Jesse Holley is now the latest member of the Dallas Cowboys. Who you say? That’s right Jesse Holley! Thanks to the Michael Irvin show 4th and Long The Cowboys now have another man on the roster, the question is though will he stick? or is he just the product of another marketing gimmick?
I will tell you straight up that I watched only the first episode of 4th and Long! Not because it was a bad show (although it was not a show that made me want to put the DVR to use) but more because it was just too damn gimmicky for me.
So who is Jesse Holley? Well I do not know just a ton about him, but what I do know is not all that glamorous.
Jesse was a two sport player at the University of North Carolina from 2003 – 2006, was a member of the 04’-05’ National Championship basketball team. He was a very solid Wide Receiver for the Tar heels, played all fours years that he was there.
In 2007 Holley was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Cincinnati Bengals. He was then released by the team at the end of Training camp only to be signed to the practice squad. Jesse lasted one month on the practice squad before being released.
In 2008 Jesse signed on to play for the BC Lions of the CFL. After the teams first Pre Season game (one month later) He was released.
Basically Jesse Holley is the same as a million other solid collegiate athletes with dreams of being a Pro, but now his dream is a reality thanks to Spike T.V.?????
I have a question for all of you that I need help answering. Can anybody tell me who was the last player (that went undrafted, unable to stick on a practice squad, and unable to make it in the CFL) that has been talked about this much?
My partner and I had a… well let’s call it a discussion yesterday about this situation, and well… Let’s just say our thoughts were not anywhere near the same!
Bryson watched the series from beginning to end, and had nothing but good to say about Jesse and his abilities. While I respect his opinion on the matter I strongly disagreed with his synopsis. He told me about how he was a big and physical receiver with good hands and the ability to go up and get a jump ball. He also told me how he thought “he may be a good addition for us” and “he may be able to take Stanback's spot”.
It was about this time that the “discussion” got a little more heated. Not because I think Stanback is such a great receiver, but because I simply cannot comprehend how a guy who cannot make a CFL roster can come in and be a better player than a guy who has stuck on an NFL roster for 3 years!
The argument will always be “NFL scouts do make mistakes and miss on players, just look at Tom Brady” and while that is accurate to an extent, name me a player who has been a contributing player in the NFL that was unable to stay on a practice squad and unable to make a CFL roster.
Every year NFL teams bring in players this time of year that will never play a down in a regular season game, simply to fill roster spots at training camp.
It takes a very special athlete to be able to make and then stay on a NFL roster, Any NFL roster! If you have ever played a sport then you know that there are two kinds of players. (1) Overly Gifted (2) Under Gifted.
For the overly gifted athlete things come easy to them and they are generally stand out players, the great ones have the same work ethic as the guy who has less talent and has to rely on his determination, and hard work.
The under gifted player while he has talent he MUST work harder than everyone else, and he MUST be involved with his sport of choice on a continuous basis (playing on a year in year out basis) as this player simply would fall way behind his competitors if he took a year off.
Jesse Holley falls into the Under Gifted category, while I am sure he has some very nice talents, the fact remains he has not played in almost 2 years and was not very good then! I would like nothing better than to see this kid come into camp and set the world on fire and prove me wrong!
The problem that I have with this show is simple, a guy has become a member of the Dallas Cowboys and thrust into the spotlight for no other reason than because he was on a T.V. show! And better still because he competed against other players who cannot make an NFL roster and shined against them, this show has given Cowboy fans a severely skewed opinion of their talents.
Without this show no one would care about anyone of these guys! Much less believe any of them could “add” anything to this team! Or believe they could take a job away from a veteran NFL player.
Just to put it in perspective, I played Football and Baseball all my life and was never anymore than an average player. When I got into my twenties I started playing in a local Softball Beer league. I was and am a decent player but by no means a “Pro” but every time I have played against people that were not very good I looked like a “Bad Ass” player. The contestants on this show are no different!
These contestants performed against the likes of Semi-Pro players (your Beer League of the Football world) and cast away Arena League players. Frankly these guys should look like superb football players, but many of them did not! The two that did make it to the finals did look the part, but one of those was only 5’7”! And by all accounts if he had not been a midget(pardon me vertically challenged) he would have won the competition.
In the end, I have done nothing but waste your time and mine writing about a guy that more than likely will end up like all the other late invitees to a NFL camp, released and never heard from again!
