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#DALvsDEN: Could Cowboys Embarrassing Loss Be A Blessing In Disguise?

Brian Martin

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#DALvsDEN: Could Cowboys Embarrassing Loss Be A Blessing In Disguise?

As a fan of the Dallas Cowboys, I was extremely disappointed in the entire team’s performance Sunday afternoon against the Denver Broncos. The Broncos dominated the entire game from start to finish and completely embarrassed a talented Cowboys team. But, this embarrassing loss for the Cowboys could actually end up being a blessing in disguise.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I was completely shocked with the lack of discipline and effort the majority of the game for the Dallas Cowboys. It’s a game that many of us would like to forget and soon. But, that doesn’t mean it can’t be a really good learning experience, especially for the younger players on the Cowboys roster. This is really the first taste of defeat many of them have experienced at the NFL level.

QB Dak Prescott, RB Ezekiel Elliott

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Take Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott for instance. Both players had fantastic rookie seasons to start their NFL careers. They were both in the conversation for NFL MVP, but neither player has had to bounce back from a game where they were thoroughly beaten like they will have to next week against the Arizona Cardinals. Everything has pretty much been smooth sailing, but they are now entering into uncharted waters.

Make no mistake. This Dallas Cowboys team is still young in a lot of areas and they still need time to gain that experience. How they perform next week against the Arizona Cardinals could help determine this teams fortitude and willingness to scratch and claw in order to come away with a victory.

I will be the first to go on record and say that I believe the Dallas Cowboys will bounce back against the Cardinals Monday night. I think the Cowboys were so embarrassed that they will rally and put their best foot forward, and they have the Denver Broncos to thank and I’ll tell you why.

Cowboys defense vs Broncos offenseThe Dallas Cowboys now know that they have to prepare themselves for the unknown. The Denver Broncos defense threw quite a few curveballs at the Cowboys offense and it noticeably caught them off guard. Fortunately, there really isn’t another defense on the schedule this season as talented as the Broncos, but Kansas City and Seattle are close.

I have no doubt my mind that the Cowboys offense will get things right. They are far too talented to be shut down like they were against the Broncos. I wouldn’t be surprised if they have some wrinkles of their own up their sleeve this week.

Also, the problems on defense are correctable. Injuries put the secondary in a tough situation, but it did allow some of the young CBs to gain some valuable in game experience. Jourdan Lewis to me played very well, despite missing the majority of the off-season because of injuries. He is going to be a player for the Cowboys and it might have to be sooner rather than later.

The majority of the problems on defense were due to poor tackling. I quit counting the number of times I saw defenders break down to make a tackle, only to let the offensive player slip through their grasp. You know you’re going to have problems on defense when Sean Lee is missing tackles.

Fortunately, that just comes down to fundamentals and I have no doubts defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli makes that a focal point in practices this week. Injuries on the other hand will simply have to be worked around. The aforementioned Lewis could play a key role this week against the Cardinals, but hopefully Chidobe Awuzie can overcome his minor hamstring injury and get back on the field.

All in all, there’s really no need to worry that the Dallas Cowboys team that played against the Denver Broncos Sunday is the same one we will see the rest of the season. I think we can just chalk it up to a bad game and hope that they can put it behind them. Unfortunately, we’re going to have to wait and see if that is indeed what happens.

Are you worried about the Dallas Cowboys?

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Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.

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7 Comments
  • Hobbes49

    Every team takes a severe beating at some point, the “Boys number just came up. The Cardinals game will tell us a lot about this team. If they don’t play like their hair is on fire after the beat down in Denver, I will be concerned. I am excited to see how the combination of Damontre Moore and Demarcus Lawrence look on Monday night. Carson Palmer is a statue, that could be a lot of fun.

    • Brian Martin

      I agree with everything you said. I’m expecting a bounce back game from everybody and hopefully it puts the entire Dallas Cowboys team on the right track for the remainder of the season.

  • Mr. Jaguar

    Brian I wholeheartedly agree with you. I too truly believe that the Broncos game was a wake up call for not only for the players but the coaching staff as well.

    Even the Cowboys teams of the 70’s and 90’s laid an egg on the road to winning the Lombardi Trophy.

    It will be interesting to see how well the Cowboys bounce back from the Woodshed Whooping that the Denver Broncos put on the team.

