Thursday, December 8, 2011

Feels Like a Must Win Game

This is it. Finally a big time game to get excited about. The Cowboys head into the game with the NFC East lead but for some reason I get the feeling they need to win this one or the season will end without a playoff appearance.

I know the Giants have lost 4 straight. But they come into the game with a lot of confidence after going toe to toe with the defending Super Bowl champions last week and nearly coming away with a win. Eli Manning is on fire. And the defensive line can be scary good when they are motivated. They will be this week.

I don't want to make it sound like the Cowboys can't win this week. They can and I think they will. But the running game is going to have to be great this week so the Cowboys can keep control of the ball and keep this game from turning into a shootout. Thankfully Tony Fiammetta will be back at fullback after missing the last few games with an inner ear infection. Hopefully his presence will get the running game back on track.

And, just as importantly, Miles Austin will finally be back on the field for the offense. It was painfully obvious last week that the Cowboys missed his speed on the outside last week as the Cardinals put 8 men in the box and dared Dez Bryant and Laurent Robinson to beat them deep. They couldn't and they allowed the Cardinals to shut down the running game of the Cowboys all game long. With Austin back the offense gets a deep threat that helps prevent the defense from selling out against the run.

My biggest concern heading into the game is whether the defense can contain the explosive passing game of the Giants. Eli Manning has been playing very good football this season. As usual with a hot quarterback the key is getting pressure in his face. Eli is similar to Tony Romo in that most of his errors happen when there is pressure right in his face. He'll make a few bad passes every game that can be picked off if he is under pressure. Rob Ryan needs to attack and stay aggressive all game long. I'm tired of seeing the three man rush show up in critical situations. The defense needs to dictate the pace of the game to the offense. That means they need to be attacking.

Sean Lee having use of his hand is going to make a big difference. He probably isn't going to be back to picking off passes with a partial cast on his wrist, but at least he'll be able to wrap up with two hands when he tackles. The Cowboys can't afford to let the Giants have success running the ball because they'll have enough trouble stopping the pass without worrying about the run. The defensive line needs to control the line of scrimmage so we don't have to see Brandon Jacobs steamrolling anyone. I don't want to have to watch that idiot running his mouth. If they keep him moving sideways he becomes a terrible running back. That can only happen if the Cowboys are winning at the point of attack.

The secondary needs to have a good game covering Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks, Jake Ballard and Mario Manningham. But I think they can only be successful if Anthony Spencer, Jay Ratliff and Demarcus Ware are keeping Eli Manning from getting comfortable in the pocket. I don't think the Cowboys can win if they are planning to sit back and let Eli Manning survey the field.

Dez Bryant on punt returns could be the X-factor in the game. Of course that can only be the case if there aren't yellow flags flying every time he returns the ball. Dez is a dangerous returner and the blockers need to be smart about avoiding penalties.

I'm fired up for this game. I'll be at the stadium doing my part to help the Cowboys win. A victory in this game would nearly wrap up the NFC East. A loss could spell doom for the season. The stakes are high. And that is what makes this game so exciting to think about. I'm picking the Cowboys to win the game 27-26.


  1. I am nervous about this game. This IS a must win game. I have confidence (for a change in Romo. He has shown that he can get this team in a winning position), but I have absolutely ZERO confidence in Jason Garrett.

    I hope that Bailey can shake off his performance last week, because I have a feeling he'll be a big part of this game.

    This game will either be a close win for the boys, or its going to be a blow out for the all comes down to Jason G-airhead-tt and the game he calls.

  2. I agree with Frank, I am nervous, but excited for this game. This is a must win game for both teams. I think the difference in this game comes down to the running game. I think you ever runs the ball better wins this game. I think the BOYS' win a tight game and Murray has a huge game. I hope we win this game because I am going to Tampa next week and it will feel alot better knowing they won on Sunday and still hold their own destiny.

  3. I think everyone needs to ease up on Garrett a little bit. He has had a hard time recovering confidence in the offense. Nothing wrong with that. Since he has been playing conservatively we have had more wins then when we were slinging balls all over the defense and just expecting 1st and 10 every time or 3rd and 24.

    People criticized him for lack of running. Well with Felix Jones i've said on here previously counting on him to get you anywhere on second down is just idiotic. He has a few good runs a year and the rest of the time he isn't even making it to the line of scrimmage.

