Kristi Scales, the sideline reporter for the Dallas Cowboys radio network, answered your questions about the team in a live chat recently. Here are the highlights:
Do you deem the Cowboys year a success?
Scales: The loss to the Rams (and horrendous play of the run defense) following Saturday’s 30-22 result at the LA Coliseum is still fresh, so there’s still a feeling of disappointment. But looking at the big picture, the 2018 was a success. The Cowboys won the NFC East and finished in double-digit wins. Their young core of rising stars, including a new set of Triplets in Prescott/Elliott/Cooper, have a playoff win under their belts. The Cowboys defense played so well for the majority of the season and really carried this team, especially as the offense struggled early.
I have the feeling that the key pieces are in place(if they’re able to retain DeMarcus Lawrence), but the passing game still left so much meat on the bone. Even after the acquisition of Amari Cooper, there were so many opportunities in the passing game that were left on the field.
The passing attack still needs to make a great leap forward for this offense to be consistent and be a contender in 2019. It’s not going to be easy playing a first-place schedule. But, to borrow a Jerry-ism, the arrow is pointing up.
As opinion spread that the Cowboys were fortunate to play the Rams and prognosticators started picking an upset, knowing the team like you do, did you ever get a feeling that Dallas would struggle? Sometimes it feels like this team just doesn’t play well when good things are expected.
Scales: I was not surprised the Rams won by 8 points; they were the favorites and deserved to enter the game as favorites. They were coming off a week of rest and had Todd Gurley returning from injury. I’m surprised by how poorly the Cowboys’ run defense played.
The Cowboys’ d-line was getting moved off the ball. Instead of penetrating the backfield, the linemen were getting moved laterally (or backwards) on too many snaps. The Rams o-line were the superior players on Saturday night.
And the Cowboys’ offense didn’t help their teammates on defense because of their failure to convert on 3rd down. Dallas converted only 1 of 10 on 3rd down…I’m not a mathematician, but I’m pretty sure that’s a pathetic 10%. The offense couldn’t stay on the field, which meant the Cowboys’ defense had to get back out there. The Cowboys defense got worn down by the Rams’ offensive line.
Should the Cowboys go after Suh in free agency?
Scales: I’m not sure the Cowboys could afford to retain DeMarcus Lawrence and go after Suh in free agency. Suh is a guy who has averaged $14 million in salary per season and, even if you get him at a price break, it may still be too much for the Cowboys to do while also trying to get long-term deals with Byron Jones, Dak, Zeke, and Amari.
By the way, according to Spotrac.com, Suh’s career earnings through 9 seasons have reached $138.7 million!
Is the bond between Linehan and Garrett so strong that Garrett would consider leaving if he was forced to find a new OC?
Scales: No, I don’t believe that if Jerry Jones wanted a change at offensive coordinator that it would mean Jason Garrett would consider leaving. Garrett is staying, for sure. And, as Garrett noted, he will be part of the collaborative decision-making process when it comes to the assistant coaching staff. But it’s Jerry Jones writing the checks and Linehan’s fate is in the owner’s hands.
Source: “Los Angeles” – Google News