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3 Dallas Cowboys Making Cases to be Cut

John Williams

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3 Dallas Cowboys Making Cases to be Cut

The other day, Staff Writer Jess Haynie gave you 3 Cowboys Making Cases for Roster Spots. It's right on the money and likely those players will make the roster. Today I'm going to bring you an opposite take. Let me apologize in advance if I mention your pet cat, but the reality is that the Dallas Cowboys have a long way to go before they make their 37 cuts on September 3rd.

Kellen Moore

Dallas Cowboys QB Kellen Moore #17

Kellen Moore

With his poor play and the excellent play of Cooper Rush, Kellen Moore isn't giving Scott Linehan a lot to defend.

Linehan has been the biggest #KelMo proponent for as long as Moore has been in the league, yet there isn't a lot to go on in his NFL career.

He's 27 years old now and has only played in three games since coming into the league in 2012. All we have to go on is his preseason play, which has been average to below average.

With Cooper Rush playing well, it would not surprise me to see the front office move on for a younger quarterback to back up Dak Prescott. Similar to how the New England Patriots use the quarterback position.

When has Tom Brady ever had a veteran backup? Only after he took the job from Drew Bledsoe. Why do we feel the need for Dallas to have a veteran backup?

Byron Bell

With experience as a starter at tackle and guard, it was thought that Byron Bell could come in and compete with Jonathan Cooper or Chaz Green at either left guard or right tackle.

Now with the team 100% committed to La'el Collins at right tackle, that has left an open competition at left guard.

Byron Bell got the start on Saturday night, but failed to impress. On one drive alone he was called for two holding penalties. There were times as well that he struggled with movement to the outside on running plays.

Not a single player who has received snaps has really asserted themselves at left guard. At the moment, he still has a shot, but if he continues to play as poorly as he did against the Rams, it could be a short stint for Bell as a member of the Dallas Cowboys.

Robert Blanton

Signed in the offseason to be a veteran presence in the secondary and compete with Jeff Heath at strong safety, but Robert Blanton has been darn near invisible. He's been completely overshadowed by Heath who has started each game of the preseason along side Byron Jones and been outplayed by rookie Xavier Woods. Kavon Frazier has even been notable as an in-the-box safety and on special teams.

Once thought to be in the mix to start at strong safety, Blanton will now be fighting just to stay on the roster.

With the roster squeeze that is bound to happen by cut-down day, it's unlikely to me that the Dallas Cowboys will keep more than four safeties.


Little is decided after two preseason games, and these players have three more games to make their case for a roster spot. When it comes to the NFL and especially Jason Garrett's Dallas Cowboys, performance matters.

Moore, Bell, and Blanton will need to perform better if they want to keep a job.

What do you think? Any players you think have played their way off the roster?



Dallas Cowboys optimist bringing factual reasonable takes to Cowboys Nation and the NFL Community. I wasn't always a Cowboys fan, but I got here as quick as I could.

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4 Comments
  • George_Johnson

    John Williams: Lets look at the facts regarding K Moore and Rush. First of all K Moore is getting the 2nd team reps in practice and 2nd team playing time in preseason games. Rush is getting the 3rd team reps in practice and 3rd team playing time. There is a significant difference especially in preseason games. K Moore is more likely to play against defensive players who will make the 53 man roster and Rush is more likely to play against defensive players that will be working in a hardware store in a month. So comparing their play in preseason games is difficult. K Moore as best I can tell has scored an “A” in training camp. As a little data point, I think Prescott has about seven interceptions and K Moore has one. I am not sure about Rush. The QB coach said he has looked really good in games and implied not as well in practice. K Moore for his first preseason game scored an “A” as best I can tell. He was outstanding, especially if the interception which could have gone either way and Brown didn’t seem to play it quite right, would have been a touchdown. Rush also looked really good. In the second preseason game, K Moore did not look good. However, I am not sure what the defense had to do with this. He seemed to check down all the time which means either a receiver further down field was not open or K Moore was afraid to throw it down field. There also seemed to be a lot of pressure coming especially from the left side of the Dallas line. I haven’t heard from the coaches as to what they thought of K Moore’s play. Rush looked really good again in the 2nd preseason game. Again you have to remember he is playing third team. K Moore may have been playing against 1st and 2nd team defenses and Rush primarily against 3rd and 4th team defenses. A significant difference. So it is difficult to compare. Another issue is K Moore is a veteran even though he hasn’t played much and knows a lot at this point. Rush is a rookie and is drinking from a fire hose at this point in terms of learning and adjusting. Big difference. Your comments indicated you don’t like K Moore. Probably because he does not look like an NFL QB and can’t run and doesn’t have a real strong arm. I will remind you what S Linehan, one of the top QB coaches in the world, has said (paraphrased): He said K Moore can play in the NFL. He said his arm is strong enough. Linehan has said K Moore compensates for his physical limitations with his outstanding pocket passing skills/abilities. He has also said he is very accurate and uses uncanny anticipation. Recently he called him a machine. He has said he knows his limitations and gets the job done in his own way. He said he is like having a veteran on the team because of his QB knowledge and knowing exactly what to do.

