Blue Star Times http://bluestartimes.com Blogging Cowboys Football Sun, 28 Dec 2014 05:57:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Cowboys Tickets Holding Value for Season Finale in Washington http://bluestartimes.com/cowboys-tickets-holding-value-season-finale-washington/ http://bluestartimes.com/cowboys-tickets-holding-value-season-finale-washington/#comments Fri, 26 Dec 2014 16:33:09 +0000 http://bluestartimes.com/?p=17805 The Dallas Cowboys finally took the big step forward everyone was looking for, as they enter their week 17 clash with the NFC East title firm in their grasp. The Washington Redskins have headed in the opposite direction this year, but after beating the ‘Boys in Dallas earlier this year, they’ll still find a lot of meaning in sweeping the season series against their long-time rivals. While Washington can’t make the playoffs this year, this intense rivalry still pumps in the value, bringing Washington Redskins tickets on Razorgator.com to a solid $255 on average, with fans having to pay $83 just to get in the door. That’s right on par with Washington’s season average, while fans of the Dallas Cowboys can find tickets at roughly $45 less than what they pay in Dallas. For a rivalry game to cap the season in Washington, no one will be complaining about the value to be had in this week’s matchup. With the division completely locked up, some experts suggest the Cowboys should (or will) rest some of their key starters. However, Dallas still has a shot at the number one overall seed, which could mean home field advantage. On top of that, resting could mean a loss on the road, and an 11-5 finish might mean no first round bye. The Cowboys might be out for some revenge, too, considering the ‘Skins are a hated rival and they came into Jerry World and beat Dallas in a thriller earlier in the year. In fact, Tony Romo was blitzed relentlessly by Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett and sustained a back injury in the process. Keeping Romo (as well as DeMarco Murray) healthy for the playoffs has to be a priority, but so is winning this game. The Redskins, on the other hand, really have nothing to lose in this one. They can take a stab at sweeping a good Dallas team, and if they can accomplish that they’ll end the year on a high note with two straight wins. There have been a lot of rumors about head coach Jay Gruden and star quarterback Robert Griffin III, but if they can cap the year with two straight wins over NFC East rivals, they could quiet the masses temporarily. Colt McCoy beat the Cowboys in the first meeting, but the second meeting will be all about Robert Griffin III. If RG3 can show up like he did last week, the Redskins could end the season strong and gain some nice momentum heading into 2015. Of course, the key to this game should truly be the same key to the last one – Washington’s defense. The ‘Skins sacked Tony Romo a whopping five times in Big D last time around and if they can work up that kind of pressure, it could be another long day for Dallas.

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The Dallas Cowboys finally took the big step forward everyone was looking for, as they enter their week 17 clash with the NFC East title firm in their grasp. The Washington Redskins have headed in the opposite direction this year, but after beating the ‘Boys in Dallas earlier this year, they’ll still find a lot of meaning in sweeping the season series against their long-time rivals.

While Washington can’t make the playoffs this year, this intense rivalry still pumps in the value, bringing Washington Redskins tickets on Razorgator.com to a solid $255 on average, with fans having to pay $83 just to get in the door. That’s right on par with Washington’s season average, while fans of the Dallas Cowboys can find tickets at roughly $45 less than what they pay in Dallas. For a rivalry game to cap the season in Washington, no one will be complaining about the value to be had in this week’s matchup.

With the division completely locked up, some experts suggest the Cowboys should (or will) rest some of their key starters. However, Dallas still has a shot at the number one overall seed, which could mean home field advantage. On top of that, resting could mean a loss on the road, and an 11-5 finish might mean no first round bye.

The Cowboys might be out for some revenge, too, considering the ‘Skins are a hated rival and they came into Jerry World and beat Dallas in a thriller earlier in the year. In fact, Tony Romo was blitzed relentlessly by Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett and sustained a back injury in the process. Keeping Romo (as well as DeMarco Murray) healthy for the playoffs has to be a priority, but so is winning this game.

The Redskins, on the other hand, really have nothing to lose in this one. They can take a stab at sweeping a good Dallas team, and if they can accomplish that they’ll end the year on a high note with two straight wins. There have been a lot of rumors about head coach Jay Gruden and star quarterback Robert Griffin III, but if they can cap the year with two straight wins over NFC East rivals, they could quiet the masses temporarily.

Colt McCoy beat the Cowboys in the first meeting, but the second meeting will be all about Robert Griffin III. If RG3 can show up like he did last week, the Redskins could end the season strong and gain some nice momentum heading into 2015. Of course, the key to this game should truly be the same key to the last one – Washington’s defense. The ‘Skins sacked Tony Romo a whopping five times in Big D last time around and if they can work up that kind of pressure, it could be another long day for Dallas.

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Dallas Cowboys Have Home Field (Dis)Advantage http://bluestartimes.com/cowboys-home-field-disadvantage/ http://bluestartimes.com/cowboys-home-field-disadvantage/#comments Sat, 20 Dec 2014 16:00:37 +0000 http://bluestartimes.com/?p=17797 If someone told you that your team would be 3-4 at home with two games left, would you believe they had a chance to lock up the division? It might be hard to believe, but that is the case for the Dallas Cowboys. Looking at their schedule, it’s easy to come to the conclusion that Dallas isn’t that good at home, attaching any excuse to it from the fans not showing up (see #DALvsSF) to AT&T Stadium being more of a tourist attraction. You can point out the numbers showing that in the last two home games Tony Romo played he compiled an 18.2 QBR and 5 interceptions to only 2 touchdowns in the three home games he played. Or how the offensive line has given up 13 sacks in the games that were lost. You can even blame their biggest play maker – Dez Bryant – for being a no-show with less than 5 receptions in each loss. Let’s take a closer look at the four games that didn’t go the Cowboys way. In the first home game – a loss to the San Francisco 49ers – Tony Romo threw 3 interceptions on top of a DeMarco Murray fumble returned for a touchdown on the second play of the game, which was essentially over by halftime. Same old Cowboys right? Well take a closer look and you will see this was a rusty Tony Romo that couldn’t move around, extend plays or put much zip on his passes due to a stiff back after two surgeries. With very little offseason and preseason work, it obviously wasn’t the Tony Romo we’ve grown accustomed to seeing. Against Washington, Dallas really struggled as a whole, but that isn’t surprising coming against a division rival like the Redskins. Romo took a knee to the back in the 3rd quarter which pretty much summed up the kind of night the offensive line had protecting him. That hit resulted in two back fractures and knocked him out of the rest of the 3rd, and a big chunk of the 4th quarter before coming back late in the game. Ultimately the game was lost in overtime. Even with how Washington was riding Romo all night, I don’t believe Dallas loses that game if he doesn’t get injured. There really isn’t much to say about the home loss to the Arizona Cardinals, other than Romo sat out because of the back fractures, leaving us to depend on Brandon Weeden. The Cardinal’s offense wasn’t overly impressive, which is one reason to believe the Cowboys beat this team with a healthy Tony Romo. Finally, against Philly on Thanksgiving day. This after a Sunday night game on the road vs Giants and the ‘Boys didn’t get home until early Monday morning, giving them just 2 and a half days to prepare for a high-octane Philly squad while Romo was dealing with a stiff back. Many look at the end result and simply decide Dallas isn’t very good at home, but this is just a friendly reminder of the circumstances Dallas had to go through.

