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Safe or Out?

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Safe or Out?

This seems to be the game we're playing. Desperately in need of veteran leadership the Cowboys have successfully pursued Gerald Sensabaugh, signing him to a one year deal. In his 5th season he registered 82 tackles and 4 interceptions so you can't doubt his upside, but I just have to wonder, with a history of arrests and troubled off-the-field issues is he worth it?

I mean we're trying to rebuild, we're trying to become a straight-laced team, with a clear image. It worries me, it worries me because distractions have proven costly, and without distractions this team can potentially be untouchable.

The talent is here, and he can bring a lot to us. However, I have to admit I was sort of liking the idea of moving Orlando Scandrick to Free Safety and bumping Hamlin to Strong Safety. We'll see what time brings, but Sensabaugh will undoubtedly solidify our special teams void, and possibly some good cover skills as a defensive back.

So my indecision leads me to turn it over to you, do you think that Jerry's latest move is safe, or did the cowboys strike out?


Former Sports Writer. Veteran. Serving veterans is my passion. Johns Hopkins Student. Enjoy Discussing Politics and sports!

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7 Comments
  • https://insidethestar.com/about/ Bryson Treece

    I see this move as akin to signing Tank Johnson, and that worked out fairly well while he was here. he never really caused a fuss and seemed to be a team player for the most part. It was a bit of a surprise when he started saying he wanted out, and the way he did it was in very poor taste. But again, he did well here.

    I figure Sensabaugh had some very minor traffic issues, and one gun possession charge, yet he has still been playing and doing well. I mean look at the photo you posted above … I’m interested to see what anyone can do that can get a beat like that Manning and Reggie Wayne. It warrants a look and backup spot at worst.

  • Theo

    I like the move, you are bringing in someone with experience, and you know can play, but still has upside, because he is young. I really didn’t like the move they were talking about with Scandrick for the reason that Hamlin can’t tackle to save his life, just look at the Ravens game. You need a strong safety that can tackle, so to me rushing Scandrick to FS and Hamlin didn’t make sense, now what you could do was have Scandrick feel out the FS position in the OTAs and training camp as well as reps at corner and see what happens, if he catches on great. let him work at it, and then if Hamlin doesn’t put up the numbers you want get rid of him. Sensabaugh may have had off the field issues, I think they are minor, but you have to think Campo has worked with him as well as DeCamillis, so it is not like none of the coaches have not spent any time with him, they know who this kid, so I think it will work out in the Cowboys favor.

  • Austin

    Im still stunned at the T.O move! Nothing J.J does will suprise me now

  • http://www.cowboysfanrebellion.com Craig Cotton

    I think it’s a safe move under one condition. As long as Jerry doesn’t consider it the fix at SS. We need to go into the draft for a young safety. Pegues in the 4th would be a great addition to this team, and possible a cheap answer to a position that has haunted us since Woodson left.

    http://www.CowboysFanRebellion.com

  • Fabio

    HI,

    My username at the official site is Health Nut. I’m going to try here for a bit hoping to get a more educated class of people. I hope the people that respond on this site are actual critical thinkers with enough years watching the Cowboys (going back to the Tom Landry days) to not come up with useless dribble. Too many people, I think, confuse fantasy football with reality.

    Anyhow, this signing is a god one. Yes, he does have issues, but he is young enough to turn around those issues. He also does not get the publicity of a Pacman. That goes a long way to trying to turn someone’s life around. It is difficult to do if the press is scrutinizing every move and talking about it 24.7 on ESPN. So, I think, with the support the Cowboys have in place, he could, if he really wanted to, get on the straight and narrow.

    Of course, now that he is in Big D, the attention will be on him, but at least he comes here without the media blitz. He has some good talent and can be a player for us for a long time in terms of talent level.

    I do think that we need to keep looking because with players like him you can never be safe.

    Fabio

  • https://insidethestar.com/about/ Bryson Treece

    That is a good point, you never really know when a player that has had trouble in the past will start having trouble again. But isn’t that the case with any player? I mean look at Roy Williams (SS), he was good for a few years, and without injury or any other reasonable cause, he just started sucking. Okay, so he didn’t adjust to the 3-4 as well as most of the others did, but even what he had been so good at before the scheme switch, which was hitting, started to suck as well.

    For Sensabaugh, I think his issues off the field were not even in the same league as Pacman Jones’ were. None of it was for drugs or seriously breaking the law. Some say he was profiled when he was busted for driving with a suspended license, which was caused by his charges for reckless driving on his motorcycle, but had he not done either he wouldn’t have been in the situation to begin with. It all comes down to choices … but I’d rather have a guy that likes to drive and hotrod a bit than a guy that likes to fight, or gets shot with his own gun *cough*.

