The Dallas Cowboys start the second half of the 2012 season looking to get things on track against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. The Eagles have one of the most heated and anticipated rivalries with the Cowboys, but this year the game has some extra emphasis. Both teams come into the game a disappointing 3-5, and whichever one does not win will likely have no chance of climbing back into contention for a playoff spot.
But you probably know all that. So here are some links that will hopefully provide some information you did not know about.
The weather looks to be just about perfect for a football game, with sunny skies and a high in the low fifties, dropping into the upper forties as the sun goes down.
Even in this look at the league as a whole, there is some bad news for our 'boys.
Only six teams have not had a game with a winning score in the last two minutes of regulation or overtime, and they're all over the standings: the Texans, 49ers, Broncos, Chargers, Bengals and Cowboys. That list may be a bit surprising considering Peyton Manning's comeback ability in Denver and Dallas' penchant for close losses.
Dallas just missed two last minute wins, of course, by a total of about 25 inches.
Poor tackling has been a major concern all season, but especially during the Eagles' four-game losing streak.
Good to hear.
The offensive line is the weakest spot on the team and hinders the entire offense.
Even better to hear.
The last few weeks, as the defense has softened against the run, well, "It hurts us right in the heart," linebacker Mychal Kendricks said. He sounded as if he meant it. But how that hurt translates into action remains unclear. A bad Saints team ran all over the Eagles on Monday night, and the number of missed tackles was alarming - 2011 alarming.
You are of course familiar with the aphorism that Schadenfreude comes in threes.
Jason Garrett still continues to waffle on the idea of using the no-huddle more - but you wonder why:
Operating in shotgun, without huddling his teammates, quarterback Tony Romo completed six consecutive passes as the Cowboys covered 78 yards and scored its lone touchdown in the fourth quarter of a 19-13 loss to Atlanta. The drive was as quick as it was unexpectedly efficient.
Despite all the criticism of the Dallas Cowboys - much of it, for sure, is warranted - there is reason to believe that they may not be as awful as their record so far suggests.
Hey, if the Canadians can see this, who are we to doubt?
It's time to forget an anticipated showdown in the NFC East on Sunday. Instead, the Cowboys and Eagles are simply trying to salvage seasons that have veered toward disasters and have placed both coaches jobs on the line. Philadelphia's Andy Reid received a preseason ultimatum from his owner that mediocrity and another year without a playoff berth was not acceptable. Fair or not, Jason Garrett's future in Dallas is under constant speculation.
And just for the record, I have no idea where Kitsap is. But they do know what is important to cover on their sports page.
Two things made this jump out for me. First, I love the craziness clock idea. And second, there is this:
And yet I think Garrett stands a better chance of reversing course and keeping his team's wild-card chances alive because he's less likely to be undermined by his quarterback at Lincoln Financial Field.
Anyone who has bad things to say about Michael Vick can usually get a second from me.
Very nice profile of Phil and his brother Rick.
Just a guess, but most of their ideas probably have something to do with weight training and/or nutrition. They are, after all, the sons of Dr. Costa, who in 1980 was Mr. New Jersey, the state's top bodybuilder.
Just threw this in to show we aren't the only ones being bombarded by speculation about Payton.
"We've got Charlie playing a lot this week, so once we get these guys where we catch them up to speed we're going to play them," (defensive coordinator Rob) Ryan said.
This one gives me pause:
Bryan Broaddus: I have said this all week and I will say it again, I don't like the matchup against the Eagles.
Just in case you want to see how the other side sees us.
Dallas is juggling players to cover for injuries. Could be a sign Dan Conner is more likely to go, but Mike Jenkins is not.
These are done in the same format - I thought you might want to check them out for comparison.
In a 34-7 loss at Philadelphia last season, Ware sacked Vick four times.
Considering how flimsy Philadelphia's offensive line has been this season, Ware may be able to equal or even exceed that total Sunday. After all, the Eagles have allowed 27 sacks this season and all have been conceded when Vick was behind center.
Just as long as it is a Cowboys win.
An interesting look at the basic questions behind the recent Jimmy Johnson-Jerry Jones tiff, with an interesting conclusion.
Yes, the Head Coach should make the final decision on all roster cuts, and yes he absolutely should have final say on draft picks from the 2nd round on. But 1st round draft picks, free agent acquisitions, and trades should all have multiple eyes (Owner, GM, Personnel Director, Head Coach) and a system of checks and balances to ensure that the best decisions are made.
So the next time we hear about a Bill Cowher or Jon Gruden contemplating a return to the sidelines with the caveat of total football control, we should consider the history of that arrangement in the NFL. It generally doesn't end well.
Garrett explains why he likes to kick off to start road games.
"We feel like there are a lot of statistics that suggest it's easier to play defense early in games on the road," Garrett said at his Friday press conference at Valley Ranch.
Again, a look at the game from the other team's perspective.
While it's certain that Carr will line up at cornerback, he could also be used frequently at safety, the position where he has occasionally moonlighted when Dallas has rolled out its dime package.
"I just think it's urgent. We need to win a game," Jones said. "We can do a lot for our season if we can get this one."
But don't say it's desperate.
WARNING: Do not read this one unless you really want to get ticked off. It is just a long tirade against the Cowboys, and includes a line that seems to come up in one form or another every single week.
Your Cowboys have been anything BUT America's team.
"The only thing I can honestly say (is) there's definitely room for improvement," offensive line coach/offensive coordinator Bill Callahan said.
Hey, some of the players in that game will be on all your draft boards. But mostly, I just wanted to do a little victory dance.