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Game Notes

The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly For Cowboys Against Chiefs

Brian Martin

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The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly For Cowboys Against Chiefs

All of Cowboys Nation is probably riding on a high right now after the impressive performance of Dallas Cowboys were able to put together against a talented Kansas City Chiefs team. Not many people gave the Cowboys a chance to win this game, but they were able to come away with a 28-17 victory at home and improve their record to 5-3.

This is one of those games that the Dallas Cowboys needed to win. Kansas City is considered to be one of the top teams in the league, and now the Cowboys are in that same conversation as well. It took a team effort, but that is why football is the ultimate team sport.

I honestly can’t tell you how excited I am that the Dallas Cowboys pulled off this victory. But, before I get too far off topic, let’s jump into this week’s edition of The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly for the Cowboys against the Chiefs. As always, please feel free to use the comment section at the end of the article to share your own thoughts and opinions on this topic.

LB Sean Lee

Dallas Cowboys LB Sean Lee

The Good

There were just so many different ways I could have gone this week to identify the good for the Dallas Cowboys against the Kansas City Chiefs yesterday afternoon. There was Dak Prescott accounting for three touchdowns, Cole Beasley‘s two TD performance, or even Terrance Williams‘ 141 yard day. But, I think the Dallas Cowboys defense has earned the good spot this week.

From the start of the game the Dallas Cowboys defense showed something they really haven’t shown the entire season… an attitude. They came out and were flying all over the field making tackles. They held the league’s leading rusher, Kareem Hunt, to just 37 rushing yards and pretty much held Alex Smith in check as well. In fact, the Cowboys were the first team to intercept a pass off of Smith this season.

The Cowboys defense continues to get better week after week and they did an outstanding job against the Kansas City Chiefs yesterday afternoon. Well, if you subtract the pitiful attempt to tackle Tyreek Hill right before halftime. This is the kind of performance we need from the Dallas Cowboys defense going forward.

WR Dez Bryant

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant

The Bad

Even though a lot of us are riding on a high right now from the Dallas Cowboys victory over the Kansas City Chiefs, there could be some bad news coming out of this matchup. The Cowboys had several players injured in this game, and unfortunately nearly all of them play key roles. That is absolutely the bad this week.

Tyron Smith had to leave the game and be replaced by Chaz Green. At this time there hasn’t been any kind of announcement of what type of injury he sustained, but it is deeply concerning. Dez Bryant was also injured and didn’t return. The word is he has an ankle sprain, but the severity of it is unknown. Terrance Williams looked to have also injured his ankle at the end of the game, which isn’t very good news for the depth at the WR position. Sticking with depleted depth at a position, Brian Price is an undervalued member at DT and his injury could end up being a huge loss.

We are just going to have to hope that none of these injuries are serious, but it is without a doubt the bad for this week.

S Byron Jones

Dallas Cowboys S Byron Jones

The Ugly

I honestly hate to single out Byron Jones because of all of the flak he receives from a lot of Dallas Cowboys fans, but Saturday afternoon against the Kansas City Chiefs was probably his worst performance as a pro. That is why he finds himself in the ugly category this week.

Unfortunately, the boneheaded penalty Byron Jones received for hitting a player out of bounds set the Chiefs up in good field position with 13 seconds left on the clock right before halftime. The Chiefs were able to capitalize on that and get Tyreek Hill in the end zone. If Jones doesn’t get that personal foul penalty, the Chiefs offense likely just kneels the ball to let the clock run out before halftime.

Byron Jones was also on the wrong end of the Travis Kelce touchdown. Jones is a really good cover safety, but Kelce made it look way too easy. This will hopefully be a forgettable game by Jones, because he’s far too talented to play like this. Hopefully, this will be a thing of the past.

What is your good, bad, and ugly for Cowboys against Chiefs?

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Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.

