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!
Cowboys en Español: ¿Dónde Tiene Que Mejorar Dallas?
El mejor juego de los Dallas Cowboys en 2018 vino la semana pasada, cuando recibieron a los Jacksonville Jaguars y los vencieron 40-7. Un resultado que tomó a todos por sorpresa demostró la mejor cara en el año de este equipo que apenas tiene un récord de 3-3.
Por más dominantes que se vieron en el emparrillado el domingo pasado, esa actuación no termina de reflejar lo que realmente son los Cowboys. Son un equipo con potencial en la ofensiva y con una defensiva bastante fuerte, pero ¿pueden ganar constantemente como lo hicieron contra Jaguars?
De entrada, la respuesta a esta pregunta parece ser no. Aún en esa victoria, se vieron problemas evidentes en la ofensiva. Para empezar, la falta de ejecución en la segunda mitad en series ofensivas que incluso llegaron a iniciar en territorio enemigo. De gol de campo en gol de campo se juntan puntos, sin duda, pero en partidos cerrados eso termina costando victorias. Hace falta que Dak Prescott y compañía puedan mover el balón una vez en rango de gol de campo y convertir esas oportunidades a touchdowns.
Otra preocupación que no podemos subestimar es que el juego aéreo sigue sin funcionar apropiadamente. Cole Beasley dominó con nueve atrapadas para 101 yardas y dos touchdowns, pero el resto de los receptores se fueron sin más de una recepción por cabeza. El único jugador que logró más de una fue el TE Geoff Swaim, quien se llevo dos en todo el juego.
Si bien Beasley tuvo uno de los mejores juegos en su carrera, más receptores tienen que involucrarse para llevar la ofensiva al siguiente nivel. La buena noticia es que en esta ocasión se enfrentaron contra una de las mejores secundarias en la NFL. Los números son malos, pero tienen la oportunidad de demostrar mucho más contra otras defensivas.
Los Dallas Cowboys tienen que repartir más la bola y seguir buscando maneras creativas de utilizar a su RB Ezekiel Elliott. Pases pantallas en tercera y largo no es ser creativo. Lo vemos funcionar dos o tres veces al año pero mandan esta jugada semanalmente. En cuanto a Dak Prescott, hay mucho donde mejorar. Deberíamos estar viendo pases más arriesgados, al centro del campo y mucho mejor posicionados.
Para la defensiva, las cosas se ven muy bien. Puede que veamos la mejor versión de esta unidad esta semana, cuando viajen a Washington. Maliek Collins, Sean Lee, David Irving, y Randy Gregory estarán jugando mucho más sanos y preparados. Este es un frente defensivo lleno de talento que intimidará constantemente a Alex Smith este domingo.
A pesar de que los Redskins no tienen una ofensiva muy explosiva, el área de oportunidad principal para la defensiva de Cowboys está en la profundidad defensiva. Tanto Jeff Heath como Xavier Woods han hecho un trabajo decente, pero tienen sus momentos en los que no logran asegurar una tackleada y permiten jugadas largas.
Hace unos meses no esperábamos que fuera la defensiva y no la ofensiva la que cargaría a este equipo a muchas victorias, pero ese ha sido el caso en las tres victorias de esta temporada. Y en las tres derrotas, la defensiva fue la que mantuvo a los Cowboys en el juego.
Sin duda alguna, lo que tiene que mejorar es la ofensiva. Los receptores tienen que desmarcarse, Prescott debe ser más preciso y tener una mejor conciencia en la bolsa de protección.
Pero sobre todo, es la inconsistencia del equipo. Esto se comienza a sentir como la temporada del año pasado, cuando los Cowboys se fueron 9-7 y nunca terminaron de establecerse como contendientes a los playoffs. Aún en una NFC East donde todos los equipos tienen récords similares y débiles, no pueden continuar perdiendo una semana y ganando a la otra.
Ganarle a los Redskins sería la primera victoria de Dallas jugando de visita. También sería la primera vez en el año en la que tendrían victorias consecutivas. Por esto y muchas otras razones, incluyendo el potencial liderato de la división, este juego es de suma importancia.
Si ganan, podría ser el momento en el que los Cowboys terminen de darle la vuelta a la página y si pierden, podría ser un indicador de que esta temporada será igual que la del 2017.
Time to get FB Jamize Olawale More Involved Offensively?
The Dallas Cowboys are coming off arguably their best and most complete offensive performance of the season after playing the Jacksonville Jaguars last week, but there is still quite a bit of improvement that can be made. The need to get more playmakers involved is apparent, which is why I think it's time to utilize Fullback Jamize Olawale's unique skill set.
