The Raiders offense has let them down all season, and it could open up a trade for the Cowboys to add one of their playmakers.
2 WR trade targets for Cowboys
Hunter Renfrow, Raiders
When we’ve seen Dak Prescott really succeed and shred defenses, he had a receiver in the middle of the field that was able to find the soft spots in zone coverage and quickness off the line to create space. That player was Cole Beasley. Now that the Cowboys don’t have that type of player, they could be looking for one in order to make things easier for Prescott instead of continuing to force-feed Michael Gallup the football.
Renfrow would be a great addition if that’s what they are looking for: his ability to get open, fill holes in zones, and work back to the quarterback when a play breaks down would help this offense stay on the field longer than they have been so far.
Right now, the team could get him at a lower cost thanks to the Raiders not using him the way that they have in the past. His cap number is a little over $10 million this season but the Cowboys could work a deal the same way they did with the Texans to bring in Brandin Cooks in order to make it work for them.
The Cowboys can get more out of all of their skill players in this offense, but finding more consistency starts up front with an offensive line that’s still a work in progress.
Unhappy surprise: the offensive line
For the first time since the Cowboys added first round pick Tyler Smith to the offensive line, Dallas was able to start all five expected players at their expected positions.
Dallas played musical chairs throughout the 2022 season and four games into the 2023 season. But in Week 5, their dreams cam true.
In the two games all five played together, things have been dishearteningly underwhelming. The Cowboys have failed to open holes and failed to protect the passer. It’s changed the way the offense plays.
The last two weeks, the Cowboys have run for a just a combined 153 yards on the ground. Their success rate against the 49ers was 33.0% with an EPA of -0.44 and their success rate against the Chargers was 21.0% with a -0.41 EPA.
Even the previous dominance of Terence Steele and Zack Martin together in their somewhat legendary duo blocking plays, have struggled to make things happen.
It was an enormous letdown for the many who have been patiently waiting for the Cowboys line to finally take the field together.
It’s by no means a foretelling of the future or a prediction more bad things are on the way, but it’s an unfortunate surprise to everyone who hoped health was all that was standing in the way of Dallas’ dominance in the trenches.
NFL Team Needs: Prioritizing Every Roster’s Biggest Weaknesses After Week 7 - NFL Staff, Bleacher Report
Should the Cowboys look for more help at linebacker, or trust the strong performances they got from Markquese Bell and Damone Clark against the Chargers?
The Dallas Cowboys were on a bye this week, giving them a chance to heal up and get prepared for a couple of tough back-to-back games against the Rams and Eagles. As far as the playoffs go, the Cowboys are in pretty good shape, but those next two contests will provide a true litmus test as it feels like they need to walk away with at least one win in that stretch.
Offensive Line Depth
Add Now: No one
Dallas has played well for the majority of this season, and they don’t have many needs that anyone available on the open market could come in and fill. Also, if they were going to trade for someone, it would have made more sense to do that this past week during their time off rather than this week when they have a game to prepare for.
2024 Free Agency: CB Kendall Fuller, Washington Commanders
Stephon Gilmore and Jourdan Lewis are about to have their contracts expire, leaving the Cowboys with needs for a boundary and a slot corner to pair with Trevon Diggs. Fuller has experience playing both spots at a high level. So even if DaRon Bland continues to play well and proves to be a long-term starter, he and the eight-year pro can still be on the field together.
With so much talk about the dynamic between Mike McCarthy’s offense and Dan Quinn’s defense, it’s easy to lose sight of how much John Fassel’s special teams has helped this team.
The offense and defense have both had their share of good and bad moments and the same could be said about the special teams.
Here’s a look at the kicking game so far after six games.
MVP – Brandon Aubrey - Aubrey was not the first kicker signed this offseason, he was the second. Both he and the now-released Tristan Vizcaino struggled mightily in the Blue-White Practice, but something happened afterward: Aubrey became butter (as Dak Prescott put it). A former soccer player who turned into a placekicker just last year, he’s gone from being a camp tryout to, right now, the best kicker in the entire NFL — threatening an all-time NFL record after having shattered Dan Bailey’s franchise mark for most FGs made to start a career.
Best Play – Early blocked FG – Who had the first touchdown of the season going to … Noah Igbinoghene? No one could barely pronounce his name correctly when he was scooping the ball up and scoring to open the game in New York. But the way the season began, with Juanyeh Thomas busting through and blocking the Giants early field goal, returned for a TD by Igbinoghene was the best play so far for the special teams, setting the tone for a 40-0 blowout on Sunday Night Football.
Worst Play – Muffed punt in LA – Fortunately for the Cowboys, this play didn’t end up costing the game but it definitely changed the momentum in the Chargers game. Jalen Tolbert was blocked into KaVontae Turpin on a punt return, causing the ball to hit the ground. Tolbert wasn’t sure if the ball was touched so he dove on the ball and touched it first, which led to a lost fumble and the Chargers were able to tie the game. The irony here is that Tolbert has actually been a pleasant surprise on special teams with his ability to run down on punts and kickoffs.
The Rams continue to put up points under Matt Stafford and Sean McVay, making this a game the Cowboys secondary will have to be ready for shots downfield.
We all know how great Cooper Kupp is, but the potential rookie of the year, Puka Nacua, is having one of the best seasons from the wideout position we have seen in years.
He has 58 catches for 752 yards and two touchdowns.
The pass rush will be able to get home against Matt Stafford, but the question is, can the secondary hold up enough?
While Kupp struggled Sunday against the Steelers, being held to only two catches for 29 yards, Nacua exploded again for 154 on eight grabs.
NFL power rankings: Eagles, Ravens, Steelers flex in Top 10; Bills, Dolphins fade for Week 8 - Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News
Stay tuned for our full summary of the league’s power rankings, with the Cowboys back home this Sunday looking to move up the top ten.
NFL power rankings Week 8
1. Kansas City Chiefs 6-1 (previous week: 1)
Great googly moogly, it was hard to believe some were questioning whether the passing offense with Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce and a wide receiver committee was regressive. The Super Bowl champs flexed in their best game so far vs. the Chargers.
2. Philadelphia Eagles 6-1 (4)
Well, look at this, We’re close to midseason and we’re exactly where we were at the end of last season, with the Mahomes, Kelce and the Chiefs just ahead of the Jalen Hurts, Jason Kelce and the Eagles. They got a big Brotherly Shove after pushing around the Dolphins.
8. Dallas Cowboys 4-2 (9)
Dak Prescott and the offense had a decent get-well game in Los Angeles before the bye. Now they need their pass defense to deliver again with the high-powered Rams passing game next.
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