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If someone told you that your team would be 3-4 at home with two games left, would you believe they had a chance to lock up the division? It might be hard to believe, but that is the case for the Dallas Cowboys.

Looking at their schedule, it’s easy to come to the conclusion that Dallas isn’t that good at home, attaching any excuse to it from the fans not showing up (see #DALvsSF) to AT&T Stadium being more of a tourist attraction.

You can point out the numbers showing that in the last two home games Tony Romo played he compiled an 18.2 QBR and 5 interceptions to only 2 touchdowns in the three home games he played. Or how the offensive line has given up 13 sacks in the games that were lost. You can even blame their biggest play maker – Dez Bryant – for being a no-show with less than 5 receptions in each loss.

Let’s take a closer look at the four games that didn’t go the Cowboys way.

In the first home game – a loss to the San Francisco 49ers – Tony Romo threw 3 interceptions on top of a DeMarco Murray fumble returned for a touchdown on the second play of the game, which was essentially over by halftime.

Same old Cowboys right?

Well take a closer look and you will see this was a rusty Tony Romo that couldn’t move around, extend plays or put much zip on his passes due to a stiff back after two surgeries. With very little offseason and preseason work, it obviously wasn’t the Tony Romo we’ve grown accustomed to seeing.

Against Washington, Dallas really struggled as a whole, but that isn’t surprising coming against a division rival like the Redskins. Romo took a knee to the back in the 3rd quarter which pretty much summed up the kind of night the offensive line had protecting him. That hit resulted in two back fractures and knocked him out of the rest of the 3rd, and a big chunk of the 4th quarter before coming back late in the game. Ultimately the game was lost in overtime.

Even with how Washington was riding Romo all night, I don’t believe Dallas loses that game if he doesn’t get injured.

There really isn’t much to say about the home loss to the Arizona Cardinals, other than Romo sat out because of the back fractures, leaving us to depend on Brandon Weeden. The Cardinal’s offense wasn’t overly impressive, which is one reason to believe the Cowboys beat this team with a healthy Tony Romo.

Finally, against Philly on Thanksgiving day.

This after a Sunday night game on the road vs Giants and the ‘Boys didn’t get home until early Monday morning, giving them just 2 and a half days to prepare for a high-octane Philly squad while Romo was dealing with a stiff back.

Many look at the end result and simply decide Dallas isn’t very good at home, but this is just a friendly reminder of the circumstances Dallas had to go through.

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Wisconsin Running Back: Melvin Gordon III http://bluestartimes.com/wisconsin-running-back-melvin-gordon-iii/ http://bluestartimes.com/wisconsin-running-back-melvin-gordon-iii/#comments Fri, 19 Dec 2014 16:00:36 +0000 http://bluestartimes.com/?p=17774 ATHLETIC ABILITY Melvin Gordon is a great athlete who sets himself apart from the rest of the 2015 running back class through his athletic ability. He changes direction at the drop of a hat, leaving defenders slipping and grasping for air. His balance and coordination are great as well – not often losing his legs from under him – but you will see it happen; I would chalk it up to the turf though. COMPETITIVENESS/LEADERSHIP His leadership is evident by the entire offense running through him. The production he put up is ridiculous for any player, especially since he had an ineffective quarterback at the helm, which would normally hurt a runner. Gordon had a 10 game stretch of at least 120 yards and 1 touchdown each – if that’s not consistency then I don’t know what is. He’s very team-oriented and has been seen making some clutch blocks at the end of games to allow his quarterback more time. MENTAL ALERTNESS Like stated previously, the offense went through Gordon and if he wasn’t mentally alert, he would not have had that ability. He has good instincts for finding the hole and whether he should bounce the play to the outside or keep it inside. STRENGTH/EXPLOSION A very durable player throughout his career; it’s not often that you see this player come off the field or not take the field due to an injury. He has a great body to take a pounding and almost looks like DeMarco Murray body-wise, with a long slender frame. Gordon is one of the more explosive players when on the field, if not the most explosive player on the field, at any given time. He has the ability to take the ball to the house on every touch. POSITION SKILLS In order to play like Gordon does, you have to possess great skill for the position, which he has, but he isn’t perfect. I would like to see him become relevant at pass blocking, too. Gordon has some pretty horrific whiffs when it comes to pass blocking, which he’ll need to correct if he wants to be an every down back in the NFL. He also needs to work on his ability to find holes running inside; he is better when he bounces to the outside and finds open space. I didn’t watch him as a receiver often, but when running routes they were crisp, but more often than not, his quarterback just didn’t find him. Gordon is an elusive runner with great cutback ability, making him dangerous on the outside, but if he finds a seam on the inside he could be even more dangerous. OVERALL This kid is going to be a superstar in the NFL. He has the ability to do anything you ask of him – outside of pass blocking – which I believe will cause him to fall in the draft. I believe he can be a decent pass blocker in the NFL because of some pretty clutch pass blocks I’ve seen him make for his QB in clutch situations, but more often than not he loses form and whiffs. Still, he’s probably the most dynamic running back to enter the draft in a few years. I would love to see him used more in the passing game at the next level because he could be scary after the catch. Gordon has the opportunity to go in the top 10, or he could fall to the 2nd round; it’ll be fun to watch where he goes.

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Name: Melvin Gordon III
Age: 21
Position: RB
College: Wisconsin
Height: 6’1
Weight: 213
Grade: Late 1st – Early 2nd
Comparison: Jamaal Charles, Reggie Bush

ATHLETIC ABILITY

Melvin Gordon is a great athlete who sets himself apart from the rest of the 2015 running back class through his athletic ability. He changes direction at the drop of a hat, leaving defenders slipping and grasping for air. His balance and coordination are great as well – not often losing his legs from under him – but you will see it happen; I would chalk it up to the turf though.

COMPETITIVENESS/LEADERSHIP

His leadership is evident by the entire offense running through him. The production he put up is ridiculous for any player, especially since he had an ineffective quarterback at the helm, which would normally hurt a runner. Gordon had a 10 game stretch of at least 120 yards and 1 touchdown each – if that’s not consistency then I don’t know what is. He’s very team-oriented and has been seen making some clutch blocks at the end of games to allow his quarterback more time.

MENTAL ALERTNESS

Like stated previously, the offense went through Gordon and if he wasn’t mentally alert, he would not have had that ability. He has good instincts for finding the hole and whether he should bounce the play to the outside or keep it inside.

STRENGTH/EXPLOSION

A very durable player throughout his career; it’s not often that you see this player come off the field or not take the field due to an injury. He has a great body to take a pounding and almost looks like DeMarco Murray body-wise, with a long slender frame. Gordon is one of the more explosive players when on the field, if not the most explosive player on the field, at any given time. He has the ability to take the ball to the house on every touch.

POSITION SKILLS

In order to play like Gordon does, you have to possess great skill for the position, which he has, but he isn’t perfect. I would like to see him become relevant at pass blocking, too. Gordon has some pretty horrific whiffs when it comes to pass blocking, which he’ll need to correct if he wants to be an every down back in the NFL. He also needs to work on his ability to find holes running inside; he is better when he bounces to the outside and finds open space. I didn’t watch him as a receiver often, but when running routes they were crisp, but more often than not, his quarterback just didn’t find him. Gordon is an elusive runner with great cutback ability, making him dangerous on the outside, but if he finds a seam on the inside he could be even more dangerous.

