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A New Weekly Action On DCNation

Bryson Treece



Okay so we're all here for some football right? Well let's make it more interesting for us. The staff here is keeping a score of our own, and we'll update weekly the staff picks and records in the sidebar. Just a little something fun on the side for us. We missed the first two weeks due to life, so I'm going to start each of us out with perfect records, 10-0. That's four games a week plus a bonus pick. So let's get started.

In week 3 we're picking from the following:

  1. Washington @ Detroit
  2. Atlanta @ New England
  3. Indianapolis @ Arizona
  4. San Fransisco @ Minnesota

And for the bonus pick - of the teams still sitting at 0-2 for the season (Saint Louis Rams, Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans, Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins, Carolina Panthers), which will be able to snag their first win this week?

Bryson -

  1. Washington Redskins
  2. Atlanta Falcons
  3. Arizona Cardinals
  4. San Fransisco 49ers

Bonus pick is Jacksonville.

Bryan -

  1. Detroit Lions
  2. New England Patriots
  3. Indianapolis Colts
  4. Minnesota Vikings

Bonus pick is Tennessee.

Jonathan -

  1. Washington Redskins
  2. New England Patriots
  3. Indianapolis Colts
  4. Minnesota Vikings

Bonus pick is Miami.

Phillip (Bags030404) -

  1. Detroit Lions
  2. New England Patriots
  3. Indianapolis Colts
  4. Minnesota Vikings

Bonus pick is Tennessee.

Good luck to us all!

Nothing gives me greater joy than the experience of being a Dallas Cowboys fan come time to check another victory on the schedule every Sunday. I live Inside the Star everyday and blog on it occasionally, as well. Follow us on Twitter - @InsideTheStarDC



  1. Joe

    September 25, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    I’m with Bags & Bryan the Lions are gonna upset the Skins, will be 1 of 3 games they win this season, watch.

  2. Bryan Martin

    September 25, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    See bryson, Joe agrees with me. Joe you rock

  3. bags030404

    September 25, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    Umm I believe that Joe agreed with me first Bo! You know a good thing when you see it Joe, your number 1 in my book.

  4. Bryson Treece

    September 26, 2009 at 2:10 am

    Hey now, what did I say about the first idiot to trip over a step Bryan? Maybe Bags should be let in on that now … lol.

    I just don’t see the Lions pulling it together against a Redskin team with some talent, on the road, and in a division that is already split up much more than anyone thought it would be – they’ve got more of a chance as of week 3 to stay in this run for the division title, however short lived it may be. Passion accounts for a lot fellas.

  5. Joe

    September 27, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    How bout them Lions?? hahah I knew they would get the upset. Skins are just garbage, main reason being Cambell not being a leader, he has no emotion what so ever when he plays.

  6. bags030404

    September 27, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    That was awesome! What a great day it is when the Redskins lose!

  7. Bryan Martin

    September 27, 2009 at 3:45 pm

    hello world, phillip…joe! It seems our friend bryson may have been a little premature. I’ll give him that tennessee didn’t pull it off but minnesota in dramatic fashion and those wonderful lions. However I must say, how about the class of the redskins celebrating with the lions and even praying with them. I have the skins but i love when teams in the league show some class.

  8. Bryson Treece

    September 27, 2009 at 7:36 pm

    Yeah, yeah, yeah, laugh it up. Always next week.

    Still hope for a 2-3 at least, got the Jags winning, now just need the Cards to pull one out.

    I am happy for the Lions, made me feel embarrassed they lost so many in a row, good to see them get it working enough for one at least.

  9. bags030404

    September 28, 2009 at 9:49 am

    I will take a 4-1 record!

  10. Bryson Treece

    September 28, 2009 at 10:40 am

    Okay, so I’ve got our picks updated since they’re all done now, and of Course Bryan and Phillip are tied up now at 14-1 each, Jonathan is at 13-2 and I’m at a measly 11-4.

    I’ll get you guys this next week.

    • bags030404

      September 28, 2009 at 11:10 am

      Don’t you mean Bo, trying to slip in some good pub for yourself there aren’t ya.

