Football season took forever to arrive and then, just like a fart in the wind, game one is gone. Forever. The Dallas Cowboys did what they had never done before, too: they lost to the New York Giants in week one of the season. Seven times these rivals had faced off in the opening week of the NFL season and seven times the Cowboys had beaten the Giants.
The try, try again Giants put an end to all of that by squeaking out a 20-19 victory, despite owning the ball for just 23:17 minutes to the Cowboys 36.43. It is rare to see a team control the ball the way the Cowboys did (for more than 60% of the game) and still manage to lose.
But Cowboys fans have 20 years of Jerry’s teams figuring out how to snatch victory from themselves.
Based on what we know from what we have seen, allow me to predict the ups and downs for the 2016 Cowboys season:
- UP! 🙂 – Dak Prescott will be just fine. He has all of the tools to operate at this level and the intelligence and decision-making prowess needed to succeed in today’s NFL.
- Down 🙁 – No one of Dak’s caliber plays on defensive line. QB pressure will be sparse this year, which means takeaways will be few and opponent touchdowns many.
- UP! 🙂 – Ezekiel Elliott will be just fine, too. Sure, the Giants held him to 2.5 yards rushing, but they game-planned it that way. Just about any NFL defense can take away one thing from an opponent. They focused on Zeke and so Dak was able to dink and dunk and control the clock for much of the game. As Dak gets more experience, this formula will have to change, because he will carve up opponents.
- Down 🙁 – The defense will yield more than the offense can harvest, which is a losing formula. The old adage that “defense wins championships” may not be so true anymore, but no defense at all ensures no championships. The Cowboys cannot stop the run or the pass.
- UP! 🙂 – The offensive line can give Dak all the time he needs to mature, since he can basically make himself a sandwich before deciding on which receiver to target most plays.
- Down 🙁 – The defensive line would rather smoke than smack. Jerry the Wildcatter continues to take flyers on dubious characters and fragile souls in hopes of scoring that glory hole gusher. He sees talented players slide down the draft board because everyone else knows better and he cannot help himself. Sure, the occasional La’el Collins lands in your lap. but he is outnumbered by knuckleheads who just wanna get high and fly. baby, fly.
- UP! 🙂 – Jason Witten. Dak and Zeke have a man among men to look to, lean on, and follow into battle. Witten will show up big for the young QB and RB week in and week out.
- Down 🙁 – The Cowboys HAVE to get more than one catch for eight yards from Dez Bryant, to have any measure of success in 2016.
- UP! 🙂 – Romo will be back.
- Down 🙁 – Romo will be back…and so will his back.
- UP! 🙂 – The Cowboys will do better than the4-12 record of a year ago.
- Down 🙁 – They will not match the 12-4 record of two years ago.
- UP! 🙂 – Jerry Jones knows how to put out a first-class product. Just look at The Star in Frisco and AT&T Stadium. The Cowboys brand has never been bigger or more profitable.
- Down 🙁 Jerry is no football team builder and has still never put out a perennial winner without Jimmy Johnson. But he’s young and in excellent health, so you fans can damn well wait until he dies trying.
And, so it goes. Up, down, up, down, round and round and the Lombardi trophy keeps touring other cities while Dallas waits and waits and waits.Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2016 Silver and BlueBlood