Scout's Eye: Credit To Carr, "Cute" Play Calls, Using Dunbar Correctly; More

ARLINGTON, Texas – It's always late when we finish up these primetime games and get our content posted. But as you prepare to start your week, here are a few notes that jumped out to me from the AT&T Stadium press box, where I watched the Cowboys grab a 26-20 win over the Bucs.

  • I am not surprised by the success the Cowboys had running the ball this evening. What did surprise me was their ability to throw it successfully. To drop back as many times as they did and protect for Dak Prescott the way they did was a credit to this offensive line. Robert Ayers, Gerald McCoy and Noah Spence are not easy to deal with in the passing game, and for the majority of this game they were no factor.
  • Once Tyrone Crawford went out of the game, I was concerned about how the Cowboys were going to compensate for his loss. Out of necessity, David Irving had to move from his best position at tackle to end, where he didn't miss a beat. Irving took complete advantage of backup tackle Gosder Cherilius. He bullied him to the point where the Buccaneers tried to double him – and even that didn't work. What is impressive about Irving is that despite his length, he still has great quickness to get off the ball -- which is what made him so disruptive in this game.
  • Film showed that the Buccaneers struggle at guard. Terrell McClain's sack and fumble of Jameis Winston early in the game was a perfect example of this. There was no way that Ali Mapet was strong enough to handle McClain or Maliek Collins one-on-one, and I knew this was going to be a problem for the Buccaneers throughout the game.
  • I am interested to see how many snaps there were where Brandon Carr was in coverage on Mike Evans. I have to admit that I was wrong in thinking Carr was not going to travel with Evans extensively. My gut feeling before the game was that Carr would see Evans in some nickel and dime packages, which would be it. Evans was able to make plays in this game, but he didn't make those game-changing plays that he has been known for throughout his career. I think Carr had something to do with that.
  • Better design by the staff of using Lance Dunbar this game. His strength is not as a blitz pickup back but one that plays in space. His catch on 3rd-and-6 from a stacked formation is exactly what we need to see from him the reminder of the season. Put him in spots where he can create issues for the defense.
  • Dak Prescott took advantage of the Buccaneers aggressive front four with his feet. They're not a big blitz team, they and like to play their linebackers in coverage. So when Prescott saw their backs to him, it was easy for him to take off. The Buccaneers did a poor job of keeping him in the pocket like the Vikings and Giants were able to do, which hurt them several times on third down. The lanes were there for Prescott to run, where it hadn't been the previous weeks.
  • What a tackle by rookie Kavon Frazier on the kickoff after the Ezekiel Elliott "Red Kettle" call. After the 15-yard walk off on the penalty, Dan Bailey was able to drive the ball to the Tampa Bay 10-yard line. Frazier, hustling down the field, was able to cut down Josh Huff inside the 25-yard line . On that drive, the defense was able to get off the field on a three-and-out, which allowed the offense to go up by two touchdowns.
  • What a throw by Dak Prescott to Dez Bryant in the middle of the field for a 23-yard gain. The offense was facing a 1st-and-20 after a holding call by Ronald Leary. Prescott was able to climb the front of the pocket and locate Bryant breaking inside. After a rough game route-running by Bryant against the Giants, it was perfectly executed and a great finish.
  • After their go ahead touchdown in the third quarter, the Buccaneers offensively went three-and-out on four of their last five drives. In those drives, they had two interceptions and three punts. Defensively they have struggled in that area, but they were able to have much more success these last two weeks of making that happen.
  • I can do without the reverse call on 3rd-and-2. I hate when this team gets cute with their play calling, especially when they have this offensive line and Ezekiel Elliott. Get the first down, keep the drive going and continue to wear their defense down. There are some outstanding calls they make scheme-wise -- but that was not one of them.
  • Speaking of calls. Credit to Jason Garrett for taking the field goal on 4th-and-1 there in the fourth quarter. It would have been easy for him to go for it there and try to win this game with a touchdown. He knew the condition of his defense and clearly felt that they could get another stop. As a matter fact they were able to get back-to-back stops to end the game.
  • From listening to Jerry Jones' postgame comments, it appears that Randy Gregory will be available to practice this week and will also be available to play next Monday night against the Detroit Lions if they want to activate him. From what I have seen from Gregory working on the field, he is in good shape and he has even added some weight to his frame.
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