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Does Eddie Lacy Own The Dallas Cowboys?

RJ Ochoa

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Cowboys Blog - Does Eddie Lacy Own The Dallas Cowboys?

January 11th, 2015 was a long time ago.

That day will forever live in infamy throughout the hearts of Dallas Cowboys fans across the globe. Why is that, you ask? Oh it was just the “Dez Catch” game. Yes… that one.

Last week while I was minding my own business the NFL Network, whom I care for deeply, must have had a big problem with me. Maybe I forgot to get them a Valentine’s Day gift, maybe I left the toilet seat up, or maybe they were just having a bad day. Either way they replayed that horror and, because I’m a masochist, I watched the whole thing in its entirety. What’s wrong with me?

You would think that the DeMarco Fumble or Dez Catch would be enough to satisfy my pain quota for the day, but I was really looking to scar myself emotionally. Where anyone else would have changed the channel to enjoy otherwise cheerful regularly scheduled programming… I found a new reason to be sad.

And because I’m just a big ‘ol ball of joy – I’m going to share it with you. Cheers.


It’s hard to find an NFL player who faced more scrutiny throughout the 2015 NFL season than Eddie Darwin Lacy Jr..

Sidebar: HIS MIDDLE NAME IS DARWIN?! How awesome is that???

In his third year out of the University of Alabama, the star running back for the storied Green Bay Packers had a low production season and met some harsh criticism for his overweight physique.

Cowboys Blog - Does Eddie Lacy Own The Dallas Cowboys? 3

Thanksgiving was but four days away when Eddie Lacy had his first 100-yard game of the season. Darwin – I can call him that, right? – had exactly 100 yards against the Vikings on November 22nd so he barely made this weigh in.

It looked things were trending upward when, in a Packer loss, Lacy put up 105 yards on Turkey Day to record back-to-back games worthy of a Benjamin. It was when the Packers visited Detroit on a Thursday Night in December that things got really crazy:

  1. Aaron Rodgers threw what everyone in the world thinks was the first Hail Mary ever.
  2. Eddie Lacy ran for 4 yards on 5 carries. I’d have you double check the math on that but we, like everyone else regarding Aaron’s Hail Mary, need to move on.

So up until this point Lacy did have two 100-yard games to his 2015 name, but he also had four with 10 or fewer yards. Fantasy experts near and far were past the point of caution with Eddie. He sucked. He was terrible. He was no good. Good thing for Eddie is he had a date with the Dallas Cowboys up next.

Why was that a good thing? Eddie loves the Cowboys. He’s particularly good against them. Just how good, though?

I’m going to jump ahead in time. We’re now past Eddie’s date with the Cowboys (24 carries for 124 yards and a touchdown in case you were wondering…) and we’re at today. The sad day.

Eddie Lacy has played 51 career games (Playoffs are included in all statistics here, FYI). In those games he has amassed 3,482 yards. Some simple math tell us that comes out to 68.27 yards per game. That’s not exactly a Hall of Fame type average which helps to explain the flack that Lacy took all season. If you thought that this was the “sad” part of things then you are in for quite a doozy.

Here are three “random” Eddie Lacy games:

Date Carries Yards Yards/Carry
12/15/13 21 141 6.71
1/11/15 19 101 5.32
12/13/15 24 124 5.17
Total 64 366 5.72

These aren’t just three random games. These are the three times in Eddie Lacy’s career that he’s played the Dallas Cowboys.

Cowboys Blog - Does Eddie Lacy Own The Dallas Cowboys? 1

Right about now you’re probably thinking, “Ok well this isn’t too bad. RJ said I’d be sad. I’m only just a little bummed. Whatever. I want tacos for lunch!” Don’t get any hot sauce because I’ve got some for you, pal.

Eddie Lacy has played 48 career games against teams that are not the Dallas Cowboys. In those games he has carried the ball 738 times for 3,116 yards. That’s 4.22 yards per carry. That means Eddie Lacy averages a full YARD AND A HALF more against the Dallas Cowboys than literally every other team he’s played in his career.

3,116 yards sliced 48 ways (one for each game not against the Cowboys) yields 64.92 yards per game. Let this really sink in… Eddie Lacy averages 64.92 yards per game when he’s not playing against the Cowboys.

What about when he is? Well the original Darwin preached survival of the fittest and Eddie certainly survives against Dallas. In a hat trick of matchups against the ‘Boys Eddie’s churned out 366 yards on the ground. That only comes out to 122 yards per game every time Eddie Lacy plays against the Dallas Cowboys!

