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An Early Look at the NFC

We have been waiting and waiting for months. Now the wait is just about over. The Cowboys report to training camp tomorrow and their first practice is Saturday. As the next week goes by all the other teams will also open up training camps and most will have their sights set on Super Bowl XLV in Cowboys Stadium next February. It’s the start of a new season with new hopes and dreams. So who are the favorites in 2010 and who will be the disappointments? Here is an early look at the NFC.

NFC Favorites

  1. New Orleans. The Saints need to be at the top of the list simply because they are the defending Champions. Someone needs to knock them off the top of the mountain. As far as talent and leadership the Saints are no different from last season. They are explosive on offense, which helps when it comes to their 25th ranked defense.
  2. Minnesota.They are rated above the Cowboys because of how easily they beat the Cowboys in the playoffs. Most people are tired of the so called “Favre Watch”, but if he comes back they will still have a potent offense. If Favre shocks everyone and retires, then the Vikings as a team fall a few spots in the rankings. Their defensive line is one of the best, if not the best in the league, but their secondary is suspect at times.
  3. Dallas. No major changes for the Cowboys during the off-season. They have the talent in place on offense and defense to go along with some playoff experience. Tony Romo had a great 2009 season, minus the Giants game early in the season. I think the offensive line will be fine with Doug Free taking over for Flozell Adams. The major question is how will Alan Ball be at safety?
  4. Green Bay. Aaron Rodgers has become one of the best quarterbacks in the league. He has a lot of offensive weapons to choose from as long as his offensive line can protect him. The defense played very well last season as they went from a 4-3 to a 3-4. A few losses in 2010 on defense like Johnny Jolly and Aaron Kampman may hurt them.
  5. NY Giants.I tried my best to find another team in the NFC I could put at number five, but I kept coming back to the Giants. Eli Manning seems to always find the open receiver when he needs a big play and they Giants have a lot of weapons at receiver. Was Brandon Jacobs really hurt in 2009? That will be the big question for this offense in 2010. The defense just seemed to give up last season as they allowed over 40 points in three of the last four games. That prompted the Giants to hire new defensive coordinator in Perry Fewell.

 

Disappointments

  1. Philadelphia.Franchise quarterback Donovan McNabb was traded in the off-season. No more Brian Westbrook in the backfield. I think the Eagles are going to take a step back in 2010. They are handing the offense to unproven quarterback Kevin Kolb. Their defense is not the force it once was as the Cowboys showed in beating them in back-to-back weeks, outscoring the Eagles 58-14.
  2. Arizona.The Cardinals lost their heart when Kurt Warner retired after last season. Matt Leinart has done nothing that says he can lead this team. They also lost dependable receiver Anquan Boldin to free agency. The defense lost a few pieces as well with the departures of linebacker Karlos Dansby and safety Antrel Rolle.
  3. Chicago.I’ve read a lot of good things about the Bears this off-season. How Jay Cutler is going to be better now that new offensive coordinator Mark Martz is there. How the signing of Chester Taylor and Julius Peppers has improved the team. But head coach Lovie Smith likes to run the ball and Mike Martz likes to throw the ball. Could be an issue as the season moves along and the winter weather enters the picture. The question is also whether Peppers really wants to be in Chicago or was it the money that attracted him there?

Interesting

  1. Detroit.I’m interested in seeing the Lions this season. I know they have combined for only two wins the last two seasons, but this team has some talent. Especially on offense with Matthew Stafford going into his second season and Calvin Johnson becoming one of the best receivers in the league. Stafford also has a quality tight end in Tony Scheffler to go to now. The Lions drafted speedy Jahvid Best to ignite the running game. On defense they added cornerback Chris Houston, defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch and defensive tackle Corey Williams through free agency. The Lions also added defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, who was the second overall pick in the draft.

Weekly Game Balls: Week 10

Honestly, I didn’t even want to give away a game ball this week. Truly standout performances were non-existent and hard to find. And while some may argue that Roy Williams and his 105 yards deserved the honor, it clearly illustrates why numbers alone does not dictate a solid performance.

This week’s offensive game ball goes to Dallas Cowboys Fans.

After four straight wins, we knew it would be a tough challenge for the Cowboys in Lambeau Field, but nobody could have predicted such an impotent display of offense against the Packers.

