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5 Bold Predictions: Conference Championship Edition

RJ Ochoa



NFL Blog - 5 Bold Predictions: Conference Championship Edition

About a half an hour ago I got a text from a good friend of mine.

This is one of my oldest pals, a founding father of my fantasy football league, a guy who's wedding I was in... you get the picture, we go way back.

My friend, we'll call him Jason, is a pretty bold dude. He's a swashbuckler when it comes to fantasy football. "Hey man I'll give you Pierre Thomas for Matt Forte. It really makes sense for you. Pierre was born in November and that's five months after your birthday so it just fits." he's always trying to fleece somebody!

Every league needs that person and every guy needs a friend like Jason. He's someone who I can depend on, talk trash to, and always depend on... especially to be bold.

Aside from what I've already shared I should tell you that Jason is a big time Denver Broncos fan. He hails from the Rocky Mountain area so don't worry, he's not a bandwagon fan or anything. He's a Texas boy so he's seen his team play in both Houston and Dallas.

I've urged Jason to go catch a game in the extreme altitudes of Denver, Colorado... but things have just never worked out. Until now.

I got a text message at 10:40am on Friday morning that reads:

"So I may or may not have bought tickets to the AFC Championship this morning...."

That's the Jason I know!

His boldness is here is something I admire. His team has a ticket to the Super Bowl on the line so he got one to go see them try and punch it. Bravo, Jason!

Here's your ticket to this week's Bold Predictions. It's the probability of them, not the altitude, that's tall and intimidating. Let's go.

Peyton Manning Will Be Like Old Peyton Manning

If you read last week's Bold Predictions then you saw me give Peyton a deep dish of cold disrespect. Manning didn't exactly light the world on fire last week against the Steelers, and I still think New England will win this game, but Peyton looked unlike his 2015 self and that's promising.

Cowboys Blog - 5 Bold Predictions: Conference Championship Edition 1

The thing with this prediction is... why not, man? The dude that sits up in the top of the stadium when Peyton plays walked out of the NFL in a similar, although less disastrous, way that Peyton is trying to. In the land of fairytales and gumdrops... couldn't it happen again?

The Broncos are going to have to run the ball. That's been their M.O. as far as sustainable success this season. A strong run game coupled with their elite defense are their keys to success.

Well Peyton is going to have to put those keys in the ignition and make some plays. It sure would be great for the game if he could reach deep, deep, deep down in his barrel of talent and pull one out... just for old times.

Julian Edelman Will Break The Record For Most Catches In An NFL Game

The Broncos boast one of the NFL's top defensive units this season.

They're great at every level, and they can get some serious pressure on the quarterback.

Tom Brady is going to have to get rid of the ball very quickly on Sunday. Consider that New England doesn't have much of a run game and this becomes an even more likely thing. Get ready to see Tom throwing tons of screens and quick passes.

Cowboys Blog - 5 Bold Predictions: Conference Championship Edition

That's where Julian Edelman comes in.

Edelman is one of my favorite players in the NFL. You can actually see the effort that he gives and his never-going-to-quit mentality. He's going to do everything that he can to win this game for his team, and that's going to include catching a ton of passes.

The NFL record for most catches in a Playoff Game was set by Darren Sproles in January of 2012 against the 49ers. That was the epic clash between New Orleans and Alex Smith that you surely remember. Sproles finished the day with 15 catches.

The NFL record for most catches in any game period was set by Brandon Marshall, coincidentally, as a member of the Denver Broncos. It happened during the 2009 season against the Peyton-led Indianapolis Colts. Brandon took his place atop the record books with 21 catches.

Julian Edelman is going to break both of those. Boom.

Cam Newton Will Throw For Over 500 Yards

How great is the NFC Championship going to be?

Jason won't be there, but man this is going to be fun to watch.

There are those who think that this game will be a tight and low-scoring affair, but count me as someone who thinks we're going to see some fireworks in the battle for the George Halas Trophy.

