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Virtual Sports in Online Casinos — The Blend of Gaming and Athleticism

Posted on January 11, 2024 by John Harris

Welcome to the realm of virtual sports, where the lines between reality and the digital world blur to create an exhilarating gaming experience like no other. To embark on this journey, it’s essential to grasp the core concepts that underpin virtual sports within online casinos like Verde Casino. Here, players can dive into a world where digital athleticism and strategic gameplay meet, offering a unique dimension to the traditional online gambling experience.

Definition and Concept: Virtual sports represent a fusion of cutting-edge technology and sports simulation. These digital recreations replicate the thrill of real sports events, from soccer and horse racing to basketball and motor racing. They are powered by complex algorithms and computer-generated simulations that mimic the unpredictable nature of live sports, delivering an authentic and immersive experience.

Development and Simulation: The creation of virtual sports is a meticulous process. Talented teams of developers and designers collaborate to recreate the sights and sounds of the sporting world. Advanced software generates realistic player movements, weather conditions, and crowd reactions. The outcome is an ever-evolving digital sports ecosystem that offers a constant stream of matches and competitions, irrespective of the time or season.

Key Features: What sets virtual sports apart are the features that make them truly engaging. Unlike traditional sports, virtual sports are not bound by real-world constraints. Matches are fast-paced, allowing for quick results and continuous action. They offer a range of betting options, making them a gambler’s paradise. Moreover, virtual sports embrace unpredictability, injecting an element of surprise into each event. These characteristics, coupled with impressive graphics and commentary, keep players on the edge of their seats.

  • Realistic simulations of popular sports
  • Continuous availability of matches
  • Diverse betting opportunities
  • Fast-paced action and quick results
  • Unpredictable outcomes for added excitement

Understanding the foundation of virtual sports sets the stage for a deeper exploration of their appeal, their design, and their role in the world of online casinos.

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New Investor Brings Hope to Udinese Calcio and Gino Pozzo

Posted on October 09, 2023 by John Harris

In recent reports, Gino Pozzo, his father Giampaolo Pozzo, and other Pozzo family members are interested in selling a considerable stake in Udinese Calcio, including a 10% stake in Watford FC. Currently, they have had talks with one unnamed investor.

As Udinese Calcio hasn’t seen success over the past few seasons, this new ownership could bring winning back to the franchise. Another objective of the investment is to improve resources for the club.

In all of Pozzo’s team ownership efforts, his goal is to always boost performance on the field. Being a dedicated football fan, he’s passionate about what he does on a day-to-day basis. With this dedication, not to mention his extensive business and management background, he has grown into a well-respected owner across sports. His professional experiences and Harvard Business School degree have shaped him into the influential leader he is today.

Taking Watford FC to new heights

One of Pozzo’s best accomplishments was when he enhanced the Watford FC program. After acquiring the team in 2012, he quickly made lasting improvements to the club. In fact, the team would join the Premier League after a very successful 2015 season. 

While Pozzo gained many of his skills from his schooling and experience, some of his talents were taught by his family. His father owned the Spanish football club Granada CF for multiple years, and his mother and father also had ownership of Udinese in the 1980s.

With the Pozzo family’s multi-club management strategy, they have been able to provide lasting benefits to the teams they own. For example, they have the ability to move players between clubs to achieve more success. Several popular Watford FC players used to play for Granada FC and Udinese, including Almen Abdi, Gabriele Angella, and Matěj Vydra.

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Why Slot Machines Are Popular Online?

Posted on September 28, 2023 by Mia Natalia

Online slots have been a prominent trend in the area of online entertainment and gambling in recent years. These computerized replicas of classic slot machines have become extremely popular for several strong reasons. We shall examine why slots like https://joker123-roma.xyz/ are popular online and why so many players are drawn to them in this post.

Accessibility and practicality:

The accessibility and convenience of online slot games are one of the main factors in their appeal. Players no longer have to go to actual casinos to play their preferred slot machines. They can play slots from the convenience of their own homes or while on the go if they have access to an internet-connected computer, smartphone, or tablet. Slot gaming has become more inclusive and appealing to a wider audience because of this level of accessibility.

