Random thoughts, musings and misgivings from the BTB writers as we prepare for Sunday's game against the consensus No. 1 team in the country.
Rabblerousr: Here's what gives me hope the Cowboys can compete in Seattle: on the year, they have engineered nine drives of ten or more plays, as well as four others of nine plays. Against a tough Seahawks defense that is both difficult to run against and excellent at delimiting yards after catch in the short passing game, Dallas will have to execute multiple plays successfully to score points.
In recent years, they have been prone to the drive killers that effectively end such long, methodical, multi-play drives. As a consequence, they relied on big plays to score, with the nadir being last year's league worst performance on third down. That seems to have changed - and just in time for their trip to the Pacific Northwest, where they'll need to navigate manageable third downs, and then convert them, to have a prayer of winning.
Dawn Macelli: To expand on what rabblerousr said, those long slow drives, if successful, can help to limit the impact of that crowd. They will still be a factor, but if Dallas can minimize their role the Cowboys can be successful.
OCC: Four straight seasons of non-winning football can do a lot of bad things to a fan's psyche. One of those things is the constant worry about the possibility of losing the next game. Because with every loss, your team's odds of making the postseason inevitably decline. I have to think back a long way perhaps as far as 2007, to remember a time where I did not worry about possibly losing the next game.
Where a loss was a hiccup and not a crisis.
For four straight years, every Cowboys loss resulted in a crisis. A mental crisis, and emotional crisis and a crisis of faith. And for the first time in a very long time, as we head into the Seattle game, I don't have that feeling anymore. Not because I think the Cowboys will necessarily win (I think they can, but a lot of things have to come together for that), but because I think that if they should lose, it'll be a minor bump in the road that won't change my season outlook, won't change my faith in this team, and won't change my plans for football in January.
Tom Ryle: Rabblerouser, Landon McCool and I talked about this on their most excellent podcast earlier this week. I am hoping that this is the tipping point for Garrett's approach to finally gain some traction and start paying off in postseason appearances. The team has gotten significantly younger and has also shed the reluctance to part ways with older, more established players past their prime and go with younger ones who are on the upswing.
This makes me think that any success this year will be sustainable. If things work out and Jason Garrett get's to stay around, then we also get some stability with the coaching staff, which helps keep Jerry Jones on a more even keel. I just don't want to see another change in direction with all the accompanying turmoil. Winning 10 or 11 games this year would keep that from happening, so it is about a lot more than success now.
Dawn Macelli: I think that after this coming Sunday we will be looking at a three way tie at the top of the NFC East. The Boys, Giants and Eagles will all be tied at 4-2 with Dallas and New York ascending while the Eagles begin to descend. This season will come down to the results of the two head to head meetings between the Giants and Cowboys.
Neithan20000: I'm worried about our continuity for next year. We've got a ton of free agents next year. Could we improve this year just to take a step back next year?
Gary Morris: My thought for the week is about the great trade robbery and the part of that story that always gets left out.
Jimmy Johnson's thought initially wasn't to trade Walker, it was to trade Michael Irvin. But after running the idea by Al Davis, perhaps to gain consensus, he realized it wouldn't fly, so Jimmy suggested Walker instead. Also, according to what Norm Hitzges wrote in his book, Jerry Jones and Johnson worked the phones as a team to jack up the price, so it wasn't all Johnson. The idea was, but the trade was a collaboration between the two.
The accurate and great idea was to trade the guy with the most trade value, which turned out to be Walker.