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.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Epic early season divisional battle

The Cowboys found themselves in a track meet last night. They helped the Eagles out some in the early going when they were up 14-6 with the ball and poised to take control. Then all hell broke loose late in the first quarter when Romo, doing his best impersonation of Roger The Dodger Staubach, threw a pick to Asanti Samuels (former Patriot DB) and the Eagles had the ball at the Cowboys 27. From there, the Eagles scored on a short swing pass from McNabb(maybe the healthiest he's been since Philly's Super Bowl year when they had T.O.) to Brian Westbrook. Then the Cowboys KR Stanback couldn't handle the ensuing kickoff and finally fell on the ball at his own 5. After a false start, the Cowboys were at their own 2 and a half. Then Romo fumbled in the end zone, tried to pick up the ball, fumbled again, and the Eagles recoverd and had their second TD in a matter of about 30 seconds, and suddenly had a 20-14 lead. Then it seesawed from there. The Eagles then led at the half 30-24. Both defenses found their traction in the second half after a combined 54 points were scored in the first half. The Eagles doubled teamed T.O. the entire second half, after he'd burned his former team for a 72 yarder in the first quarter that put Dallas up 7-3 (T.O. did his best Usaine Bolt finish line lean when crossing the goal line) Owens also got inside of Brian Dawkins in the second quarter for a 4 yard TD when the Cowboys reclaimed the lead 21-20. But the Eagles would outscore Dallas 10-3 to end the first half for the 30-24 advantage. Then the Cowboys had the lone third quarter score when Romo, forced to use his other guys because of the double teaming of T.O., found Barber alone for a 25 yd TD pass. Again the Cowboys lead, now 31-30, was brief. The Third quarter ended with Philly threatening and then they scored the go-ahead on Westbrook's one yard run and it was 37-31 Eagles. The Cowboys came right back to the Red Zone but misfired and had to settle for a 47 yard field goal by Nick Folk, who had nailed a 51 yarder to end the first half. So now at 37-34 Eagles, the Cowboys special teams broke down and gave Philadelphia the ball at the Dallas 45, potentially a fatal break. The Eagles started moving the ball again and it appeared that the Cowboys were going to at best hold them to a field goal. And right when I was thinking "we (the Cowboys) need a turnover right about now" McNabb and Westbrook fumbled an exchange and Dallas recovered. In a matter of five plays, the Cowboys had first and goal at the five when TE Jason Witten got open over the middle for a 40 yard pass play. On the next play Romo threw to T.O. who was interfered with by Samuels and now the ball was at the 1. Marion Barber scored on his second try standing up and it was 41-37 Cowboys. On two successive tries, the Eagles were stopped, the last being when they turned it over on downs. A couple of key sacks of McNabb helped immeasurably and Dallas ran out the last minute and change for the hard earned breathtaking win. So 41-37.

Two things are for sure. Philadelphia retooled on offense and appears to be capable of being in some track meets if last night is any indication. The other things is: Dallas could not afford to lose this one at home to a divisional opponent. Maybe Philly is the top challenger to the Cowboys in the NFC East this year. Too early to tell and it was only week 2 but Dallas had to win this, knowing that they will go to Philly later on. And as I've said all along, the Cowboys had to win if they really are a Super Bowl team. Actually, the defense only gave up 23 points instead of 37. But some adjustments were made at halftime since Dallas outscored the Eagles 17-7 in the second half. Pro Bowl safety Roy Williams looks to be lost for three games with a broken forearm. So that could hurt the defense somewhat. PacMan isn't in shape yet. Give him time. So the Cowboys are 2-0 and have a LONG ways to go. They also appeared to be undisciplined at times last night. It was the kind of game that the Cowboys have had a tendency to botch in recent years. A game that was right there and probably should have been theirs and well, this time they were good enough to overcome it. They showed the kind of heart, character, and resiliency that they will need come playoff time. They are good no doubt but they've got work to do on defense and on offense, there's still room for improvement. Romo was superb other than those two quick costly miscues. But the bottom line is that he won against a fierce rival in a playoff like atmosphere. Big D was rocking last night! Myself, I could NOT sit. I was on pins and needles. It's the kind of game that I can only enjoy now on NFL Replay because I know that my team won. But during the game, it was anything but. But the edge of your seat thrillers are what makes Football KING. No rest for the weary. Packers up at Lambeau next. I still like our chances against Rodgers better than if Favre was still in Green Bay. But our defense needs to get into Rodgers' face like they finally did McNabb's at the very end when it mattered most. And last but not least, another key contributer to last nights' win, was Halfback/KR Felix Jones, that rookie out of Arkansas. He ran one back 98 yards for a score and finished the game with over 200 return yards. Perhaps he could be one of the final pieces of the puzzle along with Pac Man, who is working his way back into what he was with Tennessee.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Fantasy Football

