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

Brian Martin

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The Dallas Cowboys are now 1-0 to start the 2017 after an impressive 19-3 victory of the New York Giants. It's always good to get a division win, but the Cowboys did it in a dominant fashion Sunday night in all three phases of the game. I would like to take this opportunity to share with all of you The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly that took place for the Dallas Cowboys last night.

I would first like to say that I was really impressed with the way the Cowboys played the game from beginning to end. They looked to be pretty close to midseason form and it showed in the way they controlled the game.

So, without further do here is The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly for the Dallas Cowboys against New York Giants in Week 1 of the 2017 season.

DE DMarcus Lawrence

Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The Good

Would it be a copout to recognize the entire Dallas Cowboys team and how they performed last night against the New York Giants? Honestly, I think all three phases the game was pretty much dominated by the Cowboys, which is a good sign for things to come. The entire team looked to be in midseason form and controlled the game from start to finish.

The Cowboys offense was able to move the ball up and down the field at will against a tough Giants defense. There were some spectacular catches made by Brice Butler and Cole Beasley to keep drives alive, but if there was one area that needs improvement it might be the red zone playcalling.

The Cowboys defense was a huge question mark heading into this contest. No one really knew what to expect from them, but they pretty much shut down the entire Giants offense and flustered QB Eli Manning the entire game. The bright spot here might just be the pass rush. They were able to get home on several occasions and that will only help the overall performance of the entire defense.

The Bad

I'm probably nitpicking here, but the only bad I noticed last night for the Cowboys against the Giants was that Dak Prescott never seemed comfortable. I don't know if it was just early-season jitters or if the Giants defense just gives Prescott more problems then others, but something was off.

Prescott seemed to have a problem with his accuracy. He overthrew several of his receivers early in the game and missed a surefire touchdown to Dez Bryant by overthrowing him as well. Luckily, that missed TD didn't come back to bite the Cowboys in the butt, but those opportunities must be capitalized on.

Prescott was able to overcome everything in the end and helped the Cowboys offense outscore the Giants. It definitely wasn't the best performance we have seen from him, but he continued to grind it out despite his struggles. That's all you can ask for from your starting QB or anyone for that matter.

RB Ezekiel Elliott

Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Ugly

Again, this may be nitpicking, but Ezekiel Elliott just didn't look himself last night. You didn't see the same kind of energy or explosiveness we're used to seeing from him and he just looked kind of lethargic at times. I'm sure all of this suspension stuff hanging over his head has had some kind of effect on him, but I expected him to come out against the Giants and run angry.

Zeke Elliott didn't have a bad game by any means. He was able to rack up 104 rushing yards on 24 carries and added another 36 yards through the air on five catches. That's not a bad performance at all, especially against a Giants defense that is known for shutting down the run. But, I am curious to know if something was affecting Elliott last night. He just didn't look like himself to me.

What's your good, bad, and ugly for the Cowboys against the Giants?



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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5 Comments
  • Hobbes49

    Good article Brian. I agree with you wholeheartedly about Dak and Zeke. They both had good nights don’t get me wrong, but neither was in top form. Dak looked skittish to me and Zeke not quite up to speed. The bright side to this is that I totally expect them to be their old selves next week. I think Dak was too hyped to put the whole “can he beat the Giants?” thing to bed, and was pressing, and I am sure Zeke was mentally and emotionally strung out after all the suspension shenanigans. It should be out of their system but time we get to Denver. I know the Giants offense is terrible right now, but i am jazzed about the defense’s performance last night. The line looked strong, which helped the secondary look good, and Lee and Smith are gonna be an absolute monster LB team by the end of this season. All in all, a great start to the season for the ‘Boys, and it should only get better from here.

    • Brian Martin

      Thanks for commenting. I was really pleased with the entire team’s performance overall. It was a great way to start the season and hopefully everybody rounds into form quickly. The first game of the season is always a struggle to get through, but I’m expecting big things from this 2017 squad.

  • Russ_Te

    Dak only played 2 quarters in preseason and may just have been rusty against a live opponent. When he had that great run breaking tackles, finished it upright – has to slide there. No extra shots on QB awarded to the defense.

    We know last night was the B game, so it’s upside for him in Denver.

    EE, I agree he was not at full intensity. I’m sure the accusations would be nearly impossible for someone to not get worn down by. The injunction will hold IMO and he’ll get off it and back to winning the rushing title.

    Morris ahead of McFadden? Not on board. McF is the guy to gash defenses when EE needs a breather.

