The Cowboys played up to their potential against the Eagles in week 7. They showed just how dangerous they can be when they execute in all three phases. Specifically, the Cowboys forced turnovers on defense that they usually don’t. When a team that’s as talented as the Cowboys give their offense extra possessions and good field position, they are going to be hard to compete with. Let’s look at some plays from this impressive win.
I love this play call. Tavon fakes the wrap motion and turns back to be a pitch man if Dak pulls the ball on his read. Dak sees Scandrick running to the middle of the field and the edge defender crash, leaving no one on the right side of the field to contain. Tavon may not be the best receiver, but he’s always dangerous with the ball in his hands.
This is a great job by the defense understanding where the help is. Leighton sees that there are two defensive linemen pursuing the back, eliminating his ability to cutback, so he rides the block outside shoulder. Awuzie sees Heath take on the receivers block, leaving him free. Since Heath takes his block outside leverage as well, Awuzie becomes an ‘alley’ defender and fills the alley created between LVE and Chido. Good tackle.
Anyone who has criticized DeMarcus Lawrence for his lack of sacks is simply not paying attention. He has demanded the most double teams of all pass rushers in the league. He finally gets a one on one here with one of the NFL’s best right tackles, Lane Johnson. D-Law uses an inside jab step which makes Johnson slightly plant his inside foot, then has perfect hand placement to chop the blockers arms. Lawrence also uses his outside arm to almost slingshot himself around the block as well.
It takes all three phases, and special teams is more important than most think. The Cowboys special teams has specifically been bad this season. Hopefully, they continue making plays like this, where they tackle the return man inside his own 15 yard line.
This was called roughing the passer on Jaylon Smith (it wasn’t) but he is so good on this stunt, where he lines up in the B gap on the right side and loops all the way to the outside shoulder of the left tackle. This stunt also creates the illusion that the quarterback could potentially scramble left only to run right into Smith who has looped that direction.
This is just nasty by DeMarcus Lawrence. He slants inside and shoots the B gap. Lane Johnson has to try to cut him off but hardly touches him. D-Law finishes this off with a tackle for a loss.
Bad rep by Collins (right tackle) here. Jason Witten motions tight and chips the defensive end here to help Collins, but Collins still allows him to get inside, which is a shorter route to the quarterback. This results in a near sack.
This may be the best run you’ll see this season that’s less than twenty yards. Tony Pollard turns a loss into a nice gain by using his balance and agility. When he finally makes his cut up field, there are four Eagles defenders that have over-pursued. I hope Pollard continues to get more and more reps as the season wears on, giving Zeke more rest and giving the defense a change of pace.
Dak sees the blitz coming, kills the run play, and audibles to a blitz beater, in this case a quick inside pass to Cobb from the slot position. If Dak can regularly beat the blitz this way it can help the offense sustain the production that they have had thus far.
I love the aggressiveness of this play. 1st and 18 following a penalty, Dallas dials up a shot play using a sluggo (slant + go) route with Amari Cooper, who may be the best in the league on this particular route. Dak is right on time and has perfect placement with the throw.
I’m not sure why Jourdan Lewis isn’t on the field more. He makes a lot of big plays, but he also makes plenty of plays that go unnoticed, like this one. This play had the potential to be a big gain by the Eagles because of the flow of the defense. Instead, Lewis closes on the runningback quickly and makes a nice tackle.
This may be Dak’s best throw of the season, or at least top 3 with a couple in the Green Bay game. Dak has no lack of confidence in taking shots downfield at this point in his career and development, and that’s going to propel this offense to the next level.
Given the lack of interceptions from the defense, this is what you love to see, and you want to see more of (if you are a fan of the Cowboys). Woods reads the eyes of the quarterback the whole way, undercutting the route by Alshon Jeffery.
The original run-pass option. Dak has four options on the pass or can tuck and run it. Dak probably could have tried to squeeze in a throw to Michael Gallup, but decides to run it anyways, which is the safe choice, and with Dak, is always a good choice.
Another great play by Jourdan Lewis to end this film breakdown session. It’s not flashy, it’s not a turnover, and it’s not a hard hit, but when the runningback decides to bounce this carry outside, Lewis is there to fill the lane and make the tackle. If there’s one thing I want everyone to take from this film breakdown, it’s that JOURDAN LEWIS IS THE SECOND BEST CORNER ON THIS TEAM AND NEEDS MORE SNAPS.