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Link: Cowboys Have A Solid QB Situation

In a post to Fox Sports Southwest, they look at which teams have the best and worst quarterback situations. Basically, they are looking at which teams not only have a solid starter, but also look at who would step in if that starter got injured.

They rank the Dallas Cowboys as the second best quarterback situation behind Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts. It’s a different way of looking at things.

It all begins with Tony Romo, who finally won a playoff game in his fourth year as the starter.  He’s quickly becoming one of the NFL’s truly elite passers with 107 touchdowns over the last four seasons, and his yards per attempt average has dipped below eight only once in a season.  His 63.4 career completion percentage is better than Tom Brady’s, Brett Favre’s, Ben Roethlisberger’s, and Philip Rivers’s.  He could be even better in 2010 with Dallas’s most impressive array of weapons since the Troy Aikman days.  

Then there’s backup Jon Kitna and his 115 career starts.  Kitna has topped 3000 passing yards six times in his NFL days, and 4000 twice.  You won’t find many teams with a second-teamer who owns more TD passes than the four-year starter, but Romo has a couple of seasons to go before besting Kitna’s mark of 152.  That’s 259 TD passes on this team if you’re counting.

I think it’s important to have a solid backup like Kitna on the team, and though you hope you never have to use him, it’s nice to know he’s there.

Big Wheels Keep on Turning……

Well, where to begin?

There is the obvious, the accolades and astonishment of the instant-classic win over the Eagles, 41-37. It was the one of the toughest games to watch in terms of pure joy, fear, anger, joy, sadness…..HALFTIME…..anger, joy, sadness, excitement, and then……relief. A win is a win, and they are hard to come by in the NFL. This one was extra sweet due to the great Texas Stadium environment, the largest TV audience in the history of cable television (18.6 million viewers) and the fact that it came at the expense of the hated Eagles. Well, how bout them Cowboys? 2-0…..the reward: the next “Game of the Year”….another showdown for NFC supremacy against the Green Bay Packers, at Lambeau.

Where are we now?

Two weeks into the season and it feels like we are already in week 8 with Hard Knocks and the wait between the first 2 games. We are just starting on our “journey” and we have along way to go to the finish. Here are a few humble observations, from yours truly:

Playmakers: They are like good friends, either you have them or you don’t, and the Boys have plenty. There is no question that we are the most explosive team in the NFL, and any play has the chance for a TD, no matter where we are on the field. It all starts with the quarterback and there is no question that with Tom Brady out and Peyton Manning struggling to regain his form following knee surgery, Tony Romo has established himself as the top QB in the league right now. When you add TO, Witten, Barber, Crayton and Felix, it is downright scary.

Penalties: This is becoming a major concern. Coach Phillips says the penalties are on him, but that is clearly “coach-speak”. It is up to the players to not grab the facemask, or not commit a false start. I can’t get to worked up about a holding penalty or pass interference calls because both seem to happen on every play, and it is just a matter of whether the official decides to throw the flag. The mental mistakes need to be kept to a minimum and hopefully that will begin to happen as the season wears on and the players settle into the routine. 

Zone Defense: Am I the only one that doesn’t think this works that great? This is, of course, a type of pass coverage. The DB’s play an area of the field as compared to getting on a man and covering him wherever he goes. I understand that man-to-man has great risks as well, but against Philadelphia and a veteran QB, the receivers had no troubles sitting down in the open spots and just waiting for the ball to arrive, and McNabb was putting it on the money. On the flip side, it worked pretty well against Cleveland. Personally, I am not a fan of the zone defense for the whole game. I am no defensive coordinator, but I think with Pac Man and Newman, we should give them a chance to man up at times and at least have a chance at an interception. You have to bet big to win big. Through 2 games: 0 interceptions.

Injuries: So far, there have been big scares: Romo laying on the field in Cleveland looking like he just got hit by a bus, Barber’s ribs banged up and Witten immediately grabbing his shoulder after an awkward landing. We have been fortunate that these guys are tough enough to fight thru these “minor” injuries. It’s like the old saying: “Are you hurt, or are you injured?”. These offensive stars were only hurt and not injured, thankfully. The news from the Philly game is that Roy Williams suffered a fractured forearm and is out about a month. And you add Kyle Kosier, who has been out for the whole season thus far as well as Terrence Newman and his gimpy groin, and it starts to add up. What can you do though? It’s just a part of the game.

