Category Archives: Cowboys Jerseys China

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Dak Prescott completó de touchdown de 59 yardas con Tavon Austin en el segundo cuarto. Fue su pase N° 11 de anotación de 50 yardas o más desde su año de novato en el 2016.

“Fue una de esas jugadas en las que engañamos con otra jugada, pase corriendo“, explicó Prescott. “Me quité el disparo de un linebacker y cuando me di cuenta Tavon estaba cambiando de dirección solo por completo en esa área de linebackers. Tavon cruzó el campo, mandé el balón y él hizo el resto“.

El quarterback de los Cowboys está empatado con Tom Brady, de los New England Patriots, y Philip Rivers, de Los Angeles Chargers, como los quarterbacks con más pases de touchdown de al menos 50 yardas desde que llegó a la NFL.

HOY DISFRUTAN COWBOYS; MAÑANA PIENSAN EN EAGLES

El linebacker de los Cowboys Jaylon Smith reconoció que la victoria de este domingo servirá de poco si pierden la próxima semana contra su principal rival en la competencia por el título de la División Este de la Conferencia Nacional, los Philadelphia Eagles.

Sin embargo, Smith dijo que aplicarán la tradicional regla de las “24 horas“.

“Aquí tomamos las cosas día a día“, dijo Smith. “Esta noche, vamos a disfrutar la victoria, pero a partir de mañana se tratar de una temporada de un solo juego. Vamos a prepararnos estar listos y jugar contra los Eagles“.

EN BREVE…

- Ezekiel Elliott corrió para 117 yardas y Tony Pollard para 131. Fue la segunda vez que los Cowboys tuvieron dos corredores con más de 100 yardas en un mismo juego esta temporada. Es la primera vez en la historia de la franquicia que eso sucede.

- El centro largo L.P. Ladouceur jugó su partido 235 consecutivo con los Cowboys para igualar la marca de Jason Witten de más juegos al hilo en la historia del club.

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FOXBORO — Trash talking New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady doesn’t sound like a good idea, but Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones had a reason for getting into it with the six-time Super Bowl champion Sunday.

Jones and Brady came helmet-to-helmet with 2:59 left in the first half and Kansas City leading 17-7. The Chiefs defense had just forced an incompletion from Brady to bring up fourth down, and Jones tried his best to frustrate the 42-year-old quarterback as much as possible.

“Just crap-talking,” Jones said of his exchange with Brady. “Tom is a heck of a quarterback, a Hall of Famer. Any time you’re able to talk crap, you gotta affect him any type of way. I got much respect for Tom Brady, man. He’s definitely a GOAT in my eyes, one of the greatest. Any time you’re able to affect his game any type of way, whether it’s talking, whether it’s hitting him, whether it’s getting him uncomfortable, you got to.”

Does Jones think all of that had any effect?

“I mean, you see the score.”

The Chiefs won 23-16 to secure the AFC West title and take another step closer toward earning a top-two seed in the AFC playoff race.

Updated NFL playoff picture after Week 14>>>

It’s hard to imagine any kind of trash talk having a negative impact on Brady’s performance. He’s one of the most mentally tough players in league history. What we do know is this Chiefs defense is much better-equipped to slow down the Patriots’ offense than last season’s unit.

The Chiefs, from a physicality standpoint, made an effort to stand up to the Patriots, and that was quite apparent when Kansas City wide receiver Sammy Watkins got tangled up with New England cornerback Stephon Gilmore on the visitors’ sideline in the second half.

“You got two good players going up against each other in heated moments,” Watkins said. “I know him from (the Buffalo Bills), so I was like, this is my opportunity to take a shot, and I did, and he took his shots also.”

The chippiness made for a playoff-like scene in Foxboro, and you can bet all of the trash talk and physical play won’t be forgotten if these teams meet again in January.

