When you see or hear of the Golden State Warriors the first thing that comes to mind is probably super-team or dynasty. While that is true, that's not exactly what I'm getting at. Last year the Dallas Cowboys made a lot of noise in the NFL.
It started with taking a running back with the fourth overall pick in the NFL Draft, Ezekiel Elliott. Some fans absolutely loved the pick, along with most of the media that cover them, but some fans and a lot of the national media absolutely hated the pick.
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For those who don't know him, that's @VoiceOfTheStar (Pat Walker) when Zeke was selected in the 2016 NFL draft. He thought it would go another way (Jalen Ramsey), as did many fans.
How does that compare to the Golden State Warriors?
Well when the Warriors are doing good, which seems to be happening on a regular basis the past few years, the haters, hate. You'll hear a lot of "Kevin Durant isn't even that good" and "Draymond Green is a thug," or "Steph Curry is overrated."
Cowboys Nation hears similar stories surrounding most of their young talented players.
It seems that even finishing the season 13-3 and winning the NFC East can't shut some of the haters up. When you look at why the Cowboys were so successful last year you have to turn to the two rookies, Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott, that's obviously no surprise.
Dak Prescott was the leagues Rookie Of The Year and Ezekiel Elliott won the league rushing title.
You would think that having so much success from both player's rookie years would earn them some respect from opposing fans and the media, but it didn't. Even after the performances Prescott and Elliott put on in 2016, people are still using words such as overrated, system-player, or mediocre to describe both players.
You can't spell "Dak Prescott sucks" without Dak Prescott.
Not surprised, considering the source.
Fellow NFL running back calls out Ezekiel Elliott as overrated https://t.co/rnBU0CaHeS
Somehow, someway after two NBA Championships in the last three years these same words surround the Golden State Warriors.
Why am I using Golden State as an example?
Two reasons. One, because when a team -- no matter the sport -- is either so loved or so hated by so many people, false opinions follow said team no matter how much they succeed.
And two, the success of said team can drive teams, General Managers, and even fans crazy.
From a personal stand point I think the Warriors are little bit overrated.
In every professional sport there is some sort of copy cat mentality in all of these owner's and general manager's heads. If another team does something and succeeds, a different team is going to try to do that same thing just to beat you. If you're still unsure where I'm going with this, maybe this will help.
All 32 teams saw how effective Ezekiel Elliott was last year and all 32 teams I think began to realize how important a good running game is.
The Jacksonville Jaguars didn't hesitate when they were on the clock with the fourth overall pick in the 2017 draft. The Jaguars had plenty of holes on both sides of the ball, but took Leonard Fournette, a player who a lot of people called a "bad pick."
We can even look in the Cowboys' own division to see how they are already driving some of these teams crazy. All three teams in the division spent a lot of money and multiple draft picks on ways to target the Dallas Cowboys' weakness, their defense.
- The Washington Redskins signed Terrelle Pryor and Brian Quick early in free agency after having one of the worst defenses in the league last year.
- The Philadelphia Eagles did almost the same thing, signing Alshon Jeffrey and Torrey Smith via free agency and adding Mack Hollins and Shelton Gibson via the draft.
- The New York Giants? Same thing. The Giants signed Brandon Marshall in free agency and used their first round draft pick on Evan Engram, a pass catching tight end.
So instead of getting better at the things each team struggled at last year, it seems to me that each team was thinking something along the lines of "how can we beat the Dallas Cowboys?" on their mind going into free agency and the draft.
Very similar to what is going on in the NBA right now.
Not long ago the NBA was all about the big man. DeMarcus Cousins, Zach Randolph, Dwight Howard, and DeAndre Jordan used to be the faces of the NBA, and what all teams wished they had. Now, all the NBA wants is a guy who can shoot threes and handle the ball. The center position in basketball is almost nonexistent and it's all about who can shoot the basketball.
Why is that? Because, that's what's worked for the Warriors.
Having five guys on the floor for a majority of the game who aren't limited to where they can shoot. Having Draymond Green play as the "center" but taking shots from beyond the arch more than an easy layup.
And the NFL is doing the same thing.
A lot of teams are looking at the Cowboys and trying to copy what they have done. Drafting offensive lineman and running backs extremely high and signing and drafting players that can help you beat the teams within your division.
It's an interesting way to look at it if you ask me, and some people will say "the Cowboys haven't won anything yet to be compared to the Warriors," but how teams are implementing what the Cowboys have been doing for years, and the amount of negativity that is thrown at teams for simply being good sure does raise the question,
Are the Dallas Cowboys the Golden State Warriors of the NFL?
