Game Preview: Seahawks @ Cowboys

Seahawks (2-9) vs. Cowboys (7-4)  Thursday, November 27, 3:15 PM on FOX

Cowboys Continue Push For Playoffs Against Seahawks on Thanksgiving

The Dallas Cowboys will continue to make their run toward the playoffs and extend their winning streak to three games as they host the Seattle Seahawks on Thanksgiving Day at Texas Stadium.  If the Cowboys can get the win and improve to 8-4 on the season, they will be in a pretty good spot heading into the toughest stretch of their schedule in December, but a loss could be devastating. 

The Cowboys are coming off of a 35-22 win against the 49ers while the while the Seahawks lost 20-17 to the Redskins.

The Dallas Cowboys should be able to easily win this game, but not so fast.  Remember when we played the St. Louis Rams?  That should have been an easy win too.  It didn’t happen.  Granted Brad Johnson was our quarterback and we were beat up, but still a game that the Cowboys should have taken  care of but didn’t.

The Cowboys are relatively healthy this time around though, and Dallas should be able to explode offensively against Seattle.  The Seahawks gie up 25.2 points per game, ranking 25th in the NFL, and 29th in the league, allowing 381.2 yard per game to opposing teams.  The Seahawks offense is ranked 31st in the NFL, but that doesn’t necessarily mean an easy time stopping the Seahawks.

Terrell Owens is coming off a big game against the San Francisco 49ers, catching seven passes for 213 yards with a touchdown, a 75-yard bomb.  It will be intriguing to watch him to see what he does against the Seahawks’ secondary.

On defense, Terence Newman and Anthony Henry will need to keep wide receivers Bobby Engram and Nate Burleson in check, and they need to put pressure on quarterback Matt Hasslebeck as well.  Look for Demarcus Ware, Jay Ratliff, and Greg Ellis to be key contributors in that area. 

This will be Julius Jones’s first trip back to Texas Stadium since he left the Cowboys for the Seahawks.  He will be fired up to face the Cowboys, so the offensive line will have to be at the ready to get penetration and fill in the holes to stop Julius Jones from gaining big yardage and moving the chains.

Happy Thanksgiving!   

T.O. stands for Too Old?

All season long people have questioned and portrayed Terrell Owens as a cancer on this team. I have even read comments here on Star Struck where writers and commenters both stated that Terrell Owens was turning into the old T.O. again. Complaining, whinning and causing turmoil on the field and the locker room because he wasn’t getting the ball. A DMN ( Dallas Morning News ) writer as well questioned whether or not Terrell Owens had lost a step and wasn’t the same receiver we were all accustomed to seeing. Boy, did T.O. prove them wrong yesterday?

The guy was nothing short of dominating yesterday. He was causing seperation against a descent corner in Nate Clements and had his first 200 yard receiving game in over 8 years. I don’t know if you guys know this but having a 200 yard receiving game in NFL isn’t easy by any standards. You don’t hear about it every week. T.O. proved a very strong and season long point yesterday. Throw him the ball and good things happen. Amen T.O., Amen!!! Owens has been frustrated all year long. If any of you saw that Deion Sanders interview, Owens gets his point accross as a team guy. Sure he is complaining about not getting the ball but all the great ones do. Hint: Michael Irvin. Owens when questioned whether the catches or the championship is more important to him did not hesitate to say that the championship was more important. 

Owens has been nothing but a great teammate first and great player second since coming to Dallas. I still find it hard to believe that there are Cowboy fans out there who hate Owens even in his third year here. I know he desecrated the star back in 2001 I believe but the guy has really grown up. Owens reminds me of that high school bully that everyone feared. Then you see the guy at your 10 year high school reunion and he is a really nice guy. Some people grow up people and some people dont. Owens I believe has gone through a really great transformation while in Dallas. He has grown up. How many times have you guys seen a star reciever on another team protect his quarterback from ridicule like Owens did last year after the loss to the Giants in the playoffs? Did that seem like a self centered, egotistical cancer of a player?

I dont know about you guys but Owens has become one of my favriote players on this team. When we first got him a couple years ago, I was just like everyone else. WTF is Jerry Jones thinking? But, over the past couple of seasons I have seen nothing of the old T.O.. Many current players on this team have said repeatedly that he is the ultimate teammate. So give the guy a break already. He single handedly, with a little help from Romo and the O-line torched the 49er secondary. I was really expecting for Owens to run to midfield after his touchdown and stand on the star like he did back in 2001 but that didnt happen. Kind of  would of been ironic, wouldnt it?

