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What Dak Prescott Has Made Me Realize About Being a Cowboys Fan

Sean Martin

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Cowboys Headlines - What Dak Prescott Has Made me Realize About Being a Cowboys Fan 1

"Dak Prescott has earned the right to be our quarterback, as hard as that is for me to say." - Tony Romo

With these words, along with many other powerful statements made by Tony Romo in his address to the media yesterday, a changing of the guard happened at the most scrutinized position in sports - quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys.

Out was Tony Romo, the man who embodied this scrutiny over the course of a decade as this team's starter - rising to the occasion each time to keep America's Team relevant through some tough stretches.

In was Dak Prescott, an almost mythical rookie who's said all the right things over the course of his nine starts, including the constant reiteration that this was in fact Tony's team. Now, it is his team, because Romo himself has seen enough in the fourth round draft pick.

Not only was this a tough pill to swallow for Cowboys Nation, and the football community alike, but it was a moment in time that brought me to a greater realization when it comes to the amazing football team I've cheered for since coming into this world on the day they won Super Bowl XXX.

I love Tony Romo, but more importantly, I love the Dallas Cowboys. You CAN (and should) love both. 

Tony Romo has always been my quarterback. He always will be my quarterback. There is simply no way to rightfully put into words how much his presence on this team has meant to me, as the only quarterback I've known growing up a Cowboys fan.

For the longest time, the Dallas Cowboys were my football team, and they were Romo's team - making Romo my quarterback that I would fight to the death to defend. Now, Dak Prescott's team is still my team - and they always will be.

Prescott has this team in first place, and I've enjoyed every second of this truly remarkable 2016 season thus far. I've realized that, because of my clear love for Romo, I've overlooked other greats like Jason Witten, Dez Bryant, or DeMarcus Ware.

For a while, those stars were all just part of Tony Romo's team. They helped Tony Romo win, instead of helping their team win.

Now, 53 players call themselves Dallas Cowboys, and I can proudly say I support them all as members of my football team. Anyone that runs out onto a football field with the greatest logo in the world strapped on their head has my full support, not just Romo.

It is perfectly alright to irrationally love Tony Romo more than any other athlete you've ever respected. I've certainly been there and done that. It is also in your best interest to love any quarterback that can win games as the starter in Dallas, which Prescott is certainly doing right now.

Cowboys Headlines - What Dak Prescott Has Made me Realize About Being a Cowboys Fan

 

I am a firm believer that we are all part of teams throughout our life. You have your family, your classmates, your co-workers, and friends. These teams often work best as a cohesive unit that understands their roles on the team.

Tony Romo, one of the greatest players to ever wear the star, reduced his role on his team to a backup QB behind Prescott - in the best interest of this team.

I support Tony Romo's decision, and now I support Dak Prescott as the starting quarterback of my football team. Tony was right, he deserves this.

Let's go beat the Ravens. For Tony Romo. For Dak Prescott. For America's Team.

Tell us what you think about "What Dak Prescott Has Made Me Realize About Being a Cowboys Fan" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



Born January 28th, 1996- Cowboys Super Bowl XXX. Point Boro Panther, Montclair State Red Hawk, and most importantly a proud member of Cowboys Nation! I host "Upon Further Review" on 90.3 WMSC FM and wmscradio.com every Friday from 1-4 PM ET. Twitter: @SeanMartinNFL.

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15 Comments
  • Mike

    Well said. Like you I’m a big Romo fan. But I will not jump on the wagon with the rest of the bandwagoners. Dak came in at a perfect time. Came in with the #1 offensive line and and a great running back. Cadillac for Dak.

    • http://wmscradio.com/show/upon-further-review/ Sean Martin

      Thank you so much, Mike. Was hoping that these words would resonate to people besides me. Happy to see they did. Appreciate you reading and responding! Go Cowboys!

