Dec 29, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant (88) runs after a reception against Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Bradley Fletcher (24) and Cary Williams (26) in the fourth quarter at AT&T Stadium. The Eagle beat the Cowboys 24-22. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

DeSean Jackson’s Moves Make Cowboys the Team To Beat


My life is Cowboys football which means I get plenty of attention from fans of the Houston Texans and our fellow NFC East opponents. It was these fans that informed me that former Eagles receiver, DeSean Jackson had signed with Washington. I really thought it was an April Fool’s joke!

Since it’s true, I believe that it locks up the NFC East for the Cowboys. The Eagles may have won the NFC East divisional title last year, but we will be the team to beat. The Cowboys finished with a 5 – 1 record in our division while having the NFL’s lowest ranked defense, while the Eagles went 4 – 2. In the season finale, fans of the Eagles quickly forget that the Eagles only won by 2 points with back up Kyle Orton leading the Cowboys. As far as the NFC East is concerned, the Cowboys are that good.

As a free agent, the Cowboys didn’t need DeSean Jackson, unless he wanted to play in the slot. Why DeSean Jackson signed with a team that has a rookie head coach and controversy at the quarterback position and an offense built around the running game is a mystery. The “NFL’s worst defense” held Jackson to six catches for 49 yards in two games last year with Nick Foles at the helm. Wide receivers are usually only as good as their quarterback – right Larry Fitzgerald?

Name

QBR

Peyton Manning – 2nd

82.9

Nick Foles – 5th

69

Tom Brady – 11th

61.1

Tony Romo – 12th

59.5

Russell Wilson – 13th

58.9

Robert Griffin III – 29th

40.1

Eli Manning – 33rd

36.5

Robert Griffin III finished last year as a back-up quarterback and had a QBR of 40.1. For the Eagles, Riley Cooper and Jason Avant isn’t a receiving combination that threatens any defense. Last year, Brandon Carr had problems covering Pierre Garcon, but nobody is trying to remember that Carr was sick. Don’t believe any stories that claim the Cowboys defense should be worried about Washington’s receivers. Thanks to DeSean Jackson’s moves, the Eagles got worse while Washington picked up a player they won’t be able to throw to. The Cowboys will run the table in the NFC East.

Our receivers are the group people should be talking about. Dez Bryant and Terrance Williams combined for a great season. The numbers below doesn’t include the receiving contributions of the great Jason Witten.

Name

Receptions

Yards

Average Yards

Per Catch

TD’s

Dez Bryant

93

1249

13.4

13

Terrance Williams

44

736

16.7

5

Cole Beasley

39

368

9.4

2

Dwayne Harris

9

80

8.9

2

Miles Austin

24

244

10.2

0

DeSean Jackson

85

1385

16.3

9

I’m a big fan of Dwayne Harris and would love to see him play more as the third wide receiver. There’s no denying that Beasley is clutch on third downs. Terrance Williams’ average yards per catch is the seventh best of all receivers with more than 30 receptions. Without Harris and Austin, the likely 2014 starting WR line-up of  Bryant, Williams and Beasley contributed more than 2300 yards last season. There’s not much to complain about with our wide receivers.

You can never have enough quality depth at any position. Don’t be surprised if the Cowboys draft a wide receiver in a later round. Let’s hope that he’s more of a potential starter than a project.

#GoCowboys

#2Charts

#BringOnTheDraft

#DeSeanWho?

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  • SmartThinking

    I urge you to seek help in coming to grips with reality.

    #1: the Eagles were division champions last season. By virtue of that title, that makes them the team to beat, not Dallas.
    #2: every divisional rival has made much greater strides through FA this year to improve their weak areas.
    #3: Dallas, on the other hand, has taken the worst defense in all of football, and weakened it without any significant attempts other than one, to improve other with players well known as either injured or relievers, not starters.
    #4: Melton is not as statistically good a player as Hatcher was last season.
    #5: nor is the guy Dallas brought in to take Ware’s place.
    #6: To date, Dallas has done nothing to improve a very porous defensive secondary.
    #7: no one really knows whether or not Romo will be able to go come OTA’s.
    #8: It’s speculative whether Linehan will be able to improve the offensive production of this team with the talent available.
    #9: In 5 weeks, big Jones, just as he’s done for the past twenty years, gets to booger up the draft for Dallas, probably by making some other boneheaded move like moving down in the draft thinking quantity is, for some reason known only to him, better than quality.
    #10: the schedule Dallas plays next season is brutal and I submit this team will have to scratch and claw to get to 7-9.

    Shall I continue?

    • David

      I agree with you on a lot of your points however I will say this. Its not like the iggles were 12-4 and a dominant team. They were 1-3 against playoff teams last year. The one win being against a Rodgers less GB team. So please dont talk like they are some dominant team. The other thing is how about we see how Foles does this year after teams have a bunch of tape on him before we anoint him the best qb in the East.

