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The NFL is not on a “Witch Hunt” Against the Dallas Cowboys

Mauricio Rodriguez

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The NFL Is Not On a Witch Hunt Against The Dallas Cowboys
Alex Goodlett / Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys offseason has not been an easy one. America's Team has made national headlines a lot, and no, not in a good way. Some Cowboys players have gotten themselves in trouble, and some of them have already been suspended by the NFL.

Cowboys Nation is one loyal group of fans. I respect that so much. As a member of Cowboys Nation myself, I love that so much.

And because of that, because of that love for our team, because of that fandom for the Star, I understand when fans claim that the NFL suspending Cowboys players is nothing but a witch hunt against our team.

However, that thought is 100% wrong.

For some reason, these topics are always hot and polemical. Some people slander the player for his actions, some claim it's not a big deal. Some point fingers at the coaches, and some say coaches are not to blame for a player's behavior. 

Before we continue, let's take a look at the Cowboys that have run into trouble this offseason.

  • David Irving, the Cowboys most promising DE, received a four-game suspension after using PEDs.
  • Nolan Carroll was arrested on a DWI charge. He hasn't received a suspension yet, but is likely to at some point. He will probably miss the first two games of the season.
  • Damien Wilson was arrested on assault charges, and is in serious trouble.
  • Ezekiel Elliott is still under investigation for a domestic violence accusation. Also, there are the St. Patrick's Day and Clutch Bar incidents.

All of these suspensions and rumors of suspensions, for some reason, have made a large group of Cowboys Nation believe that the NFL is against us... That Roger Goodell is against the Dallas Cowboys.

But, why would we think that?

Irving broke a crystal-clear rule. The league literally has a list of substances a player can't consume and he did. Carroll and Wilson were arrested, why shouldn't the NFL suspend them? This happens all the time, to all the teams in the NFL.

The fact that the Cowboys have been involved in these unfortunate situations more than other teams is a different thing. It just happens.

What to Make of the Ezekiel Elliott Suspension Rumors

Dallas Cowboys Running Back Ezekiel Elliott #21

Finally, there's Ezekiel Elliott's situation. This is by far the most important one of all, and the one that has generated most of this discussion among Cowboys fans. The NFL has dragged his domestic violence investigation for so much time, it feels wrong.

But that wouldn't be the first time the NFL pushes an investigation. Deflategate lasted for an eternity and ended up with Tom Brady being suspended for something that was "more probable than not." And they were talking about deflated balls, not domestic violence.

To be clear, I do think the way the NFL handles most of these issues is wrong and incoherent. But I don't think that they target a team and then try to pin something on its players.

If we're talking theories though, I'm picking another one. I find it more believable that the NFL is trying to scare Zeke, as Mike Fisher (@fishsports) suggested.

mike fisher ✭ on Twitter

What if 'NFL vs #EzekielElliott ' isn't at all about league being AGAINST #Cowboys Star ... but rather a Scared Straight warning?

He also suggested this...

mike fisher ✭ on Twitter

Which leads to ?: if you're about to suspend a player, why r u 1st 'making him aware of charges'? #KangarooCourt https://t.co/kQfwfRynZs

What if the NFL is not trying to suspend Elliott?

What if they actually are trying to scare him, for his own good?  When the St. Patrick's Day incident occurred, the NFL wouldn't have had a hard time finding evidence to suspend him for his poor behavior. There was a video. Would've been an easy job to suspend him. So why didn't they?

For all I know, the theory I'm sharing with you could be absolutely wrong. But so is saying the Cowboys are being hunted by the NFL.

As much as we love our Cowboys, we have to accept that.

I think it's high time we hold the players accountable for their mistakes. Not the coaches, not the commissioner, but the players themselves.

As for now, all we can do is wait and see what happens. Maybe Ezekiel Elliott is suspended for two, four or more games. Maybe he isn't suspended at all.

How do you feel about the Cowboys suspensions this offseason?

Let us know 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 live show Primero Cowboys!

Tell me what you think about "The NFL is not on a “Witch Hunt” Against the Dallas Cowboys" 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!



I love to write, I love football and I love the Dallas Cowboys. I've been rooting for America's team all the way from Mexico ever since I can remember. If you want to talk football, I'm in... You'll find me at @PepoR99.

