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In The Trenches: Chaz Green Impressive In Left Guard Debut (Film Review)

Kevin Brady

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Nothing divided Dallas Cowboys fans this offseason quite like the discussion around this year's starting left guard. Some argued that La'el Collins shouldn't have been moved to tackle, while others thought free agent and former first round pick Jonathan Cooper was the answer.

Others were Team Chaz Green, believing he was the best option to move inside the left guard out of the three.

The coaching staff ended up siding with Green, starting him last Sunday night and rendering Cooper inactive. Green has faced a lot of criticism throughout his young career, specifically due to his inability to remain healthy for either of his two seasons.

After his performance Sunday night, it is clear that as long as the injury bug doesn't bite him this year, he is the best option to start at left guard.

Let's take a look at the film and analyze how Green played a little deeper.

dalvsnyg chaz - Streamable

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Something I was worried about with Green at guard was combo blocks between he and center Travis Frederick. Frederick hasn't had much work with Green on his left side, especially since Green missed a solid chunk of the preseason and training camp.

An offensive line must work as a unit, especially in a zone blocking scheme such as the Cowboys'. If one member is even a step behind the others the entire play can be blown up.

This play comes on the first drive of the game. Dallas is in 11 personnel and running outside (or wide) zone to the right side. While it is a zone play, meaning that each linemen isn't explicitly assigned a "man" to block, Green and Frederick are still responsible for the nose tackle and the first linebacker which comes across the center's track.

So, Green and Frederick must work a combo block, with Green overtaking the nose and Frederick getting to the second level. As you can see, there aren't many problems on this rep. Green takes over the nose and buries him, as Frederick shakes free and cuts off the backside second level defender.

dalvsnyg chaz 2 - Streamable

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A specific area Chaz Green excelled in on Sunday night was pulling. On this play, Green pulls playside and kicks out the end man on the line of scrimmage. Green has to immediately flip his hips and get across the line of scrimmage before Frederick, who is set to pull through the lane for the first linebacker, gets there.

Once Green meets the edge defender, he must decide whether to kick him out or log him down the line of scrimmage. In a perfect world, he will kick the defender out and get his head inside, just as he does here.

Green's pull opens up just enough of a running lane for Ezekiel Elliott to squeeze through and come up with a solid gain.

dalvsnyg chaz 5 - Streamable

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Chaz Green also did a nice job of pulling up to the second level as we see him do here. To me, Green looked more athletic and comfortable in his pulls than Cooper did during the preseason. The only problem will be if Green is forced to miss time due to some injury, forcing yet another switch to this already changed-up unit.

The main area I see a need for improvement in Green's performance going forward is with working up to the backers off combo blocks. Earlier we saw him do a good job of overtaking the down lineman to allow Frederick to get up, but Green must do a better job of cutting off linebackers himself.

dalvsnyg chaz 4 - Streamable

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On inside zone, this was less of a problem. But on outside zone Chaz Green had his share of issues.

On this snap we see Chaz Green and Travis Frederick working against Damon Harrison and the MIKE linebacker. Green is responsible for posting Harrison to allow Frederick to overtake before getting himself up to number 93, BJ Goodson.

Green is a step too slow when getting off the combo block, and also takes a bit of a poor angle to the backer. If he was to make this block, there was a huge hole for Elliott who may have been off to the races.

Overall, Chaz Green had a very impressive debut at left guard, especially considering the level of competition which he faced. It will be interesting to see how Green does against more athletic speed rushers down the line, but he certainly held his own against the maulers across the Giants' defensive front.



Die-hard Cowboys fan from the Northeast, so you know I am here to defend the 'boys whenever necessary. Began writing for a WordPress Cowboys Blog, and have been with ITS since 2016.

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. FREEPH

    September 13, 2017 at 8:54 pm

    Good job Kevin on the film work. What I saw from Chaz on film is good or some might say really good because of his limited time together with the first unit. I did not see Chaz finish off block on running plays like La él does. I saw a couple of running plays where if he had done a better job or finish his block Elliott would have gain more yards. Chaz has the rest of the season to get better.

    • Kevin Brady

      Kevin Brady

      September 14, 2017 at 11:26 am

      I agree with you wholeheartedly about finishing blocks. He hasn’t displayed the nastiness which a La’el Collins has just yet. Hopefully we see him finish blocks more often this season. Thanks for reading!

