One of the biggest moments a football fan can have in the offseason is when the calendar of their teams is announced. We all start getting anxious on the "how’s" and "why’s" regarding our team’s opponents. Well, it is time to make some previews and speculations on the 2013 schedule for the Dallas Cowboys.
Coming from back-to-back 8-8 seasons the ‘Boys are all hyped up to make a better record this year. One that takes them playoff bound. At first glance it is a relief that we start and end the season at Cowboy’s Stadium, but it is not an easy schedule, just look at the final 4 games. So without further ado let us get started.
Week 1 vs. NYG
The Cowboys will win this game if the OL delivers and can stop JPP & Co. Therefore, not giving much time to Eli and his explosive offensive. It is as easy as that. Just like 2012, if the running game is consistent, and they can give time to Romo, the Cowboys can get the first W in 2013.
Week 2@ KC
For starters the Chiefs were the worst team last year, with a 2-14 record. But we can’t overlook that KC got themselves one of the best OT available in the 2013 draft class in Eric Fisher. They also got QB Alex Smith in free agency, so at least in paper they have to be a better team. Then again, it is a team under construction so the Cowboys will take their first road win against the Chiefs. 2-0.
( If I’m wrong and the team losses in the opener this is a key game to win, it is not good to start 0-2…just saying.)
Week 3 vs. STL
Beware of Tavon Austin, their first round selection. Sam Bradford is surely thankful for this explosive new weapon. Mo Claiborne and B. Carr will make a NO FLY ZONE and will not disappoint. 3-0.
Week 4 @ San Diego
Apart from the opener this is the first game that will help us to measure this team’s potential. Phillip Rivers leads a good team, they’ve got talent in both sides of the football. With the addition of (R) D.J. Flucker and Dwight Freeney the Chargers will be MUCH better. Rivers will exploit that with his arm and with the running game. 3-1.
So far in the first quarter of the season we have a winning record, but the second quarter will prove if this team has what it takes to be a winner.
Week 5 vs. DEN
Well, there’s not a lot to say. The Broncos are possibly the best team in the AFC looking towards 2013, apart from being the team that most upgraded their roster, AND they have none other than one of the best plays callers in football’s history in Peyton Manning. So…to make this a little less painful…3-2
Week 6 vs. WSH
The first bout. I don’t know about you guys but I tremble when I see RGIII. I mean, if he wasn’t a Redskin I’d love that guy, he’s a beast. Everytime he’s in the backfield I pray, no kidding. Let’s see if Monte Kiffin’s defense can stop him. (He’s probably the best suited guy for the job, knowing very well the pistol formation and no-huddle offenses). I’m gonna take a chance on this one and say that having home field advantage and a great game from #88 we will take this W. 4-2.
Week 7 @PHI
Two division games in a row, talk about hype, huh? Being honest I haven’t seen much of Chip Kelly, but player by player this is a good team. I would like to wait on my prediction on this one, given that there’s a new coach there and well those darn eagles always make things difficult for us. So my preview is purely based on my love for the Cowboys. Go get’em ‘boys!!!! 5-2
Week 8 @DET
UGH! Tough game!!! Let's start with the defensive side of the ball. If it was not enough for the Lions to have Ndamukong Suh in there, they added Ziggy Ansah so, obviously regardless of the score I just hope every Cowboy survives that game. On the other side of the football, well MEGATRON and stuff...5-3.
We've reached the half-way point of the season, and the Cowboys are still with a winning record, and proved their fans that they are ready for everything and everyone. Some tough games, but they've risen to the task.
Wait for part 2...
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Cowboys en Español: Evaluando la Administración
Entre los aficionados de los Dallas Cowboys, pocas cosas son criticadas tan frecuentemente como la administración de la franquicia que no ha ganado ningún Super Bowl en más de dos décadas. Se ha convertido en un equipo que, a pesar de ser el más valioso en el mundo deportivo, no ha sido nada relevante en el emparrillado. Lo que alguna vez fue una dinastía se ha convertido en una unidad que rompe frecuentemente los corazones de los fans.
