Whew. After Ezekiel Elliott received a six-game suspension by the NFL, the "this is only the beginning" comments were everywhere around us. And yes, it really was just the beginning. If you've somehow missed all of the developments of the Zeke case, you can catch up with Sean Martin's article from Friday morning. Without even waiting for an answer from Harold Henderson and company, the NFLPA filed a petition in federal court to vacate the arbitration award.
This was expected to go to court, and it is something we knew was going to happen. But filing the petition before Henderson even announced his decision sure took us by surprise.
A lot of the information out there so far, surely is outrageous for every Cowboys fan. The NFL has been showing inconsistency and hypocrisy for a long time, and we are all hoping this ends soon. Too bad it won't.
Inevitably, this whole deal about the NFL leading investigator Kia Roberts recommending the NFL to not suspend Elliott has given Cowboys Nation a sense of hope. A "hey, this just might turn all right" type of sense. And even though it may look promising, I'm here to tell you... don't get your hopes up.
Yes, the information looks promising. Roger Goodell and the NFL look like clowns. All of this seems unfair to Zeke. But when this is taken to court, it is not a matter of whether or not Ezekiel Elliott did what he is being accused of.
I've spoken to a few of lawyers this morning, some who have handled NFL-related cases. They don't believe the NFLPA wins this in court.
The truth is, whether we like or not, Roger Goodell is in his right to suspend Ezekiel Elliott. Even if it is not ethical, fair, right, correct or whatever you want to call it... the CBA grants this power to the NFL commissioner.
That is basically what will be reviewed in court. Does the NFL commissioner have the right to suspend Ezekiel Elliott? Were there procedural violations? I'm telling you right now, the fact that Lisa Friel is a New York Giants fan will not cut it. Not even the NFLPA calling this a "league-orchestrated conspiracy" will.
I know, I know. There's more reasons to think that Ezekiel Elliott's camp might win this thing in court. But once you calm down and take a deep breath after being on Twitter for a while... how good will these arguments be when faced to a league commissioner who has been given a ridiculous and unfair amount of power?
Ezekiel Elliott is going to end up playing against the New York Giants in the season opener for the Dallas Cowboys. He will more than likely end up playing all of the 2017 season while this drama drags through court. But after that, he will likely be suspended. Even if we're talking about next season.
Why? CBA, CBA, CBA.
Is There a Small Bit of Hope?
Of course there is. What if the NFL decides to make things right? Does it sound probable? Not much, but it is an interesting idea.
Best thing for NFL is to have Harold Henderson vacate suspension. Otherwise, bad federal court precedent looms. Would negate #Deflategate.
If the NFL has Henderson vacate the suspension, claiming something was done incorrectly and making up an excuse for it, it could be an interesting turn of events. Put all of this behind, and pretend nothing ever happened.
A Hail Mary from the NFL to save their perception before this is all taken to court might not be out of the question and it is worth discussing at least. As the tweet above mentions... could you imagine a scenario with Deflategate coming back? Can you imagine Roger Goodell finally saying goodbye to a possible extension?
The NFL is not doing things right, and I don't expect them to change anytime soon. This has not been fair, this has not been correct and this is far from over. If Elliott's suspension isn't vacated by Harold Henderson, I don't think Zeke will avoid missing six games. The NFL might need to wait until next year to see him suspended, but it will happen.
For now, Ezekiel Elliott and his camp are showing us what we all had imagined... they're not going without a fight.
Starters Make Cowboys Serious Contenders, But Depth is a Concern
Playing in the National Football Conference, the Dallas Cowboys have a difficult task ahead of them if they are to be serious Super Bowl contenders. Even still, they've become a very underrated football team due to their 9-7 record last season. The Cowboys struggled in many areas and with the Philadelphia Eagles crowned as Super Bowl Champions, everyone has forgotten about America's Team.
2017 was an awful year for the Cowboys. It seemed like a roller coaster of success, putting up an impressive performance one week only to disappoint the next one. Let's be honest with ourselves here and talk about what really ended the Cowboys' last season.
As much as we talk about how there shouldn't be any excuses in football - the Eagles made a huge statement by winning it all with a backup QB and other key starters missing - we can't deny the impact of these injuries.
Anthony Hitchens, Sean Lee, Tyron Smith and Ezekiel Elliott all missed some time last year, affecting the team's performance week in and week out. Had the starters been healthy, the truth is this team would've been in the playoffs.
Heading into 2018, the Cowboys will face a very similar situation. This year, starters make Dallas a serious contender. Even if they're playing in a conference that will feature a lot of quality teams, the Cowboys are a team that could beat any team in the league if healthy.
Even the dreaded wide receiver position - which has been famous this offseason for the lack of a #1 receiver - won't be as bad as we make it out to be starter-wise. A starting trio of Allen Hurns, Michael Gallup and Cole Beasley doesn't really sound bad.
Heck, not even Jeff Heath and Xavier Woods starting at safety is concerning. They have what it takes to be decent starters. Sure, Heath isn't a guy who will make the Pro Bowl, but his skills will show on the field once the season starts in September.
