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Jason Garrett 2-0 Against the Giants After Bye Weeks

Sean Martin



Cowboys Blog - Jason Garrett 2-0 Against the Giants After Bye Weeks 1

The best teams use the bye week, no matter how early or late in the year it may come, to refocus their season and pick up a win the following week. Bill Belichick and the Patriots do this better than anyone.

Jason Garrett did not have the same post-bye success in his first seasons with Dallas but has turned it around to pick up road wins against the Giants the last two seasons.

A week 11 bye last season had the Cowboys at 7-3, staring down two pivotal NFC East games in November with the Giants and Eagles. In a game remembered for Odell Beckham's world stopping catch, it was Dez Bryant that found the end zone when it mattered - catching a 13-yard score with just over a minute left for the win.

Cowboys Blog - Jason Garrett 2-0 Against the Giants After Bye Weeks

 (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

The Cowboys won by three, 31-28.

Dallas would go on to lose to the Eagles on Thanksgiving on a short week, but string together wins against the Bears, Eagles on the road, and Colts to win the NFC East.

The previous year, the Cowboys had the same week 11 bye to prepare for a trip to MetLife Stadium. However, they entered this one at a mere 5-5. It was another three-point win that would give the team a breath of life.

Romo methodically drove the team downfield in the fourth quarter, converting two third downs, to set up Dan Bailey for a game-winning field goal. Final score, 24-21.

The win moved the Cowboys into a tie for first place in the division. They would later lose to the Eagles in week 17, giving them the divisional title.

Reeling from three straight losses, it will be up to Jason Garrett to prepare this team once again for a trip to MetLife Stadium after the bye week. If he can improve to 3-0 in this situation, it would put the Cowboys back to 3-3 to return home and face the Seattle Seahawks.

It would also give the team an enormous 3-0 head start in the NFC East this season.

The Giants will be returning home to play this game after a Monday night matchup in Philadelphia.

Tell us what you think about "Jason Garrett 2-0 Against the Giants After Bye Weeks" in the comments below. You can also email me at, 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 every Friday from 1-4 PM ET. Twitter: @SeanMartinNFL.

  • Fred Goodwin

    So Garrett is 2-0 at the Giants coming off a bye week. That’s nice, but so what? He had never lost three straight as a head coach until Sunday, and we all know how that ended. The Cowboys need a win Sunday; history and streaks don’t matter.

    • Bryson Treece

      I agree on the so what mentality but not for the reason you pointed out. In Garrett’s time as head coach in Dallas, he’s had a lot of success with halftime adjustments. So far that hasn’t been true of the 2015 Cowboys before Dez and Romo got hurt even. Looks like he’s shaking things up during the bye so hopefully he finds his mojo again with a few good calls, like the change at QB. Not that Cassel is a great QB, but something needs to change.

  • Sean Martin

    While I agree that pattern analysis is often worthless, Bryson raises a good point that he has been successful making changes in the past – and this is certainly a move he needs to have work out.

    • Fred Goodwin

      I hope you guys are right. But for three weeks now, whatever “changes” he made didn’t work. The only difference I see this time is, he has an extra week to prepare. I hope that’s enough for him to uncover a winning formula. “Next man up” and “nameless, faceless opponent” don’t seem to be working.

  • Dallas GOON

    There are teams with five and six wins. There are a couple three with four wins.

    Dallas has two wins, that came a month ago. Yes, the Cowboys have gone a MONTH without a win. Teams who do that don’t win Super Bowls.

    If Dallas loses this game, still with rested Green Bay and Seattle games still looming, the season is virtually over.

    If this season ends up being nothing, Garrett needs to be fired. It’s bad enough that he’s wasted the primes of two of his best players (Romo and Witten), but he hasn’t shown much if any upward arrow trend as a coach. Let’s be honest here. Garrett doesn’t ‘win’ games as a coach. Not only does he not win games as a coach, but he’s even blown winnable games.

    Enough’s enough.

  • Sean Martin

    I agree that this is as close to a must-win as the Cowboys can have this early in the season. We need to build that 3-0 divisional record.

    As for Garrett, I feel it is unfair to pinpoint him as the sole force behind potentially “wasting” the careers of Witten and Romo. You are correct in the fact that he is not a guy that other team’s would bring in because he will lead them to wins.

    For the Cowboys’ purpose though, he has served as a nice figurehead and manager of this team.

    Ever since Wade Phillips was fired I was advocating a coach that was purely motivational and could oversee everything while not having a lot of direct power on an aspect of the game. Once Garrett lost play calling abilities, he became just that.

    The bottom line is that a win against the Giants would go a long way, and I am excited to see the return of Randy Gregory cement a defensive line that could terrorize Eli.

