Jason Garrett decided to trust his defense by punting on a short

in Suggestions Section Fri Dec 07, 2018 3:42 am
by panxing18 • 76 Posts

fourth down in Houston territory in an overtime loss to the Texans.The choice by the Dallas coach also said a lot about a sputtering offense that simply hasn't looked good enough to get the Cowboys where they want to go in 2018 Dallas Cowboys Hoodie , even with NFL rushing leader Ezekiel Elliott.Moments after Elliott was stuffed on third-and-1 from the Texans 42 closing in on the halfway mark of the 10-minute extra period, Garrett opted not to try it again on a night that his best offensive player was averaging just 2.7 yards per carry.DeAndre Hopkins' spectacular 49-yard catch and run to set up Ka'imi Fairbairn's 36-yard field goal in a 19-16 Texans win sparked a steady round of second-guessing for a coach already fending off questions about a bland offensive scheme with a bunch of receivers failing badly at trying to replace Dez Bryant.And it led to more questions about those receivers, with a sobering answer from executive vice president of player personnel Stephen Jones on his radio show Monday. The Cowboys (2-3) host Jacksonville (3-2) on Sunday."I don't think there's a lot you can do about it," Jones said on the possibility of personnel changes before once again rejecting the persistent question of whether the Cowboys would bring back Bryant, the franchise leader in touchdown catches who still hasn't signed elsewhere almost six months after his release.The Cowboys "really felt like we could with this group of receivers move the football," Jones said. "I still think we can. It's just a matter of continuing to work on working at it and getting in rhythm and executing and not getting behind the chains."Dak Prescott is having success throwing to Elliott out of the backfield along with Geoff Swaim, the primary replacement for Jason Witten so far at tight end. But the numbers for receivers have been meek more often than not this season.Take away Prescott's improbable scramble for a 44-yard heave to Tavon Austin, and Dallas receivers had five catches for 36 yards in Houston. It was the first time they combined for fewer than 100 yards (80).Dallas entered Monday 26th in the NFL with an average of 121 yards per game from receivers, and 30th in passing offense and points per game."We have to get better obviously," Garrett said. "At times this year, we have done a good job in the passing game. We have to be more consistent. We have to be more efficient. And we have to be able to continue to make those explosive plays if we want to score the points to win the games."Garrett thought the Dallas defense dominated the second half, which is why he chose to punt. Owner and general manager Jerry Jones thought the Cowboys were getting outplayed by then, and therefore second-guessed his coach while trying to say he wasn't. Essentially, Jones said there are times for risk, and that was one of them.Garrett Customized Dallas Cowboys Jerseys , under heavy criticism along with offensive coordinator Scott Linehan over a unit that can't seem to do its part, says he feels he still has the support of Jones in his eighth full season, with just two playoff trips to show for it and a third looking shaky without much of a threat in the passing game."I don't think this is the time to get into critiquing any one person, whether it's the quarterback, whether it's the receivers, whether it's the coaches, whether it's the coordinator, the play-caller, the head coach," Stephen Jones said. "We've got a lot of things about this football team that we like."Right now, the passing game isn't one of them. Joel Bitonio doesn't know if he'll play left tackle or guard in Sunday's opener."I just do what I'm told," he said.No one has told him anything.Cleveland's offensive line remains in limbo and mysterious just days ahead of a Week 1 matchup with the rival Pittsburgh Steelers. Coach Hue Jackson, who last week said he may shift the left side again, refused to disclose any plans following Monday's practice."Right now, it is the way that is has been Womens Amari Cooper Jersey ," said Jackson, who slid Bitonio from guard to tackle during training camp. "Nothing has changed in that way. We have a week. We do not play until Sunday. We are going to figure it out and put the best five guys out there."Jackson said he "has a pretty good idea" of what he wants to do, but he's not ready to share his strategy publicly or, it seems, with his players.Bitonio laughed when asked if he's still a left tackle."That's a good question," he said. "I think coach is going to come back Wednesday and give us a definite answer. I'm ready for both, though. Whatever they put me at, I'm ready to go and play some football finally."The Browns knew left tackle would be a major issue after 10-time Pro Bowler Joe Thomas retired in March. The team gave former right tackle Shon Coleman and rookie Austin Corbett a crack at taking Thomas' old spot before switching to Bitonio, who did well during three exhibition games at a position he hadn't played since college.Now, Bitonio might go back to guard and replace Corbett with undrafted rookie Desmond Harrison starting at tackle.It's hardly an ideal scenario to be so unsettled this close to the opener."I wouldn't say it's awkward," Bitonio said. "I think it's just trying to get the best five guys out there and it's taking a little more time than we would have hoped."The 6-foot-6, 295-pound Harrison has emerged as an option in recent weeks following a solid camp. Harrison played at Texas before sitting out two seasons and transferring to West Georgia."He has improved," Jackson said. "It gives you another option to look through to see who are the best five guys to put out there him, (OL Gregg) Robinson. Robinson has improved. I have seen a lot of good things over the last week and a half. My job is to make sure that we put the best players out there, period. Whatever position it is http://www.dallascowboysteamonline.com/amari-cooper-jersey , that is what we are supposed to do. In those situations, that is what we are going to do."Bitonio said Harrison is the team's most athletic lineman."He can move, man," Bitonio said. "He's athletic. He has the length. He has the size. He's the prototypical left tackle when you think of a left tackle. He's like 6-6, long arms, can get back and set. He's done some good things. I know he hasn't played against the ones (starters) all the time but when he's been out there he's made some good plays. We're just making sure he has the right mindset and understands what he's doing every play."As he waits to see which position he'll play, Bitonio took a friendly swipe at Thomas, one of his close friends.Bitonio was asked what it says that an undrafted free agent could replace a future Hall of Famer."He's a little overrated, huh?" Bitonio quipped.NOTES: WR Josh Gordon returned to practice for the first time since minicamp in June, and appears on track to play in the opener. Gordon missed more than three weeks in camp to get counseling and treatment in Florida connected to his substance abuse problems. He tweaked a hamstring while conditioning and was held out last week. Jackson reiterated Gordon will not start, "but he is going to play." Gordon was suspended for the 2015 and 2016 seasons and the first 11 games last year. He came back and caught 18 passes for 335 yards in five games. ... TE Seth DeValve (quadriceps), S Damarious Randall (knee), rookie LB Genard Avery (hip) also returned to practice. DeValve missed the entire preseason.

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