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NFC East Update 9/9

Sean Martin

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NFC East Blog - NFC East Surprise Cuts 1

With week 1 quickly approaching (come on Sunday!), it's time to take a look at the state of the NFC East. Can any of these teams make a run at the Cowboys in 2015?

Click here to see the notable cuts from around the division.

Dallas Cowboys 

Preseason Record: 1-3

Key injury: Orlando Scandrick (Out for Season)

The Cowboys' preseason offered little glimpse into what we should expect on Sunday, similar to when the team failed to win a preseason game prior to 2014 - going on to win 12 games and the NFC East.

The recent trade for Christine Michael all but confirms that Dallas will use a "back by committee approach", which should lead to a more explosive offense.

Each back adds a different element to the offense, who's primary focus must once again be on controlling the time of possession.

Wide receiver Terrance Williams is entering his third year, statistically a peak year for the position. He will be playing across from Dez Bryant, as well as with training camp stud Cole Beasley.

Defensively, Rod Marinelli used this preseason to evaluate the depth he had at each position. Often using a dizzying amount of players, there is some uncertainty but excitement as to who will see the field Sunday night.

Two players, draft picks Byron Jones and Randy Gregory, will certainly be out there and should greatly improve the defensive line and secondary.

The sky is the limit for the 2015 Cowboys - entering week 1 optimistic and, more importantly, healthy.

New York Giants 

Preseason Record: 2-2

Key injury: Jason Pierre-Paul

Giants' fans are optimistic that the offense will return to normal in 2015, playing with a healthy Victor Cruz and Odell Beckham Jr. However, they will need to protect Eli Manning (in a contract season) and establish a running game to be successful.

They will enter the season with Andre Williams and Rashad Jennings in the backfield, as well as free agent pick-up Shane Vereen. Anchoring the offensive line will be first round draft pick Ereck Flowers.

Jason Pierre-Paul should be ready for week 1 following his fireworks incident, and the team will need its usual dominant defensive line to help out a weak secondary. New York allowed 831 passing yards this preseason.

Predictions are often worthless when the Giants and Cowboys get together, so it should be an interesting start to the season for both teams on Sunday night!

Philadelphia Eagles 

Preseason Record: 3-1

Key injuries: None

Chip Kelly's preseason fun has come to an end, and it's time to see if his 53 man roster can actually produce in 2015. New quarterback Sam Bradford had some success in Kelly's hyper-spread offense this preseason, and the focus must be on keeping him healthy.

The Philly running backs are likely the best core in the NFL, with former Cowboy DeMarco Murray, Ryan Matthews and speedster Darren Sproles.

If all three stay healthy, the Eagles offense will be firing on all cylinders - also playing with Jeremy Maclin clone and first round pick Nelson Agholor.

The question will be if the improved Eagles' defense of Byron Maxwell and Kiko Alonso can hold up with this style of offense. Whether after a score or not, Bradford and Co. will be off the field quickly and the defense will be often tested.

The Cowboys will visit the Eagles early in week 2, in what could be a measuring stick game for both teams.

Washington Redskins 

Preseason Record: 3-1

Key injuries: None

The Robert Griffin III era is over in Washington, and Kirk Cousins will take over one of the most dysfunctional teams in recent history in 2015. He will not go without his weapons to work with, as the team still has DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon - as well as Alfred Morris.

The offensive line should be improved with first round pick Brandon Scherff.

Ryan Kerrigan will lead a revamped defense that has been a lone bright spot for the team in the past years. However, a battered secondary will not fare well against the passing attacks of Dallas, New York, and Philly - and another last place finish for Washington is likely.

They will open against the Dolphins on Sunday.

How do you see the NFC East stacking up? Let me know below or on Twitter @ShoreSportsNJ!

Tell us what you think about "NFC East Update 9/9" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



Born January 28th, 1996- Cowboys Super Bowl XXX. Point Boro Panther, Montclair State Red Hawk, and most importantly a proud member of Cowboys Nation! I host "Upon Further Review" on 90.3 WMSC FM and wmscradio.com every Friday from 1-4 PM ET. Twitter: @SeanMartinNFL.

Star Blog

Tony Romo Documentary in the Works

Jess Haynie

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Cowboys Blog - 5 Most Heartbreaking Losses Of The Tony Romo Era

If you've missed seeing Tony Romo on the field, an upcoming documentary may be the cure. The former Dallas Cowboys quarterback is reportedly the subject of a film chronicling his football career going all the way back to high school.

