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Game Notes

Why the Cowboys will leave Seattle 4-2

Brian Leatherman



Cowboys Blog - Why the Cowboys will leave Seattle 4-2

If any of you reading this have read my work before, you would probably say I’m a homer. And that’s not too far from the truth, but... I’m not totally a homer. When I see something, I’ll give my opinion on the situation and why I feel that way.

Folks, this article is going to be no different, well maybe a little. Many fans have high hopes going into this game against the Seahawks. Many think we can beat them and show them the Cowboys are the new top dog. Folk’s, I’m not one of those people. I don’t think Dallas has a shot in hell at winning this game. It’s not often I say that about a Tony Romo led team. I’ve always felt that with Romo leading this team the Cowboys always had a shot.

This Cowboys team isn’t on the Seattle Seahawks level yet.

We desperately want them to be, as fans, but it’s just not our time yet. I remember back in 1991, we had just been handed our own asses by the Detroit Lions in the playoffs. I remember how young our team was and how awesome it was to have the Cowboys where they were but it wasn’t their time yet. I remember my dad (who didn’t keep up with football very much) telling me, “Those boys are a year away from making noise”.

My pop is a business man, so he knows a good thing when he sees it. He hadn’t kept up with Cowboys football very much but he could see how things had changed in the short time that it did.

This is how I see these Cowboys now, except for having an awesome VETERAN QB in Romo, you could say this team - offensively - looks a whole lot like that team back in 1991. But here is the big difference. The 2014 Cowboys defense is not on the same level as that 1991 team. Don’t get me wrong, the defense is way better than most expected. It’s not surprising to me because I’ve called it since I started writing here back in January of this year. But as of right now, this defense has some problems that will keep it from taking that next step this season.

One of those reasons on defense being that the Cowboys have trouble stopping the run.

Coming into this game against the Seahawks, the Cowboys rank 20th in stopping the run; the 'Boys defense allows a little over 120 rushing yards a game. Well guess where the Seahawks rank in rushing offense? That’s right, number one. The 'Hawks average almost 170 yards a game.

It will help having Rolando McClain back in the lineup, but it’s the boys in front of Ro that are the problem. Tyrone Crawford is playing well, but I feel he’s best suited for pass rushing. Terrell McClain isn’t playing up to par so far, and I wouldn’t be shocked to see Davon Coleman or Ken Bishop take his place. But, with what they have now, these guys can’t stop the run.

Go back and look at every game the Cowboys have played. Each team was able to run over this defense. The Titans didn’t get over a hundred yards but they averaged close to 8 yards a carry. The Rams ran the ball the way they wanted, the Saints got over a hundred as well, and the Texans ran the ball down our throat. I was thrilled when I would see them drop into a shotgun formation with 5 wide.

The Seahawks rely heavily on their run game, which they should. They have “Beast Mode” Marshawn Lynch running behind one of the better offensive lines in the league. They have a QB in Russell Wilson who last week against Washington showed he can put up over a 100 yards rushing without a problem. And let’s not forget Percy Harvin running his reverse sweeps.

All those weapons on the Seahawks' offense are going to be too much for this defense to handle.

So some of you fans might be thinking our offense isn’t too shabby because our boys rush for over 160 yards a game. And you’re right, the Cowboys' o-line is one of the best in the business, but they go up against the best team in the league at stopping the run.

Those dogs in Seattle barely allow a little over 60 yards a game. And how has this Cowboys team has been winning? On the ground. And what do the 'Hawks do to help them win games? Stop the run.

This Cowboys team will not be able to run the ball in Seattle, which will lead to this team leaning on the pass entirely too much. And that’s exactly what this Seahawks team wants other teams to do. They want teams to pass against their nasty pass rush and their intimidating defensive backs.

Don’t get me wrong, I know we have weapons like Dez Bryant, Terrance Williams, Jason Witten, Cole Beasley, and Dwayne Harris, but Seattle's defense has someone who can match up with those players and not blink an eye.

My final reason why the Seahawks will beat the Cowboys is playing in Seattle - 19-1 including playoffs since 2012 at home. There is no other place in the league like CenturyLink Field in that respect. When those fans get going, they can literally make it feel like there is an earthquake going on. Those fans play a big part in why those guys haven’t lost but once in the last 20 games played there.

I know anything can happen in sports. I’ve been around a long time and seen a lot of upsets and you wouldn't believe how much I want to be wrong about this.

But it’s just not going to happen. The Seahawks will win going away 38-10.

Brian has been a football junkie from the time he was 5 years old. He lives, eats and breathes the game. Brian is a college graduate living in the south who loves his faith, his family, and his Dallas Cowboys.

