Star Blog Was It Really A Surprise The Cowboys Lost In The Playoffs? Published 11 months ago on January 19, 2017 By Brian Leatherman Share Tweet When the 2016 season began, who here thought this was going to be a Super Bowl year for the Dallas Cowboys? Was it really a surprise the Cowboys fell short, in the playoffs, and against the Green Bay Packers? It wasn’t for me, and here’s why. Going back to the 2016 offseason, way before All-Pro QB Tony Romo was hurt again, this team was missing something, and at some point in the 2016 season that something was going to rear its ugly head. Sure enough, on the biggest stage of the year, that something showed up in a big way. That something was the pass rush. Many will say it was the secondary that didn’t show up against Super Man, aka Aaron Rodgers. I’ve watched this game for over 40 years; I’ve seen a lot of great QBs during that time and the one thing all those great QBs have in common is their Kryptonite. And that Kryptonite is pass rush. Without a pass rush your team doesn’t stand a chance against the top quarterbacks in the league. There are four to five top gun QBs in the league, guys who can take over a game at a moment’s notice. And let’s say only one or two of those QBs are on your schedule, then you really have a chance for a good season with all the other weapons you have on your team. With Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott taking the league by storm, it was easy to forget what the glaring need on this team was if you weren’t watching close enough. I do want to say this is not taking anything away from what defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli did with this defense. He basically played most of the season with four defensive tackles rushing the QB every game, and he had them playing to the best of their abilities, and then some. Don’t get me wrong. Tyrone Crawford, David Irving, Cedric Thornton, Jack Crawford, Maliek Collins, Benson Mayowa, and DeMarcus Lawrence played out of their minds at times. But that happened when they faced teams with sub-par offensive lines. Lawrence is the only legit pass rusher out of that group, and I don’t know this for a fact, but I don’t believe Lawrence was fully healthy the entire year. I feel like his back injury from last year played a big part in his health this season and that’s something to keep an eye on going forward. But the Cowboys carried on. They played who they had. Sure, Randy Gregory would have been great to have for a whole season, but the team knew long before everyone else that they wouldn’t have him. Losing rookie defensive end Charles Tapper didn’t help matters either. So the Cowboys went into the 2016 season a lot like they went into the past four seasons: wondering where the pass rush was going to come from. Just like 2014, the last time the Cowboys made the playoffs. The team used the offense as a way to protect their defense, and it worked. But when it came to facing one of the best QBs in the league, just like in the 2014 playoffs, it just didn’t work, and it won’t ever work. The old saying in football is to be successful you have to be able to run the ball, and stop the run. And that still true, to a certain degree. However, with the way the National Football League has turned into a passing league, to be truly successful, you must have a pass rush if you want to make it to the Super Bowl. This season was so much fun. We had young first-year players come in and do things that have never been done before. We have more young players coming next season who could have a similar impact. But if this team wants to reach the ultimate goal of winning its sixth championship, Jerry and Stephen Jones have to acquire players who can consistently get to the QB. If they don’t, the team will continue to see the same results of the last two times the Cowboys were in the playoffs. ADVERTISEMENT Related Topics:Dallas CowboysDivisional RoundNFL Playoffs Up Next Cowboys Fan Attacks Own Brother After Loss to Packers Don't Miss “That Was Just The Preface,” QB Dak Prescott Already Looking To 2017 Brian Leatherman Brian has been a football junkie from the time he was 5 years old. He lives, eats and breathes the game. Brian is a college graduate living in the south who loves his faith, his family, and his Dallas Cowboys. Advertisement You may like Packers A Reminder That Young Cowboys Can Handle Adversity GB 34, DAL 31: Cowboys Can’t Contain Aaron Rodgers #DALvsGB: Putting The Dallas Cowboys’ Loss In Perspective 2016 Divisional Round Injury Report: Cowboys Healthy, Packers Hurting Are Cowboys Better Equipped for Playoffs Now Than 2014? History Suggests Ezekiel Elliott Is About To Wreck Shop In Playoffs 3 Comments daxman The inexperience of dallas coaching staff did rear its ugly head in this game. Travis Diggs Dallas has known this problem for how long????????? Romo has All pro numbers but has nothing to show for it because he always played with a below average defense. PLEASE DONT DO DAK LIKE ROMO!!! Get him some help !!! BeirutWedding I think