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Dez, Zeke and the Cowboys have a choice: Improve from their failures or continue to spin their wheels Chinese wholesale jerseys
Monday morning, after earning the Most Valuable Player trophy for Super Bowl LII and before flying to Orlando to fist-bump Mickey, Nick Foles spoke of a longer journey.
The veteran quarterback wrestled with walking away from the sport 19 months ago. A brief stint in Kansas City rekindled his enthusiasm. Now, Foles finds himself on top of the world, the backup quarterback who did the unthinkable in taking down Tom Brady to deliver the city of Philadelphia its first Lombardi Trophy.
His message is an instructive one for Dez Bryant, Ezekiel Elliot, Cole Beasley, Terrance Williams and any other Cowboys player who is in the mood to listen to an archrival.
“I think the big thing is don’t be afraid to fail,” Foles said at his MVP news conference. “I think in our society today, Instagram and Twitter, it’s a highlight reel. It’s all the good things. Then when you look at it and you think like, ‘Wow, you had a rough day’…You’re failing.
“You know, failure is a part of life. That’s a part of building character and growing. Without failure, who would you be? I wouldn’t be up here if I hadn’t fallen thousands of times and made mistakes.”
Yes, there’s a troll aspect to social media that Foles doesn’t acknowledge here. But that’s not his point.
His point is about the inclination — and in some cases obsession — of constantly putting yourself in the best possible public light. It’s about what can happen if you allow that to dictate your actions and form your identity.
When Bryant spoke to reporters in the final week of the regular season, he wanted to get across that circumstances off the field impacted his performance on the field. The receiver alluded to the scheme as being the source of some of his woes but also wanted to answer a general criticism about his status.
This wasn’t out of character. Bryant, Williams and Beasley can be found sitting at their lockers after some games, becoming upset and responding to criticism of a particular play or overall performance by some nameless person on Twitter. The group, at least outwardly, appears more motivated to win their point in a social media battle than explore whether the criticism has any merit.
As speculation swirls about whether Bryant agrees to take a pay cut this offseason, will he reflect on his weaknesses as a player and strive to improve in those areas or blame the scheme and coaching staff for how he’s used? Will he concede his vulnerability or take any suggestion he must improve as an insult?
Will Elliott continue to be upset by what he considers unfair treatment at the hand of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, or accept that his personal decisions have profound consequences for himself and the team going forward?
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This is a message executive vice president Stephen Jones has gently floated in recent weeks.
“We’re all human,” Foles said. “We all have weaknesses.
“I know when I listen to people speak and they share their weaknesses, I’m listening because it resonates. I’m not perfect. I’m not Superman. We might have just won the Super Bowl, but hey, we still have daily struggles. I still have daily struggles. That’s where faith and family come in.
“I think when you’ve looked at struggle in life, that’s an opportunity for your character to grow,” the Austin Westlake product continued. “That’s really just been the message. Simple. If something is going on in your life and you’re struggling, embrace it, because you’re growing.”
No one is saying the Cowboys must share their weaknesses with media and fans. But to improve they must share those shortcomings with teammates and coaches.
They must be honest with themselves.
“This is not about one individual,” Eagles coach Doug Pederson said of the team’s Super Bowl success. “This is the leadership in the locker room.
“Part of the messaging was to put it back on the players. The players own it, own their jobs and responsibilities. Not having selfish coaches and selfish players gives you a chance to win this game.”
There’s accountability in the Cowboys locker room. Head coach Jason Garrett has worked hard to establish that culture.
But the Cowboys enjoy a level of attention the Eagles don’t. They have had to deal with scrutiny and expectations Philadelphia hasn’t up to this point.
Winning a title will change this dynamic. The Eagles are no longer underdogs. They will now be subjected to the same temptations and distractions the Cowboys have faced. Will it derail them?
The Cowboys face a different question.
Will they improve from their failures or continue to spin their wheels?
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Cowboys stars Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott top NFLPA in merchandise sales
The NFLPA announced on Monday that Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott led all players in merchandise sales from March 2017 through November 2017. Prescott was followed in the top five by his teammate Ezekiel Elliott, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz, and Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Prescott and Elliott were not the only Cowboys on the list. They were joined by Dez Bryant (11th) and Jason Witten (14th). Despite their disappointing 9-7 season that ended with them spending the playoffs at home, the Cowboys were still one of the most popular teams in the league — if not the most popular. That’s why they’re called America’s Team, folks.
The Cowboys were joined by the Patriots, Raiders, and Steelers as the only teams with multiple players in the top 20. The Steelers dominated the list with six players overall: Antonio Brown, Ben Roethlisberger, Alejandro Villanueva, Le’Veon Bell, T.J. Watt and James Conner. They were followed by the Raiders with five (Derek Carr, Marshawn Lynch, Khalil Mack, Amari Cooper, and NaVorro Bowman) and the Cowboys with four. Every other team had three representatives or fewer, with eight teams not getting a single player on the list.