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Cowboys en Español: Previo al Juego Más Grande del Año

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Dak Prescott, Eagles

Como aficionados empedernidos a la NFL y a nuestros Dallas Cowboys, conocemos la situación en Dallas y sabemos que no es fácil. Muchos hemos visto el juego de esta semana contra los Philadelphia Eagles como el juego que tienen que ganar, aunque la diferencia entre ambos equipos es mayor a la que esperábamos.

En retrospectiva, el juego contra los Atlanta Falcons era mucho más importante de lo que llegamos a pensar, pues en este momento los Cowboys están en una situación en la que parece que perder dos juegos más los pondría en un escenario difícil para alcanzar a entrar a los playoffs.

Obviamente, la adversidad para este equipo es enorme.

Como todos sabemos, Ezekiel Elliott está sirviendo su suspensión, Sean Lee sufrió una lesión y se espera que se pierda tres partidos, no sabemos si Tyron Smith jugará, y según reportes, no lo hará… y claro, Dan Bailey continúa lesionado.

No, nada ideal.

Menos aún cuando se preparan para enfrentar a un equipo que ha perdido sólo un juego en la temporada y que se ha visto muy bien en todos los aspectos.

Naturalmente, todos tenemos el recuerdo de reciente del equipo que vimos el domingo pasado en Atlanta… pero ese no será el equipo que veremos en esta edición del Sunday Night Football.

Conspiracy Theory: NFL Referees Are Out To Get Cowboys?

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott

Para los Cowboys, Es Ahora o Nunca

Jason Garrett y compañía se complicaron la temporada después de perder tres de los primeros cinco enfrentamientos de la temporada. Con una línea ofensiva que no encontraba forma de carburar y un grupo de linebackers lesionado, están sentados con un récord de 5-4, casi no hay lugar para equivocaciones de aquí en adelante.

Los Cowboys no pueden cerrar la temporada con menos de 10 victorias si quieren seguir en la pelea.

Y a pesar de ser un juego más que complicado, esto les puede ayudar.

Mientras los Eagles llegan cómodamente a Dallas, con la clara ventaja sobre la división y con el jugador favorito para el MVP, Carson Wentz, los Cowboys tienen que tomar provecho de una cosa…

Su desesperación.

No sería la primera vez que lo vemos pasar en la NFL. Un equipo que ha tenido una gran temporada se enfrenta contra uno que no es débil, pero que ha tenido semanas difíciles y necesitan una victoria urgentemente y de alguna manera logran sorprender al mundo.

Dak Prescott, Jason Garrett

La pregunta es, ¿pueden lograrlo?

Los Cowboys probablemente no tendrán a Tyron Smith este domingo, y todos vimos lo que eso significó para Dak Prescott hace menos de una semana. Chaz Green permitió que Adrian Clayborn terminará la noche con seis capturas.

Esta vez, Byron Bell será el seleccionado para suplir a Smith. Sinceramente, no creo que vaya a hacer un papel genial, pero definitivamente creo que Prescott no sufrirá tanta presión como la semana pasada. Esperen ver muchos cambios como un ala cerrada bloqueando del lado izquierdo casi todo el partido, o incluso los corredores apoyando constantemente el bloqueo de pase.

A pesar de que contra los Falcons, la ausencia que más pesó fue la del LT Tyron Smith, no creo que vaya a ser el caso este fin de semana.

Head, Shoulders, Knees, And Toes: Injuries Make Sean Lee Untrustworthy?El LB Sean Lee no jugará el domingo, y la verdad esto es lo que más me preocupa. Sin Lee, esta defensiva no es efectiva. La diferencia que hay cuando el #50 está en el campo es increíblemente enorme.

Sobre todo cuando la posición de LBs no es nada profunda y Jaylon Smith ha demostrado una y otra vez que aún no está listo para jugar una gran cantidad de jugadas. Las veces que ha sido efectivo, ha sido porque ha estado presente en menos de la mitad de las jugadas.

En un juego en el que se espera ver a Chidobe Awuzie y a Xavier Woods mucho más, la secundaria tendrá un tiempo difícil frenando el juego aéreo de Philadelphia.

Para que la defensiva pueda ser efectiva, tanto David Irving como DeMarcus Lawrence tienen que tener uno de los mejores juegos del año y lograr presionar a Carson Wentz. La presión al QB será la clave del lado defensivo si los Cowboys quieren irse con la victoria.

Del otro lado del balón, la clave es clara.

Dak Prescott, Carson Wentz Make Cowboys/Eagles Rivalry Great AgainEl QB de segundo año, Dak Prescott tiene que tener un juego digno de un MVP para ganar este duelo. Aún con un comité de corredores sólidos, creo que Scott Linehan y Jason Garrett tienen que darle la oportunidad a Prescott de que el juego ofensivo dependa de él.

Sinceramente, creo que sería un mejor plan que aferrarse al juego terrestre como ataque principal sin Ezekiel Elliott.

