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Dallas Cowboys At Green Bay Packers: 5 Bold Predictions

RJ Ochoa

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Cowboys Blog - Dallas Cowboys At Green Bay Packers: 5 Bold Predictions 6

Two years is a long time.

730 days. 17,520 hours. 1,051,200 minutes. 63,072,000 seconds.

That's how long we've been waiting for this day.

What were you doing on this day two years ago? It was Saturday, December 14th, so you were probably doing one of the following: typical Saturday lounging, chores around the house, Christmas shopping, anxiously waiting for the Dallas Cowboys to square off against the Green Bay Packers.

Cowboys Blog - Dallas Cowboys At Green Bay Packers: 5 Bold Predictions

My Dad and I at the Cowboys/Packers Game in 2013. It's time for payback.

America's Team had six days to prepare for the Cheeseheads as we'd played on Monday Night Football the previous week. One of the teams involved had their star quarterback playing as per usual, but the other was working with a backup named Matt - thanks to a broken collarbone suffered by their starter. Sounds pretty familiar, right?

My Dad and I went to that game. We were ecstatic that we were going to be able to see the Cowboys cruise to an easy win.

It seemed like a slam dunk. Matt Flynn? Seriously? No sweat. Unfortunately for all of us, Flynn valiantly led the Packers to victory after falling behind 26-3 in the first half at AT&T Stadium. It was one of the more embarrassing losses in recent memory for the Dallas Cowboys.

That was two years ago tomorrow. It's time for some payback.

When the 2015 schedule was released many people looked to tomorrow's game between two of the NFL's most historic franchises as a great rematch of the 2014 Divisional Playoff game with one of the most infamous finishes ever. It was supposed to be our chance at revenge.

With Tony Romo sidelined thanks to a broken collarbone, a la Aaron Rodgers in 2013, a different chance has presented itself... a chance to avenge the Matt Flynn loss. This is a chance that we've been waiting two long years for.

Tomorrow afternoon my Dad and I will once again be on hand to watch a backup quarterback named Matt, Cassel to be specific, who will have all eyes on him. He's going to boldly go where one Matt has gone before... and that's straight to victory in a classic Cowboys/Packers battle.

Welcome to this week's Bold Predictions.

The Cowboys Rushmen Will Sack Aaron Rodgers Seven Times

The Dallas Cowboys defense seems to have finally arrived - or at least it appeared that way in Washington on Monday Night Football. Rod Marinelli is cooking up something special with these boys and Kirk Cousins was his guinea pig. Aaron Rodgers is the main target.

Cowboys Blog - Dallas Cowboys At Green Bay Packers: 5 Bold Predictions 1

There's no denying that Aaron Rodger is an elite quarterback with an enormous amount of talent. The way to neutralize all of that is to get pressure on him. DeMarcus Lawrence, Greg Hardy, Tyrone Crawford, Randy Gregory... now is a great time for your best game of the season.

The Green Bay offensive line has been very suspect all season long. They've got issues, specifically at the center position, and the Cowboys can smell that blood in the water.

Seven sacks. They're coming.

Terrance Williams Will Make A Toe-Tap Catch For A Critical Gain

Turn Up Time 83 has made a living out of toe-tap catches for the Dallas Cowboys. Last season alone he made four or five that I'll never forget.

Cowboys Blog - Dallas Cowboys At Green Bay Packers: 5 Bold Predictions 2

T-Will has had a rough go in 2015. He, like all of us, has had to adjust to life without Tony Romo and Dez Bryant at times this season. That completely changes his job and its surrounding circumstances.

There was so much chatter about how Dez Bryant was finally fully healthy entering the Redskins game on Monday Night. While that obviously is helpful for #88... that's going to drastically effect Terrance as well.

Dez is going to have a lot of attention from the Packers defenders on Sunday which is going to give Terrance the opportunity to make some plays. On a big 3rd down he's going to make one of his signature toe-tap catches that makes us all pump our fists.

There Will Be Over 10 References To Dez Bryant's Catch

You know what happened. We're not here to relive it. This moment will surround Dez Bryant for eternity - that's just the way sports work.

Cowboys Blog - Dallas Cowboys At Green Bay Packers: 5 Bold Predictions 3

Joe Buck and Troy Aikman will be serving on the call for Fox during this game. That same duo worked the Divisional Playoff match between these two teams on this very field. You can bet your whole Christmas List that they're going to bring it up - a lot.

This would have already gotten a huge amount of attention, but couple it with the fact that Dez recently said that he wants to be on the committee that is in charge of getting this right and you've got a recipe for repetition.

Fox is going to show it over and over again. You have been warned. Avert your eyes!

Dez Bryant Will Have His Best Game Of 2015

This has nothing to do with the bold prediction above this. This has nothing to do with revenge for the catch that wasn't.

