Even in a Bleak Year, Cowboy Fans Have Something to Celebrate

Dallas is one of the most successful franchises in NFL history, having appeared in eight Super Bowls—more than any other team. The Cowboys won five of these games, a record unsurpassed until the Steelers won their 6th in 2009.

The Cowboys have won their divisional championship, the NFC East an impressive 21 times. With 32 years of playing in the divisional championship game out of the 50 in the team’s history, the Cowboys hold the all time record for appearances in the division championship games along with winning 21 out of the 32; based on the number of years the team has been around. It’s taken 40 more years of playing for 2 other teams to have those numbers.

Tom Landry, one of the most successful coaches in professional football history, led the club to two Super Bowl victories during the 1970s, with teams starring safety Mel Renfro and quarterback Roger Staubach. Under head coaches Jimmy Johnson and Barry Switzer, the team won three Super Bowls during the 1990s, with lineups featuring quarterback Troy Aikman, running back Emmitt Smith, and wide receiver Michael Irvin, known as the Triplets.

The Cowboys joined the NFL as an expansion team in 1960. Although the team failed to win a single game in its first season, in 1965, under Landry, the Cowboys earned their first of nine consecutive trips to the playoffs.

Let’s take a look at the history of the Dallas Cowboys, and you’ll know why they are “America’s Team”:

1966 – The Cowboys win the division championship.

1967 – The Cowboys win the division championship.

1968 – The Cowboys win the division championship.

1969 – The Cowboys win the division championship.

1970 – The Cowboys win the division championship.

1971 – The Cowboys win the division championship.

1971 – The Cowboys compete in their first Super Bowl but fall to the Baltimore Colts after a field goal in the last minute of play.

1972 – The Cowboys cinch their first Super Bowl win after defeating the Miami Dolphins 24-3.

1973 – The Cowboys win the division championship.

1976 – The Cowboys win the division championship.

1976 – The Cowboys lose the Super Bowl to the Steelers.

1977 – The Cowboys win the division championship.

1978 – The Cowboys win the division championship.

1978 – The Cowboys win the Super Bowl against the Denver Broncos.

1979 – The Cowboys win the division championship.

1979 – In one of the most thrilling Super Bowls of all time, the Cowboys fall to the Steelers 35-31 after recovering from 35-17 in mere minutes.

1981 – The Cowboys win the division championship.

1985 – The Cowboys win the division championship.

1992 – The Cowboys win the division championship.

1993 – The Cowboys win the division championship.

1993 – After a massive team re-building process, the Cowboys defeat the Buffalo Bills 52-17 in the Super Bowl.

1994 – The Cowboys win the division championship.

1994 – The Cowboys defeat the Buffalo Bills in the Super Bowl for the 2nd consecutive year.

1995 – The Cowboys win the division championship.

1996 – The Cowboys win the division championship.

1996 – The Cowboys defeat the Steelers 27-17 in the Super Bowl.

1998 – The Cowboys win the division championship.

1998 – Cowboys Extend NFL-Record with 25th Playoff Appearance – The Cowboys extended their NFL Record for postseason appearances to 25 with a 20-7 loss to Arizona in a NFC Wild Card Playoff Game at Texas Stadium on Jan. 2, 1999.

1999 – Team of the 90’s – The Cowboys close the century as the NFL’s most successful team in the decade of the 1990s. From 1990 to 1999, Dallas qualified for the playoffs eight times, won six division titles, made four trips to the conference championship game and won three Super Bowls.

2002 – On second-and-seven from the Dallas 30-yard line with 9:28 remaining in the fourth quarter against Seattle at Texas Stadium on Oct. 27, Emmitt Smith burst up the middle on an 11-yard run to become the NFL’s all-time leading rusher. With that carry, he moved past Walter Payton’s mark of 16,726 career rushing yards. Smith finished the day with 109 yards on 24 carries. By season’s end, he had extended the record to 17,162 career rushing yards.

2007 – The Cowboys win the division championship.

2009 – The Cowboys win the division championship.

Defensive Effort Was Offensive!

