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Bringing The Heat

Before I get into my thoughts on the game and what it means for us, I want to make one small point.  FIRE NICK FOLK!!!!!!!!!!!. I am so sick and tired of them making excuses for him. He has lost his edge. They showed footage of pre game warm-ups by Nick Folk. If I am correct I believe they showed 7 attempts WITHOUT a holder. How many of those attempts did he make? NONE!!!!!!! How can you sit back and watch your “struggling” kicker  miss several warm-ups before game and then when the game is on the line, put him in??  That makes absolutely no sense to me. I am also totally against Romo holding kicks. What other team in the NFL, NCAA, High school or any other league you want to bring up has their starting QB holding kicks? None!!! When Kris Brown of the Texans missed those critical field goals for the Texans this year, did Kubiak think, hey I have an idea; let’s put Matt Schaub back there to hold the kicks so that Kris Brown can make them, no he did not. Again, FIRE NICK FOLK!!!!!

As for what this game means for us this season, we are one step closer to the playoffs. We need help from SF this weekend by taking down the Eagles. Also, being the die hard Cowboys fan that I am, it makes me sick to my stomach to even think about saying this, but we really need the Redskins to beat the Giants. Wow admitting that I want the skins to win is even hard to type but it has to be said.

Now for the game. YEAH BABY!! WOOOHOOOO!!! WAY TO GO BOYS!!!! Ok got that out of the way. We finally got to see the FULL potential that the cowboys have on the field each and every week. Romo and the offense looked flawless. The defense was brutal. The game was AMAZING. On the field Romo was the better of the 2 quarterbacks going 22/34 for a total of 333 yards and 1 touchdown with ZERO interceptions or fumbles and his ability to avoid the rush was able to get him 4 rushes for 21 yards. Our #1 receiver Miles Austin once again showed us why letting T.O. go was the best option for the team with 7 receptions for 139 yards and a touchdown. Jason Whitten had a good game with clutch catches when it mattered most, as he usually does, going for 44 yards on just 5 catches. Romo also distributed the ball well to several other options, giving the rest of our receivers and our running backs a total of 10 catches for 129 yards. Once again proving that the Dallas passing game is a force to be recon with.

Rushing rushing rushing. There is not much more to say about our ground game than, MARION BARBER!!!!!!! That man is a beast and was not going to be denied. Although he only had 17 rushing attempts he went for a hard fought 62 yards and 2 touchdowns. Felix Jones made his presence known not only on his 14 carries for 58 yards but also in the return game averaging 30 yards with one return of 41 yards. Let just say this is one ground game that was not going to be denied.

Ok, say it with me, DEFENSE!!! DEFENSE!!! DEFENSE!!! Wow what a performance our defense put up. Anthony Spencer is coming into his own and making all teams account for him. Our secondary is making other teams passing games quiver. Our linebackers are making running backs think maybe we should pass the ball more often. And then there is the man. The best defensive player in the league. The man that gets thru double teams to force QB’s to make errant throws, picks and run for their lives. Of course, you know I am talking about Demarcus Ware. After last week when all of our hearts stopped and the city of Dallas came to a complete stop and everyone was holding their breath, while Ware was being carted off the field, no one knew if he would play this week. Well, as we all know he did play and once again he dominated. He had a total of 2 sacks with 2 forced fumbles, and of course the key forced fumble at the end of the game with ten seconds left in the game to seal the victory for the Cowboys.

The Cowboys as a whole during the game Dominated every aspect of the game We had more first downs, 24 to 23, more total net yards, 436 to 336.  Rushing yards were to our advantage 145 to 65. Our defense held the high powered offense of the Saints to only 3 points in the first half and 17 points in the game with Drew Brees passing for under 300 yards and only touchdown. A very big key to the game was third down efficiency.  While Dallas went for 8 of 15 attempts on third down with a 53% efficiency rate the Saints only converted 1 third down during the game with an efficiency rate of only 14%. Once again proving that our defense is one of the best defenses in the league. Let’s take this win and this momentum that we know have, and bring it to the next game when we go to Washington and show them that the December curse is now OVER and we are making our run to the SUPERBOWL!!!

