Alright! So it looks like Alan Ball has proven himself to all those non-believers out there. Everybody who thought that the Safety position was going to be our weak point on our top ranked defense. Which is something that I didn't understand to begin with. When Ken Hamlin was out for 6 games in 2009, Alan Ball came in and the defense never skipped a beat. The thing is about Ball is that he's not outstanding, but he's not horrible. He does exactly what is needed of him to make our defense very effective. The man even put on 20 more pounds so he would be able to better fit his role as a starting Free Safety. His only weakness coming in was his ability to tackle, and he proved people wrong again with an open field tackle on Darren Sproles during last weeks game in San Diego. Ball is a speedy secondary player who is getting smarter, at his position, as the years go by. Not to mention, that he could take over as a 4th or 5th cornerback if things get really hectic.
Now! Let's change the subject to the other side of the field...the Strong Safety position. This position is looking very profitable for the Cowboys as two of their undrafted rookies are stepping up at the position and on special teams. It seems that wherever the ball is you are sure to find Danny McCray or Barry Church.
Danny McCray proved himself noticable during the Hall of Fame game where he seemed very aware of all that was thrown his way. He even managed to get a interception.
Barry Church, as we all know, stepped in for injured Gerald Sensabaugh who hurt his shoulder early in the game and will be out 2-4 weeks. Church claims to have been nervous whenever his name was called to go out unto the field. First play for the rookie that day was him matching up again Antonio Gates. Which by any means would be an intimidating situation for any football player to be in. As the game went on he was practically involved in every play. Church's most notable play was his 80-yard fumble return that was unfortunately stopped by a desperate Phillip Rivers weaving around Anthony Spencer's tackle.
It's very evident that these two undrafted rookies are a big to talk about during the preseason. I am forgetting one very important rookie that also has been working hard to live up to his hype. There's another rookie that is bringing a lot of excitement to Cowboy fans other than Dez. His name is hard to remember (...or forget...) Akwasi Owusu-Ansah(say that 10 times fast)...or just AOA. He's not an undrafted rookie but a 4th round pick, that not too many saw coming at that time. I know that Akwasi (I just go by his first name...it's easiest for me to remember and pronounce) showed that he was a viable asset to special teams. So far he has shown that he can tackle and run back punt and kick returns. Akwasi has excellent vision to go along with his elusive speed. Forget anything about him coming from a small school in Pennsylvania (Indiana)...but so did Romo and Austin, looked what happened to them. AOA showed tha the was able to be what all they scouted him for, and this was just his first preseason game. All of his run backs looked very smooth and professional, except for the one fumble that he had on kick return, that was luckily covered up by the other rookie Safety Danny McCray (I guess they watch each others back). I guess, you're come with a few sharp edges that need to be smoothed and filed if you are a rookie, so the fumble can be over looked. Especially, since he came back late in the game with a 45-yard punt return that was called back cause of a illegal blocking call(B.S. as Cowboy fans would call it).
These guys know how to play and they are more than willing to put in all the work that is needed to make this team and to contribute in whatever way possible.
I know that Mike Hamlin will be filling in for Gerald Sensabaugh against Houston this coming Saturday. A lot of Cowboys fans want to see more of either one of those rookies, but Mike Hamlin is still above them on the roster.
The down-side about all of this is Patrick Watkins chances of continuing to keep his roster position. Watkins is still fighting a sore knee that will not make his opportunity to stay on the team any better. Number 25 has experience of 10-games from his 4 year career, but his contract is too big. Why spend money on a veteran who has had his chance to really be a starter and not let one of these younger guys, play for less money, and have just as good ability as the veteran(right now) with potential for a brighter future? I know that Watkins has shown himself to very valuable on special teams...but so have these rookies.
Ball! you made the team. Sensabaugh! you too..but you need to watch yourself. These guys are looking hungery and wanting to prove a point. They are wanting to work hard and get this Dallas Cowboys team back to the glory they are use to having.
I personally think that Watkins has seen his days as a Dallas Cowboy and need to find work on another organization.
I would also like to mention that if things get bad with injuries that Ball could step into the 4th or 5th cornerback position...Oh! I already did mention that. Well...so can Akwasi Owusu-Ansuh. I say we keep 5 Safetys for this season. I say we keep this, position that all these football "expert" "analyst" want to say will be our weakest point on defense, to be one of our strong points. My personal picks would be Ball, Sensabaugh, AOA, Church, and McCray. Each contributing in their own special way to make the Safety position a thing for ESPN and NFL Network "expert" and "analyst" to praise.
