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Game Notes

DAL 24 IND 19: Cowboys Winners In Return Home, Jaylon Smith Debuts

Sean Martin



DAL 24 IND 19: Cowboys Winners In Return Home, Jaylon Smith Debuts

It is hard to believe, but the Cowboys have completed the Oxnard portion of training camp – returning home to host the Colts tonight for their first game of the season at AT&T Stadium. Following this 24-19 victory, the Cowboys will continue training camp at The Star with a lot to like following a win that saw Dak Prescott, Dez Bryant, and most notably Jaylon Smith make their preseason debuts.

Jaylon Smith’s first real action with the Cowboys would have to wait, but not for long as the Cowboys received the opening kickoff and promptly jumped ahead 7-0 with a 95 yard drive orchestrated to perfection by Dak Prescott. Dez Bryant got things rolling quickly with a slant route to move the chains on the first play, and after gains of five, six, and five again by Darren McFadden he was in the end zone from 32 yards out – electrifying Cowboys Nation by finishing physically down the sideline and stretching for the score.

The opening fireworks from Dallas’ offense meant that Rod Marinelli’s defense got to play from ahead early, promptly forcing a three and out with Jaylon Smith making the stop (the first of his career) on third down.

Cowboys Nation on Twitter

Jaylon Smith’s 1st Tackle in his NFL Career.

The Cowboys’ first-team offense kept things rolling, as a starting offensive line that featured Chaz Green at LT and Jonathan Cooper at LG made easy work of the Colts’ front to momentarily make us forget about Ezekiel Elliott‘s suspension by leading Darren McFadden, Alfred Morris, and Rod Smith.

It was Prescott’s connection to last season’s leader in receptions Cole Beasley that got the Cowboys down in the red zone once again, but a McFadden fumble turned the ball over the Colts and ended the night for most of the team’s starters.

Indianapolis went three and out again, but Kellen Moore turned the ball over on his first play after getting hit by former Cowboy Lavar Edwards and fumbling. Edwards returned the fumble for a tying touchdown, and a pair of field goals to either side had this game tied at ten at the half.

This game would hit a lull point until UDFA QB Cooper Rush lifted Kellen Moore late in the third quarter. Rush, who has outperformed Moore in every way this preseason, furthered his case for a roster spot by putting the Cowboys ahead 17-13 with a 19 yard touchdown to rookie Noah Brown.

Rush was a sharp 4-4 on the drive, leading another quick touchdown drive following a Colts punt by firing a three yard scoring strike to UDFA WR Lance Lenoir Jr.

A late Colts touchdown in “garbage time” would not be enough to stop the Cowboys from putting a cherry on top of a night that was successful the second Jaylon Smith stepped out of the tunnel prepared to play, as the offense did not miss a beat with their starters in.

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On the injury front, CB Orlando Scandrick exited and was evaluated for a concussion on the sideline. He did not return to the game after looking confident and flying around the ball without rookies Jourdan Lewis, Chidobe Awuzie, or Xavier Woods on the field.

Be sure to check out tomorrow’s new edition of “Sean’s Scout” for a more in-depth breakdown of what stood out to me from the Cowboys’ performance against the Colts. 

Tell us what you think about “DAL 24 IND 19: Cowboys Winners In Return Home, Jaylon Smith Debuts” in the comments below. You can also email me at, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!


Born January 28th, 1996- Cowboys Super Bowl XXX. Point Pleasant NJ, no we’re not how you think we are. Host of “Upon Further Review” on 90.3 WMSC FM and every Friday from 1-4 PM ET. You may @ me: @SeanMartinNFL.

  • http://Inside%20The%20Star Fatfan

    either keep 3 qbs, or release Linehan fav, Kellen Moore. Dallas would be foolish to let Cooper Rush walk; he won’t make it to the p.s. Rush will be helpful if Prescott is ever injured and misses time, (moreso than Moore), and/or eventually will garner good draft picks in a trade to some needy team.

  • Travis Diggs

    Outside of Kellen Moore, the cowboys look good on both sides of the ball. A couple months ago i posted that Kellen moore was only here because of his step daddy Scott Linehan and that he would not be picked up by any other team if released, I received so much flak from delusional cowboys fans defending this bum, Where yall at now??? Three weeks of getting outplayed by Cooper Rush and a NBC sportstalk post this morning about the staff losing faith in him, even his step daddy. I cant believe yall still defend this scrub, where’s the love for cooper rush?? He moves the ball with ease with the same team kellen moore had, time to be honest with yourselfs about yall boy Kellen Moore

    • Daniel Lujan

      I just get the feeling (well, from Broaddus’ tweets) that the coaching staff is going to be bullish on Kellen. I don’t know that Dallas can necessarily afford the luxury of 3 QBs.. So to me, it’s going to take cutting Moore, or keeping both Rush and Moore. If they go 3 QB’s, they’ll end up cutting somebody that’s potentially useful like Noah Brown, Duke Thomas, etc.

