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“WOW” What A Weekend

Although I am VERY excited the NFL draft is over and all the analysts saying over and over and over and over (you get what I mean) and over again about who goes where, who is number one, who should pick who, one word says it all. WOW!!!!!!! This has got to be one of the most active NFL drafts I have ever seen. There were trades galore and picks that shocked everyone. Top prospects going before during and after what they were projected to go. In a nut shell, a GREAT football weekend in the middle of the off-season.

First off Kelly did a good job on breaking down who we drafted this year. Although we got a great WR in the first round I kind of wish we would have gone with a little more focus on O-line to start the draft and other positions after that was solidified since we did lose Flozell Adams. But I do think we had a great daft and I am looking forward to an OUTSTANDING “championship” season. With that said, this draft to me seemed much more “emotional” than drafts in the past. As a writer for NFL.COM says, it was the “year of the hug”. There were more players hugging Commissioner Roger Goodell as they came on stage than in years past. Tears flowed, emotions ran high and dreams were fulfilled.

As we all know, Sam Bradford, QB for Oklahoma went number one to the Rams, the best defensive player in the draft, Suh went 2nd to the lions and from then on, it was GAME ON. Out of the 32 teams in the NFL, the draft was pretty well split down the middle between offensive and defensive players. 17 defensive players taken vs. 15 offensive players taken. What really came into play this year was the trades. Before the draft, the Eagles officially became the most ignorant franchise in NFL history trading a top 10 QB to a DIVISION opponent, the Washington Redskins. “BIG BEN” did what he does best and rubbed his name in the dirt just a little more showing his off the field behavior deserves NO respect, causing trade talks. In the end, the Steelers decided they were going to keep him and let his play on the field overlook his pathetic decisions off the field. With the Bears grabbing the best free agency out there in Peppers, they continued to focus on their defense drafting 3 more defensive players and 2 offensive players.

Seattle’s new head coach and former USC head coach Pete Carrol brought back familiar faces in acquiring RB LenDale White from the Titans and traded with the jets getting all pro RB Leon Washington to compliment that backfield. The Raiders decided that the Skins no longer needed Jason Cambell and took them off of their hands. We all know, just like in past drafts, the Patriots were going to be wheeling and dealing. Well coach Bill Belichick boosted up their defense and stealing veteran DT Gerad Warren from the Raiders. This acquisition, along with free agents WR Tory Holt and Defensive Lineman Amon Gordon and their TWELVE (12) picks in this year’s draft improved their team dramatically.

As I research the trades that went on this weekend, I realize I have taken on a task that would take me much more precious time than I thought, and besides, my blog would be 5 pages long. I found a link here that shows all the trades that happened during the draft this year.

http://www.nfl.com/draft/story?id=09000d5d817b4621&template=with-video-with-comments&confirm=true

With just the information that I’ve shared, you can easily see that this off-season is one of the most active ever. Free agents, trades, and a draft that in my opinion lasted WAY too long. Finally the draft is over, and the training camps can get underway. The newest “Boys” can start to show us what they have. Before we know it pre-season hits us and then, LET THE GAMES BEGIN!!!!

The Truth Hurts, But I Wouldn’t Have It Any Other Way

Sometimes in life there are people who do really well and have all the luck, the looks and the money and barely lift a finger. Then there are average everyday people who work their asses off and live day to day, paycheck to paycheck and feel as if they are going nowhere.

Some of you may relate to one or the other, or even both. Or, maybe you are in the third division – lazy, poor, no-good-for-nothing… you get the idea. I’d like to think the majority of people are in the middle, like myself. Good, honest people who work hard for a living, and are always hoping for a better day, a better way.

To some football is just a game, for others its everything. Its a lot like life.

While I know and believe the Cowboys can do better, I also want to believe they work their tails off every practice and every game. But you know when you work your hands to the bone, putting in overtime and taking work home just to stay above water, yet you still fall short? All you can really do is keep fighting and praying to the Lord to give you the strength to keep fighting another day.

This season has been a rough ride so far. Six weeks into the season and I still don’t know who this team really is. With a couple of exceptions, the team has been very unstable. I’m all for a new hero and/or leader every week but when you go into the game unsure of who you can count on, it’s not a good thing.

Being a loyal fan to this team hasn’t been an easy job either this season. Dreading going into work because you don’t want to talk football around the water cooler has become all too familiar. Defending a team that can’t seem to finish the job can get extremely exhausting quick.