I promised myself last night that I would not look at anything that had to do with the Cowboys loss last night to the Giants. But the more I thought about it this morning I just had to take a closer look. I guess last night had a lot to do with my vision being blurred from the rage that was erupting inside of me.

I understand that probably every Cowboys fan in the world was excited about how the game started with two interceptions of Eli Manning for an early 10-0 lead. But let’s face it, those interceptions as nice as they were to have had nothing to do with great defense. Those balls could have been caught by the receivers and actually should have been caught in my opinion. What happened to the defense in this game? It was embarrassing to watch as things went from bad to worse.

The problems actually started for the Cowboys defense on the Giants first touchdown drive in the first quarter. Terence Newman missed a tackle on Hakeem Nicks at the Cowboys 30 yard line which allowed Nicks to get down to eight yard line. From there it was all downhill for the defense. Let’s break this down as a non professional such as myself just watching as a fan.

First Giants TD – Cowboys leading 10-0. 2nd and goal from the 7 yard line. Hakeem Nicks beats safety Gerald Sensabaugh for the TD in what was a total mismatch. If you take a close look at the defense you will not see one cornerback on the field. Does anyone expect Sensabaugh to cover Nicks? What was Wade Phillips thinking?

Second Giants TD – Cowboys leading 20-7. 1st and goal from the 8 yard line. Orlando Scandrick actually gives Hakeem Nicks an 8 yard cushion making it very easy for Nicks to position himself in front of Scandrick for the touchdown. As far as I’m concerned Scandrick needs to be removed from this team. Any unsigned cornerback out there, regardless of his age would do a better job than Scandrick ever will.

Third Giants TD – Cowboys leading 20-14. 2nd and 2 from the 14 yard line. Steve Smith actually runs right by Orlando Scandrick for the touchdown. I saw no effort on the part of Scandrick to stop Smith in any way. It was just another time that Scandrick got beat in his short career as a Cowboy.

Fourth Giants TD – Cowboys losing 24-20. Mario Manningham breaks lose down the right sideline. Gerard Sensabaugh makes absolutely no attempt to bring him down. He pretty much runs right by Manningham at the 7 yard line. Again, there was no effort from Sensabaugh and no sense of urgency to bring down Manningham.

Fifth Giants TD – Cowboys losing 31-20. Brandon Jacobs somehow gets to the outside and heads down the right sideline. Gerald Sensabaugh who is a veteran safety decides to dive high at Jacobs instead of going low. As big as Jacobs is there is no way he can be tackled by hitting him high. So what happens? Sensabaugh rolls off of Jacobs and he scores easily.

I’ve been saying it for weeks that this team is lost. Now at 1-5 and Tony Romo most likely out for the season, I see no light at the end of the tunnel for this current Cowboys team. I understand that I focused on the defense in this post, but the offense is not much better. The Cowboys have no running game due in part that the offensive line cannot open any holes. As far as pass protection it seems like the opposing defense is in the Cowboys backfield more than the Cowboys running backs.

This team lacks discipline, lacks leadership and lacks fundamentals. I would not be surprised if they just go through the motions for the rest of the season. Take a look at the schedule and think about the way the Cowboys have played this season. I can see a 4-12 or 5-11 season coming.

Now starts the coaching search as far as the fans are concerned. Who will it be? Who can Jerry Jones convince to take the job? The Cowboys have the talent and whoever is approached to coach this team will know that. Does Jerry Jones want someone who is experienced or will he be looking for that young assistant? As fans we all have our opinions on this subject. Some don’t believe Bill Cowher would ever consider coming to the Cowboys, but who would have ever thought that Bill Parcells would have come to the Cowboys back in 2003? Every time I listen to John Gruden talk about the Cowboys it’s almost like he is interviewing for the job right now. My personal favorite would be Brian Billick to coach this team. He has the resume and he can coach this team to be focused and disciplined. He can also serve as the offensive coordinator which is his specialty. Then go out and hire Jim Mora Jr. as the defensive coordinator. He also has the experience in the league over the years. I’ve watched both Billick and Mora on NFLN and they work so well together. I think it would be a good direction to go in for the Cowboys.

