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Weekly Game Balls: Week 2

With the nickname of Earth, Wind, and Fire comes 2 players on this week’s game balls.

This week’s offensive game ball goes to Marion Barber.

With the nickname of Earth, Wind, and Fire comes 2 players on this weeks game balls. The weeks offensive game ball goes out to Marion Barber. He is the “Earth” in the three headed monster of running backs by committee. MB3 ran for 124 yards on 18 carries with 1 touchdown. He definitely earned his name as Barbarian. Marion showed quickness and toughness in him we haven’t seen in a while. He would of had another score if it wasn’t for his quad tightening up. He looked just as good as any running back that played on Sunday. Barber also had 31 yards on 2 catches when Tony was not at his best
This weeks defensive/special teams game ball goes to Felix Jones.The wind of the group. Even though Felix had a fumble that the Giants capitalized on. He had 134 yards on 6 run backs. His longest run was of 38 yards. Felix showed the speed the cowboys need out of the backfield, and also had 96 yards on 7 carries. If it wasn’t for 4 yards, the Cowboys could have 2 running backs with 100 yards each.Despite the fumble Felix helped the Cowboys almost pull off the win. He scored the go ahead touchdown to put the Cowboys up 31 to30.

He is the “Earth” in the three-headed monster of running backs by committee. MB3 ran for 124 yards on 18 carries with 1 touchdown. He definitely earned his nickname as Barbarian.

Marion showed quickness and toughness in him we haven’t seen in a while. He would of had another score if it wasn’t for his quad tightening up.

He looked just as good as any running back that played on Sunday. Barber also had 31 yards on 2 catches.

Star50

This week’s defensive/special teams game ball goes to Felix Jones.

Felix is the “Wind” of the group. Even though Felix had a fumble that the Giants capitalized on, he also had 134 yards on 6 kick returns for a 22 yard average. His longest return being 38 yards.

Felix showed the speed the Cowboys need out of the backfield.

In addition, on offense Jones had and impressive 96 yards on just 7 carries. Wow!

The Cowboys nearly had 2 running backs with 100 yards each. Despite the fumble, Felix helped the Cowboys almost pull off the win. He scored the go ahead touchdown to put the Cowboys up 31 to 30.

Star50

Congratulations to Marion and Felix for their outstanding play.

Runners-up: Jay Ratliff, Jason Witten

Defense Adjusts In Second Half

On Sunday the Cowboys played the Buccaneers and in the first half, the Cowboys defense looked a little lost to me. They were giving up gains of 7-yards,14-yards to Tampa’s running back “Cadillac” Williams. I was not sure what the defense was doing.

C. Williams gained almost 80 yards in the first half and frankly, I was a little bit worried. I do not know what the problem was, but Tampa Bay was ripping off big gains in the running game and almost the same in the passing game.

The secondary had quite a few blown coverages. Even though Mike Jenkins was solid, he did give up some big gains. On most of them it seemed as though he thought he had help. He was not playing the right technique which allowed the receiver to get inside for easy catches.

In the second half the defense clamped down on the running game, however the secondary still gave up some big catches.

The coaches really have to look at this game and see what was going on. The Giants are next and we really need to be able to shut down the run and pass.

All in all the defense did enough to help us win, however we need some big improvements.

Tony Romo is Our Quarterback

I hope everyone had a great 4th of July. I worked that day but my paycheck will reflect the money, so I am alright with it.

Football is just around the corner and we will involved in the 2009-2010 season. For me, I cant wait. On the 28th, the Cowboys go to training camp, the on the 30th I find out the sex of my baby to be. So lets just say this month will be great. I won’t give away the name of our baby yet. It will be a good one for Cowboys Nation. 

Anyway, with the season fast approaching, Tony Romo will be our quarterback. I think he will take us to the ultimate level we need to be, the Super Bowl. As the years have passed since he was named the starter he has improved every year. I am very confident that Tony is “our” quarterback. 

Just for highlights of the previous seasons. In 2006, Tony threw 5 TD passes against Tampa Bay, tying the mark of Troy Aikman. But in his first game, Tony came in to play against the Giants he threw 3 INT, one returned for a TD. In 2007, Tony threw 5 INT against Buffalo on that MNF game. That game was a miracle to win. With Tony throwing that many INTs and winning the game. WOW!

Tony has been named to 2 Pro-Bowls in his 3 years of playing for the Cowboys. In that span Tony has thrown 62 TD passes. In the same time span only one quarterback has thrown the same number of passes, that was Drew Brees.

