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Dallas Cowboys Vs Detroit Lions: 5 Bold Predictions

RJ Ochoa

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Ezekiel Elliott TRO Granted, Will Play While Process Continues
AP Photo / Ron Jenkins

Listen to an audio version of this article on Bumpers!

https://bumpers.fm/e/b1fvt4sv9qpg02t0m7vg

 

'Twas the Night before Kickoff, the season's been flyin'

Here we are, Christmas Day, about to tame the Lions

Since this team last felt joy, it sure has been a while

Yet here we are celebrating an NFC East title

The Cowboys have rookies, of the type you'd never believe

Dak and Zeke have taken us, to the number one seed

Coach Garrett is the man, I will continue to say

A red-haired coaching genius, who takes things day by day

Get to 13 wins, in this means to an end

During Monday Night Football on ESPN

This is a time for the best, you cannot be meek

Run, score, and fight, don't forget to feed Zeke

We've learned a lot of lessons, especially never to settle

Fight till the end, and jump into a red kettle

If you need an epic win, one man can answer the call

His name is Prescott, and he can sure Dak the Halls

It's now time to begin, some interesting premonitions

Welcome to a Christmas Edition, of my 5 Bold Predictions

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The Lions Game Is A Culmination Of 9-4

Randy Gregory, RedskinsWhen the Cowboys welcome the Detroit Football Club on Monday Night Football they'll be doing so with a player that hasn't seen the field in almost a full calendar year - Randy Gregory. While the expectations from young Gregory shouldn't be too high - and his status is very ambiguous thanks to the NFL - he's going to play and we should be thankful for that.

Upon being drafted by America's Team, Randy Gregory was given the iconic #94 jersey that once belonged to Dallas Cowboys Legends Charles Haley and DeMarcus Ware. This is a tactic that worked out well with Dez Bryant after he slipped the spectacular #88 over his rookie shoulders, recognizing the number and team's legacy.

The #94 from Gregory will be present, but it's another 9-4 connection that I believe will make an appearance... Tony Romo and Dak Prescott.

Dak is the firmly-anointed starter so that's not shocking, but given the events from around the NFL on Christmas Eve you can sense that Romo might be given one quarter of work potentially in this game. 9-4!

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Byron Jones Starts A Streak Of Interceptions

Byron JonesLast week the Cowboys secured a victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but a more important achievement was made - Byron Jones' first career interception!

"Late Night Ice Cream" - as I have dubbed him - wrapped his hands around an opposing quarterback's pass for the first time ever during a last-second play at the end of the first half. This is something that Cowboys fans have been longing for for quite some time, so it was great to see it finally happen.

Get the spoons ready, because Late Night Ice Cream is starting a streak of consecutive games with an interception. Late Night Ice Cream!

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Every Active Cowboys Running Back Gets At Least 5 Carries

Darren McFaddenThe NFC East Champions find themselves in an interesting predicament that will, as it currently is even in this same article, be discussed a lot - how much should they rest their starters?

The next game of importance for this football team will come, at the earliest, on Saturday, January 14th. That's quite a ways away. Given that this team has one of the most dynamic players in the league in Ezekiel Elliott, it's fair to assume that some tolerance will be made for the notion of resting him.

Look for Darren McFadden and Lance Dunbar - or whoever the other active running backs are - to get some work in an effort to alleviate Zeke's workload. Five carries apiece, Santa!

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Zeke And The Offensive Line Are Compared To Santa And His Reindeer

If you've made it this far into this then you really deserve one of these - Merry Christmas!

As it is Christmas season, Christmas magic and decorations and treats and presents are in the air! These presents are so prominent that even Ezekiel Elliott got into the mood when he gave his offensive line ATVs on Friday.

There's a comparison considering the time of year concerning Zeke and his Offensive Line that's just too easy to make, Zeke is Santa and the linemen are his reindeer. Any seasoned pro in the broadcast booth is going to see that and run (or fly) away with it.

If we're taking this deeper then Tyron Smith is Blitzen, Ronald Leary is Dancer, Travis Frederick is Comet, Zach Martin is Prancer, and Doug Free is Donner. You know it's true.

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Don Meredith's Famous "Turn Out The Lights" Is Referenced

Don MeredithFrom their inception in 1960 through 1968, the Dallas Cowboys boasted one of the best and most iconic figures in their long-standing history at the all-important quarterback position - Don Meredith.

"Dandy" Don was as legendary as they come, and he furthered that legend after his playing career in the broadcast booth. Meredith became a staple on Monday Night Football and developed a signature catchphrase of sorts by singing a Willie Nelson line, "Turn out the lights, the party's over."

The Cowboys/Lions game will serve as 2016's Monday Night Football finale - can you believe that?! - and therefore will call for an essence of good-bye. ESPN will still have some playoff coverage, but it won't be the same. The moment is too perfect to not drop Dandy Don's signature line as the MNF season comes to a close.

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Bonus Bold Predictions

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!

