The Dallas Cowboys have a good defense.er come Womens Ezekiel Elliott Jersey , but after six weeks of football the Cowboys defense has proven themselves to be one of the stronger groups in the league. They currently lead the entire NFC in fewest yards given up as well as fewest points allowed. There are a lot of reasons this team is playing well on defense. A defensive line rotation consisting of DeMarcus Lawrence, David Irving, Maliek Collins, Tyrone Crawford, Randy Gregory, Antwaun Woods, and Taco Charlton make for a strong group of soldiers in the the trenches for the Dallas D.The secondary is holding up well too despite not consisting of big name playmakers. Instead, it’s laced with many inexperienced players. The player with the most snaps in his young career is fourth-year defensive back Byron Jones, but even he is relatively raw as he just recently moved to cornerback this season. And what a great move that was as Pro Football Focus has graded Jones out as the best cornerback through the first six weeks of football. But the biggest surprise for the Cowboys defense comes at the linebacker position, where the team has been without All Pro Sean Lee for the last three games. Coming into this season, the Cowboys as a team were 1-7 over the last three years without Lee. It was as if the group fell apart without their field general. They weren’t able to stop the run and opponents took full advantage. For example, the Cowboys had a stretch last season where the offense had five-straight games scoring 28+ points. The Cowboys only won three of those games. The two games they lost were the two where Lee was out and the opposing team racked up 168 and 160 rushing yards against them. No Lee usually meant - no win.But not anymore.Over the last three years, the Cowboys have used a couple premium draft picks to add Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch to the squad and despite the early criticism - both of those decisions are turning out to be genius moves. Both Smith and Vander Esch have been playing well this season. In fact, both are ranked in the top 10 for linebackers according to Pro Football Focus.It brings such a great feeling to see Jaylon Smith playing at the level we were all hoping for when the team gambled on him in the 2016 NFL Draft. He is explosive and has come up big for the team already. Not only is he tied for the team lead in tackles with 50, but he’s second to only Lawrence in sacks (3.0). He’s also making more and more swipe-worthy plays. Last week, he showed off his speed by chasing down Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson on a crucial fourth-down play. Then later in the fourth quarter, Smith hit Watson as he was throwing the ball causing it to float into the arms of Xavier Woods. Against the Jaguars, Smith had a strip fumble that was recovered by Jourdan Lewis near the sideline. While all of these plays may not show up in the stat book as such, that’s essentially three turnovers he’s responsible for.Not only is Smith a physical specimen, but his football IQ is off the charts. With Lee out, Smith is now the leader of this defense. He can be seen running the huddle, communicating with everyone, and even correcting players when they are not lined up correctly.His leaderships has been extremely valuable to his rookie partner in crime. Even though this is Vander Esch’s first year in the league, he’s already showcasing the strengths that made him a first-round pick. LVE keeps his hips open, keeping his center of gravity low, which allows him to change direction on a dime. He flies to the ball and uses those long arms to snatch ball carriers. Nobody has been able to get past him. And he has the athleticism and length to be a force in coverage. The play of these two is being recognized around the league and their head coach doesn’t hesitate to praise these guys. Jason Garrett would talk about the progress of his two young linebackers:Lee returned to practice, but there is absolutely no reason to rush him back. Let him get the extra rest with the bye week following the Redskins game, because right now - the Blues Brothers got it covered. Rules changes and national anthem demonstrations seem to have folks inside and outside the NFL obsessed as the opening kickoff of the season approaches.Yes, the Super Bowl champion Eagles and Atlanta Falcons will open things on Thursday night in Philadelphia. What many folks wonder: Will there be any social injustice protests during "The Star-Spangled Banner?" And if players, coaches and officials will have a handle on the adjustment to use of the helmet in making a hit.Not to mention the new kickoff rules and, at last, a catch rule that seems to make sense.Those are enough issues to grab attention away from Philly's quarterback situation, as well as the progress of the five first-round QB draft choices expected to make their debuts sooner or later.Or from the return from injuries of Aaron Rodgers, J.J. Watt, Richard Sherman, Deshaun Watson, David Johnson and Odell Beckham Jr. Womens Travis Frederick Jersey , to name a few.Or Jon Gruden's return to an NFL sideline in Oakland.Plus, Adam Vinatieri's pursuit of the career points and field goals marks.What's ahead through the penultimate day of the 2018 calendar?RULE CHANGESThe preseason has been dominated, even overridden, by discussion of and doubts about the "helmet rule." Basically, any player on offense or defense lowering his head and making contact with any part of the helmet is subject to a 15-yard penalty, a fine, and even an ejection. It's a player safety adjustment for which "the goal long term is to make the game safer and take out some of these hits that should not be part of the game," says Giants owner John Mara, a member of the competition committee that recommends rules changes to the owners.The concerns on many levels