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I Miss It All

footballWatching all the offseason news, from Brandon Marshall to Anquan Boldin, Jay Cutler to Brett Favre; from tragedies like our practice facility accident to the tragic and sudden loss of Air McNair. All of this made me realize I miss football. As a true fan of my Dallas Cowboys and football in general – football is indeed a part of me.

I miss the fall afternoons and the Sunday nights, the great battles of the NFC East, and even the tragedy that was the Detroit Lions last season. I miss NFL Live. I miss Devin Hester and his amazing returns. I miss Adrian Peterson and the spectacular defense in Baltimore and in Pittsburgh.

I miss the Monday Night Football enchiladas and chips and the Sunday Night bragging rights when Dallas would win. I miss arguing with my mama (who is a NY Giants fan) non-stop about who’s team is better.

But most of all I miss the game in general.

As we the fans prepare for our tailgating and our face paint and our respective teams begin the journey to their respective training camp locations – we all embark on one thing. That one goal that every team has, yet only one team a year can realize. We put ourselves and our everyday lives on the line for one day in early February, WHY??…. So our team can enjoy the life of a champion and we as fans can live that with them.

So fans, wives, daughters, husbands, sons, house pets – get ready because its football season once again!

*****GO COWBOYS*****

Football Is Here!

With the Cowboys training camp starting in a few days. I am so excited about this upcoming season. The other day I was watching ESPN and Skip Bayless was talking to Patrick Crayton. The obvious question was asked whether the Cowboys are better now than with T.O.?

The answer that came out of Skip’s mouth shocked me. Now, I can’t stand Skip but his answer was awesome! He said with the running backs that we have, which he said could start for any team. He also praised Tony and the receiving core of Witten, Williams and Crayton. The Cowboys should be the best in the NFC East or at least the second best. For once I actually agree with him.

The Cowboys running backs are just beasts. The team will get Felix Jones back. We all know what Barber can do. Tashard has shown flashes of what a great running back he could be. Tashard ran all over the Steelers defense. Now we know what Witten can do. Tony and Williams have been practicing in the off-season together. Should gel just right in time for Tampa Bay. Now Crayton and Austin should expand the defenses and gain lots of yardage.

Wade taking over the defensive play-calling should help the Cowboys tremendously. When Wade took over in the middle of last season it came alive. This season should be just as good or even better. No more Williams getting beat on pass coverage situations. The sophomore seasons of Scandrick and Jenkins will also help. Demarcus Ware will make a run at the sack record again. I think he will get it this year. Spencer will have to show us why we got rid of Ellis.

Now the Cowboys need to cement Adams feet so he doesn’t false start anymore. With that, Tony should have enough time to do what he does best (with no more Jessica distractions). My opinion is that the Cowboys will make the playoffs. If you agree with me or not, get ready for the Blue Star to make it’s name on the new stadium. How ’bout them Cowboys!!

An Early Look at the NFC East

As the NFL prepares to open training camp across the country and all fans have a new hope that good things will happen with their teams in 2009. I decided to take an early look at the NFC East. If you speak to the so-called experts you would think the Eagles are already booked for their trip to Super Bowl XLIV. Sound familiar Cowboys fans? These experts also say the Giants can overcome the loss of their best receiver, Oh, but a team like the Cowboys might as well pack it before the season even starts without their best receiver. As for the Redskins, well they tried hard to replace their QB who ownership thought was the man to lead them. Hard to imagine that not having an effect with the team.

Lets start with the Super Bowl favorite Philadelphia Eagles…They have been to the NFC Championship five times in the last eight seasons, losing four of them. They have lost their leader on defense in Brian Dawkins as well as Sean Considine and Lito Sheppard. They also might be without the man who controls the defense in Jim Johnson. On offense they lost two offensive linemen in Jon Runyan and Tra Thomas, but then went out and picked up Stacy Andrews and Jason Peters. The O-Line is a funny thing though. Will it take time for these two  to mesh with the others and form that chemistry that a offensive line needs? McNabb does have the weapons around him, He’s got some quick receivers along with new draft pick Jeremy Maclin. And if you ask any Dallas fan about Brian Westbrook, they will cringe like they just got hit in the mouth. I don’t believe Westbrook has an off button. He seems to always make the big play. The Eagles were 9-6-1 in 2008. I think the Eagles need to get off to a good start because as they hit November and December their schedule gets very difficult.

GiantsThe NY Giants…I will start with the defense like I did with the Eagles. They will be getting Osi Umenyiora back in 2009 plus they added Rocky Bernard and Chris Canty. Very good D-Line that can rotate in and out and stay fresh, but beyond that I believe their LBs are average and their secondary can be taken advantage of. They also lost their heart on defense in coordinator Steve Spagnuolo which might show some effects. On offense they have lost their top two receivers in Burress and Toomer as well as RB Derrick Ward who ran for over 1,000 yards in 2008. After losing Burress last season the Giants finished out 2008 losing 4 of their final 5 games. They have not replaced Burress and I think that will continue to effect Manning. I’m not sold on Manning to begin with. Yes, he is a good QB, but he still can very inconsistent.

