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9 Things to Right the Ship in Dallas

You know, since the season ended, you’ve been offered dozens upon dozens of articles and columns from journalists and bloggers alike with the top five or ten, or whatever number, things that the Cowboys must do to bounce back from the woes that buried them in 2008. A season that ended with the unsightly demise of the team’s final shreds of hope in Philly.

Bryson Treece

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You know, since the season ended, you've been offered dozens upon dozens of articles and columns from journalists and bloggers alike with the top five or ten, or whatever number, things that the Cowboys must do to bounce back from the woes that buried them in 2008. A season that ended with the unsightly demise of the team's final shreds of hope in Philly.

So here's the top ....... You know what? I don't know how many things we're going to come up with here for the Cowboys to do this off-season, I mean in addition to what they've already done of course. So we're going to take a stab at it from a more site-wide perspective and let the number fall where it may. Here's what the Cowboys need to do before August:

  1. It's obvious, but playing as a team is potentially the best thing they can do. No more appeasing wide receivers who want the ball more, no more trying to prove who can do what and journalists wrong in their doom and gloom opinions. It's time to step up and give everything you have every game, to play for your teammate as though your life depends on it.
  2. Because their life sort of does depend on it, or their livelihood rather. Now that Jerry Jones has cut Terrell Owens, it should be crystal clear to all the players that who you are, what you can do, and what you bring to the game on the field doesn't matter. If Jerry can cut T.O. then he can cut anyone on that team, and that message needs to be replayed through the P.A. system at Valley Ranch for the next five months.
  3. Finding the proper motivation to go and out win some ballgames can be a challenging task nowadays, but it should be simple. These players all want a Super Bowl, and we've just gotten a real good demonstration of how a 9-7 team can reach the Super Bowl and lose it by so little ... use that to motivate these players.
  4. Now that Owens is gone and that message from #2 is still resonating in everyone's mind, stop overpaying the players! It's time to go by market value and if a player doesn't like it, he can go elsewhere. Cutting Owens just proves to him that it's not a matter of if he'll be cut for being selfish or greedy, but when. Fear is a great motivator.
  5. Be mean. It's time for Colombo and Ratliff and Davis and Newman and ... everyone ... to get mean on the field. Start dominating the field and even the players that can't dominate, act like it cause you'll play harder that way. Get mad, show some emotion and go after the hit like that guy just beat your sister! It's time to make the rest of the league fear the amount of talent on this team.
  6. Someone has got to step up and lead this team. Even if Wade didn't resemble a puppet and Garrett wasn't too afraid of stepping on anyone's toes, they can't lead this team. It needs to be a player that does it and there is none better for the job than the quarterback. Troy Aikman never hung his head in shame after a bad play, he yelled across the field so that whoever just screwed up could hear him over the crowd noise! It's time for Romo to find his outdoor voice and tell everyone very loudly when they screw up, including himself.
  7. Fans need to bring their outdoor voices to games too! What is the point of home field advantage if the fans don't do their part? Fans at games should leave a game calling in sick to work for the next day because they can't talk anymore. When the team organizes a special deal like a white out, the fans need to go overboard trying to do it. I'm talking about white jerseys, shoes, pants, hell ... white faces and hair even.
  8. Fans should also stop buying into everything that is reported by ESPN (Everlasting Sorry Pieces of .... Nevermind). ESPN has a reputation for stirring up controversy where there is none, and in the case of Owens prematurely, for a reason, it's because they do it! Reporters rarely have as many answers as they proclaim and very often a good journalist is one that will fudge a couple of details for a really juicy story. That's not the hype you should be buying into ... it only feeds their narcissistic need to do it again and again and that kind of attention is bad for any team.
  9. And finally ... when is Darren Woodson going to go all Dat Nguyen on us and become a coach for our struggling secondary? I can only imagine ...

Well there you have it ... 9 things this team must do to be successful next year. And just so nobody confuses me with any one of these journalists who pretend to have all the answers in five easy steps, these nine things are but nine of the many that need to be done, but these are a good start and in logical order after cutting Owens.

GO COWBOYS!!!



Nothing gives me greater joy than the experience of being a Dallas Cowboys fan come time to check another victory on the schedule every Sunday. I live Inside the Star everyday and blog on it occasionally, as well. Follow us on Twitter - @InsideTheStarDC

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9 Comments
  • Theo

    Hey man you are so right about this stuff. The funny things is though is none of those 9 listed have to do with talent, it all has to do with is this team being able to give it everything they got, because the talent is already there.

  • https://insidethestar.com/ BTreece

    Absolutely … the talent is there by the truck load. It’s just a matter of letting it show. I actually forgot one thing … and that’s that this team must be play the right way, Garrett and Wade must learn to utilize their players correctly and quit trying to make them play in roles where they aren’t any good. There is enough diversity on this team that you can actually make a game plan based solely on what he each player brings to the table offensively.