  2. Billy Spriggins

    September 14, 2017 at 5:40 pm

    Very good study big Collins could push for a pro bowl spot if he handle himself like sunday night JPP ain’t no joke.

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Star Blog

Could Loaded FA Safety Market Drive Down Earl Thomas’ Value?

Brian Martin

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Could Loaded FA Safety Class Drive Down Earl Thomas' Price Tag?

It's no secret the Dallas Cowboys and Earl Thomas share a mutual interest in one another. Thomas has publicly stated his desire to join America's Team and the Cowboys did their darndest to make that happen last offseason. Nothing ever materialized a year ago, but it's looking as if the stars have finally aligned and a union between the two could merely be just weeks away.

Surprisingly enough, the Dallas Cowboys may have dodged a bullet last year when the Seattle Seahawks refused to part ways with their All-Pro safety. Not only would they have had to surrender a high draft pick, but they would've also had to extend Thomas' contract. Fortunately, timing is everything and now the Cowboys might just have to do the latter.

A potential contract between the Cowboys and Thomas is of course what I want to dive in today. I'm not going to get into numbers right now, because it's nearly impossible to project any kind of contract for any safety this offseason, especially for the former Seahawk, Earl Thomas.

Earl Thomas

Free Agent FS Earl Thomas (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Right now, it's a little difficult to know who might have the advantage in contract negotiations, Earl Thomas or the Dallas Cowboys. A lot of times the one that has the leverage, however slight, is the one that gets the better of the deal. As surprising as it may be, the Cowboys might just have the advantage here and I'll tell you why.

First off, this year's market for free agent safeties is pretty stacked with starting caliber players. See below:

  • Earl Thomas
  • Landon Collins
  • Lamarcus Joyner
  • Tyrann Mathieu
  • Adrian Amos
  • Clayton Geathers
  • Ha-Ha Clinton Dix
  • Glover Quinn
  • Tre Boston
  • Kenny Vaccaro
  • George Iloka
  • Jimmie Ward
  • Adrian Phillips

Earl Thomas is obviously the headliner here amongst the free agent safeties, but having so many starting caliber players available could drive down Thomas' market value just a bit. This is especially true when you take into consideration the market for FA safeties just a year ago. It was almost a complete standstill last year, with only Kurt Coleman signing a three-year $16.5 million deal with the New Orleans Saints. Not even the "Honey Badger" Tyrann Mathieu could get more than a one-year deal.

With all of these safeties available in free agency, we could be looking at another stingy market. This of course could be good or bad news for the Dallas Cowboys, especially as it pertains to Earl Thomas. Since he is the top FA safety available, everything could once again be at a standstill until he is signed.

Earl Thomas

Free Agent FS Earl Thomas (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Of course, we all know this will ultimately come down to determining Earl Thomas' market value. There is no denying he is still arguably the best free safety in the game today, but there are concerns about his age (30) and the two lower leg injuries he's sustained in the past three years.

Even with the loaded free agent market of starting caliber safeties and Thomas' age and recent injury history, he's still likely to receive a contract that earns him $10 million annually, give or take. It wouldn't surprise me at all if he gets another four-year deal worth $40 million, $25.7 million guaranteed, with a $9.5 million signing bonus like he signed with the Seahawks back in 2014.

The Cowboys of course would probably find a four-year $40 million deal for Earl Thomas acceptable. They would more than likely frontload the contract with a lot of protection in the details. They have the cap space to make this happen and still be able to sign their own, so money shouldn't be a problem.

Now, whether or not Thomas' market value may dip a little due to all of the above mentioned reasons will be something we will have to wait and find out. Regardless, I'd be a little shocked if Earl Thomas doesn't finish his career with the Dallas Cowboys.

Do you think Earl Thomas' market value will take a little hit this offseason?



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Star Blog

Acquiring Brown Will Give Dallas Twin Turbo Terrors

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Acquiring Brown Will Give Dallas Twin Turbo Terrors

What a difference a receiver makes, right? As Dallas fans, we know the impact of a player who can shake coverage, get open, and catch the ball. How was the season going before the Cowboys pulled the trigger for Amari Cooper in the deal with the Raiders? Cooper proved to be the lightning rod and a turning point in a season that was growing increasingly dismal. Dak Prescott and Cooper went together like peanut butter and jelly, while the Cowboys stormed to a division title and a postseason berth.