RedskinsThe Washington Redskins…They started 2008 with a 6-2 record. This team just can’t seem to ever get over that hump. The have some play-makers on defense in DeAngelo Hall, LaRon Landry and new man Albert Haynesworth. Other than Haynesworth this will be the same defense which can be taken advantage of. That’s if Haynesworth can make it through an entire season without injury. On offense Jason Campbell has thoughts of Jay Cutler and Mark Sanchez going through his head which is not good. Knowing he is not the man in Washington will have an effect on his play and it does not help that his offensive line is aging and head coach Jim Zorn and RB Clinton Portis do not get along. If Campbell can get his act together he has the speedy Santana Moss to throw to as well as the always open Chris Cooley.

CowboysThe one and only Dallas Cowboys…Did you think I would forget my Cowboys. I will try to be impartial with my comments. The Cowboys defense lost Chris Canty, but replaced him with Igor Olshansky who knows Wade Phillips defense. Phillips will also be in full charge of the defense this season which I think will make a huge difference. They have replaced the secondary’s weak link in Roy Williams with Gerald Sensabaugh and Mike Jenkins and Orlando Scandrick will battle for the right CB spot to replace often beat Anthony Henry. Oh yea, the Cowboys also have the All World LB DeMarcus Ware and have added Keith Brooking who also knows the defense very well unlike Zach Thomas from 2008. I believe the Dallas defense can be one of the tops in the league in 2009 and I have a feeling the players believe that as well. On offense it’s a matter of staying injury free. In 2008 the Cowboys lost too many key players like Romo, Kosier, Barber, Jones, Austin, Hurd and McBriar. Others also played through injuries like Adams and Witten. I have a hard time believing this offense went from really effective in 2007 to inconsistent in 2008 because defenses figured out Jason Garrett’s scheme. Garrett had his hands tied with all of the injuries last season. If Dallas can stay injury free or close to it I believe the offense can be explosive in 2009 with all of the weapons they have. This is Romo’s team now. No more excuses. He needs to take control of the offense and take it to where he knows it can go. Miami or bust.

These are just some early thoughts on the NFC East. I don’t think any team will run away with the crown in 2009. It’s going to be a close race that might just come down to the final week of the season. Let the training camps open, let the two-a-days start. After the 2008 season ended I did not think I would be excited going into 2009, but I am excited about this Cowboys team. A new season,  a new hope. Let’s get this thing started!

What Team Do We Hate The Most?

What team do we hate the most?  The Redskins, Eagles, Giants, or some other team? After my last blog was ambushed by an Eagles fan it made me wonder what team do we dislike the most? I have contemplated back and forth of which team. Maybe all of them (just kidding). In my opinion, I say the Washington Redskins.

The Washington Redskins have been our rival from the beginning. Over a song. Every game we play against them is intense. Plus I think Redskins fans are obnoxious. Last year the Deadskins got a cheap win. They missed a field goal when the judges called it good. I dont know if that changed the season outcome or not, but the win-loss record would have been changed and the Eagles game wouldn’t have mattered.

Speaking of the Phliadelphia Eagles… I cant stand them either. I will make this short with them. When you win even just ONE ring then we will talk. Till then shut up and hope your team does well this year without a good defense.

The New York Football Giants… I really don’t have too much of a big beef against them. I will admit they are a talented group, but Eli looks like a poster child for retardation, the way he holds his mouth open. My girlfriend and I make fun of him and the way he looks. Two years ago when they won the Super Bowl, that was a hard year. The Cowboys being 13-3 going into the Giants game. If we could learn how to tackle the outcome would have been different. I keep replaying in my mind the missed tackle of Plaxico. You know which one I am talking about. Also the dropped pass to Crayton. Oh well, that was 2 years ago.

Then there are other teams. Pittsburgh, since they have 6 rings now. Or maybe the Patriots, with Brady back now watch out for them. Are there other teams I left out? Yeah, I did. But if it comes down to it, the Redskins I can’t stand.

When my little bundle of joy is born, I have an onesie that will say, “I have been just been born and I already hate the Redskins” – very funny. Until then – How ’bout them Cowboys!

Just A Few Thoughts

Sorry I have not been around lately, I just moved to college so I am still getting used to this new experience.

I have been able to watch ESPN the last couple weeks and a few things caught my eye.