    Murray is probably the best running back since Emmit Smith. We have a real chance with him. Because he pushes hard and plays like he has a chip on his shoulder.

    Now Garrett has made his share of mistakes, but ask yourself this again. Where would we be without him? He turned a lazy entitled group of players into hard working players. We are leaps and bounds compared to where we were last season at this time. Name one other coach with that type of turn around. Most of the time you wait 2-3 years to see that type of return.

    Finally we have everyone healthy. I honestly liked Laurent Robinson more than Austin (check the stats yo :P). Robinson just needs more reps and experience.

    With all this said I see an absolute blowout of a score of 13-10 dallas wins in the last few seconds of the game by a field goal from our star kicker.


  4. I feel like they rarely perform well in big games, but this will tell us a lot about this team. I also agree with WBF that everyone needs to let up a bit on Garrett. Sure, last week was a mistake, but the franchise is moving into a positive direction and he's a huge reason why.

    Let's go punch Eli, and that douchebag Brandon Jacobs in the mouth and win this division!

  5. Go easy on Garrett?!?! Are you kidding me? I remember when everyone was yelling to get rid of Wade Phillips...JJ did, but do you really think that solved any problems? Do you know who the OC was for Wade? Thats right, Boy Wonder was...have you noticed that the offense is still lackluster and making the same idiotic mistakes that it has been making since Wade got here? Not to mention the stupid plays that are still being called.

    I dont know how many times the boys have been in 3rd and long just for Garrett to call a stupid 2 yard passing play...same crap that was happening when Wade was HC.

    At least Wade didnt try to overthink the game calls, unlike Mr. Princeton, who thinks he is soooo smart, but in reality, the dude is a football moron.

    As long as he is HC and OC, the boys will never go anywhere...

  6. Cowboys got younger and quicker on O-line to handle D-lines like Giants have. This game is big test to see if it worked.

    Also, Less Obvious Game Key: Murray's touches. 25 or more, Cowboys should win. Further under 20, more likely Dallas loses.

    Patently Obvious Game Key: Win the turnover battle of course, but that's every week.

    Prediction: Murray has 125+ total yards and Dallas wins 27-17.

  7. Hey Frank, how about we give Garrett at least ONE full season to fix this team, okay?

    And last time I checked, we were in FIRST PLACE.

    BTW, Tom Landry was 4-20-2 his first two seasons and Jimmy was 8-24. Good thing we didn't run those two off so fast.

  8. Comparing Garrett to Landry? WOW.

    The only reason we are in first place is because the Giants are having a meltdown, not because of Garrett and his awesome game calling.

    Although Jimmy and Tom had a few bad seasons early in their career, there was always a sense that great things were coming. With Garrett, there is nothing but doom and gloom. Tom and Jimmy were great game callers and made everyone accountable, even during their losing seasons. Garrett has nothing but excuses and the same old line, "We have to get better". Excuse my language, but no shit.

    Garrett panics when things don't go exactly as planned. Murray doesn't get 10 yards a carry, lets abandon the run!!! 3rd and 10 situation, lets throw the ball for 1 yard, 3rd and 22, lets run the same draw play that we have run already without success, hey, let's call an idiotic time out so we can ice our own kicker...thats a great move.

    As far as having one whole season....he has already more than one seasons worth of games under his belt and he hasn't changed a bit. Still calling the same BS plays that he was calling as OC under Wade, but at least Wade didn't make bone head decisions like red head wonder.

    nope, Garrett doesn't need a break, he needs to be gone...

  9. 111 yards rushing, 400 yards passing against our defense, or should i say our poor excuse of a defense. No way, No how are we even close to being a playoff contender. Rob Ryan who? I don't give a shiit if people think Tony should have made that 1 throw where he over through Robinson. Tony should have NEVER been in that position to begin with. Right now, we won't beat the eagles and we won't beat the Giants at the meadow lands.

    Our defense lost this game. I think i have finally had enough. I love Newman to death, he is not a cover corner anymore. He just can't cover man on man.

    From this point on, i have no expectations for this team the rest of the year.

    I think I have finally come to terms that we are average at best.

    Just venting.

  10. WBF

    Yea so angry right now at the defense. Everyone is going to bag Romo for over throwing but honestly i'm glad he did. Sure a completion would have been best. But if the defense had just kept the 11 point lead with under 5 minutes of game time left or at least force the offense to use their remaining time out instead of allowing them to save it for a time out.

