Have you seen the movie Apollo 13? I have, and am inspired with American patriotism each time I watch it. You might remember that, in some ways, Apollo 13 was a failed mission; the three astronauts could not land on the moon after sustaining a crippling explosion. Thus pilot Jim Lovell (played by Tom Hanks) said, “Houston…we have a problem.” This idiom has since been used by many of us to say, “Something is wrong here.” That’s what I felt like saying after Sunday night’s debacle at JerryWorld.
Priority one, as Apollo 13 returned to Earth was to get the astronauts home safely, but the odds were against them. The challenge was to carefully execute an essential, mid-course correction so as not to enter the earth’s atmosphere at the wrong angle, incinerating the ship and crew.
An answer to the problem was found after some frenzied but brilliant brainstorming. An exercise in remarkable teamwork between the people at the Johnson Center in Houston and the astronauts, determined that a thirty-nine second “burn” of the thrusters was needed in order to get back on the correct course. It resulted in a safe splashdown in the Pacific Ocean. Mission accomplished.
I hope that Wade Phillips and Jason Garrett are doing some “brilliant brainstorming.” I do not feel that the Dallas Cowboy players have lost their “vital optimism” in spite of last week’s let-down. The team chemistry that was so desperately missing last year seems to be in place for the moment and is helping the disappointed team to focus on the upcoming challenge (the Carolina Panthers,) rather than sulk in the failures of last week.
History is on our side.
In 2007, Tony Romo’s passer rating for game 5 was an abysmal 49.9 but the following week improved to 91.0. Again in 2008, Romo’s quarterback rating for week 14 was 44.9, but he rebounded seven days later with a great game (113.7). Last week his rating was 29.6.
If Romo follows suit (as his history seems to suggest) he should have an outstanding game versus Carolina on Monday night. Perhaps the Panther defense falls victim to his resurgence.
Now Wade also has to make proper adjustments for his fledgling secondary, and unleash his defensive fury in the blitzkrieg style that he is known for. I’m hopeful that both units (offense and defense) pick up their game this week and we head into Denver on week 4 with a 2-1 record.
If not, it may take more than a “thirty-nine second burn of the thrusters” to get the Cowboys back on course.