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Dallas Cowboys At Los Angeles Rams: 5 Bold Predictions

RJ Ochoa

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Cowboys Headlines - Dallas Cowboys At Los Angeles Rams: 5 Bold Predictions

March 10th, 2015. That day means a lot to me.

I'm a huge Dallas Cowboys fan. Duh. Welcome to Inside The Star, where we write/talk/jibber-jabber about America's Team.

Every day of my life before March 10th, 2015 that fandom was something that I kept to myself, and then that day happened.

On March 10th, 2015 I got an email from Bryson Treece - Owner, Founder, and Managing Editor of Inside The Star. He was responding to an inquiry that I'd made about writing for his site. 522 days, 400 articles, 31 episodes of the RJOShow, and countless streams on OchoLive... here we are.

It's been one incredible ride, but it wouldn't have happened if I hadn't gotten a little bold. That first email I sent Bryson? I remember sitting in my apartment, my Mom in town for the weekend playing on her iPad, and I realized that I was ready to finally do something about this passion of mine.

In the last 522 days I've made more bold decisions. I've chosen topics that people hated, I've tried to make jokes that didn't land, and I actually tried to sell the idea that Matt Cassel could lead the Cowboys to the Playoffs in 2015. As I've grown and gained more experience, that boldness has become quite the thrill.

If you're a loyal Inside The Star reader (Hey! Love you!) then you remember me authoring our weekly Bold Predictions here. With the Cowboys back for 2016... so am I.

Every week, every single one, I'll be dropping my Bold Predictions for Cowboys/Whoever on the weekday before that game. I can promise you they will be bold, fun, and one incredible ride.

Tomorrow we watch the Dallas Cowboys play a football game.

Today we get bold.

Welcome to this week's Bold Predictions. Vamonos.


The Rams Are Referred To As "St. Louis" Three Times

Alright, I know what you're thinking. This is a Dallas Cowboys site so this doesn't make sense. JUST HANG ON I'M GETTING THERE.

This is the first Nationally Televised game of the 2016 NFL season. It's the Cowboys. With the NFL back in Los Angeles. ESPN's Monday Night Football is on the call. That means, thanks to a HOF-can't-paint-the-field fiasco, it's new MNF play-by-play man Sean McDonough's first swim in the big kids pool.

Cowboys Headlines - Dallas Cowboys At Los Angeles Rams: 5 Bold Predictions 1

The pressure is going to be massive to make this game epic given the HOF Game's inability to paint (seriously guys, even the little kids pool swimmers know how to paint). McDonough is going to be:

  • Trying to handle Jon Gruden.
  • Mesmerized by the Dallas Cowboys.
  • Nervous.

At some point when Dak Prescott crosses the 700-yard mark (A Bold Prediction within a Bold Prediction! I'm already in midseason form!), McDonough is going to have a "doh!" moment and accidentally say Saint Lewis (More fun to type than St. Louis... even though I just did. I hate myself.) when he means Los Angeles. As for the other two? Jon Gruden is on the call. You can bank on this.

Darius Jackson Will Have Over 150 Total Yards

There's a rookie running back who's impressing folks out at Dallas Cowboys Training Camp and his name is not Ezekiel Elliott.

"Wut" -you probably.

Cowboys Headlines - Dallas Cowboys At Los Angeles Rams: 5 Bold Predictions 2

When Darius Jackson was selected in the 6th Round my brain immediately thought of him as the Tashard Choice to Zeke's Felix Jones. I'm not at all contending that Zeke is destined for the same path as Felix because that would be literally the worst thing in the world unfortunate.

What I'm saying is that Darius Jackson is impressing folks, and the Cowboys are taking things easy with Zeke. Given the variety of factors in the probability machine, me thinks that Darius is going to have an opportunity to feast like on the Rams like I do on Honey Bunches of Oats cereal. I LIKE IT OK.

Between straight up rushes, passes out of the backfield, and some use in the return game... Darius is about to do work.

A Referee Will Accidentally Place A Touchback At The 20-Yard Line

This offseason the NFL made some changes that we all need to remember:

  • We all agreed to never speak of the 2015 Cowboys ever again.
  • Dez still caught it.
  • Touchbacks (from kickoffs, not punts) are now marked at the 25-yard line, not the 20 like they have been. Why? Cause.

