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Cowboys-Bengals… Oh yea and a guy named “Chad Ochocinco”

Good Afternoon Cowboy Fans…

Looking ahead to the Dallas Cowboys-Cincinnati Bengals game this Sunday, I look at this game as just another step on the Cowboy’s journey to Tampa and the Super Bowl. Over the next four weeks, the Cowboys host the Bengals, travel to Arizona, St. Louis, and back home to play the Buccaneers. I really feel the Cowboys even though not playing well this past Sunday against the Redskins’, have a great opportunity to be 7-1 when they make their annual stop to the beautiful confines of Giants Stadium for their game with the Super Bowl champs.

But first things first, The Cincinnati Bengals. On paper the Bengals are not a very good team. This team possesses a lot of talent, but year after year they seem to always find a way to hang around the cellar of their division. It would not be fair to the Bengals though without mentioning that even though there are in the cellar, they are not alone as they share the room with their cross state rivals the Browns.

The Bengals come into Dallas on Sunday ranked 30th in offense and 24th in defense. That is not good news for Cincinnati fans when they will be facing the # 1 offense, and the 9th best defense in the NFL. That can only be a recipe for disaster and an opportunity for a lot of fans to beat the traffic leaving Texas Stadium.

Now I will enjoy the game as I enjoy all the Cowboy’s games (well didn’t enjoy last Sunday much), but we can just keep on kicking that dog over and over. I will be paying very close attention to a guy named “Chad Ochocinco” formally an artist known as Chad Johnson. “Chad Ochocinco”…hmm… Kind of sounds familiar I guess. There used to be a guy called “Prince” that became an artist formally known as “Prince”, then just “Prince” again. Man this is getting confusing to say the least. Of course, we also had a sport’s icon named Cassius Marcellus Clay who later became Muhammad Ali, but never confuse Chad Johnson aka “Chad Ochocinco” with the great one Ali!! Johnson changed is surname to “Ochocinco” which is Spanish for eight five, which is the number he wears.

Chad Johnson or “Chad Ochocinco” (I love saying that name) is off to a very rocky start. Johnson has 11 catches for 116 yds and one touchdown in the first 4 games, and has one end zone celebration. A lot of Bengals fans believe that when Johnson changed his name it put some kind of curse on him. When I researched for this story, I noticed that he has been known to get off to slow starts, but nothing compared to this year. Johnson is a very talented receiver and has led the AFC in receiving the last 4 years. Not to mention he has been to 5 Pro-Bowls.

I just often think the real problem with Johnson is that he spends more time worrying about himself than winning football games. In the past he has changed his teeth (or his grill he likes to call it), “mohawked” and colored his hair (blonde I might add) and has had his share of gilded earrings. In 2006 he was voted by Fox Sports as one of the top ten showboats in professional sports. Lastly, I remember one of his most memorable moments in 2007 during a Monday Night game against the Ravens. Johnson caught the first touchdown of the night, proceeded to grab a jacket resembling a Hall of Fame inductee and pranced up and down the Bengal’s sideline to the cheers of all his adoring fans.

The Bengals will come into “Big D” ready to play and with the new insurgence of Chris Perry at tailback, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Carson Palmer and “Chad Ochocinco”; they will not be a team to look past. I just think at the end of the day, the Cowboys will add another victory notch to their belt and continue their journey to reach that pinnacle of being the first team in NFL history to win 6 Super Bowls.

Oh by the way Chad… in case you did not know, the real spelling is actually “Ochenta Y Cinco”, but I guess that is not easy to spell when you write a check. So whether you like “Chad Ochocinco” or not it should be interesting to see if he can out-do our showman, T.O..

HERE KITTY KITTY!!!

C’Mon Now Fans!

Did we learn anything from last season?

Did we not learn that its not good to go all the way through Sept.,Oct. and Nov. with 12-0 and lose through Dec and into the playoffs?

What was it the media hyped up?

Cowboys were exposed!

Same goes for the… (God I hate to say this) New England, Patriots.

After that Super Bowl loss, everyone had their number. Take away Brady and Moss and they’re human.

Cowboys are no different. Take away this and that and we can beat them!

That is going to happen every game and by every team.

