Connect with us

Star Blog

Sean’s Scout: Cooper’s Improvements at LG Sparks Cowboys Run Game

Sean Martin

Published

on

Sean's Scout: Cooper's Improvements at LG Sparks Cowboys Run Game

Life comes at you fast in the National Football League. When I originally planned on putting together this latest Sean's Scout, it was on the premise that the Cowboys would be running the football without Ezekiel Elliott for the next six weeks - and the hope that an offensive line returning to form thanks to LG Jonathan Cooper could get production out of Alfred Morris and Darren McFadden.

This morning, Ezekiel Elliott was granted a stay by the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals. This unexpected move will keep him on the field against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, which only elevates the Cowboys' ability to take advantage of their blocking up front.

Jonathan Cooper has put an end to Dallas' "competition" at left guard, a position that a laundry list of players tried their hands at all through training camp. Starting against the Rams, Packers, 49ers, and Redskins, the former first round pick has finally found some consistency in his game.

Playing beside two other first round picks in Tyron Smith and Travis Frederick along with Zack Martin at RG has certainly helped Cooper, but in the film we'll look at below you'll see how his ability to block the likes of Aaron Donald and DeForest Buckner in the running game has led to big plays on the ground.

Jonathan Cooper Vs Redskins - Streamable

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

An area of Cooper's game that I was previously critical of was his power at the line of scrimmage, which in turn limited his ability to play in space and get to the second level - something he is now excelling at. On this Ezekiel Elliott touchdown from last week, former Cowboys DT Terrell McClain lines up directly over Cooper.

As the powerful McClain charges up field, Cooper allows him to work through the A gap as Elliott carries to the outside. If there is one complaint from this play, it is that Cooper gets caught with his base a bit wide, but he easily makes up for this with his hand placement and initial punch.

A familiar site, Cooper seals his man as Elliott hits the hole and accelerates into the end zone.

Jonathan Cooper Vs Rams - Streamable

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

This next play is a work of art from the Cowboys offensive line.

Their ability to get out in space and play as a cohesive unit is unrivaled in the sport right now, and Jonathan Cooper has found a way to fit this mold wonderfully.

On this play, the Cowboys are slanting to the right and relying on Travis Frederick to climb to the WILL linebacker. With a zero technique DT lined up directly over him, Frederick has no choice but to pass his man to Cooper off the snap.

Cooper does not over extend with his initial reach on the block, allowing him to keep the defender away from his body as he quickly turns and shields him out of the play. With Frederick executing his responsibility and Zack Martin making an easy block, Elliott cuts up field for a nice gain.

Jonathan Cooper Vs Rams - Streamable

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

Later in this same game, which was Cooper's first start at LG for the Cowboys, he rides Aaron Donald out of the hole that Alfred Morris hits for his longest rush as a Cowboy.

Jonathan Cooper had simply never been a player that could previously put all of these traits together that I saw on this tape from this season, but now there is little to complain about with the way he is playing with solid technique on every down.

Jonathan Cooper Vs 49ers - Streamable

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

I had written previously about how some of Travis Frederick's early season "struggles" may have been because of his lack of trust in the combo blocking game with Cooper. Now, pretty plays like the one above show off the high level that all five starters up front are playing at for Dallas.

This time, it is Cooper's responsibility to get to the SAM linebacker. Not only does he do this with ease, but he delivers a punishing blow that takes him out of the play. Cooper's execution on this play is not possible if Tyron Smith does not chip the down lineman off the snap, nor if the ever-reliable Zack Martin doesn't come around to bury the 3T.

The lane that Alfred Morris hits as he angles away from the safety is another great example of how Cooper and this revamped offensive line give any running back playing behind them a chance.

Sean's Scout: Cooper's Improvements at LG Sparks Cowboys Run Game 1

Dallas Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott

For at least another week, this will be Ezekiel Elliott going up against a Chiefs defense allowing 131 yards per game on the ground, the fifth most in the league currently. Should he have another dominant performance that he'll expect from himself, Jonathan Cooper will be a big factor as a great story thus far on the 2017 Dallas Cowboys.

Tell us what you think about "Sean’s Scout: Cooper’s Improvements at LG Sparks Cowboys Run Game" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



Born January 28th, 1996- Cowboys Super Bowl XXX. Point Boro Panther, Montclair State Red Hawk, and most importantly a proud member of Cowboys Nation! I host "Upon Further Review" on 90.3 WMSC FM and wmscradio.com every Friday from 1-4 PM ET. Twitter: @SeanMartinNFL.

Advertisement
1 Comment
  • D Dummy

    Good stuff – always enjoy the gifs. It was odd for Cooper to not dominate from the start, but it’s no surprise that he has improved.

