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A Dream Came True

I don’t know where to begin.  If you read my article My Birthday Wish you know how much going to Cowboy Stadium  was a dream of mine. My dream came true!   I just returned from Arlington.  Just seeing the size of the stadium is something to behold.

Once I entered the stadium I was shaking.  I told the Usher I couldn’t believe I was about not only see the field but stand on it.  We talked Thur a small corridor and behold before my eyes the largest building I had ever seen.  The colors of the field where so brilliant.   The layers of seats seemed to keep going and going. I don’t think there is a bad seat in the house.  Its definitely larger than Texas Stadium, but you still felt as though you where at the old stadium, the hole in the roof, the ring of honor, the white stars around the field.  The old and new combined together with class.

It took me a few minutes to step on the field.  Once I did wow how special it was.  I was standing in the end zone where  touchdowns are made.  I checked out every detail  thinking how hard  the players  work to get there every Sunday.

We  made our way to the Miller Lite Club from there.  I know I will never be in there unless I win the lottery.  The huge star that  hung over the tunnel was beautiful!  I stood at the beginning of the tunnel , seeing the field ahead and  wondered what the players felt with 100,000 people waiting to see them perform on their new home turf.  That gave me cold chills.  That was my special moment.

Photobucket On to  the Interview Room, which is larger than the White House’s.   We sat at the table where Romo and all the players handle the pressure of the press.   We walk through a set of double doors and there we are on Rookie Row in the locker room.   These lockers aren’t by the other lockers.  They have a small TV and not that much room.  I was thinking wow the locker room sure isn’t much’  then I saw all the other lockers and the big TV’s,  the showers and so on.  It then dawned on me those where the rookie lockers we had seen first.  So I am calling it Rookie Row.  I am not sure what the players call it.  DeMarcus Ware, Tony Romo and Miles Austin’s gear was left out so fans could try them on or just touch them.  I liked watching this little four year old, Anson Marquez from New Mexico putting on Tony ‘s  uniform.

We saved that famous star for last.  The star on the 50 yard line that every football fan knows.  I felt as I was stepping on sacred ground.  I thought of what this star represents.  The Dallas Cowboys the team we love and are so loyal to now, and the team our children and grandchildren will love and cheer for every Sunday.

I will always cherish the tour and the time I spent there.  I wish every fan could take that tour.   I know most of you have, this article is for all of those who haven’t had the honor.   My daughter and I made a memory we will never forget!

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.

ODE TO A BANDWAGON FAN

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.

Inconsistency Is Killing Me

Mad, Frustrated, Depressed you name it that’s how I am feeling.  I am so sick and tired of watching a different team every week.  This is a frustration blog and I NEED to get it out.  Week in and week out the Cowboys play different.  One week, a GREAT game, flawless and the next they look like my old high school team could beat them.

What is the problem you may ask?  Well ya know what, I am asking that same question.  WHAT IS THE PROBLEM?????  The Cowboys have 3 of the best running backs in the league, the BEST tight end in the league, and a top 10 quarterback in the league.  Why can’t they move the ball down the field like they should?

This last Sunday Romo sat down with hall of famer Michael Irvin for a one on one conversation. Unfortunately, due to work, I was only able to catch bits and pieces of it.  One thing I did hear Michael Irvin ask Romo was:

“What makes the team this year different from last year?”

Romo said, “When we lose, no one points the finger at one person or another, they look at themselves and say, what can I do to make this team better?”

Yes that is the answer that every fan out there wants to hear. But on top of that, we all want to SEE that happen.  We want to see this team IMPROVE from week to week.  Honestly, I think discipline is a major factor in the locker room, on the practice field and during games.  While I am watching a game and lets say a penalty happens, heads hang down.  No one gets mad and screams and hollers at anyone for causing the team 5, 10, 15 or more yards. COME ON!!!! Someone get mad, someone scream, someone put fire into this team, IT IS EXACTLY WHAT WE NEED!!!!!!

