Thursday, September 30, 2021

Cowboys CB Trevon Diggs has outperformed his draft class with huge splash plays: Quinn Report

 Most players look for a reason to feel doubted. It stokes the fire and probably gives them a fire in their belly when they need a reason to train for hours in the middle of the offseason.

“Nobody believed in me,” is a phrase we hear in many championship interviews where someone tells us that even though they were selected pretty high in the NFL draft, because they were not picked even higher — they didn’t have enough “believers.”

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Anatomy of the Cowboys’ opening touchdown drive right off the script: Decoding Kellen Moore

 The Cowboys’ offense is performing at a very high level. They took apart the Eagles with relative ease that left us with almost no complaints.

Now, there were a few … aside from the problems at each goal line that almost put the Eagles right in the game — the chaos on one end that ended with an Eagles free TD as Fletcher Cox celebrated a rare touchdown — and the touchdown that wasn’t on the fourth-and-goal QB sneak where somehow they couldn’t prove that Dak Prescott clearly broke the plane of the end zone.

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Cowboys’ decisive win against Philadelphia demonstrates their ceiling is high: Sturm’s Morning After


That is what you call a win like that. A thorough and decisive beatdown where the final score flattered the team that was steamrolled.

And when you do it in your home opener and against a hated rival with many important pieces missing — seven starters were out for various reasons — you have to leave AT&T Stadium on Monday night thinking that the 2021 Dallas Cowboys are a different animal.

Monday, September 27, 2021

Cowboys pregame riffing: Home-opening battle with the Eagles will require points … many points

 The 2000 season featured an early-season (Week 1) visit from those hated Eagles. Philadelphia featured a pretty new and unproven coach, an exciting and potential-filled quarterback and a team that the Cowboys thought they should certainly beat to get where they wanted to go — especially given that the Eagles were not near the threat that Washington was. You know, the Washington that won the division last year?

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Micah Parsons’ historic day in L.A.: Cowboys’ rookie tackles new role with best Magic Johnson impersonation

 I realize there is no shortage of Micah Parsons reading material these days, but I have never let others affect my game too much. If I am going to write about Parsons with wild wonder on Monday and try to process what we have just witnessed, then I sure better be willing to examine it in great detail when we look at the defensive film on Wednesday.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Decoding Dak Prescott and Tony Pollard: Development of key Cowboys’ offensive pieces in real time

 There was one major reason the Cowboys offense needed a directional change a few years back, and it centered mostly on maximizing the potential of its pieces. The Cowboys had just found a rookie class of Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott, and the hope was they could populate every offensive huddle between 2016 and 2025 if things went well. They were young and talented and could maybe be the core of a successful offense.

Monday, September 20, 2021

The Cowboys figure out a way to win when things aren’t perfect: Sturm’s Morning After

 At least once a year — often about this time on the calendar — I feel compelled to have the “winning talk” with the good folks who are nice enough to read my column.

The “winning talk” is pretty simple and yet pretty disappointing to the part of the Cowboys’ fandom group that enjoys being mad at this team. They want wins, but they want them to be nice and neat with no mud on the clothing. They want utter annihilation and an enemy that taps out before the fight has begun. They don’t like the grind, the street fight, nor the grueling feeling of being stretched and contorted for three hours of internal struggle. They don’t like how long it takes to clean off the blood and dirt from the uniforms.

Friday, September 17, 2021

Cowboys pregame riffing: Patience required for Dallas to score enough against Brandon Staley’s Chargers

 Fifty-eight days since the Dallas Cowboys training camp held its first full practice in Oxnard, Calif.; 149 days until Super Bowl 56 in Inglewood, Calif.; and just two more days until the 3:25 pm CT start on Sunday at Sofi Stadium in Inglewood where the Cowboys visit the Chargers for a Week 2 battle …

They have started the season 0-2 four times since 1990.

It worked really well in 1993. That year, the Cowboys started 0-2 with Emmitt Smith holding out. They then signed him to a new deal, and Dallas went on to win the Super Bowl. No problem.

They did it again in 2000 and finished 5-11.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

What is Dan Quinn thinking? We sort through the evidence to figure out his plan for the Cowboys’ defense

 The game is already in the rearview mirror and it is definitely, "On to Los Angeles", but Wednesdays are when we look at the defense under a thorough microscope. Tom Brady demonstrated a level of excellence that a 44-year-old has never shown before in the Bucs ' Week 1 win, and he continues to incinerate the envelope of what is possible. He played what could have certainly been a perfect game if it wasn't for a few drops and a tipped pass.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

How did the Cowboys’ offensive line hold up against the Bucs’ fearsome front? Studying film for answers

 Each week, I want to offer answers to the questions that are presented about the Cowboys and their challenges. I want to study the film with a notebook of observations and look for the battles within the game that tell us who won and why they won. But perhaps more importantly, I want to also ask what that tells us about upcoming battles on the schedule and even on the depth chart as this team begins to transform into whatever it might be by year's end.

Friday, September 10, 2021

Cowboys find out plenty about themselves in season-opening loss: Sturm’s Morning After

 There are a thousand pieces written about every Dallas Cowboys game and I appreciate you picking this one to be on your list. That said, if you love loathing the claim of morale-boosting and learning through painful defeats early in the season, then you might want someone a bit more edgy today. Because last night, I watched the 2021 Cowboys debut against an opponent that seemed to present as tough a challenge on both sides of the ball as you will find all season.

Thursday, September 09, 2021

The NFL's toughest opening game awaits Dallas in Tampa

 Fifty days since the Dallas Cowboys training camp held its first full practice in Oxnard, Calif.; 157 days until Super Bowl 56 in Inglewood, Calif.; and just a few hours until the 7:20 p.m. CT start at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa ... 

We made it. It has certainly been a while since a difficult-to-watch contest ended at Giants Stadium on Jan. 3 with the Cowboys logging their 10th loss of the season. It seemed a year when everything went wrong, mostly because it did. The offseason never happened.

Tuesday, September 07, 2021

10 Cowboys predictions: They are winning the NFC East and Dak Prescott will lead them

 The Cowboys help raise the curtains on NFL 2021 in incredibly short order in Tampa Bay on Thursday night. That will be the scene where the Buccaneers became the first team to win the Super Bowl on their home field and have since become the only team since the salary cap was instituted to return all 22 Super Bowl starters.

Friday, September 03, 2021

The Cowboys' defense wants to be much better. How close can they come to that in 2021?

 Well, it is "go" time. In one week, we will be sitting here with a Morning After column from the first game of the season. That game is probably well-considered the toughest game on the NFL schedule in 2021. You can probably argue, but playing the defending champions at their place on "banner night" in front of the world, when they are fully healthy and fully rested and returning all 22 starters? I mean, if any game should be considered a difficult start to the season, this is it.

Wednesday, September 01, 2021

Riffing about what we should look for when evaluating the QB position

 No sport is followed more than football in this country. More people love it and more people think about it daily, and yet if you turn on the radio or even overhear a conversation, it seems most people aren't sure how to fully understand the finer points that make all the difference in the world. Nowhere is this more true than the position of quarterback. We want to be able to measure why this quarterback is better or worse than that guy - but how?