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Dallas Cowboys: This Is Our Year

Mauricio Rodriguez

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The Dallas Cowboys kickoff their season today versus the New York Giants on the first Sunday Night Football edition of the year. We've had free agency, the Draft, training camp and preseason... but now it's real football. Finally, the wait is over.

It's that time of the year. That moment when all of Cowboys Nation is united with a new sense of hope. A new season, a new team, a new journey. The moment when we truly believe one thing to be true...

This is our year.

Season after season, we believe it. For some reason, we are 100% certain of it. No matter the circumstances. Because that is what sports are about. I've been watching football ever since I can remember. And as a young fan, I've never seen this team be in the NFC Championship Game. Let alone a Super Bowl.

But I don't mind. I never miss a game. I'm sure most of Cowboys Nation never do. This is what it's all about.

In 2014, the Cowboys fell short when they lost to the Green Bay Packers. Did Dez catch it? Maybe he did, maybe he didn't. But dwelling in the past is useless. In 2015 things weren't pretty. With Tony Romo being injured most of the season, the Cowboys never got it going.

Then this franchise got an energy boost of sorts. With rookies sensations Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott leading the team to the #1 seed in the NFC, times were changing.

A new era begun, the Dak Prescott Era.

And of course, we've dealt with the "Dak's sophomore slump" stuff just about everyday. But guess what? Dak Prescott doesn't care, why should we? Prescott will do nothing but improve. Dak took the NFL by storm as a rookie. A fourth-round rookie.

3 Reasons Why QB Dak Prescott Will Thrive In 2017

ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 15: Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys celebrates after throwing a touchdown pass during the fourth quarter against the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Divisional Playoff game at AT&T Stadium on January 15, 2017 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Just imagine what he will be able to do after a whole season starting on the biggest stage in sports: the Dallas Cowboys quarterback position. Hell, forget about starting. Wining 13 games and leading his team to the #1 seed.

Ezekiel Elliott will be on that field, too. As the whole suspension drama will be likely delayed until 2018, he'll be on that field the entire season.

The 2016 NFL rushing leader will be hungry. He will be ready to pick up first down after first down every time he gets the chance.

And... do I have to mention this team's offensive line? Or the insane group of receivers this team has? I'm not only talking about Dez Bryant, but Cole Beasley might just be unstoppable.

I don't care which defense this team is facing. There's no way you'll be able to stop Dez Bryant while also being able to defend Beasley and be ready for a run with Zeke at the same time.

Sure, this defense is not ideal. Not even close. But look at this team's defensive line... you can't tell me Irving, Moore, Collins, Mayowa, Charlton and company aren't promising names. This pass rush will get to the QB this season.

Jaylon Smith will join Sean Lee as a starter. The secondary saw some changes, too... positive changes. Claiborne, Carr, Church are out. Awuzie, Lewis, Woods are in. They may be young, but they will be good players.

Maliek Collins

DT Maliek Collins

This 2017 Dallas Cowboys is better than what we think it is. We look at the schedule and think it is a tough one. We see our opponents and think "Damn, I wish we weren't playing these guys."

But trust me, those teams are thinking the exact same thing when they see the Star on their way. This is no longer an 8-8 team. It hasn't been for a while.

The Dallas Cowboys are one of the league's finest now. They are an elite NFL team. They are legit Super Bowl contenders.

Tonight, when the Cowboys kickoff their season vs the Giants, you root for the 'Boys. It doesn't matter where you are watching from - if you're at the AT&T Stadium or on your living room - you get loud for them. You put on that jersey and get ready for the 2017 Dallas Football Cowboys.

Because you and I both know... All of Cowboys Nation knows...

THIS IS OUR YEAR.

Tell me what you think about "Dallas Cowboys: This Is Our Year" in the comments below, or tweet me @MauNFL and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!



I love to write, I love football and I love the Dallas Cowboys. I've been rooting for America's team all the way from Mexico ever since I can remember. If you want to talk football, I'm in... You'll find me at @MauNFL.

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Ethan Chazin

    September 10, 2017 at 12:33 pm

    AND…the additional of a (hopefully) high impact return game with Switzer AND both of our #2/3 back-up TEs healthy who greatly contribute to the blocking schemes in our run game…and a highly revamped secondary with (albeit unproven) athletic upside, not to mention the addition of Tapper, Jaylon, and Taco. Maliek with Paea will generate inside pressure to help the edge rushers. Game 1 prediction??? 34-21 Cowboys.

  2. spinalcracker

    September 14, 2017 at 6:07 pm

    ever thought of proof reading your articles??

