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How Romo Wins 2016 Comeback Player of the Year

The NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award is given to an NFL player who has shown perseverance overcoming adversity. Winners in the past have either missed or performed poorly in the prior season, or suffered a severe injury but then excelled the following year. While it may be too early to tell, I think Tony Romo has a good chance of winning the Comeback Player of the Year Award in 2016. The last QB to win the award was Philip Rivers of the San Diego Chargers in 2013. Rivers, statistically, had one of his best seasons.

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Cowboys Headlines - Does Wilcox Have a Fighting Chance at FS? 2

The NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award is given to an NFL player who has shown perseverance overcoming adversity. Winners in the past have either missed or performed poorly in the prior season, or suffered a severe injury but then excelled the following year.

While it may be too early to tell, I think Tony Romo has a good chance of winning the Comeback Player of the Year Award in 2016.

The last QB to win the award was Philip Rivers of the San Diego Chargers in 2013. Rivers, statistically, had one of his best seasons. He finished in the top five in completion percentage (69.5 percent), yards per pass (8.23), passing yards (4,478), passing touchdowns (32) and passer rating (105.5) -- all while only throwing 11 interceptions and making the Pro Bowl. He threw for the best season of his career and propelled the Chargers into the playoffs.

But that’s not to say Rivers didn’t have a lot of help from his rookie wide receiver, Keenan Allen, who asserted himself as Rivers' best weapon and positioned himself as a possible Offensive Rookie of the Year candidate.

No kidding! The Cowboys also have a potential OROY candidate!

Cowboys Headlines - Does Wilcox Have a Fighting Chance at FS? 1Before Rivers, Peyton Manning was named CPOY after missing the entire 2011 season from a neck surgery. When he returned to the NFL, Manning set franchise records in nearly every passing category. He also played his 12th career Pro Bowl, a record among QBs. He and the Denver Broncos finished the season with a 13-3 record.

Manning also earned a pair of AFC Offensive Player of the Month Awards in October and December. At the end of his 2012 campaign, Manning had thrown 400 completed passes with a 68.6% completion rate for 4,659 yards, 37 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

In 2011, the quarterback for the Detroit Lions, Matthew Stafford, won the CPOY Award. Less than a year after his right shoulder surgery, Stafford threw for 5,038 yards and 41 touchdowns to lead the Lions to their first playoff since 1999. Stafford, who played only three games in the previous season, didn’t miss a single one in 2011. He completed 421 passes in the regular season and made the playoffs.

During his 2011 season, in four of Detroit's 10 wins, the Lions had to overcome second-half deficits of at least 13 points. In all four of those comebacks, Stafford threw multiple touchdowns to rally the Lions.

Come from behind wins? That’s something Romo can do.

Cowboys Headlines - Does Wilcox Have a Fighting Chance at FS?The Comeback Player of the Year Award is well within Romo’s reach. In 2014, Romo finished with 3,704 passing yards, 34 touchdowns and nine interceptions while leading the NFL with a 69.9 completion percentage. He led the NFL in passer rating with 113.2, made the playoffs and a Pro Bowl.

For Romo to win CPOY, he’ll have to follow closely in the footsteps of the previous QB CPOYs before him. Here’s how:

Have a completion percentage of around 67.2.

The combined average of Rivers’ (69.5), Manning’s (68.6), and Stafford’s (63.5) completion percentage is 67.2. Topping that completion percentage is well within Romo’s grasp considering he had a completion percentage of 69.9 in 2014.

Complete 36 Touchdown Passes.

Rivers’, Manning’s and Stafford’s touchdowns average 36, throwing 32, 37 and 41, respectively. Romo had 34 touchdowns in 2014, two more than Rivers and three less than Manning in their own CPOY campaigns. If Romo had played a whole season in 2014, he probably would have thrown two more touchdowns.

Throw for around 4,725 yards.

Rivers, Manning and Stafford threw 4,478, 4,659 and 5,038 respectively. Those numbers average out to 4,725 yards. Besting these numbers could be the biggest stretch for Romo, seeing as he only threw for 3,704 yards in 2014. This could be attributed to how heavily they relied on the running game that season - which brings me to my next point.

Rely on Ezekiel Elliott.

Elliott has the potential to be the Offensive Rookie of the Year. If Rivers’ success teaches us anything, it’s to rely on the young fresh talent. As Rivers relied on Keenan Allen - a potential OROY in 2013, so will Romo rely on Elliott - a potential OROY in 2016.

