DALLAS COWBOYS FOOTBALL IS BACK!!! Yes, I type that in all caps and I'm not ashamed in the least. That's exactly how pumped up I am right now after the Cowboys thoroughly manhandled the New York Giants in the 2019 season opener.
The Dallas Cowboys 35-17 trouncing of their division foe was an impressive sight to witness. Like in true Cowboys fashion though they had to give us a little scare to start the game and let the Giants to get out to the early lead. I think I'll just chalk that up to early-season jitters though.That was the only real hiccup in what can only be described as complete domination.
With the regular season now back in play I thought I would bring back The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly in regards to the Dallas Cowboys 2019 season opener against the New York Giants. It's been a hit in the past and I hope it continues to be so. Continue to read below to see what I have chosen to go into each category.
Sean McVay who!? The Los Angeles Rams head coach has been one of the hottest things to hit the NFL these last couple years, but Dallas Cowboys new Offensive Coordinator Kellen Moore might just give him a run for his money. To me, Moore's game plan and playcalling is the good from the Cowboys season opener against the Giants.
Pre-snap motion. Misdirection. Mixing and matching of personnel. You name it, and Kellen Moore used it Sunday afternoon against New York. It was an impressive debut as the OC for Dallas and one that will likely raise the bar, whether fair or not, for the rest of the season. But, I believe he's up to the challenge. The way he got everybody involved makes an already talented offense that much more dangerous.
I really had to get a little nitpicky to find anything to put in this category because of the butt whipping the Dallas Cowboys gave the New York Giants in the season opener. They actually came out and played a lot better than I was expecting considering how many key players didn't play in preseason. But because I have to choose something, I think the bad has to go to Right Guard Zack Martin.
I think it's unfair to single out Zack Martin, but his two penalties were uncommon enough to stand out in my mind. Yes, they were borderline calls by the officials, but still penalties nevertheless. I don't know if it was because he's been out nursing an injury or if it's just a little rust, possibly both, but these are the kind of things that can really hurt the offense moving forward. In his defense, I do expect him to bounce back and play the way he typically does.
There a number different ways I could've gone here in this section. I started to go with how ugly the Dallas Cowboys made the New York Giants look Sunday afternoon, but I thought that was kind of a copout. Instead, I think the ugly might have been the Cowboys defense, particularly their secondary. Unfortunately, the Cowboys defense didn't get off to the best start, allowing New York to drive the field and score a touchdown.
Again, like with Zack Martin above, I think this has more to do with early-season jitters. I believe we will see corrections from Rod Marinelli and Kris Richard, and the defense will be better for it. Personally though, I was expecting more. They just simply allowed the Giants WRs to create too much space, which could have a lot to do with the key members of Dallas' pass rush missing so much of the offseason. I still have extremely high expectations for this unit though.
What is your good, bad, and ugly from the Dallas Cowboys season opener?
Lion Down: QB Matthew Stafford Ruled Out for Cowboys Game
The Detroit Lions will be without starting Quarterback Matthew Stafford this Sunday when they host the Dallas Cowboys. He has been officially ruled out due to fractures in his back; the second-straight game that Stafford will miss with the injury.
Fourth-year backup QB Jeff Driskel will get the start as he did last week against the Chicago Bears. The Lions lost that game 20-13, and Driskel went 1-4 as a starter last season when playing for the Cincinnati Bengals.
Stafford's status was confirmed this morning by Lions' Head Coach Matt Patricia.
Lions QB Matthew Stafford (back) has been ruled out for Sunday's game against the Cowboys
Losing Stafford could leave Detroit completely crippled on offense. While they have one of the league's top passing offenses so far in 2019, that was all Matt's work at QB. Now they are missing both their starting QB and their top running back, Kerryon Johnson, who went on injured reserve in Week 7.
That said, Detroit did put up 357 total offensive yards last week against the Bears with Driskel starting. Given the quality of Chicago's defense and that the Lions were playing on the road, that's a strong number.
It will be interesting to see how Dallas strategizes on defense after last week's loss to the Minnesota Vikings. The Cowboys were completely run over by Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison, so will increased focus on run defense creates opportunities for Driskel and the Lions' receivers?
However it shakes out, Matthew Stafford's absence definitely helps the Cowboys. He is still one of the top quarterbacks in football and had a top-five passer rating before the injury.
We never root for injuries but such is life in the NFL. Sometimes you get the benefit, sometimes you're on the losing end.
Hopefully, this turn of fate helps Dallas get a much-needed victory.
#DALvsDET: Betting Preview, Trends, And Prediction
Cowboys -3.5 O/U 51.5 points.
