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NYG 10, DAL 7: Cowboys Offense Ruins Strong Defensive Effort

Jess Haynie



Dez Bryant

The Cowboys defense held the Giants to just 260 yards of total offense. They sacked Eli Manning three times and recorded three turnovers. It was probably their best night all season as an overall unit.

Cowboys Headlines - NYG 10, DAL 7: Cowboys Offense Ruins Strong Defensive Effort

Dak Prescott was under pressure most of the game, and his performance showed it.

To say all of that after a loss is tough to swallow, and the Dallas offense is to blame. The Cowboys couldn't manage more than one touchdown as they lost their second game this season and gave the Giants the season sweep.

Despite nine days of rest and what we thought was a wake-up-call game in Minnesota last week, the Cowboys' passing attack continued to sputter. Dak Prescott was sacked three times and threw two interceptions. He completed just 46% of his throws for a paltry 165 yards.

At least two of the sacks on Prescott were due to coverage. Dak held the ball too long as he couldn't find an open receiver. The Giants did not sack him immediately on their blitzes but disrupted his throws many times with pressure. They did not seem to be missing Jason Pierre-Paul one bit with the amount of rush they generated.

Dez Bryant was targeted nine times and had just one catch all night. Dallas would have had a hard time getting into scoring range anyway, but Bryant made sure of it by fumbling the ball to end the final drive. It was the second time this year that bad play by a wide receiver ended a comeback effort against the Giants.

Game Notes

  • Dallas could have had a 10-point lead at halftime, and perhaps the game-tying points, if Dan Bailey's 55-yard kick had just been a foot longer. The ball clanged off the front of the crossbar for the miss. Of course, coming off the foot of the greatest kicker of all time, it was still dead center.
  • Ezekiel Elliott did his part, picking up 107 yards on 24 carries. Given that Dallas had the lead throughout the first half and it was always a one-possession game, it's surprising that Dallas did not utilize the run more. It was the only thing that consistently worked all day.
  • The early box score has Sean Lee with 18 total tackles tonight. He was incredible tonight, shutting down run plays and short passes at every turn.
  • Anthony Brown snagged one of the nicest interceptions you'll ever see away from Odell Beckham. His read and react on the play was flawless and he did what so few Cowboys defensive backs seem to do by completing the catch. He just keeps flashing his tremendous potential.
  • Tyrone Crawford and Benson Mayowa each recorded a sack as Dallas put plenty of pressure on Eli Manning. DeMarcus Lawrence was not on the field much dealing with back issues, but we did see him getting close to Eli on a few plays. He was used selectively and the rest of the team did a nice job in his absence.
  • Brice Butler has a chance at a touchdown, leaping over Eli Apple in the end zone for a jump ball but failing to make the catch. Those are make-or-break plays for a guy trying to earn a new contract.
  • Terrance Williams has the team's only touchdown on a gorgeous fake. The entire Giants defense bit as Prescott faked a toss to Elliott, running one way while Williams ran uncovered for the end zone. Dak just had to gently lob it to him for the score.

Let's recap where the Cowboys stand after the loss. Now 11-2 on the season, they are still well within the driver's seat for their postseason goals. They still have a two-game lead over New York for the division title with only three games to go. Of course, the Giants now hold the tiebreaker after beating Dallas twice.

As for other NFC goals, the Seahawks' loss in Green Bay was a help. Dallas is still in good position to claim a first-round bye and home field advantage in the weeks ahead. Seattle fell to 8-4-1 today, leaving the Detroit Lions as the next closest team with their 9-4 record.

Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

Player News

Report: Raiders Sign Former Cowboys LB Kyle Wilber

Kevin Brady



Cowboys Headlines - Dallas Cowboys Re-Sign Linebacker Kyle Wilber

A Free Agency period filled with departures continued for the Dallas Cowboys today, as the Oakland Raiders have reportedly signed the now-former Cowboys LB Kyle Wilber.


