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Can the Cowboys Catch the Giants?

Jess Haynie



Cowboys Blog - Can the Cowboys Catch the Giants?

While America as a whole has big plans to stuff themselves tomorrow, many in Cowboys Nation are already filling up on hopes and dreams. After Tony Romo's return last Sunday and a long-awaited return to winning, we're looking up at the division-leading New York Giants and wondering if we can catch them with six games to go.

Let's set the stage. The Giants are 5-5 with a 2-2 record in the NFC East. The Cowboys are 3-7 but thankfully are also 2-2 in division play. The teams have already played twice and split those games, leaving things pretty wide open in terms of tiebreakers.

Here are the remaining six games on each teams schedule:

WK 12 vs. Panthers @ Washington
WK 13 @ Washington vs. Jets
WK 14 @ Packers @ Dolphins
WK 15 vs. Jets vs. Panthers
WK 16 @ Bills @ Vikings
WK 17 vs. Washington vs. Eagles


These schedule couldn't be more evenly matched. In their remaining NFC East action, both teams have a road game with Washington remaining and then close out with home games against Washington and Philadelphia, both of whom have 4-6 records right now. The only downside for Dallas here is that it looks like the Eagles headed into a free fall while Washington may have still have some fight in them. Still, there's no significant advantage either way in division play.

Outside of the division, both teams have home games against the 10-0 Carolina Panthers and the 5-5 New York Jets. Both go on the road to face 7-3 NFC North teams, with the Cowboys facing the Packers and the Giants headed to Minnesota. Both also have road games against middling AFC East teams, with Dallas going to Buffalo (5-5) and the Giants facing the 4-6 Dolphins.

Nobody will be able to blame the scheduling gods if they come up short. If anything, Dallas has a little edge thanks to the long rest they get after tomorrow's Thanksgiving game. It will come a crucial time with back-to-back road games coming up after the holiday. Also, getting to play the undefeated Panthers on a short week is a nice advantage for the home team.

The best news for Dallas is that the Giants have no real momentum right now. They have been on a "win one, lose one" streak going back six weeks now. Unfortunately, they just had their bye week and may have had a chance to reset and correct a few things. What's more, New York tends to play its best ball late in the year during the Coughlin-Manning era.

To be sure, Dallas overcoming this standings deficit and winning the division is far from probable. New York only needs to win four of their next six to finish 9-7, while Dallas has to win all of them. That's daunting, to say the least.

That said, probability and possibility are two very different things. A six-game winning streak is certainly doable. In fact, the Cowboys had one just last year during the early part of the season. Don't let November and December scare you, either. Last year, Dallas also went 6-1 to close out their schedule.

The weeks ahead will offer more clarity about the NFC as a whole and what the Wild Card situation is. If Dallas can run the table and get to 9-7 then that may be another possible way into the playoffs. For now, though, the division race should be our primary focus. It's the best opportunity to extend our season and contend for a championship.

Dallas is 10-2 in its last twelve games with Romo as the starting quarterback. If that success ratio continues, then this mountain can absolutely be climbed. If they can hang a loss on the Panthers this week and then then Giants falter on the road in Washington, now you're only one game back with five to go. The margin between possibility and probability gets a lot more narrow.

As Romo's tweeted clip from "Major League" put it last week, "I guess there's only one thing left to do..."

"...Win the whole #$*@&% thing!"

Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

Star Blog

Xavier Woods, the Real Reason Cowboys Didn’t Pursue Tyrann Mathieu?

Brian Martin



Cowboys Have Their Version of Tryann Mathieu in Xavier Woods?

It's not uncommon for Dallas Cowboys fans to zero in on certain free agents in hopes that they will bring their talents to America's Team. In fact, just about any "big name" player to hit the open market is often linked to the Cowboys in some way or another. That was the case when the Arizona Cardinals decided to move on from Tyrann Mathieu.

Once Tyrann Mathieu became available, Cowboys fans immediately wanted to see him with a star on his helmet. But, despite the fans petitioning, the Cowboys brass seemed to show almost zero interest in the former Cardinal.

The decision to not pursue Tyrann Mathieu certainly didn't sit well with a lot of Cowboys Nation, but I think it was the right decision.

Despite Mathieu's perceived talents and youth (he's just 25), the Cowboys weren't interested in paying the price to bring him to Dallas, especially since they already have a similar player on their roster.

Xavier Woods

Dallas Cowboys DB Xavier Woods

It may sound crazy, but I think the real reason the Dallas Cowboys didn't show much interest in Tyrann Mathieu is because of Xavier Woods.

I honestly believe Xavier Woods and Tyrann Mathieu have a similar skill set. Both players are little undersized to be a full-time safety in the NFL, but each of them have the versatility to play several different roles in the secondary.

Mathieu may have been listed as a safety on the Arizona Cardinals roster, and now the Houston Texans, but the truth is he played mostly out of the nickel/slot in his professional and collegiate career. That is where he is at his best, and the same can be said about Xavier Woods.

As a rookie, Xavier Woods showed his versatility with the Dallas Cowboys by playing a variety of different roles in the secondary. His versatility was one of the reasons the Cowboys decided to trade up in last year's draft to acquire his services.

His name might not carry the same kind of weight as Tyrann Mathieu right now around the league or amongst NFL fans, but I don't think Xavier Woods is that much of a drop off talent wise.

