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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!

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Star Blog

Jason Garrett Can’t be Serious About Retaining Scott Linehan, Can He?

Brian Martin

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Jason Garrett Can't be Serious About Retaining Scott Linehan, Can He?

One of the few positives most of us were looking forward to after the Dallas Cowboys Divisional Round loss to the Los Angeles Rams was the fact that Scott Linehan would no longer be the offensive coordinator for America's Team. Everything was pointing to his dismissal, but that may not be the case according to Head Coach Jason Garrett.

Todd Archer on Twitter

Jason Garrett said on 105.3 The Fan that offensive coordinator Scott Linehan will return in 2019. "We don't anticipate any significant changes on our staff," Garrett said.

I can't say that I was happy upon learning Jason Garrett plans on retaining Scott Linehan as the Cowboys OC in 2019. In fact, my first thought was… Well, something better left unsaid. I'm sure many of you can kind of read my mind, because I'm pretty positive you had all that the same thoughts running through your head as well.

In all honesty, I didn't think there was a snowball chance in hell Scott Linehan would return to Dallas after the conclusion of the 2018 season. After all, the Cowboys nearly fired him during the bye week earlier this season, meaning his job security was already on thin ice. He didn't do anything to improve things in my opinion.

I know Jason Garrett has said Scott Linehan will return as the OC in 2019, but not for a second do I believe it. We are less than 72 hours hours removed from the Cowboys exit from the playoffs and I highly doubt any of Dallas' decision-makers has had the time to sit down and discuss who stays and who goes. In fact, I know they haven't.

Jeff Cavanaugh on Twitter

Stephen Jones says they won't comment on anything with coaching staff but that they need to take a deep look at why they fell short. Says it a little early to speculate about players or coaches. They haven't had a meeting about it yet.

I think once the Cowboys brass sits down and reevaluates the 2018 season, they will come to the conclusion they can do better than Scott Linehan as their offensive coordinator. There were just too many times throughout the season where the playcalling was a problem just. It's just time to move on, despite the vote of confidence by Jason Garrett.

Of course, this could just be me trying to read between the lines hoping and praying Scott Linehan is finally fired. Like many of you, I've grown way too tired of his predictable and dated playcalling. It's time to move on and find someone more innovative who can maximize the talent the Dallas Cowboys have on the roster, much like Kris Richard did with the defense.

You can either choose to believe Jason Garrett or not. I for one have a hard time seeing the Dallas Cowboys staying status quo with their coaching staff, especially their offensive coordinator. But, only time will tell.

Do you think it's time for the Dallas Cowboys to fire Scott Linehan?



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Cowboys Rammed Out of Playoffs but 2019 is Bright

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Cowboys Rammed Out of Playoffs but 2019 is Bright

If you were to have clicked over to Sportsbook Review, you could have seen what all the premier online sportsbooks were dealing on the Cowboys/Rams game before kickoff. Sites like Bovada, which incidentally you can read a Bovada Review at Sportsbook Review as well, had the Rams favored in every quarter, in both halves, and installed LA as seven-point favorites over Dallas. As is often the case, the number was nearly spot on as the Rams bounced our 'Boys out of the postseason 30-22. It was a heart-wrenching loss for Dallas fans everywhere but for those who put their money where their mouths were, it was particularly painful in what turned out to be a one-point difference between losing and pushing.

Let’s look on the bright side, though. The Cowboys not only copped the division crown but the draft picks from April bore fruit this season. Linebacker and No. 19 overall pick Leighton Vander Esch is a certified stud while third-round pick Michael Gallup proved he is a bona fide NFL receiver. Second-round offensive lineman Connor Williams had difficulties at left guard, but at the very least, has a season under his belt at the next level and could turn into a legitimate bodyguard for Prescott in 2019.

And let’s not forget about the trade for Amari Cooper, which turned Dallas from a squad struggling to find its identity to an NFC East champ in winning seven of its last nine games since Cooper arrived. This year’s edition also bested a tough Seahawks team in the first-round of the playoffs.

Let’s face it, folks, no one expected the Cowboys to win a Super Bowl this season and what we got was about as much as we could have hoped with the current roster as it is presently constructed.

Dak Prescott has one more year on his rookie contract and will be looking to score a big payday at the end of next season, if not sooner. The Cowboys could enter negotiations and lock Prescott up for the foreseeable future, but it might be best for both parties to see what 2019 brings and go from there. Either way, Dallas will pay beaucoup bucks to keep Prescott in a Cowboys uniform so watching and waiting will most likely be the tact management takes with their star quarterback, with a franchise tag in 2020 as an option as well.