OVERALL

This kid is going to be a superstar in the NFL. He has the ability to do anything you ask of him – outside of pass blocking – which I believe will cause him to fall in the draft. I believe he can be a decent pass blocker in the NFL because of some pretty clutch pass blocks I’ve seen him make for his QB in clutch situations, but more often than not he loses form and whiffs. Still, he’s probably the most dynamic running back to enter the draft in a few years. I would love to see him used more in the passing game at the next level because he could be scary after the catch. Gordon has the opportunity to go in the top 10, or he could fall to the 2nd round; it’ll be fun to watch where he goes.

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Pivotal Cowboys-Colts Matchup Features Highest Ticket Prices of Week 16 http://bluestartimes.com/pivotal-cowboys-colts-matchup-features-highest-ticket-prices-week-16/ http://bluestartimes.com/pivotal-cowboys-colts-matchup-features-highest-ticket-prices-week-16/#comments Thu, 18 Dec 2014 21:58:43 +0000 http://bluestartimes.com/?p=17767 Week 16 has all of the intensity of a playoff game for the Dallas Cowboys, as they take on Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts. Beating the Eagles a week ago put the Cowboys in position to capture the NFC East, but if they can’t get past the Colts, missing the playoffs altogether could still be a real possibility. Trying to seal the deal without DeMarco Murray could make it even more difficult. Owner Jerry Jones has suggested that Murray (broken hand) could still suit up against Indy, and that slim chance could very well be what the ‘Boys playoff hopes are riding on. As much as Dallas has avoided putting games in Tony Romo’s hands, it looks like we could be headed for old number nine to do their bidding. Romo has been having arguably the best season of his career, even battling through injuries to his back and elsewhere. His 110.4 quarterback rating is a career high in addition to his 28-8 TD-INT ratio and nearly 3,200 yards passing thus far. With the craziness included in this week’s potential shootout, it’s no surprise that Dallas Cowboys tickets come in at a hefty $427 on average. Tickets for Indianapolis Colts fans traveling to Arlington will have to pay $159 to get in the door. The season is very much on the line and even if it weren’t, a Romo vs. Luck battle would bring the masses in regardless. The Cowboys have been impressive this year, but that’s largely been the case due to a simple formula: watch Murray run, keep the defense fresh and allow Romo to pick his spots. If Murray sits this one out or is limited, the running game could suffer, the defense could be exposed and Romo could have to be the hero. The beauty lies in the ugliness, as Dallas is playing with everything on the line in front of their home crowd. They’re a pretty pedestrian 3-4 at Jerry World, but Romo is a lot more clutch than he gets credit for and as explosive as the Colts can be, they may not get all the way up for this one now that they have their AFC South division title in the bag. The Colts punched their ticket to the playoffs last week, but Romo and company still have work to do. With or without Murray, look for the ‘Boys to show up and finish strong in their final regular season home game of 2014.

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Week 16 has all of the intensity of a playoff game for the Dallas Cowboys, as they take on Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts. Beating the Eagles a week ago put the Cowboys in position to capture the NFC East, but if they can’t get past the Colts, missing the playoffs altogether could still be a real possibility.

Trying to seal the deal without DeMarco Murray could make it even more difficult. Owner Jerry Jones has suggested that Murray (broken hand) could still suit up against Indy, and that slim chance could very well be what the ‘Boys playoff hopes are riding on.

As much as Dallas has avoided putting games in Tony Romo’s hands, it looks like we could be headed for old number nine to do their bidding. Romo has been having arguably the best season of his career, even battling through injuries to his back and elsewhere. His 110.4 quarterback rating is a career high in addition to his 28-8 TD-INT ratio and nearly 3,200 yards passing thus far.

With the craziness included in this week’s potential shootout, it’s no surprise that Dallas Cowboys tickets come in at a hefty $427 on average. Tickets for Indianapolis Colts fans traveling to Arlington will have to pay $159 to get in the door. The season is very much on the line and even if it weren’t, a Romo vs. Luck battle would bring the masses in regardless. The Cowboys have been impressive this year, but that’s largely been the case due to a simple formula: watch Murray run, keep the defense fresh and allow Romo to pick his spots. If Murray sits this one out or is limited, the running game could suffer, the defense could be exposed and Romo could have to be the hero.

The beauty lies in the ugliness, as Dallas is playing with everything on the line in front of their home crowd. They’re a pretty pedestrian 3-4 at Jerry World, but Romo is a lot more clutch than he gets credit for and as explosive as the Colts can be, they may not get all the way up for this one now that they have their AFC South division title in the bag.

The Colts punched their ticket to the playoffs last week, but Romo and company still have work to do. With or without Murray, look for the ‘Boys to show up and finish strong in their final regular season home game of 2014.

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12-4: The Bottom Line for Cowboys Post-Season http://bluestartimes.com/12-4-bottom-line-for-cowboys-post-season/ http://bluestartimes.com/12-4-bottom-line-for-cowboys-post-season/#comments Mon, 08 Dec 2014 18:29:56 +0000 http://bluestartimes.com/?p=17751 Go ahead and twist it anyway you want.  Sift through the scenarios this way and that, creating every conceivable playoff concoction.  Knock yourself out. Ain’t no getting around it.  Tiebreakers, they aren’t looking real good for the Cowboys.  It could very well take 12-4 to get in to the tournament in the boom-or-bust lay of the land ahead.  It’s looking like either a first round bye, or bye-bye altogether. And so be it, I say.  They might as well start playing playoff games right now. The teams in question are Arizona, Seattle, Philadelphia, Detroit, Green Bay, and possibly San Francisco.  The situation is, win the NFC East, or be cast into tiebreakers against the runners-up in the West and North for the two wild card spots. The problem is, the Cowboys only hold the tie-breaker advantage (most likely) against Seattle.  Dallas doesn’t far well against the rest in NFC, including Philadelphia in the event of a divisional tie. The schedules remaining (with final record prediction in bold): Green Bay: Atlanta, at Buffalo, at Tampa, Detroit…13-3 (9-3 in conference) Seattle: San Francisco, at Arizona, St. Louis….12-4 (10-2 in conference) Philadelphia: Dallas, at Washington, at New York….11-5 (5-1 in division; 7-5 in conference) Dallas: at Philadelphia, Indianapolis, at Washington…11-5 (4-2 in division; 8-4 in conference) Arizona: at St. Louis, Seattle, at San Francisco….11-5 (8-4 in conference) Detroit: Minnesota, at Chicago, at Green Bay….11-5 (8-4 in conference) San Francisco: at Seattle, San Diego, Arizona…7-9 (6-6 in conference) That scenario doesn’t bode well.  Philadelphia would take the NFC East, and Dallas would probably lose the tiebreakers to Arizona and Detroit based on common-game opponents. Let’s just say the prospects are murky, at best.  Such is the NFC this year, so if Dallas wants to play on, they’d better just win the East and be done with it.  That means 12-4 or else. Philadelphia gets to play New York and Washington on short road trips against teams planning offseason vacations, while the Cowboys still have Indianapolis on the schedule with its postseason still in front of it. That will be a tall order for this defense to contain Luck and his offensive weaponry. Arizona could lose out, I suppose, as they struggle with Stanton.  Or, Detroit could drop a game to Minnesota, I guess.  If so, it still means Dallas has to finish 3-1 in December to get to 11-5. It’s not going to be easy for the Cowboys, but worthy things never are.  It beats the 6-10 blah-fest so many predicted.

