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  1. #1
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    Week 16: Dallas Cowboys (8-6) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-9)

    Code:
    Dallas Cowboys VS Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    12/23/2018 1:00 PM EST
    AT&T Stadium
    .

  2. #2
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    Win this week and we win the East. I'm still amazed at the lifeless performance we put out there against the Colts. Let's hope they took their words to heart and are actually going to come out with some fire this week. Bucs are not a cakewalk and still have good weapons on offense and a decent defense.

    What I really want to see this game is red zone efficiency. We have moved the ball all over the field lately but with really poor results in the scoring department. That needs to be remedied if we are going to make any noise in the playoffs at all. I'd really like to see us end 10-6.

  3. #3
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    This game is EVERYTHING! At home with everything on the line.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mamba42 View Post
    Win this week and we win the East. I'm still amazed at the lifeless performance we put out there against the Colts. Let's hope they took their words to heart and are actually going to come out with some fire this week. Bucs are not a cakewalk and still have good weapons on offense and a decent defense.

    What I really want to see this game is red zone efficiency. We have moved the ball all over the field lately but with really poor results in the scoring department. That needs to be remedied if we are going to make any noise in the playoffs at all. I'd really like to see us end 10-6.
    I hope they find a way to fix whatever needs fixing in the offense. I think the red zone efficiency is more rooted in the fact that the offense has trouble when defenses lock down on them. The passing game's been ranked near the bottom almost all year. It's shown some flashes, but I hope it all comes together right during the playofffs...you never know when a team suddenly gets hot. Not having Zack Martin to create holes or protect certainly didn't help matters. And I wish we could get back Travis Frederick. Unfortunately, I don't know how much of a real test Tampa Bay is, since their defense is ranked near the bottom. I don't think it was a lack of effort against the Colts...I think it was mental mistakes against a very good team, where you can't afford to make those mistakes. The blocked punt and the Olwai drop completely changed the complexion of the game. And I think we were in the red zone many times and came up with 0. The top ranked defense allows 18.1 points per game. And the fifth ranked defense allows 20.1 per game....so the Cowboys would probably need to score that or more. Can't expect the defense to hold teams to 10 points every game. The Cowboys defense has been hovering between #2 and #5 for a while. If the Cowboys get bounced out of the playoffs because of their offense, then it's time to get another offensive coordinator. The team has enough on talent to be scoring more points and ranked higher in the passing game.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by NFLNBA View Post
    This game is EVERYTHING! At home with everything on the line.
    Yep, need to win it against an inferior team. If we don't win here I honestly don't like our chances at NY in week 17 even though they're a terrible team too lol.

    Quote Originally Posted by rocketfuel View Post
    I hope they find a way to fix whatever needs fixing in the offense. I think the red zone efficiency is more rooted in the fact that the offense has trouble when defenses lock down on them. The passing game's been ranked near the bottom almost all year. It's shown some flashes, but I hope it all comes together right during the playofffs...you never know when a team suddenly gets hot. Not having Zack Martin to create holes or protect certainly didn't help matters. And I wish we could get back Travis Frederick. Unfortunately, I don't know how much of a real test Tampa Bay is, since their defense is ranked near the bottom. I don't think it was a lack of effort against the Colts...I think it was mental mistakes against a very good team, where you can't afford to make those mistakes. The blocked punt and the Olwai drop completely changed the complexion of the game. And I think we were in the red zone many times and came up with 0. The top ranked defense allows 18.1 points per game. And the fifth ranked defense allows 20.1 per game....so the Cowboys would probably need to score that or more. Can't expect the defense to hold teams to 10 points every game. The Cowboys defense has been hovering between #2 and #5 for a while. If the Cowboys get bounced out of the playoffs because of their offense, then it's time to get another offensive coordinator. The team has enough on talent to be scoring more points and ranked higher in the passing game.
    Yeah I'm thinking we will get a new offensive coordinator next year too. Linehan just doesn't seem to be able to adapt his play calling to suit Dak's strengths (RPO, etc.). Linehan is a good play caller when he's got a pure pocket passer to work with who has good pocket awareness and can quickly diagnose defensive coverages (like Romo), but Dak just isn't there yet and I'm not sure he ever will be that type of QB. I hope he can be, but for now he isn't and Linehan needs to adapt the play calling to mirror that (like he did in 2016).

    I do think it was a lack of effort last week though. They just weren't focused and didn't seem to care about the game much.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mamba42 View Post
    Yep, need to win it against an inferior team. If we don't win here I honestly don't like our chances at NY in week 17 even though they're a terrible team too lol.



    Yeah I'm thinking we will get a new offensive coordinator next year too. Linehan just doesn't seem to be able to adapt his play calling to suit Dak's strengths (RPO, etc.). Linehan is a good play caller when he's got a pure pocket passer to work with who has good pocket awareness and can quickly diagnose defensive coverages (like Romo), but Dak just isn't there yet and I'm not sure he ever will be that type of QB. I hope he can be, but for now he isn't and Linehan needs to adapt the play calling to mirror that (like he did in 2016).

    I do think it was a lack of effort last week though. They just weren't focused and didn't seem to care about the game much.
    Well, then he needs to work on being a better pocket passer. That's pretty standard. It's the third year. The training wheels need to come off. I really don't think Linehan can call what he did in 2016 anymore. Teams studied the tape and have adjusted. The next step in the evolution is to throw guys open instead of only guys that are clearly open like Amari (with speed) and Zeke (who's a freak of nature)...sometimes Beasely (who runs great routes).

