Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Adding another most to the negative

Well I've stated the most dissappointing playoff loss in Cowboy's history in my opinion. That was last year to the wildcard Giants at home. I have stated the most embarassing playoff loss that I think is in Cowboys' history. That was the 1998 playoff loss at home to the Arizona Cardinals. The most lackluster playoff effort is probably a 3 way tie between the 1985 loss at the then Los Angeles Rams (when the Cowboys got shut out 20-0 and allowed Eric Dickerson to run wild) and the 1999 loss at Minnesota, and the 2003 loss to the Carolina Panthers (a team Dallas has otherwised owned ). Now the most dissappointing season probably was the 2006 team who stumbled into the playoffs at 9-7 and lost that botched FG game to the Seahawks by a single point. But that was quickly supplanted by this year's dissappointment. This was a debacle. 9-7 doesn't tell the story. I can't believe it's New Year's Eve and the Cowboys are already done. This team was supposed to be better than last year's 13-3 division winning club who just happened to stub their toe against the Giants. But that team was healthier and FAR more disciplined. Not more talented. Just much much MUCH more efficient. Will Wade Phillips be back next year? Or will he step aside and they promote Jason Garrett to head coach? Or will they bring in Mike Shanahan, fired yesterday from Denver? Will T.O be back? I know Romo will bounce back but there are uncertainties in the air. And then the Cowboys also begin playing in their new house. Next year marks their Golden Anniversary as well. And last of all, as I sign off for 2008, that game against Philly this past Sunday, given the circumstances, is the WORST performance in team history. I mean they looked AWFUL. It looked like 2001 when Philly could beat Dallas playing 7 on 11. At least then we knew why the Cowboys lost so badly to the Eagles. They were good and Dallas was pathetic. I mean, 44-6? To these Eagles? in 2008? As Bill Belichick would say " I know we're better than THAT"

Sunday, December 28, 2008


Well, it's over. The 2008 season that was supposed to be "THE year". And this afternoon it looked to me like they just rolled over. That's just my opinion. You can talk about the injuries and the tumoil that came with it when they lost a few games and how December once again was well, UGLY. It's done with. There's always next yr. There will always BE next year. I wouldn't pull the plug on the whole deal but obviously a few tweaks won't hurt. Maybe being healthier next year will help.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Black Saturday Night

Well one word to describe this season. Underachieving. Two words to describe last night's loss to Baltimore. Very Dissappointing. It already was that by way of losing the NFC East title and vying for one of the two NFC Wildcard spots. But last night, Baltimore came up with two drive thwarting interceptions of Romo in the first half, one that ended a promising drive on the intial series and the other coming on the attempted drive to go down and get points to end the first half. The latter was more costly because it was returned to midfield and the Ravens got close enough in the last 27 seconds as a result for a field goal to take a 9-7 halftime lead. But ofcourse what won the game for Baltimore were two big long gains for touchdowns that should not have happened. And consequently, a costly loss for the Cowboys to the Ravens 33-24. And does anyone realize for the record that Dallas has never beaten the Ravens since they've been in Baltimore? The last time the Cowboys beat this franchise, the Ravens were still the old Cleveland Browns back in the early 90's. But even after all of the dissappointments, believe it or not, thanks to Tampa Bay losing at home to San Diego (Chargers are in the playoffs afterall if they beat Denver at home next wk) Dallas is still alive. And even more amazing, they even control their own destiny. Beat Philly next Sunday and they're in. They'll have to play better on both sides next wk to win ofcourse than last nights's debacle. The offense can't wait until the fourth quarter to get untracked, and the defense can't allow 77 and 82 yard runs. One is bad enough but even without the other, Dallas might have still pulled it out. I mean you talk about a couple of freak plays that the Ravens got last night. Well, neither one should have happened and they're not supposed to happen but they did. Last night for me in sports was bad. The worst was ofcourse my Cowboys losing but also, BYU Football lost their bowl game to Arizona in Las Vegas (though BYU still finished the season 10-3 and have most key components coming back next yr) The BYU Basketball team was robbed of a game winning tip in at the buzzer against 20th ranked Arizona St. down in Phoenix for their first loss of the season. And also, my Utah Jazz lost to the Bulls. (Why in the HELL can't we beat the Bulls all of a sudden? It's not like they're any good) I was down pretty low last night and when I woke up early this morning, even though I didn't have to, I couldn't fall back asleep. But then when I come to find out that they Cowboys are still alive and control their own fate, I perked up a little. I said a little. It's still in Philadelphia though and it's an afternoon game with the hit or miss (from a luck standpoint) telecast of Fox with Joe Buck and Troy Aikman. Actually in 2008 the Cowboys haven't lost back to back with them in the booth so based on them botching that Pittsburgh game two weeks ago, they're "DUE" for a win against Philly. The Eagles lost 10-3 to the struggling Redskins so they didn't play well today at all. I don't know if they still have a shot at the playoffs. All I know is that Dallas is in if they win. The motto for the week: Win and you're in. I won't make any prediction for this one. It's better to be left unsaid

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Cowboys D is still under the radar but that's OK

It took half of the season for them to come around but the Cowboys D is as formidable as any right now and with the offense clicking except for the Pittsburgh game since Romo came back, this team COULD be this year's Giants. It would be less suprising for Dallas to pull the whole thing off given the fact that they were the best in the NFC last year before choking in the playoffs. I mean that's why (along with Romo's rapid growth)they were favored to win the NFC East again and represent the Conference in the Super Bowl. It's been a bumpy ride and there have been now three games that the Cowboys have had this season that were MUST wins and they won them all. Tampa Bay was a must after a humiliating loss to the Rams, and not having Romo is not nearly a good enough excuse. They dug in defensively to beat the Bucs. Then after the BYE week Dallas was 5-4 and trailing Washington by a game in the standings. The Skins had upset the Cowboys in Dallas in late September before Romo's injury. Now the Cowboys won a game that got them back into the wildcard hunt. Mainly thanks to the defense, with Romo knocking off the rust, the Cowboys prevailed and have now surged to 9-5 while the Skins have slid to 7-7 after once being 6-2. Last night was a must win and a chance to prove that they still could beat the Giants. And the defense rose to the occassion. On the Giants first offensive play from scrimmage, Manning was sacked by Ware and fumbled, where a Giant lineman recovered. When that happened, I knew that it was going to be a long night for Eli. And it WAS. Our offense did enough and Romo is a Warrior. And I'm not sure of this stat, but it may have been the first time ALL season that we won the turnover battle outright. Amazing. We ARE starting to create turnovers and if our offense stops with the giveaways, we're still the best team in the N F L. Write that one down. Oh, another bold prediction for this week. Cowboys 27, Ravens 17

Sunday, December 14, 2008

You gotta believe

Well, I made a fearless prediction early in the week that Dallas would win. And that was before the reports of the supposed turmoil between Romo, Witten, and T.O. But they and the rest of the team stared that all down and the Giants for a hard fought 20-8 victory. The defense sacked Eli Manning EIGHT times tonight and DeMarcus Ware now has the league lead in sacks with 19. He picked up three more tonight as the defense continues to get better by the game. Romo took a shot early in the game when the team was on the march. He then suffered back to back sacks that pushed the Cowboys out of field goal range early in the second quarter. And there e was speculation about him returning on the next series when it turned out to be a contusion in the lower back area on the first of the two sacks. But then he took the club on the next series right down the field and fired a 34 yard TD to Patrick Crayton. It was 7-3 Dallas at the half and it stayed that way, a defensive battle until late in the third when Romo found FB Deon Anderson in the end zone with a one yard TD to push it to 14-3. The defense was the story though as they shut down the Giants, and Newman shadowed Dominick Hixon, Plaxico Burress' replacement everywhere. The Giants were also without big bad bruisin Brandon Jacobs but I'd say that Dallas countered that handicap with a significantly less than 100% Marion Barber. Barber did pick up a key first down on the closing drive. The Giants got a safety when the defense sacked Romo in the end zone(the only real time NY got into the end zone all night) on a play that the Cowboy offensive line looked as though they thought that the play was blown dead. Jason Tuck came in unimpeded and Romo actually fumbled and smartly pushed the ball out of the end zone so that it wouldn't be a TD, which is ALL the Cowboys would have needed at that point. After the free kick New York took the ball down and got a 45 yard field goal from 44 year old John Carney with about 5 minutes to go. At 14-8 and the clock winding down the Cowboys marched 66 yards on 7 plays, with key first downs from Choice, Barber, and Witten. Then Choice ran 38 yards for the capper to make it 20-8. The Cowboys 2pt conversion attempt to Roy Williams was incomplete but then the Giants were out of timeouts and Terrence Newman intercepted his second pass of the night to officially close it out. Newman also had a pick early in the third period. All in all, it wasn't pretty. The Giants all of a sudden look out of sync on offense but let's give credit where credit is due. New York has won the NFC East Title and if there is a rubber match between the two in the playoffs , it will be in the Meadowlands. But Dallas proved that they can still beat this team and do some great things. Baltimore comes to Dallas next Saturday night for the final regular season game at Texas Stadium. And unless the Cowboys, as the fifth seed, host the NFC's sixth seed in the NFC Championship game, this next Saturday will be the last Cowboys game period at Texas Stadium. If the regular season ended today after 14 games(in other words if this were 1977, the year before the NFL regular season expanded from 14 to 16 games) Dallas would have the fifth seed and Atlanta would be sixth. The Falcons knocked off Tampa Bay today in overtime and the Bucs would not be in the playoffs if the regular season ended today. Why? Because the Cowboys, Falcons and Bucs are now all 9-5 and the Cowboys have a conference edge over Atlanta and beat the Bucs head to head earlier this year. And somehow, the Falcons are ahead of the Bucs on some tiebreaker as well. Baltimore will be tough but I like our chances if we don't turn it over, something we did NOT do tonight. Hooray!!! Winning cures most if not all. And we can be over the dissappointment of last week for now anyways. It was Baltimore's turn to come from ahead and lose to Pittsburgh. The Steelers wrapped up their AFC North division today as a result of a 13-9 win in Baltimore. The Ravens, 9-5, are fighting for a playoff berth so this game Saturday night in BIG D will be huge for both teams. I'll take Dallas at home, especially if we don't turn it over. I think the defense will overwhelm the Ravens offense. In the last seven games since the Ram Debacle on Oct 19(the day before my son Jonah was born) the Cowboys are 5-2 with the defense giving up 14 a game and that INCLUDES the 35-14 loss to the Giants in the last game before Romo and Newman came back. Tonight they kept the Giants out of the end zone. Impressive. Let's get Barber back closer to 100% on offense and the defense continue to play well. And let's put the December hex to bed.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

