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.     

Gene Upshaw the Ambassador of the Game

Like many, I awoke this morning to hear the sad news that Gene Upshaw had passed away. I did not know Upshaw personally or anything, but I watched him so much as a Raider, I feel like I lost a friend.  He was a legendary Raider that prevented would be tacklers from getting to the quarterback and consistently, with Art Shell, opened gaping holes for a running game that was nearly unstoppable.

Seven Pro Bowls, eleven all league or all conference selections, he was a pivotal cog on an offensive line that made it to the Super Bowl three times and won two while he held down the fort left of center.  It nearly seems appropriate that the Raiders’ and possibly the NFL’s greatest player to ever wear the number 63 also passed away at the age of 63.

Upshaw is part of the NFL’s 75 Year Anniversary All Time team, was the captain of the Raiders offensive unit for eight years.  During the fifteen years he spent as a Raider, the team went to the playoffs 11 times, won 8 divisional titles, one AFL Championship, two AFC titles, and two world championships.  He’s the only player in NFL history to participate in three different Super Bowls in three different decades.

This writer spent many Sundays watching Upshaw and the great Art Shell sweep right or sweep left and throwing lead blocks for Raider runners. It was sight for the football fan’s eyes.

Later after his playing days were over Upshaw was pivotal in getting many things done for the players in NFL as head of the (NFLPA) National Football League Players Association.

Player’s salaries have risen to unbelievable amounts while protected with pensions after three years of service. A rookie can now make a league minimum of $200,000.00 which was never the case when Upshaw came into the league. Over the years Upshaw worked behind the scenes and helped make the NFL one of the best systems in all of professional sports.

I think one of the greatest accomplishments Upshaw achieved as chief of the NFLPA is that the NFL marketing arm is both the owners and players walking hand in hand.

Gene Upshaw promoted all this unity between the players and the owners. He always worked on the belief that what was good for the players was good for the league and what was good for the league was good for the players. This was a tough act to balance, but if you grew up watching Gene Upshaw you knew he was a tough guy and could carry the load.

So tonight when we watch our heroes’ on the gridiron, take a moment to remember Gene Upshaw. The player, the pro-bowler, the NFL player executive and the man.

Da Boys and Da Broncs……Preseason Week 2.

Week 2 of the preseason has arrived! GAMEDAY! Cowboys at Broncos. 8 pm/Central.

Tonights game should be a fun one to watch. The Fort Worth Star Telegram is reporting that all of the starters will play the entire 1st quarter. Tony Romo, MB3, Witten and TO will come out around that time with the remaining starters playing the entire 1st half. That means Brad Johnson will be in with the 1st team offensive line and he needs to prove tonight that he still has something left in the tank. If he struggles, look for the Cowboys to make a move early next week. We hopefully will see an improved Pac Man tonight too. He should get plenty of time tonight to continue to knock the rust off his game. I would like to see him get a few punt returns too. Miles Austin and Sam Hurd will continue to battle it out for that 3rd WR spot.

No major developments other than that. We all need to remember that this is preseason, the coaching staff wants to evaluate players in certain situations. They also don’t want to put alot of the offensive plays and schemes on film for other teams to study. Look for a simple game plan and plenty of Felix Jones and Tashard Choice tonight.

Terrence Newman, Anthony Spencer and Kevin Burnett are all out on the defensive side due to injuries.


Cowboys fan for life – TD

Three Phrases of the Game

To be a champion caliber team you must be consistent in all phrases of the game. We all know about Dallas’s offense, Tony Romo with all his weapons, Barber and Jones’s running attack behind our fantastic offensive line. The defense is getting more respect and recognition as they improve every week (not counting the Lions game.) Phrase three is Special teams. I don’t feel like our kick return team gets the credit they deserve.

Miles Austin in his second year makes you sit on the edge of your seat every time he gets the ball. His long return is sixty yards. I just know he is going to break one all the way. Austin is averaging twenty-six yards on eighteen returns.

Tyson Thompson shows he is a talent with his return ability also. Tyson’s average is a little lower than Austin’s at twenty-three.six, but his long return is seventy-two yards.

I look forward to seeing rookie Isaiah Stanback come back from his injury. I have to agree with the Cowboy staff that Stanback is exciting to watch. His long kick return is thirty-five yards but he has only had three returns with a average of twenty-six yards.

Between these three and more recently Miles Austin, the Cowboys have had good field position on most possessions. Of course, it would be a dream come true if we only had punt returns meaning our defense didn’t allow a score! WOW!

With Patrick Crayton and Terence  Newman returning punts, we haven’t had stunning returns but, they average twelve yards per return that equals our opponents. Even though we haven’t returned a punt or kick return for a score with all the talent we have on special teams it will come. They are saving it for the playoffs!

Although special teams need to improve in some areas they show improvement each week just as the offense and defense.

What I respect about the 2007 Cowboys is the way coach Phillips has blended all three phases to work together as a team. The media and fans shine the light on certain players but, they know that it takes every player in the locker room to win and that is why we are the NFC East Champs!

 Contributed by Raina Middleton


Rex Vs. Romo? You Make The Call!

Hello my name is David. But you can call me Rubini. Yes, I’m the new kid in town.

I would like to officially welcome you to the first installment of my thoughts and predictions on your favorite team.. rather "our" favorite team – "America’s Team", the beloved Dallas Cowboys. Please keep in mind that we all thrive off commentary. I enjoy, welcome and encourage passionate feedback. Positive or negative. Go for it! Voice your opinion and let’s have fun this year! Cool? Alright!!

When it comes to this Sundays match-up between the Cowboys and Bears, there are many uncanny similarities and many major differences between the two quarterbacks. We all must thank heaven and thank our lucky blue and silver stars concerning the latter!