This has everything to do with how incredible Dez Bryant is.

Cowboys Blog - Dallas Cowboys At Green Bay Packers: 5 Bold Predictions 4

It isn't smoke and mirrors that Dez Bryant is finally feeling like himself. That's total truth.

We'd seen flashes of him, but the explosive Dez that we all know and love had been largely absent this season - until Monday Night Football.

There was no "X" in the endzone, but there was Dez being Dez. He's starting to find his rhythm. You can see it in his overall demeanor. He's feeling good and he's about to explode.

There's no quit in Dez Bryant. He's going to put together his finest performance of the season not because of any extracurricular factors, but simply because that's what he does.

The Dallas Cowboys Will Win The Game

The Green Bay Packers are overwhelming favorites.

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The Cowboys have nothing to lose.

That makes them very dangerous.

There are a lot of intangible factors in sports that can't be explained. One that I have found to be true more often than not is that the team with less to lose is the one who comes out swinging the hardest.

Like the Matt Flynn game was for the Cowboys... all of the pressure and expectation right now is on the Green Bay Packers. If the Cowboys lose? Hey, it was the Packers. If Green Bay loses? Chaos.

The Cowboys are going to shock the world at Lambeau Field tomorrow. Believe.


RJ Ochoa on Fancred

What are your BOLD Predictions for when the Cowboys take on the Packers at Lambeau Field this Sunday? Comment below, Email me your thoughts at Roel.Ochoa.Jr@Gmail.com, or Tweet to me @rjochoa!

Tell us what you think about "Dallas Cowboys At Green Bay Packers: 5 Bold Predictions" in the comments below. You can also email me at RJ.Ochoa@SlantSports.com, or Tweet to me at @RJOchoa!



I like long walks on the beach, mystery novels, no just kidding those suck. The Dallas Cowboys were put on this earth for us all to love and appreciate. I do that 24/7/365. I also love chicken parmesan. Let's roll. @RJOchoa if you wanna shout!

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Leighton Vander Esch Is A Stud, And Should Be For A Long Time

Kevin Brady

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Leighton Vander Esch Is A Stud, And Should Be For A Long Time

The Cowboys took their fair share of heat for selecting linebacker Leighton Vander Esch 19th overall in the 2018 NFL Draft. But through just over half a season, Dallas is looking vindicated in their decision.

Vander Esch was arguably the best defensive player on the field during Dallas' 27-20 win in Philadelphia Sunday night, and made the two biggest defensive plays of the game as well. Finishing with a game-high 13 tackles, Vander Esch was all over the field in both run and pass defense.

The first of his two massive plays came in the first quarter. After the Cowboys offense stalled deep in their own territory, the Eagles looked to be in prime position to strike first with a short field. On Carson Wentz' first pass attempt of the drive, however, Leighton Vander Esch was there to intercept him and return the ball back 28 yards.

Those return yards proved key as well, giving the Cowboys the short field and an easy path to their first three points of the night. And with the way their offense looked early in this game, Dallas could use all the help they could get.

The biggest play of the game, though, came late in the fourth quarter. With the Eagles facing a third and long and down seven points, they absolutely needed a conversion to keep pace with the surprisingly hot Cowboys offense. Philadelphia tried to beat Dallas with a running back screen to the backside, inviting the pass rush and getting blockers out in front.

There seemed to be nothing but blockers and green grass ahead for the Eagles on this play, with "Next Gen Stats" expecting a 22 yard gain after the catch. Then, Leighton Vander Esch eluded two blockers and tracked down the running back for a gain of just 3.

Next Gen Stats on Twitter

Leighton Vander Esch made a game-saving tackle late in the 4th quarter to preserve the Cowboys 27-20 win. Corey Clement was expected to gain 22 yards after the catch (gained 3), -19 YAC Below Expectation, the most yards saved on a pass play this season. #DALvsPHI #DallasCowboys https://t.co/0DF7jhPQzH

If not for this tackle, who knows how both that Eagles' drive and the game would have ended. Vander Esch saved the day for Dallas, and forced the Eagles into a tough fourth and long situation with the game on the line.

I know it is still early in Vander Esch's career, and even relatively early in this season as well, but it's become clear the Cowboys hit a home run with their 2018 first round selection. Vander Esch is fitting in beside Jaylon Smith with ease, and with those two athletic freaks together, the Cowboys look to have one of the brightest defensive futures in all of football.

Of course, there are now legitimate questions about what the Cowboys should do with their captain Sean Lee. But as of right now, it should be Leighton Vander Esch's job to lose.



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Can Cowboys LB Vander Esch Do Enough to Win DROY?

