
They've had 10 days since their last game on Thanksgiving too. I don't they'll be ill-prepared by any means. I still say that our defense, unlike anything they have seen this year, will provide a big-time shock to the system for them.

TallyStiller
12-07-2008, 12:47 AM
I think he knows he's fixin' to lose, and needs to be ready to pick up the pieces down the stretch in order to sneak into the playoffs. And, you know, because he's such a tremendous disciplinarian and always has his teams so ready to play late in the season :roll:

papillon
12-07-2008, 01:13 AM
Wade Phillips is their coach doesn't that make them ill-prepared by default? At this point in the year there isn't any major contact (if any) happening in practice. They've been off for 10 days and 30 vets given a day off during the week; they're soft and ripe for a Pittsburgh style @$$ kickin.

Pappy

flippy
12-07-2008, 09:25 AM
This game isn't as important as their division/conference games coming up.

I bet many teams have a bad record the week after they face the Steelers.

He may be surrendering this battle with his eye on the next 3 games.

Ezekiel 25:17
12-07-2008, 11:26 AM
Read the article, folks. He didn't give 30 players the day off, he gave "30-something" starters the day off.

Meaning starters that are over 30 years old. Specifically,

Terrell Owens
Marc Colombo
Flozell Adams
Zach Thomas
Greg Ellis

Only.

It's still a risk, especially since these guys haven't seen a D close to ours this year. But I guess he feels that these guys are pros and the rest was more important than the preparation.

It won't work. They're still gonna get hammered this afternoon.

Jooser
12-07-2008, 12:36 PM
I guess I misunderstood Ezekial, I took it to mean that he let 30+ players go home, but I guess what you're saying does make a little more sense though. Still, the major pieces of the offense were missing in final preparation. I missed the resting five starters part, duh, I'm from WV, it's a wonder I could even read the title! :HeadBanger

Oh, and I agree with Pappy's assessment. And one last tidbit, Flippy that's a kick-a$$ sig! :Bow

Mel Blount's G
12-07-2008, 08:47 PM
Come December, they'll be off for months
:Steel :tt2 :Beer

RuthlessBurgher
12-08-2008, 11:38 AM
Read the article, folks. He didn't give 30 players the day off, he gave "30-something" starters the day off.

Meaning starters that are over 30 years old. Specifically,

Terrell Owens
Marc Colombo
Flozell Adams
Zach Thomas
Greg Ellis

Only.

It's still a risk, especially since these guys haven't seen a D close to ours this year. But I guess he feels that these guys are pros and the rest was more important than the preparation.

It won't work. They're still gonna get hammered this afternoon.

Yeah, it would have been kind of hard for Phillips to give 30 starters the day off, since only 22 players are designated as starters. :lol:

Jooser
12-08-2008, 11:43 AM
Read the article, folks. He didn't give 30 players the day off, he gave "30-something" starters the day off.

Meaning starters that are over 30 years old. Specifically,

Terrell Owens
Marc Colombo
Flozell Adams
Zach Thomas
Greg Ellis

Only.

It's still a risk, especially since these guys haven't seen a D close to ours this year. But I guess he feels that these guys are pros and the rest was more important than the preparation.

It won't work. They're still gonna get hammered this afternoon.

Yeah, it would have been kind of hard for Phillips to give 30 starters the day off, since only 22 players are designated as starters. :lol:

I conceded the point already Ruthless, you're killin' me here. :wink: