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10 Takeaways From The Cowboys Statement Win In Green Bay

RJ Ochoa

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Cowboys Headlines - 10 Takeaways From The Cowboys Statement Win In Green Bay 1

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In 2014 the Cowboys had a road game in the house of an NFC contender the week after moving to 4-1 on the season with a home win against an AFC team. That road game was in Seattle, and it was FOX's America's Game Of The Week that featured Thom Brennaman filling in for Joe Buck (who was out doing baseball).

On Sunday the Cowboys had a road game in the house of an NFC contender the week after moving to 4-1 on the season with a home win against an AFC team. That road game was in Green Bay, and it was FOX's America's Game Of The Week and featured Thom Brennaman in for Joe Buck once again.

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THOM BRENNAMAN OUR HERO

Just like they did two years ago in Seattle, the Cowboys took care of business at Lambeau Field and sent a message to the NFL -- this team is for real.

Today is most importantly #VictoryPoloMonday, but since it is the day after a Cowboys game it also means it's time for my 10 Takeaways. Shall we? Here are my 10 Takeaways From The Cowboys Statement Win In Green Bay.

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The 2016 Dallas Cowboys Are For Real

Ready for some truth? The Dallas Cowboys are the second-best team in the NFC, the third-best team in the NFL, and they're only going to get better.

If we're being objective then I'd still take the Minnesota Vikings and New England Patriots over this team, but that's it. They've won in the division, against the opposite conference, and most recently against one of the NFL's darlings.

The Cowboys haven't just beaten the top teams they've faced (Cincinnati and Green Bay). They've obliterated them. This squad means business and they let the world know that on Sunday. Not to mention reinforcements are on the way at various positions!

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Jason Garrett Is One Of The NFL's Best Coaches

These are all players that Jason Garrett has lost at some point this season: Tony Romo, Kellen Moore, Dez Bryant, Tyron Smith, La'el Collins, Orlando Scandrick, Morris Claiborne, Randy Gregory, Rolando McClain, and Dan Bailey (ish).

He's 5-1. FIVE AND ONE. To have that record, while enduring all of those obstacles, this season is completely unfathomable.

Cowboys Headlines - 10 Takeaways From The Cowboys Statement Win In Green Bay

I mentioned the 2014 Seattle game up top. After that victory the Cowboys were 5-1 on the season, just like they are now. It's a stupid level of impossible when you consider that two years later Jason Garrett's squad is in the exact same position with a different QB, less Dez, and a different running back in Ezekiel Elliott (who is leading the NFL in rushing just like DeMarco Murray was then). Think about that!

Think about how, technically, Dak Prescott is this team's third quarterback. When the Cowboys landed in Oxnard, CA during the summer Dak Prescott was by definition this team's third-string quarterback (at best considering he was competing with Jameill Showers).

The NFL world lost its collective mind (rightfully so) when Patriots Coach Bill Belichick beat the Houston Texans with his third-string rookie quarterback Jacoby Brissett. That game was used as a case for Belichick's greatness.

Jason Garrett isn't Bill Belichick, but he is 5-1 with his third-string rookie quarterback (who was drafted after Brissett!). Give the man his due.

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 The Cowboys Defense Can Bend But Not Break

"Bend but don't break." It's a simple message, and one that we tweet every week in regards to the 2016 Dallas Cowboys Defense.

Rod Marinelli's unit completely terrorized Packers QB Aaron Rodgers throughout this contest. They caused four fumbles and Barry Church even hauled in an interception! This side of the ball has generated a turnover in all but one game this season (Bengals).

Is this team's offense and their ability to control the clock helping the defense? Yes. Of course. Duh. That doesn't take away from the outstanding effort that these guys are giving when it's their time to shine.

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Dak Prescott Is Better Than Tom Brady

First I compare Jason Garrett to Bill Belichick and now this. Today is spicy!

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History has been made. Congrats @Dak! #DallasCowboys

Dak Prescott is, from a statistical standpoint, on track to be better than Tom Brady. How freaking cool is that?! Obviously there's some joking going on here, but it really is impressive/encouraging that Dak is following in/surpassing the footsteps of perhaps the finest quarterback to ever play this game.

