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Somebody Needs To Take The Blame

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Dallas Cowboys Pittsburgh Steelers

I am just disgusted today, one day after watching the Cowboys give a game away. The only way I know how to work through this is by looking at the problems and try to make sense of them. There is plenty of blame to go around but the more I look at it the more I come to understand the majority of the blame falls in one place.

Now I would like to start off by saying that in an earlier post I detailed what I thought would be the 5 keys to success both on offense and defense. So let's look at each key and see how they fared.

1. Protect Romo: Going up against the “Best Defense” in football the offensive line did an exceptional job. They gave up 3 sacks yes but Romo was not under constant duress! He was given the time needed to make something happen, and that is all we could ask for.

Grade: A

2. Force their LBs to cover: Going into a game without the services of Marion Barber and Felix Jones this would be a huge factor. Who would be the person that would dictate that the Steelers pay attention to? May I introduce you to Mr. Choice, that's right Tashard Choice the fourth round draft choice from Georgia Tech. All I can say is this guy played his butt off! He did everything well, blitz pick up, rushing, receiving he did it all. Choice accounted for 166 of the Cowboys 289 yards. No way could anyone have asked anymore of this young man.

Grade: C

3. Score early and often: This was toughest of all keys, the Steelers just do not allow you to score, particularly in the second half. I felt they would need to score a bunch in the first half to have a chance. I was wrong! The Cowboys offense could only muster 3 points. They had plenty of opportunities just could not make it happen. The offense seemed to be working from to different play books. Tony was working on one page while everyone else (minus choice) was on page 10. On one play in the first quarter Tony expecting T.O. to run a deep out, throws to the spot, but T.O. gave up on the play and cut the route short, allowing a perfect pass to Troy Polamalu! And it would not get any better!

Grade: F

This leads us to 4. Limit stupid Turnovers: Well here is where the “BIG O” blew it! Five freaking turnovers! Five! Those five were turned into 10 points for the Steelers. What was the final score again? Oh yeah 20 to 13! I am no math wizard but I do believe 20 minus 10 would be 10! This is absolutely inexcusable! This is by your account your statement game and you play with such recklessness? Hey Tony and Jason ever heard of “Game Management”? Well let me explain some simple rules of game management, first of all if its not there throw the freaking thing away! Two, do not decide before the play who you are going to throw the ball too! Hey Tony Martellus Bennett is still WIDE FREAKING OPEN! How do you make that decision to throw into triple coverage, and disregard the guy 20 yards down the middle of the field all alone? Who by the way could have crawled into the end zone with no one ever touching him! You are killing me still Smalls!

Grade: F

Last but not least 5. Spread them out create mismatches: They were there all night long! They did not take advantage of them! 8 and 10 yard cushions on T.O. and Roy all night and Jason Garrett fails to adjust his game plan! Wake up gentlemen! How about a slant, or a hook, or a damn cross in! Nope we have to make our quarterback wait for a triple move to develop! This was an absolute failure by Jason Garrett and his offensive coaches.

Grade:F

The blame of this game falls directly on the shoulders of Tony Romo, and Jason Garrett. Tony you are a gunslinger and I love you, but if you do not learn how to take care of the ball you are going to make me lose my mind! I am the least of your worries though, you are about to lose this team if you do not correct this issue! The first domino to fall on this front will be the one who cried for you last year! That's right the ever waiting to erupt Terrell Owens. Stop trying to force the ball to him and start going with the flow of the game. I understand he may get mad at you for going somewhere else, but I promise you if you are winning games he will back off! Man up! Jason Garrett as far as you are concerned the rest of the league has your system figured out! It is time to adapt! That stupid pitch to T.O. does not work, so stop running the damn thing! All good coaches use the talent they are given to the best of their ability! You sir are failing at this miserably! Force teams to adapt to what you are doing not you adapting to them all the time! I understand the players have to make the plays but it is up to you to make sure they understand what they are doing! It is obvious that no one knows what the hell is going on; you can tell this by Tony constantly having to tell everyone where to be before the snap of the ball, thus causing frantic snaps of the ball! I can give you a bit of advice in one word! K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid) you have the most talented offense in the league! Stop designing your way out of the game! I once thought you would be an excellent head coach for us, but I don't think I would have you organize a lunch line right now! You guys have one last chance to change the course of the season, so get to work!


Dallas Cowboys

REPORT: Cowboys DL David Irving’s Accuser Retracts Claims Of Domestic Violence

Kevin Brady

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David Irving

After what was a rather crazy day which resulted in reports the Frisco Police Department were investigating Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman David Irving for domestic violence, the accuser has now retracted her claims.

https://twitter.com/DCBlueStar/status/988527577915674624

This retraction comes after the mentioned reports of domestic violence claims against David Irving earlier in the day. Irving was neither arrested nor charged for the incidents, though two separate allegations were made.

Jobin Panicker on Twitter

BREAKING @FriscoPD confirms allegations made against Cowboys player David Irving were reported on April 22nd. At two separate times: 5pm & 10pm. Allegations made by girlfriend @wfaa

Irving has claimed through his own social media account that his accuser is an ex-girlfriend looking for retaliation over a breakup. Irving has already said he has changed the locks on his house in attempt to change behavior moving forward.

Whether or not Irving abused his reported ex-girlfriend is not for me to say, but it will be interesting to see how Roger Goodell handles the matter after she retracted her claims later in the day. As we know very well, the NFL can claim violation of the personal conduct policy even if the justice system pursues no charges.

