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.
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:
- Aaron Rodgers threw what everyone in the world thinks was the first Hail Mary ever.
- 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:
These aren't just three random games. These are the three times in Eddie Lacy's career that he's played the Dallas Cowboys.
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|
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).
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!
How The Seattle Seahawks Have Increased Importance In Cowboys’ Lore
You can't talk about this decade's Dallas Cowboys without discussing the Seattle Seahawks.
In 2012, when Golden Tate took out Sean Lee on a crack-back block and the Seahawks embarrassed a Cowboys team who had just defeated the defending champion New York Giants, we saw which of the two teams was truly ready for the big stage.
In 2014, as Rolando McClain intercepted Russell Wilson and the Cowboys clinched a critical road victory, we knew that Dallas was a legit contender.
In 2015, when Seattle finally came to Dallas and rendered the return of Pro Bowl receiver Dez Bryant meaningless in a 13-12 win, the then 2-5 Cowboys were sent further into a Romo-less abyss.
And, in 2017, Dez Bryant's key drops and Dan Bailey's missed field goals during a horrendous home loss to the Seahawks on Christmas Eve might have sealed each of their fates for the following offseason.
The most important moment in this Cowboys/Seahawks history, however, occurred during a preseason game. A meaningless preseason game which turned out to be the most meaningful day in recent Cowboys history.
Cliff Avril dragging Tony Romo down from behind, effectively ending his career, and kicking off the roster massive turnover we have seen the last two offseasons. From Dak Prescott, to a brand new secondary, to the retirement of Jason Witten, and the cutting of Dez Bryant. All of this change, which put an end to the Romo era rosters in Dallas, began with that hit in Seattle.
Since 2012 the Cowboys, and the rest of the NFC really, have been judged by how they play against two teams: the Packers and the Seahawks.
They have been the class of the NFC, and while we like to think that if the "Dez Caught It" game went how it should have Dallas would've handled Seattle, that will forever be an unknown.
Sunday's game is not expected to carry the franchise-changing implications that some of these other match ups have had. The Seahawks are 0-2 and reeling, with a shaky offensive line and reported distrust throughout the organization.The Cowboys, however, can jump-start their season with a big road win over a winless team that they should beat in the minds of many.
But knowing how things between these teams tend to go, Sunday afternoon may end up having major implications on the rest of the Cowboys' season.
Where this could be the case is in a potential Earl Thomas trade. It's been speculated that Seattle has been hesitant to deal Thomas to Dallas before their week 3 match up, but could be more willing to do so after the game.
Especially if that game is a loss which sends them to 0-3. The Cowboys have been actively pursuing Earl Thomas, and Thomas has certainly made it clear that he wants to be in Dallas. The only party not willing to make it happen thus far, are the Seahawks.
So, this weekend, there is a chance another chapter is added to those franchise-changing moments in Cowboys/Seahawks lore.
A Look Around The NFC East: Week 3
Week two didn't go as planned for much of the NFC East, with only the Dallas Cowboys reigning victorious last Sunday.
Now, three teams are locked in a tie for first place at 1-1, with the New York Giants lagging behind with a winless record. Week 3 is shaping up to be a potential early turning point, however, with Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz returning and each team facing a very beatable opponent.
Let's take a look around the division and see what the Cowboys' foes will be facing this week.
The Eagles fell victim to one of the more surprising upsets of the weekend last Sunday, as Ryan Fitzpatrick led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers over the Eagles 27-21. While their defense got off to a shaky start in the loss, it was the offense which proved too little too late in their push down the stretch.
Carson Wentz is expected to not only return but to start on Sunday in the Eagles' match up against the Colts. Indianapolis upset the Washington Redskins last week, but will be 6 point underdogs when the game kicks off in Philadelphia on Sunday.
Wentz should give the defending champs an extra boost, and while they haven't looked as dominant as many expected through the first two games, this could be the game to spring them the rest of the way.
As mentioned earlier, the Redskins fell in Indianapolis last week, and are now tied for first place in the division with a 1-1 record. As dominant and impressive as Washington looked in their opener against Arizona, Washington's week two loss featured lethargic offensive play for four quarters.
This week the Redskins are three point home underdogs as Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers come to town. Green Bay tied Minnesota a week ago, but behind Rodgers and their potent offense, they have the chance to take advantage of Washington's suspect secondary down the field.
Sunday will be a tough test for the Redskins as they look to get back above .500 against a tough conference opponent.
New York Giants
The Giants' season is on the brink this week, and that really isn't a dramatic statement at all. Now at 0-2 with a division loss to the Cowboys last week, the Giants have to beat the 0-2 Texans on Sunday to get some confidence and keep pace within the conference.
Lucky for them, the Texans haven't looked impressive whatsoever through two games. Unlucky for them, the Texans have strong pass rushers like JJ Watt and Jadeveon Clowney ready to abuse their weak offensive line.
Houston is a six point home favorite over the Giants, proving it will be an uphill battle for New York to save their season.
