Rafael Vela

Rafael Vela
Senior Analyst, Author Cowboys Nation.com at Sports Talk Line
Started covering Dallas Cowboys @ TheBoys.com in ’95 and ’96.
Two more stops along the way and here I am.
Senior Analyst for SportsTalkLine.com

NFL 2018 The Year Defense Forgot

The NFL nation continues to buzz over the breathtaking shootout the Rams and Chiefs provided Monday night, a 54-51 duel that reached the pre-game hype. This, just weeks after the Saints outgunned the Rams 45 – 31 in the Superdome. Fans love offense, and the weekly output from the Saints, Chiefs, and Rams raises hopes …

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Jon Gruden – Crazy Like a Fox, or Just Crazy

The molting of the Raiders roster continues apace under first-year retread Jon Gruden.  Weeks after flipping defensive and offensive cornerstones Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper for high draft picks, Oakland sloughed off defensive end Bruce Irvin, cutting the veteran outright.   The rapid change has spooked some Raiders faithful.  Why is Chucky Gruden behaving like …

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Cowboys Dak Prescott Gets “the Alex Smith Audition”

The Dallas Cowboys Seem to Be Following Andy Reid’s Kansas City Script for Offense Building I’ve been watching the Kansas City Chiefs a lot this season. For one, they’re a lot of fun with young gun Pat Mahomes at the controls. Second, because my Cowboys fan-self sees a lot of promising similarities between the path …

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Scouting Binoculars

On Fandom: Are NFL Fans Finally Seeing the Full Field? Part II

In part one, I made a breezy review of the NFL’s framing patterns, from broadcast in the analog system, where screens had an aspect ratio (width to height) of 4:3.  I showed that centered the ball and the line of scrimmage were the primary patterns. The NFL has had the opportunity to present off-set framings …

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On Fandom: Is TV Finally Showing NFL Fans an All-22 View?

Sometimes, you don’t understand your own strength.  Other times, you don’t know what you’ve got until you lose it.  In the case of NFL broadcasts, most fans don’t understand what action they’re missing, because they don’t get to see it. I’m going to take a deep dive into the framing of football, the way that …

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Will Andy Reid Find Deliverance with Speed 3.0?

Timing is everything.  For an NFL coach, a lack of personnel cohesion can spell the difference between being good and being a champion.   In 2018, timing may finally be coming together for Andy Reid.  The long-time Eagles and Chiefs coach has built several playoff units, and one Super Bowl squad, with his ‘03 Eagles, …

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Giants vs Cowboys

Cowboys – Giants Tip: Follow the Leader to Eli

The Panthers loss has produced a week of teeth-gnashing and angst among many Cowboys faithful. Much of the dismay has focused on the sputtering offense. With the Giants game a mere day away, let’s look at something that worked, a new-old defensive wrinkle that’s likely to be tried again, given Dallas’ strength and New York’s …

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Dak Prescott, Jason Garrett, and Scott Linehan

Panthers 16, Cowboys 8 – Feeling a Campo Era

We’re not the Bills. That’s probably one of the better things that can be said of the 2018 Cowboys debut. A team that kept many of its starters in the freezer this preseason took three quarters to thaw, falling behind 16-0 early in the 4th quarter before gaining some early season traction. The defense melted …

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