In the end 18-0 was just not enough. 18-1 doesn’t earn you a Championship when the loss comes in the last game. You have to be able to finish to claim the title of Superbowl Champions. I think it was Fox announcer Curt Menefee that I heard say, “The Patriots came in undefeated while the Giants came in undaunted.” That just about sums it up. As many of you know, I was rooting for the Giants in this game while many of my other Cowboy friends wanted the Pats to finish their season undefeated and go down in history (while many Cowboy fans also couldn’t have cared less). I really didn’t think the Giants would accomplish this, but my hat is off to the G-Men. They had a job to do and did what no other team has been able to do this season.
The Giants defense was definitely the key in this game. The defense was able to put so much pressure on Tom Brady that the Pats were never able to get in rhythm and stay there. Brady was sacked 5 times and hit 9 other times while throwing the ball.
As Cowboy fans, why should we care? Well, here are my thoughts for what they’re worth: The Giants defense pressured Brady just like it did Romo in our last game against the Giants. While many people have wanted to play the blame game and not give the Giants credit for the win over the Cowboys, I for one, will do so. Our loss to the Giants had nothing to do with Jessica Simpson, or Mexico, or assistant coaches being distracted. Jessica didn’t play in the game. The game took place in Dallas, not Mexico. The coaches didn’t drop the balls, botch the plays, or fail to protect Romo. Like T.O. said in his interview after the game: “We lost as a team.”
Protection was something Brady would have loved to have had yesterday. The Giants defense just kept getting into the backfield and I’m sure that Brady was hearing footsteps coming up behind him on every play by the end of the game. I don’t blame Brady for this loss and I don’t blame Romo for ours. A quarterback is one man, while a win/loss is a team effort. The Giants outplayed the Patriots, and, much as it pains me to say it, they outplayed the Boys.
I do take some consolation in the fact that the Patriots will not be considered “The Greatest Team of All Time” now. They are just one of the other 31 teams who failed to finish.
One final thought for what it’s worth: Our Cowboys played the Giants three times this season, winning two, but losing the one that counted. The Patriots played the Giants twice this season, winning one, but losing the one that counted. If you add up the score of the Giants v. Patriots games you come up with 8 quarters of football and a final cumulative score of 52-52. The Cowboys, on the other hand, played 12 quarters of football against the Giants and finished with a final cumulative score of Cowboys 93-Superbowl Champions 76. Now, I know that’s not much consolation to my Cowboy friends out there but I find some satisfaction in it (not much, but some….). Should we have beaten the Giants at home and advanced further in the playoffs? Yes, we should have, but we didn’t. Could we have beaten the Patriots in the Superbowl? Yes, I think we could have, but that question will have to remain unanswered.
To the Patriots, I say, we Cowboys know how you feel. It’s tough to have so much promise and potential and fall short at the end. We know…..
To the Giants, who have not, and probably will not, get the respect they deserve from most, I tip my hat to you on a good season and the ability to finish well. Wear your crown proudly. You are Champions and I freely admit it.
However, keep your ears to the ground during the offseason. Down in Texas, horses are getting re-shoed and saddles are being polished. If you listen closely, you will begin to hear the thunder of distant hoof beats and the crack of whips. All too soon, you will see Stars on the horizon. It’s not your fan club coming to pay homage. It’s a cattle drive decked out in Silver and Blue coming to trample you and take your crown. So, enjoy this one Giants. We’re thinking of you here in Texas. Can’t wait to see you.
Contributed by Rich Isaacs