Listen to an audio version of this article on Bumpers!
I have a pretty non-negotiable rule when it comes to all aspects of life: The Purple Pants Rule.
The rule relates to life in a really simple way. If you worked somewhere, anywhere, and signed a contract saying that you could not wear purple pants on Wednesdays without getting fired... if you wore purple pants on Wednesday, who's really at fault?
It would be stupid, yes. It would make absolutely zero sense if someone told you that you couldn't wear purple pants; however, if you signed something saying that you wouldn't and did... the blame is yours and yours alone.
The Purple Pants Rule is typically brought out on OchoLive when we discuss players that do something they shouldn't. If you violate The Purple Pants Rule, well you know the drill.
The Minnesota Vikings, a la the NFL's "color rush" campaign, will literally be wearing purple pants when the Cowboys visit them on Thursday Night Football. If it isn't apparent at this point... wearing purple pants is a bad idea.
The Vikings are in for quite the ride, purple pants and all. The NFL's best team, the Dallas Cowboys, will be in town and ready to rock. It's going to be a great game that hopefully propels the Cowboys into a great December. Welcome to my 5 Bold Predictions. Let's roll.
✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭
Ezekiel Elliott Sets A U.S. Bank Stadium Rushing Record
When the Minnesota Vikings made plans for their new stadium, U.S. Bank Stadium, to be opened in 2016 they imagined an elite running back having his way in it every game - Adrian Peterson.
The former NFL MVP was injured in literally the first regular season played at this spaceship that looks more like an actual ship (like a boat... cause they're the Vikings... get it?!), so there hasn't necessarily been a fantastic performance put on by a running back inside this building.
The most impressive stat line any running back dropped in this stadium was Arizona's David Johnson who had 22 carries for 103 yards and a touchdown... that's like an appetizer for the always-hungry Zeke.
Zeke is going to eat this and set what will literally be a stadium record of a performance. Bam!
✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭
Cole Beasley Hits The Sauce Twice For Two Touchdowns
The Cowboys are playing a game literally seven days after Thanksgiving for a second consecutive contest on a Thursday. Jason Garrett has been keen on keeping things as normal as possible as far as the seven-day routine all week, continually referring to Monday as Thursday, Tuesday as Friday, you get the picture.
This is a scenario that the Cowboys are well-familiar with. Two years ago, also the last time Dallas had a level of success like this year, they traveled to Chicago seven days after playing on Turkey Day. There was some serious sauce present that day against the Bears.
Cole Beasley caught two touchdowns in Chicago, a feat he achieved earlier this season when the Cowboys visited the Packers at Lambeau Field.
There's something about Cole Beasley in houses the NFC North built. Two touchdowns and some sauce, coming up!
✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭
Dak Prescott Throws A Pass Without A Cleat
The NFL is finally letting players express some personality with the #MyCauseMyCleats campaign that is allowing players to wear custom cleats this week that depict a personal charity/passion of theirs. Cowboys Quarterback Dak Prescott debuted his on Twitter on Tuesday.
Excited to Rock #MyCauseMyCleats Thursday Night that @adidasfballus Made Me to Support Colon Cancer Prevention #MOM
If you're unaware, Dak Prescott lost his Mother a few years ago, and it's great to see him honoring her with his cleats.
Dak is going to be under some heavy pressure due to the Vikings pass rush. Close your eyes and imagine that one play they break through, try to sack him, a cleat comes off, and Dak finishes the pass anyway!
✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭
Lucky Whitehead Outperforms Cordarrelle Patterson In The Return Game
The Vikings have one of the more explosive kick-returners in the NFL in Cordarrelle Patterson; however, the Dallas Cowboys have Lucky Whitehead.
All season long it's felt like Lucky has been a play or break away from taking one to the house. This is Thursday Night Football where sometimes weird/different things happen, and a first is going to happen in 2016 when Lucky houses a return.
The superior return man on Thursday night will be wearing #13 and a Star on his hat. I'm feeling lucky about it!
✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭
The Cowboys Exorcise The Curse Of The Color Rush Jerseys
People love to reference the "cursed" navy jerseys that the Cowboys wear (they wore them in victory on Thanksgiving, for what it's worth), but there really isn't that much of a peep about their color rush jerseys being an indicator of bad fortune.
Perhaps this is all because the Cowboys have only worn their color rush jerseys once in franchise history - Thanksgiving 2015. If you'll remember though, that was a pretty painful day in Cowboys lore as Dallas lost emphatically and it was the last time we have (will ever?) seen Tony Romo take a regular season snap.
Down the color rush jersey curse! Down with it, I say! These Cowboys are different. There's nothing - no jersey, no team, no stat - that can disrupt what they've got going on. Huzzah.
✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭
Bonus Bold Prediction #1
Remember, if you want YOUR Bold Prediction featured here, tweet it at me! It’s that simple! Here are this week’s contributions, thanks to all those who shared!
@rjochoa BP: B. Jones gets his first INT on Thursday playing a CB spot
We're big fans of "Late Night Ice Cream" around these parts.
Byron Jones has been so incredibly good for the Cowboys since being drafted in the first round of the 2015 Draft. He deserves an interception. Give it to us, football! Please!
✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭
Bonus Bold Prediction #2
This is a bit of a look-ahead type of Bold Prediction. The Cowboys can clinch a playoff spot this week, but they need things beyond their control in order for it to happen. We have all the playoff-clinching scenarios for you available, let's hope this happens!
✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭
Bonus Bold Prediction #3
@BobbyBeltTX @rjochoa Bold prediction SB51 Dez and Zeke on kick return. Zeke flips it back to Dez. There's the nail in the coffin.
Is Buzz here saying that this is happening in the Super Bowl?! If so, I love it. Even if not, I love it. I doubt we ever see Zeke and/or Dez on kick returns, but this would be awesome if it ever did happen.
✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭
Bonus Bold Prediction #4
We were so off last week that we'll try again with @rjochoa's bold predictions! #DALvsMIN on Thursday - give us FOUR Zeke Elliott TDs! #EAT
Zeke is always hungry. We know that. A "four course meal" sounds like something he'd enjoy.
✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭
Bonus Bold Prediction #5
boldprediction @rjochoa Byron gets a pick, tank gets 2 sacks. Dak over 300, Zeke over 120. 450 yards total offense 27-10 cowboys
Another bold prediction involving a Byron interception! Goodness, this needs to happen.
I think it's very possible that DeMarcus Lawrence hits the double sack mark... Minnesota's offensive line is hardly anything impressive. Dak Prescott is making it a habit of having big statistical days, but 300 yards seems like a lot against the good Vikings defense. Zeke over 120 is easy cookies for him, huzzah.
✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭
Bonus Bold Prediction #6
@rjochoa hope not too late for my bold prediction: Cowboys have 400 yards plus! And a Sam Bradford pick by Byron jones
Prior to the game against the Redskins the Cowboys had ripped off eight consecutive games with over 400 total offensive yards... only the 2007 Patriots and 2013 Broncos had done the same. While ultimately the Cowboys will get back to this level of offensive production, it seems like a bit of a tough sell against the stout Vikings.
A third Byron interception bold prediction? This is destiny.
Cowboys, Seahawks Week 3 Injury Report
Believe it or not, Seahawks Safety Earl Thomas isn't the only guy whose playing status is in question for today's game. Other key players for Seattle and the Dallas Cowboys appear on the teams' Week 3 injury reports.
The Cowboys are looking to move to 2-1 and maintain a slim lead in the NFC East. The Seahawks are still looking for their first win of 2018, and the drama around Thomas isn't helping the fear of a locker room implosion.
What players may not be out there to help their teams to victory?
- C Travis Frederick (illness) - OUT
- DT Maliek Collins (knee) - OUT
- WR Cole Beasley (ankle) - Questionable
- LB Sean Lee (hamstring) - Questionable
- S Xavier Woods (hamstring) - Questionable
Frederick remains out as he deals with his neurological disease. Dallas decided to keep him on the 53-man roster, rather than place him on injured reserve, with the hope that he could return before Week 9. There are still several weeks before we'll know if that was a good move.
Maliek Collins will be out today after a minor knee injury suffered last week against the Giants. Taking his spot will be Datone Jones, who returns from his own knee issue after missing the first two games.
You don't like seeing your quarterback's favorite receiver and your defensive leader on the same injury report. Thankfully, though, it appears both Cole Beasley and Sean Lee will be available today.
For the #Cowboys, WR Cole Beasley (ankle) is expected to play, and LB Sean Lee (hamstring) should be good to go, as well, based on how he moved around in practice on Friday, sources say.
Finally, we come to the ever-intriguing Xavier Woods. While limited in practice all week, Woods is expected to make his season debut in Seattle. We will see if Xavier gets the start at free safety, or if Dallas will ease him back in and keep Kavon Frazier starting for now.
With all of the hype around Dallas' possible acquisition of Earl Thomas, one has to hope that Xavier won't overdo it and make matters worse with his hamstring. Between the enthusiasm just to play and the threat to his starting job, the second-year stud should be pretty amped up.
- WR Doug Baldwin (knee) - OUT
- C/G Ethan Pocic (ankle) - OUT
- LB K.J. Wright (knee) - OUT
- C Justin Britt (shoulder) - Questionable
- LB Mychal Kendricks (ankle) - Questionable
- S Earl Thomas (???) - ???
