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Dallas Cowboys Have Home Field (Dis)Advantage

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Cowboys Blog - Dallas Cowboys Have Home Field (Dis)Advantage

If someone told you that your team would be 3-4 at home with two games left, would you believe they had a chance to lock up the division? It might be hard to believe, but that is the case for the Dallas Cowboys.

Looking at their schedule, it's easy to come to the conclusion that Dallas isn't that good at home, attaching any excuse to it from the fans not showing up (see #DALvsSF) to AT&T Stadium being more of a tourist attraction.

You can point out the numbers showing that in the last two home games Tony Romo played he compiled an 18.2 QBR and 5 interceptions to only 2 touchdowns in the three home games he played. Or how the offensive line has given up 13 sacks in the games that were lost. You can even blame their biggest play maker - Dez Bryant - for being a no-show with less than 5 receptions in each loss.

Let's take a closer look at the four games that didn't go the Cowboys way.

In the first home game - a loss to the San Francisco 49ers - Tony Romo threw 3 interceptions on top of a DeMarco Murray fumble returned for a touchdown on the second play of the game, which was essentially over by halftime.

Same old Cowboys right?

Well take a closer look and you will see this was a rusty Tony Romo that couldn't move around, extend plays or put much zip on his passes due to a stiff back after two surgeries. With very little offseason and preseason work, it obviously wasn't the Tony Romo we've grown accustomed to seeing.

Against Washington, Dallas really struggled as a whole, but that isn't surprising coming against a division rival like the Redskins. Romo took a knee to the back in the 3rd quarter which pretty much summed up the kind of night the offensive line had protecting him. That hit resulted in two back fractures and knocked him out of the rest of the 3rd, and a big chunk of the 4th quarter before coming back late in the game. Ultimately the game was lost in overtime.

Even with how Washington was riding Romo all night, I don't believe Dallas loses that game if he doesn't get injured.

There really isn't much to say about the home loss to the Arizona Cardinals, other than Romo sat out because of the back fractures, leaving us to depend on Brandon Weeden. The Cardinal's offense wasn't overly impressive, which is one reason to believe the Cowboys beat this team with a healthy Tony Romo.

Finally, against Philly on Thanksgiving day.

This after a Sunday night game on the road vs Giants and the 'Boys didn't get home until early Monday morning, giving them just 2 and a half days to prepare for a high-octane Philly squad while Romo was dealing with a stiff back.

Many look at the end result and simply decide Dallas isn't very good at home, but this is just a friendly reminder of the circumstances Dallas had to go through.



I've been a part of the Cowboys Nation faithful since I was a child and I've had a desire to be a journalist as well as an analyst since early high school. My family has always loved the Cowboys so it was inevitable that I would soon share this passion with them. Now I want to share it with others. As a student of the sport I love to re-watch games and break down what went on, I hope you enjoy this as much as I do.

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DL Kerry Hyder Helps Solidify A Re-Tooled Defensive Line

Kevin Brady

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DL Kerry Hyder Helps Solidify A Re-Tooled Defensive Line

The Cowboys got off to a busy start to week two of free agency on Monday, and capped it off by signing defensive lineman Kerry Hyder to a one year deal.

The former Detroit Lion could be classified as a "one year wonder" of sorts, but when you look closer at his career arc, you see that Hyder can provide upside at multiple positions across the Cowboys' defensive front.

After having 8 sacks and 19 quarterback hits as a defensive end in 2016, Hyder missed all of 2017 with an achilles injury. Last season, under new head coach Matt Patricia, Hyder was moved out of position and forced to play as a nose tackle and 5-technique more often.

So, the last time Hyder was healthy and playing in the role in he will likely fill in Dallas, he was productive. Yes that was a couple of seasons ago but it makes Hyder worth the one year deal he received from the Cowboys.

What exactly is that role, though?

I see Hyder primarily as a rotational 3-technique for the Cowboys. At just 270 pounds Hyder isn't going to play over the center often, and won't be very useful as a 1-technique against the run. He's at his best when lining on the outside shade of an offensive lineman, where he can use his get-off and quickness to create pressure.

Kerry Hyder can also fill in at defensive end if needed, especially when the Cowboys go into a nickel package. Hyder is similar to Tyrone Crawford in his ability to move inside and out, but is a bit better of a pass rusher than Crawford when at his best.