Mauricio Rodriguez

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LB Leighton Vander Esch Rare Bright Spot In Cowboys Disappointing Loss

At 3-5, there are very few positive things to point out when discussing the 2018 Dallas Cowboys. One of those few things has been first-round rookie Leighton Vander Esch, whose play at linebacker has taken the league by surprise. Seen as a raw talent who could develop into an elite player with time as a prospect, Vander Esch's impact on the field has been immediate.

Through nine weeks in the NFL season, the Boise State product should definitely be in the Defensive Rookie of the Year discussion. As much as Sean Lee's injury will hurt the Cowboys' defense, it will get the rookie more playing time and a big opportunity to put his name in the minds of NFL Honors voters.

Sean Lee will miss some time after re-injuring his hamstring for the second time this season. Earlier in the year, Jaylon Smith and Vander Esch were able to keep the defense from crumbling without their veteran captain. Even with all the offensive struggles, that should continue to be the case for the linebackers.

Vander Esch has only played in 65% of the Cowboys' defensive snaps, yet he's tied for ninth place in solo tackles in the entire league with 49. He's at 64 total tackles and two pass deflections and has been a magnet to opposing ball carriers every time he's been on the field.

He's the third highest graded rookie LB for Pro Football Focus. Most times, rookies find success like this by being rotational players or simply splitting snaps with other players. But as previously mentioned, Lee has already been out for a handful of games in 2018 and Vander Esch has lived up to the hype.

Simply put, Leighton's play as a rookie has already put Sean Lee's future on the Cowboys in question. With such an injury history and a two young studs ready to take over the reigns, Dallas could very well release Lee prior to the 2019 season.

Now granted, the race for Defensive Rookie of the Year will not be an easy one to win for Vander Esch. Fourth overall pick Denzel Ward has been an impressive cornerback for the Browns and fifth-overall pick Bradley Chubb has been one of the best pass rushers on Sundays. Not to mention the NFL leader in solo tackles, Colts' LB Darius Leonard.

Despite a great start to his season, the Cowboys young LB will have to play way better for his name to be called when the Defensive Rookie of the Year is revealed at the NFL Honors event in February. There are some pretty big names he has to catch up with in order to make this happen.

Tell me what you think about "Can Cowboys LB Vander Esch Do Enough to Win DROY?" in the comments below, or tweet me @MauNFL and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!



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Dak Prescott/Carson Wentz Is No Rivalry, And There’s Only One Side To Blame

Kevin Brady

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Dak Prescott/Carson Wentz Is No Rivalry, And There's Only One Side To Blame

It feels like an eternity has passed since 2016, yet somehow, it was only 2 seasons ago.

The Dallas Cowboys were riding high, en route to a 13-3 season and an NFC East crown. They had drafted the league's leading rusher Ezekiel Elliott fourth overall in the previous draft, and believed to have found their franchise quarterback over 100 picks later.

Up in Philadelphia things weren't going as smoothly, but they were certainly on the upswing. After trading up to select Carson Wentz in that same 2016 draft, the Eagles also believed they had their quarterback of the future.

Cowboys/Eagles. Dak/Wentz. A debate between two hated rivals which began in 2016 and seemed like it would go on for the next decade. It was almost too perfect.

Countless articles and blog posts were written about the birth of a quarterback rivalry which would span for the foreseeable future. Which team had the better draft haul in 2016? Which team was better set up for the future behind their young quarterback?

The two met for the first time on Sunday Night football back in 2016, and for much of the night neither was very good. They both looked like rookies, but at the end of the game Dak Prescott was the one who came through in the clutch, throwing the game winner in overtime to Jason Witten. The rivalry was born, and the Cowboys had the upper hand.

Fast forward to today and things are much, much different. Prescott and Wentz have only really played each other one other time since that first match-up, a game which the Eagles dominated and Dak Prescott threw 3 interceptions.

The other two games have been meaningless and ugly, two adjectives which could describe every Cowboys game the past calendar year.

Simply put, there is no rivalry. Dak Prescott and the Cowboys have not held up their end of the bargain since that first match-up in 2016. Prescott's play has fallen off considerably, as he has fallen victim to just about every piece of lazy analysis Eagles fans gave during his miraculous 2016 season.

Doug Pederson has become the anti-Jason Garrett, quite literally making his name off being aggressive on critical downs and refusing to punt on fourth and short in plus territory. The Eagles front office has become the anti-Cowboys, going after pricey trade targets and free agents to ensure they are making the most of their young quarterback's rookie contract window.

The Cowboys have failed just about everywhere that the Eagles have succeeded. And, Dak Prescott has failed just about everywhere Carson Wentz has excelled.

Maybe things will turn around this Sunday for Dallas, and if they are able to win, they'd still be very much alive in the division race. But all of that seems highly unlikely. There is no longer a Dak/Wentz rivalry. There's barely even a reason for Eagles fans to have Dak Prescott on their radar.

Let's hope Prescott and the Cowboys can begin to change things this Sunday.



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