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Connect Four: Dak Prescott To Dez Bryant Connection

Brian Martin



Cowboys Headlines - Connect Four: Dak Prescott To Dez Bryant

Growing up one of the best ways we learned things was by playing games. Games help to teach us how to strategize and compete with one another in a fun and interactive  environment.

It usually begins with playing peekaboo as babies and the games tend to increase in difficulty and competitiveness as we get older.

Weather permitting, how many days did you spend outside playing hide and seek, tag, or some other outside game growing up?

Cowboys Headlines - Connect Four: Dak Prescott To Dez Bryant Connection 2If you are anything like me, you spent a large part of your childhood outside playing some type of game. Of course, that probably changed when you were old enough to join a team and play organized sports.

Having said all that, there are some games that will forever stand the test of time and are probably considered classics by a lot of us. Games such as Candyland, Sorry, Battleship, and you might even throw Connect Four into that conversation.

For the sake of this article, I want to focus on the game Connect Four, because I think it pertains to the Dallas Cowboys and in particular Dak Prescott and Dez Bryant.

I know what you are probably thinking, but hang in there and I'll explain what I'm getting at.

The game Connect Four is a two player game, in which both players try to connect four of their discs in a row either horizontally, vertically, or diagonally on a 6 x 7 vertical grid. This game is all about strategy and trying to outthink your opponent.

Ring a bell?

The game Connect Four popped into my head last week while watching the Dallas Cowboys play the New York Giants.

I made the connection in large part due to the fact that Dak Prescott wears the No. 4  jersey and the coaching staff's strategy to connect Prescott and Dez Bryant seemed a little safe/conservative.Cowboys Headlines - Connect Four: Dak Prescott To Dez Bryant Connection 1

Do you like how I tied the game Connect Four to the on-field connection between Prescott and Bryant? Clever…Too much of a reach?

Hey, give me a break. It's not always easy coming up with things to write about, but now every time Prescott completes a pass to a wide receiver you're going to think about Connect Four. Maybe, just maybe it catches on.

"Dak Prescott to Dez Bryant, another Connect Four!"

Okay, maybe not but a guy can hope. Right?

One thing's for sure, we all want to see the chemistry or connection between Dak Prescott and Dez Bryant improve. Maybe it's just something that will take a little time, or it could be that Scott Linehan needs to come up with a different strategy to provide better opportunities for the two players to connect.

To target arguably your best playmaker on the offensive side of the ball only five times and to have him finish with just one measly catch for 8 yards is unacceptable.

If you consider the fact that nearly all of those targets were low percentage passes it's even more concerning. Linehan has to improve the connection between Bryant and Prescott by calling more high percentage passes to help build the chemistry between the two players.

Personally, I would like to see more slants, crossing routes, and maybe even some back shoulder throws to Dez Bryant. Hopefully that is what we will see happen against the Redskins this Sunday.


Cowboys Headlines - Connect Four: Dak Prescott To Dez Bryant ConnectionTo close things out, how about a little 2 player math about #4 Dak Prescott and #88 Dez Bryant.

88÷4 = 22

22÷2 = 11

Explanation: It's important to remember that Dez Bryant 88 and Dak Prescott 4 are just two of the athletes that make up the 22 total players on the field for both offense and defense, hence the equation 88÷4 = 22.

When you split the total players on the field into 2 units (offense and defense) you get the total number of players on each side of the ball, hence the equation 22÷2 = 11.

It takes the entire 11 players functioning as a cohesive unit to become successful, not just two individual players. So, maybe we should focus less on the Dez Bryant and Dak Prescott connection and look at the big picture of things a little more.

Do you Agree or Disagree?

Please feel free to use the comment section below to share your thoughts and opinions on this topic.

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.


Player News

Cowboys K Brett Maher’s 63-Yard Field Goal Sets New NFL Record

Jess Haynie



Brett Maher

After hitting a 63-yard field goal last night in the Dallas Cowboys' win over the Philadelphia Eagles, Kicker Brett Maher now owns the NFL record for most field goal made at 60 yards or longer. It was the third 60-plus FG of his career and second so far this season.

Maher hit a 62-yarder last week in Dallas' loss to the New York Jets. That kick tied him with Sebastian Janikowski and Greg Zuerlein for having two career field goals of 60 or more.

Now Brett stands alone in that category. Last night's kick also was just one yard shy of Matt Prater's record for the NFL's longest field goal; Maher hit from 64 yards in 2013.

If Brett Maher ever gets a chance to kick in Denver, he may have a great shot at breaking Prater's record as well. According to NBC's data from last night, Maher's kick would have been good from 66 yards out.

It was a good night overall for the Cowboys kicker. Maher had two other makes from 26 and 29 yards.

Despite his heroics at times, Brett Maher has been one of the least accurate kickers in the NFL the last two years. Even after last night Brett is hitting just 71.4% of his field goals so far in 2019; that ties him for 25th in the league.

The most puzzling aspect of all with Maher is how much he struggles with shorter range kicks. You almost have more confidence in him kicking from 60 yards out than attempting an extra point.

