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 »
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 »
PITTSBURGH – Sunday’s thrilling 35-30 comeback victory against the Steelers at Heinz Field wasn’t about any of the storylines Cowboys critics continue to manufacture. Investigating Zeke? Puppet Garrett? Pouting Romo? Meddling Jerry? Deztractions?
Those aren’t the real stories.
“How our team responded in the latter part of the game is indicative of what they’re all about, the kind of people we have on our team, the mental toughness they have, the poise and composure,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said after a game won because Dallas somehow scored twice in the final two minutes in this hostile environment. “Our ability to execute when we had to was obviously critical to the outcome.”
Rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott was a centerpiece of that as he scored on 32-yard run with nine seconds left to essential seal the deal. Zeke rushed for two TDs and scored … Read More »
CLEVELAND – I composed FishTips as the Cowboys got ready for the Browns on Sunday. Now we’ve got a 35-10 win and a review of how prescient those five FishTips were:
FishTip 1) Why does it feel like Dallas has the vibe of a contender?
Well, the Cowboys are 6-1 for the 11th time in club history. All 10 of those previous teams went to the playoffs.
Furthermore… since 1990, when the playoffs were last re-formatted, teams that started 6-1 made the playoffs 51 of 60 times. So historically the path is cleared.
RESULT: The Cowboys at 7-1 are the best team in the NFC – though their eye is so on the prize that even the outspoken Dez Bryant is unwilling to say those words. “I’m not going to get in to all of that,” Dez said. “What I will say: I love … Read More »
If you have been glued to social media and the internet watching every move the Dallas Cowboys make during training camp, I can relate. There were many years when I covered two practices a day for weeks at a time. What I learned from those eleven training camp experiences is that after the Blue White scrimmage, training camp is boring. I know it is football and we love football, but if you are glued to Cowboys camp to the exclusion of all other sports you are missing something exciting…wait for it…the Texas Rangers.
The truth is, if you haven’t watched the Rangers lately, then you haven’t watched the Rangers. Sounds like a ploy to get you to tune into Fox Sports SW for Rangers baseball doesn’t it? The truth is I always want you to watch because it helps put food … Read More »
IRVING – “It’s just Twitter,’’ a number of Cowboys fans have tweeted at me in the wake of Dallas defensive end Greg Hardy’s “joke’’ referencing the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. My argument back is there is no such thing as “just Twitter,’’ that it’s now part of the way many of us communicate with each other, and that the tweets of complaint to me actually prove that, just as Hardy’s controversial message does.
It started Friday night when a fan of the Panthers (Hardy’s former team) posted a photo of receivers Devin Funchess and Kelvin Benjamin and referred to them as “The Twin Towers.’’ Hardy’s reply: “didn’t the twin towers get blown up lol.”
Besides being stupid, the joke isn’t funny. Hardy seemed to recognize some of that eventually, when he deleted the tweet and offered a graceless semi-apology. “Ill say this … Read More »
LANDOVER, Md. – Play to be the best? Or play to get some rest?
Cowboys Nation gnashed its teeth to the gum and rubbed its hands to the bone all week in anticipation of a backfire to Dallas’ full-steam-ahead approach to a Week 17 game in Washington that figured to bear little consequence to the playoff-bound Cowboys’ postseason seeding.
Yet all week, in public, coach Jason Garrett sent the same “Finish The Fight” message his players wear on T-shirts. And in the privacy of the week’s practices, I was told, it was all about starters getting their usual reps. And in the Saturday team meeting at the hotel in suburban Virginia? Again, the emphasis: We only get 16 of these; why would we waste one?
Why? Because Tony Romo and his broken back might get more broken. Why? Because DeMarco Murray and his … Read More »
Tony Romo has a history of valor, and deserved a day of discretion. … even though it greatly impacted the Cowboys’ 28-17 loss to Arizona. Romo was on the sidelines on Sunday, nursing two fractured transverse process in his back, watching his Cowboys drop a home game to the Cardinals.
The quarterback’s desire to play here — despite the ever-present pain of essentially having a “broken back’’ and the absolutely-present threat of more damage — should forever end the NFL memes that put Romo in the position of punchline and clear up how badly Dallas needs the healthiest version of him available. “Hopefully we’ll get Romo back this week,” said owner Jerry Jones, reflecting on replacement Brandon Weeden’s putrid day (18 of 33 for 183 yards, a TD and two picks). “If we didn’t think he could play, he wouldn’t be … Read More »
The precocious Dez Bryant Jr. was in the Cowboys locker room the other day, fielding rapid-fire quiz questions from Daddy. Bryant would mention a Cowboys player’s jersey number, and the adorable little one would fire back the name of the appropriate player.
Who is No. 9? “Tony Romo,’’ the kid replied.
Who is No. 83? “Terrance Williams,’’ Junior replied.
Who is No. 29? “DeMarco Murray,’’ Little Dez replied.
How about No. 82? “That’s Jason Witten,’’ the 4-year-old replied.
On and on the drill went, numbers and names, names and numbers, a scene from Baby Geniuses come to life.
But the next time Dallas Cowboys star receiver Dez Bryant plays the game with his baby boy? He might feel it necessary to test him on … No. 98. And No. 89. And No. 78.
“We don’t just have 11 guys flying to the ball,’’ said defensive lineman … Read More »
To watch the Cowboys from their week one debacle vs. San Francisco, to where they find themselves today, is like watching a team go from riding a bicycle on training wheels to handing a high-powered motorcycle. Only there’s no way all of this should have happened in just three weeks. Yes, there are cynics, and cynicism is understandable given what has occurred. And yet as they say in the investing game, “past performance is no guarantee of future results.” Indeed, the Cowboys are showing there just may be a reason to believe in them.
Let’s start with the QB. After throwing 37 passes in that wretched opener against the 49ers, Tony Romo hasn’t thrown more than 29 passes in each of the last three games. The Cowboys have won all three of those games. Indeed since that dreadful first half against … Read More »