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Panthers Tamed By Cowboys 21-7

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Carolina came into Big D with a challenge. Trying to prove that they aren’t the team that the media has painted them to be. Unfortunately for them, Dallas was on that same mission. After a slow paced first half, Dallas came up fired up, and honestly looked like the team we expect them to look like.

The Cowboys stuck to their gameplan, running the ball for over 200 yards for the first time since 1979. Felix Jones had 8 carries for 98 yards before leaving in the third with a left knee strain (severity unknown) and Tashard Choice filled in nicely with 18 rushes for 82 yards.

Tony Romo fired back after a week full of media warfare completing 22 of 33 passes for 255 yards. Though he didn’t have a touchdown, you can thank Romo for this victory. It was his ability to read the field, escape the blitzes, and make great throws to his receivers that got the victory. Witten had 77 yards off of 9 targets, Roy 4 catches for 75, Crayton battled for his 44 yards, and the backs totaled for 56 yards receiving.

The real story tonight though was the defense who until tonight had 0 sacks and 0 turnovers. That changed tonight. The rushing defense was strong allowing only 73 yards. The secondary allowed 220 yards, which is a great improvement. The real big deal is the two interceptions, mostly the one for a touchdown by Newman. The Cowboys were able to amass 3 sacks and 2 forced fumbles in a good victory to keep pace with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Victor-y

Victor Butler got his share of snaps tonight and he made the most of it. He fought to rack up 2 sacks and 1 forced fumble to seal the game. Victor Butler, a 4th round pick, was drafted because of his pass rush abilities. He will be a project for Wade Phillips but honestly, his development along with that of Jenkins, Scandrick, Jason Williams and even Ware will mean everything to the future of this organization. Victor should see more snaps after tonight’s performance.

Draw the Line

Once again Ware was held to 0 sacks. Cause for concern? I don’t really think so. He is game-planned for week in and week out. He still gets there often and still pressures often. Ware will have trouble duplicating 20 sacks ever again, but expect a 10 sack season. Wares impact on this defense wont be statistic as much as it will be seen on the field.

The problem does however arise when talking about Bobby Carpenter. Carpenter has looked lazy and continued to do that tonight. I expect some changes to be made especially when Jason Williams returns.

Game Ball

Every game I’m going to try and hand out 3 game balls. Tonight they go to the following:

1. Terrence Newman- Newman held Steve Smith to 4 catches for 38 yards. Not an easy task. He also had a pick six to put the Cowboys up 2 scores.

2. Felix Choice??- I’m cheating here, but our running backs played well totaling 176 yards and a TD. (Patrick Crayton and Romo also accounted for 36 yards)

3. Tony Romo- Based on a hard week, he rebounded nicely, carefully orchestrating these drives perfectly.  No Interceptions... Enough Said.

Final Word

Tashard Choice said that you can thank Witten and Romo for kick starting the offense during halftime....... Keith Brooking had a wonderful game, and looks to be a great pickup....... and just like the skins, Jason Witten could be seen praying with the Panthers players at the end of the game.  Some class to end the game.



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3 Comments
  • Joe

    I’m anxious to see the news on Felix, hope he isn’t out for next week. I think the whole crowd booing the team going into the half opened their eyes and they finally understood they need to step shit up. I agree Barbie Carp looked like a damn sissy out there, esp. during his “tackle” attempts. Butler looked damn impressing! Am I the only one pissed at J Garrett’s play calling still? Yeah he has some good play calls, but that goal line stand when we were on the 1, throwing 2 fades? COME ON! Pound that shit in with the run and give us the 6.

  • https://insidethestar.com/ Bryson Treece

    Amen to the pounding it in for the six bro. That was dumb, not to mention two bad throws in a row.

  • Austin

    Im still impressed with Americas Team. Protect Romo, and he will lead the Cowboys to the Superbowl.

Game Notes

SEA 24, DAL 13: Cowboys Offensive Woes Continue

Jess Haynie

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Ezekiel Elliott, Connor Williams, Seahawks
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Inefficient passing and turnovers cost the Dallas Cowboys today, leading to a 24-13 loss to the previously winless Seahawks in Seattle.