The Cowboys' starters will do just fine this season. If the team's fate is up to them, they are in a very good spot. The same can not be said about depth, though.
Except for the defensive line, every other position lacks depth. If Sean Lee goes down, the linebackers stop looking like a three-headed monster. Same goes for the cornerbacks. Byron Jones, Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis seem like a good group but as soon as one of them suffers an injury, the Cowboys will be in trouble.
We're in for an exciting season with a lot of young talent waiting to breakout. The Cowboys are underrated this year. They may not be among the NFC's favorites, but they truly have what it takes to replicate the success they had in 2016. However, it seems like circumstances have to be ideal for them to make a run for the Lombardi Trophy.
With a little bit of luck, they'll bounce back this season.
The Dallas Cowboys WR Position Battle is Heating Up
Earning a spot on the Dallas Cowboys final 53-man roster is going to be a lot tougher in 2018 then it has been in years past. There is no shortage of position battles taking place right now to earn one of those coveted openings, but it's the battle taking place at receiver that's gaining steam and starting to heat up.
The ultimate unknown right now is how many wide receivers the Dallas Cowboys choose to carry on their 53-man roster this season. Last year they decided to carry six, but they have been known to carry just five. Unfortunately, this means they will have to release some talented players and risk losing them to another team.
As things stand right now there may just be one, possibly two, roster spots up for grabs. I think the only thing we know for sure right now is Cole Beasley, Allen Hurns, Michael Gallup, and Tavon Austin are the only WRs who can feel secure their jobs are safe for 2018. Everybody else is playing a game of Survivor, just hoping their name isn't the one written down and their torch isn't snuffed out.
Terrance Williams' flame may be safe due to his current contract. The Dallas Cowboys can't save anything by releasing him, but it doesn't cost them that much either. It's unlikely he has a future with the team, so if someone were to prove themselves more worthy, his flame could be extinguished.
Last season I thought Noah Brown was ready to unseat Williams, but that never really materialized. Unfortunately, Brown hasn't really shown up as much as I thought he would this offseason, and missing the game against the San Francisco 49ers last week didn't do him any favors either. This doesn't bode well for him moving forward.
Deonte Thompson was signed as a free agent to provide some veteran experience and speed to the passing game, but that in no way means his job is secure. He needs to do something to show up a little more because his age and salary means a younger up-and-coming WR could make him expendable.
Second-year WR Lance Lenoir Jr. might just be the receiver who has stirred things up the most. He has not only created a buzz for himself in offseason practices, but he was able to carry it over into the preseason last week against the 49ers. His arrow trajectory is definitely pointing upwards.
I'd definitely hate to be the one to decide who stays and who goes when final cuts are made. It's not going to be an easy decision to make, because the outcome will definitely have an impact on the team's success this year.
All of these players were brought into help Quarterback Dak Prescott and the passing game reach new heights, so making the wrong move could be detrimental. The number of wide receivers and who the Dallas Cowboys decide to keep might be the most important decision they make before the season starts.
How would you predict the Dallas Cowboys WR position battle turning out?
Any Concern About Dan Bailey Not Playing Against 49ers?
With all the excitement of the Dallas Cowboys finally playing in a game last week against the San Francisco 49ers, it may have escaped your attention that Dan Bailey remained on the sideline the entire time. He didn't attempt one field goal or kick off once last Thursday, which in my opinion is a little concerning.
Dan Bailey joined Ezekiel Elliott and Sean Lee on the sideline as a healthy scratch last week. The decision to sit both Zeke and Sean Lee makes sense due to the physical demands of their positions, but sitting Bailey was a bit of a head scratcher. After all, it's not like he plays a physically demanding position like the other two.
I know. I know. Dan Bailey is an integral part for the Cowboys success moving forward. I'm not arguing that he's not, but after sitting out the majority of the 2017 season with a groin injury and lingering concerns about his health this year, not playing him at all against the 49ers is a bit confusing.
I don't believe there is any kind of kicking competition between Dan Bailey and Brett Maher, who handled all of the kicking duties against the 49ers last Thursday. Bailey will be the Cowboys kicker when the 2018 season gets underway in just a few short weeks. But, the question remains… Why didn't he receive any playing time?
Dan Bailey was never quite the same last season once he returned from his injury. Something was off and I don't know if it was more mental or physical, maybe a little of both. He just wasn't splitting the uprights like his normal self.
Unfortunately, we have seen this kind of thing happen in the past with one of the Cowboys kickers. Nick Folk went through a similar situation with an injury and never really bounced back. I'm just hoping history doesn't repeat itself.
Obviously, the Dallas Cowboys know more about what's going on with Dan Bailey than I do. But, you would think they'd have allowed him to attempt a field goal or at least an extra point in a game situation to build up his confidence once again. It's what I would have done.
Hopefully I'm just being a little paranoid and I'm reading more into this than there actually is. But, the fact I haven't heard any reasoning as to why Dan Bailey was held out last week is sitting a little uneasy with me. I'm just hoping it was precautionary in order to keep him as healthy as possible for the upcoming season.
Should we be concerned Dan Bailey was a healthy scratch last week?
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