The Cowboys had a solid effort in a 23-10 win over Indianapolis during their first preseason game this evening. Below are some notes about the game.
Dallas had two long drives in the first half, both resulting a field goals. [tag]Tony Romo[/tag] went 9 of 10 for 91 yards during those drives. [tag]Brad Johnson[/tag] led the Cowboys on a drive near the end of the first half, but the drive stalled after Johnson lost 13 yards on a botched play. Dallas led 6-3 at halftime.
Keith Davis made a nice pick off of a tipped Jim Sorgi pass, returning it 41 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter.
Rookie quarterback Matt Moore completed his first three passes of the preseason for 58 yards. Each of those passes were to second-year tight end [tag]Tony Curtis[/tag]. [tag]Tyson Thompson[/tag] had a two-yard touchdown in the third quarter to give Dallas a 20-3 lead.
Cornerback [tag]Joey Thomas[/tag], who has been mentioned as solid player in training camp, made a nice pick in the end zone on a long pass by quarterback Josh Betts.
* Offensive coordinator [tag]Jason Garrett[/tag] was on the sideline instead of the pressbox. Maybe that means nothing, but it was good to see how he interacted with Romo prior to the game.
* Also good to see [tag]Tyson Thompson[/tag] returning kickoffs after he missed much of last season.
* The starters at tackle were rookie [tag]Doug Free[/tag] and [tag]Pat McQuistan[/tag].
* Most of the regulars touched the ball in the first two drives, including [tag]Julius Jones[/tag], [tag]Terrell Owens[/tag], [tag]Patrick Crayton[/tag], [tag]Sam Hurd[/tag], [tag]Jason Witten[/tag], [tag]Marion Barber[/tag], and [tag]Anthony Fasano[/tag].
* Leonard Davis looked versatile, getting off the ball while pulling on at least one of the plays.
* Fasano had three nice catches in the second Dallas drive that ran into the second quarter. He later dropped a pass that he shouldn’t have, trying to make a sliding catch at the end of the second quarter
* Romo continues to show good field vision.
* The defense showed different looks, but did not produce that much pressure.
* The secondary looked a bit shaky on a few plays. However, [tag]Anthony Henry[/tag] made a nice play near the goalline on the Colts’ first drive.
* The defense, led by Bradie James, had a nice play to stop the Colts on a fourth-and-one in the second quarter.
* Personally, I thought Jones looked a little better than Barber, at least at the start of the game. Jones got off the ball very well on several runs in the opening drive. Barber looked good on the last drive of the first half, but it was against backups for the most part.
* Minor point, but Akin Ayodele wore #51, which was Al Singleton’s number for the past several years. Ayodele’s website still shows #50, though.
Three items that had me scratching my head:
* Gatorade ran the commercial with Bill Parcells in a toll booth, asking whether Gatorade is in you. Wasn’t that great when Parcells was still the coach, and even worse since he isn’t.
* Although Leonard Davis looked pretty good, [tag]Troy Aikman[/tag] had no business comparing him to [tag]Larry Allen[/tag].
* Mat McBriar holds the ball with his left hand, even with a right-footed kicker
Romo: 10-11, 93 yards, 0 TD, 0 Int.
Moore: 7-9, 88 yards, 0 TD, 0 Int.
Barber: 12 att., 48 yards.
Thompson: 11 att., 34 yards, 1 TD.
Jones: 6 att., 22 yards.
Fasano: 3 rec., 43 yards.
Owens: 1 rec., 8 yards.
Curtis: 3 rec., 58 yards.
Indianapolis Colts vs. Dallas Cowboys
7 p.m. CDT
Radio: Dallas Cowboys Radio Network (click here to find a station)
Spread: Dallas favored by 4 1/2
Key players out for Dallas: S Ken Hamlin, WR Terry Glenn, T Flozell Adams, T Marc Columbo.
Key players out for Indianapolis: S Bob Sanders, LB Keith O’Neil, DB Brannon Condren, and DE Bo Schobel.
Rob Phillips of DallasCowboys.com ran a piece about what to look for in Thursday’s preseason game between Dallas and Indianapolis. These include:
(1) The battle for the kicking job between Martin Gramatica and rookie Nick Folk;
(2) The battle for playing time at running back between Julius Jones and Marion Barber;
(3) The performances of backups at both right and left tackle;
(4) The performances of backups at wide receiver;
(5) The performances of backups at nose tackle;
(6) The unveiling of Wade Phillips’ 3-4 scheme.
