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The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly For Cowboys Against Washington

Brian Martin

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Cowboys Headlines - The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly For Cowboys Against Washington

I will be completely honest with you, and say that I was a little bit more worried this week than I have been. I thought that the Dallas Cowboys would struggle a little bit more with the Washington Redskins, especially with their explosive offense.

There were just a lot of variables that made this divisional matchup a tough one. The secondary is banged up, it was a short week, and the Redskins created quite a few matchup problems for the Cowboys on both offense and defense.

My fear that the Cowboys might lose this game started to subside after Ezekiel Elliott scored a rushing touchdown on the opening drive. The past few games the offense has gotten out to a slow start, so it was good to see them open the game with a TD.

I don't know about you, but it sure made my Thanksgiving better.

The Dallas Cowboys are now 10-1 after defeating the Redskins, and now have their eyes set on the team up north, the Minnesota Vikings.

Below is what I thought was The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly for the Dallas Cowboys against the Washington Redskins yesterday afternoon.

The good

Cowboys Headlines - The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly For Cowboys Against Washington 3

(AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)

I honestly think that the good each week for the Dallas Cowboys could involve Ezekiel Elliott or Dak Prescott in some way.

I think it's time that we stopped calling them rookies and just start referring to them as  football players, because that is what they are.

Elliott and Prescott helped lead the Cowboys to a 10-1 record and definitely did their part yesterday afternoon against the Washington Redskins.

Dak Prescott didn't have his best statistical game, throwing for only 195 yards and one touchdown, but he did add another 39 yards on the ground with one rushing TD. It was enough to put the Cowboys on top.

Ezekiel Elliott had a much better outing this go-round against the Redskins and finished the game with 97 rushing yards and two TDs. He also had two catches for 23 yards.

The combination of Prescott and Elliott makes this offense dangerous and is a big reason why the Dallas Cowboys are on an impressive 10 game winning streak.

The bad 

Cowboys Headlines - The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly For Cowboys Against Washington 1I believe the one thing that kept the Washington Redskins in this game was the fact that Kirk Cousins was able to throw the ball 53 times without the Dallas Cowboys defense even coming close to sacking him. That was definitely the bad yesterday afternoon.

The Cowboys might have the best record in the entire NFL, but regular-season records don't count for much once you reach the postseason.

To me, the Cowboys need to improve their pass rush if they want to be serious contenders once the playoffs get underway. Yes, there are still quite a few games left, but I don't really see a scenario where they aren't playing in the postseason.

Maybe they can get back on track against the Minnesota Vikings and their injury plagued offensive line. That could be the confidence booster they need, at least I hope so.

The ugly

Cowboys Headlines - The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly For Cowboys Against Washington 2

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

I think the ugly for the Dallas Cowboys yesterday against the Washington Redskins was seeing yet another defensive back go down with an injury.

You may not have noticed or you might have just forgotten, but J.J. Wilcox suffered a deep thigh contusion in the third quarter and was unable to return to the game.

Wilcox has been filling in for Barry Church while he has been out with a forearm injury, and has done an adequate job.

The secondary for the Cowboys is already thin at both cornerback and safety, so Wilcox's injury is truly unfortunate.

Luckily though, it looks as if Barry Church could be back in the lineup Thursday night against the Minnesota Vikings, but if not Jeff Heath would become the starter next to Byron Jones.

What is your good, bad, and ugly for the Cowboys against the Redskins?

Please feel free to use the comment section below to share your thoughts and opinions on this topic.



Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.

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2 Comments
  • Oscar Reyes

    Ugly is the least of the words to use on the so call Referees. The Referees were worst than Super Ugly. They favored the Jackasses of Washington Redskins. There were plenty of failed calls that the Media was even Super Surprised that no flag was thrown on Horrible Plays made by Washington Redskins. They were sure to throw flags on the Cowboys and to the point to even make up a false penalty against the Cowboys. There should be a fine against the Referee who misses to throw a flag plus when a Referee favors a team to prohibit the Referee from being in that game. The review committee on each game should always stay in communication with the Referee in charge of the game and make sure that a late flag is thrown for the failure of a Referee to throw a flag. The Media knows how to make a Referee look real Stupid and Dumb when they fail to throw a flag on a penalty. Thank goodness that the All Mighty Dallas Cowboys overcame the Ugliness of the Worthless Referees and came out with a Win. HIP HIP HOORAY FOR THE ALL MIGHTY DALLAS COWBOYS.

    • Brian Martin

      Oscar, I agree that there were some questionable calls by the referees, but I think they pretty much let the players play the majority of the game.