Feeling sad yet?

Eddie Lacy Versus: Yards/Carry Yards/Game
Everyone Else 4.22 64.92
Dallas Cowboys 5.72 122
Percentage Increase 35.55% 87.92%

I’m going to give you a moment to reflect. Take your time.

You ok? Need a tissue for all those tears? It’s ok, I’m here for you! (I hope you got tacos for me, by the way).

Cowboys Blog - Does Eddie Lacy Own The Dallas Cowboys? 2

Eddie Lacy, shockingly, averages 35.55% more yards per carry and an astonishing 87.92% more yards per game versus the Dallas Cowboys specifically than he does versus the entire field. Welcome to Sadtown, population is you and me. (Oh and the Dallas Cowboys Defense apparently…).

Lacy has had 100 or more yards 11 times in his career. Three of them, a poetic 27.27%, have been against America’s Team.

Please allow me to remind you that all of these… are facts. Numbers. Data. Indisputable evidence.

The Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers will square off at Lambeau Field in 2016. If history is any indicator then you need to have Eddie Lacy in your fantasy football lineups that day. You’ll be thankful you did because Eddie Lacy owns the Dallas Cowboys. Ugh.

What do you make of this data? Does Eddie Lacy really own the Dallas Cowboys or is this an insane streak of coincidences? Let me know! Comment below, Email me at RJ@RJOchoaShow.com, or Tweet to me at @rjochoa!

 

Tell us what you think about “Does Eddie Lacy Own The Dallas Cowboys?” in the comments below. You can also email me at RJ.Ochoa@SlantSports.com, or Tweet to me at @RJOchoa!

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I like long walks on the beach, mystery novels, no just kidding those suck. The Dallas Cowboys were put on this earth for us all to love and appreciate. I do that 24/7/365. I also love chicken parmesan. Let's roll. @RJOchoa if you wanna shout!

Star Blog

Will Terrance Williams be Back with Cowboys in 2018?

Brian Martin

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Will Terrance Williams be Back with Cowboys in 2018?

Each offseason tough decisions have to be made by teams around the NFL, and the Dallas Cowboys are no exception. Teams have to decide who to promote, who to demote, and who to cut ties with altogether. For the Cowboys, Terrance Williams fits into one of those three categories, but which one?

It was plainly obvious that the Dallas Cowboys wide receivers all had an extremely disappointing 2017 season.

Everybody has their own opinion as to why this happened, but one thing is for sure, the Cowboys coaching staff will definitely look at ways to get more out of their receiving core. The one player who I think could be affected most by whatever decision the coaching staff ends up making is Terrance Williams.

Williams didn’t do much to make a case for keeping his starting job in 2017, let alone sticking on the roster.

To say he had a disappointing season would be an understatement.

Williams finished the 2017 season with just 53 receptions for 568 receiving yards and absolutely zero touchdowns. The Cowboys were likely hoping for more production from someone they just signed to a four-year, $17-million contract extension back in March [2017].

Now, you can make the argument Williams took a team discount in order to stay in Dallas, but that doesn’t carry much weight when your production leaves so much to be desired. This is especially true when there might be somebody on the roster who can do just as well, and possibly be an upgrade.

Noah Brown

Dallas Cowboys WR Noah Brown (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)

Yes, if you haven’t guessed it yet, I’m talking about Noah Brown.

I know I’m not alone here, but I think Noah Brown could easily replace Terrance Williams’ production. I understand that there’s not much evidence to back up that statement based on Brown’s rookie season, but he has all the tools required to succeed.

This is really all about potential, and Noah Brown simply has more upside than Terrance Williams.

We all know what Terrance Williams is as a receiver, and what he brings to the table for the Cowboys offense. I believe Noah Brown can do all the things Williams does and has the potential to be even better.

I already think Noah Brown is a better blocker, something the Cowboys coaching staff really values about Williams. I also think Brown is a better pass catcher. He is a natural hands catcher and has a large catching radius, something Williams obviously isn’t (body catcher).

Right now, Williams is only better than Noah Brown in a few areas. He is slightly faster, he’s more advanced as a route runner, and has more experience. That’s about it.

This will obviously be a tough decision for the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff to make. But, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if we see Terrance Williams playing somewhere else when the 2018 season kicks off.

Do you think Terrance Williams will be with the Cowboys in 2018?