In each loss there was a chance to come back, but that right there is the one thing that makes a good team, a championship team. You have to be able to capitalize on the opponent’s mistakes and make the impossible happen.

There is nothing in this world that could ever change my allegiance to this team. I honestly believe its in my genes and running through my blood. Being a Dallas Cowboys fan is the only thing I have in common with the majority of my family, especially my father. I could never let it go, no matter what.

We’ve been through good times and bad. Although it seems lately all we hear about is the bad. But we are strong. We got through times with Terrell Owens, and Pacman Jones for heaven’s sake. We can take anything!

I have to admit, I thank God that Jerry Jones didn’t go for Michael Vick (but that’s another story, another time).

So while it may seem like I’ve been quiet, I’ve just been sitting back trying to get to know my team. I’m too optimistic, and more often than not, it ends up breaking my heart. But that’s who I am.

I get pumped up before every Cowboys game, and in my heart and soul I believe MY team is going to win every game. From the moment the game kicks off until the last whistle blows I don’t give up hope. I have never been able to turn off a game while its in progress and I don’t believe I’ve ever said the words, “My team sucks!” And, I never will.

I’m not saying it’s wrong to be critical of your team, or to be truthful when the truth hurts. I’m just saying that’s not me. To each their own, we all have our own way to celebrate or mourn, and I love all my Rowdy friends!

Give Credit Where Credit Is Due

Yes ESPN, we fans realize the Cowboys just won against the struggling (now 0-3) Panthers. Carolina played a lot better than anyone expected, mostly in the first half.

Several guys stepped up in this game, so I’d like to give credit where credit is due.

I’m talking specifically about Patrick Crayton and Tashard Choice on offense. Crayton made several very crucial plays, and kept his head in the game, playing smart football all night long.

Choice, who I believe should have started the game, came away with 82 yards on 18 carries and one touchdown plus a 2-point conversion. If not for a bone-headed move by the rookie 3rd tight end, John Phillips, Choice probably would have had another TD. In addition, after the game he had a very impressive interview on the field with the ESPN analysts.

Defensively, Keith Brooking, Jay Ratliff and Terence Newman really excelled tonight. In the beginning Newman didn’t look so hot, missing tackles and looking foolish and aged. However, his interception for a 27-yard touchdown in the 4th quarter reminded us why we love him.

I must admit I am falling head over heels for Mr. Ratliff. Who would expect our nose tackle to get the first sack of the year? Why not when its the beast who is known as JRAT.

As for Brooking, what a wonderful acquisition for the Cowboys. Brooking, a strong, solid veteran linebacker, led the team in tackles tonight with five. It seemed like every time the defense came in, I found myself cheering his name.

Special teams also deserves some props. It’s been way too long since we could say that. Well done Coach Joe DeCamillis, well done sir.

I just wanted to rant about ESPN for a minute, and say that despite the opponent – I am proud of this team and what they did tonight. I believe it was a well-deserved win and they worked hard to earn that “W”.

Then again, I am just an optimistic, biased Cowboys fan. ;)

NFL Owners Pass Four Rules To Protect Players In 2009

Well what can I say besides that the NFL will soon be a touch football league if they keep this up. I mean for crying out loud football is dangerous and anyone who plays knows this and are willing to take the risk to play and the more rules the owners come up with to “protect” the player just ruins the game of football in my opinion and I found the article about the rules on nfl.com.

NFL owners have passed four player safety rules for next season. One of them is the elimination of blindside helmet-to-helmet blocks.

The changes came Tuesday at the NFL meetings in California.

The new rules state that the initial force of a blindside block can’t be delivered by a helmet, forearm or shoulder to an opponent’s head or neck. An illegal blindside block will bring a 15-yard penalty.

Initial contact to the head of a defenseless receiver also will draw a 15-yard penalty.

On kickoffs, no blocking wedge of more than two players will be allowed. Also, the kicking team can’t have more than five players bunched together pursuing an onside kick.

So please tell me your feelings on these rules that are ruining the game of football.

Looking Ahead: Cowboys Opponents for 2008

Several weeks ago, the NFL released the opponents the Cowboys will be playing in 2008. Although we have been told which teams we will play at home and which are road games, the NFL has not yet released the date that each game will take place. I am sure that when the dates of the games are released, Kelly, here at StarStruck, will be busy designing schedules for us all to post on our sites.

