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Terrell Owens Betrayed Himself

Bryson Treece

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All this talk about Terrell Owens feeling betrayed by Jerry Jones is just a waste of everyone's time. Now I've said for a long time that Owens has issues, but that his production usually outweighed his issues by enough to keep him around. I've said that this team could move into the 09 season with Owens and be just fine. But obviously it didn't and they won't.

The problems Owens caused were usually rather trivial and didn't amount to very much until the media got a hold of it, then suddenly every fan had an opinion of it as I'm sure each player and coach did as well. Never mind whether or not these coaches and players knew the whole story or witnessed it and knew things about it each time that the media did not, the media was able to color every story to their own needs. Often, the media was given an extra push by the words of some of the players.

And when it all came to a head earlier this month and Owens was released by the Cowboys, we all figured it would only be a matter of time before Owens started talking about the whole situation much in the same way he talked about McNabb after signing with the Cowboys.

He waited until he got a new gig in Buffalo, and then a bit longer until a lot of questions had been settled about his move and new team, but he did start talking. Whether we've seen the height of his ramblings or not remains to be seen.

What he has said though is that he feels like Jerry Jones betrayed him, like Jerry Jones allowed the influences of few to affect his decision to keep Owens on the team. It was an issue before he was cut in that nobody believed Jerry would let him go because he was "his boy" so to speak.

As it turns out, he wasn't, though. As it turns out, some of the media reports that Garrett and Stephen Jones were lobbying to get rid of Owens may have been right. The truth is that we don't know now, and probably never will, exactly why Owens was released.

What we do know is that Owens was a problem to be dealt with at all times. Maybe he wasn't any bigger of a problem than any other #1 receiver is by wanting the ball and expecting to be the featured receiver on the team, but he was a problem. He did good his first couple of years in Dallas to keep his mouth shut and not stir the pot whenever he had a chance like he had done at previous stops.

But in 2008 he began his campaign for more balls and better ball distribution and ultimately, whether he realized it or not at the time, his departure from the storied franchise. Obviously it wouldn't have been smart for him to act the way he did if he really believed that he would or could be cut since his options are so limited due to his reputation in the league, and nobody will argue that he got a better deal leaving Dallas for Buffalo. He didn't.

So it lends some credit, along with the fact that he is pretty smart about his career most of the time, to the notion that he felt a strong enough bond with owner Jones to keep him around even with him running his mouth to the media.

We do know what Jones gave as the reason for cutting Owens, and it's a good reason that was delivered in a way that almost totally dropped the bottom out of the stories that Owens was nothing but a trouble maker and chemistry killer in the locker room and on the field.

To say that the younger receivers on the team can actually replace Owens seems a bit naïve, but the idea is a good one to have since Owens will likely play only another year or two before retiring. There always comes a time when a player must be replaced. It can be from age or production or money, but it always happens.

But for a player, especially a 13 year veteran that has been through the stops that Owens has been through and for the reasons he's been through those stops, to say that he feels betrayed by an owner for releasing him is just insane. It's a business, and no matter how you look at it, Owens was good for two things; 1) having big plays, and 2) getting media attention.

We all know that Jones is a media whore, it is anything but a secret after 20 years in the league, and Owens did have a lot of big plays in his time in Dallas, it was about all he could get running fly routes every down.

But there comes a time when the media attention is too much, when one player's following can affect the followings of other players. Terence Newman hasn't been the best at boosting his own image in the media lately with his comments, but his new rep didn't surface until Owens grew more vocal in 2008. Yes, one probably has nothing to with the other, but the coincidence is there and it's apparent enough to mention it.

It could very well be that we all have it wrong with regards to Owens, but even if we are wrong and Owens was a model player and teammate, even his own teammates bought into the hype and that makes it a problem.

It's like driving down an old country road in a Ferrari, not enough room for a u-turn and turning around is going to be a bit bumpy. Once Owens' publicity spread amongst the team there was no going back. The only reasonable end to it was to end his run in Dallas.