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Go ahead and twist it anyway you want.  Sift through the scenarios this way and that, creating every conceivable playoff concoction.  Knock yourself out.

Ain’t no getting around it.  Tiebreakers, they aren’t looking real good for the Cowboys.  It could very well take 12-4 to get in to the tournament in the boom-or-bust lay of the land ahead.  It’s looking like either a first round bye, or bye-bye altogether.

And so be it, I say.  They might as well start playing playoff games right now.

The teams in question are Arizona, Seattle, Philadelphia, Detroit, Green Bay, and possibly San Francisco.  The situation is, win the NFC East, or be cast into tiebreakers against the runners-up in the West and North for the two wild card spots.

The problem is, the Cowboys only hold the tie-breaker advantage (most likely) against Seattle.  Dallas doesn’t far well against the rest in NFC, including Philadelphia in the event of a divisional tie.

The schedules remaining (with final record prediction in bold):

Green Bay: Atlanta, at Buffalo, at Tampa, Detroit…13-3 (9-3 in conference)

Seattle: San Francisco, at Arizona, St. Louis….12-4 (10-2 in conference)

Philadelphia: Dallas, at Washington, at New York….11-5 (5-1 in division; 7-5 in conference)

Dallas: at Philadelphia, Indianapolis, at Washington…11-5 (4-2 in division; 8-4 in conference)

Arizona: at St. Louis, Seattle, at San Francisco….11-5 (8-4 in conference)

Detroit: Minnesota, at Chicago, at Green Bay….11-5 (8-4 in conference)

San Francisco: at Seattle, San Diego, Arizona…7-9 (6-6 in conference)

That scenario doesn’t bode well.  Philadelphia would take the NFC East, and Dallas would probably lose the tiebreakers to Arizona and Detroit based on common-game opponents.

Let’s just say the prospects are murky, at best.  Such is the NFC this year, so if Dallas wants to play on, they’d better just win the East and be done with it.  That means 12-4 or else.

Philadelphia gets to play New York and Washington on short road trips against teams planning offseason vacations, while the Cowboys still have Indianapolis on the schedule with its postseason still in front of it. That will be a tall order for this defense to contain Luck and his offensive weaponry.

Arizona could lose out, I suppose, as they struggle with Stanton.  Or, Detroit could drop a game to Minnesota, I guess.  If so, it still means Dallas has to finish 3-1 in December to get to 11-5.

It’s not going to be easy for the Cowboys, but worthy things never are.  It beats the 6-10 blah-fest so many predicted.

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Cowboys vs. Bears: Things to look for Thursday http://bluestartimes.com/cowboys-vs-bears-things-look-thursday/ http://bluestartimes.com/cowboys-vs-bears-things-look-thursday/#comments Wed, 03 Dec 2014 16:00:52 +0000 http://bluestartimes.com/?p=17744 After an embarrassing 33-10 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, and losing 3 of the last 5 games, the Dallas Cowboys now must turn their focus to the struggling Chicago Bears in now what is undoubtedly a must win game. Even though it is now December, and the Cowboys’ December failures are well documented, there is reason to believe this team can put away those late season demons, starting with the 5-7 Chicago Bears. DeMarco Murray is having the best season of not only his career, but of any back this season, and you can credit both the offensive line and Murray for his success. This week the Cowboys now face a respectful Chicago Bears run defense ranked 11th defending the run. The Bears are only allowing 105.5 yards a game, but look for the offensive line to bounce back in a big way after under-performing against the Eagles on Thanksgiving day. While the Bears’ run defense may be solid, they also come into this game with the 30th ranked pass defense – giving up 270.7 yards through air. Opposing quarterbacks are completing 65% of their passes with a 101.1 rating. The defense also gave up 49 plays of 20 yards or more; only the Eagles have been worse. While it is a good bet that Romo will be back to his normal play, look for Terrance Williams to make the big plays he so consistently made the first 7 games of the season.  Also look for Jason Witten to have a bounce-back game after registering only 1 pass against the Eagles. With how poorly the Bears’ pass defense has been, I believe this Cowboys offense will have a big game. Jay Cutler and the Bears offense came into the season with expectations of being one of the most explosive offenses in the NFL. So far they have been everything but explosive, which is surprising considering the weapons they have with Brandon Marshall, Matt Forte, Martellus Bennett and Alshon Jeffery. This offense is only scoring 21.1 points and 340.1 yards per game. The Bears are also converting 41.9% on 3rd down, have turned the ball over 23 times and gave up 30 sacks and 56 quarterback hits. If there was any game for this defense to regain its “edge” or the confidence it had, this one is it. So look to see if this defense can bounce back after struggling the last two weeks, specifically on 3rd down. Not only is this game vs Chicago important, so are the remaining 4 games. If the Cowboys want to lift the December monkey off of their backs and make the playoffs, they must treat every game as if it is win or go home.

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After an embarrassing 33-10 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, and losing 3 of the last 5 games, the Dallas Cowboys now must turn their focus to the struggling Chicago Bears in now what is undoubtedly a must win game.

Even though it is now December, and the Cowboys’ December failures are well documented, there is reason to believe this team can put away those late season demons, starting with the 5-7 Chicago Bears.

DeMarco Murray is having the best season of not only his career, but of any back this season, and you can credit both the offensive line and Murray for his success. This week the Cowboys now face a respectful Chicago Bears run defense ranked 11th defending the run.

The Bears are only allowing 105.5 yards a game, but look for the offensive line to bounce back in a big way after under-performing against the Eagles on Thanksgiving day.

While the Bears’ run defense may be solid, they also come into this game with the 30th ranked pass defense – giving up 270.7 yards through air.

Opposing quarterbacks are completing 65% of their passes with a 101.1 rating. The defense also gave up 49 plays of 20 yards or more; only the Eagles have been worse. While it is a good bet that Romo will be back to his normal play, look for Terrance Williams to make the big plays he so consistently made the first 7 games of the season.  Also look for Jason Witten to have a bounce-back game after registering only 1 pass against the Eagles.

With how poorly the Bears’ pass defense has been, I believe this Cowboys offense will have a big game.

Jay Cutler and the Bears offense came into the season with expectations of being one of the most explosive offenses in the NFL. So far they have been everything but explosive, which is surprising considering the weapons they have with Brandon Marshall, Matt Forte, Martellus Bennett and Alshon Jeffery.

This offense is only scoring 21.1 points and 340.1 yards per game. The Bears are also converting 41.9% on 3rd down, have turned the ball over 23 times and gave up 30 sacks and 56 quarterback hits. If there was any game for this defense to regain its “edge” or the confidence it had, this one is it.

So look to see if this defense can bounce back after struggling the last two weeks, specifically on 3rd down.

Not only is this game vs Chicago important, so are the remaining 4 games. If the Cowboys want to lift the December monkey off of their backs and make the playoffs, they must treat every game as if it is win or go home.

