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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.

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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

A Cowboys Win vs Giants Can’t Be Taken For Granted

Mauricio Rodriguez

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A Cowboys Win vs Giants Can't Be Taken For Granted 1

The Dallas Cowboys are coming from a bounce-back win versus the Washington Redskins in which they blew out their divisional rivals 38-14. The New York Giants are coming from a week in which Head Coach Ben McAdoo and General Manager Jerry Reese were fired. The former is 6-6, and the latter is 2-10. You tell me which organization is getting the W this Sunday.

Easy, right? Well, no. Not really.

All week long, most of Cowboys Nation has been taking this win for granted. Understandably so, since New York is only a two-win team. However, this is certainly one of those games with a “trap game” feel to it.

It wouldn’t be the first time we see a football team being led by a new coach to a surprise victory. Hell, we saw a very similar situation when Jason Garrett debuted as the Cowboys interim head coach in 2010… against the Giants. 

 Dallas Cowboys LB Sean Lee, New York Giants QB Eli Manning  Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

On top of that, you have Eli Manning back at the wheel after he was benched for Geno Smith a week ago. Even though the guy who made that decision is out of the picture, you have to imagine the veteran quarterback will go out to play with a chip on his shoulder.

And if we’re being completely honest with ourselves, this Cowboys’ team still has a lot to prove. Let’s not forget the fact that they lost three consecutive weeks. That’s why we´re trying to find which NFC teams need to lose certain games. Because the Dallas Cowboys put themselves in this position.

Dak Prescott is the future for this franchise, and despite having some tough games this year, I still believe he’s the guy. However, as Staff Writer Kevin Brady recently wrote here at Inside The Star, Dak Prescott must overcome his struggles when facing the Giants:

“Prescott played his worst game of that spectacular rookie season when he traveled to East Rutherford, New Jersey as the Cowboys prolific offense was only able to score 7 points during their key loss.”

Although they have a 2-10 record, the Giants’ defense shouldn’t be underestimated. They still have personnel that can give the Cowboys’ offense a bit of trouble, especially without Ezekiel Elliott running the ball.

Sean Lee should be ready to go this week, and while many discuss whether or not the coaching staff should give him an extra week of rest, the truth is that’s something the Cowboys can’t risk to do. At the end of the day, lose one game and forget about playing in January.

You need 50 on the field. If at some point in the second half they manage to get a big-lead, securing a win, then let’s hope they take him off the field and let the guy rest. But until then, Sean Lee should be playing.

Will Chidobe Awuzie's Return Benefit The Cowboys Defense?

Dallas Cowboys’ Jourdan Lewis, Chidobe Awuzie and Xavier Woods (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)

Dallas is expected to start three rookies at cornerback. Jourdan Lewis, Chidobe Awuzie and Xavier Wood could be the guys who line up to start the game in New York. Naturally, this is the case because they’ve proven to be solid players.

But it’s inevitable to be a bit scared of this situation when you’re facing Eli Manning. Say what you want about him, but you never know what might happen when a player like that is on the other side of the field.

I’m picking the Cowboys to win this football games for at least a touchdown. But let’s not think of this game as if it were the Browns. If this ends up being a trap game and the Cowboys manage to get their seventh loss of the year, it’s over.

We’re 14 weeks into the season and it feels like we don’t know what this team is capable of doing with Sean Lee, Tyron Smith and Ezekiel Elliott starting at the same time. But this week will prove a lot of things about the Cowboys and their quest for the Playoffs.

Tell me what you think about “A Cowboys Win vs Giants Can’t Be Taken For Granted” 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

Week 14 Playoff Projection: Cowboys Still In Striking Distance

Jess Haynie

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Cowboys en Español: Dak Prescott #14 Según los Jugadores, ¿Realmente Lo Es? 1

The Cowboys are one of three 6-6 teams still hoping to find a way into the NFC playoffs. Even if they win out and get to 10-6, they will need help based on tiebreakers and the superior records of the teams ahead of them.

Last night, Dallas’ hopes took a kick in the teeth when the Atlanta Falcons defeated the New Orleans Saints. Atlanta not only moved to 8-5 but also holds a head-to-head tiebreaker over the Cowboys, making them a major threat in the Wild Card race. The Falcons need to start losing, fast, for Dallas to have a shot at overtaking them.

Atlanta’s not the only team that Dallas should be concerned about, though. Here are the current NFC playoff standings, including last night’s result:

  1. Minnesota Vikings (10-2)
  2. Philadelphia Eagles (10-2)
  3. Los Angeles Rams (9-3)
  4. New Orleans Saints (9-4)
  5. Seattle Seahawks (8-4)
  6. Carolina Panthers (8-4)
    ————————————–
  7. Atlanta Falcons (8-5)
  8. Detroit Lions (6-6)
  9. Green Bay Packers (6-6)
  10. Dallas Cowboys (6-6)

TIEBREAKERS

  • The Vikings are ahead of the Eagles thanks to the common game tiebreaker, since they are both 8-1 against NFC opponents.
  • Seattle (6-3) is ahead of Carolina (4-4) thanks to a better record in NFC games.
  • Detroit has a head-to-head tiebreaker over the Packers and a common games tiebreaker over the Cowboys.
  • Green Bay has a head-to-head tiebreaker over the Cowboys.

With the Falcons’ win over New Orleans already in the books, here are the other playoff-relevant games for the NFC in Week 14.

Dallas Cowboys @ New York Giants

This is the easiest game let on Dallas’ schedule (assuming Philly doesn’t rest starters in Week 17). The Giants will have a new coach and have changed back to Eli Manning as the starting QB. Will they be galvanized by these changes or only in even greater disarray? We certainly hope for the latter.

