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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

8 Comments

  1. Oscar R. Reyes

    January 23, 2017 at 4:18 pm

    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

      January 23, 2017 at 5:25 pm

      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

        January 23, 2017 at 7:27 pm

        Nah, Oscar is totally right.

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

        • Jim Kinley

          January 24, 2017 at 4:56 am

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

    • Frank

      February 11, 2017 at 11:41 am

      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.

  2. Russ_Te

    January 23, 2017 at 8:27 pm

    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.

  3. Russ_Te

    January 23, 2017 at 8:59 pm

    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

      January 24, 2017 at 2:01 am

      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

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Star Blog

Cowboys en Español: Hablemos de los Coaches

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Cowboys en Español: Hablemos de los Coaches
Smiley N. Pool / The Dallas Morning News

Lamentablemente, la temporada 2018 de los Dallas Cowboys ha llegado a su fin. Lo hizo cuando el equipo visitó Los Angeles para intentar sorprender a los Rams en su propio campo en la Ronda Divisional de los playoffs. Ni siquiera con una invasión exitosa de la afición de Dallas pudieron ganarse un pase al Campeonato de Conferencia. En vez de eso, los Cowboys estarán viendo desde casa y la afición estará preguntándose: ¿qué sigue para los Dallas Cowboys?

Parece ya una tradición anual que no podemos dejar pasar. Este momento en el que comenzamos a cuestionar, una vez más, que entrenador es digno de quedarse en la franquicia y cual debe irse. En esta edición de "Cowboys en Español," hablaremos específicamente de los tres principales coaches en el equipo.

Cowboys DC Rod Marinelli Should Be On The Hot Seat

Coordinador Defensivo Rod Marinelli

El futuro del coordinador defensivo de los Dallas Cowboys no se puede tratar sin mencionar a Kris Richard. Fue la defensiva la que llevó al equipo hasta la postemporada y fue la unidad que cargó al equipo en muchas de sus victorias. Incluso con la llegada de Amari Cooper a Dallas, la defensiva fue siempre el pilar de la franquicia esta temporada.

Jaylon Smith y Leighton Vander Esch sorprendentemente se perfilaron como uno de los mejores duos de linebackers en toda la liga, la línea defensiva fue muy exitosa con Randy Gregory y DeMarcus Lawrence en los extremos y con la grata sorpresa que fue Antwaun Woods en el centro. La secundaria vio la mejor temporada en la controversial carrera de Byron Jones e hizo un excelente trabajo con un talento decente, pero no genial.

Todo esto, y el haber terminado como la sexta mejor defensiva en puntos permitidos (20.2) y la quinta mejor contra la corrida (94.6), hace a Rod Marinelli merecedor de una ronda de aplausos. Sin embargo, Richard probablemente merezca más aplausos.

Fue Richard quien revolucionó la defensiva de los Cowboys y la convirtió en un grupo mucho más agresivo. Fue él quien implementó jugadas de "blitz" en el equipo (algo no común con Marinelli) y quien en un punto de la temporada, comenzó a seleccionar las jugadas desde la banda.

En esta posición, me parece que los Dallas Cowboys tienen que enfrentar la dura decisión de decirle a Marinelli que es tiempo de dejarle el puesto a Kris Richard. Si bien no se llevó un trabajo de head coach, es muy probable que le llovieran ofertas a Richard si no se hace con el título de coordinador defensivo en Dallas.

Scott Linehan Acknowledges Need for New "Wrinkles" in Cowboys Offense

Dallas Cowboys OC Scott Linehan (Tim Heitman / USA TODAY Sports)

Coordinador Ofensivo Scott Linehan

Con un equipo tan polémico como este, la afición de Dallas no concuerda en muchas cosas. Sin embargo, lo hacen al hablar del pésimo trabajo que Scott Linehan ha realizado mandando las jugadas en ofensiva. Realmente ha sido doloroso de ver y es en mi opinión, el mayor problema que tiene el equipo actualmente.

Semana tras semana, fuimos testigos de pésimas decisiones en la ofensiva de los Cowboys. Vimos como el equipo se aferraba a llenar la caja de defensivos antes de correr el balón con Ezekiel Elliott. Vimos incontables pases pantalla en tercera oportunidad y largo. Pero no solo es lo que vimos, sino lo que no vimos.

A pesar de la innegable habilidad para correr el balón de Dak Prescott, Linehan se rehusó a explotar esta versatilidad de su QB. Vimos pocos "QB sneaks," jugada donde el mariscal toma el balón bajo centro y consigue poco yardage detrás del empuje de su línea ofensiva.

Siendo honestos, los Cowboys llevan dos años sufriendo por este coordinador. Dejarlo volver en el 2019 sería una decisión ridícula. Los comentarios en la radio de Jason Garrett no lucen prometedores, pero realmente sería una sorpresa que fueran ciertos. Linehan no debe volver... punto.

Jerry Jones Delivers Vote of Confidence in "Real Deal" Jason Garrett

Head Coach Jason Garrett

El futuro en esta posición será muy debatido durante los próximos meses, pero de los tres que hemos mencionado es sin lugar a dudas el más seguro de todos. Nos guste o no, Jason Garrett estará al frente del equipo la próxima temporada.

