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Film Room: Chaz Green’s Struggles Sabotage Run Game

Kevin Brady

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Byron Bell's Contract Incentives Increase Competition for Chaz Green at RT
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Often refereed to as the best unit in football, the Dallas Cowboys offensive line is expected to clear running lanes and lead Ezekiel Elliott to 1,000 yards or more every season. To be honest, most fans are disappointed if Zeke falls shy of 100 yards per game.

So far this season the Dallas Cowboys have struggled on the ground relative to their performance since 2014. One of the biggest reasons for this decline is the departure of left guard Ronald Leary.

Initially it was expected the Cowboys wouldn't have much trouble replacing Leary, considering the talent which Chaz Green and Jonathan Cooper were thought to have. After week one, these expectations were thought to be fulfilled.

Green played very well against an impressive New York Giants front, and showed signs of athleticism in space and the ability to get movement off the line of scrimmage.

Since that game, however, Green's play has hit a steep decline. After struggling mightily with the Denver Broncos' defensive tackles Green had a rather rough game on Monday night in Arizona.

dalvsaz chaz - Streamable

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On the very first play of the game the tone was set for Chaz Green's day. Green steps out to the backside three technique, attempting to seal the cutback lane for Ezekiel Elliott. As soon as he makes contact with the defender, Green stands straight up and stops his feet. He doesn't bring his hips through contact either, and just shuffles his feet under himself.

Because of this poor technique, the defensive tackle is able to shed the block and get into the backfield with ease. As he did on multiple occasions Monday night, Green ends up on the ground staring back at the man he was supposed to block.

Chaz Green cannot end up on the ground as much as he did last week. In a zone blocking scheme, where the offensive line must work in unison and in the same direction, one man falling can kill the entire play.

dalvsaz chaz 2 - Streamable

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

An area I was impressed with Green after the season opener was with his reach blocking. On outside, or wide, zone Green is often asked to reach and overtake the one technique to seal the first backside defender.

On Monday night, however, Green failed to make these blocks far too often. When firing off the ball to reach the one-tech, Green must make his aiming point the playside armpit of that defender. This will allow for Green to get his head across, and at the very least, he will be able to stay in front, rip his backside arm through, and not allow the defender the cross his face.

Instead, Chaz can't get this done, and the defensive tackle is able to once again shed him and beat him on the play. And, due to what appears to be a serious contact balance issue, Green ends up on the ground.

dalvsaz chaz 3 - Streamable

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

Chaz Green looked incredibly athletic and smooth in his pulls against the New York Giants a couple of weeks ago. Monday night, however, he looked lost.

Asked to pull and kick the end man on the line of scrimmage, Green is responsible for opening this hole for Ezekiel Elliott. Instead, he puts his head down and gets his shoulders way out in front of his feet, making it easy for the defender to win this rep.

Of course, center Travis Frederick also gets beat here, but if Green had made his block I'd be willing to bet that Zeke could beat the nose to his landmark.

I don't want it to seem like I'm just killing Chaz Green here, but the tape doesn't lie. He simply wasn't good enough Monday night, and combined with poor efforts from the tight ends, made Zeke's night much harder than it had to be.

Green has shown before that he can play better than he has the last two weeks, but if he doesn't reach that form soon, it may be time to ask if he can really get it done this season.



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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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Russ_Te

    September 27, 2017 at 7:06 pm

    Good job Kevin.

    2nd vid, got good initial contact and other defenders stopped the run play. 3rd vid, I can pull that well… ;^)

    I don’t know here if this is just development curve, or if Green is always going to be eratic. That former #1 Cooper could not win the job, isn’t very positive either. Green has had injury problems in the past and that might force the job on Cooper for a while. Whenever you have new players on the OL it takes numerous games to get cohesion back, and Collins is also probably not as good now at RT as he will be.

    Since I’m advocating this week to start Butler and shop Terrance Williams, now I’m looking to trade him for a quality LG… ;^)

    • Kevin Brady

      Kevin Brady

      September 28, 2017 at 5:05 pm

      Thanks, Russ! And yes, as much as I had hoped Green could plug-and-play this year he just hasn’t gotten it done thus far. Might have to look for another guard this offseason if things don’t change.

  2. Brian Thompson

    September 28, 2017 at 11:44 am

    Go look at Zeke’s TD run. Green goes the complete opposite direction. This is just inexcusable. Can’t happen with a solid NFL line.

    • Kevin Brady

      Kevin Brady

      September 28, 2017 at 5:06 pm

      He went the wrong direction a couple of times on Monday. Hopefully he turns things around this week. Thanks for reading, Brian!

