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Video: Cowboys Offense Still in a Funk, Fall in Seattle 24-13

Four Players That Need to Step Up in the Cowboys Offense

The Dallas Cowboys have a small sample size when it comes to the 2018 season, having played just two games, but clearly if there is one area on the team that has been a concern though the first two weeks, it is how poorly the offense has played, and there are plenty of questions as to what to do in order for the team to get better in that area.

When you look at the weekend sports gambling sites, the Cowboys are three-point underdogs for their matchup Sunday in Seattle against the Seahawks, who will play their home opener against Dallas.

The 4:25pm EST matchup in Seattle will see two teams that do play each other quite a bit, and two teams that know a lot about each other.

There is going to be a lot of drama in Sunday’s game, but today we go back to the issues with the teams offense, and what players need to step up after just two weeks of play of the 2018 season.

1. Cole Beasley

There is no doubt that the wide out core for the Cowboys this season looks a lot different than last season, and with that now is the time that Beasley can have the chance to step up and show what he can do for the Cowboys.

Beasley has nine catches in two games, with 11 balls being thrown his way, for 86 yards with a long gain of 17 yards.

Look as quarterback Dak Prescott and the offense starts to continue to work more together to get Beasley more involved, and for him a lot more often. It will be interesting to see if he can take advantage of it.

2. Tavon Austin

This is the biggest project for the Cowboys, and that is how to get Austin, who can get downfield and make plays, more involved with the teams’ offensive game plan.

He has had just two catches in two games, but the biggest thing is he is a player that can spread the field, and that is something that has to make the coaching staff thinking big when he is in the game.

Like Beasley, look for Austin to also get more chances as the season continues to move on.

3. Ezekiel Elliott

Ezekiel Elliott is the play maker for the Cowboys, and his play week in and week out is likely the reason this team on a game-by-game basis is why they are going to win or lose.

He has not had that breakout game that the team has been waiting for, and while the Seahawks are going to have his number firmly etched in their defensive game plan this week, it would be interesting to see what happens if Zeke does get 20-25 carries against the Hawks, who are simply not the same defense they have been in the past.

Expect a big game soon from Elliott, but it may have to wait a week or two as this week it is asking a lot against a Seattle team that will be focused on him.

4. Geoff Swaim

The Cowboys really need a tight end of step up now with Jason Witten doing the dance of the media in retirement instead of catching passes each week.

Swaim just could be that guy, as so far the Cowboys tight ends have yet to do much of anything, but he could be in line to see more action as the safety valve for Dak Prescott.

Cowboys vs Seahawks – Three Things to Look for in the Week Three Matchup

In check with the sportsbook for Sunday’s showdown between the Dallas Cowboys and the Seattle Seahawks, the Hawks, who finally are getting a shot to play at home in front of their home crowd which is always a big factor, are sitting at three-point favorites, with the over/under for the game at 44.5.

The Cowboys will enter Sunday’s game at 1-1 after an opening day loss at the Carolina, losing 16-8 to the Panthers, which some might have expected based on the fact it was a road game to start 2018 and the Cowboys came into the game as three point underdogs.

Sunday night at home the Cowboys bounced back, as they took care of business against Eli Manning and their NFC East rival the New York Giants, winning 20-13 to even their mark on the season.

Which leads to week three, and a tough game in Seattle against the Hawks, who lost to the Bears on Monday night in Chicago.

Here’s a couple things to look for in the Sunday matchup out in beautiful Seattle.

1. The Hawks on the Short Week

Seattle enters Sunday’s affair coming in after a tough loss to the Chicago Bears on the road on Monday night football. They were beat up by a final of 27-14, with the huge blow coming as Russell Wilson threw a pick-six midway through the fourth quarter to put the Bears ahead for good.

The Seahawks just did not look goo on offense, and now they have to come home for the Cowboys, who hopefully with their defense looking a LOT better in week two against the Giants ready to lay some wood on Seattle.

Last week in their eventual Sunday night win at home over the Giants, the Cowboys led in the game 20-3, but the Giants rallied to make it look interesting, as they scored 10 points in the final 1:27 to make the score a lot closer than the game was.

Hopefully for the Cowboys they catch the Hawks a bit weary after playing on Monday night.

2. Attack Russell Wilson

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson was battered around by the Bears on Monday night, as they were able to bring pressure and force some mistakes.