    The only serious charge on his record is the illegal possession of a firearm … half the people I know illegally own a gun and only use it for protection … some for hunting … so I don’t think it says a whole lot about him. Kind of like Tank Williams, he had the same issue, now we’ve learned in the last few months that he isn’t much of a team player, but does one have anything to do with the other? Not really.

    I’m looking forward to drafting one of maybe 4 safeties that will be available come #51. Each is capable of starting right away, so a year or so for grooming would only be better, and Sensabaugh can safely hang onto the starting job until they’re ready. Competition is the best motivation in football.

    Welcome to DCN Fabio … seen your comments at DC.com and on the blog before, nice to have you here.

  • https://insidethestar.com/ bags030404

    Great response Health nut! I agree with you completely! I have not seen much of this player but have heard a lot of good things. The great thing about him coming here is that he does not have to be a star! He can simply come in and be a teammate and contributor, and if he does those things he will be a 100% upgrade from the previous safety.

Game Notes

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly for Cowboys Against Seahawks

Brian Martin

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The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly for Cowboys Against Seahawks

Like the majority of you, I was expecting the Dallas Cowboys to build off of their win over the New York Giants and put together a much better performance than they did against the Seattle Seahawks last Sunday afternoon. Unfortunately, I should've remembered that the Cowboys don't have the best track record when playing in Seattle.

If I would've been paying attention to the Cowboys history when playing in Seattle, I would have been much more prepared for the manhandling that took place a few days ago. Dallas just seems cursed when they play Seattle at home. It doesn't matter if it's a regular-season game or preseason.

I hate to say it, but maybe we should start calling it the Tony Romo curse. Maybe this all started with his botched snap that ended the Cowboys playoff run in 2007. Let's not forget Seattle is also where Romo's career probably ended when he hurt his back in a meaningless preseason game in 2016. As you can see, history doesn't lie.

If I would've remembered this, I probably still wouldn't be feeling a little sick to my stomach. Unfortunately it is what it is and all we can do is move on. But, that's not going to keep me from sharing with all of you what I believed to be The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly for the Cowboys against the Seattle Seahawks in the Week 3 of the 2018 season.

The Good

Leighton Vander Esch

Dallas Cowboys LB Leighton Vander Esch

After pretty much getting completely manhandled by the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday afternoon, I had a pretty difficult time to find some good to put in this section about the way the Dallas Cowboys played. I really had to take a deep breath and put my emotions to the side for a little while, but I did discover a few individuals that deserved recognition.

The first person I want to identify is Cornerback Byron Jones. He continues to play at a really high level and is finally playing up to that first-round pedigree. It was also really good to see Running Back Ezekiel Elliott finally find some running room and look like his old self, although he probably could've done without the fumble. Lastly, how good is rookie Linebacker Leighton Vander Esch playing? He finished with 11 total tackles against the Seahawks.

I know it doesn't provide much comfort in the way these individuals performed since the Cowboys couldn't come away with the victory, but at least it wasn't all bad. All we can do is hope they can clean things up and take this as a learning experience.

The Bad

Dak Prescott

Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott

There was no shortage of bad for the Dallas Cowboys Sunday afternoon against the Seattle Seahawks, but for me it had to be Quarterback Dak Prescott and the Cowboys passing game. The struggles in the passing game is completely hamstringing the offensive productivity and unfortunately I have a hard time seeing them improving much right now.

Prescott is only averaging about 160 passing yards a game and that's just not going to cut it if this team is planning on winning many games this season. He has thrown just as many touchdowns (2) as he has interceptions (2) this year. To make matters worse, it looks as if there's a void of playmaking ability from his pass catchers.

Honestly, I don't really know where the blame should fall right now. Is it Prescott's fault or does it fall at the feet of his receivers? Unfortunately, it doesn't really matter because nothings working for either of them right now anyway.

The Ugly

Chidobe Awuzie, Kavon Frazier

Dallas Cowboys CB Chidobe Awuzie

I was going to go with the stupid "mental" penalties the Dallas Cowboys had against the Seahawks yesterday for the ugly, but instead decided to go with the blown coverages in the secondary.

The Cowboys secondary has been playing really well so far this season, but unfortunately they blew a few assignments yesterday against the Seahawks which resulted  in touchdowns. I really thought they would be better prepared considering Kris Richard has spent nearly his entire coaching career in Seattle before joining the Cowboys, but maybe I was expecting too much.

I really thought the Cowboys secondary would shut down the Seahawks passing game, especially after what they were able to do in Week 2 against the New York Giants. The Giants have much better weapons in the passing game, but somebody forgot to tell Seattle's receivers. I still have high hopes that this was just a fluke, but I think I may temper my expectations a little moving forward.

