I'm a firm believer in the notion of practicing what you preach, and every Friday here at Inside The Star I preach one indisputable mantra - boldness.
You've got to be bold. This isn't up for debate. As a member of Cowboys Nation your boldness is necessary to help the team win and no matter what the cost, you must always be prepared to be bold.
On Monday, October 1st, 2012 I was faced with a bold request, a pretty unique one.
This particular day after Sunday saw the Dallas Cowboys hosting the Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football. It was the first, and so far only, MNF game that I've ever attended.
You have to attend a MNF game in your life. The DUN DUN DUN DUN is played right before kickoff and it makes you want to run through a wall. That's what I was prepared to do for my team, America's Team, that night. Anything and everything.
Not even five minutes into the game a Cowboys Stadium (this was before the name change to AT&T Stadium) employee approached my cousin and I. She said that they wanted us, since we were sitting in the endzone, to wave a sign in an effort to distract Robbie Gould (the then Bears Kicker) when he was attempting field goals/extra points.
I'm all about being a team player, so I said yes in an instant... and then she brought the sign out. It wasn't exactly what I was expecting, but hey, this was for my team. They were counting on me to be bold!
I waved that sign till my arms were ready to fall off. Robbie Gould, I know you're reading this, I'm not sorry at all. You're a cool dude, but that day you were the enemy.
This Sunday Night the Bears are once again the enemy. How bold are you willing to be for our team? Are you willing to wave a giant Stewie from Family Guy head all game long? I am. Been there, done that, and we're going to do it again as the Cowboys victoriously march all over the Bears.
Welcome to my 5 Bold Predictions. Let's roll.
✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭
Morris Claiborne Has An Interception Returned For A TD
Earlier this week at Inside The Star my fellow Staff Writer Brian Martin speculated in Martin's 5 that Morris Claiborne is next in line for an interception among the defensive backs.
Brian brilliantly notes that if the Cowboys are going alphabetically that since Carr and Church have already gone, Claiborne would be next. Beyond that indisputable data there are three additional interesting points of note.
- Morris Claiborne is the Cowboys best cornerback.
- His last interception came in Week 3 of 2014. This is Week 3 of 2016.
- 'Ol number 24's first career touchdown happened after a fumble return on Sunday Night Football, when this game will be played, during a game against the Philadelphia Eagles in 2012 (9 weeks after I held Stewie).
This is destiny. The alphabet, talent, numbers, and history are all on our side!
Lock this bad boy in as bold prediction numero uno.
✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭
Ezekiel Elliott Will Match His Current Season Total In Rushing Yards
As it currently stands the 4th Overall Draft Pick, Ezekiel Elliott, has 134 rushing yards on the season. Close your eyes and pretend that this is a poker table because Zeke is about to double up!
If you look at Zeke's freshman and sophomore seasons at The Ohio State University you'll notice that he exploded in those season's third and fourth games, respectively. It's apparent that, like literally every other player in the world, it takes young Zeke a few games to get his feet properly wet before he uses them to stomp on his opponents.
Elliott greatly progressed from Week 1 to Week 2 showing far more patience on his blocks and decisiveness in hitting the appropriate hole. He's a player who, even at tOSU, plays best when the lights are brightest. This is Sunday Night Football. We've been waiting all offseason for this!
✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭
Tyrone Crawford Will Have A Hat Trick Of Sacks
You should know that Tyrone Crawford is from Canada. They play a lot of hockey there. That makes my hat trick joke funny. Laugh!
Tyrone Crawford is a player that the Cowboys really believe in. They proved that a season ago when they rewarded him with a long-term contract. All of this happened despite the Cowboys being unable to figure out where Crawford would line up along the defensive line for the first few years of his career.
While it was determined that Crawford was more of a Defensive Tackle, last week during the win in Washington he saw work at Defensive End - where he'll play against the Bears. Crawford is going to be rushing the passer and I'm here to say that if you're Jay Cutler or Brian Hoyer then
you were doomed anyway that's a big problem.
Tyrone is going to get to the Chicago signal-caller not once, oh dear not twice, but Tyrone is going to get there for the big 'ol tres amount of sacks. Get hyped!
✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭
Cole Beasley Will Convert Five First Downs
Here are some interesting facts about Dallas Cowboys Wide Receiver Cole Beasley compared to the rest of the NFL:
- He is currently tied for 7th in targets (18).
- He is currently tied for 4th in catches (13).
- He is averaging 7.78 yards per reception.
