I want to go ahead and apologize for my extended absence from the blogosphere. I was busy punishing my liver and hating on day fun a darty’s in general (day + party = darty). However, I was lucky enough, during that span, to attend my first professional football game. I was even luckier in that I was able to attend a game involving my favorite team, in a season in which God had pre-ordained that they would win a Super Bowl in their home stadium. Or at least that’s what I thought until I watched the Cowboys fall flat on their face against shifty Mike Shanahan’s racially insensitively named Redskins.
So for those of you who have never attended a game, the atmosphere is pretty amazing, and I assume that Washington fans were especially fired up/drunk in anticipation of a new coaching era and the arrival of a longtime nemesis turned savior in Donovan McNabb. As a true fan, I obviously repped my Cowboys by wearing a jersey to the game. In the future, I will never wear a Tony Romo jersey to an opposing stadium. Every drunk male who didn’t recognize that I am six feet of unadulterated testosterone fueled rage when my team is playing poorly deigned to say things like “more like Tony Homo” or “isn’t he a homo”, or “more like tony gay” (really? Tony Gay?). Thankfully, my girlfriend, who arranged this whole affair, was next to me otherwise I would have let most of the stadium taste my pain.
In the parking lot before the game I feasted on the breakfast of champions otherwise known as Popeye’s Chicken and Ambhar Tequila and made bold score predictions. Now, the Redskins always play the Cowboy’s tough and I anticipated that this matchup would be no different. Also, I witnessed Romo and the ‘boys impotence on offense during the preseason and wasn’t fully convinced that wand would be waved once the regular season began and all the offensive struggles would disappear. In short, I was nervous, but I still figured we’d beat the Redskins.
Early in the game, after a few possessions and a few two many bubble screens to Dez Bryant who proceeded to get gobbled up, I began to sour. Now, I couldn’t get too sour (read: potty mouthed), I was sitting next to a nice family and behind me was a grandmother (not exactly the pain train I would expect to see in places like Philadelphia). But I knew things were going poorly from an offensive standpoint. As the half wound down I was confident that things would break open in the second half. The defense looked stout aside from one or two minor lapses in pass coverage (I hate you Santana Moss, you suck all season but you play well against Dallas, stop being such a thorn in the side of America’s God’s team).
Then it happened. With 3 seconds left in the half Tony Romo and Jason Garrett conspired to torpedo whatever chances they had of escaping relatively unscathed into half time. On his own 35, Romo scrambled as time expired and flipped the ball to Tashard Choice who proceeded to drop the ball on the turf into DeAngelo Hall’s loving arms (Tashard you are also a bonehead). I sat stunned as the stadium erupted while Hall sauntered into the endzone. The old grandmother behind me patted me on the head to remind me that they had scored. I almost popped off, and then I recognized that a proud supporter of God’s team should show restraint. In any other situation, or had she been a friend of mine, I would have promptly fashioned a prison shank and stabbed the person. (Seriously I’m not that violent I’m just still seething about the loss).
Basically I’m going to skip the majority of a boring second half (thank you Miles Austin for providing a small bright spot on an otherwise crappy game. Also thank you for being the most productive player on my fantasy team this week. I’m thanking him because Miles reads my blog and texts me to tell me he loves it.)
The Cowboys shot themselves in the foot with penalties (holding calls). Alex Barron is literally rooted to the ground. Marc Columbo has better return soon or the elite pash rushers of the league will sit on Tony Romo’s head on most pass plays. Basically the Cowboys put together a great drive in the closing minutes only to have the inexperience and ineffectiveness of the right tackle position kill them. In a situation like that I would have liked to see Romo get out of the pocket anyway, and let his playmaking ability take over. That would have negated the importance of Barron’s blocking on Brian Orakpo and the ‘boys likely would have avoided the final play debacle. I actually watched this play from inside (I was so dejected that I convinced my girlfriend to start moving to the exits and then stopped to watch the TV once the final drive started). Initially I squealed like a school girl (did I mention that I’m 6 feet of testosterone) when they scored and then died inside when I saw the penalty. Anyway, I can think of no more heartbreaking loss for me personally than the Cowboys defeat two years ago at the hands of the Eagles or watching Stephen Curry dismantle my beloved Hoyas in the NCAA tournament.
I’m very disappointed in my Cowboys and want to give a little team review.
1. Fire Alex Barron.
2. Seriously, fire him
3. I was actually happy to see Romo show some fire and some poise under pressure late. I actually thought he threw the ball well and hit guys. I was also happy to see him show some emotion throughout the game. I usually see him on TV walking off after a replay with a totally deadpanned expression. Live, you can actually see him get angry and demonstrate the he is in fact human and capable of more than ridiculously calm “well we’re getting better” podium responses.
4. Dez Bryant is going to be a star. He and Romo clearly have some chemistry, see ya Roy Williams.
5. The Cowboys were too quick to abandon the run down 10. Romo throwing 47 times is bad news.
6. The defense is pretty solid (although I don’t think too much of the Redskins offense).
7. I’d like to see a better usage of Martellus Bennett and Jason Witten. Neither player was used very effectively and Witten and Romo didn’t seem to be as in sync as usual.
8. I’m not sure if the Cowboys have a legitimate deep threat to stretch defenses. I don’t really remember any deep throws during the game. I would like to see some shots to either Austin or Bryant. (I’m not sure if its that no receiver has deep threat speed or Jason Garrett wasn’t confident in the protection, but there were few deep shots)
9. Run the ball. Both Felix Jones and Marion Barber looked like they were able to make plays running the ball.
10. Get healthy Marc Columbo.
11. Woops, the place kicker is still a problem.