Monday, October 24, 2005

Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory

Sometimes you win when you should lose, and sometimes you lose when you should win. Welcome to the 2005 Dallas Cowboys.

What a stinking shame that game was.

Stat of the game? 9-11. That is how many times the Cowboys ran on 1st down in the 2nd half when they held their 7-3 lead. 9 times out of 11 1st down opportunities.

That to me points with bright lights the problem with the Cowboys on Sunday: Bill Parcells. I think you would agree that I am not one to default to blaming Parcells for everything that goes wrong in the world. But the Cowboys offensive aggressiveness in the 2nd half when they had a chance to go up two scores was flat out pathetic. In fact, twice, they were handed the ball in a golden spot. Let’s review what Parcells would allow Sean Payton to call:

Situation #1: 14:47 to go in 4th Quarter, Cowboys recover fumble at Seattle 9.

1st and Goal from 9: Barber +1
2nd and Goal from 8: Barber +2
3rd and Goal from 6: Wistrom Sacks Bledsoe
Settle for FG – missed by Cortez.

Situation #2: 3:04 to go in the 4th Quarter, Cowboys Roy Williams interception + Face Mask Penatly gives Cowboys the ball at the Seattle 12.

1st and 10 from the 12: Barber +4
2nd and 6 from the 8: Barber +3
3rd and 3 from the 5: Bledsoe bootlegs to the 3 yard line
Settle for FG – 22 yarder made by Cortez.

In both occasions, not one stinking pass attempt into the end zone. You score a touchdown, and the game is likely over, especially in situation #2. But the Cowboys decide to get ultra-uber conservative, and they end up with 3 points from two golden opportunities. Why? Because the coach was scared to try anything. No play action, no safe routes on max protect. Nothing. Barber up the middle 4 times on every play, until it is 3rd down and the defense is sitting on a pass. Horrible.

Here is something else to cement my opinion on the Cowboys turning into complete pansies when calling plays up 7-3 with a chance to win. The Cowboys had 14 snaps inside Seattle territory in the 4th Quarter on Sunday. How many pass attempts by Bledsoe? 1. The first play of the 4th quarter he threw a pass behind Keyshawn.

14 plays in Seattle territory in the 4th quarter. 1 pass. Horrendous.

Remember, Julius Jones was not playing. Marion Barber had 7 4th Quarter carries, Tyson Thompson had 2. And Drew Bledsoe had 1 pass fall incomplete.

That is not what I would call going for the throat.

Now, were they scared to death of LT and RT getting Bledsoe killed? Perhaps. Were they hoping for more from that potential flea-flicker that blew up? I assume so.

But, c’mon. 1 pass? In 14 plays? That is coaching. And not good coaching I might add.

Parcells is a genius. But Sunday, he over-thought a win into a loss.

I also think he punched an assistant coach, but since the announcers ignored it, I figured I must have been hallucinating.


Galloway on the Seattle trip

ChiSox go up 2-0, with late inning drama from an unlikely source

Scott Podsednik, who didn't hit a home run in 507 regular-season at-bats, clubbed a homer off closer Brad Lidge with one out in the bottom of the ninth to give the Sox a 7-6 victory over Houston and a 2-0 lead in the World Series before a damp but delirious crowd of 41,432.

"It's pretty indescribable," Podsednik said.

Texas pats Tech on its head, tells it to go play

It didn't take long to see which team was the national contender and which one looked out of place as the No. 7 team in the initial BCS rankings.
"I said at the beginning of the season USC was definitely No. 1 and nobody deserved to be No. 2 because they hadn't done enough," Texas coach Mack Brown said. "Now I think this team definitely deserves to be No. 2."

Washington Times suggest that Hokies will still pass Longhorns

The only thing worse than being strapped with the BCS formula is suffering the misinformation propagated by those who do not understand it. At least four times this week, the Back Judge was assaulted with the assertion that a Southern California-Texas title tilt in the Rose Bowl was a virtual guarantee if the Trojans and Longhorns win out.

