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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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Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys Hire Longtime Bengals OL Coach Paul Alexander

Kevin Brady

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Cowboys Hire Longtime Bengals OL Coach Paul Alexander

Thus far the 2018 offseason has brought a plethora of change to the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff, especially on the offensive side of the ball. Now it is being reported the Cowboys have hired a brand new offensive line coach, former Cincinnati Bengals’ Offensive Line Coach Paul Alexander.

Alex Marvez on Twitter

Source tells @sportingnews that Paul Alexander hired as new @dallascowboys offensive line coach

Alexander coached with the Bengals for over 20 years, and replaces the same man in Dallas who replaces him in Cincinnati, Frank Pollack. Alexander has also been the Bengals assistant head coach since 2003.

The Cowboys recently lost an assistant head coach when Special Teams Coordinator Rich Bisaccia left for Jon Gruden’s Oakland Raiders.

Per usual, the hire has been met with mixed reactions from Cowboys Nation.

Joey Ickes on Twitter

Since 2003, CIN has had only one season where they finished top-10 in Yards per attempt on the ground… They’ve been bottom-5 in the league 5 times in that span… That’s the OL Coach DAL just hired.

The hiring of an offensive line coach who’s rushing attack finished bottom five in the league in rushing yards per attempt five times since 2003 doesn’t look too great on paper. He will also teach with different techniques and styles than previous Cowboys OL coaches, which could potentially set back the offensive line early in the season.

Plus, respected Bengals’ writer Joe Goodberry did not exactly love the hire for the Cowboys.

Goodberry on Twitter

Pretty bad https://t.co/fysjZqCQ6l

Regardless, this is still a very talented offensive line and one which should lead an effective ground attack based on their talent alone. 2017 proved further that coaching matters a lot in the NFL however, and the wrong hire could set back even the most talented of units.

We will just have to wait and see how this 2018 season ends up playing out.

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Dallas Cowboys

Mike Solari, Paul Alexander Candidates for Cowboys Vacant OL Coaching Job

Sean Martin

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Mike Solari, Paul Alexander Candidates For Cowboys Vacant OL Coach Job 1

By keeping all three top coaches (Jason Garrett, Scott Linehan, and Rod Marinelli) in place for 2018, there isn’t a Dallas Cowboys coaching hire that feels like they “must” get it right to contend next season. This is how it should be.

Producing nine wins, despite missing key players throughout the season, the Cowboys are changing things up at the position coach level to hopefully introduce new ideas and give the talent on this team a better chance at sustained success.

One coaching vacancy that needs to be filled by the right guy above any else is on the offensive line, where things haven’t been the same since the great Bill Callahan departed.

Frank Pollack took his place, and now finds himself with the Cincinnati Bengals after not being retained by Dallas this offseason.

Mike Solari, Paul Alexander Candidates For Cowboys Vacant OL Coach Job

Tom Cable (Stephen Brashear / Getty Images)

The first name that was thrown around in consideration for the Cowboys job was Tom Cable, which sent a panic throughout Cowboys Nation before Cable decided to sign with John Gruden and the Raiders.

Cable had been coaching the Seahawks’ OL, a position that franchise has not valued in some time, and struggled to develop any talent in protection of their franchise QB Russell Wilson.

Now, two new names have emerged as candidates to coach the likes of two-time 1st Team All-Pro LT Tyron Smith, 1st Team All-Pro C Travis Frederick, and two-time 1st Team All-Pro RG Zack Martin.

Mike Solari and Paul Alexander

Paul Alexander has already met with the Dallas Cowboys, looking for work after 23 seasons with the Bengals. During this time, Alexander served as Marvin Lewis’ assistant head coach, in addition to his duties as their OL coach.

Judging on reactions out of Cincinnati to Alexander’s departure, the Bengals offensive line regressed under him in 2017, warranting change from a franchise that is as reluctant as any to move on from coaches.

Goodberry on Twitter

Paul Alexander better be gone

Most recently, Mike Solari has served as the offensive line coach for the New York Giants — far from a renowned unit around the NFL lately. He does have previous experience with the Cowboys, having served as an assistant OL and special teams coach here from 1987-88.

From 2006-07, Solari did reach the rank of offensive coordinator with the Kansas City Chiefs, which shows the level of respect that the 30-year NFL coaching veteran has earned.

He will be the Dallas Cowboys’ next interview for their open OL coach position.

Cowboys at Raiders: La'el Collins Faces Toughest Test Yet In Khalil Mack 1

Dallas Cowboys RT La’el Collins, RG Zack Martin

Depth at tackle, a long-term answer at left guard, and an extension for Zack Martin are among the questions facing the Cowboys offensive line moving forward. Whoever is in charge of keeping this unit up to standard in 2018 though, may hold the keys to getting the entirety of the Cowboys’ program back on track.

