Rare are the moments when I get the idea for an article and can't put a mental bookmark on it for later. These are the breaths of fresh air that cause me to run straight to my Macbook and put these thoughts somewhere safe.
It was actually during a run, on a treadmill to be specific, that my latest form of "inspiration" hit. When getting my daily dose of cardio I like to put on some high-quality jams, who doesn't for what it's worth, and my taste is a bit... unique.
When this song came on I immediately kicked it up several notches and pulled the notes app on my iPhone out so that I wouldn't forget what I had going on in my head, which was a new potential nickname for the Dallas Cowboys Offensive Line.
Music video by 'N Sync performing Space Cowboy (Yippie Yi Yay). (C) 2000 Zomba Recording LLC
The Space Cowboys
Nicknames are so important in sports these days. People want to identify a player or group of players with an iconic brand that makes them theirs forever. The Space Cowboys are our guys, our Offensive Line.
Why is that, exactly? The Cowboys part is obvious, but it's the space that's important here... especially to our new star Running Back - Ezekiel Elliott.
This classic song says that "up in outer space there's no gravity to fall," and that space will undoubtedly hold true for young Ezekiel. The "outer" rim of it is simply the second level of the defense... which his star-studded O-Line, the Space Cowboys, will get him to very easily come Sundays this fall.
Elliott has his rocket hitched to these Space Cowboys, and they're going to have him saying "why-yi-yi-yippie-yi-yay-yippie-yi-yo-yippie-yi-yay" all over the gridiron. NSync urges us that "if you wanna fly, take a space ride with the Cowboys."
Seriously, think about the Offensive Line. What's the one thing that they create on a constant basis? It's space! They're the Space Cowboys!
Zeke is indeed going to fly, with the Space Cowboys. Straight into the endzone.
Who Are The Other "Space Cowboys"?
Now that we have things all settled when it comes to the Offensive Line being the Space Cowboys, we can't let them be alone!
If the 'Boys up front are going to be out in orbit we need to give their counterparts corresponding nicknames so that everything makes sense. It is Friday after all so we're feeling good, right?
Here are some potential other orbital outlaws that come to mind.
Mark Watney aka The Martian: Tony Romo
The most resourceful person in the history of Mars, an entire planet, is Mark Watney from the great novel/film The Martian.
Thanks to a horrific set of circumstances Watney is left completely alone on Mars and fights against all odds to grow his own crops and survive before ultimately, spoiler alert, being rescued by his comrades that initially (accidentally) abandoned him.
In his tenure as the quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys, Tony Romo has had to make do in a similar set of circumstances. There was a time when Tony didn't have the Space Cowboys blocking for him or when he had one of the worst defenses in NFL History. He survived, and so did we, to the point we're at now. A glorious point.
Han Solo: Dez Bryant
Perhaps the most wild personality in the galaxy is Han Solo. We all know, and should acknowledge, that he shot first... and if there's anyone who is willing to shoot first it is Dez Bryant.
Dez is Dez and will Dez as much as Dez can. The football field is his playground and his Jumpman kicks are his Millenium Falcon. In moments of crisis we know that Dez can, and will, deliver in epic fashion.
Oh and for bonus points we'll count Terrance Williams as Chewbacca.
Spock: Jason Witten
Perhaps the wisest person to ever live in space is Spock... er, I mean Jason Witten.
Witten is arguably Vulcan when you consider his longevity and sustained success. There really isn't any other explanation that makes sense.
It seems that Spock is at the center of anything important to the Star Trek series and the same could very well be said of Jason Witten. When you consider the iconic moments in this most recent era of Dallas Cowboys History you'd be hard pressed to find one that doesn't include Jason.
Yoda: Cole Beasley
Underestimate Yoda, you should not.
The small stature of the Jedi Master is something that leads to a ton of incorrect assumptions by members of the Sith all the time. Sith loyalist Giants, Redskins, and Eagles all make that same judgment when it comes to Cole Beasley.
Beasley's small size is his Force, and his quick feet are his lightsaber. His never-quit attitude is what makes him stand taller than the rest, similar to his Space Cowboy counterpart.
Was Sunday A “Wake Up Call,” Or Were Cowboys Exposed?
Entering last Sunday's game in Indianapolis, the Dallas Cowboys were riding high. Having won five straight games, including key victories over the top seeded Saints and division rival Eagles, everything seemed to be breaking right for the Cowboys heading into the home stretch.
Their defense was playing like one of the best in football, and after firing Paul Alexander and trading for Amari Cooper their offense was clicking just as they'd hoped. They needed (and still need) just one win to officially close out the division and clinch a home playoff game in January.
Instead, the Cowboys got absolutely demolished by the Indianapolis Colts. Of course, there's no shame in losing a road game to an 8-6 team in the NFL, but the way in which they lost certainly deserves some shame. Not even the 23-0 score can encapsulate the complete butt-kicking Dallas received at the hands of the Colts, and it was the type of loss that can sometimes make you question the blueprint.
The Cowboys, however, are not looking at it that way. Multiple leaders in the locker room have spoke this week about how they "needed" to lose like that. Running back Ezekiel Elliott called the loss embarrassing, but also said it is better for Dallas in the "grand scheme of the season."
Clearly, the leaders and coaches are calling the putrid performance a wake up call, something that will galvanize them and reset their win streak heading into the postseason. But is this really the case, or was the shutout defeat more of a sign of things to come?
Obviously it's too early to say for sure, but I do think it can be a little bit of both.
