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Dallas Cowboys Mathematically Alive, But Season Feels Lost

Kevin Brady

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Disgusted--the only word I could come up with to describe how I, and the rest of the Dallas Cowboys fan base feels after last night's demoralizing defeat at the hands of the Philadelphia Eagles. Yes, the Cowboys were without three of their most valuable players in Sean Lee, Tyron Smith, and Ezekiel Elliott, but to get your butt whooped back-to-back weeks like this is simply unacceptable.

Whereas the loss to the Falcons felt like it fell on the shoulders of Chaz Green, last night's defeat was a total franchise failure.

The defense, to their credit, gave Dak Prescott and the offense plenty of chances to take this game over in the first half. Even after two interceptions put Philadelphia in scoring range, the Cowboys defense stood tall and stopped the prolific Eagles offense. Still, Dallas settled for field goals instead of touchdowns, and went to half with just a 9-7 lead.

In the second half the team looked lost, the defense had no chance, and Dak Prescott played his worst football since becoming a Dallas Cowboy.

Even during the disaster season that was 2015, the Cowboys fought and remained competitive in most of their games. Yes, even those without Tony Romo. But these past two weeks have been atrocious, knocking the Cowboys back down to 5-5 after three straight impressive wins had them feeling playoff bound.

Looking around the rest of the NFC, the Cowboys are not mathematically out of it by any means. They will likely have to get to 10-6 to earn a Wild Card spot, and with three straight sub .500 teams on their schedule, a mini-run could be possible.

But after what we've seen from the Dallas Cowboys in Atlanta, and at home against the hated Eagles, I don't see much room for optimism.

The Cowboys must now prepare on a short week for a Los Angeles Chargers team which is, quite literally, a couple of missed field goals away from competing for the AFC West title. If they want to have any chance at saving their season and clinching a playoff berth, the run must start this week.

If the Cowboys fall to 5-6 with yet another home loss, I'll probably end up on Draft Break Down much earlier than I had anticipated.



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.

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10 Comments
  • Randy Martin

    Who, besides me, was sitting at halftime mildly satisfied with a 9-7 lead? I mean we were holding Wentz in check and stifling the running game pretty well. Yeah, there were no sacks but there was pressure. And then here comes the second half, where we are again forced to watch The Tale of Two Teams. In 4 of our 5 losses we either had the lead or were playing a tough close game only to come out in the second half and fall flat on our face. In two of those games we failed to score in the second half. I watch teams make adjustments at halftime and come out and elevate their game in the second half. I’m not seeing that at all this year. Yeah, I get the last two games we have been Lee-less, Smith-less and Zeke-less but I’ve watched the Patriots lose all their receivers and other key players and just keep playing lights out. It’s really time to consider to churn this coaching staff. You usually don’t fire your OC and DC and start over. It starts with the HC. So it’s time to bid adieu to the red-headed one and start thinking about next year. Yes I will continue watching and cheering as always, but my optimism has gone out the window.

    • RICK MILLER

      Absolutely, I simply think our fantastic O line really sucks.The very first offensive play we have after a good return kickoff,and morris gets stuffed for -2 yards.We do not come out to play a full game.I can never feel confident about this team.And it starts with the top.And I am sick of hearing about this Great offensive line

    • Wayne Young

      I think you hit the nail on the head. The Eagles clearly made adjustments the second half and the Cowboys didn’t, again. This coaching staff has done a horrible job this year making in game adjustments. Some of which the average fan could make. At this point, I have more faith in Linehan than I do Marinelli. I think it’s clear that the absence of Smith and Elliott have made a huge impact on Dak and the offense, therefore their struggles. On defense however, entirely different story. He’s always been able to get the most out of his players, but this year it’s not nearly enough. It’s absolutely unacceptable the defense cannot continue to perform without one player, Sean Lee. He makes no defensive adjustments which was evident last night with the trap runs. Overall, something needs to be done with the staff after this year if they miss the playoffs. Sometimes change is good.

