Wednesday, October 23, 2019

The Richard Report, Week 7: Cowboys defense takes the ball game from the Eagles


Week 7 vs. PHI

Date published: Oct. 23, 2019

DAL defensive takeaways by week:

Week 1 NYG - 2

Week 2 WAS - 0

Week 3 MIA - 1

Week 4 NO - 1

Week 5 GB - 0

Week 6 NYJ - 1

Week 7 PHI - 4

Rank 26th in takeaways following PHI game but are awesome on third down so far in 2019. 

  • 80 defensive third downs, only 21 allowed conversions (26.3 percent - 2nd in league)

Defensive stats vs PHI

27:38 PHI TOP

3 sacks

4 takeaways

4 explosive plays

3-9 3rd down defense

0-2 red zone

19 splashes

Really pedestrian day for Wentz: 16/26, 191 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT

Splash plays spread out through defense, but DLaw led team with 4.

Early turnover recoveries by DAL set the stage for the team - fumble recovery on PHI first drive, strip-sack by DLaw on PHI second drive.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Decoding Kellen Moore: Cowboys unleash dominant, diverse offensive show in win over Eagles


Week 7 vs. PHI

Date published: Oct. 22, 2019

Following this game, DAL is No. 1 in NFL in total offensive yardage, No. 4 in in rushing AND passing.

Very un-Cowboys game vs. PHI: Actually had turnovers! Scored 21 of 37 points off turnovers! Actually had good starting field position! Started each drive on DAL-42 (avg.)!

Also showed they score on a long field - four scoring drives starting from DAL-30 or worse.

Fun fact: Eagles worst games against the rush since 2016 have come against DAL 5 times; Week 7 was second-worst for PHI against any opponent since 2016.

DAL Offense:

402 yards

32:22 TOP

6.1 yards per play

8-14 3rd down conv

3-5 red zone conv

DAL offense was great against the blitz in this one: 7 offensive plays, 7 pass completions out of 7 pass attempts, 79 passing yards, 1 TD, 0 sack, 0 TO

DAL offense with 7 play-action passes: 2 for first downs, 1 for TD, 1 INT (garbage time)

Great stuff from Michael Irvin in this piece on Amari + Dak trusting a route with Dak having to get the ball out before Amari is there.

Monday, October 21, 2019

The Morning After: Cowboys make determined stand against rival that brings out its best


Week 7 vs. PHI

Date published: Oct. 21, 2019

Cowboys win third consecutive game against the Eagles, and this one wasn’t close - a 37-10 thrashing that was crucial heading into a bye week. 

Entering game, Cowboys were last in the league in starting field position; Eagles were fifth-best.

In this game, Cowboys get first possession on Eagles45 after recovering a Goedert fumble. Led to an early touchdown, and DAL never looked back.

Second drive - Cowboys get a short field again when DLaw gets strip-sack, recovered by Antwaun Woods. Led to another DAL score. 

Amari Cooper trade continues to pay off big for DAL, especially against PHI. The Eagles reportedly offered JAX a first- and second-round pick for Jalen Ramsey because PHI knew it would have trouble covering Cooper. In three games vs. PHI (after this matchup), Cooper has 398 receiving yards, and his presence on the field opens things up for Gallup, Cobb, Jarwin, Witten, etc. 

Following this game, Garrett is now 3-0 vs. Doug Pederson

Friday, October 18, 2019

Weekend Cowboys Riffing: Previewing Week 7 vs. the Eagles and the return of the mailbag


Week 7 vs. PHI

Date published: Oct. 18, 2019

ENTERING THIS GAME NO NFC EAST TEAM IS OVER .500. Will a 9-7 or 8-8 record win this division in 2019?

Let’s revisit Dak vs. Wentz

  • Both are fantastic, young QBs who have bright futures and represent a large cap hit - Wentz with his current deal and Dak’s upcoming deal

  • Neither are fully embraced by their fanbase - Dak because he’s the quarterback of the Cowboys, Wentz because the Eagles won a Super Bowl with a backup.

Massive injury list heading into this game: 15 for DAL, 8 for PHI (7 starters for PHI)

Matchup to watch: Cowboys RT vs. Brandon Graham

Matchup to watch: Zach Ertz vs. Jeff Heath - Xavier Woods - Byron Jones

Bob’s Pick: Cowboys 24, Eagles 21

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

The Richard Report, Week 6: How Adam Gase and Sam Darnold beat the Cowboys with big plays


Week 6 vs. NYJ

Date published: Oct. 16, 2019

Seven plays made up 73 percent of the Jets total aerial offensive output in this game. People now think Sam Darnold is a good quarterback after this game!

