Monday, October 31, 2005

5-3 at the Break

That is what they call “taking care of business”. The Cowboys simply had to win that game yesterday, and they did so in rather methodical fashion. It might have taken a quarter to get up to full speed, but when they did, the game quickly ceased to be in doubt, and the Cowboys got to their bye week with that coveted 5-3 record.

I say “coveted” based on our feeling entering the month of October. 2-2 after the first four games was pretty mediocre, and with Philadelphia, New York, Seattle, and Arizona on this month’s menu, the idea of sitting at 4-4 at the break seemed reasonable.

But, evidently, Texas Stadium is now a tough place to play for the opponent, as they swept the 3 home games, and put themselves in a spot that if they take care of the 4 upcoming games in Irving (Detroit, Denver, Kansas City, and St. Louis) that should be enough for a playoff spot.

Notes from the Sunday spanking of the Cardinals:

- The signing of Anthony Henry seemed like an awful lot of money. And, no one complains when you turn in the results that he has. That interception and touchdown certainly make the highlight shows, but I cannot get over his tackling ability. In this day and age, you can count on 1 hand the cornerbacks in this league that love taking on the run. Charles Woodsen and Antoine Winfield come to mind. Add Anthony Henry to that list for sure. He is a tackling machine.

- Marion Barber III impressed us all. Kid was probably a bit annoyed that he had been discarded from RB discussions in place of Tyson Thompson. Barber has shown in the last two weeks that he has plenty of burst, looks a bit more sturdy than Julius Jones, and offers a wonderful problem; too many good RB’s. I think every good team has to have a few. Take Pittsburgh with Bettis, Parker, and Staley. Back when Green Bay wasn’t bad, they had Ahman Green and Najeh Davenport. Back when Minnesota wasn’t a bunch of quitting dogs they had Michael Bennett and Ontarrio Smith (and Mewelde Moore). There is no controversy with RB’s. Just quality depth that will come in handy

_ The tackles did pretty well yesterday. Bert Berry is so good, that I thought Tucker actually kept his end of the bargain. Berry had two sacks, but you know, if you saw the dude play much, you would say that was pretty solid work from the Cowboys. Meanwhile, Rob Petitti played wonderfully. It is all about little victories with these guys so let’s take em when we can get em.

- I was emailed an interesting question yesterday that I am not sure I have to proper answer: Is it possible that the Cowboys defense is better without Dat Nguyen? Or, to put it in a less calloused manner, “isn’t it interesting how well Bradie James and Scott Shanle have played since Dat Nguyen has been hurt?” Is it the “big LB” theory? Or is it coincidence?

- Bledsoe still can make any throw on the field, and I find it insulting that people think he could not throw it in the end zone against Seattle. Isn’t it interesting how Keyshawn can catch that fade when you actually throw it.

- Arizona is still really, really sad.

- Pop Quiz. Name the NFC teams that are clearly better than the Cowboys: Exactly.

Cowlishaw on Marion Barber

With Julius Jones missing his third game with an ankle sprain, Barber gave a performance worthy of some of Jones' finest work as a rookie. He carried 27 times for 127 yards and two touchdowns, giving the running game the kind of boost it has lacked all season in a 34-13 win over Arizona.

Bill Parcells admitted to some doubts about Jones' durability last week. He noted that if Jones missed the Arizona game, that would be 11 ½ games missed out of his first 24. Parcells listed durability right behind instinct and vision as key traits for a running back.

The Cowboys managed to unveil another back with instinct and vision Sunday. Barber emerged as a legitimate back a week ago in Seattle when he ran for 95 yards. But he scored his first pro touchdowns and had the Cowboys' first 100-yard rushing game of the season Sunday as Dallas fans learned there is life in the running game even without Julius.

"The kid will run. He will block. He will catch," Parcells said. "I'm not saying he's going to be Gale Sayers. But he has ability in all the areas that are prerequisites."

In other news, Vince Young is a football god …Does anyone want to tell me he can’t play?