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It’s that time, again, for the Cowboys http://bluestartimes.com/time-cowboys/ http://bluestartimes.com/time-cowboys/#comments Mon, 01 Dec 2014 18:47:33 +0000 http://bluestartimes.com/?p=17739 December’s demons lay waiting.  The Cowboys must exorcize a litany of ghosts from seasons past to get to the postseason, and pretty much all hopes hinge on Thursday in Chicago. Yes, that Chicago, where exactly a year ago Dallas suffered a blustery blistering at the hands of Jay Cutler and his big receivers, and a running attack that carved the Cowboys into nothing more than a sinewy bone left for the dogs.  It seemed a million to nothing that night, and it wasn’t that close. Dallas must exact revenge in three days, then do it again for Thanksgiving’s turkey, and a third time against Colt McCoy in Week 17.  Add to that a single home game against the Colts, which look a lot like Philly in weaponry and might be the toughest game left. The stench behind it all is 15 years of December disappointments and folly that hang over this team and this quarterback like too much coffee and cigarettes.  It’s older and more tired to talk about than “Jerry-the-owner-needs-to-fire-Jerry-the-GM”. At 8-4, it shouldn’t be this precarious, but it is.  There’s a long list of NFC teams at 7-5 or better to gobble up the six playoff spots, and one of them will go to the hapless winner of the NFC South, which is sub-.500 across the board.  Oh, to be 8-4 and in the AFC.  Wishful thinking will do Dallas no good at this point. All the scenarios says the season hinges Thursday in Chicago.  It appears it’ll take 11-5 to get Dallas in the playoffs because the Cowboys lose virtually every tiebreaker at 10-6.  Only head-to-head with Seattle looks to lean Dallas’ way, and the three-team tiebreakers are not looking good at all. The positive outlook rests in a win against very beatable Chicago, then extra time to prepare for that Eagles offense in Philly, where Romo and Dallas often play well.  The NFL gave Dallas a brutal hand trying to get ready for that clown show in a short week following a Sunday night game and four-hour flight home the weekend prior. Just getting that elusive 9th win should provide a bounce in Dallas’ step.  Then, Philly is plenty beatable with ample time to prepare and rest.  (It’s Mark Sanchez for crying out loud.)  At 10-4, this team would take flight and be a lot to reckon with the rest of the way. The flip side, however, is the unimaginable.  A loss Thursday could tailspin this season into a dangerous path to a fourth consecutive 8-8.  What a calamitous offseason would follow that epic collapse from a team that was once 6-1 and floating on the clouds after dominating Seattle in their nest. The ebb and flow of 2014 says this team is different, not just in style and substance, but quality throughout.  There’s sound reason to believe this team will answer this calling, get itself into another win-and-in game in Week 17, and handle Washington easily for a playoff spot.  A little help from Seattle this weekend might even give Dallas the East in the end. It’s important to remember the kind of seasons the Giants, Panthers, Texans, etc, are having.  Opportunity always lies out there in the swamp with the alligators, not on the front porch with the rocking chair and iced tea. It’s time to get this done.  Exorcise all this now so our heads don’t spin through another offseason and beyond.

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December’s demons lay waiting.  The Cowboys must exorcize a litany of ghosts from seasons past to get to the postseason, and pretty much all hopes hinge on Thursday in Chicago.

Yes, that Chicago, where exactly a year ago Dallas suffered a blustery blistering at the hands of Jay Cutler and his big receivers, and a running attack that carved the Cowboys into nothing more than a sinewy bone left for the dogs.  It seemed a million to nothing that night, and it wasn’t that close.

Dallas must exact revenge in three days, then do it again for Thanksgiving’s turkey, and a third time against Colt McCoy in Week 17.  Add to that a single home game against the Colts, which look a lot like Philly in weaponry and might be the toughest game left.

The stench behind it all is 15 years of December disappointments and folly that hang over this team and this quarterback like too much coffee and cigarettes.  It’s older and more tired to talk about than “Jerry-the-owner-needs-to-fire-Jerry-the-GM”.

At 8-4, it shouldn’t be this precarious, but it is.  There’s a long list of NFC teams at 7-5 or better to gobble up the six playoff spots, and one of them will go to the hapless winner of the NFC South, which is sub-.500 across the board.  Oh, to be 8-4 and in the AFC.  Wishful thinking will do Dallas no good at this point.

All the scenarios says the season hinges Thursday in Chicago.  It appears it’ll take 11-5 to get Dallas in the playoffs because the Cowboys lose virtually every tiebreaker at 10-6.  Only head-to-head with Seattle looks to lean Dallas’ way, and the three-team tiebreakers are not looking good at all.

The positive outlook rests in a win against very beatable Chicago, then extra time to prepare for that Eagles offense in Philly, where Romo and Dallas often play well.  The NFL gave Dallas a brutal hand trying to get ready for that clown show in a short week following a Sunday night game and four-hour flight home the weekend prior.

Just getting that elusive 9th win should provide a bounce in Dallas’ step.  Then, Philly is plenty beatable with ample time to prepare and rest.  (It’s Mark Sanchez for crying out loud.)  At 10-4, this team would take flight and be a lot to reckon with the rest of the way.

The flip side, however, is the unimaginable.  A loss Thursday could tailspin this season into a dangerous path to a fourth consecutive 8-8.  What a calamitous offseason would follow that epic collapse from a team that was once 6-1 and floating on the clouds after dominating Seattle in their nest.

The ebb and flow of 2014 says this team is different, not just in style and substance, but quality throughout.  There’s sound reason to believe this team will answer this calling, get itself into another win-and-in game in Week 17, and handle Washington easily for a playoff spot.  A little help from Seattle this weekend might even give Dallas the East in the end.

It’s important to remember the kind of seasons the Giants, Panthers, Texans, etc, are having.  Opportunity always lies out there in the swamp with the alligators, not on the front porch with the rocking chair and iced tea.

It’s time to get this done.  Exorcise all this now so our heads don’t spin through another offseason and beyond.

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NFC East Round-up while Cowboys take their bye http://bluestartimes.com/nfc-east-round-cowboys-take-bye/ http://bluestartimes.com/nfc-east-round-cowboys-take-bye/#comments Mon, 17 Nov 2014 16:00:40 +0000 http://bluestartimes.com/?p=17732 For Cowboys fans, the bye week is used to reflect on the team’s past performances, make sure injured players on the team are getting healthy, and wait until the next week when the ‘Boys play their next game. Oh, there’s one more thing Cowboys fans do during the bye week – watch and hope the rest of the teams in the division lose. MERRY EARLY CHRISTMAS COWBOYS FANS!! The Redskins, Giants, and yes, the hated Eagles all lost their games this week. So let’s start off with Washington. Robert Griffith III was getting his second start since coming back from injury and going against the lonely Tampa Bay Buccaneers is exactly what the doctor ordered for RGIII. Or at least that’s what you would think anyway. But… NOPE!!! Washington had their hides tanned by a team that has won only one game all season and it wasn’t even close. By halftime the crowd was calling for Colt McCoy. Next game: Giants vs. Niners. This was actually a close game, something the Giants aren’t used to playing in so far this season. So I’m wondering, did the Giants make a big improvement in one week, or did the Niners just suck down to the same level as the Giants? Either way, Eli Manning was being Eli Manning and threw not 1, not 2, not 3, not 4, but 5 INTERCEPTIONS!!!! Since 2004 he has more 3 interception games than anyone else. But, even though he had thrown his picks, he still had a chance to win the game, but he threw his 5th and final interception towards the end of the 4th quarter. Had #9 would have done that for the Cowboys, people would be calling for him to be burned at the stake. And last but not least, the Eagles versus the Packers. This game wasn’t close; in fact, it was over midway through the 2nd quarter. Arron Rodgers lit up a very suspect Eagles defense while the Packers had no problem handling the highly charged, unstoppable Eagles offense which is run by the special innovator of things we’ve never seen, Chip “I’m Special” Kelly. Eagles fans got a glimpse of what Jets fans have been looking for the last 5 years from Mark Sanchez. Sanchez threw a couple of interceptions with one returned for a touchdown and couldn’t handle a bad snap. It was picked up by a Green Bay defender and returned for another touchdown that put the Packers up over 50 points. The Packers defeated the Eagles 53-20. I know nothing beats a Sunday win for our Cowboys but I’m here to tell you, seeing Washington, New York and Philadelphia all lose yesterday sure made things happy around my house. Follow me on twitter @bleatherman2011

