Here’s the news as we get another look at OTAs.
Offense Eyes Improvement Of Red Zone Woes – David Helman, DallasCowboys.com
We are pinning a lot of hope on Kellen Moore. At least he seems to have a good handle on things he needs to fix.
Watching the Cowboys’ offense on Wednesday brought back a flood of memories – and not necessarily good ones.
The second week of OTAs saw the Cowboys get to work on their red zone offense, honing their play calls inside those crucial 20 yards of the field. Talking to offensive coordinator Kellen Moore about it after practice, it was hard not to note that red zone struggles were a big part of the reason he was promoted to this job in the first place.
“It gives you an opportunity to put some stuff out there that maybe you haven’t done before – see what you like, see what you don’t like and tweak things,” Moore said.
Scout’s Notebook: Rookies To Know From Week 2 – Bryan Broaddus, DallasCowboys.com
There is always a lot to glean from these reports. Let’s highlight another indication of what the new OC is up to.
I believe this is by design, but I have noticed a lot of movement with this offensive line when it comes to the way Kellen Moore is calling plays. You see a lot of counters, screens and fold blocks. Moore is attempting to use the athletic ability of his linemen in order to create some favorable matchups for the scheme. I lost track of the number of plays where there was someone on the move and working in space.
Jason Garrett praises Randall Cobb’s professionalism, notes Connor Williams’ weight is up – R.J. Ochoa and Dave Halprin,Blogging The Boys
If you haven’t done it yet, check out this recap of all the pertinent points from Jason Garrett’s Wednesday presser. There’s a lot, but this tidbit from the end of the article kinda caught my eye.
Jason Garrett was asked if he would have a hard time telling a player nowadays that they’re average and he said absolutely not. He noted that he himself was a mediocre player and that he didn’t need to be told that. He noted that the coaches that pushed him, those are the conversations that helped shape him and push him and encourage him and that he wants to pay that forward.
Chidobe Awuzie’s health may be concern for Cowboys – K.D. Drummond, Cowboys Wire
The team thinks it has a really good cornerback combo in Byron Jones and Chidobe Awuzie – but the dreaded injury bug could derail things. Let’s hope not.
Now, injury concerns may be clouding how high the sky really is for the duo. With Jones on the mend after hip surgery and likely out for the majority of the summer, Awuzie should be leading the unit and ready to assume a sizable role in Dallas’ 2019 defense. Only, he has already suffered his own injury, or at least had enough of an issue the team needs to be cautious. The problem area? His lower half again, this time a hip flexor.
Dallas Cowboys: Kris Richard voted for Trysten Hill over safety | Clarence Hill, Jr., Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Many are still wondering just why the Cowboys passed up on some seemingly good safeties to draft DL Trysten Hill with their initial pick this year. Perhaps surprisingly, Kris Richard was completely on board with the move.
“This game is won up front,” Richard said. “It’s a big man’s game. When you’re able to get a player like the one that we got with Trysten, he’s got like generational-type athleticism, freakish ability in regards to his athleticism. It’s hard to pass on a guy of that nature.”
And then there is the simple matter of the Cowboys liking their safeties a little more than their off-season pursuits indicated, especially when it concerns free safety Xavier Woods.
Cowboys Can’t Afford Another Slow Start in 2019 ✭ Jess Haynie, Inside the Star
With the help of Amari Cooper, the Cowboys overcame a slow start last season to get to the playoffs. It looks like that is something they can’t risk this year.
We concede that games that seem easy or difficult now can have a different look once we get into the season. But as things currently stand, Dallas’ easiest stretch of games on the 2019 schedule are in the first three weeks.
2. @ Washington Redskins
That’s two home games and three opponents likely to be among the softest that the Cowboys see all year. It’s an especially good time to get Washington and Miami, who will both be integrating new quarterbacks.
Week 4 is the revenge match with the Saints in New Orleans. From there Dallas faces the Packers, Patriots, Vikings, Rams, and Bears throughout the season, not to mention the two games with the Eagles.
