I see you walking with that extra spring in your step! You’re beaming from ear to ear! And we all know why…
Dallas Cowboys football is back, baby!
The Dallas Cowboys got things started in the 2015 preseason last night against the San Diego Super Chargers (that song is so awesome). It was a fun contest and a great glimpse into what the 2015 season is going to hold for us.
That 2015 season is 30 days away. We’ve been counting down to kickoff here at Inside The Star since 99 days till kickoff with the best Cowboy to wear each corresponding jersey number. The countdown continues today as we, with some Cowboys football in our tummies, discuss the Greatest 30 in Dallas Cowboys History!
The Following Players Have All Worn 30 For The Dallas Cowboys:
It seems fitting that on the day after the Cowboys played what could possibly have been their last game in San Diego (the Chargers are widely speculated to be moving to Los Angeles as early as 2016) that the player we are highlighting was actually offered a contract by them.
He ultimately signed with the Cowboys, don’t get me wrong, but this was a time before the NFL/AFL merger. So after going undrafted in 1965 Daniel Edward Reeves’s services were sought after by both the Dallas Cowboys and San Diego Chargers.
During his time at the University of South Carolina Dan Reeves was actually a quarterback. When he got to Dallas it only made sense to play him at… safety? Yes, the great Tom Landry put Reeves in the defensive backfield to see what he was made of.
After training camp injuries decimated the depth of the halfback position it only made sense to take the former quarterback turned safety and hand him the ball! Welcome to the running back position, Dan.
1966: Arrival Of Dan Reeves And The Cowboys
Tom Landry was one of the most innovative people to ever dial up the Xs and Os on a chalkboard. Some of the things that he implemented are still used in the NFL today and will be forever. Some of the things that he implemented… didn’t make a lot of sense.
While he was looking for more speed in the backfield Tom Landry moved future Pro Football hall of Fame cornerback to the spot. When Renfro was injured against the G-Men, Dan Reeves stepped in and everything changed forever.
In 1966 Dan Reeves had 757 rushing yards, 8 rushing touchdowns, 557 receiving yards, and 8 receiving touchdowns… all career highs. He played valiantly as the Cowboys finally found their form and marched all the way to the NFL Championship Game. The victor would go on to play the Kansas City Chiefs in the first ever Super Bowl, so needless to say there was a lot on the line. The Cowboys ultimately lost to the Green Bay Packers, but their presence in the game cemented their place as one of the elite teams in the National Football League.
Dan Reeves Runs Through The 60s
Number 30 would have a similarly great 1967 as he had 603 rushing yards, 5 rushing touchdowns, 490 receiving yards, and 6 receiving touchdowns. Dan had two notable games that season as in week 13 against the Philadelphia Eagles he ran in a touchdown, caught a pass for a touchdown, and even threw a touchdown! Talk about a hat trick. Reeves also set a team record when he rushed for 4 scores in a single game against the Atlanta Falcons.
The Cowboys found themselves once again in the NFL Championship Game against the Green Bay Packers and lost in one of the most iconic games in NFL History… The Ice Bowl.
1968 wasn’t as friendly to Reeves as four games into the season he suffered a right knee injury and missed the rest of the year. This injury, while obviously devastating, is arguably one of the greatest things to ever happen to Dan Reeves. Coach Landry began to utilize Reeves as a player/coach while he molded his new running back corps (which included players like Calvin Hill and Duane Thomas).
Dan Reeves served in his player/coach role from 1968 all the way through the rest of his playing days in Dallas (Reeves retired from playing after the 1972 contest).
As a player he amassed 1,990 rushing yards, 1,693 receiving yards, and 42 total touchdowns. The Dallas Cowboys made the playoffs every year while he was on the roster, and he was a member of the first World Champion squad that the Dallas Cowboys fielded in 1971.
In 1977 Dan Reeves was named the offensive coordinator of the Dallas Cowboys. He had served, as a protégé of Coach Landry’s and this was a move, which, at the time, seemed natural and inevitable. The Cowboys won their second Super Bowl in franchise history that season, giving Dan Reeves his first (and what would be only) ring as a member of a coaching staff.
Reeves would coordinate the Cowboys offense all the way through the 1980 season, before becoming the then youngest head coach in the NFL… taking over the Denver Broncos. Reeves and his staff would come across one of the finest quarterbacks to ever play the game, John Elway, in 1983. Reeves took the Broncos to the Super Bowl for the second, third, and fourth times in franchise history in 1986, 1987, and 1989… losing all three games.