The biggest of which was a pick-six for Chicago that turned a 17-10 game into a 24-10 game, basically ending any chances that the Seahawks had of rallying at that point in the game.

The Hawks were down 17-3 early in the fourth quarter before scoring two touchdowns in the final 10 minutes to close the gap, but the pick was a killer.

Wilson usually plays much better at home, and we’ll see if against the Cowboys he has a big game, or if the Dallas D can lower the boom on him.

3. Can the Dallas ‘O’ Get Going?

Even though Cowboys are coming off a win against the Giants at home, the team’s offensive struggles are real, averaging 14 points with three total touchdowns scored through the first two games.

The Dallas offense just has yet to look good, and one of the big things will be to get the run game with Ezekiel Elliott going, and that’s going to be easier said than done against a good Seattle defense.

“Zeke has this innate ability to run just as fast as he needs to” Cowboys QB Dak Prescott said. “So he’s not putting it on 100 mph if he doesn’t have to. If 80 is good enough, he’s going to run at 80. But he can get to 100.”

Count that as a key for the Cowboys to try and pull off the upset on Sunday in Seattle, as they look to get over .500 at 2-1 on the young season.

Three Things That Can Be Greatly Improved in the Cowboys Offensive Game

The Cowboys have played just two games in 2018, but at the same time there’s already some concerns about the teams’ offense, as thus far in two games they have scored just 28 points.

The opener the team lost on the road to Cam Newton and the Panthers, falling 16-8, which wasn’t a shock as if you checked before the game they were three point underdogs.

Last week they did bounce back against one of their rivals, the New York Giants, winning on Sunday night Football in front of a packed house at AT&T Stadium, winning 20-13.

28 points in two games is pretty easy to figure out – they are putting up just two touchdowns per game. That’s not going to be enough when the season is on the line, and if this team is going to challenge the big boys of the NFC like the Rams, Packers and Eagles, 14 points per game is not going to do it.

Today we are going to look at three keys to getting this offense back on track, and seeing what exactly is going on with the Cowboys thus far.

1. Dak’s Decisions

Thus far in two games Dak Prescott hasn’t been amazing at the quarterback spot by any means, and some of that has come down to making the right decisions throwing the football.

There has been more than one play where he’s keyed in on one receiver, and instead of going through his progressions, he’s simply tried to force the ball in.

We seem to forget at times that Prescott at times is still very young himself, but if this team is going to get better, he’s got to make better decisions and do a better job going through his reads.

Dallas coach Jason Garrett and offensive coordinator Scott Linehan have to keep working with Prescott, making sure that during the week he does a better job in the film room.

Garrett and Linehan have run a simplistic passing attack, featuring spread formations and basic route designs, and while maybe Prescott is use to a spread system in college, he’s got to do better watching what’s going on around him.

2. Get Zeke Back to Form

It’s been a tough road over the last year plus for Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott, and it showed again Sunday against the Giants, as he had a rough night for the most part, just not putting up the huge numbers he did as a rookie.

Elliott put up 4.58 yards per carry in Sunday night’s 20-13 win over the Giants, pretty much the same as he did in the opening day loss to the Panthers.

He’s yet to have a breakout game or even a breakout run this season, and again some of that is going to fall on coach Garrett and Linehan to figure out how to get him loose.

How about some screens out of the backfield? That might be a way to get Zeke going, and maybe if the confidence comes back, he’ll look more like his old self.

3. Get The New Guys Involved

The Cowboys entered the 2018 season it seemed with a LOT of new faces in the passing game. With Jason Witten and Dez Bryant history, the team brought in an entire new group of pass catchers like Allen Hurns, Tavon Austin and Michael Gallup.

The tight ends are also new and completely unproven also. Then there’s the fact that QB Dak Prescott threw 18 passes to that group in the preseason, not enough to get on the same page.

So now there’s simple issue of needing more time. That’s what you can look for as the Cowboys continue on the 2018 trek. This group should be better, but they need more time to get to know each other.

Cowboys vs Panthers Wednesday Injury Report

Practice Report
  Wednesday C Travis Frederick (illness), DE Datone Jones (knee), S Xavier Woods (hamstring)
  Wednesday CB Chidobe Awuzie (back), G Parker Ehinger (knee), S Kavon Frazier (shoulder)
Practice Report
  Wednesday G Brendan Mahon (neck), WR Curtis Samuel (medical illness)
  Wednesday TE Chris Manhertz (foot), G Amini Silatolu (knee), T Daryl Williams (knee)

Why Are Fans Suddenly Staying Away From Cowboys Training Camp?

