Will Tyron Smith play on Sunday?
FRISCO, Texas – The Cowboys will continue to monitor the injury status of starting left tackle Tyron Smith ahead of Sunday’s home opener against the Atlanta Falcons.
Smith did not practice Thursday and did not take part in Friday’s walkthrough due to a neck injury that occurred during individual work Thursday, head coach Mike McCarthy said.
“We’re really frankly just going through the process, gathering the information,” McCarthy said. “As far as the plan, you’re always working different scenarios. We’ll continue to do that today and tomorrow. We’ll see how Tyron is tomorrow, will probably be the determining factor.
“I don’t have all the information, but I know he wants to go. He’s a pro and he’s doing everything possible with the training staff. We have time. We have another 48 hours, so we’ve just got to, A, do what’s best for him personally and we’ll go from there.”
Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones also indicated that Smith could be a game-time decision. The official injury report for the Cowboys and Falcons will be announced later Friday.
“We’ll see at game time what we’ve got with him,” Jones told 105.3 The Fan. “The good news is the people that would replace him, the combinations of people, have had more time to work on it than we had this time last week.”
‘Our honeymoon is over’: Mike McCarthy seeks first win as Dallas Cowboys coach after Week 1 disappointment - Jori Epstein, USA Today
The fanbase has been down on the Cowboys new coaching staff after their week one performance, can they bounce back in week two?
FRISCO, Texas — Mike McCarthy can rattle off the list of issues.
Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott was “under duress” too frequently, his protection allowing nine pressures and three sacks to Aaron Donald and the Los Angeles Rams in the season opener.
Cowboys were off on their timing, logging issues with route depth and run defense fits, double-team blocks and special-teams technique.
“Frankly, we looked like a football team that played its first game,” McCarthy said Monday after the Cowboys fell short 20-17 at SoFi Stadium.
So it doesn’t much matter to McCarthy whether fans point to the failed fourth-and-3 conversion, the scrutinized offensive pass-interference call or a series of issues that preceded both plays. Sure, the Cowboys “did a lot of good things,” McCarthy said. But the new Cowboys coach’s message at 0-1 is clear.
“At the end of the day, our honeymoon is over,” McCarthy said. “It’s time to win games. And that’s our focus and we need to do better.”
It’s time to make Michael Gallup a focal point.
When people talk about the offensive firepower the Dallas Cowboys have been able to put together this season, Michael Gallup’s name isn’t one that quickly comes to mind. Despite coming off a 1,000 yard season, Gallup still doesn’t receive the kind of respect he probably deserves. But, that could be changing after the way things went down in Week 1.
Call me crazy if you want, but I believe Michael Gallup is more important than ever after the Dallas Cowboys loss last week at the hands of the Los Angeles Rams. If not for the questionable offensive pass interference call, Gallup likely would’ve been the hero last week. Sadly that wasn’t the case, but don’t be surprised if he’s the one leading the charge from here on out.
As things stand right now, Michael Gallup is arguably the most dependable offensive weapon the Dallas Cowboys have at their disposal, minus Ezekiel Elliott of course. I know it sounds crazy, but if you hang in there just a little longer I think I can lay this out a little better to sway you to my way of thinking.
As much as I hate to say it, the Dallas Cowboys can’t rely on Amari Cooper staying healthy for an entire season. He’s already dealing with yet another foot injury, something that plagued him throughout the season last year as well. Add that to Blake Jarwin’s season-ending knee injury, No. 13’s importance becomes a little more clear.
A lot of ire being directed at McCarthy and Moore revolves around the lack of pre-snap movement, play-action, and other “fun” things the fanbase has been dying to see for years. There is definitely some validity to that argument.
A deep dive into the tape reveals that ran 69 plays. On twelve of those plays, someone was put into pre-snap motion. Another nine times, there was some sort of shift prior to the snap. Nine times, the Dallas Cowboys showed the Rams play-action.
Depending on whether or not you count shifts as pre-snap movement, the offense had someone moving either 17% or 30% of the time. Thirty percent of the time would be sufficient. Seventeen, not so much.
The more concerning number to me is the lack of play-action passing. Quarterback Dak Prescott is one of the better play-action passers in the league. Running back Ezekiel Elliott is a huge threat in the run game. The receiving corps is one of the best in all of football.
This should be a staple, not an afterthought. Prescott was 6 for 9 on play-action for 76 yards. Elliott will always be a focal point of any defense. Expect to see more of this, starting this coming Sunday at home.
All things considered, I feel quite comfortable telling you that this offense will improve as the year goes on. Seventeen points on the scoreboard is not what any of us hoped for or wanted to see. Consider this an aberration and not the norm. Most of all, in the famous words of a Cowboys tormenter… R.E.L.A.X.
Schultz needs to rise to the occasion.
