Cowboys-Celtics-ChiSox's Blog
Views
2144
Comments
23

 

33 points per game? Pffft. Reigning MVP who hasn't lost a home game in 30 tries? Pishaw. 

This week, the Dallas Cowboys will go into Foxboro and slay the dragon. 

About once a year the Cowboys play a team that, on paper, should be better than they are, yet I just know Dallas is going to win the game for matchup reasons. Every time I predict it, I get called a homer...even by other Cowboys fans who don't believe. So let the name calling begin...

2006 9-0 Indy was one of those games. Manning just can't handle a good 3-4 defense

2007 it was Brett Favres last hurrah, last chance to fail in big D in a big game again. He didn't disappoint

2008 it was those same Packers with the new kid, this time in cheeseland

2009 13-0 Saints, seeking perfection, in New Orleans led by an ex-Cowboys coach

2010 it was that Manning boy again. Still can't handle a good 3-4

So here it is the 2011 season, and the team that fits the criteria is this weeks opponent. A perennial Super Bowl favorite led by a perennial MVP candidate. And this years version looks just as good as all the others.

But a funny thing is going to happen to the Pats on Sunday. It only happened to them once last year, and against the unlikeliest of foes. 

A season ago, it was the hapless Cleveland Browns. Statistically the leagues worst defense with a roster of nobodies and has-beens to match. It was this toothless defense that made Tom Brady appear to be mortal that day. Even worse, they made him look below average. It was embarrasing, really. This defense most anticipated Brady would shred like tissue paper, instead left him dazed and confused. The Patriots only scored 14 points that day, and  7 of those came in garbage time with Cleveland well ahead. The last time New England was held under 30 points...and it was less than half that many. 

So how did it happen? The Browns, as talentless as they were, had a couple of advantages that day. They were coming off a bye week giving them an extra 7 days to prepare, and they had a defensive coordinator who knows Belichick, Brady, and the Pats offense inside out. It was a thing of beauty to watch the Browns defense work that day. Their crazy schemes, sometimes even one down lineman, five linebackers, and five defensive backs, drove Tom Terrific batty. The two time MVP who's biggest attribute is his ability to read what a defense is doing pre-snap, was completely confused. He didn't know what hit him or how to counter it. 

So what the heck does this have to do with Dallas winning in Foxboro this week? Simple. That same man will be coaching the Cowboys defense this Sunday, only with far more talented players running those crazy formations. Oh, and coming off the bye, Rob Ryan has the same two week window to prepare his team for the challenge that he had a year ago. No to mention that Rob's twin brother coached against the Pats just a week ago and, while the Jets lost that game, don't think Rex won't have some very good information to share with his bro on what worked, what didn't, and why. 

Sure, the Cowboys offense will have plenty to say in the outcome of this game as well. Let's not sell the #6 Offense in the NFL short, here. They will have all of their skill position players healthy and on the field together for the first time since the first half of the first game of the year. Couple that with the Patriots pedestrian, to put it kindly, defense and I fully expect Tony Romo and company to put up more than 30 points of their own in this one. 

But this game is going to be about shutting down Tom Brady and that offensive machine they run up there in Foxboro. This Cowboys defense, ranked 4th in the NFL and itself healthy for the first time all season, led by Rob Ryan, on this day will be up to the task of returning that confused look to the eyes of #12. Tom himself has expressed concern about having to face Demarcus Ware and whether the Patriots would be able to slow him down. A couple of early hits, and Brady will be reliving Cleveland circa 2010 all over again, but with a bigger headache.

This is a statement game for the Cowboys, their defense, and Rob Ryan. They will be ready to make that statement and as such are my lock upset of the year for the 2011 season.

October 13, 2011  11:51 AM ET

love your optimism and really do hope you are correct. however, brady is playing so strong it's hard to see the home game win streak ending on sunday. if dallas stays close then maybe they pull they have a good chance. but brady is the best in the league and if they need a drive to win..... it's gonna be hard to stop them. always pulling for the cowboys, but this team is too hot and cold to know what's going to happen.

October 13, 2011  11:57 AM ET

So what the heck does this have to do with Dallas winning in Foxboro this week? Simple. That same man will be coaching the Cowboys defense this Sunday, only with far more talented players running those crazy formations. Oh, and coming off the bye, Rob Ryan has the same two week window to prepare his team for the challenge that he had a year ago. No to mention that Rob's twin brother coached against the Pats just a week ago and, while the Jets lost that game, don't think Rex won't have some very good information to share with his bro on what worked, what didn't, and why.

This is interesting. I might have to rethink my pick for this game.

October 13, 2011  02:48 PM ET

wish i could delete my comment..... didn't catch where it was coming from. will make a better point to do so in the future. sorry....

October 13, 2011  03:16 PM ET

Great blog and convincing argument. I too had forgotten the Ryan connection - Rex and his team didn't do a bad job against Brady and he'll probably pass along some wisdom to his bro. At the risk of insulting the Cowboy fans among us, however, I'm not sure you can count on your quarterback in the fourth quarter, even if your defense does a number on the Patriots. So count me as half sold: I'll buy that Dallas' defense will do a good job against Brady and Co; I just don't think it will be enough to give the Cowboys the win.

October 13, 2011  11:53 PM ET

I guess we'll see on Sunday.

October 14, 2011  02:39 AM ET

I don't bet NFL any longer but you've got me at least convinved that Dallas will beat the spread (7 pts).

