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The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly for Cowboys Against Panthers

It's always difficult to write about the after a loss, even more so after they've played as sloppily as they did against the Sunday afternoon. But, I'm not going to let the 16-8 defeat keep me from doing my duty.

In all honesty, this game gave me flashbacks of the Dallas Cowboys matchup with the last season. Just like against the Broncos, the Cowboys continuously found themselves behind the chains and unable to move the ball with much success. , the engine of the , couldn't even find much running room. Let's just hope that this isn't something that continues to happen.

Today, I want to bring back my weekly column The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. If you have forgotten or are perhaps a new reader, this is a column in which I like to try to identify some of the positives and negatives from the Cowboys previous matchup, in this case the game against the Panthers. It's not always easy to write, but I hope you enjoy it regardless.

The Good

Randy Gregory
Dallas Cowboys DE

From the outside looking in, you wouldn't guess that there was very much good to write about from the Dallas Cowboys game against the Carolina Panthers, and you are probably right. I really had to dig deep to sift through all of the bad, but the silver lining I came up with is the way the was able to battle for an entire four quarters.

The way the played Sunday afternoon was far from flawless. There was plenty of mental and physical mistakes to go around, but you have to applaud the way they continued to fight throughout the game. In fact, I was pretty impressed with the play of the and .

The Cowboys front four not only continuously put pressure on , but they also pretty much contained the as well. and Company are off to a good start and should only continue to get better. As for the secondary, they made things pretty difficult for Newton and his receivers in the . I'm really excited to see how they progress.

The Bad

Jason Garrett, Scott Linehan
Dallas Cowboys HC and OC

I don't know about you, but identifying the bad from the Cowboys game against the Panthers was pretty easy for me. Of course you may disagree, but I think we should look no further than what happened on the offensive side of the ball. I personally place the blame on both the players and the .

The playcalling by Scott Linehan was once again questionable. It's really getting tiresome to talk about, but I was reallly expecting to see more creativity Sunday, especially with all of the new faces that were brought in this . Unfortunately, it was much of the same and that is simply unacceptable.

Quarterback continues to hold on the ball way too long while trying to find an open receiver. This has been a problem of his since entering the league and will continue to be so until something changes. As far as the running game goes, both Ezekiel Elliott and his struggled to get things going. Since this is the driving force of the entire offense, it needs to be fixed as quickly as possible.

The Ugly

Sean Lee
Dallas Cowboys LB

I was personally expecting some sloppiness in this game from the Dallas Cowboys, but that was mostly due to the fact the weather was supposed to be wet and rainy. I didn't really think they would come out and play the way they did, so there was quite a bit of ugly to sift through. What I decided to put in this section was the play of the Cowboys linebackers.

After being so highly touted for the majority of the offseason, the Dallas Cowboys linebackers certainly didn't live up to expectations. There were way too many times they were caught out of position or couldn't come up with the . Sean Lee in particular might have just played his worst game since entering the league.

With several weeks to prepare for Cam Newton and the run/pass option (RPO) offense the Panthers utilize, Dallas' LBs looked really unprepared and failed to execute their assignments. Both and Sean Lee gave up huge gains to Newton because of this. This definitely needs to be cleaned up before next week, because Shaquon Barkley is an entirely different animal to contain.

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

Brian Martin
Brian Martin
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.

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oneputter

So many things to point out Brian.

1 – play calling as you stated is bad. i think they tried to get to cute at times instead of running power football, line up and run down hill with some PA. i saw to many motions, counters, fake end arounds, fake screens….just jr league crap. line up and run the darn ball.

2 – yes lb’s were garbage, sean lee doesn’t practice or play in the preseason because we are afraid of him getting hurt, well that is the result of no practicing. 54 was trying way too hard and over running just about every play, 57 started good but suddenly fell asleep. where was joe thomas?

3 – OL was bad, and don’t give me 72 being out as the reason, everyone has injuries, you sak up and over come. 77 was bad, 71 was bad, 52 was pushed around like a HS kid (he might be good later, right now too weak to handle these NFLers)

4 – HC geez, JG you had 6 months to get ready for this game and this is what you give us? i have wanted this HC to succeed but i think i am done with him. he simply is un-motivating to this team. at some point you have to get in their butts during a game, he never does or will.

