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There is no secret that the Dallas Cowboys offense is struggling right now
There is no secret that the Dallas Cowboys offense is struggling right nowin Themen von A-B-C 07.11.2018 02:01
von panxing18 • | 605 Beiträge
Dak Prescott struggling in Dallas http://www.dallascowboysteamonline.com/kavon-frazier-jersey , but here are nine things to help him get back on track They are second to last with 13.7 points per game. Only the Arizona Cardinals are worse. In 2015, when the team has lost Tony Romo, the offense also ranked second to last. With putrid quarterback play, the team only managed 17.2 points a game. That’s right, the 2015 offense was putting up more points than this 2018 version. That’s nauseating.When you look at things closely, there are a lot of different factors that play a part. For example, against the Seahawks, the offense had three different drives cut short because of a turnover. In the first quarter, Michael Gallup appeared to make a nice catch at midfield when Tre Flowers made a great play on the ball, poking it to Earl Thomas. Instead of 1st and 10 at midfield, Seattle got the ball. In the fourth quarter, Thomas was the recipient of another deflected ball for an interception. Another scoring drive thwarted. Then there was that great run by Ezekiel Elliott that would have been even greater if he didn’t get the ball stripped away from behind. And that doesn’t even take into account the touchdown that wasn’t, all because Zeke lost track of where he was on the field and stepped out of bounds. All of these moments hurt the Cowboys ability to score points.But scoring points has been a problem for the Cowboys dating back to the second half of last season. In five of the Cowboys final eight games last year, the Cowboys offense scored 12 points or less. In the quest to figure what the root cause is, one name keeps resurfacing... Dak Prescott. And for good reason.It’s a really hard pill to swallow to accept that Prescott could be the problem. Could he really be that bad after a record-breaking rookie season?Yes. And there could be a perfectly good explanation for it.Recently, Dalton Miller, who co-hosts Talkin Cowboys with our own Connor Livesay and Cole Patterson, proposed the question - What does Dak do well? What strengths does he have that makes him a good quarterback. That got me thinking, not just about what he does well, but also all the things he’s had a history of not doing well.I remembered a couple years ago when we were optimistic about the Cowboys success despite Tony Romo suffering a preseason injury. One of the reasons was that the Cowboys offense was perfect for a Dak Prescott type of quarterback. And what is that exactly? His draft profile reveals something very interesting. After a great junior season, some were throwing his name out for Heisman consideration.But a less than stellar senior season caused Dak to drop to the fourth round of the draft.It was almost like his pro career is mirroring his college career. He was great with protection, but he struggles under duress. Nobody gave this much thought when the Cowboys offensive line was playing at a high level as Dak had all the time he needed to do the things he was good at.But suddenly over the last half of 2017 and into this year,the offensive line has been compromised and the struggling Dak has surfaced. Now, it’s early in his career and there is nothing that says he can’t get it together and be a quarterback that doesn’t need everything to be in place in order to be successful. But it’s also not inconceivable that Prescott is only good with a strong offensive line. For the sake of this article, I’m not interested in projecting the success of Mr. Prescott. Instead, I want to focus on what made the Cowboys so good under Prescott. Looking through some tape of the 2016 season, I started jotting down some of the things that were working well for Dak and this offense during that 13-3 season. Here are nine things that the Cowboys can do to help fix Dak:1. Better pass protectionDak Prescott is a better quarterback when he can step up in the pocket. But who isn’t? Not having All-Pro center Travis Frederick around is a tough loss and backup Joe Looney and rookie left guard Connor Williams are going to have some struggles at times. Surprisingly, Looney is holding up just fine as he seldom allows any pressures.While the interior offensive line isn’t playing bad, the edges aren’t holding up as well as expected. At times, both Tyron Smith and La’el Collins have had problems. The Cowboys have to get better at protecting Prescott if their quarterback is to have a shot. The good news is - this group can play better.2. Short drop and quick releaseOne way to circumvent poor pass protection is to get the ball out of Dak’s hands quickly. Prescott does a good job when he’s in a rhythm and can deliver a strike if his first read has separation out of his break. When he has a predetermined receiver in mind and that receiver is open Womens Antwaun Woods Jersey , this usually results in a positive play. The Cowboys have ran several slant routes for positive yards using this approach. Cole Beasley is the best at this, but Deonte Thompson, Allen Hurns, and rookie Michael Gallup have all been successful on these types of plays.3. Throw on first downThe Cowboys are a run first team, but they’ve had a lot of success when they’ve been a “throw first” team. Defenses devote so much attention in stopping Ezekiel Elliott so catch them unprepared on early downs. When you look at the team’s successful drives under Prescott, a lot of them start through the air. That’s not to say the offense can’t dish out a heavy dose of Zeke, but mixing in some first down runs is a way to keep the defense guessing.4. More play actionHaving the threat of