The Giants called upon his services in 1993 where Coach Reeves enjoyed a four year run, but it was in 1997 when he reached the Falcons that he found serious success again. Dan Reeves would take the Falcons to the Super Bowl in his first year as their head coach, the first and only Super Bowl appearance in Atlanta’s history, and ultimately lost the game to his former team… John Elway and the Denver Broncos.
#30: Dan Reeves
Dan Reeves exemplified all of the qualities that people affiliate with Tom Landry. Considering that Reeves served as a coaching apprentice of Landry, it was never shocking to see him have success at a high level.
Dan Reeves the player was quite extraordinary as he was one of the premier running backs on the Dallas Cowboys roster in the early to late 60s. He helped them establish an identity of running the ball, and his contributions as a player/coach were a key element in the Cowboys winning two Super Bowls in the 1970s.
Among all things Dan Reeves is remembered as an outstanding player and an incredible head coach. I implore you to remember Dan Reeves as one more thing – the Greatest 30 in Dallas Cowboys History.
Check back tomorrow to find out who the Greatest 29 in Dallas Cowboys History is!
Cowboys en Español: Evaluando la Administración
Entre los aficionados de los Dallas Cowboys, pocas cosas son criticadas tan frecuentemente como la administración de la franquicia que no ha ganado ningún Super Bowl en más de dos décadas. Se ha convertido en un equipo que, a pesar de ser el más valioso en el mundo deportivo, no ha sido nada relevante en el emparrillado. Lo que alguna vez fue una dinastía se ha convertido en una unidad que rompe frecuentemente los corazones de los fans.
Jerry Jones y Stephen Jones, siendo los operadores del ámbito deportivo del negocio familiar, son criticados semana tras semana y en gran parte por justa razón. Pero en gran parte, por cosas no muy válidas.
Cambios de Coach
A mi parecer, lo más criticable para la administración de este equipo viene cuando hablamos de los coaches. Muchos se burlan de los Cincinnati Bengals y de la manera en la que están atascados con el Head Coach Marvin Lewis. Con Jason Garrett al volante, la situación para los Cowboys no es nada diferente.
A mediados de la temporada 2018, no parece que esta narrativa vaya a cambiar. Una vez más, los Cowboys arrancaron de una manera muy inconsistente y ya no sabemos que esperar de ellos. Gran parte de las derrotas, la mayor parte, es el coacheo.
Sin duda el equipo no será exactamente el mismo en 2019, pero ¿serán suficientes los cambios como para decidir quedarse con el mismo capitán que no ha podido mantener el barco navegando por años?
A diferencia de como se manejan muchos equipos en la liga, los Jones fungen como general managers de su propio equipo. Con la ayuda de Will McClay han logrado superar varios de los fracasos de los Jones de antaño, pero actualmente, siendo sinceros no han hecho un mal trabajo.
A pesar de las critícas de Abril, Leighton Vander Esch está probando haber valido más que la pena. Siendo objetivos, aparte de Taco Charlton en el 2017, todas las selecciones de primera ronda de los Cowboys han sido valiosas. La línea ofensiva, el corredor, un cornerback que por fin se está perfilando como uno de los mejores en la liga.
En cuanto a la segunda ronda, ha habido varias críticas, muchas con razón. Pero el mejor caza cabezas del equipo, DeMarcus Lawrence, el linebacker Jaylon Smith, Randy Gregory y más están teniendo un impacto muy fuerte en el equipo.
La administración se ha visto en la necesidad de tomar decisiones bastante difíciles después de una temporada de nueve victorias en 2017. El LB Anthony Hitchens fue liberado, Dan Bailey se fue inesperadamente, se confió en Byron Jones para tomar su opción de quinto año.
Hasta ahora, pura decisión digna de aplaudirse. Pero ninguna como la más reciente de todas: Amari Cooper.
Por más caro que haya salido, los Cowboys merecen bastante crédito por haber mejorado muchísimo su posición de WR. Si el equipo llega a tener una oportunidad esta temporada, será en gran parte por él.
No cabe ninguna duda en mi cabeza de que los Jones han cometido errores a lo largo de los años, el más evidente siendo la resistencia de dejar ir a Jason Garrett. Pero a pesar de esto, la administración ha tomado excelentes decisiones y ha realizado el draft muy bien. En ese aspecto en específico, les aplaudo.
Sack Numbers Don’t Tell DeMarcus Lawrence’s 2018 Story
Coming off of a career year in 2017, many fans expected DeMarcus Lawrence to continue his ridiculous sack production this season. After all, he is once again in a "contract year" due to the franchise tag, and fans are hoping the Cowboys can secure him longterm this offseason.
