Old pirates, yes, they rob I;
Sold I to the merchant ships,
Minutes after they took I
From the bottomless pit.
But my hand was made strong
By the hand of the Almighty.
We forward in this generation
Won't you help to sing
These songs of freedom?
'Cause all I ever have:
And redemption beers following the jump.Ah, where to start this week? You know certain players are going to get some cold ones. Yeah, Romo is going to get one. Jesse Holley too. That Miles Austin guy did OK, as did some guy named Ware.
But I'm going to start with a poster boy for abuse. I realize this does not really eliminate many Cowboys, as too many fans in my opinion are not only ready, but anxious to heap abuse on this team. But for now, I'll mention that there were all sorts of complaints about passes getting completed during the game and how good we were making Alex Smith look. Well, perhaps we could have played better, but the worst QBs in the league complete 50% of their passes. In this defense, there's a willingness to give the short pass up, tackle well, and try to create the big play later on.
1. Hmmm, so let's look at Alan Ball's play, shall we? He contested but did not over-commit on short passes, tackling well so that they didn't turn into big plays, and then alertly claiming an INT. Oh, and those haters last week complaining about the missed tackle on LT, I should point out that LaDanian Tomlinson is a first-ballot HoFer, possibly a top-5 ever RB, and not completely over the hill. Oh, and those haters complaining about the missed INT last week, it's sure hard to catch a ball when the receiver has (illegally) grabbed your arms. Alan Ball is not the second coming of Deion Sanders, we all know that, but what we don't give him credit for is being a useful 4th CB. So, Alan, you've been dogged by fans, but sometimes, the dog catches the car, and you get a Flying Dog (Frederick, MD) Tire Bite Golden Ale for hanging in there. Way to bite back, baby.
2. While we're on the defensive side, let's look at Jason Hatcher. I have a sneaking feeling that prior to Rob Ryan, Hatcher was square peg being hammered into the round hole of strong-side end. Either that, or it's just his time, but he's played strong and aggressive both weeks so far. I'm giving the Grambling alum a Blind Tiger (Topeka, KS) Tiger Paw Porter. Keep it up Jason, so we can "light the torch of victory" in Dallas one of these days.
3. Yeah, gotta give it up to DeMarcus Ware, though. I don't really have to say anything, just give him a Brooklyn (Brooklyn, NY) Main Engine Start Belgian Pale Ale. When he starts, the Cowboys defense lifts off.
4. "Death is borne better by each of men than a life of shame." Wiglaf said these words to the other thegns of Beowulf who had not followed Beowulf into the battle against the dragon where Beowulf was slain. Beowulf was the only one who was heroic enough to slay the dragon, but even though they couldn't win the fight and even though Beowulf told them to remain back, their responsibility was to fight as best they could beside their lord. Anthony Spencer is like that in some ways. He's not the hero that Ware is, but he can help put Ware in a position to succeed, even if it comes with the slings and arrows of outraged fans. Here's a Beowulf (Brownhills, UK) Wiglaf Pale Ale for standing in the fire and shielding your hero's flank.
5. Oh, and that Lee kid is doing OK, too. That play on third and short early in the game where he undercut both the blocker and Frank Gore to stop him short of the first was truly amazing. Even if he wasn't playing great on defense, he earned a Bell's (Kalamazoo, MI) HopSlam Imperial IPA for that beautiful body-slam of Ted Ginn on punt coverage.
6. I've singled out a number of defensive players, but really, let's give it up to everyone on that unit. 206 total yards, less than 4 yards per play, 6 sacks, and INT, and keeping them in the game despite the offense. You all each get a Rogue (Newport, OR) Skull Splitter Strong Ale for the headache that Alex Smith surely has today. As a side note, what do you guys think is the over/under on the number of swear words Rob Ryan utters in a single game? 1000? 10,000?
7. The OLine is not really in line for much love today. Free might have played his worst games in the NFL, though he redeemed himself with the fumble recovery at the end of the game. Kosier was consistently knocked back. Dockery reminded us not-so-fondly of those penalty-prone lines we've been used to. Costa got hurt. Tyron probably was the best of the bunch, but he had some issues with McDonald. However, I would like to give Founders (Grand Rapids, MI) Workingman's IPA for bringing his lunch pail and stepping in when needed to Kevin Kowalski. I watched him closely once he came in and he not only held his own, he did well. Next starter up, indeed.
8. OK, so now to Miles Austin. I have to chuckle at the hyperbole a bit, as some have said it was the game of his life. I was at the Kansas City game when he became *Miles Austin!*, so maybe I'm a bit biased, but I would not say this game was better. Nevertheless, it was one of his many great games, and he gets a Fort Collins (Fort Collins, CO) Friggin Huge Wee Heavy Scotch Ale for being, well, friggin huge.
9. When the game was over, I was already thinking that Tony Romo had to get something from Tommyknocker Brewery, as I was thinking he was just Tommyknockered around. This is the kind of game that Cowboys fans will always remember. We may not remember much of the rest of the year, and we may not have a winning season, but we'll always shake our heads at the day Tony Romo led the Boys to victory with a punctured lung. This game, whatever your opinion of Romo is, will definitely be remembered as a Cowboys Tommyknocker (Idaho Springs, CO) Legend Strong Ale.
10. One of the nice things about the Cowboys consistently finding and developing UDFAs is that you get so many cool stories. Austin, Romo, and now Jesse Holley, for example, are players who it's hard not to appreciate because of the incredible work, drive, and determination needed to succeed in the NFL despite not having 1st round talent. Holley may never have another catch in the NFL, he may be the WR version of Clint Longley, but today he's on New Holland (Holland, MI) Top Of The World Red Lager. Yeah, maybe he over-celebrated, but who can blame him? This wasn't redemption for a play, or a game, or even a season, it was redemption for his entire life.
11. Well, Dan Bailey, you certainly added to the excitement with that early miss, but as is the theme, you certainly earned a Russian River (Santa Rosa, CA) Redemption Blonde Ale with two solid kicks when we needed them. I don't know if you're the long-term answer, but for now, you showed up big in a tight spot and that's something.
12. OK, so let me get this straight. Our starting QB, starting RB, top 2 WR, starting TE, starting C, and top 3 CB are all injured to some degree? I'm giving the whole training staff a C'est What (Toronto, ONT) Mother Pucker's Ginger Wheat Ale as in "Get your mother-puckin' butts to work and produce a few miracles here, eh?"
Well, that's the selection this week. I'll see you all Monday night as we crack open a few beverages and watch the Cowboys kick the heck out of the most offensive sports team in the world.