I hope you brought your sequin jacket, iconic glove, and slippery shoes... we're emulating the King of Pop today.
I've been thinking a lot about the 1992 Dallas Cowboys lately hoping that if I rekindle enough memories they'll seep over into reality and the 2015 version of America's Team will produce similar results - sitting in the locker room at half time of the Super Bowl well on their way to victory.
While Jimmy Johnson and his staff made the appropriate adjustments to finish off the Buffalo Bills the field at the Rose Bowl was occupied by none other than Michael Jackson... who gave one of the more memorable Super Bowl Halftime Performances that we've ever seen. You can re-watch the halftime show here:
One of the best performaces of the "King of Pop - Michael Jackson". Super Bowl Half Time Show performed in California at January 31, 1993, it includes Jam, Billie Jean, Black or White, We are the World and Heal the World.
So put on that gear that I told you to bring (you were supposed to bring it!). We're about to moonwalk our way down my Week 10 NFL Game Picks with the help of the one and only MJ.
Thursday Night Football: Buffalo Bills (4-4) At New York Jets (5-3)
Michael Jackson Theme: Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough
That's right the ballad that Chris Rock channeled in the legendary Rush Hour 2 is the MJ theme for this game. Why? Rex Ryan will not stop until he gets enough... which is a limitless amount.
The former Head Coach of the New York Jets, now with the Buffalo Bills, proved again this week that he is starving for attention. Maybe Rex is just trying to distract the attention so that his players aren't under too much pressure? Or maybe he just truly wants this game to be referred to as "Rex Bowl I."
Rex Bowl I is tonight only on @nflnetwork! @DanHanzus breaks down all you need to know https://t.co/We0x38TBug
Sorry, Rex. The Jets defense is better than your version was the last few years and they've got a litany of offensive weapons. Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker are going to have themselves a game as Rex fumes on the sidelines.
Prediction: Bills - 13, JETS - 27
Chicago Bears (3-5) At St. Louis Rams (4-4)
Michael Jackson Theme: Man In The Mirror
Jay Cutler was... good on Monday Night Football? Really?
It's hard to tell what you're ever going to get from the Bears. They certainly have a lot of offensive playmakers, but Jay Cutler supposedly ruins everything that he touches. Namely the football.
The Rams lost a really close game last week in Minnesota, and while Todd Gurley is amazing... Jeff Fisher is kind of the Jay Cutler of coaches. You never know exactly what's going to show up you just know that you don't really want to be a part of it.
Take a good hard look in the mirror guys and make a change.
Prediction: Bears - 16, RAMS - 22
Cleveland Browns (2-7) At Pittsburgh Steelers (5-4)
Michael Jackson Theme: You Are Not Alone
The Browns are so bad. So freaking bad.
It seems that everyone has a different opinion on whether Johnny Manziel is a capable NFL quarterback, but everyone has the same opinion in that Josh McCown will never win a Super Bowl. This franchise is in a tailspin, as it has been since its re-establishment, and they themselves don't know what they want from Johnny Football. Wouldn't playing him be a good way to figure that out? Just my two cents.
The Steelers are almost as injury-riddled as the Cowboys. Big Ben may play, may not, who cares? I could line up behind center for them and get the ball to Antonio Brown enough times to beat the Browns. The only people alone in this game will be the Cleveland faithful. You guys deserve better.
Prediction: Browns - 16, STEELERS - 33
Dallas Cowboys (2-6) At Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-5)
Michael Jackson Theme: Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'
I said you wanna be starting something is right! The Dallas Cowboys' season is one step away from full-on life support. Tony Romo is coming back in Week 11 so we need to get something going in his absence.
If you read my recent Don't Stop Believing, Part Deux remix here at Inside The Star then you know that in order for the Cowboys to win the division this game has to serve as the spring board. Matt Cassel and the offense looked, dare I say, good against the Eagles last week. Look for them to pick up where they left off and the Rode Marinelli defense to finally start to live up to their offseason hype.
Prediction: COWBOYS - 27, Buccaneers - 17
Detroit Lions (1-7) At Green Bay Packers (5-2)
Michael Jackson Theme: Beat It
Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers have lost two games in a row for the first time since 2010 (the year they won their Super Bowl at Jerry World).
He is not a happy camper. Aaron is in fact so mad that he threw a Microsoft Surface on the sidelines in Carolina last week, but hey what a team leader without any sense of disruption on their sidelines? Right, MJ?
While I do think it's unfair that ARod isn't being scrutinized for that I also think that he has to "show them that he's really not scared" and is absolutely going to on Sunday. He's going to exorcise some serious demons and beat it out of the Lions. Rawr.
