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Are the Cowboys the Golden State Warriors of Football?



Cowboys 2017 Training Camp Dates and Location Announced 1

When you see or hear of the Golden State Warriors the first thing that comes to mind is probably super-team or dynasty. While that is true, that's not exactly what I'm getting at. Last year the Dallas Cowboys made a lot of noise in the NFL.

It started with taking a running back with the fourth overall pick in the NFL Draft, Ezekiel Elliott. Some fans absolutely loved the pick, along with most of the media that cover them, but some fans and a lot of the national media absolutely hated the pick.

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For those who don't know him, that's @VoiceOfTheStar (Pat Walker) when Zeke was selected in the 2016 NFL draft. He thought it would go another way (Jalen Ramsey), as did many fans.

How does that compare to the Golden State Warriors?

Well when the Warriors are doing good, which seems to be happening on a regular basis the past few years, the haters, hate. You'll hear a lot of "Kevin Durant isn't even that good" and "Draymond Green is a thug," or "Steph Curry is overrated."

Cowboys Nation hears similar stories surrounding most of their young talented players.

It seems that even finishing the season 13-3 and winning the NFC East can't shut some of the haters up. When you look at why the Cowboys were so successful last year you have to turn to the two rookies, Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott, that's obviously no surprise.

Dak Prescott was the leagues Rookie Of The Year and Ezekiel Elliott won the league rushing title.

You would think that having so much success from both player's rookie years would earn them some respect from opposing fans and the media, but it didn't. Even after the performances Prescott and Elliott put on in 2016, people are still using words such as overrated, system-player, or mediocre to describe both players.

Gym Shorts on Twitter

You can't spell "Dak Prescott sucks" without Dak Prescott.

Not surprised, considering the source.

FanBuzz on Twitter

Fellow NFL running back calls out Ezekiel Elliott as overrated


Somehow, someway after two NBA Championships in the last three years these same words surround the Golden State Warriors.

Why am I using Golden State as an example?

Two reasons. One, because when a team -- no matter the sport -- is either so loved or so hated by so many people, false opinions follow said team no matter how much they succeed.

And two, the success of said team can drive teams, General Managers, and even fans crazy.

I Need My Bread!!!!! on Twitter

From a personal stand point I think the Warriors are little bit overrated.

In every professional sport there is some sort of copy cat mentality in all of these owner's and general manager's heads. If another team does something and succeeds, a different team is going to try to do that same thing just to beat you. If you're still unsure where I'm going with this, maybe this will help.

All 32 teams saw how effective Ezekiel Elliott was last year and all 32 teams I think began to realize how important a good running game is.

The Jacksonville Jaguars didn't hesitate when they were on the clock with the fourth overall pick in the 2017 draft. The Jaguars had plenty of holes on both sides of the ball, but took Leonard Fournette, a player who a lot of people called a "bad pick."

Sound familiar?

We can even look in the Cowboys' own division to see how they are already driving some of these teams crazy. All three teams in the division spent a lot of money and multiple draft picks on ways to target the Dallas Cowboys' weakness, their defense.

  • The Washington Redskins signed Terrelle Pryor and Brian Quick early in free agency after having one of the worst defenses in the league last year.
  • The Philadelphia Eagles did almost the same thing, signing Alshon Jeffrey and Torrey Smith via free agency and adding Mack Hollins and Shelton Gibson via the draft.
  • The New York Giants? Same thing. The Giants signed Brandon Marshall in free agency and used their first round draft pick on Evan Engram, a pass catching tight end.

So instead of getting better at the things each team struggled at last year, it seems to me that each team was thinking something along the lines of "how can we beat the Dallas Cowboys?" on their mind going into free agency and the draft.

Very similar to what is going on in the NBA right now.

Not long ago the NBA was all about the big man. DeMarcus Cousins, Zach Randolph, Dwight Howard, and DeAndre Jordan used to be the faces of the NBA, and what all teams wished they had. Now, all the NBA wants is a guy who can shoot threes and handle the ball. The center position in basketball is almost nonexistent and it's all about who can shoot the basketball.

Why is that? Because, that's what's worked for the Warriors.

Are The Cowboys The Golden State Warriors Of Football?

Cowboys' Brice Butler With Steph Curry After Golden State Warriors Win. Jan. 28th, 2017

Having five guys on the floor for a majority of the game who aren't limited to where they can shoot. Having Draymond Green play as the "center" but taking shots from beyond the arch more than an easy layup.

