Connect with us

Game Notes

Thanksgiving Wishlist: Los Angeles Chargers @ Dallas Cowboys

Mauricio Rodriguez

Published

on

Make it another must-win game for this Cowboys team, as they get ready to host the Chargers today. Get ready to watch a pretty good game between these two while you fill your belly with your favorite Thanksgiving meals!

It’s been a rough, rough season but things just might start to change when the Cowboys take that field later today. At least, we all hope so.

Cowboys Wishlist normally comes out every Sunday morning, but having a game on a Thursday won’t stop us. Here is this week’s Cowboys Wishlist!

Wish #1: Offensive Line Wins In The Trenches

Understandably, the coaches have been relentlessly bashed by all of Cowboys Nation this last couple of weeks. Being the quarterback, Dak Prescott has suffered a lot of criticism as well. But, if Tyron Smith does play today, he might help hush a lot of people.

2017 Dallas Cowboys: Who's The Most Indispensable Offensive Player? 1

Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott, LT Tyron Smith (Smiley N. Pool/The Dallas Morning News)

Surprisingly, La’el Collins made it to the Injury Report this Wednesday, but he should be good to go.

The Cowboys offensive line will have a very tough test when they line up against one of the best pass rushing duos in the NFL: Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram.

Although Zeke is suspended and Dak is missing on a few passes, the main reason why this offense has struggled so much is without a doubt the fact that Prescott is running for his life nearly every play.

That’s why my first wish on the list features the OL winning the battle against one of the toughest defensive lines in the league, keeping 4 clean.

Wish #2: Switzer Has Another Big Kick Return

100% of the points scored by the Cowboys last week came from Mike Nugent. Yikes. But, the first three points on the board, were also thanks to rookie WR Ryan Switzer.

Over the year, the rookie has made impressive returns as well as very questionable decisions. But last week, he had a great 61-yard return in the opening kickoff.

Switzer15 – Streamable

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

Although we haven’t seen much from Switz, some would argue that special teams´blocking hasn’t been very good. Be it as it may, this kind of plays serve as a very special confidence boost for young players like Switzer.

Let’s hope that shows on the field today, and we see another big return by him in a game that the Cowboys need to win if they want to remain in the hunt.

Wish #3: Cowboys Shine in the Passing Game

Cowboys Vs Eagles: The Hope That Dak Prescott Provides

Cowboys QB Dak Prescott (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

This wish directly relates to wish #2.  When the Ezekiel Elliott suspension began, we knew just how important Dak Prescott would have to become for this offense and how he needed to step up big time for this team.

But, lost in the Zeke narrative, was the fact that LT Tyron Smith was injured. We all know the story. Dak’s been sacked 12 times in the last couple of weeks.

Now, with a healthy OL, Dak has the opportunity to prove he can lead this offense without Zeke if he has a good pass protection. It’s time for this receivers group to show they’re the real deal, and not a few players who are not even threatening anymore.

This is a big game for Dallas. Winning would mean they have a chance to do something this year. Losing though, would probably end their realistic hopes of making it to the playoffs.

Wish #4: Bring Back The Sacks!

Has Cowboys DT David Irving Become A Dominant Force?One of the biggest surprises this season has been how effective the pass rush has been with David Irving and DeMarcus Lawrence leading this defensive line.

Last week, although they pressured Wentz pretty often, they failed to get a sack. Chargers QB Philip Rivers has only been sacked 12 in 2017. If the Cowboys want to win this football game, they must get after Rivers.

I certainly expect Lawrence and Irving to have a bounce-back game and start racking up sacks once again. Without Sean Lee, the Cowboys must be able to get after Rivers if they want to be able to stop the Chargers.

Wish #5: Cowboys Win Big While Trying to Save the Season

3 Reasons Why QB Dak Prescott Will Thrive In 2017

Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

This will be a tough game for the Dallas Cowboys. I’ve even said that if either Tyron Smith or Anthony Hitchens miss this game, the Chargers will end up victorious. They’re not a simple opponent, even if they don’t look threatening to some.

After surviving a week of complaints and of motions to get the entire staff fired, it’d be nice if the Cowboys win big versus the Chargers.

Not only would it be awesome for the fans, but also for a team that’s trying to find its identity back. If the Cowboys are able to win by more than two touchdowns, at least we’ll have a peaceful week and will be able to enjoy the most out of our Thanksgiving dinners.

Tell me what you think about “Thanksgiving Wishlist: Los Angeles Chargers @ Dallas Cowboys” in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 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!

ADVERTISEMENT

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.

Game Notes

Takeaway Tuesday: Awuzie and Lewis Impress, Concerns Around Dez Bryant

Mauricio Rodriguez

Published

on

Takeaway Tuesday: Awuzie and Lewis Impress, Concerns Around Dez Bryant

The Dallas Cowboys headed to New York a couple of days ago with a mission: survive a potential trap game versus a 2-10 New York Giants team. Despite not getting most of the help they needed from other teams around the league, at least Dallas was able to do the job they could control.