“First play of the game I knew it was more of a playoff atmosphere, a playoff game,” Watkins said. “It definitely was probably one of the hardest battles since last year, and that’s what we look forward to. It’s going to be the same way in the next six or seven weeks, so we just gotta continue to come out and play with each other and play hard, strong, and keep fighting.”

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Le mois dernier, Xavier Woods s’est blessé lors d’un live-event à Sydney en Australie et souffre depuis d’une déchirure du tendon d’Achille. Bien que la blessure a été jugée très sérieuse au début, le pronostique est de plus en plus rassurant.

L’utilisateur Reddit “looselipsbackstage”, connu pour avoir rapporté plusieurs scoops concernant Lana, Rusev, les Survivor Series et plus, affirme que Woods sera examiné par les médecins de la WWE en mai prochain. A l’origine, le rendez-vous était programmé pour le mois le juillet, ce qui est généralement bon signe lorsque que l’évaluation a lieu plus tôt que prévue. Il est donc probable que Woods soit de retour sur les rings un peu plus tôt que ce qu’ont suggéré les précédents rapports. Ce qui est presque certain aujourd’hui, c’est que Woods va manquer Wrestlemania 36 et ne devrait pas revenir avant le début de l’été prochain, au minimum.

L’utilisateur “looselipsbackstage” rapporte également que Samoa Joe sera évalué par les médecins de la WWE le lundi 30 décembre prochain. Pour le moment, il est difficile de savoir quand Joe sera de retour sur les rings, mais cela n’arrivera donc pas en 2020. Pour rappel, le samoan souffre d’une blessure au pouce et n’est donc pas autorisé à monter sur les rings. Pour le moment, il remplacera Dio Maddin à la table des commentateurs de RAW puisque ce dernier est de retour au Performance Center pour poursuivre sa carrière comme Superstar.

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The Dallas Cowboys had to play without Jeff Heath on Sunday against the Detroit Lions and that meant Darian Thompson got the start in his place. Unfortunately, Thompson didn’t rise to the occasion and struggled in coverage against the Lions. If Jeff Heath isn’t available when the Dallas Cowboys travel to New England this week, the Cowboys will have to make a decision. Do they continue to roll with Thompson despite a poor showing, or give preseason standout Donovan Wilson a shot?

Last week, Kris Richard stated that Thompson was a player that the defensive staff trusted to fill in for Heath at strong safety and it’s possible they still feel that way moving forward. Thompson is a veteran player and has the ability to be disruptive in the run game. Against the Lions assortment of pass catchers, however, Thompson had a difficult time. Pro Football Focus gave Thompson the lowest coverage grade of any player on the defense in week 11 and there were times it was evident he was the weakest link in the secondary.

Since the 2019 NFL Draft, Cowboys fans and analysts have been intrigued by the prospects of Donovan Wilson starting at safety alongside Xavier Woods. Wilson had shown a penchant for making plays on the football while at Texas A&M. The excitement about Wilson in the secondary was only furthered when he had three interceptions in four preseason games.

Though the Cowboys defensive coaches may consider Wilson more of a free safety type, he and Woods both provide a lot of versatility that could allow Kris Richard to mix and match them in coverages to keep the offense guessing. With Woods and Wilson, it wouldn’t be so simple to diagnose who is the box safety and who is the deep middle until after the snap.

The Dallas Cowboys’ defense has been inconsistent in creating turnovers this season and Donovan Wilson could help that. With Tom Brady and the New England Patriots on the horizon, I find it unlikely that the Cowboys coaching staff would go to a rookie, but if Darian Thompson struggles in week 12 as he did against the Detroit Lions, Richard needs to be willing to make a change in the secondary.

The Dallas Cowboys don’t have much margin for error over the remainder of the schedule with a tight NFC East race with the Philadelphia Eagles. Sometimes you have to throw caution to the wind, even if that means putting young, unproven players on the field. The Cowboys coaching staff can’t keep Donovan Wilson’s playmaking intangibles on the sideline much longer. To make a deep run in the playoffs, defenses have to be able to create turnovers and Donovan Wilson is just one of those guys that can create turnovers. This week might be the time to unleash that ability.

