Monday, September 28, 2009

Cowboys move to 2-1

Under any circumstances, a win is a win. But here it was in the fourth quarter, with a little more than five minutes left, and the game still hung in the balance 13-7 for Dallas. The Cowboys had dominated much of the game, missing a couple of chances in the first half, and trailed 7-0 at halftime. Then Dallas had to kick off to start the second half, and the defense forced four consecutive three and outs. The Offense finally got untracked but had to settle for two FGs on drives that absolutely should have resulted in touchdowns. Marion Barber, who pulled his quad in the previous game, was held out of this one(he should be back next wk) And Felix Jones, had nearly 100 yards tonight on EIGHT carries, took the last quarter or so off with a tweaked Knee(hopefully doesn't miss time, or maybe just one game) And the third string back Tashard Choice had run for over 80 yards and scored the go-ahead TD in the third quarter. But now, after getting the ball back with the 13-7 lead, the Cowboys had been on the march yet again, and were chewing up the clock in the process when Romo was called for a somewhat questionable intentional grounding penalty to throw a monkey wrench in the drive that even a FG this time would put the game at 16-7 , at least making it a two score game. So the Panthers forced us to kick for (I believe) the only time in the second half and had the ball at the 10 still within a TD. They'd hardly even had the ball in the second half. Dallas had amassed over 200 yards on the ground for the 2nd straight week. Our offense hadn't turned it over. And it was STILL only 13-7 Dallas with 5:07 to go when safety Terrence Newman made the play of the evening, stepping inside of WR Steve Smith, intercepting it, and outrunning him to the end zone to slam the door on Carolina's final attempt. WHEW! OKay, we have a tough one next week at Denver. Denver is off to a 3-0 start. We SHOULD be 3-0 too but we're not. The Broncos were supposed to be not very good this year. But their defense has improved after being awful the past few years. Their offense has been mistake free and efficient. So it's a good thing for our team so that we don't over look them. Tonight, the Cowboys were plus THREE in turnovers. And we recorded THREE sacks. I hope that's an indication and not an abberation. We do that some more, we're right there with anyone in the National Football League. But although our offense didn't turn it over tonight and Romo was great, we DID leave 11 points on the field. Translation, this game tonight should have wound up being a blowout. Nick Folk missed one that he normally would make in his sleep in the first quarter but maybe if Romo doesn't get sacked on the initial drive of the game, Folk isn't even attempting that one because it's a TD instead. And then the two that Folk hit later, were extra points. Two pass plays at the One yard line failed. Should have ran it in on that third down one. That's the one that put us only up 13-7. Before that, the intial drive of the second half, actually had Choice intially being called in for the TD on the sideline with a Romo swing pass but it was overturned, down at the one. Then after failing to get in in on the next down, it brought up a fourth down at the one foot line. And a backup TE on us was called for a false start, forcing us to kick a FG and still trail 7-3. But after our defense stopped the Panthers cold again, our offense finally put in in the end zone with Choice. That put Dallas ahead to stay at 10-7. Good win, a step in the right direction. It doesn't make up for last week but it's a building block anyways. But going to Denver is never easy. It will be all about having composure. Especially if we fall behind in the early going. It's probably a good thing that Denver IS 3-0, as I've stated earlier, the better to take them seriously.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

