2016-2017 Game by Game Analyses/Team Grades/Player of the Week Honors

Dallas Cowboys DCFD 2016 MVP: Ezekiel Elliott(14x)

2016 Schedule
Regular Season

Week 1 New York Giants Loss 20-19 (0-1)

Analysis: Overall, this was very disappointing performance by the team. Not many players looked sharp, looking to see a much better performance in week 2 in another important divisional game.

Team Grade: C+

Player of the Week Honor: Dan Bailey 4/4 FGs (56,54,25,23) 1/1 XPs

Week 2 @ Washington Redskins Won 27-23 (1-1)

Analysis: The team was definitely clicking on the offensive side of the ball as Dez showed why he is the best at what he does, Dak scored his first NFL touchdown, and Alfred Morris got into the endzone for the game-winning touchdown against his former team. The defensive side of the ball looked much better than last week, but they still have a lot of work to do.

Team Grade: B+

Player of the Week Honor: Dez Bryant 7 catches 102 yards and Dak Prescott(3x) 22/30 292 yards, 1 rush 6 yards 1 rushing touchdown

Week 3 Chicago Bears Won 31-17 (2-1) Win Streak: 2 Games

Analysis: This was an expected performance against a bad Chicago Bears team. Nonetheless the Boys did what they had to do and it was a great overall team performance.

Team Grade: A

Player of the Week Honor: Dak Prescott(4x) 19-24 248 yards 1 TD, 4 rushes 36 yards 1 TD and Ezekiel Elliott(2x) 30 rushes 140 yards 2 catches 20 yards

Week 4 @ San Francisco 49ers Won 24-17 (3-1) Win Streak: 3 Games

Analysis: Dallas played pretty well against a poor 49ers team. The run game continued to be dominant from the line of scrimmage on. Demarcus Lawrence will be a BIG help to the entire defense next week.

Team Grade: B

Player of the Week Honor: Ezekiel Elliott(3x) 23 rushes 138 yards 1 TD, 1 catch 19 yards and Morris Claiborne 7 tackles 1 INT (27 yards) 1 pass deflection; Torrey Smith 1 catch 3 yards

Week 5 Cincinnati Bengals Won 28-17 (4-1) Win Streak: 4 Games

Analysis: The team dominated on all fronts of the ball. The score was not even indicative of how bad it really was. The Bengals had a late score and the Cowboys took their foot off the pedal for pretty much the entire second half. One of the best performances by the Cowboys in the last decade.

Team Grade: A+

Player of the Week Honor: Ezekiel Elliott(4x) 15 rushes 134 2 TDs 3 catches 37 yards and Morris Claiborne 2 pass deflections; A.J. Green 4 catches 50 yards

Week 6 @ Green Bay Packers Win 30-16 (5-1) Win Streak: 5 Games

Analysis: The entire team played very well and got the job done in a strong statement at the historic Lambeau Field. The score is not indicative of how dominant of a game this was for America’s Team. Speculation aside, Tony Romo is still the quarterback of this football club.

Team Grade: A

Player of the Week Honor: Ezekiel Elliott(5x) 28 rushes 157 yards 2 catches 17 yards, David Irving 4 tackles 1 sack, 3 forced fumbles 1 fumble recovery 1 pass deflection

Week 7 BYE (5-1) Win Streak: 5 Games

Analysis: Dak Prescott figures to play again in week 8 after the bye, with Tony Romo’s probable return coming against a sweet match-up against the win-less Cleveland Browns in week 9. Also, it is worth noting that Demarcus Lawrence figures to get much more usage, and Darren McFadden’s situation should be closely monitored as well. It is very possibly that the running back who ran for nearly 1,000 yards (960 yards weeks 6-16) after taking over as the starter for almost 11 games (technically 10 games), prior to him sustaining an injury in week 16.

Week 8 Philadelphia Eagles Win 29-23 (6-1) Win Streak: 6 Games

Analysis: In a hard fought battle the team showed so much grit and determination in a game that was sloppy at times.