5 Points: Analyzing the 2018 Dallas Cowboys Schedule
Every year around this time, sports fans everywhere are reminded of just how dominant the National Football League is. The NFL schedule release is literally just the sharing of a calendar that has little meaning until after next week's NFL Draft, but still dominates headlines both before and after the event.
If the Dallas Cowboys are going to return to the playoffs in 2018, we now know the path they will take -- beginning on September 9th in Carolina against the Panthers.
Here are five of my initial thoughts on this team's schedule.
1. "Early" Bye Week Still Later Than Recent Seasons
The Cowboys' bye week falls in week eight this season, which is certainly nothing new. This team is used to having their bye earlier in the season, but week eight is actually the latest it's been over the last three seasons.
In Dak Prescott's rookie season, the Cowboys rolled to six straight wins following their bye week - all part of a longer 11 game win streak. In 2017, the Cowboys played their final three games with Ezekiel Elliott after the bye, improving to 5-3 and inspiring hope for a salvageable season before further injuries piled up.
This season, the Cowboys will come out of their bye week to host Monday Night Football at AT&T Stadium against the Tennessee Titans.
2. AFC South to Play A Huge Factor
Speaking of the Titans, it is the NFC East's year to face off against the AFC South. This has been an unpredictable division as of late, with the Jacksonville Jaguars emerging as early favorites following their improbable run to the AFC Championship Game.
Unlike the NFC East, the AFC South has been decided by who maintains stability at quarterback. The Colts are hoping to contend with Andrew Luck back on the field in 2018, as are the Texans with second-year QB Deshaun Watson.
The Titans overhauled their coaching staff in hopes of progressing QB Marcus Mariota further to make a run at the playoffs once again.
For the Cowboys, their meetings with the AFC South will carry extra weight - as all but one of them precedes a divisional game in some sense. Following back to back games at the Texans and home against the Jaguars, the Cowboys will visit the Redskins in week seven.
The first shot Dallas will get at the defending Super Bowl champions will be November 11th in Philadelphia, two weeks removed from their bye after facing the Titans.
Coming out of two games in 12 days through weeks 12 (Thanksgiving) and 13, the Cowboys will have little chance to come up for air against the Eagles in week 14. Their chance to regroup may come the following week, with a favorable December road game in Indianapolis against the Colts.
3. Revenge Against the Falcons
The Cowboys' week 10 game a year ago in Atlanta is truly where the 2017 season was lost. Playing without Ezekiel Elliott, the Cowboys looked lost on offense thanks to the added absence of All-Pro Left Tackle Tyron Smith.
The Cowboys' fight to carry on at 5-4 was buried into the Falcons' new turf, as was Dak Prescott that afternoon, sacked eight times.
Only a week removed on the calendar from meeting the Falcons on the same date, the Cowboys will again play at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in week 11 this season. The chance for revenge against the Falcons will also mark the only pair of consecutive road games this 2018 Dallas Cowboys team will play.
4. Running Through December
The national media may not want you to know that the Cowboys are a combined 6-2 in December over the last two seasons, as this team's fabled late season collapses remain a topic of conversation.
This point also stands as a great example of why breaking down team schedules in April is often a pointless exercise, but not obsessing over every twist and turn of the NFL as a yearly hobby is no fun. According to me.
It is no secret that the Cowboys will be relying heavily on Ezekiel Elliott in 2018, expecting their star running back to suit up for 16 games and carry the offense. If you believe that Prescott and Elliott paired together full-time again is enough reason for optimism about the Cowboys, their December schedule becomes even more favorable.
Aside from playing three of the four games indoors and away from the elements, the Cowboys will face three of the worst rushing defenses in yards per game allowed from last season in December. With the Eagles being the glaring exception (leading the league in this category), the Cowboys should have their way on the ground with the Colts, Buccaneers, and Giants over their final three games.
5. Thanksgiving Tradition
For the second time in three seasons, the Dallas Cowboys will host the Washington Redskins on Thanksgiving. The Cowboys were victorious on Thanksgiving in 2016 over the Redskins, 31-26.
The Cowboys have only lost to the Redskins once on Thanksgiving, facing them a total of eight times and dropping a 2012 bout with Washington 38-31 (Robert Griffin III's rookie season with the Redskins).