A Variety of Games:

Slot machines online like http://promojoker123.com/ come in a remarkably wide variety of games. There is a game to suit every player’s preference, whether they prefer vintage fruit machines, video slots with intricate narratives and animations, or progressive jackpot slots with life-changing wins. Because there is such a wide range, gamers never grow tired and may always try something new.

Appealing Themes and Visuals:

Online slots’ visual and thematic components are a big part of their attractiveness.Slot machine creators put a lot of money into creating captivating themes, stunning graphics, and engrossing sound effects. Players are immersed in a variety of situations thanks to these elements, which ups the gameplay’s excitement and fun factor.

Abundant Bonuses and Promotions:

Slot machines played online are renowned for offering big bonuses and promotions. To entice and keep customers, the majority of online casinos provide alluring welcome bonuses, free spins, and continuous promotions. These bonuses can substantially increase a player’s bankroll, enabling them to play additional spins and possibly increase their winnings.

Progressive Jackpots:

Another motivating factor behind the growth of online slot games is the allure of progressive jackpots. As a portion of every wager is added to the prize pool, these jackpots increase with time. Players are drawn in by the chance to win enormous sums of money with only one spin, which inspires excitement and anticipation.

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50 Years Ago: King Beats Riggs in Battle of the Sexes

Posted on September 20, 2023 by Dean Hybl

It was 50 years ago today, September 20, 1973 when Billie Jean King struck a major blow for women’s athletics by defeating the flamboyant Bobby Riggs in a made-for-television extravaganza billed as the Battle of the Sexes.

It is hard to step back in time 50 years and remember just how different the perception of female athletes was at that time. While today great female athletes are revered for their talents and in some sports are regulars on network television and in front of large stadium crowds, in the early 1970s women’s athletics was given very little value by much of the general population.

While today women are generally judged athletically based on their own skills and abilities, in the early 1970s equal rights era many dismissed the accomplishments of even the best female athletes because they were obviously not competitive with male athletes.

In early 1973 former men’s tennis champion Bobby Riggs proved that by thoroughly dismantling Margaret Court, one of the top women’s tennis players of all-time and winner of 24 Grand Slam titles (a record she held alone for 50 years before being matched by Novak Djokovic earlier this month), 6-2, 6-1.

Before facing Court, Riggs had actually first challenged Billie Jean King, but King initially declined the match, which led to the contest against Court.

After Riggs defeated Court, he again challenged King and this time she accepted.

Their match was played in front of a huge crowd at the Houston Astrodome and in front of millions watching on television.

From the very beginning it was clear that this was not any ordinary tennis match. King entered the stadium carried aloft in a chair held by four bare-chested muscle men dressed in the style of ancient slaves.

Riggs followed in a rickshaw drawn by several scantily-clad models. He then presented King with a giant lollipop and she gave him a piglet named Larimore Hustle.

The match itself proved to be somewhat anticlimactic. Rather than aggressively attack the net, King stayed primarily at the baseline letting Riggs make mistakes. He was clearly not in his best shape and made many errors throughout the match.

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Howley and Ware Represent Dallas Cowboys along with Thomas at 2023 Pro Football Hall of Fame Inductions

Posted on August 04, 2023 by Chris Kent
The Dallas Cowboys are common in Canton, Ohio.

The Dallas Cowboys are well represented in the Pro Football Hall of Fame with a total of 32 individuals enshrined who spent all or parts of their careers with the franchise. Included are former players, coaches, and front office personnel who have been crucial to Dallas winning five Super Bowls in eight appearances while producing many epic moments throughout its’ 63-year history. Iconic players like Bob Lilly, Bob Hayes, Roger Staubach, Drew Pearson, Tony Dorsett, Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin, Emmitt Smith, and Larry Allen to name just a few, are among the all-time Cowboy greats enshrined in Canton, Ohio.

As of Saturday Aug. 5, the tally will grow to 35 with the addition of three players who spent time in Dallas, two of which played most of their careers with the Cowboys. Outside linebackers DeMarcus Ware and Chuck Howley spent the bulk of their careers in Dallas while middle linebacker Zack Thomas played his final season for the Cowboys after a 12-year tenure with the Miami Dolphins where he built his hall of fame profile. These three players give Dallas 19 inductees over the last 18 classes dating back to 2006 when Aikman and the late Rayfield Wright were enshrined.
This trio is part of the nine inductees in the Class of 2023 that will be enshrined this weekend. The other six enshrinees are Ronde Barber, Don Coryell, Joe Klecko, Ken Riley, Darrelle Revis, and Joe Thomas. The enshrinement ceremony is set for noon on Saturday. For a complete list of events and details go to, https://www.profootballhof.com/enshrinement/2023-enshrinement-week-schedule-of-events.

