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.
WR Tavon Austin Named Veteran “Most Likely To Be Cut”
The Dallas Cowboys spent the 2019 offseason looking to add new dimensions to their offense.
They went out and signed Randall Cobb, the veteran receiver who made his name in the slot for the Green Bay Packers. They then drafted Memphis running back Tony Pollard in the fourth round to add a versatile weapon to their offensive backfield.
They also promoted quarterbacks coach Kellen Moore to offensive coordinator, hoping he can bring a fresh perspective to an offense many labeled stale over the course of 2018.
All of these changes could leave members of that "stale" 2018 offense in the dust, and Todd Archer believes wide receiver Tavon Austin could be one of those casualties.
Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Terrelle Pryor and Oakland Raiders offensive lineman Richie Incognito are new to their teams, but will they still be there on opening day? Can Pittsburgh Steelers corner Artie Burns stay out of the doghouse and fight his way back up the depth chart?
Archer named Tavon Austin the veteran most likely to be cut by the Cowboys, and roster math does somewhat point to this prediction coming true. If the Cowboys were to only take 5 receivers, as ESPN is suggesting in their latest roster projection, then it's hard to see a perfect spot for Austin.
Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup are complete locks. Randall Cobb is about as close to a lock as you can imagine. That leaves two spots for a lot of talented players, including Austin, Noah Brown, Allen Hurns, Lance Lenoir, and Cedrick Wilson.
It's certainly possible, and more than likely, that the Cowboys go with more than just 5 receivers however. This way they can keep a young hopeful like Wilson around while still maintaining the explosiveness that Tavon Austin can bring them in 2019.
Of course, the Cowboys are not afraid to cut veterans. Just last year we saw Dan Bailey get the axe after training camp, and Dez Bryant get released prior to any offseason activity even began. Tavon Austin is still of cheap value to Dallas, however, and when healthy he was an impressive weapon both on offense and special teams in 2018.
I actually do expect Tavon Austin to survive final cuts in Dallas, mostly because I anticipate they keep more than just 5 receivers on the roster.
Cowboys Twitter Tuesday: Addressing the 2019 53-Man Roster
For the Dallas Cowboys, the NFL, and the NFL fanbase, the waiting game for the start of training camp has begun. As Tom Petty says, "the waiting is the hardest part." The Dallas Cowboys go open training camp in about five weeks. The first preseason game is 53 days away and week one is less than three months away at this point. It's so close we can taste it.
Each week, I'll gather questions from you the Cowboys Nation community. Each week, we'll hone in on a specific topic based on your questions. So whether it's roster related, salary cap focused, or you have a fantasy football question, don't hesitate to send it to me on Twitter.
This week, we're going to take a look at the Dallas Cowboys 53-man roster.
@john9williams Who contributed to last year's team that won't make this year's team?
The 53-man roster will be one of the more debated topics over the next couple of months as the Dallas Cowboys get ready for training camp and the preseason. Every year there are surprises and we should expect the same this year. The Dallas Cowboys have incredible depth through the roster and so there will be at least one name that doesn't make the final 53-man roster who had an impact in 2018.
To answer Jesus' question, I think the easy answer is one of the wide receivers be it Noah Brown, Allen Hurns, or Tavon Austin. This might be a hot take, but I'm going to go a different direction and say guard Xavier Su'a-Filo.
In 2018, Su'a-Filo started eight games for the Dallas Cowboys and though he started out strong for them midseason, his play tailed off before he was injured allowing Connor Williams to regain his starting spot at left guard. The Dallas Cowboys coaching staff loves position flexibility, especially along the offensive line. Su'a-Filo, though he's a solid backup guard option, doesn't have the ability to play multiple positions along the line like his teammates.
Connor Williams can play guard and tackle. Connor McGovern will get snaps at guard and center, and to hear him talk, he can play tackle as well, though that's probably a bit of a stretch. Joe Looney, the Dallas Cowboys starting center for 2018, has the ability to flex out to guard if you need him to.
