*Pre-editor post (forgive any typos)
This was a game, that if the Dallas was going anywhere this year – they had to win it. Washington is a good-not-great team and was missing its top cornerback (Dunbar). The Dallas defense has been, and was in this game, playing rock solid. Dallas down 13-10 with 5+ minutes left, with the ball and a chance to go down and tie or win the game…then a strip sack, fumble, and Washington lands on it in the end zone to take a 20-10 lead with 5 minutes left. Heartbreaker…but a sign of a Dallas issue – the O-Line.
Dallas goes down and scores the TD, leaving them time with all their timeouts to kickoff to try and hold Washington and get one last drive – and they do. They get the ball back with 1:30+ left, they drive into FG position, get called for a garbage penalty that sent the kicker 5-yards further back and that may have been the difference as Brett Maher’s kick popped off the uprights.
If the Cowboys want to be considered up with the Rams-Saints, etc., in the NFC East – they have to win this game. They didn’t.
In response, Dallas trades away a golden 1st-round draft pick yesterday for a multiple-year failed WR…Amari Cooper. But he’s only 24 years old! Yes, but if you suck…who cares what the age is? If you traded away your #1 pick for something that your biggest case for/best attribute you can mention is ‘he’s only 24 years old’ – then you deserve to not make the playoffs and have this trade blow up in your face.
Have we not learned anything from the chasing of Sammy Watkins the past couple years? Or the abject failures all 1st-round pick WRs have been since Amari Cooper? Nope. Dallas is going to fix everything by bringing in a failed WR, trying to resurrect him…with a coaching staff that’s a pack of imbeciles (go watch the Amazon documentary).
I’m all for trading for Cooper and seeing if you can ‘fix’ him…but you do not trade your #1 next year to do so. There’s so much more you can get or do with a 1st-round pick, and Dallas has been one of the best draft teams in the league for years. Now, you give that leverage away for a two-year-in-a-row failure WR who is due $13M+ next season (a 5th-year option). Dallas won’t pay that, so they’ll have to sign him to a long-term deal – and it will be as dumb as the deal Sammy Watkins got in KC…or worse.
WRs ‘connecting’ with a QB takes time…now you bring in Amari who has something wrong, whatever it is, that’s caused him to be a failure the past two years – you have to ‘fix’ that AND get a QB-WR relationship together all in a few days…a few weeks -- the season could be ‘over’ for Dallas by the time this is clicking…if it ever does. And if Amari flops, and they don’t sign him to a new deal – they traded away a 1st-round draft pick for a guy with problems put into a virtual no-win spot and asked him to save the franchise within a few weeks of arrival. Illogical on so many levels.
By Week 14…a game hosting the Eagles, Dallas could be 5-7/6-6 and if they lose that game…they’re essentially done…and this is a wasted trade.
This strikes me as – Jerry Jones has ‘rabbit ears’. He hears the criticism…he can feel it because Dallas has been a failure for the last 20 years under Jones’ maneuverings. Just four division titles the last 20 seasons. Just two playoff wins the past 20 years. Jerry Jones is a failure as a GM, it’s not even debatable…and it is driving him crazy like “The Tell Tale Heart’.
The ‘hidden GM’ of the Cowboys, making all the day-to-day, non-sexy moves, V.P. Will McClay has been rebuilding this team steadily for years – but he doesn’t make the coaching decisions…that’s Jerry. Whatever Jones has put his football hands on has been a failure for the better part of 20 years and the reason Dallas is underperforming in 2018 is not the lack of a ‘#1 WR’…that’s ESPN and stupid fans talking because all they know is QB-RB-WR. The problem truly is the head coach (and his staff/Jerry’s lackeys). The head coach is the problem. Jerry’s choice. Jerry’s stooge. Jerry’s failure. Amari can’t cure it.
How is Jason Garrett going to ‘fix’ Amari…by clapping loudly in his ear, calling him ‘89’ all day, and dropping F-bombs? This trade absolutely looks like a Jerry deal and not Will McClay’s. The reason the trade won’t work, in part, will be because Jerry chose and stuck by Garrett too long. Garrett’s not going to ‘fix’ Amari.
In desperation and sinking in a pool of 20+ years of football failure, Jones reached into his ESPN bag of tricks and thinks Amari Cooper is ‘a steal’ – and idiotically pays a 1st-round pick for something he may not even get 4-5 weeks to see if it works out of before Dallas falls from the playoffs and then they have to decide on a contract for Amari for 2019. This could be one of the worst trades in the last 20 years of football trades. Worse than when the Rams traded a 2nd-round pick and E.J. Gaines for Sammy Watkins last year. Building teams via expensive WRs, stupid…how are the Giants doing in 2018 after OBJ’s big deal?
Jerry feels the pressure…the pressure from his 20 years of football failure, pressure from ‘father time’. He wants to prove to everyone how smart he is. He just did what a lot of fantasy owner Type-A personalities do when they get impatient with their team/come off a loss – they think they have to DO SOMETHING because doing NOTHING eats them alive. They are people of action…so they shoot first and ask questions later. It works in the field they’re gifted in…Jerry has 20 years proof he doesn’t know how to build an NFL franchise with patience and clarity…so, impetuousness probably isn’t going to work either.
I think Jerry just shot the whole organization in the foot with this deal.
