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Lee Roy Jordan Dominates #55

RJ Ochoa

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Cowboys Blog - Lee Roy Jordan Dominates #55

Well, hot tamale we’ve found ourselves trapped in the madness that is Monday again. This day is just the worst, isn’t it? Without Monday Night Football, there’s nothing redeeming about it. If you guys decide to band together and vote me as President of the United States in 2016 then I vow to do all that I can to abolish Monday from the week.

Until then all I can promise to do is present you with the Greatest 55 in Dallas Cowboys History.

The Following Players Have All Worn 55 For the Dallas Cowboys:

  • Alex Albright, LB
  • Mike Balogun, LB
  • Jack Del Rio, LB
  • Steve DeOssie, LB
  • Harry Flaherty, LB
  • Ryan Fowler, LB
  • Lemanski Hall, LB
  • Bruce Hunter, LB
  • Edgar Jones, DE
  • Robert Jones, LB
  • Lee Roy Jordan, LB
  • Rolando McClain*, LB
  • Danny Spradlin, LB
  • Markus Steele, LB
  • Fred Strickland, LB
  • Zach Thomas, LB

*Active player on the Dallas Cowboys roster

Before we get started let me answer that burning question you've got. Yes, Oakland Raider Head Coach Jack Del Rio once donned 55 for the Dallas Cowboys. It was a fun 3 seasons, but 55 belongs to one man and one man alone.

Lee Roy Jordan

LJR2

Lee Roy Jordan has an incredible football resume even without his time in Dallas. He is one of the most notable players to have been a part of the University of Alabama Crimson Tide, playing for the legendary Paul “Bear” Bryant. Lee Roy would go on to play for an equally legendary figure on the sidelines, Tom Landry of the Dallas Cowboys.

Taken with the 6th overall pick of the 1963 NFL Draft Lee Roy Jordan was expected to make an impact early. Jordan became the first rookie linebacker in franchise history (to be fair the franchise was only three years old at the time) to start a season-opening game. Lee Roy’s leadership was apparent from the very beginning as he was named the captain of the defense in 1964. He distinguished himself apart from everyone around him as the young Cowboys found their way in the 1960s.

Air Jordan

Lee Roy Jordan was a smaller linebacker at 6’1” and 215 pounds; however, his small stature didn’t stop him from turning into quite the interception artist. Jordan has 32 interceptions to his name that in total covered 472 yards and put him in the end zone 3 times.

Lee Roy's 32 career interceptions are tied with Pro Football Hall of Famers Jack Ham, Nick Buoniconti, and Tom Landry. Yes, the very Tom Landry that coached Lee Roy Jordan amassed 32 career picks in his time as a defensive back for the New York Giants. 32 interceptions is also the career total for a recent NFL retiree that many believe will be a first ballot Hall of Famer, former Pittsburgh Steeler Troy Polamalu.

One of the more impressive memories from Lee Roy’s history of picking off defenders came on November 4th, 1973. In the first ever meeting between the Dallas Cowboys and Cincinnati Bengals, Lee Roy Jordan picked off quarterback Ken Anderson THREE times… all within a span of five minutes! Lee Roy actually returned one of those 31 yards for a touchdown as the Cowboys went on to rout Paul Brown’s Bengals at Texas Stadium.

Tackle Box

This #55 could do more than read a quarterback’s eyes, he could shut eyes altogether. Lee Roy Jordan was a tackling machine. For instance, in the Cowboys first game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Texas Stadium Lee Roy totaled 21 tackles! To put things in perspective, Luke Kuechly's 24 tackles against the New Orleans Saints in 2013 served as an exclamation point to his Defensive Player of the Year candidacy that season.

As Dallas Cowboys Franchise History currently stands, Jordan ranks:

  • 2nd in tackles with 743
  • 2nd in assisted tackles with 493
  • 2nd in combined tackles with a staggering 1,236

Lee Roy Built 55

LJR3

In 14 seasons Lee Roy Jordan made an incredible impact on the Dallas Cowboys franchise. He helped them reach three Super Bowls, won one, and was the leader of Tom Landry’s “flex” defense. Lee Roy’s accomplishments were acknowledged when he became the seventh member inducted into the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor in 1989, serving as the first member inducted by Jerry Jones.

Lee Roy Jordan is one of the greatest linebackers to ever live and hopefully his omission from the Pro Football Hall of Fame will be corrected in the near future. There is no omission here, however, Lee Roy Jordan is the Greatest 55 in Dallas Cowboys History.