And the results of both the Frisco PD's investigation and that of the league office will be intriguing over the coming weeks and months.


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REPORT: Cowboys DE/DT David Irving Suspected of Domestic Violence

Jess Haynie

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David Irving

[4/24/18 UPDATE: Irving's accuser has since recanted with police. However, the NFL could still investigate under their domestic violence policy.]

ORIGINAL STORY

Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman David Irving is under investigation by Frisco, TX police for charges of domestic violence, according to a report by Jobin Panicker of WFAA-ABC in Dallas.

The following was tweeted from Panicker's account not long ago:

Jobin Panicker on Twitter

BREAKING @FriscoPD confirms it is investigating serious allegations against Cowboys player David Irving. No arrests. Assault-Bodily Injury, Unlawful Restraint, & Assault-Impeding Breath and Circulation @wfaa

Jobin Panicker on Twitter

BREAKING @FriscoPD confirms allegations made against Cowboys player David Irving were reported on April 22nd. At two separate times: 5pm & 10pm. Allegations made by girlfriend @wfaa

The veracity of the accusations are certainly not ours to judge, but other recent events on Irving's social suggest he is in the middle of a breakup with his girlfriend. Posts early this morning on his Twitter account appeared to be from an unauthorized user, and David later posted on both Twitter and Instagram that someone had hacked him.

Furthermore, Irving shared that he was already taking steps due to the volatile situation.

David Ja Rodd Irving on Twitter

@DCBlueStar Changed the locks yesterday

While personal lives should stay that way, Cowboys fans are understandably concerned after what happened last year with Ezekiel Elliott. As we saw then, Roger Goodell's "justice" system allows for just an accusation to lead to a suspension. There is no burden of proof on the accuser.

And as in that case, even if the police dismiss the allegation, the NFL can still pursue the matter under the personal conduct and domestic violence policies.

It would be nice to just say "let the process play out," but the NFL commissioner doesn't hold himself to that standard. Therefore, we have to report this as it could mean consequences for David Irving and the Dallas Cowboys no matter how legitimate the claims are.


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Jaylon Smith Practicing Without AFO Brace

John Williams

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Jaylon Smith Voted Cowboys' Ed Block Courage Award Winner 1

A lot of the talk circling the Dallas Cowboys and the NFL Draft is the need for the Cowboys to draft a linebacker as insurance to Sean Lee and Jaylon Smith's injury issues.

One of the questions, Sean Lee, will always be a question. When he's on the field, he's as good a linebacker as there is in the NFL. In 2016, he finally got in a near full season and rewarded the Dallas Cowboys with an All-Pro season that led the team to the playoffs. Talent has never been the issue with Lee. Keeping him on the field has been.

Jaylon Smith's question isn't his health as much as it is his recovery. The surgery to repair his ACL and MCL that he suffered at the end of his final season at Notre Dame was considered a success. There was a caveat, however, that there was no telling how much functionality would return because of the massive nerve injury that occurred.

Last year, Jaylon Smith actually played football games. No small step. In some games he made some plays and in other games, it was clear that he was still struggling with changing directions and running with receivers and running backs in coverage.

Time is Jaylon's biggest ally and another offseason removed from his injury should only help him get stronger and more confident in his recovering knee.

Lost in all of the Dez Bryant hoopla was a beautiful little nugget that Jaylon Smith teased Cowboys Nation with last week.

Jaylon provided a great look at his training regimen on the first day of team workouts and if you look closely, you'll see with a Clear Eye View that Jaylon Smith isn't wearing a brace, tape, or any other kind of support. On his knee or foot.

Jaylon Smith on Twitter

Focused vision, Determined belief, Earned dreams. #ClearEyeView

Remember that even after Jaylon was playing and practicing without a knee brace, he was still requiring an AFO brace to help with his foot drop.

Oh, how much one offseason can change things.

Mike Fisher, now of 247Sports.com, quoted Smith as saying, "I have more power and more flexibility now. And the dropfoot (issue) is fading. Absolutely!'' over on Scout.com, and there was this:

"As our colleague Bryan Broaddus has previously noted, it does seem that some of the testing is behind him, that the nerve is regenerating, that the repaired knee is stronger than ever and that more improvement is ahead of him. Smith's 6-2, 245-pound body is about as sculpted as is imaginable. His mind is sculpted, too, the result of his faith and his intellect and his personality and more. He suggests now that more improvement is inevitable, and that includes the medical improvement that is now, to him, simply "a matter of timing.'''

Mike Fisher - 105.3 The Fan and 247Sports.com

There is still a lot of hope around The Star and Cowboys Nation that Jaylon Smith can return to the All-American form that was projecting him as a top-five talent in the 2016 NFL Draft. If he's healthy and moving with better lateral movement and agility than he was in 2017, that's a huge step forward for Jaylon Smith and the Dallas Cowboys.

The progression of his knee and his confidence in said knee is going to be a huge determining factor in Dallas' plans to draft a linebacker. If they feel confident that he will be a more functional linebacker in 2018 than he was in 2017, then perhaps they could wait until day two or three to address the linebacker position.

We can't fully know their intentions as we get closer to draft day. How they address the linebacker position in the 2018 NFL Draft could give us an excellent indication of how they feel about Jaylon Smith's progression.

What we do know is that Jaylon Smith will never give up working toward being an elite middle linebacker. Let's hope he can realize his dreams. Everyone will be better for it.


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