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Don’t Freak Out About The Cowboys Passing Game Just Yet

Kevin Brady

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What if Dak Prescott isn't Dallas' Franchise QB?

Cowboys Twitter was set ablaze earlier this week when an irrelevant, and fraudulent, stat was put out into the world by NFL Network. The stat, if you haven't heard, indicated that Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott had not yet thrown a touchdown pass in any of the training camp practices.

Even in a world where this information is true, counting touchdown passes during camp practices is just about the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. Yesterday in week one of my Madden 19 franchise, Dak Prescott threw for two touchdowns in a win over Carolina. That's about equally as indicative of how the real season's going to go as "training camp touchdown passes" are.

But I digress.

At the core of this internet freak out is some legitimate concern, however. The Cowboys downfield passing offense hasn't exactly been explosive, and all reports out of camp indicate that the defense has been stealing the show during team periods.

Though Prescott has been able to execute the underneath and mid-level timing throws thus far, the lack of downfield success has some fans worried. But I'm here to tell you to relax. At least for now.

With Dez Bryant gone and a whole new crop of wide receivers in, it's understandable that it's taking time to develop the downfield rapport. Prescott has to learn what receivers like Allen Hurns look like when they're open downfield, just as he had to learn to trust Bryant even when he appeared to be covered.

Not only is the personnel very new, but Dallas is also working with a brand new receivers coach in Sanjay Lal. Lal is trying to implement his philosophies and techniques with these new wide outs, while they are also trying to gel with Dak Prescott. Clearly, there's a lot of moving parts currently at camp, and it makes sense that it's taking time to get it right.

What is encouraging, though, is the success of the Cowboys' most tenured receiver, Cole Beasley. Prescott and Beasley have developed a nice connection thus far, looking like they did during Bryant's absence in 2016.

This actually reminds me a bit of what the Cowboys experienced at cornerback a season ago. Early on, their secondary struggled to find their way as young guys circled in and out looking for their home within the defense. But by the final six games of the season, guys like Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis had settled in, and the defense found its stride.

All the Cowboys passing offense has known for nearly a decade are Jason Witten and Dez Bryant. It's okay for them to experience some growing pains early on while trying to replace them and find new targets.

And I'm willing to bet that by week 8 or so, most of these issues will be resolved.



Die-hard Cowboys fan from the Northeast, so you know I am here to defend the 'boys whenever necessary. Began writing for a WordPress Cowboys Blog, and have been with ITS since 2016.

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22 Comments

22 Comments

  1. Matt

    August 8, 2018 at 4:53 pm

    So basically the same concerns as last season. Can’t throw deep, lack of TD passes like his franchise record 10 straight quarters without a TD pass. Got it.

  2. Not your goat

    August 8, 2018 at 8:21 pm

    I’ve watched just about every clip from practice on my BR feed and Prescott is certainly not struggling. I do love when the Cowboys are underestimated though, it’s usually the years we win the division. Anyone who actually has high expectations for any QB in the NFL while their blindside is is getting run through like Courtney Love just simply doesn’t know very much about football. The 1 mistake that was made though was abandoning the run when Zeke went out, Morris was more than capable which he proved at the end of Zekes suspension and the right side of the OL was still as dominant as any in the league. The Cowboys more than fixed that problem with a fortuitous 2nd round pick and a healthy offseason from TS and we have all seen what Dak can do when he’s comfortable in the pocket. If this defense can stay healthy and perform as good as they did to end the season last year this team will be extremely hard to beat and if training camp is any indication of what’s to come, hahaha Dak isn’t going to have to score 30 a game to win and the armchair analyst can talk about why #4 only throws 25 times a game and Dallas isn’t blowing anyone out even though we control procession 40/20 and force everyone to play our game

    • Michael White

      August 9, 2018 at 9:36 am

      Also to add to that they have added depth for the OL via free agency..just in case if there is an injury…so hopefully we shouldn’t have another Atlanta tragedy…

    • Melvin S Edgmand

      August 9, 2018 at 12:32 pm

      trying to figure out what practices your watching. yesterday 9 straight incompletions day before 3 picks and 7 straight incompletions. at what point do you consider it struggling. since the 7 straight games under 200 yards passing last year didn’t do it for ya the 10 picks he has thrown in training camp so far the less then 50% completion percentage. the lack of an kind of ball skill placement. they speak of everyday. I get you like dak and so does a lot of others. But he wont take us anywhere my money is on after game 6 garrett is fired for obviously poor performance . in steps kris Richard. he sits dak cause he hasn’t done anything for cooper rush. who by the way has been once again killing it in camp again. and we start winning. there is no scenario where dak leads us to a play off win ever. you don’t need to be a arm chair quarterback.
      its called common sense.