    • https://kevinrobertbrady.wordpress.com Kevin Brady

      It’s hard to disagree with you, Randy. This team has led in four of their five losses, and you can make the argument they should’ve held on to at least 2 of those games. Hopefully things change quickly or this will be a long six weeks.

  • Hoosiers86

    The Atlanta Falcon game was the tell tale sign for me that Garrett needs to be fired unless they will the Super Bowl which is a pipe dream. Their left tackle in that game was so awful, and the DE from the Falcons was just killing our offense and Dak…but the coaching staff did nothing….NOTHING…to stop the bleeding on the left side of the line. I am tired of watching players out of position, and making fetal attempts at tackling. Sean Lee is an all pro player, but many teams are missing stars and their backups keep it going, but not the Cowboys. Time to quit making the OL the highest paid players on the team and get some more star player on the defensive side of the ball. Sorry for the rant, but i am pissed!

    • Richard Bogoslofski

      In order for him to be fired Jerry would have to own up to the mistake of ever hiring him to begin with. Its a pipe dream of mine too!! We need to lose out

  • Eduardo Palacios

    We have a QB that only looks good when defenses play 8 or 9 on the line to stop Zeke….no Zeke no 8 or 9 fronts, they play back and there is no vertical game, in the 3rd qt Dak had 12 completions for 73 yds , that’s 6 yds per completion, how can you expect to win with those numbers…..but the real problem is the big 3….Garrett, Linehan and Marinelli, of course everybody except for the owner knows Garrett is the worst by a mile in clock management and he + Linehan are the worst play caller in the history of football not only the NFL, it is incredible that they can’t find a way or a plan to move the stupid football, don’t they know that in life or in football sometimes a thing doesn’t work and you need to be ready for that moment as in no Zeke no Ty ron or no Sean, ok then let’s do this because they will try to do this….also we are leading in the half, so guys this is how they are going to try to play us in the 2nd half let’s make sure we play this way to stop whatever they bring, always the other team makes adjustments but we don’t…..Marinelli your tampa 2 doesn’t work anymore, and the way you see football is over there in the 90’s, what can we expect from somebody who thinks that Jeff Heath is a starting safety…Heath is at Safety the same as Mark Sanchez, Cassell,Hosweiler, etc are at QB, hopefully we lost 5 or all 6 remaining games so maybe Mr Jones gets rid of all 3, if not, if they make a run at the playoffs , don’t worry it will be a one and done, out in the wild card, the big 3 will make sure that happens!

  • Richard Bogoslofski

    At this point I’m hoping to lose out so we can end the era of the clapping carrot Jason Garrett. It all starts with him, he is a mediocre coach at best and better coaches always adjust to his vanilla schemes by the end of the game. Its just that simple. Coach of the year my ass!!! He is totally carried by the talent of this team and when we are evenly or overmatched and it comes down to scheme or coaching we lose EVERY time!!! Name one time that Garrett EVER out schemed or outcoached anybody. Try It I dare ya!!

  • Russ_Te

    Defense played a great half and overall that would have been enough to win had the offense kept it’s side of the bargain. It should have had 21 not 9 at half, then not collapsed in the 2nd half.

    When you get smoked like the last 2 games, it’s all things going wrong – blocking, receivers, QB, coaching. I agree that the poor OL play extends past the LT spot. I agree that Dak will play worse with less run support and a lot less pass protection.

    Still, when you just look at decision-making Dak has regressed this year. He is putting the ball in bad, covered spots and he knows better. I have full confidence this is a swoon and will go away, but he needs the rest of the offense helping or his numbers will suffer.

    Now you look at what Dak has to throw to when he does have a moment, and it’s really not sufficient right now. Garrett will not change out of a passing-game model that defenses have solved. Dez is not your lead WR who can get open at will anymore, Williams is not cashing in as the second option who brings less coverage, Witten is disappearing and Beasley is drawing enough attention to bottle him up.

    You have to change this equation, if only to help Dak. Butler should either start ahead of Williams or Garrett should scrap the 2 TE sets for 3 WR. Use Butler’s speed to stretch the coverage and occupy the FS – or else hit him if left unchecked. It will free up Dez underneath.