Know Your Opponent
For more on the Colts, check out:
This clip involves the question of who threw a whiskey bottle at a referee at the old Metropolitan Stadium in during the 1975 playoffs in a game between the Vikings and Cowboys. You might remember that game– some quarterback named Staubach threw a 50-yard touchdown pass to a receiver named Pearson.
This clip shows not only the debate among tailgaters, but also shows the original broadcast clip. Great stuff.
SportProjections.com, which provides previews of the seasons for each of the major sports, has published its preview of the NFC East, including posts on each of the four teams. Various independent bloggers served as writers, including one who has this thing for trivia that interests almost nobody…
Three of the four writers (including your’s truly) have the teams finishing in this order:
1. Philadelphia (preview by the blogger at Inside the Iggles)
2. Dallas (preview by that blogger at Know Your Dallas Cowboys)
3. Washington (previewed by the blogger at Hogs Haven)
4. N.Y. Giants (previewed by the blogger at MVN-Giants).
The Giants’ writer had the G-Men winning the division, of course. As for my prediction, here is why I would not put Dallas on top:
2007 Projected Record: 10-6
2007 Season Projection Summary:
Although Dallas has enough talent on paper to do better than 10 wins, the team has had trouble with underachievement in the past several years. No Dallas team has won more than 10 games since the Cowboys’ last Super Bowl team in 1995. Although this should be a team on the rise, and even though Dallas has a favorable schedule, the Cowboys will probably split games with division rivals. Dallas plays two of its first three on the road, including visits to Miami and Chicago. Home games against St. Louis and New England will probably be tough, as may another home game against Minnesota. Around Thanksgiving, Dallas plays three straight home games, which could be very beneficial. However, the Cowboys close the season with three of four on the road, including games at Carolina and Washington.
Although Romo shouldered some of the blame for the team’s performance down the stretch in 2006, he continually showed why he is the team’s future at quarterback. In the playoff loss to Seattle, he put his team in position to win (at least playing quarterback and not as a kick holder), and that is the best you can expect from a young quarterback in a pressure situation. The running game with both Jones and Barber is solid, and the offensive line should be in better shape than it has been in years. The receiving corps is talented, but having receivers in their mid-30s, with no other proven performers backing them up, is a bit of a gamble. Tight end Jason Witten is one of the best in the NFC, and the team’s second tight end, Anthony Fasano, has shown improvement.
Phillips is probably on a short leash, with the team expecting him to revive the defense. He has been a solid head coach in the past but has never won more than 11 games in a season and never won a playoff game in his stops at Denver and Buffalo. Much of his success may depend on how first-year offensive coordinator Jason Garrett, a former Dallas quarterback, runs the offense.
I am also trying to avoid getting burned as I did last season, when I was dead certain that Dallas would go 11-5 and make it to the NFC Championship game. I will say, though, that I think a playoff win is very possible. Or perhaps I am just hoping…?
Here’s the word on the street:
— Tony Romo will play one quarter against the Indianapolis Colts on Thursday, though he will be without starting tackles Flozell Adams and Marc Columbo as well as receivers Terry Glenn and Terrell Owens. (Dallas Morning News).
— Owens had an MRI on his back, but it came back negative. He is listed as day-to-day. (Yahoo).
–Glenn will miss at least two weeks of practice after undergoing an MRI on his knee. (Sports Network).
–Priest Holmes has expressed interest in playing for the Cowboys if the Chiefs don’t want him. (Yahoo)
Here is a video clip of Michael Irvin’s induction into the Hall of Fame, including Jerry Jones’ introduction and Irvin’s speech itself.
[tags]Michael Irvin, video, Dallas Cowboys, Jerry Jones[/tags]
Four members of the 1970s version of the St. Louis Cardinals were named to the NFL’s All-Decade team for the 1970s. Certainly a talented bunch for their time– just never mind the fact that St. Louis only managed four winning seasons and two playoff appearances in the decade. With the induction of Roger Wehrli to the Hall of Fame this weekend, three of those four players are now in the Hall of Fame. The other player was kicker Jim Bakken.
