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David Irving’s Return Could Make Cowboys’ Defense Even Scarier

Brian Martin



With David Irving's Return, Cowboys Defense Could Be Even Scarier

Be forewarned. If you have a pre-existing heart problem or get just spooked easily, you should probably stop reading now because things are about to get scary. I'm talking about stuff nightmares are made of. Well, at least for opposing offenses who have to face the Dallas Cowboys defense after Defensive Tackle David Irving returns to the lineup.

If you believe Jerry Jones, then we can expect David Irving in uniform this week against the Philadelphia Eagles after missing the past several weeks due to a high ankle sprain. His return to the lineup should not only improve the Cowboys front seven, but the entire defense. He's that gifted of a playmaker (when on the field).

The Cowboys defense is already scary good and would only become even scarier with David Irving in the lineup. No offense to Tyrone Crawford, Maliek Collins, or Antwaun Woods who are all playing really well right now, but Irving brings different element to the front seven due to his length and ability to make plays behind the line of scrimmage. He is a playmaker in every sense of the word.

In his last 13 games, Irving has 11 quarterback sacks, 22 QB hits, 13 tackles for a loss, 8 pass deflections, and 2 forced fumbles. He's as dominant as just about any defensive tackle in the league, but unfortunately it's only been in spurts due to his inability to stay on the field due to multiple suspensions and injuries.

David Irving

Dallas Cowboys DT David Irving

Consistency is really the only thing keeping David Irving's name from being mentioned with the likes of Aaron Donald and other dominant DTs around the NFL. He's just been his own worst enemy off the field, but when he is able to play he has that game changing ability to single-handedly change the course of a game.

It's that game changing ability which should take the Dallas Cowboys defense to an entirely different level. Just imagine how much better DeMarcus Lawrence will be with #95 lining up next to him. Opposing offenses will have to pick their poison as to who they should devote extra attention to when setting up their blocking schemes.

D-Law won't be the only one who benefits though. It also creates more favorable matchups for everybody else along the defensive line and frees them up to make more plays. That in turn should have a ripple effect all the way through the linebackers into the secondary.

I don't know about you, but I'm really excited about David Irving's return to the lineup. I really think he could be an X-Factor moving forward, which will only make the defense that much more scary.

Lookout NFL, the Dallas Cowboys are coming!

Do you think the Cowboys defense will benefit from David Irving's return?

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.

  • Lous8

    In theory this is all great, but I’m out on this guy. I trust Randy Gregory more than I do him now.

    • mike flores

      I’d respectfully disagree, the numbers speak for themselves. Last 13 games Irving has given us 11 sacks and multiple turnovers. Gregory I love and has applied a lot of pressure from that RDE spot but all he’s given us is extended drives for opposing offenses. I think right now Irving makes the biggest difference on that front.

  • dallas1966

    Imho, Irving return to the Cowboys defensive lineup, will take the Cowboys, to elite status. Waiting for,the offense to start to kicking it into another level, in a positive direction, with ultimate results.

    • DevilDog58

      I agree with everything you said in your post. Irving will make our DL terrifying for opposing Offenses when added to the great Defense we already have. But why is Rico on the roster if they aren’t going to play him?? The only way we’re going to know if he can help Dak is if he’s out there. And though I think Dak is a decent QB, without a dominant OL he’s not dominant himself. A big TE who knows how to use his body like they do in basketball would be a great help and that is the whole reason they signed him in the first place. Use him already!!!

    • Sidney Montgomery

      I read in the mail bag, his understanding of situation football in critical moments especially in the end zone. If he doesn’t show improvement I don’t think he will be on the roster next year. The cowboys felt they had too much invested in him to just put him on the street this year. DC4L

      • dallas1966

        The only way to learn situation football is to get reps. But I have to agree with you if Rico doesn’t figure it out. He will be wearing another jersey in 2019.

  • Datschu

    I hate to be the bearer of bad news to not only the writer of this article but also to my fellow cowbous brethren that actually believed this sh!t…. Irving isnt coming back at all this season and is more likely than not done as a cowboy. Sad to say because he can be a top 5. DL in this whole league he has that type of talent but the ine thing the qritwr said in the article said that is correct is that sadly yes… David is his own worst enemy and likely sabotages his own professional career….

  • CanYouHearUsNow?

    I think he has the talent but he has to show up and prove it.

Game Notes

Takeaway Tuesday: Scott Linehan’s Job Shouldn’t Be Safe

Mauricio Rodriguez



Cowboys Revamped Offense Relies on Scott Linehan to Succeed 3

The Dallas Cowboys didn't look like they did during their five game winning streak when they entered Lucas Oil Stadium to face a hot Indianapolis Colts team. In fact, they had one of their poorest showings of all season, failing to score a single point all game. Heading home after being shutout 23-0, there isn't much to be said about the Cowboys' performance.

