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2015 Dallas Cowboys: Feels A Lot Like Deja Vu

RJ Ochoa



Cowboys Blog - 2015 Dallas Cowboys: Feels A Lot Like Deja Vu

Between now and September we will see a lot of predictions, projections, and straight up guesses on the success of the 2015 Dallas Cowboys. People will pick games, assume things, and we’ll see who is proven right. One thing that won’t be mentioned as often though is that we’ve seen this team before… in the past.

Present teams get compared to past teams all the time though, right? The 2007 Patriots were compared to the 1999 Rams and their Greatest Show on Turf. Six years later the 2013 Broncos were compared to those 2007 Pats, and we’ll see another team in the future that makes us reflect on Peyton and his 2013 Bronco bunch. 30 years ago this season, the 1985 Bears forged a defense that became the measuring stick for all great ones.

So to whom will the 2015 Dallas Cowboys be compared? Better yet, how can we even compare them to anyone when all that has happened this year is free agency? The answer lies within the 2014 Dallas Cowboys (and some handy NFL history). Examining the success from 2014 and what we’ve seen in 2015 gives us just enough to reference a certain team’s two year period…the 2005-2006 Indianapolis Colts.

2005 Indianapolis Colts

The fourth rendition of Tony Dungy’s Colts (and Peyton Manning’s eighth) was pretty nifty and featured some moves that I’d like to reference in a second:

  • They locked up their stud right tackle, Ryan Diem, to a multi-year contract before the season began.
  • They lost every preseason game.
  • They played the NFC West.
  • Edgerrin James rushed for 13 TDs.
  • They won their division.
  • They lost in the divisional round of the playoffs.

“Alright RJ, where are you headed with this?” Settle in and check this out.

2014 Dallas Cowboys

The fourth (full) rendition of Jason Garrett’s Cowboys (and Tony Romo’s [full] eighth) …wait, what? You’re telling me that Tony Dungy and Peyton Manning were around for the exact same amount of time (excluding Tony Romo’s partial 2006 and Jason Garrett’s interim 2010) on the Cowboys as Dungy and Peyton Papa John were on the Colts? But wait! There’s more!

  • They locked up their stud left tackle, Tyron Smith, to a multi-year contract before the season began.
  • They lost every preseason game.
  • They played the NFC West.
  • DeMarco Murray rushed for 13 TDs.
  • They won their division.
  • They lost in the divisional round of the playoffs.

“Ok you got me. That’s kind of cool. But so what?” So what? So what?! You want more? Fine.

This 2005 Colts team was LOADED. They even had eight Pro Bowlers. Among the 2005 Colts’ Pro Bowlers were: QB Peyton Manning, RB Edgerrin James, and WR Marvin Harrison (What number did Marvin wear? What was it? 88? Huh, weird.) Triplets.

The Colts went on an absolute tear that season and were even 13-0 before the San Diego Chargers stopped their streak. Their playoff loss to Pittsburgh in the RCA Dome will always be remembered for Jerome Bettis’ fumble and Ben Roethlisberger’s heroic tackle to set up a Mike Vanderjagt shank that left the Colts devastated. It was a heart breaker, and it was time to look forward to 2006.

The 2014 Dallas Cowboys had… any guesses out there? Anyone? Bueller? Yes! Eight! Among the 2014 Cowboys’ Pro Bowlers were: QB Tony Romo, RB DeMarco Murray, and WR numero double ocho Dez Bryant. Triplets again?

The Cowboys didn’t exactly start off with a 13 game winning streak, but we did have a six-game streak that woke people up. Much like the Bettis fumble, our playoff loss will ALWAYS be remembered for the Dez play.

2006 Indianapolis Colts

“I’m not going to lie to you, RJ. You’ve got me interested. But how do the 2006 Colts factor into this? I don’t get it!” It’s your lucky day, my friend. I’ve got the answer! The WORLD CHAMPION 2006 Indianapolis Colts have some nifty moves of their own that I’d like to share with the class:

  • Edgerrin James left via free agency to the Arizona Cardinals.
  • Marvin Harrison signed a long-term contract.
  • They played the AFC East.