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For Cowboys fans, the bye week is used to reflect on the team’s past performances, make sure injured players on the team are getting healthy, and wait until the next week when the ‘Boys play their next game.

Oh, there’s one more thing Cowboys fans do during the bye week – watch and hope the rest of the teams in the division lose.

MERRY EARLY CHRISTMAS COWBOYS FANS!!

The Redskins, Giants, and yes, the hated Eagles all lost their games this week.

So let’s start off with Washington. Robert Griffith III was getting his second start since coming back from injury and going against the lonely Tampa Bay Buccaneers is exactly what the doctor ordered for RGIII. Or at least that’s what you would think anyway.

But… NOPE!!! Washington had their hides tanned by a team that has won only one game all season and it wasn’t even close. By halftime the crowd was calling for Colt McCoy.

Next game: Giants vs. Niners.

This was actually a close game, something the Giants aren’t used to playing in so far this season. So I’m wondering, did the Giants make a big improvement in one week, or did the Niners just suck down to the same level as the Giants? Either way, Eli Manning was being Eli Manning and threw not 1, not 2, not 3, not 4, but 5 INTERCEPTIONS!!!! Since 2004 he has more 3 interception games than anyone else. But, even though he had thrown his picks, he still had a chance to win the game, but he threw his 5th and final interception towards the end of the 4th quarter. Had #9 would have done that for the Cowboys, people would be calling for him to be burned at the stake.

And last but not least, the Eagles versus the Packers.

This game wasn’t close; in fact, it was over midway through the 2nd quarter. Arron Rodgers lit up a very suspect Eagles defense while the Packers had no problem handling the highly charged, unstoppable Eagles offense which is run by the special innovator of things we’ve never seen, Chip “I’m Special” Kelly.

Eagles fans got a glimpse of what Jets fans have been looking for the last 5 years from Mark Sanchez. Sanchez threw a couple of interceptions with one returned for a touchdown and couldn’t handle a bad snap. It was picked up by a Green Bay defender and returned for another touchdown that put the Packers up over 50 points.

The Packers defeated the Eagles 53-20.

I know nothing beats a Sunday win for our Cowboys but I’m here to tell you, seeing Washington, New York and Philadelphia all lose yesterday sure made things happy around my house.

Follow me on twitter @bleatherman2011

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Will December bring another bitter end for the Cowboys? http://bluestartimes.com/will-december-bring-another-bitter-end-dallas-cowboys/ http://bluestartimes.com/will-december-bring-another-bitter-end-dallas-cowboys/#comments Fri, 14 Nov 2014 19:00:12 +0000 http://bluestartimes.com/?p=17724 Dallas enters the stretch run with the NFC East there for the taking.  Again.  Fourth time’s a charm….? It’s all so familiar.  Cowboys fans have sat tied and blindfolded in darkness for much of the past decade, not knowing when, or how often, a two-by-four to the knees would strike.  Football torture can be a cruel, cruel thing. So forgive our Pavlovian flinch each time someone utters “playoffs” or implications involving January football.  Such is the result of the constant hope and disappointment that regurgitated 8-8s brings.  Season after season of flawed squads in win-or-go-home finales has calloused and conditioned this fan base to expect the worst.  It’s just been too long. (Good gosh what it must be like to be a Guantanamo Eagles fan.) This certainly isn’t the first time Dallas has sat in decent shape heading into Thanksgiving, but it’s been an annual striptease that ends in a $300 bar tab.  But this go at it should be from 8-3, rather than the 6-4, 5-5, and 6-5 in recent seasons. Football logic, if there is such a thing, says that this time is different.  The group is far more fundamentally sound, balanced, constructed, and focused for a stretch run.  It’s not all Romo-or-else as it was before, with Murray running wild and a transformed defense that looks the part of a real NFL unit.  And health, dare I say it, seems hauntingly on the Cowboys’ side. But…..I don’t know.  Squeamishness is setting in as we file into the shadows of December, where orcs and gremlins normally ruin the holidays.  That damned Pavlov and his wicked ways. Tony Romo’s back has to hold up for Thanksgiving, just a few hours after a Sunday nighter in New York.  His health going forward is paramount, as the alternative against Arizona proved beyond doubt.  True, the run game and defense make this a much more December-worthy team, and far less codependent on Romo, especially in the cold, wet, and wind that awaits.  Winning low-scoring affairs is not laughable anymore because this is thankfully not like recent Dallas teams. Over there in the far corner sits Philadelphia.  The Eagles, too, have their demons to exorcise, despite the national fawning over Chip Kelly and his hocus-pocus offense.  One game, they’re tearing through opponents like high schoolers, then another, they can’t score an offensive touchdown.  Their running game is disappointing, as is their red zone offense.  Mark Sanchez is apparently the next Joe Montana in this offense by all reports, butt fumble and years of prior failures conveniently pushed aside.  They lead the league by a mile with nine defensive/special team scores, which isn’t sustainable. So how will the NFC East end?  Here’s my week-by-week take. Week 11:  The Packers drop the Eagles to 7-3 this weekend while the Cowboys heal.  It’s a dead heat with both head-to-head matchups looming soon. Week 12:  A healthy Dallas squad rolls over a Giants team that is giving up massive rushing totals and is basically already in offseason mode.  The Eagles pound Tennessee, also done for this season already.  Both teams are 8-3 heading into the Thanksgiving showdown. Week 13:  Mark Sanchez is not one for the bright lights of the national stage.  His history says so, and Dallas, thanks to an easy win in New York and quick exit for Romo, has a healthy quarterback despite short rest.  Nothing is easy about this classic all-timer, but Dallas manages a 27-24 win to take a one game lead in the division. Week 14:  Dallas gets another team that’s imploding from within in Chicago the following Thursday.  The coach and quarterback are on the hot seat, and Jay Cutler is in full pout mode.  Dallas wins to put the pressure on Philadelphia to keep pace, and the Eagles have Seattle coming to town fighting for their own season.  This is the critical game for Philadelphia because a loss here is devastating for them.  Cowboys fans will be riveted to this game, but will be disappointed as the Eagles get this done at home.  Dallas maintains a one-game lead. Week 15:  The rematch at Philly brings a few days extra rest for Dallas, thanks to back-to-back Thursday games, and that could bode well, as could nighttime temperatures that favor the better running team.  However, a road gremlin bites Dallas, and they drop a close one to the Eagles, which brings the race back even at 10-4 each.  Could have ended this there, but didn’t. Ouch. Week 16:  From here, the schedule appears to benefit Philadelphia.  However, the Eagles get surprised by a feisty Redskins team that is under pressure by the home fans and owner, and the Eagles drop one unexpectedly to their bitter rival from just down the road.  Unfortunately, the Cowboys home woes continue, and they drop a close one to Indianapolis and fail to take advantage again.  Both are now 10-5. Week 17:  With the division hanging in the balance, both teams step forward and finish strong.  The Eagles beat New York, and Dallas wins in Washington with a much better plan against Jim Haslett’s blitz scheme.    Dallas and Philadelphia finish with identical 11-5 records. So now what?  This is where it gets really crazy as it takes the fourth tiebreaker to determine a winner. Dallas and Philly split the head-to-head, both teams finish 4-2 in the division, and both teams are 10-4 against common opponents.  Dallas wins the NFC East based on conference record with a one-game advantage (10-4) over Philly (9-5).  Both teams are playoff bound, but Dallas doesn’t earn a bye. All that is to say, whether I’ve pegged it or I’ve got it all out-of-order, we’re all still bound and blindfolded, hoping we don’t get another whack across our knees.  Let’s hope Dr. Pavlov took December off this year.

