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Not the Favorite?

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For the past couple of years I believe the cowboys have been plagued by hype.  So many people spoke of the talent that surrounded this team, and how they were destined to win, only to find themselves wrong.  As we jump head first into the last half of the offseason we see that the cowboys aren’t the team that everyone believes to win the Super Bowl, the NFC, or even the division… And I say this is good news!

With the addition of Jason Peters, LeSean McCoy, and Jeremy Maclin the eagles are predicted to be a dominant offense in the NFL this year, some people believe top 5.  This stat alone is causing people to rank the eagles in the top 5 of power rankings and to list them as the NFC East Champion.  However, there are way to many factors in this one, you are basing this projections solely on the fact that Westbrook will perform at a good level, and McNabb will be dependable.

The Giants are now the team to beat on paper, they really don’t’ have many holes, and as long as Brandon Jacobs is in the backfield you have to believe that they’ll rushing attack will be able to produce solid numbers.  They have replaced the receiver need with Hakeem Nicks and Eli Manning is poised for a good season, however, the giants have one problem to me, and that is being clutch.  The Giants deliver but they never seem to deliver when it’s needed the most.

Lastly, the Redskins who are in no shape a projected threat to the ‘Boys have upgraded with Haynesworth, but are still a bit of a mess when it comes to Quarterback, but they do have promise at receiver.  Too many questions here through.

Now for the ‘Boys, Ranked number 13 on ESPN’s pre-pre season power rankings, they have been plagued with criticism, from Romo and Williams to the Coaching Staff.  Amidst all that, I do believe the Cowboys are poised for a big season only because the distractions are gone, and I’m not only speaking about T.O. and Ellis, or Pacman Jones, but I am simply speaking of the over developed, premature, egotistical mindset that has been placed on players seasons before.  Now they are not expected to win, which allows for more focus and practice.

My prediction is that the Cowboys make a statement this season and do very well, led by a Roy Williams who also proves his worth, and a defense that can control the field.  As for the cowboys, they aren’t the favorite anymore… and that’s a good thing!



Former Sports Writer. Veteran. Serving veterans is my passion. Johns Hopkins Student. Enjoy Discussing Politics and sports!

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14 Comments
  • http://www.giantstalk.com Jason

    BIG BLUE, THAT’S RIGHT. NEW YORK.
    hold up, I commented here for a reason, check out the link below:
    http://www.giantstalk.com/red-zone-report-662009.html

  • https://insidethestar.com/ Doran Palmer

    Ha Fucking Ha Jason … it’s okay though, we know who the real Champs are.

    Bryan, good article bro – The Cowboys have less to worry about this year as far as predictions go. I still believe the expectation at Valley Ranch is to win the show.

    I just hope the injury bug is done in Dallas for a while though. That is what really killed us last year. And to think Jason, even with more key injuries than any other team last year, we still wen’t 9-7. That loss to the E-gals sucked ass though.

  • http://www.giantstalk.com Jason

    Doran, the Cowboys are the past, history. You guys don’t have T.O. anymore. Our running game is more stacked than yours.

    I cannot wait to see the Giants in action, it’s the BIG BLUE WRECKING CREW.

    When was the last time you guys won a Super Bowl, 1995? I remember Super Bowl XLII like it was yesterday.

  • https://insidethestar.com/ Doran Palmer

    Oh come on Jason, is that the best you got? You posted the same comment to two different responses.

    Okay, so it’s been a while since our last SB and only a couple of years since the Gnats won one. We still have more, many more.

    Really, the only team that can dispute our status as America’s Team, so labeled by America itself, is the Stealers … they at least have more SBs than us. But I understand, you’re a Gnats fan, you’re supposed to talk good about your team and bad about the ‘Boys. I feel for ya bro

  • http://www.giantstalk.com Jason

    We are only a couple of Super Bowls behind you. We will pick one up this year. How is it going to feel losing your first home regular season game at the new stadium?

