In Week 2 the Dallas Cowboys managed to rebound nicely from their thrilling, but ultimately disappointing loss to the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers. By and large, this week’s victory over the Los Angles Chargers wasn’t quite the edge-of-your-seat shoot-out that fans saw in Week 1, but it was a very solid team win against a good opponent.
Just like last week, it’s time to play stock up/stock down with five Cowboys:
Dallas Cowboys Stock Up: T, Terence Steele
When it was announced that second-year tackle Terence Steele would start in place of the suspended La’el Collins, many Cowboys fans were understandably terrified.
Steele showed some signs of improvement towards the end of last season, but all too frequently he functioned as a human turnstile. Let’s just say that heading into Sunday, the less we heard Tony Romo and Jim Nantz say Steele’s name the better.
This week Steele drew the matchup against Joey Bosa, one of the best edge rushers in football, and managed to keep him relatively quiet all afternoon. Bosa finished the game with no sacks and just three tackles. Hopefully, Steele’s performance is a sign of things to come as he looks to hold down the fort until Collins returns.
Dallas Cowboys Stock Down: Special Teams Coach, John Fassel
When Mike McCarthy brought special teams coach John Fassel to the Cowboys from the Los Angeles Rams, I was pretty ecstatic. Fassel has always had a reputation as one of the more aggressive and innovative specials teams coaches in football, and with that phase of the game often feeling like an afterthought under Jason Garrett, I was hoping he would be a massive upgrade. So far he’s left a lot to be desired.
Last week there was the ill-advised and random 60-yard field goal attempt at the end of the first half. This week it was the utterly bizarre decision to send an all-out block against a Chargers’ punt at the two-minute warning in the second quarter. The block attempt led to a roughing of the kicker penalty that extended Los Angeles’ drive and ultimately ended in a missed field goal.
Even if the Cowboys hadn’t been flagged on the play, it still wouldn’t have been the right move. Decisions like this make it feel like Dallas’ special teams aren’t a strength right now. Instead, they’re a liability.
I like having coaches who aren’t afraid to take big swings, and I still believe in Fassel. I genuinely think he can help this unit improve. However, it’s pretty undeniable that with someone as aggressive as he is, you have to take the good with the bad.
Fassel is just as liable to draw up something spectacular, as he is willing to pull out an ill-advised play that leaves fans questioning his thought process all week. This week it was definitely the latter and not the former.