What needs to change for a better end result

First off, on my picks, I am 10-5 with tomorrow nights Cowboys game hosting Carolina pending. I was 11-5 in my first week and 8-8 last week. Tomorrow night, a win by the Cowboys puts my overall record at 30-18. Okay, now that's out of the way. That said, I know that the Cowboys have yet to play tomorrow night with everyone else in the NFL having week 3 in the books. But the alarming stat lines after two weeks have to change or else it's 2008 all over again. This team is more together and more focused in lots of areas. But if 2009 trend continues, it's just a continuation of last year. And last year, 2008, we led the NFL in sacks. What caught up to us was being minus whatever the whole year on turnovers. Just a few games that our team even WON the turnover battle or at least didn't lose it. From that standpoint it's amazing that the team was 9-7 with three or four blown games. There were a couple of really bad games where the team didn't even take the field so to speak. But then there were the ones that got away (the first mtg with Washington, Arizona, Pittsburgh, Baltimore) Anyways, after two games, we are minus 4 in turnovers, at the very least that has to stop on our offensive part. And NO sacks. How that is, is baffling. I DO expect to start getting to the QB, and our offense won't turn it over usually more than once a game. We can live with that. But imagine if our defense also starts forcing turnovers. It seems as though all of those things have been happening lately for the Giants for example. The Giants are plus a bunch already in turnovers but only won by six over the Redskins at home, and beat our Cowboys by 2 despite being PLUS 4 in turnovers. So a couple of games that the GMEN could've lost without them benefitting from turnovers. I guess for the Cowboys, the bottom line is, that it's THERE FOR THE TAKING. They take care of the Football first and foremost, they usually win. But if actually winning the turnover battle were to start happening, you can only imagine. This team needs to win. But in order for that to happen, the pass rush needs to start sacking, because without any sacks, the secondary will get lit up. Anytime there isn't enough pressure on a QB, or at least if he isn't taken down for a loss once in a while, the more vulnerable a secondary becomes. And it leaves our offense that much less margin for error. Hopefully things start to change on all of that tomorrow.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Looking Ahead

Well, the Cowboys dissappointed in that they lost a game that they should have won. It was at home. And it was against the G--dmnd Giants. Four turnovers, three INT and a fumble on a kickoff gave the Giants a chance at the end. They needed every turnover that Dallas made. 33-31 with that winning FG as time expired. So the official first game for the Cowboys in their new digs is in the books, and unlike 1971, this time we lose. I just hate losing to the Giants. The Eagles. And the Redskins. Hopefully we can rebound this week against Carolina. We should. I know one thing: If we don't help them out, there is no doubt. This last one against the Giants should have been 34-20 Dallas. But what's done is done. Oh, the other concern besides turnovers and creating them on defense. Sacks. Zero for the Cowboys in two games. We get to Manning usually at least 4 times a game and we don't bring him down once. At least with him still holding the football. I know our guys were close on several occassions. They didn't get to Romo either but the three picks let a Giants team that we otherwise have over a ledge, off the hook. And it's really getting old. The list of "should have won" games keeps getting longer since 2005, the year the Cowboys became what you consider at least a good team. Not a great team. I good team, one that has averaged 10 wins a yr starting with that year. But all of those ones that were blown or botched. The list keeps getting longer. And Romo has stated that he's aware of the team's potential and that he wasn't up to their level this past Sunday. Oh, back to the pass rush. How in the world don't we sack Byron Leftwich? Yeah we won that game but against the Giants, if you don't bring down Eli AND you turn it over 4 times, you usually lose. Against ANYONE for that matter. But like I said, what's done is done. So it's time to move on to this week. And with that I will post my picks for the week starting this time with my beloved Dallas Cowboys on Monday Night.

Panthers at Cowboys-No way this team starts out 0-2 in their new digs. Especially after all of the mistakes and points that they gave to the Giants and STILL win if the defense sacks Manning a couple of times. I look for them to finally bust through against Jake Dehlome. Dallas has flat out owned the Panthers in the regular season (7-1 all time if I'm not mistaken) and this is a regular season game in Big D and the Panthers are 0-2. Make that 0-3. Dallas could probably turn it over 4 times against them and still win because the Panthers will likely turn it over regardless. Look for the Cowboys and Romo to bounce back. COWBOYS (minus turnovers) 31-17

and the rest will be as follows (home team in CAPS)

RAVENS over Browns
RAIDERS over Broncos
LIONS over Redskins
NY JETS over Titans
CHARGERS over Dolphins
Steelers over BENGALS
PATRIOTS over Falcons
SEAHAWKS over Bears
BILLS over Saints
VIKINGS over 49ers
EAGLES over Chiefs-hope I'm wrong ofcourse
Colts over CARDS
Jags over TEXANS
Packers over RAMS
BUCS over Giants-upset special

