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Jonathan Larson's Rent teaches us that there are 525,600 minutes in a year. It's petitioned that this can be measured in daylights, sunsets, midnights, or cups of coffee. Perhaps you prefer inches, miles, or yardage... Dallas Cowboys Head Coach Jason Garrett definitely likes yards.
On December 27th, 2015 Garrett's Cowboys started their fourth quarterback of the season (Kellen Moore) in a dreadful 6-16 loss in Buffalo. December 27th, 2016 (today duh) we find ourselves 525,600 minutes removed from that agony and celebrating a 180 degree turn of events.
We all woke up today for a special Tuesday edition of #VictoryPoloMonday, celebrating the Dallas Cowboys and their Monday Night Football win over the Detroit Lions. The game bounced in the direction of the Cowboys quite easily in the second half, as a 21-21 tie ended 42-21 in favor of the good guys. Pretty cool, right?
Jason Garrett knows well about victories inside AT&T Stadium against Detroit, as his only career playoff win is laced with those exact details (2014). He's a long way removed from the squad of two years ago, and while he's got his sights set on much bigger things... it was this recent win against the Lions that served as the nail in the coffin for something special - Coach of the Year.
Jason Garrett's Coach Of The Year Resume
Last Friday I outlined the ridiculousness that has been the 2016 Dallas Cowboys season here at Inside The Star. There have been a number of crazy, and unique, obstacles in front of the Cowboys at different points, and Jason Garrett has steered them through them all. Among the many, there are a few more notable hurdles that needed to be Zeke-leapt over:
- The loss of primary backup Quarterback Kellen Moore.
- The serious injury to starting Quarterback Tony Romo.
- The injury to the best Left Tackle in football, Tyron Smith.
- The loss of second-year Left Guard, La'el Collins.
- The three-game loss of star Wide Receiver, Dez Bryant (and his MRI saga).
- The fluctuating health of Cornerback Orlando Scandrick.
- The development of 4th Round Rookie Quarterback Dak Prescott.
- The handling of the Tony Romo situation once Romo returned from injury.
This list hits you so hard that you could've sworn it was Chris Jones during punt coverage. To merely survive it would be an incredible accomplishment, but Jason Garrett is far more than incredible. Coach Garrett guided the Cowboys through all of this and has them firmly entrenched as the NFC's top seed at 13-2, tying the Dallas Cowboys record for most wins in a season.
What Was So Special About The Lions Game?
Had the Lions won on Monday Night Football - they didn't, what a bunch of scrubs - then they would have clinched a playoff berth... those are some serious stakes (I wish they'd been steaks, though).
While Detroit entered the game with much on the line, the Cowboys entered with literally nothing to play for. Due to the Giants loss in Philadelphia last Thursday, the Cowboys clinched everything they possibly could on December 22nd.
This means that the Dallas Cowboys welcomed a team who was literally playing for everything while they were playing for nothing. How'd that go? Dallas won 42-21. The Cowboys handed the Lions a drubbing despite resting pivotal defensive starters and therefore, despite always wanting to win, adding some more hurdles in the interim for the sake of the long-run.
Think about this seriously. The Dallas Cowboys at lower-than-normal capacity didn't just beat, but utterly dominated a team that gave all that they had. This is remarkable.
The Dak And Zeke Effect
There's no denying how impressive rookies Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott have been this season. They've been instrumental to the success that the Cowboys have had, but they've been coached masterfully along the way.
Dallas secured a franchise record-tying 13th win against Detroit, but they also accomplished something that no other Dallas Cowboys team ever has in the process. Jason Garrett's 'Boys now have a rookie quarterback (Dak) with 20 passing touchdowns and a rookie running back (Zeke) with 15 rushing touchdowns.
This is actually so special that not only has no Dallas Cowboys team never done it... no NFL team has ever done it!
This is an insanely difficult thing to do with any two players. It is downright impossible to do with rookies at both positions! Jason Garrett did it. He deserves an honor only two other Dallas Cowboys Head Coaches have received - Coach of the Year. Tom Landry won it in 1966, Jimmy Johnson won it in 1990, and Jason Garrett deserves it in 2016.
How The Seattle Seahawks Have Increased Importance In Cowboys’ Lore
You can't talk about this decade's Dallas Cowboys without discussing the Seattle Seahawks.
In 2012, when Golden Tate took out Sean Lee on a crack-back block and the Seahawks embarrassed a Cowboys team who had just defeated the defending champion New York Giants, we saw which of the two teams was truly ready for the big stage.
