Monday, September 22, 2008

DAL 27 GB 16: Tundra torn up

A few thoughts after watching last night's Cowboys-Packers SNF match up...

Each time I heard someone bring up the fact that Dallas was winless at Lambeau Field, I couldn't help but laugh at how manipulatable statistics are.  Yes, the Cowboys had never won at Lambeau (0-5) until last night, but the team's they took up there, save the Ice Bowl, were horrible.  Also, the Cowboys had won some of the Packer "home" games played in Milwaukee when the franchise was dabbling with that.  

Terrell Owens is not the player I thought the Cowboys were getting when Jerry inked the 3-year, $25 million deal before the 2006 season.  He's better.  The man is a no-doubt Hall of Famer, and now I'm wondering if - considering how things ended in San Francisco and in Philly - T.O. would consider going into Canton with a star on the helmet?  Hmm.  Before you think I'm dreaming, consider this: Owens is 2nd all-time in TD receptions to only Jerry Rice.  Owens makes his teammates around him better because he's such an imposing figure at WR.  Jason Witten is a great tight end, but he and Owens are even better because defenses can't stop both of them.  And the two biggest plays Owens made during the game in Green Bay weren't even his two receptions.

When Romo threw his INT in the red zone (*cringe*), it was Owens who flew into the picture to catch the Packer safety from behind.  I don't know if the T.O. I remember hearing about from 49ers fans and Eagles fan would have exhibited that kind of hustle.  The Packers only got a field goal out of the ensuing drive.  When rookie Felix Jones broke a 60-yard run for a Cowboys TD, the only player on the field capable of catching him was Owens.  T.O. got down the field incase any blocking was necessary and escorted the former Arkansas Razorback into the end zone.  

Watching Tony Romo play football is fun.  Each time he drops back, I never know what's going to happen, but I like that ANYTHING can happen.  Just because he's dropping back doesn't mean he won't hand the ball to Barber or Jones on a HB draw.  Just because a defender has Romo in his grasp doesn't mean he won't escape from him to make a throw (and it doesn't mean the throw won't be to the other team, a la the Eagles game).  But more often than not, Romo makes watching Cowboys football edge-of-your-seat exciting.

The Cowboys are America's Team.  Did anyone else get the sense watching last night's game that recent regular season success is causing a revival in the interest in this team.  Regardless of if you love or hate the Cowboys, you WATCH the Cowboys.  They are a major focal point of the NFL.  And with all the recent success, a playoff run in not only overdue, but now it's seeming like something very, very realistic.  I think Kevin Burnett summed things up pretty well in talking to's Matt Mosley:
You get the get the feeling the Cowboys desperately want to fast forward to December, which has also served as their football purgatory. And that's exactly what Burnett talked about after the game.

"All this is well and good, but we wish we could throw all this aside and just go to the playoffs," he said. "All of this means nothing if we don't win a Super Bowl. I think we're becoming greedy players."
The season is still very young, and after seeing Tom Brady's season end in Week 1, no one knows how things will play out.  Who knows who will be healthy as the season goes (heck, the Jets were supposed to win it all in 1999 until Vinny got injured in Week 1 and the "Greatest Show on Turf" came out of nowhere with a former grocery-bagger-back-up-QB turned-MVP).  Point being, let's not get ahead of ourselves saying the Cowboys will be in the Super Bowl; football in January is not the same at football in September.  However, the way they are playing now, you gotta love their chances.

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