    • Bryson Treece

      Bryson Treece

      September 14, 2017 at 6:33 pm

      For a kid born and raised in Mexico, his grammar skills appear better than yours, sir. Thanks for reading… and for your invaluable addition to the Cowboys football conversation!

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Star Blog

2018 In Review: Byron Jones Emerges As CB1

Kevin Brady

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Byron Jones

Heading into the 2018 season Byron Jones was being asked to prove himself. The former first round pick had fallen out of the coaches' good graces during his third season, though many of his struggles could be attributed to those very coaches which were then questioning his ability.

Being asked to play out of position, or at least in a spot which did not maximize his natural ability, Jones struggled in 2017. Too often he was playing in the box as a safety where his lack of physicality was exposed by the opponent's run game. This was mostly due to the coaching staff falling in love with his tight-end-erasing ability in man coverage, but backfired when overused as a safety.

Once hired the following offseason, Kris Richard and company decided to move Byron Jones to cornerback full time, allowing him to utilize his excellent coverage skills and athletic ability to the fullest, rather than putting him at a disadvantage in the box.

The results? Well, Jones had one of the best seasons of any cornerback in football, earning All Pro and Pro Bowl honors for the first time in his young career.

Pro Football Focus on Twitter

Byron Jones had a dominant season for Dallas

Pro Football Focus graded Jones as the sixth best cornerback in all of football last season, allowing just 0.79 yards per coverage snap. Despite not having an interception on the season, Jones still earned national recognition as one of the best cornerbacks in the entire league.

Down the stretch of the season, Chidobe Awuzie started to play up to the level which fans had hoped for during the preseason. He had been sticky in coverage most of the year, but now he was making plays on the ball at a much better rate, forcing incompletions. This led to an increase in targets to Jones' side, and though the increase resulted in more catches given up by the number one cornerback, I don't think Jones' play faltered as much as some will have you believe.

The fact is, when you get targeted more you are bound to give up more catches and yards. The key is to force them into contested catches, and make things as difficult for the receiver as possible when targeted.

Byron Jones continued to do this all season long, and fans should be excited for the next step of his growth in 2019.



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Star Blog

Cowboys en Español: Comentando el Tope Salarial

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Time to Stop Making Excuses for QB Dak Prescott?

Por muchos años, el tema del tope salarial ha sido un tema sensible para los Dallas Cowboys. Entre dinero muerto y otros problemas, el equipo ha tenido una situación delicada en este aspecto. Sin embargo, para la temporada del 2019 tienen más espacio de lo que estamos acostumbrados.

Según Over The Cap, los Cowboys tendrán aproximadamente 48 millones de dólares disponibles en 2019. Es importante recalcar que este número no es definitivo y puede cambiar. Año tras año, esta administración ha sido aficionada de reestructurar los contratos de ciertos veteranos para liberar espacio salarial constantemente. Además de esto, hay varios jugadores bajo contrato que el equipo podría decidir cortar para liberar aún más dinero.

Al ver sólo 48 millones disponibles, es complicado imaginar un escenario en que el equipo logre satisfacer todos sus objetivos. Hay bastantes candidatos a grandes extensiones en el equipo, principalmente dos jugadores. En una liga en la que quarterback es la posición más importante, la segunda más importante podría ser la del caza cabezas, cuyo objetivo es ir tras el quarterback contrario.

DeMarcus Lawrence, Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks

Pues en Dallas, hoy dos  jugadores en estas posiciones que hay que extender. El más urgente sin duda es el defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence. Lawrence se puso el jersey del equipo cuando este lo designó a jugar bajo la etiqueta franquicia. Afortunadamente, el atleta de 26 años la hizo de soldado y jugó sin amenazar con faltar a entrenamientos ni pretemporada.

Lo que sí comentó es que no pasaría por lo mismo en 2019. Ahora, el momento está aquí y es tiempo de que los Cowboys lo extiendan. El valor de Lawrence es difícil de predecir, pero es bastante seguro que se acercará a los números de Khalil Mack. Mack hizo historia ganando un contrato que en promedio gana 23.5 millones al año. Si bien no anticiparía que lo supere, la cifra estará cerca al contrato del defensivo de los Chicago Bears.

Además está Dak Prescott, cuyo contrato probablemente estará por encima de los 25 millones anuales. Son contratos caros, pero son piezas fundamentales para el equipo. Definitivamente se les tiene que pagar a ambos. Son pilares que año tras año buscan equipos en toda la NFL.

