For my first article, I wanted to write something that would grab the attention of all Cowboys Nation readers, but also introduce myself to them in a powerful way. I have a pretty big arsenal of scouting reports that I’d be more than happy to publish, but I was trying to come up with a better, more meaningful approach. Then it hit me. Write about how much you love this team. Write about how you love it so much, that others would find it crazy how much you love them. No, write about how you hate them because you love them so much.
I feel like if we were to poll Cowboys Nation about all of the things they’ve endured while being a fan of this team, we’d receive varying results depending on how passionate they are.
For example, if you’re a casual fan (like I am about baseball), you may say something like, "I hate it when we lose, but once I get a bowl of ice cream, I’m usually fine." Whereas if you were a die-hard, like I consider myself to be, you could venture to say that the Dez catch was a deep burning in your soul that has since scarred over, but has never really, truly healed.
I mean, seriously, how is this not a catch?
If you’re on this fanatical level that I live on, the world of Cowboys fandom is a cold place. I was born in the early 90s when we were the best team in the league. Since then, through all my years of being a fan, we’ve never been able to return to that level of prestige.
I hate the Cowboys for constantly making me look forward to a season, and then letting me down. I hate feeling like we constantly remain in the race to win the East, and then lose in week 17.
Please don’t think that this is only a feeling I get in the last week of the season. Far from it.I hate that before EVERY game, I get that roller coaster feeling in my stomach and can’t stop making paths in my carpet from incessant pacing. I’m still bandaging the rug burn. I hate the anxiety that I feel when this team is kicking off and they take the field for the first time in the game.
I can’t remember the last time I did anything else on a Sunday afternoon in the fall besides watching the Cowboys play. I catch so much crap from some of my non-football watching friends (I call these type of people "insane"). I hate that I have to plan my life around this passion.
The winter of my first semester in college I worked as a sales associate at Best Buy. When the work schedule came out for the holidays, I saw that I was scheduled to work during a Cowboys game. Even though I was able to catch the first 15 minutes of the game, it wasn’t the same. I tried my best to keep up with the game throughout my shift, but between the constant bitching from my manager, the absolutely awful cell signal I got in my section of the store, and the crap Wi-Fi that Best Buy had, I wasn’t able to.
That was the last day I worked at Best Buy.
I’ve missed weddings and ended relationships because of the Cowboys. I’ve quit a job and planned my life around this team. I hate that I’m a prisoner of my passions, but at the same time they’re who I am. They’re what I love to do.
I’ve had a girlfriend for seven years, and I want to get married in Cowboys stadium (she’s down, we’ve already talked about it), on the star at center field. I make new friends all the time from my passion of covering this team. I worked my butt off in college to get a good degree so that I could get a Monday through Friday job that supplies me with an income which allows me to surround myself with this team.
I watch the Cowboys every Sunday because it’s what I love to do. I get my hopes up every fall because it’s what I love to do. My hatred is my love, and the Cowboys are my passion.
So I guess what I’m trying to say is, I hate the Dallas Cowboys because I love the Dallas Cowboys.
I hope this article gives you a good idea of who I am, and what I’m about. I hope I grabbed your attention and that you’ll continue to read my posts. I pour hours into watching scouting tape and doing everything I can to educate myself about this team. I'd love to hear your feedback, talk Cowboys football, NFL football, the Draft, or whatever!
You can hit me up on Twitter @BleedingTheStar.
So, from one Cowboys fan to another, thanks so much for reading my
first second post, and HOW ‘BOUT THEM COWBOYS!
Cowboys en Español: Evaluando la Administración
Entre los aficionados de los Dallas Cowboys, pocas cosas son criticadas tan frecuentemente como la administración de la franquicia que no ha ganado ningún Super Bowl en más de dos décadas. Se ha convertido en un equipo que, a pesar de ser el más valioso en el mundo deportivo, no ha sido nada relevante en el emparrillado. Lo que alguna vez fue una dinastía se ha convertido en una unidad que rompe frecuentemente los corazones de los fans.
