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Here are ten trivia questions about the Cowboys’ 14-10 win over Washington on Sunday night:
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Steve Liskey at TheCowboyGuide.com conducted a great interview with former Dallas linebacker Tom Stincic, who played in both Super Bowl V and Super Bowl VI. The interview offers great insight and is well worth reading. Here is a brief snippet:
Q (Liskey): What was the Staubach/Morton QB shuffle like?
A (Stincic): From my perspective, it wasn’t as big a deal as the press made it. I think the older guys were more comfortable with Morton in there at first. The best players played, there was no controversy.
Click here for the rest of the article.
When Washington ran right over Dallas on the Redskins’ first offensive possession for a score, I did not believe in the Cowboys.
When the Dallas offense blew two drives in Washington territory with interceptions (one was Tony Romo’s fault, the other wasn’t), I did not believe in the Cowboys.
When the kickoff team gave up a 58-yard return after Dallas scored a touchdown to tie the game at 7-7, I did not believe in the Cowboys.
When Washington took a 10-7 lead at the half thanks to that kickoff return, I did not believe in the Cowboys.
When Dallas couldn’t take advantage of a Terence Newman interception in the third quarter . . . when the Cowboys couldn’t take advantage of a missed field goal by Shaun Suisham in the third quarter . . . when Dallas faced a third-and-7 from the Washington 33 with 11:29 remaining in the game . . . I did not believe in the Cowboys.
But on that third-and-7 play, Romo flipped the ball to Miles Austin, who rolled ahead to pick up the first down.
One play later, Romo threw to rookie Martellus Bennett, who made the type of catch we’d like to see on NFL Films years later. Bennett outjumped two Redskin defenders to haul in a 25-yard touchdown pass.
Suddenly, it was 14-10. Washington drove the ball to the Dallas 37 and had a chance to pick up a first down. A Redskin rookie, Devin Thomas– perhaps someone Dallas should have picked instead of Bennett, we might have thought– dropped a Jason Campbell pass. This set up a 4th-and-4, which meant we had to worry about Santana Moss and Chris Cooley, along with plenty of other weapons.
Moss went in motion. Newman stuck with Moss like glue. Campbell stepped up into the pocket and then tried to get he ball out to Moss. Newman was right there to break up the play.
Then Marion Barber and the offensive line took over. Barber ran right and left. He ran six straight times, until Dallas faced its own 3rd down play– 3rd and 8 from the Washington 36 with 2:49 left. Romo found Barber over the middle, and Barber did the rest by picking up the first down.
Barber ran the ball four more times, including a sweep to the right on a 4th-and-2 play with 1:08 left.
I’ve obviously been watching too many 1960s and 1970s era highlights, but I believed in the Cowboys during that final drive. The offensive line wasn’t great all night, but it was on the final drive. Barber and Romo weren’t great all day, but they made the plays they had to make when it counted. Terrell Owens wasn’t great, but he made a play that set up a big touchdown at the end of the first half.
Bradie James was around the ball all night, finishing with eight tackles and two assists. Newman never let Moss become a factor. Jay Ratliff picked up two sacks and was a force on the line. Keith Davis made some big hits from the strong safety position.
Know what? This isn’t a 9-7 bunch of losers after all. This team can do something with this season.
Jean-Jacques Taylor is entirely correct about the importance of Sunday night’s game:
The time for talk – by owners or players – is over. It’s time for these Cowboys to shut up and play because the season hinges on today’s game against Washington.
Beat the Redskins and, as Tony Romo said earlier this week, the Cowboys can still achieve all the goals they set in training camp.
Lose, and the season is over.
They’ll finish 7-9, miss the playoffs and be remembered in franchise annals as the most disappointing Cowboys team ever. Then we can focus all of our attention on when Wade Phillips gets fired and whether Jason Garrett has earned the right to replace him.
Win, and the Cowboys will enter December with a three-game winning streak, 10 days of rest and the knowledge they control their playoff destiny.
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Then again, Taylor was one of the five out of eight Dallas Morning News reporters who have picked Washington to win tomorrow. Three of the five commentators for ESPN’s Sunday Countdown also took Washington.
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The folks at MVN Outsider asked for me to write my opinion about Sunday night’s game. They asked the same of the blogger at Riggo’s Rag, a Redskins blog. Strangely, the only thing I disagree with him about is the final score. He picked the Redskins to win 23-20, while I picked the Cowboys to win 27-20.
