Category: Cowboys (Page 1 of 42)

McKenzie’s Bet

Carrie-Anne and I hosted the GCR high schoolers at our house a couple of Sundays ago to watch the Cowboys -Packers game. We played ping-pong and pool, made Dr Pepper and root beer floats, and generally hung out and watched the game together. And McKenzie and I made a bet.

McKenzie is a precious child of God. She’s a senior at Midland High School (Go Bulldogs) and an angel straight from heaven. But she is a crazy Cowboys fan. Over the top. Too much. About halfway through the first quarter, with the game tied at 7-7, I proffered a wager: If the Cowboys win, I’ll preach next Sunday wearing a Cowboys tie; if Green Bay wins, McKenzie wears a Packers shirt to youth group class and to worship on Sunday. She took the bet. Cowboys fans always take the bet.

McKenzie’s a really good sport and we had fun with it yesterday. And I’m glad we didn’t go double or nothing on the Vikings.

Peace,

Allan

195-1

The biggest fourth quarter collapse in the history of the Dallas Cowboys? Where else but at Lambeau Field against the Packers. Going into yesterday’s contest in Green Bay, the Cowboys were 195-0 when leading by at least 14-points in the fourth quarter. In 63 years of football, the Cowboys had never lost when leading by two touchdowns at some point in the final period. One-hundred-ninety-five games, one-hundred-ninety-five wins.

Until yesterday.

So delicious.

And so predictable. It’s the same problems that have plagued the Cowboys for the past two-plus seasons. These same issues, repeated week after week, don’t matter much against the Lions or the Bears. But you can’t do this against decent teams and expect to win.

Penalties, of course. Dallas continues to lead the league in yellow flags.

The run defense, yes. Green Bay ran for more than 200-yards against the Cowboys. In fact, heading into that fourth quarter, Aaron Rodgers had only attempted eleven passes. If you remain committed to the run game, if you stay patient and keep pounding the ball on the ground, you will beat the Cowboys.

Turnovers, again. Dak’s two picks looked like a result of miscommunication with his intended targets, CeeDee Lamb and Dalton Schultz. Really? A franchise quarterback, a number one wide receiver, and a tight end playing with a franchise tag shouldn’t be having communication issues in November following a bye week.

Clock management, check. Mike McCarthy’s indecision and complete lack of fundamental clock management skills cost the Cowboys dearly on their last drive in the fourth quarter.

The Cowboys’ playoff hopes ended yesterday with that fourth quarter meltdown. Dallas is in third place in its own division with the undefeated Eagles looking to widen the gap tonight against Washington. The Cowboys play the once-beaten Vikings in Minnesota this Sunday and then host the Giants three days later. You might be looking at a three-game losing skid here. Even if they win one of these next two, the division title and the potential first-round bye are gone. If – IF! – the Cowboys qualify for the postseason, they’re facing a wild card game against a division champ.

The biggest fourth quarter collapse in franchise history. That’s noteworthy. Significant, even. Under the leadership of Jerry Jones, the Cowboys keep breaking team records and making franchise history – just not the kind you put on the cover of your media guide.

Peace,

Allan

This is Eternal Life

“This is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” ~John 17:3

In the Bible, knowledge is not some special understanding or deep insight reserved for the spiritually elite. It’s not about unlocking the secrets of the universe. In Scripture, knowledge means understanding who God is and what he is doing through Jesus. It’s not knowing the kings of Israel in chronological order or how many generations are in Matthew’s genealogy or having a well-researched argument for why Adam does or does not have a belly button. Scriptural knowledge means knowing God in Christ.

“We have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.” ~Colossians 1:9

Jesus rebuked the Jews for diligently searching the Scriptures, but not knowing him. He accused them of looking for eternal life in the Bible, and missing it because they didn’t see him, the source of eternal life the Bible points to. According to Scripture, knowledge is knowing that Christ Jesus is the fulfillment of all of God’s salvation promises and plans.

The Word of God in its fullness, according to Colossians 1, is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

“We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom… that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” ~Colossians 1:25-2:3

Knowledge is understanding that all of God’s redemptive purposes are fulfilled in Jesus. It’s not gaining more biblical facts. We don’t read the Bible to bolster our arguments or to prove somebody wrong or to get my day started off right. Christian knowledge is understanding that God’s salvation is available to all people through Christ Jesus.

And that keeps us from being sucked into the world’s opposite kinds of knowledge and understanding. The beliefs and values of our culture are powerful forces. And without biblical knowledge, we can wind up buying into a mushy sentimentality or following a pathway of power and success or just kind of following the herd. You know, whatever is hanging on the wall this week at Mardel.