Jerry Jones y Stephen Jones, siendo los operadores del ámbito deportivo del negocio familiar, son criticados semana tras semana y en gran parte por justa razón. Pero en gran parte, por cosas no muy válidas.
Cambios de Coach
A mi parecer, lo más criticable para la administración de este equipo viene cuando hablamos de los coaches. Muchos se burlan de los Cincinnati Bengals y de la manera en la que están atascados con el Head Coach Marvin Lewis. Con Jason Garrett al volante, la situación para los Cowboys no es nada diferente.
A mediados de la temporada 2018, no parece que esta narrativa vaya a cambiar. Una vez más, los Cowboys arrancaron de una manera muy inconsistente y ya no sabemos que esperar de ellos. Gran parte de las derrotas, la mayor parte, es el coacheo.
Sin duda el equipo no será exactamente el mismo en 2019, pero ¿serán suficientes los cambios como para decidir quedarse con el mismo capitán que no ha podido mantener el barco navegando por años?
A diferencia de como se manejan muchos equipos en la liga, los Jones fungen como general managers de su propio equipo. Con la ayuda de Will McClay han logrado superar varios de los fracasos de los Jones de antaño, pero actualmente, siendo sinceros no han hecho un mal trabajo.
A pesar de las critícas de Abril, Leighton Vander Esch está probando haber valido más que la pena. Siendo objetivos, aparte de Taco Charlton en el 2017, todas las selecciones de primera ronda de los Cowboys han sido valiosas. La línea ofensiva, el corredor, un cornerback que por fin se está perfilando como uno de los mejores en la liga.
En cuanto a la segunda ronda, ha habido varias críticas, muchas con razón. Pero el mejor caza cabezas del equipo, DeMarcus Lawrence, el linebacker Jaylon Smith, Randy Gregory y más están teniendo un impacto muy fuerte en el equipo.
La administración se ha visto en la necesidad de tomar decisiones bastante difíciles después de una temporada de nueve victorias en 2017. El LB Anthony Hitchens fue liberado, Dan Bailey se fue inesperadamente, se confió en Byron Jones para tomar su opción de quinto año.
Hasta ahora, pura decisión digna de aplaudirse. Pero ninguna como la más reciente de todas: Amari Cooper.
Por más caro que haya salido, los Cowboys merecen bastante crédito por haber mejorado muchísimo su posición de WR. Si el equipo llega a tener una oportunidad esta temporada, será en gran parte por él.
No cabe ninguna duda en mi cabeza de que los Jones han cometido errores a lo largo de los años, el más evidente siendo la resistencia de dejar ir a Jason Garrett. Pero a pesar de esto, la administración ha tomado excelentes decisiones y ha realizado el draft muy bien. En ese aspecto en específico, les aplaudo.
Sack Numbers Don’t Tell DeMarcus Lawrence’s 2018 Story
Coming off of a career year in 2017, many fans expected DeMarcus Lawrence to continue his ridiculous sack production this season. After all, he is once again in a "contract year" due to the franchise tag, and fans are hoping the Cowboys can secure him longterm this offseason.
Through the first four games of 2018, Lawrence looked as ridiculous and unstoppable as ever. He had 5.5 sacks, tied for the league lead, and was dictating the pass protection schemes of every offense the Cowboys were facing.
Since that hot start, though, DeMarcus Lawrence has recorded just 1 sack, falling behind some of the league leaders he was once ahead of. This has some people scratching their heads and wondering if Lawrence's career year in 2017 was just that, a career year. One which he will never replicate again, and one which the Cowboys should factor out when talking contract extensions.
Here's why those people are wrong.
Let's first talk about what makes DeMarcus Lawrence so good, and then we'll get into the full context of the Cowboys defense and how that explains some of the drop in sacks.