I have been a Cowboys fan ever since I was a little boy sitting in front of the TV with my dad.  Over 30 years and I am not ever going to change that, but it is about time the team changes how they play before other fans out there decide that “Amercia’s Team” is not so hot afterall. Screw the December hex, screw the critics, screw the haters, PLAY SOME SERIOUS BALL!!!!!!!!!!

And So Another December Starts… Badly!!

So the Cowboys stood at 8-3. A two game lead over the NY Giants with an opportunity to send the Giants to a 6-6 record and pretty much end their season. We all know the December history with this team over the last three seasons and we have all heard the talk this past week. The Cowboys then open a 10-0 lead on the Giants late in the second quarter and well…that’s where it kind of ended.

The Cowboys took a 10-0 lead on the Giants with a nice Romo to Williams touchdown pass. They had the Giants just were they wanted them. The once mighty 5-0 Giants now at 6-5 and little or no confidence in the way they were playing. So what does the Dallas defense do when they have the Giants down? Well, you would think they would step on their throats and end it for them. But no, they allow the Giants to drive down the field and score to tighten the game to 10-7 and give the Giants some life.

Next possession for the Cowboys with a little over a minute left in the first half. The Cowboys try to answer the Giants touchdown, but then Marion Barber fumbles. The Giants take full advantage of the turnover and score the go ahead touchdown right before halftime. Dallas had the Giants on their knees begging for mercy, but just like in past seasons the Cowboys let a team off the hook and gave them life.

Third quarter…Romo leads the offense to the go ahead score on another touchdown to Williams, 17-14. You think the Dallas defense would try to respond once again. But….it took the Giants only one play to take the lead back. A short pass to Jacobs resulted in a 74 yard go ahead for good touchdown. Here is my question. How does the defense let something like this happen? I honestly thought the Dallas defense was still on the sideline after the kickoff. But then I saw Anthony Spencer, Bradie James and Gerald Sensabaugh. But Spencer might have well been on the sideline as Jacobs ran away from him like he was standing still.

Onto the fourth quarter as the Cowboys held the Giants to an all important field goal to keep the Giants lead to only seven points, 24-17. Although I must say that it really had nothing to do with the Dallas defense on the third down play as Steve Smith clearly beat Scandrick (That’s a surprise!!!), but dropped the pass.

Ok, you would think the Cowboys are in good shape as they are only down by seven points with a lot of time left in the game. So they get the ball back and what happens? Yes, three and out as Barber gains three yards on first down, Romo get an intentional grounding penalty which results in a lost down. And on third and 17 they can only manage a short gain to Witten.

Punt formation!!!! Ok, punt the ball and let’s get the ball back with plenty of time left. Nope!!!! Not going to happen. Hixon gets the ball and after three missed tackles (well, I kind of stopped counting at that point and proceeded to destroy my living room), Hixon scores on a 79 punt return to put the Giants up 31-17.

Once again the Cowboys get the ball back and start driving. They get to the Giants 36 yard line where Williams is beyond wide open down the right sideline and what does Romo do? He misses him on what would have been a touchdown. And two plays later they fail on a fourth down attempt.

Yes, Romo once again drove the Cowboys down the field for a score at the end of game that was already over, but it was just too late at that point. The Cowboys once again just gave up too many big plays and were not able to respond when they needed too. So, December of 2009 is underway and the Cowboys are now 0-1. They have fallen to 8-4 and are tied with the Eagles for first place with the Giants now only one game back.

What is ahead for the Cowboys. Oh, not much. Just four teams playing at the top of their game. Yes, even the Redskins who lost today, but still played one hell of a game against the Saints. Here is the rest of the schedule for the Cowboys….

San Diego, 8-3

at New Orleans, 12-0

at Washington, 3-9 (record will not matter)

Philadelphia, 8-4

At this point I honestly do not know what will happen the rest of the season. The way I am feeling right now (frustrated), I can take a guess, but I would rather not because it just makes me sick to my stomach. I would say I’m speechless, but I just read my own post and I guess I’m anything but speechless.

Wide Receivers Get To Work

Miles AustinThe Dallas Cowboys once again played a game where all phases came together, this time against against the Seahawks. It was really nice to see all of the wide receivers get into the action.

