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Week 15 NFL Game Picks

RJ Ochoa

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NFL Blog - Week 15 NFL Game Picks 4

Welcome to Week 15 of the 2015 NFL season!

This is a pretty exciting time in the world.

Star Wars premieres tonight, Christmas Eve is seven days away, and the NFL Playoffs are upon us!

With just three games left on the schedule for each team there is still a lot at stake. We'll see more movement in the standings over this time as there is in the conga line at your work Christmas party.

Here's who's winning this week.

Thursday Night Football: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-7) At St. Louis Rams (5-8)

Color Rush... yay.

Cowboys Blog - Week 15 NFL Game Picks

There will be two eye sores on the football field tonight, and they'll be wearing new jerseys each (ba-dum-psh!).

Famous Jameis and his Bucs will travel to the Edward James Olmos (something like that) Dome and look to continue highlighting that Jeff Fisher's squad is the epitome of mediocrity.

You know how your Mom says not to say anything at all if you can't say anything nice? Todd Gurley is good at football. Don't say I didn't say anything about you, Rams.

Prediction: BUCCANEERS - 23, Rams - 13

Saturday Night Football: New York Jets (8-5) At Dallas Cowboys (4-9)

Look at that! Football on a Saturday that isn't college. Quite the nice change of pace, isn't it?

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The New York Jets are flying high into this game with, surprisingly, one of the most potent offenses in the NFL. Their defense? It's no spring chicken either. They get after you a lot on both sides of the ball.

The Cowboys are coming off of another trouncing, this most recent one happening in Green Bay. If you read my Plan V post then you know that these Cowboys... they're not going anywhere.

I'm not a fan of tanking, but I'm also not a fan of being wrong. Give me New York, easy.

Prediction: JETS - 31, Cowboys - 10

Atlanta Falcons (6-7) At Jacksonville Jaguars (5-8)

I am not going to stop reminding you that the Falcons were once 5-0. People legitimately believed in them. I hope they all learned their lesson.

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The Falcons are one of the worst teams in the NFL and the four hundred time winners of that coveted award, the Jacksonville Jaguars, are starting to shed that label.

Jacksonville is on the rise, on the rise I tell you! They'll personify Atlanta's little motto "Rise Up" all over the scoreboard on Sunday.

Prediction: Falcons - 23, JAGUARS - 42

Buffalo Bills (6-7) At Washington Redskins (6-7)

This game is going to frustrate Dallas Cowboys fans.

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The Bills are going to come out and take care of business against Washington leaving us wondering, "what if...".

Why's that? Well because the Redskins are the Redskins. Jordan Reed is going to have himself a game, but so is Tyrod Taylor. Circle the wagons.

Prediction: BILLS - 24, Redskins - 19

Chicago Bears (5-8) At Minnesota Vikings (8-5)

The Bears have surprised us all by being a competent football team this year. Maybe we need to start giving John Fox more credit as a Head Coach? Nah, maybe later.

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The Vikings are surprising no one this year as they were a popular sleeper pick for the playoffs back during Training Camp time.

Minnesota did shock the world when they hung with the Cardinals a week ago all the way down to the end. People knew they were good, but no one thought they would be that good.

Skol, Vikings.

Prediction: Bears - 18, VIKINGS - 30

Tennessee Titans (3-10) At New England Patriots (11-2)

Say all of these things out loud with me.

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The Tennessee Titans.

The New England Patriots.

Bill Belichick. Tom Brady.

Too da loo, Tennessee.

Prediction: Titans - 13, PATRIOTS - 33

Houston Texans (6-7) At Indianapolis Colts (6-7)

It's hard to tell who is playing quarterback in this game with all of the injury news. Heck for all I know, it's you and me slinging the rock on Sunday!

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The defense that we've come to expect from the Texans was a little absent last Sunday, but hey that was the Patriots.

The Bulls on Parade will return against the Colts... who are having arguably the most disappointing season across the NFL.

