Until last season, Bill Parcells had dominated Coach NASCAR, but then Joe Gibbs did something Redskins fans had been waiting for since the Kennedy administration — sweep the Cowboys.
Actually, it was the first time Washington won both games since 1995, but it seemed like the 1960s for all those Redskins diehards who were forced to endure 14 losses in the previous 15 games.
Dallas fans long for the good old days of Norv Turner and Steve Spurrier.
Ask a Cowboys fan about last season, and he'll reach for the Jack Daniels to try to dull the memory of the Dallas defense making Mark Brunell resemble a quarterback with a confirmed ticket to Canton.
Not only did Brunell throw two late touchdown passes to Santana Moss to turn the Cowboys' 13-0 lead into a 14-13 defeat, but he threw four more in the 35-7 December decimation of the doomed-day defense. That embarrassment helped catapult the Redskins into the playoffs and eliminate the Cowboys.
When Brunell sees the star, he becomes a superstar. In his career, Brunell has thrown 15 touchdown passes and three interceptions against the Cowboys. Maybe Jones should have acquired Brunell instead of Drew Bledsoe.
Yes, we know, don't get Cowboys fans started on Bledsoe, who threw three interceptions at Jacksonville and returned home with a 45.8 passer rating.
Constant questions from reporters about Bledsoe and backup Tony Romo irritated the Tuna, whose vote of confidence for his starting quarterback came with a postscript that said, "For now."
Parcells treats quarterback controversies like contagious diseases — he avoids them.
The only time he has switched quarterbacks without an injury causing him to make the change was in 1983, his first season with the Giants.
Defense is skating on the blame for Cowboys …
Parcells said he doesn't need to remind the defense about the collapse, but maybe he should. Just like he should remind the unit that its weak play was a big reason why the Cowboys blew a 10-point lead in Jacksonville last week en route to a 24-17 loss.
Quarterback Drew Bledsoe is getting most of the blame for the loss, but the defense should also be held accountable.
It wasn't Bledsoe who dropped a sure interception inside Jacksonville territory at the start of the second quarter. It was cornerback Anthony Henry.
It wasn't Bledsoe who failed to record a sack or quarterback hit. It was outside linebacker Greg Ellis.
It wasn't Bledsoe who allowed Byron Leftwich to score on a quarterback draw up the middle early in the fourth quarter. It was middle linebacker Bradie James.
The defense can and should do better. The Cowboys have spent first-round draft picks (see DeMarcus Ware, Terence Newman and Roy Williams) and money (see free-agent signees Jason Ferguson, Akin Ayodele, Aaron Glenn and Henry) to make it better. And it's a unit that's coordinated by one of the top assistants in the league, Mike Zimmer.
So bash Bledsoe all you want. But just remember the defense had its share of blunders in Jacksonville too.
You know, it is pretty sad that the best newspaper website I use around here is the San Antonio Express News. Sure, the Spurs love is a beating, but the Morning News and Star Telegram should take a lesson on how to design something easy to navigate and use. For instance, I suggest you bookmark their Big 12 Index Page - Easy to use, and every day new stuff:
Today, the website offers both the Longhorns Mailbag …
Doesn't Texas have a more mature quarterback to field than the young freshman?
– Ruben Jiminez, San Antonio
No. McCoy, who is a redshirt freshman, qualifies for AARP compared to the only other scholarship quarterback on the UT roster. That would be freshman Jevan Snead, who at this time last year was still slinging passes at Stephenville High School in his He-Man underoos.
That's the price you pay for having Vince Young on campus for four years, for putting all your recruiting eggs in the Rhett Bomar basket, and for allowing Ryan Perrilloux to basically film his own private reality show at your expense. Since signing Young, the Longhorns haven't been able to keep the cupboards properly stocked at quarterback. They are paying the price now.
Colt McCoy was hit and miss against Ohio State. Why didn't the coaches put in Jevan Snead?
– Thomas, San Antonio
Probably because they didn't really feel like losing by 40 points on national television. This is no knock at Snead, who certainly has all the tools necessary to become an outstanding college quarterback.
But, as a first-year freshman, he just wasn't ready for the kind of challenge Ohio State presented. He was barely ready for the kind of challenge North Texas presented.
And the Aggie Mailbag …
About this stupid video board contest between Texas A&M and Texas – I heard a (Longhorns fan) call in a radio show and was disappointed that, though their "Godzillatron" is big, much of it is used for advertisements. Should that ad space be counted in their dimensions? I've seen the 12th Man TV and though it was plenty big and the production value was perfect.