For now we as fans will just have to go through the rest of the season hoping for some bright spots to hold onto. After the total collapse against the Giants my hopes are not high that anything positive will come out of the 2010 season. I wish this team luck the rest of the 2010 season. I really hope that I am wrong about everything I have written about them lately, but my gut feeling tells me that I’m right on about them.

Tony Romo Could Be Out 8-10 Weeks With Broken Clavicle

Bad news Cowboys fans… Tony Romo has suffered a broken left clavicle and the team has announced that he could miss anywhere between 8-10 weeks which could essentially end his season.

Romo had x-rays in the second quarter after suffering the injury and it looks like he will need surgery.

With 12:07 left in the second quarter, Romo fired a pass to Miles Austin, then took the hard hit from linebacker Michael Boley, who was running at him unblocked, going practically full speed. Romo was down, flat on his back, until trainers came to his aid.

He was replaced by Jon Kitna, and the the crowd at Cowboys Stadium is as silent as a graveyard.

This could wipe out the rest of the season for the Cowboys, and with the trade deadline now passed the Cowboys are left to scramble for a solution.

It’s sad to see, and I don’t want to point fingers, but why did the Cowboys elect not to upgrade the offensive line, Romo’s first line of protection?

Get well soon Tony.

EA Mobile’s Madden Mondays

Hey Cowboys fans!

If you love Monday Night Football and are a big devotee of the Madden NFL 11, the mobile version, you won’t want to miss this.

Make sure you join this exciting new contest where each week a Madden NFL 11 mobile user wins an engraved iPod Shuffle.

To be eligible, players of Madden NFL 11 on iPod touch, iPhone & iPad simply need to play out the Monday Night match-up on their device, screenshot the final score and email it to Monday@ea.com. The entry that’s closest to actual score gets the iPod.

Here’s a link to the official rules and regs: http://www.eamobile.com/maddenmondays/rules

Cowboys Finally Focus On Reducing Penalties

It may have taken the Cowboys three years to figure it out, but all that matters is that they get it right in the end. According to this post in the Dallas Morning News by David Moore, The Cowboys have gone to great extents this week to try and reduce the numbers of penalties that have wreaked havoc on them the last few seasons.

The Cowboys brought in officials to work practice in an effort to cut down on the penalties that have crushed their season.

The result: “We’ve had zero penalties [on offense] the last two days,” Phillips said Saturday before the team went through a light workout. “Will that happen in a game? You’ve got a better chance of it happening in a game if you don’t do it in practice, so that’s what we’ve emphasized.

“We’ve had no false starts, no holding, no illegal formation. I mean nothing.”

Phillips said there have been a few penalties on defense and special teams and those players have been called out. It’s part of his peer pressure approach.

“They’ve really bought into it, and I think it will show up,” Phillips said. “We’re working hard on it.”

I think this is awesome… Is it enough to save the season or just a case of too little too late?

I don’t really care… What’s important is that they realize how all these penalties have ravaged their season  and that they do everything in their power to reduce them and start acting like an NFL franchise instead of a bunch of kids playing football at the schoolyard.

This team has suffered from a lack of focus and professionalism for far too long, and knowing that their finally going to do something about it is music to my ears.

Gameday Graphic: Giants at Cowboys

The Cowboys will take their 1-4 record and look for their second win against the Giants in week seven. The expectations have fallen from Super Bowl favs to early draft pick favs. However, all hope should not be lost. Fans are frustrated and demand a turnaround, all we can do is hope that the team wants the same thing. Whether you’ve lost hope of not, come Monday night, Cowboys fans will be expecting a Texas size ass-kickin’ in Cowboys Stadium against their bitter rivals!

The Cowboys matchup against the Giants this Monday night. Television coverage begins at 7:30 Central time on ESPN.