Green Bay Packers @ Cleveland Browns

At 6-6 and with Aaron Rodgers potentially returning next week, the Packers are looming as a real threat. They have the head-to-head tiebreaker over Dallas from a win earlier this year. The hapless Browns winning this one is certainly faint hope, but it’s still Brett Hundley out there at QB instead of one of the league’s MVPs.

Detroit Lions @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The other team in the 6-6 tie, Detroit needs to go away. The Bucs are 4-8 and a non-factor now, so we can root for the pirate people without hesitation.

Minnesota Vikings @ Carolina Panthers

The Panthers are another key target for us in the Wild Card race. Minnesota should run away with the NFC North, so they’re a non-factor for Dallas’ concerns. A Carolina loss is clearly better for Dallas, dropping the Panthers to 8-5 and within reasonable range with three weeks left to go.

Philadelphia Eagles @ Los Angeles Rams

Last week, Dallas fans were put in the unfortunate position of having to root for the Eagles against the Seahawks to help our playoff chances. We’re back in that same boat this week as a Rams’s loss would be more damaging for the Cowboys than Philly losing.

Because L.A. has a head-to-head tiebreaker over Dallas, our best bet is for them to win the NFC West and stay out of our way. We have a much better shot at catching the Seahawks, especially since we get to play them in Week 16 when Ezekiel Elliott returns.

Seattle Seahawks @ Jacksonville Jaguars

So yeah, as just said, the Seahawks are one of the teams we have the best chance of beating out for a playoff spot. Last week’s win over Philly hurt, but a road loss against the 8-4 Jaguars is certainly possible and would go a long way to helping our cause.

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Cowboys en Español: Optimismo, Pesimismo y Realismo para los Dallas Cowboys

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Cowboys 2017 Roster Projection: Preseason Week 2

La verdad es que, los Dallas Cowboys se pusieron en una posición en la que no deberían de estar. Y a pesar de que podemos pasar días discutiendo quien merece la culpa, ahora la preocupación en la mente de todos los aficionados es la misma. ¿Veremos a los Cowboys jugar en enero?

Primero que nada, los Cowboys necesitan ganar los últimos cuatro juegos de su temporada, lo cuál no será un trabajo nada fácil. Aún si ganan los próximos dos juegos sin Ezekiel Elliott, los últimos dos partidos de la temporada son bastante complicados.

Sólo para darnos una idea, así se ve lo que resta del calendario para Dallas:

  • @ NY Giants
  • @ OAK Raiders 
  • VS SEA Seahawks (Regreso de Zeke)
  • @ PHI Eagles

Nada fácil para un equipo que ha tenido bastantes problemas. Porque, a pesar de extrañar a jugadores como Ezekiel Elliott, Sean Lee y Tyron Smith, perder seis juegos nunca debió de suceder.

Sin embargo, aquí estamos. A un par de días de ver a los Cowboys tomar el campo en New York para enfrentarse a un equipo de Giants, mientras esperamos con ansias ver como este equipo gana sus últimos cuatro juegos para entrar a playoffs.

Pero, hay un detalle. Pues todos sabemos que aún con Dallas cerrando su temporada 10-6, necesitamos ayuda exterior. Y es aquí donde entra una preocupación enorme en la mente de todos los aficionados empedernidos de los Cowboys.

Ayer por la noche, los Falcons vencieron a los Saints en el Thursday Night Football de la semana. Y sin darnos cuenta, pudieron haber terminado la temporada de nuestro equipo favorito. Actualmente, los Cowboys se encuentran en la posición #10 de la tabla de la NFC.

Por encima, peleando por los puestos de comodines están los Seahawks, Panthers, Falcons, Lions y Packers. Como aficionados a la Estrella Solitaria, no será suficiente apoyar a nuestro equipo mientras busca sus victorias. Sino a unas cuantas cosas más.

Cowboys' TE Position Hurting Offensive Production?

¿Qué combinaciones necesitan nuestros Cowboys?

  • Terminar la temporada con un récord de 10-6.
  • Dos derrotas de Seahawks, incluyendo una contra los Cowboys.
  • Dos derrotas de Falcons o…
  • Dos derrotas de Panthers MÁS una derrota de los Packers y una de los Lions. 

Es agotador, lo sé. Después de una temporada en la que dominaron la conferencia nacional, no esperábamos esto. Hace un año, hacíamos cálculos para analizar cómo podían asegurar el sembrado número 1 de la conferencia. Ahora, para poder tener una oportunidad de brillar en pos- temporada.

Y al final de cuentas, no sabremos que sucederá. Ni siquiera en cuanto a la temporada de los Cowboys. Suponiendo que ganen los siguientes dos, y tengan un equipo listo al 100% para cerrar contra Seattle y Philadelphia… no conocemos el nivel de este equipo.

Ha pasado mucho tiempo desde que vimos a este equipo con todas sus piezas claves en el campo, y no lo hemos visto ganar contra un equipo con récord ganador en todo el año. Duele admitirlo y es fácil olvidarlo cuando venimos de una semana en la que vencieron a Washington 38-14, pero este equipo no ha sido lo que queríamos.

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins) 

El problema este año, es que ni siquiera se trata exclusivamente de si este equipo puede o no lograrlo. Sino que se trata de que pasará con otras franquicias. Y aún si llegan a playoffs, ¿se lo merecen?

Como fan a morir de mi equipo, estaré apoyando con todo mi ser a todos los escenarios necesarios para ver a Dak Prescott y compañía en enero. Pero con tantos requisitos, es difícil mantener las esperanzas tan arriba como quisiéramos.

Tell me what you think about “Cowboys en Español: Optimismo, Pesimismo y Realismo para los Dallas Cowboys” 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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