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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

Seahawks’ Tight End Will Dissly Flying Under the Radar

John Williams

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Seahawks' Tight End Will Dissly Flying Under the Radar

The Seattle Seahawks are in need of a big win this weekend to stay a game or two back of the NFC West leading Los Angeles Rams. The Dallas Cowboys hope to extend their one game winning streak to two, but to do that, they'll have to win certain matchups on both sides of the football. One player that the Dallas Cowboys will have to be aware of and contain is rookie Tight End Will Dissly.

With Doug Baldwin injured in week one and out week two, other players have had to step up in their lead wide receiver's absence.

Brandon Marshall and Tyler Lockett are the names that most everyone will recognize, but Dissly, is the name that Cowboys Nation should keep an eye on come Sunday.

Dissly, drafted in the fourth round of the 2018 NFL Draft out of the University of Washington, came into the season with a reputation as a blocking back. Dane Brugler, of The Athletic, had Dissly ranked 98th overall and as the ninth ranked tight end in the draft. Just one spot behind Dallas Cowboys rookie Tight End Dalton Schultz.

Here is what Brugler had to say in his 2018 NFL Draft Guide.

"A one-year starter at Washington, Dissly spent his first two years at Washington on defense and his final two years on offense, lining up inline and wing in the Huskies’ offense. He was a blocker-first and receiver-second in college, which was a role he embraced with his hard-nosed toughness and competitive edge. Dissly uses his upper body power and base strength in unison to control the point of attack, displaying the core flexibility and length to keep defenders busy. While he flashed reliable hand/eye coordination and run power after the catch, he lacks the route-running experience or athletic deception to consistently uncover. Overall, Dissly is a project as a pass-catcher, but he will contribute early in his NFL career as an inline blocker and sixth offensive lineman."

Dane Brugler - Dane Brugler's 2018 NFL Draft Guide

To say that it comes as a surprise at Dissly's start to his rookie campaign would be a huge understatement. A Brugler notes, there was a chance he'd contribute early as a blocking specialist, but was thought to be a project in the passing game. He's been a big play threat in the first two games of the season, already taking the lead in Seattle Seahawks TE snap distribution at 65%.

Among tight ends, Dissly's is tied for 12th in the NFL in targets with 10, tied for 17th in receptions with six, fourth in the NFL in receiving yards, tied for first with 2 touchdown receptions, third in yards per reception at 24.5, third in yards after the catch with 90, is tied for fifth with five receptions for first downs, sixth in yards per route run, and hasn't dropped a pass this season. He's averaging five targets, three receptions, 73.5 yards, and a touchdown per game. He's been targeted twice out of the slot and has two receptions for 36 yards and a touchdown while playing 46% of his snaps from the slot.

When Seahawks Quarterback Russell Wilson has targeted his rookie tight end, he has a passer rating of 143.8.

He's been way more than they could have hoped.

Here's what SB Nation' Seattle Seahawks blog Field Gulls had to say about Will Dissly after the Seattle Seahawks week one loss to the Denver Broncos.

"Hot damn! Who saw that coming? Was that Will Dissly or a prime Jeremy Shockey? 3 catches for 105 yards and a touchdown for someone drafted primarily for his blocking abilities. Seattle has a new weapon on offense, and I doubt anyone saw that coming."

Mookie Alexander - Field Gulls, SB Nation 

It's likely that nobody, including the Denver Broncos or the Chicago Bears, saw Dissly's breakout coming this soon. Now with it on tape, the Dallas Cowboys will have their eye on Will Dissly.

Russell Wilson doesn't have a ton of established -- or still good -- wide receivers at his disposal, but Will Dissly looks like a fourth round steal for the Seahawks.

The Dallas Cowboys' linebackers will be tested on Sunday.

Four of Dissly's six receptions have come against linebackers, including a 34 yard reception (19 yards after the catch) against Chicago Bears' Linebacker Danny Trevathan and a 66 yard reception (52 YAC) against Denver Broncos Outside Linebacker Bradley Chubb.