Tony and Peyton got off to their fifth and ninth respective Colts seasons by losing their prominent running back to the jaws of free agency. Nobody panicked. They addressed that need in the draft with rookie Joseph Addai out of LSU. This team started off on similar fire to 2005 and had another undefeated streak snapped…this time by Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys in Week 11. They managed to overcome this, though, and would go on to have ultimate success in the playoffs beating the Kansas City Chiefs in the Wild Card Round, the Baltimore Ravens in the Divisional Round, the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship, and the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI. World champs.

2015 Dallas Cowboys

“I’m with you now, RJ. Bring it home.” Obviously the 2015 season has yet to be played, or even scheduled for that matter, but we can draw some interesting parallels here. What do we know so far about the 2015 Dallas Cowboys?

  • DeMarco Murray left via free agency to the Philadelphia Eagles.
  • Dez Bryant has been franchise tagged.
  • We play the AFC East.

Look, I know that ultimately none of this guarantees anything. But it is worth looking back on and reflecting. The 2005 Colts had a heartbreaking divisional round loss to the Steelers much like our January loss to the Packers. They played the NFC West and AFC East in back to back years like we’re about to. They lost their pro bowl running back in free agency exactly like we just did. You know what they did next?

They won the Super Bowl.

Tell us what you think about "2015 Dallas Cowboys: Feels A Lot Like Deja Vu" in the comments below. You can also email me at, or Tweet to me at @RJOchoa!

I like long walks on the beach, mystery novels, no just kidding those suck. The Dallas Cowboys were put on this earth for us all to love and appreciate. I do that 24/7/365. I also love chicken parmesan. Let's roll. @RJOchoa if you wanna shout!



  1. Cowboys DJ EJ

    March 17, 2015 at 11:34 am

    nvm, I got it

  2. Coco™

    March 17, 2015 at 11:41 am

    “: 2015 Dallas Cowboys: Feels A Lot Like Deja Vu #DallasCowboys” WORTH THE READ

  3. Kevin Medina

    March 17, 2015 at 11:43 am

    “: 2015 Dallas Cowboys: Feels A Lot Like Deja Vu #DallasCowboys” @S_Villa23

  4. Kevin Medina

    March 17, 2015 at 11:43 am

    “: 2015 Dallas Cowboys: Feels A Lot Like Deja Vu #DallasCowboys”@NVTheDank

  5. Douglas Paul

    March 17, 2015 at 12:29 pm

    With a Return of Doomsday for the D and better protection for Romo, the Sky’s the limit!

  6. Douglas Paul

    March 17, 2015 at 12:29 pm

    With a Return of Doomsday for the D and better protection for Romo, the Sky’s the limit!

  7. Jorgen

    March 17, 2015 at 6:07 pm

    hahahahaha anything to give you hope. Because playing the AFC East is relevant and that’s how football works. Hahaha

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Star Blog

Cowboys en Español: Hablemos de los Coaches

Mauricio Rodriguez



Cowboys en Español: Hablemos de los Coaches
Smiley N. Pool / The Dallas Morning News

Lamentablemente, la temporada 2018 de los Dallas Cowboys ha llegado a su fin. Lo hizo cuando el equipo visitó Los Angeles para intentar sorprender a los Rams en su propio campo en la Ronda Divisional de los playoffs. Ni siquiera con una invasión exitosa de la afición de Dallas pudieron ganarse un pase al Campeonato de Conferencia. En vez de eso, los Cowboys estarán viendo desde casa y la afición estará preguntándose: ¿qué sigue para los Dallas Cowboys?

Parece ya una tradición anual que no podemos dejar pasar. Este momento en el que comenzamos a cuestionar, una vez más, que entrenador es digno de quedarse en la franquicia y cual debe irse. En esta edición de "Cowboys en Español," hablaremos específicamente de los tres principales coaches en el equipo.

Cowboys DC Rod Marinelli Should Be On The Hot Seat

Coordinador Defensivo Rod Marinelli

El futuro del coordinador defensivo de los Dallas Cowboys no se puede tratar sin mencionar a Kris Richard. Fue la defensiva la que llevó al equipo hasta la postemporada y fue la unidad que cargó al equipo en muchas de sus victorias. Incluso con la llegada de Amari Cooper a Dallas, la defensiva fue siempre el pilar de la franquicia esta temporada.

