December 26th means different things for different people.
Some people are headed home after visiting family. Others lay in their pajamas and watch college bowl games or movies. Of course there are those that rush to their local retail stores to exchange whatever gifts they opened under their tree the day before. The Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles are using this day to play a game of football.
Some people spend the day tearing down all of the lights, tinsel, and novelty Santa Clauses that adorn their house throughout December. I am not one of those people.
Just like there is a rule as to when you can start listening to Christmas music (the day after Thanksgiving you're in the clear) there is a rule about how long you can have your decorations up.
It's still a festive time of year and there is still one big holiday left for us all to celebrate. I choose to leave my decorations up until after New Year's.
"But RJ, it doesn't make sense! Why do you have Christmas decorations up after Christmas?!"
It makes my heart happy. It's still great to enjoy the spirit of Christmas even though the actual day itself is over.
I view the Dallas Cowboys the same way.
A week ago tonight America's Team was officially, mathematically, and heartbreakingly eliminated from playoff contention for this season. The day is done.
That doesn't mean that we still can't enjoy the spirit of the season for just a little bit longer.
We here at Inside The Star all hope that you had the Merriest of Christmases and we wish you the Happiest of New Years.
Here are this week's 5 Bold Predictions.
There Will Be Over 10 References To The Cowboys/Bills Super Bowl Days
The Dallas Cowboys and Buffalo Bills made NFL History in the early 90s when they squared off against one another in back-to-back Super Bowls.
The Cowboys won both of those contests in convincing fashion, helping to establish them as the team of the decade. The Buffalo Bills actually lost the two Super Bowls prior to the two they played against us, both of which they lost, giving them four losses in the biggest game possible in a row.
The Cowboys and Bills only play once every four years thanks to being in separate conferences. It's always a great matchup and there is no place to watch a game like Ralph Wilson Stadium.
This is one of the better matchups in terms of NFL lore, and we're going to be reminded of that all day long.
Terrance Mitchell Will Record Another Interception
A little over a week ago the Cowboys shocked all those who follow them closely when they released cornerback Tyler Patmon. In terms of roster adjustment they called up Terrance Mitchell in his place.
Mitchell made them look like geniuses a week ago when he intercepted Ryan Fitzpatrick. This was the first interception recorded by a Dallas Cowboys cornerback since December 4th, 2014. Wowza.
The secondary has been a point of weakness for the Cowboys for quite some time, so it was really nice to see the team get something positive out of it.
I've called for rookie standout Byron Jones to get an interception in these Bold Predictions before, but after lots of food over the Christmas Holiday my gut is feeling Terrance Mitchell.
Always go with your gut.
Darren McFadden Will Have Over 100 Yards On The Ground
Alright class, who can tell me who has the most 100-yard rushing games this season in the NFL?
You! In the back!
That is correct! Now can anyone tell me who is tied with Todd Gurley for second on this list with just one less than Peterson?
The answer is Run DMC aka Darren McFadden aka He Continues To Surprise.
Darren McFadden has, amazingly, been the most stable part of the Dallas Cowboys offense this season. He's pulled off some big runs and five 100-yard games... all despite the defense knowing that he's getting the ball.
DMC getting 100 yards is money in the bank at this point. I'm just writing the check, he's going to cash it.
Brice Butler Will Have A 30+ Yard Touchdown
When Dez Bryant went down with a foot injury after the Week 1 victory over the New York Giants, the Cowboys traded for a receiver to give them some depth at the position in Dez's absence.
Brice Butler of the Oakland Raiders was that man and he's looked pretty good in the few opportunities that he's been given. Many members of Cowboys Nation actually believe that he could/should overtake Terrance Williams for the #2 role on the Cowboys giving them an attack of Dez, Brice, and Beasley.
Dez Bryant will not be playing in this game, so Brice is going to have a larger volume of work against the Bills. This is a great opportunity for him to showcase his talent and his lethal speed.
That speed is going to have him flying during this game and Kellen Moore is going to look his way for a score over 30 yards. Book it.
Kellen Moore Will Have A Rushing Touchdown
There has been quite a carousel of quarterbacks for the Dallas Cowboys this season.
At different times we have seen Tony Romo, Brandon Weeden, Matt Cassel, and Kellen Moore. Yes, those are real people.
Moore is just the latest person to take snaps from Travis Frederick as he took over mid-game for Matt Cassel last week against the Jets. Kellen will be the one getting the start in Buffalo.