And that is why Owens is a fool for saying that Jones betrayed him, because in the end, it was Owens in the drivers seat.



Nothing gives me greater joy than the experience of being a Dallas Cowboys fan come time to check another victory on the schedule every Sunday. I live Inside the Star everyday and blog on it occasionally, as well. Follow us on Twitter - @InsideTheStarDC

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Star Blog

Tony Pollard is Just What the Doctor Ordered in Dallas

Matthew Lenix

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Tony Pollard is Just What the Doctor Ordered in Dallas

The Dallas Cowboys have what many believe to be the best running back in the NFL in Ezekiel Elliott. However, you can never undervalue the importance of depth at any position. When the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft came around, the Cowboys added another weapon to the backfield by selecting Tony Pollard out of Memphis.

If you’re looking for a dynamic player maker with the ability to take it to the house at any given moment, Pollard is your man. The former Tiger averaged a touchdown every 13 touches in college. That’s an absolutely insane statistic when you think about it. He also tied an NCAA record with seven kick returns for touchdowns. Long story short, he can get you six points at the blink of an eye.

The versatility in his game is outrageous and undoubtedly the reason why he was drafted. In addition to running for 941 yards on 6.8 yards per rush, he also had 104 receptions for 1,292 yards. New offensive coordinator Kellen Moore has to be salivating about the possibilities with his new toy. Having a running back that can not only carry the load as a runner but also line up at receiver keeps the defense honest. You never know what angle the offense is going to come from.

This has to be a sigh of relief for Ezekiel Elliott. Now, the Cowboys don’t have to overexert him and can bring Pollard in on third downs if need be. Not just to give Elliott a breather but to change the pace of the offensive attack. You can hand the ball off, throw it to him or run jet sweeps when he is on the field. This sets up a potential combo at running back that could be the leagues very best shortly.

Speed, quickness, and agility are all wrapped up in the Tony Pollard package. The Cowboys now have a running back that can line up at multiple positions if need be. Also, this prevents a lot of unnecessary wear and tear on the body of Ezekiel Elliott. This combination has all the potential to set the NFL on fire in 2019.



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CB Byron Jones Not Expected To Return Until Week 1 Against NYG

Kevin Brady

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Byron Jones

Coming off what was clearly the best season of his career thus far, Cowboys cornerback Byron Jones underwent surgery to hopefully fix a nagging hip injury.

While he earned both his first All Pro and Pro Bowl honors in 2018, his first season as a full-time cornerback, Jones still has a lot to prove in the upcoming season. Some still criticize him for his lack of interceptions, and there's no doubt his stellar play slowed down a bit towards the end of the year.

I'm willing to wager that the slight decline had a lot to do with his hip troubles, but nonetheless he must come up with his elite level play once again to earn himself a nice contract somewhere in 2020.

Oh, did I forget to mention it's also a contract year for Byron Jones? As it is for so many important Dallas Cowboys, it seems.

So when will Byron Jones be able to return to the Cowboys' lineup? Well, the initial date reportedly set by Jones and the team was late July, giving him a chance to practice and play a bit before the season opener in September. But, according to the Team Site this week, that date may be pushed back a bit, and we might not see Byron Jones until that season opening game against the Giants.

"As for Jones, all along the Cowboys have been targeting his return for the season opener, but hopefully at that. So, don’t expect to see much of Jones in training camp, and if so, certainly no more than individual and walk-through drills." - Mickey Spagnola

Ultimately, as long as Byron Jones is good to go when the regular season starts, that's all that matters, but the fear of rust when Jones returns is a real one.

It's tough to go from no live football straight to the meaningful games, but if anyone would be able to do it it would be the guy with the freakishly athletic traits. The guy who can get out of the bed in the morning and set athletic records at the Combine.

And, of course, that guy is Byron Jones.



