There are officially 83 days until the toe meets the ball at AT&T Stadium where the Dallas Cowboys will host the New York Giants on NBC’s Sunday Night Football.
I decided that I’d try to take a swing at something different for this, but I missed two times like Dustin Johnson. Too soon? Yesterday’s U.S. Open gave us some riveting television all the way until the very end, and congratulations to this year’s champion, Jordan Spieth (who happens to be a Cowboys fan!). Just like the Open I’m going to continue to give you guys riveting content all the way until the very end, and today is no different. Let’s check out the Greatest 83 in Dallas Cowboys History.
The following players have all worn 83 for the Dallas Cowboys:
- Mike Clark, K
- Hayward Clay, TE
- Harold Deters, K
- Doug Donley, WR
- Jim Doran, DE
- Lee Folkins, TE
- Terry Glenn, WR
- Leon Gonzalez, WR
- Kelvin Martin, WR
- Wane McGarity, WR
- Joey Mickey, TE
- Anthony Miller, WR
- Golden Richards, WR
- Martin Rucker, TE
- Kendell Watkins, TE
- James Whalen, TE
- Terrance Williams*, WR
*Active player on the Dallas Cowboys roster
This is a difficult one. One of the more popular current Cowboys is Terrance Williams who wears 83. In just two years Terrance has already impressed fans with his big play ability. In 2014 alone Terrance had standout games against the Saints (his two TDs), Texans (who could forget the Romo juke on Watt?), Seahawks (the 3rd and 20 is one of my all-time favorite plays), and the game-winning touchdown catch against Detroit (not to mention the long TD to close out the first half of that game). T-Will’s resume is short, but impressive. The future of 83 is in good hands with him, but the greatness of it lies in the past.
Terry Glenn quietly had a pretty productive career in the NFL. He suited up for New England (where he took a trip to Super Bowl XXXI with Coach Parcells’ Patriots), Green Bay, and Dallas. Glenn was a carryover from Parcells' stint in New England, and he certainly helped in the transition from Drew Bledsoe to Tony Romo in 2006. He was a gritty guy, but he didn’t have the lore that we’re looking for in 83. Sorry, Terry.
83 came down to two guys for me. Both of them have Super Bowl rings, and both played for iconic Cowboys coaches; one of them is just slightly better and meant more during his playing time.
Kelvin Martin was an ace punt returner for Dallas, and he even has a place in Cowboys History in punt return yardage for his career (1,803 yards). He was a victim of the introduction of free agency and the salary cap era, but his impact shouldn’t be forgotten. Those 90s Cowboys are remembered at the wide receiver position for guys like Michael Irvin and Alvin Harper, but Kelvin helped the team survive to that point. In 1989 (the inaugural year of Jerry Jones, Jimmy Johnson, and Troy Aikman) Kelvin’s impact was felt at that wide receiver spot as he led the team in receptions (46) and receiving yards (644). Those were dark days in Cowboys History, but K-Mart helped us last until the dawn. While he is not our greatest 83, he deserves a tip of the cap.
The Greatest 83 in Dallas Cowboys History takes us back to a golden age, Golden Richards to be specific. The Dallas Cowboys went gold with the 46th pick of the 1973 draft in Richards. His speed was apparent from day one as he, like a lot of rookies, found a home on the special teams unit. Golden’s most significant special teams moment of 1973 came in that season’s NFC Championship game against the Minnesota Vikings where he returned a punt to the house from 63 yards out (the Vikings would win that game and go on to lose Super Bowl VIII to the defending champion Miami Dolphins).
1974 saw Richards take a starting role at wide receiver with Bob Hayes’ beginning the end of his career. He quickly, no pun intended, established himself as the team’s home run hitter and posted receptions of 52, 58, 46, and 43 yards that season. That 1974 season would prove to be Golden’s most statistically successful as he posted career highs in yards and touchdowns, with 467 and 5 respectively. He was a part of the team that got to (and lost) Super Bowl X against the Pittsburgh Steelers, but his finest hour was undoubtedly Super Bowl XII against the Denver Broncos.
