Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Back To Feeling Good


I was at a bar at Lake Tahoe, slightly hung over from the previous night of gambling--no richer or poorer. In the midst of a green sea of Eagles jerseys, I was one man alone with a blue number eight on my back. Troy Aikman, the man who had finally eclipsed the revered Roger Stauback in my mind as the greatest Cowboys quarterback ever, confidently stood behind the most dominating offensive line in football. They had won three Superbowls in four years--but in my opinion, the boys would have won five straight if Jimmy Johnson hadn't left Dallas after the first two. We owned the Eagles, and today would be no different.

The Eagles did the unthinkable and started with an onside kick--and recovered it. They marched down the field for a quick score. Their defense stampeded the Cowboys, sacking Aikman four times and giving him a mild concussion, which effectively ended his career. Joey Galloway tore a knee ligament, a wide receiver we acquired for two first round draft picks. The Eagles runningback, Duce Staley, torched us for over 200 yards.

This was the opening game of the year 2000. The bellwether. The Eagles would proceed to dominate the Cowboys for the next nine of ten meetings. As a fan, it was hard to watch.

So imagine my elation on Sunday when the Cowboys absolutely dismantled the Eagles 33 to 10. Donovan McNabb spent some time on his back, and the rest of the game running around trying to make something out of nothing. Sure, Donovan isn't feeling himself, having a bruised sternum or some such injury, but this same man took Kansas City apart last weekend in a second half comeback.

Could this be another bellwether game for this renovated Parcells team, or was it just a lucky game of the every-dog-has-it's-day variety? The truth is likely somewhere in between. We'll meet the Eagles again this year, and hopefully once in the playoffs. Let's see how the boys do against the red-hot Giants next week.

Call me a dreamer, but I'm starting to believe.

19 comments:

Tee said...

Sorry - all I read was football blah blah... Hee hee... There's nothing I like about the sport and I know almost nothing about it... It's fun to throw a football in the yard, that's about it.

As for haircutting - that's a good investment your wife made. Our hair trimmers pay for themselves after 2 haircuts. I estimate I've saved way over $1,000 in the past 8 years by cutting my husband's hair.... Just have a hat handy because we are professionals. We do make mistakes once in awhile. LOL.

Scott said...

So true Tee about the trimmers. As for the Cowboys, where is the love? It's so lonely being a boys fan in the heart of Pats country. Boo hoo hoo!

The Zombieslayer said...

Scott - I disagree with you. I still put Staubach over Aikman. Aikman's still an outstanding QB, but with that offensive line, which might go down in history as the best OL ever, plus Emmitt Smith, who is better than Tony Dorsett, Aikman had a lot more to work with. Keep in mind he had Michael Irvin too for his entire career.

My older brother vaguely knew Aikman, having gone to UCLA the same time. Supposebly a nice guy and all, but if I had to choose Staubach in his prime or Aikman, I'd choose Staubach.

Staubach was more mobile for one.

As for Johnson, I used to think Al Davis was the Anti-Christ. Now I'm thinking it's Jerry Jones. I don't even like the Cowboys but have utmost respect for Johnson. That guy single-handedly took the worst team in football and turned it into the best. And what reward does he get? He gets fired by the Anti-Christ.

Scott said...

Zombie - Finally, someone who knows the scoop. As far as the Staubach/Aikman debate, I could easily swing your way. The 70's Cowboys are the whole reason I love the team. They always had a chance to win every game they played. Staubach was amazing, and an incredible person to boot. Jones really screwed the team by letting Johnson walk, all over credit. He is putting the team back together, and finally admitted he can't win without a good coach.

Braleigh said...

Um...I love the movie "Any Given Sunday." I really have nothing of value to add to this conversation. I'm more of a soccer and hockey fan.

Jenn said...

Remember the Titans is a great movie, too, Braleigh! True story, too.

Hey, I like the sport, but only when I'm watching in person. 'Cause I like to yell and get rowdy. Really, all I know is when they make a TD or field goal. And when someone gets sacked HARD! But, that's all that matters, right?

Scott said...

Braleigh, thanks for jumping in and trying anyway. If it's any consolation, I know next to nothing about soccer and hockey. I played street hockey and know enough to understand I missed out on a great sport growing up.

