All I can say for this game is Brian Stewart has got some work to do! This is now the second game in a row where this defense looked, well let's say shaky at times. This unit needs to step it up come game one of the “Real Season” for this team to carry out the goals they wish to achieve. I am sure have all heard the saying “defense wins championships” well this year will be no different. As great an offensive team as this is,they will not win nor play for a championship, if this unit cannot step it up.
Well I, like the Cowboys am still in preseason mode, so bear with me on this first recap post! First of all, I thought the D-line played very well throughout last night. The Texans O-Line was not much challenge to the first teamers, as Tank, Canty, and Spears busted through seemingly at will. Marcus Spears had probably his best game of the year, although the numbers may not show it, as he logged only one tackle and one assist. Spears spent a lot of the night in the backfield. Tank Johnson looks to be a man on a mission! Nearly every play he beat his man, and caused the Texans plays to be redirected. The only negative thing I noted about Tank, and Spears for that matter, is their tackling. Its one thing to be in the backfield, but if you cannot make the tackle then what good does it do you? We did not hear Chris Canty's name much last night, but there were no running lanes on his side of the line. So in my opinion that is a BIG positive. Ratliff, Bowen, and Hatcher all looked good, although it is difficult to judge when the field is full of 2nd and 3rd string players.
Here is where it gets shaky for the Boys. Outside of DeMarcus Ware, this linebacker corp. last night was exceptionally average! They had plenty of intensity, but, over pursuit is what kept the Texans in the game. The screen pass and the draw play were Matt Schaub and Co. best friend! These areas must be corrected! And quickly! Bradie James and Zach Thomas played an entire half of football and combined for two tackles and one assist (the two tackles recorded by Zach Thomas). So here is the “Leader of the Defense” and inside linebacker, recording ONE ASSIST!! If this does not change, I will be ripping Bradie instead of Roy Willy, well maybe not instead of but in addition too. These types of numbers are completely unacceptable! Now let's move on before my blood pressure gets entirely out of hand. This next backer had by the numbers a good game, but the numbers are very deceiving in Bobby Carpenter's case. This guy is and has been a complete bust, another wasted first round pick. Thank you oh “Draft God” Bill Parcells, do not get me wrong Bill made some great picks, this however was not even close. If I have to suffer through watching much more of this guy I am going to puke! He seems to always be around the ball, unfortunately it's just after someone else has made the tackle, and the ball carrier made an extra couple of yards. He needs to go!
The secondary was pretty solid last night. Once the blitz packages come this unit is going to have many, many chances for interceptions. They are deep too, not much drop off, if any from 1st to 2nd string. Before he hurt his shoulder, I thought Scandrick was having a nice game for a 5th Round rookie corner. Anthony Henry can still play! Adam Jones had another solid game, he continues to get better every week. Oh by the way it is official, the Cowboys now have a legitimate “Take it to the house” punt returner! Jones was about 3 inches away from taking one to the house last night. Roy Willy has not changed much, same song and dance for him, even with the number change! If not for Matt Schaub forgetting how to throw, Owen Daniels burns him. I will say he was at least in the same zip code as his man, last year all we would have seen was his back. Campo I love you man but can you please give Roy some one on one tackling instruction. For a guy known for hitting, he has completely forgotten how! The one good thing I can report on Roy's performance, limited play! Thank You, Brian Stewart.
All in all for the 3rd preseason game it was a decent showing for this year's defense. If they can build on this performance they should be ok. We will all have a better idea of what they got after the Cleveland game. The defense should get all it can handle in the “Dawg Pound”. This teams hopes and dreams rest solely on the shoulders of this defense. It is time to put or shut up! No more excuses its time for them all to prove they belong or hit the road. I for one believe they can and will prove to us all that they are a great defense, not just good!
BREAKING: Dallas Cowboys Sign Free Agent Safety George Iloka
The Dallas Cowboys have reached a one-year agreement with Safety George Iloka, according to ESPN's Todd Archer. Iloka spent 2018 with the Vikings after six years with the Bengals.
He's started 79 of his 99 career games since being a fifth-round pick by Cincinnati in 2012. Iloka turns 29 years old next week.
The Cowboys have agreed to a one-year deal with safety George Iloka, according to a source. Iloka met with the Cowboys on Friday and was the third safety to meet with the club during the week along with Clayton Geathers and Eric Berry. The Cowboys have... https://t.co/JB5nJLWepc
This isn't the safety that most Cowboys fans wanted. After over a year of pining for Earl Thomas, sights turned to Eric Berry after his free agent visit in Dallas last week.
However, it makes sense that Iloka would be attractive to the Cowboys. At 6'4" and 225 lbs, he fits the physical mold of what Defensive Backs Coach Kris Richard likes in his players. He also is younger than than Berry and Thomas without the same recent injury issues.
Iloka becomes one of many Boise St. products on Dallas' roster, joining Tyrone Crawford, DeMarcus Lawrence, Leighton Vander Esch, and others. He entered the league with college teammates Crawford and Kellen Moore, the Cowboys' new offensive coordinator, in 2012.
We'll have to wait and see how George Iloka fits into the current mix at safety with Jeff Heath and Xavier Woods. He spent most of 2018 as a backup with Minnesota, but Dallas will likely give him a chance to start.
What to Expect from Dallas Cowboys Wide Receiver Group in 2019
In a span of a week, the Dallas Cowboys have solidified their wide receiver group with the resigning of Tavon Austin to a one year deal and the signing of former Green Bay Packers Wide Receiver Randall Cobb. Despite the loss of Cole Beasley, the Cowboys have a created a really good group of receivers for Quarterback Dak Prescott to throw to.