We deserved better… and though at times the Cowboys showed some fight, most of the time they were getting pushed around and knocked to the ground as evidenced by the five sacks on Tony Romo.

So for your unwavering support and undying loyalty, we are pleased to award you the fans this weeks Game Ball.

Thanks for always supporting the Silver and Blue through good times and bad.

Star50

This week’s defensive/special teams game ball goes to DeMarcus Ware.

This one was a lot easier than the offensive game ball, and I thank DeMarcus for that.

Ware is back to his old self and registered two more punishing sacks against the Packers’ Aaron Rodgers.

He added six tackles to his tally and once again he has become one of the most feared linebackers in the NFL.

Quarterbacks Be-Ware!!!

Star50

Way to go to Ware and Cowboys fans!

Honorable Mention: Anthony Spencer, Mat McBriar

Packers Break Cowboys’ Winning Streak, Dallas Loses 17-7

The Cowboys winning streak came to a halt today as the Packers beat the Boys 17-7. It was a strong defensive game on both sides but penalties, injuries and missed opportunities ruined the day.

green bay dallas

The most painful thing to come from this loss will be the hole that Marc Colombo leaves on the offensive line. Colombo went down in the first quarter and later it was learned that he suffered from a broken fibula. Doug Free came in to replace Colombo and immediately failed to protect Romo.

There was an injury scare with Bradie James who returned to play, and Ken Hamlin left the game with an ankle injury.

Another stinger was an arm injury to corner Mike Jenkins. He returned to play but left again for good after a few minutes.

Tony Romo also took a beating from the Green Bay defense taking five sacks, while Aaron Rodgers was sacked 4 times by Dallas. Romo ended the day 24 of 29 completions, 251 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

Roy Williams caught 5 passes for 105 yards and a touchdown. Sounds good right? No, not really. He also fumbled what would have been a 41-yard completion along with a dropped pass that could have been a game changer.

Luckily the Cowboys were able to score a touchdown in the final seconds to avoid getting shutout for the first time since December 14, 2003.

The running game was basically nonexistent. The three-headed monster combined for a measly 45 yards.

Defensively things were looking pretty good, just not good enough when your offense can’t produce and injuries sideline your starters. DeMarcus Ware had two sacks and Bobby Carpenter and Stephen Bowen recorded one sack each. Jay Ratliff was quiet, however Anthony Spencer stepped up and made several great plays.

Dallas has to pray that their injuries aren’t as bad as they seem. Of course Colombo is likely out for the season, but Jenkins and Hamlin should be able to return.

The Cowboys move on with a 6-3 record, still leading the NFC East and come back home to play the Washington Redskins for the first time this season.

Luckless in Lambeau?

This Sunday, the Packers will host the Cowboys at Lambeau Field for just the sixth time in the history of the two clubs.  At Lambeau, the Cowboys have never tasted success.  Our record against the Packers has been great when we play them at Texas Stadium and we have had wins against them at Milwaukee (where the Cheeseheads have occasionally played some home games).

In the five previous meetings at Lambeau, here’s how things turned out:

Nov. 13, 1960 – Cowboys 8, Packers 41

Dec. 31, 1967 – Cowboys 17, Packers 21  (the Ice Bowl)

Oct. 8, 1989 – Cowboys 13, Packers 31

Nov. 23, 1997 – Cowboys 17 – Packers 45

Oct. 24, 2004 – Cowboys 20, Packers 41

As you can see, the Boys have been pretty luckless in Lambeau so far.  Will Sunday be different?  I think so.  It seems as if last season and this one have both been seasons of “firsts” and “lasts” for the Cowboys and our young leader, Mr. Romo.  Personally, I think the key to victory in Green Bay this Sunday will be the arm of our young Wisconsin native.  Perhaps it will take a young man who grew up in Burlington, Wisconsin to break the jinx of Titletown, U.S.A. and warm up the “Frozen Tundra” for a first Cowboy victory.  So – no pressure Tony – but we’re countin’ on ya.

The Packers don’t have Brett Favre anymore.  We all know that.  To paraphrase the Packers management, “The Favre Train has left the building.”  He now plays for the New York Bretts, leaving the reigns of the Packer season in the hands of Aaron Rodgers.  Rodgers has looked good thus far, but the season is early, and the Packers haven’t played a team with the kind of talent the Cowboys have. 

