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Is Ryan Switzer To Blame For The Cowboys Loss?

Brian Martin



Is Ryan Switzer To Blame For The Cowboys Loss? 2

Whenever the Dallas Cowboys don't quite play up to expectations, the blame game always rears its ugly head. That is exactly what is happening after the Los Angeles Rams came to town and handed the Cowboys their second loss of the 2017 season. Everybody will have their own opinions about the loss, but where should the blame actually be placed?

I know that it's going to be a copout, but I firmly believe that a team wins and loses together. I don't believe that one individual person is responsible for a win or loss. I believe it takes a collective unit working together to accomplish what they set out to do. And, I know head coach Jason Garrett believes the same.

Mike Leslie on Twitter

Jason Garrett: "Everybody contributed to the loss. You win as a team, and you lose as a team." #Cowboys #Rams

Even though I believe football is the ultimate team sport, it doesn't mean that one individual play can't change the outcome of an entire game. I think that is exactly what happened to the Dallas Cowboys Sunday afternoon against the Los Angeles Rams.

Now, you can blame the loss on the disappearing act the offense had in the second half of the game if you want to, or the defenses inability to contain Todd Gurley and the Rams offense. But, I think it was another play that changed the momentum and outcome of the entire game.

WR Ryan Switzer

WR Ryan Switzer

Unfortunately, it's a play that Cowboys Nation would like to forget, but the Ryan Switzer muffed punt could possibly be the one single play that changed the entire trajectory of the game. Fair or not, I believe that is when the momentum of the game shifted from the Cowboys to the Rams.

Ryan Switzer's fumbled punt return allowed the Rams to pick up the loose ball at the Cowboys 18 yard line with 6:33 left on the clock before halftime. At the time, the Cowboys had a 17-6 lead over Los Angeles, but the Rams offense was able to capitalize off of Switzer's turnover by scoring their first touchdown of the game and decrease the deficit to 17-13.

Before Switzer's turnover, the Cowboys offense had three consecutive drives putting points on the board against the Rams. The Rams defense simply didn't have any answers, which means a fair catch by Switzer would have likely increased the Cowboys lead heading into halftime.

The Dallas Cowboys were still able to head into halftime with a 24-16 lead over the Rams, but it could've easily been 31-16 or at the very least 27-16. That's a much larger deficit to come back from and could have possibly sealed the game then and there. But, we all know how the second half of the game for the Cowboys turned out.

Given what we know now having seen how the entire game turned out, it's probably unfair to solely place the blame on Ryan Switzer and his muffed punt. But, there is no denying that it might have been the turning point in the game. That is why whoever usually wins the turnover battle, typically wins the game.

Do you blame Ryan Switzer for the Cowboys loss?

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.

  • tom

    special teams was anything but
    muff punt and 66 KO return really put boys in 2 holes that should not have existed.

    • Brian Martin

      I completely agree. The muffed punt and long kickoff return resulted in 10 points for the Rams. It’s entirely possible those two plays alone cost the Cowboys the game.

  • nick

    Yes the rams stole the momentum from there and we never got it back. Switzer said it’s not the first and probably not the last time. I hate to hear that but I guess if it only happens every few years or longer I can deal with it. But I can’t deal with him not calling a fair catch when there is absolutely no where to run and there’s already a few players in your face. We’re only four games in and I’ve seen him do this atleast twice. It’s unacceptable in my eyes, this is not college and 1 turnover can cost your entire team the game which we seen Sunday. They scored a TD off of it and we lost by 5 points. He has to call for the fair catch when there’s nothing there, not only because it can cost your brothers on the team a game but for his safety as well. Hopefully he learned something here and isnt going to have to learn by getting seriously hurt. Fortunately I’m sure these coaches are straightening all of this out with there fearless rookie returner, especially coach bisacia. I think heath should have saved that TD by Gurley. Heath has not looked good yet and if he struggles against the packers I hope they let woods get all the 1st team reps during the bye week and start him against the 49ers. And marrinelli is going to have to quit playing his corners 10 yards off the line. It’s seems to kill us when he does this. But when they play up on the receiver at the line they seem to be alot more comfortable . He’s going to have to adjust that part of his scheme for these corners because it’ seems that’s all of there strengths is when they’re playing tight sticky man coverage. Any ways switzer is the main reason i think we lost but heaths poor safety play and marrinelli not playing to his corners strengths and never bringing any extra pressure whatsoever helped lose this game. If we can get Lee, Hitchens, and irving all back this week or after the bye i think we’ll be fine. But marrinelli is also going to have to play to these corners strengths and also bring a little creative and unpredictable blitzes every once in a while. I’m so happy for jaylon and how far hes come and i truly beleive he’s going to be great but he’s not there yet. He might not get there untill he gets through this season and another offseason. He’s just a tick late most of the time. He’s making tons of tackles but the majority of them are after 3 or 4 yards past the line of scrimmage. That tick late is the difference between 1-2 yards a pop and 3-4 yards a pop. For now I think hitch will be an upgrade but I’m sure by the end of the year or early next season that will change. Like I said I’m so happy for jaylon and he’s going to be a great LB but I think hitch will give us an upgrade on defense for now. If marrinelli can make some adjustments and we can get Lee hitch and irving all back and woods can be an upgrade over heath, I think we’ll get this defense back to being really solid. I think woods is going to be really good.