Dan Rogers on Twitter

@rjochoa Bold Predictions - Escobar TD catch, Irving sack/fumble, and the home crowd goes wild when Tony Romo trots onto the field.

Shawn (6-6)(8-15) on Twitter

RANDY Gregory is gonna get 2 sacks against the Lions. AND one of them is to win the game, 2014 playoffs DLaw style.

Chase Aguiar on Twitter

@rjochoa got that link to the article the other day? And my bold prediction is that Romo throws a touchdown Monday

Also on Facebook, Tyler Spence says:

  • Byron Jones not only has his 2nd career INT, but it's a pick 6
  • Terrance Williams also goes for a 65 yard TD in this one, similar to how he dominated Detroit in the playoff game 2 years ago

I like the callbacks to the 2014 Wild Card win over Detroit here! Santa is obviously an Inside The Star reader, so these will undoubtedly come true.

Merry Christmas from all of us here at Inside The Star to you and yours. Go Cowboys!

Tell us what you think about "Dallas Cowboys Vs Detroit Lions: 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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Star Blog

2018 In Review: Byron Jones Emerges As CB1

Kevin Brady

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Byron Jones

Heading into the 2018 season Byron Jones was being asked to prove himself. The former first round pick had fallen out of the coaches' good graces during his third season, though many of his struggles could be attributed to those very coaches which were then questioning his ability.

Being asked to play out of position, or at least in a spot which did not maximize his natural ability, Jones struggled in 2017. Too often he was playing in the box as a safety where his lack of physicality was exposed by the opponent's run game. This was mostly due to the coaching staff falling in love with his tight-end-erasing ability in man coverage, but backfired when overused as a safety.

Once hired the following offseason, Kris Richard and company decided to move Byron Jones to cornerback full time, allowing him to utilize his excellent coverage skills and athletic ability to the fullest, rather than putting him at a disadvantage in the box.

The results? Well, Jones had one of the best seasons of any cornerback in football, earning All Pro and Pro Bowl honors for the first time in his young career.

Pro Football Focus on Twitter

Byron Jones had a dominant season for Dallas

Pro Football Focus graded Jones as the sixth best cornerback in all of football last season, allowing just 0.79 yards per coverage snap. Despite not having an interception on the season, Jones still earned national recognition as one of the best cornerbacks in the entire league.

Down the stretch of the season, Chidobe Awuzie started to play up to the level which fans had hoped for during the preseason. He had been sticky in coverage most of the year, but now he was making plays on the ball at a much better rate, forcing incompletions. This led to an increase in targets to Jones' side, and though the increase resulted in more catches given up by the number one cornerback, I don't think Jones' play faltered as much as some will have you believe.

The fact is, when you get targeted more you are bound to give up more catches and yards. The key is to force them into contested catches, and make things as difficult for the receiver as possible when targeted.

Byron Jones continued to do this all season long, and fans should be excited for the next step of his growth in 2019.



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Star Blog

Cowboys en Español: Comentando el Tope Salarial

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Time to Stop Making Excuses for QB Dak Prescott?

Por muchos años, el tema del tope salarial ha sido un tema sensible para los Dallas Cowboys. Entre dinero muerto y otros problemas, el equipo ha tenido una situación delicada en este aspecto. Sin embargo, para la temporada del 2019 tienen más espacio de lo que estamos acostumbrados.

Según Over The Cap, los Cowboys tendrán aproximadamente 48 millones de dólares disponibles en 2019. Es importante recalcar que este número no es definitivo y puede cambiar. Año tras año, esta administración ha sido aficionada de reestructurar los contratos de ciertos veteranos para liberar espacio salarial constantemente. Además de esto, hay varios jugadores bajo contrato que el equipo podría decidir cortar para liberar aún más dinero.

Al ver sólo 48 millones disponibles, es complicado imaginar un escenario en que el equipo logre satisfacer todos sus objetivos. Hay bastantes candidatos a grandes extensiones en el equipo, principalmente dos jugadores. En una liga en la que quarterback es la posición más importante, la segunda más importante podría ser la del caza cabezas, cuyo objetivo es ir tras el quarterback contrario.

DeMarcus Lawrence, Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks

Pues en Dallas, hoy dos  jugadores en estas posiciones que hay que extender. El más urgente sin duda es el defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence. Lawrence se puso el jersey del equipo cuando este lo designó a jugar bajo la etiqueta franquicia. Afortunadamente, el atleta de 26 años la hizo de soldado y jugó sin amenazar con faltar a entrenamientos ni pretemporada.

Lo que sí comentó es que no pasaría por lo mismo en 2019. Ahora, el momento está aquí y es tiempo de que los Cowboys lo extiendan. El valor de Lawrence es difícil de predecir, pero es bastante seguro que se acercará a los números de Khalil Mack. Mack hizo historia ganando un contrato que en promedio gana 23.5 millones al año. Si bien no anticiparía que lo supere, la cifra estará cerca al contrato del defensivo de los Chicago Bears.

