Connect with us

Game Notes

Dallas Cowboys Big Time Plays From Week 9

RJ Ochoa

Published

on

Cowboys Blog - Dallas Cowboys Big Time Plays From Week 9 11

There are some guys who just play better when the lights are brightest. Deion Sanders had such a knack for making plays in on the biggest stages that he in fact earned the nickname "Primetime."

The Dallas Cowboys took the field during the nationally televised Sunday Night Football game last week against the Philadelphia Eagles. The pressure gets to some people, but not the ones that we're here to discuss. These are the biggest moments that earned the biggest roars from the crowd. Welcome to the Plays Of The Week. It's good to have you. Enjoy!

Cole Beasley Loops Around For The Score

The Dallas Cowboys failed to produce a single touchdown in their Week 8 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. That trend broke midway through the first quarter when Matt Cassel found fan-favorite Cole Beasley for the first points in the game.

Cowboys Blog - Dallas Cowboys Big Time Plays From Week 9

Cole ran a great loop-type route against Malcolm Jenkins. It's very difficult for defensive backs to match up with Beasley because of his small size.

He's so fast and so shifty that this play is nearly unstoppable in short-yardage situations. It was refreshing to see the Cowboys use it to their advantage - something they'd failed to do over the previous five games. There's no doubt that the double team of Dez Bryant helped the play, but give kudos to Cole for getting it across the goal line.

Cole Beasley Sprints Through Four Defenders For His Second Score

With just over two minutes left in the third quarter the Dallas Cowboys hadn't scored any points since Cole Beasley's touchdown way back in the first quarter... then Matt Cassel threw it to Cole again.

Cowboys Blog - Dallas Cowboys Big Time Plays From Week 9 1

It was a very simple throw - just about 10 yards. Cassel made one read and then saw Cole with inside space. As he had done on the previous score, Beasley shook Malcolm Jenkins.

Cole went in and out, back in, then in and out again. After catching the pass he sprinted through four Philly defenders all the way to the endzone. It was a very familiar play for Cowboys fans as it's the type that we're used to seeing from Beasley. Cole is a fantastic weapon for any quarterback, as he showed in this game, and he's going to be pivotal as the Cowboys look to get things back on track soon.

Luck Whitehead Announces Himself To The World

After Cole Beasley tied things up the Cowboys were driving... until Matt Cassel threw a pick six. It seemed to take all of the air out of AT&T Stadium, until Lucky Whitehead re-inflated it.

Cowboys Blog - Dallas Cowboys Big Time Plays From Week 9 2

The Cowboys were massively in need of a spark at this point and Luck Whitehead delivered.

Lucky fielded the Eagles kickoff in the endzone, dodged some tackles, and sprinted all the way down to the Philadelphia 23-yard line.

The Cowboys kept Lucky as an ideal replacement for Dwayne Harris who left for the New York Giants. He's got amazing speed and an incredible ability to stop and start again. It was all on display as he helped set up the play of game for the Cowboys.

Dez Bryant Goes "Above The World" For A Touchdown

This is one of the greatest plays that I have ever seen. Let's start at the beginning.

Cowboys Blog - Dallas Cowboys Big Time Plays From Week 9 3

This is a pivotal point in the game. After just surrendering a touchdown and getting a big return - it would have been disappointing to come away with only a field goal. Cassel needed to make a play.

Cowboys Blog - Dallas Cowboys Big Time Plays From Week 9 4

Matt Cassel gets a brief look at everything before he starts to sense the pressure coming from Tyron Smith's side. He has to figure out what to do very quickly.

He knows that Tyron Smith is going to buy him a second, maybe two, but that's it. There is still nothing open downfield and considering that this is third down there is no second chance. Something has to happen now and it has to happen fast.

Cowboys Blog - Dallas Cowboys Big Time Plays From Week 9 5

Cassel rolls right in an effort to buy more time. Tyron finishes his block so he knows that he's clear back on the left side.

Now he's in a new pickle. Doug Free is about to lose his block. The right side, the safe side, is about to become compromised! What to do next?!

Cowboys Blog - Dallas Cowboys Big Time Plays From Week 9 6

Matt Cassel then decides to roll BACK TO THE LEFT SIDE... which is now safe and sound. His vision is now 180 degrees away from where it's supposed to be.

The objective at this point is just to buy time and figure things out as he goes along. He knows that he's got receivers downfield by now, but he's going to have to make a decision in a matter of seconds. If he's going to throw he knows that he has to set his feet because he's running to his left and a throw across his body is a big no-no.

Cowboys Blog - Dallas Cowboys Big Time Plays From Week 9 7

Then a glimmer of hope appears! Dez Bryant is there! "I can throw it to him!" Cassel is thinking. He does what every quarterback is taught to do... set those footsies.

This is it. Throw it and pray. Let Dez go be Dez. You've done what you can, Matt. Now let that ball fly!