Christians may not know more than others. But we ought to know better.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Cowboys play their first division game tonight at the Meadowlands against a team they’ve beaten by an average of 12 points nine of the last ten times they’ve met. Dallas swept the Giants last year by a combined score of 67-26 in two games. But not tonight.

All signs point to a Cowboys loss.

This is the first road game for a struggling offense. The Cowboys have scored a total of two field goals in their past three quarters. This is the first time Cooper Rush has ever played an NFL game when the other team can watch film of him from the previous week. The Cowboys still don’t have Michael Gallup. The Giants do have Saquon Barkley, the NFL’s leading rusher after two weeks, averaging over six yards per carry. It’ll be close tonight. It’ll be a one-score game. And it’ll be decided by a Cowboys turnover. Delicious.

Peace,

Allan

Over Before it Started

Well, that stinks.

Now what are we going to do?

The wonderfully delightful thing about watching the Cowboys is experiencing the week-by-week drama of the buildup to the inevitable disaster. There’s nothing quite like watching Dallas stack up a two or three game NFC East lead by Thanksgiving and then systematically implode in unimaginably creative ways, climaxing in a do-or-die division showdown in late December that they lose when something happens you’ve never seen before in your life. You can’t beat it.

Now all that’s gone. It’s already over.

Bummer.

It was bad before the $40-million quarterback broke his throwing hand thumb. Dak Prescott was having one of the worst games of his career Sunday night against the Bucs. He only completed one pass of more than 20-yards and left the game midway through the 4th quarter with a 47.2 quarterback rating. In his defense, he’s throwing to an overrated CeeDee Lamb and a bunch of practice team receivers. But he looked rough.

The offensive line was heading into the season depleted by free agency and injuries, so they could ill afford to lose left tackle Connor McGovern on the opening drive. But they did. Which means the running game was even worse than we thought it would be. Ezekiel Elliott’s longest gain was seven yards.

Which means the whole offense would sputter. And it did. The Cowboys finished with only 244 yards of total offense, twelve first downs, and no touchdowns. Zero. Nothing but that opening drive field goal. It was the Cowboys’ worst offensive showing on opening day since the Saints blasted Jimmy Johnson and Troy Aikman in their NFL debuts in 1989. Dallas finished 1-15 that season.

Dallas was the most penalized team in the NFL last year at 7.5 penalties per game. They picked up ten Sunday night. Terrence Steele was the worst offender with three false starts and a hold. And an offense this bad can’t overcome penalties.

The defense was always going to be the strength of this team, but Leonard Fournette looked like he was running against orange cones. He finished with 127-yards rushing with eight runs of nine yards or more. It was easy.

So. It’s already over, right?

The Cowboys are all alone in last place in the NFL’s worst division and they have the lowest scoring offense in the league. They’ve lost their starting quarterback until at least the 10th or 11th game. Cowboys fans booed and threw  trash at Prescott as he was leaving the field with his broken thumb. He had a pin and a metal plate surgically inserted into his hand yesterday. Who knows if he’ll be ready even in eight weeks? And does it really matter? It’ll already be over by then.

Without Dak, the Cowboys will face both Super Bowl teams from last year and all three teams in their own division. Saquon Barkley is the league’s leading rusher for the Giants. Jalen Hurts to A.J. Brown helped the Eagles rack up 38 points in their opener. Even the team in D.C. won Sunday and has a one-game lead on Dallas.

The Cowboys have more salary cap space than any team in the NFL and they decided not to use it. Jerry Wayne decided this team didn’t need Amari Cooper or Cedric Wilson or Randy Gregory or La’el Collins. Jerry made this bed and now he’s in it. It almost makes a person feel sorry for Mike McCarthy.

Now what do we do? The franchise record for most losses in a season is 15. Is this what we’re watching now? If the Cowboys lose 15 or 16 games this year, would that be enough to put any kind of dent in Jerry’s wallet, forcing the owner/GM to reconsider his role in this 27-year dumpster fire? Is this really finally that year?

Peace,

Allan

This is the Year!

Every Cowboys fan will tell you this is the year. This is the year Dallas wins a divisional playoff game for the first time in more than a quarter century and wins the Super Bowl. This is the year. It’s just as silly as a Browns fan or a Washington fan saying Cleveland or the Commanders are going to win the Super Bowl. It’s just as unlikely.

