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Dallas Cowboys

Going from good to great against the Browns



Dallas Cowboys Cleveland Browns

On the first Sunday in September, the start of the NFL regular season got under way. The beginning of a new brand of Cowboy defense began as well! The performance put forth against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday was, well let's say very good! I say very good because, well it's week one. I am trying to stay grounded and not go overboard with my review, but if this happens next weekend it will be hard for me to hold it back!

If you watched “Hard Knocks” on HBO you would have heard a phrase used repeatedly by defensive coordinator Brian Stewart; “Good to Great”. This is the battle cry for this defense now. This defensive unit has apparently come to grips with the fact that this year excuses will not be tolerated! Being young and in a new system are no longer facts, and Stewart has let it be known that they must perform or else. I am by no means saying that they played a great game. They did not however sit back and let the browns dictate the game.

The Browns had possession eight times in this game for a total of 22:31, and four of those possessions they were forced to a three and out! One of their possessions was just before half and they had enough time to run the ball once. They had one 16 play 78 yard drive for a touchdown, and a 9 play 61 yard drive that ended with a 34 yard field goal. As I thought about this game throughout the week I wondered what the scheme would be. Well it was very evident what the scheme was KEEP THE BALL OUT OF WINSLOW'S HANDS, and did they ever succeed at this. Now for the last 4 years or so this would have been next to impossible, mainly because they did not have a safety who could cover Winslow, and well they still don't. What they do have though is one Anthony Henry. Roy Willy spent a lot of time watching from the sidelines. This was somewhat surprising given the fact that Terrence Newman was unavailable for this game. This left Scandrick the 5th round rookie covering Braylon Edwards, and I thought Scandrick did a nice job on him (although Edwards had a hard time catching the ball when he was open). Henry did a masterful job all day, he was very physical at the line of scrimmage not allowing their receivers to get off the line clean. They played more zone than I would like to see, zone coverage in my opinion only causes missed assignments when you are playing a mobile quarterback. This specific thing happened to the Boys a couple of times.

The D-Line played very well against the run only allowing 91 yards (24 of that was from Derek Anderson) as the only time the browns were successful on the ground was in passing situations ( Draw play). Marcus Spears continued his stellar play that he started in the preseason. I would like to see more pressure up the middle, but I am not going to complain.

The Linebackers were exceptional Greg Ellis in particular; Ellis was a big contributor to stopping Winslow. Whether he was covering him or getting a good chip on him at the line, I am sure Winslow is in no hurry to see Greg again! DeMarcus Ware saw double and triple teams all day and still managed a sack and a forced fumble on Anderson. Zach Thomas was every where, he reads and reacts to a play better than just about anybody I have ever seen. Bradie James had ZERO tackles, yes the starting inside linebacker, leader of the defense had ZERO tackles.

Step one for this defense is now complete, they are a legitimately GOOD defense. We will see what they are made of next Monday night against the Eagles. The end result for this defense will not be known until the end of the year, but if they can continue what they have started they will have certainly gone from GOOD to GREAT!

Dallas Cowboys

REPORT: Cowboys DL David Irving’s Accuser Retracts Claims Of Domestic Violence

Kevin Brady



David Irving

After what was a rather crazy day which resulted in reports the Frisco Police Department were investigating Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman David Irving for domestic violence, the accuser has now retracted her claims.

This retraction comes after the mentioned reports of domestic violence claims against David Irving earlier in the day. Irving was neither arrested nor charged for the incidents, though two separate allegations were made.

Jobin Panicker on Twitter

BREAKING @FriscoPD confirms allegations made against Cowboys player David Irving were reported on April 22nd. At two separate times: 5pm & 10pm. Allegations made by girlfriend @wfaa

Irving has claimed through his own social media account that his accuser is an ex-girlfriend looking for retaliation over a breakup. Irving has already said he has changed the locks on his house in attempt to change behavior moving forward.

Whether or not Irving abused his reported ex-girlfriend is not for me to say, but it will be interesting to see how Roger Goodell handles the matter after she retracted her claims later in the day. As we know very well, the NFL can claim violation of the personal conduct policy even if the justice system pursues no charges.

And the results of both the Frisco PD's investigation and that of the league office will be intriguing over the coming weeks and months.

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Player News

REPORT: Cowboys DE/DT David Irving Suspected of Domestic Violence

Jess Haynie



David Irving

[4/24/18 UPDATE: Irving's accuser has since recanted with police. However, the NFL could still investigate under their domestic violence policy.]


Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman David Irving is under investigation by Frisco, TX police for charges of domestic violence, according to a report by Jobin Panicker of WFAA-ABC in Dallas.

