Connect with us

Game Notes

Cowboys At Eagles: 5 Bold Predictions

RJ Ochoa



Dez Bryant, Ezekiel Elliott
Tim Heitman - USA TODAY Sports

Listen to an audio version of this article on Bumpers!

I like to think that everyone else is like me in that we all have seasonal things in life. By that I mean there are certain movies I like to watch, songs that I enjoy listening to, and things that I feel at a certain time of the year.

Earlier this week I dropped a reference to Jonathan Larson's Rent when I pounded the table that Jason Garrett is 2016's Coach of the Year. This is a musical that this time of year reminds me of, so the soundtrack is in my music-I-listen-to-while-I-write rotation at the moment (Tango: Maurren is currently blasting through my headphones).

If you've never seen this production, you've likely heard the reference I made in the Garrett post - 525,600 minutes. This is how many times that the second hand on a clock rotates across a given year. I remember when I first heard that I thought, "There's no way! There's surely more than that many minutes in a year." Nope, that's the exact number.

When Dallas kicks off against Philadelphia tomorrow it will mark 524,160 (this was a leap year) minutes since their first official contest of the year... which came on January 3rd, 2016. That day the Kellen Moore-led Cowboys lost in their final game of the season to a Washington Redskins team already wearing the NFC East Crown.

524,160 minutes later it is our crown, our top seed in the NFC, and our home-field advantage on the way to the Super Bowl. In that span the Cowboys became the world's most-valuable sports team, opened their new facility appropriately named The Star, and oh yea drafted Ezekiel Elliott and Dak Prescott. It's amazing how much can happen in a year.

While we all hope and believe that there's far more left in the 2016 season, the rest of it will take place in 2017. It's been an incredible ride, and today is a good day to reminisce on all that took place across it. Let's finish this year off in style, and let's have a whole lot of fun doing it. Welcome to my 5 Bold Predictions. Let's roll.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

Mark Sanchez Tops 200 Yards And Gets Ultimate Revenge On Philadelphia

Mark SanchezWhen you're talking about meaningless games - yes, this is a meaningless one - you have to get a little crazier than normal with bold predictions. This game is so difficult to measure to any degree because we don't know how much certain players will or won't play.

Here's what we do know: Mark Sanchez used to play for the Eagles, the Eagles are the worst, and sometimes epic things happen for no reason. Mark Sanchez looking like a stud in Philadelphia a season after they traded him away is a dish that I think we'd all sign up to eat. Give it to us, Marky Mark. Do your thing.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

Carson Wentz Throws A Pass That's Deemed A Backwards Lateral And Recovered By Dallas

Carson Wentz, EaglesRemember the rule today, friends! Get crazier than normal.

The same way that epic things sometimes happen, sometimes a firestorm of gross is inescapable for you... this is every single day of life for Philadelphia Eagles fans. Remember the days when Carson Wentz was actually compared to Dak Prescott? Oh world, you're so silly!

Look, Carson Wentz looks to have all the makings of a potential franchise quarterback; but, Carson Wentz has also looked a little Matt Cassel-ish (what a crazy world that he's starting an NFL game this week, too!) at times in his rookie campaign. Close your eyes and imagine this with me... Carson tries to throw a screen pass, it hits the ground, Philadelphia just stands there, Byron Jones falls on it as an astute-minded person, Jason Garrett challenges, we win it, life is awesome. Book it!

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

Dan Bailey Does Not Get Called For A Personal Foul

Dan Bailey, EaglesRemember the rule - GET CRAZY!

The last time that the Dallas Cowboys traveled to Philadelphia, Dan Bailey legitimately got called for a personal foul. This happened because the former Cowboy DeMarco Murray was a tad bit sensitive, and couldn't handle such greatness touching him.

We all know that Dan Bailey is one of the baddest dudes to ever inhabit this big blue marble that we call home, but we didn't know how much fear he put into the Philadelphia Eagles until last year. I've never wanted to be wrong about a bold prediction more than this one.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

The Eagles Fail Miserably On A Fake Punt

EaglesFor some teams - the bad ones - this isn't a meaningless game. Hi, Eagles!

Teams in the position of Philadelphia, the position being the bottom, are soaking every last second of this game as it is the last time their team will play one until September of 2017. When you're in that position, you have to try and find ways to keep yourself entertained.

In an effort to build camaraderie, the Eagles are going to try some silly things... like a fake punt. Remember though, that a year ago when these teams met on this very field that the Cowboys blocked an Eagles punt.

Bring it on, Eagles. We dare ya.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

Jason Witten Becomes The All-Time Leading Receiver In Dallas Cowboys History

Jason Witten, EaglesThis is part of the whole "get crazy" mentality, trust me.

