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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!



Game Notes

Takeaway Tuesday: Cole Beasley is Your Interim WR1

Mauricio Rodriguez

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As Preseason Begins, Does Prescott Have a "Go-To" Receiver After All?

Watching the Dallas Cowboys beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 40-7 was undoubtedly fun for Cowboys Nation. There were not many positive expectations for the Cowboys heading into this game but both the defense and offense put on impressive performances at home in an attempt to remain serious contenders within the NFC East.

We learned a few things about the Dallas Cowboys last Sunday as they beat one of the top defenses in the NFL. Let's talk about in this week's edition of Takeaway Tuesday!

Cole Beasley Is Your Interim WR1

The Cowboys have yet to find their #1 wide receiver, but Cole Beasley is making a serious statement looking like the most reliable target in Dallas. Being 5'8 and a slot receiver doesn't really help Beasley's case to be the #1 guy, but he's making plays.

Last Sunday, he was the only wide receiver on the team with more than one catch. The other player with more than one reception was Geoff Swaim, who only got his hands on the ball twice. Beasley finished the day with nine receptions for 101 yards and two touchdown catches. The Cowboys need other WRs to step up but in the meantime, let Beasley put the sauce on opposing defenses. Hopefully he continues to hurt defenses like he did versus the Jaguars' feared secondary.

The team still needs a guy who can be a consistent threat on the outside, though. Third-round rookie Michael Gallup could develop into that, but he isn't there yet. We'll have to wait and see. Meanwhile, it's all Beasley.

Bright Future for the Defensive Line

Blake Bortles was sacked three times by the so-called "Hot Boyz" last weekend. To be quite honest, the future for this defensive line looks brightest than it ever has. The return of Maliek Collins and David Irving to the field were desperately needed for this defense to take the next step. Collins and Irving were somewhat limited, but their snap counts will surely increase as the season continues.

John Owning on Twitter

A lot of little details went into this sack from Maliek Collins. From his alignment pre-snap to his timing on the spin, it was a beautiful display of rushing the passer by @SavageSevv. https://t.co/CYcfLH6AfB

Randy Gregory also got limited snaps versus the Jaguars, but he was able to make an impact either way. He finished the day with one sack, two hits and one QB hurry. I can't wait until these guys' snaps increase. This should be a very scary unit for opposing quarterbacks.

Dak Prescott's Stats Don't Reflect His Performance

The Jaguars are the best defense this team has faced and yet it's been the offense's best performance. Dak Prescott's passing stats may not look great, but his play was. Even though he failed to cross the 200 yard mark on the air, he rushed for 82 yards and kept Jacksonville's defense honest. Dak has faced a lot of criticism this year and will likely continue to do so.

Even still, we've seen him ball out on various occasions now. Dak can play. He may not be an elite passer, in fact he's far from being that, but he can make this offense work if they play to his strengths.

We've heard players talk about "turning the corner" in Dallas. Cowboys Nation should hope that is the case. What's more frustrating than watching an offense being unable to move the chains and score touchdowns, is knowing they could do it with a better execution and play-calling. Thanks to players like Dak, Ezekiel Elliott and Cole Beasley, there's a silver lining for the Cowboys' offense.

Report: Jason Garrett "Not Going Anywhere" with Possible Extension Coming Soon

Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott, HC Jason Garrett

Inconsistency is the Problem for Cowboys

Simply put, this is not the team we had witnessed in the first five weeks of the season. Even in the two prior wins this year, the Dallas Cowboys had not looked dominant at all. Specifically the offense. They hadn't faced a defense as tough as the Jaguars', but they were able to drop 40 on them. Now granted, they did it with the help of the defense, but still. We hadn't seen this version of the Cowboys.

Even with a 40-7 win over the Jaguars, it is tough to imagine Dallas will keep this up as the season continues. Hopefully, they do and I'm wrong about this. They need to be more consistent if they want to end up surprising the NFC East and walk away with the division title.

Although they got the big win, they still left points on the field and fail to execute for touchdowns in the second half. Even when the defense forced turnovers. In close games, this cost you wins in the NFL. The Cowboys can't afford to lose many more games, even in a weak division.

Tell me what you think about "Takeaway Tuesday: Cole Beasley is Your Interim WR1" 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!



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Game Notes

CB Jourdan Lewis Finally Looks Himself In Cowboys’ Blowout Win

Kevin Brady

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CB Jourdan Lewis Finally Looks Himself In Cowboys Blowout Win

The Cowboys' up and down start to 2018 has been full of both positives and negatives, but the one player everyone can agree on and be excited about has been Byron Jones. And, overall, the one position group Cowboys fans have been excited about through six week are the cornerbacks.

Heading into the preseason, fans could not wait to see Jones and Chidobe Awuzie on the outside, with Jourdan Lewis patrolling the slot. It was Anthony Brown, however, who won that slot cornerback role during training camp, and through the first few weeks of the season Jourdan Lewis was nowhere to be found on defense.

Due to an ankle injury which sidelined Chidobe Awuzie for Sunday's game, Lewis finally got his shot to shine. Playing primarily on the boundary as the outside cornerback in Awuzie's absence, Jourdan Lewis looked like his rookie year self against the Jaguars.

