It's time to find out how the Dallas Cowboys will fare against the Detroit Lions. Here is some late news while you are waiting for kickoff.
The weather should be beautiful, although the dome is apparently going to be closed. But if you are fortunate enough to be going to the game, tailgating should be near perfect, about 72 and sunny at 11:00, and 77 at kickoff.
One sad note for old time fans. Pete Gent, who played five years for the Cowboys in the 1960s, passed away. Although he had a successful career as a player, his real claim to fame was writing North Dallas Forty, a ground breaking book that was one of the first sports novels to talk about sex, drugs, and the generally insane life of professional athletes. It was later made into a Nick Nolte movie. The characters were based on his Cowboys teammates, and there was a fair amount of controversy, but from my memory of the book and what I've learned since, he seemed largely accurate. And as someone who likes to write, I have a special spot in my heart for him.
Speaking of controversy, Rob Ryan has stirred up a bit one with his remark that Lions superstud wide receiver is almost as good at Miles Austin and Dez Bryant.
"We work against better receivers with Miles Austin and Dez Bryant," Ryan said via the Dallas Morning News. "They are probably two of the premier receivers in football, but this guy is right there. He's almost that good. He's excellent.
I think that's going to be passed around the Lions locker room.
More . . .
Dez Bryant's availability is still a game time decision. I hope it is all just caution on the team's part, because this will be rough without him.
Phil Costa got a pep talk from Andre Gurode. You have to give Andre props for trying to buck up the guy that replaced him.
The mothership's Mickey Spagnola says that the defense needs to step up for this game. It's a good read, and this pretty much is the payoff.
Hold the Lions to no more than 17 points, and guarantee you the Cowboys will have a good chance to win in another one of these less-than aesthetic scuffles.
No argument from me.
Speaking of defense, Eddie George gives a lot of love to the Detroit D. In a video interview, he thinks the Lions will crush Tony Romo. Not something I want to hear, and where is the respect for DeMarcus Ware and company?
Jerry Jones likes to sell his suites at Cowboys Stadium. Dallas area native and Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford helped him out with that.
Dallas ranks very high in both yards gained and yards allowed. This would seem to be a very good sign for the team. But there is one unfortunate fact to note.
It was just last season that the Chargers made NFL history in unintended fashion. They ranked No. 1 in both categories and yet missed the playoffs
Hope that doesn't happen for us.
It is interesting to see the headlines that paint the Lions as a newly fierce opponent. Cowboys take on hungry, talented Lions. (Hungry lions - see what he did there?) Cowboys face suddenly scary Lions team. It's the same article from AP, just a different headline in a different paper. The original version, with a little that was edited out of the other two, used the less provocative title of Unbeaten Lions seek to keep roll going vs. Cowboys. But that one doesn't make them sound all jungle beasty, I guess.
And of course, there are lots of stories looking ahead to the game. In the San Antonio Express, Cowboys Gameday: Five things to watch vs.Lions picks the Lions 24-20. The Detroit Free Press prediction for the game has it Lions 27-21.
And what would a Cowboys game be if there was not at least one column out there that makes you beat your head against the wall in frustration. Of course, some of you might see this as a good idea. But the disagreements make it fun.
Meanwhile: GO COWBOYS!