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Dallas Cowboys Vs Green Bay Packers: 5 Bold Predictions

RJ Ochoa

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Dez Bryant, Jason Witten

Listen to an audio version of this article on Bumpers!

Dallas Cowboys Vs Green Bay Packers: 5 Bold Predictions

Dallas Cowboys Vs Green Bay Packers: 5 Bold Predictions

One of my all-time favorite people to ever coach in the NFL is Pro Football Hall of Famer Tony Dungy.

Mr. Dungy is one of the finer men to ever grace God’s green earth, and he’s one of the most humble in the process. He’s a Man of God, Hall of Famer, Super Bowl Champion, Father, Husband, and friend. He has written a few books throughout his life, and I’ve read most of them. In these he shares lessons from his life that have played a prevalent role in his growth as a man, coach, father, husband, and friend.

One of the things Coach Dungy shared in his written work was that his son Jordan was born with a very special neurological condition – congenital insensitivity to pain. This means that Jordan cannot feel pain. While at first glance we think that sounds neat, it’s actually terrifying. Coach details that his son loves cookies, and he loves them so much that he may reach into the oven to grab them… burning his hands and mouth, while feeling nothing.

Tony DungyTony Dungy articulates this whole experience in a far more meaningful way than I can, but he tells us that pain is, as scary as this sounds, necessary. Pain teaches us. Pain teaches us the difference between what’s good and what’s harmful. Pain helps us grow, heal, and learn. Pain is necessary.

This Sunday will be the biggest football game that the Dallas Cowboys have played in 21 years. While we’re not equating this to what Tony Dungy was, members of Cowboys Nation know that we’ve experienced a lot of pain as fans in those two decades.

We get so wrapped up in confidence and hype that sometimes we lose sight of the fact that we are, just like everyone else, afraid. We’re scared. We want to win and the possibility exists that we might not, and that’s terrifying.

Taking a page out of Tony Dungy’s book – figuratively, not literally – we should keep perspective that pain is something to fear, but something to learn from. The Cowboys have learned from a lot of pain over the last 21 years, and you know what? If there’s more pain, we’ll deal with that. It’s the accepting that pain is a possible result that really prepares us, not pretending that it doesn’t exist. That’s what being bold is all about in life, and these are my 5 Bold Predictions for Cowboys/Packers. Let’s roll.

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The Cowboys Possess The Ball For At Least 35 Minutes

Ezekiel Elliott, Buccaneers

Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

By now we’ve heard all about the red-hot Green Bay Packers offense and their quarterback, Aaron Rodgers. While I don’t particularly believe the Aaron Rodgers is the greatest quarterback to ever live – a notion many national mediums disagree with – I do acknowledge that he is a premier player at the position.

It’s no secret that the best way to stop Aaron Rodgers is to keep him off of the field entirely. The Cowboys know full-well about how great he can be in the Playoffs, and they are best served if they can eliminate the time he has to work against their defense.

When the Cowboys lost at Lambeau Field in the Divisional Round two years ago, they held the ball for 30:39. When they beat Green Bay in their house this past October, they held the ball for 29:50. It’s looking at that that makes 35 whole minutes seem like a lot of time, but that’s why we don’t call them reasonable predictions.

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Cole Beasley Will Lead The Game In Receptions

Cole BeasleyIn the theme of dominating-time-of-possession we obviously understand that Ezekiel Elliott is a big component of that equation. A bigger one – though he is physically smaller – is Cowboys wide receiver Cole Beasley.

When the Cowboys beat the Packers earlier this season Cole Beasley led Dallas in receptions (6 for 58 yards and 2 touchdowns). Remember that Dez Bryant did not play in this game for the Cowboys.

On the other side both Randall Cobb and Ty Montgomery had more receptions than the Saucemaster, and that was with Jordy Nelson playing in the game. This Sunday’s game won’t have Jordy and will have Dez Bryant, which would suggest that if anything Cole’s targets would decrease especially relative to the field.