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Star Blog

Are the Dallas Cowboys Building a Championship Defense?

Sean Martin

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Are Dallas Cowboys Building A Championship Defense? 3

Three of the four teams remaining in the NFL playoffs — a win away from the Super Bowl — ranked within the top four defensively in yards per game allowed this season. The other is the defending-champion New England Patriots, who of course were expected to reach yet another AFC Championship game, thanks to Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.

Somewhere between this field, losing their 2017 hopes at a deep playoff run to injuries, suspensions, and just poor execution at times, are the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys ranked eighth in yards allowed per game at 318.1 this season.

On the surface, all this provides hope that typically springs eternal around the league through the offseason.

It has been far too long since the Cowboys defense matched the skill level of the team’s offense, but Rod Marinelli’s unit (not exactly by design) outplayed that of Scott Linehan’s at times through this 9-7 campaign.

This defensive rebuild in Dallas began with the admission that this group had reached their ceiling in the offseason, as the Cowboys let long-time starters like CB Morris Claiborne, CB Brandon Carr, S Barry Church (now with the Jaguars), and S J.J. Wilcox go in free agency.

Are Dallas Cowboys Building A Championship Defense?

Dallas Cowboys CB Jourdan Lewis, CB Chidobe Awuzie, S Xavier Woods (AP Photo / Ron Jenkins)

For a team with Super Bowl aspirations, looking to turn over an entire secondary in a division featuring Carson Wentz, Eli Manning, and Kirk Cousins as quickly as the Cowboys did was a risky move. Their confidence in hitting on draft picks paid off though.

The Cowboys’ bright future is predicated on the likes of CB Chidobe Awuzie, CB Jourdan Lewis, and S Xavier Woods.

With two young starters at cornerback, the sky truly is the limit the this Cowboys defense. And they’ll play in support of an offense with more than enough talent to return to form in 2018.

As it stands now under Rod Marinelli, the Cowboys defense is built to keep everything in front of them, and get bodies to the football. This coverage-friendly approach could be taken to new heights with Lewis and Awuzie on the outside, along with Anthony Brown finding a home in the slot. All three cornerbacks have excelled at using their speed, length, and technique to get their hands on passes.

Are Dallas Cowboys Building A Championship Defense? 1

Dallas Cowboys DE DeMarcus Lawrence

Of course, games are won in the trenches, where the idea of the Cowboys defensive line ever rising to the level of their offensive line was laughable until recently. Whether it’s with the franchise tag or a long-term extension, sack-artist DeMarcus Lawrence looks to be an all-important member of this entire team moving forward.

A healthy Lawrence was a nightmare for opposing right tackles in 2017. He earned a national spotlight each week on his way to the quarterback 14-and-a-half times. Making it look easy at times, Lawrence is a refined rusher with the speed and power to win inside and out.

The RDE position remains a sore spot in need of talent as this Cowboys defense looks to take the next step, but there’s hope for the likes of Randy Gregory, Charles Tapper, and Taco Charlton to get the job done, along with veteran starter Tyrone Crawford.

With Crawford at RDE for much of 2017, running the ball against the Cowboys front was a tall order. His ability to capture the corner against left tackles came as a pleasant surprise to many, and once in position, the defensive captain chased down plenty of plays.

Tyrone Crawford wasn’t the only pleasant surprise on the Dallas Cowboys defensive line this season.

Rookie Taco Charlton looked like an entirely different player to close a first year in Dallas that began with completely uninspiring results. Charlton — having the physical traits to play at the next level — was never a question out of Michigan.

He may never be a player to take over games for a defense, which the Cowboys couldn’t have expected to find at DE selecting 28th overall, but an improved player at DE and DT could be an incredibly valuable asset for the Cowboys in 2018 and beyond.

This leaves the Cowboys linebacker corps, where we find the best example of young potential on the entire defense. Amazingly playing in all 16 games, LB Jaylon Smith is in line to take a massive step forward in year two.

Smith closed his season looking enticingly close to the player he was at Notre Dame, an encouraging sign as the Cowboys look to become less dependent on Sean Lee on this side of the ball.

Lee and Smith paired together would give the Cowboys a middle-of-the-field presence to rival the best in the league. Both players have exceptional range and awareness to run down plays from sideline to sideline.

Anthony Hitchens, an impending free agent, is another valuable piece at LB with his ready ability to play all three positions at a relatively high level.

