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Top Plays From The Dallas Cowboys Loss To The Washington Redskins

RJ Ochoa



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The Dallas Cowboys have been in offseason mode for almost two days now, and things are exciting regarding 2016 and the future of this team.

We're going to take a few looks back at 2015 over the next few weeks here at Inside The Star and we'll start right now with the final chapter in that book... the season finale loss against the Washington Redskins.

The Cowboys lost 34-23, but they made some plays in the process. That's why we're all here (not so we won't get fined). Let's discuss.

Jason Witten's Extra Effort Equals A Touchdown

With just under four minutes left in the first half of the contest Kellen Moore had the Cowboys in striking distance.

Cowboys Blog - Top Plays From The Dallas Cowboys Loss To The Washington Redskins

While the score was already 24-0 in favor of the Redskins the Cowboys were, supposedly, playing for pride. Jason Witten damn sure was.

Big Wit caught Kellen's clunky pass and reached his pythons over the goal line for the score. Witten was actually ruled down at the one, but Jason Garrett threw his red challenge flag better than any Matt Cassel pass this season.

The referees went under the hood to figure out just exactly was going on with Witten. All of us at home went to the replay not to see the status of the touchdown, we all knew it was one, but to see what in the world Terrance Williams was doing laying down in the endzone.

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After some careful deliberation the officials determined that Witten did in fact break the plane. Hooray!

This was the first time that the Cowboys got on the scoreboard for the day, and it was a play that injected some life into an almost-dead offensive unit.

All Jason Witten does is make plays and this is just another golden star on his perfect football resume.

Cole Beasley Scores In The Final Seconds Of The First Half

With just under 30 seconds left in the half the Cowboys were knocking on the door again.

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On first and goal Cole Beasley gave his defender a shake-and-shimmy move that has become normal for a receiver of his caliber.

Cole broke open in the endzone all by his lonesome and Kellen Moore found him. Sha-bam!

This reception gave Cole the team lead in touchdowns on the 2015 season, but spoiler alert he wasn't done yet. More on that later.

We've Got A Safety!

Early in the fourth quarter, with Washington up 34-14, the Redskins picked off Kellen Moore near their own endzone. Boo.

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Shortly after Colt McCoy handed off to Alfred Morris and things turned bad for them. Yay!

This whole play is made possible by the pressure generated by Tyrone Crawford - he quietly had a very productive season for a solid defensive unit.

As a result of the pressure by Crawford, Morris has to cut back inside... where J.J. Wilcox and DeMarcus Lawrence were waiting with their arms wide open.

Huzzah for a safety!

Cole Beasley Doubles Up On Touchdowns

The final points of the 2015 season for the Dallas Cowboys happened with just over four minutes left in it.

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On 3rd and Goal Kellen Moore looked to his right, his non-dominant side by the way, and saw a familiar face.

Cole Beasley had parked himself right smack dab in the middle of three Washington Redskins and was in the perfect spot to place the football.

Kellen threaded a needle, as far as Kellen is concerned anyway, and got it to Cole for six.

This gave Cole Beasley the an even larger lead on the club in touchdowns for the season. Beasley has played well all things considered this season so it was great to see him end on a high note.

RJ Ochoa on Fancred

What did you think the best plays were from the game against Washington? Tell me what you think! Comment below, Email me at, or Tweet to me at @rjochoa!

Tell us what you think about "Top Plays From The Dallas Cowboys Loss To The Washington Redskins" in the comments below. You can also email me at, or Tweet to me at @RJOchoa!

I like long walks on the beach, mystery novels, no just kidding those suck. The Dallas Cowboys were put on this earth for us all to love and appreciate. I do that 24/7/365. I also love chicken parmesan. Let's roll. @RJOchoa if you wanna shout!

Game Notes

#DALvsCIN: Can WR Lance Lenoir Continue To Impress?

Kevin Brady



Lance Lenoir

Entering training camp projecting who would make the final roster from the Dallas Cowboys wide receiving room was a crapshoot. The combination of misfits from other teams, unproven young guys, and a couple of Cowboys veterans makes this position group the most questioned across the entire roster.

But while Cole Beasley, Allen Hurns, and Michael Gallup were stealing headlines, Lance Lenoir was making a name for himself among the Cowboys faithful.

After serving on the practice squad for the Cowboys a year ago, Lenoir seems to have entered 2018 with one goal in mind: to make the official game-day roster. And even if he falls short of this goal, it won't be due to any fault of his own.

Day in and day out Lance Lenoir has been a consistent wide out, catching nearly everything thrown his way and running some of the crisper routes on the team. Under new receivers coach Sanjay Lal, Lenoir has become a technical route runner and dangerous receiving threat.

Maybe most importantly for his future with the team, Lenoir has developed an obvious chemistry with starting quarterback Dak Prescott. Prescott has continued to compliment Lenoir throughout training camp, and you know that the Cowboys front office is well aware of Prescott's trust in Lenoir on the field.

During the preseason opener against the 49ers, Lance Lenoir caught his first touchdown of the season, dazzling with his toe-tap ability. If he is going to steal a roster spot away from one of the more seasoned wide outs, however, he will have to remain that consistent target.

This Saturday, Lenoir gets another shot to prove why he's not only deserving of a roster spot, but of a starting spot. Sure, it might be a bit of a stretch, but if he continues to play like he has during camp and preseason, Lenoir could find himself working with the 1's more frequently.

Look out for Lance Lenoir against the Bengals this week, as he makes it harder and harder for the Cowboys to cut him by the second.

