By the time you read this, the NFL regular season will have begun. But we’re not here to talk about that game. We’re here for all things Dallas Cowboys.
2020 NFL Predictions – Captain Comeback: NFL Analysis by Scott Kacsmar
This is a deep dive into the whole league. Worth your time to read the whole thing, but here's a quote about the Cowboys that is encouraging.
But The Clapper is gone, replaced by Mike McCarthy, who won 61.8 percent of his games in Green Bay before things soured. As last year in Green Bay showed, not all of the problems were on McCarthy’s offense growing stale. A year away from the game and some self-evaluation should serve him well. He’s retained Kellen Moore as the offensive coordinator, a move that’s been widely praised in Dallas.
Oh, and how about this?
SUPER BOWL LV
Kansas City 30, Dallas 24
TL;DR version: Get used to your new football overlords from Kansas City, but don’t discount Dak Prescott spoiling things.
Cowboys season preview: Question marks, must-watch games and a record prediction – Jon Machota, The Athletic
Another detailed look ahead for the Cowboys.
What’s new? Almost the entire coaching staff has changed. Mike McCarthy became the franchise’s ninth head coach after he was hired in January. While McCarthy retained offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, tight ends coach Doug Nussmeier (now coaching quarterbacks) and defensive line assistant Leon Lett, the rest of the staff is all new. McCarthy is leaning on several veteran coaches in key areas, most notably defensive coordinator Mike Nolan, defensive line coach Jim Tomsula, special teams coordinator John Fassel and offensive line coach Joe Philbin.
The biggest changes are taking place on defense. The 4-3 front that generated the majority of pass rush under previous defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli has been replaced by a more multiple look under Nolan. Training camp practices revealed edge rushers standing up and dropping into coverage in some 3-4 looks as well as showcasing their pass-rushing ability in three-point stances in 4-3 looks. The back end is less predictable as well. The goal is to keep opposing quarterbacks guessing more often, increasing the number of turnovers. The biggest loss on that side of the ball was No. 1 cornerback Byron Jones signing a five-year, $82.5 million contract with the Miami Dolphins in March. The biggest additions have been veteran edge rushers Aldon Smith and Everson Griffen. They are replacing Robert Quinn, who led the team in sacks (11.5) in 2019 and signed a five-year, $70 million deal with the Chicago Bears in March.
The special teams are expected to be improved under Fassel, who is widely regarded as one of the NFL’s best special teams coaches. Greg Zuerlein, a 2017 Pro Bowler, takes over as the team’s new kicker. Rookie wide receiver CeeDee Lamb is expected to handle punt-return duties. Second-year running back Tony Pollard is expected to handle kickoff returns.
The only reason we look at predictions like this is to fuel our optimism and confirm our priors, right? Enjoy.
NFC East: Dallas Cowboys
It won’t be easy for the Cowboys to win the division with a new coaching staff under this year’s conditions, but the talent on offense should be enough to overcome the adversities that come with adapting to a new regime.
Dak Prescott will lead one of the best offenses in the NFL. CeeDee Lamb has been great in training camp as he transitions from college to the pros at a very fast pace. Last year, the Cowboys’ offense was among the league’s best on Kellen Moore’s debut season, and now that Jason Garrett is out and Mike McCarthy is in, the main issue in Dallas has been resolved.
2020 NFL Predictions – Matt Holleran’s Sports Blog
More a graphic/table post from one of our FPW’s personal blog, but worth a read. He has Dallas as the #2 seed in the NFC, and Aldon Smith as the comeback player of the year, but this is by far the most satisfying line in the whole post.
Biggest Disappointment – Philadelphia Eagles
Predicting every NFL team’s record in 2020 | by David Howman | Sep, 2020 | David Howman on Medium
It's a day for our FPWs to be doing some good stuff in their side gigs.
Dallas Cowboys 12–4
Philadelphia Eagles 8–8
New York Giants 4–12
The NFC East hasn’t had a back-to-back division champ since the 2003–2004 seasons, and that isn’t about to change. Mike McCarthy proves to be exactly what the Cowboys needed, jumping out to a 5–0 start and securing the top seed in the NFC.
“Washington Football Team.” Still cracks me up.
Writer’s Blocks: Learning To Embrace The Hype - David Helman, DallasCowboys.com
It just doesn't feel like a news roundup without something from always entertaining Helman. Here are three things he is thinking about the team.
It would be silly to project yardage totals for every player on the team, but I think CeeDee Lamb will improve on the numbers Randall Cobb posted last year. So, for the record, I'm calling for the rookie to catch more than 55 passes for more than 828 yards and more than three touchdowns. Seems doable.