    Well, I have this theory that the Cowboys seem to play best when their back is against the wall because they focus intensely only what their job is...and simplify it. In the Colts game, I saw them hustling as usual...but they weren't keeping it simple and just doing their job. Sometimes you can get too amped up.

    New York has actually become quite explosive. They did win 4 out of their last 6 games, including putting up big numbers against that vaunted Bears defense and beating the Bears.

  7. #7
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    For starters the Cowboys should run spread formations in the redzone. There Jumbo package is a monumental failure and brings everyone from the defense into a crowded zone. Makes no sense whatsoever but is part of Linehan/Garrett stubbornness. Doesnt help also that there has been a couple of key drops in red zone and Dak either by design or stubbornness on his part refuses to use his powerful legs. He literally should be able to score on a QB scramble or draw almost every time in red zone.

  8. #8
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    The Olwai drop wasn't his fault. Olwai just plain dropped it. Not having zack also hurts running in the red zone.

  9. #9
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    Also as a reminder go look at Russell Wilson stats from his first 3 years. About a 20 TD/8 INT, 63% completion rate (not anymore accurate than our alleged inaccurate QB) but with the primary difference being that he was much more willing to take off and run when flushed from pocket. We look back at Russell now with revisionist glasses based on his last couple of years of more passing proficiency as he approached age 30. At age 26 and season 3 he was virtually the same statistical QB as Dak.

  10. #10
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    I completely agree.... It still makes no logical sense to me why we've struggled so much in the red zone this season.... A big strong decently mobile quarterback... powerful short yardage running back... it seems that we should be BUILT for the red zone... and it's the complete opposite.

  11. #11
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    I never feel good about the Cowboys when theyíre favored to win. I didnít feel good last week and Iím not feeling great about this week. The Bucs do suck but one thing they can do it score. If they can put up over 21 points on the Cowboys Iím not convinced the Dallas offense could match them. Iím predicting another loss.

  12. #12
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    Well, there's a difference between what Drew Brees and Patrick Mahones does and what a game manager QB does. Breees/Mahones thread the needle and throw guys open. A game manager can just throw super safe throws all day to keep a good average. Russell developed into a very fine QB by learning the finer points of throwing guys open with his growing pains. It's not like it's something a QB can't learn. Kurt Warner was not ready to be in a game early in his career. Somehow, he developed into a hall of fame clutch QB later in life. I would rather Dak follow the Brees/Mahones/Warner model because I want him to have a long fruitful career. If he sacrifices his body too much he might end up like RG III or have some kind of CTE problems later in life.

    For some reason, the Cowboys get big chunk plays when they have a lot of open field in front of them. You see those huge chunk plays are in the first 80 yards...then something happens when they get close to the red zone and they have less space to work with. Even the offensive explosion the Cowboys showed flashes of, it was really them getting those big plays further away from the end zone. We still have a really good line, but they probably have not bullied guys like they did in the past. And also it would help to have a really physical tight end and wide receiver to get those jump balls in the end zone.

    Management did Dak no favors and probably opened him up to criticism by not going after a #1 receiver in the offseason. They kept insisting that they didn't need a #1 receiver...that it was better anyway where they can spread the ball. It was cheaper in the offseason. It would have probably helped a young QB like Dak to develop some chemistry with a #1 receiver so he can have the timing down. Now, you can kind of see them feel their way in the second half of the season.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.B View Post
    I never feel good about the Cowboys when theyíre favored to win. I didnít feel good last week and Iím not feeling great about this week. The Bucs do suck but one thing they can do it score. If they can put up over 21 points on the Cowboys Iím not convinced the Dallas offense could match them. Iím predicting another loss.
    Yeah, I had the same feeling a lot of times like that. A few years ago, they were supposed to be crushed by the Seahawks but somehow played a lot better when their backs were against the wall. It's almost like when you're desperate you just do what you have to do to survive and keep it simple. But, several big teams have also faced similar issues. The Bears were supposed to crush the Giants but ended up giving up huge numbers to them in a loss, while defeating the Rams who were supposed to be the better team. Some of these teams that are underdogs sometimes have nothing to lose and play more loose. While the favored teams have it in their heads that they have to continue to be perfect and end up playing too tight. A top five defense holds teams to under 21 points, so the Cowboys have to at least score more than that. And probably in the playoffs they have to score more since those opposing offenses might take it up a notch.

  14. #14
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    Agree Rocketfuel - Management definitely underestimated the negative impact of the receiver by committee strategy. Luckily they adjusted and brought in Amari. The Dak/Cooper combo was the best in the league for a 5 week period. Hopefully last week was just a minor speed bump. I still think this team has what it takes to go on a run in the post season with a ball control/tough defense type game plan. But they must convert in Redzone!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by zookman65 View Post
    Agree Rocketfuel - Management definitely underestimated the negative impact of the receiver by committee strategy. Luckily they adjusted and brought in Amari. The Dak/Cooper combo was the best in the league for a 5 week period. Hopefully last week was just a minor speed bump. I still think this team has what it takes to go on a run in the post season with a ball control/tough defense type game plan. But they must convert in Redzone!
    They probably could have benefited from working in the offseason to get the timing down. Plus, maybe getting him a tightend. With young QBs, it's important to surround them with good mentors and also build chemistry with receivers the way Goff and Mahones have. They don't have a lot of time now till the playoffs to get everything down....which I guess elevates the drama of what will happen this season. I still feel a lot more hopeful this season than even 2016...because we finally have a top defense...and this team is a hot streak away from doing really well. Say the offense suddenly gets the hot hand at the right time, they could really do some damage.

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