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3 Things We Learned From The Cowboys Victory Over The Giants

Brian Martin

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The Dallas Cowboys put together an impressive performance against the New York Giants to kick off the 2017 season. They dominated both sides of the ball and controlled the game from beginning to end. If they continue to play the way they did against the Giants, they're going to be a tough team to beat.

Of course, not everything was executed to perfection Sunday night for the Cowboys. There are plenty of things they can still cleanup and get better at, but overall it was an impressive start. So, what have we learned or can take away from Dallas' Week 1 victory over the Giants?

Continue to read below to see 3 things I think we all learned from the Dallas Cowboys victory over the New York Giants. As always, please feel free to use the comment section at the end of this article to express your own opinions or thoughts.
RT La'el Collins

La'el Collins is already an upgrade at right tackle

I've been pretty outspoken about my belief that La'el Collins' best position in the NFL is on the inside at guard. I've always believed that his strength and agility was best served playing in a phone booth, giving him the advantage over opposing defensive tackles. But, the way he has played in preseason and now against the New York Giants has proven to not only me, but everyone else he is an upgrade at the right tackle position (no offense Doug Free).

We all knew Collins was going to have his hands full against the Giants. They have a pretty good duo at defensive end in Olivier Vernon and Jason Pierre-Paul, but Collins got the best of them the majority of the night. It wasn't a perfect performance by any means, but he is only going to continue to get better with more time and that's great news for the Cowboys offense.

RG Chaz Green, RB Ezekiel Elliott

RG Chaz Green, RB Ezekiel Elliott (Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports)

Chaz Green is the starting left guard

One of the biggest unanswered questions heading into the first week of the 2017 season was who would be playing between Travis Frederick and Tyron Smith at left guard for the Cowboys? Well, a lot of people believed it would be Jonathan Cooper because he's remained healthy, but the coaching staff threw a curveball and started Chaz Green instead.

I've been a firm believer that Chaz Green is the Dallas Cowboys fifth best offensive lineman, but it's been a little difficult to argue that point since he can't manage to stay on the field. Green has not been able to stay healthy since joining the Cowboys, but he's proven he can be a starter in the NFL when he can get on the field.

I think the Cowboys went with Green because of his ability to block in both the zone and power scheme. The Cowboys rushing attack is versatile because they mix up their blocking schemes. One rushing play may be an inside or outside zone, the next a power attack. It really puts the opposing defenses at a disadvantage. That's why I believe Green got the call ahead of Jonathan Cooper. Cooper simply doesn't have the same playing strength.

LB Sean Lee & DE DeMarcus Lawrence

LB Sean Lee & DE DeMarcus Lawrence

The Cowboys pass rush is much improved

If the Dallas Cowboys defense can get this kind of performance from their defensive line week after week, then the pass rush is much improved from a season ago. The entire defensive line was active and disruptive the entire game. Giants QB Eli Manning never looked comfortable and it showed in his performance.

I know it's just one week, but a healthy DeMarcus Lawrence could be a difference maker this season. He has struggled with back injuries over the past few seasons, but definitely looked healthy Sunday night against the Giants. It's a good time for him to start getting noticed since he is in a contract year. It's funny how that happens isn't it?

Lawrence of course wasn't the only one getting to the QB. We saw Charles Tapper, Maliek Collins, Benson Mayowa, and even Stephen Paea put pressure on Manning. I think things will only continue to get better for Rod Marinelli's "rush men", especially when they get reinforcements from David Irving and Damontre Moore when they return from their suspensions.

What did you learn in the Cowboys victory over the Giants?



Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.

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10 Comments
  • Ethan Chazin

    Agree on all points, AND added bonus have been waiting for YEARS to see if Mgt/ownership could pair SEAN LEE with a stud middle LB since Carter & McClain never panned out! But…if JAYLON can put aside that almost career-ending injury and be 90% of what he’s physically capable of, plus Hitchens comes back stronger than ever… woa Nelly!!!

    • Brian Martin

      I completely agree with you Ethan. I wonder if the Cowboys are considering extending Hitchens after the season? I think they really like his ability to play all three LB positions.

  • Fatfan

    Did anyone besides me see La’el put PP on his a55! He must’ve knocked him back a few yards before JPP landed on his butt. Impressive!

    • Brian Martin

      Collins did an excellent job Sunday night. He was a perfect, but he has already exceeded my expectations.

