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Game Notes

Dallas Cowboys Wishlist At Denver Broncos

Mauricio Rodriguez



Dallas Cowboys Wishlist At Denver Broncos 1
Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

We’ve all had a very fun week as our Dallas Cowboys opened their 2017 NFL season 1-0. It’s an awesome feeling, and no one can deny it. But right now, the happiness of beating the New York Giants for the first time since 2015 is slowly fading. It’s time for week 2. And Dak Prescott and company are ready to take on the 1-0 Denver Broncos.

Even though the Cowboys took the win home last Sunday, Cowboys Nation wanted to see more. It always happens, there’s nothing wrong with admitting that. Yeah, we love getting the win, and that’s the only thing that matters. But every week, we always have a few wishes for our team. Sometimes they deliver, sometimes they don’t.

Here is my wishlist for today’s game, I invite you to share yours in the comments below!

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

Wish #1: Chemistry 101: Dak and Dez Connect With Each Other

Cowboys Wishlist:

Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott, WR Dez Bryant (Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News)

Dak Prescott was sensational as a rookie in 2016. We know the story, a fourth-round rookie who led the most valuable franchise in sports to the #1 seed in the NFC.

Dak was able to find WR Dez Bryant in some big plays in 2016, but the duo could improve a lot. Throughout the offseason, we talked a lot about Dak developing a special chemistry with Dez after a year of practicing together.

We saw it in some preseason moments, but we didn’t see it last week against the Giants. I believe 100% that Dak and Dez will be a bigger threat than last year. They’re ready. The rest of the NFL isn’t ready for this duo.

I wish these two players show the world how hard they’ve been working to get that chemistry going. And do it against one of the league’s top defenses.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

Wish #2: Ryan Switzer Returns One To The House!

Should WR Ryan Switzer Sit Out The Final 2 Preseason Games?

Dallas Cowboys WR Ryan Switzer (Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports)

The fact that Ryan Switzer was a fourth-round pick mattered little to Cowboys’ fans. He was easily the Cowboy rookie with the most hype around him after the Draft. He’s a good player, has an awesome personality, and he is looking to become a quality returner specialist for Dallas.

Earlier this week on Inside The Star, I wrote about Switzer’s debut vs the Giants. He wasn’t ideal. He showed us he is still a rookie. But the traits are there, and he showed us he is willing to do whatever it takes to house one. Even if it means not calling a fair catch and trying to get away with it.

Switzer returns a kickoff or a punt for six in what will be his second career game.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

Wish #3: DeMarcus Lawrence Has Another Multi-Sack Game

Dallas Cowboys Player Profile: DE #90 DeMarcus Lawrence 1

Dallas Cowboys DL DeMarcus Lawrence

The Cowboys might just have a pass rush. That’s right, the Dallas Football Cowboys might have a pass rush this season. Now, the Giants OL is not good at all. It’s actually a bad offensive line.

But still, we can’t deny that DeMarcus Lawrence was pretty awesome at getting after Eli Manning a week ago. He ended the night with two sacks, and was pressuring the QB consistently all game.

This time, he will face Denver Broncos RT, Menelik Watson. Watson struggled with Melvin Ingram last week. Lawrence is probably not on the same level as Ingram, but if he plays the way he did versus the Giants, he might end the night with two or more sacks.

Make it happen, D-Law!

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Wish #4: Ezekiel Elliott‘s First 200-Yards Game

Ezekiel Elliott, EaglesLet me start off by saying something. Ezekiel Elliott is by far, the best pure runner this league has right now. And even though he led the league in rushing yards last year, he never had 200 rushing yards in a single game.

After one season of playing pro football, that is about to change. With the Cowboys going up against such a good pass defense, the key to the game will be controlling the clock. That means Ezekiel Elliott will be fed.

Tired of the off-the-field drama, Zeke burns some steam running for more than 200 yards today against the Broncos.

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Wish #5: A Safety Helps With An INT

A week ago, in order to remind Ben McAdoo who is playing CB for Dallas, Anthony Brown picked off Eli Manning. Now would be a fitting time to let the world know who the Cowboys’ safeties are.

Anyone who knows football knows Byron Jones is a good player. He has only one interception on his career (which came on a Hail Mary pass), but he is still the second most important player on this defense, behind Sean Lee.

Byron Jones could make a statement by intercepting a Trevor Siemian pass.

Jeff Heath has had his share of interceptions wearing a Cowboys uniform. It would be nice to see him get one more, this time as a starter.

Pass rush, CB play and S play would make for a great day for this Dallas Cowboys team.

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Cowboys Nation Bonus Wishlist!

We’ll be doing this weekly here on Inside The Star, so if you have any wishes you’d like to see on this series, make sure to tweet them at me!

✭The Landry Trophy✭ on Twitter

@PepoR99 2 defensive turnovers.

The Landry Trophy here has a very good wish. Let’s root for a combo and include the safety pick I mentioned before… or let’s just root for any kind of turnover and the win. Maybe that’s easier.