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DETROIT — Darian Thompson wore a loss on his face.

He quietly stood at his locker Sunday, among the last defensive backs to dress. He spoke softly, the disappointment dripping from his words, as music blasted nearby from a sound system that defensive lineman Michael Bennett operated.

This was a winning locker room.

Deejay aside, in the defense’s area, it didn’t sound like one.

“First off, I’ll start with me,” Thompson said. “I’ve got to be better. I gave up too many plays today, me personally. As a unit, we’ve just got to continue to fight, continue to scratch and claw. Be consistent with our execution.”

For stretches Sunday, Dallas performed as it should against a Detroit Lions offense without its franchise quarterback. It pressured. It forced three-and-outs. It controlled. But two early touchdowns on short fields and too many explosive plays in the second half kept a 35-27 win far closer than it should have been.

At Ford Field, this performance was enough.

At Gillette Stadium next Sunday against the New England Patriots, it almost certainly wouldn’t be.

“Not good enough,” cornerback Chidobe Awuzie said. “We allowed too many touchdowns to a team like that with a quarterback [Matthew Stafford] injured. We lost last week. Usually, we respond well. I don’t think we responded well enough today.

“It wasn’t good enough tackling. We let them kind of run on us. They completed a couple passes for touchdowns. … I don’t think it was good enough today as a whole defense.”

There were a share of lowlights.

Thompson, Awuzie and linebacker Leighton Vander Esch each missed a tackle on a 22-yard catch by Lions running back J.D. McKissic in the second quarter. That was one of a season-high seven plays exceeding 20 yards the Cowboys allowed. Five of those seven occurred in the second half.

By comparison, the Cowboys entered Sunday having allowed five 20-yard plays in a game just once in 2019. That came during their miserable Oct. 13 loss to the New York Jets.

Thompson and safety Xavier Woods were the nearest defenders in zone coverage on the Lions’ longest gain, a 39-yard strike from Jeff Driskel to Marvin Hall. The second-longest play was a 34-yard jump ball that Driskel chucked for wide receiver Kenny Golladay. A leaping Thompson was unable to break up the pass late in the fourth quarter of a one-score game.

But the defense immediately responded.

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FRISCO – A recent Sunday morning TV report about the contractual future of Dallas Cowboys cornerback Byron Jones sounded strikingly familiar to us … Because it’s the same exact news we broke nine months ago.

The “latest” comes from CBS Sports, which writes, “Sources said it looks increasingly likely (Jones) will be elsewhere in 2020.” This story – which also features a completely inaccurate “scoop” on how Dallas is likely to “lose Amari Cooper” – frankly continues a CBS trend of taking the original work of others and then tacking on its own claim of “additional sources” to steal credit for a story that isn’t really theirs, or, as it likely the case here, simply being ignorant regarding their “new story” actually being a regurgitation of someone else’s reporting.

So what did we write about the Cowboys and Byron Jones last March 13? And what has changed? First, the original reporting:

The Cowboys think Byron Jones “deserves all the credit” for his breakout season at cornerback in 2018. As a result, he deserves all the money, too.

But I do not believe that’s going to happen in Dallas.

“I want nothing other than playing for the Dallas Cowboys,” Jones told the media at the Pro Bowl, where he was a first-time participant. And it’s a remark that is classic Byron: He combines being smart and thoughtful with being an athletic badass, traits that especially paid off for last season when new defensive aide Kris Richard suggested the move from safety to corner for the former first-round pick.

The payoff was immediate, incredible and year-long. Jones proved to be among the NFL corners most difficult to score against, even to complete a pass against. In In 64 career games (entering 2019), Jones has only two interceptions, but that’s really a nitpick given all his positives.

So why won’t it be an automatic, as he enters the final year of his existing deal, for Dallas to pay him like the elite corner he’s proven to be?