Prediction: TEXANS - 23, Colts - 16

Kansas City Chiefs (8-5) At Baltimore Ravens (4-9)

I don't know whether I'm more confident in that the Chiefs are really awesome or that the Ravens are really terrible here.

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I know that the Chiefs are going to put it on the Ravens this year, as they've been quietly doing to teams over the last few weeks.

Sure KC barely escaped San Diego last week, but the Chiefs are on fire! The Ravens? What's the opposite of fire? Water?

The Ravens are on water.

Prediction: CHIEFS - 29, Ravens - 16

Carolina Panthers (13-0) At New York Giants (6-7)

It's going to seriously pain me to tell you what I'm thinking.

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It would not shock me at all if the Giants won this game.

The G-Men have made it a habit over the years to ball out when the most is on the line. Coming off of a big win on Monday Night Football... they could do just that.

A big reason for that is that the Panthers are starting to pile up the injuries. Greg Olsen and Jonathan Stewart, sorry fantasy owners, are the most recent casualties. Cam is Superman though, and I'll trust that.

Prediction: PANTHERS - 30, Giants - 26

Cleveland Browns (3-10) At Seattle Seahawks (8-5)

I hope you remember how to say things out loud with me.

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The Cleveland Browns. THE CLEVELAND BROWNS.

The Seattle Seahawks.

The 12th Man.

Ouch.

Prediction: Browns - 10, SEAHAWKS - 37

Green Bay Packers (9-4) At Oakland Raiders (6-7)

Packers fans should not be too happy right now.

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In back to back weeks they've barely beaten the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys. They're building a huge line of dominos and they're about to slip and accidentally dip one over.

Khalil Mack might have already sacked Aaron Rodgers. He's on that level of fire right now. Derek Carr, Amari Cooper, and the Mack Truck? Oh boy do I like that.

Prediction: Packers - 16, RAIDERS - 24

Cincinnati Bengals (10-3) At San Francisco 49ers (4-9)

No Andy Dalton? Hmm.

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AJ McCarron is going to look for AJ Green all over the field and AJs everywhere will celebrate! RJs kind of count, too.

The Niners are... well they're there.

Prediction: BENGALS - 26, 49ers - 10

Denver Broncos (10-3) At Pittsburgh Steelers (8-5)

Remember when the Broncos had one of the most stout defense in the NFL? Seems like a long time ago, doesn't it?

NFL Blog - Week 15 NFL Game Picks

Denver is going to need that defense to really show up this week if they want to even compete with Pittsburgh. The Steelers have the most explosive offense in the NFL and you can bet they want a change to prove it against an "elite" defense.

Pittsburgh is about to start peaking at the right time. They're dangerous. Watch out.

Prediction: Broncos - 13, STEELERS - 27

Miami Dolphins (5-8) At San Diego Chargers (3-10)

Yuck.

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The Dolphins and Chargers had all of our hopes up when this season began... those were good times.

Miami is a mess, I'll just leave it at that.

This could be the last game ever played in San Diego for the Chargers. They know it. They're not losing it.

Prediction: Dolphins - 16, CHARGERS - 22

Sunday Night Football: Arizona Cardinals (11-2) At Philadelphia Eagles (6-7)

It'll be at this point in the day where frustration reaches maximum level for Cowboys fans.

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All you'll be thinking about, while the Cardinals are pummeling the Eagles at their house, is how the Redskins and Giants both lost today.

This season sucks.

Prediction: CARDINALS - 32, Eagles - 20

Monday Night Football: Detroit Lions (4-9) At New Orleans Saints (5-8)

It was only four years ago that the Lions in New Orleans was a Saturday Night Wildcard Game in the Playoffs.

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These two teams are a long ways away from that day.

The Lions should have had a super long week of rest after a well earned victory, but fate intervened and robbed them of that.

The Saints? They're cute, but they're a flash in the pan this year.

I wish they were from East Dillon (shout out if you know the reference), but I'll take the Lions.

Prediction: LIONS - 20, Saints - 10

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RJ Ochoa on Fancred

Who do you think is winning each game in Week 15? Tell me what you think! Comment below, Email me at Roel.Ochoa.Jr@Gmail.com or Tweet to me @rjochoa!