Prediction: Lions - 12, PACKERS - 38
Carolina Panthers (8-0) At Tennessee Titans (2-6)
Michael Jackson Theme: Smile
Who has a better smile than Cam Newton?
Superman has plenty of reasons to show off his pearly whites these days as his MVP-caliber performance has the undefeated Panthers playing some seriously awesome football.
The song says that you should smile "though your heart is aching, smile even though it's breaking," but the only broken hearts around here will be those of Titans fans. The Panthers are going to demolish them. As impressive as the reigning Heisman Trophy Winner, Marcus Mariota, has been... this is too tall of a task for the flyin' Hawaiian.
Prediction: PANTHERS - 24, Titans - 13
Miami Dolphins (3-5) At Philadelphia Eagles (4-4)
Michael Jackson Theme: Smooth Criminal
"It was a Sunday, what a black day."
I hope Annie is ok because the Dolphins are going to need her, and so is Cowboys Nation. I don't know what that means... you try relating Michael Jackson songs to every football game of the week!
Ok I feel better. Annie is going to help the Dolphins this week. The Eagles have been really suspect lately and if the Dallas Cowboys defense could have actually gotten to Sam Bradford they would have indeed had a black day last Sunday.
That's where Ndamukong Suh, who I've affectionately dubbed "Annie" for this game, is going to come in. The Dolphins paid Suh a ton of money to come in and help them win games... and he's going to get it done. The Fin offense is capable of showing up whenever Ryan Tannehill feels like not being terrible and will be this Sunday. ANNIE ARE YOU OK?
Prediction: DOLPHINS - 24, Eagles - 22
New Orleans Saints (4-5) At Washington Redskins (3-5)
Michael Jackson Theme: You Rock My World
The Saints are high on my love list these days. They already took care of the New York Giants for us and now they're going to annihilate the Redskins for us.
Drew Brees is straight BALLIN right now so if you have him in fantasy football you better suit him up. Rock on, Drew.
Oh and the Redskins suck. There's your analysis!
Predictions: SAINTS - 33, Redskins - 13
Jacksonville Jaguars (2-6) At Baltimore Ravens (2-6)
Michael Jackson Theme: They Don't Care About Us
This game is a snooze fest.
If you've been reading my picks for the last few weeks then, first of all, I love you. Second of all, I've been really high on the Jaguars. And you know what? They've come close a lot of times that I've picked them.
A real captain goes down with his ship. Give me the Jaguars over a mediocre Ravens team who has no idea who they're going to throw it to in the absence of Steve Smith Sr..
Prediction: JAGUARS - 30, Ravens - 23
Minnesota Vikings (6-2) At Oakland Raiders (4-4)
Michael Jackson Theme: P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)
I want to love you, Vikings and Raiders.
This is one of my favorite Super Bowl rematches in the history of pro football. Super Bowl XI saw the Raiders claim their first World Championship as Fred Biletnikoff earned MVP honors over Bud Grant's Vikings.
These Raiders are fun, man. Derek Carr, Latavius Murray, Amari Cooper... what a pretty young thing. They're going to expose the Vikings this week. Bam.
Prediction: Vikings - 16, RAIDERS - 24
Kansas City Chiefs (3-5) At Denver Broncos (7-1)
Michael Jackson Theme: Remember The Time
Peyton Manning has been trying to "remember the time" all season long. The Sheriff has struggled in 2015, but the Broncos have not.
Denver suffered its first loss last week in Indianapolis, a team Peyton has yet to beat since moving to Denver, but they get the helpless Chiefs now.
Kansas City really doesn't have anything to get excited about offensively and that's tough cookies because they're up against perhaps the best defense in football (who is without the suspended Aqib Talib). Me no likey.
Prediction: Chiefs - 10, BRONCOS - 17
New England Patriots (8-0) At New York Giants (5-4)
Michael Jackson Theme: Thriller
Thriller is one of the greatest music videos of all-time. It's got zombies and all kinds of creatures bustin' a moove.
Tom Brady and the Pats are going to have to wake up something from the dead because they have not beaten the New York Giants since Week 17 of the 2007 season (also the last time that they played in New York).
This game is going to be a thriller in the sense that there's "no escaping the jaws" of the Patriots this time. The Giants' luck against them has run out. The Patriots are "out to get you," New York.
Prediction: PATRIOTS - 44, Giants - 27
Sunday Night Football: Arizona Cardinals (6-2) At Seattle Seahawks (4-4)
Michael Jackson Theme: Love Never Felt So Good (Feat. Justin Timberlake)
This is one of the new-age MJ songs that came out after his death. It was a chart topper a year or so ago, so it's relatively new. So is the rivalry between these Cardinals and Seahawks.
