Friday, August 29, 2008

The start of the 2008 NFL Season is upon us

The 2008 NFL Season opening weekend lies dead ahead, which since 2002, has had the opener on the Thursday Night before the opening weekend as the so-called "kickoff classic". The defending Super Bowl Champion Giants, who were unable to lure DE Michael Strahan out of retirement(I think he made the right call), open up against the division rival Redskins. These are my two worst teams, obviously being for Dallas, so I hope that it winds up being a RARE tie. Dallas completed their preseason schedule last night by not playing any starters in winning 16-10 over the Vikings, who also didn't play anyone. Also yesterday, Cowboys CB Adam "Pac-Man" Jones was reinstated by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Jones hasn't played in a real NFL Game since Dec. 31, 2006 with the Tennessee Titans. Jones and the Titans were on the short end of a 45-14 shellacking by the Cowboys in October of that year and that was when Bledsoe was still in at QB for Dallas. Jones victimized the Giants later that year both in the secondary and on special teams, so it will be nice to have him, needless to say, when we play the Giants. The Cowboys will open up against Cleveland. As I stated earlier, the Browns will not be able to hold down the Cowboys offense so they will try to get into one of those shootouts like that one last year against the Bengals. The Browns have some playoff expectations while the Cowboys have the most talented team in the NFC and look to finally not only get their first playoff win in twelve years, but to be in THE SHOW. I'm of the opinion that like last year, the Cowboys will be way out in front in the NFC East. Better take care of the Eagles in week 2 after they outlast the Browns.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Now Michael Strahan unretiring possibly?

When I was talking on the previous post about DE Osi Umenyiora of the Giants being carted on Saturday night and being done for the year, I DID have it in the back of my mind "watch, now the Giants management will try to lure Michael Strahan out of retirement in the twelve O'clock hour" And suprise !!! His agent has been contacted by Giants mangement about just that. Strahan, who turns 37 in November, retired in the spring of this year after fifteen seasons in the league and collecting that Super Bowl ring, that didn't appear likely for him at this point of his career. Supposedly, he hasn't been reached yet, while he's been on a vacation over in Greece of all places. You know the Giants are desperate and are going to throw a huge amount of jack, probably overpay him to come out. I won't be suprised either way. But I DO think that it's ridiculous if he does at THIS point. Afterall he's starting a new gig as a Fox Sports NFL analyist . I mean he didn't say in announcing his retirement, that "unless there is a major injury to Umenyiora or another key defensive lineman before or at the beginning of the season, than I won't be coming back" But it will be his decision. He is certainly in no shape to play for sure and it would take at least a month for him to get into shape and he is afterall, a year older now. But we'll just see. Another interesting note, Matt Leinert has lost the starting QB job to 37 (that's my age) year old Kurt Warner. Warner, who came out of nowhere in 1999 as a 28 year old with the Rams, had arguably three of the best years EVER from 1999-2001 as a QB, had been declared by many experts and nonexperts like myself, as washed up. After the Rams were upset by the Patriots in Super Bowl 36, Warner never seemed to recover, became injury prone and lost his confidence it seemed, all the while insisting that he could still play. In 2004, he was with the Giants and they got off to a 5-2 start but when the team lost their next two to fall to 5-4, they decided to yank Warner and throw in a rookie named Eli Manning, who proceeded to not win his first game as a starter until the final week of the season. SO then Warner moved on to the Cardinals, same story, inconsistency and injury prone, and seemingly washed up. But here he is three years later, and he last year took over for the injured Leinert after the first month, and proceeded to throw 27 TDs and 17 picks and the Cards rallied to 8-8. And now, he's won the job and the Cardinals must be serious about their chances of maybe getting into the playoffs this year. It's unknown about what the future holds for Matt Leinert, the 2004 Heisman winner at USC and who also led the Trojans to the brink of three straight National Championships and a gaudy 35-2 record overall in his three years as their starter. But the NFL is a different cat. We shall see what happens next there. Stay tuned