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Dallas enters the stretch run with the NFC East there for the taking.  Again.  Fourth time’s a charm….?

It’s all so familiar.  Cowboys fans have sat tied and blindfolded in darkness for much of the past decade, not knowing when, or how often, a two-by-four to the knees would strike.  Football torture can be a cruel, cruel thing.

So forgive our Pavlovian flinch each time someone utters “playoffs” or implications involving January football.  Such is the result of the constant hope and disappointment that regurgitated 8-8s brings.  Season after season of flawed squads in win-or-go-home finales has calloused and conditioned this fan base to expect the worst.  It’s just been too long.

(Good gosh what it must be like to be a Guantanamo Eagles fan.)

This certainly isn’t the first time Dallas has sat in decent shape heading into Thanksgiving, but it’s been an annual striptease that ends in a $300 bar tab.  But this go at it should be from 8-3, rather than the 6-4, 5-5, and 6-5 in recent seasons.

Football logic, if there is such a thing, says that this time is different.  The group is far more fundamentally sound, balanced, constructed, and focused for a stretch run.  It’s not all Romo-or-else as it was before, with Murray running wild and a transformed defense that looks the part of a real NFL unit.  And health, dare I say it, seems hauntingly on the Cowboys’ side.

But…..I don’t know.  Squeamishness is setting in as we file into the shadows of December, where orcs and gremlins normally ruin the holidays.  That damned Pavlov and his wicked ways.

Tony Romo’s back has to hold up for Thanksgiving, just a few hours after a Sunday nighter in New York.  His health going forward is paramount, as the alternative against Arizona proved beyond doubt.  True, the run game and defense make this a much more December-worthy team, and far less codependent on Romo, especially in the cold, wet, and wind that awaits.  Winning low-scoring affairs is not laughable anymore because this is thankfully not like recent Dallas teams.

Over there in the far corner sits Philadelphia.  The Eagles, too, have their demons to exorcise, despite the national fawning over Chip Kelly and his hocus-pocus offense.  One game, they’re tearing through opponents like high schoolers, then another, they can’t score an offensive touchdown.  Their running game is disappointing, as is their red zone offense.  Mark Sanchez is apparently the next Joe Montana in this offense by all reports, butt fumble and years of prior failures conveniently pushed aside.  They lead the league by a mile with nine defensive/special team scores, which isn’t sustainable.

So how will the NFC East end?  Here’s my week-by-week take.

Week 11:  The Packers drop the Eagles to 7-3 this weekend while the Cowboys heal.  It’s a dead heat with both head-to-head matchups looming soon.

Week 12:  A healthy Dallas squad rolls over a Giants team that is giving up massive rushing totals and is basically already in offseason mode.  The Eagles pound Tennessee, also done for this season already.  Both teams are 8-3 heading into the Thanksgiving showdown.

Week 13:  Mark Sanchez is not one for the bright lights of the national stage.  His history says so, and Dallas, thanks to an easy win in New York and quick exit for Romo, has a healthy quarterback despite short rest.  Nothing is easy about this classic all-timer, but Dallas manages a 27-24 win to take a one game lead in the division.

Week 14:  Dallas gets another team that’s imploding from within in Chicago the following Thursday.  The coach and quarterback are on the hot seat, and Jay Cutler is in full pout mode.  Dallas wins to put the pressure on Philadelphia to keep pace, and the Eagles have Seattle coming to town fighting for their own season.  This is the critical game for Philadelphia because a loss here is devastating for them.  Cowboys fans will be riveted to this game, but will be disappointed as the Eagles get this done at home.  Dallas maintains a one-game lead.

Week 15:  The rematch at Philly brings a few days extra rest for Dallas, thanks to back-to-back Thursday games, and that could bode well, as could nighttime temperatures that favor the better running team.  However, a road gremlin bites Dallas, and they drop a close one to the Eagles, which brings the race back even at 10-4 each.  Could have ended this there, but didn’t. Ouch.

Week 16:  From here, the schedule appears to benefit Philadelphia.  However, the Eagles get surprised by a feisty Redskins team that is under pressure by the home fans and owner, and the Eagles drop one unexpectedly to their bitter rival from just down the road.  Unfortunately, the Cowboys home woes continue, and they drop a close one to Indianapolis and fail to take advantage again.  Both are now 10-5.

Week 17:  With the division hanging in the balance, both teams step forward and finish strong.  The Eagles beat New York, and Dallas wins in Washington with a much better plan against Jim Haslett’s blitz scheme.    Dallas and Philadelphia finish with identical 11-5 records.

So now what?  This is where it gets really crazy as it takes the fourth tiebreaker to determine a winner.

Dallas and Philly split the head-to-head, both teams finish 4-2 in the division, and both teams are 10-4 against common opponents.  Dallas wins the NFC East based on conference record with a one-game advantage (10-4) over Philly (9-5).  Both teams are playoff bound, but Dallas doesn’t earn a bye.

All that is to say, whether I’ve pegged it or I’ve got it all out-of-order, we’re all still bound and blindfolded, hoping we don’t get another whack across our knees.  Let’s hope Dr. Pavlov took December off this year.

