Cowboys 24, 49ers 17
Another week another CHALLENGE. On a personal note, I was looking forward to this game more than anyone will ever know. After what I experienced on Friday early afternoon, the game on Sunday afternoon was a good finish to a horrible weekend. I want to THANK everyone who reached out to me and left very encouraging words. I might have not responded but I did read all of your comments and I want THANK YOU again.
Let’s get to it, shall we J…
What a game! The game started off alright with the Cowboys receiving the opening kickoff and we all know how I feel about that (by now). Our Cowboys took the opening drive and drove it down San Francisco’s throat, another good mix of running and passing the ball. I just knew we were going to have to settle for another FG instead of a Touchdown (like previous weeks). We ended up missing a 47 yard FG attempt by (K) Dan Bailey. San Francisco’s coach Chip Kelly had his 49ers ready to play against the Cowboys and they showed that by completing 3rd down after 3rd down on their opening drives, next thing you know the 49ers were up 14-0 at the end of the 1st quarter. That opening quarter, it seemed as if the Dallas Defense couldn’t stop San Francisco’s “College Style” Quarterback Option, ran by (QB) Gabbert and (RB) Hyde. The Cowboys seemed to get things together in the 2nd quarter (down by 2 TDs). The Cowboys were able to sustain drives, they even picked-up a much needed sack by (DT) Tyrone Crawford to breakup San Francisco’s flow on offense. Dallas was able to score on 2 key possessions in the quarter going into halftime tied at 14, much to the chagrin of Chip Kelly.
The 3rd quarter started off like the 1st, San Francisco kept using the Quarterback Option vs. the Dallas Defense. San Francisco only managed 3 points in the 2nd half… Midway through the 3rd quarter the Dallas Defense got into a rhythm and put together a string of 3rd down stops against the San Francisco’s Offense. The Cowboys were even able to turnover San Francisco’s Offense with an interception by (CB) Morris Claiborne, who is playing out of his mind right now. Meanwhile in the 2nd half, Dallas used its strength to punish the San Francisco Defense. They gave San Francisco a steady dose of the #1 Offensive line in the NFL and Rookie running back Ezekiel Elliot. The boys mixed in (RB) Alfred Morris and (RB) Lance Dunbar in the passing game to keep San Francisco’s Defense off balance. The Cowboys managed 10 points in the 2nd half to go on to defeat the 49ers, 24-17.
Even though the Cowboys were without starters (QB) Tony Romo (Back), (LT) Tyrone Smith (Back), (LG) La’el Collins (Left Foot), (WR) Dez Bryant (knee) & (CB) Orlando Scandrick (Hamstrings) their back-ups played admirably. Quarterback Dak Prescott, 23 of 32 for 245 yards and 2 TDs, showed maturity, playing with pocket presence, poise and confidence. Dak is playing on another level right now. He is letting the offense come to him, taking what is given to him, going through his progressions/reads and most of all NOT making that mistake everyone is waiting for him to make (I know you guys are, I can feel it).When the Cowboys went down 14 early in the game he didn’t let the moment get to big for him, he stayed within the offense and capitalized on opportunities San Francisco gave him. Though anyone won’t admit it the play of young Prescott in the last 4 games is making it harder on the owner (Jerry Jones) and the Coaching Staff to decide if injured QB Tony Romo will get his starting job back when he is HEALTHY and READY to return to the lineup. I am very impressed with Prescott’s play this far. If you were to tell me that Dak would be 3-1 a quarter way through the Season, I would have told you YEAH I believe you, hahaha, but that’s just me, I knew this kid had what it took to be a STAR in this league. But I am sure most of you would have differed.
Let’s talk about the Offensive Line. Again, missing starters (LT) Smith & (LG) Collins, backups (LT) Chaz Green and (LG) Ronald Leary played exceptional. I do have to say( LT) Chaz Green got away with a few false starts throughout the game. Both Green and (LG) Ron Leary played with good strength and balanced allowing (RB) Ezekiel Elliott to rush for 138 yards on 23 attempts and a touchdown. Zeke had a drive pretty much all to himself when the Cowboys went up 21-17.He had some flashes of the great “22” (Emmitt Smith, that’s right I said it) throughout the game, he ran behind his pads, with strength and agility, he ran with patience, waiting for holes to develop without forcing the issue. Elliott was “complete” on this afternoon. The kid has the potential to be the next GOOD/GREAT Dallas Cowboys Tailback. To spell Elliott the Cowboys mixed (RB) Alfred Morris who had a few good carries, 7 att for 34 yards. I noticed that Offensive Coordinator, Scott Linehan added (RB) Lance Dunbar to the passing offense, which was a good way to get Dunbar more involved in the offense.