  • billy hill

    the thing of it is Tony Romo did not lose the job he had the team to take to the Superbowl and just cuz of the injury Jerry Jones strips him of the right to have won the Superbowl as a cowboy over the 14 he did not have the team and players around him to take him to the Superbowl and that was not his fault so hope Jerry Jones is happy with his his decision Romo win a Superbowl as a cowboy much love and respect for Romo not Jerry Jones

  • billy hill

    I think Jerry Jones is making one biggest mistakes he has ever made as owner and GM he’s going to do to Romo thing of it what goes around comes around and I hope for Jerry it’s a big pallet crap it hit. Him right in the Jerry Jones will be sorry he did this to Romo Romo is a good guy and teammate but it should think of yourself first that’s that’s what Jerry Jones is doing he still trying to be Romo’s buddy but it needs to take the knife out of his back before he says he loves Romo and cares about him so I hope Jerry Jones sleeps real good at night hahaha not really

  • https://insidethestar.com/cowboys-headlines/tony-romo-dak-has-earned-the-right-to-be-our-qb/#comments Charles

    I have been a die hard Cowboys fan for 47 years through the good and bad. Saying that I’m disgusted as to how the Romo situation has been handled by management and the coaching staff. Don’t get me wrong I really like Dak and truly believe that he’s the future. I do believe he did get lucky, coming in at the perfect time. It’s unknown how many championships Tony could have brought the Cowboys if he had this much talent around him. So much for not losing your job because of injury. Guess we will never really know how explosive this offense would have been with Romo’s knowledge of the offense and ability to push the ball down the field. GO COWBOYS!!

    • Gary Barrett

      We have a body of work on what Romo could do w/this offense and we’re in better shape w/a qb that isn’t so inclined to throw it to the other team. Romo was Danny White w/a little better engine but he never was Troy or Roger. Dak looks like he could take the boys where Romo never really could. Go Cowboys

      • http://wmscradio.com/show/upon-further-review/ Sean Martin

        Go Cowboys is right, although I still think Romo is potentially the greatest QB in team history. Happy to have Dak here too. Appreciate the reply.

      • billy hill

        I’ve never said that didn’t like Dak just Romo have spent the last 10 years getting the hell beat out of him open Sunday J will get smart enough the tribe build a team around him that could win he’s gave his body up he’s always been super loyal to the team he doesn’t get in trouble because I help people in the community was helping him fix flats when it’s snowing or a hard and I slip off the highway I’ll help him push your car back on the road what you should have done cuz he could hurt his hands back four legs that was the end of his career we try to do everything I can to be right and did good in his community then people s*** on him that’s one young guy comes in its Lucky for the time being after playing the Ravens it might not look that good he’s played subpar defenses he’s had five to eight seconds in the pocket all the time so don’t tell me he’s a god he might be a future the right now Romo is a prism they deserve a chance at the Superbowl are you pressurize intake stick your head up Jason Garrett Steve Jones and Jerry Jones butt and kiss off

  • billy hill

    this weekend we’ll see how good Dak really is when he has to face number one defense in the NFL right now there’s a guy defense it loves to hit quarterbacks he said Dak has been too comfortable in the pocket with no pressure he wants to see how good he is when he does get pressure and get hit so I think Dak might be in for a long day they might really find out what it’s like to play QB in the NFL

  • Mike Young

    The only talent difference between the 2014 team and the 2016 team besides Dak is Zeke. Yet, the 2014 team had a similar rushing attack. The 2014 team didn’t get the job done. Let’s see what happens with this team. The energy and diversity of this is palpable.

  • billy hill

    so you don’t think Romo could take his team and win take him to the playoffs and win the Superbowl when was 10 times the quarterback the Dak is and for people to say you can’t do something like winning Super Bowl is crazy is one of the top quarterbacks let’s play the game say the third highest quarterback rating ever I think Romo could do about anything when he had the right team and he had one this year and now he’s being robbed feel like I said before thank you Jerry Sade’s like a son to you I hate to see what do somebody this just an employee or player or even a family member cuz you’re not very loyal to the people did you say you care about PS I’m not sure I want to be a Cowboy fan anymore because wherever Romo plays this is all root for hope they show more loyalty to him that you do

    • http://twitter.com/IntheClutch75 DaProphet (@IntheClutch75)

      Holy smokes. Do you know what “illegible” means?

