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Would The Cowboys Have Beaten The Falcons In The NFC Championship?

RJ Ochoa

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Byron Jones

Super Bowl LI is officially set as we found out on Sunday that the Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots will be the two teams that square off for football's ultimate prize.

Both won their respective Conference Championships in convincing fashion. The Falcons won by a margin of 23 and the Patriots put 19 points between them and their opponent. While theoretically the game's top four teams would be playing this weekend and produce big-time matchups, that hasn't necessarily been the case this season.

https://twitter.com/danWorthington/status/823353990184370177

The NFL has put out a lower-than-usual quality product this season, and that norm was bucked whenever the Dallas Cowboys were playing. Week in and week out America's Team saved NFL ratings and produced epic finishes... including one last week that left us all devastated.

Yes, the Cowboys lost to the Green Bay Packers and that's a reality that we've all been living with for a week now. If any of those Green Bay faithful want to know how to deal with a loss, they can call us for advice just go ahead and figure it out on their own.

The NFC Championship Game did leave a lot of members of Cowboys Nation thinking, though... would this have been the quality of game had the Cowboys managed to pull off a victory last week? Surely that isn't the case, right? There's no way we'd be that bad?

Dallas Would Have At Least Made It A Game

At one point in time, the Packers were trailing 31-0 in the NFC Championship Game. That's a real sentence. In the game BEFORE THE SUPER BOWL the Packers were getting absolutely obliterated.

While they were at least in the game the Cowboys fell into a similar hole against those very Packers when they trailed 21-3 at one point during the Divisional Round. In an effort unbeknownst to Green Bay, Dallas managed to tie their game not just once, but twice... losing ultimately by a margin of three.

Given that the Packers struggled mightily on the ground against Atlanta and that's an area of the game where the Cowboys are known to have some success, one could certainly imagine that Dallas would have been far more in this game than the Green Bay Packers.

Would The Cowboys Have Been Able To Beat The Falcons?

Atlanta put up 493 total yards and 44 points in the NFC Championship. Dallas only allowed that much yardage or more just once in 2016, on Thanksgiving against the Redskins when they surrendered 505 total yards. The most points that the Cowboys allowed across the season were the 34 that the Packers scored when they lost.

There was only one other time that the Cowboys allowed at least 30 points, an even 30-point performance when they traveled to Pittsburgh... arguably their greatest game of the season.

When you consider the extreme potency that the Atlanta Falcons Offense carries and look at how when the Cowboys faced a fraction of it, and lost, against the Green Bay Packers... you start to really wonder about things.

While it is certainly fair to assume that Dallas would have shortened the game by running Ezekiel Elliott, this was a strategy that they didn't even employ effectively against Green Bay. All signs of logic point to the notion that the Atlanta Falcons Offense simply would have been too much for the Cowboys had they indeed met in the NFC Championship.

Enjoy your win this year, Atlanta. Next season we're coming in far more prepared. Huzzah.

Tell us what you think about "Would The Cowboys Have Beaten The Falcons In The NFC Championship?" in the comments below. You can also email me at RJ.Ochoa@SlantSports.com, or Tweet to me at @RJOchoa!



I like long walks on the beach, mystery novels, no just kidding those suck. The Dallas Cowboys were put on this earth for us all to love and appreciate. I do that 24/7/365. I also love chicken parmesan. Let's roll. @RJOchoa if you wanna shout!

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8 Comments
  • Oscar R. Reyes

    The Cowboys lost the Divisional Game for two reasons. The first one is everyone from the Idiot Owner Jerry Jones all the way down to the Pathetic Sorry Coach Jason Garrett put their faith and hope in a little boy that had no experience for this type of game and played the first three quarters so pathetic that it was so unreal. This should have been Tony Room’s Game. No one will never know what the out come would have been if he had played. New title for Dak Prescott “Choke the Chicken”. Prescott really Choked the Chicken real bad that he left it featherless. Second the Defense and the Offense both played like fools. There no way this Cowboys could have beaten the Atlanta Falcons. We will never know what the Cowboys could have accomplished with Tony Romo. This is what happens when you put a child to play in a very important game and all that child can do is “CHOKE THE CHICKEN”. Prescott is now Worse than Romo.

    • Mix Master

      Your an idiot, look at his stats. The coaching lost this game. If they would have ran the ball more, they would have won. Any fool knows that if they can’t stop the run you stick with it until their spirit is broken. Wake up you hater.

