There are a lot of contenders for the greatest day of the year...
Thanksgiving is all about family, food, and football. Christmas comes with family, food again, and ideally a present or two. Fourth of July is all about that red, white, and blue and if you're not about that then I will summon Captain America himself to personally up your level of patriotism.
There is one day that is universally recognized among all Americans. One day where only one thing matters. This one day is so incredible, so impactful, that sometimes the ripple effect carries over into the day after! While I know you are all thinking that I'm talking about October 20th, my birthday, there is only one day that surpasses them all. I am, of course, talking about Super Bowl Sunday.
The NFL Super Bowl
NFL players train their whole lives to play on that day. If they're fortunate they go to sleep that night as World Champions. As you can imagine a Super Bowl victory comes with a lot of benefits. Your legacy is enhanced, you get to go to Disney World, your team receives the Vince Lombardi Trophy, and each contributing member of the team gets what all players seek most... a Super Bowl Ring.
A Golden Ring
The 2015 NFL season will culminate in Super Bowl 50.
If you've ever been to a 50th wedding anniversary you know that the theme is gold. I hope that you're feeling nostalgic because to celebrate the golden anniversary of the Super Bowl there is going to be a lot of gold and Super Bowl reflecting going on!
As of now there are 49 different Super Bowl Rings in existence. Over the course of this season, I will be ranking them in order of greatness.
Let me say now that this is not a ranking of the 49 Super Bowl Champions, but a ranking of the overall design and intricacies of the rings that they each received. Got it? Good. Let's get started with number 49 on our list.
Super Bowl Ring #49: 2002 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The 2002 Tampa Bay Buccaneers had one of the most elite defenses that we have ever seen. They THRASHED the Oakland Raiders by a score of 48-21 in the big game. Pro Football Hall of Famer Derrick Brooks was named the game's MVP and everything was cool, right?
I'm not knocking the Bucs, even though their current uniforms need to be knocked out of existence. After all, the defense they built serves as an inspiration for the current Dallas Cowboys squad. But in all honesty, this ring is atrocious.
There is absolutely zero on this thing that would let you know it belongs to the Buccaneers besides their name. Their team colors and logo are absent, and while the Lombardi Trophy is gorgeous it is in no way specific to the 2002 Buccaneer team.
So We have our winner at #49
Somebody had to be last, and while the 2002 Buccaneers were World Champs... their franchise is no stranger to being at the bottom of lists. Even if pigs were to fly and the Bucs won another (this would be a crazy world, one where RGIII beats out Colt McCoy fair and square) their current franchise logo doesn't strike me as something that I'd want to see on a ring.
Swing on by this Friday when we unveil Super Bowl Ring #48!
DL Kerry Hyder Helps Solidify A Re-Tooled Defensive Line
The Cowboys got off to a busy start to week two of free agency on Monday, and capped it off by signing defensive lineman Kerry Hyder to a one year deal.
The former Detroit Lion could be classified as a "one year wonder" of sorts, but when you look closer at his career arc, you see that Hyder can provide upside at multiple positions across the Cowboys' defensive front.
After having 8 sacks and 19 quarterback hits as a defensive end in 2016, Hyder missed all of 2017 with an achilles injury. Last season, under new head coach Matt Patricia, Hyder was moved out of position and forced to play as a nose tackle and 5-technique more often.
So, the last time Hyder was healthy and playing in the role in he will likely fill in Dallas, he was productive. Yes that was a couple of seasons ago but it makes Hyder worth the one year deal he received from the Cowboys.
What exactly is that role, though?
I see Hyder primarily as a rotational 3-technique for the Cowboys. At just 270 pounds Hyder isn't going to play over the center often, and won't be very useful as a 1-technique against the run. He's at his best when lining on the outside shade of an offensive lineman, where he can use his get-off and quickness to create pressure.
Kerry Hyder can also fill in at defensive end if needed, especially when the Cowboys go into a nickel package. Hyder is similar to Tyrone Crawford in his ability to move inside and out, but is a bit better of a pass rusher than Crawford when at his best.
