So the Cowboys reached November with a 5-3 winning record and typically this month suits Tony Romo. In all his 6 seasons as a starter November has been a great month for the team’s passer. The team comes from a heartbreaking loss at Detroit and it is time for us to continue with this season preview.
Week 9 vs. MIN
With a 10-6 record the Vikes made a playoff run grabbing the #6 seed in the NFC and loss 24-10 to GB, their division rivals in the Wildcard game. (We all remember how Adrian Peterson was 9 yds. short of breaking a rushing record) So, the Minnesota Vikings have one of the best RB in the business, but Christian Ponder lost one of his biggest weapons who went in free agency to the Seattle Seahawks, Percy Harvin. They grabbed in this year’s draft WR Cordarelle Patterson, and have Greg Jennings and that might be something to worry about. On the other side of the ball well, they have Jared Allen- a 10 year veteran-and one of the best DE 's in the league and they drafted Sharrif Floyd, those two should be without a question a BIG concern for Bill Callahan. Even then, I think that the ‘Boys have a great opportunity to shake off the loss with the Lions plus they have a better team than the Vikes. Our backfield tandem will put up for a great running game and there will be a pair of passing TDs. The Cowboys’ Stadium is going to be undefeatable. 6-3
Week 10 @ NO
So we travel to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Last year the Saints set a NFL record for most yards given up by a defense. Let’s cut them some slack since their head coach was suspended along with some players for the entire 2012 season (bounty scandal) and their Defensive Coordinator, Steve Spagnolo had just arrived for that season.
This time it is a whole lot different, Sean Payton is back and brought to the team no less than Rob Ryan - you still remember that guy? You know a football figured Santa Claus who last year wore a blue star in his cap. Well he’s dying to show what a big mistake it was for Jerry Jones to let him go, the same goes for Kenny Vaccaro, and they’ll have prepared something special for the Cowboys, I just can feel it. 6-4.
Week 11 @ NYG
Division game. It is always tough to go play at NYC; the cold, the fans, the generalized hatred toward the Dallas Cowboys , so this will be a difficult road game. The Giants aren’t going to be able to figure our offense yet. The 12 personnel lineup is still going to be a headache for the defensive coordinator. As for their offense I think Cruz might have 2 or 3 big yardage plays but no more. Our secondary is going to be pretty tight down there and our DL is going to keep pounding and pounding on Eli. 7-4
Week 12 BYE
WEEK 13 vs. OAK (Thanksgiving)
With all due respect to the Raiders this is going to be a blowout. There’s not a lot to say, I mean, thanksgiving, at home, vs. the Raiders? This is a no brainer win for our boys! In this game Romo, Bryant, Murray, Ware, Spencer will fire up their season’s stats. Trust me on this one. 8-4
We’ve come to the last 4 games of the regular seasons. The team looks pretty good on both sides of the ball, but here comes December, a month that has been the itch for Romo (except in 2012) in his career as a starter, Nevertheless all the players are pretty psyched up and with one goal in mind: PLAYOFFS.
The last 4 games of the season are pretty tough as I said in Part 1 of this preview, and with all the other divisional opponents breathing down our necks, this is the part where the Dallas Cowboys must ensure their ticket to be in the BIG GAMES.
Week 14 @ CHI
After 3 win in a row the ‘Boys head up north to Soldier Stadium to play against Jay Cutler’s boys. This is going to be a special game for the Bears because they’re going to honor legendary player and coach Mike Ditka at the beginning of this game. The Bears have Brandon Marshall, who’s one of the best wideouts in the league and Brandon Carr is going to have a long night trying to cover him up.
The Chicago Bears are always a big question mark for me. But sadly the winning streak ends at the windy city. 8-5
Week 15 vs. GB
Another difficult game at home. The Green Bay Packers are gooood! I do not know about you fellas but I have a huge respect for this team. First and foremost Aaron Rodgers and Clay Matthews scares the sh** out of me. But live I’ve said, this 2013 season the Cowboys at home will be unbeatable!! 9-5
Week 16 @ WSH
2nd bout. This time they win. Simply because they’re home… 9-6.