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Game Notes

#DALvsCIN: Bengals DL Gives Cowboys OL Formidable Test

Kevin Brady



The Star News - Bengals At Cowboys: ITS Staff Picks And Notes
Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

During their preseason opener, the Dallas Cowboys offensive line faced its first test of the season. The young, athletic, and downright talented defensive line of the 49ers gave the Cowboys starting five a chance to gauge their offseason progress thus far.

I'd say the starting group passed the test, while the backups and depth players looked a bit more shaky. The good thing about football, though, is that they get a shot to do it all again this Saturday.

This week's opponent, the Cincinatti Bengals, feature some serious talent upfront. Defensive tackle Geno Atkins is one of the best interior defenders in all of football, terrorizing centers and guards since he entered the league.Carl Lawson, Auburn

On the edge is one of my 2017 draft favorites, Carl Lawson. Lawson was a draft target of mine for the Cowboys, but it appears the entire league missed on the stud edge rusher during that draft. During his rookie season a year ago, Lawson racked up 8.5 sacks and looked like the best rookie rusher in all of football. It's rare that a rookie defensive end tallies the sack total that Lawson did in 2017, but then again, Lawson is a rare type of player.

Opposite of Carl Lawson is veteran pass rusher Carlos Dunlap. Together, Atkins and Dunlap have been one of the more dangerous pass rush duos for quite some time, but the additions of Lawson and Jordan Willis make them an incredibly impressive group.

During the Bengals' preseason opener against the Chicago Bears, their defensive line looked to be in midseason form.

Though Geno Atkins had the team's only sack, the trio of Atkins, Lawson, and Dunlap looked as prolific as ever.

This deep and talented defensive line is a more-than worthy test for the Cowboys this Saturday. Rookie Connor Williams will likely have to block Geno Atkins at some point, and though he looked promising against the 49ers, this week presents a whole different challenge.

Many now expect veteran center Travis Frederick to miss Saturday's game as well, due to his shoulder troubles during training camp. If Frederick were to miss the start, Joe Looney would be thrown into the first against this first team defensive front of the Bengals.

A rookie at left guard and Looney at center might not be the best ingredients against Geno Atkins and company, but it'll be what they have to roll with.

Still, Saturday will give us another chance to see what the 2018 Dallas Cowboys offensive line is all about.

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Game Notes

Film Review: Connor Williams Overall Impressive In Preseason Debut

Kevin Brady



Film Review: Connor Williams Overall Impressive In Preseason Debut

The collapse of the 2017 Dallas Cowboys can be, in large part, attributed to the collapse of their offensive line. When left tackle Tyron Smith was forced to miss time with various injuries, neither Chaz Green nor Byron Bell could get the job done in his place. Not only were these two replacements unsatisfactory, however, they were disastrous.

From the beginning of the 2017 season the Cowboys had a problem at left guard as well. With Ronald Leary departing for Denver and La'el Collins replacing Doug Free at right tackle, the left guard spot was left to an open competition between Jonathan Cooper and Chaz Green. Quite frankly, neither was impressive.

As a result Dak Prescott's sophomore season was nowhere near as fun or remarkable as his rookie season, and the Cowboys faltered down the stretch as a team. Trying to rectify these issues, Dallas drafted Texas offensive lineman Connor Williams in the second round of last year's draft.

Though it could be argued that, on paper, the Cowboys had more pressing needs than their All-Pro filled offensive line, adding a player like Connor Williams was exactly what this team needed to do if it wanted to emulate its 2016 success.

So, through one preseason game, how does the rookie look? Let's take to the film to decide just how good (or bad) Connor Williams was in his debut.

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Let's begin with the bad. Really the only completely poor rep of the night for Connor Williams came on the first drive of the game. Williams is working against former first round pick DeForest Buckner here. Buckner, lined up as the 3 technique over Williams' outside shoulder, knows he is in a one-on-one situation with the rookie.

Buckner immediately swipes Williams' hands down, quickly flipping his hips and getting upfield. Besides not getting a strong enough punch, Williams' biggest mistake is that he stops his feet on contact. This allows Buckner to get him off balance, forcing Williams to bend at the waist and look lost.

Buckner then blows by him for the easy quarterback hit.

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Later on the same drive we see Williams struggle to execute a reach block. Once again Williams is faced with a 3-technique, this time defensive tackle Sheldon Day. Day gets a great get-off, beating Williams initially with his first step. Day then does a great job of stoning Williams' playside shoulder and redirecting the running back.

This is another example of Connor Williams needing to increase his play strength and speed a bit. Multiple Cowboys reporters at training camp have mentioned these issues with Williams' game, and they flashed on tape during this rep.

Thankfully for both Connor Williams and the Cowboys, things only went uphill from here.

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On Dak Prescott's touchdown pass to Michael Gallup we see Connor Williams correct everything he had wrong earlier.

Williams comes out of his stance square, delivers a solid punch, and stones the defensive lineman at the line of scrimmage. Williams stays strong with his hands even as the defender attempts to swipe them down as Buckner successfully did earlier.

He allows for no interior pass rush and keeps Prescott's vision clear down the field.

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Earlier on the same drive we see Connor Williams work well off a double team and on to the second level. Williams delivers a solid punch to the 1-technique on the inside of him, allowing Travis Frederick plenty of time to overtake the man and drive him back.

What's most impressive, though, is how Williams keeps his shoulders square and his eyes on the second level the entire time. He never buries his head or over-commits to the down lineman, allowing himself to be an athlete and help spring Rod Smith for a nice gain.

Despite some legit reasons for concern about Williams' game, I do believe he will be fine moving forward. Connor Williams is an excellent plug and play left guard who provides some tackle depth as well, and is a vital addition to the Cowboys 2018 offense. His debut performance gives all of us even more reasons to be excited about this offensive line.

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