Star Blog Martin’s 5: Is It Really A Surprise Sean Lee Was A Pro Bowl Snub? Published 12 months ago on December 22, 2016 By Brian Martin Share Tweet Welcome to this week’s edition of Martin’s 5! The Dallas Cowboys have a chance to lock up home-field advantage with a win over the Detroit Lions Monday night. That would be a huge advantage once the playoffs get underway. Of course, if they are able to lock up home-field advantage, that means that the last game of the season against the Philadelphia Eagles is pretty much meaningless. A lot of people are starting to speculate if the Cowboys will sit their starters in order to assure their availability in the postseason, but I think we are getting ahead of ourselves. I don’t know about you, but I like to take things one game at a time. Even though we are closing out the 2016 regular-season, there are still a lot of questions surrounding this team despite their success. Below are five things that are running through my head this week ahead of the matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and the Detroit Lions. One: The players that made the 2017 Pro Bowl were recently released this week. The Dallas Cowboys have five of their players voted in that could play in Orlando, Florida if they’re not playing in the Super Bowl, but Sean Lee isn’t one of them. I’ll be completely honest here, I wasn’t that surprised that #50 missed out getting voted into the Pro Bowl. The way the ballot is set up for the voting has Sean Lee listed as an outside linebacker. That means he is competing against players like Von Miller and Khalil Mack, although technically they are entirely different types of players. Lee is more of a traditional inside linebacker, while Miller and Mack are outside linebacker/pass rushers. Lee will never have the QB sacks like a 3-4 linebacker, just like 3-4 linebackers will never have the tackle numbers like Lee has. Having said all that, I wonder if it’s time that the voting criteria changes? Sean Lee without a doubt played at a Pro Bowl level, but wasn’t voted in on what I believe is a disappointing technicality. I personally think it’s time to clearly differentiate the differences between a 4-3 linebacker and a 3-4 linebacker. ✭✭✭✭✭ Two: I’m going to stay on the topic of Sean Lee here for second, because I’m wondering if he is going to be paying any extra attention to where Golden Tate is on the field this week? If you remember a few seasons ago when Golden Tate was still a member of the Seattle Seahawks, he had a vicious blindside hit on Sean Lee, that a lot of us believed was a dirty play. Now, I’m not saying Lee will go out of his way to target Tate, but if Tate is the one with the ball in his hands and Lee is in the vicinity, #50 could put a little extra pop in his hit when making the tackle. I don’t know about you, but I would love to see Sean Lee deliver a big hit to Golden Tate Monday night. It would kinda be like poetic justice and hopefully set the tone for the game. You can bet that the entire defense remembers that dirty hit Tate delivered years ago, even if they weren’t a member of the Dallas Cowboys at the time. ✭✭✭✭✭ Three: A lot of eyes will be on Ezekiel Elliott this week as he gets closer and closer to breaking Eric Dickerson’s rookie rushing record. Elliott is currently just 258 yards shy of Dickerson’s record, but I wonder how much #21 and the Dallas Cowboys will focus on breaking that record? Personally, I would love to see Ezekiel Elliott break Eric Dickerson’s long-standing rookie rushing record, but not at the expense of harming his availability for the postseason. Elliott is a huge reason why the Cowboys have been so successful this season. Because of him, the Dallas Cowboys have pretty much been able to win the time of possession in just about every game this season and that has really helped keep the defense fresh. That is something that needs to continue in the postseason and one of the reasons why I think Elliott and the Cowboys should probably put the rookie rushing record on the back burner. Individual accolades are great and all, but not over the team success. ✭✭✭✭✭ Four: Darren McFadden played his first game in 2016 last week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and was already used in some unexpected ways. I wonder if Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan will continue to find new and creative ways to incorporate McFadden into the game plan? McFadden’s versatility and fresh legs could be a huge benefit from here on out for the Cowboys offense, especially in the postseason. He can be a threat in the passing game, he is good in pass protection, and he can help spell Ezekiel Elliott from time to time if needed. There are number different ways he can help the offense, but it will really be interesting to see how Linehan uses him. ✭✭✭✭✭ Five: It looks like Randy Gregory could possibly make his 2016 debut this week against the Detroit Lions, but I wonder what kind of impact he can have for the defense? Gregory has been able to work out at the facility while serving his suspension, but hasn’t really practiced at all the entire season. That makes me wonder what kind of game shape is actually in and if he would really be an upgrade over the current defensive ends on the roster? We all know that the defense for the Dallas Cowboys could use all the help they can mustard to help improve their pass rush, so Gregory’s addition could possibly help in that area, at least that’s what we’re all hoping. The Cowboys will have a tough decision to make regarding