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Dak Prescott: Calm Under Pressure

Matthew Lenix

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Dak Prescott: Calm Under Pressure

When the 2016 NFL Draft came around the Dallas Cowboys were in search of the heir apparent to Tony Romo. Unfortunately, coming off an injury-plagued 2015 season, Romo would find himself on the shelf again after suffering a broken bone in his back during a preseason game against the Seahawks. However, the Cowboys had an ace in the hole, in the form of Dak Prescott who they drafted in the fourth round.

The idea was the groom him for a few years before taking the keys to the car so to speak from Romo, but fate had another idea in mind. Prescott would be thrust into the starting lineup against one of the Cowboys most hated rivals to start the season, the New York Giants. Added to that, was the pressure of living up to Romo's stellar resume as the franchise's all-time leading passer. After struggling in a tough 20-19 loss, no surprise there for a rookie quarterback, Prescott began to take flight.

Over the next eleven games he wouldn't suffer a single loss as the Cowboys were sitting pretty at 11-1. What made this streak more impressive was the efficiency of Prescott. He threw 19 touchdowns and only 2 interceptions over that span. In the process, he set an NFL record for the most passing attempts to start a career without an interception with 176. This broke the previous record held by Tom Brady of 162. It didn't stop there, as he also set a rookie record for completion percentage (67.8), was named Offensive Rookie of the Year and was selected to the Pro Bowl.

The Cowboys would finish 13-3 and win the NFC East. With home-field advantage throughout the playoffs and the franchise only winning two postseason games in 21 years, Prescott was definitely under the microscope. After the offense struggled to produce points in the first half and fell behind 21-3, Prescott lead a furious comeback. Helping the team storm all the way back to tie the game at 28 and again at 31. He finished with 302 yards and 3 touchdowns in his first playoff start against future Hall of Famer Aaron Rodgers. Even though the team lost 34-31, Prescott proved how much of a gamer he was as he basically went yard for yard and point for point with one of the NFL's elite signal-callers. It was clear the Cowboys were in good hands going forward.

2017 started off well as the Cowboys were 5-3 and firmly on pace for another playoff run. Unfortunately, All-Pro Running Back Ezekiel Elliott lost his fierce battle with the NFL over domestic violence allegations, and Dak along with the offense struggled. After a 9-7 season and falling one game short of a Wild Card berth, the pressure on Prescott heading into the next season was immense.

Once 2018 came about Prescott had more pressure than ever with Elliott back for a full season. After a slow 3-4 start the Cowboys traded for Pro-Bowl Wide Receiver Amari Cooper, providing the team with it's first true number one receiver since Dez Bryant. Putting even more expectations on Prescott to turn things around, and boy did he ever.

He would complete 71.6% of his passes in the final eight games of the season, and the Cowboys won seven to finish 10-6. Now, with another division title under his belt, came a playoff matchup with Super Bowl-winning Quarterback Russell Wilson.

Late in the fourth quarter, the Cowboys were hanging on to a 17-14 lead. They faced a 3rd and 14 inside the redone with just over two minutes left. After dropping back a few steps, Prescott scrambled for 16 yards setting up a first and goal from the one-yard line. The team held on for a 24-22 victory but here's why that scramble was so important.

If the Cowboys don't convert that 3rd and long that would've set up a field goal attempt. Assuming it would have been successful, that would've only put them up 20-14. Giving Seattle a chance to more than likely win with a touchdown and an extra point or two-point conversion. Prescott essentially won the game with that 3rd down run. Proving once again there's no situation he can't handle.

He's set an NFL record for completion percentage in the first three years of a quarterbacks career at 66.1 percent. No quarterback has won more games than him since 2016 except Tom Brady. No one has more game-winning drives than him since he entered the league. His 13 primetime victories are tops in the NFL over the last three seasons. Simply put, Dak Prescott is a winner and doesn't fold under pressure, instead, he embraces it. There are no bigger lights in the NFL than the ones that shine in Dallas. With those lights come huge expectations and pressure, and it's clear this young man is made of the right stuff to handle it.



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