    • bags030404

      You talk big for a team minus its own best wide reciever! and the last time I checked your down one main component of “Earth, Wind, and Fire”. You should probably be concerned with your own team, but if you are determined to talk smack that is okay too! We will see when they get on the field! It is possible for monkeys to fly out of a humans ass, as in two years we have seen the Cardinals and the Giants make the Super Bowl!

      • https://insidethestar.com/ Doran Palmer

        hahahahaha

  • https://insidethestar.com/ Doran Palmer

    I don’t know … I’ll let you in know in another 40 years when it’s possible.

  • http://www.giantstalk.com Jason

    We have Jacobs man, he’s getting bigger by the minute. All we need is Earth, we still have fire, wind is gone but we have what we need.

  • https://insidethestar.com/ Doran Palmer

    Yeah but see Barber is as strong as Jacobs, people just forget that because Jacobs has never had to carry the full load, and Barer has worn down at times from doing that. Now with Jones and Choice, this trio beats your trio any day – err I guess I mean your duo.

    I ain’t saying the Giants will be last in the NFC East or anything, but the Cowboys have a better shot at the title than the Giants do. The Eagles are the big competition though.

  • eric

    I agree that there will be slightly more focus this year without the media hype, and high “power rankings” going into the season. They just need to get and stay focused for the whole year.

    The key to me for Dallas will be the Offensive Line. For such a big line with pro-bowlers, they under-performed last year, particularily during the first 1/2 –> 3/4’s of the season. Other than Romo being out, it was the biggest reason they lost games IMO. If line plays up to their potential, I see them going 11-5 or 10-6 even wout TO.

    If line plays like it did last year, I see them going 8-8 or possibly 9-7.

    On Defense the key is depth. I really feel like they are fairly solid at all the starter positions. The “rotation” players and backups are big question marks.

  • Jonathan

    Giants – Positives: Defense.

    Negatives: If they have the lead, they are adept at keeping in it. But this is not a team that plays well from behind. If the Cowboys hit them in the mouth early, great defense or not, they will have a hard time recovering.

    Eagles – Positives: Offensive additions in the offseason at WR, RB, TE, OT in particular.

    Negatives: Lost Dawkins. Westbrook is on the wrong side of 30 and it will likely show. Jim Johnson likely out due to health issues. Additions, at the of the day, are still rookies; it may be next year before we see that group make a true impact. New OT has to face Ware, our best defensive player. For that reason, I call that acquisition a wash.

    Redskins – Positives: Defensive addition Haynesworth and Orakpo.

    Negatives: No confidence in Jason Campbell. Portis is not a fan of the Head Coach. Haynesworth’s play may drop off due to no longer playing for a contract.

    Cowboys – Positives: No more distractions. Improved special teams play, due to draft geared towards ST and the addition of a highly respected ST coach in Joe Decamallis. Everyone starts the year healthy again. One of the best trio’s at RB and the best duo at TE.

    Negatives: A whole lot of question marks about the vast majority of the team. Flozell (enough said). More youth than veteran presence across the roster.

    Analysis: The Cowboy’s are the ultimate sleeper pick, because team’s are more focused on how the Cowboy’s finished as opposed to the major contributing reasons behind why the Cowboy’s finished with a 9 – 7 record. That, in my opinion, is great news. The competition between all 4 teams is alot closer than what quite a few analyst are predicting.

  • https://insidethestar.com/ Doran Palmer

    Very well said Jonathan.

  • http://thestarsaysitall.wordpress.com Mike Anello

    Great article. I think it is a positive that the Cowboys are not favored to win anything. We have been developing team chemistry by getting rid of players like “Pacman” and T.O. The team that wins the Super Bowl is never the team that is favored in the beginning of the year.

    Check out my blog- http://thestarsaysitall.wordpress.com

Game Notes

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly for Cowboys Against Redskins

Brian Martin

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The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly for Cowboys Against Redskins 5

Well, here we are again. The Dallas Cowboys lose another close game, but this time it might hurt a little bit more since it was to the division rival the Washington Redskins. This was definitely a game that could've gone either way since neither team played well, but in the end things just happened to go the Redskins way this time.