Garrett está lejos de ser un gran coach y aún le hace falta demostrar que puede cumplir las aspiraciones de los Cowboys de traer un sexto Trofeo Lombardi a casa. Pero siendo honesto, este equipo debería tener suficiente con Garrett y un par de buenos coordinadores. ¿El problema? No hay un par de buenos coordinadores en el equipo.

Sin embargo, Garrett ha demostrado que cuenta con el amor y apoyo de sus jugadores. Ha demostrado que efectivamente, puede ganar la división (lo ha hecho en tres de los últimos cinco años). Este año el equipo le dio la vuelta a la temporada después de comenzar 3-5.

Lo más preocupante en mi opinión, es la falta de urgencia para despedir a Linehan, por ejemplo. Quizá a puerta cerrada Garrett quiere un cambio en su staff, pero nunca lo sabremos.

Jason Garrett no es un coach excelente, pero podría ser suficiente para llevar a los Cowboys a un Super Bowl si tiene un equipo adecuado. Todo parece indicar que su trabajo está seguro (incluso más de lo que pensamos) así que es tiempo de esperar que se arreglen sus coordinadores.

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys en Español: Hablemos de los Coaches" 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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Star Blog

2018 Draft Class Season Review: LB Leighton Vander Esch

Kevin Brady

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Leighton Vander Esch Lands on List of NFL's Top 10 Rookies

As the first round draft pick of America's Team, any player would be under a ton of pressure from all angles. Whether it's from the fans on the outside or the organization on the inside, the expectations around being a first round pick for the Cowboys are immense. But the pressure placed upon linebacker Leighton Vander Esch, from the second he was announced as the 19th overall draft pick, was second to none.

It felt like Cowboys Nation let out a collective groan when Vander Esch was taken, with fans hoping for a more glamorous first round selection. Someone like wide receiver Calvin Ridley or edge rusher Harold Landry would've done the trick, but after Vander Esch's rookie season it's hard to imagine either of those players would have had the impact Vander Esch did in 2018.

Though he didn't start a game until week 4, and didn't become the unquestioned full-time starting WILL until week 10, Vander Esch earned Pro Bowl honors for his rookie season. Tallying 140 total tackles and 2 interceptions, Vander Esch made his presence felt week in and week out.

No counting stats can fully measure Leighton Vander Esch's impact as a rookie, however.

Prior to the 2018 season, the Cowboys defensive success often came down to the health of Sean Lee. When available and playing at his best, Lee led an overachieving Cowboys defense to solid performances each week. But, when Lee went out (as he often did), the entire Cowboys defense seemed to fall apart.5 Studs and Duds From the Dallas Cowboys 2018 Season

This year, though, that all changed. When Sean Lee was out with injury the Cowboys defense got better. Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith became a versatile, hard hitting tandem the NFL immediately feared, and helped to direct the Cowboys defense to signature wins throughout the 2018 season.

There are arguments against taking any off-ball linebacker in the first round, as the value of the position has been questioned due to the new style of offense in the NFL. Nowadays linebackers are relegated to two-down players, taken off the field in favor of faster defensive backs on critical passing downs.

Leighton Vander Esch is athletic enough to be both an old school run stopper, but also a three down linebacker in today's fast paced NFL.

Despite the doubts which surrounded the pick, the Cowboys absolutely nailed their first round selection in 2018. And Leighton Vander Esch made Dallas' front office look like geniuses each and every Sunday.



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Star Blog

What Is The Cowboys Most Pressing Offseason Need?

Kevin Brady

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Can we Believe General Manager Jerry Jones?

Finishing their season with a Division Round loss, Dallas Cowboys fans are getting a somewhat late start on the 2019 offseason. Of course, we'd much rather a later start, but the results are what they are.

Now Dallas must get better, and re-tool before heading into Dak Prescott's fourth season, and the Cowboys' 2019 campaign. Though they didn't feel all that close to a championship this season, looking around the roster, it's actually tough to identify one key need the Cowboys must address.

They are filled with young, talented players that they have high hopes for across the board. And in the places they are "older," such as across the offensive line, they have established veterans who aren't going anywhere anytime soon.

So what is the Cowboys' most pressing offseason need?

Well, despite already using their 2019 first round pick to address it, the answer very well might be wide receiver.

Adding Amari Cooper midseason provided a massive jolt to the Cowboys previously anemic passing attack, but on his own he is not enough to take this passing game to where it needs to be to compete in this new NFL.

Third round pick Michael Gallup is going to be a very good pro, and progressed really well as his rookie season went on. I think he can play opposite Amari Cooper nicely, and be the number two option in the passing game going forward.

Though arguably their best wide out against man coverage, Cole Beasley is a free agent, and if the reports are true about Scott Linehan returning in 2019 it could very well mean Beasley will not be opting to sign back with Dallas.

Regardless of Beasley's decision, however, the Cowboys need to seriously evaluate their pass catchers heading into next season.

This is a passing league. The rules have dictated that you must be able to pass the ball efficiently if you want to compete with the best of the best around the NFL. To take the next step in their progression, and reach an NFC title game and/or Super Bowl, Dak Prescott will need to have as explosive a group of pass catchers as possible.

The Cowboys have already taken solid steps to making this a reality, but another move or two this offseason could go a long way to putting Dallas in the conversation with teams like the Rams and the Saints in 2019.



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