After the big win against the Detroit Lions this week, the Dallas Cowboys improved their 2018 seasonal outlook by getting back to .500 and staying close to the division leading Washington Redskins (2-1). Not only did they improve their record, but our opinion of them improved some as well.
The Dallas Cowboys and Dak Prescott finally got their passing game going "for he first time in forever."
Sorry, when you have a two-year old daughter you get Frozen songs stuck in your head.
But seriously. How different do we feel about the Dallas Cowboys passing game heading into week five than we did heading into week four. They finally got some things clicking downfield. Dak Prescott showed some really good accuracy going 5/8 for 113 yards and a touchdown on passes greater than 10 yards down the field. Including a couple of bombs to Michael Gallup and Ezekiel Elliott.
I know one week doesn't erase all of the negative things that we saw over the last half of the 2017 season and the first three games of 2018, but it will go a long way toward proving that Dak Prescott is the quarterback we saw in 2016 and the first half of 2017.
We weren't the only ones who thought the Dallas Cowboys looked better on Sunday. As we take a stroll through the national football media, let's round up some weekly power rankings to see where the Dallas Cowboys made the jump after week 4.
USA Today: For the Win
Last Week: 21
This Week: 21
"I thought about putting the Cowboys higher on this list after an encouraging performance by the offense on Sunday. Then I remembered Sean Linehan is still in charge of getting this unit to play well so I’ll just leave them here."
Steven Ruiz - For The Win: USA Today
Perhaps this week the mind-meld of Sean McVay and Scott Linehan called the plays and that is why the Dallas Cowboys were so effective on offense in their week four win over the Detroit Lions. I had to double check that Mr. Ruiz actually wrote "Sean Linehan" several times before I felt comfortable leaving it in the quote above.
Last Week: 24
This Week: 22
"The Cowboys evened the score on the season, putting them in a second-place tie with Philly and just a half-game behind the Redskins in the NFC East. Dak Prescott had much to do with Sunday's outcome, making the accurate throws in small windows that Dallas fans have been waiting for -- especially that nine route to Ezekiel Elliott on the game's final drive. Elliott went off, rushing for 152 yards on just 25 attempts. At center stage, though, should be the offensive line, which gave Prescott plenty of time to make those throws, and paved the way for Elliott. Key for Dak moving forward: maintaining this level of performance against teams that can bring more heat than the Lions, and doing it consistently, week in and week out. The Cowboys are sure glad they don't have to play Golden Tate every week. Good grief."
Elliott Harrison - NFL.com
Ain't that the truth. Golden Tate was a nightmare for the Dallas Cowboys secondary. Elliott hits the Dallas Cowboys' proverbial nail on the head. If they can get performances out of Dak Prescott similar to what they received on Sunday, they're going to be very difficult to beat.
Last Week: 22
This Week: 21
"Rookie snaps leader: OL Connor Williams, 230 snaps out of 230 (100 percent). The Cowboys' five-man offensive line has not missed a snap in the first four games. Williams is one of seven rookies (all OL) who have not missed an offensive snap."
Vince Masi - ESPN.com
This week, ESPN.com highlighted a rookie from each team in their power rankings by snap count. Obviously Connor Williams has played the most out of the rookies this season and has improved his play since the week one outing vs the Carolina Panthers.
The Washington Post
Last Week: 26
This Week: 18
"The Dallas offense showed some signs of being functional and, even with their early-season issues, the Cowboys are only a half-game out of first place in the NFC East."
Mark Maske - The Washington Post
It was a huge game for the Dallas Cowboys to be able to keep pace with their division rivals. Just as important as the win were the losses by the Philadelphia Eagles and the New York Giants putting the Dallas Cowboys in second place behind the idle 2-1 Washington Redskins.
Last Week: 23
This Week: 16
"They got back to running the ball with Ezekiel Elliott against the Lions. That's something that they have to do more of coming up."
Pete Prisco - CBS.com
I don't think Pete was going out on a limb with this one. It's evident since 2014 that the Dallas Cowboys want to run the football and if they're going to have any success, they are going to have to continue to have success running the football. However, they never went away from the run game. Game script dictated that they pass more and they were effective in the run game when they ran it. The big difference in week four is the passing game showed signs of life for the first time since late in the 2017 season.
Pro Football Focus
This Week: 18
"The Cowboys needed some late-game heroics from Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott to beat the Lions at home. Prescott has been less than impressive to start 2018, and while some of the blame can be attributed to his receivers, he still has the third lowest adjusted completion percentage among current starting quarterbacks in the NFL. Our model pegs their playoff chances at 32% with a 20% shot of winning the division."