And the NFL is doing the same thing.

A lot of teams are looking at the Cowboys and trying to copy what they have done. Drafting offensive lineman and running backs extremely high and signing and drafting players that can help you beat the teams within your division.

It's an interesting way to look at it if you ask me, and some people will say "the Cowboys haven't won anything yet to be compared to the Warriors," but how teams are implementing what the Cowboys have been doing for years, and the amount of negativity that is thrown at teams for simply being good sure does raise the question,

Are the Dallas Cowboys the Golden State Warriors of the NFL?

Born in 1995, loved Football but more importantly the Dallas Cowboys since day one. Living in Redskins Country flying the Blue and Silver flag as high as possible. Covering the Dallas Cowboys for and Catch me on twitter @ConnorNFLDraft!

  • Travis Diggs

    Ima go out on a limb here an say HELL NO, pardon my french. The cowboys are more like the New York Knicks, too much hype and not enough results. I feel comfortable saying that because im a cowboys fan. The warriors have 2 rings in 3 years, while the knicks haven’t had a ring in over 20 years while still staying relevant in a big market with a a hole owner, sounds like the cowboys to me.

  • Mauricio Rodriguez

    Pretty fun read, Connor. For a moment I thought this would be about the winning, but what you’re talking about is right. Great analogy.

Star Blog

Sean’s Scout: WR Deonte Thompson A Vertical Threat for Dallas Cowboys

Sean Martin



Sean's Scout: WR Deonte Thompson A Vertical Threat for Dallas Cowboys

Finally addressing their underwhelming cast of wide receivers, the Dallas Cowboys signed journeyman Deonte Thompson yesterday. The seventh-year pro spent 2017 with both the Chicago Bears and Buffalo Bills, hauling in 38 passes for 555 yards and two touchdowns.

Thompson was undrafted in 2012 out of Florida, making both the Cowboys' free agent signings to date former UDFAs. The Cowboys added LB Joe Thomas earlier in the week, who you can learn more about in Sean's Scout as well.

In desperate need of speed and play making ability on the outside, here is a look at what WR Deonte Thompson can bring to the Dallas Cowboys.

WR Deonte Thompson: Strengths

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Deonte Thompson plays with a great understanding of his own frame, using his length to give defensive backs problems up the field. Not a true "burner", Thompson takes some time to accelerate down the field, but can separate vertically.

Thompson runs smooth routes, using his long strides to get on DBs in a hurry. Once in position to free himself at the stem of a route, Thompson showed the ability to consistently turn his hips and complete a number of underneath and deep routes at a high level.

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Deonte Thompson may not win on many throws "above the rim", but he is above average at the catch point securing passes with his strong hands.

Snagging the ball outside of his frame is not much of an issue for Thompson, who makes the most of his run-after-the-catch opportunities by effortlessly receiving the ball in stride.

At this stage of his career, Thompson may not be an every down player, but this is a player the Cowboys can absolutely find a way to get involved in their sputtering passing offense next season - at the very least replacing the role of FA WR Brice Butler.

WR Deonte Thompson: Weaknesses

Deonte Thompson should not be expected to go over the top on many defenses for the Cowboys in 2018. While the traits are there to flash as that sort of player, Thompson simply is not at his best trying to track down deep vertical passes.

When Thompson does not create separation on his initial burst up the field, there was a tendency for him to get shoved around at the catch point. Still coming up with his fair share of passes, the degree of difficulty on these catches was often increased by his inability to truly play through contact.

This is not a player with a powerful lower body, relying on upper body flex and foot speed to free himself and create plays in space. Overall balance is a strength for Thompson, but he rarely is able to break tackles or move defenders as a blocker in the running game.

WR Deonte Thompson: Summary

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The Cowboys should know what they are getting in Deonte Thompson, who has not had the benefit of great quarterback play in recent seasons. The hope in Dallas is that a number of receivers on the bottom of the depth chart can stand out this summer to make the team out of a crowded room.

This group of Ryan Switzer, Lance Lenoir, Noah Brown, and KD Cannon will now include Deonte Thompson - who should have the edge over most of these names.

Thompson won't be the difference in the Cowboys' offense having a bounce back season in 2018, but his raw athleticism and effortless ability to serve as a deep threat could surely make an impact in Dak Prescott's progression.

