Is this the rookie wall we all keep hearing about? For 12 weeks, we’ve been hearing non-stop about how Dak Prescott can’t be doing what he’s doing, that he can’t keep this up. After an average performance in Minnesota against a very good Vikings secondary, and whatever you want to call last night, is this it? Are the critics and history right? Twitter blew up throughout the game with pleads for Tony Romo. After the game, Jerry Jones and Jason Garrett both said they are comfortable with Dak Prescott as the QB of this team going forward. How true will that be if Dak has another catastrophic performance against a solid Tampa Bay defense this coming Sunday Night? Prescott finished the game 17 of 37 for 165 yrds, 1 TD, INTs and a Passer Rating of 45.4. That brings his rating vs the Giants to 58.6 compared to his rating against all other teams of 114.3. Is Prescott hitting the rookie wall or are the Giants his kryptonite?
The Cowboys offense missed a lot of opportunities Sunday night at MetLife Stadium. The running game was there most of the night and Ezekiel Elliott did his part rushing for 107 yards on 24 carries. However, the story is most definitely the play of QB1, Dak Prescott. Dak was awful. There is no way to sugar coat it. Poor decisions and poor throws throughout the entire game made it impossible to move the ball with any type of regularity. This team has been pretty consistent in 3rd down efficiency throughout the year, yet only converted one 3rd down out of 15 tries. There were also 0 red zone appearances. Now, this isn’t all on Dak, the Giants defensive front was getting to in the backfield on nearly every drop back. What has saved the offensive drives in prior weeks was Dak’s ability to use his feet. Last night, Dak had 1 rush for 1 yard. The ability to extend the play to find the open man simply was not there and the numerous stalled drives were a result.
The bright spot of this game was the defense, led by Sean Lee’s 18 total tackles. This defense provided 3 takeaways and held the Giants to 260 total yards, 61 of which were on one play. That one 61 yard TD pass to Odell Beckham Jr was the one mistake this defense made on the night. The Cowboys were playing man defense so Sean Lee followed the running back, leaving the middle of the field wide open. Brandon Carr couldn’t keep up and the Safety took a horrible line and whiffed on the tackle about 10-15 yards from scrimmage. Two mistakes, one play.
This game was about as even as you can get. One minute difference in time of possession, 260 total yards of offense for both teams, 3 turnovers for both teams, 1 big play resulting in a TD for both. The difference? The Giants made a 39 yard field goal, the Cowboys 55 yard attempt hit the cross bar. Looking forward, the Cowboys now have to make a decision. Learn and move forward. Or sulk and continue the slide. Tampa Bay has something to play for and has won 5 straight. They will be poised and ready. Will the Cowboys?
Keys to the Game Scorecard:
- Avoid mental mistakes. Mental mistakes this week weren’t penalties, rather poor execution. Dez fumbling the ball, Dak throwing 2 interceptions (1 was his fault) and a couple dropped interceptions.
- Play your game. The Cowboys stuck to their game plan and Zeke rushed for over 100 yards. Poor execution by the QB1 was the game changer.
- Pressure. Eli Manning was sacked 3 times for a loss of 26 yards. He fumbled one, which the Cowboys recovered and should have had more than the one interception. Defense played perhaps their best game yet.
Result: WAY OFF
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By Matt Robinson — 2 years ago
The 2017 NFL draft is over, and it was actually one of the more exciting drafts in recent history. From several 1st round trades for quarterbacks to the best pre-selection speech ever given, by Drew Pearson. The season doesn’t start for four months, and we have to fill the football void in our lives somehow, so let’s dive into the Cowboys first 5 picks…
Round 1, Pick 28: Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan
Taco is a 6’6″, 277 lb defensive end, that had a decent junior season, and a good senior season. His combine numbers did not overly impress anyone, but his size did, and you can’t teach size. Taco has the God-given gifts to play in the NFL, but will need to work on his strength and quickness to become an impact player.
