novatownhall blog

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Browsing Posts tagged Cowboys

While searching for an update on the Washington Redskins – Flozell Adams situation, I ran across this.

How cool. Rich Tandler and I used to spend hours fiercely arguing Redskins/Cowboys back in the early 1990s during the pre-World Wide Web era, on CompuServe. That was in another life for me – a couple years before I even knew Linda B – before the ‘Boys had won their first Super Bowl of the Jerry Jones era, back when Rich was managing a restaurant in Midlothian, VA.

Rich was almost as erudite as I, and somewhat more knowledgeable, thus a worthy opponent. Plus he was always a gentleman, so I am glad to see him in the big time. Good on ye’, Rich!

First game: Jets-Bengals is turning out to be a great game, with the Bengals coming within 7 points at the beginning of the fourth quarter. I’m sort of pulling for the Jets because they seem like a more interesting team and definitely have an interesting coach in Rex Ryan, Buddy’s son.

Linda is rooting for the Bengals because she wants to see a trend of teams that lost last weekend winning the rematch. I guess if the Eagles see the Bengals win, they will say to themselves, “see, it can be done!” I don’t know, I just find the Jets more interesting but I suppose I can also buy into a victory throwing some doubt into the Philadelphia collective mindset.

Obviously this game is the undercard. The question all of America is asking is: Will the Cowboys continue to choke in the big games? It’s a valid question. The Eagles, for all their faults, are seasoned, the quarterback especially so. It will be interesting to watch for early signs of Cowboys jitters, see if Romo can play this one big game like he’s played the last 6 or 8.

UPDATE: Close to halftime, the Cowboys obviously still have a major monkey to get off their backs. Six penalties for roughly 1000 yards so far. But they are ahead.

UPDATE II: Halftime, the Cowboys are way ahead. This could be a big win not just for this season but for the entire future of this collection of players, who up until now have been laboring under a curse – cannot compete in a big game. If they win tonight, they may not win the Super Bowl, but the demons will have been exorcized, for now and ever after.

UPDATE III: Thirteen minutes left, Dallas ahead by 20. Dallas winning this game will be world-changing for this organization. No guarantees for future wins, but also no longer under the curse of cannot win the big one.

We may not be able to beat Minnesota, but at least we will be on equal ground. DALLAS CAN WIN IN THE CLUTCH. That is the message. It will make it a lot easier to watch them play.

This is turning out to be a hell of a football weekend. I think the Cowboys and the Redskins should be put on a special track, winner gets a chance to take a shot at Boise State in the  Orange Bowl.

Both Dan Snyder and Jerry Jones need to focus on stadiums and theme parks and hire someone to run the teams. Lots of money spent (Washington) and talent acquired (Dallas) and very little to show for it over many years.

Not much of true interest, as far as I’m concerned, until this evening. But watching the Washington-St. Louis game, at the start of the 4th quarter, I must say I appreciate the Redskins allowing the game to stay so close, because it is more interesting that way.

UPDATE: 12:00 left in the 4th. After recovering a crucial turnover, the ‘Skins quickly stink up the joint and end up punting from their end zone. It is going to be up to the defense as so often in the past.

UPDATE II: ‘Skins pulled it off, not exactly in impressive fashion especially on the offensive side of the ball – but a win is a win.

UPDATE III:  Anyone see the Dallas-New York opening? Pretty impressive visual extravaganza, akin to an olympics.

UPDATE IV: After seeing President GW Bush and John Madden sitting together at the game, tell me this: Don’t you feel better about Bush now, than you did 6 months ago?

UPDATE V: The Cowboys are looking bad. Really bad. Badly coached. Does this ring a bell? Yes, like the past 15 years of Dallas Cowboys history.

UPDATE VI: At 1:20 left in the 2nd quarter, the overall game seems close, but the Giants are making the big plays off Tony Romo’s mistakes. 20-14 NY

UPDATE VII: But the Boys bring it back to 20-17 at the end of the half. Cool. Now we have to listen to the NBC moron Olbermann.

UPDATE VIII: Dallas takes the lead 24-20 with three minutes left in the 3rd. If they can overcome their many mistakes to pull this game out it will be a huge morale victory going forward. In any case, they have shown they can play with the NFCs best. In September. That’s our challenge.

UPDATE IX: The Gints are looking good – well, not exactly good, but better than us for sure. 27-24 with 12 minutes to play. They make the plays we can’t make.

UPDATE X: 3:40 left, Cowboys ahead 31-30. Up to the defense.

UPDATE XI: Giants win. Well, I’d rather have the Cowboys lose in September, and perhaps build more character for December, because that is when they have had the problems. They have been the kings of September for several years now.

Although the Dallas Cowboys offensive unit spent the last six or seven minutes of last night’s game against the Washington Redskins beating the living crap out of the ‘Skins defense, it was a close contest which featured very little offense at all up until that point. The offenses on display were at best tame and the punters earned their paychecks. (And hopefully the Dallas punter’s paycheck is only $100 a week because that is definitely all he is worth, unless he is also the cook or something like that. Thirty-five yards with a two-second hang time is not much to write home about, but if you bring an assortment of exotic soups and sauces to the table, I suppose Jerry Jones might have had to take a hard look.)

These are a couple evenly matched teams with pretty good defenses, is what it all boils down to. If they played each other 10 times, each would win five games.

