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!
Did a Year Away Help Rejuvenate TE Jason Witten’s Game?
Jason Witten is 37 years old, retired from the NFL after the completion of 2017 season to try his luck as an announcer in the booth, but has now decided to come out of retirement to rejoin the Dallas Cowboys? It seems a little unrealistic to think he can come back after a year away from the game and pick up where he left off, but it sounds as if he's like a Phoenix rising from the ashes.
Jason Witten has been the talk of Dallas Cowboys OTA practices so far. These practices are unpadded and basically just an opportunity to do install some of the offensive and defensive plays, but that doesn't make them any less important. One of the things that has been somewhat surprising though is how talked up the future Hall of Famer has become.
Here is what Head Coach Jason Garrett had to say recently about Jason Witten's return:
“Yeah, absolutely. He’s been excited about every part of it ever since I met him and that hasn’t changed,” coach Jason Garrett said. “The work that he’s done in the weight room in the off-season program has been outstanding. His testing numbers and all of that are what they’ve been or even better. And he just has an unbelievable way about him. Tremendous passion for the game. And he demonstrates that every day. Witt looks good. He’s excited to be back and we’re certainly fortunate to have him back.”
The main thing that stands out from Garrett's quote to me is how Jason Witten looks just as good, if not better after not playing at all in 2018. To think that his testing numbers are possibly even better is unfathomable. We typically don't see NFL players in their mid-30s retire from the game and then return just as good, or maybe even better than they were before.
Maybe that's just what Jason Witten is, a little inhuman. Maybe he's found the secret to turning the clock back just a little bit. Or, maybe he found the fountain the youth and didn't tell anybody. Regardless, there's no doubt Witten will be a welcomed addition to the Cowboys offense, especially if he's gained a step.
I don't know about all of you, but I'm hoping the year away from the game did him some good. I honestly thought he made the right decision to retire prior to the 2018 season. It just looked like father time was catching up to him in 2017. But, hopefully all he needed was a little time away from the grind he's been putting his body through for over a decade.
Whatever he's done hasn't gone unnoticed though. Even Quarterback Dak Prescott has noticed and said he's on to Witten's scheme.
“I guess the trick is to take a year off because he’s definitely gotten better, stronger and faster,” Prescott said. “He hasn’t lost a step.”
I'm not afraid to admit I wasn't too excited to see Witten come out of retirement and rejoin the Cowboys at first. I was skeptical he could be the player he once was after a year away from the game. But, all of this talk about him looking as good as he once was, perhaps better, has me really looking forward to seeing him on the field once again.
Do you think a year away has rejuvenated Jason Witten's game?
Cowboys en Español: El Verdadero Cambio en La Ofensiva
Los Dallas Cowboys tuvieron un interesante 2018. La ofensiva dejo mucho que desear toda la primera mitad de la temporada cuando carecían de un receptor número uno. No fue hasta media temporada cuando consiguieron a Amari Cooper de los Oakland Raiders, que la ofensiva comenzó a verse realmente amenazante. Siendo sinceros, el cuerpo de receptores de los Cowboys lucía muy débil al inicio y Michael Gallup aún no conseguía mucho tiempo de juego en el emparrillado. Incluso una vez en el equipo, a pesar de las grandes hazañas de Cooper en Dallas, la ofensiva no terminó de dar el siguiente paso.
Sí, con Amari en el equipo vimos un equipo de Cowboys que movía constantemente las cadenas e incluso se convirtió en una de las mejores unidades en tercera oportunidad en la liga, pero no fue suficiente. Los problemas en zona roja persistieron y continuamos viendo una selección de jugadas muy cuestionable semana tras semana.
Es por eso que al finalizar la temporada, la administración de los Cowboys finalmente tomó una decisión muy anticipada. El entonces coordinador ofensivo, Scott Linehan, fue despedido.
En cuanto a talento, los Dallas Cowboys no verán un cambio mayor en su ofensiva. Cole Beasley, uno de los mejores WR slot en la NFL, firmó con los Buffalo Bills durante la agencia libre. A pesar de la llegada de Randall Cobb, la ofensiva probablemente extrañará bastante a Beasley. Además está el regreso de Jason Witten al campo, quien se repartirá el balón mucho con los jóvenes del equipo, principalmente con Blake Jarwin. Por último, Travis Frederick podría estar de regreso como el centro titular. Fuera de eso, no se anticipan cambios de jugadores en la ofensiva.
