Connect with us

Star Blog

Scouting The Giants: Where Cowboys DL Can Exploit Weakness

Kevin Brady

Published

on

Will Benson Mayowa Lose His Starting Job This Season? 2
Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants are a fascinating football team. Conventional (and proven) wisdom suggests that in order to win games, you have to be strong on both sides of the line of scrimmage.

Offensive linemen, specifically tackles, pass rushers, and quarterbacks. Those are the three most valuable positions in the game of football. The Giants, however, have spent a plethora of draft and free agent capital on pass catchers while virtually ignoring their running game, and failing to adequately provide quarterback Eli Manning with the proper protection up front.

"The Giants have a bad offensive line" is a pretty common take to have these days, so I decided we should look at the film and pinpoint exactly where their struggles come from.

And, of course, what the Cowboys can do to exploit these weak points. Let's take a look.

DALvsNYG 17 preview ol 2 - Streamable

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

During their week 14 match-up in 2016, the Cowboys defense held New York to just 10 points. Though the Giants did muster up some decent drives throughout the game, takeaways and other splash defensive plays kept them out of the end zone.

Those splash plays all must start up front, with the Cowboys defensive line. On this play in particular, we see Tyrone Crawford take on starting right tackle Bobby Hart. As we know, Crawford isn't know for his explosiveness of the ball, relying more on technical ability to get the job done.

Crawford doesn't possess much of a speed rush threat whatsoever, making Hart's wide set even more preposterous. He gets too far outside of Crawford, allowing Tyrone an inside rush route. Hart is also inconsistent with his hands and feet, something which rears its head on this snap as well.

The end result is a pressure and a quarterback hit from Crawford, despite not ever executing much of a pass rush move. He does utilize a rip, but it doesn't appear to be too strong. The Cowboys ends should be able to challenge Hart with both inside and outside rushes this Sunday.

DALvsNYG 17 preview ol 3 - Streamable

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

Now, to the starting left tackle Ereck Flowers. Flowers has become a punch-line of sorts within the football world recently, becoming known for some awful-looking pass sets. Where we saw Hart struggle with an inside move on the last play, Flowers' struggles don't discriminate against any pass rush move.

On this snap, right defensive end Benson Mayowa shows why I believe he could be the most productive rusher on the Cowboys roster this season. Mayowa beats Flowers cleanly around the edge with speed and bend before meeting Manning and forcing the fumble.

Flowers is simply too slow in his pass set on this play. He also panics late, and turns his shoulders. When you combine these technical mistakes from the offensive tackle with a good rusher on the other side, sacks will come.

ereck flowers - Streamable

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

This time we see Flowers against James Harrison and the Steelers. On the last play we saw Flowers get beat cleanly around the edge with a speed rush. Here we see him get bullied by a bull rush.

The Steelers' 3-technique comes with a very wide rush, making it seem like this was meant to be a stunt. He makes contact with Flowers during his pass set, knocking him off balance for a split second. That little amount of time was all Harrison needed to win this rep.

The Cowboys could benefit from running stunts at Flowers, particularly by executing a "tackle-first" stunt. Here, the 3-technique would hook Flowers and the left guard, allowing for the defensive end to loop around to the inside. Knowing that Flowers has such serious balance issues, any type of confusion or unexpected contact could kill his rep.

Plus, we all know how shaky Manning can look with pressure in his face.

DALvsNYG 17 preview ol - Streamable

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

If the Giants offensive line has a strength, it would be their interior. Despite a somewhat down season in 2016, center Weston Richburg is still a solid player. Plus, guard Justin Pugh is probably the Giants' best all around lineman.

The right guard, John Jerry, however will have his share of issues with Maliek Collins Sunday night. On this play we see Collins in a 3-technique beat Jerry across his face and make the tackle for a short gain. This dip and rip move from Collins was something which Jerry struggled with during that week 14 game.

Collins' explosiveness and skilled hands present a multitude of problems for John Jerry, and should give the Cowboys a serious advantage whenever the two are matched up inside.

So, while the Cowboys defensive line is certainly not an elite unit, they should be able to find some level of success this week against the New York Giants. If they can't generate pressure against these tackles, it may be a long season for Dallas' defensive ends.



Die-hard Cowboys fan from the Northeast, so you know I am here to defend the 'boys whenever necessary. Began writing for a WordPress Cowboys Blog, and am currently a college student. Lets get going.

Star Blog

Cowboys en Español: ¿Dónde Tiene Que Mejorar Dallas?

Mauricio Rodriguez

Published

on

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

El mejor juego de los Dallas Cowboys en 2018 vino la semana pasada, cuando recibieron a los Jacksonville Jaguars y los vencieron 40-7. Un resultado que tomó a todos por sorpresa demostró la mejor cara en el año de este equipo que apenas tiene un récord de 3-3.