Cowboys Hand Saints Their First Loss In 24-17 Thriller

Wow what an incredible finish to an incredible game, and quite possibly some the best drama we’ve seen all season.

The Cowboys did the unexpected and beat the previously undefeated New Orleans Saints 24-17 in a hard fought battle that kept most Cowboys fans on the edge of their seats right up until the final seconds of the game.

Tony Romo and Miles Austin lit up the sky and the scoreboard once again on offense, while Marion Barber and Felix Jones kept the ground game churning and burning.

However, it was the defense who stepped up the most and found a way to stop the juggernaut from New Orleans.

DeMarcus Ware

DeMarcus Ware was back and made some key plays including a sack of Drew Brees and a forced fumble with 10 seconds left on the clock and the Saints moving the ball. The Cowboys recovered and the rest as they say was history.

Anthony Spencer and Mike Jenkins had huge efforts on defense, and as for Spencer, he is quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with on defense.

The only bad note to the game was the continuing struggles of Nick Folk who missed a chip-shot field goal that the Cowboys needed to put the Saints away for good. There”s no way the Cowboys don’t replace him next week.

This was the first December win on the road since 2007 for the Cowboys.

The victory may have put a final nail in the Giants coffin, but keeps us alive and well for a play off spot as we inch closer to the final game of the season against the much hated Eagles at Cowboys Stadium. What a game that will be!

Merry Christmas everybody!

Enjoy this gift from the Cowboys!

December Tumble Continues, Chargers Zap The Cowboys 20-17

Before I get into my little tirade, let me first begin by saying how relieved I am that DeMarcus Ware only suffered a sprained neck. Seeing him lying on the ground like that sent chills down my spine and I’m sure all of us collectively held our breaths waiting for DeMarcus to show some movement and give us a sign he was okay. When he gave that thumbs up it felt like the weight of the world was immediately lifted off of our shoulders.

As for the game, if you want to call it that, what can I say that you haven’t already heard every December for the last three seasons?

The Chargers made themselves right at home in Cowboys Stadium and beat us 20-17 in front of packed house of 90,000+ fans.

The Chargers have now won 16 consecutive December games, while the Cowboys still struggle to put a couple of wins in a row together in what has become their death knell. The Cowboys may have produced more first downs (22 to 21) than the Chargers, but it’s points scored that matter the most in the NFL.

It seems that whether they are on the road or at home, where they never seem to have any advantage, the Cowboys are always behind and have to play a vicious game of catch-up. In fact, do you know that the Cowboys have not had one touchdown drive on their first possession in over a year? The other team almost always strikes first blood and that’s not really a lasting formula for success..

The turning point of the game came just before the end of the first half when on first and goal and on the one yard line, Marion Barber failed to get in the end zone.

The Chargers defense was impenetrable as Barber failed to break through again and again and again including on fourth and goal. Barber got the hand-off on that final attempt, but the Chargers got penetration and dropped Barber once again for no gain allowing San Diego to take over on downs at their own one. It was as deflating a series as we’ve seen all season long and just humiliating and brutal to watch.

They went into halftime trailing 10-3 despite running an unbelievable 28 plays in Chargers’ territory. That is such an epic fail on so many levels, it’s almost hard to believe a team can be that futile and impotent.

And even when they did recover the ball after those failed Marion Barber attempts at the one yard line, Nick Folk missed a 32 yard field goal that would have made it 10-6.

There seemed to be no sense of urgency, and I took issue with the fact that Wade Phillips didn’t use up any of his timeouts to stop the clock and give his offense a few more shots to get some points on the board. Also, with 4 seconds left in the half, Romo took a knee rather than attempt one final pass if only to give the perception that there was some fight left in this team.