– Zack, Brady
Zack, I haven't seen the new UT scoreboard in person, but from what I've seen on TV, A&M's has a cleaner, less cluttered look. Several folks in Austin, including a Texas graduate, have told me as much. The windows are tinted pretty heavily in the A&M press box, so during the night games I've caught myself watching the TV more than the field, because it's much brighter than our view of the grass from nine stories up.
As it stands right now, what is A&M's complete non-conference schedule for next year?
– B.C. Barnett, San Antonio
A&M used to post its future schedules on the Internet. No more, because of canceled series and non-conference games shifting around. The good folks over in A&M sports news say the only non-conference game set in stone for next season is Sept. 15 at Miami. The following year, the Hurricanes and Army visit Kyle Field. Other than that, as they say, A&M is in negotiations.
Do you know the nature of Stephen McGee's arm problems? I'm concerned he'll wind up like Reggie McNeal and play an entire sub-par year and then need surgery. Or was this just an isolated injury? Appreciate it.
– Albert Price, San Antonio
Albert, McGee had a strained muscle in his right (throwing) arm during fall camp and rested it for much of that time. He looked rusty against The Citadel, but much sharper against Louisiana-Lafayette last Saturday. The fact that your team leader and quarterback already has had arm troubles this season should be a concern, however.
Speaking of Quality. Check out Aggie LB Mark Dodge and his story of 9/11 …very cool.
College Football Week 3 TV Schedule …
Always a fine read: The Weakly Retort from Psychoag…
Much like the NFC East, the Big 4 of the English Premiership all square off against eachother this Sunday in what shall be a wonderful day of football prior to the football…
Liverpool at Chelsea, 7:30 am Sunday on Setanta.
Rafael Benitez believes Liverpool are "ready" for another showdown with Chelsea which could reveal whether his summer spending spree has begun to bridge the gap with the champions.
The Reds may well have won their last two games against Jose Mourinho's men, in the Community Shield and last season's FA Cup semi-final, but the Blues boss would dismiss those defeats as merely cup action.
A Premiership victory has so far proven elusive to boss Benitez and his men.
Liverpool face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday without a single point from four league meetings between the clubs since the Spaniard and his Portuguese antagonist first crossed swords in their adopted English home three season ago.
Benitez wants to end that run and foster better relations with Mourinho following the pair's failure to indulge in the traditional post-match handshake after recent games.
This will be the 12th time the clubs have clashed in the Mourinho-Benitez era and Benitez is prepared for the latest instalment.
"We are ready now for Chelsea," he said. "You can never be sure because Chelsea are a very good team but we feel ready and we are planning to go there and win.
Then, Arsenal visits Manchester United, 10 am Sunday on Fox Soccer Channel.
Arsene Wenger believes Manchester United should not get carried away with their flying start to the season and warned them his Arsenal side are ready to end their winning run.
Wenger is preparing the Gunners for Sunday's trip to Old Trafford in what in the past has been a top-of-the-table clash.
And while Arsenal's winless start to the Barclays Premiership season makes a mockery of that tag, the match is crucial, with both sides desperate for the three points.
United have enjoyed their best opening to a league campaign for 21 years, but Wenger insists it is too soon to tell whether they will maintain such a rich vein of form.
"It's too early for me to say they will be the favourites for the championship," Wenger told Arsenal TV Online. "The only thing you could say is they have a good team, they've had a good start and those are always good ingredients to have a good season.
"But after four games it is too early. You need eight to 10 games to see what is the real strength of the team."
Wenger would make the same assertion about his own side's form, which has seen them take just two points from their first three matches - the Frenchman's worst start in almost 10 years in charge.
But his side do travel to Old Trafford with a win under their belt after overcoming 10-man Hamburg in Wednesday night's Champions League Group G opener.
My Picks for the Weekend:
Oregon -4 ½ over Oklahoma
Eagles -3 over NY Giants
Packers +2 over Saints (if they lose this one, I will never, ever forgive them)
I do think the Cowboys win, but 7 points is way too much to lay against the Washington defense, I think. Cowboys 21, Redskins 17
And, in the game that really confuses me: TCU – Tech, I cannot talk myself into either team after watching TCU at Baylor and Tech at UTEP. I shall watch, but I have no clue. If you press me, my Big 12 elitism will win, Tech 31, TCU 24.
Lee Corso humor
CroCop vs Silva
Johnny Knoxville and the boys are back