I was 19 years old.
Off at college. Living in my own apartment. I knew it all.
I decided that, since I had my own apartment and all, I ought to cook myself a meal. Pretty normal thing, right? Not for 19-year-old RJ Ochoa.
I called my Mom, told her I wanted to make some pasta, and asked for help. I may have known it all, but that included knowing that Mom is actually the one who knows it all. She told me what to buy and gave me a rundown on the process. Leggo.
So I've got the noodles boiling, right? I'm dancing around the kitchen. I think I'm Bobby Flay up in this business, tossing around spoons and sliding all over the floor like Joel Goodsen in Risky Business.
The final thing for me to tackle, remember that I'm literally making the most basic thing possible in pasta, is the sauce. My Mom had said to throw some of it in a bowl, toss it in the microwave ("Put a paper towel over it son. Don't make a mess." she said), and sit back in admiration. I'm a pretty smart cat so I followed those instructions and thought I was in business.
A minute and a half or so after I set my sauce up to get all nice and warm, I opened the microwave and THE BOWL HAD VANISHED!
I was stunned. I was freaked out. I had no idea where the bowl, and residually the sauce, had gone! All that was left was the paper towel my Mom insisted on. How...
In an effort to calm myself I said that my roommate must have pulled a brilliant trick on me while I'd run to my room mid-microwaving. So I did it again and stood guard. Nobody was going to take my sauce!
THE BOWL VANISHED AGAIN AND I LEGITIMATELY THOUGHT THERE WAS A DOOR TO NARNIA BEHIND MY MICROWAVE WHERE SOMEONE WAS STEALING MY ALFREDO SAUCE!
It turns out that you're not supposed to put styrofoam in the microwave. Good one, RJ.
What's the lesson to be learned here? Sometimes being bold is really dumb if you have no idea what you're doing. That's why my Mom told me to put a paper towel over the sauce. I had no clue what I was doing. I was going to destroy this meal. If we're being totally honest I could have started a fire or something, but instead I was worried about Narnia (I legitimately thought that).
The Dallas Cowboys have spent a lot of time getting prepared for the 2016 season. Tonight's preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks will serve as the dress rehearsal for that occasion. They've "put paper towels" over this whole thing by making sure that recently concussed Dez Bryant and Tyrone Crawford sit the game out. It's time for them to get bold and make their meal, alfredo sauce and all. It's time for them to be bold in a smart fashion.
Welcome to my 5 Bold Predictions. Let's roll.
Ezekiel Elliott Will Surpass DeMarco Murray's Performance In Seattle During The 2014 Season
October 12th, 2014 was a long time ago. 684 days to be exact.
It would be particularly bold to say that Zeke would then have 684 yards against the Seahawks, but I'm smart enough to figure out there's no Narnia in my microwave so I'm not going to do that.
On that early October day, then Dallas Cowboy DeMarco Murray toted the rock 28 times in Seattle, accumulating 115 yards and a touchdown (game-winner for what it's worth) in the process.
You know when you get a new phone and peel off that little plastic film that's on it? I don't know why, and neither do you, but that's one of the best feelings in the world. That's what it's going to be like for the members of Cowboys Nation tonight when we see the future of our team in action for the first time.
Dak Prescott Will Do It Again
The only thing in the history of the world more stupid than the way I handled pasta for the first time is the preseason performance of Dak Prescott.
Word on the street, don't believe it, is that Cowboys fans have gotten too carried away with Prescott-mania. It's ok to be excited about Dak Prescott. We told you why last Saturday. It's completely and totally normal to enjoy the prospect that Dak is and what he could someday be for the Cowboys.
That being said, Dak is in for his toughest challenge to date. He'll be taking on most of the starters for one of the NFL's most formidable defenses, and he'll be doing it without his most lethal aerial weapon.
If/when Dak does this tonight I am going to lose my mind. You're going to lose yours. It's going to be incredible.
At Least Five Russell Wilson Commercials Will Air
Let the record show that I like Russell Wilson. I really like him. He's one of my favorite NFL players. You got that, record? Cool.
Russell Wilson is probably the most corporate-y athlete in America outside of JJ Watt. This dude has commercials for the Microsoft Surface tablets, Bose headphones, some kind of razors, this, that, the other thing... Russell Wilson is everywhere!
I'm all for a dude making a living however he wants, so do you Russ. Do you. But let's call a spade a spade here and acknowledge that Russell might have more commercials than he does career touchdowns, which is saying something.
Whether you're watching tonight's game on NFL Network, GamePass, local broadcast... Russell will find you. And he will try to sell you something. Be warned.
Rico Gathers Will Out-Jimmy Graham The Actual Jimmy Graham
Did you know that Antonio Gates played basketball in college and that helps him as a tight end? How about Jimmy Graham? Julius Thomas? Rico Gathers? WHEN DOES IT END?
The Baylor Baller (um hello epic nickname) turned Dallas Cowboys Tight End Rico Gathers hasn't really impressed this preseason period. There are many (more like dozens) of us who were actually afraid that Rico would never make it to the Dallas practice squad (he might not) if he doesn't make the Final 53-man Roster.
Here's the deal. Rico Gathers wears #80. Jimmy Graham used to wear #80 back when he was good and before the Seahawks broke him. In this game the Seattle loyalists are going to see the player that they thought they were getting when they traded for Graham.
Except he'll be wearing a Star on his hat. Call it the "Rule of #80" if you want. Because it's happening. Boo-ya.
The Cowboys Will Run A Surprise Onside Kick
Shockingly, we haven't heard a whole lot about the NFL moving the touchback mark to the 25-yard line in the first two preseason broadcasts.
This fascinates me. There are an innumerable amount of ways that this could come into play in an NFL game, I even hypothesized some of them with Inside The Pylon's Chuck Zodda a few weeks back on the RJOShow.
The third preseason game is the dress rehearsal. We all know that. It's the time where you can really gauge your team in legitimate situations, all before doing it for real a few weeks from now.
I'm not saying the Cowboys should come out and test every trick in the book, but if they're planning on getting creative with the advantages this rule change could provide at any point in the season... now is the time to see it in action.
Warm up the boot, Bailey. Let's have some fun.
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.
Player News7 days ago
Connor Williams Adding Size and Strength Huge for Cowboys OL
NFL Draft7 days ago
2019 NFL Draft: Three 2nd Round Dream Scenarios For The Dallas Cowboys
NFL Draft2 weeks ago
Dallas Cowboys 7 Round Mock Draft
Dallas Cowboys1 week ago
2 Contracts That Could Help Ezekiel Elliott Get Paid by the Dallas Cowboys
NFL Draft1 week ago
Dallas Cowboys 2019 Draft Needs: Quarterback
Dallas Cowboys2 weeks ago
Pre-NFL Draft Dallas Cowboys 53-man Roster Locks
Dallas Cowboys1 week ago
Could Cowboys RB Darius Jackson Finally Emerge in 2019?
NFL Draft2 weeks ago
5 SPARQ Score Standouts the Cowboys Should Consider Drafting