Dallas’ offensive line woes may catch them at some point, let’s just hope it’s not this weekend.
The Cowboys with Tyron Smith and San Francisco with Trent Williams sport some of the most frequently left-alone tackles in the game. They are also two of the most successful LTs in the game, winning over 95 percent of those battles.
It’s hard to hear this and not think of the Cowboys injury report. After missing the past two weeks, Smith’s status for Sunday is up in the air. If he can play, he can be trusted to hold up his end at LT, much like Williams is for the 49ers.
If Smith can’t play, the job falls back on Chuma Edoga who doesn’t play with anything close to the same proficiency or responsibility as Smith. Pro Football Focus places Edoga far below Smith as a blocker.
How often offensive tackles have been left on islands with no help (x-axis), and how successful they've been in those situations (y-axis). Before getting injured, David Bakhtiari did not receive a single negative pass block grade when left on an island pic.twitter.com/T6U5wUt29L— Arjun Menon (@arjunmenon100) October 4, 2023
Cowboys’ Chuma Edoga has become ‘extremely valuable’ at left tackle and left guard - Calvin Watkins, DMN
With the Cowboys’ offensive line nearing full strength for Sunday’s game against the 49ers, Chuma Edoga is being valued more and more.
“I mean extremely valuable,” coach Mike McCarthy said Thursday. “He’s come in and he’s played quality, quality reps and I just commend him because he’s done it on very limited reps up in training camp. So yeah he’s been outstanding. Love his approach. Another consistent guy. Same guy every day. But he’s well-liked in the offensive line room, which I think speaks volumes because that’s a really tight room. He’s doing an excellent job.”
Edoga started the last two games at left tackle and could be the swing tackle/backup guard when the Cowboys face the 49ers Sunday night.
“You always want to play,” he said. “It was kinda crazy. I just came off injury and came right back and the first day yeah Tyler went down. The coaches tell me, ‘You got to be at left guard.’ It was a quick turnaround I was glad to get in and help my teammates.”
How Dak Prescott and Cowboys can be effective against a 49ers defense that’s given them trouble - Nate Tice, Yahoo Sports.
A look at how the Cowboys could play the 49ers.
The 49ers’ defense has limited explosive plays this season at a historic rate. But San Francisco is going against a team that chooses to get in a half-court offense and grind for points. The Cowboys play complementary football with their elite defense by averaging the most plays (7.6) and longest time of possession (3 minutes, 33 seconds) per drive in the entire league.
The Cowboys do this by their aforementioned heavy lean toward a run game that currently ranks 12th in rushing success rate on first and second down. Their fastball is pulling linemen for gap scheme runs like counter and power. (No team has run gap scheme more often and for more yards than the Cowboys this season, according to SportsInfoSolutions.)
In the passing game, this is where the more traditional elements of Prescott’s game and the overall Cowboys offensive attack can be focused to their advantage against the 49ers. Those underneath throws come in a variety of ways for Prescott. One is checkdowns on play-action; he’s currently using play-action at the second-highest rate among qualifying quarterbacks, which again is this offense playing complementary football but with their run game this time.
But also on quick game. The Cowboys have always had this aspect of the offense with Prescott (I would prefer to do stuff I’m good at, too). They use staple three-step dropback concepts that keep themselves in favorable situations to stay balanced.
And this is on just one side of the ball! The Cowboys’ defense vs. the 49ers’ offense is a co-main event worth staying glued to. It gives this game all the makings of what hopefully ends up being a regular-season classic on Sunday night between the class of the NFC.
You can’t fool the fooler, or can you?
49ers coach Kyle Shanahan was asked how much Lance can reveal to the Cowboys about the San Francisco offense.
“As much as most coaches can,” Shanahan told reporters. “You can see the plays on tape, you can explain what we look at and stuff like that, which usually you can when you can stack up a lot of tape over years, and we’ve been here for a while and previous. So hopefully he’s talking to him all the time and making them focus totally on that instead of the simple stuff of watching the tape.”
Pride, a leaderboard and ‘ubuntu’: Cowboys’ special teams has become critical X-factor - Saad Yousuf, The Athletic
Every game this season, special teams has had a big impact for the Cowboys. Here's a look at how John Fassel has shaped his unit with an internal leaderboard and unusual gifts.