This is going to be quite the game on prime time Sunday Night. I love the Cardinals in every aspect of it over the Seahawks... sorry Ciara. Look for a great game that the Cardinals find a way to come out on top of.
Prediction: CARDINALS - 29, Seahawks - 27
Monday Night Football: Houston Texans (3-5) Cincinnati Bengals (8-0)
Michael Jackson Theme: Black Or White
The Houston Texans are believing in miracles right now with the injury to Andrew Luck, but a miracle will not be happening this night.
This game is all about good and bad, aka black and white. The Bengals are good... the Texans are bad.
Prediction: Texans - 16, BENGALS - 38
Cowboys en Español: ¿Qué Safety Estará Ahí en el #58?
Por fin estamos a menos de una semana del NFL Draft 2019. El evento que define el futuro de las franquicias de la liga año tras año está a días de distancia y los rumores comienzan a tomar velocidad. Para los aficionados de los Dallas Cowboys, la experiencia del Draft será un poco diferente ya que no cuentan con una selección de primera ronda. En vez de eso, tienen a Amari Cooper. ¿Lo vale? Sí. Pero, no se puede negar que el equipo estará en una posición complicada durante el Draft.
No sólo no hay un pick de primera ronda para los Cowboys, sino que no cuentan con uno dentro del Top 50. Estas son las selecciones con las que cuentan los Jones y compañía:
- Pick #58 (segunda ronda)
- Pick #91 (tercera ronda)
- Pick #129 (cuarta ronda)
- Pick #137 (cuarta ronda)
- Pick #166 (quinta ronda)
- Pick #243 (séptima ronda)
A menos que sean sorprendentemente agresivos, no habrá noticias sobre los Dallas Cowboys el próximo jueves. Más bien tendremos que esperar hasta el segundo día del Draft para ver que traman los Cowboys. ¿Qué podemos esperar sobre su primera selección?
En este momento, parece que no hay ninguna necesidad más fuerte que la de un safety. Y parece ser que el talento disponible en la segunda ronda podría beneficiar a los Cowboys. Como cada año, es difícil pronosticar quien estará en la tabla y quien no, pero hablemos de varios safeties que podrían solucionar los problemas de Dallas.
S Taylor Rapp, Washington
Algunos ven a Rapp como el mejor safety en la clase de novatos, mientras que otros están convencidos de que no podrá tener éxito en la NFL. La mayor preocupación en torno al producto de Washington es su velocidad. En las pruebas que realizó sus resultados no fueron nada satisfactorios. Sin embargo, ha probado en el campo que es bueno contra la corrida y se puede encargar de su trabajo en cobertura. Es bueno al tacklear, y podría ser justo lo que los Cowboys necesitan.
S Jonathan Abraham, Mississippi State
Abraham se proyecta como un strong safety, que es lo que los Cowboys necesitan. De todos los prospectos, parece que Abraham es el favorito a irse primero. Sin embargo, no es perfecto y sus defectos podrían costarle una caída hasta la segunda ronda. Abraham falla tackleadas ocasionalmente, pero su juego físico y agresivo lo puede compensar. Si cae hasta el #58, Abraham no puede ser ignorado.
S Juan Thornhill, Virginia
Thornhill no es mejor que los mencionados anteriormente, pero quizá sea más probable encontrarlo si los Cowboys se quedan en el pick #58. En Virginia, Thornhill tuvo tres temporadas donde fue titular en más de 10 partidos. Es todo un play-maker, consiguiendo 13 intercepciones en su carrera colegial. Lidero a su equipo en tackleadas. Puede jugar en varios puntos de la defensiva e incluso llegó a alinearse como linebacker. Dudo que eso pase en la NFL, pero podría ser un buen safety dentro de la caja y en cobertura.
S Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, Florida
Gardner-Johnson fue uno de los líderes en Florida durante toda su carrera. Jugó como safety y como cornerback, muchas veces actuando como "nickel." Chauncey no sería de mis opciones favoritas en este punto del Draft, pero es una que no se puede ignorar si los demás jugadores ya no están disponibles. Sabe romper jugadas y tiene potencial de convertirse en un titular a largo plazo.
S Amani Hooker, Iowa
En el escenario de que todos los mejores safeties ya hayan sido seleccionados y el equipo no prefiera atender otra necesidad, Amani Hooker merece un vistazo. En Iowa ganó el premio al mejor defensive back de su conferencia (Big Ten). Tuvo buenos números en sus pruebas y podría ser un buen strong safety dentro de la caja, donde se pone en posición constantemente para hacer jugadas.