      • SmartThinking

        Whether you or I like it or not, and with whatever problems they may or may not have faced, the Eagles still managed to beat Dallas and win the division when it counted most.

        And I heard the same thing from the sports touts and from big Jones last year just about this time: “Dallas is just one or two players away and there’s a Super Bowl hiding just under that rock over there. Which rock? It’s under every one! Just keep buying seats. You’ll see.”

        I prefer to grip reality with both hands and hold on tight. And my reality says (a) look to history for your answers, (b) then don’t listen to any sports writer or big Jones regarding what will really happen concerning this team.

        • Old Frog

          ST, you know I generally agree with you but if Orton doesn’t throw that interception and Dallas goes on to score a winning field goal, are they then the team to beat inspite of your points 2-10?

          • SmartThinking

            Yep. Division winners and SB teams are the teams to beat the next season. Witness Baltimore as Exhibit A. In your hypothetical, those 2-10 items become bumps in the road, not obstacles. Parcells used to say division winners were the teams with targets on their backs.

            As for all of you people out to prove I’m the guy who’s lost track of reality, all I can say in my defense is, anything’s possible. But, no one can argue no.’s 1-10 are not facts. And, at this point, they are indisputable except, possibly, for #’s 9 and 10. Both those, sadly! I’ll wager, will also come true in due course.

            Now, as for Philadelphia being a crummy team, that may be true. But, they still beat Dallas when it counted.

            FYI I’m making the passage for St. Thomas tomorrow. Just because I won’t be immediately answering your witty retorts doesn’t mean I’m giving in. LOL, over and out.

        • Steve

          I look to history for my answers.

          Dallas – 8 super bowl trips, 5 super bowl wins.
          Philly – 2 super bowl trips, 0 super bowl wins.

          Reality is also that you just gave away one of the games best game breakers – in his prime – for nothing. To a division opponent no less.

          Reality is also that Dallas’ defense will be better next year. The name of Ware is a great name, the current player – not so much – particularly in a 4-3. Hatcher had a great season – you neglect to notice the other 7 not so great seasons he’s had in Dallas. You also seem to forget so many of the Cowboys defensive players that were not on the field last year for the entire season or significant chunks of the year that will be back next year, but yet you profess to “grip reality with both hands and hold on tight”.

          The only thing I think you are holding tight to is your rose (or is that green?) colored glasses.

        • David

          Well you certainly are not seeing the reality that I just gave you in the iggles being the best of a bunch of crappy teams. What did that trophy look like. They were not even close to the top teams in the NFC.

    • Ed

      Dude, You guys lost in the first round in your own home, to the Saints who are average away from the dome, and worse in foul weather. You guys were in a “win or go home” situation in week 17 just to get to the playoffs. Quit pounding your chest like your king of the football jungle. The author of this article is a lot-a-bit premature in his assessment, as are you, so just calm down.

      Preseason comes around……..THEN IT’S ON!!!!

  • PaulTX

    I’m glad the Redskins took him instead of one of the teams that picked 1-15. The more defensive players available at pick #16 the better.

  • Ed

    Come on. The NFCEast is the least. Nobody fears us anymore. This is like being crowned “king of the nerds”. I have confidence that my Boys can beat any team they line up against. The question is, “will they do what it takes to takes to MAKE it happen”.

  • Guy Smith

    When I read the title of this article, I had to double check my calender to make sure it wasnt April 1st again..
    Smart Thinking should write the articles here and get rid of the current writer, as he and I are the only couple making any sense..This team will go downhill so far now, 8-8 will look like our Glory days.

  • Kevin

    Funny read. Dallas’s Defense has definitely in a downward spiral. The offense is potent but not enough to overcome the hole the D will put them in.

    The Giants had an off year, but they do tend to turn it around.

    Washington picked up Djax. and if their defense can stay healthy, they will be tough to beat.

    The Eagles still have a lethal offense. The defense started to gel as the season progressed. Just have to wait and see if they continue to improve. If they do, they will be the team to beat.

    Rob, you need to get your facts straight. Avant is a free agent, not even with the eagles. it happened early in free agency. Maclin is the guy who should be listed and is a big upgrade over avant,

  • Guy Smith

    @Stevie Boy down below,.Super Bowls the last 15 years..
    Dallas Cowboys-0 Philadelphia Eagles-0 Try keeping it in the Modern Era dude.

  • ctcowboy1968

    Due to the cap and FA, every year is a different story. Team’s fortunes turnover quickly. Cowboys always play close games that could go either way. Eli had an awful year leading the league in interceptions for the second time. Doubtful that happens two years in a row. Eli is a Cowboy killer. We only won the two Giant games by a total of 8 points. DJax is not a Cowboy killer, so it doesn’t matter where he went. Foles has to come down from his fantastic season.
    Cowboys must learn to close out games even with JG leading. JG is good for 2 losses a year. Last year was GB. Kevin hit the nail on the head, the Boys schedule it brutal. There must be vast improvement in our team or 2014 will be horrible.