    The running game is set based on what each back can do. Choice is the best starter because he is a good mixture of speed/elusiveness and power. Jones has great speed and elusiveness, and Barber is the closer. A good running game, one like that which keeps defenses on their toes trying to find a way to predict what’s being done each play, opens up the passing game so Williams, Austin, Witten, and Bennett can shine.

    You don’t even need to worry greatly about the line then because the run will put a stop to so much blitzing.

  • http://www.cowboysfanrebellion.com Craig Cotton

    #10: Fire Jerry as GM and hire a real one.

    Sorry, I had to. 🙂

    Craig

    http://www.CowboysFanRebellion.com

  • https://insidethestar.com/ BTreece

    lol … I know. So far he’s making some good moves, will take some time to see if they stick, but at least some effort to fix the team is there now.

  • http://www.cowboysfanrebellion.com Craig Cotton

    I think the effort that you see isn’t Jerry making moves, it’s him finally listening to the people around him more. It’s tantamount to him actually hiring a GM. It’s not the same, but at least it’s close.

    http://www.CowboysFanRebellion.com

  • https://insidethestar.com/ BTreece

    Exactly my point. It’s closer than he’s been in a long time, and we’re getting some positive results out of it now, dating back to the 08 draft class. Nobody can call that a bad draft for the ‘Boys after seeing them play. Now he’s making smart moves to help the team be a team, I’m just hoping it’s Steven Jones he’s listening to since he will likely be the one to take over for Jerry someday.

  • http://www.cowboysfanrebellion.com Craig Cotton

    Whatever.

    Jerry still sucks. 😛

    http://www.CowboysFanRebellion.com

  • https://insidethestar.com/ BTreece

    That was mature ….

    😉

  • http://www.cowboysfanrebellion.com Craig Cotton

    lol

    YOUR FACE!

Game Notes

SEA 24, DAL 13: Cowboys Offensive Woes Continue

Jess Haynie

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Ezekiel Elliott, Connor Williams, Seahawks
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Inefficient passing and turnovers cost the Dallas Cowboys today, leading to a 24-13 loss to the previously winless Seahawks in Seattle.

Dallas's offense produced just a single field goal by halftime, with Dak Prescott only completing two of his first nine passes for just four yards. He got better as the game went on, but still finished with just 168 passing yards and a single touchdown.

The box score will say Prescott threw two interceptions, but one was a bobbled catch by Michael Gallup. The other was not a good throw, trying to find Blake Jarwin in traffic. Seahawks LB Bobby Wagner went up and caused a tipped ball.

Both picks ended up in the hands, and ankle, of Seattle safety Earl Thomas. He drew a taunting penalty for bowing at the Dallas sideline on his second INT, almost as if mocking the team for not giving up enough to trade for him.

Ezekiel Elliott did have a big day on the ground; 127 yards on just 16 carries. It's his first 100-yard game of 2018. But the fact Dallas couldn't capitalize on Zeke's production was just further indication of their offensive dysfunction.

Hurry home, Travis Frederick. Who knew you were our Offensive MVP?

Other Notes

  • While Zeke did have a strong rushing performance, two critical errors were big parts of the Cowboys' loss. An early TD catch was called back because Zeke stepped out of bounds before making the reception. Also, Elliott's fumble in the 4th quarter squandered a strong drive that could have started Dallas' comeback attempt sooner.
  • Dallas' defense looked good early but clearly wore down over time. Seattle RB Chris Carson ground out 102 rushing yards on 32 carries. Russell Wilson took advantage of some miscues in the secondary for two touchdown passes and 192 passing yards.
  • Tyrone Crawford got called for another bogus "roughing the passer" penalty after a clean hit on Wilson early in the game. The NFL has to get this figured out, because it's becoming a bigger eyesore for the league than any amount of kneeling ever did.
  • Tavon Austin got his second touchdown catch this year, the only Cowboy to record a receiving TD so far this year. Tight end Geoff Swaim had five catches for 47 yards, reminding the world that Dallas actually has TEs on their roster.
  • Speaking of which, as Troy Aikman commented on during the game, Rico Gathers was not used in redzone passing situations. Why is Gathers dressing for games and not being utilized in the one situation where he's not a liability?
  • Sean Lee left the game after reaggravating the hamstring injury he suffered last week. It meant more playing time for first-round pick Leighton Vander Esch, who reminded you of Lee with how he was getting to the ball. Both finished the game credited with 11 tackles each.
  • Rookie guard Connor Williams continues to struggle when up against powerful defensive tackles. It's not a surprise for a converted college tackle, but growing pains still cost you on game day. Dallas may have to consider starting Joe Looney at guard once Travis Frederick comes back.
  • Kicker Brett Maher went 2/2 today on field goals, including a 50-yarder. He has hit four straight after missing his one attempt against Carolina in Week 1.
  • The rest of the NFC East won their games today. That puts Philly and Washington at 2-1 and now evens up the Cowboys and Giants at 1-2.
  • Dallas returns home next week to host the Detroit Lions, who are currently 0-2. They play the Patriots tonight.