Tell us what you think about "Week 15 NFL Game Picks" in the comments below. You can also email me at RJ.Ochoa@SlantSports.com, or Tweet to me at @RJOchoa!



I like long walks on the beach, mystery novels, no just kidding those suck. The Dallas Cowboys were put on this earth for us all to love and appreciate. I do that 24/7/365. I also love chicken parmesan. Let's roll. @RJOchoa if you wanna shout!

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Star Blog

Tony Pollard is Just What the Doctor Ordered in Dallas

Matthew Lenix

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Tony Pollard is Just What the Doctor Ordered in Dallas

The Dallas Cowboys have what many believe to be the best running back in the NFL in Ezekiel Elliott. However, you can never undervalue the importance of depth at any position. When the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft came around, the Cowboys added another weapon to the backfield by selecting Tony Pollard out of Memphis.

If you’re looking for a dynamic player maker with the ability to take it to the house at any given moment, Pollard is your man. The former Tiger averaged a touchdown every 13 touches in college. That’s an absolutely insane statistic when you think about it. He also tied an NCAA record with seven kick returns for touchdowns. Long story short, he can get you six points at the blink of an eye.

The versatility in his game is outrageous and undoubtedly the reason why he was drafted. In addition to running for 941 yards on 6.8 yards per rush, he also had 104 receptions for 1,292 yards. New offensive coordinator Kellen Moore has to be salivating about the possibilities with his new toy. Having a running back that can not only carry the load as a runner but also line up at receiver keeps the defense honest. You never know what angle the offense is going to come from.

This has to be a sigh of relief for Ezekiel Elliott. Now, the Cowboys don’t have to overexert him and can bring Pollard in on third downs if need be. Not just to give Elliott a breather but to change the pace of the offensive attack. You can hand the ball off, throw it to him or run jet sweeps when he is on the field. This sets up a potential combo at running back that could be the leagues very best shortly.

Speed, quickness, and agility are all wrapped up in the Tony Pollard package. The Cowboys now have a running back that can line up at multiple positions if need be. Also, this prevents a lot of unnecessary wear and tear on the body of Ezekiel Elliott. This combination has all the potential to set the NFL on fire in 2019.



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Star Blog

CB Byron Jones Not Expected To Return Until Week 1 Against NYG

Kevin Brady

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Byron Jones

Coming off what was clearly the best season of his career thus far, Cowboys cornerback Byron Jones underwent surgery to hopefully fix a nagging hip injury.

While he earned both his first All Pro and Pro Bowl honors in 2018, his first season as a full-time cornerback, Jones still has a lot to prove in the upcoming season. Some still criticize him for his lack of interceptions, and there's no doubt his stellar play slowed down a bit towards the end of the year.

I'm willing to wager that the slight decline had a lot to do with his hip troubles, but nonetheless he must come up with his elite level play once again to earn himself a nice contract somewhere in 2020.

Oh, did I forget to mention it's also a contract year for Byron Jones? As it is for so many important Dallas Cowboys, it seems.

So when will Byron Jones be able to return to the Cowboys' lineup? Well, the initial date reportedly set by Jones and the team was late July, giving him a chance to practice and play a bit before the season opener in September. But, according to the Team Site this week, that date may be pushed back a bit, and we might not see Byron Jones until that season opening game against the Giants.

"As for Jones, all along the Cowboys have been targeting his return for the season opener, but hopefully at that. So, don’t expect to see much of Jones in training camp, and if so, certainly no more than individual and walk-through drills." - Mickey Spagnola

Ultimately, as long as Byron Jones is good to go when the regular season starts, that's all that matters, but the fear of rust when Jones returns is a real one.

It's tough to go from no live football straight to the meaningful games, but if anyone would be able to do it it would be the guy with the freakishly athletic traits. The guy who can get out of the bed in the morning and set athletic records at the Combine.

And, of course, that guy is Byron Jones.