    I don't know who to be mad at right now. Everyone quit. Everyone though the game was won and they quit playing. Now we fans have to endure the rest of the season on pins and needles because they want to quit playing?

    Seriously makes me want to not watch Cowboy football.

    Just venting,
    WBF (and I agree with Mike)

  11. OH and to make matters worse we lost Demarco Murray for the season.

    Also to bring up another 'funny' moment was anyone else cheering 'JUST LET THEM SCORE' at the end of the game instead of running down our own chance of a comeback. I know me and my friends were.


  12. Anon - From this point on you have no expectations? And you're only now realizing that this team is average? Be glad that you got through 13 games before realizing what most fans have known since week 3. This loss is the same as the early season losses that stung so much. They should've won the game. The team could honestly be 10-3 at this point and the only reason they'd have that record is that they have the easiest schedule in the league. The schedule has been full of the worst teams in the league and they couldn't capitalize. Even if they make the playoffs, whoever gets them in the first round will be dancing because they'll be able to beat the Boys by three touchdowns. A 12-point lead with 5 1/2 minutes left. Unbelievable.

  13. Not true anon. Green Bay has had the easiest schedule. :O Blaspheme the Green Bay I do :). Look at their schedule every team they have played has been on a losing streak at the time. I think an ESPN blog said that last week and if you look it's true.

    Yea I think this one is going to sting the Fan base more than usual because it is an homage to why we are average. Sure we have some of the best talent. But it just never comes together. And Red Bull Garrett was supposed to be the teeth kicker that kept them playing in times like this. However that seems to be incorrect. Instead he let them hang up their boots and then watch the Giants run away(quite literally) with their prize.


  14. Goodbye Garrett, goodbye Ryan, goodbye DeCamillis...don't let the door hit you on your ass on your way out...or let it, I don't care.

    Romo played great and has earned my trust big time this year.

    What a let down our D has been.

    So sad for my family, though. We spent a pretty penny to plan a family trip to Dallas to see the boys play the Eagles...

    p.s. I was screaming for garrett to let the Giants score so we'd get the ball back with a little bit more time and to save the time out. Well, Garrett is a moron and can't manage a game...

  15. Frank, I wasn't comparing them as coaches, only their records in the early season. And, while I wasn't around for the early Landry years (Well, I was around, but still in diapers) I WAS here for JJ's time, and let me tell you not many had any faith in him those first couple of seasons. Of course, there wasn't so much hate media around to stoke the fires either.

    Now, on to the debacle of last night, I totally agree Romo played great and shouldn't get blamed in any way for this loss.

    The defense was just pitiful. Bad play, bad coaching, no pass rush, and no coverage. Gawd, I wish we'd go back to the 4-3, but either way we gotta get some playmakers in here that have a streak of meanness in them.

    Where was Ware? No Ware, that's where. I think he's so overrated. Get's his 1-2 sacks but disappears for most of the game otherwise.

    I, for one, am willing to cut Garrett and Ryan some slack because they haven't had a full off-season/training camp to fix things. I'm fine with giving them one more season to get things right and run off some more no-guts players we have right now.

    Joe D's a different story. Blocked kicks like that simply should NOT happen.

    It'll be a miracle if we make the playoffs, but right now I'm not sure we even deserve to get in no matter what.

    Romo deserves to play on a team with a better defense than this.

  16. I know I harped on this issue last year, but I still wholeheartedly believe it's still missing, and that's passion.

    Do you think a Brandon Jacobs wouldn't have gotten up for this game or the fourth quarter? Or a Ray Lewis allowing this melt down? Or Troy Polamalu not getting in someone's face?

    I do not question leadership because I think there is leadership on the team. I question the heart. All too often do we come out soft. End the game soft. And noone seems to step into the role of the emotional leader. Maybe Brookings, but you also have to be a key contributor which he is not.

    Football is a game of emotion, and when you play it without emotion and only focus on the professionalism of the game, then you will lose. Maybe not every game, but you will lose a game like this one. and the Jets. and Patriots.

    People get up to play us. Especially on national television. Especially with all the hype.

    My two cents. I would vent about the game, but it's early and I'm tired.


  17. I feel the pain I live in NJ everyone had Giants shit on today. I still wore my Cowboy hat today but it was hard. Is there any chance Chris Collinsworth can die soon He made it more painful. No playoffs for us our dreams die again in December