Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Crossroads for Cowboys

Romo will control what happens next

It was as if Bill Parcells forgot who, exactly, Tony Romo is. That Parcells found himself a little swept up in all the Romo-mania.

That despite his success, the Cowboys quarterback is seven games into his NFL career as a starter. And Parcells and his offensive coaching staff needed Sunday night's 42-17 blowout loss to the New Orleans Saints to be reminded of that.

"It's, 'Hey, let's take a look at this and let's not get too far off the reservation ourselves,'" Parcells said.

He will have more, but Sunday's performance was Romo's first dud.

The Saints offered a few ways to stop Romo. Now the Cowboys will find out how he can rebound from a forgettable performance, and if his play Sunday was merely an aberration.

"It's disappointing and frustrating," Romo said after the game. "It's going to happen if you play the game long enough."

Seven starts is apparently long enough.

Throughout Romo's rise, Parcells insisted his expectations for the quarterback were higher because he is a fourth-year player. But even Parcells had to agree with NBC color analyst John Madden, who said during Sunday night's telecast that the Cowboys were asking Romo to do too much.

Parcells said it was something he will have to think about.

"Cutting down some of the options on some of the things we're doing," Parcells offered as one possible solution. "That would be under the category of simplifying."
Since Romo started his first game at Carolina on Oct. 29, there had been no need to simplify, because Romo made the game appear to be so simple. In his first five starts, he had 10 touchdowns and two interceptions.

But in the past two games, he has thrown one touchdown pass and been intercepted four times. The one touchdown, a 34-yarder to Terrell Owens, should have been another interception. The pass went through the hands of Saints defensive back Fred Thomas before it popped into Owens' hands.

How about that Defense? Revo doesn't like it

What I saw Sunday night convinced me the Cowboys cannot win a Super Bowl with these safeties. I'm not even sure they can win another game, so exposed was this defense against the Saints.

Roy Williams hits like a freight train but couldn't cover a parking meter. And on
the other side, Keith Davis and Patrick Watkins alternate weeks posing as burned toast.

You think maybe Sean Payton and Gary Gibbs might have had a pretty good idea where the Cowboys were vulnerable defensively?

The loss of Greg Ellis has only exacerbated the problem. Seldom under pressure, Drew Brees was able to carve the Cowboys to pieces. They have two sacks in the last three games.

The Sunday night loss virtually assures the Cowboys of being no better than the No. 3 seed in the NFC playoff picture, and that's provided they can hold onto their one-game division lead. There are no guarantees there, not with the Cowboys heading to Atlanta on a short week to take on the Falcons on Saturday night.

The humiliating loss to the Saints, who added insult to injury by taking a knee with three minutes left, changes everything. Certainly it changes everyone's thinking.

Mavs drilled by Utah …have now lost 3 of 5!

Bears win; Devin Hester rules


Devin Hester scored on 94- and 96-yard yard kickoff returns on Monday. They were his fourth and fifth touchdowns this season on either a kickoff or a punt return, setting a NFL record. Nine previous players had scored four times on kickoff or punt returns in one season.

Hester also broke the broader record for most "return touchdowns" in a season -- that is touchdowns other than those on running or passing plays. Hester has three punt-return touchdowns, two kickoff-return touchdowns and one field-goal-return touchdown. Ken Houston of the 1971 Oilers held the previous record with five return touchdowns, four on interceptions and one on an opponent's fumble.

FC Dallas hires the Arsenal great Steve Morrow to be the head coach in 2007

Following a month-long quest that began with about 50 candidates, FC Dallas' search for a new coach ended where it started – with former club defender Steve Morrow, the team's interim manager.

Morrow, who was the top assistant the last two seasons to recently fired Colin Clarke, hopes to demonstrate that his hiring means a significant change of direction within the club.

"Colin and I are very, very different coaches," said Morrow, who was introduced Monday as the fourth manager in club history. "I don't want to be seen as criticizing Colin in any way. I want to be judged on my own right as a coach.
"Over the coming months, my quality and style as a coach will become very apparent."
The Northern Ireland native was chosen over D.C. United assistant Tom Soehn, Richardson native and former MLS player Jeff Agoos and SMU coach Schellas Hyndman because he knew the club better than the candidates, said club president and general manager Michael Hitchcock.

