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FORWARD PROGRESS: Weapons Of A Different Breed

Forward Progress

Training camp is finally here! Rejoice Cowboys fans! Another beginning will soon be upon us, and this is the first step along the lengthy journey of the season. You win in December and in playoff games and in Superbowls by preparing both physically and mentally here in late July and August. I didn’t get a chance to hear much of the “State of the Cowboys” address by Owner Jones and Coach Wade, but let’s be honest, I don’t think I missed a whole lot other than some cliche’s and some hopeful optimism, not that there is anything wrong with that. I must admit that it is hard to be so close, yet so far away from real football. In a way, I am going to have to fight through a lot of the things that are going to be brought up and mused upon over the course of the next 3 or 4 weeks. You know, the usual suspects: Can Romo win in December? How will the offense perform without Terrell Owens? Can Wade get his players to stay motivated? Blah, blah, blah! I understand that the media has a job to do, but I am just not interested in the same ole, same ole.

Some of the things that I am looking forward to finding out over the course of training camp will be how the new additions to the defense are going to fit in, who will win the number two spot at wide receiver and maybe, just maybe, get a glimpse at how Jason Garrett plans to manage all of his unique weapons.

Ah yes, Mr. Garrett and his weapons. I can’t think of a Cowboys team in the past with a more unique set of offensive weapons than this 2009 outfit. It will be a challenge and a delicate balance to efficiently use all of the running backs and tight ends, as well as develop the chemistry and timing between Romo and Roy Williams and the rest of the receivers. I am excited to see what Garrett can do with this group. I still have confidence in Garrett, I think he did have some challenges and obstacles dealing with Owens last year and in the end I believe that it affected his play calling and game planning. That is just my opinion, nothing more, nothing less.

I think that the best thing for Garrett, Romo and the entire franchise would be to have the heart and soul and identity of this team actually be the running game. If you are able to establish the run week in and week out, then it makes everything else so much easier. You can control time of possession, and gain valuable field position by churning out those first downs. Honestly, if we are unable to establish THIS team’s running game than there will have to be major changes in many areas next off-season. The extremely well compensated offensive line, led by Leonard Davis, are just flat out going to have to open some holes and then let the three headed monster do it’s thing. We have 3 backs who could arguably be starters for almost 20 other NFL teams at least. There are other great backs in the league, but I can’t think of any teams who would turn down Marion Barber or Felix Jones, and very few who would not like to have a guy like Tashard Choice somewhere in the mix. All that being said, there are no excuses to not dominate in the running game this year.

Once we soften up the line of scrimmage, we can open up our can of beans and rice! We should be able to carve up the middle of the field as well as any team in the league with our dynamic tight ends. We have the top tight end in all of football in Jason Witten, who also will contribute to the running game with his solid blocking, and then the young, explosive Marty B as his sidekick. This will be one of the most exciting things to watch this year for me. It’s not exactly rocket science here. When it’s third down and six, look for Beans and Rice.

And then, when it’s time to really put it on them, as my boy Nate the Cowboy Ninja would say, just dial 9-11. Romo to Roy Williams, and don’t forget Miles Austin, Patrick Crayton and Sam Hurd. This is where the majority of the big gains will and should come from and if the running game is established and the middle of the field has been softened up by the tight ends, it will be easy pickings for an accurate passer like Romo.

Man, just looking at all of the options gets me really excited, we have the weapons. It’s time to optimize them and, bottom line, that’s on the shoulders’ of the coordinator.

Cowboys Fan for Life – TD

A Few Minutes As An Eagles Fan

I admit that with a background in Biblical studies, theology, and philosophy I am not your typical sportswriter by any means.  Sometimes my blogs are a bit “over the top” when I apply Biblical analogies to the Cowboys and events surrounding them.   I have been a fan of the Cowboys since 1972 and get these crazy ideas and start writing until I gush with praise over their success (or I think Armageddon is just around the corner when they fail).  That’s just the way I think in my own little world inside my head and I share it with others in the hope that they might find it entertaining as well.  Do I really think God has a favorite team?  Not really.  I think God loves all people, without regard to their skin color or the uniform they wear.

So, today, I have decided to try something different in this blog.  I am going to try to lay aside any bias or prejudice I may have.  For a few minutes, I’m  going to pretend to be a fan of another NFL team and ruminate on our glorious history.  Now lets see which one I should pick…

The Buffalo Bills…with four straight Superbowl losses…Nah.

The N.Y. Giants…No.  Although, my hat is off to them for last year’s success, I’m still too bitter.

The Redskins…NO!  I can’t commit blasphemy even if it is just pretend.

I know…the Eagles!!!  Since we play them this Monday, they’re perfect.

Now lets think back over the grand and glorious history of the Philadelphia
Eagles…

We have gone to the Superbowl eight times and won five Lombardi Trophies…No. Wait.  That was that other team we hate so much.  We, the Eagles, have gone to the Superbowl…um…just once. It was 1980 and we made history by being the first team ever to lose to a wildcard team (the Oakland Raiders).

Remember when the Bills went to four straight Superbowls and lost all four? Each loss was to a team from the NFC East; once to the Giants, once to the Redskins, and twice to the Cowboys.  One of those should have been ours in order for the entire NFC East to have been represented.  Unfortunately, those damn Cowboys took more than their fair share.

OK, so Superbowl titles are not exactly our forte, but we do have three NFL Championships that we earned before the Superbowl was inaugurated.  These occurred in 1948, 1949 and 1960.  Unfortunately, since I am only 40 years old, I am not old enough to remember these “glory days.”   Then, in 1960, an expansion club (previously mentioned above) was started that sort of eclipsed us and we have been living in their shadow ever since.

This year is going to be different though. We opened last Sunday by obliterating the Rams 38-3.  Granted, the Rams are only a Junior Varsity team but I was really impressed. Now, we’re on our way to Texas to take on the Cowboys and that T.O. dude that we can’t stand anymore.  We Birds are ready to show “the Boys” what we have.

Awww hell, forget it – I can’t stand it!  I hope my Cowboys beat the wings off those Eagles!!!!

I am a Cowboy fan and proud of it. Forget this “New Age, get in touch with your enemy” crap. I am a one team, and one team only man.  The Cowboys are the only team I care about.  Give me the Silver and Blue. Give me the stadium with the hole in the roof and the Ring of Honor that makes me so proud. Give me the Star that some teams fear, some hate, but all respect.  Give me a “history of victory” and a destiny of future Lombardi Trophies down the road.  Give me the Dallas Cowboys – America’s Team – My Team.

To fans of other teams out there, God bless you. Keep supporting your team. Feel free to comment, brag on your team or bash mine. Diversity is what makes everything so much fun.  Stay loyal.  But just remember this – some call it arrogance, we just call it confidence. We know we’re good.  You support your team. I respect that and I respect you. But to paraphrase the book of Joshua from the Old Testament (Joshua 24:15), “Choose this day which team you cheer for, but as for me and my house, we will cheer for the Cowboys.”

Can I get an “AMEN” from the congregation?