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Game Notes

The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly From Cowboys Vs. 49ers

Brian Martin



Cowboys Headlines - The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly From Cowboys Vs. 49ers 4

The Dallas Cowboys traveled to Levi Stadium yesterday to play the San Francisco 49ers and the game turned out to be much more difficult than a lot of us anticipated.

The 49ers were able to jump out to an early 14 point lead, but the Cowboys didn't lie down. They continued to battle throughout the game and were able to come away with a 24-17 victory.

I don't know about you, but while watching the game there were plenty of moans and groans coming from me. Fortunately, everything worked out in the end and the Dallas Cowboys improved to 3-1 and will now prepare to take on the Cincinnati Bengals at home in Week 5.

Last week I shared with all of you what I thought the Dallas Cowboys did good, bad, and what they really looked ugly doing against the Chicago Bears, so I decided to continue that this week as well.

Below is The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly for the Dallas Cowboys against the San Francisco 49ers. Pay close attention, you may just notice a trend this week.

I'll give you a hint. It all has to do with the defensive side of the ball for the Cowboys.

The Good 

Cowboys Headlines - The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly From Cowboys Vs. 49ers 1Despite playing from behind the majority of the game, there was actually quite a bit of good that happened Sunday afternoon in the game against the San Francisco 49ers. So much so, that I kind of had a difficult time narrowing down exactly what I wanted to put in this category.

I decided to forgo stating the obvious and putting Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott here, although both rookies are largely responsible for the Dallas Cowboys coming away with a victory. Instead, I went with Morris Claiborne.

Claiborne is playing lights out so far through the first four games of the 2016 season. He is performing like one of the better cornerbacks in the league and I knew it was just a matter of time before he notched his first interception of the year.

If #24 can continue to remain healthy, he could be the MVP for the Dallas Cowboys defense and possibly earn his first Pro Bowl appearance.

Let's just hope he continues to play the way he has been so for.

The Bad

Cowboys Headlines - The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly From Cowboys Vs. 49ers 2The pass rush for the Dallas Cowboys defense has been pretty much nonexistent so far in 2016, and was virtually invisible again against the San Francisco 49ers yesterday.

For the majority of the game 49ers QB Blaine Gabbert had a clean pocket to operate in and was able to find success in the passing game, despite not having many weapons to throw to.

The play from the Cowboys defensive ends was particularly bad. Tyrone Crawford was able to get one quarterback sack, but was pretty much iineffective pressuring the QB most the game.

Fortunately, the defense will be getting reinforcements now that DeMarcus Lawrence is able to rejoin the team, but I don't know how much of a difference one player can make.

We will just have to hope that he can pick up where he left off at the end of last season and add some much-needed juice to the pass rush for the Dallas Cowboys.

The Ugly

Cowboys Headlines - The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly From Cowboys Vs. 49ers 3We all knew heading into the 2016 season that the Dallas Cowboys defense would be the weak link for the team, and it showed yesterday against the 49ers.

The Rod Marinelli lead defense was ugly from the get-go and allowed the 49ers to get out to a 14 point lead early in the game. You're not going to win very many games in the NFL if that continues to happen.

Fortunately, the defense continued to battle throughout the game and was able to come up with some important third-down stops and get the ball back to the offense.

It wasn't a pretty performance by any means, but they were able to do just enough to  come away with a victory and improve their record to 3-1.

What do you think was The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly against the 49ers?

Let me hear your thoughts and opinions in the comment section below.

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.

  • Rigo Delgadillo

    Under the “Ugly” category, you can add Dan “Beetle” Bailey’s name. He has been a rockstar for years. These past couple of weeks, he looks human. Don’t get me wrong, I could never kick the way he does but when it comes down to it, he makes great money to make field goals and extra points. As a fan, I have never been nervous about his ability to make field goals. This year, that has changed. Does anyone know if he’s having some kind of physical problem or is he simply in a slump? Maybe he cut his hair on gameday or he washed his socks. I’m sure he’ll be fine and maybe the wind was a factor but I do find myself wondering if I trust him the way I used to.

    • Brian Martin

      Rigo, I heard that he’s dealing with some kind of back problem. I’m not quite sure of the severity of it, but it is having an effect on his play. Even at less than 100%, I like Dan Bailey a lot more than I do other kickers around the NFL. Hopefully whatever issue he’s dealing with will clear up quickly.

  • paulhdz

    How big a different will D. Lawrence make

    • Brian Martin

      Paul, that’s difficult to answer with any kind of certainty. His addition is definitely welcomed, but I wouldn’t expect him to light things up his first game back. It might actually take a few games to get his feet under him. There is really no way of knowing what kind of “football shape” he is actually in. He should help with the pass rush whatever role he was in.