While he is still a valuable contributor to our team, the days of Jason Witten being this team's check down option/safety blanket seem to be over. This is now, according to the data, Cole Beasley's job and one that he is very good at.
Rookie QB Dak Prescott trusts Cole Beasley. He knows he'll be there to make a play. He's going to go to him an awful lot in this game and move the chains at least five times in the process.
✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭
Dak Prescott Will Throw His First Interception
When you consider that Dak Prescott played in a lot of the first three preseason games and has been through two regular season games and that he has done it all without throwing an interception... you're astounded.
Dak Prescott has done a phenomenal job at taking care of the football. He's adhering to coaching and is playing the game from a very mentally superior perspective.
The facts of life are that, inevitably, that gravy train ends. Dak has been incredible and you can just sense that he's going to either make one bad read or have a ball tipped badly that results in it falling into the arms of someone wearing the opposite jersey.
✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭
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!
Ryan Davis is quickly turning into a fan-favorite around the Twitterverse. I blame my fellow Staff Writer Sean Martin as he wrote this fantastic Film Review highlighting what Davis can bring to the Cowboys, but it's much-welcomed nonetheless.
We'll see if Davis is even activated and if he is, how many snaps he plays. Should he see some serious time then I can definitely see, and get down, with this!
✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭
Bonus Bold Prediction #2
So Donny here had a bit of a complicated bold prediction. He's going with double the boldness as he's predicting:
- The Steelers "beat down" the Eagles.
- The Cowboys then "beat down" the Bears by the same exact score.
- Dallas also has the exact same amount of sacks and interceptions in their victory over Chicago that Pittsburgh does over Philly.
✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭
Bonus Bold Prediction #3
The latest Tweets and replies from Jones (@aj_bryant5188).
The latest Tweets and replies from Jones (@aj_bryant5188).
Jones here also went double on the boldness... not one, but two Bold Predictions!
Let's discuss Zeke first. This is actually fairly probable if you think about it. Say Zeke rips off a 73-yard touchdown run early in the game, that would only leave a 47-yarder for him to house in order for Jones to be proven correct. I've definitely seen Stranger Things, loved that show, so I can see it.
If Dak throws himself a touchdown then we are going to have such a great time next week. Count on that.
✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭
Bonus Bold Prediction #4
@rjochoa Zeke will get a receiving & rushing TD! #boldprediction
What if Jen and Jones' Bold Predictions coincide here?! Say one of Zeke's first long touchdowns is off of a screen pass and his second is one that he takes off a handoff! Anything is possible and therefore likely. This is bold, and I dig that.
✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭
Bonus Bold Prediction #5
@rjochoa going really bold this week: dez Bryant multiple td catches of 20 plus yards in a win
People are swinging for the fence this week and, similarly to Kirk Cousins although not in reference to last week because he was awful, I like that.
Dez Bryant will haul in multiple touchdowns that cover more than 20 yards in the air. This is particularly bold because the Cowboys don't have a single passing touchdown through two games, something that has never happened before in Dallas Cowboys History, and now Chase is going all-in with that thought. It sure would be an epic way to get the aerial scoring started for the 2016 Cowboys!
Go score, Dez. Do it twice. Over 20 yards. Throw Up The X. Smile. Be victorious.
Cowboys en Español: ¿Dónde Tiene Que Mejorar Dallas?
El mejor juego de los Dallas Cowboys en 2018 vino la semana pasada, cuando recibieron a los Jacksonville Jaguars y los vencieron 40-7. Un resultado que tomó a todos por sorpresa demostró la mejor cara en el año de este equipo que apenas tiene un récord de 3-3.
Por más dominantes que se vieron en el emparrillado el domingo pasado, esa actuación no termina de reflejar lo que realmente son los Cowboys. Son un equipo con potencial en la ofensiva y con una defensiva bastante fuerte, pero ¿pueden ganar constantemente como lo hicieron contra Jaguars?
De entrada, la respuesta a esta pregunta parece ser no. Aún en esa victoria, se vieron problemas evidentes en la ofensiva. Para empezar, la falta de ejecución en la segunda mitad en series ofensivas que incluso llegaron a iniciar en territorio enemigo. De gol de campo en gol de campo se juntan puntos, sin duda, pero en partidos cerrados eso termina costando victorias. Hace falta que Dak Prescott y compañía puedan mover el balón una vez en rango de gol de campo y convertir esas oportunidades a touchdowns.
