Los Dallas Cowboys perdieron la semana pasada 35-30 contra los Los Angeles Rams. Fue un golpe muy duro para el equipo. A pesar de que sólo es la segunda derrota de la temporada, era una que los Cowboys y sus aficionados no esperaban. Ahora con un récord de 2-2, tendrán la tarea de evitar una tercera derrota contra los Green Bay Packers.
Jugar contra los Packers ha tomado un significado muy diferente en los últimos años. De ser una rivalidad por muchos años, no ha hecho más que intensificarse. Las últimas dos ocasiones que Dallas ha estado en playoffs, han sido eliminados en derrotas muy doloras por Aaron Rodgers y compañía.
Ahora, en un juego que revelará mucho sobre este equipo y que nos dirá mucho de como irá la temporada, los Cowboys tienen que hacer algunos cambios para ganar el partido. En esta edición de Cowboys en Español, les comparto mi opinión.
Xavier Woods Tiene Que Ser Titular
Desde el momento en el que Woods fue seleccionado por el equipo en Abril, sabíamos que los Cowboys se estaban llevando un talento fuera de lo común. Quizá la selección de mejor valor para el equipo, el novato de sexta ronda ha demostrado ser de calidad.
Con Jeff Heath teniendo una temporada hasta el momento decepcionante, Rod Marinelli y compañía deberían buscar darle una chispa a la secundaria de los Cowboys.
Es hora de darle a Xavier Woods, quien ha jugado muy bien y se ha ganado el trabajo, la titularidad como safety al lado de Byron Jones.
No Forzar Jugadas con Dez Bryant
Se podría decir que Dez Bryant es el mejor receptor que tiene este equipo. Sin embargo, los Cowboys, junto con el coordinador ofensivo Scott Linehan, están forzando algo que no existe.
Durante todo el offseason, estuvimos hablando sobre la química que Dak Prescott y Dez Bryant desarrollarían tras una temporada entera de jugar juntos y tras un año de entrenar juntos. Pensábamos que llegarían a conquistar a la liga entera.
Sin embargo no han conseguido dicha química. Y en varias ocasiones, a los Cowboys les ha costado mucho más forzar las cosas con el veterano.
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Tomen la jugada de arriba como ejemplo. Sí, Dez Bryant atrapa el pase. Pero realmente parece que Cole Beasley es la primera lectura de Dak, y por alguna razón, Prescott decide voltear a ver a Dez.
Los Cowboys tienen que volver a involucrar a Cole Beasley como en el 2016. Tienen que volver a buscar a Jason Witten. Tienen que encontrar la manera de utilizar a Ryan Switzer como algo más que un Lucky Whitehead 2.0.
Usar Más Personal 10 y 11
Si me hubieran dicho que la línea ofensiva iba a ser un problema para Dallas en el 2017, no les hubiera creído. Pero eso es justamente lo que está pasando. Los Cowboys han tenido problemas tanto abriendo huecos para Ezekiel Elliott, como protegiendo a Dak Prescott.
Pero cuando hablamos específicamente sobre el juego terrestre, los Cowboys están usando muchos paquetes incluyendo múltiples alas cerradas (TEs).
Elliott no está jugando mal esta temporada. Pero hay cosas que podrían ayudar al equipo a despegar. Una de ellas sería corriendo la bola desde personal "10" y personal "11".
Nota: El primer numero en el tipo de personal indica cuantos corredores hay en el campo. El segundo cuantas alas cerradas hay en el campo. Si tomamos en cuenta que hay cinco miembros de la línea ofensiva y el quarterback, el resto serían los receptores abiertos. Si tenemos un personal "11" significa que hay un corredor y un ala cerrada.
Anthony Hitchens Más Juego Que Jaylon Smith
Después de sufrir una lesión en la pretemporada que parecía que iba a dejar a Hitchens en la reserva de lesionados, el linebacker se prepara para ayudar a esta defensiva.
Y a pesar de la emoción que tenemos por el "novato" de segundo año Jaylon Smith, no parece que este listo por completo.
I can promise you that Aaron Rodgers will look for Jaylon Smith over and over again on Sunday. Teams have completed 13 of 15 passes vs him.
En muchas jugadas, Jaylon falla a la hora de tomar ángulos y ha tenido un mal tiempo cubriendo pases. Jaylon Smith tiene todo el potencial de ser un gran LB para esta defensiva, pero no estoy seguro que en este momento sea la opción correcta.
Si Sean Lee no está listo para jugar este domingo, entendería que Smith viera mucho el campo. Pero si Lee está al 100% y Hitchens puede tomar sin preocupaciones el lugar de Jaylon, no me sorprendería si vemos mucho menos del #54.