No, the Cowboys are not the class of the NFC, despite beating what can be called the best team in the same conference a couple weeks ago. There probably will prove to be some drop-off from the top 3 seeds in the conference and the Cowboys, if for no other reason than Dallas will have to go on the road to play those teams in the playoffs. It's really hard to win on the road in the NFL, especially with the increased wackiness of 2018.
The Cowboys offense is far from perfect or prolific, though if clicking they now have the skill talent to drop 30+ points any given Sunday. Their defense is talented, has a high ceiling, but is still very young and inexperienced. Though they've played elite level games before, they've also had some stinkers against the Colts and Titans during the same season.
All of this can be true. The Cowboys can be a team deserving of the playoffs, a team we should not be panicking over, but still a very flawed football team. They can be a team that if "hot" could make a run through the postseason, but also will have to answer some tough questions about coaches and players during the next two offseasons.
After all, who isn't greatly flawed in today's NFL? Hell, we just saw the beloved Rams lose two straight games.
Is it Too Late For Dallas to Fire OC Scott Linehan?
Grab your pitchforks and your torches, it's time to run the Dallas Cowboys Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan out of town. His playcalling has been absolutely atrocious season and it's time for him to hit the road, even if there are only two regular-season games left on the schedule.
It's completely unorthodox for an NFL team to fire an offensive coordinator this late in the season, but just last week we saw the Minnesota Vikings do just that when they parted ways with John DeFilippo. It was definitely a bold move to make considering the Vikings are still in playoff contention, but it was something they believed was in the best interest of their team.
I believe if the Dallas Cowboys want to do what's best for their team right now and not later, then they should go ahead and cut ties with Scott Linehan. His predictability and un-creativeness as a play caller is holding back a talented offense, which is hurting the overall team as a result. He's been given every opportunity to turn things around, but enough is enough.
I'd personally be on board with Jason Garrett taking over the playcalling duties. He has the experience and held the position with the Cowboys from 2007 until Linehan was hired. I'd even consider giving Kellen Moore a shot as the OC. He knows the system and has worked closely with Quarterback Dak Prescott. Regardless, the Cowboys need to find some way to increase their offensive productivity.
Right now the Cowboys offense is the 26th scoring offense in the NFL and are averaging just 19.7 points per game. To make matters worse they are the 31st ranked Red Zone offense in the league. I don't know about you, but I think that is completely unacceptable with the talent they have on the offensive side of the ball.
Firing Linehan has been a long time coming. The Cowboys flirted with the idea earlier this season during the bye week and should've pulled the trigger then, but for some reason or another decided to let him stick around. They are definitely still paying for that mistake now.
The Cowboys mistake not to replace Linehan could mean yet another early exit in the playoffs, something we have unfortunately become accustomed to. Scoring just 19 points a game isn't going to get them very far, which is truly unfortunate considering the talent they've acquired this season.
Unfortunately, as much as we would love to see Scott Linehan tarred and feathered and run out of town, I just don't see the Cowboys doing that before their season is officially over. But, in no way should he be allowed to retain his position beyond this season. He clearly isn't the answer any longer.
Do you think the Dallas Cowboys should fire Scott Linehan?
Despite Embarrassing Showing, Health Remains Biggest Cowboys Concern
What is it about the AFC South with these Dallas Cowboys?
Dallas' five game winning streak came to a close on Sunday, as they got straight-up embarrassed by the now 8-6 Indianapolis Colts on the road. The loss was the first since the Cowboys were embarrassed by a different AFC South competitor, the Tennessee Titans, on Monday night football earlier this season.
Though the final was 23-0, and not a single phase (or really even a single player) showed much fight or promise, the biggest concern I have for the Cowboys moving forward didn't change because of the putrid performance. It didn't change because the defense was gashed play after play or the offense failed to finish a single drive. And it didn't even change because both the Redskins and Eagles secured season-saving victories on the same day Dallas was dismantled.
The biggest concern is still their health, particularly across the offensive line.
That was not a playoff caliber interior offensive line the Cowboys put out their on Sunday. Not even close.
With their backup center in Joe Looney, backup guard in Connor Williams, and the very last interior offensive linemen on their roster in Adam Redmond playing for basically the entire game, this offense never had a chance. Dak Prescott wasn't any more inaccurate or indecisive than normal, but all those who like to scream "step up in the pocket" whenever he is sacked did not seem to have an argument this week.
There often was no pocket to step into, as those interior three, specifically Looney and Redmond, failed to provide much protection or confidence for Prescott at all. Joe Looney has actually been rather solid this season, but Sunday felt like one of his worst games of the entire year.
The Cowboys absolutely need Zack Martin to get healthy if they are to make any noise whatsoever in the postseason. At the very least, the need Xavier Su'a-Filo to come back and replace Redmond, and regain the form he displayed during his debut against the Eagles back in November.
Prescott already has issues with his pocket presence and footwork when pressured, so throwing three backup-level linemen right in front of him is not a recipe for success for the Cowboys.
I'm not jumping out of the window over this loss, and I don't think any of you should be either. Dallas had won three straight incredibly emotional and important home games to extend, save, and solidify their season respectively before this loss. They had also just about clinched the NFC East a week ago with their win over Philadelphia, and they played like a team that was due a flat performance
A letdown loss on the road, against a good team I might add, is not the end of the world. The bigger issue here is their health, because if Martin can return to anchor this offensive line, the offense should look a whole lot better than they did against Indianapolis.
It's time to move on from Sunday, go beat Tampa Bay, officially clinch the division, and get ready for Wild Card Weekend.
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