Category: Cowboys (Page 1 of 48)

Thinking Out Loud: Baptism

Two Sundays ago was “Baptism Sunday” here at GCR. Six beautiful people confessed Christ Jesus as Lord and were buried with him in the waters of baptism and raised to walk in newness of eternal life with God and with his Church. It was a glorious day. It was a testimony to our Savior and a glory to our God. Six baptisms.

And the preacher didn’t preside over any of them.

Six different people baptized these six new Christians. What was taking place was described to the church in six different ways. Six different things were said as the converts went under and came back up. Most of these people hadn’t baptized anyone before, so there was minor floundering and forgotten phrases and awkward hand-to-nose coordination.

And it was beautiful.

You know, it wasn’t that long ago–maybe just 20-25 years ago–that the preacher would have handled all six of those baptisms. The preacher did almost all the baptisms all the time; it was that way for decades, even centuries. And, not surprisingly, the baptisms were all very much the same. The same preacher said the same correct words and confidently used the same motions and expertly put the person under and brought the person back up in the same way. Every time. And I wonder if that didn’t help perpetuate the ideas among us that baptism is foremost something we do. A decision we make, a command we obey, an act of faith or a good work that we initiate and execute with precision. It’s a little too tidy, it’s a little too controlled. We’re in charge of baptisms and the preacher does it right. He’s the minister, he’s the “authority,” he’s the one who does it right.

No. God is the One who acts at baptism. This is God’s work, not yours. Not ours. God is the one doing the calling and the saving, the forgiving and the restoring. We don’t do anything in baptism, we don’t achieve or accomplish anything. We receive everything! It’s got nothing to do with my goodness or your correctness or the right words being said by the right person or the right amount of water being used or how much or how little I know about what’s going on. This is God meeting you in the water and making you an eternal child of his forever. Anything that adds to or takes away from that is legalism and denies the very Gospel of Jesus.

And I think our baptisms today communicate all that a little better than they used to.

It’s a teenager and his youth minister, it’s a couple of co-workers, it’s a child and her two parents demonstrating their faith by jumping into the water together and trusting that God is going to save. Giving themselves to the Lord, fumbling through the words, getting each other too wet or not wet enough, almost drowning each other, forgetting what to say–believing that God is the one in charge.

Just thinking out loud here. This seems like a really healthy development.

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So, the Cowboys have their running back for the upcoming season. Ezekiel Elliott. For real. In Elliott’s last year with Dallas, he ran for 3.8 yards per carry, the worst of his career at that point. Last season with New England, he ran for 3.5 yards per carry. Jerry Wayne told us last week that he saw something in the last part of last season that gave him confidence Elliott could still be an effective runner. Well, in his last six games with the Patriots, his average per carry was 2.9 yards. This is what it looks like for Jerry to be “all in.”

It’s more like, “The window is closed, again, and I’m not spending any more money on this mess. Good luck to Dak and Lamb, go do the best you can. Mike McCarthy, go ahead and line up some interviews because when this season is over I’m firing you and bringing in Belichick.”

Peace,

Allan

Super Bowl Scattershooting

Scattershooting while wondering whatever happened to Mike Zimmer.
Wait. Nevermind.

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About yesterday’s Super Bowl. Did you see all those Chiefs field goals? They matter. Extra points. They matter. Would somebody please tell Dan Campbell.

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These are my favorite Super Bowl commercials I have watched several times again today, in the order in which they made me laugh out loud: Reece’s Peanut Butter Caramel Cups, particularly the guy on the left slamming his head into that pot of beans or chili or whatever that is; Ben Affleck and Matt Damon’s Dunkin Donuts spot with Tom Brady; Aubrey Plaza’s Mountain Dew commercial, specifically where she’s having a blast both winning and losing; and the couch potato commercial for Pluto TV–that one’s funny in a really creepy way. Also, I did not see the little dog hula-hooping in the Reece’s commercial until like my sixth viewing.