      • Andrew Foong

        Nah, Oscar is totally right.

        And you wake up – it’s “you’re,” not “your.”

        • Jim Kinley

          No, Oscar is totally wrong. And that makes for 2 idiots in the same thread

    • Frank

      Finally, someone else has said it. Tony should of taken over as soon as he was healthy. He was our best chance to win a super bowl. He got the shaft and should of been given a chance. Rookie QBs don’t win super bowls. Worst decision in Cowboy history. With that said, I like Dak, but we were obviously playing for next year and with Dak having a year under his belt, it will only make us better next year. Btw, remember this always, Rookie QBs don’t win super bowls.

  • Russ_Te

    Atlanta / Dallas hypothetical:

    For Atlanta:
    Entire team peaking, defense playing better than it is
    Against Atlanta:
    Have to face a big, hostile Dallas crowd. Probably can’t stop Dallas much better than Dallas can stop it.

    I can see the game going either way. Atlanta earned this NFC crown, no disputing that. It has the look now of “their year”.

    I wanted Dak to go 1-0 to start his playoffs, and not down the Romo path. But after a slow start he played great against GB. 103.2 rating in the game, made all the plays he had to to bring his team back in the 4th. Rookie in his first playoff start.

    I’m taking that.

  • Russ_Te

    Super Bowl 51 Vegas odds as of this AM:

    Spread: New England -3

    over/under : 59

    This one is particularly hard to forecast IMO. There are several possibilities that would be the proverbial game changer.

    – New England isn’t good enough on defense to shut down Atlanta. But Belichick is good enough to bottle up J Jones. That’s always what he does. He limits your best option.

    So Atlanta has to adjust. First, to not concede that. Move Jones around. Get him the ball no matter if that takes flanker screens, end arounds, quick slants, etc.

    But NE will slow Jones down. Atlanta has to also go in with the mindset that it will make NE pay with it’s other weapons. I start that with the running game – try to wear NE down and chew up clock that Brady can’t use against me.

    – Atlanta is definitely not good enough on defense to stop NE. Brady made the Steelers look like jackasses, and Gronkowski was out. If ATL sits in soft zones and 4 DL, they will face worse than the Steelers did. Houston played NE more aggressively, more bump coverage.

    I’d sell out on that and send the house at Brady, similar to what the Redskins did to Romo in 2014 when he got the back injury.

    Yes he’s going to burn it, but you also get hits and sacks on him, probably a fumble or INT(s) out of it. If you do it all day he might crumble or go out hurt, etc.

    If I’m Atlanta I go in with the idea that if Brady is unmolested he is probably winning the game. I make sure he gets harassed.

    I would not bet a side on this game – too unpredictable. But that over is tempting. Can easily see both teams scoring over 30.

    • Travis Diggs

      Dak Prescott did everything he could for this team. I can’t believe people really think Romo would have done more. REALLY!!Check the stats Dak did in a playoff game what Romo never did ,300+ and 3 td. This same team Romo has been playing for has never had an above average defense We scored 31 and lost at home Atlanta scores like us but at least they play a little defense That’s why their in the Superbowl and not us

Star Blog

How Will Safeties Xavier Woods, Kavon Frazier Fit Kris Richard’s Secondary?

Sean Martin

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How Will Safeties Xavier Woods, Kavon Frazier Fit Kris Richard's Secondary?
(Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Unfortunately, David Irving's most recent four game suspension is the main story for a Dallas Cowboys team finished with OTAs and mini camp, left only to wait for training camp now. I've chosen to focus on the players that were on the field for the offseason program, that will continue to contend for starting jobs in Oxnard. Standing out from a lackluster group of safeties, for a Kris Richard led secondary that is off to a fast start, are safeties Xavier Woods and Kavon Frazier.

Joined by Jeff Heath, Tyree Robinson, Jameill Showers, and Marqueston Huff, the Cowboys are lacking a dominant force at safety to pair with their young and talented group of cornerbacks. With the likes of Chidobe Awuzie, Byron Jones (the former safety), and Anthony Brown already improving under Richard, the Cowboys hope is that the same will apply to this group of safeties.

It's still entirely too early to know how the Cowboys want to deploy their safeties this season, but the only players that have shown their strengths and weaknesses over any period of time are Heath, Frazier, and Woods. This is sure to cause an uphill battle for the fringe players looking to push this trio of versatile safeties.