My Fearless prediction

Dallas will win on Sunday Night. Sunday night is Romo's primetime event. It's funny how a fan blogged on that the good thing about Sunday night's game is that there's NO chance that Aikman and Buck will be calling it. Easy there. Well, let's see, 2-0 this year on Sunday Night with Al Michaels and John Madden and with Aikman and Buck, 3-3, if I'm not mistaken. I think that Buck and Aikman were on tap for win over the 49ers. Well, I don't fault Buck and Aikman. But I DO know how good Romo has done on Sunday night over the past two years. 6-1. The Cowboys will be over that botched one from this past Sunday. They are facing the Giants, the team they want to beat the most of all right now. And it's for ALL intents and purposes, A PLAYOFF GAME. Win Sunday isn't their first playoff win since 1996 and it doesn't even clinch a berth for this year's playoff tournament. But this might as well be one. I am a Jim Rome listener. And he praises Dallas when they're winning and is looking for the shovel himself to start digging their grave when they foul up or seem to be unraveling. And he's basically calling Coach Wade Phillips fired in not so many certain words. And the fact that it's December and Dallas is imploding AGAIN. Well, we'll see. I DO recall Rome saying that the NFL is a better place when the Cowboys are good. So I try to remember that he doesn't know anymore about what's going to happen than you or I do. He happened to mention that they'd get a pissed off Giants team on Sunday. The Giants got their A--kicked last week by the Eagles IN THEIR OWN HOUSE. The final score might have been 20-14 but the two Giants TDs came at the end of the half on a blocked FG attempt where the Eagle guy missed a sure tackle on the Giants DB who ran it back 85 yards with no time left on the second quarter clock. The other Giants TD came with exactly ten seconds left in the game against that PREvent defense of the Eagles. Philly came in and punched them in the mouth. Sure they might be pissed at the Eagles. They were listless though. The Cowboys ought to be mad enough to go on a killing spree all the way from Dallas to New York. They ripped a win out of the W column and dropped it into the loss column. So to say the Giants will be pissed off and the Cowboys won't? I think that the defensive line will get to Manning and the Giants D will be chasing Romo around throughout the night. I think that the Eagles knocked New York down a peg. The Giants are not invincible, NEWFLASH TO THEM. Reminds me of last year when the Cowboys were 12-1 AT HOME to a 5-8 Eagles team. The Cowboys had beaten the Eagles to within an inch of their lives in Philly just a month earlier and this game was to be no different. Right. 10-6 Eagles. Romo has his worst day maybe on any level of Football in his life. And the Cowboys never recovered. They won the next week at Carolina, but lost T.O. until that Giants playoff game where he wasn't nearly 100 % and the offense was still somewhat out of sync allowing the upset to happen. And then the Giants shocked the world. Maybe it's not that simple but I know that Brandon Jacobs is questionable at best for this Sunday and the Cowboys are going to be Jacked to play. Dallas will approach this one like it's the Super Bowl. And if I'm wrong, I'm wrong and I'll own it. Cowboys 31 Giants 20.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Not easy to accept but it is what it is

Well, simply put: Dallas choked. Hard. They ripped this one out of the win column and dropped it in the lost column. They had their foot on the throat of the Steelers and didn't choke them out. And they paid. Dearly. This one hurts. Bad. Because they snatched defeat from the Jaws of victory. But it's something that still can be corrected. This Titanic hasn't sunk yet. The Carpathia in this case is an hour away from coming to the rescue not four. (You know I wish that HAD been the case for the real ill fated ship, that Carpathia had been ONE hour away instead of FOUR, much too late) But like ignoring iceberg warnings, the Cowboys didn't finish on Sunday, and didn't have the killer instict. This game brought back memories to 2005. That was a rollar coaster year for the Cowboys who were on the brink of something real good but just couldn't get over the hump, finishing 9-7 and out of the playoffs, eliminated on the final day of the regular season. The real issue with that team was the WOEFUL kicking game. Wins that were converted into losses. And because they didn't finish. Well, if we lose again on Sunday against the Giants, we're STARING at another 2005 only this dissappointment would be TITANIC compared to that time. In 2005 Dallas was on the brink of being a playoff team. At least then we knew that it was only a start to better days ahead. Well, better regular season days. Fail this time, it's much much worse. This time the Cowboys are SUPPOSED to not only be in the playoffs but contending for the Lombardi Trophy. This time, WHO REALLY KNOWS what's ahead? So, a must win this Sunday or we're staring at 2005 only ten times worse. Tony Romo is what he is. He is who he is. I think that he'll bounce back. History suggests it. This team has all of the means of motivation that they could possibly need to go out and prove that they can still beat this Giants squad. As Romo goes so do the Cowboys. Hopefully Marion Barber is back too. Missing in action against Pittsburgh. That's not why they lost though.

Monday, December 1, 2008

What I think will happen Sunday

Well we know that it's in Pittsburgh and there will be all of those Terrible Towels waving as darkness gets set to descend not long after kickoff. The Steelers have as good of a Defense as any in Pro Football. So it will be the Cowboys Offense vs the Steelers' Defense. And I think the Cowboys will win if they don't turn it over and if they do turn it over, well that's bad news against Pittsburgh. The Steelers were able to capitalize on the second half implosion of the New England Patriots yesterday. The game had been tied at 10 at the half. Then in the second half, it looked as though the Pats decided to gift wrap the game and hand it to the Steelers. The Cowboys offense will certainly be tested. Romo is for sure the most elusive QB that Pittsburgh has had to face this year. And this will be the most fearsome defense that Romo will have faced this year too. It's going to come down to the Cowboys being able to avoid turnovers and also on the defensive side, not giving up any big plays to the Steelers. I think if Romo takes what is given to him, and the line holds up enough for him to at least extend plays and get rid of the ball, and they avoid the dreaded TURNOVERS that would favor Pittsburgh mightily, then Dallas wins. I'll make a bold prediction. The Cowboys are getting better by the game and somewhat healthy at the right time. I look for them to get a lead and assume control once they are ahead. Let's call it Cowboys 26, Steelers 17

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Cowboys move to 8-4

Well, for the third straight year, the Cowboys blew out an opponent on Thanksgiving. And for the third straight year, it was a normally respectable opponent that's having a bad year. Two years ago, the Tampa Bucs came into Big D on Turkey Day and were massacred 38-10 when Rom threw five TDs in making only his 5th NFL Start. Last year the Cowboys got the 2-8 Jets, and had NO trouble at all, winning 34-3. It's funny how the Bucs and Jets this year have 8-3 records. And this time, the Seattle Seahawks, who are having an unfortunate year as far as injuries are concerned, came in at 2-9, with Matt Hasselback in the lineup, albeit too late to save their season. The Seahawks beat the Cowboys two years ago in the playoffs on that botched snap from Romo but were no match for the Cowboys this time. The Cowboys D sacked Hasselback seven times and Tony Romo had another big day as the offense looks more and more like they could be getting in sync. And what a vintage day for Jason Witten who has been bothered by a broken rib but still continued to play through it. His production naturally has fallen off the past few weeks with him being far less than 100%. And he looked banged up just four days before against the 49ers but in this game he caught nine passes and a TD. T.O. also caught a TD (third straight Thanksgiving Game he got into the end zone) and for the third straight game, Martilus Bennett, the hero of the Washington game, caught a TD pass. Roy Williams also caught a few passes and ran an end around reverse for a 13 yard first down gain early on. So now it looks like we have a pass rush and the offense, is coming on. I'll be the first however to cautiously say that we're not quite there yet. Still getting better by the game. And fortunately, the MRI results on Marion Barber, who rushed for a first quarter TD, and Defensive End DeMarcus Ware, three sacks against Seattle, are negative and that the Pittsburgh game isn't until Dec. 7. They should be able to go against the rough and tough Steelers, a team a like except for when they play Dallas. An interesting developement happening in Giants land: WR Plaxico Burress, already out for Sunday's game against the Redskins with a pulled hamstring, received an accidental gunshot wound at a club on Friday Morning or Night. Nothing good happens in the middle of the night or wee hours of the morning. Let's hope that he's okay though. Pretty shocking news. It brings back memories from a year ago with the Redskins Sean Taylor, who was shot during a botched robbery attempt in his own home while he happened to be out injured already for his team. He didnt make it as we know. It doesn't sound like Burress' deal is that serious. Let's hope not.

And also back into Cowboys land, PacMan will be in the lineup against Pittsburgh. Good, we'll need him. Romo can't afford mistakes against the Steeler D, which might be the best in the NFL. Also, our pass rush, the way it has been, could very well get to Big Ben. This game could be a stalemate of a contest. The Cowboys have a tough December starting at Pittsburgh and then home against the Giants and Baltimore before their regular season finale at Philly. Games that we can win ? Absolutely. But with the Calendar about to flip over to December, will the team forget how to play again? I don't think so. Not this time. For the first time since I guess you can say, 1993, the Cowboys might play their best football of the year in the month of December. I might be putting myself out there by saying that but I really believe that this time, they will be peaking at the right time. It IS set up for them to do it for sure. I mean the opportunity is there. They HAVE to this time. Or they won't be going to the postseason. And they are well aware of that. And just think how battle tested they will be in January if they indeed make it to that point. Definitely not working against them for sure. Getting hot at the right time. I vaguely remember mentioning how maybe it would be best for them to hit some rough patches, maybe have to really turn it on in November and December to be playing their best football when it matters. And that maybe sacrificing a division title for a Super Bowl might be the recipe for this team to get it done this time around like the Steelers of 2005 and last years Giants. Even the Colts of 2006 were not the number one seed in their conference in the playoffs. They just went out and manned up. The 2005 Steelers did that. And last year's Giants, the most unheralded bunch ever probably, did it.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

NFL Power Rankings

I haven't bothered looking at them for weeks ever since the Cowboys briefly grabbed the top spot after week three. But it's interesting to peek and see after a couple of months. The Giants are where they belong, at the top. No dispute there right now. Ofcourse that can change. First off Cris Collingsworth was right on when the topic of who the second best team in the NFC is. He said Dallas. He said that they are dangerous, and that they have the most talent in the NFL still. He said that they are the only team in the NFC with a chance to take down the Giants should they meet in the playoffs. Agreed. The latest poll that I looked at has the Cowboys at number 5. I know that the Bucs have a one game better record than the Cowboys do, thanks to their mishaps. But they DID beat the Bucs without Romo, without Newman, and without Kosier, as well as Felix Jones. HELLO?!?! And I know that the Jets are playing well and Brett Favre, I just love but putting them at number two is a bit of a stretch. Afterall, they DID lose to the Raiders. And no, not last year, this year. The Cowboys did lose to the Rams but we know that they weren't ready to play, missing KEY elements. Plus the Rams actually played decent football for a three week stretch (winning at Washington, beating Dallas(not the REAL Dallas) and almost winning at New England) before they went back to stinking it up. And they HAVE been downright dreadful. Honestly, before Denver fell flat as flat gets AT HOME against Oakland, I actually said that the Raiders were worse than the Lions, even though they had won a couple and Detroit is winless. OH, and the Lions roared out to a 17-0 first quarter lead against the Bucs and it all evaporated before halftime. Bucs won going away 38-20. I have to say that the Lions are the WORST TEAM IN FOOTBALL and that they WILL NOT WIN A GAME in 2008. Don't sweat it! Lions ranked 32 out of 32, and headed for the Toilet Bowl against Kansas City. The Chiefs one win: DENVER. How are the Broncos 6-5? They have looked like THEY could be the worst in the NFL in games against KC, New England, and the Raiders. Plus they have lost THREE IN A ROW AT HOME. More perplexing, How in HELL did Denver beat Atlanta (7-4) on the road and then get HUMILIATED at home by the Raiders? I know I've gotten off of the original topic (Power Rankings) but all of the stuff I mentioned I guess just goes to show everyone that the Rankings don't mean shit. Nothing.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Getting better by the game

