Randy Gregory had some injury issues in the game last Sunday, and then there were rumors about a substance-related relapse that could lead to another suspension. According to Jerry Jones, that isn’t happening; at least not yet.
“Just think that he’ll be, absent any issues with his health, I think he’ll be on the field and have no reason to think that he won’t,” Jones said. “I don’t where the media gets their way of expressing concern other than the fact that his status in the NFL is one that requires him to really be succinct in how he handles his business, which is unlike 95 percent of the players in the league aren’t tested randomly. So, he’s tested randomly as much as 10 times every two weeks. Those things always concern you. But as far as his availability for this coming Sunday, I think it’s great.”
The first game is in the books, and the Cowboys came out looking pretty bad on offense. Most pundits around the country had the Cowboys in the middle of the pack already, but the poor showing seems to have made people think even less of America’s Team.
The folks over at NFL Media aren’t as down on the Cowboys as SB Nation, but they aren’t inspired either. At least we’re not as close to the back of the pack here.
When Parker Ehinger, the Cowboys’ ideal backup guard, was placed on the Injured Reserve before Week One, Kadeem Edwards was called up from the practice squad for quick depth. Now, though, the Cowboys have signed a new veteran lineman for more long-term security on the interior of the line.
Looking for more experienced depth on the offensive line, the Cowboys signed free agent guard Xavier Su’a-Filo, a 41-game starter for the Houston Texans over the last four years.
Su’a-Filo was a second-round pick by the Texans in 2014. He started all but one game for them the last two seasons.
There definitely wasn’t a shortage of critics of the Cowboys’ offense, and former Cowboys great Troy Aikman was one of them. He said that he didn’t see any creativity from the unit, and apparently Stephen Jones took issue with that.
“I just think at the end of the day, everybody can play armchair quarterback and point fingers after the fact,” Jones said. “I do think we need to figure out how to get in a rhythm when you use six receivers and make sure everyone’s in there for what they do best. I think that’s a little bit of a work in progress.
“But I think it’s unfair right now to point fingers at play-calling, whether it’s Dak, whether it’s our receivers, I just think we gotta do a better job overall of executing and I think this thing will come together.”
Part of the fallout of the dull offense from Sunday is the rekindling of the loudest critics of offensive coordinator Scott Linehan. Even though it’s only been one game, some fans are already calling for Linehan to be fired. Jason Garrett sees no reason to consider that, though.
“I have a tremendous amount of faith in Scott,” Garrett told reporters, via the Cowboys’ official website. “We just have to do a better job collectively as a staff and as an offensive unit to help us move the football and score some points.”
“You’ve heard me say this before, but the best offenses have a lot of things that they can get to,” Garrett told reporters. “Givens are what we call them -- things they can call and they know they’re going to have some success.
A fan favorite from last year, Jourdan Lewis slid down the depth chart this offseason in favor of the bigger Anthony Brown. Still, it was expected that Lewis would get some significant playing time in the game, but that turned out to not be the case.
Jourdan Lewis didn't play a single defensive snap against CAR. Anthony Brown had 37. #Cowboys— John Owning (@JohnOwning) September 11, 2018
The Cowboys’ next opponent, the rival Giants, also held the distinction of looking pretty bad last week. The Cowboys return home for what should be an easy win, but the betting lines aren’t very promising.
The line opened Sunday evening with the Cowboys favored by 3.5 points, but it has quickly settled in with the Cowboys favored by an even field goal. Home teams generally get a shade under three points for homefield advantage, so oddsmakers see this game as a potential even matchup on a neutral field.
Dallas has won seven of the last 10 matchups between these two teams, and is 3-1-1 against the spread in the last five matchups in Dallas. The point total is set at 42, and these two teams have gone under in four of the last five games in Dallas.
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While some people are willing to chalk up the first game as shaking off a lot of dust, others seem to be ready to quit on the season already. Redsoxu571 thinks it’s way too early for that.
Week 1 is a cluster-F, even for the best of the best. In the easy majority of seasons, 10 out of 17, the Patriots either lost their opening game or just barely eked it out, despite the Patriots always being a very strong team and even though the team’s opponent rarely was any good. It’s also worth noting that discipline seemingly wasn’t a problem for the team, as it only once (that 0-31 debacle in 2003) had a bad penalty day, unlike Dallas yesterday.
How can a consistently winning franchise facing consistently inferior opponents struggle this much opening week, even with the best of head coaches? There is no clear or certain answer, but the most likely one is this: execution. Blame the gameplan or the scheme or the lack of in-game adjustments all you want, but in the first week of football a TEAM is playing this most team-based of games for the first time that year, and the team is made up of individuals who are working at full speed for the first time as well. That easily opens up the opportunity for good teams to fire at far less than all cylinders and start off with a weak effort. It also means that increased mistakes make it easier for playmakers to make a huge play in this open stanza.