Well, folks: the ‘Boys are back in the playoffs as a favorite against the Giants today, and my plan is to post a few times during the course of the game. I’ve got the TV tuned to Fox and I’m streaming the Dallas broadcast on my notebook.
Hit refresh on this post as the day develops.
Have there ever been more angles on a Dallas playoff game?
1. Tony goes to Mexico to hang out with Jessica Simpson during the bye week – is he distracted?
2. TO’s ankle – is it better? is it not better?
3. Should Marion Barber be the starter? Looks like he will be.
4. Can the Cowboys break their late-season slump? (and why, by the way, is no one seemingly concerned with the Giants’ late season slump?)
My impression is that only one thing is going to matter: #2. Romo is not a distract-able guy, really, and Barber is the clear choice for your primary running back. As to a late season slump? I just don’t think there was much to play for in prior years, and now its all on the line. I think they’ll be ready.
A lot of this game will depend on the tempo that is established early.
Two signs that it will be a long day for NY: (1) TO gets some early yards and energizes the game/crowd, (2) Marion Barber starts running loose in the secondary during the early game.
Two signs it will be a long day for Dallas: (1) Early crowd-silencing 3 and outs for Dallas, (2) an early/easy touchdown for New York.
I wonder how many times Troy Aikman’s producer at Fox has told him to smile while he is on camera… Not that it matters. Aikman looks at the camera with the same blank expression he used when he was staring down safeties during the nineties. Still, he is a really good analyst.
Some observations after one quarter of play:
1. NY did a good job of setting the tempo with the Madden-esque “piddle.piddle. boom!” offensive strategy. This game will probably come down to whether Dallas can find a way to stuff the run without creating too many passing opportunities for Eli.
2. Jeff Feagles is a legend. They should start dusting off a corner on Canton for him right now.
3. I’m still not 100% that Barber is a better overall back than Julius Jones but… its a lot more fun watching Barber run, isn’t it?
The Cowboys radio team was talking like the TO touchdown at the start of the second quarter would be reversed on the grounds that he didn’t get two feet in bounds. I’m not sure what video they were watching – the video I saw clearly showed him take two steps before he stepped out.
My prediction for late first half/second half: With the Giants trying to plug up the middle to stop Barber and doing everything they can to cover TO and Crayton, look for Whitten deep down the middle for some big plays.
Its halftime. This is a really bizarre game. Just when the Cowboys start looking like the 1st seed team on offense with a devastating 11 TD minute drive, their defense makes Ely look like a championship quarterback in an utterly pitiful two minute drill collapse.
The Cowboys are consistently rushing four. They’ve sacked Ely once and hurried him a few more times. I guess they’re satisfied they’ll eventually come out on top playing that way, but it seems a little too conservative to me.
Been watching the commercials more carefully today than usual. What is it with fast food chains and the need to do stupid kitsch? Is that the only thing the 18-25 male demographic is into these days?
Still waiting to see Whitten deep on a big play.
At the end of 3. This is unbelievable. The Boys put all of the things together that were in question, and they can’t create any separation in the score because of…
1. Stupid personal fouls
2. Abysmal kick coverage and 2 minute defense
If they lose this game, its going to be a long, depressing off season.
About 4 minutes left now after another looooong Dallas drive. Got my Whitten deep pass.
Just when I’m thinking Romo needs to learn to throw the ball away when he’s under pressure, he does that, and he gets a yellow hanky for his trouble.
Two minutes left. If Romo and company can’t drive and score a TD against a porous Giants secondary to finish this off, they don’t deserve to play in the Championship game.
Well, folks. Dallas followed a very good early season with a very bad late season and concluded with a very average divisional game that let a very average Giants team sneak by them.
This is depressing.