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
2018 In Review: Byron Jones Emerges As CB1
Heading into the 2018 season Byron Jones was being asked to prove himself. The former first round pick had fallen out of the coaches' good graces during his third season, though many of his struggles could be attributed to those very coaches which were then questioning his ability.
Being asked to play out of position, or at least in a spot which did not maximize his natural ability, Jones struggled in 2017. Too often he was playing in the box as a safety where his lack of physicality was exposed by the opponent's run game. This was mostly due to the coaching staff falling in love with his tight-end-erasing ability in man coverage, but backfired when overused as a safety.
Once hired the following offseason, Kris Richard and company decided to move Byron Jones to cornerback full time, allowing him to utilize his excellent coverage skills and athletic ability to the fullest, rather than putting him at a disadvantage in the box.
The results? Well, Jones had one of the best seasons of any cornerback in football, earning All Pro and Pro Bowl honors for the first time in his young career.
Byron Jones had a dominant season for Dallas
Pro Football Focus graded Jones as the sixth best cornerback in all of football last season, allowing just 0.79 yards per coverage snap. Despite not having an interception on the season, Jones still earned national recognition as one of the best cornerbacks in the entire league.
Down the stretch of the season, Chidobe Awuzie started to play up to the level which fans had hoped for during the preseason. He had been sticky in coverage most of the year, but now he was making plays on the ball at a much better rate, forcing incompletions. This led to an increase in targets to Jones' side, and though the increase resulted in more catches given up by the number one cornerback, I don't think Jones' play faltered as much as some will have you believe.
The fact is, when you get targeted more you are bound to give up more catches and yards. The key is to force them into contested catches, and make things as difficult for the receiver as possible when targeted.
Byron Jones continued to do this all season long, and fans should be excited for the next step of his growth in 2019.
Cowboys en Español: Comentando el Tope Salarial
Por muchos años, el tema del tope salarial ha sido un tema sensible para los Dallas Cowboys. Entre dinero muerto y otros problemas, el equipo ha tenido una situación delicada en este aspecto. Sin embargo, para la temporada del 2019 tienen más espacio de lo que estamos acostumbrados.
Según Over The Cap, los Cowboys tendrán aproximadamente 48 millones de dólares disponibles en 2019. Es importante recalcar que este número no es definitivo y puede cambiar. Año tras año, esta administración ha sido aficionada de reestructurar los contratos de ciertos veteranos para liberar espacio salarial constantemente. Además de esto, hay varios jugadores bajo contrato que el equipo podría decidir cortar para liberar aún más dinero.
Al ver sólo 48 millones disponibles, es complicado imaginar un escenario en que el equipo logre satisfacer todos sus objetivos. Hay bastantes candidatos a grandes extensiones en el equipo, principalmente dos jugadores. En una liga en la que quarterback es la posición más importante, la segunda más importante podría ser la del caza cabezas, cuyo objetivo es ir tras el quarterback contrario.
Pues en Dallas, hoy dos jugadores en estas posiciones que hay que extender. El más urgente sin duda es el defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence. Lawrence se puso el jersey del equipo cuando este lo designó a jugar bajo la etiqueta franquicia. Afortunadamente, el atleta de 26 años la hizo de soldado y jugó sin amenazar con faltar a entrenamientos ni pretemporada.
Lo que sí comentó es que no pasaría por lo mismo en 2019. Ahora, el momento está aquí y es tiempo de que los Cowboys lo extiendan. El valor de Lawrence es difícil de predecir, pero es bastante seguro que se acercará a los números de Khalil Mack. Mack hizo historia ganando un contrato que en promedio gana 23.5 millones al año. Si bien no anticiparía que lo supere, la cifra estará cerca al contrato del defensivo de los Chicago Bears.
Además está Dak Prescott, cuyo contrato probablemente estará por encima de los 25 millones anuales. Son contratos caros, pero son piezas fundamentales para el equipo. Definitivamente se les tiene que pagar a ambos. Son pilares que año tras año buscan equipos en toda la NFL.