The Cowboys defensive gameplan set up the Jets offensive gameplan: DAL came into game thinking they needed to only shut down Le’Veon Bell. So, Adam Gase had Darnold attack through the air on obvious running plays.

Using this philosophy, NYJ grabbed 239 ards on seven plays.

92-yard touchdown pass to Robby Anderson when NYJ grabbed the ball from DAL on downs: Happens because DAL is sitting on a run play (it’s first down) and bring their safety up to help at line of scrimmage. Anderson beats Awuzie on a double move.

Cowboys grabbed only 10 splash plays today, 2 sacks and 1 takeaway. Played well on third down, but there weren’t many third downs for NYJ defense today.


23/32, 338 yards, 2 TD

DLaw has had a rough start to 2019 (following signing a big contract), but the attention he’s getting is opening things up for Quinn and Malik Collins

“If fortune favors the bold, Gase and Darnold earned their victory on Sunday by being aggressive and not playing into the frustrating tendencies of running Bell into loaded boxes and waiting for third-and-long to pass. Instead, they crossed up the Cowboys, Dallas never adjusted well enough, and the damage was done.”

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Decoding Kellen Moore: Old habits reemerge as Cowboys offense plays too safe for too long (again)


Week 6 vs. NYJ

Date published: Oct. 15, 2019

Cowboys offense struggles, but have to be fair and take into account:

  • No Tyron, no La’el Collins, no Cobb, and Cooper gets injured early

  • Jets def coord. is Gregg Williams, who loves to blitz anyways

From Week 2-5, Cowboys saw 19 total blitzes. Against NYJ, Cowboys saw 17. Without starting tackles and minus top 2 WR spells a tough day for the DAL offense.

Solution: Before fourth quarter, Moore called a running play on 70 percent of first downs

Crazy stat: 15 red zone snaps, 12 run plays

Offensive numbers:

0 giveaways

32:03 TOP

10-17 third down conversion

2-4 red zone conversion

Dak: 28/40, 277 yards, 0 TD

Only three play-action passing plays, which is concerning since DAL planned to just run the ball as much as possible. Need to use play-action more in games like this.

Depressing Quote of the Day:

“The Cowboys were more worried about playing it safe, and that approach bit them. There will be many more road battles ahead, and it is important that they do not drop into a risk-averse, conservative shell at the first sign of adversity. Yet, under Jason Garrett’s leadership, they always do.”

Monday, October 14, 2019

The Morning After: Everything is called into question as Cowboys’ losing streak stretches to three


Week 6 vs. NYJ

Date published: Oct. 14, 2019

First three weeks: 3-0

Next three weeks: 0-3 (with first-half scoring an issue)

NYJ defensive coordinator Gregg Williams loves to blitz, and this week was no different.

Once Cowboys lost Cooper to an injury, the WR corps was Michael Gallup, Cedrick Wilson, Tavon Austin. NJY defense didnt get sacks, but Dak was hit on every throw.

Cowboys go for it on fourth down in the red zone early in the game, don’t convert (this is after only running the ball in said red zone trip).

Not only does NYJ stop them on fourth down, on the very next play, Sam Darnold hits Robby Anderson for a 90-yard touchdown. That deflated Dallas completely.

Second half comeback felt empty; Cowboys lose third game in a row to a team they were a touchdown favorite over before kickoff.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Cowboys Weekend Riffing: Previewing Week 6 in New York, and the mighty mailbag!


Week 6 vs. NYJ

Date published: Oct. 11, 2019

NYJ - DAL recent matchup history:

  • 2007: Dallas 34, NYJ 3

  • 2011: NYJ 27, Dallas 24

  • 2015: Kellen Moore gets a chance in the game

This is a must-win after losing to NO and GB, with PHI the following week.

(Narrator: They did not win)

Matchup to Watch: Dak vs. Jamal Adams

Matchup to Watch: Le'veon Bell vs. Dallas LBs

Bob’s Pick: Cowboys 27, NYJ 14

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

The Richard Report, Week 5: The Cowboys get taken apart by a completely different Aaron


Week 5 vs. GB

Date published: Oct. 9, 2019

GB came into this game without Davante Adams and a mediocre running attack - if the Cowboys could contain Aaron Jones, this should have been an easy win, right?

Instead, Jones was named NFC offensive player of the week after breaking off 6 rushes of 10 yards or more against the Cowboys linebackers. This, along with a +3 turnover margin, helped GB win a game it probably shouldn’t have. 

Defensive stats:

34 points

335 yards

24 first downs

2 sacks

0 takeaways

16 splashes

“Death by a thousand cuts” - Rodgers didn’t even throw for a touchdown!