1. Our generation’s version of Magic and Bird was interrupted at least for this year when LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers lost in 6 games in the Eastern Conference Finals to the Orlando Magic. Now I know this is not a basketball site but Kobe Bryant and LeBron James are the best basketball players in the world, but the dream match up will not happen between these two heavyweights, at least not this year anyway.

2. Greg Ellis will not be a Cowboy this season and Anthony Spencer will be stepping in to fill his shoes. Ellis has been a huge part of our recent success here in Dallas. We are truly losing a great player in number 98 but at the same time maybe it is time he graciously moved on. The Cowboys have a pretty stable LB corps with Ware on the outside and newly acquired Keith Brooking to help in the middle. Spencer has shown a lot of potential in his limited playing time here in Dallas.

3. Is our division the NFC East really as good as it is given credit for? Let’s break it down shall we.

The Washington Redskins are very much overrated and they never add too much talent, rather they over pay big names and they are unsettled at QB.

The New York Giants lost 1 of their 3 running backs that made up a great trio last year and they do not have a go-to receiver. Osi Umenyiora is a big part of this. If he comes back well from the injury their defense will succeed, if not they will not – simple as that.

The Philadelphia Eagles got to the NFC championship game last season almost by default. They ran into a young overachieving Atlanta Falcons team, who the Eagles were just smarter than. They still have no number one receiver for Donovan McNabb.

Last but not least our beloved Dallas Cowboys. Our number one receiver is Roy Williams, but do we really have confidence in the rest of our receivers, or are we trying to convince ourselves that they are good enough? Cornerback is a position of worry, just like receiver. Even though our young corners have shown more than our young receivers, outside of Terence Newman, we are uncertain.

GO COWBOYS and once again I am sorry I was not here for so long. Have a great day!

Cowboys Extra Points: Expectations

extrapts2Anthony Spencer will be the Cowboys starting strong outside linebacker with Greg Ellis out of the picture. The Cowboys didn’t officially cut Ellis but they gave him permission to seek a trade and sent him home from OTAs. Whether you agree with the move or not, it’s time to let go of Ellis.

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Rodney Hannah has a broken hand and was unable to participate in OTAs. The tight end was on the practice squad in ’08 and is looking to battle for a spot on the roster behind Jason Witten and Martellus Bennett. Poor Rodney, great athlete but this may hurt him with a fresh rookie tight end competing with him for the spot.

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The Detroit Lions picked up former Cowboy Tra Battle from waivers yesterday. The cornerback will join the team next week for workouts. Obviously the Cowboys didn’t see much in Battle.

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Rookie Asaph Schwapp was arrested last week at Dallas Love Field airport for carrying ninja stars. The young fullback collects martial arts weapons and was said to be very cooperative with police. He’s unlikely to make the team but this story was interesting (or was it).

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Jerry Jones has high expectations from his players as they open up the new stadium this upcoming season.

“This building could have been built for two-thirds of the cost, but it was about expectations. And I expect every player who ever walks on this field to play above their level.”

I think most of the players feel the pressure and expectations that come with beign a Cowboy, plus walking into that new beautiful monster of a stadium, hopefully it gives them ambition and motivation to give %150.

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Here’s an interesting one… A blogger for New York’s Newsday wants his readers to rank the NFC East quarterbacks. Of course most of his reader’s are listing Eli as number one. Give me a break! See the article here. Of course (most) New Yorkers aren’t going to give Tony Romo his due, but you and I and everyone else knows that Eli Manning is not the best quarterback in the NFC East.

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.

NFC East News: Giants Release Plaxico Burress

As reported by AP, just days after being granted an adjournment to work out his legal problems, the Giants have apparently decided they can’t wait any longer for Plaxico Burress to work out a suitable arrangement with the Manhattan District Attorney’s office that doesn’t include jail time.

Today, the club announced they have released WR Plaxico Burress…

“I am an optimist, and I believe most situations can be worked out,” said General Manager Jerry Reese in a statement released by the team. “We hung in there as long as we could in hopes that there could be a resolution to this situation other than the decision we made today to release Plaxico. It wasn’t to be, so now we have to move on. Like everybody else here, we want nothing but the best for Plaxico, and we are appreciative of the contributions he made to this franchise.”

Burress, whose career has been on hold since last November 29 when he accidentally shot himself in a Manhattan nightclub, had his hearing postponed to June 15, the day before the Giants commence their veteran mini camp. Prior to that, the Giants had indicated that they would welcome the receiver back if he agreed to meet certain conditions, and in fact, it was reported earlier this week that Burress stopped by the Stadium to receive treatment on his back.

In his four years with the Giants Burress caught 344 passes, which places him 12th on the franchise’s career list, one catch ahead of Earnest Gray and three behind Aaron Thomas. Burress had 3,681 receiving yards and caught 33 touchdown passes for the Giants.