If the Cowboys don’t get those easier wins early, the hole may be too deep to dig out of this time.
Dallas Cowboys: Film room: A deep dive into 4 ways the Cowboys can become a more efficient rushing team in 2019 | John Owning, SportsDay
The running game is expected to remain central to the Dallas offense. But many don’t realize that, in terms of productivity, the Cowboys were actually kinda average running the ball last year. Well, John Owning noticed, and looked at ways to improve the situation.
The injury bug bit the Cowboys offensive line hard last season. That has to account for some of Dallas’ inefficient running game last season. The myriad of injuries up front prevented the Cowboys from building continuity on the offensive line, which is key to being consistently effective up front.
Even though it’s almost impossible to get through a season unscathed up front — unless you’re the Rams, who have led the league in adjusted games lost on the offensive line each of the past two seasons with less than one game missed by the OL each season — more favorable injury luck this season should, in theory, lead to a more efficient running game for the Cowboys.
Better continuity on the offensive line should enable the running game to have better timing and consistency. When an offensive line stays intact throughout the season, the running backs behind it get more comfortable with the reads and timing of each play. The running backs start to identify the trends of each offensive lineman, which will better inform their decision-making on a play-by-play basis.
Randall Cobb More Than Just Cole Beasley’s Replacement? ✭ Brian Martin, Inside the Star
This seems like a very smart take to me. And it’s almost like we’ve seen it before.
Well, if you believe Sanjay Lal, the Dallas Cowboys Wide Receiver Coach, we should expect to see Randall Cobb used a variety of ways in 2019.
“He’s smart enough to play every position, so we’ll keep him at one position but use multiple formations – put him outside, inside, in the backfield,” said receivers coach Sanjay Lal. “We can put him anywhere, because he is that guy – he is that smart.”
If true, that should come as a breath of fresh air for Cowboys Nation. Everybody, including fans, pretty much knew what Cole Beasley was going to be doing when he was on the field. He was strictly used out of the slot under Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan and his vanilla offense, but that doesn’t sound like it’s going to be the case for Randall Cobb.
Dallas Cowboys: Former NFL offensive lineman: I think the Cowboys are gonna make the Super Bowl | SportsDay staff
Look, it is the time for hype and unbridled, even unwarranted optimism. Plus any predictions at this early point should be taken with a grain of salt. OK, now that is out of the way, get pumped by what former NFL O lineman Geoff Schwartz said on the Rich Eisen Show.
“(Travis) Frederick is back. They are healthy on the offensive line now. DeMarcus Lawrence, Tyrone Crawford, they have great linebackers and they have a good back end in their secondary,” Schwartz said. “The Giants aren’t that strong, the Eagles are gonna be good (and) the Redskins aren’t that strong in my opinion. “I think the Cowboys. If Dak (Prescott) can take the next step, which we will see with the weapons he has. I think the (Cowboys) are gonna make the Super Bowl.”
Security guard wants ‘sincere’ apology from Zeke – ESPN staff
This is clearly news. But, well, there may be other things involved. You be the judge.
The security guard allegedly knocked down by Ezekiel Elliott at a Las Vegas music festival earlier this month says he is still seeking a genuine apology from the Dallas Cowboys running back.
NFLPA to agents: Players should save money – Dan Graziano, ESPN
There have been some positive reports about early work on the next CBA. But not all is rainbows and unicorns. Let’s hope this does not turn into another lockout, or walkout, depending on your point of view.
NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith sent a letter Tuesday to all certified NFL player agents asking them to encourage their players to save money in the event of a work stoppage in 2021.
“We are advising players to plan for a work stoppage of at least a year in length,” Smith wrote in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by ESPN. “We are also encouraging players to save 50% of their salary and bonuses and to save the entirety of their Performance Based Pay amounts they should earn over the next two regular seasons.”