Monday, December 04, 2006
Its beginning to look a lot like playoffs, everywhere you go. Here are the details of the gritty, gutty win in the Meadowlands:
• You could have given me great odds on Gramatica hitting that field goal after Flozell took his idiotic penalty, and I would have passed. I was sure that based on Gramatica demonstrating “weak leg” all game long and Flozell’s false start that we were headed to OT. But you know, this team seems to have the football gods smiling.
• In fact, was the biggest smile from the football gods may have been when the ball whistled through the hands of Gibril Wilson and into the hands of Patrick Crayton? That play had “Pick 6” written all over it, but instead of 6 (+1) for the Giants to give them the 20-13 lead, the Cowboys put one in the endzone a few plays later. It is a game of inches, kids. And if you win by the gunslinger, just know that you will also lose by the gunslinger eventually. That is part of the deal, and somehow the bill has not come due yet. But Gibril almost collected.
• I swear Terrell Owens didn’t have hands THIS bad. Sure, the occasional drop is part of the game, but should we plan for 2 every game? Is 1 drop a half the going rate for a guy who considers himself the best wide receiver in the sport? In some ways it is somewhat amusing, because imagine how insufferable he would be if he had no flaws, but at some point it will cost the Cowboys dearly. On the other hand, when he has 8 catches, and all of your other Wide-outs have 7, I suppose he is still accomplishing plenty.
• If DeMarcus Ware is not at the Pro Bowl, then the Pro Bowl is a complete farce and a waste of time. Wait. The Pro Bowl is a complete farce and a waste of time, but you know what I mean. Ware is playing at a wonderfully high level of excellence and his tackle on 4th down of Brandon Jacobs is just one example of several that demonstrates the dominance of DeMarcus.
• Evidently, Parcells cannot get one wrong right now. Gramatica worked. Romo worked. I think people will get off his back pretty soon about having lost his abilities.
• Back to Romo, it is great to see him hit in the face with adversity and still shine through. His pass to Witten on the final drive was something of beauty and legend. He just gets it done. He took a physical beating yesterday for the first time and yet shakes it off, shakes the interceptions off, and just figures out a way to win. Who doesn’t love Tony Romo?
• Terrence Newman is a great cornerback. His run support yesterday was quite valuable. Imagine the contract he is up for.
• Don’t look now, but Marion Barber is getting many of those carries that Julius used to get. The workload is about 50/50 now.
• Eli Manning wasn’t bad yesterday. That is a pretty big admission by me since I think the guy is over-rated, over-paid, and amazingly inept most of the time. But, yesterday, he played well enough to win. He can’t do it very often, but of all of the Giants problems yesterday, Eli didn’t seem to be one of them.
• The Giants made plenty of dumb mistakes yesterday, with all of the personal fouls speaking for themselves, but let’s not forget the odd timeout that Plaxico Burress called on the final Giants drive which assured the Cowboys they would have a minute left to go get the win. Why the Giants did not run the clock down to nothing can be placed at the feet of Plaxico. Combine that with the personal foul he took when he ear-holed Keith Davis for no explainable reason. What a piece of work that clown is.
• Mathius Kiwanuka is not a starter on the New York Giants, except when Michael Strahan is injured. But, I am convinced that he would easily be the 2nd best pass rusher on the Cowboys. Dallas is very lucky to get wins with such a feeble pass rush. We really need more rain. I think the loss of Greg Ellis is being felt in that department – big time.
• Jeremy Shockey is good. He also would frustrate you if he played for your team. Like Plaxico, I always have the impression that he should be better.
• I don’t know if you like this or not, but my buddies from Wisconsin now routinely call me and ask if Romo reminds me of Favre. I say yes. It is amazing how every mannerism he has and every motion he makes is like watching someone imitating Favre. I have said this in the past, but with each week it becomes more obvious. I don’t think he is consciously doing it anymore, but like Kobe imitated Michael Jordan for years growing up, and now chews gum, talks, shoots free throws, and plays like Jordan – Romo looks like a Brett Favre cover band. And trust me, that is a good thing, since Favre rolled off 13 seasons in a row without a losing year. You will have some bad moments, but if he is Favre-like in his results, the good outweighs the bad easily.
• The next two tidbits are courtesy of Elias Sports: In his first game for the Cowboys, Martin Gramatica kicked a 46-yard game-wining field goal with 1 second remaining. That was the longest game-winning FG in the final minute of play by a player making his team debut since 1978, when rookie Frank Corral kicked a 46-yarder for the Rams in an opening-day victory over the Eagles.
• The only other player to kick a game-winning field goal in the final minute of his Cowboys debut was Allen Green. Green was a rookie in 1961 when his 27-yard walkoff FG gave the Cowboys an opening-day victory over the Steelers that was the first win in franchise history after Dallas had posted a 0-11-1 record in 1960.
• Now, with the division most likely in the bag, it is time to hunker down on the mission of getting a bye week. Very important stuff. They must beat Sean Payton and the Saints. And by the way, prepare for a week of reading stories about how Sean Payton knows all of Tony Romo’s tricks. I am sure the writers will not be able to resist that story-line.