Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Did we watch the same game?

I really shouldn't make a big deal about this. I really shouldn't be drawn offsides by the national media, but I just can't help it. One of the upsides to the Cowboys winning on Monday night was that I could listen to sports talk radio and read the blogs and sports writing and be happy. After a Cowboys loss (say after the Giants playoff game last year), I will not read the newspapers or blogs, listen to the sports talk show idiots, or anything else. But I was sure after Monday night's game I would enjoy a little ESPN radio praising the greatness of the previous night's game and the strength on the Cowboys and just laugh while reading Peter King and others venerate the Cowboys. But instead of praising the Cowboys, the Colin Cowherd of ESPN and Peter King of SI evidently quit watching the game after halftime when the Eagles were ahead 30-24 and assumed that it was misprint that the Cowboys outscored the Eagles 17-7 in the 2nd half. They worshiped at the shrine of Donovan McNabb who was great until about 10 mins to go in the game when he evidently got tired and quit being able to complete passes longer than 10 yards. In fact, the longest play for the Eagles late in the game was a ten yard pass to a TE on a 2nd and 18 (the series ended in a punt). The fumble was clearly Donovan's fault as he was seemingly unable to decide if he was going to give it to Westbrook or to the receiver on the reverse. It was that choke job that turned the tide towards the Cowboys. Cowherd trumpeted over and over how the Eagles were able to get yards when they needed them. However, he failed to mention that the Eagles got inside the Cowboys 25 five times and had to settle for field goals in three of them. Two of the Eagles TD were a direct result of Cowboy turnovers, both of them really unforced, but rather bad plays by Tony Romo. So the absolutely awesome Eagle offense scored 23 points. Hardly the stuff of domination. Also, they talked about the return of Donovan McNabb, but they evidently missed the stats about his performance in Sept. the last few years. He's been dominant. There is a good questions whether he'll be able to keep it up. The Eagles better hope so.

Another group that got a ton of praise from the national media was the vaunted Eagle defense. But Tony Romo emerged from the game almost completely untouched (except, of course for the unforced errors of the fumble and the pic). The Cowboys showed their offensive strength by being able to almost completely stay away from TO and still move the ball at will against the Eagles. It opened up Marion Barber to get 51 yards on 11 carries in the 2nd half after just 12 on 7 carries in the first. Jason Witten made their line backers and safeties look silly and the Cowboys lower rung guys like Martellus Bennett, Patrick Crayton, Miles Austin, and Tony Curtis made plays as the Eagles payed their attention to TO.

I could go on. It's still early. The last several years the Cowboys have been great until the calendar turns into December. And all this won't matter if they fall apart down the stretch and there are things that concern me. Tony Romo being the crazy gunslinger is one and the penalties (which make me think of their lack of disciple) is another. But I want the national media to realize that the Eagles are good and maybe the 3 best teams in the NFL are in NFC East, but the Cowboys were clearly the best team on Monday.

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