How ’bout them Cowboys? This team had ten winning seasons, nine playoff appearances, five Super Bowl appearances, and two Super Bowl wins in the 1970s. Six members of the team were named to the All-Decade team. Only three have made it into the Hall of Fame. Here is a list of the All-Decade team of the 1970s, with the team(s) on which each player was a member and an indication of whether the player has made the Hall of Fame:
|Terry Bradshaw||Pittsburgh Steelers||Yes|
|Ken Stabler||Oakland Raiders||No|
|Roger Staubach||Dallas Cowboys||Yes|
|Earl Campbell||Houston Oilers||Yes|
|Franco Harris||Pittsburgh Steelers||Yes|
|Walter Payton||Chicago Bears||Yes|
|O.J. Simpson||Buffalo Bills||Yes|
|Harold Carmichael||Philadelphia Eagles||No|
|Drew Pearson||Dallas Cowboys||No|
|Lynn Swann||Pittsburgh Steelers||Yes|
|Paul Warfield||Miami Dolphins||Yes|
|Dave Casper||Oakland Raiders||Yes|
|Charlie Sanders||Detroit Lions||Yes|
|Dan Dierdorf||St. Louis Cardinals||Yes|
|Art Shell||Oakland Raiders||Yes|
|Rayfield Wright||Dallas Cowboys||Yes|
|Ron Yary||Minnesota Vikings||Yes|
|Joe DeLamielleure||Buffalo Bills||Yes|
|John Hannah||New England Patriots||Yes|
|Larry Little||Miami Dolphins||Yes|
|Gene Upshaw||Oakland Raiders||Yes|
|Jim Langer||Miami Dolphins||Yes|
|Mike Webster||Pittsburgh Steelers||Yes|
|Carl Eller||Minnesota Vikings||Yes|
|L.C. Greenwood||Pittsburgh Steelers||No|
|Harvey Martin||Dallas Cowboys||No|
|Jack Youngblood||Los Angeles Rams||Yes|
|Joe Greene||Pittsburgh Steelers||Yes|
|Bob Lilly||Dallas Cowboys||Yes|
|Merlin Olsen||Los Angeles Rams||Yes|
|Alan Page||Minnesota Vikings||Yes|
|Bobby Bell||Kansas City Chiefs||Yes|
|Robert Brazile||Houston Oilers||No|
|Dick Butkus||Chicago Bears||Yes|
|Jack Ham||Pittsburgh Steelers||Yes|
|Ted Hendricks||Baltimore Colts||Yes|
|Green Bay Packers|
|Jack Lambert||Pittsburgh Steelers||Yes|
|Willie Brown||Oakland Raiders||Yes|
|Jimmy Johnson||San Francisco 49ers||Yes|
|Roger Wehrli||St. Louis Cardinals||Yes|
|Louis Wright||Denver Broncos||No|
|Dick Anderson||Miami Dolphins||Yes|
|Cliff Harris||Dallas Cowboys||No|
|Ken Houston||Houston Oilers||Yes|
|Larry Wilson||St. Louis Cardinals||Yes|
|Jim Bakken||St. Louis Cardinals||No|
|Garo Yepremian||Miami Dolphins||No|
|Ray Guy||Oakland Raiders||No|
Here is another table showing the percentage of All-Decade members who are also in the Hall of Fame, organized by team:
|Team||70s Team||Hall of Famers||Pct.|
|Green Bay Packers||1||1||100.00%|
|Kansas City Chiefs||1||1||100.00%|
|Los Angeles Rams||2||2||100.00%|
|New England Patriots||1||1||100.00%|
|San Francisco 49ers||1||1||100.00%|
|St. Louis Cardinals||4||3||75.00%|
I am more than a little bit happy that Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin, and Rayfield Wright made it into the Hall of Fame, but those other three deserve to be there. Unfortunately, the voters’ love for those losers that were the Cardinals may give Bakken a better chance than the three who should be there. Shameful.
[tags]Dallas Cowboys, Hall of Fame[/tags]
Michael Irvin will be inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame today. It is a great day to be a Cowboys fan, for Irvin was the heart and soul of the team in the 1990s.
Others, including all of the newspapers, have posted stories on Irvin. Links to several of those appear at the bottom of this post. This piece focuses on Irvin’s career stats.
College: Miami (FL)
Birth: March 5, 1966
Acquired by Dallas: Drafted in round 1 by the Cowboys in 1988.