   

Now Thats What I’m Talking About!

So, this is was how it was supposed to look like? 

The only question now: Is it a little too late?  Only two weeks after being left for dead at 5-4 and facing a Sunday nighter in Washington the Dallas Cowboys have righted the ship to win two in a row with a bad Seattle team on deck Thursday. 

So, whats the problem? 

Everyone else won Sunday afternoon.  The Giants win realistically closed any hope for the NFC East and are 10-1.  With Tampa and Carolina at 8-3 and Washington, Atlanta and Dallas at 7-4 a playoff birth is far from a given at this point.  I am usually not one to look ahead but for the sake of this post lets do so.  Here are the remaining schedules for the above mentioned teams:

Dallas: H Seattle, A Pitt, H Giants, H Baltimore, A Philly……Pred. Rec: 11-5

Wash: H Giants, A Balt, A Cincy, H Philly, A San Fran…….Pred Rec: 10-6

Atl: A S Diego, A New Orleans, H Tampa, A Minny, H St Louis..Pred Rec: 9-7

T Bay: H New Orl, A Car, A Atl, H S Diego, H Oak……Pred Rec: 11-5

Car: A G Bay, H Tampa, H Denv, A Giants, A New Orl..Pred Rec: 11-5

 

The loss I gave Dallas was at Pittsburgh..win our home games and at Philly.  The point is even with the win vs Tampa, lets give one of the wild cards to the second team in the South.  It is going to come down to us and Washington.  I dont think there is any arguement that 11-5 would get us in.  5 games left…need to win 4.  Time to play like we are capable of.  Remind anyone else of the Giants run last year?  Played well down the stretch, snuck in as wild card, won all their road games….hmm

Terrell Owens Takes Charge: Cowboys Trounce 49ers 35-22

For all of you Cowboys fans that have been starving for a guns-blazing, pulse pounding, offensive outburst all season long… today the wait was over.

The Dallas Cowboys launched a massive assault, and Terrell Owens unleashed hell on the San Francisco 49ers with his best single game performance in over eight years!

Lets begin with Tony Romo who after a sluggish first quarter, finally found his groove and soon after…

The rockets red glare and the bombs bursted in air to the tune of 300+ yards passing and three touchdowns!

So much for that pinky problem.

T.O. made headlines before the game when he publicly voiced his displeasure at the lack of passes heading his way so far this season. Romo obliged him almost as if he dared him to step up, and step up he did.

Terrell Owens had his best day receiving since 2000 with 7 catches for 213 yards and a touchdown for emphasis.

If the Cowboys are America’s Team, then at least for today, Terrell Owens was Captain America!

San Francisco never had a chance even though they grabbed an early 6-0 lead. The defense went into lock-down mode after that and held the Niners in check until the offense came alive.

Romo and Owens weren’t the only shooting stars today, rookie tight end Martellus Bennett had yet another touchdown reception, and so did wide receiver Patrick Crayton.

Who says spreading the wealth is bad?!

Not to be outdone, kicker Nick Folk provided some explosiveness of his own, going 4 for 4 on field goals that were all over 40 yards.

Not enough for you? You want more?

Our special teams play has been mocked and frowned upon all season long, but today they became game breakers and made some big plays of their own. They kept the Niners at bay for most of the game especially when they held them at their own 16-yard line where they were eventually forced to punt from their own end zone after back to back sacks from Ware and Spencer. Carlos Polk sent the crowd into a frenzy when he busted through the 49ers line and blocked a punt that led to a safety. It was the first blocked punt by the Cowboys since 2002! 

The Special Teams were especially special today!

So where does all this lead?

It leads to another potentially exciting showdown on Thanksgiving Day against the last place Seattle Seahawks. So getcha’ popcorn ready and the pumpkin pie too!

Game Preview: San Francisco at Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys vs San Francisco 49ers
Sunday, November 23, 12:00 PM CST
Texas Stadium, Irving, TX – FOX

COWBOYS 2008 STATS 49ERS
116 RUSHING YPG 110
226 PASSING YPG 206
23 POINTS PER GAME 23
11th OFFENSE RANK 21st
106 RUSHING ALLOWED 107
188 PASSING ALLOWED 234
22.9 POINTS ALLOWED 27.5
9th DEFENSIVE RANK 21st


Our Last Encounter

The last time these two teams faced off was back on September 25, 2005. The Cowboys won the game by a field goal, beating San Francisco by the score of 34-31.

