The word bold and the Dallas Cowboys go hand in hand. From flashy draft picks to fancy helicopters, Dallas is always in the news. This year in particular reached new highs and lows in that category.
It has been a complete roller coaster.
Tony Romo got hurt... again. Three defensive starters are currently suspended. And rookie Dak Prescott has shined. If one offseason can be so crazy, it can be both fun and scary to try to predict the future.
Here are my bold predictions for the Cowboys this season.
Ezekiel Elliott Will Lead the League in Rushing
In 2015, Dallas was without arguably its two best players. Tony Romo played in a total of four games. Star wide receiver Dez Bryant played in nine, but was realistically healthy for none.
Despite this, Darren McFadden still finished fourth in rushing. Fourth! And this was all without starting a whole season. If McFadden was lead-dog from week one last season, he could have pushed for the rushing title. Just imagine what a superior talent like Ezekiel Elliott can achieve.
The talent and upside are there for this young man. Against Seattle's acclaimed starting defense in the preseason, he looked poised and explosive. But his situation may trump all.
We've all heard plenty about the offensive line. But, he plays for a team that has a dynamic rushing attack and the actual desire to run the ball heavily. In a pass-oriented league, that is almost non-existent these days. If Dallas has any success this year, running Elliott effectively is clearly plan A.
He will get the carries, and he has surrounding talent on offense. I expect Ezekiel Elliott to have one of the greatest rookie rushing seasons in league history.
Dallas' Secondary Will Produce Two Pro-Bowlers
2009 was the last year that a Dallas Cowboy made the Pro-Bowl (actual votes). That year featured two players, Terence Williams and Mike Jenkins. Seven years is a long drought, but this secondary is ready to make some significant strides.
In spite of the flack this defensive unit has received, I still have big expectations for their secondary.
Byron Jones quietly had a solid rookie campaign, flashing a lot of what the Cowboys hoped he'd be as a first round selection. He is a complete, versatile talent, possessing tremendous closing speed. He demonstrated plenty of this in the preseason this year.
Orlando Scandrick remains one of the most underrated corners in the game. Very few defensive backs have the ability to go inside and cover slot receivers like Scandrick. Healthy and with a lot to prove in 2016, expect him to return to 2014 form.
Mark Sanchez Never Takes a Snap
Dak Prescott will have his ups and downs, but I expect enough production from him to hold down the starting job. Barring injury, this is Prescott's chance.
Mark Sanchez will remain strictly a clipboard holder as Prescott is given a full opportunity to shine. Cowboys Nation is praying that Prescott is the real deal, and the organization will let him play for the majority of the season to get their answers. When Tony Romo comes back from injury, I fully expect him to resume starting duties. Unless Prescott is playing at a consistently elite level, Tony Romo gets one more crack at it.
Jason Garrett Coaches His Last Season in Dallas
I really hope this one isn't true, because by default, this means the Cowboys will have another bad season. The mediocrity of Jason Garrett's tenure as head coach cannot be denied. Specifically, this team has proven time after time totally inept without Tony Romo. I expect improvement this season with Prescott, but I'm still not convinced this team can win without Romo.
Is a record of... let's say 6-10 enough to keep Garrett around? Dallas still has enough to compete for a division crown.
How much longer can we sit here and blame backup quarterbacks for losing? Dak Prescott has looked great, and he has the talent to win in this league, but it's time for this coaching staff to start producing wins without number nine. Not to mention the Dallas Cowboys' 2016 schedule is pretty favorable.
Garrett needs to produce wins now.
✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭
Nothing about the Cowboys isn't bold, and I expect the trend to continue this season. Maybe Prescott is the second coming of Russell Wilson and Tony Romo comes back to lead the Cowboys to the promised land. But even I can't go there. Here's to dreaming.
Bold will always be relevant in Big D.
Dallas Cowboys to Re-Sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladouceur for 2018
Continuity is the key to good special teams play in the NFL. Already losing long-time Special Teams Coordinator Rich Bisaccia to the Raiders - who promptly snatched ST aces Keith Smith and Kyle Wilber in free agency - the Dallas Cowboys have announced their intentions to re-sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladouceur for the 2018 season.
Returning on a one-year deal, the fan favorite Ladouceur will be back to do what he does best in cleanly executing almost every special teams snap for Chris Jones or Dan Bailey to handle.
Long snapper L.P. Ladouceur will re-sign with the Cowboys on Monday, according to sources, on a one-year deal. He will be in his 14th season with the franchise. Only Jason Witten, Ed "Too Tall" Jones, Bill Bates and Mark Tuinei will have more years of... https://t.co/yTQbMYyrIv
While Jones has improved as the Cowboys' punter with each passing season, Kicker Dan Bailey actually enters 2018 as another question mark on this unit. With the general belief around the team being that Bailey will be just fine moving forward, the Cowboys will no longer have to worry about who handles long snaps next year either.
L.P. Ladouceur is back in the silver and blue, and in this moment, everything can be alright with the world.
Report: Raiders Sign Former Cowboys LB Kyle Wilber
A Free Agency period filled with departures continued for the Dallas Cowboys today, as the Oakland Raiders have reportedly signed the now-former Cowboys LB Kyle Wilber.
The Raiders have signed LB Kyle Wilber: https://t.co/TaC6cqjval
Wilber has been with the Cowboys since 2012, and has played in all 16 games four of the past five seasons. Most of his time has come on special teams, but he did provide solid linebacker depth for the Cowboys since joining the team.
Dallas has now lost both Wilber and Anthony Hitchens, depleting their linebacker depth even further over the last couple weeks.
The Raiders have now signed two key special teams contributors for the Cowboys in Keith Smith and Kyle Wilber this offseason. Hopefully Dallas can replace these types of "replacement level" players throughout the rest of the offseason, especially during the NFL Draft.
Report: Cowboys Officially Release CB Orlando Scandrick
After requesting his release from the team just a few days ago, Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick has gotten his wish. According to ESPN's Josina Anderson, Scandrick has officially been cut by the Dallas Cowboys.
I'm told the #Cowboys have informed CB Orlando Scandrick he will be released, per source.
This move will reportedly save the Cowboys roughly $1.4M against the salary cap, as we hope they finally look to make some moves during the Free Agency period.
Scandrick's release comes after an offseason in which the Cowboys totally overhauled the back end of their defense, specifically their cornerbacks. With the emergence of young, promising players such as Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis, and the health issues of the aging Scandrick, the move makes a lot of sense.
In fact, after the Cowboys drafted Awuzie in the second round of last year's draft it was rumored the Cowboys were looking to move Scandrick for extra draft picks. Instead, one year later, they have cut him to save some cap room.
Orlando Scandrick should have a market to find a new team elsewhere, but his time in Dallas has now come to a close.
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