On average, the Cowboys had almost 1,000 fans fewer at each of their 16 training camp practices this year compared to the same number of practices in 2017 in Oxnard, Brandon George of the Dallas Morning News reports.

The difference was noticeable, with the stands adjacent to one of the fields mostly empty for the free practices.

The Cowboys had 55,432 fans at their 16 practices in 2017 in Oxnard. This year, the total attendance dipped by 15,351 fans to a total of 40,081 for the 16 practices that concluded Thursday.

The Cowboys opened their new team headquarters at The Star in Frisco in 2016 and finished up training camp there in 2017 with a week of practices. The Cowboys break camp in Oxnard on Friday to head back to Dallas and will again conclude training camp at The Star with five practices beginning Monday.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has been hesitant to cutoff the club’s connection to Oxnard and move all of training camp to The Star because of the ideal weather here for the outdoor practices and wanting to stay connected to the club’s strong Southern California fan base.

This was the 13th time since 2001 that the Cowboys held at least part of their training camp in Oxnard.

Cowboys DE Randy Gregory Fully Cleared and Reinstated by the NFL

Cowboys defensive end Randy Gregory has been fully reinstated to practice and play in games, Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.

Gregory, who hasn’t played since the 2016 season finale because of an indefinite suspension due to repeated violations of the league’s substance abuse policy, was reinstated on a conditional basis last week.

He was cleared only for meetings and conditioning work. He was not going to be cleared to practice or play in games until “arrangements have been confirmed regarding Gregory’s clinical resources in Dallas, and subject to continued compliance with the terms of his reinstatement and all aspects of the NFL-NFLPA Policy and Program on Substances of Abuse,” the NFL stated in its initial release.

Dallas Cowboys 2018 Training Camp Capsule

OPEN CAMP: July 26, Oxnard, California

LAST YEAR: Cowboys missed playoffs year after dynamic rookie tandem of QB Dak Prescott and RB Ezekiel Elliott fueled Dallas to NFC-best 13 wins. Elliott’s six-game suspension during season over domestic violence allegations was big reason. Prescott’s performance dipped after winning NFL Offensive Rookie of Year in 2016. Offensive line was less consistent than usual. Defense was solid but not spectacular.

IMPORTANT ADDITIONS: LB Leighton Vander Esch, WR Allen Hurns, G Connor Williams, WR Tavon Austin, WR Michael Gallup, TE Dalton Schultz, T Cameron Fleming, secondary coach/passing game coordinator Kris Richard.

IMPORTANT LOSSES: TE Jason Witten, WR Dez Bryant, LB Anthony Hitchens, CB Orlando Scandrick.

CAMP NEEDS: Cowboys need to sort out jumbled picture at receiver and tight end after dumping Bryant in cost-cutting move and somewhat surprising retirement of Witten, who went into broadcasting. WR Terrance Williams broke foot and was arrested during tumultuous offseason when Cowboys needed to know if he could take Bryant’s place atop receiving depth chart. Barring unexpected resurgence from six-year veteran, replacing Bryant will fall to Hurns and collection of rookies, other young players. Geoff Swaim likely to get first crack at replacing Witten, but Dallas likes Blake Jarwin. LB Jaylon Smith needs to show explosiveness in second season since recovery from major knee injury in college. Sean Lee needs to stay healthy. Without those developments, heavy responsibility could fall on Vander Esch as rookie.

EXPECTATIONS: Coach Jason Garrett has two playoff appearances and one postseason win in seven full seasons. Elliott saga and untimely injuries, particularly to offensive line, gave him pass last season. Hard to imagine owner Jerry Jones sticking with him if Cowboys miss playoffs again, particularly after offseason overhaul of coaching staff. Healthy and eligible Elliott figures to be factor in NFL rushing race after leading league as rookie two years ago. Elliott still led league in yards rushing per game during suspension-marred season. Prescott wasn’t as good at protecting ball year after rookie record for passer rating. Cowboys want him to feed off Elliott-powered running game. Dallas believes young talent in secondary can help defense make difference. Cowboys could use repeat from DeMarcus Lawrence, who finished second in NFL with 14½ sacks last season and will play on franchise tag. Lawrence needs help, and prime candidate would be Taco Charlton, last year’s first-round pick.