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Week 8 NFL Game Picks

RJ Ochoa

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NFL Blog - Week 8 NFL Game Picks 14

The NFL world has been a weird place for the last seven weeks.

Peyton Manning is terrible, Andy Dalton is awesome, Devonta Freeman is the hottest running back there is, and the Cowboys new-age triplets are Matt Cassel, Darren McFadden, and Brice Butler. What?

We need to leave this terrible world... specifically the world of the last four months where the Cowboys haven't put a single thing in the win column.

Come with me as I take you on a ride through the Week 8 NFL games where we get to a whole new world.

Do you trust me? You should.

I can show you the world. A shining, shimmering, splendid NFL world.. When did you last let your heart decide on something like that? I can open your eyes, take you wonder by wonder, over through what is and what isn't a catch... on a magic carpet ride through the National Football League!

Thursday Night Football: Miami Dolphins (3-3) At New England Patriots (6-0)

It would appear as if Dan Campbell has been granted at least two wishes as the Miami Dolphins are 2-0 during his tenure as interim coach. To be fair those are against some supposedly professional team called the Titans and a team who's backup quarterback didn't even care enough about playing for them that he missed the team flight to the game.

NFL Blog - Week 8 NFL Game Picks

The Patriots don't need any wishes because they are too good for them. After a showdown against the division rival Jets they now get an opportunity to strengthen their grip on what feels like their four hundredth AFC East Crown. Too da loo, Dolphins.

Prediction: Dolphins - 17, PATRIOTS - 40

London Game: Detroit Lions (1-6) At Kansas City Chiefs (2-5)

London is going to hate us soon if we keep sending them such terrible games to watch. All they want to do is get into the American game of football, but we continually send them teams that don't know how to play it.

NFL Blog - Week 8 NFL Game Picks 1

The Lions recently fired their offensive coordinator, Joe Lombardi, the grandson of the great Vince Lombardi. The football gods are going to smite them for this heinous crime as the Kansas City Chiefs call the Queen's Guard to come pick up the Lions after they dispose of them. Cheerio!

Prediction: Lions - 16, CHIEFS - 22

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-4) At Atlanta Falcons (6-1)

You had ONE job, Bucs. I never ask much of you (except to maybe get rid of those terrible uniforms) and you managed to mess up beating Kirk Cousins and the Redskins? FOR SHAME. Vincent Jackson doesn't even want to play for you anymore!

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The Falcons better not read that and giggle. They barely beat the Zach Mettenberger-led Titans. Add that to the list of their super impressive wins: Eagles (Dude it's the Eagles), Giants (when Eli blew it), Cowboys (no Romo or Dez), Redskins (at least they did the job), and the Texans (the dunce of the NFL). This will be closer than most people think, but at the end of the day the Bucs will accomplish the one job they definitely know how to... losing football games.

Prediction: Buccaneers - 23, FALCONS - 26

Minnesota Vikings (4-2) At Chicago Bears (2-4)

It's so disappointing that the Bears are so terrible because this is one of the better division rivalries in football. Nevertheless the Bears are who we thought they were, a Jay Cutler fueled dumpster fire, and the Vikings are finding their 2015 form.

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Stefon Diggs has really surprised some folks this season and I bet he'll continue this hot streak he's on as he will easily find a way to ravage the Bears. At least they have the Cubs, right? Oh wait...

Prediction: VIKINGS - 24, Bears - 13

Cincinnati Bengals (6-0) At Pittsburgh Steelers (4-3)

The Bengals earned a lot of "they're for real"s when they beat the Seattle Seahawks three weeks ago. I'm not here to refute that.

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I'm here to say that these two teams hate each other and that with Big Ben back at their disposal... the Steelers are going to put up one ferocious fight.

This is going to be one of the better games of the weekend. The Steelers are going to ride an emotional high with their fearless leader back under center and, as they have for the better part of the 21st century, they're going to show the Bengals who's who in the AFC North.

Prediction: Bengals - 33, STEELERS - 38

Arizona Cardinals (5-2) At Cleveland Browns (2-5)

The Cardinals are awesome and the Browns are the Browns. That's all the analysis you need. High-five!

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Prediction: CARDINALS - 30, Browns - 13

Tennessee Titans (1-5) At Houston Texans (2-5)

The fact that these two teams are allowed to compete professionally in the NFL should offend you.

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I will say that the Titans have a certain "I don't completely hate everything about them" quality to their team, but the Texans are so past the point of no return that I wouldn't be shocked if they replaced their helmets with brown paper bags.