The 40-yard dash is not as great an indicator for a defensive lineman, but his 10 yard split was more telling than his complete 40. as the 3 cone drill and 20-yard shuttle. Taco performed in the top 15 in both the 3 cone drill and the 20-yard shuttle for defensive linemen. The bench press doesn’t tell the whole story of strength for an NFL player, but Taco will definitely need to hit the weight room to make sure he does not get manhandled by NFL tackles.
The Cowboys needed a pass rush, considering they have been without one since 2014 when Demarcus Ware left for Denver. Taco will be able to control his own destiny with the Cowboys’ pass rush positions wide open due to inconsistent play and substance abuse issues. Some may have questioned taking Taco this high, but he was on draft boards anywhere from mid-1st to mid-2nd round, and the defensive back depth in this draft was much greater than the defensive line depth. Taco’s NFL career will be determined by how motivated he is to be great. Hard work should get him to the Pro Bowl, while apathy will have him frustrating teams and coaches alike.
Round 2, Pick 60: Chidobe Awuzie, CB, Colorado
Many analysts and Cowboys fans had their eyes on Kevin King or Sidney Jones in the 1st round for the Cowboys, but the Jones’ preferred the value of Chidobe Awuzie in the 2nd round. He has good size, and great speed. Back-to-back All Pac-12 teams, a nose for the football, and not being afraid to step up and put a hit on a runner makes it appear as if the Cowboys made the right choice in waiting.
At 6’0″ with a 4.43 40 time, and a 34.5″ vertical, Chidobe should be able to matchup with almost any receiver in the league athletically. He played more inside corner at the nickel position in college, but will need to learn to play outside as well. Awuzie’s willingness to deliver a hit will do well with Marinelli’s DB blitzes. While Chidobe can lay the smackdown every once in a while, he will need to learn to wrap up, since most NFL ball carriers know how to break away from lazy arm tackles he has been known to resort to at times.
The lack of depth in the Cowboys’ secondary will give fans the ability to see what Chidobe can do very early on. Week 1 will be a big test with the New York Giants and their talented receiving crew coming to Jerry’s World week 1.
Round 3, Pick 92: Jourdan Lewis, CB, Michigan
Lewis was one of the best cover corners in the NCAA for the past two years, but his size may present an issue at the next level. Cornerbacks that are under 6 feet usually find themselves as career nickelbacks. However, this was a great value pick, since Lewis was passed over by many teams in the third round, most likely due to his pending domestic violence issue.
Jourdan is a physical corner, especially in the first five yards not letting receivers get a clean break. This skill will prove to be very important in the NFL, especially considering Lewis does not have great speed (4.54 40) at the cornerback position. He could prove to be very valuable to the Cowboys since they are often burned by good route-running receivers. Jourdan Lewis is eerily similar to former Cowboy, Pacman Jones. Let’s just hope these similarities end once he steps off the field.
Round 4, Pick 133: Ryan Switzer, WR, North Carolina
This pick was somewhat confusing, considering this was not a big need for the Cowboys, and Switzer was probably not this high on anyone’s draft board. Switzer believes he is the best returner in the draft, which would fill another void the Cowboys have had for the past two seasons, when Dwayne Harris bolted for New York.
Switzer’s quickness was on display at the combine with the fastest 20 yard shuttle and the 2nd fastest 60 yard shuttle for wide receivers (3rd fastest overall in both). At 5’8″, one can assume that the Cowboys may be looking for a replacement for slot receiver Cole Beasley, who has 2 years left on his current contract and only a $1 million cap hit with a trade or release before the 2018 season.
Not too sure about the value of this pick, since these type of players may be dime a dozen, but only time will tell. Switzer will most likely only see playing time as a returner in his rookie season.
Round 6, Pick 191: Xavier Woods, S, Lousiana Tech
The Cowboys traded their 2018 5th round pick to grab what looks to be the best value pick of the draft for Dallas. This is another player with good quickness, that was displayed in both combine shuttle drills, as well as the 3 cone drill. Woods is a big hitting safety that can also track the football in the air to break up and intercept deep balls (5 INTs his senior year).
