Where has THAT team been all season? The Cowboys played an amazing game from the start to the finish. Romo was on fire, Witten was on fire, Bryant made some spectacular catches and the Defense put in their best effort of the season. If the Cowboys had played like that all year, we could be talking about not only winning the Division but challenging the Packers for the NFC.
And that my friends is what was extremely frustrating about yesterday’s game. We know this team is talented on both sides of the ball but it rarely shows. Now before you get all on me about never being happy, trust me, I was extremely excited about yesterday’s performance.
I’ll admit I was completely wrong about what the Cowboys/Bills game would be. The Cowboys destroyed them and by doing so, have taken my hopes to new heights. The Cowboys trail the Giants by one game and have a pretty easy schedule where the Giants have a brutal schedule.
So what will we talk about this week? I’m sure this week will be about how great Tony Romo is, how he’s just the guy we want as our QB. See, I said it recently, he gets too much blame and too much credit, well prepare for a week of too much credit. Felix Jones might be back and the way Murray has been playing, Jones might as well go return kicks or something. This job belongs to Murray.
There is going to be a lot of talk this week, especially with the Skins coming up so for now, I am going to go enjoy how I feel about the Cowboys!!no comments
The 5-3 Buffalo Bills are coming to Dallas to take on our 4-4 Cowboys. The Bills are coming off an important loss to the Jets because it put them in third place in the division despite the Bills, Jets and Patriots all having a 5-3 record.
The Cowboys are coming off a win over the not so wonderful Seahawks and could REALLY use a win this week over the Bills as they are chasing the division leading Giants who travel to San Francisco, a play the Giants always have a tough time.
When it comes to the Bills and Cowboys getting together on the gridiron, we certainly have a few favorite memories.
1) Super Bowl XXVII – I’m 36 years old and I’ve rooted for the Cowboys my entire life but I was way too young to remember them winning in 1977 so this was the first Super Bowl for me. I love Super Bowls that come down to the wire but when it is your team, there is something great about blowing out the other team. I do try to forget the Leon Lett play from this Super Bowl though.
2) Super Bowl XXVIII – This one was a little closer, in fact, I was a little worried going into halftime that the Bills were finally going to figure out how to win a Super Bowl. I still remember Leon Lett coming out in the second half and making Thurman Thomas cough up the ball, which Dallas scooped up and returned to the end zone which tied the game. Dallas would score 24 unanswered points in the second half to win their second straight Super Bowl, one that the Bills probably should have won.
3) October 8, 2007 – The Cowboys went into Ralph Wilson Stadium and got completely out played. Romo couldn’t figure out anything offensively and threw 5 picks that night. The Bills appeared to win the game when Jabari Greer ripped the ball out of Terrell Owens' hands on the Cowboys two-point conversion attempt with 20 seconds left. But Dallas tight endTony Curtis recovered the onside kick to set up the Cowboys' game-winning drive. Nick Folk kicked a 53 yarder to win the game, or so they thought but the Bills had called a time out. Folk had to kick it again, which he did and the Cowboys won 25-24 sending them to a perfect 5-0 record.
So what are we watching for this time around?
Tony Romo – Lets not throw 5 ints this time around!!
Dez Bryant – With Austin out again, Bryant has to pick up the slack and it is time for this man to step into the spot light as a playmaker.
DeMarco Murray – Can he make it 4 straight impressive games?
Fred Jackson – He’s from Austin, Texas so he returns home as the NFL's third-leading rusher, and is facing a Cowboys defense that has given up a lot of yards on the ground in the last two weeks.
Stevie Johnson – He has 42 catches for the Bills this season. Witten is the only guy on the Cowboys with more catches this season (44).
Chan Gailey - I'm sure he'd love to beat the team that didn't give him much of a chance by firing him after two winning seasons.
I’d imagine this could get to be a high scoring game but hopefully a game the Cowboys can win.
As we get ready for the showdown with the Buffalo Bills, we decided to do another Q&A session with one of our Bloguin colleagues. This week, we get the answers about the Bills from Buffalo Wins. We appreciate their insight and taking the time to answer our questions.
Q: Ryan Fitzpatrick is putting up numbers this year that far exceed anything else he has done in his career. What has been the difference this season compared with his other years in Buffalo?