You could have turned your sets off right there. It was apparent that the San Diego Chargers were doing everything they could to win, while the Cowboys did everything they could to lose.

The second half only confirmed our first half fears.

So now the Cowboys have tallied consecutive losses for the first time this season, and head to New Orleans to face the undefeated Saints on Saturday night.

With the loss, Dallas falls to 8-5, and pending the outcome of tonights game between the Eagles and Giants, they will either be in second place, or in a three way tie for first. The thing about ties is this, the Cowboys have the worst record in the division and would lose any tie breaker.

How many days to the NFL Draft?

Weekly Game Balls: Week 13

Unfortunately I’ve had to say this before, sometimes its hard to choose players worthy of game balls after such a devastating loss. This week the offensive game ball was a given but the defensive game ball took some thought.

This week’s offensive game ball goes to Jason Witten.

Jason Witten never fails us. Even though it had seemed he had slowed down for a few games, Witten excelled during his second consecutive 100+ yard game.

Witten had a career day last Sunday in New York. Not only did he catch his 500th catch for the Cowboys but his 14 receptions for 156 yards also set a career high for the veteran tight end. He has also moved up to second place behind Michael Irvin in Dallas receiving of all time. That’s pretty impressive!

The Cowboys didn’t come away with the win on Sunday, but this wasn’t due to lack of performance from Mr. Clutch by any means.

Way to go Witten!

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This week’s defensive/special teams game ball goes to Jay Ratliff.

As stated above, this was a tough decision and not for a good reason this time.

However, the only defensive play that stood out and made a difference was Ratliff’s forced fumble and recovery.

The play lead to the first touchdown during the second quarter. I won’t go into what happened after that, but at the time Ratliff created a game-changer and for that he deserves props.

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Way to go to Witten and Ratliff!

Honorable Mention: Tony Romo ( 41-55, 392 yards, 3 TDs – a career/franchise high in receptions), DeMarcus Ware (lead the team in tackles and had the one and only sack)

Wade Phillips wants Tony Romo to “Hold” onto 2006

It was reported by ProFootballTalk.com today that Wade Phillips is thinking about giving Tony Romo his old job back. What job is that?? Being the holder for Nick Folk’s field goal attempts. How can anyone not think back to the playoff game in Seattle when Romo dropped the snap on a field goal that could have won the game. During Wednesday’s practice Romo was holding for Nick Folk.

“We feel like we need to do something, whether it’s the whole operation itself or some of the parts,” head coach Wade Phillips said.  “We’ve got to get more confidence from our kicker. We need to do better. There’s a possibility we’ll make a change this week as far as the holder is concerned.”

What does Wade mean “the whole operation”? The way I read it is that Wade is giving Folk one more chance. If he is still inconsistent then it will be the kicker who is changed. It was also reported that punter Matt McBriar has mishandled a few snaps, but I’m not sure if that is the case or if there is something wrong with Folk. Is it confidence or could it still be effects from his off season surgery.

In other news reported by DallasNews.com is that Flozell Adams has been fined $50,000 by the NFL for his dirty hit from behind on the Giants Justin Tuck. Adams also received a letter from the NFL saying that another incident could result in a suspension.

Martellus Bennett and Deon Anderson did not take part in practice Wednesday. Bennett suffered a concussion during the Giants game and Anderson has a bruised knee. Also, Terrence Newman had an MRI done on his knee, but took part in full practice.

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!!!!!!!!!!

Cowboys Fall to the Giants 31-24

Wade PhillipsDallas went to New York with high hopes and fell short, a touchdown short to be exact. Giants (7-5) walk away with the win and are only one “W” out of  first place. The Cowboys (8-4) now share the division lead with the Eagles. Never a dull moment in the NFC East.

Early on the Cowboys seemed to be controlling the game with a score of 10-0 up until the two minute warning. Then all of a sudden the Giants scored two touchdowns in less than two minutes right before halftime.

