Uh Oh NFC East… Daniel Jones May Have Passed Dak Prescott In the Division

Uh oh NFC East… Dak HAS to win tonight to show he hasnt been passed by. Yes several Cowboy fans have been upset with my alternative media coverage of Dak but tonight is where he has to show he has grown… after 7 years.

Well??

Daniel Ara Kelegian, you sent me this and now Daniel Jones went out and had total command in the Giants 31-24 upset win over Minnesota. Jones has grown in leaps and bounds this year resulting in yesterday’s performance.

While The Chancellor of Football has drawn the ire of Cowboys fans, you have to show me where Dak has grown when it comes to taking on superior opponents & getting the best of elite quarterbacks head to head. Truth is he hasn’t and this is his 7th season as a starter. He had the chance to bury the 3-6 Packers in the midst of a 5 game losing streak. Could vanquish long time antagonist Aaron Rodgers and what happened?? A knock kneed 2 intercption performance and was shut out in the 2nd half of a 31-28 loss. After forging a 28-14 lead.

In contrast Daniel Jones, while being questioned about the legitimacy of being a franchise QB, has made the turn this year. Yes Head Coach Brian Daboll deserves a tremendous amount of credit, but Jones had to perform with the jaundiced eye of the New York press watching every move. In all honesty, Taylor Blitz Times didnt believe he was their franchise quarterback either. Yet his performance all year long, while not spectacular was consistent.

One of the measures we have here is how you perform against superior opponents? Well yesterday’s 31-24 wildcard win qualifies. Others will say “he had a dress rehearsal 3 weeks ago when they lost 27-24 to the same Viking team.” True but in the regular season loss he threw a pick and showed jitters in the 4th quarter when the game was tight. One drive they needed a 55 yard field goal in the 4th quarter just to stay close.

Yesterday’s performance he was in complete control from the outset. He answered the Vikings scoring first with a TD drive of his own. He didnt relinquish the lead once he had it at 14-7. He ran for 74 yards v. the 34 he ran for in the first game. He kept drives alive and the only reason the Vikings had a chance in the end was the huge drop of Darius Slayton which would have been the 1st down to put the game away.

Slayton was almost Patrick Crayton.

Yet Jones hit him in stride in between the 8 and 6. A complete drop. His 4th quarter runs helped the Giants keep the time of possession and demoralized the Vikings. He became the 3rd QB in NFL playoff history throwing for 300 yards while rushing for 75. Oh…and this was his 1st playoff appearance.

Thats growth especially when his team was 9-7-1 upsetting a 13-4 team on the road. Before this game Kirk Cousins and the Vikings were a perceived superior quarterback amd team. Not now… Jones is closing in on a franchise QB contract. He will definitely earn it if he knocks off the #1 seed Philadelphia Eagles.

Speaking of a franchise QB contract, Dak signed one under heavy scrutiny here and other mainstream media outlets. He hasnt performed in the big games and it keeps showing. But the respect he and all Cowboys fans seek for him have to be earned on the field. Quit telling me he is great when I outlined his performance and psychology played out multiple times in the last 5 years.

He is the man in the arena and he has to earn it starting tonight. The 12 win Cowboys are traveling to an 8-9 Tampa Bay team and should win. Will Dak do it?? Well one thing to remember… this is the playoffs where srange things happen. The 1st time a losing team made the playoffs?? The Seattle Seahawks at 7-9 knocked off the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints 41-36. Made famous by Marshawn Lynch’s “Beast Quake” run.

 

The Chancellor of Football’s prediction is this is Dak’s final season as the starting QB in Dallas. He has to decide with tonight’s Wildcard performance in Tampa. He is the “man in the arena” and to do it he has to beat the QB whose documentary was titles tht in Tom Brady.

Dak, your mission, should you choose to accept it…

Until tonight… you are looking up to Daniel Jones in the division. Thanks for reading and please share the article.

Is Mike McCarthy A Coach of The Year Candidate for 2022?

Well Cowboys fans have to give Mike McCarthy credit. I really dont know where the animosity from fans came from when his name comes up. Was it the broad brush stroked over him when he was fired in Green Bay??

McCarthy deserves credit for Cowboys season.

Whatever the reason…Cowboys lose, he and Kellen Moore get  ALL the blame but when they win its because of Dak. Even during Cooper Rush’s 4-1 run. Make no mistake I like both Kellen and McCarthy but what’s fair is fair.  As the roving  crazy show of Jerry’s comments, arguments over is the defense championship caliber, Dak, Pollard or Zeke?