What the Cowboys now face is complete uncertainty at the position, and the results through one week aren’t promising as ESPN’s Bill Barnwell did his best Chris Hardwick impression and singled out Dalton Schultz’s Sunday night performance for providing mere peanuts in his snaps during the season opener. Schultz’s two drops and his depth on the fourth down attempt were akin to Lucy pulling the football away from Charlie Brown right before the kick.
The job of the deeper crossing route on mesh is to set the depth of the shorter route working underneath it. In a fourth-and-short situation like this, they wanted both crossing routes to be past the sticks so that their receivers could each run their routes and catch the ball at or past the first-down marker. Schultz, running the deeper crossing route, needed to run his route one yard past the sticks to leave Lamb enough space to run his crossing route at the sticks. Instead, as you can see from the NFL Next Gen Stats play animation below, Schultz ran his crossing route three yards deep, forcing Lamb to run his route two yards downfield, one yard short of the sticks.
27 tight ends saw at least three targets in Week 1. According to Football Outsiders, Schultz is ranked No. 24 in DYAR and no. 26 in DVOA, and the mesh play isn’t even a consideration in those efficiency metrics. He was easily one of the worst tight ends to garner significant playing time.
Will the Falcons defense be able to handle team “40 burger”?
Quinn brought that same type of defensive blueprint to Atlanta, although he wasn’t as much of a stickler for tall corners as Kris Richard was. Yet like Richard in Dallas, Quinn has struggled to find consistent success, highlighting how much of Seattle’s defensive success was due to the presence of elite players like Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, and Kam Chancellor.
But by getting Morris more directly involved with the defense this offseason, Quinn likely hoped to get back to the roots of their shared defensive philosophies. Perhaps together they could fashion some new defense that would launch the Falcons back into contender status. They also brought in a lot of new talent on that side of the ball; defensive end Dante Fowler and cornerback Darqueze Dennard joined rookies such as defensive tackle Marlon Davidson, cornerback AJ Terrell, and linebacker Mykal Walker.
So far, through one game, not much has changed. They got torched by Russell Wilson’s Seahawks, giving up 38 points while only forcing four incompletions by Wilson, who had a banner day. Atlanta’s offense outgained Seattle’s and even performed better on third downs, but still fell short because of how poorly the defense played.
It’s possible that this could just be chalked up to playing the first game of the season without any real offseason to speak of, and the tackling was especially bad. But the Atlanta defenders got exposed in a similar way to the Cowboys’ defense last year when running a similar scheme.
Predicting Falcons @ Cowboys.
There should be plenty of offensive fireworks on Sunday from both teams as they continue to round into football shape. AT&T Stadium will have 20,000 fans in attendance, so there will be a little extra juice in the stadium this week. Prescott should hit the ground running in front of the home crowd and connect on a couple of explosive plays early for the Cowboys to build some early momentum. Atlanta will strike back with a couple of scores from their offense to make the game interesting in the second half. In the end, Elliott will wear down the Falcons defense in the second half to secure Dallas’ first win of the year.
Prediction: Cowboys 38, Falcons 27
Will the Cowboys offense be able to limit these two defenders?
The Cowboys return home this week to face a Falcons team at AT&T Stadium, where there will be a few fans in attendance. That’s certainly an upgrade from last week’s game in LA in front of an empty stadium. Maybe the fans will help give the Cowboys some needed juice. This is a critical game for both teams as they both try to avoid an 0-2 start. Let’s take a look at the matchup:
Falcons could also be without their left tackle on Sunday.
There was reason for concern after starting left tackle Jake Matthews was held out of Wednesday’s practice due to a knee injury he sustained in Week 1 against the Seattle Seahawks, and he was listed on the team’s final game report as questionable ahead of Sunday’s matchup against the Dallas Cowboys.
Matthews practiced in a limited capacity on Thursday and Friday, sporing a knee brace on his left leg, and he was able to finish the game against Seattle, so it’s possible he’s able to tough it out this weekend. The Falcons showed improvement on the offensive line in Week 1, and Matthews will be a big part of the long-term success of that unit moving forward. Also listed on the injury report for Friday were running back Todd Gurley and left guard James Carpenter, but there are no issues there, as they both were receiving a veteran rest day.
BTB Podcast Schedule
- Monday: Girls Talkin ‘Boys with Kelsey Charles and Meg Murray
- Tuesday: The 75O with Tony Casillas and RJ Ochoa
- Wednesday: Talkin’ The Star with Connor Livesay, Cole Patterson, and Dalton Miller
- Thursday: Broadcasting The ‘Boys with Ari Temkin and Roy White
- Friday: Girls Talkin ‘Boys with Kelsey Charles and Meg Murray
- Saturday: Cowboys Hoy with Mauricio Rodriguez
We also offer daily episodes of The Ocho where we give you that day’s latest headlines so that you always stay caught up. The BTB podcast network is available on all major podcast avenues.
You can find your preferred platform right here. Make sure to subscribe, rate the feed, and leave a review! Our latest episode is available in the feed down below.