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Thank goodness the Super Bowl is not on CBS every year. Does America really want to listen to Tony Romo tell us what he would do during a critical drive, trailing by one score, in the last two minutes of a half? We saw what he would do. We watched it for ten years.

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Name a quarterback playing right now you’d rather have guiding your team, down one score, with one possession left, over Patrick Mahomes. You can’t. Good grief, that guy. In the clutch, with the clock ticking and the game on the line, Mahomes just straight-up delivers. That last drive to set up the game-tying field goal at the end of regulation and that championship winning drive in overtime were both perfect. Perfect. Unstoppable. Travis Kelce caught nine balls for 93-yards, including three huge third down catches on those two drives. The Kansas City defense was unbelievable in limiting the Niners. And their kicker could split the uprights from 70 yards away. Mahomes is the rightful MVP. And the Chiefs are now America’s Team. They beat both number-one seeds during the run that ended with yesterday’s title. They’ve got big personalities at the skill spots and down-to-earth guys in the trenches. They’ve got a Hall of Fame coach. They’ve got America’s biggest pop music hero hosting movie stars and high-end celebrities in the million-dollar suites, cheering them on. And they win and win and win. The Chiefs are America’s Team.

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Following our annual GCR Daddy-Daughter Dance Friday, there were two-and-a-half boxes of Little Debbie Unicorn Cakes left over. Unicorn Cakes? I had never heard of Unicorn Cakes until Ashlee messaged us Sunday morning that we were free to take any leftover cookies, brownies, or other desserts home with us for our various Super Bowl parties. Unicorn Cakes? Sparkling strawberry? Some kind of gooey purple icing stuff in the middle? White icing and sprinkles? Yes, please! Today there are one-and-a-half boxes left.

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The World Series Champion Texas Rangers pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training in Surprise, Arizona this Wednesday February 14. Day after tomorrow. I know it’s also Ash Wednesday. And Valentine’s Day. But it’s also the first official day of the defense of the Rangers’ World Series Championship! I’ve never typed those words before. Ever.

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I want to write something a little more reflective on the “He Gets Us” Super Bowl commercial featuring the foot washing scenes. I’ll try to get to that tomorrow. Have you seen it? Here it is. Stay tuned…

Peace,

Allan

And Then There Were Four

The Detroit Lions scored touchdowns on back to back drives late in the 4th quarter today to beat Tampa Bay and advance to their first NFC Championship Game since 1991. That means now there are only four teams in the NFL who haven’t won a divisional playoff game since 1995. You know who those four teams are:

Browns
Dolphins
Deadskins
Cowboys

That’s some mighty fine company there.

No wins in a divisional playoff game for 28 years. That’s the very definition of irrelevance.

If you were to ask any nominal football fan to name the worst four teams in the NFL over the past couple of decades, three of those above teams would be mentioned out loud within a blink. Why aren’t the Cowboys perceived to belong to the company they keep? Sadly, Cowboys fans would point to the regular season wins, the sellouts at AT&T Stadium, and the financial worth of the franchise to differentiate from the teams in the NFL’s basement. Really? They also claim that Dallas is in the same strata with the 49ers, Eagles, and Packers. Delusional. Good grief, Mike McCarthy said last week the Cowboys are a championship team! Huh?

Since the Cowboys last won a divisional playoff game, the Packers have been to eight NFC Championship Games and played in three Super Bowls . The Eagles have played in eight conference title games and three Super Bowls. And next week the ‘Niners will play in their eighth NFC Championship Game and then, maybe, their third Super Bowl.

It would take years for the Cowboys to belong in that class.

The Baltimore Ravens are playing in their fifth AFC Championship Game next week and they didn’t even exist as a franchise the last time the Cowboys won a divisional game. Besides the Deadskins, Lions, and Cowboys, every team in the NFC has made multiple conference championship games. That’s 13 NFC teams! Multiple! They’ve each appeared in at least two! That includes the Carolina Panthers! Man, the New York Giants have been to three Super Bowls during this period and won two!

