Breaking down the Dallas Cowboys film is always better after a win but there are a couple of unsung heroes that aren’t getting enough credit.
It’s now midweek and I still have adrenaline pumping through my veins from the Dallas Cowboys big come-from-behind win against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday. A mistake-filled game has now turned into an instant classic.
There’s plenty of blame to be shared for falling behind in the first place but there are a few players that deserve a lot of credit from behind all of the dominant headline news. It is always sexy to give the credit to quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott among others but there were a few players that surprised me in Week Two.
Brandon Knight, LT
The biggest surprise player that did not get his name mentioned during the game is left tackle, Brandon Knight. The beginning of the game started off with me thinking I had Deja Vu. I thought that Prescott was going to be in for a long day but after the initial wave, Prescott did not get as much pressure from his blind side as I originally thought.
Right tackle Terence Steele was getting worked over on the right side mainly by defensive end Takk McKinley. It was the steady play of Knight which allowed the coaching staff to slide the protection over to help this undrafted free agent.
Once they figured out Knight didn’t need much help, the protection issues lessened and allowed the Dallas Cowboys to open up their playbook and play catch-up. The injury to McKinley certainly helped out a bit also. Brandon Knight might now be a viable candidate to be the primary swing tackle this season once the starters return.
It also would not be a bad idea to start him at right tackle if left tackle Tyron Smith can return to game action this week against Seattle.
Dalton Schultz, TE
A tip of the cap also has to go-to tight end, Dalton Schultz. I really believed that the team was going to employ him in an H-back type of role this year but his play in both ability to create separation and functionally create opportunities after the catch gives me hope that he could actually become the primary tight end without having to sign a street free agent.
Joe Thomas, LB
The defensive side had issues all day but one player stood out without actually standing out. Linebacker Joe Thomas had himself an exceptional day. Thomas does not have the size and strength of players like Leighton Vander Esch or Jaylon Smith but Thomas does have better instincts.
On several plays, Thomas beat the lineman to his block and made the tackle before the play could get going. His ability to do this was crucial in keeping Atlanta in third and long situations rather than third and short. Of course, there were plays where he had some mistakes but that is to be expected from a primary role player filling in for an established starter.
I know it feels like the Dallas cornerbacks are reeling a bit this week but Atlanta has a very potent offense. A week after Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan threw for 450 against the Seattle Seahawks, Ryan only threw for 273 yards albeit he did toss four touchdowns.
I am giving credit to the cornerbacks for turning their heads and trying to make a play on the football. It has not paid dividends yet, but once the defensive line starts applying serious pressure, I imagine that the turnovers will start to come.
C.J. Goodwin, CB
The last shout out I will give is to special teams ace C.J. Goodwin who showed the confidence and patience to allow the onside kick to travel the necessary 10 yards and recover the onside kick. Far too often young players make a mistake because of the pressure of the moment. Goodwin showed why teams keep special teams aces on their roster.
The Dallas Cowboys have won some wacky games in their time but the “Hail Mary” now has to make room for the “Snail Mary”.