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Dallas Cowboys At Minnesota Vikings: 5 Bold Predictions

RJ Ochoa

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Cowboys Headlines - Dallas Cowboys At Minnesota Vikings: 5 Bold Predictions

Listen to an audio version of this article on Bumpers!

https://bumpers.fm/e/b0vj5gaj1df002gvgs30

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?

Cowboys Headlines - Dallas Cowboys At Minnesota Vikings: 5 Bold Predictions 1

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.

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Ezekiel Elliott Sets A U.S. Bank Stadium Rushing Record

Minnesota Vikings

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!

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Cole Beasley Hits The Sauce Twice For Two Touchdowns

Cowboys Headlines - Dallas Cowboys At Minnesota Vikings: 5 Bold Predictions 2

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!

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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.

Dak Prescott on Twitter

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!

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Lucky Whitehead Outperforms Cordarrelle Patterson In The Return Game

Cowboys Headlines - Dallas Cowboys At Minnesota Vikings: 5 Bold Predictions 3

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!

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The Cowboys Exorcise The Curse Of The Color Rush Jerseys

Cowboys Headlines - Dallas Cowboys At Minnesota Vikings: 5 Bold Predictions 4

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.

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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!

Martini on Twitter

@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!

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Bonus Bold Prediction #2

https://twitter.com/tjcrichton/status/803701830362353664

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!

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Bonus Bold Prediction #3

buzz phelps on Twitter

@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.

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Bonus Bold Prediction #4

Upon Further Review on Twitter

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.

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Bonus Bold Prediction #5

Gage Eason on Twitter

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.

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Bonus Bold Prediction #6

Chase Aguiar on Twitter

@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.


Follow the new Total NFL Podcast, The RJ Ochoa Show, presented by Slant Sports Audible

What are YOUR Bold Predictions for this Thursday's Cowboys/Vikings game? Let us know! Comment below, Email me at RJ.Ochoa@SlantSports.com, or Tweet to me at @RJOchoa!

Tell us what you think about "Dallas Cowboys At Minnesota Vikings: 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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BREAKING: Dallas Cowboys Sign Free Agent Safety George Iloka

Jess Haynie

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George Iloka

The Dallas Cowboys have reached a one-year agreement with Safety George Iloka, according to ESPN's Todd Archer. Iloka spent 2018 with the Vikings after six years with the Bengals.

He's started 79 of his 99 career games since being a fifth-round pick by Cincinnati in 2012. Iloka turns 29 years old next week.

Todd Archer on Twitter

The Cowboys have agreed to a one-year deal with safety George Iloka, according to a source. Iloka met with the Cowboys on Friday and was the third safety to meet with the club during the week along with Clayton Geathers and Eric Berry. The Cowboys have... https://t.co/JB5nJLWepc

This isn't the safety that most Cowboys fans wanted. After over a year of pining for Earl Thomas, sights turned to Eric Berry after his free agent visit in Dallas last week.

However, it makes sense that Iloka would be attractive to the Cowboys. At 6'4" and 225 lbs, he fits the physical mold of what Defensive Backs Coach Kris Richard likes in his players. He also is younger than than Berry and Thomas without the same recent injury issues.

Iloka becomes one of many Boise St. products on Dallas' roster, joining Tyrone Crawford, DeMarcus Lawrence, Leighton Vander Esch, and others. He entered the league with college teammates Crawford and Kellen Moore, the Cowboys' new offensive coordinator, in 2012.

We'll have to wait and see how George Iloka fits into the current mix at safety with Jeff Heath and Xavier Woods. He spent most of 2018 as a backup with Minnesota, but Dallas will likely give him a chance to start.



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What to Expect from Dallas Cowboys Wide Receiver Group in 2019

John Williams

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Amari Cooper

In a span of a week, the Dallas Cowboys have solidified their wide receiver group with the resigning of Tavon Austin to a one year deal and the signing of former Green Bay Packers Wide Receiver Randall Cobb. Despite the loss of Cole Beasley, the Cowboys have a created a really good group of receivers for Quarterback Dak Prescott to throw to.

Cobb joins a really nice group of players that includes incumbent starters on the outside in Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup as well as solid depth players in Austin, Allen Hurns, and Noah Brown. Throw in Cedric Wilson, the Dallas Cowboys sixth round pick from the 2018 NFL Draft and the Cowboys may have one of the deeper receiving corps in the NFL.

The question is, how will the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff delineate the roles?

Let's take a look.

Outside Receivers

As I mentioned before, the Dallas Cowboys are returning their top two options on the outside in Amari Cooper, who is the X wide receiver and Michael Gallup, the Z receiver. Both players will go into week one as the starters at their respective positions in two-wide receiver formations.

