The Cowboys discovered added depth at linebacker with Damone Clark making his season debut in opposition to the Bears.
Clark was a top-50 expertise within the 2022 draft who fell to choose No.176 within the fifth spherical for Dallas after needing spinal fusion surgical procedure in late March. It was the Cowboys medical workers who discovered the herniated disk in Clark’s neck, and whereas most anticipated him to overlook the whole lot of the 2022-2023 season, the Cowboys believed Clark might be again to play this season. He was energetic for the primary time Sunday, simply 220 days since his surgical procedure.
Solely anticipated to be a contributor on the particular workforce unit, Clark needed to fill in when Anthony Barr harm his hamstring whereas operating after Bears QB Justin Fields, who he was spying on. Clark ended up taking part in 40 of the 79 defensive snaps, 50.6%, however he wasn’t only a star for enjoying snaps in a recreation. He was productive, ending the sport fifth on the workforce with six tackles and confirmed off his pace chasing down Justin Fields on a long term that was finally known as again by a holding name on Chicago.
This was the breakout recreation the Cowboys have been ready for with Dak Prescott.
Let’s not child ourselves, that is the most effective the offense has appeared all season, and a blazing begin from Prescott allowed Pollard to dominate the remainder of the sport.
The offense scored on six of eight possessions; no matter who you play, that’s an offensive output you search for each week.
In a recreation the place the Cowboys’ protection gave up a season-high in factors, the offense discovered a good time to ship the most effective recreation of the season.
The steadiness was lovely; let me let you know, the third-down offense was incredible. Coming into this matchup, the Cowboys have been ranked thirtieth within the NFL. Yesterday Dallas transformed 9 of 11 third-down makes an attempt, one other nice takeaway from that facet of the ball.
The Bears had the third-ranked passing protection coming into yesterday, and the steadiness of the offense allowed them to make all the things appear easy with out Zeke or Noah Brown within the lineup.
How will the Cowboys steadiness Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard after the bye week?
Pollard Is the Clear Finest Possibility out of the Backfield
Ezekiel Elliott hasn’t been a workhorse operating again for the Cowboys this season. A part of the explanation for that’s due to his inconsistent manufacturing (as he has 4 video games with 3.8 yards per carry or much less). And the opposite half is because of the unbelievable skills of Tony Pollard.
With Elliott lacking Sunday’s recreation on account of a knee damage, Pollard had a much bigger function in Dallas’ offense. The 25-year-old RB took benefit of these elevated alternatives, as he had 14 carries for 131 yards and three touchdowns, certainly one of which got here on a 54-yard run that pushed the Cowboys’ result in 20 factors within the fourth quarter.
Might this breakout efficiency result in extra touches for Pollard sooner or later, maybe on the expense of Elliott?
“We have a look at Tony as a one and Zeke as a one,” Dallas head coach Mike McCarthy stated, per Patrik Walker of the workforce’s official website. “We’re very lucky to have this duo of backs. We put together that means and we scheme that means.”
Regardless that the Cowboys seem dedicated to splitting the work between the 2 RBs as soon as Elliott returns, they might need to get the ball in Pollard’s arms as a lot as attainable. As a result of at this level, it’s clear he has the warmer hand and is changing into the highest possibility out of Dallas’ backfield.
Kellen Moore owes Malik Davis a landing, however a play-action to him arrange a large open Jake Ferguson landing.
3. Malik Davis and Jake Ferguson Assist Dallas Rating Once more
With Elliott and Noah Brown out, the Cowboys wanted to depend on depth and reinforcements to assist them vs. the Bears.
One instance of that was operating again Malik Davis who was elevated to play with Pollard in the present day. The rookie was so extremely near having his first NFL landing however stepped out of bounds by simply centimeters at in regards to the one-yard line.
The Cowboys might have performed the apparent factor and handed it off to Davis on the following play. As a substitute, they used one other rookie for a fast go to get the third landing of the day.
Prescott made a rapid go to Jake Ferguson who scored his second landing in simply three video games.
The Cowboys have hinted they might be energetic on the commerce deadline, however have an in-house possibility nonetheless but to play at receiver.
With Sunday’s 49-29 efficiency in opposition to the Bears, plenty of these issues might be forgotten. Particularly on the cusp of the bye week to relaxation and regain kind.
However with the damage bug and sluggish begin from receivers, the Cowboys have been tied to many free-agent receivers and commerce situations. Nonetheless, the reply might already be on the roster.
On March 18, former Steelers wideout James Washington, who has native ties, signed a one-year contract with Dallas. Washington was injured in coaching camp and positioned on injured reserve on Aug. 31.
Washington is now near a return, and it is perhaps simply in time for the Cowboys.
“Clearly all people needs to level out the receiving corps however we like that group there. Noah shall be again. We bought James (Washington) near returning,” Cowboys COO Stephen Jones stated relating to any attainable strikes earlier than Tuesday’s commerce deadline.
Washington spent 4 seasons in Pittsburgh attempting to duplicate his productiveness at Oklahoma State, however he by no means actually flourished.
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