  • Travis Diggs

    Can anyone here pull up old comments?? Wen yall posted will he work out as the RT ?? I said of course he’s an upgrade from Doug Free an i got all the flack in the world, but now he’s ok ??? The first cowboys game in a while i didnt see JPP !! ??? Obviously an upgrade from Doug Free The writers here at the star need to get it together Smfh

    • Brian Martin

      Good for you Travis. I wish I would have had your confidence in Collins. I personally never said he would be a bad right tackle or that he wouldn’t be an upgrade over Doug Free. But, I did state that I think Collins’ best position is on the inside at OG. I still think this is true, but he’s proving to be a good RT right now.

  • TreFKennedy88

    Good post and I think Jaylon is at 90% now and will be 100% by the end of the season. I said worse case we go 10-6 and best case we go 12-4, it’s looking like we’ll be 12-4 or 11-5 this season along with a first class ticket to the NFC title game

    • Brian Martin

      There is no way I’m going to predict where Jaylon Smith is now and where he will be at the end of the season LOL. Right now he is moving around really well and should continue to get better with more repetitions. He does however need to trust himself more. He had a chance to make a few big plays behind the line of scrimmage but hesitated. Also, we never know how the season may turn out. Too many variables to take into account, but I think you’re pretty close with your prediction.

  • Javier Enrique Zetina Pinelo

    lo preocupante es que el receptor numero uno de los vaqueros dez brayant ya se hizo predecible y con su falta de velocidad ya no logra separacion con lo que es controlado por esquinas de la NFL como sucedio en este partido con jenkins que no le permitio nada o como sucede con josh norman y muchos mas ya no creando preocupacion por que lo pueden cubrir 1 a 1 y vencerlo urge substituirlo es hora de dejarlo ir y usar a butler en lo que se consigue otro receptor numero 1 en el draft

  • Stephen L. Holley

    Great comments below from Ethan and Brian!! Still say I would have loved to have seen TJ Watt at middle with Sean Lee on one side and Jaylon on the other!!! Send him up the middle often!! Would have been best linebacking group in football!! “Shades of Butkus…OR “MANSTER 2.0″!!! Number one pic ” TACO” has shown nothing!!!!

Dallas Cowboys

Jaguars Waive Barry Church; Could Cowboys Bring Him Back?

Jess Haynie

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Barry Church

Veteran safety Barry Church was released today by the Jacksonville Jaguars. Could he return home to the Dallas Cowboys, where he spent his first seven seasons?

Despite his leadership and consistency on defense, Dallas allowed Church to leave in free agency when Jacksonville gave him a lucrative deal. But if he clears waivers, could the Cowboys consider bring him back for depth and support during their likely playoff run?

Jane Slater of the NFL Network reported on this potential reunion:

Jane Slater on Twitter

Cowboys haven't reached out to S Barry Church but I'm told they are discussing the possibility of bringing him back to Dallas according to a source informed. Church, 30, was released by the Jags today and is familiar with the system having played there from 2010-2016.

The Cowboys have had solid play from their current starting safeties, Jeff Heath and Xavier Woods. Neither is a star, but the duo has not been a liability during the team's current five-game winning streak.

Church was a similar player, reliable if never exceptional, during his time in Dallas. He could be a nice insurance policy for the playoffs if something happened to one of the starters.

Barry knows the system. He never played for Kris Richard, but he was with Rod Marinelli for three seasons before leaving in free agency.

According to reports out of Jacksonville, Church is being released because the team wants to go with younger, cheaper players now that their season is over. There is no known injury keeping Barry from playing.

Of course, Dallas would have to make room on the roster to pick Church up. They could third-year prospect Darian Thompson, who is the current fourth man at safety.

Barry Church must now go through the 24-hour waiver process. A team may claim him, including the Cowboys. We'll see what the future holds.



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Dallas Cowboys

How the Dallas Cowboys Can Win the NFC East This Week

Jess Haynie

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Jaylon Smith, Eagles

It's only Week 15, but the Dallas Cowboys could become the 2018 NFC East Champions this week through a couple of scenarios. I thought we'd take a moment today to break down how the Boys can win their division and assure their spot in the playoffs.

With three weeks left in the regular season, most of the divisional games have already been played. The only two left to play are the Week 17 finales; Cowboys at Giants and Eagles at Redskins.

Here are the current standings:

  1. Dallas Cowboys 8-5 (4-1 in division)
  2. Philadelphia Eagles 6-7 (3-2 in division)
  3. Washington Redskins 6-7 (2-3 in division)
  4. New York Giants 5-8 (1-4 in division)

The Giants have been scrappy lately, winning four of their last five, but it's too late for them to try to win the division. Even if the Cowboys were to fall to 8-8, the best New York could do is tie them in overall record. They would have also split their head-to-head series, negating that tiebreaker.