Otra preocupación que no podemos subestimar es que el juego aéreo sigue sin funcionar apropiadamente. Cole Beasley dominó con nueve atrapadas para 101 yardas y dos touchdowns, pero el resto de los receptores se fueron sin más de una recepción por cabeza. El único jugador que logró más de una fue el TE Geoff Swaim, quien se llevo dos en todo el juego.
Si bien Beasley tuvo uno de los mejores juegos en su carrera, más receptores tienen que involucrarse para llevar la ofensiva al siguiente nivel. La buena noticia es que en esta ocasión se enfrentaron contra una de las mejores secundarias en la NFL. Los números son malos, pero tienen la oportunidad de demostrar mucho más contra otras defensivas.
Los Dallas Cowboys tienen que repartir más la bola y seguir buscando maneras creativas de utilizar a su RB Ezekiel Elliott. Pases pantallas en tercera y largo no es ser creativo. Lo vemos funcionar dos o tres veces al año pero mandan esta jugada semanalmente. En cuanto a Dak Prescott, hay mucho donde mejorar. Deberíamos estar viendo pases más arriesgados, al centro del campo y mucho mejor posicionados.
Para la defensiva, las cosas se ven muy bien. Puede que veamos la mejor versión de esta unidad esta semana, cuando viajen a Washington. Maliek Collins, Sean Lee, David Irving, y Randy Gregory estarán jugando mucho más sanos y preparados. Este es un frente defensivo lleno de talento que intimidará constantemente a Alex Smith este domingo.
A pesar de que los Redskins no tienen una ofensiva muy explosiva, el área de oportunidad principal para la defensiva de Cowboys está en la profundidad defensiva. Tanto Jeff Heath como Xavier Woods han hecho un trabajo decente, pero tienen sus momentos en los que no logran asegurar una tackleada y permiten jugadas largas.
Hace unos meses no esperábamos que fuera la defensiva y no la ofensiva la que cargaría a este equipo a muchas victorias, pero ese ha sido el caso en las tres victorias de esta temporada. Y en las tres derrotas, la defensiva fue la que mantuvo a los Cowboys en el juego.
Sin duda alguna, lo que tiene que mejorar es la ofensiva. Los receptores tienen que desmarcarse, Prescott debe ser más preciso y tener una mejor conciencia en la bolsa de protección.
Pero sobre todo, es la inconsistencia del equipo. Esto se comienza a sentir como la temporada del año pasado, cuando los Cowboys se fueron 9-7 y nunca terminaron de establecerse como contendientes a los playoffs. Aún en una NFC East donde todos los equipos tienen récords similares y débiles, no pueden continuar perdiendo una semana y ganando a la otra.
Ganarle a los Redskins sería la primera victoria de Dallas jugando de visita. También sería la primera vez en el año en la que tendrían victorias consecutivas. Por esto y muchas otras razones, incluyendo el potencial liderato de la división, este juego es de suma importancia.
Si ganan, podría ser el momento en el que los Cowboys terminen de darle la vuelta a la página y si pierden, podría ser un indicador de que esta temporada será igual que la del 2017.
Time to get FB Jamize Olawale More Involved Offensively?
The Dallas Cowboys are coming off arguably their best and most complete offensive performance of the season after playing the Jacksonville Jaguars last week, but there is still quite a bit of improvement that can be made. The need to get more playmakers involved is apparent, which is why I think it's time to utilize Fullback Jamize Olawale's unique skill set.
I know many of you will argue that getting Allen Hurns and Michael Gallup going is a higher priority, and you wouldn't be wrong, but Jamize Olawale's playmaking ability could be a huge asset for Quarterback Dak Prescott and the offense. I know it sounds a little strange, but hang in there with me for little bit.
As things stand right now, Olawale has only played 38 offensive snaps (10%) in 2018. That's the exact amount of offensive plays Wide Receiver Terrance Williams has played this year and he's missed the majority of the season. It's not exactly the kind of production I was expecting when the Cowboys decided to bring him aboard via trade with the Oakland Raiders earlier this offseason.
I don't know about you, but I was expecting Olawale to be more involved in the offensive game plan. He is an excellent receiver out of the backfield and isn't too shabby as a runner either. But, we haven't seen him utilized in either fashion this season and I think that's an injustice that needs to be corrected.
Now, I fully understand there are other offensive weapons ahead of him in the pecking order who need to see more targets, but I also really think he can make a difference maker, especially in the passing game. That is where his strengths lie, not as a lead blocking fullback.