Cowboys en Español: ¿Dónde Tiene Que Mejorar Dallas?
El mejor juego de los Dallas Cowboys en 2018 vino la semana pasada, cuando recibieron a los Jacksonville Jaguars y los vencieron 40-7. Un resultado que tomó a todos por sorpresa demostró la mejor cara en el año de este equipo que apenas tiene un récord de 3-3.
Por más dominantes que se vieron en el emparrillado el domingo pasado, esa actuación no termina de reflejar lo que realmente son los Cowboys. Son un equipo con potencial en la ofensiva y con una defensiva bastante fuerte, pero ¿pueden ganar constantemente como lo hicieron contra Jaguars?
De entrada, la respuesta a esta pregunta parece ser no. Aún en esa victoria, se vieron problemas evidentes en la ofensiva. Para empezar, la falta de ejecución en la segunda mitad en series ofensivas que incluso llegaron a iniciar en territorio enemigo. De gol de campo en gol de campo se juntan puntos, sin duda, pero en partidos cerrados eso termina costando victorias. Hace falta que Dak Prescott y compañía puedan mover el balón una vez en rango de gol de campo y convertir esas oportunidades a touchdowns.
Otra preocupación que no podemos subestimar es que el juego aéreo sigue sin funcionar apropiadamente. Cole Beasley dominó con nueve atrapadas para 101 yardas y dos touchdowns, pero el resto de los receptores se fueron sin más de una recepción por cabeza. El único jugador que logró más de una fue el TE Geoff Swaim, quien se llevo dos en todo el juego.
Si bien Beasley tuvo uno de los mejores juegos en su carrera, más receptores tienen que involucrarse para llevar la ofensiva al siguiente nivel. La buena noticia es que en esta ocasión se enfrentaron contra una de las mejores secundarias en la NFL. Los números son malos, pero tienen la oportunidad de demostrar mucho más contra otras defensivas.
Los Dallas Cowboys tienen que repartir más la bola y seguir buscando maneras creativas de utilizar a su RB Ezekiel Elliott. Pases pantallas en tercera y largo no es ser creativo. Lo vemos funcionar dos o tres veces al año pero mandan esta jugada semanalmente. En cuanto a Dak Prescott, hay mucho donde mejorar. Deberíamos estar viendo pases más arriesgados, al centro del campo y mucho mejor posicionados.
Para la defensiva, las cosas se ven muy bien. Puede que veamos la mejor versión de esta unidad esta semana, cuando viajen a Washington. Maliek Collins, Sean Lee, David Irving, y Randy Gregory estarán jugando mucho más sanos y preparados. Este es un frente defensivo lleno de talento que intimidará constantemente a Alex Smith este domingo.
A pesar de que los Redskins no tienen una ofensiva muy explosiva, el área de oportunidad principal para la defensiva de Cowboys está en la profundidad defensiva. Tanto Jeff Heath como Xavier Woods han hecho un trabajo decente, pero tienen sus momentos en los que no logran asegurar una tackleada y permiten jugadas largas.
Hace unos meses no esperábamos que fuera la defensiva y no la ofensiva la que cargaría a este equipo a muchas victorias, pero ese ha sido el caso en las tres victorias de esta temporada. Y en las tres derrotas, la defensiva fue la que mantuvo a los Cowboys en el juego.
Sin duda alguna, lo que tiene que mejorar es la ofensiva. Los receptores tienen que desmarcarse, Prescott debe ser más preciso y tener una mejor conciencia en la bolsa de protección.
Pero sobre todo, es la inconsistencia del equipo. Esto se comienza a sentir como la temporada del año pasado, cuando los Cowboys se fueron 9-7 y nunca terminaron de establecerse como contendientes a los playoffs. Aún en una NFC East donde todos los equipos tienen récords similares y débiles, no pueden continuar perdiendo una semana y ganando a la otra.
Ganarle a los Redskins sería la primera victoria de Dallas jugando de visita. También sería la primera vez en el año en la que tendrían victorias consecutivas. Por esto y muchas otras razones, incluyendo el potencial liderato de la división, este juego es de suma importancia.
Si ganan, podría ser el momento en el que los Cowboys terminen de darle la vuelta a la página y si pierden, podría ser un indicador de que esta temporada será igual que la del 2017.
Time to get FB Jamize Olawale More Involved Offensively?
The Dallas Cowboys are coming off arguably their best and most complete offensive performance of the season after playing the Jacksonville Jaguars last week, but there is still quite a bit of improvement that can be made. The need to get more playmakers involved is apparent, which is why I think it's time to utilize Fullback Jamize Olawale's unique skill set.