  3. dallas1966

    October 3, 2017 at 3:25 am

    The coaching staff needs to put Green and Cooper on notice, that their inconsistent play will no longer be tolerated. Both are killing the running and passing game, in clutch situations, causing Dak, to run for HIS life, or force to throw inaccurate , which put the playcaller, behind the 8 ball, on down and distance.

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Star Blog

Could Loaded FA Safety Market Drive Down Earl Thomas’ Value?

Brian Martin

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Could Loaded FA Safety Class Drive Down Earl Thomas' Price Tag?

It's no secret the Dallas Cowboys and Earl Thomas share a mutual interest in one another. Thomas has publicly stated his desire to join America's Team and the Cowboys did their darndest to make that happen last offseason. Nothing ever materialized a year ago, but it's looking as if the stars have finally aligned and a union between the two could merely be just weeks away.

Surprisingly enough, the Dallas Cowboys may have dodged a bullet last year when the Seattle Seahawks refused to part ways with their All-Pro safety. Not only would they have had to surrender a high draft pick, but they would've also had to extend Thomas' contract. Fortunately, timing is everything and now the Cowboys might just have to do the latter.

A potential contract between the Cowboys and Thomas is of course what I want to dive in today. I'm not going to get into numbers right now, because it's nearly impossible to project any kind of contract for any safety this offseason, especially for the former Seahawk, Earl Thomas.

Earl Thomas

Free Agent FS Earl Thomas (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Right now, it's a little difficult to know who might have the advantage in contract negotiations, Earl Thomas or the Dallas Cowboys. A lot of times the one that has the leverage, however slight, is the one that gets the better of the deal. As surprising as it may be, the Cowboys might just have the advantage here and I'll tell you why.

First off, this year's market for free agent safeties is pretty stacked with starting caliber players. See below:

  • Earl Thomas
  • Landon Collins
  • Lamarcus Joyner
  • Tyrann Mathieu
  • Adrian Amos
  • Clayton Geathers
  • Ha-Ha Clinton Dix
  • Glover Quinn
  • Tre Boston
  • Kenny Vaccaro
  • George Iloka
  • Jimmie Ward
  • Adrian Phillips

Earl Thomas is obviously the headliner here amongst the free agent safeties, but having so many starting caliber players available could drive down Thomas' market value just a bit. This is especially true when you take into consideration the market for FA safeties just a year ago. It was almost a complete standstill last year, with only Kurt Coleman signing a three-year $16.5 million deal with the New Orleans Saints. Not even the "Honey Badger" Tyrann Mathieu could get more than a one-year deal.

With all of these safeties available in free agency, we could be looking at another stingy market. This of course could be good or bad news for the Dallas Cowboys, especially as it pertains to Earl Thomas. Since he is the top FA safety available, everything could once again be at a standstill until he is signed.

Earl Thomas

Free Agent FS Earl Thomas (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Of course, we all know this will ultimately come down to determining Earl Thomas' market value. There is no denying he is still arguably the best free safety in the game today, but there are concerns about his age (30) and the two lower leg injuries he's sustained in the past three years.

Even with the loaded free agent market of starting caliber safeties and Thomas' age and recent injury history, he's still likely to receive a contract that earns him $10 million annually, give or take. It wouldn't surprise me at all if he gets another four-year deal worth $40 million, $25.7 million guaranteed, with a $9.5 million signing bonus like he signed with the Seahawks back in 2014.

The Cowboys of course would probably find a four-year $40 million deal for Earl Thomas acceptable. They would more than likely frontload the contract with a lot of protection in the details. They have the cap space to make this happen and still be able to sign their own, so money shouldn't be a problem.

Now, whether or not Thomas' market value may dip a little due to all of the above mentioned reasons will be something we will have to wait and find out. Regardless, I'd be a little shocked if Earl Thomas doesn't finish his career with the Dallas Cowboys.

Do you think Earl Thomas' market value will take a little hit this offseason?



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Star Blog

Acquiring Brown Will Give Dallas Twin Turbo Terrors

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Acquiring Brown Will Give Dallas Twin Turbo Terrors

What a difference a receiver makes, right? As Dallas fans, we know the impact of a player who can shake coverage, get open, and catch the ball. How was the season going before the Cowboys pulled the trigger for Amari Cooper in the deal with the Raiders? Cooper proved to be the lightning rod and a turning point in a season that was growing increasingly dismal. Dak Prescott and Cooper went together like peanut butter and jelly, while the Cowboys stormed to a division title and a postseason berth.