After No. 2 Texas trounced Texas Tech 52-17, one CBS Sportsline scribe even went so far as to write: "It's obvious. One half of the national championship game is filled."

Texas certainly will sit in strong second when the latest BCS standings are released today, but a Trojans-'Horns party in Pasadena is far from fait accompli, even assuming both teams stroll home unbeaten.

Why? Because if everyone keeps winning, Texas is going to spend the remainder of the season losing ground in the BCS standings to unbeaten Virginia Tech and the undefeated SEC champion (Georgia or Alabama).

The question is how much ground?

Likely a huge chunk to the No.?3 Hokies (7-0), who could cap a flawless season by collecting stretch-run wins against No.?13 Boston College (Thursday), No.?6 Miami (Nov.?5) and No.?10 Florida State (Dec.?3 in the ACC title game).

During the same six-week closing stretch, Texas (7-0) won't see a single ranked opponent nor a whole lot of television screens. And the forgettable Big 12 North isn't likely to give it a meaningful title-game boost with Colorado and Missouri both at 5-2.

The result? Wins against the nation's sturdiest remaining schedule would almost certainly bump Virginia Tech past both Georgia and Texas in the computer rankings that make up one third of the BCS standings. The Hokies have an average ranking of fourth in the six sets of computer rankings, behind USC, Texas and Georgia. But those computer rankings are based almost entirely on to-date strength of schedule. In fact, if Georgia wins out and beats an unbeaten Alabama team in the SEC championship game, Texas could easily finish fourth in the Deep Blue portion of the BCS standings.

Another statistically perfect performance from Favre, another loss, another 2 skill players lost for the season

In losing two more of his playmakers, Ahman Green and Robert Ferguson, it's almost as if Favre has to do it alone, and he can't, even if he continues to register age-defying statistics. Even at 17-0, Favre realized it wasn't over.

"At halftime we came in and said it wasn't over," Favre said. "We said that against New Orleans. It's a generic saying, but I knew it was true."

And now, at 1-5, with the guts ripped from the Packers against their archrival, is this a low point for Favre?

"The answer is yes," he said. "That's the easiest answer.

"There are not many good things that are going to be said and written about us, and that's OK. We still have to play football. We can try to play football or we can give in to what people think about us."


Porky leaves this world

Here is a solid Astros site

Andy Pettitte post-season stats to ponder:
34 Starts – Most in the history of baseball
14 wins – 2nd most in the history of baseball
210 innings – most in the history of baseball

Feel free to win bets with your buddies on those stats….

World Series fun facts from the Boston Globe

OK. This is pretty amusing. dude gets scared and appears to be a bit gay

Mike Leach wants to be a Pirate

Baby Got Back remake


BigMike said...

Right on, Sturm! You can not play that conservatively in today's NFL. Wannsdedt tried that with the Dolphins for years and it took them nowhere.

What's more, the Cowboys record indicates what kind of team they are - mediocre. This may be a league of parody, but Cowboys fans are kidding themselves if they think this team is going anywhere.

Jason said...

You are right on Bob. I sit in my living room every weekend and watch this team get so conservative that Rush Limbaugh would be proud of them. If every fan watching in the Metroplex knows that the Cowboys are going to run the ball up the middle everytime they have it in the redzone, dont you think that people paid to know that stuff know it too? And it is not just the play calling in the redzone. There were 33 seconds left in the first half when the Cowboys got the ball after the Seattle fieldgoal. Dallas had 3 timeouts. And what do they do? They take a knee and head to the locker room. I was so sure that they were going to just take a knee at the end of the game that I almost missed Bledsoe throw that pick because I was headed to the kitchen. And what is it about the last 3 minutes of a game that makes the a defense that looks so dominating turn into the worst looking D in the NFL?

Evie said...

The playcalling is beyond predictable and conservative.

Its is just flat out gutless.

And this good news for me, since I really, REALLY enjoy Cowboy failure.

Anonymous said...

Bill Parcells and Brad Lidge are both experts at blowing a late game lead, what a stellar last 7 days it's been for them both...they should be proud...

