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Dallas Cowboys Vs. New England Patriots: 5 Bold Predictions

RJ Ochoa

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Cowboys Blog - Dallas Cowboys Vs. New England Patriots: 5 Bold Predictions 1

My Dad has a saying.

It's something that he's always told me when he's trying to get me to rise above the rest. It's a simple phrase that has a knack for getting someone hyped.

There's no trophy for second place.

That's the kind of attitude and disposition that we are going forward with this week, folks. Welcome to the latest installment of BOLD predictions... a land where, in the words of a strangled Daffy Duck from Space Jam - anything is possible.

Step inside my laboratory, you can leave your shoes on, as we work on our latest experiment. Grab a pair of safety goggles because this is no ordinary week. The World Champions are in town.

It's going to take an extra serving of bold if the Cowboys hope to come out victorious against a team that they haven't beaten since Bill Clinton was President (1996). Like Lieutenant Colonel Frank Slade, give me the coordinates of the dance floor and let's get down to business.

1. Christine Michael Leads The Dallas Cowboys In Carries

I had an epiphany last week. As I re-watched the Cowboys and Saints game I searched through every cabinet of my brain for an answer as to why the Cowboys didn't use Christine Michael more. I mean, if you're going to activate the guy... use him! I don't buy a bag of M&Ms at the movies because I like the weight in my pocket - I plan on eating them!

It's time to let Christine Michael eat, and I think Jason Garrett knows that. Ol Jay Gee knows that Billy Bob Belichick is one of the smartest minds in the NFL - perhaps the smartest of all-time. I began to think that maybe, as a chess move, Garrett didn't want to put any of C-Mike on film for Belichick to prepare for. Jason is getting ready to play his ace card.

It's going to take every bit of effort to beat the Patriots and I think the Cowboys are going to hit them with something they've never seen before and thus have no preparation for... a full dosage of Christine Michael all day long.

2. Julian Edelman Does Not Break 30 Yards

One of Tom Brady's favorite toys is a slot receiver who he has nicknamed "Jules." Well the crown jewel of the Dallas Cowboys defense right now may well be Morris Claiborne.

The 6th pick from the 2012 NFL Draft has, arguably, lived up to that draft day hype this season. He has played exceptionally well against some of the better receivers in the NFL (namely the crown jewel of recycled highlight reels... Odell Beckham Jr.).

Morris did a great job covering Brandin Cooks last week, a player who has a similar skill set to Edelman. Don't forget that Claiborne gets a glimpse at an almost identical clone of Julian, down to the jersey number, in Cole Beasley every day at practice. I believe in Morris Claiborne, 2012-2014 RJ would be so shocked, and I believe that he is going to keep Jules in check.

3. Sean Lee And Rolando McClain Combine For 17 Tackles

Fasten your seat belts, Cowboys Nation. Tomorrow we get to watch Sean Lee AND Rolando McClain line up TOGETHER for the first time EVER! Huzzah!

The Cowboys could have one of the better linebacker tandems throughout the entire NFL if these two dudes are clicking on all cylinders simultaneously. That spells trouble for the opposing offense.

I expect these two to channel the Bash Brothers, in the wise words of Mr. Tibbles from Might Ducks 2, and tackle, tackle, tackle, tackle, tack, tack, tack. They are going to be everywhere on Sunday... they might even hit Jim Nantz and Phil Simms in the booth if things get really crazy.

4. Dion Lewis Will Lose A Fumble

If you want to win a game in the NFL, specifically one where your odds are already low, you have to have some breaks go your way. Whether it's a particular call, a fluke play, or a a crazy turnover... you need one.

Dion Lewis has shown a propensity to fumble the ball already in 2015, and even though he just signed an extension with New England, I can see it in his eyes that he's itching to let that ball loose again.

Can't you just see it now? Dion puts the ball on the ground, trots back to the bench, Brady and Belichick waiting for him and staring a hole through Dion. It sounds so beautiful. Watch for it!

5. Jason Garrett Wins 2 Challenges

Cowboys Blog - Dallas Cowboys Vs. New England Patriots: 5 Bold PredictionsRemember, there's no trophy for second place.