The Dallas Cowboys seem fully capable of matching up with good receiving tight ends as Jaylon Smith showed on Sunday. Smith showed an ability to run with Odell Beckham Jr. in coverage on Sunday. No small task. We know that Sean Lee is good in coverage. Leighton Vander Esch's best trait coming out of Boise State is his coverage ability. I also wouldn't be surprised to see the Dallas Cowboys matchup Xavier Woods and Anthony Brown with the athletic tight end when he's lined up in the slot.

How the Dallas Cowboys defense does in coverage against the rookie tight end could be a major key to the game. With names like Brandon Marshall, Tyler Lockett, and Rashad Penny to keep an eye on, someone like Will Dissly could be easily forgotten.

You're going to hear his name called on Sunday. Let's just hope it's more for what he did weeks one and two.



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Star Blog

Xavier Woods Among Cowboys with Something to Prove in Seattle

John Williams

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The Earl Thomas trade rumors have been relentless this offseason. We've heard about them. I've written about them, and for better or worse, they just won't stop. No doubt Dallas Cowboys Safety Xavier Woods has heard them as well.

When Woods went down with his hamstring injury and as Earl Thomas continued his hold out, the clamor for Thomas grew louder and louder.

Per reports, it looks like Woods is set to make his 2018 debut. With a good game against the Seattle Seahawks, he can put a silence to the trade rumors.

I've been a proponent of making the deal for Earl Thomas all offseason. From the time he came running down the tunnel toward the Dallas Cowboys locker room, I've been all aboard the Earl Thomas hype train. Opportunities to add All-Pro players don't come along very often and if you're hoping to win football games in the short term, like the Dallas Cowboys are, you make the move.

My opinion isn't a knock on Xavier Woods, who was good as a rookie last year. He was especially good when asked to play in the slot early in the 2017 season. It has more to do with Woods still being a bit of an unknown and Thomas being a known quantity.

Xavier Woods has shown potential to be a really good safety in this league. In college, he played a lot of single high safety and played it very well. He has a knack for making plays on the football and can be a game changer for the Dallas Cowboys.

If the Dallas Cowboys can come away with a victory in Seattle, facing the player that the Dallas Cowboys have been linked to for months, and Woods has a good game in the process, then all of this will go away.

Heading into Sunday, Xavier Woods isn't the only player on the Dallas Cowboys roster who has something to prove.

Two Wide Receivers

The Cowboys added another wide receiver this week when they resigned free agent Brice Butler. I agree with Inside The Star Staff Writer Jess Haynie that adding Butler doesn't make a ton of sense, but it definitely adds question marks to the wide receiver room, in particular wide receivers Terrance Williams and Allen Hurns.

These two wide receivers were expected to be the starters on the outside and the primary targets, aside from Wide Receiver Cole Beasley, and yet, they've failed to have much of an impact in either of the two games in the 2018 season.

Take a look at their stat lines.

  • Allen Hurns: 5 targets, 2 receptions, 29 yards, 0 touchdowns, on 55% of the team's offensive snaps.
  • Terrance Williams: 3 targets, 2 receptions, 18 yards, 0 touchdowns on 25% of the snaps.

Those two are tied for fifth in receptions through two weeks of the season. Wide Receiver Deonte Thompson has found himself as a favorite target of Quarterback Dak Prescott through the first two games and has seven receptions for 60 yards.

With now seven wide receivers on the roster, there are less snaps to go around and with the increase in playing time for Tavon Austin and Michael Gallup, Terrance Williams may have already found himself as the odd man out. Brice Butler complicates things further for Williams and may eat into Allen Hurns snap count as well.

Now it looks like Terrance Williams is facing a suspension. If the suspension comes down before Sunday, he's going to really have a hard time finding a role on this team when he comes back.

Brandon George on Twitter

Sources: Cowboys WR Terrance Williams faces suspension stemming from May arrest for public intoxication https://t.co/of11Xlb7wD via @sportsdaydfw

If he comes back. 

Defensive End Making a Comeback

Things started out really well for returning Defensive End Randy Gregory. During the preseason he flashed the tools that made him a highly coveted player before his failed drug test at the NFL Combine.