Hyder is a high energy, motor, and character defensive lineman who will fit right in with a Rod Marinelli unit. If it all clicks for Hyder and he regains his 2016 form, the Cowboys will have stolen an impressive pass rushing defensive lineman who can win from multiple positions.

If Hyder is actually a "one year wonder" who is more of his 2018-self with the Cowboys despite being put in a better role to succeed, Dallas can move on rather quickly because he is only on a one year deal.

This is a smart signing by the Cowboys front office as they look to re-tool their defensive line, and avoid being pigeon-holed into over-drafting at a certain position this Spring.



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New Cowboys WR Randall Cobb Announces His Signing With A Fantastic GIF

Kevin Brady

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New Cowboys WR Randall Cobb Announces His Signing With A Fantastic GIF

On Tuesday this week it became official the Cowboys would sign former Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb to a one year deal worth an estimated $5 million. After his visit Monday morning, speculation around whether and when he would sign was swirling.

Cobb confirmed his intentions to join the Cowboys himself, and did so with some A+ GIF usage on Twitter.

Randall Cobb on Twitter

Randall Cobb on Twitter

https://t.co/9H9xfApFqe

In case you don't know, the GIF Cobb tweeted is Woody from Toy Story, emerging confidently and tipping his cap.

This was Cobb signaling that he his a Cowboy, and he appears excited to be joining America's Team. Cobb also received some social media love from his now former teammates in Green Bay, including wide receiver Davante Adams and quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

https://twitter.com/tae15adams/status/1108158105957920770

RJ Ochoa on Twitter

Aaron Rodgers had some parting words for new Cowboys WR Randall Cobb

Clearly Randall Cobb made an impact in Green Bay, both on and off the field. Let's hope he can replicate some of that in Dallas now that he has joined the Cowboys.



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Malik McDowell Is Well Worth The Risk For The Dallas Cowboys

Kevin Brady

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Malik McDowell, Michigan State

The Dallas Cowboys are reportedly brining defensive lineman Malik McDowell into The Star this week for a visit, as they decide whether or not to potentially sign him for the 2019 season.

McDowell is a former second round pick of the Seattle Seahawks, who fell to day two because of what scouts call "off the field" or "character" concerns. McDowell did not last long with Seahawks, as he was released in 2017 following an ATV accident in which he reportedly suffered "extensive brain and eye trauma" according to Charles Robinson.

None of us know much about who Malik McDowell is as a person, or what concerns their really should be with his health. But what I do know is that on tape at Michigan State, McDowell was a top 5-10 player in the 2017 draft class. He was a stud, and has the traits to continue to be a stud in the NFL.

2017 NFL Draft: Scouting Michigan State DL Malik McDowell - Slant Sports

The 2017 NFL Draft is chock full of talented, athletic, and productive defensive linemen. While most of the draft pundits have focused on EDGE rushers thus far, the defensive tackle class also possesses some of this year's top NFL prospects. Arguably the best of those defensive tackles is Michigan State's Malik McDowell.

Back in 2017 I wrote a full scouting report on McDowell, detailing why he earned such a high grade on my board. McDowell is a versatile linemen who is explosive off the ball, powerful and rangy against the run, and a skilled pass rusher who plays with a high motor. What more could you really ask for?

"McDowell is a patient pass rusher at times, setting up the blocker how he likes and then beating them with ease. McDowell’s ability to swipe hands off helps him greatly, but his quick swim is his most effective pass rush move.

On this play he uses that swim to perfection, forcing the center to power down to the right before swimming back to the other side."

nfldraft malik mcdowell 3

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

When the Spartans went to a three man pass rushing front, McDowell moved to the EDGE often and made plays with his quick, active hands and impressive swim move. He was much more impressive on the interior, however, and could be a direct replacement for David Irving as an explosive and powerful 3-technique for the Cowboys.

nfldraft malik mcdowell 4

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

I love that the Cowboys are bringing McDowell in for a free agent visit. His price will likely be low, as he is yet to play in an NFL game over the last two years, but his ceiling remains very high if he is healthy. It's rare for a player with his college production, natural ability, and measurables to completely fail in the NFL.

Maybe all McDowell needs is a second chance to get his head right and prove that he belongs in the league. Maybe he flames out quickly and can't get on the field due to "off the field" stuff. Or, maybe he simply isn't healthy enough to contribute as an NFL player. Regardless, for the price he'll likely command, McDowell is well worth the risk if the Cowboys are willing to take it.



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