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Cowboys news: Aldon Smith shines, and no changes coming in the secondary

Even though the Cowboys lost there are positives to build on.

Dallas Cowboys v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Dallas Cowboys feature NFL’s top passer and sack leader - Steven Mullenax, The Landry Hat

Once the Cowboys, as a team, gets healthy, they can make a run in the NFC.

Quarterback Dak Prescott currently leads the NFL in passing yards. He’s thrown for a league-leading 1,188 yards in three games. That’s 50 more yards than the next highest passer, quarterback Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills.

Prescott threw for a career-high 472 yards in a 38-31 loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday. That’s following a 450-yard effort he had the week before in a come-from-behind victory over the Falcons. Dak’s previous career-high was a 463-yard game through the air he had against the Green Bay Packers in a Week Five matchup in 2019.

The Cowboys also feature the current sack leader of the NFL in Aldon Smith. Despite having not played in the league since 2015, Smith has made a successful return to professional football this season recording 4.0 total sacks through his first three games.

The 31-year old pass rusher racked up his first sack for the Dallas Cowboys against the Los Angeles Rams during his Week One debut for Dallas. On Sunday, against the Seahawks, Aldon Smith was able to sack quarterback Russell Wilson a whopping three times. He currently holds a half a sack lead over both Pittsburgh Steeler linebacker T.J. Watt and Chicago Bears defensive tackle Akiem Hicks.

Cowboys’ Aldon Smith on a tear in his NFL return, and it’s not too early to discuss an extension - Patrik Walker,

If I’m the Cowboys this may not be a bad idea. Strike now before the price goes up.

Is it time to discuss a possible extension with Smith, who was also named a team captain for Week 3?

It’s something that should at least be floating in the forefront of the Cowboys mind, and not simply for the reasons stated above. The decision to roll the dice on Smith is already paying off in a big way, and he continues to pass every test laid before him. The team structured his contract to ensure payouts for reporting to training camp on time and continuing his progressive ways, and they found themselves proud of not only his attendance, but the fact he dominated in ways that would suggest he was never indefinitely suspended in the first place. His potency in camp led Dak Prescott to label him “a monster” and it’s translated over to the regular season in spades, making his current deal an absolute steal.

Also, he doesn’t want to hear a damn thing about simplifying the Cowboys defense, telling everybody to “chill out” and allow time for it to be refined after a nontraditional offseason owned by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. By the looks of Smith, he’s already refined, and it makes you wonder just how lethal he’ll be in the second half of the season when he’s truly found his groove.

Stephen Jones: No Current Plans To Bring In DBs - David Helman,

Dallas has the talent, they just need to cut out the mental mistakes.

Fans and media alike have questioned since training camp whether the team should pursue a veteran safety, be it Earl Thomas or someone else, but the Cowboys have held firm.

Jones expressed optimism that the secondary would benefit from the return of injured starters like Chidobe Awuzie and Anthony Brown, who are currently on injured reserve. He also mentioned the additions of practice squad players like Rashard Robinson and Steven Parker, who were signed recently.

“Hopefully, we’ve got some guys who are coming our way in terms of guys coming off the three-week IR,” he said. “We really feel like, with what we have in our camp right now – had a couple guys we’ve got on the practice squad that made some headway last week that aren’t quite ready. But overall, feel like we’ve got the guys here on campus, ultimately, that can get the job done.”

Mistake-prone secondary tops list of issues for 1-2 Cowboys - Associated Press

This week it’s the safeties that let the Cowboys down with their blown coverages.

Safeties have struggled, with Xavier Woods letting Tyler Lockett run by him on a blown coverage for an easy 43-yard touchdown early. Darian Thompson, a starter because free agent pickup Ha Ha Clinton-Dix fizzled in training camp, was late recognizing D.K. Metcalf’s route on Seattle’s go-ahead touchdown in the final two minutes.

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver DK Metcalf, left, catches a pass from quarterback Russell Wilson near the end zone, but the ball was knocked loose by Dallas Cowboys cornerback Trevon Diggs during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Before Metcalf’s TD, the Cowboys gave up an 11-yard completion to Greg Olsen on fourth-and-3 when a stop might have sealed a second straight come-from-behind victory.