Dallas's offense produced just a single field goal by halftime, with Dak Prescott only completing two of his first nine passes for just four yards. He got better as the game went on, but still finished with just 168 passing yards and a single touchdown.

The box score will say Prescott threw two interceptions, but one was a bobbled catch by Michael Gallup. The other was not a good throw, trying to find Blake Jarwin in traffic. Seahawks LB Bobby Wagner went up and caused a tipped ball.

Both picks ended up in the hands, and ankle, of Seattle safety Earl Thomas. He drew a taunting penalty for bowing at the Dallas sideline on his second INT, almost as if mocking the team for not giving up enough to trade for him.

Ezekiel Elliott did have a big day on the ground; 127 yards on just 16 carries. It's his first 100-yard game of 2018. But the fact Dallas couldn't capitalize on Zeke's production was just further indication of their offensive dysfunction.

Hurry home, Travis Frederick. Who knew you were our Offensive MVP?

Other Notes

  • While Zeke did have a strong rushing performance, two critical errors were big parts of the Cowboys' loss. An early TD catch was called back because Zeke stepped out of bounds before making the reception. Also, Elliott's fumble in the 4th quarter squandered a strong drive that could have started Dallas' comeback attempt sooner.
  • Dallas' defense looked good early but clearly wore down over time. Seattle RB Chris Carson ground out 102 rushing yards on 32 carries. Russell Wilson took advantage of some miscues in the secondary for two touchdown passes and 192 passing yards.
  • Tyrone Crawford got called for another bogus "roughing the passer" penalty after a clean hit on Wilson early in the game. The NFL has to get this figured out, because it's becoming a bigger eyesore for the league than any amount of kneeling ever did.
  • Tavon Austin got his second touchdown catch this year, the only Cowboy to record a receiving TD so far this year. Tight end Geoff Swaim had five catches for 47 yards, reminding the world that Dallas actually has TEs on their roster.
  • Speaking of which, as Troy Aikman commented on during the game, Rico Gathers was not used in redzone passing situations. Why is Gathers dressing for games and not being utilized in the one situation where he's not a liability?
  • Sean Lee left the game after reaggravating the hamstring injury he suffered last week. It meant more playing time for first-round pick Leighton Vander Esch, who reminded you of Lee with how he was getting to the ball. Both finished the game credited with 11 tackles each.
  • Rookie guard Connor Williams continues to struggle when up against powerful defensive tackles. It's not a surprise for a converted college tackle, but growing pains still cost you on game day. Dallas may have to consider starting Joe Looney at guard once Travis Frederick comes back.
  • Kicker Brett Maher went 2/2 today on field goals, including a 50-yarder. He has hit four straight after missing his one attempt against Carolina in Week 1.
  • The rest of the NFC East won their games today. That puts Philly and Washington at 2-1 and now evens up the Cowboys and Giants at 1-2.
  • Dallas returns home next week to host the Detroit Lions, who are currently 0-2. They play the Patriots tonight.



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Game Notes

Why The Seahawks Will Be Looking Into A Mirror Against The Cowboys Sunday

Kevin Brady

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

For the better part of the last decade one defense has reigned supreme over the NFC. One defense has continually put their offense and team in position to win big games, including a dominant Super Bowl win over one of the more productive offenses in recent memory.

That defense, of course, belonged to the Seattle Seahawks.

With a secondary deemed as the "Legion of Boom" and a defensive line which rotated through Pro Bowl level talent routinely, the Seahawks bolstered one of the best defenses the NFL has ever seen. A defense which perfectly complimented the physical, run first philosophy their offense lived by.

Players like Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, Michael Bennett, and Bobby Wagner will arguably be Hall of Famers one day, and they wreaked havoc on the conference for a strong 3-5 year stretch.

Now, however, things are changing.

Gone are many of the elite players which once bolstered the Seattle defense to top-tier status, and while some big names remain, the talent level simply isn't the same. The Seahawks missed the postseason a year ago, and now sit at 0-2 before their home opener today against the Cowboys.