Cowboys Blog - Dallas Cowboys Big Time Plays From Week 9 8

It is at this moment that the collective breaths of Cowboys Nation were being held. We are a fraction of a second away from what is arguably the most impressive play of the season - save for Tony Romo's game-clinching touchdown back in Week 1 on this same field.

Terrance Williams is almost the literal version of us as he is staring up hopefully as the one-of-a-kind Dez Bryant looks to make a spectacular play. "Is this possible? Is it really going to happen? I can't take it anymore! Show me!"

Cowboys Blog - Dallas Cowboys Big Time Plays From Week 9 9

Dez Bryant is a monster. He simply wants it more than anyone else around him. He is unquestionably the most talented player on the field and he goes up and gets it. There is no other way to put it.

I know that we were Terrance before, but now we are all Lucky Whitehead. Completely off of our feet staring up at the wonder that is Dez Bryant. "When are we landing? Is this going to hurt? Are you about to crush me, Dez?".

This is one of Dez Bryant's finer pieces of work and he gave it an appropriate celebration. Congratulations on your first score of the season, Dez. We can't wait for the ones that are on the way.

Cowboys Blog - Dallas Cowboys Big Time Plays From Week 9 10


RJ Ochoa on Fancred

~ Follow RJ Ochoa on Fancred ~

What do you think were the biggest plays from Sunday Night? Email me your thoughts at Roel.Ochoa.Jr@Gmail.com or Tweet to me @rjochoa!

Tell us what you think about "Dallas Cowboys Big Time Plays From Week 9" in the comments below. You can also email me at RJ.Ochoa@SlantSports.com, or Tweet to me at @RJOchoa!


I like long walks on the beach, mystery novels, no just kidding those suck. The Dallas Cowboys were put on this earth for us all to love and appreciate. I do that 24/7/365. I also love chicken parmesan. Let's roll. @RJOchoa if you wanna shout!

Game Notes

Film Room: WR Ryan Switzer Showed Flashes Vs. Eagles

Kevin Brady

Published

on

Film Room: WR Ryan Switzer Showed Flashes Vs. Eagles
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

There's no doubt the Dallas Cowboys passing game faltered in 2017. Though never expected to throw for many yards, Dak Prescott and the Cowboys failed to maximize their attempts down the stretch. The passing game was simply inefficient and ineffective.

One reason the passing game took a step back was the disappearance of slot receiver Cole Beasley. Whether you blame defenses adjusting their coverages on third downs towards Beasley, Beasley growing another year older, or quarterback Dak Prescott, Beasley simply didn't look like the same player in 2017.

In the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft, the Cowboys selected a wide out who many anticipate could replace Beasley, in time. Rookie wide receiver Ryan Switzer rarely got chances to make an impact on offense this season, designated as the return man for much of the year. With Cole Beasley out for the season finale, however, Switzer got his chance to make a name for himself.

While the numbers were far from gaudy, Ryan Switzer showed some things we should be excited about for the future.

dalvsphi2018 switzer - Streamable

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

Ryan Switzer's first target came on a third down -- something Cowboys Nation should get used to heading into 2018. Switzer is lined up inside in trips on the near-side of the formation. The Eagles show man coverage pre-snap, and with just one safety over top and the other rotated down on top of Jason Witten, it is clear to Dak Prescott they plan to bring some pressure.

As soon as Prescott gets the snap, his eyes go to Ryan Switzer.

The cornerback plays Switzer with inside leverage, refusing to be beat with a hot slant route. Switzer instead keeps the defender on his back hip and creates separation with an out-breaking route.

Prescott delivers the ball towards the sideline where the defender can't catch up to it, and Switzer comes away with the first down.

dalvsphi2018 switzer 2 - Streamable

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

Later in the game, we once again see Ryan Switzer targeted from this inside-alignment.

Switzer is a pretty prototypical slot receiver, and if used correctly he should win in man coverage situations often. The cornerback attempts to maintain inside leverage on Switzer and get physical at the top of his route. Ryan Switzer does a nice job of fighting through that physicality and crossing the defender's face over the middle. He flashes open pretty quickly, and Prescott delivers a strike for the completion.

If Switzer can create this type of separation often, I see no reason why he shouldn't be a focus of the offense in 2018.

dalvsphi2018 switzer 3 - Streamable

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

Switzer's third target is actually an incompletion, but it is worth studying, regardless. Switzer is in the slot on the far side and the Cowboys once again are in trips alignment. The cornerback over Switzer is in man coverage, but gives him room to breathe at the line of scrimmage.

Switzer exploits the cornerback -- who is cheating to the inside -- with his footwork and route running. He gets to the sticks, breaks to the outside, and creates enough separation for a first-down completion. Prescott delivers the ball a bit late and behind Switzer, causing an incompletion instead.