Jaylon Smith y Leighton Vander Esch sorprendentemente se perfilaron como uno de los mejores duos de linebackers en toda la liga, la línea defensiva fue muy exitosa con Randy Gregory y DeMarcus Lawrence en los extremos y con la grata sorpresa que fue Antwaun Woods en el centro. La secundaria vio la mejor temporada en la controversial carrera de Byron Jones e hizo un excelente trabajo con un talento decente, pero no genial.

Todo esto, y el haber terminado como la sexta mejor defensiva en puntos permitidos (20.2) y la quinta mejor contra la corrida (94.6), hace a Rod Marinelli merecedor de una ronda de aplausos. Sin embargo, Richard probablemente merezca más aplausos.

Fue Richard quien revolucionó la defensiva de los Cowboys y la convirtió en un grupo mucho más agresivo. Fue él quien implementó jugadas de "blitz" en el equipo (algo no común con Marinelli) y quien en un punto de la temporada, comenzó a seleccionar las jugadas desde la banda.

En esta posición, me parece que los Dallas Cowboys tienen que enfrentar la dura decisión de decirle a Marinelli que es tiempo de dejarle el puesto a Kris Richard. Si bien no se llevó un trabajo de head coach, es muy probable que le llovieran ofertas a Richard si no se hace con el título de coordinador defensivo en Dallas.

Scott Linehan Acknowledges Need for New "Wrinkles" in Cowboys Offense

Dallas Cowboys OC Scott Linehan (Tim Heitman / USA TODAY Sports)

Coordinador Ofensivo Scott Linehan

Con un equipo tan polémico como este, la afición de Dallas no concuerda en muchas cosas. Sin embargo, lo hacen al hablar del pésimo trabajo que Scott Linehan ha realizado mandando las jugadas en ofensiva. Realmente ha sido doloroso de ver y es en mi opinión, el mayor problema que tiene el equipo actualmente.

Semana tras semana, fuimos testigos de pésimas decisiones en la ofensiva de los Cowboys. Vimos como el equipo se aferraba a llenar la caja de defensivos antes de correr el balón con Ezekiel Elliott. Vimos incontables pases pantalla en tercera oportunidad y largo. Pero no solo es lo que vimos, sino lo que no vimos.

A pesar de la innegable habilidad para correr el balón de Dak Prescott, Linehan se rehusó a explotar esta versatilidad de su QB. Vimos pocos "QB sneaks," jugada donde el mariscal toma el balón bajo centro y consigue poco yardage detrás del empuje de su línea ofensiva.

Siendo honestos, los Cowboys llevan dos años sufriendo por este coordinador. Dejarlo volver en el 2019 sería una decisión ridícula. Los comentarios en la radio de Jason Garrett no lucen prometedores, pero realmente sería una sorpresa que fueran ciertos. Linehan no debe volver... punto.

Jerry Jones Delivers Vote of Confidence in "Real Deal" Jason Garrett

Head Coach Jason Garrett

El futuro en esta posición será muy debatido durante los próximos meses, pero de los tres que hemos mencionado es sin lugar a dudas el más seguro de todos. Nos guste o no, Jason Garrett estará al frente del equipo la próxima temporada.

Garrett está lejos de ser un gran coach y aún le hace falta demostrar que puede cumplir las aspiraciones de los Cowboys de traer un sexto Trofeo Lombardi a casa. Pero siendo honesto, este equipo debería tener suficiente con Garrett y un par de buenos coordinadores. ¿El problema? No hay un par de buenos coordinadores en el equipo.

Sin embargo, Garrett ha demostrado que cuenta con el amor y apoyo de sus jugadores. Ha demostrado que efectivamente, puede ganar la división (lo ha hecho en tres de los últimos cinco años). Este año el equipo le dio la vuelta a la temporada después de comenzar 3-5.

Lo más preocupante en mi opinión, es la falta de urgencia para despedir a Linehan, por ejemplo. Quizá a puerta cerrada Garrett quiere un cambio en su staff, pero nunca lo sabremos.

Jason Garrett no es un coach excelente, pero podría ser suficiente para llevar a los Cowboys a un Super Bowl si tiene un equipo adecuado. Todo parece indicar que su trabajo está seguro (incluso más de lo que pensamos) así que es tiempo de esperar que se arreglen sus coordinadores.

