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 Chill While Pats & Rams Set to Thrill
If you were to check out the line on the Super Bowl matchup between the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams, you might wander over to Sportsbook Review, where you could read a 5Dimes review and see what all the best online sportsbooks, first and foremost among them 5Dimes, are dealing on this intriguing matchup. Tom Brady and the Patriots, much to everyone’s chagrin outside the six New England states, are back in it – again – and are currently slight favorites over the emerging LA Rams.
In New England’s 37-31 victory over the Chiefs, the Patriots did what they always seem to do, which is rally late and win in dramatic fashion. It’s become almost a ho-hum experience in New England while the rest of the country bites on a bullet, cursing the embarrassment of riches and success that has been the standard of this Patriots’ franchise for two decades. But this was supposed to be the season that the dynasty would end after viewing Tom Brady’s often mediocre performances and his All-World tight end, Rob Gronkowski, hobbling up and down the field without the same reckless abandon as we’ve seen in year’s past. And then their only truly talented speed merchant capable of stretching the field, Josh Gordon, left the team under a cloud of suspicion.
Unfortunately for the rest of the nation, the Patriots' once porous defense coalesced into a rather stout unit and apparently, the two weeks between the end of the regular season and the start of the Patriots’ postseason was enough time for Brady to heal from his rumored sprained MCL that he had been dealing with in silence all season long.
Gronkowski must have also visited the same shaman as Brady because he looked as dominating as ever in ripping the Chiefs on every critical third-down throughout the final quarter. Finally, the conduit to much of Brady’s success, Julian Edelman, is now being mentioned as a Hall-of-Fame candidate when his run is done.
It’s all a bit much for everyone else, but not for Patriots Nation.
The LA Rams will be the Patriots’ latest foe on the league’s grandest stage as they have a burgeoning superstar in Jared Goff. Los Angeles tore through the regular season off of the golden arm of Goff and his Juggernauts, winning 13 of 16 and earning a first-round bye. Their first foray into the 2018 postseason was a 30-22 win over the determined but overwhelmed Dallas Cowboys. The Rams then traveled to the lair of Drew Brees and the Saints down on the bayou and came away with a 26-23 overtime victory.
However, had it not been for an inexcusable non-call, it is far more likely LA would be watching, rather than participating in this year’s Super Bowl. If you didn’t see it or hadn’t heard about it, then the question begs; why are you reading this article?
Of course, you know that LA’s cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman steamrolled New Orleans’ wideout Tommylee Lewis as Brees’ pass was descending toward Lewis inside the five-yard line. It was a penalty without a flag and that one blown call forced the Saints to settle for a field goal that pushed them ahead 23-20. Yet, there was still enough time on the clock to give Goff and his prolific Rams’ offense one last gasp at either tying the game or putting a dagger through the hearts of Saints’ fans everywhere with a touchdown in the waning moments.
It was the former and not the latter that occurred, but an errant pass by Brees in overtime sealed the deal as the Rams picked it off and ultimately ended the contest off the thunderous foot of Greg Zuerlein.
If you want to check out the line movements over the next two weeks for Super Bowl LIII then get on over to Sportsbook Review, read the 5Dimes review, and see exactly where the money is moving the spread as well as the total in the game. Buckle up Cowboys’ fans, it’s gonna get even more interesting as February 3rd draws near.
Cowboys en Español: Hablemos de los Coaches
Lamentablemente, la temporada 2018 de los Dallas Cowboys ha llegado a su fin. Lo hizo cuando el equipo visitó Los Angeles para intentar sorprender a los Rams en su propio campo en la Ronda Divisional de los playoffs. Ni siquiera con una invasión exitosa de la afición de Dallas pudieron ganarse un pase al Campeonato de Conferencia. En vez de eso, los Cowboys estarán viendo desde casa y la afición estará preguntándose: ¿qué sigue para los Dallas Cowboys?
Parece ya una tradición anual que no podemos dejar pasar. Este momento en el que comenzamos a cuestionar, una vez más, que entrenador es digno de quedarse en la franquicia y cual debe irse. En esta edición de "Cowboys en Español," hablaremos específicamente de los tres principales coaches en el equipo.
Coordinador Defensivo Rod Marinelli
El futuro del coordinador defensivo de los Dallas Cowboys no se puede tratar sin mencionar a Kris Richard. Fue la defensiva la que llevó al equipo hasta la postemporada y fue la unidad que cargó al equipo en muchas de sus victorias. Incluso con la llegada de Amari Cooper a Dallas, la defensiva fue siempre el pilar de la franquicia esta temporada.
Jaylon Smith y Leighton Vander Esch sorprendentemente se perfilaron como uno de los mejores duos de linebackers en toda la liga, la línea defensiva fue muy exitosa con Randy Gregory y DeMarcus Lawrence en los extremos y con la grata sorpresa que fue Antwaun Woods en el centro. La secundaria vio la mejor temporada en la controversial carrera de Byron Jones e hizo un excelente trabajo con un talento decente, pero no genial.
Todo esto, y el haber terminado como la sexta mejor defensiva en puntos permitidos (20.2) y la quinta mejor contra la corrida (94.6), hace a Rod Marinelli merecedor de una ronda de aplausos. Sin embargo, Richard probablemente merezca más aplausos.