Dallas Cowboys

How Cowboys Could Benefit From Randy Gregory’s Suspension

Brian Martin

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Cowboys Headlines - Randy Gregory Withdraws Suspension Appeal, Cannot Return Until Week 15

Randy Gregory is back! His suspension is officially over and he will be able to join the Dallas Cowboys in Oxnard, California when training camp gets underway less than a week from now.

Speculation has already started as to what this could mean for the Dallas Cowboys defense this season, and shockingly expectations are rather high for a player who hasn't stepped foot on the field in over a year. But, that's not what I want to talk about today. Today I want to focus on Gregory's mess of a contract, because it is rather interesting.

Randy Gregory was signed to a four-year contract after being drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the second-round of the 2015 NFL Draft. Gregory's rookie deal was set to expire at the conclusion of the 2018 season, but his multiple suspensions have now changed that expiration date.

You see, Gregory has only played in a total of 14 games in his career, 12 as a rookie and two in Year 2. His third year in the NFL was completely wiped out due to his year-long suspension. If you were to add that all up, it equates to just one accured season in the NFL. Remember that, because it could have a huge impact on his contract down the road.

Randy Gregory

Dallas Cowboys DE Randy Gregory

What all of this means is that the Cowboys can pretty much stretch out Gregory's contract now that they are three years in on the deal and have only gotten one accured season out of the agreement. That basically means they can push his contract back a year, meaning his 2017 salary ($731,813) gets pushed back to 2018, his 2018 salary ($955,217) gets pushed to 2019. That would essentially make him a Restricted Free Agent (RFA) in 2020.

Or does it?

Depending on how the Dallas Cowboys handled paying Randy Gregory during his suspension could actually make him an Exclusive Rights Free Agent (EFA). This is a similar situation in which David Irving found himself in after the 2017 season. The Cowboys placed a second-round tender on him in order to secure his services for another season, albeit at a $2.91 million price tag.

As you can see, the Dallas Cowboys pretty much hold all the cards when it comes to Randy Gregory's contract situation. It's all a little confusing, but that's what makes it such a unique and interesting situation.

Of course, the Cowboys could decide to extend Gregory early if he completely dominates upon his return this season. It's highly doubtful though considering his past suspensions, but still technically a possibility. If it does happen, you can go ahead and ignore everything I've written previously.



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Earl Thomas: Age is Just a Number Part II

John Williams

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Cowboys en Español: Hablemos de Earl Thomas, la NFL Sigue Equivocándose
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

Yesterday, I wrote a piece attempting to assuage the fears that many in Cowboys Nation have about handing a contract extension out to Earl Thomas, who is 29 years old as we enter the 2018 NFL season.

In the comment section, a reader posed a very good question that is the basis for the rest of this article:

Earl Thomas Comparisons at age 29 and Beyond

It's a great question that certainly required some research, but Cowboys fans all across the world should be encouraged by my findings.

Just to refresh, here are the players we looked at as favorable comparisons to Earl Thomas at this point in his career. I searched Pro Football Reference for safeties who had at least three All-Pro First Team selections and at least six Pro Bowl appearances.

Considering an Earl Thomas Extension, Age is just a Number

The average age of the players listed at the time when they reached their third All-Pro was 31 years old. I'm removing Deion Sanders and Roger Wehrli from the equation as most of their work was done at cornerback.

Let's look at a chart that outlines what these guys careers looked like at age 29 and beyond to get a better picture. Remember, Earl Thomas already has three All-Pro selections and six Pro Bowls. Many of these guys didn't reach those kind of accolades until their 30s.

Earl Thomas Comparisons at age 29 and Beyond 1

Click image to view at full size.

The first thing I noticed as I looked into this question is that only two players had three or more All-Pro First Team selections prior to age 29, like Earl Thomas has. Those players were Rod Woodson and Ronnie Lott. Every other player on this list didn't hit their third All-Pro selection until age 29 or later.

Only one player reached his sixth Pro Bowl prior to his age 29 season, that player is Ronnie Lott, who many NFL Analysts consider to be the greatest safety of all-time. Most of the players didn't achieve their third All-Pro selection until their age 29 season or later. Earl Thomas reached his third All-Pro selection at age 25.

Here's a hot take for you: Earl Thomas, when it's all said and done could be considered the greatest safety of all-time.  I'll just leave that there to marinate and if a trade does happen, we'll come back to that.

Back to the chart.

Another thing I want to point out is that none of these players were 100% healthy. Such is the life in the NFL, especially as you get older, but they were available for at least 14 games a majority of their seasons aged 29 or later. Health is an unpredictable animal in the NFL, but the safety position allows for much more longevity than many other positions. And as the chart depicts, it's a position that ages well.

