The Favorites dominated challenges, so everyone had to put up with Phillip's Stealth R Us. Cochran and Dawn were actually set up well early, always in the majority alliance within the Favorites. I think they would have stuck by Phillip, which would have meant Dawn would be out sooner.
Due to Reynold's cockiness, he could never get back in with anyone, and therefore Eddie the self-admitting idiot had to suffer the same fate.
Sherri never had much of a chance to strategize, since she had so little power from the merge onward, so her only hope was a social game, but few players seemed to like her.
Dawn's fatal move was ousting Brenda. If she'd betrayed Cochran right then, then Erik would have gone out, Brenda would have held Dawn to the final three. And Dawn probably would have received some votes. But Cochran was good about playing therapist and keeping Dawn in his corner.
The jury usually has some bitter people, some grandstanding. I actually loved how Sherri slapped Erik down and wasn't going to let him just sit there and insult her. I also liked how Michael pointed out that Cochran and Dawn played pretty much the same game, but Dawn was taking all the heat while Cochran sat unscathed. Didn't stop Michael from voting for Cochran either. Brenda was understandably hurt, but all my sympathy went away when she made Dawn take out her teeth. That was just mean and ugly.
The reunion finale wasn't great. For the first time, non-jury players weren't even allowed on the stage (partially to hide that producers did not want Brandon Hantz to come back.) Jeff wasted time interviewing some 11-year-old girl, publicity hog Boston Rob coincidentally ready to shill for his new book, Rudy wondering where his queer pal Richard was, and yet all those players who went before the jury got zip. Corinne only got a camera shot because Dawn said her name.
Anyway, Cochran is one of my favorites to actually win the game. Great character.
Sidenote: I've seen some of the social media hate directed toward Dawn, and it is evil.
Other sidenote: Next season is Blood v Water, which I believe means some of the contestants will be related.