By Archie Nino III
The kickoff to the 2018 NFL season is upon us and #CowboysNation the wait is nearly over. The "America's Game Of The Week" will feature the Dallas Cowboys traveling to Charlotte, North Carolina to battle Cam Newton and the Panthers.
After an offseason for the ages that saw the departure of Dez Bryant and Dan Bailey, the retirement of 1st ballot hall of famer Jason Witten and the health scare of All-Pro Center Travis Frederick has the Cowboys offense on the ropes heading into week 1. It's not all as bad as it seems as the Cowboys kick off the year knowing they will have Ezekiel Elliott running the ball with no suspensions in sight. The Dallas Cowboys also added wide receiver Allen Hurns and Tavon Austin via free agency while drafting rookie WR Michael Gallup. According to Scott Linehan Qb Dak Prescott and Gallup have formed a bit of chemistry during camp and will look to expose the Carolina Panthers and their rookie cornerbacks. Travis Frederick is being replaced by Jumbo Joe Looney in what will hopefully be a solid move for the time being. The biggest question mark in this game will be if he Dallas Cowboys banged up offensive line is competent enough to handle a scary front 7 that Carolina possesses.
Defensively the Dallas Cowboys have seemingly stepped their game up by creating a front seven of their own that could very well become a top-10 defense for the season. Last season sack leader Demarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory look to come screaming off the edges while Tyrone Crawford and Antoine Woods seek to plug the middle of the line. Rookie linebacker Leighton Vander Esch, Jaylon Smith and perennial All-Pro Sean Lee make up a formidable LB corps to battle "Run CMC" Christian McCafferey and "Super" Cam Newton. New defensive backs coach Kris Richard from the Seattle Seahawks legion of boom fame made an interesting move putting Byron Jones to corner from safety. The safety position looks thin in the Dallas secondary and could create issues until the unit resumes full health but an elite-level pass-rush will create opportunities for the secondary to create plays on the ball.
Another surprising move this offseason was Dan Bailey losing his job to Brett Maher formerly from the Canadian Football League. He has never played in a meaningful NFL game and has a career average of 78%. He recorded his longest career FG this pre season when he booted a 57yd fg through the up-rights. Baileys recent injury history and sub-par performance in camp led to his release from the team. Dan Bailey currently stands as the second-most accurate NFL kicker of all time.
The Dallas Cowboys and Carolina Panthers will square off in a week 1 matchup that could have ramifications later on in the season as the NFC is loaded with talent and a loss in week 1 could be the difference between a wild card birth and missing the Playoffs all together. Coach Jason Garrett has to get the team together to put up a fight in Carolina and make this our moment. Currently in the regular season the Dallas Cowboys are perfect 5 and 0 in Carolina and look to continue the streak. I predict the Cowboys squeak out of victory 21-20 to start the year off right. Til next time #CowboysNation. #HowBoutDemCowboys. Welcome to the 2018-2019 NFL season.
The writers here at Cowboys News plan to bring you entertainment, news, and more - all relating to the Dallas Cowboys.