Quietly this man should be considered for coach of the year.

Its popular for some reason not to like him. People that follow the crowd just burn me up but the sporting press shouldnt act that way. If you’re going to name him for perceived coaching gaffes, its time to give him creit for keeping this ship on course. Especially when the season many pundits perceived lost when Dak was injured.

Keep in mind Dallas went 4-1 with Cooper Rush where the Eagles are 0-2 with Gardner Minschew and may lose homefield advantage. The Ravens are 1-2 and sliding in the playoff seedings without Lamar Jackson. This after an 0-5 finish without him to miss the playoffs last year.

 

At some point, McCarthy has to get credit. After all this is a Super Bowl winning coach.

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2021 Preview – The Truth About Dak Prescott

While writing about the teams of the National Football League there are certain values you assess certain players with. One here at Taylor Blitz Times is the description of the quarterback. Is the quarterback an Alpha or a Beta? In doing so Dak Prescott has been labeled a Beta Quarterback which has drawn the ire of Cowboys fans. Its a clash waged on social media between friends/readers for a few years now.

Cowboy fans have been waiting to see a healthy Dak Prescott hit the field.

To bring you up to speed lets take you back and define the line between the two distinctions:

The alpha infuses confidence in his football team through his play and leadership. His teammates are inspired through his verve, spirit, and fight which in turn raises their level of play to meet his.  You can see the confidence in their eyes when the game is tight. He doesn’t shrink when games are on the line or when the team is up against a superior opponent. This is what every coach covets each year in the NFL draft…

Then you have the beta quarterback that many teams seem to be afflicted with. He comes through with the physical gifts that scouts and coaches can see where he can improve, and can possibly sculpt a winner from. He shows promise and can win you a few football games yet isn’t a leader. This is the guy that looks to his teammates for confidence when they’re looking to him for theirs.

Subsequently when the situations get tight or they’re up against tough teams, he shrinks at the moment of truth.  Sure they win games they are supposed to win but the superior opponent he needs to beat to become a champion, he will always come up short. Late game interceptions, missed connections in crucial times, & mangled last minute drives which short ciruit his team’s efforts. Most important he always loses when an alpha quarterback is leading the other team. Constant big game heartbreak follows this guy….always.

Dak playing from behind…

In dissecting Dak’s play its been one where The Chancellor has described Dak as falling behind 20-7, then scrambles back gaining garbage yards against vanilla defenses. Only to lose 30-24 and Cowboy apologists blame everything but Dak. “Its the defense…. Its Mike McCarthy, the play calling etc.” Truth be told its Prescott’s fault struggling early in games although he has gotten better lately…. but still a beta quarterback. He feasts on his weak division and struggles against top defenses and contending teams.

For starters lets look at the 1st half of Prescott’s games in 2019 & 2020 before injury. We’re going to look at each with overall defensive ranking, defense vs pass ranking, Dak’s stats, whether the Cowboys were up and if they ultimately won the game:

Giants (25th / 28th v pass) 17 of 28 230yds 3TDs – up 21-7 at half /Win

Wash (27th/18th v pass) 12 of 18 – 86yds 2TDs – 1int / 1 sack up 14-7 at half/Win

Dolphins (30th/26th v pass) 9 of 19 – 95yds 1TD – up 10-6 at half/Win

Saints (11th/20th v pass) 11 of 15 – 88yds 0TDs 0ints -down 9-3 at half/Loss

Packers (17th/11th v pass) 8 of 14 -149yds 0TDs 2ints/2 sacks down 17-0 at half/Loss

Jets (7th/17th v pass) 13 of 20 – 125yds 0TDs 0ints down 21-3 at half/Loss

Eagles (10th/19th v pass) 12 of 16 -147yds 1TD 0ints /1sack / up 27-7 at half/Win

Giants (25th/28th v pass) 11 of 19 – 89yds 1TD 1int /up 13-12 at half/ Win

Vikings (27th/25th v pass) 12 of 19 – 185yds 2TDs / down 17-14 at half/ Loss

Lions (32nd/31st v pass) 16 of 25 – 274yds 2TDs/1 sack / up 24-14 at half/Win

Patriots (2nd/1st v pass) 10 of 15 – 88yds 0TDs 1 int/ down 10-6 at half /Loss

Bills (3rd/4th v pass) 16 of 24 163yds 1TD 1int/ 3 sacks/ down 13-7 at half/Loss

Bears (8th/9th v pass) 7 of 12 60yds 0TDs / 1 sack / down 17-7at half/Loss

Rams (12th/13th v pass) 9 of 15 158yds 2TDs up 28-7 at half/Win

Eagles (10th/19th v pass) 11 of 18 125yds 0TDs/ down 10-6 at half/Loss

Wash (27th/18th v pass) 12 of 19 120 yds 0TDs/3 sacks/ up 20-7 at half/Win

Of course the question will be raised as why just analyze the first half? Did you notice Dak was 8-0 when he led the Cowboys to a half time lead? What is glaring are none of these games showed him overcome a deficit to lead Dallas to a come from behind win. Also:

Did you notice Prescott was 2-6 against defenses that ranked in the top half in the NFL?? Or notice the 1-5 record vs playoff teams in 2019 with the lone win against the Eagles?? What about in 6 of those losses he didnt throw a TD in the 1st half of games?? I thought it was the defense Cowboy fans?? Why can’t Dak get leads on quality defenses or quality teams?? Where are his 4th quarter heroic comeback wins??

Troy Aikman’s 1st half of 93 NFC Championship Game

What made Troy Aikman a great quarterback is his 1st half consistency completing passes for 1st downs and touchdowns so he could turn it over to Emmitt and The Great Wall. In fact both Dallas and San Francisco in their yers of dominance came out passing. Notice the stat line where Aikman is averaging nearly 13 yards per completion. Dak needs to get leads and allow his defense to pass rush and line up in predictable down and distances.

This will also allow the Cowboys to turn it over to Ezekiel Elliott and what’s left of The Great Wall II as well.

Another graphic to contrast is this freeze frame from Joe Montana’s performance in the 1st half of the 1981 NFC Championship Game vs Dallas. Notice he is averaging 15 yards per completion??

The reason these are being shown is to get you to understand passing for 80 yards and 0TDs is why he is always behind. The other is Prescott signed a new contract for narly $40 million per year. You’re expected to win championships at these dollar figures.

Can Dak improve and play alpha quarterback football?? Of course he can but will he?? Its not been his norm nor a part of his mental makeup. Keep in mind Dak was only 1-3 last year and all 3 losses were to playoff teams to the Rams, Seahawks, and Cleveland Browns. By the way…he was playing from behind in the last 3 of his regular season starts.

Up ’til now Dak Prescott hasn’t been an alpha quarterback and hasn’t flashed any greatness. Several times during the season I had called him “Fools Gold” and a “Beta Quarterback” which drew the ire of Cowboys fans. Show me where he has exhibited greatness or a win against a marquee non NFC East team??

Now after a severe leg injury and several MRIs on his throwing shoulder keeping him out of the 1st 2 preseason games, Prescott is expected to be great?? This is a tall ask as he begins against Tom Brady and the Super Bowl Champion Bucaneers. Furthermore the Bucs defense ranked 6th last year. Oh boy! Dak… your mission, should you choose to accept it…

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2019 NFC East Previews & Predictions

Last year’s NFC East race was one that showed that football is a marathon not a sprint. Last year when the green and white crossed flags were waved the Redskins were dominating the division with a 5-3 record. By season’s end it was a resurgent Cowboy team that dominated winning 7 of their last 8 games. They leaped right over the defending champion Eagles and won the NFC East.

Yet here goes Jerry  Jones again with all the angst surrounding the contracts of Zeke, Dak, and Amari Cooper. How will this affect the team’s psyche at the outset of the season?? With Elliott holding out and Jerry Jones drawing a line in the stand, this stalemate will go into the season. Who will Jones sign first?? Will Jones sign all three??

This team has several young quarterbacks coming into the division in Dewayne Haskins in Washington and Daniel Jones in Gotham with the Giants. Each were 1st round selections which should be clipboard holding rookies although there were grumblings in NewYork wanting to see more of Jones after 1 exhibition game.

2019 NFC East Predictions

  1. Philadelphia Eagles 11-5 *
  2. Dallas Cowboys 9-7
  3. Washington Redskins 6-10
  4. New York Giants 5-11

One season removed from their Super Bowl championship, the Eagles find themselves a team with a lot to prove. Can Carson Wentz fulfill the promise of his #1 draft status?? Many pundits credit the miracle playoff run of Nick Foles for the Super Bowl LII championship although Wentz had led the team to a 11-2 record before his injury. Speaking of which can Wentz finish the season upright?? Wentz has been knocked out ending the last two seasons on the sideline.

The Eagles lacked muscle and attitude in the running game once they lost LaGarrette Blount to Detroit. However the Iggles may have pulled a coup stealing RB Jordan Howard from the Bears in an offseason trade.