Miles Austin scored another touchdown, Roy Williams scored a touchdown on a nice slant route, Patrick Crayton scored on another punt return, Sam Hurd scored a touchdown on nice pass, and although Kevin Ogletree did not score, he did make a nice catch and run for a first down.

I will admit it I have had my doubts about our wide receiver corps, but it seems that they might be coming along and they are doing some good things. It has been nice to see Miles Austin doing so well, he has catches totaling 482 yards. That is the best that a wide receiver has ever done in their first three games.

Romo and Williams have some work to do and even they admit that they have not been on the same page a lot this year.

I am sure Jason Witten is happy we are winning, but not so happy that he is not getting his normal amount of catches.

Its nice to see that the receivers have finally found a way to get open and make some nice catches and runs.

Patrick Crayton has stepped it up in the return game, scoring a touchdown in each of the last two games.

We have the Eagles this weekend and we are tied with them for first place in the division, we need to step it up again and beat them.

GO COWBOYS!

Finally It All Comes Together

For the first time all season everything came together for the Dallas Cowboys. On Sunday playing against the Atlanta Falcons the Cowboys played a complete game.

Yes, a complete game. The offense was clicking. Romo threw for over 300 yards and went 21 of 29. Miles Austin showed up again with over 100 yards and two touchdowns. The defense came through with four sacks and two turnovers, and the special teams was outstanding. Patrick Crayton ran back a punt for 77 yards and a touchdown and he caught a touchdown as well.

We still had eight penalties in the game, but other than that all phases of the game were clicking. Although we did not have a 100 yard rusher, all backs combined for over a 100 yards.

The Cowboys finally showed us what they are capable of and boy was it nice. I was so happy to see them play so well against a good team. I guess the bye week was good to us and the Cowboys.

With the Giants losing on Sunday, winning this game was huge. Not only did we gain some ground on the Giants, but we beat a team that we may be fighting with down the road to get into the playoffs. This one was really nice! Now bring on the Seahawks we are ready to win another one! GO COWBOYS!

Falcons Cowboys

Let’s Enjoy Austin Without All the Comparisons

StarStruck GraphicsMiles Austin definitely stole the spotlight on Sunday. He did more than his share, helping the Cowboys trounce the Falcons.

However, one thing is really bugging me. I’ve heard people say he’s the new Michael Irvin, I even read an article claiming he is T.O. with smile.

Give Miles Austin his credit for what he has worked hard to accomplish. There is not much about Miles that reminds me of Irvin or Owens. In fact, not to belittle either of those superstars, but Austin did something they never did… and he did it as a #2 receiver. He currently holds the franchise record for receiving yards in a single game. Of course Irvin and Owens hold their own franchise records. Which essentially proves my point even further.

I know people are just excited and happy about the win and the hope that Austin brings for the Cowboys and I love it! I love when the fans get pumped up and enthusiastic.

I’m sure Miles would feel honored to be compared to such great professional players, but I’d also bet he would be the first to tell you he is nothing like them.

Forget the three different personalities and egos, their playing styles are nothing alike. Not to mention, you may be getting a little bit ahead of yourselves.

There’s nothing wrong with being compared to the likeness of football greats, so maybe I am overreacting.

Either way great work Miles keep it up, we are very proud of you!

Oh yeah, and for the record I never got into the whole “The New Triplets” thing with Romo, Owens and Barber a few years ago. We need to make new memories and dynasties. Embrace the past and learn from it, but don’t try to recreate it, it never works out right.

America’s Frustrating Team

Well Cowboys Fans is it time to worry yet? I don’t know about you but I am really getting frustrated with this team. I am by no means ready to throw in the towel but as I am sure we all know, something has to change, something has to fire this team up, something has to give these guys a kick in the pants. I must say at least one thing is consistent, and that is their inconsistency.

At times you see them walk the ball down the field like they are playing against a college team, then for the next few drives they cant get out of their own way. It is hard to put the blame on just one player or one aspect of this team, it does appear to be an entire team issue. I love Romo don’t get me wrong, but it is hard to find much to list him as an “Elite” quarterback from what we have seen over the years, granted it has only been a few. Do we blame Romo? Maybe at least partially. How about Offensive Coordinator Jason Garret? A couple years ago he was thought to be an up and coming coaching prospect, or at least a successor to Wade Phillips. But there are times he makes me want to pull my hair out of my head as I scream at the television “Why?!?!, why did you call that play?!?!”