Tony Romo put up good numbers, but that just proves that stats don’t win games. Romo went 41/55, 392 yards, three touchdowns and ZERO interceptions. Romo’s 41 receptions set a new franchise record.

Roy Williams collected two touchdowns and had six receptions for 60 yards. Jason Witten came away with a career high 156 yards on 14 carries. While, Miles Austin had 10 receptions, 104 yards and one touchdown.

Romo and the receiving corps played great but those numbers mean nothing though when you lose to a division rival. And, it certainly didn’t help that the ground game never showed up. Between the three backs, Dallas only had 45 yards on the ground. All three lacked explosiveness and ran tentatively.

Nick Folk missed two field goals, and to be honest may not be a Cowboy for much longer. The Cowboys need a winner and Folk is definitely struggling lately. Many games come down to field goals and when you are in a run for the playoffs you need to be sure your kicker can make those shots.

On the defensive side of things, highlights include Jay Ratliff’s forced fumble and recover, Mike Jenkins’ interception and DeMarcus Ware had one sack. Other than that, mistakes, penalties and missed tackles were abundant.

This one is on the defense and special teams.

Jason Witten, who should have been celebrating a career best day and his 500th career catch said it best…

“We’ve got to challenge ourselves and find a way to play. We have to get back to it and forget all this December stuff. I’m not trying to avoid it or say it’s not true. We’ve got to put it away. You let another one slip and you’re really in trouble.”

***

Things we kept waiting for but never happened:

1. Massive Sack Attack from DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer

2. Deep Passes to Miles Austin

3. The Three-Headed Monster to Wake Up

4. Urgency From the Cowboys

Fans prepare yourself, because its going to be a long week of hearing about the Cowboys record in December. The schedule doesn’t get any easier either. Coming up: Chargers, Saints, Redskins, Eagles.

I’m not saying that our season is over, I’m not saying we can’t still win the division. All I’m saying is it won’t be easy.

This loss pissed me off more than any of the others this season. Usually I get sad, but not necessarily mad. It’s passion-driven anger. It’s uncontrollable and I shouldn’t let it get the best of me. I apologize to anyone who I offended or attacked during or after this game.

Don’t worry, I will pull myself together. I’ll get over it and look forward to the next game. The team should do the same thing. I hope they take this loss personally and take it out on the next team in line.

A Giant Test

Dallas, coming off a beating to the Oakland Raiders, now has to travel to New York and face the Giants for the last time in Giants Stadium. Yes, I know they are struggling but they absolutely do not like us as a team, organization, or even fans. They hate us and we hate them and that can be a lot of motivation for a team.

September 13, 2009 the Giants came to Cowboys Stadium and with the help of 4 interceptions, they squeaked out a last second field goal and a 33-31 win in the stadium’s opener.

Dallas is riding high and Miles Austin is putting us in prime position to make a serious playoff run. Romo is getting protection and he is delivering. Our three-headed running attack was phenomenal on Thanksgiving, and the defense continued to play very, very well.

The Giants pose a far greater test than the Raiders though. For one they are just a better team. Even though Eli is still dealing with the foot injury, we will have to watch out. Last time we saw Smith and Manningham they torched our secondary but to the credit of our team since that game, our defense has been playing lights out and we are 3rd in the conference.

We have a tough three game stretch starting in New York followed by a home game against San Diego and then the monumental task of traveling to New Orleans and trying to slow down Brees and the Saints. We will know by Christmas how good our football team is and what we can expect from them in January. I do not think I stand alone when predicting we will win the division and win in the playoffs.

GO COWBOYS!

Deja Vu Or Much Ado About Nothing?

Remember this picture of Tony Romo, Jessica Simpson and Jason Witten enjoying a siesta in Mexico just before their huge playoff loss to the New York Giants?

jessica-simpson-mexico-romo

Romo caught a lot of flack for that trip as many thought he should have been on the practice field preparing for that big playoff game. Work first, party later. Many fans blamed that trip for the heartbreaking loss that was to follow, although I didn’t think it was that big a deal at the time.