      • billy hill

        I guarantee you I guarantee you you give Romo one game to knock the rust off and I’ll guarantee you he will take his team to the Superbowl and when it guaranteed

      • billy hill

        holy smokes do you know what blowing me means if not you can just kiss my ass understand good enough for you probably not dumbass I was kidding about blowing me you probably like it too much I hear you need some kind of rusty from it

  • billy hill

    Everybody says Prescott that’s one of the job outright but how come when Tony asked if he could compete for the job back they said no why does Tony Romo will take his job back they would be proven wrong so all the little heaters you know where the sun don’t shine don’t you stick it

Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys Reunion with WR Brice Butler Makes No Sense

Jess Haynie

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Cowboys Headlines - Does Brice Butler Deserve A Bigger Offensive Role?

The Dallas Cowboys have brought back Wide Receiver Brice Butler, who was with the team from 2015-2017. The reunion is a head-scratching move given the team's current stockpile of receivers, and especially given Butler's lack of impact during his previous run in Dallas.

There's no question that Dallas could use some more juice in the passing game. So far the post-Witten, post-Bryant era has only seen 165 yards-per-game out of Dak Prescott and his current receiving options.

I can understand the Cowboys getting antsy about this low production. I can understand the feeling that waiting for chemistry to develop between Dak and new faces like Allen Hurns and Michael Gallup, or any one of these young tight ends, could be damaging to the season.

But when you need a spark in the offense, it seems odd to turn to a guy who was in your system for three years and never had a huge game.

Let's just look at Butler's top five statistical performances as a Cowboy:

  • 5 catches, 41 yards, 1 touchdown (Week 4, 2016)
  • 2 catches, 90 yards, 1 touchdown (Week 3, 2017)
  • 2 catches, 50 yards, 1 touchdown (Week 17, 2017)
  • 4 catches, 74 yards (Week 16, 2015)
  • 4 catches, 60 yards (Week 17, 2015)

No games with over 100 yards. No games with more than five catches. No games with more than one touchdown.

I'm not trying to slam Brice here. He is what he is. This is all about trying to understand the logic of the Cowboys' front office in making this move.

Cowboys Blog - Terrance Williams Tuesday: #TWillTuesday 2

Dallas Cowboys WR Terrance Williams

If the idea was to bring in a guy who Dak Prescott had more familiarity with, then why not give Terrance Williams more playing time? He's already on the roster and buried on the depth chart, getting the fewest snaps of all the WRs last week.

If you've followed my work for long, you know I'm no fan of Williams. But even I can admit that he's been more productive and effective in this offense than Brice Butler ever was.

If you're bringing in Butler to be a vertical threat, isn't that what you signed veteran Deonte Thompson for? Last year, playing for two different teams with shaky QB situations, Thompson had 38 catches for 555 yards. Brice hasn't had a single season close to that.

What about Tavon Austin? Just three days ago, Austin had a 64-yard touchdown. Did we really need another guy for field stretching? And even if so, what in Butler's history indicates he can do something that Thompson or Austin can't?

Don't forget about Hurns, Gallup, or Cole Beasley either. They're not vertical receivers, but they're still the top three guys in the offense.

If you're a Brice Butler fan, you've likely argued that his lack of production in Dallas was from a lack of opportunities. That may be true, but how has that changed in 2018? There are more mouths to feed than ever at WR.

What is Butler going to do now, that he didn't for three years, to earn more looks?

Should The Cowboys Consider Adding Troubled WR Josh Gordon?

Former Browns WR Josh Gordon, now with the Patriots

If Dallas was really concerned about adding an offensive spark, the opportunity was out there this week with Josh Gordon. The Patriots got him for a conditional 5th-round pick from Cleveland just yesterday.

I can understand why Dallas, given recent issues with Randy Gregory and David Irving, were reluctant to add a player with such a notorious history of substance abuse. But if the no-nonsense Patriots were willing to give him a shot, why not the far more liberal Cowboys?

If Gordon was one problem child too many, what about Jordan Matthews? The former 2nd-round pick is still just 26 (Butler is 28) and had over 800 yards in each year from 2014-2016. He had a down year in Buffalo in 2017, as anyone would, and then didn't make the Patriots squad this year due to an injury.

