The Dallas Cowboys will start this season striving for something that has never been done: attempting to win a home super bowl. Playing in a Super Bowl at home is, in itself, an incredibly unheard of feat. That being said a dynamic offense synced with a superb defense will be the identity of this Dallas Cowboys team against some difficult foes. So we’ll take a look at the schedule and predict how this season will unfold.
Week 1 - @ Washington
The Cowboys open the season in a rivalry game that offers a lot of new faces in new places. Mike Shanahan will lead Donovan McNabb and the Washington Redskins onto the field. In a battle that will seem lopsided the Cowboys Offense will overpower the Skins D.
Outcome: Dallas 31 – Wash 17
Week 2 – CHICAGO
The Cowboys open in Dallas against a rebuilding Chicago team. Jay Cutler will be under a fire storm and Miles Austin and Dez Bryant are going to torch Chicago’s passing D in a big way. Expect Ware to get multiple sacks against Cutler who looks like a statue in the pocket sometimes.
Outcome: Dallas 24 – Chicago 10
Week 3 - @ Houston
Houston is a sleeper for sure this year. They offer a tough matchup in the passing game. Owen Daniel and Andre Johnson provide Schaub legitimate targets that can get things rolling. The Houston D is also potent enough to considered a threat. However, the lack of a running game makes the passing attack an easier gameplan and the Boys win a close one.
Outcome: Dallas 27 – Houston 24
Week 5 – TENNESSEE
Another week with a lopsided offense. Dallas should be able to focus on CJ2K and Vince Young and dominate the young team. The Titans D allowed the 20th highest points per game last year and I expect the high scoring Cowboys to exploit that.
Outcome: Dallas 35 – Tennessee 16
Week 6 - @ Minnesota
There are two scenarios here, none of them good. Farve returns and dices the Cowboys Secondary. Favre doesn’t return and Jared Allen dices up the Cowboys new left tackle. Take your pick. There is upside, the game is a lot closer if Favre stays home.
Outcome Dallas: 17 – Minnesota 28
Week 7 – N.Y. GIANTS
Cowboys come off a loss in Minnesota by facing bitter rival New York. The Cowboys are lucky in this game as New York can’t get it’s running game established through a tough showing through the Dallas D. The Cowboys are able to use there running game to establish control and win a big statement game.
Outcome: Dallas 27 – New York 21
Week 8 – JACKSONVILLE
An easier game in the schedule, the Cowboys handle the inconsistent David Garrard with ease. This is a field day for a very talented Cowboys team and it’s over before the third quarter sees it’s halfway mark.
Outcome: Dallas 38 – 13
Week 9 - @ Green Bay
Dallas meets a equally talented team in the frozen tundra. Aaron Rodgers and Greg Jennings offer the Cowboys a chance to see what it feels like to be diced by a tremendous passing offense and Ryan Grant offers a good “Don’t forget me” aspect of the game. This one is a battle however, once that Mason Crosby decides on a frigid day.
Outcome: Dallas 24 – Green Bay 27
Week 10 - @ N.Y. Giants
Cowboys wont get caught again this time and face the first losing streak of the season with 2. Its hard to sweep the Giants and this time they’re a little more prepared.
Outcome: Dallas 21 – New York 28
Week 11 – DETROIT
The hard fighting Detroit Lions come to Dallas to get massacred. Detroit never gives up and Matt Stafford will surely be a force at quarterback in a few years but this time the Boys run them to hard on both sides of the ball and end this one quickly.
Outcome: Dallas 31 – Detroit 17
Week 12 – NEW ORLEANS
Last year the Cowboys walked into the superdome against an undefeated team. They won and the Saints are looking to exact revenge. Unfortunately, the Cowboys Defense puts in one of the strongest showings of the season and force 3 turnovers.
Outcome: Dallas 32 – New Orleans 27
Week 13 - @ Indianapolis
How many people run into Indianapolis and defeat Peyton Manning and the Colts? Answer: Not many. The Cowboys don’t’ get to do what other teams have before and lose to the offensive genius known as Peyton.
Outcome: Dallas 24 – IND 28
Week 14 – PHILADELPHIA
Last year is fresh on the Eagles mind and Kevin Kolb is starting to come into his own. However, Jenkins seems to have DeSean Jackson’s number and the Cowboys shut down a team that lives by the pass. On the other end of the ball Dez Bryant has taken over the # 2 spot by now and will dice up the weak Philly Secondary.
