Necessary Roughness, Week 6: How About Them Cowboys?
If you don’t know what the hell I’m talking about, please refer to my Week 1 column in which I talk about the Cowboys in a boastfully negative manner, and passionately express my distaste for a particular phrase often uttered by the Cowboys’ faithful. But man, this team is killing it right now. Who, other than chronically delusional Cowboys’ fans, would have thought that this team would be tied for the best record in the league through Week 6? Yesterday’s win against the mighty Seahawks was as impressive as any victory I’ve seen this year by any team. Being down 10-0 early in the game isn’t exactly an insurmountable deficit in normal circumstances. But when you are up against the defending World Champs and playing in their house (undoubtedly the most difficult place to play in the league for a road team), coming back from 10 points down can seem like a daunting task. The ‘Boys, however, maintained their poise and put together an impressive gameplan. They absolutely dominated the time of possession, and only yielded 9 first downs to the Seahawks. Tony Romo called a great game, and most importantly he didn’t throw any picks. The defense was equally as impressive, leaving Russel Wilson hopelessly perplexed for the majority of the game. And if I’m voting for league MVP thus far in the season, I’m giving it to Demarco Murray. This kid is having an outrageous year so far. Some credit should be given to Dallas’ improved O-line, but Murray has just been outstanding every single game. So all in all, kudos to the Dallas Cowboys for, ahem, turning it around this season. That being said, I hope they lose every remaining game of the season. I hate them.
You know what’s not cool? Ties. Ties of any sort. Neckties, bowties, tie dyes. But what irks me the most is a sporting event that ends in a tied score. I mean, these players go out there for 3+ hours and play their hearts out, only to have a tie game at the end??!! No one wins, no one loses. The fans go to the game and scream their asses off only to walk away at the end with the emotional neutrality of a tie??!! I can barely stand it. I’m sure Roger Goodell reads this column, so my message to him directly is: change the rules. Play until someone wins. Take a cue from baseball. The Giants and Nationals went 18 innings in Game 2 of the NLDS and it was awesome. Sure the game lasted almost 6 hours, but guess what… eventually someone WON the game. That Panthers/Bengals game was a great one, but it’s ultimately forgettable because there was no winner. Y’all know what I’m sayin’?
I’ve got serious beef with Panthers’ coach Ron Rivera, or “Riverboat Ron” as many call him. He got that nickname because of his willingness to roll the dice in key situations. But the fact that Carolina was in the redzone in overtime and opted to kick a field goal instead of going for it on 4th and 1 isn’t exactly putting it all on black on the roulette table. I subscribe to the Herm Edwards School of Football: you play to win the game. Hello? You play to win the game. Riverboat Ron played to tie. That, to me, is the antithesis of what competitive sport is all about. I don’t care that a tie is better than a loss. If you aren’t playing to win, you aren’t playing the right way. Riverboat Ron my ass.
Anyway, I’m pissed, so here are just a couple of games this week that were worth ￼momentarily abandoning my Panthers frustrations for.
Steelers/Browns: You had to know that after a nail-biting Week 1 loss to the Steelers, the Browns were going to get over the hump this time. Brian Hoyer was terrific, and Cleveland put a beating on their divisional rivals. I love that the Browns have a winning record right now, and the Steelers are sitting in last place with a . 500 record. Hopefully this is a rivalry renewed, as the Steelers were 20-2 against the Browns before Sunday’s contest.
Redskins/Cardinals: Great to see Carson Palmer back under center. A nerve injury is terrifying, and there was some talk as to whether or not Palmer would ever play again. But the dead nerve in his shoulder woke up, and the Palmer/Fitzgerald combo was in full effect yesterday. For the Redskins, turnovers absolutely killed them, and they are currently on a 4-game skid. One other thing of note is that Arizona was penalized for over 100 yards. They need to get that under control if they want to make a serious playoff push.
Giants/Eagles: I was looking forward to this game. Two teams on roll, divisional rivalry, gonna be a great game, right? Wrong. The Giants were abysmal. Philly was good. LeSean McCoy ran all over that Giants defense, and Eli and Co. couldn’t do jackshit on offense. Eli took 6 sacks, and only threw for 151 total yards. On top of all that, Victor Cruz tore his patellar tendon and will be out the remainder of the season. As good as things were looking for the Giants last week, this week has flipped those fortunes upside down in a dramatic way. Back to the drawing board for Tom Coughlin and the New York Football Giants.
That’s all I got this week, y’all. As always, I hope everyone had a great weekend. Mine kinda sucked. Some neighborhood hooligans must have been inspired by the MLB playoffs, and they rode down my street smashing mailboxes with a baseball bat. My mailbox fell victim, unfortunately.
Rams/49ers tonight. This might be another primetime blowout. I’m picking the Niners, 23-10.