Cowboys Blog - 5 Bold Predictions: Conference Championship Edition 3

To be able to raise that trophy at the end of the day is going to take a herculean effort by one of these teams, and by one of these players. Cam Newton is, certainly, this season's MVP. He'll need to be this game's if he wants to win.

The Cardinals are so much deeper than the Panthers offensively that it's, perhaps unfairly, going to fall onto the shoulders of Superman as it seems to have time and time again this season. It is for that reason that in order to go blow for blow with Arizona that Cam is going to have to air it out... to the tune of over 500 yards.

There have only been 18 500 (or more) yard games in the history of the NFL... and a big, round zero of them have come in the Playoffs.

Cam is going to make history.

Larry Fitzgerald Will Catch 4 Touchdowns

Is Larry Fitzgerald still running against the Packers in Overtime? Have they tackled him yet? What a finish to last week's game, am I right?!

Cowboys Blog - 5 Bold Predictions: Conference Championship Edition 4

Larry Fitzgerald is one of the greatest Playoff performers of all-time. In 8 career playoff games Fitzgerald has 53 catches for 912 yards and 10 touchdowns. That's insane!

Sure, 4 touchdowns in a tall order... even for the greatest wide receivers. Fitz has come close to that mark before, though. In fact he did it in an NFC Championship Game!

During the 2008 NFC Championship Game against the Eagles, Larry Fitzgerald had 9 catches for 152 yards and 3 touchdowns!

Fitz is going for four on Sunday.

The Coins Will All Flip

Last week in the game that Larry Fitzgerald finished off, we saw one of the more improbable things ever happen in an NFL game... and it had nothing to do with football.

Clete Blakeman, the referee for the contest, went to midfield to gather the two sets of captains before the overtime period began. He explained the rules and asked if everyone was good to go. Pretty standard, right?

Well in Clete's defense... we had just seen one of the most thrilling sequences in NFL History. Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay packers converted two Hail Mary attempts to tie the game as time expired. It was quite exciting.

NFL Blog - 5 Bold Predictions: Conference Championship Edition 1So maybe Mr. Blakeman was still reeling from all of that pomp and circumstance. Maybe he was nervous. Maybe he just had something happen to him that we've never seen before!

After asking for a side of the coin which Green Bay preferred Blakeman tossed it in the air like Aaron Rodgers had just done with his Hail Mary... for the coin to not flip at all! How is this possible? What are the odds?!

Al Michaels was totally right when he said on the call that if Clete tried 100 times, he would never be able to do that again. It was just another crazy element to a crazy game of football.

So look for all the coins to flip this weekend. If not look for Clete Blakeman to be around the corner somewhere nearby.

RJ Ochoa on Fancred

What are your Bold Predictions for Championship Sunday? Let me know! Comment below, Email me at, or Tweet to me at @rjochoa!


Tell us what you think about "5 Bold Predictions: Conference Championship Edition" 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!

Star Blog

How Much Must Jason Garrett Accomplish to be “Safe”?

Mauricio Rodriguez



How Much Does Jason Garrett Have to Accomplish to be "Safe"?

The Dallas Cowboys will face some uncertainty this offseason but one thing's for sure: Jason Garrett will be the head coach in 2018. Whether the fans think that's the correct call or not, that's how it will be. Beyond this year though, that's something we don't know.

Jerry Jones has made comments to the media saying that Garrett is not on the hot seat. However, I'm not buying it. The Cowboys failed in 2017, and there should be no excuse for them. Not even the key injuries. After all, didn't the Eagles lose Carson Wentz and more key players? They taught this team a lesson.

Sure, Jerry's comments make it seem like Garrett's safe, but in the NFL listening to what an owner has to say and take it as an absolute fact isn't really the way to go. If the Cowboys have another disappointing year in 2018, Garrett's probably gone.