Naturally, we will face each opponent in the NFC East twice during the regular season. This means that we will have to face the Giants, Redskins, and Eagles once on the road and once at home for a total of 6 games of the 16 game season.  Although we won our division handily this year, we cannot take any of these games for granted. I have said it before and I will continue to say it: Year in and year out, the NFC East is one of the toughest if not the toughest division in the NFL. Although I believe we are better overall than each of these teams, any one of them is capable of beating the Cowboys on any given day. I think we are the stronger team out of these opponents and will win the division again next year, but I will not be surprised at one or even two losses within the division. I can already feel some of you steaming at that last remark. Please understand, I am not being pessimistic, just realistic. 

One side note: Considering that the Giants knocked us out of the playoffs this year, I would be very willing to bet that one Monday night game will involve us playing the Giants either at home or on the road. There’s too much drama there. The NFL almost has to put one of those games in prime time.

The remaining ten games in the regular season are made up of non-division opponents. 

They are:

Road Games
Arizona Cardinals, St. Louis Rams, Green Bay Packers, Cleveland Browns, and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Home Games
San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Baltimore Ravens, and the Cincinnati Bengals.

Of these teams, only four had losing records last year: the 49ers, Ravens, Bengals, and Rams.  The rest were .500 or better.  Six of our opponents made the playoffs. These were: the Giants, Redskins, Seahawks, Buccaneers, Packers, and Steelers. Since we play the Redskins and the Giants twice, that means that 8 of our 16 opponents for 2008 were playoff teams in 2007. 

I have read some comments from other fans that we have an easy schedule and we should go undefeated in 2008. Again, I don’t want to sound pessimistic, but this is the NFL and since we were the number one seed in the NFC this last year, the powers that be in the league have no intention of making it easy on us. Although most of these teams didn’t come close to matching our 13-3 record last year, this will still be a tough schedule. Remember, we almost lost to Buffalo early this last season (and to be honest, we probably should have the way we played) but we pulled it out in the end. Just like I said about the NFC East, any team in the NFL has talent and can put together at least one great day of football (I think the Patriots would agree with that anyway).

As for an undefeated season, I would enjoy that just a much as any Cowboy fan. However, history makes me face the realistic probability that this won’t happen. Seldom does a team have that opportunity.  It takes talent on your team, but due to the level of opposition in the NFL, a little luck is also usually needed. Personally, I would rather see us take a loss or two in the regular season and then go into the playoffs fighting mad. Lose early, get it out of our system and enter the playoffs knowing that we are a good team but not overconfident about it (Once again, I think the Patriots might agree with me here).

So, here’s what I think and some of you may write nasty things to me about it – but it’s ok, I can take it.  We will win the NFC East. We will be the frontrunner for the Superbowl title and I think we WILL take it. Undefeated? No. I honestly believe our record will be no better than 14-2 and could even be 12-4.  Again, I am not being negative, just realistic based on that schedule. We will lose at least one or two games in the NFC East and maybe one or two among our remaining opponents.  I hope I am wrong.  19-0 would be wonderful. If I’m wrong I will gladly let my wife spank me and call me names (Hmmmm…..Now that I think about it……never mind. Now where was I???  Oh yeah….).  The bottom line is that a tough schedule with some losses will prepare us to rise to the occasion when the playoffs arrive.  Just like diamonds are made under extreme pressure, it may very well be the pressure of losses that cause our Stars to shine. Shine on Cowboys. Run for the Ring baby!!!

Injuries Won’t Keep The ‘Boys Down

Last season was one of the best seasons I can ever recall for the Cowboys regarding injuries. It seemed that each week when I would analyze the injury reports prior to each of the Cowboys matchups, I would see 10-12 injuries for our opponent and only 1-2 injuries for our team.
 
This year seems to be a little bit different already. Sit down everyone, I’m not saying that it’s a dramatic difference only that I’m seeing a few more names on the injury list than last year at this time.
 
We already know that Terence Newman is a little banged up, and of course there is the Greg Ellis situation. Both missed practice again on Thursday and it’s looking more and more like neither will be ready for the season opener.
 
I was a little disappointed however, to read that less than 24 hours after being proclaimed healthy, to see Terry Glenn back on the injured list.
 
It’s sad that now he is going to miss at least the first two games of the season for us with the same right knee that has been bothering him all through training camp and pre season.
 
It makes me wonder if they rushed him back to practice to soon on Wednesday?
 
Hopefully Patrick Crayton can step in and improve on the career highs he established last season when he caught 36 passes for 516 yards. Maybe this is Crayton’s time to shine.
 
One thing is for certain though…
 
It would take a lot more injuries than this for us to falter against the Giants on Sunday. As a good friend of mine likes to always say… "They are dead where they stand".