    Then by all means put Gathers in the game. Yes he’ll probably miss a block, but you’ll have a whole new threat in the route tree – and that is what Dak needs right now.

    Thanks Garrett, for making no adjustments when your team needs them.

    • Eddie M

      Among other things, Des Bryant continues to disappoint. He takes up way too many pass attempts, doesn’t fight himself open and drops too many.

Star Blog

Could NY Giants Be a Surprise Threat in the NFC East?

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Could Giants Be a Surprise Threat in the NFC East?

The NFC East is a wild, wild division. Since 2004, the division that hosts some of the most popular franchises in the NFL hasn't seen the same team winning the NFC East title two years in a row. It's crazy! Who expected the Dallas Cowboys to become the #1 seed in the conference in 2016 after seeing Tony Romo go down during the preseason? Who was able to predict the Philadelphia Eagles' amazing run for the Super Bowl last year?

It's an unpredictable league, but the NFC East side of things can really amaze you on a yearly basis.

Heading into 2018, it all seems to be about the Eagles and the Cowboys. Being the last two teams to win the title, it's only logical to expect them to be the only teams in the division that have what it takes to own the NFC East crown.

But maybe, just maybe, we are overlooking the New York Giants.

Coming from a 3-13 record in 2017, the Giants have quite a bit to prove if they want to become a winning team once again and return to playoff contention. With Odell Beckham missing most of the season and with good ol' Ben McAdoo calling the shots, the team was never able to get a break.

Listen, we all know Eli Manning has been struggling lately. Many thought the Giants should've drafted a quarterback when they held the #2 overall pick back in April. But whether we like it or not, New York seems to have a plan: take advantage of Manning's last years on the field.

Instead of taking a young QB for the future, they drafted the best player available to take the load off Manning's shoulders. Saquon Barkley will probably be able to do what Ezekiel Elliott was able to do in 2016: lead the offense by running the football 20 times a game and have several 100-yard performances.

Could NY Giants Be a Surprise Threat in the NFC East?

New York Giants OG Will Hernandez

Not only that, but the front office did make an effort to re-build a disastrous offensive line by bringing in a talented left tackle in Nate Solder and by stealing the UTEP product, Will Hernandez in the second round of the draft. If the Giants are able to finally groom Ereck Flowers into a decent starter at right tackle, this could be a pretty solid offensive line.

Of course, Manning will not only be benefited from the running game, but his superstar wide receiver will be back on the field. Beckham is one of the NFL's best wide receivers and will surely be back at terrifying opposing secondaries week in and week out.

The Giants are bringing in Defensive Coordinator James Bettcher, who did a nice job for the Arizona Cardinals' defense over the last few years. With some talented defensive players, the team might not have the best squad in the league, but it doesn't seem like a defense that will struggle throughout the season.

Last but not least, the Giants will have a new head coach in form of Pat Shurmur. He's had some success in the league, lately as an offensive coordinator for a Minnesota Vikings team that managed to get to the NFC Championship with Case Keenum at QB. It was a good hire for the team, and I'm pretty sure it will be easy to do a better job than McAdoo's work with the Giants.

If I was to make a prediction, I'd say the Giants will have a handful of wins in 2018. However, I don't see them getting back into the postseason just yet. An 8-8 record sounds about right. Having said that, though, it really seems like a team that could surprise everyone and emerge as a surprise contender in the NFC East.

Do you think the New York Giants could be a surprise threat in 2018?

Tell me what you think about "Could NY Giants Be a Surprise Threat in the NFC East?" 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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Star Blog

Where Cowboys CB Marquez White Fits In 2018

Kevin Brady

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Dallas Cowboys Draft CB Marquez White at #216

In the 2017 NFL Draft the Dallas Cowboys selected four new defensive backs, three of which saw significant playing time during their rookie season.

Those three, of course, are Jourdan Lewis, Chidobe Awuzie, and Xavier Woods. That fourth defensive back, however, should not be forgotten about as we enter the beginning stages of the 2018 season. That player is former Florida State cornerback Marquez White.

