When the Green Bay Packers host the New York Giants on Sunday, fans of the Dallas Cowboys will likely be very invested in the outcome. The winner heads to Texas; either a red-hot Packers team or the Giants who've already beaten Dallas twice this season. You will hear a lot of mixed opinion about which team Cowboys fans would rather see.
It could all be a moot point, though, based on another game Saturday night. The sixth-seeded Detroit Lions travel to face the Seattle Seahawks and, if they win, would send the Giants-Packers winner to Atlanta instead. As the lowest seed in the NFC playoffs, the Lions would automatically play the Cowboys in the second round.
There is no debating it; the Cowboys would be far better off hosting the Lions next weekend than either Green Bay or New York. There feels, perception-wise, like a firm line of demarcation exists between Detroit and the rest of the NFC playoff teams. They are not perceived as a contender, same as Washington or Tampa Bay would not have if they'd claimed the 6th seed.
Dallas will have recent experience with whoever they meet next weekend. They played both the Lions and Packers in 2016, and of course had their annual meetings with the Giants. The Cowboys' last playoff appearances in 2014 also directly involved Detroit and Green Bay.
New York Giants
As we all painfully remember, the Giants swept the Cowboys during the regular season. They are the only team to beat Dallas in meaningful games this year. Giants fan will crow about this, as is their right, but the margin of victory was incredibly narrow.
In Week One, with Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott playing their first professional game, the Giants escaped Dallas with a 20-19 victory. Dallas had a chance to win the game at the end but a poor choice by Terrance Williams caused the clock to expire.
In Week 14, New York was just a field-goal better as they again beat Dallas, this time 10-7. Dak Prescott was frustrated more than any other point this season as the Giants' defense starred, despite having just lost Jason Pierre-Paul.
Having to face the Giants again would excite some Dallas fans, who want to get revenge by bouncing them out of the playoffs. However, no team worries me more of the entire NFC field. It's not that the Giants are better than the Atlanta Falcons or even the Packers, but the rivalry with Dallas would take a playoff meeting to a different level of intensity.
As I've said before, I want our young players to be focused on strategy and execution. The less risk of emotion getting in the way, the better for these Cowboys. The Giants are the team most likely to bring out the worst in Prescott, and therefore are the last team I want to see during these playoffs.
Green Bay Packers
Before they went on a six-game win streak and Aaron Rodgers caught fire, the Packers looked lost in a Week 6 meeting with the Cowboys at Lambeau Field. Five fumbles and an interception prevented them from ever finding an offensive rhythm. Ezekiel Elliott crushed Green Bay with 157 rushing yards and Dak Prescott had one of his most productive days with three touchdowns.
This victory was nice for Dallas fans but it didn't come close to healing an old wound. The 2014 playoff loss in Green Bay, marred by controversy with the Dez Bryant "no catch" ruling, is arguably the most painful moment for Cowboys Nation of the last decade. They would love the opportunity for postseason revenge.
While I appreciate the storyline and the desire for payback, there's a saying that "living well is the best revenge." If the Cowboys can get to the Super Bowl, for me that will make up for every disappointment in recent memory.
Green Bay is good enough to beat the Cowboys. They're arguably the hottest team going into the playoffs of the three we've mentioned, and they certainly have the best quarterback. I would love to avoid them if possible.
In Week 16, despite having already clinched the top seed in the NFC, Dallas played to win against the visiting Lions. Even with a few defensive starters resting, the Cowboys clearly looked like the better team. Detroit was outclassed on both sides of the ball.
Much like the aforementioned 2014 game with Dallas and Green Bay, the Wild Card game that year between the Lions and Cowboys has left fans with sore feelings. Lions fans blame a controversial no-call involving Anthony Hitchens and Brandon Pettigrew for helping Dallas win. They seem to forget Matthew Stafford's two fumbles in the final drives, but that's another topic.
Having lost their last three regular season games, Detroit is somewhat limping into these playoffs. They are the weakest team and the Cowboys handled business once before. It is, by far, the best match-up we could hope for.
So tonight, as Detroit looks to pull off the upset in Seattle, let's all put on our temporary Lions fan hats and cheer them on!
So, who else is a temporary Detroit Lions fan tomorrow? #CowboysNation
Judging from the response to this tweet, I have a feeling you agree with me...
Cowboys en Español: La Afortunada Llegada de Randall Cobb
Tras la partida del veterano Cole Beasley, los Dallas Cowboys tenían un hueco preocupante en la posición de receptor abierto. Incluso después de obtener a Amari Cooper la temporada pasada y el tener a un jugador joven y talentoso en Michael Gallup, el equipo tenía que hacer algo para reemplazar a Beasley como el receptor de slot en la ofensiva. Beasley fue increíble en su trabajo durante su carrera en Dallas, pero la administración nunca estuvo cerca de igualar las ofertas que recibió de los Buffalo Bills. Afortunadamente, ya encontraron el hombre para el trabajo.
A pesar de estar muy callados en la primera semana de agencia libre, los Cowboys empiezan a verse involucrados con varios jugadores disponibles. Su contratación más importante hasta el momento es sin duda la del ex WR de los Green Bay Packers, Randall Cobb.