Jerry Jones y Stephen Jones, siendo los operadores del ámbito deportivo del negocio familiar, son criticados semana tras semana y en gran parte por justa razón. Pero en gran parte, por cosas no muy válidas.
Cambios de Coach
A mi parecer, lo más criticable para la administración de este equipo viene cuando hablamos de los coaches. Muchos se burlan de los Cincinnati Bengals y de la manera en la que están atascados con el Head Coach Marvin Lewis. Con Jason Garrett al volante, la situación para los Cowboys no es nada diferente.
A mediados de la temporada 2018, no parece que esta narrativa vaya a cambiar. Una vez más, los Cowboys arrancaron de una manera muy inconsistente y ya no sabemos que esperar de ellos. Gran parte de las derrotas, la mayor parte, es el coacheo.
Sin duda el equipo no será exactamente el mismo en 2019, pero ¿serán suficientes los cambios como para decidir quedarse con el mismo capitán que no ha podido mantener el barco navegando por años?
A diferencia de como se manejan muchos equipos en la liga, los Jones fungen como general managers de su propio equipo. Con la ayuda de Will McClay han logrado superar varios de los fracasos de los Jones de antaño, pero actualmente, siendo sinceros no han hecho un mal trabajo.
A pesar de las critícas de Abril, Leighton Vander Esch está probando haber valido más que la pena. Siendo objetivos, aparte de Taco Charlton en el 2017, todas las selecciones de primera ronda de los Cowboys han sido valiosas. La línea ofensiva, el corredor, un cornerback que por fin se está perfilando como uno de los mejores en la liga.
En cuanto a la segunda ronda, ha habido varias críticas, muchas con razón. Pero el mejor caza cabezas del equipo, DeMarcus Lawrence, el linebacker Jaylon Smith, Randy Gregory y más están teniendo un impacto muy fuerte en el equipo.
La administración se ha visto en la necesidad de tomar decisiones bastante difíciles después de una temporada de nueve victorias en 2017. El LB Anthony Hitchens fue liberado, Dan Bailey se fue inesperadamente, se confió en Byron Jones para tomar su opción de quinto año.
Hasta ahora, pura decisión digna de aplaudirse. Pero ninguna como la más reciente de todas: Amari Cooper.
Por más caro que haya salido, los Cowboys merecen bastante crédito por haber mejorado muchísimo su posición de WR. Si el equipo llega a tener una oportunidad esta temporada, será en gran parte por él.
No cabe ninguna duda en mi cabeza de que los Jones han cometido errores a lo largo de los años, el más evidente siendo la resistencia de dejar ir a Jason Garrett. Pero a pesar de esto, la administración ha tomado excelentes decisiones y ha realizado el draft muy bien. En ese aspecto en específico, les aplaudo.
Sack Numbers Don’t Tell DeMarcus Lawrence’s 2018 Story
Coming off of a career year in 2017, many fans expected DeMarcus Lawrence to continue his ridiculous sack production this season. After all, he is once again in a "contract year" due to the franchise tag, and fans are hoping the Cowboys can secure him longterm this offseason.
Through the first four games of 2018, Lawrence looked as ridiculous and unstoppable as ever. He had 5.5 sacks, tied for the league lead, and was dictating the pass protection schemes of every offense the Cowboys were facing.
Since that hot start, though, DeMarcus Lawrence has recorded just 1 sack, falling behind some of the league leaders he was once ahead of. This has some people scratching their heads and wondering if Lawrence's career year in 2017 was just that, a career year. One which he will never replicate again, and one which the Cowboys should factor out when talking contract extensions.
Here's why those people are wrong.
Let's first talk about what makes DeMarcus Lawrence so good, and then we'll get into the full context of the Cowboys defense and how that explains some of the drop in sacks.