Los Dallas Cowboys tienen la oportunidad de hacer una declaración este domingo contra los Packers. Siendo sinceros, este es un equipo que debería ser mucho mejor de lo que han demostrado hasta este momento. Y si se pueden ir 3-2 antes de su semana de descanso, sería la manera perfecta de darle la vuelta al rumbo que llevan tras cuatro semanas.
Dallas Cowboys Shouldn’t Add a Veteran Backup Quarterback
With offseason training activities and minicamps coming to a close, now begins the wait for July 27th and the first day of training camp practice in Oxnard, California for the Dallas Cowboys. In my nearly 20 years following the Dallas Cowboys, this is the deepest and most talented roster I can remember the Cowboys taking to training camp.
Of course, there are areas of weakness, especially when you compare them to other position groups. Unfortunately, there isn't always a simple fix to said area of weakness. If you're looking for one area of complaint, you could point to backup quarterback.
Cooper Rush and Mike White have a combined three regular season attempts between the two of them. I wouldn't hold that against them though, because the reason they only have three attempts between them -- and really it's just Cooper Rush has three attempts -- is because Dak Prescott has been such a durable quarterback that those other guys aren't getting into games.
The only time Cooper Rush has appeared in a game was during lopsided wins against the San Francisco 49ers in 2017 and the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2018 and a blowout loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in 2017.
The reports coming out of OTAs and minicamp are that Cooper Rush and Mike White haven't had very good practices. Reports of interceptions have a portion of Cowboys Nation concerned about the quarterback position after their franchise quarterback.
Those reports can offer some insight into how things are going, but they should hardly be taken completely at face value. Remember what Allen Iverson said, "We talkin bout practice." Just like we shouldn't get too hyped about what Dorance Armstrong or Dak Prescott are doing in practice, we shouldn't overreact to some bad practices by your backup quarterbacks. Remember, they're largely throwing to guys who are undrafted free agents and are likely to be released when the team trims their roster to 53.
So much of where the concern about the backup quarterback position comes from is because of the recent history this team has had with losing its starting quarterback to injury. Tony Romo missed games in 2008, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016. That's six out of 11 seasons where he was the starting quarterback heading into training camp in which he missed at least one game in a season.
Dak Prescott hasn't missed a start since his sophomore season at Mississippi State in 2013. That's five straight seasons between college and the NFL that Dak Prescott has been available for his team. In 2013, he was splitting snaps with the Bulldogs senior quarterback, but since 2013, has been available for 88 of his team's 90 games. Dak's started 51 straight games for the Dallas Cowboys in three seasons and has the strength and durability to continue to do just that.
Dak Prescott isn't Tony Romo. According to DallasCowboys.com, Dak Prescott measures at 6-2, 238 pounds. That's huge for an NFL quarterback. Romo was 6-2, 230. Romo, however, never looked as strong or thick as Dak Prescott. He always looked more slender playing the quarterback position and his durability was a concern. So far in Dak's career, durability hasn't been an issue, therefore the quarterback position is less of an issue.
The recent history of 2015, when Tony Romo went down and the season went with it, has many leery of going into a season with unproven commodities. But in that 2015 season, they had "proven" commodities at the quarterback position and those players went 2-11 in the starts that Tony Romo missed.
The free agent quarterback market doesn't look all that enticing at this point in the offseason. And that should be obvious. Any quarterback that was worth signing is already on a team. What you're left with is a who's who of bad quarterback options that wouldn't give you much more confidence in that Rush or White if necessary.
- Matt Cassell - Been there, done that.
- Brandon Weeden - See above.
- Mark Sanchez - See Above.
- Brock Osweiler - Miami, Denver, and Houston did that, chose to go another direction.
- Derek Anderson - not a terrible option, but not necessarily better than what you have.
- Josh Johnson - Pass.
- Geno Smith - The New York Giants didn't want him. Very Hard Pass.
There isn't a free agent quarterback that makes sense. They're either old descending quarterbacks or young retreads that have been through a few different organizations and haven't been able to find a landing spot. Let's get into training camp and the preseason and see what Mike White and Cooper Rush do in a game-like situation before making a definitive evaluation.
With Kellen Moore and Jon Kitna as Dak Prescott's main coaching influences in 2019, there's no need for a veteran backup quarterback to "mentor" Prescott at this point in his career. Moore was always considered a very smart player that was viewed as a future coach. Kitna was one of the better backup quarterback options during his career and has spent time coaching in the high school ranks. Dak couldn't have two better guys in his ear during the week or on gameday. A veteran quarterback doesn't really add anything to what these two already bring.
The Cowboys are content to see how the backup quarterback battle plays out between Mike White and Cooper Rush. Let these guys get as many snaps as they can in training camp and the preseason and if, for some reason, neither guy steps up and you feel like you need to add a veteran, then go grab Mark Sanchez since he knows the offense and has a good relationship with Dak Prescott.