One thing that I have never been intrigued by is Fantasy Football. These are people who obviously care more about the individual performances than they do who actually wins and loses. And it just gets bigger and bigger every year. My estimation of when Fantasy Football started out of the train yard is about 1995. And since then it's only picked up more and more steam. And I have have never ever understood it. Same with the Fantasy ongoings in other major sports but more so with Football. I have devoted plenty of time simply being a fan of the game itself and watching my favorite teams. Football is king to me with Basketball coming in second. Baseball always gets real interesting ofcourse just as Football is getting started. But this Fantasy stuff hasn't reeled me in and if it hasn't by now, it never will. And ofcourse I get a huge kick out of the devastating blow many of the Fantasy pundits have taken with the loss of Tom Brady, and others for that matter who are gone for the year. Injuries are a hard to accept part of the real game so the same goes for the Fantasy Game as well. I think that an actual Patriots fan is far more devastated because it was the last thing that was expected and that their team is actually favored to LOSE to the Jets based largely on there being no Tom Brady. It would just be like me being devastated if Tony Romo were to suffer the same fate. I spend too much time with what really matters. I also am aware of the fact that there is a lot of wagering going on in the Fantasy Leagues. That to me is what is really the issue there. Don't get me wrong, I am interested in the Stats of the notable stars and starters around the league. For example, I'm always interested in Peyton Mannings TDs and Int totals. Or how many catches Randy Moss, or T.O will have. We know that they both will score lots of Touchdowns for sure but the catch count intrigues me the same. I look for Tony Romo to be in the neighborhood at least of the 36 touchdown passes that he had last yr and to throw significantly less than the 19 INT. For most of 2007, he was on pace to pass for at least 40. Brady was on pace for 60 when he had 30 at midseason, already having broken his career season high. If I were to have a Fantasy team, right now I would simply just pick my favorite team based on the fact that they are the consensus pick to at least get to the Super Bowl this year.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Thoughts of the first week now that it's complete

Suprises were Buffalo, Atlanta, Carolina, Chicago, and Denver. The dissappointing ones were Indianapolis, San Diego, and Seattle. The Seahawks were banged up but, 34-10 to Buffalo? How do the Chargers let the underdog Panthers come into their house and win without even their star wide receiver, Steve Smith? Smith got suspended for the first two games of the new season because in training camp he busted some teammates nose. And then his team goes into San Diego and wins? The Chargers again, as mentioned earlier, have no excuses for that one. Not if it's THEIR YEAR. And then what in the name of Hell was up with the Colts being punched by the Bears? WHAT? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I only have one explanation there. They just simply were not ready to go. At all. Missing an All-Pro Offensive lineman like Jeff Saturday, and having Peyton Manning, who missed training camp and the whole exhibition season with the surgery, really had the whole team looking about as Zombielike as ever but none more than #18. He was rusty, not in any way shape or form that he needed to be in . I still expect them to get it together. And I predict that San Diego will beat Denver. Just me predicting that's all no more or less. They are going to be going into Denver with an enormous chip on their shoulders. Certainly losing the way they did on Sunday isn't sitting well with them to say the least. I guarantee that. To be perfectly honest, I am not a Peter King fan. To me he's just like that Subway Jared. Annoying. And some of his opinions have rubbed me the wrong way. None more than when he voted for Art Monk to not be in the Hall of Fame when that's the biggest crock of B.S. Monk finally got on this year but only about SIX YEARS too late! I laughed when King said that the biggest dissappointment this past Sunday was not Indy losing at home to the Bears, not Seattle's pathetic performance, and not San Diego losing to a significant underdog at home on the last play no less. No, he said the biggest dissappointment was Cleveland. Did he really think that the Browns were going to win? I said before that the Browns were going to have to get into a track meet with the Cowboys, one of those types of shootouts where the last team with possession would pull it out. And that was their only chance in my view because they weren't going to stop the Cowboys. And the Cowboys, as everyone who saw that game knows, called off the dogs.