I know many of you will argue that getting Allen Hurns and Michael Gallup going is a higher priority, and you wouldn't be wrong, but Jamize Olawale's playmaking ability could be a huge asset for Quarterback Dak Prescott and the offense. I know it sounds a little strange, but hang in there with me for little bit.
As things stand right now, Olawale has only played 38 offensive snaps (10%) in 2018. That's the exact amount of offensive plays Wide Receiver Terrance Williams has played this year and he's missed the majority of the season. It's not exactly the kind of production I was expecting when the Cowboys decided to bring him aboard via trade with the Oakland Raiders earlier this offseason.
I don't know about you, but I was expecting Olawale to be more involved in the offensive game plan. He is an excellent receiver out of the backfield and isn't too shabby as a runner either. But, we haven't seen him utilized in either fashion this season and I think that's an injustice that needs to be corrected.
Now, I fully understand there are other offensive weapons ahead of him in the pecking order who need to see more targets, but I also really think he can make a difference maker, especially in the passing game. That is where his strengths lie, not as a lead blocking fullback.
Olawale was a bit of a Swiss Army knife during his time with the Oakland Raiders. He played a little running back, fullback, tight end, and even a little slot receiver. I really thought the Cowboys would take advantage of his versatility in the passing game, but as of yet they have failed to do so.
I'd like to see the Dallas Cowboys and Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan utilize Jamize Olawale's unique playmaking ability a little bit more on offense. I think they should try to utilize him like the San Francisco 49ers use their fullback, Kyle Juszczyk. He's much more involved and has played a total of 263 offensive snaps (63.68%) this year.
Juszczyk is a better lead blocking FB then Olawale, but that's not where he makes the most difference in the 49ers offense. He does it as a receiver and has already caught 17 passes for 227 yards and one touchdown. That's some pretty solid production from a position that is being phased out in the NFL.
Now, just imagine the Cowboys offense getting similar production from Olawale and how that would help open up things for everybody else. It's not out of the realm of possibility because the 49ers offense and the Cowboys isn't all that dissimilar.
Unfortunately, I think Jamize Olawale is pretty much an afterthought in the Cowboys offense right now. It's truly unfortunate because I think he can be a difference maker if given the opportunity. And with a division foe like the Washington Redskins next on the schedule, what better time to unleash a new and unseen element of the offense?
Do you think Jamize Olawale needs to be more involved offensively?
Cole Beasley Key to Cowboys Passing Game Productivity?
What most of us already knew was confirmed last Sunday afternoon against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Wide Receiver Cole Beasley is the Dallas Cowboys best receiver and is the key to the passing game productivity. He is not only the most productive, but the most consistent.
Cole Beasley isn't the tallest or the fastest and definitely doesn't look like a prototypical NFL receiver, but he showed last week against the Jaguars why opposing defenses have to account for him on every single play. He torched Jacksonville's top-ranked passing defense for 101 yards on nine catches and added two touchdowns, and it's that production that could help open up the entire passing game for the Cowboys.
It's painfully obvious Cole Beasley has been Dak Prescott's favorite target in the passing game since he took over the starting duties in 2016. Once opposing defenses figured that out they started to make things extremely difficult by bracketing Beasley in coverage and the passing game hasn't been the same since. But, that could be changing if the Jaguars game was an indication of what we might see moving forward.
Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan did a much better job of moving Beasley around to create favorable matchups against the Jaguars. I think we will see much more of that moving forward, but that likely means opposing defenses will once again try to take away Prescott's favorite target. That actually could end up helping the Cowboys passing game though.
If opposing defenses indeed try to contain Cole Beasley like they've done in the past, it should help provide more opportunities for Dallas' other pass catchers. Spreading the ball around to several different receivers would not only help Prescott and the passing game, but also open up the entire offense.
We haven't really seen much of Allen Hurns or Michael Gallup this season, but both are more than capable of being more productive if they are seeing single coverage more often. That's what's likely to happen if defenses bracket Beasley in coverage once again. Both WRs need to be more involved anyway and Beasley's recent spike in production could help do just that.
Now, if defenses decide to try and cover Beasley one-on-one like the Jaguars did quite a bit of last Sunday, the Cowboys would be wise to take advantage of that mismatch. He simply can't be covered by a single defensive back because of his precise route running ability. He is that good.
Regardless of how opposing defenses try to handle/contain Cole Beasley, he is without a doubt key to the Dallas Cowboys passing game productivity. Just the threat of him on the field changes a defenses approach, which is why he is Dallas' #1 WR in my book. He absolutely has to be more involved moving forward, even if it is as a decoy.
Do you think Cole Beasley is the key to the Cowboys passing game productivity?
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