At least Ryan Mallett can sleep in on Sunday, right?

Prediction: TITANS - 22, Texans - 6

San Francisco 49ers (2-5) At St. Louis Rams (3-3)

It's pretty amazing that the Rams only have one more win than the 49ers, isn't it? I mean... you think about the two of them and you just think that the Rams are significantly better.

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They will be on Sunday. Colin Kaepernick has completely forgotten how to play quarterback in the NFL and facing the megadeath pass rush from the St. Louis Rams isn't going to help things. Go Rams.

Prediction: 49ers - 16, RAMS - 24

New York Giants (4-3) At New Orleans Saints (3-4)

How's this carpet ride going? I can pull over if you need to use the bathroom or want a snack. Just say the word!

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The national media might lay out the red carpet for Odell Beckham Jr. as he travels on down to Louisiana where he spent his collegiate days. They need to make sure and get him some tissues too because OBJ and the Giants are going to be boo-hooing their way back to New York after this game.

That's right! The Saints are kind of sort of a little bit just maybe the team that we're used to seeing in the Superdome. Drew Brees has them playing legit football (they beat the Colts as I correctly predicted last week) and the Giants offense is struggling... their offense only put up 13 points against the Cowboys. Yuck.

Who Dat!

Prediction: Giants - 13, SAINTS - 31

San Diego Chargers (2-5) At Baltimore Ravens (1-6)

Not too long ago this would have been a really fun and awesome game of football to watch.

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Now I'm going to watch it through my hands as I try to shield myself from the horror that they're both putting between 100 yards. Give me the Chargers, but just so I can move on from this mess.

Prediction: CHARGERS - 23, Ravens - 17

New York Jets (4-2) At Oakland Raiders (3-3)

I promised you a whole new world and this is living proof of that.

A game between the Jets and the Raiders is one of the best of the week.

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As much as I like the Jets, I really do I promise Jets fans, I know that Ryan Fitzpatrick's clock is about to strike midnight and he's going to turn into a pumpkin or however that story goes.

Even if Ryan balls out, the Raiders are for real! Derek Carr, Latavius Murray, Amari Cooper... my oh my. The Raiders are going to announce themselves as wildcard contenders in this game with a big win over the J-E-T-S.

Just win, baby.

Prediction: Jets - 27, RAIDERS - 30

Seattle Seahawks (3-4) At Dallas Cowboys (2-4)

I know that you patiently scrolled through all of the games just to get to this one. I thank you for that. And I promise you... it was worth it.

The Seahawks are a legit team. You know that.

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They also allowed the San Francisco 49ers (a much less competent offense than the Matt Cassel-led Cowboys) to score 20 points on them last week.

Three out of the last four games (the exception being the Patriots game) the Cowboys have scored 28, 20, and 20. That's with a multitude of changes at major offensive positions. They can certainly hang 20 on the Legion of Boom.

Not to mention that Russell Wilson has been running for his life this season behind a terrible offensive line. Keep in mind that they've been terrible without facing Greg Hardy, Randy Gregory, Tyrone Crawford, DeMarcus Lawrence, and the rest of the fun bunch.

Hold your head high this weekend, Cowboys Nation! We are, much like we did a year ago, taking out the Seattle Seahawks. Commence the celebration NOW!

Prediction: Seahawks - 17, COWBOYS - 23

Sunday Night Football: Green Bay Packers (6-0) At Denver Broncos (6-0)

There will be an unbelievable amount of hype given to this game as the two teams participating are both undefeated. That's fair.

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What isn't fair is to compare the Broncos to the Packers. As great as his career has been, Peyton Manning is being completely carried by this Broncos defense. When Aaron Rodgers drops 30 points on them, he's just not going to be able to compete in that shootout.

The Meltdown in Mile High is on its way.

Prediction: PACKERS - 33, Broncos - 13

Monday Night Football: Indianapolis Colts (3-4) At Carolina Panthers (6-0)

"We have back-to-back number one overall picks squaring off!" will be the theme of the night. Yes, Cam Newton and Andrew Luck will meet. Hooray.

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The Colts are also going to meet an onslaught of criticism when the Panthers push them around in this game. Superman flew all over Philadelphia last week and he's coming back for part two or whatever they're calling the new movie against the Colts.

Prediction: Colts - 20, PANTHERS - 34

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Thus concludes our magic carpet ride. I hope it was as enjoyable for you as it was for me. Welcome to A Whole New World!


RJ Ochoa on Fancred

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Who do you think will win each game in Week 8? Email me your thoughts at roel.ochoa.jr@gmail.com or Tweet to me @rjochoa!