Defensive tackles were dominated by the GB offensive line, which definitely impacted Jaylon and LVE’s ability to help the run game. 

Tuesday, October 08, 2019

Decoding Kellen Moore, Week 5: Giveaways aptly named, Cowboys grant Packers an easy win


Week 5 vs. GB

Date published: Oct. 8, 2019

How many times has DAL franchise won a game where it turned the ball over 3 times, since 2000? Three. Week 5 vs. GB was another loss.

Nice comeback by DAL (leads to some gaudy final offensive numbers), but 31-3 deficits are hard to overcome.

Offensive numbers:

563 yards (!!)

3 giveaways

8.3 yards per play

2-8 third down conv

1-3 red zone conv

Absence of Tyron and La’el really hurt, since GB’s Smith brothers were able to feast.

How do you average nearly 10 yards per play and lose? Three giveaways and a 28-point deficit. Team had to all but abandon using Zeke in the second half. 


27/44, 463 yards, 2 TD, 3 INT

Cowboys offense was quite good, especially against a secondary that is highly regarded, but three giveaways will kill you. 

This was a game of who made the least amount of mistakes, because the numbers say Dallas should have won. 

Monday, October 07, 2019

The Morning After: Cowboys get in their own way, give another game away to Packers


Week 5 vs. GB

Date published: Oct. 7, 2019

Cowboys fall into 31-3 hole, have to completely abandon gameplan to try and climb back in.

Turnovers killed them - the Cowboys are 0-4 in the last 4 games against GB and have lost the turnover battle each time.

“Green Bay never makes the killer mistake that DAL always does in these games.”

Big mistakes: 

  • Cooper makes a stupid drop on the first drive of the game that turns into an INT

  • Third down sacks

  • Second interception by Dak

  • Missed field goals (even though they should be going for first downs)

GB was also playing without Davante Adams, so this is extra embarrassing. 

Friday, October 04, 2019

Cowboys Weekend Riffing: Previewing Week 5 versus Green Bay and the mighty mailbag!


Week 5 vs. GB

Date published: Oct. 4, 2019

Between 1993-1997, Cowboys beat Packers 7-of-8 times. In 1995, a Cowboys victory gave DAL the all-time series lead, 11-10.

Dez Catch game evened the series at 16-16. Series at this point included 8 playoff games in four different decades. 

Pack has won 3-of-4 since 2014 playoff game, including playoff game in Arlington where Favre threw the most amazing pass of his life to Jared Cook on the sideline. 

Matchup to watch: Smith brothers vs. La’el Collins and Cam Flemming

Matchup to watch: Aaron Jones vs LVE

Bob’s Pick: Cowboys 27, GB 20

Wednesday, October 02, 2019

The Richard Report, Week 4: How the Cowboys slowed down Alvin Kamara and found sacks


Week 4 vs. NO
Date published: Oct. 2, 2019

In this game, Cowboys defense allowed 12 points, 266 yards, 4.3 yards per play.

Robert Quinn played in this game, and the Cowboys pass rush looked a lot better for the second straight week. In the two games that Quinn has played, the defense is getting a sack every 9.8 plays - vs. a sack every 43.5 plays without Quinn.

Bob calls the matchup between LVE and Kamara, in this game, a "draw." LVE had some great plays to stop 41, but Kamara also broke free a few times. He was the focal point of the Dallas defense and they did a strong job.

Defensive stats:
266 yards
18 first down
5 sacks
1 takeaway
6-14 third down conv
0-4 red zone
18 splashes

Quinn 3 splashes
Jaylon 3 splashes
LVE 2 splashes

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

Decoding Kellen Moore, Week 4: Cowboys offensive line dominated by Saints front


Week 4 vs. NO
Date published: Oct. 1, 2019

First three weeks: 30 points, 470 yards (at least) in first three games
Game against NO: 10 points, 257 yards

Dallas got beat by the NO defense, and lost a lot of one-on-one battles when on offense.

Saints ability to stop the run even with a "math disadvantage" led to a very long offensive night for DAL offense. With a stacked secondary AND still able to stop Zeke, DAL offense couldn't do anything.

Cowboys really struggled on first down - only three of 11 first down plays resulted in offense getting four or more yards.

Offensive numbers:
257 yards
4.8 yards per play
6.9 yards to go AVG on third down
4-11 third down
1-2 red zone

With 257 yards and 10 points, the Cowboys are 5-69 when they hit those numbers or worse.

Dak: 22/33, 223 yards, 0 TD

Only 7 play action attempts after no less than 10 in the first three weeks.

Amari Cooper and Devin Smith completely shut down by the Saints secondary.