Hace unos años, Cobb atrapó el balón que terminó el partido de playoffs entre los Packers y los Cowboys minutos después de que la recepción de Dez Bryant fuera revocada. En 2019, vestirá la estrella.
Si bien es difícil argumentar que en este momento Cobb es mejor jugador que Cole Beasley, el contrato que la administración le dio al nuevo integrante del equipo es muy razonable. El ex-Packer jugará bajo un contrato por un año y cinco millones de dólares. Lo que preocupa a muchos sobre Cobb es su salud, ya que en 2018 sólo jugó nueve partidos. Sin embargo, su carrera no ha estado plagada de lesiones como muchos lo asumen.
Cobb será un titular en esta ofensiva que utilizará su habilidad para ganar en rutas rápidas. Sus manos son muy confiables y le dará a Dak Prescott otra arma en el juego aéreo. Simple y sencillamente una muy buena contratación de los Dallas Cowboys.
¿Robert Quinn, Por Favor?
Esta semana se reportó que el defensive end Robert Quinn estaba de visita en The Star, las instalaciones de los Dallas Cowboys. El DE no es un agente libre, siendo que aún está bajo contrato con los Miami Dolphins. Sin embargo, ambos equipos están en discusiones para llevar a cabo un trade por el caza cabezas de 28 años.
Después de que Randy Gregory volviera a recibir una suspensión, DE apareció entra las necesidades más urgentes del equipo y si no logran atender dicha necesidad previo al NFL Draft, tendrán que utilizar uno de sus primeros picks para conseguir un jugador que juegue opuesto a DeMarcus Lawrence.
Quinn, quien había jugado la mayoría de su carrera con los Rams, aún es joven y productivo. En las últimas dos temporadas ha logrado conseguir 15 sacks. De conseguirlo, los Cowboys tendrían que trabajar en una extensión para él.
Con un año en su contrato actual, no debe de ser muy caro conseguir un trade por él. Me atrevería a decir que la compensación que los Dolphins buscan por Quinn debe de estar en el rango de una selección cuarta y quinta ronda.
Parece un movimiento probable, pero no es difícil imaginar a otro equipo estando interesado en el jugador. Por lo pronto, sabemos que Quinn disfrutó su tiempo con Rod Marinelli y con el equipo de los Cowboys esta semana. Habrá que esperar para saber su destino.
DL Kerry Hyder Helps Solidify A Re-Tooled Defensive Line
The Cowboys got off to a busy start to week two of free agency on Monday, and capped it off by signing defensive lineman Kerry Hyder to a one year deal.
The former Detroit Lion could be classified as a "one year wonder" of sorts, but when you look closer at his career arc, you see that Hyder can provide upside at multiple positions across the Cowboys' defensive front.
After having 8 sacks and 19 quarterback hits as a defensive end in 2016, Hyder missed all of 2017 with an achilles injury. Last season, under new head coach Matt Patricia, Hyder was moved out of position and forced to play as a nose tackle and 5-technique more often.
So, the last time Hyder was healthy and playing in the role in he will likely fill in Dallas, he was productive. Yes that was a couple of seasons ago but it makes Hyder worth the one year deal he received from the Cowboys.
What exactly is that role, though?
I see Hyder primarily as a rotational 3-technique for the Cowboys. At just 270 pounds Hyder isn't going to play over the center often, and won't be very useful as a 1-technique against the run. He's at his best when lining on the outside shade of an offensive lineman, where he can use his get-off and quickness to create pressure.
Kerry Hyder can also fill in at defensive end if needed, especially when the Cowboys go into a nickel package. Hyder is similar to Tyrone Crawford in his ability to move inside and out, but is a bit better of a pass rusher than Crawford when at his best.
Hyder is a high energy, motor, and character defensive lineman who will fit right in with a Rod Marinelli unit. If it all clicks for Hyder and he regains his 2016 form, the Cowboys will have stolen an impressive pass rushing defensive lineman who can win from multiple positions.
If Hyder is actually a "one year wonder" who is more of his 2018-self with the Cowboys despite being put in a better role to succeed, Dallas can move on rather quickly because he is only on a one year deal.
This is a smart signing by the Cowboys front office as they look to re-tool their defensive line, and avoid being pigeon-holed into over-drafting at a certain position this Spring.
New Cowboys WR Randall Cobb Announces His Signing With A Fantastic GIF
On Tuesday this week it became official the Cowboys would sign former Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb to a one year deal worth an estimated $5 million. After his visit Monday morning, speculation around whether and when he would sign was swirling.
Cobb confirmed his intentions to join the Cowboys himself, and did so with some A+ GIF usage on Twitter.
In case you don't know, the GIF Cobb tweeted is Woody from Toy Story, emerging confidently and tipping his cap.
This was Cobb signaling that he his a Cowboy, and he appears excited to be joining America's Team. Cobb also received some social media love from his now former teammates in Green Bay, including wide receiver Davante Adams and quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Aaron Rodgers had some parting words for new Cowboys WR Randall Cobb
Clearly Randall Cobb made an impact in Green Bay, both on and off the field. Let's hope he can replicate some of that in Dallas now that he has joined the Cowboys.
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