Game Notes

Sean’s Scout: Starting Front 7 Sets Tone Early, Cowboys Depth Falters in Loss to Bengals

Sean Martin



Sean's Scout: Starting Front 7 Sets Tone Early, Cowboys Depth Falters in Loss to Bengals
(Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports)

The Dallas Cowboys are halfway through their 2018 preseason. Given the injuries they're left to deal with to Zack Martin, Xavier Woods, and Jameill Showers, the Cowboys were happy to see their first home game of the season come to an end when it did. Despite the 21-13 loss, the Cowboys starters made another strong impression before exiting for backups that once again failed to hold the lead.

This is a game I'm looking forward to getting another look at on film, but for now here are a few thoughts the first time through.

  • Rookie Connor Williams is still a work in progress at guard, as he'll get himself in trouble trying to catch rushers too often. 

This "catch blocking" is not uncommon for young offensive linemen, particularly ones learning a new position in preparation to start on the league's best front. On the Cowboys second drive of the game, Williams was caught back in his stance dealing with a twist from the Bengals with Left Tackle Tyron Smith.

The result of the play was an incomplete pass on third down from Dak Prescott. With Williams' footwork being as consistent as it has, I wouldn't worry too much about his upper body technique and strength improving greatly before week one of the regular season. Perhaps most importantly, Williams has looked smooth playing in space, something the Cowboys are prepared to ask the second round pick to do plenty of.

  • With Randy Gregory back in the lineup, the Cowboys potential to have a great rotation of defensive ends was on full display. 

The play that stands out is a tackle for loss by Safety Jeff Heath. On the play, Defensive End Tyrone Crawford did a great job setting the edge against the run, allowing Heath to come down and make the aggressive play.

Crawford created penetration against a tight end, staying disciplined in his rush lane from the right defensive end position to force the run outside.

On the Bengals' offensive series prior to this play by Heath, the Cowboys forced a punt following a missed Andy Dalton throw to A.J. Green. Despite not being tight in coverage on third down, Randy Gregory looked sharp coming off the edge to rush Dalton slightly.

With Taco Charlton also looking strong against the run, and rookie Dorance Armstrong continuing to develop as a weak side pass rusher, the possible match ups the Cowboys can create up front are seemingly endless.

Almost all of them will include last year's sack leader DeMarcus Lawrence, who was also disruptive on nearly every snap in this game.

  • Give credit to Joe Looney for handling the reps he did at center, but the backup interior lineman left a lot to be desired from this position. 

It should come as no surprise that Looney is a better guard than center, or that the Cowboys would look significantly worse at center without Travis Frederick in the lineup.

Overall, this was a disappointing game for the Cowboys thin offensive line depth. Paul Alexander's unit was unable to give quarterbacks Cooper Rush and Mike White a fair chance to settle into the game.

Looney's contact balance was suspect throughout the evening. Not the most powerful player, it's important for Looney to play with leverage and balance, which he did inconsistently last night.

Awaiting news on Zack Martin's first quarter injury still, the Cowboys should have already been concerned about their backups at tackle, with the guard position becoming a late concern now.

  • This is becoming the standard for Jaylon Smith, but I did not see one Bengals blocker effectively slow him down.

The power that Smith is playing with is an outstanding sign for continued success. Not only is Smith physically up for the challenge of starting at MIKE for the Cowboys, but he's physically dominating opponents with strength, speed, and range.

Whether he was running laterally and avoiding blocks with great awareness, or attacking the pocket, Smith's path to the ball was rarely impeded against the Bengals.

No matter who the Cowboys lined up in their front seven, the group did a great job setting a strong tone. Antwaun Woods was once again impressive at the one technique position inside, and Brian Price made a flash play from this position late in the game as well.

Thanks to Smith's gap shooting ability, and the Cowboys willingness so far this preseason to be creative with the Notre Dame product, the team's defensive tackles don't have to be asked to do too much. Holding their spots while drawing blockers will be more than enough to free Smith and the rest of the Cowboys linebackers to make plays.

Sean's Scout: Starting Front 7 Sets Tone Early, Cowboys Depth Falters in Loss to Bengals 1

Dallas Cowboys CBs Byron Jones, Chidobe Awuzie (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)

  • Chidobe Awuzie's interception in the second quarter is a reminder of just how high the second-year cornerback's potential is. 

Sure, Awuzie's length put him at an advantage to take a leap into year two once Kris Richard arrived as the Cowboys passing game coordinator.

Being productive on the ball, as Awuzie was here, is a testament to just how athletic he is as a boundary cornerback though. A beat late recognizing the ball coming his way, Awuzie remained in perfect position to get a hand on this pass.

Doing so with an explosive leap off the ground and full extension, Awuzie snagged the ball with one hand before bringing it into his body to secure another turnover for the Cowboys first team defense.

The Cowboys cornerback depth proved suspect beyond Awuzie and Byron Jones in this game, but being as good as they already are on the boundary is a huge step in the right direction for Rod Marinelli's defense.

I also thought that UDFA Tyree Robinson did a great job answering the bell at safety, showing up a number of times in run support with the Cowboys in desperate need of depth at his position.

It's in the slot, where Anthony Brown and Jourdan Lewis continue to feel the pressure of competition, that the Cowboys are struggling to find the right starter - even trying Lewis on the outside well into the fourth quarter of this game.

 ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

The Cowboys will remain in their home state to conclude their training camp and preseason. Needing to see more out of their second and third team, practices will resume at The Star on Monday before another preseason game at AT&T Stadium.

This time, it will be the Arizona Cardinals coming in for a Sunday Night Football tune up. The Cowboys starters could very well see even more playing time than they have through the first two weeks, giving them a better chance of sustaining success and coming away with a preseason win.

Tell us what you think about "Sean’s Scout: Starting Front 7 Sets Tone Early, Cowboys Depth Falters in Loss to Bengals" in the comments below. You can also email me at, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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Game Notes

CIN 21, DAL 14: Dak Prescott Continues Strong Preseason in Loss

Jess Haynie



Dak Prescott, Bengals

The games may not count yet, but Dak Prescott looks ready for the 2018 season. The Dallas Cowboys quarterback continued his strong preseason play in the team's 21-13 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.

Prescott played three series, going 10/15 for 86 yards and a touchdown. He got the offense out of trouble a few times with his feet, avoiding sacks and ultimately getting the scoring pass off on a redzone scramble.

Dak's strong play has coincided with shutdown performances from the starting defense. The Cowboys' first-team defenders have yet to allow a score in two preseason games. Tonight, the Bengals were forced into four punts and two turnovers on their first-half possessions.

Overall, the Cowboys are a combined 24-7 in the first halves of their first two preseason contests.

The second half has been the problem, and for two weeks now Dallas' reserves have squandered halftime leads and given up losses. Thankfully, most of the responsible players will not be on the final 53-man roster.

Other Notes

  • There were several concerning injuries for the Cowboys tonight. None was scarier than when All-Pro guard Zack Martin went out with a knee injury, but it does not appear to have been serious. Starting defensive backs Byron Jones and Xavier Woods also got banged up; Byron returned to the game but Woods did not. Defensive lineman Datone Jones also left with a knee injury.
  • Even more concerning was the play of the second-team offensive line. Chaz Green was typically awful, but we also saw swing tackle Cam Fleming struggling and just an overall lack of protection for the backups quarterbacks. Green got benched in the second half and may have finally played his way off the team.
  • Credit to Terrance Williams for getting open in the endzone to give Dak Prescott a receiver for the touchdown throw. Even with his warts, Williams' two years of experience playing with Dak can't be ignored in deciding who makes the team.
  • Tight end Blake Jarwin continues to run with the starters on offense and may have quietly taken the job away from Geoff Swaim.
  • Darius Jackson took advantage of some extra playing time tonight after Bo Scarbrough left with a hip injury. He broke off a few nice runs to amass 42 yards on just six carries, plus had four receptions.
  • We finally get to see Dan Bailey kick a field goal again, and it was an easy 35-yarder with no issues.
  • Shout out to Chidobe Awuzie for one of the pretty interceptions that a Cowboys DB has made in some time. Awuzie had to bend like Beckham (Odell, that is) to get a hand on the ball, then tipped it to himself for the pick.
  • Preseason fun continues for the Cowboys next Sunday when they host the Arizona Cardinals on NBC's Sunday Night Football.

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Game Notes

#DALvsCIN: Can WR Lance Lenoir Continue To Impress?

Kevin Brady



Lance Lenoir

Entering training camp projecting who would make the final roster from the Dallas Cowboys wide receiving room was a crapshoot. The combination of misfits from other teams, unproven young guys, and a couple of Cowboys veterans makes this position group the most questioned across the entire roster.

But while Cole Beasley, Allen Hurns, and Michael Gallup were stealing headlines, Lance Lenoir was making a name for himself among the Cowboys faithful.

After serving on the practice squad for the Cowboys a year ago, Lenoir seems to have entered 2018 with one goal in mind: to make the official game-day roster. And even if he falls short of this goal, it won't be due to any fault of his own.

Day in and day out Lance Lenoir has been a consistent wide out, catching nearly everything thrown his way and running some of the crisper routes on the team. Under new receivers coach Sanjay Lal, Lenoir has become a technical route runner and dangerous receiving threat.

Maybe most importantly for his future with the team, Lenoir has developed an obvious chemistry with starting quarterback Dak Prescott. Prescott has continued to compliment Lenoir throughout training camp, and you know that the Cowboys front office is well aware of Prescott's trust in Lenoir on the field.

During the preseason opener against the 49ers, Lance Lenoir caught his first touchdown of the season, dazzling with his toe-tap ability. If he is going to steal a roster spot away from one of the more seasoned wide outs, however, he will have to remain that consistent target.

This Saturday, Lenoir gets another shot to prove why he's not only deserving of a roster spot, but of a starting spot. Sure, it might be a bit of a stretch, but if he continues to play like he has during camp and preseason, Lenoir could find himself working with the 1's more frequently.

Look out for Lance Lenoir against the Bengals this week, as he makes it harder and harder for the Cowboys to cut him by the second.

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