He does give off the look of former Denver Broncos safety, Steve Atwater, who could both cover in the pass and deliver bone-jarring hits on even the biggest of running backs. Unfortunately, sometimes the need to get a big hit got the best of Atwater, but Xavier seems very focused on disrupting passing lanes.
Woods is somewhat undersized at 5’11” at the safety position, but everything else points to him being the Cowboys’ “steal” of the 2017 draft. Also, with Barry Church and JJ Wilcox saying goodbye to Dallas this off-season, Xavier Woods could see the field more often than most 6th round picks do in their rookie season.
The rest of the picks were as follows:
Round 6, Pick 216: Marquez White, CB, Florida State
Round 7, Pick 228: Joey Ivie, DT, Florida
Round 7, Pick 239: Noah Brown, WR, Ohio State
Round 7, Pick 246: Jordan Carrell, DT, ColoradoViews: 0
By Matt Robinson — 3 years ago
Starting Five: C: Al Horford PF: Amir Johnson SF: Jae Crowder SG: Avery Bradley PG: Isaiah Thomas
Ceiling, Floor & Most Likely: 2 seed; 7 seed; 4 seed
It’s really hard to make a deep run in the playoffs without a top 20 player, and the Celtics don’t have a top 20 player. They need to make a trade to become a contender. If you’ve heard or read Bill Simmons in the past five years, you probably understand that it is a grammatical crime to create a sentence with Danny Ainge without also including the fact that he has been collecting assets. Well newsflash Bostonians, assets don’t win championships. It is time for Ainge to cash in those assets for a franchise player. Isaiah Thomas is a good player, maybe even very good, but he is a number 3 on a championship team. Maybe a number 2 if it is a very solid team, but there is no way you can hold the Larry O’Brien trophy at the end of the year with Isaiah Thomas as your franchise player.
Jimmy Butler may be the most likely option for a trade. Russ may have been in talks as well had he not signed the extension with OKC. The positive about getting Russ, is that you can’t overtrade for a superduperstar. No one is going to say, ‘you gave up too much for Russ’, but they may say that about Butler. Boston has the Nets first round draft pick for the next two years, and those are nothing to sneeze at. 2017 and 2018 are supposed to be high talent drafts, and the judging by the outlook in Brooklyn, those should be top 10 picks, if not top 5. They probably only have to give up one of those picks to get Butler, but they will also have to give up one or two players (Thomas, Bradley, Brown). As the Celtics are assembled right now they are probably a second round exit, but Butler could make them contenders for the Finals. The upside for Butler, is that he could be plugged into a system more easily than someone like Russ. Boston needs to take advantage of the weaker East before things change (which may be sooner than later) and cash in these ‘assets’ for a chance at a championship.
Starting Five: C: Brook Lopez PF: Trevor Booker SF: Bojan Bogdanovic SG: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson PG: Jeremy Lin
Ceiling, Floor & Most Likely: Out; Out; Out
When you look at the Brooklyn Nets roster, only one word comes to mind…Who?. It sounds more like a casting call for ‘The
Bachelorette’ than an NBA roster. Let’s play a game; I’m going to list 5 players on the Nets and 5 guys from this season of ‘The Bachelorette’. Let’s see how many you can get right.
1. Alex Woytkiw 2. Caris LaVert 3. Grant Kemp 4. Justin Hamilton 5. Joe Harris 6. Jordan Rodgers 7. Evan Bass 8. Greivis Vasquez 9. Chad Johnson 10. Trevor Booker.
If you got a 10 out of 10 it means one of two things. Either you watch ‘The Bachelorette’ or YOU WATCH ‘The Bachelorette’. Even the biggest of Nets fans wouldn’t know all of those players, and the last one, Trevor Booker, is a starter! For the record: 2,4,5,8,10 are Brooklyn Nets.
I can’t believe this team won 21 games last year, and I don’t see them winning that many in 2017. The biggest issue for the Nets is that they don’t even have any hope for the future. A string of ill advised trades made sure they won’t have any good draft picks until at least 2019. At least players that sign with the Nets have a nice place to live, because all the losing is sure to get them down. The only thing the Nets can hope for is a stint of Linsanity or maybe the NBA will adopt a golf like scoring system where lowest score wins. Move over Philadelphia, Brooklyn is coming in to plant their flag as the worst team in the league.
