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Dallas Cowboys Game Notes: Offense Absent Yet Again In Buffalo

RJ Ochoa



Cowboys Blog - Dallas Cowboys Offense Absent Yet Again In Loss To Buffalo Bills

The day on the calendar was different, but somehow yesterday felt like the same 'ol song and dance from the 2015 Dallas Cowboys.

After it was all said and done the scoreboard gave the Buffalo Bills the victory by a margin of 16-6, but it felt like 100-0.

The reason it felt like a hundred point shutout was because the offense of the Dallas Cowboys, shockingly, didn't show up. Sure there were a few plays that perked our eyebrows and grabbed our attention, but they didn't show up on the scoreboard and that's where it matters most.

Offensive issues are no stranger to this team so it's not like we were caught completely off guard. We've, sadly, come to expect very little from that side of the ball and they totally delivered on that expectation.

Come with me down Disgusting Avenue as we break down yesterday's bleak offensive performance.

Kellen Moore Needed To Do More

The Cowboys turned to the services of Kellen Moore for the first time during last week's loss at home against the New York Jets. Kellen came in and actually threw a touchdown to Dez Bryant, but he also threw three interceptions.

Moore has a little bit of razzle-dazzle to him that can be exciting to watch... either that or we've all just become so numb with quarterback pain after watching Matt Cassel for so long. Either way Moore came out in Buffalo as the starter and wasn't afraid to throw the ball.

Altogether Kellen threw 31 passes while completing a shockingly low 13 of them for 186 yards. There were no touchdowns, but there was an interception (although it bounced off of the hands of Brice Butler so not 100% Kellen's fault).

To be totally fair to Kellen you have to consider that Dez Bryant wasn't out there, so that changes a lot of things. While he didn't set the world, or the box score, on fire Kellen was unafraid to throw downfield. I like that quality about him.

Kellen also brought to life a certain wide receiver that Cowboys Nation has been pounding the table to see - Brice Butler.

Moore has done enough to earn some serious backup quarterback consideration in my eyes. I am in no way saying that this guy is the future of the Dallas Cowboys, but with the proper time and effort put into him he can be serviceable.

Overall Grade: C+

The Whole 99 Yards

If you read my Bold Predictions for the Bills game then you know that I called for Darren McFadden to have over 100 yards rushing. I was two yards shy!

Run DMC finished with 99 yards on the day off of 19 attempts, giving him a 5.2 yards per carry average.

I've said it before and I will say it again - Darren McFadden has been the most consistent piece of the 2015 Dallas Cowboys Offense.

This guy is money in the bank at this point. You can say it's because of his own natural talent or give all the credit to his Offensive Line (which does feature three Pro Bowlers). At the end of the day Darren McFadden has been worth the move made to get him in every way.

What's particularly impressive about McFadden's accomplishments is that he's doing so in the face of extreme predictability. He had 5.2 yards per carry with Kellen Moore as his quarterback! Everyone out there knows he's getting the ball and, for whatever reason, he can't be stopped.

Overall Grade: B+

The Butler Did It

I alluded to Brice Butler earlier, but it's time to unveil something truly incredible about him concerning yesterday's game.

Brice Butler led the Dallas Cowboys in receiving yards!

In my Bold Predictions I also called for Brice scoring on a pass of over 30 yards. He did have a 34 yard reception so I wasn't too far off. I'll take partial credit.

You know by now that Kellen Moore didn't light the Bills up, so it's not like the receivers did either. The biggest positive was Brice's performance.

Terrance Williams tied Butler in receptions (4) and did go for 62 yards himself; however, it is becoming more and more apparent that Brice Butler is a better receiver than him and this game may have been the exclamation point on that.

Cole Beasley had a nice 25 yard reception that saved a one catch for four yards performance, and James Hanna even caught a pass!

The biggest pass was caught by Jason Witten. With his one catch for 12 yards, Witten caught a pass in his 118th consecutive game... giving him the longest streak in Dallas Cowboys History (he was previously tied with Michael Irvin at 117).

Jason Witten has had some personal highlights in a season that has been largely disappointing for the offense around him, so at least we're able to celebrate something.

Overall Grade: B-

RJ Ochoa on Fancred

What did you think of the Dallas Cowboys Offense on Sunday? Let me know! Comment below, Email me at, or Tweet to me at @rjochoa!

Tell us what you think about "Dallas Cowboys Game Notes: Offense Absent Yet Again In Buffalo" in the comments below. You can also email me at, 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!