Who To Watch

When San Francisco has the ball all eyes will be on running back Frank Gore who is their biggest offensive threat. For the Cowboys, expect Marion Barber to have plenty of carries today as he will easily surpass 100 yards. Terrell Owens will finally get a chance to visit the end zone again and will have some key receptions against a banged up 49er secondary.

Did You Know?

The Cowboys have not scored more than 14 points in any of their last four contests (2-2 record). Dallas scored 14 or fewer just four times total in 40 games prior to the first game of the current streak.

San Francisco has had 47 offensive plays of 20 or more yards this season — tied with New Orleans for most of any team in the league. The 49ers had just thirty-nine 20+ yard plays in all of 2007 — 3rd fewest in football.

My Final Analysis

The Cowboys (6-4) and the 49ers (3-7) are both coming off big wins last week. The 49ers pounded the Rams 35-16, while the Cowboys edged the Redskins 14-10. The Cowboys are playing for their playoff survival, while the 49ers are just trying to end the season on a high note after what’s been a brutal season that has seen them fire their coach and replace him with Mike Singletary.

After examining the numbers, the Cowboys should easily come out on top this afternoon as long as they stay focused and limit the number of penalties.

Final Score

Dallas 27 – 49ers 13

After All These Years…Everyone Still Talks About “The Catch”…

The six most important yards in 49er history were gained in a way that was awfully close to poetic. Even a cynic would have to admit that much.

Joe Montana rolled right, holding the ball, tapping it once or twice. You’ve seen it, over and over and over. Dallas Cowboys linemen in pursuit, the fans in the orange Candlestick background standing with their mouths open and their hearts firing like a Briggs and Stratton.

It was called Sprint Right Option, and it was third and three from the six-yard line, with less than 90 seconds to play in the 1981 NFC championship game. The 49ers trailed the Cowboys by six points, and Montana was rolling out so deliberately that the sideline became a concern.

To the untrained eye, it appeared Montana was wandering right, hoping more than devising, maybe even looking for a way out. But by that time, with Montana and the 49ers proceeding deep into their first — and most improbable — Super Bowl run, everybody had learned to admire and not question.

He threw it, finally, off his back foot and slightly across his body. His flamingo legs scissored a little from the torque, and it looked for the entire world like a throwaway, with everybody walking back to the huddle to confront fourth down.

But Dwight Clark caught it. He reached above the unfortunate immortality of Everson Walls and caught the ball in the back of the end zone. Those faces in the stands thawed into a delirium of incredulity and joy. Back then, the idea of a Super Bowl was new and unexpected. 

Clark seemed to spike the ball before he landed. Clark later said “his mind raced with disbelief and excitement”. “The thought that we were going to the Super Bowl was incredible”. He was so excited that he didn’t realize they had to kick the extra point to win the game. He just figured they had scored and it was over.

At the time, no one had any idea what it would come to mean. Nobody did. Nobody realized how bitter the San Francisco fans were toward the Cowboys. No one paid any attention to what happened in the early 1970’s.

There was some history lurking in the background of “The Catch”, as well. In the 1980 regular season, the Cowboys beat the 49ers 59-14, scoring until they simply could not score again. Then, in the ’81 regular season, the 49ers beat the Cowboys 45-14, prompting the Dallas players to say the real Cowboy team didn’t show up.

The Cowboys were looking forward to seeing the 49ers again. Once again it was the same result.

Clark was not the primary receiver on what became the signature play of the Montana legend. In fact, the 49ers had scored a touchdown in the first quarter on the very same play — Sprint Right Option — when Montana hit Freddie Solomon, the first option. But this time Solomon slipped coming off the line of scrimmage and Montana’s assignment — as per the intricate dealings of Bill Walsh — called for him to continue to roll out, and continue to hold the ball until Clark could slide into position.

The play was designed so that by the time he threw it, the ball either goes out of bounds or is caught. The now 49ers’ Director of Player Personnel has been asked many times. “Was Montana trying to throw the ball away”? Clark simply answers, “No, it was a spectacular throw, made under duress.” “It was thrown exactly where it needed to be thrown”.

When Montana threw the ball, Walls had to think it was out bounds. When Clark slid back there, Walls was right beside him, in the only spot he could have been.

Walls ended up being helpless, both then and on the cover of Sports Illustrated. In much the same way as “The Catch” is seen as the catapulting force for the 49ers dominance in the ’80s, Walls’ helplessness is seen as the symbolic anchor drop of the Cowboys’ fall.

