Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Defining Moment for this Group is Saturday Night

As we all listen to the praise suddenly being heaped onto our beloved Cowboys we have to keep in mind that we've seen this movie before. It was the end of the 2007 season and the Cowboys were sitting at 13-3 waiting for the winner of the wild card game. The Giants came to town, a team that the Cowboys had beaten twice in the regular season. And we all know how the story ended. That may have been the most disappointing loss I have ever endured as a Dallas Cowboys fan.

So here we are two years later and the Cowboys have finished the season strong. The local and national media are suddenly heaping praise on the team and many are picking the Cowboys to make a Super Bowl run. Sure, a few things are different. This year's team finished the season on a high note, Tony Romo is a more seasoned quarterback, and the defense is a much better unit. But a lot of this story feels the same.

The Cowboys have one more demon to exercise before we can start talking about all of the different playoff scenarios that could unfold if they win. And this one is the grand-daddy of all of the demons. This would be the first playoff victory in over 13 years. Think about that. Where were you in your life 13 years ago? How much has changed in the time span? When you start to look at technological advances, wars, and presidents you quickly get a sense of how long it has actually been since America's team has been a real contender.

The core group of players on the roster are all starting to hit their prime. Tony Romo has matured into a controlled, but still playmaking quarterback. Jason Witten is in his prime and has been for years. Miles Austin is a breakout star. Demarcus Ware has become a beast. Anthony Spencer is finally playing to the level of his draft status. Mike Jenkins has become a shut down quarterback. I could go on but you get the point.

So the question now becomes whether this group of players has what it takes to win the big games in the playoffs. The December woes have been fixed for at least one season. But the last two playoff games for the Cowboys have been disasters. Tony Romo and the rest of the players need to prove not only to all of the fans and media, but more importantly to themselves that they can win the high stakes games. I believe this team has what it takes. And a playoff win is going to take this team to a new level just like the win over the undefeated Saints a few weeks ago seems to have transformed the team.

A loss could be devastating on many fronts and I don't even want to get into how bad things could get if the Cowboys lay an egg. But a win opens up possibilities not only for this season but probably for the next four or five seasons based on the ages of the key players on the team. If the Cowboys can start believing that they can and will win playoff games then I think we are seeing the start of a great run of football from them for years to come. But they have to get over this last hurdle to take the next step.

The players have earned the right to win a game like this. The fans who have stuck with the team through thick and thin have earned the right to celebrate a win in a game like this. Jerry Jones, love him or hate him, pours his heart, soul and money into the team and deserves a win like this. Wade Phillips deserves to win a playoff game after being such a great defensive coordinator and all-around nice guy for all these years.

This game is going to determine the future of the team for the next few years. I know I'm ready. I think the players are ready. I just hope that the game goes how we are all expecting so we can finally have the big celebration we've been waiting for. How good will it feel to wear your Cowboys attire around if the Cowboys win this game? How nice will it be to rub it in the faces of all the naysayers who we've been hearing from for years? I'm talking about the media, friends, family and anyone else who have been laughing at us while we wallow in misery. All of that needs to change on Saturday. It is going to feel awesome if the Cowboys can find a way to win the game!


  1. Other than the Super Bowls, this is the biggest game in Cowboys history. It's that big. The outcome of the game Saturday, will have an effect on this team for the next 4 or 5 years. I'll be screaming and cheering at my tv, louder than ever.

  2. HUGE HUGE in So.Jersey, 15 min from South Philly, I almost wouldn't mind if they lost next week to Minn if they can pull this one out on Sat night. A 3 game sweep of the birds, including a playoff win, would put all the demons to rest.

    My Keys to winning

    1. Need another great gameplan from Garrett.
    2. Get an early lead.
    3. Run and run more - wear the undersized DL/LB out!
    4. Max protect on blitzes - they're coming. Austin, Crayton, and Roy E. need to beat man coverage.
    5. Hit McNabb as much as possible!
    6. Bump/run, press, and whatever else needed to slow the undersized eagle WRs.
    7. Continue to get touchbacks from Buehler.

  3. Alright now. Ghosts of winter past. Go haunt someone else.

    I think its been so long since the Boys have won anything significant we as fans are forgetting how to stay optimistic while winning.

    Its like bandwagon fans except in reverse. We scream, 'They will do good they will do good woohoo' when they are on a losing streak. But when they are on a winning streak we say, 'The sky eventually has to fall if past occurances of gravity is true!!! We are gonna lose'.

    Being a fan doesn't mean just being there when its bad, it means you have to be there when they are doing good as well.

  4. I won't be satisfied with a win this week and a loss to the Vikings next week.

    It will be amazing to get this monkey off our back and win a playoff game. I'm almost expecting it that this point. We just have the better team than the eagles. Our O and D line are bigger, faster and stronger. Our QB is younger, quicker and hungry. Our conerbacks are more solid. They don't always go for the big play (A. Samuel) that gives up yardage.

    There is only one position that I feel the eagles are stronger at, and that is the Field Goal kicker. This is my biggest worry. So many times have playoff games come down to a field goal.

    The only posistion that we are about even in is TE. Celek is a great catching TE. I don't think he blocks near as well as Witten, but his hands are as close to Witten's as anyone else in the league.

    I look forward to wearing my Cowboys gear with more than just pride and love for my team. I look forward to wearing it around the people who thought that we would go another 13years with out a playoff win.

    Go Cowboys!

  5. The media is so fickle, it makes me sick. These "experts" tear down the Cowboys when they don't win, praise them to no end when they do win. At least Trent Dilfer (the best analyst working, period) has always been consistent with how he's felt about this team.

    But I digress...

    I want this game so bad! I've been reading every article, watching every clip on TV, literally counting down the hours for this game. You guys are right: this is one of the biggest games in this franchise's history. I know we can do it. This is the best, most balanced Cowboys team we've had in a while. It's just a matter of execution. If the past month is any indication, we're gonna be fine.

    My only concern is that when the guys lay their heads to rest Friday night, they don't become overwhelmed by the enormity of this game. I hope they stay focused and execute like they have been doing. The one knock has been 1) leadership and 2) consistency. Thanks to Romo's emergence as a legitimate quarterback, the addition of Keith Brooking, and a more vocal Demarcus Ware, there's plenty of leadership now; and over the course of the past month, they've been nothing but consistent. Nobody -- except San Diego -- has been playing better football than us (as weird of a thought as that is -- usually we're limping into the playoffs). We can do this. We have to do this.

    Let's go Cowboys! Win this one to restore this franchise's legacy as one of the best in NFL history, win for us fans who've stuck by you all this time, win this one to shut up the skeptics and usher in a new era of Cowboys football.

    We have to get it done Saturday night.

  6. I'd like to know your opinion about this, but I think that the Cowboys should trade for Joshua Cribbs in the off season. I wouldn't give up a first rounder, but I would think about trading some other picks for him. I think he's 26 or so, and we really need a returner.

  7. The only thing I can say about that Danny Boy is that crayton is fast and can return good when his job is on the line. As soon as there was a threat that they were going to be getting another returner he picked up his game. As that threat faded so did his returning game.

    2 people honestly suprised me last game against the Beagles. Jones and Crayton. They are extraordnarily fast.

    Of course if I had it my way Witten would be on the returning team. ;). I really don't know anything about Joshua Cribbs so I cant really say it would be a good trade or not. But just the threat of Crayton losing his spot should light a fire under his bum.