What is your good, bad, and ugly for the Dallas Cowboys against the Seahawks?


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Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott Takes Accountability for Week 3 Loss

Jess Haynie

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Ezekiel Elliott: NFL's History with Domestic Violence Shows Inconsistency, Hypocrisy 2
James D Smith via AP

Despite breaking 100 rushing yards for the first time this season, Cowboys Running Back Ezekiel Elliott took the blame for Dallas' loss in Seattle yesterday.

A 31-yard touchdown reception was called back in the second quarter because Elliott stepped out-of-bounds prior to making the catch. Dallas would go on to kick a field goal, making the score 7-3, but Zeke's error cost the team four points on the drive.

Early in the fourth quarter, with Dallas trailing 24-6 but starting to find offensive rhythm, Elliott ripped off a 26-yard run. But the play ended with Zeke getting caught from behind and the ball knocked out of his hands, and the Seahawks recovering.

While many might argue the the Cowboys' inept passing game was the real reason for the loss, Elliott took full responsibility when talking to the media afterwards.

"I had a poor performance today," Elliott said. "Did well in the run game, but overall, I dropped the ball. That loss is on me."

"You can say whatever, but at the end of the day, when you've got the ball in your hands, that's the team in your hands," Elliott said. "Me being a leader on the team, me being a better player on this team, I got to do a better job of taking care of the ball. That cost us the game."

While Zeke may not have loved his leadership yesterday, these comments show that the 23-year-old is developing into one.

Last year, Elliott had little to say to the media. That was likely for the best, though, while he was embroiled in all of the controversy surrounding his suspension and appeals.

But now, a year removed from that issue and in his third year with the Cowboys, Zeke appears to have found his voice again. He is still the catalyst for the Dallas offense, and the highest-drafted player on the entire roster.

For a player whose maturity has been called into question during the first two years of his NFL career, Ezekiel Elliott showed a lot of it yesterday. Hopefully, it helps his team to regroup and get back to winning as the seasoning continues.


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Game Notes

Sean’s Scout: Poor Execution, Timely SEA Passing Game Doom Cowboys

Sean Martin

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Sean's Scout: Poor Execution on Offense, Timely Seahawks Passing Game Doom Cowboys in Seattle
(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

The Dallas Cowboys have yet another disappointing loss to put behind them, or at least attempt to, as their struggles on offense carried into Seattle for week three. A desperate team in search of their first win at home, the Seahawks took full advantage of the Cowboys lack of preparation in the first half before capitalizing on mistakes to pull away 24-13.

The Cowboys dropping their second game in three weeks, both in similarly lackluster fashion, this will be a long week at The Star before Dallas kicks off against the Detroit Lions at home on Sunday.

Perhaps the Cowboys need not look any further than their next opponent to realize not all hope is lost for 2018. Like the Seahawks, the Lions were fighting to save their season yesterday, and did so with a home win against the now 1-2 New England Patriots.

If the Cowboys are going to reclaim their status atop the NFC East at any point this season though, some drastic changes are needed on offense. As always, here are my immediate notes on a Cowboys team that relied on their defense a few too many times in this latest loss.

  • I understand the Cowboys plan to use heavy personnel on offense against a defense with as much lateral speed as the Seahawks, but once again the execution from their wide receivers and tight ends was very poor.

By inviting defenders near the line of scrimmage, the Cowboys were challenging their offensive line to beat the Seahawks off the ball and potentially create some big plays for Ezekiel Elliott on the ground. Elliott did find some success as the game became further out of reach for his team, partially because of his own miscues.

The Cowboys' offseason approach at WR is yielding no immediate results, but so too is their confidence in Geoff Swaim, Blake Jarwin, and Rico Gathers to step up in the absence of Jason Witten. While Witten isn't the missing piece for the Cowboys pushing the ball down the field, their lack of a threat at tight end is a serious detriment to Dak Prescott.

An early second half sequence that really hurt the Cowboys in this game began with a Gathers false start, the team's second straight penalty. Byron Jones' holding penalty on a Seahawks punt backed the offense up to their eleven yard line, and Gathers' ensuing procedural penalty had Dallas driving from their own six.

The Cowboys would do well to earn a manageable third down, despite a predictable run for no gain on first and 15, but Michael Kendricks' sack of Prescott forced a three and out.

  • This will do little to take the heat off Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan, but the Cowboys bigger issue on offense was execution compared to play calling in this loss.

Yes, execution is also part of coaching, which makes not only Linehan but the rest of the Cowboys coaches along with Head Coach Jason Garrett responsible for the team's floundering 1-2 start.

