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.
Cowboys en Español: ¿Dónde Tiene Que Mejorar Dallas?
El mejor juego de los Dallas Cowboys en 2018 vino la semana pasada, cuando recibieron a los Jacksonville Jaguars y los vencieron 40-7. Un resultado que tomó a todos por sorpresa demostró la mejor cara en el año de este equipo que apenas tiene un récord de 3-3.
Por más dominantes que se vieron en el emparrillado el domingo pasado, esa actuación no termina de reflejar lo que realmente son los Cowboys. Son un equipo con potencial en la ofensiva y con una defensiva bastante fuerte, pero ¿pueden ganar constantemente como lo hicieron contra Jaguars?
De entrada, la respuesta a esta pregunta parece ser no. Aún en esa victoria, se vieron problemas evidentes en la ofensiva. Para empezar, la falta de ejecución en la segunda mitad en series ofensivas que incluso llegaron a iniciar en territorio enemigo. De gol de campo en gol de campo se juntan puntos, sin duda, pero en partidos cerrados eso termina costando victorias. Hace falta que Dak Prescott y compañía puedan mover el balón una vez en rango de gol de campo y convertir esas oportunidades a touchdowns.
Otra preocupación que no podemos subestimar es que el juego aéreo sigue sin funcionar apropiadamente. Cole Beasley dominó con nueve atrapadas para 101 yardas y dos touchdowns, pero el resto de los receptores se fueron sin más de una recepción por cabeza. El único jugador que logró más de una fue el TE Geoff Swaim, quien se llevo dos en todo el juego.
Si bien Beasley tuvo uno de los mejores juegos en su carrera, más receptores tienen que involucrarse para llevar la ofensiva al siguiente nivel. La buena noticia es que en esta ocasión se enfrentaron contra una de las mejores secundarias en la NFL. Los números son malos, pero tienen la oportunidad de demostrar mucho más contra otras defensivas.
Los Dallas Cowboys tienen que repartir más la bola y seguir buscando maneras creativas de utilizar a su RB Ezekiel Elliott. Pases pantallas en tercera y largo no es ser creativo. Lo vemos funcionar dos o tres veces al año pero mandan esta jugada semanalmente. En cuanto a Dak Prescott, hay mucho donde mejorar. Deberíamos estar viendo pases más arriesgados, al centro del campo y mucho mejor posicionados.
Para la defensiva, las cosas se ven muy bien. Puede que veamos la mejor versión de esta unidad esta semana, cuando viajen a Washington. Maliek Collins, Sean Lee, David Irving, y Randy Gregory estarán jugando mucho más sanos y preparados. Este es un frente defensivo lleno de talento que intimidará constantemente a Alex Smith este domingo.
A pesar de que los Redskins no tienen una ofensiva muy explosiva, el área de oportunidad principal para la defensiva de Cowboys está en la profundidad defensiva. Tanto Jeff Heath como Xavier Woods han hecho un trabajo decente, pero tienen sus momentos en los que no logran asegurar una tackleada y permiten jugadas largas.
Hace unos meses no esperábamos que fuera la defensiva y no la ofensiva la que cargaría a este equipo a muchas victorias, pero ese ha sido el caso en las tres victorias de esta temporada. Y en las tres derrotas, la defensiva fue la que mantuvo a los Cowboys en el juego.
Sin duda alguna, lo que tiene que mejorar es la ofensiva. Los receptores tienen que desmarcarse, Prescott debe ser más preciso y tener una mejor conciencia en la bolsa de protección.
Pero sobre todo, es la inconsistencia del equipo. Esto se comienza a sentir como la temporada del año pasado, cuando los Cowboys se fueron 9-7 y nunca terminaron de establecerse como contendientes a los playoffs. Aún en una NFC East donde todos los equipos tienen récords similares y débiles, no pueden continuar perdiendo una semana y ganando a la otra.
Ganarle a los Redskins sería la primera victoria de Dallas jugando de visita. También sería la primera vez en el año en la que tendrían victorias consecutivas. Por esto y muchas otras razones, incluyendo el potencial liderato de la división, este juego es de suma importancia.
Si ganan, podría ser el momento en el que los Cowboys terminen de darle la vuelta a la página y si pierden, podría ser un indicador de que esta temporada será igual que la del 2017.
Time to get FB Jamize Olawale More Involved Offensively?
The Dallas Cowboys are coming off arguably their best and most complete offensive performance of the season after playing the Jacksonville Jaguars last week, but there is still quite a bit of improvement that can be made. The need to get more playmakers involved is apparent, which is why I think it's time to utilize Fullback Jamize Olawale's unique skill set.
