Thursday, October 22, 2009

A New Day...and new Gear.

It may be whistling past the graveyard a bit, but I think it's safe to say that everyone feels a little better about the Cowboys than they did at the end of regulation of the Kansas City game. Consider that since that moment, the following has occurred:

1. Miles Austin's dramatic catch and run to win the game in overtime (even if it shouldn't have been that close)
2. Keith Brooking's emergence as a REAL leader on this team.
3. Williams, Barber, Jones and Sensabaugh have all had extra time to heal and should be ready to play on Sunday.
4. Every team in teh NFC East suffered an embarassing loss last Sunday.
5. Austin named the starter opposite Williams and Crayton moved back to his more natural 3rd receiver spot.
6. Wade Phillips fired and replaced by...wait a minute, did that happen or was I dreaming?

Anyway, in honor of the above (real) occurrences, I'm making a pretty important change myself. For the last couple of years, I've been sporting the throwback "Replica" Romo jersey on gameday for the last couple of years. This season I traded up for a "Premier" white Romo jersey. I think we can all acknowledge that that has not worked out as we hoped it might.

So, meet the newest member of the Cowboys might say its the crown new AUTHENTIC blue Jason Witten jersey:

Sorry new Romo replica jersey. I hardly new ya. Sometimes, drastic times call for drastic measures. I know this will make all the difference. Playoffs here we come.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Doesn't this issue continue to be one of the biggest problems with the Cowboys? It is for me and I see three main culprits here: the coaches, TO and Romo.

First, TO's gone so he can't really be blamed for this year's woes, but he did mentor many of these players with his "it's never my fault" attitude for the last three years. It rubbed off.

Second, I'll give credit to Romo for getting a little better this season (see his comments following the Giants and Broncos debacles), but ultimately his laissez-faire, hat-backwards, question-the-premise-of-every-question-asked-of-him, sulking on-the-bench-with-his-arms-crossed-when-things-going-wrong attitude gives off a sort of Generation Y, entitled, punk teenager vibe that rubs me the wrong way. And I consider myself a huge Romo fan (e.g., I own two Romo jerseys myself and one for the DC Kids).

What really gets my goat, though, is the way Phillips and his staff avoid accountability and making hard decisions. There are several examples, but one great one was the whole Scandrick/Jenkins swapping off starting each game thing, which seemed to make no sense except for making sure someone's feelings didn't get hurt. Now, I ask you, is that any way to run a football team? Seriously!? The answer is "No", by the way, but why do I know this and these PROFESSIONAL (as in getting paid to do this) NFL FOOTBALL COACHES don't. Now, they have replaced Patrick Crayton with Mile Austin in the starting line-up (a good thing on several levels), but they won't pull Crayton aside and tell him that he's been replaced, much less why they are making the decision. He found out in practice when they told Miles to go in with the 1st team. Why? Sounds like Jerry's saying not announcing it might give some advantage against the Falcons. This is not only stupid but beside the point when it comes to telling the player. I think it's because Phillips and the staff didn't want to hurt Crayton's feelings by publicly saying he's going to be demoted to the 3rd spot. Phillips inferred as much when he said post-KC that he wouldn't confirm that Austin was starting but he would confirm that he would play as much as he did as a starter in the KC game. Geez. Just ridiculous.

Leadership, attitude, and accountability start at the top. Phillips seems to offer very little.

The Politics of Football

Sooooooo....I guess it's time for something new, huh? Well, I read this exerpt from Chuck Klosterman's new book and and it seemed worthy enough to get things kicked off again, particularly this part:

My wife is awesome, but she hates football (as wives are wont to do). Every game seems the same to her. I will be watching a contest between Kent State and Eastern Michigan on a random Thursday night, and she will say, "Go ahead and watch that game. I will just sit here and read this magazine featuring a plus-sized black female TV personality from Chicago." Two days later, Georgia will be playing LSU for the SEC championship. Now she will want to rent Scenes from a Marriage. "You want to watch football again?" she will ask. "Didn't you already watch football on Thursday?" Every game seems the same to her. And I can't explain the difference, even though the differences feel so obvious. And I don't want to explain the difference, because I always want to watch Kent State and Eastern Michigan, too. They are as different to me as they are similar to her.

Before I get in trouble, let me say that my wife does NOT hate football and does understand the difference between a Kent State/Eastern Michigan game and the LSU/Georgia game (particularly since I am also a lifelong LSU fan). Nevertheless, I think she can empathize with Klosterman's wife in this situation.

BTW, Klosterman is a sort of "pop-culture" writer who is also a huge sports fan and likes to dip his toes in those waters every once in awhile. The rest is here.