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Game Notes

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

Brian Martin



The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly for Cowboys Against Buccaneers 4

It definitely wasn't pretty, but the Dallas Cowboys were able to do what they were supposed to by defeating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. With this victory they are now the NFC East Champions and secure one of those coveted few playoff spots.

Securing the victory is what really matters in the end, but I believe we all would've liked to have seen them do it in a more dominant fashion, especially against a subpar Buccaneers team. The Cowboys definitely have a lot to work on before the playoffs get underway and not a lot of time to do it.

Today, I want to take a look back at the game between the Dallas Cowboys and Tampa Bay Buccaneers and share with you what I believe to be The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly aspects from yesterday's matchup. As always, please feel free to use the comment section located at the end of the article to share your own thoughts and opinions on this topic.

The Good

Randy Gregory

Dallas Cowboys DE Randy Gregory

Unfortunately, there wasn't a whole lot of positive to take away from yesterday's matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but I believe the good has to be Randy Gregory and the way he played. I really think this quite possibly could have been his best performance as a professional since entering the NFL.

It's easy to overlook the impact Randy Gregory had yesterday against the Buccaneers, but he was directly responsible for 14 of the Dallas Cowboys 27 points. He had a strip sack that Linebacker Jaylon Smith scooped up for a 69 yard touchdown, and also a fumble that resulted in the Michael Gallup TD catch. If not for those two game changing plays, the outcome of this game could've been much different.

Gregory is really rounding into form and finally starting to look like the player the Cowboys thought they were getting when they drafted him in the second round a few years ago out of Nebraska. Yes he is good for a few bonehead penalties a game, but that can be overlooked as long as he continues to play like he has these last 10 games. During that time he leads the team in QB sacks with six.

The Bad

DeMarcus Lawrence

Dallas Cowboys DE DeMarcus Lawrence

I hate to beat a dead horse, but I think we can all agree that the bad from the game between the Dallas Cowboys and Buccaneers was the horrendous officiating. This is a hot topic around the NFL and has been for the most of the season, but it was particularly bad Sunday afternoon in the Cowboys/Buccaneers game.

I tried to keep count as to how many penalties were called and thought ended up being about 20. I noticed for sure there were at least 10 in the first half and several of those were highly questionable. I may not know exactly how many penalties were called, but the yellow was certainly flying Sunday afternoon and it's really starting to make watching these games really hard.

It's no surprise the officiating was once again poor when the Cowboys were on the field. It seems to happen every game in which they are involved and has led to some pretty interesting conspiracy theories. I don't know if I buy into those theories or not, but it's hard not to when the officials are making up things to call against the Cowboys like they did with the DeMarcus Lawrence delay of game penalty. WTH was that all about!?

The Ugly

Dak Prescott

Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott

I don't know what has happened to the Dallas Cowboys offense over these last few weeks, but production has pretty much disappeared. That for me was the ugly for the Cowboys yesterday against the Buccaneers. It's really starting to become a huge concern, especially with the playoffs just weeks away.

I know a lot of the blame gets thrown Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan's way and rightfully so, but he's not the only reason the Cowboys offense isn't playing up to their full potential. Execution, mental mistakes, penalties, and Quarterback Dak Prescott's inaccuracy are hurting the offense and unfortunately there's no easy fix.

This Cowboys offense is far too talented to be playing so badly. Ezekiel Elliott is really the only consistence playmaker here lately, everybody else has kind of disappeared. I really don't understand why Wide Receiver Amari Cooper hasn't been target and more these last few games. That definitely needs to change because he makes this offense better. Things need to improve now, not later.

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

Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.


Game Notes

DL Kerry Hyder Impressive In Cowboys Week 2 Preseason Win

Kevin Brady



Kerry Hyder

Kerry Hyder joined the Cowboys this offseason on a one year deal, and while the four-year NFL veteran has put up some solid tape in his time around the league, it was hard to project just what he could bring to the Cowboys defense.

Listed at 6'2" 270 pounds, Hyder is a bit of a tweener on the defensive line. Though the answer to "will he play tackle or end" seems to be "both" to this point in the preseason.

As he fights for his life on this deep defensive line, Kerry Hyder had himself a day in the Cowboys 14-10 victory over the Rams last weekend.

Hyder made an excellent play defending a screen pass in the first quarter, reading the play perfectly and reacting quickly to running back Darrell Henderson coming out of the backfield. Hyder also created some pressure on the quarterback, and finished with 3 combined tackles in very limited playing time.

Hyder's versatility is working well for him as he looks to make the final roster. Like a Tyrone Crawford type player, Hyder will be able to move inside and out depending on the situation. This allows the Cowboys to be flexible in how they structure their depth chart on defense, and in how they decide to rush the passer on third down.

A pass rushing package involving Robert Quinn and DeMarcus Lawrence on the edge with the combination of Hyder and Maliek Collins on the inside could turn out to be a very dangerous one for opposing offenses to deal with.

Rod Marinelli spoke to this versatility a couple of months ago, showing just how much he values what Kerry Hyder can bring to this team.

"Maybe you adjust him sometime, once in a while – in a one-on-one pass rush situation, stick him over a guard and start to get a feel for it.” - Rod Marinelli

Earlier this offseason, I wrote that Kerry Hyder could end up being Rod Marinelli's next great under-the-radar find on the defensive line. And if he continues to play with the hustle and awareness that he had on Saturday, he's going to make Rod look very smart in his evaluation.

Kerry Hyder is making it very difficult for the front office to let him go. And, at the end of the preseason, I do expect Kerry Hyder to find himself on the Cowboys' active roster. Especially considering how Mike White is playing at quarterback, and how his release could open up an extra spot at a different position group.