5 – can we please stop with all the earl thomas talk, how about trading for a veteran WR?

6 – dak, this guy has gone from being on the top to being an absolute joke at right now. drop back and throw the ball son! this is the NFL, your windows are small. there were open WR’s all over on sunday, turn it loose. he’s gun shy and worried about INTs / STATS. can you read a blitz at the LOS? this a QB driven league, if you don’t have a QB you don’t have jack.

Brian Martin

Nicely said. I agree with everything you stated here.

Hector Espindola

7.- Dak needs a new QB coach, he is just regressing game after game…

Russ_Te

That is an interesting view. We know Moore is a rookie at it. And of course Garrett and Linehan factor in. This is a crossroads time for Dak as an NFL QB. I have confidence in his mental and physical abilities, yet many promising QB’s have gone off the rails. They have to coach him well as this team finds it’s offensive gears this year. Fortunately a rising defense could buy them the time needed by keeping the Cowboys in games.

Hector Espindola

The inexperienced Moore can´t give Dak any advice on game time, so or QB is going nowhere and even his mechanics are regressing. Add to that the OL problems, the time needed to find his wingman at the WRs corps and a playbook that does not ease his work (with a “loaded box” as an example) and then you have the first man down, who happens to be your most important player at offense. Right now Dak is afraid to throw deep balls or in traffic.

Russ_Te

While everyone except Beasley was bad on offense, let’s zero in on this WR unit for a minute. What seemed to emerge after all the off season moves is a glaring lack of speed and firepower. That looks right now like it’s going to be a liability all year.

I give Gallup a grace period of course, but feel like defenses are going to choke up coverages, and then either nobody can get behind that or Linehan won’t test it.

Brice Butler is on his couch right now. 15 catches that averaged 21 yards per, with 3 TD’s last year. Go get him.

Likewise, I’m not leaving Gathers inactive when I need a mismatch in the patterns this badly. Yes he’s still learning block assignments, but isn’t worse than the product we got Sunday. Tired of inertia and business as usual from this staff.

oneputter

i just don’t put much blame into the wr unit for sunday, the QB needs to get the ball out and give the guys a chance, we didn’t see that with him….. holding onto the ball way too long. swaim was open, gallup was open, thompson was open, go watch again. do we need someone to stretch the field, yes maybe. i like what carrington was doing in preseason, how about KD Cannon, he’s a speed guy, can we not coach him up? the guy was amazing in college.

ditto on gathers, he needs to be used like the raiders use cook. if he can’t block then get him out in the slot on a mismatch.

Brian Martin

I think the Cowboys have the pieces in the passing game, the playcalling just needs to improve by a wide stretch. They have speed guys to stretch the field, we know Prescott rarely takes the shots.

oneputter

agreed

Russ_Te

What I put on Dak Sunday is missed throws and being indecisive about when to tuck under. Holding the ball = WR’s not open.

As I said the unit feels weak and defensible. Hope to be wrong on that. And if they know C and LG are iffy, then they know Elliott will not dominate as before on the ground. So you can’t take him out on long downs. If it’s 15 runs then it should be 10-12 targets and about 8 catches. He is their best player of any WR or RB or TE.

oneputter

he did hold on to the ball way too long but i feel and from what i could see it had to do with indecisiveness, as stated i saw wr’s open. there are tons of vids out there now that show wr’s running wide open, he just missed them.

many times instead of stepping up in the pocket he flushed out and threw bad passes.

i hope it gets better, i don’t want to go through a whole season seeing this mess.

Brian Martin

I’m actually giving the WRs a pass. The playcalling was extremely questionable last week. Way too many 2 TE sets to start the game. The offense finally started to move the ball when they spread things out. That’s what they need to continue to do IMO.

oneputter

12 personnel was out there way too much, i’d like to see more 3 x 1, 2 x 2 with one of the 3 / 2 being Rico or swaim

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