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#DALvsSEA The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Brian Martin

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Cowboys Headlines - #DALvsSEA The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

The Dallas Cowboys came up short Thursday night against the Seattle Seahawks for their third "dress rehearsal" preseason game. The Seahawks outscored the Cowboys 27-17, but it was tied up at 10 apiece at half time when the Cowboys still had the majority of their starters still playing.

The Cowboys went into a hostile environment and came away defeated, but not discouraged. Of course, there were plenty of ups and downs, but overall I thought they performed better than expected, especially after the scare to quarterback Tony Romo.

I decided it would be fun to share with you the good, the bad, and the ugly aspects of the game against the Seattle Seahawks, and then see if you agree with me or not. By the way, that is a Clint Eastwood movie reference in case you missed it.

The Good

Cowboys Headlines - #DALvsSEA The Good, The Bad, The Ugly 1

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Ezekiel Elliott:

Ezekiel Elliott finally made his NFL debut for the Dallas Cowboys and although it was a small sample size, he was everything that was advertised. Elliott just played 15 snaps but finished with seven carries for 48 rushing yards and an impressive 6.9 yards per carry.

Zeke showed his speed, elusiveness, decisiveness, and power. He even had a tremendous block in pass protection against a blitzing linebacker on the play that Romo was injured.

Overall, Elliott had an impressive debut against a tough Seahawks defense. If this is any indication of the type of player he will be in 2016, the running game for the Dallas Cowboys should be outstanding.

Dak Prescott:

Dak Prescott might not have put up the jaw-dropping numbers that he did in the first two preseason games, but I thought that the outing he had against the Seahawks was even more impressive.

The Seahawks have had one of the top defenses over the past several seasons and even though Prescott was forced into the game earlier than expected, he handled himself extremely well.

He was able to stay poised in the pocket against the Seahawks pass rush and complete passes downfield against one of the better secondaries in the NFL. He ended the night  completing 17 of 23 passes for 161 yards and one touchdown.

The Bad

Cowboys Headlines - #DALvsSEA The Good, The Bad, The Ugly 2

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Pass Rush:

If Thursday night was any indication of what the Dallas Cowboys pass rush will look like, then the 2016 season will be extremely tough for the rest of defense.

Russell Wilson and Trevone Boykin had forever and a day to scan the field and find the open receiver thanks to the nonexistent pass rush for the Dallas Cowboys. The defense didn't sack any of the Seahawks QB's the entire night, which is really depressing considering the Minnesota Vikings had four sacks last week against the same Seahawks team.

This is one of the biggest concerns heading into the Week 1 match up against the New York Giants and the Cowboys organization has to find some sort of solution to put more pressure on the opposing QB. Otherwise, the rest of the defense will suffer as a result.

The pass rush for the Dallas Cowboys is just bad. Plain and simple.

The Ugly

Cowboys Headlines - #DALvsSEA The Good, The Bad, The Ugly 3Tony Romo:

Just three plays into the game it looked as if our worst nightmares had come true and Tony Romo would once again put the Dallas Cowboys in between a rock and a hard place due to an injury. Fortunately, it looks to be a relatively mild injury and shouldn't put his Week 1 availability in jeopardy.

I don't know what your reaction was to seeing Romo immediately reach for his back and lay on the ground in agony, but I for one was muttering words under my breath that cannot and should not be mentioned here.

Unfortunately, it's just another reminder of Romo's importance to the team and the frailty of an NFL player's body who is heading toward the end of their career. We don't know as of yet if that is the worst hit he will take throughout the season, but it was definitely scary nonetheless.

Tony Romo almost landed in the bad category, but ultimately found his place in the ugly category because it was just that. From the hit, to seeing Romo laying on the ground, and eventually seeing him walk off the field. Everything about this situation was just UGLY!

Do you Agree or Disagree?

Please feel free to use the comment section below to share with us your thoughts and opinions on this topic.



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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BREAKING: Dallas Cowboys Sign Free Agent Safety George Iloka

Jess Haynie

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George Iloka

The Dallas Cowboys have reached a one-year agreement with Safety George Iloka, according to ESPN's Todd Archer. Iloka spent 2018 with the Vikings after six years with the Bengals.

He's started 79 of his 99 career games since being a fifth-round pick by Cincinnati in 2012. Iloka turns 29 years old next week.

Todd Archer on Twitter

The Cowboys have agreed to a one-year deal with safety George Iloka, according to a source. Iloka met with the Cowboys on Friday and was the third safety to meet with the club during the week along with Clayton Geathers and Eric Berry. The Cowboys have... https://t.co/JB5nJLWepc

This isn't the safety that most Cowboys fans wanted. After over a year of pining for Earl Thomas, sights turned to Eric Berry after his free agent visit in Dallas last week.

However, it makes sense that Iloka would be attractive to the Cowboys. At 6'4" and 225 lbs, he fits the physical mold of what Defensive Backs Coach Kris Richard likes in his players. He also is younger than than Berry and Thomas without the same recent injury issues.

Iloka becomes one of many Boise St. products on Dallas' roster, joining Tyrone Crawford, DeMarcus Lawrence, Leighton Vander Esch, and others. He entered the league with college teammates Crawford and Kellen Moore, the Cowboys' new offensive coordinator, in 2012.

We'll have to wait and see how George Iloka fits into the current mix at safety with Jeff Heath and Xavier Woods. He spent most of 2018 as a backup with Minnesota, but Dallas will likely give him a chance to start.



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What to Expect from Dallas Cowboys Wide Receiver Group in 2019

John Williams

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Amari Cooper

In a span of a week, the Dallas Cowboys have solidified their wide receiver group with the resigning of Tavon Austin to a one year deal and the signing of former Green Bay Packers Wide Receiver Randall Cobb. Despite the loss of Cole Beasley, the Cowboys have a created a really good group of receivers for Quarterback Dak Prescott to throw to.