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7 Comments
  • Willie Rogers

    These player’s can have a little fun, but remember who to invite to the party, because by them being super stars and now day’s kids look for everyone except their parents to be their role models, which is very unfortunate and unfair to these professional athletes

    • Mauricio Rodriguez

      Exactly. This players are old enough to make their own decisions. About time we hold them accountable for their actions, thanks for reading!

  • Pete186

    Most of the players mentioned do deserve some type of punishment going by the league rules. ZEKE on the other hand I believe does not. He has been found innocent of any wrong doing. To punish anyone for speculation or accutations is wrong. He may be a little wild but he hasn’t broken any laws. No suspensions are called for.

    • Mauricio Rodriguez

      I do think, as I said in the article, the NFL is not coherent on the way they perform these investigations. My point though, if they were on a witch hunt, he could already be suspended for the St. Patrick’s Day incident. What if they are actually trying to scare him?

  • Homer Price

    The police and district attorneys should know the law better than the NFL. All citizens are considered innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The NFL just goes on witch hunts ever since the Ray Rice incident embarassed the league. Tom Brady was a prime example that the league had no conclusive proof he was involved in deflating footballs and the deflated footballs had nothing to do with the outcome of the game. Since his suspension, he has been unstoppable with fully inflated footballs. The NFL investgating crimes where no charges are filed give accusers or gold diggers the forum without proof for settlements whether the player is wrong or right!

  • John Williams

    Totes agree. Nice work my friend.

    Current Conspiracy Theory.

    Is the NFL using the Elliott situation to maintain league interest during the downtime between the Draft and OTA’s and OTAs and Training Camp? I don’t know, but interesting to think about. Lol.

    • Mauricio Rodriguez

      This is not that crazy at all, haha. Offseason is tough, as contributor writers, we know that, don’t we?

Star Blog

Neutral Perspective: Dak Prescott is NOT a 1-Man Army

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Neutral Perspective: Dak Prescott is NOT a 1-Man Army

It doesn’t take a lot to cause an overreaction in the NFL, and fans and the media alike can be very fickle. Thus, when the Dallas Cowboys were beaten by the Carolina Panthers in week one the discussions surrounding their title credentials began, and even more so because Dak Prescott and his Cowboys offense was only able to score 8 points. He left the stadium still looking for his first touchdown pass of the season and wondering what went wrong.

By all accounts, Prescott wasn’t great, and his quarterback rating of 81.1 reflects that. His performance left the fans concerned and some asserting there were no shades of the Prescott of 2016. Nonetheless, a quarterback has to be helped by his offensive line, and allowing him to get sacked six times shows that improvement is needed up front.

In week 2, against the New York Giants, Prescott started the game with a booming 64-yard touchdown pass to WR Tavon Austin on the first series of the game. It was a play four whole quarters of football in the making and made fans explode in celebration following the lackluster performance against CAR. Prescott's rating jumped to 95.4 and he wasn't sacked during the contest. Even still, he threw the ball for 10 fewer yards than in week 1 and was 1.5% less on his completion percentage too.

Prescott’s best defense is the Cowboys' lack of stand-out wide receivers. The loss of Jason Witten and Dez Bryant – neither of whom has adequately been replaced – is the biggest cause of this perceived fall from grace. Those departures have undeniably created a problem, but one that many great quarterbacks over the years have managed to overcome.

While the doom and gloom felt by Cowboys Nation after week 1 has abated some with a victory over New York, for a franchise that has enjoyed the often wow-worthy play of Tony Romo, Dak Prescott has a way to go yet, to say the least.

Dak Prescott's Top 10 Plays of the Dallas Cowboys' 2016 Season

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

The current situation is difficult for the Cowboys, but there are also psychological mitigations. One of these is their presence in a division with the reigning Super Bowl winners, the Philadelphia Eagles.

This has long since put the Cowboys on the back foot in the futures betting markets, with an average moneyline price of +210 that makes them the least likely team to win the NFC East division. Unlike betting on individual games themselves, the futures market is a starker reflection of a team's form, rather than the more reactionary moneyline prices on individual games.

Criticism, from experts and fans alike, always intensifies after a defeat, and starting the season off at 1-1 isn't always enough to overcome said criticism. So too will the moneyline price of the Cowboys besting the Eagles lengthen, although the rewards for keeping faith in the Cowboys to do that – if they somehow do – will be all the more greater if they proceed to underachieve.

