John Elway is as a part of the Denver Broncos as the horse that serves as their mascot. Through his total tenure with the team he's taken them to the top of the mountain three different times, but his resume includes so much more than that. Among many other things, John Elway's mantle has the following decorations:
- Super Bowl XXXII Winner
- Super Bowl XXXIII Winner (after which he famously retired)
- Super Bowl XXXIII Most Valuable Player
- His #7 Jersey is retired by the Denver Broncos
- Member of the Denver Broncos Ring of Fame (Class of 1999)
- Member of the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame (Class of 1999)
- Member of the College Football Hall of Fame (Class of 2000)
- Pro Football Hall of Famer (Class of 2004)
- After some experience with the Arena Football League's Colorado Crush (of which Elway was a co-owner) he decided to pursue the business side of football and was named General Manager of the Denver Broncos in 2011
- Super Bowl 50 Winning General Manager
Now I know that you're a smart cookie... so I know that you knew most of, if not all, of that before I took my time typing it out for you (I didn't even hear a thank you, but whatever).
What you might not have realized by now is that everything on that list up there... has all been accomplished since the Dallas Cowboys last won, or even appeared in for that matter, a Super Bowl/NFC Championship Game.
Think about that.
And I mean really think about it.
How sad did you just get?
Since the Dallas Cowboys last sniffed even the game before the big game John Elway has won two Super Bowls (as a quarterback), a Super Bowl MVP (as a quarterback), retired, been given tons of accolades, been enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, decided to get into football operations, climbed the ladder in that avenue of his life to the point of the General Manager of an NFL team, and won a Super Bowl in that capacity.
I know this hurts, but it's important. We can't run from the truth.
The Dallas Cowboys are one of the most successful franchises in the history of the National Football League, but they haven't been for the last 20 seasons (which is 40% of such history).
If the Elway statistics aren't enough for you let me emphasize just how embarrassingly long it's been since some Cowboys glory.
Marvin Harrison was just elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Well you know what? Marvin was drafted in 1996 - the first Draft after the last bit of serious Cowboys success.
So that means that Harrison was drafted, played his whole career, won a Super Bowl of his own, retired, waited more than the five-year minimum, was elected to the Hall of Fame, and will be enshrined in Canton all since the days of the Dallas Dynasty.
When the Cowboys were last at the top of the mountain John Elway had zero Super Bowl rings (not to mention was still an NFL quarterback) and nobody had ever even heard of Marvin Harrison. These are facts.
There wasn't a whole big deal made about how the Broncos appearance in Super Bowl 50 tied the record for the most big game appearances in NFL History. Denver joined the likes of Dallas, Pittsburgh, and New England with the big ocho.
The Cowboys last appeared in a Super Bowl in Super Bowl XXX against the Pittsburgh Steelers at the culmination of the 1995 season. That game marked Dallas' 8th and Pittsburgh's 5th while the Broncos had 4 and the Patriots 1, respectively.
So those three teams that are now tied with the Cowboys in appearances? Since Super Bowl XXX all four have:
- Dallas - 0
- Pittsburgh - 3 (XL, XLIII, & XLV)
- Denver - 4 (XXXII, XXXIII, XLVIII, & 50)
- New England - 7 (XXXI, XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX, XLII, XLVI, XLIX)
A lot of those (8/14) can be directly attributed to Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. But you know what? The last time Lombardi took a trip to D-Town nobody had ever heard of either of them. Now? They're considered "old" and "about to retire."
What is particularly astonishing about the other franchise's appearances is that there have been 20 seasons since the Cowboys were last in the Super Bowl and these appearances from the other three add up to 14.
They all play in the AFC which means that they have taken out each other on their way to the Super Bowl, meaning that it's not like they even took out the Cowboys.
These three teams have fought tooth and nail against one another to accomplish what they have while the Cowboys have had a road free from all of them and still have that big goose egg next to their name. I don't even think that "pathetic" is a strong enough word to describe that.
Cowboys haters like to say that we live in the past. I'm not saying that they're right, I'm saying that they have a point. Sure there are some recent days in Dallas that have been good, but we have to be honest with ourselves regarding the last 20 years.
If you want to take one positive out of all of this... it is a testament to the utter dominance of the Dallas Cowboys through the first 30 years of the Super Bowl era that they are still at the top of the list even considering everything that you just read. Teams have just caught up.
The 2016 Dallas Cowboys will hopefully be a good football team, but we desperately need some Super Bowl success. We had an absurdly large lead on the field and it's time to get it back.
Cowboys Next 3 Games Pivotal To Playoff Run
A popular way of evaluating a team's season is by breaking their results into quarters. Because teams play 16 games in the NFL, if you are able to finish 3-1 each quarter of the season then you will likely be in competition for a first round bye come January.
