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Dallas Pregame Preview and a Call to Fans

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As we all know, Tampa Bay offers the Cowboys a solid test for their new offensive and defensive schemes. With a commonly stout defense, our offense should be able to prove whether or not it’s as proficient as it claims it can be.

Here are a few reasons why our Offense can succeed:

1) Jason Garrett is a offensive mastermind, with Felix Jones and Marion Barber coming out in a possibly sloppy day, the formations and versatility that can be created with just those two names alone are limitless. We know what to expect with this tandem, but really who can stop them?

2) Tampa has to gameplan for more receiver threats then they’re actually expecting. With the emergence of Hurd and Ogletree, the speed of Austin, and the combinational attacks of Crayton and Williams, the utilization of talented wide receivers will be evident throughout differen’t packages. They should all receive ample reps to produce. However, with the impressive and underrated talent in the receiver position, 2 other receivers produce a bigger threat. Marty-B and J Witt are great all around tight ends, who will either produce big or create a distraction and draw double teams and schemes that will allow our Wide outs to produce significantly enough to score over 14 points.

3) Lastly, Tony Romo. Earlier this week Emmitt Smith called out Romo’s leadership. I truly believe that Romo has evolved into the leader that he wants to be. That’s all we can ask. Tony Romo is a capable top 10 Quarterback who can deliver. Don’t believe me? We’ll in his 2 Season Openers he’s started in he’s undefeated. Not just undefeated but he’s been dominant. In 2007 he opened against the Giants, producing 15/24 345 yards, and 4 TD’s. In 2008 we opened against Cleveland with 24/32 320 yards, and 1 TD. In total that’s 39/56 665 yards and 5 TD’s. That’s a total passer rating of 136.97.

Oh and last time Romo played the Bucs? 22/29 305 yards 5 TD.

As for the other side of the Ball. Byron Leftwich will lead an inconsistent offensive unit. Antonio Bryant will likely produce, but Cadillac Williams is a great unknown.

Here are a few Reasons why our Defense will succeed:

1) Byron Leftwich has an unusually slow release. With an offensive line that is barely mediocre, the likelihood that the Cowboys star studded linebackers will be knocking on the door all day, is highly likely.

2) Byron Leftwich has an unusually slow release. With all that time to read the Quarterback, Our coverage units could have a field day. Not saying it’s going to be pick central, but I expect some good defended passes and a pick or two.

3) Our Defensive lineman, are run stopping, QB droppers. They will dominate TB’s O-Line and create nightmares for Cadillac and Ward.

Last Word

Listen I’ve been doing some looking around lately. All I see is pessimism, from fans, Dallas/sports reporters, and even people close to the organization. This is what I say, we are Cowboys Fans, we are supposed to be loyal and supportive of a team that brings us so much. If you are just rooting for the cowboys when they win, or disowning them when the screw up, then the bus stops here. I don’t want to hear your stupid pessimism and your ridiculous claims. You aren’t playing football, you’re sitting on your couch with a beer, a brat, and maybe a PS3 controller contolling your Madden Superstar. The point is, if you’re a fan, love and support your team. If it’s hard to do that and you can’t be a tad optimistic, shut up and color.



Former Sports Writer. Veteran. Serving veterans is my passion. Johns Hopkins Student. Enjoy Discussing Politics and sports!

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12 Comments
  • http://bleacherreport.com/users/72837-chad-hensley Chad

    “Jason Garrett is a offensive mastermind”

    Haha. This article has lost all credibility.

  • Jonathan

    Chad, I can certainly understand your point. That particular line stood out to me, as well. But on the other hand, it’s a tad bit early in his career to argue either way. Let the results of the game tomorrow sway your vote. Despite that brief point of conjecture, he actually has accurately assessed this game. Leftwich is notorious for his slow release. In fact, I’m having a hard time understanding why a West Coast offense even gave Leftwich the time of day. Don’t get me wrong, I think in the right system, Leftwich could be effective; but he is the furthest thing from a West Coast QB currently playing in the league, in my opinion. I’d say Tampa is biding their time with Byron until they can either draft a QB more suited for their offensive scheme or pick one up in Free Agency next year. Either way, I too am looking for a day that leaves Leftwich with a lasting impression of how the sky looks. In fact, with Spencer manning the other side of the line from Demarcus Ware, I’d say we could expect a year that comes fairly close to trumping last year’s sack production.

  • Joe C

    The true test is gonna be if Romo can FINALLY carry on that dominance into Nov/Dec….. but fuck all the haters saying the Cowboys aren’t gonna do anything this year. Was watching NFL Network earlier today and the topic came up “Are the Cowboys flying under the radar?”…. Of course they all said no, including ex-buc warren sapp…. I just laughed and turned the t.v. off….. im def. stoked for tomorrow, and def. will have BEER IN HAND come 1pm.

