Well, where to begin?
There is the obvious, the accolades and astonishment of the instant-classic win over the Eagles, 41-37. It was the one of the toughest games to watch in terms of pure joy, fear, anger, joy, sadness…..HALFTIME…..anger, joy, sadness, excitement, and then……relief. A win is a win, and they are hard to come by in the NFL. This one was extra sweet due to the great Texas Stadium environment, the largest TV audience in the history of cable television (18.6 million viewers) and the fact that it came at the expense of the hated Eagles. Well, how bout them Cowboys? 2-0…..the reward: the next “Game of the Year”….another showdown for NFC supremacy against the Green Bay Packers, at Lambeau.
Where are we now?
Two weeks into the season and it feels like we are already in week 8 with Hard Knocks and the wait between the first 2 games. We are just starting on our “journey” and we have along way to go to the finish. Here are a few humble observations, from yours truly:
Playmakers: They are like good friends, either you have them or you don’t, and the Boys have plenty. There is no question that we are the most explosive team in the NFL, and any play has the chance for a TD, no matter where we are on the field. It all starts with the quarterback and there is no question that with Tom Brady out and Peyton Manning struggling to regain his form following knee surgery, Tony Romo has established himself as the top QB in the league right now. When you add TO, Witten, Barber, Crayton and Felix, it is downright scary.
Penalties: This is becoming a major concern. Coach Phillips says the penalties are on him, but that is clearly “coach-speak”. It is up to the players to not grab the facemask, or not commit a false start. I can’t get to worked up about a holding penalty or pass interference calls because both seem to happen on every play, and it is just a matter of whether the official decides to throw the flag. The mental mistakes need to be kept to a minimum and hopefully that will begin to happen as the season wears on and the players settle into the routine.
Zone Defense: Am I the only one that doesn’t think this works that great? This is, of course, a type of pass coverage. The DB’s play an area of the field as compared to getting on a man and covering him wherever he goes. I understand that man-to-man has great risks as well, but against Philadelphia and a veteran QB, the receivers had no troubles sitting down in the open spots and just waiting for the ball to arrive, and McNabb was putting it on the money. On the flip side, it worked pretty well against Cleveland. Personally, I am not a fan of the zone defense for the whole game. I am no defensive coordinator, but I think with Pac Man and Newman, we should give them a chance to man up at times and at least have a chance at an interception. You have to bet big to win big. Through 2 games: 0 interceptions.
Injuries: So far, there have been big scares: Romo laying on the field in Cleveland looking like he just got hit by a bus, Barber’s ribs banged up and Witten immediately grabbing his shoulder after an awkward landing. We have been fortunate that these guys are tough enough to fight thru these “minor” injuries. It’s like the old saying: “Are you hurt, or are you injured?”. These offensive stars were only hurt and not injured, thankfully. The news from the Philly game is that Roy Williams suffered a fractured forearm and is out about a month. And you add Kyle Kosier, who has been out for the whole season thus far as well as Terrence Newman and his gimpy groin, and it starts to add up. What can you do though? It’s just a part of the game.
So, overall, things are good here in Cowboys Country, we are right on schedule, 2 wins, 14 more to go! It’s good to be a Cowboys fan and I am looking forward to this very tough schedule we have. Fear no one, Respect everyone. I truly believe that the only team that can beat us is ourselves. We have the talent and the heart of a champion, now it’s time to keep working towards getting a championship. I know one thing, were gonna need alot of popcorn.
Cowboys Fan for Life – TD