Cole Beasley started it off by mentioning the Cowboys receivers are getting open, then Allen Hurns took it a step further by reiterating that point and taking a shot at the play-calling. He then went ahead and did a full broadside on the whole offense, including the receivers. Despite all that, Ezekiel Elliott says there is no finger-pointing in the locker room even after blowing a winnable game.
“Definitely a game we could’ve won. It was a game where we had a lot of opportunities. We definitely have to go back to the film and see what went wrong,” Elliott said. “But you’ve got to move on, you’ve got to shake that one off. We still have a lot of football left, and we’re still in the mix. So I mean we’ve just got to go out there and find a way to win this week.”
Asked if the Cowboys can do that without resorting to finger-pointing, Elliott said he’s confident in the leadership in their locker room. Despite the offense’s struggles for much of this season, Elliott said the vibe around the team has been one of positive reinforcement, rather than blame.
“I just think that’s not something we have to worry about,” he said. “There’s enough leadership on this team. We have good guys.”
Hurns says he was just being honest in answering a question, and went on with more to say.
Hurns didn’t back down when asked about his comments after practice on Wednesday.
“I didn’t question the play calling,” Hurns said. “Everyone knows that’s not a good call against two man. Unfortunately for us, that was their only snap in two-man. It was just an unfortunate situation. But I ain’t questioning the play calling.”
As far as play calling in general, Hurns said “of course from a receiver standpoint you want more opportunities. But you can’t control that. As far as for us, you control what you can. As far as some plays, we got to do a better job executing and sometimes we are not put in the best position. That’s part of football.”
As far as the play in question, Hurns was asked if Prescott should have audibled out of it at the line of scrimmage since everyone knows it wouldn’t work against that defense.
“I’m not sure. I don’t think Dak had a chance or I am not sure he has the authority to check out of that,” Hurns said. “Like I said, that was their one snap in two-man. Everyone knows versus two-man you can’t run deep sixes (comebacks). It was an unfortunate situation.”
As Zeke mentions in the first article above, there is a lot of football left to be played. As bad as the Cowboys have been, they have plenty of company which has kept them within shouting distance of the playoff race.
Yet, in the scheme of things, the Cowboys are only a half-game out of first place in the NFC East, themselves and the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles tied for second, just behind the division-leading Washington Redskins, their 2-2 record nothing exactly to write home about.
In fact, when it comes to the entire NFC, 12 of the 16 teams have won no more than two games, and only two teams, the L.A. Rams (5-0) and New Orleans (4-1), have more than three wins.
The Jags are a tough out, but they are facing some injury issues of their own.
A day after the Jaguars signed two running backs to improve their banged-up backfield, coach Doug Marrone ruled out running back Leonard Fournette for Sunday’s game at Dallas.
Marrone on Wednesday also declared cornerback D.J. Hayden (toe) and left tackle Josh Wells (groin) out for the game and said former reserve Josh Walker is in line to make his first NFL start at left tackle against the Cowboys.
Fournette will miss his fourth game because of a right hamstring injury he originally suffered during the second quarter of the team’s season opener Sept. 9. He started and played less than a half against the New York Jets in Week 4 before coming out of the game.
We haven’t forgotten about that decision from Jason Garret to punt the ball in the Texans game. Former NFL running back Maurice Jones-Drew takes Garret to the woodshed.
Garrett defended his decision after the game, telling reporters, “Yeah, it was a long one [yard]. You know, we had a third-and-2 and we didn’t make much on it, and we just felt like, at that point in the game, the way our defense was playing, the idea was to pin them down there.”
A “long” yard? Come on, Jason! With Ezekiel Elliott, Dak Prescott and an offensive line that includes two All-Pros even with Travis Frederick sidelined, the Cowboys should be going for it every time on fourth-and-1 if the ball is at their own 40 or further down the field. In fact, the Cowboys have converted all three of their fourth-and-1 attempts when running the ball in that situation this season, with Dak making two and Zeke converting one.
NFL teams have converted 29 of 33 fourth-and-1 rushing attempts this season for a conversion rate of 87.9 percent, per NFL Research. This is proof that even the most conservative coaches -- including those whose teams don’t boast all the traits of the clubs listed above -- should muster up some guts and go for the first down. The decision could end up altering a game, and possibly a season.
One player that could certainly make the Cowboys defense more dangerous is David Irving. Unfortunately, he just can;t seem to get on the field. The Cowboys are being patient and hoping he will return soon. Tyrone Crawford explains the patience.
Defensive tackle Tyrone Crawford said if anyone can play off of just a couple of practices, it’s Irving.
“He’s something special,” Crawford said. “His wingspan does it all. Yeah, he has to show up in practice to play, for sure. We know that. It’s obvious you have to know what we’re doing during the week. I feel like when he comes tomorrow he’ll get everything he needs to know to get out there on Sunday.”
Crawford said no one in the locker room is mad Irving because they understand what he is dealing with.
“The issues that are going on with David are things that have to be handled and that’s what he’s doing,” Crawford said. “He’s handling them. I don’t fault the man for handling what he has to handle as a man.”