Seattle remains without Baldwin, their leading receiver from 2014-2017, and it shows in their offensive play. QB Russell Wilson is currently at career lows in completion percentage and passer rating, plus has already thrown three interceptions in just two games.
The Seahawks have issues up front as well. Starting left guard Ethan Pocic will also miss today's game. With right guard D.J. Fluker returning this week after missing the first two, that will allow backup J.R. Sweezy to flip over to the other side.
If that wasn't enough, starting center Justin Britt missed the entire week of practice with a shoulder issue. He has not been ruled out, though. Regardless, those are a lot of red flags on your offensive line with the Cowboys' emerging defense coming to town.
Also out today will be Pro Bowl linebacker K.J. Wright. That means we could see Mychal Kendricks, who was just recently booted from Cleveland after being charged with insider trading, playing a major role today. Kendricks knows the Cowboys well, having played with the Eagles from 2012-2017.
And lastly, Earl Thomas.
No health or injury-related reason has been given for why Thomas missed practices on Wednesday and Friday. "Personal reasons" is all you're getting from Seattle, fueling rampant speculation that a trade is in the works. Whether or not that trade is with the Dallas Cowboys is pure conjecture at this point.
What we do know is that Seattle is 0-2 and trending down this year. Holding onto Thomas and his expiring contract, only to lose him for nothing next year in free agency, would be foolish.
We'll see if Earl plays at all today. If he doesn't, the trade talk is going to explode.
Cowboys Wishlist: Dallas Cowboys VS. Seattle Seahawks
It's week 3 of the 2018 NFL season and this match-up already feels like one of the most important ones the Dallas Cowboys will play in the season. The reason why is they need to prove they're good enough to win consistently and that they won't have another year that feels like a roller coaster of wins and losses like 2017 did. As they travel to Seattle to face the 0-2 Seahawks, the 1-1 Cowboys can't miss a perfect opportunity versus one of the weakest units in football: the Seahawks' offensive line.
As every gameday, here is my Cowboys Wishlist for this week's action. As always, I encourage you to share your wishes with me in the comments section below or tweet me @MauNFL!
Wish #1: Brett Maher Kicks a 50+ yard FG.
Dan Bailey recently signed with the Minnesota Vikings. Cowboys Nation will experience a very odd feeling when they see their former kicker wear purple. If there's something that can make fans feel better is watching the guy who replaced Bailey nail a long field goal in Seattle.
Brett Maher showed he could kick a 47-yard FG in preseason, but we want to see him pull it off in a kick that will actually go down in the books. The decision to release Dan Bailey won't leave our minds until we see Maher do his job.
Wish #2: Rico Gathers Scores His First Career TD.
It felt like forever, but tight end Rico Gathers was activated for the first time in his career last Sunday. Rico didn't get his first catch even though he was targeted twice by Dak Prescott. The most notable moment was when Gathers seemed to be open in the endzone but Dak missed him.
Although Prescott's pass could've been better, Gathers did stumble a little bit and wasn't where he should've been to catch that touchdown. No worries, Rico's career is only beginning. I wish his first touchdown ever finally comes this week.
Wish #3: Defense Gets Its First Interception of the Year.
Through two weeks of NFL action, the Dallas Cowboys defense has been one of the most impressive units. Ranking as the third best in total points in the league, the Cowboys' defense might begin being the team's best side of the ball. At least, it has been for the first two weeks.
Last week, they limited Odell Beckham Jr. to only 51 yards. Byron Jones and Chidobe Awuzie have played pretty well so far, but I wish they're able to get their first interception of the year. Dallas has one takeaway from week 1 versus the Panthers, but it came in form of a fumble.
Let's get that interception from Russell Wilson, who will be pressured most of the day by a very productive Cowboys' front seven.
Wish #4: 20+ Point Performance
Despite a very exciting first drive versus the Giants last week, the Cowboys' offense still needs to prove it can be successful enough to win games. Scott Linehan's unit had some good drives but it also failed to maintain a consistent attack all game. That may seem okay, but the Cowboys will have to win against some pretty tough defenses.
Seahawks will present the team with a very interesting challenge and one that I wish they pass. As good as the defense is playing, the offense needs to show up in order to win later games.
Wish #5: Contain Russell Wilson
Wilson is one of the most dangerous quarterbacks in the NFL. His agility might be the best among every other signal caller in the game, becoming a very tough guy to defend. He can hurt you with his arms and legs and can throw on the run pretty well. All week we've been talking about how sacking the Seahawks' QB is a key to the victory, but it's more than that.
Wilson is good in the pocket, but when he starts scrambling or running out of the pocket only to throw the ball once the defense is out of position, he becomes a pretty painful headache. The Cowboys need to put him on the ground, but they also need to contain him all day long. He's basically his team's entire offense.