Y a pesar de esto, la afición de los Cowboys espera ver un cambio grande entre la ofensiva del 2018 y la de 2019. Si las cosas salen bien, así será. Pero más que por el talento del equipo, que ya está ahí y es un muy buen talento, deberá ser por el hombre al mando.
Kellen Moore ha tomado las riendas como el nuevo coordinador ofensivo y finalmente podremos ver su potencial. Muchos han criticado a Moore, en gran parte por nunca haber sido un quarterback exitoso en la NFL. Sin embargo, hay muchas razones por las cuales deberíamos estar emocionados.
Desde que Moore salió de la universidad de Boise State, se le veía como un prospecto muy inteligente. Incluso analistas como Jon Gruden (en ese entonces conductor del programa de ESPN Gruden's QB Camp) mencionaban que Moore probablemente no sería un gran mariscal, pero que tenía la mente de un coach.
En Boise, Moore trabajaba con la ofensiva del actual coach de los Washington Huskies, Chris Petersen. Esta ofensiva es una muy complicada que le exige al mariscal saber casi tanto como un jugador profesional. Muchos han descrito a Moore como un genio ofensivo que será un gran coach en el futuro.
Para los Cowboys, Kellen Moore será una pieza clave en 2019. Si vemos una ofensiva realmente diferente, será gracias a su creatividad y filosofía que implementa a un grupo bastante talentoso en Dallas. Los jugadores están ahí, ¿sabrá el coordinador ofensivo de 30 años aprovecharlos?
NFL to Study Marijuana Use, Will It Impact Randy Gregory’s Status?
The NFLPA and the NFL have reached an agreement to research alternative pain-management tools for the players. They'll form joint medical committees to study different strategies, among which will be the use of marijuana. It's important to make it clear that said committees will not be exclusively about marijuana, but a lot of different issues related to pain-management in the league. However, it'll likely be one of the most important aspects of their work.
Marijuana continues to be a highly debated topic and it's no different when discussing the NFL. Dallas Cowboys fans should be very familiar with the situation. Earlier this year, David Irving "quit" on football during an Instagram live stream while smoking weed. In the video, Irving talks about how he thinks it's better to be addicted to marijuana rather than certain medications used by NFL teams to treat their players.
Although David Irving is not an authority on substances, that is where all of this debate centers around. Throughout the league, players are given strong medication to deal with injuries and the physical pain of playing pro football. I'm not an expert either, but it's more than fair to say there's a strong argument here. Specially in a country where marijuana has already been legalized in 10 states and the trend points toward legalization continuing.
The current CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement) between the NFL and NFLPA will expire after the 2020 season and how the league's drug policy looks like in the new agreement will be a huge factor for reaching a satisfactory CBA for both sides.
Of course, the fact that the NFLPA and the league are working together on such an important task doesn't mean we will see any immediate changes or that the NFL's ban on marijuana will be lifted anytime soon. Many big question marks will have to be answered before we hear about teams implementing this substance as a pain management tool.
For the Dallas Cowboys, this will be a relevant narrative down the line. Pass rusher Randy Gregory was reinstated after serving an indefinite suspension due to substance abuse prior to the 2018 season. After a dominant year, Gregory was suspended again by the NFL and it all points toward him sitting out this upcoming season and perhaps even more.
Even still, the Cowboys are still standing behind their 2015 second round pick. If the league ends up lifting its ban on marijuana, they'll have to decide what they will do with players already serving a suspension for this reason. Guys like Randy Gregory, for instance. If it's decided they'll be reinstated to the NFL, the Cowboys will sure be glad to have supported Gregory all throughout the process.
Last year, the pass rusher proved how effective he could be even with a short period of time training. Hopefully, the Cowboys are able to get him back on the field eventually, where's been consistently dominant. In the meantime, we'll see how recently acquired Robert Quinn does in Dallas.
The NFL won't be lifting its ban anytime soon, but it's good to know they're at least open minded to changing the league's policy and consider alternatives that could benefit the players' health. We'll see how these new medical committees work and keep you updated here at Inside The Star.
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