That said, TMZ has now released several candid photos of Tony Romo and Miles Austin hanging out at Body English, one of the hottest spots in Las Vegas, this weekend.

1130_tony_austin_01a      1130_miles_austin_spyonvegas

Now while this story continues to pick up steam, especially in New York where it is getting much air time, I really don’t see the big deal.

Yes I understand, it’s almost like an instant replay of what happened last time, and yes I know it happens to be the New York Giants again, but so what?

Athletes are just as much entitled to do what they want with their free time as we are. Too much is made whenever an athlete is out doing the things we all wish we could do. Both Romo and Austin have done a great job this season and they are both the biggest reason we find ourselves so close to another playoff run this season. So what’s wrong with both of them getting some down time in America’s playground?

Jerry Jones has been hounded with questions since the story first broke, but he finally took the time to issue a short statement regarding the incident.

“I don’t want to be naïve, and I recognize Las Vegas has a certain connotation,” Jones said “But they need all the pep-up they can get out there in Las Vegas, and that’s where many of us go. It’s a respite.”

If Jerry is fine with it, than so am I. As far as I’m concerned this is a non-issue.

Both players have now returned to Dallas, and Romo was on time to receive his treatment for his bruised lower back.

Is Cowboys’ Close Victory Over Redskins Reason To Worry?

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The Redskins-Cowboys rivalry has always been intense.

The Redskins have three Super Bowls to go along with their two NFL Championships, while Dallas has five Super Bowl wins of their own.

However, to my great delight, the Redskins have struggled greatly as of late due to the ineptness of owner Daniel Snyder, who makes Al Davis not look half bad, and general manager Vinny Cerrato, who has neglected several key positions.

The Redskins have had a repugnant offense this season. Before the Cowboys game, they had 140 points over nine games.

Dallas, however, had one of the best offenses in the league, averaging nearly 25 points per game.

For Sunday’s matchup, the Redskins offense did not have Chris Samuels, Clinton Portis, or Chris Cooley.

In other words, the Redskins’ offense was supposed to struggle against the Cowboys. They did just that.

However, what appalled this writer more was the fact that the Dallas offense, for the second week in a row, had only one touchdown.

7-6 was the final. The Dallas defense saved the day after Tony Romo made a clutch touchdown throw to Patrick Crayton.

Regardless of the fact Dallas won that game, they should be utterly disgusted with themselves for not blowing out the ‘Skins.

Why is it that Dallas was losing for three and a half quarters before they pulled out a win? They can get away with this against the Redskins, but what about other teams like the Eagles or the Giants?

What’s wrong with this offense?

The football player in me says they all failed, but the analyst in me is able to point a couple fingers and criticize those guys who need to do their jobs.

Roy Williams is still not a bust, but he is ticking me and a lot of my friends off. He missed multiple opportunities for big plays in that game. Tony Romo may not had the best pass at times, but those balls were certainly catchable, and Roy Williams did not catch them.

I still believe Williams has the ability to get on the same page with Romo and make these plays like he did in Detroit. The question is when will the chemistry click?

I can possibly give Miles Austin a break. I understand he was double covered a large amount of the time.

Austin came through in the end with four catches for 47 yards.

Could it be that the Skins were just pumped for this game because of the rivalry? Yeah, but I still think Dallas is better.

Dallas should have been pumped for this game. If I’m Jason Garrett, I want to run up the score and make the Skins realize that they belong at the bottom of the NFC East.

It didn’t happen though.

I don’t understand what happened, but it has to change. Maybe it is the playcalling. Maybe Romo needs to spend more time practicing with Williams. Or maybe the Cowboys need a swift kick in the rear.

Dallas won that game by a nose.