It was good to see the Recieving Corps step up in (WR) Dez Bryant’s absence. Between (WR) Cole Beasly, 3rec for 66 yards, Terrence Williams, 4rec for 44 yards, TD, Brice Butler, 5rec for 41 yards, TD, and (TE) Jason Witten, 7rec for 47 yards, the Cowboys Offense was able to make pass plays when needed too. Witten and Beasly were steady as always converting on 3rd down situations to keep drives going especially in the 2nd half. Both Terence Williams and Brice Butler ran very good routes on their respective touchdown catches, but you have to give young Prescott for beautifully thrown balls. Like I said, it was good seeing the WR/TE step up.
I have to give it up to our Defense (again) in this game. They really stepped up in the middle of the 2nd quarter. The Defense did a lot of bending, but didn’t BREAK. Just like a lot of us watching or even at the game, we were getting frustrated with San Francisco running right up the middle of the Cowboy Defense. Once the Cowboy Defense figured out the QB Option they didn’t let that break us. I still have concerns with the pass rush, it’s still an issue, we managed one sack the entire game. WE MUST DO BETTER. Defensive Coordinator Marinelli needs to find someone who can give the pressure needed to slow down opposing offenses. I know (DE) Demarcus Lawrence is due back next week vs. the Bengals, but I don’t think he is the CURE for Dallas’s woes getting to the quarterback. I saw Coach Marinelli take a couple chances with blitzes from corners and safeties only ending up being burned for good yardage. We can’t rely on plays like that. Until we can find a way to pressure the quarterback we are going to have to stick to the D-Line rotation. I guess keeping fresh rushers in will hopefully breakthrough this QB pressuring slump this team is going through right now.
What can I say about the linebackers, the linebackers played great, out Defensive Captain, (LB) Sean Lee, 9 tackles, 1 Assist, played very well keeping San Francisco’s QB Option at bay once the defense solved what they were doing. (LB) Justin Durant and (LB) Anthony Hitches were steady. It was so good seeing “Hitch” settle in, finishing with 5 tackles and 1 Assist.
The secondary is getting better week by week. Like other weeks I see this group playing more and more 1 on 1 coverage which is a solid TEST for them. With the lack of pass rush the corners and safeties are having to cover for long periods of time. With the injury of (CB) Orlando Scandrick, Rookie Cornerback Anthony Brown is getting much needed playing time as the Slot Corner. Early on San Francisco picked on the Rookie, but he was able to hold his own. (CB) Brandon Carr was steady today, while (CB) Morris Claiborne continues his impressive start to the 2016 Season finishing with 6 tackles a Assist and a game changing Interception. Safeties Barry Church, 8 tackles, Byron Jones and even J.J. Wilcox, who made a key 3rd down defensive coverage play in the 2nd half to force a punt from the San Francisco Special Teams, made huge contributions to the Cowboy Defense.
Lastly, I want to say…
Did anyone see that face that Chip Kelly gave before halftime? He knew his team was in trouble letting our boys comeback after being down 14. I am sooooo loving the play of this offense with the absence of it leader (Tony Romo). This defense is playing as well as it can with the pieces that are in place. As the weeks go by and pieces start to comeback this defense will develop and get better, I have to believe that it’s the ONLY way the Cowboys will get to where they want to be in January.
Good game 49ers. A WIN is a WIN in the NFC Conference and a road WIN at that. Like I said in previous posts, I have to say it yet again, this is Tony Romo’s Team and Dak will be the future. We can’t get caught up in all the HYPE that the media is starting to start up. I can rest assured that the Quarterback Position is in good hands once Tony’s time is done. This Organization owes Tony Romo so much for all that he’s done throughout his career. It’s only right to let him finish what he started.
On to the next game vs. Cincinnati, 10/9 at home. Cowboy Fans, show-up and SHOW OUT, if you can make it to the game. This was the game I was suppose to go too, but due to unforeseen events I had to postpone my trip. This TEAM deserves all our support. .
Again, thank you guys for your continued support, please leave a comment
DCB4L Cowboy Nation!!