  • TreFKennedy88

    Truth Brian, what really grinds my gears are ppl actually defending him, like we aren’t the same fan base that went off against T will when he didn’t get out of bounds against the G men, week one last season. Switzer’s response really pissed me off talking about “It won’t be the first or last time” like who the f*** is this guy???

    • Brian Martin

      I agree. I wasn’t really happy about Switzer’s response either, even though he was just being honest. I think he will be a difference maker this year in the return game, but he definitely needs to work on his situational awareness. You have to have a better understanding of when you can be aggressive and when it is best to just call for a fair catch.

      • TreFKennedy88

        Truth, side note I counted at least 4 times Dak over threw Dez Sunday, smh if Dak was more accurate Dez would have at least had 130+ yards and we would have won, and would you believe Dez has more yards and touchdowns than Julio and Aj green but Dez isn’t elite anymore lol at least that’s what “They” say right lol

        • Brian Martin

          Honestly think that Prescott is trying to shoulder too much of the load and it’s affecting his accuracy. He seems to be pressing just a little bit, but if we start seeing more consistency in the running game, I think he will settle down. Of course, the OC could help him out by moving the pocket. He is much more accurate when throwing on the run.

      • BadgeofHonor

        Watched him all 4 years in college. He needs some time. I don’t recall that he took kickoff returns, if he did it was rare. He was a wide receiver and took punt returns and NO ONE would kick to him his last 2 years, including Clemson. They would take a penalty rather than kick to Switzer. He missed the preseason due to injury. So he is really a newbie in this position. But he is fast learner, so hopefully he’ll get enough chance to show what he can do.

        • Brian Martin

          I think he’s just trying to be too aggressive to try to make a difference. I think the Cowboys coaching staff will stress the importance of making the right decisions from here on out. I’m not too worried about him personally. I think he will be a difference maker this year.

Game Notes

Cowboys, Redskins Week 7 Injury Report

Jess Haynie



Cowboys, Redskins Week 7 Injury Report
Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Though it's still early in the 2018 season, the lead in the NFC East is up for grabs when the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins meet this Sunday. Both teams would like their full roster available for the game, but the Week 7 injury reports indicate that won't be the case.

Here are the players either confirmed to be out of action tomorrow or are otherwise listed by Dallas and Washington:

Dallas Cowboys

  • WR Tavon Austin (groin) - OUT
  • LB Joe Thomas (foot) - OUT
  • CB Chidobe Awuzie (ankle) - Questionable

The Cowboys are getting healthier, with Sean Lee finally off the injury report and set to return to action. Not only will Dallas get their elite linebacker back, but it means a deeper rotation while the team remains without Joe Thomas.

Tavon Austin elected to skip season-ending surgery on his injured groin, but his should be out a few weeks. That will put Cole Beasley on punt returns and perhaps create more offensive opportunities for Deonte Thompson and Brice Butler.

Awuzie remains limited in practice but has played the last few weeks despite the ankle injury. There is no reason to think he won't suit up in Washington.

Washington Redskins

  • WR Jamison Crowder (ankle) - OUT
  • WR Paul Richardson (shoulder, knee) - Doubtful
  • S Troy Apke (hamstring) - Doubtful
  • RB Adrian Peterson (ankle, shoulder) - Questionable
  • RB Chris Thompson (rib, knee) - Questionable
  • G Shawn Lauvao (calf) - Questionable
  • CB Quinton Dunbar (shin) - Questionable
  • CB Danny Johnson (forearm) - Questionable

It's a rough time for Washington's offensive weapons. They will definitely be without slot receiver Jamison Crowder and likely starter Paul Richardson, who current lead all WRs in receptions. Josh Doctson will put into a major role, as will veteran Brian Quick off the bench.

Peterson and Thompson both practiced this week and should play, but have nagging injuries that could slow them down. Washington is already missing Rob Kelley and rookie Derrius Guice, who are both on injured reserve.

Starting left guard Shawn Lauvao is also nursing a lower leg injury, but practiced in a limited capacity all week. His backup is undrafted rookie Casey Dunn out of Auburn.

In the defensive backfield, starting CB Quinton Dunbar was a Friday addition to the injury report with a shin injury. He did practice with it, though, so will likely play. Backup safety Troy Apke is doubtful with a hamstring issue.

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Game Notes

Cowboys Focused on Improved Communication to Solve Road Woes at Redskins

Sean Martin



Cowboys Focused on Improved Communication to Solve Road Woes at Redskins

The Dallas Cowboys are 0-3 on the road this season. Not only do you already know this, but they do as well, needing to build off a 40-7 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars in week 6 at AT&T Stadium to claim first place in the NFC East at the Washington Redskins.

Although the Cowboys were given Monday and Tuesday off, they are focused on addressing one alarming reason why the team has struggled so much on the road -- particularly on offense.