Week 17 vs. PHI
It is always special facing these Eagles, as I said in my week 7 preview, Philly always play their hearts out vs. the Cowboys. The last regular season game will be a thriller. The Eagles will make the best of their last game (I dont think they'll reach playoffs) but like I've said, at home the Dallas Cowboys will be unstoppable. 10-6
We've come to the end of the regular season! And after 3 long years without seeing our beloved team on the playoffs we are finally getting that joy, and if I might say it, it may be a long run.
Follow me on twitter @gmandreu
Tony Pollard, Supporting Cast or a Co-lead with Ezekiel Elliott?
Since the Dallas Cowboys drafted Running Back Ezekiel Elliott fourth overall in the first-round of the 2016 NFL Draft he's been the star of the show. Any of their other offensive weapons have been nothing more than supporting cast the past three years, but rookie RB/WR Tony Pollard could prove to be more than just supporting cast and become more of a co-lead in Zeke's show.
Suggesting Tony Pollard has a chance to be more than just supporting cast with Ezekiel Elliott is a lot to put on a rookies shoulders, but that's the kind of hype he's receiving already. He hasn't even put on the pads yet with the Dallas Cowboys, but he's already receiving Alvin Kamara type comparisons due to the versatility he's expected to bring with him to the NFL.
Living up to those Alvin Kamara comparisons might be even more difficult than becoming anything more than just an extra behind Zeke anytime soon, but it's doable. After all, Kamara immediately stepped in as a rookie and became a costar with Mark Ingram in New Orleans. It's certainly feasible to think Pollard can do the same.
There's of course only one problem with this way of thinking. Mark Ingram is no Ezekiel Elliott. And, no RB on the depth chart behind Zeke the last three years has been good enough to cut into #21's heavy workload. Is the hype surrounding Tony Pollard justified? Is he talented enough to cut into Zeke's playing time?
Those are some really big questions we don't have an answer to as of yet. Training camp could help determine the type of role Tony Pollard will have with the Dallas Cowboys in 2019 and beyond, but even that can be thrown out the window once games start to matter in the regular season.
Personally, I think Tony Pollard will be part of a supporting cast behind Ezekiel Elliott this year. I just don't think he's ready to step in and costar with Zeke just yet. I think he will be more of a comedic relief that will be used from time to time to keep things interesting. That's not necessarily a bad thing though considering his versatility to contribute in the running or passing game.
In time though, Pollard could prove worthy of an increase in playing time and become more of a co-lead with No. 21. It may very well be in his rookie season, but he's really going to have to prove himself and that will need to start this week when the Dallas Cowboys kick off their training camp in Oxnard, California.
What do you think? Is Tony Pollard supporting cast or a co-lead with Zeke?
Randy Gregory can Make the Perimeter Pass Rush Extremely Formidable
Randy Gregory showed flashes last season of the potential he has as a pass rusher. Even though he only managed one start he did see action in 14 games. Had registered 6 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, a fumble recovery, 7 tackles for loss and 15 hits on the quarterback. That's very good production with limited opportunities. Now, this sets up the Dallas Cowboys on the edge getting to the quarterback, and here's how.
The Cowboys acquired Defensive End Robert Quinn via trade from the Dolphins back in March. He is set to start at right defensive end opposite All-Pro DeMarcus Lawrence. Gregory, who lines up on the right side as well, can potentially make said side a huge problem for offenses on 2019.
Let's just take a typical season from Quinn which is between 8-9 sacks. If Gregory can give at minimum what he did last season, that's around 15 sacks just between the two of them alone. Now, as we all know, Lawrence can be penciled in for double-digit sacks routinely at this point. So given this information that's a potential 25-30 sacks just from these three players. This is without including guys such as Taco Charlton, Dorance Armstrong, Kerry Hyder, and rookies Joe Jackson and Jalen Jelks (assuming they make the final roster).
