Two weeks ago, I wrote about how it was bad business to help a hated rival get into the playoffs. I was referring to the Cowboys giving a horrible performance against the Washington Redskins. Although Dallas did not face the Redskins in the playoffs, it is the same logic, with Washington, as it is with the Giants:
You do not want to have to play the same team three times in one season.
It may be somewhat debatable, but I still stick to my guns when arguing that the NFC East is the best division in professional football. The Dallas Cowboys have long histories with all three of those other ball-clubs, and they are not exactly friendly histories. This is well evidenced. There are 27 other non-divisional teams in the NFL, including New England, that I would have rather had my hometown team go up against, especially this division in particular. It doesn’t matter that Dallas beat them twice. This isn’t college football or high school football. We are talking about grown men, professionals, all of whom work in a tension filled, reward oriented, strive-for-perfection workplace. These people are professionals. They know how to watch game film, they know tendencies, they perceive and they react to those perceptions with split-second timing. And that is from the players to the staff to the management. I don’t like my chances to win a third straight game against a professional opponent who not only hates my guts, but who was also good enough to qualify for the second round of the playoffs.
It is just a puzzle, folks. Teams do what they do, offensively and defensively, based on strengths and weaknesses. Playoff teams do not run out there with a passing offense when their QB is terrible and they have a great running game, or try and run man coverage on defense when you have the worst corners in the league. It is logical that a professional opposition can perceive and react, correctly. Even the Rosetta Stone was eventually decyphered. Even the Enigma was eventually decoded. All this is, at the end of the day, is a puzzle.
And your opponent, in the second round of the playoffs, has 16 or 17 games worth of material that helps figure out that puzzle, not to mention the fact they already played you twice. A 13-3 season with home-field advantage, with terrible efforts given by the Cowboys in the last weeks being very overlooked. Take this all into consideration. Is it really that big of a stretch to think New York wins that playoff game? I looked at the evidence and I reluctantly took the Giants. I was unsatisfyingly correct.
A few things happened in that game that led to the Dallas loss. Throughout the course of this season, everyone’s favorite head-coaching candidate Jason Garrett has thrown the running plays out the window for what is essentially no good reason. I question if this guy is actually ready for an NFL head-coaching job. I’m not saying he won’t be, but from where I am personally sitting, as of right now I am asking questions. A lot of the success of this team was because of Romo’s ability to think on his feet and make plays happen. It is not just genius coaching, it is Tony Romo’s addition to the plays as well. Defensively in this game, the tackling was so poor that I don’t even want to talk any more about it. This team has holes, defensively, mainly in corner depth, Hamlin is decent, and Roy Williams’ money needs to be swallowed and he needs to be sent packing immediately. If you get enough pressure on any quarterback, you affect his rhythm and judgment, even if just by flushing the pocket, and New York was smart enough to get back there and put Romo on the ground. Mick told Rocky that women weaken legs, and although that is probably true, I don’t blame Jessica Simpson for the loss, or for the Cowboys’ skid, but I do know as well as everybody else the power in being comfortable. It is not her fault directly (its his) but if they’re as serious as the rumors suggest, I think there’s validity to pointing out how comfortable people can become with life when that void is filled. That’s all I’m saying about that. There is validity to pointing that out.
This came up on Google under “Tony Romo”.
With the Cowboys finished, how do these playoffs look when you no longer have a horse in the race? I’m inclined to think that New England is going to put a beating on San Diego, and it won’t even be worth the effort to watch the game. Likewise in the NFC battle, I have Green Bay taking care of New York with relative ease. San Diego got a lot of lucky breaks in that game with Indianapolis, and that outcome was above their level of worth. New York’s outcome over Dallas was also a game where they played above their own level of worth. Unfortunately, I do not think either of these games will be too jaw-dropping.
I want to thank everybody for reading my rants every week this season, and I especially want to thank everyone here at The Huddle Network for allowing me a podium each week to rail about football. With two first-round picks in this year’s draft, there is plenty of discussion that needs to be had over what Dallas needs, immediately, and I’m looking forward to workout and combine results to fuel a draft article. Until then, focus on which of these 75 bumbling candidates you think will do the least amount of damage to the country for the next four years.