FYI, Jason Garrett is still employed.
And then there is Washington…winners of two straight, lucky not to be losers of three straight. In a crumbling NFC East, the Redskins have fallen into first place at 4-2 by attrition. Their schedule (and Dallas and Philly being wobbly) is likely to propel them to a division title. They have a real chance to win their next 4 in a row and jump to 8-2. When they play Dallas Week 12…the Cowboys project to be 5-5, possibly three games out, playing for their lives.
We are projecting Washington won’t win their next 4…they’re just not that stellar of a team to count on for that. We have them projected, currently, to finish 9-7 hosting Philly Week 17 for all the NFC East marbles potentially…with Dallas ‘out’ of it by then.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- Let’s talk Dallas WRs for fantasy…
Amari Cooper will take several weeks to get up to speed in this offense, plus all that time to develop an on-field relationship with Dak. This is a weak passing game design by the coaches, they have plenty of WR talent to make it go now…they just don’t have the protection or system to work with (remember how radically they were going to use Tavon Austin upon trading for him? They hardly use him). Amari Cooper is not going to scare any opposing defensive coordinators. Cooper should be a hit and miss (mostly miss) fantasy WR for several weeks...if not his entire 2018.
Plus, we don’t know why Amari has been an abject failure for two years. He’s not been buried like Keelan Cole, for example, where he has Blake Bortles/Doug Marrone killing him/suppressing him…or Kelvin Benjamin or Zay Jones stuck with whatever for Buffalo. Two coaching staffs have tried to make Amari ‘the man’ the past two years…they both gave up. Jon Gruden was set/spoke incessantly about making Amari his everything…months later he boots him. Derek Carr is not great but he’s plausible (the next Aaron Rodgers according to Colin Cowherd). How has Amari been such a failure for two years? Hidden injury? The ‘yips’? Troubles off the field?
All I can relate this to is watching Sammy Watkins’ career – you’re told you’re special all your life, you are a high draft pick, analysts fawn over you…you have some success early in your NFL career, but the money gets bigger and bigger as you go on…and the internal fire starts to damper. Your flaws get exposed. What was Watkins excuse for failing to live up to the hype with both Jared Goff and now Patrick Mahomes…it’s not ‘the offense’ or ‘the QB’. It has to be Watkins. Until proven otherwise…it has to be ‘Amari’ for why he’s been a flop.
I cannot imagine Cooper throws a switch and is a Pro Bowl’er again Week 9. Something went wrong with Amari and I don’t think a trade to Dallas fixes it…and, surely, not in 1-2-3 weeks.
Michael Gallup (3-81-0/5) is showing all the signs of being a breakout WR, but Dallas has done such a poor job developing WRs…he’s not fully ready. Now, Amari will get a bunch of targets to justify not telling the emperor he has no clothes. It’s the passing game/coaching…not the WR talent. If anything, this move helps Gallup as other teams will be just as dopey as Jerry Jones and cover Amari like it’s 2014. See: 2017 when teams spent half a year+ over-covering Sammy Watkins as Robert Woods became a star under everyone’s noses.
Cole Beasley (7-56-0/8) isn’t helped or hurt because Beasley never really matters for FF anyway. He has a hot game or two and then right back into the hole. He was on his way to a fantasy disaster this game if not for the final 5 minutes of passing desperation. 4-38-0/5 of his game, over half his numbers, came in the final 1:55 of the game – there was no design by Dak to work him.
The problem is not Amari-Gallup-Beasley as the Week 9 starters – the problem is Jason Garrett, Scott Linehan, and the offensive concepts. Dak is a QB that needs a different, more college-style spread offense than he has…and better blocking.
-- You think you’ve had David Johnson problems? Ezekiel Elliott (15-33-0, 2-9-0/6) is starting to run into similar issues. Less than 55 yards rushing in two of his last 3 games. 1 and 2 catches in games the last two weeks as well…how is that possible?
He’ll be fine. I think.
-- The best runner on the team has been Dak Prescott (22-35 for 273 yards, 1 TD/0 INT, 6-33-1). He’s running more on purpose lately…4.3 carries per games in Weeks 1-4 -- and 7.7 carries Weeks 5-7.
FYI…Dak has ONE 300+ yard passing game in his last 28 games. He just doesn’t work in 6pts per pass TD/bonus for passing leagues in fantasy…not with this offensive design.
-- Jordan Reed (2-43-0/4) hasn’t posted 70+ yards in a game in his last 15 games. He has just 4 TDs in that span. He’s just not been a real factor in games since mid-2016, back before his foot injury emerged.
-- Can you use the Dallas-DST after their BYE/should you hold them through it? They’ve held five of their 7 opponents to 20 or fewer points in a game. They are #8 in sacks YTD, but only have 2 INTs on the season. They’re good, emerging…but the schedule is just not great after Week 9 hosting Tennessee. PHI-ATL-WAS-NO-PHI is just not a good stretch for DST scoring opportunities.
Snap Counts of Interest…
57 = Doctson
36 = Harris
31 = Quick
30 = Floyd
56 = Gallup
54 = Hurns
53 = Beasley
15 = D Thompson
38 = Sean Lee (53%)
34 = David Irving
21 = Vander Esch
08 = Dorance Armstrong
02 = C.J. Goodwin