The Cowboys are now ranked number one on the Power Poll, up from being number three. San Diego, suprisingly stayed at three. I think it's kind of ludicrous to put the Saints at number 4. Why? Just because they beat Tampa Bay at home by four? Okay, Okay. Philadelphia, the Cowboys next opponent, was moved up to number six. Pittsburgh, is right behind Dallas at number two. I think right now, they have the top 2 right in either order. The Rams are number 32, just like I predicted. Something smells god awful right about the time you make your way up the Mississippi River through St. Louis in a riverboat The Rams are absolutely awful. If you don't take them out, they'll probably take themselves out, if week one is ANY indication. That looks like a team capable of running the table in reverse. And the Raiders, are almost as bad. And finally a year ago, who would have ever believed this to be possible, besides Brett Favre in Jets uniform, and Tom Brady's season lasting all of about seven minutes ? I'm talking about the Jets, yes J E T S- Jets, so awful a year ago, being favorites against the Patriots. They are favored by 2 1/2. About ten months ago, the Jets were actually underdogs against the winless Dolphins(Jets would actually prevail 40-13, in what seemed to clinch Miami's winless season before the Ravens handed Miami their lone win) and now they're favored to beat the Pats? I guess a whole lot can change in a short period of time. Take away Brady and give the Jets Favre and I guess it does change a whole lot. Early Prediction for next Monday night's divisional showdown in BIG D: Cowboys 30 Eagles 20

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Cowboys look superb

WOW! I can NOT believe that we are actually here! The start of the new season. After eight agonizing months since that shocking early exit from last season's playoffs, the Cowboys defeated the Browns in Cleveland this afternoon, 28-10, and it wasn't THAT close even. The Cowboys rung up nearly 500 yards and Cleveland barely mustered 200. Romo was 24-32 for 320 yards a TD and one INT(in the Browns end zone when the Cowboys, up 28-7, had a first and goal at the 5 and he underthrew T.O.) The TD was a 35 yarder to Owens early in the second quarter that would break a brief 7-7 tie. The Cowboys got three rushing touchdowns, two from Marion Barber and the other from Felix Jones, a rookie out of Arkansas, who has replaced the now departed Julius Jones. The game ended with the Cowboys taking a knee inside the Red Zone but ofcourse they didn't lord it over on the Browns. 28-10 was enough of a statement. So the Cowboys look ahead now, to next Monday night against division rival Philadelphia. They definitely won't be looking past the Eagles, who suprised everyone today by hammering the Rams 38-3. Are the Eagles that good or are the Rams that bad? I do think that the Eagles have improved somewhat and are still dangerous, and that Dallas had better be ready for them. But I also believe that the Rams are indeed HORRIBLE. They look 0-16 bad. But bizarre stuff happened around the league today. Now tomorrow night, Green Bay entertains the Vikings and the Broncos and Raiders square off. So another Monday Night opener double header on tap. But today, first of all, Favre won in his debut for the Jets. He actually looked spectacular on his two touchdown throws. They held off Miami 20-14 down in South Florida. One shocker was Indy losing to the Bears tonight in their new stadium. The Colts were pathetic. Peyton Manning looked as though he was shaking off mothballs all night. He was rusty definitely. The Colts are one of those teams that can look well oiled, and unstoppable when they're on and then they have a tendency like tonight to not even be able to get out of their own way. That was how they played in losing to San Diego in the playoffs last season. Fortunately for the Colts, their biggest division challenger Jacksonville lost to the Tennessee Titans. The Seahawks, one of the NFC's better teams these last five years, got destroyed at Buffalo. The San Diego Chargers choked at home today, losing on the final play to the mediocre Carolina Panthers, who were without their suspended star receiver Steve Smith. Will the Chargers bounce back from this and make another Super Bowl stab? Or will they get off to one of those snakebit 1-3 kind of starts and hear rumblings about coach Norv Turner being on his way out? I mean they could NOT afford to lose to that team at home, not if they're thinking Super Bowl. Ditto the Colts. And the biggest news today came in Foxboro, Massachusetts, where the Patriots struggled past the lowly Kansas City Chiefs 17-10, and lost Tom Brady for perhaps the season-SHOCKING NEWS. So based on any of the teams (Chargers, Colts, Patriots) that might have been ranked higher than Dallas on the Power Rankings heading into today, they will definitely not be ranked ahead of them now. So if for no other reason, that's why the Cowboys would be ranked number one in my unbiased poll and probably will be ranked at the top now in the ESPN Power Rankings. Let's get ready for the Eagles.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Season Openers

