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Dallas Cowboys have no excuses, but nothing to lose (early games open thread)

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[Note by Dave Halprin (Grizz), 11/02/08 12:36 PM EST ] This is an open thread for the early games. Carry on. [End Note]

Let's face it, this game has us all worried. This would be a tough game even if we had all of our starters playing but now we face the defending Super Bowl champs without Tony Romo, Jason Witten, Terence Newman, Roy Williams, Kyle Kosier and Felix Jones. The thought of watching Brad Johnson try to play against this Giant's defense makes my stomach queasy. It's mind-numbing to think of how many quality receivers we have on this team and our current quarterback is unable to get them the ball. Perhaps we see Brooks Bollinger sometime today, but if we do that means the game is already far out of reach (or Brad Johnson is crushed under a couple defensive lineman).

However. If the Cowboys lose today I do not want to hear one if, and or but about how the Cowboys could have won if they hadn't had these injuries. Teams find a way to win all the time when players go down and there is no reason the Cowboys don't have that same chance today. You know how intense the Cowboys defense played last week? Well, they're going to have to be even more fired up today. The special teams are going to have to step up and make plays. The defense has to force turnovers. The offense has to find a way to execute. If all this happens the Cowboys have a good chance at winning.

The key to this is maintaining aggressiveness throughout all aspects of the game, both on the field and in the coach's gameplan. Jason Garrett must find a way for this offense to find some aggressiveness while calling plays that actually fit Brad Johnson's style. Going ultra conservative against the Giants defense is just asking for disaster to strike. Wade Phillips has to maintain his aggressive defense and has to know that sitting back will allow Eli Manning to pick them apart all the way down the field. Get in his face and rattle him.

Most of all the Cowboys have to learn to take chances. Resting on our laurels and hoping for the best will not win this game. Nothing to lose, everything to gain. The difference between 6-3 and 5-4 is monstrous considering the schedule the Cowboys are faced with in the second half.

Fired up, aggressive and disciplined. It's doable. Now show it.

This is an open thread for the early games around the league.