Eric Eager and Ben Brown - Pro Football Focus
So you're saying there's a chance? A 32% shot at making the playoffs sounds great after how we felt about this team following the loss in Seattle. The Dallas Cowboys are right in the thick of the NFC East Divisional race and can reassert themselves in the conference with a win against the Houston Texans on Sunday.
✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭
With the win on Sunday, the Dallas Cowboys certainly turned some heads as they rose in every power rankings save for one. But that guy doesn't know the offensive coordinator's first name, so we are going to give the team a pass for not climbing in his rankings. Who knows what he's thinking.
Power rankings are completely subjective, but it's good to get an idea of how the Dallas Cowboys are viewed by national observers from time-to-time, even if it appears the national observers aren't observing very closely. Looking at you Pete.
Cowboys en Español: ¿Qué Safety Estará Ahí en el #58?
Por fin estamos a menos de una semana del NFL Draft 2019. El evento que define el futuro de las franquicias de la liga año tras año está a días de distancia y los rumores comienzan a tomar velocidad. Para los aficionados de los Dallas Cowboys, la experiencia del Draft será un poco diferente ya que no cuentan con una selección de primera ronda. En vez de eso, tienen a Amari Cooper. ¿Lo vale? Sí. Pero, no se puede negar que el equipo estará en una posición complicada durante el Draft.
No sólo no hay un pick de primera ronda para los Cowboys, sino que no cuentan con uno dentro del Top 50. Estas son las selecciones con las que cuentan los Jones y compañía:
- Pick #58 (segunda ronda)
- Pick #91 (tercera ronda)
- Pick #129 (cuarta ronda)
- Pick #137 (cuarta ronda)
- Pick #166 (quinta ronda)
- Pick #243 (séptima ronda)
A menos que sean sorprendentemente agresivos, no habrá noticias sobre los Dallas Cowboys el próximo jueves. Más bien tendremos que esperar hasta el segundo día del Draft para ver que traman los Cowboys. ¿Qué podemos esperar sobre su primera selección?
En este momento, parece que no hay ninguna necesidad más fuerte que la de un safety. Y parece ser que el talento disponible en la segunda ronda podría beneficiar a los Cowboys. Como cada año, es difícil pronosticar quien estará en la tabla y quien no, pero hablemos de varios safeties que podrían solucionar los problemas de Dallas.
S Taylor Rapp, Washington
Algunos ven a Rapp como el mejor safety en la clase de novatos, mientras que otros están convencidos de que no podrá tener éxito en la NFL. La mayor preocupación en torno al producto de Washington es su velocidad. En las pruebas que realizó sus resultados no fueron nada satisfactorios. Sin embargo, ha probado en el campo que es bueno contra la corrida y se puede encargar de su trabajo en cobertura. Es bueno al tacklear, y podría ser justo lo que los Cowboys necesitan.
S Jonathan Abraham, Mississippi State
Abraham se proyecta como un strong safety, que es lo que los Cowboys necesitan. De todos los prospectos, parece que Abraham es el favorito a irse primero. Sin embargo, no es perfecto y sus defectos podrían costarle una caída hasta la segunda ronda. Abraham falla tackleadas ocasionalmente, pero su juego físico y agresivo lo puede compensar. Si cae hasta el #58, Abraham no puede ser ignorado.
S Juan Thornhill, Virginia
Thornhill no es mejor que los mencionados anteriormente, pero quizá sea más probable encontrarlo si los Cowboys se quedan en el pick #58. En Virginia, Thornhill tuvo tres temporadas donde fue titular en más de 10 partidos. Es todo un play-maker, consiguiendo 13 intercepciones en su carrera colegial. Lidero a su equipo en tackleadas. Puede jugar en varios puntos de la defensiva e incluso llegó a alinearse como linebacker. Dudo que eso pase en la NFL, pero podría ser un buen safety dentro de la caja y en cobertura.
S Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, Florida
Gardner-Johnson fue uno de los líderes en Florida durante toda su carrera. Jugó como safety y como cornerback, muchas veces actuando como "nickel." Chauncey no sería de mis opciones favoritas en este punto del Draft, pero es una que no se puede ignorar si los demás jugadores ya no están disponibles. Sabe romper jugadas y tiene potencial de convertirse en un titular a largo plazo.
S Amani Hooker, Iowa
En el escenario de que todos los mejores safeties ya hayan sido seleccionados y el equipo no prefiera atender otra necesidad, Amani Hooker merece un vistazo. En Iowa ganó el premio al mejor defensive back de su conferencia (Big Ten). Tuvo buenos números en sus pruebas y podría ser un buen strong safety dentro de la caja, donde se pone en posición constantemente para hacer jugadas.
