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Game Notes

Cowboys At Redskins: ITS Staff Notes And Predictions

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Cowboys Headlines - Cowboys At Redskins: ITS Staff Notes And Predictions

Last week was rough. It was sort of like being a teenager again, on prom night... you're nervous, and she's beautiful. All she wants to do is dance and have a good time but your feet feel like bricks. Well, the Cowboys stumbled on their first step.

But it's only 7:30. The night is still young. Your date may have giggled under her breath when you fell, but she's still here. Plenty of time to make things right.

In the second of 16 contests the Cowboys will endure this night, the Dallas Cowboys travel to D.C. to face the Washington Redskins, their second consecutive divisional foe of the season. They've got some egg on their face, still clinging to their beards from week one, but they've got a better plan this week.

Game time is noon today, just about an hour from now, and for most of us it'll be airing on FOX's early slot.

As we've done each week so far, the writers here at Inside The Star have put their predictions on paper. Let's get to it.

Brian Martin (Cowboys 24 – Redskins 17)

The Cowboys offensive line is due to bounce back against the Redskins after underperforming against the Giants. This allows the running game to dominate and opens up the entire offense. On defense, the Cowboys are able to do just enough to slow down the Redskins and come away with a victory.

Follow Brian on Twitter at @bmart0204

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

Sean Martin (Cowboys 28 – Redskins 21)

The Cowboys offensive line is capable of winning this game, and I think they'll be a big reason why the Cowboys get to 1-1 on the season. In a bounce-back performance, the likes of La'el Collins and Zack Martin will open up holes allowing Ezekiel Elliott to finally showcase his skills. Once again dominating the time of possession, Dallas scores touchdowns instead of field goals, and gets the job done.

Follow Sean on Twitter at @ShoreSportsNJ

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

Jess Haynie (Cowboys 23 – Redskins 20)

Dallas has its chronic issues, but they don't include playing poorly on the road. They're essentially the same team home or away, and they should be able to have a resurgent rushing attack against Washington's defense.

Follow Jess on Twitter at @CowboysAddicts

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

Kevin Brady (Cowboys 27 – Redskins 23)

The Pittsburgh Steelers' offensive success in Washington last week gives me a ton of hope for Sunday. Ezekiel Elliott and this offensive line are going to hit that gear we all know they have, and potentially even out-do what DeAngelo Williams did a week ago. The Cowboys run the ball effectively, Dak Prescott makes some timely deep throws, and they escape Washington with their first win.

Follow Kevin on Twitter at @KevinBrady88

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

John Williams (Cowboys 35 – Redskins 24)

The Dallas Cowboys' coaching staff takes the reigns off of rookie quarterback Dak Prescott and he has his first touchdown, first multi-touchdown game, and first 300 yard game. Ezekiel Elliott bounces back from a lackluster week one and posts his first 100 yard game. The defense does just enough to hold down the Washington offense and Dallas comfortably closes them out in the fourth quarter.

Follow John on Twitter at @john9williams

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

Justin Grohowski (Cowboys 27 – Redskins 24)

Dez Bryant hasn't had a signature game since 2014, and that changes today in Washington. Shots have been fired all week at Bryant and the coaching staff for not taking enough shots down the field. Dak Prescott airs it out early and often here, and Ezekiel Elliott dominates on the ground as a result. Prescott records his first turnover as a pro, but thrives with more trust in his hands. The Dallas defense makes enough timely stops to win the time of possession battle yet again. Dan Bailey may just be the best kicker in the game, and he adds to his resume here, nailing the game winning field goal.

Follow Justin on Twitter at @grohowknowhow

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

RJ Ochoa (Cowboys 31 – Redskins 13)

The Cowboys defense isn't as bad as we all thought in our overreaction. The Offense is capable of putting together long and methodical drives that will eat up clock and limit Washington's possessions. Field goals will equal touchdowns this time around, and we'll all celebrate a .500 lifestyle.

Follow RJ on Twitter at @RJOchoa

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

Ian Koplowitz (Cowboys 23 – Redskins 20)

The Cowboys offensive line got its butt kicked last week. I don't expect that to happen again. I think this running game will be able to get going and Dak Prescott will fix some of the mistakes he made last week. While the defense is still suspect, I think it will do enough to allow us to hold on.