New York Knicks
Starting Five: C: Joakim Noah PF: Kristaps Porzingis SF: Carmelo Anthony SG: Courtney Lee PG: Derrick Rose
Ceiling, Floor & Most Likely: 3 seed; Out; 6 seed
The Knicks would be contenders for the Finals in the East, but I can’t imagine a season with this roster without a significant injury or two. Seeing Noah and Rose on a team other than the Bulls will be strange, but this may be just the change of scenery both of them needed. Derrick Rose was not happy when he came back after missing the majority of 3 seasons because of
injury to find out he had to battle with Jimmy Butler for control of ‘his’ team. Now, of course, Carmelo is in New York, but Rose would rather player on Melo’s team than give up his team to Butler. For Joakim, there was not a player that hated the coaching change of Thibs for Hoiberg more than him. He saw his defensive minded team of which he was the glue, turn into a team that tried to live and die by the three ball when there were only two good long distance shooters, at best. While Jeff Hornacek was a shooter as a player and still loves the long ball, Noah is going to love his business first approach.
Melo will be in heaven with the best team, and most talent, he has ever played with. Every other time he has had a big name teammate, it was either way past their prime or they were injured for the majority of the time played with Melo. Probably his best teammate has been JR Smith, and not to take anything away from JR, but it is hard to be successful when that is your
right hand man. Kristaps Porzingis is the future of the Knickerbockers, but not quite yet. He had a great rookie season, but he needs to make sure to learn from all of the veterans around him. Hopefully, he can see that he will still be a number three option, which will allow him to work on his defense and passing game. This will help him tremendously in his career if he can take advantage of not being needed as a scorer. Most young scorers don’t get this opportunity, and are forced to ignore other aspects of their game to focus solely on scoring because of their team’s great need.
The key to the Knicks success will be resting during the regular season. Just like 2016, the 3-6 seeds in the East will most likely be interchangeable, so the Knicks need to worry less about getting a high seed and more about making it to May with a healthy roster.
Starting Five: C: Nerlens Noel PF: Jahlil Okafor SF: Robert Convington SG: Gerald Henderson PG:Jerryd Bayless
Ceiling, Floor & Most Likely: Out; Out; Out
It’s four years, and counting, that the 76ers will not be playing their first round draft pick for at least part of the season. First Nerlens Noel, then Joel Embiid, then Jahlil Okafor, and now Ben Simmons. The bad luck is incredible. It looks like Ben Simmons is going to play it safe, and wil most likely miss the entire season. Now that Simmons is out, still look for Noel to be dealt. Why trade a big guy when they just lost a big guy to injury? Well, Simmons was also a ball handler, and if you don’t have anyone to bring the ball down the court, it makes the game a lot tougher. Also, Noel is in the last year of his rookie deal, and the 76ers will probably not want to sign him to a big deal when most of their depth is in the front court.
Joel Embiid is getting talk to be in the running for rookie of the year. Somewhat strange to win this two full seasons after being drafted, but 2016-2017 will be the first time he can actually suit up for an NBA game. The more playing time Embiid gets, the better shot he will have, so Noel leaving or staying will definitely sway votes. Noel has already proven to be a solid center in this league, but Embiid has a bigger upside, the question is whether or not he can stay on the court. The 76ers have shown over the past five years that they are risk takers, so this is another reason you can look for Noel tobe gone by the trade deadline.
The 76ers also have somewhat of a decision to make at point guard, with solid backup, Jerryd Bayless, and Sergio Rodriguez,
who hasn’t played in the NBA since 2010. While Sergio may be the better PG, it may take him some time to adjust to the NBA game from playing in Europe for five years. Look for Bayless to start while that happens. With such a young team, having experience at point will payoff this year. Philly has a good shot at doubling, maybe even tripling, their wins from last year, while also becoming more of an NBA team and less of a circus sideshow. When you win 10 games, that isn’t such a huge feat, but it will be great for the 76ers for remember what winning feels like at least 25% of the time.
