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Like it or not, the Cowboys Have Something to Learn from the Eagles

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Like it or not, the Cowboys Have Something to Learn From the Eagles
James Lang / USA TODAY Sports

It was a painful season. Ever since the Cowboys were destroyed by the Denver Broncos back in week 2, things didn't go as planned. We hoped our team would turn it around, but ultimately they didn't. Deep down, one can say we knew all along.

Tyron Smith and Sean Lee were injured, Ezekiel Elliott was suspended, Dak Prescott struggled and Dez Bryant failed to become a dangerous threat.

Everything that could've gone wrong, went wrong.

And here we sit, with a 9-7 record, ready to watch the Philadelphia Eagles play in the Super Bowl. Just when all of Cowboys Nation thought things couldn't be worse, one of their biggest and most hated rivals will get to play in "The Big One."

The Nick Foles-led Eagles still have to beat the Tom Brady-led Patriots to hold a Lombardi Trophy for the first time in franchise history, but even if they lose, they were a very impressive football team in 2017.

What they did is remarkable.

As Cowboys fans, there will always be something inside of us that makes us hate the Philadelphia Eagles. The fact that they're in our division should be more than enough. But while we may discuss whether Cowboys fans should be rooting for the Patriots or the Eagles, the truth is...

The Cowboys should learn from the Philadelphia Eagles.

For Dallas, it's always something. A tiny thing ends up being the reason why an entire football season goes to waste. At some point though, these stop being reasons and become just plain excuses.

Personally, as a young football fan, it's been a lifetime of unfulfilled promises justified by excuses.

Bobby Belt on Twitter

The excuses are often reasonable, but they are not acceptable. This is a 20-year stretch that would have earned any other franchise a 16-game schedule with nothing but noon kickoffs. Meanwhile, Philadelphia just MacGyver'd themselves to a Super Bowl appearance.

And while we're all still mad about the NFL suspending the Cowboys' star over a simple accusation, the Eagles stepped up big time.

We lost Tyron Smith for some games, they lost Jason Peters for the year.

Sean Lee was injured for a few weeks, Jordan Hicks ruptured his Achilles tendon.

Philadelphia also overcame the loss of CB Ronald Darby, K Caleb Sturgis, RB Darren Sproles, and DT Fletcher Cox.

One at a time, the Eagles overcame these injuries and instead of just preaching the "next man up" mentality, they applied it better than any other team in the league.

Then Carson Wentz took a huge (and maybe unnecessary) risk in week 14 versus the Los Angeles Rams by diving into the end zone. An ACL injury to the then MVP-front-runner changed the faith of the #1 seed in the NFC... except it didn't.

Carson Wentz, Eagles

Philadelphia Eagles QB Carson Wentz

Not even the loss of the Eagles' franchise quarterback stopped them from upsetting the Falcons and the Vikings in the playoffs to finally make it to Minnesota in February.

They were able to face adversity and punch it in the mouth every time they did. They were able to make adjustments and execute. Both players and coaches, they were able to step up when things got tough.

The Cowboys' offense went from great to below-average without Ezekiel Elliott, and Sean Lee's absence turned the defense into a terrible one.

It's not easy seeing one of the Cowboys' biggest rivals play in the Super Bowl. And knowing that Dallas should learn from them can make it a bit tougher. But at the end of the day, they schooled the Cowboys.

The Eagles taught the Cowboys a lesson that hopefully, will get this franchise to try harder.

Tell me what you think about "Like it or not, the Cowboys Have Something to Learn from the Eagles" in the comments below, or tweet me @MauNFL 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!



I love to write, I love football and I love the Dallas Cowboys. I've been rooting for America's team all the way from Mexico ever since I can remember. If you want to talk football, I'm in... You'll find me at @PepoR99.

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5 Comments
  • Jamminn

    Yea like hire a real coach not a washed up 3rd string QB who don’t know how to adjust his plays and draw up something from this century

  • Travis Diggs

    Go back to last off season, the eagles treated off season like a team on the cusp while the cowboys acted as if they were already there. Outside of a decent draft class we did absolutely nothing in free agency(how did Paea, Carroll, and Bell work out?). While on the other hand, Philly also had a good draft class but they went out and got Alshon, Smith, Robinson, and traded for Darby, Jernigan, and Ajayi. Jerry’s arrogance as usual sets us apart. Every year you must upgrade, no time for getting comfortable. When will this team act like like theirs a sense of urgency. Jeffery Lurie put the pieces around Wentz to succeed. Jerry didnt do it for Romo now be’s doing it to Dak. Sometimes i hate being a cowboys fan

    • Adam Googs

      It’s not fantasy football, we can’t just go out and sign whoever we want due to our cap situation. You’re not wrong, but it’s not as simple as signing/trading for a few players and all of a sudden things will work out. For this team, it’s all about better coaching.