Both QB’s are in their 5th season. Both play in the NFC Conference, and both are the captains driving the ship of a well oiled playoff team with realistic goals to win a Super Bowl this year after a disappointing and anticlimactic 2006-2007 season.

And that’s where the coincidences and similarities sharply appear to die.

Romo is simply a superior quarterback. From what we have seen thus far, Tony seems to have truly "learned" a bit  from last years remarkable (yet heartbreaking) rags to riches to rags melodrama. This year, Romo seems much more poised and in control as he isn’t forcing anything when the offensive line crumbles or when coverage is too tight. He may take a sack, or he may even run and scramble for a gain? But Romo isn’t throwing silly interceptions like his Chicago rival Rex or like Tony himself did towards the end of last season. 

I like the fact too that "Baby Bum" (term of endearment) and Garrett are willing to let Romo "loose" to improvise. Unfortunately, Big Bill last year was the one who felt it absolutely necessary to negate Tony the freedom to run and create. He was putting away the anointing oil when perhaps he should have put in an order for  some more? 

Romo’s a gifted scrambler ala the original Cowboys "Dodger" Roger Staubach. Romo doesn’t ever need to be caged up again as that would only kill his spirit and eventually his effectiveness. Wade and Garrett get Romo. They understand Romo better than I ever could have imagined! Along with Garrett’s new, fresh approach to handling Romo the new poised, "controlled" gunslinger, we should see plenty of all the cool, electrifying, fun stuff that comes so naturally to Tony.

And unlike Rex in either 06′ or now in 07′, Romo again has the command and the respect of his teammates. That’s huge! And once again, Romo has recaptured the rest of the NFL’s respect at large. Rex may have led his Chicago Bears team to the big enchilada last year, but this year there are even more questions than there are answers when it comes to Grossman. The stats speak for themselves.

In Dallas’ last two victories, Romo threw for 531 yds, with 6 TD’s and just one pick and a passing rating ranked 2nd in the league. Grossman on the other hand, has just barely over 300 yds with 3 picks, one lousy touchdown pass, and is sitting on a rating that ranks at nearly the very bottom of all QB’s both in the NFC and the AFC.

Romo should positively give last years NFC champs a major headache up in the Windy City at Soldier Field. 

With a big win against the Bears this Sunday, expect the Romomania bandwagon to get extremely crowded once again. I’ll save you a spot next to the window.
What’s your opinion? Does Rex have a 300 yard game in him to beat The Boys on his home turf? Will Romo shine once again on primetime television and live up to all the growing hype? Let us know your thoughts!

My Prediction:   Cowboys 31    Bears 24

Legends of the Star – Larry Allen

Larry Allen first gained national attention when he led little known, Sonoma State to the Senior Bowl in 1992. The two time All-American starred while playing guard, and in two seasons he only allowed one sack. He set ten different team records that still stand today.
In 1994, Larry Allen was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the 2nd round of the NFL Draft, making him the first NFL player ever to be selected from Sonoma State. He made an immediate impact on the team and was soon considered to be the NFL’s premier offensive lineman. He is widely recognized as the one of the best offensive lineman in NFL history and is certainly the best offensive lineman the Dallas Cowboys have ever had. He was the biggest part of an offensive unit that has posted the four lowest sacks allowed totals in club history with 18 in 1995, 19 in 1996 and 1998, and 20 in 1994.
Allen is widely credited for the success of Emmitt Smith with his unparalleled play as his lead blocker, and played a role in eight of his eleven 1,000 yard rushing seasons. Allen, was also able to bench press 700 pounds, and is considered to be the strongest man to ever play professional football.
In his 12 year career, Larry Allen was selected to 11 Pro Bowls and is just the third player in NFL history to be selected to the Pro Bowl at more than one offensive line position during his career. Only Bob Lilly had more Pro Bowl selections than Larry Allen. He is the most decorated offensive lineman in Dallas Cowboys history.



Legends of the Star is an exclusive weekly feature found only on StarStruck. Each week we will profile one of the many interesting personalities that have played for the Dallas Cowboys. 

Cowboys Fans Have A Lot To Look Forward To



I’ve been asked by several friends how far I think the Cowboys will go this year. I honestly think we can go all the way. Of course as a Cowboys Fan I’m supposed to say that, but I truly believe it now.
One reason I believe this is true, going into the draft this Saturday, we have no desperate needs. I know that all of our starters are great players and there are no concerns in any particular area. I’m pretty sure Wade and Jerry are going to draft players for the future but right now we are "locked and loaded".
Our weaknesses last year have been strengthened this offseason. A completely reconstructed coaching staff and the players signed in the offseason were great moves by the Cowboys. You will see major improvement in our offensive line with Leonard Davis. Then there is Ken Hamlin, who along side Roy Williams will be monstrous.
Not to mention our young players who learned so much in the past year. Tony Romo has more experience under his belt, including the crushing last play of the season. Believe it or not, that play will make him a greater player. Then of course what about our big 06 draft pick, Bobby Carpenter. He is going to be huge this year. He only played a few games last season and we got a taste of what he has to offer. Tyson Thompson is well and ready to play. He was very exciting to watch on returns last season until his ankle injury cut his season short. I could go on and on listing players who have matured since this time last year.
Our veterans will shine as well. Greg Ellis should be back on the field and as good as new. I think Terell Owens will thrive more this season if he remains a Cowboy. Now that he has been in Dallas for a year, the hype will die down and plus the surgeries on his finger should have him catching more passes in those crucial situations that were missed last season. Don’t get me wrong he had great numbers last year, but imagine what he can do when he is at 100%.
We certainly have alot to look forward to as Cowboys fans this year. There is no reason anyone should doubt that this team will be anything less than spectacular.