I liked what I saw from Kellen. He has an electricity about him that seems to get the team energized when he's at the helm.
I can see it now...
Kellen snaps the ball. He rolls right. He doesn't like what he sees. He comes back left. He's motioning for someone to cut back in. It's not there. The Bills defensive linemen are coming. Kellen takes off. Kellen scores. Everyone is jubilant!
Cowboys en Español: ¿Qué Safety Estará Ahí en el #58?
Por fin estamos a menos de una semana del NFL Draft 2019. El evento que define el futuro de las franquicias de la liga año tras año está a días de distancia y los rumores comienzan a tomar velocidad. Para los aficionados de los Dallas Cowboys, la experiencia del Draft será un poco diferente ya que no cuentan con una selección de primera ronda. En vez de eso, tienen a Amari Cooper. ¿Lo vale? Sí. Pero, no se puede negar que el equipo estará en una posición complicada durante el Draft.
No sólo no hay un pick de primera ronda para los Cowboys, sino que no cuentan con uno dentro del Top 50. Estas son las selecciones con las que cuentan los Jones y compañía:
- Pick #58 (segunda ronda)
- Pick #91 (tercera ronda)
- Pick #129 (cuarta ronda)
- Pick #137 (cuarta ronda)
- Pick #166 (quinta ronda)
- Pick #243 (séptima ronda)
A menos que sean sorprendentemente agresivos, no habrá noticias sobre los Dallas Cowboys el próximo jueves. Más bien tendremos que esperar hasta el segundo día del Draft para ver que traman los Cowboys. ¿Qué podemos esperar sobre su primera selección?
En este momento, parece que no hay ninguna necesidad más fuerte que la de un safety. Y parece ser que el talento disponible en la segunda ronda podría beneficiar a los Cowboys. Como cada año, es difícil pronosticar quien estará en la tabla y quien no, pero hablemos de varios safeties que podrían solucionar los problemas de Dallas.
S Taylor Rapp, Washington
Algunos ven a Rapp como el mejor safety en la clase de novatos, mientras que otros están convencidos de que no podrá tener éxito en la NFL. La mayor preocupación en torno al producto de Washington es su velocidad. En las pruebas que realizó sus resultados no fueron nada satisfactorios. Sin embargo, ha probado en el campo que es bueno contra la corrida y se puede encargar de su trabajo en cobertura. Es bueno al tacklear, y podría ser justo lo que los Cowboys necesitan.
S Jonathan Abraham, Mississippi State
Abraham se proyecta como un strong safety, que es lo que los Cowboys necesitan. De todos los prospectos, parece que Abraham es el favorito a irse primero. Sin embargo, no es perfecto y sus defectos podrían costarle una caída hasta la segunda ronda. Abraham falla tackleadas ocasionalmente, pero su juego físico y agresivo lo puede compensar. Si cae hasta el #58, Abraham no puede ser ignorado.
S Juan Thornhill, Virginia
Thornhill no es mejor que los mencionados anteriormente, pero quizá sea más probable encontrarlo si los Cowboys se quedan en el pick #58. En Virginia, Thornhill tuvo tres temporadas donde fue titular en más de 10 partidos. Es todo un play-maker, consiguiendo 13 intercepciones en su carrera colegial. Lidero a su equipo en tackleadas. Puede jugar en varios puntos de la defensiva e incluso llegó a alinearse como linebacker. Dudo que eso pase en la NFL, pero podría ser un buen safety dentro de la caja y en cobertura.
S Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, Florida
Gardner-Johnson fue uno de los líderes en Florida durante toda su carrera. Jugó como safety y como cornerback, muchas veces actuando como "nickel." Chauncey no sería de mis opciones favoritas en este punto del Draft, pero es una que no se puede ignorar si los demás jugadores ya no están disponibles. Sabe romper jugadas y tiene potencial de convertirse en un titular a largo plazo.
S Amani Hooker, Iowa
En el escenario de que todos los mejores safeties ya hayan sido seleccionados y el equipo no prefiera atender otra necesidad, Amani Hooker merece un vistazo. En Iowa ganó el premio al mejor defensive back de su conferencia (Big Ten). Tuvo buenos números en sus pruebas y podría ser un buen strong safety dentro de la caja, donde se pone en posición constantemente para hacer jugadas.
