Film room: Here’s what defensive lineman Michael Bennett brings to the Dallas Cowboys - John Owning, Dallas Morning News
Another year, another big trade for the Cowboys. Can Bennett match Cooper’s production?
On the field, Bennett just wasn’t a good fit in Bill Belichick’s ever-changing defense. Bennett is excellent at what he does, but what he does only jibes with a specific type of scheme. He thrives when he has the freedom to play upfield and attack the backfield, but when he’s asked to two-gap or occupy blocks, he’s less effective.
Bennett fits in Rod Marinelli’s penetrating one-gap defense like a glove, though. Bennett is an upfield disruptor who wins with an elite get-off and outstanding hand usage. He also possesses the position flexibility to align at defensive end or under tackle (three-technique) and maintain his effectiveness.
Bennett’s best trait is his ability to get after and apply pressure on opposing quarterbacks. He has long been one of the best pass rushers in the NFL, posting 70-plus quarterback pressures in six of his last seven seasons (48 in 2016), according to Pro Football Focus. To put that into perspective: DeMarcus Lawrence led the Cowboys with 66 pressures last season -- Bennett had 78.
While he doesn’t possess great speed or power, Bennett is able to be effective because he’s a black belt-caliber hand fighter. He’s seriously lethal.
Dallas Cowboys: The beauty of the Michael Bennett trade - Reid Hanson, Sport DFW
The Cowboys acquired Michael Bennett for practically nothing, but that may not even be the best part.
Our homies over at the Philadelphia FanSided site, Section 215, called him, “the ultimate low-risk, high reward acquisition” for the Cowboys.
Now, Michael Bennett comes with some baggage. The Bennett brothers are known for a certain level of crazy and Bennett seems to be getting more prickly with age. But if the Dallas Cowboys can focus that crazy they may be able to get a highly motivated player out of this. At the very least, we all know Bennett will be balling when Dallas meets New England later in the season.
As a one-year low-cost rental, Bennett offers very little risk and a pretty good amount of reward. Rookie Trysten Hill has struggled rotating with Maliek Collins at the 3-tech, replacing Hill with Bennett would be a significant upgrade. Remember, Collins was recently named one of the NFL’s top pass-rushers this season.
And with the ability to play the edge as well, Dallas has more depth in their DE rotation of Demarcus Lawrence, Robert Quinn, and Kerry Hyder (Dorance Armstrong has been struggling with injuries).
Cowboys News: Stephen Jones Says Team Will Figure Out Dak Prescott Contract - Tim Daniels, Bleacher Report
Stephen better not lie to us...
Dallas Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said Friday he’s confident the team will eventually reach an agreement with quarterback Dak Prescott on a contract extension.
Jones explained during an appearance on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas (via Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk) the Cowboys’ front office is hopeful Prescott understands the importance of keeping money available for other players on the roster, though:
”In my mind, he’s flawless. So the only thing we need him to do is work with us a little bit, and I understand because it’s his money and easy for someone else to say. But the only reason we’re having a negotiation is to talk him into all the reasons as to why it’s good to have a supporting cast around him.
”Other than that, it would be really easy to write the check. It’s not saving Jerry [Jones] and I any money. What we’re trying to do is keep this young football team together. We think it’s a really good one, and we think it’s only going to get better because it is young. Other than that, this negotiation would have been over with months ago. But I think he understands where we’re coming from. We understand where he’s coming from, and ultimately, we’ll figure this out.”
Orlando Scandrick torched the Eagles and praised the Cowboys while appearing on FS1’s “Undisputed” - RJ Ochoa, Blogging the Boys
Trouble in Philadelphia? You absolutely love to see it.
It’s really interesting to hear Scandrick discuss how success is partly what’s plaguing the Eagles right now (it’s also interesting how different these comments are from the ones he had originally following the last Cowboys win). There are very few teams that win the Super Bowl (which the Eagles did to their credit) and are able to maintain that success. Outside of the New England Patriots, the list of teams is fairly short.