I'd still like to see Switzer adjust to the ball and make this catch, but I put more of the blame for this play on Prescott.

With a full offseason to work within the offensive system, as well as to develop chemistry with quarterback Dak Prescott, Ryan Switzer will prove to be an important piece to the 2018 Dallas Cowboys.


Continue Reading

Game Notes

Takeaway Tuesday: Datone Jones Should Be Back, Switzer’s Good Game

Mauricio Rodriguez

Published

on

Takeaway Tuesday: Datone Jones Should Be Back, Switzer's Good Game 1
AP Photo / Michael Ainsworth

The Dallas Cowboys put an end to a long, long season last Sunday after they defeated the Eagles in Philadelphia in a game that had absolutely no meaning for either team. Surprisingly, the Cowboys played with their healthy starters most of the game, but were barely able to put six points on the board, which were enough to take the win home.

The Cowboys might've lost more than what they actually won, and most of the fans were unhappy with the victory. Despite it being a pretty boring football game, we still learned a few things about the Dallas Cowboys.

The season's finally over. It wasn't easy, but we're still here. Here's to 2018. Let's hope it's a good one for our Cowboys. Here's this week's edition of Takeaway Tuesday!

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

Coaching Staff Didn't Help Its Cause

It's more than fair to say that a lot of us want to see changes in Dallas. And specifically, changes in the coaching staff. After the Cowboys were eliminated from playoff contention, Jerry Jones said Jason Garrett's job was not an issue. Now, Jerry's even talking about Rod Marinelli and Scott Linehan being back in 2018. Who knows if it's true.

While I don't think we'll see a new head coach anytime soon, I'd dare say that after the horrible game versus Philadelphia the front office at least got to thinking.

Dak Prescott, Jason Garrett

Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott, HC Jason Garrett

Coming into this game, the team had a choice to make: play with the starters to win it, or let guys like Cooper Rush in the game and see what happens. A loss would've meant a better draft position for the Cowboys and a chance to see what rookies and other young players could bring to the table.

But they decided to manage the game like it was a "real action" game. Being conservative. Not going for it when there was nothing to lose. They did so after a team that, with the NFC's #1 seed secured, basically played with its B team. Not only that but for the Eagles, most of the game was played by a third string QB.

Despite all this, the Cowboys could hardly beat the Eagles 6-0. Poor execution and all, I can't help thinking about the coaches.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

Cowboys Should Keep Datone Jones for 2018

In late November, the Dallas Cowboys signed Datone Jones after he was released by the San Francisco 49ers. The former Packers' first-round pick made an impact when he was given the chance. His play at DT was pretty solid and he showed very promising flashes.

DatoneJones - Streamable

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

Jones will be under contract in 2018 and I'd be surprised if the Cowboys don't keep him another year. Per Over The Cap, he'll be paid $790,000 next year which isn't at all expensive for a 27-year-old player.

The Cowboys would add depth and even a potential starter at DT for next season.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

Ryan Switzer Can Play as a Wide Receiver

With Cole Beasley missing the game because of an illness, we finally got to see Ryan Switzer at WR. We had already seen good things from him as a kick returner, but on offense, he hasn't been as involved as Cowboys Nation expected him to be.

Last Sunday though, Switzer was used for more than a jet sweep.

SwitzerWR - Streamable

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

He still has a long way to go, but I was impressed by his ability to create separation. I really hope he's used more next season.

At the end of the day, he's a fourth-round pick. He should be playing more on offense, not just on "gadget plays" or special teams. Could Ryan Switzer be Dak Prescott's best friend in the future? Only time will tell. Right now, it's too optimistic to expect something like that.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

Dan Bailey's Confidence is Shattered

Dallas Cowboys K Dan Bailey

Dan Bailey's 2017 season hasn't been easy at all. We've seen him miss kicks we never imagined he would, including extra points. One of the most painful moments of the Cowboys' season came late in the season finale when he lined up to kick a simple 20-yard field goal.

The ball went up, but failed to split the uprights. Dan Bailey stood in complete disbelief, with a blank look in his face. His confidence, shattered.

For kickers, it's all about confidence.

For years, we referred to Dan "Automatic" Bailey as the most accurate kicker in NFL history. Now we're not sure about calling him "Automatic" anymore. Bailey will have a lot of time to pick himself up though, and will probably be back at it next year.

Let's hope that's the case.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

For now, the only thing left to say is one of the most encouraging, yet sad phrases in sports... Maybe next year. We're on to the offseason.

Tell me what you think about "Takeaway Tuesday: Datone Jones Should Be Back, Switzer’s Good Game" 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!


