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Cowboys vs. Niners Offensive Summary

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Dallas Cowboys San Francisco 49ers

First of all the Cowboys were wearing the throwback jerseys which I am a big fan of. Will we see them in back to back games?

The first offensive series by the Cowboys started with a couple nice passes by Romo hitting Crayton and Witten. But ended in a punt. Oh ya and Troy Aikman just had to show a picture of Romo's "splint", I knew it wouldn't take long until they infamous tape made an appearance.

The defense was pretty jacked up in their first two series, really coming of the ball fast and even getting a little too excited and jumping off sides once (Rat). I guess it is hard to stop that much meat once you get it going.

The second drive started after a great defensive goal line stand and a Niners field goal. Colombo moved a little early so the Boy's had to start off with a 1st and 15. Romo's first pass was caught out-of-bounds by T.O. Marion got a hand off up the middle and was swallowed up by the Niners front line. This put the Boy's in a 3rd and long which was incomplete to T.O. and another Cowboy's punt.

Cowboys first drive in the 2nd Quarter started with a long pass along the sideline to Witten where his left heel came down out-of-bounds. Stay-Puft threw the little red flag and the Boy's were charged a time-out. This 3rd down and 8 was proof that Romo is the real deal, staying alive, stepping up in the pocket and throwing a precision pass to T.O. for a 75 yard Touchdown pass. Great effort by T.O. to keep his legs moving and breaking the TD saving tackle.

7-6 Cowboys 13:54 2nd

With the crowd into the game and some much-needed momentum the defense sacked Hill twice, and then blocked a punt in the Niners end zone for a safety. That's what I am talking about Big D!
9-6 Cowboys

Leonard Davis is so big that he sometimes is a little too slow and gets caught for holding. Romo's first pass was bobbled by T.O., I think he still had some popcorn butter on his hands after his TD. Marion got shoved around by Spikes on a short check down pass and forced a 3rd and 20 where Marion only gained about 8 yards. Great punt by Paulescu (70 yards) and was stopped on the Niners 1 yard line by Watkins.

8:20 2nd

Check down pass to Marion for a gain of 5 started the drive. Followed by a naked bootleg which was swatted down by a Niners LB. 3rd and 5 was an incomplete pass to Roy Williams. Folk's FG was good from 48 yards.

12-6 Cowboys 7:30 remaining in 2nd

Tashard Choice got a 5 yard gain on 1st down and then on 2nd and 5 Romo connected with T.O. on a 45 yard completion. Incomplete to Roy Williams followed by a short gain from Marion on 3rd and long. Folk's FG good from 41.

15-6 Cowboys

Fumble recovered by Zach Thomas for what should have been a TD, but the play was blown dead by a jackass ref. So the Cowboys got the ball on the 49ers 19 yard line. Nice 8 yard completion to T.O. on first down. Marion scrambled for 4 yards and a 1st and Goal for the Cowboys. The running game still hasn't done much in the game but slowly the Cowboys are gaining more momentum. 2nd and Goal on the 5 yard line Marion pounded it up the middle for about 4. 3rd and goal on the 1, Martellus Bennett got the call for a short pass on a shallow crossing route for a 1 yard TD for the Cowboys. Good series for the Cowboys, you can tell the Niners defense was hanging their heads a little after the score. It is nice to finally have a comfortable lead at the Half. Hopefully the offense can continue to gain momentum and keep scoring in the 2nd half.

22-6 Cowboys :52 2nd

Halftime Notes:

The defense has kept the Cowboys alive in this one. Great field position and big red zone stops have been the key to this game. The offense started off slow only scoring on the long TD to Owens, but each series the running game started to become more of a factor. The turnover by Thomas resulted in a much-needed score and gave the Boy's a confidence boost. I look for Marion to have a big 2nd half and also for the defense to continue to lay the pipe on this fragile Niners team. Special teams have looked a little better, especially the cover teams. The Niners lost their best return man so we will see if he returns in the 2nd half.

Cowboys get the ball to start the 3rd quarter.