After suffering a devastating four point loss to the Vikings on Sunday night, the Cowboys will look to get back on track against yet another NFC North foe.
Dallas now sits at 5-4, clinging to their first place spot in the division with the Philadelphia Eagles right on their heels. They have fumbled away four very win-able games already this season, and are running out of chances to take full control of their playoff destiny.
You can't necessarily call this one a must win for the Cowboys, but it's damn near as close as it can get to one for a week 11 game. Considering Detroit's record and injuries, the Cowboys can ill afford to let this one slip away on Sunday.
It's one of the few games against a team with a losing record remaining on their schedule.
The 2019 Lions are a tough team to figure out. Expected before the season to be one of the worst teams in the conference, the Lions started out the season rather well.
They were "undefeated" (there was a tie) through the first three weeks of the season, and played the Kansas City Chiefs extremely tough. They also went on the road and had the Green Bay Packers on the ropes for four full quarters.
But, with all that being said, they now sit at 3-5-1, with their NFC playoff hopes just about destroyed. Quarterback Matt Stafford is having one of the best seasons of his entire career, however, and is surrounded by an offense littered with receiving talent. If he's healthy and can play, he'll be a handful for the Cowboys secondary to deal with.
- The Cowboys are now 2-4 against the spread their last 6 games.
- The score total has gone over in 5 of the Cowboys' last 6 games. It's also gone over 5 of their last 6 road games.
- The Lions are 1-4 against the spread their last 5 games.
- The score total has gone over 7 of the last 8 times these teams have played.
Despite being on the road this week, I'm going to pick the Dallas Cowboys to come out on top and cover the 3.5 point spread. At some point, talent has to take over for this bunch, and what a better day for that to happen than against a hobbled Detroit Lions team?
The Cowboys have been far from perfect in 2019, but it's now or never if they want to rack up wins and start a playoff run.
The Brady Report: Cowboys Defense Run Over In Primetime Loss
Sunday's loss to the Minnesota Vikings was a tough one to take for the Dallas Cowboys. They could easily be sitting here today at 7-2 or 6-3, comfortably ahead of the Eagles for first place in the division and fighting for a first round bye in the postseason.
Instead, they are barely over .500 on the season and face de facto must win games each week from here on out. Obviously they let this one slip away, but there's a whole seven games to go before we know the fate of the 2019 Dallas Cowboys.
Let's discuss what went wrong (and right) last week during the Cowboys 28-24 loss.
- What more can we say about Dak Prescott? The Cowboys franchise quarterback was incredible yet again on Sunday night, having arguably his best game to date even in defeat. Prescott was in complete control of the offense, and showcased his mastery by bailing the Cowboys out with some big third down throws. Prescott finished with 397 yards and 3 touchdowns, and continues to force the hand of the Jones family to break out the checkbook this offseason.
- Much like Dak Prescott, I'm running out of adjectives to describe the play of wide receiver Amari Cooper. Cooper has been a God-send for this Cowboys offense over the last calendar year, looking like one of the best wide outs in the league week in and week out. Cooper went for 147 yards and a touchdown on 11 catches, and should have been given a chance to win the game on the team's final drive.
- Alright, that's enough praise in defeat. Let's talk about the negatives. The defensive tackles were flat-out awful. No matter who it was - Antwaun Woods, Maliek Collins, Christian Covington, Kerry Hyder - anyone who was asked to defend the run at the 1 or 3 technique position had some very low moments against the Vikings. Minnesota bullied the Cowboys upfront on both the sides of the ball, en route to over 150 yards on the ground for this Vikings offense. Dalvin Cook and the Vikings offensive line won this game, and the Cowboys interior defensive line needs to be better if they hope to actually compete against good teams.
- The defensive tackles were bad against the run Sunday night, but let's not let the linebackers off the hook. Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch are each immensely talented, but neither has been as consistent as a run defender as they need to be going forward. Smith looked flat-out dis-engaged at times during this one, and both linebackers were run over by interior offensive linemen getting to the second level. I've often praised Smith for his versatility and what it does to unleash this defense, but he was plain bad last week.
- Of course, we can't let the coaching staff off the hook for this loss either. Head coach Jason Garrett made several questionable fourth down calls down the stretch of the game, and offensive coordinator Kellen Moore was determined to pound the ball on first down despite achieving next to no success. On the defensive end, Kris Richard's defensive backs were toasted. Chidobe Awuzie continues to look like a liability opposite Byron Jones, and the safety spot next to Xavier Woods has been a massive hole all season. And, while both Jones and Woods have been mostly good this year, neither was particularly impressive either during this loss. It was a total and complete defensive failure. This team needs to get better fast, and it all starts at the top with the coaching staff.
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