The Cowboys finally broke out of their scoring slump by beating San Francisco 35-22 in a game that wasn't that close. After sleepwalking throught the first quarter, and trailing 6-0, the Cowboys got untracked when Romo fired a 75 yard bomb to T.O. to give them the lead at 7-6. From there the defense and special teams dominated and Romo hit another TD to Bennett just before the half for a commanding 22-6 lead. The 49ers deserve some credit for not packing it in, making the Cowboys keep playing at least. But all and all the Cowboys looked a little better in all phases of the game and look to keep on improving with each contest. It's a tough stretch ahead still but winning at Washington last week and not overlooking San Francisco this week, and the Cowboys are now 7-4 and facing another team they should beat this coming Thursday, Thanksgiving. So now let's not overlook Seattle. One unfortunate bit of news ofcourse is that Felix Jones won't return this year because of a broken toe. He had season ending surgery on it and now another talented Rookie Taschard Choice will probably see increasing playing time as part of a running tandem with Marion Barber. The 49ers keyed on the run yesterday so it wasn't a big rushing day for the Cowboys but Romo went up top for 350 yards, 213 of them to Owens, who had a vintage day against his former team. So now it's Seattle. One step at a time. Getting better by the game.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Will the Lions go 0-16?

The Detroit Lions are that much closer to making history. But History says that it won't happen. Running the table in reverse that is. Last year, the Miami Dolphins were a lock once they fell to 0-12 and were not only losing but rarely even competitive in their games. Although they lost narrowly to the two NFC Wildcard teams of last year, the Giants and Redskins by 3 points each. Other than that, they were pretty much manhandled by everyone else except Baltimore, who must've decided right then and there to get Brian Billick axed. Coming from ahead to choke. The Ravens came close to being the only team to beat New England in the regular season in 2007, and also to being the only team to LOSE to the Dolphins in a span of two weeks. So everyone figured if the Dolphins didn't finish 0-16 last year, that it would never ever happen. Except now the Detroit Lions have fired out 0-10. And their schedule the rest of the season reads like this: Home to 7-3 Tampa Bay, Home to the unbeaten Titans (11-0 vs. 0-11 on Turkey Day?) Then they are home again against Minnesota, who's fighting for a wildcard berth, at INDY, home to the Saints, who are also in the wildcard hunt, and then at Green Bay, another team in the playoff mix. So the Lions DO have 4 more home games. But everyone of these teams has something to play for besides not wanting any part whatsover of losing to the winless Detroit Lions. Jim Rome has stated that he's worried about his dream season of seeing a team go the whole regular season winless go out the window because of their tough as nails coach Rod Marinelli. Every time a team makes it as far as 0-10 the talks of "if it doesn't happen THIS time, it never will" surface from fans and Sports media members who silently want it to happen, for somone to go 0-16. It's not as fun watching someone go 16-0, especially when the Patriots might have been better off if they hadn't done that last year. There were times when someone could have easily gone 0-16. In 1981, the then Baltimore Colts, won their opener by one point over then division rival New England, then proceeded to lose FOURTEEN STRAIGHT, all by lopsided margins, (they gave up a mindboggling 533 points for the year, only scoring 259) and then beat the Patriots by two in the regular season finale to finish 2-14, same as the Patriots. The Colts of 1986 were 0-13, and getting thumped every single week before they rallied to win their last three. That was dissappointing to me. The Colts were a laughingstock back then for sure but not now ofcourse. The 1990 and 1992 Patriots each went 1-15. My Cowboys ofcourse went 1-15 in 1989 but embarrassed the Redskins at RFK on a Sunday Night with Joe Theismann as one of the ESPN commentators and longtime Redskin Season Ticket Holder Paul Tagliabue spending his first day as the new NFL Commissioner at that game as well. That game was at midseason so the talk of Dallas going winless for the year never really surfaced as I recall. The Redskins would go 10-6 on the year but that loss to Dallas would come back to haunt them at the end as they would miss the playoffs. The 1991 Colts finished 1-15 on the year and scored a record low 143 points. Chip Loemiller, the PK of the Redskins, would outscore the Colts all by himself with 149 points to his credit. The Colts one win in 1991, as I recall, was by ONE point over the Jets, who actually made to the playoffs that year. Then the 2001 Lions might have been worse than this years bunch but they wound up with a couple of wins at the end. They were still winless, I believe as late as Thanksgiving. Last year's Dolphins were about to run the table in reverse the same year as their `1972 unbeaten season was about to be matched by the Patriots. The Patriots might have finished it had the season still been 14 games like it was in 1972 and not been as worn out come Super Bowl Sunday. But the biggest draw has got to be when a team is close to running the table in reverse. The Lions, looking at their remaining schedule, should do it. But be prepared to be let down too if that's what a lot of us are hoping happens. I hope it happens but I've seen this before when someone should have finished winless but somehow didn't

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Still Alive

Baby Steps. They looked like a team who needed a win but wasn't quite in sync enough to do it comfortably. But character was evident most definitely for Dallas in a hard earned 14-10 win over the Redskins at a hostile Fed Ex field. The Cowboys came from behind in the 4th quarter in what turned into a chess match of a game on Marion Barber's running and Romo's field general leadership. The winning points came with about 10 minutes left on a 25 yard pass from Romo (19-27 198 yds 1 td 2 int) to rookie TE Martellus Bennett. Then the Redskins got the ball for what turned out to be their last sniff and marched to the Cowboys 39 bringing up a fourh down and four around the six minute mark of the fourth quarter. Washington opted to go for it and Newman broke up a pass intended for Santana Moss right in front of a cheering Cowboys sideline and you knew right then that it was theirs. And then it was Marion Barber time. He ran for 9 times for 38 yards and caught the one pass on the drive on a third and eight from Romo for 10 yards and a first down at the Redskin 24. The Redskins burned all of their timeouts on the drive and with 1:08 left on the clock and facing a fourth and two at the Washington 17. Opting to go for it instead of kicking a field goal to push the margin to 17-10, Barber got three yards and turned out the lights for good on the Redskins. Romo then went into victory formation with a pair of kneel downs and Dallas had gutted out a much needed win in Washington, their first win there since 2004. And the Cowboys improved to 6-4 on the year, tied with the Redskins and ahead of the 5-4-1 Eagles, who were in a rare tie earlier today against Cincinnati. The Cowboys ended up winning the battle in overall statistics and the defense came to play tonight, and harrassed Campbell in key situations. Romo's two interceptions came on back to back first half drives where the Cowboys were on the march, both times right around the Redskins 25 yard line. But the fact of the matter is that Romo spent nearly the first half knocking off some rust, the defense held down the fort and then preserved the game at the end when the offense finally busted ahead in the late going. Dallas isn't firing on all cylinders yet and Felix Jones sat out again tonight. Hopefully he'll be back perhaps next week. But they found a way to get it done against a good team in their building. Their backs were to the wall and they were basically in a must win situation. But THEY DID IT. It's a start at least. There's still a long ways to go. San Francisco might be 3-7 but don't overlook them or else. Great win tonight. Cowboys, still alive.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Thinking back to facing the Redskins at RFK

It's now been twelve years since the Redskins played at RFK, which is amazing when you consider that it's still standing. When the Redskins played there, particularly against the Cowboys, it was deafening. "The fans would stomp or bounce and ENTIRE rows would move up and down in rhythmic waves like an earthquake " to quote Skip Bayless, the respected Sports Journalist who used to cover the Cowboys. He also quoted in a book called THE BOYS written back in the Jimmy Johnson Super Bowl era, "watch too long from the opposite side of the stadium and you could get dizzy". He also went on to say how " sometimes the noise itself seemed to be rocking RFK on it's rickety foundation". Pretty good idea coming from someone who had been to an actual game inside there. With only 55,045 capacity, the stadium was described by Bayless and others as having the feel of an oversized minor league ballpark. It was a pretty intimidating place for the most part for the opposition. But I could have the best "DID YOU KNOW?" of all time when it comes to the Cowboys-Redskins rivalry. And it puts in proper perspective what this rivalry has been all about in terms of forgetting the records. Now this year, at least on paper, these are two evenly matched teams. But who can forget 1995 when Dallas lost both games to a Redskin team that went 6-10 on the year yet the Cowboys went on to win the Super Bowl still? Or 1991 when the Redskins were a dominant team for the last time in the Gibbs first era and really to date for that matter? The Redskins would win the Super Bowl that year and were 11-0 when the Cowboys, who were a year away from their dominant run, came in at 6-5, lost Troy Aikman to injury in the third quarter, and Steve Beurlein came on in relief to help preserve the 24-21 Cowboys win and lead them to the playoffs. But the did you know is an amazing overlooked stat. Going back to the abysmal days of Tom Landry's final year of 1988 and Jimmy Johnson's first year of 1989. The Cowboys would lose ten straight in '88 before beating the Redskins in RFK to knock them out of the playoffs. The Cowboy lost the next week to Philly in the regular season finale to finish 3-13. In 1989, the Cowboys then went 1-15 with their only win at RFK, again knocking the Redskins out of the postseason. DID ANYONE KNOW , for that matter, that were it not for those two upsets at RFK, games that that Cowboys group had no business winning, Dallas would have lost 28 straight games?! The all time NFL losing streak record would belong to the Dallas Cowboys without those two upsets. Think about that. And ofcourse, the dubious honor of going 0-16 in 1989. And somehow, the Cowboys avoided all of that by winning back to back games at RFK against what was then one of the better teams in the NFL. The losing streak would have gone, without those two wins, from October 1988 until the opener of 1990, when Dallas beat San Diego