Jason Witten is likely going to get very minimal playing time in Philadelphia. If we're being honest with ourselves, it's very likely that he won't get the 27 yards that he needs to pass Michael Irvin in order to become the all-time leading receiver in Dallas Cowboys History.

This is why saying that Witten will do it is bold... it goes against the grains of logic. Witten has had some of his finest moments as a Dallas Cowboy in Philadelphia, so it would be a bit sweet to set such a record in a house that he owns.

Go get it, Wit. Gold Jacket Wit!

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

Bonus Bold Predictions

Here are this week’s contributions, thanks to all those who shared!

Hiran Cruz on Twitter

boldprediction Romo will escape a sack a la Romo and connect with Brice butler for a td @rjochoa

Jonathan Baylor on Twitter

@rjochoa @InsideTheStarDC Bold Prediction Romo will throw 2 touchdowns to Jason and Dez and won't get hurt.

Remember, if you want YOUR Bold Prediction featured here, tweet it at me! It’s that simple!

Tell us what you think about "Cowboys At Eagles: 5 Bold Predictions" in the comments below. You can also email me at, or Tweet to me at @RJOchoa!

I like long walks on the beach, mystery novels, no just kidding those suck. The Dallas Cowboys were put on this earth for us all to love and appreciate. I do that 24/7/365. I also love chicken parmesan. Let's roll. @RJOchoa if you wanna shout!

Game Notes

Film Room: WR Ryan Switzer Showed Flashes Vs. Eagles

Kevin Brady



Film Room: WR Ryan Switzer Showed Flashes Vs. Eagles
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

There's no doubt the Dallas Cowboys passing game faltered in 2017. Though never expected to throw for many yards, Dak Prescott and the Cowboys failed to maximize their attempts down the stretch. The passing game was simply inefficient and ineffective.

One reason the passing game took a step back was the disappearance of slot receiver Cole Beasley. Whether you blame defenses adjusting their coverages on third downs towards Beasley, Beasley growing another year older, or quarterback Dak Prescott, Beasley simply didn't look like the same player in 2017.

In the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft, the Cowboys selected a wide out who many anticipate could replace Beasley, in time. Rookie wide receiver Ryan Switzer rarely got chances to make an impact on offense this season, designated as the return man for much of the year. With Cole Beasley out for the season finale, however, Switzer got his chance to make a name for himself.

While the numbers were far from gaudy, Ryan Switzer showed some things we should be excited about for the future.

dalvsphi2018 switzer - Streamable

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

Ryan Switzer's first target came on a third down -- something Cowboys Nation should get used to heading into 2018. Switzer is lined up inside in trips on the near-side of the formation. The Eagles show man coverage pre-snap, and with just one safety over top and the other rotated down on top of Jason Witten, it is clear to Dak Prescott they plan to bring some pressure.

As soon as Prescott gets the snap, his eyes go to Ryan Switzer.

The cornerback plays Switzer with inside leverage, refusing to be beat with a hot slant route. Switzer instead keeps the defender on his back hip and creates separation with an out-breaking route.

Prescott delivers the ball towards the sideline where the defender can't catch up to it, and Switzer comes away with the first down.

dalvsphi2018 switzer 2 - Streamable

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

Later in the game, we once again see Ryan Switzer targeted from this inside-alignment.

Switzer is a pretty prototypical slot receiver, and if used correctly he should win in man coverage situations often. The cornerback attempts to maintain inside leverage on Switzer and get physical at the top of his route. Ryan Switzer does a nice job of fighting through that physicality and crossing the defender's face over the middle. He flashes open pretty quickly, and Prescott delivers a strike for the completion.

If Switzer can create this type of separation often, I see no reason why he shouldn't be a focus of the offense in 2018.

dalvsphi2018 switzer 3 - Streamable

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

Switzer's third target is actually an incompletion, but it is worth studying, regardless. Switzer is in the slot on the far side and the Cowboys once again are in trips alignment. The cornerback over Switzer is in man coverage, but gives him room to breathe at the line of scrimmage.

Switzer exploits the cornerback -- who is cheating to the inside -- with his footwork and route running. He gets to the sticks, breaks to the outside, and creates enough separation for a first-down completion. Prescott delivers the ball a bit late and behind Switzer, causing an incompletion instead.

I'd still like to see Switzer adjust to the ball and make this catch, but I put more of the blame for this play on Prescott.

With a full offseason to work within the offensive system, as well as to develop chemistry with quarterback Dak Prescott, Ryan Switzer will prove to be an important piece to the 2018 Dallas Cowboys.

