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….and there’s nothing you can do about it.

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Cowboys Blog - ....and there's nothing you can do about it.

If you want a seminal snapshot of the season to date, it was right there, late in the game, for the nation to see in all its dominance and glory.

Five linemen, a fullback, and DeMarco Murray celebrated together in the end zone, apart from the shiny toys on offense, away from Romo, isolated together in the end zone of the world champs.  They hugged and head butted, knowing full well what they’d just done, and what they’ve become.

They are one.  The most dominant collective unit in the National Football League.  Soak in that for a moment.

They are also everything Jerry Jones avoids at every turn, which makes it all more improbable and twice as delicious.  They are fat guys with 70-something jerseys that don’t sell in the pro shop.  “Zack Martin picks get you to 8-8,” said Jerry the Football Imbecile.  How’s your boy Manziel doing, eh Jerry?

It's so much more enjoyable knowing Jerry is looking at it from the outside with "I told you so" etched in lipstick across his thick skull.  I'll let you figure out who's lipstick.

Yesterday was so much more than a win. Somebody every week upsets a team in difficult circumstances, especially in the watered-down parity the NFL has devolved into. There’s nothing specifically noteworthy about that in and of itself.

But that’s not what happened yesterday.  This was an institutional change in NFL hierarchy.  Richard Sherman’s cockiness and bravado turned into congratulatory daps with Dez, and a post-game hug of respect with Romo.  Pete Carroll’s early camera smugly smirks turned into lost looks of confusion and helplessness.

Dallas had just Seattle-ed the Seahawks, as if to say, “Looky here, boys, we are now who you used to be.”

Dominance is a tricky concoction to make.  It needs a catalyst, perhaps two, to fester into the fabric of reality.  It’s quiet, and it’s everywhere.  You know it when you see it because you can feel it, too.

That’s what this offensive line has done for this team.  Everything is feeding off of it, the backs, Romo and his now deadly play fakes, receivers and tight ends blocking downfield, and a defense that is flying around and hitting everything without mercy.  Everybody feels fresh, mentally and physically, for four quarters and every Sunday.

Even Gavin Escobar is blocking. Good gosh, it’s a miracle.

Such a unit infects malady into the other team, too.  We watched Drew Brees stand on the sideline as a spectator.  Russell Wilson did the same yesterday, merely a face in the crowd, watching a bloodletting reversal.  Seattle’s offense looked impatient and uncertain, as if their identity had been ripped from their souls and held up to their faces.  Fingers pointing, coaches pacing, opposing fans pondering.  Oh crap, the stinking Cowboys are back.

Murray for 5, Murray for 3, Murray for 7, Randle for 15, Dunbar on a catch for 20.  Pound, pound, pound.  The message is loud and clear.  We’re running right there, and you can’t stop us.  And when needed, Romo can still work his magic.  And lest you forget, our receivers are pretty dadgum good, even the ones you barely know.  I can’t remember the last time first downs tallied with such ease and expectancy, but it’s making this a superbly fun season.

OK, it’s October, I know.  Ten games to go, fraught with potential injuries, and pits of calamity lurking around every corner.  Learning to live with expectations remains unproven.  Wearing the proverbial “team to beat” target is a burden, even when accustomed to what wearing the Star brings by its very nature.

But I take you back to that picture of Murray and his team of gladiators in Seattle’s end zone.  That’s a bond that doesn’t break in thick or thin.  That doesn’t wilt in the cold and pressure of December and January.  That’s a constant in any equation.

This is a playoff team, and a mighty serious one at that.


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14 Comments
  • Paul Leatherman

    Great article. But Meh on the Jerry dissing. He takes the blame for the bad so you gotta give credit for the good.

    • John Schmidt

      i would have said the jerry bashing was unnecessary to but for jerrys stupid 8-8 comment about manzeil

    • Erod

      It’s necessary because this could have happened so long ago if not for Jerry. He was there in the 90s. He played offensive line in college. Yet, he ignored the proper course for so many lost generations of players. He meddled and took Mo Claiborne instead of DeCastro. He fascinates over the Manziels of the world. He’s PT Barnum, not a football man.
      This team is everything Jerry isn’t. Disciplined, blue collar, fundamentally sound, a group of RKGs. Jerry is the black sheep of it all. He doesn’t belong in the picture of this group of Cowboys. He’s the leper on the other side of the glass.
      Thank Jason Garrett for that.