FUPAHater said...

When is the fat one going to learn to quit putting the defense in a position to lose at the end of a game? Some genius, as that is the third time this season he's done that already. And Todd Haley should have decked the fat @ss, taking a swing at an assistant was about as low as it gets. But I wouldn't expect anything else from the fat overrated FUPA. Genius? You gotta be kidding me...

Andy Douthitt said...

Wow.. what a kick in the crotch that was.

Grading the Boys:

Defense: A
Offense: D-
Coaching: F

Offensive play calling in tne Red Zone was awful, AWFUL!! We don't have Chutch behind center, we have a playmaking quarterback with weapons at his disposal. USE HIM!

Last, Woody Hayes moment on the sidelines with Parcells and Wide Receivers coach: OUTSTANDING

Big Picture: we're still OK longterm, Cowboy fans don't worry

JeradB said...

I want to know about the Coach punch.. WHAT was that about?

Chris said...

What the F???

you have the ball on the 3 yard line.

its 4th down.

1 yard gets you a 1st down

3 yards gets you a TOUCHDOWN, and the game is gonna be over.

OR, you kick a field goal, and you give the ball back to seattle, with S-loads of time on the clock, so they can tie the game. (PISSED OFF)

You get the touchdown, game is over.

You don't get the 1st down, the seahawks have the ball on the 2 yard line. The chances are SLIM TO NONE that they score on that kind of drive. (PISSED OFF)


Pissed off in Flower Mound.

AttnyDan said...

Tech gets creamed;
Dallas chokes;
Houston blows it;

My Guns are totally sagging today and I can't decide which Bandwagon to jump-on--Bama? Hokies? Bruins? Dawgs?

I need a drink & it's only 9:00 in the morning.

Dick24 said...

Appears to be gay? How about SUPER GAY? I'm still laughing at that guy.

Anonymous said...

We can only dream of a world where Parcell's play calling is as aggressive as this demeanor on the sidelines towards his assistant coaches. WOW!!! Why isn't a coach attacking his assistant getting the attention that Bledsoe v. Keyshawn got, I mean isn't it more likely to have players yelling at each other than your Headcoach attacking an assistant.

Anonymous said...

scattershooting while wondering whatever happened to rocco pendola...
-Marco Rivera is the new Flozell Adams;
-Cowboys + competent NFL kicker = 6-1. Cowboys + Cortez= 4-3. Has Cundiff kept himself in shape?
-Time to call Simms out of retirement...maybe Parcells will trust him to throw the ball in the red zone;
-Did Tech bring their shinebox to the game with them, or did they have to go home and get it?

Anonymous said...

-cowboys + competent NFL kicker= 6-1. Anybody know what Cundiff is doing these days?
-Marco Rivera is the new Flozell Adams.
-Time to bring Simms out of retirement. Maybe parcells will trust him to thow a ball inside the red zone.
-can't really blame parcells for trying to run the ball so much, though. i mean, come on, who really thought that seattle could stop the dominant marion barber III? is there a more feared player in the NFL?
-they blow out a damn good team (philly) by aggressively attacking on offense. they lose 3 by sitting on the ball.
did tech bring their shinebox to the game with them, or did they have to go home afterward and get it? lee corso sucks

Brandon said...

Big Picture: we're still OK longterm, Cowboy fans don't worry

Well, I thought the same thing after the Washington game. I never thought we'd have another game like that this season.

Oh, it was also nice to hear Mickey the Parcells Apologist try to defend the Cowboys ultra-conservative play-calling this morning by mentioning that interception at the end of the first half.

I might buy that excuse if we had a first or second year QB at the helm. As it is, Drew Bledsoe is a veteran QB.

BCS Reality Check said...

What the Washington Times needs to realize is that Virginia Tech still has to actually win those 3 games convincingly and that's certainly nothing close to being a certainty at this point.

