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Cheap Zack Martin Jersey

Postby linchao » Mon Jan 07, 2019 7:58 pm

Grading the Cowboys’ 26 - 24 win over the Lions What a difference seven days makes! This time last week it was all doom and gloom following the Cowboys’ dismal showing on the road against Seattle. Today the Cowboys sit at 2-2 and the performance on the field Sunday looked a lot more like what fans were hoping to see going into the 2018 season. If 2-2 doesn’t excite you much Cheap Zack Martin Jersey , consider the plight of the following teams:Philadelphia Eagles: 2-2Minnesota Vikings: 1-2-1Detroit Lions: 1-3Atlanta Falcons: 1-3Pittsburgh Steelers: 1-2-1Los Angeles Chargers: 2-2All of those were teams expected to do better heading into the season. Also, consider that September is largely an extension of the preseason with teams rounding into form. All things considered, the Cowboys are in reasonably good shape with all the team’s original goals still within grasp. Let’s go to the grades. OVERALL: B+The key objective was to simply win the game and that objective was met. More specifically, the offense desperately needed to break out of the stranglehold of anemic performances that had become the norm. Mission accomplished:26 points414 yards183 rushing yards6.4 yards per play231 passing yards119 passer ratingAll of the above numbers represent season highs. The offense finally broke out and executed the scheme devised over the offseason with a heavy dose of Ezekiel Elliott and timely contributions from Dak Prescott. COACHING: BHey, if we’re going to place all the blame on the coaches when things go wrong let’s give them credit when things go right. Dallas was sloppy and unprepared against the Seahawks. Sunday, they were crisp and prepared against the Lions. One (non)play really stood out in this regard. Late in the third quarter the Cowboys faced a 3rd-and-10 from the Lions 12-yard line while nursing a 13-10 lead. Prescott found an open Cole Beasley in the middle of the field for a nine-yard gain setting up a 4th-and-1 from the Lions’ three-yard line. The Cowboys immediately rushed to the line of scrimmage and set up for a fourth down play. Now, the play didn’t come to fruition because the Lions called time out. But the execution showed the team was fully prepared and ready to immediately engage and go for it on what was, at that time, the most important play of the game. It forced a Lions’ time out and the team the lined up and executed the fourth down anyway. This showed not only that Garrett and company had the team prepared for the situation but also that they were going to meet it aggressively and without doubt. This is a small thing but how many times have you seen quarterbacks looking to the sidelines wondering what to do or looking for guidance? None of that happened in this instance; the players had been coached up for this exact situation and knew exactly what to do. That’s a sign of good coaching. QUARTERBACK: ADak Prescott’s fall from rookie wonder-boy to third-year pin-cushion has been hard to watch. He desperately needed to put a good performance on the field and he did so. The final numbers, again, were not huge in terms of volume but were very efficient. And efficient is what this team needs from Prescott. The following charts show Prescott’s numbers since the Kansas City game last year when his performance declined:Clearly, two games stand out far above the others: the New York Giants game last year in week 15 and the game yesterday. So, we know Prescott can be the effective quarterback he was against Detroit. The question is whether, like the Giants game, this was an aberration or a sign of Prescott getting back to the quarterback we saw for the first 24 games of his career. RUNNING BACK: A+You simply can’t ask more from a running back than what Ezekiel Elliot gave the Cowboys yesterday. He ran 25 times and ran hard on every one of the plays. He was gouging the Lions defense from the beginning and stayed at it throughout the game. After another slow start to the season Elliot now has 426 rushing yards on the season and is averaging a very healthy 5.7 yards per attempt. Yet it was two plays in the passing game that people will remember from this game. First, on a play that has yielded similar results in the past against Pittsburgh and San Francisco, Elliott took a well-executed screen pass 38 yards for a much needed touchdown with the Cowboys trailing in the first half. The play is one the Cowboys excel at as it not only allows Elliott to show off his skills, but also showcases the athleticism of the Cowboys’ offensive line. Particularly impressive was watching backup center Joe Looney making multiple blocks on a forty-yard path of destruction from the line of scrimmage all the way to the end zone. An absolutely brilliant play that was executed to perfection. Second, of course Cheap Cole Beasley Jersey , was Elliott’s clutch catch to fuel the Cowboys’ final game-winning drive. The play featured Elliott lined up in the slot and matched up one-on-one against a linebacker. This is good scheming and the Cowboys’ took advantage as a perfect Prescott pass and terrific Elliott grab set the team up for victory. OFFENSIVE LINE: AAfter a fairly dismal performance last week, and a disconcerting performance