      • Bryson Treece

        September 28, 2009 at 2:23 pm

        His name is too damn close to my own, I do that all the time. Bo it is from now on, people will just have to figure out who I mean. =P

  11. Bryan Martin

    September 28, 2009 at 12:08 pm

    man phillip where would i be without you…. way to go bryson! or shall I call you CHEATER! mwuahahahahahaha

  12. Bryson Treece

    September 28, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    Hey I’m losing, so cheater? If so I’m awfully bad at it aren’t I? Just watch the scores in the sidebar, might be something to that effect sooner or later. j/k

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Dallas Cowboys

Did DC Rod Marinelli Have Increased Role in Cowboys Loss at Rams?

Sean Martin



Did DC Rod Marinelli Have Increased Role in Cowboys Loss at Rams?

The Dallas Cowboys Divisional Round loss at the Los Angeles Rams is still fresh on the minds of their players, staff, and front office. So much so that the team had to fan the flames on a Jason Garrett comment expecting Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan to return. Garrett himself walked back this "report" once Stephen Jones noted it's still too early for any coaching staff changes. The focus will remain on Linehan's post until it's removed or the Cowboys OC is retained, but one coordinator the Cowboys now expect to keep is Rod Marinelli on defense.

Marinelli himself disputed the season-long belief that this was likely his last as the Cowboys defensive coordinator. With Passing Game Coordinator Kris Richard not taking any of the three HC positions he interviewed for, Marinelli doesn't have to worry about shuffling his title to accommodate Richard - who called the plays from week one this season anyway.

Rod's title does include his specialty as defensive line coach though, a unit that the Rams dominated with their offensive line to a historic degree. The Rams' season-high 273 rushing yards was provided by both Todd Gurley and C.J. Anderson surpassing 100 yards on the ground, the first time in team history they've had two backs reach this mark in a single playoff game.

Rams HC Sean McVay hardly had to reach into his vaunted 'bag of tricks' to expose the Cowboys defense in a way they hadn't been all year, but there was still an element of brilliance in his offensive game plan. It came out after the game that the Rams picked up on the keys the Dallas defensive linemen used to signal stunts and twists before the snap. While this is nothing more than just great scouting yielding an unforeseen advantage, it's left the Cowboys with more than enough time to ponder what went wrong in the Coliseum.

Danny Heifetz on Twitter

The Rams offensive line knew what the Cowboys defensive line was going to do before the snap on Saturday.

The answer to this may be nothing other than the coaching questions the Cowboys are already considering. With Richard's interviews in Tampa Bay, Miami, and New York coming at the beginning of the week leading up to game day, it's possible Marinelli had a larger say in the Cowboys preparation on defense.

It was Marinelli's defense that conceded 412 yards to the Rams in 2017 in a loss at AT&T Stadium. Matching him up with McVay leaves a lot to be desired, while Richard helps bridge this gap - something he was seen desperately trying to do on the sideline with a battered Cowboys defense.

As each day of the offseason passes, a change at either coordinator position becomes less likely in Dallas. On offense, the play caller has more than a season's worth of evidence showing the deficiencies of the Cowboys attack. In a league fueled by recency bias however, Marinelli certainly didn't leave his best performance on the field in Los Angeles.

Somewhere in the middle of this is Jason Garrett, safely in place as the head coach that should be personally trying to upgrade his top two assistants however possible. Marinelli signing up for another year makes this hard on defense, though Richard should resume play calling duties next season.

Again, this leaves the onus of the Cowboys improvements for 2019 on the offensive side of the ball, something that'll be realized when the shock of their defense letting them down in the biggest game of the season is gone.

Tell us what you think about "Did DC Rod Marinelli Have Increased Role in Cowboys Loss at Rams?" in the comments below. You can also email me at, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys Getting Over $30 Million Cap Space from Expiring Dead Money

Jess Haynie



Tony Romo, Dez Bryant

You may have already heard that the Dallas Cowboys will be flush with salary cap space in 2019, and that's very accurate. A huge portion of it comes from over $30 million in expiring cap penalties, otherwise known as "dead money."

