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With Smith Questionable, Chaz Green Should Do Fine For Cowboys

Mauricio Rodriguez

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A lot of things were wrong with this Dallas Cowboys football team before the bye week. A 2-3 start left that clear. The defense suffered a couple of injuries and it wasn't even decent. But even the offense struggled. Undoubtedly, one of the biggest problems was the offensive line.

After losing Doug Free and Ronald Leary during the offseason, new faces were fighting for the two starting vacancies left by the veterans.

To open the season, Chaz Green was named the starting left guard only to eventually lose the job to Jonathan Cooper. Cooper, a former first-round pick, has been one of the biggest difference makers in the Cowboys' last three wins.

The running game has improved, and he's made a few key blocks for Ezekiel Elliott. Overall, the offensive line looks entirely different. After Cooper became LG1, this offensive line is looking more like it did in 2016.

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

I'm convinced that Cooper's promotion has been one of the best decisions this coaching staff has made in the season. And now, there's yet another reason why this will prove fortunate for the Cowboys.

Tyron Smith has been dealing with back and groin injuries for a while now and was taking a lot of practices off. This time, the left tackle didn't practice all week. With lingering injuries all season, sitting 77 out this Sunday might be the best decision by the Cowboys.

Luckily for Dallas, Chaz Green made more than a decent job covering for Smith in 2016, and he should do just fine in Atlanta.

Now, don't get me wrong. Obviously, going from arguably the best left tackle in football to Green is obviously a downgrade. But with 79 on the field, the offensive line will not become big concern as some would think.

Green will do just enough to keep this offense working.

Last year, he started in two games covering for Tyron Smith. One versus the Bears and the other at San Francisco. His performance impressed Cowboys Nation, and there's no reason to think it won't this time around.

Green1 - Streamable

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In the above play, the run by Elliott isn't an enormous gain, but look at Chaz Green. That's a solid block right there. That's what Green will get you. Maybe he won't dominate all game, but he won't be a liability.

In the run game, his blocking is pretty consistent. Surely, the running back corp will need help from the offensive line as the Cowboys get ready to play their first game without Ezekiel Elliott since 2015.

Green2 - Streamable

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Chaz Green also did a good job in pass protection. He's not the most flashy LT ever, obviously, but he gets the job done. While I didn't like him as a LG1, it's fair to say he's a solid backup tackle.

He rarely struggles, and the Falcons don't have a premium pass rusher to take advantage of Green. This would've been chaos for the Cowboys if Green was still starting at left guard. However, there's enough reason to be confident on this offense without Smith.

It'd be wise in my opinion to let Smith sit this one out. The Cowboys have tougher games ahead. They face the Philadelphia Eagles in week 11 and having Tyron healthy for that game will be more important than having him this weekend.

The Dallas Cowboys are facing a lot of adversity as they get ready to possibly play without three of their biggest stars. Ezekiel Elliott, Dez Bryant and Tyron Smith.

Will they get through it?

Tell me what you think about "With Smith Questionable, Chaz Green Should Do Fine For Cowboys" 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!



I love to write, I love football and I love the Dallas Cowboys. I've been rooting for America's team all the way from Mexico ever since I can remember. If you want to talk football, I'm in... You'll find me at @PepoR99.

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12 Comments
  • Russ Kennedy

    Mairicio, it’s the 4th quarter. He couldn’t have been much if any worse.

    • Mauricio Rodriguez

      Yeah, I truly was proven wrong. Had hope on the guy, he did a decent job last year covering for Smith. I was blatantly wrong, and I apologize.

      • Russ Kennedy

        No problem I was hoping too. you were right to hope if he filled in that well last year. I just can’t remember! Looks like he just gets off balance a little too easy . Maybe a little more playing time few more repetitions may help. Sometimes I do think Dak needs to step up into the pocket like a Brady does.

        With Tyron it probably hasn’t needed to be an issue but with these guys playing left tackle it may need to be looked at

        • Mauricio Rodriguez

          Yeah, it’s one of those things that you hope come with experience. Dak is good at pocket awareness, and has been getting better over his career. I think he’ll do nothing but improve. The kid is special.