Through the first quarter of this season, the Cowboys accomplished that exact goal. Sitting at 3-1 wth the second quarter of the season to go, the Cowboys deserved to feel pride in how they started their year off.
With a home loss last week, though, the Cowboys are already behind the eight ball for their second quarter of the season. When you look at the upcoming schedule, however, you see a huge opportunity for the Cowboys going forward.
If Dallas is to make a playoff run, and Jason Garrett is to earn a contract for next season, these next three games are massive.
Unbeaten in New Jersey
Two of the Cowboys' next three games will be played at MetLife Stadium, and if they are to make the playoffs, they have to go unbeaten in the state of New Jersey.
After two straight losses the Cowboys have the perfect "get-right" game against the winless Jets on Sunday. Then, following their bye week, the Cowboys go back to East Rutherford to finish their season series with the Giants.
These have to be two victories.
The Jets have been an absolute disaster this season, and while Sam Darnold returns from his illness this week, they are still 7.5 point home underdogs to the 3-2 Cowboys.
Not only are the Giants a conference and divisional opponent, but they are one of the Cowboys' only remaining "gimme" games on the schedule. Following their game against the Giants the Cowboys go through a gauntlet of sorts, facing the Vikings, Patriots, Lions, Bills, Bears, Rams, and Eagles before finally seeing the Redskins.
That's 7 straight games against teams with winning records, including 5 against teams they are directly fighting for playoff positioning with.
Yeah, it's not going to get any easier.
Battle for First Place
Sandwiched between these two games in Jersey are the Philadelphia Eagles. As it stands right now, both Dallas and Philly sit at 3-2. So regardless of what happens this week in their respective games, this match-up will be for early control of the NFC East.
I don't have to tell you how important a game with the Eagles is, especially one the Cowboys will have at home.
Going 3-0 over these next three games would put the Cowboys in an excellent position before they must face one of the toughest second half schedules in all of football.
Cowboys en Español: Problemas Defensivos al Frente
Los Dallas Cowboys fueron aplastados por la ofensiva de los Green Bay Packers toda la primera mitad durante el encuentro de la semana 5 de la temporada. Fue un tal Aaron quien los dominó, pero no el "Aaron" al que los Cowboys están acostumbrados. Esta vez, Aaron Rodgers apenas y tuvo un juego decente en Dallas. Sin embargo, fue porque el corredor Aaron Jones corrió para 107 yardas y cuatro anotaciones terrestres, además de sumar 75 yardas por la vía aérea. Tal juego por parte de su corredor le dio a los Packers una victoria con marcador de 34-24 y un récord de 4-1.
¿Qué salió mal en este partido para Cowboys? Lo más sencillo y sinceramente lo principal fueron las entregas de balón. En la NFL, es casi imposible entregar el balón tres veces y salir victorioso. Después de lanzar tres intercepciones, la derrota de Dallas era casi inevitable.
Sin embargo, la defensiva tampoco funcionó. Hasta ahora, los Cowboys han tenido una unidad defensiva comandada por Rod Marinelli y Kris Richard que ha estado lejos de cumplir con las expectativas. Aún después de sostener a los New Orleans Saints a solo 12 puntos, ha sido un cuerpo defensivo que nos ha decepcionado.
El mayor problema, en mi opinión, viene en la línea defensiva. A pesar de que muchos han criticado mucho al ala defensiva DeMarcus Lawrence por su "ausencia," dichas críticas han sido un poco exageradas. Si bien no ha aparecido tanto en la ficha de juego, Lawrence ha forzado a equipos contrarios a mandarle doble cobertura para cuidar a sus mariscales. El hecho de jalar a dos ofensivos solo para bloquear es de gran ayuda para el resto de la defensiva. ¿El problema? El problema es que no lo han capitalizado.
Robert Quinn sorprendió desde su regreso de suspensión, convirtiéndose rápidamente en uno de los líderes en sacks y presiones. A pesar de ello, el interior de la línea defensiva ha sido deplorable.
La lesión de Antwaun Woods ha sido una muy dolorosa, pero la verdad es que Maliek Collins tampoco ha hecho mucho desde su puesto. Al pelear contra el juego terrestre, los tackles defensivos de Cowboys han ganado pocas batallas en las trincheras. Trysten Hill, el novato de segunda ronda, ha demostrado no estar listo para ser titular en la NFL. El equipo de Marinelli ha sufrido por no querer invertir en un buen tackle defensivo.
