YOUR 2017 DALLAS COWBOYS, PENDING INVESTIGATION

2016 was a fantastic year for Ol’ Double J’s squad of plucky heroes.  After the 2015 4-12 debacle they added a new RB in Ezekiel Elliott,   who ran roughshod over the league to the tune of 1,600+ yards, 15 TDs and more reps of that goddamn “feed me” motion than I ever want to see again. After Tony Romo’s inevitable Week 1 injury they accidentally discovered that the QB they drafted/stole in the 4th round, Dak  Prescott was actually pretty damn good.  In fact he played so well that Tony never got his job back and has moved on to the TV booth, where he will replace Phil Simms, who will still show up in the booth in Week 1 because no one told him he’s being replaced, and will show up in Weeks 2-16 as well, because he isn’t going to remember what he was told in Week 1.

  

It may be Tony’s greatest accomplishment in his NFL career, although it’s still tough to see Romo have to move on from a career he was so obviously dedicated to staying in shape for and prolonging to the fullest extent possible.

With Tony out of the way the Cowboys stormed into the play-offs and…

promptly lost their first game, 34-31 to the Packers.  But hey, they had a bye so technically they made it through the first week of the play-offs right?  Progress!  Also it was actually a really good game, entertaining to watch and Dak Prescott, after having slumped through the last 4-5 games of the season, (I wouldn’t say slumped so much as the rest of the league made adjustments), matched everything Rodgers did late in the game.  So basically the exact opposite of what Romo would do, except for the result, which was exactly the same.

So whither 2017 for the America’s Team?

Offensively they’re fine, assuming that Ezekiel Elliott doesn’t get suspended for (allegedly) hitting that one woman, or (allegedly) hitting that other woman, or allegedly doing whatever that thing in that bar was the other week.  Look, I’ve been practicing law long enough to have a great appreciation for the whole “innocent until prove guilty” thing, but during that time I have also burned enough evidence to know that where there’s smoke there’s fire, and there is a whole lotta smoke around Elliott these days.   He may or may not get suspended, (or be guilty, a far secondary concern in the NFL, as long as you’re any good), because Jerry Jones is one of the most powerful owners in sports and Ol’ Rog knows who butters his bread.    Not that being buddies with Rog helped the Krafts out any.

Based on past prior NFL history, and absent some horrible video popping up, something that would not at all surprise me because OH MY GOD WHY DO I STILL WATCH THE NFL!?!?, he won’t get more than 2 games and Cowboys, with Dak, McFadden, Morris, and possibly even me can run all over the place because their offensive line, already one of the best, got even better with La’el Collins coming back from toe surgery and taking over for Weakest Link Ron Leary and with Tyron Smith allegedly back to full health after being hampered by a back injury, which will happen when you’re 6’5″, 320 lbs.  There’s some concern about who’s going to play left guard, with the current favorite being former 2013 7th overall pick Jonathan Cooper.  Although he was the 7th overall pick by the Cardinals in 2013 and they gave up on him so maybe the Cowboys run to the right for a while.

The receiving corps didn’t change much.  Lucky Whitehead didn’t live up to his promise, or his name, and is gone.  Dez Bryant is back and while he’s probably still one of the best WRs in the game he’s coming off his second straight season where he was hampered by injuries and that’s generally not a good sign for WRs, especially ones like Dez who rely on physically overwhelming defenders as much as anything else.  Cole Beasley stepped up as a nice second option last year and Terrance Williams did pretty much what he does every year, which is drop every third ball thrown to him.  Honestly how Terrance Williams still has a job is one of life’s great unsolved mysteries.  The Cowboys also seem very excited about their 4th round pick, North Carolina’s Ryan Switzer.  If nothing else they’re trying to out-gritty the Patriots.  Jason Whitten will, again, start as the TE.  I thought he’d have a down season last year because he was 34 and takes a beating every year but instead he had a very nice season, coming up with 69 receptions for 673 yards, although only 3 TDs.  I’d be concerned about the TDs if, last year, every time the Cowboys got within 5 yards of the end zone they didn’t just give it to Elliott or Prescott or McFadden or me or Morris and have them run it behind that ridiculous line.  Whitten will be fine and if the biggest problem the Cowboys have is that his production drops a bit they’re going to be measuring their fingers for rings.

Of course, that won’t be the only problem the Cowboys have, which brings us to the defense.  I was surprised to learn that they were 5th in in scoring defense.  They were a more middling 14th in yards against.  Having watched most of their games I suspect that those stats are more-than-somewhat affected by the Cowboys’ offense keeping the ball for long periods of time and keeping the other offense off the field.