Whether it's on your own roster or out in the open market, there seem to be profitable options than Brice Butler. The chance for him to be the next Laurent Robinson came and went; the same QB and the same Offensive Coordinator are here.

Is there really some juice left to squeeze here?

There's an old saying that, "if you have two quarterbacks, you don't have any." I think the same logic applies to having seven wide receivers. There was already a logjam, and Dallas didn't even cut one of them to make room for Butler.

So yeah, I don't get it. I'm perplexed why they added anyone at all, this early in the year, while their current receivers are all healthy and still trying to find their role in the offense.

And if the Cowboys really felt that had to make a move, why the heck did they bring back this guy?



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Game Notes

Dallas Cowboys at Seattle Seahawks: Inside The Numbers

John Williams

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Cowboys Blog - 2016 Contract-Year Cowboys: DT David Irving 2

The Dallas Cowboys will travel to the Pacific Northwest this weekend to face the Seattle Seahawks in an important game for both teams in the NFC race.

The Seattle Seahawks are 0-2 and risk being buried in an NFC West that has seen the Los Angeles Rams become the divisional power. With the San Francisco 49ers trending up, the Seahawks might find themselves left behind. On Monday Night Football, Russell Wilson and the Seahawks had little answers for a Chicago Bears team that has one of the more underrated defenses in the NFL. Well, maybe not so underrated now. They battered Wilson and the Seahawks offensive line for six sacks and were able to pressure him into an interception they were able to return for a touchdown.

The Dallas Cowboys rebounded from a week one disappointment to take care of business against the New York Giants on Sunday Night Football. It wasn't a pretty win on offense, save for the first and last drives of the game, but it was a solid win. The defense dominated the New York Giants' offensive line and left them searching for answers at 0-2.

As we get ready for week three let's go Inside The Numbers for yet another important matchup for the Dallas Cowboys.

Team Breakdown

The Dallas Cowboys lead the all-time series 10-8, but have dropped the last two matchups and are 2-3 over the last five games. They've split the last two meetings that played in Seattle, winning the most recent showdown in 2014, 30-23.

If you'll remember, that was the game that had us all believing that Tony Romo and DeMarco Murray led Cowboys team was for real. Sadly the 2014 season ended with the typical heartbreak that we've grown accustomed to in the last 23 years.

Let's take a look at how the matchup breaks down on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball.

Offense

The Dallas Cowboys and the Seattle Seahawks offenses are eerily similar statistically as both rank near the bottom in most offensive categories.

Dallas Cowboys at the Seattle Seahawks: Inside The Numbers 2As you can see from the chart above, there aren't many categories where either team ranks inside the top 20 in total offense.

Offensive Observations

  • The Dallas Cowboys have a decided advantage along the offensive line. They rank inside the top 15 in rush yards, rush TDs, first downs on the ground, and have allowed fewer sacks than the Seattle Seahawks offensive line.
  • The Dallas Cowboys have been excellent through two games at protecting the ball, having only turned it over one time; a fumble by Dak Prescott in the week one loss to the Carolina Panthers.
  • Through two games, the Seahawks haven't rushed for a touchdown. They haven't run it often and haven't run it very well either. They only average 3.6 yards per attempt on the ground. Advantage Cowboys. 
  • While the Seahawks have thrown for more yards this season, Dak Prescott has a better completion percentage. For the year, Russell Wilson has completed only 59.4% of his passes. Dak Prescott is at 64.8%.

Defense

It's on the defensive side of the ball where the Dallas Cowboys have a decided advantage, particularly with their pass rush.

Dallas Cowboys at the Seattle Seahawks: Inside the Numbers

As you can see, the Dallas Cowboys have the statistical edge in nearly every category.

Defensive Observations

  • The Dallas Cowboys rank in the top five in several defensive categories including points allowed, yards allowed, yards per play, passing yards allowed, passing touchdowns, net yards per attempt, first downs achieved through the air, and sacks.
  • Where the Dallas Cowboys have struggled in the first two games, particularly against the Carolina Panthers was against the run. Though they're around the middle of the pack through two games, the Panthers were able to find a lot of success on the ground. The New York Giants, not so much.
  • The Cowboys are going to have to continue to be careful with the football as the Seattle Seahawks continue to be one of the best at creating turnovers, especially in the secondary. They're tied for first in the NFL in interceptions with five. Through two games, Prescott hasn't thrown one, but he's had a couple potential interceptions dropped. This week he won't be so lucky.