Check back tomorrow to find out who the Greatest 54 in Dallas Cowboys History is!


Want to share your opinions on who should be featured on our Countdown To Kickoff? Email me at rjochoa@insidethestar.com or Tweet @rjochoa.

Tell us what you think about "Lee Roy Jordan Dominates #55" 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

Cowboys en Español: Evaluando la Administración

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Can we Believe General Manager Jerry Jones?

Entre los aficionados de los Dallas Cowboys, pocas cosas son criticadas tan frecuentemente como la administración de la franquicia que no ha ganado ningún Super Bowl en más de dos décadas. Se ha convertido en un equipo que, a pesar de ser el más valioso en el mundo deportivo, no ha sido nada relevante en el emparrillado. Lo que alguna vez fue una dinastía se ha convertido en una unidad que rompe frecuentemente los corazones de los fans.

Jerry Jones y Stephen Jones, siendo los operadores del ámbito deportivo del negocio familiar, son criticados semana tras semana y en gran parte por justa razón. Pero en gran parte, por cosas no muy válidas.

Cambios de Coach

A mi parecer, lo más criticable para la administración de este equipo viene cuando hablamos de los coaches. Muchos se burlan de los Cincinnati Bengals y de la manera en la que están atascados con el Head Coach Marvin Lewis. Con Jason Garrett al volante, la situación para los Cowboys no es nada diferente.

A mediados de la temporada 2018, no parece que esta narrativa vaya a cambiar. Una vez más, los Cowboys arrancaron de una manera muy inconsistente y ya no sabemos que esperar de ellos. Gran parte de las derrotas, la mayor parte, es el coacheo.

Sin duda el equipo no será exactamente el mismo en 2019, pero ¿serán suficientes los cambios como para decidir quedarse con el mismo capitán que no ha podido mantener el barco navegando por años?

El Draft

A diferencia de como se manejan muchos equipos en la liga, los Jones fungen como general managers de su propio equipo. Con la ayuda de Will McClay han logrado superar varios de los fracasos de los Jones de antaño, pero actualmente, siendo sinceros no han hecho un mal trabajo.

A pesar de las critícas de Abril, Leighton Vander Esch está probando haber valido más que la pena. Siendo objetivos, aparte de Taco Charlton en el 2017, todas las selecciones de primera ronda de los Cowboys han sido valiosas. La línea ofensiva, el corredor, un cornerback que por fin se está perfilando como uno de los mejores en la liga.

En cuanto a la segunda ronda, ha habido varias críticas, muchas con razón. Pero el mejor caza cabezas del equipo, DeMarcus Lawrence, el linebacker Jaylon Smith, Randy Gregory y más están teniendo un impacto muy fuerte en el equipo.

Decisiones difíciles

La administración se ha visto en la necesidad de tomar decisiones bastante difíciles después de una temporada de nueve victorias en 2017. El LB Anthony Hitchens fue liberado, Dan Bailey se fue inesperadamente, se confió en Byron Jones para tomar su opción de quinto año.

Hasta ahora, pura decisión digna de aplaudirse. Pero ninguna como la más reciente de todas: Amari Cooper.

Por más caro que haya salido, los Cowboys merecen bastante crédito por haber mejorado muchísimo su posición de WR. Si el equipo llega a tener una oportunidad esta temporada, será en gran parte por él.

No cabe ninguna duda en mi cabeza de que los Jones han cometido errores a lo largo de los años, el más evidente siendo la resistencia de dejar ir a Jason Garrett. Pero a pesar de esto, la administración ha tomado excelentes decisiones y ha realizado el draft muy bien. En ese aspecto en específico, les aplaudo.

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys en Español: Evaluando la Administración" 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

Sack Numbers Don’t Tell DeMarcus Lawrence’s 2018 Story

Kevin Brady

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Breaking Down DeMarcus Lawrence's League High 5.5 Sacks Through Week 4

Coming off of a career year in 2017, many fans expected DeMarcus Lawrence to continue his ridiculous sack production this season. After all, he is once again in a "contract year" due to the franchise tag, and fans are hoping the Cowboys can secure him longterm this offseason.

Through the first four games of 2018, Lawrence looked as ridiculous and unstoppable as ever. He had 5.5 sacks, tied for the league lead, and was dictating the pass protection schemes of every offense the Cowboys were facing.