Hyder is a high energy, motor, and character defensive lineman who will fit right in with a Rod Marinelli unit. If it all clicks for Hyder and he regains his 2016 form, the Cowboys will have stolen an impressive pass rushing defensive lineman who can win from multiple positions.
If Hyder is actually a "one year wonder" who is more of his 2018-self with the Cowboys despite being put in a better role to succeed, Dallas can move on rather quickly because he is only on a one year deal.
This is a smart signing by the Cowboys front office as they look to re-tool their defensive line, and avoid being pigeon-holed into over-drafting at a certain position this Spring.
New Cowboys WR Randall Cobb Announces His Signing With A Fantastic GIF
On Tuesday this week it became official the Cowboys would sign former Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb to a one year deal worth an estimated $5 million. After his visit Monday morning, speculation around whether and when he would sign was swirling.
Cobb confirmed his intentions to join the Cowboys himself, and did so with some A+ GIF usage on Twitter.
In case you don't know, the GIF Cobb tweeted is Woody from Toy Story, emerging confidently and tipping his cap.
This was Cobb signaling that he his a Cowboy, and he appears excited to be joining America's Team. Cobb also received some social media love from his now former teammates in Green Bay, including wide receiver Davante Adams and quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Aaron Rodgers had some parting words for new Cowboys WR Randall Cobb
Clearly Randall Cobb made an impact in Green Bay, both on and off the field. Let's hope he can replicate some of that in Dallas now that he has joined the Cowboys.
Malik McDowell Is Well Worth The Risk For The Dallas Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys are reportedly brining defensive lineman Malik McDowell into The Star this week for a visit, as they decide whether or not to potentially sign him for the 2019 season.
McDowell is a former second round pick of the Seattle Seahawks, who fell to day two because of what scouts call "off the field" or "character" concerns. McDowell did not last long with Seahawks, as he was released in 2017 following an ATV accident in which he reportedly suffered "extensive brain and eye trauma" according to Charles Robinson.
None of us know much about who Malik McDowell is as a person, or what concerns their really should be with his health. But what I do know is that on tape at Michigan State, McDowell was a top 5-10 player in the 2017 draft class. He was a stud, and has the traits to continue to be a stud in the NFL.
The 2017 NFL Draft is chock full of talented, athletic, and productive defensive linemen. While most of the draft pundits have focused on EDGE rushers thus far, the defensive tackle class also possesses some of this year's top NFL prospects. Arguably the best of those defensive tackles is Michigan State's Malik McDowell.
Back in 2017 I wrote a full scouting report on McDowell, detailing why he earned such a high grade on my board. McDowell is a versatile linemen who is explosive off the ball, powerful and rangy against the run, and a skilled pass rusher who plays with a high motor. What more could you really ask for?
"McDowell is a patient pass rusher at times, setting up the blocker how he likes and then beating them with ease. McDowell’s ability to swipe hands off helps him greatly, but his quick swim is his most effective pass rush move.
On this play he uses that swim to perfection, forcing the center to power down to the right before swimming back to the other side."
Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.
When the Spartans went to a three man pass rushing front, McDowell moved to the EDGE often and made plays with his quick, active hands and impressive swim move. He was much more impressive on the interior, however, and could be a direct replacement for David Irving as an explosive and powerful 3-technique for the Cowboys.
Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.
I love that the Cowboys are bringing McDowell in for a free agent visit. His price will likely be low, as he is yet to play in an NFL game over the last two years, but his ceiling remains very high if he is healthy. It's rare for a player with his college production, natural ability, and measurables to completely fail in the NFL.
Maybe all McDowell needs is a second chance to get his head right and prove that he belongs in the league. Maybe he flames out quickly and can't get on the field due to "off the field" stuff. Or, maybe he simply isn't healthy enough to contribute as an NFL player. Regardless, for the price he'll likely command, McDowell is well worth the risk if the Cowboys are willing to take it.
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