The onside kick no Cowboys fan is likely to forget gets a name.
“We didn’t really have, like, a specific name for it – but it is really the Watermelon Kick,” said special teams coordinator John Fassel. “It’s laying on the turf like a watermelon and you spin it like a watermelon would spin.”
What better description could there be for Greg Zuerlein’s onside kick attempt with 1:49 to play in a 39-37 ball game? Ever so slightly kicked toward the Falcons’ hands team, the ball seemed to die just as it got 10 yards from Zuerlein’s foot – allowing C.J. Goodwin to fall on top of it.
“What C.J. did was better than I could’ve drawn up on a piece of paper,” Fassel said. “He was the behind-the-ball player, and he was just tracking it – he must have been inches from it. And he knows as soon as it crosses the front part of the white 45-yard line, that it’s live and it’s ours. And he pounced right when it crossed the line.”
Fassel laughed and declined to comment when he was asked if he opted to kick away from Atlanta’s sideline on purpose. It was an obvious suggestion that he didn’t want the Falcons’ coaching staff influencing their players’ thought process.
The debate still carries on about one of the more curious decisions Mike McCarthy made in the game.
On Sunday, the Cowboys scored a touchdown with five minutes left to make the score 39-30. And the Cowboy went for two instead of one.
Going for one and converting it would have left the Cowboys down by eight points. A successful two-pointer would have reduced the margin to seven. Failing kept it a two-score game.
The argument, as articulated by coach Mike McCarthy, for going for two is this: Eventually, you’ve got to go for two and convert it. It’s better to try now, because if you fail you know that you need two scores in the time that’s left. If you wait to go for two, there may not be a chance to rectify it by getting the ball back.
Since most teams have a two-point play in mind during the latter stages of the game, if it’s going to not work it may as well not work sooner than later. So there’s some superficial appeal to rolling the dice then and there. However, as noted last night by Hall of Fame head coach Tony Dungy, going for two and failing takes significant pressure off the team that’s leading, since it knows it has a two-score lead. Going for one makes it a one-score game, giving the team that’s leading a different mindset when it gets the ball back.
Psychology is and always will be the water’s edge of analytics. Numbers and formulas and percentages have their place. They can’t, won’t, and never will factor intangible realities like the mindset of a team up by one score versus the mindset of a team up by two scores.
Cowboys optimistic Tyron Smith can play in Week 3, but could be game-time decision - Dave Halprin, BloggingTheBoys
They are really going to need him this week against a tough Seahawks defense.
“Tyron’s got a great shot to play this week,” Cowboys chief operating officer Stephen Jones said Monday on 105.3 The Fan. “We’ll see. It’ll be probably another game-time type decision for us.
“He certainly has an opportunity to play this week, and then I thought between the group that was out there, with (Brandon) Knight and (Terence) Steele, they did a really solid job for us.”
Jones went on to add that they don’t have plans right now to add another offensive lineman. Ron Leary was reportedly a visitor to Dallas but it doesn’t look like the team will sign him, at least not yet.
Week 4 will be important because La’el Collins will be able to come off injured reserve, so if he returns, and the Cowboys get Tyron Smith back, things will be much more stable on the offensive line.
We have to give DeMarcus Lawrence time to adjust, but he still needs to make some type of impact.
So… where was DeMarcus Lawrence? That is the pressing question that needs to be asked about the Dallas Cowboys’ $105 million man following their exhilarating 40-39 comeback victory over the Atlanta Falcons. The Cowboys’ pass rush has been non-existent over the first two weeks of the season, registering only two sacks. The second, Everson Griffen’s in Sunday’s win, was a coverage sack and the question has to be asked, where is the man that is supposed to anchor this unit?
We go into the stats of the first two games and see not only is he not producing at a high level, but he’s being outsnapped. Is he injured or is it something else?
Whatever the case is, with all that is tormenting the Cowboys as they try to incorporate the lessons from new head coach Mike McCarthy and new defensive coordinator Mike Nolan sans any semblance of a normal offseason, the team could definitely use the artillery Lawrence normally provides.
Dallas Cowboys vs. Seattle Seahawks 2020: Prediction Against The Spread, Line For Week 3 - Anthony Riccobono, International Business Times
The Cowboys can’t make the same mistakes this week against the Seahawks.
The Seahawks and Cowboys are among the best offensive teams in the league. Seattle ranks second overall with 36.5 points per game and 6.9 yards per play. A season after finishing first in total offense, Dallas is second with 475.0 yards per game. The Cowboys are fifth in yards per play (6.3) and eighth in points per game (28.5).
Neither team has excelled defensively, to put it kindly.
The Seahawks are dead last in total defense and 30th in yards per play allowed. The Cowboys rank 25th in yards allowed. Seattle has three sacks. Dallas has only sacked the quarterback twice.
Dallas needed a historic comeback and an onside kick to defeat the Atlanta Falcons 40-39 in Week 2. Seattle beat Atlanta 38-25 in the season opener, winning rather handily.
Self-inflicted wounds put the Cowboys in an early hole. Dallas lost three fumbles and failed to convert on a pair of fake punts. An explosive offense plus a little bit of luck helped Dallas pick up its first win of the year.
That’s my quarterback......
As usual let’s start with this quarterback. After one of the worst offensive starts in team history, Dak Prescott put the team on his back. Prescott finished with 450 yards passing, four total touchdowns, and no interceptions. He made big throw after big throw to keep the Cowboys alive while their defense was exhausted in the second half. When the game script forced the Cowboys into passing situations, Kellen Moore opened up the offense and Prescott responded in a big way. Dallas needs to lean on Prescott and this passing game in neutral game situations going forward, or else they may find themselves playing from behind on a weekly basis.
This was the type of game we all envisioned when the Cowboys drafted CeeDee Lamb back in April. Each of their big three wide outs – Lamb, Amari Cooper, and Michael Gallup – made massive plays in the second half of this win. Lamb and Cooper both went for 100 yards, and while Gallup’s raw numbers are lagging behind, he still made possibly the single biggest catch of the game on the team’s final touchdown drive. Each of these guys brings a bit of a different flavor, and I love how Prescott involved all three on Sunday.
After week one, there was only one place for Dalton Schultz to go.
Several players rallied to help the Cowboys get head coach Mike McCarthy’s first victory in Dallas. Here are three players (and a bonus) whose stock is rising following the come-from-behind win.
Dalton Schultz, TE
Pressed into an important role in Week One due to a season-ending injury suffered by starting tight end Blake Jarwin, former fourth-rounder Dalton Schultz struggle with drops against the Los Angeles Rams in Week One. That was a disappointment following his stellar showing in training camp.
But Schultz had a strong bounce-back performance against Atlanta in Week Two. Posting a career-high nine catches for 88 yards and his first NFL touchdown, the third-year tight end has proven he’s fully capable of filling Jarwin’s shoes as the starter moving forward.
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