Lessons from This Weekend?


165.gifSome of this is just conjecture on my part, but I think we might have learned something from each of the games this weekend:

(1) Indianapolis 15, Baltimore 6: We learned that it was probably good that the Colts defense wasn’t playing this well when the Cowboys faced them.

(2) New Orleans 27, Philadelphia 24: We learned that the two teams that taught others how to dismantle the Cowboys were pretty even when it came right down to it. And we learned that we might have had more brains on the sidelines last season than we did this year.

(3) Chicago 27, Seattle 24: We learned that the Bears defense would probably do quite a number on the Dallas offense had the Cowboys traveled to Chicago this weekend. Or maybe not.

(4) New England 24, San Diego 21: We learned that so long as Marty Schottenheimer is still coaching, there will be at least one team that is more cursed than the Cowboys. We also learned that a certain former defensive assistant is one good playoff coach, at least when his quarterback is named Brady.

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The big news from Cowboys camp? T.O. got his finger fixed.

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Randy Galloway continued using his own finger to point at Bill Parcells, this time in the context of Mike Zimmer’s departure:

The Cowboys’ former long-time defensive coordinator, Mike Zimmer, says “blame me for December.” He’s preaching to the choir, of course. Many people, at least fans, do blame Zimmer, and applauded his Valley Ranch exit last week.

But others, with more inside knowledge of the situation, are quick to cite other factors beyond Zimmer’s control for a stunning belly-up December display by the defense.

Such as:

Bill Parcells’ stubbornness in refusing to allow needed adjustments in the basic concept of Big Bill’s beloved 3-4 alignment, particularly in pass coverage.

Safety Roy Williams’ declining work ethic, centering, of course, on diminishing pass coverage skills over the last two seasons. “Roy has gone from being acceptable in coverage, to a joke,” said one voice. “It’s like he thinks he’s an entertainer now, looking to make SportsCenter with his hits, while blowing off what he needs to be concentrating on.”

Linebacker Bradie James’ sudden “confidence plunge” once opposing teams started isolating him in pass coverage. “That No. 56 looked like he didn’t know where he was about half the time,” said Detroit quarterback Jon Kitna, the week after the Lions lit up the Cowboys’ defense in the regular-season finale.

Marcus Spears, a former No. 1 draft pick for the defensive line, failing to display “any fire in his butt,” according to one observer. “I don’t want to call him a bust just yet, but Spears is now at a crossroads in his career.”

The failure to develop defensive lineman Chris Canty. “We limit him too much,” said a voice. “Turn this kid loose. He’s a player.”

Cornerback Anthony Henry, while hampered with injuries, probably played himself out of a job, at least at that position. A move to safety is now being considered.

Sticking with the Startle Gram, Jennifer Floyd Engel tells Parcells to quit waffling but not coaching. I finally disagreed with something she said, though:

I don’t care what CP’s detractors — and he has amassed many in his Cowboy days — say. He’s better than this. Every Cowboys fan has to remember his Giants teams, and any NFL fan remembers his Patriots teams. Even his Jets days were impressive. And this is why Owner Jones wanted him. Why all of Cowboy Nation did.

What he did 20 years ago does not erase what he hasn’t done here. But one thing is clear enough: we didn’t lose today!

[tags] Dallas Cowboys, Bill Parcells, NFL playoffs, Marty Schottenheimer [/tags]


The Official Know Your Dallas Cowboys “We Should Be Playing Tomorrow” Post


I think this is the longest post title in the four-month history of this blog. Forced myself to watch the Saints-Eagles game tonight (and also required myself to pull for the Saints out of pure hatred for the Eagles), but tomorrow will be tough. Sigh.

So how’s about some topics that have nothing to do with the current Dallas Cowboys? Good, because there were a couple of fun questions posted on the official boards today.

Triplets Dallas CowboysFirst, BobHayes asked which was the best set of triplets: Aikman, Smith, and Irvin, or Montana, Rice, and Craig from the 49ers in the 1980s. Here was my response:

Very different offenses (timing-based vs. West Coast), so this could be a tough call. That 1989 San Francisco team was awfully good– I think the best of the 49er teams in that decade.

I don’t think you could exchange Montana for Aikman and have the same success with either of them. Montana was not quite as accurate as Aikman was, so I don’t think Montanta could run those skinny-posts and deep outs with as much success, but Montana was more agile, threw a better deep pass, and ran that West Coast system to perfection.

Hard to argue that Irvin was as good as Rice, but he was outstanding in the Dallas system. The edge still needs to go to Rice due to his route running and playmaking ability.

As the others noted, Emmitt wins out over Craig. Craig was one of the great receiving backs (coming after Rickey Young and Tony Galbreath, who were well known for their pass-catching skills in their days). But he really doesn’t compare with Emmitt as a pure running back, especially when you consider that Emmitt was a good receiver and a great blocker.

I’m going to commit blasphemy here: I’d say it is even (1-1 with 1 no contest).

Guess I don’t really have to be objective, but it’s been one of those weeks.

Second, I didn’t catch this one on time, but another poster asked whether the Cowboys’ dynasty of the 1990s could beat the Patriots dynasty of the 2000s. A poster named MBIII (with a Mike Tyson avatar…?) had a pretty good response:

Not only did the Cowboys have amazing depth in the early 90′s, not only were they super talented in the early 90′s, not only did they send 10 to 11 players to the pro bowl…They had the best and most dominant offensive line to ever play the game…Emmitt, Troy and Michael were in the top 2 in the league in their positions…Moose was the best FB in the league and Jay was the best TE in the league. They had pass rushers who abused the QB just for fun…They created turnovers without meaning to…And if you don’t think the 49ers were a tough opponent, go watch some freakin tapes man…And you’re an absolute fool by the way…Check this..

In the early 90′s everyone knew for a fact that the NFC was the deadliest division in football…All played physical abusive football, who the hell did the stinkin Patriots have to deal with in the regular season?! Bledsoe and his Bills?! The sorry a$$ Phins? And the Jets under Herm Edwards…?! PLEASE….

We had to deal with Mean Green, we had to deal with Lawrence Taylor and compay, we had to deal with Darryl Green…We had to deal with teams who came off fresh SB victories and had VERY good teams. So to say that the 49ers were the only team that came in our way, you don’t know crap about Football.

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Happy to hear that The Blue and Silver has reached 800 members. Cheers to SilverStar, CaliCowboy, OCF, Big Dakota, Da Fan, LarryAllen, and others for all of their work this season.

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And speaking of The Blue and Silver, I found a fan site today–Dalla5Cowboy5.com– that has some pretty good graphics and animations. Here’s a sampling:

[tags] Dallas Cowboys, Michael Irvin, Emmitt Smith, Troy Aikman [/tags]

More Tuna, for Lack of Other Topics (Like Football, Perhaps?)

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Tuna Treading Water in the Popularity Department

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There’s That Word Again: “Dog-Butt”

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Look! A Dallas Cowboys Coordinating Pillow Sham from The Locker Room Collection by Kentex

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Trivia Question About a Now Familiar Topic

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But Who’s Going To Call Our Base 3-4 Defense?

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Now Frank… Er, Mr. Luska, Don’t Say That!

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A Great Soap Opera Featuring Clint Murchison, Jr.!

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