Romo's first pass was behind T.O. on a slant, much like the interception from last week. Marion gained about 1 yard on a run behind Colombo. Once again Romo steps up in the pocket and floats another bomb to T.O. for a 52 yard completion. It is obvious T.O. is mismatched on the outside, the Niners secondary just can't run with him. Great snag by Roy Williams of 12 yards for another first down on the Niners 10 yard line. Romo came right back after a neutral zone infraction and a false start by Flozell to hit Crayton for a nice 10 yard TD pass across the middle. Good drive for the Boy's to start the first half. They have to limit those penalties.

29-6 Cowboys 12:04 3rd Quarter

Niners field goal.

29-9 Cowboys 8:23 3rd

The Cowboys offense started on the 13 yard line and the first play was a hand off to Choice who gained 8 yards. Romo went right back to Choice on a short pass for a first down gain over the middle. Choice got the ball a 3rd time straight for a gain of 3 on a routine run up the middle. They haven't been able to get much going up the middle today. Romo made a horrible decision to dump the ball off to Choice who was not really expecting to get the ball seeing as how he was standing about a yard from him. The Niners challenged the ruling that it was an incomplete pass. The ball was actually ruled an interception by Manny Lawson. Later in the game they ruled it as a fumble for Romo, giving the Niners the ball on the 29.

On the Niners first play Hill threw a ball behind his receiver and Henry made a great play on the ball for an interception in the end zone.

Barber got the ball for a gain of 3. Romo tried to hit Crayton on a deep ball but was incomplete. T.O. came through huge again for a nice 17 yard gain. The first sign of life from Marion Barber came on a run of 9 yards followed by a first down pick up on a short check down pass from Romo. This is Barber's time to go to work and really just wear out the Niners defense. Witten took a bog shot from Clemens right in the ribs and was down on the field for a few minutes. 3rd and 9, Romo connects with Roy Williams for a big gain of 15 and a first down. Romo got sacked for the first time on a rare missed block by Marion. Screen pass to Marion for 10 yard pick up forcing a 3rd and 7. A false start made the 3rd down even longer.

End of 3rd Quarter.

Good news, Witten did come back on the field. Romo was incomplete to T.O. on 3rd down, forcing a Folk FG.

32-9 Cowboys 14:49 4th

Cowboys forced a 49ers punt and started their drive on the 30. Tashard Choice picked up a couple of yards on the ground and then Romo hit him on a dump pass for a gain of 9 and a first down. T.O. caught a quick pass in the flat for a gain of 2 yards putting him at 199 yards on the day. T.O. is finally looking like the playmaker we were used to. It is good to see him playing like we know he can. 3rd and 8 the Cowboys went to a screen pass, Marion was inches from getting the first down.

32-9 9:56 4th

Niners TD

32-16 8:20 4th

Niners attempted an on-side kick and were off-sides. 2nd attempt, right to Marion who caught the ball in the air and wisely fell on the ground.

Romo finds Roy Williams for a 9 yard gain. Marion rumbled his way for a pick up of 1 and a first down. Romo's pass was incomplete to Witten, 2nd and 10 with about 6:45 left in the game. Hand-off to Marion no gain. Screen pass outside to Marion for about 6 yards which set up another Folk FG.

35-16 Cowboys 5:11 4th

Niners scored quickly and went for 2 but came up short.

35-22 3:46 4th

Another unsuccessful on-side attempt b y the Niners. Cowboys start what should be the final drive at the Niners 46. Hand-off to the workhorse Marion for 5 yards. Another false start on the O-Line made it 2nd and 10. Marion gets the hand-off again for another 5 yard gain. T.O. made a great grab on a quick slant for a first down. that puts him over 200 yards for the day. Marion up the middle for 1 yard. Toss sweep to the right to Marion for a 6 yard gain, which takes it down to the 2 minute warning. After a final hand-off to Marion, Romo would take the knee for the remaining time on the clock.

Good game for the Cowboys. Offense started off pretty slow, but with T.O. playing like a man possessed they took a comfortable lead. Defensively the Cowboys had another good game. Luckily no major injuries since they have a short week before they play The Seahawks on Thanksgiving. This win moves the Cowboys to 7-4. They have possibly the hardest remaining schedule in the league so were not done yet!