Pro Bowl selections: 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995.
Member of the 1990s All-Decade Team.
The website of the Pro Football Hall of Fame has a complete list of Irvin’s NFL and team records. The list below includes records that Irvin held at the time of his retirement.
Most Games 100 or More Yards Receiving, Season – 11 (1995)
Most Consecutive Games 100 or More Yards Receiving, Season – 7 (tied) (1995)
Team Regular Season Records
Most Seasons Leading Team, Receptions – 8
Most Consecutive Seasons Leading Team, Receptions – 8
Most Receptions, Career – 750
Most Receptions, Season – 111 (1995)
Most Consecutive Games With Reception – 117 (1990-1998)
Most Seasons, 50 or More Pass Receptions – 8
Most Yards Gained Receiving, Career – 11,904
Most Yards Gained Receiving, Season – 1,603 (1995)
Most Seasons 1,000 or More Yards Receiving – 7
Most Games 100 or More Yards Receiving, Career – 47
Most Games 100 or More Yards Receiving, Season – 11 (1995)
Most Consecutive Games 100 or More Yards Receiving – 7 (1995)
Most Seasons Leading Team Receiving Yards – 8 (tied)
Most Consecutive Seasons Leading Team Receiving Yards – 8 (tied)
Team Post-Season Records
Most Receptions, Career – 87
Most Receptions, Game – 12 (at San Francisco, Jan. 15, 1995)
Most Yards Receiving, Career – 1,315
Most Yards Receiving, Game – 192 (at San Francisco, Jan. 15, 1995)
Most Games 100 or More Yards Receiving, Career – 6
Most Touchdowns Receiving, Career – 8 (tied)
Most Consecutive Games, Touchdowns Receiving – 3 (tied)
|1/17/1993||San Francisco||W 30-20||6||86||14.3||0|
|1/16/1994||Green Bay||W 27-17||9||126||14.0||1|
|1/23/1994||San Francisco||W 38-21||2||23||11.5||0|
|1/8/1995||Green Bay||W 35-9||6||111||18.5||0|
|1/15/1995||San Francisco||L 28-38||12||192||16.0||2|
|1/14/1996||Green Bay||W 38-27||7||100||14.3||2|
100-Yard Receiving Performances, Regular Season
The table below includes all of the games in which Irvin surpassed 100 receiving yards.
|12/8/1991||101||New Orleans Saints||W||23-14|
|10/3/1993||155||Green Bay Packers||W||36-14|
|10/17/1993||168||San Francisco 49ers||W||26-17|
|11/7/1994||118||New York Giants||W||38-10|
|9/4/1995||109||New York Giants||W||35-0|
|10/8/1995||150||Green Bay Packers||W||34-24|
|10/15/1995||103||San Diego Chargers||W||23-9|
|11/23/1995||121||Kansas City Chiefs||W||24-12|
Here are a few of the better stories:
Michael Irvin: Hall of Fame (Blogging the Boys)
Irvin Finally Receives His Due (Fort Worth Star Telegram)
Irvin Had the Gift of Grab (Dallas Morning News)
Awe Struck (DallasCowboys.com)
Michael Irvin-The Lionhearted Gazelle (The Boys Blog)
The Greatest Wide Receiver Ever to Wear the Star (Lone Star Struck)
[tags] Dallas Cowboys, Michael Irvin, Hall of Fame[/tags]
The folks at Cold, Hard Football Facts have announced the formation of the Hall of Awesome, which features players who have not made the Hall of Fame but who should be in it. While Cowboys fans feel as if our players do not get the credit of, say, the 49ers or Steelers, at least we got one player from the CHFF Hall of Awesome: Chuck Howley.
Most casual fans who know Howley’s name remember that he is the only player in Super Bowl history to be named MVP while playing for a losing team (Super Bowl V). He also had a very memorable interception in the Cowboys’ win in Super Bowl VI the following year. He finished his career with 25 interceptions and also had 17 fumble recoveries. He was inducted into the Cowboys’ Ring of Honor in 1976.
Here is more from CCFF:
Cold, Hard Football Facts: Played 13 seasons for the Cowboys. From 1964-1973, Howley and the Cowboys had scoring defenses in the top seven league-wide. Made six Pro Bowls during that run. Was MVP for losing Cowboys in Super Bowl V. Tom Landry called him the best linebacker he’d ever seen.
