First, I want to apologize for my leave of absence. I’ve no reasonable excuse to explain why I have not written except a combination of holidays, homework, laziness, and writer’s block.
Thankfully though, I have found my muse and I’m ready to write and see Dallas go to playoffs. It has been as tough a year as it has been magical.
The tough part is losses to the Giants, the Broncos, the Packers, and the Chargers, but still to finish this season with back to back shutouts against division rivals is remarkable.
The Redskins win was one that redeemed us for our horrid win of 7-6 last time. Even though Al Davis is famous for saying, “Just win baby,” it is one thing to win a close one with a team that is your equal, but the Washington Redskins are not on the same planet as Dallas in terms of organization and teamwork.
That said, I was nervous going into the game this past Sunday. I had been sick with something that had stolen my voice from me to where I could only whisper naturally and talking was a challenge.
However, I was determined to not let that deter me as I went to see my good friend, Scott, at his house. It was me, Scott, and old friends of mine for a guys football night with Jeff, a tennis player in college now who could also switch hit when we were youngsters. Zach, who was a very good second baseman when he, Jeff, and I were kids on the city’s championship baseball team in little league. Jarrett, Zach’s little brother, Chris, who I’d become good friends with during sophomore English class in high school, and Carter, one of the most interesting yet at the same time, boring people I had ever met who had decided to go for the mountain man look and grown a beard.
I was thinking Dallas would win because of homefield advantage by a touchdown, but as I drove my way to Scott’s house and I was running late, I hear Brad Sham and Babe Laufenberg on the 97.5 radio station calling the game. I hear about Jason Witten reaching for the goal line and getting in for a touchdown.
I knew it had to be Dallas’ first possession on offense. That’s something that Dallas doesn’t normally do. They don’t score on the first possession often because they usually take a quarter to start to click on offense. That’s been a major problem of the past.
Yet, they are in on the first try for six points? I’m like, “Game on!”
As I get to my friends house with four jerseys, a Cowboys hoodie, a Cowboys t-shirt, my old worn out Cowboy cap; the only thing I didn’t bring was my Cowboys mug and Cowboys pajamas, I sit down to get some chips, cheese dip, and soda.
There, sitting in that amazing room filled with my buddy’s accolades, game systems, and big screen TV with a pinball machine behind the great sofa and easy chair (the only thing Scott didn’t have was a pool table), I saw the Dallas Cowboys make new history.
Despite having the greatest coach, in terms of innovation and invention, in Tom Landry, despite having five Lombardi trophies in Dallas’ glorious history, the 2009 Cowboys did what no Cowboys team had ever done. They posted back to back shutouts for the first time ever.
And even if I had known the outcome ahead of time, I still wouldn’t have believed it.
Dallas shut out the Philadelphia Eagles? The same Eagles with explosive talent all across the board. Six of their guys are in the Pro Bowl, they have a strong offensive line, an experienced quarterback in Donovan McNabb, dynamite and nitroglycerin known as DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin respectively, and a tight end who causes constant trouble in Brent Celek.
That offense had not been shut out for a half, let alone for a full four quarters. I didn’t even think that Philly could be held to seven or ten points. I thought for sure they’d put two touchdowns on their first time in Dallas’ new stadium.
Some of it was luck like a few errant Donovan McNabb passes at some key moments including one where DeSean Jackson had the entire secondary beat for six, but not even he could catch up to McNabb’s overthrown pass.
A David Akers missed field goal really hurt the Eagles and Dallas fed off that to finish with a score of 24-0. Tony Romo had every snap under center for the season, and no key injuries happened to Dallas.
This win got Dallas a playoff game at home and they know have momentum, they have belief, they have passion.
All they need now is a playoff win against the same team as last week.
That’s right. Dallas will have to face Philadelphia again, and I pray that for Dallas, the third time is not the charm for Philly. The Cowboys have all the chips in their favor except for history. The history of 13 years without a playoff win. Nothing irritates me more than the trolls of the web who constantly bring that fact to light.
It’s up to you Dallas. Let’s not make it 14 years.