Also, Rodgers did look good when he replaced Favre last year against the Cowboys at Texas Stadium – just not good enough.  Many in the media are singing the praises of the new Packer starting QB – calling Lambeau field “Mr. Rodgers Neighborhood.”  However, like Bill Parcells once said, “Let’s put away the anointing oil.”  It’s early.  Romo may have something to say about who the real sheriff in town is.

Mr. Rodgers Neighborhood?  I don’t think so.  Perhaps we, as Cowboy fans should sing the song together and add a new twist.   Hopefully, you are old enough to remember the original show on PBS.  If not, here’s how it goes with a final change to the ending:

It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood…

A beautiful day in the neighborhood…

Won’t you by my…

Won’t you be my…

VICTIM!!!!!

Fair warning to our dear “neighbors” in the north – you’re going down.  Go ahead and nail up the sign “Cowboys Owned” over the Lambeau label.  The “Favre Train” has left the station and the current “Rodgers Trolley” just doesn’t have the “umpf” to pull the hill.

2-0 Not Bad Cowboys….Not Bad

Hey Guys,

Sorry for the long layoff first of all. Started a new job and been trying to finish up some more Cowboy Graphics I have been doing. I would just like to give you guys my perspective on how things have been materializing for the boys from Fredooch’s point of view for the first 2 games.

First off, The offense looks great. Romo looks like he is in mid-season form and T.O. looks like he has actually gained a step. Marion is still running hard and Felix Jones looks like the steal of the draft so far…Mendenhall who? Witten looks like he is on his way to another pro bowl and Terry Glenn has not been missed so far. As far as the defense goes, it looked great against Cleveland and seemed to disappear for 3 quarters on Monday night. Pacman still looks like he is shaking off some rust and Greg Ellis and Demarcus Ware look like beasts.

If I had to grade the Cowboys so far, I would give them a B. The Offense gets an A with the defense getting a C+. I know some of you guys will not agree with me on this one but I am just giving it from a non-bias persective. I hope the defense really steps up and has all the talent in the world to do so. I am sure they will be on par with the offense sooner or later.

Also, I will be attending the Dallas Cowboys home game on October 26 against Tampa Bay. I recently bought a $1000.00 camera just for the occassion and a 4 gigabyte memory card just for that specific event. I hope I get to meet some of you native Dallas fans there. Hit me up with an email.

On to this Sunday night against Green Bay. In all honesty guys, Green Bay does not make me nervous at the very least. Sure, they have a good young quaterback in Aaron Rodgers and some descent cornerbacks but I believe Dallas will win this one by the 3rd quarter. There is just way too much talent on offense with us and they can’t contain us for 4 quarters. Dalas wins this one 34-17. Romo should go 3 straight games with 300 yards and Witten should have another big night. Speaking of Witten, that guy is a warrior. He had a slightly seperated shoulder and was still able to take over the game in the middle of the field against the Sheagles. Witten won my total respect Monday night. Its not like he didnt have it to begin with. If the Boys can muster a W this Sunday night, I honestly believe they can go 7-0 all the way leading up to the November 2nd meeting against the Giants. The Boys play the Deadskins, Bengals, Cardinals, Rams and Bucs, in that order next. All those games are winnable. At the same time we shouldnt really get ahead of ourselves but I wouldn’t be surprised the boys are the only undefeated team come Week 8 of the NFL season.

I am still nervous about our recieving corps. I hate to think what would happen if Owens went down, Knock on wood! I still believe Jerry Jones needs to trade or acquire another veteran reciever to compliment Owens on a more broader scale than Crayton does. Hopefully will will go through the wholw season with a healthy Owens but Jerry has to have a back-up plan to prepare for the worse.

 

I have created about 6 new Dallas Cowboys graphics since the season started. I know some of you guys appreciate the fact that Kelly, Tiffany, I and some other Satffers here on StarStruck create graphics for all Dallas Cowboys fans everywhere and I’m sure all of us here appreciate you guys for it. It was funny, but the other day I had a business meeting at a place of business and I noticed that one of my graphics that I had created was plastered on someone’s desktop at that place of business. I was so surprised and dumbfounded by it so I will continue to create some more. Anyways, check out my myspace page at www.myspace.com/fredooch and tell me what you think. Send me a friend request as well. In any case, thats all I have for tonight guys, Talk to you all later soon. Fredooch!