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Ezekiel Elliott Eats Everything, Including Cheese

Cowboys Headlines - 10 Takeaways From The Cowboys Statement Win In Green Bay 2

He may not have found the endzone, but Ezekiel Elliott carried the ball 28 times to the tune of 157 yards. Why is this particularly epic?

Zeke became the first rookie in NFL History to cross 130 yards in four straight games. Doing something no one else has ever done is a cool thing, right? Well that wasn't the only first for Zeke in this game.

The Green Bay Packers hadn't allowed a 100-yard rusher all season long. Whoops. Such a shame that Zeke had to go and ruin the fun for the Cheeseheads. Oh well!

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Sean Lee Is Forgotten But Still Dominating

Thanks to the emergence of the Cowboys rookies and infatuation with other new players, guys like Sean Lee have almost been forgotten by Cowboys Nation.

The General was en such fuego during this game that he actually knocked out his own teammate, Morris Claiborne! He settled down though and was all over the field, and almost picked off Aaron Rodgers before bobbling it away.

Dallas had high levels of success in 2014, and while that might feel like a long time ago to some... it's something Sean won't forget. He missed that entire year and all the fun that came with it. This is the first time in his Cowboy Career that he's experienced being 5-1. Good for him.

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The David Irving Hype Is Justified

In 2015 Cowboys fans saw this no-name guy who went by David Irving step up and surprise us at times. It was intriguing, but would it translate over to 2016?

The Irving hoopla had almost become an afterthought, and then bam! He exploded in Green Bay! Whoa!

Irving had a big sack and was all over the field defensively. Rod Marinelli has a knack for making guys like Irving pay off at some point, and it seems that time has arrived. Sometimes things are just too good.

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Eddie Lacy No Longer Owns The Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys Headlines - 10 Takeaways From The Cowboys Statement Win In Green Bay 3

I preached caution regarding Eddie Lacy in the week leading up to this game. Why? Historically Eddie Lacy has completely owned the Dallas Cowboys.

In three career games Lacy averaged 5.72 yards per carry and 122 yards per game against America's Team. On Sunday? Lacy only managed to average 3.8 yards per carry as he drearily put together a 65-yard performance. Womp womp.

The Cowboys finally figured out how to contain Eddie Lacy, and that's a beautiful thing.

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Lucky Whitehead Won This Game

Cowboys Headlines - 10 Takeaways From The Cowboys Statement Win In Green Bay 4

Near the end of the first half the Cowboys were backed up near their own goal line, and it seemed like they were content to try and get a first down so they could clock it and get to halftime.

Cowboys ran on first and second down, both of which were followed by Packers timeouts. On third down the Cowboys ran the famous Lucky Whitehead Jet Sweep play that appears once a game, and Lucky picked up 26 yards!

This completely changed the disposition of the drive for the Cowboys. They got more aggressive and aired the ball out. Terrance Williams made a big catch, actually stepped out of bounds, and then Dak Prescott found Brice Butler for a touchdown. This allowed the Cowboys to go into the locker room up 17-6 as opposed to 10-6, which completely changed the complexity of the game. That is 100% attributable to Lucky Whitehead and his 26-yard pickup.

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The Bye Could Not Have Come At A More Perfect Time

The Cowboys are 5-1, but they're banged up.

Players like Tyron Smith, Tony Romo, Dez Bryant, Orlando Scandrick, Barry Church, and Morris Claiborne just to name a few are in drastic need of some extra time off to properly heal up.

Dallas will need to be at full-strength once things get started up again on October 30th and they welcome the Philadelphia Eagles to town. The next target date for the Cowboys as far as this marathon is concerned is Friday, December 2nd.

The Cowboys play the Vikings on Thursday, December 1st so that extra amount of time after that game will prove vital as they prepare for the stretch run of the season. This bye is perfectly timed as it spreads out their rest time pretty evenly across the season.

What were your takeaways from the Cowboys statement win in Green Bay? Let us know! Comment below, Email me at RJ@RJOchoaShow.com, or Tweet to me at @RJOchoa!

Tell us what you think about "10 Takeaways From The Cowboys Statement Win In Green Bay" in the comments below. You can also email me at RJ.Ochoa@SlantSports.com, or Tweet to me at @RJOchoa!