Watching the games, I see Tony make mistakes, but I also see him make big strides and flashes of what he could be as a quarterback for America’s Team. This season, as Cowboys fans, will see a more improved Tony Romo. So for now I say – “How bout them Cowboys”!

5 Possible Trades That Could Affect The NFC East

NFCI was browsing nfl.com and found this article on 5 possible trades that could happen and almost every one could affect the NFC East.

1. Braylon Edwards from Clevland to either the Giants or Eagles who have the highest need for a reciever at this point in the league.

2. Jason Peters from Buffalo to the Eagles who are currently having a huge hole at tackle and Peters could solve that issue for them, but there is the issue with him wanting to be the highest paid tackle in the league which caused a hold-out in Buffalo last year so there is no clear cut case on wether the Eagles will pay him the 11 million per year he wants or not.

3. Julius Peppers from Carolina to New England. I included this off the list because of all the rumors that he may end up in Dallas, which I highly doubt but if he did some how end up in Dallas he would be a perfect compliment to Olshanky on the other side.

4. Chad Ochocinco from Cincinnati to the Eagles or Giants, although with the drama these teams recieved from Terrell Owens and Plaxico Burress neither of these two teams would be to inclined to go for him unless they cant get Edwards from Clevland or Boldin from Arizona.

5. Anquan Boldin from Arizona to the Eagles or Giants, who ever does not get Edwards will go for Boldin and if they dont like Arizonas asking price look for Ochocinco to end up with one of these two teams for 2009.

One Down….. Two To Go!!

Going into last weeks game vs Pittsburgh you would have thought that winning 3 out of the last 4 games to go 11-5 would be enough to get in the playoffs.  After a HUGE 20-8 win over the Giants it doesn’t look like much has changed.  In fact, it looks like the only way to get in is to win the last two games! 

Now I know that we responded last night with a big effort in a must win game. But the reality of the NFL is that we now have only six days to do it again versus one of the best defenses in the league. That being said you have to like to way things are going right now. The way the defense has played over the last 6 weeks, and the last 2 specifically, have made me a believer. 

All we have to do is get in. I laugh at those who have picked apart the Cowboys December record, last year in particular. The Cowboys had everything wrapped up going down the stretch and didnt really need to win any of those games.

IF we get in (and it still is really an IF) this team will be the most prepared to make a run than any Cowboy team over the past 4 years. Our playoffs started last night. No weeks off, no time for the media to ask questions about the Super Bowl.

I think the 3-4 road record is a bit decieving. Two of those games came with Brad Johnson at QB. Look at Romo’s road record. Look at the way the defense is playing. Look at T. Choice running the ball. If we get in we will be a VERY tough out …IF we get in.

 

From where I’m sitting:

  • MB3 is tough as nails. He adds toughness to the team. BUT both F. Jones and T. Choice are better runners. We will see if they become better running backs, but either way the Dallas running game is in good hands for years to come.
  • Patrick Crayton 1 catch, T.O 3 catches, Roy Williams 1 catch… how did Romo have 20 completions again?
  • BTW, Roy Williams is a hell of a blocker.
  • The defense certainly looks a little different with a healthy T Newman, huh?
  • When is the last time a Cowboy LB has had as good a year as Bradie James?

 

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

A Win, is a win, is a win!!

I’ll take it!!! 

There is no such thing as a bad win in the NFL.  With the way things have been going around here ANY win is a good one.  This one was different.  Even the most die hard Cowboy fan (myself included) was waiting for Garcia to get a game winning TD on that last drive.  It didn’t happen.  Exhale now.  When we look back on the 2008 season yesterday may have very well been the turning point.  With visits to New York & Washington the next two games the Cowboys might not have recovered from another loss.  I know we can probably say the same thing in 3 weeks when we visit Washington.  This win was different.  There was no Tony Romo to bail the defense out.  The defense, and some Tampa penalites, saved the day and maybe the season.  We won’t know that for 8 more weeks but 5-3 sounds a whole lot better than 4-4!

