THE MORE THINGS CHANGE
The Texas Rangers’ magic number is “5” for clinching the division championship in the American League West. Over the weekend, the Rangers completed a three-game sweep of the Mariners while the Astros were inexplicably being swept by the 102-loss Royals, giving Texas a 2-1/2 game lead in the division with seven games left in the regular season. The Rangers are healthy again, using the same batting order in four straight games for the first time this year. They’ve won five in a row after losing the previous four in a row. Evan Carter is providing a tremendous spark, the starters are gutting through some tough outings, and Bruce Bochy is proving to be the bullpen whisperer. It seems like the Rangers are getting hot at exactly the right time. Everything has changed.
THE MORE THEY STAY THE SAME
The Dallas Cowboys shocked all the people who don’t pay attention by laying a massive egg against the previously-winless Cards in Arizona. And it was the same three culprits it always is. One, Jerry Wayne. How else do you explain the lackluster effort on defense and all those penalties? The Cowboys gave up 222 rushing yards, 7.4 yards per carry, allowed a score on each of Arizona’s first half possessions, and committed ten penalties in the first half, the most by any team in a half in twelve years. The Cardinals had zero turnovers for the game and punted twice. Evidently, Dallas thought they could just show up and the Cardinals would lay down. Classic Jerry trickle down effect. Two, McCarthy. So, he’s calling all the plays now. The Cowboys got inside the Arizona ten-yard line on all four of their second half possessions and came away with a grand total of two field goals. McCarthy went for it and failed on fourth and four, knowing that points were terribly hard to come by. Dallas is now 6-15 on red zone possessions through three games. And, three, Dak. Nice end zone interception late in the fourth quarter. The Cowboys QB throws high to open receivers and throws into triple coverage when the game gets tight. Dallas lost to a backup quarterback and a winless team while reportedly having the most talented roster they’ve had in decades. Nothing has changed.