Young became the first Texas player to get 500 yards of total offense and only the seventh player in NCAA history to pass and rush for more than 200 yards in the same game.

"I'm not amazed anymore," Brown said. "Maybe that's not healthy. It's just that we've seen him do this before."

Young had a bad first half. He lost a fumble and threw an interception.
The Longhorns trailed 28-9 at one point.

"Not one guy thought we were going to lose," Young said later. "Nobody lost their poise."

At some point, Brown said something to Young about picking everyone up. He then watched Young lead his eighth second-half comeback as the Texas quarterback.

Texas didn't simply rally from a 28-12 halftime deficit. The Longhorns, who are 8-0 and atop the BCS standings, destroyed the Cowboys in the second half.

Meanwhile, The honeymoon is over for Coach Fran …Curious if everyone is still pleased that you have him locked up through 2012???

In a tight first half, Lane carried the ball two times for nine yards. Just two times. In the second half, which didn't get out of hand until the fourth quarter,
Lane carried two times for 13 yards.

That's four carries for the guy we were giving nicknames because he was so good - four carries for a back Franchione himself has called a 30- or even 40-carry back.
Are we missing something here?

As A&M ignored the horse it'd been riding on Saturday; Iowa State stampeded the Aggies with their horses. Running back Stevie Hicks rushed for 122 yards on 25 carries. Quarterback Bret Meyer threw for 371 yards and four touchdowns, both career highs. And receiver Todd Blythe caught eight passes for 214 yards as the Cyclones held the ball for 35 minutes, 21 seconds on offense.

By ignoring Lane and the ball-control style they used in victories over Oklahoma State and Kansas State, the Aggies put themselves in the position they couldn't afford to be in. And, barring a miracle in November, the Aggies will sit at home this bowl season because of it.

Favre throws career worst 5 interceptions …unless you count that time he threw 6 in a playoff game in St Louis...

Cincinnati's 21-14 victory Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium will go down in the history books as the first time in Favre's regular-season career that he unloaded five interceptions. But for participants and observers alike, it will be remembered as the game in which the 36-year-old Favre almost willed his inferior team to an unforgettable upset.

"People will look back and say, 'I remember when this guy, Brett Favre, was playing,' " said Vince Newsome, the Baltimore Ravens' assistant director of pro personnel. "Their backs were against the wall today and everybody thought they were going to get blown out. Favre ignited them. He makes the other guys good. He never gave up."

Newsome called the Packers "one of the scariest 1-6 clubs you're ever going to see."
Chuck Bresnahan, the Bengals' defensive coordinator, still thinks the Packers have a legitimate chance to win the NFC North despite being three games behind Chicago.

"Because any time that guy goes under center, they've got a chance to win," Bresnahan said. "He's incredible. Does his (personnel) affect him? I'm sure it does. It puts you in a little bit of disarray when you've got that many people out. But he's going to go down swinging. He proved it today."

Javon Walker, Robert Ferguson, Terrence Murphy, David Martin, Ahman Green and Najeh Davenport either are done for the year or out with injury. In their places, Favre was working with Antonio Chatman, Andrae Thurman, Taco Wallace, Donald Lee, Tony Fisher, ReShard Lee and Samkon Gado.

Tomorrow, I have to write about Favre. Remind me.

In case you missed it, Here is video of the knucklehead who ran on the field and took the ball from Favre …and no, he did not intercept another one, wise guy…

A fine feature story on the QB Rating System

Saturday Night was a night I had looked forward to for a long time. I would offer you this brief review of the U2 concert at the American Airlines Center:

I have seen U2 five times. Those are the five best concerts I have ever seen.

Seriously, I recognize I am biased. The first CD I ever bought was U2. The first concert I ever saw was U2. And even if they sucked Saturday night, it is possible I would have thought they were great. But, they did not suck. And they were great. And no one does a concert like U2.