NFC East Preview 2018 | T2F Podcast

On this episode, we are joined by Jon Cassel, a lifelong Philadelphia Eagles fan, to discuss each team in the NFC East (Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins, New York Giants, and Philadelphia Eagles) going into the 2018 season. SUBSCRIBE to T2F for more football content! SUPPORT us through Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/Time2Football Follow us on social media!

Dak Prescott Needs Support Like Never Before

The likes of Cole Beasley, Michael Gallup, Deonte Thompson and Allen Hurns aren’t going to be reaching the Hall of Fame, but they are more than capable of helping Dallas score more than 8 points in a game. Take away the opening-drive shot from week 2, the only TD pass Dak has thrown in 2018, and the Cowboys scored just 13 points against the Giants. It's hardly confidence inspiring, yet.

There have been numerous points so far where the Prescott of 2016 would have found the receiver, but for whatever reason, those throws just aren’t being made with any consistency right now. That is especially bad considering the breathing room that is given by an elite level running back, which can be found in the form of Ezekiel Elliott.

Zeke got the ball 15 times for 69 yards against CAR and 17 times for 78 yards against NYG, both of which have to be less than he would have liked. Yet, the Panthers were out to stop him, specifically, and the Cowboys offensive line couldn’t cope, which allowed Elliott to lack effectiveness and their quarterback to be put to the ground half a dozen times. The opening drive against the Giants certainly helped alleviate pressure on Prescott, but it's clear that the defense beat the Giants, overall.

These, however, are problems that an offensive coordinator needs to overcome, and Scott Linehan didn’t cover himself in glory either.

Ultimately, above all else, there seems to be a bit of disunity within the offense. The receivers feel unloved, the running backs face a lot of defenders on each play, and the quarterback must improve his accuracy.

These situations are where you need creative play calling and a unique approach.

Dak Prescott & Ezekiel Elliott: Top 5 Moments of The 2016 Cowboys Season

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

Spirit of 2016 Can Still Make an Impact

With every defeat, the next game is hugely important, in the mind if not on paper. If the Cowboys can step up and convincingly rack up some wins, then – as ever – it will start to go quiet.

One aspect that sometimes goes overlooked is the defense. Conceding 16 points against Carolina and 13 against New York should usually be more than low enough to secure a win. Thus, if the Cowboys keep up that level of performance, then they should win a lot more games than they lose. But that's because most offenses in the NFL are capable of scoring 20-or-more points a game. With the Cowboys defense performing as they have been thus far, the onus is on the offense the close out games.

There's a reason the quarterback position is regarded far above all others, and Prescott needs to carry the team with him to keep that winning feeling in the Cowboys’ locker room.

He needs to give the opposition’s defensive line more to think about, and make them fear the pass as much as Elliott’s or his own rushing ability. That will give his receivers more confidence and Elliott more space. If his offensive line isn’t doing its job then he and Linehan need to think of ways to get the ball out quickly and on target.

Doom and gloom often surrounds any first loss of a season, but if Prescott and Elliott can work together as they did in their first win of the season, then it’s going to be very hard to beat them, especially if their defense keeps playing to such high standards as they have.

Regardless, the Super Bowl is anything but a lock at this point, and the problems need to be fixed quickly, before "distant" becomes mathematically "impossible."



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Star Blog

Can WR Brice Butler Help Improve Cowboys Passing Game?

Brian Martin

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Can WR Brice Butler Help Improve Cowboys Passing Game?

In a somewhat confusing move, the Dallas Cowboys decided to re-add Wide Receiver Brice Butler to the roster in order to get something more out of the passing game, which to be honest has been pretty putrid in the first two games of the 2018 season. Something needed to be done, but I'm not sure that Butler is the answer.

I'm going to agree with my fellow Staff Writer, Jess Haynie, in saying that the Cowboys decision to reunite with Brice Butler makes no sense. Jess is actually much more polite than I would've been when I initially found out about this transaction. I personally hate the move and I'm not afraid to say it. But ultimately, it wasn't my decision to make and the only thing that really matters here is whether or not Butler can help improve the passing game?

