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A Dallas Cowboys Guide To Sunday’s NFL Week 3

Sean Martin

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A Dallas Cowboys Guide To Sunday's NFL Week 3 3

With the Cowboys set to make their only Monday Night Football appearance of the season tomorrow night at the Cardinals, this will be the first Sunday of the season that America's Team won't be featured in a lineup of games that seems relatively lackluster.

With that, I thought I would take a look around the Sunday schedule to discuss a few games that should be of interest for Cowboys Nation. We'll of course start in the NFC East, where the Cowboys find themselves in a three-way tie for first at 1-1 with the Eagles and Redskins.

A Dallas Cowboys Guide To Sunday's NFL Week 3

12 PM CT: New York Giants (0-2) at Philadelphia Eagles (1-1)

One of these teams has to obviously suffer a divisional loss here, which is good news either way for the Dallas Cowboys. With a win already on the record against the reeling Giants, I believe it is in Cowboys Nation's best interest to see the Eagles beat the Giants for the fourth consecutive time at home - effectively burying this troubled New York team at 0-3.

For your listening pleasure, I discussed how things have gone so wrong for the Giants on my weekly radio show this Friday:

The Eagles are certainly a team building towards a competitive future in this division, and with a favorable match up against the Giants I expect them to make some noise with a win today. By the end of the week however, the Cowboys can prove that they are still the better all-around team - setting themselves up very nicely atop the NFC East should the Giants fail to win any of their first three games.

A Dallas Cowboys Guide To Sunday's NFL Week 3 1

12 PM CT: Atlanta Falcons (2-0) at Detroit Lions (2-0)

Today's early kickoffs will feature the lone battle of 2-0 teams this week, as the undefeated Falcons travel to face the Lions - fresh off of their prime time win against the Giants on the road - in Detroit.

As far as feeling out where the Cowboys stand as serious contenders this season, this game will offer another glimpse at a Falcons team that hasn't missed a beat following their disastrous Super Bowl collapse, facing a formidable Lions team led by QB Matthew Stafford.

Stafford has seemingly taken another step in his game, and with the Lions defense proving a formidable unit as well this game will simply provide some fun football to watch early in the day.

The Cowboys will play at the Falcons in week ten.

A Dallas Cowboys Guide To Sunday's NFL Week 3 2

7:30 PM CT: Oakland Raiders (2-0) at Washington Redskins (1-1)

Another story line that will decide the NFC East this year is how the division fares against the tough AFC West. The Cowboys are of course coming off of a brutal loss at the Broncos, and the Eagles are returning home against the Giants after falling at the Chiefs in week two.

In the second to last game of the week, it will be the Washington Redskins hosting the trendy Oakland Raiders. The Raiders are off to as perfect a start as any in the black hole could have asked for, seeing the full results of a healthy Derek Carr returning to action alongside Amari Cooper, MIchael Crabtree, and Marshawn Lynch in the backfield.

The Raiders seem like a difficult team for the Redskins to handle, even at home, as Washington struggled to defend their own field against the Eagles to open their season before pulling out a tight win at the Rams last week. Kirk Cousins has made the most of an offense that is one-dimensional, and the Redskins defense remains a strong unit, but the Raiders should be expected to send the Redskins to 1-2 before the end of the night.

With a NFC East rival guaranteed to lose in the afternoon, Sunday Night Football could be icing on the cake for followers of the Dallas Cowboys prior to a reset into Monday's contest in Arizona.

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Tell us what you think about "A Dallas Cowboys Guide To Sunday’s NFL Week 3" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



Born January 28th, 1996- Cowboys Super Bowl XXX. Point Boro Panther, Montclair State Red Hawk, and most importantly a proud member of Cowboys Nation! I host "Upon Further Review" on 90.3 WMSC FM and wmscradio.com every Friday from 1-4 PM ET. Twitter: @SeanMartinNFL.

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Dallas Cowboys: The Case For Regression In 2019

Kevin Brady

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Predicting Dallas Cowboys Roster Locks, Pre-Training Camp Edition
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

It's been a few years since things around the Dallas Cowboys felt this good prior to a season. Coming off a 10-6 year in which Dallas won both the NFC East and a home playoff game before losing a one possession road game to the future NFC champions, Cowboys Nation is expecting some big things in 2019.

After all, the Cowboys went out and improved their roster in multiple ways this offseason and brought in some new blood on their offensive coaching staff. Spirits are high among Cowboys Nation, and just about everyone is anticipating a two team race for the NFC East.

But some numbers indicate we should be thinking "not so fast."

The details of the 2018 season are not as pretty as the total picture. Rarely are they ever, of course, but these particular details point towards possible regression for the Cowboys in 2019.

Basically, their point differential a year ago spells out impending doom. (That was dramatic, but let's discuss).

The Cowboys were +15 in 2018, and by pythagorean wins expectation, they were about as strong as an 8-8 team (8.53 wins to be exact). This means they won nearly 2 more games (1.47) than would be expected, fourth most in the entire NFL.

