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Cowboys @ Saints Game Day Gut Feeling

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Cowboys Blog - Cowboys @ Saints Game Day Gut Feeling

Game day has finally arrived. I’ve got to be honest here, I don’t know if what my gut is telling me is a good old fashioned gut feeling, or the simple fact that I probably shouldn’t have had that just one more.

When looking at the history between the two teams, it usually ends up extremely close or a blowout -- there’s no in between. And with the game being played in New Orleans I am willing to place a bet that the unexpected is going to happen.

Let’s start with the obvious. When the spotlight is on, and it’s a big stage, Brandon Weeden hasn’t played up to our hopeful expectations. With all the criticism that has come out since last week, I fully expect Weeden to take more chances down the field. The result isn’t going to be good, and while he may throw for more yards, his completion percentage will be terrible -- I can see at least two, if not three interceptions.

With the return of Ron Leary, the Cowboys starting offensive line is back intact and I bet they are pissed. They know they haven’t played up to expectations, and this game will become their statement for the year going forward.

Cowboys Blog - Cowboys Injuries Updates: August 20th

(Michael Ainsworth/The Dallas Morning News)

The RBBC approach will be in full effect and the Cowboys will dominate the time of possession. They will average five yards a carry and Darren McFadden will see his most game action this season, which just so happens to go along with fellow writer RJ’s 5 Bold Predictions.

As for the Saints and wily veteran Drew Brees, I’m expecting a lot of screens and crossing routes with Brandin Cooks taking Brandon Carr across the field, and with slants and posts that will result in at least two big plays down the field.

The odd and often delusional Rob Ryan, will grab a handful of darts, throw them at the wall, and that’s how he will line up his defense. And when that doesn’t work, he will go in at halftime, throw his jelly donut against the wall, mark the splatters, and make his adjustments.

As I mentioned above, Cooks will make plays and the Cowboys will adjust to shut him down. That’s going to open the door for Willie Snead to also make plays down the field and score a touchdown.

In the end, I see the Saints coming out strong to take an early lead with the Cowboys offensive line, imposing their will to bring the Cowboys back. The Cowboys will once again lose the turnover battle, but will emerge with a 24-21 victory with the defense sealing the deal on the final drive.

Let us know your predictions below and make sure to read the #SmoothView Game Preview.



Lifelong Dallas Cowboys and horse racing fan. You can generally find me at the top of a mountain or on a frozen lake. Born and raised in Idaho and for those still wondering, we do have color tv and cell phones.

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Star Blog

Why I’m Not Buying The Jason Witten Rejuvenation Story

Kevin Brady

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Jason Witten, FOX Sports, and the Future at Tight End for the Dallas Cowboys
Photo by James D. Smith/Dallas Cowboys

Last week, Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett made headlines with some quotes about the return of Jason Witten. Neither Garrett nor Witten tend to make headlines with their words often, but the two combined to do so with a quote this week.

“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.” - Jason Garrett on Witten.

Multiple Cowboys' media outlets ran with these quotes, looking to show that the Cowboys have found a version of Jason Witten that they have not seen in quite some time. They are, publicly, stating that they believe a year away from the game did Witten some good, and that he will be a much healthier and fresher player in 2019 than he was back when he last played in 2017.

As a fan of the team, I sure hope this is the case. But as a realistic human being, I can't get behind this at all.

Jason Witten hasn't been very good for quite some time now. I know he's a Cowboy legend, and will forever be a fan favorite, but the facts are the facts. As a run blocker Witten has regressed greatly in his later years. More often it seemed he was re-adjusting his jersey after a missed block than he was making blocks to spring Ezekiel Elliott on the edge.

As a receiver, Witten's much slower than he used to be. And while he was never a blazer who relied on his speed to win, his lack of speed certainly holds him back in today's game. And if the Cowboys want to be multiple and versatile on offense, I'm not sure how a greatly-aged tight end helps them to do so.

He's still the smart, instinctive route runner he's always been, but at 37 years old what can we realistically expect from him?

I'll be honest, I'm very skeptical that Jason Witten is going to give the Cowboys anything in 2019. Maybe earlier in the season he will look better than expected, but can he withstand a full NFL season? It's impossible to say for sure now, but I'm absolutely not buying that he's rejuvenated or extra-fresh after a year off from football.



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Connor Williams Hopes Added Weight, Experience Aids Him In 2019

Kevin Brady

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Connor Williams

Offensive lineman Connor Williams had himself an interesting start to his young career. The second round pick was expected to be a plug-and-play guard for the Cowboys, earning the starting left guard spot from just about the first day of training camp.

The results from Williams' play were mixed, however. At moments Connor Williams looked like his athletic, technically sound self, working well on the Cowboys outside zone runs. Other times, though, he was simply overpowered by bigger and stronger defensive tackles.

Williams lost his left guard spot due to injury late in the season, and when Xavier Su'a-Filo came in and played relatively well, fans soured a bit on the then-rookie lineman. Still there was no question that Williams was the better player between the two, and he rightfully started in both the Cowboys playoff games last season.

Now entering year two, and with third round pick Connor McGovern potentially competing for a guard spot and rumors of a move to right tackle swirling around him, Williams believes he's done enough to improve before his Sophomore year.

Connor Williams spoke to DallasCowboys.com, and gave some decent quotes on what his offseason preparation has looked like thus far. Williams emphasized that his main goal was to add strength and size, something he looks to have clearly done based on recent photographs.

“I think I’ve put myself in a good position. Now it’s just about refining the technique and feeling comfortable.” - Connor Williams

According to Williams he played at a "light 300" pounds in 2018, but is now tipping the scales at 315 pounds. That's quite the difference, especially considering that Williams carries the weight pretty well in his frame.

All Pro veteran guard Zack Martin has taken Williams under his wing, as the young lineman credits Martin for being his lifting partner this offseason.

Right tackle might be in Connor Williams' 2020 future, but as of now, he has to ready himself to compete at left guard against the heavier defensive tackles he once struggled with. It's very encouraging to see the progress he has made so far.



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Travis Frederick’s Return Highlights Start Of Cowboys’ OTAs

Kevin Brady

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Cowboys Center Travis Frederick Still Hoping to "Be a Rock" for Teammates Despite GBS Syndrome
James D. Smith/Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys opening of voluntary OTAs came with some serious excitement from football-starved fans. But as we all know, these workouts are just about meaningless in terms of storylines for the upcoming season.

I say "just about meaningless" because there are some storylines which matter, though. Travis Frederick's return, of course, is one of those storylines.

After missing all of 2018 due to Guillain-Barre syndrome, Frederick appears to have gained his strength and ability back heading into 2019. Now he is back where he belongs, as the starting center for the Dallas Cowboys.

Dallas Cowboys on Twitter

@tfrederick72 🔙 at it! 💪🏼 #OTAs https://t.co/wht2Lh5yr5

Travis Frederick's importance to the Cowboys cannot be understated. In addition to being one of the best linemen in all of football, the All-Pro veteran center is responsible for much of the pre-snap communication across the offensive line. His absence was clearly felt in 2018, even as Joe Looney played well-above the preseason expectation level.

Frederick returns to anchor an offensive line which is surrounded with some serious pre-season hype. With Zack Martin back to full health, Connor Williams having a year under his belt, and newly-drafted Connor McGovern comes in with high hopes of starting on the interior.

Regardless of how the rest of the Cowboys' offensive line works itself out, it was great to see Travis Frederick back in action, even if it was during a non-contact voluntary practice.



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