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3 Things the Cowboys Should Learn from Patriots’ Super Bowl LIII Victory

Jess Haynie



Jerry Jones, Jason Garrett

After last night's victory, the New England Patriots have won six Super Bowls since the Dallas Cowboys won their last one in 1995. The Patriots' success the last 18 seasons is a sobering thought for any NFL franchise, but especially those who haven't had much success during their run.

The Cowboys have already started doing things "The Patriot Way" these last few years. They have moved to a much more conservative model of handling their salary cap, refusing to pay big money for older players who are on the decline or even getting close to it. They have also improved their drafting and found more capable players in later rounds, filling out the depth chart more organically.

Beyond these more broad philosophies, though, Dallas should learn a few very specific things from how the Patriots beat the Los Angeles Rams last night. After all, it was the Rams who knocked the Cowboys out of the playoffs in the Divisional Round.

Today we're going to look at three lessons that Dallas could take from New England's Super Bowl win. The first involves the Most Valuable Player from last night's game, and what his performance might tell the Cowboys about one of their most important free agents.

Julian Edelman

New England Patriots WR Julian Edelman in Super Bowl LIII

Julian Edelman & Cole Beasley

Tom Brady threw to his favorite receiver 12 times last night, resulting in 10 catches and 141 yards for Edelman. It earned Julian, at 32 years old, his first MVP award in his three Super Bowl wins.

The comparison between Edelman and Dallas' Cole Beasley goes beyond their size and skin color. They are both devastating route runners who few can cover. They get open in the short and mid-range passing game as well as anyone in football.

Last night we saw the value of that to the Patriots' offense as they were able to control the ball and avoid turnovers, keeping the Rams' offense off the field. Brady was able to play his kind of game, ugly and conservative, utilizing his go-to guys in Edelman and Rob Gronkowski. They combined for 16 of the New England's 21 receptions.

Some have argued that Dallas doesn't need to re-sign Cole Beasley this offseason because they already have Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup. But last night's game showed the value of having two proven receiving threats, as Gronk seemed to be getting keyed on by the Rams' defense and allowing Edelman to take advantage.

Gallup, despite having a solid rookie year, is far from a bonafide threat at this point. And right now Dallas has no tight end of consequence, and even a high draft pick may not yield one in 2019.

If re-signed, Beasley would be one of Dallas' top two receivers in terms of talent. He would need to be properly utilized, of course, which hopefully would get fixed by the recent change in offensive coordinator.

Last night showed how much damage a guy like Cole can do when used correctly. And if defenses start to pay him more attention, then you hurt them with Cooper, Gallup, and others. Dak Prescott doesn't want to throw into double coverage or tight windows, so give him a WR who gets himself open as good as anybody in the game.

Rams, Patriots

Rams QB Jared Goff gets hit by Patriots LB Dont'a Hightower in Super Bowl LIII

The Rams Offensive Line Was Beatable

A few weeks ago, the Cowboys' defense got manhandled by Los Angeles. They ran for 273 yards and didn't allow Jared Goff to get sacked once. In fact, only one QB hit was registered by Dallas in that game.

Last night, the Rams only mustered 62 rushing yards on 18 attempts. Goff was hit twelve times, four of which were sacks.

Sure, everyone can have a bad game. The Rams' offensive line did grade out as the best group in football overall for 2018. But last night showed they weren't invincible, and that perhaps Dallas' defense isn't as strong as we thought earlier in the season.

Even after re-signing DeMarcus Lawrence this offseason, as the Cowboys should and likely will do, they still need to give attention to other areas. They need more consistency across the defensive line, with upgrades possible at every other spot.

Dallas has plenty of solid guys; Tyrone Crawford, Maliek Collins, Antwaun Woods. But where were they when the Rams were running all over the Cowboys a few weeks ago?

Lawrence can't do it alone as a pass rusher, either. Randy Gregory had some good games, but where is a guy who consistently takes advantage of going against a single blocker?

Last night reinforced what some have already said about the Cowboys' 2019 offseason; re-signing DeMarcus isn't enough. They need to make another significant addition on defense, most likely at defensive tackle, to take the group true championship level.

3 Things the Cowboys Should Learn from Patriots' Super Bowl LIII Victory 1

New England Patriots RB Sony Michel in Super Bowl LIII

Versatility in the Run Game

Even with Brady, Edelman, and Gronkowski out there as the offensive figureheads, the Patriots didn't neglect their rushing attack. Sony Michel had 18 carries for 94 yards and the game's only touchdown, while Rex Burkhead threw in 43 yards on seven carries.