Maybe part of it is some reservations, on some level, that he’s truly worthy of Josh Norman ($15 mil a year) or Patrick Peterson ($14 mil a year) money. But bigger than that, I think, is the “You Can’t Pay Everybody” philosophy that drives salary-cap-related decisions.

At the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones met the DFW media on his bus and engaged in a fun parlor game of “Make Your List.” He wouldn’t offer his “priority list,” except to suggest to reporters that his list likely mirrors theirs/ours/yours.

The names on the Cowboys’ list include DeMarcus Lawrence, Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper. For a variety of reasons, those three are probably the priorities. Finding a way to do Ezekiel Elliott would figure to be next in the pecking order.

The Cowboys have talked publicly about re-signing Byron, possibly as early as this offseason. But if he knows he can be a $14 million APY guy if he repeats his 2018 season, why should be bow to anywhere near his present salary of $6.2 mil?

And if the Cowboys have to do Tank, Dak, Amari and Zeke, how can Byron possibly leap-from over them in importance?

When Richard said of Jones, “I think the sky is the limit for him,” he might very well be right about the talent and the performance. But when it comes to paying Byron Jones $15 million a year to stay in Dallas? I think the (financial) limit is somewhere south of the sky.

And now today … Dallas of course did sign Tank and Zeke and continues to pledge to sign Dak and Amari. They do not talk of Byron at the same level, because while they view him as a very good corner, there has not been 2019 justification to view him – for a team with available cap funds for 2020 ear-marked very specifically – as a priority.

Meanwhile, the cost of retaining Prescott and Cooper has risen. And that’s yet another reason that barring a Jones willingness to take less than market value to be a “Cowboy for Life,” my March report on him getting “squeezed” is mirrored exactly by what I’m reporting now.

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The Cowboys look like they will have starting safety Jeff Heath and backup running back Tony Pollard on Sunday against the Rams.

Both were full participants in Thursday’s practice after being limited Wednesday.

Heath missed last week’s loss to the Bears with injuries to both shoulders. Pollard sat out the game after injuring his ankle in practice two days before the game.

Those were the only changes to the team’s injury report.

Linebacker Sean Lee remained out with pectoral and thigh injuries. He has started the past three games at weakside linebacker in place of Leighton Vander Esch, who remains out with a neck injury.

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BOSTON — Yardage is hiding from the Cowboys.

It can be found on a kickoff not returned decisively or a punt not placed directionally, landing too close to the center of the field. It can be found on a poor angle in kickoff or punt coverage, or a punt return that features too much dancing and not enough upfield running.

Total yards is a mainstream stat commonly broadcast on televisions and stadium scoreboards, measuring how each offense fares. Far less quantifiable is hidden yards, which exists on special teams, impacts field position and influences a game’s outcome.

For years, the New England Patriots have found the hidden yardage.

The Cowboys this season?

“Probably not good enough,” coach Jason Garrett said. “We’ve got to do a better job.”

This special-teams matchup at Gillette Stadium lacks the glitz of the Cowboys’ No. 1-ranked offense versus the Patriots’ No. 1-ranked defense. Few will be glued to their televisions to see how the Cowboys’ young fliers stack up against the Patriots’ more experienced coverage duo. But special teams could be the difference Sunday.

It was last week for New England.

The Philadelphia Eagles jumped to an early 10-0 lead. Three Patriots field goals in the second quarter cut the deficit to one point at halftime, and an opening touchdown drive to start the third quarter gave the Patriots the lead.

After that, their offense mustered nada.

Six drives. Six punts. Four possessions spanned four or fewer plays for less than 10 yards.

But fortunately for New England, it had special teams. The punt team, in particular, put on a show. Philadelphia took possession inside of its own 20 after each of those six punts, including once at its own 3 and another at its own 6.

For the game, the Patriots’ Jake Bailey averaged 46 net yards per punt, earning AFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors.