Jeff Heath has appeared in 77 games over five seasons with the Cowboys. Frazier and Woods combined? Just 24 games, with 16 of them making up Woods' rookie season a year ago. This makes finding a potential role for both players vital to the Cowboys.

How Will Safeties Xavier Woods, Kavon Frazier Fit Kris Richard's Secondary? 2

Dallas Cowboys S Kavon Frazier (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)

Safety Kavon Frazier

Working mostly as a special teams player through two seasons in Dallas, Kavon Frazier has patiently awaited his opportunity to spark the Cowboys defense as a sixth round pick of 2016. Doing so in a memorable week 13 win over the Washington Redskins, Frazier earned an increased role as an enforcer on defense.

This is a player whose straight line burst and power is ideal for a ST starter, and when Frazier connects coming downhill on defense, the results can be catastrophic for an opposing offense.  Surely these are traits that will remind Kris Richard even slightly of his Super Bowl winning "Legion of Boom" defenses.

The distinction between Frazier being a part-time player or one maximizing his potential to start deep in the Cowboys secondary is an important one. Limited in coverage, Frazier may be at his best when conceding snaps to another safety on the Cowboys roster with more of an all-around game -- which the Cowboys can only hope Xavier Woods continues to be.

Safety Xavier Woods

Xavier Woods may not have the pure stopping power that Kavon Frazier possesses, but as a fellow sixth-round pick there is more than enough to like about what Woods brought to the Cowboys in 2017 out of Louisiana State. With 14 interceptions and six forced fumbles out of college, Woods slid in the draft enough for the Cowboys to trade up for his services.

The team wasn't cheated out of their investment in Woods last season, giving him the "Byron Jones treatment" as Woods lined up all over the field. It was Richard that came to Dallas and almost immediately moved Byron Jones down to cornerback, seeing a better use of his natural size and skills there.

Doing the same for Woods -- while keeping the natural FS free to react -- should be next up on Richard's offseason to-do list. This is a player with sideline to sideline range, enough athleticism to cover down in the slot, and the functional strength to compete in the box.

Amidst this uncertainty for both Frazier and Woods, early reports out of the Cowboys practices thus far have Jeff Heath specifically matching up against the tight end. This is an ideal role for Heath, and one that could compliment Woods very well.

How Will Safeties Xavier Woods, Kavon Frazier Fit Kris Richard's Secondary? 1

Dallas Cowboys CB Anthony Brown, S Xavier Woods, Jeff Heath

Regardless of where Heath is on the field, Woods should be able to coexist with him as a similarly instinctive safety.

There is also the possibility that both Heath and Woods struggle to handle these "starting" responsibilities, leaving the Cowboys with very little trusted depth at safety. If there is an area Woods needs the most improvement in, it is the angles he takes against the run to consistently make stops, a weakness also potentially mitigated by the Cowboys improved linebacker play (investing the 19th overall pick at the position).

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

Between Frazier and Woods, it feels safe to say the Cowboys must find a starter for a secondary that could still achieve great things in 2018. The Cowboys are entering this season with a loaded group of cornerbacks, all capable of making a safety's job relatively easy, especially while learning under Richard.

Such can be the hope for a raw player like Frazier and, in a sense, Xavier Woods. The second-year player in Woods is a great unknown for the Cowboys right now, as he'll remain that way for some time before next month's training camp.

With this, we'll have much more time to sit around and continue pondering what certain position groups will look like once meaningful Cowboys football graciously returns. I've written before that I'm paying close attention to this team's group of wide receivers, and you can add in the secondary players they'll be competing against too.

Tell us what you think about "How Will Safeties Xavier Woods, Kavon Frazier Fit Kris Richard’s Secondary?" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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Star Blog

No, Cowboys Shouldn’t Cut David Irving

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Cowboys' Pass Rush: Who Will Be QB Sack Leader In 2017?
Jeff Hanisch / USA TODAY Sports

For the past five years, Dallas Cowboys fans have gone through painful offseason stories regarding upcoming suspensions for defensive players. It doesn't matter how much talent the front office is able to find through the Draft, there's always one player that ruins what feels like a successful offseason. This time, for the second consecutive year, David Irving is the player to let Cowboys Nation down.

On Friday it was announced that Irving will serve a four-game suspension after violating the NFL's substance abuse policy.

Understandably, a lot of Cowboys' fans want to see Irving released by the franchise that has preached the "Right Kind of Guy" philosophy while failing to establish such a thing. It's disappointing to see such a talented player limiting himself  by not "wanting it" bad enough and by making mistakes like this repeatedly.