Dallas can learn two things from this. One; Ezekiel Elliott is better than just about anyone that's ever played RB in New England (the exception being Curtis Martin). He's the best offensive weapon that Dallas has and he should be leaned on in just about any situation. Scott Linehan seemed to forget that at times last year.

But more importantly, there's a need for some variety in the run game. Rod Smith is basically a lesser version of Zeke, and what Dallas needs going forward is someone who brings a true change of pace.

Elliott can do it all, even go line up at receiver, but he still has a specific kind of athleticism. Having a guy like Burkhead who offers a different style of running from your lead back brings new wrinkles and works against the expectations that defensive players build up throughout a game.

Granted, Dallas needs more from its passing game at times to open up the run. There's only so much Elliott or anyone else can do if defenses are happy to load up the box and force Dak Prescott to beat them.

This season it felt like Dallas suffered some identity crises at times on offense. Part of that was due to health issues on the offensive line, with All-Pros missing time and limiting their typical rushing dominance.

But there were several games were Zeke was averaging 5.0 or more in rushing and then wasn't getting the ball, leaving us all shaking our heads and calling for Linehan's.

Like the Patriots did last night, Dallas needs to remember to lean on its strengths more. Remember who your RB and QB are, and find the right mix again to make both effective. They haven't really had that since 2016.

Hopefully Kellen Moore will do a better job.

Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!


Dallas Cowboys

3 Biggest Non-Divisional Games on the Dallas Cowboys 2019 Schedule

John Williams



The Dallas Cowboys Are Legit Contenders

There hasn't been a repeat champion of the NFC East since the early 2000's when the Philadelphia Eagles won three in a row from 2002-2004. Unfortunately, history is already against the Dallas Cowboys repeating as division champions again in 2019. For the Cowboys to repeat as NFC East champs, they'll have to navigate a tough slate of opponents.

That's the reward of winning your division.

Though much can change in the next five months as the NFL prepares to play football games that matter in September, there are already key matchups for this young Dallas Cowboys team. We know the NFC East is always a difficult division to play in. The rivalries make for a lot of close games. The Cowboys have to play well in the division to have a shot at winning the division. But with the schedule they have, they'll have to win some contests that they probably shouldn't to stake their claim as Super Bowl contenders.

Divisional games are always important, but let's take a look at the three games outside the division that will have the greatest impact on the fortunes of the Dallas Cowboys 2019 season.

1. Week 4 - Dallas Cowboys @ New Orleans Saints

The Cowboys have an opportunity to get off to a hot start in the first quarter of the season with games at home against the New York Giants and Miami Dolphins, and a road game against the Washington Redskins. There's a legitimate chance for them to start the season 3-0.

Whatever momentum they do gain in the first three games of the season could all come to a screeching halt with a tough week four matchup in New Orleans.

New Orleans has been a tough place to play in the Sean Payton and Drew Brees eras. The Dallas Cowboys defense will have a tough test attempting to slow down the high scoring Saints offense two years in a row.

When the two teams met in 2018, the Dallas Cowboys defense completely dominated the Saints. On that day, they held the Saints to 176 total yards (111 passing and 65 rushing) and an amazing 3 for 11 on third downs. It was especially impressive because the Cowboys only had two sacks and one turnover in the game. The Saints just couldn't find a rhythm as the Cowboys came with a lot of energy and physicality. It was a defining moment for this young defense and gave us a picture of what they could possibly be.

If the Dallas Cowboys can find a way to win this game and potentially start the season 4-0, it would be huge for their playoff hopes.

On the flip side, if the Dallas Cowboys start the season 2-1, they could be going into New Orleans with the possibility of starting the season 2-2. The pressure would be incredible for the Cowboys the rest of the way with the slate of teams they have at the end of the season.

The Cowboys have to leave the first quarter of the season at worst 3-1 to have a shot at the playoffs in 2019.

2. Week 14 - Dallas Cowboys @ the Chicago Bears

The toughest part of the Dallas Cowboys schedule always comes around the Thanksgiving day game, and this season is no different. Starting with their week 12 game at the New England Patriots, the Cowboys will play three games in 12 days culminating with their week 14 game against the Chicago Bears.

The Bears, coming off an NFC North title in 2018, are similar to the Dallas Cowboys. They boast an incredible defense with one of the best pass rushers in the NFL and a young an improving offense.

Playing in Chicago is always a tough task, but doing so in December is a tall order. Doing so after going to New England, then playing at home, then going back on the road seems like an impossible task.

It's a game that will likely be a grind-it-out affair, as both teams want to run the ball and play defense. Depending on what happens in the previous two games, this could be a must-win to start the final quarter of the season.