The window on the Dak Prescott – Ezekiel Elliott – CeeDee Lamb Cowboys era closed last year. If Dallas was ever going to win a divisional playoff game for the first time since 1995, last season was their chance. They swept the pitiful NFC East and finished 12-5. But, if you’ll remember, they committed an NFL record 14-penalties against the 49ers in the Wild Card playoff game and inexplicably imploded in the last 30-seconds. Since that time, Dak has had another surgery, suffered an additional shoulder strain, and today is complaining about a sore ankle. Zeke is one year older and slower. Amari Cooper and Cedric Wilson are  gone, Michael Gallup and James Washington are hurt, CeeDee is going to be triple-teamed on every play, and Dalton Schultz will be the team’s leading receiver. Randy Gregory is gone. And the offensive line is counting on Tyler Smith, Tyler Biadasz, Connor McGovern, and Terrence Steele. Tyron Smith is out for the year and Tyler Smith was the most penalized player in college football last season.

Expectations are high for the Cowboys heading into this 2022 campaign and it makes no sense. Remember, there are only five teams in the NFL that have not won a divisional playoff game in 26-years, and the Cowboys are one of them. The expectations in Dallas should be similar to what they are in Miami or Detroit. But every Cowboys fan will tell you this is the year.

The Cowboys play, statistically, the easiest schedule in the NFL this year – their opponents combined winning percentage is .462. And the NFC East is still the worst division in football. But the prediction here is that Dallas goes 8-9 and misses the playoffs. Mike McCarthy will be responsible for two of those losses with his poor clock management and/or coaching decisions. Something you’ve never seen before will factor heavily in another of the losses. And Jerry Wayne will do something nobody thought he would ever actually do.

Here it is, week-by-week. No gambling, please. Unless you can find a Cowboys fan to take the over on ten wins.

9-11 v. Tampa Bay – Bucs 17, Dallas 13
Take the under on this one. Tom Brady is missing almost as many starters on offense from last year as the Cowboys are. Both offensive lines are questionable at best. Both teams are missing  big-play receivers. Neither team can run the ball. Both defenses are the strengths of their teams. But he’s still Tom Brady.

9-18 v. Cincinnati – Bengals 30, Dallas 24
The Bengals run the old fumblerooskie and former Cowboy La’el Collins scores the game winning touchdown, running over Leighton Vander Esch, and ending his career. Tony Pollard scored two of the Cowboys touchdowns on long runs while Elliot finished with 19 yards on 14 carries. Cameras catch Jerry  in his suite with his finger in Steven’s  face.

9-26 @ Giants – Dallas 24, New York 12
A battle of two winless teams for Monday Night Football. Jerry told 105-FM The Fan that he had a conversation with Sean Payton on Tuesday, “just talking football with an old friend.” On Wednesday, Mike McCarthy told The Ticket he’s not concerned about his job security, he’s focused only on beating the Giants. In New York, Saquon Barkley is back for the G-Men. But so is Daniel Jones. New York has the only offense in the NFC East worse than the Cowboys. Dalton Schultz catches 12 passes for two scores and Micah Parsons forces two fumbles as the Cowboys notch their first victory of the season.

10-2 v. Washington – Dallas 30, Commanders 10
Carson Wentz has issues. As a team, Washington has the NFL’s worst quarterback rating over the past four years with ten different starting quarterbacks. And Wentz continues the trend. Mike McCarthy raises eyebrows when he calls for a punt on third down late in the first quarter. But this is a cakewalk – Tony Pollard racks up 188 yards of total offense – and the Cowboys even up their record at 2-2.

10-9 @ L.A. Rams – L.A. 31, Dallas 14
The Cowboys come crashing back to earth and reality as the Rams dominate this game from the opening kick to the final gun. The Cowboys depleted offensive line make the Rams tackles and ends look like the old Fearsome Foursome. Aaron Donaldson eats Tyler Smith for lunch and then spits him out. Smith suffers six holding penalties while the Rams sack Prescott five times.  The running game is non-existent. No catches for CeeDee Lamb. Mike McCarthy says he’s seeing good things out of his punter. Jerry commented after the game that the new SoFi Stadium is nice, but you can’t see the sun. And where’s the art?

10-16 @ Philadelphia – Philly 17, Dallas 16
The Cowboys lose the division lead on a Sunday night in the City of Brotherly Shove as the Eagles assert their dominance in the trenches. Games are won and lost at the line of scrimmage and the Cowboys can’t match up. Jason Peters injures himself while running onto the field during player introductions, forcing punter Bryan Anger into the lineup at left tackle. Jalen Hurts ran for both Eagles touchdowns as Dallas falls to 2-4. One catch for Lamb for six yards. Mike McCarthy says he’s seeing good things out of his special teams. And it’s still  early. Nobody’s panicking.