Monday, September 14, 2009

opening week almost in the books-Cowboys win their opener

Well as for my picks, I'm 9-5 pending tonights' two games. That's Buffalo at New England and Oakland at San Diego. One of the games that I got right was my Cowboys, although I predicted a modest 24-14 game, it turned out to be higher scoring, not as high as the 45-35 win over the Giants in the opener two years ago but it seemed like that in the fourth quarter with both teams scoring 14. But since the Cowboys were up 20-7 to start the fourth, it added up to a 34-21 win. Romo's 353 yards were actually a career high for him. That broke his previous high of 345 that he threw in that aforementioned 2007 opener against the hated G-men, who are NEXT, on Sunday night in the new Cowboys' Stadium. In this game the Bucs got a late window dressing TD against a relaxed Cowboy Defense in the closing minutes. For all intents and purposes, the 80 yard TD to Patrick Crayton that put Dallas up 27-14, ended things. Romo also hit Miles Austin late in the first half with a 42 yd TD when the Cowboys briefly trailed 7-6. Leading 13-7 at the half, Dallas was ahead to stay. Next wk, the Giants come to town and our defense must stop the run. Do that, I think, we win.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Pro Picks for week one

Alright, I want to see how I actually fare and I WILL stack my picks up against the so-called experts. I will post my record for this week when I make my week 2 picks and so-on, including my overall. You know, last wks record, and my overall record. So here for week one:

THURSDAY NIGHT Sept 10-Tennessee at Pittsburgh-the traditional Thursday Night opener played earlier tonight is already in the books with the Steelers having to go to overtime in a 13-10 victory over the Titans. The Steelers should have won it in regulation with under two minutes to play. That's when Big Ben hit a wide open Hines Ward at the Titan 20 with the score tied at 10. Ward proceeded to twist and turn and muscle his way inside the 10 and then the 5 when a Titans defender came from behind and punched the ball loose as Ward continued to fight towards the goal line resulting in a fumble recovery for Tennessee. The Steelers then won the toss, went right back to work and on first down from about the 15, PK Josh Reed was sent in to nail a perfect 32 yard FG for the win. I had picked the Steelers TO WIN earlier, predicting it to be 23-17. So I am 1-0 so far.

Jacksonville at Indianapolis- the Jags are coming off a dissappointing year. The Colts, after a slow start last year, particularly Peyton Manning, reeled off nine straight to finish with 12 wins, six straight years with at least that many wins. Then they have to go to San Diego as a wild-card, because Tennessee actually won the AFC South, to play the 8-8 AFC West division winning Chargers. They lost in overtime. This time Manning gets off to a better start, the Jags don't go 5-11 again this year but Indy is a superior team no matter what direction you tilt this picture.
COLTS 31-17

Detroit at New Orleans-will there be a rerun of last December when Brees carved up the winless Lions 42-7? Naw, only 35-14 SAINTS this time around. 18 straight L s and counting for Detroit.

Philadelphia at Carolina-I will pick a minor upset in this one. PANTHERS 24-20 because they are at home.

N.Y. Jets at Houston- Texans are at home so I'll go with the TEXANS 27-21

Kansas City at Baltimore- Will Baltimore continue the good bad good bad trend they seem to have going refering to how they are year in and year out? Well, I don't see them losing to KC at home to start things off at least. Flacco is expected to probably post somewhat more gaudy numbers this year. RAVENS 30-13

Denver at Cincinnati-It's going to be a long year in the mile high city. And since they are on the road, yes it's the Bengals, but and Carson Palmer is reportedly healthy, I like the BENGALS 28-17

Minnesota at Cleveland-finally we get to see Favre in a real game in Purple. Who would have thought. It's not beyond the realm of possibility that the Vikings, if number 4 holds up, could have something similiar seasonwise to the Packers of 2007. VIKINGS 34-20

Miami at Atlanta- Miami won't duplicate last year's 11-5 suprise. Not with a tougher schedule and with Tom Brady back in Foxboro, and with a possible improvement in Buffalo. Atlanta will be hard pressed to go 11-5 again as well. Look at the track record. Never made the playoffs in consectutive years in their history. Hard to believe. But I like Matt Ryan and the FALCONS 27-20 at home.

