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Fundamentals, Not Scheme, Cause for Woes for Dallas Cowboys Defense



kiffinRome wasn’t built in a day.  Yet, it still became one of the most dominant empires in our planet’s history.

The Dallas 2 defense wasn’t built in 5 weeks but that doesn’t mean it won’t be.

Now, I’m not saying that the Dallas Cowboys are going to come together and be the most dominant defense in the league but I am saying that this scheme has proven itself over the years and the Cowboys have the players to execute it.

It’s all about adjusting, learning and staying confident in your teammates.

For the most part, the Cowboys defensive woes aren’t about the scheme.  There are two variables that have plagued the defense and have hindered gaining any traction to move forward. The first variable is playing top notch offenses.  I mean, you have to face Peyton Manningtron and an all-of-the-sudden talented again Phillip Rivers; both of which have emerged to be in the elite class of quarterback in this season's NFL.

The second variable? Fundamentals.

That sounds cliche but the Cowboys defense are really killing themselves.  As we’ll break down below, the Cowboys are simply making mental errors.  One of the biggest struggles this season has been passing off coverages.  The Dallas 2 defense relies on players being accountable to their zones and having the patience and awareness to essentially let the play come  to them.  What’s happening is that players aren’t trusting fellow defenders to overlap coverage and it’s allowing offensive skill players to exploit empty zones.  Add that to the fundamental inability to form tackle or take proper angles in pursuit and you have a losing equation, every time.

Lets take a closer look:

In this play (3rd and 4) the Bronco’s look to convert a first down.  What you’ll see is Julius Thomas flexed out and Eric Decker to the left of him in the slot.  Sean Lee is playing at the LOS showing blitz and Orlando Scandrick is playing about 5 yards off the LOS and splitting Thomas and Decker.


As Manning snaps the ball, Lee drops back 10 yards while carrying Julius Thomas through the seam.  Eric Decker runs a 5 yard (give or take) drag route across the middle. Orlando Scandrick initially carries Decker on his route.  This is where things get tricky.  Both players continue to carry Thomas (if only for a split second) which leaves Decker wide open in the middle. Scandrick and Lee react but it’s too late, Completion. Luckily, the Cowboys force a fumble on the tackle.


This may seem like a futile example because the play resulted in a turnover.  However, this play highlights exactly what the disconnect is defensively for this team.  It’s imperative that the Cowboys defenders know their assignments and trust their teammates to overlap coverage.  This isn’t the first time this team has made this mistake and likely won’t be their last.  But until they can fix it, they’ll continue to give up big plays against slot receivers/tight ends.

Now, all is not lost.  The good news is that there is some really strong young talent and veterans who can still turn this thing around.  The defense is new, not extinct, and these players have mostly developed in the Rob Ryan defense which was very detailed and required a lot of work.  The Dallas 2? Simple.  Sit back and react.

Sean Lee’s leadership along with the young developing stars on this defense are going to get it together and when they do watch out.

This season hinges on the defense and I don’t think they’ll let us down.

Former Sports Writer. Veteran. Serving veterans is my passion. Johns Hopkins Student. Enjoy Discussing Politics and sports!

Player News

Dallas Cowboys to Re-Sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladouceur for 2018

Sean Martin



Dallas Cowboys to Re-Sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladoucer for 2018 1

Continuity is the key to good special teams play in the NFL. Already losing long-time Special Teams Coordinator Rich Bisaccia to the Raiders - who promptly snatched ST aces Keith Smith and Kyle Wilber in free agency - the Dallas Cowboys have announced their intentions to re-sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladouceur for the 2018 season.

Returning on a one-year deal, the fan favorite Ladouceur will be back to do what he does best in cleanly executing almost every special teams snap for Chris Jones or Dan Bailey to handle.

Todd Archer on Twitter

Long snapper L.P. Ladouceur will re-sign with the Cowboys on Monday, according to sources, on a one-year deal. He will be in his 14th season with the franchise. Only Jason Witten, Ed "Too Tall" Jones, Bill Bates and Mark Tuinei will have more years of...

While Jones has improved as the Cowboys' punter with each passing season, Kicker Dan Bailey actually enters 2018 as another question mark on this unit. With the general belief around the team being that Bailey will be just fine moving forward, the Cowboys will no longer have to worry about who handles long snaps next year either.

Dallas Cowboys to Re-Sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladoucer for 2018

Dallas Cowboys LS L.P. Ladouceur

L.P. Ladouceur is back in the silver and blue, and in this moment, everything can be alright with the world.

Tell us what you think about "Dallas Cowboys to Re-Sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladouceur for 2018" in the comments below. You can also email me at, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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Player News

Report: Raiders Sign Former Cowboys LB Kyle Wilber

Kevin Brady



Cowboys Headlines - Dallas Cowboys Re-Sign Linebacker Kyle Wilber

A Free Agency period filled with departures continued for the Dallas Cowboys today, as the Oakland Raiders have reportedly signed the now-former Cowboys LB Kyle Wilber.


The Raiders have signed LB Kyle Wilber:

Wilber has been with the Cowboys since 2012, and has played in all 16 games four of the past five seasons. Most of his time has come on special teams, but he did provide solid linebacker depth for the Cowboys since joining the team.

Dallas has now lost both Wilber and Anthony Hitchens, depleting their linebacker depth even further over the last couple weeks.

The Raiders have now signed two key special teams contributors for the Cowboys in Keith Smith and Kyle Wilber this offseason. Hopefully Dallas can replace these types of "replacement level" players throughout the rest of the offseason, especially during the NFL Draft.

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Player News

Report: Cowboys Officially Release CB Orlando Scandrick

Kevin Brady



Orlando Scandrick

After requesting his release from the team just a few days ago, Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick has gotten his wish. According to ESPN's Josina Anderson, Scandrick has officially been cut by the Dallas Cowboys.

Josina Anderson on Twitter

I'm told the #Cowboys have informed CB Orlando Scandrick he will be released, per source.

This move will reportedly save the Cowboys roughly $1.4M against the salary cap, as we hope they finally look to make some moves during the Free Agency period.

Scandrick's release comes after an offseason in which the Cowboys totally overhauled the back end of their defense, specifically their cornerbacks. With the emergence of young, promising players such as Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis, and the health issues of the aging Scandrick, the move makes a lot of sense.

In fact, after the Cowboys drafted Awuzie in the second round of last year's draft it was rumored the Cowboys were looking to move Scandrick for extra draft picks. Instead, one year later, they have cut him to save some cap room.

Orlando Scandrick should have a market to find a new team elsewhere, but his time in Dallas has now come to a close.

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