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Cowboys’ Struggles Continue: Where Is The 2014 Run Game?

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Cowboys Blog - Reliving The Giants Second Visit to AT&T Stadium 2

Tyron Smith, Ron Leary, Travis Frederick, Zack Martin, and Doug Free. These 5 Men make up the starting offensive line for the Dallas Cowboys and it's the same 5 starters from the historic offensive line of the 2014 season.

So what's the difference?

The easy answer is nothing, as the Cowboys are still averaging over 100 yards rushing per game, and have only given up 8 sacks this season. However, we all know when we watch the games that it doesn't look anywhere near the same.

The Cowboys offense is not running the ball with the same consistency and power they portrayed last season. While everyone wants to point to losing DeMarco Murray, I don't believe that is the case.

In this game against the Saints, the Cowboys’ tight ends and receivers struggled blocking at the point of the attack. Even Written, one of the game's best, struggled this past Sunday. On a crucial 3rd and 1 play, Witten is down blocking the DE and allows him to spin away and get in position to make the tackle for a loss of 1.

As an offense dealing with 8 and 9 man boxes regularly you can not afford to lose at the point of attack.

What is happening is that the Running Back is seeing no holes initially, and thus is forced to cut back, the problem with this is because of stacked boxes the offense has to leave the furthest backside player unblocked. Allowing him to charge down the line and is then in position waiting for the cutback, and in most instances stopping him for little or no gain.

In order for the Cowboys to have success running the ball they have to open up the offense and get the extra defender out of the box.

I do not blame the Cowboys failures on the offensive line. While yes, they are not clearing holes big enough for a mack truck like last year, they are consistently winning their one on one battles with the defender across from them. When the line is struggling it is usually the backside of the line; struggling to cut their guy or advance to the second level and secure a linebacker.

I fully expect the Cowboys run game to improve tremendously when Dez Bryant returns to the field.

With the state of the offense currently as it is, no defensive coordinator is scared of our passing game, thus allowing him to stack boxes and blitz regularly. Dez changes the whole dynamic as defenses can no longer put the safety in the box, and now must pull a linebacker out to defend the slants.

I truly believe that the Cowboys rushing game woes will fix itself, sooner rather than later.



Hello, My name's James. I'm a senior in highschool and have been a Dallas Cowboys fan my whole life. If I'm not reading, watching, or talking about football, I'm playing rugby!

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Fred Goodwin

    October 7, 2015 at 2:05 pm

    “Anybody can run behind this offensive line”. Where are all the people who said that after Murray left?

    • Bryson Treece

      Bryson Treece

      October 7, 2015 at 4:01 pm

      Technically, I’m one of them, but I wasn’t so absolute about it (see my past articles on Peterson and Murray). The line provided a lot of holes last year that would make any running back look better, and Murray looked great behind them, but it still takes above average ability to produce yards. I thought Randle or McFadden had that ability, but maybe the line isn’t performing as they did in 2014, and maybe Murray made them look a little better, much like Romo often does.

      • Fred Goodwin

        October 7, 2015 at 6:16 pm

        Bryson, I admire you for responding, so let me say I’m not here to crow. I want the Cowboys to win, like we all do. I know Jerry could not afford to keep Murray at his asking price. And injuries have decimated our vertical passing game, which allows defenses to stack the box against the run. I don’t have the answers — I guess my original post was nothing more than whining, and for that, I apologize.

        • Bryson Treece

          Bryson Treece

          October 7, 2015 at 6:31 pm

          After the first half against Atlanta and the close game in New Orleans, I think we’re all whining a bit right now about the Cowboys. Don’t worry about it.

  2. James Robertello

    October 7, 2015 at 6:26 pm

    Fred, I dont want to speak for Bryson, however your opinion is very popular about murray. If you feel that way dont apologize for it! Just my personal belief that Barry Sanders wouldn’t have success right now. Thanks for reading!

    -James

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Star Blog

2018 In Review: CB Anthony Brown Bounces Back

Kevin Brady

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Anthony Brown's Resurgence A Great Sign for Cowboys Defense
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

To say it's been an up-and-down start to the career of young cornerback Anthony Brown would be an understatement.