    HOW BOUT DEM COWBOYS!!!

  • Jonathan

    For some reason I cannot see my latest comment but to expound briefly on what I wrote, I don’t think we can truly judge Jason Garrett by 2007 or 2008. In 2007, my fading fast memory of the year remembers most of our bigger play’s coming from time’s when the orginal play called was busted and Romo was forced to create. In 2008, I think Jason felt a general pull towards trying to keep T.O. happy, so he could avoid the lockerroom melt down that was eminent regardless of his efforts, and he was having to compensate for quite a few injuries that hampered his options in the playbook. For instance, with a wet paper towel for an offensive line, injuries hampering is star TE Jason Witten, and a hobbled RB crew, he had to completely shift from what he wanted to do into play’s that protected the latter mentioned player’s and still catered to T.O.’s “I love a whole lot of me” personality. As we saw, it wasn’t a recipe for success, but considering the aforementioned, success was a tall order.

    No, 2009 will be Jason Garrett’s true test. If he allow’s himself to get sucked into being one-dimensional with that pass-happy offense he likes to call, I’ll be in line with the rest of you, egg’s in hand.

  • Jonathan

    Joe C – Don’t expect that speculation to change if the Cowboy’s dominate the Buc’s; most analyst are picking the Cowboy’s to win here anyway. I’m sure they already have a built in excuse for the Giant’s losing to the Cowboy’s, likely admitting that the Giant’s weren’t who they thought they were, before saying the Cowboy’s are a strong unit. No, most will be waiting to see how they fair in December, considering this uncanny trend for the Cowboy’s to falter during the latter month’s of the season.

    However, on the same network, watching the NFC Playbook, the former offensive lineman, not sure what his name is, has already predicted the Cowboy’s will be in Superbowl 44, placing special emphasis on the Cowboy’s trio of RB’s as a big part of his reasoning. And Randy Galloway, the great detractor of all analyst, have the Cowboy’s going deep into the playoff’s, and he’s a bit up in arms about the national media’s general snub of the Cowboy’s, pointing in particular to ESPN’s recently released Power Rankings placing the Cowboys at 17. Furthermore, Romo doesn’t even make the Top 12 for QB’s in the league. It’s ridiculous; but this is exactly how the Cowboy’s need to be treated until that can actually win a play off game. I realize it can be frustrating to watch the mediots cling desperately to the status quo that was, for the most part, created by these same analyst being dead wrong about the last year, but it is what it is and their opinion’s mean absolutely nothing when it comes to the actual outcome of game’s; as last year should serve as a fairly convincing reminder.

  • https://insidethestar.com/ Bryan Martin

    Jonathan I couldn’t agree more. Expectations cause pressure, no pressure this year…thats fine with me. The boys should flourish now that they can focus on silencing the critics.

  • Jonathan

    Okay, so the Buc’s aren’t exactly who we thought they were; or in my case, who I hoped they were. They are defying the odds, given the amount of changes there were made. But I still don’t think these Bucs can close this game out. I’m looking for a much cleaner performance in the second half. The opening-game jitters should be put to bed, and we will start to see what this Cowboy’s team is really about.

    • bags030404

      Unfortunately I have not been able to watch the game but from what I am hearing, the Boys have opened a large can of “whoop Ass” in the second half! And can we please now drop the Roy Williams is not a number one talk?

  • Joe C

    HOW BOUT DEM COWBOYS!!!!

    First half was, to me, shaking off the rust coming off from last season, but second half the Boys unleashed the fury on them. How bout Romo with a career day? Our D needs to work on a few things here and there, but damn, I cant wait the Giants next weekend!!!!

  • https://insidethestar.com/ Bryson Treece

    Absolutely! Roy Williams stepped up and looked just like he did in college today. Good hands, strong, big, physical, so yeah, enough talk about him not being a number 1 receiver. And how about Crayton stepping up and taking it to the house like that? He had a couple of good catches for long gains.

    Romo did good too. He did have the jitters to start with, but got those out with 1:03 to go in the second quarter.

    I’m worried about Sensabaugh and Ware though, neither made an impact after they each came off the field for an inury, though I believe both returned. We went to a our second team defense damn early.

  • Joe C

    Yeah there sayin Sensabaugh has a “rib injury”, so we will see.

    Just a side note, I was reading the blogs over at DC.com and looking at the comments. I have come to the conclusion that there aren’t but a handful of true Cowboys fans there, there is about 150 NEGATIVE comments compared to like 10 positive. WTF?

  • Jonathan

    I haven’t looked at DC.com, but if I had to guess, the general consensus would be the Cowboy’ performance today would not have worked well against our interdivisional foes. The vast majority of our scores today came from blown coverages. I wouldn’t count on that happening against the Giants next week. Hopefully, the Cowboys can right the ship between now and next Sunday.