This point is furthered when looking at their record in one possession games. Dallas went 8-2 when the game was decided by 7 points or less, winning close games at a rate that is simply not sustainable year to year.

These numbers make the Cowboys a prime candidate for regression in 2019, as they were in 2017.

Why The Numbers Expect Regression, But Success For Cowboys In 2017

Back in 2016, the Cowboys outperformed their pythagorean expectation by a whole 2 wins. The following season? Dallas finished the year 9-7. The model also indicated that the 7-9 Eagles performed 2 wins under expectations in 2016, meaning they would get back on track in 2017. As we know, they ended up winning 13 games and the Super Bowl the following season.

Of course, this isn't set-in-stone, and the Cowboys very well could outperform these expectations and avoid regression. This would mainly hinge on their coaching staff and quarterback performing at an elite level, carrying them through close games and winning more games by greater than one possession.



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Newly Acquired DE Robert Quinn Brings High Expectations

Kevin Brady

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Robert Quinn
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Winning games in the NFL typically comes down to accomplishing two goals. One, being successful when passing on offense. And, two, stopping the opposing team's passing game.

The Cowboys set out to accomplish that second goal this offseason, re-signing defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence, and trading for veteran pass rusher Robert Quinn. Quinn, who tallied 6.5 sacks last season for the Miami Dolphins, is one of the leagues more feared rushers when at his best. The former All Pro has multiple 10+ sack seasons under his belt, including a whopping 19 in 2013.

And, as expected, the Cowboys coaching staff is ecstatic to have such a respected pass rushing specialist on their roster.

“He’s got that first step. He’s an established pass rusher in this league, so he’s going to bring some good stuff for us.” - Cowboys defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli.

The Cowboys acquired Robert Quinn for a 2020 6th round pick, which could end up being the steal of the offseason. Quinn has played with some top-notch pass rushers in the past, and each time they have brought out the best in his own game.

Back with the Rams in 2017, when Aaron Donald was on the same defensive line, Quinn got to the quarterback 8.5 times. And, last season, he remained consistent in his sack totals playing alongside Cameron Wake. Now he joins a DeMarcus Lawrence who has 25 sacks over the last 2 seasons.

"I think it was kind of one of those where I get to have fun, pin my ears back and just disrupt the backfield, which is what they want us to do." - Robert Quinn told NFL.com. 

Quinn and the always dominant Lawrence will form an impressive defensive end duo on passing downs, with the potential to be one of the best in all of football. Dallas is also hoping to add Randy Gregory into this mix, a piece which could prove vital late in football games if he is able to return from his current indefinite suspension.

Whether or not Gregory finds his way back onto the field, though, this defensive front will be in good hands. The edge combo of Quinn and Lawrence, combined with a plethora of skilled interior rushers such as Maliek Collins, gives the Cowboys a fearsome defensive line which should keep quarterbacks uncomfortable every Sunday.



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Can Rookie OL Connor McGovern Compete For A Starting Spot?

Kevin Brady

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Connor McGovern

Raising eyebrows in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft, the Cowboys added Penn State offensive lineman Connor McGovern to their already deep OL depth chart.

McGovern, who played guard for the Nittany Lions, was reportedly by-far the best player remaining on the Cowboys draft board when they came on the clock in round three. Still, with seemingly more pressing needs yet to be addressed, Dallas' selection of McGovern was certainly a surprise.

When you watch the tape, though, you immediately see what the Cowboys loved about Connor McGovern.

A "plug-and-play" type guard, Connor McGovern is the type of rookie you'd expect to contribute in year one. On many teams he may be a candidate to start at guard or center from the beginning of his rookie season, but here in Dallas, his role for the 2019 season is somewhat in question.

Clearly, being a day two pick, there's no doubt that McGovern will make the Cowboys roster. But can he compete for a starting job?

During OTA's McGovern took reps at both guard and center, pointing towards the possibility of him being the first interior offensive lineman off the bench if one of the starters were to go down with an injury. Fellow interior linemen Joe Looney and Xavier Su'a-Filo each contributed in big ways during the 2018 season, however, and will be tough to beat out during camp.

Obviously McGovern won't be starting over All-Pros Travis Frederick and Zack Martin, but could he dethrone Connor Williams from his left guard position?

While possible, I would still say it's unlikely. The Cowboys selection of McGovern seems to be more about 2020 and beyond than it is about the 2019 season. With right tackle La'el Collins coming up on a contract year, Dallas might elect to let him walk in free agency, move Williams back to his college position of tackle, and slide McGovern into the left guard slot.

This seems fool-proof in theory, but this many moving parts across the offensive line could spell trouble early on in 2020. Regardless, Connor McGovern's arrival gives Dallas the flexibility to consider all options on their offensive line.

In reality, McGovern strengthened a strength for Dallas, and may be needed to prove himself as early as this Fall if injury issues arise.



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