"Now or Never" will tell Romo's incredible story, going from undrafted to one of the top passers in the history of the Cowboys' storied franchise. It's being produced by a Texas-based company run by Christian Hanna (no known relation to James).

According to an article from MyRacineCounty.com, Romo's hometown newspaper, the tale of Tony's football career will be told going back to his days at Burlington High School in Wisconsin. It will follow him to Eastern Illinois University, the same QB hotbed that more recently produced Jimmy Garoppolo.

But what most of us will want to relive is Tony's amazing NFL career, which stands out among the most unexpected rises to stardom of any player in league history.

Romo, who was an undrafted free agent signed by the Cowboys in 2003, didn't play in a game for three seasons. He rose the QB depth chart through practice and preseason play, eventually becoming the backup and earning the respect of then-coach Bill Parcells.

 - Tony Romo, #9

Former Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo

In Week 7 of 2006, Parcells pulled struggling starter Drew Bledsoe at halftime and went with his intriguing young prospect. Tony's first pass in the NFL was one to forget; an interception.

About a decade later, Romo would retire as the Cowboys' all-time leader in passing yards and touchdowns. He currently ranks fourth all-time in NFL history for passer rating.

Tony's career never saw the playoff and Super Bowl success of predecessors Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach, but he remains a beloved figure in team history. The controversial end to his football career, losing his job to rookie phenom Dak Prescott in 2016, created a major rift among Cowboys fans.

While no longer playing, Romo remains one of the hottest names in football. His charisma and football acumen have him in a featured role with CBS Broadcasting.

From obscurity to "anointing oil" to one of the most discussed names in sports, Tony Romo's story is fascinating. This documentary crew picked a great subject, and we look forward to enjoying their work and revisiting the Romo Era once the film is released.



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Prescott VS Wentz Rivalry is Just Beginning

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Dak Prescott, Carson Wentz Make Cowboys/Eagles Rivalry Great Again

No one expected Carson Wentz and Dak Prescott to become such an interesting rivalry, but that's precisely what the 2016's second and 135th draft picks have turnt out to be since the day they entered the NFL. The two came into the NFC East with very different expectations. Dak wasn't even supposed to be a starter, but circumstance is what helped this rivalry emerge.

Prescott seemed to lead the race after their rookie seasons were over, having led the Dallas Cowboys to a 13-3 record and the #1 seed in the NFC, but Carson Wentz made a huge statement in 2017. Before he went down injured playing versus the LA Rams last December, the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback was playing astonishingly well.

Leading the MVP race before tearing his ACL, Carson Wentz had thrown for 3,296 yards and 33 touchdowns through 13 games. Had he not gone down, it's more likely than not he would've been named the MVP instead of Tom Brady.

Despite having won the passing yards race, Dak Prescott's 2017 was rougher than his rival's. His interceptions count went from 4 in 2016 to 13 last season. He threw for only 22 touchdowns, falling eight short of the 30 TDs mark. His completion percentage also went down, from over 67% to almost 63%.

As we all know, it wasn't a good year for the Dallas Cowboys. Suspensions, injuries and poor play led them to a disappointing 9-7 season that didn't feel like a winning season at all, even though that's how it will go down in the books.

To make things worse, the Eagles went into January with QB Nick Foles starting, and overcoming adversity and doubters, won their first Super Bowl in franchise history. Although it was Foles and not Wentz the one who played Philadelphia's postseason, the former second overall pick is one of the main reasons for the team's success.

His sophomore year was way better than Dak's.

But as impressive as Wentz's year was, the rivalry between the two signal-callers is just beginning. There is still a lot of history to write in this duel of two young and hard-working players. Two leader of men in one of the most intense rivalries in the NFL.

5 Points: Thoughts on the 2018 Dallas Cowboys Schedule 1

Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott, Philadelphia Eagles QB Carson Wentz (Tim Heitman / USA TODAY Sports)

Through two years of football, here's how their numbers look like:

Wentz: 29 games, 1,047 attempts, 644 completions (61.5%), 7,078 yards, 49 TDs, 2 rushing TDs

Prescott: 32 games, 949 attempts, 619 completions (65.2%), 6,991 yards, 45 TDs, 12 rushing TDs

There's not a ton of difference between their numbers, but in the NFL, it's about more than stats. Prescott had the better 2016, Wentz the better 2017.

Dak and Carson have really only played two match-ups in their two years playing in the league. Sitting at an even 1-1 record, 2018 will feature two great games between both of their teams. The defending Super Bowl Champions against the underestimated Dallas Cowboys.

