Tony Romo's broadcasting debut with CBS Sports will come a week from today on August 25th, as he'll work alongside Jim Nantz to call the Kansas City Chiefs' visit to the Seattle Seahawks. The former Cowboys QB could also be making an appearance on ESPN soon though, as the popular show Around The Horn will be guest hosted by one of 24 candidates sometime next week.
Next week we will have a mystery guest host... Our 24 candidates: @PabloTorre Jackie MacMullan @desusandmero @Stugotz790 @tonyromo (1/3)
The show has run on ESPN since 2002, featuring a rotating panel of four sportswriters from around the country discussing the latest in sports to compete for points that the host - normally Tony Reali - awards and eliminates the lowest scorers throughout.
Around The Horn released a Twitter video narrowing down their candidates to host this special show next week, and Romo remains in consideration after the field has been narrowed down to seventeen personalities.
GUESS WHO (is hosting ATH next week)? Part 1. https://t.co/IqBDlaa593
For a Dallas flair on the show, Dallas Morning News reporter Tim Cowlishaw has been a regular contributor, and with the Cowboys prominently in the news thanks to Ezekiel Elliott, Jaylon Smith, and the general excitement of their new season, it would be fascinating to see Tony Romo lead this national conversation on ESPN.
3 Redskins to Know in Dallas Cowboys’ Week 2 Matchup
After the complete offensive performance, the Dallas Cowboys showed against the New York Giants, they get another division foe in week two. The Cowboys travel to Washington to face the Redskins. In their last six contests, the Cowboys have gone 5-1, the only loss coming in week seven last year, a day before the Amari Cooper trade was made.
Though this matchup looks to heavily favor the Dallas Cowboys, the Washington Redskins showed a lot in their week one loss to the Philadelphia Eagles 32-27. The Redskins jumped out to a 20-7 lead in the first half before the Eagles stormed back in the second half with 25 unanswered points. The Redskins were only able to bring it to a more respectable margin with 12 seconds to play when Case Keenum found Trey Quinn for what would make the final margin five points.
It was a tale of two halves for Washington and which Redskins team shows up today will determine how this week 2 game will go. While the Dallas Cowboys look to be the more talented team, the Redskins have some talent that will make life difficult for the Dallas Cowboys.
Here are three players to keep your eye on in Today's matchup.
There are few pass rushers in the NFL that are as underrated as the Washington Redskins' Ryan Kerrigan. RJ Ochoa from Blogging the Boys threw out this statistic yesterday listing the NFL's sack leaders over the last two seasons. Only Aaron Donald and Chandler Jones have more sacks than Kerrigan over the last two years.
NFL sack leaders since the 2017 season: - Aaron Donald, 31.5 - Chandler Jones, 31 - Ryan Kerrigan, 26 - Cameron Jordan, 26 - DeMarcus Lawrence, 25.5
Ryan Kerrigan has never had fewer than 7.5 sacks in a season. His lowest sack total in the last five years is 9.5. He's had 13 sacks in three of the last five years. He's a really good player and will make things difficult on La'el Collins and the rest of the Dallas Cowboys offensive line.
Per Pro Football Reference, Kerrigan has had at least a half a sack in five of the last six games.
Collins has been better since the last half of the 2018 season
With Jonathan Allen sitting out this week with an MCL sprain, the focus of the offensive line turns to Da'Ron Payne. In 2018, Payne had five sacks and 34 stops per Pro Football Focus and had the highest run defense grade from the interior defensive line.
One player who I think has the potential to be the BEST player on this #Redskins defense? NT Da'Ron Payne. Strong, powerful, athletic, disruptive, urgent, violent ... all words I'd use to describe No. 94. He is in line for a big jump this season in his second year #HTTR.
Though Allen may not be playing, the Cowboys interior offensive line of Travis Frederick, Zack Martin, and Connor Williams will have their hands full with Payne. He possesses good strength and size at 6-3 320 pounds.
