Connect with us

Dallas Cowboys

Why The Cowboys 2016 Season Has A 2014 Feel

Kevin Brady

Published

on

Dak Prescott, Dez Bryant

The Dallas Cowboys are coming off of a dominant win at home over a team which has been consistently in the playoffs over the past 4-5 years.

Their offensive line controlled the line of scrimmage, pushing around professional defensive linemen as if they were high school athletes. Their running back, who now leads the league in rushing, continued to improve as Dallas took over the game with that same rushing attack.

Just a couple weeks ago they traveled to face a bad NFC West team, and after falling behind big early on, these young Cowboys rallied to win in exciting fashion.

Defensively, they are playing way over their heads. Ball control offense and timely takeaways on defense have the Cowboys rolling, but their biggest challenge will come this week. Now they must go on the road, to a place where they haven't won in years, to face a team which has been a powerhouse in the NFC over the past few seasons.

If you've been paying attention to this team recently, you know that this scenario is exactly where our 2016 Dallas Cowboys sit at this point. But if you'd think back to October of 2014 for a minute, you'll realize just how similar this situation is for the Cowboys.

The parallels between 2016 and 2014 are clear as day.

Two season ago the Cowboys had just defeated the New Orleans Saints in convincing fashion. Sure, hindsight tells us that the Saints weren't very good that year, but at the time we still believed that Drew Brees and company were for real. Especially considering how Brees had haunted the Cowboys during their last few meetings.Fantasy Football - Fantasy Football Sauce: Who's Hot and Weak for Week 6 2

On that day, Dallas rushed for 190 yards, with Demarco Murray accumulating 149 of those yards on 24 carries and scoring 2 touchdowns. Last Sunday, the 2016 Cowboys rushed for 180 yards, as rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott went for 134 and 2 touchdowns on just 15 carries.

In the end, both games resulted in dominant home wins over (what we thought/think are) quality opponents. Outsiders to the organization finally started believing the 2014 Cowboys could be for real after that win, and people are finally starting to believe these 2016 Cowboys could be for real after last Sunday.

Next, the Cowboys face(d) their biggest test.

Prior to dominating the Seattle Seahawks on their home turf in 2014, the Cowboys had not won in Seattle since 2004. This week, the Cowboys travel to Lambeau field, where they haven't won since 2008.

The same way the Cowboys had to win in a place where their last two memories were a Tony Romo botched snap playoff loss and a blowout loss where Sean Lee was demolished by Golden Tate, they now must exercise their Lambeau Field demons where they were last seen being robbed in the 2014 playoffs and being blown out with Matt Cassel at the helm.

Cowboys Blog - Dez Bryant's Catch is Already Old News

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

But just like in 2014, this Cowboys team has the ability to beat anyone. With the players they have on their offensive line and the explosive running back they have in the backfield, the Cowboys can take control of any game. They can control the line of scrimmage, and bully defenses just like they did in Seattle in 2014 and just like they did last week against the Bengals.

These Cowboys are good. And for any doubters who still haven't accepted that this team is for real, the Cowboys will once again prove it this weekend, just as they did this very week two Octobers ago.



Die-hard Cowboys fan from the Northeast, so you know I am here to defend the 'boys whenever necessary. Began writing for a WordPress Cowboys Blog, and have been with ITS since 2016.

Advertisement
Comments

Dallas Cowboys

WR Randall Cobb Named Cowboys “Surprise Standout” for Offseason

Jess Haynie

Published

on

Randall Cobb

NFL teams have wrapped up their offseason activities with the close of OTAs, especially where the players are concerned, and await the start of training camps next month. In reviewing the last few months, ESPN had their local reporters each pick a surprise standout from their team's practices. Todd Archer, who covers the Dallas Cowboys full time, selected veteran receiver Randall Cobb.

Cobb is in his first season with Dallas after signing as a free agent last March. He's spent the last eight years with the Green Bay Packers and was a Pro Bowler in 2014, but has struggled with injuries the last few seasons.

Here were Archer's observations on how Randall is doing so far with the Cowboys:

Normally a player with Cobb's résumé -- 470 catches for 5,524 yards and 41 touchdowns during his career -- would not be considered for a category like this. But injuries limited him to only nine games and 38 catches for Green Bay in 2018, and it was hard to know what the Cowboys were getting in the veteran receiver.

If the offseason work is any indication, they have found a replacement for Cole Beasley. Cobb's versatility can expand the offense for others, such as Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup. Cobb looked quick in and out of his breaks and fast enough to make plays down the field. Will he put up the 1,287 yards he had in 2014? No, but he gives Dak Prescott a security blanket in the slot who can turn a small gain into a big one.

The notion of Cobb replacing Beasley is a big one. While we'd like to think that Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup will provide plenty of firepower for the Cowboys offense, Dak Prescott has enjoyed a reliable threat from the slot position since he arrived.