In the draft the Cowboys went for defense with 4 of their first 6 picks.  They got a sliding Taco Charlton with their 1st pick, who should help the line.  The line did manage a respectable 36 sacks last year but anything that takes more pressure off the secondary is A-OK with me.

As for the secondary Dallas lost two of their best, Barry Church and Morris Claiborneto free agency.  But since Church led the team in interceptions with 2(!) that doesn’t seem to be saying all that much, especially to anyone who watched the end of the Green Bay game.  Jesus fuck, just make one goddamn stop!  One!  To replace them they drafted Chidobe Awuzie,

Colorado defensive back Chidobe Awuzie (4) during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Arizona, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

a DB, with their second pick and I think that might have been a steal, as most mock drafts had him going 20-25, at least the ones I saw.  Hey, did I mention that I went 4-4 to start my mock draft?  I didn’t?  Well, probably just as well, since I went 1-fortherestofit.  Goddamn trades.  They got another first round talent in the third round in Michigan CB Jourdan Lewis, who was helpfully recently acquitted of domestic violence charges, so that’s awesome.  Better get his jersey now while you still can!  The Cowboys also get their second pick from 2016 back, Jaylon Smith, a top 5 talent who fell into the second round because  he didn’t have a knee.  Well now he has a knee, albeit one with a brace, and he’s expected to play.  Accounts out of training camp are that he’s still not 100% so this is a case where things probably sound better than they are.

Seriously, look at that picture and tell me it doesn’t remind you of Napoleon McCallum.  But, if Smith comes back they got a steal last year, Charlton probably should have gone a little higher than he did but dropped due to trades and Awuzie and Lewis got some first round talk as well.  Of course the last guy they stole in the draft won’t be making much of an impression this year, so let’s not start getting blow-jobs from hookers just yet.

Ooh, too late.

All of which is a long way to say that the Cowboys are pretty much the same team they were last year, when they went 13-3.  The offensive line might be slightly better, assuming everyone’s healthy and no one has to sit for 2-4 games because the graduated the The Ohio State University of Dipshittery & Coverin’ Up, and the defense could be better if all of the considerable questions about them are answered correctly, or they could be pretty much the same if those questions aren’t answered quite so correctly.  It’s hard to improve on 13-3 and I doubt the Cowboys will.  They’ll win the NFC East, because the Giants are in between two generations of players, (Scothnaut’s preview did give me pause here), Washington is run by baboons and the Eagles…might actually be pretty good.  They sort of worry me this year, although I can’t put a rational reason together for it.  Dallas also goes on the road against the Falcons, Raiders and Broncos, (Hippo’s preview made me happier about that one), and they have the Packers and Chiefs at home.  That’s a harder schedule than they had last year and that’ll probably show at the end of the year.  I think they go 10-6 or 11-5.  They’ll fight the Eagles and maybe the Giants for the NFC East.  If not they probably get a wild card*.

And then they’ll get bounced in the first round.  Again.

 

*I don’t see two wild cards coming out of the NFC East so if the Giants, Eagles and Cowboys are all their at the end only two of them are going, but if I went to that lengthy explanation then the “lose in the first round again” line loses its punch, so just keep your comments to yourself, OK?

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Romonobyl
Member

I just hope Dak isn’t a one-hit wonder. He has that rare combination of talent and likability that is very rare in the league, even the Cowboys believe it or not.
Zeke? The talent is there, but the ‘tude is tiresome. I see a trade in the very near future.
I read somewhere that Witten shouldn’t be considered for the HOF. Buncha bullshit right there.

Unsurprised
Member
Unsurprised

Just like the real thing, the Dakashima Disaster isn’t some singular catastrophe, but rather a seething and years-long poisoning of everything around him.

Doktor Zymm
Member

Dak is actually pretty likeable (SO FAR!!!) though I don’t like his tendency to not totally melt down at the end of games. That was my favorite thing about Tony Romo, and Dak is really failing to live up to that. However, Zeke is so amazingly hateable, even if hell drops to temperatures low enough to create Bose-Einstein condensate and the allegations turn out to all be false, that it might even overwhelm my Cowboys hate. So yeah, I’ll be rooting for Zeke to get injured this year.

Unsurprised
Member
Unsurprised

For a second, that photo of PHEEEEEEEELLLLL made him look like Gary Oldman in Hannibal.