I like long walks on the beach, mystery novels, no just kidding those suck. The Dallas Cowboys were put on this earth for us all to love and appreciate. I do that 24/7/365. I also love chicken parmesan. Let's roll. @RJOchoa if you wanna shout!

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1 Comment
  • sam elrod

    im a cowboy fan to heart i think we keep presscott in and preserve romo just in case we need him he is still a good quater back to me i wouldnt trade him let him retire as a cowboy

Game Notes

Film Room: WR Ryan Switzer Showed Flashes Vs. Eagles

Kevin Brady

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Film Room: WR Ryan Switzer Showed Flashes Vs. Eagles
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

There's no doubt the Dallas Cowboys passing game faltered in 2017. Though never expected to throw for many yards, Dak Prescott and the Cowboys failed to maximize their attempts down the stretch. The passing game was simply inefficient and ineffective.

One reason the passing game took a step back was the disappearance of slot receiver Cole Beasley. Whether you blame defenses adjusting their coverages on third downs towards Beasley, Beasley growing another year older, or quarterback Dak Prescott, Beasley simply didn't look like the same player in 2017.

In the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft, the Cowboys selected a wide out who many anticipate could replace Beasley, in time. Rookie wide receiver Ryan Switzer rarely got chances to make an impact on offense this season, designated as the return man for much of the year. With Cole Beasley out for the season finale, however, Switzer got his chance to make a name for himself.

While the numbers were far from gaudy, Ryan Switzer showed some things we should be excited about for the future.

dalvsphi2018 switzer - Streamable

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Ryan Switzer's first target came on a third down -- something Cowboys Nation should get used to heading into 2018. Switzer is lined up inside in trips on the near-side of the formation. The Eagles show man coverage pre-snap, and with just one safety over top and the other rotated down on top of Jason Witten, it is clear to Dak Prescott they plan to bring some pressure.

As soon as Prescott gets the snap, his eyes go to Ryan Switzer.

The cornerback plays Switzer with inside leverage, refusing to be beat with a hot slant route. Switzer instead keeps the defender on his back hip and creates separation with an out-breaking route.

Prescott delivers the ball towards the sideline where the defender can't catch up to it, and Switzer comes away with the first down.

dalvsphi2018 switzer 2 - Streamable

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Later in the game, we once again see Ryan Switzer targeted from this inside-alignment.

Switzer is a pretty prototypical slot receiver, and if used correctly he should win in man coverage situations often. The cornerback attempts to maintain inside leverage on Switzer and get physical at the top of his route. Ryan Switzer does a nice job of fighting through that physicality and crossing the defender's face over the middle. He flashes open pretty quickly, and Prescott delivers a strike for the completion.

If Switzer can create this type of separation often, I see no reason why he shouldn't be a focus of the offense in 2018.

dalvsphi2018 switzer 3 - Streamable

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Switzer's third target is actually an incompletion, but it is worth studying, regardless. Switzer is in the slot on the far side and the Cowboys once again are in trips alignment. The cornerback over Switzer is in man coverage, but gives him room to breathe at the line of scrimmage.

Switzer exploits the cornerback -- who is cheating to the inside -- with his footwork and route running. He gets to the sticks, breaks to the outside, and creates enough separation for a first-down completion. Prescott delivers the ball a bit late and behind Switzer, causing an incompletion instead.

I'd still like to see Switzer adjust to the ball and make this catch, but I put more of the blame for this play on Prescott.

With a full offseason to work within the offensive system, as well as to develop chemistry with quarterback Dak Prescott, Ryan Switzer will prove to be an important piece to the 2018 Dallas Cowboys.



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Game Notes

Takeaway Tuesday: Datone Jones Should Be Back, Switzer’s Good Game

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Takeaway Tuesday: Datone Jones Should Be Back, Switzer's Good Game 1
AP Photo / Michael Ainsworth

The Dallas Cowboys put an end to a long, long season last Sunday after they defeated the Eagles in Philadelphia in a game that had absolutely no meaning for either team. Surprisingly, the Cowboys played with their healthy starters most of the game, but were barely able to put six points on the board, which were enough to take the win home.

