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Week 1 In The NFC East Was No Cupcake; Winners, Losers & More

Sean Martin

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Cowboys Blog - Week 1 NFC East Update

A lot was written about the NFC East this offseason, as Chip Kelly and the Eagles have been the center of attention in tearing down the roster for a fresh start.

Elsewhere, the Giants opted to stick with what they had - extending Eli Manning to make a run in 2015.

The Redskins benched Robert Griffin III and played the Dolphins tight. In the end, our Dallas Cowboys sit at 1-0 and in first place. Here's how it went down -

Cowboys Nation on Twitter

NFC East Career QB Ratings: Romo 97.6 RG3 90.6 Jason Garrett 83.2 Eli Manning 82.4 Sam Bradford 79.3 Tim Tebow 75.3 Mark Sanchez 74.1

Dallas Cowboys 1-0

When Tony Romo drops back 42 times, the Cowboys are likely trailing. That was the case through three-quarters against the Giants' on Sunday night - two interceptions and a lack of consistency put Dallas down entering the fourth.

When given a fighting chance, Marinelli's defense looked sharp - playing with a healthy Sean Lee. Losing Randy Gregory was a big hit, but the secondary did not allow a big play. The Giants averaged just over 5 yards a pass.

In what was shaping up to be an instant classic, it was going to be up to a playmaker to make a play. As we know, Dez was not out there. A slate of young receivers was - along with Romo and Jason Witten.

Draft Blog - Scout Report: Eric Kendricks, LB, UCLA

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Also leading the charge was Tyron Smith and the offensive line giving Romo time to silence the critics on the big state.

With 7 seconds left, Romo picked up a bad snap and fired it to Jason Witten at the goal line for the winning score. This came after Rashad Jennings was told not to score, giving the Cowboys a chance.


 

New York Giants 0-1 

Consistency is the model that Tom Coughlin and the Giants try to follow year in and year out. However, a lack of pass rush due to the Jason Pierre-Paul "injury" and gaps in the offensive line spelled the end for New York on Sunday night.

Eli nearly avoided mistake after mistake, as Rod Marinelli and his stacked defense looked to force a turnover and make an impact. Rookie Ereck Flowers held his own against Randy Gregory.

Ultimately, the team was not able to keep control of the game - losing the time of possession battle 37:10 to 22:50 and falling to 0-1. The Giants will return home to face the Falcons at MetLife Stadium on Sunday.


 

Philadelphia Eagles 0-1

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By himself, Eagles CB Byron Maxwell gave up 179 yards in coverage last night. The Cowboys entire defense gave up 193 against the Giants.

At the heart of the passing game trend that took over the NFL in week one is none other than Eagles' head coach Chip Kelly. Former college teammates Sam Bradford and DeMarco Murray on the Falcons turf should have been unstoppable.

Tell that to Dan Quinn and the new look Falcons, who did just enough to slow down the Eagles and pull off a Monday night win.

Matt Ryan and Julio Jones connected for two scores in the second quarter to put the Falcons ahead.

Murray led the Eagles back in the third, scoring from eight and five yards out. In the end, it was Bradford's late mistake - an interception to Ricardo Allen - that sent the Eagles home at 0-1.

They will now prepare for Tyrone Crawford and the Cowboys in week 2.


 

Washington Redskins 0-1 

Dallas was not the only NFC East team to lose a top wideout; Kirk Cousins lost DeSean Jackson in a loss to the Dolphins. Washington held tough throughout, despite Cousins throwing a pick-six.

Finding a way to lose, it was Jarvis Landry who ran a punt back for Miami to give the Dolphins the 17-10 win.

They will host Nick Foles and the Rams on Sunday.


Ready for week 2? Shoot me a tweet @ShoreSportsNJ and be sure to tune into Upon Further Review on Friday for more!