Each of these former Dallas players showed toughness, leadership, and great tenacity during their careers. With linebackers being so vital for calling formations, blitzes, and tackling opponents within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage to prevent big plays, these players have much responsibility. Their performance often dictates whether a team makes a big play or obtains a first down. Games can be won or lost by a linebacker due to issues with coverage or tackling. However that was rarely the case with each of these linebackers.

In this his 45th year of eligibility, Howley enters the hall of fame in his first year as a finalist. Howley had an inauspicious start to his pro career. Selected in the first round with the seventh overall pick by the Chicago Bears in the 1958 National Football League Draft, Howley played his first two seasons in Chicago. After suffering what was considered to be a career-ending knee injury during training camp in 1959, Howley appeared in only three games that season and then retired. After missing the entire 1960 season, Howley decided to make a comeback in 1961 after particiapting in an alumni game at his alma mater, West Virginia University. The event ignited a spark in him to give the game one more try which he did in 1961 after being traded to the Cowboys. From there on, he and Dallas never regretted it. Howley became a defensive mainstay for the next 13 seasons and was part of the Cowboys’ “Doomsday Defense” in the early 1970’s.

Chuck Howley intercepts a pass against the Baltimore Colts.

In his 180 career games played, Howley recorded 25 interceptions, scored two touchdowns, and had 26 sacks. He also recovered 18 fumbles which he returned for 191 yards – a total that still ranks seventh on the NFL’s all-time list. Howley was durable, remarkable when you consider his serious knee injury early in his career. He missed only four regular season games from 1961 to 1972 during which he played in 176 games and made 11 playoff starts leading Dallas to the first two NFL Championship games and two Super Bowls.

From 1966-1970, Howley was selected to the Pro Bowl and was named a First-Team All Pro each season. He also received Pro Bowl recognition in 1972, his sixth and final selection, and was named a second team All-Pro in 1971. In 1977, Howley was inducted into the Cowboys’ Ring of Honor. Howley had two interceptions and one forced fumble in Super Bowl V en route to being named the Most Valuable Player despite a 16-13 loss to the Baltimore Colts in 1971. To this day, Howley holds the distinction of being the only player from the losing team to be named MVP of the Super Bowl. The following season, Howley helped Dallas win its’ first Super Bowl with an interception and a fumble recovery in a 24-3 win over Miami in Super Bowl VI.

Like Howley, Ware was also a mainstay at outside linebacker for the Cowboys. He played nine seasons for Dallas before spending his final three seasons with the Denver Broncos. Drafted with the 11th pick in the first round of the 2005 NFL Draft out of little known Troy University in Troy, AL, Ware entered the league with something to proove. It did not take him long to do so as he finished his rookie season with 58 tackles and a team-best eight sacks while starting all 16 games for the Cowboys. That was a sign of things to come as the 6-4 258-pound linebacker went on to record double-digit sack totals in each of the next seven seasons, all team-bests, during which he did not miss a single regular season game. Ware’s career-high 20 sacks in 2008 and 15.5 sacks in 2010 both lead the league.
Ware played on only one team with a losing record over his 12-year career and was part of team’s that made five playoff appearances. During the 2013 season, his final one in Dallas, Ware become the Cowboys’ all-time leader in sacks with 117, a record that still stands. Ware always had to be accounted for by opposing offenses and was a dominant player who would also line up at defensive end on occassion.

DeMarcus Ware used his size and strength to wreak havoc on opposing quarterbacks.

After signing with Denver in 2014, Ware totaled 21.5 sacks over the next three seasons. Ware had three solo tackles, two assists, two sacks, and four hits on the quarterback helping the Broncos to a 24-10 win over the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl L following the 2015 season. Ware finished his career with 138.5 sacks and intercepted three passess for 44 yards and one touchdown. He also returned two fumbles for touchdowns. Selected to nine Pro Bowls, Ware was voted first-team All-Pro four times and second-team All-Pro three times. Ware is also a member of the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 2000s. In 2016, Ware was honored by the Broncos with the Darrent Williams Good Guy Award, an annual award the franchise presents to a player from their team “who best exemplifies Williams’ enthusiasm, cooperation, and honesty while dealing with members of the press.”

