How the Cowboys can get Dak Prescott back on track - Dieter Kurtenbach, FOX Sports
The one big change that could get Dak Prescott back on track, Kurtenbach argues, is for the Cowboys to stop playing the Tony Romo playbook and start playing the Dak Prescott playbook.
Prescott made things happen outside the pocket [against the Giants] where the Cowboys weren’t able to get things done in the passing game. Why not do that more often, Dallas?
That’s the difference between Romo and Prescott — while the veteran has better accuracy and understanding of pro defenses, it’s Prescott’s athletic ability that adds another dimension to the Cowboys’ attack.
Four roll-outs against the Giants? That’s a terrible gameplan.
It’s easy to understand why people want Romo to start over Prescott — the Cowboys are still running the Tony Romo playbook.
It’s time for the full Dak Prescott playbook to break out.
As soon as the Cowboys come around to the fact that Prescott can do more than Romo physically, and embrace the rookie’s quirks, the sooner they’ll get back into the win column. And then, not only can Dak get back on track, the Cowboys can get momentum going before the postseason starts.
Examining Ezekiel Elliott And The Misconception of Yards Per Carry - Marcus Mosher, Fanrag Sports
Mosher argues that putting up yards against defenses that are not expecting the run is a lot easier than running against teams that regularly stack the box against the run - which is exactly what is happening to Ezekiel Elliott.
Le'Veon Bell sees a 8+ man box 28% of the time.— Marcus Mosher (@Marcus_Mosher) December 16, 2016
Ezekiel Elliott sees a 8+ man box 41% of the time.
Bell vs 8+ man box = 61 carries for 226 yards (3.7 YPC)— Marcus Mosher (@Marcus_Mosher) December 16, 2016
Elliott vs 8+ man box = 117 carries for 498 yards (4.3 YPC) https://t.co/sTXw5LOg5o
Cowboys @EzekielElliott selected NFL's Rookie of the Week for 3rd time in last five weeks. Only @dak has more wins with 4.— David Moore (@DavidMooreDMN) December 16, 2016
Tyrone Crawford and Brandon Carr on criticism of the defense: Let them talk. - Drew Davison, The Star-Telegram
The defense has been playing well this season, even if it doesn't get the accolades - or stats - the offense does.
Crawford pointed to defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli adjusting the game plans to simply get the team a win as a reason why the statistics might be underwhelming to some.
"It might not look like we played a good game of defense, but that’s what we needed to do that game," Crawford said. "There was no flashy plays or anything, but we got what we needed to do done. That’s a lot of what we do.
"Not a lot of people might understand that because they like seeing sacks, interceptions, PBUs [passes broken up], all the good stuff that comes with the game of football. But where Marinelli calls his defense is real simple and easy and gets the job done."
"For someone to tell me we don’t have any talent on the defense is BS to me," Crawford said. "Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. They can be entitled to it as far as we go with this."
Carr echoed those thoughts and understands why. He joked that his own kids know more about the offensive standouts such as Dez Bryant and Ezekiel Elliott than defensive guys.
"That’s the nature of the game. Defense is the dark side," Carr said. "We like that. It’s gritty. We’ll get our accolades in due time. Our biggest mission and goal is to get a couple hours away from here [for the Super Bowl in Houston], so they can talk whatever they want to talk. We’re going out there trying to make plays."
Cole Beasley closing in on payday for his 'sauce' TD celebration - Brandon George, SportsDay
A fun sponsorship could be in the works for Beasley.
Cole Beasley, who is already doing commercials for Take 5 Oil Change, said he's getting close to a deal to promote Cholula hot sauce that would go hand in hand with his new touchdown celebration.
Beasley, who has 64 catches for 711 yards and five touchdowns, has celebrated his scores this season by pretending to pour something on his hands and, at times, rubbing it on his feet. He says it's part of giving defensive backs "the sauce," meaning he's used his quick feet leave them behind for a catch.
Ronald Leary among free agents who will get paid more than you think - Field Yates, ESPN
Yates looks at seven players who are soon to become free agents and might be worth more than many currently realize. Ronald Leary is one of those players.