over the first three weeks of the season, the Cowboys’ offensive line finally looked like the unit we expected going into the season. In addition to gouging holes in the Lions’ defense throughout the game for Elliott to run through, the team also provided solid pass protection. Prescott had time to do what he does, and one of the of two sacks on the day was pretty much on him. Perhaps more importantly, there were zero penalties. No holding calls, no false starts, no hands to the face....zilch, nada, zero. All in all it was easily the groups best performance of the season and gives fans hopes that this unit can again become the elite unit we’ve become accustomed to watching. TIGHT ENDS: BExpectations have to be tempered for this group considering the pedigree of the four. And there’s nothing eye-popping about the numbers: three catches on six targets for 39 yards and a touchdown. But the reality is that anything the team gets from this group is pretty much gravy. Geoff Swaim contributed two huge plays: a 31-yard catch-and-run in the first quarter when the Cowboys desperately needed anyone to make a play on offense and a well-designed, easy touchdown catch in the third quarter following the successful fourth-down attempt near the Lions’ goal line. But perhaps the biggest play made by any tight end this season was Blake Jarwin’s alert recovery of Elliott’s goal-line fumble. Jarwin has been virtually invisible and many are wondering what the coaching staff sees in him. Those wonders won’t go away due to a fumble recovery but it’s nice for Jarwin to finally contribute something positive. WIDE RECEIVERS: B-A wide receiver group combining to catch nine passes for 128 yards and no touchdowns normally isn’t something to get excited about. However, the production from this group has been so anemic that virtually anything warrants excitement. Michael Gallup’s outstanding 45-yard catch in the first quarter set the tone for a much more aggressive offense than we’ve witnessed prior to Sunday’s game. Cole Beasley again came up with a number of key catches. But Tavon Austin dropped a touchdown pass and Gallup failed to take advantage of a couple opportunities. Baby steps here; this group has to provide more moving forward. DEFENSIVE LINE: COn the one hand Demarcus Lawrence has proven that 2017 was no fluke. He notched three sacks on the day, giving him five-and-half on the season and 20 in his last 20 games played. He also added eight tackles and looks very much like the All Pro he was last year. Beyond that, however, the defensive line struggled. No one else was able to get pressure on Lions’ quarterback Matt Stafford who threw for 307 yards and two long touchdowns. In addition, the Lions ran for 96 yards. Taco Charlton. Randy Gregory, Dorance Armstrong, Antauwn Woods and Daniel Ross combined for seven tackles, zero sacks Youth Chidobe Awuzie Jersey , two tackles for loss and zero quarterback hits. Tyrone Crawford, who’sbeen the best defensive lineman not named Lawrence didn’t make the stat sheet in any way. In short, an almost complete whiff from every lineman other than Lawrence. This is very disturbing. The defensive line was supposed to be a major strength of this team but it’s beginning to look like fool’s gold. Randy Gregory, in particular, has been a major disappointment. He was expected to combine with Lawrence to provide a devastating 1-2 pass rush threat that we haven’t seen in years. Instead, despite all the scouting accolades for his “bend” and “lean” and “athleticism” it’s been almost impossible to notice that Gregory is even on the field. He has more penalties on the season than combined tackles and sacks and that’s not very good. LINEBACKERS: BNormally, the absence of Sean Lee has meant a complete breakdown in the Cowboys’ defense. But that hasn’t been true in 2018 due to the presence of Leighton Vander Esch. LVE combined with Jaylon Smith and Damien Wilson to record 12 solo tackles and 17 total tackles. Smith again looked good rushing the passer, collapsing the pocket and giving Lawrence the opportunity to record one of his three sacks. LVE also showed a couple times the athleticism that should allow him to thrive in the league for years to come. Smith still gets caught up in the wash too many times and takes some less-that-ideal angles. But we’re not seeing the plays where opponents isolate him against a back and strike for big plays. Yes, the defense gave up too much Sunday but it wasn’t because of the linebacker play. SECONDARY: DPoor Chidobie Awuzie. He covered his assignment very well Sunday. However, Golden Tate and the other Lions’ receivers made catch after catch on Awuzie throughout the day. Many were “wow” plays where you just tip your hat to the opponent because they completed impossible to defend plays. If Awuzie continues to provide the glue-like coverage he did Sunday he’ll be an outstanding corner in the NFL.The one area he needs to improve is ball awareness. If he can make that jump to where he’s competing with the receiver while also playing suffocating coverage he’ll be among the best in the league. As for the rest of the was a horrible day all around:Anthony Brown surrendered a ridiculous, long touchdown where he seemed more concerned with the quarterback than his assigned receiver. He allowed a couple other