Rather than playing alongside his rookie counterparts in the secondary, White spent time on the Cowboys practice squad in 2017. The former sixth round pick was signed to a futures contract at the end of 2017, however, and now has a chance to compete in camp once again.

Entering their sophomore seasons the starting secondary already appears to be taking shape. Chidobe Awuzie and Byron Jones are just about locked in to the outside cornerback jobs, Xavier Woods is expected to start at safety beside Jeff Heath, and Jourdan Lewis is battling with now third year player Anthony Brown for the slot corner role.

So where does Marquez White fit into all of this?

Cowboys CB Marquez White Could Emerge in 2018

Dallas Cowboys CB Marquez White

Well, the aforementioned players are locks to make the 53-man roster, but Marquez White should be the favorite to win the 5th cornerback spot going forward. White's raw talent is undeniable, and he has the ability to play under both man and zone responsibilities.

The main reason we should be optimistic about Marquez White's chances to land on the final roster, however, is his athletic profile. At 6'0" tall, just under 200 pounds, and long arms White fits the mold for what new secondary coach and passing game coordinator Kris Richard tends to look for in his cornerbacks.

And, for better or for worse, Richard clearly values these measureables highly. This is evident in how second year corner Jourdan Lewis has been used thus far in mini camp and offseason activities; being relegated to second team and the slot rather than allowed to compete for an outside cornerback job with Awuzie and Jones.

So with the arrival of Kris Richard, the departure of Orlando Scandrick, the underwhelming play of Anthony Brown, and the raw talent he already possesses, Marquez White has a very strong chance of making the final 53-man roster in Dallas.



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Star Blog

Can Jaylon Smith Challenge Vander Esch For Starting MIKE Role?

Kevin Brady

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In Season For Youth, Cowboys Must Make Tough Decision On Jaylon Smith

When the Dallas Cowboys selected Boise State linebacker Leighton Vander Esch with their first round pick of the 2018 NFL Draft, the whole world basically assumed he would be the starting MIKE linebacker week one of the upcoming season.

After all, the Cowboys lost Anthony Hitchens to free agency and none of the injury replacements had much success during the 2017 season.

Now just a couple of months shy of that week one match up with the Carolina Panthers, a battle for that middle linebacker spot appears to be occurring.

Former 2016 second round pick Jaylon Smith has seemed to find his health, and his movement skills and agility look like they did back when he was at Notre Dame. Whether or not these offseason hype videos will actually mean anything on the field remains to be seen, but just the fact that Smith is working out and playing without the knee brace is obviously a good sign.

Unlike Vander Esch, Jaylon Smith did play for the Dallas Cowboys a year ago. Sure Smith had his share of growing pains, but he seemed to find his groove late in the season. It probably isn't a coincidence, though, that Smith's best games came when coming off the bench in a limited role and when playing beside veteran Sean Lee.How Will LB Jaylon Smith Best be Utilized in 2018?

During the offseason activity thus far Jaylon Smith has gotten the majority of snaps at middle linebacker, but Vander Esch has also been sidelined with an injured ankle. Leighton Vander Esch clearly fits the mold of a MIKE both physically and athletically, but at his best Jaylon Smith does as well.

Despite the resurgence of Jaylon Smith and the injury to Leighton Vander Esch, I still do expect Vander Esch to snag that MIKE role moving forward. While showing glimpses of productive play, Smith did not impress enough to earn him the unquestioned starting job last season, and may best fit as a SAM backer and situational pass rusher/blitzer in the current scheme.

Allowing Jaylon Smith to conserve his energy and provide a boost off the bench is the best way for the Cowboys to structure their defense. Of course, this is only true as long as Vander Esch becomes the player they expect him to be, though.

If Jaylon Smith does return to the player he was at Notre Dame prior to his horrific injury, the Cowboys will possess three incredibly rangy, athletic, and talented linebackers on their roster.

Of course, that if is a very big if at this point, however.



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