Dallas' offensive line is widely regarded as the best in football, and Leary's presence should not be overlooked. He took over as a starting guard when La'el Collins suffered an early-season foot injury, and the group hasn't been any worse off for it. A former undrafted free agent whose stock was impacted by a knee condition, Leary has pieced together essentially three full seasons as a starter. He's powerful at the point of attack and reliable both as a run- and pass-blocker. Teams are going to want to emulate Dallas' offensive blueprint, and I believe the guard position will be viewed favorably in free agency with the recent success of a player like Kelechi Osemele, who signed a major deal with Oakland last year.
NFL Coaching Hot Seat Rankings: Is your coach in danger of losing his job? - Will Brinson, CBSSports.com
Back in August, the Bookmaker Sportsbook ran the odds on which NFL head coach would be fired first this year. At the time, they had Jason Garrett as the fourth most likely coach to get fired.
My, how times have changed.
Today, Brinson ranks him as one of the three most untouchable coaches in the league.
30. Jason Garrett, Cowboys: Surprised to see Garrett this high? Don't be -- Jerry Jones already loved him, and Garrett has worked wonders with rookie QB Dak Prescott. Garrett also punched his ticket for the playoffs before anyone else.
31. Pete Carroll, Seahawks: The rumors about Carroll leaving for the Rams are hilarious.
32. Bill Belichick, Patriots: Feel pretty confident the Pats will at least give Belichick one more season.
Cowboys expect Randy Gregory to practice next week - Charean Williams, The Star-Telegram
Williams gives us the lowdown on the Gregory situation.
The Cowboys expect defensive end Randy Gregory to practice next week as he appeals a year-long suspension. Gregory missed a drug test and now faces a year-long suspension, but the league will allow him to practice and play while under appeal.
Can Randy Gregory help the Cowboys? - Todd Archer, ESPN
Gregory hasn't practiced with the team since last year, and while he's likely to be eligible to play against the Lions, can he provide a boost to the Cowboys after such a lengthy absence?
Gregory is currently eligible to play starting in the game against the Lions, but the Cowboys would have to make a move to get him on the roster. He has not practiced with the team since last season, although he was with the team during parts of the offseason conditioning program. At the start of training camp, he was in an out-of-state rehab facility. He has been in meetings and working out with the strength and conditioning coaches while under suspension. He has added weight to his frame and is moving around well.
But can he help in the final few games and in the playoffs after such a long break?
The Cowboys at least want the chance to find out.
DeMarcus Lawrence Ruled Out Against Bucs, Dez Bryant, Cedric Thornton Questionable - Dave Halprin, Blogging The Boys
Defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence has been ruled out of Sunday’s game because of back issues.
Chaz Green To Undergo Back Surgery, Will Move To Injured Reserve - David Helman, Dallas Cowboys
Back injuries are the new hamstrings in Dallas, or so it appears.
Green is undergoing surgery on a herniated disc in his back and will be moved to the injured reserve for the remaining three weeks of the season. It’s a tough setback for the second-year offensive tackle, who hasn’t appeared in a game since Oct. 2.
Moving Green to the injured reserve would open up a roster spot, which Garrett said would likely be filled by a practice squad player. With both DeMarcus Lawrence and Cedric Thornton battling injuries, the Cowboys could possibly turn to Zach Moore – who they signed to the practice squad after final roster cuts in September.
DE Zach Moore is the call-up for Chaz Green. Signed to the practice squad at the start of the season, after being released by Minnesota.— David Helman (@HelmanDC) December 16, 2016
NFL may fine Giants for illegal use of walkie-talkies - Michael Smith, ProFootballTalk
New York resorted to a walkie-talkie when Eli Manning’s headset malfunctioned during Sunday night’s game. NFL rules state that communication between the sideline and the quarterback has to terminate with 15 seconds remaining on the play clock. Head coach Ben McAdoo’s use of a walkie-talkie makes it difficult for the league to know if the Giants complied with that rule or not. So now what?
The league is expected to fine the Giants for using walkie-talkies in violation of NFL rules during Sunday night’s win over the Cowboys, the New York Post reports.
The NFL has been so inconsistent in the way it handles rules violations that there’s really no telling what the league might do about this latest issue. A full-blown Ted Wells investigation seems unlikely, but if the Giants did break the rules, the NFL should act. If it doesn’t, it will be hard to escape the perception that the Giants are getting away with something.