Here's this week's Takeaway Tuesday. This time, instead of talking about many takeaways, I needed to get one big takeaway off my chest. I hope you enjoy. Make sure to let me know how you feel about this topic in the comments section below or tweet me @MauNFL.

Scott Linehan's Job Shouldn't Be Guaranteed Going into the Playoffs

As tough as it is to fire one of your three main coaches when your team is headed into the postseason, the Dallas Cowboys should not rule out moving on from Scott Linehan. One win away from clinching the NFC East, it's not something you easily pull off but Linehan's play calling has been terrible all year long.

The truth is, despite Dak Prescott's struggles and a disastrous offensive line, the offense shouldn't be as inefficient as it is.

Watching a unit that counts with Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and Ezekiel Elliott run a screen pass to Allen Hurns on fourth down and 14 was truly a microcosm of what this year has been for the offense.

Despite having a playoff berth practically clinched, the Cowboys should consider a change at offensive coordinator. Even if they don't fire Linehan, it's clear his play-calling is not good and could cost this team a real opportunity at a legit shot in the postseason. It would be an aggressive measure, without a doubt. The Minnesota Vikings did something similar by firing John DeFillippo a week ago. Based on their 41-17 win over the Miami Dolphins last Sunday, being aggressive sometimes pays.

3 Quick Fixes to Jumpstart Cowboys Anemic Offense 3

The Cowboys have arguably the best running back in the NFL in Ezekiel Elliott and yet they continue to misuse him. Whether it's turning their backs on their star tailback or over-using him, this offense has a hard time reaching balance. Dak Prescott's strengths could be exploited even more, but this OC refuses to do so.

As hard as it is to make a drastic change in coaching two weeks before the regular season ends, it truly could end up being a great move by the front office. Sure, Amari Cooper has had monster games since joining the Cowboys, but he could be even more dangerous under another coach.

Cowboys versus Colts was a coaching battle between Scott Linehan and former Dallas Cowboys LB coach, Matt Eberflus. It was the matchup of the week, and one we expected to be fun. Instead, we saw one side completely dominate the other. In the NFL, coaching matters. Probably even more than talent on a roster.

The biggest problem would be, who'd take over play-calling?

Since there isn't a promising candidate within the team, the team's only option would probably be letting HC Jason Garrett take over. It may not be ideal, but it could end up being an improvement over Linehan. Of course, it could also let the front office see what Garrett has to offer as a play caller and consider that when deciding how this coaching staff will look like in 2019.

It's unlikely that we see such a thing occur for the Cowboys, but if the offense has another letdown game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, I don't see how the front office doesn't at least consider this. They should.

Tell me what you think about "Takeaway Tuesday: Scott Linehan’s Job Shouldn’t Be Safe" in the comments below, or tweet me @MauNFL 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

Ezekiel Elliott Productive in Cowboys Blowout Loss to Colts

John Williams



3 Stars from Dallas Cowboys Loss to the Seattle Seahawks

It was as ugly of a performance as we’ve seen from the Dallas Cowboys in the Jason Garrett era. For the first time in a decade and a half, the Cowboys were shut out and it was a game full of bad pretty much everywhere you looked. Everywhere accept Ezekiel Elliott.

What a waste! 

Elliott and the Cowboys offensive line played well for much of the game even with All-Pro Right Guard Zack Martin missing his first career start and losing starting Left Guard Xavier Su’a-Filo went out with an eye injury. 

On the day, Ezekiel Elliott carries the ball 18 times for 87 yards and added another seven receptions for 41. 25 touches for 128 total yards is a good game, but with nothing else going right for the Cowboys it was a game that ultimately didn’t matter. 

The one play where Elliott and the offensive line failed to come through was early in the game in a fourth and one that the Colts defense seemed to have snuffed out and blew up from the start. Elliott was able to convert a fourth and one later in the game. It looked like Elliott was close to breaking one for a long run several times but got tripped up at the end of the runs. He was his typical self this week. Taking runs that looked to be going for a loss and turning them into positive gains. 

In the race for the NFL's rushing title, Elliott has extended his lead on Todd Gurley to nearly 100 yards rushing. At 1,349 rushing yards on the season, Elliott will have a great shot to set a career high in rushing yards with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New York Giants remaining on the schedule. The Bucs have allowed the sixth most rushing yards and the fourth most rushing touchdowns in the NFL this season while the Giants have allowed the fifth most rushing yards and the seventh most rushing touchdowns in 2018.