Sunday, August 24, 2008

News and Notes

The Cowboys won a preseason game at home on Friday, against the Houston Texans. The first string played the entire first half, building a 20-10 lead that should have been more but Romo threw a pick to a linebacker in the endzone with the team about to punch it in from the one yard line. Still, Romo and the gang looked sharp before sitting out the second half. And the second and third stringers held on for the 23-22 win. Except for his one gaffe, Romo looked great, completing 15-19 for 166 and a TD to Patrick Crayton. T.O. caught four passes for 43 yards, and Marion Barber had 75 yards on 13 carries and a TD. The first unit rolled up 270 yards in that first half so they look like they could be ready in two weeks for the season opener. The "defending" Super Bowl Champion Giants(still hard to believe they actually did what they did last year but I need to get over it) suffered a HUGE loss yesterday, when Defensive End Osi Umenyiora, the only Pro Bowler on the Giants last year, was lost for this year when he suffered a broken leg in a 10-7 preseason loss to the crosstown rival Jets. Brett Favre in that game was 9-12 for 96 yards in his limited action. So, as much as I, as a Cowboys fan, despise the Giants, I still hate to see them lose their best defensive player(now that Strahan retired) for the year in the preseason. Just like I touched on in a previous blog about Preseason, that's why preseason sucks. There's another example of a key player on a team, that's out for the ENTIRE year now from an exhibition game. Senseless.

The Olympics have drawn to a close and ofcourse our women's Basketball team was never challenged in winning another gold medal, this time over Austrailia, 92-65. Let's hear it for Lisa Leslie! Four Olympic Golds. She is now 36 and certainly won't be playing for our team in London four years from now when she'll be 40 by then. And on the men's side, our redeem team did what they set out to do. But Spain, who we thrashed just a week earlier by 37, 119-82, made it to the Gold medal game for a rematch and played above their heads, making our team earn it. The game was much closer this time around, where we still prevailed 118-107. There were chances to put the Spaniards away and we couldn't really do it. Everytime, it looked like the dam was about to break loose and we were about to blow it open, we'd turn it over or miss some foul shots or take a silly three attempt with plenty to go on the shot clock ,or give up some ridiculous looking three ball that allowed them to hang around. With just over two minutes to play, we were only up 108-104 when Dwayne Wade more or less killed Spain's hopes of an upset with a three to put us back up by seven and settling the issue that really was in doubt up until then. I guess you can say that we're not 37 points better than Spain but more than 11 points, so it probably falls right in the middle. But it was a relief for us to win that game and restore our dominance of the SPort, on the Men's side. Our overall average margin of victory in the eight games was just under 28 points, with the last two, 101-81 over Argentina in the semifinals on Friday and the 118-107 win over Spain in the Gold Medal game some twelve hours ago, being the closest games. Overall, the United States finished with 110 total medals, with host China coming in second with 100, yet they outdid us in the Gold department, 51-36. The highlights for me were the Redeem team and Michael Phelps winning EIGHT gold medals. I was a little dissappointed in Track and Field although we won the most medals in that overall, but we got outshined by the Jamaicans in some events that we normally rule in. Can't deny how extraordinary Usaine Bolt is however. I would have loved to see what would have happened in a race against Michael Johnson in the 200 meters. Bolt bested Johnson's 12 year old 200 WR mark of 19.32 set back in 1996 by running 19.30. But ofcourse, that wouldn't happen now, with Johnson being 42 now and retired. But put Johnson of his day up against Bolt, and I would still bet on Michael Johnson.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Preseason sucks

Another meaningless preseason game, and another loss. Well, it's preseason, the best teams are the worst preseason teams more often than not. And ofcourse, the worst teams in the NFL are more often than not, the best preseason teams. You can't read hardly anything into it. This time it was in Denver. Last year the Cowboys won their two home preseason games and lost their two road games in the preseason. Probably a repeat of that this time. Can't wait to play the Broncos in a REAL game next year. I'm still not over that Thanksgiving game from 2005. Come on September 7. Oh, the Olympics have been fun though. Let's hear it for Michael Phelps, winning an unprecedented EIGHT gold medals in a single Olympics. I really thought that Mark Spitz, who won SEVEN back in the '72 Munich games, was especially classy and gracious in recognizing and praising Phelps as the man and how everyone here in America is proud of him , his accomplishments, and how he has handled it all and carried himself. Very True. The Redeem Team is doing just that. They are the best in the world, just like they're supposed to be. I initially saw the 2000 team in Sydney show the first signs of a team thinking that they were bullet proof and that they only needed to 'show up" to win. While that team managed to avoid losing, it carried over to 2002, when our team was embarrassed on US SOIL no less and even more humiliated in 2004, when for good measure, it was proven that the 2002 debacle hadn't necessarily been a fluke. Then it was proven that we couldn't necessarily just send ANYONE. This team of ours now, is really no more talented than the 2002 and 2004 flops, but it is apparently 25 points better.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Preseason-when we find out who's going to get cut