Dallas Cowboys

5 Points: Analyzing the 2018 Dallas Cowboys Schedule

Sean Martin

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5 Points: Thoughts on the 2018 Dallas Cowboys Schedule 1
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Every year around this time, sports fans everywhere are reminded of just how dominant the National Football League is. The NFL schedule release is literally just the sharing of a calendar that has little meaning until after next week's NFL Draft, but still dominates headlines both before and after the event.

If the Dallas Cowboys are going to return to the playoffs in 2018, we now know the path they will take -- beginning on September 9th in Carolina against the Panthers.

Here are five of my initial thoughts on this team's schedule.

1. "Early" Bye Week Still Later Than Recent Seasons

The Cowboys' bye week falls in week eight this season, which is certainly nothing new. This team is used to having their bye earlier in the season, but week eight is actually the latest it's been over the last three seasons.

In Dak Prescott's rookie season, the Cowboys rolled to six straight wins following their bye week - all part of a longer 11 game win streak. In 2017, the Cowboys played their final three games with Ezekiel Elliott after the bye, improving to 5-3 and inspiring hope for a salvageable season before further injuries piled up.

This season, the Cowboys will come out of their bye week to host Monday Night Football at AT&T Stadium against the Tennessee Titans.

5 Points: Thoughts on the 2018 Dallas Cowboys Schedule

2. AFC South to Play A Huge Factor

Speaking of the Titans, it is the NFC East's year to face off against the AFC South. This has been an unpredictable division as of late, with the Jacksonville Jaguars emerging as early favorites following their improbable run to the AFC Championship Game.

Unlike the NFC East, the AFC South has been decided by who maintains stability at quarterback. The Colts are hoping to contend with Andrew Luck back on the field in 2018, as are the Texans with second-year QB Deshaun Watson.

The Titans overhauled their coaching staff in hopes of progressing QB Marcus Mariota further to make a run at the playoffs once again.

For the Cowboys, their meetings with the AFC South will carry extra weight - as all but one of them precedes a divisional game in some sense. Following back to back games at the Texans and home against the Jaguars, the Cowboys will visit the Redskins in week seven.

The first shot Dallas will get at the defending Super Bowl champions will be November 11th in Philadelphia, two weeks removed from their bye after facing the Titans.

Coming out of two games in 12 days through weeks 12 (Thanksgiving) and 13, the Cowboys will have little chance to come up for air against the Eagles in week 14. Their chance to regroup may come the following week, with a favorable December road game in Indianapolis against the Colts.

3. Revenge Against the Falcons

The Cowboys' week 10 game a year ago in Atlanta is truly where the 2017 season was lost. Playing without Ezekiel Elliott, the Cowboys looked lost on offense thanks to the added absence of All-Pro Left Tackle Tyron Smith.

The Cowboys' fight to carry on at 5-4 was buried into the Falcons' new turf, as was Dak Prescott that afternoon, sacked eight times.

Only a week removed on the calendar from meeting the Falcons on the same date, the Cowboys will again play at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in week 11 this season. The chance for revenge against the Falcons will also mark the only pair of consecutive road games this 2018 Dallas Cowboys team will play.

Cowboys en Español: 3

Dallas Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)

4. Running Through December

The national media may not want you to know that the Cowboys are a combined 6-2 in December over the last two seasons, as this team's fabled late season collapses remain a topic of conversation.

This point also stands as a great example of why breaking down team schedules in April is often a pointless exercise, but not obsessing over every twist and turn of the NFL as a yearly hobby is no fun. According to me.

It is no secret that the Cowboys will be relying heavily on Ezekiel Elliott in 2018, expecting their star running back to suit up for 16 games and carry the offense. If you believe that Prescott and Elliott paired together full-time again is enough reason for optimism about the Cowboys, their December schedule becomes even more favorable.

Aside from playing three of the four games indoors and away from the elements, the Cowboys will face three of the worst rushing defenses in yards per game allowed from last season in December. With the Eagles being the glaring exception (leading the league in this category), the Cowboys should have their way on the ground with the Colts, Buccaneers, and Giants over their final three games.

5. Thanksgiving Tradition

For the second time in three seasons, the Dallas Cowboys will host the Washington Redskins on Thanksgiving. The Cowboys were victorious on Thanksgiving in 2016 over the Redskins, 31-26.

The Cowboys have only lost to the Redskins once on Thanksgiving, facing them a total of eight times and dropping a 2012 bout with Washington 38-31 (Robert Griffin III's rookie season with the Redskins).

Riding a four game winning streak against the Redskins, the Cowboys get to face an Alex Smith led Washington team on Thanksgiving to wrap up their first series against the NFC East. Following week 12, the Cowboys will still have meetings with the Eagles and New York Giants.