What it All Means

The Dallas Cowboys are going to have a pretty difficult challenge corralling Seahawks' Quarterback Russell Wilson, but the numbers seem to point to it being a long afternoon for Wilson.

The Dallas Cowboys have a decided advantage when the Seahawks drop back to pass. The Seattle offensive line has allowed the most sacks in the NFL. Coming off allowing six sacks to the Chicago Bears, Wilson could be in for another long day against a Dallas Cowboys defense that is second in the NFL -- to the Chicago Bears -- in sacks with nine.

The Seattle Seahawks won't be able to rely on their running game to keep the Dallas Cowboys defense off balance as they only average 3.4 yards per carry through the first two weeks of the season. If the Cowboys can get an early lead this Sunday, it will present a really favorable opportunity for the Dallas Cowboys pass rush.

Dallas Cowboys vs Seattle Seahawks Stat Notes

0

Dak Prescott hasn't thrown an interception this season. If we can make any observations through two games, it's that he seems to be back to his ball protection ways. As a rookie, Prescott only through four interceptions, before doubling that in 2017 with eight.

2

Cole Beasley and Deonte Thompson are tied for 27th in the NFL in yards per route run. That number is better than Stefon Diggs of the Minnesota Vikings, Golden Tate of the Detroit Lions, Davante Adams of the Green Bay Packers, and Antonio Brown of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

3

The Seattle Seahawks have had a hard time getting to opposing passers and have collected only three sacks through the NFL's first two weeks. Prescott was sacked six times in week one, but the Dallas Cowboys offensive line rebounded to keep the New York Giants from collecting a sack in week two.

4

Tyler Lockett has played 53 of his 79 offensive snaps from the slot, but has only been targeted four times, catching four passes for 85 yards. His 1.60 yards per route run out of the slot is tied for 11th in the NFL among players who have played at least 50% of their snaps from the slot.

13.5

Seattle Defensive Lineman Jarran Reed has been the best run defender for the Seahawks, earning a run stop on 13.5% of his run snaps. Overall he sits eighth in the NFL. Among defensive lineman with at least 50% of their team's run snaps, only Da'Shawn Hand and Linval Joseph have a better run stop percentage.

19

The amount of snaps per reception allowed by Dallas Cowboys Cornerback Anthony Brown. No player who has played at least 50% of his coverage snaps in the slot has a higher snap per reception rate in the NFL than Brown's 19.

36.4

According to Pro Football Focus, Wilson's been sacked on 36.4% of his drop backs this season. Only Ryan Tannehill and Nathan Peterman have a worse percentage of players who have dropped back to pass a minimum of 22 times this season.

Wilson's been under pressure on 38.8% of his drop backs, which is sixth in the NFL.

80.4

Dak Prescott's adjusted completion percentage, which "accounts for factors that hurt the passer's completion percentage but don't help show how accurate they are," per Pro Football Focus and "It accounts for dropped passes, throw aways, spiked balls, batted passes, and passes where the QB was hit while they threw the ball."

Prescott's adjusted completion percentage is ninth in the NFL. Better than notable names such as Tom Brady, Cam Newton, Jimmy Garoppolo, Ben Roethlisberger, DeShaun Watson, Russell Wilson, Matt Ryan, Jared Goff, Matthew Stafford, and Andrew Luck.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

As I look at the run down for this game and after watching these two teams in week two, I see this as a very favorable matchup for the Dallas Cowboys. Obviously, statistics don't tell the whole story, but the Dallas Cowboys biggest strength, it's pass rush, will be facing a Seattle team that is very weak along the offensive line.

This looks to be a Dallas Cowboys win that will improve them to 2-1.



