To the Dallas Cowboys — and 30 other NFL teams — this Super Bowl was about “what could’ve been.’’ And Dallas can actually look forward to Super Bowl LII armed with the knowledge that they are 9/1 favorites to make it to the big game, the second-best odds of anybody.
The team with the best odds? It’s the only one of the NFL teams that doesn’t today think about “what could’ve been.’’ For New England, 34-28 winners over Atlanta in the first overtime in Super Bowl history, the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history and maybe the greatest game in Super Bowl history, this is about what was, what is, and what will forevermore be,
With the Patriots trailing by 25 points and Tom Brady throwing so many errant passes that Lady Gaga had to climb on Houston’s NNNN Stadium roof to … Read More »
FRISCO – The key to understanding the Dallas Cowboys’ draft plan isn’t so much about listening to Jerry Jones as it is “listening to who Jerry Jones listens to.” For about 25 years now, I’ve called it “B.A.A.” That’s an acronym for “best available athlete.” And besides being fun to pronounce on the radio — “BAAAAA!” — its commonsensical, at least to me.
So why is Jerry saying things like this? “Where we’re going to be picking (28th overall), I think we can improve our team in several areas on each side of the ball, but particularly on the defensive side. There are going to be some players there, and we have several places that we can basically add to some good players we’ve got there now.”
Dallas has needs on defense, particularly in the pass-rush department. And maybe in the upcoming … Read More »
The Dallas Cowboys cannot be blamed for wondering “what if?’’ But no, not “what if we would’ve beaten the Packers and then beaten the Falcons and then advanced to the Super Bowl against the Patriots?’’
This “what if’’ is a simple philosophical regret from Green Bay 34, Dallas 31 in their playoff game a week ago: Dallas fell behind 21-3 in its final game … and stayed behind, for the most part, because it didn’t ride Ezekiel Elliott. That early deficit is being given by some as the reason they didn’t “stick with the run” more, in the form of more than 22 carries for Elliott.
But the point is being missed. The score was 0-0 when Dallas first decided to not “stick with it,” as on third-and-2 within field-goal range when they let Dak Prescott throw downfield into coverage for an … Read More »
ARLINGTON – It will be argued forever that the Dallas Cowboys’ playoff loss to the Packers yesterday at AT&T Stadium was about the results of rust. Or about the results about readiness. Or about the results of the reliance on rookies.
But to me? Packers 34, Cowboys 31 was exactly what I’d feared it would be: About the results of Rodgers.
Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers was my regular-season pick for NFL MVP based on the simplest of facts: He is the NFL star with the best chance to get to the Super Bowl with the least amount of help. Cowboys coach Jason Garrett, after suffering through Rodgers’ conversion of a third-and-19 to set up the game-winning field goal with no time remaining, said when it’s all over, Rodgers “will go down as one of the three greatest to ever lace ’em … Read More »
PHILADELPHIA – The Cowboys didn’t mess around by playing select key starters in this “Preseason-in-January’’ visit to Philly. But Tony Romo — who took his first regular-season snaps of the season for Dallas on Sunday when he entered the game for Dak Prescott on the Cowboys’ third possession — didn’t mess around, either.
“It felt good,” said Romo of his performance in Dallas’ 27-13 loss. “Weirdly, you kind of expect (success) when you go out there.”
Romo completed three of four passes for 29 yards, including a TD pass to Terrance Williams to give the Cowboys a 10-3 lead in the second quarter. On his first snap, he threw deep but incomplete. But he did complete three passes to lead the Cowboys to a score, aided by an Eagles pass interference call on a nice deep ball to Dez Bryant.
Following his short … Read More »
ARLINGTON, Tex. – Dez Bryant took a fun approach to what he views as a serious issue following his Dallas Cowboys’ 26-20 home victory over Tampa Bay on Sunday, calling out “bandwagon-jumping fake fans.”
