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3 Biggest Dallas Cowboys Surprises So Far

Mauricio Rodriguez



As Cowboys Nation is still getting over the Dallas Cowboys 42-17 loss to the Denver Broncos, this week hasn't been that much fun. However, Jason Garrett's team is ready to take on the Arizona Cardinals.

And even though it hasn't been a perfect start to the season, there are some things that have surprised many of us. Today on Inside The Star we'll discuss the three biggest surprises of the season.


Jaylon Smith Leads The Team In Tackles

There was a point during the offseason, when some of us didn't expect Jaylon to have significant playing time until midseason. Probably we just didn't want to get our hopes up. Fortunately, Jaylon is an animal and has been playing without problem.

He has shown explosiveness, and there's no doubt he will be able to improve a lot as the season continues. While he's been good, he isn't at 100% yet. Think about it, he hadn't play football in a long time after his devastating injury.

Once he is at the level he was supposed to be on coming out of Notre Dame... watch out.

Brandon George on Twitter

Cowboys LB Jaylon Smith leads the team with 23 tackles (per coaches film) through 2 games. Sean Lee has 21.

I think it's very surprising to see him lead this defense in tackles. At the end of it all, he was a player who probably wouldn't have seen that much action had Anthony Hitches been healthy to open the season.

Keep doing what you're doing, Jaylon.


Sacks Machine: DeMarcus Lawrence

5 Takeaways From Cowboys Win VS Giants

Dallas Cowboys DE DeMarcus Lawrence (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Pass rush? Is that a thing for the Dallas Cowboys? DeMarcus Lawrence sure is making a case.

Lawrence has had trouble remaining healthy for the team before, and now that he is healthy (and in his contract year) he is killing it at playing football and sacking quarterbacks.

Officially, #90 has three and a half sacks through two games. Benson Mayowa led the team with six in 2016. If DeMarcus keeps it up, the Dallas Cowboys may find a more than decent pass rush.

DE Damontre Moore is returning from a two-game suspension this Monday and when the Cowboys play the Packers in week 5, David Irving will also be back on the roster. Things are looking good for this Cowboys DL.

Lawrence is actually close to making history. Only two players in the history of the NFL have opened the season with three consecutive multi-sack games. If DeMarcus Lawrence sacks Carson Palmer twice this week he will become just the third player to do such a thing. And the first one since 1998.


Jason Witten Is An NFL Leader

Yes, you read that right. 35-year old Gold Jacket Witten leads the NFL in a particular category.

Receptions. Now, I know it's early on the season but that is a very surprising stat. Witten leads the NFL with 17 catches so far. While so many people argue that ol' number 82 is too old to be a starter for the Cowboys, Jason is making a statement here.

Witten1 - Streamable

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I'm sure most of Cowboys Nation is happy for him though. Jason Witten has given this franchise everything he's got.

Travis Kelce and Zach Ertz have just 13 receptions so far.

Jason also is the only player in the Cowboys roster not named Dak Prescott with more than one TD. Not saying that is necessarily a good thing, but Witten is very important for this football team and the fact that he's still contributing in such a way to this offense says a lot.

Keep balling, GOAT, keep balling.


I know last week the Dallas Cowboys suffered a tough loss versus the Broncos... but it's time to move on. This team simply had a terrible day and were outplayed in every aspect of the game. It's time to focus on the good things and get ready for a bounce back win against the Arizona Cardinals.

Are you ready for some Dallas Cowboys Monday Night Football?

Tell me what you think about "3 Biggest Dallas Cowboys Surprises So Far" 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!

I love to write, I love football and I love the Dallas Cowboys. I've been rooting for America's team all the way from Mexico ever since I can remember. If you want to talk football, I'm in... You'll find me at @PepoR99.

  • Frederick Zachery

    I just want to know, who are the people arguing that Jason Witten is to old to be a starter?

    • Mauricio Rodriguez

      They are out there, Frederick. Trust me, I don’t know why, but they are out there.

    • John Williams

      Witten is still effective in the pass game, but his blocking ability has really diminished over the last couple of years. There isn’t a better option on the roster right now, but Witten isn’t perfect at this point.

      • Frederick Zachery

        Perfect? Ok, I’ll give you that but that can be said about anyone. The statement was “While so many people argue that ol’ number 82 is too old to be a starter for the Cowboys”. I just haven’t heard any. I know they are out there, I just didn’t think there were THAT many!

        • John Williams

          I don’t think there is a better option for Dallas at this moment. Witten is still a great player in his own right, but struggles at times.