These same kind of honors were also earned by Zack Thomas who produced similar statistics as Ware. Although undersized at 5-11 he packed a punch at 235 pounds and was a relentless hard-nosed player built on toughness and grit. While not the biggest or the fastest, Thomas made up for it with great knowledge and a strong sense of anticipation. Thomas credits his success to his meticulous preparation helping him to always know where the play was going.

While he played his final season in Dallas in 2008, Thomas enters the hall based on his terriffic 12-year career with the Miami Dolphins where he played for former Cowboys’ head coach Jimmy Johnson from 1996-99. A versatile middle linebacker from Texas Tech, Thomas made an immediate impact for Miami after being drafted in the fifth round with the 154th overall pick in the 1996 NFL Draft. As a rookie, Thomas had 131 tackles, 49 assisted tackles, two sacks, and three interceptions to earn the team’s MVP award. He was also named AFC Defensive Rookie of the Year.

Zach Thomas used his toughness and smarts to run down ball carriers and accumulate tackle after tackle.

Thomas lead the team in tackles in 10 of his 12 seasons with the Dolphins. A tackling machine, Thomas racked up 100 tackles in each of his first 11 seasons in Miami. His play was pivotal in helping the Dolphins make the playoffs five straight seasons from 1997-2001. In a playoff loss to the Baltimore Ravens following the 2001 season, Thomas had 22 tackles including 14 solo. Thomas finished his career with 20.5 sacks and totaled 17 interceptions for 170 yards and four touchdowns, a Dolphins career record for interceptions returned for a touchdown. Thomas played in 184 games including 168 starts, the most in team history by a defensive player. Voted a first-team All-Pro five times and a second-team All-Pro twice, Thomas was selected to seven Pro Bowls and was also named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 2000’s. Thomas was also the first player in Dolphin’s history to win the team’s Leadership Award three times.

Howley, Ware, and Thomas. Three players who spent time in Dallas. Whether it was just for a short time or for most of a lengthy career, these players are part of this legendary franchise that is a five-time Super Bowl Champion with many iconic individuals and moments. As they enter the hall of fame this weekend, the star is shinning a little brighter on the helmet for this proud franchise that is always in search of its’ next individual to receive a hall call.

Credit: https://www.profootballhof.com/hall-of-famers/class-of-2023

Dallas Aims to Hit on Picks in NFL Draft to Emerge as a Title Contender in 2023

Posted on April 26, 2023 by Chris Kent

With a solid offense and a top level defense that has produced back-to-back 12-5 playoff seasons and one NFC East Division Championship, the Dallas Cowboys have been a better than average team each of the last two seasons. Getting to the NFC Championship game and winning the Super Bowl, both of which they have not done since the 1995 season, is the burning issue for Dallas owner Jerry Jones and his franchise. So what do the Cowboys need to do to bolster their team to make either of those things happen? While the answer to that question won’t fully reveal itself until we reach training camp and the start of the 2023 regular season, a big resource for it is this week’s NFL Draft. The annual event will help determine in large part their hopes and expectations for the upcoming season. The draft will take place from April 27-29 in Kansas City, MO in the Plaza outside of Union Station. A prime time start of 8 pm EST is slated for the opening night on Thursday April 27 when only the first round will be conducted. The second and third rounds will be held on Friday April 28 starting at 7 pm EST. The draft will conclude on Saturday April 29 with rounds 4-7 starting at Noon EST.

Dallas is clearly at a crossroads with its’ current team. The nucleous of Dak Prescott, CeDee Lamb, Tony Pollard, Zack Martin, Tyron Smith, Micah Parsons, Trevon Diggs, Demarcus Lawrence, Leighton Vander Esch, and Jayron Kearse gives the Cowboys veteran players with experience, many of who have prime years ahead of them. Adding some quality pieces for youth, speed, and depth could turn Dallas into a Super Bowl contender.

Dallas Owner Jerry Jones has used trades before to get the best value out of the NFL Draft.

