They're the World Champions.
It's no secret who the New England Patriots are, and it's certainly no secret what they're capable of on a football field. Nevertheless, the Cowboys put forth a disappointing effort in their game against New England last Sunday.
Before you get flustered, let me specify. The Dallas Cowboys Defense certainly came to ball, and they even held the reigning Super Bowl MVP and his favorite toys in check for a majority of the first half. Mission accomplished there.
The problem last Sunday laid within the offense, or lack thereof, of the Dallas Cowboys. They managed to put together six total points. That's their lowest offensive output since January 17th, 2010... a divisional playoff loss to Brett Favre's Minnesota Vikings.
What was the problem?
Check This Out
When Brandon Weeden buys any sort of goods or services, I bet he pays with a check because that's how he runs his offense. The Cowboy QB failed to take advantage of a weak (compared to the rest of their team) New England secondary. He has a field runner in Terrance Williams and just refused to exploit that.
Maybe it's the play calling, or maybe it's that Brandon legitimately hates throwing it downfield. Either way the Cowboys could not have seriously expected to dink and dunk their way to victory against Bill Belichick. As a result the Cowboy offense became extremely predictable on Sunday and easy to defend by the Patriots.
First And Ten AKA First And Run
The Cowboys have 132 plays on 1st down. They have ran 75 times (56.8%) of the time.
I'm actually shocked at how low that is, I would have guessed that it'd be somewhere in the 75% neck of the woods.
The Cowboys had one of the best run games across the entire NFL just a year ago. Their offensive line has been heralded as perhaps the best in the world. What is going on?
When you are predictable and have no threat of a pass, the run game falters. The Cowboys have to find a way to overcome this deficiency if they hope to have any victories without the services of Tony Romo and Dez Bryant. The offensive line has to step up and live up to their offseason hype. They are a unit that has not been decimated by injury in the way that the skill positions have been, it is their time to carry the team.
Joseph Randle has been vanilla, Darren McFadden has been unimpressive, and Christine Michael has been used twice in as many games. The Cowboys have to establish an identity with how they run the ball... whoever that may be. They need to run with authority, and they need the offensive line to play at the level we've come to know as the normal for that to happen.
This was one of the worst offensive performances that Dallas Cowboys fans have seen in a long time. At times it felt like we were watching the fourth preseason game. The Cowboys have to start getting far more creative and testing opponents or their predictability is going to continue to doom them.
At 2-3 the Cowboys are nestled at second in the division. There is still a lot of football to be played, but it needs to be done differently to yield different results. Perhaps the recent change in quarterback from Brandon Weeden to Matt Cassel will give this offense the spark that it desperately needs.
DAL 27, PHI 7: Cowboys Winning Every Phase, Build Big Halftime Lead
The Dallas Cowboys certainly heard about Doug Pederson's win guarantee, but did anyone tell Pederson's team? The Philadelphia Eagles have fumbled and flopped their way into a 24-7 halftime deficit in this pivotal Week 7 rivalry game.
Two early fumbles by Dallas Goedert and Carson Wentz helped set up the Cowboys for short fields and touchdowns. Dallas has scored points on all but one of their drives in the first half.
Ezekiel Elliott is on pace for his best game of 2019 so far. He has 65 rushing yards and another 25 through the air, with one touchdown coming on the ground.
Dak Prescott has been sharp with 161 passing yards on 15-of-20 passing. He connected with Blake Jarwin on the team's second touchdown of the night.
Dallas' other touchdown came on a pretty toss play to Tavon Austin, who used his athletic skills to juke one Eagle and then outrace the rest to the endzone.
Brett Maher finished the half with an amazing 63-yard field goal. He also made one from 26 yards earlier.
Standouts on defense so far include DeMarcus Lawrence, who is playing up to his verbal response to the Eagles' head coach earlier this week. We've also some big plays from Maliek Collins, Jourdan Lewis, and Robert Quinn.
Leighton Vander Esch had to leave the game with a neck injury and is questionable to return. Hopefully, the Cowboys won't need him.
Great start by the good guys! Let's keep it going!
Eagles @ Cowboys 2019: Gameday Inactives for Both Teams
Kickoff between the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles in Week 7 of the 2019 season is almost upon us. The teams have now officially declared their inactive players for tonight, and the Cowboys' list comes with many sighs of relief.
