Use your left hand…it feels like somebody else’s!"
That is what a friend told me after I whiffed with yet another girl at Papa Joe’s bar on High Street while attending The Ohio State University. It also aptly describes the act of writing about football when nothing is truly happening.
By the way, I was careful never to shake my friend’s hands…either hand.
"…but she has a great personality…"
The kiss of death when trying to get your friend to be the wingman. Occasionally you will find a friend that is so hard up that he will accept the challenge. It is usually the guy that you do not like to shake hands with…
Funny how those girls with great personalities end up marrying your friends from time to time. It is OK to shake hands after the wedding…at least for a few months.
The Saints (2009), Steelers (2008), Colts (2006), and Buccaneers (2002) are those girls. The Cowboys may need to have a ton of personality in 2011 in order to join those other Super Bowl winners. Every one of those teams had visible warts, but had enough special qualities to overcome them to win a championship.
New Orleans ranked 25th on defense during the 2009 regular season. Brees and company, however, boasted the number one ranked offense in terms of yardage gained during the regular season. Pittsburgh had the 22nd ranked offense for 16 games in 2008. Indianapolis had the 21st ranked defense in 2006, and the Buccaneers were ranked a lowly 24th on offense (all in terms of yardage gained) with Brad Johnson – whatever happened with that guy?
Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay had the best defenses (ranked number one in terms of yardage allowed) in the NFL in 2008 and 2002 respectively. Indianapolis has been the only team since 2002 that was ranked in the 20’s on either offense or defense during the regular season that won a Super Bowl without being ranked first on the other side of the ball. The Colts ranked 3rd in offensive yardage gained during the 2006 regular season to offset their ugly defense.
The Raiders (2002), Cowboys (2003), Steelers (2004), Buccaneers (2005), Ravens (2006), Saints (2006), Patriots (2007), and the Steelers (2007) were the teams that made the playoffs from 2002 to 2010 that ranked first in either offense or defense but were unable to get a ring. Pittsburgh and New Orleans got their happy ending a year or two later. Dallas has yet to catch the bouquet.
Dallas has the pedigree, however, to finish first on offense in 2011. Since Garrett has taken over the offense, only New Orleans, New England, and Houston have accumulated more offensive yardage than the Cowboys. The Saints’ beautifully run offense, though, is only outgaining Dallas by less than 19 yards per game over the last four seasons (1,191 total yards).
Jason Garrett may need to make a great first impression as the full-time head coach and offensive coordinator to offset the potential of having a defense with the top three cornerbacks named Jenkins, Scandrick, and McCann. Nobody even knows who the Cowboys safeties will be in 2011.
Rob Ryan will be applying copious amounts of make-up to hide the blemishes that poor drafting and abysmal salary cap management have produced on defense. While the linebackers look strong, holes exist on the defensive line and throughout the secondary that cannot be appropriately addressed through signing expensive free agents. The Cowboys defense ranked 23rd last season.
The last time Jerry let the Cowboys cap get this out of hand he traded two first round picks for Joey Galloway.
I hear Mike Holmgren closed the deal with a hand shake.