One or two things going just a little differently for the Cowboys likely would've been enough to secure the victory Sunday afternoon and I'm not even talking about Brett Maher's missed field goal. For instance, what if Quarterback Dak Prescott would've taken the safety instead of fumbling and letting the Redskins defense score a TD. That mistake it definitely hurt!

I could sit here and play the "what if" game with you all day, but we have nearly two weeks to do just that since the Cowboys are now on their bye week. Today, I want to share with you The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly from the first of two meetings between these two teams. Enjoy!

The Good

Michael Gallup

Dallas Cowboys WR Michael Gallup

In yet another sloppy performance on the road, there was very little good to take away from the first meeting of the 2018 season between the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins. I think the one thing I will remember the most, in a positive way, from this matchup is Wide Receiver Michael Gallup's long touchdown pass from Quarterback Dak Prescott.

Michael Gallup continues to make plays when given the opportunity. In another offense with a better play caller and maybe even a better QB, Gallup would likely be in the running for Offensive Rookie of the Year, but has failed to make much of an impact with the Cowboys so far. Hopefully that will change after the bye week though.

If I'm the Cowboys coaching staff, I'm going to find ways to get Michael Gallup more involved in the passing game coming out off the bye week. Other than Cole Beasley, he is the only one who is having much of an impact and definitely needs to see more targets. I would make that a top priority moving forward.

The Bad

Dak Prescott

Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott

There is so much that I could put in this section, but I think the worst thing that happened Sunday afternoon when the Dallas Cowboys lost to the Redskins was the fact that we will have nearly 2 weeks of having to listen and talk about it. For me, that is the bad!

Yes, you read that right. Now that the Cowboys are heading into their bye week, we have two entire weeks to dissect and analyze everything that has gone right or wrong this year, especially what happened against the Redskins since it's the freshest in our minds.

This was definitely a tough loss, and one that could come back and hurt the Cowboys when it comes to playoff seeding at the end of the season. Too many mental mistakes and penalties definitely assisted in the letdown, but in the end they just weren't good enough to win on the road. That's absolutely something that needs to change since they haven't won a road game all season.

The Ugly

Ezekiel Elliott

Dallas Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott

I'm going to have to go with both the offense and defense for the Dallas Cowboys as the ugly against the Redskins Sunday afternoon. Neither unit really played all that well, even though they both probably played well enough to win the game if just a few things would've gone just a little bit differently.

On the offensive side of the ball the Cowboys couldn't get anything going for nearly the entire game. The Redskins did an excellent job of bottling up Ezekiel Elliott and Dak Prescott couldn't get anything going in the passing game until the fourth quarter. They did have a few big plays called back due to holding penalties, but overall it was a pretty sloppy performance.

Defensively things weren't much better. The Cowboys have been pretty good at stopping the run this season, but for some reason couldn't find an answer of how to stop Adrian Peterson. The defense probably played better than the Cowboys offense, stopping the Redskins in the red zone on several occasions and only giving up one TD, but in the end it just wasn't enough.

What is your good, bad, and ugly for the Dallas Cowboys against the Redskins?



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Game Notes

WAS 20, DAL 17: Cowboys Make 1 Too Many Mistakes

Kevin Brady

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WAS 20, DAL 17: Cowboys Make 1 Too Many Mistakes

Late in the fourth quarter the Cowboys faced a critical third down, trailing by just 3 points. As they did all night long, the Washington Redskins brought pressure, but quarterback Dak Prescott stood in the pocket this time and delivered a strike to Cole Beasley for a huge first down.

Cowboys fans rejoiced thinking the team might be on their way to a game winning drive. Then, we all noticed the yellow flag on the ground.

Holding, offense number 52.

The very next play Dak Prescott took what was one of the worst sack fumbles you'll ever see in his own end zone, and the Redskins extended their lead to 10 points. As Prescott tends to do, the Cowboys battled back late and got themselves in a position to send the game to overtime if Brett Maher could nail a 47 yard field goal.

Snap infraction.