    • Brian Martin

      Everything I’ve heard and read said that Morris has been outperforming McFadden and that it wasn’t even close. I honestly don’t really like either option. I think they are both pretty much in decline as players and would much rather see Rod Smith see some carries.

      • Russ_Te

        Looking at preseason, Morris 5.3 to McF 5.1 per. But McFadden is faster & more explosive. It might signal that if EE were to get suspended, Morris is the workhorse and they want McF to bring his skills in on 3rd down.

        I think they both have some gas left in the tank, age 28 and 30 respectively, and McF had a lot of games where he was out with injuries & not getting pounded.

        Fortunately Elliott will probably not face any suspension this year. I don’t see Morris filling the shoes completely. I was very pleased of course with the game the defense had Sunday, but as Tapper, Smith and the secondary rookies get worked in, I still think the TOP game is the best strategy.

Dallas Cowboys

5 Winners from Dallas Cowboys OTAs and Minicamp

John Williams

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Cowboys en Español: Caras Nuevas, ¿Tenemos Cornerbacks?, Adiós Ware
James D. Smith/Dallas Cowboys

The Dallas Cowboys have completed the offseason part of their practices and are now eyeing the start of training camp in Oxnard, California on July 26th. The offseason stuff doesn't necessarily show what a team thinks about a player near as much as training camp, so I won't look at any losers because these practices have varying personnel at times.

That being said, there certainly were some winners during the offseason.

1. Jaylon Smith, Linebacker

Every day removed from his injury in the 2016 Fiesta Bowl is another day closer to potentially seeing the All-American linebacker that would have been a top-10 pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.

With the knee injury, there's always been some doubt about Jaylon returning to that level of play, but as offseason practices wore on it was becoming clear that he's much healthier and much more mobile than he was in 2017.

Both of those things are strong signs in the right direction for the third year pro.

After sitting out his rookie season to rehab and then having some good moments and some really bad moments in 2017, it sounds like he's making progress to be a difference maker in 2018.

During OTAs and minicamp sessions that were open to the media, Jaylon was seen running with the first-team defense every time they took the field. Now, some of that is due to the Cowboys limiting the snaps of veteran All-Pro Sean Lee and rookie first round pick Leighton Vander Esch, who came up with a sprained ankle, but the fact that Smith's snaps weren't limited should only be seen as a good sign.

We still have a long way to go until the Dallas Cowboys strap it on for their week one matchup with the Carolina Panthers, but Jaylon Smith is on an excellent trajectory.

Anyone with a Clear, Eye, View can see that.

2. Anthony Brown, Cornerback

One of the bigger surprises during the offseason practices so far has to be Anthony Brown, and not Jourdan Lewis, running with the first team nickel defense.

Jourdan Lewis proved he was a really good corner in his rookie year, both in the slot and on the outside, while Anthony Brown struggled at times. Knowing that new Defensive Backs Coach and Passing Game Coordinator Kris Richard prefers his corners to be tall, long, and strong has led to some speculation that Lewis may not be a fit in Richard's scheme.

That's certainly a possibility. The more realistic possibility is that Brown, with more seniority, was getting the opportunities first as is often the case with Jason Garrett coached teams during the offseason.

While Brown is a pretty good slot cornerback in his own right, this might only be temporary.

Understanding Cowboys Remaining Offseason "To-Do List"

Dallas Cowboys WR Michael Gallup

3. Michael Gallup, Wide Receiver

As I read reports from OTAs and minicamp practices, one thing that stood out is that Michael Gallup was winning and winning a lot.

When asked in a mailbag who had been building the best rapport with Quarterback Dak Prescott, Bryan Broaddus from DallasCowboys.com had this to say:

"Bryan: That’s a great question. The guys that come to mind for this [sic] me are Michael Gallup and Blake Jarwin. Those guys have found ways to generate space and have been reliable catching the ball when it’s thrown in their direction."

Bryan Broaddus - DallasCowboys.com

Just a few days earlier Broaddus stated that Cole Beasley and Gallup were the only ones getting open with any consistency.

Now, it's still early and it's padless practice, but that's an encouraging sign for the third round pick out of Colorado State.

Typically it takes a year for wide receivers to adjust to the NFL game, especially with how much press coverage is played by NFL defensive backs. One of the byproducts of Kris Richard's existence as the defensive backs coach is that they're playing more press coverage. He's teaching his DB's to be more aggressive and more physical at the line of scrimmage.

For Gallup and the rest of the wide receiver group, that can only help them as they get ready to face opposing defenses. One way to disrupt timing-based routes or an offense that relies on separation and yards after the catch is to disrupt the receiver at the snap. Every practice, these guys are working to beat the press.

