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Cowboys Players Reportedly Unhappy With “Predictable Playbook”

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Are The Cowboys' Players Unhappy With Their Playbook?
Louis DeLuca/The Dallas Morning News

A week ago, we were all discussing NFC scenarios that would result in the Dallas Cowboys being a playoff team. Now, the conversations have drastically changed. After being eliminated last Sunday by completely self-destructing versus the Seattle Seahawks, but Cowboys' fans have moved on. Perhaps the most discussed of all, the Cowboys coaching staff.

Naturally, fans are upset. After seeing their favorite team go 13-3 as the best team in the NFC only to miss the playoffs a year later, it's hard to be happy with your coaches.

Cowboys Nation is upset about the lack of adjustments, the way they weren't able overcome some key players' absences, and the play calling. A large amount of die-hard Cowboys fans are truly mad about how an offense loaded with talent became so predictable under the reigns of Scott Linehan and Jason Garrett.

As it turns out, we may not be the only ones upset about the playbook's predictability:

Jane Slater on Twitter

The issue for several players is a predictable playbook. Opposing teams know exactly where the ball is going. https://t.co/4OQdHuMKAs

According to Jane Slater from NFL Network, players see the "predictable playbook" as an actual issue. Reading this, I can't help wondering about what's next for the franchise.

Jerry Jones has said on DFW's 105.3 The Fan that Garrett's job is not an issue. But if you have players who are unhappy with a playbook, you have to ask yourself: How do they feel about their coach? I know Scott Linehan calls the plays on Sundays, but Garrett is also at fault here.

Michael Lombardi Misses The Point With Unfair Jason Garrett Criticism

Dallas Cowboys Head Coach Jason Garrett

I would imagine Garrett can walk over to Linehan in the middle of a game to tell him they should be running with their best offensive player that just got back from a suspension. If he can't do that... shouldn't he be?

It's tough to already be thinking about the possibility of seeing the exact same coaching staff back next year because of how stubborn this front office has become at times, and how they've settled for mediocrity. 

It's still too early to know, but without changes to the Cowboys coaching staff for 2018 season, the only thing that likely to change is lower expectations than in 2017 and less risk of disappointment. Other than that, how much change can you expect?

At the end of the day, this football team could care less about the opinions of people like us who watch games from our couches. But hopefully, with players considering the team's playbook an issue, Jerry Jones & Co. may start thinking long and hard about making a change of the Dallas Cowboys' leader.

A year ago, we gave all the credit in the world to this same coaching staff for doing an excellent job of simplifying and giving Dak the tools to execute in an offense built for Tony Romo. Now the problem is that it looks exactly the same, and it seems like the rest of the NFL has figured it out.

Bottom line: The Cowboys could do better, but these coaches are holding them back.

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys Players Reportedly Unhappy With “Predictable Playbook”" in the comments below, or tweet me @MauNFL and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!



I love to write, I love football and I love the Dallas Cowboys. I've been rooting for America's team all the way from Mexico ever since I can remember. If you want to talk football, I'm in... You'll find me at @PepoR99.

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3 Comments
  • Russ_Te

    After a loss that closed the case on Garrett ever winning a late-season elimination game (he’s 0-4, and this one was a lay-up), the Cowboys fan’s holidays are further ruined by word Jones will invite him back, and Garrett will play his nucleus Sunday so he can go 9-7.

    Bad Linehan is only part of the problem. Garrett is getting outcoached during games, fails to adjust and often struggles after halftime. If we want an elite Dak – and not see his years squandered – we need an elite HC not a mediocre one.

    • Mauricio Rodriguez

      I think we could do much better. We need a new coaching staff. Thanks for reading!

  • dallas1966

    Couldn’t have said it better. But Jerry is satisfied with mediocrity and that almighty dollar. Being in NFL Purgatory, will continue as long as Jerry’s wallet is lined with Benjamins.

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Maliek Collins Playing Excellent for Cowboys Defense

John Williams

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Maliek Collins

For the Dallas Cowboys on the interior, a lot of the news consistently surround the availability of Defensive Tackle David Irving, but Maliek Collins is playing excellent right now. While I'm willing to be very patient with Irving because of the elite talent he brings, Maliek Collins should continue to start for the Dallas Cowboys at 3-technique defensive tackle.

Collins has been a player that the Cowboys have bounced between the nose tackle and the 3T position with the hopes of getting their best players on the field, and because of the lack of a consistent presence at the 1-technique or nose tackle position. Well, with Antwaun Woods taking control at the 1T, Collins has been able to play at the position where he's at his best. The 3-tech.

He hasn't put huge numbers in the sack column this season, but that doesn't mean he's been absent from being the disruptive player he's been through his first two and a half seasons.

During the Dallas Cowboys five game winning streak, Maliek Collins has led the Dallas Cowboys defensive tackles in total pressures with 13, according to Pro Football Focus. PFF combines sacks, quarterback hits, and hurries into their "pressures." Collins hasn't recorded a sack during the winning streak, but he has four quarterback hits and nine hurries. He's tied with Tyrone Crawford for third in total pressures behind DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory over the last five weeks.

Over the last five weeks, Collins leads the defensive tackles in solo tackles with five and is tied with Crawford and Antwaun Woods with three run stops on defense, according to Pro Football Focus. Collins has also has two tackles for loss in the last five games and recovered Tyrone Crawford's force fumble on Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Collins had six sacks in his rookie season when he played primarily as the 3T, which allowed him to see more one-on-one blocks against opposing interior offensive linemen. Especially with the way the rest of the defensive line is playing.