The Dallas Cowboys may have to offer some help on the edge for La'el Collins in his matchup with Ryan Kerrigan, so it will be imperative for the interior offensive line to hold up against Payne. If they want to get anything going on the ground, controlling the Alabama Crimson Tide product will be a huge key.
Coming into the 2019 season, the Washington Redskins wide receiver group looked like one of the worst in the NFL. With Paul Richardson the most seasoned player of the group, there wasn't a whole lot to like about the Redskins pass catchers. However, Terry McLaurin, who had probably the best training camp of any rookie wide receiver, stood out on Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles and made people take notice.
In week one against the Philadelphia Eagles, Terry McLaurin caught five of seven targets for 125 yards and a touchdown. Similarly to Michael Gallup, McLaurin has the speed and some route-running savvy to win deep.
Terry McLaurin can just run past coverage #Redskins https://t.co/LVrU78L3Sw
In the clip above you can see that the defensive back is in a decent position to keep up with McLaurin, but the rookie continues to drive the player back and then just runs by him on the skinny post into wide-open space. All Case Keenum had to was put the football out in the vast expanse that was the deep middle of the field and McLaurin just had to run under the football.
On another play down the middle of the field, McLaurin easily got behind the defense and had room to run, but Keenum put the ball a few yards out in front of his receiver. Had the ball been catchable, McLaurin would have had another long touchdown reception.
McLaurin, a third-round pick out of Ohio State is one of the more explosive, yet relatively unknown players for the Washington Redskins. he ran a 4.35 40-yard dash at the 2019 scouting combine, but amazed Redskins camp observers with his route running ability. He has the size to win in all areas of the field, but the Cowboys will have to be most concerned with him beating them deep.
The Dallas Cowboys secondary is going to have to be very aware of Terry McLaurin this week, otherwise, he could blow by them in a heartbeat.
✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭
Even after a tremendous week one performance, the Dallas Cowboys still have a lot to prove against a tough divisional opponent. If they're able to have a similar impact from the offensive side of the football in week 2 against an superior defensive team in the Washington Redskins, it should make everyone in the NFL take notice. For the Cowboys to win this game, they'll have to prevent these players from hurting them.
This game lines up very well for the Cowboys, all they have to do is go out there and win it.
Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott Have a History of Playing Well Against the Redskins
The Dallas Cowboys will have their second NFC East matchup in the first two weeks of the season this Sunday on the road against the Washington Redskins. It's very important that the Cowboys build off the momentum they gained in their blowout season-opening win against the New York Giants. This could be your classic "Trap Game" as it's often referred to when a superior team doesn't play well and suffers a loss to an inferior opponent. Luckily, the Cowboys have two players on offense that have performed well against Washington in Dak Prescott and All-Pro Ezekiel Elliott. Doing so again this Sunday could very well get the team off to a 2-0 start.
Dak Prescott knows all too well about winning big division games on the road against the Redskins. In his rookie season, he was coming off a loss in his NFL debut versus the New York Giants as the Cowboys were trying to avoid an early 0-2 start. Prescott responded going 22 of 30 for 292 yards as the Cowboys won a tough 27-23 slugfest. Later that season, he didn't put up monster numbers with 195 yards but the team would sweep the Redskins with their 31-26 victory in Arlington. Prescott had 487 yards and completed over 72% of his passes against the Redskins as a rookie.
In 2017, Prescott's numbers versus Washington weren't impressive but they didn't have to be. The Cowboys dominated the Redskins winning each game by an average of 19 points. He did, however, throw two touchdowns with no interceptions. 2018 was Prescott's best statistical season in this rivalry. Even though he suffered his one and only loss to the Redskins he averaged 281 yards per game and threw three more touchdowns without an interception.