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Snap Judgments: Cowboys’ Linebacker Depth Stands Out in Win

John Williams

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Snap Judgments: Cowboys' Linebacker Depth Stands Out in Win

The Dallas Cowboys evened their record at 1-1 with their 20-13 victory over the New York Giants on Sunday night. The Cowboys linebackers had a huge impact on the outcome of the game and it wasn't just the guys at the top of the depth chart either. America's Team got contributions from guys at the bottom of the depth chart.

What a difference a year makes.

The Dallas Cowboys worked hard this offseason to fix the linebacker depth that failed them in the 2017 season. When Sean Lee or Anthony Hitchens -- or both -- were sidelined with injuries, Jaylon Smith, Damien Wilson, and the rest of the linebacker group struggled to keep up with opposing offenses. Specifically, in games against the Los Angeles Rams and Green Bay Packers the major depth inadequacy was revealed.

One year later, the Dallas Cowboys have a linebacker corp that allows them to go five deep with Sean Lee, Jaylon Smith, Leighton Vander Esch, Joe Thomas, and Damien Wilson all making considerable contributions for the Dallas Cowboys in Sunday nights victory.

Here are the final snap counts for the five linebackers that played a defensive snap against the Giants.

  • Jaylon Smith - 57 (84%)
  • Sean Lee - 41 (60)
  • Leighton Vander Esch - 28 (48%)
  • Damien Wilson - 17 (25%)
  • Joe Thomas - 14 (21%)

Jaylon Smith led the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night with 10 tackles (seven solo) and played really well roaming sideline to sideline and making plays. He was tasked with the difficult assignment of containing New York Giants Running Back Saquon Barkley and allowed four catches for 41 yards in his coverage area. Smith was credited with three stops or plays that result in a "loss" for the offense (per Pro Football Focus).  Smith led the team in snaps for the second straight week.

Sean Lee had a better game on Sunday night than he did in week one. PFF credited him with four stops, four tackles and an assist. Lee allowed two catches for 24 yards on two targets to Wayne Gallman and Evan Engram. Lee pulled his hamstring at the end of the game and was held out the rest of the way for precautionary reasons. He'll be an interesting name to watch on this week's injury report. Age catches up with everyone, but hopefully Sean Lee can stave it off for at least another season.

Rookie Linebacker Leighton Vander Esch saw a big bump in his snap count from week one (17) to week two (28). The rookie played well too. As many players seemed to struggle with tackling Saquon Barkley, Vander Esch was able to bring down the number two overall pick on several occasions. Vander Esch had seven solo tackles in his second career game.

Damien Wilson was the surprise player of the night. He had three tackles on the night, including one on special teams, a sack, and a forced fumble. Though his time on the field might have been short, his impact was certainly felt. His forced fumble led to a field goal that gave the Dallas Cowboys a 13-0 nothing lead. Wilson was also credited with two stops on the night.

Joe Thomas has been a good player for the team off the bench as well. Though he only had one tackle, it was good enough to be credited with a stop. He's a player that can play both the WILL and MIKE linebacker spots. As the fourth or fifth linebacker on the depth chart, Thomas is a great role player.

Other Snap Count Notes

  • Taco Charlton may not have started, but he played 84% of the team's defensive snaps. That number is up from 73% in week one. Charlton had a sack, a hit, and a hurry as well as three stops on the night.
  • Cole Beasley and Allen Hurns led the wide receiver group in snap percentage from week one to week two. The big difference at wide receiver was seeing Michael Gallup take the third most snaps on offense instead of Deonte Thompson. Thompson still had the bigger impact with four catches for 33 yards on five targets including two for first downs.
  • Geoff Swaim was the far and away leader at tight end in snaps with a 94% snap count. Only the offensive line and Dak Prescott had more snaps on the night than Swaim. He's the TE1 for the team, though he didn't have an impact in the passing game.
  • Rico Gathers only played five snaps, but there was concerted effort to get him the ball as he had two targets in his five snaps. He may not have come away with a catch, but it's a start.
  • Jourdan Lewis continues to be the odd man out on defense. He only played one snap.
  • Dorance Armstrong saw a snap jump from week one to week two going from 28% of the defensive snaps to 40% of the snaps. He had two hurries and an assisted tackle.



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