At that point, it would come down to the record within the division. New York would improve to 2-4 with a win over Dallas in Week 17, but the Cowboys would still be 4-2 against the NFC East. Dallas would still be the division champion.

So, that knocks out New York. Technically, the Eagles and Redskins are still alive. But their margin is about as slim as it gets.

Both Philadelphia and Washington need the Cowboys to lose their last three games, and then to also win out themselves, to steal the NFC East crown.

Sean's Scout: Cowboys Thankful for Cooper in Division Win Over Redskins

Dallas Cowboys WR Amari Cooper

For the Redskins, it's about their record against division opponents. The best they can finish is 3-3, assuming they'd win their last game against the Eagles. With the head-to-head series against Dallas split this year, they would have to finish 9-7 overall and have the Cowboys drop to 8-8 to become NFC East Champions.

The Eagles also need to finish one game ahead of Dallas, but for a different reason. Philadelphia lost both their games with the Cowboys this year, so Dallas has the head-to-head tiebreaker.

So that really makes thing simple for Dallas; win just one of your last three games and you're the division champion.

Not only that, but even if Dallas were to fall this week against the Indianapolis Colts, they could still clinch the division with losses by the Eagles (@ Rams) and Redskins (@ Jaguars).

It would certainly behoove the Cowboys to get the division locked up now. They could then use the last two weeks of the season to get ready for the playoffs.

Dallas would have the freedom rest banged up players like Ezekiel Elliott and Zack Martin. It would also allow them to work in returning players such as Sean Lee and Tavon Austin and figure out their new rotations without pressure to win.

Beating the Colts on Sunday isn't a given; they're at home and desperate to stay alive in the AFC playoff picture. They are the toughest opponent Dallas has left until January.

But despite that, with the Eagles facing a juggernaut team and Washington trying to play football without a quarterback, there's a great chance that the Cowboys will be the NFC East Champions by Sunday night.



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Game Notes

#INDvsDAL: How The Game May Be Decided In The Red Zone

Kevin Brady

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Fantasy Football - Fantasy Football Quarterback Rankings - Week 2 2
Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

In many ways the Dallas Cowboys offense has found their stride in recent weeks. Over this five game win streak they have "found their identity" playing ball control offense and trusting their quarterback to make big throws when needed most. Of course the defense has been the star most weeks, but this offense should not be slept on either.

This doesn't mean the offense has been without their fair share of struggles, however, particularly in the red zone. Struggles that the numbers say could cost the Cowboys this weeks' game in Indianapolis if they don't get it cleaned up.

In terms of red zone offensive efficiency the Cowboys have been downright horrendous. In fact, they are dead-last in the league in success rate inside the 10 yard line, last in first-and-goal success rate, and 21st in success rate between the 11 and 20 yard lines.

There's no sugar-coating those numbers, they are bad. Especially when you consider that this team has arguably the league's best running back and a quarterback with the size and athleticism you might expect from a linebacker.

For as bad as the Cowboys are inside the red zone, the Colts are equally as good. Indianapolis is top 10 in terms of success rate inside the 10, at the goal line, and in first-and-goal success rate. They are also 11th in success rate between the 11 and 20 yard lines.

Despite not having the individual running back the Cowboys have, the Colts offensive line and skill players as a whole set them up a bit better when the field is shortened. Tight end Eric Ebron has been rather incredible in terms of production this season, catching 12 touchdowns on 58 receptions. Andrew Luck is also a more accurate quarterback than Dak Prescott, though Prescott should be a much more dangerous red zone threat than he currently is.

Bob Sturm on Twitter

I am working on the Cowboys 32nd ranked Goal-to-Go offensive numbers. They have run 35 of their 59 total plays out of Shotgun-11 Personnel. In those 35 plays, the average gain per snap is....12 INCHES. I am not kidding. They could out-gain that by running QB sneaks. I am amazed.

Of course, some of the Cowboys red zone struggles can be pinned on offensive coordinator Scott Linehan. Linehan has failed to scheme open the "easy" red zone touchdowns we see so often around the league. As pointed out by Bob Sturm on Twitter this week, the Cowboys' personnel groupings and play calls when in goal-to-go situations have been questionable to say the least. But while blame does fall on the coaches' shoulders, the players need to execute better as well.

Games in the NFL often come down to just a handful of plays, and red zone efficiency plays a key role in deciding the outcome of close games every week. If this is once again the case on Sunday, based on past performance, the Dallas Cowboys could be in trouble against the efficient Colts.



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