Now, imagine all of that times two… maybe even two and a half if Antonio Brown could be had from the Steelers. Scary right? We understand there’s only one ball to go around but that didn’t stop Kevin Durant from joining the Warriors, did it?

As of this writing, the best online sportsbooks like Intertops, are dealing Dallas as the seventh of 16 choices to win the NFC championship at odds of 12-1. Imagine how those odds would shrink if Brown wore a Cowboys uniform next season, giving Prescott the luxury of not one upper echelon wideout but that plus an elite receiver. Hut, hut, hut and a few clouds of smoke later the Cowboys would be moving the chains or celebrating in the endzone.

Brown and Cooper would be a devastating combination with Ezekiel Elliott coming out of the backfield. Brown was made for Dallas, it gives him an even grander stage than the one he shared with Ben Roethlisberger and Le’Veon Bell in Pittsburgh.

Despite the fact that the 'Boys haven’t won a Super Bowl since Barry Switzer was roaming the sidelines in the mid-90s, America’s Team still resides in Dallas. But we need a game-changer and Brown is just such an athlete. But what do we give in return and will that cost be worth whatever productive years Brown has left after this one? Let’s not forget that the mercurial Miami native will be 31 when the season begins and men who make a living with their legs don’t get better at that age. But Brown is so good and so unique that, even if he drops half a click, he's still amongst the best in the game.

That level of talent is hard to replicate and it could be the missing piece which allows Dallas to be a legitimate Super Bowl contender next season and the year after.

However, up to this point, we’ve been very good at dreaming of a Brown to Dallas trade but haven’t quite worked out the details. It takes two to tango and if we expect to get the Steelers’ attention we need to give them something valuable in return. Dallas surrendered their first-round pick (27th) this season when they traded for Cooper so that’s no longer an asset.

Pittsburgh would be vying for a first-round pick (and likely more) for Brown's services but some have speculated Dallas would consider dealing rookie-standout Leighton Vander Esch.

Wait... what? We know, you’re clutching your pearls, and the words are stuck in your gasp. We get it. The kid was a home run this past season, leading the Dallas defense in tackles and earning a Pro Bowl invitation in his inaugural NFL season. But this would be a Faustian deal.

The Cowboys give up a player who is poised to be a stud for years to come for a playmaker in Brown that could render a Super Bowl in the immediate future. Brown's expiration date will surely turn his milk sour sooner rather than later, but in the here and now, Antonio Brown could be the bell cow who leads the Cowboys to the promised land before he’s put out to pasture.

Just something to think about...



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Star Blog

2018 In Review: CB Anthony Brown Bounces Back

Kevin Brady

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Anthony Brown's Resurgence A Great Sign for Cowboys Defense
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

To say it's been an up-and-down start to the career of young cornerback Anthony Brown would be an understatement.

As a sixth round pick in 2016, everything Brown contributed during his rookie season was a plus. Due to injury he was asked to step into a greater role as the season went on, and he performed well enough to make the front office comfortable allowing multiple veterans to walk for nothing in free agency the following Spring. Brown looked like a legitimate starting cornerback in the league, and when Dallas brought in Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis during the next draft, the young secondary seemed set.

Then 2017 happened. And Anthony Brown struggled. Really struggled.

These struggles, coupled with the emergence of both Lewis and Awuzie during their own rookie seasons, made Brown's status heading into 2018 rather uncertain. Some wondered if they would trade him for a day three pick, others thought Brown could even end up being cut. Jourdan Lewis and Anthony Brown were slated to compete for the nickel cornerback job in training camp, and as it turned out, all Brown needed was that one extra chance to compete.

Brown won the job outright during the preseason, and began 2018 as the starting nickel. A fan favorite, most thought Lewis would reclaim his rightful spot on the depth chart sooner or later, but Anthony Brown's play (and Kris Richard's preferences) kept Lewis on the bench for much of the season.

Simply put, Anthony Brown balled in 2018, and was the Cowboys' second best corner for most of the year. By the end of the season Chidobe Awuzie had regained form, but Brown and Byron Jones were the most consistently reliable corners on the roster all of 2018.

Brown tallied 44 tackles, 2 sacks, and an interception in 2018, and finished third on the team in pass breakups with 8. As the slot corner Brown had an excellent season, especially for a former sixth round pick.

Now he enters a contract year, and with the Cowboys having so many guys to pay over the next two offseasons, he could find himself as an unrestricted free agent in 2020. And if he can keep up his play from last year moving forward, he could be in for a nice payday that Spring.



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