My weekly post typically consists of a preview for the upcoming game, but with the disgusting taste still in my mouth from Sunday night’s loss, I feel the need to touch on a few subjects.
The Dallas Cowboys have one of the best offenses in the NFL. Even when our stud rookie running back goes down when his ankle was twisted like a water hose attachment, Felix Jones stepped right in and showed that he can be a premier back. Tony Romo, with his full arsenal of receivers, threw for more than 300 yards, 4 TD’s, and no turnovers. This offense is firing on all cylinders, and don’t expect the Miles – Romo connection to be off these upcoming weeks.
For those of you who are worrying about Rob Ryan leaving, keep your pants on. He is a defensive genius, but he still couldn’t stop the Giants in the clutch when he needed to. He has all-star talent, but it seems his play-calling is not putting his players in positions to make plays. This team needs to build a championship defense, and I don’t believe that it will happen until our secondary is solidified with a bunch of tough-ass, press cover corners that will be physical with receivers.
Onto the Buccaneers after the break…
I hope that many of the loyal viewers in Cowboys Nation will not miss out on the game due to Time Warner and NFLN not being able to play nice for the sake of the fans. This game has the setup to have the same outcome as the Giants game. The Cowboys have a very short work week, with a Sunday night game this past week, having to travel to Tampa Bay, and having a Saturday night game, giving the boys about down a day and a half less than usual to prepare.
As miserable as many of us are right now, our team is not out of the playoffs. We have the luxury of controlling our own destiny. And yes, this is a luxury because we do not need the help of any other teams winning or losing in order for us to make it to the playoffs. Obviously, we will hope that the Redskins can take care of business against the Giants (like they did earlier in the year) and that the Jets can smash the Giants in their own stadium, but it’s just a hope. What we need to be able to bet on is our team coming to play.
Onto our words for success:
Tony Romo, you will be the sole receiver of Words of Wisdom this week. This season will live to fight on past January 1st, or wait until July based on your arm, pocket presence, and sack escaping ability. Your defense is going to offer you no help, and you will have to single handedly put up 100 points over the next 16 days (starting Sat night) in order to keep our playoff hopes alive. You lost your stud running back, and your center might be out for a few games with a concussion, but I think Kevin did a great job for a UFA. Your leadership ability has been questioned (albeit unfairly) and your resolve will be tested. Every time you touch the ball, you will need to get 7 points on the board in order for our Cowboys to make it into the post season. But this year has a hint of 2009 in it. After losing to the Chargers and Giants back-to-back, there were riots that wanted your head, Wade Phillips head (they eventually got it), and everyone else’s head.
This year, you’re going to have a similar finish. This year you will win a few playoff games, and this year you will put to rest those (supposed) December Demons. There are no more excuses, Tony. You have the best receiving corp. in the NFL lead by Witten, Austin, Bryant, and Robinson. Your offensive line, although young, has a tough tenacity to it; and it seems they are eager to get after it, and eager to produce results. The onus is on you. If you get help from Rob Ryan and the rag tag crew on defense, then great; makes your job a little bit easier, but we cannot rely on them to seal the game.
On a final note, there is a depressing air around Cowboys Nation these past few weeks. There is a giant pity party (no pun intended), and it’s disgusting. Every Sunday I have a ritual of putting on my favorite Cowboys t-shirt, my Witten throwback jersey, my Cowboys ballcap, grabbing a cold one and sitting back to watch our Boys’ in action. Of course, the game is much more fun watching them win, especially against good opponents, but this game would be completely boring if our Boys’ went out and outscored every opponent 45-0 week in and week out. Watching our Cowboys fight through whatever demons they are facing (especially on defense) is needed to the fan base. It shows true love for the blue and silver; it shows who is on the band wagon, and who is here to stay. I wore my Aikman jersey proudly, even after the likes of Chad Hutchinson, Quincy Carter, Clint Stoerner, and Vinny Testarverde took the field. I was there through the Super Bowl wins of the 90’s, and the slump that left many to join other band wagons (see Patriots fans).
As upset as we are about the two close losses in the past two weeks, this team has already surpassed the previous year’s win total, and has 3 games remaining with a chance at making the playoffs. And not only is it a chance, but it’s a chance that not many NFL teams have the luxury of right now; controlling our own destiny. If we show up, three weeks in a row, we make it to the playoffs. I sense a coming-together hullabaloo for this team. Garrett won’t allow his players to let them hang their heads, and down the stretch, this team will play as an underdog in its’ final two games. Expect great things; winter’s comin’.