My first job -- I was a 16-year-old high school junior -- as a cashier at Office Depot (shout out to Store #372). It was a really fun and valuable experience I legitimately believe helped mold me into the person I am today. I'm grateful it all happened while I was still young and growing up (not that I've stopped in any way).
Remember, this is important, I was 16 years old. I didn't know a whole lot about anything really. It was my first job.
As the cashier, no big deal but I was Cashier #1, I had a few responsibilities besides running the register. I had to keep the front area tidy, re-stock certain supplies, and I was in charge of cleaning the Men's Room. Uh oh.
I learned of these responsibilities on my first day, and I learned when they asked me to go clean the restrooms. I do what I'm told... so I went. They told me everything I needed would be in the supply closet. Alrighty then.
Upon entering the supply closet I closed the door, pulled out my phone, and (really) called my Mom. I had no freaking clue what I was supposed to do here.
I was totally and completely lost.
Thankfully, Moms know everything and mine is the best one ever, so after a little bit of chuckling, she guided me through what cleansers to grab and told me to sweep, scrub, and mop. Bam.
The sweeping and scrubbing were pretty self-explanatory, but the mopping confused me.
The mop was in this gigantic yellow apparatus that I'd never seen before. There was this weird handle and bucket where I assumed the water went. I tossed in some high-quality H20 and, upon my Mom's recommendation, Pine Sol.
After mixing it up with the mop I assumed I was ready to go.
I just tossed the mop in and brought it out. It made a HUGE splat as water went everywhere, but I just brushed the mop around to spread it. Simple, right? When I was "done" mopping, the floor didn't have the same look I'd seen on freshly mopped floors. It looked like the sink had flooded in this bathroom! Water was everywhere!
I didn't know much, but I definitely knew this wasn't right.
I'm a pretty quick-thinker so, in a move of innovation, I found a way to "dry" the floor. I fashioned two stacks of, at least, 15 paper towels and put them on the ground. I then stepped on them and proceeded to literally skate around the bathroom to dry this bad boy up, so it didn't look like a swamp.
It took me a month to learn that the apparatus was the mop handle that you use to squeeze the excess water off the mop. Not my finest hour.
Sometimes in life we're accidentally bold, like the mop and I, and things ultimately work out for the best. That's the spirit this week. Welcome to my 5 Bold Predictions. Let's roll.
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Ezekiel Elliott And Alfred Morris Both Have Over 100 Rushing Yards
Do you have any idea how the time of possession battle went last Sunday between the Cowboys and Giants? Dallas won 36:43 to 23:17.
This is how the Cowboys want to win games, and they damn near did it last Sunday before Terrance Williams had to go and ruin everything. They want to dominate TOP, obviously implying you score touchdowns instead of field goals.
If we're calling a spade a spade, then we need to admit the New York Football Giants beat us at our own game. Washington doesn't have the personnel to do that. They can, and will, be run on. Just ask the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Pittsburgh's DeAngelo Williams strung together a measly 143 yards on 26 carries in Washington on Monday Night. Ezekiel Elliott and Alfred Morris were likely watching and licking their chops. They're both far more talented than Williams and will get their carries.
The Steelers won the TOP battle 33:18 to 26:42 against the Redskins, and they manhandled them. In order for the Cowboys to carry out that same game plan, it'll require a lot of rushing, which will mean a lot of yards for Zeke and The Butler.
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Byron Jones Will Tip A Pass Intended For Jordan Reed That Will Be Intercepted
Jordan Reed really picked up a lot of attention on a national level last season. Through 14 games, he put together a nice 87 catch, 952 yards, and 11 touchdown season.
And that makes sense because that's impressive.
The most targets Reed saw in a single game was 11, the second most was nine, and the third most was eight. That's a lot of volume going one player's way, and again it makes sense that, as a result, Reed would have serious success.
Reed's worst statistical game came on one of the days he saw eight (or Ocho... which is appropriate considering who's penning this) targets. He only hauled in three of them for 33 yards.
What game was that, you ask?
