Technology improves our lives. I believe that.
Every technological advancement that has happened in my lifetime seems to have made things easier for the human race. Although I will say that the chip reader thing for credit cards feels like a step backwards, but hey... technology.
One of the greatest technological innovations, and one that I use every day, is the bluetooth speakers on cars that allow you to talk on the phone hands-free. I love this thing.
Thanks to hands-free bluetooth technology I actually look forward to long drives. Just call someone up, adjust the volume on the radio dial, and have a pleasant conversation. Rock on!
So this one time I'm on the phone with my cousin, we'll call him Jared, while I'm driving to get some Whataburger (if you don't know what this is... my apologies for missing out on one of life's greatest treasures). I pull up to the drive-through and I tell Jared, "Hold on. I'm about to order."
The Whataburger gentleman (let's call him Todd) welcomes me. Todd then asks me what I'd like to eat. I go through my order down to the most minute detail, and Todd repeats it back to me. Things are looking good for RJ.
Todd drops the all-important drive-through question at this point - "Can I get you anything else today?". Before I have the chance to answer, my cousin Jared's voice chimes through my car speakers and he shouts at the top of his lungs, "A LARGE DIET COKE!".
Todd verifies, "oh you also wanted a large Diet Coke?" and I have to make a decision here. Do I just go along with this to avoid the potential awkwardness, or do I muster up the courage to somehow get out of it? I already had a Diet Coke with my order! I didn't need another one!
I decide to be brave, but could not avoid being awkward.
"I... uh... changed my mind. I... don't need... the extra Diet Coke..."
It was horrible. And hilarious. And epic. My cousin Jared reminds me about it all the time. He was bold, when I wasn't expecting it, and it made for a great story. Here's hoping the boldness dealt to the 2016 Dallas Cowboys early on in their season will also make for a great story.
Welcome to my 5 Bold Predictions. Let's roll.
The Dallas Cowboys Defensive Line Has More Sacks Than Odell Beckham Jr. Does Catches
Look... these aren't called reasonable or logical predictions. WE'RE HERE TO GET BOLD! BOLD I SAY!
Do you know how many catches Odell Beckham Jr. has had when he's played the Cowboys? The answer may shock you. In three career games against the Cowboys OBJ has had 4, 5, and 4 catches. That's not necessarily amazing.
When the Cowboys hosted the New England Patriots on October 11th, 2015 last season they picked up four total sacks from their defensive line (one from each Crawford and two from Greg Hardy). This isn't as absurd as it sounds!
If history is any indicator then the Cowboys will keep OBJ at or around four catches in this contest, and if they can get after Tom Brady four times as a defensive line... they can surely do it against Eli Manning and a shaky offensive line.
Troy Aikman's Rookie Start Is Discussed At Length
Dak Prescott is just the fifth quarterback that Jerry Jones has drafted, and he's the third rookie in the Jones Era that will start his very first game.
Troy Aikman was the first rookie quarterback to start in this era (Quincy Carter the other), and Troy Aikman is also the Color Analyst that will be on this game. Funny how that works out, isn't it?
Troy's first start came in New Orleans and it wasn't very pretty. He was 17/35 for 180 yards, 0 touchdowns, 2 interceptions... and a loss. Womp womp womp. Surely as Dak Prescott trots (Prestrot?) out for his first series as the QuarterDAK of the Cowboys, Joe Buck will bring this moment up to Troy.
You can see it if you close your eyes. "So Troy, you know a thing or two about this (highlights flash)... what's going through Dak's mind right now?".
I know what's going through Joe Buck's mind. Bam.
Dak Prescott Will Have More Rush Yards Than Ezekiel Elliott
What would you say if I told you that the New York Giants once let a rookie running back go for 120 yards on the ground against them AND let a rookie quarterback go for 89 yards on the ground against them... in the same game?!
October 21st, 2012. Alfred Morris and Robert Griffin III. This has been done, to a degree, before.
I've talked about at great length about how if I were the New York Giants I would be all-in on stopping Ezekiel Elliott. That's the best plan of action considering he's arguably the most lethal weapon that the Cowboys have at their disposal.
We'll finally get to see the pieces that the Giants paid for this offseason in action. I believe they'll try to force Dak to beat them, but I also believe that Dak will get out of the pocket and make some great plays with his legs. I'm not saying that Zeke won't have a great game, because he will, but Dak is going to rip off some runs that make him the rookie leading rusher in this game for America's Team.