Además está Dak Prescott, cuyo contrato probablemente estará por encima de los 25 millones anuales. Son contratos caros, pero son piezas fundamentales para el equipo. Definitivamente se les tiene que pagar a ambos. Son pilares que año tras año buscan equipos en toda la NFL.

Además de esto, Amari Cooper, Ezekiel Elliott, Cole Beasley y más podrían tener un impacto en el tope salarial. Algunos buscan un contrato nuevo, otros una extensión. Pero honestamente, me parece que habrá más espacio en el tope salarial de lo que pensamos. Sólo es cuestión de tiempo para que los Cowboys comiencen a reestructurar a sus veteranos para ahorrarse unos cuantos millones para utilizar en agencia libre.

Tyron Smith, Tyrone Crawford entre otros pueden ser buenas opciones para comenzar este proceso. Antes era Jason Witten uno de los candidatos favoritos para este proceso, pero él ya se encuentra comentando partidos para ESPN. En Inside The Star, continuaremos actualizándote con contenido al día de los Dallas Cowboys.

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys en Español: Comentando el Tope Salarial" in the comments below, or tweet me @MauNFL and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!



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Star Blog

Can the Cowboys Become Legitimate NFC Conference Contenders this Offseason?

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Can the Cowboys Become Legitimate NFC Conference Contenders this Offseason? 2

Super Bowl LIII is in the books, and the Dallas Cowboys can look back on a better-than-expected 2018 campaign. Having won the NFC East with a 10-6 record and bowing out to eventual finalists Los Angeles Rams, the Cowboys' young team can look ahead to 2019 as a chance to take another step forward.

The offseason is now upon us, with the NFL free agency period opening in the middle of March and the NFL Draft coming around at the end of April. Until those times, experts, pundits, and fans are left to assess their teams and predict their activities in the running to the start of next season.

The Dallas Cowboys are in a precarious position, with the team exceeding expectations, still being very young and having plenty of cap space, but also having many top-end players set to become free agents and being without a first-round pick in this year’s draft. There does, however, appear to be a way for the team to make improvements and solidify their place atop the NFC East and potentially go on to win in the Conference Finals.

Lock Down the Big Guns

Can the Cowboys Become Legitimate NFC Conference Contenders this Offseason?

@Randy81MossRetires, via Twitter

Many see DeMarcus Lawrence as the top potential free agent this spring, so the Dallas Cowboys need to do everything in their power to lock down the 26-year-old defensive end.

Vice President Stephen Jones has emphasized the team’s target of retaining their own stars, per Star-Telegram, with Lawrence, Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper, Ezekiel Elliott, and perhaps Byron Jones being in the discussion for long-term deals.

As it stands, the team will have roughly $48.5 million in cap space for next season, which leaves plenty of space to re-sign their top players. They look set to let go of Tavon Austin, David Irving, and quite possibly Cole Beasley, among others, leaving a need to add reinforcements.

Adding New Talent

Can the Cowboys Become Legitimate NFC Conference Contenders this Offseason? 1

@brkicks, via Twitter

One of the most heavily rumored moves for Dallas in this free agency is picking up native Texan and former Legion of Boom linchpin Earl Thomas, per Forbes.

Against the Rams in the playoffs and throughout the season, the Cowboys lacked a defenseman who could make plays on the pass. Thomas is one of the notorious ball hawks in the league, boasting 28 career interceptions, three of which came in just four games of last season.

If the Cowboys can re-sign their stars while keeping some space for an Earl Thomas-sized contract, which clocked in at $10.4 million in 2018 for the Seattle Seahawks, their odds of going all the way next season will significantly increase.

Right now, the expected names of the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs lead the odds to win the next Super Bowl at +750. Behind them, the Rams sit at +900 having suffered a suffocating defeat in this year’s Super Bowl. Much further down are the Cowboys at +2500 right now with redbet. If they re-sign Lawrence, pay their young stars, and bring in Thomas, they’ll shoot up the table of favorites.

Then, there’s also the additions in the draft to consider.

The Cowboys may be without a first-round selection, but that may end up working in their favor. Round one of the 2019 NFL Draft is set to be laden with defensive selections according to most mock drafts, with a few quarterbacks sprinkled around and a minimal selection of offensive weapons. If the Cowboys re-sign Lawrence, they’ll be looking good at defensive end, so should then turn to giving Prescott another weapon in the passing game, which will also help to keep defenses honest and give Elliott more room to operate.

As stated, the NFL is a passing league, and Prescott exploded once he was given a viable option in Amari Cooper. Michael Gallup is expected to take another step forward next season, but just in case, the Cowboys can add another strong receiving option in the draft thanks to the strength of the defensive class. A.J. Brown of Ole Miss will almost certainly go in the first round, but exciting talents in D.K. Metcalf, Parris Campbell, Marquise Brown, and Deebo Samuel could all still be available when Dallas rings in during the second round.

Improving Dallas' pass options and pass defense will go a long way toward improving the team and allowing them to push on to a bigger and better campaign in 2019.



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