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Should the Cowboys Break the Bank for Dez Bryant? http://bluestartimes.com/cowboys-break-bank-dez-bryant/ http://bluestartimes.com/cowboys-break-bank-dez-bryant/#comments Fri, 14 Nov 2014 16:54:34 +0000 http://bluestartimes.com/?p=17717 I’ve been thinking a lot about the Dez Bryant contract situation as of late. Actually, I wrote a piece over the summer on Dez and his contract. Some of the reasons I was for it has come up this season, and some of the reasons I would be against breaking the bank for him have been coming up as well. I’ve went back and forth on this situation, and I’ve finally come to a decision on what I would do if I was handling the Dez Bryant contract situation – I would let him walk, IF he isn’t willing to work with the team. Not a popular opinion I’m sure, and many people may have stopped reading after that, but it’s my decision and I’m sticking to it. But please, hear me out as to why I wouldn’t break the bank to keep Dez Bryant. But before I do, I do want to say I don’t like how Dez keeps talking about the contract in the media. Yes, I know he keeps getting asked about it but he’s becoming a little cockier with his answers, in my opinion. While he was with Eugene Parker – his former agent – Dez wouldn’t say a whole lot about the contract situation besides, “It will all work itself out” or something of that nature. But since he hooked up with Jay Z and his crew, he’s been a little more vocal about the contract situation. And he said something the other day, which kind of rubbed me the wrong way. While doing an interview about his contract he was quoted as saying, “I’m a loyal guy, but don’t test my loyalty.” Hmmm, not sure how to take that. That seems like a back-handed threat to me. Also, I’m kind of confused on his comments, “it isn’t about the money, it’s about respect.” So I guess if the Jones’ don’t offer him $50 million guaranteed on a 10 year contract for over $120 million then they don’t respect you? Yeah, don’t hand me that crap! You don’t feel respected unless you get all that cash. Just say it’s about the money and stop with the B.S.. It’s always about the money; I don’t care what any player says, from any sport. It’s Always About The Money. But, in saying that, Dez saying all that isn’t the reason I would let Dez walk if he doesn’t work with team on a contract that’s good for both sides. First and foremost, I wouldn’t put all my eggs in one basket. This team has made so many mistakes going down that road before. Jerry & Stephen have offered big contracts to the wrong positions throughout the years; the latest being Brandon Carr. No disrespect intended for B.C. but he will never live up to the contract he signed to come here and honestly? He hasn’t played anywhere close to the contract he signed. I’m not saying Dez wouldn’t live up to some huge top 5 WR contract, because Dez is a top 5 wide receiver in today’s game, but my biggest concern is what about the other needs on this team? Think about this for a second: Sean Lee, Anthony Hitchens, and Kyle Wilber are the only linebackers under contract who would get big playing time for the Cowboys next season. Bruce Carter, Justin Durant (Who – by the way – Rod Marinelli called the league’s best kept secret) and Rolando McClain will all be free agents. I love Sean Lee, but we know he always seems to have something go wrong. Anthony Hitchens could be a star in the making, and Kyle Wilber is a solid player. But that’s not the three I want to see as the linebacker crew for this team. Henry Melton has returned to pro bowl form. I shouldn’t have to tell you how important a pass rush is to a defense but I will say this; I think the push up the middle into a QBs face is the biggest factor to a pass rush. He shouldn’t get the $9 million he is supposed to get if kept, however I feel like he should get something close to that number. Also let’s not forget about a certain player that goes by the name of DeMarco Murray. Dez Bryant wants to get paid and Murray wants to get paid. Can you pay both players what they want? I don’t think it can happen. Both guys are going to want top money for their positions. Oh, we also have Dwayne Harris closing in on his last days of his rookie contract. Harris is one of those guys that does all the dirty work. He’s by far the best run blocker out of all the WRs and he’s an underrated punt returner and wide receiver. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing more I would like to see than Dez Bryant to remain a Dallas Cowboy for the rest of his career. But if it’s going to put this team in the type of financial situation known all to well in Dallas in recent years, then I’ll have to pass. I listed quite a few names where that big money could be spread out to, and I would much rather have to replace one great player, instead of struggling to replace 4 or 5 really good players.

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I’ve been thinking a lot about the Dez Bryant contract situation as of late. Actually, I wrote a piece over the summer on Dez and his contract.

Some of the reasons I was for it has come up this season, and some of the reasons I would be against breaking the bank for him have been coming up as well.

I’ve went back and forth on this situation, and I’ve finally come to a decision on what I would do if I was handling the Dez Bryant contract situation – I would let him walk, IF he isn’t willing to work with the team.

Not a popular opinion I’m sure, and many people may have stopped reading after that, but it’s my decision and I’m sticking to it.

But please, hear me out as to why I wouldn’t break the bank to keep Dez Bryant. But before I do, I do want to say I don’t like how Dez keeps talking about the contract in the media. Yes, I know he keeps getting asked about it but he’s becoming a little cockier with his answers, in my opinion.

While he was with Eugene Parker – his former agent – Dez wouldn’t say a whole lot about the contract situation besides, “It will all work itself out” or something of that nature.

But since he hooked up with Jay Z and his crew, he’s been a little more vocal about the contract situation. And he said something the other day, which kind of rubbed me the wrong way. While doing an interview about his contract he was quoted as saying, “I’m a loyal guy, but don’t test my loyalty.”

Hmmm, not sure how to take that.

That seems like a back-handed threat to me. Also, I’m kind of confused on his comments, “it isn’t about the money, it’s about respect.”

So I guess if the Jones’ don’t offer him $50 million guaranteed on a 10 year contract for over $120 million then they don’t respect you? Yeah, don’t hand me that crap!

You don’t feel respected unless you get all that cash. Just say it’s about the money and stop with the B.S..

It’s always about the money; I don’t care what any player says, from any sport.

It’s Always About The Money.

But, in saying that, Dez saying all that isn’t the reason I would let Dez walk if he doesn’t work with team on a contract that’s good for both sides.

First and foremost, I wouldn’t put all my eggs in one basket.

This team has made so many mistakes going down that road before. Jerry & Stephen have offered big contracts to the wrong positions throughout the years; the latest being Brandon Carr. No disrespect intended for B.C. but he will never live up to the contract he signed to come here and honestly? He hasn’t played anywhere close to the contract he signed.

I’m not saying Dez wouldn’t live up to some huge top 5 WR contract, because Dez is a top 5 wide receiver in today’s game, but my biggest concern is what about the other needs on this team?

Think about this for a second: Sean Lee, Anthony Hitchens, and Kyle Wilber are the only linebackers under contract who would get big playing time for the Cowboys next season. Bruce Carter, Justin Durant (Who – by the way – Rod Marinelli called the league’s best kept secret) and Rolando McClain will all be free agents.

I love Sean Lee, but we know he always seems to have something go wrong. Anthony Hitchens could be a star in the making, and Kyle Wilber is a solid player. But that’s not the three I want to see as the linebacker crew for this team.

Henry Melton has returned to pro bowl form. I shouldn’t have to tell you how important a pass rush is to a defense but I will say this; I think the push up the middle into a QBs face is the biggest factor to a pass rush.

He shouldn’t get the $9 million he is supposed to get if kept, however I feel like he should get something close to that number.

Also let’s not forget about a certain player that goes by the name of DeMarco Murray.

Dez Bryant wants to get paid and Murray wants to get paid. Can you pay both players what they want? I don’t think it can happen. Both guys are going to want top money for their positions.

Oh, we also have Dwayne Harris closing in on his last days of his rookie contract. Harris is one of those guys that does all the dirty work. He’s by far the best run blocker out of all the WRs and he’s an underrated punt returner and wide receiver.

Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing more I would like to see than Dez Bryant to remain a Dallas Cowboy for the rest of his career. But if it’s going to put this team in the type of financial situation known all to well in Dallas in recent years, then I’ll have to pass.

I listed quite a few names where that big money could be spread out to, and I would much rather have to replace one great player, instead of struggling to replace 4 or 5 really good players.

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