Thrive in the Fourth Quarter.

Like Stafford, Romo will have to pull out some fourth quarter wins. Luckily for Romo, he has the highest fourth quarter passer rating in NFL history with a mark of 102.9.

Be Named Offensive Player of the Month.

Manning was named Offensive Player of the Month twice in the 2012 season. If Romo could do the same, earning that recognition for just one month, it would certainly help his chances to win the CPOY.  It certainly isn’t impossible for him to earn Offensive Player of the Month because he’s done so four times in his career: In December of 2014, he was named Offensive Player of the Month after leading the Cowboys to a 4-0 record clinching the NFC East title. He had a passer rating of 133.7 for the month which was the best of any quarterback that month with at least 100 pass attempts.

Make the Playoffs.

Like Rivers, Manning, and Stafford, part of winning the award must include a playoff appearance. Based on his 2014 season, Romo could win the comeback player of the year and lead the Cowboys to the playoffs.

Cowboys Headlines - Does Wilcox Have a Fighting Chance at FS? 5

Fingers crossed, Dez Bryant, Orlando Scandrick, Tyrone Crawford, and most importantly, Tony Romo, will remain healthy enough to hopefully make it to the Super Bowl. Romo was also coming off back surgery in 2014, playing most of the season with broken bones in his back and he was still an MVP candidate. Imagine what he can accomplish in 2016 if he can stay fully healthy.

With the 2016 season on its way, I think Tony Romo is due for a comeback. The CPOY Award is well within his grasp.



I was born and raised in New York state's Hudson Valley and now attend school in New Jersey. Although I live in Montclair, my heart will always have a soft spot for Dallas, Texas. As an intern for Inside the Star, I now have a legitimate reason for the Cowboys to consume my life. Before, I was just a Cowboy fan with no life ... and very concerned parents. When I'm not writing about the Cowboys, I enjoy reading, seeing plays, creative writing, watching TV, and making my friends and family laugh. Follow me on Twitter, so we can connect on all topics related to America's Team. How 'bout em!

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BREAKING: David Irving Suspended For 2nd Consecutive Year

Mauricio Rodriguez

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David Irving

For the second consecutive year, Defensive Lineman David Irving is being suspended for four games by the NFL. This time, the suspension comes after Irving violated the NFL's policy on substance of abuses, as Ian Rapoport reported.

Ian Rapoport on Twitter

Cowboys DL David Irving is being suspended 4 games for violating @NFL policy on substance of abuses, sources say. Another big-time D-linemen hit with a suspension for Dallas.

Irving will play for the Dallas Cowboys after the team placed a second-round tender on him earlier in the year. Why no team was interested in picking such a talented defensive tackle for a second round pick is becoming clearer and clearer as the time goes on.

In April, when David Irving got hacked by his former girlfriend one of the tweets that stood out the most was one which said "Wait until you all find about his failed drug tests." Now, we're seeing what the tweet was about.

Irving is a very talented player that could have a great career ahead of him. Of course, with this being the second consecutive year in which he receives a suspension to start the season, one could question how much he wants it.

The Cowboys will play the Panthers, Giants, Seahawks and Lions to start the season. They'll have to do it with one of their most promising defensive players in David Irving.

Here at Inside The Star, we'll keep you updated with this story and every Dallas Cowboys news.

Tell me what you think about "BREAKING: David Irving Suspended For 2nd Consecutive Year" in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 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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Jason Witten’s Lasting Message to Cowboys TE Rico Gathers

Sean Martin

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Cowboys 2016 Draft Class: Who Will Be The Stand Out In 2017?
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

When Dallas Cowboys legend Jason Witten retired from the NFL last month, he left behind an unproven group of tight ends for the Cowboys to field as Witten moves on to the Monday Night Football broadcast booth. This is not a TE group short of potential, although that's nothing new for the laundry list of players that have failed at the position behind the Hall of Fame bound Witten.

Headlining this group of potential heirs to Witten has to be 2016 draft pick Rico Gathers. Not yet given the same opportunities that Geoff Swaim and Blake Jarwin are receiving through the Cowboys ongoing mini camp, Gathers has been criticized for his commitment to his team.

Looking to make the transition from the basketball court at Baylor to the football field, Gathers' journey began at Witten's soon-to-be home forever. Playing his first organized football game since middle school, Gathers and Witten were teammates in the Hall of Fame game at Canton, Ohio in 2017.

