Down and out? Don’t be. Yesterday, despite a heartbreaking loss in the final :04 seconds of the game, we learned a lot about our Dallas Cowboys. Today, We learned a lot about Tony Romo, and Tomorrow we’ll learn a lot about the team.
It’s not December but the Cowboys kind of looked like it was. Romo throwing 3 interceptions in a game that had huge implications despite being only week 2. Upon further review I’ve learned a lot about Romo, and may even be willing to discredit two of those Interceptions.
For now we’ll take a look at the Good, Bad, and just plain Ugly of this weeks game:
-The Cowboys showed excellent resilience in a game where they could’ve have been emotionally, mentally, and physically depleted. The heart of this team is much better then it was last year, and heart will eventually create deep chemistry which ultimately creates wins.
- Our Rushing Attack featuring Marion Barber, Felix Jones, and Tashard Choice was epic. They accounted for over 250 yards of rushing and at times you weren’t able to distinguish some of the backs (I.E. Tashard Choice running over some blue jerseys). If this continues look for dominance to become status quo for the Cowboys.
- Our Rushing defense was top notch, keeping the best running back group under 100 yards total. While doing that the Cowboys were able to consistently put pressure on Eli Manning. These are both upgrades from a week ago.
- The team seems to be improving, perhaps (in theory) if they play like December this month the other months will be smooth as silk? Just trying to give you all a different aspect.
- Orlando Scandrick, who I’ve been a big supporter of, has not been able to impress me at all these last two games. Instead it’s been Mike Jenkins who, to me, has earned the starting role. Scandrick was just sorry on tackling and coverage, once again letting mediocre receivers have huge games.
- Penalties once again were a big part of the game. Though I must say the ref’s were maybe a little too eager. Newman shouldn’t have been called on that pass interference, the ball actually was not catchable. However, Flozell Adams once again amazed me with a obvious trip that was both classless and unsportsmanlike. Not to mention it negated a huge pick up from Patrick Crayton.
- Tony Romo Throws 3 interceptions in the span of one game, again. I will give Romo the Witten interception that was a poor effort on the part of Witten and frankly a circus like accident. Another one that I will give him is the one to Crayton. The coverage was well disguised and it was hard to see. Not escaping me though is that last one near the goal line, when we could’ve just ran the ball and taken control. Romo- I support you and I value you as my teams Quarterback, but keep your eyes open man, don’t force it anymore. Ok, you’re forgiven.
-Derek Eagleton once again completely bashing the cowboys on the site. I mean he has no respect or loyalty to the players of the game. He’s not exactly out there playing. Ok, maybe that didn’t affect the outcome but he still pisses me off.
- Circus like plays were happening that just couldn’t be helped. Like the bobbled catch in the end zone which appeared to be perfect coverage by Newman and Sensabaugh. Also, the deflected pass into the hands of Mario Manningham to put them into field goal range. Just odd man.
This loss can not be contributed to one person. Though Tony did have a bad game, he isn’t the worst quarterback in the league, and though I know you all will petition for his release, I still have faith in him. The pass defense must also be improved, but I think we have the personnel to complete the transformation from last years sorry secondary. Overall, this loss has shown us that we can be beat but we have improved vastly. Next up is the panthers, lets dispose of them and forget this all ever happened.
Cowboys DE Dorance Armstrong Could Be Needed Quickly
The Dallas Cowboys are stronger at defensive end than they've been in some time, but they still lack a specific type of pass rusher. Rookie Dorance Armstrong may be able to fill that role, giving him an early opportunity to contribute that many mid-round rookies can't find.
While DeMarcus Lawrence has become a beast and Taco Charlton is expected to do more as a second-year player, they are both better suited to play on the left side. It is that right side DE, the athletic type who can take on NFL left tackle, that the Cowboys haven't had since DeMarcus Ware left.
It was supposed to be Randy Gregory, but we all know the issues he's dealt with the last three years. His reinstatement request to the league is expected to go through, but even then we can't be sure the type of player he will be.
If Gregory isn't still the talent that Dallas hoped for in 2015, the next man up just might be Armstrong. He is a raw talent, still undersized for consistent NFL defensive end work, but he has the natural agility and style of play that best suits the weak-side rusher.
Veteran Kony Ealy is more like Lawrence and Charlton, bigger and more suited from the strong side. Another option, Charles Tapper, has yet to prove he can get through a single game without injury.
Rookies have not had a hard time finding early work in Dallas lately.
Obviously, it didn't take Quarterback Dak Prescott long to make an immediate impact. We've also seen the same from Cornerbacks Jourdan Lewis, Chidobe Awuzie, and Anthony Brown, Defensive Tackle Maliek Collins, and Safety Xavier Woods.