Thank goodness the Cowboys won because if they hadn’t their playoff chances would be nil. Not to say at this point they deserve to be in the postseason, because an offense with so little explosive potential is not going to scare anybody in January.

Granted, tonight was not a great one for passing. It was cold as hell at Fed Ex Field, and windy also. I could understand all the guys in the parking lot winging footballs around: They had been drinking for hours, so Mother Nature was to them no more than an abstract notion on the peripheries of their mental fog bank. But I am certain the players in the game had not been drinking hardly at all, and no one sober on national television would have felt remotely competent to pitch-and-catch at anything further than five yards.

Fortunately, Tony Romo returned from missing three games with an injured finger and did manage to complete some passes when it counted. And then when the time came at the end to run down the clock and preserve the 14-10 lead, Marion Barber and the offensive line did the job.

After approximately 12 consecutive Marion Barber runs, this is how the Washington defense looked. Note the slumped shoulders. If I had a better zoom, you would be able to see them panting for breath.
Cowboys vs Redskins November 16 2008 1

This is how the scoreboard looked.
Cowboys vs Redskins November 16 2008 2

And a minute later, this is how the field looked. You can see Tony Romo at the bottom just before he was besieged by the media interviewers.
Cowboys vs Redskins November 16 2008 3

Here is the first Washington press report.

Here is the Dallas report.

A few more observations:

-Terence Newman, also back from injury, played an outstanding complete game at corner. He had an interception, a critical break up, a couple important quick tackles and generally blanketed Santana Moss. This will be a huge bonus for the remainder of the season if he doesn’t get hurt again.

-Towards the end, with the ‘Skins on offense on third down, Newman motioned both arms up, as in “pump up the volume to make it difficult for the offense” – and the audience responded awfully loudly, for a visiting team. Yes, there were many Dallas fans in the stadium. Twenty years ago, at RFK, such a thing would have been as likely as garden gnomes taking over the Dirksen Senate Office Building.

-We were fortunate enough to get a pass for one of the stadium parking lots, which it turns out can take a REAL long time to get out of after the game. Unsurprisingly Redskins faithful are keenly aware of this fact, and therefore many have developed a tradition of post-game tailgating, or what seasoned alcoholics might recognize as the “second wind” phenomenon. They fire up the grill again, break out the bottles of whatever, and camp out until the wee hours of the morning. So here’s an idea matching social reality with public safety: Cheap hotels right next to the stadium. These could be really cheap – tent cities if you will – but I guarantee if there was a way to say, “Come party before the game, then party after the game, and crash here” there would be lots of takers.

-It was genuinely inspiring to see the level of friendliness between Dallas and Washington fans. Lots of them were in the same groups. Driving out, we saw a guy in a Redskins jersey grab an obviously intoxicated friend in a Dallas jersey and whisk him across the street under the gaze of Prince George’s County’s finest. Back when I used to go to RFK wearing Dallas Cowboys gear, I always felt like I might be in for a scrap. Not so anymore. We are evolving as a species.

And not just by James Thrash, either …

Dammit, the Redskins are good this year. We have  competition across the board in the NFC East.

Honestly, I liked it better when the Redskins just flat out sucked, but what are you gonna do.

They definitely outplayed us, despite having several players knocked out by heat and humidity. The Washington defense did its job by limiting the supposedly explosive Cowboys offense to 24 points, and then Jason Campbell and the offense were spectacular. They executed when they had to, and the Dallas defense could not rise to the occasion.

They also outcoached us. Did they ever. During a critical stretch in the second half the ‘Boys attempted something like 5 consecutive passes to Terrell Owens, all incomplete. Maybe it was because all of our other receivers were blanketed, but I think it was a case of play calling malfeasance which wasted one of the key advantages Dallas brings to the table: having so many weapons in the passing game.

Then there was a critical penalty for 12 men on the field coming off a time-out, which was the nail in the coffin. I imagine the discussion in Dallas tomorrow will be initiated with a memorandum with the following header:

To: Wade Phillips
From: Jerry Jones
Subj: Shitforbrains

Congrats to the Redskins players and coaches for officially resurrecting the franchise.

Here is the Cowboys local coverage. Enjoy.

My take is I’d rather have my team take these kinds of losses early in the season, because they show the weaknesses. As opposed to when I was younger and all I hoped for was that the Cowboys would win; nowadays what I hope for is that they are good. We are not that good right now, so let’s watch the film and get better.

The Washington Redskins did what they had to do tonight, creaming the Dallas Cowboys 27-6.

It was a “meaningless” game for Dallas, insomuch as they had already clinched the number one seed throughout the NFC playoffs. But the Redskins did more than beat an uncommitted team: They showed they can hang with the best Dallas can offer. The Cowboys played their first string into the second half, and they did not even put up a fight.

The Redskins won, fair and square. Washington will be a force to be reckoned with in the playoffs.

My take: The Cowboys have been terrible the past four weeks and the Redskins demonstrated they can beat them anytime, anywhere. It seems extremely likely the ‘Skins will beat the Seahawks next weekend, and will be the Cowboys’ opponent in two weeks. Dallas will have the fight of their lives in two weeks.

UPDATE: I did not catch most of the game on TV but apparently there was a questionable hit on Terry Glenn? Drama is a good thing.