Star Blog

Where In The World Is DE Taco Charlton?

Kevin Brady

Published

on

Sean's Scout: Defense Comes Alive In Loss At LA Rams 2
Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Over pretty much the last decade, the Dallas Cowboys have been rock solid with their first round picks. With selections of Ezekiel Elliott, Travis Frederick, Byron Jones, Tyron Smith, Zack Martin, and Leighton Vander Esch (just to name a handful), Dallas has rebuilt the core of their roster through the NFL Draft.

It's nearly impossible to bat .1000 in any round of the draft, however, and this appears to be the current case with the Cowboys' 2017 first round pick.

Defensive end Taco Charlton has not had the sophomore season that he, or anyone, had hoped for. A healthy scratch last Sunday, Charlton has only been active for 1 of the Cowboys' last 5 games, and has not recorded a sack or tackle since week 9.

Prior to disappearing with injuries and "attitude issues," Charlton had only recorded 1 sack on the season and was beginning to fall behind his Hot Boy-brethren. Defensive end Randy Gregory has reached his form over the last few weeks, Tyrone Crawford is having arguably a career year, and DeMarcus Lawrence is one of the best ends in all of football.

This doesn't leave much room for Charlton, who's now having issues even getting on the gameday roster. Rod Marinelli dodged questions about Taco Charlton earlier this week, vaguely saying they are "moving forward" and that he'd like to talk about other players on his defensive line who are performing.

Calvin Watkins on Twitter

Rod Marinelli on Taco Charlton's benching and being inactive last week: "We just keep moving along keep going forward. It's kinda been out there I'd leave it at that. I'd rather talk about our two tackles.

Charlton has not been quiet about his displeasure as of late, either. He's taken to Twitter to voice his frustrations, saying that not only is his shoulder fine but that the Dallas media is making up stories about his absence. He's also posted some cryptic tweets such as this one, with a picture of Allen Iverson and a caption reading "Every players needs that one coach to believe in them."

https://twitter.com/TheSupremeTaco/status/1072203745868554240

Maybe Taco is right. Maybe he just needs increased opportunity and a support system/coach that believes in him whole-heartedly. After all, Charlton has faced nothing but doubters and detractors since the second he was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys.

But in the NFL, the ultimate "what have you done for me lately" sport, it's hard to imagine he'll get that unwavering support anywhere in the league. He's going to have to "earn" his playing time, as head coach Jason Garrett spoke to earlier in the week. But with the plethora of talent the Cowboys are already putting out there on the defensive line, it's becoming difficult to see exactly where Taco Charlton can fit in on this defense.

It's possible, and fine, if it is simply not a fit between Charlton and the Cowboys at this point. But I'd also be wary of giving up on your first round pick in just his second NFL season. Another offseason with the team, working on his craft and getting fully healthy, should do Charlton wonders, and hopefully allow us to get a better read on his future with the Cowboys going forward.

Until then, we are all left to scratch out heads and wonder what in the world is going on with the Cowboys and Taco Charlton, and if the former first round pick will have a future in Dallas at all.



Continue Reading

Star Blog

Cowboys, Bears Proving Defense Can Win the NFC

Mauricio Rodriguez

Published

on

Cowboys, Bears Proving Defense Can Win the NFC

2018 has seen the emergence of high-powered offenses in both NFL conferences. The Kansas City Chiefs sit atop the AFC and the NFC is spearheaded by the New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Rams. Through 14 weeks, these three teams are the top three offenses in the NFL, each averaging over 30 points per game. This year, for the first time in NFL history, two teams scored more than 50 in the same game.

Thanks to this consistent impressive offensive performances, you would think "offense" is the name of the game for the 2018 NFL season. Well, not so fast, my friend. Despite sitting atop the NFC, the Saints and the Rams have recently suffered losses that indicate hope is anything but lost for defensive teams in the league.

The Chicago Bears were able to bring down the Rams last Sunday Night 15-6. The same offense that averages 33 points per game was limited to six points. Sean McVay's remarkable offense went home with no touchdowns to talk about on the plane back home. Instead, they probably discussed Jared Goff's four interceptions.

Weeks earlier, the Dallas Cowboys shocked the world when they brought down the Saints. Drew Brees, Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas simply couldn't move the ball against Leighton Vander Esch, DeMarcus Lawrence and Byron Jones. 13 points were all the Cowboys needed to score to beat an offense that was averaging 37 per game heading into week 13 but was only able to put up 10 in Dallas.

The Cowboys are the #4 seed with the Bears slightly ahead of them as the #3 seed in the NFC. Together, these teams have defeated the top two in the conference. Now granted, playoffs will definitely be different.

