Cowboys Must Do This, NOT That Against The Giants

Cory Mageors
September 13, 2018 - 11:45 am
Dallas Cowboys

© Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

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Let’s break down how the Cowboys can win against the Giants this Sunday. But before we do that, I’d like to hit something on Dak.

There is an interesting statistic running around that Dak Prescott had an average of 3.1 seconds in the pocket before being pressured. With too much time on my hands I did a little watching on this and counted that had 2.225 seconds per completion vs 2.86 on incompletions. He had 2.4 seconds per every time he got sacked.

So based on those numbers, Dak really needs less protection?

No, each individual play was uniquely different, had a different impact on the game and on the average number of seconds of protection he had. Math is fun, but don’t be deceived by the number. That being said, Dak DOES need to be more decisive and force the defense to react to his play rather than waiting until his receiver turns to look at him and then reacting to the opposition.

The more important game now is the Cowboys-Giants. If I was given a choice between beating the Panthers or Giants, I would take the win over the Giants every day. Winning within the division is more important to me, so the Cowboys have a Sunday Night throw-down that means plenty to their future this season.

Let’s take a look at the things they can do to maximize their game plan against this specific New York team.

DO THIS

Game Pass

Giants lineup with one high safety split down the middle of the field and Landon Collins down in the box to cover the safety short or close in on Leonard Fournette if he decides to run.

Game Pass

Collins follows the TE across the middle of the field and Keelan Cole heads straight upfield beating his man over the top.

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The most important thing. Notice Cole is still looking upfield when Bortles decides to let loose of this pass. That anticipation gives Curtis Riley no time to begin running that direction to break up the play, and leaves the CB one-on-one in a chase against a receiver who already beat him. The play booms for 32-yards and on the next play Fournette picks up 10-yards out of Shotgun.

DO THIS

Lined up with a fullback on the right and tight end on the left, the Cowboys like to do stuff like this with their two tight end sets…but can they execute?

Game Pass

Bortles fakes the handoff to Fournette, bringing the linebacker up to fill the gap created on the right side of the line and account for the FB.

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Once he sees the fake, he follows the fullback upfield, forcing the middle linebacker to now make ground.

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By this time, your screen is setup for the linemen to move to the second level and the middle linebacker and backside linebackers are blocked, while the CB’s and safeties are deep following their receivers downfield.

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This leaves Fournette plenty of space to take on a CB one-on-one in open field with defensive linemen in pursuit. The Jags pick up 11 on the play and now have threatened the Giants defense with a Fournette run and catch, plus a deep ball for 32-yards on the second play of the game.

DON’T DO THIS

Game Pass

Conner Williams was pretty good in his first game. My friend Bryan Broaddus said only 3 plays in the game did he get a bad grade on. He can’t let this happen.

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Kareem Martin rushes, shakes off the Giants guard and gets Bortles for an 8-yard sack. Dak’s mental clock is fragile and can't get knocked off this early in the game/season.

DON’T DO THIS

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Saquan Barkley had his day and with one long run changed everything for himself. The running game is a threat, and Pat Shurmur has said if a back can’t catch he’s useless to him, so a healthy dose of Barkley no matter the play. Here we are with a single back and two tight ends.

Game Pass

Barkley brings everybody to the left side and sees Telvin Smith dip inside.

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On a dime, Barkley cuts back. Smith is in a good spot but has a bad angle as Barkley has plenty of space to work out towards the sideline with the safety and corner following Odell Beckham Jr.

Game Pass

Smith gets stiff-armed and left on the ground by Barkley who picks up 10 yards and a first down.