Team Grade: A

Player of the Week Honor: Dez Bryant(2x) 4 catches 114 yards 1 TD, Ezekiel Elliott(6x) 26 rushes 92 yards 4 catches 52 yards, Dak Prescott(5x) Game-Winning Touchdown pass, Jason Witten Game-Winning Touchdown catch

Week 9 @ Cleveland Browns Win 35-10 (7-1) Win Streak: 7 Games

Analysis: As expected, a great time effort and win in a game that the team could have easily won with minimal effort. A win that shown a great deal of character. And as predicted the team gained so high of a lead that Mark Sanchez was indeed playing fourth quarter garbage time football. Hey, he now has a 100% (1-1, 8 yards). However, the main bright spot was the effectiveness of Jason Witten, what a game by the veteran, legend tight end.

Team Grade: A+

Player of the Week Honor: Jason Witten(2x) 8 catches 134 yards 1 TD, Ezekiel Elliott(7x) 18 rushes 92 yards 2 TDs 1 catches 5 yards, and Dak Prescott(6x) 21-27 247 yards 3 TDs 4 rushes 20 yards

Week 10 @ Pittsburgh Steelers Win 35-30 (8-1) Win Streak: 8 Games

Analysis: A fantastic comeback team win by the Dallas Cowboys. The offense was on fire and the young buck Ezekiel Elliott had his first career 200 yard game!

Team Grade: A

Player of the Week Honor: Ezekiel Elliott(8x) 21 rushes 114 yards 2 TDs 2 catches 95 yes 1 TD and Dez Bryant(3x) 6 catches 116 yards 1 TD

Week 11 Baltimore Ravens Win 27-17 (9-1) Win Streak: 9 Games

Analysis: Even though I felt that Tony Romo (it was an EXTREMELY close decision) should have returned as the starter, the decision has now been made and that is not something that the team can turn back on at this point, especially since Dak Prescott is such a good player and with his game managing skills, he just will not let that happen. As for the game, Dak’s first game as the official #1 quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys was an outstanding performance as the team executed to perfection.

Team Grade: A+

Player of the Week Honor: Dez Bryant(4x) 6 catches 80 yards 2 TDs, Dak Prescott(7x) 22-32 319 yards 2 TDs, and Ezekiel Elliott(9x) 25 rushes 96 yards 4 rec 30 yards

Week 12 Washington Redskins Win 31-26 (10-1) Win Streak: 10 Games

Analysis: The first Thanksgiving for the young guns was a great success as everything was clicking for the offense. Dak was on fire, Zeke had a feast, Dez absolutely exposed Josh Norman, and the rest of the O was there. The only mishaps happened in the secondary as they definitely had trouble at times, most notably when Washington was playing out of the no huddle. Overall, a very good team performance, as well as a great Thanksgiving feast for young Zeke!

Team Grade: B+

Player of the Week Honor: Ezekiel Elliott(10x) 20 carries 97 yards 2 TDs 2 catches 23 yards, Dez Bryant(5x) 5 catches 72 yards (burnt Josh Norman), and Dak Prescott 17-24 195 yards 1 TD 8 rushes 39 yards 1 TD(8x)

Week 13 @ Minnesota Vikings Win 17-15 (11-1) Win Streak: 11 Games

Analysis: The offense was not hitting too well, but, the defense had a nice performance. This was not Dallas Cowboys football, but they did what they had to do to get it done.

Team Grade: B

Player of the Week Honor: Dez Bryant(6x) 4 catches 84 yards 1 TD and Ezekiel Elliott(11x) 20 rushes 86 yards 1 TD 4 catches 19 yards

Week 14 @ New York Giants Loss 10-7 (11-2)

Analysis: A very disappointing game for the Dallas Cowboys, however there were positives everywhere, especially, for the defense as they had possibly their best performance of the season. Sean Lee was everywhere and even Benson Mayowa had a coming out party of his own. Ezekiel Elliott had a nice game pilling up first downs on one of the best rush defensive lines in the NFL as well. Overall, the Cowboys could and should have easily won this game, it is very disappointing considering they beat themselves in this one.