throws as well where he provided too much of a cushion. Jourdan Lewis graphically displayed why he has been demoted, looking foolish on another long touchdown pass. His descent from (arguably) the best cornerback on the team last year to borderline roster spot continues. Jeff Heath had a horrific game reminiscent of his early years in the league. Golden Tate made him look foolish with the simplest of head fakes to complete his first touchdown pass. Heath then whiffed on a number of tackles and was out of position on several plays. His bad day was finished by getting run over by Lions’ running back Kerryon Johnson on an 8-yard touchdown that brought back memories of Adrian Peterson doing the same thing to Heath many years ago.The secondary looked no better than the porous, helpless unit that has been used and abused by quality passing attacks for years. If any negatives came out of this game it was the all-around poor play of the secondary. This Dallas defense has been vulnerable to potent passing attacks for years and nothing they showed Sunday indicates anything has really changed. Nevertheless, this was a much-needed win and we should focus on the positive and not dwell on the negative, at least for one week. Randy Gregory understands the prevailing view that repeated use of marijuana is the reason the Dallas Cowboys defensive end has been suspended for 30 of the past 32 games.Now that he's on the verge of playing after a year away from the NFL, the former Nebraska standout wants people to know there are deeper issues of mental health that Gregory isn't comfortable discussing in detail publicly."I was self-sabotaging," Gregory said Monday in his first group session with reporters at training camp in California. "Anybody that deals with what I have to deal with and what I've gone through and understands the process of what I've been through, I think can understand there's also a mental aspect to it along with emotional."Gregory was suspended three times in less than a year, the last a yearlong ban for multiple violations of the league's substance-abuse policy. He missed the 2017 season and waited an extra six months to apply for reinstatement to try to improve his chances.The detailed application included letters of recommendation from several teammates , most notably 2016 All-Pro linebacker Sean Lee, and won the approval of Commissioner Roger Goodell in time for Gregory to join the Cowboys at camp.Gregory's time away included stints in rehab and therapy, and the 25-year-old acknowledged that he had to learn to take those efforts more seriously."It's not just somebody walking around carelessly doing what they want," Gregory said. "There's obviously a mental aspect to it that plays a big part in it for me that I've had to try to figure out. The moment I took a more serious approach to that with my therapy and the more people around me understood what I was going through mentally, made it a lot easier for me to get right."The Cowboys drafted Gregory late in the second round in 2015. He was considered a first-round talent before testing positive for marijuana at the combine.Gregory made it through his first season without getting suspended, missing four games with an ankle injury but going without a sack in his 12 appearances. The first suspension was announced in the offseason, followed by a 10-game ban before the four-game suspension had expired.He played the final two games in 2016, finally getting his first sack in the finale when the Cowboys had already wrapped up the NFC East title. The third suspension hit before Dallas lost a divisional playoff game to Green Bay."We try to keep our eyes wide open about what any issues a player might have coming in and we're optimistic if we put them in the right environment they can respond the right way," coach Jason Garrett said. "It will not be 100 percent successful. But we've had a lot of players who have grown a lot in our organization."The Cowboys brought Gregory along slowly at camp, first allowing him to participate in pre-practice walkthrough sessions. Individual drills in practice were next, and finally some 11-on-11 work for the first time this week.Owner Jerry Jones, never afraid to gamble on draft picks and equally willing to stick with them, said he thinks Gregory can be ready for the opener at Carolina on Sept. 9."We certainly have had players that have had challenges with dependence," Jones said. "Now the problem is reality sets in and you have numbers and roster spots. You get the old adage of, 'Well, he wouldn't be doing that for a down-the-line guy or he wouldn't be that tolerant of a down-the-line guy.' That's actually very true."Three years after vowing to Jones that he would do his best to overcome the issues that led to him slipping in the draft, Gregory is cautiously optimistic that can deliver with his second chance."I think first and foremost they like me as not only a player but as a person," Gregory said. "I've always tried to do the right thing. I know I always haven't. But I've tried. I think they realized I was a person in need and sticking by me throughout that tough part and even now has been real important for me to get back. And I think it's worked."The Cowboys and Gregory will find out soon enough.
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