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
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.