Dallas Cowboys Are Just Barely Good Enough

Nov 3, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys receiver Dwayne Harris (17) dives for the game winning touchdown in the fourth quarter against Minnesota Vikings cornerback Marcus Sherels (35) at AT

After edging out the Minnesota Vikings with a last minute game winning TD, it’s difficult to be very excited. The Vikings are a really bad team. A really bad team that came extremely close to beating the Dallas Cowboys on the Cowboy’s home turf. This game shouldn’t have even been close let alone needing a brilliant fourth quarter comeback.

It’s a lot like almost getting beaten up by your little sister. You won in the end, but it’s certainly nothing to brag about.

Nov 3, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) scores a touchdown in the fourth quarter of the game against the Dallas Cowboys at AT

The Vikings have many more question marks than the Cowboys. Especially at the most important position on the field – QB. The Cowboys once again found a way to make an opposing QB look better than he really is. They better find a way to stop this trend because next week they play the great Drew Brees who needs no help looking like a star.

Through all the poor play and questionable play-calling the Cowboys found a way to win in the end.

Winning should never be taken for granted and must be appreciated. With the Eagles and Redskins both winning on Sunday, the Cowboys needed this win heading into New Orleans next week. Just like this game, the race for the NFC East will be close until the end.

Here are some observations from Sunday:

  • As predicted the Cowboys played a good amount of Cover 1. What was strange was that Jeff Heath and Barry Church alternated playing deep safety. This is a great move if it’s used to disguise coverage assignments but it’s curious when the coverage assignments were so blatant and not disguised at all.
  • Speaking of disguised coverage, a Monte Kiffin staple, the Cowboys have been unable to be sneaky in the least. It’s glaringly obvious what the coverage assignments are before the snap. Any (I repeat, ANY) QB in the NFL can pick a team apart if they know the coverage (and obviously the pass-rush doesn’t get him).
  • Cover 2 was primarily used on 3rd down. I didn’t spot much traditional Tampa 2 as most of the time Dallas was geared to stopping the run, thus preventing Lee from dropping back in deep center coverage.
  • Kyle Wilber stinks and was often abused by the opposing tackle. Much like every week before…
  • The emergence of Everett Brown makes Kyle Wilber expendable. The poor guy (Wilber) was drafted as a 3-4 OLB and has been asked to play a position outside of his skill set. He’s too small and weak to play D-line in a 4-3 and he’s too big and slow to play LB in a 4-3. He’s a man without a position. Given the lack of depth currently on the line, Wilber can’t really be cut. Instead he should provide depth in a rotation and only used sparingly.
  • James Hanna is still struggling with run-blocking. He has improved when blocking a defender lined up directly across from him but severely struggles when defenders are farther off the line and rushing in. His best place on this team appears to be as an H-back used in motion, split out wide, and as a situational lead blocker.
  • Ernie Sims played horribly. He missed tackles, he played hesitantly, he overran plays and allowed extra yards on multiple plays (Including Christian Ponder‘s TD run).
  • On a good note: these WRs block better than any WR unit I have ever seen. They are all willing and able. Amazing coaching and development at the WR position.

Next week the Cowboy’s travel to New Orleans. If the Cowboy’s do not improve and improve drastically, this game could be very ugly. For now, the Cowboys are just barely good enough to beat bad teams. They have been regressing in their play and need to turn things around in this tight race for the NFC East.

Do you have questions or comments regarding Dallas area sports? Email Reid at [email protected]. You may be included in the next weekly mailbag. Follow Reid on twitter @ReidDHanson

 

 

 

Topics: Dallas Cowboys, Ernie Sims, James Hanna, Kyle Wilber

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  • SmartThinking

    Here’s the deal: over the next few weeks, Dallas plays three teams who, very likely will show them the football equivalent of clubbing baby seals. Almost everyone I talk to or read are giving Dallas absolutely no chance of beating New Orleans or Green Bay. And they call the New York and Chicago games a toss up or slightly in their favor. That leaves Oakland, Washington and Philadelphia for the wins. After watching this team struggle with itself this season, I’m convinced no one has any idea who will show up on any Sunday — the team that nearly beat Denver and accumulated 500+ yards of offense. Or, the team that blew leads against Kansas City, Detroit and, very nearly, with Minnesota. This team has shown the offense that can compete and win against New Orleans and/or GreenBay. If that offense shows up, if they can beat either New Orleans or Green Bay and crush Chicago and New York, they’ll glide through the rest. I’ve never seen a Cowboys team with as big a chip on its shoulder and as equally big an inferiority complex as this year’s team. And I’ve followed this team since their pre-season games in 1960. I’d like to see Garrett motivate this team the way Kiffin and Marinelli have motivated the Cowboy defensive front line. If that were to happen, then 10-6, maybe even 11-5 would be a real possibility. And Dallas would have the 49ers wondering what they’ll have to do to beat us rather than the other way around.

    • disqus_kLJwdEdnOL

      I like your positive thinking. However, I believe you are dreaming rather than having a position lookout. The Cowboys have yet to win against a team with a winning record.

  • SmartThinking

    Here’s the deal: over the next few weeks, Dallas plays three teams who, very likely will show them the football equivalent of clubbing baby seals. Almost everyone I talk to or read are giving Dallas absolutely no chance of beating New Orleans or Green Bay. And they call the New York and Chicago games a toss up or slightly in their favor. That leaves Oakland, Washington and Philadelphia for the wins. After watching this team struggle with itself this season, I’m convinced no one has any idea who will show up on any Sunday — the team that nearly beat Denver and accumulated 500+ yards of offense. Or, the team that blew leads against Kansas City, Detroit and, very nearly, with Minnesota. This team has shown the offense that can compete and win against New Orleans and/or GreenBay. If that offense shows up, if they can beat either New Orleans or Green Bay and crush Chicago and New York, they’ll glide through the rest. I’ve never seen a Cowboys team with as big a chip on its shoulder and as equally big an inferiority complex as this year’s team. And I’ve followed this team since their pre-season games in 1960. I’d like to see Garrett motivate this team the way Kiffin and Marinelli have motivated the Cowboy defensive front line. If that were to happen, then 10-6, maybe even 11-5 would be a real possibility. And Dallas would have the 49ers wondering what they’ll have to do to beat us rather than the other way around.

  • SmartThinking

    Here’s the deal: over the next few weeks, Dallas plays three teams who, very likely will show them the football equivalent of clubbing baby seals. Almost everyone I talk to or read are giving Dallas absolutely no chance of beating New Orleans or Green Bay. And they call the New York and Chicago games a toss up or slightly in their favor. That leaves Oakland, Washington and Philadelphia for the wins. After watching this team struggle with itself this season, I’m convinced no one has any idea who will show up on any Sunday — the team that nearly beat Denver and accumulated 500+ yards of offense. Or, the team that blew leads against Kansas City, Detroit and, very nearly, with Minnesota. This team has shown the offense that can compete and win against New Orleans and/or GreenBay. If that offense shows up, if they can beat either New Orleans or Green Bay and crush Chicago and New York, they’ll glide through the rest. I’ve never seen a Cowboys team with as big a chip on its shoulder and as equally big an inferiority complex as this year’s team. And I’ve followed this team since their pre-season games in 1960. I’d like to see Garrett motivate this team the way Kiffin and Marinelli have motivated the Cowboy defensive front line. If that were to happen, then 10-6, maybe even 11-5 would be a real possibility. And Dallas would have the 49ers wondering what they’ll have to do to beat us rather than the other way around.

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