Tell us what you think about "Sean’s Scout: WR Deonte Thompson A Vertical Threat for Dallas Cowboys" in the comments below. You can also email me at, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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Star Blog

Using Win Probabilities To Evaluate Decision Making: Cowboys Kick Vs. Raiders

Kevin Brady



Takeaway Tuesday: Cowboys' Defense Silently Shined, Jeff Heath Saved The Season 1
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Eagles have surpassed the Dallas Cowboys in more ways than one, but on Super Bowl Sunday, their willingness to "be aggressive" and "take chances" shined through the most. Eagles head coach Doug Pederson was congratulated by the masses for not coaching scared, and instead going for it on key fourth downs and even attempting trick plays.

When you really evaluate those decisions, however, they shouldn't even be thought of as "risky." If anything, they were simply the obvious call.

Over the last few months I have been working with win probability models, looking to validate and refine those available to the public. I can't share too much about the work as of yet (there will hopefully be a published article in the future), but the work is certainly promising.

What I can say is this. Dennis Lock and Dan Nettleton worked to utilize random forests to estimate win probabilities before each play in an NFL game. These "forests" are similar to decision tree machine learning, cycling through random trees of past data to predict future outcomes.

Brian Burke has been utilizing his model for a while now, and Pro Football Reference has a simple, yet effective model as well. For my project, I have been working to find the "best" ways to estimate those win probabilities in order to inform decision making by head coaches and coordinators.

If you aren't utilizing analytics correctly in today's NFL, you're falling behind. And if you aren't willing to take calculated risks based off of what these numbers say and mean, you are really falling behind.

How does this all relate to the Cowboys?

Well, Cowboys Nation has been pretty consistent in their main criticism of head coach Jason Garrett: he's too conservative. They say he coaches scared, and they believe he punts the ball away too often between the 40's. Numbers accumulated by writers such as Bob Sturm and Marcus Mosher back up these claims, but I wanted to examine Garrett's decision making through the win probability lens.

I took to Twitter to ask the fan base for specific scenarios in which they felt Garrett was too conservative. Then, I ran these situations through the win probability model to determine how these decisions affected the outcomes.

Over a series of posts I will detail what the model says about the Cowboys' decision making in these key moments. First, we go back to December of last season where the Cowboys had their season on the line in Oakland.

Cowboys at Raiders, 2017

One instance which was consistently brought up was ironically from a Cowboys win. Yes, a win!

The Raiders had played the Cowboys close all game long, and with their season on the line Dallas was in position to put those pesky Raiders away. Tied at 17 they entered a fourth and goal situation at the Raiders' 1 yard line. The Cowboys decided to kick the field goal and grab a 20-17 lead. While Dallas did hang on to win, this was only because of a miraculous play by Jeff Heath which resulted in a fumble and a touchback.

Many of the fans who tweeted at me seem to think the Cowboys should have went for the touchdown on fourth down, rather than take their three points. But what does the model say?

Prior to the fourth down play, the Cowboys had about an 85% chance to win the game. After kicking the field goal and kicking the ball away to Oakland, that probability went down to just above 80%. Had the Cowboys gone for it and been stuffed at the Raiders' 1 yard line, that probability would have dropped all the way to just over 57%.

But the model does believe that Garrett made the right decision. Of course, had Dallas scored a touchdown, the game would've virtually been over, but the variance in probabilities suggests that kicking the field goal and taking the sure points was a good move.

Next week, I explain where Jason Garrett and company may have gone wrong during a key 4th down decision against the Los Angeles Rams. If you have any suggestions for plays/situations you'd like evaluated, please comment below!

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Star Blog

Cowboys en Español: Nuevas Contrataciones, ¿Podría Ser Allen Hurns la Siguiente?

Mauricio Rodriguez



Cowboys en Español: Nuevas Contrataciones, ¿Podría Ser Allen Hurns la Siguiente?

La agencia libre de los Dallas Cowboys comenzó un poco tarde, siendo el último equipo en toda la liga de la NFL en realizar una contratación este offseason. Ahora, con algunas caras nuevas en el equipo, comienzan las preguntas inevitables. ¿Qué jugadores tendrán un impacto y qué jugadores serán una contratación irrelevante?

Sólo el tiempo lo dirá. Las piezas que añadieron los Cowboys no son agentes libres de gran renombre pero podrían llegar a tener algún impacto en el 2018. Sin embargo, no todas las adquisiciones de Dallas han sido por medio de la agencia libre.