Mostly forgotten is the drive that preceded “The Catch”. It started at the 49er 11-yard line and began with just under five minutes to play.

During the TV timeout, the 49ers didn’t know if they had time for it. They just kept saying “we can do it”!  

So, I wonder if after all these years, you think new head coach Mike Singletary will show the team the clip of “The Catch”.

After all these years there is still some legend. The drive ended with Clark and Montana covering the six most important six yards ever traveled by the 49ers. You could make the case that those six yards made everything that followed possible.

“I think that whole season was the end of the bad old days”, Clark says. “And judging from the way it’s still re-lived, that one play is seen as the culmination”.

Go Cowboys!!

Cowboys 31-14

Blast From the Past Still Gives Me Chills

After a long day at work, I could not have asked for a better way to finish off the week. I came home to an empty house, ate some dinner and turned on the TV. Flipping through the channels, damn well knowing there is nothing worth watching on Friday nights.

But as I scrolled through the guide, something jumped out at me. The NFL Network was broadcasting the ’92 Championship between the 49ers and the Cowboys. It was already into the 4th quarter and the ‘Boys were winning.

I literally got goosebumps when I seen Emmitt run. Now, back in ’92 I was only 13 years old, but you better believe my Dad had the game on and I was watching. I didn’t know any better back then, didn’t understand much about the game but I was born a Cowboys fan, I knew that much.

I remember being so in love with Troy Aikman, but weren’t we all? I had so many posters of him, and of course I had his jersey. And yes I had one of those big puffy Cowboys jackets like Jimmy Johnson wore in this unforgettable game. I know, not your average teenage girl.

Anyhow, I’m getting off-subject…

Watching this game, I seen the perfect team. Interception… touchdown… interception… touchdown… That team was on FIRE! Unstoppable. They wore their game faces on the field and smiled the biggest smiles when they won. That’s heart, that’s determination. That’s what it takes to win and win big.

As the clock wound down, and a young and very happy Jerry Jones made his was to the sidelines, they knew it was theirs. They were on their way to the Super Bowl. Their dream had been realized.

I won’t lie to ya. I got tears in my eyes and chills run through my body. Who knew watching an old game could still give you that feeling. I knew the outcome, and I knew they were going on to win it all. But to live in that moment, wow what a feeling.

Now, after the game as John Madden rambled on… the camera went into the locker room.

Jimmy Johnson stood up on the bench and…

HOW BOUT THEM COWBOYS!

Alone in my house I cheered and clapped like I was there, as if Jimmy was talking to me. Funny, right? I don’t know, thats what fans do. When you are so passionate about a team that you are sad when they are sad, and happy when they are happy – they become a part of you.   

I don’t know if we will ever be honored to see another dynasty like that. It could happen. And we all know it has happened twice for the Cowboys. Although I wasn’t born yet, I know the 70’s were amazing as well.

All we can do now is wait and watch and hope for the best. Any given Sunday, right?

Enjoy the journey.

GO COWBOYS!

Romo Gets Into The Spirit Of Thanksgiving

As reported by several sources including ESPN and the Dallas Morning News, a homeless man who goes by Doc was cashing in change at a Cinemark Theater in Dallas when a guy walked up and offered to pay his way into the movie.

He planned to spend his day passing out fliers and accepted a rain check before realizing that he recognized the generous gentleman.

Was that Tony Romo?” Doc asked the worker behind the counter.

It sure was.

Doc told the Morning News that he ran across the street and told the consignment store he wouldn’t be able to work for them that day and then returned to the theater to see “Role Models” with the quarterback.

When Doc entered the theater, Romo allegedly waved the man over to sit with him and his friend.

Doc said he admitted to the quarterback that he hadn’t showered in a few days, but the Cowboys passer allegedly told the man, “Don’t worry about that, I’m used to locker rooms,” the Morning News reported.

Romo’s act was a memorable one for Doc.

“For me, it was a blessing,” Doc told the Morning News. “It came at just the right time. It gave me some encouragement and faith in mankind. I just wanted to say thank you.”

Romo confirmed the story to the newspaper but did not want to elaborate on his gesture.

How cool was that of Tony Romo? 

After all the negativity of the Pacman drama this week, it’s so good to know that we do have many players on this team that are upstanding individuals who are caring and honorable, and law abiding.