  • Tyler Ayers

    Yah…this is not so “fine”

    • Mauricio Rodriguez

      I was proven wrong, I apologize. I truly believed he’d do a decent job.

      • Tyler Ayers

        no apologies! Just busting your chops.

        • Mauricio Rodriguez

          Haha, it was a tough performance to watch.

  • Chris Webster

    Tough game for Green.

    • Mauricio Rodriguez

      It really was. I was so wrong. I looked at his 2016 tape and he wasn’t bad. Thought that’d be the case today… clearly, it wasn’t. I apologize.

      • Chris Webster

        I agree…..he would not have been on the team if this bad. 2 or 3 sacks today I would put on Green, but after that, it was a coaching failure for not getting him help. Appreciate your Cowboys analysis.

        • Mauricio Rodriguez

          As always, thank you for reading. I love my job so much. Sometimes, wrong takes happen. Appreciate the comments, Chris.

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Travis Frederick Regains Strength in Hands, Influence in Cowboys OL Room

Sean Martin

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Travis Frederick Regains Strength in Hands, Influence in Cowboys OL Room 1

The Dallas Cowboys are coming off their most impressive win of the season, keeping playoff hopes alive on the road with a 27-20 victory at the Philadelphia Eagles. Entering the hostile home of the defending Super Bowl champions with three previous road losses already on their record, the Cowboys performance on Sunday night was truly about getting back to their roots. In their second week with Marc Colombo as the Offensive Line Coach, the Cowboys rushed for 171 yards and protected Dak Prescott very well. It was revealed after the game that Frederick was on a coaches headset with Colombo and his new assistant Hudson Houck.

Jane Slater on Twitter

Travis Frederick just told @BenRogers on @1053thefan that Marc Columbo has him on a coaches headset now helping him and Hudson Houck. That's a smart move from Columbo. Smartest guy on the line

The anchor of the Cowboys offensive line since being drafted in 2013, Frederick is regarded as the smartest linemen on the team. It's his mental edge that's made up for a slight lack of size at the position, regarded as one of the worst first round picks in his draft because of this oversight.

Not only is Frederick a welcome addition to the Cowboys brain trust at offensive line, but he did receive some great news on his battle with Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) that's kept him out this season. Frederick was placed on injured reserve on October 6th, announcing publicly his GBS diagnosis on August 22nd.

Frederick has a long way to go before he's playing football again, not eligible to do so until week 14 at home against the Eagles. Regaining feeling in his hands is about the 2017 Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee getting as healthy as possible away from football. If a return to the Cowboys is possible through his recovery, the team would of course welcome Frederick.

Jon Machota on Twitter

Travis Frederick regains sensation in his hands: "There is some light at the end of the tunnel" https://t.co/wvQhB6KUQp

What Frederick has gained in upper body strength, he must remain patient for in the lower body. While pointing out that over 95% of patients make a full recovery from GBS, Frederick is still waiting to feel sensations in his feet.

The Cowboys have been optimistic that Frederick's condition was caught early enough for a full recovery to be probable.

Dallas' schedule doesn't get any easier following their uplifting win. Returning to the site of last year's demoralizing loss at the Falcons, Frederick likely wishes he could make a miraculous return just a bit more this week.

To make matters worse, Left Tackle Tyron Smith did not practice on Wednesday due to back spasms. It's unknown if rookie Connor Williams will reclaim his starting left guard spot on Sunday, or if Xavier Su'a-Filo has earned another opportunity.

Despite the patchwork nature of a Cowboys offensive line once regarded as the best in the league, and still vital to the entire team's success, Dallas has an abundance of hope that Sunday in Atlanta can be much better than 2017. This starts with Frederick's strength to fight GBS and attempt to rejoin his teammates, wisely given some added game day influence on them by Colombo.

If elevating their level of play up front was all it took for the Cowboys to play up to their potential and pull off an upset on prime time last week, the NFC East is certainly still within reach for a team that must now sustain the level of play on offense to match what this defense has given all season.

