As I sat down to write about this SuperBowl after watching the Baltimore Ravens hold off the San Francisco 49ers, 34 – 31, I toyed with the idea of other titles. ‘That’s The Night That The Lights went Out In New Orleans‘ was one, ‘Ravens Played ‘Lights Out‘ Til The Lights Actually Went Out‘ was another. A few more came to mind. The only thing was, this being a Dallas Cowboys blog site, there was no mention of my ‘Boys in those titles. That just doesn’t work.
So, without further ado, here is my review of the game thru Dallas Cowboy’s colored glasses.
Right from the first series, 49ers QB, Colin Kaepernick, looked a little shaky, like the stage was finally too big for him. When he lined up, he and the rest of the 49er offense, looked unsure and pre snaps seemed a little chaotic and disorganized. They actually reminded me of how Tony Romo and the Cowboys looked in many of their pre snap alignments during the regular season. It took an entire half and an extended halftime (half Beyonce, half lighting malfunction) for Kaepernick to work thru the jitters.
The first half was a completely different story for the Ravens. They played with purpose and lined up with confidence, like the Troy Aikman led Cowboys used to. Ravens QB, Joe Flacco, played like Tom Brady and even moved around like Romo (ok, more like Joe Montana used to, running to the sideline and throwing a pass at the last second before going out of bounds – like Montana did against the Cowboys – remember ‘The Catch’?). Flacco couldn’t be ruffled. I hate to admit, but I’ve been impressed by his play this post season. With the Ravens making no mistakes, and the 49ers making mistakes and coming out somewhat flat (you know, like the Cowboys often do), the score at halftime of this lackluster game was 21 – 6, Ravens.
The game looked like a blow out after the 49ers took a 28 – 6 lead with an opening 2nd half kick off return by Raven’s Jacoby Jones for a record setting 109 yards. What was the previous record? Well that was Jacoby Jones again, when he ran back a kick off for 108 yards against our Cowboys back on Oct 14.
That’s when half the the lights went out.
When the lights came back on and play resumed 34 minutes later, momentum swung to the 49ers, as they mounted an improbable comeback a la Romo and the Cowboys in most of their games this last season. But, the comeback, again like Romo and the Cowboys, came up short. The 49ers used up 2 precious time outs earlier in the game. They weren’t necessarily poor time management decisions on 49ers head coach John Harbaugh’s part, like you’d expect from Cowboys coach Jason Garret. One was by Kaepernick, and the other was by Harbaugh to save a delay of game penalty. Nevertheless, those time management issues hurt the49ers towards the end of the game. Sound familiar?
Ultimately, the 49ers made it a game against the Ravens. After finding their groove, the 49ers played to the level of the Ravens right up until the dramatic end, only to lose. They dug themselves a hole they couldn’t quite get themselves out of. That may have been unfamiliar territory for the San Francisco 49ers, but the Ravens had seen that team before. They had played a really good, sometimes mistake prone, team with a mobile QB that had an occasionally disorganized offense. A team that they barely held off at the very end of the game and the deciding points were from a record setting 2nd half kick off return. Yes, that team was the Dallas Cowboys.
As you may have surmised by now, I forced our Cowboys in where I could. I can’t help myself, I’m a die-hard Dallas Cowboys fan and I took the liberty.
So where do the Cowboys really fit in this SuperBowl article?
They haven’t for 17 long years.
More Cowboys notes and sightings during SuperBowl week:
The Cowboys weren’t missing from this SuperBowl or the pre-SuperBowl festivities.
First, hats off to former Dallas OG, Larry Allen, a first ballot Hall of Fame selection. Way to go! Former Cowboy’s coach, Bill Parcells, made it too, but lets not kid each other, he’s going in as NY Giants head coach (and maybe a little Patriots), not for his stops with the Jets or our Cowboys.
Former Cowboys DE, Charles Haley, was nominated for the Hall again this year, but didn’t make the final cut. According to the sports writers that vote on these guys, Haley’s snub had something to do with electing two defensive linemen in the same year and/or that there are only five spots and many deserving. I’m thinking they didn’t want two Cowboys going in together, especially when Jonathan Ogden was sure of a spot. See, Ogden was a left tackle for the Baltimore Ravens, and the Ravens happened to be playing in this SuperBowl. Coincidence? I think not. Not to worry, Cowboys Nation, Charles Haley will make it into the Hall of Fame – as soon as politics allows.
Cowboys TE, Jason Witten, was actually on the field of play at the SuperBowl, if only to be presented with the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award right before the game. A moment I savored, even though there was little fan fare to the presentation and it was over as quickly as they announced it. He also won this year’s Bart Star award. A Cowboys fan holds on to these little moments, mainly because these little moments are all we have lately.
Did I mention that Witten, along with Cowboys LB, Anthony Spencer, were the only Cowboys representing at the Pro Bowl, played the week before the SuperBowl?
Former Cowboys, Deion Sanders and Michael Irvin, were there as well, talking about the game for the NFL Network. Current Cowboy (for now) NT, Jay Ratliff’s DUI arrest was still stealing a tiny portion of the NFL spotlight leading up to the SuperBowl.
Goes to show you, the Dallas Cowboys are still in the NFL SuperBowl conversation, even when they haven’t actually been in the SuperBowl, or the post-season for that matter, for years.