The Green Bay Packers aren’t fools. They know and are preparing for Ezekiel Elliott. While they won’t be able to stop him fully, Dak Prescott will have to look to alternative options in order to continually move the chains throughout the game. Look for the Sauce, Dak.

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Dak Prescott Will Convert A Hail Mary Of His Own… To Dez Bryant

Dez Bryant, Dak Prescott, Vikings

Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

ATTENTION: Quarterbacks have successfully completed a “Hail Mary” before. Aaron Rodgers did not invent this. He has had three that were amazing and deserve a lot of credit, but let’s slow our rolls (rolls sound so good, by the way) a bit (with butter!) here.

In the world of sports some freaky things happen that can’t be explained… it’s why we are constantly amazed by them. Dak Prescott is sort of living proof of this idea in that he has continually defied every sense of logic and broken every record that’s been in his way throughout a potential MVP-winning season.

We all know the recent history that Dez Bryant has with this team. We all know that Aaron Rodgers has thrown a Hail Mary or two. Sometimes, as we discussed, things happen just because they’re supposed to happen and for no reason other than that. This is why Dak Prescott is going to complete a Hail Mary to Dez Bryant. Ultimate savagery.

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Terrance Williams Will Make A Toe-Tap Catch

There’s something about Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Terrance Williams to the point that he seriously elevates his game in the playoffs.

Charean Williams on Twitter

Of all the skill position players on the Cowboys, only Terrance Williams has a postseason touchdown, and he has three. Good note @SlaterNFL

Terrance Williams just has a proclivity to be in the right moment at the right time, and that’s why we’ve seen him make such clutch catches at points across his career. The 2014 season was really his coming out party as far as toe-tappers were concerned, but Terrance re-channeled that mantra on Thanksgiving Day earlier this season.

It’s time for Terrance. Get it done, TWill. We believe in you.

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David Irving Will Make A Game-Changing Play On Defense

David IrvingWhen David Irving had a career-day in Green Bay earlier this season, we all were excited and impressed. The thing that kept us from falling fully in love with David Irving was his inability to turn in that type of performance on a consistent basis.

David Irving impressed us all again in the Tampa Bay game… what is it with David Irving and Bays?! He also played well against the Lions, and this was enough to convince us that he is indeed for real.

It’s time for the Cowboys to unleash David Irving, and they’re going to. The last time that America’s Team hosted the Green Bay Packers in a Playoff game was the 1995 NFC Championship Game. That contest was played in Irving at the old Texas Stadium, so it’s somewhat fitting that an Irving would be a critical factor against Green Bay once again.

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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!

Mauricio Rodriguez ✭ on Twitter

Divisional Round and all the Cowboys will have a chance to take a knee, Landry Shift time that’s my #boldprediction for @rjochoa

No Title

No Description

John LaGrace on Twitter

@rjochoa #PlayoffBolds 1. had a dream @Benny_b0y10 made a huge play, not sure what, but may see Hundley 2. Boys hang 40+ 3. @Byron31Jump INT

Tell us what you think about “Dallas Cowboys Vs Green Bay Packers: 5 Bold Predictions” in the comments below. You can also email me at RJ.Ochoa@SlantSports.com, or Tweet to me at @RJOchoa!

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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!

Game Notes

Film Room: WR Ryan Switzer Showed Flashes Vs. Eagles

Kevin Brady

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Film Room: WR Ryan Switzer Showed Flashes Vs. Eagles
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

There’s no doubt the Dallas Cowboys passing game faltered in 2017. Though never expected to throw for many yards, Dak Prescott and the Cowboys failed to maximize their attempts down the stretch. The passing game was simply inefficient and ineffective.

One reason the passing game took a step back was the disappearance of slot receiver Cole Beasley. Whether you blame defenses adjusting their coverages on third downs towards Beasley, Beasley growing another year older, or quarterback Dak Prescott, Beasley simply didn’t look like the same player in 2017.

