Monday, September 24, 2007
There are days to attempt to be the voice of reason around here. There are times when you talk people off the ledge or warn them of tough times that wait further down the trail. I wouldn’t do that to you today. This was one of those signature wins that you imagine will sit there with the Colts win of 2006 and the win at the Linc in 2005 as possibly the first thing you remember about a given season. Of course, for this to be the biggest win, the Cowboys will have a quiet January. And I am starting to think that won’t happen this time.
Yes, it has been 3,922 days since the Cowboys last playoff win, but I have a feeling that Tony Romo knows what to do about that streak. Kind of like he knew what to do last night against those big, bad, mean Chicago Bears. I would not have blamed him had he been lit up like so many who have entered Soldier Field before him, but instead he put on a clinic that has the country taking notice. No fluke here, kids. He is the real deal.
The following are notes and recollections of the Shellacking in Chicago…
• How could anyone still doubt this QB? What do you still need to see? He wants you to blitz. He wants you to try to sack him. I can’t blame America for not catching on given that his own owner has not signed his extension yet, but I would have to believe the doubters are now scattering. How many times would Drew Bledsoe have been sacked last night? I would imagine somewhere between 6-10. No offense, Drew, because the Bears generally get to everyone. Somehow, Romo takes one lateral step and buys himself another second.
• Let’s move on to “the player”. Terrell Owens brings plenty of nonsense to the table when you sign him. Owens will talk too much, celebrate too much, and test your patience overall, but boy, last night, he demonstrates why he can be worth the trouble. He dominated the Bears defense. They had no idea what to do with him as he cut across the field on another crossing pattern for 18 yards. I really doubted the Cowboys weapons without Terry Glenn, thinking that a good defense could figure out how to contain Owens and Jason Witten, and make Patrick Crayton and Sam Hurd beat them. But, amazingly enough, Romo keeps working Witten and Owens play after play, and the chains keep moving.
• I would like to tell you Devin Hester really isn’t that great and that the hype just got away from us this week. But the fact is he is great. And that the coverage team of the Cowboys should be congratulated. I was certainly worried when Nick Folk kicked his first ball out of bounds, but to his credit, he had a real nice night of quality deep kicks, and of course a high pressure 44 yarder that gave them a 20-10 lead at the time. The coverage teams are the true heroes here, though. That Keith Davis talked some trash, but then he ran down the field and made a play. Special teams aren’t always special around these parts, but that was very solid.
• In the true spirit of being a homer-blog, weren’t those refs the worst? The penalty on Witten was absurd (Block in the back wasn’t even close), the penalty on Owens was ridiculous (Pass Interference?), and the way those keystone cops ran off the field at halftime instead of giving Dallas its rightful opportunity to kick a Field Goal was robbery. I was shocked at how bad they were. Of course, the Cowboys may have been beneficiaries of an inconclusive replay on the Benson fumble, so they weren’t total victims.
• The defense was ok. I think the plan was to make Rex Grossman drive the Bears all the way down the field with no big plays. They did get one big play thanks to another brain-dead tackle “attempt” from Big Roy on Desmond Clark, but for the most part they surrendered the sideline routes to Bernard Berrian all night to insure that he didn’t get deep on them. You may feel there was too much cushion from the CB’s, but I think that was by design.
• Some fun for the tivo viewers: 8:41 3Q Roy’s laughable shoulder to Clark; 6:15 left in the 3rd, the Ref gives the shocker (countless emails); 9:45 in the 4th – Chris Canty celebrates a tackle by hitting John Tait with a shot in the groin by accident. And 8:07 in 4th – Mark Columbo chops Tommie Harris at the knees and injures him with a legal, yet sometimes considered dirty play.
• Anthony Spencer is noticed on a regular basis, which is more than I can say from other high recent draft picks. He lost contain a time or two last night, but he also chipped in with a nice sack. Based on that sack and the Eli Manning toss to the ground, I would suggest to you that he appears to have rather strong hands.
• The Bears have a great defense, and other countless nice parts. But, I think their QB is a joke (who doesn’t) and I have major doubts that Cedric Benson is a big time running back. If you think QB is a tough place to find a star, ask the Bears about drafting Running Backs in the top 5. Curtis Enis and now this? By the way, is there a better nickname than "Wrecks" Grossman?
• While we are complaining about Roy, who should be complimented for his Int
in the 4th, could we ask if he is familiar with the “Roy Williams horse collar rule”? It doesn’t appear so.
• Sam Hurd jacked up Adam Archuleta, eh? That was so sweet.
• Anytime you are penalized 100 yards on the road you should likely be in for quite a tough lesson about composure. Instead, they won in a laugher.
• Despite the fact that Wade Phillips appears to hand out 21 game balls, I will certainly make sure Anthony Henry, Leonard Davis (for wrestling Tommie Harris pretty well all night), Marion the Barberian (what a touchdown...again) and the special teams captain get one.
• DeMarcus Ware wasn’t going to sit on 0 sacks for too long. 2 last night. He will be right back at 12 by season’s end I am sure.
• Bears new defensive coordinator Bob Babich has crazy eyes.
• While we offer Jay Ratliff another high 5, let’s also give Stephen Bowen and Remi Ayodele our compliments in this week’s anonymous defensive linemen that did something category.
• Jason Garrett. I don’t know what to say. He rolls the dice with regularity. He calls a game like he is playing Madden. He is the opposite of conservative. He is calling deep throws on 3rd and 18. He has called the 3 most perfect games ever. Maybe not. But wow. He is good. And the idea of lining up Owens in the backfield to cause chaos for the opponent is brilliant. It would be even better if Glenn was around, because the DB’s would have more trouble switching, but I still love it.
• The Rams are dangerous, but this team should be 5-0 waiting for the Patriots in 20 days. This could be a special year, folks.
Like I told you, He is a Jedi, like his hero before him.