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Dallas Cowboys At Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 5 Bold Predictions

RJ Ochoa

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Cowboys Blog - Dallas Cowboys At Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 5 Bold Predictions

If you've read my Bold Predictions here at Inside The Star before then you know how much I like to start them off with a funny story that correlates to the game about to be played.

There is no funny story today. This game is all about BUSINESS.

The Cowboys have dug themselves into a 2-6 hole that requires a kickstart of energy that needs to begin tomorrow down in Tampa Bay. Tomorrow's game is a must-win as this team's playoff hopes severely depend on it. You can read more about what it's going to take to get a ticket to the tournament right here.

Enough talk, enough jive, here are my 5 Bold Predictions.

Darren McFadden Rushes For More Yards Than Jameis Winston Passes For

"Anyone can run behind this offensive line" seems to actually be... true?! What?!

RJ Ochoa on Twitter

29's averages per game in 2014: 24.5 carries, 115.3 yds #20 over last three games (since being named starter): 25.3 carries, 111 yds Hmm.

If that doesn't make you scratch your chin then I don't know what will. Darren McFadden has been on all kinds of fire during these last three games for the Dallas Cowboys. Consider that not only have those three games been against the Giants, Seahawks, and Eagles... but they've been without Tony Romo at the quarterback position. That adds an extra level of "Wow!" to the mix in my opinion.

Jameis Winston has played well considering he's a rookie, but this Dallas Cowboys Defense has had enough. They're going to stifle him and on the other side of the ball DMC is going to do his thaaaang. Choo Choo goes the DMC Train - all aboard!

Tony Romo Is Shown On TV At Least 10 Times

The Cowboys have escaped the jaws of the Troy Aikman/Joe Buck-led FOX broadcast and have landed Kevin Burkhardt and John Lynch for this game. That doesn't mean that Tony Romo won't be a hotly discussed topic.

Throughout the game you just know that they're going to reference the six-game losing streak that the Cowboys are on. "Tony Romo is coming back next week so the Cowboys have to find a way to win" is going to be uttered in what will feel like a million different iterations. Each time they mention the subject they'll cue Antonio Ramiro Romo on the sideline coaching up Cassel and chewing on some flower seeds.

Byron Jones Gets Two Interceptions

It's tough to feel good about anything when you haven't won a game since September, but holy smokes do the Cowboys have something in Byron Jones.

The first rounder had himself quite the game last Sunday Night and earned the constant praise of Cris Collinsworth in the process. He seems to be just a second away from turning those great plays into game-changers and with the Cowboys starving for turnovers I expect Byron to find a way to make it happen not once, but twice!

You'll be seeing more of these tweets after the game.

Cowboys Nation on Twitter

Just ordered...

The Dallas Cowboys Defense Dominates

Have you ever felt like the waiter is taking forever to bring you your food? What feels like hours goes by until he finally delivers it and its well worth the wait?

Jerry Jones is finally about to get what he ordered in the offseason.

This Cowboys defense has generated one, a little baby one at that, turnover since the last time we had a game end in victory. Rod Marinelli has probably not been too nice about that in practice.

Jeremy Mincey recently gave some insight as to just how important this game is:

Jon Machota on Twitter

Jeremy Mincey: "The urgency will be a lot higher this week, I promise you that much. We'll get this fixed.

While that obviously invites the question, "Dude... why was it not at its highest possible level EVERY week?" it does imply that they know just how up against the ropes they are. They are going to be aggressive from jump street because you know what? Help is on the way. You know it, I know it, they know it, and the NFC East knows it. Speaking of...

The Dallas Cowboys Will Have A Division-Dominating Day

The New York Giants play the New England Patriots.

The Philadelphia Eagles play the Miami Dolphins.

The Washington Redskins play the New Orleans Saints.

The Dallas Cowboys play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Get ready to enjoy an entire day of football because there's going to be only one win in the NFC East tomorrow, and it's going to belong to the Dallas Cowboys.

This division is in a state of disarray right now, and while they may have looked like competent football teams against the Cowboys over the last few weeks... the Giants and Eagles are about to fold.

When all of that comes to fruition tomorrow you're going to hear the national media start to talk about how Dallas is well within striking distance of the NFC East Crown. The analysts will say, "Tony Romo is back next week so this team is about to get on a roll."

The roll starts tomorrow down Tampa Bay. We knew that before everyone else, Cowboys Nation. Let's go handle our business.


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What Bold Predictions do you have for the Cowboys? Email me your thoughts at Roel.Ochoa.Jr@Gmail.com or Tweet to me @rjochoa!

Tell us what you think about "Dallas Cowboys At Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 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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Randy Gregory can Make the Perimeter Pass Rush Extremely Formidable

Matthew Lenix

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Randy Gregory can Make the Perimeter Pass Rush Formidable

Randy Gregory showed flashes last season of the potential he has as a pass rusher. Even though he only managed one start he did see action in 14 games. Had registered 6 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, a fumble recovery, 7 tackles for loss and 15 hits on the quarterback. That's very good production with limited opportunities. Now, this sets up the Dallas Cowboys on the edge getting to the quarterback, and here's how.

The Cowboys acquired Defensive End Robert Quinn via trade from the Dolphins back in March. He is set to start at right defensive end opposite All-Pro DeMarcus Lawrence. Gregory, who lines up on the right side as well, can potentially make said side a huge problem for offenses on 2019.