The Cowboys? Uh, no.

But go buy some more gear. That’ll help.

Peace,

Allan

Buy Into Us?

Three-and-a-half days after suffering the most humiliating playoff loss in franchise history, giving up the most points ever in a playoff game, choking away the #2 seed at home, and capping the 28th straight year now without winning a divisional playoff game, here is the news out of Dallas Cowboys headquarters:

The head coach will be back.

The quarterback will be back.

The general manager will be back.

Makes perfect sense.

Until today, there was nothing more chilling to Cowboys fans than hearing Jerry Wayne say, “Our goal is to win Super Bowls and I know what it takes to do that.” But, after learning he would retain his position as the Cowboys head coach, Mike McCarthy told reporters today, “I believe that the leadership is in place. I came to Dallas to win the world championship. And that’s why I’m standing here. Buy into us.”

Buy into us?

It’s like if three days after they put out the Hindenburg, they said, “Hook up the hoses, boys; let’s try it again!” and asked you to buy a ticket.

The Cowboys fans I’m talking to are disgusted with the outcome of their season and they’re aghast at the prospect of McCarthy and Prescott running (scratch that) passing the offense and no Dan Quinn to guide the defense. They’re ripping Dak, they’re blaming McCarthy, they’re cursing Jerry. Buy into us? How can we? That’s what they’re saying today.

Give them until the combine and the draft. Give them four or five free agent signings. Let them ink a 400-pound defensive tackle. Let them find a reliable number two wide receiver. Wait for them to trade for a linebacker. Wait for training camp. Wait for Jerry to say this is the most excited he’s ever been before the start of a season. Wait for McCarthy to say this is the most talent and the most cohesion he’s ever experienced with any team. Wait for the inevitable explanation that the latest wild card disaster has left a terrible and unforgettable taste in their mouths, it has forged them into a stronger and more determined team, and they’re built now to take that championship step. And then listen to the Cowboys fans proclaim 2024 is the year.

Buy into us?

Don’t worry, Mike. Cowboys fans always do.

Peace,

Allan

There is No Solution

There is no solution to what ails the Dallas Cowboys. There are problems, of course. Lots of problems. Layers and layers of complex issues and complicated personalities and perplexing questions. But there are no answers. There is no solution.

I wouldn’t fault Dallas at all if they fired head coach Mike McCarthy. He was brought in to get the Cowboys over the hump, to get this team back to a Super Bowl. Yet in four years, they haven’t won even a divisional playoff game. His clock management skills and in-game decisions are sketchy at best. He promised to take over the play-calling this year so they would run the ball more than the previous offensive coordinator Kellen Moore and, by grab, they ran the ball less! Under McCarthy, the Cowboys are the most penalized team in the NFL. I’m not sure he’s capable of motivating his team to match the intensity of their opponents in these big games and playoffs. And nobody should trust him at the end of a close game. Yes, he probably should be fired.

But, the Cowboys have the number one offense in the NFL under his guidance. He’s won twelve games now for three straight years. McCarthy is not the only problem. So what do you do?

Same thing with Dan Quinn. You could fire him for that pitiful display against the Packers on Sunday and feel fully justified. You were closer to some of those Green Bay receivers on your couch than the Cowboys defensive backs. This team got gashed by good opponents who were committed to running the ball. A glaring weakness that Quinn never fixed. I wonder if he was spending as much time game-planning for the Packers last week as he was lining up head coaching interviews. It was atrocious.

But the Cowboys lead the NFL in takeaways and pass pressures and sacks and are in the top five in several other important categories. And he’s an intense guy; he’s not lacking in fire. Quinn is not the only problem.