Through the first four games of 2018, Lawrence looked as ridiculous and unstoppable as ever. He had 5.5 sacks, tied for the league lead, and was dictating the pass protection schemes of every offense the Cowboys were facing.
Since that hot start, though, DeMarcus Lawrence has recorded just 1 sack, falling behind some of the league leaders he was once ahead of. This has some people scratching their heads and wondering if Lawrence's career year in 2017 was just that, a career year. One which he will never replicate again, and one which the Cowboys should factor out when talking contract extensions.
Here's why those people are wrong.
Let's first talk about what makes DeMarcus Lawrence so good, and then we'll get into the full context of the Cowboys defense and how that explains some of the drop in sacks.
Lawrence, unlike some of the league's other top pass rushers, is a complete 4-3 defensive end. He is one of, if not the best run defending defensive ends in football, as shown by his 12 tackles for loss on the season (only Aaron Donald and Danielle Hunter have more).
Much of the year, the Cowboys run defense has boiled down to Lawrence making splash plays, as we saw against the Washington Redskins. Adrian Peterson was gashing the Cowboys during that game, and the only one who did anything to stop him was DeMarcus Lawrence, as indicated by his 3 tackles for loss that Sunday.
There's also the point that 6.5 sacks through half the season is, well, good. It's really good! And when you couple his sack numbers with his solid pressure and QB hit stats, you can see that Lawrence is having a very good season.
Then there is the context of this entire Cowboys defense, specifically their defensive line and pass rush. To put it bluntly, DeMarcus Lawrence has been their only consistent rusher this season. Though we came into the year with high hopes for Randy Gregory, and cautious optimism about first round pick Taco Charlton, neither have been all that impressive this season.
Somebody, anybody, has to step up and become a threat opposite of Lawrence. David Irving could help matters with his interior pass rush ability, but he has been unavailable for basically the entire season.
Without another pass rusher for offense's to even think twice about, Lawrence is getting double teamed and/or chipped by a tight end or running back on just about every rush. It's becoming rare that Lawrence is in a true one-on-one pass rush situation.
Of course, if you are elite, offenses are going to shift protections to you in this way and you still have to find ways to be productive.
And thus far in 2018, DeMarcus Lawrence is doing just that.
Can QB Dak Prescott Steal Back His Mojo From Atlanta?
When the Dallas Cowboys last traveled to Mercedes-Benz Stadium they were completely throttled by the Atlanta Falcons. It's a game a lot of Cowboys Nation would like to forget, but no one more so than Quarterback Dak Prescott. That game could very well be where his struggles really began.
It's almost exactly a year later and the Dallas Cowboys still find themselves haunted by that brutal beating the Atlanta Falcons handed them in Week 10 of the 2017 season. The Cowboys seemed to lose all confidence in themselves after that game, but it was almost as if it was the exact point in time where Dak Prescott lost all of his mojo as well.
Before that match up against the Falcons, Prescott was still playing at a pretty high level. But since then, he has been in a slump and there have been very few signs of recapturing any of that magic he once had. Heading back to Atlanta maybe the key for him finding and stealing back his mojo.
Things could definitely go a little differently this time around. The Cowboys will have Ezekiel Elliott and Tyron Smith in the lineup this week. Zeke missed the game last year due to the league mandated six-game suspension, and Tyron missed due to an injury. Having those two back in the lineup could pay huge dividends, especially for Prescott.
Without his starting left tackle and running back, Dak was pretty much beaten to a pulp by the Falcons defense a year ago. They applied relentless pressure, hitting and sacking him on a number of occasions. Unfortunately, I think that's where he started seeing ghost in the pocket and its haunted him ever since.
The beating he took at the hands of the Falcons has really thrown off his entire game. His mechanics, accuracy, and effectiveness as a scrambler can all be traced back to that one matchup. He just hasn't been the same QB he was prior to that game.
Prescott's stats prior to the Falcons game:
66.7 completion percentage
102.4 passer rating
Prescott's stats since the Falcons game:
63.3 completion percentage
83.1 passer rating
As you can see, that's a notable difference. His passer rating has shockingly dropped nearly 20 points since last playing the Falcons and it's really hurt the entire offensive production. It's time for that to change.
Prescott has no choice this week. He has to get back up on the horse that bucked him off and hopefully regain that mojo he left in Atlanta a year ago. Fortunately for him, his confidence might be is as high as it's been since that last meeting after pulling off the upset against the Philadelphia Eagles last week.
Now, he just has to go out and prove it!
Do you think Dak Prescott can regain his mojo against the Atlanta Falcons?
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