    • Russ_Te

      As it stands, I’d rather have to put Moore in a playoff game than Rush. Or McCown. Or Cassel…

      But Rush is one of the preseason standouts so far, and I hope to see that continue. He won’t get past waivers in that case, so you’d have to keep 3 QB’s. Hanna might be on the bubble with the emergence of Gathers, and I won’t be surprised if they roll dice there and just keep Witten, Gathers and Swaim. If they are going to more spread sets on long downs and using the WR talent, then TE is a place to pinch a roster spot.

    • John Williams

      I’m not sure how we can describe Kellen Moore as a veteran having only played in 3 NFL Games in his 5 year career.

      Please tell me you watched the Colts game last night. I hope you did. Because Moore looked lost.

      If he’s doing anything good in practice, he’s not showing it in games. Kellen Moore looks like a rookie playing his first football in several years.

      Rush looks poised, composed, gets the ball out of his hands quickly and is decisive in his reads.

      I don’t care what the quarterback looks like or what his tools are. Cooper Rush by all indications doesn’t have a strong arm as well, but he gets through his reads quickly, gets the ball out of his hands quickly, is decisive. He has good touch and accuracy. If Kellen Moore was effective with the tools that he had, I wouldn’t care what the tools are. Joe Montana wasn’t tall or didn’t have a strong arm, but he was able to get the job done with the tools that he had. For all the talk about Kellen’s intelligence, it doesn’t show sometimes.

      Kellen made a few decent throws, but he’s just not consistent enough. On the fumble, it looked like he had no idea what he was doing with the ball.

    • PaulnFortWorth

      George,
      It’s nice that Kellen M. has supporters. However, pro football is merit driven and Kellen hasn’t been producing in the preseason games. Cooper Rush has. Kellen has been around for several years but last year he broke a bone and was out for the season. It could be that he hasn’t fully recovered or he may never completely recover. Either way, the most important time is during a game with the available resources. He has to produce or his career in pro football is over.

Game Notes

Cowboys, Falcons Week 11 Injury Report

Jess Haynie

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Zack Martin

The Dallas Cowboys and Atlanta Falcons are both 4-5 and playing to keep their seasons alive. It's a mutual must-win game, and both will have to try to win it without some key players. Once again, we look at this week's injury reports.

Let's begin with your Cowboys, whose report is getting longer as the season wears on:

Dallas Cowboys

  • WR Tavon Austin (groin) - OUT
  • DE Taco Charlton (shoulder) - OUT
  • DT David Irving (ankle) - OUT
  • DT Daniel Ross (calf) - OUT
  • LB Sean Lee (hamstring) - OUT
  • DT Antwaun Woods (concussion) - Doubtful
  • G Zack Martin (knee) - Questionable
  • G Connor Williams (knee) - Questionable
  • DT Maliek Collins (knee) - Questionable
  • LB Joe Thomas (foot) - Questionable

The biggest news is the guy who won't miss tomorrow's game; All-Pro guard Zack Martin is expected to play despite his knee injury from last Sunday night. The Cowboys, already dealing with Travis Frederick's absence and now health issues at left guard, could ill afford to go without Martin in such a pivotal game.

Even if he was healthy, rookie Connor Williams might have a hard time getting in the game. Backup Xavier Su'a-Filo looked like an experienced former second-round pick last week, and he may be the better player for now.

The defensive line has been hit hard, particularly in the middle. With Irving and Ross out, Woods doubtful, and Collins uncertain, Dallas called up DT Christian Ringo from the practice squad. They will also be without Taco Charlton, who could play inside some. Veteran Caraun Reid will be seeing a lot of playing time.