Cowboys Headlines - Dallas Cowboys At Los Angeles Rams: 5 Bold Predictions 3

I talked a lot on this week's episode of the RJOShow with Inside The Pylon's Chuck Zodda, a former collegiate kicker, about the ramifications that this could have on the 2016 NFL season. Now to be crystal clear we discussed the repercussions in terms of coaching strategies, we didn't account for mental lapses from referees.

That's what we're doing today - assuming a referee is going to have a whoopsie moment. Think about muscle memory for a second. My fingers are permanently fixated to hold my iPhone, you're telling me it's impossible that referees won't just walk out to the 20-yard mark out of habit? Get outta town!

Pay attention on Saturday. We're gonna see a referee come up five yards short and then we're going to laugh. Man, it's going to be awesome.

There Will Be A "New Triplets" Reference

Hey did you know that the Cowboys have an amazing quarterback, running back, and wide receiver? And did you know that they had this same tripod in the 1990s? AND did you know that people called that trio "The Triplets"?! I bet you didn't.

Tony Romo, Ezekiel Elliott, and Dez Bryant have some lofty expectations and big-time legacies to live up to as a threesome. My fellow Staff Writer, cycling aficionado extraordinaire, Sean Martin recently took a stab at projecting their 2016 stats if you're into that sort of thing (you should be because there's some high-quality math in there).

People think this is the second coming of Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, and Michael Irvin. Honestly it's pretty difficult not to get all hot and bothered over that though, whoa I need to cool off.

RJ Ochoa on Twitter

8 (Troy) + 22 (Emmitt) + 88 (Mike) = 118. 9 (Romo) + 21 (Zeke) + 88 (Dez) = 118. The math checks out.

It's easy to make this connection. Considering that Romo, Zeke, and Dez won't play if at all on Saturday, when they're shown by cameras it'll be on the sideline in sweats.

Imagine the trio, the three best friends that anyone could have, chomping on flower seeds. Pondering life. Envisioning glory. Wondering why the NFL lets the Eagles be a real team.

Now cue the broadcast panning in on them saying, "There's the 'new' Triplets!". Bam.

Dak Prescott Will Throw A Left-Handed Pass

I TOLD YOU WE WERE GETTING BOLD THIS SEASON.

Tony Romo has had to do a lot of things as the quarterback for America's Team. Last year, in a contest against the Miami Dolphins, he added a new trick to his repertoire when he went full-out southpaw against the 'Fins. (By the way, if there is not a group of Miami fans known as Dol-fans then they have really failed as a fandom).

Cowboys Headlines - Dallas Cowboys At Los Angeles Rams: 5 Bold Predictions 4

Thanks to an injury to an actual southpaw, Kellen Moore, the Cowboys are now relying on 4th Round Draft Pick Dak Prescott to earn the role of backup QB/clipboard holder/Romo heir/job that disappointed us game after game last season. Dak, hailing from the SEC's Mississippi State, is of pretty high pedigree and a lot of people think he can make some moves at the NFL level.

Well I think he's making some moves... left-handed. Yea. That's right. Calling my shot. LET'S DO THIS THING.

Dak's going to be in the game. The Rams are going to rush. He's going to scramble. He's going to throw it left-handed. It's going to be completed. We're going to reference Romo doing it. It's going to be beautiful.

Huzzah.

What are your Bold Predictions for Saturday's Preseason Game in Los Angeles? Let us know! Comment below, Email me at RJ@RJOchoaShow.com, or Tweet to me at @rjochoa!

Tell us what you think about "Dallas Cowboys At Los Angeles Rams: 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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Cowboys Defense is Ready to Win Now, Time for Offense to Prove the Same

Sean Martin

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Cowboys Defense is Ready to Win Now, Time for Offense to Prove the Same
(Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports)

The Dallas Cowboys lead the NFC East at 1-1, and have a favorable schedule ahead of them. With such an inexperienced roster, early season growing pains were expected, and likely should be still as the team comes off their first win to play in Seattle on Sunday.

Through a season opening clunker in Carolina and hard-earned divisional win against the Giants, the Cowboys have exceeded already high expectations on defense.

With the currently 0-2 Seahawks, Lions, and Texans awaiting Dallas, the time is now for Scott Linehan's offense to hit their stride. It will take more than a five week assessment to determine if the Cowboys are truly playoff contenders for 2018, but it could take even less than that for Cowboys Nation to realize this team is fighting an uphill battle at QB and WR.

