After what has to be considered one of the best drafts in Cowboy history how do you follow up? After all, Zeek lived up to all the hype that can be afforded a rookie, he was as one local radio head might say “All that and a bag of chips” And as for Dak by his fourth game last season some of the local fandom had already started Hall of Fame talk.
There is no doubt that with the help of last year’s rookie crop the Cowboys far exceeded all our expectations. Pero (But) that dang defense, while that unit did better than expected it still had major holes, Cowboys should have beat Green Bay in playoff game. It is obvious to even the fair weather fan that we need corner help and pass rushers.
Last season the Cowboys were ranked 19th for sacks, they only had 15 and it took 4 different players to get that. Enter Cowboys first round pick Taco Charlton out of Michigan he is 6/6 273, last season he had 9.5 sacks, 13 tackles for losses that earned him all conference honors. This draft was defensive help focused as we all knew that it should be. They took 3 Corner Backs and at least 2 tackles, list below of draft picks to date. Many of which should be able to break through and start, at least that is the hope because they need help now! I can’t’ believe I am about to say this but I am already looking forward to training camp. Adios till then.
No. 133 -- WR Ryan Switzer (UNC)
No. 191 -- S Xavier Woods (LA Tech)
No. 216 -- CB Marquez White (FSU)
No. 228 -- DT Joey Ivie (Florida)
No. 239 -- WR Noah Brown (Ohio State)
No. 248 -- DT Jordan Carrell (Colorado)
Guess Cowboy Fans should be used to not playing in the big game. After all, their last appearance came during the 1995 season, In Arizona against the Steelers 27/17 in January 1996; it was especially good to finally beat the Steelers in the Super Bowl. As the Cowboys, had lost to them twice in the Tom Landry era. And for both fans and former players from that era, it felt like finally, “In your face” dirty Steelers.
The last win was under Barry Switizer as Jerry Jones and Jimmy Johnson had already had their famous break up. Among all the comments thrown, in the break was the line that Jerry Jones issued “I can win a Super Bowl with any 500 coaches that are available” Jerry really, really wanted that one and many now speculate that he made a deal with the devil to get it. And, if he did he agreed to a dry spell that now has extended to 21 seasons. If you are a Cowboy fan, you know the wheels came off the bus after that one. Barry left, so did Troy Aikman and the rest of the triplets, what followed was a string of Quarterbacks and coaches that were mediocre at best. Of course, we had Parcells here for a while but we all knew it would not last. After all Jerry’s ego was too big to share the stage with anyone.
However, before he left he named an undrafted Q. B. Tony Romo as the starting Quarterback, with him the Cowboy fans had hope. Under Tony we had some good seasons, after the O-Line got shored and he could complete a pass without having to run for his life. Many Cowboy fans have a soft spot for Tony and really hoped he would win a Super Bowl here. But, alas that will not likely happen, most fans have now pinned their hopes on Dak Prescott and Tony must try to win his Super Bowl elsewhere.
The new triplets now are Dak, Zeek and Dez, will they take us to the promised land? I say yes but not if we do not fix the defense. As for the big game on Sunday, I will be watching and somewhere in my mind I may allow myself a moment to drift back to 1996.
By A. Govea
That was the rally call coming from the Cowboys and their fans, it even became a popular hashtag. However as with many made up calls to action it met a premature death in the 4th quarter with about 5 seconds left in the game.
It was not that our home team did not fight hard, they gave it their all or at least all they had. But when you are playing against a future first ballot Hall of Fame Quarterback on a hot streak; fighting hard sometimes is not enough. Aaron Rodgers went 24 of 38 for 356 yards with 2 TDs, he also had one passed picked off. However, in the end it did not matter as the Cowboy defense had no real answers to his punishing onslaught. It was like a hot knife cutting through butter and then placed in a tortilla but that’s another story.
Our Boy wonders Dak and Zek put up a brave fight, in addition Dez had one of his best games in a long time. Dak went 24 of 38 for 302 yards 3 TDs and one pick, he was a little wobbly at the start of the game and when they went down 21 to 3 the Romo calls started. Well at least in my home, Troy Aikman also made a passing reference to that possibly. Zek ran for 125 yards, Dez had 9 catches for 132 yards and 2 TDs. When you look at all these numbers you would think it would equal a win, (Pero No) it was not to be.
So, what happened? Simple answer Aaron Rodgers and I think the coaching staff had an off day as well. The offensive coordinator could be blamed for the dumbest penalty I ever heard of, when Brice Butler was given a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike penalty. This was because he was in the huddle but then ran off and was not in play. Per the rules if you join the huddle or are even within listening distance you must participate in play. Now I did not know that, but I am not an NFL coordinator, someone on the coaching staff should have known that. Just like the defense coach should have known that if you are going to change out player on 3rd and short against Rodgers chances are he will catch that, run a play and presto! You get caught with too many men on the field.
