So before I continue this clearly controversial series, I want to address the negative comments placed by Falcons Fans. My articles are often reviewed by fans of the teams I’m writing on, to bring readers the best quality I can put together. This is true for the Falcons article.
Also, before I even begin and someone gets there own opinions of me and my “lack of knowledge of the organization” let it be known that I grew up in Philadelphia, I love the Phillies, the Sixers, and the Flyers but for some reason I absolutely despise the Eagles. I’ve enjoyed the great legend that is Geno’s, and have fond memories at both the Vet and Spectrum. So without further ado, let me continue to analyze what is fast becoming one of the best rivalries in American sports.
The Eagles present to me the biggest threat that the Cowboys will face this season at all. They are tough, fast, and they execute. So here’s the preview:
Key Offseason Additions:
FB Leonard Weaver
O-Line Stacy Andrews
S Sean Jones
S Rashad Baker
Key Offseason Subtractions:
D-Coordinator- Jim Johnson
S Brian Dawkins
O-Line Jon Runyan
TE L.J. Smith
RB Correll Buckhalter
Key Draft Picks:
WR Jeremy Maclin, MISS- This young man is the future of the organization. A muscular, explosive young receiver, who can run routes effectively and always seems to produce. Should sure up the last remaining questions about Philly’s WR core.
RB LeSean McCoy, PITT- A good kid, who should get some good snap numbers beside Westbrook. With McCoy in the line up, the game plan is more versatile, you get a good runner with quick steps and receiving ability.
Projected Top Performers
(courtesy ESPN 2009 Projections)
Brian Westbrook- 200 rush 810 yds 7 TD—56 Rec 453 yds 4 TD
Donovan Mcnabb- 320/539 comp 3749 yds 22 TD 11 INT
DeSean Jackson- 74 rec 1100 yds 4 TD
This game brings back painful memories of the last game of last season and you can expect to see much of the same. The offense looks more explosive though L.J. Smith is gone Brent Celek has shown flashes of being a capable replacement. The addition of Jeremy Maclin and LeSean McCoy add some more weapons, and McNabb is ready to take the this team to battle for one last shot. The defense is equally explosive, the problem here lies with two subtractions: Brian Dawkins and Jim Johnson. The emotional leader and defensive mastermind have left from this team, and if others can’t pick up the slack, the hype surrounding the birds will stop come week 3.
On the Cowboys side, they bring an element they haven’t had in a while: Low expectations. This means the Cowboys will be fully prepared and willing to do anything to silence the critics. If the secondary for Philly isn’t producing in the absence of Dawkins, Sheppard, and Johnson, Romo will be handed the opportunity to be the Gunslinger he’s shown flashes of becoming. Oppositely, the defense will be coming in a new scheme with new blitzes that McNabb won’t exactly be familiar with. If the Cowboys can keep the Birds guessing, they’ll become victorious.
**May I take the this time to offer my proper respect to Eagles fans for the passing away of Jim Johnson. My prayers are with JJ’s Family, Friends, and Fans.**
Matchup of the Game:
Cowboys Linebackers VS Eagles backfield
Cowboys Receivers VS Eagles DB’s
What IF sports prediction:
(10 simulated games)
Avg Score: DAL 19 PHI 26
DAL Win PCT: 50%
My Season Prediction
There are too many variables controlling the game. Is the hype worth believing? Or Will the Boys claim what everyone thought they would get last season? Is McDermott ready? Can our Receivers Contribute?
Anyway, I’m going to predict a split because of the X factor that is the Inaugural season of Cowboys Stadium
@ PHI- 27 PHI 13 DAL
@ DAL- 17 DAL 14 PHI
Next Series Installment: Oakland Raiders (Yes you did read that correctly)
WR Randall Cobb Named Cowboys “Surprise Standout” for Offseason
NFL teams have wrapped up their offseason activities with the close of OTAs, especially where the players are concerned, and await the start of training camps next month. In reviewing the last few months, ESPN had their local reporters each pick a surprise standout from their team's practices. Todd Archer, who covers the Dallas Cowboys full time, selected veteran receiver Randall Cobb.
Cobb is in his first season with Dallas after signing as a free agent last March. He's spent the last eight years with the Green Bay Packers and was a Pro Bowler in 2014, but has struggled with injuries the last few seasons.
Here were Archer's observations on how Randall is doing so far with the Cowboys:
Normally a player with Cobb's résumé -- 470 catches for 5,524 yards and 41 touchdowns during his career -- would not be considered for a category like this. But injuries limited him to only nine games and 38 catches for Green Bay in 2018, and it was hard to know what the Cowboys were getting in the veteran receiver.
If the offseason work is any indication, they have found a replacement for Cole Beasley. Cobb's versatility can expand the offense for others, such as Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup. Cobb looked quick in and out of his breaks and fast enough to make plays down the field. Will he put up the 1,287 yards he had in 2014? No, but he gives Dak Prescott a security blanket in the slot who can turn a small gain into a big one.