New England is the only NFL team that has blocked multiple punts (two) this season. Both were returned for touchdowns. Wide receiver Matthew Slater and cornerback Justin Bethel are the fliers, or gunners, in special-teams coverage. Slater is a seven-time Pro Bowler. Bethel is a three-time selection.

Cornerback C.J. Goodwin and undrafted rookie wide receiver Ventell Bryant are the Cowboys’ fliers.

Both expressed respect for Slater and Bethel, but they look to stack up, too.

“I’ve been studying those guys since I became a special-teams guy, since this became my main job [in 2016],” Goodwin said. “I looked up to those guys as I came into the league because they were always in the Pro Bowl and whatnot. Now, they’re my peers. Now, I want to show that I’m better than them.”

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Preseason expectations have evolved into regular season resentment in regard to Dallas Cowboys cornerback Chidobe Awuzie.

Entering his third season, there was a lot of belief that this was the year that Awuzie would ascend into a lockdown corner. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case.

From purely a production standpoint, Awuzie has struggled mightily this season, giving up 41 catches on 73 total targets for 634 yards (fourth-most among all DBs), 15.4 per reception, and three touchdowns in 13 games while accumulating seven pass break-ups and an interception, per SIS Data Hub.

For comparison’s sake, in 2018, Awuzie gave up 49 catches on 83 targets for 653 yards, 13.3 yards per reception, and four touchdowns in 15 games while registering 10 pass break-ups and an interception.

This means he’s allowing a slightly lower completion percentage this year, but seeing increases in total yards and yards per reception allowed while allowing a similar number of touchdowns and accumulating a similar amount of pass break-ups – not exactly what the Cowboys wanted from a DB with No. 1 CB expectations.

It gets worse when tackling and yards after catch (YAC) are added into the equation. Thus far this season, 12 of Awuzie’s attempted tackles have missed or been broken by opposing ball carriers, which means, given that he has been credited with 63 tackles so far, his tackles are missed or broken by the ball carrier 16% of the time – a huge increase from the 10.5% of last season, per SIS Data Hub. Moreover, Awuzie has allowed 205 total YAC this season – 20th most among all CBs, per Pro Football Focus, which is 55 more YAC than he allowed all of last season (150).

The evidence gets even more damning when advanced statistics are brought into the fold. Football Outsiders has developed a metric (which is used in the SIS Data Hub) called Points Saved, which uses Expected Points Added (EPA) to distribute the value gained or lost on a play to the different players involved based on their impact on the play using the wealth of SIS charting data available. In 2018, Baltimore’s Marlon Humphrey led all defensive backs in total points saved among DBs (51) while Buffalo’s Tre’Davious White leads all DBs this year (40) in the same metric.

Awuzie has been credited with 0 total points saved this season, which is not only the epitome of average and the definition of a replacement-level player, it’s also less than multiple other Cowboys DBs, including Byron Jones (10), Xavier Woods (7), Jeff Heath (6) and Jourdan Lewis (6).

Bottom line from a production standpoint, Awuze is playing like a replacement-level cornerback rather than the potential No. 1 CB the Cowboys were hoping for.

Awuzie’s struggles statistically are confirmed on film; however, before getting into his individual struggles, it’s important to acknowledge that Dallas’ scheme and defensive play-calling play a part in it, too.

Take this reception on 2nd-and-1 versus the Giants in Week 9 as an example:

On this play, the Cowboys are playing their typical Cover 3 defense where Awuzie plays off coverage and is responsible for the deep third zone on his side of the field. While the casual fan may be upset about Awuzie allowing an easy first down reception in a short-yardage situation, the reality is that the coaching staff deserves far more blame than anyone for this easy first down (which is a theme of Dallas’ season so far).

In Cover 3, the box defenders (linebackers plus strong safety) are responsible for all the short-to-intermediate zones while the cornerbacks and free safety are responsible for the deep zones. Moreover, the box defenders have dual run-pass responsibilities, meaning they have to play forward and fit their gap against the run but also retreat to their zone versus the pass.

