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Cowboys Must Play With Sense of Urgency Against Philadelphia

Brian Martin

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Cowboys Must Play With Sense of Urgency Against Philadelphia

It's a little hard to believe with the way the Dallas Cowboys season has gone so far, but they still have a shot at making the playoffs. They will definitely need to make some changes from here on out, but it's actually doable. One thing I think they absolutely have to change is their sense of urgency moving forward.

In the Jason Garrett era, the Dallas Cowboys haven't been a "throw caution to the wind" kind of team. They're more methodical with their game plan and rarely stray from it. It's one of the reasons why their offense is so predictable, but that can't be the case any longer in 2018.

For the Dallas Cowboys to have any shot at the playoffs they are going to have to win the NFC East division. I don't think their record at the end of the season will be good enough for a wildcard spot, so winning the division is probably their only chance of getting in. Luckily for them, the NFC East is still wide open.

Right now, the Cowboys are 1-1 in the NFC East division before heading on the road this week to take on the Philadelphia Eagles. Coming off their bye week and having home-field advantage certainly favors the Eagles in this contest, but I still believe this is a winnable game for the Cowboys if they come out and play the way they are capable of.

Dak Prescott

Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott

That brings me back to playing with a sense of urgency. Dallas really can't afford to lose any more games, especially within the division. No more with the predictable BS offense we've seen these past few seasons. They are going to have to take some shots down the field and maybe even add a few more gadget plays in the mix.

I know I'm asking a lot from a Cowboys coaching staff who has shown they are reluctant to make many changes on the fly, but there's no better time than now. They have probably heard the scuttlebutt and know their jobs are likely on the line if they can't turn this team around. It's just the nature of the business.

Jason Garrett and company have to go into this matchup against the Eagles with the mindset of we have to "risk it to win the biscuit". They lose this game and their chances of making the playoffs is all but over, but a win at least keeps them in contention.

The entire 2018 season may depend on whether or not the Dallas Cowboys can beat the Philadelphia Eagles this week. Winning at least gives them a chance to stay in the thick of things, but a loss likely means their season is over.

Cross your fingers, wish upon your lucky star, or do whatever voodoo you do to help the Cowboys defeat the Super Bowl champions. It may be their only hope…

Do you think the Dallas Cowboys will play with a sense of urgency?



Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. elindio42

    November 10, 2018 at 10:09 am

    Good article! I want to see the offense that put up 40 points against the Jaguars. That offense disappeared after Dak took a big hit and Dallas has been losing with their bubble wrapped QB. Let’s see the 2016 team offense again with Dak running.

  2. Ethan Chazin

    November 10, 2018 at 10:13 am

    Hmmm. Under the same theme (“Cowboys must”) I would like to add that they MUST fire their HC and OC, they must build a D line not with prospects and cast off’s but bonafide solid draft picks (no Taco Charltons) They must actually use their TEs, they must figure out their O line issues, they must… Aw, why bother. 24 years and counting…

  3. Jamminn

    November 10, 2018 at 4:07 pm

    Gonna get creamed please jerry Fire garrett already been watching him fail since he was oc 11 long years he’s been a loser now he’s a head coach loser along with linihan losers losers losers . Jerry is a Fool . Period

  4. Michael Barthel

    November 10, 2018 at 6:08 pm

    There is no way with this Linehan offense and Garrett led team that they are beating philly. I have had faith for the past 8 years he’s been coach but I’m done now. They should be fired and replaced. Way too much talent and good players for this team to be 3-5. Garrett has proved nothing but that he is a 8-8 coach at best. He is not getting us to a championship and Linehan calls the same damn plays every week. You have cooper dak zeke Beasley hurns and Gallup and you don’t know how to use them and u have one of the worse ranked offenses in the league. HOW? Philly will win this game 34-13. They will stop zeke and dak will once again turn the ball over a couple times. Sorry but time for a new coach and coordinator. We have played this game long enough you are starting to lose fans because of this stupid coach