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

winning at Fed Ex Field

Well the Redskins have lost twice here this season despite their 6-3 record and the fact that they did Dallas on the road. The Rams somehow won here. And the Redskins weren't missing any significant players like when the Cowboys got embarrassed the following week in St. Louis. The Steelers came in and made the Redskins look somewhat bad. And that game was sandwiched between two Pittsburgh home losses. The only thing keeping the Steelers from a suffering a three game skid was their 23-6 win at Fed Ex Field. The Cowboys haven't won here since a Monday Nighter in September of 2004. And aside from a young Jason Witten, I don't know if any of the current Cowboys were even on that 2004 squad. That 2004 wasn't very good. The Redskins weren't good that year either, which was Joe Gibbs' first year in his return stint with the team. That year Philadelphia was a power at 13-3 on their way to the Super Bowl while the rest of the NFC East all went 6-10. Eli Manning was a rookie for the Giants, who were bad too. Now every team in the NFC East is above .500. It's funny how the Cowboys were in this stretch where they beat Washington thirteen of fourteen from 1997-2004, including nine straight at one point. And the Cowboys record in that eight year span was 55-73, with three playoff visits and no playoff wins ofcourse. Since 2005, however, the Cowboys have gone 36-21 but only 2-5 against the Redskins. And twice in that time, Washington has managed to win in Dallas. The Cowboys dropped a meaningless regular season finale last year at Fed Ex field when they were resting players and had the NFC's number one seed locked up. Two years ago, the Cowboys blew out the Redskins in week 2 in Texas, and then blew the game in Fed Ex field in November of that year. The going against the Redskins has been tough these last few years. The Cowboys probably should have won three of those games that they lost to Washington since 2005 but what's done is done. Winning this Sunday will atone for the earlier setback against the Skins and also put the Cowboys firmly in control of their own destiny, which they control. Winning this week will is priority number one. Forget everything else. This team will be locked in and focused. They are due, due to win in Washington for the first time in four years, due to bust out with a couple of game changing big plays, due to have Romo, Felix Jones, Terrence Newman, and Kyle Kosier back, and due to finally resemble at least somewhat, the team that everyone billed them as at the beginning of the year and after their first three games. It's up to them to decide if this can still be the year. Could they get it going and be that team? Maybe like the 2005 Steelers? Or last year's Giants? I know what ended up happening last year, noone saw coming. And in 2005, the talk was about the Colts going unbeaten and for good measure, they soundly defeated a Pittsburgh team that fell to 7-5 and made the Colts 12-0. And a month or so later, the Steelers knocked off the Colts and Broncos and were headed to the Super Bowl. Last year the Giants ofcourse lost twice to the Cowboys who won the NFC East going away. New York only went 3-5 at home. I don't think anyone's ever done that and made the playoffs much less win the whole flippin' thing. The Cowboys have the talent but do they have the leadership? If the Redskins play like they did against Pittsburgh sure Dallas ought to win. But it's an important game for the Redskins too. So they'll be up obviously. And I expect Portis to play. Dallas needs to take away the run. And for hell's sakes, somebody get on Santana Moss and Jam Chris Cooley. And Romo needs to be Romo. Oh, and the Cowboys need to run the ball more than eight times like last time these teams met. Big game. Might as well be a playoff game for Dallas.

Monday, November 10, 2008

A big game this Sunday

This Sunday, the Cowboys, who trail the Redskins by a game, go into FedEx Field where they haven't won since 2004, the last time they swept the two annual meetings with the Redskins. The Cowboys know that if they lose, they will fall to 5-5, and be two games behind the Redskins, and essentially three games behind them for one of the wild-card slots. The Redskins will have swept the season meetings with the Cowboys and therefore own the tiebreaker if the two teams were to still SOMEHOW finish with identical records. A loss would leave the Cowboys fighting for a final wildcard-spot most likely with suprising Atlanta, Tampa Bay, Philly, Green Bay, Chicago, and Minnesota. Whoa! No Thanks! In other words, I predict that a loss on Sunday will almost put them out of contention. Forget the division title for now, it's about making the playoffs. Make the playoffs, it's anybody's game. But if you don't get there................well no excuses. Romo, Felix Jones, Terrence Newman, and Kyle Kosier will be back on Sunday. Lots of shoring up. But the team can't wait for a half to get going. And don't buy the 50-50 thing on Clinton Portis' status. I think he'll play, albeit not 100% but I would be suprised not to see him at least take a whack at it. Win Sunday, and it's a huge step in the start of the playoff chase. But a loss could really prove to be too much to overcome. Nobody expected the Cowboys to be in the middle of the pack at this point of the season. Nobody. But it is what it is and the time is now or else it's on to next year.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

I'm ready for next week already

Well, it was a much needed week off for the Cowboys as the lick their wounds. But I'm probably like most Cowboys fans in that I'm ready already for next week. A win next week puts them at 6-4 with the lowly 49ers and almost equally hapless Seahawks back to back at home. The latter game against Seattle is on Turkey Day, with extra time to get ready for the December 7 clash against Pittsburgh. Speaking of the Steelers, how about two games at home that they let slip away, to the Giants and Colts(today) sandwiching an impressive road win against the Redskins last Monday Night? By the time the Cowboys play the Steelers, they could be about as healthy and fully strengthed as they've been all season, ESPECIALLY if they go into that contest 8-4. But it's one game at a time for Dallas. Washington is a must win game considering that the Redskins stole one in Dallas in late September. It seems that since that game EVERYTHING has fallen apart for the Cowboys. Every bad break. You name it. Namely the injuries. Losing Romo hurt the most, obviously. That was resoundingly proven. The Cowboys just need to remember that they control their own destiny for the playoffs. PLAYOFFS!? Anyways, they can't worry about anyone else. They just need to beat Washington and then look ahead to the next opponent. That simple. They need to get back the swagger that they had. The one that they had before the first Redskins game. And the Redskins may be 6-3 but their offense has struggled too. Whatever break that Dallas can get in catching them right, they'll take and they need to score early and often. 28 points will definitly win this game. That's the only prediction that I'm making. If Dallas scores 28 they will win for sure. 24 might be enough too, the way the Skins offense has struggled as of late. If Dallas gets up in this one early, they could very well be back on track.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The BYE week and the good news

The Good news is that the BYE week is finally here and the Cowboys therefore don't have to play another game this week without Romo namely who wouldn't necessarily be ready if there was one this Sunday. But because there isn't a game this Sunday, he'll be that much better come Sunday Night the 16th. The Cowboys ever since the Sunday Night Football in America telecast started at the beginning of 2006, have been on it seven times winning six of those times. The lone defeat was against New Orleans back on December 10, 2006 at home. That was a game that saw the Cowboys make a few mistakes early on, get behind the eight ball and then getting carved up by Drew Brees. It was also only Tony Romo's seventh start. The other games on Sunday Night with Romo at the helm were his first start against Carolina on Oct. 29, 2006, a 35-14 win. The 2007 opener on Sept. 9 against the Giants, a 45-35 win. Then again three weeks later at Soldier Field, a 34-10 rout of the Bears. On November 4, 2007, on Sunday Night, this time in Philadelphia, Romo and the Cowboys ransacked the Eagles 38-17. And on Sept. 25 of this year, in Green Bay, the Cowboys won, believe it or not, their first ever game at Lambeau, and again in convicing fashion, 27-16. So that's good news, playing at Washington, who lost Monday Night at home to Pittsburgh, on Sunday Night. Romo returns. So does Felix Jones, Offensive guard Kyle Kosier, and in the secondary, Terrence Newman. Could Pac Man maybe not be too far behind that? Also, could the Cowboys be signing CB DeAngelo Hall, cut today by the Raiders. I'll say one thing, if we think that the Cowboys are a train wreck, they are still 5-4 with key players, namely one of the five best QBs in the game, coming back. But nothing compares to the Raiders. Al Davis is scenile. Period. I've talked to some Raider Fans, asking them if they think that Al Davis needs to sell the team. Their response: He just needs to Die! Hope we're not saying that someday about Jerry Jones. I don't think so. He's not as bad as he used to be. The guy wants to win and he's far more willing to swallow his Texas-sized Ego at least to some degree. There was a time early in this decade where I really thought that Jones should sell the team. But he's got a little bit more self-restraint than he used to so let's give him some credit. I sure got off on a tangient.

Well, I just kind of got frustrated on Sunday because of the fact that our defense had three takeaways against the Giants. The only problem was, as we GAVE IT AWAY four times. We were going into that game with a hand tied behind our back arguably. If we don't turn it over, we would have been in it. That said, our team didn't just roll over. But, wow, I thought our offense would still be able to do some of the things with Brad Johnson, not like Romo, but more than 14 points a game. I feel really bad for Brad. I think that he deserved better but he's still a part of this team, and he's been around and I think he's been a big help as the holder for place kicks and field goals as well as with the coaching staff. He's just not what he once was. He wasn't ever the most mobile but more than this. And he used to have a quite an arm and just doesn't anymore. I think he did what he could. He did lead us to a win over Tampa Bay, which was the very least that the team needed to be able to do. I think he could've beaten the Rams, but the whole team was just not ready to play that one. But enough said. Romo is back, as are the other aforementioned. And beat the Redskins on Nov. 16, and we're at least in second place. The division title might be out of reach, however, remember this: We play the Giants again in December, where we'll look more like ourselves again. The Giants only have three more home games. They have to go to Washington, play Philly twice still, go to Dallas where the Cowboys definitely will be pumped up, they have a tough Ravens team to play. They have to go to Phoenix. The Cards have proven that they can play with anyone, at least at home. So the Giants could still lose a few of their remaining eight games. Easily. But the Cowboys first and foremost, want to get into the playoffs. The rest will take care of the rest. The Dallas Cowboys goal is to make the Playoffs at this point. They control their own destiny. And in the thirty two starts by Romo, Dallas has averaged 28 a game. That fact alone is encouraging. When you average 28 a game, you have a chance to win almost each time out. 23-9 record in those games. Good to have him back. Hopefully, he won't have much rust to knock off.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Obituary on the three game disaster stretch

The Bye week didn't come nearly soon enough. Dallas is losing badly in the second half, thanks mainly to four turnovers in their own side of the field and the ineffective play of Brad Johnson and with Brooks Bollinger going even worse. Down 28-7 in the third, it's painful to even watch so I've bailed off of the Titanic at this point. The three game stretch was a disaster. A disaster. Yes, I know they won one, luckily, but today renders it almost meaningless. No fight. No heart. Nothing. And the Bye week will be a time for them to evaluate the season, as far as do they even want to salvage it.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