whether or not they add Randy Gregory to the active roster this week. If he is added to the roster, that means someone has to be cut. Who’s the odd man out? Is there anything your wondering about this week? Please feel free to use the comment section below to share your thoughts and opinions on this topic. ADVERTISEMENT Related Topics:Darren McFaddenDetroit LionsEzekiel ElliottMartin's 5Randy GregorySean Lee Up Next Week 16 Playoff Projection: Little Certainty with Two Weeks Remaining Don't Miss Putting Perspective On Dan Bailey’s Misses Over The Last Two Weeks Brian Martin Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view. Advertisement You may like Is 3-3 Without Ezekiel Elliott A Win For Dallas? Should Cowboys Be Concerned About Ezekiel Elliott Long-Term? Less Is More For Cowboys’ LBs, Especially Sean Lee? Sean Lee “Ready To Go” Against Giants In Week 14 Cowboys Cut RB Darren McFadden; Other Roster Moves Should Linebacker Be Among Cowboys’ Top Needs? Click to comment Star Blog Think Jason Garrett is a Robot? FOX Sports Agrees Published 2 days ago on December 15, 2017 By Jess Haynie Cowboys fans have often complained that head coach Jason Garrett is too robotic in his demeanor, media answers, and constant clapping. Yesterday, with most of the country feeling Star Wars fever, FOX Sports tapped into the zeitgeist while also taking a little jab at Garrett’s robot reputation. FOX Sports released photographs of several NFL personalities as Star Wars character. Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady were Jedis. Bill Belichick, surprise-surprise, was a the evil Emperor. Garrett… well…. FOX Sports: NFL on Twitter @AaronRodgers12 @CameronNewton @Panthers @Patriots Jason Garrett is fluent in over 6 million forms of communication. From 2016 Coach of the Year to punchline, Garrett’s reputation has certainly taken a big swing this season. Things are so bad, they couldn’t give him a C-3PO with matching arms. Oh, the indignity. Of course, this is all in good fun. Garrett has 12 and 13-win seasons in two of the last three years. 2017 could’ve been very different if not for Ezekiel Elliott‘s legal issues and Sean Lee’s injury. And even now, there’s still a chance the Cowboys can sneak back into the playoffs. Yes, Jason is repetitive. And yes, he’s no Bill Parcells behind a microphone. But could they at least have made him R2-D2? At least FOX Sports didn’t make him Jar Jar Binks. That should go to Roger Goodell. Just for fun, what other Star Wars characters would you compare Cowboys players and other staff members to? Maybe Sean Lee as Boba Fett, hunting down targets in the open field? Or maybe Cole Beasley as Luke, since they’re both a little short to be Stormtroopers. Have any other good Cowboys/Star Wars comparisons? Share them in the comments! ADVERTISEMENT Continue Reading Star Blog Cowboys en Español: ¿Combinaciones Para Playoffs?, ¿Juego Trampa vs Raiders? Published 3 days ago on December 15, 2017 By Mauricio Rodriguez Es increíble pensar que ya estamos en la semana 15 de la NFL. Más increíble aún, los Dallas Cowboys que se fueron 13-3 con el sembrado #1 de la NFC hace un año, ahorita cuentan con un récord de 7-6 y unas esperanzas de pasar a playoffs muy, muy pequeñas. El domingo pasado, a pesar de llevarse la victoria en el campo contra los New York Giants, los Cowboys no recibieron la ayuda que necesitaban alrededor de la liga. Pero a pesar de ser pequeñas, las esperanzas siguen vivas. Y este domingo, los aficionados a Dallas no sólo apoyaremos a los Cowboys en el Sunday Night Football, sino también a otros cuantos equipos. Para los Cowboys, ¿cuáles son las combinaciones necesarias? Dallas Cowboys termina la temporada 10-6, ganando los últimos tres partidos. Que los Green Bay Packers pierdan un partido. Que los Detroit Lions pierdan un partido. Que los Atlanta Falcons o los Carolina Panthers pierdan dos partidos. En mi opinión, incluso con Aaron Rodgers volviendo al campo, los Panthers y los Falcons presentan el mayor reto. Y creo, que lo que deberíamos estar apoyando en este momento, es que sean los Falcons los que pierdan dos partidos. ¿Por qué? Porque este domingo, Carolina se enfrentará a Green Bay. Francamente, Panthers es el equipo que más probabilidades tiene de echar a perder el regreso heroico de Rodgers. Panthers también puede vencer a los Falcons en la semana 17. Así que, mientras los Panthers no podrían ayudar perdiendo, creo que más bien nos podrán apoyar ganando. Sin embargo, los resultados de la semana 15 influenciarán mucho a quien apoyaremos como fans de los Cowboys. Por ahora, estos serían los resultados ideales de la semana 15: CHI Bears vencen a DET Lions. CAR Panthers vencen a GB Packers. TB Buccaneers sorprenden a ATL Falcons. Claro, dos de estos resultados parecen muy optimistas, pero todo puede pasar en la NFL y sobre todo con equipos tan inconsistentes como los Lions. Por supuesto que, todo esto no tiene ni sentido si los Cowboys no se van 3-0 en las siguientes tres semanas. El rival más fuerte que le queda a Dallas son los Seattle Seahawks. Con Ezekiel Elliott volviendo esa misma semana, será un duelo increíble en el AT&T Stadium. En mi opinión, será el partido que definirá de que son capaces los Dallas Cowboys del 2017. Pero primero que nada, los Cowboys se tienen que preocupar por un partido que puede resultar siendo un juego “trampa.” Un juego trampa, es cuando un equipo tiene una semana muy importante por venir (Seahawks) y subestima al rival (Raiders) que tiene enfrente dentro de los próximos días. Sobre todo cuando es de