After a week of worrying that several starters and other key players could miss this pivotal game, Dallas should have most of them on hand.
Cowboys inactives: Devin Smith, Anthony Brown, Luke Gifford, Adam Redmond, Brandon Knight, Justin Hamilton, Dorance Armstrong.
Losing Anthony Brown, who is essentially a starter as the nickel corner, isn't great. But it will mean more playing time for Jourdan Lewis, and to some that could be a blessing in disguise.
As for Philadelphia, their inactive list features several key names
Ronald Darby is active for the #Eagles. Rookie Shareef Miller active for the first time. The inactives for tonight's game against the Cowboys: DeSean Jackson, Avonte Maddox, Darren Sproles, Nigel Bradham, Nate Herbig, Jason Peters, Tim Jernigan.
You can read more analysis of the Eagles' missing players here. But just to summarize, that's two offensive starters(Jackson, Peters) and three from the defense (Jernigan, Bradham, Maddox) who won't be playing in Dallas tonight.
Will these injuries decide the game? Will Dallas take advantage or will Philly overcome?
We're about to find out!
Cowboys Wishlist: Let Tony Pollard and Blake Jarwin Play
Welcome to primetime. Tonight, the Philadelphia Eagles will play the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium for an exciting NFC East matchup. The Cowboys are slightly favored for this one, but it will not be an easy game. Both teams sit at 3-3 and will fight for the division lead. It'll be an exciting night for Cowboys Nation.
Without further ado, let's get to this week's Cowboys Wishlist!
Wish #1: Everyone Plays
After a week of uncertainty regarding the health of several key players, the Cowboys are expected to play with both their staring offensive tackles, Tyron Smith and La'el Collins, WR Amari Cooper and CB Byron Jones. That's certainly surprising, but it's great news to hear ahead of such an important game for the Cowboys.
On the other hand, the Philadelphia Eagles will miss plenty of starters including OT Jason Peters. Of course, nothing will be official for Dallas until the inactives are announced. I wish the inactives list matches early reports of these key players being expected to play.
Wish #2: Return to Exploiting Play-Action
There's no way around it. The Cowboys were being very successful using play-action during the first three weeks of the season, being among the NFL teams to use it the most. For some reason, though, they seem to have walked away from it. Somehow, they figured out what was working and stopped doing it. Many have argued about how play-action works and whether or not the run must be established for it to work. Analytics suggest it doesn't work that way.
Anyway, the trend is pretty clear. Throughout the first three weeks, the Cowboys averaged play-action plays on 39.56% of their drop-backs. The last three weeks that average has been 17.3%.
It's hard to find an answer as to why this has happened to Kellen Moore's offense, but I wish they go back to what was working so effectively at the beginning of the season.
Wish #3: Let Dak Prescott Win The Game
Speaking of play-action, I truly believe Dak Prescott is the least of the Cowboys' problems right now. He's played pretty well and has shown how much of a warrior he is, specially last week when he took a beating from the New York Jets' defensive front.
I love what RB Ezekiel Elliott brings to the table, but the offense should rely on the passing game. Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup are a very solid duo of wide receivers and Dak Prescott has proven he can handle the job. I'd like to see the Cowboys putting the offense on Dak's back.
The Eagles secondary has been far from decent this season, with plenty of teams airing out against them. The key to this game is the passing game.
Wish #4: First Cowboys Drive Ends in TD
The Cowboys' slow starts have really been one of the biggest issues for this football team this season. Even when they were on a win streak and faced weak opponents, Jason Garrett's team started slow on both offense and defense. That could be the difference in such an important game for the Cowboys. It's time for them to start fast, and score fast.
The Cowboys' offense has been pretty good. In fact, they rank second in offensive DVOA on Football Outsiders. If they figure out how to score early - when game scripts matter the most - this unit could be special.
Wish #5: Let Tony Pollard and Blake Jarwin Play
The Cowboys have chosen to give Jason Witten the vast majority of the offensive snaps at TE this season. As a consequence, Blake Jarwin has seen the field less than he should. Through six weeks, he's only played in 38.1% of the offensive snaps. Jarwin is young and talented and has been good when given the chance. I hope his snap count increases today.
Similarly, I wish the Cowboys' give Tony Pollard a more important role. Instead of using him as much as they did in the first three weeks, his snap count percentage has dropped all the way down to 17.68%.
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