Tell us what you think about "Travis Frederick Regains Strength in Hands, Influence in Cowboys OL Room" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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Cowboys LB Named NFC Defensive Player of the Week Against Eagles

Jess Haynie

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Leighton Vander Esch
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

You already knew that Leighton Vander Esch, the Dallas Cowboys rookie linebacker, had a great night last Sunday in Philadelphia. Apparently the rest of the football world agreed, and now he's been named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week.

The award is the first of what could be many for Leighton, who has emerged as a defensive leader for the Cowboys. He's been playing more in the absence of veteran Sean Lee, who has been battling hamstring issues all season.

Dallas Cowboys on Twitter

THE. WOLF. HUNTER. Congratulations to #DallasCowboys rookie LB @VanderEsch38 on being named NFC Defensive Player of the Week! → https://t.co/XeSTt2tIpX

This is the second Player of the Week award for a Dallas Cowboys this season. Kicker Brett Maher won the Special Teams version in Week 4 after going 4-for-4 and hitting a game winner over the Detroit Lions.

The Defensive Player award hasn't gone to a Cowboys since Week of 2017, when DeMarcus Lawrence put up three sacks against the Arizona Cardinals.

Leighton's recognition is also well-earned. He led Dallas with 13 tackles and an interception in a pivotal road victory against a division rival. In what was arguably a "must-win" game for the Cowboys, their first-round pick stepped up and stood out.

A few more games like this, and Vander Esch could be in the running for the Defensive Rookie of the Year. But even above personal accolades, Leighton's play could help the Cowboys make a push in the NFC East.

If nothing else, he's making that first-round pick look smarter every week.



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Legendary Cowboys Quarterback Backs Dak Prescott

John Williams

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Takeaway Tuesday: Prescott's Legs Give Offense a Much Needed Spark

Things have not gone well for Dak Prescott this season. His play has been up and down and he hasn't given the team or Cowboys Nation much reason to believe that he's the future at the quarterback position for the Dallas Cowboys. Speaking to 105.3 FM The Fan in Dallas today, Legendary Dallas Cowboys Quarterback, Ring of Honor and Pro Football Hall of Fame member Roger Staubach offered support for the Cowboys current quarterback, Dak Prescott.

Staubach had this to say when asked about Dak Prescott.

Mark Lane on Twitter

Roger Staubach on @1053thefan said #Dak is a part of the problem with the #Cowboys offense, but he is not the problem.

Roger Staubach didn't start in the NFL until the third year of his career and thinks that's a good time for the quarterback to make the jump. At this point, we are 40 games into Dak Prescott's NFL career and we can see some of the things that he's good at as well as some of the things that he struggles with.

As Staubach points out, Dak Prescott has the intangibles that you look for in a quarterback, even if his play hasn't been what you'd want at the position. Roger admits that Dak shoulders some of the blame for the offensive woes of the last 16 games, but realizes that there are  many reasons for the Cowboys offensive failures this season.

Roger Staubach believes that the Dallas Cowboys can win with Dak Prescott as their starting quarterback despite some of the flaws that have crept up over the last 16 games. He's not wrong.

Staubach's pretty accurate in his assessment that there's been more good than bad. If you look at the first 24 games of Dak Prescott's career, he was really good. Through the last 16 games, he's struggled at times. So technically there's been more good than bad. The problem is that over the last 16 games, there's been more bad than good. The NFL is a "what have you done for me lately" league and lately Dak hasn't done much. We can debate all day on how much of the struggles Prescott's faced are on him, but everyone should be willing to admit that some of the struggles are on him.

It's plausible that the confidence in Prescott that Jerry Jones has comes from Roger's belief that the Cowboys can win games with Dak Prescott at quarterback; and they have. In Prescott's career, the Dallas Cowboys are 25-15. Though wins are a team stat and not a quarterback stat, it just goes as evidence that Dak Prescott can be a winning quarterback in the National Football League.

Dak has some flaws, but the offense and its play caller haven't helped Prescott much this season. We should be critical of Prescott because he has a big pay day coming, if you believe Jerry Jones. While Dak has some flaws, he also has some traits that can make him a good quarterback in the NFL with the right coaching situation behind him. 2018 may be running out of time for the Dallas Cowboys and their playoff prospects, but the Cowboys have time before they have to make a decision on Prescott.



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