‘I WAS JUST IN A REAL BAD PLACE’ - Elizabeth Merrill, ESPN
Cowboys fans have been through it all with Randy Gregory: the excitement when the talented-but-troubled defensive end fell to them in the second round, the annoyance when he was handed multiple suspensions throughout his young career, and now the happiness that comes with him being back on the field and trying to get it all together. Read the latest deep dive with him that surfaced Tuesday.
THIS TIME, GREGORY had a support system to guide him. He wouldn’t just go to inpatient treatment for 60 days and then leave and hope that it took. He’d have safeguards to help ensure his sobriety. He’d move into a sober-living house and go to daily meetings and psychotherapy sessions.
He admitted he was an addict, and put his fears and regrets down on paper. He estimated that he’d lost millions, and regretted that he wasn’t the father he knew he could be.
Inspiration sometimes comes from unexpected places, and one of the people who had a big impact on Gregory in California was Mike Ornstein.
Ornstein, who was at the center of the Reggie Bush extra-benefits scandal, told him that life is not defined by the mistakes you make but by the people who you help.
Streaking Cowboys can all but clinch the NFC East title with win against Eagles Sunday - Clarence Hill, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Playoff math is the best kind of math.
A win Sunday would give the Cowboys the season sweep of the Eagles and a two-game lead in the division with three games to go.
The bottom line is that the division is there for the Cowboys to take starting Sunday.
A win against Eagles would all but secure it, as the Eagles would have to win all three of their remaining games and the Cowboys would have to lose all three of its games against the Indianapolis Colts (away), the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (home) and the Giants (road) in the final.
DAL could clinch the NFC East on Dec 16 with a win over PHI and a loss by WAS. Two losses by PHI (at DAL and at LAR) and consecutive losses by WAS (v NYG and at JAX) would hand the division to DAL. Clinching the NFC East early would permit DAL to rest many of its injured players.— Scarlet O (@ScarletO468) December 4, 2018
The reasons the Cowboys look like such a different team than earlier in the season - SportsDay Dallas
With the hot streak the Cowboys are on at the moment, especially coming off the statement win over the even hotter New Orleans Saints, it’s easy to forget that this team was once 3-5 and looking dead in the water. A lot has changed since then, so why does this team look almost completely different from the team that limped out to a 3-5 start?
There were poor personnel decisions made and poor coaching decisions made as far as what the composition of the staff should be and this team’s ability to be efficient offensively with the wide receivers that they had in place. They made a major miscalculation thinking we could address this by committee with the players we have in place. And in my mind it was a coaching failure in the offseason and the preseason of not working enough with those guys and acting like everything was going to be fine once the season starts. And Paul Alexander’s addition never really made sense for what this team has done historically because of the technique.
I give the front office credit for recognizing their mistakes midseason and addressing them rather than waiting until it was too late, but that’s why they didn’t play better early in the season. All that being said, Jason Garrett’s role in this, as he often is, I think he was slow to acknowledge where the team actually is. I think he finally acknowledged that during the bye week and made the necessary changes.
The Marinelli Report, Week 13: How the Cowboys shut down the Saints like nobody ever has – Bob Sturm, The Athletic
Bob Sturm notes that only two teams have held the Saints to less than 200 yards since 2006. The 2018 Cowboys and the 2013 Seahawks.
You will notice two teams have done it, it involves limiting yards per play (under 4!), an offense that can hold the football and dominate time of possession, and a strong showing on third down.
Do you notice who the other team on that list is?
That would be the 2013 Seattle Seahawks. The Legion of Boom at its peak. The team that, 60 days later, would go on to win the Super Bowl in New York City over the Denver Broncos.
Kris Richard has done this before, guys. Richard was the defensive backs coach on that team and, of course, would be promoted to defensive coordinator when that very same Super Bowl would help get then-defensive coordinator Dan Quinn his head coaching job in Atlanta.
I don’t want to get you too excited, but it was defensive efforts like this one that made the entire league afraid of playing Seattle — especially at their place.
