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The Lazy Media Baiting Trap

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NFL Blog - The Lazy Media Baiting Trap

Sometime ago, amidst this Smartphone-tranced alternative world, all cognitive thought and deductive reasoning ceased. The greater the technology, the dumber we seem to become.

And nowhere has it been more pronounced than in the third-world dimension known as sports journalism. AP Stylebooks used to litter newsrooms like qualifiers in a Cialis ad, but it'd take Indiana Jones to find such a relic under all the dust and debris these days.

(Pardon me, hold that thought, I just got a tweet. Oh never mind, Adam Schefter just broke the news that the Jaguars might sign a tackle, but might not, but they might. Good to know.)

The rules now, well, there are no rules.

Reporters tweet rumors practically as fact to intentionally gluttonous degrees, from so many angles and sources that they can barely be tracked. We're left to wonder who said what about whom and when. It's impossible to sort through the smoke to find the real fires anymore. We remember almost nothing about anything that we heard or read.

(So what's this I hear about Jacksonville? I can't remember.)

Anyway, ProFootballTalk just ranked the Cowboys at No. 24 in the league. ESPN applied a 28th "future ranking" to the Cowboys. This qualifies in this bent industry as actual "analysis", based on....I suppose a Fantasy Football expert or something. Not sure.

Stop and consider. Here's a team that has gone 8-8, 8-8, and 8-8 the past three seasons, with the same QB as now, the same coach, and the same GM. That there is a trend, folks, one that should comfortably and concretely put Dallas right at or very near No. 16.

Now, add a guard to a good young line and an offense that is safely in the top 10 in the league. Then, replace a cupboard full of nobodies with at least 10 legitimate NFL defensive linemen, as well as the return of healthy starters behind them. How can that not be at least slightly better than that awful defense a year ago? Objectivity says it likely can't.

From all that, two very popular sources of opinion just determined that Dallas is worse than the Cleveland Browns. Huh?

The truth is, the media now allows itself unapologetically to let its "analysis" reflect the true want of its analysts, rather than their observed thought. There's not a whiff of science to it at all. Add an insatiable thirst for stirring up public outcry and cock fights, as well as utter detest of doing any real work. I swear, none of these folks do any research beyond talking to each other and forming a collective agreed-upon opinion.

Sadly, this is the case in almost every arena anymore, the message is geared for the toothless and tattooed minions and lemmings who ask few questions and take up pitchforks on hint of a rumored whisper. Little attention is paid to those that pay attention.

Just watch the reaction by week 3 when Denver and the media figure out what we already know about DeMarcus Ware. Note the spin as their beloved Patriots and Giants derail. And watch how the "Cinderella Cowboys" inexplicably end up middle of the pack or better and shock them all to their dissatisfaction.

However, that will again morph later into "Dallas has one of the most talented rosters in the league", as usual, then they'll lament how underperforming again the Cowboys are. Of course, there'll be no reference to that 28th-ranking they prescribed a few months prior. You can throw it in their face, but they'll ignore you. PFT runs so many stories per minute, good luck ever finding that 24th ranking again.

Journalists often carry a chip because they don't feel properly compensated or worshiped for their self-acknowledged immense talents. They pour the scars of their youth into thinly veiled vitriol and a disturbing love for poking bears in cages with sharp sticks. They care little anymore about doing right by their trade and name.

I believe we should call them on it at every turn. Thus, this rant. We should also largely ignore them, and not fall for the bloody meat they leave laying in our path. We won't, but we should.

And the worst part is, these are just the sports journalists. But that's another session for another forum and another day.

[su_spoiler title="Editor's Note" style="simple"]Erod joins us from the forums of DallasCowboys.com as a first-time contributor with a piece he originally posted on the forums July 11, 2014.[/su_spoiler]



A jilted, frustrated, but eternally optimistic season-ticket holder.

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5 Comments
  • Draft Cowboys™

    Thoroughly enjoyed this rant of yours. Solid points

    • Erod

      Thanks. A bit testy for my first entry here, but hey, why not jump in with both feet.

  • Blair Smith

    Great article. Very worthy rant. That stuff pisses me off to no end. Just pure laziness on the media’s part and it filters down to the fans who take their word as gospel

    • Erod

      Thanks. There are good ones left, but so many journalists worry more about their image than their trade. The intended nature of the gig is to stand behind your work, not in front of it. Those are rare birds these days.

