Former New York Giants Head Coach Ben McAdoo has a lot of time on his hands right now, being currently unemployed from any level of football. Yesterday, he decided to spend some of that time throwing shade across the NFC East in an interview. The Dallas Cowboys were part of McAdoo's trash-talking session.
McAdoo, who went 13-16 as Giants head coach the last two seasons and was fired in December, predicted that his former team would win the NFC East in 2018. New York never won the division in McAdoo's four seasons with the team, two as offensive coordinator before becoming head coach.They 25-36 overall during his time with the organization.
So why does McAdoo think the Giants will turn it around next season? He said the following in the New York Post interview:
"I think Philly, how much success has Philly had? I think they're gonna have a hard time handling success."
"And Washington is Washington, right?"
Riveting stuff, Ben. Really hard-hitting analysis there.
Of course, McAdoo saved his deepest comments for the Cowboys:
"Dallas, I like their offensive line, but how long have we been saying that? Their defense, they got a bunch of young guys playing DB, Sean Lee is banged up a lot, and their D-Line, they got a bunch of guys getting in trouble all the time."
Let's just break that down, shall we?
The Cowboys offensive line is easy to like, being arguably the best in the NFL. It's the key to why Dallas has won two NFC East title in the last three years, something the Giants haven't done since 2011.
He was right about Dallas having a lot of youth in the secondary, but I think he's just jealous. McAdoo's first draft pick was Cornerback Eli Apple, who still hasn't looked as good as Jourdan Lewis or Chidobe Awuzie.
Sean Lee does get banged up a lot, it's true. But when healthy he's better than any linebacker the Giants have had since the 1980s.
And yes, some of our defensive linemen have had issues. But none of them are missing any fingers.
To his credit, McAdoo managed to go 2-2 in his matchups with the Cowboys the last two seasons. He handed Dallas their only two real regular season losses of 2016 when the team went 13-3 and won the division.
But still, this is Ben McAdoo. This is the disgraced coach who lost to the 19-3 Cowboys last year and got fired before they could play again in December. The same guy who, while offensive coordinator in 2015, orchestrated a horrific late-game play call that likely cost the Giants the season opener.
McAdoo hasn't been a part of a division winner as a coordinator or head coach. He only had one winning season out of three during that time.
So really, what does he know?
If the Giants do win the NFC East in 2018, it could be for some of the reasons that Ben described. Philly could falter, Washington could do their usual thing, and Dallas may be held back by some of the problems he mentioned.
But the biggest reason for any success in New York this year will be the change they made at head coach. McAdoo clearly didn't belong in the job, and now he can't find any work in the NFL.
But yeah... keep talking, Ben. Maybe you'll get to sit between Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe one day.
WR Randall Cobb Named Cowboys “Surprise Standout” for Offseason
NFL teams have wrapped up their offseason activities with the close of OTAs, especially where the players are concerned, and await the start of training camps next month. In reviewing the last few months, ESPN had their local reporters each pick a surprise standout from their team's practices. Todd Archer, who covers the Dallas Cowboys full time, selected veteran receiver Randall Cobb.
Cobb is in his first season with Dallas after signing as a free agent last March. He's spent the last eight years with the Green Bay Packers and was a Pro Bowler in 2014, but has struggled with injuries the last few seasons.
Here were Archer's observations on how Randall is doing so far with the Cowboys:
Normally a player with Cobb's résumé -- 470 catches for 5,524 yards and 41 touchdowns during his career -- would not be considered for a category like this. But injuries limited him to only nine games and 38 catches for Green Bay in 2018, and it was hard to know what the Cowboys were getting in the veteran receiver.
If the offseason work is any indication, they have found a replacement for Cole Beasley. Cobb's versatility can expand the offense for others, such as Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup. Cobb looked quick in and out of his breaks and fast enough to make plays down the field. Will he put up the 1,287 yards he had in 2014? No, but he gives Dak Prescott a security blanket in the slot who can turn a small gain into a big one.
The notion of Cobb replacing Beasley is a big one. While we'd like to think that Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup will provide plenty of firepower for the Cowboys offense, Dak Prescott has enjoyed a reliable threat from the slot position since he arrived.
Randall Cobb, when healthy, can do more than just make clutch catches. He has good run-after-catch skills and perhaps bring more big play potential than Beasley did.