Sooo…  why show a potentially playoff opponent what we will do to them in a playoff game?

(Expose This Suckas!)

How’s that for game footage?

Sunday night, Nov.16th, will prove to be a greater game against the Skins than that of the (not gonna give ya anything to study) contest of last week.

I’m hoping so, because I hate losing to the Redskins!!

 

24 HOUR RULE IS WAY UP PEOPLE!!

I’m way over this last game!

I’m ready to get FIRED UP for the Bengals!!

Being born and raised in Northern Kentucky I spent a majority of my younger years traveling (via boat) this way and that, along the Ohio River. going from Louisville, KY to Cincinnati, OH.

I lived on a river town smack dead in the middle of the two.

There is no NFL team in KY.

UK Wildcats…  Well, everyone knows how passionate everyone in Kentucky can be about their Cats.

Whats left? The Bengals? 45 miles away and it would seem to be the pick of the litter but yours truly, naw, I preferred the sparkly stuff!  I loved the Bling Bling!  Slap that star on my head and let me rant to these kitty cats!

I followed the beacon of light to the great city of Dallas about 15 years ago and still to this day, I’m still battling these old town zebra wannabes. 

 Show us your stripes! Bring that leg licking, warm milk sipping, lay down in my lap and Purrrrrr, pussycat of a team!

Theres a New Cat in Town, goes by the name of Felix!

But.. that comes after the Cowboy kitty litter has been layed upon the scoreboard!

Have a good nap at TX Stadium!

MEEOWWWW!!

THE LOSS TO THE REDSKINS…CAN I SAY A FEW WORDS ABOUT T.O.?

Hello Cowboy fans…

Normally I only write one story a week for Lonestar, but this week I felt the urgency to write two stories. My second story, Cowboys’-Bengals’…and a guy named OchoCinco will post on Thursday. 

Let me start off by saying I was very unhappy about the Cowboy loss on Sunday afternoon as I am sure all Cowboy fans were. The team seemed much unprepared, at times very non-responsive, and seemed for the most part as having that “why do I have to work on Sunday attitude”. I was especially disappointed in the selection of plays that were called on offense. MB3 getting only 8 touches and Felix never got into the backfield. It seemed the coaches went completely away from their normal offensive game plan that up until Sunday has been almost flawless.

I thought Tony was running for his life all day and the defense at times looked non-existent. I know it is a rival game and seems like over the last few years the Cowboys’ have had their fair share of difficulty beating the Redskins’ when clearly they were the better team. This game on Sunday was no exception to that rule.

Now did this writer think our beloved boys would “run the table” and reach that 19-0 perfect season? Let me answer that one loud and clear before all the Cowboy fans send out a lynch mob, hunt me down, and we all head for the biggest oak true we can find.

No, that thought, to be honest, never crossed my mind. As I commented in a previous post last week it is extremely difficult in this day and time of professional football to go undefeated. With the age of the salary cap that causes such parity between the NFL teams, and not to mention I knew going into this game on Sunday, it would be a difficult test. Even though this is not one of the better Redskins’ team, they are still pros, and a pro team can beat another pro team on any given Sunday.

Of course anytime the Cowboy’s and Redskins’ meet, no matter what the season records, it is always a four quarter fight to the end. I just sensed watching the game, that Cowboys’ had no sense of urgency. They seemed they would go and score when they wanted to and other times they seemed to just be somewhere else.

Secondly, I wanted to make a statement regarding T.O… I was extremely disappointed at his after the game comments which began airing on all the media outlets almost immediately after he said it. T.O. made the statement that “when I touch the ball, the chains move and when I don’t touch the ball, the offense goes stagnate”. Well Terrell, here’s news flash for you. I do not know what stadium you were at on Sunday, but I certainly think you had your fair share of touching the ball! T.O. had 17 balls thrown to him and he caught 7, not to mention he had two end-around plays making a total of 9 touches for the game. Now in defense of Terrell, there were some balls thrown to him that if he had been ten feet tall he could not have caught. Then there were others that I could have caught that he missed, especially the one in the corner of the end zone that went right through his hands.