Unfortunately the start of his 2018 season was derailed due to a concussion early in the Carolina Panthers game forcing him to miss week two.

In his place, Taco Charlton emerged as an impact player on the right side of the defensive line. Charlton has played the most defensive snaps of any defensive end through the first two games of the season; DeMarcus Lawrence included. Taco went from a 73% snap share in week one to an 83% snap share in week two. It's obvious that he's earned his snaps and the coaching staff wants to get him on the field.

This doesn't even begin to mention the contributions by rookie fourth round pick Dorance Armstrong, who like Charlton, saw a 10% snap increase from week one to week two and played really well when in the game.

This is a bit of a problem for Randy Gregory. Yes, he flashed in the preseason and early in the Carolina game, but the NFL is a "what have you done for me lately" league and Gregory hasn't done much of anything in the regular season, yet.

Coming into the Seahawks game, Gregory is going to have to earn back some of those snaps. By all accounts he has a chance to be an elite defensive end on the right side of the Dallas Cowboys defense, but he has to prove that he can stay on the field and effective when on it.

He needs to shine in week three.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

Who are your players with something to prove heading into the week three matchup with the Seattle Seahawks? Let us know in the comment section. 



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Star Blog

How The Seattle Seahawks Have Increased Importance In Cowboys’ Lore

Kevin Brady

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Cowboys Headlines - Dallas Cowboys At Seattle Seahawks: 5 Bold Predictions
Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

You can't talk about this decade's Dallas Cowboys without discussing the Seattle Seahawks.

In 2012, when Golden Tate took out Sean Lee on a crack-back block and the Seahawks embarrassed a Cowboys team who had just defeated the defending champion New York Giants, we saw which of the two teams was truly ready for the big stage.

In 2014, as Rolando McClain intercepted Russell Wilson and the Cowboys clinched a critical road victory, we knew that Dallas was a legit contender.

In 2015, when Seattle finally came to Dallas and rendered the return of Pro Bowl receiver Dez Bryant meaningless in a 13-12 win, the then 2-5 Cowboys were sent further into a Romo-less abyss.

And, in 2017, Dez Bryant's key drops and Dan Bailey's missed field goals during a horrendous home loss to the Seahawks on Christmas Eve might have sealed each of their fates for the following offseason.

The most important moment in this Cowboys/Seahawks history, however, occurred during a preseason game. A meaningless preseason game which turned out to be the most meaningful day in recent Cowboys history.

Cliff Avril dragging Tony Romo down from behind, effectively ending his career, and kicking off the roster massive turnover we have seen the last two offseasons. From Dak Prescott, to a brand new secondary, to the retirement of Jason Witten, and the cutting of Dez Bryant. All of this change, which put an end to the Romo era rosters in Dallas, began with that hit in Seattle.

Since 2012 the Cowboys, and the rest of the NFC really, have been judged by how they play against two teams: the Packers and the Seahawks.

They have been the class of the NFC, and while we like to think that if the "Dez Caught It" game went how it should have Dallas would've handled Seattle, that will forever be an unknown.

Sunday's game is not expected to carry the franchise-changing implications that some of these other match ups have had. The Seahawks are 0-2 and reeling, with a shaky offensive line and reported distrust throughout the organization.The Cowboys, however, can jump-start their season with a big road win over a winless team that they should beat in the minds of many.

But knowing how things between these teams tend to go, Sunday afternoon may end up having major implications on the rest of the Cowboys' season.

Where this could be the case is in a potential Earl Thomas trade. It's been speculated that Seattle has been hesitant to deal Thomas to Dallas before their week 3 match up, but could be more willing to do so after the game.

Especially if that game is a loss which sends them to 0-3. The Cowboys have been actively pursuing Earl Thomas, and Thomas has certainly made it clear that he wants to be in Dallas. The only party not willing to make it happen thus far, are the Seahawks.

So, this weekend, there is a chance another chapter is added to those franchise-changing moments in Cowboys/Seahawks lore.



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