    I was witness the whopping in person last Sunday @ Mile High Stadium.
    Hopefully that will be used as a reminder and a teaching tool throughout the 2017 season that nothing is given but earned each week in the NFL. That was the second Cowboys game I witness and the Cowboys lost the first was in 1989 @ the old Texas Stadium the Thanksgiving game against the iggles. Jimmy Johnson 1st year.
    Monday can’t get here fast enough. I stii believe that this is the Cowboys year once everyone is back @ full strength.

  • Don

    Brian I could have written your post word for word. The news has been all over Zeke for his lack of eagerness to participate in that interception,but from what I saw both sides of the ball stunk pretty bad and fingers should be pointed at everyone not just particular individuals. I truly hope it is and plays as a wake up call and it’s the perfect time for it if any…A good showing in Arizona should right the ship..,!

  • Luis Rene Berrios Santiago

    Hi Brian, maybe it is me, but it seems that Dallas’ coaching staff is slow to adjust, if at all, to what the opponent is doing. I think it has been mentioned before. If the running game was being stopped, why not introduce other plays, screen or short passes, dink and donk if you like, to keep the chains moving and give guys confidence? It is frustrating to see the same plays over and over when they have not worked. On the defensive side, no question, it’s almost a brand new secondary all across the board, and they will need experience by fire. I hope they will gain confidence as the season progresses. I am not quitting on my team, there is plenty of football yet to be played. Go Cowboys.

  • Datschu

    Man… I hate to say this… but so far 2017 is going exactly the way I predicted it would as soon as they named dak permanent starter over romo…. I said … “dak will have a good rookie season, they’ll send off romo, and in 2017 dak will come crashing back down to earth and everyone will be mad they shipped off romo”….
    it’s only 2 games but hear me out…. has dak looked similar to the way he looked in 16?? NO! He’s pressing and also he’s not as accurate and again…. he’s not very good at throwing deep. Argue all you want but the tape doesn’t lie…
    Also… when was the last time you saw the cowboys have BACK TO BACK dominant seasons? As far back as I can remember… they have a great 11-12 win season followed up by a stinker… then a couple mediocre seasons followed up by a dominant season then immediately following that season… another stinker…. and the routine continues….
    I’m not disappointed by dak Prescott… I’m just not as enamored by him as most fans are…. I feel that for his current contract he’s a steal… but when this deal is up….

    I don’t think dak will have the career romo had… success wise… or the longevity in Dallas romo had….
    Which stinks because romo didn’t accomplish anything of significance in his career….

  • Datschu

    This Arizona game will tell us A BUTT TON about the mental make up and intestinal fortitude of this team… also about the effectiveness of this coaching staff….
    this game Monday really tells the future of this franchise in more ways than just a win or loss….
    Here it is cowboys fans. Let’s see how the team responds

Player News

La’el Collins’ Toughness And Availability Earning High Praise

Brian Martin

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La'el Collins' Toughness And Availability Earning High Praise 1

The decision by the Dallas Cowboys to move La’el Collins from left guard to right tackle was met by some skepticism by quite a few members of Cowboys Nation during the off-season. I’m not ashamed to admit that I was one of those skeptical of the move, but I’m not afraid to admit he has exceeded my expectations.

In all honesty, I always believed that La’el Collins’ best position in the NFL is on the interior of the offense of line as a guard. I thought he could use his strength and athleticism to his advantage when working in a phone booth against slower and less athletic defensive tackles. That’s not to say I didn’t think he would make a good right tackle, I just thought he had Pro Bowl potential as a guard.

Strangely enough, Collins has probably put together a Pro Bowl caliber season in his first season starting at the right tackle position for the Cowboys. He has become an upgrade over the previous starter Doug Free, and is really starting to earn high praise from the brass. Stephen Jones in particular has been impressed with Collins, especially considering how he has played after missing two full weeks of practice.

Mark Lane on Twitter

DallasCowboys COO Stephen Jones told @1053thefan La’el Collins has answered the bell after his contract extension.

I personally agree with everything Stephen Jones said about La’el Collins. I’ve really enjoyed watching his progression this season, but I have been really impressed how he played the last two weeks after missing so much practice.

You might not of known, but Collins has missed two full weeks of practice due to a herniated disc in his back. This is put his availability to play against the Washington Redskins and New York Giants in jeopardy, but somehow he has toughened up and played considerably well.

This unfortunately will be something he has to continue to battle through the rest of the season, but I’m not going to bet against him playing. He absolutely makes this offensive line better and I would hate to see Chaz Green or Byron Bell back on the field after the way they played as feel-ins.

