Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Week 5: Cowboys 25, Bills 24 (5-0)

To suggest that last night was amazing is like saying the Grand Canyon is neat. The fact is that you may live for another 7 decades and not see a night quite as crazy as that. The Cowboys got away with murder last night, and you happily take your win, hop on the plane, and get out of Dodge.

Meanwhile, the young star QB had his most embarrassing night ever. Tony Romo is lauded on this page repeatedly, but I hope you remembered what I have said periodically over the last several months: You live by the gunslinger, you die by the gunslinger. No gunslinger will ever live who will doesn’t have the occasional downside. What separates the gunslingers who have staying power from those who don’t is simple: Just don’t let it happen very often, and when it does happen, do you still have the cajones to keep slinging it around the yard?

Romo is learning what he is made of. I don’t care how much confidence you have in yourself, you only can truly find out what you have inside when you turn the ball over 6 times and they rush you back on the field to risk a 7th. It was ugly. It was maddening. It was frustrating. And it was a win.

The following our random notes and thoughts from the most improbable night I can recall:

• Nick Folk is money, apparently. Never heard of the guy when they picked him. Liked what I saw in training camp, but nothing can duplicate his circumstances last night when he had to kick a 53 yarder as time ran out. And he came through wonderfully. Also, let’s not forget a perfectly executed onside kick. He gets a game ball.

• Terrell Owens can pull off a lot of looks. That goofy rally cap look he was throwing down was not one of them. But, I then I saw Jay-Z with the same look at Yankee Stadium. And he looked goofy, too.

• What is Buffalo doing? Why would they try that 54 yarder at the end of the first half which gave the Cowboys a chance to get to 17-10. Why would they throw the ball when they are up 8 and already in FG range on the play that Terrence Newman intercepted? I realize they were throwing caution to the wind with fake punts and reverses on 3rd and 1, but at some point, you might want to stop giving the Cowboys opportunities. Dick Jauron is not a good football coach from what I have seen from his 2 stops.

• Every week we talk about how Tony Romo adds a couple million to his next contract. Perhaps last night isn’t in that category. I would imagine his agent will not call Jerry this morning.

• Is Roy Williams smart? If so, how does he not grasp the horse collar rule? If not, how did he get to be a perennial pro-bowler? I am perplexed on this one. Marshawn Lynch is lucky Roy didn’t snap his leg on that play. And somehow, the ref only saw the face-mask.

• The Buffalo Bills have some great throw-backs. I don’t know if this makes me an old man, but I find myself wishing these teams would wear their throwbacks all of the time. Except Philadelphia. It must be the hockey fan in me, who loves the Original 6 uniforms, and how they pretty much never change those classic looks. But the present day Bills, Chargers, Patriots, Broncos and others do not touch the brilliance that their uniforms once had.

• The Bills introduced us to the “Creep” defense. The Creep appears to mean that none of the defenders have their hands on the ground. I think I like it. It would surely confuse a QB even more with questions of who is coming and who is not. I wonder if this will spread around the NFL.

• Those Bills defensive backs were all anonymous. And they fought their butts off. McGee and Greer fought Owens and Crayton with all of the might they had. That break up of the 2-point conversion took plenty of strength, and given that they were only playing because the starters are hurt, the Bills couldn’t have asked any more of them.

• I am pretty sure the Kick and Punt coverage teams need Keith Davis on the field. Another game, another special team touchdown against.

• Not terribly familiar with the Bills, but they appear to have a great punter, Brian Moorman. The only thing I know about him is that Sean Taylor destroyed him at the pro bowl (youtube it), but I was impressed with his game last night.

• Ralph Wilson appears to be old. I don't think he could keep up with Jerry in a celebrating contest.

• During the game, the Stars had commercials running for their new ad campaign. Razor and Morrow both were featured on commercials that got you all fired up for Stars hockey. They were pretty sweet ads. Then, at the end, they promoted the upcoming game you have got to see: “October 5, Stars- Bruins”. Eh, that was a few days ago, guys.

• Patrick Crayton appears to be a very capable #2 receiver. I think he has seized this opportunity very well.

• On the play after the Roy facemask, with 9:25 left in the 4th Q, Dwayne Wright had a 3 yard gain. He was forced out by Terrence Newman after he gained the first down he so desired. Then, in Darren Hambrick fashion, Newman flexed in his face. Uh, Terrence, he got the first down, buddy. Simmer.

• P1 Matt had a great stat. Marcus Spears, Terrell Owens, Jason Witten, and Sam Hurd, all had 1 solo tackle last night. Miles Austin had 2. Nice game, Spears.

• Jason Witten was great again last night. But, the Bills were sitting on him all night, too. Everybody now knows Romo’s security blanket is 82. So, they sit behind him and wait to jump the throw. Romo is going to have to exercise much more caution in the future.

• Eddie Lebaron, Eddie Lebaron again, Steve Pueller, Danny White, Troy Aikman and now Tony Romo all share the interceptions in a game record with 5. I would imagine only Romo did it in a win, but I have not checked that yet.

• Trent Edwards or JP Losman. Hmmm. Not sure I am too fired up either way. But, boy, the MNF football crew sure loved Edwards. I have never seen a FG drive so celebrated. 21 of the 24 Bills points were not scored by the offense.

• I think Anthony Spencer gets better every game. In fact, I think the defense all deserves credit for standing their ground last night as often as they did. It would have been easy to turn on your QB. They hung in there.

• Most of the Bills interceptions were lousy reads and or throws from Romo. But, that Chris Kelsay tip and interception in the endzone was a great play. Let’s give some credit where credit is due. He timed his jump and then caught the tip before it landed. That should have broken the Cowboys back.