With the Cowboys on the road to face the Indianapolis Colts this week, Collins is going to have a tough matchup with a very good Colts offensive line, in particular, rookie Quentin Nelson. Collins ability to get pressure on Andrew Luck on the interior is a huge key for the Dallas Cowboys this week. We know that Gregory and Lawrence will get their pressures, but if Andrew Luck is able to step up into a clean pocket, it will make for a much more challenging game for the Cowboys secondary.

Collins has proved to be up to any task over the last five weeks and if he's able to keep playing at such a high level, he'll make the Cowboys coaching staff, and the rest of Cowboys Nation forget about using other defensive tackles. For the Cowboys to make a deep push in the playoffs, they'll need Collins to be a big time player for them moving forward.



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Amari Cooper Wins 2nd NFC Offensive Player of the Week Award of 2018

Jess Haynie

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Amari Cooper

For the second time in just three weeks, Dallas Cowboys receiver Amari Cooper has been named the NFC Offensive Player of the Week.

Cooper scored three touchdowns, including the game winner in overtime, to lead the Cowboys to victory last Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles. He has 10 catches for 217 yards, which led all NFL receivers last week.

Dallas Cowboys on Twitter

After his record-setting performance during week 14, @AmariCooper9 is the FIRST #DallasCowboys to win NFC Player of the Week twice in a season! → https://t.co/kvBDIeOgBd #ProBowlVote #ProBowlVote #ProBowlVote #ProBowlVote #ProBowlVote #ProBowlVote

As the official website stated, Cooper is the first Cowboy to win the award twice in the same year. He's also the first Cowboy to be named Offensive Player of the Week since Ezekiel Elliott in 2016.

Before this year, Elliott was the only Dallas player to win the Offensive award in three seasons. Cooper has now done it twice in three weeks.

Since being traded to the Cowboys, Amari Cooper has amassed 40 catches for 642 yards and six touchdowns.

His wasted time in Oakland may keep Cooper out of the Pro Bowl this year, but he's already become a fan favorite in Cowboys Nation. Congratulations to Amari for another well-deserved award!



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David Irving Out Again for Cowboys, Does Defense Need Him?

Sean Martin

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David Irving Out Again for Cowboys, Does Defense Need Him?

Dallas Cowboys Defensive Tackle David Irving, once a key member of the team's defense, will not make his return after all against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. For the second straight week, Irving was reportedly trending towards suiting up before being ruled out. The Cowboys haven't missed his unique presence for 13 weeks (playing against the Jaguars and Redskins), including through an ongoing four game win streak that began with a win against these Eagles on the road.

In that road win, veteran Tyrone Crawford recorded a sack and three tackles, while Antwaun Woods added two for a Dallas defense that held Philadelphia to 23 first downs and 71 rushing yards. The Eagles managed to cross the Cowboys' 30-yard line just four times.

There are many scenarios in which the Cowboys could have cut ties with Irving for not being worth the off-field trouble he's caused - beginning the season with a four game suspension. The absolute best case scenario is what they've realized amidst this turnaround, with other defensive linemen taking advantage of the opportunity left behind by Irving.

While it can still be true that Irving would make more splash plays than the likes of Crawford, Woods, Maliek Collins, and Caraun Reid, this defensive tackle group deserves praise for their ability to step in. Pass rush ability is one thing teams can't have enough of, and the Cowboys are missing some with Irving, finding ways to win thanks to the other traits these defenders bring to the table.

Cowboys Passing Game Coordinator Kris Richard may effectively be the team's defensive coordinator with an emphasis on the back seven, but DC Rod Marinelli's impact is still felt - particularly up front. Regardless of where they're lined up and deployed, the Cowboys front four is expected to be disruptive on every snap, something this scrappy unit excels at.

Prepared once again to play on the edge this season, Crawford is thriving at his original position of 3T-DT. Crawford has two sacks, nine total tackles, and three other hits on the quarterback over the past four weeks. Leading by example with a relentless spirit on every play, Crawford has meant just as much to the Cowboys defensive ends as Irving could.

In a short period of time, the Cowboys have gone from building up Irving thanks to his transcendent ability to make those around him better to simply -- and importantly -- being better across the defense.

Led by DeMarcus Lawrence as their premier rusher, the Cowboys defensive line is a lot for opposing offenses to contain. The "Hot Boyz" work up front has allowed Linebackers Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch to play fast and make plays all over the field.

Maliek Collins, battling back from his second broken foot in three years, is proving again he's a patented Marinelli guy. Collins' play speaks for itself when considering if the Nebraska product is best as a 3T or 1T tackle. Wherever he's asked to play, Collins creates penetration with an explosive first step and can finish at the quarterback with an array of power rush moves.

At 7-5 and fighting for their playoff lives, the Cowboys are done making excuses on the 2018 season. Their strides on defense speak for themselves, and with a group that keeps Dallas in every game they'll play, the door remains open for David Irving to earn snaps again when ready.

The Cowboys don't know any better than their play without Irving right now, and as winners of four straight, it's worth questioning if we'll see Irving over the last three weeks of the regular season.

Tell us what you think about "David Irving Out Again for Cowboys, Does Defense Need Him?" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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