3. Week 15 - Los Angeles Rams @ Dallas Cowboys

The rematch of the NFC Divisional round matchup is just another in a long line of important conference matchups for the Dallas Cowboys. It will be a very important game for the Cowboys because it will be a home game after their three games in 12 days stretch. They'll have to go to Foxboro and Chicago in a span of 12 days, which makes for tough travel.

Facing a Los Angeles Rams team that absolutely dominated the Dallas Cowboys defense is an opportunity for redemption, but will have huge implications on the playoff standings for the NFC.

The Cowboys and Rams could both be leading their divisions at this point in the season, which would make this game important for seeding. Or, they could be fighting for a wild card berth. Either way, a conference game this late in the season has huge consequences in the way the tie breakers shake out.

This one will carry an emotional importance as well.

The way the 2018 season ended for this club, especially on the defensive side of the ball, left a lot of players -- and fans -- with a bad taste in their mouths. It completely changed the way a lot of people view a defense that finished in the top 10 in most major defensive categories. The loss to the Rams was one of the worst defensive performances of the season and it came at the worst time of the season.

Not only was the defense bad, but the running game was terrible that day too. Ezekiel Elliott only managed 47 yards on 20 carries for one of the worst rushing performances of his career. It took a really good second half from Dak Prescott and the passing game to get the Cowboys within one score with a shot to get the ball back at the end of the game.

If the Cowboys can get revenge for that playoff loss, it would do a lot for the morale of this team heading into the final two weeks of the season.

These conference games will have huge implications for the Cowboys and their playoff hopes. Though the NFC East will have a bigger impact on their ability to win the division, how they fare in these three games will give us a better understanding of the legitimacy of their contender status. Each of these games is against the team that won the division the previous season. If they can go 2-1 against this quality of competition, then we'll know this is a team to be reckoned with heading into January.

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Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys 2019 Schedule: Reaction and Analysis

Jess Haynie



Dak Prescott/Carson Wentz Is No Rivalry, And There's Only One Side To Blame

The full NFL 2019 regular season schedule was released last night. Here is my reaction to the Dallas Cowboys' schedule and analysis of how what I think it means for them next season.

Of course, a schedule can have a very different feel come September-December than it does in April. The teams don't change, but their circumstances can be wildly altered by the time they actually have to take the field.

Just ask the Cowboys' opponents from the 2015 season. Nobody was looking forward to playing that Dallas team coming off its 12-4 playoff run the year before. But all it took was a Tony Romo injury in the preseason to suddenly make the Cowboys a cupcake.

But for now, we can only react to what we know. Before we dive in, here's a quick reminder of the complete 2019 regular season schedule for the Dallas Cowboys.

    • Week 1: New York Giants @ Cowboys
    • Week 2: Cowboys @ Washington Redskins
    • Week 3: Miami Dolphins @ Cowboys 
    • Week 4: Cowboys @ New Orleans Saints (SNF)
    • Week 5: Green Bay Packers @ Cowboys
    • Week 6: Cowboys @ New York Jets
    • Week 7: Philadelphia Eagles @ Cowboys (SNF)
    • Week 8: BYE
    • Week 9: Cowboys @ New York Giants  (SNF)
    • Week 10: Minnesota Vikings @ Cowboys (MNF)
    • Week 11: Cowboys @ Detroit Lions
    • Week 12: Cowboys @ New England Patriots
    • Week 13: Buffalo Bills @ Cowboys (T'giving)
    • Week 14: Cowboys @ Chicago Bears (TNF)
    • Week 15: Los Angeles Rams @ Cowboys
    • Week 16: Cowboys @ Philadelphia Eagles
    • Week 17: Washington Redskins @ Cowboys

We already knew this wasn't going to be an easy slate. The Cowboys won the NFC East last year, meaning they were guaranteed to play against four division winners this season; Bears, Patriots, Rams, and Saints. They also get the regular two games against the Eagles, who were a Wild Card team last year.

Let's just talk about those six games for a minute. New England is still New England; Tom Brady and Bill Belichick will ensure that it's one of the toughest games of the year, and especially on the road. The Patriots have won 12-straight home games going back to 2017.

The Bears and Rams are both rising teams that shouldn't suffer any drop off next year. Chicago QB Mitch Trubisky is entering his third year and LA's Jared Goff will be in his fourth season, but only third in Sean McVay's offense. Both have starting QBs with rookie contacts, which means having the resources to load up on talent elsewhere on the roster.

Much like the Patriots, the Saints still have their franchise QB and coach and should remain a top team. They will also be out for blood after the Cowboys humiliated them last season, as will their fans, and that could make for a very tough road game in New Orleans.

Then, of course, there are the Eagles.

