Author Topic: Cowboys vs. Seahawks rookie report: Leighton Vander Esch continues to play well  (Read 189 times)

Offline linchao

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Well Youth Ezekiel Elliott Jersey , that game did not go as hoped. Following a week in which the offense started to look like it had something going, the Cowboys went out and did that, resulting in a frustrating 24-13 loss in Seattle.While the takes of the offense, the play-calling, and Sean Lee’s injuries fly, we are taking a look at how the members of the 2018 Cowboys draft class are performing. We have seen these players have highs and lows over the course of three games. One player looks to be standing out more than the rest of the pack as we prep for the Detroit Lions.Let’s dive right into this week’s edition of the rookie report.Leighton Vander EschFor all of the doom and gloom surrounding the Cowboys three games into the 2018 NFL season, there has been a pleasant surprise over the last two games: the play of first-round rookie linebacker Leighton Vander Esch.Several, including yours truly, were unsure what to think about the selection of LVE — especially with interesting players at offensive guard and wide receiver still on the board — but the Boise State Broncos product has put together two solid games in a row. First, LVE made seven stops with limited snaps in the week two victory over the Giants. This past week, Vander Esch saw more playing time — especially with Sean Lee sidelined — and he made the most of it. The 19th overall pick of the draft led the Cowboys with nine solo tackles on Sunday, in addition to tying Lee with 11 total stops. While Vander Esch still has room to improve, his play has been a bright spot — and he earned this week’s Game Ball!Vander Esch has looked impressive during the past two games, especially when he has been able to showcase his sideline-to-sideline quickness when he tracks down opposing ball carriers. The rookie will have more responsibility on his plate while Lee recovers from injuring his other hamstring against Seattle. Is he up for the challenge? If so, that can only mean big things for this defense.Connor WilliamsConnor Williams took a lot of heat for his struggles in the week one loss defeat against Kawann Short and the Carolina Panthers. The rookie, as expected, struggled to adjust in his first professional game — and it didn’t help that the Panthers feature one of the league’s best fronts.The Texas Longhorns product rebounded nicely in week two, playing well versus the likes of Damon Harrison and Dalvin Tomlinson. Williams went from having trouble versus Carolina to not giving up a single QB pressure against New York. Those are the things you want to see from your young players. In week three, mostly everybody had their fair-share of struggles in the Sunday loss. Williams continues to progress as a run blocker Color Rush Maliek Collins Jersey , which is great news for this offense. Here, he helps free up Ezekiel Elliott for a nice gain.Michael GallupThere was tons of excitement when Michael Gallup hauled in a 30-yard touchdown pass from Dak Prescott in the first preseason game versus the 49ers back in August. Since then, the rookie wideout from Colorado State has yet to make his impact felt in the Cowboys offense.We can fairly assume some of the problems revolve around Gallup being a rookie making rookie mistakes. There was that deep pass he dropped versus the Giants that would not have been an easy grab, but one that you need to make. Through two weeks, Gallup had only recorded two catches for 14 yards — in addition to drawing some PI penalties in week one.Dak looked for his rookie target early in week three — and they connected; however, what happened next was a combination of a rookie mistake and a great play from the Seahawks defense and some guy by the name of Earl Thomas.That went down in the box-score as an interception on Dak, but it was really more of a fumble by the rookie as he had the ball popped out from behind and it landed against Thomas’ leg. Gallup did have a 17-yard reception in the loss and he does have promise. We’ll see if the rook can get things going in the right direction as the season progresses.Dorance ArmstrongThe Cowboys have questions on the offensive side of the ball, but the defensive end position is where there are tons of playmakers. DeMarcus Lawrence has led the charge, but he is not alone as Taco Charlton looked good in the first two weeks and Tyrone Crawford is one of the veterans of the group. Randy Gregory was also hoped to make an impact, but — so far — that has not happened yet, partially due to missing week two with a concussion. Elsewhere on the defensive line, 6-foot-3, 258-pound Dorance Armstrong is looking to make his presence felt.The Kansas Jayhawks product recorded two tackles in week one and was able to cause disruption in week two. Armstrong did not show up in the box score in week three, but look for him to continue playing his role in a deep defensive end unit. Amari Cooper's impact on Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott has been dramatic.The new No. 1 receiver for the Cowboys shook up the NFC East race, too.Prescott threw his third touchdown pass to Cooper on the first possession of overtime, and the Cowboys