Olawale was a bit of a Swiss Army knife during his time with the Oakland Raiders. He played a little running back, fullback, tight end, and even a little slot receiver. I really thought the Cowboys would take advantage of his versatility in the passing game, but as of yet they have failed to do so.
I'd like to see the Dallas Cowboys and Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan utilize Jamize Olawale's unique playmaking ability a little bit more on offense. I think they should try to utilize him like the San Francisco 49ers use their fullback, Kyle Juszczyk. He's much more involved and has played a total of 263 offensive snaps (63.68%) this year.
Juszczyk is a better lead blocking FB then Olawale, but that's not where he makes the most difference in the 49ers offense. He does it as a receiver and has already caught 17 passes for 227 yards and one touchdown. That's some pretty solid production from a position that is being phased out in the NFL.
Now, just imagine the Cowboys offense getting similar production from Olawale and how that would help open up things for everybody else. It's not out of the realm of possibility because the 49ers offense and the Cowboys isn't all that dissimilar.
Unfortunately, I think Jamize Olawale is pretty much an afterthought in the Cowboys offense right now. It's truly unfortunate because I think he can be a difference maker if given the opportunity. And with a division foe like the Washington Redskins next on the schedule, what better time to unleash a new and unseen element of the offense?
Do you think Jamize Olawale needs to be more involved offensively?
Cole Beasley Key to Cowboys Passing Game Productivity?
What most of us already knew was confirmed last Sunday afternoon against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Wide Receiver Cole Beasley is the Dallas Cowboys best receiver and is the key to the passing game productivity. He is not only the most productive, but the most consistent.
Cole Beasley isn't the tallest or the fastest and definitely doesn't look like a prototypical NFL receiver, but he showed last week against the Jaguars why opposing defenses have to account for him on every single play. He torched Jacksonville's top-ranked passing defense for 101 yards on nine catches and added two touchdowns, and it's that production that could help open up the entire passing game for the Cowboys.
It's painfully obvious Cole Beasley has been Dak Prescott's favorite target in the passing game since he took over the starting duties in 2016. Once opposing defenses figured that out they started to make things extremely difficult by bracketing Beasley in coverage and the passing game hasn't been the same since. But, that could be changing if the Jaguars game was an indication of what we might see moving forward.
Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan did a much better job of moving Beasley around to create favorable matchups against the Jaguars. I think we will see much more of that moving forward, but that likely means opposing defenses will once again try to take away Prescott's favorite target. That actually could end up helping the Cowboys passing game though.
If opposing defenses indeed try to contain Cole Beasley like they've done in the past, it should help provide more opportunities for Dallas' other pass catchers. Spreading the ball around to several different receivers would not only help Prescott and the passing game, but also open up the entire offense.
We haven't really seen much of Allen Hurns or Michael Gallup this season, but both are more than capable of being more productive if they are seeing single coverage more often. That's what's likely to happen if defenses bracket Beasley in coverage once again. Both WRs need to be more involved anyway and Beasley's recent spike in production could help do just that.
Now, if defenses decide to try and cover Beasley one-on-one like the Jaguars did quite a bit of last Sunday, the Cowboys would be wise to take advantage of that mismatch. He simply can't be covered by a single defensive back because of his precise route running ability. He is that good.
Regardless of how opposing defenses try to handle/contain Cole Beasley, he is without a doubt key to the Dallas Cowboys passing game productivity. Just the threat of him on the field changes a defenses approach, which is why he is Dallas' #1 WR in my book. He absolutely has to be more involved moving forward, even if it is as a decoy.
Do you think Cole Beasley is the key to the Cowboys passing game productivity?
Star Blog2 weeks ago
If Jason Garrett’s Out, Who’s In? Potential HC Candidates
Star Blog7 days ago
Should the Dallas Cowboys Trade for These 2 Oakland Raiders?
Player News2 weeks ago
Leighton Vander Esch Lands on List of NFL’s Top 10 Rookies
Dallas Cowboys2 weeks ago
Did Garrett’s OT Decision Cost Him More Than Just the Game?
Star Blog1 week ago
Is Jason Garrett Losing the Cowboys Locker Room?
Player News5 days ago
Oakland Raiders’ Wide Receiver Amari Cooper On the Trade Block
Dallas Cowboys5 days ago
Report: Jason Garrett “Not Going Anywhere” with Possible Extension Coming Soon
Game Notes1 week ago
Jaylon Smith Looks Healthy, And The NFL Should Be Terrified