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8 Comments
  • Russ_Te

    Irving got a sack, Taco looked good on his, and Lawrence was disruptive. They seem to know to leave Lawrence mostly at LDE and set Irving up inside, and there might be some kind of synergy now with both getting consistent penetration. If Collins can turn a corner by the stretch run, this could turn into a withering DL.

    Most readers do not remember the fabled Cowboys DL of the 1970’s – Harvey Martin, Randy White, John Dutton and Ed “Too Tall” Jones. It’s something special when you have that kind of talent side by side on that unit, and it can dictate to offenses and change games by itself.

    So I agree that the D was a key yesterday. Lee led the team with 8 tackles, as it should be. I don’t see any issue now with the hamstring or whatever exact injury he had.

    I think I see Dak holding the ball too long, and also forcing it to covered receivers, more than what he did last year (which was almost none at all). If there is anything to that, then Linehan already knows it and they are addressing it. I would not consider it, as it is, as regression but rather a chance to nip bad tendencies in the bud. He remains the guy with poise and moxy who finds ways to make plays. It might not be a graph straight upward, but Prescott is on his way to elite QB stature over the next few years.

    Beasley came alive in this game with the 2 TD’s. He made great plays on both of them.
    Not a peep about Gathers, but it’s a wrinkle to bring in IMO for the stretch run.

    • Brian Martin

      I’m really liking what I see out of the Cowboys DL these last few games since Irving has returned from his suspension. They have been disruptive and should be a force to be reckoned with every week.

      I agree with you about Prescott. He is holding the ball a lot longer, but that’s been okay so far because his protection has been holding up. I honestly would like to see him tuck it a little more in those circumstances and pick up some positive yards, but I’m not going to change the way he plays right now. I wouldn’t want to mess things up because he’s playing at a high level.

      I don’t necessarily think Beasley finally came alive this game. He was finally targeted and responded accordingly. And, I don’t think we’re going to see Gathers this season. The Cowboys already have four TEs on the roster. I don’t think they will activate him unless there is an injury.

  • Ray Smith

    Byron is a talented player but he is not a great football player. The only reason he is not just average is that he has superior athleticism. In the last 3 years he just doesn’t show he has the IT factor.

    • Brian Martin

      I don’t disagree, but I think Byron Jones is vastly underrated for what he does for the Cowboys defense. I think he will get better as the talent around him gets better. He does a lot that goes unnoticed, but could definitely stand to improve.

  • Hobbes49

    Great game by the defense as a whole. Was very heartening to see Heath get and pick and Taco get a sack. If our defense can hold up this level of play, and our secondary continues to improve, I think this team can be the best in the NFL. Byron Jones had a bad two quarters of play, and that personal foul penalty was truly stupid, but I am inclined to give him a pass and hope to see improvement against the Falcons. Woods played a lot yesterday and maybe we will see Chido back on the field soon, and this secondary can continue to grow into a top 5 group. Seeing the pass rush we generate now on third downs is a joy to behold. Dak looked great, Zeke was strong, and it was nice to see Cole get back into a more prominent role with the offense. Witten is Witten, the O-line was strong. Dare I say this team is coming together for a Super Bowl run….

    • Brian Martin

      They certainly look like they’re coming together at the right time. I have concerns about the depth at the DT position with Brian Price’s injury, but the defense is looking strong overall.

      • Hobbes49

        Yeah, they may have to reach out to bring in a serviceable free agent. That’s a drop in talent for sure, but hopefully not too much.

        • Brian Martin

          They have to bring in somebody. I suggested Arthur Jones a few weeks ago. I think he is probably the best 1-tech FA. We will see though.

Game Notes

Film Room: WR Ryan Switzer Showed Flashes Vs. Eagles

Kevin Brady

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Film Room: WR Ryan Switzer Showed Flashes Vs. Eagles
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

There’s no doubt the Dallas Cowboys passing game faltered in 2017. Though never expected to throw for many yards, Dak Prescott and the Cowboys failed to maximize their attempts down the stretch. The passing game was simply inefficient and ineffective.