A: I think it is just about getting in a comfort level and having more experience. Entering this season, Fitzpatrick only started two seasons worth of games. You don't have to be a football historian to know that when you play more, you will get better. I think a lot of the credit has to goto Gailey, who has really designed the offense around Fitzpatrick's skill sets. He's not a QB who is going to burn defenses with the deep ball, but he is better suited for underneath routes. You will be seeing a lot of 8-10 yard comeback routes or slants. In Fitz's last 21 starts, he has 38 touchdowns and has passed for almost 5,000 yards. We are talking about a guy who during his first year in Buffalo had only one game where he passed for over 200 yards (8 starts). He's also gone from completing 55% of his passes last year to 65% this year.
Q: I see the Buffalo Bills as a team with a few wins where the other team got complacent with the lead which opened the door for a come back, a few wins where the other team threw four interceptions, and a quarterback putting up numbers out of line with the rest of his career. I question whether this fast start can be repeated in the 2nd half of the season. As a Bills fan, tell me why I am wrong to think it won't be.
A: You make a few good points. I think you have to give them credit though for coming back in those games. It's not every season that you have a defense intercept Tom Brady and Mike Vick four times each. You also have to give credit to Fitzpatrick for being able to throw for 300 yards in back-to-back games against the Raiders and Patriots. Now do the Bills have issues? Yes, there defense is kind of useless when they don't force turnovers. Besides their 9-sack performance against the pitiful Redskins, they have only forced 5 sacks in the other 7 games. They have also give up over 400 yards in offense in 5 games this year. I think if the Bills have any success going forward, they need to get better on defense. As for the 2nd half, the Bills schedule does have some winnable games. Broncos, Titans and Dolphins (twice). The Bills opponents for the first 8 games had a combined 36-28 record. Only two of those teams are one game under .500 while the rest are over the mark. I should also note that they came very close to knocking the Bengals and Giants off, which would have given them a 7-1 record.
Q: What are the Bills’ strengths, both offensively and defensively?
A: Offensively, I think the way they use Fred Jackson is their biggest strength. Fred can do everything. Pass block, catch screens and run over people. Fred's averaging over 5-yards a carry and is on pace to go over 2,000 yards in total offense. The Bills also do a decent job in protecting Fitzpatrick, as he's only been sacked 9 times this year. It will be interesting to see how the Cowboys defend him. As for the defense, they are great when it comes to forcing turnovers. I'm not sure where it comes from because we give up a lot of yards, but the team has caused 20 turnovers this year. They have also 3 interception returns for touchdowns. However, I wouldn't exactly say our defense is a huge strength. I think Cowboys fans should keep an eye on Nick Barnett, Marcell Dareus, Jairus Byrd and George Wilson. They are our best players on defense.
Q: Give me one matchup that favors the Bills you want them to exploit and one matchup favoring the Cowboys you are afraid they will exploit.
A: I think the Bills can beat the Cowboys defense by going over the middle and using the tight end and running backs out of the backfield. I think the middle of your defense is kind of suspect. You guys don't seem to have quick linebackers inside and I think the Bills can take advantage of your safeties. Cowboys offense scares me a bit. The Bills have given up 20 points or more in 6 out of 8 games this season. If I'm the Cowboys, I get Jason Witten involved as often as possible. The Bills have always had issues with defending the tight end.
Q: Chan Gailey is a face Cowboys fans are familiar with. To be honest, I never really liked what he did while he was in Dallas. What are your thoughts on Chan Gailey?
A: Chan has been great so far for us. If you look at the Bills personnel on offense, our QB and #1 WR are carryovers from the Jauron era. Stevie Johnson had something like 11 career catches before Gaily got his hands on him. Fitz was a nobody. Hell, the whole offense is a bunch of nobodies. Only Eric Wood (1st round), Andy Levitre (2nd round), Scott Chanlder (4th round) and Kraig Urbik (3rd round) were drafted below the 7th round. The rest of the starters on offense are either 7th round picks or undrafted free agents. We've had a ton of injuries to our wideouts and the offensive line, and yet, we haven't missed a beat. Gailey calls the offensive plays and he is really a master of game planning. I will say, the one thing he does that can annoy Bills fans is that he can be too pass happy. He just seems to kind of pass on the wrong times. He tried to force feed the pass last week against the Jets, when he should have just ran Fred more.