Star Blog

Where In The World Is DE Taco Charlton?

Kevin Brady



Sean's Scout: Defense Comes Alive In Loss At LA Rams 2
Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Over pretty much the last decade, the Dallas Cowboys have been rock solid with their first round picks. With selections of Ezekiel Elliott, Travis Frederick, Byron Jones, Tyron Smith, Zack Martin, and Leighton Vander Esch (just to name a handful), Dallas has rebuilt the core of their roster through the NFL Draft.

It's nearly impossible to bat .1000 in any round of the draft, however, and this appears to be the current case with the Cowboys' 2017 first round pick.

Defensive end Taco Charlton has not had the sophomore season that he, or anyone, had hoped for. A healthy scratch last Sunday, Charlton has only been active for 1 of the Cowboys' last 5 games, and has not recorded a sack or tackle since week 9.

Prior to disappearing with injuries and "attitude issues," Charlton had only recorded 1 sack on the season and was beginning to fall behind his Hot Boy-brethren. Defensive end Randy Gregory has reached his form over the last few weeks, Tyrone Crawford is having arguably a career year, and DeMarcus Lawrence is one of the best ends in all of football.

This doesn't leave much room for Charlton, who's now having issues even getting on the gameday roster. Rod Marinelli dodged questions about Taco Charlton earlier this week, vaguely saying they are "moving forward" and that he'd like to talk about other players on his defensive line who are performing.

Calvin Watkins on Twitter

Rod Marinelli on Taco Charlton's benching and being inactive last week: "We just keep moving along keep going forward. It's kinda been out there I'd leave it at that. I'd rather talk about our two tackles.

Charlton has not been quiet about his displeasure as of late, either. He's taken to Twitter to voice his frustrations, saying that not only is his shoulder fine but that the Dallas media is making up stories about his absence. He's also posted some cryptic tweets such as this one, with a picture of Allen Iverson and a caption reading "Every players needs that one coach to believe in them."

Maybe Taco is right. Maybe he just needs increased opportunity and a support system/coach that believes in him whole-heartedly. After all, Charlton has faced nothing but doubters and detractors since the second he was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys.

But in the NFL, the ultimate "what have you done for me lately" sport, it's hard to imagine he'll get that unwavering support anywhere in the league. He's going to have to "earn" his playing time, as head coach Jason Garrett spoke to earlier in the week. But with the plethora of talent the Cowboys are already putting out there on the defensive line, it's becoming difficult to see exactly where Taco Charlton can fit in on this defense.

It's possible, and fine, if it is simply not a fit between Charlton and the Cowboys at this point. But I'd also be wary of giving up on your first round pick in just his second NFL season. Another offseason with the team, working on his craft and getting fully healthy, should do Charlton wonders, and hopefully allow us to get a better read on his future with the Cowboys going forward.

Until then, we are all left to scratch out heads and wonder what in the world is going on with the Cowboys and Taco Charlton, and if the former first round pick will have a future in Dallas at all.

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Star Blog

Cowboys, Bears Proving Defense Can Win the NFC

Mauricio Rodriguez



Cowboys, Bears Proving Defense Can Win the NFC

2018 has seen the emergence of high-powered offenses in both NFL conferences. The Kansas City Chiefs sit atop the AFC and the NFC is spearheaded by the New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Rams. Through 14 weeks, these three teams are the top three offenses in the NFL, each averaging over 30 points per game. This year, for the first time in NFL history, two teams scored more than 50 in the same game.

Thanks to this consistent impressive offensive performances, you would think "offense" is the name of the game for the 2018 NFL season. Well, not so fast, my friend. Despite sitting atop the NFC, the Saints and the Rams have recently suffered losses that indicate hope is anything but lost for defensive teams in the league.

The Chicago Bears were able to bring down the Rams last Sunday Night 15-6. The same offense that averages 33 points per game was limited to six points. Sean McVay's remarkable offense went home with no touchdowns to talk about on the plane back home. Instead, they probably discussed Jared Goff's four interceptions.

Weeks earlier, the Dallas Cowboys shocked the world when they brought down the Saints. Drew Brees, Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas simply couldn't move the ball against Leighton Vander Esch, DeMarcus Lawrence and Byron Jones. 13 points were all the Cowboys needed to score to beat an offense that was averaging 37 per game heading into week 13 but was only able to put up 10 in Dallas.

The Cowboys are the #4 seed with the Bears slightly ahead of them as the #3 seed in the NFC. Together, these teams have defeated the top two in the conference. Now granted, playoffs will definitely be different.