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Game Notes

#DALvsRAMS: Tony Pollard Proves he’s no Longer Darrell Henderson’s Backup

Brian Martin



#DALvsRAMS: Tony Pollard Proves he's no Longer Darrell Henderson's Backup

For the better part of three years Tony Pollard was forced to play second fiddle to Darrell Henderson during their time with the Memphis Tigers. But, Saturday night in the second week of preseason Pollard emerged from the shadows and proved he's no longer Henderson's backup.

Tony Pollard put on an impressive show Saturday night against the Los Angeles Rams. He touched the ball a total of six times and turned it into 51 yards and a touchdown. He rushed for 42 yards on the ground, averaging 8.4 yards per carry, and had one reception for 9 yards. All in all it was an impressive performance and one that arguably outdid his former teammate, Darrell Henderson.

Tony Pollard is starting to look like a real weapon for the Dallas Cowboys. It's still a small sample size, but in the first two preseason games he's proven the jump up in competition isn't too big for him. As a runner he's been decisive, picking up what yardage is given and not dancing around. He hasn't been utilized much in the passing game yet, but that time will come.

The Dallas Cowboys couldn't be happier with the way their rookie RB has performed thus far. He's everything they've said he was, and quite possibly much more. Maybe those Alvin Kamara comparisons weren't that far off after all.

We all know Ezekiel Elliott will return to the Dallas Cowboys at some point, but for now Tony Pollard doesn't look completely out of place as their lead back. He still needs to work on his pass protection, but everything else he's been asked to do he's excelled at.

I don't know about you, but I'm excited about seeing what No. 36 can do when these games start to matter in 2019. He will once again have to accept a backup role like he did behind Darrell Henderson in college, but you can bet the Cowboys coaching staff will reward him based on his play so far in preseason.

Pollard's versatility to be a weapon as both a runner and receiver in the passing game should make him a unique chess piece in the offensive game plan each and every week. He's been exciting to watch so far and we haven't even seen him in the return game yet, which was a big part of his game in college. I'm personally expecting big things from him this season. What about you?

What do you think of Tony Pollard's preseason performance so far?

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Game Notes

The Brady Report: Tony Pollard, Devin Smith Steal The Show On Offense

Kevin Brady



The Brady Report: Tony Pollard, Devin Smith Steal The Show On Offense

The Dallas Cowboys earned their first win of the 2019 preseason on Saturday night, defeating the Los Angeles Rams 14-10 in Hawaii.

Despite the low scoring affair, there were certainly standout performances from both offensive and defensive players for Dallas. Some who are looking to earn a roster spot, and others who are rather solidified in their place with the team.

Let's get into some of my game notes from the Cowboys preseason victory.

  • Tony Pollard. I mean, I've said enough right? The rookie running back was awesome in his one drive of action Saturday night, rushing 5 times for 42 yards and a touchdown on the team's opening possession. Pollard was decisive, patient, and comfortable in the zone blocking scheme, and seemed to know exactly where and how to run on each rep. Pollard is looking like a complete back, rather than just a receiving threat for the Cowboys offense going forward.
  • While undrafted free agents Jon'Vea Johnson and Jalen Guyton have garnered much of the attention, it was Devin Smith who impressed the most out of all the Cowboys' down-roster receivers this week. He caught 3 balls for just 24 yards, but had a fantastic touchdown grab from Cooper Rush in the third quarter.
  • Speaking of Cooper Rush, he's your backup quarterback for the 2019 season. The coaching staff gave Mike White a chance to work with the 2's this week, allowing him equal ground for competition with Rush. But even with this opportunity, Mike White did not play well whatsoever. He's indecisive in the pocket, abandons clean protection, runs into pressure, and just looks kind of lost out there. Hopefully White can improve, but Rush is certainly deserving of the QB2 spot going forward.
  • While Rush solidified his position as the QB2, QB1 Dak Prescott led another impressive drive on Saturday night. Prescott has command in the pocket and of the entire offense, and he orchestrated an excellent touchdown drive in his own possession this week. Prescott went 5/5 for 64 yards, but the highlight of the game for Prescott was his third and seven completion for 31 of those yards to Michael Gallup. He and Gallup seem to be connecting this preseason, and if that's going to happen regularly, look out.
  • Now to the defense. Defensive tackle Maliek Collins continues to show signs that 2019 could be a career season for him. He was disruptive in limited playing time this week, and showcased a scary spin move on the inside. He can be an electric interior pass rusher for the Cowboys, and he looks to be "putting it all together" this year.
  • Jourdan Lewis is too good to rot away on the bench, guys. Though he did get beat for decent completion in the first half, Lewis was also sound as a tackler and sticky in coverage once again this week. Lewis looks to be playing at the highest level we've seen from him yet, but once Byron Jones comes back he may not be getting the playing time he'd easily earn elsewhere. Dallas has a bit of an embarrassment of riches at cornerback right now, and Lewis just needs to keep competing every week.
  • Lewis' Michigan teammate Taco Charlton had a decent night himself. While Dorance Armstrong has been the talk of the town at defensive end, Charlton deflected a pass at the line of scrimmage and was credited with 2 quarterback hits against the Rams. He wasn't creating the level of pressure you'd hope to see out of a former first round pick playing that deep into a preseason game, but you can tell he's looking a bit better as of late. Still, there's a whole heap of defensive ends on this roster who are flat out better than him right now.
  • The Cowboys linebackers showed up to play on Saturday night. Of course, Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander-Esch are who they are, but Justin March-Lillard led the team in tackles with 6, and Justin Phillips came away with an exceptional interception in the third quarter. He made a play on the ball that you don't expect to see from any linebacker, let alone someone of his roster status. This is a really deep linebacker room, and there's a strong chance the Cowboys will have to let go of a good player.

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