focus on players adjusting to the tackling requirements and officials mastering such calls at full speed.Gene Steratore, who recently retired as an NFL (and college basketball) referee, expects the critical tempest to die down quickly."Players will adjust because they are that good," says Steratore, now an analyst for CBS after 15 seasons in the league. "Officials will, too, because they are that good. There will be a learning curve for all of them, but I think in a fast period of time, a trigger moment will come that will show right before that contact if it is worthy of a flag."The fix to the phrasing of the catch rule should eliminate the kind of calls — on Jesse James, Dez Bryant et al — many found bogus."Control. If it looks like a catch and smells like a catch, it's a catch," says Troy Vincent, the NFL's chief of football operations. "(The rule) had become convoluted: what you should do, what you shouldn't do. It should be clear as day. So our job was to simplify and we put it in practical terms."The other major rule alteration is on kickoffs, where coverage team players no longer can take a running start, and there are regulations on where kick team players can be overall and how they can block."This is certainly a way of trying to keep the kickoff in the game and attempting to cut down on high-speed collisions," Mara says. "There are a lot of us who don't want to take the kickoff out unless we can't find ways to make it safer. It is our most dangerous play."NATIONAL ANTHEMAnticipation of whether players will demonstrate during the national anthem again this year is high, fueled in part by reactions from President Trump. Players argue that their message about the need for change in communities nationwide has been misconstrued by the president and his followers, including many team owners.With the unilateral policy banning players from any on-field protests during the anthem on hold as owners and players discuss the issue, no one can be sure what's ahead.Everyone can be sure the topic won't disappear."I think part of the problem is that when you continue the rhetoric that this is controversial or this is somehow a negative thing, people treat it as such," Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins says. "But we've seen in other leagues when they've decided to amplify the voices of their players to also emphasize the importance of the issues that we're raising, and change the narrative away from the anthem, that not only is it more acceptable, the fan base gets educated on what we're talking about, and we can actually make some movement."ROOKIE QBSBefore we reach 2019, it's a near-certainty that Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, Josh Allen http://www.thecowboysfootballauthentic.com/geoff-swaim-jersey-authentic , Josh Rosen and Lamar Jackson will get onto the field. Some likely will be starters, maybe even stamp themselves as stars.Only in Baltimore, where Joe Flacco is the incumbent, is the rookie (Jackson) a long shot to become the No. 1 quarterback this season. The others — Cleveland's Mayfield, Buffalo's Allen, the Jets' Darnold and Arizona's Rosen — are with teams considered outsiders in the playoff chase and it makes sense as early as prudent to see if they are the franchise QBs they were drafted to be.COACHESNew coaches in charge of the Cardinals, Titans, Lions, Giants, Bears and Raiders include four newbies to being in charge: Detroit's Matt Patricia, Chicago's Matt Nagy, Tennessee's Mike Vrabel and Arizona's Steve Wilks. All of them made their marks as proficient coordinators and bring freshness and toughness to their franchises.Vrabel, of course, has three Super Bowl rings as a player with New England, which surely earns him some respect in the locker room. If he's considered a product of the Belichick coaching tree, though, Vrabel could struggle; few of the Patriots coach's protgs have had much success as a head man in the NFL.So the same goes for Patricia, although he has far more experience in coaching.New York's Pat Shurmur had a short stint in charge in Cleveland and probably didn't get a fair shake. The Giants desperately needed a culture change after the 2017 debacle."I have seen just about all I could see from the top of the mountain to having the second pick in the draft," Mara says. "Last year still is somewhat of a shock to me, going from a preseason Super Bowl contender to being the second-worst team in the league. It was a perfect storm, just an avalanche of injuries, locker room issues, a relatively inexperienced head coach (Ben McAdoo) who hadn't had to deal with any of that in the past, and some draft classes not all that productive. And it adds up to a bad season."Oakland also comes off a bad season following a playoff appearance, and the Raiders made the biggest splash by bringing back (and out of the broadcast booth) Jon Gruden. There's lots of excitement in the Black Hole and throughout the Bay Area about Gruden, who clearly has stamped his personality on the roster by trading his best player, holdout pass rusher Khalil Mack."I love the Raider fans, I love Oakland, and that's the primary reason why I'm standing here," he says.PURSUING HISTORYVinatieri is a marvel. The NFL's oldest player at 45, he begins his 23rd pro season in range to pass Hall of Famer Morten Andersen as the leading scorer. He was dependable for a decade in New England and then a dozen years in Indianapolis.He needs seven field goals to pass Andersen (565) for the most field goals. Andersen scored 2,544 points in a league-record 382 games and Vinatieri needs 58 points to break the record."It's one of those things that I haven't really though too much about it," he says. "I'm still just trying to help my team win games and keep on putting chapters in this book, and if that happens, fantastic." Custom Green Bay Packers Jerseys