  • Fernando Astudillo (@Fastudillo)

    you say you dont know how much difference one player can make ….. did you miss last season??? \

    • Brian Martin

      Fernando, I take it you’re referring to Tony Romo. Yes, when you lose your franchise quarterback your team will definitely suffer. However, I don’t know how much of a difference Lawrence will make. He will definitely help the defense, but not as much as a QB does for the offense. I would love to see Lawrence join the team and completely ball out, but any pressure he can get on the opposing QB should prove beneficial. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. It’s always good to get some feedback from readers.

Game Notes

Cowboys Wishlist: Big Return on Special Teams?

Mauricio Rodriguez



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

The last time the Dallas Cowboys played a football game, they made many of their fans' dreams come true. This happened by beating the Jacksonville Jaguars 40-7 in a dominant performance against a top NFL defense. Can they make our wishes come true in back-to-back weeks? I don't know about walking away with another 33-point win, but we're obviously putting up a Cowboys Wishlist as every gameday.

Let's hope they come true. As always, I hope you enjoy this week's edition of Cowboys Wishlist!

Wish #1: First Road Win of the Season

I mean, we obviously are wishing for a win. But this one right here would be a very important one, so I'm including it as a wish. The Cowboys haven't won any game on the road this year and doing so in Washington against a hated NFC East rival like the Redskins will be huge for this 3-3 Dallas Cowboys team.

Last Sunday's victory over the Jaguars might have been the moment when the Cowboys "turned the corner" to become a winning team in 2018. It's time to go on the road and beat a 3-2 divisional foe to prove that is the case.

Wish #2: Beasley Keeps It Up

The Cowboys' MVP last weekend was Cole Beasley. He was the only wide receiver on the team with more than one catch, ending his day with nine receptions for 101 yards and two touchdowns. It was one of the best performances in his career yet.

The Cowboys need a WR to step up. Other than Cole, no one else is stepping up in the passing game. Beasley did so last Sunday but, can he consistently perform well enough to keep the offense going throughout the year? It remains to be seen.

For the long term, it might be better to have an outside, taller receiver be your #1 guy, but in the meantime, Beasley is the guy Dak Prescott should be targeting the most.

Lookout Deshaun Watson, QB Sack Leader DeMarcus Lawrence is Coming!

Wish #3: The Sack Hat Trick

Ok, I might be asking for too much here. But hear me out. The Dallas Cowboys defensive line is getting stronger and stronger. Just last week, David Irving returned to the field and got limited playing time. Although he didn't get a sack, his impact was felt since his first snap on the field.

Randy Gregory also saw limited playing time but was able to sack Blake Bortles once. And well, DeMarcus Lawrence is still playing at an elite level this year. How epic would it be for each of these three great pass rushers walk away with a sack?

Three headhunters, three sacks. Let's go!

Wish #4: Keep Redskins Under 10 Points

The Cowboys' defense is no joke. They're allowing 17.2 points per game, which is second best in the entire NFL right now. They're ready to face a Redskins' team that is ranked as the 25th offense in scoring. On top of that, the Redskins' receivers are pretty banged up.

Jon Machota on Twitter

3 of Washington's top 4 receivers (Chris Thompson, Paul Richardson, Jamison Crowder) not expected to play vs. Cowboys

This could end up being the second consecutive big win for the Cowboys, specially because the defense should have a very good day.

Wish #5: Big Return on Special Teams

The last time the Dallas Cowboys played the Washington Redskins, Ryan Switzer returned a punt 83 yards into the end zone in what will remain his biggest highlight from his short career with the Dallas Cowboys.

Dallas Cowboys Wishlist at Philadelphia Eagles

Dallas Cowboys WR Ryan Switzer (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

We haven't seen much excitement on special teams this year. Switzer is now a Pittsburgh Steeler, so Tavon Austin has gotten most of the punt returns. However, that's bound to change after he sustained an unfortunate injury. Deonte Thompson has taken care of the kick returns but nothing special has happened either.

I wish that changes today. With Austin out, I wonder if it'll be Cole Beasley or someone else fielding punts for Dallas but whoever it is, things will be spiced up. Through 6 weeks, the Cowboys longest punt return has been for 22 yards and the longest kick return for 35.

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys Wishlist: Big Return on Special Teams?" 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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Game Notes

Cowboys, Redskins Week 7 Injury Report

Jess Haynie



Cowboys, Redskins Week 7 Injury Report
Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Though it's still early in the 2018 season, the lead in the NFC East is up for grabs when the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins meet this Sunday. Both teams would like their full roster available for the game, but the Week 7 injury reports indicate that won't be the case.

Here are the players either confirmed to be out of action tomorrow or are otherwise listed by Dallas and Washington:

Dallas Cowboys

  • WR Tavon Austin (groin) - OUT
  • LB Joe Thomas (foot) - OUT
  • CB Chidobe Awuzie (ankle) - Questionable

The Cowboys are getting healthier, with Sean Lee finally off the injury report and set to return to action. Not only will Dallas get their elite linebacker back, but it means a deeper rotation while the team remains without Joe Thomas.

Tavon Austin elected to skip season-ending surgery on his injured groin, but his should be out a few weeks. That will put Cole Beasley on punt returns and perhaps create more offensive opportunities for Deonte Thompson and Brice Butler.