      • Paul Leatherman

        He was there in the 90’s right. So how many of those oline guys were 1st round picks. Zero. I get it. You blame Jerry for 20 years of misery. Rightfully so. He deserves more than his fair share of it. But to blame the oline failures on him is ridiculous in mind. He meddled and took Claiborne? Well thats just not factual at all. Stephen Jones had that trade worked out the day before the draft. Not Jerry. How long do you have to be involved in football to be considered a football man? See, the problem is you start off blaming everything on Jerry and then you say this team is everything he is isn’t? So when did Jerry stop meddling? When did he stop making picks? When did the “football man” start making picks? Who is this “football man”? If you look back on it Jerry has almost always made draft choices depending upon what his head coach wanted. He did it with Parcells, well except for that one time Parcells wanted to take Spears at 11 and pass on Ware. Ol Barnum Jones decided to take Ware and wait on Spears. So what if he fascinates over Manziel? Did he pick him? No. He was fascinated by Dez Bryant and thank God he took him. It’s obvious you hate Jerry and blame him for everything and will never give credit for anything. Not trying to change your mind. Believe me, I’ve done my fair of Jerry cursing. But I give credit where credit is due. I don’t bash him for bad picks and then give credit elsewhere when a good pick is made.

        • Erod

          Jerry is the embarrassingly drunk rich uncle at the wedding that won’t stop feeling up the bridesmaids on the dance floor. He writes the check for the shindig, so he gets the mic when he wants it.
          Fortunately, he’s largely ignored these days. Players, coaches, even his own family…nobody takes him seriously as a serious person anymore. He’s just Daddy Pocketbook.

      • vrusimov

        Excellent, deadly accurate observation on Jones, who will look to again take credit for the insights of others who must keep him from making bonehead choices like Manziel. This line should have been addressed following the ’07 season, but it was Romo’s improvisational skills that allowed him to neglect what made the Cowboys great when they were winning SuperBowls. While I have my reservations about Garrett still, he has to at least get some credit for what we are seeing now…hard as that is for me to admit. Jones has always had a perverse penchant for “bling”.

  • Jonathan Day

    Great write-up Erod.

  • Jerry Jones 1 Dallas Fans 0

    What a bunch of hot air over a football game, and a regular season one at that. Seattle lost, Cowboys won. There’s nothing revolutionary or poetic about a football game. If you think you can write, use your talents on something worthwhile like a real writer, don’t waste them on blowing a bunch of hot air over a child’s game.

    • Erod

      …says the guy who logged on to a football site to read a column. Things a little slow over on the Redskins forum, or whatever rock you crawled out from under?

    • Paul Leatherman

      Hey Jerry Jones 1 Dallas Fans 0…………Go be a dick somewhere else.

  • mike

    too bad that is the wrong picture you have up…that one is the TD pass to 82

    • https://insidethestar.com/ Bryson Treece

      You got the right one???

    • Erod

      I asked for the other, but it’s no where to be found apparently. This was the closest we could find.

  • Cowboysdude

    Good write up… still all in all this team has improved greatly under Marinelli and Linehan… it’s certainly not because of their “HC”….garrettkeet the puppet. My only fear is that they are hired away and garrettkeet stays because it’ll be right back to mediocre football…

Star Blog

Should Cowboys Sign This RFA to a Contract Sheet?

Brian Martin

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Should Cowboys Sign This RFA to a Contract Sheet?

Fortune favors the bold. It's a rough translation of an old Latin proverb and the mantra I believe the Dallas Cowboys should indoctrinate this offseason.

I think it's time the Dallas Cowboys start to make a few bold moves. I truly believe they are close to competing for a championship title and one or two offseason moves could increase those odds. One such move would be to sign restricted free agent (RFA) Shaquil Barrett to an offer sheet.

It's expected that the Denver Broncos will place a second-round tender on Barrett and I think the Dallas Cowboys would be wise to explore the possibility of signing him to a contract sheet. If Denver declines to match the offer, the Cowboys would then send them their second round draft pick as compensation.

You on board?

Probably not at this point, but let me try to explain why I believe this is a good move on the Cowboys part, even if it is an uncharacteristic one.

You see, the Cowboys could definitely use someone to play opposite DeMarcus Lawrence and I think Shaquil Barrett could be the solution.