La’el Collins has without a doubt earned my respect and I think it’s about time we all recognize the player he is turning into. I know the Dallas Cowboys appreciate all that he does and believe that his recent contract extension is money well spent.

What do you think about La’el Collins?

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Game Notes

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

Mauricio Rodriguez

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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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Dallas Cowboys

Playoffs Or Not, Cowboys Defense Showing Promise For Future

Sean Martin

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Playoffs Or Not, Cowboys Defense Showing Promise For Future 1

The New York Giants are not a good football team, but the Dallas Cowboys 30-10 win over the Giants in Eli Manning’s return to action left Cowboys Nation with plenty to be excited about as the team improved to 7-6.

In a stacked NFC, the Cowboys unfortunately did not get much help from scores elsewhere around the league Sunday, and the momentum they’ve built with two straight wins ahead of Ezekiel Elliott‘s return in week 16 has done little to improve their chances of reaching the playoffs.

The entire NFC East in 2017 has truly epitomized how quickly things can improve or fall apart in this league, as the Eagles clinching the title came at the cost of their franchise QB Carson Wentz – tearing his ACL to end his season.

Will Chidobe Awuzie's Return Benefit The Cowboys Defense?

Dallas Cowboys’ Jourdan Lewis (27), Chidobe Awuzie (33) and Xavier Woods (25) warm ups before an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, Oct. 8, 2017, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)

Through all of this, including my own criticism of Defensive Coordinator Rod Marinelli, I can’t help but get excited about the potential this young Dallas defense is showing. The Cowboys got back in the win column two weeks ago against the Redskins, shuffling their secondary with great results.

Adding Sean Lee back to this winning formula against the Giants brought things even further into focus for the Cowboys defense though. Schematically, they were cohesive through all three levels. The longest play the Giants hit on was a 35-yard completion (against the blitz) to Evan Engram – one of their lone remaining offensive threats.

When the Cowboys dropped three straight games in weeks 10-12, the defense was desperate for Dak Prescott and the offense to play up to their potential. Prescott’s career day at MetLife Stadium was perhaps the most unsurprising development from this week, as the Cowboys found out early in this season that Prescott is in fact their franchise QB, and soon the complimentary performance turned in by this scrappy defense will be just as regularly expected.

Will Chidobe Awuzie's Return Benefit The Cowboys' Defense?

Cornerbacks Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis continue to live up to their draft status, two lengthy defenders with ball skills that have not been seen in the Cowboys secondary for some time. Sixth round pick Xavier Woods has proved valuable at every spot these coaches play him at, contributing at Nickel CB against the Giants’ Sterling Shepard and looking comfortable.

Jeff Heath came up with an interception on what may have been Eli Manning’s last pass as a Giant against the Cowboys, and played well throughout the afternoon in his rotational role alongside Byron Jones.

At linebacker, Sean Lee’s 18 tackles with an interception only further highlighted how well Anthony Hitchens has played at the other primary LB spot. I wrote in my immediate post game Sean’s Scout that I also thought Jaylon Smith could have been utilized more in this game, but the fact that he’s played in 13 straight games for the Cowboys without additional injuries is incredible enough.

Simply put, the biggest reason the Cowboys have salvaged a shot at contending for the playoffs this season is because they’ve found a way to get back to playing complimentary football on offense and defense – even with some key absences on both sides of the ball.

The game plan is a proven one. When the Cowboys run the ball, control the clock, and allow their defense to play from ahead against hurried, one-dimensional offenses they can beat anyone.

Whether or not that means 10 wins to close this roller coaster of a season – good enough for the playoffs or not – the Cowboys are doing well to prove they’ll have staying power in the NFC for years to come.

This fate was very debatable a few weeks ago, and any team that commits to turning over their defense as much as the Cowboys did in one offseason should expect something of a regression, but the Cowboys’ future is now being written in front of us by young stars on offense and defense.

Playoffs Or Not, Cowboys Defense Showing Promise For Future

Getting more than three remaining kickoffs for guys like Awuzie, Lewis, Woods, Jaylon Smith, and Lewis Neal would certainly be ideal for the end of this season. Should the Cowboys miss out on the playoffs due to circumstances past their control though, we can all spend a few months getting very excited about what these defenders will have to say about taking matters into their own hands at the very next possible opportunity.

Tell us what you think about “Playoffs Or Not, Cowboys Defense Showing Promise For Future” in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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