The waroom at THE STAR – the Cowboys’ headquarters in Frisco, TX – will no doubt be busy this week. Both the offense and defense need help with the offense a little more of a pressing need to create better efficiency and protection for Prescott, their franchise quarterback who has two years left on his four-year $160 million contract that he signed in the 2021 offseason. Prescott has taken much criticism from media members for throwing too many interceptions, many of which have turned the tide in the team’s losses whether they have come late in close games or just been poor decisions. Including his two playoff starts last season, Prescott tied for the league high with 17 interceptions while starting 14 of 19 games. To avoid these mistakes the team has to protect Prescott better and add to his supporting cast with a prime running back, wide receiver, or tight end. Retooling the offensive line would help as well. Although injuries have limited the availability of perennial pro bowlers in Smith and Martin over recent years, both have been mainstays on the line for most of the last decade. While both Smith and Martin can still play, getting younger on the offensive line would help and provide depth.

The offense will look different in 2023 behind new offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer who replaces Kellen Moore. Schottenheimer will look to retool an offense that lost two key starters in veteran running back Ezekiel Elliott and tight end Dalton Schultz. Elliott had four 1,000-yard rushing seasons and was a three-time pro bowl selection during his seven seasons in Dallas. Although his production slipped over the last three seasons, Elliott will be missed for his veteran leadership in the locker room and his steady short-yardage and goal line scoring ability. The Cowboys will need Pollard to replace some of Elliott’s production. The same will be needed at tight end as Schultz was a top target of Prescott, totaling no less than 57 catches each of the last three seasons during which he accumulated 17 touchdown catches.

Michael Mayer excelled at Notre Dame and would fill a need at tight end for Dallas.

With these holes on offense, Dallas could draft one of the top tight ends with their first round pick at No. 26 overall such as Notre Dame’s Michael Mayer, Georgia’s Darnell Washington, or Oregon State’s Luke Musgrave. Mayer is highly rated as a very polished player and could provide both receiving and blocking at 6-4 and 249 pounds. Mayer piled up 2,099 yards and scored 18 touchdowns in his college career. Pass catchers could also be available at wide receiver who the Cowboys might look to select as well. Although Dallas signed nine-year veteran Brandin Cooks from the Houston Texans to upgrade the spot, receivers like Zay Flowers of Boston College, Quentin Johnston of TCU, or either one of the Tennessee products in Jaylin Hyatt or Cedric Tillman could be available when the Cowboys pick in the first round. Tillman is a big target at 6-3, 215 pounds and caught 109 passes for 1,622 yards and 17 touchdowns during his college career. Hyatt was the Biletnikoff Award Winner in 2022 when he was a cosensus first team All-American by the Associated Press. Hyatt was also a first team All-SEC selection in 2022 when he set a school record with five touchdown catches in a wild 52-49 home win over Alabama which also tied for the SEC record.

Bijan Robinson uses a stiff arm to shed an opposing defender to gain more yards.

As for running back, Dallas will be looking to Pollard to fill the void left by Elliott. Pollard will be coming off a lower leg fracture he suffered in the playoff loss at San Francisco last season. To help offset that, the Cowboys signed former Kansas City Chief Ronald Jones, a five-year veteran runner who helped Tampa Bay win Super Bowl LV following the 2020 season. While it is not a top year for running backs, keep an eye on Bijan Robinson of Texas, who won the Doak Walker Award as the nation’s top running back last season. Robinson was a unanimous first team All-Big 12 selection last season when he piled up 1,580 yards rushing to go with 18 scoring runs en route to receiving first team All-American honors by the Associated Press. While Philadelphia, New England, Detroit, Buffalo, and the Los Angeles Chargers are other teams interested in Robinson, if he is still on the board by the middle of the first round Dallas could look to trade up to take him. Jones has been known for orchestrating draft day trades and he could pull off another one in pursuit of the draft’s top back.

If not, Alabama’s Jahmyr Gibbs could be an option. In just one year at Alabama, Gibbs had a 6.6 yards-per-carry average on 96 carries for 632 yards. If the Cowboys look in the later rounds for a running back keep an eye on Deuce Vaughn from Kansas State. Although Vaughn is undersized at 5-6 and 176 pounds, he is elusive and can make people miss in the open field. Vaughn might be best suited for gadget plays and is a threat as a receiver where he runs excellent routes and has great hands for catching the ball.