From where I’m sitting:

  • Mike Jenkins- what a game!  The young CB’s really stepped up and showed they could play in this league.  If and when T New comes back  the CB position could be solidified for years to come
  • MB3 showed yesterday what a tough runner he is.  Unofficially 30 or so yards after contact.  Ran his heart out
  • I know it was only one catch but Roy Williams had the play of the game and maybe the season.  Just think if the ball was tipped in the air incomplete and the score is 6-3 instead of 10-6 at halftime.
  • Bradie James played like a man as well yesterday.  He is the leader on defense and he showed it yesterday
  • OK, not to throw cold water on a great win but the Brad Johnson tenure has to come to an end.  There is no downfield threat at all with him in the game.  Unofficially one pass deeper than 15 yards.  The Giants or any team is going to put 8 or even 9 guys up to stop Barber.  Can’t win like that.
  • Take a split in these next 2 and run.  But with the Giants at 6-1 and Wash at 6-2 and having already beat Dallas which win would you choose…..

Something is missing in Big D

The most unlikely way to finish a game may have altered the course of the whole season.  Overdramatic?  Maybe.  True…probably.  The difference between 5-1 and 4-2 may only be just one game but in the big picture this loss feels worse than just one game.  To come all the way back and have the game end on a blocked punt of all things just feels worse.  A BLOCKED PUNT!  While one loss in and of itself is not a big deal the psyche of the team is concerning.  No longer dominant at home going into this game the Boys have played much better on the road.  But now with all of the NFC East road games still to play and Pittsburgh, all of a sudden just getting into the playoffs is no longer a given. 

It was the same time last year that a dramatic win in Buffalo, in roughly the same cercumstances, had Cowboy fans thinking big..real big.  But now, just one year later, this loss could be a sign of things to come.  Again, without being overdramtic they are still 4-2 and with games against the Rams and home vs Tampa in two weeks we could be 6-2 heading into a showdown with the Giants.  But the bigger picture remains that this current edition has weaknesses, lots of them, that we supposedly corrected and are not:

  • The offensive line, the same O-line that got abused by the Giants last year, got Romo beat up again yesterday.  Also, for a 3rd straight game could not open many holes for MB3. 
  • The secondary, supposedly bolstered by M Jenkins & A Jones, could not stop K Warner in the 2nd half. 
  • Romo.  When does he stop getting his a pass for his play?  For a guy that has never won a playoff game he sure does get plenty of leeway.  Should have at least 3 more turnovers yesterday.  I know you are going say that I am crazy and to look at his stats.  Thats fine.  The numbers are there & when he is hot he is very good.  All valid and I do agree.  But Eli Manning took that next step.  B Rothersberger has as well. P Rivers also.  Maybe he needs a playoff win to do so.  But the more I see Romo with his head down moping off the field instead of the fun loving, playful, winning QB the more I see the Cowboys season ending in the same heartbreaking fashion as it did yesterday …and last year.     

Get Off the Ledge Cowboys Fans

What can we learn from a week 4 loss?

A tough loss? YES! Losing at home to a division rival? NOT GOOD!  Is this the beginning of the end for the 2008 season?  C’MON….NO!

If there were one team that any true Cowboy fan would least like to lose to it would have to be the Washington Redskins.  While falling to 3-1 and out of first place is not what many would have thought going into this weekend hope for a Super Bowl is not lost.  In fact, if you would have asked me before the season where we would have been after four games I probably would have said 3-1 and take it. 

With a home game against winless Cincinnati this week things may look different after next week.  What Sunday’s loss did to me was start to cast some doubts as far as the Cowboys ability to win at home.  As we mentioned last week Dallas is 0-5 in their last 5 December home games.  Three of the four losses last year were at home as well.  If we do not start dominating at home this may turn out to be a very difficult year.  Let’s face it: four of the best, let’s say six, teams are in the NFC East.  I feel confident that we will be able to get this game back and win a division game on the road this year.  But it does say something that I am more confident winning in New York than at home.  If we don’t get back to winning at home the road to Tampa may start and finish on the road.

 

From where I’m sitting:

  • Barber 8 carries, F Jones 0….we’re not going to win many games like that.  And if you didn’t think so before MB3 is the key to the offense (remember 2nd half vs Giants).  The offense will only be as good as the running game is. 
  • I have seen enough of Anthony Henry.  Not that he played that badly or did anything in particular on Sunday.  It’s time for M Jenkins or A Jones to take over at corner
  • Nitpicking here but can Andre Gurode please do a better job with the shotgun snaps..kills the timing of every shotgun play
  • Boy is Santana Moss a pain in the neck
  • 12 men on field??   After a timeout??  CMON!!!
  • I love Tony Romo.  After years of Q Carter, D Bledsoe, V Testaverde, R Leaf & D Henson it is nice to have a QB that can play.  That being said HE HAS TO STOP WITH THE TURNOVERS!  Sunday makes 7 straight games with an INT.  The 3rd qtr INT changed the entire game.  If he doesn’t start practicing ball security any playoff run will be a short one.

