I’m not sure why Cowboy Nation just enjoys being pessimistic. I watched the New York Giants game with a close friend and fellow Cowboy fan. During Tony Romo’s game winning drive, he turned to me and said, “You know, the worst thing that can happen is..” I had to stop him mid-sentence! I don’t want to know the worst thing that can happen. Why are you even thinking about the worst thing that could happen? How about predicting who’s going to catch the go-ahead touchdown? How about telling me the best thing that’s going to happen? Why is being positive, supporting and believing in the Cowboys such a crime? Is it really that hard?
People make fun of Matt Hasselbeck quarterback of the Seattle Seahawks. In 2003, against the Green Bay Packers there was a coin toss for overtime. After the coin toss, Hasselbeck said, “We want the ball and we’re gonna score!” Well, Packers cornerback Al Harris intercepted his pass and returned it 56 yards for a touchdown. It didn’t work out the way Hasselbeck desired, but I loved his optimism. Receiver Dez Bryant mentioned that in the huddle, Romo said, “We’re about to go down there and score this touchdown and win.” Do you really want a quarterback leading the team that doesn’t believe they will get the job done? Romo, the quarterback with the highest fourth quarter QB rating in NFL history. How can you lose faith with Tony “Captain Comeback” Romo at the helm? No, I’m not waving pom-poms, he has more comebacks than Cowboys Hall of Famer Roger Staubach. It’s fact. Maybe Romo should be “Major Comeback” or “Lieutenant Colonel Comeback”, we can work on that later.
The Cowboys still have concerns on both sides of the ball, but most teams do. I could give examples, but I only care about the Cowboys. With Jason Garrett’s – one game at a time – concept, I’m sure they will stay focused and defeat the Oakland Raiders by eight. I’ll predict Cowboys 28 – Raiders 20.
I’m confident because I saw noticeable signs of improvement since the Cowboys last played in New Orleans. The Cowboys defense held the Giants to red zone field goals twice. Eli Manning’s touchdown pass came after his scramble which forced defenders to either cover their receiver or break coverage and make a tackle. Offensively, they moved Dez Bryant to the slot for a few receptions and both running backs – DeMarco Murray and Lance Dunbar – averaged better than 6 yards per carry and 13 yards per reception.
Our Thanksgiving game against the Raiders will be the last against the AFC West opponents. The Raiders have lost to every other NFC East team but that guarantees nothing. Both teams have a short week to prepare, but the advantage goes to the Cowboys. The bye week allowed time to prepare for the Giants and the Raiders.
The reward for victory will be extra rest days and time to prepare for the Chicago Bears in Soldier Field. The stars are aligning for a late season, three game win streak. One game at a time, of course.
See you in Chicago!