Awuzie remains limited in practice but has played the last few weeks despite the ankle injury. There is no reason to think he won't suit up in Washington.

Washington Redskins

  • WR Jamison Crowder (ankle) - OUT
  • WR Paul Richardson (shoulder, knee) - Doubtful
  • S Troy Apke (hamstring) - Doubtful
  • RB Adrian Peterson (ankle, shoulder) - Questionable
  • RB Chris Thompson (rib, knee) - Questionable
  • G Shawn Lauvao (calf) - Questionable
  • CB Quinton Dunbar (shin) - Questionable
  • CB Danny Johnson (forearm) - Questionable

It's a rough time for Washington's offensive weapons. They will definitely be without slot receiver Jamison Crowder and likely starter Paul Richardson, who current lead all WRs in receptions. Josh Doctson will put into a major role, as will veteran Brian Quick off the bench.

Peterson and Thompson both practiced this week and should play, but have nagging injuries that could slow them down. Washington is already missing Rob Kelley and rookie Derrius Guice, who are both on injured reserve.

Starting left guard Shawn Lauvao is also nursing a lower leg injury, but practiced in a limited capacity all week. His backup is undrafted rookie Casey Dunn out of Auburn.

In the defensive backfield, starting CB Quinton Dunbar was a Friday addition to the injury report with a shin injury. He did practice with it, though, so will likely play. Backup safety Troy Apke is doubtful with a hamstring issue.

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Game Notes

Cowboys Focused on Improved Communication to Solve Road Woes at Redskins

Sean Martin



Cowboys Focused on Improved Communication to Solve Road Woes at Redskins

The Dallas Cowboys are 0-3 on the road this season. Not only do you already know this, but they do as well, needing to build off a 40-7 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars in week 6 at AT&T Stadium to claim first place in the NFC East at the Washington Redskins.

Although the Cowboys were given Monday and Tuesday off, they are focused on addressing one alarming reason why the team has struggled so much on the road -- particularly on offense.

Running Back Ezekiel Elliott pointed out the Cowboys lack of communication in early season losses at Carolina, Seattle, and Houston. "Seeing the same thing," was the issue Elliott addressed when discussing the Cowboys knowing their assignments in hostile territory.

Yesterday, Quarterback Dak Prescott told the media of a meeting between players and coaches that addressed this specifically.

David Moore on Twitter

Dak Prescott said players & coaches held a meeting before today's practice to "address the elephant in the room," which is poor communication among the offense on the road. "I know we'll take a lot from that conversation," The QB said.

Unlike Prescott's remarks about new "wrinkles" in the Cowboys offense prior to a 26-24 home win over the Lions, this has a tangible sign of progress for an offense that made scoring 40 on the Jaguars look impossibly easy. The Cowboys season high in total yards remains the 414 amassed against Detroit, after which Prescott confessed that he simply tells the media "things" that aren't necessarily true.

The Cowboys didn't necessarily do anything new against the Lions, but they most assuredly will this week against the Redskins, at least by way of signaling and remaining in sync on offense.

Prescott and Elliott's leadership is on full display here, and their on-field impact can be attributed as closely to the Cowboys successes or failures as any duo in the NFL.

Missing is a similar impact from Center Travis Frederick, who remains sidelined as he deals with GSB.

Joe Looney's play at center has been good enough to pave the way for Elliott's 586 rushing yards so far, second to Todd Gurley at 623 yards, but his ability to call checks for the offense is understandably much more limited.

Looney deserves all the credit in the world for his strong play in place of Frederick. The Cowboys have never asked for him to be anything he isn't, a reliable depth option that earned a second contract and with it the starting center job for the time being in Dallas.

He has the full support of his teammates, Frederick included. All of this is lovely to put down in writing until Looney and the Cowboys have been forced to step on the field with the crowd against them and attempt to sustain a drive, something Frederick will unfortunately not be a part of for a long while.

If the Cowboys offense isn't going to unveil new wrinkles in the scheme, there is one wrinkle worth mentioning that's new to the team's communication on offense this season. With Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan up in the box, his play calls are sent down to first-year Quarterback Coach Kellen Moore, who has been in the ear of Prescott ever since playing with him from 2016-17.

Sure, these are things that could've been addressed before the Cowboys managed only eight points in week one, turned the ball over three times in week three, or punted away their best chance at victory in week five. The best teams in the league likely already have these things down to routine, and few would consider the Cowboys anywhere near the upper echelon of the NFL.

Following sixty minutes of football at a division rival they've won four in a row against, with an even more impressive five game win streak at the Redskins, the Cowboys could control their own path atop the NFC East.

That feels truly incredible for such a young team faced with a steep learning curve early in the season, adjusting to it on the fly as they prepare to leave everything on the field before a bye week.

Tell us what you think about "Cowboys Focused on Improved Communication to Solve Road Woes at Redskins" in the comments below. You can also email me at, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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