Let's just take a typical season from Quinn which is between 8-9 sacks. If Gregory can give at minimum what he did last season, that's around 15 sacks just between the two of them alone. Now, as we all know, Lawrence can be penciled in for double-digit sacks routinely at this point. So given this information that's a potential 25-30 sacks just from these three players. This is without including guys such as Taco Charlton, Dorance Armstrong, Kerry Hyder, and rookies Joe Jackson and Jalen Jelks (assuming they make the final roster).

Why is Gregory's potential impact so important? For me, it's simply where he lines up at defensive end, on the right side. Most quarterbacks are right-handed, which means when they drop back to pass they face left side defensive ends, with their backs to defensive ends coming off the right side. If you can consistently pressure a quarterback from his blindside the opportunities for sacks and fumbles increase. Regardless of how skilled a quarterback is you can't avoid what you can't see.

Of course, this all depends on what the NFL does regarding the reinstatement of Gregory. He was suspended indefinitely in February for violating the league's substance-abuse policy, a situation he is all too familiar with. My guess is Gregory and the Cowboys will ask for a conditional reinstatement like he was given by the NFL in 2018. What this would do is allow Gregory to participate in meetings and condition work until he's a full participant. He is set to apply for that reinstatement within the next few days.

The only thing Randy Gregory can do now is play the waiting game. The league is currently considering the possibility of softening their stance on marijuana use. If they are serious about it I can see Gregory getting reinstated even if it's on a conditional basis. If this is granted the Cowboys will be getting big-time pressure off the edge with Lawrence, Quinn, and Gregory in 2019.



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CB Jourdan Lewis Getting Ready For Bounce-Back 2019 Season

Kevin Brady

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Seldom-Used CB Jourdan Lewis Could Play Big Role Against Saints

For a third round pick, cornerback Jourdan Lewis sure did come to Dallas with his fair share of hype.

In fact, much of Cowboys Nation was more excited about Lewis joining the Cowboys than they were about either of the team's first two selections in that same draft, Taco Charlton and Chidobe Awuzie. But while Awuzie has soared to starting cornerback levels with Dallas during his first two seasons, Jourdan Lewis has been forced to take a back seat.

After a promising rookie season, Jourdan Lewis didn't get much playing time at cornerback in 2018. Anthony Brown took over as the starting slot corner, while Byron Jones and Awuzie manned the outside. This left Lewis as the odd man out, despite what many consider to be impressive cover skills.

Lewis is not allowing this down season to eat away at him too much, though. While speaking with the media last week at SportsCon in Dallas, Lewis gave his thoughts on how his year spent behind the other young Cowboys corners is only fueling him for the future.

 "As a competitor it's always tough, especially as a rookie and you're playing all of the time. It's definitely when you take a step back it humbles you. Sometimes you gotta understand that you have to wait your turn and work on your craft. Understand that you always have to stay a professional no matter your situation. And that's what I learned last year."

Considered undersized by the standards typically used by Cowboys secondary coach Kris Richard, some have argued that Lewis was never given a fair shot to earn playing time once Richard took over in 2018. Whether or not this is true can't ever be said for sure, and the level of play Anthony Brown exhibited from the slot in 2018 didn't leave much room for substitutions either.

Still, Jourdan Lewis says he appreciates that time he spent on the bench, and he hopes that it will only drive him towards bigger and better things down the road.

"I appreciate the time that I sat last year honestly...Because it made me a better player, maybe a better person honestly."

The Cowboys cornerback situation didn't get any less crowded this offseason. Not only is Dallas bringing back all three of the aforementioned starters from a year ago, but they also drafted Miami's Michael Jackson in the fifth round of the 2019 draft.

That cornerback room is full of talent. Not only does this create a luxury for the Cowboys at one of the league's most important positions, but it also breeds immense competition between the corners come training camp.

Which, if you didn't know, begins on July 26th.



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Jason Witten Is A Future Hall Of Famer, But Is He Now Underrated? Some NFL Execs Say So

Kevin Brady

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Jason Witten, Giants

It's hard to imagine how a 37 year old tight end who was more recently in the broadcast booth than on the football field could possibly be "underrated," but that's what some NFL Execs seem to believe.

Bleacher Report's Mike Freeman conducted a survey of executives around the league, asking them who they believed the most underrated player in the NFL was entering the 2019 season. While Steelers running back James Conner was the most common player named, Cowboys tight end Jason Witten was also reportedly brought up.

I have to admit, this is shocking.

As mentioned, Witten is well past his prime and saw decline in his play over the last few seasons he played with the Cowboys. His retirement made sense, and his un-retirement was a surprise to most. But I suppose now that seemingly no one nationally expects Witten to do much of anything in 2019, he can be thought of as underrated.

This sentiment echoes statements which former Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo made earlier last week. Romo claimed that his favorite target would pick right back up where he left off in Dallas, and would be back to the Witten of old in no-time.

"The reality of it is as long as, if ­you know the game the way he does, there are certain positions—he plays one of them at tight end—he's always going to have the nuance to get open." - Tony Romo

I'm still very much in "wait and see" mode with this entire Jason Witten situation. It's hard to wrap your head around a player we all thought was old and slow when he was 35 coming back after a year in retirement to be a productive NFL pass catcher.

While Witten's numbers have declined across the board, his touchdown production actually improved in 2017. If, at the very least, Jason Witten can become a secondary red zone option for the Cowboys offense, then his addition would have been well worth it offensively.

Jason Witten will wear a gold jacket in Canton Ohio one day, but will his 2019 contributions give the voters any extra reason to support his candidacy?



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