Follow Ian on Twitter at @BleedingTheStar

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

Bryson Treece (Cowboys 28 – Redskins 10)

I'm looking for the Cowboys to prevail in Washington where they stalled in Arlington last week, converting two red zone possessions into touchdowns. Dak Prescott and Zeke Elliott find a bit more comfort on the field and with the speed of things, putting on a solid show for Washingtonians. Sean Lee also gets his name called a couple of times. Cowboys win.

Follow Bryson on Twitter at @BrysonTreece

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

Looks like the offensive line and our star offensive rookies, Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott are taking center stage here, and they'll be center stage all afternoon in Washington, too.

It's an early game today, so not much time to linger on these. If you have a moment, tell us your predictions via the comments below and, as always, GO COWBOYS!!!



This is the General Staff account for Inside The Star, a blog for Dallas Cowboys news, scores, schedule, rumors, and analysis. We are the official home for @CowboysNation on Twitter. Follow us today for new content updates straight from our timeline. To learn more about our staff, please visit our Staff listing.

Game Notes

Takeaway Tuesday: Cowboys Have a Championship Defense

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Takeaway Tuesday: Cowboys Have a Championship Defense

The Dallas Cowboys are not only breathing in playoff contention, but they're now the favorites to crown themselves as the NFC East champions in 2018. It's pretty impressive how the tables can turn so quickly in the NFL. Dallas played very well against the Atlanta Falcons last Sunday and we learned quite a bit from them as they bounced back to .500. Here's this week's Takeaway Tuesday! Enjoy it as much as you did Brett Maher's game winning field goal a couple of days ago.

Cowboys Have a Championship Defense

Despite taking steps in the right direction, it's impossible to compare this offense to units like the Chiefs, Saints and Rams. However, it's the Cowboys' defense that could be labeled as a championship unit. Facing an offense with such a strong WR core, allowing only one touchdown on the road is impressive.

The Cowboys sacked Matt Ryan three times and were constantly causing pressures. Byron Jones was great once again, allowing only two catches in passes thrown in his direction. And of course, the kid who's been impressing us all, Leighton Vander Esch continued to play out of his mind. He should be the Defensive Rookie of the Year front runner at this point.

The Cowboys' defense is one of the best in the NFL right now, and any offense will have a tough time facing them. It'll be intriguing to see if they can take the next step and stop a high-powered unit like the Saints in a few days.

Offensive Line Woes Are Gone

The offense has improved a lot the last couple of games. Although there is still a lot to work on, they're not struggling as they were in the first half of the season. The offensive line is a huge part of this. With Marc Colombo at OL coach, things have looked very different in Dallas.

Jon Machota on Twitter

Ezekiel Elliott: "I feel great. I feel fast. I feel physical. I feel very comfortable with the running schemes. We just got to keep rolling. That's what's important. We just got to keep rolling.

Ezekiel Elliott has been on a roll the past two weeks and his comments regarding how he feels about the running schemes shouldn't go unnoticed. The offensive line wasn't playing as well as they are right now earlier in the year. Dak Prescott is noticeably more comfortable in the pocket.

It's intriguing to know what will happen at left guard for the Cowboys. With Connor Williams injured, Xavier Su'a-Filo has done a good job filling in for him. Williams has the upside, but should Dallas mess up the mojo this OL has lately?

Dak Prescott Continues To Be Money In Clutch Si

Dak Prescott: Clutch QB

Dak Prescott continues to be criticized by fans while he keeps proving us why it's not that easy to move on from him. The guy is far from the perfect passer, yet he's been clutch time and time again. This time he did so on the road on an impressive two minute drill.

With 1:46 on the clock, Prescott marched his team down to the Falcons' 24 yard line. He managed to give his team another game winning drive in consecutive weeks. The Cowboys' young quarterback needed a confidence boost and this is perfect for him. He needs to keep it up if the team is going to finish the season as the NFC East champions.

Since entering the NFL, Dak has 12 game winning drives. As frustrating as his play is at times, he will not be easy to replace if the Cowboys decide to move on from this guy down the road. Hopefully, they don't have to. I, for one, believe Dak can be way better with a proper coaching staff. But that's a discussion for another day.

Now, it's time to celebrate the Cowboys' victory and get ready for a short week as the Cowboys play the Washington Redskins on Thursday.