10-23 v. Detroit – Dallas 38, Lions 26
CeeDee Lamb has his first multiple catch game of the year as the Cowboys beat the winless Lions. Michael Gallup makes his first start of the year, which takes a little pressure off Lamb. After the game, Detroit coach Dan Campbell begs Jerry to find him a spot on the Cowboys staff. Jerry considers making Campbell his starting left tackle.

10-30 v. Chicago – Cowboys 28, Bears 27
This one  is  closer than it should have been. McCarthy’s decision to use all his video challenges on holding calls almost cost the team at the end. But Trevon Diggs, who gives up 261 yards receiving, intercepts Justin Fields in the end zone to close it out. The Cowboys head to the bye week at 4-4. McCarthy says the Cowboys are through the toughest part of their schedule and they feel really good about getting Michael Gallup and James Washington back after the bye.

Bye Week
The running back situation dominates the headlines during the off week. Ezekiel Elliott is the second highest paid running back in the league, but he’s only averaging 2.1 yards per carry. The passing game isn’t working because there’s no running game to set it up. Tony Pollard seems to have the step and the spark Zeke has lost. But Jerry needs Elliott  on the field for obvious reasons: He drafted him, he signed him to that ridiculous contract, and they’re working on a Pizza Hut commercial together. All the talk centers around ways to get both players on the field at the same time. Pollard practices at slot receiver, tight end, and fullback. Dak asks  Elliott to work on his blocking. Jerry Wayne is completing his mental list of fired or retired NFL coaches: Urban Meyer, Mike Zimmer, Matt Nagy, Jon Gruden, Joe Judge. He’s got all their phone numbers except for Zimmer. Zimmer’s been blocking Jerry’s calls since 1994.

11-13 @ Packers – Green Bay 34 , Dallas 10
Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy gets emotional in his first return to Lambeau Field since being fired by the Packers four seasons ago. He weeps openly during pre-game introductions and then attempts an ill-conceived Lambeau Leap at the end of the national anthem. Zack Martin and Dante Folwer help carry McCarthy off the field. Aaron Rodgers misses the game, out sick with COVID-19, measles, whooping cough, polio, and shingles; he hasn’t had any kind of preventative vaccination. Ever. But Green Bay wins the time of possession 49-minutes to 11 and gets the victory in a laugher.

11-20 @ Minnesota – Vikings 44, Dallas 41
The Cowboys lose in a wild shootout to the surprise team of the NFC. Kirk Cousins and the Vikings run and pass all over the Cowboys defense, but this loss is on McCarthy. Down 44-38 with 14-seconds to play at the Minnesota 14-yard line, McCarthy calls for a field goal to make it a three-point game. This way, he reasons, Dallas needs only to recover an onside kick, complete one long sideline pass, and kick another field goal to force overtime. The kick is good. The onside attempt is not. Kellen Moore refuses to talk to reporters after the game. Jerry Wayne uses a fake name to try to get Mike Zimmer’s phone number. The Cowboys fall to 4-6. But McCarthy likes what he sees with the optimism and good cheer in the locker room. They’ve got the Giants up next.

11-24 v. New York Giants – Dallas 24, Giants 13
Dallas gets behind early on a strange play which leads to an unsettling sideline confrontation between McCarthy and Kellen Moore. It seems McCarthy overruled Moore by calling for a double-reverse flea-flicker pass on the first snap of the game. Dak Prescott gets absolutely murdered on the play and the fumble is returned 23-yards for a Giants touchdown, the only New York touchdown of the day. Ezekiel Elliott runs for only 33-yards. Backup quarterback Cooper Rush completes 42 passes for 130 yards, no completion longer than three yards. It’s ugly. Really ugly. But the Cowboys have the easiest part of their schedule coming up and they’re only two games behind the Eagles in the NFC East. McCarthy says he really thinks they’re close to putting together a complete team effort.

12-4 v. Colts – Indianapolis 32, Dallas 28
The Cowboys lose in prime time on Sunday night football to the surprising Colts. Quarterback Matt Ryan is putting up MVP numbers in Indy while Jonathan Taylor leads the NFL in rushing. The Colts run game forces the Cowboys to play straight up man-to-man in the secondary and it is not pretty. Dak is back, but he’s playing from behind all night. He racks up big numbers – he completes more passes than all  the team’s rushing attempts combined – but the Cowboys lose and  fall to 5-7. Jerry Wayne works a deal with WWE to host a blockbuster Wrestlemania event at AT&T Stadium in January in exchange for John Cena and the Undertaker playing on the left side of the Cowboys offensive line the remainder of the season.