Following Dak Prescott's 64-yard touchdown pass to Tavon Austin against the Giants, the Cowboys punted on four of their remaining seven drives. The Cowboys did a better job mixing up their early down play calling to remain ahead of the chains for most of the night, but even still their execution was lacking. Finishing three of ten on third downs, the Cowboys didn't sustain the type of originality on offense that earned them an early cushion.

Thankfully, the Cowboys turning back the clock to 2016 on a clinching touchdown drive of 14 plays would be all the defense needed. Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott would both convert a pair of first downs on the ground. The Cowboys took a 20-3 lead, and more importantly the game clock down to 5:45 with an eight minute and 23 second march.

As such, the Cowboys offense is an enigma. With the return of Brice Butler, the team is currently carrying seven wide receivers and four tight ends.

On defense, the Cowboys are expecting reinforcements in Xavier Woods, Randy Gregory, and David Irving to further bolster this aggressive, blitzing unit in the coming weeks. For the offense, Dallas must make the most out of the unknown depth they have, without any drastic change in style around the corner.

The Cowboys record under Prescott proves they're at their best when Dak is efficient. The ceiling for a new-look Cowboys offense built for Dak is not as high for this reason. Through just two weeks, it's clear that the Cowboys offense will be as good as the sum of its parts - instead of relying on any individual talents.

Jon Machota on Twitter

Cowboys' record when Dak Prescott ... Doesn't throw an interception: 20-4 Records at least a 100.0 passer rating: 15-1 Commits no turnovers: 18-1

After a strong preseason from rookie Wide Receiver Michael Gallup, the third-round pick has played less than half his team's offensive snaps through two games. Cole Beasley has seemed to regain his connection with Prescott, snagging a team high nine catches so far. Terrance Williams has been a non-factor, and the same is surprisingly said about FA acquisition Allen Hurns.

Regardless of what the Cowboys do over the coming weeks, a few narratives and lingering questions about the team feel evident. With the defense set to tee off against the Seahawks sub par OL this week, Rod Marinelli's unit will still likely not receive the credit it deserves heading into week four.

With the task at hand being maintaining their standing atop the division, the Cowboys must also be out to prove they can sustain success without a consistent passing game.

All of this to effectively say, the Cowboys are going to Seattle expecting to control the game on defense. To finish off Russell Wilson in his home opener (already at 0-2), it will take a sharper performance for a full four quarters on offense too.

A win at the Seahawks might not mean as much as it has in past seasons, but in improving the Cowboys record to 2-1 on the way back to AT&T Stadium, it could be all the confidence they need to understand the NFC East is theirs for the taking while continuing to truly find their identity.

2014 NFL: Week 6 Cowboys vs. Seahawks highlights

Week 6 Own by nfl

Tell us what you think about "Cowboys Defense is Ready to Win Now, Time for Offense to Prove the Same" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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Cowboys Defense So Far So Good as Seahawks Up Next

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Cowboys Defense So Far So Good as Seahawks Up Next

Dallas may only be 1-1 on the season, but the Cowboys are officially tied for first-place in the NFC East, and fresh off a workmanlike victory over divisional rivals, the New York Giants. It was a game they should have won, and did win, but the takeaways so early in the season are that, although the offense has not clicked on all cylinders, the defense is getting high praise.

The Cowboys sacked New York’s Eli Manning six times and limited the No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 draft, Saquon Barkley, to a mere 28 yards rushing. It was also a night in which Dak Prescott not only out-gained Barkley by 17 yards on the ground, but torched the Giants’ secondary on a 64-yard touchdown strike to Tavon Austin which proved New York’s Safety Landon Collins wrong when leading up to this game he remarked that the key to a Giants’ victory would be getting Prescott to throw. When Prescott was made aware of the comment in a midweek interview he replied, "…challenge accepted," and the third-year veteran made good on his word leading to the 20-13 victory.

However, Prescott ended the night with just 160 yards passing yet the ankle injury he sustained in Week 1 showed no signs of rearing its head as Prescott moved seamlessly in the pocket and ran the ball well.

As we move ahead to the Cowboys meeting in Seattle, we take a quick check over to one of the most reputable online sportsbooks in the industry - Intertops according to the reviews - where we can monitor the line on this pivotal NFC clash as the week progresses.

