It was December of 2009.
My best friend Matt and I were in the middle of one our usual battles of racquetball.
Racquetball is a fun game and great form of exercise. Matt and I also used it to talk about whatever was going on in life while running all around the court.
As it was December my iPhone was full of Christmas music. Matt and I had a rule that no Christmas music was allowed before Thanksgiving. Once Black Friday hit you could hear those sleigh bells jingling and ring-ting tingling all around.
I'd recently discovered a new Christmas song that was on permanent repeat. It was actually sung by the cast of Glee (which at the time was a really popular show) and I couldn't get enough of it. As Matt was my best friend I felt obligated to share the song with him so he could experience the same level of Christmas joy.
"Dude... (whack!) you have to check out this new Christmas song. It's from Glee and I can't get it out of my head." -RJ
"Oh yea? What's it (shoes squeaking) called?" -Matt
"I don't exactly know. It goes something like - is it my serve or yours? - anyway it goes, 'Last Christmas... I gave you my heart. But the very next day you gave it away.' But it's really poppy. I've listened to it something like 200 times!" - RJ
"RJ, that song is by Wham!." - Matt
I don't like to be wrong. I never have. Who does?
Those who know me best would acknowledge that, sometimes, I have a tendency to get argumentative and debate things. I didn't know for sure where this song had come from, but I wasn't going to be proven wrong without a fight.
"No way! Glee wrote it!" I did a pretty good job of sounding like this was true even though I actually had no idea.
"Wham! wrote it in the 80s! Have you seriously never heard that song before?" Matt had me cornered.
"I don't believe you." I said. Every good captain goes down with his ship.
Matt paused the game (I believe I was winning so at least I had that going for me) to go get his phone. As he started googling I knew I was beat. I just had to wait it out and be proven wrong.
Wham!'s official music video for 'Last Christmas'. More Wham hits here: http://smarturl.it/Wham_Spotify?IQid=WhamBB 'Listen without Prejudice/MTV Unplugged' - OUT NOW. Listen on Spotify here http://smarturl.it/GMFreedomSpot and get the album here http://smarturl.it/LWPGM Get the Fantasy single here http://smarturl.it/GMFantasy Music updates http://www.listen-georgemichael.com Official website http://www.georgemichael.com Facebook https://www.facebook.com/georgemichael/ Twitter https://twitter.com/GeorgeMOfficial Instagram https://www.instagram.com/georgemofficial/ Subscribe to George Michael on YouTube: http://smarturl.it/GeorgeMsubscribe --------- Lyrics: Last Christmas I gave you my heart But the very next day you gave it away.
Matt showed me this video on his phone. I was wrong. At least I won the racquetball game, right?
While I maintain that the Glee version of Wham!'s "Last Christmas" is better and a fantastic holiday tune, Wham! was the original artist. I was wrong and I can admit that.
These are Bold Predictions - they're supposed to be unlikely.
Tomorrow the Dallas Cowboys will play the Washington Redskins on Monday Night Football. Anything can happen, and that includes these Bold Predictions.
If I'm wrong about these, like I was about the origin of "Last Christmas", I'll gladly admit it. If you've read my Bold Predictions before then you know that I'm not one to punt, and today is no exception. Right, wrong, or whatever... we're getting bold.
This year has not saved us from tears as far as the Dallas Cowboys are concerned, but tomorrow is going to be something special. Let's go.
Dan Bailey Will Convert Five Total Field Goals/Extra Points
I started off with this one because Matt actually looks like Dan Bailey! If you see him in public don't let him fool you.
In eight career games Dan Bailey has never missed a field goal or extra point against the Washington Redskins. Check it out:
|Extra Points||Field Goals||Field Goal Yardage||Points|
Dan the Man averages 2.5 extra points and 2.25 field goals against the Redskins. He averages 3 extra points and 1.75 field goals when those games are played in Washington. Both of those marks combine for just under five total kicks when he plays this team.
Dan better warm up that golden foot of his because it's going to be used to put points on the board for the Dallas Cowboys at least five times on Monday Night.
There Will Be At Least 10 Jon/Jay Gruden References
The mothership of ESPN isn't exactly known for its ability to be creative. They take successful records and play them over and over again.
"Hey Jon! You know the Washington coach pretty well, don't ya?" I can hear Mike Tirico now.
It's no secret that Jon Gruden and Jay Gruden are brothers. The Monday Night Football broadcast thinks that it is though, and they're going to remind you all throughout the night.
This'll probably happen more than 10 times, but that's as high as I'm willing to count. If your name is Gruden then this is the game for you!
Dez Bryant Will Catch 3 Touchdowns
We really haven't seen Dez Bryant be Dez Bryant this season. The lone moment where he looked like the superstar we all know and love was when he jumped out of the stadium to haul in a touchdown a few weeks ago against the Eagles.
The last complete game that we saw #88 put together was arguably the last time that the Cowboys visited the Redskins.