Cowboys DL Tyrone Crawford on if defense has upped ante now as a unit after shutting down Saints: "There is a standard and that standard from Coach Marinelli is almost perfection. ... Yeah, just keep it rolling."— Brandon George (@DMN_George) December 4, 2018
Kris Richard is among those listed with odds to be next head coach of Green Bay Packers - RJ Ochoa, Blogging the Boys
Kris Richard may just be the defensive backs coach and defensive passing game coordinator, but he’s effectively been the defensive coordinator since Rod Marinelli turned over playcalling duties to Richard earlier in the year. Now his impressive work with the Dallas defense is getting his name in the mix for head coaching opportunities.
Kris Richard’s name is gaining more steam nationally. On Monday Night Football he was even brought up in the Green Bay discussion as an option there, it’s the kind of thing that happens after a win like Dallas had last week over New Orleans. People are taking notice of his impact and might want a piece of it.
It makes sense that Richard would get at least a head coach interview over the offseason. He has a sterling resumé even without his time in Dallas thanks to his experience in Seattle. If the Cowboys are wanting to promote him to defensive coordinator in the future it might not be enough should another team want him to run their team entirely.
In the past when Sean Lee misses time, the defense falls apart and becomes a mess, but the solid play of Leighton Vander Esch has not only bandaged the wound of missing Lee, but arguably has made this defense even better. As Lee prepares to return for Sunday’s game against Philadelphia, Jerry Jones commented on what the plan is.
Jones said during his weekly Tuesday appearance on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas that Lee will return to the starting lineup when ready.
Of course, ready is a malleable term. Ready could mean Lee will be back when he’s 100 percent, which could entail a high bar to get to 100 percent.
Then there’s the question of whether Lee, when back in the starting lineup, will stay on the field. A league source who has carefully studied the Dallas defense recently predicted that Lee, when healthy, will get reps only in the base package.
Stephen Jones: Travis Frederick a 'long shot' to play at all this season - SportsDay Staff
It looks like Travis Frederick won't take a snap for the Cowboys this year.
In his weekly interview with The G Bag Nation on 105.3 KRLD-FM The Fan, Jones was asked if Sean Lee, Tyron Smith or Sean Lee have a chance to play against the Eagles this week. Jones said there's an outside chance at Lee returning and they feel good about Smith, but don't bank on Frederick.
"I think we got a good shot at one for sure. An outside shot at Sean. Obviously it's going to be a long shot for Travis to play at all this year.
Travis Frederick just told us he doesn't expect to play this year but feels good about being able to play next year.— Jeff Cavanaugh (@JC1053) December 5, 2018
Jerry Jones confident Tyron Smith will be back - @jonmachota
Tyron Smith has been absent the last few games, and while backup left tackle Cameron Fleming has been surprisingly excellent in relief, getting the All Pro left tackle back sooner rather than later is the desired situation. On Tuesday, Jerry Jones seemed to be confident that Smith will be able to play against the Eagles on Sunday.
Jerry Jones on @1053thefan talking about the possibility of Tyron Smith (stinger) being able to play Sunday vs. the Eagles: “I feel like we’re going to have him. That should give us a lift for our offense.”— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) December 4, 2018
Tyron echoed those sentiments:
Cowboys LT Tyron Smith said he expects to play Sunday vs. Eagles: "I feel great. For me, it was more frustrating more than anything. I trust our team doctors. I'm going through the whole program. I guess it wasn't ready yet. We thought it would be ready by then. I guess it wasn't— Brandon George (@DMN_George) December 3, 2018
Cameron Fleming’s impressive performance - @PFF_Cowboys
Speaking of Cameron Fleming, he took his solid play to another level last Thursday and elevated his game when he absolutely needed to. Fleming did something that nobody else has done yet this season, and doing it in the biggest game of the Cowboys’ season made it all the better.
Jerry Jones comments on Kliff Kingsbury - @jonmachota
As has been previously reported, recently fired Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury was drawing interest from several NFL teams for potential offensive coordinator jobs, and Kingsbury’s own Texas roots made the potential connection to the Cowboys buzz-worthy. On Tuesday, Kingsbury officially took the offensive coordinator job at USC, but before that was announced, Jerry Jones had this to say about the coach.
Jerry Jones on Kliff Kingsbury: "I don't know of anyone that's more qualified in doing what he does and has better track record doing what Kliff does regarding QBs...or regarding offenses. ...I wouldn't, if we were interested or not, comment on just how interested or not we are."— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) December 4, 2018