Q: Who wins this game?
A: I think this will be a high scoring game. I think both offenses can roll up some serious chunks of yardage. I'm not sure how I feel about Rob Ryan's defense, because you guys seem to shut down some bad offenses (Seahawks and Rams), but when Stafford and Vick came around, they made Rob look like the black sheep of the Ryan family. I think it boils down to QBs. Fitz and Romo have a few traits in common. One second, they can look like top tier QBs, the next minute you are just shaking your head at a key interception they just threw. I think the Bills will be able to force turnovers and should be able to pull it out. Bills, 30-24.
Yes, the Cowboys won the game and yes, they did so without the game coming down to the final possession. However, there were things I witnessed during the game yesterday that bothered me. I’m grateful for the win, although it was a game that the Cowboys were supposed to win but I worry that in a close game, these things could come back and bite us.
• The return game is awful. I was all for Dez taking over the punt return duties despite the injury risks but the first punt he returned, he fielded at the 5 and ended up at the 2. I'm certainly NOT in favor of those kind of mistakes. Then, after Seattle tied the game at 3, Olgetree took the kickoff out from deep in the endzone, or should I say stumbled out of the endzone, made a small cut and then stumbled some more. I’m wondering if Joe DeCamillis is telling his players he wants returns at all costs because you don’t field a punt at the 5 and you don’t run out a deep kickoff if you’re barely going to make it to the 10 yard line.
• I know the term “powerhouse” isn’t a term you would associate with the Dallas Cowboys but the coaching staff proved to us that they don’t believe this team is that either. How do you end up 1st and goal in the 18 inch line and not once call up a running play? Even if you move the ball 6 inches each time you run it, you still end up in the endzone in 3 plays. Instead, they call 3 passing plays and ended up with 4th and goal from the 2. WTF???!!!
• When the subject of Dez Bryant comes up, one particular movie quote comes to mind. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUcHUSDB53M) Seriously, what is this guy’s deal? You screw up the punt return and then he had a nice catch and run but ended up fumbling the ball on the 2. He had four catches for 76 yards but for the fourth time this season had zero catches in the second half. I’m tired of the comparisons to Michael Irvin because if Irvin had stretches where he didn’t catch a single ball in the second half, the Cowboys wouldn’t have been as successful as they were. There is a reason he was nicknamed "The Playmaker."
• While the Defense created 3 turnovers and blocked a field goal, they still got burned by Lynch for 135 yards running the same kind of plays that McCoy ran last week. It won’t take a genius of a coordinator to pop in tapes from the last 2 weeks and find the recipe for a successful ground game against our defense.
The bottom line is the Seattle is not a great team and the Cowboys should have been able to put in a performance like they did against the Rams. They didn’t and the game was up in the air going into the fourth quarter. Thankfully they did find a way to win and while I highlighted the bad things above, they did do some good things as well.
• Demarco Murray has had 3 straight games where he has looked pretty good. It makes you wonder where this team would be had Felix Jones not gotten hurt. Wait, isn’t that they way that Miles Austin found his place on the team? When Jones gets healthy, I certainly hope they’ll leave DeMarco where he is and let Felix Jones go back to being that guy comes in for a handful of carries and pass attempts and turns those few carries into big plays. Let DeMarco take the load because it looks like he can handle it.
• Tony Romo – 19 of 31, 2 touchdowns and wasn’t sacked so a good performance from him. He had trouble in the red zone but a lot of that came down to play calling from Jason Garrett. I don’t wish anyone to get fired but should the Chargers continue their disappointing season and should Norv Turner find himself out of a job, I would love to see Norv back in Dallas as the Offensive Coordinator next season. I do have to laugh at the Cowboys fans a bit though. At one point Romo was near the endzone, took off running and saw 4 defenders in front of him and opted to slide instead of putting the shoulder down. That decision was meant with a bunch of boo birds, the same birds that criticized him for putting the shoulder down against the Jets and coughing up points. No matter what he does, he can’t please anyone. Thank you Tony for being smart and not costing us 3 points!! I do think Tony is feeling better and hopefully we will see more performances like this in the second half of the season.