I know many of you will argue that getting Allen Hurns and Michael Gallup going is a higher priority, and you wouldn't be wrong, but Jamize Olawale's playmaking ability could be a huge asset for Quarterback Dak Prescott and the offense. I know it sounds a little strange, but hang in there with me for little bit.
As things stand right now, Olawale has only played 38 offensive snaps (10%) in 2018. That's the exact amount of offensive plays Wide Receiver Terrance Williams has played this year and he's missed the majority of the season. It's not exactly the kind of production I was expecting when the Cowboys decided to bring him aboard via trade with the Oakland Raiders earlier this offseason.
I don't know about you, but I was expecting Olawale to be more involved in the offensive game plan. He is an excellent receiver out of the backfield and isn't too shabby as a runner either. But, we haven't seen him utilized in either fashion this season and I think that's an injustice that needs to be corrected.
Now, I fully understand there are other offensive weapons ahead of him in the pecking order who need to see more targets, but I also really think he can make a difference maker, especially in the passing game. That is where his strengths lie, not as a lead blocking fullback.
Olawale was a bit of a Swiss Army knife during his time with the Oakland Raiders. He played a little running back, fullback, tight end, and even a little slot receiver. I really thought the Cowboys would take advantage of his versatility in the passing game, but as of yet they have failed to do so.
I'd like to see the Dallas Cowboys and Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan utilize Jamize Olawale's unique playmaking ability a little bit more on offense. I think they should try to utilize him like the San Francisco 49ers use their fullback, Kyle Juszczyk. He's much more involved and has played a total of 263 offensive snaps (63.68%) this year.
Juszczyk is a better lead blocking FB then Olawale, but that's not where he makes the most difference in the 49ers offense. He does it as a receiver and has already caught 17 passes for 227 yards and one touchdown. That's some pretty solid production from a position that is being phased out in the NFL.
Now, just imagine the Cowboys offense getting similar production from Olawale and how that would help open up things for everybody else. It's not out of the realm of possibility because the 49ers offense and the Cowboys isn't all that dissimilar.
Unfortunately, I think Jamize Olawale is pretty much an afterthought in the Cowboys offense right now. It's truly unfortunate because I think he can be a difference maker if given the opportunity. And with a division foe like the Washington Redskins next on the schedule, what better time to unleash a new and unseen element of the offense?
Do you think Jamize Olawale needs to be more involved offensively?
Cole Beasley Key to Cowboys Passing Game Productivity?
What most of us already knew was confirmed last Sunday afternoon against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Wide Receiver Cole Beasley is the Dallas Cowboys best receiver and is the key to the passing game productivity. He is not only the most productive, but the most consistent.
Cole Beasley isn't the tallest or the fastest and definitely doesn't look like a prototypical NFL receiver, but he showed last week against the Jaguars why opposing defenses have to account for him on every single play. He torched Jacksonville's top-ranked passing defense for 101 yards on nine catches and added two touchdowns, and it's that production that could help open up the entire passing game for the Cowboys.
It's painfully obvious Cole Beasley has been Dak Prescott's favorite target in the passing game since he took over the starting duties in 2016. Once opposing defenses figured that out they started to make things extremely difficult by bracketing Beasley in coverage and the passing game hasn't been the same since. But, that could be changing if the Jaguars game was an indication of what we might see moving forward.
Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan did a much better job of moving Beasley around to create favorable matchups against the Jaguars. I think we will see much more of that moving forward, but that likely means opposing defenses will once again try to take away Prescott's favorite target. That actually could end up helping the Cowboys passing game though.
If opposing defenses indeed try to contain Cole Beasley like they've done in the past, it should help provide more opportunities for Dallas' other pass catchers. Spreading the ball around to several different receivers would not only help Prescott and the passing game, but also open up the entire offense.
We haven't really seen much of Allen Hurns or Michael Gallup this season, but both are more than capable of being more productive if they are seeing single coverage more often. That's what's likely to happen if defenses bracket Beasley in coverage once again. Both WRs need to be more involved anyway and Beasley's recent spike in production could help do just that.
Now, if defenses decide to try and cover Beasley one-on-one like the Jaguars did quite a bit of last Sunday, the Cowboys would be wise to take advantage of that mismatch. He simply can't be covered by a single defensive back because of his precise route running ability. He is that good.
Regardless of how opposing defenses try to handle/contain Cole Beasley, he is without a doubt key to the Dallas Cowboys passing game productivity. Just the threat of him on the field changes a defenses approach, which is why he is Dallas' #1 WR in my book. He absolutely has to be more involved moving forward, even if it is as a decoy.
Do you think Cole Beasley is the key to the Cowboys passing game productivity?
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