Seattle boasts a talented quarterback of their own in Russell Wilson but one who will find the sledding tough if the Dallas defense continues to shut down All-World wide outs like Odell Beckham Jr. and contain future rushing stars like Saquon Barkley. Outside of Wilson, Seattle is not loaded offensively, with their biggest target, Doug Baldwin, ailing with a knee injury and a backfield which consists of two young rushers in second-year man Chris Carson and a first-round rookie in Rashaad Penny who dealt with nagging injuries throughout the preseason and looked unsettled in Seattle’s 27-24 loss to the Broncos.

The Cowboys defense has already proven its worth in Carolina with Cam Newton under center and again last week against New York. The unit is surrendering an average of 14 ½ points per game and is incorporating more blitz packages than we’ve come to expect.

The difference this year is that the players they have on defense are capable of getting to the quarterback quick enough so that the coverage linebackers and secondary aren’t alone on an island for too long. The one concern is the status of Linebacker Sean Lee, who checked out of the game in the fourth quarter Sunday night and brought to mind his hamstring issues of a year ago, but apparently it was in fact cramping, and not straining, of the hammy which allowed Lee to return.

The bottom line in terms of the Cowboys' upcoming matchup on Sunday afternoon is that they will get the Seahawks coming off a short week, as Seattle played on Monday night and should be relatively healthy for the contest.

Dak Prescott may not have the formidable offensive line that he has had in the past, nor a top-tier arsenal of receivers, but he does have the elusive Ezekiel Elliott in the backfield and is capable of extricating himself from pressure situations when no target is available.

If the Dallas defense continues to play at the current level, it will not only be limiting the opposition on the scoreboard but putting its offense in good field position throughout. So check out Intertops, one of the most trusted and reputable online sportsbooks, to see where this line goes because a Dallas win and an ATS cover are just days away.



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Taco Tuesday: Cowboys DE Taco Charlton Starting to Dominate?

Brian Martin

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Taco Tuesday: DE Taco Charlton Starting to Dominate?
(Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports)

There has been quite a bit of talk about what a bad decision it was for the Dallas Cowboys to draft Taco Charlton with their first-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. Nearly everybody wanted someone different, not a player that needed time to develop.

Well, fast forward a year later and it looks as if the Cowboys made the right decision.

Don't look now, but Defensive End Taco Charlton is starting to live up to that first-round pedigree. In the first two weeks of the 2018 season, Charlton has already looked like a much improved player from what we saw a season ago. Imagine that, a little bit of time to develop and he's turning into a solid player.

I know I may be getting a little bit ahead of myself, especially suggesting that he is starting to dominate, but I can't help myself. I'm that excited about how much he has improved in one offseason. I may be alone here, but I have high hopes he could turn into something special.

In 2017, Taco Charlton failed to start a single game for the Dallas Cowboys as a rookie. That's not really what you want from your first-round draft pick. To makes matters worse, in 16 games he only registered 25 total tackles, four QB sacks, two passes defensed, and one forced fumble. As you can imagine, it didn't sit well with most Cowboys fans.

Luckily, it looks as if Charlton's offseason in the Dallas Cowboys strength and conditioning program has paid off. Already in 2018 he has accumulated six total tackles, one QB sack, one pass defensed, and recovered a fumble. If he keeps this pace up, we could be looking at #97 reaching double-digit sacks this year.

Taco Charlton

Dallas Cowboys DE Taco Charlton

Now, I wouldn't call what Taco Charlton has accomplished so far this season dominating, but he is proving to be a starting quality DE along the Cowboys defensive line. It's a unit that has looked really good in the first two weeks of the season and is expected to be even better once Randy Gregory and David Irving are able to return to the field.

In the meantime, the Dallas Cowboys are happy to get plays like this from Taco Charlton.

Taco Charlton Eli Manning sack

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

This is a play Charlton is expected to make. He was left unblocked, but we've seen players left unblocked before not make the play. So, it may not be as impressive as some QB sacks. But, I'll take the routine tackle any day over someone trying to make a splash play and failing.

If you're looking for an impressive play from Taco Charlton, take a look at what he was able to do against Odell Beckham Jr. in the passing game.

Taco Charlton covering Odell Beckham Jr

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

In case you're wondering, that's Taco Charlton in OBJ's hip pocket 15 yards down the field in pass coverage. It looks as if that's where Eli Manning was wanting to go with the ball, but tight coverage by the Cowboys, and Charlton, across the board ended up resulting in a QB sack.

If you don't find that impressive, I don't know what will. A 275 pound DE covering arguably the best and highest paid wide receiver down the field is almost unheard of. I would count that as impressive.

What do you think of Taco Charlton's play so far in 2018?



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