While these skill position players could add splash on offense, Dallas also could retool their offensive line to help fortify the running game and protect Prescott. Options for this include Florida guard O’Cyrus Torrence, tackle Broderick Jones from back-to-back defending national champion Georgia, Tennessee tackle Darnell Wright, or Ohio State tackle Paris Johnson Jr.

Tennessee’s Darnell Wright is imposing at 6-6 and 335 pounds.

A top guard prospect, Torrence was a consensus All-American at Florida a year ago receiving first-team honors from the American Football Coaches Association, The Sporting News, and the Associated Press. He was also a Walter Camp first team All-American and was a first team all conference performer in the Southeastern Conference, his first in the league after transferring from Louisiana where he was a first team All-Sun Belt Conference performer in 2021. Broderick Jones stands 6-4 and checks in at 310 pounds. He was an AP first team All-SEC selection in 2022 when he started at left tackle in all 15 games for Georgia. Wright is a durable tackle who started all 13 games for the Volunteers each of the last two seasons. At 6-6 and 335 pounds, Wright has size and strength to make an impact which he did as a freshman at Tennessee when he was named to the freshman All-SEC Team in 2019. Wright was selected to play in the 2023 Reese’s Senior Bowl and was a first team All-SEC selection by the AP, Coaches, and USA Today in 2022. Johnson Jr. was a second team All-Big Ten Selection in 2021 and was also a Rotary Lombardi Award semifinalist in 2022 which goes to the nations most outstanding lineman annually. The former Buckeye adds value as he started all 13 games at guard in 2021 before moving to right tackle last fall.

Olu Oluwatimi won both the Outland Trophy and the Rimington Award last season at Michigan.

If the Cowboys do not get one of these offensive line prospects in the first round, there are value picks in the later rounds such as interior offensive lineman Joe Tippmann of Wisconsin, TCU’s Steve Avila, or Michigan’s Olu Oluwatimi. Other offensive tackles such as Matthew Bergeron of Syracuse, Nick Saldiveri of small school Old Dominion, or Alabama’s Tyler Steen could be options. Bergeron was a second-team All-ACC selection and a Senior Bowl selection while serving as a team captain last season at Syracuse. Bergeron was also recognized with the Ben Schwartzwalder award in recognition of his leadership and on-field production that reflect the hard-nosed style of the program. Saldiveri stands 6-6 and weighs in at 316. He was named a second team All-Sun Belt conference performer and was selected to play in the 2023 Reese’s Senor Bowl after starting 11 games in 2022, one at right guard and 10 and right tackle. Tippmann was an Honorable Mention All-Big 10 selection in 2022 for the Badgers were he made 12 starts at center. Avila brings a burly presence at guard at 330 pounds in his 6-4 frame. He helped power a physical running game that led TCU to the college football national championship game last season. A first team All-Big 12 Selection, Avila did not allow a sack for the second straight season in 2022 and was also selected to the 2023 Reece’s Senior Bowl. Oluwatimi could be a late round find for Dallas. A consensus All American with first team honors by four of five organizations, Oluwatimi won both the Outland Trophy and Rimington Award in 2022. Playing for perennial power Alabama, Steen earned second team All-SEC recognition in 2022 when he started all 13 games at left tackle for the Crimson Tide. Steen helped an offensive front open holes for an average of 5.5 yards per carry, good for fourth nationally. Most impressive, Steen allowed only 4.5 sacks, 12 pressures, 8 quarterback hits and committed just 4 penalties on the season. Prescott could benefit from a pass protector like this.

That same quality in the trenches is what Dallas could use on defense to improve its’ rush defense which was leaky at times late last season. The Cowboys ranked 22nd in the NFL in rushing defense last season, yielding 124.4 yards per game. Although Dallas re-signed defensive tackle Jonathan Hankins this offseason, more help is needed in the middle of the defensive line. Young defensive tackles Osa Odighizuwa and Quinton Bohanna need to tighten up their play and more is needed from rotational players in fourth-year defensive tackle Neville Gallimore and third-year defensive end Chauncey Golston. The Cowboys did sign six-year veteran linebacker Takk McKinley who starred at UCLA and played for the Rams last season. McKinley brings athleticism and has totaled 98 tackles and 20 sacks thus far in his career. McKinley should team nicely with Vander Esch, the middle linebacker who Dallas resigned in the offseason.
Defensive players of interest for the Cowboys on the line are Lukas Van Ness of Iowa, Mazi Smith of Michigan, the Clemson duo of Myles Murphy or Bryan Bresee, and Calijah Kancey of Pittsburgh. A sleeper pick in the later rounds could be K.J. Henry of Clemson as the Tigers continue to roll out prime NFL prospects.

