Your Sunday morning Dallas Cowboys news
Cowboys double down on bet that could drastically change their strategy – Cole Patterson, A to Z Sports
The Cowboys’ willingness to be more aggressive in acquiring talent could take a boost with an addition to their analytics department.
“First, Dallas traded for cornerback Stephon Gilmore to bolster the secondary. Then the team acquired Brandin Cooks to improve the passing game. But the Cowboys have also made personnel moves, such as employment analytical mind John Park of the Indianapolis Colts. Mallepalle had an active role in the Baltimore Ravens, an organization considered to be one of the best-run franchises in the NFL. Her data and opinions mattered NFL Draft discussions, among other things.
In act [sic], the Ravens consulted Mallepalle in the run-up to the 2021 NFL Draft. That draft saw Baltimore add wideouts Rashod Bateman and Tylan Wallace. General manager Eric DeCosta referred to the analyzes that came from Mallepalle. Now with the Cowboys, Mallepalle will have an important role for America’s Team. And it’s the latest sign that the Cowboys are trending toward a more analytical approach to football decisions.
The Cowboys are doubling down and putting more emphasis on analytics, trends and numbers. Which is smart, considering how the league is going. Instead of being left behind, the Cowboys are being proactive with their offseason hiring — something that should pay off on and off the field.”
Hot seats are all the rage this time of year.
“His record in the regular season is 61-36. The big cloud hanging over his head, however, is the playoff performance. He has a 2-4 playoff record and his play has declined statistically in the postseason. Dallas hasn’t gotten past the divisional round since 1658 (OK, that’s a joke), but I think you get the point.
Much of the talk recently about the Cowboys has seemingly revolved around whether or not Dak Prescott is actually the QB who will be able to take them over the hump. After seven seasons, Dallas could 2023 be the last if things don’t change?
I could see it. I think Colin Cowherd was the one who said Dak Prescott is just “Kirk Cousins with better PR” and that’s not inaccurate.
I mean, Kirk Cousins had a team that let him walk in free agency and since he signed with Minnesota Vikings, what has Cousins done besides putting up shiny numbers in the regular season? I’m not advocating one way or the other here, but it’s an interesting situation to monitor.
I think this is particularly interesting since the NFC is a weak conference. Dallas is arguably the most talented team in the conference, and they really shouldn’t have a problem winning double-digit games and making the playoffs.”
Cowboys O-Line ‘Secret Weapon’: Matt Waletko [sic] ‘Flexing’ Muscle – Jonathan Alfano, Sports Illustrated
Second-year offensive lineman Matt Waletzko is coming along well in his second season with the Dallas Cowboys, learning at multiple positions.
Being able to play in a variety of situations is a good way for an under-heralded guy to stand out, and Waletzko’s versatility has already caught the attention of the head coach Mike McCarthy. “You see him coming out of college,” McCarthy said. “You can tell this guy has a little bit better feet than we probably realized. Then of course he plays tackle with his length, when he walks in the door it’s easy to think this guy is going to be a left- or right tackle for the rest of his career. (But) really showed the ability to (also play) inside.”
To say Waletzko’s rookie season didn’t go to plan would be an understatement. He played in just three games and took just 12 total snaps, all but one of them on special teams, and suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in October. It took until May for Waletzko to return to action, but he put everything he had into his recovery. “You really don’t know until you get in there and see what their abilities are,” McCarthy said. “He didn’t miss a training session with the rehab, he put a huge amount of extra time and energy into the shoulder recovery.”
The Cowboys have plenty of talent at tackle with Tyron Smith, Tyler Smith, Terence Steele and more. … with Tyler and Terence also in play as guards. Maybe it’s moving inside as Waletzko looks to make a name for himself in Dallas, but being able to play both positions is even better. “Positional flex is important, it’s part of the design of the 53-man roster and even more so the 48-man when we get to the games,” McCarthy said. “Everybody’s been very, very impressed with Matt. He’s having one heck of an offseason.”
Cowboys defense in two words: Chaotic simplicity – Joey Ickes, Blogging the Boys
A comprehensive look at the dominant Dallas defense.
The turnaround from being one of the league’s worst defenses in 2020 to one of its best in 2021-22 has garnered praise for reinventing itself and generated consistent buzz related to virtually every head coaching vacancy. But how has Quinn created one for the top units in the league?
It boils down to two words… chaotic simplicity.
Quinn hasn’t revolutionized who he is as a defensive coach. The fingerprints of the Legion of Boom that Quinn coordinated a decade ago are still all over this Dallas defense. To Seahawks the group was famous for being almost embarrassingly simple in their cover arrangements. These teams ran Cover-1 (man coverage with a free safety in the middle of the field) or Cover-3 (three deep/four under zone coverage), on virtually every snap.
In 2022, Quinn called Cover-1, Cover-3 or Cover-2 (two deep/five under zone coverage usually with a linebacker dropping deep to the middle of the field) on over 83% of the Cowboys’ defensive snaps. These three coverages are the most basic and universal coverages used in the NFL and are called every week at middle schools and high schools across the country. Every offense in the league has concepts designed to beat these coverages, and every quarterback knows how to read them and what to expect when facing them.
So how is the Dallas defense able to be so simple in coverage and still be second in total defensive DVOA and third in pass defense DVOA?
One way is the Cowboys do a good job of giving quarterbacks fake keys pre-snap.
This play with Trevon Diggs lined up “out of position” in the slot against Cooper Kupp and Leighton Vander Esch aligned wide over the tight end is a good example. This tells the quarterback that it’s almost safe to man, but then the team drops to Cover 2, with a linebacker in the role traditionally played by the corner and a boundary corner in the role traditionally played by a linebacker or slot corner.
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