Corey Graham accepts charity from Peyton Manning
Almost everyone (including me) thought that the Baltimore Ravens didn’t have a chance against the Denver Broncos. Denver was on a roll. Baltimore just didn’t look good. I don’t think that even fans in Baltimore are totally sold on Joe Flacco. Ray Rice didn’t seem to be as dominant as he had been in the past… but that’s why they play the game.
I’m not sure that anyone would have guessed that the Ravens would give up a punt return for a touchdown and a kickoff for a touchdown. Advantage Broncos. Continue reading And that’s why they play the game
Yesterday, I was talking with my brother, who is an eternal optimist. We were talking about the Dallas Cowboys. My brother, who has an astonishing, voluminous vocabulary, was running out of adjectives to describe the abysmal performance of the Dallas Cowboys this season. All I could do was listen as he compared this year’s team to those led by Quincy Carter and the early years of Troy Aikman/Steve Walsh (1-15).
Although beating the Philadelphia Eagles would be satisfying, it might mean absolutely nothing. The Eagles are struggling. The magic that Michael Vick had just 18 months ago seems to be gone. The one bright spot of the Dallas Cowboys can brag about would be Rob Ryan’s defense. They have played well despite a number of key injuries.
This afternoon, I will be scrutinizing special teams and the offense. So far this year the offensive line play has ranged anywhere from mediocre to awful. If they can’t keep Tony Romo in his comfort zone, the Cowboys will lose. If Tony Romo has an interception-o-rama, the Cowboys will lose. If Dez Bryant can’t run the correct routes, the Cowboys will lose. I have no idea how the Cowboys are going to run the ball, which they sorely need to do. Demarco Murray is out. They have no healthy running backs who can actually run the ball. Felix Jones is done. When he was drafted, he was one of the fastest guys in the NFL. He ain’t that guy now. He hasn’t shown the ability to fake anybody out or break tackles. He doesn’t have blazing speed any more. He has turned into Julius Jones (he also has Julius’ fumbling problem). I still haven’t figured out who or what Phillip Tanner is. All I know is he doesn’t look like the answer.
I will not even mention the Dallas Cowboys’ special teams.
The Cowboys need to start building on something. They need to show that they want to play football. They need to show me that they deserve their huge salaries. They need to show me something. So far this year it’s been all down hill since the opening game of the season. (BTW, whatever happened to Jason Garrett, the offensive genius?)
I grew in the ’60s and ’70s. The Dallas Cowboys won. They were a team that other teams tried to be. Now, not so much. The Dallas Cowboys are awful. I can’t explain a five-interception performance by Tony Romo. Miscommunication. Sloppy ball handling. Dropped passes. The Cowboys were simply awful. The only hope is for some type of New York Giants turnaround of the season. Jason Garrett is not Tom Coughlin. Tony Romo is not Eli Manning.
The score 34-18 does not tell the story. The Chicago Bears destroyed the Dallas Cowboys on Monday Night Football. This wasn’t as bad as the 44-0 beat down that the Bears laid on the Cowboys back in 1985, but it was close. Jay Cutler looked like a seasoned veteran who was cool in the pocket. Tony Romo looked like a rookie. I have made hundreds of excuses for Tony because there are times when he looks great. Unfortunately, he doesn’t seem to have the ability to fix badness in the middle of a game. He doesn’t seem to be able to turn it up a notch. It is what it is with Tony. If he comes out hot, then the Cowboys have a chance to win. If he doesn’t… well, then the Cowboys are going to lose.
I could almost excuse the interceptions, but we were playing the Bears. They weren’t mixing up their coverages. Romo forced some balls into their patented cover to defense. Dez Bryant dropped a touchdown. Romo overthrew to a wide-open Miles Austin. Brandon Marshall was running through our “upgraded” secondary like it was last year’s secondary. Ugly. Ugly. Ugly.
The problem with the Cowboys is their offense. They can’t run the ball. They can’t run block. They can’t pass block. They can’t catch (Dez Bryant and Jason Witten have dropped more balls in the first four games of this year than they did all of last year). Only Jacksonville and the Colts have scored fewer points over the course of four games. At this rate, it might be time to call Terrell Owens and see if he is interested in playing some wide receiver. It is time for Jerry Jones to do something. This is embarrassing. (I’m thinking of burning my Cowboys t-shirts, baseball caps and other stuff in protest.)
I hate to say that the season is over after four games, but without some significant changes, the season is over. Where are Jimmy Johnson, Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin? It brings a tear to my eye to remember that kind of excellence.