For starters, if they are to advance to the divisional round, they'll be on the road. Chicago was surely benefited by playing in such a cold weather versus a Los Angeles team. As far as the Cowboys are concerned, few times has AT&T Stadium been as loud as when they beat the Saints.

Hopefully, we'll get to see both of these elite defenses advance to the Divisional Round to  square off against this couple of high-powered offenses again. We will not only be witnessing amazing football games, but a great discussion regarding the everlasting debate between offense and defense.

For years, "defense wins championships" has been a widely accepted statement in football. The Cowboys and Bears have made that same statement resound recently with their impressive wins.

Can they do it again in January football? Can they do it on the road?

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys, Bears Proving Defense Can Win the NFC" 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

Cowboys en Español: Los Colts No Son Cualquier Rival

Mauricio Rodriguez



Fantasy Football - Fantasy Football Quarterback Rankings - Week 2 2
Andy Lyons / Getty Images

Al igual que el resto de la afición de los Dallas Cowboys, parte de mí se siente confiada respecto a este equipo visitando a Indianapolis Colts y resultando victoriosos. ¿El problema? Los Colts no son un rival sencillo de vencer. Si crees que la racha de los Cowboys los intimidará, piensa de nuevo. Los Houston Texans llevaban nueve victorias al hilo antes de enfrentarse a este equipo.

Siendo objetivos, este puede ser el partido que evite que los Cowboys cierren su temporada con ocho victorias al hilo para terminar el año con un récord de 11-5. Ni los Tampa Bay Buccaneers ni los New York Giants deberían presentar amenaza alguna contra Dallas. Lo mismo no se puede decir de Indianapolis.

Por primera vez en mucho tiempo, Andrew Luck está realmente de vuelta. Gracias a una reconstrucción de su línea ofensiva, su nivel de juego a regresado al nivel que conocíamos de él desde que llegó a la NFL. Afortunadamente para los Colts, Luck se ha mantenido sano toda la temporada y no se ve rastro alguno de sus lesiones anteriores en el emparrillado.

T.Y. Hilton está teniendo un muy buen año y sin duda alguna presentará un reto para Byron Jones y el resto de la secundaria de los Cowboys. Eric Ebron en la posición de tight end también será un dolor de cabeza para la defensiva.

Lo más interesante se dará en las trincheras. Los Cowboys han hecho un muy buen trabajo presionando quarterbacks opuestos en la temporada, pero si el centro de los Colts, Ryan Kelly está sano el domingo, se enfrentarán al mejor duo de centro-guardia en la liga actualmente. Con Quenton Nelson al lado, Luck estará muy bien protegido.

Sin embargo, Kelly no ha jugado debido a una lesión y aún está por verse si tomará el campo el domingo por la mañana. Los Cowboys hicieron un muy buen trabajo a la entonces ofensiva #1 de la liga, los New Orleans Saints, pero eso no significa que la ofensiva #8 que tienen los Colts no los retará.

Promediando 27 puntos por juego, la defensiva necesitará ayuda de Dak Prescott y compañía para ganar el partido. Dallas continúa moviendo el balón efectivamente, pero es tiempo de anotar touchdowns y no goles de campo.

Ezekiel Elliott será, una vez más, clave para la victoria. Enfrentándose a una defensiva Top 10 contra el juego terrestre, mover las cadenas con Zeke no será tan fácil. El novato Darius Leonard como linebacker ha sido algo espectacular otra temporada al igual que Leighton Vander Esch. Liderando a toda la NFL en tackleadas, estará listo para recibir a los Cowboys al Lucas Oil Stadium.

Lo más importante de este partido...

Por más impresionante que sea la racha de cinco victorias consecutivas, los Cowboys tienen que demostrar que pueden ganarle a un equipo fuerte estando de visita. Porque hay que admitirlo, Jason Garrett y su equipo no han tenido éxito fuera de casa. Claro, le ganaron a un equipo debilitado de Philadelphia Eagles y a unos Atlanta Falcons que va 4-9.

Este equipo "nuevo" de los Cowboys no ha ido contra un rival de calidad siendo el visitante. Es tiempo de demostrar que lo pueden hacer, ya que si quieren contender en postemporada, es justo lo que necesitarán... jugar bien de visita.

Sinceramente creo que los Cowboys ganan este partido. Principalmente gracias a su defensiva, pero también veo a la ofensiva dominar el tiempo de posesión en un juego de pocos puntos. Es tiempo de mantener esa racha.

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys en Español: Los Colts No Son Cualquier Rival" 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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