Monday, November 29, 2021

The Cowboys cannot run the ball right now and it is killing efficiency: Decoding Kellen Moore

 Now that we have all had the weekend to process another Cowboys loss on Thanksgiving — you can definitely catch up on my more general thoughts from the Morning After column here — it is time to really face some realities.

The Cowboys are still going to be heralded as a top offense in the NFL, because they are. They are still tops in the league in yards per game and top five in several other spots. As long as the league marketing machine measures quality based on total yardage, I guess they are still a heavyweight.

https://theathletic.com/2985482/2021/11/29/cowboys-cannot-run-the-ball-right-now-and-it-is-killing-efficiency-decoding-kellen-moore/

Friday, November 26, 2021

Another wrecked Thanksgiving for the Cowboys almost feels like home: The Morning After

 There is a tradition on Thanksgiving where the Dallas Cowboys celebrate the holiday by being the main event for the NFL. Families come together at the dinner table all over the nation and at the stadium as a symbol of timeless love and familial bonds that cut through the generations. Dallas Cowboys football and Thanksgiving is one of the more hallowed traditions that let us know normalcy can exist again as it always has.

https://theathletic.com/2980089/2021/11/26/another-wrecked-thanksgiving-for-the-cowboys-almost-feels-like-home-the-morning-after/

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Tyreek Hill and Kansas City get enough done, but the Cowboys defense stands tall: Dan Quinn Report

 I realize that this is a short week and I am probably violating my sacred vow to have you ready for the Raiders game, but let’s give this Chiefs performance a little love for this last piece before Friday’s Morning After the Thanksgiving game.

The Cowboys defense did very well in this game. Not perfect and not really close to perfect, but when you play an offense that good and grow into the game where you are winning more battles than losing once you make your adjustments and catch your breath, we probably have very little bad to say about the defense.

https://theathletic.com/2976332/2021/11/24/tyreek-hill-and-kansas-city-get-enough-done-but-the-cowboys-defense-stands-tall-dan-quinn-report/

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

The Cowboys’ game planning is called into question in Kansas City loss: Decoding Kellen Moore

 Adrian Clayborn will never be forgotten for what he did to the Cowboys’ offensive plan in Atlanta in 2017 and more specifically Chaz Green.

Well, Chris Jones was far more equal opportunity. The former college teammate of Dak Prescott’s at Mississippi State had an absurd seven splash plays with 3 1/2 sacks, recovered a fumble, forced another one and also tipped a pass that became an interception. He destroyed the Cowboys front and he was kind enough to give everyone a chance to block him. From Connor McGovern to Zack Martin, nobody could block him. He was in the banana stand and then he was in it again.

https://theathletic.com/2973168/2021/11/23/the-cowboys-game-planning-is-called-into-question-in-kansas-city-loss-decoding-kellen-moore/

Monday, November 22, 2021

The Cowboys badly miss in their ‘Show America’ opportunity game: The Morning After

 They had a real opportunity. The NFL had tuned in to see this Cowboys team everyone had been talking up. If they are what they are said to be, this will be a chance to make a real statement in a place where the world will take notice. Very few teams will go into a pulsating Arrowhead Stadium when the weather has turned and end the day on top. If this Dallas team — especially one without several significant pieces that will be returning soon — is able to go into and defeat the team everyone knows will most likely be still standing at the end of January, well, then the Cowboys will no longer be able to fly somewhere under the radar.

https://theathletic.com/2971295/2021/11/22/the-cowboys-badly-miss-in-their-show-america-opportunity-game-the-morning-after/

Friday, November 19, 2021

Dallas goes to Arrowhead to measure its quality against the Chiefs: Cowboys pregame riffing

 Well, if you haven’t been waiting for this game since the schedule was released, you may want to check your heart rate and pulse. Because those of us who are still showing vital signs have been talking about this one and counting it down with eager anticipation since the day the fixture dropped.

This is Dallas’ first trip to Arrowhead Stadium since 2013, which pitted Tony Romo, DeMarco Murray and Dez Bryant in a Week 2 battle against Alex Smith, Jamaal Charles and Dwayne Bowe in a game where former defensive coordinator Bob Sutton blitzed the Cowboys into submission. Large human Dontari Poe had a couple sacks that day and the Cowboys limped home as 17-16 losers.

https://theathletic.com/2965875/2021/11/19/dallas-goes-to-arrowhead-to-measure-its-quality-against-the-chiefs-cowboys-pregame-riffing/

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

The Cowboys’ performance against the Falcons might be best one yet: Dan Quinn Report

 The Cowboys defense needed a response from what was a poor performance versus Denver. In that game, the Cowboys missed tackles, must have forgotten the fundamentals of run defense and were unable to make any plays on the ball.

In a full-team failure in Week 9, it was going to be interesting to see how they responded in Week 10. It also helped that it was an opportunity for Dan Quinn, Keanu Neal and Damontae Kazee to look across the field at their previous employer that bid each of them farewell in 2020.

https://theathletic.com/2961602/2021/11/17/the-cowboys-performance-against-the-falcons-might-be-best-one-yet-dan-quinn-report/

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Cowboys continue to treat fourth down as their true weapon: Decoding Kellen Moore

 On Sunday, the Cowboys converted 6-of-14 third downs for a very passable day of 43 percent. NFL league average is just slightly below 40 percent, so you enter every game and hope for 50 percent and settle for above 40 percent.