I won’t repost all of our comments, but here are our conclusions:
David from Riggo’s Rag:
What is the single-biggest key to Sunday’s game for the Redskins, and what is your predicted final score?
The key to the game might be whether idiot Redskins fans sell their tickets to Cowboys fans. I was at the Steelers game in the lower bowl and surrounded by Steelers fans. When the game started poorly for the Steelers fans, they were quiet, but when the momentum turned it was like a home game for Pittsburgh. I was disappointed and very angry.
Assuming the stadium is the normal home game for us, the key is forcing the Cowboys into being one dimensional. The last game against the Boys, they abandoned the run early themselves. The problem with playing defense against the Cowboys when they are clicking is that you have to play your base defense or you have to disguise when you are selling out against the run or the pass because if you put 8 men in the box they’ll kill you with the pass. If you back off for the pass, they’ll kill you with Barber.
Of course, all of this is moot if Romo’s finger is worse than reported. My dream scenario is Romo plays with pain and throws three INTs and TO and Romo are yelling at each other on the sidelines.
My prediction? Honestly, I think there is a 50-50 chance we’re going to lose depending on how rusty Romo is and whether Portis can be himself. If both of them play, we’ll win a close one 23-20.
My comments, in turn:
What is the single-biggest key to Sunday’s game for the Cowboys, and what is your predicted final score?
Tony Romo’s play is the easy answer, but I think the play of safeties Ken Hamlin and Keith Davis may be more critical. Santana Moss has killed the Cowboys in the past, and with the cornerback situation the way it is in Dallas, it will be tough to stop him. Moreover, Chris Cooley has been very effective against the Cowboys, and he has been pretty consistent all season (four, six, and eight catches, respectively, in the past three games). If Hamlin and Davis could step it up a notch in terms of deep help as well as run support, the Cowboys could effectively counter some of the problems they had during the September 28 meeting.
My prediction this week: Dallas 27, Washington 20.
If the score hits 20-20 at some point, I am going to get an eery feeling– and really hope I was right.
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On Accuscore, Dallas won 60% of the simulations by an average score of 24-21. That’s a bit of a surprise. Romo averaged about 230 yards passing in those simulations.
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Dallas also won the majority (55%) of the simulations at What If Sports, and that site thinks this game will be one of the games of the week.
Will he or won’t he? This rivalry game comes down to that. On pace for over 2,000 total yards for an impressive 6-3 Washington team, a strong case can be made for Clinton Portis as the MVP of the NFL this season. Unfortunately, for the Redskins, Portis has a knee injury that actually sounds like it has worsened over the bye week. First-year head coach Jim Zorn is calling Portis “50-50” to play, but recent reports make it sound less likely than that as Portis has a second-degree MCL sprain. If he plays and is close to 100%, Washington would be a 65%+ favorite in the simulations – even with Tony Romo’s likely return. If he doesn’t play (and that’s how we simulated it), this game gets interesting. With Ladell Betts also ailing, former NFL MVP Shaun Alexander could get the majority of carries for the Redskins. That puts quite a bit of pressure on Jason Campbell, Santana Moss and the passing game. Just less than half the time, an essentially one-dimensional Washington squad gets by a Dallas team that should be as healthy and as balanced on offense as it has been since the season started. The Cowboys, who may have simply gotten lucky to face the Redskins at the perfect time, win 53.9% of the time and by just one point, 22-21, on average.
It’s November. Disappointed by two straight seasons in which the Cowboys lost their first game in the playoffs, Dallas entered the year with high hopes. Sure, beating the Eagles was satisfying, but the Cowboys were stung by losses to St. Louis and the New York Giants. The 5-4 Cowboys travel to Washington desperately needing a win to have any realistic playoff hopes.
In this circumstance, how would you like to know that the following could be heard on the team’s highlight film at the end of the season?
The Cowboys have always had a Roman’s appetite for victory, but never a Spartan’s will to suffer for it.
Against Washington, not only a new philosophy, but a new attitude won.
Victory came from [a rookie’s] willowly strides. Victory came from the offensive line . . . .
It came from three [rushing] touchdowns. It came from a team, working and playing as one, not from the individual brilliance of one or two players.
Sounds pretty good, except the rookie in this instance was Mark Washington. The offensive linemen were Tony Liscio, Blaine Nye, John Niland, Ralph Neely, Rayfield Wright, and Dave Manders. And the running back was Duane Thomas.
If you read this blog a little bit less than a month ago, you might have seen the post looking back at the 1970 Cowboys, who were blown out 38-0 by the St. Louis Cardinals to fall to 5-4. The team headed into its November 22 game at Washington, with Dallas needing to win its final five games to have a shot at the NFC East title.