Ezekiel Elliott is a nice asset to have, but to take full advantage of what Zeke can do, the Cowboys have to run more fakes.It’s not just that the Cowboys emerged victorious in Week 2 when they ran more play-action, but look how contrasting those percentages are. Get those linebackers going the wrong direction and free up some clean passing lanes over the middle of the field.5. Force the ball deepNormally I wouldn’t advocate for forcing anything, but changes need to be made. The Cowboys must throw the ball downfield more. There are no if, and’s, and buts about it. Prescott isn’t taking many shots down the field and something needs to change. Brice Butler is back on the team and maybe he can help in this department. The Cowboys had a lot of success in 2016 with big plays and there were many times the receiver was covered. Butler demonstrated the ability to win jump balls so it doesn’t require a free receiver wide open down the sideline. Not only that, but it forces the defense to make a play and sometimes that play is pass interference.Dak has to look deep at times and give his receivers a chance to make a play. Big plays are needed so the Cowboys aren’t confined to being efficient on third down, which they are clearly not this season.6. Throw on the runPrescott shredded defenses while throwing on the run in 2016. He operates best when he doesn’t feel those footsteps sneaking up on him, so escaping out of the pocket is one way to alleviate that pressure. Some of his best throws have occurred while scrambling out of the pocket. He feels comfortable on the run, so if things start to break down, Dak needs to move around.7. Take off runningPrescott doesn’t like pressure so when the pocket starts to collapse, he needs to get the big wheels moving. Dak is big quarterback and shows good sense in finishing runs where he’s not a sitting duck out there. You don’t want your quarterback running excessively, but Dak is a mobile quarterback and he’s capable of doing damage with his legs. 8. Designed screens for ZekeSpeaking of using all your weapons, Elliott is very dangerous on designed screens. While Prescott targeted Zeke eight times against Seattle, he only had three catches for 11 yards. Some of these throws were last resort dump offs or plays where Zeke was covered and unable to get going in space. This isn’t giving Elliott much of a chance to make a play. Instead, they need more plays like this one:9. Use Tavon moreWhether it’s a jet sweep, reverse, or a shovel passes, every time Tavon Austin touches the ball good things happen. The acquisition of Austin added a new wrinkle to what the Cowboyscould do on offense, but the onus is on the coaching staff to use him. Defenses haven’t been overly concerned with him whenever he scats across the backfield and a big reason for that is the attention they must give to no. 21. That leaves Austin to run around freely and use his speed to escape defenders, which so far has resulted in big gains.Austin fits perfectly within the offense, but he’s just not being utilized enough. More touches for Austin will eventually force defenses to lean his way and that not only open things up for Prescott, but could help out Elliott as well.It’s great if your team has a playmaking quarterback that can carry the team on his shoulders. That does not appear to be what the Cowboys have in Prescott. Does that mean he can’t get there? Certainly not Womens Jaylon Smith Jersey , but a lot of the evidence we have thus far indicates he needs great protection to be a great quarterback. While this might be a little disheartening, it doesn’t mean the Cowboys can’t be a really good team with Dak at the helm. They just have to fix some things in order to make it happen. They’ve done it once, they can do it again.Tweetcap: Cowboys played not to lose, wasting defensive effort in Houston The Cowboys 19-16 loss in overtime to the Texans is another reminder of how this Dallas team manufactures ways to get beat. Five weeks in, the Cowboys have adopted the old routine of win one, lose one, which typically ends in 8-8 mediocrity. The Cowboys had so many opportunities to walk out of Houston 3-2 but they settled for 2-3. Red Zone Woes ContinueComing into this game, the Texans defense had allowed 10 touchdowns on 14 attempts inside their red zone. The Cowboys first drive had such promise:Sadly, the Cowboys would gain just seven more yards and settled for the Brett Maher field goal to take a 3-0 lead. After the Cowboys defense got off the field and the Texans missed a field goal attempt, Dak Prescott delivered the ball to Rico Gathers for another huge gain:The Cowboys again were left kicking another field goal from the Houston 25. 6-0 Cowboys but it sure doesn’t feel all that great. It didn’t take the Texans long to respond, as the second quarter began, Keke Coutee scores:Cowboys offense gets the ball back and yet again, we start off with an offensive statement play against one of the better run defenses in the league:This one ends with a Chris Jones punt just a few plays and five yards later. The Texans get a huge gift from the officials when Xavier Woods is flagged for a personal foul:The Texans would try to get into the end zone with Deshaun Watson but Jeff Heath and Xavier Woods had other plans. He’s taken down at the Cowboys two-yard line.That tackle saves the touchdown and Cowboys are getting the ball back only down four points with a chance to take a halftime lead. Facing 4th and 1, Dak Prescott sneaks it for the conversion. On the next play at the Texans’ 39-yard line disaster strikes.Texans with the ball and Alfred Blue takes a second and two from the 50 into Cowboys territory. Watson finds DeAndre Hopkins on third and nine from the Cowboys’ nine-yard line but Jeff Heath makes a touchdown-saving tackle:Instead of kicking the field goal