But, the Cowboys were able to add three additional fourth-down conversions to push a 43 percent day to a 64 percent day by simply “going for it.”

https://theathletic.com/2959137/2021/11/16/cowboys-continue-to-treat-fourth-down-as-their-true-weapon-decoding-kellen-moore/

Monday, November 15, 2021

The Cowboys send an emphatic response to anyone who doubted them: The Morning After

 This one won’t require a deep dive of analysis.

Sometimes, you are just going to make sure that the opponent doesn’t matter that much. It really isn’t their fault and has very little to do with them. They were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. The schedule works in mysterious ways.

Very sorry to the good folks of Atlanta for stepping in the way of that speeding train. You didn’t really do anything to deserve it.

Dallas was going to send a strong message to the NFL on Sunday and the team across the field was going to be victimized. The beatdown was thorough and emphatic and, frankly, without mercy.

https://theathletic.com/2956643/2021/11/15/the-cowboys-send-an-emphatic-response-to-anyone-who-doubted-them-the-morning-after/

Friday, November 12, 2021

Dallas tries to prove to us that it is a different team: Cowboys pregame riffing

 Losing can play tricks with your head for sure. You lose one game in two months and then hear that Randy Gregory won’t play for a whileTyron Smith is unlikely to return this week, and things snowball in your head. Before long you feel the stress of wondering about the traditional three games in 12 days stretch and with the Chiefs and Raiders waiting in the wings, you start to stress about how important this game is starting to look.

https://theathletic.com/2951093/2021/11/12/dallas-tries-to-prove-to-us-that-it-is-a-different-team-cowboys-pregame-riffing/

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

The Cowboys run defense was bad vs. the Broncos — not quite 2020 bad — but still not good: Quinn Report

 It had been a while since this sort of defensive performance has been seen around here. The transformation of the 2021 Cowboys defense from what 2020 produced has been massive and impressive. That defense was poor in all of the important fundamentals and disorganized.

This defense has lined up well, battled hard and started by stopping the run.

Until Sunday.

https://theathletic.com/2946349/2021/11/10/the-cowboys-run-defense-was-bad-vs-the-broncos-not-quite-2020-bad-but-still-not-good-quinn-report/

Tuesday, November 09, 2021

Did Vic Fangio show the world a blueprint for beating the Cowboys? Doubtful. Decoding Kellen Moore

 This one was pretty rough. For the Cowboys offense to have this much going for it and this many games of looking unchallenged to then run into a team in that condition and look that poorly was quite a shock.

Down roughly six starters from their normal defense, the Denver Broncos are now going to be studied as a team that slowed down an offense that was starting to get chatter as unstoppable. What was their secret? What did they try to do?

https://theathletic.com/2944305/2021/11/09/did-vic-fangio-show-the-world-a-blueprint-for-beating-the-cowboys-doubtful-decoding-kellen-moore/

Monday, November 08, 2021

Broncos remind the Cowboys of truths to remember about success: The Morning After

 “Success isn’t owned. It is leased. And rent is due every day.” — JJ Watt (maybe, but he probably got it from somewhere, too).

This one is going to be filled with half-truths and clich├ęs. For every success story includes moments where the subject deals with failure. Some of it is because the endeavor is difficult and things that are worth achieving involve tasks that are not easy to navigate. Other times, it simply is because the protagonist forgot how hard they worked to get their taste of success and attempted to take a shortcut to see what role preparation played in the process.

https://theathletic.com/2942748/2021/11/08/broncos-remind-the-cowboys-of-truths-to-remember-about-success-the-morning-after/

Friday, November 05, 2021

Dallas free agents to be and the Broncos come calling: Cowboys pregame riffing

 This game is not the most interesting game on the schedule. Not even close. So if I am going to tell you when games are very interesting, then I better preserve a few weeks where I don’t try to pull your leg.

Dallas should win this game — and win it pretty easily. Denver is not very good and it is also pretty beat up. Plus, the Broncos just traded their biggest franchise star in Von Miller. Their coach has been a leading candidate to not see the holidays on duty, despite being a well-loved football lifer who everyone wants to succeed.

https://theathletic.com/2936814/2021/11/05/dallas-free-agents-to-be-and-the-broncos-come-calling-cowboys-pregame-riffing/

Wednesday, November 03, 2021

The Cowboys needed to stop an offense that can move — and they did just that: Quinn Report

 The Minnesota Vikings have proven to be a very difficult team to figure out. They have played every game in a manner that indicates they probably could win every game and probably could have lost every game.

https://theathletic.com/2931986/2021/11/03/the-cowboys-needed-to-stop-an-offense-that-can-move-and-they-did-just-that-quinn-report/

Tuesday, November 02, 2021

Attacking on third-and-long with a backup QB captures a Cowboys win: Decoding Kellen Moore

 The Cowboys won a meaningful game with a backup quarterback starting. If you have been following this team for very long, you should be aware that this sort of thing is rather rare. We have witnessed countless occasions where the Cowboys would hardly even make an effort to try to win a game with a backup QB, making us think that nobody but Tony Romo could possibly run their offense.

https://theathletic.com/2929085/2021/11/02/attacking-on-third-and-long-with-a-backup-qb-captures-a-cowboys-win-decoding-kellen-moore/


Monday, November 01, 2021

Cooper Rush leads the Cowboys to an unlikely road victory in made-for-TV moment: The Morning After

 Surely on a crazy day in the NFL where backup QBs were beating massive favorites in both of the other TV windows, Sunday night would want a bite of the apple, as well.

This column is going to be mostly about Cooper Rush.

https://theathletic.com/2926746/2021/11/01/cooper-rush-leads-the-cowboys-to-an-unlikely-road-victory-in-made-for-tv-moment-the-morning-after/