The December 7th, 2015 Monday Night Football matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins in Washington... when Jordan Reed was covered exclusively by then-rookie Byron Jones.
I've decided we should call Byron Jones "Late Night Ice Cream" because he eliminates tight ends. That's his thing. He takes them completely out of the game.
While doing so on Sunday, he's going to get his hands on a ball that is floating up in the air, and a Cowboy is going to be there when it comes back down. It's the laws of gravity and Late Night Ice Cream going into action.
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Kyle Wilber Will Get A Sack While Lining Up At DE
I have this idea in my head that the Cowboys coaching staff just walked into a room one day and said, "Who thinks they can rush the passer?" and when Kyle Wilber raised his hand, he had no idea what he was getting into.
Rod Marinelli spent part of Week 1's Giants game lining up the linebacker at defensive end. I'm not a defensive guru like him, but I think I speak for all of us when I say - wut?
Last season's Cowboys/Redskins matchup in Washington was kind to America's Team in the sacks department as Dallas roped up a hat-trick on the night. There's something about playing at FedExField, the site of the last Dallas victory, that gets our 'Boys riled up.
Kyle Wilber will line up at defensive end again on Sunday.
He's going to get a sack.
We are going to go wild.
It's going to be incredible.
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Dez Bryant Will Have No Fewer Than 3 Catches For 40 Yards And 1 Touchdown
Counting last Sunday, Dez Bryant has had precisely one catch in a game six times. This is a list of the games he had following his one-catch performances:
Dez Bryant doesn't like only having one catch in a game. He goes out and proves it the following week, each and every time.
So much has been made about the five targets Dez saw and how insultingly low it was. If the Cowboys want to win, and they do, they know they have to rev this engine up.
Vroom vroom goes the Dez.
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Dan Bailey Nails A 60-Yarder To End The First Half
The golden foot of Dan Bailey is a perfect 24/24 when counting both extra points and field goals in FedExField. He owns that joint.
He's so good, Cowboys Nation had full confidence in his ability to win us the game with a potential field goal over 60 yards during the final moments of last week's contest against the Giants.
I'm here to say Dan Bailey is going to get his chance, and he's going to dominate, like he always does.
Envision the Cowboys getting the ball on their own 20-yard line with 47 seconds left. Dak Prescott leads a charge. Terrance Williams gets out-of-bounds. With a poetic five seconds left, Dan Bailey comes in -- on a prayer -- and boots it through.
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Bonus Bold Prediction #1
Remember, if you want YOUR Bold Prediction featured here, tweet it at me! It's that simple! Here are this week's contributions, thanks to all those who shared!
@rjochoa bold prediction: Alfred Morris rushes for 122 yards and a long touchdown.
The subject of Alfred Morris' domination, specifically against the NFC East, is one I tackled on Thursday here at Inside The Star. So I dig this.
The Butler has crossed 122 yards three times in his career; however, he has never had a long touchdown run in any of these contests. What's worth nothing is that in two of these three instances Alfred had a 1-yard touchdown.
Is that a sign? Is Johannn predicting the future?!
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Bonus Bold Prediction #2
ATXCOWBOYSFAN and I park our cars in the same garage. We both think Ezekiel Elliott and Alfred are going to have big days on the ground as far as yardage is concerned. What I really like about this Bold Prediction is the Dez element.
I've said before -- on OchoLive -- the last time we truly saw Dez be Dez was the 2014 game in Washington. He caught 4 passes for 99 yards and 2 touchdowns. This also happens to be the last instance where Dez had at least two touchdowns. History is repeating itself!
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Bonus Bold Prediction #3
@rjochoa Dez Bryant has more than one reception against the Redskins #BoldPrediction
Armond is a loyal Inside The Star reader and Twitter follower. After a rough week and loss against the Giants... this was a much-needed chuckle.
You can slam dunk this one.
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Bonus Bold Prediction #4
Sean Lee has indeed picked off the Redskins before (9/26/11), but he did it at home in Arlington. The only division rival Sean has intercepted in their house is actually the Philadelphia Eagles.