on fourth and one to go up seven points at the half, Deshaun Watson tries to run it in and Jaylon Smith destroys his world:Texans start the third quarter with the ball but it doesn’t last long, Anthony Brown forced Hopkins to fumble with Jourdan Lewis recovering it.On 2nd and 3 from the Texans three-yard line, Dak Prescott finds Allen Hurns for the touchdown and the Cowboys lead 13-10:After the defense forces another three-and-out, the Texans gift the Cowboys better field position:But it’s squandered by the Cowboys offense on third down on another interception off the hands of a Cowboys receiver:The ball certainly hits the ground...Brandon, it definitely moved. In the red zone, at the Dallas 4 and trying to score another touchdown, Watson looks for Hopkins but Byron Jones locks it down:Another Texans designed quarterback run, another stop by the Cowboys defense:Some really questionable play-calling from Bill O’Brien keeps the Texans from taking the lead and Houston ties the game at 13. Once again, the Cowboys defense saves the day. They played their tails off for their offense to have a shot.J.J. Watt is apparently the only pass rusher that doesn’t get roughing the passer called on him because he clearly destroyed Dak Prescott here. Body weight? CHECK. Looks like he was impersonating Bill Goldberg with that spear...no call...sigh.Dak Prescott connects with Tavon Austin, who does get his feet down but loses control on the way out of bounds. Jason Garrett challenges the call, which was clearly not his best decision.Can anyone on this team help the quarterback? Anyone?On 3rd and 5, we’ve seen this before...bring out Chris Jones...and maybe a stretcher for the quarterback!The Cowboys defense is back on the field and guess what? They deliver again by getting Houston off that field.Ezekiel Elliott starts to get this offense going on back-to-back runs and almost takes one all the way:Just when things may look up, the Cowboys move backwards thanks to a holding call to take us into the fourth quarter:On third down, when Dak needed his receivers to help him out, Deonte Thompson responds with a drop:It’s incredible really how wrong the Cowboys have been about their committee approach at receiver. Dak isn’t a perfect passer but there is no way around how badly his supporting cast has failed him:We head into the fourth quarter.With the Texans on the ropes, facing a 3rd and 7 Womens Deonte Thompson Jersey , Randy Gregory lends a hand:When it rains flags, it’s usually a torrential downpour all over the Cowboys as Byron Jones is next on “Who Wants To Help The Texans?”The ball is placed at the Dallas one-yard line, does this defense have another stop in them?The Cowboys defense once again keeps the Texans out of the end zone...from the one...FROM THE ONE-YARD LINE! Texans take 16-13 lead on the field goal.I’m all for dumping on Jason Garrett but Bill O’Brien was a hot mess last night as well:On 1st and 10, Dak Prescott does his “2014 Tony Romo impression” to escapes J.J. Watt and complete a 44-yard pass to Tavon Austin! Just Wow!The Cowboys can’t get past the Texans 30 as Michael Gallup and Dak can’t connect on the pass:How good is the decision to change kickers looking for the Jones family? Brett Maher ties the game up at 16 with another money kick.The Texans have the ball back but it feels like a home game for the Cowboys as the fans are screaming their heads off with Houston on offense. The Cowboys defense delivered once more:Unfortunately, Dak Prescott is sacked by J.J. Watt and the drive ends before it even has a chance. Texans offense, with the ball, inside the two-minute warning. Cowboys safety Xavier Woods delivers the ever elusive interception, Dallas’ first pick of the year with 20 seconds left:It’s overtime, the Cowboys win the toss, they take the ball, which is the first step. We get a Dak to Zeke for 10 yards and the first down. How about another easy first down on the first career catch no less!This is where everything just goes completely sideways as Dak finds Cole Beasley (first catch) for eight yards on second and nine. On 3rd and 1 at the Houston 42, Zeke gets stuffed:On 4th and 1, from Houston’s 42, the call is a PUNT?! Are you joking? Hasn’t the defense given you enough? DeMarcus Lawrence limped off the field, Tyrone Crawford was banged up too, this is what this offense was built for! We’re punting?! When you give the opponent a chance to beat you, often times, they do exactly that. DeAndre Hopkins gladly accepted that generous offer from Jason Garrett and the Cowboys coaching staff:Game. Set. Match. Field Goal Good. Cowboys fall to 2-3...What just happened?!Rule #1 in overtime: Keep the ball away from the opponent and most definitely when you are on their side of the field.The Cowboys converted a 4th and 1 from the Texans 41 right before halftime, this is perplexing. To hand the second-most explosive offense in the NFL the dagger to stick you with is absolutely mind boggling. Especially considering the following:What was this team’s strategy when adding Tyron Smith, Zack Martin, La’el Collins, Connor Williams, Ezekiel Elliott, and Dak Prescott? Sure, they didn’t get it done on third down but isn’t that what this team is built for? Line them up, run it again. Send Dak on the keeper, anything but giving away control of the football.Jerry Jones may say he’s not second-guessing but he’s definitely second-guessing:We are all second-guessing that decision and will for some time, it showed no faith in the one thing you’re supposed to hang your hat on. No faith in the the 95% chance you convert. Nope, we’ll roll with the 5%. The players have to be completely sunk in that moment:Just what kind of team are the 2-3 Cowboys if they’re not going to put faith in their largest investment?
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