While cycling back and forth between the Yankees-Twins and the Dead Sox-Halos games last night , I happened to run across the replay of the Chiefs-Cowboys game on the NFL network. Once the Yankees polished off the Twins, my focus was supposed to be devoted Sox game. However, the siren song of the NFL network kept drawing me back to view this epic battle fought at Texas Stadium on December 11, 2005.
Through the magic of Alzheimer's, I found myself engaged at my time portal without a clue as to the to the outcome of this classic AFC/NFC clash. This was the middle of the Bill Parcells reign. His battalion was sprinkled with hand picked "Parcells Guys" such Keyshawn, Furguson, Pettiti, Bledsoe, and Glenn. His field generals were Sean Payton and Mike Zimmer. There was a sprinkling of new faces, Witten, Jones, Ware, Barber, Canty and Spears. The scarlet army was headed by Dick Vermeil. It boasted a very good defense and potent offense carried by Trent Green's arm and Larry Johnson's legs.
Back and forth this football ballet unfolded. Much blood was shed on both sides. Drew Bledsoe put on a masterful drive to score a go ahead touchdown with less than 30 seconds left in the game. Following the kick off and two pass plays later, the Chiefs were in position for a forty something yard field goal to win the game. Thank you prevent defense. But the football gods were smiling on our los Vaqueros that day. The field goal attempt was wide right. The ‘boys dodged a bullet and all things were good again in Cowboy land.
Some observations from my 2009 hindsight
- Bledsoe was very sharp that day. His passes were right on target hitting receivers in stride.
- The breakfast special of the day was still Roy Williams on toast.
- The rookie class that day looked awesome, Ware, Canty, and the Barbarian
- Parcells was not afraid to air it out as demonstrated by a flea flicker from Cowboys territory resulting in a touch down.
- Witten was coming into his own as a receiver.
- Keyshawn was good possession receiver and a great downfield blocker.
- Terry Glenn caused KC fits all day long.
The Dallas offense put up 31 points on a very good KC defense. The offense did not seem over complicated. It blocked very well for the run and had success with Jones and Barber. In the passing game there were some breakdowns on blitzes, but Bledsoe was very sharp. He either dumped the ball off to a back or threw to the hot route. One of the reasons he was successful was his accuracy but also he seemed confident in his receivers, in particular Terry Glenn.
Glenn had a great game. He burned KC for a long touchdown pass on the flea flicker. He got open for key first downs while being double teamed. He juked and jived and dove into the end zone for a key touchdown on an end around. Terry Glenn was playing at a pro bowl level and was key to Dallas winning that game.
As I was watching this game and saw the efficiency of this offense moving up and down the field, I could not help but make mental comparisons to our current team.
- They had Tucker, Allen, Gerode, Rivera and Pettiti. We have Adams, Kosier, Gerode, Davis and Columbo. Not a bad trade off.
- They had Jones and Barber, We have a better Jones, the same Barber and another choice in Tashard. (pun intended).
- They had Campbell and Witten. We have Aquaman and Witten.
- They had the good/bad Bledsoe, We have the good/bad Romo
- They had Keyshawn (possession receiver), Glenn (speed receiver) and Crayton. We have Williams, the same Crayton and the Austin/Hurd/Ogletree conglomeration.
Lets face it, Williams is never going to be a stretch the field receiver that puts fear into the opposing defenses that causes them to game plan against him. He is what he is. A good solid big receiver that can make the tough catch or a good block down the field. A valuable cog in a good offensive machine.
Crayton is well, quite frankly, Crayton. He has great hands, plays smart, makes first downs and an occasional big play. He is the perfect number three type receiver. But very seldom is he going to get behind the defense or is a threat to take it to the house.
That leaves us with the Austin/Hurd/Ogletree conglomeration. Austin has the speed and potential, but he never seems to live up to his potential. He makes a drop here or runs a bad route there. Hurd is a great special teams player, but when it comes to a receiver, he is just a guy.
That leaves us with Ogletree, the unknown. In the pre-season he showed flashes of speed, hands, quickness and playmaking ability that only a select few possess. He has the speed to get behind defenses. He has the stick like glue hands most great receivers have. He showed the ability to make the catch and presence of mind to tap the toes to complete the play. He has quickness that can't be taught. This combination of speed, quickness and hands give opposing defenses fits. He has all of the traits that we need as a complimentary receiver to Roy Williams as did Terry Glenn opposite Keyshawn Johnson. I can't help but wonder, can he be our next Terry Glenn?
The only way to answer this question is let him play. With Williams most likely out for the 2009 version of this battle, I think it is time to plant the tree. Ogletree that is. Let's find out if KO can perform on the big stage.
At the beginning of the season I made a bet with my long time Cowboy compadre that Kevin Ogletree would be the number two receiver on the Dallas Cowboys before the end of the year. From what I saw in the pre-season and his history in college he has that "it" factor that you just can't teach. This team is in need of a receiver that can make the opposing defenses play honest , similar to what I saw Terry Glenn do in this 2005 game. I think Kevin Ogletree can be that receiver. It's time to unveil our KO punch. Are you listening Wade?