If you were unaware, which I highly doubt, yesterday was officially Back To The Future Day. October 21st, 2015 is the day that Marty McFly and the Doc traveled to in Part II of the franchise, a day that proved to be important throughout the films.
Yesterday was all about reliving the films, examining how much of the future the filmmakers got right, and living in the past (or future, however you want to look at it).
With the successes of such prominent older NFL stars in 2015, it seems that this season is living in the past as well. Who would’ve thought that Carson Palmer, Larry Fitzgerald, and Matt Hasselbeck would play such prominent roles this year? Certainly not Marty and the Doc.
Perhaps nobody lives more in the past than the hype surrounding Odell Beckham Jr. and whatever that catch was last season (a game that resulted in a loss mind you), but today is about the future. Today I play the role of Robert Zemeckis from the trilogy that we just celebrated as I predict the future.
I’m only predicting this weekend, not 30 years down the road, so my job is a little easier. Now climb on in to my DeLorean and hold on tight, we’re about to hit 88 miles per hour (hopefully with a Dez Bryant version) as we pick this week’s NFL matchups.
Thursday Night Football: Seattle Seahawks (2-4) At San Francisco 49ers (2-4)
Rewind two years and this would be one of the premier games of the week. The Seahawks are a long way away from the days of winning their only Super Bowl in franchise history. The offense can’t get it going, Marshawn has yet to reach Beast Mode, and the Legion of Boom has lost its luster. Seattle still has an incredible amount of talent on their roster, but they’re not clicking and it’s showing.
San Francisco actually looked like a real football team last Sunday, sort of. Colin Kaepernick managed to exorcise his Super Bowl XLVII demons by beating the Baltimore Ravens, and I think the Niners might be on to something here. There’s no question that they have talent at the offensive skill positions, and they tend to play very well against the Seahawks. Division games never go the way you think they will, and I think San Fran is going to shock some folks.
Prediction: Seahawks – 16, 49ERS - 23
London Game: Buffalo Bills (3-3) At Jacksonville Jaguars (1-5)
The Bills have shown flashes of being for real this season, but they’ll be taking on Jacksonville without Tyrod Taylor AND Sammy Watkins. Amazingly, EJ Manuel kept the Bills in the game last week against Cincinnati, so I think he’s better than I’m giving him credit for (which isn’t much).
These Jaguars (as the British pronounce Jag-You-Ares) are going to be good in the next few years. I really, really like what they have on offense… they’re just a tad too young. They’re practically a London expansion team, but the Jaguars aren’t contenders yet.
Prediction: BILLS – 29, Jaguars - 27
Atlanta Falcons (5-1) At Tennessee Titans (1-4)
Atlanta may be 5-0, but it is a mirage I tell you, a mirage! They have four wins against the NFC East (a division that many people think is porous this season) and a win against the Houston Texans. It’s unimpressive. The Falcons do have the makings of a good team though, and I think they’re certainly good enough to beat the Titans.
Imagine being a Titans fan. It’s like football purgatory. They’re going to get waxed here. In the words of Forrest Gump, “That’s all I have to say about that.”
Prediction: FALCONS – 34, Titans - 10
Cleveland Browns (2-4) At St. Louis Rams (2-3)
This is going to be the ugliest thing that our eyes have ever seen (and I’m counting that horrendous play call that the Colts had last Sunday Night). Aside from how bad these two teams are, the uniform matchup is atrocious. I don’t even want to pick this. Are you really going to make me?
Fine. The Rams D is legit. Give me that and some dark sunglasses so I can hide myself from this.
Prediction: Browns – 17, RAMS - 21
Minnesota Vikings (3-2) At Detroit Lions (1-5)
The Vikings are starting to become who we all thought that they would this offseason. Mike Zimmer has quietly built a pretty intense defense over at the University of Minnesota’s stadium, but his prized quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has only tossed three touchdowns. Adrian Peterson hasn’t totally reincarnated his 2,000-yard self either, the Vikings are stagnant.
The Lions are just making a living (whether it’s winning or losing) off of controversial calls these days. They finally notched themselves a win last week against the Bears (and should have pulled one out in Seattle). I think they’ve got some positive momentum going their way and that Matthew Stafford is going to sling that rock 83 times as the Lions do this thing.
Prediction: Vikings – 13, LIONS - 28
New Orleans Saints (2-4) At Indianapolis Colts (3-3)
The most famous crazy call of all time actually was made by Sean Payton AGAINST the Colts in Super Bowl XLIV. Going with an onside kick to start the second half turned out to be the greatest decision he ever made, but he’s starting to recapture that magic with his current decision-making. Drew Brees and Co. looked a lot like the Saints of old last week down in the Superdome and you know what? I’m a believer.
