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What To Expect From Cowboys RB Alfred Morris

Sean Martin

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What To Expect From Cowboys RB Alfred Morris

It appears that we will finally get the answer to just how much Ezekiel Elliott means to the Dallas Cowboys, and just how great Dak Prescott can be, as the Cowboys are preparing for life without Elliott for the next six games. His suspension upheld in court again yesterday, Elliott will begin his ban on Sunday in Atlanta - opening the door for expected RB1 Alfred Morris.

While it will be a team effort in the backfield to replace the 2016 NFL rushing champion, Morris does expect to get the bulk of the workload over Rod Smith and Darren McFadden.

With 14 carries for 116 yards and a touchdown already on the season, Morris has been serviceable in his usual work spelling Elliott on occasional planned drives.

Alfred Morris Vs Rams (2) - Streamable

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This is not to say that Ezekiel Elliott won't be sorely missed, but realistic expectations for Morris should be high enough for the Dallas offense to continue putting up points as they've done so consistently through this amazing stretch of three consecutive wins.

There is a lot to love about this first Morris play I chose to include, the longest run of his six-year career. After watching all of his carries thus far on the season, the first thing that stands out above is the personnel the Cowboys utilize. Not forcing Morris to move laterally and wait for a hole to open up with extra blockers in the game, the Cowboys pull two blockers to the play side and allow Morris to easily see the crease up the hash.

The lack of ability to change directions quickly and make explosive cuts stood out on Alfred Morris' tape, but on this play he is able to smoothly evade the safety with a cutback just before finding the second gear to accelerate and bust the play.

This straight line speed and ability to push up the field decisively is the best sign of hope for Cowboys Nation relying on Alfred Morris to keep this offense and this football team on track.

Ezekiel Elliott was averaging 4.3 yards per carry on first down runs, a significant number that has kept Dak Prescott ahead of the chains. As we look at more of Alfred Morris' tape, there should be little doubt that this number will not drop off substantially.

Alfred Morris Vs Giants - Streamable

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Even plays like this, where Elliott likely has the vision and speed to bounce outside to the right and score, are positives for Morris on the ground. Showing off the power he still has in his legs, Morris searches for space between Travis Frederick and Jason Witten on the second level to move the pile for a gain of four. It was Geoff Swaim getting ridden back towards the mesh point that likely forced the slower Morris to hesitate as he was just breaking the line, but safe plays like these will always give Dallas a chance over the upcoming six weeks.

Alfred Morris Vs Chiefs - Streamable

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All of the traits from Alfred Morris that we've discussed so far are on display with this carry against the Chiefs last week. Reading the block of Zack Martin quickly and correctly, Morris finds a seam to attack and does show with impressive finish - carrying defenders for needed extra yards.

A steady dose of this from Alfred Morris paired with splashes from Darren McFadden and Rod Smith, along with some creativity in both the running and passing game by Scott Linehan, and the Cowboys may not miss a beat without the best running back in the NFL.

Alfred Morris Vs Rams - Streamable

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

Ezekiel Elliott has made the absolute most of the offensive line Dallas put in place prior to drafting him fourth overall and throwing the loftiest of expectations on the Ohio State star. It is why plays like this next one above are not as exciting, since we can all envision Elliott sprinting through the hole, making the first man miss, and charging towards the end zone.

So long as Morris and the Cowboys remain in the hunt, a return to the field will come for the well-rested Ezekiel Elliott prior to the playoffs as they host the Seahawks and travel to the Eagles to end the regular season.

Plays like the one above against the Rams will do just that, as Morris bounces off of tackles working his way through a stout Rams defensive front.

Alfred Morris Vs Packers - Streamable

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

The player to be the most excited about for the Cowboys' Zeke-less offense is QB Dak Prescott. He will be the one running the show as always, making clutch plays when needed and orchestrating this team's balanced offensive approach.

Not much that Alfred Morris does will be sexy, but his tape on the season suggests that it will be enough to keep the Cowboys competitive and capable of running the football at defenses that must respect what the veteran power back brings.

There are simply too many good things happening with this Dallas Cowboys team right now to pack up the 2017 campaign because of this Ezekiel Elliott news. Fortunately, it appears that Alfred Morris has no intentions but to add his name to this list of players making a positive impact in the silver and blue.

Tell us what you think about "What To Expect From Cowboys RB Alfred Morris" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



Born January 28th, 1996- Cowboys Super Bowl XXX. Point Boro Panther, Montclair State Red Hawk, and most importantly a proud member of Cowboys Nation! I host "Upon Further Review" on 90.3 WMSC FM and wmscradio.com every Friday from 1-4 PM ET. Twitter: @SeanMartinNFL.

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1 Comment
  • Russ_Te

    Not sure if the game plans now will put more of the offensive load on Dak, but I do think that can be sold to defenses.

    As in, open in spread sets 4 / 1. Defenses will definitely play pass and the Dallas OL will only have to deal with 5 or maybe 6 in the box. That should crack open 1st downs and give Morris the seams he needs to start the game fast.