My Favorite win against the Giants

My favorite win against the Giants was one that I didn't even get to see, an extreme rarity. I was in the Midwest on a cold Sunday the second day of 1994. This year was actually the first time that the NFL regular season had spilled over into the New Year. I was living in Utah then like now but visiting my then Fiancee' in her hometown of Geneseo, Illinois. I would marry her the following Labor Day Weekend and then we'd split some three years after that (me unscathed NO KIDS!) I had been visiting there over the Holidays while she was living and going to school there and working a waitressing job, saving for the upcoming day of ours. I was out here in Utah doing the same and would be heading back home later that day (early evening) after a two week visit. I was 22 years old and the Cowboys were on their way to their second straight Super Bowl under Jimmy Johnson. The 1993 season had been chaotic for Dallas. Emmitt Smith held out the first two games and Dallas, distracted by the drama of it, started out 0-2. He and owner Jones finally came to an agreement on a deal that made Emmitt the highest paid player in the game at least for the moment. Smith returned and the Cowboys went 12-2 the rest of the way but had to go into the cold windy hostile Meadowlands on the for the regular season finale to face the suprising Giants who still had veterans Phil Simms and Lawerence Taylor. Michael Strahan was a rookie then. The Giants had gotten drilled by the Cowboys in early November at Texas Stadium 31-9 but they had otherwise played stout defense and safe conservative offense and had beaten just about all the teams on their schedule that they were supposed to beat, giving them an 11-4 record heading into this showdown against the mighty Cowboys. The Cowboys had the same record coming in and had been thinned a lot by injuries to key players, most of them playing through it. Plus everyone was out to knock off the Cowboys. And I didn't get to see the game because they showed a game between I think the Rams and Bears, two teams that weren't even going to the playoffs. I couldn't figure that out. The winner of Cowboys-Giants would have the NFC's number one seed and they were showing a game that nobody gave a freaking damn about . And the updates and scores that you see of other games throughout games nowadays didn't happen so much back then, when it was just occassional. So then I finally see them mention, "In overtime, the defending Super Bowl Champion Cowboys defeat the Giants 16-13 to capture another division title and lock up the NFC's Number One seed and homefield throughout" Wow, I remember not even caring about any style points. I knew that Dallas was vastly superior to that overachieving Giants cast but I also didn't care how they'd done it but that they had. And was PO'd that I didn't see it. It was probably on out here. I actually had stayed in Illinois for two days longer than originally planned because of some snow storm rolling in and I remember having to call my employment place back here at the time to arrange for a couple of more days off. The story of that game however that I didn't get to see is legendary ofcourse. Emmitt Smith separating his shoulder right before the half in a game that was close to being a Dallas blowout. It was 13-0 Cowboys at the half and the stats were twice as lopsided. But the Cowboys went conservative in the second half, made a couple of miscues that allowed New York to creep back in it and the game went into overtime. The Giants won the toss and got the ball first but the Dallas Defense stopped them cold, the offense took it down with the injured Emmitt Smith getting most of the touches and they got close enough for the winning Field Goal from 41 yards out by veteran Eddie Murray. And the Cowboys would get their much needed rest before rolling through the playoffs. Emmitt Smith was able to come out of the playoff wins over the Packers and 49ers when the outcomes were each secure by the start of the fourth quarter. He was back to just about 100% by the Super Bowl where he was MVP in defeating Buffalo. That win over the Giants, even though I didn't get to see it, is my favorite one of all time against them to date because had Dallas lost that game, it would have been a much tougher road trying to get back to the Super Bowl. Other considerations ofcourse include the 30-29 Sunday Night Thriller at the Meadowlands in week five of 1985. The win later that year in Dallas against them to clinch Landry's final division title at the helm. The 1986 opener when Herschel Walker scored the winner on a 10 yard draw late in the fourth quarter on Monday Night. Week Two of 2003, another overtime thriller at the Meadowlands where PK Billy Cundiff nailed seven field goals uncluding the game winner for Parcells' first win as Dallas' coach. And the December 2006 showdown at the Meadowlands as well, when Romo hit Witten on a long pass down the sideline to set up PK Gramactica's winner. But I'd take the 1993 season finale because that's the highest the stakes were between the two as far as the ones that Dallas won. Would a win tomorrow for Dallas top the list of the ones mentioned though? Absolutely!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Something to be said about history

History has repeated itself in the world of sports and multiple times. The Cowboys, on paper, are depleted and the line for the game this upcoming Sunday in the Meadowlands against the division rival and first place Giants has grown from what I've heard to nine points from seven originally. Plus Nine that is for Dallas. A month ago ofcourse the line would have been even probably before the injury bug came completely out of nowhere to bite the Cowboys. The Cowboys have lost three of four, mainly from being slowed by injuries. The Giants are 6-1 with their only loss at Cleveland on a Monday Night to a Browns team that got blown out by Dallas in the opener. First off, it's never as bad or as good as it appears. I will revisit a time when I remember two NFC titans(the VERY BIG TWO as they were called) meet for a big showdown where one team was healthy and rolling along at 8-1 and the other was depleted at 5-4 and seemingly going nowhere fast. The year was 1995. The Dallas Cowboys were on their way to their third Super Bowl in four years. The San Francisco 49ers were the defending Super Bowl Champs and had been the second best otherwise in the two years prior to that when they lost to the Cowboys back to back in the NFC Championship game. These two teams were head and shoulders above the rest. Head and Shoulders. But into this week 10 showdown on November 12, 1995 in Texas Stadium, Dallas was firing on all cylinders at 8-1, probably should have been 9-0(their one loss at that point had been an upset loss to a rebuilding Redskin team in week 5 at RFK by four points when Aikman had left the game in the first quarter with a pulled hamstring if memory serves). Aikman returned the next week and the Cowboys hadn't lost since then. The 49ers were a trainwreck at 5-4, facing their fourth straight game without Steve Young(separated shoulder, again if memory serves-Young missed one more after this game)and having just suffered embarrassing back to back losses, both at home to the struggling Saints by a score of 11-7 and then hitting rock bottom the next week prior to Dallas, by losing 13-7 at home again to the expansion first year Carolina Panthers. Elvis Grbac had yet to find his rythym and the Niners had no more Ricky Watters(in Philly via free agency)and Fullback William Floyd, was gone for the year. Watter's replacement Derek Loville, was solid but not the kind of gamebreaker, game changer that Watters' had been capable of. So the Niners' offense was stuck in neutral, and their league leading defense was spending far too much time on the field. And Dallas was leading the NFL in every offensive category except passing TDs since Aikman moved the chains and the redzone was always EmmittZONE. Emmitt Smith was in his prime, the NFL's leading rusher and on his way to breaking the record for most rushing TDs in a season with 25. And the Cowboys defense was solid, ranking in the top third in the NFL. All signs pointed to BLOWOUT CITY for Dallas. The question all week on SportsCenter read "will the Niners' even SHOW UP?" And if that wasn't enough, the Cowboys had the added incentive of avenging the previous year's NFC Championship loss to the Niners. The Cowboys had swiped Deion Sanders, who'd won a ring the year before with the Niners just like when the Niners had snagged Ken Norton from the Cowboys after he'd been on the winning side for them. And a lot like '92 when Charles Haley(still a huge part of the Cowboys in '95) had been traded to Dallas from San Francisco. I remember wondering what the buildup was still for. Dallas was going to spank the 49ers' right? Embarrass them right? And then I turned on the tube, and on the second play from their own 19, Grbac found Jerry Rice over the middle being covered by Dallas linebacker Darin Smith and he was off to the races. 7 Zip Niners. No big deal still just a blown coverage. ALright, so the Niners won't get shut out. The Cowboys get the ball and on the first play, Aikman finds Michael Irvin on a routine slant pattern. Irvin was hit and did something he almost NEVER did in his career: Fumble! Scooped up by Niner free safety Merten Hanks who waltzed into the endzone and did his funky deal that he liked to do. One minute in 14-0 NINERS! And I vividly recall Pat Summeral saying "for those of you who've just tuned in, that's a correct score" Then Aikman was safety blized by Niner's safety Marquez Pope (Deion Sander's replacement) and injured his knee. Then Troy threw a pick to linebacker Ricky Jackson and a field goal made it 17-0 San Francisco still in the first quarter. And on the following series Troy Aikman (enter Wade Wilson) exited the game after being sacked by Dana Stubblefield. ANd just like that the Cowboys lost their second game of the season when they were double digit favorites AND incredibly in both games Troy Aikman didn't finish yet returned the following week as if he was never hurt and led his team to victory. Rice was moved around during the game and was uncovered each time he caught the ball. The Cowboys had NO IDEA what ran over them as they lost 38-20. And it wasn't even THAT close. It was an earth shattering loss for Dallas who DID manage to hold on for the NFC's number one seed and got a break in the playoffs by not having to face the 49ers, who were upset by Green Bay. Dallas still owned Green Bay and beat them in the NFC Championship and then beat Pittsburgh in the Super Bowl. But that game between Dallas and San Francisco in Nov. 1995 served as the ultimate lesson of the catch phrase probably adopted by Chris Berman, "that's why they PLAY the game" After the game then Niner's president Carmen Policy jokingly thanked Dallas for not running up the score. There have been some other cases like this happening before then and since then but that one stands out the most TO ME. Is it possible that Dallas could go into the Meadowlands (where they have won the last two times) with not too much to lose(since there ARE still seven more games after this one including a rematch against New York) and a LOT to gain and end up consuming all of the emotional edge and just kick the hell out of the Giants like San Francisco did in 1995 at Texas Stadium? I'll never forget the sight of Emmitt and Irvin with just looks of bewilderment on their faces during that debacle and wondering what hit them. I'll also never forget all of the emotion on the San Francisco sideline. I mean the emotinal edge was all San Francisco's in that game. For starters, the Cowboys just need to have that emotional edge. The proverbial " come on, you can do it" "this is our game".