We got the talent! Just execute!...and Stay focused!
This team can go far!...or not far at all..when it comes to traveling, that is.... in February. I think we got it...how about you Dallas Cowboys Nation?
#SEAvsDAL: Betting Preview, Trends, And Prediction
The Dallas Cowboys found a way to get their first win last Sunday, defeating the New York Giants from start to finish, 20-13.
Now at 1-1 and locked in a three way tie for 1st place in the NFC East, Dallas is looking to string together a few victories and create some early separation. Seattle is now sitting at 0-2, and while that's typically a hole teams cannot climb out of in the NFL, the Seahawks will be desperately fighting to avoid an 0-3 start.
The Seahawks opened up as 3 point home favorites against the Cowboys, with the over/under set at 44.5 points.
After an abysmal season opener against Carolina, the Cowboys came out firing against the Giants on Sunday night. Dallas led by as many as 17 points in the fourth quarter, and ended up holding on as the Giants made a late garbage-time run.
Dak Prescott looked as comfortable in the pocket as he as in weeks, finding Tavon Austin for a 64 yard touchdown pass on the opening drive. Ezekiel Elliott scored another rushing touchdown, and the Cowboys defense was straight up dominant.
Now, the Cowboys defensive line has another chance to increase their sack total against the Seahawks' weak offensive line. And you know DeMarcus Lawrence is salivating.
Dallas improved to 1-1 straight up and against the spread, covering the 3 point spread set by Vegas a week ago. Both Cowboys games have gone under thus far as well.
The Seahawks fell to 0-2 on Monday night with a tough road loss to the Chicago Bears. Khalil Mack dominated the Seahawks offensive line, dictating protections and keeping Russell Wilson uncomfortable all night long.
The Seahawks haven't been able to get much of a run game going this season, despite their insistence upon doing so. Russell Wilson is their offense, and if the Cowboys can pressure him and force him into hero-ball throws, they should have success on Sunday. After all, this was the Bears recipe for success on Monday night.
Seattle is 0-2 straight up and 0-1-1 against the spread this season.
- The score total has gone under 5 straight Cowboys' games.
- Dallas is 2-4 against the spread their last six times playing at Seattle.
- Seattle is 1-5 against the spread their last six games at home.
- The under has hit 4 of the last 5 Cowboys/Seahawks games.
While I've thought hard about picking the under for the third straight week (I'm 2-0 doing so), I'll pick the actual game for you guys this time. I think the Cowboys will get this road win and improve to 2-1 behind dominant defensive line play and a strong running game.
This match up favors Dallas in multiple ways and I expect them to take advantage of Seattle's weak spots.
I like the Cowboys +3 a lot this Sunday.
Kris Richard, the Cowboys X-Factor Against the Seahawks
In the NFL, wins are hard to come by. That is why teams do their due diligence each and every week to try to come up with some advantage, however slight. This week, the Dallas Cowboys may have the biggest advantage they could possibly hope for over their opponent, the Seattle Seahawks, and he goes by the name of Kris Richard.
The hiring of Kris Richard may have been Dallas' biggest offseason move. We have already seen in the first couple of games of the 2018 season the impact he's had on the Cowboys defense. The entire defensive unit has been playing possessed and has pretty much dominated their opponents. I believe Richard deserves the majority of the credit.
But this week is different. The Dallas Cowboys travel to Seattle for a Sunday afternoon game against the Seahawks, who are a tough opponent when playing at home. History hasn't always been kind to the Cowboys when playing on the road in Seattle.
In fact, I wouldn't be at all surprised if Tony Romo doesn't still have nightmares about playing in Seattle. A mishandled snap on a routine 19 yard field goal attempt ended up costing the Cowboys a playoff victory in 2007. Then he sustained the back injury that would ultimately end his career in a meaningless preseason game against the Seahawks in 2016.
To say history hasn't been kind to the Cowboys in Seattle would probably be an understatement. But still, that's where they're heading for this Week 3 matchup.
Luckily, I believe the Dallas Cowboys have an ace in the hole in 2018. I think their new Passing Game Coordinator and Defensive Backs Coach, Kris Richard, is going to be the X-Factor. Who could give you more inside information than someone who spent the last eight years with Seattle as both a coach and a player than Richard?
Kris Richard should know just about all of the ins and outs about the Seattle Seahawks, especially on the defensive side of the ball since he served as their Defensive Coordinator the previous two seasons before joining the Cowboys. But, his knowledge of their offense could prove to be invaluable as well.
