We all woke up this morning, December 12th, with a frown on our faces. Our Dallas Cowboys lost for the second time this season, and it was particularly difficult to swallow as it came against the division rival New York Giants.
As is usually the case, loyal members of Cowboys Nation took to various social media platforms to air out their grievances against a team that is 11-2 with a playoff berth already clinched. The Dallas Cowboys played a terrible football game on Sunday night in New York, but they are still a great team... if not the best in the NFL.
Is there much to learn from the embarrassing performance in New York? Absolutely.
Should the Cowboys glean a lot about a team they might see in the playoffs? Definitely.
Is this team done? Not at all.
Should they make a change at the most important position on the team? That seems to be the question we'll be debating all week long.
"Tony Romo Would Have Won This Game"
I love Tony Romo. I've written about it many times here at Inside The Star. That being said, it is absurd to proclaim he would have beaten the New York Giants last night.
We haven't seen Romo take serious snaps since Thanksgiving 2015, but his legend has folks convinced he could walk on water if he really wanted to. It really is amazing how Romo has gone from a "he can't get it done" narrative to this mystique that he can solve any type of football issue.
There is absolutely no data or line of indisputable evidence proving Tony Romo would have won this game. We want to believe he would have, which is the problem. We're so tied to the wonderful memories Tony Romo created for us that all we know how to do is believe there's more left to that story.
It's not fair to anyone, Tony included.
We Need To Give The Giants Credit...
During my post-game episode of OchoLive, someone on the Facebook Live side of things suggested the New York Giants got lucky both times they beat us. This simply isn't true.
The cold hard truth is that the New York Giants flat-out beat the Dallas Cowboys - twice.
They put together the perfect defensive game plan on Sunday night to slow Dak Prescott and limit Ezekiel Elliott (although we did enough of that on our own, we'll get there). The Giants invested an enormous amount of money into their defense during the offseason, and it worked.
The Cowboys Defense Was Very Impressive
Benson Mayowa, ladies and gentlemen!
The Cowboys got some serious pressure from Rod Marinelli's rushmen, and they even forced a hat trick of turnovers. If we're being totally honest, the defense carried this team in the contest... it just wasn't enough.
Sean Lee had what might have been his finest game of the season, and Anthony Brown scored his first career interception. In every conceivable way, the Dallas Cowboys defense did more than enough to win... they just lost (Tony Romo is probably rolling his eyes at this).
There Is No Logical Explanation for Lance Dunbar's Usage
More than once during this game the Cowboys were in critical offensive situations and had Lance Dunbar out there next to Dak Prescott. Seriously.
The Cowboys invested the fourth overall draft pick in Ezekiel Elliott many months ago... what possible situation can anyone even imagine that would prioritize Lance Dunbar over Zeke? Is there a single one?
The Dallas Cowboys seemingly got in their own way all throughout the contest on the offensive side of the ball in this game. Beyond their almost stubborn approach to Lance Dunbar, Scott Linehan called what was probably his worst game of the season. It was just a mess.
The Season Is Far From Over
At the end of the day here, the Dallas Cowboys are 11-2... and Cowboys Nation is ridiculously spoiled.
After our team lost for the second time - this loss occurring in December - we started calling for heads: coaching, quarterback, and everywhere else. The Cowboys have lost two games in 2016, and both of them were to a team that is in serious contention in the NFC playoffs.
Is that not highly impressive?
It didn't fill our hearts with joy that, after 10 days of rest, the Cowboys were so flat in New York; however, this is a team that is 11-2. They've certainly earned our trust at this point, so let's take a step back and fully give it to them.
Cowboys WR Terrance Williams Facing Multi-Game Suspension
An arrest last May for public intoxication may finally result in a suspension for Dallas Cowboys Receiver Terrance Williams.
David Moore of the Dallas Morning News, who reported the pending suspension, outlined the details of Williams' case. Charges were ultimately dropped once Terrance completed an alcohol education course and paid damages to the city.
Sources: Cowboys WR Terrance Williams faces suspension stemming from May arrest for public intoxication https://t.co/3RmwQOllim via @sportsdaydfw
However, as Cowboys fans know too well, the NFL reserves the right to suspend players under the Personal Conduct Policy regardless of legal outcomes. The 2017 season was marred by the league's persecution of Ezekiel Elliott for domestic violence despite no arrests or charges coming from any legal or police entity.
In Williams' case, there's no dispute of his guilt. It is unlikely he will appeal any decision the NFL makes.
The potential that Terrance will be missing for 2-4 games helps explain the Cowboys' move earlier this week to bring back WR Brice Butler. With both currently active, Dallas has an unusually high seven receivers on their 53-man roster.
It's already Friday, so the suspension is doubtful to come for this week's game in Seattle. But Terrance could easily be one of the seven inactive players on game day, having received the fewest snaps of any Cowboys WR last week against the Giants.
We'll see soon enough, likely as soon as next week, just what the league has in store for Terrance Williams.
Report: Dallas Cowboys to Sign Free Agent Wide Receiver Brice Butler
The Dallas Cowboys look to be making a move at the wide receiver position as they attempt to bring some life to the position. No they aren't trading for Cleveland Browns Wide Receiver Josh Gordon, but bringing back former Wide Receiver Brice Butler.
