The Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants game was everything that I expected. I knew we would see a hard-fought battle by both ball clubs and that the outcome would ultimately be determined in the final few plays.
That just seems to be the way things go when these two teams face off against one another. Unfortunately, things just didn't go the Cowboys way this time.
In all honesty, I think the Cowboys should have probably won this game, and that has nothing to do with how things ended with Terrance Williams in the final seconds of the game.
A lot of people will lay the blame on what Williams did at the end of the game, but the truth is the Cowboys offense had several opportunities to get in the end zone instead of having to settle for field goals.
It isn't really fair to lay the blame on one individual player when you take into account that this is a team sport. The fact of the matter is the Cowboys had their opportunities they were just unable to capitalize when it mattered the most.
Having said all of that, let's take a look at who's stock is up and who's is down after the loss to the New York Giants.
Who stock is up?
The Dallas Cowboys have a tremendous weapon in Dan Bailey. He was the sole reason why the Cowboys were in a position to win the game at the end.
How many teams are in the league would love to have a kicker like Bailey?
Someone they can send out on the field to attempt a 56 yard field goal and have the faith that it is pretty much a guarantee that he will make it.
That is exactly what the Dallas Cowboys have in Dan Bailey and the sole reason why they had a chance at the end if there would have been even a second left on the clock.
When it comes to making clutch plays in key situations, it seems that's when offensive coordinator Scott Linehan dials up a play that puts Cole Beasley a best position to convert.
Beasley is a mismatch problem for just about any defensive back in the NFL that has the unfortunate task of covering him out of the slot. His quickness and route running ability makes him virtually unrecoverable, which makes him the quarterback's best friend.
I previously wrote an article about who benefits most with Dak Prescott at QB,in which I explained why Cole Beasley is the answer.
Beasley made some key third-down conversions and should of had a walk-in touchdown if not for an overthrow pass by Dak Prescott. I expect more of the same from Beasley for the rest of the 2016 season.
Dak Prescott did everything in his power to help the Dallas Cowboys come away with a victory Sunday afternoon against the New York Giants.
He was able to put together several long clock eating drives against the Giants defense, but was unable to finish them off with a touchdown.
He showed the poise in the pocket of a veteran QB and was able to work through his progressions finding the open receiver.
He did have a few overthrown passes, but was pretty accurate for the majority of the night.
Prescott seems to be the real deal and didn't make any rookie mistakes. That's good news for the Dallas Cowboys organization. He gives them a chance to win ball games and could possibly be the future franchise quarterback once Tony Romo calls it quits.
Who stock is down?
Was it just me or was anyone else confused by the way Dez Bryant was used in this ballgame?
I would've thought that the coaching staff would have gotten Bryant involved early with may be a few short passes to help set the tone for the offense, but that didn't happen.
He was only targeted a handful of times and those were mostly deep passes that put him in a jump ball situation. Normally, he's able to make those contested catches, but unfortunately things didn't go his way against the Giants.
That's why Bryant's stock is down. I don't know if it's that he still a little rusty or the fact the coaching staff failed to put him in more favorable situations.
It is something that is definitely worth paying attention to as the season progresses.
Terrance Williams makes this list because the only time he really showed up in the game was the reason why a lot of Cowboys fans were left screaming at their television yesterday.
Mistakes happen in the NFL, but unfortunately Williams' mistake might have cost the Cowboys a win yesterday in the final seconds of the game against the Giants.
It looked as if Williams had enough room to make it to the sideline and stop the clock, thus giving Dan Bailey the opportunity to kick another 50+ field goal. For some reason or another he thought he had enough time to get up the field and gain a little bit more yards, but unfortunately that just wasn't the case.
Who knows what was running through his head? He made a split-second decision and unfortunately it was just the wrong one.
It was fairly obvious that the New York Giants were going to do their best to take Ezekiel Elliott out of the game, but I was really surprised that they would be so effective.
It's not entirely Elliott's fault, but I think his stock is down slightly more due to the fact that Alfred Morris looked like the better of the two running backs Sunday afternoon.
Honestly, I think Scott Linehan could've put Elliott in better situations to showcase his skill set, but that didn't happen, thus Elliott's stock falling a little bit.
Hopefully, things will come together and we will see improvement for the rest of the 2016 season.
Do you agree or disagree with the Dallas Cowboys players on this list?
Please feel free to use the comment section below to share your thoughts and opinions on this topic.
BREAKING: Cowboys TE Rico Gathers Receives One-Game Suspension
Tight End Rico Gathers already had an uphill climb to return to the Dallas Cowboys' 53-man roster in 2019. But that climb just got even steeper; the NFL handed down a one-game suspension to Gathers today for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy.
If he does make the team this year, with Dallas or anyone else, Rico will have to sit out Week One of the season without pay.
Cowboys TE Rico Gathers is suspended without pay for the first game of the 2019 regular season for violating the NFL's policy and program on substances of abuse. This is from his arrest in 2018 for marijuana possession.
Gathers' chances of returning in 2019 were already hurt by Jason Witten's reversed retirement. He dropped to fourth on the TE depth chart behind Witten, Blake Jarwin, and Dalton Schultz, and Dallas only kept three tight ends last year.
The Cowboys also added Codey McElroy as a developmental player during the offseason.
While the suspension is news, the incident that led to it is not. Dallas already knew about the arrest, which occurred in early September of 2018, and have kept Gathers around up until now.
The NFL's substance abuse system is pretty formulaic, so the Cowboys likely anticipated this suspension all along. This may not change anything about how they value Rico Gathers for the 2019 season.