Here is the Set list:

10/29/2005 American Airlines Center - Dallas, Texas
City Of Blinding Lights, Vertigo / Rockaway Beach (snippet) / Rock 'N' Roll N(snippet), Elevation, The Electric Co. / Bullet With Butterfly Wings (snippet) / See Me, Feel Me (snippet), The Ocean, I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For / Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting (snippet) / In A Little While (snippet), Beautiful Day / Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (snippet), Miracle Drug, Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own / The Black Hills of Dakota (snippet), Love And Peace Or Else, Sunday Bloody Sunday, Bullet The Blue Sky / The Hands That Built America (snippet) / When Johnny Comes Marching Home (snippet), Miss Sarajevo, Pride (In The Name Of Love), Where The Streets Have No Name, One / Ol' Man River (snippet)
encores: The First Time, Stuck In A Moment You Can't Get Out Of, Angel Of Harlem, With Or Without You, All Because Of You, Yahweh, 40

As an old school U2 fan, ending with “40” was such genius. That is how they ended concerts back in the 1980’s. I am sure that the new generation of fans had question marks over their heads, but those of us who did not forget the Unforgettable Fire were singing at the top of our lungs.

For great pictures (including the one above) and a solid review, check out Keith’s review

George Best update

And finally, congrats to my Lewisville BaD Radio Vikings. They won in dramatic fashion 33-32 in double overtime. I cannot imagine more exausted 7-8 year old boys. They played their guts out and stayed alive. They now play for the City Championship on Saturday at noon against the only team that has beaten them. Very proud of our boys.


AttnyDan said...

Thanks for getting up so early today Bob!! The time change is great for the single P1, but little kids have NO clue that they get an extra hour of sleep.

What's the line on the Lewisville Vikings game this weekend--we need to get some betting action started after last weekend.

Texas/UTEP/Tulane/UNT/A&M/Nebraska all failed to cover or got beat. Glad I didn't bet on Baylor's defense, though it looked like a good bet at halftime..ugh.

Oh by the way, that sinking sound you hear is the realization by Aggie nation that they play in Lubbock in a night game this weekend. The line has got to be something crazy....25.5?

Jay Clendenin said...

Finally...a semi-hot Ticketchick.

Chris said...

Did Bono's hair plugs have a good performance?

And sorry Bob, Vince is good, but don't you see whats going to happen? his turnovers are going to cost them a game THIS season...

And what do you think the Alabama fans are saying right now about Fran? LMAO...

Good luck Aggie, you fired a coach who was winning 8, 9 games a year, for this idiot. McNeal under Slocum was a GREAT young QB, now, he just sucks.

Aggie games left:

Loss, Tech (take Tech to cover)
Loss, Oklahoma (take Oklahoma to cover)
Loss, Texas (god help the aggie)

P1 Eric In McKinney said...

Another fine Monday morning edition of the Sturminator Blog.

I myself fell prey to the time change. I changed every damn clock I own back an hour except for the one that really matters, my alarm clock. Much to my dismay as I finally woke up, I looked at my wifes clock and it says 4:30am. Damn!

J.P. Turner said...

Yo Bob, I myself am tired of the sycophantic accolades in the press thrown at Favre every week. this week, he throws 5 ints, putting them behind, and instead, the story is about Favre's indomitable will for the impossible comeback.
I liked Favre in the 90s, but in the last 5 years, he's been just okay, and as overrated as ANY player in the league. If you have been picking up in this, imagine how tired-head the rest of us are?

Anonymous said...

And sorry Bob, Vince is good, but don't you see whats going to happen? his turnovers are going to cost them a game THIS season...

Yet there isn't a team in college football that wouldn't take them on their team in an instant. Aside from USC, name me one team he doesn't start at QB for...

Chris said...

Wow, Anonymous has a hard one..

VTech, Florida, maybe Ohio State There are three.

BTW, Anonymous feedback sucks.

Matt said...

Florida and Ohio State? Are you kidding me? There is no way Leak or Smith are in the same league as Vince Young at this point. Matt Leinart at USC is the only QB in college he wouldn't start ahead of.

Anonymous said...

Aggy is coming to Lubbock. Why is this my favorite football weekend of the year? Because all of those Aggy dorks will come to Lubbock and do their stupid cheers even when they are being laughed off the field. Also, we get to laugh at how homely their women are.