OH, and Jason Witten said" anyone who doesn't think we can win this Sunday, should stay behind"

Monday, October 27, 2008

What can happen with a late bye wk as opposed to an early one

The Giants got to take their Bye week after only three games. They've stayed healthy up to this point. The Cowboys were the best team in the NFL up to that point. But five weeks later, it's all changed with the team having still not reached their bye week and at a solid but not gaudy 5-3 record. A year ago the Cowboys had their bye week after beating Minnesota at home to improve their record to 6-1. So it wasn't as late as this year's which mercifully comes on Nov.9. It's just the breaks beating the Boys. The Redskins have been fortunate as well and they finally have their bye when Dallas does. From a standpoint of injuries, especially because they are untimely, the NFL could stand for the No Fair League. To win in this league takes a lot of luck. And part of luck is staying healthy. The Giants have been more lucky than good from the injury standpoint. They Cowboys are certainly good but not lucky thus far. Not only the injury thing but also the fact that they have a solid defense but are STILL minus 6 in turnovers. The Cowboys have very little margin for error even when they will be healthier again coming off a bye. The schedule is unforgiving. The Cowboys should beat the Seahawks, Ravens, and 49ers at home. But tough Road games at Pittsburgh, Washington, Philadelphia, and a tough home game against those F---ing Giants. Not to mention having to go to the Meadowlands with a hand tied behind their back this Sunday. The NO FAIR LEAGUE is just one of many obstacles that the Cowboys must somehow overcome to get to where they want to be. If they can get into the playoffs at least, in today's NFL, it's anybody's game. And when healthy, Dallas can take down anyone anywhere. No matter what happens Sunday, the BYE week will hopefully cure what's ailing Big D. It's amazing how the injury thing just happens out of nowhere.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

It's wasn't pretty but a win's a win

With the Redskins, Eagles, and Giants all victorious today, you had to know that the Cowboys somehow someway were going to get a win because they had to. Didn't know exactly how but that they would. And how? The defense. With the offense stuck in a much lower gear with Brad Johnson's checkdown approach (but no mistakes to hurt his team at least) the defense bended often but would not break. The Bucs were forced to settle for four field goal attempts, making three (a 51 yarder late in the first half was long enough but way off target) in the game, two in the first quarter from 36 yards out each. In the second quarter, the Cowboys offense, came somewhat alive enough to score 10 points including the game's only TD with six seconds to go in the half from 2 yards out on a pass up top from Brad Johnson to Roy Williams. Williams had both of his catches on a drive that also saw the Bucs penalized four times. The first penalty occured at midfield when the Cowboys were bailed out on third down when Ronde Barber (no relation to the Cowboys Marion) was flagged for a personal foul Horsecollar tackle on Marion Barber. The Cowboys were at the Bucs 2 and instead of kicking a chip shot fieldgoal to tie the score at 6, Johnson threw up a jump ball that Williams caught that put Dallas up 10-6 at the half. In the second half, it was an exchange of field goals, first a 45 yarder by Nick Folk, for a 13-6 lead midway thru the third and then Tampa's Matt Bryant nailed a 41 yarder to narrow the margen to 13-9 late in the third quarter to complete the scoring. The Bucs final drive stalled at the Cowboys' 18 when Garcia, pressured and hurried all game, was forced out of the pocked and threw incomplete with 13 seconds left. I don't know how we're going to pull off one next wk at the Meadowlands because clearly we're not the same team right now with the aforementioned guys out until after the Bye Week. Sure would be nice to have the BYE week now when you consider most teams have already had theirs, many of them long since. And our Cowboys finally get one on Nov. 9. But we'll just see what happens. If we lose next Sunday, it can be blamed a lot on the injuries, namely Romo. With Romo on the field alone next week, I'd like our chances but we have to go once more without him. No matter what, we'll be more like our normal team next time we play the Giants at home and down the stretch. As I mentioned earlier, the other divisional rivals all won today as well. The Eagles outpointed the Falcons at home. The Redskins came from behind to dump the winless Detroit Lions on the road. The eight point margin of victory is the Redskins' largest this year. They are 6-2, and like the Cowboys, are getting a late bye week on Nov. 9 as well. The Eagles are 4-3 and the Giants came from behind on Steelers miscues to win at Pittsburgh 21-14. It looked for awhile like the Steelers were in control of that game. Unfortunately, when they had chances to put it away, they failed and the Giants did what they almost always do when an opponent has them down but fails to put them away: they make you pay for allowing them to hang around. They aren't awesome or flashy and they can look bad at times. But here they were again losing in the fourth and the Steelers had a couple of opportunities to extend the lead and they didn't and New York found a way to win. All things considered, had the Cowboys lost this one today, they'd be staring at 4-5 after next week at the Meadowlands. They will need more of an offensive output to win next week. And the defense will have to step up again. I know some turnovers would go a long ways towards something. Suprisingly, the Giants are only seven point favorites next wk considering they're at home, and relatively healthy while the Cowboys are like this track star forced to go on crutches. It wasn't pretty today but we'll take it.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Trying to make do until Romo's return

Well, now the Cowboys should be a bit more focused obviously this week than last if for no other reason than the fact that they know who's at QB for the next two games until their Nov. 9 bye. Tony Romo is on the original return timetable afterall, Nov. 16 against the Redskins. The Cowboys are staring at a stretch that could jeopardise their playoff possibilities much less the division. Against the Rams, the Cowboys all week were not prepared like they should have been and were DOA come gametime. Yes, I'm referring to DEAD ON ARRIVAL in case anyone's wondering. That's how Jim Rome put it and I'd have to agree with the assessment because I can't think of one that's more fitting, at least not off top. Brad Johnson, you'd think is BOUND to be a lot better on this Sunday. I really expect him to be anyways. He couldn't have been any worse against the Rams. Tampa Bay at home. Dallas would be a ten point favorite if they had a healthy Romo along with Pac-Man, Terrence Newman, and Felix Jones. But they are out this Sunday. Each of them. And they're dinged in many other areas. But ofcourse, if you're Tampa Bay, let me put it this way: If I were a Bucs fan, I'd like our chances against a Cowboys team that's maybe 65 percent. But that's why they "play" the actual game, as Chris Berman always likes to say after there's been a supposedly big upset. And this game is not an upset either way, given the circumstances. The Cowboys still have their receivers, Marion Barber, and the line on offense. And Brad Johnson was rusty. He's not Romo. But he certainly better than LAST sunday. As Bill Belicheck would say after last Sunday's loss" yeah we got our asses totally kicked on both sides, and outcoached. I know we're better than THAT though" I expect the team to rally around Brad on both sides. Especially when even Terrell Owens is saying publicly how the team has confidence in Brad and the team that they will be able to play better from here until Romo gets back. While the worst case scenario is that the team could actually be 4-5( Now WHO would have thought THAT?) when Romo gets back, that would mean a long tough uphill battle just to make the playoffs. If that were to happen (lose their next two to fall to 4-5?!) I'd say that the division crown is likely out of reach but certainly not the playoffs. Playoffs? Don't talk about PLAYOFFS! Are you kidding me? PLAYOFFS? I just hope we can win at least one of our next two games. Man, I thought Jim Mora was awesome.

You know the frustrating thing about this to me? The fact that the Cowboys probably would be the best in the NFL without these key injuries because a month ago, they WERE the best in NFL. And a month ago, the Rams were the WORST in the NFL. But now, probably the worst team has to be the Detroit Lions. Oh, yeah, how in the HELL does newly acquired WR Roy Williams not even catch a ball this past sunday. That's how bad Brad Johnson played, although our defense was an equal contributor to last Sunday'a debacle. I don't think I envisioned losing to the Rams even right before the game started. I could go on forever but, if somehow this team can win Sunday, then there's reason to believe that a division crown is still possible. If we beat Tampa and lose at the Meadowlands next wk without Romo, we DO get another shot at the Giants at least. And the Giants aren't unbeatable for sure. Losing to Cleveland and then having a bit of a hard time with an inferior San Francisco squad. Or we could get embarrassed again on Sunday, that's always possible too. Hope not.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Looking Bleak Continued.....

Well, it was an ugly deal. Losing to the Rams 34-14, a team that started off the season looking 00-16 bad. I mean a month ago, Dallas beats St. Louis 42zip or whatever but that seems like more than a year ago. Obviously, the Cowboys are depleted in their secondary and their special teams have their issues. But first and foremost, no disdain for Brad Johnson, but we need NUMBER 9 back in there. Maybe the Cowboys will be this years' Giants or this year's version of the 2005 Steelers. Maybe this means finally when the calender switches over to December, that the Cowboys will actually be peaking instead of puking. Obviously they haven't played their best football yet and the injuries go a long ways towards putting that off a bit. But next Sunday at home against the Bucs, a team we're better than when at full strength. This team needs to somehow get mad and get Romo back in there. Now, BRad Johnson probably would play much better next week if he were to go but Romo, who was actually active for today but didn't play, needs to be in there and I would almost pencil him back in against Tampa Bay. A month ago, this team was unquestionably the best in the NFL, but now that seems like forever ago. This is the worst that CowboyNation has got to be feeling since 2004, when we KNEW we weren't very good.

Looking Bleak

It's halftime and the Cowboys are down to the supposedly worst team in the NFL 24-7

They've decided that Brad Johnson was going to start and after he led the team down initially to a TD and a 7-0 lead, NOTHING. NOTHING BUT A NIGHTMARE! It's been all Rams since and if Wade Phillips doesn't give ROMO a try in the second half, he ought to be FIRED

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Romo playing this Sunday?

Now for the past three days, Tony Romo has been telling the coaching staff that he is ready to go this Sunday against the Rams. The players, staff, and Jerry Jones namely, have been watching Romo throw in practice and the pinkie "appears" to have very little or no affect on the throws. Ofcourse, we will only know in the game situation. Since it's only the Rams (YES, I maintain that their win over Washington was a fluke) I might lean towards starting Brad Johnson and take it as it comes. If it goes well enough, and they get ahead comfortably, maybe put Romo in to see how he is, or be all means, if he's fine he's fine. If tomorrow, we see the Cowboy offense make their first trot onto the field and we see number 9 among them, then that's when we'll know for sure or if it will be a Tall #14, then we'll know it's going to be Brad Johnson. Obviously, regardless of who plays tomorrow, Romo will be back much sooner than expected. And even more obvious, regardless of who goes tomorrow, it's a MUST win for the Cowboys. If they can't beat the Rams...................we'll we don't want to be on that road.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Stunning few days in BigD

It was bad enough that we lost to the Cardinals (a team we'd have blown away anywhere other than in Phoenix) even worse was HOW they lost, and now, comes all of the other things out of the game. First off, four nights before the game, Adam "PacMan"Jones (you know his track record)the talented defender/special teamer but undisciplined off the field guy, messed up in getting into a brawl, reportedly with one of HIS OWN BODYGUARDS if you can believe that. He played against Arizona but the NFL has now handed down a four game suspension and so he won't return until safety Pro Bowl Safety Terrence Newman is back from Sports Hernia surgery and after another Pro Bowl Safety Roy Williams returns from a broken forearm. But the real stunning news comes from that botched overtime period. Come to find out, TONY ROMO (shit! OH NO!) broke the pinkie on his throwing hand ON THE FIRST PLAY of the overtime session. He's out the next three games reportedly, with a bye week finally coming on November 9. He should be back on Nov. 16 against the Redskins. 40 year old Brad Johnson will take his place in the meantime. Punter Matt McBriar got hurt on the blocked punt, he's out possibly for the year so obviously the Cowboys will have an interim punter come Sunday against the Rams. Felix Jones has a hamstring and will miss possibly the next two games, so another Rookie, Tashard Choice, will start in his place to go along with Marion Barber. But just when the wheels appear to be coming off in BIG D, the team makes a big splash. They have signed ANOTHER Roy Williams, the talented receiver from the woeful Detroit Lions. Williams, a native of Odessa, Texas, played his college ball as an All American at Texas, and is elated to come back home and play for Dallas and T.O. is reportedly estatic about it, meaning he'll get more one on one instead of so much double teaming. Williams, who will wear a #11 Jersey like Danny White and Drew Bledsoe before him, is about the exact same size as T.O. And it could be a scary combination. There will be a lot of Four Wideout sets on plays, you can count on it. Patrick Crayton will still facter in a lot as well. So that's definitely an upgrade. Plus the Cowboys gave Williams a Five Year Contract Extension after this year. But now the serious reality of it all:

Surviving without Romo. Romo is 28 and ofcourse still on the rise. He's a fine athlete like Favre and a lot like Jim Zorn (current Redskin coach) the player. Mobile, improviser, part gambler, sometimes Mad Bomber. He can extend plays as well as anyone that's ever played the game. He still makes a few mistakes that not even I might make (just kidding, you get my point though) Romo's injury doesn't require surgery though he'll reportedly have some kind of a cast on it for the few weeks. Don't you suppose that he will try to get back for the November 2 game against the Giants (who got their asses whopped by a Browns team that Dallas routed)? Anyways, Brad Johnson has been around. He has a ring from his stint with the Tampa Bay Bucs. He was one of the top QBs in the league during his two year stint with Washington (1999-2000) but that was nearly a decade ago. Just last week I was talking to a fellow fan of mine, a co-worker, about Brad Johnson and how he looks to be perhaps a future assistant coach, perhaps staying on with Dallas after he decides he's no longer a player. And now he's the starter for at LEAST the next two games. He's 40 as I mentioned (not that old, only three years older than me) and not Romo in terms of youthful abandon. He will be certainly in a more under neath pass approach and a pocket passer. He won't make plays that Romo makes but some of the mistakes that Romo makes probably won't be made by Johnson either. He will certainly be a coach on the field. A great field general. He's 6-5, so he will be able to see over most. The main concern is whether the offensive line will protect him enough. They certainly are capable of it. Give Johnson the time and protection he needs and you like our chances. Also, look who we play at least in the next two weeks. The Rams, who upset the Redskins, (Redskins beat themselves) The Rams are still bad. The Cowboys should be able to go into St. Louis and win as long as they don't turn it over. Then a home game against the Bucs. I see that being a 16-10 or 20-14 kind of game. But not to look too far ahead. My prediction for this Sunday: Cowboys 24 Rams 10. That will put the Cowboys record at 5-2, which is something most of the teams in the NFL would envy.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Another one that got away

The Cowboys dropped a tough overtime loss to the much improved Arizona Cardinals 30-24 on a blocked punt TD recovery only a minute into the extra sudden death session. There were three things that happened during the course of the game that allowed the Cardinals to have a chance in this:

1. The opening kickoff was returned 93 yards for a TD by JR Arrington to put the Cardinals up 7-0.

2. Right before the end of the half with the score 7-7, Dallas blew a golden opportunity to score a TD and then Nick Folk , who later nailed a 52 yarder to send the game into overtime, suffered his only miss of the season thus far, on a 37 yarder that clanged (loudly) off of the left upright, leaving the game tied at halftime.

3. After Romo's TD to Miles Austin on the opening drive of the second half put Dallas up 14-7, and saw at that point, the Cowboys dominating in yards and time of possession, the Cardinals faced a 3rd and 17 which saw Kurt Warner being rushed and getting off screen that was tipped at the line of scrimmage by Tank Johnson and right into RB Hightower's hands and he did his best impersonation of Marion Barber and got the first down by a half a yard and gave his team some momentum that would get them back into the contest.

ANY OF THOSE THREE THINGS DON"T GO ARIZONA'S WAY, and DALLAS WINS! And the Cowboys didn't take advantage of the Redskins losing AT HOME to THE RAMS!

The Rams are Dallas' next opponent. NO excuses. THey'd better win this next one OR ELSE!
Sure is painful to write this, but we're underachieving so far!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Cowboys rebound against the Bengals but far from a complete game

Dallas rebounded against Cincinnati on Sunday at Texas Stadium but it was like two different games. The Cowboys improved to 4-1 despite making it FIVE FOR FIVE so far this year in not winning the turnover battle. Two more turnovers by Tony Romo, one a fumble when he had scrambled for six yards and a first down with the team running the two minute drill before halftime. Had Romo tucked away and held onto the ball, the Cowboys, up 17-3 at that point would have likely at least gotten a field goal before intermission. Instead, the Bengals get it at the Dallas 41 and come away with a momentum changing field goal of their own to close the deficit to 17-6. In the second half, the Cowboys received the kickoff and proceeded to be forced to punt one of only two times all game. The Bengals took that ball, drove the length of the field and scored a TD to cut it to 17-13. Again Romo had the Cowboys on the move with a first down at the Cincy 35 when he threw his fifth interception in as many games this year, and had it returned to the Cowboys 39. The Cowboys defense again held the Bengals to a field goal and trimmed what was once an intimidating 17-0 early second quarter lead (and certain blowout) to 17-16. Then Cincinnati stunned Dallas with a suprise onside kick and recovered at midfield. The Bengals got a first down and then Tank Johnson finally put an end to the nonsense streak by punching the ball loose from Cedrick Benson. Two plays later, Romo connected to T.O for a 57 yarder to revive the Cowboys somewhat, giving them a 24-16 lead. The Cowboys special teams, however, allowed another long runback to the Bengals and they then took it the remaining 37 yards in six plays for a TD. After a failed two pt conversion, it was 24-22 Dallas midway thru the fouth. Romo then took the Cowboys the length of the field mixing in running and passing well and then just inside the two minute warning, threw his third TD of the game to Crayton to seal the deal, a 31-22 win for Dallas. And the Cowboys remain minus 4 in the turnover department, something that needs to turn around at some point. The defense doesn't appear to quite be there yet for Dallas. Again the Cowboys at home failed to bury the still winless Bengals when they should have and it turned into a battle much like the game two weeks ago when Cincy took the Giants into overtime before succumbing. The Cowboys are 4-1 despite losing the overall turnover battle for the season. The defense DID recover two fumbles but they still don't have an interception yet. Hard to believe. Eli Manning of the Giants has only thrown one pick so far this year and the Redskins' Jason Campbell hasn't thrown any yet. Neither ofcourse have as many touchdown passes as Romo, who has 11 now. But this being good for one interception a game certainly doesn't sit well with Romo. He'll be the first to say it although it's not always his fault necessarily either. Owens only had two catches on Sunday, one for a ten yard first down reception in the first half and ofcourse the aforementioned 57 yarder that gave the Cowboys some breathing room after they had let the Bengals back into the game.

Consider this: Dallas is not playing their best football yet overall but they are still right there with the Giants and Redskins, who are at the moment, playing their best football. The Cowboys, at their best, are still the best in the NFL. Sunday was one of those games that they had to win and did despite not playing anywhere near their best. The running game got back on track with the Cowboys running for over 200 yards (96 for Felix Jones and 84 for Marion Barber) Look for Romo to get back in sync with T.O this Sunday and the prediction is that he goes his first game without a pick and throws for three or four more touchdowns. The running game will be vital as well so look for the Cowboys to continue to use their dazzling, haven't hit their peak yet by any means-ONE TWO punch of Barber and Felix. Arizona with Kurt Warner, put up a fight this Sunday but the Cowboys, the road studs that they've been the last two years, out fox the Cardinals. Both teams will score, but the Cowboys defense, though not in top gear yet, is still better than the Cardinals. Call it Cowboys 34-24.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Since Romo Took over

I know it seems like more starts in some ways and in other ways maybe not, but the Cowboys over Romo's 29 regular season starts have something that I think many in CowboyNation (myself included) have overlooked. The Cowboys have been a better road team than a home team. 8-6 at home. 13-2 on the road. Both losses were at Washington. In 2006, in only his second start, the Cowboys gave away a game like a gift to the Redskins who were struggling that year. Not that it was Romo's fault. The other road defeat came in last year's regular season finale, when the Cowboys were 13-2, having clinched the home field advantage in the NFC, and resting many key starters. Romo played for about half the game and it was the only road setback for the Cowboys for the year. What really contributes to the subpar home record in Romo's tenure was the loss of their final three home games in 2006, including that embarrassing loss to the hapless Detroit Lions. Now the Cowboys DID go 6-2 last year at home. One was a loss to New England (not an upset) The other home loss was a huge upset to Philadelphia. The Cowboys had hammered the Eagles in Philly 38-17 just month earlier.

And now they're 1-1 at home this year after outlasting the Eagles in week 2 and the 26-24 setback to the Redskins this past sunday. For whatever reason, in the two home games, the Cowboys, much like other times at home the past two years, have shown up basically taking it for granted that they're going to win, not only because they are better than the opponent, but because they're at home. That has to change.

I mean on the road, the Cowboys always seem to come out with something to prove right away. They come out as though they can't wait to get at the other team. They've been much more poised on the road, much more focused. Two comfortable wins on the road, and a struggle for one win at home over Philly, and the dissappointing setback last Sunday, when they had been 11 point favorites. They Cowboys are favored at home by 17 this Sunday against Cincinnati. Dallas needs to come out and assert themselves early on and they need to come out pissed about the one that they let get away last week. And not come out flat in the beginning and wait for the other team to make a mistake. And that brings up another thing. THe Cowboys are minus 4 in the turnover category and only have a couple of fumble recoveries. Eventually the turnovers will come for the Cowboys defense. But in the meantime, the offense needs to get back to the run-pass balance that they wound up not having against Washington, and not have any more turnovers. They ARE averaging 30 pts/game so far but imagine how much it would be with no turnovers and when the defense finally starts making the opponents turn it over more. And stops on third down need to be improved. The Redskins had the ball for a ridiculous 39 minutes and some change.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Things infamous about the Cowboys

WORST QUARTERBACK: Steve Pelluer (he once called THREE timeouts in the first quarter of a game) It was too bad that Danny White was so injury prone late in his career. With him, it seemed like the Cowboys were never out of the game. Sounds funny but it's TRUE. And when he went down, everyone saw what we were left with. After a 6-2 start with Danny White in 1986, White went down against the Giants in week 9 with a broken wrist (phil pozderak and that patchwork offensive line didn't block LB Carl Banks) Enter Pelluer, and the Boy's staggered home 2-6 in the second half of the year, missing the playoffs, and snapping the record of TWENTY straight winning seasons, still an NFL record today, not likely to ever be surpassed.