Dallas has some things to fix and the task at hand next week is a tough one. The Buffalo Bills are a decent football team but coming off a loss to the Jets. I’m sure Chan Gailey would want nothing more than to bring his Bills into Cowboys Stadium and hand his former team a big fat L.no comments
It’s not too late to write this ship. To sit here and say the Dallas Cowboys are done for the season is a little premature. As I said in a previous post this week, I believe the Cowboys can go 4-1 over their next 5 games and get their record to 7-5. Of course a 7-5 record is nothing to phone home about but the Giants have a tough schedule coming up and the Eagles got off to a slow start, which could hurt them. I’m not expecting the Redskins to really make any noise the rest of the season.
The Giants – Currently lead the Division at 5-2 but their next 5 games are: @New England, @San Fran, Philly, @Nola and Green Bay. At best I could see them going 2-3 but I think 1-4 is more realistic. We play NY twice in the month of December so things could get very tight between us.
The Eagles – Currently 3-4 and their next 5 are: Chicago, Arizona, @NYG, New England, @Seattle so they don’t have a very hard schedule. The could realistically go 3-2 over their next 5 which could make the Christmas Eve showdown in Dallas an extremely important game.
I’m trying to be optimistic here!! Our first obstacle is beating the Seahawks. It’s one of those games that makes me a little nervous because there is no reason the Cowboys shouldn’t run them out of the building but they hung in there with Atlanta one week, losing the game late, beat the Giants pretty easily, then lost a 6-3 game to Cleveland and then got run over by the Bengals. I honestly don’t know what to expect from Seattle. They are a very young and very inexperienced team but that doesn’t mean they can’t figure out how it all works one week. I do like that the game is in our building. Tarvaris Jackson is no Michael Vick, Marshawn Lynch is no LeSean McCoy, Sidney Rice and Mike Williams are no DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin but that doesn’t mean we can just look past this game.
Seattle’s rush defense is actually pretty decent, only giving up an average or 3.2 yards per carry and have only given up 5 rushing TD’s this season. Their passing defense is the key to beating them as they average 7.4 yards per pass and have given up 8 TD’s but they do have 8 INT’s. I am expecting Romo, Witten, Bryant and Austin to have big games this week. Offensively, Seattle isn’t very good and I think this might be the week that Ware at least ties Jim Jeffcoat for the most sacks in franchise history.
I do think Dallas wins this game and I think they do so by a decent margin. We need to show the world that we aren’t as bad as what we put on the field the other night in Philadelphia.no comments
Are we over the Cowboys loss to the Eagles yet? It is currently Wednesday but I still have a really bad taste in my mouth after sitting through that game the other night. There was a game last season that left me in a similar state of mind. That game, a 45-7 blowout by the Green Bay Packers which ended up being Wade Philips last game in Big D. The difference between that game and this game against the Eagles is that the Cowboys just gave up on Philips and it showed on the field. In this game, the Eagles were just a stronger football team which still doesn’t leave me feeling very good but it was a different reason they weren’t in the game. Hopefully the players have gotten the images from the other night out of their minds and are ready to move on to the Seattle Seahawks, who have put together a good game here and there.
It seems that all the criticism that comes with being the Dallas Cowboys QB has finally broken Tony Romo. It looks like he’s afraid to do anything out there on the field. When Romo makes a mistake, the following week is spent crushing the guy’s spirit. On the flipside, when he does something great, he’s paraded around town for the week. He gets too much credit and too much blame and I think he’s playing the type of football where he’s hesitant to do anything because he doesn’t want to get the blame again and probably doesn’t want the credit either. When you’re out there trying to find a way for your team to win, whatever the outcome, mentally all the finger pointing and jokes has to weigh you down at some point. Troy Aikman was a great QB but he had a great Running Back and a great line, something Romo has never really had. I’ll never question if Romo is a great QB because we already know that he is. I just don’t know if he’s strong enough to play the mental game that is needed in Dallas.
There has been a lot of talk this week about who is the bigger disappointment, Felix Jones or Doug Free. I honestly don’t think it’s been either of them. Going into the season, I questioned whether or not Felix Jones could handle the #1 job. Jones had 185 carries last season and Barber had 113. The most carries Jones saw before last season was 116. More carries meant a lot more hits and we weren’t sure what kind of durability Jones would have. We found out that he wasn’t very durable but to say he’s a huge disappointment isn’t exactly fair since we might have been asking him to do something he’s just not made to do.