If you look at the polls and the BCS standings out later today, you'll see that Texas is much closer to #1 USC than #3 VT is to Texas. As long as Texas wins out they're in. Strength of schedule won't make enough of a difference as long as Ohio State and Texas Tech don't collapse in the next 3-4 games. Plus, in the S.O.S. department, VT was hurt by UVA losing to UNC on Saturday.

The bottom line is that VT has too much ground to make up if Texas doesn't stumble. They're still going to be #4 in the computers and behind Texas in both human polls.

cracker1743 said...

Texas Tech needs to bring its shinebox and clean my shoes. They're covered in puke after the Cowboys and Astros losses.

p1dean said...


Defense. This might be the greatest 58 minute defense in the history of the NFL. Unfortunately, at the end of the game, this exciting, dominating defense is just a bunch of guys. No team is ever out of a game against the Cowboys. That being said, I don’t think you’re going to win many games if you only score 10 points. Which leads us to…

Sean Peyton (or maybe Bill Parcells). For the second straight week I saw a game changing turnover. For the second straight week I saw the momentum sucked away by a spare running play. I don’t understand the lack of a shove-it-down-your-throat, that-turnover-just-cost-you-seven-points Bledsoe to Keyshawn TD pass. Maybe Big Bill doesn’t really trust…

Drew Bledsoe. Don’t get me wrong, the mancrush is still on. But after that gift Drew gave the Seahawks, my Bledsoe Blow-up doll is going to be sleeping on the couch this week. He’s still the greatest QB whose worn a Cowboy’s jersey since Aikman. And to further defend Bledsoe, his interception wouldn’t have lost the game if not for…

Jose Cortez. This guy has to be fired, right? Obviously, the 29 yard chipshot he missed wasn’t his fault, I mean he pointed to Romo, so it must be Romo’s fault, right? I guess it was probably the holder’s fault on that out of bounds kickoff as well, right? What a loser. Speaking of…

Losing. Has Bill won a challenge yet? I have a proposition for Jerry. If he will let me sit in a box somewhere with my 40 hour, $99 Tivo, I could save the Cowboys a timeout each game. Heck, if he’ll just give me Bill’s cell number, I could help out quite a bit. Maybe I could calm him down before he assaults another assistant coach on live television.

Brandon said...

I'll openly admit I think USC and Texas are the two most deserving teams to play for the National Championship.

But I also admit I'm rooting for as many undefeated teams as possible in College Football, even if it screws the Horns out of another trip to Pasadena. Because it seems to me that's the only way we'll be able to rid of this Godforsaken system.

Anonymous said...

How does Mike Leach recruit anybody? Didn't that pirate feature almost feel like something off The Daily Show?

Anonymous said...

cortez should be cut, but who are you going to get to replace him thats any better?

also the playcalling is just stupid! and that team has GOT to figure out how to run the damn ball in short yardage. those are situations where this team needs a big bruiser fullback, and not line up your defensive end to block.

Bevo said...

We're #1 in the BCS! Woo-hoo!

Matt said...

So much for all the Virginia Tech talk. Sure, the BCS standings will move some from week to week, but with Texas now at #1, Virginia Tech has an awful lot of ground to make up now. They're going to have to win every game impressively from now on out to have any hope of catching Texas...

AttnyDan said...

Hey Pedro,

I need a BCS link!!

Anonymous said...

wow! texas #1 in the bcs poll how did that happen!

Anonymous said...

Hmm, if UCLA stumbles before the USC game that would hurt USC's strength of schedule quite a bit. You know, it wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility that would could have Texas and Virginia Tech in the Rose Bowl if all 3 go unbeaten. Wouldn't it be delicious if the two time defending champs ended up being the ones left out. I guarantee we'd see a system overhaul then...

Anonymous said...

I'm glad the computers at least can see that the Pac 10 sucks. Everyone wants to say how weak Texas' schedule is, but has anyone looked at USC's? It's no stronger than Texas' is...

big smooth said...

thanks for the two funny clips today....that made the morning easier to get through after all the vomiting last night from the cowboys game....the mike leach news clip does look like a bit, and i can't figure out what's funnier, the reporter dude and his clever lines like ("heads will be rolling") or leach demonstrating the correct way to swing a pirate sword.

looks like pedro (aka jose cortez)has been cut. hopefully we can get a solid kicking game now and win some of these nail biters....