Por más dominantes que se vieron en el emparrillado el domingo pasado, esa actuación no termina de reflejar lo que realmente son los Cowboys. Son un equipo con potencial en la ofensiva y con una defensiva bastante fuerte, pero ¿pueden ganar constantemente como lo hicieron contra Jaguars?

De entrada, la respuesta a esta pregunta parece ser no. Aún en esa victoria, se vieron problemas evidentes en la ofensiva. Para empezar, la falta de ejecución en la segunda mitad en series ofensivas que incluso llegaron a iniciar en territorio enemigo. De gol de campo en gol de campo se juntan puntos, sin duda, pero en partidos cerrados eso termina costando victorias. Hace falta que Dak Prescott y compañía puedan mover el balón una vez en rango de gol de campo y convertir esas oportunidades a touchdowns.

Otra preocupación que no podemos subestimar es que el juego aéreo sigue sin funcionar apropiadamente. Cole Beasley dominó con nueve atrapadas para 101 yardas y dos touchdowns, pero el resto de los receptores se fueron sin  más de una recepción por cabeza. El único jugador que logró más de una fue el TE Geoff Swaim, quien se llevo dos en todo el juego.

Si bien Beasley tuvo uno de los mejores juegos en su carrera, más receptores tienen que involucrarse para llevar la ofensiva al siguiente nivel. La buena noticia es que en esta ocasión se enfrentaron contra una de las mejores secundarias en la NFL. Los números son malos, pero tienen la oportunidad de demostrar mucho más contra otras defensivas.

Los Dallas Cowboys tienen que repartir más la bola y seguir buscando maneras creativas de utilizar a su RB Ezekiel Elliott. Pases pantallas en tercera y largo no es ser creativo. Lo vemos funcionar dos o tres veces al año pero mandan esta jugada semanalmente. En cuanto a Dak Prescott, hay mucho donde mejorar. Deberíamos estar viendo pases más arriesgados, al centro del campo y mucho mejor posicionados.

Sean's Scout: Measuring Randy Gregory's Potential Impact on Cowboys Defense

Para la defensiva, las cosas se ven muy bien. Puede que veamos la mejor versión de esta unidad esta semana, cuando viajen a Washington. Maliek Collins, Sean Lee, David Irving, y Randy Gregory estarán jugando mucho más sanos y preparados. Este es un frente defensivo lleno de talento que intimidará constantemente a Alex Smith este domingo.

A pesar de que los Redskins no tienen una ofensiva muy explosiva, el área de oportunidad principal para la defensiva de Cowboys está en la profundidad defensiva. Tanto Jeff Heath como Xavier Woods han hecho un trabajo decente, pero tienen sus momentos en los que no logran asegurar una tackleada y permiten jugadas largas.

Hace unos meses no esperábamos que fuera la defensiva y no la ofensiva la que cargaría a este equipo a muchas victorias, pero ese ha sido el caso en las tres victorias de esta temporada. Y en las tres derrotas, la defensiva fue la que mantuvo a los Cowboys en el juego.

Sin duda alguna, lo que tiene que mejorar es la ofensiva. Los receptores tienen que desmarcarse, Prescott debe ser más preciso y tener una mejor conciencia en la bolsa de protección.

Pero sobre todo, es la inconsistencia del equipo. Esto se comienza a sentir como la temporada del año pasado, cuando los Cowboys se fueron 9-7 y nunca terminaron de establecerse como contendientes a los playoffs. Aún en una NFC East donde todos los equipos tienen récords similares y débiles, no pueden continuar perdiendo una semana y  ganando a la otra.

Ganarle a los Redskins sería la primera victoria de Dallas jugando de visita. También sería la primera vez en el año en la que tendrían victorias consecutivas. Por esto y muchas otras razones, incluyendo el potencial liderato de la división, este juego es de suma importancia.

Si ganan, podría ser el momento en el que los Cowboys terminen de darle la vuelta a la página y si pierden, podría ser un indicador de que esta temporada será igual que la del 2017.

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys en Español: ¿Dónde Tiene Que Mejorar Dallas?" in the comments below, or tweet me @MauNFL 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!



Continue Reading

Star Blog

Time to get FB Jamize Olawale More Involved Offensively?

Brian Martin

Published

on

Time to get FB Jamize Olawale More Involved Offensively?

The Dallas Cowboys are coming off arguably their best and most complete offensive performance of the season after playing the Jacksonville Jaguars last week, but there is still quite a bit of improvement that can be made. The need to get more playmakers involved is apparent, which is why I think it's time to utilize Fullback Jamize Olawale's unique skill set.

I know many of you will argue that getting Allen Hurns and Michael Gallup going is a higher priority, and you wouldn't be wrong, but Jamize Olawale's playmaking ability could be a huge asset for Quarterback Dak Prescott and the offense. I know it sounds a little strange, but hang in there with me for little bit.