The Raiders have signed LB Kyle Wilber:

Wilber has been with the Cowboys since 2012, and has played in all 16 games four of the past five seasons. Most of his time has come on special teams, but he did provide solid linebacker depth for the Cowboys since joining the team.

Dallas has now lost both Wilber and Anthony Hitchens, depleting their linebacker depth even further over the last couple weeks.

The Raiders have now signed two key special teams contributors for the Cowboys in Keith Smith and Kyle Wilber this offseason. Hopefully Dallas can replace these types of "replacement level" players throughout the rest of the offseason, especially during the NFL Draft.

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Player News

Report: Cowboys Officially Release CB Orlando Scandrick

Kevin Brady



Orlando Scandrick

After requesting his release from the team just a few days ago, Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick has gotten his wish. According to ESPN's Josina Anderson, Scandrick has officially been cut by the Dallas Cowboys.

Josina Anderson on Twitter

I'm told the #Cowboys have informed CB Orlando Scandrick he will be released, per source.

This move will reportedly save the Cowboys roughly $1.4M against the salary cap, as we hope they finally look to make some moves during the Free Agency period.

Scandrick's release comes after an offseason in which the Cowboys totally overhauled the back end of their defense, specifically their cornerbacks. With the emergence of young, promising players such as Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis, and the health issues of the aging Scandrick, the move makes a lot of sense.

In fact, after the Cowboys drafted Awuzie in the second round of last year's draft it was rumored the Cowboys were looking to move Scandrick for extra draft picks. Instead, one year later, they have cut him to save some cap room.

Orlando Scandrick should have a market to find a new team elsewhere, but his time in Dallas has now come to a close.

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Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys Have Missing Piece at Offensive Line

Jess Haynie



Dallas Cowboys Have Big Hole on Offensive Line
Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News

There are a lot of positions being talked about right now for the Dallas Cowboys. Upgrades are needed at several spots, but one critical position needs even more than that. Left guard is completely unmanned, and that could be a big problem for the 2018 offensive line if it's not addressed soon.

Last year's starter, Jonathan Cooper, is currently an unrestricted free agent. So are backups Joe Looney and Byron Bell.

Right now, Chaz Green is the only other non-starter under contract who has any NFL experience at left guard. Nobody wants to see him on the field next year.

Dez Bryant may be a big topic but at least he's under contract. The same goes for safety, where we at least have options to turn to if free agency or the draft don't yield anything.

Left guard, though? The cupboard is bare.

La'el Collins' Position Flex Could Come in Handy for Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys OT La'el Collins

One option could be to move La'el Collins back to guard, where many feel he has the most upside, and then find a new right tackle. But that would be changing two positions to fill one hole, and Collins was playing well at tackle by the end of the year.

And obviously, we don't want to see Chaz Green playing that spot either. Or any spot. Ever.

No, at this point it makes sense for Dallas to leave Collins where he is and either sign or draft a starting LG. The question is how much do they want to invest?

The Cowboys are already shelling out big bucks to Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick, and Zack Martin. Even Collins counts about $7 million against the cap. They have three first-round picks already tied up in the offensive line.

Some thought veteran free agent Josh Sitton would be a nice option, but he got picked up by the Dolphins today for about $8-9 million per year. That's more than Dallas can afford given their limited cap space and other needs.

No, the LG in 2018 is going to need to be a salary cap bargain. That means either re-signing Jonathan Cooper or Joe Looney on the cheap, or perhaps paying a rookie salary to a high draft pick.

Last year's 19th overall pick, O.J. Howard, counted just $2 million against the Bucs' salary cap in 2017.

There are some older veterans who could be cheap band-aid options, such as Matt Slauson or Evan Smith. But you don't get very far down some lists of available guards before you see Jonathan Cooper's name, and continuity is always a plus.

The point here is don't expect any big move, even with the enormity of the need. Dallas will likely reach an agreement with Cooper after he's tested the free agent waters a bit, assuming nobody else scoops him up.

If not, the need at left guard will become increasingly dire the further we get into the offseason.

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