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Know your Cowboys enemy: Scouting the 2018 Detroit Lions

 
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MessagePosté le: Mar Nov 06, 2018 2:43 am    Sujet du message: Know your Cowboys enemy: Scouting the 2018 Detroit Lions Répondre en citant

Check below for previous scouting reports in this series: After losing in Seattle http://www.dallascowboysteamonline.com/chris-jones-jersey , the Cowboys go home and host the Detroit Lions. They’re in the first year under new head coach Matt Patricia, and the team has progressively gotten better each game. They were utterly picked apart in Week One by the New York Jets, of all teams, narrowly lost to Jimmy Garoppolo and the 49ers, and then thoroughly beat Bill Belichick and the Patriots last week. Everything came together for Detroit in that game: their offense became balanced as rookie running back Kerryon Johnson became the Lions’ first rusher of over 100 yards in a game since 2013, and the exotic defense that features multiple fronts started clicking. And the defensive fronts will give Dallas trouble, specifically. They line up in 4-3, 3-4, 3-3-5, and plenty of other creative ways. As such, there are a lot of players who get action on the field, including the likes of Sylvester Williams, Da’Shawn Hand, A’Shawn Robinson, Kerry Hyder, Ziggy Ansah (though he will miss the game), and Ricky Jean Francois. As far as linebackers go, Jarrad Davis has been the man at middle linebacker, leading the team in solo tackles. Christian Jones, Devon Kennard, Marquis Flowers, and Eli Harold all get involved in their own ways, too. Fortunately for Dallas Authentic Zack Martin Jersey , Ansah has already been ruled out for the game. Still, the Lions have created pressure without him, and both Kennard and Harold are tied for the team lead in sacks with three apiece. The changes in personnel between plays makes it harder for a quarterback to read, and going up against an offense in as much dormancy as Dallas’, it might be the perfect way to unravel this offense. The offense of the Lions is still their biggest threat, though. Matthew Stafford is a very talented quarterback who has shouldered an unholy load of work in his career. The rise of rookie Johnson at running back might be able to take that load off of him, and Johnson was by far the most underrated running back in the draft. LeGarrette Blount is a dangerous complement in the running game, while Golden Tate, Marvin Jones, and Kenny Golladay are a sneaky good receiving corps that Stafford utilizes well. Most importantly for Detroit, their offensive line looks the best it has for quite a while. Taylor Decker and Rick Wagner make for a very good pair of book end offensive tackles, and both center Graham Glasgow and right guard TJ Lang were pretty good last year. Rookie Frank Ragnow will slot in at left guard, and may very well end up being their best interior lineman - after a rough start to the season, he was wildly impressive against the Patriots. Unfortunately for Dallas, that doesn’t make clear any mismatches from a pass rushing perspective. DeMarcus Lawrence will have a fight against Wagner, and Randy Gregory will have a tough time against Decker. The defensive tackles will likely get some pressure up the middle against Glasgow and the rookie, but perhaps the best way to generate pressure in this game in with blitzes. Anthony Brown off the edge or Jaylon Smith are the best bets here. The best way to stop Detroit’s offense, though, is to throw Stafford off his rhythm. The running game will have success here and there, but it’s a passing offense through and through. Even if Johnson continues his success, this offense isn’t built to win games on their ground attack. And while Stafford is extremely talented, his accuracy gets worse the farther he throws it. And with a secondary that prioritizes tight coverage now, and corners who have the talent to execute the style of play Authentic Tyron Smith Jersey , Stafford will have a hard time to hit receivers regardless of how good his blocking is. Tight end Luke Willson probably has the best potential for a big game here, as he’ll be the one covered by a linebacker or safety. Still, Willson is no athletic freak and while he’ll probably lead the team in receptions in this game, it shouldn’t go for too many yards. As long as the secondary can maintain its coverage, Stafford will struggle. As mentioned before, the versatility of this Lions defense will help mask their weaknesses. The biggest issue is if those interior defenders get to go up against a Frederick-less offensive line, as Robinson in particular can bully around Joe Looney and shrink the pocket. The Lions’ secondary is not without talent, as Glover Quin is quietly underrated as a safety, and Darius Slay is as opportunistic as cornerbacks come. Last week against Seattle, Dak Prescott had two interceptions off crazy plays that can only be summed up as a symptom of a poor passing attack. Detroit may not have Earl Thomas, but they do currently boast the best passing defense in the NFL. However, the Lions also have the worst run defense in the NFL.This is where Dallas has to take advantage if they want to win. If the offensive line can hold up for Ezekiel Elliott, he’ll bust through this defense and juke through the defenders. It’s crazy that this needs to be said, but Elliott deserves 20+ carries in this