The NFL is a very intense league. 2014 was a great year for Dallas and everyone was fine with the coaching staff, only to be completely fed up with it in 2015. Then 2016 happened and Garrett was named the NFL's Coach of the Year. Just a year later, lots of Cowboys' fans are ready to move on.

That's the way it works. Naturally, Cowboys Nation is a bit afraid of ending up in a similar situation as the Cincinnati Bengals with their coach, Marvin Lewis. They always seem to be close, but they end up not doing their job to finish the season.

Doug Pederson's Success Will Make Jason Garrett's Seat Hotter 1

Dallas Cowboys HC Jason Garrett (Bill Streicher / USA TODAY Sports)

I'd dare say that if the Cowboys open the season losing a ton of games, we could even see the front office firing Jason Garrett midseason. I know it sounds extreme, but it happened to Wade Phillips, who knows what could happen this year.

But, Jason was given a chance. He has the opportunity to turn things around.

The interesting question is: how much does he have to do?

If they miss the playoffs once again, I don't know how they feel comfortable with this coaching staff heading into 2019. Getting to the playoffs is a must for Garrett if he wants to stay coaching the Cowboys.

What happens if they get to the playoffs as a Wildcard team, though? What happens if they're able to play in January but end up being one-and-done? Do they need to get to the Super Bowl? Obviously, these are tough questions that Jerry & Co. will have to think about once the season begins.

It may sound like too much, but if they don't at least get to the NFC Championship... what will change in the future that will get this team to win it all? It's hard to imagine it will be the case, but it isn't crazy to think of this season as the last chance for Jason Garrett.

However you feel about the coaches, it's only fair to admit that Garrett (as well as Scott Linehan and Rod Marinelli) should be in danger of losing their jobs. Let's see what's in store for them next season.

Tell me what you think about "How Much Must Jason Garrett Accomplish to be “Safe”?" in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 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: Construyendo una Defensiva de Campeonato en Dallas

Mauricio Rodriguez



Cowboys en Español: Construyendo una Defensiva de Campeonato en Dallas

Por muchos años, una defensiva de campeonato ha sido un sueño lejano para la franquicia de los Dallas Cowboys. Nos hemos acostumbrado a ver posiciones defensivas como las principales necesidades del equipo temporada tras temporada, y a pesar de esto, no hemos visto nada parecido.

En una temporada en la que básicamente todos los contendientes de playoffs tenían excelentes defensivas (los Jaguars, Eagles y Vikings los principales ejemplos), es un excelente momento para reflexionar al respecto.

El dicho dice que "las defensivas ganan campeonatos", y es increíble pensar en que realmente parece una ley esta frase. Incluso los Denver Broncos del 2015 lograron ganar el Super Bowl a pesar de una ofensiva muy mediocre.

Los Cowboys, a pesar de una temporada con una dura curva de aprendizaje para Dak Prescott y un mal año de parte de los receptores, tienen una ofensiva con la cual se puede trabajar. Ezekiel Elliott es claramente uno de los mejores corredores en la liga, y la línea ofensiva quizá no es la misma que la del 2016, pero sigue siendo muy buena.

Y aunque sea difícil de creer, este equipo tiene la oportunidad de tener una defensiva de campeonato en el 2018. No será nada fácil lograrlo, pero si lo llegan a lograr, las esperanzas de triunfar la próxima temporada incrementarán dramáticamente.

Empezando por la línea defensiva, en Dallas hay dos jugadores exageradamente talentosos. David Irving y DeMarcus Lawrence le dan al equipo una oportunidad de tener una de las mejores líneas de la liga.

Claro que, el problema es el tope salarial. A pesar de esto, existe la posibilidad de que logren realizar todos estos movimientos. Recientemente, John Williams escribió un detallado artículo acerca del tope salarial de los Cowboys y de cómo la administración puede jugar con él para hacer suficiente espacio.

Si logran retener a ambos, podrían jugar enseguida de Maliek Collins o algún novato que pueda contribuir desde el día uno, y si tienen suerte con un Taco Charlton mejorado. Siempre está Crawford y su versatilidad en la mesa.

