Wednesday, December 31, 2008
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
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
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
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
Dallas will win on Sunday Night. Sunday night is Romo's primetime event. It's funny how a fan blogged on DallasCowboys.com 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
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
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