Sean Lee wants more time to decide if this is the best chance

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Sean Lee wants more time to decide if this is the best chance

Postby panxing18 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:14 am

the Dallas Cowboys have to be defined by their defense in the linebacker's eight years with the club.There's no question about the answer through two weeks.The Cowboys (1-1) are fourth in the NFL in total defense , with a loss to Carolina that could have been a blowout and a win over the New York Giants that wasn't nearly as close as the seven-point margin.In both cases, it was thanks to a defense that is delivering on preseason hopes of being a difference-making unit."I think we're starting to show the type of defense we can be," Lee said Thursday. "It's still early in the season. Still room to improve. Still a case we can cause and make more turnovers. But we're around the football. We're making plays. We're keeping points down, yards down."Dallas is tied for second behind Chicago with nine sacks after bringing down Eli Manning six times.The Cowboys visit Seattle on Sunday, and the Seahawks have allowed six sacks of Russell Wilson each of the first two games.DeMarcus Lawrence, who finished tied for second in the NFL with 14陆 sacks last season and ended up with the $17.1 million franchise tag, has a sack in each of the first two games. Three fellow defensive linemen had a sack apiece against the Giants.For that and other reasons, Rod Marinelli is comfortable saying the Dallas defense has the most upside in his five seasons as defensive coordinator."I just think we've gotten better every year," Marinelli said."We've improved and our talent level has gotten a little bit better. I know we're fast. We're really fast. Now we've just got to direct our speed."For years, talk of the Cowboys surrounded the offensive stars: quarterback Tony Romo, tight end Jason Witten and receiver Dez Bryant.With all three gone within the past two years, the buzz drifted to the sensational 2016 rookie pairing of quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott.But the offense is in transition, with Prescott getting used to a revamped group of receivers following the retirement of Witten and release of Bryant in the offseason.The Cowboys cruised against the Giants anyway, despite Elliott falling short of 100 yards rushing for the second straight week (78) and Prescott throwing for fewer than 200 yards for the eighth time in 10 games going back to last season."It's great when you see the defense going out there and doing what they're doing," Prescott said. "That gives the team a lot of confidence and the way they're playing allows us to want to go out there and do the same."Lee is nursing a sore hamstring that sidelined him late against the Giants. The Cowboys are calling his limited approach in practice this week precautionary. But Dallas is also in a different place with its linebackers.Jaylon Smith is starting to show the promise of his days at Notre Dame before a devastating knee injury in his final game with the Irish.He leads the Cowboys with 16 tackles. Smith's emergence is allowing Dallas to bring rookie first-rounder Leighton Vander Esch along slowly.The Cowboys like free agent pickup Joe Thomas, and fourth-year pro Damien Wilson forced a fumble on a sack of Manning."Feel good about that group right now," coach Jason Garrett said. "Obviously Sean's the leader. He's the leader of our defense. He's a great, great football player. But depth is important on your team."As Lee mentioned, turnovers are lacking so far. The Cowboys have recovered two fumbles, but don't have an interception.Still , they've been pleased with 2015 first-rounder Byron Jones making the switch back to cornerback. Chidobe Awuzie has been solid on the other side."We're very confident, not only in our ability but in our system and our coaching," safety Jeff Heath said."I just think we have the combination of guys to work really well together. We play for each other. I think you've been able to see some of the fruits of that." The Cowboys are getting ready to take on their historic rival, the Washington Redskins, this Sunday as they try to follow up their big win over the Jaguars from last week. With the Cowboys at 3-3 and Washington at 3-2, the winner of this game will be sitting atop the NFC East for at least a week (the Eagles could join the Cowboys if they win). This year’s Redskins team is hard to read. They picked apart the Arizona Cardinals 24-6 in week one, which looks less impressive each week, and followed that up with a pathetic 21-9 loss to the Colts. Then they topped Aaron Rodgers 31-17 the next week before a lifeless 43-19 drubbing by the Saints on Monday Night Football. Last week, they narrowly beat the Panthers 23-17 after Cam Newton’s comeback attempt fell short in the closing seconds. It’s hard to guess exactly which team will show up on Sunday, but the same can be said of Dallas at this point. One big source of inconsistency for Washington, though, has been the seeming clash between the skill set of quarterback Alex Smith and the offensive scheme of head coach Jay Gruden. Smith is a highly-efficient game manager who excels in a wide open West Coast offense like the one he ran in Kansas City, but Gruden likes to take shots down the field. It worked for Kirk Cousins, but it seems that Smith isn’t adjusting well. For instance, the Redskins have a pretty good receiver for their scheme in Josh Doctson, who is particularly good at high pointing the ball on deep throws. Yet, in the four games Doctson has played in this year, Smith has targeted him 18 times - fourth on the team - and the receiver has only caught it eight times for 68 yards. Doctson’s 44.4% catch percentage is the lowest on the team. Instead, Smith has developed some chemistry with Jamison Crowder and Paul Richardson, two receivers with good hands and quickness after the catch. The issue for Smith this week is that Crowder has been ruled out for Sunday and Richardson is listed as doubtful. That means Maurice Harris and Brian Quick - who have nine catches for 78 yards between them - will likely see more playing time. As for Smith and his targets Womens Terrance Williams Jersey , that pretty much leaves tight end Jordan Reed as the go-to guy against Dallas. Reed is second on the team in catches and leads the team in receiving yards. The only player with more catches than him is running back Chris Thompson - a solid receiving back who splits reps with Adrian Peterson and mostly functions as a checkdown option for Smith. However, Thompson is listed as questionable for the game with a rib and knee injury; even if he plays, he might not be as effective as normal. All of this makes things easier for the Cowboys. If they can take Reed out of the passing game, it’ll force Smith to turn to his other receiving options that he has less chemistry with, and bad things tend to happen. If the rhythm with his receiving corps isn’t there, it can slow Smith down enough for the pass rush to get to him. So far, Smith has only been sacked 12 times, tied for 19th in the league. Don’t expect him to be brought down too often on Sunday.Of course, the Redskins don’t throw it often anyway. Smith has 171 pass attempts on the year, which is coincidentally tied with Dak Prescott for 20th in the league. Peterson’s 77 carries are 13th most in the NFL, and he’s averaging 4.4 yards per carry. The 33-year-old running back has been putting up quality production. And he’s done it behind an offensive line that is incomplete. Through five games, Pro Football Focus ranked Washington’s offensive line eighth in the NFL, mostly due to the outstanding play of left tackle Trent Williams and right guard Brandon Scherff. Both of those guys found themselves on the injury report this week but were practicing in full capacity by Friday. Morgan Moses at right tackle has been solid if not great, but the middle of the line has been handicapped by spotty play from Chase Roullier and Tony Bergstrom. Attacking those two linemen with blitzes is a surefire way to disrupt the offense for Washington. Overall, this is not an offense that has things figured out. Peterson has been solid for them in running the ball, but he’s no longer enough to sustain drives alone. Smith is just a bad fit for this offense, plain and simple, and the fact that he’ll be lacking some of his favorite targets for this game could make things easy for a Dallas defense that has been a top five unit all year long and is getting Sean Lee back.

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