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Game Notes

Why The Seahawks Will Be Looking Into A Mirror Against The Cowboys Sunday

Kevin Brady

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Sean's Scout: Starting Front 7 Sets Tone Early, Cowboys Depth Falters in Loss to Bengals 1
AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth

For the better part of the last decade one defense has reigned supreme over the NFC. One defense has continually put their offense and team in position to win big games, including a dominant Super Bowl win over one of the more productive offenses in recent memory.

That defense, of course, belonged to the Seattle Seahawks.

With a secondary deemed as the "Legion of Boom" and a defensive line which rotated through Pro Bowl level talent routinely, the Seahawks bolstered one of the best defenses the NFL has ever seen. A defense which perfectly complimented the physical, run first philosophy their offense lived by.

Players like Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, Michael Bennett, and Bobby Wagner will arguably be Hall of Famers one day, and they wreaked havoc on the conference for a strong 3-5 year stretch.

Now, however, things are changing.

Gone are many of the elite players which once bolstered the Seattle defense to top-tier status, and while some big names remain, the talent level simply isn't the same. The Seahawks missed the postseason a year ago, and now sit at 0-2 before their home opener today against the Cowboys.

Their window looks to be closed, while their opponent today is looking to build their defense (and team) in the mold of what once was in Seattle.

Former Seahawks defensive coordinator Kris Richard has come to Dallas and brought with him a more aggressive defensive philosophy, one which he deployed successfully with the Seahawks. Under Richard the Cowboys are blitzing more often on third down than they have in the past under Rod Marinelli, they're utilizing more single high safety looks, and they are allowing their long and talented corners to do what they do best in coverage.

The Seahawks once leaned on a deep pass rush and long, physical secondary. The 2018 Cowboys are looking to do the same thing.

The Seahawks once leaned on a mobile quarterback to make plays with his feet while relying on a strong running game and one of the league's best backs. The 2018 Cowboys are looking to do the same thing.

Byron Jones and Chidobe Awuzie look like they were molded in a 2013-Seahawks lab as cornerbacks, and DeMarcus Lawrence is as productive as any pass rusher those defenses had. Of course, we aren't able to say the Cowboys have the consistent front four depth that those Seattle teams did or that they have the single high safety of Earl Thomas' caliber, but the preliminary pieces are clearly in place.

Today the Cowboys look to improve to 2-1 with a conference road win. But, they also look to bury the Seahawks in the past and take another step towards cementing themselves as one of the elite defenses in the NFC.

It won't happen over night, but anyone can see that the potential is there.



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Player News

Could Cowboys DT Datone Jones Earn Starting Role with Maliek Collins Out?

Sean Martin

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Could Cowboys DT Datone Jones Earn Starting Role with Maliek Collins Out?

Dallas Cowboys Defensive Tackle Maliek Collins is out for Sunday's game at the Seahawks with a sprained knee, further opening the door for Datone Jones to earn his spot among the "Hot Boyz". The moniker given to the Cowboys front seven this season, the team's depth up front has been a strength in totaling nine sacks through two games.

Last season, Datone Jones was a part of this rotation late in the year. Coming on strong at the 3T position while Maliek Collins played at the 1T, Jones is the type of versatile defender with veteran experience that Rod Marinelli can get the most out of.

Returning from a knee injury himself, Jones may take some time to be the disruptive interior player we saw at the end of 2017. Through two games, the Cowboys had played Collins at his original position of 3T, with Antwaun Woods doing more than enough to continue playing at 1T.

This potentially makes Collins and Jones two players fighting for one spot. Collins followed up his performance at the Panthers with a sack of Cam Newton by constantly playing in the Giants' backfield last week.

John Owning on Twitter

Guessing that means no Irving, I'd say Tyrone Crawford then Antwaun Woods. I have high hopes for Datone Jones once he returns though. https://t.co/9frjFK2J9J

A player determined to not let his team's misuse slow down his progress, after an incredible rookie season at 3T, Collins is returning from his second broken foot in three years.

Through his five years in the NFL, Jones has only played a full 16 games once.

The most games Datone has started in a season is four. Maliek Collins should like his chances of playing over Jones once both are healthy, and the Cowboys should be equally thrilled with the opportunity to keep both fresh in rotation.

Following Sunday's game in Seattle and next week against the Lions, the Cowboys can return David Irving from suspension to play all over their defensive line - his best position also being at three technique.

Without the wealth of talent they now have at all four positions up front, the Cowboys have had too many bodies to fill similar roles in the past. Thanks to the addition of Kris Richard along with strong edge play from Taco Charlton and rookie Dorance Armstrong, the Cowboys defensive line can do no wrong in 2018, and using Jones in week three and beyond should only add to this.

The Cowboys biggest key to success against the Seahawks will be containing Russell Wilson. Pressuring him in his face to collapse the pocket gives Dallas a chance to really slow the Seahawks offense, something they'll be relying on Jones to help them do as DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory also work with favorable match ups at defensive end.

Tell us what you think about "Could Cowboys DT Datone Jones Earn Starting Role with Maliek Collins Out?" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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