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Dallas Cowboys: 3 Best Plays of the 2017 Season

Kevin Brady

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Takeaway Tuesday: Cowboys' Defense Silently Shined, Jeff Heath Saved The Season 1
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier this week, I talked about three plays which, in a way, ruined the 2017 Dallas Cowboys’ season. We will always look back at 2017 as a disappointing and frustrating year, but there were some exciting moments along the way. Especially as the Cowboys fought for their playoff lives, week in and week out.

Here are the three best, and most impactful, plays from the 2017 season.

Dez Bryant Makes His Mark

dalvsnyg dak to dez td – Streamable

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It seems like all anyone wants to talk about with the Cowboys is the lack of chemistry between quarterback Dak Prescott and the team’s highest paid receiver, Dez Bryant. They failed to consistently hook up all season long, but on this day against the New York Giants, Bryant took matters into his own hands.

After a sluggish first half offensively, the Cowboys needed a spark. Their playoff hopes were on the line, and after recognizing and calling out the blitz pre-snap, Prescott found Bryant quickly on a slant route. Then, Dez Bryant shoved away the cornerback and did the rest with his legs.

The Cowboys would go on to win this game in blowout fashion, 30-10.

Dak Prescott Provides the Spark

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Back in September, and coming off a blowout loss to the Denver Broncos, the Cowboys were at risk of falling under .500 just three weeks into the season. Their offense failed to move the ball at all against the lowly Arizona Cardinals, and things were looking bleak for Dallas.

Then, on this read-option play, Dak Prescott turned the game around with his legs and his heart.

Diving head first into the end zone and flipping over defenders, Prescott scored the first touchdown of the game for the Cowboys. They would go onto win the game and get to 2-1 on the year.

I could’ve also chosen Dez Bryant’s touchdown against Arizona, where he carried defenders into the end zone, but this Prescott touchdown is the play which started it all.

Jeff Heath Saves the Season

poty2018 jeff heath – Streamable

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I mean, this has to be the play of the year, right?

Even though we now know the next week wouldn’t go as planned, the Cowboys had to escape Oakland with a victory in order to make Ezekiel Elliott‘s return from suspension meaningful.

They had to beat the Raiders on the road if they wanted to have any shot to sneak into the postseason as the sixth seed. And after a pass interference penalty set Oakland up with great field position, it wasn’t looking too good for the Dallas Cowboys.

Luckily for them, they employ safety Jeff Heath, who chased down Derek Carr and forced the fumble. The ball would roll out of the end zone and result in a touch-back, a first down for the Cowboys, and a key victory.

Jeff Heath’s stop in Oakland is the play of the year for the 2017 Dallas Cowboys.

Do you have a play you’d like to nominate?

Do you think a certain play got snubbed? Let us know how you feel in the comment section below.

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Die-hard Cowboys fan from the Northeast, so you know I am here to defend the 'boys whenever necessary. Began writing for a WordPress Cowboys Blog, and am currently a college student. Lets get going.

Dallas Cowboys

Sanjay Lal Hired As Cowboys WR Coach

Sean Martin

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Sanjay Lal Hired As Cowboys WR Coach

After hiring Paul Alexander to fill their vacant OL coaching position, the Dallas Cowboys are continuing to retool their offensive staff below Scott Linehan. Sanjay Lal has been hired to coach the Cowboys’ wide receivers, replacing Derek Dooley.

Lal has experience as a WR coach with four different teams, dating back to 2009 with the Oakland Raiders. He was promoted up to this position after serving as the Raiders’ quality control coach from 2007-08.

David Moore on Twitter

Sources: Cowboys have reached an agreement with Sanjay Lal to become the team’s WR coach. Lal was with Indianapolis last season and replaces Derek Dooley on the staff.

Most recently, Sanjay Lal coached the receivers for the Indianapolis Colts in 2017. He has also been with the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets.

In this interview with the Colts, Lal mentions being very detail-oriented with a focus on the technical aspects of playing receiver.

Lal beats out former Cowboys WR Miles Austin for this position, earning the right to lead a room of receivers in desperate need of fresh talent. In an offseason that’s been about finding fresh ideas with the coaching staff so far though, the Cowboys have a new voice on offense.

Tell us what you think about “Sanjay Lal Hired As Cowboys WR Coach” in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys Losing Linebackers Coach Matt Eberflus to Colts

Jess Haynie

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Matt Eberflus, Sean Lee

Multiple sources are reporting Matt Eberflus — who has been the linebackers coach and passing game coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys — will leave to join the Indianapolis Colts as the new defensive coordinator. Eberflus has been with Dallas since 2011, having joined Rob Ryan’s staff when Ryan become the coordinator for the Cowboys’ defense.

He has been the linebackers coach during his entire Dallas tenure and was also named passing game coordinator in 2016.

Tom Pelissero on Twitter

With Josh McDaniels ticketed for the #Colts, former #Cowboys assistant Matt Eberflus is expected to come along as defensive coordinator, I’m told. Lot of parts falling in place now.

If not the Colts, some thought Matt Eberflus might end up replacing Matt Patricia as the defensive coordinator in New England. Either way, it does not appear Dallas could have kept him around while Rod Marinelli remains in his current position.

Eberflus’ work in Dallas speaks for itself, and primarily through LB Sean Lee.

He has been Lee’s position coach for all but his rookie season, and in that time Lee has been one of the top defensive players in all of football.

Beyond Lee, Eberflus has also been able to get quality play out of mid-round picks like Anthony Hitchens and Damien Wilson. We also saw Jaylon Smith make significant progress this season.

Given Matt Eberflus has never worked with Josh McDaniels before, the fact he was on the Colts’ radar says a lot.

Make no mistake; the Cowboys lost a good one here.

Don’t panic, however. Coach Marinelli has cast a very wide net during his time in the NFL and there are a lot of potential guys, some with plenty of experience, that Dallas might look to.

It’s entirely possible that Eberflus’ replacement will be someone who Marinelli spends 2018 grooming to take over as the defensive coordinator.

Still, of all the coaching changes so far for Dallas, this one hurts most.

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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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