In 2014, as Rolando McClain intercepted Russell Wilson and the Cowboys clinched a critical road victory, we knew that Dallas was a legit contender.
In 2015, when Seattle finally came to Dallas and rendered the return of Pro Bowl receiver Dez Bryant meaningless in a 13-12 win, the then 2-5 Cowboys were sent further into a Romo-less abyss.
And, in 2017, Dez Bryant's key drops and Dan Bailey's missed field goals during a horrendous home loss to the Seahawks on Christmas Eve might have sealed each of their fates for the following offseason.
The most important moment in this Cowboys/Seahawks history, however, occurred during a preseason game. A meaningless preseason game which turned out to be the most meaningful day in recent Cowboys history.
Cliff Avril dragging Tony Romo down from behind, effectively ending his career, and kicking off the roster massive turnover we have seen the last two offseasons. From Dak Prescott, to a brand new secondary, to the retirement of Jason Witten, and the cutting of Dez Bryant. All of this change, which put an end to the Romo era rosters in Dallas, began with that hit in Seattle.
Since 2012 the Cowboys, and the rest of the NFC really, have been judged by how they play against two teams: the Packers and the Seahawks.
They have been the class of the NFC, and while we like to think that if the "Dez Caught It" game went how it should have Dallas would've handled Seattle, that will forever be an unknown.
Sunday's game is not expected to carry the franchise-changing implications that some of these other match ups have had. The Seahawks are 0-2 and reeling, with a shaky offensive line and reported distrust throughout the organization.The Cowboys, however, can jump-start their season with a big road win over a winless team that they should beat in the minds of many.
But knowing how things between these teams tend to go, Sunday afternoon may end up having major implications on the rest of the Cowboys' season.
Where this could be the case is in a potential Earl Thomas trade. It's been speculated that Seattle has been hesitant to deal Thomas to Dallas before their week 3 match up, but could be more willing to do so after the game.
Especially if that game is a loss which sends them to 0-3. The Cowboys have been actively pursuing Earl Thomas, and Thomas has certainly made it clear that he wants to be in Dallas. The only party not willing to make it happen thus far, are the Seahawks.
So, this weekend, there is a chance another chapter is added to those franchise-changing moments in Cowboys/Seahawks lore.
A Look Around The NFC East: Week 3
Week two didn't go as planned for much of the NFC East, with only the Dallas Cowboys reigning victorious last Sunday.
Now, three teams are locked in a tie for first place at 1-1, with the New York Giants lagging behind with a winless record. Week 3 is shaping up to be a potential early turning point, however, with Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz returning and each team facing a very beatable opponent.
Let's take a look around the division and see what the Cowboys' foes will be facing this week.
The Eagles fell victim to one of the more surprising upsets of the weekend last Sunday, as Ryan Fitzpatrick led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers over the Eagles 27-21. While their defense got off to a shaky start in the loss, it was the offense which proved too little too late in their push down the stretch.
Carson Wentz is expected to not only return but to start on Sunday in the Eagles' match up against the Colts. Indianapolis upset the Washington Redskins last week, but will be 6 point underdogs when the game kicks off in Philadelphia on Sunday.
Wentz should give the defending champs an extra boost, and while they haven't looked as dominant as many expected through the first two games, this could be the game to spring them the rest of the way.
As mentioned earlier, the Redskins fell in Indianapolis last week, and are now tied for first place in the division with a 1-1 record. As dominant and impressive as Washington looked in their opener against Arizona, Washington's week two loss featured lethargic offensive play for four quarters.
This week the Redskins are three point home underdogs as Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers come to town. Green Bay tied Minnesota a week ago, but behind Rodgers and their potent offense, they have the chance to take advantage of Washington's suspect secondary down the field.
Sunday will be a tough test for the Redskins as they look to get back above .500 against a tough conference opponent.
New York Giants
The Giants' season is on the brink this week, and that really isn't a dramatic statement at all. Now at 0-2 with a division loss to the Cowboys last week, the Giants have to beat the 0-2 Texans on Sunday to get some confidence and keep pace within the conference.
Lucky for them, the Texans haven't looked impressive whatsoever through two games. Unlucky for them, the Texans have strong pass rushers like JJ Watt and Jadeveon Clowney ready to abuse their weak offensive line.