Entering his 4th season he has already rushed for 1,000 yards (1,313 yds & 1,122 yds) in ’16 and ’17 respectively. He fell out of favor with Bear Coach Nagy whose gimmicky offense didn’t allow Howard to get into a groove. He’s a power back who will move the chains and keep defenses honest. Expect a 1,200 yard season in ’19.

Carson Wentz will be the benificiary of defenses being bludgeoned by Howard and have a rebirth with All Pro Zach Ertz, Alshon Jeffrey and the resigning of deep threat DeShawn Jackson. This team will win the division going away.

Conventional wisdom has Colt McCoy headed to become the Redskins starting QB over 1st round pick Dewayne Haskins this season… conventional wisdom will get Coach Jay Gruden fired if it plays out this way. McCoy hasn’t passed the eye ball test since he was knocked out of the National Championship Rose Bowl vs Alabama.

Last year he was 0-2 in his starts completing just 34 of 54 for 372 yards 3TDs and 3 ints. This was on a team that started 6-3 where Lazarus (Peterson) rose to rush for 1,090 yards and a defense that finished 17th. Washingon’s defense gave up less than 20 points 6 times in their 1st 9 games then only once over the final 7. McCoy couldn’t win with or lift his team’s spirits then there is no chance of doing it now. Haskins has to play. McCoy’s NFL ceiling is that of a second string QB… Haskins?? Can become a Pro Bowl player if he gets in camp and shows he wants it.

A murderous 0-3 start facing Philadelphia on the road, then Dallas and Chicago at home should do the trick. Haskins would then start against the moribund New York Giants (24th ranked defense) with a bye week to follow. Haskins has these next 6 weeks to save Gruden’s job. Why not now with a veteran laden group and a power runner to take the pressure off??

Over in New York it’s hard to watch Eli Manning age and fall into a QB controversy as 1st round pick Daniel Jones. The heir apparent should wind up holding a clip board all year as Manning has his final season where Jones can learn on the sideline. Unlike the situation in Washington, this team is in a complete restructure where playoff aspirations are out of reach.

The only talent in The Big Apple is Saquan Barkley who may have to dial it back a bit to keep from being overworked. A super back out of the Walter Payton/ OJ Simpson mode. Tremendous talent on a team where he is the sole focal point of an inept offense. The future isn’t now in New York…next year once they add some players they can make a move and insert Jones.

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Return of The Over The Hill Gang

One of the most interesting 1st place teams during this opening stanza of the 2018 season is the Washington Redskins. In the Nation’s Capital this team has foraged out to a 4-2 record and first place in the NFC East.  On Sunday they knocked off Dallas 20-17 one week after the upset of the Carolina Panthers 23-17 as CB Josh Norman gained a measure of revenge against his former team and nemesis Cam Newton.

You’ll remember these two were teammates on the 2015 NFC Champions that went 15-1 before losing to Denver in Super Bowl L. That season began with a heated fight between Norman and Newton in the preseason. Now everyone said the right things after it was over however you could tell from some of the taunting and talking on field Sunday, time hasn’t healed all wounds.

The spirit Norman played with in an emotional 23-17 victory where he picked Newton off once and forced another fumble, helped thwart the favored Panthers. Cam Newton’s bunch believes they are back among the league’s elite. A perch they haven’t sat since Norman took his talents to DC after signing a 5 year $75 million deal.

Peterson is one of history’s finest runners and ran for 99 yards Sunday v Dallas.

Now off the win over Dallas this team is gaining notice nationally as they have thoroughly outperformed what prognosticators, including yours truly, thought at the outset of this season.

Yet look around this roster. Its not necessarily the group George Allen put together in the early 1970’s but this team has retreads off the scrapheap leading the charge.

Peterson is running as though it’s 2008.

Adrian Peterson (438 yds / 3TDs), who was signed after losing 2 RBs to injured reserve and he runs as though he has found the fountain of youth. Good for 9th in rushing although he was signed in week 3. At 33 he’s averaging 109 yards per game. Not bad after a lackluster season in Arizona after being released by the Saints.

What about 34 year old QB Alex Smith?? Twice shown the door in Kansas City and San Francisco, has been the safe/cautious QB (1,373 yards 7 TDs v 2 ints) that may get you in trouble in the playoffs, however he never leaves the NFL’s 5th best defense with a short field to defend.

Do you realize Alex Smith has ridden this formula to the NFL playoffs 6 of the last 7 years??

