When I have some intriguing tidbits to share with you, but those tidbits are not enough to warrant a full post, I save them up and then I throw them into the pot, stir it up and serve you some Cowboy Stew. These bits and bites don't have much in common other than that they are Cowboy related and got stuck in my brain for a while. So, dig into the stew, and share your thoughts.
Will our rookies be able to make an impact? That requires pure speculation and we won't know until the season is fully under way. Now, if we had a powerful computer that could run multiple scenarios and model future behaviors in the NFL based on past behaviors in college we might get some interesting data. Oh wait, there is a computer website that does just that. It's called Whatifsports.com. A few of the Cowboy rookies made the top 100.
Rookies present the biggest challenge. To come up with statistical inputs for rookies, we run a very complex set of algorithms that factors collegiate performance, role in college, strength of collegiate competition, "measurables," likely NFL role, previous performance of a similar player in that NFL role for this coaching staff and trends of similar rookies in the past. This gives us the player's projected ratio stats (expected yards per carry, completion percentage, etc.), as well as his forecasted usage for the upcoming season. From there, we can compare all rookies based on who we think will make the biggest positive impact for his new NFL team in his first year. The Top 100 from this ranking are listed below.
74. Mike Mickens, CB, Dallas
55. Victor Butler, LB, Dallas
52. DeAngelo Smith, CB/S, Dallas
Riddle me this Batman - (A line borrowed from Frank Gorshin and the old Batman TV series) Is there an anti- Cowboy bias in the media? Here is a recent scenario. The Cowboys release a certain aging receiver and they are slammed by the sports media and predicted to struggle in 2010.
During the same off season the New York Giants lose their number one receiver in Plaxico Burress, lose another receiver in Amani Toomer, lose a 1000 yard rusher in Derrick Ward and lose their successful Defensive Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo and still the sports press picks the Giants to win the division and possibly the Super Bowl.
The Giants and the Cowboys split their two games last season indicating that the gap between them is relatively small and yet the loss of the Cowboys number one receiver is predicted to have a greater negative impact than the Giants loss of several starters. Go figure.
4th and Long - I like Michael Irvin's reality show. Maybe it's just because there is a bit of football during the long dry offseason and I'm having withdrawals or maybe Irvin and his writers have done a good job of letting the characters develop. I'm picking the big wide receiver Montrell Jones to be the winner. He's not the most likable guy there but he has the size and strength and I feel like he has already been given a couple of mulligans to keep him on the show. My favorite character? Coach Joe! He cracks me up with some of his comments to the players and to Mike. What exactly is a slapdick?
Yes, but I'm the tallest midget! - Last season there were 13 NFL teams who finished the season in the negative total points category. What that means is the combined scores of your opponents totaled more than the total number of points scored by your offense. As you might expect, all of these teams finished at the bottom of their divisions and all of these teams had losing records - save one. The 2008 Dallas Cowboys. Clearly the Philly butt-whipping put the Cowboys in that position, but there they are at 9 -7 and boasting a minus 3 points. That's another dubious distinction to a disappointing season. Yes, we were the best of the losers.
So, how did you like the stew?