Diggs also let Metcalf get past him on what should have been a 63-yard touchdown in the first quarter, but Metcalf celebrated early, allowing Diggs to force a turnover by punching the ball out at the 1-yard line.

“It was really on us, honestly ... just miscommunication,” Diggs said. “There are things we´ve got to correct in practice and things like that. We´re going to get it right. It´s just communication. That´s literally it.”

Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll ‘pissed’ over tackle that injured RB Chris Carson - Brady Henderson,

Hill’s tackles has caused a little bit of a stir.

Carson was hurt in the fourth quarter of the Seahawks’ 38-31 win over the Dallas Cowboys Sunday when defensive tackle Trysten Hill executed what’s known as a gator-roll tackle. He brought down Carson from behind and, with both players on the ground, continued to hold onto the running back’s left leg while rolling over. Hill was not penalized on the play.

“Yeah, I was really pissed about that one,” Carroll told 710 ESPN Seattle. “I don’t know what’s going to happen with that, but I was pissed because that guy hurt him, unfortunately.”

A source tells ESPN’s Adam Schefter that Carson has what’s considered a one-to-two-week injury, but the team wants to see how he feels and recovers this week.

“We’ll just have to see how that goes,” Carroll said.

Cowboys have to ‘figure out a way and clean it up’ in a hurry - Todd Archer,

The Cowboys have quite a few things to clean up.

All three games this season have been one-score contests and the Cowboys are 1-2. In both losses, Dallas had a chance to win and came up short.

In the 20-17 loss in Week 1 against the Los Angeles Rams, an offensive pass interference penalty negated a 47-yard completion and doomed a comeback. In the 40-39 win against the Atlanta Falcons, the Cowboys scored 16 points in the final 4:57, recovering an onside kick to pull off the comeback.

Against the Seahawks, the Cowboys had three giveaways — two Dak Prescott interceptions and a lost fumble — and a muffed kickoff return that led to a Seattle safety. Prescott’s first interception came with 36 seconds to play in the half and led to Wilson’s third touchdown pass to Tyler Lockett with 7 seconds left in the half. On the first play of the second half, former Cowboy Benson Mayowa recovered a fumble forced by Jarran Reed at the Cowboys 5. Two plays later, Wilson had his fourth touchdown pass.

A 16-15 close game turned into a 30-15 game in less than two minutes of game time.

“I think like anything in the game of football, you need a return on investment on what you emphasize,” said Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy, lamenting the ball-security issues. “We’ve spent a tremendous amount of time handling the football and we need to do a much better job in that area.”

Prescott recounts Cowboys’ last-gasp pass play: ‘I want the ball in my hands’ - Todd Brock, Cowboys Wire

This is exactly what you want to hear from the leader of your team.

“Right there, guys were in the end zone,” Prescott told the media after the game. “Obviously, I didn’t think the guy was going to necessarily get an interception, but I was going to throw it up and give ourselves a chance to make a catch. If it goes incomplete, then we’d have another chance. I’m not going to be upset at the decision I made there.”

The fact that Prescott was able to get the pass off at all was remarkable. The Cowboys’ pass protection broke down on the fateful third-and-14 play. Up to that point, the drive had consisted of ten consecutive shotgun snaps as Dallas needed to move the ball 75 yards in the final 1:47 of regulation.

Rushing just three defenders, Seattle nearly had Prescott on the turf when end (and former Cowboy) Benson Mayowa wrapped up Prescott on the Seahawks 35-line. Prescott twisted free and performed some nifty acrobatics to stay upright and break free.

“They were playing pure zone coverage and really just trying to get it done with the pass rush,” Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy said of the last-gasp pass play. “Obviously, the beginning of the drive, we were able to get down there cleanly. Protection-wise, Dak had to move his feet on a couple plays there, and he made a tremendous play staying on his feet for the last play to get the ball thrown into the end zone.”

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