      • https://insidethestar.com/ Bryson Treece

        Certainly makes what we do, and being a fan in general more difficult. It’s these “journalists” that we rely on as middlemen between us and the team we follow. When their information is scantily sprinkled into their own opinions, we’re left to interpret what’s really going on with little certainty. I miss the good ole days. But, like Blair and Patrick, I found your rant sharp and very relatable. Way to start off with a bang.

Star Blog

Will DeMarcus Lawrence Be Franchise Tagged Again in 2019?

Mauricio Rodriguez

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DeMarcus Lawrence, Franchise Tags and Realities for Dallas Cowboys
Matthew Emmons / USA TODAY Sports

The deadline for extending players under the franchise tag has come and gone last Monday, in a day in which none of the remaining tagged players reached an agreement with their respective teams. That includes Dallas Cowboy Defensive End DeMarcus Lawrence, who's set to earn $17M in 2018.

The front office and the 26-year old defensive end failed to agree to a new contract before the season's start, but we saw that coming. After all, there was never a point in which we had the classic "X player and his team are close to a new deal" headline.

All of this makes the future of the Cowboys' promising "War Daddy" very uncertain. What lies a head of the player that put on an impressive show in 2018?

Since 2017 was Lawrence's breakout year, racking up 14.5 sacks trough the season, we have leaned towards the narrative of last season being his only good one. His performance last season was impressive and clearly his best one yet, but we tend to overlook 2015.

In his sophomore season, the only other year in which he has played 16 games, he finished the campaign with eight sacks and 35 tackles (55 combined). Really, the idea of 2017 being his only good year is not as accurate as we might think.

That being said, I think it's more likely that we see another great year from him this upcoming season than seeing a disappointing one. This, of course, will end up being the main thing that determines his future in Dallas.

Are Dallas Cowboys Building A Championship Defense? 1

Dallas Cowboys DE DeMarcus Lawrence

The Dallas Cowboys front office really took a risk by tagging Lawrence this offseason. #90 was reportedly asking for an average of $17M per year in his long-term contract, which is Olivier Vernon kind of money.

So what if he puts a similar season or an even better one? Lawrence and his agent could end up asking for even more money. Perhaps in the 18 or 20 million dollars per year range. If that ends up being the case, the team will find itself in a tough position when trying to reach an agreement with its promising pass rusher.

Which leads us to the possibility of seeing the Cowboys franchise tagging Lawrence for the second consecutive season. Dallas will already be negotiating a contract extension with QB Dak Prescott, and things will get complicated. Even more if they decide to pursue a big-time free agent in March, such as Earl Thomas.

It would make sense, from a financial perspective, to hand the tag twice in consecutive years to D-Law. However, it shouldn't be the priority. If he plays like he did in 2017, the front office will be more than wise to extend him for good.

According to OverTheCap.com, the Cowboys will have approximately $50.6M. Seemingly, the team's cap woes will be over soon.

Fortunately, Lawrence didn't become a headache by threatening to holdout for offseason programs and even training camp. However, don't expect that to happen if he finds himself under the tag next year.

Careers in the NFL are short, so DeMarcus will surely want to get paid. If he keeps it up, he'll deserve it. As much as he deserves it, though, football is a cold business. If the Jones need to tag him, they will.

Do you think the Cowboys will franchise tag Lawrence in 2019?

Tell me what you think about "Will DeMarcus Lawrence Be Franchise Tagged Again in 2019?" 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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Star Blog

Without Looming Suspension, RB Ezekiel Elliott Should Shine In 2018

Kevin Brady

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Cowboys en Español: 3

NFL Films typically does a good job of exposing some truths around NFL teams. Whether through "Hard Knocks" or Amazon's new "All or Nothing" series, these documentaries do an excellent job of giving fans an inside look of their favorite teams.

If anything was revealed through the Cowboys' All or Nothing series on their 2017 season, it's that Ezekiel Elliott's suspension weighed heavy on his mind all year.

The Pro Bowl running back did not look, act, or play like himself while awaiting decision on his incoming suspension. And, once it was finally announced he would serve the six games, the entire team collapsed in Atlanta.

Despite the clear and detrimental effects Elliott's suspension had on the Cowboys' season, Zeke still put up more-than-respectable numbers; rushing for almost 1,000 yards and averaging a league leading 98.3 yards per game.