Sean Lee's ongoing absence has become almost an afterthought now with the stellar play of Leighton Vander Esch. We've seen in the past when missing Lee meant disaster on defense, but Dallas' first-round rookie has helped mitigate the damage.

Atlanta Falcons

  • LB Deion Jones (foot) - OUT

It's a short list for Atlanta, but the one name on it is a big one. Arguably the team's best defensive player, Deion Jones will miss the game with a foot injury.

The Falcons' injury issues have been more in players suffering season-ending injuries. Both starting guards, Andy Levitre and Brandon Fusco, are on injured reserve. Star running back Devonta Freeman is also there, and those losses help explain Atlanta's 30th-ranked rushing offense.

Both starting safeties are also on IR; Ricardo Allen and Keanu Neal. Atlanta has one of the league's worst passing defense this year without them, ranking 30th in yards allowed and 28th in opponent passer rating.

So yes, the Falcons injury report compared to the Cowboys' may raise some eyebrows. But in terms of who has most of their key guys, Dallas is arguably still better off.



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Dallas Cowboys

4 Best Candidates for Cowboys’ Next Offensive Coordinator

Shane Carter

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Jason Garrett, Scott Linehan

The big word around the Dallas Cowboys lately is about Jason Garrett and the future of the head coaching job. Some have speculated that either Quarterback Dak Prescott or Jason Garrett will get axed, and the other will stay.

Owner Jerry Jones was quoted on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas about his young quarterback, putting to bed at least half of the conflict.

"Dak is the quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys. He’s young and he’s going to get extended."

This shut the door on the idea of Prescott being replaced.

As far as Jason Garrett? Jerry Jones has been less than committed.

"I’m not in the business of backing anybody; the head coach, or offensive coordinator, I just don’t back them publicly." Jerry Jones said.

So it seems that Jason Garrett’s future is up in the air.

But what about offensive coordinator Scott Linehan? What’s held the Cowboys back this year has been the offense, and a lot of it can be contributed to their predictable play calling and inability to adapt to today’s game and its current players.

Whether or not Jason Garrett retains his job, Scott Linehan’s job doesn’t seem near as secure. His scheme doesn’t really mesh with Dak Prescott and how the offense could look. There’s only so many times you can run a three tight end set and not get furious.

Cowboys fans may want Garrett gone but they might have to settle for a new offensive coordinator instead.

The good news is that there are many options out there. Options that not only could work well with Dak Prescott, but could bring the Cowboys offense into the 2010s.

Shane Waldron

Jerry Jones once said how the Cowboys offense was like the LA Rams. If they are able to sign their Co-Offensive Coordinator, then they could be.

When Matt LaFleur left to become the Tennessee Titans OC, the job became a shared job between Waldron and Aaron Kromer. I wonder if Waldron would rather have the job all to himself?

What makes Waldron so appealing is he is also the Rams tight ends coach and passing game coordinator. Those are two areas where the Rams excel and where the Cowboys need help.

Teams are going to start copying the offensive juggernauts of the NFL and the Rams are definitely one of them. The Cowboys should do themselves a favor and get out in front before other teams beat them to it.

Scott Turner

Cam Newton is having one of his best seasons. Not only is he an MVP candidate but he’s set to have career highs in completion percentage and QBR, as well as a career low in interceptions. Cam Newton is a very talented quarterback but some of this has to be attributed to his new Quarterback Coach, Scott Turner.

The son of Norv Turner, Scott has seemingly helped mold Cam into a more accurate passer without compromising who Cam Newton is as an athletic quarterback. That has Dak Prescott written all over it.

He's got NFL lineage and a new, scary Cam Newton to add to his resume. He may not have as impressive a track record as others on here but he looks like he could be a chip off the old block and get the Cowboys where they need to be going.

Lincoln Riley

A popular head coach candidate, Lincoln Riley has shown his creativity and offensive innovation during his short time as Oklahoma’s head coach. It’s uncertain if he’ll get any real offers to be a head coach, but as an OC, he would be a serious grab.

Everyone has seen the work he’s done with Baker Mayfield and now Kyler Murray. How he’s able to incorporate different formations to open up the pass game and have the run game seem unstoppable. Just imagine what he could do with the weapons he would have at his disposal in Dallas.

It's likely that Lincoln Riley is a hot commodity for a head coach position, especially in Cleveland where he could reunite with Baker Mayfield. That shouldn’t stop the Cowboys from trying to lure him to Dallas, though. Lincoln Riley could be the real missing piece that Dallas has been looking for.