The winner of dumb calls though, came when the Cowboys had just gotten a first, thanks to a Dak to Witten first down to the Green Bay 40. So they now had a fresh set of downs on the 40 with time for the go ahead T.D. But instead of having four plays they basically wound up with 3 when Dak was asked to spike the ball to stop the clock. This not only hurt their chance for a possible touchdown and they had to settle for a game tying field goal, it also left about 40 seconds on the clock. Even they had just run one more play it might have prevented Rodgers from having the time to lead his team to a winning field goal to make it Green Bay 34 Cowboys 31. So, that’s it, no more, No Mas, Fin the end.
By A. Govea
The general wisdom once you get to the playoffs defense trumps offense, although the Packers just beat the Giants highly rated defense. Which proves that you still must have some offense, as Eli and company have been struggling to put up points all season. The Giants only managed to score 13 points against Green Bay on Sunday and for a while their defense kept them in the game. However, Aaron Rodgers is about the hottest Quarterback in the league right now and they put up 38.
The Boys have already faced Green Bay this season in the regular season in October and they won handily 30 to 16. Zek ran for 157 and Dak threw for 247 and that was without Dez Bryant in the game, Beasley and Butler both had good games. It appeared that the Green Bay corners have real trouble with speed receivers.
Now for the defense, in that game they held Rodgers to 1 TD, 1 INT. recovered 3 fumbles and generally controlled the line. And that was without Orlando Scandrick and the play of David Irving on D. Line that will also have a healthy and rested Demarcus Lawrence. The Cowboys look really good going into this game both on offense and defense but, you don’t’ play the game on paper. However, they are a solid 4-point favorite as of this writing but you never make the mistake of counting any team out based on the regular season. The Packers are riding a 7-game winning streak, however the Cowboys had an 11-game winning streak going and have the look of a winner. So, get your nachos and favorite adult beverage ready, the last time these teams meet in the playoffs it came down to 1 play. Which of course was the Dez catch that was ruled a non- catch. Given all the new weapons, they will not let that happen again, my money is on the Cowboys!
By A. Govea
Tony Romo finally gets into a game in 2016 and now has tied Dez Bryant (Yes that Dez the receiver) for touchdown passes this season. Romo has not played in a regular game since Thanksgiving Day 2015, he is only appearance this season was in a pre-season game August 25th against Seattle where he suffered another back injury. All this led to wonder boy the 4th round draft pick Dak Prescott not only coming in relief for Romo but replacing him as the starter.
Romo went in for 1 series of plays with 13 minutes left in the 2nd quarter to spell the now number 1 Quarterback. It was great to see number 9 back in a game and he did not disappoint he went 3 of 4 for 29 yards and he scored the only touchdown of the game for the Cowboys. A three-yard T.D. strike (his 248th) to Terrance Williams in the end zone that was not spectacular but was monumental for him personally. I was both happy and sad to see this, as most Cowboy fans know that might be it for our favorite Mexican Quarterback. Dak was ready on the sidelines to congratulate Romo with a playful shove, Romo was all smiles as were all the Romo Homers in Cowboy Fandom.
We also had what most have been a first in an NFL game, two Mexican Americans Q.B.S play in the same game. Mark Sanchez came in right after Romos’ 1 and only series to finish the game, however he did not fare as well as Romo. Sanchez went 9 of 17 for 85 yards but had 2 INTS and was sacked 3 times for a horrible Q.B. rating of 27.5. And unlike Romo which is expected to be traded in the offseason, he may not have any suiters. Sanchez has been plagued with turnover problems which has caused him to lose starter consideration and may find himself out of the league, unless a team gets disparate or the Cowboys keep him. Which is possible as Dak has really taken a liken to him and the starting Quarterback has a voice in some offensive personnel decisions.
As for the final score Eagles won 27 to 13 in a game that really meant nothing for the local Boys other would have been nice to get to 14/2 record. However, the most important part of this game was to get through it without any major injuries which is why to his disappoint Zek saw no action. A combination of McFadden, Dunbar and Morris came in for him and only managed 60 yards between them. So now it’s off to the playoffs in 2 weeks, I hope you are excited! It has been a while, I will set the table for that next week. Oh and Happy New Year!
By A. Govea
Dak walked into Cowboy history again, with another rushing touchdown, he passed Dandy Don Meredith for the most Cowboy QB rushing touchdowns. But, perhaps more important he reestablished himself as this teams Quarterback now and likely for years to come. There had been rumblings of maybe we need to put Tony back after Dak’s last couple of games where both he and the offense struggled. Maybe one more game or just a half more of mediocre play might cause a QB change.
