In the 1996 classic Tin Cup amateur golfer Roy McAvoy finds himself playing in one of golf's most historic, and most democratic, golf tournaments... The U.S. Open.
He experiences many ups and downs throughout the four day event, finding himself in serious contention on the 18th hole on the final day. Pretty cool, right?
The thing about that 18th hole is that every day that he plays it... he comes up short. It takes a strong 453 yards to get on the green in two, crossing some serious water in the process, and Roy McAvoy is a go-for-it type of guy. He doesn't play to punt.
All three times that he plays 18 before the final day he comes up short and lands in the water. Each day he comes a little bit closer... ultimately going swimming every time.
On the final day of the tournament Roy is on 18 with a chance to play it safe and win the tournament... The U.S. Freaking Open! He decides to go for the green in two anyway. He crosses the water and it seems like he's done it! Unfortunately the 18th green is a particularly slopey one, and Roy's ball rolls back off of it into the water.
Roy, his family, the broadcasters, and fans everywhere are all devastated... but there's hope! Roy can still save par, tie this thing up, and force a playoff for a chance to still win.
He goes for it. Again.
At this point Roy has now lost the U.S. Open. Everyone around him is questioning his ignorance, begging him to just lay up so he can finish this thing and save some of his dignity.
Roy goes for it again.
Complete and utter humiliation starts to set in.
Roy asks his caddie for another ball so that he can go for it again, and he's informed that this is the last one that he has in the bag. If he sinks this one he won't be able to finish the hole and will be disqualified. The pressure is on this swing more than any other.
Thanks to all of the shots that he's put in the water and subsequent drops... Roy is dropping 11 and hitting his 12th shot at this point. Twelfth.
I watch this clip before every round, I don't play for second!
Roy sinks it for one of the greatest moments in golf, more specifically movie, history! The crowd is equally stunned and jubilant as Roy raises his club in victory.
The beautiful sound of the ball falling into the cup gives him a 12 on the hole. A 12!
Roy gets to the green, pulls the ball out of the hole, and tosses it in the water. Victory.
He finds his girlfriend Molly in the frenzy and starts to realize how idiotic what he just did is. He's in a daze as she throws her arms around him. He grits his teeth and says, "I just made a 12 on the last hole of the U.S. Open!" Molly responds with the attitude that every golfer has at heart.
"You sure did. It was the greatest 12 of all time. No one's going to remember the Open 10 years from now, who won... but they'll remember your 12! My God, Roy... Well, it's immortal!"
Roy embraces the epic-ness of it all as his bitter rival walks by, shakes his hand, and gives us the inspiration for today's 5 Bold Predictions.
"I gotta hand it to you. When you go down, you go down in flames."
Welcome to the season finale of my Bold Predictions. We've just dropped our own 11 and are on our way to a potential 12 just like Roy. Let's go down in flames.
Darren McFadden Will Throw A Touchdown
The pomp and circumstance surrounding Darren McFadden is that he's three yards away from 1,000 on the season. Who would have thought?
Run DMC has been running all over opposing defenses since late October, but in the 2015 swan song he's going to throw a touchdown!
I've called for McFadden to throw a pass in these Bold Predictions before, but I'm adding some spice to it with the touchdown element.
Darren has thrown passes before during his time as both an Arkansas Razorback and Oakland Raider. He'll add "Dallas Cowboys thrower" to his resume Sunday afternoon.
The Dallas Cowboys Will Run A Surprise Onside Kick
The flames are getting going good and high!
It's the last game of the season and that means you've gotta pull out all of the stops, right Coach Garrett?
Week 17 is always weird for teams officially eliminated from the playoffs, thankfully a feeling Cowboys fans are unfamiliar with, and typically we see some crazy stuff.
I can see it now. Dan Bailey runs out, in all his glory, and gives the perfect (shocker) surprise onside kick. Devin Street recovers, everyone celebrates, and Coach Garrett hugs everyone around him. Bliss.
Byron Jones Will Return An Interception For A Touchdown
The greatest thing that 2015 gave us was undeniably Byron Jones.
This dude is a real deal and the total package when it comes to playing, almost any position really, in the secondary.
Sure he had moments where he got burnt, but we can attribute those to rookie growing pains. Byron has been one of the most consistent and versatile players at Rod Marinelli's disposal.
I've boldly, and ultimately incorrectly, predicted that he'd get an interception before. We're kicking things up a gear for the finale.
Byron is going to not only get the pick this week, but he's going to show off his athleticism when he takes it all the way back to the house! He'll probably have the most polite celebration ever as Byron Jones can do no wrong.
Cole Beasley Will Cause A Fumble
You read that right!
Imagine a world where Kellen Moore is quarterback. This is a place filled with interception after interception. It's a scary world.
The odds are pretty high that Kellen Moore will throw it to someone wearing a different jersey than his tomorrow. It's what happens after that that's going to shock folks.
A random Redskin is going to be bringing this thing back, trying to cut his way back and forth, and then BAM! He's going to get blown up by Cole Beasley... jarring the ball loose.