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LemonJello
Member
LemonJello

Where’s the “YEEEEeeeeHAAAAWWwwww, I AM FUCKIN’ CRAZY!!!11!!” ?

Unsurprised
Member
Unsurprised

Here you go:

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LemonJello
Member
LemonJello

Thank you.

Unsurprised
Member
Unsurprised

I couldn’t resist once I saw it and realized it’s still more lucid and sane than whatever evil shit he was actually yelling at Jimmeh.

Low Commander of the Super Soldiers
Member

At first I found your description of Washington’s front office to be an insult to baboons, but then I found this photographic evidence:

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scotchnaut
Member

I came across an article that stated that the Cowboys and Giants are 1-2 in talent as far as 25 and under players are concerned. I’m so grateful that my guys seem to have gotten their shit together last year. The thought of getting curb-stomped by Dallas for the next half dozen years is not something I could live with.

Iggles? They’ll have to grow up awfully fast given their sked this year so I think they’re one year away and then it’s going to be a goddamn bloodbath between the three of them.

King Hippo
Member

good thing that Iggle QB loves Jeebus so much!

Marc Trestmans Windowless Van
Member
Marc Trestmans Windowless Van

My normal fight strategy is just let the guy hit me until he gets tired and ends up with broken wrists. I honestly might go stab every tire on this construction unit. Can’t take the beeping anymore. Why won’t it end?

Marc Trestmans Windowless Van
Member
Marc Trestmans Windowless Van

Qualifier. I am fine. This is driving me insane, but I am watching you tube videos not dying

Brick Meathook
Member
Brick Meathook

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scotchnaut
Member

Who does he think he is- Jim Boeheim?

litre_cola
Member

Sadly I concede that the Cowboys will be in competition with Eli for the division as the Eagles secondary is a dumpster fire.

Rikki-Tikki-Deadly
Member

Spoiler below is for Big Little Lies, so don’t click if you plan to watch it.

Rikki-Tikki-Deadly
Member

Spoiler
THESE 2017 COWBOYS I CALL THEM PERRY FROM BIG LITTLE LIES CAUSE THEY SPEND A LOT OF TIME HITTING WOMEN AND I’M HOPING AT THE END THEY FALL OFF A CLIFF.

blaxabbath
Member

former 2013 7th overall pick Jonathan Cooper. Although he was the 7th overall pick by the Cardinals in 2013 and they gave up on him so maybe the Cowboys run to the right for a while.

ARI gave up on Cooper, granted, but he was the player portion of the Chandler Jones trade with NE (Cooper + a late 1st rounder) and the G-Lord didn’t even keep Cooper through training camp (if I recall correctly). Point is, if the Patriot Way didn’t work for Cooper then it only makes sense that dragging his face through JJ’s huge pile of coke may be the only way to wake this guy up.

blaxabbath
Member

Until I reread it and just noticed you missed a space, I thought Horatio was coming up with a great new nickname with Morris Claiborneto (aka – Little Morris Clairborne).

blaxabbath
Member

True today as it ever was.

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“Zeke better keep working on that spin move what with all of those domestic violence charges coming for him this Summer.” -Enrico Pallazzo

Unsurprised
Member
Unsurprised

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Beastmode Ate My Baby
Member

I envy the Cowboys’ O-line, but at least the Seahawks steer clear of drafting problem players.

Except for, y’know, Frank Clark. Ahem. Yeah. We can move on from this conversation now…

Great to see everyone wandering in after the off-season! But, Horatio…I’m just not sure about the beard…

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King Hippo
Member

Having the best OL in Greater Footy is a wonderful template for sustained success. Even if the skill position folk keep getting arrested and shit.

And we all know OH WHY DO WE STILL WATCH THE NFL? Despite it being brutal, corrupt, de-humanizing, led by a national disgrace which nobody can deny…it’s still the most entertaining teevee event out there and the bestest thing in my shitty fucking life by a pretty fair margin.

So yes, I may hate myself for it (and many other reasons), but I’m here for life. WOO!!!

nomonkeyfun
Member

I’m here for life.

“Me too.”
-Aaron Hernandez

Unsurprised
Member
Unsurprised

That turned out to be shorter than I expected.

BrettFavresColonoscopy
Member

How Horatio pronounces Jason Witten:

Enrico Pallazzo
Member

Fuck this franchise. Dak Prescott sucks.

ballsofsteelandfury
Member

Donkey dong?

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Member
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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