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.



  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?


  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.

I’m Sorry, Did You Say You Were A Real Fan?

Monday, December 14, 2009 (Day after losing to the Chargers)

Mike: How can these guys play such a bad game? They knew how important this game was after losing to the Giants last week.

Dan: I know. That’s two in a row. Another great December run for the Cowboys! They’re done!

Mike:I just don’t understand it. Romo and Phillips needs to go! I can’t watch this team anymore!

Dan: Agreed. No way they make the playoffs, again!!

Monday, January 4, 2010 (Day after beating the Eagles and winning the East)

Mike: Oh man, did you see our Boys beat up those Eagles?

Dan: I knew they could do it. They are the team to beat right now in the NFC. No doubt!!

Mike: You know it. Phillips has our defense playing great right now.

Dan: Our Boys have everything it takes to make a Super Bowl run. Look out!!

*Names have been changed for their own protection*

I’m sure we all know these kinds of people. They bash the teams they say they are die-hard fans of one minute and then praise them the next minute. They always want to go and hide when the team loses and then want to shout from a roof top when they win. These are not true fans. These are what I like to call “Bandwagon fans”. I’ll be the first to admit that I get upset when the Cowboys lose and I will also talk about if someone didn’t play well or made a mistake. To give up on a team you say you are a die-hard fan of when things are not going right and then jump back on board when they are going right is just wrong. It just does not make sense to me when people do that. Be true to the team that you say is your favorite and support them through the good times and the bad times. That is what makes you a real die-hard fan.

I worked with a person last season who said he was a die-hard NY Giant fan. He was “Big Blue through and through” in his words. He loved them and would not stop talking about them when they were 5-0 last season, but after they started losing and giving up 40+ points in games he hated them. He didn’t want anything to do with them. They had become a horrible team and he did not want to be associated with them. As the season went on he jumped onto the NY Jets wagon and not a word about the Giants came from his mouth. Then a week after the Super Bowl it was no longer about the Jets because his cube at work was now decorated in New Orleans Saints colors. How can someone call themselves a die-hard fan of any team when they can’t stick to one team? This person went through three teams in one season. Each time saying he was a die-hard fan of each team, but only when they were winning. I’m happy to report that I no longer work with that person.

It actually gets me mad to the point I have to walk away because talking to these kinds of people is useless. They just don’t get the true meaning of being a diehard fan of a team. During the 2007 season I knew someone who wanted Tom Coughlin fired from the NY Giants. This same person wanted Eli Manning benched and Jared Lorenzen to be the starter. Of course when the Giants went on to win the Super Bowl that season, then Coughlin became a great coach and did a great job with the team and Manning was the greatest quarterback ever.  

As a fan you also have the right to criticize players and coaches. Everyone does it during a long season, but at the same time you cannot give up on a team. As a Cowboys fan I’ve suffered through three straight championship losses in the 1980s. A three win season in 1988 as well as a one win season in 1989. It was beyond frustrating at times, but when they became the team of the 90s it was great. Why? Because I knew deep down that I never gave up and never stopped being a die-hard fan.

I’m always asked during baseball season if I’m a Yankees fan or a Mets fan. I always say that I’m not a fan of either. I watch both teams and I want both to do well. That makes me simply a person who follows baseball, but I am not a fan of either team. I cannot call myself a fan of either NY baseball team when I enjoy watching both teams. Either someone is a fan or they are not. Someone cannot be a Yankees fan and a Red Sox fan or a Mets fan and a Phillies fan. How about if someone said they were a die-hard fan of the Cowboys and the Giants? If you were a die-hard fan yourself I’m sure you would look at that person like they were crazy.

Being a true diehard fan of a team is the greatest thing in the world. There is nothing better than feeling like you are part of a team and believing that you are going through what they are going through. To all the diehard fans (and you know who you are), I say keep it up. For all those bandwagon fans (and you know who you are), I share this poem with you that was written for bandwagon fans that I’m around every day.


As we continue on with this NFL season.

A Bandwagon fan is among us with no reason.

He smiles when they win and hides when they lose.

He can’t tell you the player’s names,

But knows enough with the Internet and news.

He’s a Bandwagon fan through and through.

Please stay safe because all that jumping can be brutal.

Never a dull moment in a Bandwagon fans life,

Most likely because he can’t decide which team is right.

It gets a little confusing week after week,

To those Bandwagon fans who love to leap.

Stay on or Stay off.

That it always the question.

