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Cowboys news: Looking forward to the Giants, more Panthers post-mortems

Plus Dez Bryant and David Irving sightings.

Dallas Cowboys v Carolina Panthers
A lot rides on these two.
Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Week 2 Cowboys-Giants tilt is elimination game - K.D. Drummond, Cowboys Wire
Here's another take on why the Giants game is rather close to a real must-win.

The 1993 Cowboys are a great example of a team which overcame an 0-2 start. Star running back and Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith held out at the beginning of the season, but got a new contract and Dallas went on to win a Super Bowl.

In fact, there have been three teams since 1990 who have started 0-2 and won the Lombardi that year, the last of which were the 2007 New York Giants. The 2001 New England Patriots were the third team to do so.

There have been 28 teams since 1990 to start 0-2 and still make the playoffs. It isn’t unheard of, it’s just unlikely.

Insider preview reveals how Cowboys can defeat Giants in Week 2 - Patrik Walker, 247 Sports
The bad news is that the Cowboys really can't afford to lose the upcoming Giants game. The good news are that there are ways to do that.

Yes, there's just a tad bit of pressure here, especially after seeing the Cowboys' offense continue to struggle. Good news comes by way of the defense though, who held the Carolina Panthers to only 16 points and had timely takeaways despite battling a 2-11 third-down conversion rate from an offense that could muster only one touchdown -- it's only in the last 10 regular season quarters of play. The defense will have the much easier road once again in Week 2, with the addition of rookie guard Will Hernandez and running back Saquon Barkley doing little to salve the wound that is Ereck Flowers at left tackle and an immobile, turnover-prone Eli Manning behind center.

Barkley was impressive in his debut and will be a handful in space, as evidenced by his 68-yard TD, but that was 57% of his rushing production. This is evidence of the porous nature of the Giants' offensive line, an issue the Cowboys' stellar defensive front can readily take advantage of. It'll be the task of the linebacker unit, the only soft spot for the Cowboys' defense in Week 1, to keep him contained when used a s a receiver out of the backfield -- having seen six targets against the Jacksonville Jaguars. He'd only reel in two of them for 22 total yards, but it's a clear flare of what the Giants are trying to do as they work to wiggle him free in space.

O-Line Moves Forward With A New Challenge Next - Rob Phillips,
Bad O line play was one of the big issues for Dallas in the opener. They are working on it, but seem to think they can clean things up.

Prescott’s six sacks were the second-most of his career, though some of the pressure he faced came late in the game with the Cowboys behind and in pass-first mode.

The Cowboys currently have two new starters on the line: Joe Looney, who’s filling in at center for Travis Frederick (Guillain-Barre Syndrome), and rookie left guard Connor Williams, who faced off against Pro Bowl-caliber defensive tackle Kawann Short and allowed two sacks.

“He’s doing well,” Smith said. “He’s doing everything that we’re asking him to do. Little things here and there we’ve got to clean up as a group.”

Said head coach Jason Garrett on Monday: “We feel like we have the guys who are capable of playing well up front. The new pieces for us right now with Joe Looney taking Travis Frederick’s place, looked like he did a pretty good job in the game. Wasn’t perfect, but he played a pretty sound game for us.”

5 underutilized Cowboys who need their training wheels removed - K.D. Drummond, Cowboys Wire
Nice list of players who should see more action, starting with this one.

Tavon Austin, play the man. Damn.

Were the Cowboys just blowing smoke in everyone’s faces for the last five months? Since his acquisition during Day 3 of the NFL draft, Austin has been touted as Weapon X for the Dallas offense. He’s going to get 20 touches, they said. He’s not just a web back as we thought initially, he’s capable of making a big impact as a boundary receiver, they said. He has the presence of a Michael Irvin, they said.


Austin was on the field for all of 10 snaps Sunday against the Panthers. The quickest man on the football field, never got a chance to show what he could do. Was the hype all lip service to placate a fanbase when the team did next-to-nothing to replace the star power and targets vacated by the release of Dez Bryant and retirement of Jason Witten?

Giants’ Landon Collins: Stop Ezekiel Elliott, make Dak Prescott throw - Dan Benton, Giants Wire
Folks, the blueprint for beating the Cowboys is stopping Ezekiel Elliott, unless Dallas can change things. And the Giants know.

Giants safety Landon Collins recognizes that and even took it a step further on Wednesday afternoon, telling reporters that Big Blue will stand a better chance at winning if they are able to stop Elliott and force quarterback Dak Prescott to beat them through the air.

“We really just have to focus on stopping Zeke. We need to make sure we’re playing our gap assignments and make sure we [take] the air out of their running game,” Collins said. “Put the ball into Dak’s hands and I think we have a better shot at winning.”