• Well, it was ugly. But, it was a win. There is no doubt the Cowboys had begun to believe their press and look ahead to New England. But they somehow got away with it. Harry Houdini would be proud. Now, can they slay the dragon on Sunday? I challenge you to not look ahead for a day. Savor this most incredible night.


Jay said...

Monday night there was a disturbance in the force for one Tony Romo. But last night a new Jedi was born, and his name is Nick Folk.

How 'Bout Them Cowboys!!!

Anonymous said...

Newman's flex was stupid. By that point, he had already missed a few open-field tackles that led to first downs. It seemed to be a theme, though, especially in the first quarter. Every time the defense made a play, someone showboated like they thought that was going to be the turning-point of the game. Wrong.

mrowlou said...

I don't think Ellis had a single snap in the game... anyone else confirm?

Buddy said...


Any idea on the rule / referee interpretation of a catch and push-out. I saw it called Sunday with Santana Moss I think. 3rd Quarter Owens catches a pass one foot in, then he's pushed and the other foot lands and is just missing the field.

Observer said...

It's all over now, and we won, so this is no big deal, BUT...

Was there a more obvious case of pass interference than on that 2-point conversion? The DB had his back to the ball, both hands on TO's chest, TACKLING the guy a beat (or maybe even a whole second) before the ball arrived. How is that not an automatic flag?

And how do they review the TO catch at the end AFTER we spiked the ball? If they blew the whistle for the review before we spiked the ball, how come the clock went all the way down to 1 second? Why did the ref place the ball? Are we to believe a whistle blew before the ball was snapped? I truly doubt it. It was the right call, but I've seen lots of bad calls not get fixed because the other team hurried up and snapped the ball.

And kudos to Ratliff for chasing Newman all the way down the field and recovering his fumble. That was a great hustle play.

lrjoohay said...


Let's superimpose Deion Sanders in the shoes of Newman for the interception. Is there any question that #21 Primetime takes that pick for 6?

There is a 0% chance Lee Evans catches Deion, yet he ate up the supposedly very fast #41.

Andy D. said...

Great point lrjoohay...

More than half of the elite corners in the league take that in for a score. Where is Newman's speed at. The injury to his foot is still effecting him.
Romo is so laid back. That is his best trait. He doesn't get rattled easy. Nice.
Ellis did play a little last night, but no plays made.

Demarcus Ware was great again last night. Let's not forget that T-New int would not have happened without him skying for that deflection.

5-0. New England coming to town. Nervous already.

shadolac said...

The Bills aren't the first team to use the "Creep" style defense. The Patriots used it last year (I think it was against the Colts in an effort to confuse Manning and the O-line.) It may have been two years ago because I think they may have done it at least 2 years ago because I think I remember McGinest being involved in that scheme.

Why is it such a big deal that T-New got caught from behind by Lee Evans? In addition to football, Lee Evans was a track guy as well, so its not like he got walked down by a Guard or a Tackle. Plus, T-New is running on a foot that's less than 100% AND you can run faster without the ball than with the ball (see T.O. hawking Crayton last week vs. the Rams).

Jay, Christi and Andrew said...

I seriously hope Ron Jawarski's wife was not watching the broadcast last night. His man crush on Trent Edwards and probably the whole Bills team made me mighty uncomfortable. I've never seen such domination from an offense that didn't score (to me, the 3 points belongs to special teams).

And while Romo had a bad game obviously, he's not one you're concerned with in the long term. The special teams coverage however is really beginning to get on my nerves. I know Davis is out, but are you telling me no one else knows anything about angles?

The replay thing was silly. Right call, but no way it was reviewed before the snap. They just called it just in case. I don't like that precident.

And lastly, I love that Crayton got redemption on the exact same play that he dropped a few games ago. Good for him.

Matt said...

Newman is still battling plantar fasciitis in his heel and has knee tendinitis. In addition, his injuries have sharply limited his overall conditioning level; do you really think he's ready for an 80-yard flat-out sprint right now?

Newman won the Big 12 100 meter dash in two different seasons, was the Big 12 indoor 60 meter champion, and placed fifth in the entire NCAA in the indoor 60 meter. This does not happen by accident.

Terence Newman is plenty fast, he's just playing hurt and a little out of shape. He deserves all the credit in the world for being out there.

Cristobal Colon said...

Ralph Wilson looks like that guy that used to be in the Six Flags commercials doing all the dancing. Hated those commercials, but I'm certain its the same guy.

Go Barcelona!!!

lrjoohay said...

Neon Deion would have taken it to the house while highstepping in from the 20 with 9 toes and then perform the Primetime dance.

Now perhaps Newman is very fast when his foot is healed, but I am suggesting Sanders would have taken it all the way.

Poncenomics said...


THANK YOU for pointing out the obvious PI penalty that went uncalled. TO got absolutely mugged as he leapt. General rule of thumb is: DB's back to the ball = Pass Interference. ESPECIALLY if he makes contact with the receiver. Buffalo's DB was face-guarding first, then grabbed Owens' arms before the ball arrives, and the MF...er, MNF crew is fellating him for a great play.

Best part of the win is that Jaworski and Kornholeio just had to shut the heck up when it was over, and it was Buffalo, the town with the biggest inferiority complex in America. Also, this is the kind of thing that used to happen to the Cowboys.

This is a magical season, folks. Jimmy Johnson used to say the true measure of a team is how they perform when they're bad. Romo got his clunker out of the way last night, when the team could still overcome it. He sucked and still won. Just wait until he bounces back to tear up the Pats and Dallas is 6-0 next week.

And yes, he is STILL a Jedi. He just needed his Padawan, Nick Folk (a name that already sounds a little Jedi) to deliver.

Poncenomics said...

BTW: Folk's #6 is Romo's #9 inverted. Jedi and Padawan.

(Please, no 69 jokes.)