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Dallas Cowboys Vs New York Giants: 5 Bold Predictions

RJ Ochoa

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Cowboys Headlines - Dallas Cowboys Vs New York Giants: 5 Bold Predictions

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."

Cowboys Headlines - Dallas Cowboys Vs New York Giants: 5 Bold Predictions 2

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

Cowboys Headlines - Dallas Cowboys Vs New York Giants: 5 Bold Predictions 1

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

Cowboys Headlines - Dallas Cowboys Vs New York Giants: 5 Bold Predictions 3

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

Cowboys Headlines - Dallas Cowboys Vs New York Giants: 5 Bold Predictions 4

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

Cowboys Headlines - Dallas Cowboys Vs New York Giants: 5 Bold Predictions 5

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

Cowboys Headlines - Dallas Cowboys Vs New York Giants: 5 Bold Predictions 6

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

Tweets with replies by Jones (@aj_bryant5188) | Twitter

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

Cody on Twitter

@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

Kylan Hanson on Twitter

@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.


Follow the new Total NFL Podcast, The RJ Ochoa Show, presented by Slant Sports Audible

What are YOUR Bold Predictions for the Cowboys/Giants game this Sunday? Let us know! Comment below, Email me at RJ@RJOchoaShow.com, or Tweet to me at @RJOchoa!

Tell us what you think about "Dallas Cowboys Vs New York Giants: 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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Does Darius Jackson Have A “Puncher’s Chance” Of Landing On Final Roster?

Kevin Brady

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Darius Jackson, Bengals

Remember Darius Jackson?

The sixth round running back was an instant fan favorite of Cowboys Nation, as the fanbase hoped Dallas had found the explosive RB2 behind Ezekiel Elliott they needed in the very same draft. Jackson, however, had an up-and-down preseason in 2016 and ended up being waived from the team to make room for Darren McFadden later in the year.

Jackson has bounced around the league a bit since then, joining both the Cleveland Browns and Green Bay Packers at different points. He's back with the Cowboys, however, looking to fight his way onto the team's final roster.

But does the fourth year running back have more than a puncher's chance to do so?

The Cowboys spent much of the 2019 NFL Draft rebuilding their running back depth. First, they drafted Memphis back Tony Pollard hoping to find a versatile and dynamic threat to compliment the workhorse that is Ezekiel Elliott. Then, in the seventh round, Dallas took another Ohio State running back in Mike Weber who fits more of the "traditional" running back form.

So with two new touted rookies behind the veteran Elliott, and fullback Jamize Olawale more than likely having a roster spot as well, there doesn't seem to be room for Darius Jackson on the Dallas Cowboys.

That didn't stop him from competing at OTAs, however. DallasCowboys.com named Darius Jackson one of their top ten "head turners" from the OTA practices, and considering that Mike Weber is banged up at the moment, Jackson will certainly have his opportunities to fight for that spot.

Still, the odds suggest that Darius Jackson will not be with the Cowboys come the Fall of 2019. Though he entered the league with some fanfare for a day three pick, his production has been more fitting of his draft grade than of his fan hype.

Jackson hasn't been the explosive player/receiving back that they're hoping Tony Pollard will be, nor has he been the every-down type backup runner that they seem to hope Mike Weber will be.

In the end, the Cowboys-Darius Jackson story is likely to close during this year's training camp.



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Cowboys Camp: Strong Safety Battle One to Watch

John Williams

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Sean's Scout: Secondary Play, Improved OL Play Stand Out in Cowboys Win Vs. Giants

When the Dallas Cowboys head to Oxnard, California for the start of training camp in late July, they'll have most of the roster settled. On paper, they're a team that doesn't have many holes on the depth chart.

They've added depth at every position and added playmakers on both sides of the football. On defense, there appears to be only one position where the starter heading into training camp may not be the starter come week one. Strong safety.