      • Not your goat

        August 9, 2018 at 1:42 pm

        Got it all figured out don’t you? I’m amazed a non Cowboy fan knows more about what’s going on than myself, your team must REALLY SUCK because I could give 2 $#!+$ about them. Your logic is up there with the rest of the millenials, ignore the fact that the report was fake and keep pretending you know what you’re talking about like it’s a fact, hahaha. Hahahaha, too funny. I guess all the clips from Broaddus, Watkins, Archer, Fisher and Slater (my 1st cousin) are all fake showing Dak lacing Gallup, Hurns, Austin, Bease and Williams over and over. The real report from people I know that are at camp is who will get the nod at the #1 receiver job because 4 of those guys are playing lights out in TC. You wouldn’t even make such an asinine comment if you actually watched a Cowboys game last year or then again your thought process is obviously questionable anyways so who knows. When the Cowboys start the season 5and1 or better I want you to think about your ignorance and sit in a corner but then again that millennial brain will convince yourself the standings are wrong or something everyone else finds absurd but you. If you have to eat a tide pod or drink Windex for acceptance you’ve already lost at life.

        • Melvin S Edgmand

          August 11, 2018 at 10:49 am

          poor poor pitiful person they didn’t abandoned the run last year the defenses didn’t fear the run purbacks couldn’t handle stacked boxes forcing dak to throw which caused dak to throw less than 200 yards in 7 of the 16 games last year where he threw most of his picks concluding dak cant carry a team when the running game is down thus backs my opinion that a volume passer type QB such as cooper rush can which is what I was saying your thought process hasnow come

          • John Lindauer

            August 14, 2018 at 5:29 pm

            Cooper Rush is not the answer. Just stop.

            Last year was a total team breakdown: OTF drama. Critical injuries. Poorly constructed roster. Vanilla play calling. Inability to play defense w/o Sean Lee. Critical lack of team speed. The OLine playing out of sync. AND YES – a sophomore slump by a young QB.

            Thing is: they’ve corrected all of it… EXCEPT FOR TWO AREAS… They still lack a proven leader at safety. And it appears that Anthony Brown is still Anthony Brown.

            If Jourdan Lewis can work himself back into the starting line up (and they FINALLY take action at Safety (by bringing in Quintin Demps or Eric Reid or similar) they’ll be more than fine.

      • Not your goat

        August 9, 2018 at 10:36 pm

        So a (proven) fake report from Todd Archer of 0 for 9 in Training camp “complete period” = starting 0 and 4 + Garrett fired
        Same kind of thinking could only conclude undefeated and Superbowl champs after 3 for 3 and a Touchdown in a preseason game, right?

        • Freda Mae Delph

          August 10, 2018 at 2:18 pm

          oh yeah were definitely superbowl bound you idiot

          • Not your goat

            August 10, 2018 at 3:35 pm

            I’m pretty sure the only idiot on this post is the 1 who’s incapable of picking up on sarcasm or spell we’re. Hahaha, the logic train has left the station and you missed the bus.

          • Melvin S Edgmand

            August 11, 2018 at 10:22 am

            thank you English teacher for correcting my spelling life is better now. see sarcasm idiot

          • Melvin S Edgmand

            August 11, 2018 at 10:56 am

            the idiot actually would seem to be a person who corrects spelling on comments like he majored in English perhaps such words like anomaly or exasperating the latter explaining what it feels like to argue with such neanderthalistic human being such as you self. the former being a word to describe the incomparable complexity of your mental condition science has no name for it the most popular is stupid for academia’s sake stick to small words such as fart and oops

        • Melvin S Edgmand

          August 11, 2018 at 10:21 am

          your still on the Todd archer thing. show me where i said Todd archer or I used the words fake report by Todd archer. your an idiot just plain and simple an idiot. I can see you sitting there in your tight whites your cowboy Jersey jerking off to old Jimmy Johnson clips of the 90s. get a girlfriend. football isn’t your thing.