A game rarely leaving fans with a lasting memories, Gathers immediately flashed potential in the passing game, hauling in three passes for 59 yards and a touchdown. Gathers would go on to spend the season on IR after a concussion suffered in practice, recovering from it in time to return but never seeing the field.

This leaves Gathers' prospects of putting it all together in year three at a difficult crossroads. It will be hard to question Gathers' commitment moving forward, as the message from his former teammate Jason Witten still lives with him.

Jason Witten's Lasting Message to Cowboys TE Rico Gathers

If Witten truly sees a "bright future" for Rico Gathers, who Head Coach Jason Garrett says needs work in the running game, there is no reason the Cowboys can't find a role for him this season. With an entirely unproven group of wide receivers, Gathers could be the reliable mismatch for Dak Prescott to target in the middle of the field.

Prescott was the ninth worst quarterback in the league last season in red zone completion percentage, surely something the 6'6" TE Gathers could help improve.

Gathers may be a long way off from becoming Prescott's version of Witten to Tony Romo, but there is still hope for the 2016 draft pick, according to now football analyst Jason Witten.

Tell us what you think about "Jason Witten’s Lasting Message to Cowboys TE Rico Gathers" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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David Irving to be Present at Dallas Cowboys Minicamp

John Williams

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Cowboys en Español: El Futuro Incierto de David Irving

David Irving has been a notable name throughout the offseason for the Dallas Cowboys, for both on the field and off the field headlines. First, his RFA tender had fans and analysts wondering just what the Cowboys would do with him. Many, myself included, thought placing anything lower than a first-round tender on the stud defensive tackle would mean he was collecting sacks for someone else in 2018.

Thankfully, the Dallas Cowboys' gamble paid off and they were able to save some money by only having the second-round tender applied to 2018.

Then came the accusation of domestic violence from his ex-girlfriend and the mother of his child, catching us off-guard just before OTAs began in May. Which was then retracted not long after the initial report.

After all of that had quieted down, most of the talk revolved around David Irving not being in shape for OTAs. Not having been around for much of the offseason work the last several weeks before OTAs would keep Irving from working out.

He's had a lot going on in his life lately away from the game of football, and understandably so. As a father to a young child, I can see how you'd get distracted from your job when family stuff comes into play that affects the well-being of your child.

On the football side of things, at least, we can all breathe a sigh of relief.

Today, it's being reported that David Irving will in fact be present for this week's mandatory minicamp.

Brandon George on Twitter

Also, the Cowboys expect DL David Irving to participate in the 3-day mandatory minicamp that begins today at The Star, a source said. The Cowboys could have both Irving and RG Zack Martin back on the practice field if Martin's contract extension gets finalized this morning.

You may be asking yourself, "what's the big deal? Irving isn't Aaron Donald."

Well, you're mostly right.

Perhaps next to Donald, David Irving was the most disruptive interior player in the NFL last season. David Irving had seven sacks in the eight games he played in.

Read that again. Seven sacks in eight games. That would be 14 sacks over the course of the season if that pace were to continue to play out.

Aaron Donald had 11 sacks in 2017.

Pro Football Focus rated David Irving as its third best pass rusher among interior defensive linemen.

Pro Football Focus on Twitter

Dominant interior defenders.

To go along with Irving's seven sacks in eight games -- every time I read that I'm floored -- he recorded six passes defended. That was good for second in the NFL at the defensive tackle position and was second on the Dallas Cowboys.

Again, in only eight games played.

Even if you were to pace out his tackle numbers over 16 games, they aren't very spectacular -- 26 solo and 18 assisted -- but he'd still finish in the top 30 among defensive tackles.

Only two other players in the NFL had seven or more sacks and six or more pass breakups; New Orleans Saints Defensive End Cameron Jordan and Cincinnati Bengals Defensive End Carlos Dunlap. Both of those guys played in all 16 games and, while I hate to keep bringing this up, Irving only played in eight.

He's an elite interior defender who has only gotten better since joining Rod Marinelli and the Dallas Cowboys.

If he's able to get his personal life in order -- and that most assuredly comes first -- he's going to be a wrecking ball for the Dallas Cowboys defensive line.

Getting Zack Martin's contract extension completed was probably the most important task of the summer, but getting David Irving back into the practice fold is a close second.

With him and DeMarcus Lawrence coming off a tremendous 2017, the sky is the limit for those two in 2018.

With all the improvement that was made on the defensive side of the ball, I can't help but think of the sign that Greg Hardy paid for several years ago.

"Sacks Comin'."



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