Christopher Wätjen on Twitter

@PepoR99 Chaz Green staying healthy La’el Collins holding his own in pass protection

Love Christopher’s wish. We all want to see Chaz Green remaining healthy. If he does that, he is a quality LG.

SadClownFace on Twitter

@PepoR99 @SingForTheDay Zeke. 200 yards.

They say great minds think alike, and Bobby called the 200 yards for Zeke before reading this article. Zeke shall be fed, then.

Tell me what you think about “Dallas Cowboys Wishlist At Denver Broncos” 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!


I love to write, I love football and I love the Dallas Cowboys. I’ve been rooting for America’s team all the way from Mexico ever since I can remember. If you want to talk football, I’m in… You’ll find me at @PepoR99.

  • TreFKennedy88

    Good article

    • Mauricio Rodriguez

      Thank you! We’ll be doing this weekly. If you have any wishes for next game, make sure to tweet them @PepoR99 and I’ll include them!

Game Notes

Takeaway Tuesday: Awuzie and Lewis Impress, Concerns Around Dez Bryant

Mauricio Rodriguez



Takeaway Tuesday: Awuzie and Lewis Impress, Concerns Around Dez Bryant

The Dallas Cowboys headed to New York a couple of days ago with a mission: survive a potential trap game versus a 2-10 New York Giants team. Despite not getting most of the help they needed from other teams around the league, at least Dallas was able to do the job they could control.

Through three quarters, the Cowboys struggled a lot. It wasn’t until the fourth quarter when they decided to have a touchdown party, outscoring the Giants 20-0 in the final eight minutes of the game.

What did we learn from the Cowboys’ seventh win of the season? Here is this week’s edition of Takeaway Tuesday! 

Dak Prescott Bounced Back

Although the Cowboys are a team that’s barely breathing in the playoff race, the truth is there’re a lot of ways that Dak has improved as a QB. It’s easy to look at a team lose football games and blame the QB without hesitating. That’s been the case most of the season.

It’s fair to say that Prescott hadn’t had an awesome game in a long time, though. But this time, he did just that.

Film Room: How Dak Prescott Beat The Giants' Blitz

Dak Prescott needed a performance like this one. He threw for 332 yards and three touchdowns last Sunday. He made some key throws and key reads during the game and managed to beat the Giants’ blitz with ease. Glad to see you hush the haters, 4.

Certainly a good thing to see when you need to go 3-0 in order to stay in the postseason conversation.

Concerns Around Dez Bryant Continue to Increase

Listen, I love Dez Bryant. He’s been one of my favorite players to ever watch. But at some point, you have to start admitting there is a problem. Yes, Dez Bryant has been struggling this season. Whether you want to blame Dak or Dez about it, it’s fair. I think they both are to blame.

The thing about Dez is that he can have quite a few bad plays and makes you forget about it when he  does something awesome. A perfect example of this is his 50-yard TD against the Giants last Sunday. It came at a perfect moment, but he had dropped some easy balls earlier in the game.

Dez – Streamable

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Dez is getting paid like an elite WR, and despite some great moments on the field, he’s been having a lot of bad ones lately. If you have a $70M contract, you can’t frequently drop passes like that.

It may be about chemistry with his new QB, it may be about age, or it may be just about a couple of bad years for the guy. Whatever it is, as much as we hate to say it, Dez isn’t anywhere close to the “top receivers” conversation this year.

Sean Lee Proved to be Invaluable Once Again

Less Is More For Sean Lee And Cowboys' LBs?I’m constantly amazed by the difference the Cowboys’ veteran linebacker makes when he’s on the field. In his heroic return against the Giants, he finished the day with 18 total tackles, 10 of which were solo. With Sean Lee on the field, this defense has been able to be a headache for opposing offenses.

Sean Lee could easily be this team’s MVP. For Cowboys Nation, it’s been a season of constantly missing football players in Dallas. Out of everyone, I think Sean Lee is the player we missed the most. Including Ezekiel Elliott.

This defense transforms into a very capable one with Lee around. The Cowboys need Zeke back if they want to have success in their hunt for the playoffs, but without Lee, they wouldn’t stand a chance.

Chidobe Awuzie, Jourdan Lewis Are Still Killing It

Coming into this game, one of the biggest question marks was the cornerback position for Dallas. Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis were going to get the start, and there’s always uncertainty around rookies going up against a QB like Eli Manning.

lewis – Streamable

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Look at that coverage by Jourdan Lewis. Look at him turn his head around when the ball’s coming. The way this secondary will grow is exciting to think about. The Cowboys have something special in these two guys. They’ll make for an amazing CB duo for years to come, and I’m excited about what they bring to the table.

Chidobe Awuzie has played the last two games, and he’s been very impressive. Throughout the entire game, his converge was pretty impressive. Eli only targeted him 5 times in the ballgame and was able to complete just two passes against him.

Sean Lee ended up with the interception late in the fourth quarter, but it was perfectly set up by Chidobe Awuzie.

Awuzie – Streamable

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It was a very fun fourth quarter for the Dallas Cowboys, and even though it looks difficult… this football team’s playoff hopes are still alive. Jason Garrett must keep this team focused in the Oakland Raiders for now, though.