"We looked long and hard," Hitchcock said. "Lo and behold, the best man for this job was within our organization."

improve your Steve Morrow trivia

Morrow became a semi-regular in 1992-93, as well as suffering the most notorious moment of his career. He played most of his matches in midfield (replacing the injured Paul Davis, as Arsenal got to both the League Cup and FA Cup semi-finals. Morrow started the League Cup final against Sheffield Wednesday; after falling behind to a John Harkes goal, Arsenal equalised through Paul Merson, and then Merson set up Morrow to score the winner (which was also his first goal for the club). In the celebrations after the match, Arsenal skipper Tony Adams attempted to pick up Morrow and parade him on his shoulders, but Adams slipped and Morrow awkwardly hit the ground. He broke his arm and had to be rushed to hospital.

As a result, Morrow missed the rest of that season, including the FA Cup final (also against Wednesday), where Arsenal completed the Cup Double. Before the final kicked off, Morrow received his League Cup winners' medal, making him the only player ever to have picked up a medal before a Cup final, much to the delight of football trivia buffs everywhere.

Freddie Adu traded to Salt Lake City …but, he is due to be in Europe by June…

UNT to get Todd Dodge?

The search for a new North Texas head football coach is expected to end in the next 48 hours.

All signs point in the direction of Carroll High School coach Todd Dodge as being UNT's choice to replace Darrell Dickey, who was fired on Nov. 8.

Sources close to UNT's search, while not confirming Dodge will be hired, said an announcement concerning the head coaching job is expected as early as this afternoon. UNT could call a news conference late this afternoon or Wednesday morning.
Also today during a scheduled 2 p.m. meeting, the UNT Board of Regents will vote to authorize Athletic Director Rick Villarreal and school president Gretchen M. Bataille to enter into a contract with a new football coach.

P1 Keith blames the cheerleaders for wearing jackets Sunday night

Gagne signs in Texas?

I am told this says so:

Plusieurs équipes du baseball majeur ont courtisé Éric Gagné au cours des dernières semaines, mais au fil d'arrivée, les Rangers du Texas ont su se montrer plus convaincants que les autres. Le Journal de Montréal a appris hier que le releveur mascouchois a conclu une entente d'une saison - d'une valeur garantie de 8 millions - avec cette formation de la Ligue américaine.

Vote for Rory!

Roberto Luongo was tearing tape off his legs Thursday when he was asked if he's voted for teammate Rory Fitzpatrick for the all-star team yet.

"Five times," replied the Vancouver Canuck goaltender. Coach Alain Vigneault admitted he's also cast a couple of ballots in Fitzpatrick's favour. So apparently have several thousand other people.

Trying to vote the journeyman defenceman on to the Western Conference team for the NHL all-star game has become a trend like reality TV. A spark that began with an Internet website has taken hold like wildfire. Fitzpatrick, who has played only 16 games this year after fracturing a bone in his heel, has garnered 144,819 votes, fifth most among Western Conference defenceman. That puts him ahead of teammate Mattias Ohlund and Scott Hannan of the San Jose Sharks.

As a write-in candidate, Fitzpatrick gained 113,509 votes this week, more than any other Western Conference player.

Suddenly the Rochester, N.Y, native, who also has played for Montreal, St. Louis, Nashville and Buffalo, is hot like Angelina Jolie. He's close to becoming a household name like Brad Pitt and is very confused by his new-found celebrity status.
"If anybody knows me they know I don't like to be the focal point of anything," said Fitzpatrick, 31, who looked like he'd rather face Alexander Ovechkin one-on-one than deal with the media horde that wanted to talk to him.

"I'd rather just do my business and go home. I'm going to have fun with it. Everybody seems to be enjoying it. I thought last week it would be over in a week. Maybe next week we won't hear too much about it."

Maybe, but unlikely.

Like a rock rolling downhill, the Fitzpatrick phenomenon is gaining momentum. It has caught the attention of Hockey Night in Canada and media across North America.
The company that sells Canucks wear is planning on selling Vote for Rory t-shirts at Friday's game against the Carolina Hurricanes.

The movement to get Fitzpatrick on the all-star team began with Steve Schmid, a Buffalo Sabres fan who started voteforrory.com.

"A guy like Rory Fitzpatrick deserves to go to the all-star game over a lot of other guys who probably don't want to be there anyway," Schmid said in an interview. "He showed a lot of determination to stay in the league and make the most out of his role.