The Cowboys finally saw Elliott involved in the passing game on an apparent second quarter touchdown, only to have Elliott step out of bounds before the catch. Settling for early field goals with good field position is typically a sign that a team is in for a long day on the road, and this is exactly the type of afternoon it was for Dallas.

Adding another Elliott fumble and two Dak Prescott interceptions only provides further context on how well the Cowboys defense is playing, keeping this game within reach until the closing minutes.

The Cowboys offense is a house of cards right now, deliberately played by those that should have been held to higher standards as early as last season. With enough talent on this side of the ball to turn things around, the Cowboys must quickly figure out the right layers to peel away before discovering the root of their offensive woes.

Whether or not this ends up being Linehan, or if he simply becomes the scapegoat for a team that's never truly wavered in their commitment to Prescott, it's hard to argue with a change in philosophy for a Cowboys offense still searching for identity.

The Cowboys certainly weren't more creative in this loss, even on their deceptive pitch to Tavon Austin for his second touchdown in as many weeks. That exact play has been used by plenty of teams in that situation this season. With each successful conversion, more teams will add it to their arsenal - the Cowboys being the latest, with nothing to truly show for it.

Cowboys Nation on Twitter

That Tavon Austin TD? Yep, it's a copycat league. https://t.co/ggILr2TRGi

  • The Seahawks first touchdown came as a result of two of the worst defensive plays of the year for the Cowboys. 

After being a great blitzing team through two weeks, the Cowboys poorly executed an aggressive third down blitz with the Seahawks on their 35-yard line. The result was a 19-yard conversion to running back Chris Carson. Both Sean Lee and Jaylon Smith were picked up easily by the Seahawks pass protection on the play.

On the very next snap, the Seahawks' speed beat the Cowboys as Jaron Brown freed himself for a 16-yard touchdown. Of course, Seattle would never look back after this second quarter score to open a 7-0 advantage.

The Cowboys issues in coverage didn't stop here either, with Russell Wilson making the timely plays that Prescott left on the field. On Tyler Lockett's touchdown, pushing the Seahawks lead to 14-3, Kavon Frazier was beat to the spot in helping Chidobe Awuzie down the sideline.

Expecting the safety help to be there as it had been with Jeff Heath or even Xavier Woods (playing in his first game of the season), Awuzie still struggled to slow down Lockett, giving a below average cover player like Frazier no chance to get back in the play.

The Cowboys are committed to rotating their linebackers and safeties this season, and while the results have mostly been positive, they simply got caught with the wrong safety in the wrong spot here.

To make matters even worse, Seahawks safety Earl Thomas made these gaffs a "what could have been" moment for the Cowboys, turning the game with two interceptions against a team that may still make a push for his services.

Jon Machota on Twitter

Earl Thomas said a couple of Cowboys coaches said to him before the game, "You ready for the trade tomorrow?

  • It took a rough outing from Chidobe Awuzie to be fully appreciated, but Byron Jones was able to show why he's the best cornerback on the Cowboys right now.

On a positive note, the Cowboys are absolutely being rewarded for moving former first-round pick Byron Jones back to cornerback. This was one of the first decisions Kris Richard made upon his arrival to Dallas, looking to bring the Seahawks model to the Cowboys secondary.

Jones size and frame gave him a great chance to succeed under Richard before ever suiting up, but his awareness at cornerback has been off the charts. As opposed to dealing with players already at full speed or at the catch point when he was a safety, Jones is embracing being able to break on the ball and make more plays.

When the Seahawks needed a play through the air, they picked on Awuzie, who was exposed a bit for his tendency to sit on deep routes and react late to anything across his face. To start the game though, the Seahawks learned quickly that targeting Jones was a losing battle, unable to get anything behind him.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

Week three was a great example of how much the NFL is a week-to-week league. Before kickoff in Seattle, the Cowboys were perceived to be entering an easier stretch to their season. Now, the Seahawks look like a team that can climb back into the playoff race, as do next week's opponent in the Lions for the Cowboys returning to AT&T Stadium.

It feels safe to say that at least two things are true of the Cowboys through these trying three games however. The Cowboys defense is already one of the best in the league, with the potential to get even better. Meanwhile, their offense is objectively one of the worst.

Whether or not the Cowboys offense is fixable is a question this staff must answer between now and next Sunday. As mentioned, it may feel like a long time until then, but for a team with as many issues as Dallas right now there will be little reprieve from salvaging relevancy (or trying to) in week four.

Tell us what you think about "Sean’s Scout: Poor Execution, Timely SEA Passing Game Doom Cowboys" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!


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