The Cowboys might've lost more than what they actually won, and most of the fans were unhappy with the victory. Despite it being a pretty boring football game, we still learned a few things about the Dallas Cowboys.

The season's finally over. It wasn't easy, but we're still here. Here's to 2018. Let's hope it's a good one for our Cowboys. Here's this week's edition of Takeaway Tuesday!

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Coaching Staff Didn't Help Its Cause

It's more than fair to say that a lot of us want to see changes in Dallas. And specifically, changes in the coaching staff. After the Cowboys were eliminated from playoff contention, Jerry Jones said Jason Garrett's job was not an issue. Now, Jerry's even talking about Rod Marinelli and Scott Linehan being back in 2018. Who knows if it's true.

While I don't think we'll see a new head coach anytime soon, I'd dare say that after the horrible game versus Philadelphia the front office at least got to thinking.

Dak Prescott, Jason Garrett

Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott, HC Jason Garrett

Coming into this game, the team had a choice to make: play with the starters to win it, or let guys like Cooper Rush in the game and see what happens. A loss would've meant a better draft position for the Cowboys and a chance to see what rookies and other young players could bring to the table.

But they decided to manage the game like it was a "real action" game. Being conservative. Not going for it when there was nothing to lose. They did so after a team that, with the NFC's #1 seed secured, basically played with its B team. Not only that but for the Eagles, most of the game was played by a third string QB.

Despite all this, the Cowboys could hardly beat the Eagles 6-0. Poor execution and all, I can't help thinking about the coaches.

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Cowboys Should Keep Datone Jones for 2018

In late November, the Dallas Cowboys signed Datone Jones after he was released by the San Francisco 49ers. The former Packers' first-round pick made an impact when he was given the chance. His play at DT was pretty solid and he showed very promising flashes.

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Jones will be under contract in 2018 and I'd be surprised if the Cowboys don't keep him another year. Per Over The Cap, he'll be paid $790,000 next year which isn't at all expensive for a 27-year-old player.

The Cowboys would add depth and even a potential starter at DT for next season.

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Ryan Switzer Can Play as a Wide Receiver

With Cole Beasley missing the game because of an illness, we finally got to see Ryan Switzer at WR. We had already seen good things from him as a kick returner, but on offense, he hasn't been as involved as Cowboys Nation expected him to be.

Last Sunday though, Switzer was used for more than a jet sweep.

SwitzerWR - Streamable

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He still has a long way to go, but I was impressed by his ability to create separation. I really hope he's used more next season.

At the end of the day, he's a fourth-round pick. He should be playing more on offense, not just on "gadget plays" or special teams. Could Ryan Switzer be Dak Prescott's best friend in the future? Only time will tell. Right now, it's too optimistic to expect something like that.

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Dan Bailey's Confidence is Shattered

Dallas Cowboys K Dan Bailey

Dan Bailey's 2017 season hasn't been easy at all. We've seen him miss kicks we never imagined he would, including extra points. One of the most painful moments of the Cowboys' season came late in the season finale when he lined up to kick a simple 20-yard field goal.

The ball went up, but failed to split the uprights. Dan Bailey stood in complete disbelief, with a blank look in his face. His confidence, shattered.

For kickers, it's all about confidence.

For years, we referred to Dan "Automatic" Bailey as the most accurate kicker in NFL history. Now we're not sure about calling him "Automatic" anymore. Bailey will have a lot of time to pick himself up though, and will probably be back at it next year.

Let's hope that's the case.

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For now, the only thing left to say is one of the most encouraging, yet sad phrases in sports... Maybe next year. We're on to the offseason.

Tell me what you think about "Takeaway Tuesday: Datone Jones Should Be Back, Switzer’s Good Game" in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!



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Game Notes

Sean’s Scout: Cowboys Starters Uninspiring in Week 17 Win

Sean Martin

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Sean's Scout: Cowboys Starters Produce Uninspiring Week 17 Win

Playing more than enough of their starters in hopes of ending this 2017 season on a high note at the Eagles, the Cowboys produced a lackluster 6-0 win that will surely leave a bad taste in the mouths of Cowboys Nation - despite it being a victory.

