This has been a weird week for me as a Cowboys fan. I have spent most of the week doing the best I can to ignore the media's negativity following the loss to the Redskins. Is there any other team in the NFL where a loss in September is met by such criticism and knee jerking? I can only imagine what the internet community would have been like when the Cowboys lost the first two games of the season in 1993. A lot of the coverage this week has been of the "I told you so" variety, as various columnists feel vindicated after harping on the team's weaknesses the first month of the season. ESPN did it's best to generate controversy and fabricate a story where there wasn't one. A few reporters had some choice words over said ESPN story.
One even goes as far as saying that the player's arent responding to the loss and criticism like they should, and should be angry and terrified at playing bad like it was around here when Parcells reigned Valley Ranch. Puh-lease. Yes, the Cowboys played bad and yes, the defense laid an egg but can we at least wait until December to start freaking out? There is a ton of pressure on this team from fans, the media and themselves to go far in the playoffs. I think the worst that can happen is to get all out of shape about losing to pretty good divison rival by two points. It can be argued that last year the team peaked too early and lost steam down the stretch. I want to see if the Cowboys can learn from mistakes and get better after a loss before I throw in the towel.
This game against the Bengals just feels.....odd. On paper the Cowboys should blow them out of the water, but this Bengals team can be very dangerous to the Cowboys. This is the first "big-conference-or-division-or-seasonal-opener-game" of the season so a lot of the worry has been about whether the Cowboys can balance their offense back out or if a beat up secondary can contain Carson Palmer and Co. I honestly have no clue what to expect, but if the Cowboys want to make a statement that they are a serious contender they will come out fired up and stomp all over an ailing Bengals team.
Some news and notes from around the web:
While he has been off to slow start this season, the Cowboys still have a lot of respect Chad Ocho Cinco.
The Cowboys need to get some turnovers, and they have done a pretty poor job of that so far.
JJT says that while Romo has been pretty good, he's needs to be great.
Bradie James tells the Cowboys' offense to be wary of the Bengals' defense and their coordinator Mike Zimmer.
The Cowboys want to get back to being a balanced offense because when they are balanced, they win.
Terrell Owens is getting into the real estate business. Maybe he hopes to buy now and sell when the economy rebounds in 2023.
Don Banks says the NFC East is the league's top division, and Tony Romo is it's best player.
Despite being at the bottom of the league in pass offense, the Cowboys need to be wary of the Bengals' receivers. And to make things even more challenging, Chris Henry will travel to Dallas.
Super Bowl XXX MVP Larry Brown gives his keys to the game.