Además de esto, Amari Cooper, Ezekiel Elliott, Cole Beasley y más podrían tener un impacto en el tope salarial. Algunos buscan un contrato nuevo, otros una extensión. Pero honestamente, me parece que habrá más espacio en el tope salarial de lo que pensamos. Sólo es cuestión de tiempo para que los Cowboys comiencen a reestructurar a sus veteranos para ahorrarse unos cuantos millones para utilizar en agencia libre.

Tyron Smith, Tyrone Crawford entre otros pueden ser buenas opciones para comenzar este proceso. Antes era Jason Witten uno de los candidatos favoritos para este proceso, pero él ya se encuentra comentando partidos para ESPN. En Inside The Star, continuaremos actualizándote con contenido al día de los Dallas Cowboys.

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys en Español: Comentando el Tope Salarial" in the comments below, or tweet me @MauNFL and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!



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Star Blog

Can the Cowboys Become Legitimate NFC Conference Contenders this Offseason?

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Can the Cowboys Become Legitimate NFC Conference Contenders this Offseason? 2

Super Bowl LIII is in the books, and the Dallas Cowboys can look back on a better-than-expected 2018 campaign. Having won the NFC East with a 10-6 record and bowing out to eventual finalists Los Angeles Rams, the Cowboys' young team can look ahead to 2019 as a chance to take another step forward.

The offseason is now upon us, with the NFL free agency period opening in the middle of March and the NFL Draft coming around at the end of April. Until those times, experts, pundits, and fans are left to assess their teams and predict their activities in the running to the start of next season.

The Dallas Cowboys are in a precarious position, with the team exceeding expectations, still being very young and having plenty of cap space, but also having many top-end players set to become free agents and being without a first-round pick in this year’s draft. There does, however, appear to be a way for the team to make improvements and solidify their place atop the NFC East and potentially go on to win in the Conference Finals.

Lock Down the Big Guns

Can the Cowboys Become Legitimate NFC Conference Contenders this Offseason?

@Randy81MossRetires, via Twitter

Many see DeMarcus Lawrence as the top potential free agent this spring, so the Dallas Cowboys need to do everything in their power to lock down the 26-year-old defensive end.

Vice President Stephen Jones has emphasized the team’s target of retaining their own stars, per Star-Telegram, with Lawrence, Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper, Ezekiel Elliott, and perhaps Byron Jones being in the discussion for long-term deals.

As it stands, the team will have roughly $48.5 million in cap space for next season, which leaves plenty of space to re-sign their top players. They look set to let go of Tavon Austin, David Irving, and quite possibly Cole Beasley, among others, leaving a need to add reinforcements.

Adding New Talent

Can the Cowboys Become Legitimate NFC Conference Contenders this Offseason? 1

@brkicks, via Twitter

One of the most heavily rumored moves for Dallas in this free agency is picking up native Texan and former Legion of Boom linchpin Earl Thomas, per Forbes.

Against the Rams in the playoffs and throughout the season, the Cowboys lacked a defenseman who could make plays on the pass. Thomas is one of the notorious ball hawks in the league, boasting 28 career interceptions, three of which came in just four games of last season.

If the Cowboys can re-sign their stars while keeping some space for an Earl Thomas-sized contract, which clocked in at $10.4 million in 2018 for the Seattle Seahawks, their odds of going all the way next season will significantly increase.

Right now, the expected names of the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs lead the odds to win the next Super Bowl at +750. Behind them, the Rams sit at +900 having suffered a suffocating defeat in this year’s Super Bowl. Much further down are the Cowboys at +2500 right now with redbet. If they re-sign Lawrence, pay their young stars, and bring in Thomas, they’ll shoot up the table of favorites.

Then, there’s also the additions in the draft to consider.

The Cowboys may be without a first-round selection, but that may end up working in their favor. Round one of the 2019 NFL Draft is set to be laden with defensive selections according to most mock drafts, with a few quarterbacks sprinkled around and a minimal selection of offensive weapons. If the Cowboys re-sign Lawrence, they’ll be looking good at defensive end, so should then turn to giving Prescott another weapon in the passing game, which will also help to keep defenses honest and give Elliott more room to operate.

As stated, the NFL is a passing league, and Prescott exploded once he was given a viable option in Amari Cooper. Michael Gallup is expected to take another step forward next season, but just in case, the Cowboys can add another strong receiving option in the draft thanks to the strength of the defensive class. A.J. Brown of Ole Miss will almost certainly go in the first round, but exciting talents in D.K. Metcalf, Parris Campbell, Marquise Brown, and Deebo Samuel could all still be available when Dallas rings in during the second round.

Improving Dallas' pass options and pass defense will go a long way toward improving the team and allowing them to push on to a bigger and better campaign in 2019.



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