Continuando con los linebackers, mucho se trata de la salud. Ya sea si hablamos de la del veterano Sean Lee, quien podría ser considerado uno de los mejores en su posición en la NFL si no fuera por sus muy constantes lesiones o si hablamos del futuro incierto de Jaylon Smith.

En esta posición, los Cowboys tienen que decidir si le pagaran a Anthony Hitchens, quien ha mejorado mucho año tras año, para que se quede en Dallas. Si lo logran, la unidad de apoyadores también se ve muy sólida, lo cual sólo deja a la secundaria.

Where Will Dallas Cowboys Search For "Fresh Ideas" Begin? 3

Dallas Cowboys DBs Jourdan Lewis, Chidobe Awuzie, Xavier Woods (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)

El año pasado, Chidobe Awuzie y Jourdan Lewis fueron añadidos al equipo y en el 2017 demostraron de lo que estaban hechos. Estos dos jugadores son una de las razones por las que más emocionados deberíamos estar.

Podríamos ver un cambio de Byron Jones a cornerback para mejorar su producción y de esta manera, los Cowboys podrían invertir en la búsqueda que todos hemos estado soñando... Earl Thomas. Con la adición de Kris Richard al equipo de coaches esto parece muy prometedor, y como dije anteriormente... no será fácil, pero hay maneras de manejar el tope salarial.

Sería improbable ver que todos estos movimientos tuvieran lugar, pero realmente habla mucho de la posición en la que este equipo está de tener una excelente defensiva. Es un equipo que está casi completo, esperemos que ese "casi" se eliminé lo más pronto posible.

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys en Español: Construyendo una Defensiva de Campeonato en Dallas" in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 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

Will Kavon Frazier be Cowboys Version of Kam Chancellor?

Brian Martin



Will Kavon Frazier be Cowboys Version of Kam Chancellor?

The Dallas Cowboys have been trying to emulate the Seattle Seahawks defense for several years now. The hiring of Kris Richard to become the defensive backs coach and passing game coordinator could make that infatuation turn into reality.

There is reason to believe that Kris Richard will have quite a bit of influence on the defensive side ball. Rod Marinelli supposedly contemplated retiring after the 2017 season, which could indicate Richard was brought in to be his eventual replacement.

If Richard is indeed the next Cowboys defensive coordinator, then it's not a big stretch to believe we could see the defensive philosophy start to change. In fact, news broke earlier this week that the Dallas Cowboys are already considering moving Byron Jones back to cornerback. To me, this indicates certain personnel changes are on the way.

With that in mind, I started to wonder about the Seattle Seahawks defense over the past several seasons and how the Cowboys personnel could be used to replicate their success, especially in the secondary.

The Dallas Cowboys have a lot of young talented defensive backs, but how they will ultimately be used is still up in the air. If Byron Jones is moving back to CB, then the Cowboys need another starting safety, possibly two.

Enter Kavon Frazier.

Kavon Frazier

Dallas Cowboys SS Kavon Frazier

Kavon Frazier has mostly been used as a special teams player since joining the Dallas Cowboys in 2016. He is more of the prototypical strong safety who is better in the box around a lot of scrimmage. That's why he hasn't received a lot of playing time on defense, because he's a liability in coverage.

Kavon Frazier did start to receive more playing time at the tail end of the 2017 season when he started splitting repetitions with Byron Jones. That playing time could increase next season if Kris Richard believes he could become the Cowboys version of Kam Chancellor.

I know it's a stretch to believe right now and there is a lot that can happen to change things between now and the start of the 2018 season, but all we can do is speculate at this point in time.

If the Dallas Cowboys are trying to emulate the Seattle Seahawks defense, then Kavon Frazier is probably the best suited to fill that Kam Chancellor role in the secondary. At least for now…

Do you think Kavon Frazier can become the Cowboys version of Kam Chancellor?


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