I know many of you will argue that getting Allen Hurns and Michael Gallup going is a higher priority, and you wouldn't be wrong, but Jamize Olawale's playmaking ability could be a huge asset for Quarterback Dak Prescott and the offense. I know it sounds a little strange, but hang in there with me for little bit.
As things stand right now, Olawale has only played 38 offensive snaps (10%) in 2018. That's the exact amount of offensive plays Wide Receiver Terrance Williams has played this year and he's missed the majority of the season. It's not exactly the kind of production I was expecting when the Cowboys decided to bring him aboard via trade with the Oakland Raiders earlier this offseason.
I don't know about you, but I was expecting Olawale to be more involved in the offensive game plan. He is an excellent receiver out of the backfield and isn't too shabby as a runner either. But, we haven't seen him utilized in either fashion this season and I think that's an injustice that needs to be corrected.
Now, I fully understand there are other offensive weapons ahead of him in the pecking order who need to see more targets, but I also really think he can make a difference maker, especially in the passing game. That is where his strengths lie, not as a lead blocking fullback.
Olawale was a bit of a Swiss Army knife during his time with the Oakland Raiders. He played a little running back, fullback, tight end, and even a little slot receiver. I really thought the Cowboys would take advantage of his versatility in the passing game, but as of yet they have failed to do so.
I'd like to see the Dallas Cowboys and Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan utilize Jamize Olawale's unique playmaking ability a little bit more on offense. I think they should try to utilize him like the San Francisco 49ers use their fullback, Kyle Juszczyk. He's much more involved and has played a total of 263 offensive snaps (63.68%) this year.
Juszczyk is a better lead blocking FB then Olawale, but that's not where he makes the most difference in the 49ers offense. He does it as a receiver and has already caught 17 passes for 227 yards and one touchdown. That's some pretty solid production from a position that is being phased out in the NFL.
Now, just imagine the Cowboys offense getting similar production from Olawale and how that would help open up things for everybody else. It's not out of the realm of possibility because the 49ers offense and the Cowboys isn't all that dissimilar.
Unfortunately, I think Jamize Olawale is pretty much an afterthought in the Cowboys offense right now. It's truly unfortunate because I think he can be a difference maker if given the opportunity. And with a division foe like the Washington Redskins next on the schedule, what better time to unleash a new and unseen element of the offense?
Do you think Jamize Olawale needs to be more involved offensively?
Cole Beasley Key to Cowboys Passing Game Productivity?
What most of us already knew was confirmed last Sunday afternoon against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Wide Receiver Cole Beasley is the Dallas Cowboys best receiver and is the key to the passing game productivity. He is not only the most productive, but the most consistent.
Cole Beasley isn't the tallest or the fastest and definitely doesn't look like a prototypical NFL receiver, but he showed last week against the Jaguars why opposing defenses have to account for him on every single play. He torched Jacksonville's top-ranked passing defense for 101 yards on nine catches and added two touchdowns, and it's that production that could help open up the entire passing game for the Cowboys.
It's painfully obvious Cole Beasley has been Dak Prescott's favorite target in the passing game since he took over the starting duties in 2016. Once opposing defenses figured that out they started to make things extremely difficult by bracketing Beasley in coverage and the passing game hasn't been the same since. But, that could be changing if the Jaguars game was an indication of what we might see moving forward.
Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan did a much better job of moving Beasley around to create favorable matchups against the Jaguars. I think we will see much more of that moving forward, but that likely means opposing defenses will once again try to take away Prescott's favorite target. That actually could end up helping the Cowboys passing game though.
If opposing defenses indeed try to contain Cole Beasley like they've done in the past, it should help provide more opportunities for Dallas' other pass catchers. Spreading the ball around to several different receivers would not only help Prescott and the passing game, but also open up the entire offense.
We haven't really seen much of Allen Hurns or Michael Gallup this season, but both are more than capable of being more productive if they are seeing single coverage more often. That's what's likely to happen if defenses bracket Beasley in coverage once again. Both WRs need to be more involved anyway and Beasley's recent spike in production could help do just that.
Now, if defenses decide to try and cover Beasley one-on-one like the Jaguars did quite a bit of last Sunday, the Cowboys would be wise to take advantage of that mismatch. He simply can't be covered by a single defensive back because of his precise route running ability. He is that good.
Regardless of how opposing defenses try to handle/contain Cole Beasley, he is without a doubt key to the Dallas Cowboys passing game productivity. Just the threat of him on the field changes a defenses approach, which is why he is Dallas' #1 WR in my book. He absolutely has to be more involved moving forward, even if it is as a decoy.
Do you think Cole Beasley is the key to the Cowboys passing game productivity?
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