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Sean Lee “Ready To Go” Against Giants In Week 14

Brian Martin

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Does Cowboys Defense Deserve Pass In Sean Lee's Absence? 1

Winning Sunday’s game is extremely important for the Dallas Cowboys in order for them to keep their playoff hopes alive. Fortunately, after a four-week wait it’s looking as if Sean Lee is on track to return to the field in Week 14 to take on the New York Giants.

The Dallas Cowboys All-Pro linebacker has missed the last four games after sustaining his second hamstring injury of the season against the Atlanta Falcons in the first half of the game. But, after a strenuous stent in the rehab process, he is expected to not only practice this week, but suit up against the Cowboys division rival, the New York Giants.

Of course, Jason Garrett prefers to take things one day at a time with Sean Lee and wouldn’t go as far as guaranteeing Lee’s availability Sunday against the Giants.

“Yeah, we anticipate him being able to go through everything and then practice Wednesday”, said Jason Garrett. “We’ll take the situation one day at a time.”

It’s understandable Jason Garrett would like to see Sean Lee on the practice field first before making any promises #50 is a full go for Sunday’s game. Garrett also probably doesn’t really want to tip his hand too much so early in the week either.

But, Sean Lee was a little bit more assertive when asked about his availability to play Sunday against the Giants stating that he was “good to go”. I for one am willing to take him at his word, so I expect him to be back in uniform when the Dallas Cowboys travel to take on their division rival this weekend.

LB Sean Lee

Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

This is definitely good news for the Dallas Cowboys and more importantly their defense. The Cowboys are unfortunately 1-4 in the 5 of 12 games Sean Lee has missed this season, which really puts it in perspective how important he is on the defensive side of the ball. And that’s probably the most frustrating thing about the entire situation.

When on the field, Sean Lee is one of the best linebackers in the entire NFL. Already in 2017 he has played to his typical standards and tallied 62 tackles and seven tackles for a loss in just seven games.

Now, if the Cowboys coaching staff determines it’s best to sit Sean Lee another week, I would absolutely be on board with that. I don’t think they will really need him Sunday against the Giants.

The Giants are one of the worst teams in the league this year. They currently rank 29th in the NFL in total offense and 31st in scoring offense. This is an offense the Dallas Cowboys defense should be able to handle relatively easily, even without Sean Lee in the lineup.

I don’t know about you, but I would prefer to make sure Sean Lee is as close to 100% as possible before allowing him to return to the field. It’s what’s best in the long run in my opinion. But regardless, it’s good to hear #50 is “good to go”.

Do you believe Sean Lee is “good to go”?

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Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.

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2 Comments
  • Mr. Jaguar

    Brian this is great news, with the shake up in the secondary and the addition of Lee, hopefully, will take the Cowboys defense to another level, towards a playoff run towards Minneapolis.
    What concerns me the most is the Cowboys offense not able to functions at a high level, especially, if Dak continues to struggle with the passing game. Hopefully, Dak will be able to snape out of his slump, passing for 102 yards per game isnt going to take a team to the promise land.

    It will take a team to the top 10 pick in the upcoming NFL Draft.
    Excellent article by the way. Keep putting the Cowboys toes to the fire.

    • Brian Martin

      I think the Cowboys are still trying to figure out how to deploy the right players to get the best results out of their secondary, but that could end up being a good thing. They certainly played pretty well last week against Washington. The addition of Sean Lee should only help. And I don’t know what the deal is with Prescott. Is he struggling or does it have more to do with the playcalling? It could be a little bit of both, but something definitely needs to improve if the Cowboys want to make a playoff run.

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Sean’s Scout: RB Rod Smith Proving Valuable Offensive Threat

Sean Martin

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Sean's Scout: RB Rod Smith Proving Valuable Offensive Threat

The Cowboys have just one more game to get through without their star running back Ezekiel Elliott, but Alfred Morris and Rod Smith deserve a ton of credit for the way they’ve been able to fill in out of the backfield for Zeke Elliott. Throughout the time Elliott has missed though, the Cowboys have lacked the explosive plays on offense that he can provide – until Rod Smith was given an opportunity last week at the Giants.

Smith complimented Morris exceptionally well, running with quickness and power to prove his case for more of a role on offense behind Elliott moving forward. It was the Ohio State product’s consecutive touchdowns of 81 yards through the air and 15 yards on the ground that sealed the game for the Cowboys in week 14.

Here is a closer look at Rod Smith’s performance from last week in this latest Sean’s Scout.

Sean's Scout: RB Rod Smith Proving Valuable Offensive Threat 1

The Cowboys offensive line was dominant as always against a tough New York defensive front, and this first play is a great look at their execution in space and on the move. Rod Smith’s decisiveness when hitting the hole with speed and balance was the first thing I noticed on the game tape.

The best thing Smith does on this play comes at the second level, where running backs can truly make a difference in Dallas. As RG Zack Martin rides his man out of the play entirely, he gets in front of Smith who is seeing the play develop straight ahead. With his long strides, Smith is able to smoothly get through traffic and continue accelerating up field through arm tackles for a big gain.

Sean's Scout: RB Rod Smith Proving Valuable Offensive Threat 2

These same traits are seen with Rod Smith as a pass catcher – something he does effortlessly to also help fill the void left by Elliott. Watch how quickly Smith commits to his angle up the field after catching this dump pass from Dak Prescott, attacking a defender that has the angle on him after the catch.

Rod subtly leans to the right just enough to make the defender hesitate long enough to allow his burst to evade him and gain extra yards falling forward.

