Vol 3, No 11
(Any views or opinions represented are personal and do not represent those of people, institutions or organizations that the owner may or may not be associated with in professional or personal capacity, unless explicitly stated. Any views or opinions are not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, or individual unless it’s the Philadelphia Eagles, New York Giants or Washington Redskins in which case they deserve it)
The offensive line is the heartbeat of the Dallas Cowboys and they have an impact across all 3 phases of the team however, during Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Falcons they really needed to get the paddles warmed up, anything to jumpstart the left side of the line. Jonathon Cooper has had it easy since he’s been starting at Left Guard in place of Chaz Green (more about him later), Tyron Smith to his left and Travis Frederick to his right. It’s easy to do better when you’re surrounded by more talented and skilful people, a bit like that one in the old Take That who didn’t do much but was better just by being with the other 4. Unfortunately for Cooper Gary Barlow Tyron Smith wasn’t playing and he was replaced by Chaz Green. People who know a lot more about this sort of thing than I do tell me that Green is a very good offensive lineman, they tell me that he is one of the top five lineman that the Cowboys have on the roster. During and after the game against the Falcons I was told that Chaz was having an ‘off day’. You’re damn right he had an off day! He was dominated throughout the game, he was in #99 Clayborn’s pocket all day, and when #99 couldn’t be bothered tormenting him anymore he let his mates have a go. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen any lineman dominated as much as Green was every time he was on the field. The downside of that was massive. When we tried to run it had to be to the right, when Dak dropped back to pass he was harried, hit and sacked, meaning that a team that likes to dominate the time of possession and drive down the field was forced to punt on almost every possession or, even worse, turn the ball over. This meant that the defense was on the field way more than they should be, and if that wasn’t bad enough they lost Sean Lee to a hamstring strain. Think that the kicking game wasn’t affected by Chaz Green? Think again! On the only half decent Cowboys drive of the game, a drive that used 3 Tight Ends on almost every down just to get some protection and create some running lanes, who got beat leading to a sack when it looked like the Cowboys were heading for the end zone? That’s right, Chaz! Leading to a missed 38 yard FG attempt, the ball clipping the outside of the goalpost. The return of Dan Bailey can’t come soon enough.
Now, I don’t want anyone to think that this was all down to Chaz because the coaching staff don’t come out of this well. Why, when you know that a player is struggling, would you give him next to no help? Why was he kept in there as long as he was, the answer is probably that his backup wasn’t much better, but that’s no reason to keep hoping that he’ll come good eventually.
Did they miss Zeke? I’m not sure that they did really. With the penetration that the Falcons were getting I’m not sure that he would’ve had a good day rushing, maybe a dump off in the flat would’ve taken some pressure off and his blocking would’ve helped Dak buy a little more time but that takes away what Zeke brings to the team on the ground.
Defensively, it wasn’t great. Other than losing Lee, Browns sophomore slump continues, the pass rush started well but fizzled out. Hitchens played well but Jaylon Smith made some poor decisions and looked out of position too many times against the run.
These losses have a familiar ring to them, opponent scores before the half, gets the ball back to start the second half and scores, keeps the Cowboys offense off the field for most of the 3rd quarter, defense tires and makes sloppy mistakes…Cowboys lose.
With 7 games to go we’ve got…
2 teams that we’ve already beaten (NY Giants & Washington)
2 teams that we really should beat (LA Chargers & Oakland)
1 team that we need to beat in case there’s a tie-breaker for a wild card (Seattle) and
1 team that we have to beat twice (Philadelphia) if we have any chance of winning the East
Week 11 Preview
The Cowboys play an Eagles team that looks a lot like the 2016 Dallas Cowboys. They seem to be winning with ease and their QB is playing like a seasoned pro. Also, their bye week seems to have come at just the right time. However, saying all that, all teams hit a wall at some point. Has the bye week taken some of that momentum away, with the Cowboys loss to the Falcons will the Eagles take their foot off the gas…probably not.
Barring something catastrophic in the last 6 weeks, an Eagles win gives them a hand on the NFC East so this is an absolutely must win game for the Cowboys if they have any hope of retaining their NFC East crown.
If Tyron Smith is not available then you don’t have to be Stephen Hawking to work out where the Eagles D is going to focus its attention. But it won’t be Green at LT it’ll more than likely be Bell and moving Collins to LT just creates a problem elsewhere, not that it’ll make any difference to the Eagles. This is going to be one of those games that’ll need a control of the line of scrimmage, a focussed passing attack, faultless Special Teams play and a big slice of luck. Defensively, the Cowboys have to get the Eagles offense off the field, so control of the line and some pass rush is a must. The secondary has to keep tight to the receivers and make sure that Wentz has to stay in the pocket longer than he’d like. Linebacker is the area of most concern if Sean Lee is unable to play. Hitchens moves over to the Will to enable Smith to play the Mike, personally I think that the team loses something when Hitchens is out of the middle but they really don’t have many options.
My head says that the Eagles have the edge, my heart says that the Cowboys will find something from somewhere to make the difference.
Prediction: Eagles 20 Cowboys 24
Prince Zeke has left the horrors of the battlefield, and they don’t come much horriblier than what happened at House Atlanta, to roam the realms and travel further afield in search of enlightenment. Wearing nothing but a monk’s habit and sandals Prince Zeke has set out to find himself.
Someone else who needs to find himself is Charlie Green, who took over from Tyron the Colossus. This is because there are bits of him all over House Atlanta, and someone really should clean the mess up. General Lee took another blow to the leg that could see him miss important future battles.
There was talk of a possible injury to the groin for House Philadelphia field general Carson of Wentz when he shouted, ‘My Zach Ertz!’ However, it was not a cry of pain but a comment about which House warrior he favoured. Zach Ertz is the latest in a long line of warriors from this famous family. His brother Ed Ertz had to retire following many concussions and the family don’t talk about their Uncle from the realm of Texas, Bum Ertz
Witten is finally here
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