Few kickers could survive that kind of performance and uncertainty, but few can do what Maher can with his long range ability. It's a risk/reward situation that the Cowboys are continuing to work with.

For today, at least, Maher and his team are basking in the glory of a great game. Let's hope both can keep up the positive momentum.

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Game Notes

Cowboys Defense Dominates in Crucial Win vs Eagles

Matthew Lenix



Cowboys Defense Dominates in Crucial Win vs Eagles

Coming into yesterday's battle for NFC East supremacy against the Philadelphia Eagles the Dallas Cowboys defense was looking to regain some swagger. The Green Bay Packers were led by Aaron Jones who had a career day with 182 all-purpose yards and four touchdowns two weeks ago in a 34-24 beatdown of the Cowboys. Last week at Metlife Stadium, the New York Jets got a career day themselves from their former third overall pick in Sam Darnold who threw for 338 yards and two touchdowns in his return from Mononucleosis that kept him out since Week one. The Cowboys were handed their third consecutive loss 24-22 and their season was headed down the drain.

It would be paramount for the Cowboys defensive unit to set a tone and they didn't waste any time doing so. The Eagle's first possession would only last five plays as Jaylon Smith forced a fumble by Tight End Dallas Goedert that was recovered by Maliek Collins. Just two plays into their second drive, Carson Wentz was strip-sacked by All-Pro DeMarcus Lawrence inside the Eagles own 15 which was recovered by Antwaun Woods. Both turnovers led to scores for the Cowboys as they took an early 14-0 lead in the games first six minutes.

After the Eagles scored on a seven-play 87-yard drive with a little over four minutes to go in the first quarter they would only run 12 plays the rest of the first half, and the Cowboys went into the locker room with a commanding 27-7 lead.

The second half would be a continuation of the first 30 minutes of play. After an exchange of field goals in the third quarter, the Eagles were simply out of their misery early in the fourth. Wentz was intercepted by Safety Xavier Woods and he committed his second fumble of the game on the very next drive. In the end, the Cowboys whipped the Eagles from start to finish 37-10 and claimed outright first place in the NFC East.

There were several encouraging signs defensively for the Cowboys vs the Eagles. Maliek Collins matched his season total with five tackles and also recovered a fumble. Both starting defensive ends DeMarcus Lawrence and Robert Quinn each had a sack showing exactly why the Cowboys put this combo together, to terrorize quarterbacks. Cornerback Jourdan Lewis had four tackles and a sack, a great follow up to his four tackle performance with an interception a week earlier, further making his case to be the top guy at nickel corner in this defense. The old veteran Sean Lee didn't go unnoticed either as his seven tackles were tied for of the team lead. He got more snaps due to Leighton Vander Esch's early exit with a neck injury.

You expect an offense like the Eagles to make plays and score points eventually, but the Cowboys defense wasn't having any of it in this contest. In addition to giving up under 300 yards of total offense, they only allowed the Eagles to convert three third downs, go 0 for 2 in the red zone and forced four turnovers. That's a recipe for victory any Sunday.

Now, the Cowboys go into the bye week sitting on top the NFC East throne. This is the perfect time to get guys fully healthy with a clash against the New York Giants on the road awaiting them in two weeks. The Cowboys defense played with their backs to the wall and pulled out a big-time performance when they needed it the most. Consistency is what has kept them from looking like the top seven unit they were in 2018. Was this game the turning point? We shall see, but nonetheless, this showing by them was exactly what the doctor ordered.

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Player News

Cowboys Get Good News on Vander Esch, Quinn Injuries After Eagles Game

Jess Haynie



Cowboys LB Leighton Vander Esch off to a Fast Start 1

The Dallas Cowboys got a big win last night over the Philadelphia Eagles, but there was concern that they also suffered some big injuries. But good news; despite their leaving the game and not returning, both LB Leighton Vander Esch and DE Robert Quinn appear to have avoided any significant issues.

Vander Esch suffered a neck stinger in the second quarter and did not come back. It appears he was held out as a precautionary measure, and the Cowboys' 21-7 lead at that point may have contributed to the decision.

Jane Slater on Twitter

Cowboys LB Leighton Vander Esch just told me he's good. First neck stinger. Disputes "history" of neck issues reports. Told me he would have continued playing but "wasn't up to me

Quinn's rib injury also occurred before halftime and ended his night. The veteran picked up his obligatory sack before going out, and it sounds like he should be fine for Dallas' next game.

Ian Rapoport on Twitter

From @GMFB: The #Cowboys got a few injury scares, but LB Leighton Vander Esch (neck) and LB Robert Quinn (rib) are expected to be OK.

These defensive standouts join a host of Cowboys starters who are going to benefit greatly from the team's bye week.

Dallas went into the game with injury concerns to WRs Amari Cooper and Randall Cobb, OTs Tyron Smith and La'el Collins, and CBs Byron Jones and Anthony Brown. Of those, Brown was the only one who did not play last night.

Still, all of these players need a week to rest and be ready for the long haul of the regular season.

The Cowboys will get back to work in Week 9 with a road trip to New York, facing the Giants on Monday Night Football.

Thankfully, it looks like Leighton Vander Esch and Robert Quinn will both be ready to play in two weeks.

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