    There was speculation in preseason about seeing these sets a lot more, then it didn’t really happen. But this might be the time to use it as a changeup, then get back into more TE and power sets as the game wears on.

    I think they can take their choice to either run less or not for these 6 games, and either can play out fine. I expect McFadden is the 3rd down RB, and he probably wants out of Dallas rather than sit deactivated with Elliott and Morris in front of him. So there might be some angst let loose when he gets on the field, in the form of a motivated RB with fresh legs.

Star Blog

How The Seattle Seahawks Have Increased Importance In Cowboys’ Lore

Kevin Brady

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Cowboys Headlines - Dallas Cowboys At Seattle Seahawks: 5 Bold Predictions
Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

You can't talk about this decade's Dallas Cowboys without discussing the Seattle Seahawks.

In 2012, when Golden Tate took out Sean Lee on a crack-back block and the Seahawks embarrassed a Cowboys team who had just defeated the defending champion New York Giants, we saw which of the two teams was truly ready for the big stage.

In 2014, as Rolando McClain intercepted Russell Wilson and the Cowboys clinched a critical road victory, we knew that Dallas was a legit contender.

In 2015, when Seattle finally came to Dallas and rendered the return of Pro Bowl receiver Dez Bryant meaningless in a 13-12 win, the then 2-5 Cowboys were sent further into a Romo-less abyss.

And, in 2017, Dez Bryant's key drops and Dan Bailey's missed field goals during a horrendous home loss to the Seahawks on Christmas Eve might have sealed each of their fates for the following offseason.

The most important moment in this Cowboys/Seahawks history, however, occurred during a preseason game. A meaningless preseason game which turned out to be the most meaningful day in recent Cowboys history.

Cliff Avril dragging Tony Romo down from behind, effectively ending his career, and kicking off the roster massive turnover we have seen the last two offseasons. From Dak Prescott, to a brand new secondary, to the retirement of Jason Witten, and the cutting of Dez Bryant. All of this change, which put an end to the Romo era rosters in Dallas, began with that hit in Seattle.

Since 2012 the Cowboys, and the rest of the NFC really, have been judged by how they play against two teams: the Packers and the Seahawks.

They have been the class of the NFC, and while we like to think that if the "Dez Caught It" game went how it should have Dallas would've handled Seattle, that will forever be an unknown.

Sunday's game is not expected to carry the franchise-changing implications that some of these other match ups have had. The Seahawks are 0-2 and reeling, with a shaky offensive line and reported distrust throughout the organization.The Cowboys, however, can jump-start their season with a big road win over a winless team that they should beat in the minds of many.

But knowing how things between these teams tend to go, Sunday afternoon may end up having major implications on the rest of the Cowboys' season.

Where this could be the case is in a potential Earl Thomas trade. It's been speculated that Seattle has been hesitant to deal Thomas to Dallas before their week 3 match up, but could be more willing to do so after the game.

Especially if that game is a loss which sends them to 0-3. The Cowboys have been actively pursuing Earl Thomas, and Thomas has certainly made it clear that he wants to be in Dallas. The only party not willing to make it happen thus far, are the Seahawks.

So, this weekend, there is a chance another chapter is added to those franchise-changing moments in Cowboys/Seahawks lore.



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Star Blog

A Look Around The NFC East: Week 3

Kevin Brady

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Tyrone Crawford, Carson Wentz, Eagles

Week two didn't go as planned for much of the NFC East, with only the Dallas Cowboys reigning victorious last Sunday.

Now, three teams are locked in a tie for first place at 1-1, with the New York Giants lagging behind with a winless record. Week 3 is shaping up to be a potential early turning point, however, with Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz returning and each team facing a very beatable opponent.

Let's take a look around the division and see what the Cowboys' foes will be facing this week.

Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles fell victim to one of the more surprising upsets of the weekend last Sunday, as Ryan Fitzpatrick led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers over the Eagles 27-21. While their defense got off to a shaky start in the loss, it was the offense which proved too little too late in their push down the stretch.

Carson Wentz is expected to not only return but to start on Sunday in the Eagles' match up against the Colts. Indianapolis upset the Washington Redskins last week, but will be 6 point underdogs when the game kicks off in Philadelphia on Sunday.

Wentz should give the defending champs an extra boost, and while they haven't looked as dominant as many expected through the first two games, this could be the game to spring them the rest of the way.

Washington Redskins

As mentioned earlier, the Redskins fell in Indianapolis last week, and are now tied for first place in the division with a 1-1 record. As dominant and impressive as Washington looked in their opener against Arizona, Washington's week two loss featured lethargic offensive play for four quarters.

This week the Redskins are three point home underdogs as Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers come to town. Green Bay tied Minnesota a week ago, but behind Rodgers and their potent offense, they have the chance to take advantage of Washington's suspect secondary down the field.

Sunday will be a tough test for the Redskins as they look to get back above .500 against a tough conference opponent.

New York Giants

The Giants' season is on the brink this week, and that really isn't a dramatic statement at all. Now at 0-2 with a division loss to the Cowboys last week, the Giants have to beat the 0-2 Texans on Sunday to get some confidence and keep pace within the conference.