Here are some final Stats for the game:

  • Tony Romo: 23/39 341 yards 3 TDs
  • Terrell Owens: 7 receptions 213 yards 1 TD
  • Patrick Crayton: 2 rec. 16 yards 1 TD
  • Martellus Bennett: 1 rec. 1 yard 1 TD
  • Marion Barber: 19 Att. 59 yards 7 rec. for 50 yards, 109 total
  • Roy Williams: 3 rec. 36 yards
  • Jason Witten: 1 rec. 11 yards
  • Nick Folk: 4/4 FGs 3/3 PATs


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BREAKING: Dallas Cowboys Sign Free Agent Safety George Iloka

Jess Haynie

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George Iloka

The Dallas Cowboys have reached a one-year agreement with Safety George Iloka, according to ESPN's Todd Archer. Iloka spent 2018 with the Vikings after six years with the Bengals.

He's started 79 of his 99 career games since being a fifth-round pick by Cincinnati in 2012. Iloka turns 29 years old next week.

Todd Archer on Twitter

The Cowboys have agreed to a one-year deal with safety George Iloka, according to a source. Iloka met with the Cowboys on Friday and was the third safety to meet with the club during the week along with Clayton Geathers and Eric Berry. The Cowboys have... https://t.co/JB5nJLWepc

This isn't the safety that most Cowboys fans wanted. After over a year of pining for Earl Thomas, sights turned to Eric Berry after his free agent visit in Dallas last week.

However, it makes sense that Iloka would be attractive to the Cowboys. At 6'4" and 225 lbs, he fits the physical mold of what Defensive Backs Coach Kris Richard likes in his players. He also is younger than than Berry and Thomas without the same recent injury issues.

Iloka becomes one of many Boise St. products on Dallas' roster, joining Tyrone Crawford, DeMarcus Lawrence, Leighton Vander Esch, and others. He entered the league with college teammates Crawford and Kellen Moore, the Cowboys' new offensive coordinator, in 2012.

We'll have to wait and see how George Iloka fits into the current mix at safety with Jeff Heath and Xavier Woods. He spent most of 2018 as a backup with Minnesota, but Dallas will likely give him a chance to start.



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What to Expect from Dallas Cowboys Wide Receiver Group in 2019

John Williams

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Amari Cooper

In a span of a week, the Dallas Cowboys have solidified their wide receiver group with the resigning of Tavon Austin to a one year deal and the signing of former Green Bay Packers Wide Receiver Randall Cobb. Despite the loss of Cole Beasley, the Cowboys have a created a really good group of receivers for Quarterback Dak Prescott to throw to.

Cobb joins a really nice group of players that includes incumbent starters on the outside in Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup as well as solid depth players in Austin, Allen Hurns, and Noah Brown. Throw in Cedric Wilson, the Dallas Cowboys sixth round pick from the 2018 NFL Draft and the Cowboys may have one of the deeper receiving corps in the NFL.

The question is, how will the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff delineate the roles?

Let's take a look.

Outside Receivers

As I mentioned before, the Dallas Cowboys are returning their top two options on the outside in Amari Cooper, who is the X wide receiver and Michael Gallup, the Z receiver. Both players will go into week one as the starters at their respective positions in two-wide receiver formations.

Despite some of the overthrows from Dak Prescott to Michael Gallup, Gallup had a really nice rookie season and got better as the year went along, even leading the Cowboys in receiving in the playoff loss to the Los Angeles Rams. In that game, Gallup recorded the first 100 yard game of his career. Sure, it was in an attempt to comeback by the Dallas Cowboys, but it is impressive nonetheless. His touchdown catch against the Seattle Seahawks the week before was clutch. The Cowboys needed that to take the lead at the end of the first half. 2018 was only the beginning for Michael Gallup. He showed an ability to win with a full offseason to work with Dak Prescott, their chemistry and connection should only improve.

As for Cooper, his presence was felt right away as the offense just looked different once he stepped on the field. It's no coincidence that Dak Prescott's two best career games in terms of passing yardage came with Cooper in 2018. He's such a threat that he opens up space for the rest of the wide receiver group. His route running, speed, ability to run after the catch make him a threat to score any time he's targeted.