Washington at N.Y. Giants- so far I've picked the home team in each game. Now I'm going to go with a slight upset again to another NFC East contender. Well, unless it's a tie, an NFC East team will lose for sure on Sunday. How will it taste to see both the Eagles and Giants 0-1 to start. Haynesworth to make a difference for the Redskins. Eli Manning still has a tendency to stink it up once in a while like the last month of last year. And no more Plaxico Burress and Amani Toomer. It will be evident. Manning makes a couple of costly mistakes. The REDSKINS steal one 24-19.

San Francisco at Arizona-the Cards start off at home with a win over the 49ers. Kurt Warner is still around and starting at that. CARDINALS 31-21

St. Louis at Seattle-SEAHAWKS 28-21 at home

Chicago at Green Bay-I look for Aaron Rodgers to outplay Jay Cutler at Lambeau Field. Let's go with the PACKERS 30-17

Dallas at Tampa Bay-I've said all I need to say ofcourse about Dallas. They have a chance to get off really well this year. And winning will only become more contagious if you start out in .the win column. Simply put the Cowboys win if they don't help the Bucs out. Romo looks to be more efficient and more of a leader. Pencil him in for 30 plus TD again and see the INTs dip maybe into the lower teens. COWBOYS 24-14 then let's bring in the Giants in the home opener

MONDAY NIGHT actually has two games to start off with

Buffalo at New England-Bills are expected to be improved. T.O. will be interesting to say the least. I still am a little shocked that he won't be finishing his career in BIG D afterall. Unfortunately they have to start out at Foxboro. PATRIOTS 31-20 for their 12th consectutive win over Buffalo.

San Diego at Oakland-another division clash and another rivalry that's been lopsided as of late. Raiders might be the second best team in this division. Somebody's got to be second. Even if it 's a DISTANT second. CHARGERS 37-14

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Cowboys must be the ones to prove the naysayers wrong

They are saying all the right things. They are also saying how they relish the role of non-favorites and being under the radar. A year ago the Cowboys were anything but under the radar. And anything but underdogs. But after last year's failure to even get into the playoffs after being almost unanimously picked to at least be in the Super Bowl, it's basically turned into a "show me" deal. Everyone knows the talent level on this team. It's just that noone is sold on it until it happens. It's like, "okay, we were sold on them last year but they made us all look bad by their underachieving. So this year let's make them earn our approval" This is what the experts are saying this time around. Okay, so the only ones obviously who can change the "expert" opinions are the Dallas Cowboys themselves. They have their opportunities to shut up the Marshall Faulks and the Trent Dilfers out there. And the John Claytons of the world. Mark my words this team, playing up to their full potential, can beat anyone. But they could lose to anyone too. It can go either way. Injuries are part of the game but they did have something to do with last year's dissappointment. What happens if there aren't injuries to Marion Barber, Felix Jones, Tony Romo, Terrence Newman, Mat McBriar, Kyle Kosier, Miles Austin, Sam Hurd, and Jason Witten? All of those people missed time last year, most of them at least a few games. Witten didn't miss any starts but was hampered late in the season when the team collapsed. Romo literally collapsed in the locker room shower after that tank job finale in Philly due to very sore ribs. That right there sums up the 2008 season. I remember how shocked I was still on New Year's Eve a couple of days after that last game. How I couldn't believe that New Year's was dawning, and the Cowboys year was already over. They are the only ones who can change people's minds. Their schedule in the first half of the year, in my opionion, is favorable. At least the first seven games before their first meeting with the Eagles. They get the Giants, Falcons, and Panthers at home. Their road games at Tampa Bay, Denver, and Kansas City are games that they ought to win simply because those teams range from awful to average at best. They also get the Chargers at home later on. The Raiders on Turkey Day. It's a more favorable schedule than last year. Plus their bye week is much earlier this time around. Just saying. If they don't prove the Naysayers wrong this year then I will use the cop out "I'm USED to it"