My belief system when it comes to the Cowboys

The more I think I know about the 'Boys the more I realize I don't know much guys.

This season has been full of the unexpected. We went from Super Bowl contenders, to bottom dwellers in the division, to hot team of the moment to fighting to make the playoffs.

So I'm not going to make any predictions about what's going to happen tomorrow. I have no idea. I'm obviously rooting for a Cowboy win. But I thought we'd beat the Giants, as I explained here, and I thought we'd lose to the Steelers (although I was pleasently surprised when we were on the cusp of winning that game). I also thought we'd smack the Rams and beat the Ravens (as I explained here). Yeah. Not so much.

I do believe certain things will take place though. I do believe there are certain inescapable realities all Cowboy fans are aware of. I've watched this team all year. I'm well aware of our strengths and weaknesses. I just don't know how we'll balance that dynamic from game-to-game. Will the things we do well carry us to victory? Or will our mistakes doom us to another heartbreak? We had penalties on the road against the Redskins, but Romo's playmaking and MB3's toughness overwhelmed those mistakes. Our defense played valiantly against the Steelers but our disconnect on offense was the deciding factor in that game.

These are the 10 things I believe will happen regardless of the outcome Sunday:

I believe Jason Witten will play and make plays

He's our most reliable receiver and always has been. He's just a tough-as-nails SOB. He's dealt with a myriad of injuries yet he keeps coming back.

I believe Romo will make plays and give us a chance to win

He always does. He plays well on the road and he's 8-4 as the starter this year. He was heating up toward the end of the Ravens game and I believe it will continue Sunday.

I believe Romo will throw an interception or otherwise have a turnover

He's one of the leaders in interceptions thrown this year. One of his few flaws is his proclivity to fumble or throw maddening picks. He's done it all year. It will continue

I believe Tashard Choice will have more than 100 yards in total offense

This guy continues to thrive against the best defenses in the league. He was oh-so-close from breaking a few runs against the Ravens.

I believe DeMarcus Ware will have a sack

This guy will find a way to get to the QB. He has all year and I don't see it stopping now.

I believe Flozell Adams will have a false start penalty and it will be critical

Talented guy that's overcome a lot in his career. But this is almost a given.

I believe we will have more penalties than the Eagles

We are one of the most penalized teams in the league. Hopefully it won't cost us a playoff spot.

I believe someone will be injured in this game

We're like the walking wounded. Everybody's dealing with injuries: Romo, Witten, MB3, Hamlin, KD, RW2 and the list goes on and on. I'm certain the injury Gods will forsake us again

Nick Folk will nail any critical FG

This guy's a stud and kept us in many games this year. If the game is on the line, so sorry for you Eagles fans. That's a wrap.

Our offensive line will allow pressure on Romo

We've had problems all year. There were definite problems in the Steelers, Ravens and Giants game. Some rushers will come free and Romo will have to make the play regardless. 

Our season changed for the better once we started getting after the QB, something I wrote about here. This week is no different. If we put McNabb on his butt enough times we will be in the playoffs. We all know who's the best man for that job.

IRVING — DeMarcus Ware looks at Sunday’s game at Philadelphia with only getting to the playoffs on his mind.

Personally, though, Ware has plenty at stake.

Ware is three sacks from the single-season NFL record. And one more solid defensive performance also could help him cement the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award.

He doesn’t want to talk about the individual stuff, but it will greatly impact the team’s opportunity to make the playoffs. If the Dallas Cowboys are able to knock off the Eagles, Ware will likely need his fingerprints all over the performance.

So an individual goal could help reach a team goal.

"It will be really nice [to do both]," Ware said. "If you do one, the other one will follow."

 

Video version of Jerry Jones' diatribe just in case you haven't seen it (which I doubt). Rafael elaborates on the subject here. I don't know why the media refuses to believe this man (on a sidenote did you see Spags behind Jones? I'm starting to play the Where's Spags game during all Dallas pressers). He's pretty much said this all year. So we've had months of stories about Wade being on the hot seat and that has all been based on speculation.

I will say this. Tom Coughlin, who's team just won a Super Bowl, had a tumultuous and, I would argue, less successful start with the Giants than Wade has had with the 'Boys. He went 6-10 his first year and watched his team lose six out of its last seven games (due to rookie Eli Manning's struggles). He lost a home playoff game the following year and then dealt with Tiki Barber's criticism of his playcalling. The next year his team lost seven of their last nine games, which included going 2-3 in December. The media would also call the team "divided" due to Barber's antics. The next year he'd win the Super Bowl.

The fans and the media had been calling for Coughlin's head for years. I've seen the moniker "DieCoughlinDie" on many Giant fan blogs. They were talented but inconsistent, personalities seemed to clash in the lockerroom and they struggled at times in December. Sound familiar? Despite this general manager Ernie Accorsi and then Jerry Reese stuck with Coughlin, giving him the opportunity to finally prove he could do it.

Maybe Jerry's on to something.

  

Marcellus Wiley yells "Joe Juraszek! Off with his head!"

 

DeSean Jackson is fast, explosive (but not incendiary), brash and has dealt with the dropsies on more than one occassion. He deserves our attention because he's their best receiver (which is saying something) and he played well against us earlier this year.

The Jackson File

Strengths: Playmaker who possesses breakaway speed and is a dangerous deep threat. Also potential to be an elite NFL return man.

Weaknesses: Drops and brashness. He had four drops last week in the loss to Washington, including a potential game-tying touchdown catch in the final minute.

Season: Rookie

Size: 5-foot-10, 175 pounds

College: California

Who has to stop him? The Cowboys could employ a past strategy of using cornerback Terence Newman to shadown the opponent's top speed threat all over the field. Newman did that against Washington’s Santana Moss and Pittsburgh’s Santonio Holmes.

  

I hate to go back to the Ravens game but I'm still dumbfounded that Anthony Henry couldn't cover a one-armed man or that Marcus Spears could get pushed so far out of the play that he'd take out Bradie James. Or that James would get pancaked by a fullback. I won't even talk about Hamlin.

Sorry. I had to vent on that one.

  

Video of the Cowboys season, with an emphasis on more of our struggles than our successes. There has been ups and downs that's for sure. Hopefully we can end it on a high note.

  

Do we bring Tank Johnson back?

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