As a sixth round pick in 2016, everything Brown contributed during his rookie season was a plus. Due to injury he was asked to step into a greater role as the season went on, and he performed well enough to make the front office comfortable allowing multiple veterans to walk for nothing in free agency the following Spring. Brown looked like a legitimate starting cornerback in the league, and when Dallas brought in Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis during the next draft, the young secondary seemed set.

Then 2017 happened. And Anthony Brown struggled. Really struggled.

These struggles, coupled with the emergence of both Lewis and Awuzie during their own rookie seasons, made Brown's status heading into 2018 rather uncertain. Some wondered if they would trade him for a day three pick, others thought Brown could even end up being cut. Jourdan Lewis and Anthony Brown were slated to compete for the nickel cornerback job in training camp, and as it turned out, all Brown needed was that one extra chance to compete.

Brown won the job outright during the preseason, and began 2018 as the starting nickel. A fan favorite, most thought Lewis would reclaim his rightful spot on the depth chart sooner or later, but Anthony Brown's play (and Kris Richard's preferences) kept Lewis on the bench for much of the season.

Simply put, Anthony Brown balled in 2018, and was the Cowboys' second best corner for most of the year. By the end of the season Chidobe Awuzie had regained form, but Brown and Byron Jones were the most consistently reliable corners on the roster all of 2018.

Brown tallied 44 tackles, 2 sacks, and an interception in 2018, and finished third on the team in pass breakups with 8. As the slot corner Brown had an excellent season, especially for a former sixth round pick.

Now he enters a contract year, and with the Cowboys having so many guys to pay over the next two offseasons, he could find himself as an unrestricted free agent in 2020. And if he can keep up his play from last year moving forward, he could be in for a nice payday that Spring.



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Star Blog

How The Tables Have Turned for 2019 Dallas Cowboys

Mauricio Rodriguez

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How The Tables Have Turned for 2019 Dallas Cowboys

The 2018 season was a two-part tale for the Dallas Cowboys. The first is the story of a mediocre 3-5 team that couldn't get it going offensively. The second part is about a football team that turned its season around, made the playoffs, got a win in the postseason and ultimately lost to the team that ended up representing the NFC in Super Bowl LIII, the Los Angeles Rams.

Surely, 2018 didn't go as planned. The storylines leading to last season are actually very different from the ones we're hearing today. Let's take a look at a few examples of how the tables have turned for the Dallas Cowboys.

The need for a true WR1

Last season, Dak Prescott and the Cowboys preached the philosophy of not needing a #1 wide receiver. While that could've sound encouraging at the time, once the season began the team was proven wrong. They did need a WR1. Fortunately, this season we won't have to worry about it. This year, Dez Bryant shouldn't be a discussion topic among Cowboys' fans.

Amari Cooper is in the house. And he's been pretty good since he started playing with a Star on his helmet. If we have conversations about the WR position, they will not be about who's the #1 guy. With Michael Gallup showing up late in the season, it probably won't be about who is #2 either.

How Cowboys Set up High-Stakes Division Meeting with Eagles at Home

Back on top of the NFC East

Last year, the Dallas Cowboys were not really the favorites to win the NFC East. The Philadelphia Eagles had just made history by winning their first Super Bowl ever and it seemed like the Cowboys would have to get a wildcard spot to play in January. Now it's the Cowboys back on top after sweeping the Eagles and turning their once 3-5 season around.

That of course, means a tougher schedule next season. However, it's nice to be back on top of the division. These two teams will surely have an intense race for the division title next season. Maybe we even see them both in the playoffs for the second consecutive year.

Sean Lee's uncertain future

I'm pretty sure no one expected Sean Lee to be considered a potential cap casualty for the 2019 season. Even if he was, it would've probably been anticipating an injury or something like that. No one would've imagined that Leighton Vander Esch would be so good to take Sean Lee's job.

The Cowboys' first round rookie truly earned the starting role as the defense's weak linebacker and he should keep it. With Sean Lee set to return to the field, I'm sure we didn't expect him to be a backup by now. We'll have to wait and see if the Cowboys decide to part ways with him. As a fan, it would certainly be painful. But we can't deny it would be a move that makes sense.

