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Four Quarters with Jamal Adams: The Second Quarter

Dallas Cowboys v New York Jets Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images

This quarter is a good reminder of how frequently safeties are not directly involved in the outcome of a play.

1ST & 10 AT DAL 29(13:37)

(13:37) (Shotgun) E.Elliott right tackle to DAL 29 for no gain (S.McLendon).

Adams’ major contribution to this play is, seemingly, whatever he was so emphatically attempting to communicate pre-snap. He’s a very vocal and demonstrative leader. We’ll find out in time if he’s a good leader.

Adams is walking back at the snap.

Though he’s near he doesn’t contribute anything substantial to the outcome of this play.

2ND & 10 AT DAL 29(13:03)

(13:03) (Shotgun) D.Prescott pass short right to T.Austin to DAL 42 for 13 yards (T.Johnson).

Safety blitz. Adams times the snap pretty well but he’s an awful long way from the line of scrimmage.

Facing right tackle Brandon Knight without the aid of surprise Adams is dispatched without incident.

1ST & 10 AT DAL 42(12:29)

(12:29) E.Elliott right tackle to DAL 42 for no gain (K.Phillips; Q.Williams).

He closes well from about 15 yards beyond the line of scrimmage, but that’s about all that can be said regarding Adams for this play.

2ND & 10 AT DAL 42(11:54)

(11:54) (Shotgun) D.Prescott pass incomplete short left to M.Gallup.


Picked up.

I’ve never really been a fan of the safety blitz. Gregg Williams’ performance as a coach and defensive coordinator certainly does not sway me. I’ll take boring but good any day.

3RD & 10 AT DAL 42(11:49)

(11:49) (Shotgun) E.Elliott left end to DAL 45 for 3 yards (M.Maye). Penalty on DAL-C.Fleming, Offensive Holding, declined.

Adams is not directly involved in the outcome of this play, but I do want to highlight his range and ability to work through trash to close on the ball carrier.

At the snap.

Where he is when he recognizes the run.

Where he is when Ezekiel Elliott is tackled.


1ST & 10 AT DAL 38(08:32)

(8:32) (Shotgun) D.Prescott pass short right to J.Witten to DAL 45 for 7 yards (F.Fatukasi).

I circled Adams and drew a square around Jason Witten. In other words, pfft.

2ND & 3 AT DAL 45(08:02)

(8:02) E.Elliott left guard to DAL 46 for 1 yard (F.Fatukasi; L.Williams).

Adams does a good job of staying free of Witten’s block.

That’s all I can really say about this play.

There’s a reason edge players are paid almost twice as much as safeties.

3RD & 2 AT DAL 46(07:24)

(7:24) (Shotgun) D.Prescott pass short left to C.Wilson to NYJ 40 for 14 yards (M.Maye) [N.Hewitt]. NYJ-N.Hewitt was injured during the play.

Adams covers Witten.

Witten gets a free release and beats Adams pretty soundly out of his break.

In retrospect, I should have picked a Jets’ opponent which featured a better tight end. Zach Ertz and Mark Andrews, for instance, both had big games against New York. New York finished 12th overall according to DVOA at defending opposing tight ends.

Prescott targets Cedrick Wilson Jr.

1ST & 10 AT NYJ 40(07:04)

(7:04) (Shotgun) T.Pollard right end to NYJ 38 for 2 yards (J.Adams).

Adams is again matched opposite Witten.

He gets an excellent jump and is able to rock Witten back about a yard.

Adams stays under Witten, more or less steering him around, and sets a really quality edge here.

While being held Adams is able to separate enough and tackle Tony Pollard just as Pollard attempts to shoot around the edge.

Adams is hard to see between Witten and Pollard, but he’s there doing a good job. This is unfortunately the best image I could find of the play.

2ND & 8 AT NYJ 38(06:27)

(6:27) (Shotgun) D.Prescott pass incomplete deep left to M.Gallup [F.Fatukasi].

Adams is in a deep zone away from the play.

3RD & 8 AT NYJ 38(06:21)

(6:21) (Shotgun) D.Prescott pass short middle to T.Austin to NYJ 15 for 23 yards (J.Adams) [J.Jenkins].

Adams is once again in man coverage of Witten.

He plays solid off coverage but Witten’s essentially a decoy.

Prescott targets Austin shallow and Austin proves he still has some juice in the open field. Though Adams is awarded the tackle, this is what actually happens.

All in all, it’s a perfectly fine and very easy play for Adams.