So, overall, things are good here in Cowboys Country, we are right on schedule, 2 wins, 14 more to go! It’s good to be a Cowboys fan and I am looking forward to this very tough schedule we have. Fear no one, Respect everyone. I truly believe that the only team that can beat us is ourselves. We have the talent and the heart of a champion, now it’s time to keep working towards getting a championship. I know one thing, were gonna need alot of popcorn.

Cowboys Fan for Life – TD

The Prophet Strahan Picks Cowboys To Win It All

The opening day of the NFL season was exciting for some fans and excruciating for others.  For us Cowboy fans, we watched the Cowboys take some “hard knocks” in the dog pound with MBIII’s bruised ribs and Tony taking it on the chin, but overall our Boys looked superb (I won’t discuss the penalties here, but Wade, get on their “arse” about that…).  Jets fans were, no doubt, excited to see Favre in that green and white uniform, and he didn’t disappoint.  Poor Patriots fans who haven’t yet recovered from the greatest underachievement in history, have now had to face the fact that Tom Brady is out for the season and the fantasies of the Brady Bunch earning another Superbowl title has now been all but erased from the list of possibilities.

The thing I found most interesting about Sunday was that Michael Strahan, former defensive end of the Giants, predicted the Cowboys to win it all.  Strahan said, “I have to be realistic and I have to be objective here, the Dallas Cowboys are the best team in the league.”

Most of Strahan’s former teammates stated that Strahan was just trying to motivate the Giants since they are considered a longshot to repeat as Superbowl Champions.

Do you think Strahan was trying to motivate his former teammates? I don’t. I think Strahan, who I admit was awesome at his position, decided to retire at the end of last season because he realized Santa Claus had given the Giants a present that was far and above what could be expected. Strahan realized that hoisting the Lombardi was a fluke that could not be repeated during his career and decided to “get out while the gettin was good.” You can’t motivate mediocrity. Strahan was just being a realist, and the reality is that the Cowboys, barring serious injuries, are the best there is.

Strahan is not trying to motivate the Giants.  His new job as an analyst depends on him being knowledgeable of the game and accurate in his analysis of teams in the league. He didn’t say that the Cowboys were the best team in the league to motivate the Giants. He said it because the Cowboys are the best team in the league.

In the Old Testament, God often called prophets to prophesy against their own people and let them know that judgment is on the way.   You may not agree with me, but I believe Strahan is a “prophet” who is simply acting on his calling to let the Giants know that judgment is coming – it’s coming from Texas, God’s Chosen Team is about to reclaim their place as Superbowl Champions.

The Lombardi is coming home to America’s Team.  I assure you it is not going to stay in the “Meadowlands of Mediocrity.” God bless Michael Strahan for having the “prophetic courage” to speak the truth and God bless the Cowboys.

I LOVE HATERS

As the new season arrives each year, we as fans are inundated with previews and predictions from every and any sports magazine that is imaginable. When I was younger I would be waiting for them like I would wait for Santa Claus on Christmas. These days, with the internet and ESPNEWS and the overall coverage of pro football, I am usually nauseated by this experts predictions and that pundits crystal ball halfway through training camp. At the end of the day, who picked the Giants to win the Super Bowl last year? Not many, if anyone. That being said, there is one preview that I look forward to reading and that is Sports Illustrated’s NFL PREVIEW. For those of you in the same boat, be warned: do not read this if you want to read about it in the magazine for yourself. This year’s issue, with Tony Romo on the cover, does not seem to find the Cowboys in as favorable as light as some of us fans might expect.