Tell us what you think about "Week 1 In The NFC East Was No Cupcake; Winners, Losers & More" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



Born January 28th, 1996- Cowboys Super Bowl XXX. Point Boro Panther, Montclair State Red Hawk, and most importantly a proud member of Cowboys Nation! I host "Upon Further Review" on 90.3 WMSC FM and wmscradio.com every Friday from 1-4 PM ET. Twitter: @SeanMartinNFL.

Star Blog

Can QB Dak Prescott Steal Back His Mojo From Atlanta?

Brian Martin

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Can Dak Prescott Regain His Mojo Against Atlanta?
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

When the Dallas Cowboys last traveled to Mercedes-Benz Stadium they were completely throttled by the Atlanta Falcons. It's a game a lot of Cowboys Nation would like to forget, but no one more so than Quarterback Dak Prescott. That game could very well be where his struggles really began.

It's almost exactly a year later and the Dallas Cowboys still find themselves haunted by that brutal beating the Atlanta Falcons handed them in Week 10 of the 2017 season. The Cowboys seemed to lose all confidence in themselves after that game, but it was almost as if it was the exact point in time where Dak Prescott lost all of his mojo as well.

Before that match up against the Falcons, Prescott was still playing at a pretty high level. But since then, he has been in a slump and there have been very few signs of recapturing any of that magic he once had. Heading back to Atlanta maybe the key for him finding and stealing back his mojo.

Things could definitely go a little differently this time around. The Cowboys will have Ezekiel Elliott and Tyron Smith in the lineup this week. Zeke missed the game last year due to the league mandated six-game suspension, and Tyron missed due to an injury. Having those two back in the lineup could pay huge dividends, especially for Prescott.

Without his starting left tackle and running back, Dak was pretty much beaten to a pulp by the Falcons defense a year ago. They applied relentless pressure, hitting and sacking him on a number of occasions. Unfortunately, I think that's where he started seeing ghost in the pocket and its haunted him ever since.

Dak Prescott

Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)

The beating he took at the hands of the Falcons has really thrown off his entire game. His mechanics, accuracy, and effectiveness as a scrambler can all be traced back to that one matchup. He just hasn't been the same QB he was prior to that game.

Prescott's stats prior to the Falcons game:

24 starts
66.7 completion percentage
102.4 passer rating

Prescott's stats since the Falcons game:

17 starts
63.3 completion percentage
83.1 passer rating

As you can see, that's a notable difference. His passer rating has shockingly dropped nearly 20 points since last playing the Falcons and it's really hurt the entire offensive production. It's time for that to change.

Prescott has no choice this week. He has to get back up on the horse that bucked him off and hopefully regain that mojo he left in Atlanta a year ago. Fortunately for him, his confidence might be is as high as it's been since that last meeting after pulling off the upset against the Philadelphia Eagles last week.

Now, he just has to go out and prove it!

Do you think Dak Prescott can regain his mojo against the Atlanta Falcons?



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Star Blog

How Cowboys Could Regain a 2019 1st-Round Draft Pick

Brian Martin

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Cowboys Headlines - 5 Cowboys Players That Could Be Traded
Matthew Edmonds-USA Today

The Dallas Cowboys are currently without a 2019 first-round draft pick after acquiring Wide Receiver Amari Cooper from the Oakland Raiders, but what if I were to tell you there was a way to regain another first-rounder? Well, with a little outside the box thinking I think there could be a way to accomplish just that.

It's completely hypothetical, but I think the Dallas Cowboys could possibly regain a first-round draft pick in the 2019 NFL Draft with little finagling and good luck. Everything would have to fall into place perfectly, but I think it's definitely doable.

Remember, this is completely hypothetical with a lot of "what if's" involved, but the Cowboys could regain what they lost acquiring Amari Cooper and come out of it no worse for wear. I think there are a lot of different scenarios that could accomplish this feat, but only one of them that doesn't hurt the team in my opinion and it centers around Right Tackle La'el Collins.

