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Game Notes

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly for Cowboys against Texans

Brian Martin

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The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly for Cowboys against Texans

The Dallas Cowboys put up a good fight in the in-state battle against the Houston Texans, but unfortunately have to surrender any kind of bragging rights they had hoped to obtain. It was definitely a tough pill to swallow to see the game end the way it did in overtime, but then again, getting blown out wouldn't have been any easier either.

We are through the first five weeks of the 2018 season and I still don't really know what to make of this 2-3 Dallas Cowboys team. Maybe it's my optimistic nature, but I think there are flashes here and there of something brewing. Unfortunately, it just hasn't come to fruition just yet and might not. But, hope might be all we have to hang on to this season.

Luckily, this loss doesn't hurt the Cowboys too much in the NFC East. They are still very much in contention to win the division, but definitely need to play better. With that in mind, let's get to this week's edition of The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. Let me know what you think about what I put in each category in the comment section located at the end of the article.

The Good

Jaylon Smith

Dallas Cowboys LB Jaylon Smith

Anytime the Dallas Cowboys lose, especially a close one like against the Houston Texans, it's really difficult to find much good from the game. But, the one thing that really stood out Sunday night in prime time was how well Linebacker Jaylon Smith played. So, that's what I'm going to go with the good for this week.

Smith's stat line against the Texan reads 12 combined tackles, one quarterback sack, and one pass defensed. If for some reason you didn't watch the game, those numbers don't look overly impressive. But, what you would've seen is how important a lot of those tackles were. A lot of them were in clutch situations that could have ended up making this game more lopsided in the Texan's favor.

Jaylon Smith continues to improve each game and is looking more and more like the LB he was at Notre Dame. It doesn't matter if you're a fan of the Cowboys are not, Smith is somebody you want to root for and it's good to see him perform at a high level.

The Bad

Jason Garrett

Dallas Cowboys HC Jason Garrett

Deciding what to put in this section was an easy decision for me quite honestly. I think the bad for the Dallas Cowboys against the Texans Sunday night was the coaching. I hate to beat a dead horse, but the playcalling was once again highly questionable. But, the thing that irked me more than that was Jason Garrett's decision-making.

The first thing that really got under my skin was Garrett's decision to challenge Wide Receiver Tavon Austin's catch along the sideline. Throwing the red flag to challenge a completed catch that Austin clearly dropped was a bad decision and ended up costing the Cowboys a timeout. But, the worst decision Garrett made was not going for it on fourth and one in overtime.

The Texans offense was able to drive up and down the field pretty much at will the entire game and choosing to punt away on fourth and one meant Houston just needed a field goal to win. In that situation, with the game on the line, you absolutely have to play to win. That's especially true when you have one of the best short yardage backs in the NFL. It's a decision that quite possibly cost the Cowboys the game.

The Ugly

Dallas Cowboys Defense

It was pretty easy for me to decide what to put in this category as well. For me, the Dallas Cowboys defense was the ugly against Houston Texans. I know some of you will disagree and say that they played pretty bad, but they are the sole reason the Cowboys were in this game to begin with because the offense did next to nothing.

Personally, I hate that "bend don't break" mantra the Cowboys coaching staff likes to use. For me, it sounds like a copout. But I guess that would be the best way to describe the way they performed against the Houston Texans Sunday night. The Cowboys defense ended up giving up more than 400+ total yards to Deshaun Watson and Company, but only gave up one touchdown.

The Cowboys entire defensive unit played their hearts out against the Texans. I really thought they would be able to fluster Watson more with their pass rush, but that just wasn't the case. I commend the way they played. I think it should have been enough to win the game, but when the offense and your head coach don't live up to their end of the bargain, it makes it that much more difficult to win.

What's your good, bad, and ugly for the Dallas Cowboys against the Texans?



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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2 Comments
  • Suave Freddie

    I agree with the Good, Bad and Ugly article. The coaches seems intimated during the games. They don’t offer Dak any explosive plays. Seems like last year, they are PREDICTABLE again. Jason Garrett DEFINITELY has to go. He hasn’t shown any improvement since he’s been a coach. The Joneses NEED to Man-Up and do what’s best for the team (NOT for the owner and NOT for the coach). CowboysNation is fed up with with their mess.

  • elindio42

    The Cowboys need to go back to what worked in 2016. It is apparent that Dak’s feet are glued in the pocket since then. I think it is a coaching decision.

    Dak is not a pocket QB. He was good/great in 2016 when they were playing a run/pass offense. Since then the whole offense has sucked.

    The object is to win the game, not bubble wrap the QB. Besides Dak doesn’t look very fragile. It works for other teams and worked for us in 2016.

Game Notes

Brett Maher’s 62-yard FG Gives Cowboys 6-0 Halftime Lead over Eagles

Jess Haynie

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Brett Maher
Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Brett Maher drilled a 62-yard field goal, a new Dallas Cowboys record, to give his team a 6-0 lead over the Philadelphia Eagles at halftime.

A holding penalty by Tyron Smith seemingly took the team out of field goal range, but Maher bailed him out with the monster kick.

The lead could be bigger it not for some Dallas mistakes. Dak Prescott threw an interception on an otherwise strong drive, and Maher ended another drive with a missed field goal.

However, the Eagles have also struggled. A strip sack by Tyrone Crawford ended their last drive of the half. Randy Gregory also got a sack on Carson Wentz earlier in the game.

Overall, though, Philadelphia just isn't converting downs and being stifled by this exceptional Cowboys defense. They only have 70 total offensive yards at the half.

Ezekiel Elliott is putting together a big day, already with 72 rushing yards and another 20 yards receiving. Rod Smith also has 24 yards of offense, adding to the major production from the RB position.