So, as you can see in the chart, players who were highly productive prior to their age 29 season were also highly productive for several seasons after. These players went onto average almost seven more years in the league from their age 29 seasons.

Most players continued to average a healthy amount of interceptions. The player that saw the biggest decline from the early part of his career to the post-29 part of his career was Brian Dawkins. The former Philadelphia Eagles and Denver Broncos safety went from three interceptions per season prior to 29 to 1.9 interceptions per season 29 and after.

When it comes to the safety position, the elite seem to be able to get the most of their bodies and their abilities and can prolong their prime. The position relies as much on intelligence and awareness as it does quickness and athleticism. Earl Thomas has the mental capacity to play the game for many more years and there's been zero evidence to suggest that he is experiencing any physical decline.

At the rate of his career that he's on, Earl Thomas is destined for the Hall of Fame. He's one of the faces of the Legion of Boom defense that propelled the Seattle Seahawks into the elite category of teams in the early part of this decade.

If and when an Earl Thomas trade does occur, don't sweat an extension for Thomas.

Thomas' credentials put him in an elite group of players who played the game for a very long time and there's no reason to believe he won't continue to do so.

The Dallas Cowboys aren't that far off from having a Super Bowl contending defense built in the image of the Seattle Seahawks. Going to get the All-Pro, future Hall of Fame safety is the final piece to the to the Dallas Cowboys completing construction on "Doomsday III." 

Everything else is there for the Dallas Cowboys, now all they have to do is: Go. Get. Earl!



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Dallas Cowboys

Noah Brown Takes to Twitter to Call Out ESPN

John Williams

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A Fully Focused Ezekiel Elliott can Carry the Cowboys into 2018 Playoffs 2
Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN has long been considered "The Worldwide Leader in Sports," and for a long time that title was justified. If you wanted your national sports news, where did you turn to but the cable sports channel to watch that day's episode of SportsCenter. But over the last few years, it's become more and more clear that it's "The Worldwide Leader" in name only.

The ratings are dropping and the network has had to make a lot of business decisions as it relates to much of their on-air talent over the last several years. With their latest under 25 starting 22 -- ahem, troll job -- they seem to have finally come to terms that they are basically First Take.

Noah Brown put it best in his reaction to the ESPN "Insider" voting that led to Saquon Barkley being named to the starting 22 ahead of Ezekiel Elliott. Brown, Elliott's teammate when both were at Ohio State University, came to his defense upon seeing the list.

Noah Brown Takes to Twitter to Call Out ESPNAnd here is the ESPN list:

SportsCenter on Twitter

43 of our NFL Insiders voted. Here's their best starting roster under the age of 25.

I'm sure there could be debates about different positions on the squad. Personally, quarterback is one where an argument could be made for Carson Wentz or Dak Prescott over DeShaun Watson, but that's for another time.

But to have a rookie, who has never played a down in the NFL ahead of the NFL's league leader in rushing for 2016, Ezekiel Elliott, is laughable.

Ridiculous.

Shameful even.

The fact that they had 43, again I use the quotations, "Insiders" vote on this and Ezekiel Elliott wasn't listed as one of the two running backs just shows you how far they've come as a network.

Let's remember that Ezekiel Elliott has averaged a touchdown a game -- receiving and rushing -- in his 25-game career. No running back has more rushing yards than Elliott does over the last two years, including 2017 league rushing leader, Kareem Hunt. No running back has more rushing touchdowns than Elliott's 22 rushing TDs.

Ezekiel Elliott's yards per carry is a healthy 4.63. Todd Gurley sits at 3.93. No player with more than 1,800 rushing yards over the last two years has a better yards per attempt than Ezekiel Elliott.

I get that you'd vote Todd Gurley in there, but to not have Ezekiel Elliott, arguably the game's best running back on your Under 25 starting 22 just makes you look like Skip Bayless or Stephen A. Smith. Not a sports journalism entity worthy of people throwing money at for "Insider" access.

I won't say that I never or will never watch ESPN, because where else am I gonna go for Monday Night Football, Todd Archer, or the NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championships? When I'm at my father-in-law's, I'll watch SportsCenter first thing in the morning, because it will be on and you don't change another man's television.

"The Worldwide Leader," however, loses credibility when they promote a list like this that has such a glaring omission.

Perhaps, maybe the goal wasn't to put out an accurate list. Maybe the goal was to get us talking about their list, just like when NFL Network releases their Top 100 players list. Like they say, there's no such thing as bad publicity.

This troll job from ESPN has certainly gotten them some publicity, or should I say, notoriety.



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