Happy day after Valentine's Day!
The candy and balloons are on sale at every store in town, and florists everywhere are beginning life in the aftermath of the busiest day of their year.
The stereotypical V-Day involves sweethearts everywhere showering each other with love and affection, but what about the people without sweethearts? Sure you can toss on Beyonce's "Single Ladies" or go watch the new movie "How to Be Single" (which was conveniently released last Friday), but pizza sounds so much better than both of those things.
The truth about Valentine's Day is that for every sappy love act there's an equal amount of heartbreak. For example... when I was in high school I took a girl out on Valentine's Day. I thought it'd be fun to have a date for the national day of love. Well if it isn't obvious I'm incredibly passionate about the Dallas Cowboys... so I spent some time discussing them during our date. Well would you believe that she went and told everyone at school while making fun of me?! I love the Cowboys, she didn't, needless to say it didn't last long for her in my book.
I'm not alone in my love for America's Team - you love them, too. We love them no matter what but, just like Valentine's Day, there's some heartbreak that comes along with that. Here are the Dallas Cowboys who broke our hearts during the 2015 season.
When Dez Bryant went down with a foot injury during the season opener we all knew that someone had to step up. Jason Witten caught the game-winning touchdown and that was great, but when we found out Dez would be out for a few weeks we knew that our #2 guy (Terrance Williams) would have to carry the load.
"Terrance is awesome. He's got this." Raise your hand if you said that at that moment.
WHOA OK I DIDN'T EXPECT TO SEE SO MANY HANDS PUT THEM DOWN NOW!
We all thought that Terrance would fill the Dez gap in heroically, but he broke our hearts and he broke them good. In the five games that Dez was gone Terrance totaled 13 catches for 233 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Just to put that in perspective consider that on December 23rd, 2012 Dez caught 9 passes for 224 yards and 2 touchdowns. In one day.
Even when Dez returned Terrance failed to do anything amazing. He did score against the Dolphins in Tony Romo's return, but that was it for 2015 in terms of him finding the paint. The trademark Terrance Williams who had a way of showing up in big games was absent all season long, and it was so heartbreaking that the second receiver position is a real need this offseason as a result.
He may have been a bit of a rebound from Dez Bryant, but Terrance broke our heart. He was our safe play and he blew it.
We trusted you, Terrance!
I took Geometry in the 8th grade.
It's been some time since I've dealt with isosceles or equilateral triangles. If you wanted me to calculate the surface area of something I might have to google how. Needless to say my memory on the subject is covered in dust.
All that considered... I'd bet that I might have a better understanding of angles than JJ Wilcox.
JJ is a player that many Cowboys Nation loyalists have been rooting for since he was drafted in 2013, but he has continued to break their hearts.
Wilcox is that heartbreaker who you just can't say no to. You know he's going to leave you hanging, but you believe him anyway. It's a fact that he's going to disappoint you, but you believe him in anyway.
Our hearts have been broken for the last time by you, JJ.
The Cowboys were so fed up with JJ that they benched him during the season for rookie standout Byron Jones. Ah... our knight in shining armor! Byron is the guy who was there all along for the girl that she finally gets with at the end of the movie.
The movie is over for JJ Wilcox. No chocolate hearts for you!
This is a different type of heartbreaker.
Rolando McClain is an outstanding football player when he wants to be, but the thing is that he's not always in the mood to be one.
McClain filled in a desperate need at the linebacker spot during the 2014 season when the Cowboys were without the services of Sean Lee for the whole season. Many thought that with Lee returning the Cowboys would have one of the better linebacker duos across the NFL.
The season started off rough for Rolando when he was suspended for its first four games thanks to a violation of the league's policy on substance abuse. It was another notch in McClain's belt of miscues across his young career and left Cowboys Nation wondering why they'd continually put up with someone who so often compromises the team's chances.
This is the heartbreaker who you just want to fix. You know there's a good person in there, they just refuse to bring it out. Sad face for you, Rolando.
BREAKING: David Irving Suspended For 2nd Consecutive Year
For the second consecutive year, Defensive Lineman David Irving is being suspended for four games by the NFL. This time, the suspension comes after Irving violated the NFL's policy on substance of abuses, as Ian Rapoport reported.
Cowboys DL David Irving is being suspended 4 games for violating @NFL policy on substance of abuses, sources say. Another big-time D-linemen hit with a suspension for Dallas.
Irving will play for the Dallas Cowboys after the team placed a second-round tender on him earlier in the year. Why no team was interested in picking such a talented defensive tackle for a second round pick is becoming clearer and clearer as the time goes on.
In April, when David Irving got hacked by his former girlfriend one of the tweets that stood out the most was one which said "Wait until you all find about his failed drug tests." Now, we're seeing what the tweet was about.
Irving is a very talented player that could have a great career ahead of him. Of course, with this being the second consecutive year in which he receives a suspension to start the season, one could question how much he wants it.
The Cowboys will play the Panthers, Giants, Seahawks and Lions to start the season. They'll have to do it with one of their most promising defensive players in David Irving.
Here at Inside The Star, we'll keep you updated with this story and every Dallas Cowboys news.