Hope dies last, Cowboys Nation. Keep your head up.

Tell me what you think about “Takeaway Tuesday: Awuzie and Lewis Impress, Concerns Around Dez Bryant” 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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Game Notes

Forget Elliott For Now, Cowboys Must Focus On Raiders

Kevin Brady



Despite looking dead to rights just two weeks ago, back to back wins have put the Dallas Cowboys into the playoff hunt with just three games remaining.

In order to even have a chance at sneaking in as the sixth seed, Dallas will need to win each of its remaining games to finish 10-6. In some ways, the playoffs started two weeks ago when Dallas took on the Washington Redskins. But even though this Sunday’s contest is another must-win, elimination game for the Cowboys, it’s also a classic “trap” or “look ahead” game as well.

Before the season started, most expected the Oakland Raiders to be competing for AFC supremacy. Like the Cowboys, Oakland bursted onto the scene in 2016 with a young quarterback, a dynamic offense, and an exciting roster. But, like the Cowboys, they have faltered a bit this season due to underperforming stars, injuries, and a somewhat undermanned defensive unit.

The Raiders are now 6-7, and while still alive in the AFC West race, saw their best shot at overtaking the division go up in a smoke last Sunday as they were demolished by the Kansas City Chiefs.

Simply put, the Raiders are not a very good football team right now. And though this will be a road game for the Cowboys, it is one they should win if they are truly a playoff team. In fact, it’s one they have to win if they want to keep their slim playoff chances alive.

The reason why this could potentially be a “trap” game of sorts is who the Cowboys are scheduled to play after traveling to Oakland. A team who has been a perennial playoff contender in the NFC, and a team directly in front of the Cowboys in the current NFC standings – the Seattle Seahawks.

Not only will that Seattle game be massively important to the Cowboys if they can sneak out of Oakland with a victory, it will also feature the return of star running back Ezekiel Elliott from his six game suspension.

December 24th will be a huge day in Dallas if the Cowboys can get to 8-6 this week, but they can ill-afford to look ahead to that potentially important showdown with the Seahawks. Because if they do and the Raiders upset them at the home in primetime, the Cowboys season will end before Elliott even gets the chance to come back.


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Game Notes

Film Room: How Dak Prescott Beat The Giants’ Blitz

Kevin Brady



Film Room: How Dak Prescott Beat The Giants' Blitz

While much of Sunday’s victory over the New York Giants featured some ugly football from the Dallas Cowboys, the team continued to fight until completing a 20 point route of their division rivals.

Of course, stars emerged on both the offense and the defense throughout the game. Rod Smith had a breakout day, Dez Bryant made a couple of “vintage” plays, and Sean Lee returned to health and led the defense to a fantastic performance.

But as we all know, quarterbacks make the world go ’round. And no matter how great the other pieces play, it’s hard to win football games unless you can maintain high level quarterback play.

Dak Prescott returned to that high level against the Giants on Sunday.

Even if Prescott is missing throws or having accuracy issues, he had never lost his composure or made the wrong reads until that Atlanta Falcons debacle. I really believe that Dak lost faith in his protection, began abandoning clean pockets, and ended up having a few bad games in a row.

All seems right with Prescott now, as he threw for over 300 yards and three touchdowns during the Cowboys’ big win. The area he was most impressive, was with those reads – specifically against the blitz.

dalvsnyg dak to dez td – Streamable

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On his first touchdown pass of the game, Dak Prescott beats the blitz perfectly. Just before snapping the ball, Prescott notices the safety roll down into the box. You can see him subtly move his arm to point out the safety, while calling it out to his linemen as well.

As soon as he gets the snap, Dak knows exactly where to go. The Giants tried to beat him with a delayed safety blitz, but once that safety comes, Prescott knows he has Dez Bryant in man coverage on the perimeter.

His eyes immediately snap that way, and his throw replaces the blitzer quickly. This allows Bryant to do the rest, and the Cowboys to tie the game.

dalvsnyg 17 cole beasley – Streamable

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Later in the game we see more of the same from Dak Prescott. With the game tied at 10 the Cowboys faced a critical third down backed up in their own territory. The Giants once again show blitz, bring the  blitz, and Dak burns them for it.

The Giants show man coverage across the board pre-snap, with safety Landon Collins on the near hash. Cole Beasley is in the near-slot, and while he technically has a man over him directly, the Giants show 2-over-1 in the slot pre-snap. This usually tips off a blitz, as the Giants plan to bring their slot defender off the edge, and allow Landon Collins to cover Beasley one on one.

Prescott notices this pre-snap once again, and makes the defense pay. He quickly replaces the blitzer with his throw, allowing Beasley to make the easy catch underneath and then do the rest after the catch.

This may not seem all the difficult to do to those analyzing the game the next morning, but these reads indicate high level quarterback-ing from the Cowboys’ franchise leader, Dak Prescott.

Last season against the Giants, their defense was able to bring more than the Cowboys could block on key third downs a few times. Too often, Prescott and the passing offense could not beat those blitzes.

That was not the case this week at all.


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