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Star Blog

Dak Prescott: Calm Under Pressure

Matthew Lenix

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Dak Prescott: Calm Under Pressure

When the 2016 NFL Draft came around the Dallas Cowboys were in search of the heir apparent to Tony Romo. Unfortunately, coming off an injury-plagued 2015 season, Romo would find himself on the shelf again after suffering a broken bone in his back during a preseason game against the Seahawks. However, the Cowboys had an ace in the hole, in the form of Dak Prescott who they drafted in the fourth round.

The idea was the groom him for a few years before taking the keys to the car so to speak from Romo, but fate had another idea in mind. Prescott would be thrust into the starting lineup against one of the Cowboys most hated rivals to start the season, the New York Giants. Added to that, was the pressure of living up to Romo's stellar resume as the franchise's all-time leading passer. After struggling in a tough 20-19 loss, no surprise there for a rookie quarterback, Prescott began to take flight.

Over the next eleven games he wouldn't suffer a single loss as the Cowboys were sitting pretty at 11-1. What made this streak more impressive was the efficiency of Prescott. He threw 19 touchdowns and only 2 interceptions over that span. In the process, he set an NFL record for the most passing attempts to start a career without an interception with 176. This broke the previous record held by Tom Brady of 162. It didn't stop there, as he also set a rookie record for completion percentage (67.8), was named Offensive Rookie of the Year and was selected to the Pro Bowl.

The Cowboys would finish 13-3 and win the NFC East. With home-field advantage throughout the playoffs and the franchise only winning two postseason games in 21 years, Prescott was definitely under the microscope. After the offense struggled to produce points in the first half and fell behind 21-3, Prescott lead a furious comeback. Helping the team storm all the way back to tie the game at 28 and again at 31. He finished with 302 yards and 3 touchdowns in his first playoff start against future Hall of Famer Aaron Rodgers. Even though the team lost 34-31, Prescott proved how much of a gamer he was as he basically went yard for yard and point for point with one of the NFL's elite signal-callers. It was clear the Cowboys were in good hands going forward.

2017 started off well as the Cowboys were 5-3 and firmly on pace for another playoff run. Unfortunately, All-Pro Running Back Ezekiel Elliott lost his fierce battle with the NFL over domestic violence allegations, and Dak along with the offense struggled. After a 9-7 season and falling one game short of a Wild Card berth, the pressure on Prescott heading into the next season was immense.

Once 2018 came about Prescott had more pressure than ever with Elliott back for a full season. After a slow 3-4 start the Cowboys traded for Pro-Bowl Wide Receiver Amari Cooper, providing the team with it's first true number one receiver since Dez Bryant. Putting even more expectations on Prescott to turn things around, and boy did he ever.

He would complete 71.6% of his passes in the final eight games of the season, and the Cowboys won seven to finish 10-6. Now, with another division title under his belt, came a playoff matchup with Super Bowl-winning Quarterback Russell Wilson.

Late in the fourth quarter, the Cowboys were hanging on to a 17-14 lead. They faced a 3rd and 14 inside the redone with just over two minutes left. After dropping back a few steps, Prescott scrambled for 16 yards setting up a first and goal from the one-yard line. The team held on for a 24-22 victory but here's why that scramble was so important.

If the Cowboys don't convert that 3rd and long that would've set up a field goal attempt. Assuming it would have been successful, that would've only put them up 20-14. Giving Seattle a chance to more than likely win with a touchdown and an extra point or two-point conversion. Prescott essentially won the game with that 3rd down run. Proving once again there's no situation he can't handle.

He's set an NFL record for completion percentage in the first three years of a quarterbacks career at 66.1 percent. No quarterback has won more games than him since 2016 except Tom Brady. No one has more game-winning drives than him since he entered the league. His 13 primetime victories are tops in the NFL over the last three seasons. Simply put, Dak Prescott is a winner and doesn't fold under pressure, instead, he embraces it. There are no bigger lights in the NFL than the ones that shine in Dallas. With those lights come huge expectations and pressure, and it's clear this young man is made of the right stuff to handle it.



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