Running Back Ezekiel Elliott pointed out the Cowboys lack of communication in early season losses at Carolina, Seattle, and Houston. "Seeing the same thing," was the issue Elliott addressed when discussing the Cowboys knowing their assignments in hostile territory.

Yesterday, Quarterback Dak Prescott told the media of a meeting between players and coaches that addressed this specifically.

David Moore on Twitter

Dak Prescott said players & coaches held a meeting before today's practice to "address the elephant in the room," which is poor communication among the offense on the road. "I know we'll take a lot from that conversation," The QB said.

Unlike Prescott's remarks about new "wrinkles" in the Cowboys offense prior to a 26-24 home win over the Lions, this has a tangible sign of progress for an offense that made scoring 40 on the Jaguars look impossibly easy. The Cowboys season high in total yards remains the 414 amassed against Detroit, after which Prescott confessed that he simply tells the media "things" that aren't necessarily true.

The Cowboys didn't necessarily do anything new against the Lions, but they most assuredly will this week against the Redskins, at least by way of signaling and remaining in sync on offense.

Prescott and Elliott's leadership is on full display here, and their on-field impact can be attributed as closely to the Cowboys successes or failures as any duo in the NFL.

Missing is a similar impact from Center Travis Frederick, who remains sidelined as he deals with GSB.

Joe Looney's play at center has been good enough to pave the way for Elliott's 586 rushing yards so far, second to Todd Gurley at 623 yards, but his ability to call checks for the offense is understandably much more limited.

Looney deserves all the credit in the world for his strong play in place of Frederick. The Cowboys have never asked for him to be anything he isn't, a reliable depth option that earned a second contract and with it the starting center job for the time being in Dallas.

He has the full support of his teammates, Frederick included. All of this is lovely to put down in writing until Looney and the Cowboys have been forced to step on the field with the crowd against them and attempt to sustain a drive, something Frederick will unfortunately not be a part of for a long while.

If the Cowboys offense isn't going to unveil new wrinkles in the scheme, there is one wrinkle worth mentioning that's new to the team's communication on offense this season. With Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan up in the box, his play calls are sent down to first-year Quarterback Coach Kellen Moore, who has been in the ear of Prescott ever since playing with him from 2016-17.

Sure, these are things that could've been addressed before the Cowboys managed only eight points in week one, turned the ball over three times in week three, or punted away their best chance at victory in week five. The best teams in the league likely already have these things down to routine, and few would consider the Cowboys anywhere near the upper echelon of the NFL.

Following sixty minutes of football at a division rival they've won four in a row against, with an even more impressive five game win streak at the Redskins, the Cowboys could control their own path atop the NFC East.

That feels truly incredible for such a young team faced with a steep learning curve early in the season, adjusting to it on the fly as they prepare to leave everything on the field before a bye week.

Tell us what you think about "Cowboys Focused on Improved Communication to Solve Road Woes at Redskins" in the comments below. You can also email me at, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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Game Notes

#WASvsDAL: Why This Game Holds Increased Importance

Kevin Brady



Cowboys Pass Rush Better than They're Given Credit For
James D. Smith/Dallas Cowboys

It feels incredibly cliche to call the week 7 match-up between the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins a "must win." Especially for someone like me who values statistics, logic, and analytics in sports.

But when the analytics agree with the narratives, those narratives do tend to get my attention. And this week that would appear to be the case.

According to Brian Burke of ESPN, the Cowboys's week 7 game has the highest playoff probability leverage in the entire NFC, and is second to only the Houston Texans' big game with Jacksonville around the entire league.

Brian Burke on Twitter

Playoff leverage for week 7. DAL, WAS, PHI, CAR, MIN, CHI with a lot on the line in the NFC. HOU, CIN, and JAX in the AFC.

What does this mean? Well playoff probability leverage is pretty intuitive. Basically it is the difference between a win this week and a loss this week in terms of probability to make the playoffs.

For the Cowboys that number is at 27%, with a win over Washington catapulting their playoff probability over 50%. On the other hand, a loss would take a big hit to their playoff hopes just 7 games into the NFL season.

As you might expect, this game means a lot to the Redskins' playoff probability as well. Their playoff leverage this week is at 14%, but a win would mean "more" to Dallas than Washington based on the probabilities.

Fellow NFC East foe, the Philadelphia Eagles, also have a lot to gain/lose this Sunday, with their leverage sitting at 22%. According to Burke's model, the Eagles and Cowboys have the best chances of making the playoffs at this point, but if each team wins Sunday the Eagles will still have a higher percentage.

Of course a lot can and will change week to week, despite what the metrics say. The Cowboys still have two games remaining with the NFC East favorite Eagles this year, and will get another crack at Washington at home later in the season. Plus the Cowboys have a few NFC wild card and playoff contenders remaining on their schedule, such as the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons. (Yes, the 2-4 Falcons are very much alive in this crazy conference).

Still, the difference between 4-3 (2-0 in the division) and 3-4 (1-1 in the division) is huge, as is shown by Brian Burke's playoff probability leverage metric.

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