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.
One of the big concerns this season is the health of the Cowboys’ receivers, especially those named Owens, Glenn, and Witten. Now that Terry Glenn has had surgery on his knee, and Owens has missed a practice with a hamstring injury, that concern could grow. However, it appears that Patrick Crayton, Sam Hurd, and Miles Austin have stepped it up a notch in practice, which could eliminate some fears
heading into the season.
Those three are not the only ones who have drawn praise. Todd Archer today reported that TE Anthony Fasano, LB Bobby Carpenter, S Keith Davis, and CB Joey Thomas have all impressed coaches during training camp.
It is not often that you see a Timmy Newsome highlight clip, but a poster named OSUISCOOL put up this one from the 1982 season. It shows a 43-yard touchdown reception from Danny White in the second quarter of a Monday Night Football game on December 13, 1982. Dallas won the game 37-7 to improve its record to 5-1 in the strike-shortened season. Newsome played more than normal in this game because of a shoulder injury that Tony Dorsett suffered in the first half.
A few more interesting tidbits:
This was the fourth of five consecutive wins for Dallas that took place after the strike ended. Dallas beat New Orleans 21-7 in the following week, but then lost back-to-back games to Philadelphia and Minnesota to finish 6-3. More tidbids from the Dallas Morning News article:
• Danny White was near perfect, hitting 21 of 27 for 279 yards and three touchdowns (he has 13 for the season). At one point. White hit 10 passes in a row. Over the last two weeks White is 42 for 56 for 495 yards.
• [Butch] Johnson had two touchdown catches for the first time in his career – his first two of this season – and with it got to debut the new improved version of the California Quake.
• [Rafael] Septien had three field goals, doubling his output of the first five games, and his 53-yarder with 3:34 remaining in the game was the longest of his 6-year career.
• Backup quarterback Gary Hogeboom, in his third year, completed the first pass of his career when he connected with Doug Donley (it was his first catch of the season) with 11:15 left.
• The defense limited Earl Campbell to 17 yards on seven carries … and the Oilers to 44 yards on the ground. Archie Manning hit only 12 of 33 passes.
[tags] Dallas Cowboys, videos, highlights [/tags]
This is the last of my lists of 100-yard receiving games. This one shows the total number of 100-yard receiving games that each player has had in team history, along with the team’s record in those games. As was the case with 100-yard games in a season, Michael Irvin dominates this category with a total of 47 games in which he passed the century mark.
A total of 41 players have achieved this accomplishment in team history. This includes six tight ends (Lee Folkins, Doug Cosbie, Jay Novacek, Billy Joe Dupree, and Jason Witten, as well as Frank Clarke, who played both tight end and flanker) and fight running backs (Dan Reeves, Herschel Walker, Tony Dorsett, Emmitt Smith, and Ron Springs). No real surprises, though you might note that Clarke and Lance Rentzel are pretty high on the list.
|Dupree, Billy Joe||2||2-0||100.00%|
[tags]Dallas Cowboys, receivers, trivia, statistics[/tags]