Some may look at this year's division as a two-team race, but counting absolutely any team out of an NFC East race is foolish - even more so in April.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

By this time next week, the Dallas Cowboys have a chance to look entirely different - adding as many as ten players at the 2018 NFL Draft. Only then will we have a better feel for how they stack up against this 2018 schedule.

Stay posted right here to Inside The Star for draft coverage live from Dallas, as I will be at AT&T Stadium for all seven rounds of picks alongside Slant Sports Draft Analyst Nick Flaherty.

Tell us what you think about "5 Points: Analyzing the 2018 Dallas Cowboys Schedule" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!


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Player News

Cowboys TE James Hanna Retiring

Jess Haynie

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James Hanna

In an unexpected bit of pre-draft news, Dallas Cowboys backup tight end James Hanna will be retiring after six seasons. He was drafted by the Cowboys in sixth round of the 2012 NFL Draft.

The news of Hanna's retirement was first reported by ESPN's Todd Archer:

Todd Archer on Twitter

The Cowboys will place James Hanna on the reserve/retired list as the tight end could not get over a serious knee condition that troubled him for most of the last two seasons, according to sources. Hanna was not involved in the early part of the team's... https://t.co/45BAZ2avSC

Hanna, who turns 29 in July, missed all of 2016 with that knee issue and has had two surgeries. He was active for all 16 games last season but wasn't used much on offense, only having four catches. James did catch his first and only NFL touchdown in the team's Week 4 loss to the Los Angeles Rams.

Many thought Hanna would be a salary cap casualty this offseason, but a retirement has the same effect on the cap. The Cowboys now save $2.75 million off his scheduled $3.5 mullion cap hit in 2018.

James Hanna has stuck around this long thanks to being a proficient blocker and one of the standout players on special teams. Geoff Swaim, entering the final year of his rookie deal, will likely be trusted to fill those roles.

That said, tight end was already a targeted position for the Cowboys in next week's draft. Losing Hanna only give the team more incentive to add more talent.


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Player News

Optimistic Reports Emerge Around Randy Gregory

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Randy Gregory, Eagles
Eric Hartline / USA TODAY Sports

Good news are coming to Dallas just in time. Less than a week from now, the NFL Draft will be held in the Cowboys' home, the AT&T Stadium. But the team may count with a defensive talent many in Cowboys Nation have tried to forget for a while now. Randy Gregory's comeback may just happen.

There's a lot of positions in the roster that need more help than the defensive end one, but after finding the "War Daddy" Jerry Jones has always wanted in DeMarcus Lawrence, finding a RDE this offseason would be a dream scenario.

Sure, there's a lot of young talent in this football team and they'll be coming off a season that put a chip on their shoulders. Even so, they'll need all the help they can get.

Fortunately for the Cowboys, some help could come in form of a very talented pass rusher. Randy Gregory is reportedly applying for reinstatement very soon and according to Mike Fisher and Bobby Belt, there are positive reports around the situation.

Bobby Belt on Twitter

Randy Gregory update: I'm told there is real momentum building. He is expected to apply for reinstatement in the week or two following next week's NFL Draft.

Cowboys Nation last saw the second round pick back in 2016, but his potential shouldn't be forgotten. Of course, the Cowboys shouldn't be considering Gregory for their 2018 plans, simply because there's risk of him not being available.

Even still, Dallas may get lucky at defensive end. After DeMarcus Lawrence has a breakout season in 2017, imagine the defensive line with Randy Gregory reinstated and rehabilitated to exploit his talent in the NFL.

mike fisher ✭ on Twitter

UPDATE: We're told Randy Gregory camp is ready to present to NFL the fact the #Cowboys DE has passed a large number of drug tests, hasn't failed one since July 2016. https://t.co/Hjgu2CqRtC

Despite some TMZ "reports", it looks like Gregory has been clean for a while. It sure should make Cowboys' fans happy and not only form a football perspective. A comeback would definitely be something amazing. He has a chance to write a unique story for himself.

Everyone likes second-chance stories. Gregory is a guy who had his share of problems. By coming back to the NFL, he's showing players and fans that change is possible. This wouldn't just be epic for Dallas Cowboys fans but NFL fans in general.

If Dallas is fortunate enough to see Gregory reinstated by the NFL, their fight in the trenches might see a big upgrade next season. Randy still has a lot to work on and he might not even be a starter right away, but the potential is right there.

The Cowboys could become a team capable of dominating the line of scrimmage both on offense and on defense.

Hopefully, Gregory is able to come back and shine as a professional player. He, and NFL fans deserve a story like that.

Tell me what you think about "Optimistic Reports Emerge Around Randy Gregory" in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 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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