With the difficulties that guys like Gregory and Tapper may have getting back into football shape, Armstrong could have a leg up in training camp. The Cowboys won't hesitate to give him the work if he's the best man for the job, regardless of draft status or tenure.
These new look, new era Dallas Cowboys are all about meritocracy, so Dorance Armstrong could rise quickly if he performs. It would make for a nice immediate return on a fourth-round pick.
CB Jourdan Lewis Addresses “All Or Nothing” Scene With Dez Bryant
When the newest season of Amazon's All or Nothing featuring the Dallas Cowboys came out, people immediately were drawn to one scene in particular.
That scene featured then veteran Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant and rookie cornerback Jourdan Lewis, as they battled it out all day in practice. Lewis and Bryant were in each others ears, as Lewis wanted to make it known to Bryant that he isn't the same type of corner he's used to seeing in practice.
Jourdan Lewis was asked to give his side of the story recently, and DallasCowboys.com recorded his response. The following video is courtesy of "Ed It Channel" on YouTube.
Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.
Lewis addressed rumors that the rivalry was "fake" or staged due to the fact that Bryant knew that Lewis was mic'ed up. He says that the competition was organic, and that when put on the field with each other their competition improved both of their play.
Dez Bryant is gone now, but hopefully the Cowboys will be able to replace that competitiveness on the practice field and allow for tempers to flare from time to time.
Cowboys QB Dak Prescott Embraces Lack of No. 1 Wide Receiver
As I wrote exactly a week ago, in discussion of maligned Dallas Cowboys Wide Receiver Terrance Williams:
"...this won't be the first look we have at the status of the Cowboys receivers. I'm already on record having high expectations for Michael Gallup, and believe Cedrick Wilson was one of the steals of the draft for the Cowboys in the sixth round. The unproven nature of this pass catching unit (through to TE with rookie Dalton Schultz) is going to make for fascinating training camp battles, competing for spots in an offense that could still be one of the league's best".
Here we are again, with an emerging leadership voice of the Cowboys speaking about his wide receivers. Dak Prescott told Pro Football Talk that he, "doesn't know if any team in the league necessarily needs a No. 1 receiver".
This is a bold statement from a third-year quarterback that's already told Cowboys Nation this offseason that he wants to be the best to ever play for the franchise. Beginning the journey towards becoming a Cowboys legend must start with Prescott securing his status as the Cowboys franchise QB in 2018 - by throwing to Williams, Michael Gallup, Cole Beasley, Cedrick Wilson, and Allen Hurns.
This will be no easy task for Prescott, but the Cowboys have never wavered in their commitment to building this team around him. Left with no choice on personnel decisions like Jason Witten's retirement, the Cowboys are well-prepared to also deal with the loss of Dez Bryant.
If they weren't, Bryant would still be in Dallas, and as it stands now he remains a free agent. New to the Cowboys offense is not only Gallup, Wilson, and Hurns but also Tavon Austin as a pass-catching running back.
Strength in numbers must be the message for the Cowboys offense this season. Relying heavily on Ezekiel Elliott and a punishing offensive line will be what keeps opposing defensive coordinators up at night, but so too must be the diverse nature of how the Cowboys can line up on the outside.
Allowing Prescott to serve as a "point guard" like QB could lead to the Cowboys turning plenty of heads with their all-around play in 2018. Anybody writing them off simply because of unproven wide receivers lacks a complete understanding of the roster and how Scott Linehan plans to change his offense.
Sure, it's possible that Linehan fails to prove himself as a play caller worthy of the talent the Cowboys possess on offense - but the talent is there. In Prescott's rookie year, Cole Beasley emerged as his go-to receiver, only to regress in 2017.
With the Cowboys shipping Ryan Switzer to Oakland during the draft, Beasley has a clear path back towards developing this chemistry with Prescott out of the slot. The same should go for Allen Hurns, despite arriving in Dallas as a free agent this year.
Hurns has talked about holding himself to a high standard, despite joining the Cowboys to play with Dez Bryant initially.
"I felt it was a big opportunity to come to Dallas to play with Dez. But with him not being here, it’s a bigger opportunity. It's a matter of me making the most of the opportunity"
Plenty of Cowboys receivers will have a chance to make the most of the opportunity to play in this offense. Hurns' spot as an outside starter feels safe, as he could be the big "No. 1" target Prescott needs to either find in the red zone or distribute the ball elsewhere.
The amount of change the Dallas Cowboys have gone through since drafting Dak Prescott is a cruel reminder of how difficult reaching the pinnacle of sports can be. The Cowboys biggest challenge to reach the playoffs again in 2018?
Silence the doubt that a declining Dez Bryant no longer being with the team will derail the efforts of this deep and eager-to-compete WRs room.
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