Now, imagine all of that times two… maybe even two and a half if Antonio Brown could be had from the Steelers. Scary right? We understand there’s only one ball to go around but that didn’t stop Kevin Durant from joining the Warriors, did it?

As of this writing, the best online sportsbooks like Intertops, are dealing Dallas as the seventh of 16 choices to win the NFC championship at odds of 12-1. Imagine how those odds would shrink if Brown wore a Cowboys uniform next season, giving Prescott the luxury of not one upper echelon wideout but that plus an elite receiver. Hut, hut, hut and a few clouds of smoke later the Cowboys would be moving the chains or celebrating in the endzone.

Brown and Cooper would be a devastating combination with Ezekiel Elliott coming out of the backfield. Brown was made for Dallas, it gives him an even grander stage than the one he shared with Ben Roethlisberger and Le’Veon Bell in Pittsburgh.

Despite the fact that the 'Boys haven’t won a Super Bowl since Barry Switzer was roaming the sidelines in the mid-90s, America’s Team still resides in Dallas. But we need a game-changer and Brown is just such an athlete. But what do we give in return and will that cost be worth whatever productive years Brown has left after this one? Let’s not forget that the mercurial Miami native will be 31 when the season begins and men who make a living with their legs don’t get better at that age. But Brown is so good and so unique that, even if he drops half a click, he's still amongst the best in the game.

That level of talent is hard to replicate and it could be the missing piece which allows Dallas to be a legitimate Super Bowl contender next season and the year after.

However, up to this point, we’ve been very good at dreaming of a Brown to Dallas trade but haven’t quite worked out the details. It takes two to tango and if we expect to get the Steelers’ attention we need to give them something valuable in return. Dallas surrendered their first-round pick (27th) this season when they traded for Cooper so that’s no longer an asset.

Pittsburgh would be vying for a first-round pick (and likely more) for Brown's services but some have speculated Dallas would consider dealing rookie-standout Leighton Vander Esch.

Wait... what? We know, you’re clutching your pearls, and the words are stuck in your gasp. We get it. The kid was a home run this past season, leading the Dallas defense in tackles and earning a Pro Bowl invitation in his inaugural NFL season. But this would be a Faustian deal.

The Cowboys give up a player who is poised to be a stud for years to come for a playmaker in Brown that could render a Super Bowl in the immediate future. Brown's expiration date will surely turn his milk sour sooner rather than later, but in the here and now, Antonio Brown could be the bell cow who leads the Cowboys to the promised land before he’s put out to pasture.

Just something to think about...



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Star Blog

2018 In Review: CB Anthony Brown Bounces Back

Kevin Brady

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Anthony Brown's Resurgence A Great Sign for Cowboys Defense
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

To say it's been an up-and-down start to the career of young cornerback Anthony Brown would be an understatement.

As a sixth round pick in 2016, everything Brown contributed during his rookie season was a plus. Due to injury he was asked to step into a greater role as the season went on, and he performed well enough to make the front office comfortable allowing multiple veterans to walk for nothing in free agency the following Spring. Brown looked like a legitimate starting cornerback in the league, and when Dallas brought in Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis during the next draft, the young secondary seemed set.

Then 2017 happened. And Anthony Brown struggled. Really struggled.

These struggles, coupled with the emergence of both Lewis and Awuzie during their own rookie seasons, made Brown's status heading into 2018 rather uncertain. Some wondered if they would trade him for a day three pick, others thought Brown could even end up being cut. Jourdan Lewis and Anthony Brown were slated to compete for the nickel cornerback job in training camp, and as it turned out, all Brown needed was that one extra chance to compete.

Brown won the job outright during the preseason, and began 2018 as the starting nickel. A fan favorite, most thought Lewis would reclaim his rightful spot on the depth chart sooner or later, but Anthony Brown's play (and Kris Richard's preferences) kept Lewis on the bench for much of the season.

Simply put, Anthony Brown balled in 2018, and was the Cowboys' second best corner for most of the year. By the end of the season Chidobe Awuzie had regained form, but Brown and Byron Jones were the most consistently reliable corners on the roster all of 2018.

Brown tallied 44 tackles, 2 sacks, and an interception in 2018, and finished third on the team in pass breakups with 8. As the slot corner Brown had an excellent season, especially for a former sixth round pick.

Now he enters a contract year, and with the Cowboys having so many guys to pay over the next two offseasons, he could find himself as an unrestricted free agent in 2020. And if he can keep up his play from last year moving forward, he could be in for a nice payday that Spring.



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