The Lone Star Struck game chat will be open all day and we invite all fans to join us as we root for the Boys and share our game thoughts. Its a great experience with fans from both sides of the ball going at it, cheering for their team. We’ve had a lot of fun and excitement in the chatroom so far this year, stop by and say hi you might find you’d like to stay a while!

Enjoy the game – GO COWBOYS!

Flashback, Cowboys vs Giants – 1985

It was a cold Sunday afternoon, late in the 1985 season when the NY Giants came to town. The Cowboys and the Giants had matching 9-5 records. The winner would capture the NFC East Division title.

The game did not get off to a good start in the first quarter as Danny White was forced to leave the game with an injury, which meant Gary Hogeboom had to take over. Hogeboom quickly went to work as he connected with Mike Renfro on a 58 yard touchdown pass. The Cowboys took the lead 7-0.

The second quarter would be a four touchdown explosion. The Giants tied the game 7-7 when wide receiver Bobby Johnson scored on a Phil Simms touchdown pass. The Giants then took the lead after Danny White came back into the game and threw an interception to Elvis Patterson at the Cowboys 33 yard line. He returned it 27 yards to the Cowboys six yard line. From there Simms threw is second touchdown pass of the second quarter, this time to running back Tony Galbreath. Giants now led 14-7 and had all the momentum.

As the second quarter continued the Giants continued to dominate. They drove to the Cowboys 22 yard line looking to increase their 14 point lead with two minutes remaining.  But it was the Cowboys defense that made a stand as Ed “Too Tall” Jones took an outside rush and beat his man. Jones did what he has done so many times in his career. He swatted a Simms pass high in the air. Jim Jeffcoat who was behind Simms saw the ball coming down and caught it on the run. Jeffcoat raced 65 yards untouched and scored to tie the game 14-14.

“I drove my man back six or seven yards trying to get to him,” Jones said.

“Phil Simms was in his throwing motion. I came over and the ball happened to come my way,” Jeffcoat said. “I think I have good hands. I haven’t dropped a pass yet. We practice tipping the ball to each other in a hot potato drill. But not like this.”

The momentum seemed to change in favor of the Cowboys with Jeffcoat’s interception return. And 46 seconds later the Cowboys scored again. As Giants punter Sean Landeta prepared to punt from his own two yard line Everson Walls applied pressure. Landeta stopped his punt and shoveled the ball forward. The ruling was an incomplete pass and the Cowboys took over on the 12 yard line.

One play after the Giants failed punt attempt the Cowboys took the lead. Danny White managed to come back into the game  and connected with Mike Renfro, who scored his second touchdown of the game and gave the Cowboys a 21-14 halftime lead. The bad news for the Cowboys was that on White’s touchdown pass he was knocked out of the game for good with a bruised left shoulder, bruised ribs and a bruised right hand from a hit by the Giants George Martin.

With the Cowboys and the Giants scoring two touchdowns each in the second quarter, they would end up going scoreless in the third quarter. On the first play of the fourth quarter Gary Hogeboom, who was back in for the injured Danny White, was knocked out of the game with a concussion by the Giants defense. The Cowboys then had to turn to third string quarterback Steve Pelluer who had not taken a regular season snap in his two years with the Cowboys.

The Cowboys offense had only managed seven yards when Steve Pelluer took over. On his second possession he drove the Cowboys 72 yards deep into Giants territory. A key play in the drive was a third and 15 from the Cowboys 48 yard line. Pelluer connected with rookie wide receiver Karl Powe on a Giants blitz for 28 yards to the Giants 24 yard line. Five plays later Cowboys running back Timmy Newsome scored from the one yard line giving the Cowboys what they thought was a commanding 28-14 lead.

The Giants were not about to give up the division title that easy. Phil Simms once again drove the Giants into Cowboys territory. With 2:09 left in the game Giants running back Joe Morris scored from the one yard line and pulled the Giants closer at 28-21.

The Giants defense forced the Cowboys to punt on their next possession. They got the ball back at their own 39 yard line with 1:37 left and two timeouts remaining.

