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Don’t Blame Coaches for Cowboys’ Slide

Jess Haynie

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Cowboys Blog - Don't Blame Coaches for Cowboys' Slide

After their fifth-straight loss this season, the Cowboys' coaches are becoming the targets of increasing ridicule among the fanbase. When Tennessee fired their head coach, Ken Wisenhunt, earlier this week I actually saw members of Cowboys Nation wondering if Jason Garrett was the next to go. I thought perhaps they were joking, but a light prodding showed me that they were actually serious!

Good people, have you lost your minds?

Even if you're not that dense, you may be one who thinks it's ridiculous that the team hasn't squeezed a win out of the last five games without Tony Romo. It's certainly been tough to watch, especially given how close Dallas has been in some of these contests. But that frustration is actually a sign of the coaches getting things done, putting this team in position to win games despite missing the franchise quarterback and other key components.

In the five games played without Romo, Dallas is losing by an average margin of a little under 10 points. However, if you take their 24-point loss to New England out of that mix, the average drops to less than seven points. So, despite missing Romo and Dez Bryant for nearly all of these games, the Cowboys have managed to stay within a touchdown of nearly everyone they've faced. We're calling that "bad coaching?"

In Week 4 the Cowboys went on the road to the Superdome and took the Saints to overtime. They nearly won despite having to play Brandon Weeden against Drew Brees in his own house. "Bad coaching?"

In Week 7, on the road against the rival Giants, Dallas was two special teams plays away (Dwayne Harris' return touchdown and Cole Beasley's muffed punt) from tying or even winning the game. Darren McFadden rushed for 152 yards despite there being no major threat from the passing game. "Bad coaching?"

Last week, facing the back-to-back NFC Champion Seahawks, Dallas held them to 13 points. A redzone blunder by the officials cost Dallas a touchdown opportunity that was arguably the difference in the game. Do I need to say it again?

Now, I'll readily admit that I didn't expect Dallas to drop all of these games. I expected a win in New Orleans and thought the Falcons and Giants games could go either way. To have come up short in all of them is tough to swallow, but coaching has not been the real issue.

Coaches can't stop Julio Jones from dominating average cornerbacks. They can't prevent Brandon Weeden from being too scared to throw a pass more than 15 yards down the field, or make Matt Cassell throw a tighter spiral. They don't cause Beasley to drop a punt, or Terrance Williams to drop 3rd-down passes that hit him in the chest. They can't stop safeties who take bad angles and miss tackles. They certainly can't help what the referees do to muck things up, either.

It's been injuries and a comedy of errors, not deficiency of coaching, that's brought Dallas to this 2-5 record. The players have been put in positions to win in four out of five games and have not delivered.

I expect the next two games will offer similar opportunities for victory. Dallas' defense is much stronger now than when it held the Eagles to just 10 points in Week 2 and will see them again on Sunday night. Even without Romo, the Cowboys are much more talented than the Tampa Bay Bucs and will have little excuse for a loss.

The tragedy of this season is that everything we thought about the Cowboys going in has proven right. The defense is vastly improved and the running game is doing fine without DeMarco Murray. We are simply a quarterback short right now of perhaps being 5-2 or even 6-1, dominating the NFC East as we rightfully should be.

Don't blame the coaches. Honestly, don't even blame the players. If you need someone to be mad at, how about linebacker Jordan Hicks from the Eagles? He's the guy who squashed Romo against the turf in Week 2 and started this whole mess. We'd be looking at this season totally differently, basking in the glow rather than wallowing in misery, if we still had Tony running the show.

The chance to bask is still there. I'm fully confident that these coaches will consistently put the Cowboys in positions to win as the season continues. They've earned that trust. It's up to the players now, and some random swings of fortune, to see if they get rewarded for their work.



Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Dink Kearney

    November 6, 2015 at 11:18 pm

    Well I respectfully disagree to extent Jess! I do blame the coaches and I blame the players, too! I`m too tired to prove my point bc I’m dead tired! And I’m a die hard Cowboys fan! I write about them, too! Hit me up and we’ll chat! Good article

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Star Blog

How The Tables Have Turned for 2019 Dallas Cowboys

Mauricio Rodriguez

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How The Tables Have Turned for 2019 Dallas Cowboys

The 2018 season was a two-part tale for the Dallas Cowboys. The first is the story of a mediocre 3-5 team that couldn't get it going offensively. The second part is about a football team that turned its season around, made the playoffs, got a win in the postseason and ultimately lost to the team that ended up representing the NFC in Super Bowl LIII, the Los Angeles Rams.