Outcome: Dallas 27 - Philly 17
Week 15 – WASHINGTON
The Cowboys sweep the Redskins who at this time are relying way too heavily on McNabb and are deeply in need of a quality running game.
Outcome: Dallas 21 – Wash 14
Week 16 - @ Arizona
The Cardinals are a mess at QB at this point the cards are thinking about next year and have inserted Anderson in as Leinharts replacement. Things aren’t looking good for the once impressive Arizona Cardinals as they face the upper class of the NFC. Marion Barber and Felix Jones take a lot of pressure off of Romo and the group as they coast to a low scoring, clock controlled game.
Outcome: Dallas 24 – Ari 9
Week 17 - @ Philadelphia
The Cowboys clinched the playoffs last week against Arizona and take this game to rest some starters. Since the NFC East is a few games back of the Boys, the Cowboys take this time to see what their depth looks like and plan ahead for a playoff game as the number 3 seed.
Outcome: Dallas 14 – Philly 24
Overall Season Outcome:
DAL 11-5; 3rd Seed NFC
Which Cowboys Benefit From David Irving’s Suspension?
While losing David Irving for the first four weeks of 2018 is a bad thing for the Dallas Cowboys defensive line, it does create opportunities for some of the other defensive tackles. Who has the most to gain from Irving's suspension?
Because he was mostly going to be used inside as the 3-technique DT, David's absence will naturally benefit the guys who are best suited to play that role. Thankfully, Dallas isn't lacking for those types of players.
Veteran Tyrone Crawford can use all the playing time he can get. As a likely salary cap casualty next year, Crawford doesn't want to get buried on the depth chart as Dallas focuses on their younger players who project to stick around beyond 2018.
With Irving out, Dallas will likely lean on Tyrone as they often do when someone is missing on the defensive line. With more talent now at defensive end, Crawford was going to be competing with Irving, Maliek Collins, Jihad Ward, and other younger guys for work at tackle.
But now there's a problem, and it's easy to slide Crawford into the 3-tech role that Dallas once envisioned him being a star at. Remember, it was their projection of Tyrone as a breakout DT that got him his big contract to begin with.
Yes, Irving's only gone for four weeks. Dallas will still be giving him work in camp based on the role he should fill for the majority of the season. But that's why a veteran like Tyrone Crawford is a great temporary plug-in, because he doesn't need all of the practice reps to step in and perform.
Another key beneficiary could be third-year DT Maliek Collins. Last season, Collins got stuck playing 1-technique and not getting the same opportunities to make plays and get noticed that he had his rookie year.
But now Dallas has several guys in Jihad Ward, Richard Ash, and Brian Price who can play the 1-tech role, which will hopefully get Collins back where he belongs. Maliek's athleticism belongs a little further away from center, letting him try to take on guards in single coverage.
Collins is dealing with a foot issue now but should be back for the preseason. That's enough time for him to be where he needs to be Week One, provided he's healthy.
How Dallas would balance playing time between Collins and Tyrone Crawford could be a matter of how much they play certain schemes. One could see Collins, the bigger guy, playing more in the base defense and then Crawford being used in passing situations.
There is always a lot of rotation in a Rod Marinelli line, so discussions about playing time can get a little silly. Unless you're a true stud like DeMarcus Lawrence who you don't want to take off the field, the Cowboys like to keep guys fresh.
But that's why this is a big opportunity; David Irving has that stud potential. He's the kind of talent who could keep solid players like Crawford and Collins out of view if he hits his stride.
For the first four weeks, though, Irving will be in the NFL doghouse and Dallas will likely lean on its two most experienced defensive tackles to fill the void. There will be more reps for guys like Datone Jones and Jihad Ward too, but Crawford and Collins have way more skins on the wall
That trust should keep them on the field more while David Irving's suspended, and perhaps beyond.
BREAKING: David Irving Suspended For 2nd Consecutive Year
For the second consecutive year, Defensive Lineman David Irving is being suspended for four games by the NFL. This time, the suspension comes after Irving violated the NFL's policy on substance of abuses, as Ian Rapoport reported.