Though Lewis was not credited with a pass defense during the game, he did make two tackles, and remained disciplined in coverage all afternoon. Jourdan Lewis also made a fantastic play on the first third down of the game, breaking on the receiver and joining forces with Byron Jones to force the Jags' first 3 and out.

dalvsjax2018 jourdan lewis

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Lewis also recovered a fumble forced by linebacker Jaylon Smith, making his impact felt throughout the game.

Another area where Jourdan Lewis excelled on Sunday was as a blitzer. The Cowboys have been more apt to blitz on third downs with Kris Richard calling the shots these days, and Lewis (like Awuzie) provides value as a blitzing defensive back.

It's unclear what the Cowboys' plan will be for Jourdan Lewis moving forward. He's too talented to simply waste away on the bench, but he is at his best as an outside cornerback, where the Cowboys currently have two starters that better fit Richard's mold.

While Awuzie is injured Lewis can provide a more-than-adequate fill in, but you have to wonder if they can develop him into a slot cornerback to replace Anthony Brown in the future. Plus, Brown has had a nice bounce back season thus far himself.

The Cowboys suddenly have a surplus of talented young cornerbacks on their roster. Hopefully competition will bring out the best in all four players, including Jourdan Lewis.



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Game Notes

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

Brian Martin

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The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly for Cowboys Against Jaguars
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

I don't know what you were personally expecting Sunday afternoon when the Dallas Cowboys squared off against the Jacksonville Jaguars, but I think it's safe to say what happened was a pleasant surprise. The Cowboys not only beat the Jaguars 40-7, but they did so in an absolutely dominant fashion. Hopefully, this is just a sign of things to come.

The Dallas Cowboys will go on the road this week in a matchup with their division rival, the Washington Redskins, in a game that could ultimately decide who wins the NFC East division. But before we get into any discussion about the Redskins, let's talk about The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly for the Cowboys against the Jaguars.

As always, please feel free to share any of your opinions about what I chose for each category in this article. I also encourage you to share your own good, bad, and ugly in the comment section located at the bottom. I enjoy hearing all of your feedback and look forward to reading what you have to say.

The Good

Cole Beasley, Ezekiel Elliott

Dallas Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott and WR Cole Beasley

In a game where just about everything fell just right for the Dallas Cowboys, it was a little difficult to narrow down exactly what I wanted to put in this category. It was a great all-around team effort, so I didn't want to go with an individual. Ultimately, I decided the good for the Cowboys against the Jaguars had to be awarded to the entire offense.

All last week I was trying to figure out how the Cowboys were going to move the ball against the Jaguars top-ranked defense. Jacksonville's defense was ranked No. 1 in the passing game and in total defense. I thought if the Cowboys had a chance it would be on the ground where the Jaguars were just ranked 14th against the run. Boy was I shocked at what took place Sunday afternoon.

The Cowboys offense not only moved the ball on the ground with Quarterback Dak Prescott (83 yards rushing) and Running Back Ezekiel Elliott (106 yards rushing), but also found success in the passing game. Prescott and Wide Receiver Cole Beasley connected with one another nine times for 101 receiving yards and two touchdowns. Overall, it was quite impressive to see the Cowboys put up 40 points against one of the league's best defenses.

The Bad

Dak Prescott

Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott (Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports)

For a change, finding something to put in this section this week was extremely difficult. The Dallas Cowboys pretty much played a flawless game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, so I decided the bad had to be that because they played so well our expectations should be for them to continue to play at this level. After all, if they can put up 40 points on the NFL's best defense, why shouldn't this kind of dominance continue.

The sad truth is, we have already seen the Cowboys offense raise our expectations once this season. After the phenomenal performance against the Detroit Lions earlier this season we expected them to pick up where they left off the next few weeks against the Seahawks and Texans. Unfortunately, we know how they played in both of those contest, so we should probably temper our expectations a little.

I don't know about you, but I'm trying not to get too excited about what took place Sunday afternoon against the Jaguars. I'm really hoping that the entire offense is finally starting to click and that Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan has figured out how to use his playmakers to the best of their abilities. But for now, we will just have to hope that this bad will actually turn out to be a good.

The Ugly

Cowboys Defense

Dallas Cowboys Defense

I really liked what I've seen for the Dallas Cowboys defense this season, but I absolutely loved how ugly they made the Jacksonville Jaguars offense look Sunday afternoon. This defense is playing at a championship level and they aren't quite receiving the recognition as of yet that they probably deserve. But, that could change if they continue to play the way they did against the Jaguars.

Jacksonville's offense had a tough time getting anything going Sunday against the Cowboys defense. They barely had over 200 total yards of total offense and I lost count of how many three and outs they had. What I loved the most though were the turnovers the Cowboys forced. Turnovers have been pretty nonexistent so far this season, so it was good to see that change against the Jaguars.

I honestly can't say enough good things about the Dallas Cowboys defense and how they've played this season. I'm just hoping they are able to do the same against this week's opponent, the Washington Redskins. With the NFC East division up for grabs, how the defense plays against the Redskins could impact the outcome of this game and help secure the division title.

What is your good, bad, and ugly for the Dallas Cowboys against the Jaguars?



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