Cowboys en Español: La Defensiva de Dallas es Muy Real
Después de dos semanas de acción de los Dallas Cowboys, una cosa ha quedado más que clara. La defensiva del coordinador defensivo Rod Marinelli ha demostrado que es realmente buena. No como en otros años, que nos conformábamos con que la defensiva dejará avanzar y cediera tres puntos hasta que se rompía en el último cuarto.
No, ahora es diferente. Este año, los Dallas Cowboys tienen presión al QB opuesto. No sólo DeMarcus Lawrence, sino Taco Charlton, Randy Gregory y recientemente, los linebackers. Hemos visto a Jaylon Smith y Damien Wilson brindar presión y sobre todo, llegar a sus objetivos.
Los linebackers no han brillado sólo en esto, sino en otros ámbitos defensivos, como cobertura aérea y más. Incluso Joe Thomas ha logrado mantener su nivel que vimos en pretemporada cuando se le ha pedido entrar al campo.
Y en cuanto a la secundaria, no podríamos estar más agradecidos con la actuación de nuestros cornerbacks. Byron Jones está jugando a un nivel increíble. La semana pasada, Eli Manning sólo se atrevió a lanzar el balón en su dirección en cinco ocasiones. En esas cinco, consiguió sólo un pase completo para cero yardas. Chidobe Awuzie también ha tenido un gran inicio al 2018, manteniendo un nivel de juego consistente y efectivo. Estamos hablando de que el domingo pasado, estos dos cornerbacks se enfrentaron a uno de los mejores WR en la NFL, Odell Beckham Jr.
Finalmente, la posición de safety se ha visto como la unidad más débil en la defensiva. Jeff Heath es un titular promedio y Kavon Frazier tiene mucho camino por recorrer. Afortunadamente, hay esperanza de que Xavier Woods regrese de lesión este domingo.
A pesar de que en el 2016 todos veíamos a la ofensiva como nuestro futuro, es sorprendente el nivel que ha mostrado la defensiva. Es más agresiva, más efectiva y más confiable que en otros años. No podemos subestimar la llegada del coach Kris Richard al equipo.
Sobre todo después de que en el partido contra los New York Giants y los Carolina Panthers se demostró que Richard está involucrado directamente con las decisiones de las jugadas que se ejecutarán en el campo. Incluso Marinelli no tuvo problemas admitiendo que efectivamente, Richard estaba ganándose un rol en este aspecto.
Esto es muy relevante para los Dallas Cowboys, pues una de las cosas más destacadas que hemos visto las últimas semanas es el usaje de cargas o "blitzes" especiales en varias oportunidades. Incluyendo tercer down y largo.
Es algo que no habíamos visto nunca con el conservador Marinelli y que claramente es producto de Richard. Este personaje que viene de los Seattle Seahawks continua emergiendo como un candidato real al puesto de coordinador defensivo en el 2019 o quien sabe, quizá sea nombrado head coach si las cosas comienzan a ir mal para este equipo.
Sin duda alguna, la defensiva ha demostrado que es muy confiable y real. Es tiempo de que la ofensiva de Dallas responda a esto y comience a mover más las cadenas y sobre todo, aprovechar las oportunidades que tengan de anotar touchdowns. Empezar a depender de goles de campo nunca sale bien.
Sobre la llegada de Brice Butler
Increíblemente, Brice Butler regresó a los Dallas Cowboys, incluso después de todos los comentarios que hizo en ciertos programas de televisión. La primera reacción al respecto fue de confusión; ¿por qué regresar con un receptor que nunca fue tan especial y que habló tanto de Dallas?
La respuesta a esta pregunta se esclareció un poco este jueves por la noche cuando surgieron los rumores de que Terrance Williams, quien fue arrestado en el offseason por intoxicación pública, podría ser suspendido pronto por la NFL.
Esto probablemente no sucederá antes del partido de la semana 3, pero de todas maneras explica mucho sobre el último movimiento de los Cowboys.
En un partido bastante cerrado, creo que la defensiva de los Dallas Cowboys hará lo suficiente para llevarse la victoria. Es de suma importancia derribar a Russell Wilson y sobre todo, que la ofensiva tenga su mejor actuación de la campaña. La defensiva de Seahawks es bastante efectiva y no será sencillo vencerlos.
Marcador: Dallas Cowboys 21 - Seattle Seahawks 17
Game Notes7 days ago
Cowboys Rookie LB Leighton Vander Esch May Be New Starter at SAM
Dallas Cowboys3 days ago
Cowboys Reunion with WR Brice Butler Makes No Sense
Player News5 days ago
Report: Dallas Cowboys to Sign Free Agent Wide Receiver Brice Butler
Game Notes5 days ago
Sean’s Scout: Secondary Play, Improved OL Stand Out in Cowboys Win Vs. Giants
Player News2 weeks ago
Cowboys Sign G Xavier Su’a-Filo; Impact on Connor Williams?
Game Notes5 days ago
3 Stars from Dallas Cowboys Win over the New York Giants
Game Notes2 weeks ago
CAR 16, DAL 8: Cowboys Open Flat, Fall Short to Panthers
Game Notes2 weeks ago
3 Stars from the Dallas Cowboys Week 1 Loss to the Carolina Panthers