Why is Gregory's potential impact so important? For me, it's simply where he lines up at defensive end, on the right side. Most quarterbacks are right-handed, which means when they drop back to pass they face left side defensive ends, with their backs to defensive ends coming off the right side. If you can consistently pressure a quarterback from his blindside the opportunities for sacks and fumbles increase. Regardless of how skilled a quarterback is you can't avoid what you can't see.
Of course, this all depends on what the NFL does regarding the reinstatement of Gregory. He was suspended indefinitely in February for violating the league's substance-abuse policy, a situation he is all too familiar with. My guess is Gregory and the Cowboys will ask for a conditional reinstatement like he was given by the NFL in 2018. What this would do is allow Gregory to participate in meetings and condition work until he's a full participant. He is set to apply for that reinstatement within the next few days.
The only thing Randy Gregory can do now is play the waiting game. The league is currently considering the possibility of softening their stance on marijuana use. If they are serious about it I can see Gregory getting reinstated even if it's on a conditional basis. If this is granted the Cowboys will be getting big-time pressure off the edge with Lawrence, Quinn, and Gregory in 2019.
CB Jourdan Lewis Getting Ready For Bounce-Back 2019 Season
For a third round pick, cornerback Jourdan Lewis sure did come to Dallas with his fair share of hype.
In fact, much of Cowboys Nation was more excited about Lewis joining the Cowboys than they were about either of the team's first two selections in that same draft, Taco Charlton and Chidobe Awuzie. But while Awuzie has soared to starting cornerback levels with Dallas during his first two seasons, Jourdan Lewis has been forced to take a back seat.
After a promising rookie season, Jourdan Lewis didn't get much playing time at cornerback in 2018. Anthony Brown took over as the starting slot corner, while Byron Jones and Awuzie manned the outside. This left Lewis as the odd man out, despite what many consider to be impressive cover skills.
Lewis is not allowing this down season to eat away at him too much, though. While speaking with the media last week at SportsCon in Dallas, Lewis gave his thoughts on how his year spent behind the other young Cowboys corners is only fueling him for the future.
"As a competitor it's always tough, especially as a rookie and you're playing all of the time. It's definitely when you take a step back it humbles you. Sometimes you gotta understand that you have to wait your turn and work on your craft. Understand that you always have to stay a professional no matter your situation. And that's what I learned last year."
Considered undersized by the standards typically used by Cowboys secondary coach Kris Richard, some have argued that Lewis was never given a fair shot to earn playing time once Richard took over in 2018. Whether or not this is true can't ever be said for sure, and the level of play Anthony Brown exhibited from the slot in 2018 didn't leave much room for substitutions either.
Still, Jourdan Lewis says he appreciates that time he spent on the bench, and he hopes that it will only drive him towards bigger and better things down the road.
"I appreciate the time that I sat last year honestly...Because it made me a better player, maybe a better person honestly."
The Cowboys cornerback situation didn't get any less crowded this offseason. Not only is Dallas bringing back all three of the aforementioned starters from a year ago, but they also drafted Miami's Michael Jackson in the fifth round of the 2019 draft.
That cornerback room is full of talent. Not only does this create a luxury for the Cowboys at one of the league's most important positions, but it also breeds immense competition between the corners come training camp.
Which, if you didn't know, begins on July 26th.
Star Blog3 days ago
Tony Pollard is Just What the Doctor Ordered in Dallas
Star Blog1 week ago
The Ringer Names Byron Jones, La’el Collins As Potential Trade Bait
Star Blog2 weeks ago
Forget “Slump,” OL Connor Williams Looking To Make Sophomore Jump In 2019
Star Blog1 week ago
If Reinstated, Would Cowboys Start Randy Gregory Over Robert Quinn?
Dallas Cowboys2 weeks ago
Dallas Cowboys 2019 Training Camp Preview: Quarterback
Dallas Cowboys1 week ago
Dallas Cowboys 2019 Training Camp Preview: Defensive Tackle
Dallas Cowboys2 weeks ago
PFF Projects Ezekiel Elliott as 1 of 9 RBs to Rush for 900 Yards in 2019
Player News2 weeks ago
Taco Charlton: The Next Step has to be Taken now