For starters, let’s look at The King 50. This is the top 50 players regardless of position ranked by veteran SI writer Peter King. The Cowboys ranked 4 players among the top 50. The top ranked Cowboy is DeMarcus Ware (#15), ranked one spot ahead of Shawn Merriman, who was drafted by the Chargers ahead of Ware. D-Ware is the top ranked Linebacker and 4th highest ranked defensive player overall. This seems very accurate and fair, but then it get’s ugly for the Cowboys. Next for the Cowboys is Romo (#19), but he is the sixth ranked Quarterback behind Tom Brady (#1), Peyton Manning (#2), Drew Brees (#6), Carson Palmer (#7) and Ben Roethlisberger (#18). To me, this is a joke. I think Romo should be ranked higher overall, as well as ahead of Brees, Palmer and Big Ben. I would put him somewhere at #10, as the third ranked QB. Then you have to go all the way towards the bottom of the list to find the final 2 Cowboys. Jason Witten (#41) is ranked behind players such as Aaron Kampman (#32), Phillip Rivers (#31) and tight end Antonio Gates (#35). That is a joke. But you want funny? Just look at the hate that Terrell Owens is getting! T.O. (#43) is ranked behind receivers Randy Moss (#4), Larry Fitzgerald (#33), Reggie Wayne (#36), Braylon Edwards (#39) and yes, get this…..Wes Welker (#40)! We all know T.O. though, fuel to his fire. He probably already has the list posted in his locker!

Then we get to the magazine’s predictions. Following a 13-3 season and a division title as well as all of our starters returning, you would think it would be an easy selection to pick the Cowboys to defend the division crown, but instead SI has us finishing 10-6, and second to….the EAGLES! I about threw the magazine away at this point. And to add insult to injury they forecast us losing to the Eagles in the 2nd round of the playoffs, as Philadelphia advances to the NFC Championship and then to the Superbowl, where they are predicted to lose to the Patriots.

There is also a feature story about the Cowboys offensive line and the meltdown in the the 4th quarter of the playoff loss to the giants, as well as the team preview which includes a small story, with absoloutely no breaking news, about Pac Man.

One small highlight is Felix Jones ranked as the #3 player with breakout potential and says he enters the NFL as “one of the best cutback runners in the game.”

So, overall, it is not a very good read for Cowboys fans, but at least something to get fired up about. The preseason is over, and now it is time to go defend our division title and get that playoff win that we have been searching for, and when we do, I am going to be reading a new Sports Illustrated talking about how great we are, and that is when we will get the last laugh!

 

Cowboys Fan for Life – TD  


Pursuit of Perfection Fails to Finish

In the end 18-0 was just not enough.  18-1 doesn’t earn you a Championship when the loss comes in the last game.  You have to be able to finish to claim the title of Superbowl Champions.  I think it was Fox announcer Curt Menefee that I heard say, “The Patriots came in undefeated while the Giants came in undaunted.” That just about sums it up. As many of you know, I was rooting for the Giants in this game while many of my other Cowboy friends wanted the Pats to finish their season undefeated and go down in history (while many Cowboy fans also couldn’t have cared less).  I really didn’t think the Giants would accomplish this, but my hat is off to the G-Men.  They had a job to do and did what no other team has been able to do this season.

The Giants defense was definitely the key in this game.  The defense was able to put so much pressure on Tom Brady that the Pats were never able to get in rhythm and stay there.  Brady was sacked 5 times and hit 9 other times while throwing the ball.

As Cowboy fans, why should we care?  Well, here are my thoughts for what they’re worth:  The Giants defense pressured Brady just like it did Romo in our last game against the Giants.  While many people have wanted to play the blame game and not give the Giants credit for the win over the Cowboys, I for one, will do so. Our loss to the Giants had nothing to do with Jessica Simpson, or Mexico, or assistant coaches being distracted. Jessica didn’t play in the game.  The game took place in Dallas, not Mexico.  The coaches didn’t drop the balls, botch the plays, or fail to protect Romo.  Like T.O. said in his interview after the game: “We lost as a team.”

Protection was something Brady would have loved to have had yesterday. The Giants defense just kept getting into the backfield and I’m sure that Brady was hearing footsteps coming up behind him on every play by the end of the game. I don’t blame Brady for this loss and I don’t blame Romo for ours.  A quarterback is one man, while a win/loss is a team effort. The Giants outplayed the Patriots, and, much as it pains me to say it, they outplayed the Boys.

I do take some consolation in the fact that the Patriots will not be considered “The Greatest Team of All Time” now. They are just one of the other 31 teams who failed to finish.

