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Donovan Is The DonoMAN: #67 Is Pat Donovan

RJ Ochoa

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Cowboys Blog - Donovan Is The DonoMAN: #67 Is Pat Donovan 3

There are officially 67 days until the toe meets the ball at AT&T Stadium where the Dallas Cowboys will host the New York Giants on NBC’s Sunday Night Football.

Hump Day! Congratulations on making it to the middle of the week. Today we’re going to dive head first into one of the prime numbers on this list, the Greatest 67 in Dallas Cowboys History. Please keep your hands and feet inside the railing at all times, flash photography is permitted.

The following players have all worn 67 for the Dallas Cowboys:

  • Joe Berger, OT
  • Phil Costa, C
  • Pat Donovan, OT
  • John Gesek, OG
  • Tony Hills, OT
  • John Houser, C
  • Jake Kupp, OG
  • Russell Maryland, DT
  • Everett McIver, OG
  • Nate Newton, OG
  • Joe Shearin, OG
  • Sean Smith, DE
  • Broderick Thompson, OT
  • Pat Toomay, DE
  • Gary Walker, C
  • Rayfield Wright, OT

The great number of 67 boils down to three contestants: Pat Donovan, Russell Maryland, and Pat Toomay.

 

The 1970 NFL Draft yielded a Vanderbilt product by the name of Pat Toomay. This 67 saw the field sparingly in his first two seasons, although he did pick up a Super Bowl ring in 1971 until he saw full-time starting duty in 1972. Toomay became a solid defense end amongst the ranks of the Doomsday Defense and even led the team, unofficially, in sacks in 1973 with 10.5. Toomay is sometimes most remembered for his involvement in the “Zero Club” on the Cowboys, a crew that prided themselves on how hard they worked and steered away from the limelight. Ultimately Toomay was traded to the Buffalo Bills in 1975 or a second round draft pick, which ultimately became part of the package that the Cowboys used to go get Tony Dorsett.

Speaking of NFL Drafts our next 67 was king of his. Russell Maryland was the first overall pick in the 1991 NFL Draft, hailing from Jimmy Johnson’s University of Miami. As most first round draft picks do, let alone first overall picks, Maryland started his rookie season at his defensive tackle position. He immediately showed his a relentless effort that helped catapult his defensive line unit to the top of the NFL. Maryland was a staple on the defense of the 1990s Cowboys Dynasty and was a huge reason why they won three Super Bowls in four years.

We spoke about the “Dirty Dozen” draft class (the 12 rookies from the 1975 NFL Draft) yesterday with our Greatest 68 in Dallas Cowboys History, Herbert Scott. Herbert wasn’t the only great offensive lineman found in that draft as the Greatest 67 in Dallas Cowboys History, Pat Donovan, was taken also.

Pat Donovan actually played defensive end at Stanford University. It wasn’t until three days in to his rookie training camp that, out of necessity, the Cowboys tried him out on the offensive line. Donovan saw some action at both the right and left tackle spots early on, but when our Greatest 70 in Dallas Cowboys History, Rayfield Wright, got hurt in 1977…Donovan seized his opportunity and never looked back. When Rayfield returned in 1978 Donovan danced on over to the left tackle spot, and the blind side was his.

Donovan was a part of the “Four Irishmen and a Scott” offensive line unit (Donovan, Herbert Scott, John Fitzgerald, Jim Cooper, and Tom Rafferty) that blocked day in and day out for Pro Football Hall of Famer Tony Dorsett.

Pat Is Also One Of Just Four Cowboy Offensive Tackles To Ever Be Named To Four Or More Pro Bowls:

  • Rayfield Wright with 6
  • Flozell Adams with 5
  • Erik Williams with 4

Pat Donovan never missed a game in 9 seasons with the Dallas Cowboys, and he outlasts some intense competition to become the Greatest 67 in Dallas Cowboys History.

Check back tomorrow to find out who the Greatest 66 in Dallas Cowboys History is!

