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Cowboys Tough Start to Season, Early Analysis

martellus1

The NFL schedule has been released and it makes for some good day dreaming and predictions for all……I had to join in the fun and share with all of you all.

In my early opinion, it is a tough schedule. There are 3 occasions where we have back-to-back road games, we have an early bye week, and travel to New York in December, that ugly stadium is never a good place to be at any time of the year, but especially in the dead of winter.

I also noticed that we play two teams that I think are going to make a step up this year in Seattle and Kansas City. I will hold out on my overall season prediction, because it can be so subjective and things can change so rapidly in the NFL,  but here is my take on the first “quarter” of the season:

WEEK 1 – @ Tampa Bay - The Boys start the season on the road for the second straight year. This should be like last year’s opener, a convincing win. The Buccaneers are in rebuilding mode, Dallas should be ready to get things started on the right foot. A slow start with a big second half should end in a 31-13 victory. RECORD: 1-0 (0-0)

WEEK 2 – vs NY Giants - The NFL did us no favors with the G-Men opening up the new stadium in Arlington. A tough matchup every time, the Giants will be fired up to ruin our party on national TV.  In a playoff atmosphere, The Boys will be hoping to show an improved run defense and it will be imperative in this game. This is truly a toss-up, but you have to believe we will pull off a thrilling win in the opening game in our new house, 27-24. RECORD: 2-0 (1-0)

WEEK 3 – vs Carolina – A tough follow-up to the emotional home opener, on Monday Night Football to boot. The Panthers will be attacking the Boys new-look secondary with Delhomme and Steve Smith, and it could make for a long night. Romo shines on the big stage but it won’t be enough as the Cowboys take their first loss of the season, and in the new house, and over-reaction ensues as it becomes official that we won’t go undefeated due to a 31-27 loss. RECORD: 2-1 (1-0)

WEEK 4 – @ Denver - We travel to the Mile High city fresh off the first defeat and face a Broncos team minus their pro-bowl QB and long time head coach, I anticipate they will be starting to find their footing by week 4 and it makes for a tough game, on the road. We look sluggish in the first hald but then turn loose the rushing attack to grind out a nail biting victory and the Cowboys nation rejoices in a 3-1 start thanks to a 17-10 win. RECORD: 3-1 (1-0)

WEEK 5 – @ Kansas City………………….

I am just very glad to see the dates and times that we will all be gathered around our TV’s or local sports bars or maybe even the beautiful new stadium for the lucky few, all living and dying with every play. All I know is that it is 148 days until we take the field in Tampa Bay for Game 1. It will be another great season of Cowboys Football and make sure you check in here at Lonestarstruck.com for all the best information and hottest graphics all season long!!

Cowboys Fan for Life – TD

Pursuit of Perfection Fails to Finish

In the end 18-0 was just not enough.  18-1 doesn’t earn you a Championship when the loss comes in the last game.  You have to be able to finish to claim the title of Superbowl Champions.  I think it was Fox announcer Curt Menefee that I heard say, “The Patriots came in undefeated while the Giants came in undaunted.” That just about sums it up. As many of you know, I was rooting for the Giants in this game while many of my other Cowboy friends wanted the Pats to finish their season undefeated and go down in history (while many Cowboy fans also couldn’t have cared less).  I really didn’t think the Giants would accomplish this, but my hat is off to the G-Men.  They had a job to do and did what no other team has been able to do this season.

The Giants defense was definitely the key in this game.  The defense was able to put so much pressure on Tom Brady that the Pats were never able to get in rhythm and stay there.  Brady was sacked 5 times and hit 9 other times while throwing the ball.

As Cowboy fans, why should we care?  Well, here are my thoughts for what they’re worth:  The Giants defense pressured Brady just like it did Romo in our last game against the Giants.  While many people have wanted to play the blame game and not give the Giants credit for the win over the Cowboys, I for one, will do so. Our loss to the Giants had nothing to do with Jessica Simpson, or Mexico, or assistant coaches being distracted. Jessica didn’t play in the game.  The game took place in Dallas, not Mexico.  The coaches didn’t drop the balls, botch the plays, or fail to protect Romo.  Like T.O. said in his interview after the game: “We lost as a team.”