What Are Realistic Expectations for Cowboys LB Sean Lee?
For many years, Linebacker Sean Lee has been the face of the Dallas Cowboys defense. However, that's quickly changing. The young duo consisting of Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch have taken over the linebacker position by dominating the field from sideline to sideline with their explosive talent. As a rookie, Vander Esch filled in for Lee at the weak linebacker position when the veteran went down injured and never gave the job back.
Currently, uncertainty surrounds Sean Lee, who took a pay cut earlier in the year to stay with the franchise he's played for since the beginning of his professional career in 2010. What will his role be in a young fueled defense in the upcoming season?
As we've all been able to see throughout his career, Sean Lee is one of the best in the game when he's healthy. Unfortunately, that's not very often. His injury proneness led him to a position change years ago, when he was moved from the MIKE (middle linebacker) to the WILL (weak side linebacker) position. Now, those two spots are taken care of.
Where does this leaves Lee? The main question is whether or not he'll move to the strong side. Many question if this would be the correct call, given that he could be at even more risk of suffering yet another injury in a position that leads to more contact. The other option would be for him to be Vander Esch's backup at WILL.
Lately, it seems like the Cowboys will indeed move him to the strong-side. After all, it only makes sense to have your best three players on the field at the same time. On minicamp, the Cowboys have been playing the veteran at SAM, letting him get reps and grow comfortable in what seems to be his new job.
But even if Sean Lee starts lining up on the strong side, what can we expect from him next season? The way the NFL offenses operate now leads to teams sending their nickel packages to the field more often than not. For the Cowboys 4-3 defense, that means three cornerbacks, two linebackers. When that's the case, it will be Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith who we see out there, not Lee.
Damien Wilson was the team's "starter" on the strong side, and he only managed to get 286 snaps, according to Pro Football Reference. That represents 28% of the team's total snaps. Even if Sean Lee becomes the starting strong side linebacker, we likely won't be seeing him as much.
Even still, I'd expect Sean Lee's experience to play a big factor when the team needs Jaylon Smith or Leighton Vander Esch to catch their breath. Lee could jump in and play a few snaps at any LB spot and do a good job at it.
After all, we can't forget that despite his injuries, Lee is a remarkable player on defense. He should still be one of the smartest linebackers with extraordinary instincts. There's a reason why, before Vander Esch arrived to America's Team, the defense crumbled without him. Last year, despite losing the starting gig, Lee still had 118 tackles, 13 tackles for loss and an interception. The longtime veteran can still play.
It will be odd for Cowboys Nation to watch Lee on a completely new role. It's also hard to put the finger on what his production will look like at the end of the year. If there's one thing we know though, is that the veteran will work hard every practice trying to get the most playing time he can. We should be excited about the team's top three linebackers.
Dak Prescott Impresses, Draws Compliments All Minicamp Long
Dak Prescott stood before the media Thursday in a Stetson Cowboy hat, answering questions about his upcoming contract extension.
“I’ve got my cowboy hat on, so I’m a Cowboy, we’ll say that.”
Prescott has cemented himself as the franchise quarterback of America's Team, and now it's time for the franchise to pay him like it. Set to earn roughly $34 million per year (according to recent rumors/reports), Prescott is going to be a very rich and comfortable man in the near future.
But, for now, he still plays under his fourth round rookie contract. You wouldn't be able to tell by watching him on the field, however. Though it was just minicamp, Prescott was impressive as ever over the last couple weeks of practice, earning praise from all levels within the organization.
Veteran Jason Witten complimented both Prescott's anticipation and accuracy, saying his throws have been "off the charts" at minicamp. Prescott himself said that this is the best he's felt since he's entered the league, and it certainly makes sense for this to be the case.
"Is it three years under my belt or just seeing defenses a whole lot more clear, being quicker and faster in everything I want to do, having great teammates around me? Who really knows the answer, but I feel great. I feel confident, and my teammates do, as well.” - Prescott to DallasCowboys.com
If Prescott was ever going to be comfortable, hungry, and ready to go, this is likely the time that it would happen. He has three relatively successful seasons under his belt, and ended 2018 on the best stretch of his career. He is the unquestioned starting quarterback for this team, and has the backing of every key decision maker in the building.
Prescott now has an offensive coordinator who he has not only worked closely with (in some capacity) since he entered the league in 2016, but is also being lauded for his creativity as an offensive mastermind. His quarterbacks coach, Jon Kitna, has been receiving similar praise for how he can coach up Prescott and get his footwork consistent, to help him "throw it through a Fruit Loop."
The time is now for Dak Prescott, and it's encouraging to see how he is responding to this increased pressure and responsibility. Then again we should have no doubt that he will respond positively, as he as throughout his entire young career.
Whenever faced with adversity, Prescott has answered the bell. Now he has all the supporters he needs, and just needs to prove them right.
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