As a rookie wide receiver, this can only benefit Gallup -- in particular -- as that will be a big transition from college where defenses are playing off the line of scrimmage against the countless number of spread offenses that exist.

The fact that he's already winning reps during practices against some pretty good corners is a great sign for the Dallas Cowboys.

He may not be a starter in this offense right away, but I doubt it takes long before he's cemented himself in three and four wide receiver personnel groupings.

4. Chaz Green, Guard

I'm sure you aren't a fan of seeing Chaz Green's name anywhere near a "winners" list. As bad as the Atlanta Falcons game was for him, we can't ignore the fact that Green got a lot of first team repetitions during OTAs and minicamp while Zack Martin negotiated his contract extension.

Either that means the Dallas Cowboys haven't given up on their third round pick from 2015 or they're trying to get as many practice snaps out of him as possible to be able to make a clearer decision regarding his future with the team.

Getting to play with the ones is encouraging, but he still has a lot to prove during training camp to keep a spot on the roster. Green's going to get a long leash as a former premium draft pick. We'll see if he takes advantage of it.

5. Jihad Ward, Defensive Tackle

Maliek Collins hurt his foot -- again -- and David Irving was dealing with off the field stuff -- again -- leaving Jihad Ward with a lot of opportunities to play against the first team offensive line as the three-technique defensive tackle.

On June 4th, I asked Bryan Broaddus from DallasCowboys.com who his biggest surprises on offense and defense were during OTAs:

Bryan Broaddus on Twitter

Cedrick Wilson and Jihad Ward https://t.co/kgcgJkTj3U

If Broaddus is encouraged by Ward's progress, I am too.

He's going to have a lot of opportunity to get a strangle hold on the 3T defensive tackle spot with Maliek Collins not set to be back until late in training camp, and David Irving suspended the first four games of the 2018 season.

The Dallas Cowboys liked Ward coming out of college and had him just behind Maliek Collins on their 2016 NFL Draft Big Board.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

There's still a lot of practice reps that have yet to take place, but the Dallas Cowboys have gotten some encouraging contributions from these players. As we look to training camp, who will you be watching to see if the stand-out and can make the Dallas Cowboys 53-man roster?



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Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys Roster: Who Are the “Best” Players on the Bubble?

Sean Martin

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Cowboys Roster: Who Are the "Best" Players on the Bubble? 1

It may still seem very far away, but the days of NFL clubs holding 90 players on their roster are numbered. By September 1st, each team will cut down to 53 players, thinning the roster following training camp. For the Dallas Cowboys, this is surely going to leave some talented players off the 2018 squad, as the team is once again entering Oxnard with a deep group.

We all have our "pet cats" that we'll root for to make the roster however possible. Be it a wide receiver like Noah Brown, now stuck behind a wave of new pass catchers, or a cornerback like Marquez White, the roster crunch for the Cowboys will come at a cost to some.

Forecasting exactly where the team will "go long" and where they'll be short on numbers is hard to predict without the team back on the field, but here is my initial look at some players that Cowboys Nation may have to move on from.

Cowboys Roster: Who Are the "Best" Players on the Bubble? 2

Dallas Cowboys CB Marquez White

Cornerback Marquez White

Previously in this offseason, I wrote about how Cornerback Anthony Brown may be one of the Cowboys better all-around players to miss this year's cut. With a strong showing in front of new Passing Game Coordinator Kris Richard at OTAs and mini camp, Brown feels well on his way to earning a spot with the Cowboys, leaving Marquez White in a precarious situation.

White spent his rookie season in Dallas on the practice squad, a sixth round pick out of Florida State. Sliding in the draft because of his rawness as a prospect, White has the ideal size and length to play anywhere in Richard's defense if given the chance.

Getting this chance may come difficult to White though, as Byron Jones and Chidobe Awuzie are slotted to start on the boundary for the Cowboys at cornerback. Not as well suited to compete in the slot against both Brown, Jourdan Lewis, and Duke Thomas, White's time with the Cowboys could be limited.

Moving on from White would be an important vote of confidence in the rest of the secondary for the Cowboys. Teams around the league would waste no time recalling their initial draft grades on White to potentially add the CB to their roster.

Defensive End Charles Tapper

The Cowboys have very much so built their roster with a "what have you done for me lately?" type approach, and for Charles Tapper this answer is disappointing. Constantly dealing with injuries since entering the league in 2016, Tapper has appeared in two games and recorded one sack.

