SCOUT'S HONOR: Cowboys-Steelers FAQ

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Brian DeLucia kicks around some of the hot topics surrounding the Dallas and Pittsburgh as they prepare for tonight's preseason NFL matchup on at 8 p.m. ET. Does anyone know what's happening with the quarterback situation in Dallas? Neither nor are impressing Bill Parcells right now. Parcells questions Hutchinson¿s feet, but more importantly has concerns regarding his mental toughness. We¿ll see Thursday night how Hutchinson handles the ¿ pass rush. Carter can be erratic at times, but his ability to make things happen with his feet intrigue Parcells. The quarterback that has opened Parcells¿ eyes the most is the rookie ¿ Tony Romo. Romo has a gutty attitude and has natural instincts. However, the fact that he is the QB eye-opener in camp just shows how helpless Parcells' offense will be this season. One of the few reasons RB was happy to leave Dallas was the shoddy offensive line. Are there any signs of improvement? That¿s still a big area of concern right now. There hasn¿t been much consistency from this unit. I think a lot of it begins with tackle . Allen simply doesn¿t resemble the same player that used to dominant in the trenches a few years ago. Injuries played a major toll last season and he¿s having more problems throughout the summer. He¿s a lot stiffer and not very mobile on his feet these days. That takes away a lot from this unit. Is the answer at running back in Dallas? No. Hambrick possesses the physical skills to get the job done. But he¿s not where he needs to be mentally to be a starting running back in this league. Hambrick makes way too many mental mistakes on the field. That¿s something Bill Parcells simply doesn¿t tolerate from any player. Do the have any shot at a winning season in Bill Parcells' Dallas debut? I think the defense should be competent ¿ although their front four is just average. And every Parcells team gets the job done on special teams. But the picture at quarterback remains too shaky. They may not have a true feature running back. The offensive line has been awful. Even reaching the six win mark won¿t be easy this season. Why did coach Bill Cowher bench for at running back? I believe naming as the starter at running back is a reflection of the changing offense. Offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey likes to spread out his offense and create more big plays. Zereoue has the speed to work well in this situation as a runner and pass catcher. That expands what Mularkey can do with this offense. Maybe it allows to remain fresh and become more of a contributor down the stretch when the have to grind out games. But that may make it tougher for Bettis to establish any type of rhythm. Do the still have a strong offensive line as an offensive anchor? I believe we are at a point in training camp where the problems they have shown up front become a true concern. The offensive line has always been the source of stability for the . That makes these concerns more magnified. hasn¿t displayed any indications that he can handle the right tackle job. Nobody knows what to expect from after being diagnosed with diabetes. He¿s definitely not at full strength right now. And continues to experience knee problems. Meanwhile, has given a lot of positive indications that he¿s going to be a solid pass blocker at left tackle. The last few years teams have been able to throw on Pittsburgh, a rarity back in the heyday of the 1990s. Can the stop the pass? That¿s going to be an issue for Pittsburgh again. I just don¿t believe a rookie at strong safety suddenly makes a huge difference in their pass defense. Their play at cornerback continues to remain a problem ¿ despite a great pass rush upfront. CB continues to look shaky out there over the past couple weeks. That¿s not a good sign here. Do the have enough to make a Super Bowl run?
I look at it this way -- home-field advantage throughout the playoffs gives the a chance. If they are forced into a couple tough road games, they could run into problems. This will be a strong football team that makes things happen with their playmakers in the passing game and front seven on the defensive side of the ball. But there is just something missing here ¿ whether it¿s in the secondary or special teams
Tagged: Cowboys, Raiders, Cardinals, Steelers, Troy Hambrick, Amos Zereoue, Marvel Smith, Oliver Ross, Jerome Bettis, Dewayne Washington, Jeff Hartings, Kendall Simmons, Chad Hutchinson

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