In the team’s immediate future will be signing their second-round pick in 2014, DeMarcus Lawrence. The talented defensive end provided the Cowboys with the edge rusher they needed for parts of this season and his combined 25 sacks over the last two seasons would be nearly impossible to replace. Dallas franchised him this season but will most likely put together a long-term deal for Lawrence in the offseason.

Ezekiel Elliott has also reportedly been hinting at his own contract extension even though he is contractually committed to the Cowboys for next season with a team option in '20.

Ironically, one of the strengths of the Dallas Cowboys in recent years was a relatively weak link this season. The offensive line was decimated by injuries and Pro Bowler Travis Frederick missed the entire season. But those wounds will heal for next season and the old gang will be back together again.

The Cowboys have loads of cap space but are without a first-round pick due to the trade for Amari Cooper. Nevertheless, the young blood on the team looks poised to contribute for many years and there will be money available to woo free agents to a club now viewed as a legitimate contender.

If you want to look at next season’s odds, make sure to educate yourself on which online sportsbooks are the most reputable, trusted, and reliable. Read the Bovada Review over at SBR and see what customers are saying about one of the industry’s top sportsbooks. Then, when the lines come out on next season’s division, conference, and Super Bowl winners, you can be informed and maybe throw a few bucks on the 'Boys from Dallas!



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Cowboys’ Window Depends On Maximizing, And Helping, Dak Prescott

Kevin Brady

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Cowboys Future Hinges Heavily On Dak Prescott And Their Future Offensive Coordinator

Saturday night's Division Round loss was met with mixed reaction among Cowboys Nation.

Some fans, claiming they are the rational ones who hold the Cowboys to a higher standard, believe this might end up being their best chance at a Super Bowl for some time. The young players this roster is built around will only get older and more expensive as the years go by, and 2018 ends with yet another Jason Garrett-led playoff loss.

Other fans, claiming they are the rational ones, said that Dallas accomplished a lot this season, climbing back from a 3-5 start to win the NFC East and a home playoff game before losing a competitive game to one of the league's best. This group believes that the Cowboys championship window is as open as it has been in years, with young talent galore on Dallas' roster.

Whether this is true, however, hinges on the shoulders of two individuals. One of which, ironically, hasn't even been named yet and the other a source of constant debate among those same segmented fans.

Those people, of course, are quarterback Dak Prescott and whoever ends up as the offensive coordinator in 2019.

Dak Prescott is a good quarterback.

Let's start there. I firmly believe that Dak Prescott did enough during his third season to earn the contract extension he will likely receive from the Cowboys within one of the next two offseasons. Especially once the Cowboys acquired wide receiver Amari Cooper.

Clearly, Prescott is far from "perfect" is a passer. He makes mistakes in decision making, he sails some throws, and he sometimes exhibits inconsistent footwork when the pocket breaks down. But we focus too much on his mistakes while simply glossing over his accomplishments, talents, and upside.

Not only is Dak Prescott someone that the team responds to and believes in, but he is also a good football player. Prescott finished the 2018 season 12th in total Expected Points Added, ahead of quarterbacks like Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, Cam Newton, and Baker Mayfield. He's also finished 3rd and 4th in raw QBR during his first two seasons in the NFL respectively. And, despite his slow start to 2018, Dak Prescott ended his third season on the best run of games in terms of QBR he has ever had.

Prescott is improving, and this is evident each week. He played more comfortably in the pocket over the last 6 games of the season, panicking less, taking fewer dumb sacks, and abandoning his technique fewer and fewer. And, while he doesn't run as often as many would like, the times Prescott does carry the ball often change drives and games.

And while I despise "QB Wins" as a determining statistic, the fact remains that bad quarterbacks don't win at the rate Dak Prescott does. Three straight winning seasons has been rare in Dallas over the last 15 years, and Prescott orchestrated this his first three seasons as a starter.

Passing Wins Championships.

Though very different than the old cliche, this appears more accurate by the season. The final four teams remaining in the NFL are each top 5 in passing DVOA, while not a single one has a top 10 defense by DVOA.

Neither the Chiefs nor the Rams have had a good run defense at all this season, but stopping the run doesn't matter as much as stopping the pass most weeks in today's NFL. I know this sounds absurd after the Cowboys run defense got abused by Los Angeles, but the numbers often bear this out.

The Cowboys have to do everything in their power to aid Dak Prescott and the passing offense this offseason. They need to draft another pass catcher, preferably with their second round pick. They need to continue to improve the chemistry between Prescott, Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup.

And, maybe most importantly, they need to hire an offensive coordinator who can maximize this passing game.

Scott Linehan simply is not the answer. And if the Cowboys are going to make the most out of whatever title window they may have, the offensive play caller will be the most critical man in the building going forward.

Unfortunately, latest reports point to Linehan returning in 2019.



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