Tell us what you think about "Donovan Is The DonoMAN: #67 Is Pat Donovan" in the comments below. You can also email me at RJ.Ochoa@SlantSports.com, or Tweet to me at @RJOchoa!



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

Leighton Vander Esch Is A Stud, And Should Be For A Long Time

Kevin Brady

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Leighton Vander Esch Is A Stud, And Should Be For A Long Time

The Cowboys took their fair share of heat for selecting linebacker Leighton Vander Esch 19th overall in the 2018 NFL Draft. But through just over half a season, Dallas is looking vindicated in their decision.

Vander Esch was arguably the best defensive player on the field during Dallas' 27-20 win in Philadelphia Sunday night, and made the two biggest defensive plays of the game as well. Finishing with a game-high 13 tackles, Vander Esch was all over the field in both run and pass defense.

The first of his two massive plays came in the first quarter. After the Cowboys offense stalled deep in their own territory, the Eagles looked to be in prime position to strike first with a short field. On Carson Wentz' first pass attempt of the drive, however, Leighton Vander Esch was there to intercept him and return the ball back 28 yards.

Those return yards proved key as well, giving the Cowboys the short field and an easy path to their first three points of the night. And with the way their offense looked early in this game, Dallas could use all the help they could get.

The biggest play of the game, though, came late in the fourth quarter. With the Eagles facing a third and long and down seven points, they absolutely needed a conversion to keep pace with the surprisingly hot Cowboys offense. Philadelphia tried to beat Dallas with a running back screen to the backside, inviting the pass rush and getting blockers out in front.

There seemed to be nothing but blockers and green grass ahead for the Eagles on this play, with "Next Gen Stats" expecting a 22 yard gain after the catch. Then, Leighton Vander Esch eluded two blockers and tracked down the running back for a gain of just 3.

Next Gen Stats on Twitter

Leighton Vander Esch made a game-saving tackle late in the 4th quarter to preserve the Cowboys 27-20 win. Corey Clement was expected to gain 22 yards after the catch (gained 3), -19 YAC Below Expectation, the most yards saved on a pass play this season. #DALvsPHI #DallasCowboys https://t.co/0DF7jhPQzH

If not for this tackle, who knows how both that Eagles' drive and the game would have ended. Vander Esch saved the day for Dallas, and forced the Eagles into a tough fourth and long situation with the game on the line.

I know it is still early in Vander Esch's career, and even relatively early in this season as well, but it's become clear the Cowboys hit a home run with their 2018 first round selection. Vander Esch is fitting in beside Jaylon Smith with ease, and with those two athletic freaks together, the Cowboys look to have one of the brightest defensive futures in all of football.

Of course, there are now legitimate questions about what the Cowboys should do with their captain Sean Lee. But as of right now, it should be Leighton Vander Esch's job to lose.



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Star Blog

Can Cowboys LB Vander Esch Do Enough to Win DROY?

Mauricio Rodriguez

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LB Leighton Vander Esch Rare Bright Spot In Cowboys Disappointing Loss

At 3-5, there are very few positive things to point out when discussing the 2018 Dallas Cowboys. One of those few things has been first-round rookie Leighton Vander Esch, whose play at linebacker has taken the league by surprise. Seen as a raw talent who could develop into an elite player with time as a prospect, Vander Esch's impact on the field has been immediate.

Through nine weeks in the NFL season, the Boise State product should definitely be in the Defensive Rookie of the Year discussion. As much as Sean Lee's injury will hurt the Cowboys' defense, it will get the rookie more playing time and a big opportunity to put his name in the minds of NFL Honors voters.

Sean Lee will miss some time after re-injuring his hamstring for the second time this season. Earlier in the year, Jaylon Smith and Vander Esch were able to keep the defense from crumbling without their veteran captain. Even with all the offensive struggles, that should continue to be the case for the linebackers.

