Cowboys-Celtics-ChiSox's Blog
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Damn that was an ugly loss. Second one this year, I know, but this one...

Anyhow, there are a million blogs and fan sites (and main stream sites) where you can read all about another 'Romo collapse'. What's done is done and it's time to move on. So I'm here to tell you why there is plenty of reason to be excited about the last 12 games of the Dallas Cowboys season and why, even after a 2-2 start, I believe this is a playoff team and serious contender for the NFC East. Even though prior to the season I thought they could very well start out 3-1 but still finish 8-8. 

1. Romo. Yeah, yeah, I know. You don't have to tell me. But look, this guy has played the last 3 games with broken ribs...and for the most part he's played well, even managing comeback wins in two of them. It is said that as Tony goes, so goes the offense. If that's true, then things look good because...

2. This team hasn't been healthy since the first half of the Jets game. The list of injuries is a who's who of Cowboys potential Pro Bowlers and critical starters.

Tony Romo - Broken Ribs for 3 games

Dez Bryant - Missed 1 game, severely limited in all of the other 3. Has been a game time decision the last two weeks

Miles Austin - Missed 2 games, severely limited in parts of the other 2.

Jason Witten - Playing through bruised ribs 

Felix Jones - Playing through separated shoulder

Terrence Newman - Out two games with groin

Mike Jenkins - Playing through 3 different injuries mostly because there is no replacement for him

Orlando Scandrick - High ankle sprain. Has yet to appear in a game

David Buehler - Missed last two games with groin

Jason Hatcher - Missed last game with Calf injury

You kidding me? And that's just starters.

At times, Romo was on the field with a trio of receivers that came into the season with 1 NFL catch...combined. The last time Romo and his recievers were all healthy was approximately half way through the Jets game.

At times, there were 3rd and 4th safeties playing corner. The last time the entire starting secondary was healthy was...well...we're still waiting to see that one. 

So why the optimism? With the bye, the majority of these guys should be back to something resembling healthy bodies heading into New England which brings me to...

3. The schedule has been surprisingly brutal in the early going. Who expected the Lions and 49ers to be this good? The combined record of the Cowboys 4 opponents stands at 12-4...and Dallas is responsible for hanging 2 of those 4 losses on them. In fact, other than the Jets, every other team the Cowboys have played is undefeated against teams not from Dallas. The schedule looks to get a tad easier going forward. Starting with...

-New England. Yep, they look just like the team that went 14-2 last year. Yep, Tom Brady looks just like the QB that won his second MVP last year. Yep. This game is in Foxboro where Brady seemingly never loses.  And Yep. I'm predicting a Cowboys win. 

Don't call the guys in white coats on me just yet. Hear me out. 

Last year, there was one game where Brady looked completely lost. One game that the Patriots were beaten pretty easily, in fact. That one game was against the Cleveland Browns. A mediocre defense at best, but one that confused Brady so much that he couldn't beat them. Why is this significant? Because that Defense was coached by one Rob Ryan. This year Brady is going to see much of the same things that turned him into a mere mortal a year ago, only he's going to see it from stronger, faster, more athletic...just flat better...players who have two weeks to prepare for him. Add that to the fact that a healthy Dallas offense matches up very well with a pedestrian Pats defense and we have the makings of an upset in Foxboro. 

Riding the confidence that is sure to accompany a win in New England, assuming continued relative good health, Dallas should fairly easily win 5 of the ensuing 7 games on their schedule. 

St Louis

@ Philly

Seattle

Buffalo

@ Wash

Mia

@ AZ

That puts them, worst case, at 8-4 heading into the final month which is just too far out to predict. Prime position to sew up a wild card at least, and possibly compete for the division title. 

So, Cowboys Nation, get off that ledge...it really IS as simple as  that.

Comment #1 has been removed
October 3, 2011  12:00 PM ET

a strong team can't overcome bonehead mistakes made by their QB over and over. most aren't giving up just yet, but romo has got to start using his head. and being 8-4 going into the final mth would be great. but again, romo's record in december is pretty bad. he has a lot to prove this year.... it might just be his defining season. don't think JJ is going to put up with this long term and romo has had 5-6 yrs of leading this team.... his time is running out!

October 3, 2011  01:43 PM ET
QUOTE(#2):

a strong team can't overcome bonehead mistakes made by their QB over and over. most aren't giving up just yet, but romo has got to start using his head. and being 8-4 going into the final mth would be great. but again, romo's record in december is pretty bad. he has a lot to prove this year.... it might just be his defining season. don't think JJ is going to put up with this long term and romo has had 5-6 yrs of leading this team.... his time is running out!