It all depends on the score the day after.

So I plead and I beg to the Bandwagon fans,

Stop rocking the cart and become a real fan.

Cowboys Have the Talent to Contend in ’09

The minute the schedule was released, the media went haywire attacking the Cowboys and predicting a disappointing season. As a change of pace, here is a comment that does quite the opposite.

Vinnie Iyer of Sporting News talks about the final four in 2009. Here’s what he had to say about one of the two NFC teams to make the list, The Dallas Cowboys:

“Now it gets interesting. In the past two years, we’ve had Giants-Packers and Eagles-Cardinals as the NFC’s championship game matchup. Not only it is hard to predict which team will make the playoffs in this conference, but the seeds also don’t mean anything.

So why not go with a third different team from the NFL’s best division, the NFC East? With Owens out of town and the team dumping some off-field baggage, the Cowboys are in position to open their new stadium in style. The defensive talent, led by DeMarcus Ware, is Super Bowl worthy. The key is becoming more efficient and balanced offensively, and helping that carry over to the entire team.

The passing game won’t lose too much once Roy Williams gets on the same page with Tony Romo, but without the crutch of T.O., the ‘Boys will lean more on a strong rushing attack as the ideal complement to their defense. Going back to the basics of pounding away with Marion Barber and Felix Jones to set up the pass will turn Dallas from a disappointing non-playoff team to the contender it should have been.”

If there was ever a time to rally the troops…

Hard to see this one coming. Think back to Sunday night September 21. Dallas was rolling over Green Bay in Lambeau. Tell me you didnt at least have the thought of an undeafeated season in your head. Best team in NFC AND NFL. Make your reservations for Tampa.  Hard to believe that was only six short weeks ago. 

Oh, how the mighty have fallen.  

Now 5-4 and in last place in the NFC East and, as hard as it is to believe, the playoffs are far from a sure thing.  Sure the starting QB missed some games. Terrence Newman & Felix Jones being out hurt too.  But all of the Cowboys woes can’t be placed on injured players being out.  There were plenty of signs in the Arizona game that this team was flawed. All this talent and 5 wins in 9 games ?  Where do we go from here?

After all the injuries, poor play and coaching, the PacMan Jones saga and a rough start in the division the season can still be saved!!  One win in Washington can save the season.  Next Tuesday the practice field should look more like the 2008 Cowboys were supposed to:  Romo, Newman, Kosier, F. Jones, A. Spencer and Roy Williams.  Two weeks to rally the troops.  Two weeks to save the season!

From Where I’m Sitting:

-Brad Johnson.  Seems like a nice guy.  Too bad his last NFL pass had to be an interception.

-Finally hit me after 8 weeks yesterday how big a loss the Kyle Kosier is.  Without trying I saw Cory Procter get beat 4 times yesterday

-I really hope that we didn’t waste a first round pick on Roy Williams for 3 catches. I understand that it is unfair to judge him on 3 games with Brad Johnson but lets hope he can make more plays with Romo

-What was Mike Jenkins thinking on the last Giants TD run? 

-I know I’m reaching but did anyone else want to see an onside kick at 28-14?

-I say it every week that I love MB3…but we sure do miss Felix Jones

-Not sure that Witten had a catch yesterday…but man it should say something that he even gave it a go yesterday with a bye coming up..

Home Sweet Home

What a nice Christmas present, huh Cowboys fans! With Green Bay’s loss to Chicago today, the Cowboys have clinched home field advantage throughout the playoffs. No matter the outcome of week 16’s games, the Cowboys will have the comfort knowing they will be home because they defeated the Packers back in November.

Dallas has not been the No. 1 Seed in the NFC since 1995, which is also the last time they won a Super Bowl. Coincidence? Only time will tell!

Following the last game of the regular season next week, the Cowboys won’t play again until January 12-13 for the NFC Divisional round. This will give some of our recently banged up players a chance to rest up and get ready.

"This weekend’s results give me a great feeling of pride in the job that has been done by our players and our coaching staff," Jerry Jones said in a statement. "I am particularly pleased for the Dallas Cowboys fans who have given us so much support. They are truly deserving of being able to share in the experience of bringing NFL playoff football back to Texas Stadium. We know that our home crowd will make a positive difference in the outcome of our games in January."  

Way to go Cowboys!


From Romo to Owens, We’ve Come A Long Way

What a great feeling it is to be a Cowboys fan! Can you believe we are 9-1! We have many reasons to be happy, and very few to complain about. But I have a huge complaint I want to share with all of you. Where is the love? Where is the respect?