Now, they have they face the Raiders on Thanksgiving. Oakland is coming off a big win against the AFC North-leading Bengals.

I don’t want my turkey messed up by an anemic offensive attack.

This team has got to do better. They need to diagnose this problem and get an aggressive treatment for it before it bites them in the heel in two days.

Two days. That’s all the Cowboys have.

Should I be this worried? It is the Raiders, right? Sorry, I don’t underestimate the Raiders, and the fact is they have benched JaMarcus Russell.

If Tubby the QB was playing, I’d be a little less worried. But they are going up against Bruce Gradkowski, who is definitely an upgrade over Russell at the quarterback position.

Also, count on Austin to struggle because the Raiders have the best cornerback in the league, in my opinion, in Nnamdi Asomugha.

The guy is a textbook shutdown corner and he’ll be on Austin for sure.

Which means our main target will be Roy Williams. Uh oh!

Should Dallas fans be worried? Absolutely. My advice is for the religious one to start praying, because they’ll need all the help they can get.

James Williamson is also featured on http://www.nfltouchdown.com/ among other sites.

Cowboys Scalp Redskins… Barely

Patrick Crayton TDSomehow the Dallas Cowboys were able to snatch a victory from the jaws of defeat and beat the Washington Redskins 7-6 on Sunday. Instead of a devastating loss, Romo and company came away with an unlikely win, and Cowboy Nation can now collectively exhale and relish the moment.

For almost four quarters, the Cowboys offense was held scoreless due mostly to an ineffective passing game that featured poorly executed passes, dropped balls and a poor job of running routes. On a day that the Cowboys finally got their running game going, the lack of balance with the passing game allowed Washington to keep Dallas at bay and control the tempo of the game.

Romo was clearly out of sync for most of the game, but somehow he eventually rediscovered his accuracy in the final minutes of the game and connected with Patrick Crayton for the game-winning touchdown. He completed 7-of-8 passes for 60 yards on the winning drive and kept several plays alive by steering clear of the Redskins pass rushers.

Offensively, there’s still a lot of work to be done and the Cowboys must find away to effectively get into the end zone more often if they want to compete with the other powerhouses in the league. In the last eight quarters the Cowboys have scored a total of two touchdowns.

Marion Barber (107 combined yds), Felix Jones (49 yds), Jason Witten (5/49) and Miles Austin (4/47) all contributed. Roy Williams was targeted five times, but had no catches. Nick Folk missed his only field goal attempt.

Defensively, the Cowboys kept the Redskins out of the end zone and thus kept the team in a position to comeback and win the game. Keith Brooking continues to shine and picked up the only sack of the day to go with 4 tackles and 4 assists. Orlando Scandrick had his moments and Bradie James was his usual awesome self. Overall, they were solid all day.

The Cowboys now have five days to get ready for their Thanksgiving Day matchup against the Oakland Raiders. Enjoy the turkey, eat your veggies, and save a piece of pumpkin pie for me.

Cowboys Bounce Back to Beat Redskins 7-6

Crazy games aren’t rare for Cowboys/Redskins matchups, but this game’s score seemed more like a baseball game than football.

One of the saddest box scores in the history of football..

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

Final

Dallas

0

0

0

7

7

Washington

0

3

3

0

6

Luckily Tony Romo scrambled and found Patrick Crayton in the endzone with 2:41 on the clock.

This was an ugly loss. Thank heaven the defense was strong, holding the Redskins to only two field goals, because with the offense not scoring, this game could have gotten out of control.

The ground game was alive and well accumulating 153 yards, while the passing game was held to 152 yards. Even though Tony Romo won the game, he had horrible day statistically. Romo went 15 for 27, 158 yards, one touchdown and one interception. But in the end all that mattered is that he fought hard in that last drive and put the Cowboys on top.

The Cowboys go on to 7-3 and stay alone in first place in the NFC East.

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There is so much more to talk about, come back tomorrow for the full recap.