Sometimes people need time to allow them to reflect which might be why Scandrick is feeling the way he is. He offered a very authentic response to a different question when he noted that what he feels is the worst mistake of his career was not riding things out with the Cowboys when the going got tough. Tip of the hat to The Athletic’s Jon Machota for originally transcribing:
“If I could take back one thing or one regret that I have in my whole entire sports career, it would have been to stay with that Dallas Cowboys organization through thick and thin. I had a long, long conversation with Sean Lee before the game on the phone... It wasn’t even about football, it was just about his loyalty to Dallas and how I was happy for him for grinding through and being healthy and continuing to fight despite what everyone said about him. He was just telling me that he loves it. He loves being in Dallas. The work he has put in with those guys. H loves coming to work every day. I can’t say my last two years of football have been like that.”
Where Does SI.com Slot the Dallas Cowboys in this Week’s NFL Power Rankings? - Mike Fisher, Cowboy Maven
Does Sports Illustrated buy into the Cowboys?
FRISCO - As always, I remind the Dear Reader that this is a fun parlor game not to be taken too seriously. I mean, did the Dallas Cowboys literally go from being the NFL’s 18th best team one week into being its 10th best team seven days later?
Well, in the latest Sports Illustrated NFL Power Rankings, yes, yes they did.
The esteemed panel of voters vaulted the Cowboys up the ladder in large part by virtue of Dallas’ impressive 37-10 victory over the hated Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday night. And there is a good argument to be made for what the vault means, as SI.com writes:
10. DALLAS COWBOYS (4-3)
Previous rank: 16
Points in poll: 162
Highest-place vote: 7 (2 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 13 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Beat Philadelphia, 37-10
This week: Bye
Spagnola: Rare Talent To Fuel 2nd-Half Surge - Mickey Spagnola, DallasCowboys.com
After dropping a game to the Jets, the Cowboys will need to steal a win in the second half of the season to even things up.
FRISCO, Texas – Seven down, nine to go.
Cowboys 4-3, first place in the NFC East at the bye.
Just OK. Could have been better. Heck, should have been better. Face it, 5-2 was not far off.
Each side of the ball had its say-what moment. The offense in that 10-point effort against the Saints. The defense giving up 34 points against the Packers. Special Teams, Mr. 60-yarder missing from 54 and 33 against Green Bay.
So after taking a deep breath this bye week, the Cowboys get back at it a week from Monday. First the Giants (2-5), then the gauntlet of Vikings (5-2), at Lions (2-3-1), at Patriots (7-0), Bills (5-1) on the short Thanksgiving week, and at Bears (3-3) the following Thursday.
Starting with Detroit, that’s that brutal stretch we recognized when the schedule came out, three of four games on the road, but also four games within 19 days, averaging out to a game every 4.75 days.
Garrett: Vander Esch, Quinn to return from injuries vs Giants - Tony Thompson, Cowboys Wire
It sounds like the Cowboys should be back to full health post-bye.
The only bad news during the Dallas Cowboys domination of the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday night was the health scare that gripped the team in regards to linebacker Leighton Vander Esch and defensive end Robert Quinn. Vander Esch suffered a neck injury that has since been classified as a stinger while Quinn had a rib injury of undetermined severity.
Jason Garrett took the podium on Thursday ahead of the team’s final bye week practice and shared some uplifting news. Two of the team’s best defensive players will be back in the fold when preparation for the second match-up with the New York Giants begins.
The Giants aren’t the most intimidating of opponents. Dallas handled them with ease in Week 1 and despite the short-lived momentum that rookie quarterback Daniel Jones brought to the Big Apple, it dissipated quickly. Still, the Cowboys defense is trying to piece it together. A unit that was expected to make strides from last year’s largely promising performance has fell flat more often than not.
Here is how Cowboys fans are feeling this week.