Team Grade: C

Player of the Week Honor: Sean Lee 18 tackles 1 Fum Rec, Ezekiel Elliott 24 rushes 107 yards(12x)

Week 15 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Win 26-20 (12-2)

Analysis: This was a very strong overall performance from the entire team. Zeke Elliott put the world on notice with his famous “Kettle Leap” as well as another remarkable hurdle, and David Irving put the world on notice with an absolutely dominating performance to the point at which he was simply not guardable. The standard was set so high by these two that even though many other players played well and there were many other highlight plays (Dak Prescott nearly 90% completion percentage/rushing touchdown, Dez Bryant 8 catches 82 yards, Jason Witten 10 catches, Byron Jones First Career INT, etc.) these were on an island of their own. Even though the secondary did pull in a season high 3 interceptions, there were some issues in the secondary at times and most of those interceptions can be majorly associated with the pass rush.

Team Grade: A

Player of the Week Honor: Ezekiel Elliott 23 rushes 159 yards 1 TD(13x) and David Irving 1.5 sacks 2 TFL 1 PD (2x)

Week 16 Detriot Lions Win 42-21 (13-2) Win Streak: 2 Games

Analysis: This was just an excellent, A+ , all-around team performance by a team hitting their stride to perfection right before playoff time. The team was absolutely dominant in every facet of the game.

Team Grade: A+

Player of the Week Honor: Dez Bryant 4 catches 70 yards 2 TDs Passing: 1/1 10 yards 1 TD(7x), Dak Prescott 15/20 212 yards 3 TDs 4 carries 35 yards(9x), Ezekiel Elliott 12 carries 80 yards 2 TDs 1 catch 12 yards(14x), David Irving 3 tackles 1.5 sacks 1.5 tackles for loss 3 quarterback hits 1 pass deflection(3x)

Week 17 @ Philadelphia Eagles Loss 13-27 (13-3)

Analysis: Overall, a majority of the team had taken this one off in preparation of the Divisional Playoff game. We saw a limited Dak Prescott, and we didn’t see Ezekiel Elliott or Sean Lee. That means Ezekiel Elliott will finish 6 yards less (30 rushing yards more, 36 receiving yards less) and 1 TD more (3 rushing touchdowns more, 2 receiving touchdowns less) than I projected prior to the start of the season. In regards to this weeks player of the week, it was none other than the legendary gunslinger himself, Tony Romo. Yes, we finally got to see Tony play in week 17, and it was great. He came in for one drive and marched the Boys down the field in no time to what seemed to be a very easy touchdown. Another Cowboy that silently played well was Damien Wilson. Wilson played well with 8 tackles 3 tackles for a loss and a pass deflection. This 4th round pick from the 2015 draft is signed through 2018 so it is interesting to see what the Cowboys will do with him next season. However, the focus right now is preparing for Super Bowl LI and getting ready to add a 6th to the trophy case!

Team Grade: B-

Player of the Week Honor: Tony Romo 3/4 29 yards (1 pass interference drawn) 1 TD (1 drive)



Week 1 @ Los Angeles Rams Loss 28-24

Analysis: This was a very exciting game as the team hooked on all cylinders in the first half, which is all that really matters.

Team Grade: A-

Player of the Week Honor: Dak Prescott 10-12(2 drops) 139 yards 2 touchdowns, 2 carries 13 yards(1 kneel)

Week 2 vs. Miami Dolphins Win 41-14

Analysis: The entire team played extremely well. A great overall team performance.

Team Grade: A

Player of the Week Honor: Dak Prescott(2x) 12-15 199 yards 2 touchdowns 3 rushes 28 yards 2 touchdowns and Alfred Morris 13 carries 85 yards 1 touchdown 1 catch 15 yards

Week 3 @ Seattle Seahawks Loss 27-17

Analysis: The war was won as Ezekiel Elliott played dominant smash mouth football. The injury to Tony Romo is frustrating but it looks like he is going to be okay.

Team Grade: B

Player of the Week Honor: Ezekiel Elliott 7 rushes 48 yards

Week 4 vs. Houston Texans Loss 28-17

Team Grade: C+

Analysis: As a unit, the team played poor. However, Anthony Brown had an INT TD,  Darius Jackson had a nice screen catch touchdown, David Irving showed some more promise by forcing a fumble, and Dax Swanson and Mike MaCado made some nice plays. Without these three players, the team grade would not have been so good. This is not a bad thing because it made it even more clear who is making the team.

Player of the Week Honor: Anthony Brown 1 INT 59 INT yards 1 TD, 5 tackles

Published by: Nicco Vocaturo


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