      • Travis Diggs

        Now you know and I know The boys usually only carry two qbs. Has Kellen Moore shown anybody that he deserves to back up Dak??? Dont keep him because he’s one of “the guys” He has been a BUM and that will never change. Who feels comfortable with him against defenses with starters in real games??NOT ME! How bout you???

Game Notes

Takeaway Tuesday: Awuzie and Lewis Impress, Concerns Around Dez Bryant

Mauricio Rodriguez



Takeaway Tuesday: Awuzie and Lewis Impress, Concerns Around Dez Bryant

The Dallas Cowboys headed to New York a couple of days ago with a mission: survive a potential trap game versus a 2-10 New York Giants team. Despite not getting most of the help they needed from other teams around the league, at least Dallas was able to do the job they could control.

Through three quarters, the Cowboys struggled a lot. It wasn’t until the fourth quarter when they decided to have a touchdown party, outscoring the Giants 20-0 in the final eight minutes of the game.

What did we learn from the Cowboys’ seventh win of the season? Here is this week’s edition of Takeaway Tuesday! 

Dak Prescott Bounced Back

Although the Cowboys are a team that’s barely breathing in the playoff race, the truth is there’re a lot of ways that Dak has improved as a QB. It’s easy to look at a team lose football games and blame the QB without hesitating. That’s been the case most of the season.

It’s fair to say that Prescott hadn’t had an awesome game in a long time, though. But this time, he did just that.

Film Room: How Dak Prescott Beat The Giants' Blitz

Dak Prescott needed a performance like this one. He threw for 332 yards and three touchdowns last Sunday. He made some key throws and key reads during the game and managed to beat the Giants’ blitz with ease. Glad to see you hush the haters, 4.

Certainly a good thing to see when you need to go 3-0 in order to stay in the postseason conversation.

Concerns Around Dez Bryant Continue to Increase

Listen, I love Dez Bryant. He’s been one of my favorite players to ever watch. But at some point, you have to start admitting there is a problem. Yes, Dez Bryant has been struggling this season. Whether you want to blame Dak or Dez about it, it’s fair. I think they both are to blame.

The thing about Dez is that he can have quite a few bad plays and makes you forget about it when he  does something awesome. A perfect example of this is his 50-yard TD against the Giants last Sunday. It came at a perfect moment, but he had dropped some easy balls earlier in the game.

Dez – Streamable

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Dez is getting paid like an elite WR, and despite some great moments on the field, he’s been having a lot of bad ones lately. If you have a $70M contract, you can’t frequently drop passes like that.

It may be about chemistry with his new QB, it may be about age, or it may be just about a couple of bad years for the guy. Whatever it is, as much as we hate to say it, Dez isn’t anywhere close to the “top receivers” conversation this year.

Sean Lee Proved to be Invaluable Once Again

Less Is More For Sean Lee And Cowboys' LBs?I’m constantly amazed by the difference the Cowboys’ veteran linebacker makes when he’s on the field. In his heroic return against the Giants, he finished the day with 18 total tackles, 10 of which were solo. With Sean Lee on the field, this defense has been able to be a headache for opposing offenses.

Sean Lee could easily be this team’s MVP. For Cowboys Nation, it’s been a season of constantly missing football players in Dallas. Out of everyone, I think Sean Lee is the player we missed the most. Including Ezekiel Elliott.

This defense transforms into a very capable one with Lee around. The Cowboys need Zeke back if they want to have success in their hunt for the playoffs, but without Lee, they wouldn’t stand a chance.

Chidobe Awuzie, Jourdan Lewis Are Still Killing It

Coming into this game, one of the biggest question marks was the cornerback position for Dallas. Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis were going to get the start, and there’s always uncertainty around rookies going up against a QB like Eli Manning.

lewis – Streamable

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Look at that coverage by Jourdan Lewis. Look at him turn his head around when the ball’s coming. The way this secondary will grow is exciting to think about. The Cowboys have something special in these two guys. They’ll make for an amazing CB duo for years to come, and I’m excited about what they bring to the table.

Chidobe Awuzie has played the last two games, and he’s been very impressive. Throughout the entire game, his converge was pretty impressive. Eli only targeted him 5 times in the ballgame and was able to complete just two passes against him.

Sean Lee ended up with the interception late in the fourth quarter, but it was perfectly set up by Chidobe Awuzie.

Awuzie – Streamable

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It was a very fun fourth quarter for the Dallas Cowboys, and even though it looks difficult… this football team’s playoff hopes are still alive. Jason Garrett must keep this team focused in the Oakland Raiders for now, though.

Hope dies last, Cowboys Nation. Keep your head up.