Only question is, which Tech team will show up? I think Hodges will probably end up having a career day against that awful defene. GO TECH.

Matt said...

Oops, I forgot to mention Vick. Yeah he is damn good, and they are probably real close to being even, but let's see him do it against some major competition in big games first. Until he single handedly wins a BCS bowl game like Vince Young did last January he isn't quite there yet.

Brandon said...

Well, anonymous basically used a non-sequitur to try and address the other guy's point. And also got his panties in a wad over a simple observation.

Fact is, Texas fell behind 28-9 largely because of Vince's play. He had a fumble, an INT, and was 7-22 passing.

And then he woke up. Which basically means all Chris was insinuating was as Vince goes, so do the Longhorns.

He does that against USC, and we'll have another 55-19 beating similar to the one the Trojans laid on the Sooners in the Orange Bowl.

Because USC is not OSU.

"VTech, Florida, maybe Ohio State There are three."

V-Tech perhaps. But I imagine tOSU and Florida wouldn't mind having VY as their starting QB.

Bevo said...

These VY doubters have little to base their stance on (other than a personal jealousy of the Horns anyway), I mean seriously, what else does the guy have to prove? To say that Chris Leak or Troy Smith are better than VY is absolutely nuts. Young, Vick and Leinart are in a class by themselves and that's a large part of why their teams are #1-3 in the country right now.

Sure, Vince makes mistakes as all QBs do (I guess you obviously didn't pay attention when Marcus Vick threw 3 picks in the Maryland game either), but the guy has won 15 straight games. That speaks for itself I'd say.

PhilR said...

He does that against USC, and we'll have another 55-19 beating similar to the one the Trojans laid on the Sooners in the Orange Bowl.

True enough. Same goes if USC goes out and falls behind 21-3 at the half as they did against Arizona St. too. Against a better team like Texas, they're likely to get suffer a beating themselves.

Chris said...

Bevo, the question was, would they take VY on their team, of course they would, but he wouldn't start in front of Vick, or Leak. They are much better pocket passers, but probably equally as good.

Brandon said...

" I mean seriously, what else does the guy have to prove?"

Well, he still has yet to win a Conference Title, much less a National Championship. Of course, that first goal is well within reach for his team as Texas' schedule from this point forward is fairly light.

BTW, I'd hardly classify myself as a VY hater. I admire him for overcoming the kind of obstacles he has in his life to get to the point to where he's at in life right now.

And he's also the main reason when the Horns are in position to win their first National Championship in 35 years. That having been said, he's certainly not without his faults.

Faults that as this past Saturday showed, could

"I guess you obviously didn't pay attention when Marcus Vick threw 3 picks in the Maryland game either"

Did the Hokies fall behind 28-9 to a sub-par team like OSU as a result?

"True enough. Same goes if USC goes out and falls behind 21-3 at the half as they did against Arizona St. too. Against a better team like Texas, they're likely to get suffer a beating themselves."


Lance said...

Texas slips a hair back to #2 in the BCS .0038 behind USC. However, they are unanimously #1 in all 6 computers this week for the first time as well. As long as they stay strong in the computers, they're safely in the #2 slot.

OU also made it the standings for the first time this year at #25. Texas Tech moved up one spot to #15 and Colorado moved up 2 spots to #22 this week as well.

The Armchair Quarterback said...

I'm interested to see what happens when Julius Jones comes back from injury. Barber has shown some tools and while it may not be a controversy, you still want the best guy to get the most carries. I'm not so sure Jones is that guy.

Sturminator said...

Yo Bob, I myself am tired of the sycophantic accolades in the press thrown at Favre every week. this week, he throws 5 ints, putting them behind, and instead, the story is about Favre's indomitable will for the impossible comeback.
I liked Favre in the 90s, but in the last 5 years, he's been just okay, and as overrated as ANY player in the league. If you have been picking up in this, imagine how tired-head the rest of us are?