  • aerdna smailliw

    Agree with most of this except the statement that the Cowboys will not be able to run on the Seattle defense. They will be able to run on that defense and I wouldn’t be surprised if they do it quite well. Seattle is only giving up only 62 yards a game b/c their opponents have given up on the run not because they have stopped any of them. If Dallas can stay within 10 points throughout the game and keep Murray relevant the entire game they will be within striking distance of a win at the end.

  • bleatherman2011

    The defense will be the reason why we will not be able to stick to the run in this game. I hate saying it but it’s what I feel about this game. But hey, I was wrong about the Saints games as well

  • Raulz Nero

    On any given Sunday, anything can happen. The Cowboys have a better chance than previous meetings. Dallas has to play its best to beat the champs. Cowboys just need to keep doing what they are doing. Run that ball!!!. Go Cowboys!!!

  • Bryson Treece

    Say what you will about the Cowboys – use any stats you like – but ultimately it comes down to the Cowboys finding a way to win games. They’ve done it all year, save for San Fran which I believe is because Romo was still injured and unable to twist to throw. In my mind, a win today says these Cowboys are the real deal this year. A loss says what Brian mentioned – they’re a year away.

  • LurkingBrowny

    Where can I get one of these cushy jobs speculating? Seems easy enough.. You don’t have to be right, or even close to right. You don’t have to say anything popular. You don’t have to take any risks. You just watch ESPN all week then throw your hat into the speculation arena… Call me, I got this.

  • DC4ever

    When you deem opinion newsworthy you end up eating your words. Looks like you spent a lot of time on that story too, I couldn’t get past the 1st paragraph before I realized it wasn’t news. Enjoy chewing, maybe take a journalism class and quit putting your guesses in print.

    • Bryson Treece

      I’m amazed it took you so long to realize it wasn’t news. The entirely speculative title you clicked on to get here didn’t clue you in? Hmm… Can I interest you in this fine bottle of blinker fluid?

Game Notes

Film Room: WR Ryan Switzer Showed Flashes Vs. Eagles

Kevin Brady



Film Room: WR Ryan Switzer Showed Flashes Vs. Eagles
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

There's no doubt the Dallas Cowboys passing game faltered in 2017. Though never expected to throw for many yards, Dak Prescott and the Cowboys failed to maximize their attempts down the stretch. The passing game was simply inefficient and ineffective.

One reason the passing game took a step back was the disappearance of slot receiver Cole Beasley. Whether you blame defenses adjusting their coverages on third downs towards Beasley, Beasley growing another year older, or quarterback Dak Prescott, Beasley simply didn't look like the same player in 2017.

In the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft, the Cowboys selected a wide out who many anticipate could replace Beasley, in time. Rookie wide receiver Ryan Switzer rarely got chances to make an impact on offense this season, designated as the return man for much of the year. With Cole Beasley out for the season finale, however, Switzer got his chance to make a name for himself.

While the numbers were far from gaudy, Ryan Switzer showed some things we should be excited about for the future.

dalvsphi2018 switzer - Streamable

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Ryan Switzer's first target came on a third down -- something Cowboys Nation should get used to heading into 2018. Switzer is lined up inside in trips on the near-side of the formation. The Eagles show man coverage pre-snap, and with just one safety over top and the other rotated down on top of Jason Witten, it is clear to Dak Prescott they plan to bring some pressure.

As soon as Prescott gets the snap, his eyes go to Ryan Switzer.

The cornerback plays Switzer with inside leverage, refusing to be beat with a hot slant route. Switzer instead keeps the defender on his back hip and creates separation with an out-breaking route.

Prescott delivers the ball towards the sideline where the defender can't catch up to it, and Switzer comes away with the first down.

dalvsphi2018 switzer 2 - Streamable

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Later in the game, we once again see Ryan Switzer targeted from this inside-alignment.

Switzer is a pretty prototypical slot receiver, and if used correctly he should win in man coverage situations often. The cornerback attempts to maintain inside leverage on Switzer and get physical at the top of his route. Ryan Switzer does a nice job of fighting through that physicality and crossing the defender's face over the middle. He flashes open pretty quickly, and Prescott delivers a strike for the completion.

If Switzer can create this type of separation often, I see no reason why he shouldn't be a focus of the offense in 2018.

dalvsphi2018 switzer 3 - Streamable

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Switzer's third target is actually an incompletion, but it is worth studying, regardless. Switzer is in the slot on the far side and the Cowboys once again are in trips alignment. The cornerback over Switzer is in man coverage, but gives him room to breathe at the line of scrimmage.