Jason Garrett Will Beat Eli Manning On A Challenge For The Second Year In A Row
When the Cowboys hosted the Giants in last year's season opener (which Tony Romo won in epic fashion) the game marked the first time that Jason Garrett threw his red challenge flag in a season opener.
The way the play originally, and incorrectly, shook out saw Eli complete a pass to Larry Donnell for 13 yards, with the ball being fumbled out of bounds and the yardage gain still counting. Jason Garrett called bologna, the play was overturned, and the Giants punted on the next play.
We saw some weird non-calls in the NFL Kickoff Game Thursday night (sorry Cam) and we have to consider that referees are getting into the groove of the season as well. Coach Garrett is going to toss that flag right in Eli's face. Boo-ya.
Lucky Whitehead Will Break A Jet Sweep For A 30-Yard Gain
It's not officially a Dallas Cowboys game until Lucky Whitehead runs a jet sweep. That's a rule of life.
Cowboys Nation has really enjoyed the way that the Coaching Staff has begun integrating Lucky into the offense. He has a special skillset that can be really valuable if used appropriately, and that moment is going to happen on Sunday.
For what it's worth the last time the Cowboys played the Giants (in New York last season) they actually ran Lucky four times (15, 4, 6, and 10 yards were the individual results). He'll be a part of the gameplan and he'll take a sweep at least 90 feet. Bam.
Bonus Bold Prediction #1
The latest Tweets and replies from Jones (@aj_bryant5188).
I talked about this on OchoLive, but if you have a Bold Prediction that you want featured... Tweet it at me! Here's the first Bonus Bold Prediction for today, and I dig it.
This is obviously assuming that the Cowboys are kicking off in the second half (so looks like we receive to start the game!) and I really like the call. There's a lot to consider with kickoffs this season thanks to the touchback rule on them moving the ball to the 25-yard line for opponents. I would love to see the Cowboys get frisky here and go for a big move like this to garner some momentum in half numero dos.
Bonus Bold Prediction #2
@rjochoa Bold Prediction: Brice Butler leads the team in receptions Sunday. Dak and Brice had some chemistry in preseason. #DCBoldPrediction
I talked with Staff Writer Jess Haynie on the RJOShow about how Dak being in at quarterback might be better for the success of Brice Butler. Dak has a better deep ball than Romo, not an indictment on Tony just the truth at this point, and that could really lend to Brice's game.
For what it's worth Brice tied for the lead in receptions when the Cowboys were in Buffalo last season with Terrance Williams. He had 4 catches for 74 yards during that loss, but he's at least done this before which is a good sign for Cody's boldness!
Bonus Bold Prediction #3
@rjochoa bold prediction for Sunday. Sean Lee will get an INT and run it into the end zone!
Our final bonus is a doozy, and I actually think it's the most likely to happen!
Hands up if you know how many times Sean Lee has entered the endzone in his career. Now put them down because you're lying! The General has actually returned not one, but two interceptions for touchdowns in his career (31-yard return off Peyton Manning in Indianapolis in 2010 and 52-yard return off Philip Rivers in San Diego in 2013).
To make matters even more exciting... Sean Lee has also picked off Eli Manning before! All the ingredients are there, it's just time for Lee to mix 'em together for one epic product. It's happening this Sunday.
DL Kerry Hyder Helps Solidify A Re-Tooled Defensive Line
The Cowboys got off to a busy start to week two of free agency on Monday, and capped it off by signing defensive lineman Kerry Hyder to a one year deal.
The former Detroit Lion could be classified as a "one year wonder" of sorts, but when you look closer at his career arc, you see that Hyder can provide upside at multiple positions across the Cowboys' defensive front.
After having 8 sacks and 19 quarterback hits as a defensive end in 2016, Hyder missed all of 2017 with an achilles injury. Last season, under new head coach Matt Patricia, Hyder was moved out of position and forced to play as a nose tackle and 5-technique more often.
So, the last time Hyder was healthy and playing in the role in he will likely fill in Dallas, he was productive. Yes that was a couple of seasons ago but it makes Hyder worth the one year deal he received from the Cowboys.
What exactly is that role, though?