Something Still Missing………..

The 2008 season is finally here… 

However, it feels like something is missing…

Flashes of Romo to Owens on a 45-yard post pattern is something that I cannot wait for, yet something is missing. Barber bulldozing the Giants defense for a 10-yard scamper, when it should of been a 2-yard loss is something to see, yet something is still missing. So what is missing?

It’s the guy opposite Owens, someone that can instill fear into the hearts of opposing secondaries… that is what’s missing.

Last year, the ‘Boys offense broke all kinds of records. (Cowboys records that is.) No quarterback in Cowboys history has ever had the year that Tony Romo had last year. The Cowboys’ offense at times looked unstoppable and scary. So why am I complaining?

Because the reason why the Cowboys lost to the Giants last year was arguably the missing piece… a top tier second receiver.

Yes, I know we had Terry Glenn back at the end, but he looked more like Aaron Glenn. Terry Glenn was at best at 60 % last year. He never had a chance. Patrick Crayton tried to step into his place, but when it mattered most, he messed up on a route in which Romo had him targeted for the go ahead touchdown late in the game. This is not a knock on Crayton, personally I like the kid ,but lets face it… he is not the solid second receiver this team needs if they plan to go all the way this season. He is, by all accounts a solid third receiver.

I really hope either Miles Austin, Sam Hurd, Isaiah Stanback or Danny Amendola blossom this year. I hope that one of them lights it up and can compliment Owens and give the opposition another weapon to worry about. I like all our receivers, but if one of them doesn’t step up in a big way, we are in serious trouble. Imagine for some reason Owens goes down… who’ will be your number one receiver now? Crayton? Hurd? Lets get real…

This years offense is the same as last. Jerry Jones didn’t go out of his way to try and land a another starting receiver through free agency or the draft. And that is the missing ingredient that would transform the Cowboys into the best team in the NFL.

Personally, I am not comfortable with fielding the same team we had last year at the wide receiver position. Jerry Jones should have acquired a solid wide receiver whether by trade or free agency. I know that Jones would like nothing more than to leave Texas Stadium as Super Bowl Champions and go into the new stadium as defending champs. How awesome would that be? New stadium… same great tradition.

So what do you think about our receiving corps? Are you satisfied or would you like to see the Cowboys try and land another top receiver?

Cowboys Fine With What They Got

It appears as if the Dallas Cowboys are content with the current roster. Jerry Jones must know something the rest of the Dallas Cowboys Nation doesn’t. Dallas has not brought in any big name free agents or any free agents for that matter to Valley Ranch for even a visit with the exception of Zach Thomas. With those of you content with the current roster let me say this, this roster hasn’t changed much since the divisional round playoff loss against the Giants in January. All the starters that started on both sides of the ball are still there. There have been no major upgrades so far this off-season. All we have really done is signed our own free agents. Flozell “2 full starts per game” Adams got a 6 yr deal done before the start of free agency and Ken Hamlin got the franchise tag. Marion Barber and Chris Canty both got tendered. So, any of you excited so far? Personally, the loss against the Giants left a real sour taste in my mouth. It proved that we were weak in some areas and needed upgrades in others. So far, nothing has happened and I am worried guys. I can’t believe I am saying this but I am not excited so far about going into next season with basically the same team as last year. I’m not. If Terrell Owens or Terry Glenn are injured in 2008 we become an average team. If Marion Barber goes down we have an average team. Heaven forbid, if Tony Romo goes down we have a descent team. So LoneStarStruckers, are you guys fine with basically going into 2008 with the same team as last year? Let me know?     

Ferguson Traded to Miami

Today from dallascowboys.com:

The Cowboys are trading Ferguson to the Dolphins for a 2009 sixth-round pick, and the teams will swap sixth-rounders this year. Dealing Ferguson clears about $2.4 million on this year’s salary cap.

Ferguson, an 11-year veteran, signed a five-year deal with Dallas that included a $9 million signing bonus in 2005. He missed nearly the entire 2008 season with a torn biceps tendon suffered in the regular-season opener against the Giants, however, and became expendable when Jay Ratliff filled in capably for the final 15 games and signed a five-year, $20.5 million extension in December.

***

Nice move! When Ferguson got injured we were worried but Jay Ratliff did more than fill his shoes, and in the process earned himself a nice contract. Now we opened up a roster spot and have more money to deal.