Coach Garrett embodies this philosophy every time he tosses out the handkerchief that matches his fiery red hair and personality. He is unafraid of challenging a play call, throwing that red challenge flag with some serious authority!

While every NFL analyst will pick the Patriots on Sunday morning, this game has a chance to be close for a while. I've got a sneaky feeling that there will be some calls that Coach Garrett thinks need a second look. Make sure and duck your head when the quarterback-turned-head coach launches those red flags in two successful challenges on Sunday.

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What BOLD predictions do you have for when the Cowboys take on the Patriots? Email me your thoughts at RJOchoa@InsideTheStar.com or Tweet to me @rjochoa!

Tell us what you think about "Dallas Cowboys Vs. New England Patriots: 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!

Star Blog

Can QB Dak Prescott Steal Back His Mojo From Atlanta?

Brian Martin

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Can Dak Prescott Regain His Mojo Against Atlanta?
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

When the Dallas Cowboys last traveled to Mercedes-Benz Stadium they were completely throttled by the Atlanta Falcons. It's a game a lot of Cowboys Nation would like to forget, but no one more so than Quarterback Dak Prescott. That game could very well be where his struggles really began.

It's almost exactly a year later and the Dallas Cowboys still find themselves haunted by that brutal beating the Atlanta Falcons handed them in Week 10 of the 2017 season. The Cowboys seemed to lose all confidence in themselves after that game, but it was almost as if it was the exact point in time where Dak Prescott lost all of his mojo as well.

Before that match up against the Falcons, Prescott was still playing at a pretty high level. But since then, he has been in a slump and there have been very few signs of recapturing any of that magic he once had. Heading back to Atlanta maybe the key for him finding and stealing back his mojo.

Things could definitely go a little differently this time around. The Cowboys will have Ezekiel Elliott and Tyron Smith in the lineup this week. Zeke missed the game last year due to the league mandated six-game suspension, and Tyron missed due to an injury. Having those two back in the lineup could pay huge dividends, especially for Prescott.

Without his starting left tackle and running back, Dak was pretty much beaten to a pulp by the Falcons defense a year ago. They applied relentless pressure, hitting and sacking him on a number of occasions. Unfortunately, I think that's where he started seeing ghost in the pocket and its haunted him ever since.

Dak Prescott

Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)

The beating he took at the hands of the Falcons has really thrown off his entire game. His mechanics, accuracy, and effectiveness as a scrambler can all be traced back to that one matchup. He just hasn't been the same QB he was prior to that game.

Prescott's stats prior to the Falcons game:

24 starts
66.7 completion percentage
102.4 passer rating

Prescott's stats since the Falcons game:

17 starts
63.3 completion percentage
83.1 passer rating

As you can see, that's a notable difference. His passer rating has shockingly dropped nearly 20 points since last playing the Falcons and it's really hurt the entire offensive production. It's time for that to change.

Prescott has no choice this week. He has to get back up on the horse that bucked him off and hopefully regain that mojo he left in Atlanta a year ago. Fortunately for him, his confidence might be is as high as it's been since that last meeting after pulling off the upset against the Philadelphia Eagles last week.

Now, he just has to go out and prove it!

Do you think Dak Prescott can regain his mojo against the Atlanta Falcons?



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Star Blog

How Cowboys Could Regain a 2019 1st-Round Draft Pick

Brian Martin

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Cowboys Headlines - 5 Cowboys Players That Could Be Traded
Matthew Edmonds-USA Today

The Dallas Cowboys are currently without a 2019 first-round draft pick after acquiring Wide Receiver Amari Cooper from the Oakland Raiders, but what if I were to tell you there was a way to regain another first-rounder? Well, with a little outside the box thinking I think there could be a way to accomplish just that.

It's completely hypothetical, but I think the Dallas Cowboys could possibly regain a first-round draft pick in the 2019 NFL Draft with little finagling and good luck. Everything would have to fall into place perfectly, but I think it's definitely doable.

Remember, this is completely hypothetical with a lot of "what if's" involved, but the Cowboys could regain what they lost acquiring Amari Cooper and come out of it no worse for wear. I think there are a lot of different scenarios that could accomplish this feat, but only one of them that doesn't hurt the team in my opinion and it centers around Right Tackle La'el Collins.