The Dallas Cowboys have won 9 of their last 10 games. They have more than proven what they can do, and done it with class. But everytime you turn on ESPN or check out news around the internet, they are being bashed. Excuses are being thrown out there, when in reality the Cowboys are definitely the team to beat in the NFC.

Tony Romo has been a blessing. He has come in every game and played his heart out. I won’t say he hasn’t made mistakes, but I dare you to try and give me a time when he didn’t get back up and make up for it. He plays with everything he has until the last second of every game. As for certain commentators who say, "Sure, who couldn’t succeed with the weapons he has on the field…". Well, I think we all know thats just not how it works. We had the same receiving corps last year, (pre-Tony Romo) and we did not have the same results. Romo is definitely proving game after game that he is one of the elite quarterbacks in the league today. And Cowboy fans, how exciting is that? It’s only his first year! We have alot to look forward to.

The player who deserves the most respect, is getting the least. Yes, I’m talking about Terrell Owens. In the offseason, I believe Owens promised us 20 touchdowns this season. Well right now he’s up to 12, it’s very possible he could go over 20. He also has 1,028 yards, averaging over 100 yards per game with 6 games left to play. So tell me, where is the love? I understand his past, and his ego and everything that has given him this reputation, but he is doing everything right this time around. He brings a fire to this team, he gets out there and gets his teammates pumped. I know you seen him on the sidelines after his touchdowns, he was fired up! T.O. keep doin’ whatcha doin’, we love ya man!

No matter what this team does, people will either love them or hate them. It’s always been that way, that will never change. My point is all about RESPECT. Keep on hating, it only makes play harder!




The Future Looks Bright For The Silver And Blue

This is in response to a comment to the blog I posted yesterday. I was going to post it as a comment, but thought I’d share it with a larger audience instead. Here goes…

It’s OK to disagree. We all have the same goal and that is to see the Cowboys build a dynasty.

Dynasties are not built on a year-to-year strategy. They are built on a strategy that employs long term success based on moves that address not only the current needs but future ones as well.

You mentioned that the Cowboys needed an offensive playmaker and I remind you that the Cowboys had one of the best scoring teams in the NFC and certainly the best in their division.

Our collapse last year was on defense, NOT offense.

The Cowboys needed to shore that defense up and they made a major stride in doing that on Draft Day.

We have got ourselves a big playmaker on defense. If you love DeMarcus Ware, then wait until you see Anthony Spencer!

With regard to the 1st round pick in 2008, how will you feel if Cleveland does so bad they finish with a top 5 pick?

Are you saying this was not a great move by the Cowboys?

Believe me Cowboy fans, Jerry Jones is as shrewd a business man as there is in this world.

He built an empire by ensuring that his future would be better than the present.

That’s the way it works in sports as well.

The Cowboys are not looking for a one night stand in 2007. They are looking to reclaim the dynasty that we lost when we started playing from year to year and running in that same old threadmill.

We now have a strategy that will keep this franchise competitive for years to come.

It is built on young stars like Marion Barber (who was acquired in a similar Draft Day trade), Julius Jones, DeMarcus Ware, Bobby Carpenter, Tony Romo and others.

Our future is bright now and will be even brighter in the years to come!

I hope that the 5 people who read this blog will comment on it and let me know what you think!


Third Time’s A Charm

 On Saturday, February 3, 2007 Michael Irving became the 10th Dallas Cowboy in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the 3rd Cowboy in the last 2 years. This was the third time Irvin made it to the final round of the selection process.

 Michael Irvin, Wide Receiver

1988-1999 Dallas Cowboys – 12 seasons, 159 games

Cowboys’ first-round pick (11th overall) in 1988 draft

First rookie wide receiver to start a season opener for Dallas in more than 20 years.

Irvin’s 20.4-yards per catch average during his rookie year led the NFC

Led league with 1,523 yards on 93 catches in 1991

Had 1,000-yard seasons in all but one year from 1991-1998

In 1995, Irvin played his finest season: 111 catches for 1,603 yards. He also established an NFL record with 11 100-yard games and scored 10 touchdowns.

Cowboys made four straight appearances in NFC championship game (1992-1995) and won three Super Bowls

Finished career with 750 receptions for 11,904 yards and 65 TDs

Selected to five straight Pro Bowls

Picked for NFL’s all-decade team of the 1990s

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