Now, Ezekiel Elliott enters a season with no doubts about his own availability. Scott Linehan gets to coach an offense that knows they will have their best player for the entire season barring major injury. And, Jason Garrett can lead his team without addressing questions about Elliott's future day in and day out.What Workload is Ezekiel Elliott Prepared for in 2018? 1

Of course, these effects aren't quantifiable. We can't sit here and say that without the pressure of court appearances and suspensions that Elliott will be worth "X" amount of more yards and "Y" more touchdowns.

But I do believe we can say, without question, that playing with a clear mind and without a looming suspension will breed the type of production we saw from Zeke his rookie year.

We can say that Elliott has had a weight lifted off his shoulders, and could be looking for revenge on a league he feels did him wrong.

And, for the Cowboys sake, I hope this is true. Because they are going to need Ezekiel Elliott to be even better than he ever has been if they hope to make a run at the Super Bowl in 2018.



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Star Blog

Cowboys en Español: El Regreso de Randy Gregory

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Randy Gregory, Eagles
Eric Hartline / USA TODAY Sports

A sólo días de que los Dallas Cowboys aterricen en Oxnard, California para dar inicio a su training camp como todos los años, el equipo recibió excelentes noticias respecto a la selección de segunda ronda del 2015: Randy Gregory. Después de pasar todo el 2017 suspendido, el ala defensiva ha sido oficialmente reintegrado por la NFL.

Gregory, quien tuvo muchos problemas debido al uso de marihuana, ha pasado los últimos meses rehabilitándose para poder volver a vestir la estrella y volver al emparrillado. Los Cowboys, quienes siempre apoyaron a su joven jugador, sin duda estarán felices de verlo de vuelta en el equipo por motivos más allá que el football americano.

Sin duda alguna, antes de estar emocionados y felices por verlo en el campo intimidando a quarterbacks rivales, deberíamos estar alegres por el logro personal de Randy como un ser humano. Realmente hizo un esfuerzo consciente en un lugar en el que muchos se hubieran rendido y dejado sus sueños de ser parte de la NFL. Pero no lo hizo, y ahora, todos sus esfuerzos han valido la pena.

El siguiente paso en su lista por-hacer, es volver al campo y poco a poco, ganarse su puesto en el equipo y después, la titularidad. La última vez que vimos a Gregory en el campo, fue contra Philadelphia, en el final de temporada del 2016.

En este juego, Gregory mostró muchos destellos de lo que sería capaz de hacer semana tras semana en la liga y porque valió la pena nunca dejarlo ir, lo cual no hubiera tenido sentido hacer, dado que los Cowboys no les costaba nada (literalmente) mantenerlo en el equipo.

Sean Martin escribió un artículo recientemente en el que analiza este partido a fondo.

El potencial de Gregory es inmenso, suficiente incluso, para aventurarse a decir que se convertirá en el defensive end (ala defensiva) derecho antes de lo esperado. El reto más grande para el jugador de 25 años será regresar a una condición física óptima para la NFL.

Afortunadamente, a diferencia del 2016, Gregory no estará regresando a media temporada. Su llegada toma lugar justo a tiempo para el training camp, dándole tiempo para regresar a la forma en la que tiene que estar.

Una vez ahí, ¿qué tanto le tomará ganarse un rol más importante que el de Tyrone Crawford y Taco Charlton? A pesar de que prácticamente no lo hemos visto jugar en Dallas, sabemos el potencial que tiene para convertirse en un defensivo de suma importancia para los Cowboys.

Un año después de ver la mejor temporada en la carrera de DeMarcus Lawrence, los Cowboys tendrán el potencial de una estrella similar en el lado derecho de su línea defensiva. Gregory tiene una montaña que escalar para cumplir las expectativas de los aficionados, pero no será una sorpresa si lo logra.

Vaya, no olvidemos que si no fuera por sus problemas fuera del campo, hubiera sido seleccionado en el Top 10 del Draft del 2015. Tiene el potencial de conseguir diez sacks por temporada.

Con un poco de suerte, no nos equivocaremos en tenerle fe al jugador que ha tenido un gran viaje para llegar a este punto. El punto de ponerse el casco e ir a trabajar con su equipo.

Incluso si sólo llega a ser un jugador de rotación, sin duda será importante para el éxito del equipo. Entre DeMarcus Lawrence, David Irving, Randy Gregory y el resto del talento que los Cowboys tienen en la línea defensiva, el equipo podría tener un frente de muy buena calidad.

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys en Español: El Regreso de Randy Gregory" 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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