Snap infraction. Rather than Maher attempting a more make-able 47 yard field goal, he was backed up to 52 yards, where he would miss the game-tying field goal. All of this resulted in an absolutely heartbreaking loss for the now 3-4 Dallas Cowboys, 20-17.

For a Cowboys team that had a chance to take over first place in the NFC East with a win, today's performance is extremely disheartening.

Other Notes

  • DeMarcus Lawrence hasn't been getting the pass rush we hoped to see, but he continued to be an absolute menace against the run today. He ended the game with 7 tackles, 3 of them for loss.
  • Dak Prescott's inconsistencies as a quarterback, the inability of any non-Cole Beasley wide out to beat man coverage, and the regression of the offensive line continued to handcuff the offense today. Their play simply wasn't good enough for most of the game.
  • Byron Jones and Chidobe Awuzie put together another impressive game, and this defensive back group (mostly the cornerbacks) seems to improve week to week.
  • Sean Lee looked healthy today, and made a key third down stop in the fourth quarter, knocking Alex Smith out of bounds and giving the offense a final chance to win or tie.
  • Ezekiel Elliott and this run game failed the Cowboys today. Elliott had just 34 yards rushing on 15 attempts and the offensive line was dominated all night.
  • The Cowboys have their bye this week before hosting the 3-4 Tennessee Titans on Monday Night Football.



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Player News

Cowboys Interest in Raiders WR Amari Cooper Increases Ahead of Trade Deadline

Sean Martin

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Dallas Cowboys Interest in Raiders WR Amari Cooper Increases

This week, Stephen Jones discussed the difficulties of making a trade, saying "it just seems like in the NFL trades are hard to make, to make it all come together for two teams".

The two teams that could be lining up to change that are of course Jones' Cowboys as well as John Gruden's Oakland Raiders. Yet another Raiders player has been in the headlines as a trade target, 24-year old Wide Receiver Amari Cooper.

Adam Schefter on Twitter

WR-needy Cowboys doing their due diligence on Raiders' WR Amari Cooper: https://t.co/pE2wmrzCXu

Playing at the Washington Redskins on Sunday, the Cowboys will have yet another reshuffled lineup at wide receiver, playing without Tavon Austin. Their biggest offseason addition to this unit was Allen Hurns, and he's been underwhelming with just eight catches.

Thus the Cowboys are reportedly doing their "due diligence" on Cooper, sensing the need for a mid-season acquisition at WR for the right price. The Cowboys ability to potentially find that price in a deal advantageous to them, given how the Raiders handled the departure of Khalil Mack in a trade to this Chicago Bears, is what makes this story relevant.

A lot has been said about Cooper since his name emerged as the latest player potentially out of the Bay Area. Whether you believe he's still an impact receiver with the potential to regain his Pro Bowl form of 2015 and 2016 or one that "doesn't love football," as some have been inclined to say, the former fourth overall pick represents an investment into the WR position that the Cowboys have not made in some time.

In those Pro Bowl seasons, Cooper averaged over 77 catches a season while putting up over 1,000 yards in both. The Raiders have used this to justify their reported asking price of a first-round pick for Cooper, something the Cowboys are not alone in their reluctance to give.

With Cooper, the Raiders are holding onto their last bit of relevancy. A reeling 1-5 football team that needs to maximize their return on trading Cooper, the Colts and Redskins are also following in the Cowboys footsteps by preparing as much as they can on the player.

Cooper has caught 22 passes for 280 yards and a touchdown through six games this season.

For as desperate as the Raiders are to jump-start their organization, the Cowboys should be just as desperate to add a threat like Cooper to their passing attack. Unlike the Raiders, they're in the hunt for a division title, something much harder to put a price on when it comes to the Jones' finalizing any deal for Cooper in the coming days.

The NFL trade deadline is Tuesday, October 30th, at 3 PM Central Time. The Cowboys will be two days into their bye week, not in action again after Sunday until November 5th.

Tell us what you think about "Cowboys Interest in Raiders WR Amari Cooper Increases Ahead of Trade Deadline" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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