The threat so severe that no one ever returned to their seats. Thankfully, the only explosion in Philadelphia was the ever-fading hopes of the Iggles faithful. The sound you hear from South Philly is the window of opportunity quickly closing and heading for a crash landing. The worst of nightmares, turning the division keys over to the Cowboys, has invaded the City of Brotherly Love.
A decade of success designed to finally put a Lombardi trophy in the (still) empty trophy case has, much like Philly's sports history, come up short. Again. There have been many articles written about the city painted as the home of loveable losers. Let's get one thing straight; there is absolutely nothing loveable about that city. Nothing. To add insult to injury, one of their own, home grown, former Cowboys OT Eric Williams, appears on the Cowboys' sideline clad in mink coat and Super Bowl rings. The shimmering of the diamond-studded jewelry had the Eagles' fans salivating. Oh, what could have been?
Are the Eagles trying to make a statement regarding marquee receivers? Statement may be the wrong word as it's more along the lines of a boycott. It's hard to determine if they're gun shy or merely stubborn following the Terrell Owens meltdown and scorched earth execution. With McNabb's mobility limited by continual injury, how could the organization not provide him legitimate weapons to target? What was wrong with Donte Stallworth's book of work? Too good to keep around? They've had absolutely no consistency in the position since the days of Mike Quick and Harold Carmichael. No, the Fred Barnett and Calvin Williams combination does not qualify. The current quarterback is contending it can't all be placed at his feet, and he's right.
The Cowboys just played the most critical of the three-game divisional stretch, and they played to victory. Yes, Sunday's contest in the Meadowlands is huge, but the Philly win is bigger, especially from a mindset standpoint. The Philly hump was been both climbed and conquered. This one contest will boost confidence like no other. When a baton or torch is passed, so is the swagger required to carry it. Hard to believe, but the Cowboys will have even more momentum and confidence as they prepare to meet the Giants for the second time this year. There are many factors at stake in Sunday's showdown.
Maybe it was the TV or the blue uniforms, but Tony Romo appeared much heavier in the Eagles contest. Wouldn't you if you just consumed a buffet table worth of dollar bills supplied by Jerry Jones? The extra baggage sure didn't change his production or disposition. That's a tremendous compliment to a young, extremely rich, man who could have let it all go to his head. The media and fans were quick to point to those responsible for the Tony Romo fairytale: Parcells, Peyton, Ireland, Jones, Romo's agent, etc. While all have certainly played a role in the shaping process, look no further than Joan and Ramiro Romo being completely responsible for the firm foundation which exists. They deserve all the accolades for Tony's drive and success. It's wonderful to see Tony's love for his parents, and it's apparent he is proud of and thankful for his upbringing. Humility at such a young age is noteworthy, and Romo appears grounded to handle anything coming his way. Thank you, Mrs. and Mr. Romo. Well done.
Is it safe to say Bill Parcells would have never appointed Terrell Owens a team captain? On the road? Against a division foe? The reigning division champ? And former employer? Please. Atmosphere and style do play significant roles in the NFL locker room and overall landscape. While December is yet to arrive and be assessed, the head coaching change has to account for something in the overall mix. Can it be tied to additional wins? It would be most difficult to measure in the win/loss columns, but for crying out loud, Parcells wouldn't even use his star receiver's name. There may not be a bigger sign of disrespect. Ego, stubbornness and conservatism were either cratering or holding this team back. Sad to say, but it's hoped there is a small piece of humble pie being consumed by Parcells. He'll never admit it publicly or privately, but Big Bill either knows he was a gigantic albatross or he jumped ship much too early. Either way, the fresh air in and around Valley Ranch couldn't have arrived at a better time.
It'll never happen as he inexcusably seems to completely intimidate all media, but the question needs to be posed to his Royal Highness. "What is Wade Phillips doing that you didn't? How is he accomplishing results in areas were you fell woefully short?" Go ahead Coach, answer the questions. We're all intently listening. Don't hold your breath as those answers are never coming.
Don't look now, but here comes the defense. If the Eli Manning-led Giants are reduced to 300 yards of total offense or less, in their own backyard, then the Dallas Cowboys definitely have something cooking! With Anthony Henry's limited return, Newman and Ellis adapting to and tolerating the pain and a reloaded Tank Johnson about to make his Cowboys' debut, look out all opposition signal callers. There is a feeling this thing is about to completely come together, and it will be most interesting to watch Wade Phillips and Brian Stewart orchestrate a full arsenal. Only time will tell, but there's also an anticipation of the never-before-seen Roy Williams. There's a portion of the human bumper car which has been kept under wraps due to all the injuries and absences amongst the defensive personnel. With that in mind, how's this for prognostication?
Roy ends the regular season with eight sacks. Somehow, someway this guy needs to fully re-engage. Many (to include the coaching staff) have said there's nothing different, or wrong, with Roy. Sorry folks, that's not true. He is not the same player as he once was, and the word "disinterested" enters the conversation. That inference, if posed to Williams, will draw nothing but his now-famous rolling of the eyes. He'd dispute it all day long, but hopefully a scheme adjustment allows #31 to puff out that chest and regain his Dale Earnhardt Sr. demeanor. The intimidation factor must come back into play, and it may be slight tweak which produces the desired results. It could happen as early as this Sunday. Stay tuned.
So, bring on the Giants. The buzz has been the Giants aren't the same team the Cowboys saw in Week One. While that may be true, guess what? This Cowboys' collection isn't the same either. It would be anticipated Round Two will produce lower scoring output, but it's the NFL, and nothing from week to week can be accurately predicted. One thing remains certain. The Cowboys will not be intimidated by this road environment. They learned from the Buffalo game and applied it to the Philly game. Take the crowd out of the equation as early as possible. Sure, the winds are going the swirl, but let Mother Nature be the only contributing factor. The Cowboys are road-tested, and they will come to play.
Who knows, the Meadowlands may also receive a call which prompts an all-out evacuation of the premises, and hopefully that call is generated from the Cowboys' sideline.
Exit Stage Right
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