With seven minutes remaining Golden Richards ran deep (29 yards to be exact) and caught a game-clinching touchdown pass not from Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach, but from the late Robert Newhouse on a fullback pitch out. It’s one of the more spectacular plays in NFL history and one that Cowboys fans look back on fondly. It’s one of the many reasons that the Greatest 83 in Dallas Cowboys History is Golden Richards.
Check back tomorrow to find out who the Greatest 82 in Dallas Cowboys History is!
Cowboys en Español: Evaluando la Administración
Entre los aficionados de los Dallas Cowboys, pocas cosas son criticadas tan frecuentemente como la administración de la franquicia que no ha ganado ningún Super Bowl en más de dos décadas. Se ha convertido en un equipo que, a pesar de ser el más valioso en el mundo deportivo, no ha sido nada relevante en el emparrillado. Lo que alguna vez fue una dinastía se ha convertido en una unidad que rompe frecuentemente los corazones de los fans.
Jerry Jones y Stephen Jones, siendo los operadores del ámbito deportivo del negocio familiar, son criticados semana tras semana y en gran parte por justa razón. Pero en gran parte, por cosas no muy válidas.
Cambios de Coach
A mi parecer, lo más criticable para la administración de este equipo viene cuando hablamos de los coaches. Muchos se burlan de los Cincinnati Bengals y de la manera en la que están atascados con el Head Coach Marvin Lewis. Con Jason Garrett al volante, la situación para los Cowboys no es nada diferente.
A mediados de la temporada 2018, no parece que esta narrativa vaya a cambiar. Una vez más, los Cowboys arrancaron de una manera muy inconsistente y ya no sabemos que esperar de ellos. Gran parte de las derrotas, la mayor parte, es el coacheo.
Sin duda el equipo no será exactamente el mismo en 2019, pero ¿serán suficientes los cambios como para decidir quedarse con el mismo capitán que no ha podido mantener el barco navegando por años?
A diferencia de como se manejan muchos equipos en la liga, los Jones fungen como general managers de su propio equipo. Con la ayuda de Will McClay han logrado superar varios de los fracasos de los Jones de antaño, pero actualmente, siendo sinceros no han hecho un mal trabajo.
A pesar de las critícas de Abril, Leighton Vander Esch está probando haber valido más que la pena. Siendo objetivos, aparte de Taco Charlton en el 2017, todas las selecciones de primera ronda de los Cowboys han sido valiosas. La línea ofensiva, el corredor, un cornerback que por fin se está perfilando como uno de los mejores en la liga.
En cuanto a la segunda ronda, ha habido varias críticas, muchas con razón. Pero el mejor caza cabezas del equipo, DeMarcus Lawrence, el linebacker Jaylon Smith, Randy Gregory y más están teniendo un impacto muy fuerte en el equipo.
La administración se ha visto en la necesidad de tomar decisiones bastante difíciles después de una temporada de nueve victorias en 2017. El LB Anthony Hitchens fue liberado, Dan Bailey se fue inesperadamente, se confió en Byron Jones para tomar su opción de quinto año.
Hasta ahora, pura decisión digna de aplaudirse. Pero ninguna como la más reciente de todas: Amari Cooper.
Por más caro que haya salido, los Cowboys merecen bastante crédito por haber mejorado muchísimo su posición de WR. Si el equipo llega a tener una oportunidad esta temporada, será en gran parte por él.
No cabe ninguna duda en mi cabeza de que los Jones han cometido errores a lo largo de los años, el más evidente siendo la resistencia de dejar ir a Jason Garrett. Pero a pesar de esto, la administración ha tomado excelentes decisiones y ha realizado el draft muy bien. En ese aspecto en específico, les aplaudo.
Sack Numbers Don’t Tell DeMarcus Lawrence’s 2018 Story
Coming off of a career year in 2017, many fans expected DeMarcus Lawrence to continue his ridiculous sack production this season. After all, he is once again in a "contract year" due to the franchise tag, and fans are hoping the Cowboys can secure him longterm this offseason.
Through the first four games of 2018, Lawrence looked as ridiculous and unstoppable as ever. He had 5.5 sacks, tied for the league lead, and was dictating the pass protection schemes of every offense the Cowboys were facing.
Since that hot start, though, DeMarcus Lawrence has recorded just 1 sack, falling behind some of the league leaders he was once ahead of. This has some people scratching their heads and wondering if Lawrence's career year in 2017 was just that, a career year. One which he will never replicate again, and one which the Cowboys should factor out when talking contract extensions.