I want to officially put it into writing that I'm buying all the Blake Jarwin stock I can afford. I know it's going to be easier said than done because of how much talent is on this offense. But I think Jarwin is capable of catching 50 balls. More importantly, I think he's capable of averaging 12-14 yards per reception. Oh, and put me down for 7-10 touchdowns. I just have a feeling.
It's probably not a good thing if Dak Prescott finishes second in the league in passing again, because it'd likely mean that the Cowboys aren't playing with a lot of leads. So I'm guessing he's not going to flirt with 5,000 yards again, like he did in 2019. That said, I do believe we're going to see the best seasons of Prescott's career. I'm looking for efficiency, good decision making and at least 35 total touchdowns – rushing and passing. Most importantly, I'm looking for that performance to translate to more wins. Because all the stats in the world won't mean anything without a playoff appearance.
A big year for Ezekiel Elliott among bold predictions for the Cowboys | Patrick Conn,wfaa.com
This is something that keeps cropping up, but just doesn't get as much play as it probably should. The expected high-powered offense for Dallas is going to feature a productive running game.
Ezekiel Elliott goes for over 1,800 yards from scrimmage
The talk all offseason in Dallas has been about the ascension of the passing game. There is a good reason for that. After all, the pass attack led by Dak Prescott was the most impactful area for the Cowboys last season and now they sport the addition of rookie top pick CeeDee Lamb at wide receiver and the expected emergence of Blake Jarwin at tight end.
The Cowboys also return two 1,000-yard pass catchers in Michael Gallup and Amari Cooper. All eyes will be on Prescott and the pass catchers this year. That bodes well for former All-Pro and two-time rushing champion running back Ezekiel Elliott.
With NFL defenses no doubt putting in more concerted efforts to slow down the passing game, Elliott is likely to get some favorable looks this upcoming year.
Execs Unfiltered: On what all 32 teams should worry about entering the season – Mike Sando, The Athletic
Pessimism! Get your hot, fresh pessimism here!
The worry: The Cowboys peaked in July.
“I liked them a lot more in July than I do in September. The reason would be number one, since then, (Patrick) Mahomes and (Deshaun) Watson get paid, and (Dak) Prescott does not. Gerald McCoy gets hurt again. We don’t know if Randy Gregory is back (he is eligible to return Oct. 25). They do have Everson Griffen. Sean Lee gets hurt again. Amari Cooper is already missing practice. Before all that, (Travis) Frederick retires at center. Now you throw out La’el Collins for four weeks. Who starts at right tackle? Cam Erving? You can go turn on some Chiefs film from last year and see if you are willing to back that horse. He is a liability.”
Cowboys Say Amari, Awuzie & Xavier 'Full Capacity' For Rams - Mike Fisher, SI Cowboys Maven
Oh, yeah, there is preparation underway for a game Sunday night. Here’s some key injury stuff.
"They've had a good weekend of rehab," head coach Mike McCarthy said on Wednesday. "I know the strength-and-conditioning (staff) and the trainers feel good.
"So we'll watch their workload (Wednesday) and obviously evaluate them again in the morning."
"They'' are safety Xavier Woods and cornerback Chidobe Awuzie, who did dress for practice on Wednesday. Woods (groin) and Awuzie (knee) have been limited for the better part of training camp. Meanwhile, cornerback Jourdan Lewis continues to be sidelined with an ankle injury.
Jaylon Smith, Dallas’ least understood Cowboy, is ready for his next step – Mike Pieliucci, The Athletic
This is a deep dive into the talented but sometimes controversial linebacker. Whatever you think of him, you will learn something from this. And this final point from the article says a lot about him.
Jaylon Smith knows what he wants his future to look like.
It’s one he has no plan for — at least not yet. Yes, there are the football goals, and the financial goals, and the business goals, but all of them stand in service to a larger conceit. When he tries to envision his life in five years, then in 10, only one thought shines through. “I want to be happy,” he says.
He’s still shaping that idea into something more solid, more tangible. Maybe he winds up there in the next few years, with a Lombardi Trophy in hand as confetti rains down, his reconstructed leg planted at football’s pinnacle after it once led him to his personal nadir. Perhaps it’s after that, when the game is behind him, with MEI a global enterprise and a conglomerate in his name. It could be as simple as fatherhood and building a family. Or what about something else altogether, a heretofore undiscovered passion that he’ll stumble onto and sponge up when the time is right? “I’m not the guy that has all the answers,” he says, “but I’m a guy that wants to search and learn.”
Forbes - Cowboys again most valuable NFL team, at $5.7 billion - ESPN via Associated Press
It has become a perennial story.
Forbes estimates the Dallas Cowboys are the NFL's most valuable franchise at $5.7 billion, the 14th consecutive year they've held that distinction.
According to the magazine, Jerry Jones' team is also the most valuable franchise in the world.
And a little note of interest to some of you.
Blogging The Boys Podcast
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