Dez's last trip to Washington resulted in 4 catches for 99 yards and 2 touchdowns. It was a great day and considering that Dez is feeling the best he has in a long time... I say we're in store for a similar performance.
Matt Cassel knows that when he's in trouble the best option is always Dez Bryant. That's how the play against Philly happened - Matt closed his eyes and tossed it up to Dez. He's going to do it a lot in Washington.
Robert Turbin Will Have Over 75 Total Yards
The last time that the Dallas Cowboys looked like a competent football team was down in Miami two weeks ago. Sure Tony Romo was quarterbacking the team, but a big reason why was a new running back named Robert Turbin.
Fun fact time... did you know that Turbin was in on all of the scoring drives for the Cowboys against the Dolphins? Now you do!
Turbin Time fits well in our offense and the team had to have realized that over the long break since the Carolina game.
I do think that Darren McFadden will get his own yardage, but between the run game and utilization in the passing game... Turbin Time is going over 75 total yards.
The Dallas Cowboys Will Win The Game
This isn't that fancy of a bold prediction because we're done with being fancy and we need to focus on what's most important in our season.
WIN. THE. GAME.
The Dallas Cowboys have been under a lot of scrutiny this season. Everyone in that locker room has had to hear how they are a joke without Tony Romo at quarterback, and you know what? That's been true up until now.
This team had a high level of fight to them last year that is still there. Sometimes it takes the highest level of adversity to bring it out of people... we are at that point.
Remember that this team hasn't played a game since Thanksgiving. They've had a week and a half of rest and preparation. That's a long time to sit on the devastation that we all felt. They're about to go off.
Expect this team to unleash on Monday Night Football. They know what's at stake and how fortunate they are to still have a shot at this whole thing. Now it's time to go to work.
Could Loaded FA Safety Market Drive Down Earl Thomas’ Value?
It's no secret the Dallas Cowboys and Earl Thomas share a mutual interest in one another. Thomas has publicly stated his desire to join America's Team and the Cowboys did their darndest to make that happen last offseason. Nothing ever materialized a year ago, but it's looking as if the stars have finally aligned and a union between the two could merely be just weeks away.
Surprisingly enough, the Dallas Cowboys may have dodged a bullet last year when the Seattle Seahawks refused to part ways with their All-Pro safety. Not only would they have had to surrender a high draft pick, but they would've also had to extend Thomas' contract. Fortunately, timing is everything and now the Cowboys might just have to do the latter.
A potential contract between the Cowboys and Thomas is of course what I want to dive in today. I'm not going to get into numbers right now, because it's nearly impossible to project any kind of contract for any safety this offseason, especially for the former Seahawk, Earl Thomas.
Right now, it's a little difficult to know who might have the advantage in contract negotiations, Earl Thomas or the Dallas Cowboys. A lot of times the one that has the leverage, however slight, is the one that gets the better of the deal. As surprising as it may be, the Cowboys might just have the advantage here and I'll tell you why.
First off, this year's market for free agent safeties is pretty stacked with starting caliber players. See below:
- Earl Thomas
- Landon Collins
- Lamarcus Joyner
- Tyrann Mathieu
- Adrian Amos
- Clayton Geathers
- Ha-Ha Clinton Dix
- Glover Quinn
- Tre Boston
- Kenny Vaccaro
- George Iloka
- Jimmie Ward
- Adrian Phillips
Earl Thomas is obviously the headliner here amongst the free agent safeties, but having so many starting caliber players available could drive down Thomas' market value just a bit. This is especially true when you take into consideration the market for FA safeties just a year ago. It was almost a complete standstill last year, with only Kurt Coleman signing a three-year $16.5 million deal with the New Orleans Saints. Not even the "Honey Badger" Tyrann Mathieu could get more than a one-year deal.
With all of these safeties available in free agency, we could be looking at another stingy market. This of course could be good or bad news for the Dallas Cowboys, especially as it pertains to Earl Thomas. Since he is the top FA safety available, everything could once again be at a standstill until he is signed.
Of course, we all know this will ultimately come down to determining Earl Thomas' market value. There is no denying he is still arguably the best free safety in the game today, but there are concerns about his age (30) and the two lower leg injuries he's sustained in the past three years.
Even with the loaded free agent market of starting caliber safeties and Thomas' age and recent injury history, he's still likely to receive a contract that earns him $10 million annually, give or take. It wouldn't surprise me at all if he gets another four-year deal worth $40 million, $25.7 million guaranteed, with a $9.5 million signing bonus like he signed with the Seahawks back in 2014.
The Cowboys of course would probably find a four-year $40 million deal for Earl Thomas acceptable. They would more than likely frontload the contract with a lot of protection in the details. They have the cap space to make this happen and still be able to sign their own, so money shouldn't be a problem.
Now, whether or not Thomas' market value may dip a little due to all of the above mentioned reasons will be something we will have to wait and find out. Regardless, I'd be a little shocked if Earl Thomas doesn't finish his career with the Dallas Cowboys.