the initial point of this article is dead on. At the beginning of the year, I (and a lot of people) thought we could only go so far because of the lack of defense. Dak and Zeke made us believe otherwise, made everybody believe otherwise. And it came back to bite us at the worst time. But man, it was three months of pure football pleasure. That Pittsburgh game will always be one of my favorite regular season games ever. Star Blog Think Jason Garrett is a Robot? FOX Sports Agrees Published 2 days ago on December 15, 2017 By Jess Haynie Cowboys fans have often complained that head coach Jason Garrett is too robotic in his demeanor, media answers, and constant clapping. Yesterday, with most of the country feeling Star Wars fever, FOX Sports tapped into the zeitgeist while also taking a little jab at Garrett’s robot reputation. FOX Sports released photographs of several NFL personalities as Star Wars character. Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady were Jedis. Bill Belichick, surprise-surprise, was a the evil Emperor. Garrett… well…. FOX Sports: NFL on Twitter @AaronRodgers12 @CameronNewton @Panthers @Patriots Jason Garrett is fluent in over 6 million forms of communication. From 2016 Coach of the Year to punchline, Garrett’s reputation has certainly taken a big swing this season. Things are so bad, they couldn’t give him a C-3PO with matching arms. Oh, the indignity. Of course, this is all in good fun. Garrett has 12 and 13-win seasons in two of the last three years. 2017 could’ve been very different if not for Ezekiel Elliott‘s legal issues and Sean Lee’s injury. And even now, there’s still a chance the Cowboys can sneak back into the playoffs. Yes, Jason is repetitive. And yes, he’s no Bill Parcells behind a microphone. But could they at least have made him R2-D2? At least FOX Sports didn’t make him Jar Jar Binks. That should go to Roger Goodell. Just for fun, what other Star Wars characters would you compare Cowboys players and other staff members to? Maybe Sean Lee as Boba Fett, hunting down targets in the open field? Or maybe Cole Beasley as Luke, since they’re both a little short to be Stormtroopers. Have any other good Cowboys/Star Wars comparisons? Share them in the comments! ADVERTISEMENT Continue Reading Star Blog Cowboys en Español: ¿Combinaciones Para Playoffs?, ¿Juego Trampa vs Raiders? Published 3 days ago on December 15, 2017 By Mauricio Rodriguez Es increíble pensar que ya estamos en la semana 15 de la NFL. Más increíble aún, los Dallas Cowboys que se fueron 13-3 con el sembrado #1 de la NFC hace un año, ahorita cuentan con un récord de 7-6 y unas esperanzas de pasar a playoffs muy, muy pequeñas. El domingo pasado, a pesar de llevarse la victoria en el campo contra los New York Giants, los Cowboys no recibieron la ayuda que necesitaban alrededor de la liga. Pero a pesar de ser pequeñas, las esperanzas siguen vivas. Y este domingo, los aficionados a Dallas no sólo apoyaremos a los Cowboys en el Sunday Night Football, sino también a otros cuantos equipos. Para los Cowboys, ¿cuáles son las combinaciones necesarias? Dallas Cowboys termina la temporada 10-6, ganando los últimos tres partidos. Que los Green Bay Packers pierdan un partido. Que los Detroit Lions pierdan un partido. Que los Atlanta Falcons o los Carolina Panthers pierdan dos partidos. En mi opinión, incluso con Aaron Rodgers volviendo al campo, los Panthers y los Falcons presentan el mayor reto. Y creo, que lo que deberíamos estar apoyando en este momento, es que sean los Falcons los que pierdan dos partidos. ¿Por qué? Porque este domingo, Carolina se enfrentará a Green Bay. Francamente, Panthers es el equipo que más probabilidades tiene de echar a perder el regreso heroico de Rodgers. Panthers también puede vencer a los Falcons en la semana 17. Así que, mientras los Panthers no podrían ayudar perdiendo, creo que más bien nos podrán apoyar ganando. Sin embargo, los resultados de la semana 15 influenciarán mucho a quien apoyaremos como fans de los Cowboys. Por ahora, estos serían los resultados ideales de la semana 15: CHI Bears vencen a DET Lions. CAR Panthers vencen a GB Packers. TB Buccaneers sorprenden a ATL Falcons. Claro, dos de estos resultados parecen muy optimistas, pero todo puede pasar en la NFL y sobre todo con equipos tan inconsistentes como los Lions. Por supuesto que, todo esto no tiene ni sentido si los Cowboys no se van 3-0 en las siguientes tres semanas. El rival más fuerte que le queda a Dallas son los Seattle Seahawks. Con Ezekiel Elliott volviendo esa misma semana, será un duelo increíble en el AT&T Stadium. En mi opinión, será el partido que definirá de que son capaces los Dallas Cowboys del 2017. Pero primero que nada, los Cowboys se tienen que preocupar por un partido que puede resultar siendo un juego “trampa.” Un juego trampa, es cuando un equipo tiene una semana muy importante por venir (Seahawks) y subestima al rival (Raiders) que tiene enfrente dentro de los próximos días. Sobre todo cuando es de visita, estos partidos pueden resultar siendo peligrosos en