Then again, when they click and the team rolls down field you see the plays that are called and understand his potential. I guess I am just venting, there is still plenty of football to go for this season and plenty of time to right the ship. One thing I do notice is the lack of intensity, lack of heart. I will never abandon ship, I will ride it to the end whether that be the promise land and the Lombardi Trophy, or to the bottom of the abyss, I will be there the whole way. I just don’t know how much more we fans can take, it seems like we get close, expectations high then things like the Seattle Playoff game a few years ago, the Eagles game last year, and the other oh so close games just out of reach enough to raise my blood pressure.

OK, I feel a little better now, thanks for listening and sorry for popping off. I will keep the faith, ride the lightning, cheer and cry with all of you. Lets believe in our boys, we are due, our time is almost here.

Know Your Cowboy

With training camp coming to an end and the Boys departing San Antonio for the comfy confines of their new palace, I thought this would be a good time to write the first of what could be many brief bios of current Cowboy players. Just a little something to help the fans get to know your Cowboys a little better.

As I sit here and try to pick one of the many Cowboys to start with, I am watching Fridays preseason game versus the Titans. I just watched a beautiful nine minute eleven second, 90 yard drive end in a Marion Barber 1 yard plunge into the end zone for the first score of the game. This was a thing of beauty, a long drive mixing in a bit of Romo to Roy Williams and some pounding by the Barbarian, a sign of things to come for the season no doubt.

So it would seem the obvious player to start with would be Marion Barber after taking his stroll into the end zone. But … yes I did say but, I am also reading up on some of the players on the roster and I realize I do not know much about this years first draft pick, albeit a third round draft pick, but still our first draft pick.

With their first overall selection of the 2009 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys chose Jason Williams in the third round (69th overall). This 6 foot 1 inch 238 pound Linebacker out of Western Illinois is expected to be a starter (and a good one) on Special Teams and compete for the Nickle and Dime Linebacker positions, as well as be in the mix for substitutions in the regular defense.

In his college career he was a disruptive player tallying 14 forced fumbles, 289 tackles and 15 sacks. In 2008 he set a school record with 6 forced fumbles in one season and was voted an All-America first-team selection by The NFL Draft Report, The Sporting News, Associated Press, the Sports Network, College Sporting News and the American Football Coaches Association.

In his senior year last year he recorded 67 of his tackles (39 solo) and 4 sacks, showing that as he got older he got better. Hopefully as he transitions into the NFL he will continue to improve his game play and his numbers. This kid has strength and speed and in a few years you probably will see him replace Brookings or someone else as a starter in the defense. The Cowboys may have gotten themselves a steal with this stud.

Oh and by the way, another rushing touchdown, this one by Felix the Great, has the Cowboys up 14-10 at half time.

First Preseason Game

Hey folks, well the first preseason game is coming up on Thursday and it I cannot wait. No, it will not be a game in which the starters will play much, if at all. What it means is that the season is right around the corner and we will finally get to see what the Cowboys have learned from last year’s performance.

We will get to see some young rookies show what they have and maybe show us that they deserve a starting position. We never really learn a lot from the preseason games, but it is football and the real games will be here soon enough.

Hopefully we will get to see a series or two of Romo and the other starters, I am curious to see the changes in the offense or lack of changes.

Anyway, it will be great to see some Cowboys playing football and to see some hitting by the defense. Even though we have experienced some injuries already, hopefully we will not have more. We will see what happens.

Go COWBOYS beat the RAIDERS!

Are We Spoiled As Cowboys Fans?

I thought I would write about this since the Lakers just won their 15th championship.

We all love the Cowboys.  We Bleed Silver and Blue. But are we spoiled as Cowboys fans?

We expect Super Bowl wins every year and we should as Dallas Cowboys fans. But last year the team didn’t make the playoffs with a winning record.  We often reflect on the previous season to say what went wrong. We have that right. It’s our team.