Lee made the Pro Bowl for the first time last season, and he did so partly due to the monster game he had in our nation's capital. It's time for him to add Washington to his list of houses he owns, and it's time for Byron Jones to get his first career interception as well.
Terrence... please don't be out-of-bounds here.
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Bonus Bold Prediction #5
@rjochoa Dak 3 td passes in cowboys win
Considering Dak Prescott has only played one NFL game and still hasn't thrown a touchdown... this is pretty bold.
It's worth nothing, this past Monday night Ben Roethlisberger did toss a hat-trick of TDs against the Redskins. I happen to see this game as a high-scoring affair myself, and I like the confidence Chase has in our QuarterDAK... I can get on board with this! Bold!
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Bonus Bold Prediction #6
The latest Tweets and replies from Jones (@aj_bryant5188).
The very first touchdown Dez Bryant scored with a Star on his helmet was actually a punt return, and as a fan of nostalgia I am ALL ABOUT this Bold Prediction.
That was all the way back in 2010 and, for what it's worth, Dez did it again four weeks later, and it hasn't happened in any other calendar year since. That's the kind of bold we were missing today!
A punt return played a big part in last season's Cowboys win in Washington (love you DeSean Jackson), maybe Jones is onto something here and it's about to become a tradition!
Should Cowboys Reunite Shea McClellin With Rod Marinelli?
Since becoming the defensive coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys, Rod Marinelli hasn't had too many of his former players follow him to Dallas. In fact, I can only think of one… Henry Melton, and we all know how that turned out.
I don't know about you, but I found that a little strange. It's pretty common for coaches to try to bring some of their players with them when they accept a new job. Familiarity goes a long way in the NFL and former players can also help make the transition easier for everyone.
Strangely enough, Rod Marinelli hasn't really been afforded that luxury, whether it was his doing or not. But, there is a free agent who played under Marinelli's tutelage in Chicago who might make sense for the Dallas Cowboys, linebacker Shea McClellin.
Rod Marinelli was the defensive coordinator in Chicago when the Bears decided to draft Shea McClellin 19th overall in the 2012 NFL Draft. Marinelli likely had a big say in that decision, and if he still feels the same, a reunion could be in order.
Shea McClellin started his career in the NFL as a 4-3 left side defensive end playing opposite Julius Peppers, but was also viewed as a potential Brian Urlacher replacement. He showed flashes of becoming a solid defensive end his first few years in the league, but was eventually moved to linebacker, where he seemed to find a home for himself.
After his contract expired with the Bears, the New England Patriots decided to bring him aboard to help with their linebacker depth. He only ended up starting four games for them in 2016, but made some memorable plays to help the Patriots become the Super Bowl champions.
Unfortunately, the 2017 season wasn't very kind to him. His entire year was wiped out due to a concussion, which probably had a lot to do with why they recently released him.
This of course could be good news for the Dallas Cowboys. They currently need some depth at the linebacker position and Shea McClellin could provide that, if he's healthy. The healthy bit here is key, because he has had problems with concussions in the past.
If McClellin is indeed healthy, he could bring a versatile skill set to the Cowboys defense. His best spot is probably at strong side LB (SAM), but I think he could play middle linebacker (MIKE) as well. He also could provide depth at defensive end, the position he played to start his NFL career.
With the LB depth a concern, Shea McClellin makes quite a bit of sense for the Dallas Cowboys. Of course, his past history with concussions is a red flag, but it also drives down his asking price. I think he would definitely fall into that "bargain shopping" mentality the Cowboys have been using these last few offseasons.
He probably wouldn't be viewed as a very important signing, but you still need these types of players on your team in order to succeed in the NFL. Let's see if the Dallas Cowboys agree.
Do you think a Rod Marinelli and Shea McClellin reunion is in order?
Redskins Have Not Had Success With Former Cowboys
Now that he's signed with the Washington Redskins, cornerback Orlando Scandrick joins a lackluster list of former Cowboys players and coaches who have gone from Dallas to its historic rival. The history of these moves is ugly for Washington, going back over 40 years, and can't have their fans too excited anytime they sign an ex-Cowboy.