Surely, 2018 didn't go as planned. The storylines leading to last season are actually very different from the ones we're hearing today. Let's take a look at a few examples of how the tables have turned for the Dallas Cowboys.

The need for a true WR1

Last season, Dak Prescott and the Cowboys preached the philosophy of not needing a #1 wide receiver. While that could've sound encouraging at the time, once the season began the team was proven wrong. They did need a WR1. Fortunately, this season we won't have to worry about it. This year, Dez Bryant shouldn't be a discussion topic among Cowboys' fans.

Amari Cooper is in the house. And he's been pretty good since he started playing with a Star on his helmet. If we have conversations about the WR position, they will not be about who's the #1 guy. With Michael Gallup showing up late in the season, it probably won't be about who is #2 either.

How Cowboys Set up High-Stakes Division Meeting with Eagles at Home

Back on top of the NFC East

Last year, the Dallas Cowboys were not really the favorites to win the NFC East. The Philadelphia Eagles had just made history by winning their first Super Bowl ever and it seemed like the Cowboys would have to get a wildcard spot to play in January. Now it's the Cowboys back on top after sweeping the Eagles and turning their once 3-5 season around.

That of course, means a tougher schedule next season. However, it's nice to be back on top of the division. These two teams will surely have an intense race for the division title next season. Maybe we even see them both in the playoffs for the second consecutive year.

Sean Lee's uncertain future

I'm pretty sure no one expected Sean Lee to be considered a potential cap casualty for the 2019 season. Even if he was, it would've probably been anticipating an injury or something like that. No one would've imagined that Leighton Vander Esch would be so good to take Sean Lee's job.

The Cowboys' first round rookie truly earned the starting role as the defense's weak linebacker and he should keep it. With Sean Lee set to return to the field, I'm sure we didn't expect him to be a backup by now. We'll have to wait and see if the Cowboys decide to part ways with him. As a fan, it would certainly be painful. But we can't deny it would be a move that makes sense.

✭✭✭

It's a crazy franchise on a crazy league. Who knows how things will go from now on, but the Dallas Cowboys certainly look like a promising team heading into the 2019 offseason. Here at Inside The Star, we'll continue to update you with the latest on your favorite NFL team.

Tell me what you think about "How The Tables Have Turned for 2019 Dallas Cowboys" 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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Star Blog

Cowboys en Español: Volviendo a la Idea de Earl Thomas

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Are the Dallas Cowboys Done Pursuing FS Earl Thomas? 1

El año pasado, Earl Thomas fue uno de los temas de conversación más frecuentes para los aficionados de los Dallas Cowboys. Después de que los Seattle Seahawks no le dieran su deseada extensión de contrato, Thomas se convirtió en un candidato a ser intercambiado de su equipo. Entre los favoritos estaban los Cowboys, quienes tenían una necesidad en su defensiva secundaria. Ahora que la temporada 2018 llegó a su fin, la misma necesidad por un safety de calidad está presente en Dallas.

Sólo que en esta ocasión, Earl Thomas no está bajo contrato con ningún equipo. Su último momento con el uniforme de los Seahawks fue en un carro de lesiones, donde salía lesionado en dirección a su vestidor. Esto mientras se despedía de su equipo con el dedo de en medio extendido hacia sus entrenadores y compañeros. Así concluyó su temporada y su carrera en Seattle.

Ahora, listo para cumplir los 30 años en mayo, Earl Thomas probará la agencia libre cuando comience en marzo. Y sin lugar a dudas, uno de los equipos candidatos a firmarlo serán los Dallas Cowboys. Es un equipo que a pesar de tener una de las mejores defensivas la temporada pasada, se vería muy beneficiada con la llegada de un profundo del calibre de Thomas.

A pesar de su edad y las lesiones, Thomas continúa siendo uno de los mejores en la liga. Su talento es innegable y tendrá toda la disposición de demostrar lo que vale cuando tome el campo la próxima temporada. Cuando llegue el momento, podríamos ver una guerra de ofertas entre varios equipos de la NFL para llevarse al veterano a sus respectivas ciudades.

La pregunta es: ¿estarán los Dallas Cowboys en esa guerra de ofertas?

