QB Matt Cassel - Dallas Cowboys
|6-5, 230||Born: 5-17-1982||College: USC||Drafted: Round 7|
Week 21: bye week
Recent Stats and Projections
Recent Game Summaries
2015 Week 15 vs NYJ (3 / 8 / 37 / 0 / 1 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)
Cassel struggled yet again with anything but check down throws. Before being benched in the mid-second quarter, Cassel's lone highlight was a well-thrown ball on a red zone out route only to be dropped by Dez Bryant. Cassel imploded with a horrific interception, attempting to throw away a blown up screen pass by the Jets. In Cassel's final moments under the center, he airmailed Dez Bryant on a deep out route and threw a third down crossing route well-behind Terrance Williams. With Dallas' playoff aspirations over, Cassel's time under center this season may be over to evaluate Kellen Moore for a potential backup job in the future.
2015 Week 14 vs GB (13 / 29 / 114 / 0 / 1 pass, 3 / 6 / 0 rush)
Cassel struggled through another limiting performance, now with a single passing touchdown over his last four games. The Packers pushed the pocket on Cassel's dropbacks, making Cassel look for short-range targets more than even his typical healthy rate. Cassel missed opportunities on his own with an early end zone overthrow of Jason Witten and missing an open Terrance Williams downfield, but Dez Bryant did not help Cassel much either. Bryant dropped four passes, including a tipped slant route into the air (ultimately intercepted) at the goal line. While Cassel has struggled, Dez Bryant's lackluster play in recent weeks has limited Cassel's effectiveness as well. Finishing the season with New York (Jets), Buffalo, and Washington on the schedule offer little optimism based on the matchups for a significant rebound.
2015 Week 13 vs WAS (16 / 29 / 222 / 0 / 0 pass, 2 / -3 / 0 rush)
In a game where neither team did much to overtly win the game, Matt Cassel made enough quality throws late to get the season-saving victory in Washington. Cassel avoided the turnover through air, while Dallas coughed up four fumbles, laboring to make intermediate and deep throws throughout the game. Cassel airmailed his first two substantial throws, one down the seam and another on a slant to Dez Bryant. Cassel also missed Terrance Williams down the sideline with another overthrown pass. Two significant throws were highlights of Cassel's performance. The first showed clear chemistry between Cassel and Williams on a back shoulder completion in the third quarter for a sizeable gain. Late in the game Cassel finally connected with Dez Bryant, a rarity this week, on a deep sideline pass. While the limitations of Cassel to outright win a game on his shoulders are clear, Washington and Kirk Cousins did little to claim victory on the other side.
2015 Week 12 vs CAR (13 / 19 / 93 / 1 / 0 pass, 2 / 9 / 0 rush)
Cassel was back leading the Cowboys offense against Carolina as Tony Romo broken his collarbone late in the third quarter. With Carolina's defense softening in the fourth quarter, Cassel collected garbage time production including a touchdown drive. Cassel favored Cole Beasley and Terrance Williams when in the game, including a rollout throw to Beasley for a positive morsel late in the game. With Cassel under center going forward, Dallas will need strong running game and defensive performances to win any of their remaining five games.
2015 Week 10 vs TB (19 / 29 / 186 / 0 / 1 pass, 1 / 2 / 0 rush)
In what was likely Cassel's final start before Tony Romo returns in Week 11, the field continued to shrink for the veteran backup against Tampa Bay. Cassel rarely looked downfield, opting to throw underneath, play it safe, and avoid the back-breaking mistake. The run game was not a successful focal point, putting Cassel consistently in obvious passing situations. Two quality throws stuck out for Cassel, both to tight ends on intermediate routes. Cassel found Gavin Escobar down the seam to convert third-and-long. Also, Cassel converted another similar situation to Jason Witten on a deeper out route. The rest of the game Cassel struggled to be a positive influence. On a rare Dallas opportunity in the red zone, Cassel held the ball on third down, taking a sack, and forcing a field goal. Late in the game Cassel had a pass tipped at the line of scrimmage and the fluttering ball dropped by a defender - an easy interception. As Dallas had one last gasp to win the low-scoring affair, Cassel targeted Dez Bryant deep in the end zone, against one-on-one coverage, only to have Bryant lose track of the ball and an interception end Dallas' chances.
2015 Week 9 vs PHI (25 / 38 / 299 / 3 / 1 pass, 2 / 17 / 0 rush)
Cassel limited his mistakes compared to previous outings, but periodic errors and missed opportunities cost Dallas a win against Philadelphia on offense. On the bright side Cassel made a Tony Romo-like off-script play, finding Terrance Williams for a long touchdown after spinning away from a sack attempt. An offensive pass interference penalty unfortunately negated the play. In critical moments, however, Cassel continues to be a limiting factor of the offense. Cassel stared down a receiver on the perimeter, leading to an interception returned for a touchdown. Earlier Cassel killed drives with a third down sack and throwing behind an open Dez Bryant on a routine crossing route. Dez Bryant's impact was a significant boost, but Tony Romo's return in the coming weeks is the missing piece to unlock the Dallas offense for any potential playoff push.
2015 Week 8 vs SEA (13 / 25 / 97 / 0 / 0 pass, 4 / 43 / 0 rush)
Cassel continued to struggle as the Cowboys starter. This week against Seattle saw the return of Dez Bryant, but the impact was minimal. Cassel continued to shrink the field with short-range passing within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage and consistently throwing in front of the first down marker. Dallas' offensive line performed well in pass protection and Cassel even scrambled for two sizeable gains in the game. Cassel and the offense stalled in field goal range regularly, but had an opportunity to win on the final drive with one minute remaining with a field goal. Cassel took a critical sack on third down followed by a failed jump ball attempt to quietly end the game. Cassel will be the limiting component of the Dallas offense until Tony Romo returns.
2015 Week 7 vs NYG (17 / 27 / 227 / 1 / 3 pass, 1 / 4 / 0 rush)
Brandon Weeden ran his course as a limited option under center for the Cowboys. Against the Giants, Matt Cassel did not prove to be any better. The offensive line exceled, paving running lanes reminiscent of last year's dominant performances, but Cassel struggled. His lack of arm strength was noteworthy as even intermediate throws required a clean pocket and loading up to get the ball to the perimeter. All three of Cassel's interceptions resulted from poor decision and arm strength limitations. The most glaring came on an ill-advised deep shot to Terrance Williams, floating short like a punt. On another occasion, Cassel made a poor comeback route throw to Williams resulting in an interception returned for a score. In the middle of the game three straight Dallas drives ended with a Cassel interception. Cassel rebounded, keeping Dallas in the game late, with two accurate throws outside the pocket on a touchdown drive. He found Williams then Devin Street rolling out salvaging an otherwise lackluster performance. Without a strong run game, Dallas loses this week soundly has Cassel, like Brandon Weeden, limits the passing game, shrinks the field, and hurts the team routinely with poor decisions and execution.
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