Before I get into the news pertaining to the Dallas Cowboys leading up to the second Philadelphia Eagles game, I want to take a moment to mention the tragedy in Kansas City, where Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher apparently killed his girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins and then committed suicide in front of members of the Chiefs' staff. Two lives were ended for reasons that may never be known, and probably make no sense to most of us, and an infant is now without parents. Say a prayer, or take a moment to think of the horror this must be for all involved, as you prefer. There are things far worse than seeing your favorite player go on IR.
Now, on to some more pleasant things. The weather for the game should be very nice, with a high in the seventies, and no rain in the forecast at the moment. The roof is supposed to be open - not always the best omen for the Cowboys.
The team does have some issues with veteran contracts and the cap which was so graciously lowered an extra $5 million thanks to John Mara and his lackey Roger Goodell. But the owner and general manager thinks they will figure things out.
"We've got some flexibility, and we can make some flexibility," he said. "The problem with all of that is you borrow from years to come. It's a question of looking at it over a three- or four-year period of time."
A couple of points highlighting here. First, just how bad the injury situation has been.
It is commendable on defensive coordinator Rob Ryan's part for not publicly whining, saying here at The Ranch on Friday, "I'm not making any excuses, we want to win the football game."
Or that head coach Jason Garrett, who is trying to duct tape Humpty-Dumpty back together again while spending time ducking arrows being slung around by fans, talk radio hosts and national media calling for his scalp, has maintained his composure while knowing he finished the Washington game missing 14 prominent players.
Just think, if an offense held to just 35 yards rushing last time out still manages to score 31 points, heaven have mercy. No telling how many points these Cowboys might score if it can pass AND run.
Interesting view of what this all means for the team we all love to hate.
The Philadelphia Eagles figured to be without Michael Vick and LeSean McCoy against Dallas and already knew DeSean Jackson was gone for the year, Then they offered their strongest sign of surrender in a lost season.
The Eagles abruptly dumped 2011 sacks leader Jason Babin days before Sunday night's game against Tony Romo and the Cowboys, who ran 52 consecutive pass plays in their last game and have sunk to last in the league in rushing.
The team, and Andy Reid, would still love to play spoiler for Dallas' slim playoff hopes.
Remember all the speculation that Mike Jenkins would be traded last summer? Good thing some of us (OK, me, too) were wrong.
Cowboys cornerback Mike Jenkins has five games remaining until he becomes an unrestricted free agent.
How Jenkins performs in December will go a long way in determining his value and whether the Cowboys try to re-sign him.
Want a comment on how much faith people in the City of Brotherly Love have in their Eagles?
Daily News picks
Ed Barkowitz: Dallas, 27-13
Les Bowen: Dallas, 27-15
Bob Cooney: Dallas, 31-17
Paul Domowitch: Dallas, 31-13
Marcus Hayes: Dallas, 30-24
John Smallwood: Dallas, 24-13
Vegas Vic: Dallas, 37-14
(Just makes me nervous.)
Aw, must be rough to worry about who starts at center. Ya think?
Reynolds is listed as questionable after missing the previous two practices with a sprained ankle. Evan Mathis prepared to start at center.
Interesting take from those who try to get comments to write about daily.
Jay Ratliff: Rarely talks; would rather glower; told one TV type that he "hates" reporters.
Gee, wonder if that has anything to do with Calvin Watkins?
Should I feel guilty that this creates warm fuzziness inside me?
The Philadelphia Eagles came into their game with the Dallas Cowboys on Nov. 11 in pretty bad shape. The Eagles were only 3-5, had lost four straight games and were just beginning to see that their season and coach Andy Reid were finished. But the Cowboys not only made it worse by winning, they began a chain reaction that left Philadelphia much more depleted for the rematch on Dec. 2.
Morris Claiborne had a rough outing in the first game against the Eagles. Will things be better this time?
Claiborne said he expects to be tested again by Philadelphia. This time, however, he might just pass.
Some good stuff from a Philly viewpoint. But I will admit the sub-headline was my favorite part.
The Eagles have hit rock bottom, and they haven't been afraid to say so.
I think this one is the biggest of all, for what little my opinion is worth.
The absence of a running game has adversely affected the Cowboys and has contributed to the slow starts. If they can get their backs going early, the Cowboys have a chance to execute a balanced gameplan.
One day, I may read something about Sean Lee that does not increase how much I like him. But not this bit about how he acts when forced to watch the game at home.
"Screaming, like anybody," Lee said. "You get frustrated and when you're at home watching on TV you become a true fan because you're rooting so hard and want the guys to do well."
After careful consideration, I would like to say, "Well, duh."
Whoever coaches the Eagles next year will know upon taking the job whether or not he has a quarterback to work with. It likely won't be Vick, who is owed $15.5 million in 2013, but only $3 million for the Eagles if they cut him. It's pretty clear the 32-year-old with injury issues would not be worth that.
Lots of stuff here, but really could have just gotten the job done with two words: America's. Team.
Fox's production of the Cowboys-Washington Redskins on Thanksgiving afternoon, which featured the then 5-5 Cowboys against the 4-6 Redskins and an overwhelmingly non-competitive game, produced the largest audience (28.7 million viewers) of the television season. That's for any type of programming.
The largest audience for NBC's SNF was 27.6 million for the Cowboys-New York Giants on New Year's night, 2012. Understandable, as a playoff spot was on the line.
How then to explain the Cowboys-Eagles matchup on Dec. 12, 2010? The Eagles were 8-4. The Cowboys were 4-8. They had played so poorly in their SNF appearance against the Green Bay Packers a month earlier, it cost coach Wade Phillips his job the very next morning.
That Eagles victory over the Cowboys attracted 25.72 million viewers, sixth on SNF's list of most-watched games. That's just behind the Cowboys-Jets in the 2011 season opener, another Dallas loss, which played to 25.77 million viewers. Six of the top 10 most-watched SNF games include the Cowboys.
Admittedly, one reason the Cowboys are such a draw is that so many people hope to see them suffer.
Michael Strahan put it rather succinctly before the Thanksgiving debacle against the Redskins. After listening to pregame comments in which Romo, Jason Witten and DeMarcus Ware pledged to do everything possible to turn around the season, Strahan called out the trio from the TV studio.
Speaking figuratively to the threesome, two of them probable Hall of Famers, he said, "I never feared you."
Still, most still think the Cowboys are the favorite. And I am still nervous.
The Cowboys still have a pulse, while the Eagles without quarterback Mike Vick (concussion) and running back LeSean McCoy (concussion) are going through the motions waiting for the ax to fall on Reid, whose team has lost seven in a row.
COWBOYS 26, EAGLES 17
A pretty gloomy summary of what is perceived to be wrong with Dallas. But one pretty funny line.
In an email sent to Express-News staffers who cover the Cowboys, Allen Lee Hamilton said that when he sets his DVR to record Cowboys games, it records either "The Biggest Loser" or "The Walking Dead.
Well, I thought it was amusing. But then, sometimes I laugh when it hurts too much to cry.