Cole Beasley can do anything. Even cause fumbles. Believe it.
Randy Gregory Will Get His First, Second, And Third Sacks
Every Dallas Cowboys fan has their minds already locked and loaded on 2016. This season was never meant to be and this final game is just a formality that we have to go through.
There are a lot of exciting things about this team looking towards next season, and Randy Gregory is one of them. He has yet to record a sack, but to be fair rookie pass rushers don't exactly set the world on fire.
Randy is going to be a big part of what the Cowboys want to do defensively in the future, and he's going to have a game that proves it.
Considering that Washington will likely be resting a lot of their starters and that the Cowboys will be giving some deeper members of the roster more playing time... Gregory is going to get some opportunities. He's also going to get them against some inferior competition.
Look for Randy to lasso in a hat trick of sacks as we set sail towards 2016 on Sunday.
It's been my absolute privilege to write these Bold Predictions every week throughout the 2015 season. I hope that you've enjoyed them even a fraction as much as I have.
Onward to 2016!
How Will Safeties Xavier Woods, Kavon Frazier Fit Kris Richard’s Secondary?
Unfortunately, David Irving's most recent four game suspension is the main story for a Dallas Cowboys team finished with OTAs and mini camp, left only to wait for training camp now. I've chosen to focus on the players that were on the field for the offseason program, that will continue to contend for starting jobs in Oxnard. Standing out from a lackluster group of safeties, for a Kris Richard led secondary that is off to a fast start, are safeties Xavier Woods and Kavon Frazier.
Joined by Jeff Heath, Tyree Robinson, Jameill Showers, and Marqueston Huff, the Cowboys are lacking a dominant force at safety to pair with their young and talented group of cornerbacks. With the likes of Chidobe Awuzie, Byron Jones (the former safety), and Anthony Brown already improving under Richard, the Cowboys hope is that the same will apply to this group of safeties.
It's still entirely too early to know how the Cowboys want to deploy their safeties this season, but the only players that have shown their strengths and weaknesses over any period of time are Heath, Frazier, and Woods. This is sure to cause an uphill battle for the fringe players looking to push this trio of versatile safeties.
Jeff Heath has appeared in 77 games over five seasons with the Cowboys. Frazier and Woods combined? Just 24 games, with 16 of them making up Woods' rookie season a year ago. This makes finding a potential role for both players vital to the Cowboys.
Safety Kavon Frazier
Working mostly as a special teams player through two seasons in Dallas, Kavon Frazier has patiently awaited his opportunity to spark the Cowboys defense as a sixth round pick of 2016. Doing so in a memorable week 13 win over the Washington Redskins, Frazier earned an increased role as an enforcer on defense.
This is a player whose straight line burst and power is ideal for a ST starter, and when Frazier connects coming downhill on defense, the results can be catastrophic for an opposing offense. Surely these are traits that will remind Kris Richard even slightly of his Super Bowl winning "Legion of Boom" defenses.
The distinction between Frazier being a part-time player or one maximizing his potential to start deep in the Cowboys secondary is an important one. Limited in coverage, Frazier may be at his best when conceding snaps to another safety on the Cowboys roster with more of an all-around game -- which the Cowboys can only hope Xavier Woods continues to be.
Safety Xavier Woods
Xavier Woods may not have the pure stopping power that Kavon Frazier possesses, but as a fellow sixth-round pick there is more than enough to like about what Woods brought to the Cowboys in 2017 out of Louisiana State. With 14 interceptions and six forced fumbles out of college, Woods slid in the draft enough for the Cowboys to trade up for his services.
The team wasn't cheated out of their investment in Woods last season, giving him the "Byron Jones treatment" as Woods lined up all over the field. It was Richard that came to Dallas and almost immediately moved Byron Jones down to cornerback, seeing a better use of his natural size and skills there.
Doing the same for Woods -- while keeping the natural FS free to react -- should be next up on Richard's offseason to-do list. This is a player with sideline to sideline range, enough athleticism to cover down in the slot, and the functional strength to compete in the box.
Amidst this uncertainty for both Frazier and Woods, early reports out of the Cowboys practices thus far have Jeff Heath specifically matching up against the tight end. This is an ideal role for Heath, and one that could compliment Woods very well.
Regardless of where Heath is on the field, Woods should be able to coexist with him as a similarly instinctive safety.
There is also the possibility that both Heath and Woods struggle to handle these "starting" responsibilities, leaving the Cowboys with very little trusted depth at safety. If there is an area Woods needs the most improvement in, it is the angles he takes against the run to consistently make stops, a weakness also potentially mitigated by the Cowboys improved linebacker play (investing the 19th overall pick at the position).
✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭
Between Frazier and Woods, it feels safe to say the Cowboys must find a starter for a secondary that could still achieve great things in 2018. The Cowboys are entering this season with a loaded group of cornerbacks, all capable of making a safety's job relatively easy, especially while learning under Richard.
Such can be the hope for a raw player like Frazier and, in a sense, Xavier Woods. The second-year player in Woods is a great unknown for the Cowboys right now, as he'll remain that way for some time before next month's training camp.
