Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Mike Shanahan: What Dallas' Offense Needs

The only problem with acquiring Shanahan is that it would take at least a year to get the right offensive line for his zone blocking scheme. Or at least a year to teach it to a new crop. Besides that, it would be scary to see what he could do with Barber, Felix and Choice. If he can make Peyton Hillis look like a Pro-Bowler. No offense to Hillis.

Just a thought. It probably won't happen but I think it would be a good move. He seems to have his team's respect and I can't imagine Tony waving him off.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Matt Ryan: Offensive Rookie Of The Year

Matt Ryan beats out an outstanding rookie class that included Chris Johnson, Steve Slaton, Ryan Clady, Matt Forte and Joe Flacco. I think that Matt Ryan is the most deserving of the candidates. Leading a fractured franchise back from the brink into immediate contention. Granted some of that credit should go to the new head coach and workhorse Michael Turner. But ultimately, a team's success or failure falls on the shoulders of the QB.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Cowboys No Show

So, another NFL season ended without any damage done by the Cowboys in the playoffs. Once again, they're sent away whimpering into the night. Without a fight. Something is fundamentally wrong with this team. It's not talent, I think it's known throughout the NFL that the Cowboys might have the most talent on their squad. So, it's either playcalling or coaching or both.

I'm calling out Jason Garrett. I don't understand some of his decisions throughout the game. Passing more than running on third and short. He seems to outthink every situation in his young career. Sometimes, go with the obvious call. It's ok. We have almost two tons of flesh leading the way, with a lot of talent. You should be able to gain a yard every once in a while by running the ball. The inability to free up Terrell or Roy Williams is troubling. Atlanta, Tampa Bay, even Kansas City seem to be able to get it to their top wideout 6-7 times every game. And if Dwayne Bowe is getting his balls from Tyler Thigpen, Tony Romo should be having a field day with Roy AND TO out there.

Jason Garrett has to go. Or at least demoted. Which he probably won't take sitting down? So, he has to go.

Wade Phillips is a wonderful defensive coach. The things he's been able to accomplish with the defense in the past month has been amazing. However, we're not even in the post season this year. So, that means two things. Wade can't be our head coach and Brian Stewart can't be our defensive coordinator. Jerry says that Wade is staying, I just hope he gets put on defense only. I would like Bill Cowher to be the head coach.

What's missing from this team other than coaching? Not much, I look around and I don't see a lot of weaknesses. The only spots I have questions at are safety, wide receiver and maybe offensive line. In the Philadelphia game yesterday and in the New York Giant game, it seemed like Romo was running for his life the whole game. That's becoming a trend. it might be time to look into three spots along that line. Flozell, Columbo and whoever's at the left guard spot. They seem to get beaten off the line of the scrimmage on a regular basis. Safety, might be filled with the return of Pat Watkins. I thought Watkins took some positive steps this year before falling to injury. And wide receiver. I think the addition of Roy means the subtraction of TO, but I still think we need a speed WR.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Cowboys Lose, Still In Position To Clinch Playoff Berth

Not that the Cowboys deserve it, but they can clinch a spot in the playoffs if they can manage to beat the Eagles next week. Even after allowing two long TD runs (77, 82) at critical junctures in the game where you know Baltimore's going to run. We're still in it. Undeserving of a playoff run. Absolutely. This team won't get past the first round, especially since we're probably going to play the third seed and not Arizona, who just might be the only playoff hopeful playing worse than we are.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The D Is Back In Dallas

DeMarcus Ware is 3 1/2 sacks away from tying Michael Strahan's single season sack record. Terence Newman picked up two interceptions last night. The defense overall played like a championship caliber defense. Maybe Wade should have taken over some of the defensive responsibilty sooner. We wouldn't have been in a backs against the wall mode. Better late than never.

As the focus was primarily on the offense, particularly TO, Witten and Romo, the defense steps up and controlled the game from the outset. Eight sacks. Of course, it helps when Plaxico Burress and Brandon Jacobs are out. Their two best offensive threats. My ticker tape celebration is temporarily on hold. With two of the best defensive efforts since the Jimmy Johnson era, our defense is back on the map. We've always had the talent, but we finally are reaching that potential. No surprise that Roy Williams isn't on the field. Sorry, cheap shot.