Sean's Scout: RB Rod Smith Proving Valuable Offensive Threat 4

Smith essentially does the same thing without the ball in his hands here, on his 81 yard catch and run for a touchdown. Setting up the safety out of the slot to be beat across his face, Smith separates from him at the stem and then does a great job getting depth on his route into the vacated middle of the field. With blockers to help him reach the end zone, Smith turns this busted coverage by the Giants into the game’s biggest play.

Sean's Scout: RB Rod Smith Proving Valuable Offensive Threat 5

This last play I chose to show is probably the least well-blocked attempt for Smith out of the ones in this Sean’s Scout, but there is still a lot to like about what Rod does here with the ball in his hands.

The Giants might be a two-win football team, but they still have marquee players up front, particularly DE Olivier Vernon. Smith does well here to keep his feet moving as he cuts this play to the backside. Vernon does well to limit the potential gain on this play by staying away from the block of Jason Witten, as Smith is taken down by Darian Thompson.

The numbers the Giants had to commit to stopping the run was still a huge reason why Prescott had a career day throwing the football, and Rod Smith’s readiness to step in at RB was a deciding factor in getting Dallas to 7-6.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

Proving to be one of the Dallas Cowboys most valuable players, considering his cost (under contract through 2018), and ability to contribute on special teams and offense, Rod Smith is the perfect RB3 for this team.

Smith is not elite in any one area, and is not a prototypical RB from a physical standpoint, but his contributions as a runner, pass catcher, and blocker could remain critical to the Cowboys’ hopes of reaching the playoffs behind this offense – even when Ezekiel Elliott is back in the fold.

Tell us what you think about “Sean’s Scout: RB Rod Smith Proving Valuable Offensive Threat” in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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La’el Collins’ Toughness And Availability Earning High Praise

Brian Martin

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La'el Collins' Toughness And Availability Earning High Praise 1

The decision by the Dallas Cowboys to move La’el Collins from left guard to right tackle was met by some skepticism by quite a few members of Cowboys Nation during the off-season. I’m not ashamed to admit that I was one of those skeptical of the move, but I’m not afraid to admit he has exceeded my expectations.

In all honesty, I always believed that La’el Collins’ best position in the NFL is on the interior of the offense of line as a guard. I thought he could use his strength and athleticism to his advantage when working in a phone booth against slower and less athletic defensive tackles. That’s not to say I didn’t think he would make a good right tackle, I just thought he had Pro Bowl potential as a guard.

Strangely enough, Collins has probably put together a Pro Bowl caliber season in his first season starting at the right tackle position for the Cowboys. He has become an upgrade over the previous starter Doug Free, and is really starting to earn high praise from the brass. Stephen Jones in particular has been impressed with Collins, especially considering how he has played after missing two full weeks of practice.

Mark Lane on Twitter

DallasCowboys COO Stephen Jones told @1053thefan La’el Collins has answered the bell after his contract extension.

I personally agree with everything Stephen Jones said about La’el Collins. I’ve really enjoyed watching his progression this season, but I have been really impressed how he played the last two weeks after missing so much practice.

You might not of known, but Collins has missed two full weeks of practice due to a herniated disc in his back. This is put his availability to play against the Washington Redskins and New York Giants in jeopardy, but somehow he has toughened up and played considerably well.

This unfortunately will be something he has to continue to battle through the rest of the season, but I’m not going to bet against him playing. He absolutely makes this offensive line better and I would hate to see Chaz Green or Byron Bell back on the field after the way they played as feel-ins.

La’el Collins has without a doubt earned my respect and I think it’s about time we all recognize the player he is turning into. I know the Dallas Cowboys appreciate all that he does and believe that his recent contract extension is money well spent.

What do you think about La’el Collins?

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Cowboys’ DE DeMarcus Lawrence Fed Up With NFL Officiating

Brian Martin

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Cowboys Blog - Cowboys Crossroads: Is This a Short-Term or Long-Term Team? 2

The Dallas Cowboys were able to come away with a 30-10 victory over the New York Giants Sunday afternoon in what was described as a must-win situation in order to keep their playoff hopes alive. Typically, when these two teams square off against one another there are sure to be some kind of fireworks in the ballgame, but the final volley of explosions didn’t go off until after the completion of the game during an interview with DeMarcus Lawrence.

DeMarcus Lawrence didn’t hold back in his post game interview, especially in regard to the NFL officiating. He let his frustrations known that he is fed up and that he’s not going to take it anymore. At least not quietly that is.

Lawrence, the NFL’s sack leader, ripped the officiating crew after the Giants game Sunday afternoon for not calling any holding penalties. There was actually one holding penalty called against the Giants, but the point Lawrence was trying to make still rings true.

Joe Trahan on Twitter

Cowboys DE Demarcus Lawrence goes on an explosive rant about officiating, in particular, a lack of holding calls by linemen against him. And yes, Lawrence realizes he a fine is coming, whether he’s got a point, or not. And yes, he probably does. https://t.co/UU51xQi05p

DeMarcus Lawrence certainly has a right to be mad and I don’t blame him at all for voicing his frustrations about the lack of holding calls against opposing offensive lineman. This actually adds more fuel to the fire that there is indeed an officiating conspiracy against the Cowboys.

In fact, you may or may not be surprised to learn that there have only been two holding penalties called on Cowboys’ opponents in the last 10 games, including the one against the Giants Sunday afternoon. For comparison sake, the Cowboys offensive line have been flagged 18 times during that time span.

It’s gotta be a coincidence, right? Maybe, maybe not. But, one thing is for sure… DeMarcus Lawrence has had enough!

Of course, Lawrence’s outburst will surely earn him a fine from the NFL, but it may be worth it if it draws more attention to the poor officiating the Cowboys have been receiving. I don’t know about you, but I for one am glad #90 will not “go gentle into that good night“.

Do you think DeMarcus Lawrence’s frustration is justified?

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