12-11 v. Houston – Cowboys 23, Texans 20
Micah Parsons plays his best game of the year as the Cowboys defense continues to be the strongest part of the team. Defensive Coordinator Dan Quinn keeps getting mentioned for the two head coaching vacancies in the NFL. Kellen Moore’s stock is falling as the Cowboys offense is ranked in the bottom third of the league. The Cowboys commit 15 penalties and are the most penalized team in the NFL for the second straight year. Dallas is 6-7, still two games back of Philly.

12-18 @ Jacksonville – Cowboys 27, Jaguars 4
Jacksonville is the worst team in the NFL. Their only points come on two safeties against Prescott. After the game, Jags quarterback Trevor Lawrence enters the transfer portal back to Clemson. Coupled with an Eagles loss, the Cowboys are now just one game back in the division. They play the Eagles next. At home. For the division lead. In December.

12-24 v. Philadelphia – Eagles 28, Cowboys 9
The Eagles complete a sweep of the Cowboys  to go up two games in the NFC East with two to play. And it finally happens. Jerry Wayne rides the elevator down to the field, fires McCarthy on the sidelines at the two-minute warning, and names himself as the Cowboys interim head coach. Yes. Jerry finally does the only thing he hasn’t done yet in imitating his idol Al Davis: he becomes the coach. Officially. After the game, Jerry explains that he couldn’t elevate one of his coordinators to the head coaching spot because they are such great coordinators. And because he’s the one who signed their contracts. And because they just filmed all those J.C. Penny commercials. McCarthy tells reporters he thought the Cowboys were really beginning to pull together as a team. The Cowboys are 7-8 and can still nab a wild card spot if they sweep their last two games.

12-29 @ Tennessee – Titans 44, Dallas 10
Derrick Henry runs over and through the exhausted Dallas defense for 174-yards rushing and three touchdowns as the Titans end the Cowboys playoff chances on a Thursday night in Nashville. It was a short week. The Cowboys defense is averaging 61-snaps per game and it’s just too much. Jerry Wayne makes his coaching debut and insists on joining the team captains on the field for the coin toss. He installs a wishbone offense with Tony Pollard at wingback and Dalton Schultz at fullback. It leads to six turnovers, a ruptured spleen for Dak Prescott, and a blowout loss.

TBD @ Washington – Dallas 12, Commanders 10
Daniel Snyder and Jerry Wayne trade offensive lines during the week leading up to the season finale. In a rare show of restraint, Jerry refuses to give up Cooper Rush for Carson Wentz.  Bryan Anger, who replaced  three Cowboys kickers during the season, kicks four field goals in the Cowboys win. Dallas finishes 8-9, the 27th straight year the Cowboys will not win a divisional playoff game.

Black Monday arrives and Steven and Jerry Jr. are tasked by Charlotte and Gene with the difficult job of firing Jerry as coach. Sean Payton is in town filming a Pizza Hut commercial.

Peace,

Allan

Mid-Season Form

The first preseason game is for determining if your draft picks, free agent rookies, and second-year pros have what it takes to make your team and contribute to the organization. You don’t expect perfection; these are not seasoned veterans. But is there potential for them to fit into our schemes, to adequately fill the gap when a starter goes down, to provide depth and security in important ways?

The Dallas Cowboys’ rookies and second-year pros who played in Saturday night’s preseason opener in Denver looked like the starters in mid-season form, racking up 17 penalties for 129 yards in a sloppy 17-7 loss to the Broncos. Coach Mike McCarthy has repeatedly promised that penalties would be a “point of emphasis” after Dallas led the NFL in yellow flags a season ago and committed a record 14 infractions in their playoff loss to the 49ers. Whatever he’s doing, though, isn’t working. Clearly.

Seventeen flags Saturday night. Ten offensive penalties, five on defense, and two on special teams. First-round pick Tyler Smith had two holding penalties, one of them wiping out an eleven yard gain. Second-round pick Sam Williams cost the Cowboys 15 yards on a roughing the passer call. Dante Fowler was flagged for unnecessary roughness. Josh Bell committed two holding penalties on the same drive. Kelvin Joseph jumped offside on a missed 57 yard field goal attempt by the Broncos, resulting in a five yard penalty, resulting in a made 52 yarder.

Sloppy. Undisciplined. Typical.

But it’s only the first preseason game, you say. These weren’t the starters, these are the rookies and subs, you say. You can’t make any judgments based on the first preseason game, you say. Everybody has a lot of penalties in the opening week of the preseason, you say.

The Cowboys had 17. The NFL average last week during everybody’s first preseason games was 6.6 penalties per team. The Cowboys had 17.

Peace,

Allan

« Older posts