I know it sounds like a lot to give up a second round draft pick, but the Cowboys have been deplorable at drafting players in the second round the past decade. Sean Lee, DeMarcus Lawrence, and possibly Jaylon Smith have really been the only "hits" the Cowboys have found in the second round. That's simply unacceptable!

So, why not use that second rounder to acquire a player who is already a proven commodity in the NFL?

Shaquil Barrett

Denver Broncos OLB Shaq Barrett (Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports)

I know the first thing a lot of you are going to do is to look up Shaquil Barrett's stats to see what he has accomplished in the NFL. But, stats don't always show the big picture.

You see, Barrett has been stuck behind some pretty talented pass rushers in Denver, so his statistics aren't going to jump off the paper. But, when given the opportunity he has proven he deserves a larger role. That's where the Dallas Cowboys come in.

The Broncos probably don't have the money to keep Shaquil Barrett if the Cowboys sign him to a contract sheet. It doesn't necessarily even have to be a big money contract offer. The Broncos simply don't have the salary cap to do much, especially considering they are still looking for a starting quarterback.

I honestly like the idea of the Cowboys going after Barrett. You may have forgotten, but he gave a healthy Tyron Smith fits last season.

With an injured Shane Ray, Shaquil Barrett got the start against the Cowboys in 2017 and finished the game with two quarterback hits, six QB pressures, and five stops. No other player found that kind of success against Tyron Smith all season, even when he was banged up.

Unfortunately, when Shane Ray returned, Barrett's usage on defense declined. That's why you can't always judge a players productivity by statistics. You have to judge him more on a per-snap basis, and if you do that you will discover he was very effective as both a pass rusher and run stopper.

I believe Barrett is ready for a full-time role. Yes, he has been used as a standup 3-4 OLB with the Broncos, but he has the required traits to put his hand on the ground and maintain his effectiveness.

The downside to all of this is the Dallas Cowboys would have to give up their second-round draft pick, but draft picks are sometimes overvalued anyways. Shaquil Barrett is probably better than anybody the Cowboys could draft in the second round, so I say pull the trigger.

Should the Cowboys sign Shaquil Barrett to a contract sheet?


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Star Blog

Could a Former Division Rival be Cowboys’ LG Solution?

Brian Martin

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Could Former Division Rival be Cowboys' OG Solution?

When it comes to prioritizing the Dallas Cowboys offseason needs, offensive guard is definitely near the top of the list. Opinions will certainly vary, but for me, solidifying the offensive line with a new starting left guard is the top priority for the Cowboys.

I know many of you will disagree and believe the Dallas Cowboys need to continue to upgrade their defense. But, this teams success or failure will be determined by how their offensive line performs. That's just the way the Cowboys are built, which is why they have invested so heavily putting this unit together.

Four out of five of the Dallas Cowboys starting offensive line is set in stone, but there is currently no one on the roster to step into the vacant left guard position unless you want to see the coaching staff give Chaz Green another try.

No, I didn't think so.

With the start of the 2018 free agency just a few weeks away, the Dallas Cowboys have certainly narrowed down some of the potential free agents they would be interested in bringing aboard if the price is right. Remember, they have turned into "bargain shoppers".

There are a few intriguing free agent options who I believe could step in to upgrade the LG position for the Cowboys next season, and not break the bank. One such option is a former division rival of the New York Giants, Justin Pugh.

Justin Pugh

New York Giants OL Justin Pugh

The former 19th overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft has spent five years in New York while playing out his rookie contract, but that time has come to an end. The Giants aren't likely to re-sign him, which means he will get his first taste of free agency.

Justin Pugh could step in and be an immediate upgrade over what the Dallas Cowboys employed at the left guard position in 2017. He has exceptional mobility. He reaches the second level with ease and plays with good body control and footwork. He is a perfect fit in a zone blocking scheme like the Cowboys employ.

Pugh is also versatile. He has played both right tackle and offensive guard for the Giants. He of course would be asked to play between Travis Frederick and Tyron Smith at LG with the Cowboys, but versatility to play another position is never a bad thing.

Unfortunately, Pugh doesn't come without baggage. He has missed a total of 13 games over the last two seasons with the Giants, including eight last season due to a back injury. This is definitely a huge red flag, especially for the Cowboys after dealing with the same issue with Tyron Smith.

But, this is why Justin Pugh will likely be in the Cowboys price range. Sportrac currently estimates his contract at 4 years at $23,983,847, which equates to $5,995,968 annually. I personally think that's a little low for someone of Pugh's caliber and versatility, but it certainly understandable when you take into account his recent injury history.

