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.

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