According to a report from Saad Yousuf from The Athletic, the Dallas Cowboys are set to resign the former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver but first have to release someone from the 53-man roster.
Cowboys officials are in the process of signing wide receiver Brice Butler, multiple sources tell @TheAthleticDFW. The team has to make a roster move to bring Butler onto the 53 and is trying to decide whom to release to make room for Butler before a final decision is made.
Brice Butler was signed in the offseason by the Arizona Cardinals but was released after training camp. It was a surprising move for the Cardinals. They don't have a ton of wide receiver depth aside from future Hall of Famer Larry Fitzgerald.
Butler's caught 73 passes on 133 targets for 1,177 yards and eight touchdowns in his five career. In 36 games with the Dallas Cowboys Brice Butler caught 43 passes on 81 targets for 794 yards and six touchdowns. In his time in Dallas, he averaged 18.5 yards per reception.
He never really got a lot of playing time with the Dallas Cowboys who had Dez Bryant, Cole Beasley and Jason Witten on the team for the duration of his time in Dallas. The Cowboys coaching staff placed a higher premium on Terrance Williams' run blocking than Butler's big play ability.
To the coaching staff's credit, Butler was never a consistent enough player to be relied upon week in and week out. In 2017, his last season in Dallas, Brice Butler was never targeted more than three times a game and he never caught more than two passes a game. Butler, however, only played 24.51% of the Dallas Cowboys' offensive snaps in 2017.
If the Dallas Cowboys do make this move it's at a curious time. Sources tell 247 Sports' Mike Fisher that the Dallas Cowboys have zero interest at the moment in Cleveland Browns Wide Receiver Josh Gordon. You'd think their lack of interest would be because they still like the wide receiver room as it is.
If they do complete the signing of Brice Butler, you'd have to expect that Deonte Thompson would be the wide receiver on the chopping block. They cut him at the end of the preseason and then brought him back during week one.
This signing is unlikely to have an impact on the Dallas Cowboys week two matchup with the New York Giants, but will probably be completed early Monday to get Butler to Frisco to begin preparing for their week three matchup.
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I don't think this is a move that makes a lot of sense for the Dallas Cowboys. They've been down that road before and haven't received the results they wanted. Brice Butler does offer some big play ability, but it was thought that is why they brought in Deonte Thompson and Tavon Austin. Is it possible the Dallas Cowboys are already down on those two players after one game? They wouldn't be bringing Butler back if they didn't have plans for him.
Good or bad, do you think bringing Brice Butler back is the right move for the Dallas Cowboys?
Cowboys, 49ers Are WR Josh Gordon’s Preferred Teams in Trade/Free Agency
It's Sunday morning and the Cleveland Browns are expected to make a questionable decision by tomorrow, which is far from news for a Dallas Cowboys team waiting around for a crucial Sunday Night Football home game tonight. With Cleveland expected to part ways with troubled wide receiver Josh Gordon though, the Cowboys have understandably been linked to Gordon, even more so now with the talented pass catcher stating his own interest in America's Team.
As teams discuss potentially trading for outgoing #Browns WR Josh Gordon, I'm told he's got his eye on two in particular: The #Cowboys and the #49ers.
Before looking into this any further, it's necessary to point out an all-important missing detail. Without any reports of the Cowboys own interest in Gordon, the soon-to-be free agent is simply the latest player to say he'd like to play for the Cowboys - hardly anything new for the Jones.
The Cowboys need for a player like Gordon has never been more evident though. Heavily criticized throughout the offseason for how they handled their wide receivers, the Cowboys passing game was a non-factor in the team's 16-8 week one loss.
Signing or trading for Gordon could do little to fix this, but the risk may also prove worthwhile for Dallas. The Baylor Bears product did put up 1,646 yards in 2013 with minimal talent around him, and has a career 17.3 yards per reception.
His ability to take the top off a defense is something the Cowboys are sorely missing. What they won't miss from not acquiring Gordon is the off-field trouble, taking on a player that missed all of 2015 and 2016 due to suspension.
Last season, Gordon was reinstated for the Browns final five games.
The NFL is, at least cautiously, easing their policy on players suspended for marijuana usage. Look no further than the Cowboys own Randy Gregory to prove this, as Gregory has already become a success story for the league by being with the Cowboys this season.
Whether or not Gregory plays on Sunday night (officially listed as DOUBTFUL) after suffering a concussion in his long-awaited return last week is yet to be determined. So too is Josh Gordon's future as the latest player on his way out of Cleveland.
From @gmfb Weekend: The #Browns plan to release Josh Gordon after he showed up late, injured his hamstring during a photo shoot, and in general completely lost their trust. https://t.co/cX2HGZPBXi
I'm of the belief that Gordon won't last long on the open market, meaning this won't be the latest Cowboys story/non-story to drag through the presses. Any fan looking to pass time between now and kickoff against the Giants could probably find me saying the same about free agent WR Dez Bryant however.
Thanks to Bryant still being a free agent along with former Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey, the team has looked smarter than expected in the long-term on moves like these.
If there's a smart way to bring on Josh Gordon, Dallas should be considering that too.
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