Veteran Safety Jeff Heath is currently running with the first team defense through the offseason portion of practices. George Iloka and Donovan Wilson were added to the strong safety depth chart featuring Heath and special teams ace Kavon Frazier.

While most teams would be excited about having a returning starter at the position, Heath's 2018 left a lot to be desired. Per Pro Football Focus, Heath missed 19 tackles on the season, which was second in the NFL. It seemed that Heath became more interested in attempting to strip the ball out of the ball carrier's hands than actually making the tackle, which became increasingly frustrating as he forced only a single fumble all season long. Though he had a lot of missed tackles, Heath did finish 15th in the NFL in Pro Football Focus' "stops," which are defined as a "play that results in a loss for the defense." Heath was third on the team in total tackles with 85 and tied with Jaylon Smith for third in tackles for loss with six.

The biggest competition for Heath at strong safety will be veteran George Iloka.

Signed to a one-year contract after spending time with the Cincinnati Bengals and Minnesota Vikings, Iloka comes to the Dallas Cowboys adding depth at free safety behind Xavier Woods. He also creates competition for Heath at strong safety, which should help Jeff Heath raise his game and get more consistent with his tackling. Iloka has experience and brings good size and length to the secondary, which should help them defend tight ends in the passing game.

Because of his injury, Kavon Frazier could see his playing time evaporate heading into 2019. If he's unable to get healthy and make an impression early, Frazier could miss out on the 53-man roster when the team makes their final roster cuts.

The player that stands to benefit the most from Kavon Frazier's injury, and the one I'm most interested in watching in the Dallas secondary the rest of the preseason is sixth-round draft pick, Donovan Wilson. The rookie from Texas A&M has made several plays in the secondary that stood out during OTAs. Here's what Bryan Broaddus of DallasCowboys.com had to say about Donovan Wilson during last week's minicamp.

"I haven’t written much about Donovan Wilson since rookie minicamp, but I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to mention a nice play he had during the two-minute drill. Kris Richard came with a blitz, which forced Cooper Rush to throw “hot” to Dalton Schultz. Wilson, from several yards away, saw Schultz look up and drove on the ball, arriving at the exact time it hit Schultz’s hands. With his left hand Wilson was able to drag the ball away, knocking it to the ground."

Bryan Broaddus - DallasCowboys.com

Wilson will be a player to watch in training camp. The Cowboys have had success finding defensive backs in the late rounds of the draft. Anthony Brown was a fifth-round pick in 2016 and Xavier Woods was a sixth-round selection in 2017. Now Wilson, with his aggressive and physical demeanor will have an opportunity -- this year or next -- to carve out some playing time in a secondary that needs more players who can create turnovers.

Strong safety is one of the few starting spots where there is actual competition for the incumbent starter. Pretty much every other position has returning starters locked into the starting lineup or, in Travis Frederick's and Robert Quinn's cases, a significant talent upgrade that makes them day-one starters.

The competition at strong safety should help everyone be better for the Cowboys in 2019. If Heath is able to hold off Iloka and Wilson to remain the starter, then he will have once again earned it. With the depth they have this season, including two guys who won't be liabilities in pass coverage, the Cowboys have options if Heath misses tackles in 2019 as he did in 2018.



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Dallas Cowboys Shouldn’t Add a Veteran Backup Quarterback

John Williams

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How Will Coaching Changes Impact Cowboys' Backup QB Battle?

With offseason training activities and minicamps coming to a close, now begins the wait for July 27th and the first day of training camp practice in Oxnard, California for the Dallas Cowboys. In my nearly 20 years following the Dallas Cowboys, this is the deepest and most talented roster I can remember the Cowboys taking to training camp.

Of course, there are areas of weakness, especially when you compare them to other position groups. Unfortunately, there isn't always a simple fix to said area of weakness. If you're looking for one area of complaint, you could point to backup quarterback.