The positives are that it gets eight defenders in the box to defend the probable run in a short-yardage situation; however, it also makes them susceptible to quick play-action passes from shotgun, which is exactly what happens here.

The box defenders’ dual run-pass responsibilities, especially in a short-yardage situation, cause them to immediately react forward versus any run action in an attempt to clog the gaps and stuff the potential run. This creates huge voids in the short-to-intermediate zones, which are exacerbated by the fact the Dallas blitzed the strong safety (Jeff Heath) off the edge, thus taking away one short-to-intermediate zone defender.

Therefore, no one is in the flats to defend the speed out, creating an easy pitch-and-catch for the first down. While it is true that Awuzie should have triggered forward quicker, the scheme prevented him from having any chance to contest this quick throw more so than his execution.

These types of poor situational defensive play calls are littered through Dallas’ tape this season, especially in short-yardage situations. Nevertheless, Awuzie has done himself no favors outside of that, as intermittent technical lapses have led to most of Awuzie’s struggles this year.

“Lapses” being the key term there because Awuzie provides good coverage a majority of the time, which is why he maintains a relatively low completion percentage when targeted (56.2%) despite his struggles this season. However, much like with offensive linemen, a few lapses or bad snaps per game is enough to override the dozens of other snaps where he executed his job effectively, which signifies the little room for error that NFL CBs have on a game-by-game basis.

Those lapses are especially frustrating because there’s not one thing to hang your hat on in regard to Awuzie’s overall struggles. It’s a bunch of different little things that pop up intermittently. They aren’t always due to the same reasons, but they all have a similar effect in deteriorating Awuzie’s coverage ability on a given snap.

Here’s an example:

On this Week 4 play in New Orleans, Awuzie is aligned in press-man, or bump-and-run, coverage against Saints receiver Michael Thomas. When lining up against one of the top receivers in the NFL, which Thomas certainly is, even the smallest mistakes can create a big enough opening for the receiver to take advantage, which is exactly what happens here.

The casual fan may critique Awuzie for not turning his head around to look for the ball when Thomas did, but that ignores the differences in how a CB is supposed to play when in/out of phase with a receiver.

When a CB is in-phase, meaning he can reach out and touch the receiver, then yes, he is supposed to lean into the receiver and turn his head to find the ball.

However, when a CB is out of phase, meaning he can’t touch the receiver, as Awuzie is above, he is taught to not turn his head and look for the ball because if he guesses wrong then it inevitably creates more separation for the receiver while eliminating the CB’s ability to limit YAC once the catch is made. Instead, he is taught to stay locked in on the receiver while playing through the receiver’s hands at the catch point.

Awuzie’s patience and footwork are good but watch his hands as he tries to press Thomas (above clip).

Awuzie’s hands are much too wide and lack assertiveness. This enables Thomas to control the inside position, which prevents Awuzie from landing with his hands and allows Thomas to create initial separation off his release and put Awuzie out-of-phase.

With Awuzie out of phase and playing catch-up, he has no ability to dictate the pace of the route, which prevents him from ‘feeling’ the break point and causes him to overrun Thomas’ stop run. The result is a first-down reception for Thomas.

Had Awuzie been tighter with his hands at the line of scrimmage, he would have been in-phase with Thomas after the release, which would have put him in position to feel the break and blanket Thomas’ stop route.

Even more frustrating is when Awuzie’s tight coverage gets ruined by poor technique contesting the catch point:

On this Week 12 play at New England, Awuzie does a nice job maintaining tight coverage against Patriots receiver Jakobi Meyers on a 10-yard out route, which was thwarted by Awuzie swiping at the ball instead of sticking his hand through Meyer’s at the catch point.

The problem with swiping at the ball is that it is a low percentage and inefficient technique, as the defender has only one chance to deflect the ball. If he mistimes his swipe even by the slimmest of margins, the pass is completed, as was the case in the above clip.

