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Game Notes

Dallas Cowboys Wishlist VS Washington Redskins

Mauricio Rodriguez



With playoff contention at play, the 5-6 Cowboys will host the 5-6 Redskins for a classic NFC East match. For both teams, this is a “make-or-break” kind of game. With the Cowboys coming from three straight blowout losses, the expectations for this football team aren’t as high as one would like them to be.

Instead of arguing if the Cowboys can be Super Bowl contenders, the discussion among Cowboys Nation‘s members revolves around firing coaches, pointing fingers at players and more.

That’s why, as every game day, I share with you my Cowboys Wishlist. Let’s try to take our minds off of the coaching staff, the injured players and more by hoping these wishes come true.

If you have any wishes yourself, don’t hesitate to use the comments section below to share them with Cowboys Nation!  

Wish #1: Keep Hope Alive

Every week, the main wish is to get the W. But now, it’s more about just winning a football game. The Dallas Cowboys were supposed to be one of the best teams in the NFL. But through 13 weeks, they have a losing record and need a win to stay alive.

Dez Bryant, Jason Witten

Before, I’m sure Cowboys Nation’s would have high hopes on this team’s chances of turning things around. Today though, that may not be the case.

I wish someway, somehow, the Cowboys come out tonight ready to surprise everyone by putting on a show and beating the Washington Redskins.

Wish #2: Chidobe Awuzie Gets an INT

Will Chidobe Awuzie's Return Benefit The Cowboys' Defense?Earlier this week, it was announced that Anthony Brown was being demoted. The sophomore cornerback was one of the Cowboys’ starting CBs, and after an impressive rookie season, we expected it to remain that way.

However, Brown has had a rough year as he’s been burned by a lot of WRs throughout the year. So now, it may be second-round pick Chidobe Awuzie’s time to shine.

After dealing with an injury at the start of the season, Chido is now healthy and he’ll surely get his chance to prove himself tonight. With a lot more changes coming to the secondary, I wish Awuzie gets away with an interception, giving every Cowboys fan out there a taste of what he can do.

Bonus Wish: Anthony Brown may have been disappointing as CB1, but what if he gets back on track by being tried on different spots of the secondary? Now, that would be awesome.

Wish #3: Rod Smith Gets More Carries and Scores Again

Has RB Rod Smith Emerged As Ezekiel Elliott's Primary Backup?The Cowboys have barely been able to score points without super star running back Ezekiel Elliott. Last week, Rod Smith was able to score a TD against the Chargers as he was handed the ball nine times by QB Dak Prescott.

After releasing Darren McFadden, the battle for the back-up running back position in Dallas is all between Alfred Morris and Rod Smith.

Personally, I’m a fan of Smith. I really think he’s got more upside and potential than Morris, and I like the idea of him becoming a long-term back-up for Zeke down the road.

Hopefully, with a coaching staff desperate to make some changes, Smith will get more opportunities to shine, maybe even score another touchdown. I wish he does.

Wish #4: Dak Bounces Back

Cowboys Vs Eagles: The Hope That Dak Prescott Provides

Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

No one is safe from this 2017 season. Not even Dak Prescott. Naturally, he’s being slandered by a large portion of NFL fans. Earlier this week, Brian Martin wrote about how this team could get Dak back on track.

Without Zeke, it is imperative to see 4 back at it again. He’ll need a lot of help from his teammates, specially since Byron Bell is expected to start at RT.

While many fans are quick to judge Dak’s short throws on third-and-long downs, the truth is these receivers are not getting open. I get that Prescott is to blame for a lot of things, but it’s not all on him.

I wish that not only Dak Prescott gets back on track, but the whole passing game becomes effective once again.

Wish #5:  Dan Bailey Splits The Uprights

Last Thursday, we were excited to see Tyron Smith, Anthony Hitchens and Dan Bailey active to play versus the Los Angeles Chargers. But even though he was out there, we didn’t get to see any field goal or extra point attempt by the most accurate kicker in NFL history.

Cowboys Headlines - Cowboys at Redskins: Team Itinerary and Broadcast Information 2

Dallas Cowboys K Dan Bailey (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Hopefully, we get the chance to see 5 do his thing and kick FGs making it like the easiest thing on Earth today.

Not only would it mean that Automatic Bailey is officially back, but also that Dallas is scoring points and is actually in the game and not getting blown-out again.

Tell me what you think about “Dallas Cowboys Wishlist VS Washington Redskins” 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.

  • Randy Martin

    Playoffs! Don’t talk about playoffs! Are you kiddin me? Playoffs! I just hope we can win a friggin game! Said in my most nasal, high-pitched Jim Mora voice!

  • Randy Martin

    I wish that Rod Smith will have 20+ carries! His running style can wear down a defense and if he gets that many carries it likely means that Dallas is leading and not relying on Dak to win with his arm. The Cowboys have a tendency to favor seniority and longevity and ride that too long. At this point in his career, I think Smith is an upgrade over Alf. Yeah, Morris has had some decent runs but they are ultimately not taking us into the end zone. Let’s see what Rod can do.

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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