Behind Cooper and Gallup, you have options in the event that one of them gets hurt. Allen Hurns, Tavon Austin, and Noah Brown are all players who took snaps on the outside for the Dallas Cowboys in 2018 and did so with effectiveness. Hurns best game of the year came just before the Cooper deal was made as he went for five receptions for 75 yards.

Tavon provided down field speed on several occasions and provides some gadget quality that the Dallas Cowboys love to have. Noah Brown is a player that the Dallas Cowboys love to deploy as a blocker in the running game. While it looked like he might get more run in the passing game in 2019, the depth additions will limit him again to a specialty role. If needed, though, he could be an option to take snaps on the outside as his big frame allows him to box out defensive backs down the field.

There will be snaps on the outside for someone when the Cowboys go to 11 personnel, because of Amari Cooper's ability to slide into the slot.

Slot Receiver

Obviously, the writing is on the wall with who the Dallas Cowboys are planning on deploying in the slot as things stand right now, and that's Randall Cobb.

While Cobb should be penciled in as the starter in the slot, I doubt that he's going to get 100% of the snaps there in 11 or 10 personnel groupings. Amari Cooper, Allen Hurns, Tavon Austin, Noah Brown, and Cedric Wilson could all push for playing time from the slot.

Last month, I wrote a piece about Allen Hurns and his effectiveness in the slot and why the Cowboys should feature him there. With Cobb coming off an injury laden season, the Cowboys would be wise to give some snaps to Hurns along with Tavon Austin.

In Jacksonville, Hurns was incredibly effective from the slot running posts, slants, and ins and outs. His size and route running made him an effective mismatch against linebackers, safeties, and cornerbacks alike. Remember, it wasn't long ago that Hurns had a 1,000 yard season with Blake Bortles at the helm.

Tavon Austin's quickness is an asset that could be very effective in the slot as well. Though he lacks size, he's a player that opposing defenses have to account for because of his ability to make big plays once the ball's in his hands.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

The Cowboys haven't been shy about carrying seven wide receivers on their 53-man rosters and it's possible, though unlikely that they could do it again in 2018. As things stand now, I see Noah Brown and Cedric Wilson as the potential odd men out. Of course, this could all get reshuffled if the Dallas Cowboys use a top 100 pick on a wide receiver in the draft.

With Amari Cooper, Allen Hurns, Tavon Austin, and Randall Cobb only under contract through the 2019 season, the Dallas Cowboys would be wise to invest at the position despite the strength of the position in 2019.



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Report: Dallas Cowboys Set to Meet with Safety George Iloka

John Williams

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Why Cowboys Should Acquire Recently Released S George Iloka

As the Dallas Cowboys continue the process of building a roster capable of taking them back to the playoffs, and hopefully to a Super Bowl, this next season, they’re bringing in another safety to try and strengthen their top 10 defense. This time it’s free agent safety George Iloka, formerly of the Minnesota Vikings.

Per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Dallas Cowboys are set to meet with

Ian Rapoport on Twitter

The #Cowboys are hosting former #Vikings and #Bengals safety George Iloka for a visit tomorrow, source said. They're still looking to add in the secondary.

It will be the third meeting this week that they’ve had with a veteran safety after hosting recently resigned Indianapolis’s colts Safety Clayton Geathers and former Kansas City Chiefs Safety Eric Berry.

The Cowboys feel really good about Xavier Woods at safety, but definitely could use some depth at the position as they head toward the 2019 NFL Draft.

Iloka is coming off a season where he was relegated to a reserve role for the Vikings. In five of the last six seasons, Iloka’s played all 16 games, and the one season he didn’t, he played 12. He has nine career interceptions, and has three seasons with more than 70 total tackles.

Back in August of last year, Brian Martin argued that the Dallas Cowboys should pursue Iloka after being released by the Cincinnati Bengals. He would play the strong or box safety role in the Cowboys defense if they were to come to an agreement.

Stay tuned for more Free Agency coverage from us here at InsideTheStar.com.



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