      • Travis Diggs

        Just last year we were criticizing Doug Peterson as a in game adjustment coach, year later he’s probably the coach of the year. Wasn’t jason garrett the coach of the year last year?? It’s not fantasy football but at the same time you have to build your team like you’ve never been there(which we haven’t) is exactly why we continue to fail as a franchise. It’s not a coincidence that Chris Long and Patrick Robinson both came to Dallas for a free agency visit but both chose to go to Philadelphia. Think about it Adam.

  • TiredProgrammer

    Sorry, but Garrett has shown that he is not able to actually ‘LEARN’ anything! He should have been fired several years ago.

Star Blog

Cowboys en Español: Evaluando la Administración

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Can we Believe General Manager Jerry Jones?

Entre los aficionados de los Dallas Cowboys, pocas cosas son criticadas tan frecuentemente como la administración de la franquicia que no ha ganado ningún Super Bowl en más de dos décadas. Se ha convertido en un equipo que, a pesar de ser el más valioso en el mundo deportivo, no ha sido nada relevante en el emparrillado. Lo que alguna vez fue una dinastía se ha convertido en una unidad que rompe frecuentemente los corazones de los fans.

Jerry Jones y Stephen Jones, siendo los operadores del ámbito deportivo del negocio familiar, son criticados semana tras semana y en gran parte por justa razón. Pero en gran parte, por cosas no muy válidas.

Cambios de Coach

A mi parecer, lo más criticable para la administración de este equipo viene cuando hablamos de los coaches. Muchos se burlan de los Cincinnati Bengals y de la manera en la que están atascados con el Head Coach Marvin Lewis. Con Jason Garrett al volante, la situación para los Cowboys no es nada diferente.

A mediados de la temporada 2018, no parece que esta narrativa vaya a cambiar. Una vez más, los Cowboys arrancaron de una manera muy inconsistente y ya no sabemos que esperar de ellos. Gran parte de las derrotas, la mayor parte, es el coacheo.

Sin duda el equipo no será exactamente el mismo en 2019, pero ¿serán suficientes los cambios como para decidir quedarse con el mismo capitán que no ha podido mantener el barco navegando por años?

El Draft

A diferencia de como se manejan muchos equipos en la liga, los Jones fungen como general managers de su propio equipo. Con la ayuda de Will McClay han logrado superar varios de los fracasos de los Jones de antaño, pero actualmente, siendo sinceros no han hecho un mal trabajo.

A pesar de las critícas de Abril, Leighton Vander Esch está probando haber valido más que la pena. Siendo objetivos, aparte de Taco Charlton en el 2017, todas las selecciones de primera ronda de los Cowboys han sido valiosas. La línea ofensiva, el corredor, un cornerback que por fin se está perfilando como uno de los mejores en la liga.

En cuanto a la segunda ronda, ha habido varias críticas, muchas con razón. Pero el mejor caza cabezas del equipo, DeMarcus Lawrence, el linebacker Jaylon Smith, Randy Gregory y más están teniendo un impacto muy fuerte en el equipo.

Decisiones difíciles

La administración se ha visto en la necesidad de tomar decisiones bastante difíciles después de una temporada de nueve victorias en 2017. El LB Anthony Hitchens fue liberado, Dan Bailey se fue inesperadamente, se confió en Byron Jones para tomar su opción de quinto año.

Hasta ahora, pura decisión digna de aplaudirse. Pero ninguna como la más reciente de todas: Amari Cooper.

Por más caro que haya salido, los Cowboys merecen bastante crédito por haber mejorado muchísimo su posición de WR. Si el equipo llega a tener una oportunidad esta temporada, será en gran parte por él.

No cabe ninguna duda en mi cabeza de que los Jones han cometido errores a lo largo de los años, el más evidente siendo la resistencia de dejar ir a Jason Garrett. Pero a pesar de esto, la administración ha tomado excelentes decisiones y ha realizado el draft muy bien. En ese aspecto en específico, les aplaudo.

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys en Español: Evaluando la Administración" in the comments below, or tweet me @MauNFL 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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Star Blog

Sack Numbers Don’t Tell DeMarcus Lawrence’s 2018 Story

Kevin Brady

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Breaking Down DeMarcus Lawrence's League High 5.5 Sacks Through Week 4

Coming off of a career year in 2017, many fans expected DeMarcus Lawrence to continue his ridiculous sack production this season. After all, he is once again in a "contract year" due to the franchise tag, and fans are hoping the Cowboys can secure him longterm this offseason.