Vander Esch has only played in 65% of the Cowboys' defensive snaps, yet he's tied for ninth place in solo tackles in the entire league with 49. He's at 64 total tackles and two pass deflections and has been a magnet to opposing ball carriers every time he's been on the field.

He's the third highest graded rookie LB for Pro Football Focus. Most times, rookies find success like this by being rotational players or simply splitting snaps with other players. But as previously mentioned, Lee has already been out for a handful of games in 2018 and Vander Esch has lived up to the hype.

Simply put, Leighton's play as a rookie has already put Sean Lee's future on the Cowboys in question. With such an injury history and a two young studs ready to take over the reigns, Dallas could very well release Lee prior to the 2019 season.

Now granted, the race for Defensive Rookie of the Year will not be an easy one to win for Vander Esch. Fourth overall pick Denzel Ward has been an impressive cornerback for the Browns and fifth-overall pick Bradley Chubb has been one of the best pass rushers on Sundays. Not to mention the NFL leader in solo tackles, Colts' LB Darius Leonard.

Despite a great start to his season, the Cowboys young LB will have to play way better for his name to be called when the Defensive Rookie of the Year is revealed at the NFL Honors event in February. There are some pretty big names he has to catch up with in order to make this happen.

Tell me what you think about "Can Cowboys LB Vander Esch Do Enough to Win DROY?" 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

Dak Prescott/Carson Wentz Is No Rivalry, And There’s Only One Side To Blame

Kevin Brady

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Dak Prescott/Carson Wentz Is No Rivalry, And There's Only One Side To Blame

It feels like an eternity has passed since 2016, yet somehow, it was only 2 seasons ago.

The Dallas Cowboys were riding high, en route to a 13-3 season and an NFC East crown. They had drafted the league's leading rusher Ezekiel Elliott fourth overall in the previous draft, and believed to have found their franchise quarterback over 100 picks later.

Up in Philadelphia things weren't going as smoothly, but they were certainly on the upswing. After trading up to select Carson Wentz in that same 2016 draft, the Eagles also believed they had their quarterback of the future.

Cowboys/Eagles. Dak/Wentz. A debate between two hated rivals which began in 2016 and seemed like it would go on for the next decade. It was almost too perfect.

Countless articles and blog posts were written about the birth of a quarterback rivalry which would span for the foreseeable future. Which team had the better draft haul in 2016? Which team was better set up for the future behind their young quarterback?

The two met for the first time on Sunday Night football back in 2016, and for much of the night neither was very good. They both looked like rookies, but at the end of the game Dak Prescott was the one who came through in the clutch, throwing the game winner in overtime to Jason Witten. The rivalry was born, and the Cowboys had the upper hand.

Fast forward to today and things are much, much different. Prescott and Wentz have only really played each other one other time since that first match-up, a game which the Eagles dominated and Dak Prescott threw 3 interceptions.

The other two games have been meaningless and ugly, two adjectives which could describe every Cowboys game the past calendar year.

Simply put, there is no rivalry. Dak Prescott and the Cowboys have not held up their end of the bargain since that first match-up in 2016. Prescott's play has fallen off considerably, as he has fallen victim to just about every piece of lazy analysis Eagles fans gave during his miraculous 2016 season.

Doug Pederson has become the anti-Jason Garrett, quite literally making his name off being aggressive on critical downs and refusing to punt on fourth and short in plus territory. The Eagles front office has become the anti-Cowboys, going after pricey trade targets and free agents to ensure they are making the most of their young quarterback's rookie contract window.

The Cowboys have failed just about everywhere that the Eagles have succeeded. And, Dak Prescott has failed just about everywhere Carson Wentz has excelled.

Maybe things will turn around this Sunday for Dallas, and if they are able to win, they'd still be very much alive in the division race. But all of that seems highly unlikely. There is no longer a Dak/Wentz rivalry. There's barely even a reason for Eagles fans to have Dak Prescott on their radar.

Let's hope Prescott and the Cowboys can begin to change things this Sunday.



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