For starters, if they are to advance to the divisional round, they'll be on the road. Chicago was surely benefited by playing in such a cold weather versus a Los Angeles team. As far as the Cowboys are concerned, few times has AT&T Stadium been as loud as when they beat the Saints.

Hopefully, we'll get to see both of these elite defenses advance to the Divisional Round to  square off against this couple of high-powered offenses again. We will not only be witnessing amazing football games, but a great discussion regarding the everlasting debate between offense and defense.

For years, "defense wins championships" has been a widely accepted statement in football. The Cowboys and Bears have made that same statement resound recently with their impressive wins.

Can they do it again in January football? Can they do it on the road?

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys, Bears Proving Defense Can Win the NFC" 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

Cowboys en Español: Los Colts No Son Cualquier Rival

Mauricio Rodriguez

Published

on

Fantasy Football - Fantasy Football Quarterback Rankings - Week 2 2
Andy Lyons / Getty Images

Al igual que el resto de la afición de los Dallas Cowboys, parte de mí se siente confiada respecto a este equipo visitando a Indianapolis Colts y resultando victoriosos. ¿El problema? Los Colts no son un rival sencillo de vencer. Si crees que la racha de los Cowboys los intimidará, piensa de nuevo. Los Houston Texans llevaban nueve victorias al hilo antes de enfrentarse a este equipo.

Siendo objetivos, este puede ser el partido que evite que los Cowboys cierren su temporada con ocho victorias al hilo para terminar el año con un récord de 11-5. Ni los Tampa Bay Buccaneers ni los New York Giants deberían presentar amenaza alguna contra Dallas. Lo mismo no se puede decir de Indianapolis.

Por primera vez en mucho tiempo, Andrew Luck está realmente de vuelta. Gracias a una reconstrucción de su línea ofensiva, su nivel de juego a regresado al nivel que conocíamos de él desde que llegó a la NFL. Afortunadamente para los Colts, Luck se ha mantenido sano toda la temporada y no se ve rastro alguno de sus lesiones anteriores en el emparrillado.

T.Y. Hilton está teniendo un muy buen año y sin duda alguna presentará un reto para Byron Jones y el resto de la secundaria de los Cowboys. Eric Ebron en la posición de tight end también será un dolor de cabeza para la defensiva.

Lo más interesante se dará en las trincheras. Los Cowboys han hecho un muy buen trabajo presionando quarterbacks opuestos en la temporada, pero si el centro de los Colts, Ryan Kelly está sano el domingo, se enfrentarán al mejor duo de centro-guardia en la liga actualmente. Con Quenton Nelson al lado, Luck estará muy bien protegido.

Sin embargo, Kelly no ha jugado debido a una lesión y aún está por verse si tomará el campo el domingo por la mañana. Los Cowboys hicieron un muy buen trabajo a la entonces ofensiva #1 de la liga, los New Orleans Saints, pero eso no significa que la ofensiva #8 que tienen los Colts no los retará.

Promediando 27 puntos por juego, la defensiva necesitará ayuda de Dak Prescott y compañía para ganar el partido. Dallas continúa moviendo el balón efectivamente, pero es tiempo de anotar touchdowns y no goles de campo.

Ezekiel Elliott será, una vez más, clave para la victoria. Enfrentándose a una defensiva Top 10 contra el juego terrestre, mover las cadenas con Zeke no será tan fácil. El novato Darius Leonard como linebacker ha sido algo espectacular otra temporada al igual que Leighton Vander Esch. Liderando a toda la NFL en tackleadas, estará listo para recibir a los Cowboys al Lucas Oil Stadium.

Lo más importante de este partido...

Por más impresionante que sea la racha de cinco victorias consecutivas, los Cowboys tienen que demostrar que pueden ganarle a un equipo fuerte estando de visita. Porque hay que admitirlo, Jason Garrett y su equipo no han tenido éxito fuera de casa. Claro, le ganaron a un equipo debilitado de Philadelphia Eagles y a unos Atlanta Falcons que va 4-9.

Este equipo "nuevo" de los Cowboys no ha ido contra un rival de calidad siendo el visitante. Es tiempo de demostrar que lo pueden hacer, ya que si quieren contender en postemporada, es justo lo que necesitarán... jugar bien de visita.

Sinceramente creo que los Cowboys ganan este partido. Principalmente gracias a su defensiva, pero también veo a la ofensiva dominar el tiempo de posesión en un juego de pocos puntos. Es tiempo de mantener esa racha.

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys en Español: Los Colts No Son Cualquier Rival" 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



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