Tell us what you think about "Week 8 NFL Game Picks" in the comments below. You can also email me at RJ.Ochoa@SlantSports.com, or Tweet to me at @RJOchoa!

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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!

Star Blog

How Much Must Jason Garrett Accomplish to be “Safe”?

Mauricio Rodriguez

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How Much Does Jason Garrett Have to Accomplish to be "Safe"?

The Dallas Cowboys will face some uncertainty this offseason but one thing's for sure: Jason Garrett will be the head coach in 2018. Whether the fans think that's the correct call or not, that's how it will be. Beyond this year though, that's something we don't know.

Jerry Jones has made comments to the media saying that Garrett is not on the hot seat. However, I'm not buying it. The Cowboys failed in 2017, and there should be no excuse for them. Not even the key injuries. After all, didn't the Eagles lose Carson Wentz and more key players? They taught this team a lesson.

Sure, Jerry's comments make it seem like Garrett's safe, but in the NFL listening to what an owner has to say and take it as an absolute fact isn't really the way to go. If the Cowboys have another disappointing year in 2018, Garrett's probably gone.

The NFL is a very intense league. 2014 was a great year for Dallas and everyone was fine with the coaching staff, only to be completely fed up with it in 2015. Then 2016 happened and Garrett was named the NFL's Coach of the Year. Just a year later, lots of Cowboys' fans are ready to move on.

That's the way it works. Naturally, Cowboys Nation is a bit afraid of ending up in a similar situation as the Cincinnati Bengals with their coach, Marvin Lewis. They always seem to be close, but they end up not doing their job to finish the season.

Doug Pederson's Success Will Make Jason Garrett's Seat Hotter 1

Dallas Cowboys HC Jason Garrett (Bill Streicher / USA TODAY Sports)

I'd dare say that if the Cowboys open the season losing a ton of games, we could even see the front office firing Jason Garrett midseason. I know it sounds extreme, but it happened to Wade Phillips, who knows what could happen this year.

But, Jason was given a chance. He has the opportunity to turn things around.

The interesting question is: how much does he have to do?

If they miss the playoffs once again, I don't know how they feel comfortable with this coaching staff heading into 2019. Getting to the playoffs is a must for Garrett if he wants to stay coaching the Cowboys.

What happens if they get to the playoffs as a Wildcard team, though? What happens if they're able to play in January but end up being one-and-done? Do they need to get to the Super Bowl? Obviously, these are tough questions that Jerry & Co. will have to think about once the season begins.

It may sound like too much, but if they don't at least get to the NFC Championship... what will change in the future that will get this team to win it all? It's hard to imagine it will be the case, but it isn't crazy to think of this season as the last chance for Jason Garrett.

However you feel about the coaches, it's only fair to admit that Garrett (as well as Scott Linehan and Rod Marinelli) should be in danger of losing their jobs. Let's see what's in store for them next season.

Tell me what you think about "How Much Must Jason Garrett Accomplish to be “Safe”?" in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 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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Cowboys en Español: Construyendo una Defensiva de Campeonato en Dallas

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Cowboys en Español: Construyendo una Defensiva de Campeonato en Dallas

Por muchos años, una defensiva de campeonato ha sido un sueño lejano para la franquicia de los Dallas Cowboys. Nos hemos acostumbrado a ver posiciones defensivas como las principales necesidades del equipo temporada tras temporada, y a pesar de esto, no hemos visto nada parecido.

En una temporada en la que básicamente todos los contendientes de playoffs tenían excelentes defensivas (los Jaguars, Eagles y Vikings los principales ejemplos), es un excelente momento para reflexionar al respecto.

El dicho dice que "las defensivas ganan campeonatos", y es increíble pensar en que realmente parece una ley esta frase. Incluso los Denver Broncos del 2015 lograron ganar el Super Bowl a pesar de una ofensiva muy mediocre.

Los Cowboys, a pesar de una temporada con una dura curva de aprendizaje para Dak Prescott y un mal año de parte de los receptores, tienen una ofensiva con la cual se puede trabajar. Ezekiel Elliott es claramente uno de los mejores corredores en la liga, y la línea ofensiva quizá no es la misma que la del 2016, pero sigue siendo muy buena.

Y aunque sea difícil de creer, este equipo tiene la oportunidad de tener una defensiva de campeonato en el 2018. No será nada fácil lograrlo, pero si lo llegan a lograr, las esperanzas de triunfar la próxima temporada incrementarán dramáticamente.

