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Week 7 NFC East: 5 Bold Predictions

RJ Ochoa

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NFC East - Week 7 NFC East: 5 Bold Predictions

Every week I sit down and crank out my 5 Bold Predictions for the upcoming Dallas Cowboys game here at Inside The Star. America's Team is on a bye this week, so I don't know what to do! There are no bold predictions to write! Sad face.

In the spirits of persistence and creativity, I decided to pen this weekly column but with cinco bold predictions for the NFC East as a whole. As things stand through Week 6, here are the standings across the NFL.

RJ Ochoa on Twitter

NFL standings through Week 6, according to my mini helmet display.

  • The Dallas Cowboys are 5-1, 1-1 in NFC East play.
  • The Washington Redskins are 4-2, 2-1 in NFC East play.
  • The Philadelphia Eagles are 3-2, 0-1 in NFC East play.
  • The New York Giants are 3-3, 1-1 in NFC East play.

With the Cowboys on a bye we'll see the Redskins in Detroit, the Eagles hosting a Sam Bradford-led Vikings squad, and the Giants in London taking on the Rams.

The NFC East was a collective joke last year, but it is the most intriguing division in football six weeks into 2016. As a result some interesting things are going to happen, and there is never interesting without boldness. Here are my 5 Bold Predictions. Let's roll.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

Matthew Stafford Throws 3 Touchdowns Against The Redskins In A Losing Effort

NFC East - Week 7 NFC East: 5 Bold Predictions 2

Matthew Stafford has thrown three or more touchdowns in four of six games this season, that's 66%. I like those odds.

Now even though Stafford's Lions have won three of these four games, 75% for you math nerds, I don't think that trend continues. Washington's secondary is beat up, and that's why Stafford is going to feast; however, Matt Jones is gaining steam behind Bill Callahan's Offensive Line.

Washington was without the services of Tight End Jordan Reed last week when they beat the Eagles, and in his absence Matt Jones delivered 135 yards... not to mention Jones helped the Redskins hold onto the ball for 34:13. That's Cowboys football.

Stafford is low-key awesome in 2016, and he'll get his in this game. The Redskins, thanks in large part to Bill Callahan, know how to grind out a game and win so they'll do so despite a great Stafford game.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

Sam Bradford Has Twice As Many Yards As Carson Wentz

NFC East - Week 7 NFC East: 5 Bold Predictions 3

In the eleventh hour of the preseason, the Philadelphia Eagles pulled off what seemed to be the biggest joke across the league when they sent quarterback Sam Bradford to the Vikings, who had just lost Teddy Bridgewater, for a 1st Round Pick and change.

The joke is apparently on all of us, and Sam Bradford is the one who pulled it. Bradford's Vikings, who he's started for since Week 2, are 5-0 and coming off a bye. Sam is, approximately seven weeks later, returning to the land that once scorned him. Goodnight, Eagles.

Rookie quarterback Carson Wentz has been impressive. We all know that. He's just in for a test beyond his comprehension in the Vikings Defense, oh and Sam Bradford is pissed. Sammy not-so-short-sleeves is going to double Carson's yardage on Sunday. Bam.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

New York Giants Players Make A Statement Regarding Kicker Josh Brown

NFC East - Week 7 NFC East: 5 Bold Predictions 4

Thursday was a rough day for the National Football League. The recent revelations regarding Giants Kicker Josh Brown surely caused panic around the league offices, and the Giants certainly didn't escape water. They released a statement saying Brown would not fly to London with the team, and late Thursday evening they signed veteran kicker Robbie Gould.

2016 has been a weird season so far. Political protests have been all the rage, and tv ratings are down. Things feel... murky.

This whole situation is difficult for any team, but imagine being the Giants. They're in a foreign land and dealing with circumstances totally out of their normal routine (the irony here is that it's all for the purposes of growing the brand that refuses to do anything about Josh Brown). Can't you see some of them rallying together and doing something in response to all this? I can, because Odell Beckham Jr. likes attention so much he continues to use a kicking net as a prop.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

Kirk Cousins, Carson Wentz, And Eli Manning Will Combine For Six Interceptions

NFC East - Week 7 NFC East: 5 Bold Predictions 5

Kirk Cousins has six interceptions in as many games. Eli Manning has a six pack of picks as well. Carson Wentz, to his credit, has thrown a single pass into the arms of the other team.

This trio of misfits just wants to total six interceptions for me. I can smell it from their ineptitude!

Wentz is undoubtedly going to have his worst day against the Vikings defense so let's take one right there. Kirk is the human turnover so he's good for a double dosage of interceptions, and Eli... oh sweet Elisha. After a week of controversy and an adventure across the pond Eli is going to hit the trifecta of suckage with a hat trick of whoopsies.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

Each NFC East Team Will Miss A Field Goal

We've already addressed the difference in the Giants kicking game, and while Robbie Gould has been fairly consistent over the course of his career... jumping onto a team mid-week in another country is a tall order. He's good for a miss.