Should we criticize as fans about the “problem” locker room? We weren’t in the locker room with all the players. The media, especially ESPN, likes to bring out the worst of our beloved Cowboys. Don’t get me wrong one of my favorite things to watch is Sportscenter, but I don’t have to listen to them bash the Cowboys. 

I know this is like beating a dead horse. Will the Cowboys be better off this year without T.O.? We will see. But we should be excited about our offense too. Williams, Crayton, Austin, Witten, Jones, Barber and Romo. That’s still an explosive offense.

I put the Cowboys in the same breath as the New York Yankees, Detroit Red Wings, and the L.A  Lakers. We have been to the final game and have won our fair share. The Yankees have won some 26 Championships. We haven’t been that elite yet and maybe never will, but we should be very proud of our team and its accomplishments. 5 Super Bowl wins, 20 division Championships, and 29 playoff appearances. The Cowboys also have 11 Hall of Famers with one more on the way.

The Cowboys have accomplished a lot in their existence, more than a lot of  professional sports teams, and we should be proud of that. I think this team, with the defense playing up to their capability like they did late last season, will make their way to the playoffs once again.  Even with all the “turmoil”  the Cowboys still had a great year and overcame injuries.

Now, the blasting by the Eagles still hurt but I am very excited about this upcoming season Are you?

How Bout Them Cowboys!

Cowboys Tough Start to Season, Early Analysis

martellus1

The NFL schedule has been released and it makes for some good day dreaming and predictions for all……I had to join in the fun and share with all of you all.

In my early opinion, it is a tough schedule. There are 3 occasions where we have back-to-back road games, we have an early bye week, and travel to New York in December, that ugly stadium is never a good place to be at any time of the year, but especially in the dead of winter.

I also noticed that we play two teams that I think are going to make a step up this year in Seattle and Kansas City. I will hold out on my overall season prediction, because it can be so subjective and things can change so rapidly in the NFL,  but here is my take on the first “quarter” of the season:

WEEK 1 – @ Tampa Bay - The Boys start the season on the road for the second straight year. This should be like last year’s opener, a convincing win. The Buccaneers are in rebuilding mode, Dallas should be ready to get things started on the right foot. A slow start with a big second half should end in a 31-13 victory. RECORD: 1-0 (0-0)

WEEK 2 – vs NY Giants - The NFL did us no favors with the G-Men opening up the new stadium in Arlington. A tough matchup every time, the Giants will be fired up to ruin our party on national TV.  In a playoff atmosphere, The Boys will be hoping to show an improved run defense and it will be imperative in this game. This is truly a toss-up, but you have to believe we will pull off a thrilling win in the opening game in our new house, 27-24. RECORD: 2-0 (1-0)

WEEK 3 – vs Carolina – A tough follow-up to the emotional home opener, on Monday Night Football to boot. The Panthers will be attacking the Boys new-look secondary with Delhomme and Steve Smith, and it could make for a long night. Romo shines on the big stage but it won’t be enough as the Cowboys take their first loss of the season, and in the new house, and over-reaction ensues as it becomes official that we won’t go undefeated due to a 31-27 loss. RECORD: 2-1 (1-0)

WEEK 4 – @ Denver - We travel to the Mile High city fresh off the first defeat and face a Broncos team minus their pro-bowl QB and long time head coach, I anticipate they will be starting to find their footing by week 4 and it makes for a tough game, on the road. We look sluggish in the first hald but then turn loose the rushing attack to grind out a nail biting victory and the Cowboys nation rejoices in a 3-1 start thanks to a 17-10 win. RECORD: 3-1 (1-0)

WEEK 5 – @ Kansas City………………….

I am just very glad to see the dates and times that we will all be gathered around our TV’s or local sports bars or maybe even the beautiful new stadium for the lucky few, all living and dying with every play. All I know is that it is 148 days until we take the field in Tampa Bay for Game 1. It will be another great season of Cowboys Football and make sure you check in here at Lonestarstruck.com for all the best information and hottest graphics all season long!!

Cowboys Fan for Life – TD