With all of the questions surrounding the Cowboys receivers, Butler's addition just adds another one. Unfortunately, we are two games into the 2018 season and the receiver position still remains the biggest unknown. No one has really stepped up their game and with the exception of Tavon Austin's touchdown catch last week, there hasn't been any big plays in the passing game.

I don't really know how Brice Butler is supposed to improve things. Is he supposed to be the "go to" receiver now? Is he any better than what the Cowboys already have on the roster? Or, will he end up being more of a progress stopper? Like I said, he just adds more questions to be answered.

I for one don't see any upside in adding Butler. Yes, Quarterback Dak Prescott has a bond with him, but nothing ever really materialized there when #19 was here previously. He showed flashes, like he has at all of his stops in the NFL, but his inconsistencies couldn't convince the coaching staff to play him more. So, what's changed?

Brice Butler, Cole Beasley, Dez Bryant

Dallas Cowboys WR Brice Butler

The obvious answer here would be the subtraction of Dez Bryant and Jason Witten in the passing game. That's quite a bit of production missing that has yet to be accounted for. But again, I am still not buying into the Butler addition as a solution.

I know it sounds like I'm slamming Brice Butler pretty hard, but there was a time when I wanted to see him on the field more. Like many of you, the past few seasons I wanted to see him receive a promotion over Terrance Williams, but unfortunately that never happened. But, that was then and this is now.

Personally, I would much rather see Allen Hurns, Tavon Austin, or Michael Gallup be worked more into the offensive game plan. I just feel that we have already seen what Brice Butler has to offer and it just wasn't good enough for him to stick around before. It's time to move forward, not back.

There is a reason Butler was a free agent. I mean, he wasn't even good enough to stick with Arizona Cardinals, who probably have more problems at WR than the Cowboys. But who knows? Maybe I'll end up being wrong and he'll finally play up to his true potential and talent. Wouldn't that be great?

Now, this is just one person's opinion, but I just don't see Brice Butler improving the passing game for the Dallas Cowboys. I think the only way that happens is if Dak Prescott reaches the next phase in his development. Until then, I don't see things improving much. But, that's an article for another time.

How do you feel about the Dallas Cowboys reuniting with Brice Butler?



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Star Blog

Despite Seattle’s Record, Sunday Is No Cakewalk For Cowboys

Kevin Brady

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Cowboys Blog - 2016 Contract-Year Cowboys: DT David Irving 2

As Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson threw a game-ending pick six on national television Monday night, all of Cowboys Nation was suddenly giddy.

Somehow, the team which looked completely lost and inept offensively to open the season was now staring down a chance at a 3-1 start if they could take care of back-to-back winless teams.

The first of those winless foes being the Seattle Seahawks.

Though the last 5 years or so have conditioned us to believe that Seattle is a defensive minded, physical football team, more recent history suggests they’ve fallen off quite a bit. No longer are prime Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor patrolling their secondary, or are waves of top tier defensive linemen cycling through during the game.

Now, the Seahawks are defined by a shaky offensive line, a lack of playmakers on the perimeter, and Russell Wilson hero-ball.

It’s an odd, and typically ineffective formula for winning games, but it’s the one the 0-2 Seahawks are currently stuck with.

Despite all of this, however, Sunday’s game will be an important test for the Cowboys. Though they were favored by 3 points last week, this game is the first time in 2018 that Dallas is truly “expected” to win. Ironically, they come in as Vegas underdogs, but it’s difficult to find informed football analysts who are on Seattle this Sunday.

This, of course, has more to do with how poor Seattle has played to open their season, but they’ve still been incredibly competitive in both losses, losing both games by just one possession.

Going to Seattle and getting a win is a task teams have dreaded for years, even before Russell Wilson and the Legion of Boom brought the Seahawks back to relevancy.Earl Thomas, Seahawks

Now when you add in factors such as this being Seattle’s home opener, and that they will be desperately fighting to avoid a potential season-killing 0-3 start, this is shaping up to be a very tough test for the Cowboys.

The young Cowboys need to handle their business the next two weeks and take advantage of 0-2 conference foes. These games will be huge down the stretch for potential playoff tie breakers and give them a chance to “fatten up” before entering the more challenging parts of their schedule.

Like two match ups with the Philadelphia Eagles, and running the rest of the NFC South gauntlet during the later months of the year.



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