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Kraken Returns: Should We Expect Greatness?

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Cowboys Blog - Kraken Returns: Should We Expect Greatness?

Cowboys Nation was officially introduced to Greg Hardy on Tuesday this week. While Hardy was light hearted, his comments created a firestorm across mainstream media. Most notably, the scathing article by Christine Brennan with USA Today Sports has drawn a great deal of attention.

While I'm not delving into her article, Hardy's approach was not the best approach to remove his name out of the mainstream. Will this microscope on Greg Hardy affect his play on the field?

I truly do not believe so, even though that will be the perception if he doesn't make a noticeable impact on Sunday. Many fans feel Hardy is going to make an immediate impact on the field.

Are those expectations reasonable?

Unfortunately, they probably aren't. The Cowboys need him to make a huge impact in an attempt to slow down the vaunted Patriots offense. But will he be able to do it while playing around twenty plays on defense?

It's not out of the question, but expectations should be tempered when it comes to him being a dominant player in his first regular season game in over thirteen months.


While having realistic expectations, there is no denying how disruptive he can be on the Defensive Line.

In his last full season (2013), Hardy managed a gaudy 15 sacks, 27 hits, and 45 hurries. He also had three games where he tallied three or more sacks. Hardy has the potential to really make a difference for the Dallas Cowboys this season.

While Hardy will get his sacks, we may have to wait for the Defensive Line to be at full strength after the bye. He may have some rust, and the New England Patriots will account for him whenever he's on the field.

That could possibly be his best contribution, especially if it allows Tyrone Crawford to not see as many double teams.

Whether or not his play is a major factor in the outcome of the game, we'll definitely hear about Greg Hardy in the national media come Monday.


Avid Cowboys fan that will provide analytical analysis to the Draft, Film, and everything related to the team. You can find me @TheRealSmoothG on twitter.

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Brett Maher Named NFC Special Teams Player of Week 7, 2019

Jess Haynie

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Is Brett Maher the Dallas Cowboys Unquestioned Placekicker in 2019?

Brett Maher's 63-yard field goal last Sunday may have been a drop in the bucket on the scoreboard for the Dallas Cowboys. But the historical significance of that kick, and it's near record-breaking distance, helped Maher earn the NFC Special Teams Player of the Week award for Week 7 of the 2019 season.

Maher went 3/3 on the day as the Cowboys routed the Philadelphia Eagles. But it was the 63-yard FG at the close of the first half which brought Brett this latest accolade. He became the first kicker in NFL history have three career field goals of 60 yards or more.

Dallas Cowboys on Twitter

1st player in @NFL history to have three career FGs of 60 yds or more ✔️ @brett_maher is your NFC Special Teams Player of the Week! → https://t.co/MFiAnAScrY

Maher's kick was one yard short of tying the record, 64 yards, set by Matt Prater in 2013.


It was weeks like this one which helped Brett Maher keep the Cowboys' kicker job this year despite mixed results in 2018. He won two Player of the Week awards last season and showed off his rare long-range ability, but was one of the least accurate kickers overall from shorter distances.

That same mixed bag has been seen this year. Despite his work on Sunday, Maher is at just 71% accuracy on his total field goal attempts right now.

Hopefully, Brett's big day over the Eagles will spark a hot streak. His range is an incredible weapon for the Cowboys; can he consistently prove that he's more of an asset than a liability?


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Cowboys K Brett Maher’s 63-Yard Field Goal Sets New NFL Record

Jess Haynie

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Brett Maher

After hitting a 63-yard field goal last night in the Dallas Cowboys' win over the Philadelphia Eagles, Kicker Brett Maher now owns the NFL record for most field goal made at 60 yards or longer. It was the third 60-plus FG of his career and second so far this season.

Maher hit a 62-yarder last week in Dallas' loss to the New York Jets. That kick tied him with Sebastian Janikowski and Greg Zuerlein for having two career field goals of 60 or more.

Now Brett stands alone in that category. Last night's kick also was just one yard shy of Matt Prater's record for the NFL's longest field goal; Maher hit from 64 yards in 2013.

If Brett Maher ever gets a chance to kick in Denver, he may have a great shot at breaking Prater's record as well. According to NBC's data from last night, Maher's kick would have been good from 66 yards out.

It was a good night overall for the Cowboys kicker. Maher had two other makes from 26 and 29 yards.


Despite his heroics at times, Brett Maher has been one of the least accurate kickers in the NFL the last two years. Even after last night Brett is hitting just 71.4% of his field goals so far in 2019; that ties him for 25th in the league.

The most puzzling aspect of all with Maher is how much he struggles with shorter range kicks. You almost have more confidence in him kicking from 60 yards out than attempting an extra point.

Few kickers could survive that kind of performance and uncertainty, but few can do what Maher can with his long range ability. It's a risk/reward situation that the Cowboys are continuing to work with.

For today, at least, Maher and his team are basking in the glory of a great game. Let's hope both can keep up the positive momentum.


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Cowboys Get Good News on Vander Esch, Quinn Injuries After Eagles Game

Jess Haynie

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Cowboys LB Leighton Vander Esch off to a Fast Start 1

The Dallas Cowboys got a big win last night over the Philadelphia Eagles, but there was concern that they also suffered some big injuries. But good news; despite their leaving the game and not returning, both LB Leighton Vander Esch and DE Robert Quinn appear to have avoided any significant issues.

Vander Esch suffered a neck stinger in the second quarter and did not come back. It appears he was held out as a precautionary measure, and the Cowboys' 21-7 lead at that point may have contributed to the decision.

Jane Slater on Twitter

Cowboys LB Leighton Vander Esch just told me he's good. First neck stinger. Disputes "history" of neck issues reports. Told me he would have continued playing but "wasn't up to me

Quinn's rib injury also occurred before halftime and ended his night. The veteran picked up his obligatory sack before going out, and it sounds like he should be fine for Dallas' next game.

Ian Rapoport on Twitter

From @GMFB: The #Cowboys got a few injury scares, but LB Leighton Vander Esch (neck) and LB Robert Quinn (rib) are expected to be OK. https://t.co/ld1mncRkNw

These defensive standouts join a host of Cowboys starters who are going to benefit greatly from the team's bye week.


Dallas went into the game with injury concerns to WRs Amari Cooper and Randall Cobb, OTs Tyron Smith and La'el Collins, and CBs Byron Jones and Anthony Brown. Of those, Brown was the only one who did not play last night.

Still, all of these players need a week to rest and be ready for the long haul of the regular season.

The Cowboys will get back to work in Week 9 with a road trip to New York, facing the Giants on Monday Night Football.

Thankfully, it looks like Leighton Vander Esch and Robert Quinn will both be ready to play in two weeks.


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