Lawrence, unlike some of the league's other top pass rushers, is a complete 4-3 defensive end. He is one of, if not the best run defending defensive ends in football, as shown by his 12 tackles for loss on the season (only Aaron Donald and Danielle Hunter have more).
Much of the year, the Cowboys run defense has boiled down to Lawrence making splash plays, as we saw against the Washington Redskins. Adrian Peterson was gashing the Cowboys during that game, and the only one who did anything to stop him was DeMarcus Lawrence, as indicated by his 3 tackles for loss that Sunday.
There's also the point that 6.5 sacks through half the season is, well, good. It's really good! And when you couple his sack numbers with his solid pressure and QB hit stats, you can see that Lawrence is having a very good season.
Then there is the context of this entire Cowboys defense, specifically their defensive line and pass rush. To put it bluntly, DeMarcus Lawrence has been their only consistent rusher this season. Though we came into the year with high hopes for Randy Gregory, and cautious optimism about first round pick Taco Charlton, neither have been all that impressive this season.
Somebody, anybody, has to step up and become a threat opposite of Lawrence. David Irving could help matters with his interior pass rush ability, but he has been unavailable for basically the entire season.
Without another pass rusher for offense's to even think twice about, Lawrence is getting double teamed and/or chipped by a tight end or running back on just about every rush. It's becoming rare that Lawrence is in a true one-on-one pass rush situation.
Of course, if you are elite, offenses are going to shift protections to you in this way and you still have to find ways to be productive.
And thus far in 2018, DeMarcus Lawrence is doing just that.
Can QB Dak Prescott Steal Back His Mojo From Atlanta?
When the Dallas Cowboys last traveled to Mercedes-Benz Stadium they were completely throttled by the Atlanta Falcons. It's a game a lot of Cowboys Nation would like to forget, but no one more so than Quarterback Dak Prescott. That game could very well be where his struggles really began.
It's almost exactly a year later and the Dallas Cowboys still find themselves haunted by that brutal beating the Atlanta Falcons handed them in Week 10 of the 2017 season. The Cowboys seemed to lose all confidence in themselves after that game, but it was almost as if it was the exact point in time where Dak Prescott lost all of his mojo as well.
Before that match up against the Falcons, Prescott was still playing at a pretty high level. But since then, he has been in a slump and there have been very few signs of recapturing any of that magic he once had. Heading back to Atlanta maybe the key for him finding and stealing back his mojo.
Things could definitely go a little differently this time around. The Cowboys will have Ezekiel Elliott and Tyron Smith in the lineup this week. Zeke missed the game last year due to the league mandated six-game suspension, and Tyron missed due to an injury. Having those two back in the lineup could pay huge dividends, especially for Prescott.
Without his starting left tackle and running back, Dak was pretty much beaten to a pulp by the Falcons defense a year ago. They applied relentless pressure, hitting and sacking him on a number of occasions. Unfortunately, I think that's where he started seeing ghost in the pocket and its haunted him ever since.
The beating he took at the hands of the Falcons has really thrown off his entire game. His mechanics, accuracy, and effectiveness as a scrambler can all be traced back to that one matchup. He just hasn't been the same QB he was prior to that game.
Prescott's stats prior to the Falcons game:
66.7 completion percentage
102.4 passer rating
Prescott's stats since the Falcons game:
63.3 completion percentage
83.1 passer rating
As you can see, that's a notable difference. His passer rating has shockingly dropped nearly 20 points since last playing the Falcons and it's really hurt the entire offensive production. It's time for that to change.
Prescott has no choice this week. He has to get back up on the horse that bucked him off and hopefully regain that mojo he left in Atlanta a year ago. Fortunately for him, his confidence might be is as high as it's been since that last meeting after pulling off the upset against the Philadelphia Eagles last week.
Now, he just has to go out and prove it!
Do you think Dak Prescott can regain his mojo against the Atlanta Falcons?
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