Is it the culture? Did the Cowboys quit once they got down 14-0? It sure looked that way to me. What was wrong with Dak? He looked tight. Unsure. Indecisive. Confused. He looked like a rookie. Did that rub off on Cee Dee Lamb? Is the now 28-year-drought more like a 28-thousand pound weight around their necks?

Did you catch Michael Irvin’s post-game rant on Twitter? Look it up. Wow! He’s screaming at the camera and flailing his arms around, yelling about how when he became a Cowboy, he looked up to the heroes of the past, he honored and revered the ones who had gone before, and he felt obligated by the history to put his own championship on the table next to the ones they handed down to him. It’s a legacy thing all Cowboys are supposed to live up to. It was a wonderful speech–gave me goosebumps. But is that too much for these current Cowboys to carry? Would they be better served to try to forget about all that history and just play their brand of football and create their own thing? At the same time, most of the players weren’t even alive when Dallas won their last championship. They certainly don’t remember any of it. Dak was not even three-years-old in 1995! Do the players subconsciously live into the undeniably true narrative that the Cowboys always choke in the playoffs? They can’t escape it. Do they believe at this point that it’s just destiny and there’s nothing they can do about it? What’s the solution for that?

Speaking of former Cowboys, did you see Jimmy Johnson’s halftime tirade on Fox? They asked the Jimster, if he were in the Cowboys lockerroom trailing 27-7 against the Packers, what would he say?

https://twitter.com/NFLonFOX/status/1746672660946223541?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1746672660946223541%7Ctwgr%5E14e61e787ea323b2b16693c22ac49aa3f4d0b8b7%7Ctwcon%5Es1_c10&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.bloggingtheboys.com%2F2024%2F1%2F16%2F24038900%2Fdallas-cowboys-game-green-bay-packers-media-playoffs-criticism-mike-mccarthy-dan-quinn

See, that’s one huge thing the Cowboys are missing. I wrote about this here when Jimmy was finally inducted into the Ring of Honor a few weeks ago. Jimmy was so great because he did not tolerate losing. Underperforming, being lazy, being unprepared, playing sloppy, losing–he had not patience for it. He wouldn’t accept it. He was genuinely ticked off Sunday. He called the whole thing embarrassing. And he’s right.

What if Jimmy were still the Cowboys coach? Well, he’s not, because Jerry won’t allow it. And he won’t allow anyone like Jimmy to ever be the coach. People keep talking about Belichick and Saban and Carroll–that’s foolish! Jerry would never hire a coach like that and a coach like that would never answer a phone call from Jerry. That’s another problem to which there is no solution.

That was it, Cowboys fans. That was it for a while. Dak was having his best season ever and he was in the NFL MVP conversation. Cee Dee Lamb racked up the best season for a Cowboys receiver in team history. Micah Parsons was getting some votes for NFL Defensive Player of the Year. There were 15 Pro Bowlers on this team. They had the number one offense. They led the league in defensive takeaways. They won the division and had home field advantage for the first two rounds. They had won 15-straight at home and were scoring 38 points a game at AT&T. The Eagles had imploded and were no longer a threat. The Packers barely squeaked into the playoffs on the season’s final day. The whole thing was set up for the Cowboys to get to the NFC Championship for the first time in 27 years. All they had to do was show up!

And that’s about all they did.

The common denominator, of course, is Jerry. It’s his culture. He is solely responsible for whatever weirdness permeates the DNA of this franchise. His relationship with the coach, his relationship with the players, his relationship with the NFL, with the media, with Cowboys fans–it’s unconventional in the worst of ways. He is desperate to win one Super Bowl without Jimmy, to cement his legacy with one more title before he’s gone. Then, and only then, would he ever consider moving out of the way and handing the reins to someone else, anyone else. Until then, he is stubbornly dug in to doing this his way and only his way. He’s committed to more of the same. And you know what they say about someone who does the same thing over and over, expecting different results. Or about fans of a certain team who keep thinking things will change, even after 28 years.

Lots of problems. No solution.

Peace,

Allan

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