Despite some of the overthrows from Dak Prescott to Michael Gallup, Gallup had a really nice rookie season and got better as the year went along, even leading the Cowboys in receiving in the playoff loss to the Los Angeles Rams. In that game, Gallup recorded the first 100 yard game of his career. Sure, it was in an attempt to comeback by the Dallas Cowboys, but it is impressive nonetheless. His touchdown catch against the Seattle Seahawks the week before was clutch. The Cowboys needed that to take the lead at the end of the first half. 2018 was only the beginning for Michael Gallup. He showed an ability to win with a full offseason to work with Dak Prescott, their chemistry and connection should only improve.

As for Cooper, his presence was felt right away as the offense just looked different once he stepped on the field. It's no coincidence that Dak Prescott's two best career games in terms of passing yardage came with Cooper in 2018. He's such a threat that he opens up space for the rest of the wide receiver group. His route running, speed, ability to run after the catch make him a threat to score any time he's targeted.

Behind Cooper and Gallup, you have options in the event that one of them gets hurt. Allen Hurns, Tavon Austin, and Noah Brown are all players who took snaps on the outside for the Dallas Cowboys in 2018 and did so with effectiveness. Hurns best game of the year came just before the Cooper deal was made as he went for five receptions for 75 yards.

Tavon provided down field speed on several occasions and provides some gadget quality that the Dallas Cowboys love to have. Noah Brown is a player that the Dallas Cowboys love to deploy as a blocker in the running game. While it looked like he might get more run in the passing game in 2019, the depth additions will limit him again to a specialty role. If needed, though, he could be an option to take snaps on the outside as his big frame allows him to box out defensive backs down the field.

There will be snaps on the outside for someone when the Cowboys go to 11 personnel, because of Amari Cooper's ability to slide into the slot.

Slot Receiver

Obviously, the writing is on the wall with who the Dallas Cowboys are planning on deploying in the slot as things stand right now, and that's Randall Cobb.

While Cobb should be penciled in as the starter in the slot, I doubt that he's going to get 100% of the snaps there in 11 or 10 personnel groupings. Amari Cooper, Allen Hurns, Tavon Austin, Noah Brown, and Cedric Wilson could all push for playing time from the slot.

Last month, I wrote a piece about Allen Hurns and his effectiveness in the slot and why the Cowboys should feature him there. With Cobb coming off an injury laden season, the Cowboys would be wise to give some snaps to Hurns along with Tavon Austin.

In Jacksonville, Hurns was incredibly effective from the slot running posts, slants, and ins and outs. His size and route running made him an effective mismatch against linebackers, safeties, and cornerbacks alike. Remember, it wasn't long ago that Hurns had a 1,000 yard season with Blake Bortles at the helm.

Tavon Austin's quickness is an asset that could be very effective in the slot as well. Though he lacks size, he's a player that opposing defenses have to account for because of his ability to make big plays once the ball's in his hands.

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The Cowboys haven't been shy about carrying seven wide receivers on their 53-man rosters and it's possible, though unlikely that they could do it again in 2018. As things stand now, I see Noah Brown and Cedric Wilson as the potential odd men out. Of course, this could all get reshuffled if the Dallas Cowboys use a top 100 pick on a wide receiver in the draft.

With Amari Cooper, Allen Hurns, Tavon Austin, and Randall Cobb only under contract through the 2019 season, the Dallas Cowboys would be wise to invest at the position despite the strength of the position in 2019.



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Report: Dallas Cowboys Set to Meet with Safety George Iloka

John Williams

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Why Cowboys Should Acquire Recently Released S George Iloka

As the Dallas Cowboys continue the process of building a roster capable of taking them back to the playoffs, and hopefully to a Super Bowl, this next season, they’re bringing in another safety to try and strengthen their top 10 defense. This time it’s free agent safety George Iloka, formerly of the Minnesota Vikings.

Per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Dallas Cowboys are set to meet with

Ian Rapoport on Twitter

The #Cowboys are hosting former #Vikings and #Bengals safety George Iloka for a visit tomorrow, source said. They're still looking to add in the secondary.

It will be the third meeting this week that they’ve had with a veteran safety after hosting recently resigned Indianapolis’s colts Safety Clayton Geathers and former Kansas City Chiefs Safety Eric Berry.

The Cowboys feel really good about Xavier Woods at safety, but definitely could use some depth at the position as they head toward the 2019 NFL Draft.

Iloka is coming off a season where he was relegated to a reserve role for the Vikings. In five of the last six seasons, Iloka’s played all 16 games, and the one season he didn’t, he played 12. He has nine career interceptions, and has three seasons with more than 70 total tackles.

Back in August of last year, Brian Martin argued that the Dallas Cowboys should pursue Iloka after being released by the Cincinnati Bengals. He would play the strong or box safety role in the Cowboys defense if they were to come to an agreement.

Stay tuned for more Free Agency coverage from us here at InsideTheStar.com.



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