Hace unos días, los Raiders y los Cowboys acordaron un trade por el fullback Jamize Olawale. Días después de perder a Keith Smith (quien fue contratado por... los Raiders), Dallas no quiso echarse todavía otra necesidad encima, así que solucionó rápidamente su hueco en la posición que le abrirá camino a Ezekiel Elliott.

Además de enviar a Olawale a los Cowboys, los Raiders consiguieron una selección de quinta ronda de parte de Dallas y ellos entregaron su sexta ronda. En otras palabras, los Cowboys sólo renunciaron 19 turnos en las rondas tardías del Draft por un fullback que será de ayuda constante para esta ofensiva.

A pesar de ser tres años más grande que Keith Smith, Olawale le brinda a los Cowboys potencial para participar en el juego aéreo así como en el terrestre.

Por la agencia libre, los Cowboys obtuvieron ayuda ofensiva y defensiva.

Dallas Cowboys Sign LB Joe Thomas to 2 Year Deal

Joe Thomas, (no, no el que todos conocemos como uno de los mejores tackles de la historia) el linebacker que viene de los Green Bay Packers, usará la estrella este 2018. Mi compañero y escritor de Staff Sean Martin escribió una excelente pieza analizando a detalle al nuevo defensivo. 

Thomas definitivamente no será un titular, pero sin duda ayudará a un grupo de equipos especiales que necesitan bastante apoyo esta temporada. Además, es un linebacker rápido y atlético que podrá brillar como un jugador de rotación en una defensiva que incluye a Sean Lee y a Jaylon Smith.

Esta contratación no hace que los Cowboys dejen de tener una gran necesidad por un LB, pero da una profundidad que urgía a la posición.

Questions Surround Cowboys WR Position After Deonte Thompson Signing

El último movimiento y quizá el más discutido por los aficionados de los Cowboys es la adquisición de Deonte Thompson. Un receptor abierto que ha batallado para conseguir una casa en la NFL llega a un equipo que cuenta con nombres como Dez Bryant, Terrance Williams y Cole Beasley, pero que aún necesita mucho más producción.

¿Acaso la adición de Thompson al roster hace que WR deje de ser una necesidad para el equipo de los Cowboys? Claro que no, pero añade un talento que quizá pueda ayudar al equipo en ciertos aspectos.

Thompson es un jugador muy rápido, lo cual es algo que esta ofensiva necesita para abrir el campo un poco más. Un corredor de rutas bastante sólido con manos seguras. Thompson viene probablemente a ser una versión mejorada de Brice Butler por $2.5M.

Quizá fue un error de parte de la administración garantizarle un millón de su contrato. ¿Por qué garantizarle dinero a un jugador que ni siquiera debería tener un lugar asegurado en el equipo? Sin embargo, Thompson parece ser un contribuidor a la ofensiva.

Pero no fue el WR en la agencia libre del que se ha hablado esta semana en el mundo de los Dallas Cowboys. De hecho, aún después de firmar su contrato, no es el más discutido entre los aficionados.

Allen Hurns, receptor que fue cortado de Jacksonville, es un jugador que podría llegar a hacer un impacto inmediato en la ofensiva de Dak Prescott y proveerle al QB un potencial mejor amigo. A pesar de que muchos esperarían que conseguir a Hurns significaría decirle adiós a Dez Bryant, la verdad es que no sería necesario.

Hurns podría tomar el rol que Terrance Williams posee ahora como receptor "Z" y llevar a esta ofensiva a otro nivel. Todd Archer de ESPN reportó que la reciente adquisición de Deonte Thompson no significa que la posibilidad de ver a Hurns usando la estrella ha acabado.

Todos queremos ver acción en la agencia libre, aunque a veces lo sensato sea ser conservadores. Así como muchos aficionados de los Cowboys se quejan de la falta de movimientos, muchos aficionados de los Steelers y los Patriots agradecen que sus equipos tengan esta filosofía de no gastar mucho en agencia libre.

La diferencia son los resultados en el campo.

Sin embargo, Allen Hurns definitivamente parece como una opción muy viable para los Cowboys, y una adición que simplemente tendría mucho sentido. Sólo queda esperar si lograrán firmarlo o si un equipo (como los Jets, quienes han mostrado mucho interés y tienen bastante espacio en el tope salarial) logra convencerlo de no regresar a Dallas.

Por ahora, esperamos. Quizá hasta que los Cowboys firmen a alguien más. O quizá hasta la llegada del NFL Draft.

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys en Español: Nuevas Contrataciones, ¿Podría Ser Allen Hurns la Siguiente?" 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!

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