Because the Dallas Cowboys will have difficult decisions to make at wide receiver and defensive line, they can afford to go light along the offensive line because of the flexibility of players like Williams, Looney, and McGovern.
@john9williams #CowboysQuestions do we extend Dak before game #1? How many WRs on 53?
I'm gonna leave the Dak Prescott question for another day and address the wide receiver question as several people asked about that position group in particular.
The wide receiver group is a really deep group. With Amari Cooper, Randall Cobb, and Allen Hurns, it features three guys who've had at least one 1,000 yard season in their career. Michael Gallup is an ascending player. Tavon Austin is a really nice punt returner and offensive puzzle piece that can take the top off the defense with his downfield speed. I think four of those five are locks to make the roster.
According to Jeff Cavanaugh from 105.3 The Fan in Dallas, the team really likes Allen Hurns and his ability to play inside and outside in the formation. He's solid veteran depth at a low cost.
Then if you include Noah Brown's ability as a receiver and as a blocker, I think you have a very versatile and dangerous group in the passing game. Though the coaches really like Brown's ability to block in the run game, if they don't use him in the passing game, it tips their hand to the defense that the team is going to run. If they're going to keep him on the roster, they have to use him. It's a waste otherwise.
Brown and Hurns to me are on the roster bubble at wide receiver. Talented players like Cedric Wilson, Devin Smith, Jon'vea Johnson, Jalen Guyton, and Reggie Davis have all stood out at one point in time or another during OTAs and minicamp and will make the decision difficult for the coaching staff.
In my most recent roster projection, I had the Dallas Cowboys keeping six wide receivers; Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, Randall Cobb, Tavon Austin, Allen Hurns, and Noah Brown. Being a team on the verge of contending for a Super Bowl, I think they go with veterans who can help them win now.
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That'll do it for this week's edition. Make sure to get your questions in via Twitter, or you can leave them in the comment section for next week's post. Also, don't forget to check out Inside The Star's newest podcast, Cowboys Weekly featuring Managing Editor Bryson Treece and Senior Writer Jess Haynie.
Does Darius Jackson Have A “Puncher’s Chance” Of Landing On Final Roster?
Remember Darius Jackson?
The sixth round running back was an instant fan favorite of Cowboys Nation, as the fanbase hoped Dallas had found the explosive RB2 behind Ezekiel Elliott they needed in the very same draft. Jackson, however, had an up-and-down preseason in 2016 and ended up being waived from the team to make room for Darren McFadden later in the year.
Jackson has bounced around the league a bit since then, joining both the Cleveland Browns and Green Bay Packers at different points. He's back with the Cowboys, however, looking to fight his way onto the team's final roster.
But does the fourth year running back have more than a puncher's chance to do so?
The Cowboys spent much of the 2019 NFL Draft rebuilding their running back depth. First, they drafted Memphis back Tony Pollard hoping to find a versatile and dynamic threat to compliment the workhorse that is Ezekiel Elliott. Then, in the seventh round, Dallas took another Ohio State running back in Mike Weber who fits more of the "traditional" running back form.
So with two new touted rookies behind the veteran Elliott, and fullback Jamize Olawale more than likely having a roster spot as well, there doesn't seem to be room for Darius Jackson on the Dallas Cowboys.
That didn't stop him from competing at OTAs, however. DallasCowboys.com named Darius Jackson one of their top ten "head turners" from the OTA practices, and considering that Mike Weber is banged up at the moment, Jackson will certainly have his opportunities to fight for that spot.
Still, the odds suggest that Darius Jackson will not be with the Cowboys come the Fall of 2019. Though he entered the league with some fanfare for a day three pick, his production has been more fitting of his draft grade than of his fan hype.
Jackson hasn't been the explosive player/receiving back that they're hoping Tony Pollard will be, nor has he been the every-down type backup runner that they seem to hope Mike Weber will be.
In the end, the Cowboys-Darius Jackson story is likely to close during this year's training camp.
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