When the Dallas Cowboys and Miami Dolphins square off tomorrow in the first game played at AT&T Stadium for the 2016 Dallas Cowboys season, you'll understandably have flashbacks to November 22nd, 2015.
What happened that day? Well for starters the calendar changed from the 21st to the 22nd. Additionally, the Cowboys drowned the Dolphins 24-14. Something particularly special happened that day, though: Tony Romo returned to action for the first time since breaking his collarbone two months earlier.
Romo was heroic in his return, but he was also under fire. Dolphin blitzers forced him to get creative, dare I say they forced him to get bold.
As the master of improvisation, Tony boldly went where he had never gone before... to the left arm for a throw! He pulled it off and it was, in typical Tony Romo fashion, absolutely incredible.
'Ol Number Nine will get some playing time in this preseason contest, so it's fitting that his bold antics serve as the inspiration for our bold predictions regarding this game. So everybody put your left hand in the air, wave it like you just don't care (I SEE YOU IN THE BACK CARING I SAID DON'T CARE AND I MEANT IT), and let's party.
Welcome to my 5 Bold Predictions.
Kavon Frazier Causes A Fumble On A Sack
WE ARE HERE TO GET BOLD I SAID!
Kavon Frazier is a great person. How do I know? He was on the RJOShow one day after being drafted by the Cowboys and was incredibly humble the whole time. While Kavon may not be boastful in ego, he is when it comes to laying the wood on opposing ballcarriers.
It's no secret that Frazier, taken in the 6th Round back in April's Draft, didn't have the best game in the preseason opener in Los Angeles. Something tells me that he was waiting for his first snack to be some sushi, of the Miami Dolphins variety.
Look for Kavon to get home on a Dolphins QB, they're all horrible, and jar that ball loose. Splish splash goes the Dolphin. Out comes the Cowboys offense.
Jason Garrett And Dak Prescott's Relationship Will Be Talked About
Dak Prescott has seemingly taken the world by storm since going 10/12 for 139 yards and 2 touchdowns last Saturday night in The Coliseum. Jason Garrett has had his eye on Dak for much longer than the last five days, though.
The Head Coach and inevitable (?) backup quarterDAK have had a little post-practice game that they play while out in the pleasantry that is Oxnard, CA.
Jason Garrett taking his post-practice game with Dak Prescott to a new level. Gotta hit the star https://t.co/IHGpPfYHnj
It's great to see Coach Garrett bonding with the potential future signal-caller of his team. His friendship/relationship with Tony Romo is no secret (they go to Duke games and to see The Boss they're practically bros) and it looks like he's taking that to the next level with the young Prescott.
A Confused Fan Will Make An Appearance
I'm not going to knock which team a person roots for. We all have the right to choose our team and pledge our allegiance however we see fit.
THIS GUY RIGHT HERE though... has some 'splainin to do. What is even happening? How did he end up with a Cowboys, respect on Sean Lee by the way, jersey and a Dolphins cap? What? This is real?
Look, kid. You can like the Cowboys. You can be wrong and
a terrible person like the Dolphins. I'm not going to put you in a situation like Papa Moxon did Jonathan and cause you to tell me it's your life! I'm just going to say, pick a side.
Considering this is the first preseason game at AT&T Stadium this season, I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that someone of this kid's level of loyalty will be in attendance. Cowboys jersey and Dolphins hat, Dolphins jersey and Cowboys hat, some weird and random combo will be there and grace our eyes. It'll be awkward.
Ryan Russell Will Beat Laremy Tunsil For A Tackle For Loss
Someday Laremy Tunsil is going to be sitting with his grandchildren and they're going to look up and say, "Grandpa, tell us the story about when you were drafted by the Miami Dolphins!".
Laremy is going to look at them both affectionately and with pure rage, calm himself, and proceed to tell one of the most unbelievable tales in NFL Draft History. His story is quite unique, and it is absolutely part of why he now calls Miami home.
Ryan Russell was
pretty awful less than stellar last week against the Rams. While common sense would suggest that a player of Russell's caliber going up against one of Tunsil's would lose 100/100 times... I HAVE THROWN COMMON SENSE OUT THE WINDOW TODAY.
Russell beats Tunsil. Check please.