The sport is about winning games and championships, but rivalries like this one make the NFL even more special. Even with Wentz being the MVP front-runner for most of last season, Dak Prescott still has a lot of time to turn things around.

If both turn out to be as successful and important as their franchise wish them to be, then this rivalry will be around for a lot of years.

Tell me what you think about "Prescott VS Wentz Rivalry is Just Beginning" 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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If Reinstated, Is Randy Gregory A Lock for Cowboys 53-Man Roster?

Sean Martin

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Is It Time To Give Up On DE Randy Gregory?

The Dallas Cowboys will enter training camp in Oxnard with arguably their deepest and most talented defensive line in years. Cowboys Nation continues to hope for the best possible news on suspended Defensive End Randy Gregory, to potentially take this defensive front to the next level. Should Gregory be reinstated, the Cowboys would have another option at right defensive end. This is a position they've bolstered with the signing of Kony Ealy and drafting of Dorance Armstrong, both moves coming behind would-be starter Tyrone Crawford.

This logjam at DE begs the question, amidst optimism for Gregory's situation, is the 2015 second round pick even a lock to make this roster?

Who Does Randy Gregory Need to Outplay?

Going through some form of the Cowboys depth chart at Gregory's position above does little to sort out how Gregory can justify a starting position. Having true starters on the defensive line is not DC Rod Marinelli's way, meaning a possible rotation of Crawford, Gregory, and Armstrong could coexist.

If Reinstated, Is Randy Gregory A Lock for Cowboys 53-Man Roster?

Dallas Cowboys DE Tyrone Crawford, QB Dak Prescott

Even with insufficient depth at defensive tackle, the Cowboys seem committed to keeping Crawford on the edge. As he's done with each position change within the Cowboys defense, Crawford is slowly developing into a respectable right end that's great against the run.

This sounds like just the type of player to compliment a speedy rusher like Gregory, but Randy won't be alone in this role should he return to the team. Along with FA addition Kony Ealy, the Cowboys will look to bring Charles Tapper back from an offseason concussion, and also have second-year rusher Taco Charlton in need of a true position.

It's fair to say that Gregory has been anything but reliable since the Cowboys took a gamble on him, but turning his life around to see out this reinstatement would go a long way in beating out the often-injured Tapper.

Given Ealy's ability to play both on the edge and inside, at his best if receiving limited snaps, I believe that Gregory will only have to surpass Tapper in reaching a favorable spot on the Cowboys depth chart at DE.

Comparing Randy  Gregory and Dorance Armstrong

Of course, making the roster and making an impact on defense are two vastly different realities for Gregory in 2018. Another player that could stunt his opportunities to hunt down quarterbacks is rookie fourth round pick Dorance Armstrong.

If Reinstated, Is Randy Gregory A Lock for Cowboys 53-Man Roster? 1

Dallas Cowboys DE Dorance Armstong  (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)

The Cowboys would love to see Armstrong begin his career with a strong showing in Oxnard, owning all of the traits needed to be an effective right end at the next level.

Lacking the true cornering speed that Gregory has flashed in short spurts, Armstrong did produce a ten sack season for Kansas in 2016. This production matches the traits that kept Armstrong a priority for the Cowboys at the draft, despite only seeing him get home 1.5 times in 2017.

Rewind to last year's draft, and the Cowboys spent their first round pick on a defensive end they looked to make a right end, all while knowing his ideal spot is at LDE. This makes the difference between drafting Charlton and Armstrong an important one, as the Cowboys are clearly searching for high-value options to complete their pass rush.

Again, assuming Tapper becomes the odd man out in the Cowboys carrying Gregory, Ealy, and Armstrong as right ends, the work is cut out for Gregory to regain the trust of his coaches and bring what only he can to this defense.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

It goes without saying that Randy Gregory will carry plenty of attention with him if present in Oxnard. This is a player capable of transforming a young Cowboys defense into one of the league's most feared.

While the Cowboys would do well to quickly sort out who plays the 3T-DT position alongside DeMarcus Lawrence, and the 1T inside for that matter too, sticking Gregory on the opposite edge could be the easiest decision they make to see immediate improvements in their pass rush.

Should Ealy or Armstrong have more to say about this lineup for the Cowboys defensive line, the depth of this unit will live up to the hype.

Tell us what you think about "If Reinstated, Is Randy Gregory A Lock for Cowboys 53-Man Roster?" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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