Switzer exploits the cornerback -- who is cheating to the inside -- with his footwork and route running. He gets to the sticks, breaks to the outside, and creates enough separation for a first-down completion. Prescott delivers the ball a bit late and behind Switzer, causing an incompletion instead.

I'd still like to see Switzer adjust to the ball and make this catch, but I put more of the blame for this play on Prescott.

With a full offseason to work within the offensive system, as well as to develop chemistry with quarterback Dak Prescott, Ryan Switzer will prove to be an important piece to the 2018 Dallas Cowboys.

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Game Notes

Takeaway Tuesday: Datone Jones Should Be Back, Switzer’s Good Game

Mauricio Rodriguez



Takeaway Tuesday: Datone Jones Should Be Back, Switzer's Good Game 1
AP Photo / Michael Ainsworth

The Dallas Cowboys put an end to a long, long season last Sunday after they defeated the Eagles in Philadelphia in a game that had absolutely no meaning for either team. Surprisingly, the Cowboys played with their healthy starters most of the game, but were barely able to put six points on the board, which were enough to take the win home.

The Cowboys might've lost more than what they actually won, and most of the fans were unhappy with the victory. Despite it being a pretty boring football game, we still learned a few things about the Dallas Cowboys.

The season's finally over. It wasn't easy, but we're still here. Here's to 2018. Let's hope it's a good one for our Cowboys. Here's this week's edition of Takeaway Tuesday!

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Coaching Staff Didn't Help Its Cause

It's more than fair to say that a lot of us want to see changes in Dallas. And specifically, changes in the coaching staff. After the Cowboys were eliminated from playoff contention, Jerry Jones said Jason Garrett's job was not an issue. Now, Jerry's even talking about Rod Marinelli and Scott Linehan being back in 2018. Who knows if it's true.

While I don't think we'll see a new head coach anytime soon, I'd dare say that after the horrible game versus Philadelphia the front office at least got to thinking.

Dak Prescott, Jason Garrett

Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott, HC Jason Garrett

Coming into this game, the team had a choice to make: play with the starters to win it, or let guys like Cooper Rush in the game and see what happens. A loss would've meant a better draft position for the Cowboys and a chance to see what rookies and other young players could bring to the table.

But they decided to manage the game like it was a "real action" game. Being conservative. Not going for it when there was nothing to lose. They did so after a team that, with the NFC's #1 seed secured, basically played with its B team. Not only that but for the Eagles, most of the game was played by a third string QB.

Despite all this, the Cowboys could hardly beat the Eagles 6-0. Poor execution and all, I can't help thinking about the coaches.

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Cowboys Should Keep Datone Jones for 2018

In late November, the Dallas Cowboys signed Datone Jones after he was released by the San Francisco 49ers. The former Packers' first-round pick made an impact when he was given the chance. His play at DT was pretty solid and he showed very promising flashes.

DatoneJones - Streamable

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Jones will be under contract in 2018 and I'd be surprised if the Cowboys don't keep him another year. Per Over The Cap, he'll be paid $790,000 next year which isn't at all expensive for a 27-year-old player.

The Cowboys would add depth and even a potential starter at DT for next season.

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Ryan Switzer Can Play as a Wide Receiver

With Cole Beasley missing the game because of an illness, we finally got to see Ryan Switzer at WR. We had already seen good things from him as a kick returner, but on offense, he hasn't been as involved as Cowboys Nation expected him to be.

Last Sunday though, Switzer was used for more than a jet sweep.

SwitzerWR - Streamable

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He still has a long way to go, but I was impressed by his ability to create separation. I really hope he's used more next season.

At the end of the day, he's a fourth-round pick. He should be playing more on offense, not just on "gadget plays" or special teams. Could Ryan Switzer be Dak Prescott's best friend in the future? Only time will tell. Right now, it's too optimistic to expect something like that.

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Dan Bailey's Confidence is Shattered

Dallas Cowboys K Dan Bailey

Dan Bailey's 2017 season hasn't been easy at all. We've seen him miss kicks we never imagined he would, including extra points. One of the most painful moments of the Cowboys' season came late in the season finale when he lined up to kick a simple 20-yard field goal.

The ball went up, but failed to split the uprights. Dan Bailey stood in complete disbelief, with a blank look in his face. His confidence, shattered.

For kickers, it's all about confidence.

For years, we referred to Dan "Automatic" Bailey as the most accurate kicker in NFL history. Now we're not sure about calling him "Automatic" anymore. Bailey will have a lot of time to pick himself up though, and will probably be back at it next year.

Let's hope that's the case.

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For now, the only thing left to say is one of the most encouraging, yet sad phrases in sports... Maybe next year. We're on to the offseason.