Speaking of position production, the Cowboys tight ends have already accounted for six catches for 37 yards. Blake Jarwin has four of those receptions, which is a new career high.

The Eagles will get the ball to start the second half.



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Game Notes

Cowboys Vs Eagles Leads NFL in Playoff Leverage for Week 14

Sean Martin

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Sean's Scout: Leaning on Elliott, Young Defense Earns Cowboys Win in Philly

The Dallas Cowboys are certainly playing like a playoff team as of late, but aren't in the clear yet when it comes to holding off Sunday's opponent -- nor the Washington Redskins -- in the NFC East. At 7-5, the Eagles and Redskins sit a game behind the Cowboys with identical 6-6 records.

The Cowboys going 5-0 from their first win at the Eagles in week 10 to their third divisional game of this stretch would go a very long way in cementing the Cowboys mid-season turnaround. As has always seemingly been the case in this division though, the same is said of the defending Super Bowl champs.

With a loss, the Cowboys stand just over a 50% chance at the postseason. A win would add 42 percentage points to this figure, setting up the Cowboys favorably through a December schedule that features the Colts, Buccaneers, and Giants.

Brian Burke on Twitter

NFL playoff leverage week 14

The only team with more at stake today is the visitors of AT&T Stadium. The Eagles gain 47 percentage points on their playoff hopes with a win, though even this marginally moves the needle over 50% for them. An Eagles loss all but ends their chances of repeating as NFC East winners.

Though the Redskins are reduced to their third quarterback in Mark Sanchez, their early kickoff at the 4-8 Giants provides hope that they'll remain in contention through the regular season. In a division that will be dictated by the moves made at the trade deadline, it sure feels like the Cowboys and Eagles are pulling away however - with Dallas in prime position to lap the competition starting Sunday.

Bobby Belt on Twitter

If the Cowboys and the Giants win today, Dallas would have to lose out, and the Redskins or Eagles would have to win out in order for the Cowboys to lose the division. In other words, Dallas and NYG winning today would mean one more victory and the Cowboys clinch the NFC East.

Wide Receiver Amari Cooper has made a bigger difference than Dallas could have ever hoped for. With the Eagles secondary banged up again for their meeting with the Cowboys, a home team with sights set on playoff football could begin to fine tune their offense to match a defense that set the tone against Philadelphia last time out.

National pundits may be forecasting a "classic" late season collapse for the Cowboys, but fans know better than this. It was in fact early season losses that dug the hole the Cowboys are viciously fighting out of. Asking for this opportunity against the Eagles is as good as it gets for Jason Garrett's young team, once 3-5 after eight weeks that feel like ages ago.

So does any dominant stretch of football from the Eagles, though the Cowboys shouldn't be quick to find out just how much Philly wants to play spoiler.

Tell us what you think about "Cowboys Vs Eagles Leads NFL in Playoff Leverage for Week 14" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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Game Notes

Cowboys Wishlist: Dak Prescott Exploits Eagles’ Secondary

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Dak Prescott Weighs in on Cowboys "Dak-Friendly" Offense

It's rivalry weekend for the Dallas Cowboys as they get ready to host the Philadelphia Eagles. It will undoubtedly be a special game since the Eagles are practically playing to save their season this time around. Tables have turned for these two teams with now the Cowboys as home favorites for this fun matchup.

As always, here's this week's edition of Cowboys Wishlist. Enjoy!

Wish #1: Get Jourdan Lewis Playing Time

Cornerback Jourdan Lewis did a fantastic job versus the New Orleans Saints last week and I'm intrigued to see if the Cowboys will continue to find a job for him and get him on the field. Lewis had an interception and some other key plays in just eight snaps. Lewis has been an interesting narrative this year.

He's a good player and getting him more involved could result in good things for this team. We'll see if the Cowboys use him in this important divisional game.

2018 Rushing Title: Ezekiel Elliott, Todd Gurley in Neck-and-Neck Race

Wish #2: Get The Early Big Lead, Rest Elliott

Running Back Ezekiel Elliott has done an amazing job for the Cowboys over the past four weeks. Both in the passing and running game, Zeke has been able to consistently move the chains as he's received a huge workload to carry the offense and control the time of possession. He currently leads the league in touches per game.

If the Cowboys are able to get a big lead early, I wish we get to see a lot of backup RB Rod Smith. As much as we all love to watch Zeke be fed, this time Cowboys Nation should appreciate seeing him on the sideline a bit more than usual. For that to happen, though, an early considerable lead is required.

Wish #3: Improve on Red Zone

So far, the Dallas Cowboys have been able to efficiently move the ball and get first downs. What they have struggled with though, is the red zone. Many times, we've seen the offense settle for three instead of getting seven.

This Saturday I argued why, if the Cowboys are able to improve on red zone, this could be a playoff caliber unit. This team shouldn't struggle as much in this area. With Ezekiel Elliott in the backfield, Amari Cooper lined up and a mobile QB, Scott Linehan's squad simply needs to do better.

Wish #4: Dak Prescott Gets 300 Yards

The Philadelphia Eagles have placed CB Jalen Mills on IR. With Ronald Darby out already, the Cowboys are about to face a very injured secondary. Philadelphia ranks 26th in passing defense. Dak Prescott's stats have greatly improved since week 7.

However, a big 300-yard performance has yet to occur. I wish he gets just that against the Eagles. For this, he'll certainly need help from his receivers, including Amari Cooper, who has been outstanding with a Star on his helmet.

What are your wishes for this week's matchup versus the Eagles?

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys Wishlist: Dak Prescott Exploits Eagles’ Secondary" 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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