CFZ Measured optimism for 2022: Dan's defense and Dak's acid test

erod

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Maybe don't take Gregory leaving so personal. It's not like his decision was personal. Could be he felt possible this was what he had to do to be playing for a real contender in Jan football.
I don't take it personal. He's just the the typical clown addict, talking a guy's game but never living up to his promises and always disappointing everybody around him in the end.

He's already doing the same in Denver.

I wanted him gone a long time ago.
 

john van brocklin

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It's been a bottle of rinse and repeat more often than not for the last 25 years. Each new season seemed like futility wrapped in hope and spin.

Such may be the case yet again, but at least this time the packaging feels a bit different than the past few years anyway.

For too long, Cowboys football has relied on happenstantial defense. Turnovers and punts too often were mere products of the other teams mistakes and inadequacies, not anything Dallas was doing. Defense here was the Texas Lotto, looking for luck with nary a plan.

But now the "other side of the ball" suddenly carries the glean of a brand new ride, and with it any hopes that this season can be any more than another mediocre season. The schedule sets up nicely with a disheveled Tampa team, followed by a gritty Cincy and a then largely a run of non-descript teams only interrupted by the Rams and Packers.

For that schedule advantage to matter, this defense has to matter in a big way, and I really like a couple of the moves Dallas made on that side of the ball.

First, keeping Quinn was a huge move that we have to give Jerry credit for. (God only knows the wink-wink promises that may have been made to Quinn.) I fully trust him, and I haven't looked forward to watching defense here in forever.

Second, the Anthony Barr signing was more impactful than most understand. He will allow Micah to be the most unpredictable defensive player in the NFL, not just the best. Barr can watch the fort while Micah lines up any damn where Quinn pleases. Goody goody gumdrops.

Losing the unreliable lack of integrity known as Randy Gregory was an unintentional stroke of luck, and Sam Williams will be a more complete player than Gregory on Day 1. (Man, I'm glad that worthless SOB is gone.) And suddenly, DaRon Bland already looks like a much better option than Lewis already as well. The safeties - OMG we have safeties! - are in line with what Quinn likes. The corners look more than adequate, too.

The whole defense looks primed and ready, and you know they're excited to go after people for a change.

As 2022 begins, the offense looks much the same but with different issues, poised to put up early numbers against the weak and the injured, but not when it matters after Turkey Day. Such will remain the truth until they bother to prove otherwise. Some key changes and challenges, sure, but it's not like the previous lot was effective late in the season anyway. Changes are needed and good, and players like Cooper and Collins were VASTLY overrated. Good riddance, both of them.

So what does all this mean in terms of season success? It means they had better figure out a way to get into the playoff or McCarthy is bye-bye. At least the NFC East provides a clear path. The offensive line needs to settle out early, which I think they will to an acceptable level by October.

Ultimately, this season is in the hands of Dan's defense and how Dak performs down the stretch in the clutch. Could be 6-11, could be 11-6.

Because of that defense, I'm going to lean a bit higher than I was 3 months ago. I think 11-6 wins the East and Dallas can become the first team in 17 years to win back-to-back in the division.
Really curious how dak plays.
He was lights out the first 6 games
Not so much afterwards.
Which dak we getting determines the season.
I am at 10 and 7.
Don't know if that's enough to win the East.
I don't know how much better the egirls will be
But they have improved.
 

Ranched

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Really curious how dak plays.
He was lights out the first 6 games
Not so much afterwards.
Which dak we getting determines the season.
I am at 10 and 7. Don't know if that's enough to win the East. I don't know how much better the egirls will be
But they have improved.
Me too John. I think Dak will be in his rookie form. But, it's up to the Oline to protect him so he has time to observe the play/field.

Egals have only improved on paper imo. They don't have a decent quarterback. Too much media hoopla on them.
 

john van brocklin

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Me too John. I think Dak will be in his rookie form. But, it's up to the Oline to protect him so he has time to observe the play/field.