Cowboys DL David Irving is being suspended 4 games for violating @NFL policy on substance of abuses, sources say. Another big-time D-linemen hit with a suspension for Dallas.
Irving will play for the Dallas Cowboys after the team placed a second-round tender on him earlier in the year. Why no team was interested in picking such a talented defensive tackle for a second round pick is becoming clearer and clearer as the time goes on.
In April, when David Irving got hacked by his former girlfriend one of the tweets that stood out the most was one which said "Wait until you all find about his failed drug tests." Now, we're seeing what the tweet was about.
Irving is a very talented player that could have a great career ahead of him. Of course, with this being the second consecutive year in which he receives a suspension to start the season, one could question how much he wants it.
The Cowboys will play the Panthers, Giants, Seahawks and Lions to start the season. They'll have to do it with one of their most promising defensive players in David Irving.
Here at Inside The Star, we'll keep you updated with this story and every Dallas Cowboys news.
Cowboys Offense Finds Rhythm to End Minicamp, Hurns and Gallup Stand Out
The Dallas Cowboys are back in offseason mode, concluding their OTAs and minicamp from The Star. With a hiatus until training camp, it was important for several high-profile players to make a strong first impression on the 2018 season. From the start of mini camp, these impressions were left mostly by Rod Marinelli's defense and -- more specifically -- Kris Richard's young group of cornerbacks.
Still working through significant change on the offensive side of the ball, the Cowboys did rally on day three under Quarterback Dak Prescott to put out a better performance. The Cowboys coaching staff should love their lasting memories of both FA acquisition Wide Receiver Allen Hurns and rookie Michael Gallup.
There is a strong chance that these two receivers will be the Cowboys starters in Oxnard for training camp. We have heard a lot about the impact new WR Coach Sanjay Lal has had on his group, slowing the game down to focus on route running. This will give the team's rotation of unproven receivers a chance with Prescott, as he can focus on throwing to a 'spot' more often.
One spot that Prescott has struggled to hit in two seasons as the starter in Dallas is the back of the end zone for fade routes. A red zone go-to under Scott Linehan, free agent WR Dez Bryant was often the intended target on these missed passes.
Less of a route running technician and closer to the mold of a physical player like Bryant, Allen Hurns emerging as the Cowboys #1 option would solve a lot of uncertainty at the WR position. In yesterday's practice, Hurns was able to haul in a perfect ball from Prescott on the fade as he beat Byron Jones.
It's going to take some time for Jones to readjust to playing cornerback, but the vision for Kris Richard of him and Chidobe Awuzie starting on the outside is a great one. In a battle of proven players, Hurns got the best of Jones to spark the Cowboys offense at the right time.
Overall, there should be no reason to panic about (well, really anything from mini camp) the Cowboys offense right now, and plenty of reasons to be excited about what this defense will develop into.
Once the pads come on at training camp, the players the Cowboys are paying to play at an elite level will start to shine, including their newly re-signed Guard Zack Martin -- the highest paid guard in the league now. There are no doubts that the bread and butter for this offense will be handing the ball to Ezekiel Elliott behind this wall of an offensive line.
From this increase in competition in the trenches, we'll also get more meaningful battles along the defensive line. In shorts and helmets for now, the Cowboys secondary was given their chance at mini camp, and came out solid early.
Another player they've struggled to truly corral though is Michael Gallup. Perhaps pressing a bit thanks to his limited opportunities thus far, Jourdan Lewis was taken across the field by Gallup on a misfire from Cooper Rush.
This is nothing new for Gallup however, who's been ahead of the curve on creating the desired separation as a "violent" receiver on the outside.
A steal with the 81st overall pick in this year's draft, Gallup has a long way to go in beating out the likes of Terrance Williams, Cedrick Wilson (limited through this portion of the offseason with injuries), and even Cole Beasley, who's received some reps on the outside.
With both Hurns and Gallup making plays on the Cowboys final practice until late July, it's easy to let the mind wander with possibilities of the Cowboys offense playing at full strength against a defense that might be up for the challenge better than ever compared to year's past.
As always, the practice fields of Oxnard will serve as a battle ground for a young but deep Cowboys team to earn their spots on the 53-man roster, one that surely won't have room for all of the wide receiver hopefuls seen this week in mini camp.
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