Their window looks to be closed, while their opponent today is looking to build their defense (and team) in the mold of what once was in Seattle.

Former Seahawks defensive coordinator Kris Richard has come to Dallas and brought with him a more aggressive defensive philosophy, one which he deployed successfully with the Seahawks. Under Richard the Cowboys are blitzing more often on third down than they have in the past under Rod Marinelli, they're utilizing more single high safety looks, and they are allowing their long and talented corners to do what they do best in coverage.

The Seahawks once leaned on a deep pass rush and long, physical secondary. The 2018 Cowboys are looking to do the same thing.

The Seahawks once leaned on a mobile quarterback to make plays with his feet while relying on a strong running game and one of the league's best backs. The 2018 Cowboys are looking to do the same thing.

Byron Jones and Chidobe Awuzie look like they were molded in a 2013-Seahawks lab as cornerbacks, and DeMarcus Lawrence is as productive as any pass rusher those defenses had. Of course, we aren't able to say the Cowboys have the consistent front four depth that those Seattle teams did or that they have the single high safety of Earl Thomas' caliber, but the preliminary pieces are clearly in place.

Today the Cowboys look to improve to 2-1 with a conference road win. But, they also look to bury the Seahawks in the past and take another step towards cementing themselves as one of the elite defenses in the NFC.

It won't happen over night, but anyone can see that the potential is there.



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Player News

Could Cowboys DT Datone Jones Earn Starting Role with Maliek Collins Out?

Sean Martin

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Could Cowboys DT Datone Jones Earn Starting Role with Maliek Collins Out?

Dallas Cowboys Defensive Tackle Maliek Collins is out for Sunday's game at the Seahawks with a sprained knee, further opening the door for Datone Jones to earn his spot among the "Hot Boyz". The moniker given to the Cowboys front seven this season, the team's depth up front has been a strength in totaling nine sacks through two games.

Last season, Datone Jones was a part of this rotation late in the year. Coming on strong at the 3T position while Maliek Collins played at the 1T, Jones is the type of versatile defender with veteran experience that Rod Marinelli can get the most out of.

Returning from a knee injury himself, Jones may take some time to be the disruptive interior player we saw at the end of 2017. Through two games, the Cowboys had played Collins at his original position of 3T, with Antwaun Woods doing more than enough to continue playing at 1T.

This potentially makes Collins and Jones two players fighting for one spot. Collins followed up his performance at the Panthers with a sack of Cam Newton by constantly playing in the Giants' backfield last week.

John Owning on Twitter

Guessing that means no Irving, I'd say Tyrone Crawford then Antwaun Woods. I have high hopes for Datone Jones once he returns though. https://t.co/9frjFK2J9J

A player determined to not let his team's misuse slow down his progress, after an incredible rookie season at 3T, Collins is returning from his second broken foot in three years.

Through his five years in the NFL, Jones has only played a full 16 games once.

The most games Datone has started in a season is four. Maliek Collins should like his chances of playing over Jones once both are healthy, and the Cowboys should be equally thrilled with the opportunity to keep both fresh in rotation.

Following Sunday's game in Seattle and next week against the Lions, the Cowboys can return David Irving from suspension to play all over their defensive line - his best position also being at three technique.

Without the wealth of talent they now have at all four positions up front, the Cowboys have had too many bodies to fill similar roles in the past. Thanks to the addition of Kris Richard along with strong edge play from Taco Charlton and rookie Dorance Armstrong, the Cowboys defensive line can do no wrong in 2018, and using Jones in week three and beyond should only add to this.

The Cowboys biggest key to success against the Seahawks will be containing Russell Wilson. Pressuring him in his face to collapse the pocket gives Dallas a chance to really slow the Seahawks offense, something they'll be relying on Jones to help them do as DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory also work with favorable match ups at defensive end.

Tell us what you think about "Could Cowboys DT Datone Jones Earn Starting Role with Maliek Collins Out?" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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