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys en Español: Hablemos de los Coaches" in the comments below, or tweet me @MauNFL and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!

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Star Blog

2018 Draft Class Season Review: LB Leighton Vander Esch

Kevin Brady



Leighton Vander Esch Lands on List of NFL's Top 10 Rookies

As the first round draft pick of America's Team, any player would be under a ton of pressure from all angles. Whether it's from the fans on the outside or the organization on the inside, the expectations around being a first round pick for the Cowboys are immense. But the pressure placed upon linebacker Leighton Vander Esch, from the second he was announced as the 19th overall draft pick, was second to none.

It felt like Cowboys Nation let out a collective groan when Vander Esch was taken, with fans hoping for a more glamorous first round selection. Someone like wide receiver Calvin Ridley or edge rusher Harold Landry would've done the trick, but after Vander Esch's rookie season it's hard to imagine either of those players would have had the impact Vander Esch did in 2018.

Though he didn't start a game until week 4, and didn't become the unquestioned full-time starting WILL until week 10, Vander Esch earned Pro Bowl honors for his rookie season. Tallying 140 total tackles and 2 interceptions, Vander Esch made his presence felt week in and week out.

No counting stats can fully measure Leighton Vander Esch's impact as a rookie, however.

Prior to the 2018 season, the Cowboys defensive success often came down to the health of Sean Lee. When available and playing at his best, Lee led an overachieving Cowboys defense to solid performances each week. But, when Lee went out (as he often did), the entire Cowboys defense seemed to fall apart.5 Studs and Duds From the Dallas Cowboys 2018 Season

This year, though, that all changed. When Sean Lee was out with injury the Cowboys defense got better. Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith became a versatile, hard hitting tandem the NFL immediately feared, and helped to direct the Cowboys defense to signature wins throughout the 2018 season.

There are arguments against taking any off-ball linebacker in the first round, as the value of the position has been questioned due to the new style of offense in the NFL. Nowadays linebackers are relegated to two-down players, taken off the field in favor of faster defensive backs on critical passing downs.

Leighton Vander Esch is athletic enough to be both an old school run stopper, but also a three down linebacker in today's fast paced NFL.

Despite the doubts which surrounded the pick, the Cowboys absolutely nailed their first round selection in 2018. And Leighton Vander Esch made Dallas' front office look like geniuses each and every Sunday.

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Star Blog

What Is The Cowboys Most Pressing Offseason Need?

Kevin Brady



Can we Believe General Manager Jerry Jones?

Finishing their season with a Division Round loss, Dallas Cowboys fans are getting a somewhat late start on the 2019 offseason. Of course, we'd much rather a later start, but the results are what they are.

Now Dallas must get better, and re-tool before heading into Dak Prescott's fourth season, and the Cowboys' 2019 campaign. Though they didn't feel all that close to a championship this season, looking around the roster, it's actually tough to identify one key need the Cowboys must address.

They are filled with young, talented players that they have high hopes for across the board. And in the places they are "older," such as across the offensive line, they have established veterans who aren't going anywhere anytime soon.

So what is the Cowboys' most pressing offseason need?

Well, despite already using their 2019 first round pick to address it, the answer very well might be wide receiver.

Adding Amari Cooper midseason provided a massive jolt to the Cowboys previously anemic passing attack, but on his own he is not enough to take this passing game to where it needs to be to compete in this new NFL.

Third round pick Michael Gallup is going to be a very good pro, and progressed really well as his rookie season went on. I think he can play opposite Amari Cooper nicely, and be the number two option in the passing game going forward.

Though arguably their best wide out against man coverage, Cole Beasley is a free agent, and if the reports are true about Scott Linehan returning in 2019 it could very well mean Beasley will not be opting to sign back with Dallas.

Regardless of Beasley's decision, however, the Cowboys need to seriously evaluate their pass catchers heading into next season.

This is a passing league. The rules have dictated that you must be able to pass the ball efficiently if you want to compete with the best of the best around the NFL. To take the next step in their progression, and reach an NFC title game and/or Super Bowl, Dak Prescott will need to have as explosive a group of pass catchers as possible.

The Cowboys have already taken solid steps to making this a reality, but another move or two this offseason could go a long way to putting Dallas in the conversation with teams like the Rams and the Saints in 2019.

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