I was never really sure about Doug Free as a player. A few years ago, Flozell Adams went down in the playoff game at Minnesota and the Cowboys had to rely on Free. From that moment in the game, the Vikings Defense took control of the game. I realize Free had a decent season leading up to that but I never bought into the idea that he was THAT good but Dallas did and cut ties with Flozell after the season. There are arguments that can be made about the Cowboys doing the right thing by getting rid of Davis and Columbo but you can’t argue that those guys knew how to move the line. So far this season, the Dallas O-line hasn’t done a great job at pushing the defense back. So if you asked me for my vote in the” biggest disappointment” department, it would have to be the O-line as a whole.
Like I said, I’m not over what I saw and didn’t see on the field the other night and I don’t know if I will get over by the time the Seahawks game starts. I’m thinking that I need a great performance from the Cowboys this weekend to put the Philadelphia Massacre behind me.
My apologies..This post was delayed due to the foot of snow and massive power outages my neighborhood received over the weekend.
Remember when I was talking about how the Cowboys need to win their division in order to make the playoffs? Forget that, this team doesn’t deserve to make the playoffs after that performance last night. They’ve proved two things over the last two weeks. 1) They can beat up on a weak team at home and 2) they have no business playing the elite teams of the NFL. This Eagles team we played isn’t the same Eagles team that began the season, so yes, they are an Elite team.
I don’t think there is anything good that came from last night. Tony Romo and his inability to control his offense has me, the guy that has defended him while the rest of the world was beating down on him wondering if maybe I was wrong. Maybe Tony could be a great QB in a place like Cleveland but maybe he’s in over his head as the Dallas Cowboys QB.I don’t want to think that but I was really disgusted to see what we saw from him last night. The offense just had no momentum all night long.
Please tell me the defense didn’t make the flight from Dallas/Ft.Worth to Philadelphia. Or please tell me they got the same snow storm in Philly that I got and the defense stayed in a different hotel and didn’t get to the stadium. Something, anything because there was nothing to like about what they put on the field last night either.
Here are a few quick thoughts:
• Martellus Bennett didn't help his cause with fans and the media with his bobbling of a Tony Romo pass leading to an interception. Why this guy is still on the team is beyond me.
• Paging Anthony Spencer…Anthony Spencer please pick up the white courtesy phone. It’s the Dallas Defense wondering where the hell you’ve been the last few weeks.
• Dez Bryany is a talented receiver, no one is going to argue that. But his sideline antics are becoming a problem. I get that you are frustrated but don’t go the T.O. route and start being an a-hole to the guys around you and the media.
• Sean Lee has a dislocated left wrist and said he's not sure if he'll play Sunday vs. the Seattle Seahawks. Lee hurt the wrist trying to tackle Michael Vick in the first half on Sunday. That leaves Brooking and James to take over for Lee, and I didn’t like what I saw from either of them on Sunday night.
• Tashard Choice said “It’s a blessing” to have gotten cut by the Cowboys on Monday. You’re right Tashard, THANK GOD they ran your ass out of town!!
Here is the good news I will give you. If the Cowboys can fix whatever went wrong in practice this week, their schedule gets a little easier over the next 5 weeks.
Realistically, they could go 4-1 and improve their record to 7-5. Wins over Seattle, Washington, Miami and Arizona are very possible. The way Buffalo is playing makes me doubt that game.
This isn’t a must win game but it is certainly a game that could have huge playoff ramifications down the road so it is certainly a critical game. It is not going to be an easy game. First off, the game is in Philadelphia and we know how much Philadelphia loves the Cowboys. Second, if the Cowboys do win and drop the Eagles to a 2-5 record, one would have to believe that it would be very unlikely for the Eagles to recover from that. Those reasons alone make this game a very tough game for the Cowboys.
The Dallas Cowboys lead series 59-45-0 and have won 4 of the last 5 meetings.
Things I will be watching this week:
Running Game – I covered this yesterday and still stick to the thought that the team that successfully runs the ball, despite what the passing game does, will win this game.
Eagles Pass Rush – Will Garrett have faith in his O-line ability to protect Romo and allow him to drop back and take shots downfield or will he resort to the quick 3 step drop?