Es un juego difícil, y mi predicción es que Philadelphia se llevará la victoria con un marcador de 27-20. Sin embargo, es la NFL y todo puede pasar.

Este domingo, en “Jerry World”, los Dallas Cowboys estarán desesperados por una victoria. El escenario es grande. Sunday Night, rival divisional y en casa… Si los Cowboys consiguen una victoria, le podrían dar la vuelta a su temporada de un momento a otro.

Tell me what you think about “Cowboys en Español: Previo al Juego Más Grande del Año” 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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I love to write, I love football and I love the Dallas Cowboys. I’ve been rooting for America’s team all the way from Mexico ever since I can remember. If you want to talk football, I’m in… You’ll find me at @PepoR99.

Player News

Sean’s Scout: RB Rod Smith Proving Valuable Offensive Threat

Sean Martin

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Sean's Scout: RB Rod Smith Proving Valuable Offensive Threat

The Cowboys have just one more game to get through without their star running back Ezekiel Elliott, but Alfred Morris and Rod Smith deserve a ton of credit for the way they’ve been able to fill in out of the backfield for Zeke Elliott. Throughout the time Elliott has missed though, the Cowboys have lacked the explosive plays on offense that he can provide – until Rod Smith was given an opportunity last week at the Giants.

Smith complimented Morris exceptionally well, running with quickness and power to prove his case for more of a role on offense behind Elliott moving forward. It was the Ohio State product’s consecutive touchdowns of 81 yards through the air and 15 yards on the ground that sealed the game for the Cowboys in week 14.

Here is a closer look at Rod Smith’s performance from last week in this latest Sean’s Scout.

Smith3 – Streamable

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

 

The Cowboys offensive line was dominant as always against a tough New York defensive front, and this first play is a great look at their execution in space and on the move. Rod Smith’s decisiveness when hitting the hole with speed and balance was the first thing I noticed on the game tape.

The best thing Smith does on this play comes at the second level, where running backs can truly make a difference in Dallas. As RG Zack Martin rides his man out of the play entirely, he gets in front of Smith who is seeing the play develop straight ahead. With his long strides, Smith is able to smoothly get through traffic and continue accelerating up field through arm tackles for a big gain.

Smith2 – Streamable

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

 

These same traits are seen with Rod Smith as a pass catcher – something he does effortlessly to also help fill the void left by Elliott. Watch how quickly Smith commits to his angle up the field after catching this dump pass from Dak Prescott, attacking a defender that has the angle on him after the catch.

Rod subtly leans to the right just enough to make the defender hesitate long enough to allow his burst to evade him and gain extra yards falling forward.

Smith4 – Streamable

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

 

Smith essentially does the same thing without the ball in his hands here, on his 81 yard catch and run for a touchdown. Setting up the safety out of the slot to be beat across his face, Smith separates from him at the stem and then does a great job getting depth on his route into the vacated middle of the field. With blockers to help him reach the end zone, Smith turns this busted coverage by the Giants into the game’s biggest play.

Smith1 – Streamable

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

 

This last play I chose to show is probably the least well-blocked attempt for Smith out of the ones in this Sean’s Scout, but there is still a lot to like about what Rod does here with the ball in his hands.

The Giants might be a two-win football team, but they still have marquee players up front, particularly DE Olivier Vernon. Smith does well here to keep his feet moving as he cuts this play to the backside. Vernon does well to limit the potential gain on this play by staying away from the block of Jason Witten, as Smith is taken down by Darian Thompson.

The numbers the Giants had to commit to stopping the run was still a huge reason why Prescott had a career day throwing the football, and Rod Smith’s readiness to step in at RB was a deciding factor in getting Dallas to 7-6.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

Proving to be one of the Dallas Cowboys most valuable players, considering his cost (under contract through 2018), and ability to contribute on special teams and offense, Rod Smith is the perfect RB3 for this team.

Smith is not elite in any one area, and is not a prototypical RB from a physical standpoint, but his contributions as a runner, pass catcher, and blocker could remain critical to the Cowboys’ hopes of reaching the playoffs behind this offense – even when Ezekiel Elliott is back in the fold.

Tell us what you think about “Sean’s Scout: RB Rod Smith Proving Valuable Offensive Threat” in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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Dallas Cowboys

Rod Smith Vs Alfred Morris: Who’s The Cowboys Real RB1?

Brian Martin

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Rod Smith Vs Alfred Morris: Who's Cowboys' Real RB1?

The Dallas Cowboys are less than a week away from welcoming back their talented Pro Bowl running back Ezekiel Elliott, but until then they still have a game to play against the Oakland Raiders. That means we will have one more week of Alfred Morris and Rod Smith handling the workload, but which RB is sitting at the top of the Cowboys depth chart?

Unfortunately, this is exactly the type of decision that can end up winning or losing a game. Both Alfred Morris and Rod Smith have had their moments during Ezekiel Elliott’s absence, but neither one of them have really distanced themselves from the other. So, should Rod Smith or Alfred Morris receive the majority of the workload against the Raiders Sunday?