It was a horrendous loss at a time when the Cowboys could have locked up the NFC East and there is zero excuse for it. They got out coached, out played, and were beaten physically on both sides of the ball and that doesn't happen very often, especially to the defense.

But if we're looking for something positive to take away from this game, it's that with all the offensive line injuries and the poor play of the passing game, Ezekiel Elliott and the running game continues to find ways to shine. With as bad as the loss was, that's something to hang your hat on.

All the Cowboys need to do moving forward is Feed Zeke!

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Game Notes

Sean’s Scout: Cowboys Can’t Finish Drives, Division Clinch with Shutout Loss at Colts

Sean Martin



Sean's Scout: Cowboys Can't Finish Drives, Division Clinch with Shutout Loss at Colts

What is there to say about the Dallas Cowboys week 15 performance? After five straight wins, the last three coming at home, the Cowboys have only a return home to look forward to, facing the 5-9 Buccaneers on Sunday after a 23-0 defeat at the Colts.

Shutout for the first time since 2003, the Cowboys playoff hopes didn't take a hit despite the Redskins and Eagles winning on the road. Washington's last-second win went final just before the Colts ran the clock out on a game the Cowboys simply weren't ready for.

The Cowboys moved the ball well at times but failed to ever come away with points, opening the door for the Colts to expose this defense like it hasn't been all season. The Cowboys front four was hardly a factor on defense, allowing Colts Running Back Marlon Mack to average 5.1 yards a carry. Scoring the Colts only touchdowns, Mack and Andrew Luck assured the Cowboys running game wouldn't be a factor with their 10-0 halftime lead. Down to three backups at LG, C, and RG, Quarterback Dak Prescott stood little chance to bring the Cowboys back as the second half quickly got away from Dallas.

Internally, the Cowboys will have much more to say about their effort on Sunday, but here are just a few of my observations in the first somber edition of Sean's Scout since week nine.

  • The Cowboys defensive problems up front extended well into the second level, with Linebackers Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith both playing one of their worst games of the season. 

The Colts took a blocked Brett Maher field goal 44 yards for the game's opening score. Mack accounted for 34 of these yards and the touchdown. On his seven yard run to set up first and goal, Smith was caught taking a poor angle on Mack. The Cowboys were aggressive rushing up the field on the play, with Smith ending up being in the best position to slow Mack.

Vander Esch was sealed and couldn't fight to get off, which happened again three plays later on third and goal. Leighton looking like a rookie for the first time was just the start of the Cowboys problems, and with Sean Lee being active yet conceding starting snaps to him, it shouldn't take long for Vander Esch to figure things out again.

  • Jamize Olawale's dropped touchdown on third and goal to bring up a failed fourth and one was the moment the Cowboys were taken out of this game. 

This sequence was particularly deflating because the Cowboys did a great job getting down the field to have an opportunity to score. The fourth down decision to run out of a heavy formation, inviting extra defenders to the line of scrimmage, looks especially egregious when stacked against the Amari Cooper rush that picked up the Cowboys initial first down. Rookie Tight End Dalton Schultz got involved, Elliott ripped off a 24 yard run, and the Cowboys still came away empty on this drive.

A year removed from coaching the Cowboys linebackers, Colts Defensive Coordinator Matt Eberflus had his way with Scott Linehan's offense all afternoon, stymieing their most promising drive after Olawale should have scored easily.

  • The Cowboys only chance to get back in the game was taken away from them by a Joe Looney holding call, just another example of players that had carried them through a winning streak not playing up to standard. 

The Colts took the second half kickoff down the field to extend the lead to 17-0. On fourth and two on the ensuing possession, Prescott hit an injured Cole Beasley for 18 yards to the Colts' 23-yard line. The Cowboys red zone offense certainly doesn't provide the confidence that Dallas would finish the drive, but Looney's hold negated Beasley's catch and forced a punt.

The Colts tacked on a field goal and finished out the game without the Cowboys threatening again. Looney played down to the level of Adam Redmond to his left, who replaced Xavier Su'a-Filo, and Connor Williams in for Zack Martin - though I thought Williams held up fairly well and should be in play to earn more snaps wherever needed.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

The Cowboys can regroup and still accomplish everything they set out for this season, forced to make this loss to the Colts and afterthought like their last one to the Titans became. A five game win streak as a response is out of reach, but a streak of just one is all Dallas needs to clinch the NFC East and focus on improvements for the playoffs.

Tell us what you think about "Sean’s Scout: Cowboys Can’t Finish Drives, Division Clinch with Shutout Loss at Colts" in the comments below. You can also email me at, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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