Wow, how great are the games between these two teams! Dak Prescott is going to be elite/a Hall of Famer, so for as long as Aaron Rodgers is still at a high level…these two are destined to do this for a while. How good is the NFC right now? Dallas, Green Bay, LA Rams…Washington, Carolina, Minnesota, and Seattle lurk as well. The Saints are a dark horse to snatch Carolina. Some of those teams won't be in the playoffs.
Dallas has lost three games in the past four weeks – losing to three of the best teams in all of football (DEN-LAR-GB). The Cowboys will be fine, but their schedule is not easy. At Washington Week 8 might be the season for them because KC and at Atlanta after that. Even if they lose to Washington, The Computer projects 10 or more wins with a strong chance to finish on a seven-game win streak. This young, emerging Dallas defense will pay some price now but yield dividends later in the season and into 2018+.
Green Bay is on their way to 10+ wins as well. They'll win their division. If they beat the Vikings at Minnesota this week, the NFC North is all but theirs.
This game had great moments of drama, fantastic plays, and bad bounces. I would argue that Dallas felt like the better team when I watched it live and then again on re-watch. They outgained, out-time of possession-ed, had better 3rd and 4th down efficiency…but lost via turnover.
I would tell you that there are two reasons why Dallas lost...and I blame them on a guy I think is terrific and say so often. Dallas VP Will McClay's great regrets, I can only imagine, are with two players…
1) Terrance Williams has no business starting for an NFL team. I'm not sure any team in the NFL, including the Week 6 Giants would want Terrance Williams, but somehow he's counted on heavily by Dallas. Dak's only INT of the game was a ball thrown right into Williams's gut and he gaffed up into the air into a waiting defender's arms for a pick six gift…totally changed the game and momentum. Without that play, Dallas likely wins convincingly.
2) I didn’t like him on tape at Notre Dame. I didn’t see anything in the preseason. I don’t get what scouts saw in Jaylon Smith at all. Jaylon Smith must be Aaron Jones's agent because he helped make Jones a star for the moment. The guy (Smith) is constantly flat-footed, blocked out of plays and late to react. He had a few missed/whiffed tackles. Had Sean Lee played…totally different game and Aaron Jones might not be 'a thing' this week.
After the pick-six in the 4th quarter, Dallas had a masterful 9+ minute drive capped by a Prescott TD run to take a 31-28 lead with a minute+ left. To me, you have to get that score. Some people are mad at Dak for 'scoring too quick' but you take it when they give it to you in the heat of the battle. It was no gift, just a brilliant play.
Because Aaron Rodgers is virtually unstoppable, he marched the team down and score the game winner with seconds remaining. Against Brady-Rodgers…there's not much you can do in those two-minute drives but pray.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- I just want to mention Dak Prescott (25-365 for 251 yards, 3 TD/1 INT) again – this was another brilliant performance and he is a bona fide elite QB. Everyone agrees with that, mostly, now…but for dynasty you needed to know that early last year when everyone doubted it/ignored it. I was going bananas telling you to buy Prescott because he was an elite QB of the future/now. Many did but were nervous about it.
You’re nervous no longer, I assume?
Pat on my back aside, I mention this for two reasons…
1) How is it Dak can be so obviously brilliant and yet people still doubt him in the national media, and yet make excuses about Jameis Winston 'needing to clean things up' (like excessive turnovers and wild throws all the time)…but then say he's the best young QB out there? Have you ever seen Winston play anywhere near as good as Dak, ever? Dak has been in the league less time and was better than Winston on day one…and yet media people still prefer Winston.
Because they don’t scout…they watch highlights and group-think on things. It's embarrassing…and they'll be on air tomorrow telling you what they think of Deshaun Watson and Mitchell Trubisky, etc. They have no grounds to do so…it criminal.
2) When I go bonkers on a QB's tape/emergence in-season in the NFL…I'm usually right. Last year, at this time, I was all-in on Dak Prescott when no one was convinced. Who have I going bonkers on the past couple of weeks – Jared Goff.
Don’t take these calls lightly!
-- Aaron Jones (19-125-1, 1-9-0/1) looked really good in this game. Some of that was Jaylon Smith can't stop much of anything up the middle, but Jones showed nice skills running the ball…just like Ty Montgomery has.
While Montgomery is out, you gotta like Jones for fantasy. When Ty is back…this turns into a cluster.
The main thing that has happened here with the Jones breakout is it killed off Ty Montgomery as a PPR RB1 hopeful for 2017. A split role is coming for a team that doesn't rely on the run. There may not be enough fantasy to go around for either.
I also shudder to think what happens when old-school coach Mike McCarthy gets his hands on two decent RBs…I shudder to think as an Aaron Rodgers owner.
-- It was amazing to see Davante Adams (7-66-2/11) back out there after that awful hit two weeks ago. If you include the postseason, Adams now has 18 TDs in his last 24 games. He's going to score 10-12+ TDs this season, easy. He was 2nd in the NFL with 12 last season.
-- Green Bay has Jordy-Davante-Cobb…and Dallas has Dez-Terrance-Beasley. No comparison.
In a game like this, Dez Bryant (5-52-1/8) has to do better…he has to take advantage of this porous GB secondary (and CB Kevin King got hurt in the game missed most of it). He has an elite QB. The fact that Dez cannot spin gold here is another sign he's done/shot as a big-time producer. Dallas needs to make a deal for a WR ASAP.
-- David Irving (5 tackles, 2.0 sacks) made his 2017 debut and racked up 2.0 sacks. I was not kidding when I said Dallas would rise this season in part led by their pass rush that was totally being overlooked. They have the 6th most sacks in the league after Week 5.
-- Rookie IDP Josh Jones (3 tackles) had a letdown after his Week 3 gem. Week 4 he was banged up. Might still be in Week 5…he only played 51% of the snaps.
Snap Counts of Interest…
37 = Cole Beasley (50% of the snaps)
22 = Brice Butler
20 = James Hanna
53 = Aaron Jones
02 = Jamaal Williams