Not unlike most Cowboys fans, I was extremely displeased by some of the play of the Seattle Seahawks last night. We knew it would be a tough first half, given the third preseason game is typically the "dress rehearsal" for the regular season, but there were times where I thought Seattle got a little out of hand with their play.
Yes, we want to be physical and aggressive, but there's no reason to go beyond that, especially at the risk of hurting other players.
There were two plays in particular that come to mind when we talk about questionable play: Cliff Avril's hit on a sliding Tony Romo, and Kam Chancellor's hit on Ezekiel Elliott from seventeen yards and three hours after the ball had hit the ground, ending the play.
Obviously, this is hyperbole. But, I do think there's something to be talked about here.
The clip above shows the first play that I spoke of: the hit that knocked number 9 out of the game.
Let me just first say, I was on the road listening to this happen live as Brad Sham announced the game. As soon as he uttered the words "Romo's hurt," I immediately put my head down and internally screamed "Oh. My. God."
HOWEVER, there was certainly a little less dismay on my end than there's been in the past. Yes, the season would be over before it started, BUT, given Dak Prescott's recent play, I saw a slight glimmer of hope, instead of ALL seeming to be lost. But, I digress.
For anyone who doesn't know, as soon as the quarterback begins the process of the slide, he is down and the play is dead, making any contact after it technically illegal.
If you look at the play closely, and pause the shot as soon as Romo starts to slide, Cliff Avril is well into the process of the tackle. Stopping his momentum, and therefore the tackle, is impossible at this point.
Thus I firmly believe this was a clean hit, and just a bad break for Romo, and Cowboys Nation as a whole. Regardless, I'm glad they took him out for the rest of the exhibition.
The next play, the late hit on Ezekiel Elliott, is a little more controversial, depending on which team you side with.
It was interesting listening to the play called live on the Cowboys' app. When Kam hit Zeke, there was no doubt in Brad Sham's mind that the hit was late, flagrant, and illegal. He agreed with the call, and felt it was rightfully thrown. But, he's on the Cowboys' payroll.
Watching the broadcast this morning, however, was from the viewpoint of the Seahawks' announcers. Thus, they, of course, felt that the call was ridiculous. They felt since the ball was tipped at the line, Chancellor was fully within his rights to dish out the boom to the rookie running back, given that he likely would've caught it.
I will admit, at first glance, I sided with Seattle (I know, I know. Sorry...).
I thought, after watching it, that it was too close to a bang-bang play and I didn't think Kam had enough time to pull up from the hit. But then I watched it. And I watched it again. And I watched it a third, fourth, fifth, and sixth time.
If you watch just this play, you may think that the call could go either way, but I, and everyone else, watched the plays that led up to it, including this one:
And this one:
Haven't seen many backs do this to Kam...did it 2X in his first 8 plays https://t.co/ufOnSbvQgw
Think there may have been a little bit of salt on Kam's end when he delivered that blow?
That notion was only solidified when the great @CowboysNation supplied me with this gem:
@BleedingTheStar @R_Will_34 Zeke is in the middle of the hashes, Kam on the hash edge, ball already past Zeke
It's tough to see, but Chancellor is a good three yards away (Zeke is between the hashes and Kam is on the left hash, two yards up-field) when the ball hits the ground.
So, upon initial review, I genuinely thought that the play was clean, and that it just wasn't enough time for Seattle's all-pro safety to pull up from delivering the blow.
But, between the unexpected physicality that Zeke came out with, and the still-frame of the distance Chancellor had to cover to hit #21 on the play, I think the penalty was warranted, and accurately called.
The NFL is a game of inches. We all know this.
That doesn't just speak to the placement of the ball, but in this case, it speaks to distances between players before the tackle. Avril had very few of them between him and Romo when he began his tackle. Kam had far more.
And that's the difference between a 15-yard penalty, and just another tackle.
REPORT: Dallas Cowboys Re-sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladouceur
L.P. Ladouceur is returning for his 15th season as the Cowboys' long snapper. The veteran free agent was re-signed by Dalals today to a one-year deal.
Thanks to Jason Witten's one-year sabbatical with Monday Night Football, Ladouceur has now been with the Cowboys for more consecutive seasons than any current player. He just turned 38 last week, but Louis-Philippe remains one of the top long snappers in football.
The Cowboys have signed long-snapper L.P. Ladouceur to a one-year deal worth $1.03 million and $90,000 in bonus money, but he will count $735,000 against the cap. This will be Ladouceur's 15th season with the Cowboys, tying Ed "Too Tall" Jones, Mark... https://t.co/2iDsi6RX7e
Retaining Ladouceur is an underrated move for the Cowboys given their situation at kicker.
Brett Maher was only 80% accurate overall on field goals last year. The team could be considering an upgrade in free agency.
Whether they bring Maher back or try someone new, having a long snapper with Ladouceur's performance perfection will make things much easier for them.
REPORT: Cowboys Negotiating Trade with Dolphins for DE Robert Quinn
According to a report just minutes ago, the Dallas Cowboys are visiting with Miami Dolphins' Defensive End Robert Quinn today as part of a possible trade. Miami is looking for a trade partner to try to get something back for Quinn before making him a salary cap casualty.
Quinn is in the final year of his contract and is set to count $12.9 million against the Dolphins' salary cap. Most of that is his base salary of $11.8 million, which Miami is reportedly willing to pay part of to help facilitate a trade.
Robert Quinn was spotted today on his way to visit the #Cowboys, who are in trade talks with the #Dolphins for the veteran DE, sources say. Quinn would need to agree to any deal. So, this is another step in the process, with a Dallas team that obviously needs pass rush.
The Cowboys need DE help with DeMarcus Lawrence's contract still unresolved and Randy Gregory now indefinitely suspended for another drug policy violation. They signed Kerry Hyder from the Lions yesterday, but he isn't a proven commodity like Quinn.
Turning 29 in May, Robert Quinn is a two-time Pro Bowler and former first-round pick of the Rams. He hasn't had the same production in recent years but still had 6.5 sacks for Miami in 2018 and 8.5 the prior year with Los Angeles.
Ever the bargain shoppers these days, Dallas is probably hoping to get Quinn for late-round draft pick or perhaps a pick swap.
REPORT: Police Detain Cowboys DL Tyrone Crawford After Bar Fight
According to TMZ, Tyrone Crawford was involved in a brawl at a bar in Panama City, FL last Friday night. The Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman and team captain was detained by police but apparently was not arrested.
The level of Crawford's involvement has not been substantiated, but TMZ's report does have him shoving police officers at some point in the action. The incident was reportedly captured by surveillance equipment at the bar.
Given that he was not arrested, one could assume that Tyrone was not one of the primary players in the melee. But that doesn't mean the NFL won't still review this matter as it relates to the personal conduct policy, and Cowboys fans know too well how "fair" that process can be.
This is certainly not a story you'd expect to see attached to Tyrone Crawford, who has been a model citizen and leader since entering the league in 2012.
Dallas elected to keep Crawford this season despite solid potential savings. He will count $10.1 million against their 2019 salary cap, which is high for his average production. However, he can play multiple positions and is one of their most experienced players.
Even if Tyrone were to get suspended by the league, it likely wouldn't be more than a one or two-game ban given his record and reputation. It shouldn't change anything about his status with the team.
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