In theory, I don't disagree that the media gets carried away, but if you didn't see the game, you might not understand. It was truly a really good effort with pretty much a practice squad playing with him.

Again, he is not what he was, but we are surely getting a good example of what happens when you take a good/great QB and strip every player away from him and replace them with players who are NFL-Europe caliber.


DrewJ said...

Dear Bob,

Please ignore any and all articles written about anything in the BCS Eagle. If you are going to use that rag as a source, you might as well include a link to a WWN article how Batboy has joined the Marines and has fathered a child with Chelsea Clinton.

Premeaux is a hack. So is Robert Cessna. A freshman Tri Delt pledge from Frisco probably knows more about the state of the Texas A&M football program than they do.

And for the record, 2012 is a long way away. Part of the blame can be placed on President Gates for not having a search committee to find a new coach, but a bigger part of the blame can be placed on AD Byrne for giving him an extension and a raise after a mediocre season.

But for now we're stuck with him. So the only thing to do is grit your teeth and wait for many years of incessant smack what will emanate from Austin, Lubbock, and Norman.

p1dean said...

Luring the Sturminator with Favre talk hmm? Here's my Favre a young lad at UNT in '93, my hall director ( a quiet mustachioed fellow from the great north) actually said to my and my buddy one night, as we sat smoking cigars, "I don't suppose I could interest either you in becoming Green Bay fans? I think this Favre might be something special."

We laughed. He shrugged. Life goes on.

I have a couple of observations from the game I'd like to share...

1) The big-freshwater-Tuna is the strangest shaped human I've ever seen. My wife made the comment that he looks kind of like that "crazy legs" superbowl commercial from a couple years ago. His bottom and top don't match up very well!

2) There is now a faction of geniuses who boo every time the Cowboy's run the ball. I think they've taken the whole "too conservative" thing a little too far. One wannabe coach kept yelling, "Hey Parcells, how about giving him a blocker?" To which my wife replied, "I'm sure he hadn't thought of that."

3) That new Cowboy's Stadium cannot get built too soon. Texas Stadium has got to be one of the ugliest constructs in the nation...maybe world!!

4) Through my binoculars I saw Witten jawing with Parcells on the sideline. The massively-front-bottomed-Tuna kind of patted him on the head and told him to go sit down. So Jason went over and jawed at Dan "theMan" Campbell. I love me some Witten Tight-End...but I'm beginning to wonder if maybe the guy is a little too high strung?

5) MB3 is a great name and had a very decent game. But I'm thinking IF (and I know that this is the big IF) Juicy Jones had been healthy, he might have had a 200 yard game Sunday. The O-line looked like they decided to play a little.

6) Dude...Larry Allen is freakin huge!!! I still think that he owes Madden 2/3rd of his paycheck for all the hype...but god lord that dude is big! Which brings up a hypothetical. If you were wrongly imprisoned and had the option of "befriending" (you know what I'm talking about, Dan) Larry Allen nightly, in exchange for 700 lbs of bench pressing protection, would it be worth it?

7) I like Keyshawn. I especially like the fact that he flips his TD balls into the kids corner of the endzone instead of ferreting them away in a chest like the great, but extremely sorry, Emmitt did.

Love the show...stay BaD see? Yeah, yeah, see?

p1dean are completely wrong about Dat. I think this defense will only get better with him returning. The dude's got football smarts.

big smooth said...

the u2 concert was by far the best live performance i've ever seen. this is my first time seeing u2, and it was well worth the $160 ticket price.

thanks for the link to the pics.

Anonymous said...

What's the difference between Brett Favre and Aaron Brooks?

Brandon said...

3 INT's.

Chris said...

Bills Throat Slash...

eric in keller said...

Chris, if you think Leak would start ahead of VY you've done lost your mind.
Also, as of this week, Texas has beaten the most BCS top twenty five teams; Ohio State (10), Texas Tech (15), Colorado (22), and Oklahoma (25) and all except Ohio State were blowouts. They are also the only undefeated team with a top 10 win; Ohio State. Maybe the boys at ESPN will shut up about their "weak" schedule.