Back to the Owens drama, it got reduced a little this week with the win, but it's still there. If we don't make the playoffs or if we get ousted in the first game, it'll rear it's ugly head with a vengeance. I think we have to win one playoff game for this to end peacefully. Or have a chance to end peacefully.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Dallas Loses In Double OT

What did you expect? The rivalry continues. It has the familiar faces, Terry, Duncan, Finley, Dirk, Dinobli and Parker. This season's additions promises to make it even more exciting. Jose Juan Barea might be the answer to that all important question from this team. Who's going to attack the basket? And ironically, it comes from the most vertically challenged member of the Mavericks. JJ seems to be able to consistently get to the hoop as he continues to play out of his mind.

I'm going to make an outlandish statement. And my friend already shoved this to the side. JJ Barea reminds me of Steve Nash. Obviously Steve Nash is a much more polished point guard but they both have similar games. They both can get to the hole, seemingly at will, distribute the ball, shoot the three at a successful rate and can frustrate defenses as a whole. With Jason Kidd teaching him the finer points of being a point, he could develop into a mini Nash. Ok, feel free to laugh now. I still stand by it.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Dallas Cowboys vs Pittsburgh Steelers

Tony Romo looked awful while the defense looked absolutely spectacular. I refuse to blame this loss on the defense. Yes, they looked a little futile on the game tying drive from the Steelers, but the unit was on the field for the entire fourth quarter, or at least that's what it felt like. I will put this loss squarely on the arm of Tony Romo. I don't care what route Witten was supposed to run on Romo's last two interceptions. Romo wasn't sharp all game. Wind or not, this was the worst game I've seen him play.

The defense played it's best game to date. Adam Jones was spectacular. Ware was dominant. Bradie James made a serious bid for a Pro Bowl appearance. Jay Ratliff IS the best 3-4 nose tackle. The goal line stand to temporarily preserve a 10 point lead should have sealed the game for the Cowboys. That is, if the Cowboys offense could have mustered any type of drive in the last 8 minutes of the fourth. Anything, even driving to the Steelers 40 and punting would have sealed it. The way the defense was playing, it would have held 10 points.

What this loss does is put a lot of pressure on the Cowboys as they are competing with eight other teams for the last four spots. The only positive thing about this loss was the play of the defense, Tashard Choice and the fact that they were an AFC team. I feel like Dallas has to pull off two of the three remaining games to have a decent chance at a playoff berth. No easy task with the Giants, Ravens and the Eagles on tap. Personally, I think we got ousted from the playoffs when Romo went down against Arizona.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Mavericks Finally Over .500

It took a pretty stunning comeback capped off with a 3-pointer from JJ Barea, but the Mavericks finally have more wins than losses. They'll have to thank small ball and the zone for the comeback. So, kudos to Carlisle for switching it up. Let's see what they have against Phoenix as they're showing some signs of life lately.

Monday, December 1, 2008

The BS System

The BCS needs to change. There are too many teams with legitimate grips every year. This year, it's my beloved Longhorns. Usually, it's the SEC that preys on itself and eliminates each other. This year, the Big 12 falls victim and unfortunately, they're all from the Big 12 South. Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Texas all deserve to be in the Big 12 Championship game and in BCS bowls. However, at least one of those three will be out of the BCS.

I think people have been getting it wrong. Everyone is trying to make the BCS as fair to everyone as possible. Weighing in from the AP, Coaches and the computers. Computing averages and strength of schedules. Making sure every major conference is well represented. Making sure the "little" schools have a shot. Since when did sports become so political. Only the BCS could leak objectivity and doubt into an event that should leave no doubt. Only the BCS can make the easiest way to determine a champion into a formula. Coaches pleading and pushing their team into spotlights so that they can gain points in a poll.

Who the hell put these people in charge? Why is college football the only sport on earth with computer averages? There's gotta be money in a traditional playoff system. I'm sure the NFL isn't suffering from lost revenue due to a playoff system. Note to sponsors, just because my team is playing in the Fiesta Bowl doesn't mean I'll go buy some chips from you. You've heard it before, this rant. Pleading for a playoff system. I'm not the first or the last to grip about it. But people keep watching. So there's no reason for them to change. So, we'll continue following the figure skating model of determining a champion.