One reason the passing game took a step back was the disappearance of slot receiver Cole Beasley. Whether you blame defenses adjusting their coverages on third downs towards Beasley, Beasley growing another year older, or quarterback Dak Prescott, Beasley simply didn’t look like the same player in 2017.

In the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft, the Cowboys selected a wide out who many anticipate could replace Beasley, in time. Rookie wide receiver Ryan Switzer rarely got chances to make an impact on offense this season, designated as the return man for much of the year. With Cole Beasley out for the season finale, however, Switzer got his chance to make a name for himself.

While the numbers were far from gaudy, Ryan Switzer showed some things we should be excited about for the future.

dalvsphi2018 switzer – Streamable

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

Ryan Switzer’s first target came on a third down — something Cowboys Nation should get used to heading into 2018. Switzer is lined up inside in trips on the near-side of the formation. The Eagles show man coverage pre-snap, and with just one safety over top and the other rotated down on top of Jason Witten, it is clear to Dak Prescott they plan to bring some pressure.

As soon as Prescott gets the snap, his eyes go to Ryan Switzer.

The cornerback plays Switzer with inside leverage, refusing to be beat with a hot slant route. Switzer instead keeps the defender on his back hip and creates separation with an out-breaking route.

Prescott delivers the ball towards the sideline where the defender can’t catch up to it, and Switzer comes away with the first down.

dalvsphi2018 switzer 2 – Streamable

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

Later in the game, we once again see Ryan Switzer targeted from this inside-alignment.

Switzer is a pretty prototypical slot receiver, and if used correctly he should win in man coverage situations often. The cornerback attempts to maintain inside leverage on Switzer and get physical at the top of his route. Ryan Switzer does a nice job of fighting through that physicality and crossing the defender’s face over the middle. He flashes open pretty quickly, and Prescott delivers a strike for the completion.

If Switzer can create this type of separation often, I see no reason why he shouldn’t be a focus of the offense in 2018.

dalvsphi2018 switzer 3 – Streamable

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

Switzer’s third target is actually an incompletion, but it is worth studying, regardless. Switzer is in the slot on the far side and the Cowboys once again are in trips alignment. The cornerback over Switzer is in man coverage, but gives him room to breathe at the line of scrimmage.

Switzer exploits the cornerback — who is cheating to the inside — with his footwork and route running. He gets to the sticks, breaks to the outside, and creates enough separation for a first-down completion. Prescott delivers the ball a bit late and behind Switzer, causing an incompletion instead.

I’d still like to see Switzer adjust to the ball and make this catch, but I put more of the blame for this play on Prescott.

With a full offseason to work within the offensive system, as well as to develop chemistry with quarterback Dak Prescott, Ryan Switzer will prove to be an important piece to the 2018 Dallas Cowboys.

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Game Notes

Takeaway Tuesday: Datone Jones Should Be Back, Switzer’s Good Game

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Takeaway Tuesday: Datone Jones Should Be Back, Switzer's Good Game 1
AP Photo / Michael Ainsworth

The Dallas Cowboys put an end to a long, long season last Sunday after they defeated the Eagles in Philadelphia in a game that had absolutely no meaning for either team. Surprisingly, the Cowboys played with their healthy starters most of the game, but were barely able to put six points on the board, which were enough to take the win home.

The Cowboys might’ve lost more than what they actually won, and most of the fans were unhappy with the victory. Despite it being a pretty boring football game, we still learned a few things about the Dallas Cowboys.

The season’s finally over. It wasn’t easy, but we’re still here. Here’s to 2018. Let’s hope it’s a good one for our Cowboys. Here’s this week’s edition of Takeaway Tuesday!

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

Coaching Staff Didn’t Help Its Cause

It’s more than fair to say that a lot of us want to see changes in Dallas. And specifically, changes in the coaching staff. After the Cowboys were eliminated from playoff contention, Jerry Jones said Jason Garrett’s job was not an issue. Now, Jerry’s even talking about Rod Marinelli and Scott Linehan being back in 2018. Who knows if it’s true.