I know you're probably going to think I'm crazy, but I think the Dallas Cowboys could possibly land a 2019 first-round draft pick if they decided to trade away RT La'el Collins. Trust me, I wouldn't suggest this if I didn't think there was somebody capable of stepping in and playing just as well.

Enter Connor Williams.

Connor Williams

Dallas Cowboys LG Connor Williams

I always believed Connor Williams' best position in the NFL was at right tackle, not on the inside at guard. And yes, I was one of those advocating for Williams to play RT and Collins to move back to LG before the 2018 season started. I thought that gave the Cowboys their best starting five.

Williams has been serviceable at LG this season, but has been overpowered at times. His athletic ability would've been much better served on the outside at tackle, which is where I would play him next season, making La'el Collins expendable.

Again, I know what you're thinking. If you move Williams to RT and trade Collins, there is now a void at LG. Well, that's where Xavier Su'a-Filo comes into play. He is coming off a fantastic performance against the Philadelphia Eagles and a lot of Cowboys Nation is already advocating that he remains the starter over Connor Williams.

If Su'a-Filo can maintain the same level play he did against the Eagles, he probably remains the starter for the rest of the 2018 season. If this is indeed what happens, he could end up being the starter once again next season, making my plan of trading La'el Collins more feasible.

Were you able to follow all of that?

Keep Xavier Su'a-Filo at left guard

Move Connor Williams to right tackle

Trade La'el Collins

Like I said, this is all hypothetical, but something that could feasibly happen. Now we just have to wait and see if Xavier Su'a-Filo can continue to play like he did last week, because without him sticking at left guard none of this is possible.

I told you it was some out-of-the-box thinking.

Would you go along with the scenario to regain a 2019 first-round draft pick?



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Star Blog

Should Cowboys Stick With Xavier Su’a-Filo at Left Guard?

Brian Martin

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Should Cowboys Stick With Xavier Su'a-Filo at Left Guard? 1

Don't look now, but we may have another Ron Leary/La'el Collins situation unfolding before our eyes with Xavier Su'a-Filo and Connor Williams. Who ends up starting at left guard for the Dallas Cowboys the rest of the 2018 season is up in the air right now, but might not be for long.

Remember a few years ago when La'el Collins started the season at left guard for the Dallas Cowboys, but then had to miss time due to a toe injury. Ronald Leary took over during his absence and never looked back. It even earned him a big payday with the Denver Broncos.

Déjà vu anyone?

Yes, I'm talking about the hot topic of the hour as to whether or not the Dallas Cowboys should stick with Xavier Su'a-Filo at left guard or reinsert Connor Williams once he is healthy enough to return to the lineup? As with any debate, there are two sides of the coin.

Honestly, I can make an argument for both sides here. These are two different players and both have their own strengths and weaknesses. Su'a-Filo isn't as agile as Williams and relies more on his strength and power, whereas Williams is almost the complete opposite. Depending what the Cowboys coaching staff wants out of their LG, either player makes sense.

Xavier Su'a-Filo

Dallas Cowboys LG Xavier Su'a-Filo

I could go into a long debate as to who I believe the Cowboys should start at LG moving forward, but I think that would be a waste of our time. I think this is a situation that will work itself out one way or another this week against the Atlanta Falcons.

Nothing is set in stone right now, but I have a hard time seeing Connor Williams being ready to play this week after having knee surgery. It would be unwise to rush him back before he's 100% healthy, especially after the way Su'a-Filo preformed against the Eagles. And if Su'a-Filo plays well once again, Williams may not get his starting job back.

See, I told you it was looking like a Ronald Leary/La'el Collins situation all over again.

This is a situation that many of us will be following closely this week and it may not only have ramifications on the rest of the 2018 season, but it could carry over into next year. Maybe Xavier Su'a-Filo remains at LG next year and Connor Williams moves to his more natural position (right tackle), making La'el Collins expendable. But that's a debate for another time.

Do you think the Dallas Cowboys should stick with Xavier Su'a-Filo at LG?



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