  5. Michael Barthel

    November 10, 2018 at 6:11 pm

    I mean look at his stupid challenges week in and week out if that doesn’t say I don’t know what the hell im doing then nothing does. That’s why 10 of our players came out and said we are the worse coached team in the nfl. I would bet anything that if Dallas got a offensive minded coach and he brings in his own coordinator mixed with kris Richard on defense this team would be the chiefs with a better defense! Time for a change and we are tired of waiting cuz it’s not getting better it’s getting worse. 8-8 8-8 8-8 4-12 9-7 12-4 13-3 3-5 right now with only 1 playoff game won. That’s sad

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Dallas Cowboys

Did DC Rod Marinelli Have Increased Role in Cowboys Loss at Rams?

Sean Martin

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Did DC Rod Marinelli Have Increased Role in Cowboys Loss at Rams?

The Dallas Cowboys Divisional Round loss at the Los Angeles Rams is still fresh on the minds of their players, staff, and front office. So much so that the team had to fan the flames on a Jason Garrett comment expecting Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan to return. Garrett himself walked back this "report" once Stephen Jones noted it's still too early for any coaching staff changes. The focus will remain on Linehan's post until it's removed or the Cowboys OC is retained, but one coordinator the Cowboys now expect to keep is Rod Marinelli on defense.

Marinelli himself disputed the season-long belief that this was likely his last as the Cowboys defensive coordinator. With Passing Game Coordinator Kris Richard not taking any of the three HC positions he interviewed for, Marinelli doesn't have to worry about shuffling his title to accommodate Richard - who called the plays from week one this season anyway.

Rod's title does include his specialty as defensive line coach though, a unit that the Rams dominated with their offensive line to a historic degree. The Rams' season-high 273 rushing yards was provided by both Todd Gurley and C.J. Anderson surpassing 100 yards on the ground, the first time in team history they've had two backs reach this mark in a single playoff game.

Rams HC Sean McVay hardly had to reach into his vaunted 'bag of tricks' to expose the Cowboys defense in a way they hadn't been all year, but there was still an element of brilliance in his offensive game plan. It came out after the game that the Rams picked up on the keys the Dallas defensive linemen used to signal stunts and twists before the snap. While this is nothing more than just great scouting yielding an unforeseen advantage, it's left the Cowboys with more than enough time to ponder what went wrong in the Coliseum.

Danny Heifetz on Twitter

The Rams offensive line knew what the Cowboys defensive line was going to do before the snap on Saturday. https://t.co/oGo6Eiz4av

The answer to this may be nothing other than the coaching questions the Cowboys are already considering. With Richard's interviews in Tampa Bay, Miami, and New York coming at the beginning of the week leading up to game day, it's possible Marinelli had a larger say in the Cowboys preparation on defense.

It was Marinelli's defense that conceded 412 yards to the Rams in 2017 in a loss at AT&T Stadium. Matching him up with McVay leaves a lot to be desired, while Richard helps bridge this gap - something he was seen desperately trying to do on the sideline with a battered Cowboys defense.

As each day of the offseason passes, a change at either coordinator position becomes less likely in Dallas. On offense, the play caller has more than a season's worth of evidence showing the deficiencies of the Cowboys attack. In a league fueled by recency bias however, Marinelli certainly didn't leave his best performance on the field in Los Angeles.

Somewhere in the middle of this is Jason Garrett, safely in place as the head coach that should be personally trying to upgrade his top two assistants however possible. Marinelli signing up for another year makes this hard on defense, though Richard should resume play calling duties next season.

Again, this leaves the onus of the Cowboys improvements for 2019 on the offensive side of the ball, something that'll be realized when the shock of their defense letting them down in the biggest game of the season is gone.

Tell us what you think about "Did DC Rod Marinelli Have Increased Role in Cowboys Loss at Rams?" 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

Cowboys Getting Over $30 Million Cap Space from Expiring Dead Money

Jess Haynie

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Tony Romo, Dez Bryant

You may have already heard that the Dallas Cowboys will be flush with salary cap space in 2019, and that's very accurate. A huge portion of it comes from over $30 million in expiring cap penalties, otherwise known as "dead money."