Houston is a six point home favorite over the Giants, proving it will be an uphill battle for New York to save their season.
Cowboys en Español: La Defensiva de Dallas es Muy Real
Después de dos semanas de acción de los Dallas Cowboys, una cosa ha quedado más que clara. La defensiva del coordinador defensivo Rod Marinelli ha demostrado que es realmente buena. No como en otros años, que nos conformábamos con que la defensiva dejará avanzar y cediera tres puntos hasta que se rompía en el último cuarto.
No, ahora es diferente. Este año, los Dallas Cowboys tienen presión al QB opuesto. No sólo DeMarcus Lawrence, sino Taco Charlton, Randy Gregory y recientemente, los linebackers. Hemos visto a Jaylon Smith y Damien Wilson brindar presión y sobre todo, llegar a sus objetivos.
Los linebackers no han brillado sólo en esto, sino en otros ámbitos defensivos, como cobertura aérea y más. Incluso Joe Thomas ha logrado mantener su nivel que vimos en pretemporada cuando se le ha pedido entrar al campo.
Y en cuanto a la secundaria, no podríamos estar más agradecidos con la actuación de nuestros cornerbacks. Byron Jones está jugando a un nivel increíble. La semana pasada, Eli Manning sólo se atrevió a lanzar el balón en su dirección en cinco ocasiones. En esas cinco, consiguió sólo un pase completo para cero yardas. Chidobe Awuzie también ha tenido un gran inicio al 2018, manteniendo un nivel de juego consistente y efectivo. Estamos hablando de que el domingo pasado, estos dos cornerbacks se enfrentaron a uno de los mejores WR en la NFL, Odell Beckham Jr.
Finalmente, la posición de safety se ha visto como la unidad más débil en la defensiva. Jeff Heath es un titular promedio y Kavon Frazier tiene mucho camino por recorrer. Afortunadamente, hay esperanza de que Xavier Woods regrese de lesión este domingo.
A pesar de que en el 2016 todos veíamos a la ofensiva como nuestro futuro, es sorprendente el nivel que ha mostrado la defensiva. Es más agresiva, más efectiva y más confiable que en otros años. No podemos subestimar la llegada del coach Kris Richard al equipo.
Sobre todo después de que en el partido contra los New York Giants y los Carolina Panthers se demostró que Richard está involucrado directamente con las decisiones de las jugadas que se ejecutarán en el campo. Incluso Marinelli no tuvo problemas admitiendo que efectivamente, Richard estaba ganándose un rol en este aspecto.
Esto es muy relevante para los Dallas Cowboys, pues una de las cosas más destacadas que hemos visto las últimas semanas es el usaje de cargas o "blitzes" especiales en varias oportunidades. Incluyendo tercer down y largo.
Es algo que no habíamos visto nunca con el conservador Marinelli y que claramente es producto de Richard. Este personaje que viene de los Seattle Seahawks continua emergiendo como un candidato real al puesto de coordinador defensivo en el 2019 o quien sabe, quizá sea nombrado head coach si las cosas comienzan a ir mal para este equipo.
Sin duda alguna, la defensiva ha demostrado que es muy confiable y real. Es tiempo de que la ofensiva de Dallas responda a esto y comience a mover más las cadenas y sobre todo, aprovechar las oportunidades que tengan de anotar touchdowns. Empezar a depender de goles de campo nunca sale bien.
Sobre la llegada de Brice Butler
Increíblemente, Brice Butler regresó a los Dallas Cowboys, incluso después de todos los comentarios que hizo en ciertos programas de televisión. La primera reacción al respecto fue de confusión; ¿por qué regresar con un receptor que nunca fue tan especial y que habló tanto de Dallas?
La respuesta a esta pregunta se esclareció un poco este jueves por la noche cuando surgieron los rumores de que Terrance Williams, quien fue arrestado en el offseason por intoxicación pública, podría ser suspendido pronto por la NFL.
Esto probablemente no sucederá antes del partido de la semana 3, pero de todas maneras explica mucho sobre el último movimiento de los Cowboys.
En un partido bastante cerrado, creo que la defensiva de los Dallas Cowboys hará lo suficiente para llevarse la victoria. Es de suma importancia derribar a Russell Wilson y sobre todo, que la ofensiva tenga su mejor actuación de la campaña. La defensiva de Seahawks es bastante efectiva y no será sencillo vencerlos.
Marcador: Dallas Cowboys 21 - Seattle Seahawks 17
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