Ofcourse, the Cowboys have pretty much established their starting unit. They were all, except for T. O. on the field for one series, a touchdown drive and the starting unit for San Diego tied it up at seven on their second offensive series and with that, after the first quarter, it was scrubs against scrubs. These could be the two teams in the upcoming Super Bowl. The Cowboys scrubs were beaten soundly by the San Diego scrubs. So Preseason, really has with each passing year, seemingly seen the starter's time on the field scaled back for fear of risking a season ending injury. It's been known to happen. I remember in 1997 when Green Bay was attempting to repeat as NFL Champion, and they lost RB Edgar Bennett for the season, and not only that, but he never played for the Packers again. He was traded to the Bears the following season because Dorsey Levens had emerged as a feature back, maybe their Emmitt Smith, in their eyes. And so they sign him to a big deal, trade Bennett, and then Levens gets hurt and never becomes any of that really and the Packers didn't contend for a Super Bowl again for ten years. I also remember the Detroit Lions drafting an amazing halfback out of Brigham Young by the name of Luke Staley. HE got hurt in preseason, in 2002, trying to MAKE the team and was lost for the year, and never even wound up playing a down in the NFL. It's amazing the chain of events that can be set in motion when losing a key player to a season ending injury but imagine when it happens in the preseason. So that's why we don't see a whole lot of the actual team until the REAL season begins. Romo tonight was 3/3 for 33 yards on the one series that finished with a TD run. And many people who played tonight will not be on the team one month from now. I can recall when starters used to play for about a half in preseason games, and those days are gone. Preseason is not a time to get all jazzed when your "team" wins one or pissed off when they lose one. It's like so what? INdy lost to Carolina tonight. But if they played each other a month from now, the Colts would wallop the Panthers. The other night the Patriots lost to the Ravens and the Giants lost to the Lions. Well not really. It's just preseason. Now the Chargers are probably feeling that this could be the year that they get to the Super Bowl. They have had Indy's number and the Patriots, although they'll still be right there, aren't expected to go 18-0 this time, not after they STILL lost the Super Bowl. San Diego will be a Super Bowl contender this year, if Rivers and Tomlinson are healthy. The Cowboys can't afford major injuries if they're going to contend for a Super Bowl , so preseason is not about the starters themselves but determining some final pieces to their depth. Can't wait until the real season starts. Oh, and the season begins on Thursday, Sept 4, when the Skins play the Giants. And I don't expect to hear ANYONE calling this match between the Giants and Redskins, a "preview of the NFC Championship game" I hope it's a TIE since obviously they can't BOTH lose.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Favre back but not with the Pack-NO WAY. WAY.

Well, after a month long circus in the Green Bay Packers headquarters and media, Brett Favre has been reinstated with the NFL and traded to the NY Jets a team coming off of a 4-12 season. Last year the New York (Just End The Season) Jets were lousy after having made the playoffs the year before. Now, who would have ever thought that it would come to this. I see where the Packer organization was trying to emphasize "moving forward", obviously, as just what happened. Now, I want to say this. As a Dallas Cowboys' diehard lunatic, I hope we kick the absolute living HELL out of the Aaron Rodgers led pack(or should I say Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy) on September 21. I think they are foolish from a WIN NOW standpoint in this WIN NOW league. I really hope that this decision that they have just made blows up in their faces. And I hope that Favre can lead the Jets to the playoffs for good measure. Yes, I know that Favre should have NOT "retired". Either that or it should have been final, his retirement. But whatever. He still wants to play. He still can play. And I like the Cowboys chances that much more in Green Bay in the third week of the upcoming season. I hope we destroy them. Sure looked weird though, seeing Brett Favre donning a Jets' #4. Something NOBODY could have envisioned, even up until yesterday.