The Dallas Cowboys are currently one of the few remaining undefeated teams in the NFL. There are a lot of factors that go into this accomplishment, but that’s not what I want to get in today. Today I want to focus on a few players who the Cowboys need more from moving forward.
Before I share with you which Dallas Cowboys players I believe need to step up their game a little, I wanted to make it abundantly clear I don’t think any of them are playing that bad. Each player I’ve mentioned below has played relatively well through the first three weeks, however, I believe they are currently underperforming just a bit.
Let’s get started…
CB, Chidobe Awuzie
If you were to analyze Chidobe Awuzie’s play this season through the first three weeks you’d probably think I was crazy to put him on this list of players the Dallas Cowboys need more from. He’s been playing really well and has provided some sticky coverage to opposing WRs up until the point where the ball is in the air. It’s at that time he gets in trouble and it’s starting to hurt the Cowboys defense.
Just last week against the Miami Dolphins he was flagged three times for pass interference and nearly had a TD pass completed against him. Teams are starting to target him more and more due to the way Byron Jones is locking down WRs on his side of the field. Even though Awuzie has been a nearly perfect position on nearly every pass completed against him, his failure to locate the ball in the air is resulting in penalties. Dallas needs him to clean this up as soon as possible.
LG, Connor Williams
As a whole, the Dallas Cowboys offensive line has played extremely well through the first three weeks of the 2019 season. But, if there was a weak link right now on the OL it has to be second-year LG Connor Williams. He’s improved quite a bit from his rookie season due to the added strength and weight he put on during the offseason, but his costly penalties are starting to become a concern.
Just last week against the Miami Dolphins Williams had a holding penalty that ended up negating a long TD reception for Randall Cobb. A lot of his problems are due to his wide base, which causes him to get overextended at times. It’s important to remember he only has 13 starts under his belt and is still growing into the position. Given time his technique will improve and so will his play. Until then though he needs to cut down the penalties.
LB, Jaylon Smith
Anyway you look at it the Dallas Cowboys have one of the most talented groups of linebackers in the entire NFL. But, that talent isn’t necessarily showing up on the field right now. LB Jaylon Smith particularly isn’t playing up to his normal standards and it’s not going unnoticed.
I know it’s still early, but #Cowboys LB Jaylon Smith has struggled this season. He’s currently PFF’s 58th-ranked linebacker with an overall grade of 49. His last four games (including the Rams playoff game) have been rough.
This is somewhat alarming considering the Cowboys just handed Smith a five-year, $63.75 million contract extension. I know a lot of you will suggest that’s the reason he struggling right now, but I don’t think that’s the case at all. I think he’s just in a slump and will rebound eventually. But make no mistake, Dallas needs better from him moving forward, especially since the schedule is growing more difficult.