As things stand right now, Olawale has only played 38 offensive snaps (10%) in 2018. That's the exact amount of offensive plays Wide Receiver Terrance Williams has played this year and he's missed the majority of the season. It's not exactly the kind of production I was expecting when the Cowboys decided to bring him aboard via trade with the Oakland Raiders earlier this offseason.

I don't know about you, but I was expecting Olawale to be more involved in the offensive game plan. He is an excellent receiver out of the backfield and isn't too shabby as a runner either. But, we haven't seen him utilized in either fashion this season and I think that's an injustice that needs to be corrected.

Now, I fully understand there are other offensive weapons ahead of him in the pecking order who need to see more targets, but I also really think he can make a difference maker, especially in the passing game. That is where his strengths lie, not as a lead blocking fullback.

Jamize Olawale

Dallas Cowboys FB Jamize Olawale

Olawale was a bit of a Swiss Army knife during his time with the Oakland Raiders. He played a little running back, fullback, tight end, and even a little slot receiver. I really thought the Cowboys would take advantage of his versatility in the passing game, but as of yet they have failed to do so.

I'd like to see the Dallas Cowboys and Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan utilize Jamize Olawale's unique playmaking ability a little bit more on offense. I think they should try to utilize him like the San Francisco 49ers use their fullback, Kyle Juszczyk. He's much more involved and has played a total of 263 offensive snaps (63.68%) this year.

Juszczyk is a better lead blocking FB then Olawale, but that's not where he makes the most difference in the 49ers offense. He does it as a receiver and has already caught 17 passes for 227 yards and one touchdown. That's some pretty solid production from a position that is being phased out in the NFL.

Now, just imagine the Cowboys offense getting similar production from Olawale and how that would help open up things for everybody else. It's not out of the realm of possibility because the 49ers offense and the Cowboys isn't all that dissimilar.

Unfortunately, I think Jamize Olawale is pretty much an afterthought in the Cowboys offense right now. It's truly unfortunate because I think he can be a difference maker if given the opportunity. And with a division foe like the Washington Redskins next on the schedule, what better time to unleash a new and unseen element of the offense?

Do you think Jamize Olawale needs to be more involved offensively?



Continue Reading

Star Blog

Cole Beasley Key to Cowboys Passing Game Productivity?

Brian Martin

Published

on

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly for Cowboys Against Jaguars 1

What most of us already knew was confirmed last Sunday afternoon against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Wide Receiver Cole Beasley is the Dallas Cowboys best receiver and is the key to the passing game productivity. He is not only the most productive, but the most consistent.

Cole Beasley isn't the tallest or the fastest and definitely doesn't look like a prototypical NFL receiver, but he showed last week against the Jaguars why opposing defenses have to account for him on every single play. He torched Jacksonville's top-ranked passing defense for 101 yards on nine catches and added two touchdowns, and it's that production that could help open up the entire passing game for the Cowboys.

It's painfully obvious Cole Beasley has been Dak Prescott's favorite target in the passing game since he took over the starting duties in 2016. Once opposing defenses figured that out they started to make things extremely difficult by bracketing Beasley in coverage and the passing game hasn't been the same since. But, that could be changing if the Jaguars game was an indication of what we might see moving forward.

Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan did a much better job of moving Beasley around to create favorable matchups against the Jaguars. I think we will see much more of that moving forward, but that likely means opposing defenses will once again try to take away Prescott's favorite target. That actually could end up helping the Cowboys passing game though.

Dak Prescott, Michael Gallup

Dallas Cowboys WR Michael Gallup

If opposing defenses indeed try to contain Cole Beasley like they've done in the past, it should help provide more opportunities for Dallas' other pass catchers. Spreading the ball around to several different receivers would not only help Prescott and the passing game, but also open up the entire offense.

We haven't really seen much of Allen Hurns or Michael Gallup this season, but both are more than capable of being more productive if they are seeing single coverage more often. That's what's likely to happen if defenses bracket Beasley in coverage once again. Both WRs need to be more involved anyway and Beasley's recent spike in production could help do just that.

Now, if defenses decide to try and cover Beasley one-on-one like the Jaguars did quite a bit of last Sunday, the Cowboys would be wise to take advantage of that mismatch. He simply can't be covered by a single defensive back because of his precise route running ability. He is that good.

Regardless of how opposing defenses try to handle/contain Cole Beasley, he is without a doubt key to the Dallas Cowboys passing game productivity. Just the threat of him on the field changes a defenses approach, which is why he is Dallas' #1  WR in my book. He absolutely has to be more involved moving forward, even if it is as a decoy.

Do you think Cole Beasley is the key to the Cowboys passing game productivity?



Continue Reading



Enjoy 40% commissions on officially licensed products as a FanPrint affiliate. You can even make your own, fully licensed Cowboys and player designs! Get started here

Trending