Continue Reading

Game Notes

Takeaway Tuesday: Datone Jones Should Be Back, Switzer’s Good Game

Mauricio Rodriguez



Takeaway Tuesday: Datone Jones Should Be Back, Switzer's Good Game 1
AP Photo / Michael Ainsworth

The Dallas Cowboys put an end to a long, long season last Sunday after they defeated the Eagles in Philadelphia in a game that had absolutely no meaning for either team. Surprisingly, the Cowboys played with their healthy starters most of the game, but were barely able to put six points on the board, which were enough to take the win home.

The Cowboys might've lost more than what they actually won, and most of the fans were unhappy with the victory. Despite it being a pretty boring football game, we still learned a few things about the Dallas Cowboys.

The season's finally over. It wasn't easy, but we're still here. Here's to 2018. Let's hope it's a good one for our Cowboys. Here's this week's edition of Takeaway Tuesday!

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

Coaching Staff Didn't Help Its Cause

It's more than fair to say that a lot of us want to see changes in Dallas. And specifically, changes in the coaching staff. After the Cowboys were eliminated from playoff contention, Jerry Jones said Jason Garrett's job was not an issue. Now, Jerry's even talking about Rod Marinelli and Scott Linehan being back in 2018. Who knows if it's true.

While I don't think we'll see a new head coach anytime soon, I'd dare say that after the horrible game versus Philadelphia the front office at least got to thinking.

Dak Prescott, Jason Garrett

Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott, HC Jason Garrett

Coming into this game, the team had a choice to make: play with the starters to win it, or let guys like Cooper Rush in the game and see what happens. A loss would've meant a better draft position for the Cowboys and a chance to see what rookies and other young players could bring to the table.

But they decided to manage the game like it was a "real action" game. Being conservative. Not going for it when there was nothing to lose. They did so after a team that, with the NFC's #1 seed secured, basically played with its B team. Not only that but for the Eagles, most of the game was played by a third string QB.

Despite all this, the Cowboys could hardly beat the Eagles 6-0. Poor execution and all, I can't help thinking about the coaches.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

Cowboys Should Keep Datone Jones for 2018

In late November, the Dallas Cowboys signed Datone Jones after he was released by the San Francisco 49ers. The former Packers' first-round pick made an impact when he was given the chance. His play at DT was pretty solid and he showed very promising flashes.

DatoneJones - Streamable

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

Jones will be under contract in 2018 and I'd be surprised if the Cowboys don't keep him another year. Per Over The Cap, he'll be paid $790,000 next year which isn't at all expensive for a 27-year-old player.

The Cowboys would add depth and even a potential starter at DT for next season.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

Ryan Switzer Can Play as a Wide Receiver

With Cole Beasley missing the game because of an illness, we finally got to see Ryan Switzer at WR. We had already seen good things from him as a kick returner, but on offense, he hasn't been as involved as Cowboys Nation expected him to be.

Last Sunday though, Switzer was used for more than a jet sweep.

SwitzerWR - Streamable

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

He still has a long way to go, but I was impressed by his ability to create separation. I really hope he's used more next season.

At the end of the day, he's a fourth-round pick. He should be playing more on offense, not just on "gadget plays" or special teams. Could Ryan Switzer be Dak Prescott's best friend in the future? Only time will tell. Right now, it's too optimistic to expect something like that.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

Dan Bailey's Confidence is Shattered

Dallas Cowboys K Dan Bailey

Dan Bailey's 2017 season hasn't been easy at all. We've seen him miss kicks we never imagined he would, including extra points. One of the most painful moments of the Cowboys' season came late in the season finale when he lined up to kick a simple 20-yard field goal.

The ball went up, but failed to split the uprights. Dan Bailey stood in complete disbelief, with a blank look in his face. His confidence, shattered.

For kickers, it's all about confidence.

For years, we referred to Dan "Automatic" Bailey as the most accurate kicker in NFL history. Now we're not sure about calling him "Automatic" anymore. Bailey will have a lot of time to pick himself up though, and will probably be back at it next year.

Let's hope that's the case.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

For now, the only thing left to say is one of the most encouraging, yet sad phrases in sports... Maybe next year. We're on to the offseason.

Tell me what you think about "Takeaway Tuesday: Datone Jones Should Be Back, Switzer’s Good Game" 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!

Continue Reading

Game Notes

Sean’s Scout: Cowboys Starters Uninspiring in Week 17 Win

Sean Martin



Sean's Scout: Cowboys Starters Produce Uninspiring Week 17 Win

Playing more than enough of their starters in hopes of ending this 2017 season on a high note at the Eagles, the Cowboys produced a lackluster 6-0 win that will surely leave a bad taste in the mouths of Cowboys Nation - despite it being a victory.