Protection was something Brady would have loved to have had yesterday. The Giants defense just kept getting into the backfield and I’m sure that Brady was hearing footsteps coming up behind him on every play by the end of the game. I don’t blame Brady for this loss and I don’t blame Romo for ours.  A quarterback is one man, while a win/loss is a team effort. The Giants outplayed the Patriots, and, much as it pains me to say it, they outplayed the Boys.

I do take some consolation in the fact that the Patriots will not be considered “The Greatest Team of All Time” now. They are just one of the other 31 teams who failed to finish.

One final thought for what it’s worth: Our Cowboys played the Giants three times this season, winning two, but losing the one that counted. The Patriots played the Giants twice this season, winning one, but losing the one that counted.  If you add up the score of the Giants v. Patriots games you come up with 8 quarters of football and a final cumulative score of 52-52.  The Cowboys, on the other hand, played 12 quarters of football against the Giants and finished with a final cumulative score of Cowboys 93-Superbowl Champions 76. Now, I know that’s not much consolation to my Cowboy friends out there but I find some satisfaction in it (not much, but some….).  Should we have beaten the Giants at home and advanced further in the playoffs? Yes, we should have, but we didn’t.  Could we have beaten the Patriots in the Superbowl?  Yes, I think we could have, but that question will have to remain unanswered.

To the Patriots, I say, we Cowboys know how you feel.  It’s tough to have so much promise and potential and fall short at the end.  We know…..

To the Giants, who have not, and probably will not, get the respect they deserve from most, I tip my hat to you on a good season and the ability to finish well. Wear your crown proudly. You are Champions and I freely admit it. 

However, keep your ears to the ground during the offseason. Down in Texas, horses are getting re-shoed and saddles are being polished. If you listen closely, you will begin to hear the thunder of distant hoof beats and the crack of whips.  All too soon, you will see Stars on the horizon.  It’s not your fan club coming to pay homage.  It’s a cattle drive decked out in Silver and Blue coming to trample you and take your crown.  So, enjoy this one Giants. We’re thinking of you here in Texas.  Can’t wait to see you.

Contributed by Rich Isaacs

 

Giants and Cowboys Have an Appointment With Destiny

The New York Giants defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers today in the NFC wildcard game, advancing the Giants to the next round. The G-men will travel to Texas Stadium to face the #1 seed Dallas Cowboys in the NFC Divisional Playoffs. The game will be Sunday at 3:30 p.m. central standard time.

The Cowboys and Giants have met twice this year, both times resulting in Cowboys’ wins. The two teams started off their seasons with a rivalry match-up on the first NFL Sunday Night game of 2007. The Cowboys came away with a huge victory, 45-35. The 90 points scored were the most in a Giants-Cowboys match-up in history. In addition, Dallas scored the most points in a season opener since 1971, a year in which the Cowboys won their first Super Bowl Championship.

The second game played by the two teams the Cowboys also came away with the "W" with a score of 31-20. Dallas scored a touchdown in every quarter plus a field goal in the 2nd quarter. The Giants had the ball nearly 10 minutes longer than the Cowboys but just couldn’t seem to click.

On December 17th the Giants suffered a huge loss when Jeremy Shockey was placed on injured reserve ending his season. They also have 9 other players out for the year plus 10 more on the injury report this past week. They will need to really focus and bring their top game if they plan to match up against the Dallas Cowboys.

On the other hand, the Cowboys need to come into this game level-headed and full-hearted. Other than determining home field advantage and bracket spots, the playoffs give every team a clean slate. Tony Romo needs to play like he did early in the season and prove to the nation that he is among the big game quarterbacks.

If the ‘Boys do everything right and play like they did all season, with exception of the last 3 games, they’ve got it in the bag. The Dallas Cowboys have the opportunity to go all the way, it just depends on how bad they want it as a team. I have a great feeling they want it so bad they can taste it! Go Cowboys!