Eagles Kicker Caleb Sturgis has missed one field goal this season, as has Redskins Kicker Dustin Hopkins. One is all we need, baby!

At the end of the day everybody wishes they were/had Dan Bailey. The Giants, Eagles, and Redskins are all going to be painfully reminded that they don't have Bailey when each of their kickers poo-poo an opportunity at three points. Huzzah.


Follow the new Total NFL Podcast, The RJ Ochoa Show, presented by Slant Sports Audible

What are YOUR Bold Predictions for the NFC East this week while the Cowboys are on bye? Let us know! Comment below, Email me at RJ@RJOchoaShow.com, or Tweet to me at @RJOchoa!

Tell us what you think about "Week 7 NFC East: 5 Bold Predictions" 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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2018 In Review: Byron Jones Emerges As CB1

Kevin Brady

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Byron Jones

Heading into the 2018 season Byron Jones was being asked to prove himself. The former first round pick had fallen out of the coaches' good graces during his third season, though many of his struggles could be attributed to those very coaches which were then questioning his ability.

Being asked to play out of position, or at least in a spot which did not maximize his natural ability, Jones struggled in 2017. Too often he was playing in the box as a safety where his lack of physicality was exposed by the opponent's run game. This was mostly due to the coaching staff falling in love with his tight-end-erasing ability in man coverage, but backfired when overused as a safety.

Once hired the following offseason, Kris Richard and company decided to move Byron Jones to cornerback full time, allowing him to utilize his excellent coverage skills and athletic ability to the fullest, rather than putting him at a disadvantage in the box.

The results? Well, Jones had one of the best seasons of any cornerback in football, earning All Pro and Pro Bowl honors for the first time in his young career.

Pro Football Focus on Twitter

Byron Jones had a dominant season for Dallas

Pro Football Focus graded Jones as the sixth best cornerback in all of football last season, allowing just 0.79 yards per coverage snap. Despite not having an interception on the season, Jones still earned national recognition as one of the best cornerbacks in the entire league.

Down the stretch of the season, Chidobe Awuzie started to play up to the level which fans had hoped for during the preseason. He had been sticky in coverage most of the year, but now he was making plays on the ball at a much better rate, forcing incompletions. This led to an increase in targets to Jones' side, and though the increase resulted in more catches given up by the number one cornerback, I don't think Jones' play faltered as much as some will have you believe.

The fact is, when you get targeted more you are bound to give up more catches and yards. The key is to force them into contested catches, and make things as difficult for the receiver as possible when targeted.

Byron Jones continued to do this all season long, and fans should be excited for the next step of his growth in 2019.



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Cowboys en Español: Comentando el Tope Salarial

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Time to Stop Making Excuses for QB Dak Prescott?

Por muchos años, el tema del tope salarial ha sido un tema sensible para los Dallas Cowboys. Entre dinero muerto y otros problemas, el equipo ha tenido una situación delicada en este aspecto. Sin embargo, para la temporada del 2019 tienen más espacio de lo que estamos acostumbrados.

Según Over The Cap, los Cowboys tendrán aproximadamente 48 millones de dólares disponibles en 2019. Es importante recalcar que este número no es definitivo y puede cambiar. Año tras año, esta administración ha sido aficionada de reestructurar los contratos de ciertos veteranos para liberar espacio salarial constantemente. Además de esto, hay varios jugadores bajo contrato que el equipo podría decidir cortar para liberar aún más dinero.

Al ver sólo 48 millones disponibles, es complicado imaginar un escenario en que el equipo logre satisfacer todos sus objetivos. Hay bastantes candidatos a grandes extensiones en el equipo, principalmente dos jugadores. En una liga en la que quarterback es la posición más importante, la segunda más importante podría ser la del caza cabezas, cuyo objetivo es ir tras el quarterback contrario.

DeMarcus Lawrence, Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks

Pues en Dallas, hoy dos  jugadores en estas posiciones que hay que extender. El más urgente sin duda es el defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence. Lawrence se puso el jersey del equipo cuando este lo designó a jugar bajo la etiqueta franquicia. Afortunadamente, el atleta de 26 años la hizo de soldado y jugó sin amenazar con faltar a entrenamientos ni pretemporada.

Lo que sí comentó es que no pasaría por lo mismo en 2019. Ahora, el momento está aquí y es tiempo de que los Cowboys lo extiendan. El valor de Lawrence es difícil de predecir, pero es bastante seguro que se acercará a los números de Khalil Mack. Mack hizo historia ganando un contrato que en promedio gana 23.5 millones al año. Si bien no anticiparía que lo supere, la cifra estará cerca al contrato del defensivo de los Chicago Bears.