Jerry Jones Will Receive A Standing Ovation From The Crowd
I know I just asked for the check, but I had to save room for dessert. This specific dish is made out of 100% swag and innovation, it's called the Jerry Jones special.
This past Tuesday the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced that Jerry Jones was named a Contributor Finalist for the Class of 2017. Congrats to the big boss man!
Mr. Jones has received an immense amount of respect and support from NFL figures and Cowboys Nation loyalists. Denver Broncos fans seem to think that the Pro Football Hall of Fame exists specifically for the enshrinement of those that they deem worthy, but thank goodness for the sanctity of football the HOF committee feels differently.
It will undoubtedly be announced during this game that Jerry is up for enshrinement. Expect those in attendance to honor him appropriately with a high-quality Standing O.
Cowboys’ Patience With DE Randy Gregory Finally Paying Off?
Say what you want about Randy Gregory and his past struggles, but he might just be turning into the player the Dallas Cowboys envisioned when they drafted him in the second-round of the 2015 NFL Draft. All I can say is, it's about time!
Randy Gregory is just one of many players Cowboys' owner Jerry Jones has gone out of his way to help in the hopes of improving his football team, but very few have received as much patience and personal attention as Gregory. Jerry has continued to stand by him through all of his off the field issues and suspensions, despite not getting much in return.
It's been somewhat confusing for a lot of Cowboys Nation. Many fans have been ready to move on from the troubled defensive end, but not Jerry Jones. This was his pick back in 2015 and he was bound and determined to see it through. That's exactly what he's done and he might actually see some return on his investment.
Randy Gregory isn't exactly blowing things up like Linebacker Leighton Vander Ecsh or some of his other defensive teammates, but he's quietly strung together some good games these past several weeks. In the last four games he has three quarterback sacks, three quarterback hits, and a tackle for a loss. That's not even mentioning how he's consistently applying pressure to the QB as well.
I know it doesn't look like much from the outside looking in, but to me he's starting to look like a player who's finally finding his groove. I don't know about you, but I will take any silver lining I can get when it comes to Randy Gregory. Even if it is the small sample size.
We all knew it might take him a while to get things going after missing all 2017 and parts of 2016 due to suspensions. That's a lot of football to miss for a young player and it's kind of hurt his development. That's probably one of the reasons the Cowboys brought him along a little slowly this season.
I don't think there's any reason to pull back the reins any longer though. Gregory looks as if he has acclimated to the game once again and is ready, willing, and able to start opposite DeMarcus Lawrence from here on out. The Cowboys defense is just better with him in the lineup.
Randy Gregory has had to overcome a lot of personal demons to reach this point in his career, and for that I commend him. It couldn't have been an easy road to go down, but the work he has put in is paying off and he can finally see the fruits of his labor for himself. That could pay huge dividends not only from a confidence standpoint, but also as a sense of validation.
Now, he just needs to keep his nose to the grind stone and continue to do what he's been doing. I think everything else will work itself out and both he and the Cowboys will be better for it.
Do you think Randy Gregory is finally hitting his stride?
QB Dak Prescott Continues To Come Through In Clutch Situations
Dak Prescott is possibly the most criticized quarterback in all of football.
Of course, this comes with the territory of being the Cowboys starting quarterback, but each throw Prescott attempts is placed under an intense microscope, even by NFL standards. We analyze every snap of every game, looking to find where Dak was right or wrong with this reads.
There's no question, though, that Prescott has been inconsistent throughout his young career. Week to week, drive to drive, and even play to play, we seemingly have no gauge on just how Dak Prescott will perform.
One scenario where we can say with confidence he will come through, however, is when it matters most. Last Sunday, in yet another must-win game for the Dallas Cowboys, Prescott orchestrated a game winning drive to lead his team over the favored Atlanta Falcons.
The Cowboys offense was pedestrian for much of the afternoon, but when Prescott got the ball in a tied game, I felt confident he would give Brett Maher a chance to win the game. Even on the road, and even after the offense had struggled a bit through the air all day.