la NFL y realmente, en todos los niveles de football americano. Oakland Raiders Derek Carr (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images) Y sí, los Raiders han tenido una temporada muy decepcionante en la que ni Derek Carr ni Amari Cooper han sido lo que se esperaba, pero Derek Carr es un QB que puede echarse al equipo a los hombros en cualquier momento. Todos pueden tener una mala temporada, y ese ha sido el caso para el #4 de Oakland. Sin embargo, si los Cowboys mantienen el partido cerrado en el cuarto cuarto, Derek Carr puede demostrar que tan peligroso es. Con jugadores clave como Khalil Mack, que por cierto tendrá una batalla épica con La’el Collins, es un juego que no es tan fácil como parece. Sí, los Raiders tienen un récord de 6-7. ¿Y? Los Cowboys tienen un récord de 7-6. Es mejor, claro. ¿Pero realmente es tan bueno como para pensar que será una victoria fácil? Podemos criticar a Jason Garrett por muchas cosas, pero una de las cosas que no podemos criticarlo, es la motivación que le da a los jugadores. A pesar de muchos reportes acerca de que los jugadores “estaban molestos” con los coaches, definitivamente no han jugado como si se hubieran rendido en su entrenador. No creo que los Cowboys pierdan el domingo. Pero esperemos que no sólo ganen en la noche, sino que obtengan victorias indirectas alrededor de la NFC. Tell me what you think about “Cowboys en Español: ¿Combinaciones Para Playoffs?, ¿Juego Trampa vs Raiders?” in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 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! ADVERTISEMENT Continue Reading Star Blog Is 3-3 Without Ezekiel Elliott A Win For Dallas? Published 4 days ago on December 14, 2017 By Kevin Brady Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports It’s funny how quickly perception can change in the NFL. A little over two weeks ago, the sky was falling on the Dallas Cowboys. They had just been blown out three straight times, twice at home and twice against direct NFC playoff competitors. Cowboys Nation wanted firings – whether that meant head coach Jason Garrett, Scott Linehan, Rod Marinelli, or all of the above. Dak Prescott couldn’t survive without Ezekiel Elliott, and all of the change made to the defense was beginning to be called a failure by the masses. Fast forward to this week. The Cowboys have now been the deliverers of butt-kickings the last two weeks, and now sit at 7-6 with an outside chance at a playoff spot. And while the team looked like a complete mess without Elliott previously, a win Sunday would put them at 3-3 over the course of the Pro Bowl running back’s suspension. And is that really all that bad? Heading into the suspension, most fans probably would’ve taken 3-3 without Elliott and 8-6 overall. Most fans would’ve though that would put the Cowboys right in the thick of the things in the NFC playoff hunt. And most would’ve assumed we’d be happy with an 8-6 Cowboys team. Unfortunately, 8-6 most likely won’t be good enough in this year’s playoff race. Especially considering the return of Aaron Rodgers and previous losses to both the Green Bay Packers and Atlanta Falcons. Plus, the entire NFC South has been fantastic this season (besides Tampa Bay) and two teams from the West look legit as well. So maybe this just isn’t the Cowboys’ year. But, the success of other teams in the conference shouldn’t cloud our perception of what the Cowboys have done this season if they were to win Sunday night. A win over the Raiders this week would qualify the team’s handling of the Elliott suspension as a “success” of sorts (in terms of on the field, at least) in my opinion. They would have kept themselves alive in a deep NFC playoff race, discovered a legitimate offensive weapon in Rod Smith, maintained a solid rushing attack over the majority of the six games, and allowed for some real growth from their young quarterback Dak Prescott. I know the first three games of the suspension were awful, and a team with the talent of the Cowboys shouldn’t be losing that way three times in a row, or three times in a season at all. But, something should be said about how the team has weathered that storm, and kept themselves above water in this competitive conference. But, of course, the result Sunday night could change all of this if the Cowboys come out and lay an egg in Oakland, effectively ending their season before Zeke even gets back. In that case we will more vividly remember the three horrific losses in which the team was out-coached and embarrassed. But, still those games should be remembered regardless of Sunday’s outcome. So maybe success is a bit of a strong word. This week’s game is not only a huge one in terms of the 2017 playoff race, but also may be an important one for determining what the 2018 Cowboys will look like. ADVERTISEMENT Continue Reading Sportsbook odds for all Dallas Cowboys games Reader Survey Want to help make Inside The Star better? We’re collecting feedback from our readers about the site. 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