The Dallas Cowboys took care of business on Sunday on their way to a 12-4 regular season record and a perfect 8-0 record on the road. The dismantling of the rival Redskins kept the Dallas Cowboys in rhythm and ready to roll into the playoffs which begin next week.
Rest is for the offseason.
The Cowboys placed a priority on momentum and doing whatever it takes to stay in the hunt for a playoff bye. Here are some game standouts, notes, and observations from Sunday’s game in Washington:
On passing 3rd downs, Rod Marinelli often kept an inside lineman back to account for a QB rush/scramble up the middle. The Cowboys would line up their usual four but only rush 3 while the fourth sat back on the line of scrimmage shadowing the QB and clogging some short inside passing lanes. This is how the Cowboys played Russell Wilson and appears to be a very successful strategy in stopping running QBs.
The Cowboys on-side kick recovery was perfectly executed despite the slight bobble from the recovering Barry Church. Deserving most of the credit (besides obviously Dan Bailey who delivered the ball with absolute and covert precision) was the awareness of Dwyane Harris. Harris watched the ball the entire time and laid the perfect block at the perfect time. This enabled Church to make the easy play on the ball and recover the kick.
The negated sack by DE/DT Tyrone Crawford in the 2nd quarter happened while lined up in the 1-technique DT position. The versatility shown by Crawford and many of his DL peers is extremely impressive.
DE DeMarcus Lawrence still has a bright future but he’s not much a factor at this point. On several occasions Niles Paul and the Washington TEs were able to single block him effectively. RDEs need to beat single blocks by TEs. An offseason in the weight room is much needed for the promising 2nd rounder.
RB Lance Dunbar’s 80 yard TD run (that was called back for a Jason Witten hold) proves that Dunbar needs to be given the ball in every game. The Cowboys need to find a way to get him the ball in space a couple times a half because the potential is always there.
Dec 28, 2014; Landover, MD, USA; Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett talks with quarterback Tony Romo (9) against the Washington Redskins during the second half at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
The Cowboys wasted a time out while running their 2-minute offense. The game wasn’t on the line but the sloppy game/time management is cause for concern. Jason Garrett clearly gave Tony Romo “the look” and wasn’t pleased with what happened.
Ryan Kerrigan is arguably the best player on the Washington from 7. He’s a relentless, strong ,and quick player who goes underappreciated by many. He was not “mailing in” his performance on Sunday like some of his teammates. The Cowboys were able to neutralize him much of the day and RT Jermey Parnell needs a bulk of the credit. Parnell isn’t perfect but he’s pretty darn good for a back-up swing tackle. The free agent-to-be will be a priority re-signing for the Cowboys as they look to replace Doug Free in the offseason.
There were an awful lot of blue and white dressed fans in the stadium on Sunday…guess that’s only interesting when it’s happening against the Cowboys. Never mind it happens FOR the Cowboys every week they go on the road. But yeah, Cowboys fans suck, right?
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