Lukas Van Ness brings athleticism to the defensive line where he can play inside or outside.

Van Ness is a very versatile player who spent most of the 2022 spring practice season converting from defensive tackle to defensive end. At 6-5 and 240 pounds, he possesses good size and athleticism to make an impact inside or outside and could give Dallas a lethal combination with Micah Parsons to provide a one-two punch. Van Ness was a second team All-Big Ten selection last season and has the smarts to go with it with his two straight Academic All-Big Ten accolades. Van Ness has totaled 71 total tackles, 13.5 sacks, and 19.5 tackles for a loss over the last two seasons. Smith brings power and leverage to play nose tackle with his 6-3 337-pound frame. He garnered first team All-Big 10 accolades in 2022 when he was also named Defensive Player-of-the-Year by the team.

Bresee, Murphy, and Henry are all top players coming out of Clemson which has been an elite program for the last decade. Bresee was a second team All-ACC selection last season when he had 15 total tackles and 3.5 sacks. Murphy garnered first team All-ACC recognition last season when he had 40 tackles (22 solo) and 6.5 sacks. Over his three year college career, Murphy totaled 119 total tackles, 17.5 sacks, and 6 forced fumbles. At 6-4 and 255 pounds, Henry can cause problems for offenses with his size and strength. A third team All-American selection by Pro Football Focus in 2022, Henry was also voted by his teammates as the team captain, a reflection of his leadership qualities. Henry started all 14 games in 2022 during which he had 59 tackles, 3.5 sacks, and 6 pass breakups. He also led Clemson with 24 quarterback pressures, the most by a Tigers’ player since Clelin Ferrell’s 24 in 2016.

Drew Sanders makes an interception for Arkansas.

Some other intriguing players that could help the Cowboys are linebackers such as Arkansas’s Drew Sanders, Clemson’s Trenton Simpson, Iowa’s Jack Campbell, or DeMarvion Overshown of Texas. Sanders, who played his first two years at Alabama, was a unanimous All-America selection last season at Arkansas receiving first-team recognition from the Associated Press and second team honors from the American Football Coaches Association, the Sporting News, and the Walter Camp Football Foundation. A first team All-SEC selection in 2022, Sanders was also one of three finalists – and the school’s first – for the prestigious Butkus Award given to the nation’s outstanding linebacker. Sanders started all 12 games he played in a season ago and lead the team with 103 tackles, 13.5 tackles for a loss, and 9.5 sacks. Jones has a strong connection to Arkansas having been a co-captain on the school’s 1964 national championship team making Sanders an intriguing prospect for the Cowboys. Simpson was a third team All-ACC selection at Clemson in 2022 when he had 72 total tackles, 2.5 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles. Iowa’s Campbell had a productive college career at Iowa where he totaled 305 total tackles (140 solo) and five interceptions over his four-year career. The recipient of the 2022 Butkus Award, Campbell was also recognized as a first team All-American by Walter Camp, The Sporting News, the Associated Press, the Football Writers Association of America, the American Football Coaches Association, and Phil Steele. Campbell was also named the Nagurski-Woodson Big Ten Defensive Player-of-the-Year a season ago. A first team All-Big Ten selection as a senior, Campbell was also named the Butkus-Fitzgerald Big Ten Linebacker of the Year last season. Campbell could be a good late round addition to the Dallas defense. If not, the Cowboys could look to Overshown. At 6-4 and 220 pounds. Overshown relies on speed over size to chase down ball carriers which would go well with Parsons and the newly acquired McKinley. Named a semifinalist for the Butkus Award each of the last two seasons, Overshown also was recognized as a first team All-Big 12 selection in 2022. An active player with his 6-4 frame, Overshown set career highs last fall when he had 96 total tackles (49 solo), 10 tackles for a loss, 4 sacks, and 5 passes defensed.