Plaxico faces certain jail time and is probably not gonna get too may phone calls any time soon from interested teams. On the flip side of the coin, it still leaves the Giants short a number one receiver, which I’m sure they will address in the draft.

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

The Dallas Cowboys…. “Are They Fragile or Are They on the Brink of Destruction”?

Good afternoon Cowboy fans:

As I sit here at the computer trying to figure out what words I should use or what to title this article. My mind started using “Are they fragile”, “or is this team on the Brink of Destruction”? As these words kept floating in and out of my mind, my heart was telling me something different. It was telling me this is only a dream and I will wake up and everything will be alright in Cowboy land.

I was completely swept up in total amazement on Sunday, as I sat and watched what I thought was a proud Dallas Cowboy team, just being totally humiliated and “whipped”. The only thought that kept running through my mind was that of a young, frail school boy versus the big bully on the playground. I witnessed the St. Louis Rams, a team that was everybody’s “whipping post”; just dismantle the Cowboys piece by piece. The same Cowboys team, which at the beginning of the season was to be the “bully”, the “monster of the midway”, and to some they were being called “the real beast in the NFC East”.

In all the years of watching the Cowboys, I had to do some real thinking to remember when I ever saw a poorer performance. That even includes the 1989 team that finished 1-15 and ironically played who at that time a team called the Los Angeles Rams, and lost 35-31.

When it was announced this week, that Brad Johnson would be starting in the place of Tony Romo, I was one of the first that came out and said everything will be okay with Johnson, and Tony will be ready in 3 weeks when they play the Giants. Then when Johnson engineered the opening Cowboy drive for a quick 7-0 lead, I was telling myself “this will be a walk in the park”. What I didn’t know, that as the game began to unfold, I would soon realize, there would be very little more to cheer about.

This team has gone through more of a transformation than the Incredible Hulk and anyone you ask all have a different opinion, or want to give you their take on the demise of the mighty Cowboys. I do know this much though, there’s no confusion on what happened on Sunday. The Cowboy’s were out-coached, out-thrown, out-run, out-fought, out-thought, out-physicaled, and most of all out-scored 34-14. This is evidence that you can’t cover up.

I think about all the problems over and over in my mind and ask myself, “If I had to re-build this team piece by piece, layer by layer, where would I begin? Many people have different opinions and some believe that the re-building process should begin with the coaching staff. Should Wade Phillips be replaced by Jason Garrett? Is Jason Garrett also part of the problem or is the coaching solution?

Other fans are screaming for former Pittsburgh Steeler coach, Bill Cowher. Could Cowher’s coaching style in Dallas be right for these players or this organization? Bill Cowher has a reputation of being somewhat of “a steel head” that uses a hard-nosed approach, but has the player likeable type of personality.

I think from this fan’s prospective, maybe that’s what this team needs right now is a hard-nose approach? Maybe they have been “coddled”, hugged, and loved too much? There is no fire in this team, really no heat to speak of either. They seem to have had all the fire knocked out of them and have lost their desire to play the game.

Right now, the Cowboys are generating all the heat of a rain-soaked book of matches.

I did not see anything in the game on Sunday that I could write home and say was positive. We know the Cowboys played without our star quarterback and without our troubled and possibly ex-cornerback Adam Jones. We even managed to lose Roy Williams, the safety for the season again when he re-broke the forearm that he just spent 3 weeks trying to get healed.

Forty-year-old backup quarterback Brad Johnson tossed three interceptions and finished with a 45.5 QB rating. Terrell Owens had two catches for 31 yards. Roy E. Williams, the receiver, acquired in the much publicized trade with the Detroit Lions, did not even catch a cold, let alone any passes.

I can go on and on, about the problems in Sunday’s game and still not get to the part about the 8 penalties, two of which cost us touchdowns, which instead led to missed field goals. I really shiver when I think about the lost fumble, or maybe the fact the offensive and defensive lines totally broke down. I could not remember the last time our defensive line played so porous.

Ram’s running back Stephen Jackson finished with 171 yds rushing and 3 touchdowns. Jackson Texas Two-Stepped all over our defense, that at the beginning of the year, most believed books would be written about. Now it seems they just quit and want to be anywhere but playing a football game.

So is it the injuries? Is it the coaches or maybe this team is just getting very fragile? Do the players need to get back to the basics and quit worrying so much about their own individual persona? Is this the team we watched on “Hardknocks”, and everybody thought was the hottest team in the NFL?

Well Cowboy fans, I have a news flash for all of us. This Cowboy’s team is going to be hard-pressed to even make the playoffs, with virtually the same group that went 13-3 a year ago.

What truly puzzles me is that this team was built for a Super Bowl, but may very well be “on the Brink of Destruction”.

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.