Then to paraphrase a line in the 1994 movie Dumb and Dumber, he goes out and totally redeems himself, he was 32 of 36 that gives you a 88.9 completion percentage rating. And that will answer the question of do we keep or do we pull him. Dak looked poised all night despite a good Buccaneer D. line that was determined to rattle him. He made the right decisions on his targets and had a couple of good runs to extend drives. Yes, Dak is back and as for El Tony stick around you never know things can change in a hurry. As for the other Mexican on the team, Mark Sanchez, the broadcast team reported last night that he not Tony was the other QB on the team that Dak relied on for advice on game day. We will investigate that further and report back with that information soon.
As for the other Cowboy star rookie Zeke, he had another standout performance running for well over 100 yards. Many like to point out that any half way decent running back could do this behind the Cowboy O-Line, to them I say “No!” Zeke is special. And I am certainly not the only one to recognize that, another special guy was at the game last night that knows what special is all about, Emmitt Smith. Emmitt seemed to really be enjoying the game and must be flattered to hear the Zeke’s comparisons to him. Perhaps for Zeke last night though the play of the game came after a TD run that had him jumping into a Salvation Army red kettle. That move is what will be trending on social media, hopefully it will lead to more donations going in the red kettles that we see everywhere this time of the year.
How bout that Defense, if they keep playing the way they have been playing especially in the 4th quarter we will be forced to give them a nickname. Doomsday Jr., maybe, maybe not, but if you ask the Buc O. Line and their QB they are Doomsday! David Irving at 6.7, 230 pounds must have seemed like the Doomsday messenger on Sunday night. He had 2 sacks a deflected pass a bunch of hurries, in general he caused mayhem behind the Buc. Line. There were some concerns about whether the Cowboys would be able to keep with the Buc hurry up offense. That question was answered resoundly late in the fourth quarter when the Bucs had two chances to take the lead with a TD The answer to them was “No Senor not in my house.”
By A. Govea
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Dak had his worst game of the season but one of the greatest comebacks in recent Cowboy history.
The 3rd ranked Eagle defense had Dak on the run, often running for his life. While the Cowboy offensive line played as well as they could, Dak seemed to be confused with the Eagles defensive scheme. It caused him to miss open recivers, limited his ability to check down to secondary targets. And it seemed to me and others that he was a little too fixeted on getting the ball to Dez on this his return game. Beasley went largley ingonered by Dak for most of the game until the 4th quarter, along with Witten. The other recivers Butler and Williams also did not get their normal share of targets last night, Zek wound up with 96 yards on 22 carries, but it was certaintly not a cakewalk for him.
The Eagles were determined to stop the run and make Dak beat them, they blitized so often that even when they didn’t Dak thought they were. Now he did make them pay a few times, a 55 yarder to Dez, big runs by him and of course a game winning T.D to a wide open Witten in the end zone. Dak had 1 INT. but could have easliey had at least 2 more. He made several bad decisions and terrible throws but as they say they don’t ask you “How you won”? Just did you win? Now this win did happen in large part because the Cowboy defense kept them in the game, they were able to keep the Eagles to field goals instead of Touchdowns. This allowed the offense to come back from a 23/13 deficit in the fourth quarter to tie up the game and get them into overtime. It is hard to single out one defensive player as it seemed they all contributed but Team Captain Sean Lee likely had his best game of the season.
And I do have to single out the secondary play especially since at the start of the season it was the biggest concern. Scandrick was back last night and had some big plays but 2nd year kid Byron Jones continues to impress. This win was truly a team win all around and was really surprised at the chances Cowboys took with some of the play calling to stay in this game. Fake punt that resulted in a big first down, Beasley pass even if it failed it did give Eagle defense more to think about. In his post game interview Dak credited the defense for the win but the whole team refused to give up last night. And that is the true sign of a winner, you get knocked down but you get up and continue fighting. As I said before Dak had a bad game, he will learn from this and I belive he will be better for it, they all will. Cowboys 6/1 who would have thunk it! By A. Govea back
Last week I wrote that the game against the Bengals was to be the first real test for Dak and his compadres but Green Bay was to be his final exam. Well he passed! despite his roughest start of this short season which included both a fumble and his first INT.
They are now riding a 5 game winning streak and are first in their division, can you wrap your head around that. No Tony no Dez and no Scandrick on defense, given last year’s record without this group no one could have predicted this. And if anyone out there says, well I did they are lying to you. Dak has played like an All Pro Veteran, Zak has become a throwback (No pun intended) to both Dorsett and Smith.
Dak broke Tom Brady’s record of most passes without interceptions 163? Â Zeke most games of 130 yards or more by a rookie, he may be on par to break season rookie rushing record.