October 14, 2011  05:43 AM ET

Rob Ryan was in Cleveland. Now, he is in Dallas.

October 14, 2011  05:43 AM ET

Great blog, C-C-C.

Comment #9 has been removed
Comment #10 has been removed
Comment #11 has been removed
October 14, 2011  11:22 AM ET

Unlike last season's Browns game, Belichick and Brady are well aware of what can be thrown at them. They are fresh off a similar threat from brother REX Ryan. The Pats will have a game plan that will neutralize the big blitz. Every game in which they expected a big blitz, they came up BIG. The games in which they struggle are those in which the defense surprised them by faking a blitz and dropping extra men back into coverage. But are the Cowboys a good cover team?

I don't think the defense will be a key to a Dallas victory. If Dallas wins, it will be because it's offense is on par with the Buffalo offense. I see Buffalo and Dallas as similar except Buffalo has more talented secondary. Dallas will score more points than the Jets > 21, but will not score as many as Buffalo < 34. The Pats however will score more than 30 again, so this could be a close game in the low 30s, but the Pats are good at absorbing yards and forcing teams to spread points. Pats 31, Cowboys 27.

October 14, 2011  11:53 AM ET

It will be a shoot out. I wouldn't bank on the cowboys being able to out score Brady and that offense.

October 14, 2011  02:17 PM ET

Nice work! I know every team has that one game they don't play up to par, but too bad for the Cowboys, the Pats already had that game when they lost to the Bills....Plus Rex can't help the boys, the Pats won't play Dallas the same way the played the Jets....

October 14, 2011  07:25 PM ET
QUOTE(#10):

Good luck to the Dallas D, they're gonna need it. The only decent offense they have played so far is Detroit and the Lions dropped 34 points on the overrated Cowboys defense. I'll take Tom Brady and his offense over Matthew Stafford and his any day of the week.BTW, what's the over/under on the number of fumbles/int's by Romo this week?

No, the Lions OFFENSE didn't drop 34 on the Dallas defense. 14 of those were scored on INT returns for TD and another after a 3rd INT set them up in great field position. The Lions Offense itself was largely contained in that game. They had exactly one drive longer than 45 yards all game long, Stafford completed less than 50% of his passes and the megatron was shut down until Sensabaugh went out with a concussion. Until then megatron's leaping ability was of no use as Gerald can leap just as high.

That was probably the WORST you'll see the Lions offense perform this year. but don't let facts get in the way of a good story. :)

As far as the over/under, is it lower than Brady? Tom Terrific has thrown more picks than Romo has this year.

October 14, 2011  08:19 PM ET

The key to Cleveland's win last season and what will be the key for Dallas' defense will be to get a couple early hits on Brady. Hit him. Hard. Two or three times and he'll be screaming at the refs for a flag...his linemen to block....he loses his mind. I dont remember if he's always played this way, but since the knee injury he has. Richard Seymour and our guys put him down a couple times but it wasnt enough to shake him up. I suspect however that Ware and Spencer will get to him early and often.

October 14, 2011  08:47 PM ET

No game vs the NFC east will be easy.
The Dallas game worries me, and I hope the defense shows up again this week. GRanted, the JEts offense would make any other offense look like probowlers, but if they can pressure Romo, Pats should win.

Otherwise, Dallas could be the team that breaks the streak.

October 14, 2011  10:39 PM ET
QUOTE(#10):

Good luck to the Dallas D, they're gonna need it. The only decent offense they have played so far is Detroit and the Lions dropped 34 points on the overrated Cowboys defense. I'll take Tom Brady and his offense over Matthew Stafford and his any day of the week.BTW, what's the over/under on the number of fumbles/int's by Romo this week?

You're forgetting the Lions returned two INT's for touchdowns in that game...not all of the blame goes to the Cowboys D in that game.

To comment on the Ryan connection...Bilichick also has a history of losing to his former assistants.

October 14, 2011  10:42 PM ET
QUOTE(#16):

The key to Cleveland's win last season and what will be the key for Dallas' defense will be to get a couple early hits on Brady. Hit him. Hard. Two or three times and he'll be screaming at the refs for a flag...his linemen to block....he loses his mind. I dont remember if he's always played this way, but since the knee injury he has. Richard Seymour and our guys put him down a couple times but it wasnt enough to shake him up. I suspect however that Ware and Spencer will get to him early and often.

I have noticed that in Brady when I get the chance to watch him. I hate how QB's have started calling for flags...let the refs do their job. Since the league has become so flag happy they should institute a 15 yard penalty against players that call for flags...that will STOP the problem real quick.

 
October 14, 2011  10:44 PM ET

Nice blog by the way

Comment

Remember to keep your posts clean. Profanity will get filtered, and offensive comments will be removed.


Start Your Own Blog

Start Now

Truth & Rumors

MOST POPULAR

  1. 1
    Kerr 'absolutely expects' Knicks offer
    Views
    1782
    Comments
    1433
  2. 2
    No return timetable for Lightning MVP
    Views
    957
    Comments
    218
  3. 3
    Yankees, Mets, Red Sox among Hanrahan hopefuls
    Views
    3579
    Comments
    168
  4. 4
    Niners table talks with Kaepernick
    Views
    1198
    Comments
    64
  5. 5
    ... So, L.A. will line up for Love and Durant
    Views
    6190
    Comments
    48

SI.com

SI Photos