One final thought for what it’s worth: Our Cowboys played the Giants three times this season, winning two, but losing the one that counted. The Patriots played the Giants twice this season, winning one, but losing the one that counted.  If you add up the score of the Giants v. Patriots games you come up with 8 quarters of football and a final cumulative score of 52-52.  The Cowboys, on the other hand, played 12 quarters of football against the Giants and finished with a final cumulative score of Cowboys 93-Superbowl Champions 76. Now, I know that’s not much consolation to my Cowboy friends out there but I find some satisfaction in it (not much, but some….).  Should we have beaten the Giants at home and advanced further in the playoffs? Yes, we should have, but we didn’t.  Could we have beaten the Patriots in the Superbowl?  Yes, I think we could have, but that question will have to remain unanswered.

To the Patriots, I say, we Cowboys know how you feel.  It’s tough to have so much promise and potential and fall short at the end.  We know…..

To the Giants, who have not, and probably will not, get the respect they deserve from most, I tip my hat to you on a good season and the ability to finish well. Wear your crown proudly. You are Champions and I freely admit it. 

However, keep your ears to the ground during the offseason. Down in Texas, horses are getting re-shoed and saddles are being polished. If you listen closely, you will begin to hear the thunder of distant hoof beats and the crack of whips.  All too soon, you will see Stars on the horizon.  It’s not your fan club coming to pay homage.  It’s a cattle drive decked out in Silver and Blue coming to trample you and take your crown.  So, enjoy this one Giants. We’re thinking of you here in Texas.  Can’t wait to see you.

Contributed by Rich Isaacs

 

Even Troy Agrees That Romo Is Among The Elite

The Cowboys will be in D-Town to face the Lions on their home turf, Ford Field. Last year the Cowboys almost beat the Lions on December 31, 2006, but the Lions won 39-31 at Texas Stadium. This was the last game of the season, and after once being 8-4 and riding a four-game winning streak, the Cowboys limped to the regular-season finish line, winning one of the last four games and finishing with a 9-7 record for the second straight year. But unlike last season, at least the Cowboys aren’t completely finished….

They’ve had an awesome season thus far with the help of Wade Phillips. The chemistry has been phenomenal and just like last year the Cowboys are heading into the playoffs once again. Only this time they have finally gained the respect they deserve. They’ve proven to everyone that they are and will always be America’s team!

With an incredible record of 11-1 this season, and the only loss they had was to the spy cheating Patriots. Nothing would satisfy me more than watching my Boys take on the Patriots one more time for a head to head match up. Oh, wouldn’t that be sweet!

Have you heard what Troy Aikman recently said about Tony Romo?

When it comes to analyzing great quarterbacks, there aren’t many who do it better than Troy Aikman. After all, he was one for more than a decade. So when Aikman is ready to put another quarterback into the category of "great," it carries more weight than the average guy. And on the subject of Tony Romo, Aikman has simply seen enough.

The Cowboys Hall of Fame and Ring of Honor legend was at Valley Ranch on Thursday and will call Sunday’s game between the Cowboys and Lions (noon, CST) for Fox. Aikman spoke on several NFL topics, but the conversation kept going back to Romo.

Not only is Aikman ready to place the greatness tag on Romo, but he doesn’t understand why Romo’s name isn’t mentioned more with Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. Here is what he said…

"Over the last several weeks, there’s always the debate – who do you take, Brady or Manning?" Aikman said. "Somewhere in there is Tony Romo… why is anyone reluctant to put Romo up there with those guys?"

"He’s playing at as good a level as anyone in the league. Granted, you have to do it over a period of time. I get that part. But he’s a terrific player."

Romo is having an even better season. In fact, he’s on pace to have the best season in Cowboys history, as far as statistics. One might argue that a season should only be judged on the outcome at the end, but even Aikman said it’s hard to argue with what Romo is doing this season. He has already shattered Danny White’s single-season touchdown record of 29, by piling up 33 touchdowns with four games still left to play.

Most important, Aikman said he doesn’t expect the Cowboys to lose another game in the regular season, which would give them an unprecedented 15-1 record. The Cowboys have never finished better than their 13-3 record in 1992, Aikman’s first of three Super Bowl seasons in a four-year span.

All the signs point to Tony Romo having the best season of any Cowboys quarterback, and Troy Aikman certainly agrees.

I will be at the game on Sunday and I am counting on all of you my friends to cheer our Cowboys on and make some noise…and ya better get ya popcorn ready!!

Go Cowboys!!!

Submitted by Mayra Amaro