After an up-and-down first six weeks, the Cowboys hope to be more consistent when they return to work.
It’s been a roller coaster first six games for the Cowboys, one that’s now seen them blowout three teams — two in historic fashion — but having also suffered a blowout loss before recovering to take a 20-17 victory in Los Angeles.
For his part, head coach Mike McCarthy says he isn’t afraid to ride roller coasters.
“Well, I mean, roller coaster rides are fun,” said McCarthy as the Cowboys prepare to enter their much-needed bye week. “You’ve got to look at the high points, too. … It all gives you a chance to learn.”
There have been eye-popping positives for the Cowboys that have led them to a current record of 4-2, still hot on the heels of the 49ers, Eagles and Lions (who are quietly 5-1 right now), but there are also glaring areas of opportunity that need addressing.
McCarthy is ready to pull out the stamps and envelopes on Monday.
“We do need to clean some things up,” he admitted. “The pre-snap penalties … I think [correcting those] is part of being a team and going through the ebb and flow … We just need to continue to find ways to be creative, demanding but making sure we’re stressing the correct things coming out of this bye.”
That’s because as fun as roller coasters are, standing on top of a mountain is better.
Cowboys’ Jerry Jones disagrees with Mike McCarthy’s clock management during win over Chargers - Bryan DeArdo, CBS Sports
While pleased with the win, Jones wishes Dallas was more aggressive heading into the half.
Jerry Jones wasn’t trying to create drama when offering his honest opinion of a decision Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy made during Monday night’s 20-17 win over the Chargers. That may have not been his intent, but Jones nevertheless created headlines by openly disagreeing with his coach’s decision to play for a field goal before halftime.
With the score 7-7, the Cowboys opted to take a 10-7 halftime lead over the Chargers after Brandon Aubrey kicked a 32-yard field goal as time expired. Jones would have preferred to see his team take a more aggressive approach.
“First of all, this is not an impassioned response to your question at all,” Jones said on 105. The Fan, via Pro Football Talk. “But I thought we should have tried another pass in the end zone, and used the clock accordingly.”
Jones may not have agreed with the decision, but he does not think McCarthy’s conservative approach was a slight against Prescott. Prescott, after being heavily criticized for his play in the previous week’s loss to the 49ers, completed 70% of his passes while not throwing an interception during Sunday’s win in Los Angeles.
“Not at all,” Jones said. “Not at all. No, that doesn’t reach that point with me at all.”
As most interior line play on both sides of the ball goes unnoticed, an unsung hero has emerged on Dallas’ defensive front.
A closer look showed it truly was the dominant performance the Cowboys were searching for. While the constant penalties made things needlessly difficult, some of that can be attributed to a flag-happy officiating crew and some overzealous individuals. When it counted, players came up huge and one of those players who posted an absolutely ernormous day was third-year DT, Osa Odighizuwa.
Odighizuwa has been the Cowboys top DT all season, but in Week 6, he posted arguably his best game of the year. He clocked a hit and five hurries in 33 pass rush snaps, earning him Pro Football Focus’s top grade of the game and Defensive Player of the Week honors.
Odighizuwa now ranks No. 6 amongst DTs. He’s in the NFL’s top tier in pass rush wins from the interior defensive line and a big reason opposing offenses can’t devote all resources to stopping Dallas’ onslaught of EDGE rushers.
Odighizuwa was popular choice as a breakout player to watch in 2023. While a case could be made the UCLA product had already broken out, he’d yet to be nationally recognized.
This could be a big step in his bid for Pro Bowl honors in 2023.
Odighizuwa has shown improvement every season he’s played and he’s yet to plateau in his development. The sky is the limit for this 25-year-old linemen and he’s already become a cornerstone player on the Cowboys defense.
Dak Prescott Gives Cowboys Rookie Kicker Brandon Aubrey New Nickname - Kensi Brandenburg, Sports Illustrated
The Cowboys seem to have found the answer at one of the most important positions in football.
Rookie Dallas Cowboys kicker Brandon Aubrey was money in the team’s 20-17 win over the Los Angeles Chargers on Monday, nailing his 15th and 16th consecutive field goals. That earned him the nickname of “Butter” Aubrey, dubbed by none other than quarterback Dak Prescott.
Aubrey has made a statement, nearing Cleveland Browns kicker Travis Coons’ record from back in 2015.
In a postgame interview about the performance, Prescott was asked about his thoughts on Aubrey.
“He’s butter. Butter Aubrey,” Prescott said. “Smooth. Always has been since the day that he showed up.”
Aubrey is only the sixth kicker in NFL history to ignite his career with a 16-for-16 on field goals. He’s 7-for-7 from 20-29 yards, 6-for-6 from 30-39, 1-1 from 40-49 and 2-for-2 from 50-59. His career-long so far is from 55 yards out. Aside from one missing point attempt, Aubrey has been nothing short of perfect.
Two weeks into the preseason, the Cowboys released the only other kicker on their roster, Tristan Vizcaino, which made it easy for Aubrey to take on the job of becoming the new starting kicker for Dallas. So far, for the Cowboys, the strategy has worked out entirely in their favor.
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