Along with Pro Bowl TE Jordan Reed he has 34 year old former 49er Vernon Davis to make a clutch catch when needed. Remember it was Smith to Davis, The Catch III, with :09 to go to beat New Orleans 36-32 in the playoffs to advance to the NFC Championship Game.  Although he isn’t as explosive as he was then, he’s able to take over for 4 or 5 games should Reed get injured. However if Reed can stay healthy its hard to focus and account for a 2nd TE on a ‘backer in pass coverage from a run heavy offensive set of 2 TEs.

This team is coming downhill and gain a measure of physicality on their opponents behind Peterson running the football. It fires up and gets the Offensive Line in a nasty mood and does so to their top 5 defense. They held the big bad Dallas front 5 and Ezekiel Elliott to 33 yards on 15 carries after holding Christian McCaffrey to 20 yards on 8 carries in subsequent weeks.

Scheduling brings the Giants (18th in Defense), Falcons (30th), Bucs (29th), Texans (9th), before a rubber match with the improving Cowboys. It’s plausible this team could be 7-2 or 8-3 going into this encounter.

In 6 weeks, this team takes on the reeling World Champion Eagles with supremacy of the division at stake. If this team can continue to lay physical dominance over their opponents and Peterson keeps running like a man possessed, they could wrap up the division right after Thanksgiving. He is already the runaway winner of “Comback Player of The Year” as he is on pace to rush for more than 1,400 yards despite missing the first 2 games.

Aside from injuries it is hard to derail a veteran laden team playing with something to prove. When it’s fueled by a series of veterans playing with something to prove, the sky is the limit.

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Legendary Days: Clint Longley Saves Dallas On Thanksgiving

Within every team there are players harboring Walter Mitty fantasies about answering the call and stepping off the bench and having a great game in the absence of a star player. Yet rarely does it happen and even less so in an important game. Enter Clint Longley…

Clint Longley lets one rip.

In 1974 the Dallas Cowboys were a team in transition. This was the twilight as the stars faded from the team known as “Next Year’s Champions” and developing shooting stars which would see the Cowboys be anointed “America’s Team.” Running backs Calvin Hill & Walt Garrison, Hall of Fame DT and 1st draft pick in team history Bob Lilly, SS Cornell Green were all in their final season in Dallas. Even former starting QB Craig Morton who had been embattled in competing for the starting job for years with Roger Staubach had been dealt away in week 6.

The football gods would have Morton and Dallas meet again in an upcoming Super Bowl …*ahem* but that is another story for another time.

Yet this aging team staggered into their annual Turkey Day Bowl where they would face NFC East nemesis Washington. George Allen’s “Over The Hill Gang” was 4-3 with Tom Landry’s group dating back the last 3 years. One of which Dallas was Super Bowl VI champions and they split with the Redskins then. Where was the 1 win lead by Washington gained?? Knocking off the defending champion Cowboys in the 1972 NFC Championship Game 26-3.

So this team had Dallas number and they knew each other inside and out. In fact the Redskins had beaten Staubach and company 2 weeks before this fateful match-up.

When you look back this could have been the most important game in Cowboys history. Having leaned on a rookie that was one of Gil Brandt and the Cowboys’ brass “finds”, did it lend to a more relaxed attitude toward younger players?? Remember it was the next season in 1975 where they threw caution to the wind and they went into the season with 12 rookies on the roster. “The Dirty Dozen” and they made it all the way to Super Bowl X. This was when names like “Too Tall” Jones, Henderson, Randy White and Harvey Martin stepped to the fore leading to 3 Super Bowls in a 4  year period where they became known as “America’s Team.”

Another reason this game was so important in Cowboys history, the very next year Dallas found themselves in a hopeless situation in the ’75 playoffs in Minnesota. After converting a 4th and 17 to the 50 yard line with :44 left. Staubach hit Drew Pearson with “The Hail Mary” to win that game 17-14. Why are we mentioning this here?? Well Staubach asked Pearson to adjust the “16 route” to the same “in and up” referring to this famous touchdown the year before between Longley and Pearson. With this 2nd miraculous playoff finish (1st the comeback in 72 against San Fran) Staubach was now known for them and ascending to legendary status.

Upon further review, another of Gil Brandt’s finds came across this where you can see Longley must have been a special player at Abilene Christian. He was on the AP Little All America 2nd team right next to Walter Payton

Notice all the future Cowboys that came off this All America team from small schools.

Yet for one brief moment when America was watching, Clint Longley had one of the most improbable rags to riches individual Cinderella games in NFL history.

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