Dallas pulled out a 45-21 win. By season’s end, Dallas was 10-4 and would reach the Super Bowl.
Here is a video clip of the win over the Redskins:
Bob St. John began his story on this game with the following:
It remains undecided whether the burial of the Dallas Cowboys Monday night was or was not premature. Anyway, to whom it may concern, the Cowboys can still kick on a given day. Here on a bright Sunday afternoon was a given day and the Cowboys ripped the Washington Redskins.
This probably only proves one of two things, however: It either proves that the Cowboys can still beat the Redskins or that the Redskins still can’t beat the Cowboys.
So, there’s some glimmer of hope, but some sort of run has to begin this Sunday at Washington. And I couldn’t state anything more obvious right now . . . .
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Check out the picture below, which is from the end of the clip above:
The sign below the scoreboard reads, “Bring Instant Replay to the Field.” Anyone know that fans were advocating for instant replay for officials as early as 1970? I didn’t.
Here are ten trivia questions related to the Cowboys’ loss to the Redskins on Sunday:
[tags]Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins[/tags]
Here are this week’s ratings for the Cowboys’ 26-24 loss to Washington on Sunday:
Tony Romo – 3 Stars: On paper, Romo had a better game than against Washington than he did against Green Bay last week. However, when Dallas needed for Romo and the offense to catch fire, Romo struggled. His first half interception was costly.
Marion Barber – 2 Stars: Barber had two good runs this game. He picked up a first down on the Cowboys’ opening drive of the game with a tough five-yard run, and he gained 15 yards on the opening drive of the third quarter. Those two runs accounted for 20 of his 26 yards on Sunday.
Terrell Owens – 3 Stars: Owens complained after the game that not enough balls came his way, but he did not appear to be open for much of the afternoon. He caught seven passes for 71 yards and a TD, but he was not the primary focus of the Dallas attack.
Patrick Crayton – 4 Stars: Crayton had a pretty good game, catching seven passes for 87 yards. On one play near the end of the second quarter, though, he was the target of a sideline pass. He bobbled the ball while trying to get out of bounds, resulting in an incomplete pass.
Jason Witten – 4 Stars: Witten had seven catches for 90 yards and a touchdown, though Washington did a good job making it tough for Romo to find him.
Offense – Pass Blocking – 5 Stars: Romo was not sacked, and on many plays he was not pressured much at all. The Redskins appeared content to focus more on double-teaming the Dallas receivers.
Offense – Run Blocking – 2 Stars: When Dallas decided to run, there were few holes. Dallas abandoned the run too quickly, though, so the line never had a chance to wear down the Redskins’ line.
Offense – Role Players and Backups – 2 Stars: Miles Austin keeps this category from being a “one.” Felix Jones was a huge catalyst last week, so as an encore Dallas decided not to get him the ball at all this week. Genius.
Penalties – Offense – 5 Stars: Dallas did not record a penalty on offense.
Run Support – 2 Stars: Clinton Portis and Ladell Betts combined to rush for 153 yards. There were a few drives were Dallas stuffed Portis, but he had some big runs in both halves.
Pass Rush – 3 Stars: DeMarcus Ware and Chris Canty recorded sacks, but too often Dallas had trouble getting to Jason Campbell.
Tackling – 2 Stars: The Cowboys reverted to a lot of grabbing against Washington.
Coverage – 1 Star: This was one of Terence Newman’s worst games in recent memory. He slipped on a touchdown pass from Campbell to James Thrash, and he had a couple of other blown coverages as well. Santana Moss ran free on a few plays, which makes no sense at all.
Penalties – Defense – 3 Stars: One penalty on the day was enough to reduce this category by two stars: With the Redskins facing a 3rd-and-2 from the Dallas 31 with 6:58 left, it appeared as if Dallas had stopped the Redskins. However, Dallas was called for 12 men on the field (after a Washington timeout), giving Washington a first down. We can apparently thank Pat Watkins. Washington ran three more minutes off the clock on the drive, which resulted in a field goal as the Redskins took a 26-17 lead.
Nick Folk – 4 Stars: Folk is still automatic on field goals, and still average on kickoffs.
Mat McBriar – 4 Stars: McBriar averaged 49.2 yards on six punts, but he wasn’t able to pin the Redskins inside the 10 when given a chance.
Coverage Units – 4 Stars: The coverage units were not bad for the most part, though Antwaan Randle El slipped through some arm tackles and averaged 10 yards per return.