In the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft, the Cowboys selected a wide out who many anticipate could replace Beasley, in time. Rookie wide receiver Ryan Switzer rarely got chances to make an impact on offense this season, designated as the return man for much of the year. With Cole Beasley out for the season finale, however, Switzer got his chance to make a name for himself.

While the numbers were far from gaudy, Ryan Switzer showed some things we should be excited about for the future.

dalvsphi2018 switzer – Streamable

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

Ryan Switzer’s first target came on a third down — something Cowboys Nation should get used to heading into 2018. Switzer is lined up inside in trips on the near-side of the formation. The Eagles show man coverage pre-snap, and with just one safety over top and the other rotated down on top of Jason Witten, it is clear to Dak Prescott they plan to bring some pressure.

As soon as Prescott gets the snap, his eyes go to Ryan Switzer.

The cornerback plays Switzer with inside leverage, refusing to be beat with a hot slant route. Switzer instead keeps the defender on his back hip and creates separation with an out-breaking route.

Prescott delivers the ball towards the sideline where the defender can’t catch up to it, and Switzer comes away with the first down.

dalvsphi2018 switzer 2 – Streamable

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

Later in the game, we once again see Ryan Switzer targeted from this inside-alignment.

Switzer is a pretty prototypical slot receiver, and if used correctly he should win in man coverage situations often. The cornerback attempts to maintain inside leverage on Switzer and get physical at the top of his route. Ryan Switzer does a nice job of fighting through that physicality and crossing the defender’s face over the middle. He flashes open pretty quickly, and Prescott delivers a strike for the completion.

If Switzer can create this type of separation often, I see no reason why he shouldn’t be a focus of the offense in 2018.

dalvsphi2018 switzer 3 – Streamable

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

Switzer’s third target is actually an incompletion, but it is worth studying, regardless. Switzer is in the slot on the far side and the Cowboys once again are in trips alignment. The cornerback over Switzer is in man coverage, but gives him room to breathe at the line of scrimmage.

Switzer exploits the cornerback — who is cheating to the inside — with his footwork and route running. He gets to the sticks, breaks to the outside, and creates enough separation for a first-down completion. Prescott delivers the ball a bit late and behind Switzer, causing an incompletion instead.

I’d still like to see Switzer adjust to the ball and make this catch, but I put more of the blame for this play on Prescott.

With a full offseason to work within the offensive system, as well as to develop chemistry with quarterback Dak Prescott, Ryan Switzer will prove to be an important piece to the 2018 Dallas Cowboys.

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Game Notes

Takeaway Tuesday: Datone Jones Should Be Back, Switzer’s Good Game

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Takeaway Tuesday: Datone Jones Should Be Back, Switzer's Good Game 1
AP Photo / Michael Ainsworth

The Dallas Cowboys put an end to a long, long season last Sunday after they defeated the Eagles in Philadelphia in a game that had absolutely no meaning for either team. Surprisingly, the Cowboys played with their healthy starters most of the game, but were barely able to put six points on the board, which were enough to take the win home.

The Cowboys might’ve lost more than what they actually won, and most of the fans were unhappy with the victory. Despite it being a pretty boring football game, we still learned a few things about the Dallas Cowboys.

The season’s finally over. It wasn’t easy, but we’re still here. Here’s to 2018. Let’s hope it’s a good one for our Cowboys. Here’s this week’s edition of Takeaway Tuesday!

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Coaching Staff Didn’t Help Its Cause

It’s more than fair to say that a lot of us want to see changes in Dallas. And specifically, changes in the coaching staff. After the Cowboys were eliminated from playoff contention, Jerry Jones said Jason Garrett’s job was not an issue. Now, Jerry’s even talking about Rod Marinelli and Scott Linehan being back in 2018. Who knows if it’s true.