Standing in front of his locker after practice, C.J. Goodwin smiled. Behind him, on the shelf in his locker, was a box of Wheaties cereal with his picture on it. It was a gift from his coach, Dallas Cowboys special teams coordinator, John Fassel.
“Bones goes all out,” Goodwin said. “He gives us a whole bunch of stuff. He gives us gift cards — all of his gifts are really great. He gave me this (pointing to the Wheaties box). Everything he does is really special. He’s such a great guy.”
Goodwin’s locker is the last one on the far end, where players exit when leaving for the day. As they walk out, there are two big television screens. One has the schedule for the day while the other is a rotating selection of images. One of those images looks like a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, player names listed in the far left column in red and opponent helmets along the top and big Super Bowl ring images from past Cowboys championship victories along the bottom.
The concept of this leaderboard revolves around participation and production. Goodwin’s name is at the top with 204 points, the only player on the team to cross the 200-point mark so far. Juanyeh Thomas is close behind at 190 points, followed by Markquese Bell’s 162 and Hunter Luepke’s 128. The board is updated weekly and points distribution is a serious matter. When players enter the meeting rooms, they have access to a red challenge flag. If a player feels he was shorted points for whatever reason, a challenge flag is thrown and a debate ensues. Most of the time, “the ruling on the field stands,” as Fassel put it.
“There’s a huge pride factor,” Fassel said. “I think every team probably on special teams thinks that they might have it, or are trying to create it. We’re still in the creation mode of that pride and I think C.J. Goodwin is a huge rock for a lot of our young guys to build around. It’s great to have that one that is so locked in all of the time and so supportive of his younger teammates.”
C.J. Stroud looking to break a Dak Prescott record.
Prescott’s 176 completions without an interception to start a career still stands as the best mark in NFL history ... but Stroud is right on his heels ready to make the jump.
Through four games, Stroud has thrown 151 passes and zero interceptions. If he can throw 26 this weekend against the Atlanta Falcons, he’ll surpass Prescott and seal one of the greatest starts to a career in NFL history.
Michael Gallup had the 2nd-best rate of separation of any #Cowboys receiver vs. Patriots (4.4), behind only KaVontae Turpin (4.7) — per Next Gen Stats.— Patrik [No C] Walker (@VoiceOfTheStar) October 2, 2023
He also had 44 yards after the catch.
He's now had two strong showings (in a row) in the Texas Coast offense. Just saying ...
2 underused Cowboys who need more touches vs 49ers (and 1 who should be benched) - The Landry Hat, Jerry Trotta
Hunter Luepke probably deserves some more reps
Rico Dowdle is a real question mark for Week 5 after he sustained a hip contusion in the blowout victory against the Patriots. It’s the best-case scenario for the Cowboys and Dowdle, who suffered the injury to the same hip he fractured two years ago and will avoid a prolonged absence.
Dowdle didn’t practice on Wednesday, so he’ll need to get in at least a limited session before Saturday to have a chance of suiting up. If Dowdle is ruled out, Hunter Luepke needs to be the next man up behind starter Tony Pollard.
Cowboys’ Micah Parsons on defending Zach Wilson, Daniel Jones: ‘I’m just calling out the social media bullies’ - CBS Sports, Garrett Podell
Micah Parsons is never afraid to speak.
It’s not often in the NFL that players talk about past opponents weeks removed from playing them, but that’s exactly what Dallas Cowboys two-time first-team All-Pro linebacker Micah Parsons has done, defending both New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson and New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones after both have come under heavy criticism from analysts and fans on social media alike for their rocky starts to the 2023 season.
“I just feel like so many times the media just always puts those negative things on certain players,” Parsons said Wednesday when explaining why he has used his social media presence to defend Wilson and Jones. “I just think it’s almost like bullying online. We’re just being social media bullies. You really hate to see that. It’s one thing if you say I’m garbage to my face on the field and we’re competing and we’re hammering out and we’re in the moment. But, it’s another thing when a guy can’t defend themselves. You don’t know what’s going on in his [locker] room. You don’t know what’s going on in the team, and you’re just out there calling another man garbage on live TV. We see that in the draft where guys use these moments where this should be a special moment for a kid and bash him for his past.”
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