The win put the Cowboys at 9-7 on the season, and it is a shame they had nothing to play for in this regular season finale. Once again in week 17, it was the offense holding back another fantastic performance by Rod Marinelli's defense.

We'll discuss both units in this final 2017 Dallas Cowboys version of Sean's Scout.

  • You have to love the way Chidobe Awuzie was able to bring physicality to a young Cowboys secondary that had another solid game. 

There were times earlier in this season when it seemed the Cowboys' second-round pick would have a lost season due to multiple hamstring injuries, but Awuzie quickly tuned around his rookie campaign by coming in and playing with exceptional technique and awareness.

With enough length to turn and run, Awuzie thrived in this zone scheme by keeping everything in front of him, as he did on his interception of Nick Foles. With Dallas in Cover 2 on the play, Chidobe read Foles' eyes the whole time to the boundary and was in position to cut off the pass.

This is a topic we'll now have much more time to discuss, and it is a hollowing one considering it was truly the Cowboys offense that kept them from the playoffs this season. The need for new talent at WR is clear, but the need for a target that better suits Prescott's strengths going into year three is even more important.

His pass catchers, along with inconsistencies in pass protection, were the main reasons Prescott struggled in 2017, although in this game it seemed like the only time he was affected in the pocket was when forcing the ball late to Bryant.

Coming from a spread system in college, Prescott simply does not have experience throwing his receivers open -- relying on route combinations and separation ability to hit open targets. Dez Bryant hasn't been that type of player through his career, and certainly isn't now that he's lost a step.

  • 9 wins for a team unlike their usual selves up front offensively is still pretty impressive. 

The Cowboys got nearly no impact from any of their free agent signings this season, which is why the depth of the team held them back once again. Veteran Byron Bell was brought in as a backup swing tackle, but he is simply not a scheme fit at tackle here.

Dak Prescott should not have been playing with Bell as his LT, and eventually Joe Looney at LG after Jonathan Cooper went down.

Bell lacks the quick-twitch ability and athleticism needed to be successful on every down, and it showed as he was again beaten by both speed and power against the Eagles.

The Cowboys have proven their acumen drafting young OL talent that performs at a high level early and often. So, instead of relying on more free agents, like Bell and Looney, drafting talent up front to spark the running game and give Prescott adequate protection is likely the best answer.

  • Ryan Switzer's ability to separate late in the down really stood out, as he finally got his chance at WR without Cole Beasley

Growing calls for more of Ryan Switzer on offense will surely take root this offseason after he caught four passes for 32 yards in the absence of Cole Beasley yesterday. More of a one-speed player at North Carolina, Switzer's spacial awareness and smoothness in giving Prescott somewhere to throw the ball as plays developed was really impressive.

In order to be a great team at the NFL Draft, you have to accurately scout your own roster. It will be fascinating to see just how the Cowboys feel about their current pass catchers, with not only Ryan Switzer but the likes of Lance Lenoir and practice squad addition K.D. Cannon in the fold as well.

  • The Cowboys found themselves a valuable addition to their rotation at DT with Datone Jones. 

Jones was able to push the pocket throughout this game in Philadelphia, and has done so consistently since getting here, at both the 1T and 3T positions. Using his hands to generate power as a down-the-line player, Jones plays with great pad level. That allows him to shoot gaps when needed, or anchor the line of scrimmage.

The Cowboys have not prioritized adding premier talent at DT in recent years, and may forego it again this offseason as well. The Cowboys expect Maliek Collins to contribute further with another season at 1T and David Irving back at 3T.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

To everybody who made this 2017 season at Inside The Star as enjoyable as ever, I would like to thank the readers of Sean's Scout. All this aspiring scout can ask for is to enhance the fan experience through both wins and losses, and your feedback on this series helped me to confidently do just that.

As we prepare for an even better 2018, Sean's Scout won't be going anywhere! I'm shifting my full attention towards the NFL Draft, looking for prospects that could help the Dallas Cowboys reach the playoffs again next season.

Thank you for another roller-coaster ride we call football season, Cowboys Nation. Truly the best fans anywhere.

Tell us what you think about "Sean’s Scout: Cowboys Starters Uninspiring in Week 17 Win" in the comments below. You can also email me at, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

Continue Reading

Reader Survey

Want to help make Inside The Star better?

We’re collecting feedback from our readers about the site. It only takes <2 minutes to complete, and can be done from any device.

> Take the survey now

Don’t worry, your information will not be shared with anyone but me (Bryson T.).

Enjoy 40% commissions on officially licensed products as a FanPrint affiliate. You can even make your own, fully licensed Cowboys and player designs! Get started here