Do you think Earl Thomas' market value will take a little hit this offseason?
Acquiring Brown Will Give Dallas Twin Turbo Terrors
What a difference a receiver makes, right? As Dallas fans, we know the impact of a player who can shake coverage, get open, and catch the ball. How was the season going before the Cowboys pulled the trigger for Amari Cooper in the deal with the Raiders? Cooper proved to be the lightning rod and a turning point in a season that was growing increasingly dismal. Dak Prescott and Cooper went together like peanut butter and jelly, while the Cowboys stormed to a division title and a postseason berth.
Now, imagine all of that times two… maybe even two and a half if Antonio Brown could be had from the Steelers. Scary right? We understand there’s only one ball to go around but that didn’t stop Kevin Durant from joining the Warriors, did it?
As of this writing, the best online sportsbooks like Intertops, are dealing Dallas as the seventh of 16 choices to win the NFC championship at odds of 12-1. Imagine how those odds would shrink if Brown wore a Cowboys uniform next season, giving Prescott the luxury of not one upper echelon wideout but that plus an elite receiver. Hut, hut, hut and a few clouds of smoke later the Cowboys would be moving the chains or celebrating in the endzone.
Brown and Cooper would be a devastating combination with Ezekiel Elliott coming out of the backfield. Brown was made for Dallas, it gives him an even grander stage than the one he shared with Ben Roethlisberger and Le’Veon Bell in Pittsburgh.
Despite the fact that the 'Boys haven’t won a Super Bowl since Barry Switzer was roaming the sidelines in the mid-90s, America’s Team still resides in Dallas. But we need a game-changer and Brown is just such an athlete. But what do we give in return and will that cost be worth whatever productive years Brown has left after this one? Let’s not forget that the mercurial Miami native will be 31 when the season begins and men who make a living with their legs don’t get better at that age. But Brown is so good and so unique that, even if he drops half a click, he's still amongst the best in the game.
That level of talent is hard to replicate and it could be the missing piece which allows Dallas to be a legitimate Super Bowl contender next season and the year after.
However, up to this point, we’ve been very good at dreaming of a Brown to Dallas trade but haven’t quite worked out the details. It takes two to tango and if we expect to get the Steelers’ attention we need to give them something valuable in return. Dallas surrendered their first-round pick (27th) this season when they traded for Cooper so that’s no longer an asset.
Pittsburgh would be vying for a first-round pick (and likely more) for Brown's services but some have speculated Dallas would consider dealing rookie-standout Leighton Vander Esch.
Wait... what? We know, you’re clutching your pearls, and the words are stuck in your gasp. We get it. The kid was a home run this past season, leading the Dallas defense in tackles and earning a Pro Bowl invitation in his inaugural NFL season. But this would be a Faustian deal.
The Cowboys give up a player who is poised to be a stud for years to come for a playmaker in Brown that could render a Super Bowl in the immediate future. Brown's expiration date will surely turn his milk sour sooner rather than later, but in the here and now, Antonio Brown could be the bell cow who leads the Cowboys to the promised land before he’s put out to pasture.
Just something to think about...
2018 In Review: CB Anthony Brown Bounces Back
To say it's been an up-and-down start to the career of young cornerback Anthony Brown would be an understatement.
As a sixth round pick in 2016, everything Brown contributed during his rookie season was a plus. Due to injury he was asked to step into a greater role as the season went on, and he performed well enough to make the front office comfortable allowing multiple veterans to walk for nothing in free agency the following Spring. Brown looked like a legitimate starting cornerback in the league, and when Dallas brought in Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis during the next draft, the young secondary seemed set.
Then 2017 happened. And Anthony Brown struggled. Really struggled.
These struggles, coupled with the emergence of both Lewis and Awuzie during their own rookie seasons, made Brown's status heading into 2018 rather uncertain. Some wondered if they would trade him for a day three pick, others thought Brown could even end up being cut. Jourdan Lewis and Anthony Brown were slated to compete for the nickel cornerback job in training camp, and as it turned out, all Brown needed was that one extra chance to compete.
Brown won the job outright during the preseason, and began 2018 as the starting nickel. A fan favorite, most thought Lewis would reclaim his rightful spot on the depth chart sooner or later, but Anthony Brown's play (and Kris Richard's preferences) kept Lewis on the bench for much of the season.
Simply put, Anthony Brown balled in 2018, and was the Cowboys' second best corner for most of the year. By the end of the season Chidobe Awuzie had regained form, but Brown and Byron Jones were the most consistently reliable corners on the roster all of 2018.
Brown tallied 44 tackles, 2 sacks, and an interception in 2018, and finished third on the team in pass breakups with 8. As the slot corner Brown had an excellent season, especially for a former sixth round pick.
Now he enters a contract year, and with the Cowboys having so many guys to pay over the next two offseasons, he could find himself as an unrestricted free agent in 2020. And if he can keep up his play from last year moving forward, he could be in for a nice payday that Spring.
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