Fue Richard quien revolucionó la defensiva de los Cowboys y la convirtió en un grupo mucho más agresivo. Fue él quien implementó jugadas de "blitz" en el equipo (algo no común con Marinelli) y quien en un punto de la temporada, comenzó a seleccionar las jugadas desde la banda.
En esta posición, me parece que los Dallas Cowboys tienen que enfrentar la dura decisión de decirle a Marinelli que es tiempo de dejarle el puesto a Kris Richard. Si bien no se llevó un trabajo de head coach, es muy probable que le llovieran ofertas a Richard si no se hace con el título de coordinador defensivo en Dallas.
Coordinador Ofensivo Scott Linehan
Con un equipo tan polémico como este, la afición de Dallas no concuerda en muchas cosas. Sin embargo, lo hacen al hablar del pésimo trabajo que Scott Linehan ha realizado mandando las jugadas en ofensiva. Realmente ha sido doloroso de ver y es en mi opinión, el mayor problema que tiene el equipo actualmente.
Semana tras semana, fuimos testigos de pésimas decisiones en la ofensiva de los Cowboys. Vimos como el equipo se aferraba a llenar la caja de defensivos antes de correr el balón con Ezekiel Elliott. Vimos incontables pases pantalla en tercera oportunidad y largo. Pero no solo es lo que vimos, sino lo que no vimos.
A pesar de la innegable habilidad para correr el balón de Dak Prescott, Linehan se rehusó a explotar esta versatilidad de su QB. Vimos pocos "QB sneaks," jugada donde el mariscal toma el balón bajo centro y consigue poco yardage detrás del empuje de su línea ofensiva.
Siendo honestos, los Cowboys llevan dos años sufriendo por este coordinador. Dejarlo volver en el 2019 sería una decisión ridícula. Los comentarios en la radio de Jason Garrett no lucen prometedores, pero realmente sería una sorpresa que fueran ciertos. Linehan no debe volver... punto.
Head Coach Jason Garrett
El futuro en esta posición será muy debatido durante los próximos meses, pero de los tres que hemos mencionado es sin lugar a dudas el más seguro de todos. Nos guste o no, Jason Garrett estará al frente del equipo la próxima temporada.
Garrett está lejos de ser un gran coach y aún le hace falta demostrar que puede cumplir las aspiraciones de los Cowboys de traer un sexto Trofeo Lombardi a casa. Pero siendo honesto, este equipo debería tener suficiente con Garrett y un par de buenos coordinadores. ¿El problema? No hay un par de buenos coordinadores en el equipo.
Sin embargo, Garrett ha demostrado que cuenta con el amor y apoyo de sus jugadores. Ha demostrado que efectivamente, puede ganar la división (lo ha hecho en tres de los últimos cinco años). Este año el equipo le dio la vuelta a la temporada después de comenzar 3-5.
Lo más preocupante en mi opinión, es la falta de urgencia para despedir a Linehan, por ejemplo. Quizá a puerta cerrada Garrett quiere un cambio en su staff, pero nunca lo sabremos.
Jason Garrett no es un coach excelente, pero podría ser suficiente para llevar a los Cowboys a un Super Bowl si tiene un equipo adecuado. Todo parece indicar que su trabajo está seguro (incluso más de lo que pensamos) así que es tiempo de esperar que se arreglen sus coordinadores.
2018 Draft Class Season Review: LB Leighton Vander Esch
As the first round draft pick of America's Team, any player would be under a ton of pressure from all angles. Whether it's from the fans on the outside or the organization on the inside, the expectations around being a first round pick for the Cowboys are immense. But the pressure placed upon linebacker Leighton Vander Esch, from the second he was announced as the 19th overall draft pick, was second to none.
It felt like Cowboys Nation let out a collective groan when Vander Esch was taken, with fans hoping for a more glamorous first round selection. Someone like wide receiver Calvin Ridley or edge rusher Harold Landry would've done the trick, but after Vander Esch's rookie season it's hard to imagine either of those players would have had the impact Vander Esch did in 2018.
Though he didn't start a game until week 4, and didn't become the unquestioned full-time starting WILL until week 10, Vander Esch earned Pro Bowl honors for his rookie season. Tallying 140 total tackles and 2 interceptions, Vander Esch made his presence felt week in and week out.
No counting stats can fully measure Leighton Vander Esch's impact as a rookie, however.
Prior to the 2018 season, the Cowboys defensive success often came down to the health of Sean Lee. When available and playing at his best, Lee led an overachieving Cowboys defense to solid performances each week. But, when Lee went out (as he often did), the entire Cowboys defense seemed to fall apart.
This year, though, that all changed. When Sean Lee was out with injury the Cowboys defense got better. Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith became a versatile, hard hitting tandem the NFL immediately feared, and helped to direct the Cowboys defense to signature wins throughout the 2018 season.
There are arguments against taking any off-ball linebacker in the first round, as the value of the position has been questioned due to the new style of offense in the NFL. Nowadays linebackers are relegated to two-down players, taken off the field in favor of faster defensive backs on critical passing downs.
Leighton Vander Esch is athletic enough to be both an old school run stopper, but also a three down linebacker in today's fast paced NFL.
Despite the doubts which surrounded the pick, the Cowboys absolutely nailed their first round selection in 2018. And Leighton Vander Esch made Dallas' front office look like geniuses each and every Sunday.
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