While the Dallas defensive front seven could get a major boost from any of these lineman or linebackers, the defensive secondary could also use some help. The Cowboys have some flexibility here because they traded for veteran cornerback Stephon Gilmore in the offseason by sending their fifth round pick in this year’s draft to the Indianapolis Colts. A five-time pro bowler, Gilmore has also been named All-Pro twice and was the NFL Defensive Player-of-the-Year in 2019 when he starred for the New England Patriots. Gilmore gives Dallas an experienced cornerback with a Super Bowl ring to his credit having been on the Patriots Super Bowl LIII championship team. Gilmore will team with the ballhawking Diggs giving the Cowboys two of the top corners in the league. With it unknown if Anthony Brown and Jourdan Lewis will return from their season-ending injuries a year ago, Gilmore is insurance to fill this spot. If Dallas still wants to pick a defensive back they could have a few options pending how the draft unfolds and who other teams pick.

Emmanuel Forbes has 4.35 speed in the 40 and had six pick-sixes in his college career.

Emmanuel Forbes of Mississippi State and Deonte Banks of Maryland could be options at cornerback in the late first round or early second round. Jakorian Bennett, also of Maryland, could help or safety Jordan Battle of Alabama could be a nice addition for the Cowboys. DJ Turner II out of Michigan is another possibility at cornerback. Forbes tied for the third best time in the 40-yard dash at 4.35 seconds at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis in March. At 6-0 and 180, Forbes relies on his speed and technique to excel in coverage. He appeared in and started 12 of the Bulldogs 13 games in 2022 on his way to earning second team AP All-American honors. His six interceptions, which included three pick-sixes, last season led the SEC and placed him third in the nation. Forbes also led the team with 10 pass breakups. What is most impressive about Forbes is that his play impacts games. During the 2022 season he became the FBS record-holder with six pick-sixes in his career. He also ran his career interception total to 14 during last season making him the active leader in the FBS at the time.

Bennett’s 40 time of 4.30 seconds was the second best time at the scouting combine. The most valuable player of the 2022 Dukes Mayo Bowl, Bennett recorded 69 total tackles (55 solo), 29 passes defensed, and 4 interceptions over his three years with the Terrapins. Battle brings playmaking ability at safety where he excelled for Alabama. Named a third team All-American by the Associated Press in 2022, Battle recorded 71 total tackles (34 solo) en-route to receiving first team All-SEC recognition by the league’s coaches. If none of these defensive backs are available, Dallas might look to Turner II who ran the top time in the 40 at the combine at 4.26 seconds. Turner is a two-time All-Big Ten selection and finished with 69 total tackles (53 solo), 3 interceptions, and 20 passes defensed during his time at Michigan which all came over the last two seasons.

With so many good and versatile players in this draft, the Cowboys could go a handful of different ways with their picks. Plenty of other prospects lie in the draft as some 200-plus players are set to be drafted out of 350 or more prospects. Like so many other teams, Dallas is hoping to get who they want based on the countless hours of research and scouting that their front office staff has done headed up by Jones. Significant input from the likes of Cowboys’ Chief Executive Officer Stephen Jones, Vice President of Player Personnel Will McClay, and head coach Mike McCarthy along with the assistant coaches has all been part of the work. Time will tell if Dallas lands an impact player. Hope is in the air and Americas Team is soon to be on the clock. All of Cowboys Nation is holding their breath in anticipation of a bright light to be shinning at the end of the tunnel.

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Archie Griffin: 2-Time Heisman Winner
      December 11, 2022 | 1:42 pm
      Archie Griffin

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is the only football player ever to capture college football’s top individual award twice.

      As a star running back for the Ohio State Buckeyes, Archie Griffin claimed the Heisman Trophy during his junior season in 1974 and then was able to repeat the honor the following season.

      Griffin joined the Buckeyes for the 1972 season, which happened to be the first in which freshmen were eligible to play varsity football, and made an immediate impact. After fumbling in his only carry of his first game, Griffin more than made up for it in his second game by rushing for 237 yards against North Carolina. By the end of the season, Griffin had rushed for 867 yards.

      Read more »

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