Here we are again Dallas Cowboys fans. The NFL season is at the quarter mark. It starts with Peyton Manning. Our Cowboys are atop of the NFC East with a 2-2 record, leading the division by one game.
Everyone knows in this division all bets are off when one game separates number one from number two and three. With the Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins games coming within the next three weeks, the San Diego Chargers game should have been our “cushion” game.
People have asked repeatedly how you abandon the running game when your win/loss record shows you HAVE to run to win. I digress. SERIOUSLY digress because my blood pressure cannot take it. Heading into the second quarter of the season, we have the high-powered Denver Broncos offense coming into AT&T Stadium (Also known as The House That Eli Built by New York Giants fans). The only good thing about this match-up is when people expect the Dallas Cowboys to lose they find a way to win. For example, in their only head-to-head meeting on 11/19/2006, the Tony Romo led Dallas Cowboys beat Peyton Manning’s Indianapolis Colts 21-14. The Indianapolis Colts rolled into Texas undefeated at 9-0. It was the first start for both Peyton Manning and Tony Romo in Texas Stadium. This win was the first time in NFL history a quarterback with less than 3 or fewer prior starts defeated a team with a record of 7-0 or better. Peyton Manning also lost his last meeting against the Dallas Cowboys 38-35 in Indianapolis. I am not telling you this to get your hopes up. Peyton Manning and his offense look unstoppable. The Denver Broncos defense look just as good. When your offense can put up 30-plus points in a blink of an eye, your defense only have to worry about getting pressure on your quarterback. They do not worry about the running game because the opposing team will be too busy playing catch-up.
Soon after the Denver Broncos leave town, the dreaded Washington Redskins come to town. Now I am not worried about the Redskins. My concern is the time of the game. The Dallas Cowboys do not do well on Sunday Nights. They will be facing a rested Redskins team as they will be coming off a bye week AND a good win against the Oakland Raiders. After chasing the Peyton Manning led Broncos offense around, I am not sure the Dallas Cowboys defense will rest enough to keep up with Robert Griffin III (RGIII), Alfred Morris, and Pierre Garcon. I am not even going to mention the self-proclaimed “Cowboy Killer” Santana Moss. Playing at home, I (and I think people would agree) feel the Cowboys can win this game and get back on track. They NEED to. They should WANT to. This Washington Redskins game starts in October too; remember?. What is the reason I say it is to remember? I will explain at the end. Right now, I am just going to talk about the second quarter of the season.
Next on the agenda, the Dallas Cowboys fly to the place where “The City of Brotherly Love” should no longer be the city’s nickname. Welcome to Philadelphia, PA, home of the Philadelphia Eagles! Chip Kelly started his NFL coaching career with a loud sonic boom! The way his Eagles team went up and down the field against the Washington Redskins was crazy. Then Coach Kelly says they were moving too slow. Huh?!? Well he did not expect the next three teams to slow down his high-octane offense even more. The Dallas Cowboys defense found ways in the past to contain Michael Vick. However, this is not Andy Reid’s offense anymore. This offense is fast, unpredictable, and can run up the score if allowed to stay on the field. The Philadelphia Eagles defense has something missing and I am not sure what it is. The Dallas Cowboys offense can and should run the ball down their throats. Tony Romo and Dez Bryant may have great days if the Cowboys set up the run early to wear down the defense. This should make for an interesting game. As I have mentioned before, records do not matter in the NFC East when they play division games. They go all out to try to beat each other. It leaves them open for other conference and inter-conference games.
The last game of the second quarter of the season in my eyes is “The Revenge Bowl” for Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys travel to Detroit to take on the Lions. We all remember the last meeting so I will NOT bring up anything from that game. I think my blood pressure just went up typing the last sentence. The Detroit Lions are looking good with a 3-1 record heading into their game with the Green Bay Packers. Before the Dallas Cowboys come to town, they have two games against teams that are showing some spunk, the Cincinnati Bengals and the Cleveland Browns. Tony Romo and Dez Bryant should redeem themselves in this game. This is an entirely different Detroit Lions team with Reggie Bush. They no longer just depend on “Megatron” Calvin Johnson. The Lions defense is getting better as they try to keep their penalties down. This game will be interesting because the Lions are trying to keep pace with the Chicago Bears. The Dallas Cowboys will be trying to keep ahead of the pack in the NFC East. There is always the question when you are a Dallas Cowboys fan, how bad do the Cowboys want it and will they fight to get it.
This second quarter is very important to the Dallas Cowboys and all of their fans. Unbelievably, this is the EASY stretch of the schedule. This is why I said October is a month to remember. November is not too bad but December is where it will be time to make sure you take your blood pressure medication before games. The biggest positive is the week 11 bye. We will need it after facing the New Orleans Saints and a Rex Ryan defense that will be looking to give their coach redemption against his former team. October is never a good month for the Dallas Cowboys in recent years. November has been better. This is the time to change the October pitfall from seasons past. It is time to start winning games they are expected to win. These are the games to build on. These are the games used to get ready for games against high-powered offenses or stiff defenses. Now is not the time for letdown games. It is time to show the killer instinct within! it is time to start bring the hardware back to Dallas, but it all starts with Peyton manning,