In following the Cowboys since the fourth Grade(1981) I can recall all of the Cowboys season openers. Their record in the previous twenty- seven that I've followed(with tomorrow's game being number twenty-eight) record stands at 15-12. It's hard to pick what my favorite one is of those. I enjoyed last years shootout win over the Giants as much as I was dissappointed with the loss way back in '82 at home to the aging Pittsburgh Steelers. Danny White back then had probably one of the worst games of his career. I remember it well. Yes I know that I was only eleven and that now I'm older than Danny White was then. But I remember it. The 1999 opener at Washington was memorable. It was a road game on a Sunday afternoon right underneath the nose of Redskin owner Daniel Snyder, who had just purchased the team. The Skins with QB Brad Johnson (now the 40 year old backup to Tony Romo) was tearing the Cowboys secondary to shreds and Fox kept showing Snyder jubuliantly cheering and whooping it up in his suite. It was 35-14 going into the 4th quarter when the Cowboys rallied all the way back to send it into overtime. And then Troy Aikman on a third and four play at his own 24, performed play action, unleashing a 76 yard bomb to Rocket Ismail, who was 15 yards behind everyone and caught it in stride at about the Redskins 30 and cruised into the end zone to complete the comeback win. Aikman threw a career high FIVE touchdown passes in that 41-35 win. Another memorable game was the 1995 opener when the Cowboys were up at the Meadowlands and were on their way to their third and final Super Bowl triumph of the 1990s. Emmitt Smith took his first handoff of the year and shot straight up the middle through a massive gaping hole ( I could've driven my Coca-Cola truck through it) He was gone for a sixty yarder and the Cowboys romped 35-0. The 1996 game at Chicago was one to forget for sure. The Cowboys were Awful with a capital A. And late in the game, Smith landed funny on his head and was removed from the game with fear of some paralysis. He did come back the next wk to play and the Cowboys rebounded with a win. The most embarrassing opener for Dallas had to be the 2002 opener when they lost to the brand new Houston Texans, who were playing their very first real NFL game. Ofcourse in 2002, the Cowboys were a pretty sorry bunch anyways. But I think that their five wins that year were still more than the Texans would manage so it WAS embarrassing. I can't forget the 1985 season opener. The Cowboys hosted the Redskins and it was Joe Theismann's 36th birthday(Theismann suffered that horrific career ending injury later that yr on a Monday night against the Giants) on Monday night football in Texas Stadium. The Cowboys secondary picked off six passes in all (five of them Theismann's and one off of Jay Schroeder when he came in with the game out of reach) In the closing minutes of what would be a resounding 44-14 Dallas win, the crowd in Texas Stadium started singing a sarcastic "Happy Birthday" song to Theismann. I will always remember that one as the Happy Birthday game. I still chuckle when I think back to it. The most memorable Cowboys opener that I can recall, in a close one over the aforementioned 1999 game was the 1983 opener. It was also against the Redskins, and on a hot and muggy 90 plus degree night at RFK Stadium, the defending Super Bowl champ Redskins were stomping the Cowboys at the half. It was 23-3, and it could've been even worse. The stats in that first half were so lopsided, it was ridiculous. The most glaring stat of the game besides the score, was Danny White's 1-9 half for ten yards. The Cowboys, who had been to the previous three NFC Championship games, were still a good team and in the second half they got off of the deck and decided to fight. In their first two possessions of that second half, White completed two long bombs for touchdowns to WR Tony Hill and it was suddenly 23-17. It stayed that way until late in the fourth White led the team down the field, converting a fourth and one play on a daring quarterback sneak and then a few plays later, he scored from 2 yards out to put Dallas in front. Then, with just over two minutes to play, Theismann was picked off by Dextor Clinkskale, and then Danny White completed his third passing TD (actually his fourth overall since he'd run in for the one that put his team ahead) to TE Doug Cosbie. At 31-23 and with less than two minutes remaining, the Redskins were out of time (the two pt conversion wasn't added to the NFL until 1994) and scored a TD with about 10 seconds left to get within one point. The Cowboys recovered the onside kick and held on. This game was especially memorable because of how one sided it had been in that first half for Dallas. They were flat, not sharp, not crisp, and were going through the motions. They seemed to be leaving a lot to be desired. And then suddenly in the second half, they were alive, and they came back to win. So the 1983 game to me, was the most memorable season opener as a Cowboys fan. And at this point, I don't think that it will ever be topped. It's like the 99 yard run for a TD by Dorsett that can't possibly be broken. Tomorrow, I don't look for anything too memorable. Just a W to get this thing off to a good enough start.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Tonight's NFL Kickoff Classic