A Case for Rod Smith

RB Rod Smith and QB Dak PrescottRod Smith might just have had is coming out party last week against the New York Giants. Against their divisional rival, in what was a must win game for the Cowboys, Smith rushed for 47 yards on six carries and added another 113 yards through the air on five catches. He also found himself in the end zone twice, once on a rushing touchdown and the other on a receiving touchdown.

You may or may not agree, but I believe that “Lightning” Rod Smith was largely responsible for igniting the Cowboys offense and helping them pull away from the Giants last Sunday. He accounted for over 160 total yards and two touchdowns by himself and didn’t receive the majority of his playing time until later in the game.

Rod Smith certainly has traits that make him a more desirable RB over Alfred Morris. First off, he is a more complete back. He is better in pass protection and at catching the ball out of the backfield. But, he is also starting to show up in the running game and is averaging 4.5 yards a carry this season. His size (6’3″, 235) also makes him a better short yardage back, although I wish he would deliver more of a blow at the end of his runs.

A Case for Alfred Morris

RB Alfred MorrisAlthough there’s nothing particularly special that stands out about Alfred Morris, he has proven time and time again he is more than capable of carrying the workload. He has received the majority of the workload during Ezekiel Elliott’s suspension and has performed pretty well. In fact, he is averaging 5 yards a carry this season, which is better than any other RB on the Cowboys roster, including Elliott.

Alfred Morris has looked pretty good this season and is playing with more of a spring in his step than I have seen from him in probably his entire career. Last Sunday against the Giants he received the the majority of the workload and finished the game with 19 carries for 62 yards. Not particularly spectacular, but the week prior he did rush for 127 yards on 27 carries in the victory over the Washington Redskins.

Like I mentioned earlier, Morris is a tried-and-true RB in the NFL and is at his best when he can continue to pound the rock and wear down opposing defenses. That is what he did against the Redskins, but he has his limitations as well. Despite his years in the league, he still struggles in pass protection and is limited in what he can do in the passing game. But, he does seem to have the trust of the Cowboys coaching staff.

✭✭✭✭✭

Personally, I would like to see more of Rod Smith this coming Sunday against the Oakland Raiders. I really like what I’ve seen from him in both the running game and in the passing game. I just think he is a more dangerous and versatile weapon then Alfred Morris. His presence on the field really opens up what the Cowboys can do offensively.

I don’t mean any disrespect to Alfred Morris at all. I just think that Rod Smith has proven he is a more dangerous offensive weapon of the two. I don’t know if the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff will agree or not, but I truly believe Rod Smith could once again be the X factor against the Oakland Raiders.

Of course, both Rod Smith and Alfred Morris will have to take the back seat once Ezekiel Elliott returns. So, this discussion really only has any credibility for this week in yet another must win situation against the Oakland Raiders.

Who do you like better… Rod Smith or Alfred Morris?

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La’el Collins’ Toughness And Availability Earning High Praise

Brian Martin

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La'el Collins' Toughness And Availability Earning High Praise 1

The decision by the Dallas Cowboys to move La’el Collins from left guard to right tackle was met by some skepticism by quite a few members of Cowboys Nation during the off-season. I’m not ashamed to admit that I was one of those skeptical of the move, but I’m not afraid to admit he has exceeded my expectations.

In all honesty, I always believed that La’el Collins’ best position in the NFL is on the interior of the offense of line as a guard. I thought he could use his strength and athleticism to his advantage when working in a phone booth against slower and less athletic defensive tackles. That’s not to say I didn’t think he would make a good right tackle, I just thought he had Pro Bowl potential as a guard.

Strangely enough, Collins has probably put together a Pro Bowl caliber season in his first season starting at the right tackle position for the Cowboys. He has become an upgrade over the previous starter Doug Free, and is really starting to earn high praise from the brass. Stephen Jones in particular has been impressed with Collins, especially considering how he has played after missing two full weeks of practice.

Mark Lane on Twitter

DallasCowboys COO Stephen Jones told @1053thefan La’el Collins has answered the bell after his contract extension.

I personally agree with everything Stephen Jones said about La’el Collins. I’ve really enjoyed watching his progression this season, but I have been really impressed how he played the last two weeks after missing so much practice.

You might not of known, but Collins has missed two full weeks of practice due to a herniated disc in his back. This is put his availability to play against the Washington Redskins and New York Giants in jeopardy, but somehow he has toughened up and played considerably well.

This unfortunately will be something he has to continue to battle through the rest of the season, but I’m not going to bet against him playing. He absolutely makes this offensive line better and I would hate to see Chaz Green or Byron Bell back on the field after the way they played as feel-ins.

La’el Collins has without a doubt earned my respect and I think it’s about time we all recognize the player he is turning into. I know the Dallas Cowboys appreciate all that he does and believe that his recent contract extension is money well spent.

What do you think about La’el Collins?

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