Since that hot start, though, DeMarcus Lawrence has recorded just 1 sack, falling behind some of the league leaders he was once ahead of. This has some people scratching their heads and wondering if Lawrence's career year in 2017 was just that, a career year. One which he will never replicate again, and one which the Cowboys should factor out when talking contract extensions.

Here's why those people are wrong.

Let's first talk about what makes DeMarcus Lawrence so good, and then we'll get into the full context of the Cowboys defense and how that explains some of the drop in sacks.

Lawrence, unlike some of the league's other top pass rushers, is a complete 4-3 defensive end. He is one of, if not the best run defending defensive ends in football, as shown by his 12 tackles for loss on the season (only Aaron Donald and Danielle Hunter have more).

Much of the year, the Cowboys run defense has boiled down to Lawrence making splash plays, as we saw against the Washington Redskins. Adrian Peterson was gashing the Cowboys during that game, and the only one who did anything to stop him was DeMarcus Lawrence, as indicated by his 3 tackles for loss that Sunday.

There's also the point that 6.5 sacks through half the season is, well, good. It's really good! And when you couple his sack numbers with his solid pressure and QB hit stats, you can see that Lawrence is having a very good season.

Then there is the context of this entire Cowboys defense, specifically their defensive line and pass rush. To put it bluntly, DeMarcus Lawrence has been their only consistent rusher this season. Though we came into the year with high hopes for Randy Gregory, and cautious optimism about first round pick Taco Charlton, neither have been all that impressive this season.

Somebody, anybody, has to step up and become a threat opposite of Lawrence. David Irving could help matters with his interior pass rush ability, but he has been unavailable for basically the entire season.

Without another pass rusher for offense's to even think twice about, Lawrence is getting double teamed and/or chipped by a tight end or running back on just about every rush. It's becoming rare that Lawrence is in a true one-on-one pass rush situation.

Of course, if you are elite, offenses are going to shift protections to you in this way and you still have to find ways to be productive.

And thus far in 2018, DeMarcus Lawrence is doing just that.



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Star Blog

Can QB Dak Prescott Steal Back His Mojo From Atlanta?

Brian Martin

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Can Dak Prescott Regain His Mojo Against Atlanta?
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

When the Dallas Cowboys last traveled to Mercedes-Benz Stadium they were completely throttled by the Atlanta Falcons. It's a game a lot of Cowboys Nation would like to forget, but no one more so than Quarterback Dak Prescott. That game could very well be where his struggles really began.

It's almost exactly a year later and the Dallas Cowboys still find themselves haunted by that brutal beating the Atlanta Falcons handed them in Week 10 of the 2017 season. The Cowboys seemed to lose all confidence in themselves after that game, but it was almost as if it was the exact point in time where Dak Prescott lost all of his mojo as well.

Before that match up against the Falcons, Prescott was still playing at a pretty high level. But since then, he has been in a slump and there have been very few signs of recapturing any of that magic he once had. Heading back to Atlanta maybe the key for him finding and stealing back his mojo.

Things could definitely go a little differently this time around. The Cowboys will have Ezekiel Elliott and Tyron Smith in the lineup this week. Zeke missed the game last year due to the league mandated six-game suspension, and Tyron missed due to an injury. Having those two back in the lineup could pay huge dividends, especially for Prescott.

Without his starting left tackle and running back, Dak was pretty much beaten to a pulp by the Falcons defense a year ago. They applied relentless pressure, hitting and sacking him on a number of occasions. Unfortunately, I think that's where he started seeing ghost in the pocket and its haunted him ever since.

Dak Prescott

Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)

The beating he took at the hands of the Falcons has really thrown off his entire game. His mechanics, accuracy, and effectiveness as a scrambler can all be traced back to that one matchup. He just hasn't been the same QB he was prior to that game.

Prescott's stats prior to the Falcons game:

24 starts
66.7 completion percentage
102.4 passer rating

Prescott's stats since the Falcons game:

17 starts
63.3 completion percentage
83.1 passer rating

As you can see, that's a notable difference. His passer rating has shockingly dropped nearly 20 points since last playing the Falcons and it's really hurt the entire offensive production. It's time for that to change.

Prescott has no choice this week. He has to get back up on the horse that bucked him off and hopefully regain that mojo he left in Atlanta a year ago. Fortunately for him, his confidence might be is as high as it's been since that last meeting after pulling off the upset against the Philadelphia Eagles last week.

Now, he just has to go out and prove it!

Do you think Dak Prescott can regain his mojo against the Atlanta Falcons?



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