A mid-season trade brought the former Detroit Lion wide receiver to the Cowboys. After that not much was heard or even seen of Roy Williams! Until Friday! Then Roy Williams went on the offensive. Roy Williams spoke on Mike and Mike in the Morning on Friday morning and had some very insightful things to say about the practice habits of our beloved Dallas Cowboys, you can read those remarks here. With all the talking the Cowboy players seem to be doing, my first thought was "Oh No! Why can't you guys just keep your mouths shut?" Then Roy called in to Galloway & co. Friday afternoon, and my opinion changed.
I was a big advocate of bringing Mr.Williams to Dallas, and still am! If used properly, This guy adds a large element to this team. Unfortunately for him and us he was not only not used properly, but was hardly used at all!
I remember saying several times this year that this team needs to run more slant, crossing, and out routes. You cannot just run the same routes every time and expect different results! This however is what Jason Garrett and the offensive coaching staff repeatedly did.
At one point during the Galloway & Co. interview they asked Roy about how he or any other player on the Cowboys roster could be critical of the coaching staff, for the players failures. Roy had the best comeback you could ever ask for, "I agree with that for some players, but with other players like myself, sometimes your not put in a position too win on the field".
The questioning followed with this from Galloway; some very credible football people say that no one can be blamed for your failures except you. Roy drops this bit of knowledge on us; "you tell your NFL whoever it is that when your running the same route, every game and not being able to move and not being a part of the game. That's why you did not see much from me!"
Well now, does this sound familiar to anyone? Sounds an awful lot like another receiver we have! Now Roy's statement carries a little more weight with me just because Terrell was saying these same things even though he was being looked at 15 - 20 times per game!
Not much further along in the interview Roy makes a statement that really caught my ear, "I continue to have opposing teams corners ask me, why do they keep having you run this same pattern over and over again?" So let me get this straight, the Cowboys went out and made a trade for another receiver to take the pressure (double teams) off of T.O. then we completely refuse to get him involved. Does this make any since to any of you? Now some of you will say "Roy did not know the offense that well" and "well Roy was hurt" and on some levels you might have a point, but he was not hurt enough to not play and Roy himself said "the only difference in this offense is the terminology, it is the same I have been running in Detroit!".
I hope Jerry,Wade, and Jason were all listening to this interview. Why? All of those people spent all year long telling us that nothing was wrong with the offense, and we all spent the entire year agonizing over their piss poor play. Then in one sentence Roy Williams tells them what the rest of the league thinks of their offense, "why do they have you running this same pattern over and over again".
Translation? The Dallas Cowboys will run the same play, with the same formation the entire game, just play these routes and you can stop them! How can I come to that conclusion from one statement from one player? Well I can promise you if they are having one guy run the same route over and over again, they are doing the same to everyone else!
I have spent all the time I am going to spend on bashing this teams piss poor decision making. I am officially climbing down from my soapbox! With the season officially ending last night, with the Pittsburgh Steelers defeating the Arizona Cardinals in the Super Bowl. It is now time for not only us here at A Cowboy Nation, but for everyone who are followers of the Cowboys to turn our attention to next year.
This team has all the tools to turn the ship around, and get things back going in the right direction. The interviews that Roy gave on Friday could have been taken many different ways by many different people. I however took them this way. Roy Williams wants to win and he is willing to do whatever is asked of him to make that happen. I think these players are tired of being called losers,quitters, and failures. I have asked all year for someone to stand up and fix the things that they have control of. I finally got what I was asking for from Roy Williams, when he said "when I first came here I would say for the first week or two during practice when a receiver or back caught the ball I was continuing to block until the play was dead. I looked around and no one else was doing that. So I stopped, but this year I do not care who is or who is not doing it, I am going to do it! and hopefully others will come with me. It is time for us to just shut up and play, and for me to take a larger roll in leading this team."
Cowboys, Redskins Week 7 Injury Report
Though it's still early in the 2018 season, the lead in the NFC East is up for grabs when the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins meet this Sunday. Both teams would like their full roster available for the game, but the Week 7 injury reports indicate that won't be the case.
Here are the players either confirmed to be out of action tomorrow or are otherwise listed by Dallas and Washington:
- WR Tavon Austin (groin) - OUT
- LB Joe Thomas (foot) - OUT
- CB Chidobe Awuzie (ankle) - Questionable
The Cowboys are getting healthier, with Sean Lee finally off the injury report and set to return to action. Not only will Dallas get their elite linebacker back, but it means a deeper rotation while the team remains without Joe Thomas.
Tavon Austin elected to skip season-ending surgery on his injured groin, but his should be out a few weeks. That will put Cole Beasley on punt returns and perhaps create more offensive opportunities for Deonte Thompson and Brice Butler.
Awuzie remains limited in practice but has played the last few weeks despite the ankle injury. There is no reason to think he won't suit up in Washington.
- WR Jamison Crowder (ankle) - OUT
- WR Paul Richardson (shoulder, knee) - Doubtful
- S Troy Apke (hamstring) - Doubtful
- RB Adrian Peterson (ankle, shoulder) - Questionable
- RB Chris Thompson (rib, knee) - Questionable
- G Shawn Lauvao (calf) - Questionable
- CB Quinton Dunbar (shin) - Questionable
- CB Danny Johnson (forearm) - Questionable
It's a rough time for Washington's offensive weapons. They will definitely be without slot receiver Jamison Crowder and likely starter Paul Richardson, who current lead all WRs in receptions. Josh Doctson will put into a major role, as will veteran Brian Quick off the bench.
