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13.03.2019 10:38
A few saw the possibility of the Dallas Cowboys pull Antworten

ing out a win over the Philadelphia Eagles - but probably not like this. Although the Eagles would wind up with more yards than the Cowboys overall Color Rush Maliek Collins Jersey , and Dallas left at least eleven points on the field with stalled red zone drives and a badly missed Brett Maher field goal, this was a game that, though tied twice in the second half, really never felt like it was getting out of control. It was probably the best performance overall of the season for the Cowboys. And among a lot of outstanding play by both the offense and defense, the best news was that Dak Prescott looked an awful lot like the rookie sensation of 2016.Criticism of the third-year starter has been hot and heavy for most of this year. There were questions about whether he was really a quarterback that could lead this team to success. In the five losses so far, he gave plenty of reasons to doubt him. At times, his confidence seemed shaken as he showed poor discipline in the pocket and a seeming inability to locate open receivers.He needed a confidence builder. And against a very good Eagles defense, he got one.That is not to say he was perfect, or an offensive machine like so many quarterbacks seem to be this year. It also has to be noted that the Eagles secondary was a real patchwork affair due to injuries (balanced, perhaps, by similar issues the Cowboys have with their O line). But as the game wore on, he seemed to find more and more composure, and in the second half, he twice answered Philadelphia touchdowns that tied the score with his own drives to re-take the lead. And with some clutch defense down the stretch, he was instrumental in getting a victory that kept Dallas’ slim playoff hopes from flat-lining. His stat line was solid, 26 of 36 for 270 yards, a touchdown Allen Hurns Jersey , and no interceptions, plus one QB sneak for the first touchdown of the game. Looking a little deeper, there were specific things that are very encouraging going forward.Throwing deeperHis longest completion of the night came on a 25-yard screen pass to Michael Gallup, but otherwise, he was much better at making deeper throws than we have seen this season. Look at his longest completion to these receivers:Amari Cooper - 24 yardsAllen Hurns - 23 yards (plus the 17-yard reception that set up Dak’s QB sneak for six)Cole Beasley - 21 yardsDalton Schultz - 17 yardsRod Smith - 14 yardsEzekiel Elliott - 13 yardsYes, there was some YAC involved in those, but clearly, Dak was pushing it down the field more than he has. And he had some misses on longer throws, notably to Cooper. If he can hit one or two of those in the future, he is going to seriously stretch the field.That may have been part of how Zeke blew up for 151 yards on the ground as well. Once Dak started hitting those receivers for nice chunk plays, things seemed to open up on the ground. Elliott didn’t really start to break long runs until the 6:18 mark of the second quarter, when he had his longest gain of the night, the 32-yard high hurdle play. (He had one earlier 11-yard gain called back on a penalty.) And from that point on, the running and passing games seemed to feed off each other.Spreading it aroundHe found eight different receivers, and completed 14 to the wide receivers. Elliott was still tied for the most receptions with Cooper at six, but even there, the six yards per catch average was much more effective than in some earlier games. More significantly Authentic Deonte Thompson Jersey , the WRs accounted for 186 yards collectively, which is the kind of percentage of the total (69%) you want to see, plus that’s a nice 13.3 yards per catch average for the wideouts. It means that either Prescott is seeing the field, or Linehan did a much better job with routes and concepts, or perhaps a little of both. However it happened, it is highly encouraging.Just as a side note, in addition to tying for the most receptions (and being the missed target on a couple of those deep throws), Amari led all receivers with 75 yards. He is a real WR1, and paid off for the team in this game.Long drivesThe Cowboys had three touchdowns in the game, and they had a couple of things in common: Each covered 75 yards, and each came after the Eagles had scored. The last two were answers to Philadelphia tying the score. Just one missed drive, and the game would likely have gone the other way, since the Eagles twice had to go for touchdowns at the end of the game due to the lack of time on the clock while trailing by seven.That is a very good level of consistency, under some real pressure. And the first touchdown drive contained what seemed to be a turning point for both Dak and the team. It looked to be over when he was sacked for a 13 yard loss, back to the Dallas 27. The Cowboys faced a 2nd and 23, and after an eight yard run by Elliott, they were facing third and fifteen with only 58 seconds left in the half.However Youth Chidobe Awuzie Jersey , they got some much needed help from none other than Doug Pederson, who had started calling timeouts with the idea of forcing a punt and driving down to either tie the score (Dallas was leading 6-3 at that point) or take a lead into halftime. But then that Gallup screen pass gave them new life, and Beasley’s 21-yard reception followed shortly by Hurns’ 17-yard grab set them up at the Philly one-yard line. Dak was quick to get the team lined up and the ball snapped to push it into the end zone before the Eagles could effectively respond. With that to close out the offensive effort of the first half, Prescott seemed to find that much needed boost to his confidence. It had a lot to do with the eventual win.Another indication of how he stepped things up this game: Dallas was 8 for 16, or a nice 50%, on third down conversions, mostly on Prescott’s passing.He still has a lot to work on, howeverThere are still some issues, of course. There were those missed deep shots, plays where he held the ball too long leading to sacks (plus one drive-saving scramble out of pressure where he fumbled the ball without being hit, caught it on a carom, and heaved it out of bounds to no avail as Maher missed the FG attempt), and nearly had another fumble down in the red zone where he seemed to have trouble on the handoff to Zeke as if he was thinking about pulling it out and taking it himself. But overshadowing those problems is how he responded overall. It was arguably the best he has played since sometime early in the 2017 season, and the improvements outweighed the mistakes. He had a lot of help, of course. The receivers were clearly getting open. Elliott had a monster game, and the offensive line was remarkably effective given that Xavier Su’a-Filo was filling in for Connor Williams, Joe Looney was still in at center , and Zack Martin had to go to the locker room and was replaced by Adam Redmond for several plays (fortunately, Martin was able to come back to finish the game). A tip of the hat for the job Marc Colombo and Hudson Houck are doing there. Most importantly, it really looked like Jason Garrett and Scott Linehan came up with a game plan that let Prescott operate more effectively. They should have gotten there a lot sooner this season, but if they just don’t forget how they did this, there is still some faint hope for this year. Prescott needed this kind of performance just as much as the Cowboys needed the win. It was gratifying and more than a little surprising, but we will certainly take it. Earlier today, Jason Garrett made it known that he wouldn’t like to make any major changes to his coaching staff, including the polarizing figure of offensive coordinator Scott Linehan. Given the the view of many Cowboys fans, that didn’t sit well and led to much consternation. But perhaps we will need to wait a while before we know exactly how things will shake out. That seems to be the opinion of Stephen Jones who had this to say:One thing that statement does is give hope to those who would like to see Scott Linehan gone. Jason Garrett’s opinion carries a lot of weight, but the Jones family are the ones in charge and they can decide on the makeup of the staff. They generally would’t want to override their head coach, but Stephen makes a very interesting point in his statement. Given that the offense struggled through large parts of the season, maybe he is thinking about that side of the ball when thinking about what could get them to the next step. Then again, the defense did fall apart in the playoff game after struggling some down the stretch. In reality, you can interpret Jones’ comments many different ways, including just making it known that they aren’t prepared to answer any questions yet.But if you’re looking for Linehan’s exit, the fact that the Jones family hasn’t closed the door on coaching changes is a welcome development. Custom Philadelphia Eagles Jerseys

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