Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Yippee Ki Yay, Motherf*****

The Cowboys moved into a tie for the NFC east lead this weekend with a win over the previously undefeated Colts and a loss by the suddenly struggling Giants. The Giants who seemed on their way to the Superbowl a couple of weeks ago are suddenly playing like a team that has lost it's way. They Cowboys who looked like they were on their way to another mediocre season have turned into real playoff contenders over the past four weeks. The Giants have had a number of injuries that have led to their sudden downturn in play and Eli Manning is playing more like the son of Phil Simms than the son of Archie Manning.

It's easy to pinpoint the moment the Cowboys season turned around. It was when Parcells finally decided to insert Tony Romo into the starting lineup and relegate Drew Bledsoe to clipboard duty. Romo took over after halftime of an eventual loss to the Giants, but he has gone 3-1 since then. In fact the only loss the Cowboys suffered was to the Redskins in a game that they should have won. Romo has been steady but not spectacular as the starting QB. His QB rating is sitting at 100 for the season, which is just a half a point behind Peyton Manning for tops in the league (Bledsoe's QB rating was 69 before he got benched). The best part about his play so far is that he has been able to avoid the kind of game killing mistakes that Bledsoe seemed to be so fond of. He has thrown eight TD passes and five interceptions, but his mistakes have not been of the kind that determined the outcome of the game.

Romo has shown displayed exceptional control for someone who was thrust into the spotlight as the starting QB for "America's Team". His ability to avoid the rush and maintain his composure under pressure have already made him a favorite with his teammates. There was even a rumor that he was dating Jessica Simpson. This all comes with being successful as the Dallas Cowboys QB. If he manages to get the Cowboys deep into the playoffs this year, he will be well on his way to becoming a Texas legend. The Cowboys have been searching for a replacement for Troy Aikman for a long time and amazing as it may seem, they may just have found him in an undrafted QB from Eastern Illinois. Of course being the QB for the Cowboys has it's downside as well. It won't take much more than one bad outing for the fans to start waxing poetic about and longing for a return to Bledsoe. It is one of the risks of leading the team with the highest profile in football.

I don't really think that Parcells would change QB's again. Barring injury or a complete and total collapse, Romo has the job for the rest of the year. It will be interesting to see how far he can carry this team. In a year where there certainly doesn't seem to be any unbeatable teams, the Cowboys might have a chance to make a serious playoff push. It's seems like it's been at least a decade since the Cowboys have even won a playoff game. Perhaps that will change this year. I know that would make Toby happy. It's been a long time since she's has a QB in Dallas to look up to. And while no one will ever replace #8 in her heart, perhaps #9 will be a worthy successor on the field.



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