The Giants were able to drive to the Cowboys 16 yard line with just 59 seconds left. Facing a third down it was Randy White who took an outside rush and flattened Phil Simms for the sack. On fourth down Simms attempted a pass to wide receiver Byron Williams that was intercepted by Cowboys cornerback Victor Scott at the nine yard line.

Steve Pelluer and the Cowboys offense ran out the rest of the clock and the NFC Eastern Division title was there’s. It was the Cowboys first Eastern title since 1981. There was not much celebrating after the game except for Everson Walls who had a couple of cans of Diet Coke and sprayed it on everyone. Everyone except for Coach Tom Landry that is.

“Sprayed it on everybody,” Walls said, “except for (coach) Tom (Landry). He had his hat on and was wearing a nice overcoat. I wanted to, but couldn’t.”

Tom Landry would eventually give Dennis Thurman a high five in celebration.

“He came over to shake my hand and I said, “Coach Landry, how about a high-5?’ I put his hand up, and we slapped,” Thurman said. “I don’t think he knew what it was, but he gave it to me.”

“You can’t believe the feeling,” Thurman said. “It’s exhilarating. It has been a long and tough struggle to get back to the top. We took our knocks along the way. It’s good to get the monkey off our back.”

“This feels great,” Landry said. “Winning the East was our outstanding goal this year. Nobody thought we could do it. But this is an amazing team. We can play so good, and we can play so bad. It’s kind of unusual.”

“It can’t match anything like a Super Bowl win,” Landry said. “But to win this after the disappointments of the last few years, it’s a big one. You have to win one like this before you think you can do it. Now that this team has done it, we will benefit in the future.”

“I still can’t believe I even got the opportunity to play, let alone help the team win the championship,” Pelluer said. “It’s a real thrill. Once I got the call, I knew I had to do it. There was nobody else.”

The following week which was the final week of the season the Cowboys lost to the San Francisco 49ers 31-16. They finished the 1985 season with a 10-6 record and had to travel to Los Angeles to play the Rams in the playoffs. They would end up losing to the Rams 20-0 as Eric Dickerson ran wild for 248 yards and two touchdowns.

You can see the box score of the win against the Giants here.


The Heat Is On For Michael Jenkins

Nobody can dispute how talented Cowboys cornerback Mike Jenkins is and what a positive impact he can make in the secondary when his head is in the game. But unless, Jenkins becomes more consistent and avoids the silly penalties that only take away from his overall game, he may soon find himself on the outside looking in.

The NFL is getting tough on penalties, and that can only mean bad news for a team that often leads the league in that regard.

Jenkins is currently the Cowboys’ ringleader and has been called for team-high four pass interference penalties and one illegal contact penalty.

With a heightened sense of alert on these sort of penalties, Jenkins has made himself a target and rival offenses will now try to exploit him much in the same way as they did with the original Roy Williams after the NFL banned his famous horse-collar tackle.

ESPN’s Calvin Watkins recently wrote that opposing teams are targeting Jenkins on a regular basis due to his aggressive play because if he messes up, penalty or bad coverage, it means a completion.

The New York Giants, which visits Cowboys Stadium on Monday night, will be targeting Jenkins all night and hoping it will result in some huge completions for Eli Manning who is currently tied for third in the league with 21 completed passes of 20 or more yards.

Monday will be a huge test for the Cowboys as they play a bitter rival at home, but the biggest test will be to see how Jenkins responds to what will be an all-out attack looking to exploit him.

Basically, the Giants are banking on the fact that the Cowboys will beat themselves, just as they have all season long.

You are what you are!

There has been a lot of back and forth between a lot of people the last few weeks concerning the losses to the Titans and the Vikings. The talk has been about who should be fired, who should be benched, who the next coach should be and who should be traded. As well as talk about the direction this current Cowboys team is going. I’ve put my two cents in as well since I’m not usually one to hold back on things. I’ve given my thoughts on the coaches and how I think they are too soft on the players and how the players take after the coaches with a laid back attitude.