Tell me what you think about “Takeaway Tuesday: Awuzie and Lewis Impress, Concerns Around Dez Bryant” in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 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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Game Notes

Forget Elliott For Now, Cowboys Must Focus On Raiders

Kevin Brady



Despite looking dead to rights just two weeks ago, back to back wins have put the Dallas Cowboys into the playoff hunt with just three games remaining.

In order to even have a chance at sneaking in as the sixth seed, Dallas will need to win each of its remaining games to finish 10-6. In some ways, the playoffs started two weeks ago when Dallas took on the Washington Redskins. But even though this Sunday’s contest is another must-win, elimination game for the Cowboys, it’s also a classic “trap” or “look ahead” game as well.

Before the season started, most expected the Oakland Raiders to be competing for AFC supremacy. Like the Cowboys, Oakland bursted onto the scene in 2016 with a young quarterback, a dynamic offense, and an exciting roster. But, like the Cowboys, they have faltered a bit this season due to underperforming stars, injuries, and a somewhat undermanned defensive unit.

The Raiders are now 6-7, and while still alive in the AFC West race, saw their best shot at overtaking the division go up in a smoke last Sunday as they were demolished by the Kansas City Chiefs.

Simply put, the Raiders are not a very good football team right now. And though this will be a road game for the Cowboys, it is one they should win if they are truly a playoff team. In fact, it’s one they have to win if they want to keep their slim playoff chances alive.

The reason why this could potentially be a “trap” game of sorts is who the Cowboys are scheduled to play after traveling to Oakland. A team who has been a perennial playoff contender in the NFC, and a team directly in front of the Cowboys in the current NFC standings – the Seattle Seahawks.

Not only will that Seattle game be massively important to the Cowboys if they can sneak out of Oakland with a victory, it will also feature the return of star running back Ezekiel Elliott from his six game suspension.

December 24th will be a huge day in Dallas if the Cowboys can get to 8-6 this week, but they can ill-afford to look ahead to that potentially important showdown with the Seahawks. Because if they do and the Raiders upset them at the home in primetime, the Cowboys season will end before Elliott even gets the chance to come back.


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Game Notes

Film Room: How Dak Prescott Beat The Giants’ Blitz

Kevin Brady



Film Room: How Dak Prescott Beat The Giants' Blitz

While much of Sunday’s victory over the New York Giants featured some ugly football from the Dallas Cowboys, the team continued to fight until completing a 20 point route of their division rivals.

Of course, stars emerged on both the offense and the defense throughout the game. Rod Smith had a breakout day, Dez Bryant made a couple of “vintage” plays, and Sean Lee returned to health and led the defense to a fantastic performance.

But as we all know, quarterbacks make the world go ’round. And no matter how great the other pieces play, it’s hard to win football games unless you can maintain high level quarterback play.

Dak Prescott returned to that high level against the Giants on Sunday.

Even if Prescott is missing throws or having accuracy issues, he had never lost his composure or made the wrong reads until that Atlanta Falcons debacle. I really believe that Dak lost faith in his protection, began abandoning clean pockets, and ended up having a few bad games in a row.

All seems right with Prescott now, as he threw for over 300 yards and three touchdowns during the Cowboys’ big win. The area he was most impressive, was with those reads – specifically against the blitz.

dalvsnyg dak to dez td – Streamable

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On his first touchdown pass of the game, Dak Prescott beats the blitz perfectly. Just before snapping the ball, Prescott notices the safety roll down into the box. You can see him subtly move his arm to point out the safety, while calling it out to his linemen as well.

As soon as he gets the snap, Dak knows exactly where to go. The Giants tried to beat him with a delayed safety blitz, but once that safety comes, Prescott knows he has Dez Bryant in man coverage on the perimeter.

His eyes immediately snap that way, and his throw replaces the blitzer quickly. This allows Bryant to do the rest, and the Cowboys to tie the game.

dalvsnyg 17 cole beasley – Streamable

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Later in the game we see more of the same from Dak Prescott. With the game tied at 10 the Cowboys faced a critical third down backed up in their own territory. The Giants once again show blitz, bring the  blitz, and Dak burns them for it.

The Giants show man coverage across the board pre-snap, with safety Landon Collins on the near hash. Cole Beasley is in the near-slot, and while he technically has a man over him directly, the Giants show 2-over-1 in the slot pre-snap. This usually tips off a blitz, as the Giants plan to bring their slot defender off the edge, and allow Landon Collins to cover Beasley one on one.

Prescott notices this pre-snap once again, and makes the defense pay. He quickly replaces the blitzer with his throw, allowing Beasley to make the easy catch underneath and then do the rest after the catch.

This may not seem all the difficult to do to those analyzing the game the next morning, but these reads indicate high level quarterback-ing from the Cowboys’ franchise leader, Dak Prescott.

Last season against the Giants, their defense was able to bring more than the Cowboys could block on key third downs a few times. Too often, Prescott and the passing offense could not beat those blitzes.

That was not the case this week at all.


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