Xavier Woods

Dallas Cowboys DB Xavier Woods (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)

Personally, I believe Mathieu is starting to decline a little as a player. I think injuries are starting to take a toll on his play, although it may be minimal. I actually prefer Xavier Woods' upside, especially when you take into account the difference in salaries between the two.

Surprisingly enough, Xavier Woods might just have been more productive in 2017 then Mathieu. Woods started just four games and finished the season with 42 tackles, three passes defensed, and one interception. Mathieu on the other hand started all 16 games and accumulated 78 tackles, one quarterback sack, one forced fumble, and two interceptions.

As you can see, Xavier Woods was almost just as productive as Mathieu in nearly a third of the playing time. What's even more impressive about this is that Woods accomplish this as a rookie.

Of course, all of this is speculation, but I for one am not all that upset the Dallas Cowboys missed out on Tyrann Mathieu. I'm willing to bet on Xavier Woods being able to do everything Mathieu can and at a fraction of the cost.

Were the Cowboys right not to pursue Tyrann Mathieu?

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Star Blog

Free Agent CB Orlando Scandrick Joining Washington Redskins

Jess Haynie



Orlando Scandrick

Just two days after being released by the Dallas Cowboys, cornerback Orlando Scandrick has found a new home in the nation's capitol. After 10 seasons in Dallas, Scandrick is signing with the rival Washington Redskins.

Ian Rapoport on Twitter

Redskins and Orlando Scandrick have agreed to a 2-year deal worth a max value of $10M, source said. From Dallas to a rival.

By joining Washington after leaving Dallas, Scandrick follows in the footsteps of many ex-Cowboys: Terrell McClain, Jason Hatcher, Stephen Bowen, and even Deion Sanders to name a few.

Last week, Orlando reportedly requested his release from Dallas. It was widely expected that he would be a salary cap casualty anyway, though, and especially with the young stockpile of cornerbacks the Cowboys currently have.

Dallas has three young corners they believe in with Chidobe Awuzie, Jourdan Lewis, and Anthony Brown. There is also talk that Byron Jones could be moving back to CB next year.

Scandrick, 31, will get to stay in the NFC East and now cover some of his former teammates. Give the reportedly salary, he should at least be the slot corner for Washington next year if not a starter.

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Star Blog

Upgrading the Offensive Line Cowboys Top Offseason Priority?

Brian Martin



Upgrading Offensive Line Cowboys Top Offseason Priority?

Despite the displeasure by the majority of fans, the Dallas Cowboys continue to hold things close to the vest with their approach to free agency. It's definitely not the most popular approach and tends to drive fans crazy, but things could start heating up now that the free-agent market is starting to settle.

Looking from the outside in, we can only speculate as to which positions the Dallas Cowboys may prioritize in free agency and in the draft that matter. Earl Thomas and the safety position has been the most popular topic of discussion throughout the free agency process, but it looks as if the Cowboys are narrowing their focus on upgrading and adding depth to their offensive line.

Marcus Martin

Free-agent C/OG Marcus Martin

This is just speculation of course, but it's based on the fact that the Cowboys are rumored to be bringing in free-agent offensive lineman Marcus Martin and Cameron Fleming. And on top of that, it was announced that two of the Dallas Cowboys 30 pre-draft visitors are also offensive lineman, Will Hernandez, who is popular among Cowboys fans already, and offensive tackle Kolton Miller.

I don't know about you, but it looks as if the Dallas Cowboys are certainly focused in on upgrading the offensive line. This absolutely makes sense after what they went through last season with the carousel at the left guard position and Tyron Smith's struggles to stay healthy.

More than anything, the Cowboys need OL depth heading into the 2018 season. There is only really one spot up for grabs at left guard, but the depth across the OL is absolutely depleted unless you want to rely on Chaz Green again.

This is where Marcus Martin and Cameron Fleming make a lot of sense. Marcus Martin has the versatility to play center and guard, and has done so already in his NFL career. He could compete for the starting LG position, but if nothing else, could replace Joe Looney as the backup C/OG.

Cameron Fleming could be the more important of the two free agents the Cowboys are rumored to be interested in. At the worst, Fleming would be an upgrade as the swing tackle, something he's done with the New England Patriots throughout his career. But, he could compete to become the starting right tackle, which would kick La'el Collins back inside to left guard.

That's all speculation right now, but the Dallas Cowboys would do what's best for the entire team in order to get the right starting five offensive lineman on the field.

Kolton Miller

Cowboys Rookie prospect OT Kolton Miller

The same can be said about rookies Will Hernandez and Kolton Miller. Hernandez would likely be a plug-and-play left guard if he ended up being the Dallas Cowboys first-round draft pick. That would keep the offensive line from shuffling and hopefully solidify the unit for years to come.

Kolton Miller on the other hand would be a lot like the Cameron Fleming situation mentioned above. He can probably tackle on the left or right side the NFL, although some draft analysts believe he will struggle as a LT at the next level.

Of course, there is no way of knowing how much interest the Dallas Cowboys have any of these players right now. But to me, it looks as if upgrading the offensive line is certainly one of their top priorities this offseason.

Is upgrading the OL the Dallas Cowboys top offseason priority?

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