Richard has seen the Seahawks offense and Russell Wilson on a daily basis in practice firsthand. He should have a very good understanding of not only their tendencies, but what types of plays they run out of different formations. It should be just like having a spy within their own huddle.
Now, having inside information is one thing, but executing the game plan is something different entirely. Kris Richard can possibly predict with high probability exactly what the Seahawks plan on doing, but it falls on the Cowboys players as to execute the game plan.
In the end, this game will ultimately come down to which team executes better on the field Sunday afternoon. The Dallas Cowboys may have an X-Factor in Kris Richard, but he's not the one suiting up against the Seahawks. It all falls on the player's shoulders, as it always has.
Do you think Kris Richard can be the Cowboys X-Factor against the Seahawks?
Cowboys Reunion with WR Brice Butler Makes No Sense
The Dallas Cowboys have brought back Wide Receiver Brice Butler, who was with the team from 2015-2017. The reunion is a head-scratching move given the team's current stockpile of receivers, and especially given Butler's lack of impact during his previous run in Dallas.
There's no question that Dallas could use some more juice in the passing game. So far the post-Witten, post-Bryant era has only seen 165 yards-per-game out of Dak Prescott and his current receiving options.
I can understand the Cowboys getting antsy about this low production. I can understand the feeling that waiting for chemistry to develop between Dak and new faces like Allen Hurns and Michael Gallup, or any one of these young tight ends, could be damaging to the season.
But when you need a spark in the offense, it seems odd to turn to a guy who was in your system for three years and never had a huge game.
Let's just look at Butler's top five statistical performances as a Cowboy:
- 5 catches, 41 yards, 1 touchdown (Week 4, 2016)
- 2 catches, 90 yards, 1 touchdown (Week 3, 2017)
- 2 catches, 50 yards, 1 touchdown (Week 17, 2017)
- 4 catches, 74 yards (Week 16, 2015)
- 4 catches, 60 yards (Week 17, 2015)
No games with over 100 yards. No games with more than five catches. No games with more than one touchdown.
I'm not trying to slam Brice here. He is what he is. This is all about trying to understand the logic of the Cowboys' front office in making this move.
If the idea was to bring in a guy who Dak Prescott had more familiarity with, then why not give Terrance Williams more playing time? He's already on the roster and buried on the depth chart, getting the fewest snaps of all the WRs last week.
If you've followed my work for long, you know I'm no fan of Williams. But even I can admit that he's been more productive and effective in this offense than Brice Butler ever was.
If you're bringing in Butler to be a vertical threat, isn't that what you signed veteran Deonte Thompson for? Last year, playing for two different teams with shaky QB situations, Thompson had 38 catches for 555 yards. Brice hasn't had a single season close to that.
What about Tavon Austin? Just three days ago, Austin had a 64-yard touchdown. Did we really need another guy for field stretching? And even if so, what in Butler's history indicates he can do something that Thompson or Austin can't?
Don't forget about Hurns, Gallup, or Cole Beasley either. They're not vertical receivers, but they're still the top three guys in the offense.
If you're a Brice Butler fan, you've likely argued that his lack of production in Dallas was from a lack of opportunities. That may be true, but how has that changed in 2018? There are more mouths to feed than ever at WR.
What is Butler going to do now, that he didn't for three years, to earn more looks?
If Dallas was really concerned about adding an offensive spark, the opportunity was out there this week with Josh Gordon. The Patriots got him for a conditional 5th-round pick from Cleveland just yesterday.
I can understand why Dallas, given recent issues with Randy Gregory and David Irving, were reluctant to add a player with such a notorious history of substance abuse. But if the no-nonsense Patriots were willing to give him a shot, why not the far more liberal Cowboys?
If Gordon was one problem child too many, what about Jordan Matthews? The former 2nd-round pick is still just 26 (Butler is 28) and had over 800 yards in each year from 2014-2016. He had a down year in Buffalo in 2017, as anyone would, and then didn't make the Patriots squad this year due to an injury.
Whether it's on your own roster or out in the open market, there seem to be profitable options than Brice Butler. The chance for him to be the next Laurent Robinson came and went; the same QB and the same Offensive Coordinator are here.
Is there really some juice left to squeeze here?
There's an old saying that, "if you have two quarterbacks, you don't have any." I think the same logic applies to having seven wide receivers. There was already a logjam, and Dallas didn't even cut one of them to make room for Butler.
So yeah, I don't get it. I'm perplexed why they added anyone at all, this early in the year, while their current receivers are all healthy and still trying to find their role in the offense.
And if the Cowboys really felt that had to make a move, why the heck did they bring back this guy?
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