Jason Witten’s Lasting Message to Cowboys TE Rico Gathers
When Dallas Cowboys legend Jason Witten retired from the NFL last month, he left behind an unproven group of tight ends for the Cowboys to field as Witten moves on to the Monday Night Football broadcast booth. This is not a TE group short of potential, although that's nothing new for the laundry list of players that have failed at the position behind the Hall of Fame bound Witten.
Headlining this group of potential heirs to Witten has to be 2016 draft pick Rico Gathers. Not yet given the same opportunities that Geoff Swaim and Blake Jarwin are receiving through the Cowboys ongoing mini camp, Gathers has been criticized for his commitment to his team.
Looking to make the transition from the basketball court at Baylor to the football field, Gathers' journey began at Witten's soon-to-be home forever. Playing his first organized football game since middle school, Gathers and Witten were teammates in the Hall of Fame game at Canton, Ohio in 2017.
A game rarely leaving fans with a lasting memories, Gathers immediately flashed potential in the passing game, hauling in three passes for 59 yards and a touchdown. Gathers would go on to spend the season on IR after a concussion suffered in practice, recovering from it in time to return but never seeing the field.
This leaves Gathers' prospects of putting it all together in year three at a difficult crossroads. It will be hard to question Gathers' commitment moving forward, as the message from his former teammate Jason Witten still lives with him.
If Witten truly sees a "bright future" for Rico Gathers, who Head Coach Jason Garrett says needs work in the running game, there is no reason the Cowboys can't find a role for him this season. With an entirely unproven group of wide receivers, Gathers could be the reliable mismatch for Dak Prescott to target in the middle of the field.
Prescott was the ninth worst quarterback in the league last season in red zone completion percentage, surely something the 6'6" TE Gathers could help improve.
Gathers may be a long way off from becoming Prescott's version of Witten to Tony Romo, but there is still hope for the 2016 draft pick, according to now football analyst Jason Witten.
David Irving to be Present at Dallas Cowboys Minicamp
David Irving has been a notable name throughout the offseason for the Dallas Cowboys, for both on the field and off the field headlines. First, his RFA tender had fans and analysts wondering just what the Cowboys would do with him. Many, myself included, thought placing anything lower than a first-round tender on the stud defensive tackle would mean he was collecting sacks for someone else in 2018.
Thankfully, the Dallas Cowboys' gamble paid off and they were able to save some money by only having the second-round tender applied to 2018.
Then came the accusation of domestic violence from his ex-girlfriend and the mother of his child, catching us off-guard just before OTAs began in May. Which was then retracted not long after the initial report.
After all of that had quieted down, most of the talk revolved around David Irving not being in shape for OTAs. Not having been around for much of the offseason work the last several weeks before OTAs would keep Irving from working out.
He's had a lot going on in his life lately away from the game of football, and understandably so. As a father to a young child, I can see how you'd get distracted from your job when family stuff comes into play that affects the well-being of your child.
On the football side of things, at least, we can all breathe a sigh of relief.
Today, it's being reported that David Irving will in fact be present for this week's mandatory minicamp.
Also, the Cowboys expect DL David Irving to participate in the 3-day mandatory minicamp that begins today at The Star, a source said. The Cowboys could have both Irving and RG Zack Martin back on the practice field if Martin's contract extension gets finalized this morning.
You may be asking yourself, "what's the big deal? Irving isn't Aaron Donald."
Well, you're mostly right.
Perhaps next to Donald, David Irving was the most disruptive interior player in the NFL last season. David Irving had seven sacks in the eight games he played in.
Read that again. Seven sacks in eight games. That would be 14 sacks over the course of the season if that pace were to continue to play out.
Aaron Donald had 11 sacks in 2017.
Pro Football Focus rated David Irving as its third best pass rusher among interior defensive linemen.
Dominant interior defenders.
To go along with Irving's seven sacks in eight games -- every time I read that I'm floored -- he recorded six passes defended. That was good for second in the NFL at the defensive tackle position and was second on the Dallas Cowboys.
Again, in only eight games played.
Even if you were to pace out his tackle numbers over 16 games, they aren't very spectacular -- 26 solo and 18 assisted -- but he'd still finish in the top 30 among defensive tackles.
Only two other players in the NFL had seven or more sacks and six or more pass breakups; New Orleans Saints Defensive End Cameron Jordan and Cincinnati Bengals Defensive End Carlos Dunlap. Both of those guys played in all 16 games and, while I hate to keep bringing this up, Irving only played in eight.
He's an elite interior defender who has only gotten better since joining Rod Marinelli and the Dallas Cowboys.
If he's able to get his personal life in order -- and that most assuredly comes first -- he's going to be a wrecking ball for the Dallas Cowboys defensive line.
Getting Zack Martin's contract extension completed was probably the most important task of the summer, but getting David Irving back into the practice fold is a close second.
With him and DeMarcus Lawrence coming off a tremendous 2017, the sky is the limit for those two in 2018.
With all the improvement that was made on the defensive side of the ball, I can't help but think of the sign that Greg Hardy paid for several years ago.
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