Some Offense to Help the Defense
The Cowboys will be on the clock in about 24 hours, holding the fourth pick in the NFL Draft. The early thoughts and predictions that Dallas might take a quarterback with that selection have since been dashed with the Rams and Eagles each making deals for the top two picks. Taking the third signal caller in the draft at selection No. four would be a big mistake.
There are some who want them to take defensive end Joey Bosa. Others like the cornerback from Florida State – Jalen Ramsey. I’m in the Ramsey camp. The only problem – he’ll be taken third right before the Cowboys select.
So it’s Bosa, right? I’m actually hoping not. It may work against NFL draft wisdom, but I’m hoping they take the other kid from Ohio State. Usually it is not a smart move to take a running back with a top-five pick. But Ezekiel Elliott is a special back. And he actually helps the Cowboys on both sides of the ball.
Dallas tested the belief that any back could run behind this offensive line last year. It wasn’t an absolute failure, though the season was. No, the Cowboys need to get back to the recipe of 2014, when DeMarco Murray set a team record for most rushing yards in a season and literally controlled the game for the Cowboys and an NFC East crown.
Murray gave the Cowboys’ defense a rest, controlling the clock and allowing them about two less opponent possessions per game. Less possessions equal less points against. It’s that simple.
No, taking a running back that can do that would be just fine with me. Finding a team that wants to move up a couple of spots would be even better, though that is unlikely to happen. Take Elliott over Bosa. Yeah, that’s the ticket.
Pain in the Rear
The Stars survived the first round. That’s really all you can do; survive and advance. Victories are harder to get and more special at this time of year. Fans were getting a bit stressed out as Minnesota gave the Stars a run for their money. I know; my phone was blowing up with texts of panic in some of the games, especially game six when Dallas almost blew a 4-0 lead.
That’s the Stanley Cup Playoffs for you though – the best tournament in pro sports. And if you think the Wild was stressful, wait till you the Blues get here on Friday. They’re the ultimate pain in the rear for Dallas.
St. Louis is the toughest matchup in the West for the Stars, and lucky for them, they come in the second round. The Blues came within an eyelash of matching the Stars for the division title and best record in the conference.
No, this one will not be a walk in the park. The Blues are big, tough, deep and will give Dallas all they want.
The key to the series? Well, there are two of them. Win game one for starters. The Stars do not want to be put in a position to have to win four of six games to advance, which the loser of game one faces. It’s simple math and probability, really. Get off to a good start. It’s vital.
The other key – get Tyler Seguin back on the ice. A severed achilles downed him in the last few games of the season and he’s basically been shelved ever since, save game two vs. Minnesota. Dallas is deep but not Tyler Seguin deep without him. The Stars need to be at full strength to match what the Blues are about to throw at Dallas.
It’s Hitch vs. Lindy all over again, with old friends Doug Armstrong, Brett Hull and Steve Ott on the other side as well. Batten down the hatches, and watch what happens in game one. Cause the winner of that game will win the series.