The spotlight is on Tony Romo. It always has been. But especially this year. The NFL Network crew looks at whether he's ready or not in this video. Rich Eisen, Sterling Sharpe and Warren Sapp provide analysis. Sharpe thinks he's ready. Sapp isn't so sure. He's also not ready to call our defense dominate just yet.
Shout out to rioplayer7 for his fanpost here.
Brad Sham gives his top three memories of Texas Stadium. Gotta love Brad. Tells it just like it is. If the 'Boys are playing like dogs, he says it. If we're playing well, he says that too without being too much of a homer. I wish I could hear his voice tonight for the last game.
TH's favorite Texas Stadium moment? My first and last time there. Watching grown man cry during this historic event. I actually got in trouble at my job for going to this game. But boy was it worth it.
There are so many subplots to this game it feels like a Quentin Tarantino movie. We've got the Ravens D v. the Cowboy O. We've got Tony Romo v. Joe Flacco. We've got DeMarcus Ware and the sack record. We've got the last game at Texas Stadium. And so much more.
DC.com does a good job of running down the line of all the major characters in this game with huge playoff implications.
BIG ISSUE: The Cowboys can clinch a playoff spot this week, as much of a long shot as that is, but they can't do it all by themselves. First, though, they need to beat the Ravens, who have never played at Texas Stadium. Then, they need one of the following scenarios to occur - a Philadelphia loss or tie against Washington, a Chicago loss or tie against Green Bay and an Atlanta loss at Minnesota; a Philadelphia loss or tie and a Chicago loss or tie and a Tampa Bay loss against San Diego; a Chicago loss or tie and a Tampa Bay loss and an Atlanta loss; or a Philadelphia loss or tie and an Atlanta loss and if Dallas clinches strength of victory tiebreaker over Chicago. If none of that happens, the Cowboys will still hold firmly onto a wild-card spot with a win, but will need a victory in Week 17 to clinch. Lose, and it's anybody's game, so this is a must-win for Dallas - again. Add in the extra motivation that comes along with playing the final game at Texas Stadium, and the Cowboys should be revved up for this one.
The Ravens are also fighting for a wild-card spot. Right now, Baltimore owns the sixth and final playoff spot in the AFC, holding tiebreakers over two other 9-5 teams - the Patriots and the Dolphins. The Jets, also at 9-5, may factor into the wild-card race if they lose the division lead. If the Ravens lose Saturday and those three teams win, it will be nigh impossible to gain a playoff spot with a week left in the season. If all those teams win, Baltimore would still have the head-to-head tiebreaker over Miami (which plays Kansans City), the strength of victory tiebreaker over the Jets (who play Seattle) and the conference record tiebreaker over the Patriots (who play the Cardinals).
I can't wait.
Uh oh, ladies and gentlemen. Do we have a fracas on our hands?
Seems like Clarence E. Hill got a little snippy when Randy Galloway called him out in his column. Galloway's main point was that T.O. should apologize to Ed Werder for calling him a liar (I still don't get that, Galloway says Marshall Faulk doesn't live in Dallas, the local media does, so we should believe the local media, but T.O. was in the meeting, Werder wasn't, so we should totally believe Werder, hunh?) Galloway basically gets on Hill for standing up for Owens, which is an unpardonable sin in his book.
But this is where it gets interesting: Hill blasts back at him (in his typical passive-aggressive way).
Now maybe we are playing the semantics game. But I think in the column I supported reasons why Owens might be bothered by the idea that Witten is the team's leading receiver. But jealous has a different connotation. You can have a problem with someone and I suppose be bothered by their success. But that doesn't mean you are jealous.
He also suggested that because I didn't attack Werder's information that I totally agreed with it. Well, if truth be told no other writer on the beat wrote articles supporting Werder's information either. Usually, when a story breaks, news organizations will try to get sources to get their own story on the issue. Now we were the first one's to report that Owens and receivers Patrick Crayton and Roy Williams had meetings with offensive coordinator Jason Garrett about their belief that quarterback Tony Romo was throwing too much to Witten and not looking for the open receiver.
But no one from the Star-Telegram or the DMN followed Werder's "jealous" and "team divided" angle. The only story we followed was the controversy the initial story caused and the team angle that it was overblown. So should we draw any conclusion from that?
Lordy Lord I've been waiting for someone to say that. The news in the story was the meeting not the jealous angle. Jealousy is an intangible subjective thing while reporting is supposed to recount objective tangibles. How do you know someone's jealous? Particularly if you were not there?
Hill is a nice guy so he tries to play peacemaker in the end. But I'm glad he stood up to Galloway.
ESPN stops their over-the-top T.O.-bashing for a second to preview today's game. In this video Trent Dilfer, a cautionary tale to most quarterbacks and a disgrace to bus drivers everywhere, does the analysis with Mike Golic, who both think the Cowboys will win. Matthew Bery tells you to bench Jason Witten because the Ravens defend well against tight ends (I say, at this point in the season, play your studs regardless, just my personal philosophy).
The NFL Network also previews the game in this video. Eisen and Sharpe are joined by Adam Schefter. Apparently there will be cameras following T.O., Romo, Ray Lewis, Joe Flacco and Ware. A game full of stars needs extra facetime, I guess. The topic of discussion was the Ravens D (of course) and Romo. Will the Ravens D -- after being outplayed in its five losses -- finally shut down a big-play offense? Will Tony Romo finally prove he can win a big game? I guess this game and this game and this game don't count.
D-Ware has got to be licking his chops with the Ravens' O-line problems. Don't look at me for any sympathy. I've been holding candlelight vigils for Montrae Holland all week.