Eric Bieniemy

Another product of Andy Reid, Eric Bieniemy is the offensive coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs. The former running backs coach has the experience under Andy Reid on not only how to run an offense but to use your weapons at your disposal to the fullest.

Maybe I’m over-hyping this man but when you see the work he helped put in with Pat Mahomes and how he uses those weapons around him, it makes me imagine what he can do for the Cowboy offense.

The team has no shortage of weapons and could benefit greatly from a guy like this.

If the Chiefs make it past their first playoff game, Bieniemy could become a more attractive name when it comes time for new head coaches. However, if Jerry Jones comes calling and the right offer is met, who’s to say?

If Kris Richard can be lured from Seattle to fix the Cowboys defense, Eric Bieniemy can be lured from Kansas City to fix the Cowboys offense.



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Game Notes

Cowboys Have Already Corrected Biggest Mistake From 2017 Loss in Atlanta

Sean Martin

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Cowboys Have Already Corrected Biggest Mistake From 2017 Loss in Atlanta

The Dallas Cowboys play their next three games in 13 days, all critical to their hopes of winning the NFC East despite alternating wins and losses since week one. For the Cowboys to earn consecutive road wins, their first coming on Sunday night at the Eagles, they'll have to come out of Atlanta in much better shape than they did just a year ago.

As expected in the NFL, a lot has changed in this year. The Cowboys 27-7 loss at the Falcons in their first game without Running Back Ezekiel Elliott was the beginning of the end on a season that forced a multitude of coaching changes in Dallas.

The Cowboys stubbornness in allowing Falcons DE Adrian Clayborn to sack Dak Prescott six times by beating Chaz Green and Byron Bell is something they hoped to move past when new positional coaches were brought in at OL, TE, QB, and WR.

It took the team admitting that these moves below Offensive Coordinator Scot Linehan were not all correct two weeks ago for the Cowboys to see any real progress, but with their win last week there's hope that the Cowboys are the improved team expected weeks ago - arrived just in time for Thanksgiving.

Firing Offensive Line Coach Paul Alexander was the first move, as the Cowboys named Marc Colombo OL Coach and Hudson Houck his assistant. Colombo told 105.3 The Fan in Dallas this week that he has injured Center Travis Frederick on a headset during games as well.

Colombo, Houck, and Frederick have the Cowboys offensive line confident in their ability to play to their strengths, rewarded with a renewed faith in the zone blocking scheme that was forgotten under Alexander.

If the Cowboys offensive line was their first problem in last year's Falcons loss (it was), it's becoming their biggest strength at the right time in the season.

The Cowboys necessary changes didn't stop here though.

In desperate need of a play maker on the outside, the Cowboys are seeing their investment into Wide Receiver Amari Cooper pay off so far. Cooper is averaging 3.2 yards of separation on his routes this season, ahead of Cole Beasley's 2.6 yards as the next closest pass catcher.

Cooper's presence was a big part of Ezekiel Elliott's 151 yard rushing performance at the Eagles. A player that can win on the outside with ease and dictate coverage has benefited Prescott and the Cowboys game plan on offense enough to send away a first round pick.

It will be up to this "rebuilt" Cowboys offense to match the Falcons on Sunday. Atlanta is averaging 27.1 points per game this season, but a much more dangerous 32.2 at home. After a 1-4 start, the 4-5 Falcons are playing in front of their home fans for the first time in two weeks, losing at the Browns in week ten.

The Cowboys felt they'd be prepared for games like this after their offseason moves, instead needing to show the type of in-season urgency that's been rare for Jason Garrett's team. The same can be said about a Falcons team that's experienced playing with their backs to the wall much sooner than the Cowboys have this season, setting up a big NFC match up in the early slot Sunday.

Dak Prescott will be thankful that Chaz Green nor Byron Bell are protecting him, wanting nothing more than to deliver another win for the Cowboys to take into Thanksgiving against the division-leading Washington Redskins. Not all of the coaches responsible for the lack of adjustment in last year's game are gone. What the Cowboys do have are tangible new ideas from coaches that understand they need more than a win at the defending Super Bowl champions to call this Cowboys season a success.

Tell us what you think about "Cowboys Have Already Corrected Biggest Mistake From 2017 Loss in Atlanta" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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