Eagles vs Redskins Tonight; What Outcome is Best for Cowboys?

Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott

The NFC East appears to be a two-horse race in 2019. The Giants are arguably the worst team in the NFL right now and the Redskins are dealing with major QB problems. It should be Dallas and Philadelphia once again battling for the top spot.

The Cowboys and Eagles should both get some cushy wins against their fellow division opponents. It could come down to their games against each other, and so far Dallas has dominated Philly when Carson Wentz is playing QB. With Nick Foles gone, how will that impact the Eagles going forward?

As for the rest of the schedule, the only other game that seems easy on paper is against the Miami Dolphins. Teams like the Bills, Jets, and Lions could go either way. The Packers and Vikings should both be tough opponents.

The teams aside, the general layout of the schedule isn't bad. The Week 8 bye is nice for a break right in the middle of the season. Dallas only has to play back-to-back road games one time, Weeks 11 and 12 against the Lions and Patriots.

The first three games against the Giants, Redskins, and Dolphins give Dallas a great opportunity to start the year right and build momentum. They will definitely need to go into December with some cushion, because that stretch against the Bears, Rams, and Eagles could be very difficult.

Overall it's a solid schedule. It's got some tough spots because of the Cowboys' performance last year, but that means they were a good team then and they stand to be even better now. There's nothing here that prevents Dallas from building on the success of 2018 and making then an ever better season.

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Dallas Cowboys

BREAKING: Dallas Cowboys 2019 Regular Season Schedule Announced

Mauricio Rodriguez



The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly for Cowboys against Philadelphia

Although we're still months away from the 2019 NFL season, we finally know how the Dallas Cowboys' games will line up this year. The entire league schedule was just released. I know just how much you want to know who the Cowboys will be playing each week so don't let me keep you.

Here's the full 2019 Dallas Cowboys schedule and a few notes at the end. Enjoy!

  • Week 1: New York Giants @ Cowboys
    • Sun, Sep 8th, 3:25p
  • Week 2: Cowboys @ Washington Redskins
    • Sun, Sep 15th, 12:00p
  • Week 3: Miami Dolphins @ Cowboys 
    • Sun, Sep 22nd, 12:00p
  • Week 4: Cowboys @ New Orleans Saints
    • Sunday Night Football
    • Sep, 29th, 7:20p
  • Week 5: Green Bay Packers @ Cowboys
    • Sun, Oct 6th, 3:25p
  • Week 6: Cowboys @ New York Jets
    • Sun, Oct 13th, 3:25p
  • Week 7: Philadelphia Eagles @ Cowboys
    • Sun, Oct 20th, 7:20p
  • Week 8: Bye
  • Week 9: Cowboys @ New York Giants 
    • Monday Night Football
    • Mon, Nov 4th, 7:15p
  • Week 10: Minnesota Vikings @ Cowboys
    • Sun, Nov 10th, 7:20p
  • Week 11: Cowboys @ Detroit Lions
    • Sun, Nov 17th, 12:00p
  • Week 12: Cowboys @ New England Patriots
    • Sun, Nov 24th, 3:25p
  • Week 13: Buffalo Bills @ Cowboys
    • Thanksgiving Day
    • Thu, Nov 28th, 3:30p
  • Week 14: Cowboys @ Chicago Bears
    • Thursday Night Football
    • Thu, Dec 4th, 7:20p
  • Week 15: Los Angeles Rams @ Cowboys
    • Sun, Dec 15th, 3:25p
  • Week 16: Cowboys @ Philadelphia Eagles
    • Sun, Dec 22nd, 3:25p
  • Week 17: Washington Redskins @ Cowboys
    • Sun, Dec 29th, 12:00p

A few notes and thoughts...

  • It feels like the Cowboys play the Giants on week 1 just about every year. In 2018 it was the Carolina Panthers, but now we're back to watching this divisional matchup early on.
  • I love that the Cowboys and Saints will matchup against each other on primetime on week 3. Last season's Thursday Night game between the two was one of the best games of the season.
  • Having a bye week right in the middle of the season is pretty ideal, and the Cowboys have been lucky in this regard lately. This time they'll rest on the eight week of the season.
  • Overall, this seems like a tougher calendar than last year's. This only makes sense given that the Cowboys are the current NFC East champions and are bound to face tougher opponents.
  • A particularly tough stretch might take place from week 12 to week 17. The Patriots, Bears and Rams will be on the list as well as two divisional rivals in the Eagles and Redskins.

Tell me what you think about "BREAKING: Dallas Cowboys 2019 Regular Season Schedule Announced" in the comments below, or tweet me @MauNFL 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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