I know you're probably going to think I'm crazy, but I think the Dallas Cowboys could possibly land a 2019 first-round draft pick if they decided to trade away RT La'el Collins. Trust me, I wouldn't suggest this if I didn't think there was somebody capable of stepping in and playing just as well.

Enter Connor Williams.

Connor Williams

Dallas Cowboys LG Connor Williams

I always believed Connor Williams' best position in the NFL was at right tackle, not on the inside at guard. And yes, I was one of those advocating for Williams to play RT and Collins to move back to LG before the 2018 season started. I thought that gave the Cowboys their best starting five.

Williams has been serviceable at LG this season, but has been overpowered at times. His athletic ability would've been much better served on the outside at tackle, which is where I would play him next season, making La'el Collins expendable.

Again, I know what you're thinking. If you move Williams to RT and trade Collins, there is now a void at LG. Well, that's where Xavier Su'a-Filo comes into play. He is coming off a fantastic performance against the Philadelphia Eagles and a lot of Cowboys Nation is already advocating that he remains the starter over Connor Williams.

If Su'a-Filo can maintain the same level play he did against the Eagles, he probably remains the starter for the rest of the 2018 season. If this is indeed what happens, he could end up being the starter once again next season, making my plan of trading La'el Collins more feasible.

Were you able to follow all of that?

Keep Xavier Su'a-Filo at left guard

Move Connor Williams to right tackle

Trade La'el Collins

Like I said, this is all hypothetical, but something that could feasibly happen. Now we just have to wait and see if Xavier Su'a-Filo can continue to play like he did last week, because without him sticking at left guard none of this is possible.

I told you it was some out-of-the-box thinking.

Would you go along with the scenario to regain a 2019 first-round draft pick?



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Star Blog

Should Cowboys Stick With Xavier Su’a-Filo at Left Guard?

Brian Martin

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Should Cowboys Stick With Xavier Su'a-Filo at Left Guard? 1

Don't look now, but we may have another Ron Leary/La'el Collins situation unfolding before our eyes with Xavier Su'a-Filo and Connor Williams. Who ends up starting at left guard for the Dallas Cowboys the rest of the 2018 season is up in the air right now, but might not be for long.

Remember a few years ago when La'el Collins started the season at left guard for the Dallas Cowboys, but then had to miss time due to a toe injury. Ronald Leary took over during his absence and never looked back. It even earned him a big payday with the Denver Broncos.

Déjà vu anyone?

Yes, I'm talking about the hot topic of the hour as to whether or not the Dallas Cowboys should stick with Xavier Su'a-Filo at left guard or reinsert Connor Williams once he is healthy enough to return to the lineup? As with any debate, there are two sides of the coin.

Honestly, I can make an argument for both sides here. These are two different players and both have their own strengths and weaknesses. Su'a-Filo isn't as agile as Williams and relies more on his strength and power, whereas Williams is almost the complete opposite. Depending what the Cowboys coaching staff wants out of their LG, either player makes sense.

Xavier Su'a-Filo

Dallas Cowboys LG Xavier Su'a-Filo

I could go into a long debate as to who I believe the Cowboys should start at LG moving forward, but I think that would be a waste of our time. I think this is a situation that will work itself out one way or another this week against the Atlanta Falcons.

Nothing is set in stone right now, but I have a hard time seeing Connor Williams being ready to play this week after having knee surgery. It would be unwise to rush him back before he's 100% healthy, especially after the way Su'a-Filo preformed against the Eagles. And if Su'a-Filo plays well once again, Williams may not get his starting job back.

See, I told you it was looking like a Ronald Leary/La'el Collins situation all over again.

This is a situation that many of us will be following closely this week and it may not only have ramifications on the rest of the 2018 season, but it could carry over into next year. Maybe Xavier Su'a-Filo remains at LG next year and Connor Williams moves to his more natural position (right tackle), making La'el Collins expendable. But that's a debate for another time.

Do you think the Dallas Cowboys should stick with Xavier Su'a-Filo at LG?



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