Sometimes the actions of one despicable person can stain the fabric of an entire roster, but then along comes Tony Romo who reminds us all, that with just one act of kindness, we can wipe everything clean and change everything. 

Player Updates: Who’s In, Who’s Out

Felix Jones will have toe surgery to repair a ligament and has been confirmed out for the season.

This is tragic news. Felix amazed us with his stunning returns and rushes, and was definitely considered Rookie of the Year before he was injured. Although he wasn’t the starter he was definitely a FINE asset to the team. He will be missed terribly, especially on special teams.

Felix will join Sam Hurd, Mat McBriar, and Roy Williams on the Injured Reserve. Can you imagine how different things would be if those players were available?

Isaiah Stanback will have surgery on his shoulder after the season.

Isaiah who? We’ve been waiting for this guy to get well since he was drafted, maybe someday we will see what he’s really worth. The word is we will see Stanback on Sunday as a return guy.

Jason Witten (ribs) was limited in Wednesday’s practice.

Witten the Warrior… what can you say. The team just wants to let him get as much rest as possible before Sunday and doesn’t need him roughed up during practice. Nothing to worry about, he will start.

Miles Austin is having problems with his knee that benched him during preseason. He could miss 2-4 more weeks.

Ouch! That might hurt. But thankfully we have T.O. and Roy. We’ve got options. Hurry back Austin!

Tony Romo is good to go but will likely continue to wear protective covering on his injured pinky.

At times, the bandages caused bad passes but I’ll take a wobbly Romo over anyone else any day of the week (we learned that while he was out). I think he will look better and continue to improve. I ain’t worried!  

Bobby Carpenter missed last Sunday with a strained groin, but returned to full practice and should be back this Sunday.

No comment. This guy doesn’t impress me at all.

Terrell Owens was out sick on Wednesday.

Umm.. hopefully he’s feeling better and it’s nothing to worry about.

***

If it isn’t one thing its another. This year has really been trying on the Cowboys. If we can overcome this we can do anything. Pretty much everything that could go wrong, has gone wrong. But we still hold a 6-4 record and nothing is impossible as far as I’m concerned.

LETS GO COWBOYS!

Breaking News: Pacman Has Been Reinstated by the NFL

AP is reporting that the NFL Commissioner has reinstated Adam Jones and he will be eligible to play December 7th against Pittsburgh.

The guidelines state that he must miss 2 more games – Sunday against the 49ers and Thanksgiving Day against the Seahawks.

 The 25 year-old cornerback was suspended on October 14th after an altercation at a hotel that involved alcohol.

 

So I guess the Pac gets another shot. Someone above must really be watching over this guy.

Cowboys Win, But The Pacman Jones Circus Is In Town Again

Last week was all about good vibrations.

You had Tony Romo practicing without pain, and T-New running sprints and looking like his old self.

Then of course we had the culmination of all those positive signs resulting in a dramatic win over the Redskins.

Suddenly, the Cowboys were back in the race to the post season and everything is looking fine. 

But just when we put all our worries away and stashed them back into our cluttered closets, the shelves have just collapsed and a shit-load of useless garbage comes pouring out…

Pacman Jones.

(I’ll stop calling him Pacman, when he stops acting like Pacman, and when I’m damn good well and ready to stop calling him Pacman, thank you very much!)

You know, I hate to be the one who says I told you so, but I did tell you so.

Pacman is now eligible to be reinstated this week, and is simply waiting for the commissioner who has yet to rule on his situation.

Perfect… I bet Wade, Romo and the rest of the team can’t wait to get Pacman’s sorry ass back on the field so he can continue to deliver what he has been ever since he got here…

NADA, ZIP, ZERO, ZILCH!

His distraction has been, and continues to be a heavy weight that has become too much to bear.

The negativity that surrounds him and the black cloud the follows him has become like a cancerous tumor that begs to be removed.

Rather than focusing on the San Francisco 49ers, all of the coaches and players are having microphones shoved in their faces with the prevailing question, “What will the return of Pacman mean for the rest of the team?”

I’ll tell you what it means…

It means the same thing I said back in May,

“While the Cowboys seek to win a championship this season, the back pages and the big story may not be the team, but instead the ongoing Pacman drama that is expected to last well into the season and beyond.”

And back in April,

“Pacman is the last thing the Cowboys need right now. Adding such a bad influence to a team who is trying to recover from a second straight disappointing finish to their season is bad news. What this team needs most is another hero, not a thug.” 

I still stand by those statements.