Claro que los Cowboys podrían tomar otra ruta y no seleccionar a un safety hasta más tarde. Sin embargo, considero que sería lo correcto. Incluso pienso que si Taylor Rapp o su prospecto favorito está disponible en un punto de la segunda ronda, Dallas estará dispuesto a hacer un trade para subir y alcanzarlo.
Sólo queda esperar este gran e impredecible evento. ¿Qué esperas del NFL Draft? Hazme saber en los comentarios o por medio de Twitter en @MauNFL.
Cowboys Look To Be In For Brutal December Slate In 2019
All sixteen regular season games count the same. A win in September means exactly the same as a win in December. Just as a touchdown in the first quarter counts for the same number of points as a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
While factually accurate, we know these statements aren't totally true. Championship teams often "hit their stride" in November and December, as they close out divisions, clinch playoff births, and prove they can stay cool and claim victory when the pressure mounts to its highest peak.
Under Jason Garrett, and Wade Phillips before him, the Cowboys have developed the reputation of not "winning the big one." In particular, they've been labeled as a team that "chokes" in December. Tony Romo dealt with his fair share of December/January demons during his career, but overcame them towards his final seasons. Dak Prescott has yet to advance past the Divisional Round of the postseason himself, but the narrative around the Cowboys has seemed to change.
Now, due to their late season run and victory over the Seattle Seahawks last season, people see Prescott and the Cowboys as a team that can find ways to win. A team, and a quarterback, who may not be as prolific as some of the other top squads in the conference, but one that you can never count out. I'd argue this has been the case with Dallas for quite some time under Garrett, but it is only now the narrative has changed.
Their late season fortitude will be tested again in 2019, however.
The NFL released the official schedule for the 2019 NFL season earlier this week, with the Cowboys getting some favorable (and some not-so-favorable) draws. What jumped off the page immediately to me, however, is how tough their final four games will be. And, of course, how critical victories in those games will be to gaining an NFC playoff spot.
Among those four December games are trips to Chicago and Philadelphia, two playoff teams a year ago who present problems in different ways. The Bears, known for their talented defense and innovative play-caller, and the Eagles, the always tough divisional foe.
Dallas also gets two home games during this stretch, hosting the Los Angeles Rams week 15, and finishing out the year against the Washington Redskins. The Rams, of course, eliminated the Cowboys from the postseason a year ago, and are expected to be one of the conference's best again.
The Cowboys will face a first-place schedule in 2019, and will have to prove that they are playoff-worthy down the stretch in December.
Dallas Cowboys: 3 Schedule Predictions Ahead Of Wednesday’s Release
Wednesday night the official 2019 NFL schedule will be released, and we will know the exact times and dates of each of the Cowboys' upcoming games.
We already know the opponents, however, and we know how the NFL typically likes to schedule games week to week. Based on both prior history and future opponents, here are 3 predictions for tonight's schedule release.
1. Cowboys Open Up With The Giants
I didn't say the predictions would be bold, did I?
The NFL loves to have the Cowboys open up against the New York Giants, and I see that being the case here again. Dallas/New York will always bring about solid ratings, but scheduling this game before the Giants (likely) fall out of contention is a smart move as well.
This game will be in Dallas at 4:25 eastern time, occupying that "America's Game of the Week" slot during the opening weekend. Because as much as everyone says they hate watching these NFC East games, the numbers bear out a different story.
2. Cowboys Play @ Saints Thursday After Thanksgiving
We know the Cowboys will play in an extra Thursday or Saturday night game this season. They always do.
Lately the league has liked to schedule them as the Thursday night game following Thanksgiving, and I don't see them breaking that trend this season. Dallas has played the Vikings, Redskins, and Saints in this game the last three years, with the Cowboys/Saints game being one of the best of last year's Thursday slate.
Why not run it back at the Superdome this November?
3. Cowboys Close The Season With A Brutal December
This is broad prediction, so let's narrow it down a bit. I think the Cowboys will play three critical NFC games in December, at the very least. These games will include NFC East battles with the Washington Redskins (week 17) and Philadelphia Eagles, as well as a game at Chicago to face the Bears.
It's likely the Cowboys, Bears, and Eagles will be fighting for playoff positioning (or playoff births) down the stretch in December. Plus, anytime a combination of these three teams play, ratings will be drawn. I think they'll have Prescott battle Mitchell Trubisky and Carson Wentz this December, as he and the Cowboys look to clinch a consecutive playoff birth.
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