The Colts are a thread away from completely unraveling this season. That thread might have been Chuck Pagano’s call on 4th and 3 last week. This team is about to quit mentally.
Prediction: SAINTS – 30, Colts - 27
Pittsburgh Steelers (4-2) At Kansas City Chiefs (1-5)
If your hopes and dreams rest on the arm of Landry Jones you are not exactly in an envious spot. The Steelers are hopeful that Mr. Jones can get things going this week as Michael, Mike… whatever he wants to be called, Vick is just not cooking with gas anymore. Landry is about to throw some Martavis and Antonio on the grill and cook up a nice game.
The Chiefs are a disaster. When they beat the Texans in Week 1 the sky seemed to be the limit, but the loss of Jamaal Charles has left them in a state of complete grossness. Their offense actually hurts my eyes. It is that bad. Yuck.
Prediction: STEELERS – 22, Chiefs – 14
Houston Texans (2-4) At Miami Dolphins (2-3)
Dan Campbell has this Dolphins team believing, and that makes a team really dangerous. He has them angry and frustrated and wondering if he’s the heir to Campbell’s Soup. He’s going to have them in the winner’s circle on Sunday, book it.
Prediction: Texans – 17, DOLPHINS – 25
New York Jets (4-1) At New England Patriots (5-0)
This game is very, very interesting. The Jets are a long way removed from the days of the butt fumble, and they’re actually rolling right now. I love their offense, which amazingly is quarterbacked by Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Brandon Marshall is dominating all over the field right now. This game is Revis’ chance to prove that he is better than the Pats, but he’ll have to stop Tom Brady to do it.
The Patriots cannot be stopped right now. A lot of people, myself included, predicted them dropping the Jedi Force on the Colts last week… a game in which Indianapolis competed down to the wire. We were all a week early. Belichick, Brady, and the bunch have all ahd to hear about how the Jets have a chance in this game. They don’t like that.
Prediction: Jets – 23, PATRIOTS – 51
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-3) At Washington Redskins (2-4)
If you feel like laughing on Sunday then tune into this monstrosity. The Buccaneers and Redskins… might as well be the first graders versus the kindergarteners. Give me the Bucs, in what will actually be a high-scoring game.
Prediction: BUCCANEERS – 38, Redskins – 33
Oakland Raiders (2-3) At San Diego Chargers (2-4)
The Chiefs have volunteered to be the AFC West sacrificial lamb, but whoever loses this game is going to be in a tough spot moving towards the second half of the season. With that much on the line I wouldn’t bet against Philip Rivers.
Prediction: Raiders – 19, CHARGERS - 32
Dallas Cowboys (2-3) At New York Giants (3-3)
Remember when Eli Manning threw it away on third and goal down near the Dallas end zone? If it were possible to set a video as a ringtone, that would be mine. The Giants blew their Week 1 game against the Cowboys and they know it.
The Cowboys will have a new face at quarterback (Matt Cassel), left guard (La’el Collins), and in the running back rotation (Christine Michael). Did I mention that Rolando McClain will be there? Oh and Greg Hardy. Don’t’ forget Randy Gregory is coming back. Do you think that you and I should suit up? We’re good? We’re good.
We’re good. The Cowboys are going to take back the NFC East on Sunday. Our favorite quarterback Elisha Manning is going to make an appearance under the bodies of many Cowboy defenders. Get your jersey out, make some queso, and save me a seat on the couch. We’re going to have fun on Sunday.
Prediction: COWBOYS – 22, Giants - 10
Philadelphia Eagles (3-3) At Carolina Panthers (5-0)
It felt terrible rooting for the Eagles last week. I’m talking ridiculously terrible. I might have caught a fever. As a result I am going ALL-IN on the Panthers this week. I might buy a Cam Newton jersey and everything.
The Eagles should buy a Cam jersey as well though; because that’s the only way they’re going to get their hands on one. This is going to be an exclamation point on what is an MVP-type season for the former Heisman Winner and Number One Overall Pick. Fly, Superman, Fly.
Prediction: Eagles – 15, PANTHERS - 33
Monday Night Football: Baltimore Ravens (1-5) At Arizona Cardinals (4-2)
The Ravens are a dumpster fire, it’s actually kind of sad. The Cardinals are going to get back on track after losing to the Steelers this week. Bruce Arians is going to have them in tip-top shape.
Prediction: Ravens – 16, CARDINALS – 42
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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