          • Not your goat

            August 11, 2018 at 3:04 pm

            You are really slow Melvin, you are repeating a fake report 1st made by Todd Archer, obviously you just repeat anything and don’t care where you get it from, hahahah! Here we go with the gay jokes, the typical backup for ignorance. I think you thought of tha]]t 1 for a little too long picturing me though. definitely a 49er fan. Funny, you’ve got a profile pic of an old man but you argue like an entitled child and It’s rather clear you’re incapable of thinking for yourself and now you wanna picture me in tight pants rubbing one out so I’ll leave you to that, you’re a little to throwed off for me. I’d rather talk about football. Just picture me laughing at you when the Cowboys win the division this year, actually just don’t picture me at all, you have other agendas.

          • Melvin S Edgmand

            August 11, 2018 at 9:04 pm

            agenda is a collective term and if a gay joke got to you that much that it bothers you then one can only imagine that you are and nothing wrong with that don’t ask don’t tell right. see thing is you haven’t proved anything is fake simply saying it is fake doesnt make it true for example you are an insufferable little cunt who responds only in insult which intern causes insults. every action as an opposite and equal reaction as it has been demonstrated. let me.guess your next comment insults of intelligence, presumptions of my allegiance, and attempts to find fault in previous comments. no need for confirmation that is an accurate prediction. I repeat the story because it is fact dak is incompetent on his own and I don’t need a report for that I have 16 games of evidence 6 games in particular that he is not a franchise quarterback. the definition of which means an individual capable of creating something from nothing when the times are difficult. your inability to understand my comments doesn’t constitute idiocracy on my part but illiteracy on yours

        • Melvin S Edgmand

          August 11, 2018 at 11:09 am

          furthermore 3 for 3 isn’t impressive remember Alex tanney, Brandon weedon, hell even Kellen Moore looked 3 for 3 good at some point in their career in dallas but no one asked them to be starters. dak is not exempt from the rule that if you can’t play well then you won’t start at the very least he will have this year to prove he isn’t shit but say he continues to synchronize his story with RG3 and fucks up this year as well are you gonna be the cowboys fan to continue to ask that he starts? I’ll let you continue to write the kinda comments you write but in that tiny minuscule cell-sized brain you have managed to create logic and the logical thought you have created is you have no idea what you are talking about and your only reaction is to insult me that is a psychological condition that amplifies your inability to accept defeat so continue posting we both know the better man has won the debate today

        • John Lindauer

          August 14, 2018 at 5:30 pm

          Exactly. You can’t take too much from Training camp and preseason stats.
          That said: I think Dallas will be WAY better than many of my fellow fans.

  3. Rafe Montgomery

    August 9, 2018 at 8:28 pm

    Dak is going to be just fine. He did better in 16 without having to force the ball to Dez 2/3 of the time like he did in 17. Love Witten but it was time to retire. I will take spreading the ball around and pounding the defense with Zeke all day as opposed to that garbage we saw last year. The Akkmen years weren’t dominated with 3500 yard passing years and he is a HOF QB and we picked up 3 SB. Balance is the key.

    • John Lindauer

      August 14, 2018 at 5:41 pm

      The concept of building a “QB Friendly” team should have been born during the Aikman era.

      In year one: Troy was 0-11. Yes, Troy had Michael Irvin. But the team was just bad.

      In year two: Troy was 7-5. He had Emmitt & Irvin – but no OLine.
      Troy got injured. And Steve Walsh finished the year.
      The team finished 7-9.

      In year three: Troy was 7-5 (then got injured AGAIN).
      That year, Dallas had Emmitt & Irvin – and 1/2 of a great Oline + 1/2 a defense.
      The team finished 11-5 with a QB controversy (with Steve Pelluer – sorry for the spelling).

      THEN – in year four – the team was finally “Aikman Friendly.” (Stellar on both sides of the ball at every level). Team goes 13-3 and wins the Super Bowl.

      I can easily see Dallas going 11-5 this year (and I think much farther).

  4. John Lindauer

    August 14, 2018 at 5:19 pm

    The Haters will never be convinced that “anybody” could replace Dak.

    Paxton Lynch, anybody?

    Dak may not be as good as Carson Wentz – but Carson’s body is already starting to breakdown.
    Dak may not be as good as Andrew Luck – but Luck is way too fragile.
    Dak may not have the hardware of Eli Manning – but Eli is fading fast.
    Dak may not have the fantasy stats of Kirk Cousins – but Kirk always finds a way to lose.
    Dak may not have the draft pedigree of Alex Smith – but I’d take Dak over Alex any time.

    Basically if the QB isn’t named Wentz, Brady, Rogers, Brees, Wilson or Ryan – I’d take Dak.
    (Because those 6 guys are demonstrably better at football than Dak.)

    Question is: can you win a Super Bowl with the 7th best QB?
    (I think you can.)

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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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