Jenn - I like all that stuff too. If you follow a team long enough, you get wrapped up in the rivalrys and the backstage drama. I lived in San Francisco when both the Cowboys and the Forty Niners were in their halcyon days, and let me tell you about tension! What a showdown those two teams were. Football is a sport I prefer to watch on TV, unless I can run up and down the sidelines. I saw these two teams clash from one endzone and missed almost the whole game.

Eve said...

Hi, your entries on Joely's blog piqued my interest so I followed the links. I've never talked to a Cowboy fan who didn't live here so I had to check this out. Both you and Zombie are correct. Staubach and Aikman are the two greatest quarterbacks that the Cowboys have had (which I guess if you think about it - Hogeboom anyone? - isn't saying much) and perhaps the greatest that have ever played the game. As to Staubach being more durable - can anyone say concussions - that is debatable. It's also true that Aikman's numbers could rest solely on the shoulders of his teammates - but who is to say that Staubach would have been just as good without Pearson and Hayes? There was a reason "the triplets" went into the Ring of Honor together. Aikman, Irving and Smith - in my humble opinion there has never been a better set of players. Dorsett and Smith - I lean towards Emmitt, of course, but it all has to do with that offensive line and the holes they make, and Larry Allen is making some good ones for Julius Jones. Jerry Jones? There's a reason he idolizes Al Davis - but unlike Davis, Jones was able to concede that he's no coach. Otherwise, the feelings here about Jones are right with you. I'm cheering for the Chiefs this weekend because we need them to beat Washington. Everyone at the Dallas Morning News picked the Patriots to win, the Chargers to win and the Cowboys to beat the Raiders and the Redskins - so I guess for this Sunday, the team they pick will be the loser? When I get NFL withdrawal (that's the only sport I watch) I drag out one of the games that we kept from the "old days" and I watched a 1995 game with the Giants the other day - Cowboys 35, Giants 0 - it was great to hear those names: Aikman, Novacek, Haley, Moooooose, etc. Ahhh, the good old days. Anyway, I just thought I would toss my two cents in.
Go Cowboys!

Scott said...

Eve - Sorry I haven't replied to this yet. My time at the computer has been extremely limited this weekend. I am lucky in New England to even be able to see a Cowboys game, and have been even luckier to see the Eagles and the Giants games. We barely squeaked it out against the Giants, huh? Our defense rocks! I have to take my kids to school, so I'll write more later. But quickly, I've been a fan since around 76 since I saw the Cowboys beat the Broncos in the Superbowl. There is just something about this team that connects to me on a low level.

Eve said...

I wasn't sure about just "popping" in but your comments about "the boys" on Joely's blog intrigued me. I understand about liking a team that's not in your area - that was me and the Raiders in the 80s. You see, I didn't like football growing up. It was the bane of my existence. We couldn't go anywhere or do anything on Sundays because dad had to watch the game. Then one Sunday I was bored and channel surfing - you have to understand that I was 23 and the sight of tight pants pulled me in. It was the Raiders - Alzado, Plunkett, Allen, Long - and I was hooked. Remember the 1984 Cowboys and you'll see why I wasn't instantly drawn to them. I got a lot of flack. Since then, I've become a real Cowboy fan. The only thing Al Davis has up on Jones is that at least Davis has coached some football somewhere - other than that, they are both useless. Parcells has it in his contract that Jones can't interfere or he'll walk. Even with the poor playing yesterday - and we must admit that there was some lousy moves on their part - Bledsoe is still the ranked the number one quarterback in the NFC. And how about that interception - poor Manning. The defense is great this year. Sorry, I don't have a lot of people to talk football with - I take care of my mother who has Alzheimer's and I'm stuck with her most of the time - so I tend to go on about it.
BTW - I liked the piece about Anna.
Have a great day.

Eve said...