I personally think this is a longshot to happen because  the Cowboys would prefer to go younger and cheaper, but it wouldn't surprise me.

Do you think Justin Pugh makes sense for the Cowboys?


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Star Blog

Dallas Cowboys Wishlist: 2018 Free Agency Edition

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Dallas Cowboys Wishlist: 2018 Free Agency Edition
Andy Lyons / Getty Images

Sadly, we can't wake up on Sundays to NFL football. The Dallas Cowboys are not on TV every week for us to watch them play. To make matters worse, we'll have to wait until September to get real football from our favorite team.

But that doesn't mean there's nothing to talk about until then! For the die-hard Cowboys fan, the offseason should be quite entertaining. Free agency will begin in March, and it should be an intense one for Dallas.

They need to handle a tight salary cap while trying to add a bit of help for this football team. Recently, Inside The Star Contributor John Williams wrote an in-depth piece about the Cowboys' cap situation and how they can manage to get things done, despite having little cap space right now.

Last season, I wrote a weekly Cowboys Wishlist about things I wanted to see for each game. Now there are no games, but I decided to write a special edition for this upcoming free agency.

Cowboys en Español: El Futuro de David Irving y DeMarcus Lawrence

Dallas Cowboys DL David Irving, DeMarcus Lawrence (Kevin Jairaj / USA TODAY Sports)

Wish #1: Keep The Rushmen

The front office will have one hell of a challenge trying to retain all of its free agents. The two most important ones may be their two defensive linemen. If they can keep them, DL won't be a top need heading to the Draft.

Lawrence is one of the biggest names in free agency this 2018, but the Cowboys should find a way to keep him from ever being available.

If they're able to franchise tag him, that'd be the way to go since he's only had one elite season in his four-year career and they may not want to sign him to a huge long-term deal and risk not seeing the same guy next season.

David Irving is a more polarizing player, with off-the-field issues. However, he's been a very disruptive guy and he has the chance to be a unique player. His talent is really out of this world. Keeping him and Irving would give this franchise a top defensive line for the first time in many years.

Anthony Hitchens 1

Dallas Cowboys LB Anthony Hitchens (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Wish #2: Pay Anthony Hitchens

When healthy, Sean Lee is one of the NFL's top linebackers. He is simply an outstanding player who's always around the ball and seems to know where the ball is going before the opposing coach even calls the play.

The problem is, he has a lot of trouble remaining available. Anthony Hitchens is a guy who's found the way to step up every time the General is out, and he's shown a great progression as a player year after year.

Lee will be 32 by the time the season starts, giving Dallas something to think about. Hitchens is a guy capable of starting and competing in the NFL. If the front office finds a way to keep him, they'll be getting closer to being less "Sean Lee-dependent."

Wish #3: Get Seattle Seahawks' Earl Thomas

When we talk about a potential big name addition to the Dallas Cowboys, we're usually a bit pessimistic. This team isn't one that makes splashes like this, but Earl Thomas to Dallas makes a ton of sense. Former Seahawks' defensive coordinator is now the Cowboys' defensive backs' coach.

With Chidobe Awuzie, Jourdan Lewis (and maybe Byron Jones moving to CB), this team will have a promising secondary. Add Earl Thomas, and it will go from "promising" to "great" in a heartbeat.

The Cowboys could not only have a top DL, but a top secondary if they're able to get this veteran.

Let's hope the Cowboys listen to Thomas and they go get him.

A Case For Dez Bryant Remaining a Dallas Cowboy in 2018

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)

Wish #4: Get Dez Bryant to Take a Pay Cut

When I started writing this, I wanted to add a "get this wide receiver in FA"... but I won't. A few weeks ago, I wrote a case in favor and one against Dez Bryant remaining a Cowboy in 2018. Personally, I would be fine with him parting ways with the team.

However, I'm aware of how hard it can be finding a replacement for a guy like #88. The biggest issue with Dez is definitely his cap hit. He hasn't justified the money he's being paid on the field as he should be.

If they can get him to take a pay cut, it may end up being the ideal scenario for the Dallas Cowboys.

It'll be a very interesting offseason, and here at Inside The Star we'll continue to provide you with content about it all.

Tell me what you think about "Dallas Cowboys Wishlist: 2018 Free Agency Edition" 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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