Friday, October 14, 2011

The Stage Is Set

Here we go again. Tony Romo is once again the worst quarterback in NFL history. The Cowboys have no shot to win against the Patriots in Foxboro. Tom Brady and Wes Welker are the greatest of all time. Bill Belichick is a genius. I could go on but you get the point. The media would have you believe that there isn't much of a chance of the Cowboys coming away from the game on Sunday with a victory.

But something tells me that this is going to be a defining moment in the season for the Cowboys. And I mean that in a good way. The Cowboys are due for a big win. And they are due to knock out a top team. Romo has done it before against future hall of fame quarterbacks. He led his team to victory against Peyton Manning and also against Brett Favre. Now it is Tom Brady's turn.

This isn't going to be an easy task for the Cowboys. Rob Ryan's defense will be under the gun all game long. Turnovers by Tony Romo will lose the game. And missed field goals or allowing big kick returns could lose the game as well. The Cowboys don't need to play a perfect game, but they need to play very good for 4 quarters. That is something they have not done yet this season.

I realize that Tom Brady is going to be hard to stop. I have accepted the fact that the Patriots are going to score some points. But as much as possible the defense needs to force field goals and turnovers. Brady and Welker will get their yards. But if the defense can force field goals then the Cowboys offense can score enough to win the game. And if the defense can force 2 or 3 turnovers it could be enough to allow the team to win. Demarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer need to force Brady out of the pocket. Brady on the run is not a good quarterback.

On offense the Cowboys will be able to move the ball. It sounds like the Patriots are going to focus on stopping Jason Witten. That is ok. The Cowboys have plenty of weapons to make up for a low stat game from Witten. Dez Bryant and Miles Austin are both back at 100% for the first time since the first half of the Jets game. And Felix Jones has had two weeks to allow his shoulder to heal. Romo's cracked rib has had two weeks to heal as well. I think the Cowboys can put up 30 points if they can keep from turning the ball over.

Dan Bailey will need to hit all of his kicks. The Cowboys can't afford to go on a long drive and come away with no points this week. And, more importantly, the kick coverage needs to force the Patriots to drive the length of the field as much as possible. As crazy as it sounds, Matt McBriar is very important in a game like this. If he can pin the Patriots deep in their own territory a few times it will do wonders for keeping the Patriots' scoring down.

I know there really isn't a reason to trust Romo this week. But I loved the way he dealt with the media like he had a chip on his shoulder after all of the Romo bashing that has been going on for two weeks. He has something to prove and he knows it. And winning against Tom Brady and Bill Belichick at Foxboro will definitely help him regain some credibility.

I think the Cowboys are going to pull off the upset this week. You can call me crazy if you want. I just feel like the Cowboys have had two weeks to think about how close they came to making a real statement against the Lions before the late game collapse. This will be the week that everyone around the league realizes that the Cowboys are building a team that will be very good for years to come. I am picking the Cowboys to win the game 32-27.

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