Instead, it’s better for a defender to aim to stick his hand(s) through the receiver’s at the catch point, since that where the ball is going to end up if the pass is completed. Attacking the receiver’s hands is much more effective and efficient than attacking the ball in this kind of situation.

Another example of Awuzie’s intermittent technical lapses has to do with his eye discipline from off coverage:

When in off coverage, cornerbacks are taught to read the QB’s initial drop first before keying on the receiver, as the QB’s drop can help the CB ascertain the type of route he’s going to see.

For example, if a QB takes a three-step drop from under center or a one-step drop from shotgun, then the cornerback knows he doesn’t need to worry about deep throws and instead needs to be ready to drive short-breaking routes.

Nonetheless, Awuzie does the opposite in the above clip, as he begins with his eyes on the receiver but then turns his eyes toward the No. 2 receiver, which makes him late to react and drive on the out route, resulting in a nine-yard completion that put Green Bay on the goal line (they scored on the next play).

Given that Dallas was in its typical Cover 3 zone defense, Awuzie was likely getting his eyes on the No. 2 receiver to make sure he wasn’t running a corner route into his deep zone; however, if he had read the QB’s quick drop, he would have known the ball was going to get out quick, giving him a better opportunity to drive and contest the catch point.

Bad eyes made Awuzie late to trigger forward to defend the out route, which cost Dallas valuable yards in the red zone.

Awuzie’s struggles this year are important to understand, as his inability to meet his preseason expectations to become a No. 1-caliber corner this season has a domino effect on the roster construction as a whole.

Entering training camp, the Cowboys had six players with legitimate cases for contract extensions: Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, Amari Cooper, Byron Jones, Jaylon Smith and La’el Collins.

Jones’ case, in particular, received little attention and seemingly little priority from the Cowboys’ front office, which was partly due to Awuzie’s preseason expectations. Why pay big money to your No. 1 CB if you expect your No. 2 to develop into a legitimate No. 1 within the next season, especially when the team doesn’t have as much depth at the positions of the other players deserving extensions?

This paved the way for Dallas to extend Elliott, Collins and Smith prior to their season opener, leaving Jones at the bottom of the priority list among the three remaining players (along with Prescott and Cooper) worthy of contract extensions.

Now, it is important to also state that there were other factors in Jones not receiving an extension, the biggest of which is the fact that he was coming off a serious hip injury that required surgery and forced him to miss training camp and the preseason. It’s understandable why the front office would be hesitant to give a player coming off major surgery a big-money extension.

But Awuzie’s struggles have left the Cowboys’ front office between a rock and a hard place.

If the Cowboys knew Awuzie was going to struggle, they may have been more diligent in trying to extend Jones’ contract before the season when the Cowboys had a ton of available money. Instead, the Cowboys will be forced to either re-sign Jones or find a replacement with significantly less money available thanks to the Elliott, Collins and Smith extensions along with the money earmarked for Prescott and Cooper’s huge extensions.

In other words, Awuzie’s failure to live up to his preseason expectations has not only hurt the Cowboys on the football field, but it’s also hurt their ability to retain their best defensive back (Jones) in the offseason.

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The Dallas Cowboys were were about linebacker depth headed into today’s game with the Los Angeles Rams. Veteran Sean Lee missed practice all week long dealing with both thigh and pectoral injuries.

Rookie reserve linebacker Luke Gifford left in the first quarter. Leighton Vander Esch was ruled out and hasn’t played in weeks. Now Joe Thomas has limped off the field with the help of trainers.

The Cowboys will have to rely on Justin March, who has played just five defensive snaps all season and was blocked handily on a screen pass that went for 28 yards. It’s unclear whether or not Thomas will be able to return to the game, but as it stands, Lee and linebacker Jaylon Smith will have to play with little help.

The club also activated Chris Covington for depth this week, leaving DT Trysten Hill inactive after playing the last several weeks.