Would you like to learn to tango?
I'm offering you my services. Free of charge.
What do you say? Will you dance the Bold Predictions Tango with me?
Don't be afraid of making any mistakes. There are no mistakes in the tango or bold predictions. Not like life - it's simple.
That's what makes the tango/bold predictions so great. If you make a mistake you just tango on. Before we begin, please allow me to explain.
The hype that surrounded the Dallas Cowboys entering 2015 was very real and well-deserved. It was the universal hope of Cowboys Nation that this team would be the one to channel some success similar to the 1992 World Champion Dallas Cowboys.
It certainly feels a lot like 1992. Jordan Ross from Cowboys HQ (who you can follow on Twitter here) wrote up a great piece back in August that detailed some insane similarities between the 1992 and 2015 Dallas Cowboys.
With all of the 1992 vibes going on this season I re-watched a film that debuted that year, a movie that is perhaps the greatest of all-time. One of its more iconic scenes served as the inspiration for today's Bold Predictions... the Bold Predictions Tango.
If you know what movie I'm talking about then Hoo-Ahh to you! If you don't then give this scene a glance, enjoy, and give me some coordinates. We're about to hit the dance floor.
Scent of a Woman movie clips: http://j.mp/1JblmA3 BUY THE MOVIE: http://amzn.to/tYV8Sx Don't miss the HOTTEST NEW TRAILERS: http://bit.ly/1u2y6pr CLIP DESCRIPTION: Frank (Al Pacino) teaches the beautiful and charming Donna (Gabrielle Anwar) how to dance the tango.
1. Darren McFadden Out-Rushes Marshawn Lynch
Run DMC, baby. If you've been keeping up with our Staff Wars Series here at Inside The Star then you've seen my fellow Staff Writers Shane Denney and Walter Yeates pound the table for #20 to keep getting the rock.
Like Harry, Jimmy, and Trent in Scent of a Woman the three of us are on the same wavelength. Darren McFadden looked really solid last week in New York (29 carries for 152 yards and a TD... oh and what would have been an amazing TD on a screen play if not for a terrible call) and he's in line to get a bulk of the carries tomorrow.
Marshawn Lynch hasn't totally been himself this season for Seattle. Tomorrow during the game he's going to be using Skittles to count all the yards DMC has while the Cowboys run all over Seattle. Just like M&Ms are better than Skittles, Darren McFadden will be better than Marshawn Lynch in the yardage department.
2. The Cowboys Defense Holds Seattle To 17 Points Or Less
Dick LeBeau is the current Defensive Coordinator for the Tennessee Titans, but he really made his mark in this league running the defense for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 2004-2014 (oh and not to mention he's in the Hall of Fame as a player for the Detroit Lions).
His defensive philosophy in Pittsburgh, that netted him two Super Bowls, is to hold the opposing team to 17 points or less. He trusts his offense, an NFL worthy offense, to beat that every time.
Rod Marinelli is not Dick LeBeau, but he's going to get the same results tomorrow. The Seahawks have been held to 17 points or less twice this season, but the third time is the charm and it's about to happen.
The Cowboys pass rush is straight up nasty and if you checked out our weekly injury report from Shane Denney then you know that Seahawks Tackle Russell Okung is a long shot to play. Get a towel, dude. You're slobbering all over my keyboard.
3. The Dallas Cowboys Score A Touchdown On Their First Offensive Possession
Scott Linehan came out swinging last Sunday in New York! He was going play action, calling draws, and running reverses to RJ Ochoa, I mean Lucky Whitehead, all over the place! It was an explosion of offensive diversity! Huzzah!
The Cowboys methodically marched downfield on the G-Men and successfully put points on the board after their first offensive possession. It's hard to complain about points, and I love Dan Bailey, but settling for a field goal is always a letdown when a touchdown is an opportunity.
Dallas is going to run out of the gate hyped for this game. Look for Matt Cassel to take the team downfield just as methodically, except this time they'll cross the goal line for twice as many points than even the golden foot of Dan Bailey can boot.
4. Cole Beasley Crosses 100 Receiving Yards
We all know what happened in the waning moments of last week's game against New York. There's no need to revisit that.
We also know that there are few scrappier players on this team, hell across the whole NFL, than Cole Beasley. He's going to be on a mission to make up for last week and he's going to take it out on the Legion of Boom.
The Seahawks have a pretty decent pass rush of their own. While Matt Cassel won't check it down as much as another Cowboys QB, he'll have to rely on the shorter routes at points in the game. This is where Cole is going to take off like a rocket ship. It wouldn't shock me if he ran over a Seahawk. It's going to be awesome.
5. Russell Wilson Does Not Throw A Touchdown Pass
With the exception of Week 2 at Green Bay where he had dos, Russell Wilson has exactly one touchdown pass in every game this season (and an interception in 4/7 for what it's worth).
He's played St. Louis, Detroit, and Carolina... all teams with a ferocious ability to get to the quarterback. He's 1-2 in those games for all of you keeping score at home, and he would be 0-3 if not for a missed call by an official when they played the Lions.
Wilson is going to be running for his life all day long. He's not going to have any time to set his feet and get off a clean throw. If he finds the endzone at all it'll be as a result of his scrambling ability (at which he is top in the league), but he will not throw into that airspace all day. You heard it here first.
I'll be at AT&T Stadium for this contest and streaming LIVE on Fancred throughout the day. Follow me on all social media platforms to see what I see!
