Dallas Cowboys v Jags All-22: Five standouts you may have missed

ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 14: Jaylon Smith #54 and the Dallas Cowboys defense celebrate a fumble recovery against the Jacksonville Jaguars at AT&T Stadium on October 14, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 14: Jaylon Smith #54 and the Dallas Cowboys defense celebrate a fumble recovery against the Jacksonville Jaguars at AT&T Stadium on October 14, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

After consulting the All-22 coaches film we’ve identified a few players who aren’t receiving the recognition they probably deserve (both good and bad).

We know Dak Prescott and Cole Beasley did well.  We didn’t need the coaches film to see that. We also know Jaylon Smith is nothing short of spectacular, Randy Gregory was a beast in limited snaps, and even the play-calling was better in this victory.

But what are we overlooking?

Offensive line

Collectively, this is the best the Dallas Cowboys offensive line has looked in about a year. The numbers may not outright show it (Ezekiel Elliot had 106 yards on 24 attempts) but Dallas was facing arguably the best defensive line in the NFL on Sunday. They kept the pocket for Prescott clean and prevented penetration – which typically result in losses (aka drive-killers).

On the day, Dallas collected 206 yards on the ground. Some of that is because they took a significant lead into the second half, but the whole reason that was possible was because they kept drives alive and avoided mistakes early. The playmakers took it from there.

No big penalties and respectable control of the line of scrimmage led to two 4th and 1 attempts and also a called power run play for Dak Prescott. Prescott himself displayed more trust in his line, stepping up in the pocket and showing good pocket presence (something that’s been absent this season).

TE Geoff Swaim

Geoff Swaim sprung from TE3 to TE1 over the offseason. This recipe for disaster has been turning out well for the Dallas Cowboys. His blocking is by far the best of the unit and he’s versatile enough to be used a variety of ways.

His play is even more important considering the players behind him (Blake Jarwin and Rico Gathers) are absolutely atrocious in the blocking game.

TE Blake Jarwin

Blake Jarwin stood out both good and bad on Sunday.  On the Dallas Cowboys first scoring drive, Jarwin was matched up against a defensive back twice and both times his blocking assignment made the tackle. Once tackling Austin and once bringing down Elliott. But later on the drive It was Jarwin who was blocking downfield for Prescott. In fact, Jarwin blocked two players into each other, driving them both back and paving the way to a Prescott TD.

Rico Gathers is starting to breathe down Jarwin’s neck right now. Gathers made another play this week where in the second quarter he effectively sold his block, engaging DE Maliek Jackson, pushing off and becoming a receiver, catching the ball and running to a first down.

Jarwin finished off the game with more good than bad but his up-and-down play aren’t helping him against a player like Gathers who has extremely high potential. Remember, Dak dropped a great dime on Jarwin down field late in the second quarter and Jarwin inexplicably short-armed it.

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DE Taco Charlton

Taco turned some heads early when he stayed at home on the edge and made a play in the backfield . It just feels Taco is content being close to the play and not selling out to make the play. Multiple times, his angles around the edge were hopeless. Even if the opposing tackle fell over and let him go untouched, Taco wouldn’t have been able to make a play in the pocket since his initial angle was going to overrun the pocket.

DT Maliek Collins

Maliek Collins had a fantastic game and reminded us all why he was drafted to be the 3-tech tackle of the future. The agile big man looked like a new man out there. He was heavy handed and light on his feet  – even busting out a spin move and getting a sack. Huge game from Collins as he comes back from injury.

David Irving’s return overshadowed Collins (and rightfully so) but some of that was because Irving logged good snaps at defensive end as well.

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Bonus observation: No. 93 Daniel Ross outplayed No. 99 Antwan Woods on Sunday. Granted Woods played  17 more snaps than Ross so we have more data to be critical of(27 snaps compared to just 10), but Ross just did a better job with penetration and following the ball, while Ross seemed to lose the ball in traffic and allow big runs right alongside him.

  • Published on 10/17/2018 at 17:01 PM
  • Last updated at 10/17/2018 at 12:44 PM