Egals have only improved on paper imo. They don't have a decent quarterback. Too much media hoopla on them.
Howdy Ranched,
This is why I find the seasons so entertaining.
We can all speculate how things will go but the games
Bear them out in plain site.
Sports drama at its best!
 

817Gill

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Why?

Let's not act like Joudan Lewis isn't the epitome of average.
He’s a solid starter who’s actually proved he’s a solid starter. Bland played well in the preseason.

You don’t think that’s a huge conclusion to make, that since a rookie played well in preseason he should take the job of a proven starter who had his best year in the league last year?

I feel like the next logical step is to say, “Great, we have versatile depth we feel good about in Bland. Now let’s hope he plays that way if and when he gets his chances and if he shows enough we can potentially not have to resign Brown who’s set to be a solid priced FA.”

Going straight from good preseason to starting over a solid player coming off his best season seems a bit much to me.

Imagine if we did that with Canaday last year lol, we would have been getting cooked starting him. 4th CB’s get chances to play due to injury, blowouts, and certain sub packages. He’ll get a chance to show us how accelerated his path to starting can be. No need to just jump to it now.

*Now, if Lewis can’t go due to an ankle and Bland plays extremely well then you can start thinking about things. But as of now a preseason isn’t enough to justify a starting spot at a place that wasn’t perceived as a weakness.
 

erod

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He’s a solid starter who’s actually proved he’s a solid starter. Bland played well in the preseason.

You don’t think that’s a huge conclusion to make, that since a rookie played well in preseason he should take the job of a proven starter who had his best year in the league last year?

I feel like the next logical step is to say, “Great, we have versatile depth we feel good about in Bland. Now let’s hope he plays that way if and when he gets his chances and if he shows enough we can potentially not have to resign Brown who’s set to be a solid priced FA.”

Going straight from good preseason to starting over a solid player coming off his best season seems a bit much to me.

Imagine if we did that with Canaday last year lol, we would have been getting cooked starting him. 4th CB’s get chances to play due to injury, blowouts, and certain sub packages. He’ll get a chance to show us how accelerated his path to starting can be. No need to just jump to it now.

*Now, if Lewis can’t go due to an ankle and Bland plays extremely well then you can start thinking about things. But as of now a preseason isn’t enough to justify a starting spot at a place that wasn’t perceived as a weakness.
Of course I know that it's not an automatic replacement. But Bland showed great instincts, tackling, and coverage ability that I don't see in Lewis, who just tries to jump everything.
 

817Gill

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Of course I know that it's not an automatic replacement. But Bland showed great instincts, tackling, and coverage ability that I don't see in Lewis, who just tries to jump everything.
Lewis is a terrific tackler, Quinn talked about having him play a hybrid S role to take advantage of that.

“However Lewis’ sure tackling and run stopping, despite his diminutive frame, has always been a plus part of his game at a position where business decisions are often the norm.” (From the CowboysWire article at the bottom)

“Jourdan Lewis, who’s entering his fifth year with the team, spoke during the first week of OTAs and revealed his role would be much bigger under Dan Quinn’s defensive scheme.

I’m going to be in the box,” Lewis said, “I’m going to be able to make plays around the field and move around the field. It’s going to be cool.” (https://cowboyswire.usatoday.com/2021/05/28/dallas-cowboys-jourdan-lewis-dan-quinn/) You don’t put a guy in the box if he can’t tackle. Obviously we had some pure Safeties emerge last year so Lewis got to focus on the slot but the fact that he was going to be in the box to begin with speaks to his tackling.

But yeah I mean we’ll see how it goes as long as we get good NCB play it’s fine by me.

Lewis played very well last year though, not sure why nobody gives him credit for his most recent showing.

https://cowboyswire.usatoday.com/2022/07/06/jourdan-lewis-slot-corner-rankings-2022/
 
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