Here's why those people are wrong.
Let's first talk about what makes DeMarcus Lawrence so good, and then we'll get into the full context of the Cowboys defense and how that explains some of the drop in sacks.
Lawrence, unlike some of the league's other top pass rushers, is a complete 4-3 defensive end. He is one of, if not the best run defending defensive ends in football, as shown by his 12 tackles for loss on the season (only Aaron Donald and Danielle Hunter have more).
Much of the year, the Cowboys run defense has boiled down to Lawrence making splash plays, as we saw against the Washington Redskins. Adrian Peterson was gashing the Cowboys during that game, and the only one who did anything to stop him was DeMarcus Lawrence, as indicated by his 3 tackles for loss that Sunday.
There's also the point that 6.5 sacks through half the season is, well, good. It's really good! And when you couple his sack numbers with his solid pressure and QB hit stats, you can see that Lawrence is having a very good season.
Then there is the context of this entire Cowboys defense, specifically their defensive line and pass rush. To put it bluntly, DeMarcus Lawrence has been their only consistent rusher this season. Though we came into the year with high hopes for Randy Gregory, and cautious optimism about first round pick Taco Charlton, neither have been all that impressive this season.
Somebody, anybody, has to step up and become a threat opposite of Lawrence. David Irving could help matters with his interior pass rush ability, but he has been unavailable for basically the entire season.
Without another pass rusher for offense's to even think twice about, Lawrence is getting double teamed and/or chipped by a tight end or running back on just about every rush. It's becoming rare that Lawrence is in a true one-on-one pass rush situation.
Of course, if you are elite, offenses are going to shift protections to you in this way and you still have to find ways to be productive.
And thus far in 2018, DeMarcus Lawrence is doing just that.
Can QB Dak Prescott Steal Back His Mojo From Atlanta?
When the Dallas Cowboys last traveled to Mercedes-Benz Stadium they were completely throttled by the Atlanta Falcons. It's a game a lot of Cowboys Nation would like to forget, but no one more so than Quarterback Dak Prescott. That game could very well be where his struggles really began.
It's almost exactly a year later and the Dallas Cowboys still find themselves haunted by that brutal beating the Atlanta Falcons handed them in Week 10 of the 2017 season. The Cowboys seemed to lose all confidence in themselves after that game, but it was almost as if it was the exact point in time where Dak Prescott lost all of his mojo as well.
Before that match up against the Falcons, Prescott was still playing at a pretty high level. But since then, he has been in a slump and there have been very few signs of recapturing any of that magic he once had. Heading back to Atlanta maybe the key for him finding and stealing back his mojo.
Things could definitely go a little differently this time around. The Cowboys will have Ezekiel Elliott and Tyron Smith in the lineup this week. Zeke missed the game last year due to the league mandated six-game suspension, and Tyron missed due to an injury. Having those two back in the lineup could pay huge dividends, especially for Prescott.
Without his starting left tackle and running back, Dak was pretty much beaten to a pulp by the Falcons defense a year ago. They applied relentless pressure, hitting and sacking him on a number of occasions. Unfortunately, I think that's where he started seeing ghost in the pocket and its haunted him ever since.
The beating he took at the hands of the Falcons has really thrown off his entire game. His mechanics, accuracy, and effectiveness as a scrambler can all be traced back to that one matchup. He just hasn't been the same QB he was prior to that game.
Prescott's stats prior to the Falcons game:
66.7 completion percentage
102.4 passer rating
Prescott's stats since the Falcons game:
63.3 completion percentage
83.1 passer rating
As you can see, that's a notable difference. His passer rating has shockingly dropped nearly 20 points since last playing the Falcons and it's really hurt the entire offensive production. It's time for that to change.
Prescott has no choice this week. He has to get back up on the horse that bucked him off and hopefully regain that mojo he left in Atlanta a year ago. Fortunately for him, his confidence might be is as high as it's been since that last meeting after pulling off the upset against the Philadelphia Eagles last week.
Now, he just has to go out and prove it!
Do you think Dak Prescott can regain his mojo against the Atlanta Falcons?
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