This bold prediction has the Cowboys dominating the NFC in 2020.
4) Coach of the Year Mike McCarthy’s Cowboys will be the NFC’s No. 1 seed
You betcha. After years of Dallas being stuck in the middle with Jason Garrett, McCarthy is the perfect remedy for what ails this team. The Super Bowl-winning coach is a great offensive mind. He will maximize the incredible weapons Dallas possesses on offense, with Zeke running behind a stout O-line and Dak Prescott throwing the ball to Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and CeeDee Lamb. The defense has some questions, especially in the secondary. But Dallas can rush the passer, and the linebacking duo of Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith is strong.
McCarthy also put together a fantastic coaching staff. There’s a new culture in Dallas. And with this offense, “America’s Team” is going to be so much fun to watch.
In unprecedented offseason, Cowboys have an attribute Mike McCarthy hasn’t been able to lean on before - David Moore, DMN
Mike McCarthy discusses working his new job in this unprecedented environment.
“Just work to the climate we’re in,’’ McCarthy said.
“We’re really keeping it about football. We’ve spent some time on the personal component of introducing each other and a limited amount on the philosophical approach.
“I’ve had plenty of time to sit here and think about it. And I think those things probably will be better served to be done in full force in person when we do have the opportunity to get together.’’
The script has been flipped. The first time through the playbook takes place in positional and individual sessions, not the team room. McCarthy believes this has been a more productive approach.
This is about installing and initiating the program. Targets are set each and every week.
“We still have to do things in a progression,’’ McCarthy said. “I feel like we’ve done that. We’ve taken this period of time to really just delve into the scheme responsibility that we’re involved in. You only have so much time.
“You’ve got to trust your instincts, awareness and experience during this time. That’s what I’ve been relying on.’’
More from McCarthy on this strange offseason.
McCarthy has yet to have an in-person team meeting, and when he addressed the full team via Webex, he did not have the capability to see all 90 faces looking at him. He acknowledged feeling a little behind in the process because it is his first year with a mostly new coaching staff (only four holdover assistants from Jason Garrett’s staff), a new defense and a partially reworked offense.
“You really don’t have a true comparable, but I think it’s obvious to think if we started April 6, like we normally would as a first-year program, we would be in a different spot than we are here today,” McCarthy said. “I am pleased with the amount of work that we have been able to accomplish. I think our coaches have been very creative. I think the communication and correspondence with players have been excellent. The questions have been intuitive. I think it leans toward the veteran experience of our football team that we’re able to get this much work done.”
Cowboys staff met with players first by position group before adding full offensive and defensive team meetings this week to help the learning process. He felt it would be better for the players to learn their specific job requirements in smaller groups to start and then get a bigger-picture schematic view.
One of the new Cowboys corners, Daryl Worley, gets a breakdown analysis.
Measuring 6-foot-1, 215 pounds, Worley has prototypical dimensions for any position in the secondary, particularly safety or cornerback. He is not a blazer, as evidenced by his 4.64-second forty-yard dash time at the 2016 NFL Combine but he displays good short-area quickness and agility.
In man coverage, Worley is an aggressive defender with a physical playing style. He is at his best playing nose-to-nose with wide receivers utilizing press and press-bail techniques. He possesses the length and hand-to-hand combat skills to jam and control defenders early in routes while maintaining “top-down” positioning down the field. When Worley handles his business at the line of scrimmage, he consistently wins the down due to his physicality and aggressiveness. However, he has a slim margin for error due to his lack of top-end speed and stop-start acceleration.
As a zone defender, Worley exhibits good instincts and awareness diagnosing routes. He sorts out concepts quickly and makes aggressive breaks to the ball on throws in his area. Although his aggressive style and limited explosiveness make him vulnerable to double moves, Worley’s quick reactions, vision and high football IQ make him a reliable zone defender out-wide or in the middle of the field (safety).
An UDFA looking to make the team at defensive tackle.
The Good: Marino’s tape is as good as it gets. It seems as if the Southern California native had an impact on every single defensive play and it showed with 29 hurries, 8.0 sacks and nine hits in 2019. His grades from Pro Football Focus also reflected his athleticism with elite numbers as both a pass rusher and a run defender (each 90+), all while generating pressure on over 13 percent of his snaps. An ultra-positive to Marino’s game is the way that he reads a ball carrier and is so quick off the line of scrimmage. His high-energy allows him to anticipate the snap and get a head start on the majority of the offensive linemen he faced in Conference USA play.
The Project: He looked like a grown man playing amongst boys in the Conference USA…partly because he was a grown man. Marino will be a 26-year-old rookie when the season rolls around this fall which partnered with his undersized frame is a troubling sign for his NFL career. Fundamentally he has a few nice moves with his hands but not a wide enough arsenal (that was shown on tape) to really outsmart opponents. His motor and energy is so sky-high sometimes that it actually hurts him in contain and losing the ball carrier. The effort is obviously there but it just spins out of control every now and again.
Special teams, not so special in 2019. One of our own breaks it down using EPA.
John Fassel might be the most important hire of the offseason. If he can fix the Cowboys’ woeful special teams play, several more games might be won.
Last year’s Rams special teams had a positive 2.34 EPA over 16 games, or 67.65 EPA better than the Cowboys.
The offensive EPA was excellent, and good enough to win all but 2 games (or 3 games if you discount the small positive score against New Orleans), but the defense and special teams tipped the team into negative territory.
There were 7 games where the defense was -9 or worse - Giants, Jets, Vikings, Packers, Bears, Eagles, Bills. The Cowboys lost 6 of those games. The Chiefs had 5 such games, and lost 3. The Ravens only had 2 such games, and lost both.
New rules and bylaws adopted by the NFL.
Approved 2020 Playing Rules Summary
2. By Philadelphia; to amend Rule 15, Section 2, to make permanent the expansion of automatic replay reviews to include scoring plays and turnovers negated by a foul, and any successful or unsuccessful Try attempt.
8. By Competition Committee; expands defenseless player protection to a kickoff or punt returner who is in possession of the ball but who has not had time to avoid or ward off the impending contact of an opponent.
9. By Competition Committee; prevents teams from manipulating the game clock by committing multiple dead-ball fouls while the clock is running.
Approved 2020 Bylaws Summary
2. By League Office; increases the number of players that may be designated for return from two to three. Incorporates interpretations applicable to bye weeks during the regular season and postseason.
What training camp position battle are you most looking forward to? We got into the notable ones on the latest episode of Broadcasting The ‘Boys.
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