Well, I did not predict a Cowboys victory, so I suppose I should take some consolation, but like all of you I sort of expect that the Cowboys should win going into the 4th up by 2 TDs. Not an unreasonable expectation, and one I will continue to have, but sometimes, well, you know... Fortunately, there are a *bunch* of bright spots that we could appreciate if we can only look past the final score.
Sigh, if ever we fans needed a beer, this is the week. My choices after the jump.
1. First, I'd like to give every firefighter, paramedic, policeman, soldier, sailor, airman, and marine a Stone (Escondido, CA) 10th Anniversary Double Dry-Hopped IPA. As a side note, though I loathe Budweiser as a beer, their commercial with the Clydesdales bowing to the empty New York skyline made me cry each of the three times I saw it yesterday.
2. Second, I'm giving every Cowboys fan a Wychwood (Whitney, Oxon, UK) Bah, Humbug Winter Ale. I suspect we want to substitute a number of different words for that finish, but I will leave that for all of you to do in the privacy of your own homes. Also, now is definitely the winter of our discontent, but I'm hoping that it will be made glorious by the end of the year and all the clouds that are lowered upon our house will be in the deep bosom of the ocean buried.
3. On to more positive things, like the performance of our offensive line. Was it good? Absolutely not. In fact, it was reminiscent of 2010 in its inability to keep Romo clean and not provide holes for Felix. Of course, given the age difference between that line and the 2011 version, the mobility they showed on the screens, and the challenge presented by the Jets, I can confidently say that our OLine will be a long-term strength for this team. In 2 years, it might be the best in the league. So, guys, here's a Big Sky (Missoula, MT) Moose Drool Brown Ale for the mooses (meeses?) up front (I'm sticking Tyron's in the fridge for a few months, of course).
4. Speaking of lines, the DLine deserves some props. Nope, none of them got sacks, and in fact they were hardly mentioned, but Lee and Ware don't get all the kudos they are deservedly getting if Hatcher, Spears, Ratliff, et. al. aren't keeping them clean. If the OLine were mooses, then the DLine were Aspen (Aspen, CO) Brown Bear Brown Ales.
5. DeMarcus Ware was a stud last night and I believe he has a chance to be the first guy ever to lead the league in sacks twice in a row since Reggie White in the 1980s. In fact, he was a Bilbo's (Kalamazoo, MI) Sledgehammer English Brown Ale and opposing QBs probably get hammered during Cowboys week just thinking about playing him. As a side note, if you're ever in Kalamazoo, Bilbo's is one of the best pizza places around. Their Dragon's Feast is awesome.
6. So what can we say about ? Well, once is lucky, which is what we saw against the Colts last year, twice is good, which is what we saw against the Jets. He looks like the real deal and he's turning into a Dogfish Head (Milton, DE) Robert Johnson's Hellhound On My Ale Double IPA to opposing offenses.
7. Man, did Danny McCray come flying in on that blitz? May not happen quite that way again, but now he's going to have to be accounted for. Yeah, too bad if you're paying attention to him while, oh, say, D-Ware blows by you. He definitely earned a Flying Dog (Frederick, MD) Wild Dog Weizenbock Ale for that and his special teams play.
8. Among the many things we stressed about going into this game was the question of how well players who did not play in the preseason would perform. Well, I think both Miles Austin and Mike Jenkins played well, so they each get a Deschutes (Bend, OR) Welcome Back Witbier. Now, if only we never have to give them another after they return from an injury ever again.
9. Sometimes I don't think we give Jason Witten enough credit. Yes, we think he's the best TE in football, and we might be right, but even so, sometimes it's easy to forget just how Southern Tier (Lakewood, NY) Phin & Matt's Extraordinary Pale Ale he is. A bunch of people commented on how well John Phillips caught the ball and how much he looked like Jason Witten. He did look good as a pass-catcher, but he missed a number of important blocks, blocks that Martellus Bennett, one of the better blocking TEs around, would have gotten. Yet Bennett isn't better than Witten is as a blocker. It's Witten's combination of receiving skills and blocking ability that make him truly extraordinary, and someday he'll wear a yellow jacket because of it.
10. Well, there's no doubt in my mind that this defense will be at least average, and maybe slightly above that, which is an amazing improvement over 2010. 4 sacks, 2 turnovers, consistent 3 and outs. Its only real problem was the CB injury situation (And by the way, those who screaming for Josh Thomas last night, do you really think he would have known what to do? He barely looked in sync against 3rd-stringers, much less Holmes and Burress). There's also no doubt that the architect of this improvement was Rob Ryan, and he definitely deserves the title of Free State (Lawrence, KS) Invigorator (of the Defense) Doppelbock.
11. I'm guessing Bell's (Kalamazoo, MI) Hell Hath No Fury Belgian Strong Dark Ale than Jason Garrett at the end of this game. Victories are too hard to come by, and his team played so well overall. It overcame everything but itself, and that's what will anger him the most. I suspect the Boys will not enjoy practice this week.
12. I have to say this, however, despite all of the good stuff. I think Tony Romo's a great quarterback, and I think he'll win at least one Super Bowl here, but his mistakes were crucial to the loss last night. Do I blame him entirely? Absolutely not, there's sadly too much blame to go around, including just dumb luck (and yes, it's dumb luck that all of the injuries seemed to hit one position on the field). Nevertheless, his mistakes meant that he really was the Lakefront (Milwaukee, WI) Oaty Goat Doppelbock of this loss. Again, I think we'll be pleased by the end of the season with him at QB, but he earned that beer and it can be hard to really appreciate him right at this moment.
Next week, he'll start getting some back, as I think the Cowboys will just blow the 49ers away. The 49ers are indeed better than they have been, but I cannot see them scoring 20 points against us and we'll do much better offensively against them than we did one of the best defenses in the NFL that the Jets have.
So, until that point, I'm going to go cry into a Bridgeport (Portland, OR) IPA.