The win put the Cowboys at 9-7 on the season, and it is a shame they had nothing to play for in this regular season finale. Once again in week 17, it was the offense holding back another fantastic performance by Rod Marinelli's defense.

We'll discuss both units in this final 2017 Dallas Cowboys version of Sean's Scout.

  • You have to love the way Chidobe Awuzie was able to bring physicality to a young Cowboys secondary that had another solid game. 

There were times earlier in this season when it seemed the Cowboys' second-round pick would have a lost season due to multiple hamstring injuries, but Awuzie quickly tuned around his rookie campaign by coming in and playing with exceptional technique and awareness.

With enough length to turn and run, Awuzie thrived in this zone scheme by keeping everything in front of him, as he did on his interception of Nick Foles. With Dallas in Cover 2 on the play, Chidobe read Foles' eyes the whole time to the boundary and was in position to cut off the pass.

This is a topic we'll now have much more time to discuss, and it is a hollowing one considering it was truly the Cowboys offense that kept them from the playoffs this season. The need for new talent at WR is clear, but the need for a target that better suits Prescott's strengths going into year three is even more important.

His pass catchers, along with inconsistencies in pass protection, were the main reasons Prescott struggled in 2017, although in this game it seemed like the only time he was affected in the pocket was when forcing the ball late to Bryant.

Coming from a spread system in college, Prescott simply does not have experience throwing his receivers open -- relying on route combinations and separation ability to hit open targets. Dez Bryant hasn't been that type of player through his career, and certainly isn't now that he's lost a step.

  • 9 wins for a team unlike their usual selves up front offensively is still pretty impressive. 

The Cowboys got nearly no impact from any of their free agent signings this season, which is why the depth of the team held them back once again. Veteran Byron Bell was brought in as a backup swing tackle, but he is simply not a scheme fit at tackle here.

Dak Prescott should not have been playing with Bell as his LT, and eventually Joe Looney at LG after Jonathan Cooper went down.

Bell lacks the quick-twitch ability and athleticism needed to be successful on every down, and it showed as he was again beaten by both speed and power against the Eagles.

The Cowboys have proven their acumen drafting young OL talent that performs at a high level early and often. So, instead of relying on more free agents, like Bell and Looney, drafting talent up front to spark the running game and give Prescott adequate protection is likely the best answer.

  • Ryan Switzer's ability to separate late in the down really stood out, as he finally got his chance at WR without Cole Beasley

Growing calls for more of Ryan Switzer on offense will surely take root this offseason after he caught four passes for 32 yards in the absence of Cole Beasley yesterday. More of a one-speed player at North Carolina, Switzer's spacial awareness and smoothness in giving Prescott somewhere to throw the ball as plays developed was really impressive.

In order to be a great team at the NFL Draft, you have to accurately scout your own roster. It will be fascinating to see just how the Cowboys feel about their current pass catchers, with not only Ryan Switzer but the likes of Lance Lenoir and practice squad addition K.D. Cannon in the fold as well.

  • The Cowboys found themselves a valuable addition to their rotation at DT with Datone Jones. 

Jones was able to push the pocket throughout this game in Philadelphia, and has done so consistently since getting here, at both the 1T and 3T positions. Using his hands to generate power as a down-the-line player, Jones plays with great pad level. That allows him to shoot gaps when needed, or anchor the line of scrimmage.

The Cowboys have not prioritized adding premier talent at DT in recent years, and may forego it again this offseason as well. The Cowboys expect Maliek Collins to contribute further with another season at 1T and David Irving back at 3T.

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To everybody who made this 2017 season at Inside The Star as enjoyable as ever, I would like to thank the readers of Sean's Scout. All this aspiring scout can ask for is to enhance the fan experience through both wins and losses, and your feedback on this series helped me to confidently do just that.

As we prepare for an even better 2018, Sean's Scout won't be going anywhere! I'm shifting my full attention towards the NFL Draft, looking for prospects that could help the Dallas Cowboys reach the playoffs again next season.

Thank you for another roller-coaster ride we call football season, Cowboys Nation. Truly the best fans anywhere.

Tell us what you think about "Sean’s Scout: Cowboys Starters Uninspiring in Week 17 Win" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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