Through three quarters, the Cowboys struggled a lot. It wasn’t until the fourth quarter when they decided to have a touchdown party, outscoring the Giants 20-0 in the final eight minutes of the game.

What did we learn from the Cowboys’ seventh win of the season? Here is this week’s edition of Takeaway Tuesday! 

Dak Prescott Bounced Back

Although the Cowboys are a team that’s barely breathing in the playoff race, the truth is there’re a lot of ways that Dak has improved as a QB. It’s easy to look at a team lose football games and blame the QB without hesitating. That’s been the case most of the season.

It’s fair to say that Prescott hadn’t had an awesome game in a long time, though. But this time, he did just that.

Film Room: How Dak Prescott Beat The Giants' Blitz

Dak Prescott needed a performance like this one. He threw for 332 yards and three touchdowns last Sunday. He made some key throws and key reads during the game and managed to beat the Giants’ blitz with ease. Glad to see you hush the haters, 4.

Certainly a good thing to see when you need to go 3-0 in order to stay in the postseason conversation.

Concerns Around Dez Bryant Continue to Increase

Listen, I love Dez Bryant. He’s been one of my favorite players to ever watch. But at some point, you have to start admitting there is a problem. Yes, Dez Bryant has been struggling this season. Whether you want to blame Dak or Dez about it, it’s fair. I think they both are to blame.

The thing about Dez is that he can have quite a few bad plays and makes you forget about it when he  does something awesome. A perfect example of this is his 50-yard TD against the Giants last Sunday. It came at a perfect moment, but he had dropped some easy balls earlier in the game.

Dez – Streamable

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

Dez is getting paid like an elite WR, and despite some great moments on the field, he’s been having a lot of bad ones lately. If you have a $70M contract, you can’t frequently drop passes like that.

It may be about chemistry with his new QB, it may be about age, or it may be just about a couple of bad years for the guy. Whatever it is, as much as we hate to say it, Dez isn’t anywhere close to the “top receivers” conversation this year.

Sean Lee Proved to be Invaluable Once Again

Less Is More For Sean Lee And Cowboys' LBs?I’m constantly amazed by the difference the Cowboys’ veteran linebacker makes when he’s on the field. In his heroic return against the Giants, he finished the day with 18 total tackles, 10 of which were solo. With Sean Lee on the field, this defense has been able to be a headache for opposing offenses.

Sean Lee could easily be this team’s MVP. For Cowboys Nation, it’s been a season of constantly missing football players in Dallas. Out of everyone, I think Sean Lee is the player we missed the most. Including Ezekiel Elliott.

This defense transforms into a very capable one with Lee around. The Cowboys need Zeke back if they want to have success in their hunt for the playoffs, but without Lee, they wouldn’t stand a chance.

Chidobe Awuzie, Jourdan Lewis Are Still Killing It

Coming into this game, one of the biggest question marks was the cornerback position for Dallas. Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis were going to get the start, and there’s always uncertainty around rookies going up against a QB like Eli Manning.

lewis – Streamable

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

Look at that coverage by Jourdan Lewis. Look at him turn his head around when the ball’s coming. The way this secondary will grow is exciting to think about. The Cowboys have something special in these two guys. They’ll make for an amazing CB duo for years to come, and I’m excited about what they bring to the table.

Chidobe Awuzie has played the last two games, and he’s been very impressive. Throughout the entire game, his converge was pretty impressive. Eli only targeted him 5 times in the ballgame and was able to complete just two passes against him.

Sean Lee ended up with the interception late in the fourth quarter, but it was perfectly set up by Chidobe Awuzie.

Awuzie – Streamable

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

It was a very fun fourth quarter for the Dallas Cowboys, and even though it looks difficult… this football team’s playoff hopes are still alive. Jason Garrett must keep this team focused in the Oakland Raiders for now, though.

Hope dies last, Cowboys Nation. Keep your head up.

Tell me what you think about “Takeaway Tuesday: Awuzie and Lewis Impress, Concerns Around Dez Bryant” in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 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!

ADVERTISEMENT

Continue Reading

Game Notes

Forget Elliott For Now, Cowboys Must Focus On Raiders

Kevin Brady

Published

on

Despite looking dead to rights just two weeks ago, back to back wins have put the Dallas Cowboys into the playoff hunt with just three games remaining.

In order to even have a chance at sneaking in as the sixth seed, Dallas will need to win each of its remaining games to finish 10-6. In some ways, the playoffs started two weeks ago when Dallas took on the Washington Redskins. But even though this Sunday’s contest is another must-win, elimination game for the Cowboys, it’s also a classic “trap” or “look ahead” game as well.

