By Jonathan Barger
Dan “The Man” Bailey, 24 in a row. What a dadgum stud. And 25 out of 26 on the year. (That’s 96% for those mathematicians out there) The Boys’ have you attempting 2.5 FG per game, and you’re on pace to have 40 attempts this regular season. You’re closing in your kicking coach’s (Chris Boniol) franchise record (27 consecutive FG’s) and also the all-time NFL leader, Mike Vanderjagt (42 consecutive FG’s). The only way we will be able to tell if the ball went in through the uprights on your OT kick is by watching it on the 2,100” video screen in Cowboys stadium. Regardless, the ref gave the signal, and that goes down as a good kick, a “W” in the win column, and the 2nd game winning FG you’ve knocked through against the Redskins. Your kickoffs weren’t half bad either, Dan. At the beginning of the season, I joked about you being the epitome of a kicker. Matt McBriar can break your arms in half, and his Fosters (Australian for beer) gut weighs more than your entire body; but you have earned a tremendous amount of respect from the team, coaches, and fans. I still however, for the next six regular season games and four playoff games, will be calling you “Rookie”, just for grins. Keep it up with the kicks, and I’ll keep it up with the anti-freeze, because what you have in your veins is much colder than ice water.
Rob Ryan, what happened to your swagger, man?! You need to quit watching the Troy Polamalu’s commercials promoting head and shoulders and switch back to the axel grease that you used to shampoo with. You don’t need golden locks of love, rainbows, or world peace, and neither does your defense. We need the bolstering swagger belly, strutting on the sideline, and proclamations to the world about your bullies that are going to kick someone’s you know what. Leave the humility to Coach Garrett; you were hired to kick the tires and light the fires, big Daddy.
Tony Romo, Mr. November, “Clutch Gene” (as known by Skip Bayless), whatever they call you; you’ve done an excellent job this 3-game stretch. Your decision making has much improved and it seems you got your “groove” back. I haven’t seen you play this well since your 2009 playoff run; scrambling to avoid multiple rushers, spin moves that would break Michael Jackson’s ankles, and ad-libbed plays drawn up in the dirt of a school playground. I know you’re a professional, but don’t let the success go to your head. This team is going to live and die by your right arm. Did you know your QBR for this year is the 3rd best (71.8) behind Mr. “Discount Double Check” (87.2) and Drew Brees (77.6)? That’s good company. And, I do have to mention that you’ve done all of this without your buddy, Miles Austin. I do have one favor to ask, don’t forget about Robinson when Miles gets back. He’s too good to overlook, and shouldn’t be the last read. I know you don’t call the plays, but I’m sure you can flex your creative muscle to get the ball in his hands.
Tony Fiammetta, DeMarco Murray is not the force we have grown accustomed to seeing without you on the field paving the way. Whatever your issue is, please get better, and soon. The Boys’ will be able to outscore the white-hot Dolphins and the Kolb-less Cardinals these next two weeks, but the final 4 game stretch requires a strong running presence, or the Giants (twice), the Bucs, and the Eagles will make us pay for being 1 dimensional. You are the unsung hero of this football team, and we are thankful.
Cowboys, I should mail you all a present, but I know how superstitious professional athletes can be. You should all wear the same uniform beneath your clothes with one message. Nike has perfected it. “Just do it”. You control your own destiny into the playoffs, and I can guarantee that no one will want to play the hot handed Cowboys in the post-season, coming off a 9-game winning streak.
Have a Happy/Safe Thanksgiving, everyone. Go Cowboys!
Email me directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org or @JonathanBarger (Twitter).
P.S. for you those of you who don’t know who Mr. “Discount Double Check is”, click this link: (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9Rv7czl9cU)