Tell me what you think about "Takeaway Tuesday: Datone Jones Should Be Back, Switzer’s Good Game" in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 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

Sean’s Scout: Cowboys Starters Uninspiring in Week 17 Win

Sean Martin



Sean's Scout: Cowboys Starters Produce Uninspiring Week 17 Win

Playing more than enough of their starters in hopes of ending this 2017 season on a high note at the Eagles, the Cowboys produced a lackluster 6-0 win that will surely leave a bad taste in the mouths of Cowboys Nation - despite it being a victory.

The win put the Cowboys at 9-7 on the season, and it is a shame they had nothing to play for in this regular season finale. Once again in week 17, it was the offense holding back another fantastic performance by Rod Marinelli's defense.

We'll discuss both units in this final 2017 Dallas Cowboys version of Sean's Scout.

  • You have to love the way Chidobe Awuzie was able to bring physicality to a young Cowboys secondary that had another solid game. 

There were times earlier in this season when it seemed the Cowboys' second-round pick would have a lost season due to multiple hamstring injuries, but Awuzie quickly tuned around his rookie campaign by coming in and playing with exceptional technique and awareness.

With enough length to turn and run, Awuzie thrived in this zone scheme by keeping everything in front of him, as he did on his interception of Nick Foles. With Dallas in Cover 2 on the play, Chidobe read Foles' eyes the whole time to the boundary and was in position to cut off the pass.

This is a topic we'll now have much more time to discuss, and it is a hollowing one considering it was truly the Cowboys offense that kept them from the playoffs this season. The need for new talent at WR is clear, but the need for a target that better suits Prescott's strengths going into year three is even more important.

His pass catchers, along with inconsistencies in pass protection, were the main reasons Prescott struggled in 2017, although in this game it seemed like the only time he was affected in the pocket was when forcing the ball late to Bryant.

Coming from a spread system in college, Prescott simply does not have experience throwing his receivers open -- relying on route combinations and separation ability to hit open targets. Dez Bryant hasn't been that type of player through his career, and certainly isn't now that he's lost a step.

  • 9 wins for a team unlike their usual selves up front offensively is still pretty impressive. 

The Cowboys got nearly no impact from any of their free agent signings this season, which is why the depth of the team held them back once again. Veteran Byron Bell was brought in as a backup swing tackle, but he is simply not a scheme fit at tackle here.

Dak Prescott should not have been playing with Bell as his LT, and eventually Joe Looney at LG after Jonathan Cooper went down.

Bell lacks the quick-twitch ability and athleticism needed to be successful on every down, and it showed as he was again beaten by both speed and power against the Eagles.

The Cowboys have proven their acumen drafting young OL talent that performs at a high level early and often. So, instead of relying on more free agents, like Bell and Looney, drafting talent up front to spark the running game and give Prescott adequate protection is likely the best answer.

  • Ryan Switzer's ability to separate late in the down really stood out, as he finally got his chance at WR without Cole Beasley

Growing calls for more of Ryan Switzer on offense will surely take root this offseason after he caught four passes for 32 yards in the absence of Cole Beasley yesterday. More of a one-speed player at North Carolina, Switzer's spacial awareness and smoothness in giving Prescott somewhere to throw the ball as plays developed was really impressive.

In order to be a great team at the NFL Draft, you have to accurately scout your own roster. It will be fascinating to see just how the Cowboys feel about their current pass catchers, with not only Ryan Switzer but the likes of Lance Lenoir and practice squad addition K.D. Cannon in the fold as well.

  • The Cowboys found themselves a valuable addition to their rotation at DT with Datone Jones. 

Jones was able to push the pocket throughout this game in Philadelphia, and has done so consistently since getting here, at both the 1T and 3T positions. Using his hands to generate power as a down-the-line player, Jones plays with great pad level. That allows him to shoot gaps when needed, or anchor the line of scrimmage.

The Cowboys have not prioritized adding premier talent at DT in recent years, and may forego it again this offseason as well. The Cowboys expect Maliek Collins to contribute further with another season at 1T and David Irving back at 3T.

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To everybody who made this 2017 season at Inside The Star as enjoyable as ever, I would like to thank the readers of Sean's Scout. All this aspiring scout can ask for is to enhance the fan experience through both wins and losses, and your feedback on this series helped me to confidently do just that.

As we prepare for an even better 2018, Sean's Scout won't be going anywhere! I'm shifting my full attention towards the NFL Draft, looking for prospects that could help the Dallas Cowboys reach the playoffs again next season.

Thank you for another roller-coaster ride we call football season, Cowboys Nation. Truly the best fans anywhere.

Tell us what you think about "Sean’s Scout: Cowboys Starters Uninspiring in Week 17 Win" in the comments below. You can also email me at, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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