The bye week came at the right time for players battling injury right now. Mike McCarthy decided to sit Ezekiel Elliott against the Bears and give him an extra week of rest. It seems like that decision was the right call.
After a one-game absence, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said on 105.3 The Fan that he expects running back Ezekiel Elliott to return from his knee injury that he suffered versus the Detroit Lions and play against the Green Bay Packers in week 10.
His return will be big-time as the Cowboys’ offense continues to gel with quarterback Dak Prescott at the helm, and an efficient-run game will help him and the unit rank among the best offenses in the league.
While we did see RB Tony Pollard explode last week against the Chicago Bears, which caused many fans and media members to call for him to start over Elliott, having both of them at your disposal is important.
And, before fans think I’m an Elliott homer, listen to what Cowboys RB coach Skip Peete said about both backs because it saves me time explaining why both are crucial for the team, and I agree with Peete’s thoughts.
Plus, everyone knows about the wear and tear at the running back position. So, the Cowboys are lucky to have two talented guys in their backfield.
Also, I think the only people who are mad about Elliott getting more touches are the ones who have Pollard in their fantasy lineups. I’m just kidding.
This is the first award Dan Quinn has been nominated for this season, and I’m sure it won’t be the last.
Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn deserves a ton of credit for the strides his unit has made in his second season with the Cowboys. While more recognition will undoubtedly come if the strong play continues from the defense, in the form of Quinn being the running for head coaching job this offseason, he is now in the running for an award.
In collaboration with USAA, each NFL team nominates one person to be their nominee for the Salute to Service Award given out at the NFL Honors award show, which will air following this season’s Super Bowl. Dan Quinn was this year’s nominee for the Dallas Cowboys.
Quinn has already won this award twice, back in 2016 and 2020; other past winners include Andrew Beck (2022), Steve Cannon (2021), Donnie Edwards (2019), Ben Garland (2018), Andre Roberts (2017), Vincent Jackson (2015), Jared Allen (2014), John Harbaugh (2013), Charles Tillman (2012), and the late Tennessee Titans owner, K.S. “Bud” Adams, a WWII veteran (2011).
The three finalists for the award will be announced in January, which means, it is now up to the fans to vote on their favorite to win the award. To vote, fans can visit NFL.com/SaluteFanVote from now until November 30. One vote per day, per fan is permitted.
The Cowboys sit at 6-2 after losing to Tampa Bay opening weekend in embarrassing fashion. Since then, there have been many highs and lows. Here are some of the highlights.
Patrik: It would easy for me to give this honor to a very deserving defensive player - of which there are many I could choose from - but nothing ranks higher than Jake Ferguson snatching ankles in Philly to get the first TD of his NFL career.
Nick: Week 2 is always a huge game for every team because it shapes the season. So the Cowboys’ fourth-quarter drive with Cooper Rush to beat the Bengals is the moment. When Brett Maher drilled the field goal, it seemed to answer a ton of burning questions with one play, and set this team up for a big run.
Nick: For me, it occurred in the locker room after the Bucs loss. I’m standing there and I see Dak Prescott with a huge cast on his thumb, talking to Connor McGovern (walking boot) when Jayron Kearse limped by them both to the training room. After the terrible loss on the field, that moment right there, I was thinking about this team having a very high draft pick in 2023.
Mickey: The Cowboys scored 17 consecutive points on the road to cut Philadelphia’s 20-0 lead to 20-17 with 14:39 left to play. But of all things, that defensive backbone allowed the Eagles to drive 75 yards in 13 plays for what turned out to be the game-clinching touchdown in their 26-17 victory.
The unsung hero behind Kellen Moore and the Cowboys’ resurgent run game - David Howman, Blogging the Boys
The running game for Dallas has become the best part of their offense. The front office said it would be in the offseason, but there’s one name specifically that should be given more credit.
So as the Cowboys now enter their bye week, they’re eighth in both rushing attempts and rushing yards. More than that, though, they’re second in the league in rushing DVOA. Throughout this season, the Cowboys have fielded one of the most diverse and efficient run games at a time when the NFL is seeing an explosion on the ground across the board.
So where did this come from? Kellen Moore has generally been more of a pass-happy offensive coordinator; in fact, since taking over the offense, Moore’s Cowboys have finished a season in the top ten in either carries or rushing DVOA just once. Both instances came in 2019, Moore’s first year as the coordinator, when Jason Garrett was still the head coach.
Not only has the run game ratcheted up in use this year, but Moore has been employing rushing concepts and styles that he’s never used before. But there is a coach on this staff whose background matches up well with what we’ve been seeing: coaching consultant Brian Schottenheimer.
Schottenheimer was hired in the offseason to fill the role that was vacated when Ben McAdoo left to become the Panthers offensive coordinator. His duties were described as helping both Moore and Dan Quinn with advance scouting and keeping up on league-wide trends. That’s intentionally vague, but a closer examination of Schottenheimer’s résumé offers some hints.
Schottenheimer has been coaching since 1997, and he’s spent 12 seasons as an NFL offensive coordinator, along with one season as an offensive coordinator at the college level and one as the pass game coordinator for the Jaguars. However, Schottenheimer has always been known for his affinity to the run game. More often than not, his offenses have fared well in their rushing attacks.
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