  • George Johnson

    Kellen Moore's 13 for 31 stats and 186 yards were not very good for a few reasons other than K Moore. There were three completions that were called back for penalties. There were two dropped passes. Kellen Moore threw the ball away about two or three times because of pressure or no one was open. Throwing the ball away can be a good play. There were two passes where the receiver went one way and the pass the other, obviously a miscommunication that I would say was probably the receiver's fault but the coaches will sort this out. Therefore K Moore could have easily been 18 or 20 for 31 and over 200 yards. He had one interception and no sacks. The biggest failure in K Moore's performance was he did not get a touchdown. He came close with a fade in the end zone where the receiver came down out of bounce and also there was another pass that would have set up a possible touchdown but the receiver who had beat the defender went inside and Kellen Moore threw outside. Considering it was K Moore's first start, that the weather conditions were bad, I believe K Moore did okay. He came close to having a good game and winning the game. As Kellen Moore said after the game there are not excuses, they should have scored more points. I think K Moore improved his game a little from the NY Jets game of which they also came close to having a good game and winning the game. K Moore should improve some more against the Redskins.

  • Zac Fields

    All of those things are part of the game of football. You can't expect your receivers will catch 100% of the balls, run the right routes 100% of the time, etc.

    I expect Moore to be better against a Redskins team with nothing left to play for since they've already clinched the playoffs. His ceiling is still very low.

Game Notes

#DALvsCIN: Can WR Lance Lenoir Continue To Impress?

Kevin Brady



Lance Lenoir

Entering training camp projecting who would make the final roster from the Dallas Cowboys wide receiving room was a crapshoot. The combination of misfits from other teams, unproven young guys, and a couple of Cowboys veterans makes this position group the most questioned across the entire roster.

But while Cole Beasley, Allen Hurns, and Michael Gallup were stealing headlines, Lance Lenoir was making a name for himself among the Cowboys faithful.

After serving on the practice squad for the Cowboys a year ago, Lenoir seems to have entered 2018 with one goal in mind: to make the official game-day roster. And even if he falls short of this goal, it won't be due to any fault of his own.

Day in and day out Lance Lenoir has been a consistent wide out, catching nearly everything thrown his way and running some of the crisper routes on the team. Under new receivers coach Sanjay Lal, Lenoir has become a technical route runner and dangerous receiving threat.

Maybe most importantly for his future with the team, Lenoir has developed an obvious chemistry with starting quarterback Dak Prescott. Prescott has continued to compliment Lenoir throughout training camp, and you know that the Cowboys front office is well aware of Prescott's trust in Lenoir on the field.

During the preseason opener against the 49ers, Lance Lenoir caught his first touchdown of the season, dazzling with his toe-tap ability. If he is going to steal a roster spot away from one of the more seasoned wide outs, however, he will have to remain that consistent target.

This Saturday, Lenoir gets another shot to prove why he's not only deserving of a roster spot, but of a starting spot. Sure, it might be a bit of a stretch, but if he continues to play like he has during camp and preseason, Lenoir could find himself working with the 1's more frequently.

Look out for Lance Lenoir against the Bengals this week, as he makes it harder and harder for the Cowboys to cut him by the second.

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Game Notes

#DALvsCIN: Bengals DL Gives Cowboys OL Formidable Test

Kevin Brady



The Star News - Bengals At Cowboys: ITS Staff Picks And Notes
Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

During their preseason opener, the Dallas Cowboys offensive line faced its first test of the season. The young, athletic, and downright talented defensive line of the 49ers gave the Cowboys starting five a chance to gauge their offseason progress thus far.

I'd say the starting group passed the test, while the backups and depth players looked a bit more shaky. The good thing about football, though, is that they get a shot to do it all again this Saturday.

This week's opponent, the Cincinatti Bengals, feature some serious talent upfront. Defensive tackle Geno Atkins is one of the best interior defenders in all of football, terrorizing centers and guards since he entered the league.Carl Lawson, Auburn

On the edge is one of my 2017 draft favorites, Carl Lawson. Lawson was a draft target of mine for the Cowboys, but it appears the entire league missed on the stud edge rusher during that draft. During his rookie season a year ago, Lawson racked up 8.5 sacks and looked like the best rookie rusher in all of football. It's rare that a rookie defensive end tallies the sack total that Lawson did in 2017, but then again, Lawson is a rare type of player.

Opposite of Carl Lawson is veteran pass rusher Carlos Dunlap. Together, Atkins and Dunlap have been one of the more dangerous pass rush duos for quite some time, but the additions of Lawson and Jordan Willis make them an incredibly impressive group.

