The big question for the Cowboys is can they somehow solve their major issues in the secondary.
But what about the actual answers? The Cowboys had major coverage lapses for the second-straight week this past Sunday, as Tyler Lockett slipped free for 100 yards and three touchdowns on nine receptions.
Asked about it, [Jerry] Jones suggested that the Cowboys’ problems are more a result of adapting to a new defensive scheme than a lack of talent in the secondary.
“Let’s say that you interpreted some of the receivers running wide open as mental,” Jones said. “Let’s say that we did that, not necessarily physical, but the design of the defense just didn’t let the player physically get there in time to make a play. Let’s say it’s more mental. Then what you’re hearing is you can assume you can correct those mental mistakes.”
That has been a common refrain throughout the three weeks of this young season. Under first-year defensive coordinator Mike Nolan, the Cowboys are changing up their scheme for the first time in nearly a decade. Given the lack of an offseason program, a lengthy training camp or a preseason due to the outbreak of COVID-19, it makes sense if the Cowboys’ defensive backs are doing some adjusting on the fly.
At the same time, those words ring a bit hollow as the Cowboys prepare to play their fourth game. It’s understandable if things are still coming into focus, but that won’t change the NFL standings.
Until the offense produces fast starts, Cowboys’ defense will continue to get exposed - Jean-Jacques Taylor, DMN
The Cowboys offense could help the defense by starting faster and not turning the ball over.
All of this means the Dallas offense must be virtually perfect.
So it can’t turn the ball over three times like it did against Seattle and Atlanta.
In the past two games, opposing offenses have started six drives in Dallas territory, turning that into three touchdowns and three field goals. That’s one reason the Cowboys have led for just 13:27 this season.
Dak Prescott has thrown 143 passes this season, but only two have come with the Cowboys leading. Frankly, the blessing is the Cowboys are 1-2 and still atop the raggedy NFC East with the Washington Football Team.
The turnovers. The shady defense. The poor starts. All of it has kept the Cowboys from playing the style of football coach Mike McCarthy said they needed to play.
The Cowboys, he said, need to start fast, make the opposing offense one-dimensional and then turn the pass rushers loose.
“It would benefit us greatly to get a lead,” said McCarthy, “and play with a lead.”
Until they do, this defense will continue to get exposed.
In praising other mobile quarterbacks, Jerry Jones wasn’t criticizing Dak Prescott - Mike Florio, PFT
Certain local media for the Cowboys jumped on a story that Jerry Jones supposedly criticized Dak Prescott. That wasn’t the case at all if you just read what Jerry Jones actually said.
Jones was addressing the mobility of certain quarterbacks, which allows them to extend plays that otherwise may be over. He didn’t say Prescott had less ability in that regard; Jones put Prescott in their class.
“Obviously with their quarterback [Mahomes], who I think is at the highest level right now because of his, frankly, as much as just his natural ability to make plays, his mobility,” Jones said. “And this guy’s very quick and elusive and can get in and out of situations with his feet and buy time. The quarterback we played Sunday [Russell Wilson] is of that kind of nature. He’s very, has great ability to get in and out and then make the play, that play Dak made at the end of the game that got intercepted. Well the result of Dak’s ability that let him get that ball off was really great and outstanding. Well, these guys do that, have that ability a lot.
“They are very quick-footed and they are very, they have the unique ability to possibly take their eyes away from the field for a minute and then immediately focus back and see, [Tony] Romo had that.
“And so he can turn his back on it and turn around and hand-eye and get it done quick. And so those are things that show up and that’s what’s showing up with these guys. They’re buying time with their feet, or buying time with their instincts and their feet.”
Looking ahead to the next opponent, the Cleveland Browns.
Things are finally looking up in Cleveland is above .500 for the first time since Dec. 7, 2014. To get an idea of how long ago that was, a loss dropped the Browns to 7-6 and led to the debut start of Texas A&M Heisman Trophy winter Johnny Manziel a week later. Defensive end Myles Garrett had just finished his first season at Texas A&M and Baker Mayfield his first with Oklahoma. Though they opened the season with a blowout loss to Baltimore, the Browns strung together back-to-back wins against both Cincinnati and Washington to climb to 2-1.
First year head coach Kevin Stefanski has changed the thought process when it comes to dual backfield of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. Chubb, who has already tallied over 300 yards from scrimmage this season has found a home behind an improved offensive line to the tune of 5.7 yards per carry. Hunt, who arrived in Cleveland last season, is not too far behind as he has close to 250 total yards and three touchdowns. Both pose a receiving threat out of the backfield and a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses.
The Cowboys got poached as coveted UDFA Ron’Dell Carter heads to greener pastures.
The Cowboys were developing Ron’Dell Carter on their practice squad for a time when an opportunity presented for playing time.
The Indianapolis Colts presented the opportunity first.
Carter, the Cowboys’ most coveted defensive line prospect not on the 53-man roster, has terminated his contract. Once he clears COVID-19 protocol, he plans to sign to the Colts’ 53-man roster, his agent Adam Seifer said on Tuesday.
Dallas signed Carter as a rookie free agent following the draft. As a reflection of both their interest and Carter’s market after going undrafted, they gave him a $145,000 guarantee in his contract, the highest guarantee of any of the team’s undrafted rookie signings. That amount included off-set language, so it’s not relevant now in his departure. But the former James Madison standout is someone whom the club valued and was disappointed to lose.
The curious case of Earl Thomas. will the Cowboys ever show any interest?
The Texans are interested in safety Earl Thomas. Unless they’re not. Unless they are.
In the wake of a report from John McClain of the Houston Chronicle that the Texans have moved on from pursuing Thomas because it’s not a good fit, his agents say otherwise.
Via Adam Schefter of ESPN, Thomas’ agent claim that Texans coach/G.M. Bill O’Brien told them earlier today that the team had been instructed by the league to cancel the workout, given the current uncertainty relating to the COVID-19 outbreak with the Titans.
This means, obviously, that once things calm down Thomas could return to Houston for COVID-19 testing followed by a workout, and that the workout failed to happen for reasons unrelated to Thomas specifically.
McClain has since tweeted that the Texans could revisit signing Thomas, if they have further injuries at the position. Schefter’s reporting suggests that the door is more open than that.
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