Losing to the Los Angeles Rams in Week 1 of the 2020 season was no doubt a tough blow for the Dallas Cowboys, especially considering the way they lost. If just a few things would’ve gone a little different or if a few players would’ve played slightly better, the outcome of the game last week could very well gone in the Cowboys favor.
With that in mind, I thought I would single out a handful of the Dallas Cowboys players who I believe need to improve in Week 2 against the Atlanta Falcons. Each and every one of these players could stand to take their game to the next level and if they’re capable of doing that the Cowboys as a whole will be much better for it.
Let’s take a look…
S, Darian Thompson
The stat sheet may say Darian Thompson led the Dallas Cowboys in tackles last week against the Rams, but stats can be misleading. Thompson also missed a lot of tackles and was late on several assignments in the passing game. For the majority of his career he’s been nothing more than a backup/fill in, which is exactly what he looked like Sunday night. If his game doesn’t improve his days as a starter could be numbered, especially with Brandon Carr waiting in the wings.
DT, Dontari Poe
The Dallas Cowboys signed Dontari Poe in the offseason in the hopes of upgrading the middle of their defensive line. If the way he played against the Los Angeles Rams last week was any indication, they may have wasted their money. He was continually pushed off the line of scrimmage last week, almost as if he was wearing rollerskates. From here on out he needs to become the space eater he was supposed to be, otherwise the Cowboys defense could collapse around him.
LB, Jaylon Smith
The Dallas Cowboys moved Jaylon Smith from MIKE LB to WILL LB this year and so far it looks like a questionable decision. He excelled in that role during his time at Notre Dame, but more times than not last Sunday night he looked stiff and hesitant both defending the run and pass. With the Cowboys already extremely thin at LB, Smith needs to step up his game as soon as possible. Hopefully he just needed to knock a little rust off against the Rams last week.
TE, Dalton Schultz
Dalton Schultz became the next man up and starting TE for the Dallas Cowboys last week. He’s arguably more of a complete TE then Blake Jarwin, but has virtually no starting experience or production as of yet in the NFL. He’s under a lot of pressure to quickly become a starting caliber player, and how he performs under that pressure could factor into the offensive success the Cowboys have from here on out. There’s no questioning he needs to improve his game and quickly.
RT, Terence Steele
For the Dallas Cowboys to start Terence Steele – an undrafted free agent in 2020 – showed the confidence they have in him as a player. He wasn’t terrible in Week 1 and probably played above expectations, but he also started to get exposed a little by the Rams towards the end of the game. Teams are going to pick up on that and attack him the same way. He will need to figure out some way to combat that this week against the Falcons, otherwise the Cowboys could be in big trouble.