Quick explanation; dead money occurs when a player is released or retires prior to the expiration of their contract. Any guaranteed money, such as the original signing bonus or money converted in a restructuring, that has not yet been paid out according to the contract schedule is accelerated.

For example, when Tony Romo retired after 2016, he still had $19.6 million in guaranteed money owed to him. Dallas chose to split this dead money over two years, and thus had a $10.7 cap penalty in 2017 and $8.9 million last season.

But now Romo's dead money, along with Dez Bryant's and several other players, is coming off the Cowboys' books. The result is a roughly $30 million infusion of salary cap space for 2019.

Here were the major culprits for last year's dead money:

(All cap figures are taken from Spotrac.com)

  • QB Tony Romo - $8.9 million
  • WR Dez Bryant - $8 million
  • DT Cedric Thornton - $2.5 million
  • CB Orlando Scandrick - $2.3 million
  • CB Nolan Carroll - $2 million
  • WR Deonte Thompson - $1.8 million
  • DE Benson Mayowa - $1.1 million
  • K Dan Bailey - $800 thousand
  • TE James Hanna - $750 thousand

Those players alone make up a little over $28 million. Another $4 million or so came from over 30 players with lesser penalties that still added up.

Right now, the Cowboys have only $1.76 million in dead money on their 2019 salary cap. Nearly all of that is the $1.6 million still owed to Orlando Scandrick.

That difference is where the cap space comes from, and it will be of tremendous help to Dallas as they have major financial moves coming. They need to re-sign DeMarcus Lawrence, deal with a major salary bump for Amari Cooper, and consider a contract extension for Dak Prescott.

The 2019 number will change, of course, as the offseason rolls on. If Dallas elects to release players like Sean Lee, Tyrone Crawford, or others, some dead money will appear. But that will be offset by whatever cap savings motivated the move in the first place.

This is a good reminder of why the Cowboys' new era of fiscal conservatism is a good thing. After years of what felt like perpetual "salary cap hell," they are finally getting out from under those penalties and have complete flexibility this offseason. They may not even need to cut a guy like Crawford, who they almost would have been forced to in past seasons.

We'll be talking a lot more about individual players and their contracts in the weeks ahead, but this summary helps us see that Dallas isn't nearly up against the financial wall as they have been. We still miss guys like Romo and Dez, but we won't miss that awful dead money in 2019.



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Cowboys Expect C Travis Frederick Back for Offseason Program

Jess Haynie

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Travis Frederick

Lost in yesterday's hoopla over Scott Linehan's return was a positive report about Center Travis Frederick. In his comments to the media, Jason Garrett said that Frederick's recovery timetable should allow him to a full participant in the team's offseason program.

After never missing a start in his first five years, Travis missed all of 2018 dealing with the effects of Guillain-Barré Syndrome. The disease attacked his neurological system and required immediate and intensive treatment.

Rob Phillips on Twitter

Jason Garrett says the team anticipates Travis Frederick being involved in the offseason program right from the start this spring if he continues on the same positive track in recovery from Guillain-Barré syndrome. #cowboyswire

While Joe Looney performed admirably in Frederick's absence, he's not an elite talent. Travis has been arguably the best center in the NFL since entering the league in 2013.

It's hard to qualify what effect not having Frederick had on the Cowboys offense in 2018. Ezekiel Elliott still led the league in rushing, but short-yardage plays weren't as automatic as we've seen in past years. A 4th-and-1 stuff was part of what led to the Cowboys' loss this past Saturday.

Dak Prescott was the second-most sacked QB in the NFL in 2018. After being sacked just 25 and 32 times in his first two seasons, the number skyrocketed to 56 sacks.

That's not all on Frederick, of course. Tyron Smith had some health issues and there were was turnover at left guard.

But having your All-Pro veteran center out there to help with the pre-snap reads, and help the rookie guard on his left, might have helped avoid some of those issues.

Indeed, Travis Frederick's return is just one of many reasons for optimism with the 2019 season. One of the best players on the team, he was sorely missed this year and can only help as Dallas looks to build on their division title and playoff appearance.



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