Randall Cobb, when healthy, can do more than just make clutch catches. He has good run-after-catch skills and perhaps bring more big play potential than Beasley did.

If Cooper and Gallup do emerge as a dangerous starting duo on the outside, Cobb should have even more opportunities to punish defenses than Beasley did.

If nothing else, it's very encouraging to hear that one of the Cowboys' few 2019 free agent moves is already reaping benefits. Cobb still needs to bring it over a full season to really justify the move, but these early reports are cause for excitement.



Continue Reading

Player News

BREAKING: Cowboys TE Rico Gathers Receives One-Game Suspension

Jess Haynie

Published

on

Rico Gathers

Tight End Rico Gathers already had an uphill climb to return to the Dallas Cowboys' 53-man roster in 2019. But that climb just got even steeper; the NFL handed down a one-game suspension to Gathers today for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy.

If he does make the team this year, with Dallas or anyone else, Rico will have to sit out Week One of the season without pay.

Ian Rapoport on Twitter

Cowboys TE Rico Gathers is suspended without pay for the first game of the 2019 regular season for violating the NFL's policy and program on substances of abuse. This is from his arrest in 2018 for marijuana possession.

Gathers' chances of returning in 2019 were already hurt by Jason Witten's reversed retirement. He dropped to fourth on the TE depth chart behind Witten, Blake Jarwin, and Dalton Schultz, and Dallas only kept three tight ends last year.

The Cowboys also added Codey McElroy as a developmental player during the offseason.

While the suspension is news, the incident that led to it is not. Dallas already knew about the arrest, which occurred in early September of 2018, and have kept Gathers around up until now.

The NFL's substance abuse system is pretty formulaic, so the Cowboys likely anticipated this suspension all along. This may not change anything about how they value Rico Gathers for the 2019 season.

Nevertheless, a player who can't help you in Week One and is a liability for ever longer suspensions down the road is definitely a red flag against Gathers' job security.



Continue Reading

Player News

Antwaun Woods: Cowboys DT is Just Getting Started

Matthew Lenix

Published

on

Antwaun Woods is just getting started

Antwaun Woods went undrafted in 2016 coming out of USC. After two years with the Tennessee Titans, he would only see one game of action. In May of 2018, the Cowboys signed Woods to a two-year contract worth 1.05 million. Probably seen as nothing more than a practice squad guy, Woods would quickly show he was much more than that.

The newly acquired Woods started his climb to stardom in Oxnard during training camp, and not for making plays. One day during practice he got into a friendly game of fisticuffs with All-Pro Center Travis Frederick. The team even posted the video on social media, which had fans buzzing and wanting to know who he was.

All-Pro Running Back Ezekiel Elliott echoed those thoughts when he saw Woods during camp. "Honestly, when we first got him, we were like, 'Who is this guy?'. He was giving Travis Frederick, one of our best players, hell all camp. Just trying to figure out where this guy came from," Elliott said.

Once the regular season started it was clear the Cowboys had found a hidden gem. Although the sack numbers won't dazzle you, seeing as he only registered 1.5, you could forget about running the ball anywhere near him. Woods has amazing quickness for a 300 pounder which allows him to extend his arms before offensive lineman can get a hand on him.

How significant is that? It becomes that much easier to bull rush and blow running plays up in the backfield.

When you can get your hands on an offensive lineman immediately when the ball is snapped, he's basically under your control. You can move him around like a puppet on a string. Essential for a 1-technique nose tackle. With that being said, there should be no surprise the Cowboys finished fifth against the run in 2018 with Woods manning the middle.

Woods draws a lot of double teams, and he handles them well. Having the ability to take on multiple linemen frees up your other playmakers. As the anchor in the middle, Woods made life a lot easier for not only his fellow defensive linemen but the team's two young star Linebackers Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch. Allowing them to roam freely like Lions in the Serengeti makes running backs essentially Zebra's carrying the ball, cooked food. So much so that both tallied over 120 tackles and were the only teammates in the NFL to rank in the top 15 in that category.

There's nothing but upside with Antwaun Woods. He's only had 18 games of experience in three years. He's already a stud, but with limited snaps, it can only mean he'll be even more formidable going forward.

The Cowboys have a loaded defensive lineman group with around 15 bodies, plenty of competition. All signs point to him remaining the starter, but it's not guaranteed. Even with that being said I don't expect a complacency from Woods, especially with DeMarcus Lawrence and Robert Quinn looking like the only sure starters on the defensive line. Plus this is a contract year for him, so you know he'll be even more motivated as he tries to maximize his dollars. We've only seen the tip of the iceberg from this raw talent, setting up for a potential breakout year for him in 2019.



Continue Reading



Enjoy 40% commissions on officially licensed products as a FanPrint affiliate. You can even make your own, fully licensed Cowboys and player designs! Get started here

Trending