Estos problemas en el frente defensivo han repercutido a la actuación de un dúo de linebackers de quienes se esperaba mucho. Leighton Vander Esch y Jaylon Smith no se han visto del todo bien y en parte ha sido su culpa. Contra Packers, Vander Esch pudo haber tenido la peor mitad de su carrera en la NFL. Jaylon Smith ha tomado ángulos equivocados.
A todo esto, le sumamos que hay muchos linieros ofensivos llegando al segundo nivel debido a un pobre trabajo de los tackles defensivos.
En resumen, la defensiva frontal de Cowboys fue dominada contra Green Bay y no ha sido convincente el resto de las semanas.
Si Dallas va a llegar lejos esta temporada, necesitan que la defensiva despierte. Hasta el momento, ha sido lo más decepcionante del año.
A pesar de las críticas tras un partido en el que Dak Prescott lanzó tres intercepciones, los Cowboys están clasificados como el equipo #1 en ofensiva según DVOA (estadística utilizada para evaluar si una jugada fue exitosa o no tomando en cuenta escenarios específicos). Ezekiel Elliott no está jugando mal, a pesar de las conclusiones precipitadas de muchos al ver que solo acumuló 62 yardas. El total es bajo, pero lo consiguió en 12 acarreos (promediando 5.2 yardas).
Sinceramente, los Cowboys han sido mejores de lo que su récord indica. Mientras muchos están eliminándolos por el resto de la temporada, este equipo podría estar 5-2 en un abrir y cerrar de ojos previo a su semana de descanso.
Es una temporada larga en la NFL.
Ezekiel Elliott’s Carries Have Decreased Three Straight Weeks, Here is Why
All-Pro Ezekiel Elliott had his first 100-yard performance in a Week 2 win on the road against the Washington Redskins. After 48 yards on 11 carries in the first half, Elliott had only 36 yards in the second half until a 27-yard run pushed his overall total to 111 yards on 23 carries. Exactly the kind of yardage and attempts you would expect from your bell cow. However, the last three weeks have been a little different as his carries have diminished each game. It hasn't been from a lack of commitment to the run game per se, but sometimes certain game situations force you to adjust your gameplan.
When the Miami Dolphins came to town in Week 3 they were considered by many to be the worst team in the league. That all sounds good on paper but games are played on the field, and as we all know, every team gets fired up for the Dallas Cowboys. The first half saw the Cowboys score ten quick points on their first couple of possessions but they wouldn't score again before halftime. The one bright spot was Elliott who ran for 86 yards on 13 carries as the Cowboys led 10-6.
The Cowboys jumped all over Miami with back to back touchdowns from Amari Cooper and Dak Prescott to start the second half pushing the lead to 24-6. Elliott wasn't really needed much after that point and his last carry came with under nine minutes remaining in the game. This allowed rookie Tony Pollard to take over the fourth quarter with 74 yards on 8 carries, and keep Elliott fresh for a showdown with the New Orleans Saints a week later.
In all, Elliott ran for 125 yards on 19 carries, extremely productive and not taxing on the body. Pollard running for 103 yards himself allowed Elliott to stay on the sidelines and rest up for the next game.
In Week 4 the Cowboys faced the Saints on the road in prime time. Unfortunately for Elliott, this would be a game where his offensive line would get manhandled for four quarters. This put the Cowboys in quite a few second/third and long situations because Elliott seemingly saw gold helmets in his face immediately after taking each handoff. He would only rush for 35 yards on 18 carries, less than two yards per attempt.
In these situations when an offense can't muster anything on the ground you simply stick with it just to keep the defense honest and not become one-dimensional. The flow of the game, in this case, dictated that Elliott wouldn't see a lot of touches with his offensive line getting dominated.
This past Sunday against the Green Bay Packers could've been a monster day for Elliott considering he would be going up against the 26th ranked run defense, but like the previous two weeks, the flow of the game forced a different scenario. The first half saw the Cowboys invade Packers territory on three consecutive drives, but one stalled due to a sack and the other two ended with interceptions. Elliott had 60 yards on 10 carries in the first half but the Cowboys found themselves in a 17-0 hole.
That deficit quickly ballooned to 31-3 in the second half and virtually took Elliott out of the game. He had only two carries after halftime and finished with just 62 yards on 12 carries. Early turnovers put the Cowboys behind so much that the only way to get back in the game was to air it out the rest of the way.
Given the way the previous three games have unfolded no one should be overly concerned at this point about Elliott's carries going down. The Cowboys simply adjusted to what was happening on the field and in these cases. Elliott was either not needed or taken out of the gameplan.
This Sunday against the New York Jets the Cowboys will be facing a good defensive front seven. I would still expect Elliott to be used early and often to establish what the Cowboys do best which is run to set up the play-action passing game.
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