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Dez Bryant’s Catch is Already Old News

Bryson Treece

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Dez Bryant, Packers

I’m sick of hearing about this catch already. We took a day on BST and @CowboysNation to get angry over it and ran into many similar responses. Most of which were from fans of other teams (most notably, the Lions), but there was one shared by head coach Jason Garrett in his post-game press conference.

“We had 3 hours and 60 minutes of football…”

Yes they did, and something like 56 minutes into the game, on 4th and 2, they made a play for the end zone.

All this talk of them having a whole game to score more points makes no sense to me. Are you trying to say that winning isn’t good enough? That it’s only a win if it’s a blowout? Because then you’d have a point. Then, that one catch wouldn’t have mattered.

If the Cowboys had scored more points early, instead of Dan Bailey missing a field goal or DeMarco Murray losing a fumble, then Dez Bryant’s fourth quarter catch wouldn’t have changed the game. It would have still been a bad call and it would have still been the referee’s interfering with the game. And it would have still been a catch. But the game wouldn’t have been won or lost by it.

And yeah, I’ve thought about it, plenty.

Dez didn’t reach the goal line – though he tried hard to reach for it – so there was no score change there. But hey, tape clearly shows the spot of the ball and I’ll take the league’s leading rusher behind the league’s most dominant offensive line for half a yard against a defense that struggled to keep him from getting at least a yard all day. Especially when it’s four-down territory.

I’ll take that because it’s solid gold, pal. No question, the ‘Boys score that touchdown in four tries or less. If Murray was stuffed, then there’s always Bryant for a back shoulder fade and Jason Witten or Cole Beasley across the middle.

That play was a game changer, and thanks to those referees and their interpretation it wasn’t the men making millions of dollars with fans and sponsors making the play, but bureaucratic pencil pushers administrating the game to a false outcome.

Going back a bit, on that 3rd and 1 when Garrett took the timeout and the spot of the ball was reviewed, that was the right call.

Two plays earlier, Witten caught a similar pass for a first down by forward progress, but both were generous spots. The first one was missed, though his butt was on the line to gain when he caught the ball and he was pushed toward the line of scrimmage immediately. But that was a spot error of around inches, no matter how obvious they were.

Then it happens again, only the spot error was by more than a yard – right about 2 actually – and deserved to be challenged and re-spotted. Garrett didn’t make a mistake, the referee’s did. They ended up getting the right call on the field and removed officiating from affecting that play beyond what the players on the field had or had not done.

Getting the call right is as much about accurate accreditation of the player’s performance as it is restricting players to a set of rules evenly and fairly so as to prevent any undue advantages in the game. That’s it.

And for the few fans I’ve heard spouting off about having 4 minutes in the game after Bryant’s catch was taken away…

If my aunt had balls, she’d be my uncle.

Instead of everyone needing to blame the team for not scoring more in the game to feel better about the loss, try accepting that they lost. The Cowboys lost.

Cowboys Headlines - Dez Bryant's Catch is Already Old NewsI’ve watched the clip many times and can see the same thing every time. Dez Bryant caught the ball, tucked it away establishing possession with three feet on the ground and stretched for the goal line in a move common to football when contact with the ground jarred the ball.

I can’t not see that when it’s so clear. I certainly won’t take that catch away from him because of how it turned out. That was a damned good throw and an even better catch when it was needed most. It was clutch.

And that speaks nothing of the rules stating there must be conclusive evidence to overturn the ruling on the field, a burden not hardly met with the reversal. Regardless of anything else, that point is undeniable by anyone looking to do more than just bash America's favorite team to hate.

The Cowboys did what they’re paid to do. It was a close game all afternoon and they found a way to beat the Packers on the road.

What more could you ask from them?

This subject isn’t open to debate, not for me. I'm a fan first, and blog owner second. The trolls who insist on getting rowdy about it are met with an instant block and the rest are easily ignored. Screw who the player is, or the team, or the game, all of it – that man caught the ball as he’s done many times before. End of story.



Nothing gives me greater joy than the experience of being a Dallas Cowboys fan come time to check another victory on the schedule every Sunday. I live Inside the Star everyday and blog on it occasionally, as well. Follow us on Twitter - @InsideTheStarDC

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. PANAMA2727

    January 12, 2015 at 1:11 pm

    Proud of my Boys! Thaks for the memories! We will be back & then BOYS CAN DO IT!

  2. RJ Ochoa

    RJ Ochoa

    April 21, 2016 at 11:05 pm

    I do sort of wish that we'd let it go. He caught it and I think that everyone acknowledges that. Let's move on!

    Sent from my iPad using Pigskin Hub – Pro Football Forums mobile app

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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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