visita, estos partidos pueden resultar siendo peligrosos en la NFL y realmente, en todos los niveles de football americano. Oakland Raiders Derek Carr (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images) Y sí, los Raiders han tenido una temporada muy decepcionante en la que ni Derek Carr ni Amari Cooper han sido lo que se esperaba, pero Derek Carr es un QB que puede echarse al equipo a los hombros en cualquier momento. Todos pueden tener una mala temporada, y ese ha sido el caso para el #4 de Oakland. Sin embargo, si los Cowboys mantienen el partido cerrado en el cuarto cuarto, Derek Carr puede demostrar que tan peligroso es. Con jugadores clave como Khalil Mack, que por cierto tendrá una batalla épica con La’el Collins, es un juego que no es tan fácil como parece. Sí, los Raiders tienen un récord de 6-7. ¿Y? Los Cowboys tienen un récord de 7-6. Es mejor, claro. ¿Pero realmente es tan bueno como para pensar que será una victoria fácil? Podemos criticar a Jason Garrett por muchas cosas, pero una de las cosas que no podemos criticarlo, es la motivación que le da a los jugadores. A pesar de muchos reportes acerca de que los jugadores “estaban molestos” con los coaches, definitivamente no han jugado como si se hubieran rendido en su entrenador. No creo que los Cowboys pierdan el domingo. Pero esperemos que no sólo ganen en la noche, sino que obtengan victorias indirectas alrededor de la NFC. Tell me what you think about “Cowboys en Español: ¿Combinaciones Para Playoffs?, ¿Juego Trampa vs Raiders?” 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! ADVERTISEMENT Continue Reading Star Blog Is 3-3 Without Ezekiel Elliott A Win For Dallas? Published 4 days ago on December 14, 2017 By Kevin Brady Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports It’s funny how quickly perception can change in the NFL. A little over two weeks ago, the sky was falling on the Dallas Cowboys. They had just been blown out three straight times, twice at home and twice against direct NFC playoff competitors. Cowboys Nation wanted firings – whether that meant head coach Jason Garrett, Scott Linehan, Rod Marinelli, or all of the above. Dak Prescott couldn’t survive without Ezekiel Elliott, and all of the change made to the defense was beginning to be called a failure by the masses. Fast forward to this week. The Cowboys have now been the deliverers of butt-kickings the last two weeks, and now sit at 7-6 with an outside chance at a playoff spot. And while the team looked like a complete mess without Elliott previously, a win Sunday would put them at 3-3 over the course of the Pro Bowl running back’s suspension. And is that really all that bad? Heading into the suspension, most fans probably would’ve taken 3-3 without Elliott and 8-6 overall. Most fans would’ve though that would put the Cowboys right in the thick of the things in the NFC playoff hunt. And most would’ve assumed we’d be happy with an 8-6 Cowboys team. Unfortunately, 8-6 most likely won’t be good enough in this year’s playoff race. Especially considering the return of Aaron Rodgers and previous losses to both the Green Bay Packers and Atlanta Falcons. Plus, the entire NFC South has been fantastic this season (besides Tampa Bay) and two teams from the West look legit as well. So maybe this just isn’t the Cowboys’ year. But, the success of other teams in the conference shouldn’t cloud our perception of what the Cowboys have done this season if they were to win Sunday night. A win over the Raiders this week would qualify the team’s handling of the Elliott suspension as a “success” of sorts (in terms of on the field, at least) in my opinion. They would have kept themselves alive in a deep NFC playoff race, discovered a legitimate offensive weapon in Rod Smith, maintained a solid rushing attack over the majority of the six games, and allowed for some real growth from their young quarterback Dak Prescott. I know the first three games of the suspension were awful, and a team with the talent of the Cowboys shouldn’t be losing that way three times in a row, or three times in a season at all. But, something should be said about how the team has weathered that storm, and kept themselves above water in this competitive conference. But, of course, the result Sunday night could change all of this if the Cowboys come out and lay an egg in Oakland, effectively ending their season before Zeke even gets back. In that case we will more vividly remember the three horrific losses in which the team was out-coached and embarrassed. But, still those games should be remembered regardless of Sunday’s outcome. So maybe success is a bit of a strong word. This week’s game is not only a huge one in terms of the 2017 playoff race, but also may be an important one for determining what the 2018 Cowboys will look like. ADVERTISEMENT Continue Reading Sportsbook odds for all Dallas Cowboys games Reader Survey Want to help make Inside The Star better? We’re collecting feedback from our readers about the site. It only takes <2 minutes to complete, and can be done from any device. > Take the survey now Don’t worry, your information will not be shared with anyone but me (Bryson T.). Advertisement From Our Partners Best Dad Ever - Long-Sleeve Tee $34.95 Cowboys Fan Wherever I Am - Women's Racerback Tank $29.95 I Wear My Navy & Silver - Youth tee $24.95 Advertisement Enjoy 40% commissions on officially licensed products as a FanPrint affiliate. You can even make your own, fully licensed Cowboys and player designs! 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