"Fellow Cowboys fans,I recently received an e-mail from Steven and CJ, in which they expressed that some of you might have felt offended by a portion of my last week’s article. In that article, I used the word ‘jackass’ to describe a certain individual (who calls himself by the same name) and because of my wording, many of you felt as though I was speaking to all those that disagree with me.Let me express my apologies to those of you that assumed I was talking to you. The commenter, who has made it his mission to be as completely unreasonable as possible at the bottom of every one of my articles, is known by a username that uses the word ‘jackass.’ My use of that word was meant ONLY as a shot across the bow on our ridiculous back and forth that has gone on for too long. In fact, I promised ‘CowboyQueen’ (another commenter) that I was done responding to the useless negative comments. I still stand by that promise and the portion of my article referring to the ‘jackass’ in question was merely making fun of myself and the ‘jackass’ that was sure to continue his (her?) assault on my cautiously optimistic approach to this team. In other words, I was saying, ‘Oh boy, I’m in for it now’ in a more casual way. After all, my ‘snide comments’ are never that popular anyways! =)I only write this apology because of my love for the Dallas Cowboys and its fan base. Just as all things in life, a fan base needs variety. That variety includes the undeterred homers, the constant pessimists and everything in between. I try to be as ‘in between’ as possible given the team’s performance and considering that I am a true fan. I have made it my mission to help shape this fan base, as much I possibly can, to avoid the outer edges of insanity (and homer-ism).That’s probably more information than you needed but I want The Landry Hat readers to understand my respect and love for Cowboys fans nationwide. I love and appreciate that I have a platform where I can be in contact with fans from all across the nation.I would never want to offend the REAL fans that care about this great team as much as I do. Especially those that take the time to express their appreciation for the website and the hard work the editors and every contributor does on a daily basis.Now let’s go win a division! Go Cowboys!"
First of all, Happy New Year. Secondly, I am going to absolutely, positively shock NO ONE with the following statement. The Cowboys will win or lose this division based upon the performance of the secondary and offensive line, in that order. This whole week, analysts and fans alike have displayed significant angst over the fate of Tony Romo’s bruise which has been all together confusing for this fan who watched him win two games with a broken rib. I am sure Tony will have a great game but I am not sure he will be able to stay upright or that his secondary will be able to keep the score manageable for him.
The defensive backs on this team have been awful for 15 games in a row. There is no historical evidence to suggest that they will change in the last game of the regular season, on the road, against an “Elite” quarterback. The Cowboys offense will simply have to outscore Eli and the Giants offense. That is all I have to say about this subject which I have worn out this season.
The offensive line has been better but is absolutely the next weak link in the chain. They are young and learning but they have been good in spots. The loss of LG Montrae Holland is hurtful but I trust Derrick Dockery. I think the Cowboys will be fine on the offensive line if Smith and Free can give Tony an extra split second to work his “magic” before the Giants strong pass rush gets to the franchise.
I have not been negative this week (or so far in this article) with those two units. I have accepted them for what they are. No, what has bothered and offended me as a Cowboys fan this week is that BOTH sides of this fight seem to have a ‘Fait Accompli’ about what will happen on Sunday night. NFL Network had a segment with Tory Holt and Willie McGinest asking “How do the Cowboys avoid a collapse?” Seriously? Tuesday, on ESPN, Ed Werder was reporting from outside of Valley Ranch. The caption at the bottom stated, “Dallas: A loss vs. New York Giants will eliminate them from playoff contention.” Wow. How about a WIN will claim their NFL-record 31st playoff appearance? Even Emmitt Smith has called this team weak-minded in two separate interviews.
Listen, I can understand that this team has played poorly in spots. As a matter of fact, I’m pretty sure I’m the one that has shouted the loudest at those occurrences here at The Landry Hat. But holy crap, seriously? The Boys are playing a team with an IDENTICAL record to theirs, a team that they see twice a year, a team they were four minutes away from beating by double digits THREE weeks ago. Our quarterback had a rating of 141.3 last time these teams met. Eli just got done having a 9/27 day in a must-win game. Not to mention the Giants have had just as many horrible performances as Dallas this season. Of course the Cowboys’ collapses are concerning. The Cowboys have given up three 4th quarter leads of 12 or more points this year. In the previous 51 seasons of Cowboys football, they had only done that ONCE. That is a HUGE problem but how can one say that this team is poised for a COLLAPSE? Who’s negative now?
I have said many times that I believe the Cowboys are rebuilding this season. Only the most unhinged of fans can expect a Super Bowl run out of a nearly all-rookie offensive line and terrible secondary. I did not expect them to win the division coming into this season and I am not quite sure I EXPECT it now. I do expect that this team will play with passion and intensity and I do expect they will put themselves in position to win.
I expect Tony Romo to have another outstanding game.
I expect the secondary to get torched again by wide open receivers.
I expect Tony to take a few sacks from Pierre-Paul or Tuck.
I expect DeMarcus Ware to make history with two more sacks.
I expect Jerry Jones to be annoying, win or lose.
I expect Sean Lee to be a beast.
I expect Felix Jones to have a good (not great) day on the ground.
I expect that 2008 was three years ago and not a single Cowboy will be thinking about that even though every Cowboys fan in America cannot get over it.
I expect the 2011 Dallas Cowboys to be the 2011 Dallas Cowboys and not try to live up to the ridiculous expectations of a loaded history of legends and championships.
Only the 2011 version of this team, all 47 active men, can decide tonight if that is enough to be a division champion.