Además está Dak Prescott, cuyo contrato probablemente estará por encima de los 25 millones anuales. Son contratos caros, pero son piezas fundamentales para el equipo. Definitivamente se les tiene que pagar a ambos. Son pilares que año tras año buscan equipos en toda la NFL.

Además de esto, Amari Cooper, Ezekiel Elliott, Cole Beasley y más podrían tener un impacto en el tope salarial. Algunos buscan un contrato nuevo, otros una extensión. Pero honestamente, me parece que habrá más espacio en el tope salarial de lo que pensamos. Sólo es cuestión de tiempo para que los Cowboys comiencen a reestructurar a sus veteranos para ahorrarse unos cuantos millones para utilizar en agencia libre.

Tyron Smith, Tyrone Crawford entre otros pueden ser buenas opciones para comenzar este proceso. Antes era Jason Witten uno de los candidatos favoritos para este proceso, pero él ya se encuentra comentando partidos para ESPN. En Inside The Star, continuaremos actualizándote con contenido al día de los Dallas Cowboys.

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys en Español: Comentando el Tope Salarial" in the comments below, or tweet me @MauNFL and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!



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Can the Cowboys Become Legitimate NFC Conference Contenders this Offseason?

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Can the Cowboys Become Legitimate NFC Conference Contenders this Offseason? 2

Super Bowl LIII is in the books, and the Dallas Cowboys can look back on a better-than-expected 2018 campaign. Having won the NFC East with a 10-6 record and bowing out to eventual finalists Los Angeles Rams, the Cowboys' young team can look ahead to 2019 as a chance to take another step forward.

The offseason is now upon us, with the NFL free agency period opening in the middle of March and the NFL Draft coming around at the end of April. Until those times, experts, pundits, and fans are left to assess their teams and predict their activities in the running to the start of next season.

The Dallas Cowboys are in a precarious position, with the team exceeding expectations, still being very young and having plenty of cap space, but also having many top-end players set to become free agents and being without a first-round pick in this year’s draft. There does, however, appear to be a way for the team to make improvements and solidify their place atop the NFC East and potentially go on to win in the Conference Finals.

Lock Down the Big Guns

Can the Cowboys Become Legitimate NFC Conference Contenders this Offseason?

@Randy81MossRetires, via Twitter

Many see DeMarcus Lawrence as the top potential free agent this spring, so the Dallas Cowboys need to do everything in their power to lock down the 26-year-old defensive end.

Vice President Stephen Jones has emphasized the team’s target of retaining their own stars, per Star-Telegram, with Lawrence, Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper, Ezekiel Elliott, and perhaps Byron Jones being in the discussion for long-term deals.

As it stands, the team will have roughly $48.5 million in cap space for next season, which leaves plenty of space to re-sign their top players. They look set to let go of Tavon Austin, David Irving, and quite possibly Cole Beasley, among others, leaving a need to add reinforcements.

Adding New Talent

Can the Cowboys Become Legitimate NFC Conference Contenders this Offseason? 1

@brkicks, via Twitter

One of the most heavily rumored moves for Dallas in this free agency is picking up native Texan and former Legion of Boom linchpin Earl Thomas, per Forbes.

Against the Rams in the playoffs and throughout the season, the Cowboys lacked a defenseman who could make plays on the pass. Thomas is one of the notorious ball hawks in the league, boasting 28 career interceptions, three of which came in just four games of last season.

If the Cowboys can re-sign their stars while keeping some space for an Earl Thomas-sized contract, which clocked in at $10.4 million in 2018 for the Seattle Seahawks, their odds of going all the way next season will significantly increase.

Right now, the expected names of the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs lead the odds to win the next Super Bowl at +750. Behind them, the Rams sit at +900 having suffered a suffocating defeat in this year’s Super Bowl. Much further down are the Cowboys at +2500 right now with redbet. If they re-sign Lawrence, pay their young stars, and bring in Thomas, they’ll shoot up the table of favorites.

Then, there’s also the additions in the draft to consider.

The Cowboys may be without a first-round selection, but that may end up working in their favor. Round one of the 2019 NFL Draft is set to be laden with defensive selections according to most mock drafts, with a few quarterbacks sprinkled around and a minimal selection of offensive weapons. If the Cowboys re-sign Lawrence, they’ll be looking good at defensive end, so should then turn to giving Prescott another weapon in the passing game, which will also help to keep defenses honest and give Elliott more room to operate.

As stated, the NFL is a passing league, and Prescott exploded once he was given a viable option in Amari Cooper. Michael Gallup is expected to take another step forward next season, but just in case, the Cowboys can add another strong receiving option in the draft thanks to the strength of the defensive class. A.J. Brown of Ole Miss will almost certainly go in the first round, but exciting talents in D.K. Metcalf, Parris Campbell, Marquise Brown, and Deebo Samuel could all still be available when Dallas rings in during the second round.

Improving Dallas' pass options and pass defense will go a long way toward improving the team and allowing them to push on to a bigger and better campaign in 2019.



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