Sunday, December 21, 2008
The Farewell: Dal 24, Bal 33
On what was certain to be a bittersweet day, the farewell game at Texas Stadium, the game provided only the bitterness of another December loss miring what turned out to be a hollow post game ceremony.
At some point, I'll put together my thoughts on seeing all the Cowboys legends on the field after yesterday's game, as well as some of my fondest Texas Stadium memories, but all I could think after the Cowboys' 24-33 loss to the Ravens was how that stadium, the only stadium to host five Super Bowl championship teams, deserved better. The stadium that housed the dreaded Doomsday Defense saw the longest run by an opponent serve as the dagger that could kill the Cowboys playoff hopes.
Dallas no longer controls its destiny and must now hope for help in the form of losses by Atlanta or Tampa Bay coupled with a win next week in Philadelphia. With both of those NFC South teams playing doormats (Detroit and Oakland) in Week 17, one of them needs to fall this week if the Cowboys will realistically have a chance to get into the tournament.
A few quick thoughts on the game (before I depart for Utah for a ski trip)...
+ Tashard Choice = awesome. I get giddy thinking about having him, Marion Barber and Felix Jones in the backfield next season.
+ I don't know if Tony Romo really does look at Jason Witten because they are BFF, but regardless of the reason, I hope he keeps it up. It was Witten's clutch catches over the middle that help set up some of the Cowboys' late scores to keep this thing close.
+ In fairness, watching TO on his late-game routes, he was open. Only problem was that Romo couldn't get him the ball because he had a linebacker in his face on seemingly every play down the stretch. Ray Lewis used the Cowboys QB as a tackling dummy yesterday. Not sure how many sacks Baltimore had, but Romo was constantly knocked down and beaten up.
+ Replaying both of those long TD runs in my head, both of which on the first play of the possession for the Ravens, I want to puke. Horrible tackling up front and no chance to catch guys once they hit the hole. Just ugly.
+ On that final fourth down of the game on the Cowboys final possession, could someone explain a backwards pass to Roy Williams that wasn't even close to a first down? What ever happened to "run to the stick and turn around"? The play never had a chance.
+ The defense that looked so solid in the the first half (allowing only 3 field goals), ended up surrendering 24 second half points and allowed rookie QB Joe Flacco to drive the purple birds down the field eating up the clock.
I can't go on about that game. It hurt not just because the Cowboys playoff chances are now in extreme jeopardy. It hurt because that stadium with a hole in the roof deserved better. The stadium that saw the Cowboys rise from "next years champions" into "America's Team" was denied the farewell it earned. It sickens me that Dallas lost its last game in football's cathedral - the 100th Cowboys loss ever in that building. But while God has enjoyed watching his favorite team play through his own personal window in the roof, so have I from Section 108 Row 5. And I'll miss that.