Dallas Cowboys: The Case For Regression In 2019
It's been a few years since things around the Dallas Cowboys felt this good prior to a season. Coming off a 10-6 year in which Dallas won both the NFC East and a home playoff game before losing a one possession road game to the future NFC champions, Cowboys Nation is expecting some big things in 2019.
After all, the Cowboys went out and improved their roster in multiple ways this offseason and brought in some new blood on their offensive coaching staff. Spirits are high among Cowboys Nation, and just about everyone is anticipating a two team race for the NFC East.
But some numbers indicate we should be thinking "not so fast."
The details of the 2018 season are not as pretty as the total picture. Rarely are they ever, of course, but these particular details point towards possible regression for the Cowboys in 2019.
Basically, their point differential a year ago spells out impending doom. (That was dramatic, but let's discuss).
The Cowboys were +15 in 2018, and by pythagorean wins expectation, they were about as strong as an 8-8 team (8.53 wins to be exact). This means they won nearly 2 more games (1.47) than would be expected, fourth most in the entire NFL.
This point is furthered when looking at their record in one possession games. Dallas went 8-2 when the game was decided by 7 points or less, winning close games at a rate that is simply not sustainable year to year.
These numbers make the Cowboys a prime candidate for regression in 2019, as they were in 2017.
Back in 2016, the Cowboys outperformed their pythagorean expectation by a whole 2 wins. The following season? Dallas finished the year 9-7. The model also indicated that the 7-9 Eagles performed 2 wins under expectations in 2016, meaning they would get back on track in 2017. As we know, they ended up winning 13 games and the Super Bowl the following season.
Of course, this isn't set-in-stone, and the Cowboys very well could outperform these expectations and avoid regression. This would mainly hinge on their coaching staff and quarterback performing at an elite level, carrying them through close games and winning more games by greater than one possession.
Newly Acquired DE Robert Quinn Brings High Expectations
Winning games in the NFL typically comes down to accomplishing two goals. One, being successful when passing on offense. And, two, stopping the opposing team's passing game.
The Cowboys set out to accomplish that second goal this offseason, re-signing defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence, and trading for veteran pass rusher Robert Quinn. Quinn, who tallied 6.5 sacks last season for the Miami Dolphins, is one of the leagues more feared rushers when at his best. The former All Pro has multiple 10+ sack seasons under his belt, including a whopping 19 in 2013.
And, as expected, the Cowboys coaching staff is ecstatic to have such a respected pass rushing specialist on their roster.
“He’s got that first step. He’s an established pass rusher in this league, so he’s going to bring some good stuff for us.” - Cowboys defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli.
The Cowboys acquired Robert Quinn for a 2020 6th round pick, which could end up being the steal of the offseason. Quinn has played with some top-notch pass rushers in the past, and each time they have brought out the best in his own game.
Back with the Rams in 2017, when Aaron Donald was on the same defensive line, Quinn got to the quarterback 8.5 times. And, last season, he remained consistent in his sack totals playing alongside Cameron Wake. Now he joins a DeMarcus Lawrence who has 25 sacks over the last 2 seasons.
"I think it was kind of one of those where I get to have fun, pin my ears back and just disrupt the backfield, which is what they want us to do." - Robert Quinn told NFL.com.
Quinn and the always dominant Lawrence will form an impressive defensive end duo on passing downs, with the potential to be one of the best in all of football. Dallas is also hoping to add Randy Gregory into this mix, a piece which could prove vital late in football games if he is able to return from his current indefinite suspension.
Whether or not Gregory finds his way back onto the field, though, this defensive front will be in good hands. The edge combo of Quinn and Lawrence, combined with a plethora of skilled interior rushers such as Maliek Collins, gives the Cowboys a fearsome defensive line which should keep quarterbacks uncomfortable every Sunday.
Can Rookie OL Connor McGovern Compete For A Starting Spot?
Raising eyebrows in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft, the Cowboys added Penn State offensive lineman Connor McGovern to their already deep OL depth chart.
McGovern, who played guard for the Nittany Lions, was reportedly by-far the best player remaining on the Cowboys draft board when they came on the clock in round three. Still, with seemingly more pressing needs yet to be addressed, Dallas' selection of McGovern was certainly a surprise.
When you watch the tape, though, you immediately see what the Cowboys loved about Connor McGovern.
A "plug-and-play" type guard, Connor McGovern is the type of rookie you'd expect to contribute in year one. On many teams he may be a candidate to start at guard or center from the beginning of his rookie season, but here in Dallas, his role for the 2019 season is somewhat in question.
Clearly, being a day two pick, there's no doubt that McGovern will make the Cowboys roster. But can he compete for a starting job?
During OTA's McGovern took reps at both guard and center, pointing towards the possibility of him being the first interior offensive lineman off the bench if one of the starters were to go down with an injury. Fellow interior linemen Joe Looney and Xavier Su'a-Filo each contributed in big ways during the 2018 season, however, and will be tough to beat out during camp.
While possible, I would still say it's unlikely. The Cowboys selection of McGovern seems to be more about 2020 and beyond than it is about the 2019 season. With right tackle La'el Collins coming up on a contract year, Dallas might elect to let him walk in free agency, move Williams back to his college position of tackle, and slide McGovern into the left guard slot.
This seems fool-proof in theory, but this many moving parts across the offensive line could spell trouble early on in 2020. Regardless, Connor McGovern's arrival gives Dallas the flexibility to consider all options on their offensive line.
In reality, McGovern strengthened a strength for Dallas, and may be needed to prove himself as early as this Fall if injury issues arise.
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