Why he’s in the Hall of Awesome: Look at that picture. He reeks of Awesomeness. With that chisled jaw, all of his success, all of those years in the league for a high-profile team, how can that guy not be in Canton? Oh, right. He played defense. There aren’t many stats to judge Howley by, but the ones we have are pretty remarkable. In two Super Bowls, he picked off three passes and recovered a fumble. He was the No. 2 man behind Bob Lilly on the Dallas defense and one of the great speed rushers of his era.
Reasons he’s not in the “real” Hall: He didn’t make the all-1960s team. Why, we’re not sure – he was consensus all-NFL in 1966, 1968, 1969 and 1970. Perhaps the problem was that OLBs didn’t get the respect that the great middle men did – Green Bay’s Dave Robinson, who made the all-decade team, is also not in the Hall. Also, he was out of the league as a first-round washout before the expansion Cowboys took a chance on him and made him into an All-Pro.
Chances that he’ll be “promoted” to Canton: 10 percent. Trusting the Veterans Committee is a mistake (hello, Charlie Sanders!), but we’d like to think they’ll see the light on Howley, one of the first inductees into the Cowboys Ring of Honor.
The final word: Howley was a happy-go-lucky hick with incredible wheels and a knack for the big game. He’d have been a legend in baseball, but he came of age in an NFL that was still looking for exposure, and his crowd-pleasing plays were missed by most. He has everything a Hall of Famer is supposed to have: a long, decorated career, a key role on a great team, and shining moments on the game’s biggest stage.
Other players on the list include:
* QB Ken Anderson (Cincinnati)
* S Steve Atwater (Denver, N.Y. Jets)
* RB Roger Craig (San Francisco, L.A. Raiders, Minnesota)
* DE Richard Dent (Chicago, several others)
* DT Alex Karras (Detroit)
* G Jerry Kramer (Green Bay)
* DT Big Daddy Lipscomb (L.A. Rams, Baltimore Colts, Pittsburgh Steelers)
* G Randall McDaniel (Minnesota, Tampa Bay)
* Ed and Steve Sabol (NFL Films)
* LB Derrick Thomas (Kansas City)
* LB Andre Tippet (New England)
* T Gary Zimmerman (Minnesota, Denver).
At least three players (and yes, there are even more, but first things first) from the Cowboys who merit consideration for this:
(1) Harvey Martin: He was the sack master before the NFL kept official statistics on sacks. In 1977, he recorded 23 sacks in just 14 games and was named the NFL’s defensive player of the year, as well as co-MVP of the Super Bowl. He was also named to the All-Decade team of the 1970s. He was never enshrined in either the Ring of Honor or the Hall of Fame.
(2) Cliff Harris: “Captain Crash” was another member of the All-Decade team of the 1970s. He was a six-time Pro Bowlers with 29 career interceptions. The Cowboys finally enshrined him in the Ring of Honor in 2004.
(3) Drew Pearson: Yet another member of the All-Decade team for the 1970s, Pearson is often overlooked by those outside of the Cowboys because his statistics do not compare well with those who played in a more pass-friendly league. Nevertheless, no highlight film from the 1970s is complete without at least one clip of Pearson (usually the Hail Mary, but there were many more). He finished his career with 489 receptions for 7822 yards and 48 touchdowns.
For those who participate in pick’em games, such as ESPN’s Pigskin Pick’em (my personal favorite), or for those who bet on Cowboys games, below is a look at the Cowboys’ record against the spread during the past fifteen years, including regular season and playoff games.
What you will most likely learn from this is that taking the Cowboys is about as much of a toss-up as anything on which you could place a bet. Between 1992 and 2006, the Cowboys’ overall record was 143-114, for a .556 winning percentage. The team’s record against the spread was nearly .500, at 124-124-9. During the past five years, where the Cowboys have been less competitive than they were in the 1990s, the team had an overall record of 39-43 (.476 winning percentage). The team still had nearly a .500 winning percentage against the spread during this time, going 39-39-4.
The information in this table is based on a several sources. The records against the spread sometimes differ from source to source, due to changes in the point spread that take place during the weeks of the games.
Later this week, I will have a more detailed summary of the Cowboys’ performance against the spread during the 2006 season.