Claro que los Cowboys podrían tomar otra ruta y no seleccionar a un safety hasta más tarde. Sin embargo, considero que sería lo correcto. Incluso pienso que si Taylor Rapp o su prospecto favorito está disponible en un punto de la segunda ronda, Dallas estará dispuesto a hacer un trade para subir y alcanzarlo.
Sólo queda esperar este gran e impredecible evento. ¿Qué esperas del NFL Draft? Hazme saber en los comentarios o por medio de Twitter en @MauNFL.
Cowboys Look To Be In For Brutal December Slate In 2019
All sixteen regular season games count the same. A win in September means exactly the same as a win in December. Just as a touchdown in the first quarter counts for the same number of points as a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
While factually accurate, we know these statements aren't totally true. Championship teams often "hit their stride" in November and December, as they close out divisions, clinch playoff births, and prove they can stay cool and claim victory when the pressure mounts to its highest peak.
Under Jason Garrett, and Wade Phillips before him, the Cowboys have developed the reputation of not "winning the big one." In particular, they've been labeled as a team that "chokes" in December. Tony Romo dealt with his fair share of December/January demons during his career, but overcame them towards his final seasons. Dak Prescott has yet to advance past the Divisional Round of the postseason himself, but the narrative around the Cowboys has seemed to change.
Now, due to their late season run and victory over the Seattle Seahawks last season, people see Prescott and the Cowboys as a team that can find ways to win. A team, and a quarterback, who may not be as prolific as some of the other top squads in the conference, but one that you can never count out. I'd argue this has been the case with Dallas for quite some time under Garrett, but it is only now the narrative has changed.
Their late season fortitude will be tested again in 2019, however.
The NFL released the official schedule for the 2019 NFL season earlier this week, with the Cowboys getting some favorable (and some not-so-favorable) draws. What jumped off the page immediately to me, however, is how tough their final four games will be. And, of course, how critical victories in those games will be to gaining an NFC playoff spot.
Among those four December games are trips to Chicago and Philadelphia, two playoff teams a year ago who present problems in different ways. The Bears, known for their talented defense and innovative play-caller, and the Eagles, the always tough divisional foe.
Dallas also gets two home games during this stretch, hosting the Los Angeles Rams week 15, and finishing out the year against the Washington Redskins. The Rams, of course, eliminated the Cowboys from the postseason a year ago, and are expected to be one of the conference's best again.
The Cowboys will face a first-place schedule in 2019, and will have to prove that they are playoff-worthy down the stretch in December.
Dallas Cowboys: 3 Schedule Predictions Ahead Of Wednesday’s Release
Wednesday night the official 2019 NFL schedule will be released, and we will know the exact times and dates of each of the Cowboys' upcoming games.
We already know the opponents, however, and we know how the NFL typically likes to schedule games week to week. Based on both prior history and future opponents, here are 3 predictions for tonight's schedule release.
1. Cowboys Open Up With The Giants
I didn't say the predictions would be bold, did I?
The NFL loves to have the Cowboys open up against the New York Giants, and I see that being the case here again. Dallas/New York will always bring about solid ratings, but scheduling this game before the Giants (likely) fall out of contention is a smart move as well.
This game will be in Dallas at 4:25 eastern time, occupying that "America's Game of the Week" slot during the opening weekend. Because as much as everyone says they hate watching these NFC East games, the numbers bear out a different story.
2. Cowboys Play @ Saints Thursday After Thanksgiving
We know the Cowboys will play in an extra Thursday or Saturday night game this season. They always do.
Lately the league has liked to schedule them as the Thursday night game following Thanksgiving, and I don't see them breaking that trend this season. Dallas has played the Vikings, Redskins, and Saints in this game the last three years, with the Cowboys/Saints game being one of the best of last year's Thursday slate.
Why not run it back at the Superdome this November?
3. Cowboys Close The Season With A Brutal December
This is broad prediction, so let's narrow it down a bit. I think the Cowboys will play three critical NFC games in December, at the very least. These games will include NFC East battles with the Washington Redskins (week 17) and Philadelphia Eagles, as well as a game at Chicago to face the Bears.
It's likely the Cowboys, Bears, and Eagles will be fighting for playoff positioning (or playoff births) down the stretch in December. Plus, anytime a combination of these three teams play, ratings will be drawn. I think they'll have Prescott battle Mitchell Trubisky and Carson Wentz this December, as he and the Cowboys look to clinch a consecutive playoff birth.
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