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.