I see Hyder primarily as a rotational 3-technique for the Cowboys. At just 270 pounds Hyder isn't going to play over the center often, and won't be very useful as a 1-technique against the run. He's at his best when lining on the outside shade of an offensive lineman, where he can use his get-off and quickness to create pressure.
Kerry Hyder can also fill in at defensive end if needed, especially when the Cowboys go into a nickel package. Hyder is similar to Tyrone Crawford in his ability to move inside and out, but is a bit better of a pass rusher than Crawford when at his best.
Hyder is a high energy, motor, and character defensive lineman who will fit right in with a Rod Marinelli unit. If it all clicks for Hyder and he regains his 2016 form, the Cowboys will have stolen an impressive pass rushing defensive lineman who can win from multiple positions.
If Hyder is actually a "one year wonder" who is more of his 2018-self with the Cowboys despite being put in a better role to succeed, Dallas can move on rather quickly because he is only on a one year deal.
This is a smart signing by the Cowboys front office as they look to re-tool their defensive line, and avoid being pigeon-holed into over-drafting at a certain position this Spring.
New Cowboys WR Randall Cobb Announces His Signing With A Fantastic GIF
On Tuesday this week it became official the Cowboys would sign former Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb to a one year deal worth an estimated $5 million. After his visit Monday morning, speculation around whether and when he would sign was swirling.
Cobb confirmed his intentions to join the Cowboys himself, and did so with some A+ GIF usage on Twitter.
In case you don't know, the GIF Cobb tweeted is Woody from Toy Story, emerging confidently and tipping his cap.
This was Cobb signaling that he his a Cowboy, and he appears excited to be joining America's Team. Cobb also received some social media love from his now former teammates in Green Bay, including wide receiver Davante Adams and quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Aaron Rodgers had some parting words for new Cowboys WR Randall Cobb
Clearly Randall Cobb made an impact in Green Bay, both on and off the field. Let's hope he can replicate some of that in Dallas now that he has joined the Cowboys.
Malik McDowell Is Well Worth The Risk For The Dallas Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys are reportedly brining defensive lineman Malik McDowell into The Star this week for a visit, as they decide whether or not to potentially sign him for the 2019 season.
McDowell is a former second round pick of the Seattle Seahawks, who fell to day two because of what scouts call "off the field" or "character" concerns. McDowell did not last long with Seahawks, as he was released in 2017 following an ATV accident in which he reportedly suffered "extensive brain and eye trauma" according to Charles Robinson.
None of us know much about who Malik McDowell is as a person, or what concerns their really should be with his health. But what I do know is that on tape at Michigan State, McDowell was a top 5-10 player in the 2017 draft class. He was a stud, and has the traits to continue to be a stud in the NFL.
The 2017 NFL Draft is chock full of talented, athletic, and productive defensive linemen. While most of the draft pundits have focused on EDGE rushers thus far, the defensive tackle class also possesses some of this year's top NFL prospects. Arguably the best of those defensive tackles is Michigan State's Malik McDowell.
Back in 2017 I wrote a full scouting report on McDowell, detailing why he earned such a high grade on my board. McDowell is a versatile linemen who is explosive off the ball, powerful and rangy against the run, and a skilled pass rusher who plays with a high motor. What more could you really ask for?
"McDowell is a patient pass rusher at times, setting up the blocker how he likes and then beating them with ease. McDowell’s ability to swipe hands off helps him greatly, but his quick swim is his most effective pass rush move.
On this play he uses that swim to perfection, forcing the center to power down to the right before swimming back to the other side."
Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.
When the Spartans went to a three man pass rushing front, McDowell moved to the EDGE often and made plays with his quick, active hands and impressive swim move. He was much more impressive on the interior, however, and could be a direct replacement for David Irving as an explosive and powerful 3-technique for the Cowboys.
Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.
I love that the Cowboys are bringing McDowell in for a free agent visit. His price will likely be low, as he is yet to play in an NFL game over the last two years, but his ceiling remains very high if he is healthy. It's rare for a player with his college production, natural ability, and measurables to completely fail in the NFL.
Maybe all McDowell needs is a second chance to get his head right and prove that he belongs in the league. Maybe he flames out quickly and can't get on the field due to "off the field" stuff. Or, maybe he simply isn't healthy enough to contribute as an NFL player. Regardless, for the price he'll likely command, McDowell is well worth the risk if the Cowboys are willing to take it.
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