took a big step toward the division title with a 29-23 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.On third down, Rasul Douglas tipped the pass into the air by getting inside the slant route, and Cooper grabbed it and had a clear path to the end zone from the Philadelphia 7 for the 15-yard score. The Cowboys used almost all of the 10-minute overtime, scoring with 1:55 remaining."I knew I had the slant route there Allen Hurns Jersey , but I knew he would sit on it," Cooper said. "I tried to sell the fade. It didn't really work, but I just stayed with the ball and there you have it."By winning the third overtime game in the past four seasons at A&T Stadium between these division rivals, the Cowboys (8-5) won their fifth straight game and took a two-game lead over the defending Super Bowl champion Eagles (6-7) and Washington with three games left.Carson Wentz threw for three touchdowns, including a pair of tying scores in the fourth quarter. But he never got a chance in overtime because Prescott engineered a 13-play, 75-yard drive.Prescott overcame two interceptions and a lost fumble to set career highs in completions (42), attempts (54) and yards passing (455)."Helpless feeling," Wentz said. "I've got a lot of lot of confidence in the defense. They were making plays today. We just didn't do enough early offensively and that cost us."The Cowboys dominated almost from the start, but let the Eagles stay close to set up a wild fourth quarter. Dallas, which can clinch the NFC East title with a win at Indianapolis next Sunday, finished with 576 yards, the most since gaining 578 against the St. Louis Cardinals in 1973.Cooper finished with a career-high 217 yards receiving on 10 catches in his second game in the past three with at least 180 yards and two scores. All three of Cooper's touchdowns 鈥?the others from 75 and 28 yards 鈥?were in the fourth quarter and overtime.Acquired from Oakland for a 2019 first-round draft pick seven games into the season, Cooper leads the NFL with 642 yards receiving since Week 9, his first game with the Cowboys. He had nine catches for 190 yards after halftime.The Cowboys went for it on fourth-and-1 from the Eagles 19 in overtime and got it with a 1-yard plunge from Ezekiel Elliott, who had 192 yards from scrimmage on 40 touches 鈥?28 carries for 113 yards and 12 catches for 79.Cooper converted a pair of third downs on the winning drive. The first one was big, too 鈥?a 12-yarder on third-and-9 from the Philadelphia 40."I was almost I guess I would say astonished that we were able to get that trade," said Prescott, whose has seen a significant jump in completion percentage, yards per game and passer rating in six games with Cooper."So I guess if you say that Authentic Deonte Thompson Jersey , when we're getting a trade, well, what's wrong? And then to get him and see everything turning out and playing out the way it is, we're very, very fortunate."Brett Maher set a Dallas franchise record with a 62-yard field goal on the final play of the first half and had three field goals.The game went from a defensive struggle with missed Dallas opportunities that kept the Eagles close to a wild fourth-quarter shootout.Wentz thought he had answered the 75-yard touchdown to Cooper with 3:01 remaining with a matching 75-yarder to tight end Dallas Goedert.But Goedert was called for pass interference, apparently for pushing off against Jeff Heath before bouncing off a helmet-to-helmet hit from Xavier Woods that wasn't called and running to the end zone from midfield.Philadelphia scored anyway, with Wentz leading a more methodical march to his third touchdown pass, a 6-yarder to Darren Sproles for a 23-23 tie with 1:39 to go in regulation.Douglas had the first interception of Prescott in the first half, but couldn't get a second hand on the ball for the depleted Philadelphia secondary against Cooper with the game on the line."I played it perfectly," he said. "I couldn't get the other hand in there to get the pick. I tried to bat it down."DEJA VUTwo years ago, the Cowboys won by the same score with a touchdown on the first possession of overtime. Prescott was on his way to NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year honors, and Elliott went on to win the league rushing title as a rookie. The 12-play, 75-yard drive took 7:12 and was capped by Prescott's 5-yard TD to now-retired tight end Jason Witten.LOPSIDED STATS, CLOSE GAMEThe Cowboys outgained the Eagles 576-256 and had twice as many first downs (32-16). Dallas ran 93 plays to 48 for Philadelphia and had the ball for 45:33 compared to 22:32 for the Eagles."Give them credit for fighting and scratching and clawing and doing the things necessary to stay in the ballgame," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said.INJURIESCowboys RG Zack Martin left in the second half with a knee injury. The four-time Pro Bowler has been battling a knee issue all season. ... Philadelphia RB Corey Clement injured his right knee when he was stopped for a 4-yard loss late in the first quarter and didn't return. ... Eagles defensive end Josh Sweat left in the first half with an ankle injury and didn't return.UP NEXTEagles: At LA Rams next Sunday.Cowboys: At Indianapolis next Sunday.


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