ESPN has labeled this Sunday’s game as the Duel in Dallas. That’s pretty lame, it’s like they just threw darts at a board of suggestions and took the first one they hit.
I’m going with my own designation for this game: The All-American Bowl.
On one side we have the New England Patriots. Their team name is Patriots, a term America holds dear. Their mascot is a minuteman who fought at the cradle of American democracy. They’re from Boston, the birthplace of American independence. Oh yeah, they have the All-American QB in Tom Brady.
On the other side, the Dallas Cowboys. They are America’s Team, as bestowed upon them by NFL Films. No matter how much the media tries to place that label on other teams, it only fits the Cowboys. Our team name is Cowboys, an American iconic image if there ever was one. Our symbol is a star, as in stars and stripes. Even our cheerleaders are a national institution. Oh yeah, we have our own All-American QB in Tony Romo, even if he’s only in training.
So there you have it, The All-American Bowl. But really, the number one reason to call it that is because it drives the fans of the other franchises cuckoo. They hate the media’s love affair with the Patriots and they hate when people call us America’s Team. All the more reason.
Let’s clean up the Buffalo game so we can move on with the short week ahead. Dr. Z runs through a litany of reasons why the Buffalo Bills and their coaches blew the game against Dallas.
But the opening to the article was a neat trip down nostalgia lane when Dr, Z recalls a conversation he had with Tom Landry right after they had lost to Green Bay again in the late-60’s. Landry explained why they couldn’t get over the hump and win the big ones.
"It's toughness. We're just not tough enough. We're not tough enough for those kinds of games. I'm not tough enough. I don't know what I can do, get out of coaching maybe."
It was amazing to hear. Here was the man with the most innovative mind of his era. The guy who devised the flex defense and that up-down movement of the offensive linemen to shield the defenders at the last moment. The person who first drew up the 4-3 defense on the blackboard in September 1950, as Steve Owen's player-coach on the Giants. Here he was wondering whether or not he should quit the business at 43.
Uh, good thing he didn’t quit the business.
JJT looks at the lingering special teams problems and concludes, as I did, that we are missing Keith Davis.
Based on what we’ve seen since [Keith] Davis has been out, Jerry Jones needs to take some of the money he has portioned out to Romo and slide it to Davis because you can’t consistently win in the NFL by giving up big plays on special teams.
We know that, but we were almost reminded of it again last night.
Now, it’s up to Phillips and Jones to find out before Sunday’s game against New England whether the problem is Davis’ absence or Read’s coaching.
Wade Phillips recognized that Terrell is getting a little frustrated over the past couple of games.
"After the game I thought he was great," Phillips said of Owens. "And I think any great player is going to get frustrated when they don't get the ball. I think we need to try to get the ball to him more. He knows that. We know that."
Everybody knows it, let’s get it done. For everybody’s sake.
Mickey Spags chronicles the miracle win in Buffalo. I liked what Terence Newman brought to the game beyond his INT, he was doing a great job tackling the ball. And he stepped-up as a leader, too.
"I huddled the defense up at the end of the third quarter," said cornerback Terence Newman, who contributed a huge interception to snuff out the Bills' final scoring threat at the Dallas 11. "I told them, 'Hey, we're going to have to step up. Our offense has been carrying us all year. It's our turn."
Jason Garrett summed the game up thusly:
"Keep playing," offensive coordinator Jason Garrett said of his advice to his offense. "The theme for our team is, 'Keep playing.' This was a team effort until (Romo) settled himself down. A tribute to him, a tribute to them.
"I've never seen a team have six turnovers, two interceptions for touchdowns and a kickoff returned for a touchdown, and come out and win. That's tribute to our guys. Everybody kept battling."