What aggravates me is the fact this is the same kind of talk that filtered through the locker rooms of T.O.’s former teams, San Francisco and Philadelphia which eventually cumulated with T.O. leaving both squads and burning all the bridges behind him. When T.O. came to Dallas, I was one of his most staunch supporters and it was me that always said “T.O. is finally happy, leave him alone and he will be a shining star”. In reality this has been the case and he has been a role model player for the team.

Now we all know that T.O. is going to be T.O. to a certain extent. You will never take the man out of the kid or the kid out of the man. I just think it was wrong for his post game comments especially when it seems at times the offense was all about Terrell, and it seemed to me that the play calling was all about Terrell. For him to make those type of comments when it was just not true was signs of the old Terrell Owens. Now I know Terrell thinks the team is all about him and that is fine to take that leadership role. Just remember there is no” I in the word team” and a real leader of a team is not going to come out make those types of statements.

In addition, T.O. has seemed to take the leadership role with “Pacman” in keeping him on the straight and narrow. Remember you lead by example and in my humble opinion; you set a bad example on Sunday night.

So T.O. if you don’t have anything good to say, then don’t say anything. Let your game on the field do you’re talking for you!!

Lack Of Discipline Is A Concern

I  may get flack for telling it like it is but that’s OK. We’ve had way too much “sunshine and lollipops” the last few weeks anyway. Bottom line is winning is great. But just because you win doesn’t mean you played well. And it will catch up with you.

This team lacks discipline.

Nothing makes a coach any crazier than stupid mistakes. Some times you can escape with a win after bumbling through a game. The Eagles game is a good example of that. You give up 37 points you deserve to lose. No, the Cowboys didn’t lose that game but they sure tried their best to.

Opening day against the Browns was another example of lack of discipline. Way too many penalties to consider the game a success. Luckily for us fans the Cowboys were so much better than Cleveland that those miscues didn’t cost them the game.

The Green Bay game was the exception. This team had a solid performance at every phase of the game. This was a game that could have easily gotten out of hand. Romo’s interception in the red zone was probably the one thing that kept the game from being blown wide open.

Now to the Washington game. There are times when you know early on in a game your team is just “flat”. That was very apparent throughout this game. Poor tackling and lack of enthusiasm was so obvious even the most casual viewer could see it. I was livid during this game. I’m pretty sure I wasn’t alone either. Nobody, not even the Redskins themselves thought they could go into Texas Stadium and dominate the Cowboys the way they did. Yes, I said dominate. They moved the ball at will and their defense held this explosive offense to 4 three and out drives as well as the 3 and INT drive.

Twelve men on the field on 3rd and 2 is the epitome of lack of discipline. Wade can’t keep taking the blame for bone-head plays by professional football players. That play cost the Cowboys 3 full minutes at the end of the game.

The bright side is now we can stop with this NONSENSE of going undefeated and concentrate on the task at hand. WIN THIS WEEK. Everyone was thinking 8-0 going into the Giants game. I even thought.. “All we have to do is get past the ‘Skins and the schedule gets soft for 4 weeks”. I think most of forgot this is the NFC EAST we’re talking about. Nothing is guaranteed.

I’m as much of a believer in this team as anyone you’ll meet. When they lose I take it personally. I bleed silver and blue and have for over 30 years. This team has more depth than any team in its long, glorious history. The talent is close to that of the 90’s Cowboys. The only thing that glares at me is the discipline issue. Address that and NOBODY in the NFL can beat them.

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!!!

Remembering Crazy Ray This Weekend

Ever since I could ever remember, Wilford Jones also known as "Crazy Ray", had graced the stands at the Cowboys games. The first time I remember seeing him, was the first time I ever saw the Cowboys and the Redskins playing each other at the Cotton Bowl (for those of you not old enough to remember or know, where the Cowboys first played).

Through the years I became accustomed to seeing him at just about every game, but sadly enough, Crazy Ray past away this year. I think that it would only be fitting that a moment of silence be held in Ray’s memory before the start of the game and that the game be played in his honor.  I will be making the same suggestion to folk on DC.com. To me, it is something so minimal, to someone that made the game so memorable to me and so many others.

God Bless Crazy Ray.

Article contributed by Carl Davis aka Mr Cowboy74