Tell me what you think about "Takeaway Tuesday: Cowboys Have a Championship Defense" in the comments below, or tweet me @MauNFL and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!



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Game Notes

Ezekiel Elliott’s Excellence Elevates Cowboys in Road Win

John Williams

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Cowboys en Español: El Reto VS Texans, Porque Bryant No Volverá

For the first time this season the Dallas Cowboys have won back to back games moving to 5-5 on the year with a 22-19 win over the Atlanta Falcons in a game that they had to win to keep their playoff hopes alive. The defense was the story for most of the game, forcing the Atlanta Falcons to kick four field goals before allowing the game-tying touchdown with less than two minutes to play. The offense had trouble getting going until they leaned heavily on their star running back, Ezekiel Elliott.

Elliott, who went over the 200 total yard mark for the second time this season and the fourth time in his career was dominant in the second half, getting hard-fought yards en route to his fifth 100 yard game of the season.

Elliott averaged 5.3 yards per carry, on 23 carries, but was also the leading receiver for the Dallas Cowboys. Ezekiel Elliott on the day caught seven passes on eight targets for 79 yards as well.

The Cowboys first touchdown drive was reminiscent of who the Dallas Cowboys were in 2016. That season, and seemingly rarely since, the Cowboys would go on these long 10-15 play drives in the second half of games and take control of the game.

On Sunday in Atlanta, they did it again.

Trailing 6-3 in the second half with the defense playing an excellent game, the Cowboys went on a 14 play drive for 75 yards that took nearly eight minutes off the clock. It was a huge drive to give the Cowboys a lead and to give their defense a much deserved rest.

On that drive, Ezekiel Elliott saw the ball seven times and set the tone picking up several first downs that helped set up Dak Prescott's four yard touchdown run that took the lead. After Leighton Vander Esch's interception on the ensuing drive, Elliott once again made a huge impact taking the ball twice for 31 yards including the 28 yard touchdown run that put the Cowboys up 19-9 with a little more than 12 minutes to play in the game. And on the final drive of the game, Ezekiel Elliott caught a pass and picked up a first down just inside Falcons territory.

Over the last two weeks, you can see a big difference in the effectiveness of the run game. Elliott spoke about Amari Cooper being one reason they've had more success in the run game.

Jon Machota on Twitter

Ezekiel Elliott on Amari Cooper: "It's just one more guy they have to worry about. It seems like he kind of was the missing piece, just because when he got here this offense started rolling. It's great having him. He's a phenomenal player. He's going to have a great future here.

Amari Cooper's presence is a big reason for the offense and you can tell they've been a more complete offense the last two weeks. The addition of Cooper puts more stress on a defense in the passing game. Like Elliott said, he's a player that has to be accounted for, making his and the offensive line's jobs easier.

The play of the offensive line has also been really good the last two weeks since Marc Colombo took over as offensive line coach and coincidentally Xavier Su'a-Filo was inserted into the starting lineup for an injured Connor Williams.

Whatever the reason, Ezekiel Elliott seems to be on an upward trajectory.

Ezekiel Elliott is now averaging 129.4 total yards per game, which sits right at his career average heading into the 2018 season. He's on pace for 1,524 rushing yards, eight rushing touchdowns, 545 receiving yards, and 3 receiving touchdowns. The touchdown totals are down from his career pace, but he's still on pace for 2,000 total yards this season. If the last two weeks are any indications, that pace could see a huge bump in the second half of the season.

NFL Research on Twitter

Since entering the NFL, Ezekiel Elliott has: * 17 games with 100+ rush yards * 24 games with 100+ scrimmage yards * 4 games with 200+ scrimmage yards * 3,567 rush yards The one similarity between these numbers? Elliott leads the NFL in each since 2016 #Cowboys

If you needed a singular note to tell you how great Elliott's been for the Dallas Cowboys, that's the one. It's amazing that Elliott leads the league in all of those categories including rushing yards considering he sat out six games last season and had a game where he rushed for only eight yards against the Denver Broncos in week two of 2017.

And then there’s this one.

NFL345 on Twitter

@dallascowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott had 201 scrimmage yards and a TD in the team's Week 11 victory. Elliott (4,540 scrimmage yards & 32 TDs) became the third player in @NFL history with 4,500+ scrimmage yards & 30+ TDs in their first 35 career games.