Fake Sturm said...


Lance said...

All I know is that you can only play who they put in front of you. And in Texas case, they have blown out each and every team they've played so far with the exception of a very good Ohio State team (on the road). USC, Virginia Tech nor anyone else can make that claim. Texas is as legit a #1 team as there is anywhere right now, so far at least anyway. There are still 4 games plus a potential conference championship game left to go still of course.

Vaughn said...

I was thinking that Texas might only stay at #1 for one week, but after checking the schedule, I see that USC is also playing a lousy team with a 3-4 record this week (Washington State), so maybe not.

I guess it'll depend on who has the most impressive win as to who gets #1 in the BCS by a thousandth of a percentage point next Monday.

Anyways, don't be surprised if both Texas and USC try to run up the score as much as they can on Saturday. The first to 60 gets the top spot next week I guess.

(not that) Dan said...

that Wash Times article was pretty weak.

anyway, it would be nice for Texas if Colorado continues to win out. The computers like Colorado right now, and the rest of their schedule isn't too bad.

Anonymous said...

Lance, reality check, tOSU = good, not "very good"

Brandon said...

Hmm, if UCLA stumbles before the USC game that would hurt USC's strength of schedule quite a bit. You know, it wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility that would could have Texas and Virginia Tech in the Rose Bowl if all 3 go unbeaten. Wouldn't it be delicious if the two time defending champs ended up being the ones left out. I guarantee we'd see a system overhaul then...

As much I'd love for that to occur (becuase I can't stand Petey Carroll and Reggie Bush), I just don't see it happening. Right or wrong, the majority of voters in the Harris and USA Today polls are going to keep USC at #1 until they lose.

No matter how hairy some of their games get.

That might not be enough to keep them in the number 1 position in the BCS standings, but they won't fall to number 3 barring some castastrophic collapse by UCLA.

Anonymous said...

"tOSU = good, not "very good""

They're currently #13 and will likely finish the year in the top 10. I'd call that very good.

Matt said...

anyway, it would be nice for Texas if Colorado continues to win out. The computers like Colorado right now, and the rest of their schedule isn't too bad.

Very true. It also would help Texas quite a bit this upcoming weekend if the Aggies beat Iowa State and if OU wins at Nebraska. It's funny how the BCS formula will make people root for their hated enemies.

(not that) Dan said...

yep, Longhorn fans have to root for every team in the Big 12 North that they don't play this year (Nebraska, Iowa State, Kansas State) to lose every time they play a team that Texas does play.

Jason said...

What I relly love is how everyone is talking about Va Tech going undefeated and getting screwed. People are really sleeping on my Canes. Miami lost the first game of the season to Florida St, when they were starting a new qb. Since then they have yet to lose again and getting better every week on offense. Their defense is one of the best in the nation, better than anything Va. Tech has played against. Va. Tech best beware the Canes in 2 weeks.

Anonymous said...

Here's what Texas needs to happen in order to hold on to #1 in the BCS for at least another week. Of course they need an impressive win over Oklahoma State more than anything else this weekend. They don't need every single one of these six games necessarily to go their way, but certainly they do need at least 4 of them, especially the first three listed...

Ohio St. over Minnesota, Tech over Baylor, Colorado over Kansas St., OU over Nebraska, A&M over Iowa St and Missouri over Kansas.

Lance said...

Yep, those are 6 big games in the BCS picture. I can definitely see all of those going Texas way with the possible exception of OU winning at Nebraska. I'm still not sure if Nebraska is really any better than OU or not, but I guess we'll find out on Saturday. It should be a close game either way it ends up going. But like you said, the most important thing for the Horns at this point is to take care of their own business. If most of the other games go their way too, that would be nice as well.

Chris said...


Texas puts the first loss up in the Big 12 champ game.

a south team has never won in a "odd" year.