While I don’t think we’ll see a new head coach anytime soon, I’d dare say that after the horrible game versus Philadelphia the front office at least got to thinking.

Dak Prescott, Jason Garrett

Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott, HC Jason Garrett

Coming into this game, the team had a choice to make: play with the starters to win it, or let guys like Cooper Rush in the game and see what happens. A loss would’ve meant a better draft position for the Cowboys and a chance to see what rookies and other young players could bring to the table.

But they decided to manage the game like it was a “real action” game. Being conservative. Not going for it when there was nothing to lose. They did so after a team that, with the NFC’s #1 seed secured, basically played with its B team. Not only that but for the Eagles, most of the game was played by a third string QB.

Despite all this, the Cowboys could hardly beat the Eagles 6-0. Poor execution and all, I can’t help thinking about the coaches.

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Cowboys Should Keep Datone Jones for 2018

In late November, the Dallas Cowboys signed Datone Jones after he was released by the San Francisco 49ers. The former Packers’ first-round pick made an impact when he was given the chance. His play at DT was pretty solid and he showed very promising flashes.

DatoneJones – Streamable

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Jones will be under contract in 2018 and I’d be surprised if the Cowboys don’t keep him another year. Per Over The Cap, he’ll be paid $790,000 next year which isn’t at all expensive for a 27-year-old player.

The Cowboys would add depth and even a potential starter at DT for next season.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

Ryan Switzer Can Play as a Wide Receiver

With Cole Beasley missing the game because of an illness, we finally got to see Ryan Switzer at WR. We had already seen good things from him as a kick returner, but on offense, he hasn’t been as involved as Cowboys Nation expected him to be.

Last Sunday though, Switzer was used for more than a jet sweep.

SwitzerWR – Streamable

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

He still has a long way to go, but I was impressed by his ability to create separation. I really hope he’s used more next season.

At the end of the day, he’s a fourth-round pick. He should be playing more on offense, not just on “gadget plays” or special teams. Could Ryan Switzer be Dak Prescott’s best friend in the future? Only time will tell. Right now, it’s too optimistic to expect something like that.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

Dan Bailey’s Confidence is Shattered

Dallas Cowboys K Dan Bailey

Dan Bailey’s 2017 season hasn’t been easy at all. We’ve seen him miss kicks we never imagined he would, including extra points. One of the most painful moments of the Cowboys’ season came late in the season finale when he lined up to kick a simple 20-yard field goal.

The ball went up, but failed to split the uprights. Dan Bailey stood in complete disbelief, with a blank look in his face. His confidence, shattered.

For kickers, it’s all about confidence.

For years, we referred to Dan “Automatic” Bailey as the most accurate kicker in NFL history. Now we’re not sure about calling him “Automatic” anymore. Bailey will have a lot of time to pick himself up though, and will probably be back at it next year.

Let’s hope that’s the case.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

For now, the only thing left to say is one of the most encouraging, yet sad phrases in sports… Maybe next year. We’re on to the offseason.

Tell me what you think about “Takeaway Tuesday: Datone Jones Should Be Back, Switzer’s Good Game” in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 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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Game Notes

Sean’s Scout: Cowboys Starters Uninspiring in Week 17 Win

Sean Martin

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Sean's Scout: Cowboys Starters Produce Uninspiring Week 17 Win

Playing more than enough of their starters in hopes of ending this 2017 season on a high note at the Eagles, the Cowboys produced a lackluster 6-0 win that will surely leave a bad taste in the mouths of Cowboys Nation – despite it being a victory.

The win put the Cowboys at 9-7 on the season, and it is a shame they had nothing to play for in this regular season finale. Once again in week 17, it was the offense holding back another fantastic performance by Rod Marinelli’s defense.

We’ll discuss both units in this final 2017 Dallas Cowboys version of Sean’s Scout.

