Cowboys roll Redskins

Cowboys vs Redskins: Good, bad and ugly

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Alas, the 2019 season for the Cowboys has mercifully come to an end. It was a season that had its share of highs, lows and one horrible loss to the New York Jets. In grand Cowboys fashion, the season ended with a meaningless win over a terrible Washington Redskins team. They finished their season with an 8-8 record. This is befitting for what could be the final game for Cowboys Head Coach Jason Garrett. We hope.

The Good:

- This was one of the more impressive wins for the Dallas Cowboys this season. Although it was an empty win, the offense played great and the best player on Sunday was wide receiver Michael Gallup. The final game of his 2019 season was a great one that included 98 receiving yards and three touchdowns. He looked like a No. 1 receiver Sunday afternoon and that could come into play with Amari Cooper 's uncertain future with the Cowboys. (More on that in the ugly section)

- Kai Forbath has done a great job since joining the Cowboys. He has made every single field goal and the extra point he has attempted during his brief tenure for his new team. The Cowboys did a great job replacing the wildly inconsistent Brett Maher and could have their kicker for the future. Why it took so long to replace Maher is beyond me, but Forbath has reinvigorated his career with The Cowboys.

- The 2019 MVP for the Cowboys has to be Ezekiel Elliott. He had a great season rushing for over 1300 yards (the third time in 4 years in which he rushed for over 1000 yards) and was 4th in the league in rushing this season. When his game was on this season, no one could stop Elliott. His last game against the Redskins was his second-best performance of the season behind his stellar Monday night game against the Giants. After all of the controversy he caused this offseason, he has more than lived up to his contract. He will continue to be the Cowboys superstar running back for many years to come.

The Bad:

- It was difficult to decide what to put in this category. The bad for me was that the season finale was basically meaningless. As previously mentioned, they put up an impressive offensive performance against the abysmal Redskins. However their offensive explosion proved to be all for nothing. Their victory was short lived, for the Eagles beat the Giants to win the NFC East. This was a team that was expected to do well this season, but unfortunately disappointed all of us every step of the way. There is too much talent on this team to miss the playoffs and finish 8-8. Changes will be coming sooner rather than later this offseason.

- Speaking of disappointments, let's talk about Dak Prescott's 2019 season. On paper, he had a tremendous year throwing of over 4000 yards ( a career-high). His numbers were great, but his performance on the field was mediocre, to say the least. His performance Sunday was another example of how he can only put up superior numbers against a subpar team. Coming into this season, he was looking to receive a contract extension north of 30 million a year. After this season, he will be lucky if he even gets the franchise tag.

- Overall, this game wasn't bad and I couldn't think of much else to put in this category. I would simply be reiterating the same point about their season being a loss, so im going to save that for a future article.

The Ugly

- This really isn't ugly but bittersweet. This could be the final game for multiple Cowboys players. As previously mentioned next season Dak Prescott will be a free agent along with Amari Cooper. I do believe one of these players will find employment elsewhere this offseason, with Cooper being the more likely person to leave via free agency. Jason Witten could also leave this season as he has contemplated retirement again. The theory is he could go into coaching and maybe be the next Cowboys' head coach. But that is a story we can save for the offseason.

- Jason Garrett, all I have to say is good luck to you and your future employment elsewhere. After 10 years of coaching the Dallas Cowboys, it is time to move on and look for someone else to man the helm in 2020. He did not do a bad job during his tenure for he is finishing with a coaching record above .500 and is the seconding winningest coach in Cowboys' history. But the problem with Garrett is that he could never get them over the hump. Three playoff wins in 10 years is not goos and the Cowboys need a confident coach with playoff experience. It is time for both parties to move on and Sunday's victory against the Redskins would be a nice way to end his Cowboys' coaching career.

- This team has Super Bowl aspirations and talent as far as the eye could see. To end the season the way they did with an 8-8 record is unacceptable. 2020 will be a bounce-back year for the Cowboys, and I look forward to seeing what moves can be made this offseason.

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The Texans staff is almost complete. Composite image by Brandon Strange.

DeMeco Ryans was hired as the Houston Texans' sixth head coach in their young history on January 18. The next question was who will be his offensive and defensive coordinators? It took almost a month before those questions got answered. The team hired Matt Burke as the defensive coordinator on February 10. Then they hired Bobby Slowik as the offensive coordinator two days later. Burke was previously the Arizona Cardinals defensive line coach. His most recent stint as a DC was in Miami from 2017-2018. Slowik was previously the San Francisco 49ers pass game coordinator and specialist. This is his first stint as an offensive coordinator. Both were interesting hires for different reasons.

Burke as the DC was fascinating for a few reasons. One being that DeMeco was the hottest coaching candidate this hiring cycle. He took over a great defense in San Francisco and kept the ball rolling. Burke coming in raised the question will he call plays? Or, will DeMeco continue to call plays himself? While they've been vague in answering the question, it's pretty obvious DeMeco will be heavily involved. I think DeMeco will either call plays himself, or have veto power over Burke. Once they get a feel for one another, Burke will then take over the reins. Should that feeling out process make all parties comfortable earlier on, Burke could take over sooner.

Slowik is the one everybody is really looking at. As the offensive coordinator, he's expected to help guide the incoming rookie quarterback. As they interviewed head coaching candidates, the Texans let them know they intend to take a quarterback with the number two overall pick. That tidbit of info led me to believe the offensive coordinator hire is almost more important than DeMeco's hire. Almost. Key word. If Slowik develops this rookie quarterback into a top 10-15 guy within two years and the offense ranks in the same range, he'll be highly sought after.

Offensive coaches have gotten most of the recent head coaching jobs because the league is on the offensive cycle right now. We know Slowik will call plays because DeMeco is a defensive guy. Handing over the keys to the offense to Slowik means he gets the chance to prove himself, by himself. While DeMeco may call plays initially, or at least help out, Burke will be seen as an assistant. If and when Burke calls plays on his own, he could be seen as a future head coaching candidate. His candidacy will take longer because he will have the Eric Bieniemy effect: being overshadowed by his head coach, who works on the same side of the ball.

All three guys are young enough to put in work here for years to come. DeMeco is 38, Burke is 46, and Slowik is 35. When you look at coaches like Pete Carroll (71), Bill Belichick (70), and Andy Reid (64), these guys could have a 20-30 year run if they so choose (provided they stay relevant, successful, healthy, and engaged). Now, will they all stay here? DeMeco is a lifer if he doesn't get fired. Burke may be here a while until he establishes himself further. Slowik is the one that may move on to bigger and better things sooner than later. My only hope is that they all succeed and grow this franchise into what these loyal fans deserve: a consistent winner and eventual Super Bowl champion.

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