In total, Prescott is 5-1 with 6 touchdown passes and no interceptions completing 65.8% of his passes against the Redskins for his career. He'll have added motivation to play well this Sunday due to the recent comments by Redskins Cornerback Josh Norman. “You stand back there in the pocket all day and go through your first, second and third reads and come back to your first one, ok, cool. Anybody can do that,” Norman said to the Associated Press. More fuel to the fire for this Sunday.
Ezekiel Elliott used his first game against the Redskins in 2016 to springboard his way to his first of two rushing titles. After a lackluster 51 yards in his career debut, Elliott ran for 83 yards and a touchdown in Washington as the Cowboys edged out a four-point win. He followed it up with a 97-yard performance at home in a close five-point victory.
He would only play the Redskins once in 2017 because of the six-game suspension he served for domestic violence accusations. He made that one opportunity count, though, as he ran for 150 yards on 33 carries in a rather easy 33-19 win on the road. His only pedestrian performance in this rivalry came in Washington last season when Elliott only had 33 yards on 15 carries in a three-point loss. However, he followed it up with a 121-yard performance at home in a tough 31-23 win.
Elliott has more rushing yards (484) and more rushing touchdowns (6) against the Redskins than any team he's faced so far in his career. Also, he averages an amazing 96.8 yards per game in this matchup. The All-Pro is also ready for his normal workload after knocking off the rust from his holdout in last week's season opener.
"I think I'm ready now for a normal workload," Elliott told ESPN's Todd Archer on Wednesday. "Just depends on how (running backs coach Gary Brown) and (offensive coordinator) Kellen (Moore) and Coach (Jason) Garrett are feeling on Sunday. But if they ask me, I'll be able to go out there and do it."
Prescott and Elliott are looking to continue their success against one of their most bitter division rivals. The Cowboys don't want any letdowns during this "easy" part of their schedule. Big performances from their two most important offensive weapons will be key on Sunday.
Cowboys LB Leighton Vander Esch off to a Fast Start
When the Dallas Cowboys drafted Linebacker Leighton Vander Esch in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft it wasn't received with open arms from the fan base. However, he would quickly turn heads with his elite level of play in only his first year on the field. He was so good that he earned Pro Bowl and All-Pro honors and was one of the leaders of the Cowboys top 7 ranked defense. With expectations through the roof in 2019, Vander Esch is off to another fast start.
Just like last season, Vander Esch displayed the speed, power, and aggression that made him a household name against the New York Giants last Sunday. He racked up 10 tackles (9 solo), 1 pass defended and a forced fumble. This puts him on pace for 160 tackles for the season which would shatter what he did as a rookie. Of his 140 tackles last season 102 were solo. That's what's probably the most impressive thing to me about him is his ability to bring down ball carriers/pass catchers on his own.
Look at this athleticism and effort from #Cowboys LB Leighton Vander Esch. Whew. https://t.co/iEjJ5GTDg5
The best play he made versus the Giants is in the clip above. Vander Esch does a great job of changing direction and pursuing Eli Manning as he picked up a half-sack along with DeMarcus Lawrence. This was a crucial fourth-down stop considering if the Giants scored a touchdown it would've made the score 28-17 with more than a quarter to play, and as we know in the game of football, momentum is a powerful weapon.
Cowboys LB Leighton Vander Esch JUST missed this INT. https://t.co/6ulkkVerIM
Another nice play made by Vander Esch in the clip above came in the fourth quarter. He does a nice job reading Eli Manning's eyes while simultaneously keeping Tight End Evan Engram in front of him long enough that it makes a difficult throw for Eli Manning down the seam. High pointing the ball he almost comes down with an interception. He had two interceptions last season and it looks like he'll have more in 2019.
This Sunday the Cowboys face bitter division rival the Washington Redskins on the road. Defense generally travels on the road and they'll definitely need a solid effort on that side of the ball to get their second division win in two weeks. Vander Esch hasn't missed a beat coming off his spectacular rookie campaign and it looks like another Pro Bowl/All-Pro season is on the horizon.
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