Return Game – 2 Stars: The best return of the day was recorded by linebacker Anthony Spencer. Felix Jones averaged only 13 yards on four returns. Pacman Jones did not fare much better on punt returns.
Penalties – 4 Stars: Two of the three Dallas penalties were on special teams, but neither was very costly.
Here is some good news about the Cowboys’ 26-24 loss to the Redskins today:
During eight Super Bowl seasons, the Cowboys have only managed to go 9-7 against the Redskins. During these seasons, the Cowboys had an overall record of 92-28, so 25% of the losses have come against Washington.
That’s about as positive as I can be about the loss today. The two players that Dallas needed to stop were Clinton Portis and Santana Moss, but the Cowboys could slow down neither of them. Portis finished with 121 yards on 21 carries, with quite a bit of damage coming on a long drive by Washington that essentially put the game away.
Moss was wide open on several plays. He caught eight passes for 145 yards, generally outplaying any of the offensive playmakers for the Cowboys.
Tony Romo had some good numbers, throwing for 300 yards while completing 28 of 47 passes. Many of his yards came late in the first half and late in the fourth quarter, but when the team had a real chance to take control of the game, Romo and the offense struggled.
Especially disappointing was the Dallas running game. Marion Barber had only eight carries on the day, gaining 26 yards. Felix Jones did not touch the ball, strangely enough.
Dallas took a 7-0 lead with 30 seconds left in the first quarter when Romo hit Jason Witten on a 21-yard touchdown pass. It was the third possession for the Cowboys, and it appeared that the Cowboys were finding a rhythm.
However, the Redskins answered on the next drive, going 79 yards on 11 plays. Jason Campbell hit James Thrash for the touchdown, which was made possible by Terence Newman slipping down on the play.
The Dallas offense struggled for most of the rest of the first half, while the Redskins were finding holes in a generally soft Dallas defense. Shaun Suisham’s 20-yard field goal with 1:53 left in the half gave Washington a 17-7 lead.
It looked as if Dallas might take control of the game at the end of the first half and beginning of the second. The Cowboys cut the Washington lead to 17-10 by driving 66 yards to set up a Nick Folk field goal at the end of the half. Dallas received the ball to start the second half and drove 57 yards for a touchdown, tying the game 17-17.
Washington took a 20-17 lead on the next drive, and the Dallas offense struggled until the end of the game. Dallas could not move the ball into Washington territory during any of the team’s next three possessions. Meanwhile, the Redskins took advantage of a 12-play drive that took 6:54 off the clock. Another Suisham field goal gave the Redskins a 26-17 lead with just 3:22 left.
Dallas moved quickly to cut the lead to two. Romo hit Miles Austin on an 11-yard touchdown. However, the Cowboys had already used their timeouts, and when Nick Folk’s onside kick attempt failed with 1:42 left, the game was over.
By falling to 3-1, Dallas is tied with the Redskins for second place in the NFC East. The Giants (3-0) have a bye this week, and the Eagles (2-1) are playing at Chicago tonight.
In this episode, Gnome pitches his proposal for an $89.95 bailout which would allow him to pay off a $59.95 charge on his Visa for new video software and would also allow him to purchase a new microphone.
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Here are the previews for tomorrow’s game:
Dallas won 84% of the simulations on Accuscore by an average score of 30.7 for Dallas and 17.5 for Washington.
The WhatIfSports simulations also heavily favored the Cowboys, as Dallas won 86.6% of those games.
Watch CBS Videos Online
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You can vote for the greatest game between the Redskins and Cowboys at Texas Stadium at the Dallas Morning News site.
Last year I saw the video clip I am featuring now. It provides a bunch of highlights from the Cowboys-Redskins rivalry, with clips from nearly every era except for the 1990s. It dawned on me that a real challenge would be to try to identify all of the games shown (by year, etc.) and as many of the players as possible. For some parts this wasn’t so tough, but for others, it has proven to be more of a challenge.
Here is the video:
My annotations so far are below. Please feel free to comment, and I will include any additions or corrections as I receive them.
Scene 1 (0:11-0:30): Opening sequence to the Monday Night Football game between Dallas and Washington in 1978. This one was pretty easy. Dallas lost 9-5.
There are a few shots that include stock footage from NFL Films.