Are Dallas Cowboys Building A Championship Defense? 2

Dallas Cowboys LB Sean Lee

Stefon Diggs racing to the end zone with no time left to send the Vikings to the NFC Championship game will be the lasting image of this past Divisional Round weekend, an offensive play that will live on forever.

A closer look at these games and the teams that survived them reveals a collective trust in defenses, a trust the Cowboys could be blissfully close to with their own young defense.

The Cowboys are likely losing one of the smarter minds behind their defense in recent years, with Matt Eberflus ticketed for Josh McDaniel’s staff, and are still in need of a secondary coach after not retaining Joe Baker. In a league where better talent typically prevails though, the possibility of the Cowboys building a championship defense for next season and beyond may not be far off.

With defenses in Jacksonville and Philadelphia providing the hope that both teams can pull off the impossible and reach the Super Bowl on Sunday, will defensive potential be enough for Dallas to get through this long offseason and start the even longer path back to their first NFC Championship game in 21 seasons?

Tell us what you think about “Are the Dallas Cowboys Building a Championship Defense?” in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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Star Blog

Can Rico Gathers Make Cowboys Offense More “Dak-Friendly”?

Brian Martin

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Rico Gathers, Rams

The Dallas Cowboys unfortunately face all kinds of questions heading into the 2018 offseason. Right now, there are no answers to those questions, which means we’ll just have to sit back and take a wait-and-see approach. But, one question that absolutely has to be answered is how to make the Cowboys offense more Dak Prescott friendly.

Offensively, the Dallas Cowboys had an extremely disappointing year in 2017. Suspensions and injuries are the main culprits for the disappointment, but the Dallas Cowboys haven’t really changed things much in the scheme or personnel to help Dak Prescott succeed.

The sad truth is, the Dallas Cowboys are still operating as if Tony Romo is the starting quarterback. It’s pretty much the same personnel and scheme, but it really doesn’t suit Prescott.

It’s time for that to change. Unfortunately, this isn’t something that will happen overnight.

The Cowboys spent years putting together the personnel to help Romo. Just when they thought they had the missing piece — by drafting Ezekiel Elliott, Romo sustained a back injury, pretty much ending his career.

Anyway you look at it, the offensive personnel needs to improve in order to make this team more “Dak-friendly”.

Enter Tight End Rico Gathers.

Rico Gathers

Dallas Cowboys TE Rico Gathers

The Dallas Cowboys have invested two years in Rico Gathers’ development, but with the exception of a few flashes in preseason, they haven’t benefited from the fruits of their labor. The 2018 season should be Gathers’ coming-out party.

We all witnessed what the Cowboys offense looks like when they are forced to rely on the passing game. Dak Prescott struggled to find any kind of consistency throwing the ball — with the options he had at his disposal in 2017 — while Ezekiel Elliott served a six-game suspension.

Defenses decided to take Prescott’s favorite target out of the equation by bracketing Cole Beasley in coverage. Then, they also devoted extra attention Dez Bryant‘s way, making it difficult to get him the ball.

The only other option left really was Jason Witten on simple check downs.

And that is what the future Hall of Famer has been reduced to.

Jason Witten is no longer the threat he once was. Yes, he is still a reliable target, but his age is starting to catch up to him, which has unfortunately robbed him of some of his athleticism. We will no longer see Witten stretch the field down the seam, or run many routes further than 10 yards.

That’s why I think Rico Gathers could be a difference maker in 2018, especially for Dak Prescott.

Prescott needs more than an outlet receiver at the TE position. No offense to Jason Witten, but that’s pretty much what he has become at this point in his career.

Rico Gathers on the other hand is not only different from Witten, but also provides a different skill set than any other TE on the Cowboys roster. He’s a big target with athleticism, who cannot only move the chains, but stretch the field and break tackles in the open field.

Gathers’ sheer size alone creates mismatch problems against smaller defensive backs and linebackers, but his athleticism should allow him to create separation, something which fits into what Prescott needs from his receivers.

There is no reason why the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff can’t find a way to incorporate Rico Gathers’ unique skill set into the offense. They may not truly trust him to be an every down player, but that’s not happening anyway, not with Jason Witten on the roster.

If it was me, I would have a few packages in the playbook specifically designed for Gathers. I not only think this will help him grow as a player, but help the Cowboys offense become more “Dak-friendly”.

Can Rico Gathers make the Cowboys offense more “Dak-friendly”?

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