On behalf of all of us here at Blogging The Boys, we'd like to wish all Cowboys fans out there a Happy New Year! Hopefully 2017 will be a great year for you, your family and of course our Dallas Cowboys.
We wanted to take a brief moment to let you know just how much we as a staff here at BTB have appreciated your continued support this year, just as we have in years past. Whether you are a lurker, blog-member, or occasional visitor, we appreciate you making BTB part of your Cowboys fan experience. All of you fine folks make BTB what it is today, and we hope to continue to bring you Cowboys news, analysis and a great community in 2017 and beyond.
In the meantime, here's to 2017, where great things await our Dallas Cowboys.
God bless each and every one of you.
Benson Mayowa, David Irving lead Cowboys' rejuvenated pass rush - JJ Taylor, ESPN
The Cowboys' pass rush is rounding into shape at just the right time.Here's why:
Marinelli would tell you he's not surprised by the improvement in the Cowboys' pass rush because of the effort his players give each day.
Marinelli is old school. Football is a game of repetition, and he's relentless about teaching technique. Master the techniques, give relentless effort and eventually the results will come.
Well, the day Marinelli has been talking about since the start of training camp has finally arrived, just in time for the playoffs.
Rookie Collins rushing toward bright future on Cowboys’ defense - Drew Davison, The Star-Telegram
The emergence of third-round pick from Nebraska has helped solidify the Cowboys’ defensive line.
Collins, a third-round pick out of Nebraska, has developed into a solid three-technique with five sacks and 15 quarterback pressures. His emergence allowed the Cowboys to move Tyrone Crawford to left end earlier this season and really solidified the defensive line.
Coaches and teammates feel Collins could become among the best in the league at the position.
"This is a real talented individual and I know he’s going to be up there with the Aaron Donalds and all the good under tackles in the league that people talk about," Crawford said. "A little more work with Marinelli and he’s going to be one of those unstoppable guys later on in his career."
Added guard Ron Leary: "He left an impression on me the first time I went against him in practice. He’s gotten better every day and takes coaching real well. I definitely see him being one of best three-techniques in this league."
"He’s got the work ethic you look for as a young guy," Marinelli said. "All he does is just grind away. Every week, he just grinds away. He’s becoming really a rusher we hoped he’d be, and he’ll get better and better in there."
Nate Newton: A game-ready Randy Gregory could be missing piece in a great defensive line rotation - SportsDay
Former Cowboys guard Nate Newton recently joined KESN-FM 103.3 and had this to say about Gregory.
"I don't know if he was hurt or he got a stitch in his side but we ain't got time for that. I ain't got no pity, dog. It's time to go, it's time to ball, it's playoff time. I need those 15 plays wide open. We need your ability. Did you see this kid rush two or three times and almost get there? This dude is a natural. This dude is it, man. If we got him and David Irving coming off the edge, we got Terrell McClain, Malik [sic] Collins and then we got Benson Mayowa? We got a rotation that could be second-to-none."
Ed Werder on David Irving delivering when Dallas needs it most, Cowboys becoming complete close-out team - SportsDay
Ed Werder recently talked defensive line on KESN-FM 103.3.
If you're going to be a team that gets a lead and closes it out in the fourth quarter, you need to be able to do two things: one of them is run the football - the Cowboys have demonstrated with Ezekiel Elliott and that offensive line they can run when they want to - and the other part of the equation is you've got to be able to rush the passer and create turnovers.
And for the last month, Rod Marinelli's defense has done exactly that, and I think a lot of it is because of what David Irving represents as a potential terrific, young pass rusher coming from any number of positions on the defensive line. He played all four of them the other night.
Final Thoughts: Who'll play on the D-line? - Bryan Broaddus, Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys will miss DE DeMarcus Lawrence, DT Cedric Thornton, DT Terrell McClain, and DE Tyrone Crawford from their regular defensive line rotation. What to do?
With the limited number of defensive linemen available, I could see the staff going back to a rotation that they used earlier in the year with Jack Crawford getting the majority of snaps at left defensive end. If you remember, before they settled on Tyrone Crawford, they were working Crawford and David Irving at that spot. With no Terrell McClain, I expect Irving to take his spot next to Maliek Collins at tackle, which is a nice combination inside.