Empezando por la línea defensiva, en Dallas hay dos jugadores exageradamente talentosos. David Irving y DeMarcus Lawrence le dan al equipo una oportunidad de tener una de las mejores líneas de la liga.

Claro que, el problema es el tope salarial. A pesar de esto, existe la posibilidad de que logren realizar todos estos movimientos. Recientemente, John Williams escribió un detallado artículo acerca del tope salarial de los Cowboys y de cómo la administración puede jugar con él para hacer suficiente espacio.

Si logran retener a ambos, podrían jugar enseguida de Maliek Collins o algún novato que pueda contribuir desde el día uno, y si tienen suerte con un Taco Charlton mejorado. Siempre está Crawford y su versatilidad en la mesa.

Continuando con los linebackers, mucho se trata de la salud. Ya sea si hablamos de la del veterano Sean Lee, quien podría ser considerado uno de los mejores en su posición en la NFL si no fuera por sus muy constantes lesiones o si hablamos del futuro incierto de Jaylon Smith.

En esta posición, los Cowboys tienen que decidir si le pagaran a Anthony Hitchens, quien ha mejorado mucho año tras año, para que se quede en Dallas. Si lo logran, la unidad de apoyadores también se ve muy sólida, lo cual sólo deja a la secundaria.

Where Will Dallas Cowboys Search For "Fresh Ideas" Begin? 3

Dallas Cowboys DBs Jourdan Lewis, Chidobe Awuzie, Xavier Woods (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)

El año pasado, Chidobe Awuzie y Jourdan Lewis fueron añadidos al equipo y en el 2017 demostraron de lo que estaban hechos. Estos dos jugadores son una de las razones por las que más emocionados deberíamos estar.

Podríamos ver un cambio de Byron Jones a cornerback para mejorar su producción y de esta manera, los Cowboys podrían invertir en la búsqueda que todos hemos estado soñando... Earl Thomas. Con la adición de Kris Richard al equipo de coaches esto parece muy prometedor, y como dije anteriormente... no será fácil, pero hay maneras de manejar el tope salarial.

Sería improbable ver que todos estos movimientos tuvieran lugar, pero realmente habla mucho de la posición en la que este equipo está de tener una excelente defensiva. Es un equipo que está casi completo, esperemos que ese "casi" se eliminé lo más pronto posible.

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys en Español: Construyendo una Defensiva de Campeonato en Dallas" in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 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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Will Kavon Frazier be Cowboys Version of Kam Chancellor?

Brian Martin

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Will Kavon Frazier be Cowboys Version of Kam Chancellor?

The Dallas Cowboys have been trying to emulate the Seattle Seahawks defense for several years now. The hiring of Kris Richard to become the defensive backs coach and passing game coordinator could make that infatuation turn into reality.

There is reason to believe that Kris Richard will have quite a bit of influence on the defensive side ball. Rod Marinelli supposedly contemplated retiring after the 2017 season, which could indicate Richard was brought in to be his eventual replacement.

If Richard is indeed the next Cowboys defensive coordinator, then it's not a big stretch to believe we could see the defensive philosophy start to change. In fact, news broke earlier this week that the Dallas Cowboys are already considering moving Byron Jones back to cornerback. To me, this indicates certain personnel changes are on the way.

With that in mind, I started to wonder about the Seattle Seahawks defense over the past several seasons and how the Cowboys personnel could be used to replicate their success, especially in the secondary.

The Dallas Cowboys have a lot of young talented defensive backs, but how they will ultimately be used is still up in the air. If Byron Jones is moving back to CB, then the Cowboys need another starting safety, possibly two.

Enter Kavon Frazier.

Kavon Frazier

Dallas Cowboys SS Kavon Frazier

Kavon Frazier has mostly been used as a special teams player since joining the Dallas Cowboys in 2016. He is more of the prototypical strong safety who is better in the box around a lot of scrimmage. That's why he hasn't received a lot of playing time on defense, because he's a liability in coverage.

Kavon Frazier did start to receive more playing time at the tail end of the 2017 season when he started splitting repetitions with Byron Jones. That playing time could increase next season if Kris Richard believes he could become the Cowboys version of Kam Chancellor.

I know it's a stretch to believe right now and there is a lot that can happen to change things between now and the start of the 2018 season, but all we can do is speculate at this point in time.

If the Dallas Cowboys are trying to emulate the Seattle Seahawks defense, then Kavon Frazier is probably the best suited to fill that Kam Chancellor role in the secondary. At least for now…

Do you think Kavon Frazier can become the Cowboys version of Kam Chancellor?

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