"The all-star game is a great way not only to honour the superstars but honour the guys that are the best at their role. "

Vote for Rory.com

The Goodman blog on the final episode of the Wire

Here is a scouting report from Draft day 2001 on Ladainian Tomlinson that may have missed

GAZING INTO THE CRYSTAL BALL... Once he adjusts to running from a pro-set instead of a veer offense, watch him grow into a very effective back. Definitely starting material, but he has enough to only garner All-Pro consideration eventually, but this is no franchise back (or anyone else) here, folks. His numbers are very impressive, but he's a product of the team's system. Too bad too many general managers are desperate for a running back, as he'll go higher than his stock dictates.

Now, the guy I want in here, Jason Jennings ….

His loyalty and negotiating tactics questioned by Rockies owner Charlie Monfort, Jason Jennings chose Saturday to suppress his anger, even as a trade grew more likely.

"It's just best right now if my only quote is 'no comment,"' said Jennings, a free agent at season's end.

The Rockies are attempting to sign Jennings to a contract extension, which, if unsuccessful, will prompt them to deal him. Houston and Texas are the most interested parties, with the Astros revisiting talks after losing out on Andy Pettitte and Jon Garland. The Rockies have targeted starting pitcher Jason Hirsh, center fielder Willy Taveras and reliever Dan Wheeler.

Jennings has talked diplomatically about contract discussions, praising the relationship between agent Casey Close and Rockies general manager Dan O'Dowd.
As such, Jennings was surprised Monfort, in the Rocky Mountain News, accused Jennings of hiding behind his agent and treating the team unfairly by not responding to the club's three-year, $24.5 million contract offer with a club option.
Close characterized Monfort's assessment as a "misrepresentation."

As recently as four days ago, Close said he met with O'Dowd in person and discussed specifics. Jennings has been kept abreast of all talks, according to Close.

"If Jason chooses not to accept their proposal and someone decides that's hiding, I guess he's hiding," Close said. "I have the utmost personal and professional respect for Dan O'Dowd. But I am disappointed in the comments by (Monfort)."

And here is an email:

tony romo is not a young brett favre, i know he's a gunslinger, but you're discounting our father, brett favre, who arts in lambough.. brett favre is so much better then tony romo, so tape brakes, bob.. actually slam on the brakes! he's not even close..

clint in plano

And my response:

you seem very confused. I say he reminds me of Brett Favre. Which he does. By the way, my son is named after Brett, so I mean that in the highest compliment form. What I don't say is that he is Brett Favre. Because a) there is only 1 and b) if Tony Romo ever wins 3 MVP's, and gets to two Super Bowls I am guessing he will not be compared to anyone other then himself.

Reminding me of someone does not mean he is someone. For instance, I may tell my wife that the girl across the restaurant reminds me of Julia Roberts. That will not mean that I am saying the girl over there has starred in many movies and commands $20 million per picture. It simply means there are things that seem to make me think of Our Favre.

Nintendo 64 kid

Any Given Sunday

It’s a big Ad


MrSimic said...

In other news, the new Cowboy stadium looks great. Hooray for Tarrant County!

Jake said...

2 1/2 times the size of Texas Stadium? That's almost as big as Big Bill's arse! Go Christmas!

MrSimic said...

By the way, a translation:

Several Major League Baseball teams have courted Éric Gagné over the last few weeks, but the latest news shows the Texas Rangers more convincing than the others. Le Journal de Montréal (the Montréal paper) learned yesterday that the Maschouchois (person from Mascouche, Québec) closed a one-year deal worth a guaranteed 8 million with the American League club.


Buck's a critic said...

Love the new Cowboy stadium:

2.5 times as big

38% more fans

7% fewer toilets.


artfromtex said...

i think the Rangers are actually having a good off-season. more for they didn't do. resisting the temptation on GMJ and DeRosa. Lofton is a good stop-gap IF Wells is really a target for '08. Zito scares me. i think he's a knucklehead and a bad fit for the Temple.

Here's to moving up to 2nd place! maybe? possible? meh... didn't think so.


MrSimic said...

Oops: I missed a word in my translation. "Un releveur" is "a reliever" (or a La-Z-Boy, but here...let's stick with reliever).

jimbojones said...

My VoteforRory.com posts get erased. Now this. Why erase my previous posts?

Popsicle Stick Chick said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Popsicle Stick Chick said...

What are tape brakes? :)