During the Bengals' preseason opener against the Chicago Bears, their defensive line looked to be in midseason form.

Though Geno Atkins had the team's only sack, the trio of Atkins, Lawson, and Dunlap looked as prolific as ever.

This deep and talented defensive line is a more-than worthy test for the Cowboys this Saturday. Rookie Connor Williams will likely have to block Geno Atkins at some point, and though he looked promising against the 49ers, this week presents a whole different challenge.

Many now expect veteran center Travis Frederick to miss Saturday's game as well, due to his shoulder troubles during training camp. If Frederick were to miss the start, Joe Looney would be thrown into the first against this first team defensive front of the Bengals.

A rookie at left guard and Looney at center might not be the best ingredients against Geno Atkins and company, but it'll be what they have to roll with.

Still, Saturday will give us another chance to see what the 2018 Dallas Cowboys offensive line is all about.

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Game Notes

Film Review: Connor Williams Overall Impressive In Preseason Debut

Kevin Brady



Film Review: Connor Williams Overall Impressive In Preseason Debut

The collapse of the 2017 Dallas Cowboys can be, in large part, attributed to the collapse of their offensive line. When left tackle Tyron Smith was forced to miss time with various injuries, neither Chaz Green nor Byron Bell could get the job done in his place. Not only were these two replacements unsatisfactory, however, they were disastrous.

From the beginning of the 2017 season the Cowboys had a problem at left guard as well. With Ronald Leary departing for Denver and La'el Collins replacing Doug Free at right tackle, the left guard spot was left to an open competition between Jonathan Cooper and Chaz Green. Quite frankly, neither was impressive.

As a result Dak Prescott's sophomore season was nowhere near as fun or remarkable as his rookie season, and the Cowboys faltered down the stretch as a team. Trying to rectify these issues, Dallas drafted Texas offensive lineman Connor Williams in the second round of last year's draft.

Though it could be argued that, on paper, the Cowboys had more pressing needs than their All-Pro filled offensive line, adding a player like Connor Williams was exactly what this team needed to do if it wanted to emulate its 2016 success.

So, through one preseason game, how does the rookie look? Let's take to the film to decide just how good (or bad) Connor Williams was in his debut.

dalvssf2018 connor williams

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Let's begin with the bad. Really the only completely poor rep of the night for Connor Williams came on the first drive of the game. Williams is working against former first round pick DeForest Buckner here. Buckner, lined up as the 3 technique over Williams' outside shoulder, knows he is in a one-on-one situation with the rookie.

Buckner immediately swipes Williams' hands down, quickly flipping his hips and getting upfield. Besides not getting a strong enough punch, Williams' biggest mistake is that he stops his feet on contact. This allows Buckner to get him off balance, forcing Williams to bend at the waist and look lost.

Buckner then blows by him for the easy quarterback hit.

dalvssf2018 connor williams 2

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Later on the same drive we see Williams struggle to execute a reach block. Once again Williams is faced with a 3-technique, this time defensive tackle Sheldon Day. Day gets a great get-off, beating Williams initially with his first step. Day then does a great job of stoning Williams' playside shoulder and redirecting the running back.

This is another example of Connor Williams needing to increase his play strength and speed a bit. Multiple Cowboys reporters at training camp have mentioned these issues with Williams' game, and they flashed on tape during this rep.

Thankfully for both Connor Williams and the Cowboys, things only went uphill from here.

dalvssf2018 connor williams 3

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On Dak Prescott's touchdown pass to Michael Gallup we see Connor Williams correct everything he had wrong earlier.

Williams comes out of his stance square, delivers a solid punch, and stones the defensive lineman at the line of scrimmage. Williams stays strong with his hands even as the defender attempts to swipe them down as Buckner successfully did earlier.

He allows for no interior pass rush and keeps Prescott's vision clear down the field.

dalvssf2018 connor williams 4

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Earlier on the same drive we see Connor Williams work well off a double team and on to the second level. Williams delivers a solid punch to the 1-technique on the inside of him, allowing Travis Frederick plenty of time to overtake the man and drive him back.

What's most impressive, though, is how Williams keeps his shoulders square and his eyes on the second level the entire time. He never buries his head or over-commits to the down lineman, allowing himself to be an athlete and help spring Rod Smith for a nice gain.

Despite some legit reasons for concern about Williams' game, I do believe he will be fine moving forward. Connor Williams is an excellent plug and play left guard who provides some tackle depth as well, and is a vital addition to the Cowboys 2018 offense. His debut performance gives all of us even more reasons to be excited about this offensive line.

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