Eagles Secondary - All 3 of their top corners, Asante Samuel, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, and Nnamdi Asomugha are excellent at playing man to man but they do spend a lot of time in a zone coverage, which I still don’t understand. Rom and the Cowboys WR’s will be facing what is arguably the best group of CB’s in the NFL.
However you look at it, this game should be a good one!! For those that need a little history lesson on the Eagles/Cowboys, I invite you to watch the following. It was made just before the Dallas/Philly playoff game 2 years ago but it gives you a lot of history which many people forget. One has to wonder what Buddy thinks about Rob Ryan working for the Cowboys.
Cowboys–Eagles, are you ready? This is a HUGE game. I don’t care which way you look at it but this game is HUGE. As I’ve touched on before, the only way I see Dallas making the playoffs this season is by winning the NFC East. So no matter how you look at it, the Cowboys can’t let the Eagles win this game. Of course, that might be harder than we think. Andy Reid and his Eagles are a perfect 12-0 when coming off the bye and oh look, they had a bye last week.
All eyes have to be on the ground game. The Eagles own the #1 rushing offense in the NFL while the Cowboys own the NFL’s #1 rushing defense. If you look at the flipside, the Eagles have a poor rushing defense and the Cowboys, while coming off a huge rushing performance against the Rams, haven’t really had success in that department this season.
When it comes to the passing game, we know Vick can be a great quarterback and we know that Romo can be a great quarterback. Notice I said can be in both cases. Both QB’s have a lot of options when it comes to passing plays and both will get some points through those options but I really believe the team that walks away from this game with the win will be the team that had success on the ground.
The story of Rob Ryan saying he’d kick the Eagles ass is starting to creep up again but I think that headline is irrelevant at this point. First off, the comment was made in August so I don’t see a 12 week old comment really being used to fire up your squad. Secondly, if you need that comment to fire up your squad, then something is wrong. I would think that having your season on the brink of doom should be enough of a spark to fire up your team. Sadly though, the media is running wild with this comment.
Of course this game makes me nervous because I feel, for the first time this season, that this is a critical game for Dallas. I’m not overly confident about the Cowboys when it comes to critical matchups. At least Dancing Andy make me laugh and relax a bit..
When a winless team, who is without their starting QB, comes into your building, you are SUPPOSED to crush them. That is EXACTLY what happened yesterday and it was a much needed game for this team as the Cowboys had 11 consecutive “barn burners” going into yesterday.
Let’s start with the running game because that was probably the biggest difference in the game yesterday. I’ll admit that I didn’t have a lot of confidence in DeMarco Murray. I mean up until yesterday he really hadn’t show us much but what a day he had. Let me step away for that for one second and also congratulate Philip Tanner. Tanner carried the ball six times for 34 yards and a touchdown in the fourth quarter. It’s not close to what Murray did but its reason enough to believe in a Murray/Tanner 1-2 punch going forward. Tashard Choice should have returned to the locker room after the game to find his stuff moved out to the parking lot. He’s a waste, a complete waste and maybe via trade, Choice could be something positive in the end for the Cowboys.
What a performance that was by DeMarco Murray! He rushed for a franchise and rookie record 253 yards. It was the 10th best rushing day in league history. Murray's 91-yard score was probably one of the more explosive plays of the season and certainly set the tone for the game. His name is now up there in Cowboy history with guys like Emmitt Smith and if he can continue to keep his name up there with Emmitt Smith, the future looks promising.
A few other notes:
• Tony Romo had a quiet day was 14 for 24 with 166 yards and 2 TD’s
• Dez Bryant had only one catch at halftime but then had 4 catches in the 2nd half, including a 4th quarter TD.
• Abram Elam led the Cowboys with eight tackles and supported the run with three tackles for loss
• DeMarcus Ware picked up his eighth sack of the season and forced an A.J. Feeley fumble on the play as well. Ware tied Tony Tolbert for the most sacks by a Cowboy through the first six games of a season since sacks became an official stat in 1982.
The Cowboys now get ready for an important NFC East matchup because no one has really stood up in that division and taken command yet, so with the Giants on a bye this week, the Cowboys are now right on their heels (although they take on a pathetic Miami Dolphins team next week).no comments