The Dallas Cowboys didn’t come out and play as well as they could have last week against the New York Giants. A lot of individual players didn’t play up to our usual expectations and it had an impact on the outcome of the game.
That is why they failed to come away with a victory against the Giants and now they are not only 0-1 to kick off the season, but are 0-1 in the NFC East division.
This week against the Washington Redskins they could be looking at one of those must win games. Starting off the season 0-2 would be bad, but 0-2 in the division would be extremely difficult to bounce back from if they want to make a push for the playoffs in 2016.
Below are a few of the Dallas Cowboys that I believe need to improve individually if they expect to beat the division rival Washington Redskins this week on the road.
It’s no secret that Doug Free is the weak link on the Dallas Cowboys talented offensive line and unfortunately it showed against the New York Giants last week.
Jason Pierre Paul completely used and abused Free last Sunday and was one of the big reasons why the Cowboys running game failed to make an impact.
Free is 32 years old and has struggled to stay healthy over the last few seasons. That might just be the reason why he looks like a player in his decline.
Let’s just hope it was an off game for him and that he is able to improve this week against the Washington Redskins. Otherwise, it’s going to be a long season.
Much like Doug Free, La’el Collins vastly underperformed last Sunday afternoon against the New York Giants.
There were too many times that Collins failed to secure his block and was even driven back into the backfield last week.
There are a lot of people that believe Collins has the potential to be the Dallas Cowboys fourth Pro Bowl player along the offensive line, but he will have to improve and become more consistent if that is going to happen.
For the running game to reach its full potential, Collins has to keep opposing defensive lineman from penetrating the backfield. Hopefully we see that against the Redskins this Sunday.
The suspension to Rolando McClain really hurt the Dallas Cowboys defense at the middle linebacker position. McClain was kept around because of his physical presence and it was definitely noticeable against the Giants last week.
As much as I like Anthony Hitchens, he is simply not the same type of physical specimen as Rolando McClain. In fact, I think Hitchens would be better suited playing the weak side linebacker spot currently held down by Sean Lee.
There’s no denying that Hitchens played poorly, that’s why he was eventually replaced by Justin Durant.
Hitchens definitely needs to step up his game, but he may just have lost his starting spot to Durant, who played pretty well once he entered the lineup.
Tyrone Crawford is another player that vastly underperformed last week against the Giants and he would be the first to admit he didn’t play up to his own standards.
Crawford is paid like a difference maker at defensive tackle and so far he has failed to live up to those expectations playing the 3-technique in defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli’s 4-3 defense.
He is supposed to be a player that is able to be destructive in the backfield, but last week against the Giants he struggled getting off blocks and failed to make an impact.
The Dallas Cowboys defense is already without their best pass rushing defensive ends, so there is much more pressure on Crawford to disrupt the opposing QB from the middle of the defense.
He absolutely needs to improve his play this week against the Washington Redskins.
It really wasn’t a big surprise that offensive coordinator Scott Linehan had a rather conservative game plan in place for the Dallas Cowboys rookie QB Dak Prescott.
Unfortunately, being conservative often times leads to close games and because of that the Dallas Cowboys ended up on the losing end of the spectrum against the Giants.
A lot of Linehan’s playcalling was questionable last week. He failed to really incorporate Dez Bryant in the passing game and continued to run at the strength of the Giants defense despite not much success.
I hope Linehan allows Prescott to air it out in order to get Bryant a little more involved, but if nothing else let #4 take a few more chances.
I fully expect to see Linehan with a much less conservative game plan this week against the Washington Redskins. At least that’s what I’m hoping anyway.
Do you Agree or Disagree with the Dallas Cowboys on this list?
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