Nevertheless, a player who can't help you in Week One and is a liability for ever longer suspensions down the road is definitely a red flag against Gathers' job security.
Antwaun Woods: Cowboys DT is Just Getting Started
Antwaun Woods went undrafted in 2016 coming out of USC. After two years with the Tennessee Titans, he would only see one game of action. In May of 2018, the Cowboys signed Woods to a two-year contract worth 1.05 million. Probably seen as nothing more than a practice squad guy, Woods would quickly show he was much more than that.
The newly acquired Woods started his climb to stardom in Oxnard during training camp, and not for making plays. One day during practice he got into a friendly game of fisticuffs with All-Pro Center Travis Frederick. The team even posted the video on social media, which had fans buzzing and wanting to know who he was.
All-Pro Running Back Ezekiel Elliott echoed those thoughts when he saw Woods during camp. "Honestly, when we first got him, we were like, 'Who is this guy?'. He was giving Travis Frederick, one of our best players, hell all camp. Just trying to figure out where this guy came from," Elliott said.
Once the regular season started it was clear the Cowboys had found a hidden gem. Although the sack numbers won't dazzle you, seeing as he only registered 1.5, you could forget about running the ball anywhere near him. Woods has amazing quickness for a 300 pounder which allows him to extend his arms before offensive lineman can get a hand on him.
How significant is that? It becomes that much easier to bull rush and blow running plays up in the backfield.
When you can get your hands on an offensive lineman immediately when the ball is snapped, he's basically under your control. You can move him around like a puppet on a string. Essential for a 1-technique nose tackle. With that being said, there should be no surprise the Cowboys finished fifth against the run in 2018 with Woods manning the middle.
Woods draws a lot of double teams, and he handles them well. Having the ability to take on multiple linemen frees up your other playmakers. As the anchor in the middle, Woods made life a lot easier for not only his fellow defensive linemen but the team's two young star Linebackers Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch. Allowing them to roam freely like Lions in the Serengeti makes running backs essentially Zebra's carrying the ball, cooked food. So much so that both tallied over 120 tackles and were the only teammates in the NFL to rank in the top 15 in that category.
There's nothing but upside with Antwaun Woods. He's only had 18 games of experience in three years. He's already a stud, but with limited snaps, it can only mean he'll be even more formidable going forward.
The Cowboys have a loaded defensive lineman group with around 15 bodies, plenty of competition. All signs point to him remaining the starter, but it's not guaranteed. Even with that being said I don't expect a complacency from Woods, especially with DeMarcus Lawrence and Robert Quinn looking like the only sure starters on the defensive line. Plus this is a contract year for him, so you know he'll be even more motivated as he tries to maximize his dollars. We've only seen the tip of the iceberg from this raw talent, setting up for a potential breakout year for him in 2019.
Cedrick Wilson: Cowboys WR Could Shine After a Year Off
The departure of Cole Beasley to Buffalo via free agency in March left a hole at the slot receiver position in Dallas. The team signed veteran Randall Cobb about a week later, but only to a one year deal. Names like Tavon Austin and Allen Hurns along with Cobb are looked at as the replacement for Beasley but don't forget about Cedrick Wilson.
Selected in the sixth round in 2018, Wilson was coming off an impressive and highly productive two-year career at Boise State. Tallying 139 receptions for 2,640 yards and 18 touchdowns in just 26 games.
When OTA's began last season, the rookie was already turning heads with his route running, ability to create separation and athleticism, but unfortunately, disaster happened not long afterward. Wilson would suffer a shoulder injury that placed him on injured reserve for 2018, the same shoulder he had issues with in college. A not so fairy tale beginning to an NFL career.
Although his time on the field was short-lived last summer, he definitely caught the eye of wide receivers coach Sanjay Lal.
"Ced's a savvy, smart football player. He picks things up really well. He applies them to the field. In terms of technique, he's one of the best if you watch him. His stance and start is really good. He comes off the ball with low pad level. He's eating up ground and then has a nack to make a big play over the top on a big post," Lal said.
Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and Randall Cobb make up a very formidable receiving core, and adding a healthy Wilson to that could work wonders. His experience on the outside and the slot gives offensive coordinator Kellen Moore plenty of options. Slot receivers are usually harder to bump off the line with the extra few yards of cushion they get, giving them more options route wise seeing as they can go inside or out a lot easier than outside receivers. That's where Wilson's supreme route running can come into play. Also, with his ability to separate on the outside and beat corners deep, you can play him opposite Amari Cooper and put Cobb in the slot with a combination of either Gallup, Austin or Hurns in a four-wide receiver set, the possibilities are endless.
A setback can be a blessing in disguise if approached in the right manner. Wilson hasn't let the year off derail his focus on what he's trying to do in Dallas.
"Coming back off the rehab was tough in general. But definitely a year of just seeing how everything goes, the speed is definitely slowing down. Just getting back in the playbook and learning from older guys of what I need to do and doing what the coaches expect of me," Wilson said.
The competition won't be easy for Wilson, though, as other young up and coming receivers are fighting for roster spots as well. UDFA's (Undrafted Free Agents) Jon'Vea Johnson and Jalen Guyton will also be fighting for snaps during mini-camp, with the former already making waves during OTA's. Reggie Davis has also turned a few heads in the summer, a fellow UDFA himself trying to find a home after bouncing around the league between four different teams since 2017.
It's all about health for Cedrick Wilson at this point. Can his shoulder hold up enough to allow his skill set to make a contribution to the Cowboys in 2019? The talent is there, along with the praises of his position coach, now it'll be interesting to see if this potential diamond in the rough can shine under the bright lights of AT&T Stadium.
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