While I don’t think we’ll see a new head coach anytime soon, I’d dare say that after the horrible game versus Philadelphia the front office at least got to thinking.

Dak Prescott, Jason Garrett

Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott, HC Jason Garrett

Coming into this game, the team had a choice to make: play with the starters to win it, or let guys like Cooper Rush in the game and see what happens. A loss would’ve meant a better draft position for the Cowboys and a chance to see what rookies and other young players could bring to the table.

But they decided to manage the game like it was a “real action” game. Being conservative. Not going for it when there was nothing to lose. They did so after a team that, with the NFC’s #1 seed secured, basically played with its B team. Not only that but for the Eagles, most of the game was played by a third string QB.

Despite all this, the Cowboys could hardly beat the Eagles 6-0. Poor execution and all, I can’t help thinking about the coaches.

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Cowboys Should Keep Datone Jones for 2018

In late November, the Dallas Cowboys signed Datone Jones after he was released by the San Francisco 49ers. The former Packers’ first-round pick made an impact when he was given the chance. His play at DT was pretty solid and he showed very promising flashes.

DatoneJones – Streamable

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

Jones will be under contract in 2018 and I’d be surprised if the Cowboys don’t keep him another year. Per Over The Cap, he’ll be paid $790,000 next year which isn’t at all expensive for a 27-year-old player.

The Cowboys would add depth and even a potential starter at DT for next season.

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Ryan Switzer Can Play as a Wide Receiver

With Cole Beasley missing the game because of an illness, we finally got to see Ryan Switzer at WR. We had already seen good things from him as a kick returner, but on offense, he hasn’t been as involved as Cowboys Nation expected him to be.

Last Sunday though, Switzer was used for more than a jet sweep.

SwitzerWR – Streamable

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

He still has a long way to go, but I was impressed by his ability to create separation. I really hope he’s used more next season.

At the end of the day, he’s a fourth-round pick. He should be playing more on offense, not just on “gadget plays” or special teams. Could Ryan Switzer be Dak Prescott’s best friend in the future? Only time will tell. Right now, it’s too optimistic to expect something like that.

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Dan Bailey’s Confidence is Shattered

Dallas Cowboys K Dan Bailey

Dan Bailey’s 2017 season hasn’t been easy at all. We’ve seen him miss kicks we never imagined he would, including extra points. One of the most painful moments of the Cowboys’ season came late in the season finale when he lined up to kick a simple 20-yard field goal.

The ball went up, but failed to split the uprights. Dan Bailey stood in complete disbelief, with a blank look in his face. His confidence, shattered.

For kickers, it’s all about confidence.

For years, we referred to Dan “Automatic” Bailey as the most accurate kicker in NFL history. Now we’re not sure about calling him “Automatic” anymore. Bailey will have a lot of time to pick himself up though, and will probably be back at it next year.

Let’s hope that’s the case.

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For now, the only thing left to say is one of the most encouraging, yet sad phrases in sports… Maybe next year. We’re on to the offseason.

Tell me what you think about “Takeaway Tuesday: Datone Jones Should Be Back, Switzer’s Good Game” in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 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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Game Notes

Sean’s Scout: Cowboys Starters Uninspiring in Week 17 Win

Sean Martin

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Sean's Scout: Cowboys Starters Produce Uninspiring Week 17 Win

Playing more than enough of their starters in hopes of ending this 2017 season on a high note at the Eagles, the Cowboys produced a lackluster 6-0 win that will surely leave a bad taste in the mouths of Cowboys Nation – despite it being a victory.

The win put the Cowboys at 9-7 on the season, and it is a shame they had nothing to play for in this regular season finale. Once again in week 17, it was the offense holding back another fantastic performance by Rod Marinelli’s defense.

We’ll discuss both units in this final 2017 Dallas Cowboys version of Sean’s Scout.

  • You have to love the way Chidobe Awuzie was able to bring physicality to a young Cowboys secondary that had another solid game. 

