In Dalton we trust.
During CeeDee Lamb’s three years at Oklahoma he played with three different quarterbacks. Baker Mayfield. Kyler Murray. Jalen Hurts. All phenomenal talents, all different styles of players. He thrived with all three of them and carried that chemistry over into his rookie season catching passes from Dak Prescott.
But when Prescott left in the third quarter of last Sunday’s game against the Giants with a serious ankle injury, Andy Dalton came into the huddle and the Cowboys’ offense had to figure out how to stay on the field after seeing their leader and teammate go down. In Giants’ territory, Dalton was sacked immediately. But then, on 3rd and six, Dalton completed his first completion as a Cowboy to the rookie Lamb for an 11-yard gain. Ezekiel Elliott scored on the very next play, producing seven points instead of settling for three in a game they would ultimately win by just three.
Asked how he so seamlessly transitions from one quarterback to the next, Lamb told the media on Friday that it’s all about what he can do right.
“Being in the right position at the right time for the quarterback,” Lamb said. “It doesn’t matter who’s in. As long as me and the quarterback are on the same page at any given moment then a spark can happen.”
Film room: Here’s how the Dallas Cowboys can maximize Andy Dalton as their starting QB - John Owning, Dallas Morning News
Can Andy Dalton get it done?
The Cowboys were commonly included among the teams with a legitimate shot at a Lombardi Trophy entering the season, mostly because of quarterback Dak Prescott and the weapons around him.
With Prescott lost for the rest of the season because of a gut-wrenching ankle injury, it would be dumb not to recalibrate expectations for these Cowboys with Andy Dalton at quarterback. We can debate the merits of tanking until the cows come home (I tend to land on the pro-tanking side), but the reality is that won’t even be a consideration for the Cowboys as long as they have a real shot at winning the NFC East. And judging by the division’s laughable ineptitude through five weeks, that’s not going away anytime soon.
A Super Bowl appearance may no longer be in the cards, but that doesn’t mean Dallas can’t still have a successful season (win the NFC East). The Cowboys will certainly need to see improvements on defense without Prescott — who was playing like a top-five quarterback before his injury — but because the NFL is a quarterback’s league, the key to success will be maximizing Dalton under the umbrella of the offense.
Andy Dalton aims to keep Dallas Cowboys offense from drop-off without Dak Prescott Todd Archer, ESPN
Dalton discusses his play and the Cowboys offense.
“We don’t see things changing much. I feel like we can just run this offense,” Dalton said Friday. “I’ve been in a lot of different systems and kind of been through it all, so I like everything that we’re doing and my job is to keep this thing exactly how Dak had it. Dak was playing really well, and we don’t feel like we want there to be any drop-off since he’s not going to be in there.”
“Obviously, I’ve been used to starting. I mean for the last nine years, so my role is a little different the first five games being behind Dak, but now it’s like getting back to basically how it was for me,” Dalton said. “And so I know how to prepare. I’ve got a routine that I’ve been used to that I’ve done that I feel like has worked really well for me. It’s not really a whole lot new that I’m trying to figure out. I’ve got the experience of doing this for a while.”
“Your role is a lot different and you’re seeing things from a different vantage point being on the sideline and not being the guy out there,” Dalton said. “It definitely gives you appreciation for being out there, being the guy, being the one that’s out there with the ability to impact the game. Yeah, I mean I definitely think it’s going to make me a better quarterback.”
Cowboys vs. Cardinals injury report: Dallas fully healthy on Friday’s injury report - Dave Halprin, Blogging the Boys
Dallas should have some reinforcements against the Cardinals.
The Dallas Cowboys have had their fair share of injuries this season. Of course, Dak Prescott’s being the most noteworthy and the latest. He joins a long list of Cowboys starters who will miss the rest of the season. But in terms of their current injury situation, Dallas is actually looking pretty good.
Earlier today, coach Mike McCarthy told the media that linebacker Leighton Vander Esch had a good day of practice on Thursday and that today he would go through his first padded practice on Friday. Because Vander Esch isn’t on the active roster yet and is still officially on IR, his name doesn’t appear on the injury report. Hopefully he got through today unscathed and will be able to play on Monday night.
As for the active roster players, the Cowboys had everyone participate. Everson Griffen returned after missing yesterday’s practice with a personal matter. The defensive line saw DeMarcus Lawrence, Tyrone Crawford, and Dorance Armstrong as full participants, and cornerback Trevon Diggs is also good to go so far this week.
Who are you most excited to get back?
Of those available to return to the active roster, which players must Dallas get back in the lineup in order to improve their play? — JIM WHATLEY / HENDERSON, TX
Rob: It’s hard to believe it’s been almost a full calendar year since we’ve seen Leighton Vander Esch make a complete start. They need his presence in the middle of the defense. He and Jaylon Smith complement each other well when they’re both in the game. Joe Thomas has done a really nice job these first few weeks, but a deeper linebacker group is going to be very important to stop teams from trying to load up and run against them like Cleveland did.
What’s going on with Amari Cooper?
Anyone know what’s going on with Amari Cooper? He’s just five games into his five-year, $100 million contract extension he earned from the Dallas Cowboys this offseason, but already he’s seeing less and less playing time from week to week. In fact, his offensive snaps have continually decreased since the season opener.
Whether by design or mistake, the Dallas Cowboys aren’t using Amari Cooper like the No. 1 wide receiver he’s getting paid as. Instead it looks as if he slowly seeing his role decreased and with the way CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup have been playing it’s not all that surprising. But, the question I have is whether it’s intentional or not.
Amari Cooper’s snap counts through Week 5
Week 1 – 94.4%
Week 2 – 91.5%
Week 3 – 79.3%
Week 4 – 76.8%
Week 5 – 63.6%
As you can see, No. 19 has seen a dramatic dip in his playing time since the season opener against the Los Angeles Rams. His offensive snaps have dropped by nearly 31% and for someone who’s who’s being paid like he is that’s completely unacceptable. There’s been no announcement made as to why Cooper’s role is being slowly diminished, but there has to be some underlying cause.
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