Prescott got the ball late in the fourth quarter, looking to answer former NFL MVP Matt Ryan's game tying touchdown strike to Julio Jones. Dak went for it all on the first play, looking for Michael Gallup deep down the sideline, but the ball fell incomplete. After that throw, Prescott went 4/5 for 45 yards, including a huge completion to Cole Beasley, putting Dallas in game winning field goal range.
This confidence in Dak Prescott is justified, as is shown by his numbers in late game situations. Prescott now has 12 game winning drives, tying him for the league lead over the last three seasons. For comparison sake, Eagles starter Carson Wentz has just 3 game winning drives over that same stretch.
Overall the box score shows a rather quiet day for Prescott, but it was exactly the kind of Sunday they need from him. He completed over 60% of his passes, ran for a touchdown, and avoided the key turnover which could have sung this close game.
He played efficient football, and gave the Cowboys a chance to win it late. Then, he did what he does best, making plays in clutch situations and coming through in the 2 minute drill.
For all of Dak Prescott's flaws, those end-of-half and end-of-game situations have been a clear strength for the young quarterback, and continued to be this week.
Cowboys en Español: Evaluando la Administración
Entre los aficionados de los Dallas Cowboys, pocas cosas son criticadas tan frecuentemente como la administración de la franquicia que no ha ganado ningún Super Bowl en más de dos décadas. Se ha convertido en un equipo que, a pesar de ser el más valioso en el mundo deportivo, no ha sido nada relevante en el emparrillado. Lo que alguna vez fue una dinastía se ha convertido en una unidad que rompe frecuentemente los corazones de los fans.
Jerry Jones y Stephen Jones, siendo los operadores del ámbito deportivo del negocio familiar, son criticados semana tras semana y en gran parte por justa razón. Pero en gran parte, por cosas no muy válidas.
Cambios de Coach
A mi parecer, lo más criticable para la administración de este equipo viene cuando hablamos de los coaches. Muchos se burlan de los Cincinnati Bengals y de la manera en la que están atascados con el Head Coach Marvin Lewis. Con Jason Garrett al volante, la situación para los Cowboys no es nada diferente.
A mediados de la temporada 2018, no parece que esta narrativa vaya a cambiar. Una vez más, los Cowboys arrancaron de una manera muy inconsistente y ya no sabemos que esperar de ellos. Gran parte de las derrotas, la mayor parte, es el coacheo.
Sin duda el equipo no será exactamente el mismo en 2019, pero ¿serán suficientes los cambios como para decidir quedarse con el mismo capitán que no ha podido mantener el barco navegando por años?
A diferencia de como se manejan muchos equipos en la liga, los Jones fungen como general managers de su propio equipo. Con la ayuda de Will McClay han logrado superar varios de los fracasos de los Jones de antaño, pero actualmente, siendo sinceros no han hecho un mal trabajo.
A pesar de las critícas de Abril, Leighton Vander Esch está probando haber valido más que la pena. Siendo objetivos, aparte de Taco Charlton en el 2017, todas las selecciones de primera ronda de los Cowboys han sido valiosas. La línea ofensiva, el corredor, un cornerback que por fin se está perfilando como uno de los mejores en la liga.
En cuanto a la segunda ronda, ha habido varias críticas, muchas con razón. Pero el mejor caza cabezas del equipo, DeMarcus Lawrence, el linebacker Jaylon Smith, Randy Gregory y más están teniendo un impacto muy fuerte en el equipo.
La administración se ha visto en la necesidad de tomar decisiones bastante difíciles después de una temporada de nueve victorias en 2017. El LB Anthony Hitchens fue liberado, Dan Bailey se fue inesperadamente, se confió en Byron Jones para tomar su opción de quinto año.
Hasta ahora, pura decisión digna de aplaudirse. Pero ninguna como la más reciente de todas: Amari Cooper.
Por más caro que haya salido, los Cowboys merecen bastante crédito por haber mejorado muchísimo su posición de WR. Si el equipo llega a tener una oportunidad esta temporada, será en gran parte por él.
No cabe ninguna duda en mi cabeza de que los Jones han cometido errores a lo largo de los años, el más evidente siendo la resistencia de dejar ir a Jason Garrett. Pero a pesar de esto, la administración ha tomado excelentes decisiones y ha realizado el draft muy bien. En ese aspecto en específico, les aplaudo.
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