Los Cowboys tienen espacio en el tope salarial. Sin embargo, este no durará mucho considerando que DeMarcus Lawrence está esperando su merecida y cara extensión después de jugar bajo la etiqueta franquicia en 2018. Además, jugadores que aún están bajo contrato también estarán buscando ofertas este offseason.

Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, Amari Cooper, y Byron Jones están en la lista de quehaceres de la administración. Eso sin mencionar a Cole Beasley, cuyo contrato ya expiró y podría llegar a la agencia libre en marzo.

A pesar de esta complicada situación, los Dallas Cowboys deberían buscar conseguir a Thomas. Siendo sinceros, la defensiva tiene mucho talento y podría mantener su nivel en 2019. Pero hace falta un jugador en la posición de safety para llevar a esta unidad a otro nivel. Un nivel realmente capaz de ganar en postemporada enfrentándose a cualquier tipo de ofensiva. Sin importar que tan explosiva sea. Y además de esto, un jugador que sea capaz de robar el balón y hacer jugadas de impacto constantemente.

Cuando los Cowboys se enfrentaron a Seahawks en temporada regular, Thomas dio un buen ejemplo de esto interceptando en dos ocasiones a la ofensiva de Dak Prescott.

A pasos de un equipo de campeonato, un movimiento agresivo para obtener a Earl Thomas sería algo genial para Dallas. Vimos como los Rams de Los Angeles fueron agresivos al construir su equipo y llegaron hasta el Super Bowl este febrero. Quizá es tiempo de que Jerry Jones y compañía sean igual de agresivos y vayan por ese safety elite que la afición lleva pidiendo desde el offseason del año pasado.

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys en Español: Volviendo a la Idea de Earl Thomas" 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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Star Blog

Slot Machine: Amari Cooper in the Slot Could be Even More Dangerous

Brian Martin

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Slot Machine: Cole Beasley Out, Amari Cooper In?

Amari Cooper was a dangerous man with the Dallas Cowboys after he arrived via trade from the Oakland Raiders last season. He was one of the big reasons why they were able to turn around a season that looked as if it was circling the drain and I don't think anybody would argue the point. But, I think he could be even more dangerous in 2019, especially if Cole Beasley departs via free agency.

Unless you've been living under a rock, you pretty much know the topic of the Cowboys offseason so far has centered around Cole Beasley and his future with the organization. He has been invaluable in Dallas since arriving as an undrafted free agent in 2012, but it's looking more and more as if he could be taking his talents elsewhere in 2019.

With Beasley more than likely moving on, the Cowboys will need to find someone who can replace his production in the passing game, especially in the slot. Everybody assumes Dallas needs to go outside the organization to find that player, but I'm not so sure. I think they already have a wide receiver more than capable of stepping in, and he just so happens to be there first-round draft pick this year.

In case you haven't figured it out already, I'm talking about Wide Receiver Amari Cooper. He has mostly been used as an outside receiver in his professional career, but he does have the skill set and route running ability to be a really dangerous out of the slot. I'm not talking about a full-time move into the slot or anything, just a marginal increase in snaps.

Amari Cooper

Dallas Cowboys WR Amari Cooper (AP Photo/Rich Schultz)

According to Rotounderworld.com, only 12.6% of Amari Cooper's snaps in 2018 were out of the slot. For comparison sake, Cole Beasley's snaps in the slot was 85.9%, the highest of any receiver in the NFL last season. That's a huge difference, not one the Cowboys should try to match with Cooper or any other potential slot WR replacement.

Personally, I'd like to see Cooper's snaps playing out of the slot increased to around 20%. That would put him in Odell Beckham Jr. territory (19.9%), and we all know how difficult he is to cover all over the field. It would likely do the same for Amari Cooper.

I just really like the idea of him having the entire field to work with and the favorable matchup it creates with slot/nickel cornerbacks around the league. Can you imagine opposing defensive coordinators trying to figure out how to contain a player that has the kind of speed and route running ability that Amari Cooper has? They better stock up on Tylenol, because that is a surefire way to get a headache.

This is course is just speculation at this point, especially since we don't know what the Cowboys offense will look like with Kellen Moore taking over the playcalling duties. But if it was me, I'd be doing everything in my power to get the ball in the hands of my best WR, Amari Cooper, and that might mean increasing his snaps out of the slot.

What do you think about using Amari Cooper out of the slot more often in 2019?



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