Honorable Mention: Gary Hogeboom. One of the biggest mistakes if not THE biggest mistake by Coach Tom Landry. After the Cowboys lost three straight NFC Championship games in 1980-82, and then lost a disheartening home playoff game to the Rams in '83, many Dallas fans were fed up with Danny White, blaming him for the failure to get them to the Super Bowl. The following spring, (1984) according to Roger Staubach, there was a fan poll being conducted in the Dallas Morning News on the so-called QB controversy between Danny White and Gary Hogeboom. Many frustrated fans wanted to see what Hogeboom could do as the starter, thus the vote for him was higher and Landry actually went along with it. It was a decision that he shouldn't have made, and at the midseason, with the Cowboys at 4-3 and down 27-6 to the Saints, Tom Landry finally put Danny White back in and he led the Cowboys all the way back to a 30-27 win in overtime, and was back as the Cowboys starter the rest of the year. However, the so-called QB controversy had divided the team, as they finish at 9-7 and miss the playoffs for only the second time in twenty years. Hogeboom was traded to Indianapolis in 1986, after backing up White again in 1985 (Landry's final playoff year, and effectively the last hurrah of the Tex Schramm/Gil Brandt/Landry Cowboys)

WORST LUCK IN THE UNIVERSE AT OFFENSIVE LINE: Phil Pozderek. Always called for holding at the most inopportune times.

WORST COACH: Hate to say this, because the guy's a great assistant, just not head coaching material. The nod goes to Dave Campo, who never had a chance really. From 2000-2002, the Cowboys hit the skids after the glory days of the 1990's closed. They went 15-33 (three consecutive 5-11 seasons) He didn't have a chance really because the team was strapped in the Salary Cap department with dead money owed to Michael Irvin and Troy Aikman namely, who both had to retire a few years premature (before their contracts expired) because of a neck injury and concussions respectively. And they were still paying a hunk of change to past his prime Emmitt Smith. There was no cap money available during the Campo era to bring in impact players or make quality trades, forcing the team to hit rock bottom before finally being able to rise again.


Jerry Jones' ego getting in the way of Jimmy Johnson. It's fair to say that Jimmy Johnson had a huge Texas sized ego as well. If Jerry Jones wanted to keep winning, he should have given Jimmy what he wanted and let the man coach. This team could have won seven Super Bowls in the '90's But the clash of the JJ's led to Jimmy's stunning abrupt departure after leading the Cowboys to their second straight Super Bowl

Honorable mention: Jerry Jones firing Chan Gailey after he led the Cowboys to consecutive playoff appearances in 1998-99, winning the division in 1998. Granted, the Cowboys were in decline, but if you don't have someone better in mind to replace Gailey, then why fire the guy after he at least took you to the playoffs both years? They did win more than they lost with Gailey, something that they wouldn't be able to say for awhile after that.

For a lot of the glory Landry years, Tex Schramm became known around the league as a cheapskate hoser when it came to paying his players. (Schramm wasn't actually the owner of the team, it just seemed like it) Another stupid and embarrassing thing Schramm did was in 1987 during the player's strike when he strong armed many of his stars into playing into the replacement games by inserting clauses in their contracts. If these players didn't cross the line and play with the "scabs" they all stood to lose many million in annuities. Players like Randy White, Too Tall Jones, and Tony Dorsett, and many others. They Cowboys became a marked team around the league because of it causing CB Everson Walls to say "People used to hate us out of respect. Now they hate us out of disrespect"

Also infamous was in the late 1990's when many of the Cowboys from the Glory run of 1992-96 were still on the roster and the team became embarrassingly refered to as the "Crack Wagon". Several players as we know, got involved in activities where they were in the wrong place at the wrong time, namely where there were drugs. An embarrassing and ugly final chapter to the team of the 90's.

First loss for Dallas

What hurts the most is the fact that it was at home and against a divisional rival, something that hopefully won't come back to bite them in the ASS later on. Romo didn't have a bad game( 300 yards, 3 TDs) but he did throw a pick on a first down when the team was starting to move and gave the Redskins the ball at midfield, leading to a field goal and a 23-17 lead. But that's not what beat the Dallas Cowboys today. What it really came down to was not running the ball AND not stopping the run. What allowed the Redskins to control the ball was because of the run defense not stopping Portis particularly in the second half. It would have been one thing if Dallas stopped the run. Them not running the ball COMBINED with not stopping the other team from running it on them was what did them in. Hopefully, this causes the team to refocus. Cincinnati comes to town next and the Cowboys had better not be feeling charitable towards the hapless 0-4 Bengals. The Redskins have to play the Eagles next week so at least one of them will have TWO losses. So we'd better get well against Cincinnati.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Cowboys vs Redskins

A divisional showdown again in Big D. This time it's the Washington Redskins, a team not as talented and deep as the Cowboys but certainly capable of scoring the upset if they manage to stick around. The secondary of the Redskins will be reminded again of how devastating the loss of Sean Taylor is. The Redskins offense is potentially dangerous, and methodical. Not the big play explosiveness that the Cowboys Offense possesses but nonetheless, if they are allowed to hang in it, it could be a repeat of last November's nailbiter. In that game, the Cowboys, despite FOUR touchdown passes from Tony Romo, all to Terrell Owens, could not put the Skins away and needed a last minute interception by Terrence Newman to preserve the win. It's a home game, a divisional home game no less, that the Cowboys, IF THEY ARE INDEED THE SUPER BOWL FAVORITES, can't afford to lose. Cowboys' Nation might want to impose a ban on any home losses in '08. This team IS a good road team, yes, but there aren't any home games this year that they should lose. Philadelphia was most likely the toughest of anyone coming to Dallas this year, and the Cowboys survived that one. The defense must contain Portis and watch for Cooley the tight end. They must do the same to Jason Campbell as they just did to Aaron Rodgers. The Cowboys offense, can be expected to move up and down the field, but they must not turn it over, namely Romo, and must continue to execute in the red zone. Turnovers and missed scoring opportunities obviously allow inferior teams to have an opportunity to steal one in your place. My prediction: Cowboys stay unbeaten: Dallas 30 Washington 17.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Cowboys dominate the Packers

The score is somewhat misleading, the Cowboys winning 27-16 over Green Bay for their first EVER if you can believe it, win at Lambeau Field. And the irony of it is, the QB of the Cowboys is from Wisconsis. Tony Romo grew up idolizing Brett Favre, who started his tenure with the Pack in 1992. Romo was just twelve years old then. But now, Romo shook off a somewhat subpar performance, to throw for 260 yards and a score to Miles Austin in the fourth quarter that put the game out of reach at 27-9. Witten was superb as was Marion Barber, who ran for over 150 yards and a score. Terrell Owens was double teamed much of the night, and had just two catches for 17 yards. However, he was the ultimate team player in the mix as he was in on several key blocks for Barber and Witten as well as the 60 yard run in the second quarter by rookie Felix Jones. Jones' scamper down the sideline, gave his team a 10-6 lead in the second quarter. The Cowboys botched two scoring chances, one in the second quarter when Romo threw a pick in the endzone after marching them the length of the field. And late in the game with the Cowboys already up 27-9, Barber had a rare fumble after a big run when they were about to tack on more. But all and all, the Cowboys showed that they are probably the best team in the NFL right now. They got to Aaron Rodgers, especially when the Packers reached the red zone, holding them to field goals, and sacking him five times. Up next is Washington at home. The Redskins have won a pair of home games over New Orleans and Arizona, since they dropped their opener to the Giants on the road. The Redskins are a team that the Cowboys do NOT want to let hang around. The Cowboys last year, won a game against the Redskins at Texas Stadium which saw Terrell Owens catch all FOUR Cowboys TD passes from Romo, and the game was still never out of reach for the Redskins. Dallas held on in that game to win 28-23. This Cowboys team right now, appears to be better than last year's team that went 13-3. The reason being is that they seem to have more ways to beat you than last year. Last year's team was very good, and should have been in the Super Bowl but this years' team really appears to be on a mission. I know us Cowboys' Nation isn't dissappointed thus far. And the first three games for the Cowboys this season were not against any cupcakes either. And we have our share of what should be easy marks coming up down the road.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Looking Ahead

The Dallas Cowboys, after outlasting the Philadelphia Eagles 41-37, are 2-0 and will now go up to Lambeau Field, where they have never won believe it not. They also haven't even been there that many times. If I'm not mistaken, it was 1967, 1989, 1997, and 2004. I could be wrong, I don't proclaim to know everything, even a rivalry involving my favorite Pro Sports team. In the 1967 Ice Bowl NFL Championship, the Cowboys lost in the last 16 seconds when Bart Starr sneaked across the badly iced over goal line. That was the first sustained Packers drive since the first quarter, when they had jumped up 14-0. Dallas had gradually worked themselves in front 17-14 until that last Packers drive. In 1989, the Cowboys and Packers actually met twice----in the regular season that is. Dallas went 1-15 that year before their quick turnaround and their ensuing dominating run that would include seven straight over the Packers, three of them playoff wins. In 1997, the Cowboys traveled to Lambeau and got drilled 45-17. Just two years removed from their last Super Bowl win at the time, the Cowboys would succumb to 7-9 and miss the Playoffs before they rebounded with Playoff appearances but no playoff wins, in 1998 and 1999. And in 2004, the last losing season for the Cowboys to date, they were drilled again by the Packers at Lambeau 41-20. In between that, the Cowboys have absolutely dominated the Pack in Big D and have won road games against the Packers in 1978, 1980, and 1991, albeit they were in Milwaukee. And now the Cowboys are facing Aaron Rodgers, which for them will be the second time, no other NFL team being able to make that claim as of yet. That should be to their advantage. Last November, in a clash of the two best NFC teams(forget the playoffs) both coming in at 10-1, the Cowboys came roaring out of the gate. They racked up a 27-10 lead, not even midway through the second quarter. And the defense was absolutely all over Favre, knocking him down repeatedly, and intercepting him twice. On the second interception of Favre, he was knocked out of the game with a stinging elbow. It swelled and numbed. Favre wouldn't return to the action. IN comes this Aaron Rodgers kid, who really looked scared out of his wits. I don't know about the consensus of Dallas fans, but I smelled blood. I smelled 55-17 . But the defense appeared to lay off of Rodgers, giving him time to actually get settled in and get into a groove. The Packers got to within 27-24, the Cowboys having left 10-14 points on the field in the midst of the comeback. And then finally, finally, the defense decided enough was enough and got into Rodgers' face in the last half of the fourth quarter. The Cowboys were able to put 10 clinching points on the board to hold on for a 37-27 win. That game could be called the NOT A ROUT AFTERALL game or whatever. That experience alone should tell the Dallas defense something about Rodgers. I'm looking for somebody to just nail him, knock him around, make him aware of their presence. Hopefully they have learned from the experience. And look for the Cowboys offense to continue to score their share. It's more about their defense. That mainly will determine whether or not they will win their first ever at Lambeau. The Cowboys are actually the only road team favored this weekend from what I've heard. By three points. The game will be on Sunday Night NBC with the brilliant team of Al Michaels and John Madden. I think that the Cowboys are a better team than the Packers, if they don't shoot themselves in the foot with undisciplined play. They need to cut the facemasks (luckily it didn't cost them against Philly), and turnovers like the two by Romo, will eventually catch up to them if it's not minimized. I'll make a prediction : Cowboys 30, Packers 23. Their first win in Lambeau.