Continue Reading

Game Notes

Sean’s Scout: Cowboys Starters Uninspiring in Week 17 Win

Sean Martin

Published

on

Sean's Scout: Cowboys Starters Produce Uninspiring Week 17 Win

Playing more than enough of their starters in hopes of ending this 2017 season on a high note at the Eagles, the Cowboys produced a lackluster 6-0 win that will surely leave a bad taste in the mouths of Cowboys Nation - despite it being a victory.

The win put the Cowboys at 9-7 on the season, and it is a shame they had nothing to play for in this regular season finale. Once again in week 17, it was the offense holding back another fantastic performance by Rod Marinelli's defense.

We'll discuss both units in this final 2017 Dallas Cowboys version of Sean's Scout.

  • You have to love the way Chidobe Awuzie was able to bring physicality to a young Cowboys secondary that had another solid game. 

There were times earlier in this season when it seemed the Cowboys' second-round pick would have a lost season due to multiple hamstring injuries, but Awuzie quickly tuned around his rookie campaign by coming in and playing with exceptional technique and awareness.

With enough length to turn and run, Awuzie thrived in this zone scheme by keeping everything in front of him, as he did on his interception of Nick Foles. With Dallas in Cover 2 on the play, Chidobe read Foles' eyes the whole time to the boundary and was in position to cut off the pass.

This is a topic we'll now have much more time to discuss, and it is a hollowing one considering it was truly the Cowboys offense that kept them from the playoffs this season. The need for new talent at WR is clear, but the need for a target that better suits Prescott's strengths going into year three is even more important.

His pass catchers, along with inconsistencies in pass protection, were the main reasons Prescott struggled in 2017, although in this game it seemed like the only time he was affected in the pocket was when forcing the ball late to Bryant.

Coming from a spread system in college, Prescott simply does not have experience throwing his receivers open -- relying on route combinations and separation ability to hit open targets. Dez Bryant hasn't been that type of player through his career, and certainly isn't now that he's lost a step.

  • 9 wins for a team unlike their usual selves up front offensively is still pretty impressive. 

The Cowboys got nearly no impact from any of their free agent signings this season, which is why the depth of the team held them back once again. Veteran Byron Bell was brought in as a backup swing tackle, but he is simply not a scheme fit at tackle here.

Dak Prescott should not have been playing with Bell as his LT, and eventually Joe Looney at LG after Jonathan Cooper went down.

Bell lacks the quick-twitch ability and athleticism needed to be successful on every down, and it showed as he was again beaten by both speed and power against the Eagles.

The Cowboys have proven their acumen drafting young OL talent that performs at a high level early and often. So, instead of relying on more free agents, like Bell and Looney, drafting talent up front to spark the running game and give Prescott adequate protection is likely the best answer.

  • Ryan Switzer's ability to separate late in the down really stood out, as he finally got his chance at WR without Cole Beasley

Growing calls for more of Ryan Switzer on offense will surely take root this offseason after he caught four passes for 32 yards in the absence of Cole Beasley yesterday. More of a one-speed player at North Carolina, Switzer's spacial awareness and smoothness in giving Prescott somewhere to throw the ball as plays developed was really impressive.

In order to be a great team at the NFL Draft, you have to accurately scout your own roster. It will be fascinating to see just how the Cowboys feel about their current pass catchers, with not only Ryan Switzer but the likes of Lance Lenoir and practice squad addition K.D. Cannon in the fold as well.

  • The Cowboys found themselves a valuable addition to their rotation at DT with Datone Jones. 

Jones was able to push the pocket throughout this game in Philadelphia, and has done so consistently since getting here, at both the 1T and 3T positions. Using his hands to generate power as a down-the-line player, Jones plays with great pad level. That allows him to shoot gaps when needed, or anchor the line of scrimmage.

The Cowboys have not prioritized adding premier talent at DT in recent years, and may forego it again this offseason as well. The Cowboys expect Maliek Collins to contribute further with another season at 1T and David Irving back at 3T.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

To everybody who made this 2017 season at Inside The Star as enjoyable as ever, I would like to thank the readers of Sean's Scout. All this aspiring scout can ask for is to enhance the fan experience through both wins and losses, and your feedback on this series helped me to confidently do just that.

As we prepare for an even better 2018, Sean's Scout won't be going anywhere! I'm shifting my full attention towards the NFL Draft, looking for prospects that could help the Dallas Cowboys reach the playoffs again next season.

Thank you for another roller-coaster ride we call football season, Cowboys Nation. Truly the best fans anywhere.

Tell us what you think about "Sean’s Scout: Cowboys Starters Uninspiring in Week 17 Win" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!


Continue Reading

Reader Survey

Want to help make Inside The Star better?

We’re collecting feedback from our readers about the site. It only takes <2 minutes to complete, and can be done from any device.

> Take the survey now

Don’t worry, your information will not be shared with anyone but me (Bryson T.).




Enjoy 40% commissions on officially licensed products as a FanPrint affiliate. You can even make your own, fully licensed Cowboys and player designs! Get started here

Trending