The following was tweeted from Panicker's account not long ago:

Jobin Panicker on Twitter

BREAKING @FriscoPD confirms it is investigating serious allegations against Cowboys player David Irving. No arrests. Assault-Bodily Injury, Unlawful Restraint, & Assault-Impeding Breath and Circulation @wfaa

Jobin Panicker on Twitter

BREAKING @FriscoPD confirms allegations made against Cowboys player David Irving were reported on April 22nd. At two separate times: 5pm & 10pm. Allegations made by girlfriend @wfaa

The veracity of the accusations are certainly not ours to judge, but other recent events on Irving's social suggest he is in the middle of a breakup with his girlfriend. Posts early this morning on his Twitter account appeared to be from an unauthorized user, and David later posted on both Twitter and Instagram that someone had hacked him.

Furthermore, Irving shared that he was already taking steps due to the volatile situation.

David Ja Rodd Irving on Twitter

@DCBlueStar Changed the locks yesterday

While personal lives should stay that way, Cowboys fans are understandably concerned after what happened last year with Ezekiel Elliott. As we saw then, Roger Goodell's "justice" system allows for just an accusation to lead to a suspension. There is no burden of proof on the accuser.

And as in that case, even if the police dismiss the allegation, the NFL can still pursue the matter under the personal conduct and domestic violence policies.

It would be nice to just say "let the process play out," but the NFL commissioner doesn't hold himself to that standard. Therefore, we have to report this as it could mean consequences for David Irving and the Dallas Cowboys no matter how legitimate the claims are.

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Player News

Jaylon Smith Practicing Without AFO Brace

John Williams



Jaylon Smith Voted Cowboys' Ed Block Courage Award Winner 1

A lot of the talk circling the Dallas Cowboys and the NFL Draft is the need for the Cowboys to draft a linebacker as insurance to Sean Lee and Jaylon Smith's injury issues.

One of the questions, Sean Lee, will always be a question. When he's on the field, he's as good a linebacker as there is in the NFL. In 2016, he finally got in a near full season and rewarded the Dallas Cowboys with an All-Pro season that led the team to the playoffs. Talent has never been the issue with Lee. Keeping him on the field has been.

Jaylon Smith's question isn't his health as much as it is his recovery. The surgery to repair his ACL and MCL that he suffered at the end of his final season at Notre Dame was considered a success. There was a caveat, however, that there was no telling how much functionality would return because of the massive nerve injury that occurred.

Last year, Jaylon Smith actually played football games. No small step. In some games he made some plays and in other games, it was clear that he was still struggling with changing directions and running with receivers and running backs in coverage.

Time is Jaylon's biggest ally and another offseason removed from his injury should only help him get stronger and more confident in his recovering knee.

Lost in all of the Dez Bryant hoopla was a beautiful little nugget that Jaylon Smith teased Cowboys Nation with last week.

Jaylon provided a great look at his training regimen on the first day of team workouts and if you look closely, you'll see with a Clear Eye View that Jaylon Smith isn't wearing a brace, tape, or any other kind of support. On his knee or foot.

Jaylon Smith on Twitter

Focused vision, Determined belief, Earned dreams. #ClearEyeView

Remember that even after Jaylon was playing and practicing without a knee brace, he was still requiring an AFO brace to help with his foot drop.

Oh, how much one offseason can change things.

Mike Fisher, now of, quoted Smith as saying, "I have more power and more flexibility now. And the dropfoot (issue) is fading. Absolutely!'' over on, and there was this:

"As our colleague Bryan Broaddus has previously noted, it does seem that some of the testing is behind him, that the nerve is regenerating, that the repaired knee is stronger than ever and that more improvement is ahead of him. Smith's 6-2, 245-pound body is about as sculpted as is imaginable. His mind is sculpted, too, the result of his faith and his intellect and his personality and more. He suggests now that more improvement is inevitable, and that includes the medical improvement that is now, to him, simply "a matter of timing.'''

Mike Fisher - 105.3 The Fan and

There is still a lot of hope around The Star and Cowboys Nation that Jaylon Smith can return to the All-American form that was projecting him as a top-five talent in the 2016 NFL Draft. If he's healthy and moving with better lateral movement and agility than he was in 2017, that's a huge step forward for Jaylon Smith and the Dallas Cowboys.

The progression of his knee and his confidence in said knee is going to be a huge determining factor in Dallas' plans to draft a linebacker. If they feel confident that he will be a more functional linebacker in 2018 than he was in 2017, then perhaps they could wait until day two or three to address the linebacker position.

We can't fully know their intentions as we get closer to draft day. How they address the linebacker position in the 2018 NFL Draft could give us an excellent indication of how they feel about Jaylon Smith's progression.

What we do know is that Jaylon Smith will never give up working toward being an elite middle linebacker. Let's hope he can realize his dreams. Everyone will be better for it.

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