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.
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.
What Is The Cowboys Most Pressing Offseason Need?
Finishing their season with a Division Round loss, Dallas Cowboys fans are getting a somewhat late start on the 2019 offseason. Of course, we'd much rather a later start, but the results are what they are.
Now Dallas must get better, and re-tool before heading into Dak Prescott's fourth season, and the Cowboys' 2019 campaign. Though they didn't feel all that close to a championship this season, looking around the roster, it's actually tough to identify one key need the Cowboys must address.
They are filled with young, talented players that they have high hopes for across the board. And in the places they are "older," such as across the offensive line, they have established veterans who aren't going anywhere anytime soon.
So what is the Cowboys' most pressing offseason need?
Well, despite already using their 2019 first round pick to address it, the answer very well might be wide receiver.
Adding Amari Cooper midseason provided a massive jolt to the Cowboys previously anemic passing attack, but on his own he is not enough to take this passing game to where it needs to be to compete in this new NFL.
Third round pick Michael Gallup is going to be a very good pro, and progressed really well as his rookie season went on. I think he can play opposite Amari Cooper nicely, and be the number two option in the passing game going forward.
Though arguably their best wide out against man coverage, Cole Beasley is a free agent, and if the reports are true about Scott Linehan returning in 2019 it could very well mean Beasley will not be opting to sign back with Dallas.
Regardless of Beasley's decision, however, the Cowboys need to seriously evaluate their pass catchers heading into next season.
This is a passing league. The rules have dictated that you must be able to pass the ball efficiently if you want to compete with the best of the best around the NFL. To take the next step in their progression, and reach an NFC title game and/or Super Bowl, Dak Prescott will need to have as explosive a group of pass catchers as possible.
The Cowboys have already taken solid steps to making this a reality, but another move or two this offseason could go a long way to putting Dallas in the conversation with teams like the Rams and the Saints in 2019.
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