  • You have to love the way Chidobe Awuzie was able to bring physicality to a young Cowboys secondary that had another solid game. 

There were times earlier in this season when it seemed the Cowboys’ second-round pick would have a lost season due to multiple hamstring injuries, but Awuzie quickly tuned around his rookie campaign by coming in and playing with exceptional technique and awareness.

With enough length to turn and run, Awuzie thrived in this zone scheme by keeping everything in front of him, as he did on his interception of Nick Foles. With Dallas in Cover 2 on the play, Chidobe read Foles’ eyes the whole time to the boundary and was in position to cut off the pass.

This is a topic we’ll now have much more time to discuss, and it is a hollowing one considering it was truly the Cowboys offense that kept them from the playoffs this season. The need for new talent at WR is clear, but the need for a target that better suits Prescott’s strengths going into year three is even more important.

His pass catchers, along with inconsistencies in pass protection, were the main reasons Prescott struggled in 2017, although in this game it seemed like the only time he was affected in the pocket was when forcing the ball late to Bryant.

Coming from a spread system in college, Prescott simply does not have experience throwing his receivers open — relying on route combinations and separation ability to hit open targets. Dez Bryant hasn’t been that type of player through his career, and certainly isn’t now that he’s lost a step.

  • 9 wins for a team unlike their usual selves up front offensively is still pretty impressive. 

The Cowboys got nearly no impact from any of their free agent signings this season, which is why the depth of the team held them back once again. Veteran Byron Bell was brought in as a backup swing tackle, but he is simply not a scheme fit at tackle here.

Dak Prescott should not have been playing with Bell as his LT, and eventually Joe Looney at LG after Jonathan Cooper went down.

Bell lacks the quick-twitch ability and athleticism needed to be successful on every down, and it showed as he was again beaten by both speed and power against the Eagles.

The Cowboys have proven their acumen drafting young OL talent that performs at a high level early and often. So, instead of relying on more free agents, like Bell and Looney, drafting talent up front to spark the running game and give Prescott adequate protection is likely the best answer.

  • Ryan Switzer’s ability to separate late in the down really stood out, as he finally got his chance at WR without Cole Beasley

Growing calls for more of Ryan Switzer on offense will surely take root this offseason after he caught four passes for 32 yards in the absence of Cole Beasley yesterday. More of a one-speed player at North Carolina, Switzer’s spacial awareness and smoothness in giving Prescott somewhere to throw the ball as plays developed was really impressive.

In order to be a great team at the NFL Draft, you have to accurately scout your own roster. It will be fascinating to see just how the Cowboys feel about their current pass catchers, with not only Ryan Switzer but the likes of Lance Lenoir and practice squad addition K.D. Cannon in the fold as well.

  • The Cowboys found themselves a valuable addition to their rotation at DT with Datone Jones. 

Jones was able to push the pocket throughout this game in Philadelphia, and has done so consistently since getting here, at both the 1T and 3T positions. Using his hands to generate power as a down-the-line player, Jones plays with great pad level. That allows him to shoot gaps when needed, or anchor the line of scrimmage.

The Cowboys have not prioritized adding premier talent at DT in recent years, and may forego it again this offseason as well. The Cowboys expect Maliek Collins to contribute further with another season at 1T and David Irving back at 3T.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

To everybody who made this 2017 season at Inside The Star as enjoyable as ever, I would like to thank the readers of Sean’s Scout. All this aspiring scout can ask for is to enhance the fan experience through both wins and losses, and your feedback on this series helped me to confidently do just that.

As we prepare for an even better 2018, Sean’s Scout won’t be going anywhere! I’m shifting my full attention towards the NFL Draft, looking for prospects that could help the Dallas Cowboys reach the playoffs again next season.

Thank you for another roller-coaster ride we call football season, Cowboys Nation. Truly the best fans anywhere.

Tell us what you think about “Sean’s Scout: Cowboys Starters Uninspiring in Week 17 Win” in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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