Before the season started, most expected the Oakland Raiders to be competing for AFC supremacy. Like the Cowboys, Oakland bursted onto the scene in 2016 with a young quarterback, a dynamic offense, and an exciting roster. But, like the Cowboys, they have faltered a bit this season due to underperforming stars, injuries, and a somewhat undermanned defensive unit.

The Raiders are now 6-7, and while still alive in the AFC West race, saw their best shot at overtaking the division go up in a smoke last Sunday as they were demolished by the Kansas City Chiefs.

Simply put, the Raiders are not a very good football team right now. And though this will be a road game for the Cowboys, it is one they should win if they are truly a playoff team. In fact, it’s one they have to win if they want to keep their slim playoff chances alive.

The reason why this could potentially be a “trap” game of sorts is who the Cowboys are scheduled to play after traveling to Oakland. A team who has been a perennial playoff contender in the NFC, and a team directly in front of the Cowboys in the current NFC standings – the Seattle Seahawks.

Not only will that Seattle game be massively important to the Cowboys if they can sneak out of Oakland with a victory, it will also feature the return of star running back Ezekiel Elliott from his six game suspension.

December 24th will be a huge day in Dallas if the Cowboys can get to 8-6 this week, but they can ill-afford to look ahead to that potentially important showdown with the Seahawks. Because if they do and the Raiders upset them at the home in primetime, the Cowboys season will end before Elliott even gets the chance to come back.

ADVERTISEMENT

Continue Reading

Game Notes

Film Room: How Dak Prescott Beat The Giants’ Blitz

Kevin Brady

Published

on

Film Room: How Dak Prescott Beat The Giants' Blitz

While much of Sunday’s victory over the New York Giants featured some ugly football from the Dallas Cowboys, the team continued to fight until completing a 20 point route of their division rivals.

Of course, stars emerged on both the offense and the defense throughout the game. Rod Smith had a breakout day, Dez Bryant made a couple of “vintage” plays, and Sean Lee returned to health and led the defense to a fantastic performance.

But as we all know, quarterbacks make the world go ’round. And no matter how great the other pieces play, it’s hard to win football games unless you can maintain high level quarterback play.

Dak Prescott returned to that high level against the Giants on Sunday.

Even if Prescott is missing throws or having accuracy issues, he had never lost his composure or made the wrong reads until that Atlanta Falcons debacle. I really believe that Dak lost faith in his protection, began abandoning clean pockets, and ended up having a few bad games in a row.

All seems right with Prescott now, as he threw for over 300 yards and three touchdowns during the Cowboys’ big win. The area he was most impressive, was with those reads – specifically against the blitz.

dalvsnyg dak to dez td – Streamable

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

On his first touchdown pass of the game, Dak Prescott beats the blitz perfectly. Just before snapping the ball, Prescott notices the safety roll down into the box. You can see him subtly move his arm to point out the safety, while calling it out to his linemen as well.

As soon as he gets the snap, Dak knows exactly where to go. The Giants tried to beat him with a delayed safety blitz, but once that safety comes, Prescott knows he has Dez Bryant in man coverage on the perimeter.

His eyes immediately snap that way, and his throw replaces the blitzer quickly. This allows Bryant to do the rest, and the Cowboys to tie the game.

dalvsnyg 17 cole beasley – Streamable

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

Later in the game we see more of the same from Dak Prescott. With the game tied at 10 the Cowboys faced a critical third down backed up in their own territory. The Giants once again show blitz, bring the  blitz, and Dak burns them for it.

The Giants show man coverage across the board pre-snap, with safety Landon Collins on the near hash. Cole Beasley is in the near-slot, and while he technically has a man over him directly, the Giants show 2-over-1 in the slot pre-snap. This usually tips off a blitz, as the Giants plan to bring their slot defender off the edge, and allow Landon Collins to cover Beasley one on one.

Prescott notices this pre-snap once again, and makes the defense pay. He quickly replaces the blitzer with his throw, allowing Beasley to make the easy catch underneath and then do the rest after the catch.

This may not seem all the difficult to do to those analyzing the game the next morning, but these reads indicate high level quarterback-ing from the Cowboys’ franchise leader, Dak Prescott.

Last season against the Giants, their defense was able to bring more than the Cowboys could block on key third downs a few times. Too often, Prescott and the passing offense could not beat those blitzes.

That was not the case this week at all.

ADVERTISEMENT

Continue Reading

Reader Survey

Want to help make Inside The Star better?

We’re collecting feedback from our readers about the site. It only takes <2 minutes to complete, and can be done from any device.

> Take the survey now

Don’t worry, your information will not be shared with anyone but me (Bryson T.).

Advertisement

From Our Partners

Advertisement
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