The Cowboys currently stand at 1-4 and in last place in the NFC East. What bothers me is the thought that they are better than their record. To me this is a major problem to think that way. It just feeds into the players’ minds that maybe there are no issues with the team because of the “better then 1-4” thinking. They start thinking that if they start getting a break here and there during games that the season will turn around. If that is the thought process with the coaches and players, then nothing will be done to fix the issues that are real and they will continue to play the way they have. The position the Cowboys are in has nothing to do with breaks. It has to do with turnovers, penalties and the lack of discipline which can be traced back to the head coach.

The person I am pointing to with my current rant is Wade Phillips. He is constantly making excuses for his team instead of being tough on them and making them accountable. His latest quote I read from ProFootballTalk.com kinds of sums up what I’m talking about.

“I guess we think we’re a better 1-4 team than some teams that are 1-4” Phillips said. “I mean mentally. They don’t think they might not win the next game. Gosh, we might not win this next one. This team thinks . . . I still think they think they’re going to win this next game.”

This Cowboys team is a reflection of their head coach and that is not a good thing. The whole Wade Phillips quote bothers me and I believe he is the root of their problems. I won’t go into a whole big rant because the situation has already been beaten to death. Until this teams mindset is changed I believe they will continue to do the same things on the field that got them to where they are now. It was Bill Parcells who always said that you are what your record says you are. Well, that record is 1-4 and nothing more until people start waking up.

The Sum Of Our Season

43 PENALTIES FOR 409 YARDS!!!!!!!!!

GOOD BYE WADE!!!!!!!!!!

Lets Stop Fooling Ourselves…

After another disastrous display of a team lacking discipline, focus and determination, the Cowboys continued along their downward spiral into oblivion on Sunday, as the Minnesota Vikings beat them 24-21.

It’s so sad to see a team with so much talent simply squander away prime years with Romo at the helm. What I mean by prime years is that next season Tony Romo will be 31 years old. How many more seasons does Romo have left in him? Aikman retired at age 34…

There’s no discipline on this team whatsoever. Only one week removed from an excessive celebration penalty which was the prelude to a loss against the Titans, Miles Austin draws the same penalty again today against the Vikings.

In that same Titans loss, cornerback Mike Jenkins collects two costly pass interference penalties that led to first downs and two scores. This week, with less than two minutes on the clock and the Cowboys desperately needing the ball to try and tie or win the game, he draws the same penalty on third and long essentially sealing the Cowboys fate and ensuring a 1-4 record.

This lack of discipline stems from poor leadership and an unwillingness on behalf of the players to learn from their mistakes, especially the costly mistakes.

You can’t fire the entire team, but you can certainly fire the coaches and build for a better tomorrow. This team needs a major shake-up… a fire lit under their asses… a wake-up call…

We’re not gonna start waiving or releasing players as some are calling for in the fanbase. Romo isn’t going anywhere and neither is Mike Jenkins or Mark Colombo… and incidentally, they are not the problem…

Our problem lies squarely upon the shoulders of our coach Wade Phillips. It doesn’t require a degree in rocket science to figure out why Wade Phillips has only won one playoff game in 11 years as a coach. You either have it or you don’t. Wade clearly doesn’t.

How much longer do we have to endure this gut-wrenching soap opera until someone finally spares us and pulls the plug?

Gameday Graphic: Cowboys at Vikings

I’d say this is a must win, but honestly every game is in a 16 game season. Both teams have several important names on the injury report this week, with Brett Favre being at the top for the Vikings and Dez Bryant for the Cowboys. We all know that Tony Romo has plenty other receiving weapons to target however a broken down Brett Favre could harm the Vikings offense tremendously. And that’s just what the Cowboys need. DeMarcus Ware could have a heyday in Minnesota today.

The Cowboys matchup against the Vikings this afternoon. Television coverage begins at 3:15 Central time on FOX.

The Lone Star Struck game chat will be open all day and we invite all fans to join us as we root for the Boys and share our game thoughts. Its a great experience with fans from both sides of the ball going at it, cheering for their team. We’ve had a lot of fun and excitement in the chatroom so far this year, stop by and say hi you might find you’d like to stay a while!

Enjoy the game – GO COWBOYS!