Through the first four games of 2018, Lawrence looked as ridiculous and unstoppable as ever. He had 5.5 sacks, tied for the league lead, and was dictating the pass protection schemes of every offense the Cowboys were facing.

Since that hot start, though, DeMarcus Lawrence has recorded just 1 sack, falling behind some of the league leaders he was once ahead of. This has some people scratching their heads and wondering if Lawrence's career year in 2017 was just that, a career year. One which he will never replicate again, and one which the Cowboys should factor out when talking contract extensions.

Here's why those people are wrong.

Let's first talk about what makes DeMarcus Lawrence so good, and then we'll get into the full context of the Cowboys defense and how that explains some of the drop in sacks.

Lawrence, unlike some of the league's other top pass rushers, is a complete 4-3 defensive end. He is one of, if not the best run defending defensive ends in football, as shown by his 12 tackles for loss on the season (only Aaron Donald and Danielle Hunter have more).

Much of the year, the Cowboys run defense has boiled down to Lawrence making splash plays, as we saw against the Washington Redskins. Adrian Peterson was gashing the Cowboys during that game, and the only one who did anything to stop him was DeMarcus Lawrence, as indicated by his 3 tackles for loss that Sunday.

There's also the point that 6.5 sacks through half the season is, well, good. It's really good! And when you couple his sack numbers with his solid pressure and QB hit stats, you can see that Lawrence is having a very good season.

Then there is the context of this entire Cowboys defense, specifically their defensive line and pass rush. To put it bluntly, DeMarcus Lawrence has been their only consistent rusher this season. Though we came into the year with high hopes for Randy Gregory, and cautious optimism about first round pick Taco Charlton, neither have been all that impressive this season.

Somebody, anybody, has to step up and become a threat opposite of Lawrence. David Irving could help matters with his interior pass rush ability, but he has been unavailable for basically the entire season.

Without another pass rusher for offense's to even think twice about, Lawrence is getting double teamed and/or chipped by a tight end or running back on just about every rush. It's becoming rare that Lawrence is in a true one-on-one pass rush situation.

Of course, if you are elite, offenses are going to shift protections to you in this way and you still have to find ways to be productive.

And thus far in 2018, DeMarcus Lawrence is doing just that.



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Star Blog

Can QB Dak Prescott Steal Back His Mojo From Atlanta?

Brian Martin

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Can Dak Prescott Regain His Mojo Against Atlanta?
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

When the Dallas Cowboys last traveled to Mercedes-Benz Stadium they were completely throttled by the Atlanta Falcons. It's a game a lot of Cowboys Nation would like to forget, but no one more so than Quarterback Dak Prescott. That game could very well be where his struggles really began.

It's almost exactly a year later and the Dallas Cowboys still find themselves haunted by that brutal beating the Atlanta Falcons handed them in Week 10 of the 2017 season. The Cowboys seemed to lose all confidence in themselves after that game, but it was almost as if it was the exact point in time where Dak Prescott lost all of his mojo as well.

Before that match up against the Falcons, Prescott was still playing at a pretty high level. But since then, he has been in a slump and there have been very few signs of recapturing any of that magic he once had. Heading back to Atlanta maybe the key for him finding and stealing back his mojo.

Things could definitely go a little differently this time around. The Cowboys will have Ezekiel Elliott and Tyron Smith in the lineup this week. Zeke missed the game last year due to the league mandated six-game suspension, and Tyron missed due to an injury. Having those two back in the lineup could pay huge dividends, especially for Prescott.

Without his starting left tackle and running back, Dak was pretty much beaten to a pulp by the Falcons defense a year ago. They applied relentless pressure, hitting and sacking him on a number of occasions. Unfortunately, I think that's where he started seeing ghost in the pocket and its haunted him ever since.

Dak Prescott

Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)

The beating he took at the hands of the Falcons has really thrown off his entire game. His mechanics, accuracy, and effectiveness as a scrambler can all be traced back to that one matchup. He just hasn't been the same QB he was prior to that game.

Prescott's stats prior to the Falcons game:

24 starts
66.7 completion percentage
102.4 passer rating

Prescott's stats since the Falcons game:

17 starts
63.3 completion percentage
83.1 passer rating

As you can see, that's a notable difference. His passer rating has shockingly dropped nearly 20 points since last playing the Falcons and it's really hurt the entire offensive production. It's time for that to change.

Prescott has no choice this week. He has to get back up on the horse that bucked him off and hopefully regain that mojo he left in Atlanta a year ago. Fortunately for him, his confidence might be is as high as it's been since that last meeting after pulling off the upset against the Philadelphia Eagles last week.

Now, he just has to go out and prove it!

Do you think Dak Prescott can regain his mojo against the Atlanta Falcons?



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