Lucky for them, the Texans haven't looked impressive whatsoever through two games. Unlucky for them, the Texans have strong pass rushers like JJ Watt and Jadeveon Clowney ready to abuse their weak offensive line.

Houston is a six point home favorite over the Giants, proving it will be an uphill battle for New York to save their season.



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Star Blog

Cowboys en Español: La Defensiva de Dallas es Muy Real

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Are Dallas Cowboys Building A Championship Defense? 3

Después de dos semanas de acción de los Dallas Cowboys, una cosa ha quedado más que clara. La defensiva del coordinador defensivo Rod Marinelli ha demostrado que es realmente buena. No como en otros años, que nos conformábamos con que la defensiva dejará avanzar y cediera tres puntos hasta que se rompía en el último cuarto.

No, ahora es diferente. Este año, los Dallas Cowboys tienen presión al QB opuesto. No sólo DeMarcus Lawrence, sino Taco Charlton, Randy Gregory y recientemente, los linebackers. Hemos visto a Jaylon Smith y Damien Wilson brindar presión y sobre todo, llegar a sus objetivos.

Los linebackers no han brillado sólo en esto, sino en otros ámbitos defensivos, como cobertura aérea y más. Incluso Joe Thomas ha logrado mantener su nivel que vimos en pretemporada cuando se le ha pedido entrar al campo.

Y en cuanto a la secundaria, no podríamos estar más agradecidos con la actuación de nuestros cornerbacks. Byron Jones está jugando a un nivel increíble. La semana pasada, Eli Manning sólo se atrevió a lanzar el balón en su dirección en cinco ocasiones. En esas cinco, consiguió sólo un pase completo para cero yardas. Chidobe Awuzie también ha tenido un gran inicio al 2018, manteniendo un nivel de juego consistente y efectivo. Estamos hablando de que el domingo pasado, estos dos cornerbacks se enfrentaron a uno de los mejores WR en la NFL, Odell Beckham Jr.

Finalmente, la posición de safety se ha visto como la unidad más débil en la defensiva. Jeff Heath es un titular promedio y Kavon Frazier tiene mucho camino por recorrer. Afortunadamente, hay esperanza de que Xavier Woods regrese de lesión este domingo.

A pesar de que en el 2016 todos veíamos a la ofensiva como nuestro futuro, es sorprendente el nivel que ha mostrado la defensiva. Es más agresiva, más efectiva y más confiable que en otros años. No podemos subestimar la llegada del coach Kris Richard al equipo.

Sobre todo después de que en el partido contra los New York Giants y los Carolina Panthers se demostró que Richard está involucrado directamente con las decisiones de las jugadas que se ejecutarán en el campo. Incluso Marinelli no tuvo problemas admitiendo que efectivamente, Richard estaba ganándose un rol en este aspecto.

Esto es muy relevante para los Dallas Cowboys, pues una de las cosas más destacadas que hemos visto las últimas semanas es el usaje de cargas o "blitzes" especiales en varias oportunidades. Incluyendo tercer down y largo.

Es algo que no habíamos visto nunca con el conservador Marinelli y que claramente es producto de Richard. Este personaje que viene de los Seattle Seahawks continua emergiendo como un candidato real al puesto de coordinador defensivo en el 2019 o quien sabe, quizá sea nombrado head coach si las cosas comienzan a ir mal para este equipo.

Sin duda alguna, la defensiva ha demostrado que es muy confiable y real. Es tiempo de que la ofensiva de Dallas responda a esto y comience a mover más las cadenas y sobre todo, aprovechar las oportunidades que tengan de anotar touchdowns. Empezar a depender de goles de campo nunca sale bien.

Linehan: "Butler Has Had a Good Camp", But Will He Stay?

Dallas Cowboys WR Brice Butler (Matthew Emmons / USA TODAY Sports)

Sobre la llegada de Brice Butler

Increíblemente, Brice Butler regresó a los Dallas Cowboys, incluso después de todos los comentarios que hizo en ciertos programas de televisión. La primera reacción al respecto fue de confusión; ¿por qué regresar con un receptor que nunca fue tan especial y que habló tanto de Dallas?

La respuesta a esta pregunta se esclareció un poco este jueves por la noche cuando surgieron los rumores de que Terrance Williams, quien fue arrestado en el offseason por intoxicación pública, podría ser suspendido pronto por la NFL.

Esto probablemente no sucederá antes del partido de la semana 3, pero de todas maneras explica mucho sobre el último movimiento de los Cowboys.

Predicción #DALvsSEA

En un partido bastante cerrado, creo que la defensiva de los Dallas Cowboys hará lo suficiente para llevarse la victoria. Es de suma importancia derribar a Russell Wilson y sobre todo, que la ofensiva tenga su mejor actuación de la campaña. La defensiva de Seahawks es bastante efectiva y no será sencillo vencerlos.

Marcador: Dallas Cowboys 21 - Seattle Seahawks 17

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys en Español: La Defensiva de Dallas es Muy Real" 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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