Thought we might keep the Cowboy talk here so as not to bore the non-football people. The Flo problem really sucks! And Crayton isn't much better, but at least we may only be without him for a month. This will let Price into the game and then we can see just what he has. His best year, if I'm correct, was with Bledsoe. We need to get Nguyen healthy and back on the field, the defense can't take too many "stars" leaving holes in the line. Torrin Tucker is supposed to replace Adams. I think we are going to miss Jones in this game. He made his debut last season against Seattle - 198 yds, 3 TD. They are going to continue rotating the other three. The Boys were supposed to work out Marc Columbo (Bears) and Marcus Price (Bills) today. I don't know if they made any trade by today's 3:00 deadline. They (the Dallas Morning News) mentioned Chris Terry as the best tackle available - but we'll see. What do you think of Anthony Henry? The paper called him the best thing since Deion Sanders? (But supposedly a lot better off the field). And Bledsoe is still the number one quarterback in the NFC! We haven't had that since Aikman. BTW thanks for coming by my blog. Guess I've taken enough space at the moment.

Scott said...

The cowboys website is reporting that the organization is leaning towards Ethan Brooks, whoever that may be. In the short term we are going with Torrin Tucker, so let's hope he steps up his game a little, because everyone I read is saying the guy stunk in preseason and lost his job to Pettiti, who can only do his job with help from Campbell or a running back.

Let me know that minute you find out the truth of it, but it looks like the answer isn't going to be sexy. We had a good season going, but this is going to cause us an extra game or four. Next year the focus has to be the offensive line. When Bledsoe has protection, he is a maniac.

Crayton is out between six and eight weeks. Price I think will be an excellent substitute and I'm not really worried. But Crayton is a future star in Dallas. Who am I kidding? He's a current star.

Eve said...

Correct on Crayton. And we signed Brooks and as to who he is - that was going to be my question to you. He is a 7 year veteran who made 7 starts with Baltimore last year, 2 at left tackle. He was with the Jets during training camp. That's it! Guess I'll look him up. Tucker? One can only hope - Pettiti is really doing better than it looks. He's had to protect against some big veteran names, he'll get it, if not this season then later. Besides, when have you known Parcells to be upfront and positive about anything? They are talking about the possibility of moving Allen over - but he's not fast enough to fill Adams role, plus the RBs rely on him to open holes for the run - just like Smith did. They also worked out three receivers yesterday - Ahmad Merritt, J.R. Tolver and Carl Kearney. Linebackers Jay Foreman and Tery Pierce also worked out. I don't know a lot about any of them. Merritt performed well in training camp and then suffered a foot injury.

Scott said...

Well, I'm not worried at all about wide receiver, and as far as I'm concerned they should leave the roster spot open for Crayton's return. I don't know a thing about Brooks, but I have learned to trust in Bill. I've got my fingers crossed. We need to score to beat some of the offensive juggernauts we will be facing, like Seattle this weekend. But then again, that's what they said about New York, and we basically held them to two field goals and then that last minute touchdwon. Our defense is for real, and I couldn't be happier about that.

Eve said...

I don't know just where you go for your Cowboy information but try these other sites:
wfaa.com
nbc5i.com
These are two of our local stations, also try
dallasmorningnews.com
I find that they are sometimes more up-to-date than the Cowboy site. I'm also going to start blogging about the Cowboys on Sundays. Gotta have somewhere to vent/celebrate, and not too many of my people come to the blog on that day.

Eve said...

There is supposed to be an interview this weekend on ESPN with Michael Irvin and Keyshawn Johnson - I don't know when. Nguyen and Campbell are probable for Sunday's game. Receiver J.R. Tolver has been added to the practice squad and safety Tony Bua (whoever he is) has been cut. Oh, and Jones is questionable.

Scott said...

Eve - Thanks for all the links--I have them all bookmarked now. One that you apparently don't have is the cowboys blog, which I find to be the best source of information, if not the most timely. The guy who maintains it is a football scholar, and goes to practices. He had a blurb about Torrin Tucker in the comments section. Parcels singled Tucker out early in the season and asked him what down it was, and Tucker didn't know, so Parcels gave him a tongue lashing along with some choice expletives. I'm starting to hope a little that Tucker can play up to the challenge. The Seattle game is bigger still than the Giants game.

Eve said...

In the paper today Parcells said that when Tucker is focused he's great. We'll see. Thanks for the link - no I didn't know about this. Thanks for coming by today.

Scott said...

I read the same thing, and I am feeling better about Tucker. The latest Ranch report has him doing better in practice. Please, please, PLEASE be true. We're doing so good.