Peterson and Thompson both practiced this week and should play, but have nagging injuries that could slow them down. Washington is already missing Rob Kelley and rookie Derrius Guice, who are both on injured reserve.
Starting left guard Shawn Lauvao is also nursing a lower leg injury, but practiced in a limited capacity all week. His backup is undrafted rookie Casey Dunn out of Auburn.
In the defensive backfield, starting CB Quinton Dunbar was a Friday addition to the injury report with a shin injury. He did practice with it, though, so will likely play. Backup safety Troy Apke is doubtful with a hamstring issue.
Cowboys Focused on Improved Communication to Solve Road Woes at Redskins
The Dallas Cowboys are 0-3 on the road this season. Not only do you already know this, but they do as well, needing to build off a 40-7 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars in week 6 at AT&T Stadium to claim first place in the NFC East at the Washington Redskins.
Although the Cowboys were given Monday and Tuesday off, they are focused on addressing one alarming reason why the team has struggled so much on the road -- particularly on offense.
Running Back Ezekiel Elliott pointed out the Cowboys lack of communication in early season losses at Carolina, Seattle, and Houston. "Seeing the same thing," was the issue Elliott addressed when discussing the Cowboys knowing their assignments in hostile territory.
Yesterday, Quarterback Dak Prescott told the media of a meeting between players and coaches that addressed this specifically.
Dak Prescott said players & coaches held a meeting before today's practice to "address the elephant in the room," which is poor communication among the offense on the road. "I know we'll take a lot from that conversation," The QB said.
Unlike Prescott's remarks about new "wrinkles" in the Cowboys offense prior to a 26-24 home win over the Lions, this has a tangible sign of progress for an offense that made scoring 40 on the Jaguars look impossibly easy. The Cowboys season high in total yards remains the 414 amassed against Detroit, after which Prescott confessed that he simply tells the media "things" that aren't necessarily true.
The Cowboys didn't necessarily do anything new against the Lions, but they most assuredly will this week against the Redskins, at least by way of signaling and remaining in sync on offense.
Prescott and Elliott's leadership is on full display here, and their on-field impact can be attributed as closely to the Cowboys successes or failures as any duo in the NFL.
Missing is a similar impact from Center Travis Frederick, who remains sidelined as he deals with GSB.
Joe Looney's play at center has been good enough to pave the way for Elliott's 586 rushing yards so far, second to Todd Gurley at 623 yards, but his ability to call checks for the offense is understandably much more limited.
Looney deserves all the credit in the world for his strong play in place of Frederick. The Cowboys have never asked for him to be anything he isn't, a reliable depth option that earned a second contract and with it the starting center job for the time being in Dallas.
He has the full support of his teammates, Frederick included. All of this is lovely to put down in writing until Looney and the Cowboys have been forced to step on the field with the crowd against them and attempt to sustain a drive, something Frederick will unfortunately not be a part of for a long while.
If the Cowboys offense isn't going to unveil new wrinkles in the scheme, there is one wrinkle worth mentioning that's new to the team's communication on offense this season. With Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan up in the box, his play calls are sent down to first-year Quarterback Coach Kellen Moore, who has been in the ear of Prescott ever since playing with him from 2016-17.
Sure, these are things that could've been addressed before the Cowboys managed only eight points in week one, turned the ball over three times in week three, or punted away their best chance at victory in week five. The best teams in the league likely already have these things down to routine, and few would consider the Cowboys anywhere near the upper echelon of the NFL.
Following sixty minutes of football at a division rival they've won four in a row against, with an even more impressive five game win streak at the Redskins, the Cowboys could control their own path atop the NFC East.
That feels truly incredible for such a young team faced with a steep learning curve early in the season, adjusting to it on the fly as they prepare to leave everything on the field before a bye week.
#WASvsDAL: Why This Game Holds Increased Importance
It feels incredibly cliche to call the week 7 match-up between the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins a "must win." Especially for someone like me who values statistics, logic, and analytics in sports.
But when the analytics agree with the narratives, those narratives do tend to get my attention. And this week that would appear to be the case.
According to Brian Burke of ESPN, the Cowboys's week 7 game has the highest playoff probability leverage in the entire NFC, and is second to only the Houston Texans' big game with Jacksonville around the entire league.
Playoff leverage for week 7. DAL, WAS, PHI, CAR, MIN, CHI with a lot on the line in the NFC. HOU, CIN, and JAX in the AFC.
What does this mean? Well playoff probability leverage is pretty intuitive. Basically it is the difference between a win this week and a loss this week in terms of probability to make the playoffs.
For the Cowboys that number is at 27%, with a win over Washington catapulting their playoff probability over 50%. On the other hand, a loss would take a big hit to their playoff hopes just 7 games into the NFL season.
As you might expect, this game means a lot to the Redskins' playoff probability as well. Their playoff leverage this week is at 14%, but a win would mean "more" to Dallas than Washington based on the probabilities.
Fellow NFC East foe, the Philadelphia Eagles, also have a lot to gain/lose this Sunday, with their leverage sitting at 22%. According to Burke's model, the Eagles and Cowboys have the best chances of making the playoffs at this point, but if each team wins Sunday the Eagles will still have a higher percentage.
Of course a lot can and will change week to week, despite what the metrics say. The Cowboys still have two games remaining with the NFC East favorite Eagles this year, and will get another crack at Washington at home later in the season. Plus the Cowboys have a few NFC wild card and playoff contenders remaining on their schedule, such as the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons. (Yes, the 2-4 Falcons are very much alive in this crazy conference).
Still, the difference between 4-3 (2-0 in the division) and 3-4 (1-1 in the division) is huge, as is shown by Brian Burke's playoff probability leverage metric.
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