1ST & 10 AT NYJ 15(05:50)

(5:50) E.Elliott left end to NYJ 11 for 4 yards (A.McClellan; B.Poole).

This is another play in which Adams does a good job closing from a ways off.

He takes a false step pursuing the ghost motion ...

but recovers quickly enough.

He doesn’t make the tackle but he’s well positioned.

2ND & 6 AT NYJ 11(05:06)

(5:06) (Shotgun) E.Elliott left tackle to NYJ 6 for 5 yards (D.Roberts; A.McClellan).

This play’s away from him and functionally over before he’s within five yards.

3RD & 1 AT NYJ 6(04:29)

(4:29) E.Elliott up the middle to NYJ 7 for -1 yards (F.Fatukasi; Q.Williams).

Adams is again opposite Witten.

He sheds Witten’s block and flashes into the hole.

That drives Elliott back toward the middle where three Jets combine for the tackle.

Adams is not awarded the tackle, but it’s his play. He does the hard part. He does the essential part. Folorunso Fatukasi does an excellent job of splitting a double team and securing the other half of the tackle.

4TH & 2 AT NYJ 7(03:51)

(3:51) (Shotgun) D.Prescott left end to NYJ 8 for -1 yards (Q.Williams; J.Adams).

If the last play was Adams’s play which Quinnen Williams took part in, this is Quinnen Williams’ play which Adams took part in.

Dak keeps. Elliott lead blocks. His target is Jamal Adams.

But he ends up joining Cameron Flemming (75) in an egregious hold of Tarell Basham (93).

Adams isn’t really where he should be.

But it doesn’t matter too much as Williams flies across the line from left defensive end to off left tackle and wraps Prescott for the loss of one. Adams “assists” though I’m not sure this play would have ended any differently if he didn’t.

1ST & 10 AT DAL 25(03:34)

(3:34) D.Prescott pass short right to B.Jarwin to DAL 26 for 1 yard (T.Johnson) [K.Phillips].

Adams is circled. The play is outlined with a square.

2ND & 9 AT DAL 26(02:59)

(2:59) (Shotgun) D.Prescott pass short right to T.Austin to DAL 33 for 7 yards (T.Johnson).

Adams plays off of Dalton Schultz. Schultz is running a decoy route. Adams is in good position when the tackle is made.

3RD & 2 AT DAL 33(02:19)

(2:19) (Shotgun) D.Prescott pass incomplete short left to B.Jarwin (J.Adams).

I’ve seen this play on a highlight reel.

Adams goes over the pick set by Austin allowing Blake Jarwin to get open.

But Dak throws the ball behind Jarwin allowing Adams back into the play.

That’s all Adams needs. He headbutts Jarwin’s left elbow and knocks the ball loose with his left hand.

It’s a pretty good play. I wish it weren’t made possible by a bad pass.

1ST & 10 AT DAL 25(00:27)

(:27) (Shotgun) D.Prescott pass short right to J.Witten to DAL 34 for 9 yards (B.Cashman).

Adams plays very deep. The pass is nowhere near him.

2ND & 1 AT DAL 34(00:21)

(:21) (Shotgun) D.Prescott pass incomplete deep left to C.Wilson.

Adams is circled. Gallup, in a square, looks open to me but he’s doubled and Prescott never really looks his way.

3RD & 1 AT DAL 34(00:16)

(:16) (Shotgun) D.Prescott pass short middle to M.Gallup to NYJ 49 for 17 yards (T.Johnson).

Adams has the ultra-unimportant role of covering Witten shallow over the middle. Which he does well enough. Prescott is lucky enough to turn this disgustipating throw into a 17 yard reception.

If you’re wondering, Gallup was running the opposite direction. ’Tis nice to have elite surrounding talent.

1ST & 10 AT NYJ 49(00:09)

(:09) (Shotgun) D.Prescott pass short right to J.Witten to NYJ 44 for 5 yards (B.Cashman).

Adams is covering Elliott on the left and doesn’t contribute to the outcome of this play.

2ND & 5 AT NYJ 44(00:05)

(:05) B.Maher 62 yard field goal is GOOD, Center-L.Ladouceur, Holder-C.Jones.

And that’s it!

I’m desperate to put on the Blazers game, and so I’ll reserve further commentary for now, but I think the tape speaks for itself. It’s very clear that Adams does some things very well. He’s not inconsistent by any stretch. I also do not see him making too many plays in coverage. But we’ve a half to go. We’ll see.