If Cooper and Gallup do emerge as a dangerous starting duo on the outside, Cobb should have even more opportunities to punish defenses than Beasley did.
If nothing else, it's very encouraging to hear that one of the Cowboys' few 2019 free agent moves is already reaping benefits. Cobb still needs to bring it over a full season to really justify the move, but these early reports are cause for excitement.
BREAKING: Cowboys TE Rico Gathers Receives One-Game Suspension
Tight End Rico Gathers already had an uphill climb to return to the Dallas Cowboys' 53-man roster in 2019. But that climb just got even steeper; the NFL handed down a one-game suspension to Gathers today for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy.
If he does make the team this year, with Dallas or anyone else, Rico will have to sit out Week One of the season without pay.
Cowboys TE Rico Gathers is suspended without pay for the first game of the 2019 regular season for violating the NFL's policy and program on substances of abuse. This is from his arrest in 2018 for marijuana possession.
Gathers' chances of returning in 2019 were already hurt by Jason Witten's reversed retirement. He dropped to fourth on the TE depth chart behind Witten, Blake Jarwin, and Dalton Schultz, and Dallas only kept three tight ends last year.
The Cowboys also added Codey McElroy as a developmental player during the offseason.
While the suspension is news, the incident that led to it is not. Dallas already knew about the arrest, which occurred in early September of 2018, and have kept Gathers around up until now.
The NFL's substance abuse system is pretty formulaic, so the Cowboys likely anticipated this suspension all along. This may not change anything about how they value Rico Gathers for the 2019 season.
Nevertheless, a player who can't help you in Week One and is a liability for ever longer suspensions down the road is definitely a red flag against Gathers' job security.
Antwaun Woods: Cowboys DT is Just Getting Started
Antwaun Woods went undrafted in 2016 coming out of USC. After two years with the Tennessee Titans, he would only see one game of action. In May of 2018, the Cowboys signed Woods to a two-year contract worth 1.05 million. Probably seen as nothing more than a practice squad guy, Woods would quickly show he was much more than that.
The newly acquired Woods started his climb to stardom in Oxnard during training camp, and not for making plays. One day during practice he got into a friendly game of fisticuffs with All-Pro Center Travis Frederick. The team even posted the video on social media, which had fans buzzing and wanting to know who he was.
All-Pro Running Back Ezekiel Elliott echoed those thoughts when he saw Woods during camp. "Honestly, when we first got him, we were like, 'Who is this guy?'. He was giving Travis Frederick, one of our best players, hell all camp. Just trying to figure out where this guy came from," Elliott said.
Once the regular season started it was clear the Cowboys had found a hidden gem. Although the sack numbers won't dazzle you, seeing as he only registered 1.5, you could forget about running the ball anywhere near him. Woods has amazing quickness for a 300 pounder which allows him to extend his arms before offensive lineman can get a hand on him.
How significant is that? It becomes that much easier to bull rush and blow running plays up in the backfield.
When you can get your hands on an offensive lineman immediately when the ball is snapped, he's basically under your control. You can move him around like a puppet on a string. Essential for a 1-technique nose tackle. With that being said, there should be no surprise the Cowboys finished fifth against the run in 2018 with Woods manning the middle.
Woods draws a lot of double teams, and he handles them well. Having the ability to take on multiple linemen frees up your other playmakers. As the anchor in the middle, Woods made life a lot easier for not only his fellow defensive linemen but the team's two young star Linebackers Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch. Allowing them to roam freely like Lions in the Serengeti makes running backs essentially Zebra's carrying the ball, cooked food. So much so that both tallied over 120 tackles and were the only teammates in the NFL to rank in the top 15 in that category.
There's nothing but upside with Antwaun Woods. He's only had 18 games of experience in three years. He's already a stud, but with limited snaps, it can only mean he'll be even more formidable going forward.
The Cowboys have a loaded defensive lineman group with around 15 bodies, plenty of competition. All signs point to him remaining the starter, but it's not guaranteed. Even with that being said I don't expect a complacency from Woods, especially with DeMarcus Lawrence and Robert Quinn looking like the only sure starters on the defensive line. Plus this is a contract year for him, so you know he'll be even more motivated as he tries to maximize his dollars. We've only seen the tip of the iceberg from this raw talent, setting up for a potential breakout year for him in 2019.
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