Could it be that we’re in for another nail-biting season finale? But of course we are, this is the Dallas Cowboys.
Long gone are the days of dominance held by the Trio of Aikman, Smith, and Irvin. Instead we have Romo, Murray, and Bryant and it’s not always the stuff of Champions that this new trio brings onto the field.
You get clutch fumbles on the ground, gut-wrenching interceptions when we’re already playing from behind, and key drops and missed routes when we have a shot to lock it up for the win. But this time around may be different for these ‘Boys.
Mr. November has almost made an art form out of close second place finishes in his aging tenure here at The Ranch, and no I’m not going to get into the numbers. Football isn’t about the numbers anymore. It’s not about stats and figures written on some sports statisticians note pad and it hasn’t been for a long time. If that were all it’s about then Romo would be leading the fiercest team in all of football with his stats and that of DeMarcus Ware, Jason Witten, and even the young DeMarco Murray.
Tony Romo didn’t live up to his “Mr. November” moniker this year. In fact, he all but shot it dead and left it to rot forever. This team has had its share of injuries and bad beats this year, like many before, but Romo himself just didn’t play the way we all have come to expect him to play in November.
His errant throws were massively increased, plus the interceptions. His TD’s were few and far between if not fought for tooth and nail. His awareness on the field left him all too aware of the texture on the ceiling, and his play certainly seems to have infected the stars around him.
But what I find most compelling this year over years passed is that while he tarnished his good name for the third quarter of the season, he is on a track to right the ship for December – the all too important final stretch of every season that this team has lacked the ability to close. This Cowboys team has momentum building at the right time of year for the first time in over a decade, almost two actually.
Sure the loss to the Saints hurt. It was the third game to be decided by 3 points in as many weeks, and the second to go into overtime for the kick. It was against a team that we all knew going in would be a challenge not because of their stunning defense, because the Saints don’t have that, but because they still have Drew Brees and he’s a pistol with a football in his hand. Even still, we fought back to a tie to force it into overtime and give us a chance for victory.
Was it too little, too late? Yes. But it was a great learning experience for what lies ahead in week 17 against the Redskins.
You will not win if you don’t pressure the quarterback! And RGIII is anything but an exception.
That’s what all our hopes come down to this year, beating Washington next Sunday night. And oh yes, it’s been flexed to the Sunday Night Football game due to its hefty playoff implications. The winner of the game will win the NFC East Division title and lock up one playoff contest.
We learned in the first outing against the Redskins that all this hype about RGIII isn’t just overblown excitement. It’s the real deal and so is Robert Griffin III.
Look for Coach Ryan to step up the pressure with Ware and Anthony Spencer to force an errant throw from RGIII. Expect more of the same by way of play calling from Coach Garrett as he’s been able to limit offensive mistakes by sticking to what works more often than not lately.
But also look for another slow start from the trio as they seem to need the first half to experiment and get comfortable with the game tempo and planning before they really get anything done. And with any luck, we won’t be playing from two scores down before the end of the first half leaving Romo feeling like he has to take something that just isn’t there to be had.
Let’s go Cowboys!
REPORT: Dallas Cowboys Re-sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladouceur
L.P. Ladouceur is returning for his 15th season as the Cowboys' long snapper. The veteran free agent was re-signed by Dalals today to a one-year deal.
Thanks to Jason Witten's one-year sabbatical with Monday Night Football, Ladouceur has now been with the Cowboys for more consecutive seasons than any current player. He just turned 38 last week, but Louis-Philippe remains one of the top long snappers in football.
The Cowboys have signed long-snapper L.P. Ladouceur to a one-year deal worth $1.03 million and $90,000 in bonus money, but he will count $735,000 against the cap. This will be Ladouceur's 15th season with the Cowboys, tying Ed "Too Tall" Jones, Mark... https://t.co/2iDsi6RX7e
Retaining Ladouceur is an underrated move for the Cowboys given their situation at kicker.
Brett Maher was only 80% accurate overall on field goals last year. The team could be considering an upgrade in free agency.
Whether they bring Maher back or try someone new, having a long snapper with Ladouceur's performance perfection will make things much easier for them.
REPORT: Cowboys Negotiating Trade with Dolphins for DE Robert Quinn
According to a report just minutes ago, the Dallas Cowboys are visiting with Miami Dolphins' Defensive End Robert Quinn today as part of a possible trade. Miami is looking for a trade partner to try to get something back for Quinn before making him a salary cap casualty.
Quinn is in the final year of his contract and is set to count $12.9 million against the Dolphins' salary cap. Most of that is his base salary of $11.8 million, which Miami is reportedly willing to pay part of to help facilitate a trade.
Robert Quinn was spotted today on his way to visit the #Cowboys, who are in trade talks with the #Dolphins for the veteran DE, sources say. Quinn would need to agree to any deal. So, this is another step in the process, with a Dallas team that obviously needs pass rush.
The Cowboys need DE help with DeMarcus Lawrence's contract still unresolved and Randy Gregory now indefinitely suspended for another drug policy violation. They signed Kerry Hyder from the Lions yesterday, but he isn't a proven commodity like Quinn.
Turning 29 in May, Robert Quinn is a two-time Pro Bowler and former first-round pick of the Rams. He hasn't had the same production in recent years but still had 6.5 sacks for Miami in 2018 and 8.5 the prior year with Los Angeles.
Ever the bargain shoppers these days, Dallas is probably hoping to get Quinn for late-round draft pick or perhaps a pick swap.
REPORT: Police Detain Cowboys DL Tyrone Crawford After Bar Fight
According to TMZ, Tyrone Crawford was involved in a brawl at a bar in Panama City, FL last Friday night. The Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman and team captain was detained by police but apparently was not arrested.
The level of Crawford's involvement has not been substantiated, but TMZ's report does have him shoving police officers at some point in the action. The incident was reportedly captured by surveillance equipment at the bar.
Given that he was not arrested, one could assume that Tyrone was not one of the primary players in the melee. But that doesn't mean the NFL won't still review this matter as it relates to the personal conduct policy, and Cowboys fans know too well how "fair" that process can be.
This is certainly not a story you'd expect to see attached to Tyrone Crawford, who has been a model citizen and leader since entering the league in 2012.
Dallas elected to keep Crawford this season despite solid potential savings. He will count $10.1 million against their 2019 salary cap, which is high for his average production. However, he can play multiple positions and is one of their most experienced players.
Even if Tyrone were to get suspended by the league, it likely wouldn't be more than a one or two-game ban given his record and reputation. It shouldn't change anything about his status with the team.
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