Since I have no coherent thoughts to put together on the Cowboys and I’ve already posted the film review this week, and given that all the articles in the media are just re-hashes along the themes of: the defense had trouble but we’re still good, Romo is Tony Freaking Romo, Jason Witten just might be something at TE, I thought I would just ramble about things and let you guys comment, just like this whole introduction is a rambling mess. Editors!? I don't need no stinkin' editors!
Tony Freakin’ Romo – He’s been simply amazing for the Cowboys. Watching the NFL season, well, as many games as I can of the other teams besides the Cowboys, there are a few QB’s who are simply playing on a different level from the rest of the field. Tom Brady is having the best year statistically that I’ve ever seen, and they aren’t hollow statistics, they’re winning stats and they’re winning big. Behind him comes proven talent, Super Bowl-talent, like Brett Favre and Peyton Manning. Now, you have to include Tony Romo in that group. He doesn’t have the track record yet and hasn’t snagged a Lombardi, but he’s playing as well as anyone not named Tom Brady.
Pick your poison – This offense is one fine machine. The skill positions make any defense’s job a tortuous task. There’s the three-headed monster, and no, I’m not talking about the running backs and that they mysteriously grew a third head. I’m talking about the Threatening Threesome – Terrell Owens, Jason Witten and Marion Barber. Between those guys a defense must decide what to take away. Sometimes, even when they try to take them away, they still get ‘er done. It also helps when you have complimentary players like Julius Jones and Patrick Crayton. Crayton scores TD’s at a nice clip and Julius provides the yin to Barber’s yang, giving the Cowboys fresh and diverse options in the backfield. The cherry on top? Jason Garret. He knows how to use all his weapons.
The big uglies – This offensive line has developed into one of the better in the league and in pass protection are among the elite. The addition of Leonard Davis might be the biggest free agent signing in the league last year that no one talks about. Not only did he solidify a position that was hurting us last year, but the guy is mobile and we can use him to pull just like we use Kosier. Andre Gurode hasn’t fallen off after getting paid, Marc Colombo is developing into an elite right tackle and Flozell is having one of his best years ever. We love the skill positions and with good reason, but this wouldn’t be happening this year without the big uglies.
The defense – Before the Lions game, that group was on the way up. I think they’ll rebound this week and have a good game. They do have problems – you can throw on them and move the ball, but all year they have been making big plays likes sacks and turnovers. Wade’s Phillips 34 operates under the principles of stopping the run and making the big plays on defense that win games. It’s a defense that makes the opponent throw enough passes on a drive so that somewhere along the line they’ll make a mistake and the drive will be terminated. My biggest concern on defense is the health of the starting corners. We have to get Henry and Newman up to some semblance of health come playoff time. Maybe we’ll win on Sunday, the Packers will lose and we can start resting players over the last few weeks. It’s possible we could give a few guys three full weeks of rest if everything falls into place.
Terry Glenn – Who knows what he’ll bring to the table, if and when he gets back on the field. I need to hear how he’s practicing before I can start forming any real conclusions. But just hearing that he’s ready to try is a good thing. His comeback has to start somewhere, so let’s get it going and see what happens. If I was forced to guess about what might happen, I would say the most logical conclusion is that Glenn becomes our third receiver and runs a meaningful but limited number of plays in the playoffs. Wade has shown that he’ll put recovering veterans into sub-packages and with the offense working like it is with Patrick Crayton starting, they probably won’t tinker with it that much. Bringing Glenn into the mix as the #3 keeps the pounding on his knee to a limited role and saves him from having to block in the running game on a regular basis. Of course, a lot will depend on Crayton’s health; we need his ankle to heal fully.