Lawrence, unlike some of the league's other top pass rushers, is a complete 4-3 defensive end. He is one of, if not the best run defending defensive ends in football, as shown by his 12 tackles for loss on the season (only Aaron Donald and Danielle Hunter have more).
Much of the year, the Cowboys run defense has boiled down to Lawrence making splash plays, as we saw against the Washington Redskins. Adrian Peterson was gashing the Cowboys during that game, and the only one who did anything to stop him was DeMarcus Lawrence, as indicated by his 3 tackles for loss that Sunday.
There's also the point that 6.5 sacks through half the season is, well, good. It's really good! And when you couple his sack numbers with his solid pressure and QB hit stats, you can see that Lawrence is having a very good season.
Then there is the context of this entire Cowboys defense, specifically their defensive line and pass rush. To put it bluntly, DeMarcus Lawrence has been their only consistent rusher this season. Though we came into the year with high hopes for Randy Gregory, and cautious optimism about first round pick Taco Charlton, neither have been all that impressive this season.
Somebody, anybody, has to step up and become a threat opposite of Lawrence. David Irving could help matters with his interior pass rush ability, but he has been unavailable for basically the entire season.
Without another pass rusher for offense's to even think twice about, Lawrence is getting double teamed and/or chipped by a tight end or running back on just about every rush. It's becoming rare that Lawrence is in a true one-on-one pass rush situation.
Of course, if you are elite, offenses are going to shift protections to you in this way and you still have to find ways to be productive.
And thus far in 2018, DeMarcus Lawrence is doing just that.
Can QB Dak Prescott Steal Back His Mojo From Atlanta?
When the Dallas Cowboys last traveled to Mercedes-Benz Stadium they were completely throttled by the Atlanta Falcons. It's a game a lot of Cowboys Nation would like to forget, but no one more so than Quarterback Dak Prescott. That game could very well be where his struggles really began.
It's almost exactly a year later and the Dallas Cowboys still find themselves haunted by that brutal beating the Atlanta Falcons handed them in Week 10 of the 2017 season. The Cowboys seemed to lose all confidence in themselves after that game, but it was almost as if it was the exact point in time where Dak Prescott lost all of his mojo as well.
Before that match up against the Falcons, Prescott was still playing at a pretty high level. But since then, he has been in a slump and there have been very few signs of recapturing any of that magic he once had. Heading back to Atlanta maybe the key for him finding and stealing back his mojo.
Things could definitely go a little differently this time around. The Cowboys will have Ezekiel Elliott and Tyron Smith in the lineup this week. Zeke missed the game last year due to the league mandated six-game suspension, and Tyron missed due to an injury. Having those two back in the lineup could pay huge dividends, especially for Prescott.
Without his starting left tackle and running back, Dak was pretty much beaten to a pulp by the Falcons defense a year ago. They applied relentless pressure, hitting and sacking him on a number of occasions. Unfortunately, I think that's where he started seeing ghost in the pocket and its haunted him ever since.
The beating he took at the hands of the Falcons has really thrown off his entire game. His mechanics, accuracy, and effectiveness as a scrambler can all be traced back to that one matchup. He just hasn't been the same QB he was prior to that game.
Prescott's stats prior to the Falcons game:
66.7 completion percentage
102.4 passer rating
Prescott's stats since the Falcons game:
63.3 completion percentage
83.1 passer rating
As you can see, that's a notable difference. His passer rating has shockingly dropped nearly 20 points since last playing the Falcons and it's really hurt the entire offensive production. It's time for that to change.
Prescott has no choice this week. He has to get back up on the horse that bucked him off and hopefully regain that mojo he left in Atlanta a year ago. Fortunately for him, his confidence might be is as high as it's been since that last meeting after pulling off the upset against the Philadelphia Eagles last week.
Now, he just has to go out and prove it!
Do you think Dak Prescott can regain his mojo against the Atlanta Falcons?
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