To reach desired postseason heights, Cowboys need CeeDee Lamb to correct his game’s biggest flaw - Jean-Jacques Taylor, Dallas Morning News
Drops have become a big problem for the second-year receiver.
Perhaps, we wouldn’t have paid as much attention to Lamb’s drops on Sunday if the Cowboys’ offense were playing better. It’s not. They managed just 21 points, despite Dallas’ defense creating four turnovers and the offense gaining 328 yards against one of the league’s worst defenses.
Dallas did not have a play of more than 19 yards in 70 snaps, and have only eight in the past three games as teams play almost exclusively zone coverage since opponents no longer fear the Cowboys’ running game. So they can’t afford to give up opportunities by having Lamb drop the ball. Here’s a look at his three drops Sunday:
- Early in second quarter, the Cowboys tried to hit Lamb on 2nd & 7 from just outside the New York 10 on a wide receiver screen play, but he tried to one-hand the ball instead of using two hands and dropped it. The Cowboys settle for a field goal.
- Later in the second quarter on a 1st & 10 from the Giants 30, a play after he caught an 11-yard slant, Lamb lined up in the slot. Prescott rolled right and found Lamb who was being covered by a linebacker. He probably gets tackled or forced out of bounds inside the 15, but the ball bounces off his hands.
Cowboys’ win in New York is nice, but the offense needs to be much better: Decoding Kellen Moore – Bob Sturm, The Athletic
The offense looked a bit better on Sunday, but not close to where they need to be.
Often, we can go in different directions each week and break things down from a 30,000-foot view of it all. But, I must confess, these past several weeks have been similar — we seem to be banging the same drum again and again.
In other words, seven days ago we did an exhaustive study on “what happened to the Cowboys offense” and were obviously hoping that another week would give us a wildly different view. That is simply not the case. In New York, like Washington and New Orleans before them, the Cowboys enjoyed a pretty comfortable win over an overmatched opponent without feeling like the offense performed well at all.
The wins are great, but the frustrations are taking a toll. We knew this was a soft spot in the schedule and the opponents’ situation at QB is more than inviting, but as far as this looking like an offense that can trade blows with the best in the business, that seems rather unlikely right now.
Taking a dive into just how good the Dallas defense has been this season.
I Know…30 takeaways on defense doesn't guarantee playoff success, but it's a pretty good barometer based on past seasons. The Cowboys and Colts are tied for the league lead in takeaways (31). They're the first teams to crack 30 this season. The Patriots (27), Bills (27), Bucs (25) and Chiefs (25) aren't far behind. Common thread: All of the above would make the playoffs if they started today.
Because I'm a remarkably diligent reporter -- or a guy with way too much time on his hands -- I tallied up the number of teams who have reached 30 takeaways since 2000. (2020 is excluded because no team reached the 30 Club.) The answer was 140 teams. Of those, 100 made the playoffs. That's a 71.4% batting average. Not bad.
This stuck out more. In 15 of 20 seasons from 2000-19, at least one team with 30-plus takeaways has made the Super Bowl. Ten teams won the title, including Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy's Packers squad in 2010 and the 2013 Seahawks, whose defense was directed by Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn.
The safety has had a nice bounce-back year.
Hooker played arguably the best game of his short Cowboys career, tallying six tackles with a pass breakup and notching his first interception since 2019 on a deep prayer lofted up by Mike Glennon. "I've been saying for the last couple of weeks, man it's been two years since I've had a pick, two years since I've had a pick," Hooker said after the game. "I just felt like I was going to get one today, just off of warmups."
From the time he was a highly-touted prospect at Ohio State, Hooker has been known for those ball skills. His seven picks as a college sophomore helped him go No. 15th overall in the 2017 NFL Draft, and he managed seven more during his first three seasons with the Indianapolis Colts despite battling injuries.
That reputation made him an intriguing signing when the Cowboys added him to the roster during the first week of training camp, and it's been intriguing to see his growth in the defense as the season has progressed. "I think you're seeing him come into his own," said Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy on Monday. "I think he's comfortable, his ability to play the front and the back in terms of being able to play close to the box."
Dallas Cowboys offense got back on track in win over New York Giants - David Howman, Blogging The Boys
Taking a look at what the Cowboys offense did well against the Giants.
The Cowboys offense did not, by any stretch of the imagination, light up the scoreboard this week. It wasn’t the triumphant return to form that their performance against the Falcons was earlier this year. And the truth is they left some points on the field in this game. But on the whole, the way this offense played in this one compared to their recent performances was much better.
First, some context is needed. We spent much of last week debating if Prescott was in a slump or not, and pointed out how injuries to the wide receiver corps and swapping Connor Williams for Connor McGovern have caused plenty of problems too. But perhaps the biggest change was just how much opposing defenses have been rushing four and dropping seven back into zone coverage lately.
It’s been a noticeable trend, and it continued Sunday. Of course, this isn’t some magic blueprint to stymie the Dallas offense. The Chargers in Week 2 and Eagles in Week 3 played a lot of split-safety deep zones with very little blitzing, but the Cowboys crushed both teams in the run game. But lately, the run game has been almost nonexistent for Dallas, a symptom caused in part by McGovern’s struggles at left guard and the injuries sustained by both Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard. So the Cowboys brought Williams back into the starting lineup Sunday, and Pollard returned after missing last week’s game. The result? Elliott and Pollard combined for 126 rushing yards on 28 carries. Williams was especially productive as a run blocker:
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