There were times earlier in this season when it seemed the Cowboys’ second-round pick would have a lost season due to multiple hamstring injuries, but Awuzie quickly tuned around his rookie campaign by coming in and playing with exceptional technique and awareness.

With enough length to turn and run, Awuzie thrived in this zone scheme by keeping everything in front of him, as he did on his interception of Nick Foles. With Dallas in Cover 2 on the play, Chidobe read Foles’ eyes the whole time to the boundary and was in position to cut off the pass.

This is a topic we’ll now have much more time to discuss, and it is a hollowing one considering it was truly the Cowboys offense that kept them from the playoffs this season. The need for new talent at WR is clear, but the need for a target that better suits Prescott’s strengths going into year three is even more important.

His pass catchers, along with inconsistencies in pass protection, were the main reasons Prescott struggled in 2017, although in this game it seemed like the only time he was affected in the pocket was when forcing the ball late to Bryant.

Coming from a spread system in college, Prescott simply does not have experience throwing his receivers open — relying on route combinations and separation ability to hit open targets. Dez Bryant hasn’t been that type of player through his career, and certainly isn’t now that he’s lost a step.

  • 9 wins for a team unlike their usual selves up front offensively is still pretty impressive. 

The Cowboys got nearly no impact from any of their free agent signings this season, which is why the depth of the team held them back once again. Veteran Byron Bell was brought in as a backup swing tackle, but he is simply not a scheme fit at tackle here.

Dak Prescott should not have been playing with Bell as his LT, and eventually Joe Looney at LG after Jonathan Cooper went down.

Bell lacks the quick-twitch ability and athleticism needed to be successful on every down, and it showed as he was again beaten by both speed and power against the Eagles.

The Cowboys have proven their acumen drafting young OL talent that performs at a high level early and often. So, instead of relying on more free agents, like Bell and Looney, drafting talent up front to spark the running game and give Prescott adequate protection is likely the best answer.

  • Ryan Switzer’s ability to separate late in the down really stood out, as he finally got his chance at WR without Cole Beasley

Growing calls for more of Ryan Switzer on offense will surely take root this offseason after he caught four passes for 32 yards in the absence of Cole Beasley yesterday. More of a one-speed player at North Carolina, Switzer’s spacial awareness and smoothness in giving Prescott somewhere to throw the ball as plays developed was really impressive.

In order to be a great team at the NFL Draft, you have to accurately scout your own roster. It will be fascinating to see just how the Cowboys feel about their current pass catchers, with not only Ryan Switzer but the likes of Lance Lenoir and practice squad addition K.D. Cannon in the fold as well.

  • The Cowboys found themselves a valuable addition to their rotation at DT with Datone Jones. 

Jones was able to push the pocket throughout this game in Philadelphia, and has done so consistently since getting here, at both the 1T and 3T positions. Using his hands to generate power as a down-the-line player, Jones plays with great pad level. That allows him to shoot gaps when needed, or anchor the line of scrimmage.

The Cowboys have not prioritized adding premier talent at DT in recent years, and may forego it again this offseason as well. The Cowboys expect Maliek Collins to contribute further with another season at 1T and David Irving back at 3T.

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To everybody who made this 2017 season at Inside The Star as enjoyable as ever, I would like to thank the readers of Sean’s Scout. All this aspiring scout can ask for is to enhance the fan experience through both wins and losses, and your feedback on this series helped me to confidently do just that.

As we prepare for an even better 2018, Sean’s Scout won’t be going anywhere! I’m shifting my full attention towards the NFL Draft, looking for prospects that could help the Dallas Cowboys reach the playoffs again next season.

Thank you for another roller-coaster ride we call football season, Cowboys Nation. Truly the best fans anywhere.

Tell us what you think about “Sean’s Scout: Cowboys Starters Uninspiring in Week 17 Win” in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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