All this is great but what is more impressive is the overall team performance, this team has momentum and appears that they expect to win. When Dak had his fops’, it would have been easy for the defense to say not our fault and given up an easy TD. Â But, they didn’t they stiffened up and seemed to play even harder. Doomsday revisited they are not, but don’t tell Aaron Rodgers (Packers QB) they caused him to hurry and made it tough to find open receivers. Although he did miss at least two wide open receivers that could have possibly changed the outcome of the game. This is something that does not happen often, however he is a little off this season and the Cowboy defense is on this season.
The big question now is what to do with Tony once he is ready to go, both Garret and Jones had been pretty adamant that once Tony was ready he would regain his job as Cowboy’s QB. Not so much anymore both are now sidestepping the issue, for one why would you stop this train now, two, Tony stands to make 20million plus next season. And if he was a healthy 20 something QB no problem. Unfortunately, neither one of those two things are true and when you look at Dak both of those things are true, plus he comes with a price tag of under half a mil. The only person on the Cowboys that I heard say that he expects Tony to regain his job this season is his buddy Witten. Last week I wrote that if Tony does come back and he falters (Int.) etc. the boos will come raining down. So if I had a vote I would vote for an away game for his first start, do I expect to start again this season, Yes when Quien Sabe. (Who Knows)
By A. Govea
I admit to being a Ro mo Homer and not just because he is a Mexican type, no it goes way beyond that. There is the underdog angle as he came in as an undrafted rookie, kinda like the pup in the liter that nobody wanted. Thank the football Gods that Bill Parcels saw his potential, that lead him to be called a Jedi, yes he was soon lifting a mediocre or less team to heights that had been seen since the Aikman days.
However, his playmaker ways came with a price, he took a beating for many seasons but when you are young you can hide many sins. Not so anymore, his injures have been well documented and they were seen by all in the light of day last season. And of course he and all the Cowboy fandom expected him to come back strong this season, there is no way we could have a repeat of last season. How could we lose our starting Q.B. and star receiver again.
But we did, enter rookie Quarterback Dak Prescott which has not only eclipsed possibly all rookie Q.B.records already he is 4 and 1. Couple this with no interceptions in well over 100 passes, not to mentation that defense must guard against a possible Q.B. option run. This past Sunday was to be his real test against the 7th ranked defense in the league. And if you did not watch let me assure you he passed with flying colors, they won the coin flip and never looked back, after that. Their drives were straight out of an offensive coordinator’s dream; it was exactly how you draw it up. Of course you can point to Zeke for Dak’s success also and you would be right. However, they had a good running game last season and we all remember that nightmare.
Others may say, well the defense has played better and they would be right which leads to the old age question “What came first the chicken or the egg? My answer is Dak the best defense you can have is a more than good offense. So as much as it pains me to say it “Romo must stay on the bench” you have to go with the hot hand. But that is not to say Romo may not have to come back, if Cincinnati was the first real test then the next opponent Green Bay will be the final exam.
When the Cowboys went down 14-0, I mumbled out loud this could get ugly. I immediately thought well they are not playing Chicago.
I even confess to checking other sports viewing options. Would this be the game where both the Cowboys and their fans came down to earth.
After all, not too many people including the local sports talking heads could have not predicted the Cowboys success to this point. Yea Dak has been great but no Dez this week, no Tyron Smith and no L’Collins and now facing a possible blowout after going down 14 zip. And of course this was not just on the offense, the defense has been spotty but has been improved from last season. Early Fran QB Gabbart was giving the defense fits with his ability to not only pass but run with the ball. And with Scandrick out it appeared to bend but not break the defense was finally going to experience the latter. Enter Morris Claiborne that appeared to be all over the field with solo tackles, group and even added the cherry on top with a key interception.
Rookie Anthony Brown also had a stand out game, he never seemed confused out there and seemed to be saying “I got this!” Their play in the secondary definitely contributed to good play up front, Tyron Crawford’s sack was a direct result of their great play. And while I am handing out at aBoys I continue to be impressed with second year man Byron Jones and of course we can always count on captain Sean Lee to be in place. As for the offense Dak, and company did a great job of easing a deficit that I believe was the biggest test of this short season. Elliott continues to impress not only with his running abilities, as a recover and his willingness to block when needed, he is fast becoming an elite NFL back.
So much so that at one-point former Cowboy QB Troy Aikman and now Fox analyst said he was reminded of Emit Smith late in games watching Elliott. Troy also mentioned on air more than once the large number of Cowboy fans at the game and when they panned the crowd it was clear most of them were Raza. In closing I would be remiss in not recognizing Beasley that is turning into an elite receiver as well, in fact he secured the win with a catch that not only got a first down but made it church for San Fran. As for Williams he continues to do well and possibly more importantly in this game no fumbles or bonehead plays. Fill in receiver Brice Butler had a good game also with 5 catches and a TD. Next up Cincinnati with local boy Andy Dalton with a 2 & 2 record, however most believe that they are better than that, they have the 7th ranked defense in the league. This will be interesting no doubt. By A. Govea back