Cooper Rush and Mike White have a combined three regular season attempts between the two of them. I wouldn't hold that against them though, because the reason they only have three attempts between them -- and really it's just Cooper Rush has three attempts -- is because Dak Prescott has been such a durable quarterback that those other guys aren't getting into games.

The only time Cooper Rush has appeared in a game was during lopsided wins against the San Francisco 49ers in 2017 and the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2018 and a blowout loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in 2017.

The reports coming out of OTAs and minicamp are that Cooper Rush and Mike White haven't had very good practices. Reports of interceptions have a portion of Cowboys Nation concerned about the quarterback position after their franchise quarterback.

Those reports can offer some insight into how things are going, but they should hardly be taken completely at face value. Remember what Allen Iverson said, "We talkin bout practice." Just like we shouldn't get too hyped about what Dorance Armstrong or Dak Prescott are doing in practice, we shouldn't overreact to some bad practices by your backup quarterbacks. Remember, they're largely throwing to guys who are undrafted free agents and are likely to be released when the team trims their roster to 53.

So much of where the concern about the backup quarterback position comes from is because of the recent history this team has had with losing its starting quarterback to injury. Tony Romo missed games in 2008, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016. That's six out of 11 seasons where he was the starting quarterback heading into training camp in which he missed at least one game in a season.

Dak Prescott hasn't missed a start since his sophomore season at Mississippi State in 2013. That's five straight seasons between college and the NFL that Dak Prescott has been available for his team. In 2013, he was splitting snaps with the Bulldogs senior quarterback, but since 2013, has been available for 88 of his team's 90 games. Dak's started 51 straight games for the Dallas Cowboys in three seasons and has the strength and durability to continue to do just that.

Dak Prescott isn't Tony Romo. According to DallasCowboys.com, Dak Prescott measures at 6-2, 238 pounds. That's huge for an NFL quarterback. Romo was 6-2, 230. Romo, however, never looked as strong or thick as Dak Prescott. He always looked more slender playing the quarterback position and his durability was a concern. So far in Dak's career, durability hasn't been an issue, therefore the quarterback position is less of an issue.

The recent history of 2015, when Tony Romo went down and the season went with it, has many leery of going into a season with unproven commodities. But in that 2015 season, they had "proven" commodities at the quarterback position and those players went 2-11 in the starts that Tony Romo missed.

The free agent quarterback market doesn't look all that enticing at this point in the offseason. And that should be obvious. Any quarterback that was worth signing is already on a team. What you're left with is a who's who of bad quarterback options that wouldn't give you much more confidence in that Rush or White if necessary.

  • Matt Cassell - Been there, done that.
  • Brandon Weeden - See above.
  • Mark Sanchez - See Above.
  • Brock Osweiler - Miami, Denver, and Houston did that, chose to go another direction.
  • Derek Anderson - not a terrible option, but not necessarily better than what you have.
  • Josh Johnson - Pass.
  • Geno Smith - The New York Giants didn't want him. Very Hard Pass.

There isn't a free agent quarterback that makes sense. They're either old descending quarterbacks or young retreads that have been through a few different organizations and haven't been able to find a landing spot. Let's get into training camp and the preseason and see what Mike White and Cooper Rush do in a game-like situation before making a definitive evaluation.

With Kellen Moore and Jon Kitna as Dak Prescott's main coaching influences in 2019, there's no need for a veteran backup quarterback to "mentor" Prescott at this point in his career. Moore was always considered a very smart player that was viewed as a future coach. Kitna was one of the better backup quarterback options during his career and has spent time coaching in the high school ranks. Dak couldn't have two better guys in his ear during the week or on gameday. A veteran quarterback doesn't really add anything to what these two already bring.

The Cowboys are content to see how the backup quarterback battle plays out between Mike White and Cooper Rush. Let these guys get as many snaps as they can in training camp and the preseason and if, for some reason, neither guy steps up and you feel like you need to add a veteran, then go grab Mark Sanchez since he knows the offense and has a good relationship with Dak Prescott.



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