With this, we'll have much more time to sit around and continue pondering what certain position groups will look like once meaningful Cowboys football graciously returns. I've written before that I'm paying close attention to this team's group of wide receivers, and you can add in the secondary players they'll be competing against too.
No, Cowboys Shouldn’t Cut David Irving
For the past five years, Dallas Cowboys fans have gone through painful offseason stories regarding upcoming suspensions for defensive players. It doesn't matter how much talent the front office is able to find through the Draft, there's always one player that ruins what feels like a successful offseason. This time, for the second consecutive year, David Irving is the player to let Cowboys Nation down.
On Friday it was announced that Irving will serve a four-game suspension after violating the NFL's substance abuse policy.
Understandably, a lot of Cowboys' fans want to see Irving released by the franchise that has preached the "Right Kind of Guy" philosophy while failing to establish such a thing. It's disappointing to see such a talented player limiting himself by not "wanting it" bad enough and by making mistakes like this repeatedly.
However, even if it's a very frustrating situation, the Cowboys shouldn't cut David Irving.
First of all, Irving's hit against the cap space is pretty minimum and nothing to be concerned at all. After being handed a second-round tender earlier in the year, #95 was set to earn $2.91M during the season. With a four-game suspension ahead of him, that number will be even lower.
We're talking about a guy who in eight games managed to get to the quarterback seven times in 2017 and consistently pressured opposing signal callers. Not to mention he's going to be just 25 years old when the season begins.
For the Cowboys, David Irving has the talent needed to average one sack per game. All of this for less than three million.
Irving has proven by now that he's not worth a long-term extension. That much is clear. In order to get one of those, a player must prove his availability.
Talking specifically about 2018, though, I'm sure the Cowboys will be better off if they count on Irving for the final 12 games of the season. The team counts with pretty decent depth at the position with Maliek Collins, Datone Jones and Jihad Ward, but Irving has the potential to end the season with double-digit sacks.
The team gains nothing by releasing Irving. The team will not even be "sending a message" if they were to release #95. Maybe if the team had consistently sent this kind of "messages" over the years it would make sense.
However, we know this team sticks with their players and supports them in moments like this. They have done just that with Randy Gregory and it seems like it will pay off soon.
Whether we're mad at Irving's actions or not, the truth is letting him go wouldn't be wise at all. The Cowboys are not paying him big-time money, he's young and he'll be productive on the field when the defense needs him to.
We're talking about a football team that wants to make a run for the Lombardi Trophy. They can't be letting starting-caliber players go just like that. They need all the help they can get and even though his situation is far from ideal, David Irving will play a big role on defense.
Should Cowboys Add Another Safety Before Training Camp?
The Dallas Cowboys are extremely thin at the safety position. Fact. They haven't really brought in anyone to upgrade the position from last season. Fact. I just wanted to point that out because there's a lot of discussion as to whether or not the Cowboys need to add another safety before training camp.
I don't know where you stand on this debate or how I feel about it personally, but it's definitely something that needs to be discussed from the Cowboys end. It is the one position where there is a lot of unknown and inexperienced. If one of their current safeties were to go down with an injury and miss any time, the whole defense would suffer.
As things stand right now, Jeff Heath is the only one who will reprise his starting role on the backend of the Cowboys defense. Behind him are Xavier Woods and Kavon Frazier, but knowing exactly how they fit in at this moment is completely up in the air.
Unfortunately, that's the top three safeties for the Dallas Cowboys heading into the 2018 season. What's even more bothersome is their fourth might be an undrafted rookie, Tyree Robinson. I don't know about you, but I find that very concerning. But, maybe Kris Richard, the defensive backs coach and passing game coordinator, knows something we don't.
Fortunately, Kris Richard was recently asked if he had any concerns about the safety position on the "Doomsday Podcast" with Matt Mosley and Ed Werder. He said he had "none".
"I'm confident. I feel really good at this point in time and it's because the level of character of our guys," he said. "We're going to get better. That's the deal because our guys are young, focused, I think the hunger's there. I love the look in their eyes. I love how everyone is buying in, is focused and paying attention to detail. It makes a difference when guys care. It makes a difference when each one wants to teach one. We're trying to build something special. We want to be tribe-like. We want to be more than a team."
It certainly sounds like Kris Richard is excited about the Dallas Cowboys current safeties. Of course, he would never just come out and say that this group is terrible or he wished they'd add
Earl Thomas another available safety. That's just not how things work. He's here to coach up the guys on the roster and not worry about personnel moves.
I don't know about you, but I know I would feel a lot better if they had one more experienced safety who could come in and compete for a starting job. Maybe someone like Tre Boston or Kenny Vaccaro, who are still unsigned. Maybe make that trade for Earl Thomas? That's a dream that just won't die.
Regardless, the Dallas Cowboys need to do something to address their depth at the safety position. I don't know what their plans are moving forward, but hopefully they have a contingency plan in place. It's just smart business.
Do you think the Dallas Cowboys need to add a safety before training camp?
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