Starting Five: C: Jonas Valanciunas PF: Patrick Patterson SF: DeMarre Carroll SG: DeMar DeRozanPG: Kyle Lowry
Ceiling, Floor & Most Likely: 1 seed; 5 seed; 2 seed
Jonas definitely showed his worth to the Raptors last year, when he went down in the second round. Toronto barely squeaked by a Heat team that decided it would be better to play without any big men, than start Amare Stoudemire again. Jonas will have to keep up the dominance from the playoffs, when he was the best player on the team and carried the Raptors when Lowry & DeRozan couldn’t make a shot, for the Raptors to make another deep playoff run. He will also have to up his minutes played to over 30 mpg since Bismack Biyombo went to Orlando, and the Raptors replaced him with rookie Jakob Poltl and the less-than-impressive Jared Sullinger.
Since the Raptors have lost more than they gained in the offseason, they will need to develop that young talent during the regular season, to make sure there is a reliable bench for the postseason. The East seems to be coming back to at least competitive with the West, so 2017 will be much tougher on Toronto than when they made their first conference finals in franchise history. DeRozan not being in a contract year and the East improvements will also contribute to the Toronto decrease in Wins, but they can still claim the number two seed in the East.Views: 0
By Matt Robinson — 2 years ago
These are what all 30 NBA teams gained or lost during the Draft & Free Agency. I tried to include only free agents that project to be relevant in the coming NBA season (rookies are italicized).
- Atlanta Hawks
- Additions: John Collins, Tyler Dorsey, Miles Plumlee, Marco Belinelli
- Losses: Dwight Howard, Tim Hardaway Jr., Paul Millsap, Jose Calderon, Thabo Sefalosha
- Boston Celtics
- Additions: Kyrie Irving, Jayson Tatum, Gordon Hayward, Aron Baynes, Marcus Morris, Shane Larkin
- Losses: Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Avery Bradley, Kelly Olynyk, Amir Johnson, Jonas Jerebko, Tyler Zeller
- Brooklyn Nets
- Additions: Timofey Mosgov, D’Angelo Russell, DeMarre Carroll, Tyler Zeller, Jarrett Allen, Aleksandar Vezenkov
- Losses: Brook Lopez, Justin Hamilton
- Charlotte Hornets
- Additions: Dwight Howard, Michael Carter-Williams, Malik Monk
- Losses: Miles Plumlee, Marco Belinelli
- Chicago Bulls
- Additions: Kris Dunn, Zach Lavine, Lauri Markkanen, Justin Holiday
- Losses: Jimmy Butler, Rajon Rondo, Michael Carter-Williams
- Cleveland Cavaliers
- Additions: Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Derrick Rose, Jeff Green, Jose Calderon, Cedi Osman
- Losses: Kyrie Irving, Deron Williams, Andrew Bogut, Richard Jefferson
- Dallas Mavericks
- Additions: Dennis Smith Jr., Josh McRoberts, Jeff Withey
- Denver Nuggets
- Additions: Paul Millsap, Richard Jefferson Tyler Lydon, Vlatko Cancar, Monte Morris
- Losses: Danilo Gallinari, Roy Hibbert, Mike Miller
- Detroit Pistons
- Additions: Avery Bradley, Langston Galloway, Luke Kennard
- Losses: Marcus Morris, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
- Golden State Warriors
- Additions: Nick Young, Omri Casspi, Jordan Bell, Chris Boucher
- Losses: Ian Clark
- Houston Rockets
