Monday, November 21, 2005

Dallas Cowoys...................20
Detroit Lions......................7

Well, a win is a win no matter what. Me? I'm a little concerned that for the second game in a row, the team did not play very well. Given that the Lions were penalized 17 times (the most since 1970!), the 'Boys should have scored a lot more than they did.

However, Dallas is 7-3 and atop the NFC East. From this vantage point, I believe that anyone of a half-dozen teams can make it to the Super Bowl (and lose to the Colts). Carolina proved mortal, Tampa Bay and Atlanta are no better that the Cowboys and the Giants lost to the 'Boys already this season.

That leaves da Bears. They remind me of the 2000 Baltimore Ravens. They also had a great defense and a weak quarterback. But as romantic a notion it is (especially here in Chicago), I just don't think they're close. Yes, they have a great defense. But aside from a schizophrenic Panthers team, who have they really beaten? Minnesota, Detroit (twice), New Orleans, San Francisco and Baltimore. These teams have a combined record of 19-39.

I think they should wait before making plane reservations for Detroit.

Cowboys Report Card

Passing Offense : C-
I put this entirely on the shoulders of Drew Bledsoe. He was off on quite a few throws and seemed to hold on to the ball too long on others. To the teams credit, he was only sacked once. However, he was pressured a lot.

Rushing Offense: B
I would have loved to give this unit an "A". But not being able to score on 3 straight plays from the 1-yard-line causes that. Overall, the tandem of Julius Jones (who ran better than he has all season) and Marion Barber worked very well and kept the defense off the field.

Passing Defense: B
Aside from the Lions lone scoring drive, they played well. Greg Ellis had the teams only sack, but they pressured Harrington well. It was nice to see Anthony Henry back in the mix, although Aaron Glenn has done an outstanding job in his place.

Rushing Defense: A
They held the Lions to just 57 yards rushing which was a huge improvement over the last game. It gets tougher Thursday when the face Denver.

Special Teams: A-
Billy Cundiff returned to the team and set a franchise record with a 56-yard kick in the 2nd quarter. It seemed to take the steam out of Detroit. A penalty by Tyson Thompson negated a "Deion-like" punt return by Terrance Newman. But it's possible that the long return only happened because of the penalty.

Coaching: B
They played conservatively and won by running the ball well and keeping a formidable Lions pass rush from killing the quarterback. I liked the fact that Parcells put Newman in the game to return the punt. Also, he put tremendous trust in Billy Cundiff that paid off as well.

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