Tapper couldn't escape this year's offseason program without another setback, suffering a concussion that kept him out of workouts. Even without assuming that the Cowboys add a reinstated Randy Gregory to their roster, the team is prepared with more proven options at right defensive end.

Rookie Dorance Armstrong, FA signing Kony Ealy, and last year's first-round pick Taco Charlton are all capable of playing this spot. Doing so with more availability than Tapper may be all this group needs to earn their spot over the third-year draft pick out of Oklahoma.

Cowboys Roster: Who Are the "Best" Players on the Bubble?

Guard Marcus Martin

Yesterday here at Inside The Star, I wrote about how the Cowboys potentially keeping more offensive linemen compared to recent years could be bad news for the team's tight ends. Logically, this also means that some of the Cowboys embarrassment of riches on the OL will be looking for a new job.

With starting experience as a member of the 49ers, Marcus Martin was brought in as insurance for the departed Jonathan Cooper, prior to the Cowboys drafting Connor Williams. With Williams expected to start immediately at left guard, Martin has a long way to go in holding his spot over the likes of Kadeem Edwards and Damien Mama.

The Cowboys value Edward's swing ability, although Martin is capable of lining up at center along with guard. At any interior position, he may have more experience and skill than Mama, but if the Cowboys feel certain about their five starters they can afford to keep a cheaper player like Mama compared to Martin.

A free agent signing like Martin not making the Cowboys roster would only solidify the team's status as the best OL in the game, with Offensive Tackle Cam Fleming being their other veteran FA signing.

Running Back Bo Scarbrough

Bo Scarbrough and the Dallas Cowboys is a fun concept, but it may be just that as the roster trims in Dallas. The star running back out of Alabama fell all the way to the Cowboys final pick in the seventh round at this year's draft, joining Ezekiel Elliott, Rod Smith, and now Darius Jackson in a loaded backfield.

Scarbrough stands out as a back with true power and finishing ability, but he'll have to do so on special teams to justify a roster spot. Simply playing as a short yardage back won't be enough for Scarbrough to survive in a RB room full of complete play makers, yet still reliant on a true workhorse back.

Wide Receiver Deonte Thompson

When the Cowboys drafted both Michael Gallup and Cedrick Wilson, they created a logjam at wide receiver. Through competition, the team is hoping their best five/six receivers for Dak Prescott to throw to will reshape this offense.

The latest signing as an outside receiver with over-the-top speed, Deonte Thompson was brought in by the Cowboys in free agency via the Buffalo Bills.

Thompson's ability to impact a game with this speed is enough for him to secure a spot in Scott Linehan's offense. Without a strong showing in camp and the preseason though, its realistic to see Thompson losing out on this spot. The Cowboys have already seen what players like Noah Brown and Lance Lenoir can do, which fills up their depth chart at WR when adding Allen Hurns, Terrance Williams, and Cole Beasley.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

By taking a look at where the Cowboys have depth to spare -- prior to any actual roster battles taking place next month -- it's easier to understand the types of decisions that lie ahead for this team.

All of the players listed above will have their opportunity to prove me wrong and earn their spot with the team, capable of helping in a big way. Regardless of how this list was constructed, going from 90 players down to 53 will be as difficult as ever for Dallas in 2018.

Tell us what you think about "Cowboys Roster: Who Are the “Best” Players on the Bubble?" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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Report: QB Dak Prescott Signs Multi-Year Deal With Campbell’s Chunky Soup

Kevin Brady

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Jekyll or Hyde: Year 3 "Prove It" Season For Dak Prescott? 1

Being the Dallas Cowboys starting quarterback comes with its challenges, but it certainly comes with its perks as well. One of those perks is the opportunity for endorsement deals, and income outside of his football salary.

Dak Prescott is embracing those perks now, reportedly signing a multi-year deal with Campbell's Chunky Soup through 2020. Prescott will continue to endorse Chunky MAXX, Campbell's protein soup line.

Brandon George on Twitter

Cowboys QB Dak Prescott has re-signed a new multi-year deal with Campbell's Chunky Soup through 2020. This is the first QB multi-year deal for Chunky Soup since Donovan McNabb in 2001. He'll continue to promote Chunky MAXX, the protein-packed line of soups, this year, per Edelman

Campbell's Soup has had some legendary football related commercials throughout the years, none more memorable than those with former Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb and his mother.

In fact, Dak Prescott is the first NFL quarterback to sign a multi-year deal with Campbell's Chunky Soup since those McNabb commercials.

Hopefully, Dak Prescott can continue to "prove it" on the field and still be the Cowboys starting quarterback throughout this entire Campbell's deal.



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