Cobb joins a really nice group of players that includes incumbent starters on the outside in Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup as well as solid depth players in Austin, Allen Hurns, and Noah Brown. Throw in Cedric Wilson, the Dallas Cowboys sixth round pick from the 2018 NFL Draft and the Cowboys may have one of the deeper receiving corps in the NFL.
The question is, how will the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff delineate the roles?
Let's take a look.
As I mentioned before, the Dallas Cowboys are returning their top two options on the outside in Amari Cooper, who is the X wide receiver and Michael Gallup, the Z receiver. Both players will go into week one as the starters at their respective positions in two-wide receiver formations.
Despite some of the overthrows from Dak Prescott to Michael Gallup, Gallup had a really nice rookie season and got better as the year went along, even leading the Cowboys in receiving in the playoff loss to the Los Angeles Rams. In that game, Gallup recorded the first 100 yard game of his career. Sure, it was in an attempt to comeback by the Dallas Cowboys, but it is impressive nonetheless. His touchdown catch against the Seattle Seahawks the week before was clutch. The Cowboys needed that to take the lead at the end of the first half. 2018 was only the beginning for Michael Gallup. He showed an ability to win with a full offseason to work with Dak Prescott, their chemistry and connection should only improve.
As for Cooper, his presence was felt right away as the offense just looked different once he stepped on the field. It's no coincidence that Dak Prescott's two best career games in terms of passing yardage came with Cooper in 2018. He's such a threat that he opens up space for the rest of the wide receiver group. His route running, speed, ability to run after the catch make him a threat to score any time he's targeted.
Behind Cooper and Gallup, you have options in the event that one of them gets hurt. Allen Hurns, Tavon Austin, and Noah Brown are all players who took snaps on the outside for the Dallas Cowboys in 2018 and did so with effectiveness. Hurns best game of the year came just before the Cooper deal was made as he went for five receptions for 75 yards.
Tavon provided down field speed on several occasions and provides some gadget quality that the Dallas Cowboys love to have. Noah Brown is a player that the Dallas Cowboys love to deploy as a blocker in the running game. While it looked like he might get more run in the passing game in 2019, the depth additions will limit him again to a specialty role. If needed, though, he could be an option to take snaps on the outside as his big frame allows him to box out defensive backs down the field.
There will be snaps on the outside for someone when the Cowboys go to 11 personnel, because of Amari Cooper's ability to slide into the slot.
Obviously, the writing is on the wall with who the Dallas Cowboys are planning on deploying in the slot as things stand right now, and that's Randall Cobb.
While Cobb should be penciled in as the starter in the slot, I doubt that he's going to get 100% of the snaps there in 11 or 10 personnel groupings. Amari Cooper, Allen Hurns, Tavon Austin, Noah Brown, and Cedric Wilson could all push for playing time from the slot.
Last month, I wrote a piece about Allen Hurns and his effectiveness in the slot and why the Cowboys should feature him there. With Cobb coming off an injury laden season, the Cowboys would be wise to give some snaps to Hurns along with Tavon Austin.
In Jacksonville, Hurns was incredibly effective from the slot running posts, slants, and ins and outs. His size and route running made him an effective mismatch against linebackers, safeties, and cornerbacks alike. Remember, it wasn't long ago that Hurns had a 1,000 yard season with Blake Bortles at the helm.
Tavon Austin's quickness is an asset that could be very effective in the slot as well. Though he lacks size, he's a player that opposing defenses have to account for because of his ability to make big plays once the ball's in his hands.
✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭
The Cowboys haven't been shy about carrying seven wide receivers on their 53-man rosters and it's possible, though unlikely that they could do it again in 2018. As things stand now, I see Noah Brown and Cedric Wilson as the potential odd men out. Of course, this could all get reshuffled if the Dallas Cowboys use a top 100 pick on a wide receiver in the draft.
With Amari Cooper, Allen Hurns, Tavon Austin, and Randall Cobb only under contract through the 2019 season, the Dallas Cowboys would be wise to invest at the position despite the strength of the position in 2019.
Report: Dallas Cowboys Set to Meet with Safety George Iloka
As the Dallas Cowboys continue the process of building a roster capable of taking them back to the playoffs, and hopefully to a Super Bowl, this next season, they’re bringing in another safety to try and strengthen their top 10 defense. This time it’s free agent safety George Iloka, formerly of the Minnesota Vikings.
Per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Dallas Cowboys are set to meet with
The #Cowboys are hosting former #Vikings and #Bengals safety George Iloka for a visit tomorrow, source said. They're still looking to add in the secondary.
It will be the third meeting this week that they’ve had with a veteran safety after hosting recently resigned Indianapolis’s colts Safety Clayton Geathers and former Kansas City Chiefs Safety Eric Berry.
The Cowboys feel really good about Xavier Woods at safety, but definitely could use some depth at the position as they head toward the 2019 NFL Draft.
Iloka is coming off a season where he was relegated to a reserve role for the Vikings. In five of the last six seasons, Iloka’s played all 16 games, and the one season he didn’t, he played 12. He has nine career interceptions, and has three seasons with more than 70 total tackles.
Back in August of last year, Brian Martin argued that the Dallas Cowboys should pursue Iloka after being released by the Cincinnati Bengals. He would play the strong or box safety role in the Cowboys defense if they were to come to an agreement.
Stay tuned for more Free Agency coverage from us here at InsideTheStar.com.
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