Whether it’s Alexander, Solari, or another outside candidate yet to emerge, Inside The Star will keep you updated on the Cowboys’ ongoing coaching search.

Tell us what you think about “Mike Solari, Paul Alexander Candidates for Cowboys Vacant OL Coaching Job” in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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Cowboys Defensive Back Questions Still Need Answers

John Williams

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Byron Jones
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys defense took a step forward in 2017, and in the process they answered several questions. They found a “war daddy” in DeMarcus Lawrence, something that’s been missing since DeMarcus Ware left for the Denver Broncos. Lawrence finished tied for second with Calais Campbell in sacks with 14.5, and made the NFL All-Pro Second Team.

We got to see Jaylon Smith answer questions about his health all season long. Smith appears to be trending in the right direction, both in his health and his performance on the field.

The plan to rebuild the secondary seems to be on the right track as they’ve found a couple of aggressive corners in Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis. They have the look of a dynamic duo that will be impact players on this team for a long, long time.

Kavon Frazier has been a revelation. The thumper at the safety position is something that’s been missing for the Dallas Cowboys since Roy Williams.

However, questions still remain about a defense that carried this team at times, and looked like the Rob Ryan and Monte Kiffin defenses of yesteryear at other times.

To me the biggest questions in the secondary revolve around Byron Jones and Xavier Woods.

Cowboys en Español: Proyectando el Roster de 53 Jugadores 2

Dallas Cowboys S Byron Jones (James D. Smith via AP)

Where do Byron Jones and Xavier Woods Fit?

Byron Jones has been a popular whipping boy for Cowboys Nation. Some of that has been accurate, but he’s not as bad as social media would have you believe.

He’s been sticky in coverage, especially against tight ends, throughout his career, but in 2017 it seemed like he was shying away from tackling a bit too much. He still has that tremendous athleticism and coverage ability that warranted a first-round pick, but the question remains: What is his best position?

After playing where needed his rookie season, the Cowboys coaching staff moved him to safety for the last couple of years with mixed results.

As stated, he’s been pretty good in coverage and made some incredible plays on the ball, even if he’s lacking the interception numbers. The problem comes, in my opinion, when he’s asked to make tackles in space, which is an important aspect of being a safety.

Many have begun to wonder if Dallas would be best served moving Jones back to corner.

As a cornerback, Jones would be able to use his athleticism and coverage skills against the bigger wide receivers in the league, but not be asked to make as many tackles in the middle of the field against running backs and tight ends.

They can still bring him in against some of the better tight ends in the league. We already know the Cowboys will face Zach Ertz of the Philadelphia Eagles, Jordan Reed of the Washington Redskins, and Evan Engram of the New York Giants for a total of six games in 2018.

Dallas will also face the likes of Michael Thomas, DeAndre Hopkins, Julio Jones, Mike Evans, Alshon Jeffrey and Marvin Jones, who are bigger more athletic wide receivers who could require a man of Byron’s skill.

It will be interesting to see what they do with Byron this offseason.

Where Will Dallas Cowboys Search For "Fresh Ideas" Begin? 3

Dallas Cowboys CB Jourdan Lewis, CB Chidobe Awuzie, CB/S Xavier Woods (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)

The same question applies to Xavier Woods, but not because he struggled. He was actually quite good as the slot corner throughout much of his rookie season.

Woods primarily played safety in his time at Louisiana Tech, and showed an ability to be the deep middle safety. Because of injuries to the cornerback group, Woods lined up as the slot corner for a lot of his snaps.

He played well there for Dallas, leaving many to wonder if he hasn’t earned the role of third cornerback. That may be a good fit, but it’s not typical to see a guy who was primarily a safety in college become a corner in the NFL.

I’d rather see him as a full-time safety.

With Woods at safety, Dallas can stay in their base defense when teams go to three wide receiver formations, especially on early downs or in situations where a run is just as likely. He can drop down from the safety spot to play in the slot, if — and it’s a big if — you trust your single-high safety.

Woods’ ability to cover in the slot allows you to stay competitive against the run, which was a struggle for Dallas.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

We’ve seen how the yo-yo game between positions can affect a player’s technique and mentality. Chaz Green wasn’t the same player in 2017 when asked to prepare as both a guard and a tackle, as opposed to 2016 when he strictly played tackle.

In my opinion, it would be to the Dallas Cowboys interest to move Byron Jones back to cornerback full-time, and move Woods to safety.

When you decide to go to your nickel package, Chidobe Awuzie and Jones play the outside with Jourdan Lewis moving to the middle. Or you bring Jones in to cover the tight end, leave Lewis and Awuzie on the outside, and drop Woods into the slot and play cover 1.

What do you think?

Where do Byron Jones and Xavier Woods fit best on this team?

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