The most recent example was just last year with defensive tackle Terrell McClain. After a strong season as a 15-game starter in Dallas, McClain got a four-year, $21 million deal to join the Redskins. He missed four games with injuries and was only credited with two starts; hardly what the team wanted given the money they paid.
Before him it was Jason Hatcher, whose 11-sack season for the Cowboys in 2013 got him a four-year, $27.5 million deal from Washington. Hatcher would battle knee injuries for two season, getting only 7.5 sacks from 2014-2015. His early retirement in 2016 brought an abrupt end to a disappointing tenure.
Continuing the legacy of defensive linemen was Stephen Bowen, who Washington paid a shocking amount of money ($27.5 million over five years) to in 2011 to pick up in free agency. Bowen had a great first year for the Redskins with six sacks and 16 starts, but injuries would soon cost him 14 games from 2013-2014. He was eventually released after only one standout season in four with the team.
Going back even further, DT Brandon Noble joined Washington in 2003 after being a full-time starter for Dallas for over two seasons. He would miss all of 2003 with a knee injury, have an unimpressive year in 2004, and then missed all of 2005 with more health issues. He retired after being released by the Redskins in 2006.
Orlando Scandrick won't be the first cornerback to go from Dallas to Washington, or the best. At age 32, Deion Sanders was released in 2000 by the Cowboys and then got a huge seven-year, $56 million deal from the Redskins. This came less than a year after Daniel Snyder bought the franchise and was desperate to get them relevant again.
The Sanders move backfired horribly. Even after a solid season by his lofty standards, Primetime was disgruntled with both the coaching staff and his increasing struggles as an aging player. He suddenly retired after just one season of the seven-year contract.
Washington also tried to tap into the Cowboys' glory days when they signed receiver Alvin Harper in 1997. Harper had left Dallas in 1995 and spent two years with Tampa Bay, but had not carried over the same success he enjoyed playing in the Dallas offense.
The Redskins hoped that reuniting him with Norv Turner, who had been Harper's offensive coordinator and was now their head coach, would help Alvin get back to form. But between ongoing injuries and the absence of Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin, and Emmitt Smith as teammates, Alvin Harper was never the same guy as when he won two Super Bowls in Dallas.
The failed poaching attempts go back many more decades, another one being running back Calvin Hill. The fourth-leading rusher in Cowboys history and a four-time Pro Bowler while in Dallas, Hill joined Washington in 1976. He served as a backup only, averaging only 3.8 yards-per-carry as he played behind the likes of Mike Thomas and John Riggins.
The bad history doesn't stop with players. The aforementioned Norv Turner, who was one of the hottest assistant coaches in history after the Cowboys first two Super Bowl wins in the 90s, was hired as the Redskins' head coach in 1994.
Turner's run started with a whimper, drafting quarterback Heath Shuler third overall in that first year. Shuler would go down as one of the biggest QB busts in NFL history
Norv's Redskins never seemed to recover from that blunder. He only had two winning seasons and one playoff appearance from 1994-1999, and was fired midway through the 2000 season.
Far more recently, Cowboys offensive line coach Bill Callahan left the team in 2015 and took the same job in Washington. He didn't get to bring the offensive line or DeMarco Murray with him, though. As such, the Redskins have remained one of the league's worst rushing teams for the last three seasons. They fell to a new low of 28th in the NFL in 2017.
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Of course, none of this means that Orlando Scandrick won't have success in Washington. But with the Redskins generally the most mismanaged team in the NFC East, all of the Dallas players and coaches who've gone there have not walked into good situations. For all that Cowboys fans love to complain about Jerry Jones, he handles the owner and GM roles better than any pair Washington's had in almost 30 years.
Given the nature of the rivalries, we naturally can't wish success for Scandrick or anyone else who leaves Dallas for a division opponent. With the track record we just discussed for Washington, it's not something I'll be losing any sleep over.
Xavier Woods, the Real Reason Cowboys Didn’t Pursue Tyrann Mathieu?
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.
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.
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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