Cobb joins a really nice group of players that includes incumbent starters on the outside in Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup as well as solid depth players in Austin, Allen Hurns, and Noah Brown. Throw in Cedric Wilson, the Dallas Cowboys sixth round pick from the 2018 NFL Draft and the Cowboys may have one of the deeper receiving corps in the NFL.

The question is, how will the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff delineate the roles?

Let's take a look.

Outside Receivers

As I mentioned before, the Dallas Cowboys are returning their top two options on the outside in Amari Cooper, who is the X wide receiver and Michael Gallup, the Z receiver. Both players will go into week one as the starters at their respective positions in two-wide receiver formations.

Despite some of the overthrows from Dak Prescott to Michael Gallup, Gallup had a really nice rookie season and got better as the year went along, even leading the Cowboys in receiving in the playoff loss to the Los Angeles Rams. In that game, Gallup recorded the first 100 yard game of his career. Sure, it was in an attempt to comeback by the Dallas Cowboys, but it is impressive nonetheless. His touchdown catch against the Seattle Seahawks the week before was clutch. The Cowboys needed that to take the lead at the end of the first half. 2018 was only the beginning for Michael Gallup. He showed an ability to win with a full offseason to work with Dak Prescott, their chemistry and connection should only improve.

As for Cooper, his presence was felt right away as the offense just looked different once he stepped on the field. It's no coincidence that Dak Prescott's two best career games in terms of passing yardage came with Cooper in 2018. He's such a threat that he opens up space for the rest of the wide receiver group. His route running, speed, ability to run after the catch make him a threat to score any time he's targeted.

Behind Cooper and Gallup, you have options in the event that one of them gets hurt. Allen Hurns, Tavon Austin, and Noah Brown are all players who took snaps on the outside for the Dallas Cowboys in 2018 and did so with effectiveness. Hurns best game of the year came just before the Cooper deal was made as he went for five receptions for 75 yards.

Tavon provided down field speed on several occasions and provides some gadget quality that the Dallas Cowboys love to have. Noah Brown is a player that the Dallas Cowboys love to deploy as a blocker in the running game. While it looked like he might get more run in the passing game in 2019, the depth additions will limit him again to a specialty role. If needed, though, he could be an option to take snaps on the outside as his big frame allows him to box out defensive backs down the field.

There will be snaps on the outside for someone when the Cowboys go to 11 personnel, because of Amari Cooper's ability to slide into the slot.

Slot Receiver

Obviously, the writing is on the wall with who the Dallas Cowboys are planning on deploying in the slot as things stand right now, and that's Randall Cobb.

While Cobb should be penciled in as the starter in the slot, I doubt that he's going to get 100% of the snaps there in 11 or 10 personnel groupings. Amari Cooper, Allen Hurns, Tavon Austin, Noah Brown, and Cedric Wilson could all push for playing time from the slot.

Last month, I wrote a piece about Allen Hurns and his effectiveness in the slot and why the Cowboys should feature him there. With Cobb coming off an injury laden season, the Cowboys would be wise to give some snaps to Hurns along with Tavon Austin.

In Jacksonville, Hurns was incredibly effective from the slot running posts, slants, and ins and outs. His size and route running made him an effective mismatch against linebackers, safeties, and cornerbacks alike. Remember, it wasn't long ago that Hurns had a 1,000 yard season with Blake Bortles at the helm.

Tavon Austin's quickness is an asset that could be very effective in the slot as well. Though he lacks size, he's a player that opposing defenses have to account for because of his ability to make big plays once the ball's in his hands.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

The Cowboys haven't been shy about carrying seven wide receivers on their 53-man rosters and it's possible, though unlikely that they could do it again in 2018. As things stand now, I see Noah Brown and Cedric Wilson as the potential odd men out. Of course, this could all get reshuffled if the Dallas Cowboys use a top 100 pick on a wide receiver in the draft.

With Amari Cooper, Allen Hurns, Tavon Austin, and Randall Cobb only under contract through the 2019 season, the Dallas Cowboys would be wise to invest at the position despite the strength of the position in 2019.



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Report: Dallas Cowboys Set to Meet with Safety George Iloka

John Williams

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Why Cowboys Should Acquire Recently Released S George Iloka

As the Dallas Cowboys continue the process of building a roster capable of taking them back to the playoffs, and hopefully to a Super Bowl, this next season, they’re bringing in another safety to try and strengthen their top 10 defense. This time it’s free agent safety George Iloka, formerly of the Minnesota Vikings.

Per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Dallas Cowboys are set to meet with

Ian Rapoport on Twitter

The #Cowboys are hosting former #Vikings and #Bengals safety George Iloka for a visit tomorrow, source said. They're still looking to add in the secondary.

It will be the third meeting this week that they’ve had with a veteran safety after hosting recently resigned Indianapolis’s colts Safety Clayton Geathers and former Kansas City Chiefs Safety Eric Berry.

The Cowboys feel really good about Xavier Woods at safety, but definitely could use some depth at the position as they head toward the 2019 NFL Draft.

Iloka is coming off a season where he was relegated to a reserve role for the Vikings. In five of the last six seasons, Iloka’s played all 16 games, and the one season he didn’t, he played 12. He has nine career interceptions, and has three seasons with more than 70 total tackles.

Back in August of last year, Brian Martin argued that the Dallas Cowboys should pursue Iloka after being released by the Cincinnati Bengals. He would play the strong or box safety role in the Cowboys defense if they were to come to an agreement.

Stay tuned for more Free Agency coverage from us here at InsideTheStar.com.



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