Scene 2 (1:02-1:05): This shows a shot of Joe Theismann being sacked by Ed Jones. Other players in the scene were Bill Bates, Jim Jeffcoat, and Don Smerek. This one has given me trouble, but I think that this was a shot from the 1983 game that the Redskins won 31-10. I do not see the 25th Anniversary patch on the Cowboys uniforms that were worn during the 1984 season, and Bates and Jeffcoat were not around prior to 1983.
Scene 3 (1:06-1:08): Bob Lilly tackles Larry Brown in this shot, with Sonny Jurgensen handing off. The Redskins are wearing their yellow helmets with the “R” symbol rather than the crimson helmets, and the yellow helmets were only worn during the 1970 and 1971 seasons. I cannot determine which season this was, though, because all of the players I can identify (Larry Cole, George Andrie, Bob Lilly, Sonny Jurgensen, Larry Brown) played in both games.
Scene 4 (1:10-1:13): Drew Pearson apparently catches a touchdown pass in this shot. I believe this was a 53-yard score from the 1978 game at Texas Stadium. I am not sure who the defensive back is.
Scene 5 (1:14-1:21): This is a shot of Don Meredith’s 44-yard pass to Billy Howton in a 21-17 loss to Washington in 1963.
Scene 6 (1:24-1:27): Mel Renfro tackles #31 for the Redskins. I am not sure when this play occurred.
Scene 7 (1:27-1:30): This shot shows Roger Staubach being injured in a play where he tries to score on a run. I’ve always thought that this was from the 1974 Thanksgiving Day game, but perhaps I am wrong. The shots that follow are certainly from that game, though.
Scene 8 (1:30-1:45): There are two shots of Clint Longley hitting Billy Joe Dupree and Drew Pearson in the famous Thanksgiving Day game in 1974.
Scene 9 (1:46-1:56): This shot shows Ron Fellows picking off Joe Theismann in the opening day game in 1985 when Dallas won 44-14 (and led the Texas Stadium crowd to sing Happy Birthday to Theismann).
Scene 10 (1:57-2:00): This shot shows Theismann being blitzed by a number of Cowboys (Bill Bates, Dennis Thurman, Dexter Clinkscale). You can see the 25th Anniversary patch pretty clearly, so this must have been during the 1984 game that Washington won 30-28.
Scene 11 (2:00-2:01): This is a tough one. It shows #53 for the Cowboys tackling #29 for the Redskins. Given that the pants that the Cowboy player was wearing are grey instead of silver, I don’t think that this was Bob Breunig, who did not join the team until 1975 when the Cowboys had silver pants. This is more likely from the 1972 or 1973 season, and #53 at that time was a backup linebacker named John Babinecz. Anyone else think otherwise?
Scene 12 (2:01-2:06): This shot shows Charlie Waters celebrating a touchdown, which occurred in a 31-10 Dallas win in 1975. Other Cowboys in the shot: Cliff Harris (#43), Bill Gregory (#77), and Dave Edwards (#52).
Scene 13 (2:06-2:50): There are several plays from the Cowboys’ 34-16 win over the Redskins in 1977. Among the plays are Roger Staubach’s 50-yard TD pass to Golden Richards and a pass from Tony Dorsett to Drew Pearson. Both Billy Kilmer and Joe Theismann played quarterback for Washington that day.
Scene 14 (2:50-3:16): This sequence shows several plays from the Cowboys’ 31-30 come-from-behind win at Washington in the opening week of the 1983 season. Among the plays were the 75-yard and 51-yard touchdown passes from Danny White to Tony Hill.
Scene 15 (3:17-4:15): This sequence shows a series of plays from the 35-34 win at Texas Stadium in 1979, including the famous Larry Cole tackle of John Riggins and Staubach’s throw to Tony Hill to win the game.
Scene 16 (4:16-5:02): This part shows some out-of-sync highlights of the Cowboys’ 41-35 win over the Redskins on opening day in 1999.
Scene 17 (5:02-5:25): This scene shows highlights from the Cowboys’ 27-0 win at Washington in 2003. This game featured rookie Terence Newman picking off three passes.
Scene 18 (5:25-6:00): This sequence shows highlights from the Cowboys’ 27-20 win on Thanksgiving Day in 2002.
Scene 19 (6:01-6:34): This shows highlights from Dallas’ 21-18 win at Washington in 2004.
Scene 20 (6:35-7:13): This features a series of highlights from the Cowboys’ 21-14 home win over Washington in 2003.
Scene 21 (7:13-7:20): The final highlight shows Vinny Testaverde hitting Patrick Crayton on a 39-yard touchdown pass that gave Dallas an improbable 13-10 win in 2004.