“I’m talking to the fake Cowboy fans, I’m talking to the bandwagons, I’m just talking about everybody,” Bryant said. “First off, just jump off. Jump off.”
Bryant, who finished the game with a team-high eight catches for 82 yards, is privately irate at “Embrace Debate” media members who feign support for the Cowboys as a method of self-promotion. But his remarks after Dallas vaulted to a 12-2 record were also meant as a defense of rookie QB Dak Prescott, who like Dez performed poorly in a loss at New York.
“We lost one game,” Dez said. “We were 11-2. Like c’mon, man, this guy (Prescott) put us in … Read More »
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — My old friend Michael Irvin issued the statement a couple of weeks ago as his beloved Dallas Cowboys were preparing to reel off a win streak that would reach 11 by the time we got to Sunday night in New York.
The Cowboys, “The Playmaker” theorized, might actually benefit by a loss. His logic: A loss would re-ground the team, cause it to re-focus, give it some scar tissue.
Me? Losses are bad. They cost a playoff-bound team seeding position, bye weeks, home-field advantage…
But now Dallas has indeed lost, 10–7 to the Giants. And even if you did not subscribe to Irvin’s theory before… you might as well join Ezekiel Elliott and Dak Prescott in buying into it now.
Why? Because as you deal with the realities of slipping to 11–2, you have no other choice. “I think it’s … Read More »
As the Dallas Cowboys trudged up the post-win tunnel last Thursday in Minnesota, largely too tired to truly celebrate after recording three wins in 12 days, one Cowboy noted, “We’re in the playoffs, baby!”
If that was meant as a prediction, he was right; On Sunday, the Cowboys became the first team to clinch an NFL playoff berth.
The NFC East-leading Cowboys did the 11-1 part themselves (the best record in the NFL), and it provides Dallas with the inside track to a first-round bye, to home-field edge throughout the playoffs, and maybe to an uncatchable regular-season mark that can help ease the path to the Super Bowl.
The bit of Sunday help was provided by Arizona, which handed a 31-23 loss to the Redskins, dropping Washington to 6-5-1.
The Cowboys we’re also afforded the luxury of sitting home and watching NFC East rivals … Read More »
ARLINGTON – It’s a classic cliche that is often applied to a Dallas-Washington meeting: “Throw the records out the window!’’ But in fact, in the history of this epic NFL series, team records are actually very predictive. To wit, coming into last Thursday’s Thanksgiving meeting at AT&T Stadium:
*When it’s the Redskins with a winning record, the Redskins are 23-10
*When it’s both teams with the same records, the series is 14-16-1
*When it’s the Cowboys with a winning record, the Cowboys are 28-17-1
And as Dallas came into the game 9-1 … guess what happened?
“’It’s a helluva ride,’’ Dallas defensive back Orlando Scandrick to me after the Cowboys’ 31-26 win. ‘And it’s just now beginning!’ Dallas is on quite a roll, with its two rookie MVP candidates taking lead roles. QB Dak Prescott accounted for two touchdowns and running back Ezekiel Elliott ran … Read More »
ARLINGTON – Last Monday I offered some pre-game “FishTips’’ as your guide for the Ravens-at-Cowboys match-up. Now, in review of Dallas 27, Baltimore 17 … How’d I do?
FISHTIP 1: I said Dez Bryant was working through the emotions of the passing of his father and that dealing with the loss included Dez’ Saturday attendance at the Saturday funeral in Lufkin. But physically? Despite appearing on the pregame injury report — “back’’ — Bryant told me it was a “take-an-aspirin’’ sort of issue.
RESULT: “I was no big deal,’’ Dez told me after a win in which he totaled six catches for 80 yards and two TDs, but refused to bask in credit over the big numbers. “We’re for one another. That’s it.’’
FISHTIP 2: I said that Ezekiel Elliott would face his truest test of the year in Baltimore’s best-in-the-NFL run defense, … Read More »