Cowboys Week 1 Notes: WR Snap Counts Don't Match Preseason Hype ✭ John Williams, Inside the Star
This is more fuel for the "fire Garrett and Linehan" crowd.

Aside from Lance Lenoir, Michael Gallup was probably the most consistent and productive wide receiver in training camp. Practice report after practice report talked about Gallup making plays.

Tavon Austin came with a ton of fanfare. He was viewed as a weapon you could use in many ways. Think of a lesser version of Tyreek Hill.

So it comes as a bit of a surprise when you look at the snap counts from Sunday's game that Michael Gallup and Tavon Austin saw fewer snaps than journeyman Wide Receiver Deonte Thompson.

10 NFL quarterback stats that actually mattered this week - Bill Connelly,
You kinda knew Dak would show up in this post, and not in a good way.

Dak Prescott was doomed from the start

Whether running or, as you see above, passing on first down, it seemed like Dallas immediately in second-and-long regardless. Dak Prescott attempted 23 passes on second, third, or fourth down, and on 19 of them, Dallas needed at least seven yards to move the chains.

Prescott actually went 11-for-16 on such downs, which isn’t bad, all things considered. But the 11 completions gained only 96 yards, and he took three sacks as well. He had no time to look downfield, and on the rare opportunities that he did, he usually misfired, going just 3-for-9 on passes thrown more than 10 yards downfield. Defense kept the Cowboys in the game, but the offense simply had nothing to offer.

Is Cowboys Maliek Collins Becoming Jay Ratliff v2.0? - Steve Van Over, Pro Football Talk Line
Maliek Collins had a good game against Carolina. But that may have a heavy price.

Just like Jay Ratliff before him who was a natural 3-tech who played at the 1 from time to time Collins will excel in these matchups. However, he will also most likely have a shortened, injury-laden career with sub-optimal results, just like Ratliff who left the Cowboys after almost getting in a physical altercation with Jerry Jones over his injury status.

In Malik’s rookie campaign, when he regularly manned the 3-tech, he delivered 5 sacks, a forced fumble, a recovery, and 17 solo tackles. He was forced into full-time 1-tech duty the next season due to injury and put up 2.5 sacks and 10 solo tackles. He also tabbed 2 fumble recoveries but the drop in production in the face of increased snaps is not explainable just because of the position responsibility changes. All of Marinelli’s DLinemen are expected to get to the QB. Collins quickly wore down as the season progressed and other teams were able to target him on running downs. It was not a good situation. The results reflected that on game day.

Dez Bryant was hanging out with Jerry Jones at Tuesday night’s Beyonce concert at AT&T Stadium - R.J. Ochoa, Blogging The Boys
This made headlines in Dallas, but it is really just about a warm relationship between owner and former player.

While the Cowboys won’t make their 2018 debut at AT&T Stadium until this Sunday a different worldwide empire performed there on Tuesday night - Beyonce. That’s right, the On The Run Tour II rolled through Arlington and as you can imagine many people from the DFW area were there. Plenty of Cowboys players even posted photos from being there themselves.

There was one former Cowboy in the building though, and we’re not talking about somebody who’s playing days are well behind them (well, we don’t think we are). Dez Bryant was at AT&T Stadium for the Beyonce concert and he was sitting next to Jerry Jones of all people.

On Dez, Jerry, Beyonce, Jay-Z, Beasley and Cowboys critics poop - Mike Fisher, 247 Sports
With Dez getting so much attention for showing up at Jerry Jones' side at the Beyonce concert, this takes a look at who is (after one week) the new top receiver for the Cowboys, Cole Beasley.

Beasley -- now that Dez is a concert-goer and a social-media commentator himself -- may be the top dog in the receivers room now ... and may be learning a lesson about the benefits and pitfalls of citizenship on "America's Team'' -- especially after occurrences like Sunday's season-opening 16-8 loss at Carolina.

“There are a lot of things people see and don’t understand,” Beasley said of Cowboys critics. “There is a lot of opinions out there about what we shouldn’t or shouldn’t do or how bad the group is. We can’t read and can’t care about it ... One of the biggest reason you can’t listen to any of it … It’s all full of poop.''

Report: David Irving returns to team facility for conditioning - Patrik Walker, 247 Sports
We have some David Irving news, and it's actually positive.

Irving has reportedly begun working out with the Cowboys' strength and conditioning staff at the team facility, according to Todd Archer of ESPN, as allowed by the rules of his suspension. He won't be able to practice, but he can attend meetings and condition as needed. This should put a big smile on the face of the Cowboys' front office and coaching staff, with Irving missing nearly all of the offseason due to personal issues, reporting only to mandatory minicamp -- where he was deemed to not be in football shape.

It appears he's on his way to making sure that's not the case when he's eligible to return on Oct. 7 to face the Houston Texans.

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