Claro que los Cowboys podrían tomar otra ruta y no seleccionar a un safety hasta más tarde. Sin embargo, considero que sería lo correcto. Incluso pienso que si Taylor Rapp o su prospecto favorito está disponible en un punto de la segunda ronda, Dallas estará dispuesto a hacer un trade para subir y alcanzarlo.
Sólo queda esperar este gran e impredecible evento. ¿Qué esperas del NFL Draft? Hazme saber en los comentarios o por medio de Twitter en @MauNFL.
Cowboys Look To Be In For Brutal December Slate In 2019
All sixteen regular season games count the same. A win in September means exactly the same as a win in December. Just as a touchdown in the first quarter counts for the same number of points as a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
While factually accurate, we know these statements aren't totally true. Championship teams often "hit their stride" in November and December, as they close out divisions, clinch playoff births, and prove they can stay cool and claim victory when the pressure mounts to its highest peak.
Under Jason Garrett, and Wade Phillips before him, the Cowboys have developed the reputation of not "winning the big one." In particular, they've been labeled as a team that "chokes" in December. Tony Romo dealt with his fair share of December/January demons during his career, but overcame them towards his final seasons. Dak Prescott has yet to advance past the Divisional Round of the postseason himself, but the narrative around the Cowboys has seemed to change.
Now, due to their late season run and victory over the Seattle Seahawks last season, people see Prescott and the Cowboys as a team that can find ways to win. A team, and a quarterback, who may not be as prolific as some of the other top squads in the conference, but one that you can never count out. I'd argue this has been the case with Dallas for quite some time under Garrett, but it is only now the narrative has changed.
Their late season fortitude will be tested again in 2019, however.
The NFL released the official schedule for the 2019 NFL season earlier this week, with the Cowboys getting some favorable (and some not-so-favorable) draws. What jumped off the page immediately to me, however, is how tough their final four games will be. And, of course, how critical victories in those games will be to gaining an NFC playoff spot.
Among those four December games are trips to Chicago and Philadelphia, two playoff teams a year ago who present problems in different ways. The Bears, known for their talented defense and innovative play-caller, and the Eagles, the always tough divisional foe.
Dallas also gets two home games during this stretch, hosting the Los Angeles Rams week 15, and finishing out the year against the Washington Redskins. The Rams, of course, eliminated the Cowboys from the postseason a year ago, and are expected to be one of the conference's best again.
The Cowboys will face a first-place schedule in 2019, and will have to prove that they are playoff-worthy down the stretch in December.
Dallas Cowboys: 3 Schedule Predictions Ahead Of Wednesday’s Release
Wednesday night the official 2019 NFL schedule will be released, and we will know the exact times and dates of each of the Cowboys' upcoming games.
We already know the opponents, however, and we know how the NFL typically likes to schedule games week to week. Based on both prior history and future opponents, here are 3 predictions for tonight's schedule release.
1. Cowboys Open Up With The Giants
I didn't say the predictions would be bold, did I?
The NFL loves to have the Cowboys open up against the New York Giants, and I see that being the case here again. Dallas/New York will always bring about solid ratings, but scheduling this game before the Giants (likely) fall out of contention is a smart move as well.
This game will be in Dallas at 4:25 eastern time, occupying that "America's Game of the Week" slot during the opening weekend. Because as much as everyone says they hate watching these NFC East games, the numbers bear out a different story.
2. Cowboys Play @ Saints Thursday After Thanksgiving
We know the Cowboys will play in an extra Thursday or Saturday night game this season. They always do.
Lately the league has liked to schedule them as the Thursday night game following Thanksgiving, and I don't see them breaking that trend this season. Dallas has played the Vikings, Redskins, and Saints in this game the last three years, with the Cowboys/Saints game being one of the best of last year's Thursday slate.
Why not run it back at the Superdome this November?
3. Cowboys Close The Season With A Brutal December
This is broad prediction, so let's narrow it down a bit. I think the Cowboys will play three critical NFC games in December, at the very least. These games will include NFC East battles with the Washington Redskins (week 17) and Philadelphia Eagles, as well as a game at Chicago to face the Bears.
It's likely the Cowboys, Bears, and Eagles will be fighting for playoff positioning (or playoff births) down the stretch in December. Plus, anytime a combination of these three teams play, ratings will be drawn. I think they'll have Prescott battle Mitchell Trubisky and Carson Wentz this December, as he and the Cowboys look to clinch a consecutive playoff birth.
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