- Additions: Chris Paul, PJ Tucker, Troy Williams, Zhou Qi, Isaiah Hartenstein, Cameron Oliver
- Losses: Patrick Beverly, Lou Williams, Sam Dekker
- Indiana Pacers
- Additions: Victor Oladipo, Domantas Sabonis, Cory Joseph, Bojan Bogdanovic, Darren Collison, TJ Leaf, Ike Anigbogu, Edmond Sumner
- Losses: Paul George, CJ Miles, Monta Ellis, Jeff Teague
- Los Angeles Clippers
- Additions: Patrick Beverly, Lou Williams, Danilo Gallinari, Sam Dekker, Willie Reed, Milos Teodosic, Jawun Evans, Sindarius Thornwell, Isaiah Hicks
- Losses: Chris Paul, Jamal Crawford, Raymond Felton, JJ Reddick
- Los Angeles Lakers
- Additions: Lonzo Ball, Brook Lopez, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Kyle Kuzma, Josh Hart, Thomas Bryant, PJ Dozier
- Losses: D’Angelo Russell, Timofey Mozgov, Nick Young
- Memphis Grizzlies
- Additions: Ben McLemore, Tyreke Evans, Ivan Rabb, Dillon Brooks, Kobi Simmons
- Losses: Vince Carter, Zach Randolph, Tony Allen
- Miami Heat
- Additions: Kelly Olynyk, Bam Adebayo, London Perrantes
- Losses: Chris Bosh, Josh McRoberts, Willie Reed
- Milwaukee Bucks
- Additions: DJ Wilson, Sterling Brown, Bronson Koenig
- Losses: Michael Beasley
- Minnesota Timberwolves
- Additions: Jimmy Butler, Jamal Crawford, Taj Gibson, Jeff Teague, Justin Patton, VJ Beachem, Charles Cooke
- Losses: Kris Dunn, Zach Lavine, Omri Casspi, Shabazz Muhammad
- New Orleans Pelicans
- Additions: Rajon Rondo, Ian Clark, Tony Allen, Frank Jackson, Dwayne Bacon, Peter Jok
- New York Knicks
- Additions: Tim Hardaway Jr., Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott, Michael Beasley, Frank Ntilikina, Damyean Dotson, Ognjen Jaramaz, Nigel Hayes
- Losses: Carmelo Anthony, Derrick Rose, Justin Holiday
- Oklahoma City Thunder
- Additions: Paul George, Carmelo Anthony, Raymond Felton, Patrick Patterson, Terrance Ferguson
- Losses: Victor Oladipo, Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott, Domantas Sabonis, Taj Gibson
- Orlando Magic
- Additions: Jonathon Simmons, Arron Affalo, Shelvin Mack, Jonathan Isaac, Wesley Iwundu, Derrick Walton Jr.
- Losses: Jeff Green
- Philadelphia 76ers
- Additions: Markelle Fultz, JJ Reddick, Amir Johnson, Anzejs Pasecniks, Jonah Bolden, Mathias Lessort, James Blackmon Jr., Melo Trimble, Isaiah Briscoe
- Losses: Gerald Henderson
- Phoenix Suns
- Additions: Josh Jackson, Davon Reed, Alec Peters
- Losses: Leandro Barbosa
- Portland Trail Blazers
- Additions: Zach Collins, Caleb Swanigan
- Sacramento Kings
- Additions: De’Aaron Fox, Vince Carter, Zach Randolph, Justin Jackson, Harry Giles, Frank Mason III
- Losses: Ben McLemore, Tyreke Evans, Rudy Gay, Arron Affalo, Darren Collison, Langston Galloway
- San Antonio Spurs
- Additions: Rudy Gay, Derrick White, Jaron Blossomgame
- Losses: Jonathon Simmons
- Toronto Raptors
- Additions: Justin Hamilton, CJ Miles, OG Anunoby, Kennedy Meeks
- Losses: DeMarre Carroll, Patrick Patterson, Cory Joseph, PJ Tucker
- Utah Jazz
- Additions: Ricky Rubio, Thabo Sefalosha, Jonas Jerebko, Donovan Mitchell, Tony Bradley, Nigel Williams-Goss
- Losses: Gordon Hayward, George Hill, Shelvin Mack, Jeff Withey
- Washington Wizards
- Additions: Marcus Keene, Devin Robinson
- Losses: Bojan Bogdanovic
- Atlanta Hawks