[At RDE, Benson] Mayowa will be the likely starter with Randy Gregory serving as his backup. Mayowa played the run well against the powerful [Eagles OT Jason] Peters, but he couldn’t capture the corner like we’ve seen him be able to do these previous games. This matchup will be a great test to see how far along he has come against a quality tackle.
Brett Favre: I'd vote for Dak Prescott as NFL MVP - Andre Vergara, Foxsports
Favre has lots of respect for what the Cowboys rookie QB has done; could his opinion be one the MVP voters share next week?
Favre said that while Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers both have been worthy of winning the MVP, the former Green Bay Packers QB would give his vote to Prescott.
"You know, I said probably five or six weeks back that Prescott should be strongly considered," Favre said this week on SiriusXM NFL Radio. "I don’t back away from that one bit. I think if you look at statistics you have to say Aaron Rodgers, you have to say Tom Brady, and I think that those are valid candidates.
"But I still believe that Prescott and/or [Ezekiel] Elliott could easily win it. Will they? I don’t think that you should not vote for them because they are rookies. I think you should vote for them, whoever it may be, because of an impact that they made on their team and circumstantially how they performed.
"And, to me, Prescott, I mean, it is hard to even fathom him playing the way he has considering the circumstances. So I probably would vote for him."
Add rookie Maliek Collins to list of Cowboys who don't see Week 17 as meaningless: 'I'd rather be 14-2' - SportsDay
Collins recently joined KESN-FM 103.3 and was asked whether the game vs. Philadelphia felt 'meaningless'.
Collins: Not at all because - we bring it up every Wednesday, talk about recommitment and winning at everything we do. And that's the edge that we develop during the week. We still practice meaningful, we do everything meaningful. So, I feel like this is a meaningful game. I'd rather be 14-2 going into the playoffs than 13-3.
Twitter mailbag: Cowboys' success could lead to departures - Todd Archer, ESPN
Archer answers a question about the possibility of losing Scott Linehan or Will McClay.
I think there is a chance, but I would put good odds that both will be with the Cowboys next season. I’m sure Scott Linehan will be a candidate for a head coaching job. He’s done a great job with Dak Prescott, you’re right. In two of his three years, he has led an offense that has been in top-five in points per game. I think you’d see somebody like Josh McDaniels and Kyle Shanahan be higher up the list than Linehan. Linehan's 11-25 record in two-plus seasons as head coach of the the St. Louis Rams doesn’t help, but you can make the case nobody has won lately with that organization. His background in developing Matthew Stafford and Prescott will be a plus. I just think others will get the call first.
Will McClay is one of the more underrated personnel people in the league. He grinds. He can find players anywhere. He has brought stability to the department and the draft process. I think you will see him be high on the list of general manager interviews this season, too. Last year he turned down the chance to interview for jobs. He will be picky. He knows he has a pretty good thing going here. He might want to run his own show one day, but this is close to it with how the Cowboys allow him to get the work done. Between him and Linehan, I think he might have more of a chance to go elsewhere, but if I’m betting I’d say he is back for at least one more year.
Would win No. 14 make this the best Dallas Cowboys regular season ever? - Kate Hairopoulos, SportsDay
In a word: Yes.
Cowboys rookie cornerback Anthony Brown fined by NFL - Charean Williams, The Star-Telegram
Brown played only nine defensive snaps and three special teams snaps against the Lions before he left early with a concussion, but that was enough to draw a flag and a fine.
The league fined Anthony Brown $9,115 for roughing the kicker, according to a source. The Cowboys rookie cornerback hit Lions kicker Matt Prater on the extra point following the Lions’ first touchdown in the first quarter Monday night.
NFL chart shows Cowboys could face any of 7 opponents in divisional round - KD Drummond, Cowboys Wire
The Cowboys and Giants are the only teams who've locked up their playoff seed so far, which means the Cowboys can face any of the seven playoff contenders in the divisional round.
And... our @NFL research squad's grid of the NFC playoff permutations pic.twitter.com/1XHVoH9yf6— Aditi Kinkhabwala (@AKinkhabwala) December 29, 2016