✭✭✭

It's a crazy franchise on a crazy league. Who knows how things will go from now on, but the Dallas Cowboys certainly look like a promising team heading into the 2019 offseason. Here at Inside The Star, we'll continue to update you with the latest on your favorite NFL team.

Tell me what you think about "How The Tables Have Turned for 2019 Dallas Cowboys" 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!



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Star Blog

Cowboys en Español: Volviendo a la Idea de Earl Thomas

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Are the Dallas Cowboys Done Pursuing FS Earl Thomas? 1

El año pasado, Earl Thomas fue uno de los temas de conversación más frecuentes para los aficionados de los Dallas Cowboys. Después de que los Seattle Seahawks no le dieran su deseada extensión de contrato, Thomas se convirtió en un candidato a ser intercambiado de su equipo. Entre los favoritos estaban los Cowboys, quienes tenían una necesidad en su defensiva secundaria. Ahora que la temporada 2018 llegó a su fin, la misma necesidad por un safety de calidad está presente en Dallas.

Sólo que en esta ocasión, Earl Thomas no está bajo contrato con ningún equipo. Su último momento con el uniforme de los Seahawks fue en un carro de lesiones, donde salía lesionado en dirección a su vestidor. Esto mientras se despedía de su equipo con el dedo de en medio extendido hacia sus entrenadores y compañeros. Así concluyó su temporada y su carrera en Seattle.

Ahora, listo para cumplir los 30 años en mayo, Earl Thomas probará la agencia libre cuando comience en marzo. Y sin lugar a dudas, uno de los equipos candidatos a firmarlo serán los Dallas Cowboys. Es un equipo que a pesar de tener una de las mejores defensivas la temporada pasada, se vería muy beneficiada con la llegada de un profundo del calibre de Thomas.

A pesar de su edad y las lesiones, Thomas continúa siendo uno de los mejores en la liga. Su talento es innegable y tendrá toda la disposición de demostrar lo que vale cuando tome el campo la próxima temporada. Cuando llegue el momento, podríamos ver una guerra de ofertas entre varios equipos de la NFL para llevarse al veterano a sus respectivas ciudades.

La pregunta es: ¿estarán los Dallas Cowboys en esa guerra de ofertas?

Los Cowboys tienen espacio en el tope salarial. Sin embargo, este no durará mucho considerando que DeMarcus Lawrence está esperando su merecida y cara extensión después de jugar bajo la etiqueta franquicia en 2018. Además, jugadores que aún están bajo contrato también estarán buscando ofertas este offseason.

Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, Amari Cooper, y Byron Jones están en la lista de quehaceres de la administración. Eso sin mencionar a Cole Beasley, cuyo contrato ya expiró y podría llegar a la agencia libre en marzo.

A pesar de esta complicada situación, los Dallas Cowboys deberían buscar conseguir a Thomas. Siendo sinceros, la defensiva tiene mucho talento y podría mantener su nivel en 2019. Pero hace falta un jugador en la posición de safety para llevar a esta unidad a otro nivel. Un nivel realmente capaz de ganar en postemporada enfrentándose a cualquier tipo de ofensiva. Sin importar que tan explosiva sea. Y además de esto, un jugador que sea capaz de robar el balón y hacer jugadas de impacto constantemente.

Cuando los Cowboys se enfrentaron a Seahawks en temporada regular, Thomas dio un buen ejemplo de esto interceptando en dos ocasiones a la ofensiva de Dak Prescott.

A pasos de un equipo de campeonato, un movimiento agresivo para obtener a Earl Thomas sería algo genial para Dallas. Vimos como los Rams de Los Angeles fueron agresivos al construir su equipo y llegaron hasta el Super Bowl este febrero. Quizá es tiempo de que Jerry Jones y compañía sean igual de agresivos y vayan por ese safety elite que la afición lleva pidiendo desde el offseason del año pasado.

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys en Español: Volviendo a la Idea de Earl Thomas" 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!



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