Quick explanation; dead money occurs when a player is released or retires prior to the expiration of their contract. Any guaranteed money, such as the original signing bonus or money converted in a restructuring, that has not yet been paid out according to the contract schedule is accelerated.

For example, when Tony Romo retired after 2016, he still had $19.6 million in guaranteed money owed to him. Dallas chose to split this dead money over two years, and thus had a $10.7 cap penalty in 2017 and $8.9 million last season.

But now Romo's dead money, along with Dez Bryant's and several other players, is coming off the Cowboys' books. The result is a roughly $30 million infusion of salary cap space for 2019.

Here were the major culprits for last year's dead money:

(All cap figures are taken from

  • QB Tony Romo - $8.9 million
  • WR Dez Bryant - $8 million
  • DT Cedric Thornton - $2.5 million
  • CB Orlando Scandrick - $2.3 million
  • CB Nolan Carroll - $2 million
  • WR Deonte Thompson - $1.8 million
  • DE Benson Mayowa - $1.1 million
  • K Dan Bailey - $800 thousand
  • TE James Hanna - $750 thousand

Those players alone make up a little over $28 million. Another $4 million or so came from over 30 players with lesser penalties that still added up.

Right now, the Cowboys have only $1.76 million in dead money on their 2019 salary cap. Nearly all of that is the $1.6 million still owed to Orlando Scandrick.

That difference is where the cap space comes from, and it will be of tremendous help to Dallas as they have major financial moves coming. They need to re-sign DeMarcus Lawrence, deal with a major salary bump for Amari Cooper, and consider a contract extension for Dak Prescott.

The 2019 number will change, of course, as the offseason rolls on. If Dallas elects to release players like Sean Lee, Tyrone Crawford, or others, some dead money will appear. But that will be offset by whatever cap savings motivated the move in the first place.

This is a good reminder of why the Cowboys' new era of fiscal conservatism is a good thing. After years of what felt like perpetual "salary cap hell," they are finally getting out from under those penalties and have complete flexibility this offseason. They may not even need to cut a guy like Crawford, who they almost would have been forced to in past seasons.

We'll be talking a lot more about individual players and their contracts in the weeks ahead, but this summary helps us see that Dallas isn't nearly up against the financial wall as they have been. We still miss guys like Romo and Dez, but we won't miss that awful dead money in 2019.

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Player News

Cowboys Expect C Travis Frederick Back for Offseason Program

Jess Haynie



Travis Frederick

Lost in yesterday's hoopla over Scott Linehan's return was a positive report about Center Travis Frederick. In his comments to the media, Jason Garrett said that Frederick's recovery timetable should allow him to a full participant in the team's offseason program.

After never missing a start in his first five years, Travis missed all of 2018 dealing with the effects of Guillain-Barré Syndrome. The disease attacked his neurological system and required immediate and intensive treatment.

Rob Phillips on Twitter

Jason Garrett says the team anticipates Travis Frederick being involved in the offseason program right from the start this spring if he continues on the same positive track in recovery from Guillain-Barré syndrome. #cowboyswire

While Joe Looney performed admirably in Frederick's absence, he's not an elite talent. Travis has been arguably the best center in the NFL since entering the league in 2013.

It's hard to qualify what effect not having Frederick had on the Cowboys offense in 2018. Ezekiel Elliott still led the league in rushing, but short-yardage plays weren't as automatic as we've seen in past years. A 4th-and-1 stuff was part of what led to the Cowboys' loss this past Saturday.

Dak Prescott was the second-most sacked QB in the NFL in 2018. After being sacked just 25 and 32 times in his first two seasons, the number skyrocketed to 56 sacks.

That's not all on Frederick, of course. Tyron Smith had some health issues and there were was turnover at left guard.

But having your All-Pro veteran center out there to help with the pre-snap reads, and help the rookie guard on his left, might have helped avoid some of those issues.

Indeed, Travis Frederick's return is just one of many reasons for optimism with the 2019 season. One of the best players on the team, he was sorely missed this year and can only help as Dallas looks to build on their division title and playoff appearance.

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