However, even if it's a very frustrating situation, the Cowboys shouldn't cut David Irving. 

First of all, Irving's hit against the cap space is pretty minimum and nothing to be concerned at all. After being handed a second-round tender earlier in the year, #95 was set to earn $2.91M during the season. With a four-game suspension ahead of him, that number will be even lower.

We're talking about a guy who in eight games managed to get to the quarterback seven times in 2017 and consistently pressured opposing signal callers. Not to mention he's going to be just 25 years old when the season begins.

For the Cowboys, David Irving has the talent needed to average one sack per game. All of this for less than three million.

Irving has proven by now that he's not worth a long-term extension. That much is clear.  In order to get one of those, a player must prove his availability.

Talking specifically about 2018, though, I'm sure the Cowboys will be better off if they count on Irving for the final 12 games of the season. The team counts with pretty decent depth at the position with Maliek Collins, Datone Jones and Jihad Ward, but Irving has the potential to end the season with double-digit sacks.

The team gains nothing by releasing Irving. The team will not even be "sending a message" if they were to release #95. Maybe if the team had consistently sent this kind of "messages" over the years it would make sense.

However, we know this team sticks with their players and supports them in moments like this. They have done just that with Randy Gregory and it seems like it will pay off soon.

Whether we're mad at Irving's actions or not, the truth is letting him go wouldn't be wise at all. The Cowboys are not paying him big-time money, he's young and he'll be productive on the field when the defense needs him to.

We're talking about a football team that wants to make a run for the Lombardi Trophy. They can't be letting starting-caliber players go just like that. They need all the help they can get and even though his situation is far from ideal, David Irving will play a big role on defense.

Tell me what you think about "No, Cowboys Shouldn’t Cut David Irving" in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 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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Star Blog

Should Cowboys Add Another Safety Before Training Camp?

Brian Martin

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Should Cowboys Add Another Safety Before Training Camp?

The Dallas Cowboys are extremely thin at the safety position. Fact. They haven't really brought in anyone to upgrade the position from last season. Fact. I just wanted to point that out because there's a lot of discussion as to whether or not the Cowboys need to add another safety before training camp.

I don't know where you stand on this debate or how I feel about it personally, but it's definitely something that needs to be discussed from the Cowboys end. It is the one position where there is a lot of unknown and inexperienced. If one of their current safeties were to go down with an injury and miss any time, the whole defense would suffer.

As things stand right now, Jeff Heath is the only one who will reprise his starting role on the backend of the Cowboys defense. Behind him are Xavier Woods and Kavon Frazier, but knowing exactly how they fit in at this moment is completely up in the air.

Unfortunately, that's the top three safeties for the Dallas Cowboys heading into the 2018 season. What's even more bothersome is their fourth might be an undrafted rookie, Tyree Robinson. I don't know about you, but I find that very concerning. But, maybe Kris Richard, the defensive backs coach and passing game coordinator, knows something we don't.

Kris Richard

Dallas Cowboys DB Coach Kris Richard

Fortunately, Kris Richard was recently asked if he had any concerns about the safety position on the "Doomsday Podcast" with Matt Mosley and Ed Werder. He said he had "none".

"I'm confident. I feel really good at this point in time and it's because the level of character of our guys," he said. "We're going to get better. That's the deal because our guys are young, focused, I think the hunger's there. I love the look in their eyes. I love how everyone is buying in, is focused and paying attention to detail. It makes a difference when guys care. It makes a difference when each one wants to teach one. We're trying to build something special. We want to be tribe-like. We want to be more than a team."

It certainly sounds like Kris Richard is excited about the Dallas Cowboys current safeties. Of course, he would never just come out and say that this group is terrible or he wished they'd add Earl Thomas another available safety. That's just not how things work. He's here to coach up the guys on the roster and not worry about personnel moves.

I don't know about you, but I know I would feel a lot better if they had one more experienced safety who could come in and compete for a starting job. Maybe someone like Tre Boston or Kenny Vaccaro, who are still unsigned. Maybe make that trade for Earl Thomas? That's a dream that just won't die.

Regardless, the Dallas Cowboys need to do something to address their depth at the safety position. I don't know what their plans are moving forward, but hopefully they have a contingency plan in place. It's just smart business.

Do you think the Dallas Cowboys need to add a safety before training camp?



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