Además de esto, Amari Cooper, Ezekiel Elliott, Cole Beasley y más podrían tener un impacto en el tope salarial. Algunos buscan un contrato nuevo, otros una extensión. Pero honestamente, me parece que habrá más espacio en el tope salarial de lo que pensamos. Sólo es cuestión de tiempo para que los Cowboys comiencen a reestructurar a sus veteranos para ahorrarse unos cuantos millones para utilizar en agencia libre.
Tyron Smith, Tyrone Crawford entre otros pueden ser buenas opciones para comenzar este proceso. Antes era Jason Witten uno de los candidatos favoritos para este proceso, pero él ya se encuentra comentando partidos para ESPN. En Inside The Star, continuaremos actualizándote con contenido al día de los Dallas Cowboys.
Can the Cowboys Become Legitimate NFC Conference Contenders this Offseason?
Super Bowl LIII is in the books, and the Dallas Cowboys can look back on a better-than-expected 2018 campaign. Having won the NFC East with a 10-6 record and bowing out to eventual finalists Los Angeles Rams, the Cowboys' young team can look ahead to 2019 as a chance to take another step forward.
The offseason is now upon us, with the NFL free agency period opening in the middle of March and the NFL Draft coming around at the end of April. Until those times, experts, pundits, and fans are left to assess their teams and predict their activities in the running to the start of next season.
The Dallas Cowboys are in a precarious position, with the team exceeding expectations, still being very young and having plenty of cap space, but also having many top-end players set to become free agents and being without a first-round pick in this year’s draft. There does, however, appear to be a way for the team to make improvements and solidify their place atop the NFC East and potentially go on to win in the Conference Finals.
Lock Down the Big Guns
Many see DeMarcus Lawrence as the top potential free agent this spring, so the Dallas Cowboys need to do everything in their power to lock down the 26-year-old defensive end.
Vice President Stephen Jones has emphasized the team’s target of retaining their own stars, per Star-Telegram, with Lawrence, Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper, Ezekiel Elliott, and perhaps Byron Jones being in the discussion for long-term deals.
As it stands, the team will have roughly $48.5 million in cap space for next season, which leaves plenty of space to re-sign their top players. They look set to let go of Tavon Austin, David Irving, and quite possibly Cole Beasley, among others, leaving a need to add reinforcements.
Adding New Talent
One of the most heavily rumored moves for Dallas in this free agency is picking up native Texan and former Legion of Boom linchpin Earl Thomas, per Forbes.
Against the Rams in the playoffs and throughout the season, the Cowboys lacked a defenseman who could make plays on the pass. Thomas is one of the notorious ball hawks in the league, boasting 28 career interceptions, three of which came in just four games of last season.
If the Cowboys can re-sign their stars while keeping some space for an Earl Thomas-sized contract, which clocked in at $10.4 million in 2018 for the Seattle Seahawks, their odds of going all the way next season will significantly increase.
Right now, the expected names of the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs lead the odds to win the next Super Bowl at +750. Behind them, the Rams sit at +900 having suffered a suffocating defeat in this year’s Super Bowl. Much further down are the Cowboys at +2500 right now with redbet. If they re-sign Lawrence, pay their young stars, and bring in Thomas, they’ll shoot up the table of favorites.
Then, there’s also the additions in the draft to consider.
The Cowboys may be without a first-round selection, but that may end up working in their favor. Round one of the 2019 NFL Draft is set to be laden with defensive selections according to most mock drafts, with a few quarterbacks sprinkled around and a minimal selection of offensive weapons. If the Cowboys re-sign Lawrence, they’ll be looking good at defensive end, so should then turn to giving Prescott another weapon in the passing game, which will also help to keep defenses honest and give Elliott more room to operate.
As stated, the NFL is a passing league, and Prescott exploded once he was given a viable option in Amari Cooper. Michael Gallup is expected to take another step forward next season, but just in case, the Cowboys can add another strong receiving option in the draft thanks to the strength of the defensive class. A.J. Brown of Ole Miss will almost certainly go in the first round, but exciting talents in D.K. Metcalf, Parris Campbell, Marquise Brown, and Deebo Samuel could all still be available when Dallas rings in during the second round.
Improving Dallas' pass options and pass defense will go a long way toward improving the team and allowing them to push on to a bigger and better campaign in 2019.
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