Somehow the end of the last sentence of my previous post was deleted without my realizing it until after posting it. I was ending the previous entry by saying that I fully expect Terrell Owens, when through, to end his career in a Dallas Cowboys uniform. This was after I talked about WR Terry Glenn being released. I fully expect Terry Glenn to retire and I'm certain that so do the Cowboys or else he'd still be on the roster, expected to eventually come back. But the organization had to make a tough decision and Patrick Crayton has proven to be an adequate fill in. Crayton has the hands, and the quick feet, and he runs very good routes. And expect him to atone for that critical drop of that third quarter third down pass that would have probably enabled the Cowboys to seize control in the dissappointing playoff loss. Speaking of the Giants, they opened up tonight on Thursday at home against the Washington Redskins. The Giants dominated a game that probably wasn't as close as the 16-7 score would indicate. The Redskins offense was starting their first game in their new west coast system under new coach Jim Zorn. QB Jason Campbell struggled, constantly completing short passes that constantly left the Redskins a yard or two shy of the first down on fourth down in their own territory which meant PUNT CITY. They scored their one TD right before the half on a pass to WR Santana Moss. The Giants scored on the opening drive on Eli Mannings' bootleg from five yards out but were held to three FGs by 44 year old John Carney after that . All of the scoring was in the first half. The Giants patchwork D looked solid, bend but not break against an out of sync Redskins offense. The Redskins didn't even complete a pass to TE Chris Cooley until late in the fourth quarter if you can believe that. The Redskins D kept the team in it but in the second half but Washington was unable to sustain any drives. Manning threw a pick in the third quarter but it didn't cost the team. Sunday is only three days away. The Cowboys visit Cleveland to take on the Browns. The Browns are going to have to score early and often to have a chance, I predict. Their secondary is weak and the Cowboys certainly will look to take advantage of that. They'd better. Cleveland could make this a shootout, for they have some capable weapons on offense. The Browns are banged up in a lot of areas though. My prediction for the game : COWBOYS 37-24.

Also, in the college ranks. I like USC, I think that Mark Sanchez is the real deal at QB, looks like Matt Leinert. They are ranked number one(they buried Virginia on the road 52-7 last Sat.) and are idle this weekend before hosting number three Ohio State. Being in Utah, I am a diehard BYU Cougar fan and they look to be vying for a BSC bowl bid. But instate rival Utah might have something to say about that. The Cougars and UTes may very well BOTH be 11-0 when they meet in Salt Lake City on Nov. 22. If it's ever going to happen(where these both of these two teams roll into their Holy War match unbeaten) it's going to be this year.

Monday, September 1, 2008

what seemed to have gone unnoticed

At least by myself, the Cowboys releasing the veteran WR Terry Glenn back on July 25 went unnoticed. The reason that the Cowboys released him was probably simple. At 34 he's most likely done. And though he's a free agent, he's not likely to play anywhere else either. Or he'd still be a member of the Dallas Cowboys. He really could have helped the team but the knee just hasn't ever come around in more than a year. Yes, he gave it a go at the end of last season and in that playoff loss to the Giants he actually caught a couple of passes but was clearly not half of what he previously was. It's too bad really. He was a favorite of mine for sure and a key part of the Cowboys steady improvement over the past five years. Patrick Crayton doesn't possess a healthy Glenn's speed but is nonetheless an adequate number two guy as he proved last season. As the undisputed number two now, he certainly won't be looking over his shoulder and didn't play as though that was the case even last year. And Tony Romo appears comfortable and has enough confidence in Crayton to go to him regularly. I would like to shout out, on behalf of all of us diehard Cowboys fans, a hearty thanks to Terry Glenn for his part and role in the steady improvement and revival of the franchise that began back in 2003. And also not previously noted by me, I also want to say the same for Coach Bill Parcells for pointing this club in the right direction, bringing in all of the stopgap veteran talent that has either come or gone in that time and or still exists on the Cowboys roster as well as the good drafting of the past five years. And he welcomed Terrell Owens a guy who still has a lot left in his tank but with the reputation of years past, his career was certainly at a crossroads when he was welcomed into the Cowboys fold. Drew Bledsoe did well with the club (particularly in 2005 before being removed six games into 2006 for Romo) and it didn't end the way he or many others would have liked(he did finish his career as Dallas Cowboy) but ofcourse Tony Romo was a hidden Gem from that 2003 draft. And we all know what he has become so far. And it's very likely that Terry Glenn has finished a solid if not spectacular career, the last five yrs as a Dallas Cowboy. I expect whenever Terrell Owens is done, that he w