game more than any other. If the running game can actually be established, it might open up things for receivers such as Michael Gallup, Cole Beasley, and Tavon Austin to get the ball in space and wreak havoc with their ability to pick up yards after the catch. This might be a game where the Cowboys try to break their offense out of its funk by calling a lot of passes for Dak, but that would be a very ill-advised plan given the Lions’ inability to stop the run. I mean, Matt Breida of all people put up 138 yards on just 11 carries. Imagine what one of the best running backs in the league could do with 20 carries. In the end, this is a game the Cowboys can easily win if they stick to what has worked offensively for them and stay away from the things that don’t. Unfortunately, the Cowboys have seemingly done the opposite of that so far in 2018, and that makes this a game they could easily lose. If they do, falling to 1-3 is effectively a nail in the coffin for a team with much higher hopes than what they’ve shown so far.Cowboys players Womens Maliek Collins Jersey , and fans, have no one to blame but the Cowboys players The Cowboys laid their second egg of the season, a mistake-filled loss to the Seahawks, 24-13. The team drops to 1-2 on the season and some soul-searching is in progress. Who is to blame?We can debate the effectiveness of Jason Garrett, or Scott Linehan, or offensive line coach Paul Alexander, or the roster-building skills of Jerry Jones, Stephen Jones and Will McClay. We can go round and round about strategies, play-calls, motivation, teaching techniques, dead money or free agent acquisitions. It’s all in play for debate and it’s all very legitimate.What’s not debatable is these Cowboys players are simply failing. I made the case after the Carolina Panthers game, and it was not well-received by some. Scott Lienhan was the problem child for many, but after watching this game against Seattle, it’s pretty obvious that the coaches are not solely to blame for this mess. No one is absolving them of some blame, the team should be playing better and they have to accept the fact they are not, and accept their own complicity in that. If things continue this way, many of them will be fired after the season, Jason Garrett included, and that’s as it should be. It’s easier to change the coaching staff than it is to re-do the roster.But seriously. The coaches didn’t have a pass come out of their hands and into the hands (and leg) of Earl Thomas. It wasn’t the coaches who dropped a potential third-down conversion like Ezekiel Elliott. Or fumbled the ball like Elliott. It wasn’t the coaches that got a stupid penalty like Randy Gregory that gifted the Seahawks three points. It wasn’t the coaches who got caught cheating up in a disguised Cover 2 like Kavon Frazier that provided a wide-open touchdown. It wasn’t the Cowboys coaches who couldn’t block a Seattle pass rush that had been pretty anemic before this game. The coaches didn’t let the Seahawks convert a third and 12 on a running play, when everyone knew they were going to run, to ice the game. The list goes on and on.As for Dak Prescott, yes http://www.dallascowboysteamonline.com/la_el-collins-jersey , he had a lot of pressure in his face in the game, and it was hard for him to get comfortable, but the time for excuses are over. Each week it’s something else. It’s the offensive line, it’s the play-calls, it’s the receivers... it’s always something. In this league the quarterback has to lead, and he has to overcome the times when things aren’t going well. Dak Prescott looked as good as could be in his first 24 games or so in this league. Since then, he’s been average at his best, a liability at his worst. If the Cowboys are going to win, he has to elevate his game, and there can be no qualifiers or caveats. He simply has to play better, period. There is no way to sugarcoat it. The team is tied to him for now, but the doubt is real. If he can’t play better than he has the last 10 or so games, the Cowboys will have to start the arduous process of finding a quarterback of the future.Dak’s problems are real, but so are the problems of the offensive line. Tyron Smith isn’t the Tyron Smith of two years ago. La’el Collins is still hit and miss. Connor Williams is learning, but it’s on the hon and sometimes that can be painful. As a whole, this offensive line is nothing like it was a few years ago. It’s a serious issue, and we might not be able to coach our way out of it. It may take some personnel changes down the line.It’s not wisejump ship on the season just yet. There is time to right the ship and get it moving in a positive direction. It certainly can be done. The coaches need to help. They need to re-think certain things, like why didn’t Dak Prescott use his legs in this game? Where were the read-options from last week? But the Cowboys success can’t rely solely on Prescottrunning the ball sometimes in a game. The coaches are certainly in the mix of blame, but we have to face facts. The players on the field are failing, and failing badly in two of the three games this season. The offensive line and Dak Prescott are a couple of the bigger problems, but now the defense is joining the problem parade. They just got manhandled by a sub-par and injured Seattle offensive line. They simply didn’t win the matchups. Coaches can only do so much.
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