Kris Richard’s Impact for Cowboys Goes Beyond the Defense in Seattle
Through just two games, the Dallas Cowboys addition of Kris Richard to their revamped coaching staff appears to be the team's best move of the offseason. Defensive Coordinator Rod Marinelli revealed that Richard is calling the team's plays on defense, which explains their attacking style of play so far.
It was the Cowboys blitzes that disrupted the Giants offense enough for Dallas to earn their first win a week ago. With the schedule set up favorably for the Cowboys to build off this win, Richard must lead his defense past his old team in Seattle for Sunday's week three match up.
On paper, the Cowboys defense should be able to limit the Seahawks thanks to their strong pass rush and lengthy secondary. Welcoming back Xavier Woods at safety, the Cowboys are getting even better in the back end against the Seahawks, allowing Richard to throw even more looks at Seattle with his front seven.
Starting wide receiver Doug Baldwin and guard Ethan Pocic will both miss this game for the Seahawks.
With an offense still trying to find its footing though, Richard' profound impact on the Cowboys staff has extended past the defensive side of the ball this week. Perhaps the most criticized Cowboys coach this season, Offensive Coordiator Scott Linehan has sat down with Richard to study the Seahawks defense - coordinated by Richard against the Cowboys specifically.
Scott Linehan and Kris Richard have been spending a good chunk of time together this week dissecting Seattle's approach. Richard obviously knows Seahawks well. Linehan said Richard has great recall, taking him through each play of teams' previous games.
At 1-1, the Cowboys are still looking to put a complete game on the field and prove they deserve to sit atop the NFC East. The defense being their strongest unit through an ugly loss in Carolina and grind-it-out win against the Giants, Linehan's offense creating some explosive plays against the Seahawks could be all the Cowboys need to exit CenturyLink field as winners on Sunday.
Since Linehan officially took over as the Cowboys OC, he is 0-2 against Seahawks defenses coordinated by Richard. When Kris left Seattle, it was believed that he got out at the right time, with the Seahawks defense declining in talent ever since 2015 (his first year as DC).
The NFL's top scoring defense in 2015, the Seahawks were a full point per game worse in 2016, and nearly 2.5 points worse than that in 2017. So far this season, the Seahawks have allowed 27 points to Case Keenum's Broncos and 24 to the Mitch Trubisky lead Chicago Bears.
The Cowboys biggest problem against Richard's defenses had been finishing drives, something they improved on against the Giants last week. Both Cowboys losses coming at home, the Seahawks kept Dallas out of the end zone in both week eight of 2015 and week 17 a year ago.
Last year's loss to the Seahawks should still sting those at The Star who saw a desperate push for the playoffs hit a wall against Seattle's defense - holding the Cowboys to 282 yards in Ezekiel Elliott's return from suspension.
Not having to rely solely on motivation for revenge while sitting back and trusting Elliott to carry them, Richard could be the key to the Cowboys passing game finding some rhythm. After all, his official title beyond "offseason steal" is Passing Game Coordinator - a position occupied previously by Linehan himself back in 2014.
With a win, similarly to 2014 when the Cowboys came out of Seattle victorious, Dallas would go a long way in earning respect around the league.
This goes for both the offense, where the Cowboys will remain a work in progress regardless of result, and on defense where Dallas can expect Maliek Collins (knee) and David Irving (suspension) to return in the coming weeks.
Kris Richard's focus has been on bettering the Cowboys since they added him to the organization with a clear path up the ranks. Just how far Richard ascends, and how quickly, will depend on the Cowboys performance - expecting to be more than ready for the challenge ahead this week thanks to the coach responsible for building the "Legion of Boom".
The Cowboys kickoff in Seattle being FOX's game of the week, this team has never been one to back away from the spotlight, and winning under it with Richard on the sideline would give the Cowboys all the momentum they need returning home for week four.
Dallas Cowboys4 days ago
Cowboys Reunion with WR Brice Butler Makes No Sense
Game Notes1 week ago
Cowboys Rookie LB Leighton Vander Esch May Be New Starter at SAM
Player News7 days ago
Report: Dallas Cowboys to Sign Free Agent Wide Receiver Brice Butler
Game Notes6 days ago
Sean’s Scout: Secondary Play, Improved OL Stand Out in Cowboys Win Vs. Giants
Game Notes6 days ago
3 Stars from Dallas Cowboys Win over the New York Giants
Player News2 weeks ago
Cowboys Sign G Xavier Su’a-Filo; Impact on Connor Williams?
Game Notes2 weeks ago
3 Stars from the Dallas Cowboys Week 1 Loss to the Carolina Panthers
Game Notes2 weeks ago
CAR 16, DAL 8: Cowboys Open Flat, Fall Short to Panthers