The two other players to accomplish that feat were Eric Dickerson and Edgerin James. That’s some legendary company.

Ezekiel Elliott is a big-time player for the Dallas Cowboys and someone who they can lean on the rest of the season. If the Cowboys are going to make the playoffs it will be because the run game continued to play at a high level, which opened everything else up for the offense. While many people will tell you that running backs don't matter, Ezekiel Elliott certainly proved on Sunday that he matters.

And if you watch opposing defenses on Sunday's, they act like Elliott matters. Like Sunday, Ezekiel Elliott will continue to be a threat each week and big things are coming for him and the Dallas Cowboys.



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Game Notes

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly for Cowboys Against Atlanta

Brian Martin

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The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly for Cowboys Against Atlanta

It may not have been very pretty, but the Dallas Cowboys were able to keep their playoff hopes alive by defeating the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium Sunday afternoon. It's a place that wasn't kind to them a season ago, but they were able to overcome their demons and secure a much-needed victory.

This is a game that ended up being a lot closer than it probably needed to be. Missed opportunities and mental mistakes once again plagued this Cowboys team, but they continued to scratch and claw their way in a hostile environment to put another "W" in the win column.

With the game still fresh in our minds, I thought it would be a good time to share with you what I believed was The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly for the Dallas Cowboys yesterday against the Atlanta Falcons. As always, please feel free to share your own thoughts and opinions in the comment section located at the end of the article.

The Good

Ezekiel Elliott

Dallas Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott

It should come to no surprise after the way he's played these last couple weeks, but I decided to go with Running Back Ezekiel Elliott for the good this week for the Dallas Cowboys. I could have easily gone with Linebacker Leighton Vander Esch because he was definitely deserving as well, but for me Zeke edged him out by a narrow margin.

Ezekiel Elliott put the team on his back Sunday afternoon and led them to a victory, just like he did a week ago against the Philadelphia Eagles. He pretty much was the Cowboys offense yesterday, accounting for more than 200 total yards by himself. He not only finished the game as the leading rusher with 122 yards on the ground and a touchdown, but the leading receiver as well with seven catches for 79 yards.

Zeke has been absolutely dominating here recently and hopefully he can keep it up with the division rival Washington Redskins coming to town on Thanksgiving. It's a game that will likely determine the outcome of the NFC East division.

The Bad

Brett Maher

Dallas Cowboys K Brett Maher

He may have made the game-winning field goal, but Kicker Brett Maher's inconsistency here lately is the bad this week for the Dallas Cowboys in my opinion. His missed extra point attempt against the Falcons came very close to costing them the victory, and I wouldn't be surprised if we see a few kickers brought in Monday on a tryout basis.

Over the past several years we've kind of been spoiled by having Dan Bailey, one of the most accurate kickers to ever play the game. I believe the Cowboys made the right decision to move on from Bailey earlier this year, especially after seeing the way he's struggled with inconsistency himself in Minnesota. But, Maher's recent struggles is starting to become more and more of a concern.

We've seen too many instances this season where a missed or made field-goal impacts the outcome of the game one way or another. This week they were fortunate enough to come out on top, but just imagine how the NFC division race would look if Maher would've made the one in Washington instead of clanking it on the upright.

The Ugly

Chidobe Awuzie

Dallas Cowboys CB Chidobe Awuzie

I could've easily went with the penalties or mental mistakes in this section this week for the Dallas Cowboys, but I ultimately decided the ugly against the Falcons was Cornerback Chidobe Awuzie being victimized once again. Opposing quarterbacks continue to throw his direction and unfortunately they're finding quite a bit of success.

I hear a lot of fans around Cowboys Nation wanting to see Jourdan Lewis get a shot at starting on the outside over Awuzie, but I don't think that's the right move at this time. I still think Awuzie is playing at a high level, but unfortunately he's just been the victim of some really good catches by receivers he's covering at the time.

Both this week against the Falcons and last week against the Eagles we saw Awuzie with tight coverage on Julio Jones and Alshon Jeffrey, but unfortunately it wasn't enough to prevent the completion from happening. That's just been the way things have gone for him this season. If he can learn to get his head around and locate the ball, he would find much more success and not be targeted as much.

What is your Good, Bad, and Ugly for the Dallas Cowboys against the Falcons?



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