Riding a four game winning streak against the Redskins, the Cowboys get to face an Alex Smith led Washington team on Thanksgiving to wrap up their first series against the NFC East. Following week 12, the Cowboys will still have meetings with the Eagles and New York Giants.
Some may look at this year's division as a two-team race, but counting absolutely any team out of an NFC East race is foolish - even more so in April.
✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭
By this time next week, the Dallas Cowboys have a chance to look entirely different - adding as many as ten players at the 2018 NFL Draft. Only then will we have a better feel for how they stack up against this 2018 schedule.
Stay posted right here to Inside The Star for draft coverage live from Dallas, as I will be at AT&T Stadium for all seven rounds of picks alongside Slant Sports Draft Analyst Nick Flaherty.
Cowboys TE James Hanna Retiring
In an unexpected bit of pre-draft news, Dallas Cowboys backup tight end James Hanna will be retiring after six seasons. He was drafted by the Cowboys in sixth round of the 2012 NFL Draft.
The news of Hanna's retirement was first reported by ESPN's Todd Archer:
The Cowboys will place James Hanna on the reserve/retired list as the tight end could not get over a serious knee condition that troubled him for most of the last two seasons, according to sources. Hanna was not involved in the early part of the team's... https://t.co/45BAZ2avSC
Hanna, who turns 29 in July, missed all of 2016 with that knee issue and has had two surgeries. He was active for all 16 games last season but wasn't used much on offense, only having four catches. James did catch his first and only NFL touchdown in the team's Week 4 loss to the Los Angeles Rams.
Many thought Hanna would be a salary cap casualty this offseason, but a retirement has the same effect on the cap. The Cowboys now save $2.75 million off his scheduled $3.5 mullion cap hit in 2018.
James Hanna has stuck around this long thanks to being a proficient blocker and one of the standout players on special teams. Geoff Swaim, entering the final year of his rookie deal, will likely be trusted to fill those roles.
That said, tight end was already a targeted position for the Cowboys in next week's draft. Losing Hanna only give the team more incentive to add more talent.
Optimistic Reports Emerge Around Randy Gregory
Good news are coming to Dallas just in time. Less than a week from now, the NFL Draft will be held in the Cowboys' home, the AT&T Stadium. But the team may count with a defensive talent many in Cowboys Nation have tried to forget for a while now. Randy Gregory's comeback may just happen.
There's a lot of positions in the roster that need more help than the defensive end one, but after finding the "War Daddy" Jerry Jones has always wanted in DeMarcus Lawrence, finding a RDE this offseason would be a dream scenario.
Sure, there's a lot of young talent in this football team and they'll be coming off a season that put a chip on their shoulders. Even so, they'll need all the help they can get.
Fortunately for the Cowboys, some help could come in form of a very talented pass rusher. Randy Gregory is reportedly applying for reinstatement very soon and according to Mike Fisher and Bobby Belt, there are positive reports around the situation.
Randy Gregory update: I'm told there is real momentum building. He is expected to apply for reinstatement in the week or two following next week's NFL Draft.
Cowboys Nation last saw the second round pick back in 2016, but his potential shouldn't be forgotten. Of course, the Cowboys shouldn't be considering Gregory for their 2018 plans, simply because there's risk of him not being available.
Even still, Dallas may get lucky at defensive end. After DeMarcus Lawrence has a breakout season in 2017, imagine the defensive line with Randy Gregory reinstated and rehabilitated to exploit his talent in the NFL.
UPDATE: We're told Randy Gregory camp is ready to present to NFL the fact the #Cowboys DE has passed a large number of drug tests, hasn't failed one since July 2016. https://t.co/Hjgu2CqRtC
Despite some TMZ "reports", it looks like Gregory has been clean for a while. It sure should make Cowboys' fans happy and not only form a football perspective. A comeback would definitely be something amazing. He has a chance to write a unique story for himself.
Everyone likes second-chance stories. Gregory is a guy who had his share of problems. By coming back to the NFL, he's showing players and fans that change is possible. This wouldn't just be epic for Dallas Cowboys fans but NFL fans in general.
If Dallas is fortunate enough to see Gregory reinstated by the NFL, their fight in the trenches might see a big upgrade next season. Randy still has a lot to work on and he might not even be a starter right away, but the potential is right there.
The Cowboys could become a team capable of dominating the line of scrimmage both on offense and on defense.
Hopefully, Gregory is able to come back and shine as a professional player. He, and NFL fans deserve a story like that.
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