The notion of Cobb replacing Beasley is a big one. While we'd like to think that Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup will provide plenty of firepower for the Cowboys offense, Dak Prescott has enjoyed a reliable threat from the slot position since he arrived.
Randall Cobb, when healthy, can do more than just make clutch catches. He has good run-after-catch skills and perhaps bring more big play potential than Beasley did.
If Cooper and Gallup do emerge as a dangerous starting duo on the outside, Cobb should have even more opportunities to punish defenses than Beasley did.
If nothing else, it's very encouraging to hear that one of the Cowboys' few 2019 free agent moves is already reaping benefits. Cobb still needs to bring it over a full season to really justify the move, but these early reports are cause for excitement.
BREAKING: Cowboys TE Rico Gathers Receives One-Game Suspension
Tight End Rico Gathers already had an uphill climb to return to the Dallas Cowboys' 53-man roster in 2019. But that climb just got even steeper; the NFL handed down a one-game suspension to Gathers today for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy.
If he does make the team this year, with Dallas or anyone else, Rico will have to sit out Week One of the season without pay.
Cowboys TE Rico Gathers is suspended without pay for the first game of the 2019 regular season for violating the NFL's policy and program on substances of abuse. This is from his arrest in 2018 for marijuana possession.
Gathers' chances of returning in 2019 were already hurt by Jason Witten's reversed retirement. He dropped to fourth on the TE depth chart behind Witten, Blake Jarwin, and Dalton Schultz, and Dallas only kept three tight ends last year.
The Cowboys also added Codey McElroy as a developmental player during the offseason.
While the suspension is news, the incident that led to it is not. Dallas already knew about the arrest, which occurred in early September of 2018, and have kept Gathers around up until now.
The NFL's substance abuse system is pretty formulaic, so the Cowboys likely anticipated this suspension all along. This may not change anything about how they value Rico Gathers for the 2019 season.
Nevertheless, a player who can't help you in Week One and is a liability for ever longer suspensions down the road is definitely a red flag against Gathers' job security.
Antwaun Woods: Cowboys DT is Just Getting Started
Antwaun Woods went undrafted in 2016 coming out of USC. After two years with the Tennessee Titans, he would only see one game of action. In May of 2018, the Cowboys signed Woods to a two-year contract worth 1.05 million. Probably seen as nothing more than a practice squad guy, Woods would quickly show he was much more than that.
The newly acquired Woods started his climb to stardom in Oxnard during training camp, and not for making plays. One day during practice he got into a friendly game of fisticuffs with All-Pro Center Travis Frederick. The team even posted the video on social media, which had fans buzzing and wanting to know who he was.
All-Pro Running Back Ezekiel Elliott echoed those thoughts when he saw Woods during camp. "Honestly, when we first got him, we were like, 'Who is this guy?'. He was giving Travis Frederick, one of our best players, hell all camp. Just trying to figure out where this guy came from," Elliott said.
Once the regular season started it was clear the Cowboys had found a hidden gem. Although the sack numbers won't dazzle you, seeing as he only registered 1.5, you could forget about running the ball anywhere near him. Woods has amazing quickness for a 300 pounder which allows him to extend his arms before offensive lineman can get a hand on him.
How significant is that? It becomes that much easier to bull rush and blow running plays up in the backfield.
When you can get your hands on an offensive lineman immediately when the ball is snapped, he's basically under your control. You can move him around like a puppet on a string. Essential for a 1-technique nose tackle. With that being said, there should be no surprise the Cowboys finished fifth against the run in 2018 with Woods manning the middle.
Woods draws a lot of double teams, and he handles them well. Having the ability to take on multiple linemen frees up your other playmakers. As the anchor in the middle, Woods made life a lot easier for not only his fellow defensive linemen but the team's two young star Linebackers Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch. Allowing them to roam freely like Lions in the Serengeti makes running backs essentially Zebra's carrying the ball, cooked food. So much so that both tallied over 120 tackles and were the only teammates in the NFL to rank in the top 15 in that category.
There's nothing but upside with Antwaun Woods. He's only had 18 games of experience in three years. He's already a stud, but with limited snaps, it can only mean he'll be even more formidable going forward.
The Cowboys have a loaded defensive lineman group with around 15 bodies, plenty of competition. All signs point to him remaining the starter, but it's not guaranteed. Even with that being said I don't expect a complacency from Woods, especially with DeMarcus Lawrence and Robert Quinn looking like the only sure starters on the defensive line. Plus this is a contract year for him, so you know he'll be even more motivated as he tries to maximize his dollars. We've only seen the tip of the iceberg from this raw talent, setting up for a potential breakout year for him in 2019.
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