Romo has had 3 fulls seasons as the Cowboys QB. A season he took over in game 6, and a season he was knocked out in game 6. In the 4 seasons he has finished the teams record with him under center was:

6-4 - Playoffs - Pro Bowl
13-3 - #1 seed in NFC - Pro Bowl
8-5 - (missed 3 games with broken finger 1-2 w/o him) missed playoffs by 1/2 game
11-5 - NFCE Champs - Pro Bowl

So in the 4 seasons Tony has finished, Dallas has 3 playoff appearances and likely would have been in all 4 if he hadn't missed those games with the finger.

How many playoff appearances did the Cowboys have between Aikman and Romo? 1. With Quincy Carter at QB.

Also...what is "Over and over"?

I realize people want to pin the Jets and Lions games solely on him (incorrectly, I might add) but what are these other games Tony has given away? Surely we aren't still talking about a bobbled snap in Seattle 5 years ago? What are all these other games Romo screwed the pooch on?

Yes, there have been some ugly turnovers in his career, there have also been FAR many more incredible plays. The two go hand in hand when you have a play maker at QB. Brett Favre had a HoF career, went to a couple of Super Bowls and would have went to a couple more w/out the Dallas Dynasty in his way with the same style of play.

With Romo, everything just gets blow out of proportion because of where he plays. Cowboys fans should be used to that by now.

October 3, 2011  09:16 PM ET

Let me help to talk you the wrong way off the ledge.

October 3, 2011  09:22 PM ET

Excellent blog, C-C-C.

But the 49ers aren't that good.

October 3, 2011  09:28 PM ET
QUOTE(#6):

Excellent blog, C-C-C. But the 49ers aren't that good.

Be that as it may, they are 3-1 and haven't lost to anyone other than Dallas thus far.

October 3, 2011  09:32 PM ET
QUOTE(#5):

Let me help to talk you the wrong way off the ledge.

Lol, we'll do that one in a Philly blog. :)

October 3, 2011  09:33 PM ET
QUOTE:

although I, of course, disagree with your pick on the Pats game.

Of course you do. But the reasoning is sound, isn't it?

Put it this way. Would it completely shock you if the Cowboys won in Foxboro?

October 3, 2011  11:02 PM ET
QUOTE:

Yes.And....No.

If you remember the Browns game last year, you know exactly what I'm getting at. Brady was LOST much of the game. His stat line wasn't awful, you'd have to remember the game. His second TD came in garbage time and he didn't throw a pick, but he was lost...best way I can put it. Confused. Kinda like Manning is when he faces a quality 3-4 defense of any kind.

Ryan was, of course, a big part of the defense in the Pats SB years. He knows exactly what that offense does and how to counter it.

October 3, 2011  11:08 PM ET

TD, Pats vs Cowboys??

Pats are going to win.

October 3, 2011  11:19 PM ET
QUOTE(#12):

TD, Pats vs Cowboys??Pats are going to win.

That would almost be a gimmee for you.

Doesn't matter what I argue, Very much uphill in that one against a quality opponent considering the makeup of the voters.

But yeah, I'll do it. I've taken on harder challenges in TD's before. ;)

Wait until next week though. It's two weeks away.

October 3, 2011  11:20 PM ET
QUOTE:

I meant:Yes...the reasoning is sound.And, No....it wouldn't surprise me if the Cowboys won.But like we've both already said....of course I disagree with you.

Yeah, I realized what you meant after I'd responded.

Either way, I expect that is going to be a better game than many will expect.

October 4, 2011  12:03 AM ET
QUOTE(#9):

Would it completely shock you if the Cowboys won in Foxboro?

Can't speak for anyone else, but yes. Of course, I would have said the same thing before the Bills game, but still. Say all you want about Rob Ryan, but he needs the team to actually perform.

October 4, 2011  05:02 AM ET
QUOTE(#16):

Can't speak for anyone else, but yes. Of course, I would have said the same thing before the Bills game, but still. Say all you want about Rob Ryan, but he needs the team to actually perform.

He hasn't had that problem. All I'm gonna say.

October 4, 2011  09:13 AM ET

scandrick played in the jets game then got hurt

October 4, 2011  09:14 AM ET

on top of which david buehler is not worthy of being noted lol

what do you think of doug free? i'm more interested in that

October 4, 2011  09:43 AM ET

Free is servicable, Buehler is needed, along with a better d and o line ... always been my contention ... Spears isn't what he was advertised to be ... having said that ...

GO RANGERS !!!

October 4, 2011  11:39 AM ET

Good blog CCC, I hope your right...I was about to jump out my window!

October 4, 2011  11:56 AM ET

Good points.

For all the fans out there wanting to bench Tony, I've never heard a reasonable plan on who they would replace him with.

 
October 4, 2011  12:34 PM ET
QUOTE(#22):

Good points. For all the fans out there wanting to bench Tony, I've never heard a reasonable plan on who they would replace him with.

John Kitna Bro!

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